Saturday, December 26, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
1. 2010 Seed Catalogs sit on my bedside stand.
2. Plans of enlarging our garden keep flying through my brain.
3. Yesterday at work a coworker brought a flyer to show me a Four-Shelved Mini Greenhouse on sale for $20. I don't know why she thought I needed to see it. Certainly not a gift-giving idea. Hubby and I just bought two!!
4. And now sitting out on the porch in the afternoon sunshine flipping through a gift issue of Better Homes and Gardens (January 2010 issue page 72), the only article I notice is Growth Fun, A Guide to Super-Simple Seed Starting. Ah, inspiration to disspell the gloom of cold, gray days waiting for Spring to arrive. Be still my heart!
The following is taken from this article:
How to Create Seed-Starting Pots From Newspapers -- powered by eHow.com
When selecting seeds, order heirloom seeds from a reputable place like Seed Savers Exchange, Bountiful Gardens, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Fedco Seeds, Seeds of Change, or High Mowing Organic Seeds.
Read what's been happening with Monsanto and the whole world of genetically modified commercial seed development and control here.
LESSON: The Parable of the Mustard seed.
"With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
Sunday, December 6, 2009
November was so balmy our red raspberries just kept growing and growing. Grace and Violet delighted to keep the ripe berries ingested.
I won a turkey from the hospital where I work so we enjoyed it for Thanksgiving. Dave and I went to see "2012" at the theatre. Great special effects, sad subject, and irritating ending.
For one month I've been pain free thanks to a cortisone injection into my spine. What a difference in my mobility and attitude. I'm feeling my age again instead for twenty years older!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Thank You for Peace and Rest.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The LORD is the everlasting God,
The Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7
Monday, November 2, 2009
By nature man hates change; seldom will he quit his old home till it has actually fallen around his ears.
1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author
more famous quotes
Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.
John F. Kennedy
1917-1963, Thirty-fifth President of the USA
more famous quotes
Change is the end result of all true learning. Change involves three things: First, a dissatisfaction with self -- a felt void or need; second, a decision to change to fill the void or need; and third, a conscious dedication to the process of growth and change -- the willful act of making the change, doing something.
American Expert on Love, Lecturer, Author
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Saturday, October 24, 2009
"President Obama declared the swine flu a national emergency", Yahoo.com news reports, "The goal is to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and make it easier for sick people to seek treatment and medical providers to provide it immediately. That could mean fewer hurdles involving Medicare, Medicaid or health privacy regulations."
Over 400 photos on Yahoo.com published along with this report show people receiving or lined up to receive the flu vaccine, not people who are sick.
What is the definition of a pandemic? A new virus that spreads around the world. H1N1 swine flu has spread to many different countries but the large numbers of cases are estimated, not confirmed.
LESSON: Pandemics are inevitable. Learn now the best practices to keep you and your family healthy.
Friday, October 23, 2009
"The ark was not politically feasible, it was merely necessary. Had Noah had something less than the voice of G-d to order him, or had he required the aid and consent of his neighbors, what are the odds that the ark would have been built? Even had Noah been the driving force alone, it is hard to imagine the completion of the ark – how does an agrarian farmer otherwise find the time to build so vast a creation, to begin, as we are told, from the planting of the cedar trees that would make the boat possible, and go forward. In the face of uncertainty, he must have faltered. The ark could only be possible because it is so very necessary."
"The reality is the same, and we are choosing, even if we choose to pretend there is no choice. No matter how little we like the choices we are given, they are our choices - ark or drowning. The rain falls whether we choose to believe it will fall or not. The consequences of our actions exist whether they are politically feasible or not. The deaths of human beings, alive, beloved of G-d are on our hands whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. We betray G-d in our rejection of his material realities, and in our rejection of G-d’s moral realities.
In a basic sense all of the first portion of the Torah can be said to say this – we are a creation of G-d. We are part and parcel of creation, bound by the same laws – physical and moral – as the rest of it. We owe a share and a responsibility to others – to other human beings, to the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and all of the creatures that G-d pronounced “tov.” Neither our moral responsibility – to save lives, rather than take them, to protect animals rather than destroy them, to love one another as G-d loves us, to preserve the land rather than rape it – nor the laws of physics are up for discussion.
The story of Noah and Isaiah 54 promise us that G-d will never again turn his face from us – no matter how angry at the destruction we wreak. No matter how sorrowful, at the harm we do to ourselves and our children. No matter how much pain we give G-d, G-d will watch, and his face will be turned towards us, like a father to angry teenagers, like a mother to children that no longer want her.
Now is our chance – perhaps our very last chance to live in a world that bears any resemblance at all to the one in which human beings learned their first and most profound lessons. We too have to choose – will we keep our faces turned to G-d, and live with our material realities, pay any price, do whatever is needed to preserve our future and fulfill our responsibilities? Or will we turn away finally, and entirely from G-d, leaving ourselves with an empty faith, divorced from the world into which we were created, and so far distant from G-d that we cannot see if G-d weeps, for the rain that is coming down."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Another ark to build...in word...
"– this weekend Jews all over the world will read Parshat Noah, the story of Noah, and International Jewish Groups have come together to focus this weekend on the impact of climate change through the lens of the Noah story. My shul, among thousands of others will be participating. I had two different rabbis email me, however, and ask if I’d give them my thoughts on Noah. I’ve found myself struggling with this topic in ways I’ve never struggled with more obscure texts, because it is NOAH – we all know the story so well that it is hard not to bang too firmly on the obvious parallels. So I thought I’d start by playing with the story, and writing a little fiction." Find the story here. PART ONE.
Another ark to build...in music...
Monday, October 12, 2009
FYI: Today a co-worker whose off-spring has a position of responsibility in a very large, vaccine-producing pharmaceutical company, announced that her grandchildren, ages 7 and 5, will not be vaccinated. This is the parents decision.
FYI: Last week we mailed in our income tax check. When we received the return postcard notification of receipt, it was signed "Bank of America, Windsor, CT, Agent for the Internal Revenue Service"!!!
See, I was right! We do own our home now.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Malcolm Gladwell, in his bestseller entitled The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, uses a flu outbreak to illustrate how a seasonal illness can become an epidemic.
"The best way to understand the Tipping Point is to imagine a hypothetical outbreak of the flu. Suppose, for example, that one summer 1,000 tourists come to Manhattan from Canada carrying an untreatable strain of twenty-four-hour virus. This strain of flu has a 2 percent infection rate, which is to say that one out of every 50 people who come into close contact with someone carrying it catches the bug himself. Let's say that 50 is also exactly the number of people the average Manhattanite - in the course of riding the subways and mingling with colleagues at work - comes into contact with every day. What we have, then, is a disease in equilibrium. Those 1,000 Canadian tourists pass on the virus to 1,000 new people on the day they arrive. And the next day those 1,000 newly infected people pass on the virus to another 1,000 people, just as the original 1,000 tourists who started the epidemic are returning to health. With those getting sick and those getting well so perfectly in balance, the flu chugs along at a steady but unspectacular clip though the rest of the summer and the fall.
But then comes the Christmas season. The subways and buses get more crowded with tourists and shoppers, and instead of running into an even 50 people a day, the average Manhattanite now has close contact with, say, 55 people a day. All of a sudden, the equilibrium is disrupted. The 1,000 flu carriers now run into 55,000 people a day, and at a 2 percent infection rate, that translates into 1,100 cases the following day. Those 1,100, in turn, are now passing on their virus ... as well, so that by day three there are 1,210 Manhattanites with the flu and by day four 1,331 and by the end of the week there are nearly 2,000, and so on up, in an exponential spiral, until Manhattan has a full-blown flu epidemic on its hands by Christmas Day. That moment when the average flu carrier went from running into 50 people a day to running into 55 people was the Tipping Point. It was the point at which an ordinary and stable phenomenon - a low-level flu outbreak - turned into a public health crisis."
What can I do in the face of possible pandemic? More to follow.
Friday, October 9, 2009
See this article entitled, Food Collapse of 2009, by Eric deCarbonnel for a description of current conditions and data regarding worldwide food production.
LESSON: Definitely time is now to chose LIFE with the Life Giver, eternal life in Him.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thankfulness remains. Being married to someone who comes at issues from the opposite point of view and yet respectfully perseveres until both have expressed themselves and are understood is an amazing experience. Not painless, but amazing. The effort put into learning to live well together has a Big Payoff.
I love you, David.
LESSON: Finding your self worth in God, not in your partner, can produce a life of amazement.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
"...a space in which to change is the greatest gift anyone can ever have."
"It is easy to imagine that the only tools and things that matter are the ones that save the world, that save the day, that fix everything.
But we may be past that point. And now the things that merely help, that simply make things better begin to come into their own. The things that allow us to work and cope in a place where there may be nothing more we can do, or where we are constrained, enable us to pick up the tools we have, regardless of circumstances and use them as we can, for the best we can.
These things are small, mostly, and far less shiny and impressive than the tools of world saving, of resolution. They require we get grubby, both metaphorically and literally down and dirty with the world around us, and that we accept limited results - not enough potatoes to eat all year, but enough for a week. Not enough money to have what we want, but maybe most of what we need. Not enough time to fix it all, but to save some, and soften the hurt for many. Not one single solution, but something close to a whole answer in the actions of thousands and millions and billions, each softening and easing the pain of another a little more."
LESSON: "...love one another as I have loved you." See John 15:1-17
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Countrywide (our original mortgage holder) sold to Bank of America
Federal Gov bails out Bank of America
Tax payers (us) bail out Federal Gov
We own our home now
With this information I think we'll craft a type of reverse mortgage so we can pay ourselves back.
Monday, September 14, 2009
"And finally, the greatest irony of all is that the anger that brews inside those that have been tragically hurt by this crisis can coexist with the failure to recognize that it matters not in America if the President has the last name Clinton, Bush or Obama – that monetary and fiscal agenda inside the US for the last 17 years has not wavered nor changed one iota during this period of time because it was not these men that have been in charge of the economy but the men that manufactured these men’s rise to power and that control the US Federal Reserve and the world’s Central Banks, and thus the global monetary policy."
"I hope it is better tomorrow." Grace answered. "We learned about boundaries today."
Denninger on Market Ticker has a little comment on our grandkids' future. Perhaps learning about boundaries is better late than never.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
"Frequent contributor Harun I. made these observations about self-delusion, greed and responsibility:
From the Mayans to the Romans, from Asia to Europe and now the U.S., all empires seem to experience a series of psychotic episodes that lead to their decline. It seems as if it is a necessary ingredient. What military might cannot bring down, self-delusion will.
However, I cannot accept that the idea that because we responded as encouraged, anger is now justifiable. What ever happened to that pithy adage, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"? This represented choice. After all the history (which can be easily "googled" today) of bubbles and manias, how did we fall for it again?
I can think of nothing more potentially damaging to the psychological well-being of an individual than telling him/her, "its not your fault, you had no choice." I'd like to think that humankind is smarter than horses and do not involuntarily salivate when they hear a dinner bell.
I told my seven-year-old daughter to hold her breath and that it was okay because I would be breathing. She looked at me quizzically but complied (she innately understood the absurdity of the proposition). After she could no longer hold her breath, she blew it out and did the obligatory gasping. I asked her why she let out her breath. She yelled at me angrily, "DADDY, YOU CAN'T BREATHE FOR ME. I HAD TO BREATHE OR I WOULD DIE!" I smiled and quietly told her, "Just as breathing is essential to life and can be done only by you for you, so is thinking. Do not ever believe that you can let someone else do your thinking."
What was this so called dream? Regardless of the different forms in which it is presented, the "dream" has been and will always be simply getting something for nothing. Personal greed is and always will be the lever. Greed resides within us all but not all of us interact with it.
What was the encouragement? It was, is and always will be nothing more than someone validating what we already believe.
A democractic republic cannot survive without self-responsibility in the majority of its citizens; the crumbling of our society and those before it should be proof enough. No society/empire fails because of money problems. They failed because the collective citizenry began to believe absurdities.
As Voltaire warned us: "Those who can get you to believe absurdities can get you to commit atrocities." Believe is the operative word. It requires that a choice be made. What is the absurdity we have chosen to believe since 1913? To what atrocity has it led?
If, instead of passively accepting bailouts and government enforced charity, every voting age adult wrote or called his representatives and made it clear that the representative would lose his/her vote if they supported any legislation of this sort, and that he/she would actively organize and support tax revolts in their community, the outcome we are facing today would be different. Better yet, if every working age person had refused the debt trap, things would be radically different.
It is widely known that legislation is passed without being read, that our representatives often do not know on what they are voting but are told how they are going to vote. Let's face it, government is now combat ineffective. What is our response?
Yes, we have a right to be angry but only at ourselves. Every citizenry gets the government it deserves."
"Well said, Harun. Pondering that, I am not angry, but I am afraid for the citizenry and the Republic; for we have the government we deserve, and it is heading off the cliff of insolvency. The citizenry is still in denial, holding fast to the fantasy that their government can magically print trillions of dollars to fund their private entitlements, as well squander additional trillions backstopping $13 trillion in evaporated bad bets and pay for a global empire to boot.
Denial, fear and anger will not take us forward, of that we can be sure."
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
zucchini, black currant, red raspberry, black raspberry (wild), strawberry (local, not our own), kale, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, chives.
Planted in 2009 but not yet harvested: tomatoes, onions, garlic, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, summer squash, chard, peas, green beans.
Planted in 2008 or 2009 but will harvest next year: asparagus, rhubarb, blueberries.
Plan to add to garden in 2010: strawberries and an herb garden
Learning this year: continue amending soil, continue expanding the grow area, growing food is much more work than growing shrubs or flowers, need to calculate how much of each veggie to plant for our consumption, home grown produce spoils much faster than the grocery store produce - could it be all those chemicals? (Heard from a friend who recently travelled to Costa Rica that the locals will not eat the bananas ready for export to the U.S. because of all the chemicals used to keep them "fresh".)
The most graphic lesson this year: the slug is NOT the farmer's friend.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Perhaps others have learned the love/hate relationship one can have with crutches.
Susan Bruso, 2000
Sunday, June 21, 2009
A while ago I found myself out of work. The first time out of a job since I turned sixteen. What a relief! A paid vacation! When signing up for unemployment benefits, I read a notice on the bulletin board describing an Entrepreneurial Training class still taking applicants. OK, I'll do that. Now what business should I choose to start, really start?
For years I sold homemade pies to co-workers and friends for holidays or special occasions. I canned a wild blueberry pie filling. Perhaps that could go commercial...WILDBLUESbysus was born...on paper anyway. Completed the whole business plan, five-year projected financials, even a verbal presentation to classmates and state representatives.
Then I found a job at the hospital.
The regulations were so costly that startup of a "baby" food processing business was out of the question for me. Food prep seminars, rental of a commercial kitchen, food ingredient analysis, proper labelling and packaging, art work, marketing, Bioterriorism Act registration, etc.
Read Sharon's post to see how regulation effects the small farm.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Dave now calls me, "Slugger".
June 19th -- on my mind
Mom's birthday. She would have been 85 this year but died of breast cancer at 57.
MRI this morning. Checking my lower back for source of pain in knees and legs. After removal of a tumor from my left thigh along with a couple hamstring muscles a few years ago, there are several possibilities for source of pain.
Dave's quartet. They sing for one of their largest audiences tonight. The guys look so pretty with their new ties.
Jennifer driving down from Maine. I'm waiting for the phone call asking us to pick her up somewhere between here and there with broken down vehicle...
Bing cherries. Possibly the most satisfying food ever created is now here in the markets. Sweet Bing cherries and tree ripened mangos what more could anyone want?
New Steps. The process goes on...nice, huh?
Sun finally broke through the rain clouds. What a glorious day!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
One afternoon while sitting on our little porch discussing the several wasp hives that were under construction overhead, a giant bumblebee with a totally black abdomen flew in and challenged the wasps. Quite impressive. A few days later I found a little sawdust on the porch steps. Not a big deal. We have been cutting a lot of wood lately. But this was fresh and reappeared each time I swept it away. Then the huge bumble flew in and entered a hole just her size in the edge of the board over the steps! And....and the wasps are gone!!
Most of my life I've considered all insects as pests except the honey bee, oh, and the occasional spider that ate their insect neighbors. For the past couple years the lack of insects has caught my attention. At first, pleasantly. Then I feared spiders were taking over the world. Now the incredible variety of these specialized tiny creatures fascinates me. My house is still off limits to ants, mosquitos, and biting flies. And I will escort spiders to the door. But the amazing color, complexity, variety, and specification of the insect population has me in awe, again, of Our Creator.
Check out this website to see Bumblebees in your neighborhood
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
* In early May planted one Bristol Ruby Weigelia (red flowering shrub), one butterfly bush, four three-year blueberry bushes. The two Bluegold Blueberry are closest to the house, the two Elliott Blueberry are further away. All are leafing out. The Elliott's each have a couple blossoms. We acidified the soil, fertilized and mulched with the sawdust from the chain saw. (Just checked the photos still in my camera, wow, things have grown just since last week.)
* Stacked enough brush that we are considering buying our own wood chipper. Last year it cost $500 per day to rent one! We have days worth of brush to mulch now and plenty of places to use the mulch.
*Started hardening our vegetable plants to cool weather on the porch in April. Transplanted plants outside on May 21st. Six Earth Boxes planted with tomatoes (2 Roma cherry, 2 Amish paste, 2 Cherokee Purple), peppers (variety of 5 sweet), cucumbers (small for pickles), broccoli (1), cauliflower (1), Brussels sprouts (1). My sister, "Hi, Barb", sent a Topsy Turvy and it is now hanging with two Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Hint for the Topsy Turvy - gets heavy when filled with soil and water. Make sure your support is strong enough.
* Earlier in May planted garlic cloves and sprouting yellow onions in order to save seed this year. The garlic should have been planted last fall but... We purchased 25 lbs. of yellow onions this past winter. Some of them started to sprout in the bag so I planted them outside. My Saving Seeds guide by Marc Rogers suggests that onion is a good place for a beginner to start saving seeds.
* The rhubarb and asparagus that I threw in the ground last year survived!! They are planted in the front yard near each other. Both require high soil nitrogen for leaf development so I purchased some dried blood. Working in a hospital as I do, just had to use universal precautions when handling this. Perhaps the kale and chard in the raised bed would benefit from the nitrogen also.
*Raised bed - so far contains zucchini, summer squash, cucumber - to vine out one end of the bed - onions, two larger tomato plants purchased from a nursery, lettuce. Today will plant some seeds perhaps peas (late, I know), spinach, Swiss chard, and cantaloupe. We do have one large flowering eggplant in a pot.
*This month we've had sightings of our resident bumble bee. Then it happened. Three bumble bees on the same bush at the same time!! Yeah. A Red-Bellied Ladderback Woodpecker visited our suet feeder and brought his family. The neighbor's four cats keep the rodent population under control even though they are a bit miffed at the vegetables and mulch in their "sand box".
*Other improvements are in the works. Dave has taken apart on old tent trailer to make a fold-down outdoor workbench attached to our metal shed. The wooden shed is being emptied, opened up, and repaired so we can stack some firewood out of the weather. We've had the chimney repaired with new flashing and paint, the front door and threshold replaced, and stucco cracks filled. Dave found a hand water pump, Made in Maine, that we purchased and will attach to our well setup. This should enable us to have running water without hauling bucketsful up from the basement. The generator electrical connection to the house is complete.
My granddaughters sitting on the hickory stump just outside the house. We counted 96 rings!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
"In the opening sentence of the last chapter of his new book, Reason, Faith, and Revolution, the British critic Terry Eagleton asks, 'Why are the most unlikely people, including myself, suddenly talking about God?"
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Soooo...I abandoned the trench idea for the blueberry plants. (I'd still be digging) And went for the container gardening method. For the blueberries we dug holes larger than required, filled the holes with acidified potting soil, put in the plant, watered well, and mulched with sawdust left behind by the chainsaw. Photos to follow.
Boy, do I need a bath.
A few days ago four blueberry (not wild blues) plants arrived. Yesterday, after digging the first hole, I poured water into it just to check the drainage. That hole held water like a pail! Nice. So today I'll be digging a trench rather than four separate holes for the blueberry plants. That way I can fill the trench with organic material and better soil. Good luck to me.
The nursery that sent the blueberry plants included a booklet of how-to instructions. Listed below are their -
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Yesterday I took a two-tissue, no-cough drive to NH. Weeks have passed since I've seen my little girls. While Mom and Dad went out on a dinner date, they twirled in dresses I'd brought from a local consignment shop, went swinging in the back yard, played with Summer their black lab, ate supper, and colored eggs. We talked about planting while they tried on their new Dora gardening gloves. Already single pumpkin and watermelon seedlings are waiting to be transplanted.
Meanwhile when possible we've been cutting, splitting, hauling, and stacking wood. Check this out...nice, huh?
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
"Creation has been taken down a very different path than we desired. In your world the value of the individual is constantly weighed against the survival of the system, whether political, economic, social, or religious--any system actually. First one person, and then a few, and finally even many are easily sacrificed for the good and ongoing existence of the system. In one form or another this lies behind every struggle for power, every prejudice, every war, and every abuse of relationship. The 'will to power and independence' has become so ubiquitous that it is now considered normal."
"You humans, so little in your our eyes. You are truly blind to your own place in the Creation. Having chosen the ravaged path of independence, you don't even comprehend that you are dragging the entire Creation along with you." "So very sad, but it won't be this way forever."
"Nobody knows what horrors I have saved the world from 'cuz people can't see what never happened. All evil flows from independence, and independence is your choice. If I were to simply revoke all the choices of independence, the world as you know it would cease to exist and love would have no meaning. This world is not a playground where I keep all my children free from evil. Evil is the chaos of this age that you brought to me, but it will not have the final say. Now it touches everyone that I love, those who follow me and those who don't. If I take away the consequences of people's choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is no love at all."
"My purposes are always and only an expression of love. I purpose to work life out of death, to bring freedom out of brokenness and turn darkness into light. What you see is chaos, I see as a fractal. All things must unfold, even though it puts all those I love in the midst of a world of horrible tragedies--even the one closest to me." "Everything's about him, you know. One day you folk will understand what he gave up. There are just no words."
"You see broken humans center their lives around things that seem good to them, but that will neither fill them nor free them. They are addicted to power, or the illusion of security that power offers. When a disaster happens, those same people will turn against the false powers they trusted. In their disappointment, they either become softened toward me or they become bolder in their independence. If you could only see how all of this ends and what we will achieve without the violation of one human will--then you would understand. One day you will."
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Winter has dragged on some this year. Some with sickness, not in this house, but a couple friends fighting cancer, a couple more with serious surgeries, and many in need of encouragement. Even I finally gave into taking pain medication for a bad knee that knocks me off my feet by the end of an eight hour work day.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Jay Hopkins, in an article entitled Responding to Reality published in the March 2009 issue of FLYING magazine, quotes and comments on Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why written by Laurence Gonzales.
"Gonzales says that one of the biggest problems that get people into trouble in survival situations is that they do not face reality. They want to believe they can still proceed according to their plan, and this blocks an accurate assessment of their real situation."
"Gonzales points out that in our complex, technological world we have come to depend on a problem-solving strategy that 'often gives us a illusory sense of control that fails us in moments of crisis.'"
LESSON: "Plan the flight and fly the plan. But don't fall in love with the plan. Be open to a changing world and let go of the plan when necessary so that you can make a new plan." Laurence Gonzales
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The path everyone was travelling, the path I thought I needed to take, turned out to be unnecessary. By not pressing to conform to the known path, I discovered another - the one that opened before me - like an open door.
LESSON: Don't insist on your own understanding. You may miss the open door right in front of you.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
How the Rich Are Destroying the Planet: A Review
By Leslie Thatcher
Truthout Review, Mar 15, 2007 http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4533.cfm
"The first stage in Kempf's argument is to adduce the irrefutable evidence of an accelerating ecological catastrophe as humanity's use of the planet's resources overshoots the Earth's carrying capacity:
While, according to one researcher Kempf cites, humanity's resource use was at 50 percent of the Earth's biocapacity in 1950, by 2003, it had reached 120 percent - consuming resources faster than the Earth can reproduce them.
Foretastes of the ultimate catastrophe are suggested by avian flu worries, the destruction of New Orleans by the combined impact of Hurricane Katrina and infrastructure failures before and after the storm, and by increased mortality associated with the 2003 heat wave in Europe.
Each environmental "problem" is linked to all the others; their synergy and imbrication propel us "in the direction of unstoppable destruction" and preclude any idea of separate crises, "solvable independently of one another." Why, Kempf asks, when the situation is so clear and alarming, does it remain so stubbornly intractable to change? He concludes that "if nothing happens even though we're entering an ecological crisis of historic gravity, it's because those who have power in the world want it to be this way."
"In spite of a distinct coolness of tone and a controlled reliance on statistics and citation, Kempf's depiction of "The Powerful of This World" echoes Old Testament prophetic outrage.
He quotes Peter Drucker on the destructiveness of unbridled executive compensation, St. Augustine on government ("If there is no justice, what are kingdoms, but vast systems of robbery?"), "Forbes, "The Economist,' and the "Financial Times" to create a portrait of a predatory, self-perpetuating elite that has become wealthy "not through success in production, but through constant redistribution of collective wealth" (think Halliburton or Blackwater senior executives and shareholders) and that lives "... separated from the plebians.
They are not aware of how the poor and wage-earners live; they don't know and don't want to know." No sense of the public good or civic virtue moves "this predatory and greedy controlling class, wasting its rents, misusing its power, (it) congeals as an obstacle on the way. It bears no proposal, is animated by no ideal, delivers no promise ... is blind to the explosive power of obvious injustice. And blind to the poisoning of the biosphere that growth in material wealth provokes, a poisoning that means a degradation of the conditions for human life...."
Since the collapse of the former USSR, it appears that capitalism no longer needs democracy - so antithetical to the oligarchy's objectives. Terrorism is the latest alibi to tighten security, criminalize dissent, expand surveillance and imprison the poor. "The hyper-rich will attempt to maintain their excessive advantages by force as they did after Hurricane Katrina, when armed forces were sent - not to help the drowning poor - but to hunt down looters. "An ironic twist of history could even be an authoritarian government's use of ecological necessity as a pretext to persuade the people to accept a restriction of freedoms - without, however, touching [socioeconomic] inequality."
The following are the accompanying comments from our spiritual advisor received in the email dated April 1, 2007:
"Those of you who have been following what I have written on this subject will remember that I have said, very explicitly, that from the light given to us by the Holy Spirit, that this is exactly the course that will be followed. The collapse of the earth, (witness the destruction of the honey bees), its inability to support life, the loss of drinking water, the death of the oceans, the increasingly wild weather as a result of Global Warming, and the desperate confrontation between China and its allies with the American Empire will all lead to the rise from the oligarchy of a Strong Man.
A desperate race will look for salvation in the power of the oligarchy and its great central figure, the coming Antichrist. This new savior will indeed be "anti" or "in place of" the Christ who has already saved mankind, if indeed the salvation would be seized upon.
You will remember that the rise from among the oligarchy of a Strong Man was the process that completed the destruction of the Roman Republic, and led to its complete imperialization and absolute power in the hands of emperors who wished and claimed to be God.
This will all happen again now in The Final Cycle. Let the reader understand.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the power of the Heavenly Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you."
LESSON: Choose to trust "the Christ who has already saved mankind, if indeed the salvation would be seized upon."
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
"We have no real way to know because "the truth" keeps changing.
That's the root of the problem when you get down to it, and now this has gone beyond "Wall Street" and speculators who are either shorting or buying these stocks - it is seeping into the consciousness of Americans, who apparently are deciding they'd like some physical cash in their hands - whether that's rational or not.
See, we have a problem in this country. We want to keep believing that it was all a mistake that led us into this mess. That there really wasn't systemic fraud and intentional, willful blindness up and down the line."
One of my coworkers attended a funeral recently for an elderly man she had met through her church. About a year ago the man's wife died. Sad and alone the new widower welcomed a young stranger into his life. The younger man told his hard luck story to the older man who was sympathetic. Having no children of his own, the older loaned the younger money. Offered him a place to live. Eventually lost most of his money. And died alone. The young man moved on and could not be prosecuted because the older man had willingly "shared" what he had.
LESSON: Trust is meant for the trustworthy. Be trustworthy. It is a gift to those who depend on you.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A WINTER POEM
It's winter in New England
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At thirty-five below.
Oh, how I love New England
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave New England
I'm frozen to the ground!
Speaking of Minnesota (Minnesota gets its cold air from Canada and New England gets its cold air from Minnesota), a group of young guys from south of Brainerd came to my door offering to cut down the tree hanging onto my roof. "Minnesota you say? Yes, I'll hire you." They worked like crazy and ended up at the neighbor's house also cutting up a huge White Pine that scraped the siding off the end of his home as it crashed to the ground. All this was a result of the ice storm in December. Following is an ice storm poem written by an unknown emailist. Thanks Carol.
Our Nightmare Before Christmas
Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the town
it rained and it froze and the trees all fell down.
The wires that were strung on utility poles
snapped like a twig and the houses all froze.
We got our selves nestled all snug in our bed
while visions of warmer days danced in our head,
and me in my thermals and Pa in his cap
stayed huddled together for a bone chilling nap.
The moon on the ice made a crystalline glow
and we thought to ourselves, just how long can this go?
When what to our wondering eyes did appear
but our son with some coffee and donuts and cheer.
We could see our white breath in the darkness above
and deep under the covers I searched for my love.
His feet, they were frozen and so was his head ---
made me think to myself that he just might be dead.
The days passed so slowly, we must be insane
as we waited and wondered and called out by name
"On Thursday, on Friday, on Saturday (s !)
on Sunday, on Monday, on Tuesday (please quit!)
on Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday (oh dread!)
the kerosene fumes must have gone to our head.
To add to the pleasure of winter's delight
two snowstorms came by - 18 inches of white.
The snowing and blowing made things bad to worse
and we prayed to the heavens our pipes wouldn't burst.
Pa's eyes now were sunken, his expression --- not merry,
his cheeks had a pallor, his nose like a cherry.
The odd little smile on his face wasn't fun
and he often was mumbling "go get my gun".
Then a rap on the door, and the fireman said,
"Are you sick, are you sane, and is anyone dead?
There's a shelter, there's warmth, you can come if you're able,
we have showers and kindness and food on the table" ---
and we looked at each other and thought --- "what the heck?"
yeah ... eleven days later you FINALLY check!
On night number twelve we heard the faint roar
of a convoy of trucks and we ran to the door.
To the top of the poles, to the stretch of the cable ---
please bring us your power just as fast as you' re able!
They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work
and the power came on with a hum and a jerk.
They heard us exclaim, as they drove out of sight ---
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
WE HAVE HEAT! WE HAVE LIGHT!