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[Readers Update] Training cows, Hay and Firewood harvest, Cottage is now liveable...

Any real key to success is this: how are you enjoying your Now?

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  • Training the herd one by one is still a daily activity.
  • Vinegars are doing their thing. I'm now ready for persimmons...
  • The cottage is habitable, even though there are many things left to install.
  • Continuing to be inspired by what I'm editing.
  • Another writing tip?

Farm News

Now we're settling in for the upcoming winter - which always has training cows (and calves, bulls) as part of the daily routine.

With cull apples, this gives me a chance to personally train my cows and calves with treats.

I also will cut "squirrel-corn" into pieces about the size of that apple and feed these. Those have the advantage of being able to store anywhere dry and mouse-proof. Apples have to have a nice cool basement somewhere. (I cut the long corn ears to not chance choking - as well, they carry better in coat pockets.)

Oddly, the calves have to get used to both of these. Apples are easier for them to smell and recognize. Corn gets them excited after they get some - although they may refuse the first few times. 

Like humans, cows learn by example. And just like old cows training young calves that humans are OK, the older cows will show the younger ones where the great treats are. 

My particular focus is on raising gentle cows and bulls that are safe for grand-children to be around. Gentle cows eat better, seldom get sick, and I can call them from a couple of pastures away if I need to. Plus, I can touch almost any part of most any cow or bull, which is handy for checking out scratches or temporary lameness. I can do this checking in the middle of a pasture with no gates or chutes needed. Simpler. No vet bills.

And as you know, calm cows make everyone happy around them. Empathy and such.

This week is laying out the hay bales for this winter, as well as spotting deadwood for firewood to cut and burn in the upcoming months. In my spare moments...

Tiny Home Progress

The first over-nighter experience was a success. In fact, an oil-filled radiator set on low kept the cottage so warm that a sheet and a throw kept us more than warm overnight. It's very air-tight. We did turn a fan on to circulate the heat around, as the loft is close to the ceiling.

As predicted, living in this cottage takes getting used to and also brings up what we are missing to be really comfortable. The DC electric is still incomplete, along with some AC extension cords and strip outlets. (It's amazing how much of the conveniences we have run on AC...)

This gives me notes for making subsequent tiny home projects more off-grid and sustainable. Because if everything is coming off a single AC circuit, then you can lose all power to those conveniences - which isn't convenient on a cold and wintry night. (So, the lights are on battery-powered DC.)

I do have some tests to do in order to see which of these smaller appliances can be run on a DC-to-AC inverter. That's sometime later, though.

Editing fills my "idle" moments

While news continues to be depressing, especially right before an election, I continue to be inspired by Nightingale daily. So much so that I'm more than tempted to drop more of my news reading completely out of my schedule.

The "How to Change Your Life Compleat" is still getting edited every day - and I find his takes on life and living to be remarkable. And so, these short comments.

I haven't gotten back to creating the rest of these essays into videos yet, but their time will come. Winter has many too cold days that need to be spent inside...

Again, your own version of that book (1st Edition) is in the Insiders Club, waiting to be downloaded...

What's Ahead?


The vinegars I put up a couple of weeks ago (apple and wild pear) are now ready to be checked.

I did harvest the persimmons and have all the leftovers for making into vinegar - which should happen by the time you get this. Yes, I'll keep you posted how that turns out. (I keep eyeing the over-ripe bananas that we get...)

The next experiment is in getting 5 gallon buckets and up-grading the recipe for that amount., roughly 10X. To that end, I got some food grade buckets from the local WalMart, already cleaned out and ready for use.

The reason for getting some pristine buckets is to avoid other contaminants that will mold and then wreck that 5 gallons of fruit. (Of course, cows can eat a wide variety of forage, as do chickens, so there is never really any waste.)

Writing Tip

I've always used my writing to explore life and living. Fiction is great for exploring motivations and what-if's in predicting outcomes. Non-fiction is either compiling what others found workable, and/or reporting results so others can benefit from my experiences.

Since people read to learn and help evolve their own decision-making, this is great fodder for learning how things work.

There are three elements to any story: characters, setting, and situation - even if just hinted at. These all three are best appreciated by readers as they evolve through the story. Yes, settings evolve too - through their seasons, for example. A setting at night, particularly a stormy night, is much different when bright daylight returns. A character that doesn't evolve is just an archetype - there for the other characters to learn from. And archetypes are wooden to readers - un-alive, because they can't identify with them as much as a character working through their own flaws toward improvement, redemption. Situations are fluid, and mysteries can become more hazardous as the sleuth gets closer to solving the riddle - and the villain becomes exposed. 

When a story comes to you, it is already alive with these three evolving story arcs (among others). You job as its writer is to be open to finding where these changes are and where they lead. 

The best non-fiction stories involve these story arcs as well...

Oh - wait, there's more: Again, recent life-test results continue to confirm that you can actually get/attain/acquire anything and everything you want out of life. Really. Anything and everything. Whether it's finding a dear companion or a million-dollar salary. And it's all in that "Strangest Secret Collection" (my characters named it the "decoder ring"). You only have to take the leap of faith and test it for yourself...

(Again, to get your updated copy, just reply to this and ask - I'll send you the most recent edition if you don't have yours or misplaced it.) As well, I do need to get some courses up, so I'll start working these in once I get all the major non-fiction books republished.

Become a First Reader

First readers have now become collaborators. And get the first inklings of a story before anyone else except me. (They also get immediate notification and pictures of new calves.) Our interactions are what result in the Notes editions for each book. It's simple to become one - just raise your hand.

How to Raise Your Hand: Join the no-cost Insider's Club and then send me an email that you have. Tell me what you bring to the table. If you make a good case, I'll include you on my First Reader Emails.

Expect great things over the next year - and continuing...

Yes, a huge number of books are available in that Insiders Club. I don't think that most of you have most of these books - and so I keep this in every week to remind you that some of these stories would really appreciate your reading them.

Thanks again for opening this. And reading these books.

And leaving a rating on the Living Sensical site for the stuff you buy there.

As well as leaving recommendations on Bookbub in addition to reviews anywhere else.

You know, that "paying it forward" kinda thing.

Do keep sharing these books with your friends, too.

I hope your life is not too interesting to be overwhelming, but sufficiently engaging to keep you amused. (Like some of us here...)



PS. Again, you can always email me about anything.

What you're here for is to enjoy life. If you're not enjoying every single moment, then you're working too hard at living. Relax. Let go. Follow your bliss.

Become An Insider


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