A WINTER’S DAY

Part of backyard garden

Brrrr, it sure has been a colder than normal December and now January. I believe the weatherman said it was at least 10º below normal.

On Friday it rained all day… a misting, cold rain. I thought for a minute we’d somehow been transported to Seattle. Funny how the rain always holds off till the day after the Rose Parade.

TOO COLD TO GROW

The garden has gone into hibernation – everything’s in limbo effected by the freeze and continuing cold weather.

The leafy greens don’t seem to be affected, but the broccoli, cabbage and peas have been stunted. The bananas, poor things, look absolutely horrible as they were hit the worst.

TAKING A LOOK BACK

When we hike up a mountain it’s sure discouraging to look up to summit to see have far one has to go. It’s good to once and awhile take a breather and look over the side and see where you started from….

The other day I was browsing through the photos of the yard we have stored on the computer and I was shocked to see how things used to look like. One tends to forget the past and instead concentrates on the present problem areas. So it’s good to have a reminder once and awhile. It’s a humbling experience.

LOOKING AHEAD

Lots of new projects and old projects need to be finished as we are getting ready for the folks atCommonVision and thefirst ever veggie fueled permaculture design course. We can’t wait to see their veggie fueled bus – it’s a really cool “hippy” bus right out ofFLASHBACK (the movie).

The guys are moving the grey water reclamation reed bed to a sunnier location (the previous location was shaded by our neighbors huge pecan tree). The reed bed will be used to drain the bath and sink water in and there the water will seep through layers of gravel.

We really want to concentrate our efforts on water this year… harvesting rain and storing water, reclaiming rain water and so on.

WHEN IT’S ALL TOO MUCH

In the PARADE magazine from Sunday’s LA Times there’s a great article about America’s material abundance and its for cause unhappiness.

“The more we have the more we want.”

One day I want to the GAP to buy a pair of jeans. A salesperson asked if she could help. “I want a pair of jeans 32 -28,”  I said. “Do you want them slim fit, easy fit, relaxed fit, baggy or extra-baggy?” she replied.  “Do you want them stonewashed, acidwashed or distressed? Do you want them button-fly or zipper fly? Do you wanted them faded or regular?”

I was stunned. A moment or two later, I sputtered out something like, ” I just want regular jeans. You know, the kind that used to be the only kind.”

…. So I tried on all the pants and scrutinized myself in a mirror. Whereas very little was riding on my decision, I was now convinced that one of these options had to be right for me, and I was determined to figure it out.

The jeans I chose turned out to be just fine, but it occurred to me that buying a pair of jeans should not be a day long project. Purchasing jeans was once a five-minute affair; now it was a complex decision.

… If the number of choices keeps growing, negative effects start to appear. As choices grow further, the negatives can escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates us, it might even be said to tyrannize.

The Explosion of Choices

Modern life has provided a huge array of products to choose from. Just walk into any large supermarket or drugstore looking for hair-care products, and you’ll likely be confronted with more than 360 types of shampoo, conditioners and mousse. Need painkiller?  There are 80 options. How about toothpaste?  You have to 40 types to pick from.

More Choices… More Happiness?

It seems a simpler matter of logic that increased choice improves well-being. But in fact, the opposite is true.  Respected scientists such as psychologist David G Myers and political scientist Robert E Land tell us that increase choice and increased affluence have, in fact been accompanied by decreased well-being.

The American “happiness quotient” has been going down gently but consistently downhill for more than a generation. In the last 30 yeas – a time of great prosperity – the proportion of the population describing itself as “very happy” has declined.

Weather Report: Cool.

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