Sunday, June 9, 2019

What Can You Depend Upon?

My digital indoor/outdoor thermometer says it is 41 F outside predawn. The low overnight was 36 F.  An old fashioned thermometer in the greenhouse says it is 33 F. It is June 9th.  It is very difficult to depend on the survival of my food source for the summer.  I began the challenge of gardening at 8250 feet altitude because I did not like iceberg lettuce and that was all the local store carried. I persist in gardening because of e coli and other persistent problems in food sources.

In the United States you could once count on safe food. I grew up certain about water sources and safe food. If you went to Mexico or Cozumel you should not drink the water but here regardless of where you were in the country you could drink the water. Then there is Flint, Michigan. And soon a lot of other places because Trump repealed the clean water act. And clean air.

In the mountain west we only had to worry about where the US stored its nuclear waste. Too much of it is in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. And then suddenly it was the mines which were not cleaned up because the EPA was not enforcing that. Suddenly in the spring streams are acid orange or vivid yellow. But we had our mountain land and our wells and except for wild fires we felt safe from disasters.  And then they are fracking which ruins the aquifers here. And they never even question that said fracking would also upset the entombments of nuclear waste.

Then the GOP has decided to not fund firefighters trained specifically to battle increasingly hot and violent fires like those in California where they fear the next season will burn what was not burned the last time. We got rain and snow. But around us where such moisture was less things are burning.  Meanwhile on the coast the water is rising, the land sinking. And those with coastal land are looking to move. Some are already moving here to a land with delicate aquifer and ecology.

When no more land is for sale or livable will I have to fight people off with guns to save our ecology.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

I Only Want to Know

How can the god of the New Testament of the Bible allow mass shootings of innocent people in a municipal building in Virginia or a high school in Florida or a concert in Las Vegas? The list of his errors in judgment is long.

Remember the Oh, God movies where the little girl asks if he was so smart why did he make the seed of the avocado so large? Or Judas's closing number in Jesus Christ Superstar, "Why did you choose such a backward age or such a strange place?"

Oddly I get the floods, and the swarms of tornadoes. And accidents happen. All are subject to the natural order. But why lying pastors just after your money? Why Christians Sessions or Pence or Graham or Trump? Why does evil triumph over good again and again and again? I just want to know.

Frankly, in this day an age I see more evidence of a Zoroastrian God.  Maybe that is why those true believers fight so hard to not die and go to their reward. Or punishment. Like why if Trump is innocent does he fight so hard to obstruct the truth which he calls lies.

So is evil in the world today the will of their god. Or is Trump the anti-Christ?

I only want to know.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Another Birthday Soon

Growing up in Albuquerque I came to expect roses for my birthday as Mother's rose garden was usually in full bloom. I loved a yellow one in particular. This year in the high country I will be lucky if it doesn't snow.

Still the lettuce in my green house is good. The hollyhocks bit the dust and the poppies are not coming back up. The winter was just too cold and wet. But the sunflower seeds are planted and if BoBear does not get through my security measures and dig up the flower beds there will be something blooming this summer - later this summer.

There always seems to be changes around my birthday. This year it is an empty rental unit. But the tenant is leaving me a queen sized bed, a white leather couch, and a small kitchen table. The beginnings of a guest house for visiting friends, or if the world continues along the same bath, fleeing friends. With Dog Gone Park providing income I think I can do without the rent. I have before. And if art sales pick up I can do improvements to turn it into an occasional rental.

Going to offer it to artist friends for workshops and lessons at a very reasonable rate. And maybe even use the backyard for boarding small dogs. I hope my plans and dreams come together. Or the perfect renter. 

There seems to be so much turmoil in my life and the world these days so firm plans seem rather impossible. Trying to go with the flow and stay open to possibility.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Life in the Dark Times

There was a television show of the same era as the original Twilight Zone I used to watch. The basic theme was an event in each episode which changed drastically the direction of the characters and the plot. I became obsessed with defining those events in my past.

I had some big ones. There was my mother's breast cancer, the art teacher coming after me with mat knife and then inviting me into he storage room for me to apologize, and being struck by a skier while teaching.

But not all turning points in our life are so clearly defined. Sometimes we continue on our planned route without realizing we must have taken a turn because this is not where we thought we would be. As my sister would say in our off road adventures, "Not lost but just unsure of how to get back to where we started." To which I would ask, "Is that what we want to do? Go back?" It rarely was. We sort of enjoyed going beyond the limits of the GPS. Note: in the mountain west that is easier to do than New York City.

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy says, "Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore."

I can relate to that feeling as regards the dark times since Trump was elected. There was that initial dread and then denial, the universal survival skill, set in. Surely things won't change that much. Finally realizing we are not in the United States anymore. At least not the US I know. But that is there and this is here. But a relatively routine exercise brought there here. My tenant is buying a house. The apartment is available to rent. And my anxiety level is sky high.

I don't want to rent it. What if one of them wants to rent it? That was new. I have worried about drugs in the past. You can lose your house if they are selling. I thought a law enforcement officer was safe once but he got involved in illegally selling, wait for it, firewood which he was taking without permits from a national forest. Then there was madam librarian who liked little boys. But somehow it just seemed that one of the MAGA bunch would be so much worse.

And then there is the just over drought. I have a well, and climate change has made me very protective of its water. A family of five MAGA's would be so bad. But it is a source of money I am turning down though I am not sure with the new tax bill it is as beneficial to my budget as previously.

So I am not renting. I am currently trying to find a politically correct excuse for not. I think I will stay with, "It doesn't pay for itself." On the same as "We are not lost." Right?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Definitely Dark Times

During the days of the Black Death women survived to a greater percentage then men. Theories abound as to why. I hod with the men never do as they are told theory. They just didn't drink the herbal tea their witch wives told them they should.

The end result was more surviving wives ended up in control of property the Catholic church wanted. And so was born the Spanish Inquisition, which in truth was everywhere in Europe and not just Spain.

The church in all its evil maleness came up with a plan to get the property and put women firmly back where they belonged: under the control of their male masters. They promptly declared all surviving females of the black death as witches and offered to remove the satanic demon from their bodies with a bit of torture they would have to pay for. Well, the old priests quite enjoyed the torture part so they made it worse and worse and worse to the point a women could be found innocent of witchcraft and possession only by dying when burned at the stake.

The church even managed to get all the friends of the woman accused to buy the firewood. The hotter the fire the less pain. In fact the witch could die of lack of oxygen before the fire reached her knees if the fire was hot enough. Other witches yet accused came to the burning with several pieces of wood to throw on the pyre knowing the lazy celibate priests would skimp on the fuel because it was the torture they loved the most.

It was, after all, not about relieving the women of a demon. It was about killing the woman and seizing whatever property she had left after paying for her torture.

And thus we come to the current time with a twist. This time the old white men are making the women keep the demon child inside here even if it kills her. And her husband or father takes her property. They wouldn't want her charged with murder of an embryo. They are still, like the dark days before doing this for her own good. They are saving her soul. Besides death row appeals just take too long to acquire her worldly goods even if she can afford a white male priest . . . er, lawyer.

And in case she thinks of quick deeding her house and four other kids to her husband and fleeing Alabama to obtain a legal abortion, they have made that subject to life imprisonment. Even miscarriages are illegal if the courts can prove it was intentional.

And all this because she prefers her cat to another baby. But keep in mind it is not about saving the woman's soul. It is about keeping her barefoot and pregnant as they say in the south. And if she is beaten regularly (torture) unable to flee.

It is all about subjugation and control.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

So Much to Do

And I am so depressed. I had such plans for spring and summer. I hit the ground running till the 18" of snow on May 9th. For the next few days it seemed to be one road block after another. Gutters were suppose to go up today. Handyman broke his truck. And to further impact my schedule I volunteered to have the June 10th garden club meeting at my garden. Too bad they may need to go into the house too.

I should relax and just take it all one chore at a time but I get overwhelmed at the enormity of the task before me and sit like a rabbit in Watership Down totally tharned out in the middle of highway. In part I just feel so far behind. Enter the Garden Journal I keep. I thumbed back to last year and I am really about two weeks ahead as far as edibles in the hoop house.

But I made no notes regarding poppies or hollyhocks. None of the former and only a couple of the latter have poked their leaves above the soil. And this coming weekend was when I went to the nursery in La Cuerva and got more plants.

Reading further back to 2017 there were three hard freezes in June!!! That didn't help the depression.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

My day to whine

A foot of snow when three inches was forecast. No power. No internet. No cell phone service. Grateful I still have my land line. But I can reach nobody who has a cell phone, even those out of the area, because I deleted the long distance option with Century Link because of the expense. This is like being on Lake Powell in a house boat totally cut off from the world but today it is the snow and not the high canyon walls limiting my access to the world.

Because of the heavy spring snow on the hoop house I am having to go out every hour or so and shake or brush it off the covering plastic to avoid total collapse. Note: if it weren’t for the solid ends it would have collapsed already. We are looking at three more days of this.

Currently I have a fire going and am thankful I took the extra effort yesterday to bring in an ample supply of firewood. But I am wet and tired and frustrated. At least, before the power went out at 4:35 a.m, I had my coffee made, and had cooked and eaten breakfast.

Finally connected with Kit Carson Outages on the land line. They are aware of the outage of power AND internet AND cell towers. Not sure I am happy about that. Means there has been a cascade failure instead of just one GFI or line down. Did get a tech who still had his sense of humor. Not sure I do. They have been working since 11:00 last night so I want what they have been drinking.

Warmed up a cup of coffee on top of the wood stove where I have my hat and winter glove arranged so they might dry before I have to put them on again. Thankfully I did not put the high snow boots away so at least my feet are dry and warm as I wade out again to shake the snow off the hoop house.

The ever great emergency planner was unable to find any of the emergency lights. Teach me to reorganize and declutter my environment. I knew exactly where they all were before. The good news is the sun, or what passes for the sun in a snow storm, is up and ambient light, inside and outside, is passable.  If I fall in the mounds of snow around the hoop house my body won’t be found until June? Maybe May if the weather forecast is right about rain this afternoon.

Every once in a while I get the Pollyanna spirit and stop the shoveling and record the branch breaking beauty around me. Took a photo of the now infamous chairs, stars of every snow storm, with their 15" covering of snow. If the power and internet ever comes back on I can post those. I toy with changing into dry clothes but why. The new ones will just get as wet.

8:15 am the temp us up to 30 and the snow is just flurries. Heated another cup of coffee on wood stove and toasted some whey bread. Eating it with avocado. Seeing why farmers have two breakfasts. Lots of energy expended since first breakfast at 4 a.m. Toward the south the clouds seem to be clearing.

I saw the sun briefly. And I heard my neighbor out with his tractor with the snow blower attachment. If the internet and power would come back on I would be a happy camper. So want a nice long hot bath.

8:50 power back on. No internet yet. No cell phone. Bath in my immediate future and dry clothes.

10:15 a.m. washed, warmed, and in dry clothes. Cell phones (some) are back up but internet still down.

12:05 p.m power back down and still no internet.

3:20 internet back up but no power.

Wish it would all come together There is a spot of blue sky but I think there is 6 more inches tonight forecast.