Birthday Countdown

I’ll be turning 70 very, very soon. It’s the weirdest thing. I feel okay, no particular aches or health troubles. At 60 I thought yeah, just wait. I’m grateful to be able to tell you I’m still waiting. May it long continue.

So, long time no blog. Summer was a scorcher, lots of sneaking around with watering cans to help my newly planted trees survive the blistering heat. We had water restrictions, but the farmers watered so I did too, but carefully. Most things survived and now it’s raining, so I think they’ll be okay.

I think my owls died. After the heat waves, I didn’t hear them any more. I think a lot of animals died in this heat. When I watered, bees and lizards came out of nowhere. I let the birds have my grapes; they were likely among their few sources of liquid. I need to think about how to provide a constant water source for the birds. Next summer will likely be just as harsh. I should plan for it.

This summer, for the first time, I housed volunteers for the local music festival. Les Arts Florissants, baroque music in a beautiful garden, all quite elegant. But this year the foundation opened a new building, a glorified employee break area. My house guests, bless their partying souls, hung out there until well into the early morning. Obviously this new building was much needed. So I saw them at arrival, when I handed them a house key, and waved goodbye when they handed it back. My kind of house guests.

There was one exception, a late arrival, Montse Faura. She is the artistic director of a festival in Catalonia, so a bit older than my party boys and besides, she partied with William Christie. Unlike the guys, she got some sleep. Montse is adorable, my new best friend, probably everybody’s new best friend, a valuable skill if you spend a lot of time fundraising. She turned me on to the summer festivals down her way, in Catalonia. They are numerous and look amazing. Jordi Savall does one; I want to go. Here is a video about Montse’s company.

I bet you’re wondering what is in the jar. Well. A different friend, let’s call her Danica, that being her name, gets through her exhausting days on CBD. My days are not exhausting but so what, I’ve become a fan, too, thanks to her. The trouble is, that stuff is expensive. It shouldn’t be. Hemp is a weed, after all. But, supply and demand…. I decided there has to be a cheaper way.

So I got some CBD bud online and this guy, which cooks it all up, then infuses it. What you see is my first batch. Given the price of those tiny bottles of CBD oil, I figure my initial batch is worth about half what I paid for my new toy plus the basic ingredient. I think I’ll add some to my next vinaigrette.

You can take the girl out of California…..

8 thoughts on “Birthday Countdown

    1. Thank you.

      So, the infuser. I don’t want to advertise for these people, why I don’t know, so I won’t do a separate post on this. Ardent Herbal makes these elegant little machines which you can order wired for Europe. They bake the bud, to enhance the potency. Then if you want you can bung in some coconut oil or whatever you like and use the machine to infuse the oil — much more efficient than just storing the stuff away in a cupboard for a week, plus it’s easy to strain.

      The whole setup is crazy expensive, $400, I think, plus shipping plus 100 euros! in customs fees. All in, maybe up to 600 euros. Ouch. Then you’ll want to buy the CBD buds; if you grow your own you have to register with the gendarmes and who wants that? That’s another chink of change. Both Ardent Herbal and the bud merchants have sales, so watch for those. I bought from Mama Kana and like what I received. Let me know if the links and videos don’t work. If they do, they should lead you to a lot more information.

      The FX, I think it’s called, is super-easy to use. You might want to put it outside; my kitchen smells a bit herbal right now. You don’t need much bud to infuse the oil. You can crush it and put it in your food, too, so you might want to infuse the oil, then crush the buds into a salad or something.

      On my first try I got about 300 ml of super-strong oil. Those little bottles are 10 ml. So is that 30 bottles? That sounds like too much but still, do the math. At 35 euros a bottle, in the equivalent of 20 bottles you’ve broken even.

      I need to work on this, to learn how to regulate potency and all. The oil in my frig would sedate an elephant. But I’m really happy with the whole setup. And there are certainly worse ways to get through the coming dark winter days.

      If you decide to try it, let me know how you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Also, Happy Pre-Birthday. Mike turned 73 this years and I have him weeding outside having helped me lug an enormous trunk earlier today. You’re only as old as you let yourself be 😉


  2. They are supposed to be legitimising weed here… I might send for the rig from the States once I am sure that the customs bods won’t confiscate – for which read steal – it. It might help Leo.
    A local gringo sells it at an astronomical price – smuggled in about her capacious and rapacious person – but rumour has it that it is not top notch stuff so I have not loosed the moths from my purse.
    Sorry about the owls…but very glad to hear from you.


    1. Well, hemp and marijuana are closely related, but have different active ingredients. Pot contains THC, while hemp contains CBD. If you can find CBD, you can probably legally try it right now. I have to assume your local gringa is bringing in pot; who would pay crazy prices for hemp buds, which are not nearly as strong? Besides, she wouldn’t have to smuggle it.

      How funny that she is smuggling pot from the US into Central America. Back when such things were relevant to me, it was the other way around.

      My Ardent FX arrived in a huge box. So your customs guys won’t miss it. If those insane “paraphernalia” laws are on the books in Costa Rica, you could have some trouble there, as the FX can be used for pot as well as hemp. And yes, definitely, I would expect them to steal it. Apart from the rapacious gringa, maybe you know someone who is visiting anyway, who would bring it to you. It would take up some considerable space in their luggage, but unpacked it would fit into a carryon bag. And going home, they’d have room for souvenirs.

      CBD is calming. I’m told it is good for pain and that it lowers blood pressure. I don’t know about nausea or any of the other things THC is good for. Honestly, if pot is legalized in Costa Rica, I’d use that for Leo. Why not?

      Whatever you wind up using, eat it, don’t smoke it. That stuff plays hell with your lungs and it doesn’t work as well. Maybe you already know that.

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