Mother Nature – The Great Equalizer

Thanks to Mother Nature’s prolonged temper tantrum this spring and the bad brakes on Ben’s truck, I ended up getting my bales from Bachman’s this year. I should have made two trips, but I only ever say “I should have made two trips” after I’ve made just one trip and it hasn’t been the best idea.  Case in point – four bales of straw in a teeny little Honda Insight.  It took me 40 minutes and the vacuum to get the car clean afterwards.

As I was conditioning the bales, I was drawn to gardening books. I read Joel Karsten’s latest straw bale gardening book as well as The Potting Shed Papers by Charles Elliott and a fascinating book, written in 1870 by Charles Dudley Warner – My Summer in a Garden.

He could have been writing last week and he had a way of looking at gardening and nature that resonated for me. Here’s one bit I really liked:

“I am more and more impressed, as the summer goes on, with the inequality of man’s fight with Nature; especially in a civilized state. In savagery, it does not so much matter; for one does not take a square hold, and put out his strength, but rather accommodates himself to the situation, and takes what he can get, without raising any dust, or putting himself into everlasting opposition. But the minute he begins to clear spot larger than he needs to sleep in for a night, and to try to have his own way in the least, Nature is at once up, and vigilant, and contests him at every step with all her ingenuity and unwearied vigor.”

Who are you doing battle with these days?

51 thoughts on “Mother Nature – The Great Equalizer”

  1. We battle weeds and wind in the garden. Last summer we battled drought. We are still dry, but there has been rain. Inside, I battle dust and cat hair. I suppose we all battle age and infirmity and our own inner demons.

    Today at work I battle the cold. The central air conditioning in our building is controlled somewhere else on the campus on which we are located. It is set too cold and we are all freezing. The woman at work with the authority to phone to have the temperature adjusted is in Bismarck for two days of meetings. I will wear a warm sweater today,, even though the outdoor temperature will be in the 80’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. on your next devices look at upsie for cheap good insurance coverage
      got my acer laptop covered for 3 years for 90 bucks i thinkhave used it twice in 1st year

      for computer phones appliances tvs etc

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This week I fought the bank. Friday was payday and the bank paid everyone…but me. This morning I finally got the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday’s blog kept me laughing all day. The chicken painting story continues to make me 🤭 giggle. Z🐔🐔🐔🐔🐔🐔🐔🐔

      Liked by 4 people

        1. I have someone from the Department of Ag coming out later… should I ask if it’s a problem to paint chickens??
          (Wait; I have enough issues I don’t need to stir the pot…)


  3. there’s a difference having straw in your insight
    and having insight in your straw
    but most of the insights we have in our lives
    are from past history on which we can draw

    i should have seen easily that two trips were better
    it obvious when i look back
    but it seemed at the time my little brain says
    the solution i had was on track

    the first bale fit fine and second one too
    no problem and room for a third
    if i squish it a little over here toward the middle and use some persuasive choice words

    but that 4th bale the 4th one was tighter than tight
    it wouldnt fit anywhere right
    it was sticking out here and sticking out there
    and the hatchback was open but ever so slight

    so i drove home with straw being left as a trail as i went north on lyndale that day
    and the insight i had as arrival occurred
    was that this was the sherrilee way

    Liked by 4 people

  4. VS, thank you for being an example to all of us. I’ve heard of people hauling straw in their cars, but never actually seen it done quite the way you did.
    MIG, you seeing this? She’s planning on the same sort of thing and I was cautioning her that you had already done it.

    You all made me giggle yesterday too.

    I’m battling weather. Although I think “battle” is too strong of work. ‘Resisting’? ‘Adversarial’? ‘Stubborn Resistance’ and yet ‘surrender’ too??
    It drizzled and rained enough yesterday it got too sticky to plant, but I did go out about 5:00 and work up 15 acres. It was dry underneath… really REALLY want to get a rental piece planted today… we’ll see.
    Ooo! “Grudgingly Persistant!’

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m trying to understand this post. You say MiG should take precautions if she uses her car. Hmmm. What is the alternative? Carrying the straw on her shoulder? That would be hard if the straw is baled & harder if it is not.


        1. She could have it delivered by the nursery. She could borrow a friend’s pick up. She could do two trips.


  5. Update to today’s story. This morning, 2 full weeks after I put the straw bales in the car, I found a couple of pieces of straw in the bottom of my purse!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Of course you did. Perfect.

      Once you’ve put straw in your truck bed, don’t open the rear window of the cab because a lot of straw will blow back into the cab.
      Been there, done that. And you’ll never ever ever get it all out again.
      Poor Humphrey lay on the seat while straw swirled around him. He never gets excited, he just lays back there… covered in straw…

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed My Summer in a Garden. Did the modern edition have the illustrations by Darley? Warner, as you probably know, was Mark Twain’s neighbor in Hartford and they collaborated on the book The Gilded Age. The book, I think, was not successful but the play based on it was. But I digress.

    Warner was the author of a number of books, many of them travelogues.
    My favorite edition of My Summer is part of a uniform edition, I think, of Warner’s works published late in the nineteenth century. It looks like this (though this is not my actual copy):

    You may have moved on from garden books now that your bales are conditioned but if not, have you read the garden books of Henry Mitchell? He’s just opinionated and cranky enough to be entertaining and his books are collected from his newspaper columns, so you can dip in and out without feeling like you have to read the book straight through. They’re good books to own rather than borrow for that reason.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The edition that I read did not have any illustrations unfortunately. I’m pretty sure I came across it because Michael Pollan was the editor and he’s one of the authors that I have on alert from the library. So every time he has written anything or edited anything or narrated anything, I get a notice. I would love to see the illustrations though — I think they would be a hoot. There is one Henry Mitchell book at the library; I have it on hold now so hopefully I will enjoy it as much as you did Bill.


        1. I especially like the one on the lower right:
          “If you know your toad, it will be all right.”
          Words to live by.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Terri Gross did an interesting interview with him last week about the use of hallucinogens in Mental Health Treatment. Fascinating.


      1. Just found many of his works free in IBooks. Project Gutenberg. Garden book is there. Need to finish Vacationland and offer on here. I still struggle to read, more in paper books than electronic books back light helps a lot, and print size.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. mother nature never had enough fruits veggies n berries in the waters before anything waked the lands not enough on land when things walked the lands not enough when humNS WALKED THE LANDS N SO MOST KILLED OTHER ANIMALS TO SURVIVE TOO MUCH= NOT EQUALIZER , NATURE HAS NOT DESTROYED THE CO.S N RICH HOMES OF CO.S N PEOPLE KILLIM


  8. What I’m doing battle with is spreading 80 bags of Cypress mulch, mowing, weeding, edging, planting shrubs and annuals, spraying Creeping Charlie with one killer then crabgrass with another, filling up landscape beds with fresh top soil, raking over the 5″ deep grooves the snowplow left on my lawn, watering all plants daily, caving into putting dozens of silk flowers in a 17′ window box on the 2nd floor, blowing all hosta debris from last year out of the landscape beds, clearing out junk from the shed, digging up dandelions, ordering the dock installed, having the sprinkler system put in, filling the fire pit with sand, painting yard chairs, spreading fertilizer, and trying to keep my two Ragdoll kittens from escaping outside. As with every spring, my goal is to “set the stage for summer” so that the only tasks for the whole summer are mowing, edging, and watering.

    Needless to say, my daily workouts at the gym have gone by the way! This incredibly labor-intense season is so overwhelming that every year I tell myself that I just cannot do it again. Every year, I do it again. It’s not a matter of challenging myself for the pride of doing it; it’s a matter of being too stubborn to spend the money to hire some help.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One current skirmish, it hasn’t as yet escalated into a battle, is preventing the mail carrier from trampling my lilies of the valley in the flower bed by our mailbox.

    Just a few minutes ago, I placed a small fence in the bed to prevent that, or at least make it harder. I had just situated the fence when the mail carrier approached. I told him why I had put the fence there, and showed him the damage that whoever had delivered yesterday’s mail had caused. I joked, that if my fence didn’t work, perhaps I’d try a snare next. He looked at my trampled plants and said, “No, that’s not right. I’ll be sure to tell your regular carrier, and I’ll caution him to look for a snare.” We both chuckled.

    The substitute carrier is a black man with a heavy accent, so I asked where he’s originally from. I know that can be risky, but we seemed to have a certain rapport, so I took the chance. He’s from Uganda in East Africa, and came here eighteen years ago when he was thirty-eight years old. He told me that although he had arrived in Minnesota during the winter, which obviously was a huge climate change for him, his most difficult adjustment had been getting used to American food.

    What a nice little interlude resulting from trying to fix a frustrating problem! Whether or not my little fence succeeds in keeping the regular mail carrier out of the flower bed, I made a small connection to a black man from a different culture today, and that’s a joy.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I have been in a couple African restaurants Ethiopian primarily and the food is so different from burgers and sandwiches that I can understand

      Lots of different spices on different veggies and beans.

      Should learn Somali cooking with so much opportunity to discover from 1st generation arrivals

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Safety Nazis at Proctor and Gamble. Only plain water is to be consumed in the building. No Gateraid. Not even lemon flavored water. If you chose to have a break in the building (instead of having to go 200 yards to a break trailer), you must keep your hard hat, glasses and gloves o 100% of the time. All caution tape at doorways must be at 42 inches in height. Self-retracting utility knives are required. They are 60 dollars/knife and typically you need one for carpet, one for a hook blade and another for regular blades. No work can begin without a pre-task safety form describing the work to be done, the hazards in executing the work and the remedies to prevent injury. Despite the repetitive nature of the work, each must be filled out daily instead of a copy. With a crew of 10, this means that little work is accomplished in the first hour. At the conclusion of the day, each person must sign off that nothing happened. Hot work permits are required along with a fire watch of 2 hours after use. Extention cords must be examined and signed off on each day. Tool box safety talks are every other day. Woe betide a violator.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, it’s not as if firing isn’t a serious consequence. Those of us who have nothing to lose by giving good advice should keep in mind that being fired isn’t exactly without consequences.


      2. OSHA rules are funny too
        Good thing they pay hourly instead of by the job
        Can you find a way to order the 30retractable knives and bill them for it or add $180 to the bill to cover the expense?


    1. I looked at the obits the other days Sunday paper and saw that everyone is our age or younger. The people who die had lives that made their mark 40 or 50years ago

      I got introduced to phillip in what 69?


      1. Goobye, Colombus came out in 1959, but I’m guessing that it was Portnoy’s Complaint that got your attention, and that wasn’t published until 1969. A remarkable and prolific writer.


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