Thanks for Exploring the Wayfaring Traveler Books
Milagro, Life Anew
16 May 2022
Am emerging from the NM/TX road trip cyclone, still eyeing boxes, dear gawd, and one, of things otherwise paired.
An improbable journey of stranger-angels all along the way, and ones I knew who rallied to help in the mountains.
They arrived for Dr. Zhivago-land packing in appalling blizzard conditions,
Friendship beyond imagining.
May they dwell in paradise.
Temporarily useless, I was tottery, on oxygen. and confined to quarters.
They slogged through the mess to deliver reports.
Terrible phone service; we reverted to people, who show up.
In the Murphy's Law of Moving, bird feeders got left behind.
Now in the Lone Star State, land of my deep roots, am hugely entertained at nesting cardinals, crimson flashes around the TinyHaus.
And all good things come to those who wait.
Sho nuff, a good squirrel-proof feeder had been reduced 30% in price; I pounced.
Shipping still likely in advance of diesel shortfall.
(As "we" send US diesel to Europe to ace Putin.)
So solly, truckers, farmers, babies on formula, and grocery store managers.
Will tuck the bird feeder away till autumn.
With Schadenfreude glee, I plan to watch red-furry-tailed piglets falling ka-thunk to the ground, snickering at crazed acrobatics.
Their rapacious consumption of black oil sunflower seeds soon exceeds budget, harrumph.
Be stifled, beasties; eat acorns.
Plenty of entertainment in slower-paced country days, and nights without street lights.
We set out chairs and did a family viewing of the darkly terracotta Blood Moon last night.
Seven year old watched upside down on two chairs pushed together.
Dawg sat on my foot, and in the wild darkness, stars emerged.
We "have seen a thang." Along with millions of earthlings.
Hard not to to wonder about cave time when light at night was moon, stone-rimmed fire pit and torches... in the visceral, terrifying spectre of eclipse.
Cousins currently at work installing lattice, aka "lettuce", around the base of the Tiny dwelling.
Flower beds will soon follow.
And that's the news from the back of the beyond.
Friday 13 May 2022
Have just listened to a board-certified Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine report her experience among the vaxxed, in a Stew Peters interview. She had to close her practice after passing alarming blood clots while treating vaxxed patients.
This transmission phenom is called, "shedding" and apparently, according to Pharma docs, was designed into the jabs. As a way of imposing "herd-immunity" on those refusing the shots, aka the vaxx-hesitant
I experienced "shedding", trapped in a 1.5 hr. PO line, in a heavily inoculated community...
Came home ill.
Ate nothing for the next 10 days while passing copious tar-black diarrhea.
(The WuFlu weight loss program.)
Drank water to fend off gently dying by dehydration.
Two weeks later, not able to breathe, fainted and did a face plant into a snow drift.
MD neighbor hauled me to hospital.
Two dreadful weeks of pulmonary embolism, etc.
Family rescued me to lower elevation on physician advice; could breathe freely again.
Do I consider the op demonic, and true-believers, at risk?... Friendships have cratered over differing conclusions.
The appellation of the non-vaaxed as "pure bloods", may not be helpful, evoking Nazi Aryan pretensions.
2 May 2022
My cousins rescued me from the land of hypothermia and raging wildfires. They brought me home to Texas where I was born, to lower elevation. I can breathe.
It's ranching country. People meet your eye, and extend a firm handshake, not the least bit shy about belly laughs.
Stetsons and cowboy boots? You betcha.
Did I mention, keen perception?
We live way rural, the back of the beyond, but remain nonetheless attentive to the state of the nation, and global control freaks metastasized into leadership. Both the moronic and the pathological.
If we muddle into overwhelm, we find our way back to the quietly transformative:
We talk and plant flowers.
Not all are in agreement about the imposition of absolutes.
My Cuz tells the story of a gray eminence visiting and sitting in a congregation. A renowned biblical scholar, an elder, and quite an honor to have him present.
The Pastor asked him to come up and teach everyone the distillate of his lifetime of study. From the pulpit, the scholar looked out at everyone, and said:
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
And returned to his seat.
Small Doings in Partnership
13 April 2022
"That goofball Dawg just drank out of your coffee cup."
I had set the pottery cup down on a low stone wall while watering in flower seed, Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, and Empress of India Nasturtiums. My cousin who pays attention had just saved me from (fill in the blank) for the nth time. I would not be taking the next sip.
Dawg, meanwhile, had fortified herself with chaga coffee, dandelion root, maca, cacao and cayenne. Seemed to like it fine.
It's HOT in South Texas, relative to snow on the ground till June. My cousins, and friends who packed the U-Haul, scooped me up on a lightning trip south after my face plant and horsepital stay.
Am slowly grokking that my green thumb Hill Country aunt has talked winter garden for years, while I shoveled snow. Now I, moi, am talking autumn/winter garden with nursery folks.
Am in the midst of spading forks and watering cans, planting tropical fragrance... Tuberoses, gardenia, star jasmine! An olfactory topography which wafts me back to Panama and Key West of childhood.
Joy of joys, have settled in with kin who found a TinyHaus for me and live a partnership marriage. Am now part of the scene and we do things together, including the humongous hedge, the hedge planting, to block visuals on a neighbors' feedlot enterprise.
A huge heartfelt change after being a Lockdown Leper Colony of one, among the Triple-jabbed, in an area increasingly infested with Kalifornika refugees.
It's Holy Week.
Much to be thankful for, all appearances to the contrary.
The Lord is risen (and hope is rising.)
The Lord is risen indeed.
Far-fetched in North America?
5 April 2022
We haven't known famine in the USofA for generations.
Those who lived it, and could warn us, have died out.
A context from my teens, still concerns me.
I attended German Gymnasium in 1960.
We had a couple classes of E. German refugees who lived in a tent city outside the metro one.
It snowed and the wind blew.
Kids had chilblains and reddened hands.
My classmates looked shell-shocked from post-war hardships and the horror of parents as former Nazis.
Their lunches consisted of thin black bread slices, smeared with thick lard.
I had to ask my mother to eliminate my well-fed conspicuous consumption.
An orange excited staring and longing.
Lettuce on a sandwich?
PB&J also stirred hunger pangs among the Schmalz-eaters.
It was an ambient agony I could not fix; could only try to to be kind & unobtrusive.
My classmates also stank due to pig fat diet and utilities being barely affordable.
One bath a week and no deo...
Can't happen here, in the midst of World Economic Forum planned destruction?
With governments here and the EU, blocking farmers from planting needed crops?
Refer back to "mostly-peaceful" Molotov cocktails of recent memory.
Can grains and beans sustain a family?
Sure, but herbs, spices and creative cooking help.
Takeout and ready-meals may not see us through.
I embarked on this rumination when a smart-ass colleague announced that his Victory Garden would consist of densely-planted cannabis.
To dry his crop and barter it for freeze-dried camping meals.
Just a laugh a minute.
29 March 2022
Now strolling among bluebonnets, and not shoveling snow, my cousin and I are eying the line fence with a young neighbor. Dollar signs revolving in his head, he decided to build a cattle feedlot, up against our common fence, the one installed by my cousins, with never a by-your-leave.
Hubby cousin is lining up an earth auger for the tractor, to dig planting holes. Gal cuz has lain awake at night plotting a hedge to blot out the eyesore, feed birds, fill the land with fragrance.
Hubby eyed our Tigger-like enthusiasm dubiously, and the order of thirty substantial plants, but is a Honey-Do-Hero from way back...
Before Britain decided to follow the US monoculture model, and bulldozed their hedgerows, they were marvelous food sources and wildlife habitat.
When Germany blockaded the British Isles in WW2, and Brits no longer had access to Mediterranean citrus, they sent school kids in their cute uniforms into the hedgerows to collect wild rose hips. Still a country of cottage-remedy savvy, the hips were dried for tea, made into jam and syrups as Vit C sources.
Hedgerows also contained wild plum, crabapple and currants, hawthorn, bramble berries, medicinal plants, etc. They blocked desiccating winds and held winter snows in place to melt into the land gradually.
A realm of birds, critters, imaginative children... and elders who knew herbs and country wines...
Cuz and I are already planning to "net" some of the hedge fruit (of the yet un-planted bounty!) to save back some for jam-making. And the little girl? If lineage holds, I'll hope to teach her as our grandmother taught me.
The woodland yields pecans and wild persimmons. I was blest with a copy of Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons, while on grad student short rations. Have walked, with an eye to local and plentiful, ever since.
Not an Easy Time
26 February 2022
Help us to forgive one another... has become a refrain, dead of night and when our internal compasses seem to slip.
The rapid-fire speed of the internet helps us to blurt out harm, which might have been ruminated and let go.
I do wonder about the strange under reporting of adverse events relative to the mandates.
And how may the weird jab ingredients be affecting long term health, and even mental clarity?
Old friends are fading away as though on voyages we no longer share.
I had to call the County Sheriff's office recently about some poor boundary behavior.
Nothing like an LEO on the front stoop to focus the mind.
All the confusions, post-lockdown, I hope will pass.
God willing, before war offers full and horrid diversion
Meanwhile have had life blown to bits, and am tumbling out of the tornado, not in Munchkinland, but into a different, lower elevation US state.
My Texas grandmother, who was friend to everyone, told Mama as she headed off to college, that if she had one true friend in life, to count herself blest.
It's cold in the mountains, with fresh snow.
Tulip leaves are sprouting.
Lord have mercy on courageous truckers, farmers, and tone-deaf "rulers."
Murphy's Law of Winter
29 January 2022
Am waiting for the clown car to roar through the casita.
1:30 AM, piled with bedding, I come flailing out, to smoke alarm shrieking.
I had no fire lit; a high decibel, technical malfunction..
Since then have stomped up and down the step ladder many times.
After initial struggles to release the battery, I learned that w/o battery, it still could shriek.
I pushed buttons; I prayed.
I considered the Nuremberg category of Crimes against Humanity.
Have currently reduced this convenience item to intermittent beeps, but it may lunge into screams at any moment.
The need-to-know people have been notified.
Do electricians leap with joy at electrical messes on a snowy Saturday morning?
As a side note, which many think silly, Mercury is currently Retrograde.
Electrical- and electronics-what.
Typical: A friend's hard drive bit the dust.
My smoke alarm follies also a contender.
Have been down with their-name-is-legion crud, so my appreciation of slapstick may be at ebb tide.
Nonetheless, Goldfinches, in winter-drab mode, are at the feeders,
Got a fire started.
Am under roof.
A friend brought real chicken soup from her own flock.
Many tender mercies.
Wonder What the Poor Folks are Having Tonight?
17 January 2022
[When my grandparents died, the side of the family characterized by city life, and high achievement in military and govt... I found WW2 ration cards.
They relied on the cards and most especially Black Market.
The other side of the family was small town, also professional, but folks in that whole surround had BIG gardens, a milk cow, chickens, hogs and a smoke house.
I learned canning from the Grandmother, and gardening from the Grandfather.
Their lifestyle was still intact in my childhood until the Mother/Grandmother died young.
She was truly the gravitational center of hearth and home, and a gourmet cook in a little town.
Have lived and dined in many places, but their groaning boards were the best meals I've ever eaten in my life.
And around that table, the best storytelling!
Am watching the growing market niche of locally grown food, and "Slow Food."
Also the farmers taking on growing season apprentices.
I'd call this a Paradigm Shift from the huge-Ag-Monsanto era, though not always obvious.
Earth doings are more slo-mo than many news cycles. Am hopeful.]
Warm Hearth, Cold Showers
24 December 2021
A friend and I hatched the university era wild-assed idea to spend August in the Scottish Highlands.
I wanted to see and smell the heather, roll in it, shout to the heavens that I knew this land.
Um. August in Scotland can be cold, with cold slanting rain.
Hostel "parents" tended to be dour.
We were shooed out from under roof for the whole day into wild nowhere, seabirds keening, wind off the northern waters.
On return at suppertime, we were allowed to cook a meal and have a COLD shower.
No wasting of fripperies on pampered students.
But I was able to stand among the boulders at Culloden, where the Clans were crushed and many survivors fled to the New World... the Smokey Mountains, near my long ago farm.
Highland Games and tribal memory live on even now, on Grandfather Mountain.
In those Scottish gale force winds, we took ferry to the Isle of Skye for stunning glimpses of ancient warrior genes; heard haunting bagpipers facing out to sea, skirling on a promontory at their Highland Games.
We also split for two days at a cozy B&B, warm at last, Lord God almighty, warm at last.
Hot water bottles pre-warming the duvet-mounded bed, and a room with roses everywhere, carpet, wallpaper, bedding.
We stuffed ourselves with porridge, kippers, farm eggs, scones, clotted cream, homemade marmalade, grilled tomato and mushrooms.
The grandmotherly inn keeper (more roses!) clucked around us and beamed, as we decimated her groaning board. Bless her forever.
Was it worth cold hostels and cold showers?
Oh you betcha, but I was young and stoopid.
Have since tented way too long and pretended a tepid solar shower held steady the hope of hearth and home.
Lord have mercy on those sleeping rough this Christmas Eve, with rain morphing to deep falling snow...
In the bleak mid-winter...
Lully, lullay, thou little tiny child...
The holly and the ivy..
Ding dong merrily on high...
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green...
Once in Royal David's city...
Lo, how a rose e'er blooming...
Joy to the world, the Lord is come... Let heaven and nature sing...
Does zoom church feed the soul?
Dunno; I refuse.
As a singer who has performed in the great Oratorios, Requiems and ancient chants, with organ all but vibrating bone marrow and heart, I await the return of community, of hugs, and especially laughter.
White Christmas is coming, and a New Year.
Neighbors and I will stroll down to the roaring river on Christmas Day, mountain springs cascading, after last night's pounding rain.
With a BIG Great Pyrenees, as the bears haven't gotten the word about hibernation.
They are leaving fresh scat nudges, that in farming country, in the USofA, nature is still wild.
Flyover Country Christmas
17 December 2021
My Texas cuz, with the well-developed funny bone and sniffer for phoniness, did the family storytelling gig, to reassure me about 'murrica....
They live in farm and ranch country around a pretty little town still taking care of their old architecture, old people, and high holy places of family and generational skills.
Children are treasured.
Men are not shamed for "testosterone-poisoning."
Some walk bow-legged from a lifetime in the saddle.
Their little town Christmas Fair/Food Fair, was thronged with mask-less celebrants, jugglers and holy fools, hooting laughter, and meetings of old friends.
For the Christmas Tree Lighting, their Santa rode in on a dappled, long horn steer!
A gentle beast, he let kids climb aboard for a holiday photo.
These are kids who live around livestock, working dogs & wild critters, who muck out barns.
Not toy poodle country, and "each to his own bad taste."
It's a grand country yet, and we're lucky to live here.
Enter Tiny Tim:
God bless us, every one.
Where Once We Sang
12 December 2021
In town yesterday early, I savored a lemon-ginger mousse at the artisan chocolaterie.
Was hot to trot for the annual bonfires and carols in the pedestrian-only delights of Old Town.
Lovely sunlight on the terrace, though brisk after a sub-zero dawn.
Different ambience this year, however, hard not to note, with fear-spacing of celebrants.
One shop has a green & a red light above the door.
Green permits limited entry.
Another shopkeeper tells me she's just gotten her booster, and her arm is bothering her.
Oh? Unwitting super-spreader, aye.
Told I have to wear a mask.
You have one?
Yup... I hook the elastic over my ears, under my Dr. Zhivago hat.
Nutritionist voice, muffled by cute cotton:
"A lot we didn't know early on about the injections, taken to feel safe.
Now concerning ingredients have been identified.
Three things show promise, and might help moderate the concerning contents:
Maybe she'll remember.
Probably not, as she has no curiosity about the government's obviously benign mandates.
Her craft shop had been a joyful community gathering place, until epizoodic onset.
Perhaps again one day.
Had done my carol-singing that morning in anticipation of joining other singers,
We used to do impromptu gathering on the long upper balcony in the midst of trees' twinkly lights.
Bright sound, and below us piñon fires, luminarias, pets in silly outfits, friends embracing, laughter.
Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells,
All seem to say, throw cares away.
Christmas is here, bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold...
What Will It Take?...
Divided Berlin Postscript
8 December 2021
In divided Germany, I learned to dread the Stasi.
In reunified Deutschland, Brown-Shirt-wannabes are being unleashed to force-inject the populace.
In one state, those who refuse to be jabbed are being denied entry to grocery stores, if they lack a "passport" aka, Papiere, bitte.
Accept medical outrage or starve.
The EU bureaucrats are trying to weasel their way out of repercussions.
We don't need no stinkin' Nuremberg Trials 2.
A German husband forged a passport for his wife.
Her employer discovered it, meaning their children could be taken by the state.
Five deaths followed, the entire family
An Aussie football (soccer) coach has quit, decrying the harm of the mandates, after a crack player came down with pericarditis.
In Europe, soccer players are dropping dead of cardiac arrest on camera, during games.
Yet I know people, uncomfortably less like friends, who feel "safe" fully jabbed.
Bring on the boosters... on the word of profiteer psychopaths.
My jaunts, into the spikethingie-shedders in town, become a slip-slide into bizarroland.
The non-compliant marked as latter-day lepers, by sick governance and MSM-designation.
New Zealand, where thank goodness I did not emigrate, is being run by an apparent twisted creature.
The whacks will never end, her promise to constituents.
Little kids, now "eligible" for jabs, are dying of heart failure.
A Mom learns her kid was jabbed, w/o parental consent, after being promised pizza.
And what of long term mandate quibbles?
For those who did not immediately keel over from anaphylactic shock?
Oncologists enter, stage left.
Patients in remission, with immune systems jab-gutted, are suddenly metastasizing.
God in heaven, help us.
My USN dad had a business trip to Berlin.
My mother and I were surprisingly invited.
I leaped at the chance.
Pater was not allowed through Checkpoint Charlie.
Mama and I, however, were allowed into the splendors of E. Germany.
The platitude-addled tour guide did not interest me.
Food kiosks did.
I eyed limp carrots, scabby potatoes and runt cabbage.
Juxtaposed with glitzy store fronts of luxe goods.
We were on foot and approached a side street.
I took off, fleet of foot.
Much shouting behind me.
I came loping back after ascertaining the faux-store fronts and bombed out structures behind.
Hotdemm, 15 years old and my first Potempkin Village.
The tour guide was apoplectic and verbally abusive.
My mother, smiling as though all were well, hissed,
"Don't ever do that again. You could have been shot."
Chaga & Ginseng Wildcrafters,
2 December 2021
Sitting outside, transferring bulk cacao powder to jars (saving $7/lb.) I glanced up when the FedEx guy started down the drive.
Perched behind the wheel, of a soccer mom's van?!!
Also looked like a story, with a magnetic FedEx sign on the side.
"Cute rig," I offered as an opener.
He's driving a rental.
A part gave out on his big truck, while he was making deliveries.
"You having any supply chain issues?"
"Oh yeah, starter went, and we're having trouble finding a replacement."
(Apparently truckers are plundering old abandoned trucks, huge and small, for parts.
Which otherwise once arrived from off-shored manufacture in China.
And, let's get real, if we can't truck food to markets, cities won't eat.)
Angst also lurks in the plant kingdom.
The medicinal mushroom, Chaga, has burst on the healing, and supply & demand scene.
There's hope that it may be a component of a wellness protocol regarding Wuhan corona in its variations, and assist the injected to detox from taking the jab.
The birch tree myco-medicinal is stunningly high on the ORAC scale as an antioxidant, leaving blueberries in the dust.
Chaga is weird looking, a hard black and russet fungus.
Much of it is too high to reach from the ground.
As it costs the earth, I gathered accessible bits in my life on a Maine island.
It erupts through the papery bark of trees in our far northern arc of birch forests... from Alaska across Canada, upper NY state and Maine, Eastern Europe to Siberia.
Clif High's ever alert sleuthing, notes folk report of Chaga tea-drinker tribes in Siberia protected from gnarly disease, while neighboring non-Chaga-drinkers fell ill.
It can be enjoyed in chaga coffee (1/2 tsp to liter French Press carafe) or most conveniently in a wildcrafted Adirondacks tincture: https://birchboys.com/products/chaga-tincture
It grows remotely and also grows ever more expensive, in precarious times, with a risk of greed harvesting and no care given to years beyond this one.
There's precedent for that, a history-rhyme.
In the already poor Appalachia of America's Great Depression people held little cash money.
Corn didn't bring in much, so it was fermented in illegal stills into moonshine liquor.
The locals also knew the wild medicinal plants.
In a 1930's prequel to China's tentacles everywhere, China fastened on valuable American Ginseng, as a more yin version of the Oriental species.
Folks lost the good sense their grandparents had given them, desperate for income.
In sane times, Ginseng roots are dug in the fall after the red berries set, which are scattered to ensure future bounty.
Frantic wildcrafters began harvesting whenever they could locate a stand, at any time in the green months.
Ginseng came close to extinction, nearly all of it sailing away to China.
And it happened in living memory.
That we had any left at all, was thanks to inaccessible topography.
Starting up my Blue Ridge farm years ago, I couldn't do a thing about long lost Passenger Pigeons, or the imported blight which took our chestnut trees.
But I could plant Ginseng seed, and did, first thing, in rich loamy soil, and the north slope shade of oaks and sugar maples.
A similar over-harvest extinction could happen with valuable Chaga.
Am hopeful we will not "achieve" wipe-out, given the difficulty of harvest--climbing tall trees with an ax, bitten by mosquitoes, slogging through marsh.
We have wildcrafters of integrity, and others who storm the birch forests like a rampaging Godzilla.
A certain monster retailer, a jungle river, hosts purveyors who harvest badly and process woody Chaga at rapid grind and damaging high temperature.
For a fast buck.
Could we speak as adults for a moment?
About entering another Great, or Greater, Depression?
At a shaky time of "adverse events", among the vaccinated.
The Old Farmers Almanac predicts a cold, long and overcast winter.
(Which means less Vitamin-D production.)
Those with diminishing immune function are vulnerable to harsh experiences of winter colds & flu.
Holistic physicians offer well-documented concerns, that fewer of us may emerge.
But what if, however many of us, were to come out of this global disarray as stewards, as innovators?
With, please God, more finesse than wrecking balls and Molotov cocktails.
It's not a sure thing.
28 November 2021
An old friend, she was struggling with her covid mask while aggravated, and stopped when she heard me laugh. Without preamble, she ripped off the mask.
"I had a terrible Thanksgiving!"
She's really good at drama du jour, so I settled my grocery satchel to hear what had ticked her off..
"All my guests sat at the dinner table and argued politics and mandates, interrupting the whole time.... You know [...] ?"
"Sure, the monologue-maestro who doesn't realize one person's intensity, does not a conversation make?"
"Humph. He finally realized that I'd grown cold, and went winding down into some sort of puzzlement, not understanding there might be problem. I got up to bring in some more sweet potatoes; he came along to help, and face the music. I hissed at him: 'You piss me off, an activism hog. Just stop it. But I still love you.'
Her eyes narrowed as though scanning for a target. I laughed again:
"Yeah, aggravation and affection, there's a cognitive dissonance we can handle!"
I was off and away on 10,000 errands--get a new car battery installed before dire weather. Dropped into a thrift. Found two European Christmas ornaments for a song. Seemed a good omen: both clowns.
Stopped to chat with a scruffy fellow lugging around a fat, sort of portable propane tank, needing help on getting it filled. He's living in an RV; ran out and it's getting cold. Couldn't cook or shower or get warm. A very thin line from barely making it, to tangible fear.
People were buying Christmas wreaths and little trees. We were spared Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells. No sign of the Salvation Army yet. Wonderful work in the world, but burdened with corporate idiots this year. I've heard many folks say the SA can go pound sand with their CRT demand that we own up to racial thought crimes.
I volunteered one blustery December day years ago and spoke to the kind and otherwise people who donated. A big counter-intuitive for me: The poor with little to spare donated and taught their children to do so, in Spanish, Tewa or English. The full shopping carts with plenty liquor surged on past.
Anyhoo, Salvation Army can ring the darn bell to the Last Trumpet for all I care. I donate nothing further, till corporate poohbahs remember that we're Americans, and we're all in this together.
As I was about to head out of a parking lot, heading home, a pretty young woman stood up from a squat. I opened the window, asked how she was getting along? Handed across some food and a buck, She said Thanksgiving was hard; it was lonely and cold. How was mine?
"Well different, after all the lockdowns and fear of one another. Lonesome for sure. I did quiet stuff, stacked firewood. And one plus on being alone? No arguments!"
Living with Bears
18 Oct 2021
In this verdant valley, down the road a bit stands an orchard, where it's windfall apple time. Several of us have encountered a yearling roly-poly crossing the road. I just stopped the car and admired his passing, as he looked over his shoulder, and hustled up the mountainside. Bears roll forward, on one massive foreleg, then the other, a little like skunks.
A young woman happened to be strolling up the road, and spotted the bear. Bear stood his ground and watched what she'd do, not budging. Bears are chancy, though this one had just stuffed himself with fallen apples and might or might not be mellow.
Don't turn and run, silly. They're faster. Don't try to climb a tree, their natural habitat. She stood there, immobilized. Finally a truck approached; she squeaked out a cry for help. The driver opened the passenger door. She leaped in and hitched a 1/4 mile ride, beyond the roadblock bear!
Stars grow more brilliant, hint of piñon wood smoke, and down by the river the neighborhood tabby cats are doing clown routines, rolling in wild catnip. We watch for bears along the river banks, when the cats, who go for walks, join in.
I've been out with loppers starting on garden cleanup, cutting back lily stalks and such in the golden Indian Summer light. The lopper tool was stout enough to manage some diameter, so I cut back an aspen branch apparently which gave way under a larger bear. The monster male, I'm guessing, who also wallowed his way through a large Rugosa rose bush. This year he fancied the big rose hips. Who knew?
Wildlife have feasted on bounty this year, not lean pickings at all. So what's up with robbing my rose hip jam makings? We wonder, we do. Old Man Winter is on many minds, and it may be critters know way before we two-footeds. When I lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains, old timers would ponder heavy acorn set and squirrels packing away stashes. From time out of mind, it presaged a hard winter.
As to global warming, Antarctica has been the coldest since 1957, when recording first began in the Geophysical Year. Big increase in ice as well. Meanwhile volcanoes are popping off, and in the cycles which span centuries, not sound bites, am reminded of flamboyant sunsets and cold after Krakatoa, and the Year without Summer, when Mt.Tambora blew.
As we head into lower sunlight and overcast of winter, our traditional flu season, recall that Vitamin-D Insufficiency seems to be the keystone to immune system resiliency. This was noted early on in the pandemic. Ample plasma Vit-D levels never checked into hospital; those with meager Vit-D were unlikely to ever depart on their own two feet.
Loved Ones & Lemmings
15 Oct. 2021
In my teens we lived in divided Germany. Some of my classmates were E. German Refugees who spoke Russian amongst themselves, and at our Christmas Pageant, performed Slavic dances, the squat and kick sort.
I found them intriguing. Their families had fled, after lives under Swastika and the USSR's Hammer and Sickle. Courage in evidence, my goodness yes, but the kids gave off frissons of terror they'd known. They seemed to have adapted by becoming obedient and colorless, almost cement-gray.
In this time frame my Naval Officer dad, that's USN, took me on a jaunt, or so I'd imagined. He surprised me by arriving for the drive in full dress uniform. I'd figured on a hike, maybe lunch at an inn? Well, not exactly.
He took me to the East German border, to a scene out of a 1930's noir film. It was snowy, overcast and cold. Organizing me to stand to the side and slightly behind him, away from the machine gun goon in the watchtower, he settled in.
Pater stood at ease but very much with full attention on the soldier manning the gun, pointed in our direction. About all I could manage was my breathing... I stopped hyperventilating.
Then Popilein spoke to me, though not looking at me, and morphed the dismal setting to gold. He taught me about the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War. By hardscrabble grit and guerilla warfare, they defeated the Superpower of the era. But at monstrous hazard to themselves, their families and all they held dear.
They risked everything for freedom, as had my classmates' families.
With regret, I have been reminded of the Stasi since the onslaught of global lockdowns, fear-induction and now, mandate violations of the Nuremberg Code.
Initially I woke in the night grieving as friends and family acquiesced to those profiteering from vaccine patents, meanwhile blocking access to inexpensive meds of short effective protocol.
People I hold in high esteem, and know to be intelligent let themselves be herded by pathological liars. It's still going on.
No need to belabor the toxins in the shots; we're living them. As immune systems go auto-immune, some will enter the rite of passage of dying, by stroke, cardiac arrest, organ failure, paralysis, cancers and whatnot.
Godspeed to us all and good journey as we learn, by doing.
Pet Food, New
& Skill Sets, Old
4 October 2021
Walking down the supermarket miles of food industry inedibles, I reach a gourmet aisle.
Honest to God: For the family pussycat and Golden Doodle... Wild salmon, wild elk, and buffalo!
For years this has had unsustainable stamped all over it, and at some point, becomes too costly.
Or unobtainable: Salmon fishing has been banned on the Yukon River, including fishing and alderwood-smoking, by the salmon-reliant Native Americans.
Salmon stocks are so low, spawning is in doubt.
Thinking back, the poor and elderly got by, eating cheap dog food, in the Great Depression, but will we, if things get dicey?
Ingredients have changed, to feed lot offal with Glyphosate, hormones & antibiotics, downer cattle, euthanized pets...
All attractively presented to pet Daddies and Mommies in cute little cans, and feed sacks of dyed crunchettes and fishies.
Homeless signs include requests for pet food for the rescue guard-dog.
Some food banks cater to feeding the pet companions of those in need.
When cost of pet foods hyper-inflate, however, we enter a societal s**tstorm.
Pets have become family to the isolated.
A segment of populations may grieve death of pets more than of humans.
We're a bit turned around, texting.
And what's in store, if not in groceries?
We may not know it yet, that we are embarked on a journey away from trust in Big Brother, as ultimate truth and provider.
We may not acknowledge it yet, that our country has gone from delusional, to broke.
Many of us are about the business of rediscovering a stolid, not glamorous, but abiding resource.
Folks you can count on--Farmers, wood-cutters, handymen and women, those who work round the clock and the seasons, to keep things running.
Let's hear it for Flyover Country, for America's still beating heart, and its people.
Our Atlantic and Pacific mega-cities give one pause.
Much of the populace has grown out-of-touch, bizarre, and may not weather coming events.
Kids will hopefully land on their feet, and begin learning useful/marketable skill sets, as gender studies fail to deliver.
We can prepare simple foods again at home.
Beans and rice, mighty nice, and still affordable.
Take-out and trucker deliveries may soon be, so then.
Who knows? We gutted shop and domestic arts from woke schools.
We might yet find our way to the very old working system of Master, Journeyman, (Journey-person, if you will) and Apprentice.
We're about the business of America--to rebuild competence, health, and our country.
30 September 2021
My old-timer Hispanic neighbor is a better change of seasons, weather-master than I.
If he bothers to tell me anything, I try to pay attention.
His family has been farming and ranching in this fertile valley for hundreds of years.
And, ahem, it's still fertile; AgBiz eat your heart out.
I had just read about the Flash Flood alert and was pulling on heavy socks and garden clogs, when he knocked on the window.
"Where do you want it?"
His grandson stood behind him, a big box of seasoned kindling in his arms.
"Oooh, the sunroom?"
The boy brought in four boxes, a cold morning treasure.
Then my neighbor wanted to see the firewood that had been delivered.
He nodded, and was silent...
"He brought you a woman's cord, and he overcharged you.
Figured, a woman wouldn't know, and wouldn't want to complain."
Dad blast it; he had that nailed.
Had looked scant to me, but it's hard to get wood this year.
"Tonight we'll get snow on the peaks," he continued, "and rain here.
You better cover that pile."
I was still deflating about the wood and said, "Okay," vaguely.
Good country man that he is, he rooted on the spot and gave me the beady eye.
His wife watches me puttering in the upper flower garden from their front porch.
He has my number.
"Do it now."
"What?...Oh, you mean, before collecting nasturtium seed."
He kind of snorted.
Mama didn't raise no stupid child.
After tarping the piles, I potted up rosemary, noshed on everbearing raspberries, picked 2nd crop lavender, tidied up prunings, and realized I was not imagining berries and herbs from a fluorescent-lit cubicle.
Soon I'll be gathering high-flavor apples, in this hidden valley full of life.
Cedar Chests & Evening Fires
16 September 2021
With nights decidedly nippy, we begin thinking, warm woollies and fixings for wintertime soups.
As to cozy fires, firewood became an angst-source this summer with demand exceeding supply. I call it an unnatural event. Never underestimate bureaucratic stoopidity in the greater scheme of things.
During last year's Lockdown absolutes, the state's goobernor also blocked access to national forest woodcutting permits, creating shortfall now. Pretty good local family businesses in harvesting deadwood, reducing wildfire risk, and providing living wage and public service.
Lots of folks here heat with wood. We're watching the price per cord hyper-inflating. Some friends are settling for later delivery of green wood, which won't burn, for a little context.
Beginning to see some leaf color at higher elevations. At this elevation, hummingbirds are mobbing the nectar feeders, tanking up before their migration south. The bronze-colored Rufous hummers seem to have already headed out. Bossy critters, it's quieter among the flowers without dive-bomber Rufous-Ruffians driving away competition.
The wild sunflowers, brawny and tall with good summer rains, now tilt downward, the heads heavy with seed... and upside-down chickadees pecking out bounty! A speckled ground squirrel is trying to re-establish a winter burrow up against the house. I tap on the window and roar. Squirrel scuttles; I pile on more rock to block the new opening. Not suburban sort of pastimes, but am richly entertained.
Bears oh my are still dropping seasonal scat-alerts to fruit ripening--Apricots, cherries, chokecherries, elderberries, alpine currants, and windfall apples. The valley is hosting a Mama bear with two cubs, and a huge galumphing male. Never forgetting, when out and about, that they were here first.
At Farmers' Market, where small is outrageously beautiful, it's the golden time of year. Welcome to cornucopia--pumpkins and winter squash, heirloom varieties of spuds, cream, purple and yellow, heavy bouquets of ornamental sunflowers, charantais and watermelons, dried beans from the Spanish Land Grant era, pozole, roasting green chiles, kale, collards and chokecherry jam.
Leashed dogs of all descriptions snuffle and tangle us in their leashes--chihuahua, greyhound, mastiff, King Charles Spaniel, a Great Dane, Bernese mountain dogs, Australian blue-heelers, and Rescue mutts with big grins and lolling tongues. Little children ride on their daddy's shoulders. Next month, the vendors, families and kids will arrive in Halloween face paint and costumes...
Good harvest to us all.
Skeptics & True-Believers
21 August 2021
"Do you trust the CDC?"
"Well, I do. I trust our government to look after us."
I blinked... "God love ya."
She turned on her heel.
She's bright and funny, and we used to be friends.
Those of us who trusted in govt. experts may be feeling unease & testiness.
The shot, which is not a vaccine, which protects no one, is generating "adverse events."
Those countries with the highest vaxx rates have ER's and ICU's of fully-vaxxed & gravely ill.
Someone, but who?... has got some 'splainin' to do.
Some now call it, the "clot-shot."
We acted on good faith.
How many of us knew that BigPharma is protected from liability, in the event of Murphy's Law?
Nectar & Tropical Perfume
9 August 2021
Bright golden orioles kept coming to the hummingbird feeders.
Keen on the syrup, but stifled, their beaks not slender enough.
So, as an experiment, I snapped off one of the plastic "flowers."
Took them a day or so to get a clue, and now they've found the larger entry and are nectar-happy.
As to a magical, horticultural gift from a friend...
I was 4 or 5 when I first met a Night Blooming Cereus.
My parents were visiting friends with a conservatory full of winter-time flowers.
I saw and barely heard anything else, a gravitational field for moi.
Wife seemed to realize she could trust me and tucked me into the space with a plate of treats.
Said: Be patient; watch the flower buds.
I settled in, silent, not moving, not wanting to startle the buds!
Dusk came on, buds unfurled.
Huge white tropical blossoms opened and spilled the most exquisite fragrance.
Haven't been near a Cereus since.
But I have had a luminous wish list, 70 years in the waiting!
A dear friend decided to move and I went into grief.
While still shocked and trying to put a bright face on her going, she bequeathed her Cereus to me.
I all but threw myself at her feet.
It's huge and growing, with other hefty plants, a west windows forest primeval.
Liking it here, she's sending out improbable shoots/leaves, a Dr. Zeuss visitation!
Have already promised gardener friends:
I'll have them over hopefully, some autumnal twilight, when she's poised to open a bloom.
Under the Apricot Trees
28 July 2021
Two huge trees out back, planted generations ago. Their branches are bigger than many tree trunks, reminiscent of old Southern live oaks, but without the Spanish Moss.
I had made peace with the late, wet snow on trees full of blossom. We're in high mountains after all, the Sangre de Cristo.
The branches, however, have surprised me with fruit. Trees which live to fruit again after snow and frost, hardy trees, don't lavish all their bloom at once. It would be like a gambler, titillated by risk, blowing his wad on one spin of the roulette wheel.
Random blossoms appeared after the snow. No great shakes, I thought, but the trees cheer me with abundance. At first light, I gather windfalls in my harvest basket, leaving bruised, cracked and squished ones for the local wildlife, who'll tidy up overnight--mule deer, bear, skunk and raccoon. Maybe a fox. Haven't seen one yet this year, but I'll bet the neighbor, with the new chicken coop, has!
Over winter, field mice crack open their stash of apricot pits for the kernels. Not all mice remain confined to their cold weather quarters.They try to slip indoors. I found an empty drawer in the sun room lined with cracked apricot kernels, and was not amused.
Sweet Hunza Apricot Kernels are considered a premier food in Tibet, and can be found in health food stores. Some consider them helpful with oncology challenges.
Many of the trees in this area are wildings, sprouted in bear scat. But long, long ago, hundreds of years ago, Franciscan Friars brought seed and orchard cuttings to the New Wold. They sailed in the old wooden ships with high prows and sterns, like the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria of Columbus' voyage. The Friars cradled their orchard treasures, traveling on foot or burro-back. Those first trees they tended, fed two-footeds and eventually wildlife, which did Johnny Appleseed droppings into the back of the beyond.
We are living a bountiful year, rain aplenty, and we know it's a blessing. Wild sunflowers stand eye-level-tall and will soon feed chickadees in the time of aspen gold. Am already noting the sun's angle, slanting toward autumn.
24 July 2021
Yesterday we had a second Flash Flood alert.
It rained buckets, bathtubs, with wild thunder and lightning..
One boom, seemingly right overhead, lifted me all but airborne.
For parts of it, I listened to unhinged nature, reading in the sun room.
Downpour pounded the tin roof.
I hunkered down, grateful to be sheltered
Still enough light to read, with random flashes of lightning.
Began delving, One Second After, oops EMP, to honor Ride of the Valkyrie sound effects,
Haven't been down to the river yet; the ground being squishy, water-logged.
Too soon to summon the winter's firewood delivery
Very strange these last weeks of 100% humidity in the high country of NM.
I do acknowledge the blessing of rain, relative to desert, fires and wells going dry.
Wildflowers in beautiful bloom; aspen gold will likely blaze up the mountains, come fall.
As to the angst of transformation, it may not be tidy.
Despite the rupture of control-freaks, through the world's social fabric.
An awkward time, for those who read history.
Rockets and Sat's,
Oh My, the Thrill
20 July 2021
Some wits in the UK have suggested Bezos, the retail Leviathan, not be granted earth re-entry as a planetary act of mercy. His phallic rocket is launching from wild Texas country I used to know. Great night skies, back-of-the-beyond.
I used to go on field botany trips, camping in that wild arid country, collecting seed, etc. Rattle snakes, road runners, sunburn, oh my. We had to pack in lots of water. It was so bloody hot. I remember riding shotgun in my prof's truck, getting ditzy from the heat and pouring a liter of water over my head and down my front. Which soon dried.
I was the only traveler of the fair sex who wore a sun bonnet, to much mockery. And am the only one without leather-skin into later life. Can't imagine doing those adventures now, but I don't regret them. One pre-dawn I got up to snoop around, and standing still, a roadrunner, beep beep, knee-high, stopped two feet form me. I went still.
The wildly improbable bird suddenly went into a blur and attacked a coiled rattler by the old coral fence. As my Texas kin might say, tongue-in-cheek, "Lord gawd almighty, I seed a thang."
Have had rockets and satellites on the brain this last year. Elon Musk has gone all but berzerker with his sat-launches, 5G whether or not, if us mere earthlings agree. There's the EMF-angle with reports reaching Dr. Firstenberg from all over the world of human health disturbances. Birds are falling dead out of the sky, en masse, in a year of co-inky-dinks
Last year, a neighbor and I were out at dusk doing last minute chores when she shouted, LOOK. To the south, a bright light traveled westward ho. Holy cowflop, soon followed by dozens in a line. Neighbor went into geek-ecstasy. Satellites!
Hi ho, hi ho. It's off to work we go...
I went into Luddite silence, and premonition of unintended consequences.
Those of us in the boonies are glad to be out of the light pollution of urban centers. At dark of the moon and new moon, we all but swoon into the vastness of the Milky Way. Turns out, the hundreds and thousands of satellites are actually affecting, not just earth's energy field, but the equanimity of astronomers.
I have friends at similar elevation, but high desert. Their airBnB, off-grid yurt had become a mecca for astronomers, who booked way ahead of time, bringing telescopes to the awesome night skies... Quoth the raven, nevermore...
Satellite light-pollution rules.
And beneath the ocean, blasts of sonar disorient cetaceans who beach and die.
As above, so below, and we've barely a clue.
In praise of night skies, firelight and stillness.
I may not live to see it, but there's hope for us yet.
Sun Looked over the Mountain's Rim
11 July 2021
A Robert Browning line of poetry, but also, that's my "Mountain Time" morning clock. To the east, mountains delay the blazing sun and its high UV Index.
At barely light I roll out of bed and start garden chores--pick dewy salad greens for the day, deadhead flowers, schlepp watering cans to a couple gardens...
And breathe in Regale lily, lavender and evening-scented stock perfume. Rub a tabby tum and get the kitties out from underfoot. Listen to water music of acequia and river.
Then the fiery-white sun all but screams over the mountain rim, and I scuttle indoors. I try not to venture out till the golden hour toward evening.
Meanwhile, what a marvelous show. Hummingbirds visit the nectar spur flowers: columbine, nasturtium and larkspur. Hummers are also partial to, and territorially protective of their nectar feeders. I no longer fret about when to refill them. If I go outside the hummers click and buzz around me. If inside at my desk, they hover just outside the window glass in a blur of wings, and stare, till I make more nectar! Am trainable.
Pollinators seem diminished in the last year or two. I wonder about earth's Schumann Resonance, and our fascination with ever more EMF. And the flashing joy of goldfinches... lost, fallen? Where are they?
In any case, I plant for the bees and butterflies, both nectar sources and the daisy family pollen producers. I look out on wild cut flowers, great splashes of soft English flower garden and flamboyant south-of-the-border color.
There's a scene in the film, "A Man for all Seasons"... Imprisoned in the Tower of London, for refusing to bow to Henry the VIII's will, Sir Thomas More pushes a stool over to the small un-glazed window. Seasons change.. A tree by the River Thames flows from spring flowers to summer leaves, autumn russet, and a bare tree on snowy ground.
Flower pots on a windowsill have encompassed nature for me in the past. What a glory dances now, of crimson. gold, regal purple, orange, fluffy white, lilac and rose-pink, with jewel-winged butterflies and hummers flitting about.
Parting at Morning
By Robert Browning
Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun looked over the mountain's rim:
And straight was a path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.
18 June 2021
An aunt, our Texas family Matriarch, spent her career as Head Nurse in ER and Nursing Home settings.
She was a spitfire about medical malpractice, and liars, including everyone.
"Up and dressed for breakfast," became a family saying
aunt reported in to the NH at the crack of dawn, and read reports of
the night shift and the early staff who oversaw breakfast and tidying of
the incontinent, etc
She checked in on each patient, and found that the lady in Room xxx had been dead for hours.
"Up and dressed for breakfast,." a negligent staff member had noted, in writing.
The staffer was blow-torched and fired on the spot.
Aunt was married to a Marine
Our beady-eyed Matriarch, oh I can just hear her... scathingly vocal about...
Normality of surgical removal of adolescent balls and breasts.
Fear-induction to make us avid for an experimental injection..
Hiding of adverse events.
A Nursing Home candidate as Commander-in-Chief...
Lord, I miss her.