Envy Is Everything

I’ve heard contention whether envy or jealousy is ‘le mot juste’ and while I’m interested in the semantics, in this particular case, for the moment, I’m more interested in the feelings.

Let’s just say, for the sake of this post and the wisdom I’m trying to impart within it, that envy, like its roots, denote from ‘envie’, or, ‘to desire’. That is, within this particular context, to desire something for its own sake, not to receive pleasure by withholding from another.

To desire something at the expense of another is a feeling I’ve not yet known, though I’m assured constantly it’s a quite universal feeling. Not that I’m saying at any level that I’d wish to share my spouse, as one example, with another for the sole sake that such an individual would benefit, at the level that I theoretically might, according to such anecdotes, from the accolades or astral benefits of sharing my spouse. Now that I’ve only managed to combombulat the issue, let me state it unequivocally: Desire is love without the commitment.

To say “J’ai envie de toi.” is a far more sexually explicit thing to say in French than to say “Je t’aime.” Yet both are translated often as “I love you.” In Spanish the two expressions prove even more nebulous.

Until this particular feeling enlightens my consciousness I can only say what I’ve experienced personally in that relative ballpark. I have “envied” only one person in my entire life—in this particular sense of I WANT what you’ve GOT—and it was not for her beau, or her looks, or her wealth—though that is not to say that any of those were not enviable. In fact, as enviable as any of these things might be, this young woman would have no idea whatsoever I ever ‘envied’ her at all. It was like 20 years ago, or so.

And yet, when I think of her, my heart is stroked. I get a knee-jerk reaction of nostalgia mixed with mystery that evokes in turn a tear-jerk reaction that is completely unique to this particular individual.

I don’t even remember her name. In fact, in the most attracting moments I ironically also found her a bit irritating—as odd as that sounds—too lively, too happy, too in love, or something.

She was blonde and bubbly and sleeping with the boss, so I really don’t knock my irritation too much. But, she had something else. It’s so extraordinarily rare anyone has anything I want, but she had it. To me, in a way I didn’t understand at all at the time, she had the ring of power.

And She had it so fucking good it burned. It burned me! My desire for what she had burned me, so hard, that over 20 years later, my biggest triumph in life is, #metoo. But not for her man, her plan, or her choices!

No, not that #metoo nonsense!

She knew the plants.

We walked through Prince William Sound Alaska, and the flora and fauna were like relatives to her. She knew her TERRITORY! Never, not ever before or since, have I felt that kind of envie.

And now I know, if she were to meet me again now, she’d say the very same thing about me.

She’d see in me what I saw in her: Pride in my territory.

And so, this strange young woman I knew for only a few months, in changing the course of my mind, changed the course of my life, for the better, forever.

And she has no clue about it, at all, and most likely never will.

“Seasonal Dissonance”

Related to the psychological term ‘cognitive dissonance’ this new Eco-socio-scientism-conspiracy term describes the thermometer and related mechanical device-reading temperatures that refuse to align with the visual and sensory data which would otherwise assure a concerned individual that the season is indeed changing.

A lunch of freshly foraged chanterelles and lactarius indigo—lucky for me, I chose wisely. These are not beginner’s mushrooms and I was really nervous! (Hubby didn’t dare, citing the obvious need that, just in case, someone must live to tell the story.)

”Hmmm, roast pork with spider sauce? Not sure I’m feelin’ ya . . .”

Persimmon seeds in the feral hog scat is a better indicator than that blazing 90 degrees Fahrenheit that’s frying the kohlrabi and beet seedlings before they’re a centimeter above the soil’s surface. Don’t fool yourselves, it’s not just ‘Mother Nature.’

This is that tricky New Micro-Season in East Texas, thanks mostly to weather engineering I’ve no doubt, where no crop, or handler, understands what’s actually happening.

Cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis)
Big Elkhart Creek 

The days are far too hot for the cool season, the nights far too variable for any season. The hungriest and most prolific garden pests are still proliferating, long from dead from potential threat of frost, but the hungry chickens are unable to benefit because said voracious insects are conveniently barricaded with the young greens and seedlings they so covet within the garden gates where there‘s narry a predator to be found.

If the past few years of weather whiplash are an example, we’ll go from shade cloth over our boxes to in need of frost protection within a few days. Maybe this time we’ll be ready for it?

The bees are as excited as if it’s spring, which gets me worrying. I plan to do some honey harvesting very soon. I have a mean colony who I’ve been giving the benefit of the doubt for well over a year now but who might get the permanent boot very shortly. I got stung in the eyebrow, again, just trying to maneuver around their hive, gently. Just in order to weed!

There’s just no call for that level of aggression around here; they’re clearly asking for some serious retaliation. Sure, the golden rod they’re feasting on was not my doing, but that tree groundsel, excuse me, a meager toll is in order, considering I planted that expressly in that very position for their exclusive benefit.

2nd favorite thing I’ve planted this year: Thai Red Roselle, makes my favorite Kombucha, another favorite discovery of 2020!

First favorite, check back to summer posts, Trombetta squash. We are still eating it!

40 seconds of Zen, OR, as long as I was able to sit still before swatting another mosquito on my nose

Nature=Master Deceiver

“There’s no lie in nature.”

I’ve heard this repeated so many times now, from so many different and I believe well-meaning voices, that I decided it’s high time to add my own voice to this nonsense.

Nature doesn’t deceive. Nature doesn’t try to fool you.

Today this is repeated by quite a few philosophers, conspiracy theorists and ‘truthers’ as a way to elevate nature above man’s conning and cunning ways and to condemn our current fantasy-based reality. I agree our so-called civilization deserves plenty of condemning. But, I do not intend to trade one set of illusions for another.

Apparently this attitude goes way back, to the likes of Walter Russell and an entire camp of German Idealists. I love nature as much, maybe even more, than these guys, that’s for sure. Yet my experience is there are no greater deceptions to be found anywhere else, the worst of man’s worm tongue included, than there are to be found in nature.

You wouldn’t dare!

There are mushrooms so similar that not only a spore print, but a microscope is needed to tell them apart. Poisonous Amanita spissa or delicious Amanita rubescens? Chlorophyllum molybdites, lepiota Americana or macrolepiota procera? Do you want a nice dinner or an evening hugging the toilet? Don’t be fooled, choose wisely!

“Destroying Angel”
the deadly Amanita virosa

Man got his idea for camouflage directly from nature, obviously. In some cases the camouflage is so stealth you could be staring directly at a living creature and not even know until it moves.

Take a walk in the woods and you’ll see sticks that look like snakes and insects that look like sticks. There are spiders that look a lot like bats and bugs that look more like birds.

There are plants like poison ivy, my greatest garden nemesis, that look completely benign, leave no feeling or trace at all in the moment, but 12-24 hours later, long after you’ve forgotten all about it, can elicit a rash so severe you’ll be begging for relief even if it takes the form of a cocktail of toxic pharmaceutical drugs.

That horror story is my arm, on too many occasions to count.

The possum plays dead so effectively he’ll fool nearly any predator.
The most beautiful flowers can kill you.

Datura inoxia

The most disgusting and unappetizing swamp insect can be delectable.

In fact, to say nature is THE Master Deceiver is even an understatement if you ask me. Nature is a raving, lying bitch at least half the time.

Living so close to nature, growing food, co-creating with the land has offered me the greatest single lesson of my life: Cute and nice are the camouflage of prey and pets.

Nature does not play nice. Nice is for ninnies.

It’s considerably more deceptive when man’s hands meddle in nature’s mix as well, quite impossible sometimes to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Homestead Happy Snaps

We mustn’t let the tyrants and clowns get us down
Joy and laughter can still abound
Mantras and cliches can spout the latest crazes
But it’s Nature that always amazes!

Praying Mantis living on Wandering Jew, seems somehow apropos, no? He really does live there and he’s pretty good company. 🙂
I’ve heard of bats in the belfry, but in the umbrella?!
How about a cuteness contest—goats or sheep? I know my opinion! Share yours below?
It’s very zen to watch the bees, I find. Next time I’ll figure out how to add sound—I love that soothing buzz of what appears to be such well-ordered chaos—Such miracles in nature!

Homestead Happenings

Just a wee update on the wee homestead during our current Sweltering Season—that runs from about mid-July to October here—where you thank Man every damn day, and especially every night, for inventing A/C, and refrigeration.  As miserable as it is, especially when the weather makers continue to steal our rain, this has been the best one yet for me.

When we first came here I swore I’d travel every summer at this time.  HA!  After that plan failed, I’d give up on the garden by this time, because who really cares about okra and eggplant anyway?  I’d ritually whine to Hubby we are over-producing.

Recently pulling out a hot sauce from 5 years ago, with pickles and marinara still left from 2 years ago, Hubby made an astute (yet annoying) observation.   “Aren’t you glad now we were over-producing?”

Yes, indeed I am.  I haven’t had to don a face diaper yet, and I’ve no intention to.  I’ve got a freezer full of grapes and tomatoes to process, a fridge full of peppers and a living room full of pears awaiting the same fate, fall seedlings started, a pack of dogs at my feet, and the plan to take a serious ‘home vacation’ very soon.  More details on that forthcoming.

In the meantime, look how the girls have grown!

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We’ve established a favorite snack station!

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Not for sure if all the sheep are pregnant, but clearly the majority are, fingers crossed.

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The hummingbirds and bees are happy with my offerings and don’t even notice the heat, it seems.  6 colonies going strong so far, or so it seems from their activity at the entrance, because I never mess with them in the Sweltering Season.

The old piglets are getting fat while Mamma & Papa Chop are getting reacquainted in the Back 40, planning for more piglets soon on the way, we hope.

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I’ll leave out the part where friends and I are complaining about the mysterious lack of butterflies this year.

 

Homestead Happenings

Just another loungey Sunday on the wee homestead.  I’m so grateful I don’t have to go to the grocery store, or venture to town at all or anywhere near where masks are apparently now required, and witness the ‘shitf**kery’ (Decker’s choice expression from Dispatches from the Asylum, highly recommended for anyone who might wish to choose a few minutes of lucid reality) happening all around us, apparently, like a super-creepy episode of the Twilight Zone or Black Mirror.

Here we have problems, who doesn’t.  Even if might be completely unmanageable problems, at least they are sane, rational problems.

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Another 20 pounds of wild grapes, whatever to do with them all?  And melons harvested a bit early due to disease, no where to store them but the living room as they ripen, so problematic.

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Girls gone grazing!  Whatever to do, what if the kids flock with the sheep and forget all about me?  This is what keeps me up at night.

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Why are some of my very favorite plants considered toxic and are pooh-pooed by ‘science’ and most of my modern-day neighbors (and certainly NOT by my ancestral ones!)?  Like this gorgeous castor bean, the ubiquitous pokeweed everybody wants to kill, and especially my most beloved Datura?  These heat-lovers belong in the South!

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A gorgeous volunteer Datura growing here in the background.  No poultry have died from it, though we’ve lost more than usual to something mysterious, about 20 now, one or two at a time, with no clue as to why.

Here’s a wonder: why do Lowe’s, Walmart, and all the other shills of the Corporatocracy sell the same zucchini and yellow squash seedlings that are nearly impossible for organic gardeners to grow according to everyone I’ve talked to, including the Master Gardeners to whom I once was a member?  Get out there with your hand-vac at dawn, they all said, to gobble up all the squash bugs and vine borers they attract, meanwhile this gorgeous heirloom squash (Trombetta) takes it all, virtually maintenance-free, with the stamina of a giant, even in our crazy summer heat?!

Bubba & Buttercup: “How to stay cool in incessantly manufactured weather, we wonder?  Don’t worry, we’ll find a way!”

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And here’s to the countless ninnies and nitwits claiming Trump is solving the weather modification/geoengineering issue.  Come on now, do I have to go back to photographing the sky every damn day?

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“Mamma, we’ll follow you anywhere, just save us from the chicanery and chaos of civilization!”

Anti-Vax & SO Proud

Just when I thought I’d heard the best anti-vax speakers and arguments that there are, I hear this lady!  Holy smokes, she’s on fire, I have to share it right now, even though I need to listen three more times at least, then rinse and repeat, so I can recite this wizard to every vaccine worshipper I meet!

So happy to meet, Amandha Vollmer, introduced through James True, who I keep talking about, because he keeps crushing.

If I had to claim a favorite presentation of the year so far, this would be it.  I’m armed with info and poetry from her words—the next sewing circle, campfire, swap meet, square dance, town hall meeting, potluck, trek, shop or queue—I’ll know just what to do.  And say!

And even if I only do one of those activities, because I’ll never wear a mask, I know I’m super infectious, by nature, so those experts say.  So you better watch out! 😉

 

Sane Apertures

I promised myself this summer I’d spend more time learning about the practical, important things of life and less on theoretical things like conspiracy theories.  Then I realized, this is quite an impossible task, because they are one in the same.

I can’t express how irritating it is for me to listen and learn from some of the great gardening and homesteading podcasts out there who never discuss anything remotely controversial, even when it’s DIRECTLY related to their field, like WEATHER MODIFICATION.  This is not sane strategy.  Pretending something does not exist is not the same as if it really does not exist.

I know how this has culturally come about, because a denial of reality is written into the scriptures, quite literally.  The New Age movement, born from previous Christian cultures, have bred passivity, have elevated non-confrontation and worshipped weakness.  Avoidance and turning the other cheek and tolerating anything and everything without judgement (except of course those who use their discernment, aka built-in bullshit meter) have become the signs of virtue in this collective insanity quickly falling into psychological tyranny.

These are the folks currently wearing masks of shame on their faces.  And this is not only a virtue signal, but a fashion statement.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I have no words.  But, I was raised under a similar guise of masking, which insisted: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Are folks finally beginning to understand where this level of gagging the voice leads us?

According to the ‘Authorities’ your very breathe is like diarrhea and that’s why you need to wear a diaper over your mouth. They sell you a cover story, and indeed make an industry of it, because that’s what you’re asking for, you adult children.

In case you care to GROW UP from this insanity and hear some rational voices telling it like it is, here’s just a very short list of the brilliance awaiting the courageous individual.

“Saturn has moved back into Capricorn where it will transit until December 17th. Saturn is the planet of boundaries, stuctures, and authority and its brief transit through Aquarius brought us social distancing and limits on freedom. In Capricorn, Saturn is in domicile and feels right at home. Both Saturn and Capricorn appreciate the value of tradition and conservatism and Saturn in this cardinal earth sign reminds us that true happiness comes from maturity, family values, hard work and self sufficiency, not communism or the glorification of victimhood. Weakness is less likely to be rewarded during this transit and expecting others to pick up the bill will result in failure and hard karmic lessons.

The actions of the extreme far left are turning many people towards conservative political parties which I predicted back in 2017 when Saturn entered Capricorn for the first time. Saturn in Capricorn is bad news for the U.S rioters who foolishly think that they can push the U.S into Marxism, as they distance themselves even further from the silent majority who are tired of these disturbances to their daily lives.” www.FionaAedgar.com 

Imagine, if you will, you are among like-minded, mask-free sane folks enjoying a glorious holiday weekend?!  And you have so much gravy to share, you make it available to the whole wide world.  WOW, now that’s virtue!

Imagine, I know this one is really hard, but still I try.  You know the willful ignorance, and learned helplessness is what will destroy you, destroy us all, and you still care enough, have enough compassion for your destroyers, to still try to save them.  That’s Carol, getting kicked out of her apartment, like so many.

 

“Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death….” Thomas Paine

“Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn “reasonable” and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid to stop and speak, and one quarter are killed and you die with them. But the blessed final quarter keep you alive.”  Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here

You’re Kidding Me

Oh my, I suck again.  Of course I already knew goats are notoriously mischievous.  And as a habitual novice, I expect mistakes and steep learning curves, but a nearly fatal accident before my new kids are here even a week?

Don’t worry, the story has a happy ending or I wouldn’t be writing it right now.  I’d still be sobbing, watching chick flicks, eating popcorn, and overindulging in kombucha cocktails, like I did all afternoon yesterday.

I don’t handle this kind of thing well at all.  In fact, even that expression ‘to handle it’ is too generous, because I barely do.  What actually happens is I panic, get hysterical, panic some more, act out of sheer desperation, and then sob, whether or not I was successful.  I have so much awe and admiration for real farm folk, the kind that grew up with livestock, so that all this life and death drama is second nature to them.  But I grew up like most Americans, very sheltered from death and the other common dramas of nature.

I woke up yesterday morning and went directly to the corral where I have the new kids penned up, for their safety, of course.  No, not at all of course.  Phoebe, once the tamer and more exuberant of the two, had wedged herself in the feeder, she was on the ground not moving, I thought she was dead.  Panic ensued immediately.  I left the gate open as I rushed to her, and out bolted Chestnut, who then also panicked as the dogs began pursuing her eagerly around the corral.

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Guard or chase, we’re getting mixed messages?!

Phoebe’s neck was twisted in a horrific way, but she was still breathing.  And I couldn’t get her out.  I struggled for what seemed like 20 minutes but was probably more like 2, absolutely beside myself.  I thought for sure if her neck wasn’t already broken, I was breaking it without a doubt.

I did at last get her out, she tried to stand, head and neck terribly deformed, and fell right back down again.  My mind was racing and whirling and the very thought that I was going to have to put her down had me collapse in a heap of sobbing.

She barely moved all day.  Miraculously though, she’s now recovering.  She doesn’t have her voice back at all, she’s more skittish, but she’s eating, and I am so grateful, and so lucky that my ineptitude and panic didn’t cause nearly as much pain as expected.

Something good in fact came out of it—I realized the wild grapes are ripe as I tore at the vines to bring the kids.  Today’s a new day and there’s no time to keep crying over milk not even spilled.

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Grapes for the adults and vines for the kids. Now get busy crushing, woman!

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2 huge tomato plants found dead, mysteriously, full of unripe fruit. No time to cry or wonder why!

Fact, Fiction, Fantasy

The only social media I follow are YouTube (which I’m happy to replace with D-Tube or whatever-comes-next-Tube) and this site where I post this blog.  That’s simply because, I’m not forced to spend time on any others. 

I don’t like it enough to spend many hours daily in cyberspace, but I know loads of folks are all over many social sites.  So, I rely on a few trusted channels to inform me on what’s informing our shared reality.

James Corbett is a major one, for a very long time. It’s been so long now that I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve been following his work.  James and I have a lot in common actually.  We both studied literature at university.  We both taught English in countries outside our own.  And where I’m something of a ‘word NAZI’ he’s something of a ‘fact NAZI’—something I adore about him.  (Do I even dare to make NAZI jokes these days?!)

Anyway, it’s clear in these ‘days of our virus’ (aka ‘Best Apocalypse Ever’) that facts have run amok, manufactured chaos has crowned himself king, and discernment is on death’s doorstep.

I can hear poor discernment knocking on this door, pounding actually and yelling at the top of his lungs, “Hey, anybody in there who wants to come out yet?”  He’s just found some extra room in his balloon and he’s rescuing yet-undead prisoners by the dozens.  

I expect that it’s a limited time only offer.

If you’re ready to join him, here’s a great lesson on facts.

James sparked a profound memory for me during this video: The first time I remember Mom saying to me: “Look it up!”

She was talking about the phone book, which from the moment when I pulled one of the enormous yellow volumes from the hall closet, it felt like the most fascinating book I’d ever seen.  I remember trying to figure out the phone book not long before I tried to figure out the dictionary, then the encyclopedia, then the Bible.

I remember my huge frustration at wanting to look up so many things, but I didn’t even know the words for them.  So, ‘look it up’ became my first seemingly insurmountable challenge as a child.  If I wanted to ‘look it up’ I had to first know what it’s called.

Lifetime mission begins.

Here’s going to be a great lesson on fiction.

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I’ll admit, I haven’t read it yet.  But, I’m about to start it today.  Since we’re on a James theme I figure, why not advertise it, just because I trust it’s going to be excellent?!

And here’s my life: a great lesson on making your fantasies into actual realities.  We did this, from scratch—raw land at first—mistaking our way to this point like the one-eyed man leading the blind lady.  

I can’t help but wonder sometimes if I would’ve had the courage to do it if Grandpa hadn’t thrown me in lake before I knew how to swim.

While I still mostly suck at it even after a decade, at least I can trust it’s real.

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Our newest addition to the wee homestead, next I learn to milk!