Writing

The odd thing about writing a personal journal on the internet is that you really don’t know who is reading it (with some pleasant exceptions), and what they make of it (with some pleasant exceptions).

That gossamer line of connection created between the writer and reader is almost invisible. Its appearance belies its strength, which is timeless.

Authors long dead have held me close through the darkest of times, the blackest of experiences. Authors of many races and cultures have reached out to me with their words, affirmed my humanity, enlightened my perspective, chastised the smallness of some of my ideas and emotive responses, shown me what love is, and what love can do, and so much more. Their words have reached across chasms of difference, to embrace me with inclusion, to illuminate my world with love, kindness, tolerance, and compassion.

Informal authors, such as those writing online personal journals, have enriched my life immensely. Although I’ve not met even one in “real life”, respect, appreciation, and real concern for their well being have developed over time. When they cease to write, for whatever reason, I miss hearing about their doings, their retrospections, and their contemplations. What I do know with certainty is that each one that I read has written goodness, kindness, and compassion into the world. There is no better vocation, no matter how modest.

I’ve explored YouTube as a venue for connecting humans, and find it lacking in so very many ways. It is not interactive in any real sense of the word. Creators are selling a product (usually the much exalted “me”), looking for subscribers, seeking “likes”, directing people over to Patreon, where people donate money to them. YouTube is entertainment first and foremost. It is a good place to research how to do things though, so it is useful to a limited degree. But when YouTube creators call their subscribers a “community” I know that is complete crap, because with YouTube there is little healthy reciprocity of concern for the viewer’s life and circumstances. The creators do not know if someone’s husband has died, a child is ill, a sister is going through a divorce, and really how could they with 100,000 subscribers. To call a YouTube subscriber list a community is a travesty of the concept, in my opinion. It is more in line with a fan club, like the Mickey Mouse Club I grew up watching.

And then there are venues like Facebook, where most people cease to explore ideas using language and clarification of thought, instead viewing a steady stream of memes and pithy short sayings that are so generalized as to have lost all meaning in the lived experience. False information and inflammatory interpretations abound. Facebook is the land of mass moral outrage, the perfect venue to spread fear, hatred, discontent, and division. There are those who use Facebook to connect with family and friends, but I honestly feel that humans need face-to-face, day-to-day contact in healthy, balanced, smallish human social groups… and Facebook has none of that.

And then there is Twitter, the short bite, “hit and run”, “drive by shooting” venue. I have nothing positive to say about Twitter, or the like.

My age is showing in the way I see the world. The world I grew up in was unkind, brutal, and systemically unfair. The world I live in now is unkind, brutal, and systemically unfair. Technology hasn’t lessened the unkindness, the brutality, or the systemic unfairness, and arguably, it has intensified these aspects of human social structures.

On the domestic front, it is a perfect summer’s day! I love this kind of weather, when it is cool enough that wearing long pants, and long sleeves is comfortable. The mosquito season has started here, and they are pesky little things, and it is easier to avoid bites when skin is covered with fabric.

Attila is tackling the garden watering situation. We like to catch the rainwater falling from the roof in rain barrels. Well, actually, we have one rain barrel, three large garbage cans with screen lids, and one wheelbarrow that catch water from the roof. There is a short piece of the old eves trough on the eve, but it does not collect much water for us. We rely mainly on the water dripping directly off the roof and into the garbage cans and wheelbarrow. It is quite a motley collection, and doesn’t really retain enough water to get us through dry spells.

So this year, Attila’s birthday present (since he is working again and we anticipate an income with some discretionary funds) has been two 1000 liter rain tanks, and eves trough with a downspout, for the back porch, and garden shed roofs. This will allow us to collect enough water to water the gardens during dry spells, and to keep the back yard from flooding when we get a lot of rain.

Using the town water supply to water the gardens presents two issues, one is the expense, water costs money, and our sewage bill is based on how much water we use, even though it does not enter the town sewage pipes, and that costs even more money. The other issue is that town water is heavily chlorinated, and rain water is less stressful for the plants and soil.

My morning was spent weeding the raised beds, and reading on the back porch. Yesterday I milled flour and baked five loaves of bread on the same day, thanks to the cessation of time-of-use hydro billing. This is the life!

Mom gave us some walking onion bulbs a few years back and they have propagated well. But they are prone to mildew, so that last year there was not much of an edible onion harvest. This year they are being sprayed regularly with a water/soap mixture, and on Friday Attila harvested some very lovely stalks and small bulbs. I dehydrated them for 12 hours. Attila baked them for about 15 minutes (NOTE: try 2 minutes then check!) in a hot oven to caramelize them. The only task left now it to crush them into a powder, which is done with a stone mortar and pestle. They are delicious!
NOTE: We burned the onions in the oven! Apparently just a few minutes are needed to caramelize them to perfection, and seven minutes will burn them! So disappointing, but you live and learn, lol.

Lots of plants are beginning to grow! Attila set up a plastic enclosure over one of the raised beds, to form a small green house. So far he had started and transplanted nasturtiums, and Black Russian tomatoes. But that is just the beginning, there is a lot more coming! My two raised beds are ready and waiting for the Jalapeno pepper plants to get big eough to transplant. We could use bushels of Jalapeno peppers if we could get them at a reasonable price, so growing them give us a good supply.

I enjoyed my view this morning from the porch. The Hawkweed is in bloom, one of my favourite weeds. A tiny bird perched on one of the taller stalks, and it slowly bent to the ground. The bird chose another Hawkweed stalk, perching there as it slowly bent to the ground. Yet another Hawkweed stalk was selected as a perch, and when that one bent to the ground the little bird gave up on the Hawkweed and flew up into the ash tree.

Also blooming are the wild geraniums, the dianthus, the irises, the strawberries, chamomile, and white clover. I love the garden because every day things change, sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot.

Well, that’s us then for the weekend. I love having a yard! I am grateful Attila loves to garden!

Stay safe dear friends!

The Walking Onion harvest. They were dehydrated, baked, and will be crushed into powder for seasoning.
Hawkweed
Wild Geranium
Dianthus
Everbearing strawberries.
Three Nasturtium and at the top of the photo some Chamomile.

Worldly

Weather

18°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Sunday 7 June 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.5°C
Dew point: 11.9°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: SSW 25 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The medium is the message”
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964
Marshall McLuhan
1911 – 1980

The wrong people are making the most of the concepts explored in this work.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks Joan! We have a lovely climate for a garden, the growing season is a bit short, there are lots of things we cannot grow here because the winters are so long, but there are lots of things we can grow! Wow, that is not very much rain where you live! I don’t know yet if we will fill these tanks, that remains to be seen, but I think we will come close from time to time.

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