Dad is with the Lord

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I got word early this morning that Dad left this world for the next. My brother, one of my sisters and my mom were all with him.

Last week when I wrote my post “God is Good,” I had no idea that a few hours after it posted I’d hear that my dad was involved in a terrible accident.

At first we thought he might pull through. He looked good, especially in comparison to his car. Yet as piece of news followed piece of news, the hope of his recovery faded. There is only so much damage the human brain can take – and Dad’s took plenty. Yet he stuck around long enough for almost everyone to visit his bedside and pray, sing and say goodbye.

Thank you all for the prayers, the donations, the thoughts and the kind words. I will miss Dad terribly but I know he is with his Lord. And I stand by my post last Sunday. In all things, God is good, even when we do not understand why He has done something.

He sees all ends and has an infinite perspective. We can only see with our earthly and fallen eyes.

For us, losing Dad leaves a huge hole and we mourn him. Yet in the eternal perspective, Dad is in better shape than he has even been. He was a good and faithful servant and I know all is well with his soul. One day we shall meet again.

I pray you also are granted a place in the Book of Life. If you do not know the ultimate destination of your soul, call on the name of the Lord and ask that He reveal Himself to you. Jesus Christ has covered the debt of our own failings and sin, our secret deeds and our public actions, our pride and our depression, everything – it’s covered – all we need to do is accept his perfect life and sacrifice for us and call upon His name.

Each day takes us closer to the grave.

Are you ready?

Dad was.

And I give thanks for that more than anything else.

Love to you all and your families. Kiss your kids.

-DTG

 

My family is not rich (except in love), so if you would like to help Mom and the family with the medical, funeral and travel expenses, you can give here.

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My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”

Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.

Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted within me.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

Psalm 22, NIV

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News

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I’m going to take a break for a while.

My Dad, Bill Perry, was driving home from teaching at a summer camp on Sunday of this week. While traveling through Georgia, he ran into a rainstorm and his car hydroplaned off the road and into a tree. He survived the crash, but his brain injuries are so severe he has no chance of recovery, outside of God’s intervention. He’s currently in hospice, surrounded by family. I can’t make it due to my current visa situation, but I’ve been able to see him and my family and pray and sing hymns along with them over the internet. Dad is only in his mid-60s and was in great health. Now he in a coma and fading.

He is a good and godly man, as you can read in my Father’s Day post from last month.

My family is not rich, but my siblings have traveled from all over to be with Dad. If you want to help Mom and the family with the medical and travel expenses, you can give here.

Please pray for Dad, my family and that God will be glorified no matter what happens. I wish I could be there, but my mother, brother and five sisters are doing well without me. They’re all great people and will take care of Dad.

He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

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Me with Mom and Dad, long ago

Thanks, everyone. I’ll be back.

David-the-good-books-revised

Till Like it’s 1899!

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I was published recently over at GardenRant.com with a quick rant about off-grid garden tilling:

“For years I rented rototillers or—more expensively—owned gas tillers of my own.

There’s nothing like tearing up a big patch of ground until your hands are so numb and tingly you can barely hoist a glass to celebrate your gardening rampage.

Many of us feel like we should cut back on our gas usage. Others don’t like tillers because they really don’t loosen soil that deeply. Still others just don’t want to shell out the big bucks on a machine that’s likely to get a buried brick stuck in the tines just before sunset when you’re half-way through the spring garden you really, really, really want to plant the next morning.

The more paranoid among us (author raises hand) figure we should go low-tech now before civilization is wiped out by an EMP, prime-time TV, an asteroid or all of the above.

Yet it took me a while to really get a solid tool set that allowed me to park the tiller for good. Sure, I borrowed John Jeavon’s “double-digging” method of creating deep, laboriously loosened beds with a spade and fork … but what if you don’t have serious time to put in a garden and you just want to chop some earth and pop in tomatoes?”

You should enjoy the entire post. They’ve been kind enough to publish two of my articles so far.

Garden Rant is one of the largest gardening sites on the web, as best as I can tell, and it’s great getting a Good Article(TM) in over there now and again.

Staying on top of my posting here and on YouTube makes it tough to write as many magazine articles and guest posts as I’d like. I’m thinking of building a little office for myself so I can have a quieter space to write books and record YouTube videos.

Maybe an 8′ x 8′ done in sections, so I can disassemble it when we have to move. That would probably be a good investment. As it is, I have my computer in our bedroom but the house is wide open, as are the windows, so there’s a lot of noise and distractions.

Part of this is my fault, as it’s more fun to sit on the bed with my three-year-old and pretend we’re catching fish off a boat than it is to write gardening article.

Ah well, such is life.

David-the-good-books-revised

Growing Tobacco Again

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If you’ve been watching my YouTube channel, you’ve probably seen my last couple of videos on starting a new round of tobacco plants:

I was given some seeds by a friend I met at a local rum shack. You can get a good stiff drink of local bootleg stuff for a couple of bucks. It’s like molasses and gasoline.

One of the rules of “winning friends and influencing people,” if I recall correctly, is “sit and sip high-proof homemade liquor while watching people play incomprehensible card games as incomprehensible music blasts through a large cracked speaker.”

I’m pretty sure that’s the quote from Carnegie.

Anyhow, it worked for me, as I met a very nice local guy who told me he had tobacco growing wild in his yard. I walked with him to his place and was amazed to see large, lush, self-planted tobacco plants growing here and there. He gave me a fistful of seed pods and I’m now growing my own again.

In Related News

In my older post on growing tobacco, I got a new comment this morning from Krampus:

“Hello sir! Fellow piper here!
I have tried to quit nicotine for some time and have realized, by growing tobacco you will

A: get nicotine in you

B:get a sense for how much work is behind supporting your drug use.

I have sworn never to inhale again! thus, picking the pipe up again ^^. I have fermented my first leaves for some time(3 weeks) and today is the day I shall taste the fruit of all my labour :), they just have to reach proper moisture content.

I want to tell you something about american chew… its bad for your teeth, all that sugar + fermentation bacteria = bad………………………..

Look into the swedish snus, its it very simple to make, a monkey could do it, but it can take years to make a “perfect” swedish snus. It is black and slightly corrosive but also pasturesized with added salty flavours, trying to avoid sugar to spare your teeth (eating sugary diet + sugary tobacco all the time = kiss your teeth goodbye)

Nice information you have here thou! I enjoyd reading it! Puff on fellow Dragon!”

He’s right on American chewing tobacco: it IS loaded with sugar.

Better to find alternatives, if you really want to keep using tobacco.

As for “snus,” I’ll have to look that up. I’ve heard of it but haven’t looked into making it.

I prefer a pipe, but it’s good to know the alternatives, especially since I’m the author of a booklet on how to grow tobacco!

TheSurvivalGuidetoGrowingTobacco-web2

Tobacco isn’t hard to grow but it does have some rather unique care requirements, particularly for germination and raising it to a size large enough to plant out in the field.

You can learn about all that in my booklet, or, if you’re a cheapskate, just keep watching on YouTube as I post new installments.

David-the-good-books-revised

Bottle Window Demonstration

bottle window

I came across a sweet bottle window demonstration on YouTube:

Why was I was looking up bottle windows, you ask?

Because I really need an office of my own, so I’ve decided to build one. One thing I’ve always loved is little handmade houses and cabins with bottle windows and driftwood and reclaimed materials.

Since we don’t own our land, I want to build something small that I can make modular enough to disassemble when we eventually move. An 8′ x 8′ should do well.

The problem with my current office setup is that our house has a wide-open floor plan. My desk is jammed into a corner of our bedroom and Rachel teaches the children in the next room. The walls are just framing, with open tops. The house also doesn’t have glass in the windows, so at night the crickets shriek deafeningly and during the day we hear the bleating of sheep and the bellowing of cattle, not to mention all my noisy children.

One of my sources of income in the past was doing audio editing and voice over work. In my current office, that’s impossible!

I’m planning an office with closed windows and a small AC unit, with a desk and a good greenscreen wall on one side where I can film YouTube videos. If I insulate enough, I should be able to do voicework again as well.

My estimate is that it will take about $1200 to build… I should make that back in half a year or less from the extra work. I also would like to have a fold-down bed in there for visitors. And a coffee machine!

And that’s the story of bottle windows. I want bottle windows in my little office.

The bottle windows created in the YouTube video above are a little complicated for my taste, but the vermiculite and cement idea was excellent. That should make for nice and light windows that could be inserted wherever I like in the walls.

Finally, this little office will be good practice for when we eventually build our own home, Lord willing.

Just dreaming at the moment, but I have a way of making dreams happen rapidly once everything sets in my mind.

Watch out!

David-the-good-books-revised

My Trick for Picking Up Quality Hoes

vintage-hoe-heads

It’s not much of a trick, really, as ebay has been around forever, but it’s my go-to source for quality vintage tools.

Look at two of my recent scores:

vintage-hoe-heads vintage-potato-hoe

Sweet, eh?

Right now, there’s a plethora of great hoe heads on ebay.

Check it out!

I actually resisted putting this post up because I want to buy every single hoe for myself, but no… I am generous.

Actually, I’m not that generous. If you buy through any ebay link on this site, I’ll make a few cents on each purchase. I make a few bucks a month that way, but not enough to put many links around. Amazon does better for me… but you can’t get vintage tools on Amazon!

The two listings I won are being shipped to me by my parents and I look forward to fitting them with new handles. The “potato hoe” ought to work great in the hard clay here.

The old steel is a lot better than the new junk you get from the hardware store. Seriously – it’s amazing. Put a sharp edge on and old hoe and it cuts through weeds like a knife. A new hoe just doesn’t “have it.”

I posted a video on my favorite vintage hoe just over a year ago:

That’s the tool that changed my whole perspective on hoeing.

I just didn’t know what a real weeding tool was like until I got a good old American steel hoe working for me.

Half the time, the vintage hoe heads end up costing the same as a crummy new one from China… or less! I used a mop handle on one of my hoe heads and it works great. Some of my other ones were re-handled here by a local farmer who cut wild coffee wood to make solid handles. Those look really cool and work quite well.

Anyhow, go ye forth and hunt.

David-the-good-books-revised

Praise for “Push the Zone”

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Ecuador Gardener has pink-fonted praise for Push the Zone:

Greetings David! 

Just finished reading your book “Push the Zone”… tons of good ideas and information. Thanks so much for making it possible for me to read it!!
When I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, there were coconut palms everywhere.  But then they got some kind of disease that wiped them out. After that, very few were seen in the area.
 
After you mentioned Jackfruit in your videos – I bought one at a local nursery – and also asked at a local juice bar that advertised jackfruit smoothies, if I could have some seeds. I was finally given some – and one just sprouted!!! It’s about 4 inches tall now.
 
They started selling lots of coconuts here – shipped in from the coast. I think I need to try and grow some… even though everybody says they won’t grow here.
 
We’ll see if my thumbs are green!!!!  : )
 
Thanks for all your videos and inspiration!!!
Thank you! Without my readers and viewers, I wouldn’t amount to much.
I’ve been fascinated by zone-pushing for years, dating back to the half-decade I spent in Tennessee. In the book I share stories of mysteriously cold-hardy lemons, and figs untouched by nights in the teens, plus present ambitious plans for growing jackfruit, coconuts, coffee and other tropical delights far from their perpetually warm and sunny origins.
Unlike Compost Everything‘s practical and labor-saving advice applicable to every gardener, Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics is for the dreamers and the madmen, those exiled from warm places or those seeking to build a pocket of tropical paradise in a gray and chilly backyard.
If that sounds like you, you’ll enjoy the book. It’s certainly not for every gardener, but it will absolutely fascinate those of you who think outside the climate.
Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics is now available in kindle and paperback versions.
David-the-good-books-revised

Giant Florida Bolete Mushrooms

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J.C. found some giant Florida Bolete Mushrooms and wrote to tell me the tale:

Hi David,

That is a great article again this month in the AGRIMAG. Hiking around this AM I found this giant guy with 4 of his friends.

Giant florida bolete mushroom

10 .5 inch cap diameter, up -turned cap, non-gilled. Looks good enough to eat. White flesh, slight musk odor when broken off a bit of the cap and non bleeder.

They were located on our farm in a small stand of big oaks. I am thinking boletes family but have not been able to get a positive ID.

Giant florida bolete mushroom

What do you think?”

Those are definitely some giant boletes! What a marvelous find!

You can tell they’re boletes by the pores on the bottom of the cap. Unlike most of the mushrooms you’ll find, boletes have pores, not gills.

Is This Giant Bolete Safe To Eat?

As I’ve written before in my article on how to identify an edible bolete:

“1. Make Sure Your Bolete Doesn’t Stain Blue When Bruised

I know, this seems mean, but once you’ve found a bolete, cut into it or crush a corner. If the flesh rapidly stains blue, you may have an inedible type. Discard it unless you are an expert.

2. Make Sure Your Bolete DOES NOT Have Bright Red Or Yellow Pores

Some of the toxic boletes have brilliant red or yellow pores on the bottom. If your mushroom looks like that, there’s a good chance it’s not an edible bolete.”

So, after a few seconds of reflection, I must say I’d eat those giant boletes so fast you’d barely have time to say “garlic butter.”

Keep Watching for New Boletes!

The great thing about these mushrooms is that they’ll come back in that same location again and again as the weather induces fruiting. I used to walk a three-acre plot in my old neighborhood in the days after a heavy rain and hunt a variety of excellent mushrooms. I found some great stuff, including this amazing Lactarius indigo:

Lactarius_Indigo

Mushrooms are just the reproductive portion of a larger organism beneath the earth.

Boletes, like many other mushrooms, often live in symbiotic harmony with certain species of trees. In this case, the boletes are living in a patch of oaks. They provide minerals to the tree roots and the trees provide them with sugars. Then, when the rainfall and temperatures are right, they produce mushrooms above the ground like the beautiful ones in J.C.’s photos.

Mushroom hunting doesn’t have to be terrifying. If you can ID some of the simple and safe types, you’ll have plenty of gourmet food. If you want to go deeper, you can, but I stick to the really easy ones like boletes, chanterelles, puffballs and a few others.

I’ve got a great library of mushroom books that have educated and inspired my shrooming over the years.

Check out my mushroom hunting book recommendations here and you’ll soon be eating like a king on gourmet fare you can’t buy at any price.

Some have said that Florida isn’t a great place for mushroom hunting. I disagree. I’ve found some great finds… and so have others, as J.C.’s giant Florida bolete mushrooms testify. Florida’s a great state!

David-the-good-books-revised

God is Good, All the Time

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This last week I told a local friend that I was really missing my guitar.

I’m a good guitar player. Not awesome, but quite competent.

More than that, I love to play. I’ll spend an hour now and again writing a song or figuring out how to play songs I like and it’s a pleasant time. Music is a wonderful thing.

Yet when I moved, I left my guitars behind.

The reason? We needed to bring the children’s schoolbooks with us.

If it’s a choice between one of my hobbies and the children’s education… well…

…it was a hard choice, but I had to go with the children’s education. There just wasn’t enough baggage weight allowed for me to bring everything I wanted to bring.

I looked for a decent guitar locally and was told by someone to check out a local importer of band instruments and electronics.

So I did.

What I found was depressing. Multiple guitars were for sale, but they were Chinese junk at exorbitant prices. I tried playing a few of them but the frets started buzzing and clucking as I moved up the neck… and the price!

No way I’d spend money on a guitar that doesn’t even play worth a plugged nickel.

So I shared this with my friend and he told me of a pawn shop about 25 minutes from our place where I might look.

There I found an inexpensive but well-constructed electric guitar.

$120USD and it was mine.

I was getting ready to go and then found something else: a small, waterproof Nikon capable of shooting video on land and underwater. Another $80 and that was mine as well.

I’d been looking for one, as the rainy season is NOT good for the rather expensive Canon 70D I use for all my videos. My YouTube channel has taken off to a point where the ad revenue now pays my rent, so dropping $80 on a used camera is a no-brainer. Heck, even the guitar will be pressed into service for my channel as a lot of my videos contain original music.

Even though I am a sinner and deserve nothing from Heaven, God still smiles on His children and takes care of not just our needs, but sometimes also covers our “wants” as well.

Thank you, Father – much appreciated!

Enjoy the Lord’s Day and I’ll see you all tomorrow.

(BTW, if you can hear wild shredding all the way from your location, it’s because I’ve cranked up the guitar this weekend.)

 

*          *          *

“The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord;
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

For You meet him with the blessings of goodness;
You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
He asked life from You, and You gave it to him—
Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great in Your salvation;
Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.
For You have made him most blessed forever;
You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord,
And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Your hand will find all Your enemies;
Your right hand will find those who hate You.
You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger;
The Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath,
And the fire shall devour them.
Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth,
And their descendants from among the sons of men.
For they intended evil against You;
They devised a plot which they are not able to perform.
Therefore You will make them turn their back;
You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces.

Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!
We will sing and praise Your power.”

-Psalm 21, NJKV

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