Thursday, December 31, 2009

Must Read Books

I picked up a couple books when my daughter and I were on our way home from Spearfish with our computer. When I opened the sack to put them away I thought, ' Wow!' you really are odd Holly. Yes, I talk to myself and sometimes its out loud. But then most days I spend fourteen hours alone with an occasional phone call from our children but mostly its just me and the critters. Don't get to thinking I talk to myself because I'm lonely. I'm not. My favorite person to be with is me - mostly because I'm a big time introvert. Don't mistake introvert for being shy. That is one thing I am not. An introvert is someone who gains a sense of well being and energy from being alone. That might be part of my Autism. Though I love people, being in physical proximity to them quickly drains my energies and a odd thing happens if I've been around people too much. It doesn't take much to be too much. I begin to dislike myself and everyone else even though I can't think of a thing they've done wrong. My head is full of negative thought. The consequence is that I rather enjoy my own company.

As you've noticed, I also get off track easily but now where were we? Oh yeah, we were talking about books. I love to read. Going off into another world lets me travel, meet people without the stress of actually being with them, and fuel for my need to always be learning. But why are those new things in such a broad spectrum has always puzzled me? I have the fixations that most Autistic suffer from. That's why my doctor teases me that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I don't. Of course I had to look exactly what that was and study it first to come up with that conclusion but in the end, I decided it was just my Autism. Yet, in that odd disorder I'm not even normal. Where as most Autistic people become fixated on one thing. I have a myriad of interests. Maybe I also have a little ADD. I'm studying gardening, cooking, and medicine at the moment though I'm also wanting to fit in some quilting and spinning.

So one of the books I bought when I was with Toni was a culinary book in which it explains different methods of mixing the same ingredients to come up with different results and other Alton Brown like science of cooking along with some recipes I want to try. It's this weeks reading.

The other book I bought was On Call In Hell, A Doctor's Iraq War Story. That's what prompted the, your really odd thought. A cookbook and a story about war - how are these alike in tastes? Yet, it is a story about medicine, one of my favorite subjects. Then again, I've also read Black Hawk Down and In Company of Heroes which is about Michael Durant's story during the Black Hawk Down episode and a bunch of other war stories.

I read the book last evening when my body ache pain level drove me to my bed. The story was interesting but not one I'll keep on my book shelves. After my husband reads it, our son will want his turn, and I'll donate the book to the local library.

But the book I bought when my husband and I dropped off the computer had me so enthralled I read it while I ate and even took it into the bathroom with me. The New Organic Grower had my brain all in a whirl. Now if that doesn't tell you how odd I am, I don't know what does. Most people would say that about a murder mystery but a gardening book? But now I have all kinds of ideas in ways we could change our garden to better nourish the soil naturally, eliminate weeds - which I don't do much of (I weed about four times in all) -, and change the growing zone in our garden area 1 to 1 1/2 zones. We are in zone 4 with lots of wind. Wind is one of our big enemies. That and about an inch of top soil which is only called top soil because it's on the top, not because it's any better than what's down below.

The book is geared for serious gardeners. Those wanting to make a living growing a commercial garden for high end restaurants etc. It still had loads of information and food for thought for my self-sufficient endeavour. My mind is still trying to figure out how we can tilt our whole garden 5 degrees south toward the sun which Mr. Coleman said was the same as transporting your garden 300 miles south. I of course am sure he means not 300 miles South into the Colorado mountains but more like where my daughter lives in Loveland where the grapes hang in large clumps over her neighbors fences. I'm so envious.

The Lazy Gardener is another wonderful book. It's one already on my bookshelf but since we were talking gardening books I thought I'd better tell you about this gem I picked up last fall. I'd recommend you start with it. It is packed full of information, much that isn't in The Organic Grower. For instance, good soil is 25 percent air, 25 percent water, 1 to 5 percent organic matter and the rest is mineral matter. Our soil may have nutrients but they aren't available for the plants, so improving the soil has been of particular interest to me this past couple years. Some sections of our garden when you walk on it feels like your stepping on a mattress. That is the really nice sections that have lots of air.
The last brain teaser is Weeds And What They Tell. It's a pamphlet that got me to really thinking some years ago. I noticed that where I had enough Sulfur in my garden the Canadian thistle didn't grow. They should flourish since in our lawn they do. My budget just doesn't stretch far enough and our lawn is neglected so eventually what I don't put into garden is going to be rocks with a small lawn area. Water is expensive and so I want it on my garden, not a big lawn. This chronic fatigue I suffer from doesn't allow for much more than brain power and I'm trying to learn to garden smart not with a lot of physical exertion. This year, I'm going to pay extra attention to what weeds do grow in our garden, identify them, and the soil conditions in which they flourish. I noticed a few new types of weeds in a section of my garden that I've not had before so something is changing in the soil.
In the weeks to come, I'll share with you the plans for our garden and the things I've learned in hopes we can inspire one another to work more closely with the earth to obtain a bountiful harvest next fall.

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