LandFill Harmonic

I find this so inspirational I just need to play it again every couple of months.  In my last post I showed chess/checker boards that were made from trash diverted from the landfill.

I am wondering how many people in the San Jacinto Valley would love to see our parks and outdoor seating areas of restaurants filled with musicians and board game players.

Would you like to see that in our town?    Imagine how you would feel.   Imagine feeling a sense of community.    Imagine getting to know your fellow townspeople.   I smile every time I think of this idea because IT IS POSSIBLE.  It really is.  Look what these resourceful people did:

The following is a series of updates on the Landfill Harmonic on 60 Minutes:

The following are resources for making your own instruments:

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There is funding available for community improvements such as festivals and such that bring our townspeople together.

The following is from

Funding period opens for special events.  April 10, 2014

Community events seeking partnerships with the city of Hemet have until April 17 to apply.

The city awarded $25,000 in cash and in-kind service in 2013 for special events to more than 10 local organizations. The Hemet Genealogical Society, Habitat for Humanity and Hemet Valley Art Association are among the groups that benefitted.

The city established a Special Funding Program in 2012 to determine how the city will contribute to community and special events, such as festivals and fundraisers.

Applications will be reviewed by a City Council ad hoc committee, which will make recommendations to the full council by the end of June.

For fiscal 2014-15, priority will be given to events in the city’s Weston, Gibbel or Mary Henley parks.

Applications for small events ($100 to $999) or large events ($1,000 or more) are available on the city website,

An application is not a commitment for funding, according to a city news release.

For more information, call 951-765-2326.

Contact Craig Shultz at 951-368-9086 or

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Washable Game Boards

About three years ago, my child insisted that I teach him how to play chess.   A month after I taught him was the last time I won a game of chess against him.

In order provide him with more challenging opponents, I invited friends to meet at the park.    Unfortunately, none of my friends nor myself wanted to bring our chess/checker boards because we feared damage or lost pieces.

I found that washable chess/checker boards cost about $10 at  To keep cost out of the equation, I set out to make boards with only FREE items so each player would be equipped to make his own game board.  My design criteria was that the game could be played at the park, beach or pool without concern for water damage or missing pieces.

The solution came when I learned how to fuse plastic.    There are zillions of tutorials that demonstrate how to iron plastic together so I am going to skip the tutorial and just show the results.

Since February 2012, I have made several boards.   The result is that my son plays chess and checkers nearly every week.   We lost count how many times we have taught someone how to play chess or checkers.   The boards and pieces have been subjected to dirt, water, juice and many a nefarious crumb from cookies and chips.   In every case, I either wiped the pieces clean or put them in a laundry bag.  The pieces survive the washing machine just fine.    Hazzah!   Hazzah!   Hazzah!  My mission was accomplished.   The following are a pics of happy gamers:

4th of July picnic in HemetChess at the park

Not-Back-to-School Party at the Splash Pad in Lake SkinnerChess at the Splash Pad.

On a very hot day at Lake Skinner, the boys played chess until dry.  Then returned to the Splash Pad to cool off again.

As of March 2014, my son and I have volunteered to teach chess at a local after-school program.    Shortly after that we were invited to teach at other after-school programs in our valley.

I am will need a lot more bottle caps.  The first goal is to gather 32o caps.   At the time of this post I have only enough for three chess boards which is only 96 caps.     I made cardboard pieces for the other boards so I could use them until I have enough caps.  They are poor substitute, but will do until more bottle caps are procured.   The photo below shows the variety of caps I have used.  These from juice and milk bottles.

For additional resources for playing chess, visit:

I did not stop at chess/checker boards.   I also make backgammon and other classic games.   If you would like to see our valley filled with more game players, please save your bottle caps for me.   I need plastic bottle caps that are an inch or greater in diameter.   We can meet at the Valle Vista library.

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“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci [1452-1519]
Italian draftsman, Painter, Sculptor, Architect and
Engineer whose genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.

Posted in Fabric (and Plastic Cloth) | Leave a comment

Permaculture Design Course — enroll opens March 29

2014 Online Permaculture Design Course by Geoff Lawton is here.

For an introduction to the course and to sign up, visit

The following is a written course description:

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Propagating Native Plants (Claremont) — March 29

The Propagating California Native Plants workshop is hosted by The Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens at 1500 N. College Ave, Claremont, CA 91711.

The following is from

Propagating California Native Plants:

How to sow seed, take cuttings and prepare divisions of some of California’s most popular native plants

Saturday, March 29, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Learn the basics of California native plant propagation with hands-on instruction from production manager Antonio Sanchez and plant propagator Valentin Arvizu. Participants will learn the primary propagation methods; cuttings, division, and sowing seeds. All will receive great take home materials, including plant materials that participants themselves have begun to propagate! Limit 20.

Member Price: $36; Public: $45

Click Here to Register:

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Basic Building (Hesperia) — March 22-23 & 29-30

Cal-Earth is offering weekend workshops where you can learn their basic building method through their great hands-on program in a weekend.

Classes held:  March 22-23, March 29-30, and April 26-27.   More weekend workshops coming in May and June, dates TBD.

For more information, visit

Posted in Events, Groups & Places, Shelter | Leave a comment

Cagliero Ranch Nursery

Time to spring forward and shop locally for your gardening needs!   For a friendly and local mom and pop shop, I recommend Cagliero Ranch Nursery.    They are located at 2700 West Devonshire Avenue, Hemet, CA 92545 which is on the northwest corner of Kirby and Devonshire.    Their hours are Monday to Sunday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.   For questions call 951-766-7755 or send message via

The following is from

Cagliero Ranch Nursery of Hemet, CA is a full service nursery in an old ranch setting. We have been serving the San Jacinto area with quality products and reliable service since 2003. We ensure you the superior service that you deserve – 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Garden Accessories – Hemet, CA – Cagliero Ranch Nursery

Our products include:

  • Plants and flowers
  • Garden accessories
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Lawn and patio furniture
  • Fountains
  • Statues
  • Gifts and more

We also offer delivery and planting services.

Contact Cagliero Ranch Nursery today at 951-766-7755.

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Western Landscape Contest — entry due by June 1

Applications for this event are accepted beginning on April 1st through June 1st of 2014.

For photographs of past winners and contest rules, visit:

Posted in Contests, Gardening | Leave a comment