Home Hearth Happiness

GMO’s, Pesticides and Peace

Making peace with the way our food is grown or rather, manufactured these days, is not an easy road to navigate. There is a great movement towards more natural methods of growing food that I agree with wholeheartedly and I will tell my readers why. As humans evolved we scrabbled our way from hunter gatherers to farmers, but that’s only been in the last ten thousand years. Humans have been evolving for approximately 4.5 million years if one counts  the Australopithecine as human forerunners; small upright creatures like Lucy. Everyone has heard about Lucy, the fragmented skeleton that was found in a dry riverbed in Africa twenty or thirty years ago, dated approximately 4.2 million years? She exhibited a few molars that showed the kind of food that was eaten, meat, tough vegetation, nuts etc. Standard hunting and gathering fare. Today, there are several tribes in Africa whose diets are being observed and studied because the health of the tribe is phenomenally good. They don’t have auto immune distress diseases, they don’t exhibit gut problems, they are not overweight, their teeth are excellent for the most part and they never get sick. So why are they so healthy? Simple. They don’t eat a Western diet of wheat, corn, soy, sugar, fast food and sodas. It isn’t just that they don’t eat the same things, they really don’t eat the same things. Their food consists of seasonal items found on morning walks and what meat is brought home daily by the hunters. They don’t work any set number of hours, they work until the job is done and then they play and learn and teach their children how to be good adults. It’s simple. We didn’t evolve to eat the way we eat now. It’s changed dramatically, and too quickly, over the last 100 years. Our lives are not so simple anymore, and I really doubt if we could go back to hunting and gathering on any level. But we might be able to go forward and eliminate some of the suffering we endure now at the hands of the major chemical companies and the major food manufacturing companies if we start thinking seriously about what is happening. Start by asking a few questions. Do you want to see the land restored to what it used to be? Alive and fertile? Do you want to stop being so sick all the time? Do you want your children to outlast you instead of burying them at age twenty with diabetes and heart disease? Do you want to stop Alzheimers, Autism, and All other possible food related illnesses? It’s simple. Stop eating wheat, corn, soy and all the manufactured and processed associated food items. Stick to organically grown vegetables and whole fruit,  nuts, seeds, and sustainable meats grown on the diet the animal evolved to eat. Stop feeding beef corn, stop feeding poultry wheat and corn products, free range eggs and the chickens who lay them doesn’t mean vegetarian, it means insects. A large part of a chicken’s natural diet are insects. Which has an effect on the amount of cholesterol, good cholesterol, in your body. Grasses are the preferred evolutionary food of beef and bison, and the meat from these animals is heart healthy. Wild hogs are foragers of everything they can find to eat that’s edible, so slops are no problem for a porker, what is a problem is feeding them on exclusively corn diets. They get fat, they put on weight, and they get sick and die after about three months. Which is about the length of time producers keep them around for slaughter, just before they die of the diet they have been given. I don’t want to eat that kind of meat. I break out in rashes, I get headaches, my gut hurts all the time and my autoimmune diseases flare like torchlight on a dark night. It’s hurtful. I’m of an age where I really want to take care of myself so no one else has to, so I changed my diet about fifteen years ago, and I’ve been tailoring it specifically for me ever since. It took me about two weeks to get rid of most of my symptoms and all of my medication. I’ve gotten rid of a great many more symptoms lately by tightening up what i was eating again.  I feel better and my last flareup is gone.  I’m losing weight and for the first time in years I remember what I felt like as a child growing up on a farm that raised animals and vegetables in the natural way. I started getting sick in the eighties when Roundup hit the market and GMO’s were unleashed upon the world. Didn’t take me long to figure out why I didn’t want it anywhere near my vegetable patch, I went back to organic and I have stayed that way ever since. You see, they make the seed of the plant carry the herbicides and pesticides now, so that when you eat the plant, you eat it all, and it kills all the gut bacteria you are supposed to have, which is why you get leaky gut and other inflammatory bowel diseases like Celiac disease. Nobody ever heard of Celiac disease when I was growing up and everyone ate wheat, until the chemical companies decided to play inside Agriculture’s Tent. I call it that because before that it was an organic and fairly closed system, somewhat like a theater, everyone had a job to do and no one lost any props or forgot their lines during the show. Now look at us. Bright lights, Big Cities and everybody’s sick from the popcorn. Big Theater Productions Present:  The Way to Your Demise is called soy…wheat…corn…all other cereal grains being gmo’d as we speak…I do not intend to go down that way. I’ve fought too hard to come back from there. I grew up on a wheat farm and it never hurt me, until the eighties, when all this started. Until then my grandfather raised everything the real way, with real manure from his beef and dairy cows, and chicken manure etc when he cleaned the hen house. He laid down fresh manure on the fields every spring and tilled it in on the fields laying fallow, and the next year, lo and behold, the soil was fragrant and fertile. Then the chemical company representatives started to call upon the farmers and the government started giving out money to grow only specific crops and nothing else, and before you knew it, all we had was what was going into the manufacturers factories, polluted food sitting shelf stable for ten years at a time, killing us a little more every time we ate it. I’m sorry, but this makes me so very angry. We have piles and piles and piles of manure going to waste because farmers are afraid to put it on their fields as organic fertilizer. If you put it on fresh on a fallow field it has a year to decompose before you plant, so where is the problem? Yeah, e-coli, it’s a reality, but not in this case. Once you plow it in and let it sit it’s all decomposed and food for all the other little microbes we need in our soil. Our soil is stale and dead in most places, not rich and fertile the way it’s supposed to be. Why? Because the chemical companies have killed everything with artificial pesticides and now the plants themselves kill the soil every time you plant a seed. So people have to buy more and more of the chemical fertilizer to counteract what the seed is doing, which is what the chemical companies want. More and bigger profits, less and less people around to disagree with them. This type of behavior is unacceptable to me. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not have my children die before me of something preventable. First solution? Smaller, organic farms instead of factory farming. Simple. Use the land for its intended purpose and use it in a healthy and naturally evolving manner. Second solution? Stop being lazy. Sorry, it’s true. I worked, and I cooked dinner every night, and I kept my house clean without chemical products, and I kept my yard and garden actively growing, and I didn’t have to kill anything to do it. Everywhere I’ve ever lived I’ve had one rule, make the soil fertile again and things will grow.  I made my kids do work they needed to learn to do. They didn’t need soccer or baseball or anything else to keep them out of trouble, they came home, did their homework, did chores, ate dinner, went to bed and did it all again the next day.  They turned out to be really good and kind and caring adults who take care of their children and their properties. My one rule as always worked because it’s true. Soil is key to everything. I’ve owned properties, been a landlord, sold properties, been a renter, doesn’t matter to me, land is land and if you want to live and live well without disease then listen when the people from the organic farms try to tell you things you need to know about your food. Stop going to the drive through just because your kids are whining for their fix. It’s addictive, like drugs, and you are enabling them to kill themselves with this kind of food. Yes, this is my opinion. An opinion based on what I have experienced in my lifetime, which has been pretty long so far and hopefully even longer. I know the difference between dead dirt and carcasses and fertile lively soil and happy plants and animals. If you do one thing today it’s ask yourself WHY? Why am I allowing someone else’s bottom line to kill my child? After you come to some conclusion about that question, then quit trying to make peace with it and start screaming and shouting and spending your money elsewhere. After all, the only price these companies understand is having no bottom line at all. Maybe after they experience it, they will change and change for the better, so we can all become more peaceful with the way our food is produced and fed to us.

Oh, and one more thing, better start whining more loudly because a great many vegetables are going to be out of our reach if someone has their way with the border…even if some of it is riddled with pesticides, it’s the only natural fruit and veg some kids get, and anything is better than nothing…just saying. We are going to be paying a great deal more, for everything, and it’s going to be a greater and greater problem for more and more families. More on that subject next time.




Fear and the Road Forward

Fear. Short word. People are fearful for many reasons. That is a very simplified statement of life in every city, state, country, or geological region on earth.  Fear is something used to control, ravish, take, rape, or kill others just so the one perpetrating fear can get their needs met. How selfish is that? Do we even need it in our vocabulary? I doubt it, although I fear  it will be there for many more thousands of years. So let’s talk about getting rid of fear. One way of getting rid of fear is to stop being afraid that someone is going to tell your secrets. Easy enough, don’t have any. It’s called transparency in today’s political and commercial arena. “Be transparent”, “tell all”, “don’t be afraid”.  Okay, that’s a good start. How do you prevent someone from using fear when you know you aren’t physically strong enough to stop them? Like bullies at school. You could bully them back when they least expect it like hiding behind the last locker with a baseball bat. But then, that’s being them. You could call their parents with videos of their son or daughter’s behavior. That’s right, have someone videotape or record when you are getting bullied. Then also take it to the principal. Stop being afraid of being afraid. Stop allowing useless nonsense like “no grassing on others” to dictate your behavior. Bullying is wrong. Period. Those who bully others are often bullied themselves by someone, usually someone at home or close to it, and they need it to stop as well. Sometimes it’s because they want to impress their mom or dad and show them they aren’t “useless slobs” or crap like that. Sometimes people who bully others learn it from their parents without even realizing they are learning it. Business practices for example. Parents often don’t recognize how much their children hear them say, and if one is only hearing one side of a phone conversation…let’s just say it can become a one sided life with only one perspective, one point of view on who is the most important. Bullying can also be a cry for help, so if you put a stop to a bully perhaps you are actually helping him or her because they know what they are doing is wrong, but no one is listening to them because mom or dad or foster parents, or grandparents or whoever is in control doesn’t want to hear it. So, because they don’t know what else to do they just continue the behavior until it becomes a habit. A way of life. And it destroys them. And sometimes bullying behavior can just be that jumbled up feeling of anger, discontent, frustration, torment and fear caused by a large and ever increasing dose of teen age hormones. I have a suggestion as to how to handle that last one. Hard physical labor. Clean your room. Clean the garage, clean the kitchen, wash the car, rake the leaves, plant a tree, because digging holes is therapeutic. Paint the fence, or just wash it. Jog a mile or two. Stop hiding in video games perpetuating violence and do something gratuitous for someone.  If you don’t know what the word means, look it up in the dictionary. Good practice anyway. And you should read more books. Knowledge is power, bullying is shameful behavior. Problem with schools now is no one reads, no one actually does much of anything because some parent always has a problem with whatever it is.  I say use the first six years to really learn how to read, write and do basic arithmetic, including balancing a checkbook and the fine art of saving money or financing a trip to the moon, and once those skills are mastered then children are prepared for other things like anthropology, biology, taxidermy (well why not, lots of road kill), finance, market shares, banking, art, medicine, whatever they decide they want to do with their life. And the beautiful part is, they are happier humans because they get to do what they want to do instead of having some job they don’t want(grumble grumble) and having their misery contribute to  becoming unhappy and drinking too much or doing drugs, coming home and kicking the dog, or the spouse, or the kids, or shooting the neighbor with a gun they aren’t supposed to have. And perhaps, if that person checking the background had really loved their job and done it well, there wouldn’t be so many slipping past..hey? Just a thought. I do know that rage is becoming a major problem for a great number of adults as well, so I started watching and researching the news a little more thoroughly. I found that many road rage incidents are caused by men between 40 and 55 and that they didn’t really know why. Something comes over them. A bit like a teenager with raging hormones. I wondered, and wondered. Then I saw an advertisement for male testosterone, sold over the counter as a health supplement for those guys who wanted a “little more out of life?”. For those older men who are “slowing down a little?” Got me to thinking that one did.  I wondered just what the testosterone levels were in men who perpetrated road rage incidents like shooting a bus driver or throwing stones or dragging some poor man out of his car and beating him to the point of death. Does anyone know if there is any research going on out there for that? It just seems to me that guys who can’t control themselves in certain situations act just like teenagers in similar ones. And it could be said that hormone therapy for women may be contributing to the incidents of extra marital affairs. Which in turn perpetuate domestic strife and even more unhappiness for those children who have moms who aren’t there. Perhaps we should re-arrange our thinking on the matter of who is to blame in a marriage and why does it matter?  If all of this odd behavior is just down to hormones and testosterone supplied by the local pharmacy then who is to blame? The one who takes it or the one who makes it, and makes money at it, because the one who takes it thinks they need it. Good advertising sells everything but what we really need: acceptance of life stages with grace and good manners.  The real question is do we really need an over the counter health aid to make us think we are twenty again or should we just begin to accept slowing down as just another stage of life, one we should feel good about because we’ve earned the right to slow down.  Stay healthy, who cares how long it takes to walk around the block as long as you are still walking? We can all have a second career, but please, make mine more cheerful, less competitive, more cooperative and less important that I reach the top. I already got there once, don’t have to prove it twice. Stop fearing the aging process. Everyone is getting there in their own time, in their own way, unless a Road Rager decides to have a go at you before your time. No answers for that one yet, but I’m working on it. I do know that a thought by thought process when you are angry can slow time enough to keep you from going off the deep end. First, take a deep breath. Think about what you are angry about, the real reason you are angry, not the fake incident you happen to be in right now. Next thought: If I do what my “fear” is telling me to do (ie “rage”},  what will happen and will I like the ultimate outcome? What about the other guy? What does he/she really deserve for whatever stupid or idiotic thing he/she just did? Let him get away with calling me names? Next thought: Why not? I don’t ever have to see him again and he doesn’t matter much in my life anyway except for this brief, very brief, moment in time. If I shoot him or her, let’s be gender equal again, is that satisfaction enough to last me the rest of my life in prison, or compensate me for the loss of my family, home, belongings, not to mention paying attorney fees…you see where I’m going with this thought by thought thing, right? Next thought: What about the other persons family? What do they stand to lose? Closest sibling, parent, spouse, child? We cannot go around just shooting people, it’s a sign of insanity. We do not live in the wild west anymore and yet people, men mainly, although young women are running a close second, still behave as if Wyatt Earp lives just around the corner, but Billy the Kid is going to ambush him on his way to Starbucks (snicker snicker). Shades of Snidely Whiplash. Are our lives so out of control that we cannot stop ourselves from picking up a weapon and shooting it at someone? What does that say about us as human beings, as a society, as a country? We have become so full of it lately. Full of fear. Short word. Long consequences. Let’s think about the use of fear, where it belongs in our emotional deck of cards, why we use it, why we let it use us to destroy those things most precious to us, ourselves. Thought by thought, we can work it out, we can become a calmer more generous people, more forgiving, more loving, “more better” as a recent three year old friend said to me. “I thinks people can be more better.” he said, when I asked him what he thought about the way some people behave towards others. “Do it more better”. Perhaps that should be the next meme on your bumper sticker. Beats the word “fear”.

I Am Afraid

A refrain, a litany, a small phrase. Rhetoric redolent of a chant has been seeping through my brain for weeks now. And the other day in Pittsburgh it came back to haunt my mind in a far louder voice. To blame journalists for writing down what they see others doing is slightly ridiculous, for it is not the journalists making bombs or yelling at people, they just report what they see around them. They report on Who is doing What, When, Why, Where and How they are doing whatever it is. Who, then, is ultimately responsible for the devisiveness rampant in our country’s rhetoric?  We are. We, the people, the ones who don’t say “STOP” in louder voices. You see, in our world today, money talks in greater volume and we place importance on people who have more of it than we do, and I believe that idea has to change. Why should we give importance to anybody just because they have money? Instead I ask how they got so much of it, and did they cheat, lie and steal to achieve it, or was it built on the backs of slaves, etc. etc. We must stop blaming the people who are simply reporting the crimes and start blaming the ones actively or passively participating in the crimes. If a central figure in your life stands up and starts saying bad things about your neighbor, who has always been kind and generous and supportive of you, how long before you, as a child, are going to believe the central figure in your life instead of your own experience?  I mean really. Let us look at some of those children whose minds have been bent by their “Central Important Figure”.  For example, our dear press secretary. Ms Sanders needs to stop stuttering the same lies the President is telling and start looking at the truth. I watched her on the news the other night, Monday night, and she could barelt sat the words “the President doesn’t bear any responsibility for what is happening”.  Well, yes he does.  For the simple fact he is a central figure in many people’s lives, and they listen to him. He has money, and people listen to money. We all know it, why are we not admitting it? He may say he denounces bigotry and hatred, and then he goes on the campaign trail and what does he say? What spews out of his mouth are lies, bigotry and hatred. “Put her in jail” he says. Put who in jail? Hilary Clinton or all women? Why does his wife look so frightened all the time, and why is she so silent. I’ve never seen a First Lady who hides so often from everything. She reminds me of me, and I will tell you that story at the end of this blog segment. Trump states journalists are to blame for bad stories about him…so one of his greatest followers sends bombs to CNN as well as a few of the elected officials who oppose the way Trump does things. Our President says one thing, does another, and we all know that it is what he does that means the most to people. Actions always speak louder than words. He tacitly verifies that white supremacy is an okay thing, he tacitly verifies that bigotry is acceptable, he tacitly verifies divisiveness every time he opens his mouth and Ms Sanders doesn’t believe he is responsible for what has been happening since he day he was elected? I tend to disagree with her. She needs to get real. She may want to believe that people can make their own choice, but there are many people out there who don’t want to think that hard, so they just go with their emotions, and their emotions right now are hell bent on anger, denial, militarism and an ideology that stems from Hitler’s SS wave of terror during World War II. It is the expulsion and denunciation of such rhetoric that we went to war in the first place and Germany is now the first country to admit it. I admire them as a people who came back from hell and learned something valuable. They are no longer hateful, no longer terrible, but there are a few of them still around everywhere in the United States and other places. There are still people who deny that the concentration camps existed, just as there are still people who believe the world is flat. And despite everything that science has discovered, despite all of our gains in women’s right to own their own bodies, despite all of the leaps and bounds of cultural acceptance in the last twenty years, these people will never believe anything other than what they want. And what they want is nasty rhetoric because it makes them feel bigger, stronger, more in charge, better somehow, than anybody else. The truth is, they aren’t better than anyone else. These people are the same as everyone else. We all have DNA, we all have blood in our veins, we all have a brain to use, whether we use it or not depends on what we are taught as children and what we want to believe as adults. Bigotry and prejudice are signs of brain death to me. It’s always easier to run with the crowd than to stand alone and be counted for something good. Why did the student shoot the other student in the hallway? Probably because he got tired of being bullied by everyone for being different. Football is a great example, it sets everyone up for devisiveness from the beginning. “Our team is better”, “our team are winners”, “Boo to the other side”. Fights break out in bars over football plays. Remember these are supposed to be adult males who can think, but maybe their testosterone gets in the way. God forbid somebody should belittle their team or their unity. Well, it’s a free country, get over it. Ignore a great deal and you will find life gets quieter, more gentle, nicer, and more mannerly. And why not? What’s wrong with having a little gentility and manners in our lives. Why not say please and thank you? Not everything has to be confrontational. It’s exhausting.

It is no use trying to reason with a person who has no sensitivity to the word “prejudice”. Because to reason begs a person to think, and these people clearly can’t or they would have figured out by now that their actions are destroying the peace and tranquility we are all entitled to have in this world. So what are the rest of us going to do about it? I will tell you what I do. Every time Trump says something nasty about a person, I find a person who is like that person in spirit and mind and reason and thank them for being a good person. I smile at everyone, no matter who they are. I accept there are differences and I value those differences, and try to make sure that others know that about me. When Trump talks about the journalists being the cause, I buy another newspaper, read another ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, or BBC news story. I read, alot, of the world’s newspapers. Aljazeera, BBC, Reauters, A&P,  The Times, CNN. I don’t watch or read Fox news, because that’s the stuff of strife. They like to stir things up, they remind me of the trash mags at the checkout counter. Blowing things out of proportion, like the President, is their forte. Some people in my own family swear by Fox news, but I know better, for I am older and wiser and I read more and I think more, and I went to University to learn how to think for myself. Inductive and deductive reasoning, taking an idea and turning it upside down and inside out to see if it’s valid. Researching the research. Where does this idea come from, who had it first and what book or journal article are they quoting and is it a piece meal rhetoric out of context or a whole quote? Whenever I read anything written by someone else I always ask, where did they get this idea? Who had it first and what was it used for. Remember what the journalists use as their criteria for stories: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why? I still hear that little chant “I am afraid”, but when I quote “who, what, when, where, how and why?” that little phrase goes away. I know who is fomenting fear (I suggest you look at the stock market drops recently and ask who is buying up all the lowered stock and what stocks are those?) and I know we can combat it with good sense and a commitment to peace. And a strong aversion to bigotry, lies and egomaniacal rants and tirades against all that is good masquerading as political campaign stops. I think we need some checks and balances in our system NOW. Even a few of the Republicans are worried, the rest just have dollar signs in their eyes.

There are a great many bad things happening right now.  Religious persecution, shootings, bombings, airplane crashes, hurricanes, miles of refugees fleeing for their lives and heading our direction. Well, it is what the Syrians have been doing for years, fleeing death. Why aren’t we helping other countries do more for their people? It is their responsibility, but all Trump can say is “build a wall to keep them out”. He’s not being very helpful. And thanks for trashing all of our trade agreements, now my money, what little I have, buys even less. But also, Thank our Universal Creator that some of the wounded and frightened found refuge in other countries. But, wait a minute, isn’t that what America is supposed to be doing? Opening it’s doors, and being “The Great Refuge of the Opressed, the Persecuted, the Wounded of the World”? And isn’t this where they are supposed to have their second chance? By the way, where did your great-grandparents come from? Unless you are a Native American, I doubt your DNA comes from America. It comes from England, Ireland, Italy, France, Scotland, Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, India, Pakistan, Tibet, China, Viet Nam, Japan, and 180 plus countries whose names I have not metioned. Who are we really? We are Americans first, ethnic groups after, We are not African Americans, we are American Africans, American Asian, American Hispanic, American whatever, but first and foremost we are Americans, and that means we are all in this together and if we don’t start working to really promote change, as in lets all go to the polls AND start being nice to each other, we will lose our country and it will become the stuff of history. A good idea gone bad. So when I hear that voice in my head that says “I am afraid”, I chant “Who, What, When, Where. How and Why” and read another newspaper article and thank God I have the freedom to do so. Because if we are to lose our journalistic freedom, it is the end of America as we knew it. I have been watching things for over sixty years, There is value in my life experiences. My book collections, of which I have read every book, amounted to over twenty thousand volumes over the last sixty years. Now I use the internet because with Social Security I cannot afford to buy books and I have no room to store more than the two thosand I still own. So when I say that history will repeat itself, democracy, like Rome, will fall, unless we stand united, I know what I am talking about. It is that insidious fear, that small phrase “I am afraid” that we need to stamp out, and we need to shout louder than just one small minded elected official, no matter if he pretends to be leader or not. We must ask ourselves where is he leading us to and to what end? I’ve never encountered such ego in all my life, except once, in the mid century post war history books, the old war films, and the news stories from World War II.  Oh, and my first ex husband who tried to kill me because I wanted a divorce. Told you I’d tell you the story.  I wanted a divorce because he beat me, he locked me in the house and refused to let me out. He told me what to wear, what to do, how to think and when to do it. I got raped whenever he felt like it.  It was his “right”. When I finally got away, I paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom, he kidnapped my sons and I have not seen them for over forty years. He said it was my punishment for divorcing him. I said it was my gift, my state of grace and one day my children would understand, or not. I am alive to make a difference. If I had stayed I would be dead. Millions of women have stories like this, millions have worse stories, and have endured even worse situations, and I applaud them for their strength and their resilience and their sacrifices, but now it is time to be even stronger and more resilient. We must all begin to ask ourselves where the negative rhetoric crap is really coming from, and why, and then we must answer the rest of those journalistic questions with actions suitable to the resolution of a problem.

The Bullied Life

This is going to be a difficult blog to write, for I am, in some small way, just as guilty as the rest of humanity for allowing people to bully others.  I admit it. My guilt rests with the fact that I didn’t fight back when I was bullied, and I allowed that bullying to color most of my life. To my detriment. I allowed it because it happened at home first, I was sort of used to it, I guess. And so it was just a continuation of what was occurring at home, something to live with, something to do nothing about, people will be people after all, and some were angrier than others. And more vocal. I knew them, knew instinctively they hurt worse than I did, and so chose to hang my head and stay invisable. Children are decidely smarter than adults about some things. I knew those kids deciding to blame their deficits on others was just easier than taking the time to sort through their own foibles. Which, of course, they didn’t know how to do without some really good parenting, which most of us didn’t have at the time. We had parents back from the second world war, grandparents who lived through the first and second world wars, post traumatic stress induced violence at home, alcoholism and drug addiction and an inability to connect emotionally. Told one thing, sent off to do another and discovering that war is truly hell and not what they wanted, and yet unable to stop. When finally defeated, Germany surrendered, men were sent back home to what? Women who had learned to do a man’s job and didn’t want to give up the freedom. The ending of a war began another one, a war in which our children continue to participate in, whether they want to or not.

What I write next is part true history, part narrative, part observation and a warning to not let prejudice color your view of the person standing next to you. We are all in this life together and no matter your beliefs, opinions, wants, desires, it will take all of us working together to make it right again. We all have the same goals, remember that please, as you read the next bits. It’s important because we are all human, we all make mistakes and we all deserve to be given a chance. Let us start with the children we so blithely send to school each day.

For some of these students, life is fraught with dangerous activites, although for most in America the danger is not recognizable as such. Danger is now in the form of social faux pas rather than in the secreting of dangerous documents and the hiding away of refugees and escaped political prisoners; although I’m sure that happens as well in a few places other than the United States. I’m talking about our junior high and high schools, those scenes of petty sexual inferences via Facebook, My Space and other well meaning social media sites, as well as the societal highs and lows sweeping through the school hallways. The places we send our children are dens of inequity these days, as much as we don’t want to recognize it.  Sexting seems to be a great hit, just don’t get caught, is the watch word. There doesn’t seem to be much respect anywhere I can see either. Bullying begins at home and goes straight to school with our children in their minds, hearts, computers, laptops, smart phones and other instruments of torture. Whenever anyone steps out of line there is a range of dedicated misogynists and feminine hijackers to tag the recipient with any number of false labels. and then spread it to all their “contacts”. Never mind their own faux pas, they are so busy dishing out false retribution they can’t see their own forest of blameful activities. I say they just want to yell first to cover up their own mistakes. Sort of like spreading a load so thick no one can see the knife or who is wielding it. Afterwards, a child tries suicide, or cutting themselves, or lying, or stealing or doing any number of rather odd behaviors to keep an adult from seeing the truth, that they hurt because of what someone said about them. What does that say about us as parents? Our children refuse to talk to us, are we not listening to them? Or are we not prepared to believe them when they do tell us? Perhaps we are not gifting our children with enough emotional armor to shield them from people who like to dish it out. And they do dish it, seen and heard it myself, plenty of times at the mall, grocery store, walking down the street or sashaying past the bus stop. I have wondered for years why people say bad things to and about other people they don’t know when it doesn’t make sense and just wastes energy. Some of the dishers I believe are bullied at home, and it’s their way of shedding the negative energy  build up before they explode. Give it to somebody else because the bully at home is bigger and therefore undefeatable. I’m sure you have heard the term “learned behavior”, well, bullying is a learned behavior.  It comes from watching parents, it is a tacit approval method of teaching shameful behavior. The Amish know how to deal with shameful behavior, it’s called “shunning”. The entire group turns its back on the sinner until the sinner changes into someone the group wants to know again, and then they either stop shunning and welcome them back to the fold or the shunned go away and never come back. That is, I know, a simplistic view of a very ancient and very religious ideology, and one that comes in handy for keeping a group together, but is it an act right for our younger students to participate in? For bullying in school is a method of shunning. Someone does something you don’t like either to you or someone you like, or you don’t believe is a right thing to dobecause it goes against your set of moral values and the next thing you have blasted them with a media blitz calling them names, lying about them, doing the dirty, so to speak.  Where are we, the adults, when all this is going on? We are talking about our neighbor, our co worker, our boss, nagging at our spouse, feeling put upon because we have so much to do…so we jabber about anything and everything without regard to what is being learned from this by our children and their friends. Learned behavior. They get it from us. Haven’t you ever said “Oh God, I sound just like my mother?” or father, as it happens. Well, you do. Because you have learned behaviors. Not everything is down to DNA.

We, the adults, no matter how stressed we feel, should know better than to talk smack either to or in front of our children about a person, but we do it anyway. We talk about so and so at work, we call the people we don’t like or don’t understand different names, labels really, pasted on top of people’s faces so we don’t have to take the time to find out who they really are. We yell at our children about how wrong they are and how it’s all there fault. We watch shows like big brother and watch they all destroy each other in the name of money. We all do it to some extent and at some time for our own reasons. Some parents are worse than others, and there are a few who, thankfully, remember not to do it all. But for those who do it’s apparently easier to cope with their own life garbage and, hey, we can get ahead by leaps and bounds by doing the dirty to someone at work we don’t like, or someone in the neighborhood we don’t want around simply because they are different. Shame on us. We give this verbal junk food to our children and they take it to school and dish it out to the unfortunate few who don’t quite understand the game. Or if they do understand it, they can do nothing to change it because they have neither the funds or the social class to keep it from happening. Yes, it’s a stacked deck, still. Always has been. And now it’s deadlier than ever. The children that kill other children are abused, confused, their DNA is screwed, their brains don’t work right anymore and yes, it’s our fault. We spray the air with toxins, we fill the ground with herbicides and pesticides and the air with exhaust fumes, we feed our children junk food per tv recommendation and worst of all, there is no time set for connecting with nature, it’s all television and computer games, telephones and snack food. I remember a time when I was young, always had chores to do, animals to care for, and weeding to do in the veg patch. Always too busy to get into trouble. What do your children do when they have the energy of a raging bull and no way to let off steam? I believe in hard work for young people, twelve and older, let them work like they live in a third world. For in truth, they do, it’s called adolescence and they have more energy to burn than a solar flare. I remember when kids worked hard physically and stayed more stable mentally and emotionally. Now everything is out of balance and their parents want to blame it on everybody but themselves. “My poor little boy/girl”, don’t want them to work as hard as you did? Didn’t hurt you did it? Kept you out of trouble, kept you sane. And perhaps you learned a trade or two, like how to fix a car, how to mow a lawn, paint a room, feed the hungry. I’m not advocating hard labor for kids, I’m just advocating physical work. And something besides football that pits one against another, don’t we have enough of that? On the news, parents hitting parents at a kid’s soccer match, and people calling the police on other people for no reason at all except because they can. Isn’t it time to start gardening together? Maybe going around raking an old lady’s yard? Learning to do things together is a useful trait to learn, and getting rid of pent up energy is a good thing. And perhaps we should also keep in mind that old saying, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  But children now are allowed to say anything about anybody whether it’s true or not. And that’s not good. It leads to moral decay of the worst kind and is being seen more and more often in society today. Fake news anybody?

This kind of political, social, cultural climate is more damaging to our children than guns in school, in fact, it’s my opinion that it’s the reason we have people with guns in school. Those children, outcasts, picked on, the ragged ones,  the lonely children misunderstood, bullied, laughed at, for usually no real reason except to make the others feel better about themselves are not the ones at fault. It starts at home with parents and how they behave towards their children. We should wash out our mouths with soap, and then start on the politicians who keep it going world wide. We are all in the proverbial “sh….r” these days and unless we pull together and stop bad mouthing everyone and everything we don’t or can’t understand, the climate is going to do it for us. It’s all of a piece, this climate change we find ourselves living in today. It started way back several thousand years ago when someone decided it wasn’t okay for somebody to have a different color skin, or different hair, or a different opinion about something, whether it be social, religious, familial or financial, and now we live in a climate of fear that we have allowed those around us to cultivate for their own use. For several thousand years we kept a balance, but somehow in the last 100 years we lost our footing. I believe it was for the sake of money. A few people got really really greedy. Some of our children are beginning to recognize this type of ugly behavior and are opting out of participating in it. Thank heavens for some favors. But some adults are still studiously ignoring the scientists and are hell bent on continuing to foment destruction around the world, forgetting that the climate is destroying us as they scurry to their next money meeting. Hurricanes, snowstorms, volcanoes, tsunamis, changes in humidy levels, the melting of arctic ice, the extinction of major animal species, important species, I might add, because without major predators, we are over run by the prey, rats, mice, insects, and we are losing our most precious animal and insect species, the pollinators. Bees, bats, butterflies, moths, we keep spraying them with insecticides, well we were, now we just put it in the food we eat, we genetically enhanced our plant life to contain the seeds of destruction, and so we are all reduced to living lives of “quiet desperation”, which in turn gives rise to all those children in our schools yelling at each other, just like our government officials, our politicians, are yelling at each other. All I can say is we had better stop yelling and start working with each other or there will be nothing living left to yell.

Green Green Roofs of Home

Just bringing it to people’s attention that many cities in America recovering from the last ten years of financial struggle, such as Detroit, have put into effect guidelines for building green in their cities. Meaning new buildings must stick to those guidelines by implementing green building ideas into their roofs, interiors and parking lots. I applaud this effort, contributing in the small ways we all can, recycling, gardening organically and up-cycling everything possible to keep unnecessary garbage out of the trash bin. We must learn to be a more conservative nation and not so much a “throw away” nation.

I’ve noticed an increase in the articles on creating “green roofs” on buildings. The effect is more than astonishing, it provides a natural corridor for migrating birds in places, allows for the continued success of singing and mating of song birds and cools the buildings without resorting to the overuse of air conditioning. Costs money to air condition, just saying…Also, songbirds have declined rapidly in urban and forested areas because of one sad fact, people are noisy. Our heavy vehicles, our way of life and behavior, the use of stereo systems and outdoor sound systems, traffic noise, all of it combines to make it impossible for some species to hear mating calls, and so they don’t find mates. No mates, no eggs, no birds.  But up in the air of a thirty story building it’s much more quiet I believe. It may be that small trees and bushes planted among other greenery such as ground covering Sedum plant mats could very well encourage our song birds to come back. It has already revived some pollinator populations in places. Pollination is important because without it, we won’t eat. Period. Nothing will get fertilized which means no cereal grains, no vegetables, no bushes, no plants, for 99.9 percent depend on pollinators to set their fruiting bodies, whether it be cereal grains, rice, or the ubiquitous Zucchini, or “Marrows” as the British call them. It is worth considering this practice when you are building a new home for yourself. Why not look into building a home for wildlife as well. Most are built of Sedum covered mats layed over a prepared roof and then left pretty much alone. These plants are drought tolerant, hardy in most places that freeze during the winter. They protect rooftops, give birds welcome relief, insulate from the heat and cold better than conventional roofs and cost about the same to install. Easy to maintain these types of roofs could give us much needed relief and provide a way to keep our carbon footprints smaller even with our larger houses. Even if the entire roof is not done, one could do half a sloping roof, leaving the other half to be conventional roofing material, or if it’s a multi roofed building, do two or three sections of roof, it cuts down on the heat lost in the winter, cools in the summer giving you relief from high air conditioning bills and helps the entire planet including birds and butterflies and bees and other pollinators, which are fast disappearing. Remember, no pollinators, no food. Intrepid rehabilitators have already brought back the Peregrine Falcon to nest in New York. Many green roofs there are thriving with birds and bees and butterflies. Just the ones we need.

So I invite you reader to give it a thought, do some research, look up green roofs on the internet and see what you can find out. It would be a good project for your children to do with you.

Solar panels are another good way to help. Anything we can do to help our climate change now will save lives in the future, and perhaps one of those lives will be one of your children or grandchildren.

How do I help? I have a wonderful land lady who installed a low water toilet, I garden organically and attract as many birds, bees and butterflies as possible into my garden. Every year I have nesting birds, a balance of good and bad insects among my veggie patch and I conserve as much water as possible. Birds are always dropping me a feather or two to say thank you. Last week I found a hummingbird’s breast feather, so dark and iridescent, so very very tiny. I see it flit from one lavender bush to another and then on into the columbines and back.  It’s always lovely to see the small ones, and they are so fast it’s unbelievable. Sometimes mistaken for large butterflies or moths, these little birds are hard working and generous creatures, giving us the benefit of pollinating our crops as they hunt for the nectar they need to stay alive. Birds also spread seeds they eat, encouraging the growth of “volunteer” plants in your garden, like the one in the picture above. It sprouted last year out of “nowhere”. I think it’s a Butterfly Bush but it is only a year old and hasn’t bloomed yet. Whatever it is the birds, or the squirrel, planted it because it is something they like to eat. So when you think you can’t do much in the way of helping to sustain the environment, or help the shrinking population of wildlife we truly need, think outside the box of your house, maybe go up and look at your roof, and while you are on the ladder look down at your garden, no matter how small, and see what kind of pollinator sustaining, flowering greenery you can add to the mix, along with wildlife and bird friendly seeding plants like Pyracantha, Virginia Creeper, their blue berries delightful to many species. Great as a vine, scarlet red in the fall for instant color. To keep it contained plant in a large pot in the ground and pull up the self seeding plantlets in the spring. Sometimes we should work as hard as our friends do…Blessings to you for reading and thank you for considering the alternatives to make our futures greener.


How we live in a world of strife

This particular blog has not been finished, I’m still trying to figure out how people are managing today. Everything seems to be going wrong for many people, no matter who they are or where they come from. Government officials play the bad guys, they don’t do as we, their bosses, ask. What happens when you don’t do something at work? Does your boss ignore it, or does he fire you? I think sometimes that people believe they have no power, but they do. Don’t be complacent, we are in a world of hurt, literally. It is up to each and every individual to make every day as peaceful as possible. How to do that? Start by looking around, see what needs to be done, and if you can do something, even a little for someone in need, then do it. Hear what’s happening, listen to the cries of the helpless. Share what you can, even if it’s a smile for someone. Be kind to your family, because your children are watching you, they emulate you, and they will grow up to be like you. Sometimes, if it’s bad enough, children realize early they don’t want to be that way so they choose not to be. You see, we have the gift of choosing how to be, either negative or positive. We can either add to the strife or find a way to lessen it. Up to you. This website is dedicated to those who strive for peace, who have plans and ideas that need to be shared with others. Ways in which we can make a difference, however small, deserves to be heard. So I want to know, what do you do every day that lessens the strife, fear, worry, pain, at your house?