Monday, June 29, 2015

We Must Tend Our Garden

We had rain and the air is delightfully cool and dry -- a good time to be in the garden. What you see here is asparagus above the wall  and summer squash, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and three kinds of kale in the box beds.

Sweet corn, in the farthest two rows is coming on; there are little green tomatoes in the two row above the sweet corn; and the pole beans (Purple Royalty) are starting to make. In the foreground is the Glass Gen Indian corn -- remember year before last a friend sent me a few seeds?  I grew about eight plants then, saved the seed, and have quite a few more this year. 

Green peppers are almost big enough to pick.

No cucumbers yet but the vines seem healthy. And there are a few beets -- which I grow mainly because I like the leaves in salads.
The basil is flourishing -- I spent a little time trimming off the blooms and weeding around it -- enjoying the quiet of a beautiful day and the clove-like smell of basil in the air

Saturday, June 27, 2015

And There Was Great Rejoicing -- Along With Weeping and Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

Good grief, what a week!  First the horror of the Charleston shooting --  followed by the amazing grace and dignity of the response from the victims' families.  Couple that with the beginning of a national conversation about the perceived symbolism of the Confederate flag and the sudden rush of various entities (WalMart, Amazon, Sears, EBay, KMart, NASCAR, ) to disassociate themselves from what is, at best, an extremely polarizing symbol.  


Amid all of this, I kept thinking of the shooter's answer to the question of why he sat there in the church for an hour before opening fire. And he said (paraphrasing) 'They were so nice to me. But I had a mission..."

The words of a person who has allowed brainwashing to overpower a natural response.  A mission.  It breaks my heart. 

But then there was the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the ACA -- or Obamacare as the Right derisively tagged it. Millions get to keep their coverage and Obamacare is starting to look like a legacy -- like Social Security or the Civil Rights Act.

Had the ruling gone the other way and a whole lot of newly insured people lost their coverage, I suspect it would have been dire news for the future hopes of the GOP. So, good news and bad. 

And then, in the second half of a one-two punch, the SCOTUS delivers yesterday's knockout blow to marriage discrimination. Oh, calloo, callay!  It's no longer gay marriage, it's just marriage. Equal rights.

We're not done. There's still Citizens United that needs overturning, environmental issues galore that need addressing, minimum wages, women's issues -- and, as they say, many more. And there are quite a few hateful legislators and governors I, for one, would love to see the back of.

But for this one brief moment, I'm feeling kinda hopeful, even celebratory.

I don't doubt that some of you disagree. Feel free -- just stay civil.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Khaleesi, Mother of . . . One Very Large Chick

Justin and Claui's chickens are free range these days and when the lone bantam hen went missing, they assumed the worst. Things happen to chickens, as my grandfather told me when I asked him about the normal lifespan of a chicken. And we have foxes, coyotes, blacksnakes, and hawks all around,  ready for a chicken dinner.

Imagine their surprise when , after weeks, the little banty showed up, trailed by one outsize chick. Whether the chick is her own -- thanks to Justin's regular sized rooster -- or from an egg one of the other hens laid in her hidden nest, there couldn't  be a  prouder mama.

She was nameless until this happy event  but now Justin is calling her Khaleesi, for the <other of Dragons in Game of Thrones.

We are hopeful that she'll continue to outwit the predators . . .

Khaleesi is staying close to the barn where she had her nest, accepting daily offerings of chicken food . . .

And she is staying vigilant.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dinosaurs Walk Among Us . . .

No, I'm no talking about those benighted individuals who cling to their Confederate flags and white supremacy as fervently as they cling to their assault rifles.

I'm talking about birds, more specifically this young turkey I encountered loitering by the roadside.

He's lost a lot of the scariness of the original dinosaurs, but if you're paying attention. the similarities are there.

Look at those feet, for one thing . . .

The dinosaurs are still here -- they just changed a bit -- in the same way the KKK or the White Citizens Council can morph into a Council of Conservative Citizens.

Hmmm, maybe I am talking about those other turkeys --
 the ones with their Confederate flags

 There's a good piece  HERE about the link between birds and dinosaurs.