Posts Tagged ‘Report from the Front’

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.


full court press

Good grief, Gentle Reader.   Once again I appear to have murmured something to myself on the order of, well jeesh.  I think I can do this after all. And, of course, I AM doing it but at times I have to wonder if I’ve gotten irrevocably lost in the forest or not and just what, exactly, is it I’m supposed to be doing there.  Not to mention why are there all these deep holes appearing to contain stakes and live tigers?

There’s been another death, more changes in our ever delicately balanced situation, and The Partner is still very sick.  For starters.

We’ll start with the health situation.  Medical care is pretty much a joke for a great many people.  While modern medicine has done great things, one thing it hasn’t seemed to worry about is practitioner diagnostic ability.  And of course, if you don’t have much money you’ve got a whole ‘nother set of problems, access just being the first one.  So we’re all sick as dogs up here, and the one person who DOES go to the doctor is the one who dies, having been misdiagnosed and given the wrong medication.  Admittedly there might not have been a right med., but simple observation and experience would have dictated a different treatment protocol, to me at least.  The rest of us know there isn’t much that can be done for US, since we’ve got a virus and the ERs up here are saying, on television even, not to come in if your fever isn’t over 103 degrees.  Hilariously? This particular bug gives you constant temperature SPIKES but leaves your base temp at below normal.  Ah, well.  So much for a ten hour trip to the emergency room.  Where they’d probably give antibiotics for a virus.

Still.  I firmly believe that healing can happen in any circumstance- if you can step away from the fear that comes up in illness.  Those horrible long nights where someone’s throwing up or writhing around, and thinking WTF.  Is this the end?  Somehow something has to be drawn up from a very deep place, some place where you remember that you aren’t ever really alone, all things are possible, and you are in a story you don’t know the outcome of.  It is about surrender without giving up.  It can also be about finally coming to understand that the world, or your brain, isn’t really trying to kill you.  You don’t have to be afraid- you just have to experience it.  Somehow getting to that point allows something to shift more often than not, and then all those little things like water and soup and hand holding can do their work.  So much is about mind-set.

One does have to deal with pathogens, of course, and that becomes ever more dicey a proposition.  In the past few years I have seen more often than not that drugs don’t work.  Aside from the misdiagnosis/lack of care issue, the germs themselves have mutated into something that feels like an alien robot in your body, and they like the weeds now resist the things that are meant to kill them.  However, it really is possible to get to at least a standoff with germs using phytomedicines and energetic treatments.  Then, from that standoff position, you can continue the quest to find a good doctor while continuing supportive treatments.  Sometimes, though, you just can’t find a good doctor.  Then what?

Keeping your mind open is always a challenge, and especially so with illness and chronic problems.  Chronic problems often have autoimmune components, as well as deeper psychological and spiritual roots.  These are the things that regular doctors aren’t always so great at working with- but they are also the things that you can deal with yourself once you accept the fact that a) you actually CAN and MUST, because b) you are part of creation and have work to do.  This is the discussion I often have with myself, anyway.  Hey you! I’ll say.  Get out of that funk and take care of yourself.

In that vein, then, some pretty amazing things have happened, which give me overall hope.   Our bodies really are energetic systems in which everything is moving and communicating with everything else.  This is key to health, in my opinion the bottom line.  The fact is, of course, that we have no control over anything except possibly our own thinking (if we work at it).  Whether we get well or not is in some ways a piece of the big mystery but that doesn’t mean that we mustn’t try to align ourselves with the highest good as we go along, because that is ultimately what helps us get well.

We’ll see how this latest project is going, next time……


Come on now/say you will…..Oh.  Ahem. Firstly: thank you, Gentle Reader, for being there, for reading, for writing.

I’ve been in a period lately where old songs constantly spring into my head with new words related to the moment’s current situation.  Like, “Forced to be Nice” (from the hoary chestnut “Born to be Wild”) the other day when the Partner just would NOT accept a compliment about a diplomatic parking job he did in our local Parking Lot from Hell.  Or, today’s tune, above (which I believe is originally “Say You Will”).

It might have been because I was awake ALL EFFING NIGHT and had just barely found  sleep at about 5 am.  In any event, when I was jolted from my tenuous slumber by a pounding bass line, I was disoriented to say the least.  That sort of sound still gets equated in my mind with cars driving down city streets with handguns pointed out of them with arcs of fire you could see at night; vestiges of Richmond perhaps.  And really, you don’t expect that sort of thing in the literal middle of nowhere- even if you should, as it turns out. In any event, it was 7:30 in the morning, my eyes were stuck shut, and the noise was intense.  Weird, really.  I realized that my prayer for whoever was making that infernal racket to just be lifted off the face of the earth was probably not going to be granted.  By this time the Partner was up and…..well, long story deviation.  With my eyes still largely stuck shut I put on a t-shirt with a picture of a bear on it and tottered over to the source of said noise which turned out to be, charmingly, our landlord.  Who proceeded to have, in essence, a hissy fit, right off the top.  Maybe it was the bear.  But.  It really doesn’t get too much better than that, does it?    Huffily claiming he had work to do I found myself facing our landlord’s retreating back, at which point I assured him I had no wish to interfere in his life other than to insist that he keep his taste in music to himself to a larger extent than heretofore.   I probably shouldn’t say this but I have never been a Def Leppard fan.   Anyway there we are, all before 8 am! Good fun.  I resolutely pushed aside the thought that he’d probably go turn the water off all day now, just because.  All the while, of course, being pretty clueless about just what might have propelled this whole scenario in the first place, and hoping that we’d all feel better…..soon.

Still, however, the lingering gas cloud of WTF!  I felt so despondent about it all, given that if we can’t even keep it together in terms of common courtesy, how the devil are we going to work out all the rest of this mess we find ourselves in now?  Realizing how non-productive that line of thought was, I turned my attention from my coffee tankard to The Rabbit.  This is the little guy who’s been living in the back garden this year, and he’s started playing with the Partner.  They were involved in a bit of hide and seek by this time, The Rabbit being somewhat hampered by his still growing frame, which seems to leap inadvertently from time to time on its own, surprising him greatly.   It didn’t produce any great insight into the issues at hand, except further evidence that this is one really cute bunny.

It seems, though, that we all want to do what we want to do when we want to do it, period.  Consequences or other people’s feelings don’t seem to factor in terribly often.  I’m beginning to think that a good part of this stems from current political and social disarray, certainly in the U.S., which is creating a miasmic atmosphere.  People know, somehow, that things aren’t going well at all, even if they won’t admit that to themselves- I mean, hey! We’re back in Iraq- maybe this time people will stop pronouncing it eye-rack, at least.  Things have really changed- or maybe they actually haven’t but the veneer has worn completely off- and the propaganda and messages stay the same. ( Cognitive dissonance with a bullet.)  The advertising industry, for example, seems to be giving the insurance industry a run for its money in terms of currently sucking ALL the air out of the room, buy this buy that.  I often wonder just where they think all this purchasing power is coming from, given the reality of what wages and jobs are like.  You’d think, watching TV here, that the absolutely most important thing EVER was funeral insurance.  Followed by insurance for your phone.  Followed by health insurance of dizzying variety and monotonously regular non-service. In short, you should expect to be very ill and spend a lot of money on that, then have an expensive funeral.  But you’ll have unlimited talk and data, depending on if you live where there’s service or not. And in the meantime, most of the people around you will be furiously avoiding feeling what they’re feeling.  Then picking fights with each other when they back into themselves while stepping all over you.

It’s puzzling because things seem so intractable and the smallest things can turn into Armageddons before you even blink.  We know, of course, that they aren’t really either of those things, simply by virtue of having been alive for more than twenty minutes and thus seeing that everything moves, all the time.  Things are in the order they’re in, and there is much to be grateful for.  Color, magic, figs, purple potatoes and pico de gallo.  At the moment, though, I feel as though I am constantly addressing brick walls.    I’m really trying not to be one myself.



chihuahuas. again.

Or, focus on dependent arising phemonena.  Life is taking yet another turn- one which we’re experiencing on two out of four wheels, dangerously close to the edge of the cliff. This appears to be the only way we make these turns.

It’s all well and good and one thing to read about how to cope with things, practice shifting focus and all that, when you’re not out in the field so to speak.   But when you ARE out in the field and just like that, Massive and Monstrous Stuff Arises That Must Be Dealt With, and it’s stuff that you think you simply cannot do?  What’s next?  Lots of breathing.   I realized this week that really is almost the most important thing, besides being necessary.  The body is an energy system, breathing in and out, and energy coming up the back and down the front.  Ascending and descending.  The pathways through the body of all this are designated with particular organ pairs, in much of traditional Asian medicine.  Each pair of organs so designated also has one that ascends and one that descends.

The particular pair I’m thinking of are Stomach and Spleen.  Spleen is kind of like the pilot light for your body.  Stomach is how things get processed, digested, analyzed, used and discarded.  Spleen ascends, stomach descends.  So when, for example, that panicky feeling starts? Or suddenly something large appears in your throat?  It can mean that the energies are reversed- the spleen heads down and the stomach heads up.  In physical terms, this can produce diarrhea and nausea, respectively. Undesirable, to say the least.  These two energies manifest quite often in stress related issues, and I only recently just found during an especially intense few days that, through breathing, I could actually stop the progress in the wrong direction and get it going the right way again.  This works all the time if one does it, and has a corollary above and beyond avoidance of “ill-ness.”

The corollary is that once you get the energy in your body going the right way again, you’re breathing properly, and whatever it is that’s hit you like a bullet?  It seems clearer.  You can actually take another step and another and another.  Then comes the part where you gotta have faith, faith that if you can just get out of your own way, the larger way opens up- in fact it’s waiting for you, always.  You have to have faith that the pain you feel will pass and new things will be revealed and most often, whaddaya know, things are better when the dust settles.   It requires trust, and that is a hard thing I think because….who can you trust? What can you trust?  What the heck is trust anyway?

For me it boils down to this.  Trust, faith, all those things, come up in a person once the focus on me-me-me and the ego’s reality are moved to their proper position at the end of the line.  There is a bigger picture, we’re all part of it, and on some level that bigger picture has a mind of its own, a trajectory that, if you move with it, can carry you way farther than clinging to your “thinking” and habitual patterns.  Even when a person thinks they’ve got things understood to a certain extent, and may think they know how they’re going to respond to things, there’s always another lesson that exposes just that particular part of the equation that hasn’t been mastered.  At this point I’m tackling what seems like a PhD thesis I forgot I had to write.  Maybe the particulars don’t matter, but what does matter is how this particular wildfire in my own life causes growth even while it destroys things.  More later with helpful tips and tool suggestions.

We’re not there yet, are we?

Oh, Gentle Reader.  My nerves and temper are both frayed, and I would like to suggest the following.  The Narcissist’s Convention, otherwise known as the Congress of the United States, needs to stop.  Now.  As in, right now.  No reconvening as currently constituted, either. Really.  People on food stamps in this country should “work harder” so they won’t need the pittance the Tea Party seems to think you can eat on?  After you, Congressman, give up your free meals- not to mention start doing the work you’re being paid to do and not doing.  Those lobbyists throw cash around, undoubtedly.  But what induced the memory lapse that makes Representatives think they actually work for those lobbyists instead of the citizens of this country?  Mr. Cruz, who is an insult to a perfectly good Spanish surname, needs to go to some sort of Ultimate Reptile Brain Rehab.  Neither he nor any of the other  Republican cohort have a frigging clue what “the American people want”, no matter how often they mouth the words.  I’m sure about this, too, because why?  I am one of those people. However embarrassing that may be, which it is.   What I know is I don’t want THEM running anything that has anything to do with anything.  They are incapable.  Poor Boehner, too.  His shoulders are inching up to his ears- definitely not a good thing.  Of course, Congress still gets paid no matter whether the Government is funded or not, right?  AFTER ALL, THEY’RE ESSENTIAL.   But everyone else?  Damn all.

Not to mention that we have, probably, about five years before the climate change that even the UN is absolutely sure was caused by humans becomes an irreversible disaster of pretty unimaginable proportions.  Ocean front property, anyone?  But since the world seems to be run on the basis of keeping everything safe for Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Chem (hello, Monsanto! goodbye, bees!) and however many rich people are dancing on the pinhead where they live,  on days like today I find despair hard to keep at bay.

Yet and still.  One must carry on.  The bluebirds came back yesterday and seemed to be happy with the new fence and porch arrangement: more places for them to land.  The lizards are liking it too.  They seem to have arranged a game where one will rush up on the ground below the porch and another will rush to the edge and become airborne for a few seconds, landing past the waiting groundling.  I think they keep track of the landing spots.

It all feels so overwhelming at times, one feels so powerless against all this…evil, let’s call it shall we?  It seems as though the legacy group will not be happy until every beautiful thing on earth is destroyed.  I just wonder where they think they’ll go after that.  I mean, really? No land? No water? No air?  Radioactive oceans? No fish or animals or trees or…..but wait! WE’LL HAVE FOSSIL FUEL.  And GPS!  And smart phones! Woo hoo.

My friend, who firmly believes in the long predicted millenial shift, feels that all this is simply the energetics of things separating and moving toward change and dynamism.  The eternal standoff between good and evil, minus the labels of good and evil.  Sometimes I can take that view and keep going, knowing that if I do the best I can it will be enough.  Other times, no dice.  It really is at the point where it hurts so much I can’t even cry any more.  But I do know I don’t want these people whose only value or concern is money destroying this world, this earth that I love so much.  And I don’t know what to do about it anymore.  Not about that, and also, not about my very own little life.  It is to be hoped that tomorrow is a day with more serotonin in it.  Now, in search of chocolate.  Any port in a storm, after all.

Like cooking an egg

In terms of available time, that is.  Places to go and things to do, etc.  But as usual, on this last day of the year, it seems like it’s just started.  But that’s NEXT year that’s just starting.   Easily confused, apparently.

Such a plethora of gloom and doom we’ve been subjected to in poor 2011.  And of course there’s more drama brewing in the corridors of power and yet at the same time…….In fact, according to the Mayan calendar, this coming year which includes spectacular Venusian events is the end of a long cycle.  So we should be happy and celebrate completion.

For my part, the past year has rivalled almost anything in my previous life in terms of just get down, knock down drag out, dead bang, eye watering horror, how much longer can I stand this, AM I GOING TO DIE? sort of stuff.  Naturally one has also learned alot, and since I made the policy decision to not ask whether I really needed to know any of it (obviously I do, so get on with it), it’s easier.  The interesting thing is, of course, that one learns through experience, in much wisdom is grief etcetera.  As Nietsczshe said, what doesn’t kill one makes one stronger.  Also, what makes you stronger also makes you more open to it all, so having learnt many things means all the feelers are turned on even more than before, it’s just a bit different.   There may have been some very useful things but at the moment I’m just kind of dazed by the new sensation of being immersed in life and also flying high above it.   Watching all those fun mistakes I make!

HOWEVER.  I can report one thing I’ve absolutely learned this year.  Those frozen blue ice block thingys?  ABSOLUTE PARTY AND FIRST AID ESSENTIALS.  Pick up a broiling hot pot lid with your bare hand?  Stick that ice block on it until you don’t feel any pain.  Get soundly bitten by a prima donna parrot? Blue puppy to the rescue.  The next day it is as though no insult occurred.  It is, for me anyway, truly wonderful to know that there is, after all, a way to avoid constant scarring by life’s daily activities.  So, blue ice blocks, you are my heroe-ines for the past year, and have really kept the Quasimodo Factor, at least, to a dull roar.  Happy New Year Gentle Reader!

Real Life Ridiculous, #1

Nobody could make this stuff up, Gentle Reader.  NOBODY.  And I would tell you all about it except that my brain feels as though it was dropped on a hard, flat expanse from a great height.  So we will just mention two recent events, to be expounded upon later.

1) Our second annual Christmas Fair Motel Egg Laying took place and was quite a success despite some death defying moments involving a forgotten water bowl.

2) This morning there was an air evac helicopter, along with two fire trucks, an ambulance and a pickup truck, in our “neighborhood”.  The helicopter flew around for about ten minutes, waiting for the fire truck to come creeping around the hill at 15 mph to show it where the action was. ( That was very, very special) The drama! The excitement!  A culmination of a long, stressful story with at this point, unknown denouement.  But it has everything:  Greed, illicit love, crossed loyalties, danger and an international cast. in the rugged wilds of…….

In short, the fun continues.



Yoipes, Yorick is all I can say right now.  But we are watching that really terrific..we might say vintage? -movie, LOCAL HERO.  It’s wonderful.  Also? The wind is blowing the daylights out of our new greenhouse.  The ever escalating level of difficulty.


I’ve woken up a few mornings lately with Joni Mitchell’s song “If” running through my head.  Feeling somewhat flattened by just about everything it was nice to have that note of Positive appear.

Sometimes I think I should switch to writing fiction.  That way I could just use everything that happens around here with some name changes, because frankly? On every level things are just terribly surreal.  Also, of course, I’m confusing myself with too many facts. and both supply interesting commentary about the condition we find ourselves in.  For example, I didn’t know that Clarence Thomas was formerly an attorney for none other than MONSANTO.  Talk about evil empires.  Or that the food production in this country is controlled by four corporate entities,  managed by four corporate boards with about 200 people overall making the decisions for the whole shebang .  (Which includes farming (” “), let’s say agribusiness instead, operations that are found to be holding their labor force in conditions of slavery.  Ever wonder about where your tomatoes come from?  Or if they’re even really tomatoes?)  Or that 20% or so of the children in this country live in poverty.  Or that, by our calculations, close to 40% of the population here is out of commission, being either in prison or unemployed.  Meanwhile people are having the usual personal upheavals, eye wateringly horrid reversals and just downright weird shite rain down like monsoons.

So, as I pondered my own most recent personal philosophical quandary, I realized that the personal is, indeed, political, and of course vice versa.  I always believed that opposing viewpoints could come together and reach accord, but now I realize that belief is fading from my view.  While you do have to be the change you want to see in the world, at times others in your life don’t want to see that same change.  Then you have to decide how to proceed, what to do.  It gets complicated when the people on the other side, shall we say, are close to you, and you find they hold views perilously and diametrically opposed to yours.  At one point last week I actually figured out logically that non-violence really is the only way- sadly, I didn’t write that brilliant realization down, and now I can’t remember a thing.  So for now, the two opposing things in my chest are a deep sense of the connection everything on this earth has to every other thing, and the awareness that I am finally unwilling to live in fear any more and pretend I don’t see what I see.  It is to be hoped that these two things will intertwine and show me some light on the way.  Because something has to be done to shift the direction this country, and the world, is headed in and time seems so short.  It seems so overwhelming for anyone to hope to accomplish anything that serves the larger good in any meaningful way.  However, everything starts with a single step, right?  The Dalai Lama once said, when asked what people could do to make things better: Smile.  We’ll begin there.

198 Degrees

You know you’re screwed, Gentle Reader, when the NOAA weather site has an orange picture for the day’s weather, and simply says HOT.  None of those fluffy clouds against a blue background pictures that give you hope (however ill founded) that you might make it through the day without boiling over.

So, yes, summer’s here.  The insulation and shade cloth structures that The Partner set up are working but.  But.  With no shade, their effectiveness is greatly lessened.  So once again, happy yurt people: If you’re building where it gets hot? Station your yurt under shade.  Insulate.  Get the dome opener- I was really surprised to see that this is listed as optional.  It is really a must.

Meanwhile, the lizards are getting fat.  There was a sensational blue belly out last night, and we gave him rousing encouragement to keep eating ants.  A few days ago, while I was in the laundromat being treated to an hour of the Star Spangled Banner being whistled, along with the assertive attempt (repelled, in my case- you have to draw the line at times) at distribution of Important Baptist Tracts, the Partner had his own, somewhat biblical episode.  Ants, marching about two inches abreast, heading right toward the front door in a moving line with no end in immediate sight.  No fooling, no messing around, those guys meant business.   Think of the coordination involved.  Really, it is impressive, even if not anything you want to see heading toward you.  Fortunately, last year we did, as you may recall, buy a lifetime supply of diatomacious earth, which came to the rescue once more.  The exchange the Partner and I had when I returned from my own set of the labors of Hercules was typical:

Partner: Wow. It’s been fun around here since you left! (heavy inflection of sarcasm)

Me: Oh? Did it rain?

Partner: (Looking at me squintily as though I’d lost what few wits I had left-) NO.  NO IT DIDN’T RAIN ARE YOU NUTS? IT’S 90 DEGREES AROUND HERE.  NO.  BUT I ALMOST GOT EATEN BY ANTS.

Me:  How dreadful! It rained in town- really, it did.  It did too!!! Just in time to get the laundry wet while I put it in the car!  But it was hot enough in the car to dry everything out by the time I got here!  DID YOU REALLY ALMOST GET EATEN BY ANTS???

Partner: YES.  IT WAS AWFUL.

He then proceeded to tell me the story of how he foiled this dastardly expedition of, probably, millions of ants each one of whom are about half an inch long- and these are the stinky ones too which is totally awesome on top of everything else.  I was, as  usual, very impressed- he is, of course, much more logical than I’ll EVER, EVER be, so he tracked the source of the outpouring and diatomacious earthed it.  Ants deterred without too much loss on their part.  I made him eat the chocolate bar I’d been going to save as a surprise for later, just because.  Winning a battle in the Ant Wars is Big.  Combining that with yesterday’s triumph of taking garbage to the dump and none of it leaking at all not even a little bit? Priceless. It doesn’t exactly fill me with giddy optimism but for today it will have to do.