Friday, December 31, 2010

What??? 2011 starts tomorrow?

I just realized that in 32 days I need to start thinking about putting corn gluten on the area in front of the house because seeds of cheat grass and about 10 kinds of horrible weeds will start to germinate if I don't. And I'll have to repeat the exercise every five weeks for at least four months.

Need to plant seeds and bulbs every month from March on. Need to move two of the raised bed frames and fill them with good soil and spread compost on the other two raised beds. I haven't even opened the seed catalogs to see what I want to buy. I always buy too much and this year I'm going to give my surplus seeds away on FreeCycle.

I want to grow greens, tomatoes, herbs (I'm really good at herbs), beets, maybe a few carrots, flowers (I'm also really good at flowers), and catnip. I'd best get my seeds ordered because I have to start things growing pretty soon.

Bought an enormous deck box by Rubbermaid which a friend brought home and assembled for me. It promises to banish clutter from the entry porch which is 49' x 12'. Now I just need to find the correct size baskets (preferably stacking) to sit inside and hold all my tools, seeds, gloves, hats, and watering tools. The deck box can also serve as a table when I'm sitting outside.

It's a lovely porch, facing north and doesn't get used nearly enough, partly because it's not pleasant out there when the wind blows which we all know it does a lot in Carson Valley, and partly because I haven't made an effort to be out there. I intend to change that.

Beginnings excite me--New Year, new week, new month, new project--and I'm excited about 2011. Being old is so damned liberating. What's the worst that can happen? At 30 there are so many worsts, at 70 there aren't many. Even dying has lost its sting. I still don't want to (I want to live till I'm at least 95 because I promised myself that at 90 I can start smoking again if I still want to) but it no longer scares me as it once did.

Yes, I'm excited and tomorrow I'll tell you more about that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maybe there is an easier way

I've been attempting to simplify my life for nearly 70 years. Catholic boarding school pre-Vatican II introduced me to the monastic ideal. The nuns had few personal possessions. We gave them large white handkerchiefs for gifts.

Then an English teacher had us read Walden. Omigod, the beauty of enough.

But, alongside this person who longed for the elegance of enough, the simplicity of a table and two chairs, a bed and a writing desk was a person who wanted lots of furniture, dishes, books, a car, and clothes--expensive, tasteful clothes.

For at least 55 years these two entities have been battling it out. In 1975 I notified my friends and acquaintances that most of my possessions were going out the door, free to good homes. One friend took nearly everything and I found out years later she had a very successful garage sale.

This scenario has replayed three or four times since then and I always end up a year later with too many possessions. Most recently I decided to move to Grass Valley, Calif. from Minden, Nev. We all know about the housing bubble and its spectacular burst which has put my move on hold. However, before I realized I wasn't going anywhere right away I packed up 35 or 40 boxes and took them to Grass Valley and stored them in a friend's giant shop.

Walking into my house, you could not tell I removed anything. What? And I have no idea what's in the boxes except for my grandmother's china. I'm not bringing more in (well, a few books) so what is going on?

I finally decided to give up my minimalist ideal, the clutter-free bare surfaces, nearly empty rooms, freedom from possessions. The attempt has been making me crazy for years. There has been no acceptance of the way things are and the way I am. Perhaps I'll just learn to put things away after I use them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why I loathe Libertarians

Firemen watched a home burn in Obion County, Tennessee. Three dogs and a cat died in the burning house. Would those same assholes have watched it burn if children or slow-moving seniors had been in the house? If they were card carrying Libertarians they just might have.

Former homeowner Gene Cranick lives outside of the city limits and he admits that he forgot to pay a $75 service fee that would have provided him with fire protection.

In the wonderful world of Libertarians every home owner would purchase protection policies for private police, fire and ambulance service. There would be no building codes nor government regulations of any kind. And there would be NO TAXES.

There are so many marvelous opportunities to practice their Libertarian principles where it's already acceptable. Why do they insist on destroying this country when they could just go to Sudan or any number of counties with no government, just war lords or militias? Or maybe they could all move to Texas and I'll spend the rest of my life helping Texas secede from the union.

Monday, August 30, 2010

If Congress can prosecute Roger Clemens for lying to Congress, why can't Senators and Congressman be prosecuted for lying during sessions of Congress?

Bush's former U.N. Ambassador won't rule out presidential run. John Bolton for president and Sharron Angle for the Senate. This country is reaching new limits of insanity.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Christopher Hitchens intimidates the hell out of me

I'm reading two Christopher Hitchens books right now: a slender volume titled "Thomas Jefferson" and his memoir, "Hitch 22."

I picked his “Jefferson” because it’s not very long and because I know I can trust him not to sugar coat anything.

I've been a fan of Hitchens for years. Gave up on him for awhile after he endorsed the invasion of Iraq and started hanging out with Paul Wolfowitz, then rejoined the fold when I read "god Is Not Great." He certainly makes a good case for non-believing, which I'm currently doing.

He is funny as hell and such a good writer. My reading list has grown by a couple of pages just jotting down some of what he's read in his lifetime. I won't read them all but do intend to tackle Wilfrid Owens poetry and George Orwell's lesser known novels.

One of the benefits of being 70 years old is that I know I don't have time to read all the books I missed. There are so many books being published every month I hardly have time to go back and pick up the many I missed.

Hitchens isn't afraid to tell his version of the truth and to honestly state his feelings about people, about what say say and write, about what they do.

His book "The Missionary Position," was an unflattering portrait of Mother Teresa pointing out, among other things, that she was much more concerned with pleasing her god than with helping the poor and suffering. In fact, according to him, she refused to allow the dying to have drugs to ease their suffering because she felt their suffering was pleasing to her god. I could be wrong but I suspect most of those she was helping would have been Hindu or Muslim.

Hitchens recently interrupted his book tour for "Hitch 22" in order to have chemo for esophageal cancer. I won’t pray for him but sure as hell want him to recover and keep on writing.