Archive for the ‘House in the Country’ Category

vast expanses

I have, really, been thinking about writing almost every day for…..weeks. Words don’t seem to appear as they used to, nor subjects, in the current brain condition but as always there have been features of interest.

The wherearewegoingtolive saga seems to be moving toward a satisfactory close, after five months of living, absolute hell. Against all odds, we worked out an agreement with the people who ACTUALLY own the property, established communication with the County Tax people, and it even looks like we’ll be able to do this with our current resources. While the whole thing was one of the worst experiences ever, for both of us (and there is a fair amount of competition for that Worst Ever spot), it also showed quite clearly, if continuingly mysteriously, that there is an order in the universe and having a sense of that order and how one can move with it instead of against it is imperative. When you move WITH the energy, things happen far more productively than otherwise, which would seem to be obvious. However, as we know, NOT SO MUCH. While a lot of this situation worked itself out as though by miracle, we find ourselves these days slogging through what is left when the energy is not properly worked with, in the sense of cleaning up the gargantuan mess left by the Former Inhabitant here. Not just garbage and piles of Stuff everywhere, but jerry-rigged gates with ruined hardware, piles of golf clubs with no ends on them, miles of electric tape fencing with the accompanying metal poles stabbed into the ground, and broken glass on dead ground everywhere. (A small moment of triumph happened in the hardware store- I went in and asked the Guys if there was a tool to remove those metal posts. They nodded. Tell me, I said, that it isn’t called a shovel? at which they both started laughing so hard they couldn’t talk for a while). It does seem to be coming out of it however, this land. Having been unloved and uncared for, for at least the past 16 years, it’s as though one can see it stretch and flex when things are cleared from it and no further depredations are committed. This gives me some, perhaps unrealistic, hope for our earth- if THIS can be redeemed with proper care and attention, so can other places. I say, let us all begin this work now and in earnest. For my part, I think finding an appropriate native plant to grow in all the dead spaces in the old corrals will be a good start.

After all of this even the Dog is fatigued and happy to sleep in now. It’s like being at the end of a huge battle. You’re glad it’s over but so exhausted from the exertion and all the stress that you can’t, immediately, be as glad as you might expect. Then, of course, here? We get the additional fun of having the power get shut off by the “provider” because There Might Be A Fire And Since We Cause Most of Them We’re Turning Everything Off, so Take That… and dealing with THAT. The big windstorm that caused us to have no power for days also took out a good bit of our garden-covering structure- let’s just say there is no danger of the to-do list disappearing. But there is also no danger of the magic disappearing, either. Just yesterday I picked a handful of raspberries, and they were delicious. What’s really important, after all? We finally, the three of us, have a stable place. The Dog is taking his Management and Supervision of It All quite seriously and has now taken to watching the sunset every night while keeping tabs on the far reaches of the driveways. He went for a walk with the Partner yesterday and came back glowing and exhausted, flopping down and snoring, after having had to mark his turf in a whole new area. That was great! Almost great enough to distract one from the…shall we call it? NEWS. But even that one must view in the light of the Bigger Picture, which is one where we don’t really know how it goes. I’m sticking with the Dog for now.

Blessings and thanks, always.

bending spoons

Once, some time ago, we were vending at a fair in Humboldt County, and someone handed me a brownie. Which, not thinking about it much except for CHOCOLATE! and HUNGRY!, I ate. All of. And of course it was a “funny” brownie and I had quite an amazing and neverbefore experienced couple of hours, during which I somehow managed to make sales without talking and saw, right before me, the central axis of the world, extending up and down as far as vision could perceive, turning slowly, and all of us revolving with it. I found it comforting to finally see something I’d heard about in all my winding roads, to know, I guess, that something described as a Mystery was also a Reality. Along with, of course, millions of other things/realities/whoknowswhats.

For some reason, watching Dortmund and Barcelona spend a scoreless 90 some minutes today at the end of what has been, arguably, the Worst Summer Ever, I found myself remembering that world axis and the timeless spin of it. Which again was comforting because it IS good to know that the eternal verities are just that. Especially now since it seems as though that axis is playing a game of high speed twister with us all and Murphy’s Law is paramount

I could, of course, list ALL the things that have gone sideways, like the new cel phone that actually worked long enough to lull me into a sense of false security whereupon it decided to “become defective”, and the tomato plants that just said: ick, too hot, sorry but Dark Galaxy is not in your future this year. Then again, there have been the successes.

I’ll start with the grape sorbet because it was truly mind boggling. We have a native California grape plant and the grapes are prolific, delicious, and full of seeds and tough as boots skin. Cooking them a bit, putting them through a food mill, adding a bit of sugar and corn syrup (organic), then freezing according to some set of instructions I no longer remember produced something from right out there on the axis of the world. Well worth trying yourself if you have wine grapes, concord grapes, or native grapes.

The other success….is still in a formative, gaseous state for the most part. Readers of this blog will remember the Interesting Times we’ve had with our landlady. It has been a rather harrowing experience, let’s just say. This summer she was diagnosed with cancer, and moved on into another dimension about three months afterward. Family of course descended to see if anything was available for them…and learned, along with us, that not only was nothing available, it was a total clusterfuck. No property taxes paid, nor mortgage. Garbage stuffed in a back shed for years. And of course, hoarding. It was a hard fact to grasp, apparently, that when you don’t pay off principal you don’t have equity OR own the secured item you are paying for. They were Not Happy when the actual owners of the property said, we are going to foreclose now unless you can come up with a better idea. Naturally none of their ideas involved putting up money, and after a thrilling first conversation with said owners, who I had been assured knew all about us living on the land and turned out to have absolutely no idea, it was clear that an Idea had to be come up with, by me since nobody else was going to do it, so that We could have a more permanent dog house. We are working on that at this writing. There were also animals: horses. I got up at the crack of dawn to feed them and the other denizens, make sure they had water and deal with the flies. This last bit made me feel awful after I accidentally spilt a drop of the undiluted, produced by Bayer, fly spray on my forearm and got bleeding ulcers in a day. Anyway this went on for weeks and finally the word came down that at last they might really need to be re-homed. It took a few more weeks but I finally found a stellar place for them. They posed for pictures when the horse lady came to meet them and smiled and twinkled. Knowing they are safe and happy is, really, the other success of the summer.

So. It’s been gruesome, Gentle Reader. But as usual, the eternal verity is what gets a bear through. The Divine permeates everything, and it is more a question of what one is prepared to do with that reality than anything else. Blessings and thanks!!!!

moving right along

Spring sprang around here for sure. The only wild flower that hasn’t appeared thus far is St. John’s Wort, and I’m still holding out for it. I’ve managed to get some gargantuan tasks accomplished, things that went undone during the weeks of my…er….impairment, let’s say. The Dog seems to be turning into Einstein, what with things like not sneezing in your face any more, being able to stay out of the foxtails on walks, and general Presence. He IS quite a jumper, loving to fly, so I guess it wasn’t all that much of a surprise when he jumped right up onto the counter in the Farm Supply where we get his food, and he is a Favorite Dog. There was the usual moment of stunned silence, then everyone started laughing, including the Dog. Not quite as much as he laughed the day he rolled in hay and I had to come out, get him, and clean him off…that was a sidesplitting experience for HIM, anyway.

The thing that continues to astound me is the garden. I mean, we had three feet of snow. It froze. It flooded. And? the roses and jasmine and figs and even: PEACHES, not to mention raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are all going completely off the hook. I got the bare root trees planted and had an over 50% survival rate, which pleased me. The vegetable seeds I planted last week are already sprouting, the cucumbers and corn and beans (I think, since I did my usual draughtspersonlike diagram of where everything is…) and I found myself dancing around the smart pot they’re all in.

But really? I think what is the most astonishing part of this, and what I kind of hold in my hands like a shimmering bubble afraid it will burst, is the fact that for the first time, certainly in recent memory, and maybe ever…I feel filled with JOY. I mean, seriously Gentle Reader. Don’t ask me how but it is like the big pile of YEUGH burying me just got…taken away. The light hurts a bit and one is uncertain on the paws at times but all in all, it is a quantum difference. Yes, the Daily Situation is a nightmare and I still don’t watch “news” not wanting to break the TV or anything…but there is a hope present now, a huge kind of radiance. So. Either I’ve finally gone nuts, or progress has been made.

Partly it is probably recognition of the fact that just because there is enormous pain and suffering all around- it doesn’t help at all to be ticked off about it. It helps to do your best where you are. However insignificant it may seem, as Gandhi said. The blows that fall on us as human beings are quite often heavy and almost unbearable…but a new day does come, and the big thing may just be laying down all your thoughts about how you feel about all of it. Feel it, yes. Then change the subject.

Blessings and thanks and love!

embodying Newtonian mechanics

And that would be me doing that, Gentle Reader. Adding to my joy is WordPress’s new theoretically improved format experience. Somehow I can’t see how making you indicate you want a paragraph in a separate step each time you want one…..but. Ahem.

It’s been a long float in the Sargasso Sea, essentially. When you hear the adage about, unless you’re as motivated as a man with his hair on fire to find water, don’t start the process of whatever we might call it, but is essentially contacting the “one who knows”. It really DOES burn you entire and I suppose the only really strange thing is how long that can take. Especially when you think you’re actually doing just fine.

Of course, that doing fine is the constant running from your devils to which you have become accustomed. When that stops at long last, be prepared for some prolonged down time. So, as I continue to be a body at rest staying at rest, the following can be reported.

Spring really is beautiful. I’d never been up close enough to deciduous trees to see that it all begins with PINK. The tips of the branches have leaf rosettes that are the most amazing shade of pink, and the distance on the hills shimmers with it. With all the rain, the grasses have grown and are practically fluorescent, so the sight of pink pigs sailing through and baby goats toinking up from them is pretty spectacular. The Dog takes me (drags, actually) on lengthy expotitions to find poop spots….preferably with views. This has given me an amazing chance to see the wildflowers as they sprang up and finally! FINALLY! to identify which were shooting stars and which were saxifrage before the blossoms revealed their identities. I’m finding that this smaller world, which really is much larger than the “regular” one in truth, is just fine and I leave it less often and with more dismay. Still, one must provision one’s family and there is the monthly trip to the Dog Fan Club for dog food (last visit, the owner asked the guy waiting on us, as if he were giving an instruction, did you give him a treat? and the guy rolled his eyes and said: THREE. Charm, you know.) which is usually very enjoyable. The grocery store even becomes manageable when it is visited with less frequency. It’s all in how you look at it, of course, because in so many ways reality is fluid and in your eyes only from moment to moment. This is why, I suppose, the instruction on the search for the one who you know what’s is: keep your attention focused on the highest good, most light filled and loving paradigm you can.

Getting better at that, yes, but there ARE exceptions. Now that I have my “federally restricted” driver’s license, it’s even more fun than usual to perform routine tasks at the bank and elsewhere because people look at and say things like, are you a felon? and stuff like that. The level of distrust and paranoia among the citizenry of this country is astonishing, and fortunately I was able to laugh (a little. Cry a little too.) at my most recent interface with same. The bank I expect to be weird because banks are, at their heart, rather evil institutions- I mean, they have YOUR money, which THEY use, and you have to practically whistle a tune from an extraordinary orifice to get them to give it to you. No, the Post Office is where this week’s donnybrook was.

I have been sending my remedies out into the world for about twenty years now. One thing this means is I do know how to pack things, so they don’t break for the most part- in fact only twice in this whole time. The other day I went to mail two remedies to people and dogs, and ignored the bell that went off when I saw the words “delivery may be delayed in case of emergency”. No emergency here, thought I. WRONG. One package got diverted to the deep south when it was going to the east coast because it had been scanned…..and…..looked SUSPICIOUS. Marked fragile and all, too. When, in desperation, I went to the post office to enquire a Very Officious Post Mistress told me that most likely my MIA package had broken and contaminated other packages. After being scanned. Naturally there was a long line behind me so everybody in town heard this, more or less. I said, drawing myself up to my full tiny height, contaminated? I HARDLY THINK A BOTTLE OF HUMMINGBIRD ESSENCE IS GOING TO CONTAMINATE ANYTHING. AND IF IT BROKE IT’S CAUSE YOU GUYS BROKE IT WHEN YOU OPENED THE PACKAGE EXPECTING TO FIND AMMUNITION. Because this is an issue flower essence people contend with: the dropper bottles we use seem to remind postal scanners of bullets. And of course, only one bullet at a time gets mailed, right? Totally logical! I received a package from a fellow practitioner in Spain that took two extra weeks to arrive and was in total tatters when it did, because….it looked like…….and of course it had to be ripped open…and then…..and so on. There were intakes of breath, murmured whaaaaat’s, stunned silence from OPM, and of course me starting to laugh. A lot like the time in NAPA when I was on quest for fixative for rear view mirrors and the guy said, it’s called fixative for rear view mirrors. The Post Mistress naturally did not like my tone. Fair enough, I didn’t much care for hers either. She said, well you ADMITTED you mailed a BOTTLE. Luckily, standing by the list of proscribed mailing items, I said, gee. That’s not on here and how come nobody has ever mentioned this before? Also, although they both start with “b”, I did say bottle and not..well, you know. This is my teeny business, I said, and you are causing me distress and costing me money. Do, please, do what you can to expedite this process. I left feeling out of sorts but managed to remember that the last several months of walking through emotional/thought form ballistic gel has given me the ability to say, UH? we don’t need no stinking attitudes! so I assumed all would be well. Eventually. Saw pigs, goats, hawks and an incredible jasmine plant on the way home. All good.

And of course, whaddaya know? The package was delivered this afternoon. I am trying to hold this episode in my mind now when I feel all the ….ick….that comes from the current state of this country. If the post office can do it, it can be done. We’re not going to stay in this murk forever. The same is true for all of us in our individual experiences. It takes some doing but you can expand your horizons to include all the light you can, and cannot, see. One step at a time. Eventually I will have to start springing into action (the garden is literally tapping its foot out there, for example) but for now, basking in the light will do.

Blessings and thanks as always.

Jose Andres was here

Oh Gentle Reader.  So much has happened and of course the more things change……

We will start with Part Two…… We were not too far away from another horrible, horrible fire.  Thousands of people displaced and many killed.  An entire town (Paradise) burnt to the ground.  Of note is the fact that of the 1000 or so missing people, and the 80+ deaths, a large percentage were over 65.  Let the fact sink in that these woods are full of elders living hand to mouth with absolutely no safety net of any kind.  There are many wonderful things about this area, but it is also full to the brim of poverty and homelessness.  And people who have no other place to go than their current roof over head situation.  And of course, it’s winter, and it’s the “holidays”.  The local community got together with the wonderful and intrepid and humane chef Jose Andres, who I have always loved and firmly believe has wings stuffed into HIS shirt too, and with the Sierra Nevada brewery, and fed hundreds of evacuees Thanksgiving dinner.  First responders, still fighting the fire and away from their families, served the meal.

In striking contrast to bloviating pustule who blew through here, couldn’t remember the name of the town that burned (calling it “Pleasure, and what a name!”), and suggested that if Californians raked their forests all this could be avoided.  The news footage of bp, Governor Brown, and a Cal Fire official was unbelievable: Cal Fire guy’s eyes were literally bugged out of his head, the Governor was looking at the middle distance as if wondering how much longer he could stand there before he decked somebody….I could say more.  But I will limit myself to two things: (A) pustule and your poisonous cohort and chain illegal immigrant family? YOU’RE FIRED.  (B) Another swell move by pustule was to authorize OUR military service people, sent to the border,  to use lethal force on people attempting to cross the border and seek asylum.  The Partner believes that for the most part, our service people would refuse to do that, and that no  authority exists for this action.  I certainly hope so.  I saw a meme today that also relates to this whole nasty mess:  If you believe that a fertilized egg is a human being, and refugee kids are not?  Then you’d better stop saying you are motivated by religion.

I find this all so….staggering and dismaying…that no sense can be made of the fact that all of this continues to go on, and expand.  What is wrong with everyone that they don’t stand up and say THIS MUST STOP.  I have periodic cry breaks, let’s just say.  Then I blow my nose, or what’ s left of it, and carry on.

And now on to Part One. Carrying on was already a bit of a challenge, and then? The day Paradise burned up, my mother died.  The for far too long unrecognized bane of my existence left this plane.  On my end, it was pretty awful and the Dog got worried.  But then I saw an excerpt from a book, Inner World of Trauma, and the kaleidoscope shifted.  Everything I experienced, went through, suffered? had, over the course of my life, become an externalized Thing which kept me in fear, anguish, doubt, and a constant quest for replacement baggage when the original matched emotional set fell apart.  So, in a way, all this torment was…not real.  It was a complex constellation of things that came together in my baby brain and just stayed.  And grew.  Not anyone’s fault, no blame, just kind of a massive Oh. My. God. Suddenly and at long last? I put it all down.  It’s a bit strange having all this space in my mind now.  But I am here to tell you it can be done.  So whatever your burden is? It can be transformed and so can you.  It takes work, of course, and a willingness to feel what you’re feeling and a shift in focus from My Very Important Story to the grandeur of life and the world as it is every minute and of which you are an integral part.  Perennial wisdom, as it is called in the many forms it takes, is an invaluable help.  Buddha is not the only one to say, the fear and attachment and attitudes that you have are not really yours.  The hike to understanding just what this really means is not easy, you have to do it yourself, and the weather on the way can be horrible.  But it is probably the most important walk you’ll ever take.  The love and support of one’s friends cannot be overlooked either.

During this festive period another really fun thing happened.   A spider decided to bite me on the cheekbone…and boy howdy!!!!!!! I went from normal to sci-fi experiment gone horribly wrong in less than an hour.  Swelling, pain, acid-like suppurations from the eye, and a very special red bull’s eye all around the affected area.  I very briefly considered going to the doctor, and thought again after the last visit where I had to wait an hour for a scheduled appointment because someone else was late for theirs and filled the entire office with yelling about how they were on psychiatric medications and we’d all better look out.  I even more briefly considered going to the oxymoronically named Emergency Room, but remembering how close they came to killing me the last time I went, thought better of it.  Here is what I did, with sensible input from the Partner.  (1) Sprayed affected area with Vetericyn.  Nobody should be without this stuff, which comes in both veterinary and human packaging.  Exactly the same, but if you’re human it costs twice as much. It can be sprayed in the eyes, in open wounds, burns, kills pathogens including fungus and MRSA.  The Dog views it favorably as well.  (2) Did Jin Shin Jyutsu on self.  Nobody should be without THIS stuff either. (3) In between sprays and JSJ, I came up with a new cocktail, which I call the Linus Pauling. ( He was a famous scientist of yore, who once said that if you had a shot of vodka and vitamin C every day, you’d probably be fine.)  I knew vitamin C would help and as miserable as I was, and since I always used powdered, I thought, heck.  WHY NOT.  So.  Powered vitamin C, vodka, and orange juice.  I actually look…uh….normal…now.  So it turns out venom can be dealt with, too.

Onward, in any event.  Blessings and thanks as always!

 

forty days, thirty nine nights

And of course it FEELS like all eternity has passed, but when I heard that the Carr fire had started 39 days ago, on the 40th day, I thought, well.  JEESH.  I looked up the significance of the number 40, and found that it was, in the past, considered to be equivalent to Umpteen.  So there you are.

The wind shifted so we are once again enveloped in smoke.  Yesterday we saw blue sky, clouds, the mountains for crying out loud, and stars.  It was like a dream.  Today we are back to what has become typical:  oppressively hot, airless and turgid daily reality.  It is quite fatiguing, probably because of the low oxygen presence, but this has not kept us from the Quotidian Beast Slaying and, of course, cooking.

On the Beast Slaying? Honestly.  Part the first was getting our trash removed.  We have to take it to the dump ourselves, of course, and after a certain amount of time it’s a toss up as to whether it is nobler to go to the dump every month or just get a container once a year.  We don’t actually have that much trash, which I comfort myself with in times of demoralization.  Anyway, getting the trash picked up turned out to be like a whole season of Jerry Springer.  It strikes me as odd that the harder it is to find a job and make money? The more reluctant the people are who do have jobs to do them.  The first person I called to do this said, well, MY time is REALLY VALUABLE.  So I’d like you to come along with me to help.  And pay $30 an hour for the privilege of same.  We did not take that option.  Finally I found a delightful young man who, although apparently incapable of following directions, did finally arrive on scene and perform the requested work.  SUCCESS.  I still don’t know what part of: it’s the next driveway after the one with the address on a horse pen, is mysterious, but it doesn’t seem to be something anyone can figure out so once again we found ourselves running down the driveway with flailing arms.  Still, it got done.  Beast the second was even more formidable and took yet another week to resolve.

It turns out that having a post office box is tantamount to having DANGEROUS NE’ER DO WELL tattooed on your forehead.  A company, who shall remain nameless, who I use in connection with my website sales, decided that it had to have Proof of my Physical Address.  They froze my account pending establishing a location for me where? who knows, men in black will race up and kick the door down any time now.  Since I cannot get mail here, I do not use this address for anything, so I don’t have anything with it appearing, like utility bills (which I don’t have since we’re off the grid, another concept that is seemingly unfathomable) or, even funnier, brokerage accounts, which were what this company asked for.  We went back and forth, I sending things, them rejecting them, until finally I sent a copy of my State issued Resale License, since it does have this address.  I’d asked if this would be acceptable and what non responsive item on the drop down menu should be used to describe said page.  So you may be able to imagine my state of mind when I once again called the company, got someone in an archipelago somewhere, which someone said, Oh, No.  WE CAN’T ACCEPT THIS ONE BECAUSE IT ISN’T AN EIGHT AND A HALF BY ELEVEN PAGE.  I came completely unglued.  There was loss of temper.  There was even a  bit of what might be called yelling, and the Dog retreated to his bed as he does when kafuffle rears its ugly head.  Somehow after I once again demanded, and finally got, a “supervisor”, public records were checked and whaddaya know, they “granted my case”.  Since everyone I told this story to said, oh, that company doesn’t do that, that never happens to ME, and so on, I was reasonably proud of myself for not succumbing to total paranoia and thinking this was Personal.  No sirree bob.  Just business.  It also made me think about how the fact of it is that I tend to hide in general and be very private in areas where I feel things are nobody’s business.  Like, where I live I guess.  And  no, you don’t get my phone number if I sign your petition, either.  So things like this are to be expected, even if they are beyond the beyond over the top ridiculous. One person said to me in the course of all this that they “required these informations” because of, wait for it! The Patriot Act.  It’s the government, they said.

So there was plenty to think about as I made grape juice in the food mill, fig jam, fig pizza, many OTHER pizzas, pesto, basil puree, and the continuing zillion zucchini things, along with every imaginable kind of cucumber salad and salads made out of melon balls and wontons stuffed with herbs and vegetables.  Every year something goes bonkers in the garden, and this year in spite of the ghastly conditions we have had cucumbers coming out our ears (41 in the kitchen right this minute).  The fig tree has been prolific and the basil has been mind boggling.  The melons are coming in now too. We expect tomatoes late again since it is just now not 115 every day so maybe flowers can set and….who knows.  Anyway it really is true that once you grow your own, nothing else is as good so all of us take heart from the garden.  The other day I even saw several swiss chard seedlings around the pot where we’d had the Perennial Chard Installation for the past three years.  Happy!

So as I pondered the ever more dismal happenings in the world overall (and by the way? the LPV or loser of the popular vote will now be herein referred to as BP, or, bloviating pustule) and wondered what the world would be like without Aretha, I was able to keep in the forefront of things the fact that yes, it does get grotesque periodically.  But there is still Real Life, and the beauty and grace and grandeur of that is what one must attend to if one wishes to stay upright and civil.  Given that such attendance includes everything from cleaning the toilet to watching the Dog reduce customers in the farm store to giggling joyful individuals moving blindly forward for a kiss from his Divine Doggy Snout, there’s no need to panic unnecessarily about where to place one’s attention- unless of course you’re navigating a moving vehicle.  It’s just all present, and my concern often is that so many are not partaking of the feast right in front of them.  Listening and observing seem to be overlooked skills more often than not.  Words, for heaven’s sake, don’t mean what you think they do, and whole concepts, like saeculum, are no longer to be found.  (Saeculum is an old measurement of time referring to the time period between and event and the death of the last person who experienced it.  Food for thought there.) And. Yes indeed, it is often through one’s tears that this partaking occurs, but the disengagement from things like conversation, cooking one’s own food, paying attention to what’s in that food, paying attention to the beings around you, watching where you’re going sort of thing, seems to be increasing exponentially.  I firmly believe that if everyone smoked weed and had a dog? It’d be a lot nicer world.  The same goes for making pizza dough.  There is a LOT of bang for your buck with pizza dough after all: pizza, calzone, and focaccia, just for starters.  Also, just simply being Present makes things smoother, oddly (or not).  It’s not necessary to fill the world up with stuff, and it turns out to be a lot more fun to just pay attention and see what happens.  Even when what happens is Not What You Wanted At All, things are always moving and nothing lasts forever in one condition.  Not to mention the always available opportunity to learn from your mistakes.  Back to it, for now, with renewed praying for..er…Self Control When Things Get Dicey.

Blessings and thanks!!!!!!

don’t think it hasn’t been fun

how-it-is.jpg  This cartoon from The New Yorker pretty much says it all.  And yes, we HAVE been eating olives.

What with the over 110f temperatures every day for a long time, the state of the world and all, everyone’s been a bit Tense.  Barky, if you will.  So this past week kind of put it all over the top, completely, seeing as how we currently find ourselves a bit closer than we’d ever want to be to the south end of an 89,000 acre fire, complete with firenados and total murk as far as air goes.  The wind here is always like something out of some movie where you’d say, Oh, that’s not realistic!!! Wind doesn’t do THAT! so when there are flying sparks involved and the wind does THAT? It creates something very close indeed to apocalypse in spots.  This afternoon is the first time in days that there has been anything even hinting at blue sky and it’s mostly in my imagination, probably.  Anyway the other night we watched the City of Redding burn from our front door- the flames reflecting off the huge clouds of smoke.  The fire guys got on it quickly and the red sky dimmed in an hour or so but I very much hope not to see anything like that again.  It’s all kind of a stress blur, but yesterday it looked very likely that we would have to evacuate.  In this situation, what that actually means is you leave and know there will be nothing when you return.  So, what THAT actually means is you have to get over your sense of your entire body being ripped open, think it through and realistically assemble what can be taken- if you have, as we did, the…uhm, luxury…of time.

Seeing as how I have hundreds of books and bottles of oils and tinctures and essences and what not this was not the most fun I’ve ever had.  But, I was proud of myself because I actually was able to put things together in a pile by the door.  Leaving, of course, 99.9% in place.  A Kitchenaid mixer can be replaced.  An out of print copy of the only existing authoritative book about Yoruba herbology probably cannot, but there it is.  In the end, at least for yesterday and today, the fire line held and we are still here.  For which I am truly thankful.  While we’re not anywhere near the end of this, unless the wind does something totally infernal, even for it around here, we will probably be OK.

So once again I marvel at the workings of the universe and all its mysteries, and once again realize that you do create your reality with your thoughts.  No matter how awful the scene in front of you appears to be, it is always shaped by how you are reacting or responding to it.  I couldn’t help thinking about all the people who live with smoke and destruction all the time, like in Syria.  And what that kind of stress does to people- the grocery store yesterday was enough to make a person reach for Xanax, after a mere week of this disaster.  But also? There are the unimaginably angelic individuals, like the farrier who was helping people move their animals to safety just Because.  And of course, the firefighters.  I feel as though I have a lifetime debt to them- it’s going to be interesting to figure out how to get that in balance- aside of course from the daily work of kindness to those one encounters.  These people go directly into Hell and save places and people they don’t know, with everything on the line.  Just Because.   So in the end, and despite certain other things that transpired that sent me directly to the cocktail olives, I feel for the first time in a long time, a certain sort of hope…or maybe it isn’t hope. Maybe it is the sense of the Light that is always there, no matter how dark it appears to be.  There is a peace in that, and a peace in knowing that there always IS light, and it is us and we are it.  And, eventually the ash will stop falling, we’ll reorganize and move along.  All of us.

Blessings and thanks as always!!!!!!!