We have all kinds of sayings to ward off all kinds of issues, mostly with the intention of bypassing, minimizing, and moving on. Shit happens, right? Don’t let the bastards get ya down, eh? There’s always a silver lining. Don’t sweat the small stuff. The sun will come out tomorrow. Look at the bright side. Don’t cry over spilled milk. Buck up, buttercup!
I know, I know, I’ve heard it all and I’ve probably said half of it myself. Really though, when someone’s truly feeling down, no one wants to hear another ‘pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ slogan. A friend to cry in your tea or beer with would be loads more helpful, but sometimes that doesn’t help either.
I count my blessings, really, I do. I’m very good at that.
It’s just that, sometimes, nothing helps, at least not right away. Sometimes there’s a ‘something’s gotta give’ feeling that lodges itself for a while after a big, bad event, even if everything mostly turning out fine in the end.
The triumphs still feel too short-lived and the setbacks too many.
I remember to remember my favorite things, but the joy in them seems less renewing. This in itself is solemnifying.
Visitors are welcome, yet distracting.
I know nature is resilient and life goes on. The very morning after the ‘tornado,’ as I was assessing the damages, the birds were chirping, the critters begging for their meals, and Handy Hubby headed back home from work out-of-state to get us back into gear.
Still, despite my usual mood-shifting tricks, my gears still feel a bit stuck.
The snake getting fat on our eggs in the coop, a rabbit devouring the garden.
Oh, just let them be, I think, which is not really like me.
Sometimes that’s just the way it is.
And, this too shall pass.
“I’m selling you bees on Friday so you can kill them in your top bar hives.” so smirks JC of Frost Apiary in the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas. I drive 2 hours across the small mountain range from my dad’s place in Mena, which is a 6-hour drive from our East Texas homestead, mostly because gentle, treatment-free bees are not too easy to come by here.
We’ve got some bad genetics in these parts, as my nearby beekeeping friend and I can both attest to, only she got proof of her Africanized bees on video. Had someone been filming me as I tried to work with mine, it would’ve been cartoonish and probably hysterical as I ran circles around trees trying, in vain, to get the vicious little buggers off me.
I’ve yet to meet a commercial beekeeper who doesn’t scoff at the Kenyan-style hives known as ‘top bar’ or sometimes called ‘horizontal’ hives that are now trendy with hobbyists. I chose them as a completely novice beekeeper for 3 reasons only: weight, esthetics, and the personal preference of the teacher of the beekeeping workshops I took.
Clearly none of those reasons would impress JC even remotely, so I kept them to myself.
In all his decades of beekeeping JC has yet to meet a beekeeper successful with top bar hives. It’s good for business, he says, because they come back every spring for more bees, until they switch to Langstroth hives. He recites a string of reasons why this is, which begins with “they starve in the winter” and ends with “they starve in the spring.”
For those of you who might be curious about this less-traveled region of the fly-over states, but without the time or inclination to actually visit, here’s some of what I saw, and smelled in that 2 hours.
There were approximately 20 Jesus billboards, 10 churches, 2 banks and 1 gas station, thanks be to Jesus perhaps, because I was running on fumes by that time.
As for the smell, unless you’ve had the misfortune to experience the poorer areas of Bangkok in rainy season, you will not have approached this particular olfactory ballpark. It is directly related as to why you see houses on the left directly juxtaposed to houses on the right.
You might have guessed, get-rich-quick by factory farming. If the entire region then smells like you live in a baboon cage at the zoo, well, at least you have the means for air conditioning and Febreeze spray.
JC and his wife busy themselves moving around the shop and yard, bees buzzing all around, as he offers me advice. After 5 minutes of this he says, “I want you to go now,” which he repeats again after 10 minutes, and then again after 20.
“My health’s no good,” he also repeats several times, taking his ball cap off to reveal a fresh scar the length of the top of his scalp where a tumor was recently removed. He says he has a similar scar down his chest, a barrel of a chest still I notice, at nearing 80 years old.
“You might take it a bit easier,” I suggest, because I know how heavy those Langstroths get and I’ve just watched him effortlessly move several around the yard.
“He doesn’t believe in that!” his wife answers for him. Despite his stooped posture and some less than urban-refined social graces, his eyes are still bright and his mind and tongue sharp, which greatly softens any coarseness, in my opinion anyway.
They then carefully load up my impressively-packaged bee packages in the back seat of the car and I set the feeders on them overnight until my 6-hour drive home the following morning.
Calm, happy, well-fed, well-contained bees ready for a wee road trip.
Or, so I thought!
I’m not sure at what point I fully took to heart that the bees were not at all well-contained. At first, I just thought I had a few roaming co-pilots, not a problem.
Then about high noon, still 2 hours from home, I made a pit-stop for gas and a sandwich and return to the car buzzing with hundreds of loose bees, inside and out. I have a moment of panic before realizing I at least need to move the car away from the main traffic area of the convenience store while I devise a plan.
Once at the corner of the parking lot I realize there is no plan to be made. There was no quick fix to this problem; I had no equipment to get the boxes apart and even if I could I could not figure out where the leak was coming from. I had a single choice and no other, leave 4 packages of bees in the parking lot right now, be out the time and the money and the bees, or get back in the car and finish the trip with them. It was all, or nothing.
It was worth the bees crawling over my arms, my face, my sunglasses to see the passersby at traffic lights gawk in stupor! Handy Hubby, being the wise guy he is prone to being, suggested with a chuckle that I visit the McDonald’s drive-thru. 🙂
Because as an American I can’t resist a happy ending, I waited a week to write this post until I had one: We now have four queen-right colonies happily nesting and growing in top bar hives.
The first of my determined objectives, as I stated plainly to JC before I finally left his apiary, “I will be your first successful top bar customer, I betcha.”
Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted to vote. She wanted to own property, and she wanted a career that was not nursing or teaching or whoring or mothering.
She was a courageous and independent woman who knew other courageous and independent women who agreed with her. They achieved the right to vote, the right to own property, and established themselves in a variety of occupations across every sector of society.
Fast forward a few generations and they became Supermoms. Mothers could do it all–have a family, have a career–just like fathers. Then the women began to complain that the housework needed to be shared, it was only fair. Machines to make the work easier and faster were invented, primarily by men, to try to satisfy these new preferences of women’s time.
Soon, women wanted to share in the glories of war along side men. They wanted to sit beside them in the boardrooms, play next to them on the golf courses, hang out in their clubs. They modeled their hierarchies, their whims, and their habits. They wanted to smoke, to drink, to travel, to carouse, to order subordinates, to manage affairs, and to control it all, just like the men.
The laws were changed to reflect ‘equality’ between the sexes. The laws were not sufficient. Women continued to get harassed by men in the workplace, groped on the bus, humiliated with lower pay for equal work, and sometimes even physically endangered.
This angered the women tremendously and they revolted. They pointed and screeched at their male bosses and their former and current colleagues and smeared their reputations publicly and had them fired and humiliated and cursed. Just as they deserved. They demanded an end to violent, colonizing, capitalizing, age-old white male patriarchy.
The women called themselves ‘happy‘ and ‘fulfilled‘ but oddly began using anti-depressants by the millions.
Still, they took their hard-earned and rightful positions at the head of the table in the boardrooms and backrooms and brothels.
But still, the men were not behaving!
Just like children, they started acting out even worse. They started secretly undermining the women in power. They started to rebel in closed groups. They choose in growing numbers not to get into relationships with women. They began to consider the women dangerous. One false move and they risked losing everything in the courts of law.
Some men turned despondent, others violent, others exceptionally determined. The women decided to drug them, it was the only way.
The drugs had some unpleasant side effects. Men’s health began to decline, but women saw this as a good thing; they were more docile and less combative that way. They began to drug the boys as well. It seemed the younger they started the more predictive became the results.
Some men were incurable it seemed, so more drastic public measures had to be taken. Those who would not stop oogling women were forced to wear special goggles that limited their peripheral vision by 50%. It was considered a great achievement and sold brilliantly in the marketplace. There were other great women’s inventions as well, like a male chastity belt, and various electric shock devices that could be used as discreetly as a tampon.
Then one day a woman complained. “Where have all the men gone?”
There is no greater luxury than time. When we give our time we are giving our energy, our single most precious resource as individuals. I wish I’d understood that better far sooner in life.
I can’t turn back the clock to make up for that, but I can make certain to never sell my time so cheaply again. I see now how I, and a good many more, confused the game with reality. It would also seem, in terms of numbers and the obvious direction culture is heading, that this confusion is getting far worse.
I grew up in a fantasy-based reality, where, as I said in part 1, the artificial, man-made construct of time had long since replaced not only my own internal clock, but the clock of nature as well. I spent an enormous amount of time at school, much of that which I now consider wasted. I spent a good deal of my youth watching television and reading fiction. I spent a fair amount of time in young adulthood experimenting with altered states of consciousness, exploring a bit of the world and a bit of my own mind. That was actually loads of fun, which I cannot regret anymore than I could have continued.
Now in middle age I have a new goal and agenda centered on my own re-education. This to me is reclaiming time and I do it not out of loneliness or boredom, nor to indoctrinate others, nor in the aim of becoming an authority figure, nor even to make money—all of which I have been repeatedly accused and none of which mean anything to me in these pursuits. I do it because it needs to be done, according to the small, still voice of Self.
That I should have the occasion now to do this necessary work fills me with gratitude and even awe. As an unexpected rainbow might stop one in her tracks, or make her hurry back for the camera, I gaze with gratitude at the long empty hours in front of me each morning, ready and waiting to be filled with my heart’s greatest longings: extended walks in the woods with the dogs; spoiling the puppies as much as I dare; answering the phone, or not answering it; writing a blog post, or not; puttering in the garden; cooking something delicious, even if just for me and the critters.
Beyond nature as my companion, I also have many other teachers, ironically the majority of them brought to me by another fantasy-based reality: cyberspace.
From the viewpoint of some friends still enthralled with the fantasy-based reality matrix in which they reside, they find this disturbing. You will be alone on Thanksgiving? And Christmas? And you welcome this? Some even try to label this ‘depression’ or a ‘crisis’ of mid-life. What about family, friends, shopping?! I try to assure them: “No, really, I care not a hoot for the Black Friday specials, or Christmas gifts.” And as for friends and family, they know exactly where to find me.
This Thanksgiving I wish to express my deepest gratitude to he who is making this luxury of time possible, that is Hubby, whose absence and employment are both a gift and a curse. Not a day goes by where I do not marvel at the journey we’ve made together and where it has brought us. I could’ve never predicted it nor imagine how suited to me it could become.
I also want to show my very sincere gratitude to those out in the cyber-world making my re-education easier, more accessible, more entertaining and thought-provoking than it otherwise could have been. These individuals have gone to such incredible lengths to offer their great contributions to knowledge and humanity, not only against the current paradigm, but as serious matters of conscience, and using the most innovative gifts of modern technology available to them. For this modeling I am unreservedly impressed and inspired.
Dane Wigington at Geoengineering Watch: a powerful and tireless voice against geoengineering and for a more responsible relationship by humans with our environment. I would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent and honorable advocate for nature and sanity.
Alex Tsakaris at Skeptico, where have you been all my life?! I just found his site last month. And after the very long series of posts where I was attempting to better understand the nature and frauds of science, I now finally have a solid guide through the territory that most inspires me, expressed in his tagline: “intelligent discussion on science and spirituality.” I’m now a happy member on his forum site after only one previous miserably failed attempt in the world of forums.
Still a favorite after all these years, thank you James! A gifted writer who uses his many talents in devotion to truth–my favorite shows being those in which he demonstrate his extraordinary wit and creativity.
I have recently praised the work of Michael Tsarion and David Whitehead at Unslaved.com, but I would be remiss not to mention them again now. Tsarion gets a baffling amount of criticism, but I’ve found his work, especially on the Tarot, to be invaluable. Now that he has teamed with Whitehead he is grounding into the topics I find most necessary today–personally, politically, intellectually, spiritually, physically. There is an uncanny synthesis in their shows together, maybe based in the inter-generational aspect of it, and that they so often draw from history yet underscore its continued relevance, but definitely in the shared vision that what’s required to move forward and make a better world has been right under our noses and at our fingertips all along. I have learned an enormous amount from them about the nature of evil and the capacities required to usurp it. Thank you, gentlemen, oh how the world needs you now!
Another one I must thank is Crrow777. While definitely not for the faint of heart, they are very much on the cutting edge and I can’t help but to respect that. They are now battling censorship and taking it on like true spiritual warriors. For those ready for a heavy dose of deconstruction, take a deep dive into their waters!
Jon Rappaport (nomorefakenews) I re-blog fairly regularly as he has my great respect as another man of honor with an inspiring dedication to, and passion for, truth. A veteran journalist, one could spend considerable time learning from his vast expanse of past and present work.
Finally, I want to take a deep bow to the greatest teacher by far that I’ve ever known, and will ever know, and which has taken me far too long to find: Nature.
It is in you my reality is centered and my energy devoted for the rest of my luxurious, reclaimed time in your exquisite home.
I turn 49 next week. Nearly half a century here and I have recorded a good bit of my journey. My intention is to stick around a good bit more, most days I feel I’ve surely got another 50 to go.
Maybe no one, or more precisely, a precious few, care to read my records or ramblings. This blog is maybe nothing more than the diaries I’ve written from ages 12-45, only to eventually discard. That is on paper, easy to eliminate, by fire, or compost, or any other number of ways. My online ramblings are permanent, or at least their permanence or lack there of, is out of my control, completely.
It is sometimes like a daily offense, just that fact alone, yet I know I could walk away from it at any moment. It is seeped in a weakness I share with many others. Monitor yourself vs stop monitoring yourself. Share yourself vs retreat inward. Public vs private space.
I feel I was pushed out of academia largely on issues concerning privacy—my own, and my students. Yet on the other hand, my life is quite the open book, much more than Handy Hubby appreciates, I know. In any case, it’s hard to complain when I’m glad it happened.
On ‘ratemyprofessors.com’ I’d had scathing performance reviews so much so I had to stop looking there after only two visits. That was many years ago and I’ve avoided my ‘public profile’ ever since, but I never lost my teaching jobs until I said, “No, I won’t do that.”
I will not violate my students’ privacy in this way. I will not become their task-master. Cheerleader is one thing, drill sergeant is quite another. I will not step on this slippery slope of the complete surveillance grid, no matter how you try to sell it or push it. I will not simply follow orders. I will not accept whatever comes down the pipeline without question.
Indoctrination is not education. Social conditioning should never be the aim of teaching. That was why I went toward academia in the first place, because I was apparently duped into believing that didn’t happen here. This was not McDonalds. This was not the Army.
Online now I see the world erupting. Academics and scientists dismissed readily as complete frauds. Hollywood is satanic, the United States is a corporation under maritime law, elite reptilians rule over us all, the moon is a mirage, and the Earth may very well be flat.
And I’m one of the precious few who say, without a hint of mocking, ‘BRING IT ON!”
The weather is being manipulated, I know that for sure. I saw through the staged political-media theater since the Iran-Contra hearings. I lived in Mena, Arkansas and spoke with folks, and that’s all I’m saying here about that. I heard directly, first person, enough to make me understand reality as I had not before.
The weather has been weaponized. Our government was usurped long ago. Now connect those two dots.
There is still a denial in the general public to face the dire facts though they are surrounding us for anyone with the courage to look and discover.
I do not claim to be an authority, I am not, will not and never want to be. Indoctrination was never my intention and never will be. That my intentions might be misunderstood provokes me to spend a bit of time and words unraveling . . .
I am a steward of this land, that’s what called me here. And for the next few posts I’d like to share what that means to me, for those precious few.
Naked Sunday and redneck holiday fun! 🙂 🙂
Motivational interview of the week, considering it’s a miserable 95 degrees again, after a few unseasonably gorgeous days feeling of fall:
About an hour’s drive south over 50 inches of rain has been recorded. Here, we had two inches, barely enough to moisten the parched topsoil, not enough to create even a small puddle for the ducks to romp through. The creek remains low, the pond empty.
Of course Houston is no stranger to floods, or Galveston, or anywhere or anyone who has lived along the Gulf South for any short length of time. While we lived there we were so fortunate as to experience two so-called “100 year hurricanes” in just three years — during Hurricane Katrina we were living in New Orleans, during Hurricane Ike we were living in Galveston.
I refused to live in the Gulf zone, anywhere, after that. The folks that remain must really love it there, or be more resilient than I am, or have lives and jobs and loved ones they can’t bare to do without. I respect their preferences and choices, but I chose that we should get the hell out.
Sometimes a woman has to put her foot down. Or at least, compromise, with pleas and tears. No my dear, we cannot move back to Spain, Hubby concluded, but we can move north of Hurricane Zone and south of Tornado Alley.
OK, it’s a deal! I wonder, maybe more women should be making that sort of deal for the good of their sanity and pocketbooks? I don’t want to give unsolicited advice, but if you choose to remain in the Gulf, it’s only logical and pragmatic and wise in every way that you are emotionally, financially, spiritually capable of living in dangerous regions.
I had long had a respect for self-reliance, having lived in Eastern Europe, where to be Šikovnyý (handy, skillful) was taken to an art form. They didn’t take their Skoda to the mechanic, if they couldn’t fix it, a neighbor could. They cooked from scratch, they mended clothes, they had gardens and grew vegetables in them usually, not grass. There was scarcely any packaging, the waste–I remember that as most impressionable of all–there was hardly any waste.
Of course that changed fast as soon as the Soviets left and the new Big Brother took over. This was progress. Goods filling the shelves, boxes and cans filling the garbage. It was as fascinating to watch as it was hard to watch.
It’s amazing how fast life skills can be lost. Or maybe I should say stolen, because that’s what I really think. The skills that kept cultures thriving and self-reliant and community-driven are being stolen from right under our noses, and our parents’ and grand-parents’ and now even great grand-parents’ noses. For the U.S. at least, this goes way back.
Commodify everything, even the very air we breath and water we need to survive. You are not a good capitalist unless you are willing to drown cities at will in order to profit nicely and have the added benefit of restructuring at will.
See, what ends up happening in these recurrent disasters is those folks who are not self and/or community reliant, are not independent and are most often not the least bit Šikovnyý get in dire circumstances every few years and the government and their communities and extended family and distant friends and loads of complete strangers feel absolutely compelled to help them out. Usually through agencies and funds that are syphoning and squandering these do-gooders’ money. There is not only here what Dr. Phil would surely call “enabling” unhealthy lifestyles, but also in some cases, even a dose of pathological altruism.
I saw after Hurricane Katrina that actually what was happening in New Orleans was a land-grab. I suspect the same and similar is happening with every weather event, and, to go even further, these events, weather and otherwise, are being manufactured.
If you find this preposterous, incredulous, impossible, you need only spend a few hours at these sites to uncover exactly how this is done and has been done for many decades.
I know it sounds odd, but those two hurricanes were perfect impetuses for positive change in our lives. Hubby never wanted to live in New Orleans. I never wanted to live in Galveston. We both fancied the idea of having chickens.
And chickens, being the gateway livestock, led to ducks and turkeys, pigs and sheep, goats and . . .
I no longer send money or volunteer, as I had long done, to anyone affected by a disaster through any organization, especially the government. The weather modification programs, and therefore the weather chaos, is a problem they are creating, which they want the public to bare the brunt of on the front end through taxes and the back through disaster relief. It’s a con.
Yes, folks suffer. I get that and I am feeling for them and sending them prayers. Mostly my prayers are saying, “If you can’t handle living in an area that is repeatedly a disaster zone, do like me, and put your foot down, and get the hell out of the Gulf for good.”
It’s just not worth it. It’s not going to get better.
I got my 30 day chip and then relapsed. I was nervous about telling Handy Hubby. I couldn’t decide if it was better to admit it immediately, or to wait until he was home from work. In person, that’s better, right?
Or, was I just stalling.
August, my annual month of failures. I was doing so good; I was so confident. Then BAM, it’s always the same, from white to black in an instant. What is this mysterious pull we call addiction? It’s more powerful than the will of the most powerful around us. In my circle of fellow addicts not even a one commented they’d noticed I’d been away, so absorbed are these friends in addictions of their own.
I was on the wagon, as they say. Or is it off the wagon? I can never remember. It felt good, really good. I didn’t want it anymore, I could see through its tempting illusions, the anxiety and regret and guilt had vanished. I was above it, looking down on my previous weaknesses as a queen might a pauper. Over-confidence, perhaps. Maybe I should’ve gone to a meeting.
Is there a Fakebooks Anonymous? In fact, a whole Escape Social Media extended program for abusers (preferably in Hawaii)?
I see acute and chronic symptoms in folks all around me, yet few of us even try to escape it even knowing it’s being monitored and manipulated by the CIA, the NSA and who knows who in the world else. The evidence and confessions cannot be ignored, the cognitive dissonance cannot continue to control us all forever.
I wanted to find someone, that’s what did it, my relapse. How sad is that? I had no other way to find this person except through FB. This is unhealthy dependence, a solution that creates another problem, quite a few more in fact.
But I found our sweet pups there!
I have 300+ “friends” there!
How will I know what’s happening with the half dozen actually friends who post there? Don’t I learn what’s going on in the world there?
Every new person I meet wants to connect on FB; it’s one of the first questions now between strangers who want to stay in touch. Are you on FB?
Can I say ‘no’? It seems almost . . . impolite. Not to mention, a bit suspicious. Who’s not on FB these days? Might he be a criminal? Who is she hiding from?
Whether on the wagon or off it, round and round I go.
Maybe I need some FB methadone. Like, to go to back to my favorite old comfort zones: Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels.