Lessons Learned?

My wife met this really nice guy named Orlando when she was looking for someone to tile our house a couple of years ago. Orlando doesn’t actually do much of the work personally he is more of a facilitator/translator for talented craftsmen in the Mexican-American community here. Everyone he has brought over to do work for us has been in the country legally, highly experienced, and doing side work to keep their family afloat while waiting for “the big jobs” to get going again. Orlando and a nice young guy named Benny had been busting out the floor in the bathrooms at the Clayton Annex when my sweety Karen asked him if he could poor a new porch slab in front of the house at The Fruity Chicken. To look at the job we had to go through the gate I cut in the fence between the two properties and right into my Orchard/Garden/Chicken Yard complex, as soon as Orlando stepped through he placed his hands over his heart and in an emotional voice “This reminds me of home, it is just like Mexico!” Whereas Orlando’s sincerity touched me, My sweety went right on the offensive and hissed in my ear “see I told you that you needed to clean this place up!” That incident made me realize that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, where Orlando saw something that reminded him of his semi agrarian upbringing in Mexico, and I see the miracle of sustainability and productivity in the making, Karen sees the weeds, cardboard, tools, loose straw, wood chips, and various other clutter. All three of us were looking at the same thing but from different perspectives and there was truth in what each of us saw. When my oldest son, Michael, married his beautiful bride, Erin, the officiant was an amazing man who is a Benedictine Monk. The order he belongs to, The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict, preach or maybe more correctly live a philosophy of nonduality. In a nutshell nonduality is the concept that things may seem distinct while not being separate. A small part of my weekend I devoted to embracing this concept I find fascinating and applying it to the differing perspectives Karen and I have of my little piece of Heaven.

My new tomato trellis

My new tomato trellis


The legs were rusted off just enough on one end to make it set level

The legs were rusted off just enough on one end to make it set level

While I’m sure most people will only see a creative use for an old swing set, I see a feature that just might make my one true angel want to spend a little more time in my little piece of Heaven. Karen had stopped us from throwing this out so that we could “do something in the garden” with it. She had even mentioned using it as a trellis, but it wasn’t until I really thought about how she sees our garden that things clicked. No matter what my vision was all Karen was seeing was my mess. I know I refer to The Fruity Chicken possessively but I truly want it to be “our” place and it made me feel good to see the twinkle in Karen’s eye when I showed her the new trellis.


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9 thoughts on “Lessons Learned?

  1. Anna says:

    Loving your blog! Keep us posted on that comfrey fermentation – interested to see what that’s all about. Btw, you might want to consider an “About” page, as a quick stop for new readers to find out who you are and what the blog is about.
    Peace – keep up the good work!!

  2. I love this, makes me feel better about our “experiments”/ junk all over our yard. And I am working on moving towards something much more integrated and connected with our farm. I agree with Anna, sometimes knowing other people are reading is highly motivating! thanks for putting up a blog!

    • Max says:

      I was so excited to find your blog and see that I’m not alone out here! Kinda strange that I found you on Craigslist though!

      • lol no kidding! we are looking at selling one of our wethers and a bred doe so I figured I should start figuring that out. What side of the valley are you on? I might ask you lots of questions about gardening as I want a green thumb but it’s kind of a slow process…

      • Max says:

        I am on the East side Charleston & Hollywood area

      • Oh ok cool. we are more north west-ish around Rancho and Decatur. Anyways, I’m excited to read about what a fellow desert farmer is up to =)

      • Max says:

        Have you visited the UNCE orchard on Horse just east of Decatur? They are great people!

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