Monday, October 27, 2008

More on The New Members of Wolfdancer Creek (LAPCPADPOUB Day! Revisited!)

Thanks to Happy Mouffatard at The Inelegant Gardener for the New Holiday.

The Wee Howloween Kittehs have opened their eyes and put on their exploration mittens. Thought all the Cat Nutters might want to see their sweet ickle faces as they wend their wascally way deep into my SUCKER heart. (Anyone seen that tattoo somewheres?)


Friday, October 24, 2008

VOTING We Can Change The World

I would never try to change anyone's Vote. Vote For Hope
This video brought tears to my eyes. Brought me to my knees with the Hope I feel for this campaign. Brought me memories of being Young, and Passionate, and full of Hope, and KNOWLEDGE dammit, KNOWING that I COULD CHANGE THE WORLD. This Knowing which has, with age, with time, with disappointment, with the constant battering down of enthusiasm, with the day-to-day surviving, with the Republican obsession with "getting mine now and damn the future", with the Religious Right's intolerance, with.... Negativity, with POLITICS AND POLITICIANS... This KNOWING that I--me personally-- I COULD CHANGE THE WORLD it got trampled. Stifled. Pissed on. Disregarded. Disrespected.

MY America is bigger than that, and Barack Obama believes in me. I MUST believe that, or else.... Belief is Nothing.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

The soft tap tap tap of rain on leaves as it plashes down the bower, a stirring of the air, crisp, damp, foggy breath'd and fecund. Rich with Autumn's grandeur, a paintbox worth of color dappled on turning leaves. One lone small maple leans out towards the light, out from beneath the larger trees which perch over the steep creek bed. A mixed hardwood & softwood jungle, lush and deep with muted plinks and susurruses. Soon to be a blended pallet of yellows, oranges, pinks, purples & reds, with the piney greens as stark contrast to deciduous leavings. Staid companions, these conifers betwixt the broad-leafed majesties. I stand on the bridge taking just a moment before off I go to toil for my daily bread to listen closely to the primeval songs of this place, the music of the mountains, the sonata of the forest. And now, the Song Dogs add their voices to the orchestra, a rich blend of contralto, bass & soprano rising primitive up the scales of our hearts. The night's full moon still lingers in the soft silvered light, caressing the morning, loathe to leave. As I am.

A bit of a whimsy which has adorned the Aldars since we moved here.

Cry Havoc! And release the Goats of War! The Royal Goat Court at work browzing back the blackberries, clearing the feral parts of the land, and fertilizing a potential new garden.

The fernleaf maple (Acer japonicum f. aconitifolium) is in full display. What gorgeous purples and mauves! I love this tree!

These cottonwoods sing to me. Between these and the Sequoias, it sounds like the ocean murmuring along a pebbly beach. I love their fall golds, and their songs are... nurturing to something deep within me. I miss the ocean, miss being close enough to stand at her shores with my naked feet in her waters, but the Cottonwoods soothe that missing.

I caught the light shimmering sweetly on the fall-kissed leaves of the Coral Bark Maples (Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku') This is another tree I just love, with her winter interest, and her chartreuse tresses.

Another of the Coral Bark, with the Gladstone tree peering behind her shoulder. This was a volunteer from Dianne's old house. We are happy to have the living connection to Happy Rock.

My old bridge. It was poorly made, and I paid too much for it. I will move it this Spring, to in front of the pond, and plant a vine (maybe a clematis!) I'm also going to dredge the canoe out of the pond, plop it also in front of the pond, and use it as a flower bed.

One of the Ancona ducks, our second generation.

Another of the Fernleaf Maple, with the light behind it.

This is a wild maple in the creek. I don't know what kind it is, and I didn't catch it early enough when the sun filters through and just lights it up. But it is a lovely golden spot of brightness within the green of the creek bed.

This morning, it is foggy and drizzly, and everything is silvered. Yesterday was golden. I am surrounded by precious metal lightness! Everything is Light. EVERYTHING.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Song Dogs

Song Dogs sing the night alive rock the hills, make the mountains weep with your songs. These are my Kidz.

Teeghkii, my Golden Boy. He has decided that couches are good things to sleep on, not snack food.

I gonna love him and squish him, and call him George. No, wait, Mr. America, that's it.

Big smooches. 2008, this summer.

Beau and Tundra. Tundra's making nice, Beau is loving every minute of the attention. A beautiful couple.

America, 2006, catching snowballs. Fetch is one of his favorite games. BUT there's a catch. He doesn't bring 'em back. Naw, Mom. I'LL fetch. YOU carry.

Missy Chance. "Come Here, now! I want pets!"

America in the straw, the turkey. 2006.

Little Rhi, off leash in 2001? Ocean Beach at Dog Beach.

Little Rhi in 2002 looking particularly photogenic.

Mr. BearPaw, 2006. He is now 14 years old. Gruff ol' silly ol' bear, likes to have his butt scratched, hates to ask for it :~)

Spirit the WonderWoof.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty in a Small Town

And what am I gonna do about it???
As this is Blog Action Day I am going to attempt to add yet another of my thoughtful-yet-unread posts to my thousands of invisible fans out there in Cyber Space. Since the real reason for this Blog to begin with is as a venue to practice my writing, it's all good. I think this is a great idea, this coming together on Cyber Space, this focus and intent. We are, all of us, focal points of energy, and focused, we CAN affect change. REAL CHANGE.

Now, I am not going to write about politics, nay. I am going to write about Hope. I am going to write about Prayers. I am going to write about desperation and desperate times. I am going to write about fear, and fear-mongering. I am going to rage rage against the fading of the light! I am going to shake my fists at the inhumanity of it all, and most of all, I am going to Vote with my whole conscience, with my whole prayerful soul, with all my hopes and dreams for this Country. My Pops (Great Grandfather, Assistant District Attorney of San Diego County in 1932) used to tell me several things which stuck with me over the years, and one of them was, you can't complain if you're too derned lazy to Vote. Well, since I like to complain, vehemently sometimes, I guess I best Vote. I urge you all, every last one of you invisible Gentle Readers, to Vote your Conscience.

But that is not the focus of this Blog Action Day. This Day is to raise awareness of Poverty, where-ever it raises its' ugly head. In this Country, indeed, in this World, with its' stunning leaps and bounds of technology, with its' incredible improvements of quality of life, there is no place for Poverty. There is simply no room in the Land of Plenty for our Elders to be lonely and hungry and cold. No room for our children to go shoeless, or uneducated, or without health care. NO ROOM for ANY of our citizens to live in desperate fear of getting hurt or sick, because they will lose EVERYTHING everything they ever worked for, dreamed of, all for the lack of minimal proactive health care.

And damn it, what am I gonna do about it? What am I gonna do to affect my One Mile Radius? Well, here's my plan. I plan to spend as much time as I can developing new garden plots here on Wolfdancer Creek. This season, I will develop at least ONE large new garden spot, or start it. I will do a cover crop on the one working garden I have and I will till it before the freeze, in preparation for next year. Next year, I vow to set aside more time to weed, and till, and harvest, and less time in front of the computer & the TV (watching movies on disk or VCR for relaxation, because I don't have "television", I have a TV) and the excess vegetables that I do not can or use, I will donate to the Senior Center. And the excess seeds I cannot use, I will donate (as I have done for the past three years) to the Pre-School, where the Teachers have a Victory Garden for the children.

I have a start on things, I have been putting the goats out to eat the blackberries Good on so many levels. GREAT fodder for the goats, the two new rescue goats are getting fat and shiny, the Nubian Princesses remain healthy, shiny and beautiously plump. Saves a bunch of money on goat feed, opens up otherwise feral land, feeds that land with very nutritious goat droppings and the downed and weed-whacked canes of blackberries which quickly rot unto rich nutritious soil fodder...

Today, I make a vow. I will make my garden grow. I will make a part of Wolfdancer Creek available to those with not-enough. I will share the bounty that I have been given. Although we here are living financially at Poverty Level, struggling with bills, struggling with making ends meet, struggling with day-to-day living, praying that nothing Bad happens, because God forbid, there is just no money to deal with anything except the bare necessities, and the bare necessities do not include things like health insurance, or proactive Vet care, or going out for dinner, or going to the movies, or trash service, or maybe even the internet if I can't get a handle on the backed up bills, but by gummy, the bare necessities DO include food for the critturs, electricity, and food enough for us two-legged critturs.... Good coffee in the morning, good bread to break with good friends....

So as poor as we are, we are Hopeful. Everything is Light. EVERYTHING.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thoughts on Understanding & Fear

Chief Seattle's Thoughts
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man's dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man --- all belong to the same family.
So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word he will reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children.
So, we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you the land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father's grave behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children, and he does not care. His father's grave, and his children's birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.
I do not know. Our ways are different than your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of the insect's wings. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around the pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond and the smell of the wind itself, cleaned by a midday rain, or scented with pinon pine.
The air is precious to the red man for all things share the same breath, the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow's flowers.
So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition - the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers.
I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know which the white man may one day discover; our God is the same God.
You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white. The earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your perishing you will shine brightly fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.
That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone.
The end of living and the beginning of survival.

All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man... the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Just sharing. It's IMPORTANT. What we understand we cannot fear. We hate what we can fear. THEREFORE, can we hate what we understand?????


Monday, October 13, 2008

Poverty in the Land of the Free & the Brave – Thoughts about Challenges

My generation has had its’ challenges. There are those of us who have cruised through life with a sense of entitlement; the world owes them a living, damn it, and bring it on! There are those of us who have lived pretty “Chinese Curse Exciting” lives, and we’ll have stories to tell in the rocking chair days, let me tell you! Some of us have been rigid and some of us have been flexible. Some of us are going to make it come hell or high water. Some of us will drown.

I’ll bet many of us think about “someone else” when they think about –IF they think about—poverty. Poor people are “somewhere else”. They can’t be your neighbors, or God forbid, yourself.. I’m just “going through a tough stretch”, just “behind a few years on bills”, “just struggling a little”.

Well, it’s time for me to admit that I’m poor, not struggling. Wolfdancer Creek is in the Poverty Zone. My Grammy would be rolling in her grave, if she had one. My mortgage is going up, PG&E bills are rising, food costs are rising, gas prices are already through the roof, I’ve had to drop my trash service, I’m 2 months behind on the electricity bill, one month behind on the phone & DSL bill, (and considering dropping it, too, but since I decided to choose the Net over television five years ago, I would feel so lost & disconnected without Net access..) one year behind on my property taxes… And forget about Health Insurance, I haven’t had health insurance since the mid 80’s at AT&T. God forbid I break or get sick. I’ve got four more mouths to feed (the new kittens, you know) and still the animals need feeding, need shelter repairs… Wages are stuck in a time warp, employers are scared to death and cutting hours and jobs. I’ve taken on 2 side jobs, and tomorrow I am applying for a part time job at a Doggie Day Care center. In addition to working as close to full-time as I can beg at the Garden Center.

These collections of facts have made me think about what I have done, what I can do, and what I’m going to do. This being An Election Year with several capital letters, we have plans to make. Back-up contingencies to consider. Panics to attack. I have got to make Wolfdancer Creek work. I’m going to expand the gardens. This year, what with produce prices going through the roof, even with the very LIMITED bit of vegetable garden I was able to put in, we ate better. Not MORE, mind you, we actually ate less … but “better”. More healthful. I have to learn to can stuff, so I can put up the bounty for the lean times to come. This year, with the help of my Pal Mr. Lee, I made spaghetti sauce, and Mr. Lee canned it, and we split the resulting pints. Next year, I will harvest more regularly. Next year I make a promise to share the bounty with the Senior Center.

Wolfdancer Creek is going to become more self-sufficient. More renewable. More resourceful. More sustainable. The apple trees should be in better shape next year, and I have NO IDEA what I am going to do with that many apples. Make apple sauce? (& can it?) Make apple cider? Apple Jack? Apple pies to distribute to every single Senior in Estacada? Maybe. Maybe I’ll set out a U Pick sign. Maybe I will trade them for oranges & avocadoes from my Pal Michael-from-Mountains, from his Organic Farm in San Diego County.

So I am poor. I am living on the border of Poverty. And yet, I am rich beyond imaginings! Rich in friends, rich in beauty and wonder, rich in wildlife, rich with opportunities. Rich beyond measure with dirty hands, dog-kissed, cat-licked, goat-sniffed, duck-watching, snow-flakes-falling-on-my-nose-and-eyelashes wealthy.

This election should prove to be .. interesting. Interesting like the Chinese Curse “May You Live in Interesting Times.” “I am asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington, I’m asking you to believe in yours.” I am Voting for Hope. Something I have not experienced politically in a long long while. I wonder if I can sell my lettuce to Sarah Barracuda?

Gardening is alot simpler than politics. Next year, I want to help someone have enough food. Poverty is curable, methinks.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

The AWWWWWW Factor to the Power of Three

Are these not the most sweetest little things? They are so tiny, I can't even sex 'em yet. My last entry (late) for the Let's all post cat pictures etc..(Thanks to Happy Mouffatard at The Inelegant Gardener for the New Holiday.)



On with the show! Kitties from my Life. Thanks to Happy Mouffatard at The Inelegant Gardener for the New Holiday.

Introducing Puck (named for Shakespeare, not hockey) the Most Fabulous Puppy Raiser Ever. I still miss him so much! Puck's death by Feline AIDS (acquired via neighbor cat) was what changed my view on allowing my kitties to go outside at will. *sigh* What a terrible choice. He was 11 years old, and one of my truest friends.

Here is Puck emerging from his favorite louging spot within my clothing, where-ever it may be!

And this is Puck & his sister Tigger. Their Mom was a feral I rescued-unbeknownst to me- preggers. Three for the price of one! WEEEEE!

This is the gluttonous Harley (Harlequin Davidson is his full moniker) He & his sister Sundancer (Sunny Delightful for short) were netted beneath a moved shed at 8 days old. Eyes were still shut. Harley was raised by Spirit my low-content wolfdog, and he believes he is a panther. He sleeps beneath the covers, and carries around my socks, and talks with his mouth full.

This is Spirit & Puck. She loves her kitties. And not as squeak toys or snack food.

This is Marguay, another rescue.. The last of a litter who was found by a coyote in a wood pile. Marguay was skin & bones when I got him around 4 weeks old, and could barely hold up his head. He was riddled with worms & other parasites. I had to feed him by eye dropper. His back middle toes were fused to the bone, he was cross-eyed, cow-hocked, and a bit retarded (as a result of his insufficient nutrition as a wee one, I am sure) but sweet as the day is long. He was 9 when he finally passed to the Bridge due to kidney failure. He was incredibly patient with me for the three weeks' worth of hourly sub-Q fluids and IVs I had to give him before he finally left. A very sweet kitty, I was proud to havehad the opportunity to make his acquaintence.

This is Gypsy, my Grammy's cat, and Poohka, another rescued feral. Gypsy was 23 years old when she finally left me, after Grammy died. She died in my arms, and was greatly beloved. Poohka is still with me. He looks like a Kliban cat, and was probably the model for: "Cat. One helluva nice animal, frequently mistaken for a meatloaf."

Spirit & Dickens. Dickens was with me for too short a time. Another rehabbed feral, he used to go for walks with me and the dogs. Coyotes took him. Perhaps he thoughtthey were friends. *sigh*

Spirit & Harley, best friends forever.

These are some of my feline friends. I have been incredibly blessed with wonderful personalities, and have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to share my life with these feral cuties.

When the nights grow dark and drear,
my cats creep near
and pluck my fears away like mice
their purrs vibrate to my soul
Love on their terms, but Love Unconditionally whole.
There are those who still come close
while so far away, always in my heart, never too far.
Another night's star.

I wonder what kitty secrets they tell.



Yup, that's right, LACPADPOUB day. It stands for 'Lets all post cat photos and dire poetry on our blogs’, and today, October 12th, is the day they chose for this great blogging event. The Lovely Folk at The Inelegant Gardener hav created an International Holiday celebrating Cat Nutters around the World.

I need to hei me home to post the pictures, since I don't have any pics on this computer. I do, however, have additions to include. On Wed. Oct. 8th, a long-haired black kitty found her way into the electrical room at work and had 6 kittens. On Thurs. when I got to work, 5 of those kittens were stiff, cold and practically dead. I gathered them up, and plopped me with an armload of newborns in front of the wood stove and stimulated them unto irritation. I broughtthem all back! BUT that night, despite my efforts, 3 of them got pushed out of the nest and succumbed to the fierce 32* cold. Our first freeze was not condusive to kitten birthing, I fear.

The Bosses said "get rid of them" and since last time, the litter and Mom was sent to the Inhumane Society for disposal, I'm taking them home today. I've named them Gollum, Frodo and Samhain, and Mom is Midnight (thanks Tom) Sherri is going to help me with her spaying as soon as I find a place. I'm keeping Samhain. AS IF I need another damned cat! A nice round number TEN Samhain will be INSIDE.. *bah* PLUS the three outside kitties.

The reluctant kitty rescuer..... I will post pictures of the others when I get home.. And I need to get pictures tonight of these three, and will post as soon as possible. They are so tiny! 5 day old kittens. *sigh*

yet still willing to trust
she bumps my hand with her head.

Tiny, he hisses with hardly a breath
fierce for his size.



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scratchy reception stubborn perception

I am finally planting a shade garden... in response to 2 additions to the pet Cemetary. Today, I planted Sweet Woodruff & Celandine. Both are considered "invasive". Both are perfect for the graveyard. Light shade, heavy hearts.