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Mature hugelkultur bed after 20 years
I have 5 Ponderosa Pines at the end of my yard. Sure, they're great for shade, but what do you do with trees that shed long needles all over the place and throw pinecones everywhere? Mowing the grass means patrolling the lawn and picking up all the cones before you mow. And while you're gone for a few minutes dumping the cones, the trees throw more down, just to mess up your poor abused lawnmower (I swear I'm gonna get a goat someday soon!) Those things are murder on lawnmower blades.

In an effort to avoid mowing that area, I decided to put in a "flower" bed. I had an idea to make it a forest garden, complete with a pathway. I live in an area where rainforests rule, so ferns, creepers, mosses and other shade and acidic soil loving plants were going to be my plantings. Luckily, a friend had most of those and was more than happy to get rid of unwanted baby plants.

The day before I faced the backbreaking work of digging up the area between three of the trees, I remembered something I'd read about and had wanted to try. Hugelkultur.

Intrigued? Follow me beyond the orange garden path.

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Hi all! I have no idea what happened to the regular IAN. I stepped out of DK for a couple of hours and I guess I must have turned the lights off when I left, 'cause when I came back, two hours were missing in the recent list. Sorry about that.

That, or the Real IAN is really

Anyhoo, It will eventually be found, so meanwhile....please check in (just so's we know you're not lost out in the ether too)

Who was your favourite character in the series?

The White Privilege Checklist
Do you remember Dixon D White? He's a self admitted redneck who, disturbed by a confrontation with his neighbour at his home, decided to post a video from his truck.  In the video, he calls on all white people to come to terms with and take responsibility for their racism. And many did. Kossack dmitcha wrote a wonderful diary about Dixon's video and challenge. Kossack Dewstino also wrote a diary about it a few weeks later.

The video asked people to make videos of their own and talk about their own experiences with racism and what they thought should be done, and post them on his Facebook page. Many many people did just that. They were such moving testimonials from ordinary people! People who want change. You can go to dmitcha's diary and see for yourself what people have said. They are awesome!

I was curious, and since I FB, I decided to check this out for myself. I sent a friend request to Dixon and was accepted. I watched the videos and read the comments, occasionally making some of my own. I have come to the conclusion that Dixon is totally serious and committed to his challenge. He's a genuinely nice person who sees a terrible wrong going on in America and wants it to stop. He wants racism to stop. And he's not alone. 5000 people have joined his challenge. People of all races.

Here's his Facebook page:

Here's Dixon's video:

Yesterday he asked his friends to finish this thought: ""For me the best way to try to fix our culture and system of white supremacy is..."

Their answers are just over the orange tangle.

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O.M.G!!! I cannot believe what happened this afternoon.

For months, Canadians have been fighting to stop a Bill passing in Parliament. The Anti-terrorism Act, better known as Bill C-51 2015 is the brainchild of our megalomaniac Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. After several threats to VIPs last year, two that were serious threats to Parliament and the Armed Forces, The Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper, decided to put together a Bill to give both the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) a broader mandate to deal with terroristic threats.

That sounds all well and fine, until you stop and think about the implications of this Bill, and who is pushing it.

It gives the RCMP the legal ability to arrest someone without a warrant, and without revealing the charges to the person being arrested. It gives the CSIS free reign to spy on whomever it pleases without a warrant. This may not seem so bad until you realize that the person who gave these un-democratic rights to our country's security forces, is the person who has been persecuting all environmental groups, siccing Revenue Canada on them to spring surprise audits over and over again; the person who canned most of the scientists in Canada, and gagged the rest; the person who has ruthlessly been pushing pipelines down the throats of every Canadian and most of the First World countries...our Prime Minister. Harper is a bully with a whole country he likes to keep under his thumb.

Every Bill put through Parliament must have three readings and be passed by a majority of MPs. And , although the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) filibustered the Bill in order to allow more time for expert testimony, it only delayed the third reading. Today, The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau voted for the Bill.

Just tonight I saw on my FB feed that Trudeau's FB page was being inundated by angry supporters...who are completely withdrawing their support and joining the NDP...hordes of them!!! Here's his FB page...

And some samples of the posts:

Dan (redacted) What a pantload of crap. This is a horrible bill that should never have seen the light of day & the Liberals will pay the price for voting for it. GO NDP!
Richard (redacted) Justin Voted Yes to bill c-51 , I now vote N D P .
Sherry (redacted) Bill C-51 support is a deal breaker for me. I now support Mulair...sorry.
Mithu (redacted) Will vote Canada’s NDP / Le NPD du Canada because of bill c51. I used to support Trudeau but no longer.
I think that Canadians will be painting the Parliament buildings NDP Orange this fall at election time!! Yipee!!
Titled: Sea Otter - Putting His Feet Up
Artist: Mark Hobson
In many ways I've had a charmed childhood. I grew up in a small village in Wales: Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, and when I turned 10, my parents sent me to boarding school in Ireland. I'd spend the week at the school, and weekends with my grandmother who lived jut outside of Dublin on Howth Head. A beautiful spot. When I was 12 my family moved to Canada, Victoria on Vancouver Island, to be exact. I spent many happy years growing up there and have some very fond and funny memories....some of which I'd like to share with you.

It's about otters and how I got to be rather familiar with them.

Come below the flowing orange kelp and I'll regale you with tales from yesteryear and awesome pics.

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Four years ago I was given the opportunity to move back to the place I love best in the world. Vancouver Island. I thought of living on the east coast, but found it too crowded, expensive and didn't offer the crashing waves and foggy vistas that I had loved as a teenager when my family moved from Britain to Canada.

After a year living in Nanaimo, I decided to look at the west coast. The price of housing was cheaper and nowhere near as overpopulated as the east coast, so I settled in a small city of Port Alberni. Port Alberni, despite actually being near the center of the island, is built at the head of a long, deep inlet. It's a fishing and forestry town (actually two towns built only two miles apart and eventually merged), so has a harbour stocked with fishing boats and a paper mill. There are log booms on the far side of town, waiting to be collected and used for lumber or paper. Logging trucks roll through town, and a  wilderness of forests and mountains surrounds the town. It's a nice place to live.

Port Alberni inlet:

Port Alberni From Harbour Quay, looking towards Mt Arrowsmith:

Aerial view of Port Alberni:

It's a great place to live! The weather is mild and storms are few, hiking in the surrounding rainforests is a treat, and just an hour's drive down the road is Tofino and Ucluelet. Both towns are situated at each end of a weirdly shaped spit. They have become tourist towns full of spectacular inns, restaurants and small shops selling all kinds of artisan products, whale watching and wildlife tours, and paddle and surfboard shops, all owing to the beauty of the wild west coast.

 This is our destination. To get there we'll board the Francis Barkley:

And travel down the Alberni inlet until we reach Barkley Sound, Sarita beach, the Broken Islands, then Ucluelet, Long Beach and finally Tofino.

Come with me on a spectacular trip to the wonderful wild west coast of Vancouver Island...just past the tangled fishing line awaits your adventure....

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Rastafarian businessman (Shutterstock)
When Governor Mike Pence (R) signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law I'll bet he never expected the backlash he's been getting!

Salesforce has stopped their plans to expand in Indianapolis, companies like Eli Lilly, Eskenazi Health, Angie's List, Pat McAfee and many others have joined the state-wide boycott.

One more piece of bad news for Pence; Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle is banning all city-funded travel to Indiana. He joins San Francisco's Mayor, Ed Lee who has also banned city-funded travel. He states:

“I’m not doing this because I’m a gay man,” he explained. “You cannot say, ‘You can’t come into my restaurant because you’re black and it’s my religious belief not to serve you.’ That is a settled question.”

“Indiana’s S.B. 101 doesn’t reflect the values of our City. Seattle has been a leader in the fight to protect civil rights and ensure equality for all people – no matter who you are, or who you love,” Murray said. “This is why I am ordering that none of our taxpayer dollars should go toward supporting this discriminatory law. To those in Indiana today who are working hard in the fight for equality – know that Seattle stands with you as you continue your efforts to end discrimination and protect civil rights for everyone.”

Oh...but there's more just over the orange macaroon....
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Indiana's Governor Mike Pence just signed a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that will protect businesses that discriminate against LGBT and the response is just awesome.

George Takei, (Sulu from Star Trek) has written a letter and petition challenging all businesses who oppose the new law to boycott the entire state.

He asks people to join him in this boycott


ESPN, Keith Olbermann is calling on both the National College Athletic Association and the National Football League to boycott Indiana until the new law is repealed.

He tweets:

Simple fact: after Indiana enacts a law permitting prejudice against some of its customers, NCAA should pull Final 4 out of Indy. Right now

I don't care if Final 4 winds up being played in a parking lot in Tulsa, NCAA has no right to support legally codified hatred and stupidity
And for that matter the NFL should play no games in Indiana until and unless this hateful, medieval measure is repealed.
And if you fall back on the discredited "orientation is a choice," ask yourself: what is religion if not a choice? Or passing hate laws?


Salesforce, a $4 billion dollar software corporation, has also decided to boycott  Indiana, saying:

"We have been an active member of the Indiana business community and a key job creator for more than a decade," Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud division, wrote in a letter to Indiana lawmakers. "Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees, regardless of gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation."

"Without an open business environment that welcomes all residents and visitors," he warned, "Salesforce will be unable to continue building on its tradition of marketing innovation in Indianapolis."

The company is joined by Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins (Mayor of Indianapolis) and Gen Con (a $50 million annual gaming convention). Salesforce threatens to stop expansion plans of their recently purchased Indianapolis based company, Exact Target.

Maybe these responses will make some impression the Governor? If not, maybe the response from the business community his law is going to hurt will force him to change the law he just passed. And maybe it's going to be pitchfork time very soon.


I'll offer these 21 incredible photos of people from all over the world with little commentary. Words would diminish their import. I will say this: some are happy and some are sad.... and they are all very ALIVE.

“Cosmic time is the same for everyone, but human time differs with each person. Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.” ― Yasunari Kawabata

The collection of photos are from Higher Perspective:

There are more photos at the site.


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irishwitch and her hubby, Packhorse (aka Ben) are moving from Georgia to New England. It's been a rough year for them. They lost their house and had to move in with Ben's mother. It has not been smooth sailing between them and the MiL, but the opportunity has come for them to move back to where they are comfortable, and where they have friends. Everything is set up. They have somewhere to stay in New England while they apartment hunt and get settled. But they still need our help hiring a moving company to get them to their old stomping grounds.

Both of them are no longer young sprigs (they are "mature" in years, if not in thoughts) and beset by health issues. Packhorse had a quintuple bypass just over a year ago, and irishwitch has some nasty back issues. Neither one of them should be packing up a U Haul with all their worldly possessions and 4 cats, then travelling for 2 days in a bumpy van.

This is a continuation of a fundraiser held for them a few days ago. You can read more about it here.

We have already raised $1300 of the $2000 we need to help irishwitch and Packhorse hire a moving company. That leaves just $700 left to go!

                      Well done, You!!! But we can do more!!

As last time, we are using paypal and their account # is:

If you prefer to send your contribution via snailmail, please phone Ben (Packhorse) at: 770 - 851- -8639, or message irishwitch, and he'll give you the address.

irishwitch will be here off and on during the day to say hi and comment, as will I and texasmom.

And just because it's Saint Paddy's's The High Kings singing "Whiskey In The Jar"

I'd like to thank everybody in advance for helping with contributions, tips and recs. You guys are da Bomb!



I ran across this post from Jim Wright on his Facebook page. It had me laughing so hard I had to hold my sides and mop up the tears with my sleeves.

Politics reduced to the level of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Guess who's who...gwan...guess.

Oh....and before you read this....swallow anything that's in your mouth...NOW! Don't say you weren't warned!!

Jim Wright
9 hrs ·
1952, Looney Tunes, "Rabbit Seasoning"
Bugs Bunny: Would you like to shoot me now or wait till you get home?
Daffy Duck: Shoot him now! Shoot him now!
Bugs Bunny: You keep outta this! He doesn't have to shoot you now!
Daffy Duck: He does so have to shoot me now!
[to Elmer Fudd]
Daffy Duck: I demand that you shoot me now!
[Elmer shoots him. Bang!]
Daffy Duck: Let'sth run through that again.
Bugs Bunny: Okay.
Bugs Bunny: [flat tone] Wouldja like to shoot me now or wait till you get home?
Daffy Duck: [flat tone] Shoot him now, shoot him now.
Bugs Bunny: [flat tone] You keep outta this. He doesn't hafta shoot you now.
Daffy Duck: Ha! THAT's it! Hold it right there!
[to audience]
Daffy Duck: Pronoun trouble.
[to Bugs]
Daffy Duck: It's not: "He doesn't have to shoot YOU now." It's: "He doesn't have to shoot ME now." Well, I say he DOES have to shoot me now!
[to Elmer]
Daffy Duck: SO SHOOT ME NOW!
[Elmer shoots him. Bang]
2015, Congress, "Sauce For The Goose"
Daffy McConnell: If you don't do what we want, we're keeping Eric Holder as Attorney General!
Obama: You keep outta this...

irishwitch is needing our help. She's been in exile in GA for the past 10 months due to the bottom falling out of her and hubby Ben's life. Now they have the opportunity to move back to the place they love best, New England. They have a friend they can stay with until they find a place to live, but they need help with the moving. Neither one of them are in the best of health, and packing all their worldly possessions in a U Haul and driving it across country for two days is going to be extremely difficult for them.

In April of last year, she and Ben encountered some very difficult times. Ben had heart problems and required a quintuple bypass and extensive recovery and physical therapy. irishwitch was very sick at this time as well. Meanwhile, the house they'd been persuaded to purchase went into foreclosure and they were evicted. In the process of moving, irishwitch hurt her back, exasperating an old injury that is still causing a great deal of pain. From there they went to live with Ben's mother. Not the happiest of arrangements, but they managed.

Very recently the MiL's health has become so bad she's moving into seniors housing and kicking irishwitch and Ben out. That's fine with them (to a point), and they decided they want to go back to New England and be with friends. They want to live their own lives again. They can do this. They have a friend who will put them up until they find a place to live. The problem is that neither irishwitch or Ben is really all that capable healthwise of loading up a U Haul and driving it and 4 cats for 2 days across country to get to their new home.

This is where our help comes in. In order to get movers to load their things up and move it for them, and then possibly store it for them until they find somewhere to settle, it will cost $2000.00.

I'm hoping the generosity of this community rises yet again to help these two out and ease their journey to a new home.

irishwitch and Ben say they are not worried about finding a place and say they can save enough to afford the rent and damage deposit, but they simply don't have the funds to hire movers. I would like to see if we can raise a little more than the $2000 to give them some help with getting that apartment.

irishwitch also insists that she will pay everyone back, so she wants everyone that contributes to put in a comment how much they've put in, and she'll make a list.

Her hubby also requests that anyone wishing to contribute via snail mail contact him at this number:  770 - 851 - 8639 or message irishwitch, and he'll give you the address.

Go to:    Paypal account number is:

I'll thank everyone in advance for whatever help you can give, especially for  tips and recs.

irishwitch's friend, texasmom, has been an invaluable help in getting this fundraiser diary together, and will be along to help with comments as will irishwitch.

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