elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 06:09 am
Daily journaler is seeking other daily journalers. I'm looking for other diarists that share some aspect of their daily life, whether it's limited to a narrow aspect of creativity or concern or is wide ranging. The diarist should be open to reading my entries and ideally is already reading the entries of folks in my circle.

ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 07:19 pm
Monday the elephants in the room were spooked into a stampede; yesterday was much unrest. I hope that there will be a lessening of distress today.

It's also miserable outside. There was a lovely drop in temperature as a storm came through, but by the time work was over, the tempts had regained ten degrees. I've really grown to appreciate doing things outside after work. It's just that even though it's five degrees cooler by 7 pm, the heat index was still 107 °F.

I went outside just before bed. Either it's too hot for the fireflies or they have all settled down: the light show has drawn to a close. The concert, though -- i wondered if it was louder than earlier this summer.  
I've just found several websites that may act as guides for me to sort through the katydids, crickets, and tree frogs that make up the massive chorus.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, July 25th, 2016 07:14 am
Yesterday i stayed home from Meeting (not able to interact with any more people), and indulged in tidying up reading lists while sitting in the screened in porch. (Do i spend more time on reading lists than reading long form works? Probably not but it felt that way.) There are, apparently, two types of crow in the eastern US: the Fish Crow and American Crow. Their calls are somewhat different, and sitting on the porch i became aware we were surrounded, with Fish Crows calling from the tops of pines. I don't think i documented the first time we identified Fish Crows in the area. I'd like to make friends with the flock -- but i'm not sure future gardening efforts would thank me.

My other indulgence for the day was investigating apples for our yard. I am excited to have found <a href="http://www.centuryfarmorchards.com/'>Century Farm Orchards</a>. I'd asked Christine what fruit she'd like us to have and she chose apples and figs -- because there are links to her family names. The "apple" side of her family is from Reidsville -- the same place as these apple trees. I can't imagine a better source for us. Next is to find a good fig vendor. I also set up the "green house" -- a four shelf rack that has a plastic jacket. No need for the plastic right now! The set up was like tinker-toys: i am not impressed with the quality. It provided the impetus to begin using cardboard boxes to smother the "grass" in the "back yard" -- the fenced in area that wraps from the edge of the deck around the western exposure to the garage. Christine is quite distressed by snakes, and it's been in that area that she found the three foot long shed and then saw the snake. It's been ID'ed as a black racer -- a very good snake! -- but she witnessed it going under the house through a gap in the vent screen. That put nuking the back yard and planting a proper lawn high on my list. One monoculture, coming up.
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Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 11:15 am
One last family event with the four year old who talks at the top of her lungs is ahead. It's at a loud Mexican restaurant, so i suppose i won't notice.

My other niece, E, is at her wits end. At one point this morning, my brother tried to dismiss his loud child to go play with E, and i caught the look in E's eyes. Too sweet by half to cry out, "What fresh hell is this?" I suggested that perhaps E had other plans. A little relief crossed into E's eyes, but i suspect she won't be at ease until S is on her way to Tampa to visit with my 99 year old grandmother.

Regrettably for the beginning of a many hour drive, my father is quite stressed. His mother's third husband (younger than his mother) has some worsening health issues, and my father wants to ensure his mother is not in a care taker role. (They still live on their own.) I hope all goes well for my dad on this trip, and that perhaps he can encourage them to move into an assisted living situation. He'll be sending Mom home early, and i'll be picking her up from the train station. With my own experience last year, i know to prepare for the delay.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, July 21st, 2016 12:47 pm
I did ponder how much this move was going to create less time in my life. time sinks )

--== ∞ ==--

This week my brother's family is visiting. Read more... )After dinner, the boys went to play XBox and I took niece S to visit Edward, the one cat not in hiding.

four year old vs cat! )

--== ∞ ==--

Christine managed her spoons very carefully in California. Read more... )

--== ∞ ==--

I had a headache yesterday Read more... )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, July 14th, 2016 12:33 pm
Um, no, i'm not doing the high school meme Q & A, but others' participation leads me to note that this weekend is the 30th reunion of my high school class. It's Christine's high school class, too. In fact, it is hers so than mine as i only attended the school i graduated from for three semesters. We actually attended the senior prom together. I remember when filling out a "How to stay in touch" card my senior year, i gave Christine's family as a back up address. The person right ahead of me in the alphabet rolled their eyes and indicated how unlikely it would be that it would still be useful. Of course, neither of us foresaw that we would be organizing reunions by email, so, there's that.

I'm not sure i could drive when i graduated. Maybe just? I had taken the driving class at high school #1, with a student driver license from South Carolina. My folks never had time for practicing with me, so it took a long time for me to be delivered to the North Carolina DMV to get another student license. I did what they asked me to, and the NC DMV gave me a full blown license. I was horrified. My parents responded with delight and let me loose on the road in a Chevy Suburban.

It's a miracle no people were harmed. The Suburban took a bit of a beating.

I spent my teen years in books: probably would be more appropriate for me to reread all the Elric of Melniboné books than go to a reunion. We're definitely not going, as Christine and the organizers had a back and forth that ended with her being disgusted at their unwillingness to do anything to raise HB2 issues.

Well, instead, the local Independent weekly has an interview with Christine and her sister this week: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/a-transgender-woman-comes-out-and-reshapes-her-north-carolina-family/Content?oid=5050646 So there's THAT.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, July 9th, 2016 02:10 pm
I'm not sure just why everything seems so full -- i suppose having family near does create more events than while we were in California. It just seems i didn't get out to the yard this past week, yet my time disappeared. Christine notes that she thinks we are still tired: and we probably are. During the work days, i find myself drinking more coffee than i used to.

It was a short week, with a couple hours at my parents with my sister's family on the fourth and Thursday night in Chapel Hill celebrating my sister in law's birthday. The book reading we attended, from a novel about a woman who was raped and her journey for justice, was not really birthday celebration material. It was good to see a man, in this case an octogenarian retired family doctor, stand up and say this is something men need to work on.

A black friend who attends my California meeting sent a brief email about whiteness. Thinking about how i felt about the novelist -- i tell myself i will speak to my two black colleagues about the violence last week and how wrong it is. What were the things the Latinx LGBTQI communities wanted to hear after Orlando? Can i do that?

Today i went out to the farmer's market near the co-op, stopping to pick up cheese biscuits from Bojangle's for breakfast. After breakfast, i went outside and puttered in the yard, trying to keep to the shade. I discovered that one of the crepe myrtles had some sort of delicate white flower planted underneath it -- sort of like a miniature hyacinth? I weeded all the "grass" and the stilt grass from around the tree, leaving a large patch of moss, the mock strawberry (Duchesnea indica, sigh, nonnative) the lovely little flowers, and some clumps of a rush-like plant.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 08:57 am
Goats have gone: we had them here through mid-morning on Friday. Christine fell a little in love with them, niece and nephew adored them, sister plans to enroll her kids in 4H so they can raise kids. I have five pounds of buckwheat seed to broadcast as ground cover, weed suppressant, green "manure."

In Tree-of-heaven news the goats ate the bark off half one of the trees, but didn't girdle it as well as they went after one of the tulip poplars. A chainsaw purchase is tempting, although we have various family members offering to loan theirs. Christine's sister's husband says we can keep his for him: would that make us Chainsaw Godmothers? (We think that would be a great name for a band.)

Also, in tree-of-heaven news, several of the trees of heaven ARE NOT. They are hickory or, as one of the streets on the way to my sister's reminds me, mockernut. The green nuts under the tree were a giveaway.

I think i've been fighting off some summer cold, although "Did i inhale bits of poison ivy?" and "Hmm, i haven't been taking my iron and asthma inhaler" have presented as potential counters. We've had power outages: Wednesday evening we lost power and didn't get it back until midday on Thursday.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 07:40 am
Take the list or similar, and quickly dash off three small things in each area that can be done to improve your quality of being. Then set aside. Repeat the process some time later (a quarter? "ten week" period?) and then review the previous one. Tag taw@w & ftf

I initially used the old list, but it didn't seem to answer. I could fill it out, but the focus -- a whole set on wardrobe? -- didn't seem quite right. So, instead of tweaking, i created one from scratch. I suppose there is a value in going through every room and asking what three small things can be done to make it better, but physically doing that and not scribbling a list seems like the habit to try.

1. health and appearance (eg: wardrobe)
* doctor appointment - the bite/rash that has been there a month, refills
* dental cleaning time
* ankle exercises

2. creativity, reading, entertainments
* find time to listen to audio book other than when picking up pine cones
* get yarn work in living room and do while watching (may need lamp solution)

3. spiritual growth
* back to meeting
* Worship on the occasion of weeding?
* altar space?

4. relationships with friends & family
5. working environment, growth (front room & office)
* Sit stand for front room
* claim the cable tubes for the office desk
* surge protectors...

6. the solution
* inat habits
* morning time in the yard -- how that and work?

7. cooking & eating
* any not-yuppie farmers markets? https://growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms-chathammarkets/ Hmm.

8. living spaces (inc vehicles)
* why has the battery light turned on in the Scion?
* move bookshelves
* unpacking

9. errands, paperwork, chores
* make use of lunch break more
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, June 27th, 2016 11:25 am
It wasn't a plan to celebrate our first month with goats, nor was it a
plan to not keep in touch (I'm BCCing this to family and friends, some
who only know of our move through others).

We had truck trouble in Missouri, and once the truck trouble was
repaired i just wanted to get HOME. So we drove all day and trough the
night to arrive just after 5 in the morning. Moon above, dawn claiming
the sky, the murmur of night insects giving way to bird song: it was a
magical moment to arrive. The first creature to greet us was a toad in
the driveway.

Settling in has taken time: our household effects took ten days to catch
up with us, the bedroom suite didn't fully arrive until the 20th, and
the new love seat just made it last Friday. Mostly though, we've been
doing yard work. It's a lush time here in North Carolina, and the
previous owners had not been much for keeping the landscape checked.
With in the first day I'd confronted four invasive species doing what
they do best in the area of most significant concern: the drain field
for the septic system.

We have spent much time at Lowes (only five minutes away, thank
heavens!). Loppers, weed whackers, mower, machete: tools to fight stilt
grass, honeysuckle, autumn olive, and tree of heaven. I've gotten more
exercise in the past month than the past two years it seems: mowing the
eastern yard puts five miles on the pedometer. In looking for land
clearing in Chatham county, i'd run across the web page for The Goat
Squad (http://goatsquad.com/). We called the first week -- heard
nothing, and we had essentially given up when we heard from the Squad on
Wednesday. Yes! we wanted their help, and they arrived on Sunday.

100 goat hours of Goats as a Service (GaaS, clearing the entanglements
from your enterprise.... Apparently, we've brought Silicon Valley humor
with us) created the in-progress image above the before. (That's just
the first 5 hours of the three full days they'll stay with us.)

Christine and I went out last night under the last gloamings of
twilight. The goats eating in the woods sound like the crackling of a
camp fire, snapping of branches and the crackling as they eat branches
and vines. Fireflies twinkled around us, and the first stars appeared.
As we stood arm in arm watching and listening, a toad hopped out of the
fenced area. The same toad? It made its way to a large rock and tried to
free climb the big flat face that the fencing guys had turned up earlier
in the day. It tried a couple of times before we left it to make its way
in peace (and after we considered Christine as sherpa to free climbing

We love it here, love the peace and the bird song, the deer visits. The
humidity isn't so great, but the lush green is delightful. If you don't
hear from us, imagine us mowing and trimming and cutting branches and
burning the tree that fell in the storm and the invasive trees and brush
and finding little native plants like the Pipsissewa and celebrating the
tulip poplars and elms and oaks and maples and the tall yellow pines.
There's a hickory out there for me to find....

Take care,

[elaine] and christine of C----wood

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, June 26th, 2016 07:50 am
I dunno about the UK, but the block of voters in the US that i think most resemble the Leave voters would be all, "You can't make us leave, hell no we won't go," in response to news such as

FRANCE has told Britain to appoint a new prime minister within “a few days” and to immediately quit the EU by soon triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 09:33 pm
Theoretically, i slept better last night. The alarm application on my phone has added some sleep monitoring functionality. I have doubts as to how accurate these tools can be.

I probably have a good deal of rest to catch up on.

--== ∞ ==--

The Goat Squad called. We will have an estimate tomorrow. Huzzah!

Meanwhile, mowing the eastern yard took 5 miles of walking.
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Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 06:43 am
The year turns: Christine and i were married on a full moon winter solstice. The full moon summer solstice seems to mark the new chapter of our life together, with our 25th anniversary this winter and our return to NC (which i had left before i was married).

I'd hoped to feel ready for a ritual of some sort, but the ritual was a gathering for father's day.

We did make more progress clearing the way around the perimeter of the house. The perimeter is a bit hard to define: while the walls of the house are all mostly clear of plants, the way the back area is set up is a bit odd to me. When you come around the garage, you encounter a white (plastic) fence. If you enter into the fenced area you proceed around the garage, the west side of the house, begin going around the south side, climb the steps to the deck (maybe 2-3 foot off ground-level) ... and then you can go into the house, but not any further around -- the deck doesn't have an exit to the south.

Beyond the white fence, though, is jungle. Christine weed whacked on Saturday, giving me access to two crepe myrtles that needed pruning and dead wood removal and then to a corner which was overgrown with grape and honeysuckle. I took out two small trees that were significantly smothered. I am sad that one was an oak: I've only seen a few rather young white oaks. The other was a sweetgum (liquidamber) which grow like weeds. I've only started on the jungle there.

There were some elephant issues to deal with on Sunday; yesterday i was out of sorts -- probably lack of sleep. I'm hoping i begin to sleep better (ie: the cats are more settled).

Last evening though, oh -- i itch. Flea bites or chiggers/red bugs? I might have gotten the fleas at my sister's, and i might have walked around outside in sandals and a dress this weekend. I just ordered something with lidocaine in it in hopes of easing the discomfort, but i'll take another antihistamine today and tomorrow to cope. (Due to all my other skin conditions -- psoriasis and eczema -- an itch response triggers a cascade of discomforts.)

I found a way to pay the deer back for nibbling behind the house: i bought them a salt block. Unfortunately, the deer decided that the gladioli were a delicious evening desert. Lesson: pick them for inside as soon as they are blooming.

We now have a fully assembled bed and bedroom furniture AND a fully assembled guest room bed. We also have figured out an initial furniture arrangement for the office: i think this might help me begin to feel a little settled. We also have a tentative plan for the library, and we ordered a love seat (a muted and pale sea green-blue) on Sunday. Our next step is to pick out fabric samples from Cabinfield to compliment the love seat, and we will order a test mission-style recliner. Hopefully they are as comfortable as the price point indicates, and we will get a second. (Risking the investment on two is something we aren't comfortable with. I'd rather risk not having dye lots on upholstery and the woodstain match.)
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Friday, June 17th, 2016 11:56 am
Monday we will have a real bed, not a full sized mattress sitting on king sized boxsprings on the floor.

In mid morning, the cats have fairly predictable sleeping locations. (Greycie Loo seems unwilling to give up sleeping under the covers. It seemed just a fear response to the move, but now that she knows how to burrow, she seems happy to do so for the midday snooze.)

I can make basic use of the appliances. (Still need to read up on how to use the programmable thermostat, the digital fridge, the multi-button oven and microwave.)

We have a plan for the office and the bookshelves.

We have mostly comfy seating, if eclectic.

We have a grocery store picked out and have learned our way around town for basics.

I'm avoiding the internet less.

I'm just beginning to have photography inspirations -- fireflies!

I might actually begin correspondence.

For my future reference, here's the state of affairs. )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 07:44 pm
What a glorious thunderstorm!

It was a little after seven when i stepped out on to the front porch to get a feel for the evening. Clouds were thick overhead and some of the LED lanterns had come on. I glanced over towards the woods and a doe stood there, staring at me. We gazed at each other a bit, fireflies drifting up from the grass, wind in the pines sounding like waves. I sat down in the rocking chair, hoping the doe would go back to grazing. Soon she stepped into the woods, looked out one time from the gloom, and then disappeared in the thickets.

i don't think i've mentioned all the wind chimes: the previous owners left MANY windchimes, to the point where one must make up stories about them. My story is that M--- bought them as gifts for wife G---. She worked in Durham, he was a cabinet maker and apparently worked at home. I imagine him seeing a new windchime at Lowes (because so much of what was left is from Lowes), bringing it home and installing it to surprise. She expressing pleasure -- but her pleasure is that she appreciates being thought of. She really doesn't like them at all. That's my explanation of why we have a dozen windchimes about the place.

I was worried they would make a racket day in and day out, but it was this evening, with the winds before the storm, that i first heard a faint ringing from the chimes. The roar of the wind in the pines -- most of the lot is yellow pines, probably long leaf or loblolly, easily 80 ft tall -- was like listening to the Pacific, and the winds set the trees into quite a sway.

I watch, ponder how far they can bend before breaking, recognize this isn't even a tropical storm. (The weather report, though, notes the front was moving at 25 mph.).

I came in from the front and went to the back covered porch. There was a terrific downpour for a while, a thick spray creating a white haze above the roof, the visibility across the yard reduced. Rolls of thunder, lightning.

And as i've written, the sunset must be hitting a high thunderhead: we are in a golden gloom with a heavy, constant rain falling.

This is something i've so missed on the west coast.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, June 13th, 2016 04:23 pm
Whoops, didn't post...

Yesterday [Sunday], i forgot to take my antidepressants. Since it was a day of rest, though, it seemed to have no down side as i wasn't put in much of a situation that might trigger the blues. By the end of the day though, my hands and wrists ached so. (I am finding it harder to disbelieve i have arthritis.) I wonder how much the antidepressants affect pain perception.

Today i feel weary, and realize i haven't taken my antihistamine in some days. Could the weary brain fog be from low level allergies?

Christine asks if the low is a reaction to the horrific news from Florida. I don't think so. Just as with other shootings i find myself with a much more intellectual than emotional reaction.

I think tonight will be a herbicide application evening to the horrible autumn olive. Rain is coming later in the week. I am not excited about better living through chemistry, but a first attack on this invader that grows at almost every boundary between wood and clearing will need to be forceful. Over time i hope just continued lopping can slowly starve the root systems that are not killed.

And then there's the oxeye daisy, judged invasive by a number of states. And by me: i don't remember seeing them on roadsides growing up and now i see a good number in the roadsides of the area. My sister saved two stands for us when she mowed. They're going to seed now. I dare not compost those flower heads!
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Sunday, June 12th, 2016 07:16 am
This morning my attention is taken by

"There is the service of listening. The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. We desperately need the help that can come through listening to one another. We do not need to be trained psychoanalysts to be trained listeners. The most important requirements are compassion and patience."

Richard J. Foster from Celebration of Discipline 1978

Christine went off, i did some unpacking, went out to lunch with my folks, went to a book reading with Christine, and expect my sister and her family for the evening.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, June 11th, 2016 07:49 pm
Today was spent driving back and forth.

First was to the dump and a stop at the thrift store (successfully finding a small bin for some of the recycling), and then a stop at the co-op for microbrews (to offer to my sister and her husband) and PBR for my dad. Christine purchased a card for her brother and the bagger forgot to bag it.

So there was the return to get the card.

Then, given various challenges in trying to flush sediment from my water heater there were several trips to the local big box hardware store (only five minutes away, thank heavens). My current conclusion is that the spigot on the heater is stripped. I've found a partial solution at Amazon, and will need to return to the big box store for a hose clamp (unless an appropriate one is lurking in the tool box).

Christine's elephants traveled with us and today was fraught with some elephant tending.

More youtube watching plans involve how tos on finding the distribution box of the septic tank and pouring copper sulfate in to kill roots that have invaded any septic lines.

I am resisting both an interview about HB2 with Christine & her filmmaker sister tomorrow morning and going to Meeting. I probably *ought* to go to Meeting, but i will go to worship outside, waiting and listening.

We've been here for two weeks and a few days -- and our stuff hasn't been here for a week yet. There's still no good rhythms yet. We're quite tired.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, June 11th, 2016 08:13 am
The goat squad  hasn't called back but we have a volunteer. 

Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note5.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 07:29 am
"This is to officially inform you that an Inter-Switch ATM Card with a fund worth($685,000.00 USD) Six Hundred And Eighty Five Thousand US Dollars only has been accredited in your favor by MICROSOFT in conjunction with OCEANIC bank as a result of the usage of the Internet ."

My usage of the Internet, eh? Is that because i've all but stopped using the internet?

--== ∞ ==--

The cats are still restless during the night. I think Edward is establishing his alpha-cat status by chasing Luigi & Greycie Loo all night. Luigi retaliates when he sees Edward resting, coming up from behind to grab Edward's scruff. Their vocal restlessness distresses Christine.

Christine despairs of ever catching up with the jungle wilderness around our place. I am becoming a concerned that The Goat Squad is out of business or too overwhelmed with business. I gave up waiting for an email reply and called. The voice mail is still up, so there's hope they are still in business.

Yesterday i burned all of the green trimmings, with fervent hopes that i was getting all the poison ivy out of the piles. After putting the fire out, i turned the ground where i had burned, loosening large hunks of the red clay and mixing in the ashes. (The local clay is supposed to be acidic, so adding a high pH amendment doesn't seem like a bad idea.)

The weed whacker is Christine's power tool of choice, and she's going after the stands of Japanese grass (Microstegium vimineum) that are left. We also bought a powerful mower and I, too, go after the M vimineum at the edges of the yard. I take it as good news that M vimineum can be controlled by getting to it before it goes to seed.

We've spent the past two evenings just enjoying the fall of night. It is a very different rhythm than in Mountain View. The best part is that i am getting so much exercise. I'm not sure my feet are very happy about it, but between the exercise, an inclination towards more responsible eating, walking on unpaved surfaces, maybe i'll manage to strengthen my ankles and recover from the plantar facitis.

In negative health news, there's some nasty bite on the back of my left calf, and a tick bit me on my left hip. The tick bite was probably from a dog tick and wasn't long enough to pass on disease. It's going to be fine, i'm sure, but yeech.

I'm listing many of our observations of the other inhabitants of our new home here: https://www.inaturalist.org/places/clowderwood Yesterday morning the cats alerted us to the arrival of Carolina wrens on the deck. The previous owners definitely kept bird feeders: i feel a little resistant to the idea. We spent so much money on bird food in California! I'd rather grow plants that have food for them, like sunflowers. I'm tempted to let a thistle go to seed for them to feed from, but i think that's a temptation i can withstand.

Off to sharpen my machete as a Sunday morning mediation.