Misc Musings

We have been in our new place, which still doesn’t have a name, for just over two weeks. It is still not “ours” but is in the process of becoming.

The biggest drawback to rural life is the distance one must drive to anywhere. I don’t mind it, so far.

I’ve been tootling around slowly, getting my bearings. I’ve been in more Walmart’s since moving than I ever was prior to the move. Actually, prior to moving, I had never been in one.  I wish I could’ve stayed a virgin, but unfortunately Walmart has destroyed rural American’s choices.  On the mountain in Kentucky, we saw the effects of methamphetamine on country life; Walmart is the crystal meth of capitalism. If there are entrepreneurs who are filling niche markets, I haven’t found them yet.  We wanted to go to the farmer’s market on Saturday and see what information can be gleaned from the locals; alas, rained out.

Miss Bubbles and I went to our new veterinary practice. I think I will like this office very much. Straight shooters, kind, competent. Miss Bubbles is progressing in her mitral valve disease; her coughing is getting worse. My guess was that we’ve entered the endgame, and this was confirmed by the vet. We are tinkering with meds, but life is fatal and this practice will euthanize her at home if it comes to that. My hope is that she goes to sleep and doesn’t wake up.

The vet recommended that I make a list of all of the things Bubbles likes to do. When she can’t do them anymore, it will be time.

The list is on our refrigerator door.

As she noted, trying to fix the heart pisses off the kidneys. We’ve bumped some of her heart meds and will now be monitoring the kidney functions, which are already in some decline.

Bubbles is still chasing butterflies. But no more steps for her.

It’s been a cooler than average summer and I am not complaining! Being outside is a joy. When I need to get out of my head, I head outdoors to weed or plan or just take pictures.

I want to convert a lot of the lawn to meadow. I want to put plants in for hummingbirds and butterflies.

But I love the accidental meetings. I looked out the window one day and noticed something on the pot that the baby hawthorn tree is in. A walking stick! I haven’t seen a walking stick since the third grade! Yes, it was then that I decided I hated science, because I got to collect all of these great insects and kill them to pin them onto a board. Later, I got to dissect dead things. Science was the act of killing things to study them; I wanted no part of that.

Cleaning off deck furniture on the lawn, I was using the hose and noticed the largest spider I’ve ever seen outside of captivity on it. Michigan has wolf spiders, and perhaps this one was a member of that species, but I suspect steroid use. This guy was so large, blades of grass moved when he walked on them. I gently encouraged him to walk as far away from me as possible.

Lizards are also a new treat. There are some that have stripes and some that have stripes AND blue tails! Lovely shy little things.

I am braced for meeting snakes, but not looking forward to it. I admit I don’t like them very much. Every time I open the barn door, I do it cautiously. Snakes, like bats, are part of the ecosystem and I want them around, but at a safe distance, please.

Hearing owls at night. Since we get up with the sun, I’m not up for long once the sun sets so the night creatures are a bit less known to me. Perhaps this will change during the winter months. Watching the seasons change here will be so cool.

As much as I am loving the new place, reality does not go unnoticed. A suburb of St. Louis, much to the north of us, has exploded with the police killing of an unarmed teenager. The response has been entirely predictable; overkill and a stripping away of civil rights. What a surprise. This is the go-to response of our “leadership” these days.

The only surprise for me has been the surprise of others. The militarization of police is nothing new. Even before we left our small town in Michigan, I was noting the changes. No more “protect and serve” bullshit on police cars…just the simple, stark “POLICE”.

As a middle class American, I used to vote for tax increases to support our law enforcement.

Well, that shit is over. Seems to me that Homeland Security is equipping the cops well enough without my participation.

I thought the response to the homemade shrapnel devices in Boston was a predictor of the new America: Tanks in the streets. And the response to that was acceptance. Unbelievable.

And police unions? I’ve supported unions my entire life, but that shit is over too. If the unions aren’t going to step up and deal with the gangsta mentality of the biggest gang on the streets, then they get no support from me.

The craziness we’ve created will only get worse and worse.

But here and now, I’m seeing lots of butterflies and impressive insects. I hear bird song and frogs. And bluebirds. Unknown to me was that bluebirds are Missouri’s state bird. It was such a wonder to see them. In all of the years I lived in Michigan, I never saw a bluebird. Had to go to Kentucky for my first glimpse, and here in our new place there are bluebirds all around us.

Joy and sorrow are twins.


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