Be Relevant

Relearning everything we've forgotten.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Roasting Coffee Video

OK.  So I did a video on how to roast coffee at home.  It isn't that great and now I am stuck in editing!  Give me another day and I'll see if I can pull off something nice.  If not, I'll just do pics then.

But let me tell you - roasting your own coffee beans is the easiest thing out there.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A day of Re-birth

I'm not a religious person.  Spiritual yes but not religious.  I believe in an universal consciousness and it is this that binds us all together.  Eckhart Tolle explains this better than I ever will be able to.  I mention this not to create a debate about religion but to give perspective of where I am coming from.  I couldn't help but see the tiniest metaphor with Easter and some events in my life.  

April 30th is my last day in the Navy.  This isn't really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  But right now it feels like the only thing that matters.  I've been preparing for this for the past year.  I'm actually very well prepared for this transition or so I thought.  Surprisingly, I'm not as prepared emotionally as I thought. I feel pretty scared deep down.  There is a lot of uncertainty in my future.  Everything that happens from this point on is a direct result of me.

The past few days I have been very stressed.  Do we stay here in SoCal? Can the farm afford to hire me? If they can't what do we do? We need to find a cheaper place to live.  Are we really ready to take off and move to TN?  Then out of nowhere and completely unexpected I became depressed.  I mean I've been wanting to get out for as long as I can remember.  Never actually doing it till now and here I am depressed?  What gives?

The Navy has been a huge part of my life.  It's the only real professional career that I have known.  It defines you.  I don't think that any job should define you but the military does.  Here I am now without an identity.  At least that is how I felt emotionally.

I met an incredible person yesterday.  Everyone was telling me that she was an incredible person but I'm skeptical of such things.  I had met her briefly once before but we never really talked.  Yesterday was our first encounter in-depth.  She is one of those types of people who talks and moves a lot.  And it can seem, at first, she's not listening to you.  You get asked a question but you're not given enough time to respond.  I was totally getting frustrated.  Then I saw her interact with the customers and she was engaging them.  The first word that came to my mind was eccentric.  I'm not that bubbly of a person.  I've actually become a little shy in the past year.  Meek even.  Don't get me wrong I'll talk to anyone but usually only after I have been talked to.

It was at the height of my frustration and listening to my inner voice criticize everything that a little speck of common sense popped in.  This woman is co-owner of one of the most successful small farms in SoCal.  Her farm is known in farming circles, community activist circles, and foodie circles.  And she's done this in a little over 2 years.  This woman can teach you how to run your farm.  This woman knows what she is talking about.  It was then that I let go of my old way of thinking.  From that point on I fully understood her and I understood what I was doing.

Last night I was contemplating how I interact with people.  There must be a dark spot on my heart.  Because I don't try to build connections with people as much as I think I do.  Why don't I open up and talk to people?  And deep down I still judge.   I hate that about myself.   I guess the reality is that I am selfish with my feelings.  I don't think I need to be all bubbly but I do need have more empathy.

But the beauty of it all is that I see that.  And who I want to be is only a matter of me being just that.  I have control over how I wish to react to a certain situation.  I have control over how my life measures up to my expectations.  Life is about building relationships.  They can be between people, between animals, between land and possessions.  They are even between ourselves - our internal struggles.  Those relationships each have their own values that we give them.  It is up to each of us to prioritize those relationships then nurture them accordingly.

I am choosing to strengthen all those relationships.  I'm not scared anymore.  I'm still uncertain about the future but I am kind of excited about it.  We all have the ability to change our lives for the better every day.  We tend to look for some major event that can signify that shift.  It's just not every day one of those events come along and I think this is what causes stagnation for us all.  Luckily my event came along.  And I'm not going to waste it being scared, depressed, or unwilling to build relationships and truly live.

Happy Easter to those that celebrate it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Railroad Revival Tour tonight in San Pedro & It's Earth Day!

Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Olde Crow Medicine Show - this is going to be a great show!

Also make sure you hug your Earth today.  Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our new friend Pidge

At Mel's work a baby pigeon had fallen down behind the bleachers into an "alley way." This area is where some of the bigger dogs run through to get to the stage. Unfortunately all of those dogs wouldn't pass up a baby pigeon hanging out there.  So here's Pidge.  She's close to being feathered out which means she'll be able to fly soon and be released.  We've also seen her eating from the grain we are giving her so hopefully the hand feeding is going to stop soon.  4-5 times a day is definitely an adjustment to a schedule.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stinging Nettle Soup topped with Homemade Sour Cream

This recipe is from "The Dirty Life" by Kristin Kimball.

Melt butter in a pot and add a diced onion.  Simmer till translucent then add the nettles.  Add garlic then chicken stock and a some rice.  Simmer till all is soft.  Salt, pepper, and add nutmeg.  Blend till smooth.  I also added some Heavy Cream because I salted it too much. Finally top it off with homemade sour cream.

Not bad.  Mel is reserving judgement.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My First Chicken Tractor!

So in my defense I made this completely from salvaged materials and all I had was a blurry pic printed off the internet to decipher how to build this.

It's a copy of Joel Salatin's chicken tractor.  10 ft X 12 ft and should accommodate 90 chickens.  He uses 1 X 3 lumber to build his to keep the weight down.  His still weighs between 150-200 lbs.  I used 2 X 4 lumber so this puppy has some heft to it.  Be guaranteed that nothing is getting in or out and we don't have to worry about the wind blowing it over.

Here is the frame that I put together.  I had to brace it due to the lengths making the wood flimsy.

Here's a pic of a joint so you can see how I fastened them together.

And here's the finished product.  I was so intent on finishing this today I didn't really get that many pictures.  I used the tin roofing to help keep the weight down but keep the security up.

Like I said it's rough looking but it was free!

Well there's the finished product.  Now to get it into the field and get some chickens in it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grinning Dog Productions...

So I'm looking to branch out into video blogging as well.  Sometimes writing becomes a drag.  Not that writing is a drag but trying to think of something to put down that you all might find interesting - that can be a drag.  

Tons of interesting crap happens to me daily.  Hourly even.  But if I don't write it down right then and there it probably won't happen unless it is amazing.  I don't want to hash things up that happened 3 weeks ago.  That kind of feels lame.  Plus I have so many projects going (ADHD) that if something gets filed into the I'll get to that file it is history.

My video skillz, with a z, aren't that great.  Well luckily I'm at that point in life where I can except the fact that the first time is going to be crap, the second time is going to be crap, the third time is going to be crap......eventually, it will be good.  I'm also old enough to not care and publish my crap!  Don't worry the vids will get better and more interesting.  I have a GoPro waterproof video camera that attaches to my board so that is coming real soon!!!  I also want to experiment with music so I need to start making friends with bands.

Till my Sundance Festival debut please enjoy Bleu getting her ear rubbed as much as she does!  

Keep surfing!