What a Difference A Day Makes

What a Difference A Day Makes was Originally Posted on July 8, 2011 by

While waiting for my tractor to be repaired, the grass and weeds still grow. I get large clumps of grass in areas, which can completely hide the fruit or coffee trees and has to be removed. I spray and cut and am getting ahead of it, but it takes time and effort.

Here are a couple of photos showing how tall the grasses can get in just 2 or 3 weeks.

Hidden lemon tree

When I moved here 10 years ago, I had a partial view of the ocean from the lanai. I would take sunset photos and often they would contain a schefflera plant. You may have seen these things at the nursery or at the supermarket under the name “umbrella tree”, and they are very cute in their pots. We have slightly different varieties growing up to 90 feet here! Cutting them down takes lots of work.

Yesterday I had a guy come and start cutting trees to the west (makai [ocean]) side of the house and in the photo, you can see how the view begins to change, dramatically. Those tall ones are scheffleras. Because of the haze, you cannot make out the far horizon of the ocean but it is just at the top of the coconut tree on the left. I have a nice expanse of ocean to see once the haze disappears.

Startiing to get back my view

I have to admit that the trees to the north (right of this view) are blocking my view of Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook Monument. I can see part of the hill but not the ocean at that point.

Also, after being left go at the timeshare place in Kona, I was on unemployment. I outlasted 3 managers and other office staff, and I think they have had 2 other managers since I left 2 years ago. What kind of business goes through people that quickly? You begin to wonder when after a year and a half, you as a front office person are the longest employee in the office.

So because the boss at the time decided to hire a friend of his, they let me go for lack of work and did not fight my unemployment. I tried to find another job in the hospitality industry, however the majority of the jobs are at least an hour to an hour and a half drive each way, and the job would have to be part time because of my farm. My truck gets 15 miles per gallon at what got to $4.80 a gallon or so. Near the house there are small stores, an ACE hardware and not much else. I tried to find appropriate work and even tried looking at storage locations and the distant COSTCO to no avail.

Many people have been on unemployment for this same time and I need to tell you a secret. The secret is not widely known or understood, but here it is. The government does not count people based upon unemployment records or with a total count. They estimate the numbers by sampling people across the country and ask predetermined questions to determine if those people are working, etc. There is a good explanation at http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm

The three classifications are: employed, unemployed and not in the workforce.

If you are working, you are employed.

If you are not working BUT looking for a job, you are unemployed.

If you are not working AND not looking for a job, you are not in the workforce.

As of a week or so ago, I went from unemployed to not in the workforce.

Some of these classifications change over the years and there might be changes in hoew the overlap of someone in multiple categories is counted.

New statistics were developed to try to satisfy the many people who felt the current values did not reflect reality. What about people who were unemployed and just gave up looking because there was no work available. 7 classifications of statistics were developed (U1 to U7) and tried to reflect whether the person was unemployed and just trying to enter the workforce vrs someone who was employed, laid off and trying to re-enter the workforce.

Each classification changes the way people are counted and the broadest measures seem to be the ones more popular to be used in times of recession. The graphs of each of the 7 classifications follow each other but the specific % of unemployed changes dramatically. So are 10% or 12 % out of work? For those who find statistics interesting, try this: http://www.bls.gov/osmr/pdf/ec090020.pdf

Back to the farm, I am seeing lots of Meyer lemons” growing and some Clementines and assorted other fruit. Now that I have cut the tall grasses nearby I can fertilize, mulch and water and encourage even larger quantities to grow. I expect to have my first crop of lemons any time now, as I see yellow on them starting to show.

Improved Meyer lemon tree

As an experiment, I took a lemon that was just starting to yellow and nibbled on it. Well, first I nibbled on a Miracle Berry and then the lemon. It tasted kind of sweet because of the effect of the berry. I’ll start posting some information about the berry and fruits here in the blog soon.

In the meantime, I have work to do.