The Stinkweed Update

Thanks to Ronnie Ann for commenting on my previous post regarding should I be a mass murderer and kill all the stinkweed or not?   Turns out what I have  doesn’t look like stink weed, but it IS a water hog!

In order to ease into my killing spree of the unknown purple plant, I chose to work on a small section today, one that contained what I suspect are irises.

As I pulled away the native grasses that had also worked their way into the iris bed, it was tough going – but not with the purple ones.

They were quickly pulled up from moist ground and so full of their water gluttony, I needed only to give a gentle squeeze to have water running down my hand.   It also irritated me that they chose to grow around the irises so tightly, they reminded me of the Goa’uld from Stargate –

Clearing the stinkweed and grass that had infested the previous owner's iris bed
Clearing the water hogs from the iris bed

So now, the fit of conscience is over.   These weeds remind me of a thousand other examples of those who take more than their fair share.

And so out, they go, without me shedding a tear or feeling bad about it all…

(Until the mosquitoes and fleas show up – I’m thinking about trying to plant them in containers around the house doors – to see if perhaps they are a cousin to stink weed and really will keep mosquitoes away.)

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The Garden Within

“Take a deep breath – Imagine your body a garden –

What do you see?”

“A barren landscape – and a tree.”

DeepRoots

“Nothing else?”

“No – it’s quiet, calm and peaceful.  Shrouded in mist.  It’s comfortable here.  I feel no pain”

“Who else is with you?”

“No one – I am alone, except for the tree.”

“Describe the tree as if it were you.”

“I am strong – I am steadfast – I have driven my roots deep so I can survive whatever storms may come.”

“Can you feel your roots?”

“Yes”

“Can you breathe in the energy from those roots, up through you?”

“Yes – Oh, Look!   I see buds appearing – and tiny purple flowers – how wonderful”

“Breathe in and up…and again…and again… What do you see now?”

“Beautiful green and purple – everywhere – vibrant – lush”

Energy - down deep and up high
Energy – down deep and up high

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Thank you to shamanictracking for the precious gift of reminding me that in putting all my energy to surviving past and future storms, I’d forgotten to thrive, today.

Blessings to all whose gardens may look dead, but are not.  May you discover your thrive!

Sunset in the Garden
Sunset in the Garden

Crisis of Conscience

In the wake of 10 days of sunshine interrupted by passing blizzards every other day or so, coupled with a body reacting horrifically to new medicine, I was pleased to awake this morning to sunshine, warmth and a body aching to get to work, instead of just aching…

Skipping outside,  I found myself facing, instead of work, a crisis of conscience regarding the start of my landscape project.   This is what the area looked like when I first moved in:

Check out that blue Colorado December Sky!
Check out that blue Colorado December Sky!

Now, with spring weather and spring snow, this is what that same south side looks like:

Growing Green Things
Growing Green Things

See all those beautiful purple flowers?   And the lush, native grass?   How can I possibly cover this up with newspaper and bury it, alive, with garden bed dirt?   Oh, why does my body rebel against the changing barometer?  Why, oh why could I have not gotten this project done back in February, when I had no qualms…?

Now, by pursuing my project, I will not be Ms. Landscaper, Gardener Extraordinaire –

Nope, I’ll just be a mass murderer…

Sigh…

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To Weed or Not To Weed
To Weed or Not To Weed

I suspect the pretty flowers are what is known as stink weed in these parts – will have confirmation later today – but they don’t stink now and they are so pretty and vibrant.  Seems such a shame to weed whip them down and cover them – What if, in fact, they aren’t actually a weed?

But of course they are!  They fulfill the definition:

Weed – Any plant that grows where someone doesn’t want it to.

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Feel free to share your thoughts – I’ve thoughtfully prepared a list for you to choose from:

  1. Quit Procrastinating – I swear, you come up with the silliest things to delay starting on a project!
  2. Oh, you sweet, sweet girl – offer a prayer of thanks and let the the garden go wild this year – you can juice grass you know!  It’s very nutritious.
  3. You’re worried about killing stinkweed?  Are you nuts?  Better yet, add a layer of poisonous weed killer down before the newspaper and dirt – you gotta be a warrior if you’re going to garden.
  4. Does this mean I won’t be getting any tomatoes from you this year?  Because of pretty purple flowers?   Sigh….

But, Why?

Here’s the answer to “Why on earth did you buy a pack of cigarettes when you quit smoking years ago?”

I was mad.   And worked up and frustrated and any number of other uncomplimentary, non-peaceful things.

Instead of trying to find a temple to throw the money changers out of, or a grand palace to destroy by pushing over the great hall support columns, or even grabbing a weapon and a clip full of bullets, I smoked, by myself, and inhaled deeply so as not to let too much smoke escape into the atmosphere, thus endangering my fellow man.

See?  I can think of others, even when in a toot –

Here’s the source of my anger:

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There is a phenomena in our financial systems that has long eluded me and if you don’t live paycheck to paycheck, or if you have some savings and credit cards, you will most likely be in ignorance of:

I call it the “Mysterious Cyber Float”.

Here’s what happens – If I’m paid, either by check, credit card or PayPal, upon deposit or transfer, the money, if small in amount, magically appears in my checking account the next business day.

If I write a check to another, even if it’s for a large amount, the day after they deposit it, it shows up as a withdrawal from my account.

But let me receive payment in an amount that may, when added to other like amounts, really rack up some interest in a day or two of sitting and a magical thing happens –

The money floats somewhere, for anywhere from 3-5 days.

The issuer will swear it has been paid – my recipient bank will swear they first received it four days later.

And, I will be told, I cannot access the funds, until they make sure the funds have ‘cleared’ while in the next breath, they assure me any checks I write will clear within 24 hours and if there are non-sufficient funds, woe to me.

I cannot argue or disagree with any of these points – they were all spelled out for me when I signed on the dotted line.   Just because small amounts magically transfer and can be put to use within 1 business day, consistently, time after time, does not mean anything – the fine print says the funds should be available in “3-4 business days.”

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The only reason I was reminded of this phenomena was that I wrote a check from business to personal the day after I ‘transferred’ online funds – the check showed up for payment 2 days before my ‘online transfer’ was completed.   And was returned – –

Thankfully for me, the returned check was to myself and I won’t be charging me a fee…

I accept full responsibility for writing a check against funds I had not confirmed had arrived and for not calling the bank to see if I was allowed to use my money yet.

And I will pay the resultant fees –

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I’ve long believed that I exist in a system that is not to my favor or even neutral about my existence.   I see idiosyncrasies such as the magical “24 hour clearance for you” vs. “3-4 day wait for us”  in many other forms and I’ve come to the conclusion –

I want out.

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Another example of our current system that burns my arse is the Labor Market.

For some time, Temp Hiring has been gaining favor with big businesses and has, in my estimation, become another form of indentured servitude and is further hurting the laboring populace – as if the current labor market wasn’t damaging us enough….

For an hourly wage of $15, I can work at your business, putting my life’s blood into helping your business succeed while you see if I fit in and work out, without any fear of lawsuits, should you decide to let me go.  You get help for your business, I earn a paycheck and the temp agency makes money for taking the time to evaluate me and the risk that you may not like me.

I will labor long and hard to streamline and make efficient your operations, even if all you originally wanted me to do was data entry – yes, if I think I can help, I’ll offer.  If you say “It’s a Go” I go and work – 12 hour days, if necessary.

The money I just saved your business would  have paid the $15/hour wage AND benefits for three years into the future.

But once everything is running nicely, you ask me to come on board, permanently, for $8/hour and no benefits for the first two years.

And when I politely decline, asking for the $15 and/or benefits, you inform me there are plenty of folks that are willing to work for that, even if I’m not – somehow inferring that I’m asking for too much.

Well, yes… you can get any number of people for $8/hour – but they won’t be me.  Had I not streamlined your procedures and cleaned up your processes – you would have to hire 3 of those someones to do what I can do in one day – is that not worth something?

This is the reason why the “Consulting” industry is taking off – people like me have figured out that it is way less riskier to start your own consulting business than it is to invest in a company and find no loyalty whatsoever in return or be permanently in the ‘temp hires’ category, because you can’t afford to accept permanent work.

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So, with this little history lesson on why I think the way I do –  I’ll share what was on my mind yesterday as I puffed away and imagined the demise of unfair and unjust systems –

Ready for this ‘too much nicotine induced rant’?

“To all banks, insurance companies, politicians, empire builders and others of your ilk from a Working American –

You need me and those like me –  we do not need you.   If we are not working to produce needed services and goods, there is nothing for you to transfer, charge fees on, regulate, invest in, tax or bet on whether we succeed or not.

If we are only worth $8 an hour and you are worth $62.2 million per year, then obviously, you’re a much better worker and you don’t need us, anyways.  Good luck building your empire all by your lonesome.

I may never recover my footing enough to be of any consequence to you, but you’d better hope you finish the job in destroying me.

For know this – I’ve dedicated my life to building a sustainable and resilient life – not just for me, but for my community as well.   I seek any opportunity I can to cut you out of the middle, where you invent ways to make money that is, at best, trying to sell air and at worst, larceny on the grandest scale.

And if ever given the chance, I will destroy the system you laud, admire and acclaim, brick by brick.

Those who labored within the system, not knowing it’s true form will be welcome to eat at my table.

But for those who knew and found ever new ways to systematically transfer wealth from the disadvantaged to the privileged…

Well, you can starve and I won’t shed a tear…

Confessions of an Ex-Smoker, Part 3,063

In January of 2011, I quit smoking after nearly a quarter century of doing so.   I chose to use the e-cig, this go around, as patches, pills and potions left me wondering if ever there would be quality of life, again, ever.

In previous posts, I documented my journey – some have found them useful and some have just read for entertainment value.

(Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V)

(“If you must gripe, please gripe creatively”, is my motto and my nicotine withdrawal stories are usually good for a laugh)

So I must, in all honesty confess – yesterday I bought a pack of cigarettes – my first purchase in nearly 2 1/2 years.

Now, since quitting smoking, I’ve gone through a separation and divorce, two moves, financial difficulties out the ying-yang (not yin/yang – I would be balanced, then) and health problems that have left me sitting or lying quietly, waiting for heart palpitations or excruciating pain to pass – meaning, I’m bored, I can’t get up and do anything and what shall I do to pass the time?

Even so, I’ve never considered buying a pack of cigarettes – – though every once in awhile, when a smoking friend visits, I bum one, light it, take a puff and exclaim,

“Wow!  Still tastes like crap!”

and then offer to pay them for it, since I just wasted a perfectly good cigarette.  For some reason, I still fall into the trap of believing that during my abstinence, they somehow became more tasty.

But yesterday, again experiencing up close and personal the system under which I labor and live, I was driven to that which personal trauma and a chaotic lifestyle could not do -I purchased a pack of cigs.

And lit up one after another, to take a puff or two, wince in disgust and put it out – –

Silly, am I not?

**********

I’ve calmed down now – and since I hate full and complete waste, I’ll dutifully light up each of the 20 cigarettes, take a puff or two and then discard them, instead of just throwing perfectly good cigarettes away.

I’m funny like that.

And if you’re wondering just why I did such a thing as I did yesterday – well, read the next post – my reasons stretched on too long to include in this one…

🙂

Priorities

Pasture -fed, Natural Beef YUM
Pasture -fed, Natural Beef YUM

I will be picking up my 1/2 beef sometime in the next two weeks.   Purchased from my rancher friend who lives 9 miles from me and processed at the locker plant located 3 1/2 blocks from my house, I will once again have wonderful, pasture-fed beef in my fridge by mid-May.

(If you live in Colorado, and want in on this fabulous food, check out High Plains Natural Beef – yes, I know, isn’t the website I built for him purdy?  Even if it is in Raider’s colors?  I’m not a die hard football fan, but I did blanch a bit when I asked him what color scheme he wanted for his website – Raider Colors?!?  In Colorado?   Don’t hold it too much against him – he really is a great guy!)

Cost?  Around $1100.

Some believe me insane – but given my small household and our diet, this purchase means I will be meeting my households preferred source of protein for the next two years for $45/month.

I love, simply love, buying in bulk.

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Imagine my shock when the local bank teller informed me yesterday that the average cost for prom night is $1100 – seems that limo service, dinner, dresses, tuxes and flowers all add up pretty quick.

Now, I’m not judging, honest, I’m not – but to spend on one night what constitutes meat for two years – well, I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Anymore than I could justify spending 5-years worth of wheat budget on one pair of jeans

The only reason I bring this up, is because there are plenty of folks who tell me if I would just change our eating habits, I’d be better off financially.   That I don’t need a two-year supply of meat in my freezer –

And then I wonder, “Who needs an $1100 date?!?”

Priorities – mine need not be yours, or vice versa, but can we at least have the space in which to follow our priorities without a whole lot of sermonizing going on regarding those we don’t share?

Thanks…

Count to 10…Then, you can still yell…

This morning I read PegOLeg’s post My Knee jerk Reaction Would Be to Kick you in the Knee, Jerk and not simply content to post a comment, I’m instead, writing a thesis follow-up post…

If you haven’t yet read it, it’s a wonderful piece on the things people say to drive us insane – – and here’s my two, to add to the list:

“What you have to understand, is…”

This is the calm, logical and socially acceptable form of the blatant,

“I want it my way and will you please change, so I don’t have to?”

The person uttering these words expects the following reply:

“Yes, but of course, I couldn’t stand for you to be inconvenienced or nudged out of your comfort zone by the tiniest bit.  I’ll get on this requisition for change right away and thank you so much for helping me to see the error of my ways.”

Alas, this is the reply they get from me:

“I don’t ‘have to’ do anything – no, not dying or paying taxes, even.   But if I love you, I will make as many compromises as I can to salvage our relationship and support you in your endeavors, until it becomes completely apparent to me that you don’t really want me, but rather an entirely different person showing up, at which time I will depart from your life, making room for who it is you really want to show up.”

“Don’t be like that…”

This is often uttered by those who spend their life being however the heck they wish, and are quick to point out how others should be.

I have never heard this phrase uttered by anyone other than those who could, at age 42 or 63, throw a temper tantrum that rivaled anything ever performed by a two-year old, whenever things did not go their way.

They are also quick to defend their way of being and hate hearing the truth…

My response to this one is:

“I shall be however the heck I wish – just as you are welcome to be how you wish.   The beauty of this system is, I don’t have to show up for you and you certainly don’t have to show up for me, hence we can both experience freedom and peace.”

How can you not love that system, I ask?

Freedom and Peace – ahh… the dream of it.

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I’m sure you’ve figured out that  I’ve been working through some issues that PegOLeg’s post touched deeply.

I’m facing yet again another ‘downsizing’ operation – only this time, it is not about material goods –

It’s people.

Not as painless of a task as cleaning out my craft room, I will admit.

But I realized that part of the reason I’ve become a semi-hermit is because I’ve managed to ‘collect’ people over the years that are not good for me.   Yes, they love that I’m there and Yes, I’ve invested untold amounts of energy in them, their projects and our relationship.

Remember how strict I am about ROI (Return on Investment)?  It’s not that I give in the expectation of return, rather, my recent reality has forced me to face that I can no longer survive, if I continue to throw energy into massive black holes that do little to renew my energy.

And so, the culling commences – –

Thanks, PegOLeg, for reminding me why, exactly, I embarked on this little adventure in house cleaning, to begin with…