I’m a book hound. Books fit my life the way sailing, sunning, beaches, hammocks and machine guns do.
After moving to the boonies and getting more or less settled at Pineapple Hill, I’ve been on a “books for the boat, books for the beach” book buying binge. By that I mean grabbing up five, sometimes ten, at a time. They’ve become a sort of security blanket “wooby.” During times when I can’t escape to a boat or beach, I escape to a book.
Listening to some buds explain their SHTF plan, it occurred to me that a good book will be worth its weight in gold in the event the world goes off the grid –shutting down the Internet, television, DVD players and so much else. People will want information and will want to be entertained.
Your bug out kit –whether going to the boat or the back roads– should include a private library. A few titles or a big stash. Loan em. Trade em. Sell ’em.
And, in the meantime, enjoy ’em on your pool lounger.
We have lots of blackberries growing wild on Pineapple Hill along the bottom pasture fence line and in a thicket concealing the ravine out by the road in front of our house. The ones along the pasture don’t get very big but are easy to pick. The ones in the thicket get plump as thumbs and so juicy they’ll burst when you pick them –but you risk your life going after them. The thorn’s will tear you to shreds like the wood chipper in Fargo. That is if the snakes don’t get you first.
And, of course, you don’t want to be snacking on berries (five for Management, two for Labor) right after the power company has stopped by for a neighborly spraying of highly poisonous defoilant. (We’ve agreed they should warn me next time.)
Making the switch from boat to land and from city to boonies has not been without hiccups (as described in my book Blue Rubber Pool, coming out in 2018) and although I seem to be learning the hard way I am, at least, picking up a few tricks. For instance: the blackberry trellis.
Training blackberry canes to grow on a trellis is ingenious. And a good addition to another thing I’ve learned –not to plant grapevine too close to oak trees (because the tree drink up the water intended for grapes. So now my vineyard includes a few blackberry bushes too.
Set out some mesh fence (of the type used for a goat pasture). Plant the bush. Start but cutting off any old canes. Then periodically weave the new growth through the mesh. Voila!
Pick up your game yet another notch by using thornless blackberry plants. That’s right, thorn-less.
The blackberry trellis “set up” might also be a good solution for city/suburb dwellers wanting to grow berries in limited garden space.
I’m not a wine connoisseur but I think its fun to stand at the tasting counter listening my fellow tasters describe wines as “nutty”, or “vanilla-y” or “crisp with hints of chocolate or walnut.” When it’s my turn, I’ll say something like “Oreo cookie dunked in apple juice followed by a shot of peach schnapps” and to my surprise the stranger fine of six people down will agree. “Exact-o-lackity! That’s what I was going to say!” I like the movie Sideways.
I’m more interested in how wine is made than actually drinking it. I want to know what is needed to arrive at different color and flavor characteristics. Plus I really like the concept of leveraging time as an ingredient. Having finally gotten to the other side of my mid-life crisis, I can say with authority that aging is a good thing.
I like it that my buddy Palmer, a wine sipping fiend from West Coast wine country, still enjoys exploring the under $10 bottles with their “relax kick your shoes off” names: Barefoot, Red Truck, Oops, and Mad Housewife, to name a few. But still he won’t buy the ones that come in a box instead of bottle.
I like it that wine making reflects humanity’s thousands-of-years-old patience: A legacy passed down through the ages not unlike passing poodles down from wolves.
I like looking at the neatly manicured vineyards versus my snaggle toothed rows here at Pineapple Hill and daydreaming aloud to Crystal that my experimental vineyard might look nice someday. And I like that she smiles and nods knowingly, saying nothing, motioning to the sommelier to bring the next sample.