Polluting Our Oregon Skies

"oh beautiful, for spacious skies..."

Taken earlier this evening. Nice little ploom from a local field burn.
Inconsiderate, short-sighted farmers thinking it's ok for the environment and for the health of individuals to burn their fields. Newsflash: it isn't. I wondered why my throat was scratchy and my sinuses were aching all day today. I heard on the news tonight that the field burning frenzy has begun. KEZI, the corporate-towing MSM pond scum that they are, used a quote by the Department of Agriculture, which essentially said today was the perfect day to burn fields and that the smoke would not drift into the city limits and hence, would not be affecting the populace. Newsflash: It did and it does.

I have a challenge for KEZI and all of their corporate/government ass-kissing media buddies: Interview the thousands of folks who deal with health conditions resulting from these"but it doesn't harm anyone or anything" field burns. Speak with the health care professionals who have testified in front of our own state government of the increase in E.R. visits during field burn days (symptoms including dizziness, asthma and other respiratory complaints). Speak with the medical doctors and read the scientific literature that has proven beyond a doubt that these burns are a health hazard. Then speak with environmentalists who have measured the particulate matter put out by these field burns. Learn of the mega list of toxic pollutants that get tossed into our air. Learn that most of these pollutants DO NOT DISSIPATE, but rather join in with the toxic cloud that hovers over our planet.

Scientists have discovered pollutants from China over Mt. Hood. And yet, the pollutants from field burning don't leak into the surrounding communities.

My ass they don't.

Stop polluting our skies, farmers. END FIELD BURNING NOW. Speak out against this crime against the environment and against the health of thousands of individuals. Write letters to your local and state representatives (Paul Hovey, (D) Eugene is still fighting the good fight to get the practice banned by putting together legislation once again that will be presented in 2009). Mr. N and I have made the decision that unless this practice ends, we will leave the valley. We cannot and will not tolerate living here as long as this is allowed to continue. Grass allergies are difficult enough. But to be confined to your home because someone is choosing to burn the remains of their crop, a practice that is not necessary, simply a choice, a choice which impedes upon my right and the right of all others, to breathe healthy air, is utterly, completely wrong. Come on, Corvallis. We got smoking banned from bars. Nothing tragic happened as a result. Surely we can get the "smoke" banned from our skies.

The Environment, Childhood Memories, Vaccinations and Whatever Else Happens To Pop Into My Mind...

We went blueberry picking over the weekend, shortly before dusk. Why stand in the blazing sun, sweating and exhausted, when you can go just before the sun sets. You avoid the crowds, plus, if you went where we did, you get the chance to experience a spectacular sunset.

This particular place doesn't spray, an absolute necessity for us. Why would anyone dump a bunch of inorganic chemicals and pesticides on berries, anyway?? (Let alone ANY item used for human consumption.) Picking these beautiful, lucious berries, enjoying the peaceful, cool, early evening surroundings, I thought about our fast-paced world, how I long to live on some land, off the grid, outside and away from anything city-like. Just as I thought that, someone in a souped-up vehicle sped past the property at lightening speed, interfering with an otherwise peaceful, serene setting. "Asshole," I thought, wishing the world contained more introspective, quieter types. There are a lot of ways to show off and release energy. Learn a martial arts or learn how to play an instrument. Then perform in public if you need to "show yourself" off. Leave the racing for the race track, away from the quiets of our society, or at least away from me, please.

After this momentary, invasive interruption, I was able to return to the noises of my environment. I suddenly had the desire to record the sounds of the berries making that "thump" noise as they dropped into the plastic bucket. I wanted to take home with me the sounds of the dogs barking a few rounds in the distance. I wanted to remember what it was like to actually HEAR our footsteps on the dirt ground, the crackling of the mulch. ... All of which reminded me to start taking my DVR with me and invest in a hand-held video camera.

As I sampled some of the berries, I could hear the old voices of childhood kicking in, voices of the parental kind. "Don't eat those! They haven't been washed!" "Don't eat too many. You don't want to be selfish!" I smiled as I continued my sampling.

After we had a good load of berries (which turned out to be close to 10 pounds), we went to the place in which to pay. Technically, the place was closed, but for those of us who are night owls and/or don't like the heat of the sun, they have a place set up to pay. An honor system, you might call it. I like that. However, tonight, the couple who own the place happened to be outside in their garage, enjoying the cool of the evening as well as a television marathon of M*A*S*H. I smiled as I told the husband it was my dad's favorite television series. He got up out of his recliner, smiling, saying it was his, too. He also shared he was in the Korean War.

"Hey, my dad was as well," I said.

"Which branch?" he asked.

"Army," I said. "What about you?"

"Marines," he said.

I suddenly wanted to hug him. I don't see my dad that much and sometimes, I long to have him living in town. Sometimes, next door. No matter how old you are, you never outgrow that need to have mom and dad around for love, reassurance, or simple comfort company. Or at least I haven't.

Instead, I thanked he and his wife, said we'd see them next year and wished them a good evening.

After hearing from Mr. Nina the number of childhood vaccinations that are now required, I decided to check out the CDC website. Good god. Before the age of 6, children are supposed to receive a total of 32 shots. Thirty-frigging two. I think I had maybe 6. 32??? What in the hell are we doing to our children? Do parents really just willingly go along with this insanity? Some neighbors of ours have an infant. I happened to be chatting with them on the day their little one had received a couple of shots. He had this glazed look in his eyes. I asked the mama if he was ok, as I had never seen him look like that before. She said he was just a little out of it because he had been vaccinated that day. I just took a deep breath and let the urge to inform and share pass. Instead, I stroked his little leg and wished the toxic ugliness disguised as a health benefit would not leave any lasting harm.

Vaccinations. They've done more studies on the effects and necessity of vaccines on dogs than they have on children (in fact, to this date, I do not believe there have been ANY studies done for children). Studies have shown that for dogs, multiple vaccinations are unnecessary and usually, toxic. And some of the vaccinations we inject our dogs with aren't needed. This cart-blanche, one-size fits all approach is nothing short of ridiculous. We stopped the annual vaccinate-at-vets-whim after our dog was 2. The only reason we do the regular rabies vaccinations now is because our vet, against our knowledge AND will, sent the information to the city, which means the city idiots now know we own a dog, something I believe is none of their business. Studies I've read show the rabies vaccine is only needed during puppyhood. After that, the vaccine has been shown to remain in the dog's system for life.

Personally, I believe the best prevention to disease is access to healthy food, plentiful, clean water/sanitation systems (studies have shown that once sanitation systems were introduced, infectious diseases declined sharply--and this was PRIOR to the use of vaccinations) and lots of love. You know what I'm talking about. Honest leaders who truly care for the people. Learning how to love ourselves by dealing with our issues instead of taking them out on others, most especially our children. Basic human rights embraced and provided for all (housing, food, clothing, education, clean air/water, respect). Live and let live mentality.

Love and respect. If those were the values by which our world were run on, we'd have no need to spray our food with toxic substances, nor would we have the need to stick our children (and pets for that matter) with needles full of toxic chemicals.


A Plea For Respect

After reading another round of "Liberals" and "Conservatives" battling it out on a myriad of topics, I am making yet another attempt to ask people to respect one another. What have we told ourselves that somehow makes it okay to insult, attack and toss out names and assumptions to those with whom we disagree? And, most shocking to me, is when is it EVER ok to wish the suffering on others, especially those with whom we have never met, have never harmed us?

We can do better. We must do better. For if there is to be a very rough patch for us to get through in the coming days, like it or not, we will have to get through it together. For if our government is going to continue to neglect our needs and the needs of nature and our infrastructure, we will have to get through this together. Left and right. And everyone in between.

Let's drop the labels. Let's stop the attacks. So someone is a liberal. Who cares? So someone watches Fox news. So what? That doesn't even come close to defining who these people are.

What I'm saying is can't we disagree and debate and still honor, value and respect one another? If we can't, we're screwed. We're truly screwed. And whether you believe your position to be right, if you are not able to respect others who hold different thoughts, you will only be a part of the problem. While I understand the anger and frustration when trying to speak to some about certain things that I may find to be so obvious...while I understand the desire to attack...I know I would rather be part of the solution.

Wouldn't you?


He Said She Said.

While I don't normally post such styles of writing, these are among my favorite types of pieces to write. I'm kind of like a silent observer. I'll quietly watch an everyday event, find the human element in it, then suddenly the words are running through my brain at full-speed, begging to be put down on paper. Several weekends ago, I was sitting on my car out front, basking in the sunshine, watching the going's-on of my neighbors. There was the little 5 year old down the street who was ripping it up in her big wheel. The college-aged boys carrying a cooler to their friends waiting car, hootin' and hollerin' in the way that boys this age do best. And then there was the husband and wife a couple of houses away engaged in that age old dialogue of "He Said She Said". A fight. Several moments of bickering, all in a language foreign to me: Chinese. And yet despite this, I could relate. Even though I didn't know what they were arguing about, some things are universal, among them couples bickering moments. I smiled as I imagined the words being used by each of them. Below is what I put down on paper. Enjoy.
Some things are universal.

The sun on your face on a cold winter day.

The sweet taste of watermelon in the blazing summer sun.

And, couples bickering.

No matter the language, no matter the ethnicity or the age, when couples bicker, it always looks, sounds and feels the same.

This afternoon, I witnessed some neighbors, a husband and a wife, engage in this age-old ritual. They're Chinese and speak both English and their native tongue. Today, they opted for Chinese.

Given that I don't speak their language (today, I wish I did!), I could only guess as to what they were fighting about. Whatever it was, the wife was obviously not happy with what her husband was doing with the contents in the trunk of their car. In the classic "male vs. female", "girl vs. boy" style of communication, here is my interpretation of what was said.

Wife: "What are you doing?"

Husband (mumbling): "Huh? Oh, just moving this around."

Silence follows. Then:

Wife: "You're doing it wrong."

Husband, throwing her a quick glance of 'huh?': "No I'm not."

Wife: "You are too. I told you not to move that to that spot."

Husband, still showing that look of confusion: "No you didn't."

Wife: "Yes I did. I most certainly did!"

Husband: "You did not!"

Wife: "Did too! You NEVER listen to me!"

Silence. Husband goes about his business.

Wife: "See?? You're still doing it! Watch it! Be careful! Hey, don't do THAT!!"

Husband remains silent, still goin' about his biz.

It's important to make note of something here. Husband has been moving this whole time, engaged in his activity. The wife, on the other hand, has remained in one position, the only body part moving being her mouth. Also worth noting is that for every word spoken by the husband, at least 5 words are spoken by the wife.

On we go.

Wife: "Oh good lord, do you even KNOW what you're doing??" She finally makes a move. "Here, let me do that..."

Husband pulls back, grabs whatever object it is they're arguing over and holds it up in the air like an actor holding up an Oscar: "Look DEAR, you need to just back off and leave me alone, ok? If you don't..."

Wife, interrupting: "Oh, knock it off, honey."

Husband interjects: "I'm not finished talking!"

Wife stands back: "Ok then, if I don't leave you alone, you'll what." This time her arms move into a folded position across her chest.

Husband looks at his wife, shakes the object a couple of times, likely for effect and says nothing. Now, I couldn't see this, but I swear the wife likely rolled her eyes. She then walked away, into the house, shaking her head. Husband then goes back to his business.

And on and on goes the dance of the sexes, the occasional drama of our interactions. Whether we're babbling out our control issues in English, Spanish or Chinese, inside we're all the same; a group of adults with 5-year-old mindsets during times of conflict, trying to figure out and survive the complexities of our connection.



Check out this beautiful video and pass it around. Put the humanity of yet another innocent civilian population being targeted for war into the hearts, eyes and ears of every single individual.
As the warlords beat the perpetual war drum against Iran, it is we the people who must write our representatives and make it clear: You authorize a strike against Iran and you're out. Fired. Done. There's the door, don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out. Finished. Period.

We must make it clear. You fucked up with Iraq. Do the same with Iran and your career is over.

It's time to grow up. Grow the fucking hell up and stop this insane, endless chanting we do as a society that says we know what's best. For all of the bullshit cries of "Freedom" are just that--bullshit. How can we possibly claim to support freedom when we impose our will on other nations?? Nations have the right to nuclear technology. They have the right to run their nation as they see fit in so long as they aren't imposing their will on other nations.

No, we don't support freedom because we don't have it, we don't understand it, we don't even know how to live it here in America. We impose our will on one another constantly. Straights want the gays back in the closet. Libs want the Repubs to shut up and conform to their way. Repubs want the libs to shut up and conform to their way. Religious folks want the non-religious to repent and convert. The non-religious folks want the religious folks to shut the fuck up with their religious views. Smokers want the right to smoke wherever they want. Non-smokers want the smokers to go away all together. Us vs. them. Fight fight fight. Yell, scream, insult. All of this energy expended and NOTHING gets accomplished in the process. Well, nothing positive that is. Insults and attacks. That's what we do. And I'm sick of it. Sick of reading god damn blogs that do nothing but that. Sick of seeing this shit on the news. Sick of seeing it in movies and on tv shows disguised as entertainment. Sick of seeing it in my own personal life. Live and let live already! All of this fighting and insulting and criticizing doesn't solve a damn thing. It tears apart any possibility of a free country. And what gets ignored are basic, authentic human needs--needs which we all share.

No, freedom isn't in this country. It isn't anywhere that I can see. Just like peace, it starts with us, in our own hearts, our own actions. As Americans, we need to understand freedom for what it is and live it. Until we get that, we need to shut the hell up about spreading freedom to other nations. That's right. SHUT THE HELL UP AMERICA. And listen to the words of Peacetrain. Get it. Incorporate it into the psyche, the heart, the soul, the mind. See the pictures of people just like you and I, same needs, same desires, who simply want to live in peace and be left alone. Can we do that? For once, can we just admit our control issues like enlightened beings do and instead of attacking someone because we want something they possess, whatever that is, because we disapprove of someone's actions or beliefs even though they are causing us no harm, etc. etc.....can we just STOP doing this and walk away? Look inward? I know we can do it!

What kind of a planet will this be to reside on, above ground or under ground, if we continue to poison the soil, the air, the plant life with war? What kind of a planet will this be to reside on, above ground or under ground, if we continue to poison one another with our insults and criticisms and judgments?

Peacetrain. Get on it. Now. And try out this experiment. Next time someone is attacking you, criticizing you, give 'em a hug. Or just smile and send them a blessing. And don't forget to do the same for yourself when you criticize yourself. For that's where this all starts--with ourselves. And when we stop criticizing ourselves, the desire to criticize others fades away.

heh. And I thought I had nothing to say lately. :)

Plethora of Ponderings

This should tide any readers over for awhile. In no random order, the following are thoughts that have run through my mind the past week or two.

*There was a bit of blogging activity on the celebration of the 4th of July. Some opted to celebrate, others not. To me it's about choice. What good does it do to insult and/or criticize those who opt to celebrate or opt not to? I happen to like watching fireworks--the illegal kind that is. I don't care what the day is. There are so many things that are done daily that harm the planet. Those are more important to focus on, in my opinion. Reminds me of that saying: Choose your battles wisely. And despite knowing what's going on around the world and the ugly things being done in this country's name, well no, let me rephrase that--the ugly things being done in this government's name, I still opted to recognize the day. I focused on the world I'd like to see. I spent a lot of the day talking and hanging out with neighbors. I figure I put out more positive energy that way than if I were to have spent the day pissed off and depressed.

*I certainly wish employers would raise their wages to reflect the 25% plus jumps in food and energy.

*I had a discussion with someone who thought inflation was hovering around 2-3%. When I explained the myriad of methods the government uses to determine these rates, and that the one used today does not include food and energy...that the real inflation is at or above 10%... well let's just say I helped open up a few channels. And I did it calmly and respectfully, just presented the facts as I knew them and left them to decide for themselves.

*Speaking of, we need more of that. We need more respect and less criticism. We need to honor the journey's each of us are on. We need to be very careful about sharing and make sure we aren't imposing our will on others. So much of what we think is based on our experiences and our perceptions of said experiences. For example, I never gave thought to poverty until I lived it. Now I'm ready to give thought to wealth. :)

*Some say the economy's going to crash. It may and it may not. It is certainly in a huge state of flux due to a variety of factors, many of them of the controlled kind. Doom and gloom are everywhere it seems. However, we have power. We can rely on one another. We can barter if the dollar collapses. We can use our skills to trade services. We can pool resources and live in communes if need be. I guess what I'm saying is that WE CAN BE OK. No matter what THEIR agenda is, never let that cloud YOURS. Let's start living from love. Today.


In The Garden

Doesn't this picture calm you?
Yesterday I planted some new flowers to replace the ones that are done for the year. Don't ask me the names. I've since forgotten. I've never been one to pay attention to such things. I just pick what looks pretty and smells sweet. Anyway, so in the middle of my planting, this beautiful butterfly began flying all around me. It would then land on this group of dianthus (ok, so I know the name of this particular flower in my yard). Let me tell you, this beautiful creature was really digging this particular flower. It kept flying off only to return moments later. This went on for several minutes. As a result, I was able to snap several shots. One of the flowers I planted is said to attract hummingbirds. I've noticed the occasional hummingbird fly by, so I'm hoping this plant will help draw them to the yard and ensure they will stick around for awhile. Again, don't know the name. It has small, deep purple bell-shaped flowers and prefers the shade.

Our tomatoes are taking off, with the one early plant showing signs of about a dozen little fruits. The beans were looking fairly small, that is until I learned our particular variety only grow to a little over a foot in height, which means they're doing just fine. Two of the plants are producing beans. I counted today and came up with 7 beans. Enough for half a person, one meal, I figured. The sunflower plants are looking amazing and seem to double in size each week. I've already had several harvests from our salad mix. I think the neighbors are getting tired of me knocking on their door and saying "pleasssse take these!" I had my first basil harvest over the weekend and opted to freeze them.
Today, while out and about, I silently blessed each person I encountered. Felt wonderful. I read where one of the best ways of loving oneself and then loving others is to stop criticizing everyone, ourselves included. It's one of those phrases that caught my attention and has stayed with me. I think it's doable. And necessary if my desire is peace for myself and for all. I'm still not sure how to apply that to the Hitler's of the world, so for now, I'm keeping the concept small and simple. Some day, I'll be able to bless such folks and really mean it.



Not much to say lately. Or perhaps the thing to say is lots to talk about, just no real desire to share it. I've shifted focus, away from all of the games of chaos of the world and back to my own inner world. I arrived at this mental state where I thought..."That's their agenda. It's time to work on my own." Actually, it was due to a conversation I had with someone unknown to me that triggered this change.

All of the blogging and reading up on the happenings wears on me if I'm not careful. It's one thing to read about it. It's one thing to talk about it. It's another to carry that emotional state with me throughout the day. There is certainly enough of that fear state. I'm dedicated to ridding myself of that so that I can instead feel and share the true power of who I am.

I'm beginning to think that an informed citizenry isn't enough. An informed and positive citizenry is where the power is. That's self empowerment.