Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pebbles In the Stream

In responding to comments to my post about the presidential election and why it is important to consider carefully your vote and why it should be for the President I touched on a theme I would like to expand on a bit.

Everyday we make decisions about our relationship to the universe and each of those decisions, on balance, determine whether our influence/relationship with the universe is net positive or negative. Getting in the care and driving a block to the store(when we could probably walk if not disabled) is probably a negative, tossing the empty bottle in the recycling is probably a positive. The universe flows by and through us throughout our lives and as we each participate in the flow our tiny contribution is either, on balance, going to shift the overall flow toward the positive or the negative however miniscule our individual contribution is. Each action or inaction we take needs to be considered in light of the flow. Do I want to be a positive influence or a negative influence.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Home Stretch

Nice surprise the... PTB cancelled my shift for today which means that I will have a third day off in a row and I should get the final tasks in the garden completed with time to spare. Pretty much everything is planted. All the tomatoes are caged and/or staked and the peppers as well. Today will be mulching and other finalizing chores. They also cut my shift on Tuesday in half so I have actually had three and a half days it show in the progress. Everything looks nice right now but soon the battle of the weeds begins but on the plus side it is also that much closer to reaping the bounty. Really looking forward to all the new heirloom tomatoes and the new peppers. I have again planted too many of everything but I can't help myself.  I
I'll try and get a picture this afternoon if I remember to show off the handiwork.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I just want to echo Bobby's post at BBWW re: Romney's effect. If Romney pulls out a win in November it will also probably mean that he will have both house of Congress at his back at will. For those of you that, for whatever NOBLE reason, think that withholding your vote for President Obama will somehow allow you to mark your protest of the fact that President Obama has turned out not to be the Second Coming or whatever...think again.
With a GOP congress and Romney at the helm we will be in for a nightmare. Cuts to Medicaid, Social Security, decreased spending on the safety net, increased spending for defense, complete abandonment of environmental laws and wise energy policy. Increased flow of the nation's wealth to the 1% and a complete abandonment of the less fortunate. Everything we progressives hate most will be the plan. If you can't see the positive potential of keeping the GOP at bay even with the evidence of the Ryan budget and the last 3 plus years of dysfunctional government staring you in the face you are at best delusional. Protest, write letters, blog your dissatisfaction, wear your hair shirt anyway you like but make the only semi-rational decision and do your best to see that we don't become a nation where the idiots in the current GOP are running the show.
I know President Obama has not my or your expectations but I also understand a lot of the reasons why. The reality of GOP governance has me scared juice less and if Bugs Bunny were my only choice over Romney that is where my vote would be.

To reiterate what Bobby said....If you don't vote for Obama over Romney or you withhold your vote for Obama out of protest for not getting whatever "pony" you were expecting, you will be doing exactly as Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, Norquist and all the other wealthy white old guys want.  Of course they want you to vote against your own self interest and vote for Romney but if they can get you to not vote for Obama it will be at least a half a loaf and they will win, just with not as large a margin. Think about you really want to do what Karl Rove wants.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day

It is Earth Day tomorrow and more than ever we need to recognize the important relationship we all have with our Mother. We cannot continue to ignore her needs lest she begin to ignore ours. We are of her and her health and well being are ours. To challenge this truth is insanity. Thanks to Hecate for the poem.

May the blessing of Sunlight fall upon you!
May its warmth embrace you like a great
hearth-fire, and nourish your green growing things.
And may its heat not exceed proper measure!

May the blessing of rain wash over you!
May its sweet waters run through
your streams and rivers and render
them fair and clear once again.
May they find their way to your
seas, your deep seas where the blue
of heaven shines, and may your seas
teem again with fish of every kind.
And may your seas not exceed proper measure!

May your old forests rise again, that
the council of the growing things be
heard in the land.
May we remember each and all living
things have a place in the order.
And may we not let our portion, the
human being portion, exceed our own
proper measure!

~Michael Green

It's Earth Day and you need to figure out how you can be a blessing to Mother Earth. You need to concentrate on how you can leave Her healthier than you found Her. It doesn't take much. Recycle, compost bin, vegetable garden, leaving off with insecticides, whatever. Small things add up.

For those of you not aware. The above poem is a powerful spell and you should each read it out loud and with an emotional commitment to its truth and power.  If enough of us make the emotional investment in the ideas expressed it will shift the force just that much further toward the positive.

Blessed be!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

No Surprise

Well it is two years tomorrow since the Deepwater Horizon spill and in spite of what we are being told by the PWTB and American media Al Jazeera actually has done some reporting on the ongoing effects of the worst environmental disaster of all time. It's ugly and very sad.

“The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”
Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.
Cowan’s findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants.
Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP’s 2010 oil disaster.
Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees’ fingers point towards BP’s oil pollution disaster as being the cause.
We are being lied to. No surprise there. Just keep in mind that the Gulf of Mexico provides about 40% of the seafood consumed in the U.S. and if you think all the eyeless shrimp, mutated crabs and lesion covered fish were consigned to the trash and never reached a dinner table somewhere think again. We haven't seen the full effect of the spill even yet and when we do we are going to be even more horrified. Don't worry though because BP and the other oil companies are making record profits and we are paying record prices for gas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I was scheduled from 8a to 1p yesterday but instead of cashier I had to work the lot as the actual lot guy didn't show up. All the rest of the folks in the "front end" department are women so it fell to me to do the lot. Shouldn't have been too hard on a Monday morning but the "garden fever" of the weekend spilled over and I found myself really busy. Just for fun I kept track of what I loaded in my 5 hours. 172 bales of pine straw. 24 bales of wheat straw. 62 bags of "Moo-nure", 26 bags of top soil and 108 bags of assorted mulch. I was cream crackered by the end. I did, however, with Madam's help, get my 100 plus pepper plants in the ground yesterday afternoon in anticipation of the overnight rains which never came. I don't have to be at work until 3p today so I am going to try and get some more stuff planted before then.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Funny, as in weird, the new store is scheduling me as a garden associate a couple of days a week. I've always been just a cashier but now, even though I am still in the "cashier department" I am having to cross clock into the "garden department" every once in a while. No big deal and it is a nice change not to be tied to a register and be able to walk around and help customers with their garden questions. It isn't like I don't know anything about gardening as you sometimes find at such places. It is also surprising how little so many people know about the basics of gardening and plant care. You get questions about fertilizing beans and their faces go blank when you explain how legumes fix their own nitrogen. I am off in a few minutes for another day as a "garden associate" and we'll see what we can do to help the world stay a little greener. It is a quandary though when people ask me about pesticides and such...yes they will kill the bugs but at what price to your kids, pets, neighbors and planet? I try and give them some options.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hard Gardening

I'm on the second of two days off and more intensive gardening today. Yesterday I got half the tomatoes planted...that would be 55 plants so far. The balance today plus an almost equal number of pepper plants if I have time. Yesterday were the main season varieties, Celebrity, Rutgers, San Marzano, and Italian Heirloom. Today will be smaller numbers of heirloom varieties. Lemon Drop, Cherokee Purple, Velvet Red, Wapsipincon Peach, Moonglow, Gold Medal and a couple of others. Also have to plant the Aunt Molly's ground cherry which will be a new one for me.
All the squash, beans, cucumbers, okra, corn and all still need to be planted but this is the last day off for a few. I have to keep reminding myself that it is only the middle of April and that I have plenty of time but the warm temperatures are driving me.
This year I am going for low maintenance since I have limited time. Newspaper mulch around the tomatoes, okra, peppers, and eggplant to help with the weeds and heavy mulching of other stuff. Maybe I can stay ahead of the weeds with less work this year.
If the warm temperatures and scarce rainfall so far this year it could be a challenging summer for us gardeners.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Holiday Over

Our friends have left to  catch the last two days of the Masters in Augusta. We had a great time...ate too much and all that. Both of them look great and especially Fred and he seems to have bounced back from heart surgery and abdominal surgery last year. He even went to the gym with me one day. Madam caught up on all the gossip with her best friend. It was really a nice time. No real agenda, just hanging out.
I did get the garden laid out yesterday afternoon so some gardening was done on the week off and I'll probably get some planting done over the week. The nighttime temps have gone back to pretty much normal for this time of year so I don't feel so pressured to get something in the ground as they will just sit there until the temps stay a little warmer overnight.
Back to work today and tomorrow and both days I am scheduled as a Lot Associate. Probably won't have to actually do the lot stuff, which is hard work for an old man but I least it won't get into the 80's today or tomorrow.
Everyone, who feels so inclined, enjoy your Easter. Try and limit the jelly beans, Peeps and chocolate bunnies if you can. If you actually went all old fashioned and colored some actual eggs try making deviled eggs after you roll them around the lawn. I might add that a pinch of curry powder, Dijon mustard, a pinch of sea salt and rice vinegar make a nice deviled egg. If you are adventurous then a bit of Srirachi makes a fine addition as well.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Friends Time

Our friends from Arkansas arrived last night on their way to the Masters. We haven't seen them in a couple of years and it is really nice to get back together. They drove straight through and arrived just at the beginning of the NCAA game. A good thing as they are big time Kentucky fans as he is an alum.
Going to play for the next couple of days and get caught up. Eat some good food and probably drink a little too much and laugh a lot. It will be even quieter that usual around here.