Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gots My Feets in Soil

The Salad Bar Garden is SOOO rich, so well worked that today, as I weed weaseled between the rows, I had to kick my flip flops off and stick my tootsies in the beautiful loamy soil.. How decadent! Like having one's tootsies immersed in rich dark chocolate... Darn, too bad it's not the lickable kind.....

The voles got my Walla Walla onions, and the slugs got my spinach and my broccoli and my cuqs ... I laid eggshell traps all about the Salad Bar .... and planted some more Walla Wallas and cuqs....


Monday, May 25, 2009

Grief & Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace
This past year I have been told time & again that I am holding on to my grief too hard, too long... That I am being unreasonable in my sorrow. So I am writing this, not for an audience, not for the Family, not to explain. I am writing this for me. Vinnie & I were friends longer than we were adults, longer than we were lovers, deeper than the hollar, longer than the song of a whippoorwill. I know there will come a time when my thoughts of him will not come with the price of a knife dragged across my heart. I know this. He left me. It was not the first time he'd left me, he left me during our long long relationship every three years. Sometimes for a short time, the last three times he left me, he'd leave me for up to a year. He'd leave me dangling, wouldn't return my calls, leave me selfishly, leave me with no warning, leave me without a chance. But he'd leave me KNOWING in his heart that when he was ready to come home, that I'd have that home to come home to. Except for this last time.
My Immortal
Vinnie always considered Memorial Day Weekend "his". This was "his" Birthday, "his" time to gather "his" Tribe to him, to his heart. This is the first year that Vinnie hasn't been here to gather his Tribe. I miss him. I miss him in the world, I miss knowing that he was HERE. I do not miss his Peter Pan ways, I do not miss the idiot drunks he'd bring home from the bars, cursing and out of control sitting in the driveway... I do not miss the abuse he'd heap upon my head. I don't miss his telling me that all our problems were as a result of my menopause. I don't miss all the cruel names he called me. I don't miss the drunken nastiness. But damn, I miss the shining light that he was, how he could be when he was happy... I miss the psychic connection we had. I miss the instinctual camaraderie, the history we shared. I miss his spirit. I miss him. I miss my Vinnie. I miss my friend.

At his funereal, I felt so lost, so forsaken. I fully understand that people grieve in their own way. Some people are demonstrative, some are not. Some people are so filled with regrets that they simply must have a "villain" to blame. I realize my part in this. I have taken these lessons to heart. At his funereal, I think all I could actually vocalize was that I was a lousy wife. That is the only thing I regret. Damn it, I wasn't a "lousy wife", not unless you compare me to Betty Crocker. I did the best I could. I gave the very best I was. None of the positive things I wanted to say would come out verbally, they only came out in my tears, in my memories. I had written a... an emotionally honest tribute to the man I married, but all I could verbalize was that I was a lousy wife. And really, I was, as long as you held me up to an unattainable pedestal.... I did the best I could. I gave you the very best I could The Best of My Love the very best I am. It wasn't enough. That is neither a condemnation of you, nor I, my Dear One, my Friend. I'm Feelin' You Lyrics
I'm Feelin' You
I wish you to know something. You, who are my friends, my family, Vince's friends
I felt deeply about Vince. He was my dear friend for a very long long time. (longer than we were grownups. I know I have said this before, but it is important to know. We were children together. We grew up together.) But Vinnie was not my GREAT LOVE. Nor was I his. He was definitely a great love and a great friend, and he was a big part of who I am today. But he wasn't the "greatest love of my life"... and again, I don't believe I was his. We were a comfort to one another, support for one another
(at least at one time) but my ability to love deeply and thoroughly did not die when he did. I need to know this, I need to hold this fact next to my heart. For my own protection.

I grieve for him. I wasn't given the opportunity to express that at his funereal... and I wasn't given the opportunity to fight, or argue or ... much of anything... when he left. The many times that he left me.

So mostly, I am dealing with a heart full of unexpressed emotion, within a person of great emotion. I.... I guess I am not very good at expressing things like this.. maybe because it's all so RAW... maybe because I stuff the raw edges away so they won't trouble others. So this Memorial Day, I will say Goodbye to you, my friend. My Vinnie, of all the men in my life, you have been the one old friend who has known me throughout all my life, who was there for me through my griefs and my triumphs, my sorrows, my silliness. You were there to help me with my Grammy's passing, you helped me bury my darling pets. You were my good life friend. You will always be in my heart. I wish you would have been able to love this new life as I have. I wish ... oh there are so many wishes I had for you .. for us. Damn it, you are NOT my Immortal. Vinnie, you know you aren't, you left me too many times. I am NOT your Good Bye Girl.

But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
So. My point.

I Am Unwritten

Do not let one single moment go be without telling, showing, demonstrating, hell SHOUTING!!!@! making a fool of yourself if need be... just Shower the people you love with love

With the death of my Grammy, and then with Vinnie's death, this I know... do not not hesitate to tell the people you love that you love them.. Do not hesitate to forgive the people you love their weaknesses, their trespasses. Do not hesitate to offer a kindness, do not hesitate to be patient... Do not hesitate to love open hearted, with open arms.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Dauphin of Dirt

I tried on "Duchess" but it just wasn't "rich dark chocolate" enough for this sensually loose fragrant blend of garden soil and fertility which now blankets my garden plot, my Venus of Vernality. But now, "Dauphin", how elegante!! Magnifique! How Fabulicious!!! So perfect a description for the fecund composted earth I shall soon be delving, deep and lustful plungings into this readied & stimulated plot of heaven... So royal a requiem for regionally refulgent radishes and rhubarb.... Such an adequate abraxas for the abrosial effects of the alluring apples & artichokes soon to be added to the bounty of my kitchen... I shall adorn the Title as a Wild Woman adorns a living kitty about her shoulders, filled with purrs and perfection.

I shall endeavoure to upload photos soon, mes ami! .... (I didn't plant artichokes yet, tho....)

off to plant more veggies! I shall take pictures! (but they shall be late in arriving!)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Made Myself a Grammy Sandwich

We get so busy with our lives, making the mortgage, paying the bills, working at a job -- even if you love it --in order to pay those bills, trying to make a Refuge from the Worrisome Ways of the World, working to make a sanctuary in one's own One Mile Radius... We tend to forget what makes us happy, we tend to forget what makes us smile, we tend to forget the little things in life, and sometimes, we tend to forget the ones we love, both past and present. It is definitely in self-preservation. We must shield ourselves sometimes.

But sometimes, life throws us a curve ball, and we swing anyways. I took my new puppy Nihki out for an off-leash run Teaching with my Spirit, up in the Top Yard. She was driving me crazy inside the house, and I thought "OOOO I shall wear her out with FUN!" I snapped a bunch of pics, and then we got caught in the deluge. After about an hour --me drenched, the puppers drenched, neither of us caring much, after all, we are not made of spun-sugar-- we hei'd ourselves back to the house.

I got out of my sopping wet clothes into some dry warm ones, and fixed myself some food. By that time it was 3 pm, and I had forgotten to eat, AND forgotten to take my Advil, so I was hurtin' for certain. As I fixed this yummy sandwich --on home made wheat bread, with ripe avocado, tomaties, clover sprouts and sharp cheddar cheese-- and some green tea, I was overcome with memories of my Grammy, and the lunches I made her. Extra yummy sandwiches filled with as much fresh produce as I could stuff in them, because she was anemic I added spinach instead of lettuce. because she wouldn't eat her veggies, I stuck 'em in her sandwich! And she used to rave about my "special" tea, (I always added a shot of Cap'n Morgan's Spiced Rum, to help cut her pain, and make her mellow)

I miss my Grammy. I hope that where she is now, she knows I did my best, and that she'll forgive me for the times I didn't quite make it to my best. I am so grateful for my friends, for my Tribe, and for my Family.

and now, me's'a gonna eat that sandwich.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

*whew!* Gardening Season in the Glorious Pacific Northwest has landed with a VENGEANCE! The Garden Center MGC (Webpage awaiting construction as soon as I get the "extra" time) has been just crazy. This year, I get the distinct impression that gardening has broken the "Old People Barrier" into the mainstream. I see more and more young people coming in asking for advice on what they can do to plant a garden, in particular, a vegetable garden. I am also noting that a strong majority of these new gardeners are actively wanting to grow organically.

I find this validating.I have been advocating "going green" for decades longer than I have been a Plant Nerd. My Great GrandPops used to tell us that this is our ONLY Home, and we must take care of her. He used to make a game of finding and picking up and carting out at least ONE item that we did not bring in. He said if everyone did this, there would not be a pollution/garbage problem. I tend to agree.

Well, heck. There's never enough time to write what I am thinking, and my fingers are waaaaay slower than my mind is at thinking them. I watered the Salad Bar Garden this morning, and I can see how the wee weeds will be a pain in the patootie to dislodge. I can do nothing about them yet, as I really need to allow the veggies to get established before I muck about in the roots dislodging weeds. I 'spect that'll come sooner than late. The half lot of tomatoes I planted Saturday look FABULICIOUS! and in just 2 days, I am seeing wee blossoms popping! C'MON little bees! C'MON and POLLENATE!! I saw many Bumbleybees, mason bees and honey bees buzzing busily about in my Garden Farm, I am very happy to see their honey-sweet selves.

Whelp, off to fetch Nihki the Puppy Shark and hei us off to another work day.

Happy Gardening!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Just in time to avoid the scheduled outage, I wish you all a VERY Happy Mother's Day


Friday, May 8, 2009

Gearing up for WAR

Tuesday, May 12th, the Oregon Legislation in having a public "working" committee on a couple of important Constitution affecting Bills: SB391 and HB2470.

One is about how many dogs you can own. I guess I am WAAAAY Libertarian, and publicly state, if my animal are well loved, and well kept, who the heck has the Right to tell me how I can observe my Constitutionally guaranteed rights of Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?

The other is SB391, the Exotics Ban Law. We "exotics" or better known as "different" animal owners are being targeted as a "beginning" of an Animal Rights agenda. My neighbor has Savannah cats. They are SO well loved! In GREAT condition, in SUPERIOR containment... I wish that every domestic cat owner would take a lesson on how these so-called "exotic" (read this racially, please) animals kept. MY friends and fellow "racially different animal owners" keep THEIR animals well contained. They don't wander into the neighbor's garden and crap. They DON'T wander into the neighbor's yard and bite the neighbor's FIV-free innoculated cat and infect him with Feline Immune Deficiency Virus. They DON'T wander loose on Publically health-risk packs of marauding vicious "exotic" gangs.

I have another neighbor who has crocodiles. GUESS WHAT??? The only animals I have seen on his property "running loose" (and well-contained ON his own property) are his BEAUTIFUL!!! *sigh!* Fresian horses, and his Llamas. I didn't even know he HAD a crocodile!

I would would rather have my neighbor have a well-contained and well-loved Tiger, than I would my neighbor have a loose at-large dog. My neighbors' (plural) loose, at large dogs crap in my Yard, put my well-contained babies at risk with unknown pathogens, kill my livestock and my way of life.

SO I offer my argument against Species Ban Bills.

Thank you for hearing me today.
My name is Kat Malstead
Owner of Wolfdancer Creek Farm Mission Statement
Webite to follow: Wolfdancer Creek Farm
Member Wolfdog Rescue Resources
Board Member of National Wolfdog Alliance
Member Phoenix Exotics Inc
Member Rexano, Inc
Contributor of Wolfdogs Magazine, Inc
Registered and Active Voter
Registered Member of Certified Naturally Grown, Inc
Member Estacada Garden Club
I am speaking here today in opposition to SB391. I have been told that there are many people that have spoken to this legislation in support of SB391. In my many letters of opposition to this very poorly conceived Bill, I have been told that I needn't worry, that wolfdogs are not on the list of banned species. They are, as they should be, listed as Canis Lupus Familiaris. However, even though I have voiced my opposition in every manner that I can without jumping up and down in rage, even though I have hand carried copies of the Humane Society's true goal in the 2005 legislative session, even though I, and many other law-abiding animal lovers have repeatedly pled for our rights of responsible private animal ownership, I now stand here before you with my heart in my throat, terrified, and I think of Clergyman Martin Niemoller's famous speech:
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
Amongst the arguments in support of this Bill are concerns for the publics' safety and health. I would like to ask this Legislation where responsible private owners of ANY animal puts the public at risk. If there is a problem at all, it lies with the fact that the Common Sense Laws that Oregon currently abides by are being laid to the wayside. It lies with IRRESPONSIBLE animal owners. So why are we attempting to legislate & punitively punish ALL animal owners???? Is it just because we so-called "exotic" animal owners are "different"? Isn't that profiling in nature??
I lost an endangered domestic duck, one of my nesting females, the other day to a neighbor dog's attack while running at large. Why do we not enforce our current excellent laws rather than effectively banning animal ownership? It wasn't my neighbor's Lion or Tiger who killed my duck, it was my irresponsible neighbor who let his pet run loose.
The people who sponsored these Bills, the Humane Society of the United States, have stated in plain English that their ultimate goal is the abolishment of animal ownership. This is an Animal Rights organization. They are NOT an Animal WELFARE organization. Let me reiterate: HSUS' goal is to abolish all animal ownership. In their own words:
“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993."
HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California veal processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.” That same year, Goodwin was arrested at a UC Davis protest celebrating the 10-year anniversary of an ALF arson at the university that caused $5 million in damage. And in 1998, Goodwin described himself publicly as a “former member of ALF.”
HSUS president Wayne Pacelle described some of his goals in 2004 for The Washington Post: “We will see the end of wild animals in circus acts … [and we’re] phasing out animals used in research. Hunting? I think you will see a steady decline in numbers.” More recently, in a June 2005 interview, Pacelle told Satya magazine that HSUS is working on “a guide to vegetarian eating, to really make the case for it.” A strict vegan himself, Pacelle added: “Reducing meat consumption can be a tremendous benefit to animals.”
And HSUS won’t stop at initiatives aimed at livestock farmers and trappers. At the 1996 HSUS annual meeting, Wayne Pacelle announced that the ballot initiative would be used for all manner of legislation in the future, including “companion animal issues and laboratory animal issues.” Pacelle has personally been involved in at least 22 such campaigns, 17 of which HSUS scored as victories. These operations, he said, “pay dividends and serve as a training ground for activists.”
Can you see why we responsible animal owners feel betrayed by these kinds of laws? I Voted for you under the expectation that you would represent my interests. That you would at least listen to your CITIZENRY. Instead, I feel as if the only voices you are hearing are those of a well-funded political Lobbyist group bent on creating panic and fear where there is no cause, and on exterminating pets. I feel as if we are reacting in a knee-jerk manner to a invented situation.
I have no doubts in my heart that each and every one of you are attempting to do your very best to protect animals, and to protect the public's safety and health. But I believe you are being manipulated by a very slick and extremely well-financed organization bent on impinging on MY and other RESPONSIBLE animal owners' Constitutionally guaranteed Rights to Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness. I have no children due to a medical mishap where I lost my only daughter. My animals are all I will ever be granted to nurture. The HSUS would deny me this, saying that if I "need" to nurture, I should nurture my own species.
According to Animal Legal Defense Fund, Oregon has some of the toughest animal abuse laws on the books. Upon light research, the Oregon regulations already in place are quite inclusive and cover all contingencies. The Law as it stands reads: Pursuant to 609.309 Policy on exotic animals. (see OR ST § 609.205 - 609.335 Oregon Department of Agriculture) "It is the policy of this state that the keeping of exotic animals be regulated so as to ensure the health, welfare and safety of those animals and to ensure the security of facilities in which they are kept, so as to avoid undue physical or financial risk to the public. It is the policy of this state that regulation place no more burden upon the keepers of exotic animals than is required to accomplish the purposes expressed in this section." [1985 c.437 §1; 1999 c.699 §4] Oregon's private owner base is peopled with dedicated & responsible persons, who are already regulated by common sense laws. Oregon law even includes a very common sense dangerous/nuisance dog law. (see Oregon Statute Title 48, Chapter 609 Citation: OR ST § 609.010 - OR ST § 609.994)
In summary, Oregon does not have a problem with exotic animals running at large. We are an independant State with a rich history of Common Sense. I BEG you to oppose these kinds of Ban Laws. They are NOT in the best interests of animals, or of your constituents. They only serve the political aims of the Animal Rights movement, not of Oregon citizenry. Please, enforce our current excellent laws. I beg you again, PLEASE allow the people who are trustworthy the opportunity to succeed.

References & Citations:
Oregon SB391 1st Legislative Summary
Quotes from Animal Rights Activists
75th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2009 Regular Session

Humane Society of the United States

As they say, "I'm Mad As Hell, and I'm Not Gonna Take It Anymore." I just hope to God, NAY, I PRAY to God that our Representatives decide to come to their senses and not follow HSUS' yellow brick road path over the cliff like lemmings.

/heaves huge sigh.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Patience! Yes, Carol, there IS a Lesson here!

I had a wee bit of a respite to write while Nihki was sleeping --a rare occurrence in itself-- so I went a'reading and a'catching up with a few of my fellow Gardening Faes. I read about Carol's patience! and I must say, I sure am glad I listened!

Yesterday, JUST after I put Nihki out for a brief visit with her Uncle Teeghkii & Auntie Spirit, as I was walking back into the house, I saw the sky light up with a BIG flash, fairly closely followed by the BIG Bang (but not the one which generated life) and Lo! & Behold! the skies opened right up, and BEAN-sized hail dumped upon our heads!

I hurriedly marched back around and scooped up my poor wee bairn, who was huddled beneath the semi-leafy arms of the apple tree, cowering at the nasty beans of hail pummeling her, and we went back inside and snuggled on the couch.

Now, if I hadn't been practicing patience, my seedlings would have been smashed to smithereens. Shredded leaves, torn limbs, tender veggies all pulverized. BUT! Because I was patient, and had NOT planted out my starts yet, all my wee baby plants were gazing at the weather event from beneath their sheltered glass.

YAY for Patience! What a strom!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring is Always Eagerly Awaited, and TOO FAST!

I wait and I wait *open*open*open* for Spring to finally GET HERE! especially after a rather long cold lonely Winter, (Little Darlin') and once she sneaks in on pussywillow feet, BAMMO! I have no time to write, no time to think, no time to muse... I clutch at my spare moments desperately, always intent on cramming as much into them as I possibly can, and generally always overbooking myself.

A friend needs a pruning done? SUUUURE! No problem, I'll be right there. A customer would like to hire me to prune their yard, SUUUUUUURE! I'll spend my day off working. Another friend, who is in his 90's, has macular degeneration, and can no longer see to garden, wants me to come over three to four times per week and work his garden. I have planted 2 flats (nearly 35 four inch pots) of Bonny Best tomatoes, and a flat of assorted celeries for him, and they are doing VERY well! Stout and sturdy, they will be ready to plant on Mother's Day.

I have my own garden to tend as well, my joy! the breath in my heart! the sighs of Mother Nature when I breathe in, as she breathes out. I have a BUNCH of beautiful tomato plants ready! (I think I've already listed them *laughs*) Box Car Willies, Abe Lincoln, Bonny Best, Sun Golds! (YUM) Early Goliath, Celebrity, Carbon Black, and for the life of me, I simply cannot remember the names of the other four without trouncing out to the greenhouse to see. *bah* Old Timers.

My seedlings are now plantlets, and will be ready to plant out along with the tomatoes on Mother's Day. They are pretty well hardened off, and ready. I planted seeds, and THEY are coming up well! I see the tender red heads of the Bull's Blood beets peeking above the soil line ! The tender "Y"s of the spinach reaching for the light, the tiny lettuces and even the baby grass blades of the Walla Walla onions. It takes vewy vewy caweful observation to see them, but I do. My peas are almost 3" high now! WEEEEE! And I broke down and bought a bulk package of Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed lettuce to plant for this year as well.

And then add to my stack of spinning plates, Ainihkiwa, and I think I'll go take a nap now.... It's cold and rainy and I really can't do much in the garden today anyway, except get soggy and watch the garden and the puppy grow...

Happy Gardening!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Day After May Day!
1920 – The first game of the Negro National League baseball is played in Indianapolis, Indiana.
1945 – World War II: Fall of Berlin: The Soviet Union announces the capture of Berlin and Soviet soldiers hoist their red flag over the Reichstag building.[citation needed] German forces surrender in Italy. German forces surrender to the New Zealand Army in Trieste.
2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
Polish Flag Day
Events of May 2nd
and the most important one, Blaidd and I slept on the bed with only ONE tiny mishap.
What? You don't know who Ainihkiwa is? Heeeeeer's Nihki! & Sibs
Your Basic Daily Dose of Puppy!

Yet More Puppy Cuteness

Bad Grandpa Teaches Puppy to Eat Shoes



My New Baby Grrrrrrl. She is the neice of my Teeghkii.
And boy have I been busy!

I have to see this movie!

It's back to rain rain rain, I am glad I haven't yet planted out my starts, as they'd've been flattened by now.. They are still in the greenhouse, awaiting Mother's Day.
My thoughts are with you all. Happy Gardening!