Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

Saturday, December 31, 2016

And That's a Wrap, 2016

And That’s a Wrap, 2016.

For those happy to see 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I can only say that I understand your point of view. 2016 was a year that saw the most absurd political circus ever to perform on the national level. On the other hand, we also saw cannabis legalized in California, and witnessed history being made when the Chicago Cubs won their first world series in more than one hundred years.

I started off 2016 in a technological black hole, with access to my blog, inexplicably blocked. It was not until April that I was rescued by a master of the tech universe, a saga that I told when I first kick-started my well-rested blog, Mark’s Work, back to life with an interminable number of installments entitled Tech-for-Tots.

I later determined that my blog had been kidnaped and held ransom in a pizza factory up in Eureka, coincidentally, next door to a cannabis dispensary. Sigh.

I also began the year in quasi-isolation here on the mountain, trimming full-time to stave off starvation. Winter 2015-16 was all on the 2015 side of the calendar, with November and December featuring extreme weather with vast quantities of rain.

This disparity of weather was never more evident than from March 1st onward, which is when I began to work the soil. The first time through is to simply de-rock and break up the clayish dirt, and then the second time, to mix in more rice hulls, plus all of the amendments we normally add to ensure vigorous health of our vegetables and cannabis. 

Though the temperature was often in the thirties, it was fairly dry and eminently user-friendly. My jerky shoulder, instead of being a whiny such-and-such, thrived with the four-six hours of daily exercise, the caveat being I never had to lift my right arm higher than my waist. 

HeadSodBuster and BossLady tied the knot in early March, down in The City, and then a few weeks later, BossLady headed back to Ohio to care for her seriously ill mama. Instead of things falling apart at the sudden loss of so much energy, the rest of us pulled together, and took on new and challenging roles.

For one thing, besides tilling the soil via pitchfork, I planted ornamental flowers everywhere down at my spot, because that is one thing BossLady is renowned for: her floral bouquets all summer/fall long. Gluten-Free Mama stepped up her game and took to the great outdoors, abandoning her full-time chef status, to work not only on-farm, but to do the Laytonville Farmers Market, as well.
Much love at Reggae on the River, 2016
Don’t get me wrong-she still cooked for us-it’s just that she now cooked for a much smaller crew, though keeping SmallBoy fed might come under the category of feeding a full crew…

Speaking of whom, the two of us worked the first cannabis farmers market down at Area 101, back in the spring, and got our baptism by fire. We were rocked the entire six hours with a steady barrage of pleased cannabis patients, who were only too interested to see just what that Black Lime was all about.

Altogether, I worked a total of seven cannabis markets in 2016, and if there were one person I could bring back from the other side, it would have been my father, Robert, whose penchant for flea markets and swap meets stretched over the last thirty years of his life.

BossLady was back East for close to three months, before returning, and when she did, we had a celebration of the big wedding, down at Turtle Creek Ranch, hosted by Swami and Nikki.

Summer flew by and before we knew it, August was upon us, along with Reggae on the River, 2016. I took on a bigger role in the backstage maintenance of the two volunteer kitchens, and plan to be on-site much more during the two weeks prior to ROTR, 2017. 

Together with the Emerald Cup, these two events have helped me immensely to overcome my fear of being amongst large crowds of people. If ever there were venues designed for this purpose, it would be events filled with people indulging in cannabis, the peace-maker of the all peacemakers.

If world leaders would simply gather around, and smoke a few bong rips of Ogre Berry crossed with OG Strawberry (Great Success!), I think the planet would become a different place, because there would be no more starvation, and no more war.

But what do I know?

[Editor’s note: One, two, three… Not much]

One thing I do know is that the highpoint of 2016 also occurred in August, when Gluten-Free Mama, diagnosed as Stage-IV, began an immunotherapy program in Sacramento, that has given all of us hope. Nothing more need be said except that the support structure has been as solid as Blue Rock.

Our summer was busy, productive and brought us a beautiful harvest, one that Gluten-Free Mama took upon herself, to continue providing Laytonville with fresh produce, well after the original stopping date of September 30th.

Our Great Success (Ogre Berry crossed with OG Strawberry) placed 11th in the flowers category at The Emerald Cup, a few weeks ago, down at the fairgrounds in Sonoma County. This recognition of our medicinal cannabis has been most rewarding, proving what family and hard work can achieve.

After an agonizing baseball season, with a glaring hole in the bullpen, the San Francisco Giants deferred to the Cubs, and vowed to rectify the matter. Enter Mark Melancon and bring on spring training.
NO! NOT ME! I'm not the lout; I am the author of Mark's Work.
And yes, a rude, vulgar lout of a human being, dishonest, racist, misogynistic, inhumane, greedy and narcissistic, was elected by a confused populace and a hopelessly antiquated electoral system. He was helped by the Russians.

While alarming, this should be a short-lived arrangement, with corruption so prevalent, the stench is sickening. 

The list of cherished celebrities who passed in 2016, defies explanation, except to say that they will be missed. It is also a reminder to tell loved ones how important they are, and give them more hugs than you used to. Lots more because love is the greatest power.

You know it; I know it. And if our leaders would pass a tray of dark chocolate edibles around the next time they get together for a barbecue, they would know it too.

Much love, 2016, but now it’s time to meet a new friend, 2017, one that will go up in history, as opposed to down, as a year when love overcame hate, and became the style of the decade.

Happy New Year!


  1. I would agree with your high point. Annie starting immunotherapy has got to be the best news out of 2016. xoxoxox