Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Haaaave a Dreeeaaammm...

How did you read the title?  With a strong, vibrant voice full of passion and hope?  Or was it more like the ABBA song?

Regardless, I do have a dream, of sorts, and it involves the jungle I call a yard.

The first part of the dream is that it no longer look like a jungle.  That may take a minute, as Someone is the yard and garden person in this family and he's, umm...kinda in jail right now, which puts a crimp on the whole yard work thing for him.  I loathe yard work entirely and will, in fact, hug the shade and coolth of the air-conditioned Casa at every opportunity when the weather turns hot.  Which it already has.  80 degrees Fahrenheit is about as high as I like to climb on the thermometer.  After that?  I'll be inside until the next frost, if it can be helped.

So de-jungling (yes, spell check, that is TOO a word - I just made it up) falls to me, and I find myself woefully unprepared for it.  There's the whole weeding thing - you have to bend over and pull those suckers up, and bending?  In public?  Outside? Where people can see?  And probably point, laugh, and offer to rent that advertising space?  Yeah...no.  Still, it needs doing.

And then there's the watering.  Well, I can't complain about that - I have a marvelous sprinkler that is adjustable in several ways and has a timer, so all I have to do is turn a dial and turn on the hose, and the garden (and only the garden) gets watered.

What about mowing?  I'm thinking I need a goat.  I could milk it and make soap or something, and it probably wouldn't break down as often as the mowers have around here.  Seriously, Casa de Crazy kills lawn mowers at an alarming rate!  Push mowers, riding mowers, mowers of every sort, they come here to die.  The only mower that is still moderately workable is the reel mower, and?  I am in no shape to much about with that thing.  It damn near kills Someone to use it.  Me?  I wouldn't mow an inch before I was done for a month.  So right now I haven't realistically got the means to mow, and I think I see and hear things rustling in the grass.  For all I know a giraffe has escaped from some menagerie somewhere and is happily ensconced in my yard.

The second part of the dream involves making less lawn, more garden (or "edible estate", as I've heard them called) and maybe wildflower meadow and possible even orchard in the distant future.  Casa de Crazy sits on a 3/4 acre lot, which doesn't sound like much but it looks huge to me, and I figure the part that isn't wooded could be useful for something besides creating hernias and causing heat rash.  I'm thinking a few fruit trees and some berry bushes, and a new strawberry bed that isn't quite as chaotic as the current one would all be nice.  I don't plan to live here forever, but I don't mind leaving something nice behind for the next person, either.

Third comes the outdoor living part.  We have a couple of really nice outdoor tables, one of which has matching chairs.  Right now they're sort of planted out in the grass, forlornly wondering why no one ever uses them.  As long as I'm spending the lottery money, I would like a stone paver patio out front, and a little fire pit and seating area around the side.  Around the other side, a greenhouse wouldn't hurt my feelings.  While I may not like being hot and sweaty, I would probably spend a lot more time outdoors if I didn't have to worry about being eaten by whatever lives in our personal Serengeti.

Before anything, though, I guess I will have to remove the junk that has accumulated all around the yard and house.  We may have a packrat or two living here, and they've gathered up some impressive items.  Impressive, that is, if you judge more by weight or size rather than actual, you know, usefulness.  There's the refrigerator that could double as a bus.  The collection of bits and pieces of I-don't-know-what.  The riding lawnmower huddled under some kind of cover, defunct and bewildered as to why it deserved such a fate.  The portable fireplace/grill that I adore but has lost a leg and now has to be propped against the arm of one of my metal chairs if I want to use it.  The chair arm is the perfect height, by the way, but this makes the fireplace/grill rather less than portable and the chair rather less than sit-able.  There are a few million plastic cat litter buckets kept because...umm...why?  Oh, yeah - they make good planters in case we run out of the thousand black pots in the garage.


There is a lot to do, and even on a good day I can't do most of it.  I have to try, though.

Do you think the neighbors would call the loony bin on me if I try to clip the grass with kitchen shears?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Time Flies

Fun or no fun, time has a way of slipping through my fingers and flying away to become distant past before it was ever really present.

Things have been...well...interesting strange umm...things.

I am swallowing my pride because my pride isn't terribly helpful just now.  It's rather getting in my way.  It's taken me a minute to work up to posting this, because I am a coward, and proud, and not much in the mood for dealing with censure and negativity, but one can't be apathetic and expect to get anything done.

So here goes.

Someone was arrested in February for a variety of charges, mostly centering around possession of marijuana.

Those who know me know I am an advocate for legalization, that I believe the prohibition of marijuana does more harm than good, that I believe it IS a medicinal plant and worthy of consideration in the treatment of many ills.  I believe the prohibition continues because it is profitable and gives law enforcement something to show the public - "Look, see, we're effective and keeping your community safe from ravening potheads!"  I am also not a consumer because I can't - is it unlawful and it also tends to make me rather useless because I have a low tolerance (I found out the latter many, many, many centuries ago, well beyond whatever the statute of limitations is for this sort of thing).  If I could be, legally, I might occasionally partake when the variety plate gets to be too much.  As it is, I am clean, sober, very much rooted and grounded in the here and now.  Whee.


Anyway, he was arrested at his place.  Eventually I got him bonded out, but he was re-arrested for bond violation and other charges added on to the first set.  Whee.  This time, there is no bond.  As we are collectively broker than a politician's promise, we can't afford a lawyer, so he has a public defender.  I am certain there are good public defenders in the world, but they are NOT located here in Redneck Central.  The man assigned to Someone's case hasn't contacted him or me, despite many phone calls, e-mails, pleas for information and action.  He is notorious among the other inmates of the jail for NOT seeing his clients and for largely ignoring them until trial days, when they may speak to him for a minute or two before going into court.  The only thing anyone from the PD office has said to me is "Tell him to shave his beard, he will look better to the judge."  Really?  This does not inspire confidence.

I need a moment to breathe.


I am trying to find a lawyer who will take payments, but that's about as easy as locating an honest politician. So I have swallowed my pride in one big lump, stressed myself to the point of nausea, and reached out to the world at large with this:

I miss him.  I write him every day, even though he only gets mail on week days.  When I can afford to pre-pay for calls, he calls me every day.  He talks to Sprout on the phone at least once a day, and I am now one of those horrible mothers who takes her child to the jail to visit her Papa, because she misses him to the point of tears and thirty minutes a week on the other side of the glass are better than no minutes a week, and HE needs HER, too.

I did find a lawyer who is highly recommended and who isn't demanding insanely high fees up front, but I still have to come up with several thousand dollars in advance, and then bond money on top of that (if we can even GET bond, because Goddess forbid they should let the nasty old pot smoker back out to endanger the community with his nefarious...umm...smokerage!), and hope that we can get the charges dropped (there is some question of rights violations and incorrect procedure, and for once I hope the police DID screw up their case) or at least lessened and bring Someone home where we need him and he belongs.

So...yeah...I know not everyone agrees with me about legalizing and whatnot.  And I know there are plenty of people who just don't like Someone and/or think he should just sit there and/or don't care to lend a hand.  But...on the off chance you, gentle reader, feel like-minded and/or compassionate, in case you know anyone else who may feel like-minded and/or compassionate...please feel free to click, to share, to spread the word that a family has been rent and we could use all the help we can get to put ourselves back together - I will not settle for the Humpty-Dumpty story ending.  We will be whole again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pollen Count

When I was a child, I never knew there was such a thing as a pollen count.  Even in my teens, I was unaware of what, exactly, the phenomenon was called.

What I did know was that every year, something crawled into my head through my sinuses and played the timpani...badly...before migrating down into my lungs and camping there for a few weeks, lodging me firmly in The Misery Zone.

One spring, it even turned into a lovely case of pneumonia that came within a gnat's ninny of hospitalizing me.  Fun times.

To this day I am not certain what the pollen count really means.  I mean...okay...I understand it's how much pollen is in the air at any given time, usually a daily average or high.  But...how does that apply?  Sometimes the count is really quite low and I have a head full of glue.  Sometimes the count is insanely high and my sinuses are as clear as if I'd been eating hot Chinese mustard by the spoonful.  It seems it's not the amount of pollen, it's what the pollen is that matters most.

I propose that instead of a count telling us how much pollen there is overall, we change it to a pollen quality, enumerating the various things trying to kill us at any given time.  Heck...not just pollen...how about we include particulate matter like pollution and diesel exhaust, construction dust, and the dry, powdery substance that looks, acts, and smells remarkably like what comes out of a bull's backside but in fact spills out of politicians' mouths every time they open them.

In fact, I bet if we installed BS filters on politicians, our general air quality would improve exponentially!

Meanwhile, we are well within the time period when my immune system goes haywire in response to the blooming of things, so I will be keeping Kleenex in business for the next month or so.  Poor Evil Genius suffers the same affliction, so he'll be joining me in the head-full-of-pudding-lungs-full-of-gelatin-nose-running-like-a-faucet club.  Lucky us.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Rare (Hah!) Political Rant

So much of what passes for politics these days is an expression of fear.  On either side of the line, people are fearful of what they could lose, of what they may have to accept, or what others may gain from them.  Fear becomes anger, becomes hatred, becomes a blinding unreason and goads people into believing what they would never  consider were they rooted in calmer thought.  Insults are hurled, and stones, and judgement.  Here's the thing - we all need to eat.  We all need shelter.  We all need water.  The sun shining on one group shines on another.  If the fear were gone, we could perhaps feel free to express our better selves, our compassionate selves, and move beyond these galvanizing polarities of Democrat, Republican, Tea Party, Libertarian, all so much of a muchness.

I am vociferous in my opinion of politicians.  All politicians.  I lump every one of them beyond the grassroots level into the category of Untrustworthy Manipulative Liars and Thieves.  There isn't a single one of them who has not lied to us, who has not been forsworn.  Oathbreakers, all of them, every President in my lifetime, every member of the House and the Senate, every Mayor, every Governor.

Of course I fear losing my freedom.  Equally, I fear losing my Self to the fear being flung will-he, nil-he into the world by people who will do whatever it takes to have their way.  I fear being blinded by an emotional response to an irrational  manipulation.

Once again, I remind you of what Sarah said to the Goblin King:  You have no power over me.

When we realize this...then we'll truly be free...and all of the politicking in the world won't be able to enslave us.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Not My Cuppa

Today I made coffee.  I don't usually.  I like coffee okay, but I prefer tea.  Still, today I made coffee so I would smell it throughout the house and feel Someone's presence here in his absence.  He's away for a bit.

The thing is, once I made it, I couldn't let it go to waste, so I drank some of it.  Okay, a lot of it.

You wouldn't think it would have much of an impact given my tea habit.  No...you wouldn't think that.

After the third cup, I could feel the Universe vibrating.

I saw colors that aren't part of the known spectrum.

I could hear the creaking of the harness on draft horses in Pennsylvania.  From next week.

Next time I will just sniff the bag of beans.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's Not East Being Cheesy

It's not much easier being mentally ill. Sounds so scary "Mentally ill", and a little dangerous. Not at all glamorous, though, and not terribly interesting. Mostly dull and uncomfortable.  Often terribly self-contained, because no one really wants to hear about it as often as I experience it.

Right now, the depression is in the forefront, and I am trying not to let it win...but boy, oh boy am I tempted not to get up in the morning.  The kids can just eat graham crackers all day, right?

No.  No, they can't.  Get up.


I wish I could say there is a great and noble battle being fought, or relate some heartening tale of how I have triumphed over evil...or at least ennui...but the truth is, I'm just muddling through in a rather uninspiring fashion.  It's boring, really.

Every day, at some point in the day, I just want to give up, to lie down and quietly fade into nothingness.  Every day, I continue on with what I am doing and just endure.  Every day, I could easily just be done, and every day I find something to keep ticking along for.

Paranoia is taking its toll, as well.  Recently, traffic in the cul-de-sac had increased.  People come driving down our road and zip around the circle...and it has me on edge.  I want to go out and stop them, ask them who they are and why they need to come down here.  I imagine telling them "If you don't live here and aren't visiting someone here, you don't need to drive down here, so cut it out before I have to start pelting you with stones or rotten fruit."  It's because my mind is trying to convince me they're looking for a house to rob, or are simply part of the vast and nameless "them" who are watching me for whatever reason "they" are watching me.  This would be the same mind that is utterly convinced that my house is bugged and that same "they" zooming around the cul-de-sac have also put video cameras in all my vents.  I kid you not, there is a part of me that believes this.  Luckily, that part is relegated to a dark corner of my mind where it has to be content with rocking back and forth and sucking its thumb. I'm lucky...I know what's paranoia and what's real...it doesn't make the unreal less...umm...real...in the moment, but I have an anchor to reality that many are missing.  It makes all the difference.

The news is full of cruelty, hatred, and anger, and I don't understand it.  I don't understand why people think it's okay to make special rules for a special few, to give privilege to some and deny it to others.  Basic things, simple human rights.  I don't understand how people can be so horrid to themselves, others, animals, or even the very planet.  How, even in a greed induced tizzy, can ANYONE think that waste and destruction are good for any future generations?  It makes me sad and frustrated...for crying out loud, my brain is broken, people, and I can see we're in a very bad way here on our little rock!

My mind preys on me, and there's not much to be done about it.  I'm one of the lucky ones - my OCD expresses itself in small ways, like how the dishwasher is loaded, how the dishes are put away, and how laundry is done and folded.  I'm not trapped in a cycle of hand washing or door locking or some of the other terrible behavioral tics that make up the illness for others.

It would be so easy to dwell and dwell on what's wrong...but instead, I'm trying to do something right.  Feed someone hungry.  Make a quilt to help raise money for someone who needs it.  Listen when a friend needs to talk.  Plant things...lots of things...big things, little things, edible things, flowering things, beautiful things, ordinary things.  Tickle my kids until their laughter makes the walls ring.  Asking "How can I help?"  All anger does is create more anger.  I'm aiming for some Zen, some peace, some compassion, and some light-heartedness.  Misery I have in spades...I'm working on my store of good stuff right now.