Dozer, the bulldog

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

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...
The author of Mark's Work

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks
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!
Crossing the Eel River at French's Camp

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.
Butter in the fly...

July Jewels

July Jewels
Bees to the Kingdom

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

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Monday, May 8, 2017

I Carry a Shovel


I Carry a Shovel

As all true Virgos know, from chaos comes order. Equally evident is the fact that there is a lot of chaos out there, from which order needs to emerge. Take cannabis regulation, for instance, a subject so broad as to be impossible to intelligently discuss anything more than individual components.

If I may be candid here, I know little about cannabis regulation because I am fortunate to not have to know anything. Blissfully blind I remain because those around me are collectively so immersed in the topic, that I am able to fly under the radar. Since flying does happen to be something I am good at, I don’t want to crash and burn.

Therefore, I stay out of the kitchen. As luck would have it, I have inadvertently chosen the correct door, because while all of this regulating is going on at the state and local level, somebody has got to carry out the edicts that the folks making the policy are pumping out.

That’s where I come in: I carry a shovel.
Not just any ordinary shovel, my shovel digs footings for foundations, excavates vast quantities of soil from said foundation work, mixes the mud, and just for good measure, moves compost into the wheelbarrow so that I can distribute it around-farm. I have a multi-talented shovel.

This current project requires that I wrap the corners of the two segments of the workshop, in concrete. Originally, I put in a pier foundation, which is perfectly adequate, but the county would like a perimeter foundation. This is a pretty nifty compromise.

There was a time about six years ago, when I spent a summer working on a construction crew, so as to be able to take Gluten-Free Mama to Ireland for two weeks. Even working only six hours a day, the experience left me physically drained. Though I was a mere 58 years old, my knees almost crawled off the job, an embarrassing development for a guy who can’t get around without his knees.

Ultimately, in order to get them back on the job site with me, I made the decision that I would no longer work on a crew. Not just because the rest of the crew is half my age, but also because I am just too hard on myself. I still want to be able to work at the pace I did when I was 34, instead of 64, and therein lies the rub.

Something has to give and when it does, it usually does not bode well for me. All of this being taken into account, that doesn’t mean I am washed up-it just means that I work at my own pace, and I need one or two vital components to be in place, in order to be able to get up to full throttle.

I don’t mince words when I say that cannabis is always a given. What I require to be on my game beyond my medicine, is to know that what I am doing is valued and that my work is appreciated. There has been no shortage of either commodity in recent memory.

Being salaried, there is no worry about hours, time-sheets or clocking in. HeadSodBuster knows his pops well enough to know that the old dude has been well-programed when it comes to work. Whether with the mind or the hands, I am good at it.

Working is what my family does; we learned well from our parents. Not only that, but I passed this characteristic on to my sons. We all understand the concept clearly. What I have been lucky enough to do-so far-is to be able to stay in the arena that works best for me.

Enclosed places, crowded rooms, meetings, question/answer sessions-any kind of public venue spells discomfort for me. Whereas I am sure the same applies to HeadSodBuster and others like him, he pushes forth indomitably, refusing to listen to voices of dissension from within, who are unhappy that change has arrived and caught them by surprise.

HeadSodBuster being off-farm means that he can’t attend to those same regulations, for which he has been fighting. That’s where my shovel comes in handy, not to mention my tool box of carpentry tools. You see, I did carpentry-and concrete-for eight years before I started teaching. 

Unlike many other “carpenters” of that era, I actually did the deed but stopped among other reasons, because I started experiencing technical difficulties with my back. Construction is hard enough as it is, without having to contend with a whiny back.

My issues now have little to do with my back, so much as my reconstructed right shoulder, which will insist on being the center of my attention. Again, when I required support, I received what I needed in the form of some Ogre Berry crossed with some AC/DC flowers, with high THC content. 

Can you say “instant relief?” The ache in my shoulder subsides on cue. I also received two more jars of cannabis salve, which I use for many things but right now most prominently for my feet, which require routine maintenance for me to continue to make forward progress. 

Whereas sandals are not conventional footwear for concrete work, I could not get my right foot into the steel-toed boot in my closet if my life depended on it. OK, if my life depended on it, I could, but the pain from that pesky fractured toe would make me wish I were dead.

I tried it last summer, when I wanted to bring rocks up from the creek, and wanted more traction than sandals could provide. Excruciating pain also limits traction, so I worked in my sandals-just slower.

I had to look at my photographs from the first step on the current project, to find out it took place on April 20th. So I have been at it for two-and-a-half weeks, leaving out the two Mondays when I washed radishes and did market, and the one day we went to Willits. Of course, doing foundation work was only part of my schedule, cleaning, turning soil and weed-eating taking place simultaneously. I never do anything for more than two or three hours, before shifting gears and tackling something else. Why not?

Besides the construction, I am turning soil for Gluten-Free Mama, who is trying to get summer squash in the ground. I am also trying to beat back the onslaught of weeds, fueled by the rainiest winter in California history. The weeds want a chunk of that history-making action-they are determined to grow faster and higher than ever before.
Better watch out, chicken coop, you're next...

I have also been flexing my organizational skills, taking what has accumulated over ten years’ time, and doing with it, what needs to be done to make the area right again. I have had to spend much quality time right next door to our chickens, a fact that I have managed to negate through judicious use of my Dr. Dre’s.

Life is good.

The project is complete except for a little painting, and I am still in one piece. That is most fortunate because I will be starting the same project, wrapping the corners of the workshop in concrete, at SmallBoy’s spot, next.
This is so bad I should have taken a pic.





  


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