Of Wasps and Worms

I’ve noticed a few things this year that are out of the ordinary. Usually, we have a few wasps nests around here. Last year we had more than usual and I managed to get stung once.  This year I can count on one hand the total number of wasps I’ve seen in  my yard.

I’ve also had something different happening in the veggie garden. Usually, I’ll have stink bugs and a few tomato hornworms. This year I’ve had plenty of those. The thing that is weird is all the worms. I’ve never ever in all my years of gardening had anything eating my tomatoes. This year I’ve had at least two kinds of worms eating the tomatoes while they are still green. I’ve had to pick green ones to rescue my groceries from the worms.

I wonder if the wasps would normally take care of the worms?

Wow! Was That a Jalapeno Tree?

Well, after the last dream about the house and the encouragement I got from it, along came this one from the same encouraged brain. I dreamed I was in my garden and I was picking jalapeno peppers. Instead of them growing on little bitty plants, they were growing on a tree! And instead of being the normal size and shape of jalapenos, they were as big as bell peppers but shaped like tomatoes. (Don’t you love it when something in a dream is nothing like normal but you know what it is anyway?) Not only was I picking these huge jalapenos, I was eating them right there in the garden.

Spice. Excitement. A satisfying occupation. Yep. It’s gonna’ be an interesting rest of my life. I love optimism.

I Had the Big House Dream Again

There’s no need to analyze this. It’s so obvious. I’ve been dreaming it for years and this morning, I dreamed it again. It’s my Big House Dream. I live in a house, either one I don’t recognize or it’s one that I used to live in, or grandparents lived in. In the dream I find rooms that I didn’t know the house had. Sometimes just one or two rooms and sometimes an entire whole wing.

I’ve made a big change in my life lately and am going for what I always dreamed of, just in a way that adjusts for the fact that I’m married and my husband can’t go live in a bus on the road. This morning when I woke up, I was overwhelmed with the idea that this could work, and with all that I need to do. I was sleepy enough to go back to sleep after he left for work but not sleepy enough that I really needed to, but as a temporary escape, I did – and there was the dream again.

In this version, I wasn’t sure I could keep up with a bigger house. There was so much upkeep and expense. How would I keep it clean and how would I pay the higher utility bills? I was finding rooms and furniture and appliances that I didn’t know were there. My son’s bedroom was possibly bigger than either of the houses on both sides of me.

Before the dream ended, I was getting to work on cleaning the house, putting things in order, making plans.

In the bigger house of life, everything I want to do requires that I learn something. I’m working on it. One of my sons said, “New horizons.” I feel like I’m surrounded by them! It just takes courage. One day at a time. Here I go.

Should Obama Speak Up Concerning Iran?

There are some folks who are criticizing our government, especially President Obama, for not speaking out about the protests over the election in Iran. I wish the house had not crafted their resolution condeming the Iranian government. And Obama may have said too much the other day when he said he was “concerned”. At this point, in the interest of being quiet, I’m not going to voice my opinion on the happenings either.
What I will say is this. The more we say, the more we do, pertaining to politics in the Middle East, the worse things are. You could say that is one of those unprovable statements, except for the fact that we got involved in 1953 and overthrew their elected man in Iran, and there is documented proof that is why they stormed the American Embassy in 1979 and took Americans hostage. The Iranian people have not trusted us ever since 1953. They had problems with the Brits even before that.
The whole thing was over oil. It’s an interesting read on wikipedia involving Great Britain, the US, nazis, and threats of the communist party taking over Iran – but those threats were just Cold War propaganda. Oil isn’t worth Americans dying for and it isn’t worth Iranians dying for.  You can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ajax.
But, back to today. There is an accurate perception in the Middle East that we serve only our interests and not the interests of those we are ‘helping’. Since that perception has influence on peoples’ actions, the less we do or say, the better. And this approach, according to the founders of this country, is the best way to go about it concerning all other countries. Our business is ours and their business is theirs.

Going to a Protest?

Over the years I’ve done a few protests. Always peaceful events, just holding a sign on the side of the road or sidewalk and passing out literature sometimes. If you want to get involved in an issue to the point that you are ready to hit the streets, here’s a bit of info you may want to consider.
The action seems to be in the middle of the crowd. That is where adrenaline runs highest. It’s also the best place to get in trouble. I’ve always stayed on the outer edges. That way, if anything goes bad, and thankfully, I haven’t seen any physical violence, I wouldn’t be caught up in the middle of it. I have no intention of getting arrested for a cause. A letter to my representative is much more effective and a whole lot cheaper!
You may think you are in a crowd of the nicest folks on earth, and maybe you are. But, if you’ve ever had any conversations in a coffee shop with 3 or 4 people about religion or politics or philosophy, it’s a totally different dynamic when that 3 or 4 folks is multiplied by a few hundred and everyone is on the street. I wouldn’t be surprised if some participants have gotten so taken up in a crowd that they holler things at opponents that they wouldn’t normally say. Be careful of the herd mentality.
The cops are not there to arrest you. They are there to keep you safe. If you follow the rules and don’t get too close to the street and don’t incite the crowd to violence they will not bother you. Houston police did a fantastic job at a protest that I was at recently. They were watching us but with a relaxed demeanor that made it clear they were not there to be anyone’s enemy. Respect them and the job they are doing, and you have every right to expect them to treat you with fairness. (I know – I’ve seen the videos and I know cops can get out of hand. If one does, in a crowd, it will be video’d and his or her hiney will be in tons of trouble and they know that. They are going to behave.)
Be sure you are not carrying a wallet or purse that a professional pick-pocket can remove. You may think your back end is sensitive enough to know if someone lifted your wallet, but these folks do it all the time. Use a chain on your wallet or wear a long-tailed shirt.
Be careful who you stand next to. Some folks don’t have a lot of sense, and when they make their signs it may be something that is offensive. You may not want others to think you are with that person.
Don’t get into arguments and don’t yell at people. Always remember to treat others as you would want to be treated. I have to give credit for that one to the Wisest One Who Ever Lived.

Communist Lady and I at a TEA Party Protest

If you know me, it probably sounds strange that a communist and I were at the same protest. If you know me, you probably don’t think it’s strange at all that we found each other. Why were we at the same protest? Were we on the same side? Well, yes, we were at the same protest and not to protest against each other, but not on the same side exactly.
Nancy Pelosi was in Houston yesterday and I went with a Tea Party group to let her know there are things I’m not too happy about. I held a sign that said, “Ignore your rights and they will go away. Where is John Galt?” I like the sign, but if I’d known for sure I was going soon enough to have time to make my own, my sign would have said, “The US doesn’t torture?” with a huge question mark.
What happened was this. A lady walked by and she had some kind of newspaper. I asked her what it was. She showed me something on the back cover about torture at Abu Ghraib. About how it was wrong. I know. A communist who thinks torture is wrong? I told her I think it’s wrong, too. She then acted shocked and asked me why I was out there with “all those people” and she gestured toward the crowd of Tea Party folks. I told her I’m Independent libertarian and we don’t agree on everything, but we do agree on enough for me to be out there.
I also told her I am a Christian and believe that people are created in the image of God and I am supposed to respect others and treat them with respect because of that. And that is why I believe torture is wrong. I said I couldn’t torture another person. That’s when she told me she is an atheist. She said she believes torture is wrong just because it is wrong.
Well, there was a man I was also talking with who told me that I could TOO torture someone under the right conditions. I acknowledged that my sin nature sure could. He smiled and asked, “Your what?” and I explained sin nature, knowing all along that he knew exactly what that is and that the lady might not know.
Then he started explaining the differences among folks in the republican party and the democratic party. He was telling her there are different opinions within each of those two parties. He also talked about prisoners of war and we got into a bit of a three-way there over the whole war and everything. I quit talking after a minute because we weren’t supposed to get into something that could get us tossed into the paddy-wagon. (And Houston has an impressive 18-wheeler with a/c that says “Special Response” on it. This has to be what is used to haul off lots of folks at once. I saw it drive by!)
I got quiet and they got more excited and I wanted to walk away, but at the same time, I didn’t want to abandon them to each other. So, I said, “Well, we are all Americans here.” I hear you laughing, and yeah, that’s a funny thing to say to a communist even if they are full-fledged legal citizens, but she hadn’t yet told me she was communist. She excitedly told me she’s not an American! She also had some things to say about imperialism. I said I was just trying to find some common ground here between us three. So, she said, “Well, we are all human beings.” And we all nodded in agreement. And we sort of left it at that.

The man walked away and she and I went back to the subject of her paper and that’s when she told me she’s communist. I wanted to read it but told her I can’t support the Communist Party by giving her a dollar for it. And, I still wonder how a communist can say torture is wrong when the communist party has tortured and killed millions of people? And, what exactly is her basis for right and wrong? Particularly, how can a materialist, who (as I’ve read) believes there is no difference between a robot, a dog and a man in kind, but only in degree, not think it’s ok to torture and kill folks who are a hinderance to the economic evolution of mankind? I think if we had been in a coffee shop we could have had an interesting discussion.

I Quit My Job WHY?

I quit my job why? Because ‘normal’ really IS just a setting on my washing machine? Because I really AM just a hippie in my heart? I told my husband I’m a gypsy. So, which is it? Probably both. The economy is in the toilet, my husband works in retail which depends on a so-called healthy economy, and even then it doesn’t pay much unless a person is in upper management, my truck may be older than I am (it’s 21), I still have debt, and I quit my job.

I have a serious gene that wants to plan my life down to how much money I’ll have, when I’ll have it, and what I’ll do with it. But I’m related to folks who did things like load the family in the car one day to go to one place and get back home the same day, and they ended up going a lot of places, and not coming home for a week.

For the past few years I thought I needed to get a degree so I could have a steady income that pays well (that was the serious gene), and I’d like to do that just for the fun of it, but what I want to do – what I really, deep down want to do – doesn’t require a degree. I raised three sons and when we would talk about work or careers, I told each of them to do the thing that is in his heart to do. That’s the scariest thing to do! It’s the thing that means the most, so if it doesn’t work out it’s the most painful outcome. It’s also the most satisfying because if it does work out – wow. Wouldn’t that be something?

This wasn’t totally an impulse. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be doing this job for the whole rest of the year, but until I got some art supplies for Mother’s Day, I didn’t know I would quit NOW! I soon realized that I was having trouble being in ‘work the job’ gear and ‘doing the art’ gear at the same time.

Friday evening I called a friend and found out she was struggling with a decision, too. We talked about all this and we seem to be wired from the same diagram. I told her about an old leather hat I have that I call my hippie hat. My husband got it for me at the Fair in 1976. It seemed like my friend and I both needed to wear that hat in our imaginations so it would give us courage. Two days later, she was headed up the coast of California for her bit of adventure and I was quitting my job.

In one of my daydreams, I live in a school bus. I travel the US writing, selling art, doing odd jobs if the money gets too tight, doing a bit of volunteer work in soup kitchens here and there. I’m going to try that life on, just without the bus. I think I’ll go dig that hat out of the closet.