Pussy Riot

I can’t wait for this election to be over.

It so accurately reflects the stupidity of the American public, which is not an accident, that it’s painful to watch.

These two people (because only two are allowed) are the best and brightest this country has to offer. Or, these two people are the only ones allowed to run by the powers that be. The shadow government is what really rules. Eisenhower and Kennedy warned of them.

As usual, I will vote for the candidate I hate the least. Both suck. They just suck in different ways.

One party acknowledges climate change and does nothing. The other party just denies it. The net result is exactly the same.

We are so fucked.

While we watch the show, ice continues to melt. The oceans and trees continue to die. The globe continues to warm.

We are so fucked.

Both candidates love Wall Street. Our financial system, globally, continues to wobble before it crashes, yet again. Nothing has changed there.

The media is owned by members of the shadow government so we talk about pussy instead of the real threats.

America. You just gotta love it, right?

And Columbus Day is just around the corner. Jesus. It’s 2016 and we are still celebrating a mercenary slave trading genocidal white man who got lost.

We are so fucked that it doesn’t even matter anymore who we elect. We will continue to war on poor people of color. Most importantly, we will continue to rape and pillage the earth until there is nothing left. Then we’ll try to get to Mars or someplace so we can continue our destruction on a different planet.

That is who we are. We are homo sapiens, the wise ape. Bwahahaha! So wise, so smart, so superior to everything else on earth that we destroy our home! We worship printed paper based upon nothing to the exclusion of, well, everything else.

At this point, I’m just hoping to live long enough to see the whole thing crash. It’s kinda like watching the ice calve. A crack here and there. Then, ice the size of Manhattan detaches. To our simple brains, it seems slow and gradual, but the rot or melt is continuous, even when it’s not visible to the eye.

We are so fucked that we can’t even see how fucked we are.

Neither Clinton nor Trump is going to do a damn thing to stop the ice melting. Neither of them is going to do a damn thing to stop the contamination of water and air. Neither will do a damn thing to alter the redistribution of wealth. Neither of them will address over population or fossil fuel consumption. Even if they could, they wouldn’t.

To think otherwise is to be deluded.

And, don’t get me wrong. I understand how attractive delusion is! It is far less painful than to live day in and day out with the truth of our situation. But, delusion or no, the facts remain. There are too many people on the planet and we are all consumers, though some of us consume more than others (like, Americans).

Who wants to hear about that? That’s Debbie Downer territory. That does not uplift the human spirit.

So. Pussy it is.

And the kicker is, we probably haven’t even hit rock bottom yet.

How low can we go?

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Marching to the Pits

I pulled out Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance recently for a re-read.

The generation that experienced WWII is dying off. Echoes of that era can be seen and heard today in our arguments about taking Syrian refugees, our immigration policies, and of course, despotism.

America didn’t want Jewish refugees then anymore than we want Syrian refugees today. The words change, but the fear remains the same.

What struck me most about the books today is how very little has changed when it comes to denial.

“The hundreds of thousands of Jews that now lie in these graves meekly marched out to the pits and stood on the brink to let themselves be shot, with their wives, children, old parents, and all. Why? Because the Germans were acting beyond human nature. The surprise was too numbing. It could not be happening.” (pg.859/860 of War and Remembrance)

This ability is probably hardwired into our big brains. And the marketing people know it.  Propaganda works.  It helps us to deny what we dislike. Even Mr. Wouk, in suggesting that the German’s final solution was an anomaly, something new, was in denial.

Genocide is not new. The Holocaust was simply industrialized genocide. Instead of a few million people exterminated over a long period of time, like the United States treatment of American Indians, 11 million people were killed fairly quickly, and robbed most efficiently. Hatred, fear, and its consequence….war, seem to be a part of human nature, whether we want to acknowledge that or not.

Just like there were people then who took Hitler seriously and got out of Germany while they could, there are people today who can see the worlds trajectory. Unfortunately, today, there is no safe place to go.

“But as the patient refuses to believe he has leukemia but grasps at any straws of reassurance, so the European Jews willed not to believe the ever-mounting rumors and reports that the Germans meant simply to kill them all.” (pg.961. Ibid)

Today it’s “Technology will save us. We will figure something out.” This will be accomplished by finding a new planet to live on…..without, of course, acknowledging that we’ve trashed this one. And without acknowledging the time it will take. Time that we don’t have.

Millions of dead trees and dying oceans spell death for homo sapiens. But few can see that. It’s just too depressing, right?

There are people…seemingly smart people…..who honestly seem to believe that our explosive population growth is not a problem. They don’t see a problem with feeding as many as 10 billion people. This, despite the fact that 2 billion are already not getting enough food now, when global population is at 7.4 billion.

There are people, seemingly smart, again, who think that windmills and solar panels are the answer. They don’t seem to understand that making and transporting those use fossil fuels and rare earth metals, not to mention using toxic processes.

The corporatists know. That’s why they are in the race to extract and deplete whatever is left as quickly as possible. The denial industries know, so they shriek louder and louder not to pay any attention to the dying of the oceans, the death of trees, the extinction of more and more species.  Certainly the owners of the media know it.

Don’t believe your eyes. Don’t believe your senses.

There are still some who resist. The Native American tribes out west, in South Dakota, are protesting the newest proposed pipeline. They are being met with mercenaries and dogs. I believe there will be blood shed soon enough. This protest is almost exclusively being reported on social media as few of the mainstream media is covering it. It will most certainly be infiltrated and corrupted as resistance cannot be allowed to bloom. But it’s lovely to see in the here and now.

Does past behavior predict future behavior? I think, for the most part, it does. History repeats because humans are flawed. It doesn’t matter what is true. It doesn’t matter what is real. What matters is how we feel.  Or, even worse, how we want to feel.

So close your eyes and imagine the very, very long line of people meekly marching to the pits.

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A year ago, I would have sworn that we are a quiet couple and that we have a peaceful abode.

We’ve just celebrated our year anniversary with the Chippet and she’s taught us that we are not the quiet people we thought we were.

Bambi is extremely noise sensitive, but only certain noises bother her.  I think our HVAC system is very noisy, but that doesn’t bother her one bit.  Let a spoon fall, though, and she’s ready to flee for her life.

Now it’s a game to see if I can lift plates out of the cupboards without a noise.  She hates kitchen noises, especially, so we have become sensitive to them as well.  It’s crazy how much noise a person can make while trying to make none at all.

Thunderstorms top the list, closely followed by fireworks and guns.  She starts shivering and pacing when a storm rolls through, and will even come into the hated kitchen if I happen to be in there.

So, besides pheromone diffusers, I’ve invested in a Thundershirt for my Chippet. It’s a compression jacket and it works wonders.

I don’t put it on her when I cook or work in the kitchen, because she usually will trot off to her safe place in our bedroom and curl up.  Not during a thunderstorm, though.

Still, she’s calmed considerably.  We can now lift a hand without scaring the crap out of her.  She is much less afraid of Mr. Nobody.  There is much less flinching all together.

We’ve discovered that she loves car rides.  She gets so excited.  And once we’re riding, she finds the cutest positions to curl up and snooze, making my ride so much better.

So, all is well with my little cutie pie.  She is learning to relax and enjoy life a little.  She sure brightens up our lives!



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Compromise Critters

As I’ve mentioned, I was hoping for close encounters with wild animals when we moved from suburbia to the country.  Specifically, I was hoping for mammal encounters.

That hasn’t happened like I hoped it would.  But, there are critters around, and I believe that spiders will inherit the earth.

dscn2594I was ambivalent about putting a pool in.  I didn’t like the idea of extra water or energy use, but Mr. Nobody really wanted one and since moving into the sticks was my idea, I did want to sweeten the deal.  On heat advisory days, I’m not so ambivalent.  So, the pool has led to several close encounters.  Every morning, I check the skimmer to see if anything needs rescuing.  This was what I found the other morning.

dscn2617I had to gird my loins to figure out how to encourage him or her to move on.  I settled on using a weeder.

dscn2636There are so many webs around the house that I won’t need to decorate for Halloween.  I had to rescue this guy from a web.  The blue tails are so cute.


I had Mr. Nobody take this guy out of the skimmer.


There are a variety of amphibians and reptiles aroundIMG_0878


Seems like I’ve been seeing more butterflies this year.  And I nominate this caterpillar as one of the cutest.


Birds are migrating and I miss feeding them.  This one crashed into a window recently and was stunned.  Since Buddy was ready to pounce, I picked it up and held it until it got its wits back.  I think it’s a flycatcher of some kind.  I already miss hearing the wood thrush.  They’ve gone, and they are the sound of summer for me.IMG_0903Then, there is the fungi.

IMG_0890DSCN2538I’ve got lots more pictures of fungi, but am having technical difficulties with uploading the damn things.

So this is the wildlife still around.

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The Good Shuzzit*

I’ve been in a foul mood for the last few days.

Doom and gloom…the bad shuzzit has gone exponential and time is very short, coupled with rain and gloom and sad scary novels.

Thanks to the small band of doomours, thanks to one little thing, I’ve perked up.

It’s always the little things….volunteer morning glories, frogs, toads, turtles, flowers, hummingbirds, a good book, knitting….that can turn around a bad mood, at least for awhile.


I really love sharing things I love with people I love.  For some reason, I’m remembering lying in bed with Mr. Nobody, asking him for his reaction to a book I had recommended by Richard Russo called Straight Man.  He starts to tell me about it, but can’t, because he starts to laugh, and the more he tries to talk, the more he laughs.  I’m laughing too, because I’m so happy that he likes what I like.  Because Richard Russo wrote a funny book.  Because it’s such a little thing.


I took a picture this morning of a leopard frog on our frog log (a device that helps frogs and toads get out of the pool).  The frog is lovely all by herself.  But I got to share the frog log and the critter skimmer (another device for critters caught in the pool) with someone else who cares.  That’s a double double in the good shuzzit column.

DSCN2583 (Not a leopard frog…different picture)

Hummingbirds are migrating and hitting the feeders en masse. I love the noises they make, especially when they break the hummer sound barrier as they fly. DSCN2558

The good shuzzit itself is in the good shuzzit column.  I’m convinced that daily weed has kept me from murder.  My current fantasy is that we have a nationally televised trial of marijuana – introduce all of the evidence about this weed and then have a vote on legalization.  If people really knew the facts about marijuana and the history behind the prohibition on it, it would be legalized in a heartbeat.  The only thing wrong with the good shuzzit is that too many powerful industries are threatened by it.

The Chippet’s happy dance is definitely in the good shuzzit column.  Every time she does it, or wags her teeny tiny little tail, my heart sings.

We seem to be having a banner year for squirrels.  Three of them were flying around in one of the hickory trees this morning, harvesting.  We are into our third year here at the Missouri Compromise, and this is the first we have seen of so many squirrels.  These are different from the red ground squirrels of Michigan – these are grey tree squirrels.  Noisy little things and they look like monkeys up in the trees.  Cheap entertainment.

There are no medals or glory associated with any of this.  Just day to day reality, tinged with the awareness that nothing lasts.




*Louis Armstrong’s term for good marijuana, per Martin A. Lee in Smoke Signals (another thing in the good shuzzit column). Tip of the hat to Anne.




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Odds and Ends

Last Friday evening was a hot one.  I had some things to put away in the barn before getting cleaned up and thinking about dinner.

When I slid open the big metal door, I heard a noise.  It stopped and I did too.  Then it started.  Squeaking?  I thought, oh no, not mice, please not mice.  The sound was coming from the far horse stall, where I’ve got some old furniture that I want to refinish, someday.

At the entrance of the stall, I didn’t see anything moving.  I stepped in, looking around the space, trying to locate the noise that stopped and started.  I saw some feathers scattered lightly around one side of the stall, but that didn’t concern me as birds fly into the barn every once in awhile and I shoo them out again.  We keep the barn door closed, mostly, to discourage birds and other critters.

Squeaking continues and I step further into the stall, cursing the lack of light from a burned out bulb.  Having to wrestle with a big ladder to change the light-bulb in 100 degree heat did not appeal to me.  Finally, I look up, way up and see a nest.  Jeez, that can’t be a birds nest, can it?  How on earth did a bird have time to build that thing?

Now I can hear scratching on the ground, which is dirt with wood shavings, covered with cardboard….scritch and squab and squeak.  It’s a freaking bird, a tiny baby, eyes not open, pink flesh on all parts but wings and head.  Then, another.

Inside my head is the word “fuck” is being flung out and elongated.

Ok, where is mom?  I poke around some more and spot a feathered corpse.  It’s up against some furniture and under some other stuff and not easy to see up close.

From two past encounters with baby birds, I know that the first thing to do is locate the nest and parents and put the baby back.  But some of the nest is sitting on the top shelf of my house paint equipment and inventory, and some of it is still up on the barn rafter.  And we have a dead bird.

Second option is to let nature take its course, which is another way of saying, let them die.  Unfortunate accident, too bad, but nothing to be done about it.  Walk out the door and forget what I saw.

Third option is to keep the babies warm and going until you can get them to people who know about wildlife rehabilitation.  And yes, this is a first world problem.  In many other countries, these babies would have been dinner.

I really wanted to go with option one.  I considered option two.  As I was considering option two, I was wondering how long these two had been on the floor.  I let Buddy out of the barn around 6:30 that morning.  He had taken a look toward that stall before coming out, but I didn’t hear anything that alerted me….I just picked up his dish, turned off the fan, and closed the door behind us.

What happened in that barn and when did it happen?  I don’t know.  One of life’s mysteries.

So as I was considering option two, I was also thinking about what I would need for option three.  I was considering option two because I knew what a pain in the ass option three would be.

Baby birds need to be kept warm and dry.  I’ve fed two wild birds before.  One, a robin, was a fledgling.  What I knew was that it was lawn care day, and the lawn care assholes do not care about wildlife.  I was terrified that I would find that baby in chunks if I left him there.  So I learned a little about birds from Chirp and then, the wild life rehab woman I took him to the next day.  This had happened on a week day, and I was able to connect with the woman before I could take him in.

The next one was a nestling.  Bubbles found it on one of our walks and I left it where it was, took Bubbles back home, then went back to search for the nest to put the baby back.  I knew it was a mourning dove and I looked for any nest but couldn’t find one.  So I learned a little more about baby birds on the Eigit.  For reasons I can’t remember, I kept him awhile before taking him to the wildlife rehab place.  That’s when I learned that they have to be kept clean or their feathers fall out.

Each time, the woman corrected me about something I had done or failed to do.  But each time, she seemed impressed that I kept the birds going somehow.

I’ve kept little plastic tubs from margarine or shaved cheese…..because they come in handy for lots of things.  Birds nests, for one. Lined with untreated plain tissues or paper towels because slippery floors aren’t good for bird feet and bird feet can get caught in washcloth fibers.  This is the nest I used for Chirp and Eigit, so that is what I grabbed from the barn, along with the two babies.  I was, of course, going with option three.

Then I had to get them situated on a hot pad, set low.  I put their nest in a small animal crate, to protect it from the three animals living in our house.

I also returned to the barn, twice, to listen carefully for any other survivors.  None but the two.  I should have picked up the dead bird, but I didn’t.

I did look at the portion of the nest that was sitting on some paint cans.  It seemed like a phoebes nest.  Maybe a robin?  I wasn’t positive on the bird variety and looking at the dead bird would have helped.  I didn’t do it.

Then I went online for some help.  I found a wild life rehab place near the St. Louis airport, which is over an hour away.  And they aren’t open on a weekend.  And it’s after 5 pm.

So, I started looking around in my animal drawer for syringes or eye droppers, pulled out the mortar and pestle, went looking through the pantry and settled on beef canned cat food, mixed with a little water, fed through a syringe.  I’m not recommending this, but I was pretty sure these birds eat insects, which is protein, which is why I selected the beef canned cat food.  I had looked online for help, and found some, but I don’t happen to have forceps or a scale, meal worms or grasshoppers in my pantry.  Nearest store is 15 minutes away.  I make do and try to listen.

Every 15 to 20 minutes, from sunup to sundown, I fed the babies.  The bigger one I was calling Malcolm, and the little one was Phoebe.  I made mistakes, probably handled them too much, trying to keep their nest clean. Many, many times over the course of the weekend, I was convinced one or both were going to die.  But they were scrappy little guys.  They survived, but I can’t say they thrived.

By Sunday night, I had learned that they are wrens and that the wild life rehab place is different from the wild bird rehab place.  By Monday morning, I learned that the wild bird rehab place was open over the weekend, and I could have dropped them off on Saturday.  I strongly suggested to the receptionist that they post that on their website.

The Chippet and Trotsky were scheduled for grooming on Monday morning, so I planned to make the trip with the birds after dropping those two off.  To my surprise and relief, Mr. Nobody offered to do the driving.  I had been worrying about how I was going to keep them fed while driving, not to mention my hatred of city driving.  When I thanked him for his help and commented that many would consider me crazy for going to so much trouble for a couple of wrens,  he said, “it’s not just about wrens.  It’s about keeping your sanity in a crazy world.”

Which is why I married him over 25 years ago.

I liked this rehab place.  I’m not so crazy about their written material.  They gave me info so that I can check on my chicks in a couple of weeks, to find out how they fare.  I already miss hearing their cheeping, but I am so relieved they are in capable hands.  And so grateful that those capable hands exist.

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Worst? Really?

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