miscellany

It’s hard out here, Gentle Reader.  We’re now in daily triple digit temperatures which, as usual, steps up the fray rate on nerves.  So, instead of analyzing today’s latest Hole, a series of thoughts on other, Earlier Holes.  If we may call them that.

1) Shinseki resigns from the U.S.  Veteran’s Administration.  Well, gee whiz.  If we’re going to start making people resign because they haven’t done their jobs, I say: Start with Congress.  All of them.

2) Boko Haram HARAM.  Double negatives work in Arabic, don’t they?  Forbid the forbidden.

3) I support basic education for everybody everywhere.  Then we might not have situations like this one:

My landlady:  I’ve decided not to put any money into fixing the electrical wiring here.

Me:  OH? Bland smile grimace.  (The electric issue is, well, major for us.  We’re doing fabulously on our carbon footprint- because we’re essentially living in the 1850’s sans oil lamps.)

She:  Yes.  Because I’m going to go solar.

Me:  Uh.  Great!  But you still need wiring, don’t you?……

She:  Lalalalalalalalala, I didn’t heaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrr yooooooouuuuuu.

4) The wildflowers this year were fantastic, huge swaths of Shooting Stars, Fairy Lanterns, Larkspur, St. John’s Wort, Mariposa Lillies, Yerba Santa.  The beauty and elegance of nature is always a balm that pretty much makes up everything, not to mention that we’ve collected medicine for next winter.  The next big push in that area will be early fall, when roots like Valerian and Fo Ti will get dug up and tinctured.   I hope, anyway.  By that time the only thing I want to dig up is my pajamas, quite often.

5)  There’s a quite lovely (Congregational) church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Redding.  Normally I don’t much care for him, but this is a wonderful spot.  Cement arches, painted a light green, cover the building which is composed of rough cement and big local rocks.  The rocks are amazing:  Every color you can think of, burnished deep siennas and cobalts and turquoises and golds and terra cottas, emitting a real calm.  The arches somehow suggest water.  There’s also a huge gardenia in their garden, which blew me away since I didn’t think they did well in such blasted heat.  Inside there are many messages and schedules for work on social justice issues, which I was glad to see.  Quite different from the (Baptist) church I voted in Tuesday, where the reminders to keep your blinkers on and Praise God were omnipresent.  At least there was chocolate for after you voted.

6) Oh, yes.  It seems that like Chile, we here in the U.S. and Canada are soon going to have Chinese Chicken!  They’ll grow the birds here, send the carcasses to China for processing,  then back here with no indication of where they’ve been.  The chicken will be cooked and packaged, and you’ll get it in restaurants and frozen sections in grocery stores.  This is rationalized because it is cheaper to do it this way.  Yes, it is, right?  Keeping the world safe for petroleum once again.  The really neat thing about it is that this is already happening, apparently, with turkey used for dog treats.  Many dogs have died in the U.S. as a result of eating these things.  What can go wrong here, right?  There was a really delightful discussion on NPR about how you shouldn’t wash chicken before cooking it so as not to get germs everywhere, and NOT TO EVEN TOUCH the packaging if it’s wet- wrap that sucker in Hazmat and take it home, placing with tongs in a hot cooking vessel.   This really, really made me want to rush out and stock up on chicken.  It’s practically radioactive.

6.5) Many U.S. cities have passed laws making it illegal to feed the homeless on the street.  I really think perhaps things have deteriorated, socially and politically, to a place of no return.  Which may be OK since the way we’ve been doing things does not, to my mind, work all that well.  Yes, mentally ill and homeless people may not be what you want in front of your fancy store, and nobody enjoys combative interactions.  But, food for thought here.  We all want to be treated like human beings, acknowledged.  If that truly happens, the ugly stuff tends to dissipate.  Pretty simple, really.

7)  Still working on implementing the policy decision that I am good enough as I am.  Some days it is quite uphill.

8) Still, also, madly in love with jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk.

9)  Life is good in all of its permutations.  You just can’t take things too seriously- that distracts a person from the work that needs to be- must be- done: be kind to each other and go from there.

10)  Thank you!

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