Category Archives: misanthropish

Cats & lessons & moving & hiding.


This is Luna.

She’s one of the animals I look after sometimes. An ancient kitty, she loves to sit on my lap & be brushed, and is quite fond of taking over the pillow by the middle of the night.


This is Sophie. It was quite warm the week I stayed with her & her sister, Izzy. 


Warm & humid.

Before this stretch with Sophie & Izzy, I had the good fortune to be with Nemo for a while in July.

This was taken before the recent rains…


On very hot days, she’d hop into a ceramic dish for a nap.

Before this, I was at another house, with two kitties. (No photos that time…)

Basically I was not living in my apartment for the entire month of July.

But I was there a lot, packing. Everything. I just moved.

Thanks to my friends, who helped out in so many ways, to support this past move.

Schlepping boxes, sanding patches, dropping off stuff at resale stores, bringing blueberries & pop, bringing good cheer, texting, offering emotional support over the phone & in person… I really could feel the net of people… & their support.


These follows are older than me, but when together, are like 9 year olds. Another friend (I didn’t catch a photo of her) held the reigns & called the shots to keep things going.

They were a huge help on a very hot day driving boxes from my apartment of 2 & 1/2 years to the next landing place.


Packing selfie.

Basically if I was there on my own, I’d listen to music or a podcast & pack & pack & pack after work before heading back to whichever place I was housesitting at.


Thank the gods for all these friends & all these cats in my life.

Because the day I got there, the day I would officially “move in”, there was a distinct sinking feeling in my heart & my gut.


It was the very same feeling when I crossed the California state line back in 2002.

Something akin to: o no. What did I do?

A sort of “wrong” feeling. Like I had made a mistake.


I get this feeling when I’m driving somewhere & I know I’m lost, that I’m going the wrong way.

It’s the same feeling. 

Driving, though, I can just turn around, get off at an exit, go a different route.

Moving, and renting, & having signed a lease, a binding agreement, the stakes are higher, the consequence greater, especially since I sunk my savings into making it happen. (Rent is expensive in these parts…)


I’m haunted by my decision.

Reflecting on how I only saw what I was looking for, & overlooking the aspects of the place which were, um, funky.


I really thought it was a place I could settle into for a while.

But it turned out the landlord forgot to mention one piece of information which would have changed my decision to apply for this apartment.

Mice. 


She says she mentioned it. I said, um, no you didn’t.

“You could get a cat. That’s what the former tenant did.”

And yes, sure, I love cats. 

But I’m not in the position where I can be with (my own) cat at this point of my life.


Clearly a misunderstanding occurred, to the point where she offered to let me out of the lease.

Now, aside from not having the money to rent a different place (including a security deposit), to simply to FIND a place in this town that was both affordable AND in less than a month and with no back-up alternate place to go (not to mention all of my belongings) was, well, it just seemed impossible.

And, quite frankly, I didn’t have the energy or the will to even try. Just moving that last week of July following the entire month of packing every day & cleaning both places while working just wore me out.


I haven’t blogged about it, because I’ve been feeling pretty bad about myself & my decision, & my life at the moment.

Yes, it’s a privilege to move with all of my belongings. Yes, I am currently employed. Yes, I am rich in community.

And

It still feels bad. I feel bad. Ashamed. Stupid. And then it globs into all the choices I’ve made in my past from places of fear & I just send myself into a sort of spiral.


So I’ve been kind of hiding out in shame & embarrassment that extends beyond this one decision & situation.

Even though had I been given all the information I would have made a different choice.


Luna’s like: “stop being so hard on yourself”

The landlord isn’t going to do anything about the mice.

I’m in a year lease.

I’m buying a *%#^ton of steel wool to shove into any cracks & holes, and screwing welded wire over the really wide gaps.

And I’m telling myself that I’m living in a cabin. For a year.

(Thank you, Amy-la, for that.)


And at the recommendation of my wise sister, & then a friend, I’m going to look at what I appreciate about this place, AND what really doesn’t work for me, and apply that to my decision regarding any future places.

So.

I appreciate that I can heat with wood. I enjoy stacking wood. 

The woodstove was one of the four things I saw and said ‘yes’ to.

Wood stove, separate structure (that is, no one above or below or attached to the side), quiet, & a place to garden.

All really great things.


But just focusing on those four things is like stepping into a relationship with someone just because they have a mouth & a hand to hold & a, well you get the idea.

I tend to overlook the whole picture.

*sigh*

Living and learning here.


On a brighter note, despite the severe drought we’ve been experiencing, the hickory trees are quite abundant in nuts this year.


Mockernut & Bitternut hickory droppings from a very tall canopy & signs of critter munching.

O the critters.

Wishing you all well on this night.

Wishing you gentleness & ease.


Good morning & weighing.

  
Good morning human who is reading this.

Thank you for following my blog, even though the content has perhaps been not-so-thoughtful or deeply reflective this past year…

  
My previous bank of photos will not upload to WordPress, so I currently have a small amount to draw from

Unless I want to dip back to older post images.

  
Which would be fine, but there were other things I meant to write about.

use it or lose it… So the saying goes.

So I need to get out and take more photos & hope that the new ones will somehow, magically (because I don’t understand such things) find their way to the photos that can be chosen from for posts.

  
I’m really good at wasting time.

Granted, I’ve been working a lot. 6 days a week for a long time. But this week I have two days off in a row.

And I feel guilty.

  
That’s messed up.

  
Thing is, there are things I need to do.

Write an essay for my application.

Print out a recommendation form a friend filled out for me, for the above mentioned application.

Go to a copy shop to DO that.

  
Sometimes I just don’t want to get into my car to go anywhere. People drive more & more aggressively.

And

I’m a masterful procrastinator.

  
No, I’m not proud of procrastinating.

It’s a terrible habit.

  

Know what else I need to do?

I need to ask for help. For support. With loan stuff. (Because I have no idea how to do this. Because I’m going to need to go into debt. For school. Something I’ve managed to mostly avoid up to this point in my life.) 

And with computer stuff. (Because I don’t have a computer, & I need a computer, for a program that’s starting sooner than the end of the month.)

  
It’s hard for me to ask for help. To admit I don’t know. 

And it’s embarrassing to admit that.

I can admit I don’t know, finally, but it triggers something in me where I usually wind up crying because I feel “stupid” & I assume that others think I’m stupid, & I often wind up trying to figure things out in my own, because it’s embarrassing for me to cry in front of people.

  
And for the people who may be reading this who HAVE helped & supported me because I asked for help might be thinking: she asks me/us for help all the time…

It’s because I trust you.

To not judge me as hardly as I do myself.

  
And because it’s safe to cry in front of you.

Because that happens easily & a lot lately & that’s hard to be seen crying but maybe you didn’t know that.

  
Things are changing. They are always changing. And this is a change-place in my life, so I need to do things differently.

I want to be more open & do the things I’ve been wanting to do & putting off.

  
Time is fleeting. It just goes.

And for the people who have followed this blog, even when it’s simply been the good morning view out the west window

Which offers subtle, and not-very-breathtaking views of the sky & slow-change of tree, thank you.

  
It has also been a location device, as well, given my nomadic nature with the house sitting.

& for my paranoid self that worries about nobody knowing where I am sometimes.

  
My bird-way of saying: I’m here! I’m here!

  I’m going back to school.

I’m going to take out a loan.

I need to purchase a computer & learn how to navigate my way on it.

I’m going to need to ask for help & support to do this.

It’s probably going to kick up whatever shame that triggers tears & fears & i’m just going to have to keep on walking with a handkerchief & a puffy face.

  
It’s easy to give up.

But I want to try this new way, for me, of a long-term-goal which could be of benefit to others & to myself, for years to come, if I happen to live to years-to-come.

  
So thank you, salted banana friends & followers, for being interested & for reading or looking, for caring & to the fellow bloggers who share their world (inner & outer) – a deep bow to you.

You’ve enriched my life & buoyed my spirits through this past year.

  
Thank you & good morning.


Friday photos from N&C farm, and thinking about ANWR.

It felt good to get back to work at the farm yesterday

The leaves have unfurled & there was a nice rain in the evening 

A new high tunnel is under construction, which will allow the plastic to be removed from the Cathedral – giving the elements of Sun, Rain, & Air the chance to work their gifts in clearing & breathing the soil which has been under cover for 5 years

  
Bean seeding day!

These are Romano beans, and I was to use up the rest of them 

  
12 trays in all

  
Then another variety, purple, called Amethyst

  
Pardon me while I marvel once again at the beauty & diversity of bean seeds…

Swoon

  

In they go!

Chioggia Beets, & a New Zealand Spinach variety were also seeded.

Then onto a few herb & flower transplants

  
Rosemary

  
With the help from Sebastian

  
Bob grows many varieties of Peppers, & does the transplanting of those to be absolutely sure he’s sure that the hot & sweet types are clearly marked

 
These piles of markers were assembled during a conversation with one of the on-farm interns

I didn’t notice their construction, as I was filling trays & my eyes were focused on my hands’ actions

But it was a delightful surprise to find later – simple creations of beauty

  
Across the road, Bob set to applying composted manure to some beds awaiting 3 varieties of Kale

  
The hens were moved there to work up a site for future planting

 
(Feel free to add your favorite Why did the chicken cross the road? joke in the comment section…)

 Yesterday evening, as I drove home with the radio tuned into the local, independent station

I heard about the go-ahead to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

If nothing else, please scroll down & read the Wikipedia section on Opposing Views and the position of the Native Alaskan Tribes.

(The fact that I was driving my car at the time was not lost on me…)

*sigh*

  
The ANWR was what I woke up with in my mind.

The Porcupine Caribou calving grounds are there

People are still thinking they are not of this place

  
Why else would such a go-ahead be made?

 
What would the whales say, if we could ask them…?

  

They see the world in a different way from us humans

We humans think we know what’s best

  

But I’m not so sure of that

What if the Caribou could be asked 

And the Native Treaties honored

I think a lot of things, like most humans do…

  
I donate money to the NRDC, with the hope that they can do something to protect this place, our place, this Us-thing-place we call Earth

But donating money isn’t enough, & I don’t donate a ton of money either.

(After meeting someone who worked in a non-profit that often went to court, she said that even $5 helps pay for transportation…)

  
How does one really stop a tide of greed & shortsightedness & a massive corporation like Shell from doing something…?

What if the guide was truly: what is for the benefit of ALL beings…?


dear Sporty dude bro.

I went for a long walk this evening

Trying to find a tree similar to one I saw this afternoon up in Oswego, NY

  
During my more-than-one-hour walk tonight, though passing at least 30 people, no words were exchanged.

The solitude was nice.

There was a sweet moment of acknowledgement between myself & a father walking with his young son – as we passed in opposite directions, the child said something funny & I laughed & so did the father 

3 seconds of eyes meeting & that was all.

Felt good to just settle into movement & senses

  
I mention all of this

Because not five minutes into a walk on a cliff overlooking Lake Ontario this afternoon

I hear a man’s voice asking me a question as I’m looking closer at a tombstone 

“Did you just take a picture of that tombstone?”  
So I stand up & turn around

And say: yes

  
Dear sporty dude bro on a bicycle,

My short answer to your question is my polite attempt to let you know that I’m not interested in having a conversation.

“Did you know him”

No.

My short answer to your other question is my second attempt to let you know that I’m not interested in having a conversation.

All due respect to local traditions, but my backing away from you is a not-so-polite way to let you know that I’m seriously not interested in hearing more about you and your friend sleeping on a grave of one of the soldiers buried here.

And then, “do you speak English?”

Yes (still backing away)

Thankfully, he then pedaled on his way  
*sigh*

And then

*whew*

I wanted to feel the water of this Great Lake

Wanted to see it’s natural rock line

But there was fencing

  
Dude bro was gone, & no one was around, AND there was a hole cut in the fence

So I crawled through it

(This is the view on the narrow strip of land between the lake & the fence, aforementioned cemetery just beyond)

  
I didn’t go down to the water

There was a steep slope of that same crushed stone used under the railroad ties

I didn’t dare not being able to scramble back up, OR being caught

I didn’t stay long

Just long enough to hear the waves 

The smell of creosote was strong from the new railroad ties

  
So again through the hole in the fence to be with great-great-great grand ancient tree for awhile

(Backpack set there to show scale)

It must have witnessed so much in its long lifetime

  
If anyone recognizes this bud/blossom, please let me know.

There were many scattered about under the canopy & it’s kinda sticky.

I had to get back home, otherwise I would have tried to find a shoreline with public access.

Perhaps another time.

So here’s a gratuitous image of Genuine kitty in her cozy new sleeping spot

 (Thank you, Jean, for the photo!)

Wishing all a peaceful night.

Blessings on the Ancients.


late night ramble on farmish things, emotions-n-stuff, grumps about humans, & the joy of cats.

This past Sunday was the first harvest day at Nook & Cranny

  
Greens, greens, greens 

Spinach, lettuce mix, broccoli raab, arugula, & mustard greens

All from the three smaller hoop houses

  
(And eggs from the many hens)

  
While harvest went throughout the morning into the early afternoon, I seeded & transplanted in the greenhouse

   
 

Basil coming up nicely… 

 

It was a bit overcast & chilly outside, but cozy inside the greenhouse

Soon it will be too warm for me in there & so I’ll do the seeding outside

  
This was from the past Friday when it snowed a bit

The farm slowly is unfolding it’s shape as each new bed is tilled & planted

(I didn’t take many photos again, because there were 25 trays to seed, others to move, & 100 eggplant plants to be transplanted)

Say that three times fast:

…Eggplant plants to be transplanted…

  

(Thankfully this photo was NOT taken at the farm)

Sweet earthy groundhog looking for its breakfast this morning

  
I went across the road to where my garlic was planted to see if it was coming up… And it is!

  
Hello! 

 

Here’s the lovely nearby pond

(From the evening before)

Showing water’s amazing reflective capacity

  
I’ve been marveling at water lately.

It can be a mirror at times, clear at times, and obscuring at times.

And sometimes all at the same time! …depending on ones position relative to the body of water

 
(A vernal pond from last month after a freeze)

I was recently on a walk & passed a parent & child walking in the opposite direction

We were all passing a (thawed) vernal pond at the same time

I overheard the child say “ewwww that water is gross” & then the parent agreed with that sentiment…

I felt saddened by what had just transpired… In my view, it was a missed opportunity to open a narrow opinion

Vernal ponds are teeming with life… Frogs & peepers & insects…

*sigh*

  
But I guess I get sad easily.

I feel sad when great trees are cut down, even if they could pose a threat 

  
Critter activity!

  
I don’t know what was going on today in the world, but it seemed that many people were driving aggressively.

Ultimate example:

I was driving past an elementary school (where the limit drops from 45 to 35 during school hours) and a sporty sports car passed me, crossing a double yellow line.

OMG people…?!?!

What is all the hurry about?

Could we all try to slow down a little bit…?!?

  
Thank goodness for Izzy.

(Thank you Jenny, for the photo)

Nighty night all.


Remembering reminders after forgetting.

I forgot to relate to my suffering with curiosity.



I don’t even think it was a matter of forgetting, because to forget, one has to remember, or have some sense of mind-awareness of it in the first place.

So I guess I wasn’t forgetting, but merely embroiled in a cloud of an internal swirling mix of thoughts, projections, worrying, misperceptions, feelings, & emotions.

Sounds like fun, no?



(Raise your hand if anyone out there feels things really deeply)

O hiiiiiiii!



Stop, & pause & breathe.

I forget to stop. To stop & breathe & just feel, notice, be curious about what is happening inside & outside.

Curiosity out the window

I need to invite curiosity to be my pocket roommate & constant intimate companion.



There is a kind of gentleness which comes automatically when I turn towards the critters & the wild things of this world



Even the weather outside receives the open attention & wonder



This mind sometimes not so different from a box of potatoes gone growing…



Um….

Interesting, lovely, amazing even – the will & intelligence of the potato

(Hello Compost)

This quality of attention rarely gets turned around

But that needs to change.



Meditation practice has helped yes

And I need to continue with sitting practice, & to not only read the Dharma –

(Thank you Pema for your practice & writing. thank you Margie for reminding me to re-read When Things Fall Apart, & thank you Mielle for sending me the book in 2009)

– but I seem to require listening to the Dharma as well.

http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/315/23234.html



It’s like a returning, a remembering, a face-palm “o yes, THIS! I forgot!”



I’ve been avoiding listening to Dharma talks, because for a while the talks just triggered the thinking about someone who (relatively) recently broke up with me & so I just stopped listening to avoid that trigger.

But it’s my medicine.

My medicine.

And since I’m not in a Dharma community, it’s up to me to surround myself with whatever medicine helps tend to this mind.



Seeding helps, working with plants helps 

Listening to the Dharma helps…

Making art…



Taking photos, noticing beauty in & of the world





Today is a new day

To practice, to remind myself, to remember when I forget

& to practice the kinder attention.



Gratuitous photo of Genuine, enjoying her grass

(Thank you, Jean, for the photo!)



May you remember the feeling of kindness as your experience of this day unfolds.


Good morning from Cayuga Lake, signs of deer, & bewilderment.

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Last night before bed, I was reading

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& was struck by a particular passage

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I was struck by how this gold that made the wasichus (white people) crazy seems no different from how people are making choices today

Earlier in the day
I saw an article about the George Washington National Forest

(I’m going to overlook the irony that it happens to be named after George Washington, because before he even took in his first breath on this continent, that forest was alive & well & had its own name)

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I find myself bewildered.

Is there a ban on fracking?
Or will be fracking in this forest?
I need to read slower, each article.

And bewildered by the choices some of us humans make

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This morning, again there were signs of deer browsing

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Tracks & scat & urine

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I have heard people bemoan the deer
Their appetite for greens & shrub tips

I too have grumbled as my kale was munched to a nub once when the electric deer fence wasn’t turned on one night

But they were here long before me

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The beautiful wild animals without opposable thumbs were here long before

And this morning I remember the forecast of species loss – 50%

And I know
I KNOW
We can make different choices for our humanselves
Which will cause a more beneficial ripple into this/our world

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As above, so below

I stand with Black Elk
“…but my people did not want the road. It would scare the bison & make them go away…”

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