Day In, Day Out…

Every so often my routine begins to blur together and days become months and months become years. I usually try to stay positive and cheerful most of the time, but I am deathly allergic to routine. I don’t think that we as a species are hardwired for this type of life. We long for ways to escape its stagnant grasp in any form we can.

I recently installed a few motion cameras in the backyard just in case that racoon shows up again to dine upon my precious flock of hens. Better to be safe than sorry and these little cameras are relatively cheap and simple to install. No predators yet, but I’m watching.

What I didn’t expect them to capture was my sad sorry self heading off to work every morning. When I began to look at the images all together, it made me a little depressed. Maybe after a month or so I can make a nice little flip-book of the mundane. Something to enjoy after retirement.

I do enjoy my job, don’t get me wrong. Handling art and antiquities is a particularly amazing honor and I do it with great reverence and pride. There have been more than a few times when I’ve held in my hand a painting or sculpture that I wrote a paper on in college. The trust that my, and other, institutions place upon my shoulders to be a caretaker for these objects does not go unnoticed by this gentle writer.


I feel like I need some sort of It’s a Wonderful Life type lesson to refresh my outlook on work in general. Perhaps a visit from three ghosts? Or a near death experience to get a new perspective.  I used to consider myself to be always in high spirits but lately these doldrums have been slowly scratching away at me.

That said, can someone facilitate a near death experience on my behalf without my knowledge? Perhaps an angry grizzly released into my backyard? I guess it’s all about perspective.

What do you do to break up the routine? I’m open to suggestions! My usual distraction is gardening of course but this years continued drought and the recent long lasting heatwave have stifled that. On top of that, my hard work of doing a winter cover crop has failed miserably with the discovery of root nematodes in my veggie garden!!

I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but I haven’t posted much on my veggie garden this season. On account of not really having one. It’s truly a sad and anticlimactic end to a long, hot and dry growing season.

I’ve ordered some predatory nematodes to have an epic hidden battle beneath my brown and wilted vegetables. There can be only one in the end but I fear it’s too late for this season for me to reap any rewards.

But all is not lost. And I refuse to leave this post on a sad note, so here are some highlights of the past week.

I spent all weekend in a 100°+ garage working away at Piper’s new mini coop. I’m almost finished and will keep you posted on those efforts in due time. Here it is as of this morning…

Piper's New Coop Pt II_Nearing CompletionI know she’s gonna love it! And she’ll finally get some peace and regrow all her fluffy feathers.

There was also an amazing change in the status quo regarding the chemical warfare against the bees!! A federal court overturned the EPA’s approval of sulfoxaflor, a pesticide linked to the mass die-off of honeybees that pollinate a third of the world’s food supply. Do I sense a change in the tide? Read more on that here!

Maybe things are looking up! Stay positive y’all and break up that routine!

"Au revoir, Gopher!": Tried and True Ways to Get Rid of Gophers.


It’s a pastoral and delightful day in the garden. Butterflies dance in light breezes fluttering past my face. A mocking bird alights upon the old cracked wooden fencepost above my head and does its best car alarm impersonation.

My senses are keen, honed like a panther that’s seen too many bobcat wars in its life. My mission, a simple one: hunt down, humiliate and sterilize all the invasive spotted spurge. I take in all of my surroundings. My very heartbeat is in rhythm with the light breezes and flora and fauna. Yet below me, terror awaits with sharp tooth and claw.
Continue reading “"Au revoir, Gopher!": Tried and True Ways to Get Rid of Gophers.”

Please Stand By…


Hello faithful readers. It’s been over a week since I’ve posted and I didn’t want you to feel lonely or sad. I’ve had a few requests to do a post on the best methods for “dealing” with gophers and I’ve succumb to the pressure to do just that.

The difference this time around is I really wanted to illustrate this post myself. I want you all to see the inner workings of the gophers lair and I would have a hell of a time getting my camera and lighting equipment down there. So this will be the next best thing.

And there in lies the rub. Drawing, inking and coloring these illustrations takes a wee bit longer than snapping a few pics on the Nikon. So I thought, “why not let your readers know that in the interim.” That way you don’t feel neglected. I’d never leave you guys, you know that right? Good!


So please bear with me over the next few days as I sketch away. I promise it’ll be worth the wait. Have I mentioned that I used to do illustrations for several newspapers? Political cartoons and EdOp pieces mostly. Although it’s off topic for this blog, maybe you’d like to see some of that?! Let me know in the comments if you would and I’ll post some. But not until after the gopher post!

In the meantime, I’m still posting some interesting articles and information on my Mind Your Dirt social media pages, so cruise on over to the Keep In Touch page to do just that.

I hope this tiny sneak peek will help keep you enticed and dripping with antici…

… pation.