Agency

My Grandfather fought in the First World War, as did many men from his rural community. When the Second World War came along he was married with children (the middle child my mother). Luckily he was employed and living in a vibrant and supportive rural community. He was the Post Master in his community. My Grandmother took care of the Post Office most of the time while my Grandfather worked at a variety of other jobs. My Grandparents also ran the local General Store and Gas Station, and again my Grandmother “manned” the business counter for both. They were wonderful people, honest, hard-working, intelligent, kind… They represent everything I admire in human beings.

Most of what I value about being alive has been learned either directly from them or from their daughter, my mother, and her sisters. As a small child I seriously confused their home and community with heaven.

One of the things I remember quite vividly was my Grandparent’s garden. It was a good sized garden, growing a variety of vegetables. The land surrounding my Grandparent’s house had little topsoil covering the granite below, so their gardens were planted on family property down the road. It was a treat to accompany my Grandmother to the garden every day, to gather the vegetables we would eat for dinner the same evening.

My Grandparent’s also harvested wild edibles to supplement their diet. Lovely days spent picking wild strawberries, or raspberries, or blackberries, or blueberries are mine to remember. Often after an outing to pick berries, my Grandmother would bake a berry upside down cake, in the oven of her wood stove.

My reminiscences are a direct result of poking around the Internet this morning before I left for work. I was looking at sites related to sustainability, moved on to urban farming and from there ended up viewing World War II videos about Victory Gardens. And that is how I came to be thinking about my Granny’s garden.

The promotion of Victory Gardens wasn’t just hype, it wasn’t royal commissions, or expensive research to establish simple concepts; it simply promoted agency and self-sufficiency in the general population.

My how things have changed!!!!! Instead of promoting growing healthy food for victory, leaders are being forced to descend into a nightmarish conflict with corporate capital to save the population from empty calories, in the form of “addictive” sugary drinks.

“New York expanded its anti-obesity campaign on Thursday with a proposal to ban the use of food stamps to buy sugary drinks, drawing beverage industry complaints that it is another government attempt to tell people how to behave.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor David Paterson asked the U.S. government to ban the purchase of soda pop and sweetened fruit drinks with food stamps — the federal vouchers used by 42 million low-income Americans buy food.
They called sugar-sweetened beverages the largest single contributor to the obesity epidemic.”
Source: Reuters

The Fool

I’ve lived many lives in my time here on earth.  It has not made me wise.  My passions still run strong and wild.  I still live in a universe where anything is possible; despite my bouts of deep cynicism, passion for life and learning well up from deep within me, instantaneously and unbidden.  I fear I am a fool.

zucchini bloom

zucchini bloom

I’m not very afraid of being a fool though, not afraid enough to quell my passions or my imagination.

It is difficult to marry the fool and the counsel in me.  It is a life’s work to do so.

Attila and I continue to prepare for the unknown.

Attila paints, I type on the keyboard.  Nothing is visibly changing in our world at the moment, although the next few weeks will be eventful on a small scale.  We have purchased a little home near a city in Ontario.  It is in very, very poor condition.  It is in a very pleasant neighbourhood.  It will be a real “project”.

If Attila and/or I find work in that city, we will relocate and move to our little house.  If we don’t find work we shall remain in the wild, as here Attila has employment, as do I (of a sort).  However, we will have a project and a focus near a city, someplace that I can visit when the grip of cabin fever has me by the throat.

So, there we are, we’ve taken a step towards change.  It could end badly, that is true.  We think about that, but are not overwhelmed by the fact.  As Harriet said the other day, “plan for the worst, hope for the best”.  Exactly our philosophy.

Painting the main living area of our home is a miserable job, particularly in the hot, humid weather we have been having.  Attila continues to plug away at it though, every evening after work he gathers all his equipment and his paint can and gets to work.  At bedtime he gathers together his equipment, stores it all away and drops into the bed for a well deserved rest.  The estimated timeline for the project is a week.

I keep sending out job applications, now focused entirely on the city near our little house.  Some positive responses have come our way, but nothing we can take to the bank.

Terra began her new job this week.  Congratulations Terra!  The first few weeks of a new job are always a challenge, so much change.  I know Terra will rise to the occasion and will be breezing through her work days in very short order.  Terra possesses a great deal of determination.

Luna and Janus are busy with their jobs and visiting friends and Janus’ family; this keeps them very busy.  They are all healthy and happy.

We are expecting thunderstorms this morning, so I’ll get this post up without further ado.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

22 °C
Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:101.7 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:22.0°C
Dewpoint:20.1°C
Humidity:89 %
Wind:SSE 15 km/h
Humidex:30

Quote

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Mark Twain
(1835 – 1910)
A missed opportunity!

Beginnings Without Endings

Terra’s graduation was a big event for our family, with Lares, Attila and I, Luna and Janus, Imp, Elf and Tink in attendance. Good wishes were sent from Terra and Luna’s Grandma, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Terra accepted her Diplomas and several Awards, one of them for Excellence in her studies. Well Done Terra! And a heart felt thanks to Lares who has Terra’s back, it warms her mother’s heart.

Attila and I are busy contemplating making changes in our life. We love our home, and the beautiful landscape around us, but it is remote from everyone Attila and I cherish.  We are initiating change.

Yesterday was very hot and humid. Today is cool and breezy. The sun was shining this morning, but is now well hidden behind a ceiling of grey clouds.

I have been applying for work this morning; it is always a dreaded activity, but it must be done. Attila has his resumes at the ready.

We are tired and happy, after our weekend away celebrating Terra’s graduation.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

16 °C
Condition:Partly Cloudy
Pressure:101.4 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:16.0°C
Dewpoint:6.5°C
Humidity:53 %
Wind:W 21 gust 35 km/

Quote

“Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible.”
Stanislaw Lem
(1921 – 2006)

Time

This morning I had to take the car in for a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment. It is a one hour drive there and a one hour drive back. My mind tends to take off on tangents when I’m driving for any length of time; today the tangent was all about time.

Two Feet and a Geranium

Two Feet and a Geranium

I was thinking that all life really consists of is: what was, what is, and what will be. All of these aspects of time are subject to perception, perspective and interpretation. However, the only aspect that we can influence is “what is”, the present, the fleeting moment of consciousness that we experience as the now.

Sometimes my “what is” is saturated with “what was”. There are moments that come to me from the past, rich in emotion. These moments can capture me completely, so much so that I long to return to that place and time, to wrap myself in its warmth and certainty.

At other times the “what will be” will crowd out the present, sometimes with uncertainty, sometimes with anticipation.

Only the present moment offers the opportunity for redemption. It is often difficult to remain loyal to the “what is”, with all its terrors and treasures. It is the most difficult aspect of time to subjugate, susceptible to the vagaries of chaos. One can write/rewrite history. One can predict the future. But the moment of “what is” cannot be gathered into words and power so easily, it slips into what “has been” before we can fully grasp its meaning or wield its power.

The world around me focuses primarily on the writing and rewriting of the “what was”, with what seems like the sole purpose of dictating the “what will be”, to a vested interest. Perhaps the world needs a little more of the “what is”.

Worldly Distractions

Quote
“One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.”
George Eliot (1819 – 1880)

Weather
24 °C
Condition:Mainly Sunny
Pressure:102.0 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:24.0°C
Dewpoint:1.2°C
Humidity:22 %
Wind:SE 5 km/h