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Find Something Fun

I used to tease my friend Betty for saying that chickens were her favorite animal. 

I’ve heard of chicken on the Barbie, but this is ridiculous.

Now I understand where she was coming from.

I’m not saying chickens are my favorites. I’m not choosing. You know I have been crazy over a horse, a dog, I have loved our cats, and goats are more fun than a barrel of monkeys—most people wouldn’t know this without experiencing one or two.

Who wouldn’t love that face?

I don’t know why I am talking about this. A blog is meant to inform. 

I inform you here in this lock-down depressing times, when people are plain worn-out with worry, receiving conflicting data, knowing there is an information war, and that our minds and bodies are being dinked with…

Find something you enjoy. 

I’ve recently taken a couple of trail walks, recording both the trail and my voice, and I enjoyed both. Can you believe it? I talk about the Law of Attraction and whatever else pops into my head. 

Why would I be so arrogant as to do such a thing? 

I’m not a big talker. Neither am I a big walker these days. Sorry. Justin Perry suggested I do a YouTube. If you get 1,000 “likes,” you can monetarize it, meaning have ads, but still be free for the watcher/listener. ( My internal knowingness said, “Jump in. See what happens. Be brave.”

People are interested in The Law of Attraction. I can say a few things about it, not to teach or to give any processes you ought to do, goals you ought to set, or meditations you ought to do. No ought’s. Just plain talk. At least you can get a green forested trail walk out of it. And I was yearning for the trees. 

This videoing and putting the recording into the computer has been a learning curve for me. And I used to download pictures with ease. But not on my new computer., It kept locking me out until daughter dear turned off the S mode. Apparently, Microsoft wanted me to use only their software. I think I can get it now. This YouTube will be the unabridged version of walking and talking and hearing my breathing. Jewells Happy Trails #1. (No link yet.)

The first walk had no audio, so I redid it. No wonder I was puffing. I got lost on the mountain after the second walk as I was returning home. The road was clear going away from town, but coming back, there were logging roads, Y’s in the road, I didn’t see on the way down. I took the wrong Y and scraped the sides of my truck on blackberry bushes. 

Oh, back to chickens. They have given me a reprieve from the depression we had over losing my daughter’s lady. 

I bought three baby chicks on March 19, then three days old. They lived in a box under a heat lamp in the laundry room until recently when I moved the box outside. Next came a little movable yard on our green lawn. A freed animal is such fun; they run (It’s only a 4 x 4 sq. foot enclosure) and could fly over the three-foot-high fence if I didn’t cover it. Now part of their diet is mowing the lawn. 

Husband Dear and I had spent a week off and on flipping a tiny chicken house that I bought when we lived at an earlier home. Amazing that it survived the weather, and only the roof was rotted. My son-in-law and grandson carried it from where it had been stored including lifting it over the fence as it couldn’t get through the gate, I freshly stained the sides, and repainted the trim. Home Depot cut the roof plywood for me, and I found asphalt shingles at Habitat for Humanity. Husband dear screwed the plywood in place and we shingled the roof.  It’s cute enough to live in the backyard. 

This property already had a chicken house and a coop attached to the backside of the Wayback (Our auxiliary building.) We had a secure (we thought) dog kennel attached to the coop for the two chickens who survived an earlier massacre. Sadly, about four nights ago, something got Red, one of the two hens. She must have been lying next to the fence, and something (a raccoon ??) killed her right through the fence.

Well, Blackie became free-range. The neat thing is, this somewhat standoffish street-smart chicken (she adopted us) has come into our back yard, visits the young chickens through their fence, lets me pet her, and has become the elegant lady she was meant to be. The picture above is of Blackie.

Although we had the house in our workspace for replacing the roof, Blackie climbed inside and laid two eggs. She is a resourceful chicken. Now I see why Betty was so attached to chickens. 

Here’s a quick change of subject:

Want a FREE blank book?

It won’t be completely blank. It has lined pages and quotes scattered throughout like seeds.

The quotes are not meant to stop your creative flow, but to give you a moment to pause and reflect or argue with, I don’t care.  

I like little booklets for my computer data, for I change passwords more often than Katy Perry changes clothes. The booklets with pretty covers are more fun than the simple spiral notebooks where I put junk stuff. 

Of course, you can write the great American novel there on those pages if you want.

I ordered two booklets about a week ago, for I wanted to know how they looked and make sure every page was lined. They have a matt finish cover. Glossy might be better. 

Here is a bird with an attitude.

Quote on the back cover:

“Once upon a time,

when women were birds,

there was the simple understanding

that to sing at dawn, and to sing at dusk

was to heal the world through joy.

The birds still remember what we have forgotten,

that the world is meant to be celebrated.”

–Terry Tempest William

One person can have my extra booklet if they are willing to give me their email address and/or name and physical address so I can UPSP the book. If you win, I will need it for mailing.  

The young chicks will choose the winner. The first address pecked will be it.

The Judges
This is Saturday. I will do the drawing next Saturday, May 22, 2021

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When Did We Become Weird?

Many people have taken on religious fervor, the very thing we have championed against in earlier years.

We have global warming where we can divide ourselves and beat each other with our viewpoints. Some say, “Pollution has done it.” Others say, “It’s the natural earth cycle.” Oh yes, there is another: it doesn’t exist.

We have vaccinations where one side says it will save us from this blasted pandemic. We have another side that thinks the vaccination will turn us into zombies, implant devices into our bodies to be controlled by whoever has their finger on the button.

We seek out material, especially on the Internet (Well, that’s where we can find it), that supports our point of view. In the process, we become enmeshed into a rock-solid belief system.

How far can we go down that rabbit hole?

If we watch the news on TV, we will be swayed by rhetoric that deliberately slants toward the horrific, the fear, and the desire to keep us watching–thus ratings. (Do you see any bias here?)

We know some of these things like fear sells, that’s common knowledge, but still, we can get pulled in. I don’t know why that is so; it’s something about our makeup. We hate that car wreaks happens, but we can’t help but look if there is one.

We’re drawn to the drama, the excitement, the adrenalin rush. I guess we need it. Our lives are too enmeshed in the minutiae of life. (I suppose there was more value in the hunt than bring home the bacon. Perhaps the thrill of the hunt kept the hunters hunting and the village fed.)

If we continue to be stimulus/response individuals, we will be programmed.

We need to get back some healthy debate, to consider that maybe, just maybe, we are driving our own evolution, and we have a choice as to where it is going.

Perhaps the “truth” lies somewhere in the middle.

Maybe you do have a point that the earth is naturally warming.

Maybe we are driving it faster with pollution, emissions, hair sprays, aerosols, and etc.

It scares me when I see a picture of the earth from space, and it shows how thin our atmosphere is. Heavens, we can’t climb the highest mountain on earth without carrying oxygen with us or heaving and puffing, with little energy to climb to the top. I remember being a kid where our family would drive up toward Mt Hood in Oregon for a picnic. I would get out of the car and wondered what was happening to me that I could hardly climb the embankment. After I acclimated, I was okay. Doesn’t that tell us something? Like maybe we should all work together to ensure that thin film stays surrounding us. (Like not exploding bombs in it.) and we ought to make sure those life-giving elements continue at a ratio beneficial to all life.

Would you prefer to look at a desolate planet like Mars and consider a colony there when we can play on this gorgeous planet?

If we pollute the oceans, we’re goners.

If we don’t look at the coral reefs and realize they are telling us something, we are stupid. There is a phenomenon in corals caused by the warming ocean and the pollutants, where the coral blanches white. If it stays white, it will die. However, in its desire to survive, corals can produce a sort of sunscreen to help them recover. It will recolor. But given enough stress, that will fail.

Not interested in coral reefs? Not into scuba diving? The purpose of corals to not to provide us with beautiful photographs but to support life. 1,500 species of fish live within the coral reefs.

They are called “Barrier reefs” because they form a barrier to protect the live-forms that live within the reef and are protected by it. Reefs stabilize the ocean floor so grasses can grow. Those grasses feed large creatures like manatees who nurture their babies within the protection of the reefs.

Over 500 million people depend upon the reefs for their food. Not only is food sustained there, but medicines have been made from the coral to treat heart problems and for human bone transplants.

You know about the food chain. And we ought to know about the ocean. For example, plankton provides 50-80% of our oxygen. One photosynthesizing bacteria within the plankton, Prochlorococcus, produces a whopping 20% of the earth’s oxygen.

While we are speaking holistically, dust from the Sierra dessert blows across the African continent, is dropped into the ocean, and fertilizes the plankton that grows there.

I notice, this year, that while the flowers are abundant, they came, flourished beautifully, but are gone within a day or two. I’m not sure the apple tree kept its blossoms long enough to be pollinated. No flowers, no bees, no apples. It could be that we have drought conditions, and they know it. And strange that one of the first things affected by change is the reproductive cycle. If we don’t have enough food or water, we don’t have babies or fruit or vegetables.

If a polar bear doesn’t have enough food to grow her young, she holds a fertilized egg in her body until such a time that conditions are right. Better to not have children that to have them starve.

In our lack of having a holistic approach, we forget that one thing affects another. Even doctors will treat that one booboo without thought of how it is affecting the entire organism. (Some insurance companies will forbid the doctor from addressing more than one issue.) Now, I ask you, is that good doctoring?

There is pollen in the air,” you say, “It gives me sniffles and itchy eyes. Take an allergy pill, and get with the program. (See, technology can help us be more comfortable. It can cure diseases and thus make our lives more enjoyable. Maybe that’s why God gave us a big brain. It’s up to us the help make life easier for its inhabitants. And don’t get after me for using evolution and God—I believe in both.) You know the grasses need pollen. You like grass-fed beef, don’t you? You like corn and grain, and pasta, and muffins. You like fruit and many other foodstuffs that require pollination.

I’m an earth child, as you can see. I want to see it thrive. I’m not waiting for aliens to come and save us or to find another planet to colonize. (Living on Mars would drive me crazy.) We need to focus on our own home. Oh yes, the earth can outlast us—it’s gone through a molten stage and evolved into the beauty we now enjoy, but we don’t want to go back to barren moltenness. (I make up words too.)

What about walking around, breathing clean air, drinking pure water, laughing with our neighbors no matter where they came from, what color their skin is, or how rich or poor they are?

We are primates—sorry, all the creationists that will be offended by this, it is no insult. I’m honored to be an animal. They have a loving side like us, but they can fight and kill–like us.

We are getting smarter now. We know some of these things, and we can dialogue with each other too. And why in the world, when we lighten the pandemic controls, crazies go out and shoot somebody? We’re not taking care of the crazies either—but then that’s another story.

It used to be the printed word was the way people attained knowledge. They found the news of the world in the printed word. And perhaps you stopped reading after the first paragraph—that’s common in books—but then maybe they are boring.

Now, most information is presented visually. (Maybe I need to get with the program—maybe I’m old-fashioned.) I know that we are frenzied, angry, upset, nervous, and taking tranquilizers—well, Jo, you have a glass of wine in the evenings. Yep, I do.

I also know that reading is a quiet venture. It gives us a moment to pause. You can rail back at the printed word, throw the book, disagree or cry over the wonder of it. However, it gives us time to do that. Have you ever laid your book on your chest and looked out the window and thought of not much, simple things. You look to the horizon and give your eyes a rest. You come back to the book to feel a warm glow encircle you.

When we try to keep up with a talking face, we are deprived of that moment. Another frenzy to add to our discontent.

I know I laid out a lot here, and I thought I had nothing to say.

Probably I have not said things you do not know already, but I have noticed that I need to be reminded. I’m taking a course where I know most of the information, but it can get me fired up.

Do I meditate when I know it is good for me? Not much. Do I stay positive when I know that is the best way to live? Ha.

I want the earth cared for, such as the seventh generation the Native American’s spoke -of. We thought they were ignorant savages. Ha.,

I want happiness for the people. I want them to see that we are little energy packets walking around affecting their surroundings and each other, and that snowballs to all of us. I’ve heard that we are all together in this, but many times people won’t even give you the time of day. Of course, I don’t meet those people.

Our attitudes, thoughts, actions have some effect on our electrical/magnetic field. We are in touch with the Great Force that surrounds us, sustains us, and is affected by our wishes. Don’t believe me? Give it a try.

I heard an incredible story last week. An elderly man, who escaped Germany during WWII, works at one of the Retirement communities in town. He told the story of 300 Jewish people who escaped a concentration camp. They overpowered the guards, confiscated their weapons, and left. Not all the prisoners left. They were afraid. And they were all killed.

This is a true story that was hushed up by the ones who wanted to maintain control. My daughter verified it on the Internet.

Be courageous.

Here is my week in pictures. I am grateful to see all of them.

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Little by Little We Clean Up Our Messes

Make do and make better.”—Cole Schafer

”In the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”–Kahil Gabran

Casey’s Cherries
Showing off my grandson’s CGI cherries.
Not the sort we had when I was a kid.

My parents had a cherry orchard in Oregon, it was not a big farm, only a few acres of cherries, along with a couple acres of peaches and apricots. Most summers, I was sent to pick. (Cherries are too small to fill up a box fast. Peaches have a fuzz that sticks on moist skin and collects in the creases of the elbows. Peaches must be handled carefully as they are delicate, but are big and so are fast to pick. We had Elberta peaches that my dad said were the best, and I agree with him, for I have never tasted a better peach. Now Elbertas are hard or impossible to find. Apricots are just right to pick, as my mom thinned the green ones so the ripe ones were as large as a small peach, and they have no fuzz.)

I was not a good picker—but did make a little spending money. Other kids picked too, neighbors I presume, but we liked throwing cherries at each other more than picking. One summer, we let someone else do the cherry picking.  My parents hired migratory workers.

And I played with the Cherry Picker’s kids. The family was as nice as they could be, and one day, I don’t remember how many kids they had, three sounds about right, we were playing in an old pickup truck that my folks inherited when they bought the property. The truck was away from the road, not one of those horrid wrecks we often see parked on farms, but hidden amongst some scrubby Oak trees. We kids climbed into the pickup, some in the bed, someone was in the passenger seat beside me. I was the oldest, and decided to see if the truck would start.

It did.

I was totally shocked. The trouble was, it had no breaks, and the truck rolled down the hill and into a tree. Nobody was hurt, it was a gentle roll, but the jolt of hitting a tree scared us and we beat feet out of there.

Probably that truck stayed pinned to that tree until it decomposed.

 “What if” my daughter asks, “it’s all the way it ought to be?”

Well, that’s a radical thought.

Most of the world’s people would not agree with that. “What if, you might ask, I break a leg, or get in an accident, and why in the world did we have a pandemic? Why did we lose our job? For heaven’s sake, people are living in tents under the freeway.”

I just completed The Four Winds, a novel by Kristin Hannah which featured the Dust bowl of the Texas panhandle. Dust states included Colorado, SW Kansas, the panhandle of Texas, Oklahoma, and NE New Mexico.) A newspaper in Oklahoma on April 14, 1935, a day dubbed as Black Sunday, stated that approximately three hundred thousand tons of Great Plains topsoil had flown into the air that day. More soil than had been dug up to build the Panama Canal. The dirt had fallen to the ground as far away as Washington DC—which was probably why it made the news.

People from the dust bowl lost their farms, the old folks and children died of dust pneumonia, their animals filled up with dirt, and starved. Formerly rich wheat farms died, farmers were starved out.  Many of those former flourishing farmers moved to California where they became riff-raft and presumed to bring disease. Many sold their soul to the Company Store. Dumb me, I’d heard of selling your soul to the Company Store, but didn’t know what it meant.

Owners of large industrial farms would sometimes build cabins for a “lucky” few workers and their families. (For every one that got in there were hundreds waiting in line.) The farm owners would provide water, toilets and laundry facilities…and a store. The store’s prices were higher than any stores in town, but with no money, and no gas, how were the workers to get to another store? So, they bought on credit. This would theoretically be paid back after harvest…but not in cash, only by working for the owner. The trouble was, the people still needed food, and they couldn’t catch up as harvesting is only seasonal. They were enslaved.

 Little by little we clean up the messes.

I don’t know where the migratory workers are now in their plight. I know they were looked down upon even in my day. “Cherry Pickers Kids,” they were called. These people who by the sweat of their brow provided fresh food for the rest of us.

 I know Cesar Chavez fought for worker’s rights, and formed the United Farm Workers Union.

Chavez modeled his methods on the nonviolent civil disobedience of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. — employing strikes, boycotts, marches and fasts — to draw attention to La Causa.

Even in the face of threats and actual violence — be it from police or other unions, such as the Teamsters — Chavez never wavered from his commitment to passive resistance.

At the end of his first food fast — which ended in 1968 after 25 days — Chavez was too weak to speak, but a speech was read on his behalf:

“When we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit that our lives are all that really belongs to us. So, it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life. I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men.”

I know we can go into the ills of the past, or the ills of the present, and it knocks us off-kilter. We wonder about the injustice of it.

Hate has popped up in our culture like I never knew was there, so I can’t say the world is as it ought to be, however, little by little we clean up the mess.

I have to praise the people who do champion the right to stay free, to govern ourselves, to speak their minds, and to try to do better.

I prefer not to be a protester, for I’m of the mind that the more we push against something, the more it pushes back, but taking to the streets, non-violently, does work, for it shows the world that people care and want to make a difference.

I wanted to champion the case of the little lady from the assistant living community, because she showed up on my trail, and I believe that she was, and still is, being mistreated.

You begin, you start doing what you have set out on your trail, and you fine tune as you go along, trying not to embarrass yourself as you do it.

I’m still alive, so I guess my mission on earth isn’t over. All along I have championed the idea of working on oneself. If everyone did that, the majority of the ills of the world would gradually soften their hold on our culture, and people would be happier.

Be kind to your fellow man—what a concept.

Do good to the earth.

Notice that however you were treated as a child–now much you were loved or not loved, isn’t who you are today. Accept yourself.

Think about how you can do tasks that will make you happy. Yep, as far as whistling while you work.

It’s okay for you to be happy in a suffering world. Suffering along with them doesn’t raise them up, as getting sick doesn’t help a sick person.

You are your own job.

How about finding that thing you said you wanted to be when you were a child?

Am I whistling Dixie?

“To damage the earth is to damage your children.”

—Wendell Berry, Farmer and Poet