Big Backyard

16 Jun 19
Fading, but not forgotten

It’s Father’s Day today so I’m thinking of mine. I’ve spent more than half of my life without him. It never gets easier, especially knowing that there are important people in my life who never got to know him: One of my cousins, most of my friends, my husband and his family, my son, my […]

16 Jun 19
Best of the Springs Real Estate

Whether you are looking for a summer project or are looking for ways to add value to your home, making improvements on your yard not only makes your home more appealing, but it increases the value of your home! Proper landscaping has the potential of adding tens of thousands of dollars to the value of […]

16 Jun 19
Aspie Unicorn Magic

I find myself obsessed with a family of osprey nesting in a cluster of tall trees nearby. It reminds me of Tony Soprano watching the birds in his pool. The joy of something wild and free, of raw nature. But don’t worry I won’t have a panic attack if they leave. We can sit in […]

16 Jun 19
The Written Addiction

1) I think of you now and I am young. I am a boy again, like I was on the piers in Shinecock canal in November, cold as ever, and bundled up in a big blue coat with mittens and a pull-over hat that was knitted by my Grandmother.  The sky was gray and the […]

16 Jun 19
COMMUNITY ACTION ALLIANCE FOR NSW (CAAN): HOUSING INEQUALITY WITH AUSSIES LOCKED OUT!

  Autumn leaves fall along Burns Road, one of Wahroonga’s prettiest streets. Photo: Steven Woodburn   WHY … what is behind the Gini Coefficient rising in Melbourne and Sydney since 2011 – 12 … pointing to greater income inequality? WHAT timetable does it coincide with esp. in Sydney? AS an aside it appears it is […]

16 Jun 19
Earth Ethos

I’ve written about ways to integrate earthing/grounding into everyday life, but what’s come up recently is how to take that to a deeper level through ritual or ceremony. If you are an immigrant, or your ancestors were within the last 7 generations, then your connection with land is energetically split between the land where you live, the […]

16 Jun 19
Simple Southern

Re-evaluating my life is something I do from time to time. I have a pretty clear vision of how I want to live, and there are a lot of facets of modern American life that I abhor and don’t want to be a part of. Unfortunately, I live in the suburbs, right smack in the […]

16 Jun 19
MDCreekmore.com

by Charlie There is no doubt that our home is the place where we spend quite a bit of time. It is the place we would like to be happy, safe and enjoy the best of time with our near and dear ones. It is quite obvious that we take all the trouble to spend […]

16 Jun 19
Lumber Jack News

Hey all, just got our order delivered the other day and here in about 2 hours I'll finally have a three day weekend(even though it MIGHT rain on two of them -.-) Anywho, we ordered approx 240 total linear ft of panels(6'x8') to do our backyard. My ONLY issues I foresee running in to is […]

16 Jun 19
Calgary Sun

JUST BURY IT I am a 40-year-old man that loves the environment as much as the next person. It seems to me that the whole plastic thing has become a huge problem in our country. From what I read about in this paper and watch on the news, Canada is shipping our plastic to other […]

16 Jun 19
Navindu Silva

Our phones are our PCs (personal computers) by definition. Its the most personal device of all. Your phone in your pocket surpasses NASA’s 1969 supercomputer used to launch the Apollo 11 to the lunar surface in terms of computing power. You might not be planning to launch the next rocket from your backyard, but still […]

16 Jun 19
The Part-time Gardener

Building a wall, even a low garden wall, is a big job! We spent three whole days working on a retaining wall for our backyard, and so far have four metres of a planned eighteen metre garden wall to show for the efforts. When I say “we” of course I mean the Royal We, because […]

16 Jun 19
Nothing

Your skin is composed of residing cells. As the greatest organ in the body, it needs a lot of nutritional elements because of its wellbeing. The possible lack of sufficient nutrients within the body contributes to poor wellness of the skin and ergo rendering it search less beautiful. It results in the skin having a […]

16 Jun 19
onecreativescientist

I have previously written a couple of times about these 28 car models that graced the book cases in my work office for many, many years.  First, I wrote about my desire to find a home for them (Miniature Garage) once I retired, an idea handily squashed by my wife.  Second, I wrote about the […]

16 Jun 19
Matthews' Travels

We woke up to rain on Saturday, but rain seems to be a regular occurrence here. That said, we are determined to make the most of our time in Denmark. Off to see the sights, we must go! Egeskov Castle was the destination for the day. I read all kinds of accolades including it being […]

16 Jun 19
The Ukiah Daily Journal
Not long ago everyone was holding their breath, all giddy, wondering when and where the “Next Napa” was going to appear.  It was inevitable that some lucky town was going to capture some similar lightning in a bottle and transform itself into the bustling go-to destination mecca that Napans were wallowing in back in the ‘90s. What Napa had caught in the bottle was wine, but it seemed another sexy product in another jewel of a town might soon tap into the same fevered commercial frenzy.  Would Geyserville be the Next Napa?   Hopland? These hopes and dreams weren’t all that long ago but they are sufficiently removed that we can all see that nothing has emerged in the past quarter-century to match or compare with the phenomenon that was Napa. Napa was transformed into a must-stop roadside attraction for wealthy people desiring luxury vacations;  its surrounding hills and valleys were bought up by other wealthy people wanting to add the “vintner” moniker to their resumes.  Being a “vintner” is a modern day title, much like “Squire” or “Colonel.”   It’s an emblem sought by those indulging any and every fashionable whim and having grown tired of, or perhaps “evolved” from, the humdrum corporate work that produced so much income they could gorge on land, mansions, and fancy friends from Hollywood and Paris. I have just completed a book called “Napa at Last Light” by James Conaway, a longtime observer of that region, its people and its politics.  Napa’s story is, as important  book critics always tell us, a cautionary tale. But that’s soft-peddling the recent history of the city of Napa and the 700 (!) wineries that surround and strangle her. Napa was a small town, probably similar to Ukiah at one point, that was absolutely overcome and overwhelmed by the subtle strokings of rich corporate playboys posing as earth-loving farmers, humble yeomen tillers of the soil. These pseudo-agrarians were also blessed with the artisanal magic of alchemy, and were able to transform grapes into elixirs from the gods, drained into bottles and sold for  $1,000 each. Napa, a quiet town of legacy families with tenacious roots in the very soil of those hills and valleys, was soon joined by, then bought out by, billionaires like movie man Francis Ford Coppola and Craig Hall, Texas tycoon and owner of the Dallas Cowboy football team. Vintners indeed. They cozied up to politician neighbors like Nancy Pelosi and Mike Thompson, and when Hillary was in the area during the 2016 campaign, she stayed at the Hall estate. A key step in Napa’s de-evolution came when, in a buried transcript from a drowzy meeting of a Napa County land use meeting, corporate reps quietly slipped a tiny change to the ancient definition of farming. From that point, souvenir stands, high-end eateries, hotels and entertainment venues were on a par with plowing, sowing, reaping and tending to soils and machinery. The Huns were through the gates and riding roughshod over the Mondavi, Beringer and Dunn clans. It took a while, approximately the blink of an eye, for Napa to be trapped in an endless chain of tour buses and limousines bound for tasting rooms and luxury spas, its two lane roads clogged by millions (!) of tourists a year. Do you think there’s been any pollution, traffic congestion, loss of town character or values?  Well that’s just the start, unpleasant a start as it may be.  Napa’s hills have been clearcut, its water sources depleted and polluted, the cost of acreage scarcely believable and its quality of life vanished.  Coppola and Hall worry about this, they really do, while sailing in their private jets to wine events in Tuscany and Belgium. And to all this, locals must also fret about corruption in county government.  Big Wine does what it wants with the land it gobbles up, although all county rules and regulations are certainly followed, when convenient.  Building code and land use violations go undiscovered behind fences and gates, unlike building code violations that occur in town when a guy tries to build a backyard deck. So measured by the experiences of most citizens, the Napa boom would have been much more appreciated had it taken place up the road a stretch and inflicted on Calistoga  or, better yet, Woodland or Idaho. Wine fevers have been burning through Boonville for years, though never reaching Napa’s lesion-inducing hallucinations. But Boonville too is no place familiar these days. Corporate invaders from far away snatched up land and bulldozed hills into approximations of what hills look like in France, then installed big noisy fans to push around the nighttime air with neither approval nor joy from neighbors. Water? They got plenty of water, thanks anyway.  Pollution?  Don’t ask.  Single file lines of BMWs are forever snaking through town enroute to somewhere better, pausing for tastings and dinings at restaurants locals can’t afford. But it must be thrilling for Boonters to be so near such wealth and artistry, and to have real authentic vintners as neighbors. Tom Hine is a longtime Ukiah resident who writes under the TWK byline.  He last sipped from a glass of wine in 1975.
16 Jun 19
News Directory

Many of my millennial colleagues say "already bought!" – especially in a place like Baltimore, Maryland, where first-time homeowner grants are plentiful and programs are empty to city-sponsored values, it is easy to buy a starter house. Indeed, I live in a growing and flourishing arts area in Baltimore so The Baltimore Sun writes an […]