The Glory Has Departed

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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Waiting for the Sun This Morning

Earthworms are all protein (N),
and they excrete nitrogen.
Live or die, they are great for the soil.

I often get a morning Facebook greeting from the gardeners - and from those who wake up too early. Sassy and I get up before dawn, but she goes back to sleep. To quote Shakespeare - "Would that it were day." That was what the French said just before being clobbered on St. Crispin's Day.

But we go out to win. We deliver Mr. Gardener's paper, so he has it at the door when he gets up. We often spot the Veteran at the end of the block. He offers to adopt Sassy each time. When we get back, we get bird seed ready, using a combination of sunflower seeds, nuts, corn, and other bird favorites. This increases the variety of birds feeding.

Mr. Gardener offered me free concrete blocks so I am going to expand the Jackson Bird Spa into the Jackson Animal Convention Center. The blocks offer lots of little pockets for food and shelter, more room on the top for foods.

Mrs. I asked if I put the muffins on the filing cabinet feeder outside. "Does Notre Dame play football?" I asked.

"No," she responded.

Water the microbes and they will transport water
to the plants.
Water storage in the soil? - Microbes and earthworms.

There has arisen a division among you about earthworms. Some fail to rightly distinguish one type from another.

Most are aware of dew worms, which have many other nicknames. They are often hunted at night by fishermen, armed with flashlights and quick reflexes. However, dew worms cannot be domesticated and raised in bins. They are deep diggers and must obey their created design.

One scientist has argued that vast areas of the world became fertile once the active earthworms spread by way of European settlers. Their boots, their plants, and their animals' hooves brought the egg cases to North and South America, making rich soil much more productive.

The Wormhaven Gardening Book deals with this in more detail. Click on the free PDF.

The red wiggler worm is not only a great fishing worm, but also the best at working soil, compost, and mulch.

Red wigglers will increase to their maximum numbers if properly fed with organic matter. God manages the details. We only need to add organic food on top. The worms pull down what they need. However, they do NOT like inorganic, chemical fertilizers, the stinky expensive stuff.

Put Down the N-P-K Bag and Support Your Local Earthworms
However, macro- and micro-arthropods (such as springtails and fungus-feeding mites) and worms, in particular, shun areas where there are synthetic fertilizers. They either don’t do well with these high concentrations or their food sources disappear. This further degrades the soil structure and the production of humus. In addition, mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria do not form symbiotic relationships when there are high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Mycorrhizal fungi are the largest single source of carbon in soils, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria are a free source of nitrogen, a macronutrient most often in short supply. So, by maintaining a healthy soil food web, gardeners can get carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients for their plants for free.

Lowenfels, Jeff;  (2013-05-07). Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition (Kindle Locations 3228-3233). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

The process should fascinate any gardener, because it begins with micro-organisms we never see, their work leveraged by the hungry earthworms.

Worm castings, another “almost fertilizer,” but this time because it’s next to impossible to supply a guaranteed N–P–K analysis, also contain a lot of microbes. The worms ingest organic matter, but what they are really after are bacteria, protozoa, and fungi, some of which they digest. They process the rest of the material into castings with a higher concentration of organic matter and great N–P–K, as well as calcium, copper, zinc, and other minerals, than in the source material.

Lowenfels, Jeff; (2013-05-07). Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition (Kindle Locations 3500-3503). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

You spent how much killing dandelion herbs,
which are good for the soil and birds,
and they returned again?

Earthworm Castings = Manure
Earthworm castings concentrate nutrients, which is why they are so popular with organic gardeners. They contain 10 times more potassium, 5 times more nitrogen, 7 times more phosphorus, 3 times more magnesium, 1.5 times more calcium, and 1.4 times more humus than the soil that went into the worm.

Lowenfels, Jeff; (2013-05-07). Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition (Kindle Locations 3494-3496). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 

Those castings may be on top of the soil, so some pea-brains kill earthworms to avoid the worm-poop. They must crawl through their grass to find it and become scandalized, like those offended when reading justification by faith or quotations from the Book of Concord on this blog.

The castings are also distributed through the soil, depending on the worms' habits. The tunneling aerates teh soil, which is good, and makes it easier for rain to penetrate the soil (clay) or to stay in the root zone (clay and sandy soil).

This land of gardeners.

Happy 25th Anniversary - Brett and Amy Meyer

Twenty-five years and forty-five years.
Snoqualmie Falls, Washington.

Disrupt the Demonic Leaders. Stop Following Their Rules,
Which They Use To Stay in Power

Never be intimidated. They are afraid of the truth
and its power.
The first and only rule of the WELS Fight Club is this - THEY make the rules, and the only way to fight is to follow their rules. Their rules include this - Any infraction of the WELS Fight Club Rules mean YOU are guilty of the most heinous sins and will be persecuted for those sins - that is the only topic for all future discussions.

As anyone can see from the earlier post on Jay Webber's hero - the Pietist UOJist Rambach and the Pietist Quistorp - the Intrepid Lutherans always tried to follow the rules of the WELS Fight Club. Beyond encouraging them to debate in a public blog, I had nothing to do with the workings of their group.

Even thought hey did their best to avoid being tainted by me, Disappearing Doug Engelbrecht accused me in a letter instead of addressing the trouble he caused by supporting Ski and Glende.

And again, when they were discussing justification by faith on their blog - anxious to avoid mentioning me - they had to admit I was correct about UOJ being the offspring of rationalistic Pietism. Hall University is where many of the founders of American Lutheranism studied - including the ULCA branch (Muhlenberg), the Synodical Conference (Bishop Martin Stephan, STD), and WELS (Adolph Hoenecke).

How much good came from playing by WELS rules? The District Popes rewarded them by sending out death squads to eliminate all signers from the Intrepid Lutherans list. Pastor Paul Rydecki continued as the main contributor for posts and IL gradually went into suspension. Yet the Jeske Mob continues to expand like that magical insulating foam, the stuff that enters into every nook and cranny and turns into a plastic concrete.

Their Father Below tells WELS leaders:
"Well done, thou good and faithful serpents!"

The Answer -
Do not play by their rules, which are designed to keep them in power - truth on the scaffold, error forever on the throne.

Public false doctrine can be addressed in public at any time by anyone. Open the Book of Concord to the Large Catechism, by Luther, the Ten Commandments - Eighth Commandment. That awful sound is the cracking of a book's spine that has never been opened.

Disrupt the demonic leaders by asking them pertinent questions. They would rather crawl under the rug and fold it over them.

Challenge them about their false doctrine.

  1. Ask them about their hellacious entertainment worship practices. Why does David Rutschow promote Church Growth circuses everywhere but his own congregation, which only has traditional services?
  2. Why are pastors being forced out or forced to surrender to Contemptuous Worship when a DP never indulges in those pseudo-Pentecostal disgraces?
  3. Say to Rutschow - "Hey Dave. Who arranged the theft of St. John's in Milwaukee, the property and the endowment? Since when can two laymen lock up the parsonage and keep the pastor's personal belongings? OK, Walther did that, but still - is that honest, Scriptural, or even legal?"
  4. Ask Seifert - "Hey John. How many death squads have your organized against the Jeske Mob? You pretended to be against Church Growth and unionism? Do you have any proof of that now?"
  5. Tell Mark Schroeder - "I am not giving a dime to WELS until you get your trotters out of the ELCA/Thrivent trough. You let them set the agenda and push you around like the Jeske Mob. Oh, Thrivent is a branch of the Jeske Mob. I forgot."
  6. Ask any one of them to explain the Means of Grace and the efficacy of the Word. 
  7. Mention that their favorite terms - Objective Justification and Subjective Justification come from a Calvinist translator of lectures from a Halle University Pietist. Watch their heads explode.
Reactions vary. The first one is oozing flattery. "I am so glad you are interested in our beloved synod. I wish all our members had the same energy."

Some of them break out into flop sweat. Others shake with rage. Name-calling is not unheard of.

"Do you read that Jackson blog? Ichabod?" Answer - "I do, just like you. I see the light on the lower left for your town, and it is always glowing red."

Shunning and abuse follow. But before that, good friends and relatives make contacts and warn, threaten, plead, and offer free stays at a local mental institution.

As one victim wrote to me, "WELS is really incompetent at so many things, but they have mastered the art of controlling people."

But they cannot control the Word of God. One little, feeble person, a nobody from nowhere can make them shiver and quiver in their Gucci loafers.

When Glende and Ski sued the husband of the staffer they abused, Glende explained to the judge, "There is a blog in Arkansas..." The judge was incredulous. What does a blog in Arkansas have to do with staff in Appleton, Wisconsin? Glende and Ski lost their lawsuit against the former staffer's husband. And yet WELS makes Glende an example for teachers.

An ELS member wrote me, "The ELS is terrified of your blog." It is a good thing I hold back so much.

A WELS synodical VP denounced me in public, even though I was not there and no longer WELS (thank God). Soon after, his cowardly, lascivious heiny was kicked out of the ministry for trying to seduce a woman who came to him for counseling. How many women did he counsel before he was caught? And he lied to everyone about how he transitioned from bigshot to store clerk, telling his family that I was a liar!

Paul McCain gladly offered his toxic help to Glende, Ski, and Lillo in their hopelessly bad copycat blog. Soon McCain felt compelled to erase his entire blog, just as Fox Valley WELS erased theirs.

"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but My Word will last forever."

Monday, March 30, 2015

No Fail Rose Planting - Easier Than Most People Imagine

Summer Delights - 2012 Rose of the Year.
The three rules of rose growing are -
water, prune, and mulch.

When people write about their roses failing to start, I try to recall anything similar. The closest was planting them in Phoenix, when they came out of dormancy late, and I had already called for replacements. Oh, did Jackson and Perkins yell at me! My big mistake was not protecting the canes from sun and wind, which is done with grocery bags or cardboard boxes.

The roses sprouted at the same time the replacements came. More digging followed.

My record with bare root roses is 100%. I have removed the nasty ideas some helpful people tried to implant in my head, when I was a newcomer in gardening.

Bad idea  - soaking the roses for a long time, unless absolutely necessary, due to delays in planting. They are roses, not goldfish.

Horrible idea - dropping inorganic fertilizer into the hole or into the soaking water. The key growth area is going to be the root hairs of the rose. That is where the roots communicate with the fungi to obtain moisture and nutrients. Inorganic fertilizer is not immediately usable and passes down into the water table.

I have no problem with buying potted roses, which some rosarians abhor. That is how I found KnockOut roses, since I bought them at a gardening center, very late in the season last year.

My method of planting is the same for potted and bare root roses - as follows.

The holes can be dug in the lawn for a new rose bed. Osterizing the soil with a rototiller is a bad idea. That destroys the structure of the soil and disrupts the breeds of essential soil microbes and earthworms. When I shake a lump of sod to get soil loose, several fat earthworms fall out each time.
Ancient Egypt made it a capital crime to harm an earthworm, and they built a civilization that the ancient Greeks admired and emulated.

After the roses are planted, the intervening lawn area can be covered with a good layer of newspaper or similar paper, with that paper barrier covered with wood mulch. That will keep the area teeming with soil life, moist, and almost weed free.

I see no reason to fill the hole with water before dropping the rose in. That will only lead to a muddy mess. However, it can help in the dry, clay soil of Phoenix. I have moist clay soil, so I build a pyramid at the bottom of the hole.

I trim the rose roots so that stray roots and broken ones are out of the way. Then I place the rose on top of the soil pyramid. There will still be air pockets, so soil can swept in. Plenty of watering will take care of settling the soil

Mulching the rose is easy. Newspaper can be placed close up to the cane. Early on, this is easily done. Wood mulch goes on top of the newspaper. If the newspaper layer overlaps underneath, that will keep such pests as crabgrass from invading. We left a a seam of poorly covered grass and had a row of weeds when expanding the rose garden last year. We just put more newspapers on top of the weeds and more mulch on that.

Nota bene - soak newspapers in the rain or with the garden hose first. Papers  like to fly away on breezy days. Brown paper and packing paper can work just as well and be easier to lay down in bigger stretches.

Click here for the Uncle Jim's Worm Farm link.

Add red wiggler earthworms. The red wiggler is the best and most active earthworm in decomposition. This is essential, as all gardeners know. Once is probably enough, but some people will buy them for new areas or to guarantee success in new compost bins. I get mine from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm. When my first order was late, they sent a new order on top of the first one.

Once upon a time, earthworms were the secret of one very high-priced landscaper, who brought them into each yard he worked on.

Brett Meyer reported that heavily mulching their cherry tree resulted in doubling the production of the tree. Mulching means:

  • Favoring fungi production, the key to decomposing and moving nutrients to the roots.
  • Promoting earthworm activity and numbers - mixing, tunneling, and fertilizing.
  • Holding moisture in the soil.
  • Feeding minerals and carbon into the soil.
  • Establishing a larger soil food web to hold nutrients in place and serve as a sponge to preserve water in the soil.

California Dreaming Rose.

Dire Warnings Daily - The Special Sales Are Over - "Your Doom Awaits!"
Burpee Wrote Today - "The End is NEAR!"

Wait until Good Friday for pea planting?
Not in NW Arkansas.

Spring has not yet arrived in many places, such as Midland, Michigan, where snow is coming again.

We should be done with snow, and no frost warnings lie ahead. We have temperature ranges of 40 to 70 degrees, with plenty of rain in the forecast.

I bought seeds ahead because I have found myself short in the very types I wanted in the past, such as scarlet runner beans. Favorite roses are always sold out early, including Peace and Double Delight.

Because of my early purchases, the seed companies kept offering me free shipping one more time, in apocalyptic language, over the last few months. That is quite handy, since a last-minute purchase of several packets will not work well if shipping doubles the cost of the order.

Order early, harvest early.

Sow Abundantly, Reap Abundantly
Sizes are:

  • Small (envelope within an envelope - don't sneeze), 
  • Medium (25 seeds), 
  • Large (1500 seeds), 
  • Duggar (small cardboard box), and 
  • Super Walmart (enough to compost and have plenty to spare). 

I bought thousands of zinnia seeds (called the desert rose) for Phoenix and covered the pool area with a sea of flowers. Old Precious would sit in the zinnias and watch us swim, always ready to sound an alarm if needed.

Once an insurance executive pointed out the problem of small congregations, which are similar to small insurance agencies he helped manage - "People think they are more important than they are." That happens with seeds, although they do not really do any thinking until they are planted. If I have 25 seeds, each one is a jewel and too precious to sow. Placing individual seeds is tough on the back muscles.

If I have thousands of seeds, I feel free to sow them in wide rows, cover the area, and tamp it down gently with a rake or my foot. That does not mean standing on it to squash the soil. I hold onto the fence with one hand and tap the soil with my foot. Secondly, I run the aqueduct for a time, washing the loose soil into the voids. That gives the seed plenty of motivation to establish roots and grow upwards.

Borage is not only a great bee plant (nicknamed bee bread) but also a host for lacewing insects, which are great predators against insect pests. I remember learning in biology class about lacewings, 50 years ago, and capturing some for my insect collection. I earned an A, no surprise. I added a fake insect on a pin and labeled it with some silly name. The teacher broke into a rare smile.

Puncture vine or goathead is attractive in bloom,
but the thorny seeds embed themselves in skin, fur, and carpeting.

Soil Temperature
Soil temperature clearly triggers growth. Sweet corn cannot survive in cold soil, so the Three Sisters garden is still empty. The roses from last year are soaking in the rain and getting ready to bud, but the crepe myrtle bush lacks a single green leaf.

The peas, which I mourned prematurely, are already sending tendrils up out of the mulch that helped protect and feed them. The sunflowers, far more vulnerable to cold, also survived and came out of the mulch. That tells me that both needed a bit more sunshine and warmth to make the big move into the air. I discovered the hardy peas as mere sprouts under the mulch and left them alone, Their recent growth is astonishing, given their shyness in the cold weather.

Wide Row, French Intensive, Square Foot Gardening
My style of planting has several names, listed above. I saw many old style gardens where plants were lined up like soldiers in neat rows, the soil open for weed germination. That gives most of the garden over to weeds and the hoe.

One alternative is to cover the bare soil with mulch, which is far better than weeding. Ruth Stout is the pioneer in mulching.

A gardening writer observed that thick rows of plants provide their own mulch. That is - the plants shade the soil with their growth and reduce the chance of sunlight fostering the growth of weeds.

Double Delight rose -
easy to love, hard to find.

Did Plants Adapt, or Did God Create?
We can see that plants thrive in their own favorite climes. We had puncture vine or goathead growing in abundance in our yard in Phoenix. We collected boxes of them to throw away. Later I hid them in the shade, and they shriveled and composted, never to germinate again.

People see the same data and come to two different conclusions. Earlier, scientists saw the Creation, and many famous scientists were Creationists (a terrible slur now).

Now, everything is explained as Evolution instead. Plants developed a waxy covering to preserve moisture and thrive in the desert. That is why I wrote about thinking plants above. Exactly how does a plant know what to do and how to do it? That fantasy is far beyond my imagination.

Plants do differentiate in their cells, each cell a complicated factory in itself. Try thinking about how that little corn seed turns into a majestic plant with ears of corn, corn silk, broad leaves to capture solar energy, and greedy roots to devour nitrogen for growth. And yet this little corn kernel carries out this incredible transformation without a thought, designed to be a source of food.

Add to that daily miracle the dozens of creatures relating to the plant and the soil.

  • Some bring nutrition to the roots (fungi).
  • Some mix, fertilize, and sweeten the soil (earthworms).
  • Birds look for pests and eat them.
  • Squirrels and raccoons search for fresh corn and carry it off.

That summary above is not even a fraction of all the dependencies that make a garden productive, whether we know it or not, whether we plan for it or not.

Silver Queen corn - the best white corn.
As a Dow Ag scientist said - "Like eating mush."
He was staggered by my tall plants growing in four feet of compost.

Top Posts in Ichabod - Last 30 Days

WELS dudes at the Southern Babtist Convention -
at least the Babtists had the guts to repudiate the New NIV.