Journal: July 11th, 2010

I got back to Serenity Valley last night from a 4 day trip to San Francisco. The first thing I did, of course, was to check my garden, which my neighbor had been watering for me. Fortunately, I hadn’t lost any plants in my absence, so it seems like my little fence might’ve done the job, though I guess I never know when my garden terrorist might come back with enough persistence to get past the barrier.

The corn had grown noticeably, though the other plants mostly looked the same. The squash continues to do well, and I had a couple of tiny, but ripe, strawberries on one of my strawberry plants. Today, some zucchini seeds I sowed before I left sprouted, and a couple of okra seeds are also sprouting. The bean and corn seeds I sowed to replace the lots plants also sprouted today, though the corn that got razed seems to continue to grow, and are back to being a couple of inches tall. The egg plants and peppers continue to be sort’ve meh. A couple of the egg plants seem to be doing ok, but the other two seem to hardly be growing at all. The peppers also don’t seem to be getting noticeably larger, though they do seem to be sprouting new leaves. I might take out two of the six pepper plants, and plant more zucchini instead…

I didn’t do a whole lot today, mostly because of the heat, and also because it usually takes a day or so to get acclimated. About the only significant “work” I did today was to string up a new hammock I got. It’s a fully enclosed hammock, with sides made of mesh cloth to keep out insects. Unlike ordinary hammocks, I can use it without getting bothered by buzzing insects, or getting my blood drained, though mosquitos might be able to still get me through the canvas bottom.

The other thing I did was to pitch a tent, and prepare my bed. I’ve noticed that how well I sleep impacts my quality of life, and my quality of sleep is affected by what I sleep in and on. I’ve noticed that I don’t sleep as well in or under a sleeping bag, as I do under a proper blanket or duvet. Pillows are also important, and clean sheets also are an added bonus. I slept in the hut last night, but the sleeping pad in my current hut isn’t too comfortable. It’s only 2ft wide, hard to climb into and get out of, and I have very little head room. I’ve also been sleeping in the car, but the back seats don’t fold down completely flat, it gets hot in the morning when the sun pours in through the windows, and it’s annoying to have to move my bedding in and out when I need to use the car to haul things. So I pitched my larger 7’x8′ tent, under a nice oak grove next to my hut, on the western side where it’ll be shaded all morning. Inside, I first placed a 3’x6′ OSB sheet so I have a flat surface to sleep on, rolled out a rug that I bought at Wal-Mart so that I have a clean “floor”, laid down my sleeping pads, wrapped it up in clean sheets, and put the duvet that I brought up from the city on top of that. This is about as comfortable (and clean) a bedding as I’ve prepared for myself up here. We’ll see how I sleep tonight.

Temperature regulation continues to be a challenge. I am obviously not freezing like I was last November, but now I’m having a hard time staying cool. It was 92F in the shade today, and while that’s a little warmer than average up here, it’s not atypical either. It got hot in the tent. It got hot in the hammock. It got hot in the hut. The only place where it was reasonably cool was right in front of the hut, where there’s shade all day, and I can catch whatever air movement there is. Though, I think the hut will stay much cooler if I can insulate the roof. I think that might be a project for the coming week.

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