State Flower of Colorado – and one of my favorite songs/lyrics that speak volumes…. Yes, I find solace in music…
State Flower of Colorado – and one of my favorite songs/lyrics that speak volumes…. Yes, I find solace in music…
This spring has been hard – I tried to brush it off, ignore it, pretend to be better than I really am, but it’s been hard –
THERE! I said it Out Loud!
For a myriad of reasons, for a myriad of converging happenstances – yes, I’m now at the point of holding on and flying by the seat of my pants in order to make it through the next few weeks –
Despite my best plans and actions geared towards Avoiding Precisely This Moment(s) – (this moments? These moments? OH! Curse the Gods of English grammar! :) ) I find myself retreating into Que Sera, Sera – and holding on for the ride, and focusing on observing, rather than doing…
Since I’ve now given up the battle, in hopes of ‘winning the war’, as it were, I am going to retire into ‘what will be, will be (which is where I could have rested, to begin with, but Noo….I simply have to do all the Human Drama of planning and scrambling, in order to feel like I had a say in Fate, in the months leading up to Now, beforehand, in order to feel like, perhaps I’m master of me own destiny, doncha know – – is this a Neurotic thing? Or American thing, I wonder? …
Where was I? Oh Yes…..
I have to share a video from one of my faves – the lyrics, which seem to be regarding lovers (ugh! LOL! You didn’t think I changed that much, just yet, did you? Really? Well, hope does spring eternal….) the lyrics, actually, speak to my heart, just like they always have – – do you think I’m addicted to ‘the hard way’ – because of my culture, faith, gender, nationality? Nope –
I agree –
I do it cuz I’m human – and we all have our areas where we make things harder than we needed to –
But, oh, what we learn we we walk the path of the hard way –
(This blog part of and in response to, Linda G. Hill’s “Give Me A Break!”, SoCS writing prompt/post:
I was a smoker – I quit, started, re-quit, started again, stopped again – I am at a point in life where I am perfectly okay dealing with my nicotine addiction, dialing it down enough to let lunches in summer of eggplant and tomatoes feed my inherited addiction – instead of reaching for one of horrible, awful, nasty, only-people-who-might-as-well-be-a-smoking-pedophile, might do to feed their nicotine addiction…
Yes, to me, it is that bad… And it is surprising to folks who know me that I could describe my ‘addictive weakness’ this harshly, for they know, I would never wreak terror on a child with intent –
BUT…. This is what it feels like, as I’ve lived through a society that says,
“Let’s All Smoke!”
“We can Smoke when we are Drinking, but probably not good to do all the time…”
“OMG! This stuff is bad for you!! What were you THINKING! Stop! NOW!
“I don’t know why this is a big thing – I smoked for awhile, gave it up and I’m fine – you just lack Self-Discipline…”
“Look, Mommy! That woman is smoking… (in clearly designated smoker’s area so I don’t destroy everyone else….) “She’s a bad person, right, Mommy?” (Mommy, after quick dirty look indicating how I’m one step from becoming (insert your favorite villain from history or movies, replies…), “Yes, Honey, She is a Bad Person! Don’t ever be around people like her! They will Kill You with their …(didn’t here the rest, because she was all but pulling the small child’s arm socket out of the shoulder joint in hurry-scurry to get away from bad influences…but I suspect, you must not come into contact with me, because I used to smoke, and could revert at anytime, therefore, I am pure Evil….)
Like all things, that touch a chord in me, and I feel the need to respond to, in order to address the complaints from one side, with the needs of another, and try to find the happy medium for healthy living, compassion and fellowship, I list out the following bullet points – both on past and latest research, AND what you can do to find that common middle ground/compromise with someone you love to be around BUT you just cannot find the Great Divide Mid-Point on the Smoking Issue – :)”
Factoids (listed in oldest, to newest information, received by this grey matter….)
So, now that I’ve shared some prior hurts/experiences/etc. over being a smoker in a society that morphed from “Everyone Smokes, why aren’t you?” to “OMG! YOU EVIL! Get Away!” perceptions – when I’m technically a Nicotine Afficiando (Addict) – I’m not even going to post the Factoids on Research – Lord Knows, I have quite a few times before AND I’ve Blogged about my various journeys in quitting cold-turkey, quitting via help of FDA approved, Dr., prescribed pharmaceuticals (Heck! I had quit for nearly 4 years, and a mis-diagnosis of Depression, with 3 days worth of prescribed medicine sent me right back to the pacifier of cigarettes/nicotine and a further black mark, in my mind, over Big Pharma –
So I won’t bore you, further – search any keywords re: nicotine, e-cigs, nicotine, etc., with the addition of ‘ballybin.wordpress.com” and you’ll have reading material –
BUT, I must share the irony:
Nope, I still get torqued off over this Smoking Debate – If every smoker (legal if you’re of age, to buy/pay taxes on) quits tomorrow – the s**t you are addicted to, to ease your soul and keep you sane may just be taxed heavily in order to make up for the lost revenue – –
Here’s My List of Things to Tax, in Lieu of Tobacco Products:
Chocolate (whaddya I care? I crave chocolate about once a decade and I’ll pay the damn tax… Granted, those of you who love dark, bitter, no sugar, cream or anything else added dark chocolate lovers, should get a free pass – because, in small amounts, it is good for you – Everyone else? You are increasing our National HealthCare, Even Losers Can’t Die from Poor Life Choices, System – Say goodbye to your store bought, American made Chocolate bars –
Twinkies – I LOVE TWINKIES! I’ll Pay $2 in taxes per box! Seriously! I only indulge once in a blue moon – whadda I care if you eat a box a day?
Alcohol – Ramp that crap up (granted, we imbibers are already carrying a big share of the deficit, BUT – shouldn’t that just encourage us all to grow the goods in our urban backyard and make our own healthy brews/tonics/fermented beverages? Seriously? Love the Microbrewery rennaissaince going on – but then, that’s just me… One of my son’s friends is taking agricultural classes and a brewmaster class next year – busy sourcing plants to have a variety of ingredients for him to choose from next winter/spring for his final – – LOL
All Cosmetics/Fashionable Clothes – Doesn’t have to be a big tax – for health sake/cultural uses, you really ought to replace purchased cosmetics every 2 weeks to 1 year time frame, and completely refresh your wardrobe every season – small percentage should make up the deficit if you just tax the hell out of pharmaceutical grade nicotine OR make it legal to Grow/Cure your own for home use AND/OR make purchase of pre-rolled cigarettes or papers high taxed –
(…Cuz ya know… that chemical/nasty smell that really has gotten to you these past few years? Well, yes, that’s the fire-retardent papers that are federally mandated – seems to many smokers were burning themselves because they fell asleep – so we must keep the smokers safe while making the rest of you non-smokers nauseated from the smell and toxic from the chemicals – HEY! I didn’t come up with this plan! Don’t Blame Me….)
P.S. Forgive the typos, harshness, tangents – I just participated in a topic posted for SoCS by Linda G Hill, and been bloggy pals with her, long enough, I figure, she’ll see my good points, forgive my failings and say, “Oh? Are you actually writing again?” and we’ll all have a good laugh – –
Linda – my house is a purified and essential oiled and being modified to get rid of 9 months of smoking back indoors (during a fail) – You ever find yourself nearby, If I fall off the wagon, I will go outdoors in my own home, to ease your comfort – I would never, ever, expect to smoke in your smoke free car, home, work place – – LOL – I have found ways to wash/neutralize the smell off me if I dare to smoke 150 yards away in the designated smoker’s area with a high wind blowing the stink off me –
BUT! If ever I fall of the wagon, will you kindly ask, “I’m really allergic to smoke, what needs to happen in order for me to enjoy an evening at your place, chatting, breaking bread and having fun?” instead of, “Well! You should just quit smoking and if you do that, then I don’t care what else you do for me, or how hard you try – it’s never good enough – until I KNOW You have QUIT forever and never go back, fall off the wagon, etc….”
Think there needs to be a club, for the Nic Addicts, right?
I’m thinking ASS is a good one – “Association of Slipped Smoker’s” – – It will double in meaning for all the Holier than Though Quitters who want to judge those quitters/sliders coming up behind them – – LOL
Thanks for the thought/prompt/blog post, Linda G! Ya Know I enjoy your take on the world – and left this as is, without asking permission to fix/re-write to be kinder – I hope you understand that I trust you to take the ‘tongue in cheek, mixed in with old hurts/anger’ stuff that came out while I did SoCS – cuz seriously? Your cyber relationship, chat-time, etc., more important to me as a connection than talking about my addictions and raising awareness….LOL
If the National Weather Service is right on target, I’d better share with you what’s been going on this spring, before it’s covered by a blanket of snow…
Also my way of letting you know, I’m still alive and haven’t killed my self yet, through clumsiness… :)
Ya know, I DID finally get my power tools AND the “replace-old-wiring in house project continues on….
Me + Power Tools + Electricity = Massive Danger for anyone in a 5 mile radius! :)
This isn’t really a photo montage – cuz, seriously, my photos don’t immediately share the ‘words’ I think ya ought to know – so, while I won’t ACTUALLY write 1,000 words per photo – each one has a story (and keep an eye out, cuz some of them even share with you some really cool WordPress Family Bloggers, you might just want to check out, if you like visiting here….)
Here we Go!
Tonight…Rainfall will become widespread on the Plains together with isolated thunderstorms, possibly lingering until midnight. Precipitation will start out as rain or a rain-snow mix during the evening in the foothills, then change over to a wet snow by midnight with several inches of wet snow possible by morning…
My body-pain-barometer (which kicks in when I can’t go regularly to acupuncture and actually fix stuff I messed up….) told me, (1) cold-rainy-drizzle storm system moved out around 2pm today…
(HEY! I feel better – lookee here! I can walk right…sorta…)
… and the next one arrived around 4:16pm
(oh, wait…maybe not quite yet….)
Yes! I own my own traveling barometer system that travels without need of special boxes or padding to protect hi-tech equipment! See? How useful being out of balance can be?
On Front porch, man-child moved the items ‘to be planted’, as soon as I can, that might not survive the drop in temp/storm front, even on the protected southern side, (the pears have survived 2 snow storms, right next to the warm stucco of home and radiating heat from tire fence, but – – just in case….)
Next, we move on to the East side of the house, where 2 Autumns’ ago, I thinned the original Iris bed on the western side, and didn’t quite have enough to plant the full eastern area – fortunately, the southeast side has flourished, and should be able to thin and fill in the northeast side this coming fall….
Here’s the original iris bed, complete with transplanted (to get moved away from the Propane tank) growing rhubarb:
I have given rhubarb to 3 neighbors so far – saving some for Mom to make and gift rhubarb pies (she is hoping to find time to bake – she works at a K-12 school, ya know – busy, busy, just now…) and hoping I can harvest a few more before summer hits – WOW!
I thought I damaged the plants by being stingy last spring in harvesting and too busy last fall to call and remind folks to stop by and get some from fall crop – been wondering all winter how that was going to turn out….
Why, you ask, am I’m not preserving? Alas, I like Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam – and 3 years running, still don’t have a strawberry bed – BUT I have a NEW PLAN for this YEAR!! :) Plus, cooking duties at lowest point possible with household in disarray – “Sooo… what crockpot meal, broiler in toaster oven or cold cereal do you prefer?” is the refrain these past few weeks – as one room, by one room is wired to break out 3 breakers into 10 –
The good news is, I will soon have a plug-in for my hair-dryer (just the roots, ya know…) in the bathroom, instead of using a far end of the kitchen/laundry area for such activities – (right over the root cellar door that is sized the same as the cellar door Dorothy in Wizard of Oz tried to make it to at the beginning of the movie…. yes, I live in a 100+ year old home and it has been an expanding from 1 room to enclose nearby areas work in progress over the past century…
And, lest you think me bragging on saved, conserved, existing abundance, let me show you the picture of not yet trimmed native grass and how I still have failed to get ALL the rhubarb moved to it’s new plot:
Let’s see, now what?
The old, big lilac bush on the southeast corner survived 2 snow storms and is bravely carrying on…
The aforementioned Ye Olde Lilac bush supplied edge seedlings that were transplanted August of 2013, to form a barrier between high summer heat retreat for two-leggeds on the the north side of the house, and open Colorado sunny sky for further square-foot gardening beds –
Despite my neglect of weeding/irrigating activities, lilac seedlings are really filling in nicely from the single stalks transplanted…. Thank You Patty!!!
At each end of transplanted lilacs, were the ‘houses’ built for two inherited cottonwood seedlings my friend gave me – they didn’t take off with my lazy permaculture ways, and so, they are being weeded free by stacked special planting mediums (Yes, I’ve blown through the 3 dumptrucks of garden dirt delivered – on F250 load more and I should be done with ‘top build’ stuff), and I will plant the aforementioned Bartlett Pears on each end, instead –
Let us hope I’m not making a mistake….
This pretty, low-growing, plays nicely with other’s, ground cover, which shoots up lovely purple spikes each July/August, reminds me of Lupine. When I arrived here (2013), it was growing in a 2 sq foot area of the Northwest side of the house. Through thoughtful weeding and casual neglect, it has continued to spread and though last year’s roofing/stucco projects and this spring’s need for stable platform to stand on while switching out the electric meter/breaker box means it’s taken a hit in the lower section of picture, it has successfully spread down the entire north side, and even traveled west, and looks like it might just snuff out the last bit of bindweed that still lurks around the propane tank/fence – it has also traveled north to aclimate the tires I put in place that couldn’t save 2 years of growing Holly attempts – The Bishop’s and Vinca plants gifted 2 years ago by my friend Patty continue to spread on the northeast side and hold their own against spreading ground cover and native grasses…
Alas, for a myriad of human reasons, both my own and others’ actions, last summer got away from me – between lack of irrigation and then rains that really blessed weeds, I lost all my sand cherries – 8 of my 25 Golden Currants and all but 4 of my 25 chokecherries –
Not to worry – Got some Buffalo Berry and more Wild Roses to fill in – cuz, that’s what was available in stock through my local Conservation Center this year. (Psst…you can’t see in first picture, but they are nestled in behind the Bartlett Pears on front porch – I figured all the emigrants could keep each other company….)
Here’s the Western Line, with gaps between live chokecherry survivors, almost weeded to be ready to accept a low-growing, drought-resistant, nitrogen fixing, perennial ground cover on each side of the slope and stick more bare-root seedlings in, with 1 foot perimeter of weed barrier covered by pea gravel – (the newspaper/pea gravel stuff didn’t work that well – so try, try again! But seriously, would you guess there are tractor/bus tires under that mound? And yes, the moisture retention in middle is Great! Why do you think the weeds overcame my seedlings? Oh, yes, I mineralized the soil…too….Ooops! ):
And here’s some pics of the Wild Roses on South side to form back drop for garlic, welsh onions (perennials) with successional crops of annual flowers and different lettuce varieties – funny how the ones that got weeded/protected for moisture retention (the rubber mulch didn’t work that great) don’t look as good as the ones I need to re-weed – – sigh – – work in progress:
Last fall, I thinned the Jerusalem Artichoke bed on the west side, after leaving it to it’s own devices for two years – been frantic, afraid I didn’t do it right – but apparently, did it better than I thought, cuz seriously, I only re-planted 12 bulbs – – LOL – either I lost track of time (likely) or it’s been an overall cooler spring…Alas, they have showed up in their own time – and made a note and will compare whenever I unearth my past year journals….
I have carefully protected an area between the irises/rhubarb and the gifted daylillies, (placed next to existing soapweed, currant suckers), to let the one wild poppy of the first year do it’s thing – with little interference other than weeding to give it a chance and no weed/grass barriers to protect seedlings.
This spring, I counted 36 of them – here’s what has happened since August 2013, from one wild poppy:
Native grass, ever hardy, has been cleared by helping hands, will be seeding this non-irrigated, hot area, with gold and burgundy amaranth, and leaving in clover and perhaps scattering some other perennials for pretty roadside picture all season – Will keep you posted… Maybe, one day, I can get that centerpiece from upcycled left-overs installed for eye-catching piece – for now, it waits by a back shed till I can get the growing things figured out….
The Tulip Bulbs in their second year, have survived Thumper the Rabbit and his pals this year – sorry I didn’t snap pics to capture the purple and white blooms (I did enjoy looking at them, even though I didn’t grab the camera – does that count for anything? And the one inherited yellow one that is just a rebel and does it’s own thing….Outside the rock border and in midst of high native grass – Ya gotta love it’s Spirit.
Granted, my elderly, master gardener neighbor, drily commented the tulips were saved because they were well camouflaged by the native grass I hadn’t trimmed/eradicated/etc. – – for me, who cares? They survived, this year!
Okay – first bloggy buddy share, though he will either cry OR shame me for the below pic (check out A Northeastern Ohio Garden to view how Daylilly growing should be done – – properly – – – ), but I confess – the daylillies seem to be thriving, even though my newspaper and mulch layers, which has been cleaned out twice, annually now, and clipped close to ground mid-season, ever since their transplant to my homestead, still have failed to stop tough prairie grass:
The inherited, growing on it’s own with no help from me, whatsoever, other than mowing/weed-whipping activities, Currant bush is already in flower – maybe I ought to just leave it alone – I probably better – else I’ll kill it with my helping hand….
Remember when the southside of the house was graded to run water back towards the foundation and looked like this:
Well, raised beds in, southern rammed earth tire fence in, and ordered the infrastructure pieces (that I couldn’t up-cycle to do what I need), at spring sale, which was big enough savings to allow for delivery on pallets (more cost effective than multiple runs by me in my truck), and conveniently placed right near the work area –
I think I probably lost the 4 grape plants I ordered – southside placement, nestled in behind concrete blocks, still didn’t save them from surprise snow storm 2 – Will have to research and/or plant and wait to see whether they are totally dead or not –
After a productive week, I managed to over-do my left side leg muscles that support my knee working, so I’ve had to take it easy the past 2 days for it to heal – Funny how there was no immediate indication I had just really messed something up – fortunately – sharp pain during a step made me stop, get supporting aide while I hopped about 50 feet into house, removed clothing and said, “Hmmm…that’s puffing up pretty quickly, eh? GAWD NO! STOP! DON’T DIG YOUR FINGERS INTO TO CHECK THERE!!!”
(Did I mention that the Master Craftsmen helping me with electric project is my prior teacher – who has put butterflies over gashes, wrapped cracked ribs and overall, just shakes his head over my tendencies towards injuries?…Yup – he was on hand, and told me what day I’d better go have it looked at if it ain’t better….so I’m covered…)
Just for New Bloggy Cat – whose daughter INVENTED the Self-Feet shot – Here’s a Self-Knee shot – (yes, I hobbled out in my skort in near-snow forming weather to take all these pics….and YES! I have gotten some tan lines this spring – I just ain’t gonna blind you with my white feet (I CANNOT garden barefoot – don’t have all the goatshead/burr plants eradicated – JUST YET! :) And yes, it looks awful, but I still can make it into my size 8 jeans (not the pretend size 8, the size 8’s I wore long ago before we started playing with sizes to make ourselves feel good…although, they are work jeans – they are so old, they are getting frayed here and there – – LOL)
Last pic – of one that does it’s thing, comes up each spring, puts forth beautiful peach colored blossoms bees love each summer and never needs any mollycoddling from me, other than initial rescuing from the ‘clearance’ rack and not arguing with the cashier who didn’t charge me for it, (in her words…)
“I’m just giving you this – it probably won’t make it” – –
Here’s the “Not Gonna Make It Babby” from 2 summers ago –
Oh…right…I best be heading over and catching up on the reader news….Just as soon as I do my heat lamp/essential oil rub/elevation/wrapping of my knee – it’s about that time!
Hope you survived Friday 13th and make it through the full moon okay – I look around my life, read stories and I think of you – and can’t wait to share….wait a minute….
Gasp! Full Moon this next weekend!!! – Now where are my long germination herb/flower seeds?!? I think they need to go in the ground next this week…. if it ain’t snowing…best get them out…ya never know…(hobble out to seed storage area…)
Bye! Thanks for posting & sharing, so I can catch up with you and your world catch-as-catch-can! LUB – Tamrah Jo
The fit has hit the shan, here at BallyBin, as in:
All of which has sent me back to the philosophy I had nearly 3 decades ago…
“I can fly by the seat of my pants, unless you aren’t trying, too – then? All bets are off – maybe I will, maybe I won’t…”
Funny, how the lackadaisical manner in which I used to live before I decided to grow up and be responsible serves me better than any of the other ‘plans’ I’ve tried out these past 2 years –
I’m simply laughing at myself – No matter where you go, there you are and wouldn’t ya know?
Where I was 3 decades ago would have served me better than where ME is at, today – the version of,
“If the system is good/fixed, If I plan, If I think before I do/propose a path – If I get agreement, if I get an okay, If I get a contract pored over by attorney’s – won’t life be golden?”
Nope – I’m going back to the old me – No, my life was still a version of Idiocy, even then – but at least, I had no one to blame, but myself – –
And mistakes were less expensive, too –
Um, yeah – when I have a moment to breathe, I’m so worn out/down, I’m going through hitting the “Like” button if it’s doable – and little else – just to let you know, I’m still here – I still take joy in reading/viewing your posts/art –
Somedays, seriously, you folks are the only thing that keeps me hopeful for a better morrow –
But so full of frustration and angst, I quite frankly, have allowed my frustration to seep into my comments – so, trying to be good – and kind – and I’m Lazy Liking and only letting it all hang out here – where you had to click and read for awhile before hitting the wall!
I ain’t perfect, but I do try to have some brake mechanisms on my flying pants – somewhere along the line….
This a.m., the man-child-unit and I hopped in the pick-em-over (truck) and headed out to Mama’s Bear’s – to clear out trash/old stuff –
Since our county had a free dump-off site for Spring Cleaning…
And Mama Bear will be moving from her home of the past nearly 50 years, this summer…
Made sense to take advantage of free dumpster space –
Had no problemo, whatsoever, with loading up the old, rotting, sagging mattresses that had been collecting dust and who-knows-what-else, for decades – as I can’t think of a single project I could use them for –
It was another matter to get rid of my multi-gallon wine jar with caps collection, painstakingly shared, recycled from friends for over 9 years –
See, I had hoped, one day, to make my own beer, mead, root beer, fermented beverages – and why on earth go buy new supplies when I can just save ’em along the way AND do something nice for the landfills?
Sigh – but, as happens when you have an old, spacious space – that you don’t enter every day, I had way more than I could ever fill in a lifetime or use at once, unless I went ‘industrial’ level, and I’m betting regulations wouldn’t let me re-use ’em – LOL
So I loaded up 14 boxes of nice, heavy wine bottles – (I did keep 3 boxes of the smaller bottles – going to make garden solar lights out of them… :)
But, silly as it seems –
It felt like saying goodbye to a dream –
Even though I have enough to still do small home batches AND to experiment with different recipes –
I’m not certain if the pang of knowing soon, the home of my childhood will no longer be a place I visit is being re-directed OR if I’m really, just an unredeemable pack-rat at heart –
I’m betting on the pack-rat status being the true one – –
Says it all – me thinks!
“…. and it happens every day,” he said as we stood on the moors watching the miracle of a sunrise. We had watched the sun set too the night before. Two moments of sheer beauty… There is no reason for sunrises and sunsets…. I am not speaking scientifically, though science only gives an explanation; no real reason why the creation of the world should hold such unnecessary beauty…. why the sky should be painted with fire and gold every day, or why mists should shroud the valleys in so much softness, or frost encase the world in crystalline loveliness.
These things are natural processes with a scientific basis we can explain. But why so much beauty? Why is the world such a breathtakingly lovely place? Why do we get the miracle of a gilded sky or the softness of summer rain sparkling on the grass?
Even stranger… why do we…
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