Archive for the ‘Perhaps Losing My Mind’ Category

the dog with no sense of time

Whenever I ‘m in the kitchen,  I can usually time pretty precisely just when I’ll hear the patter of ever bigger paws, rising from whatever reclining position He and They may have been in, trotting around to INSPECT.  Looking, licking his lips, and pretty much saying, I don’t care what it is, I want some and when will it be ready?  Not yet, is my general response. Unless it’s coffee or something and then he gets told it’s Not For Dogs.  He’s getting better, in that he usually only comes back once more to assess just HOW MUCH LONGER????!!?? and I remind myself, every time, that this Dog does not know how to cook and thus has no idea about anything other than that stuff he likes comes from this area and he….must…..patrol…..not…..miss…..anyofit… he’s engaged and curious. Yes.  Good things!

I also try to cultivate in myself his for the most part consistent joy in things that are pretty much always the same and he greets with OH BOY! MY FAVORITE! YIPPEE!…notwithstanding the times he has to be Very Parliamentary and look just a tiny bit like a dog George Clooney, with his paws crossed in front of him.  Ball, stummy rub, cooking shows where they’re making hummus (a favorite), the morning routine, the afternoon routine, the evening routine, checking out the kitchen, switching seats on the couch, the morning kiss, hippopotami, the paw hold when he gets hiccups….everything, in short.  Except baths which he has recently developed an aversion to- he either retreats to his bed, snoring ostentatiously, or most recently, tries to fake us into letting him outside right before he’s to be put into the soapy drink.  He loves baths, actually, and closes his eyes in bliss as the Partner soaps him up, rinses him,  helps him out of the tub and whatnot.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking, which may or may not be a good thing.  The being in the now is the joy thing with him.  It’s all good to him, for the most part.  He doesn’t have a lot of preconceived notions or opinions although he does have some ever lessening remaining trauma from his challenging early weeks.  Really, he doesn’t have fear or trepidation either.  He just assumes, correctly as it happens, that everyone is going to like him.  So far, he’s been right except for two times which is an average one might profitably take to Vegas.  Clearly, there’s something to the way in which he assesses things.

The thinking struggle I’ve been engaged in, however, ranges farther afield from NOW and covers the knottier topic of knowing who to listen to.  The Dog ignores us at times but for the most part, KNOWS he benefits from listening to us.  Would that I had that kind of clarity myself, let’s just say.  I try to take his happy appraisal as a model and implement it in my own day.  It was going really well for a while. But as usual my ongoing issue of listening to the wrong station at the wrong time reared its head.  I realized that I had almost lost faith in myself.  I put too much emphasis on what I was hearing, in essence, without keeping the housekeeping detail in action.

I think about faith a lot.  I am not religious but I do have faith.  This faith tells me that love is the truth, do unto others as you would have them do unto you is the rule.  Hard as hell, but true and rule, nonetheless. While most of the things our cultures deems “wrong” appear on reflection to be nothing more than exertion of social control and an extension of the separation between us and everything else that seems to have happened about 5000 years ago, the things that really ARE wrong get no attention and it is quite common to hear people, in a variety of settings, say that there is no right and wrong.  But, there is.  It is wrong to hurt people or condone it when others do it. (Even though we hurt people all the time just by being alive; we step on bugs unwittingly, our housing tracts kill animals, everything our society is based on just about causes some harm. So already we’ve got cognitive dissonance up the wazoo.) It is wrong to damage the earth. It is, in fact, wrong to think that you are better than anyone else- or than any animal, plant, rock, or body of water, on some level, as well.  In a way the discourse about there being no right or wrong has morphed into an acceptance of awful behavior as long as you agree with it yourself. It’s almost a bit doctrinal, when you listen to religious people talk about the world now- and with SEVEN “god channels” on the tv here, it’s unavoidable. The religious texts, it seems, tell you so.  Yes, there ARE a million ways to stack dishes after you wash them, a million ways to clip your fingernails, all those things we so often let drive us bananas- tuneless humming, et al.  None of those things are wrong although they are often cast as so.  But I happen to think it is wrong to discriminate against people or situations or things simply because you want it all to be more like YOU. It’s wrong to make others suffer because you refuse to do the proper thing in a situation.  It is wrong to accept shoddy thinking and behavior as accepted and installed wisdom just because it benefits you, or so you think.  Given that we are all one, we have some responsibility to each other not to be total idiots. Even though, of course, THAT HAPPENS.

Is it about considering the source? I wonder.  Real Source is, after all, ineffable.  We get glimmers and hints and outright blatant messages but it is still all so much bigger than we are, as we get carried along with the cosmic parade.  Current source, not so much.  In fact one of the main things to be said about it now is that it constantly contradicts itself.  (Which may be better than say in the mid-20th century when essentially untruth was the message for the most part)  Researching a simple thing like is dog saliva a good thing for dog owies gives you a zillion answers that all refute each other. Information pretty much equals propaganda unless you’re the type to spend a lot of time in the real or metaphorical library.  Perhaps it is more about the fact that since we don’t know, it really is better to greet each moment with the joy it deserves rather than trying to figure out how to get it to do or be something other than what it is.  Which we don’t know anyway.  The information we REALLY need is, for the most part, available to us, right there in front of us.  It’s a question of who we listen to- who tells us what we’re seeing.  And that person we listen to should really be US- as long as we are willing to put in the work every day, pay attention, learn how to truly think for ourselves, greet the day with joy, and hope for the best.  Then it kind of doesn’t matter, or at least not as much, who’s talking because you can listen, think, trust YOUR source, and make better decisions.

So far, having crawled out of the Hole of Seemingly Complete Across the Board Powerlessness of last month, I’m equilibrating myself one day at a time. Traversing the hills and valleys of taxes, delicate but crucial negotiations, County Inspectors, health insurance weirdness,  memories and current time attitudinal snafus, I’m Remembering that I CAN trust myself, so I’ve cooked, the usual fallback after breakdown.  Butternut squash/olive/white bean pizza (initially looked at askance, liked very much later), homemade green Thai curry (did not send myself the memo about the part where I decided I’d make all this stuff from scratch so there was a good half hour snipe hunt in the refrigerator for the non-existent jarred stuff)  soup with more of That Squash, homemade garam masala dusted over roast chicken for the luxury portion of the trip, and variations on our new old favorite, tetrazinni.   Not to mention the Achiote-on-the-brain extravaganza, more of which to come later. Since so much, including whether or not we have basic services or any income whatsoever, seems beyond my ability to effect OR affect, I’m finding that preparation of every successful dinner has a very salutary impact on my quivering brain.  Marx said that people do things like crafts and knitting and complex cooking I suppose as an antidote to alienation.  I think he was right about that.  As for what comes next? I’m trying to cultivate the Dog’s approach and see the good in it.  While reserving my right to bark and give a good nip if the good turns out not to be there.  And I think, Gentle Reader, you know what I mean.

Blessings and thanks!


quo vadis, with recipe

It’s not getting much better yet, Gentle Reader.  The nausea and pain are prevalent every waking minute. ( Even The Dog barfed and forgot his house training for a minute- it worries him when I cry.)  The good news, besides the fact that People magazine finally picked the right guy as sexiest man on earth (THE ROCK!!!!! YESSSSS!!!) is that our local PBS station has a World channel, which now is exclusively showing First Nations Experience programming.  So it’s all natives, all the time. WONDERFUL.  We switch between that and their cooking show channel:  New Scan Cooking, a favorite, is always calming.  And hilarious as we watch the Chef lug around the exact same cast iron wood stove we have (a Jotul) to do outdoor smoking and whatnot.  In Scandinavian calm and ice.

I’ve been cooking to get my mind off how gobsmacked I am by having to behave as though people who voted for Trump are not bigots, racists, sexists and climate change deniers.  I find my face shaping itself into The Scream every time the tv accidentally rests on the news and I see that Bannon and Sessions are lined up for positions of power, but this is actually totally in line with everything that was said during the campaign. Let’s just say this about voting.   Aside from the fact that the popular vote means nothing in this country, apparently.  If a person voted for Trump, and wants to say they do not support any of the often expressed aforementioned attitudes and beliefs,  it seems to me that either such a person was not paying much attention to what was going on, or, they made a choice for conscious ignorance.   I’m not at all sure that even his supporters will be thrilled with what’s coming down the pike. It makes going outside now pretty scary, although I have to say I have found some comfort in the numbers of people (women, for the most part) I hear in the grocery store saying they are crushed and  can’t even watch the “news” any more.  The mayor and police chief of neighboring Chico felt it necessary to go on  local tv programming and say, strongly and unequivocally, that they would not be rounding anyone up for any reason, like, say, deportation.  There are a lot of kids there going to college who are now at risk, just for starters. ( And doesn’t it seem smart to deport people who are educating themselves at their own expense?)

SO.  Despair doesn’t get us much forwarder, I know.  There are a million shades of green outside right now, and a lot of golden dead leaves flying through the air with the bluebirds.  The cows eat peaceably in their pastures, the deer come out in the evenings, and the turkey are wisely sticking to heavy cover as they always do during this time of year.   In the meantime I have finally perfected cooking fritter/burger/pancake things made out of vegetables.  Here is something that actually turned out very well:

Black bean “burgers”: I cook my own beans but you can, of course, use canned.  The eggs are pretty essential but if you’re really into Vegan cooking you probably know a suitable substitute.  Depending on quantity, obviously the ratios will change but it’s pretty simple…..

2 cups of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned.  1 medium sized yam or sweet potato, grated.  Two cloves garlic, minced, and about a half cup of chopped cilantro.  You could use parsley if you don’t care for cilantro.  You also want 1/8 cup of spice mixture, equal parts cumin, coriander, and black pepper.  Plus a small chopped jalapeno (or other pepper if you don’t want ANY heat).  Mix all these things together, and add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs- I have found that using Panko makes a world of difference as in you can actually flip the things as though you know what you’re doing, mush free.  Mix in the crumbs, then stir in 3 beaten eggs.  Salt to taste.  Use a 1/4 cup measure and place in a heated frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a bit of butter. (Or whatever you prefer.)  Flatten the mixture a bit, fry til browned on both sides, and serve.   We like them with rajas and crema.  Mayo works great too, or yogurt with lime juice.  The usual suspects, in short.  I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving because cranberries! so there is, yes, always something positive if you only look.

I guess I’m hoping that focusing on the good, the simple, the basic, and on kindness will get me through this extended spate of difficult mental states. I’m handing out my You Matter cards like crazy.  Thank you, as always.


Odds Increase on Discomfort

Firstly, I would like to say to any of those SINGLE WOMEN who thought Romney WON THE FIRST DEBATE and that they heard him say he’d improve things for them:  Seriously, girls.  Wake UP.  This man does not have your best interests at heart, bodily, personally, globally or otherwise.  Nobody else does either, for that matter, but at least they aren’t actually lying about it, then turning around and saying what they’d REALLY do.  Any country where women do not have control over their reproductive lives is not one where any progress is made- and real studies have shown that, not just the ones the corporate group churns out to discredit anyone who remarks on the perfidy of their behavior.  (Think: Climate change not real at all! – funded by Exxon.  Organic food no better for you than GMO or regular petroleum distillate fed!: Funded by Cargill. )  I continue to be shocked by the fact that people in this country, the U.S.A., are apparently completely willing to suspend any critical thinking (Oh.  I forgot.  That’s against the law in Texas now, at least in schools.  Even though I heard an interview with a gentleman in, I think, Ghana, who felt that critical thinking was hugely important and is having it taught in a University he started.) and just go along with whatever thing is said that dovetails with them not having to make any changes in their lives, or think, seemingly at all.   I don’t mind saying this makes me deeply sad.  The divisions that are being created by all this oppositional thinking are deep and painful.  And unnecessary.  And also? scary as all get out.

Anyway, life continues apace everywhere, doesn’t it?  It’s interesting times we’re in, where everything seems to be changing before our eyes and beneath our feet.   It really is pointless to indulge in fear because really?  There’s nothing to be done except your best, every day.  Even when that best seems to have no foothold or purchase, anywhere.  Nonetheless.  We’re trying.  The best, last night, included a quite passable pasta sauce that had  Italian sausage in it, onions, tomato preparations and what not, and caramelized brussels sprouts.   I may not be completely brain dead after all.  Only time will tell.


Sometimes I Wonder

I’m finding at present that there are a couple of things that make me feel as though I’m getting ready to slap the daylights out of whoever is saying them.  First, anything about 2012.  Second: Be in the Now.  Of course I know that we must be in the now, it’s the only place you CAN be, really.  But.  It’s becoming a glib phrase and as such risks losing whatever meaning it might once have had.

I confess I am totally tired of hearing people yap about 2012 as though they Know All About It.  What ever happened to just shutting the heck up and seeing what happens?  You know- being in the now.  It is as though people are telling you to do something they will not do themselves.  What a novelty, right?

One of the remaining horses here reached over the fence to me last week and very gently licked the tears from my cheeks after Harley got buried. (This being MY now, it should come as no surprise that I am allergic to horses and one side of my face swelled up swiftly.)  The heartbreak at the heart of things, as a poet once wrote.  I continue to puzzle over the fact that animals can communicate with us clearly, honestly, and directly, and do so.  Humans, on the other hand, seem to go out of their way to misdirect.  I have thought of that profound moment with the horse, and all the rest of it, through the absolute plethora of awful things that have happened just since last week.  My cup runneth over, Gentle Reader.  And although I have other (important! thought provoking!)  things to write about, what I’m thinking now is this: Come on over here  and sit by me, and be in MY now, friend, and then tell me what you think.  Because when you can’t go back and the future is totally uncertain and the present contains more upset and problems than you can really cope with, even with a full box of Alka Seltzer to balance it all out, there really isn’t anything for it.  Except continuing to breathe.


Well, a lot has happened as per usual.  From the surreal view of a stranded boat on the freeway (?) to the outstanding Quail family we saw early this morning (big, glossy, beautiful male and female, and eight little marshmallows scurrying behind them, all in beautiful deep blue and taupe and  head feathers) it’s enough to make you think.

I was sad to see that Amy Winehouse left this plane of existence.  I knew of another similar person who overdosed, purposely, that same day.  We had just watched Clint Eastwood’s “Bird” and it really made both of us think.  Sometimes those debilities are required in order for someone to be what they truly are.  A big gift and a big price to pay.

Unlike what we see before us in the so-called House of “Representatives”.  Lawmakers?  Don’t make me laugh.  It hurts too much.  And, Uh? They don’t represent ME.  I didn’t sign up to have government and cooperation, common humanity and culture,  dismantled so that the rich can keep their money.  If those same rich people are creating jobs? I ask you- WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY?  I did not vote for a bunch of lackluster brains to stick to a position they’re holding out of fear and inability to look at truth.  Forget thinking, also.  NEWSWEEK had a picture of Boehner in it this week I could barely look at: the smugness, the immaturity.  This man is reveling in his power, ready to yank everyone in the world over the precipice for his…ideals?  This same guy and his cohorts are the ones who pretty much spent and “legislated” us into this hole we’re in.  Now they’re pretending they haven’t got the backhoe out.  I find it mind bogglingly difficult to comprehend that these…individuals…really don’t have any foresight.  None at all.  What the bleeding blue blazes do they think is going to happen NOW?  It seems to coalesce into something that is so unpleasant to contemplate it seems unbelievable.  But a moment’s thought shows that it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.  Every effort is being made to destroy organized labor, social services, health care, education, infrastructure, MAIL FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, and any freedom of choice as to personal conduct of one’s life.  This leaves something that makes Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE look like utopia.   The economic situation? Will be impossible.  The rich will still have their money, bless them.  But the rest of us, and our government, will be paying so much more than we’re already paying that it will in large part be simply undoable.  Then what?  These morons, excuse me, seem to think that a large group of people can function and, of course, a select few some of them, run the world, RIGHT? WE GOTTA HAVE THAT OIL, without any cohesive governance.  Talk about the great leap backwards.  But they’ve got an apparent number of people so brainwashed that they’re afraid of their own shadows and yes, their own ability to THINK.  We’re revisiting the 60’s and 70’s, Gentle Readers, when it was time to pick up the gun.  Even though we know that is the wrong thing to do, and that non violence, even though it takes a long time, is what works.  Still, when you think about the fact that our entire, crumbling and defective system, was coerced into shape by just these very capitalistic forces over the past 160 years or so, and consider that they are going to force power to be pried out of their cold, dead hands, it’s hard to know what to do.  I’m doing a lot of praying.


Enough is Enough

Today’s perusal of the news finally pushed me completely over the edge.  And, toward the dictionary where I looked up the word TREASON.  An interesting word indeed.  The definition begins with:

“Treason:  The betrayal of any trust of confidence; breach of faith.  The offense of attepting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state in which the offender owes allegiance…..”

INTERESTINGLY and perhaps as usual?  The United States has its’ own definition of treason, which is:

“defined by the Constitution (Art. III, sec. 3) to consist ‘only in levying war against them or in adhering to their enemies, giving aid and comfort to them….”

So, OK.  Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, John Boehner and all your teabag cohorts: I’m looking at you.  With my mouth open in stupefaction.   Even, I believe, under the quite narrow confines of what treason is in these here United States, I think you and your cohort are, and have continuously been,  committing treasonous acts.  You are levying war against the citizens of your own country.  You are aiding the enemies of the world by fomenting environmental destruction, ignorance through poor education, and poverty.  You want to remove all environmental protection.  You want any nutjob who decides to (and they can anyway, just illegally) buy as many weapons of any sort as they wish.  And, if a Montana “lawmaker” gets his way, that person can then drive around with them, drunk.  Your rigid little agenda that stems completely from fear although you blow it up to egoic proportions (a la Leonardo da Vinci’s conception of a large bellows to be used to fill up a room when there was someone in it you wanted to go away) (sweet!) which you no doubt think are heroic- that little agenda wants no ability for any woman to control her own body and reproductive life.  You want to abolish what little culture this country still has- who needs actual information and art?   You’ll cut funding for education while granting monies to corporate interests to build more and more prisons.  The rich? That one one thousandth of one percent who control forty percent of the money in this country?  They don’t have to pay anytthing close to their fair share.  After all, they’re creating jobs, aren’t they?  We’re just not sure where because they certainly are not in the United States, which, last time I looked, was your country of residence.  And, in an ultimate gesture of perfidy, you’re willing to make the lives of the families of the troops who are out risking their lives and minds (which? when they come back? YOU are not willing to pay for proper rehabilitation of the minds and bodies shattered in your greedy game)  in a benighted, godforsaken, and largely wrongheaded campaign even more difficult by withholding services and pay while the government shuts down.  While the Government of the United States shuts down because you want your fear, paranoia, greed and let’s just say it: STUPIDITY to run the world and win the day.  While the rivers are full of poison and the ocean contains plutonium and floating oil waste- from all those “safe”, if undisclosed,  things you allow the corporate world to do to make money.  Oh, and the last little thing:  The House of Representatives voted on a bill that would allow them to pass laws without any involvement whatsoever of the Senate or the President.  Treason, maybe?  Overthrow of the government, which was established with precisely this tripartite mechanism to avoid precisely what we seem to be heading toward at breakneck speed?  Hubris.

I was going to quote a part of the great column Will Durst wrote, PITCHFORKS AND RAINBOWS.   He wrote amusingly of this trainwreck but today? I just don’t think it’s funny.  Not one bit.  It is a great piece however, and worth looking up.

Then, I was thinking of what a friend said to me.  She said she was impressed that I had made a conscious choice when we made this move.  It didn’t feel much like it at the time, having been expelled from our living space so that someone who already had a lot of money could have more through tax breaks.  But on some level, it was.  We both, the Partner and I, decided that it was critical for us to walk the talk.  Live simply so that others can simply live.  We are now largely off the grid, don’t have  electronics aside from this laptop from which we run the Empire.  We’re not tossing batteries and used equipment around.  We share one fuel efficient car.  We take responsibility for our own actions and try to make the world around us a better place.  We don’t shop at Walmart, don’t produce trash that cannot either be composted or recycled.   It isn’t easy at all.  I think we must all be prepared to make sacrifices for the common good; the common good is not what these individuals, referred to as “lawmakers” have in mind.  What they have in mind is THEIR perceived good, only.  And short sighted it is, that good.

All this is really hard for me to take in, especially how furious and dismayed and powerless I feel about watching the life I used to know completely disappear.  That life involved jobs, and services that worked, some mutual societal respect and not a total dedication of this country’s efforts to the maintenance of the hegemony of the rich.   Things were far from perfect fifteen years ago, true.  But they were not at this state.  My work is about helping people, about being of service.  It makes me feel pretty uncomfortable,then, to feel so negatively about people and especially people who are supposed to be representing all of us for the greater good, but they are doing things that I consider, really, to be truly sinful.   I can only think that history will once again  show that pride does indeed come before a fall, and hubris never succeeds in the end.  In the meantime, Lenin asked “what is to be done?”.  His ideas had some merit but as usual the execution left a WHOLE lot to be desired.  I believe we all need to wake up, look at what is to be done before us, and get to it.  That means protecting the environment, educating the children, feeding the hungry, cooperating for the good of ALL.  Everywhere.   Tell these “lawmakers” who want to destroy what remains of this country that they don’t get to do that.  If they want to work for the betterment of all, fine.  If not, they have to go.    And what the heck.  Take Glen Beck with you, OK?

The Mythical State of Jefferson

I have not forgotten you, Gentle Reader, indeed quite the contrary.  My intention is to write about this entire …..experience.  A Cautionary Tale of Sorts.  However until most recently the quotidian demands have been daunting to say the least.  Take today.  I had A Plan, having gotten through three items on my to-do list yesterday and clearing one from the week prior the day before.  Oh yes.  I was going to Start Writing.  Until:

Problem A.  Among the many other joys we’ve experienced in our stay here, are absolute masses of ants.  Living on a flat treeless spot as we do, we’re basically on a vast plain if you’re viewing it from ant level.  And these are not the small, reasonably well behaved ants you find in metropolitan areas.  No, these suckers are almost 3/4 inch long, smell….and sally forth to do battle with the other Ant Clans.  I suspect warring clans because the ants are different and on the occasions they’ve been sweeping around one can clearly see different points of ingress to the field of battle.  Anyway, their favorite time til now has been around 3 a.m., when their initial sally into the yurt typically commences by their crawling across our bed.  And Thus, Us.  So we’ve been doing the ant thing for, it seems like, aeons.  It ties into the other problem which has dwarfed all others, how to keep this thing cool, but that is another part of the story.

This morning suddenly the yurt was beseiged by ants.  We figure they’re coming in to cart away all the fly carcasses (another fun thing since we live next to a horse corral) but in any event it took the usual epic struggle to wrestle this particular incursion to the ground.  After which, mopping our brows what do we find but: A frog.  In the yurt. Who promptly hopped out of sight and we hope doesn’t die alone and hidden and emit a horrible stench when we can’t find the little corpse.  Anyway that took some time and while I was, indeed, thinking of witty ways to describe The Situation, it still took time.  And then, there is

Problem B.  Keeping the Yurt Cool.  Yurts are heat sinks which no one really tells you straight out at the beginning.  They are truly wonderful but if you’re going to live someplace where it gets above 80 degrees f? Don’t do it.  So. The average temperature here has been 111 degrees farenheit for over a month.  (Which is about 42 degrees centigrade, by the by). We had been hosing the yurt down to cool it and stopped because we thought that was attracting the ants.  Discovering that to not be the case, we finally got an oscillating lawn sprinkler to use which provided substantial relief.  I recommend it, actually.  So we had two or three days without the normal feeling of  have-I-died-and-gone-to-Hell-without-knowing? , until this morning.  When, we find we don’t have enough water pressure to power the (small, mind you) oscillating lawn sprinkler.  Instead the water comes through the window and not over the roof, floods the area around the yurt and, in the bargain, doesn’t cool it off.  This has pretty much been the story, with varying Dramatis Thingumae, since Day One.

Some not inconsiderable relief has been provided by Jefferson Public Radio, which is located in the mythical state of Jefferson which is somewhere apparently not all that far from here.  I might have gone irrevocably nuts without this station, because otherwise?  Hollyville/Nashwood country music, rock stations that play the same play list overandoverandoverand…and, delightfully, Christian religious stations on one of which I heard a sprightly female voice come on after a musical interlude, saying, Now, you should picture YOUR face on Jesus’ crucified body.  (Given my current circumstances I actually don’t have too much trouble doing that but it is not what one wishes to listen to, just in general.)  Somehow it just seemed a bit much.  I hadn’t realized how much some intelligent commentary and actual MUSIC, country included, could mean.  Almost everything, turns out.

So.  As I said, I have plans to write about this because as wacky as it may seem, it is a tale with Broader Implications.  Now, on to check the water pressure.  See you shortly……..

Watch This Space

We’re still looking for a place to live.  I have volumes to write about this experience, which has surpassed the County Emergency Room in Total Yuck, Disgust, Fury, Disbelief and Misery Factor.  But the team here at Rancho Boozilla soldiers on.  Meanwhile, Gentle Reader, the Crazymometer is clicking like a geiger counter: Today’s Oprah has a segment on Beauty (a small indulgence while we work), featuring now the craze for breaking legs to increase height in China.  Whoa.  That scares me and I’m fearless.


Well, hello again.  Somehow the frazzled nerves here at House of Pain are soothed by writing, SO:  onward.

One thing I have been meaning to write about and haven’t  is: MY PROPAGATION WENT SWIMMINGLY THIS YEAR.  I was actually, for the first time, able to propagate a rose bush.  I know it is supposed to be easy, and usually my entire paw is green, but up to now, no baby roses.  This is an especially wonderful one:  Large coral and rose colored, intensely fragrant flowers.  I dry them and use in a Persian style spice powder.  The other projects, the grape, onion, ginger stalk, succulents, elderberry and scented geraniums are well established and on their way to being Big Plants.  I am thrilled.  Propagation is one of the joys of my life and given the Challenging Nature of Things at Present……

Which, ha ha, reared their ugly head while I was writing this earlier.  So.  Also, I was going to report on two things that made me laugh last week.  Thing the first:  My client in the nursing facility has a prized object, shaped like a cat.  A pillow.  One day last week, in addition to everything else, the cat went AWOL.  I tore his room up, got lots of inarticulate hand gestures in response to my queries about what might have happened, finally got my homegirl up front to let me into the laundry room.  So I could go through the dirty laundry from his wing in case the cat was there.   Which I did. And, which, yes, is another little piece of hell on earth I got to tour last week.  Nonetheless.  The two laundry people were standing there goggling at me.  I say I’m looking for a pillow, shaped like a cat.  Black, round, yellow eyes with a tail.  The man there, bless his furry and demented little heart, no doubt just wanted to help.  So he said, OH, IS THAT IT? pointing excitedly.  Hope springs eternal so I turned and looked.  And saw, yes, a pillow.

 A pillow SHAPED LIKE TWEETY BIRD. A BRIGHT YELLOW, EIGHTEEN INCH TALL, BULBOUS TWEETY BIRD.  Well, no, I said, barely holding it together.  Excellent try but I’m looking for Sylvester.  (Who, eventually, I did find.) (But not there.)

Thing the second was on dooce.  She printed an email comment from a headless, Germanic, anti-vaccination pioneer which…well.  I felt like I might have found my long lost sister.  I also wondered if all this hasn’t driven me just the teensiest bit crazy.  Just. The. Teensiest. Bit.

Meanwhile, watching a program on tv while The Partner lay in quiet misery, (since, of course, there’s no doctor we can see for him because…oh, well) we see that there is no water in Fresno, they’re mowing down almond trees before they die, and the ground is empty, unemployment there is at 40%, and the food lines are so long people can’t even get…..anything.  Which, since the San Joaquin Valley produces an awful lot of food? And it isn’t producing it now?  What do you think?

I heard a very intelligent person, who is on the grid (unlike me), has a brain and a heart, give an opinion about what she thought was happening, worst case scenario.  It really made my blood run cold because it makes a horrible kind of sense.  The fine folks who have brought us to this situation AND I’M SORRY YOU KNOW DAMNED WELL WHO YOU ARE, GRAND OLD PARTY , BIG AND MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS OF ALL STRIPES AND THOSE LUCKY FOLKS WHO ACTUALLY HAVE ALL THE MONEY, (sorry about the yelling) are just waiting for everything to collapse, undermining everything President Obama is working potentially toward.  Then they can rebuild, again, in their own image, pointing to the failure of the Democrats and of Obama.  Endless supply of immigrant labor, check.  The supermax prisons they said they didn’t build but did? Ready for occupancy.   These days are a real test of my faith, of my convictions about non-violent action.  About everything.  Thank God for gardening, is all I can say.

Mauled in Cyberspace and Elsewhere

Firstly.  To our alert apparently Moscow-adjacent reader.  No, I do not sell envelopes.  Indeed, since these dismal economic times have been upon us, I make my own, for personal use only.   If envelope has another meaning then perhaps…?  Thank you for reading, anyway.

Today started with The Partner announcing, first thing, that we are “dinosaurs”.  Neither one of us has a Blackberry.  Uh oh, I thought.  I brightened temporarily, wondering if, if I were a dinosaur, would I get to be one of the ones with the spiked tails?  Prudence prevailed and I did not actually ask that question.  So, I went back to  pondering where all this stuff comes from, these envelope sales queries, along with where the money went, and a few other things provoked by random social encounters.  Take today.   The checker at the grocery store looked at me, looked at the several things in glass jars I’d purchased, and said, well you won’t be wanting a bag will you? I sighed deeply and said, YES IWANTAFREAKINGBAG. Thankyouverymuch.  Anyway,  I’ve decided it’s all emanating from, and hidden in,  the Kuyper Belt.  Really.  The Kuyper Belt of ****, if you will.  That’s where it all is.  Circling Neptune.   Chilly willy.  I’ve heard from reliable sources there are no envelopes there, either.