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After a Murphy's Law of Cyberspace
Archive of Earlier Storytelling
Pretty Soon

Corn Coda
Herbicides as Norm
10 July 2024

1) Spray-drift herbicides blown onto organic farmers' land have contaminated corn with Glyphosate, etc.

2) Herbicide exposures are thought to contribute xeno-estrogens to the era's gender-bending of a generation or two.

3) Wind-blown GMO pollen has enabled lawfare suing of organic farmers for violating monstrosanto use-patents.

4) Personal anecdote: 

Couple ridges away from my Blue Ridge organic farm, a big dairy did land-rape, no-till corn. 

I had been poisoned by power co. spraying of 2,4-D along its right of way, with no warning to anyone living nearby.

When I imagined I could return to my farm work, spray drift from the dairy drove me to my knees out in the fields. 
I kept having to flee.
Not sustainable. 
I had to sell the farm. 

And seek intervention by an enviro-med MD, and a Doctor of Chinese Med.. 
Mercifully I had some insurance.
After losing the farm, my grip on life went tenuous.
Imagined friends went poof.
I lost a year of life to dying, and then the journey of still living..

5) Within that time frame a Virginia cousin's farm well, and those of their entire community, became contaminated by Ag-Biz spraying of roundemup. 
Folks began feeling unwell. 
She was the mother of two young kids, and the first to die.
Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Admittedly I have an attitude-problem...
Toward casual spraying of herbicides for lawns, fence lines, 
And aggressive spraying of golf courses, ethanol acreage,
Food crops and animal feed.

That said, there may be a particular circle of h*ll for the purveyors of poisons.
And our docile acceptance.

Corn on the Cob
In Praise of Good Eating
10 July 2023

Remember the taste of hot buttered corn on the cob? 
Liberal sprinkling of salt and black pepper?

Some of us remember twisting the ears from the stalks. 
Shucking outer part, rubbing off the silks,
And steaming the golden or creamy white corn. 
All in 20 or 30 minutes from garden to table.
Best tuck in dishcloth bibs, as butter drips down chins!

I hear there's good looking corn crop coming on, in the US prairie lands.
That would be our latter day version:
GMO/Glyphosate corn.
The great monoculture triumph.
Headed into corn chips, tortillas, corn starch, Vit. C...

Corn is a "heavy feeder" depleting the soil, hence the tradition of crop rotation with legumes.
If done in Ag-Biz now, that would likely be GMO soy.

Even more efficient, county agents began recommending "no-till corn"...

Planting corn every year in the same acreage with heavy application of chemical fertilizers.
Corn stalks cut for silage,
Fields sown to winter rye in fall.
Fields sprayed with herbicide in spring.
GMO corn drilled into the stubble year after year.

Plants become depleted.
Monoculture acreage is unnatural, concentrating plant diseases.
Bring in the spray rigs and aerial drop dusters.
Insects zero in on culling weak crops, calling for more sprays.

There's a book, not for the faint-hearted, called Fateful Harvest
The Chemical Industry had a problem: disposing of hazardous wastes.
Not wanting more bad PR like Love Canal, the industry offered financial incentives to congross.
It became permissible to tuck hazardous waste into chemical fertilizer.

BUT, we're living in interesting times.
Economies are shifting focus to smaller and sustainable, non-poisoned food.

It may be easier to find:
Local organic farmers.
Farmers Markets.
CSA... Community Supported Ag, where consumers pre-pay the farmer in winter, for summer crop share.

Buy it, and they will grow. 

Celebrating the Fourth of July
5 July 2024

Luddite has no clue how to post the pic which cousins sent from their Fourth of July on a South Texas beach. 
Marvelous light reflections, rose, gold and green

Sent me winging back to Marin County when I had a private practice, a lovely office, but outdoorsy person was going stir-crazy.
To get out of the four walls, had signed on for an 8 bucks an hour gig, caring not a whit about the radical drop in hourly wages...

Rowing a hand-crafted wooden-boat dory with passengers out onto the Bay among the harbor seals. Past house boats and Sausalito homes in sight of the Golden Gate. 
At night, a candle lantern was suspended above the dory's stern.
Just magic, lights and stars twinkling, 
And great rose-window bursts of fireworks above that once beautiful city.

Some of the best foolishness ever.

All appearances to the contrary,
Happy Independence Day to us everywhere. 

Those Who Lie Less
22 June 2024

Japan MD's are reporting early-onset Dementia, monstrous numbers, of those who submitted to the curve ball "vaccination." Reported by The People's Voice, they are calling for punishment of liars and enablers, which include medical personnel. 

Clear-sighted friends have spoken of a mass mRNA exodus, and that some of those torn from earth life will serve as guides to the davos-induced diaspora.

In the Bardo sense, I guess.
Luminous helpers across the uproar of trauma.

Apparently this mercy, if you will, also engages in ruinous conflicts, as in the "Great War" abattoir of Flanders Fields.

Where poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below...

22nd June stands as Barbarossa Day, with a nod to the delusional West..
Those Who Lie More

A commemoration of Hitler's Operation Barbarossa, the megalomania of sending his military might into the snows of Mother Russia.
Thereby disregarding the earlier defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte.

While that Leningrad debacle writhed on, choyman soldiers were threatened with being...
Shipped to the eastern front if they stepped out of line.
Captured choymans were sent to Soviet hard labor camps, never returned.

When I was in choyman HS, my parents took me to see the utterly magnificent Moiseyev Dancers in their red boots and ethnic costumes... Thrillingly intricate dance and music.

An eerie experience. The concert hall was all but murky with rage. At performance end, I was set for standing ovation. My dad hauled me back into my seat.

Total silence in the hall. No applause. The performers on stage bowing into the void.
We filed out....

Stalingrad did not fall despite horrific deaths from starvation. 
Russia is seared with the memory of invasion.
Has an attitude problem, let us say, about being invaded.

Leaders moronic of the feckless, and perhaps suicidal, West try to goad the Russian Bear into tit-for-tat war. The West has gutted its armaments to bottomless kleptocratic Ukraine and to Ysrael. Posturing of the boastful and ill-prepared. The US has no memory of the 1812 Brit invasion and burning of the White House. Not to worry.
Neocons rejoice.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...

Local & Global on the Solstice
20 June 2024

Reporting from Steam Bath Springs. 
Steady deluge, thunder booming, rain-on-the-roof sleeping.
4" in 24 hours and the pastures look grand.

I waited for a break in the weather, only getting drenched once.
Stopped by the local plant nursery, figuring she could use some business.
I went on the prowl for periwinkles, and...

"What about a pink honeysuckle?" she asked.
"What'll it set me back?"
 "A million bucks!"
I did a wolf howl and staggered.
She grinned over her shoulder.

In fact, I pay cash and she cuts me sweet deals.
Love little towns.

Meanwhile, on Salisbury Plain climate devotees trashed a bunch of rocks.
There thousands of years, but the planetary asylum has disgorged Terrible Two's.
Stone Henge was their focus: 
Desecrate... love light and lucifer... to denounce fossil fuels.
Orange powder paint timed to make a mess for Summer Solstice visitors.

A cultural variation maybe on torching Notre Dame in Paris.
Splashing tomato soup on museum works by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh....
Or outdoors, let's destroy bronze statues from eras less politically correct.

So what's the etiology of being so exceptional that anything goes, entitlement to the max?
I've had friends certain that ever saying NO! to their brilliant offspring...
Would cause irreparable psychological harm.

What the hey.

A life-renewing Solstice to us all.

Cardinal Nestlings Have Fledged
17 June 2024

We're expecting heavy rain and floods this week.
Wildlife busy preparing, even if humankind mostly riveted to cyber screens..
Yesterday I looked out my office window for wildlife activity.
Manic and stifled squirrel falling off the squirrel-proof feeder?... check.

Remember those cute photos of a nest full of gaping baby bird beaks?
Parents bringing bugs to the hatchlings?
Not sure when mothering eases off.

Sudden baby cardinal activity... I have "seen a thang."
Baby gripping top of the woven wire fence with tiny wings trembling.
Papa Redbird makes trip after trip to the feeder.
Stuffs a black oil sunflower seed into the wide open beak.
Flies back for more.

And ooooh, ain't it hot.
Squirrel dangles upside down for a drink of water.
Birds perch on the edge of the little tub.
Dip beak, raise head and chug-a-lug.
Some are cannon-balling into the little pool and splashing around.

I'm prolly imagining that they look dazed.
Wind is picking up.
Mercy, Lord, on those living rough.

Life in a Gated Community
12 June 2024

That would be in the boonies, with no gate guard or valet parking!
We're talking heavy farm gates, which mean no rural mail delivery, and quieter than Manhattan.
Cattle moo; cardinals call: I'm sweet; I'm sweet.
We may hear an owl at dusk.
Rain patters on the metal roofs.
We had a good thunder-boomer last night.

Cousins thrashed around in the pond yesterday on latest water lily rescue.
They had introduced koi to deal with algae, which worked!
But we watched appalled as koi munched down water lilies.

Blooms vanished; lily pads un-moored, free-floated and sank.
Ever-resourceful, blondie-blue Cuz ruminated...
They drove koi to one end of the pond 
Stretched a chicken wire fence across water lily world.

We may have further honey-do wish list about a small Claude Monet arched bridge...
(But with better sense than to run it by good-hearted hubby Cuz, till the list shortens.)

Red squirrel entertained me for an hour the other day, obsessive on gaining access to sunnies.
Must be slim pickings in the wild.
Much leaping and dangling by one paw, fore and aft.
Splat falls from the flying trapeze.
Squirrel-proof feeder, you betcha.
We luvs tools which work.

Wildlife Water
4 June 2024

At max-heat yesterday, I sat by the back-40 window wondering how the outdoor aviary was faring.
A titmouse came and perched on the small plastic tub I use for fresh water, clothes pinned to the fence. Bird essentially collapsed/swan-dived into a serious thrash and splash bath. 

Each morning I refresh the water with two drops of Nutribotic GSE, given varied visitors to the oasis, including furry-tailed rodent, the red squirrel, who hangs upside down from a tree trunk. And then further delights by leaping onto the squirrel-proof feeder and going splat to the ground.

Despite the heat the business of nesting goes on. Watched a Papa Redbird (Cardinal) feed a Mama a worm. She gorped it down head to tail, or is that tail to head?.

We have fewer hummers this year and I do wonder about 5G Star Link satellites... A rumination mired in impotence... But we are blest with flutterbyes galore. Particularly striking on the brilliant orange Echinacea.

A friend who lives near Maine's Acadia National Park phoned with news of cool nights, sea breezes and lilacs in glorious bloom. Yes, I remember it well. Bod vividly remembers shoveling snow over my shoulder through a deepening tunnel. And stoking the woodstove at oh-dark-thirty. 

So a heat of the day hermit in South Texas? 
A heat of the planetary hour, with morons at the helm? 
It is what is, and all's well.

!! HOT !!
Another 114 Heat Index... 
On Texas Vote Run-off Day
28 May 2024

Shee-ro cousin is manning the polls.
Will ride in with hubby cousin during max-heat afternoon, armed with drinking water, and handkerchiefs to sop up dripping perspiration. (Ladies don't "sweat.")

I remember No-A/C.
Houses were built with front porches and functioning screened windows.
Rocking chairs and porch swings, you betcha.
We rocked and talked in the not-quite dark..
To thunder, pulsing greenish light of fireflies, and flashes of lightning.

Tech-solves-all, gave us sealed window high-rises.
NY, NY, it's a wunnerful town...
No powah?
No elevators; no A/C; doubtful civility.
Escapee freeways and tunnels clot-clogged, like arteries.
Noo Yawk, as vertical morgue.

On a more flowering note, climbing magenta bougainvillea, think Flamenco, is blooming in Texas. Also in shrubberies, golden Esperanza, and soon around the pool, fragrant tuberose.
I "deadhead" flowers at first light, as though breathing through gills. 

Memorial Day
21 May 2024

Memorial Day weekend, 2001, I arrived Downeast, having fled the San Francisco Bay Area's 8-lane freeways and Orthanc-ish Sutro Tower. Strange aftermath of gold-rush, round the Horn, motion picture industry, Dust Bowl Okies to the promised land---A certain snootiness where looks could kill, anyone with hand on heart at singing of a patriotic tune.
​...From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam.
God bless America, my home, sweet home...

Have Americans lost their minds? I had known East German refugees, classmates in high school. Mama and I had walked though Checkpoint Charlie in divided Berlin. 

My German class sent monthly care packages East, bought with meager allowances: lemons, chocolate, coffee. Food kiosks in East Berlin were pathetic: limp carrots, sprouting greenish spuds, runt cabbage... Not from another planet, sham bounty from the former economic powerhouse of Europe... 

I wondered at our Constitutional Republic, of long ago and far away.
We'd somehow lost our moorings on the huge paradigm-busting phenom of America.
General George Washington was offered Kingship in the new nation.
He rose to his full astonishing height, and refused a throne.
Elected our first President he set a tone of sagacity and common sense.
It still gives me hope.

Stasi terror and food rationing, we imagine, could not happen in the USofA?  
It stuck in my craw.
I ruminated our cluelessness, and still do.

Lilacs were in bloom in Castine, Maine, smell of balsam fir and surf crashing. Limping in from California, I stopped flabbergasted in the town park by a War memorial---gorgeous wreath of white lilacs, red roses, and blue hydrangea. Soft summer breeze from the harbor. I sat down on the statue's footing and wept.

A Pearl Harbor Generation
22 April 2024

It was an early Sunday morning. My grandmother had just arrived by ship in Hawaii. Pop Pop, elegant in tropical double breasted linen, greeted her with leis of plumeria and tuberose. She loved the fragrances of old Hawaii forever after.

(While still a young woman, in high button shoes and a whale bone corset, Grandmother darted up the gangway on one of the last boats out, when France fell in the first World War. Her party fled to England from her European Grand Tour, escaping to New York Harbor.)

Comfy on Oahu, my grandparents were breakfasting on the lanai.
Little did they know, that she was waltzing into her second World War.
They heard horrid roaring. Fighter planes, an armada, with rising sun on the wings, came flying in low, hugging the topography of the island. Pop Pop threw down his napkin, knocked over the chair. He pulled on his uniform jacket, and cap, whatever he could grab

Pop Pop, and separately, my naval aviator uncle, went driving toward the explosions and roiling black smoke in Pearl Harbor. Uncle's car was strafed; he cracked open his car door and rolled into the ditch as planes flew overhead. 

They watched the huge American ships torpedoed. Adm Kimmel, Commander of the Pacific Fleet, was killed in the attack.* Pop Pop revered him as a man's man exemplar of an Officer and a Gentleman. Although the Japanese code had been broken, Kimmel had not been informed. It was politically expedient to scapegoat the Commander of the Fleet, and hugely offensive to my grandfather. FDR intoned, "...a day that will live in infamy.."

Our US aversion to war changed tone from truculence to John Philip Sousa marching brass bands, and patriotic shorts in the motion picture theaters. Farm boys and street smart factory townies, Rosie the Riveters, and those primed for adventure signed up.

Over there, over there.
Send the word, send the word over there,
That the Yanks are coming...

They died in villages, deserts, jungles, finally liberating death camps of the Thousand Year Reich.

My uncle, dad and his dad made it home after the war, boys no longer. Pop Pop was flown to DC. My dad, commando rugged, heaved his duffel aboard the standing room troop train of returning grunts and officers. People smoked in those days. There was no air conditioning, no deodorant. The men stank. Jammed together, some fell asleep standing.

When Pop Pop was returned to the west coast, he had the pilot come down in a Texas cow pasture to visit his first granddaughter, staying with Mama and the Texas side till our men returned.

I try not to despair at trannies in skirts, and the madness of funding forever-war.

Friends living on Oahu attended a Dec. 7th Commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack. Veterans, both US and Japanese, stood on the shore sobbing. They embraced and threw plumeria leis onto the harbor. Men in my family had witnessed fuel spilling out from ruptured hulls, igniting. Men leaped overboard as the ocean sheeted with flame; the boats sank.

Eternal Father, strong to save.
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidst the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep.
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.​

* Correction: Adm. Kimmel was injured in the attack but did not die. Instead, he was demoted, defamed, and at one point mailed a loaded revolver to commit suicide. Posthumously, his rank was restored, and bureaucratically speaking, his honor.

Bluebonnets Setting Seed
3 April 2024

We're cheering on their bold splashes of cerulean and indigo, fiery Indian Paintbrush, golden daisy-ilk and wine cup magenta.. Our green thumb Hill Country aunt told me a heel-clicking story. Their live oak property is gorgeous but no bluebonnets early on. She dug up a rose bush at a relative's lake home. Unbeknownst to anyone, two bluebonnets tagged along.

Well, they seeded and spread around the home place. Uncle and Aunt live on a rise above the Pedernales river. Blue bonnets meandered down the roadsides past their neighbors' dappled Texas Longhorns. Filling the neighborhood, with that quiet, winter's-over contentment.

So bless Lady Bird who saved Texas wildflowers, and those two family bluebonnets who toodled along with a rose bush years ago.

My cousin came and helped me this morning.
Brilliant weather and thigh-high wildflowers and weeds under the umbrella clothes drying set up.
Uh huh.

Have found snakes sunning where least wished, including a prairie rattler.. 
Snake angst has kept me drying stuff indoors.
She-ro cousin arrived with the weed-whacker. 
Bedding and Amish quilt how rippling in the sunlight.

Gardens are full of hummingbird come-hithers... Hullo in far Central America... Scarlet honeysuckle, crimson verbena, petunias, Esperanza, million bells.
Whar they be? 

Not cozening up to satellites beaming all life with 5G?
Dunno, but what if we were to let go, of faster netflix downloads?
Just supposin'.
Setting seed.

Rambling Rose
15 March 2024

Have always had a weakness for rose catalogues, sighing over varieties which would not grow in what ever wild locale I happened to be living. Of particular interest were roses brought back from the era of scientific "expotitions"... to darkest Africa, Persia, Tibet, Imperial China... Including the exquisite, but tender Lady Banks rose, named for the wife of botanist, Sir Joseph Banks. 

Discovered in China, and soon rampant in the rose-friendly gardens of Great Britain, she's a grand climber or slope-holding spreader rose. Often soft yellow, also white.

Which brings me, drum roll please, to the Southwest:
Cousins took their vintage Chinook and munchkin on a family adventure to the Arizona desert, a spring break bloom-time of year. They have returned with a rooted, budded cutting of a white Banksia rose planted in 1885, in Tombstone, Arizona by a Scottish bride. 

Her family shipped her a box of various rooted cuttings from her home country. 
And, oh my soul, you bet I imagine the ocean voyage to New York past the Statue of Liberty, or to Boston Harbor where the American Revolution began. Next, train and stage coach journey. probably through Chicago and heading into more arid landscapes for Tombstone delivery.

Am flabbergasted at the cousins' find.
The original plant might as well be a Sequoia of rose-dom. Enormous branches and an arbor which does not know when to quit. We are advised on full sun and unusually sturdy support.

Am rooting for a gazebo!

Prairie Glory Time...
Have you Ever Been to Texas in the Spring?
8 March 2024

Great splashes of color, technicolor-improbable. When I was a little girl, an elderly Texas neighbor of my grandparents explained to me about wildflowers:

Child, long, long ago during a hard time on earth, the Good Lord looked down on the misery of poor folks' lives. The rich had finery, gardens and plenty to eat, riding by shacks with hungry children sitting on the front stoops. The Angel Gabriel was sent down to bring promise of beauty and plenty. Gabriel went winging round this old world strewing flower seed, wildflower seed to come back every year for everyone. And that's why you could play in a field of Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Pink Buttercups and Indian Blankets this morning...

I held her hand... You want a gingerbread man with raisin buttons and eyes? Did some baking early...

Tip o' the bonnet to Lady Bird Johnson. I did not enjoy LBJ, who embarrassed me way across the pond with his boorishness, but you want to talk legacy? Lady Bird restored Texas to springtime glory. I got to watch the loss of wildflowers over years of visits back with the highway department's roadside herbicide spraying. She stopped that and got them to mow. 

I was at UT Austin during early seed collection efforts. I have fond memory of Big Bend camping and prowling for seed. Also white water canoe-ing down Santa Elena Canyon, the haunting call of the canyon wren.

Hope this verdant spring marks a road-taken, dear Robert Frost, a return to stewardship of our wild beautiful country.

West Texas Fires
28 February 2024

Dunno points of origin for the First Responders roaring to help. Just know Volunteer Fire Departments are a reminder... that flash mob looters and border hemorrhage are not our whole US story.

Just extraordinary folks, Fire Departments.
I once had a friend who decided to volunteer.
Only prob: 2-gender-she would not be considered to have sufficient upper body strength.

I laughed, and watched with interest.
She was big boned, big family, foster kids, and farm animals.

She did a slow burn when refused out of hand.
Came home and began doing pull-ups and rope shinnies out in the barn.

By Christmas, she was on the fire truck in full gear tossing out kiddo treats. 
Santa rode into town by the Fire Chief, for the lighting of the big balsam fir.
A snowy, old-timey Village Green Christmas. 

​Bless the First Responders, and can-do healing for our country.

Food Normalcy?
2 February 2024

In the US food processing plants are blowing up or lost to inferno.

Geoengineering freakazoids get to play bigly: mega-drought, ark-floods.

Ukraine, formerly the breadbasket of Europe, has turned into nuland/zelensky rubble. 
All negotiations refused.

The US breadbasket, the Midwest, is not bringing in volume or quality of staple crops due to induced drought, low snowfall, flooding for variety.

China cannot feed its own people. It is hoovering up every rice source it can bully or bribe. India stopped exporting rice last year, needing to feed its own population.

The Davos Fourth Reich will permit its serfs, its "useless eaters," coffee once a year, presumably at a satanic festival of their choosing. Coffee harvest has turned meager due to drought and/or rain and mold.

And chocolate, the Female Food Group? 
West African poor harvest.

Enter the Houthis and neighbors, enraged at the US/UK/Israeli 2000 pound bombs dropped on civilians. 
Bibi fending off jail time by forever war.

So, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Straits of Hormuz...?
Commercial vessels now missile targets, if Israeli, or its enablers, US and UK.
Nothing else has worked.

Hurt perpetrators, aka... 
The Shining City on the Hill, 
In the pocket.

Elders and the attentive have been counseling preparedness for years...
Imagine a hurricane...
Empty grocery shelves, mobbed gas stations...

Are we there yet?

​Old Guard Military vs
Woke Recruitment
29 January 2024

A friend and I were discussing steely-eyed grandfathers, hers Sicilian, mine USN, Class of 1912.
Both formidable, the Sicilian not a snuggle-bunny husband or father...

In my case, the admiral was a trusted exemplar-quality naval officer... Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead...
I spent most of my life noting his apparent lack of Mensch-hood, though in fairness, his crews did not.

My dad, after the admiral's death found a letter from me, which the admiral had saved, written in my adulthood, hoping for peace at the last. It included the admission, that I had learned to appreciate him, rather late in the day... having considered him: "cold and calculating..."

Am rethinking warrior leadership in our current context of limp-wristed armed forces.

How would my grandfather and his peers have regarded branches of the military funding "gender-affirming surgery" [cut off those patriarchy testicles.]
Affirm Diversity with uniform skirts, heels for beta-males, and a drag queen recruitment video? 

Or the latest desperate recruitment ploy by the USN? 
No High School Diploma or GED required!

Next up: Military-age Border Invaders. 
Uncle Sam wants YOU!

I curtsy/salute, the Alpha-Males who have served.

Horn of Plenty
25 January 2024

Reporting from this side of the locked ward, buzzed by clown-cars.
Fewer adults seem to be minding the store, the fruited plains of the North American continent.

Living in the boonies, we pat ourselves on the back that we are not hunkered down in Manhattan, San Francisco, Chicago, or closer to home, DFW. We have heavy farm gates and cattle guards, not homeless encampments, feces and drug paraphernalia on the sidewalks. In fact little towns may not even have sidewalks, or traffic lights. 

Some do have Constitutional Sheriffs. The Great State's Governor and AG have asserted State Constitutional Rights, which supersede federal abandonment of Rule of Law via open border invasion. Representing what plan? 
Freebies galore for future grateful voters? While US Veterans sleep in cardboard boxes, tents and commit suicide?

In startling developments, enough already, other states and the Speaker of the House are standing with Texas. Will rogue swamp creatures allow that? Alphabet pathologies may have mayhem up their sleeves.

Turning attention to real stuff and maybe some stocking up...
I had to leave New Mexico's "Enchanted Circle"  where I once could reach a fab health food super market, by bicycle. Now to access a pale facsimile, it's a 60 mi round trip. 

So getting real about mobility and the spectre of empty shelves:

Any supply chain uncertainties?
Gasoline/petrol cost and availability?
Grid down via CME or rogue agencies?
Moronic woke entitlement demographic on the loose?
Border rupture of military age criminals, terrorists, traffickers, cartels?

Rice and beans are the most cost effective pantry items.
But how will you cook them?

Hawthorn, an Old Heart Remedy
28 December 2023

Mercury Retrograde, while often a foot-stomping pain in daily life, and in communication of all sorts, can be a fruitful time of re-assessing. What if anything did I learn, un-vaxxed, but trapped among the max-vaxxed?

Face plant into a snow drift landed me in the hospital... I who had not swallowed an aspirin even, in forty years...

Site of multiple miseries, was AMA-Central, including no visitors with the latest covid fear-state. One misery, being electrodes across my chest, connected to computers in Albuquerque. Not permitted to move, except to roll out of bed and pee in a one holer. If I dislodged an electrode, personnel descended on my room to see if me heart were stopping... In aftermath, plenty pain/exhaustion.

I came to attention, with my own knowledge base, and ordered an old formula still wildcrafted in the US:
Dr. Christopher's Hawthorn Syrup.

Had first gotten real about Hawthorn, an old cottage/monastery/grandmother remedy when reading an account of a Bavarian herbalist who emigrated to Australia, and introduced Kombucha Downunder. Was astonished to be handed a breakfast goblet of black currant Kombucha when WOOFing in New Zealand.

The Bavarian spoke of making Hawthorn Kombucha for his dad, who had been refused by the Kaiser's Imperial Army in WW1, due to his weak heart. Son kept making the stuff for his papa. When Pater reached his 90's and entered hospital, hanging on, the physician said, "Really it's his time to go, but his heart is too strong."

[Obligatory Disclaimer: This is an anecdotal report, not a prescription. 
For medical concerns, please see your health care provider.]

Christmas in Podunk
Love Little Towns
18 December 2023

While I was in the PO, an elderly black man and I set eyes on each other; we both smile. 
(An I-know-you kind of hey.) 
"How you doin?" he wants to know.

"It's a little crazy out there, but I'm doing alright. You?"
He laughs, just a wonderful basso belly laugh, eyes twinkling.
"Doin jest fine."

Bring on the holly... candles at the window, carols at the spinet....
All appearances to the contrary, all is well.
I have met Christmas.

Am on my way to deliver the Angel Tree gifties.
The local bank's Angel Tree is for people in the Old Folks Home.
I heave the wrapped packages onto the Teller's work area.

Think to ask if all the angels have been taken; today is the deadline.
No, but a customer scoped it out and has left a big cash donation.
One of the tellers will go a-shopping-ho.

At my cousins' church, the Angel Tree is for needy children in the county.
My cousins chose an angel for child #9 in a family of ten kiddos.
She wanted a bicycle; she's getting one and some pretty little clothes, of her very own.

When my cousin and I talk about the embarrassment that is our government,
And the contempt in which most seem to hold citizens...
My cousin gets quiet, and reminds me:
"They don't know us."

Mercury Retrograde Holidays
12 December 2023

Batten the hatches, Matey. 
Mercury Retrograde Frolics begin today... through New Year's.
Computers, conversations and travel plans may go sproing.

Or not. 
I have a friend who finds Merc Ret delightful, an interlude when things slow down.
While I mutter danse macabre, drop things, go dyslexic and fall over my feet.

Cognitive-impairment could be enhanced... (Did I SAY that?) 
Black ice road rage just getting there, 
And p*sssing contests around the big screen tv's.

Pass the demm gravy...

Then again, midnight Ghosts, Marley...
Auld Lang Syne, my dear... 
and Tiny Tim, humble as the Wise Men:
God bless us, everyone.

​Holy Land,
Fraught & Translucent
7 December 2023

My weeks in the Holy Land with a mostly discordant group, I was alone a lot. They were just embarrassing, self-identified seemingly, as hotshot Americans. Had they no manners, in this already highly-charged nexus of history? I walked the crenelated Crusader ramparts of the Old City... bumbling along in some caricature-reprise of the book, The Ugly American. Tried to get some understanding of the tribal energies very much alive in the bazaar of shops and holy places. 

When in the Old Jerusalem environs, I made it a point to explore the Arab Quarter.

Two reasons.

1) In some parallel somewhere, I apparently had karmic bidness to attend to. Palestinians caught sight of me and went engorged with rage... Moi?...What?... In fact, I had a strong irrational apprehension of not being safe, among an otherwise hospitable people. 

I made myself return again and again. What on earth are they seeing? Had I blundered into some strange land beyond travel brochures?... And you betcha, I did pray... Please, show me; give me a hint? 

A particularly impressive Bedu all but flung an image my way... of a tall blond Knight Templar wearing the distinctive Christian surcoat. Was totally gobsmacked.  I stopped in various shops and had conversations, Turkish coffee or mint tea, and it finally ebbed. 

2) Also I had lived a memorable sojourn in post World War II Germania. I was appalled at the latter day Hitler-Jugend dressed in blue and white shorts, shirts and ties, carrying Uzis, and lording it over their Palestinian elders. The teenages in blue and white uniforms stood armed on every street corner, and favored marching through the Quarter singing bellicose anthems. Or so I surmised from the hunched shoulders and flashing eyes of the shopkeepers. I do not speak Hebrew or Arabic and felt the deficit keenly.

Ever since that journey, in quiet moments I breathe out a prayer:
Help us to forgive one another.

Courthouse Square Christmas
5 December 2023

I attended a really dazzling small town Christmas Parade; more about that in a moment. First I had to get there.

Earth was in the midst of a geomagnetic storm, with aurora borealis for the fortunate. And not long thereafter, massive quakes in the Philippines. Some folks experience that sort of planetary dis-equilibrium in their bodies, maybe as headache or faux-flu. It can even be hard to walk.

Huge crowds were gravitating into town, which left only remote eccentric parking, probably illegal in daylight. I nudged my putt-putt, emergency-braked with its nose pointing down into a creek bottom, under a big old live oak tree... Reaching the Courthouse Square, I limped in behind South Texas Trail Riders, their necks and their horses' proud ones draped in multi-colored holiday lights. As though winning the Derby! 

All the shops, from the 1890's, had been transformed in a day or two into  Dickensian come-hithers. Here and now, hundreds of shmart phones added to the buzzy EMF of Old Sol's Coronal Mass Ejection. Lord have mercy.

Finally standing at the foot of the steeply angled stairs leading to my friends' celebration. I began self-talking my way into gear: (You've climbed the Wetterhorn, for goodness sake; pull yourself together... Dizzy, achey? Come on.)

Part way up, I heard footsteps. A tall man stopped just below me on the narrow stairs, introduced himself as he put out his right hand palm-up. (He wants me to hand him something?) I gave him my satchel with the popcorn I'd made. He shifted it to his other hand, and tried again, introducing himself and offering his hand. 

(Slow, but I got it, and managed not to cry: You're in Texas, toots. He's not a soyboy. His gender has offered your gender help in getting up the stairs.)

Once in the high, pressed-tin ceiling space with original waxed floors, I drifted out to the upper porch, past the groaning board of nummies, and nekkid lady ship figureheads on the wall. Settled into one rocking chair of eight. Still early, and quiet up there, though a rollicking cast of thousands down below.

Small towns from all over participated, some so small they have no stoplights, but did send floats of "Miss (tiny town)... and her Court." Young women in rhinestone crowns and evening gowns, sequins glittering, waved from snowy palace and grotto fantasias. Someone(s) in all our flyover country had poured love into Christmas of 2023. Various Stetsons were moving quietly along the edge of the melée, keeping things running.

A paradise of !!Fire Trucks!! blowing sirens and klaxons, wonderfully decked out, garish with lights, hove into view. I peeked over the garlanded porch railing at thrilled little boys racing around. The championship uniformed football team formed an unadorned brown study on a flat bed. Much cheering as they passed.

Texas is devoutly serious about showing up and rooting for its communities. High School bands marched through with hotshot drummers and dancing cheerleaders twirling flags. There were floats from churches, 4-H Clubs, tractors swathed in Christmas lights, a Ford Model T farm truck restored to warm red and brown.

Trail Riders came prancing, some hunkered down in carts and wagons drawn by burro, mule, Shetland ponies. A tractor followed and the costumed elf passenger hopped off and on, scooping up equine poop with a snow shovel. Elf was also cheered. She offered her tilted rear view to helpful insults shouted by friends... Shriners zipped in an out on small ATV's,

Chairs had been set up all around the Square and some businesses routinely provide benches with cushions. Lots of babies asleep no matter what, wild kids careening with sugar rushes, dogs barking and trying to kerfuffle. Across the street encircling the chateau-esque Courthouse, white crafter tents, lit from within, were doing business selling treats and stocking-stuffers. Shoppers strolled, laughed, many with leashed dogs in Santa or reindeer jackets and headgear. 

Wouldn't have missed it, an evening of incandescent silliness. 
And didn't, thanks to kindness going up the stairs.