Forgotten What’s Important


That’s Lucy — the little kitty lying on the table looking up with a multi-colored button nose. The plastic on the chair to the right of my hand is for Lucy. She doesn’t like the strays outside so pees on things to let them know who’s boss. She’s the boss. She’s the boss of me. Several less important things have gone to the landfill. That’s not a place Lucy will ever see if it’s up to me.

The strawberries were yummy. One had some bacteria bites on it or maybe it was bug nibbles. It was, after all, lying on the dirt in its pot. I ate whatever bugs or bacteria that I couldn’t see.

I’m not afraid.

I’m a little afraid of Lucy. She’s really just a sweetie in disguise though. She struts and throws her shoulder but mushes if you make her let you mush her. She probably wouldn’t let you mush her.

I just cooked my dinner without plugging in the toaster oven. Needless to say, it didn’t cook. Now I’ll have to wait.

No hurry, no worry is my slogan.

Speaking of Lucy…she was just a little itty bitty kitty when she jumped up on a trailer to ask me to bring her home with me while I was walking in her territory. Who could resist a little itty bitty kitty as cute as she is? Certainly not I, as you can clearly see.

Some people might throw her out the door because she’s ornery and likes to show the other cat’s who’s boss.

Like I said, she’s the boss of me.

I’m not willing to forget what is important.

Natural, living things are what’s important. Things that might need a little help from me from time to time.



I tried to embed some bottles in the soil for a walkway. They will be dug up before too long. They are just too hard to walk on with bare feet and just too hard to install in the first place.


A mesquite tree that found its way to me. It sprouted somewhere inconvenient and was put in a pot to decide where it needs to be later on. Lots of new growth this time of year.


An avocado tree from a seed growing in the gray pot in the middle there. It lives inside, (with rocks around it’s trunk so that Lucy doesn’t dig it up), for winter. MickeyMouser either. He’s as bad as she is about digging. Peeing too but only after Lucy does.

I’m not willing to forget what is important.

living things


All the Palo Verde trees are yellow at the moment. 

A year or so ago some baby Palo Verde trees volunteered beneath their mothers along the road through the school. I went over with a spade and dug about twelve of them up before I got too tired. There were cameras on me all the while. I wasn’t afraid. They were just going to spray them with an herbicide before too long. I ruffled all the rocks back up over the dirt I dug them out of. Several of them are doing well as we speak. A couple went into the ground here or there in the yards.

And yes, they did kill all the others in the long run. I wish I’d taken more time to bring more of them with me.

I refuse to forget what is important.

If we forget what is important, it won’t be long before we have cameras and waves like a blanket over us and tracking our every move and nothing of nature left to see.

I hope you haven’t forgotten what’s important?




Non-Essential Things

My home is somewhat tiny — 1024 square feet if memory serves. Of course that doesn’t count the studio which was, at one time, a double garage it seems. It was badly converted to be a grandmother dwelling by previous owners of this property and the realtor who refurbished things before putting this house on the market took all the crumbling elements out and it was left as somewhat of an open room. It has been many things since I’ve been here, but I digress. It is falling apart and the kitties like to be out there during the day.

I’m sitting in my favorite little room, the mudroom — it’s the size of a prison cell but I could feel quite happy living in it. It’s almost 7 pm and there is a fan blowing from the living room to cool me just enough to be quite comfortable. episode 50 is playing in the background as I try to wrap my mind around all that has happened these last many weeks now.

I refuse to use any current memes or try to capitalize on a manufactured event — so suffice it to say, I’m a little happy that what has happened has happened because it woke me up a little more than I have been and gave me a new lease on things that have long been important to me. I wear my tinfoil proudly. I wish everybody would. This has made it very possible to see how many aren’t.

A sense of purpose had been evading me, but not now.

Anyway, after taking about 20 shots around the yard, they’re now uploaded and descriptions will be added to them.

The plastic blinds below have lasted for 17 years now and are just about as good as new still. They were the ones off the rack that it used to be my job to cut for clients when I worked at Home Depot all those years ago now — 1993 through 2000 — just long enough to earn the full value of a 401K plan, take the money and run.

The blinds were taken out of the window just days ago now and were washed very well by hanging them over a PVC pipe between spaces in the cattle panel arches. They are nice and clean now as is the window and the sill.

There were two pieces of a now vintage Waverly fabric making unfinished panels on the sides of the big window that came down to be washed and this sheet was split in half to use in the meantime. This stripe seems to be a little more soothing. We’ll see. There are some old hankies and doilies that are pretending to want to be on it.


All non-essential things have been being taken out and made ready to be gotten rid of — donated or given away — some things up for purchase on Etsy or somewhere in the long run. They are currently living on the gorilla racks that were lined up in the back yard to use to make a catio. After washing the cupboard shelves, essential things will go back on them. Some painting is getting done as well.


That pinkish paint was after dumping gallon after gallon of hoarded oops paints into a 5 gallon bucket. It’s been being used for things here and there — whatever strikes a fancy. There is an equal amount of a turquoisey color that may get mixed with this to make enough to paint the whole exterior of the house once things that want this color on them get painted???

Below is a rose bush that went in the ground after struggling in various assorted containers for years and years. It’s very temperamental but at the same time very robust. It waxes and wanes and keeps on ticking. It forces my attention. That is a good thing. I love this little rose bush. It has flowered once or twice. A nearby neighbor has them all along his fence that bloom all the time. I really DON’T have a green thumb. I REALLY have to work to keep things alive.

I’m not complaining.


The romaine lettuce is also temperamental but I’m delighted it’s still growing. I’ve only eaten a few leaves. I have a very hard time making myself eat my greens. I know I really should.

I’m also very intent on accumulating more seeds now that we can see we really need to pay attention to that aspect of living — growing our own food — so if they all bolt and go to seed it won’t be too disappointing. These all showed up here after all previously saved seeds were willy nilly broadcast everywhere to see what would grow and where it might want to. The garden table and chairs were brought over to make a nicer looking shade element since the lettuce plants absoposolutely DON’T like direct sun.

Aren’t they pretty little things?

All the mustard weed was lopped and dropped to act as a little bit of ground cover so that is the dry yellow elements you will see all over.


An online friend, (Hi Heidi, if you’re visiting), sent me a teeny tiny elm tree sometime back. I nursed it in a pot and put it in the ground as soon as the timing seemed right. It has been faring quite well and I am encouraged. (Thanks Heidi and your red canna is still alive and looking good as well.)

More drying mustard weeds around it hoping they will help with evaporation rates??


Several potted things got bigger pots and all got moved to be under the #ScragglyTree again for summer. They seem to like that spot the best this time of year.

Anything to keep them happy. The plan is for more of them to be put in the ground and crowd things, as much as possible, come fall.


This looks like it could be a clematis but could just as easily be a weed. It stood out because the sun was making it a feature. I will keep an eye on it. There are so many things that have flown in on the wind or with a bird and they always seem to be the survivors. They are always welcome.


Speaking of volunteers — mama chaste tree has many, many offspring. They will go in here and there come fall as well.


Container alley again under the Scraggly Tree.

You can see the arm of the plastic Adirondack chair, bottom right, that got painted the pinkish color that was mixed. A clear coat was sprayed atop the pink and it is doing well getting hosed off for birdy poo poo quite often.


Finally took the initiative to corral as much good soil as could be found around to put some of the sweet potato slips in to see how they will do in a container. There are many more that need to find homes in the ground.


This lilac is in a pair of tires and is hard to keep happy. The black tires, it seems, heat up too much and dry out the soil quickly but it’s scary to think of transplanting it. It came out of the ground for the same trouble once upon a time.

Hey, it just dawned on me, the tires should be painted white!! As Gru would say, “Light bulb.”


Washing one of my Aunt’s doilies. It’s under my coffee cup most days so it gets pretty brown from time to time.


Mama chaste tree seems to look better this year. Maybe the stick pile has been a benefit? That piece of fabric was put over the sticks for the stray cat that likes to lie upon them.


Some bean seeds were broadcast everywhere the end of winter and most aren’t looking like they will go the distance. One does. No matter. They are nitrogen fixers and anything that can be useful to improve soil with debris and roots is good with me.

Someday I may figure out how to grow food.


Strawberries came over to be under the cattle panels for late afternoon light and shade most of the day. The grapevine is trying, trying, trying. More sweet potato slips still growing on the left of the strawberries.


The water lily just perked right up the minute it started warming up. There are three flowers open and another one coming. There are tons of snails and it seems that they are doing a good job to eat up the dead debris and algae??? Keeping an eye on them.


The container they are in is a makeshift thing that was built with jars, wire fencing, a furniture blanket and black garden plastic when it was clear that Buster the-girl-turtle was going to continue to gobble it up as quickly as it grew. Her pond now has tons of aquatic iris doing well and tons and tons of snails there too. Not sure if she is eating snails or not. She still gets her turtle food. The irises are to manage the algae by utilizing it for nutrients. So far, so good. A tarp is up over her pond now, but there is plenty of sun on either side for her to bask morning through evening as she pleases and enough to benefit the irises.

The water is still a little murky but not awful. Things are looking good.

The water evaporated enough and the black plastic was taken out of the second pond with the goal of trying to use concrete somehow to improve that one to see if her big pond can eventually be made better.


So that’s a day in the life of an old tinfoil-hat-wearing cat lady who has a new lease on life.

Hope you’re doing well and feeling good.

Life is what we make it is more clear to me now than ever.


And, here’s a video WELL worth the time to watch it:

Improve Soil Conditions

I’ve been trying for all the years I’ve been at this address, (17), to get dandelions to grow. After ordering seeds and an online friend sending me some of hers, they are finally starting to show up here and there. I leave them completely alone in hope that they will proliferate all over the place to help improve soil conditions wherever they will grow and for a forage food for me and all the pollinators that love them too, once they do.


cool, shady area – one little dandy trying to grow

I can’t imagine anyone not loving dandelions.

When did humans start thinking that they know more than Mother Nature — pulling and spraying and killing everything that gets in the way of how they want things to be?

Years ago, when I was in California, I had a back yard filled with dandelions. I was brainwashed to think they shouldn’t be there. It’s amazing how manipulated a human can be. I spent time meditating while I pulled the flowers off of as many stems as I could, thinking I could thwart them, and, eventually, I did. Before long, I had almost no dandelions. Saddest part of it all was that all those nutritious flowers went into the bin for fear they’d dry and their seeds would blow up through the wind if I left them lying there on the ground to finish dying. I guess I can be happy I left the roots in the ground.

Getting out of diapers isn’t always easy.

I also learned, the hard way, how better to prune and also that it isn’t always a good idea to do it at all, period.

This little Anna Apple tree came home and lost an arm right away, just being juggled around while finding her final place. Turned out to be kind of a good thing in that it made her easier to place because the side that broke off allowed for her to go very close to the sidewalk in the narrow back yard.

It’s been here many years now and just last year it became clear that some pruning was in order because her limbs were hanging to the ground.

She got a really good hair cut and has come back beautifully will lots of apples this year.



We just barely get enough “chill days” for this variety to grow here. That is one of the few benefits to living here — we are higher up than some other Arizona places. I’m a little jealous of Tucson as they can grow citrus and avocados — but that is the only reason to be jealous of Tucson.

It’s starting to warm up enough to feel almost hot during the mid afternoon parts of the day. Today I put a tarp on the cattle panels that form an arch over the sidewalk that leads from the gate to the house. I put a piece of wire fencing between the two arches so the tarp could go over the whole thing.

You can see a corner of it in this image:


Lately mustard weeds were lopped and left to cover bare ground wherever they were growing but only as they appeared to be drying out and were through with the value they were to the bees — the earliest nectar available here for them. The roots were left to feed the livestock in the soil — bugs and microbes.

Right after they finished, the Aloe Vera all flowered and the bees just love them, as do hummingbirds which are starting to show up also.


The purple table set came over from the corner plot of this compound as it is being cleaned up to reconfigure Buster’s pond, (girl turtle). It is now placed just so to shade a patch of romaine lettuce that sprouted from some saved seeds I broadcast everywhere hoping they would find a place they liked.

As a followup of the post just before this one, here is the prickly pear starting to flower. Sure hope I get to know how prickly pears taste.

DSCN1007 - Edited (1)

Happy gardening!

Prickly Pears Galore

Very soon after I took over this property, I noticed a little prickly pear cactus growing out of the hollow of one of the footer blocks of the fence in the yard I refer to as the #SouthFortyTriangleLot — it’s shaped like a wedge and it is on the far side of the property away from the main house.

That was in 2003.

Can’t remember exactly when I noticed it growing but I watched it and watched it as it grew. It seemed to grow very slowly for very many of it’s early years There might even have been a time or two that I thought it had died. Suddenly it found its footing and just took off until that fateful day it collapsed because of its own weight.

It could be two years now that it got so big it toppled. The biggest hunk of it just fell to the ground. Eventually, I was able to separate all the pieces and went about laying them all over in various assorted places around the property, wherever they made sense to be growing — some inside the fence and some outside. I don’t think any of them didn’t take. I have Mickey Mouse-looking prickly pear plants all over now with their new paddles growing from the pieces that sent roots into the dry desert sand just like they were supposed to.

The mummy plant took off again like a race horse as soon as the big chunk fell off and she is now even bigger than she was before — it happened in what seemed like no time. I was just amazed.

All through the years, she has never, never produced a pear. Look at her now!!! Mama Mia, prickly pears galore!! Some new paddles again this spring too.

Is that how prickly pear cacti have babies — topple and root on the ground?

The strings in the above image are the anchors for the tarp that goes over Buster’s, (the girl turtle), pond. has a great forum “Prickly Pear are the Perfect Permaculture Plant for Parched Places” describing some of their many benefits: “The mighty prickly pear. Great for vegetable, fruit, dyes, living predator fences, erosion control, medicine and drought insurance. Talk about stacking functions!”


One of mummy’s offspring behind the pomegranate tree already has quite a few new paddles growing. All that was done was the broken off and healed paddles were laid on the dirt with the side with signs of roots growing from the areole to the dirt.

All these years now trying so hard to grow food. It is NOT easy in a desert. I’m thrilled to have all this propagation of prickly pear. I understand the paddles make something very good to eat and, of course, the pears are very loved. Here is a group in my area teaching all about it: Desert Harvesters.

I’m ever more conscious of how important growing food is and am stepping up my efforts, not that I haven’t always been trying. I am just now not giving myself any leeway to get the slightest bit lazy.

Just at the beginning of the coming spring, I took all my saved seeds and broadcast them all over just to see what might like to grow where. It’s a lot of fun watching. I also planted a lot of the little trees that have been several years in a nursing condition — under shade in pots. They started telling me they wanted their roots in the ground, so I obeyed. They are my dictators and I love them telling me what to do. They are the only ones who are able to get away with it.


Plums for me and the birds


Pomegranates for me and the bugs and flowers on the pyracantha for the bees

As some things are fading away, like the beloved #ScraggleTree, new things are getting started. All the little trees went in wherever they fit and I will see how things go. I hope they all survive and I just have lots of pockets of shade that things might just like to grow under.

Try, try, try. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. It’s all so much great fun.


Weeds thrown over the fence from the parkway to bury somewhere — trench compost style

Happy growing everyone.

Blame The Dog

I want to go on record as having said I’m not falling for the official story. I’m a thinking person. I didn’t fall for 911 either, not even the day it was happening. My first thought was that it was a Hollywood production — which, as it turns out, it sort of was.

I don’t believe the CDC or WHO or Bill Gates or any of the ones that are in the back rooms laughing all the way to the bank with their virus loaded cash, digital currency, scammed profits, and all our hard-earned money stolen through inflation and medical expenses.

If you do your homework and don’t blame the dog for eating the evidence, you will find that WHO is being run by a criminal, murdering fool and was put in place by the likes of his cousin’s cousin’s cousin — that’s a metaphor but the stream of deciding factors aren’t much different than incest. The lady standing behind the man who is not allowed to be president currently and has been replaced by the director of the NIAID, Anthony S. Fauci, is a grifter of extremely compromised integrity — Deborah Brix —  She holds patents for vaccine$. So, we are, in effect, being controlled by an infectious disease, so-called specialist who has carte blanche to shut down the country, followed by the world, if he thinks we may all be killed by some ghost lurking about.

Look it up. It’s all there in black and white and full living color and is likely spreading like a virus on the internet.

I remain unconvinced that viruses are what make us sick — germs nor bacteria either.

Look to the garden. What do you see. When a thing dies, bacteria and fungus come in to clean things up, return them to their rightful homeostasis.

It seems to be the same with us — bacteria and fungus are in us for a purpose — getting rid of dead tissue and cells and toxic introductions — they manifest as they are needed. Claims are made that viruses are the soap that scrub things out when bacteria and fungi can’t keep up any longer. The trouble comes where we are bombarded — which we are — bankrupt soil equals bankrupt food. What about our water? What about our air? What about the pesticides at every corner and all the radiation towers spreading a blanket of questionable signals to cover us for all the good they are supposed to do to keep us all connected? What about stress. Dandelions are safe but real lions aren’t quite nor are the lions that are trying to tame us.

What we should be more concerned with is the toxic world and toxic lying people.

Our fear should be at why this money that is being pulled out of thin air for incentives to get businesses back, (so that the profit makers don’t lose any more than they absolutely have to long enough to convince us that they need us to all band together to make the change that they want to see happen), not going to cleaning up our water, making sure we don’t spray toxic chemicals on all our food and that the food we are eating is loaded with nutrition? Why can’t they find the money for single-payer when we need it but it appears magically when they need it to bail out Wall Street. Oh, yeah, Wall Street is just borrowing it. Useless users use it.

Why isn’t that money going to build the infrastructure for permaculture farms and no till, organic operations?

Why, why, why — why indeed.

I think we all sort of really know the answer. But let’s not accept it.





The Male Chicks


They love animals.
They have goats and chickens and I’m not sure why, but donkeys. Maybe they are rescues.
They also have leather furniture.
What happened to all the male chicks and the cows whose hides they now sit upon. They never say, these animal-loving people.
Imagine the cost of heating and cooling.
Oh, sure, they designed it with a family of three kids in mind — so five in total, (an acre a person), and the total of the collective we that goes to look and ogle. I think the kids are likely grown now, though children never go away completely.
It seems a son is running a factory that they also designed to make the stuff they want to sell.
Factories. Animal slaves work in those. Human animals.
There are books and products to be sold and the ‘estate’ bodes well for advertising their individual and collective prowess at design and supplying a ‘lifestyle aesthetic’.
What is that lifestyle aesthetic? Can everybody have it? Should anybody?
Read the comments behind the video tour — EVERYBODY seems to want it — and want it badly.
I’m always torn because I love great design. It was my career after all. I had to think of beautiful ways to help sort-of-rich folks plan their spaces and then, the main part, sell them the stuff to fill the holes in their lives and souls.
It started to ruin mine. I started to see that it was waste and complete luxury and I decided that I wanted time more than money.
Part of that awareness came upon me because, all the while I was designing, I was driving around in a Toyota truck with a camper shell to house the many samples I had to drag along with me. I wore silk shirts and sweated through them trying to find their houses in the hills with a map book and a visit to a pay phone once in a blue moon. Me in my truck without air conditioning because all that I could afford when I bought it was a stock truck.
Sometimes people would ask me if they could help me carry samples back out to my truck and I would say, “No, that’s absolutely unnecessary but thank you very much,” because I was horrified at the thought that they would see this designer person in less than a Mercedes.
I still have that truck. It was born in 1983 and it’s had me for its first and, so far, last mother. It served its purpose perfectly. The stories it could tell. Oh, the stories it reminds me of — I relish in them still.
I don’t think the Giannettis would ever consider keeping a vehicle until it dies. I guess I could be wrong.
I guess we need things to ogle. The world turns and it seems to need economy to turn. I guess I shouldn’t badger them, but… I want to hate them for using animals to sell books and architecture and factory-made stufffff and ride on the tale of the lust and greed to have it all that they know showing their lifestyle will sponsor so that they can get even richer. Read the comments.
Bah humbug!
Who am I to say. I have too much too.
I shall go back to trying to design a catio with gorilla racks just because I can.

Above Ground Mound

On the “Practice” page of this blog, I go into detail to explain why I live like I do. This is an excerpt from there:

A huge part of the reason that a life of #VoluntaryRadicalSimplicity was adopted by me was because of a desire for freedom — so that instead of regretting I had spent my life making someone I didn’t approve of rich or that I had overstepped my limits within my place on the planet, I would end with feelings that whatever value had been endowed in me was used for its best purpose. Pursuing wealth didn’t seem to meet any of those goals, but personal austerity had merit — the less I needed, the less I had to ‘work’ in unhappy places. I wanted to break free of the mundane…

I was surprised to see the stats for this website today while I was updating the links to the creative writing website. Far more people are visiting this website than I had imagined. I am sorry I’ve been so neglectful. I shall try very hard to improve.

On the “Practice” page, it explains that I’ve started writing more regularly because it is something I feel compelled to do whether anyone sees it or likes it or not — my soul asks me to do it and it is impossible to refuse.

Writing has been filling up time I might have been trying harder to grow things and as discouraged as I’ve been — it’s been a welcome reprieve — we all need outlets.

And not only that, growing anything has been nearly impossible for some new reason and I haven’t identified why. Possibly just that whatever nutrition was available has been exhausted and the attempts to replenish have been very, very slow. Trying to work with no external inputs has its limitations, but it’s what I want to do — another conformity my soul demands.

That all being said, this is the latest adventure, one in an attempt to clear things up a bit and have a cleaner slate.

The front yard was piling up with this and that, logs from my neighbor, leaves that were left in place, branches cut or dropped off of dead things…and was mostly all corralled to make a mound at the east side of the #MotherChaste tree.

It was done as much to neaten things up as for making a habitat that lizards are already clamoring to and for offering a buffer for the tree and water channeling. I have to say, I like the way it looks. It was a marathon project — one that was started and not stopped until the body was exhausted and fried up by the Sun. Up until this, leaves had been left where they had fallen so that anything using them wouldn’t be disturbed. They may be just as happy in their new home, that is the hope at least. It was done quite gingerly.

And when we steamed slowly out of the lagoon, making our way gingerly through the opening in the reef, and then steered for the open sea, a certain melancholy fell upon me.

Just looking up words bring inspiration for writing — chomp, chomp — chomping at the bit…

I digress.

Anyhoo, the lily is happy, Buster is still alive but everything else is a challenge and right now the Monsoons are failing to fall but making the air quite heavy and me as limp as a rag.

above ground mound

This is the finished mound. It started with the biggest logs on the bottom and then layers of debris ending with a mesh of vines that held it well together at the top and then more leaves jiggled in from above to fill things in.


The last of the logs on the top are to weigh it down while it settles.


Still lots to clean up but it isn’t fair to only show the best stuff.

Reality bites.

The covers are off of the #CattlePanelArches now and the thought is to cover it with a sheet of the heavier-duty plastic to make a tunnel of sorts for a winter place the avocado tree can be so that it doesn’t have to be taken in and out of the studio. The panels may need to come off, some PVC pipe laced over the posts to rest the panels on to raise them some for more height.

It’s all so discouraging in this desert, but after seeing a video lately of some fantastic success by a rural couple planting trees in the desert, there is new determination not to give up.

Above ground mound

This above ground mound started by laying the bigger logs on the ground in a somewhat crescent shape. Smaller things were used to fill in holes and then leaves and other finer debris layered.

Above ground mound

This is pretty much where it all started on the day of the marathon yardening session that left me exhausted and sunburned — that I didn’t realize until two days later — the sunburned part, I was exhausted without a doubt.

So, here is another place for critters to use as a hostel — “will work for bugs” — and got a lot of debris corralled and kept it all from any landfill.

It’s all good and I’m very happy with the results.

Trying to find the video an hour or so ago shut this old computer down, so I guess you’lll have to search for it on the Facebook page where it was posted the other day. Sorry. New computer on the horizon.

Best to all. Thanks for coming and returning time and again, according to the stats. ❤

What’s The Point

going in style

Could it simply be that the days have been too short and that not enough Sun exposure has been occurring? Could it be that 65 is approaching and Medicare is ‘calling’? Could it be that this is about the same age that my mother fell into a five-long-years battle with clinical depression?

Well, I must confess, that for about three weeks now, the daily walk was put aside. I’m not sure which one affected the other the most. I was finding myself under-motivated to go, as much because it was seeming like too much drudgery as that I was feeling low — but, I went walking today to do errands and I have to say, my spirits have been somewhat lifted. I think walking is best with purpose. I did make it a point to stop at a shop on the main street where I know the owner and had a long involved chat. That worked wonders too.

I spent $5 on a movie lately, Going In Style, with Alan Arkin, whom I love, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine — oh heck, I love them all. Ann-Margret was in it too. Who doesn’t love Ann.

I laughed my head off in one of the first scenes where Michael Caine’s character is at his bank and has to take a seat to wait for someone to attend him. He just barely gets plopped down in the low-slung chair when he’s alerted to an available attendant. As he struggles to get out of the low-slung seat, he behaves exactly like I do when I try to get up sometimes. I just hooted. What I absolutely LOVED about the movie, was that my peer group is being depicted in all their current glory — old age.  It’s not the first movie of its kind lately. The one with Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen, Book Club is another.

What these movies reminded me is that we live until we die. The dying part is awful to think about and it gets continuously closer as the days go whisking by — and I’ve been thinking far too much about it lately. If I could say why I think I have been going through this low emotional state that I have been lately, it would be that I needed to. It is forcing me to look at my life and see what I don’t like about it and what I don’t want to spend any more time wasted on.

For 16 years come June, I have been here thinking that I was making a life for myself. I’ve been busy building hugelkulturs and soil and trying to get my home to a state that doesn’t leave me anxious at the thought of others seeing it. I’ve tried several ideas to create income and the only somewhat successful model was to provide sewing and general services for others.

Speaking with my friend in town, she asked if I was still cleaning house for one of her neighbors. I grimaced and let out some exhaust in my breath because I don’t want to do it any more even though it is $60 each time I go and they need me, (I can’t find anyone I feel confident to suggest they use instead).

Money just isn’t at all what motivates me. As little as I need, prices on everything continue to rise. That really angers me. They seem to just because it isn’t illegal for them to.

Anyhoo, I’ve been forced to really look at things.

What’s the point of having a straightened home if no one comes to visit?

Seems like I go around in circles and it is more because of anxiety than anything else — I’ve needed busy work to keep me from thinking. Something is forcing me to think for a change and I’m discovering that I’m not all that happy. I need a better purpose.

I don’t know what the answer is just yet, but I know that I’m glad something has forced me to look.

Years ago, and I’ve probably told this story before, I had an elderly client that was living in an assisted complex call me out to help her fashion a drapery treatment for the ‘room’ she and her dying husband were residing in. I think they were in their 90s. He had a hospital bed in the middle of their space. There was one big window that looked out to the complex and that was what she wanted treated. She’d had it in her mind to have, forever she claimed, purple drapes. We found the most beautiful purple satin and a purplish blue sheer and she took out a line on her JCPenney’s credit to fund them. People live until they die. They turned out beautiful. All her neighbors came to see. She was very pleased with herself for getting it done, finally.

The point is, we have to find reasons to want to live. At the least, we have to find reasons to be happy about living. Maybe my next purpose will involve animals, maybe it will involve other people. I am getting very tired of living for myself.  I’ve lived for my mother, my sister, my dogs, but they are all gone now. Yes, I still have the kitties but you know how kitties are. There is great value in living to help life even if the life we are encouraging is something we almost cannot see. Maybe when warm weather, longer days and growing things return again in Spring, this malaise will lift and that will be the purpose — soil microbes — simple as. Time will tell.


What’s the point? The point is, we can either drudge through life or make it purposeful. Not always easy. One of the lines in the movie was Michael’s character addressing Alan’s character and stating that, “You have been waiting 20 years to die.” Another one was where they were trying to decide how much money they needed to steal to make up for the losses to their pensions and Michael’s character was asking them all to account for how much longer they thought they’d live. Alan’s character said, “I’m unlucky, I will probably live to be 100.”

By the end of the movie, Alan’s character thinks he is suffering from happiness. I hope to do the same — live to be 100 and ‘suffer’ from happiness.

Scientists are working on 1000. Imagine that!


From Now On…

For a New Year’s declaration on the Facebook page for this website, I vowed to spend the rest of my life continuing to #FirstDoNoHarm. It is not a new thing, but a continuing thing. It was really a declaration in hopes of influencing the thinking of others to do the same; planting seeds you know.

A stretch of the daily trek

A stretch of the daily trek

In my mind, and not out loud, I vowed to not let things keep me from going on my daily walk. For the most part, I have been rather diligent; but through Christmas I let myself go for almost a whole week on the days when a friend wanted to shop or just go sit for a spell to talk or it seemed too cold or too late or I was involved in something else… any excuse would do. It’s very easy to get out of a good habit with that kind of thinking. It’s perfectly okay to take time for friends, as valuable health-wise as walking, but it is important to get back to it as quickly as possible. So far, I am two for two since making the mental declaration. I’m off to a good start.

I did edit the ‘Our Story‘ of the Facebook page to include “Vegan Gardening” ahead of the rest of the story because it has become first and foremost in all of my gardening considerations. I think when I started the page, I was still under the misconception that external inputs might have a value. For me, it turns out that I no longer want to include them, especially if they are animal derived; definitely if they are animal derived. For one thing there are just too many problems with them. I won’t go into it now. Suffice it to say, ‘contamination’ in one way or another is a big part of the equation. But it’s enough that most often they require harm.

I will forage for some mesquite chaff in open areas possibly. Even that is disturbing habitat where it can be found in the wild. It would be best gotten from someone who is intent on an immaculate yard but then they usually spray herbicides/pesticides.

Best to just try to grow my own necessary resources the best I am able I have decided. A big challenge for me currently is finding enough carbon matter for humanure/compoosting. Since deciding to leave the leaves, that resource is scarce. I might need to take someone’s advice to dig a trench for it since our water table is so low.

happynewyear mice

I noticed that a lot of postings for the New Year seemed to have a common thread; replacing fear with love or just getting rid of fear period, especially ‘what-if’ fears. It seems that most of us are coming to realize that we are being manipulated to be fearful as part of a bigger, destructive agenda lurking out there. Even that is fearful thinking…that lurking agenda; what is it? who’s doing it? what are they doing it for? It turns out that there is very little we can do about any of it other than to quit being fearful and band together to accomplish a thing outside of that thing… We’ve got this!! It is up to us.

Fearless examples in nature

Fearless examples in nature; self-seeded broccoli plant.

Year after year I have been trying to get cool season crops to grow in this bolt-inducing desert. Year after year, Brussels sprout and broccoli plants have continued to sow themselves. Some go two seasons and more trying to produce. I am now seeing their value for producing caterpillars for the birds and Buster, the turtle, if not food for me. The white cabbage moths don’t seem to ever leave until it is literally freezing. So be it.

So my declaration here on this post is, from now on I will try ever more diligently to keep my head in gardening mode and bypass fear inducing propaganda.

Lovey dovey

Lovey dovey doves

Love or fear, what say you?

From now on…let’s choose love. Let’s garden more. Let’s garden without exploiting animals or ruining their habitats. Let’s really and truly love them. Let’s share what we grow with them. From now on, let’s not let those who would have us fear think that we can’t change the world for better.

One garden at a time. From now on…we can do this.



Just One Thing

Every late afternoon as I go on a two-mile trek around my neighborhood, I think. I’m big on thinking, but this allows for a rather clutter-free venue for doing it. Except that there are plenty of stimulating distractions as I walk without a cell phone, i-pod or any other electronic device.

I can’t speak for almost every driver that I pass with their eyes gazing down, one hand on the steering wheel, one hidden, sometimes both hidden, but mostly all with eyes down. I suspect they are all looking at devices.

People that I pass who are walking also often have something in their ear or in their hand. Sometimes they rip a plug out of an ear when they see me smile and my lips start moving. “What!”, they ask. “Hello”, I repeat.

There is one man I often cross paths with and we’ve gotten to stopping for a brief “what movie are you watching tonight” conversation. He lives alone too and asks me if I get lonely? “No, I don’t”, I respond. He says he does a little. He has two leads, one in each hand, no devices as he walks “his girls” around. They are both very old as he and I are too. They walk very slowly, I very fast so we often cross twice. I love to see his doggie’s butts in front of me as I come upon them. They are all so happy, out walking together. One of the dogs is always off stretching the lead to sniff; the other stays on the straight and narrow.

There is another lady whose yard I go by and it has chickens in it; five or six beautiful things. Once in awhile she is outside and we stop to chat too. Her name is Francie and I made myself remember it by thinking of the Gidget movies. She had forgotten mine and apologized. She commended me for walking and complained that she does not. I always invite her to walk with me. She hasn’t taken me up on it yet.

A little farther up, I make a special whistle for Jewel to recognize that it is me that is coming and that she doesn’t need to bark if she doesn’t want to. She has a special conversation for me anyway, not really barking, “Arr, arr, arr, arrrrrr!”. Her mother was out yesterday with a friend at her gate and she looked up to tell me, “She’s talking to you!”. I shared my special whistle so Jewel’s mother knows that I make sure to talk back to Jewel each time I pass by. I always tell Jewel how pretty she is. She’s a black and white, very fit boxer-pit mix of some kind I think. “Hi Jewel. You’re so pretty”, I say. I want to tell her mother that if she ever needs a home…

Sometimes I run across a homeless man who makes his two beautiful hounds, (one probably the mother and the other one of her babies), traipse around the neighborhood with him everywhere he goes. Sometimes he is on foot, other times riding a bike. The dogs have to keep up with him, strapped to whatever he has with him collecting junk; a cart or a bike with a cart. I try to divert my path if I see him ahead as it breaks my heart the way he treats them. It’s all I can do to not chastise him. I have heard from a friend who lives near him that he gets mad and pounds on them. Oh, my heart aches for animals that are not treated right.

Today on my trek it was snowing broom seeds everywhere I went. Desert Broom is everywhere here and most people think of it as a nuisance; an invasive species.

Of course, I think they are beautiful and that whatever will be should be. There are a couple in my yards.

I ended up the proud owner of a very nice pair of lops because a friend wanted me to take out broom plants that were interfering with people getting up her long and winding driveway. She can’t do it herself anymore so donated the lops to me so that I can do hers for her once in awhile. I have only done them once. I love the lops. Lucky me.

Desert broom is a vertical, evergreen, densely-branched shrub usually 3 to 6 feet tall, occasionally up to 10 feet tall. Its many fine twigs are green; the tiny, linear leaves are deciduous during dry periods. The plants are dioecious (that is, each individual plant bears only “male”or “female” flowers) and blooms in the fall. The wind – dispersed, white-tasseled seeds are produced by the female plants in such abundance that the plants and nearby ground appear to be snow-covered.

Desert broom grows in the desert, desert grasslands, and chaparral from 500 to 5,000 feet elevation in Arizona, California, Sonora, and Baja California.

In the winter the cottony mounds crowning the female plant are composed of countless individual fruits. Each seed is attached to many silken, white hairs called pappus. The pappus, serving as parachutes, carry by the wind, the seeds which drift to the ground, collecting everywhere!

Desert Broom is relatively short-lived. It is rarely browsed by mammals, but its strong shade fosters the growth of other plants. Desert Broom is most prominent in the higher areas of our Arizona stream beds.

Lizards are brumating at this time of year. I ran across this little baby while doing some cleanup work today. It was moved to a safer location. It was between some door skins that needed to be moved so that compost could be transferred. First do no harm.

There is just one simple little thing that any person can do to make this a better world. First do no harm. After that, all other things can fall into place.

Just one thing. First do no harm.

Imagine if we all just did that. Imagine.