And it’s all good.
The best time will be summer, when the vines are loaded with tomatoes and beans and peas and, hopefully, the couple of exotic edibles, the seeds of which I planted in March and the seedlings of which I planted today: peach/mango/melon and cucamelon.
With my bum knees precluding any dancing or even minor walking, gardening seems to be the best exercise for me, and I, along with the rest of the family worked up a good sweat today — they tilling and enriching the garden soil and planting some seeds; I tinkering with the little shade garden plots and tending my seedlings. The little orange birdhouse (upper right of photo, below) that my daughter made last year from scrap pieces of wood in the cellar, has just been taken over by a pair of Carolina Wrens.
The Northeast is a marvel-filled place to live this time of year.
I took the photos with my new LG Optimus G Pro from AT&T. I figured I’d treat myself with the money I’m saving by not having to buy cat food and litter any more — and also not having the expense of dance/exercise classes because of my bum knees. One door closes, another door opens.
Becoming an old woman has been a sexually liberating experience for me. It has given me, among other things, a great ability to love generously, since I am not impelled to act out that love.
Go and read all of it. It’s a wondrous reminder to both young and old, about how healthy sexuality evolves.
Can you feel it? That big downhill slide we’re on?
Pipe lines wrecking the rain forest, fracking wrecking the water, greenhouse gases wrecking the weather. The “big picture” is all wreck [sic] and ruin.
My way of coping with that awareness is usually by focusing on my own little picture. And blogging about it — grandsons and gardens, nostalgia and nuisances.
But when it comes to the way, across the globe, that women are treated, portrayed, denied, discouraged, wrecked and ruined, I take it personally, especially since I remember the early days of our feminist struggle, when so many of us joined with each other, and with wise and willing male supporters, to push back against a sexist system set to designate who we were and are and could or couldn’t be.
If you think it’s any better these days, all you have to do is look and listen to know that you are wrong. Cultural attitudes. in general, and the attitudes of many males, in particular, have become even more misogynistic.
NPR’s article about the Amanda Knox case points up one aspect of this rampant “cultural sexism.”
If Amanda Knox had been Andrew Knox, the breathless and prolonged excitement around his sex life would be greatly diminished, or absent altogether. If Amanda had been Andrew, he wouldn’t have been labeled “a sex-mad flatmate” in the media.
No, just in last Sunday’s New York Times, the “veritable drumbeat of sexual shaming” heaped on Amanda Knox amounts to sexism run rampant.
While we should have already evolved way beyond the gender roles that our early progenitors adopted as necessary for survival (see NPR article linked above), the attitudes and behaviors of too many young males indicate that the opposite is happening. As a culture, we are not only backsliding; we are slipping into a subversive hatred of women that is triggering both vocal and physical violence against females.
Voicing the young, strong, liberated, and angry perspective of women who refuse to let sexist male attitudes intimidate, suppress, and repress their sexuality is Lindy West’s article in Jezebel entitled Female “Purity” is Bullshit.
Girls and women, if no one has ever told you this before, or if you just have trouble believing it: you are good, you are whole, you are yours. You do not exist to please men, and your value as a human being is not contingent upon your sexual capital. “Purity” is a lie. Do not even worry about any of this garbage, because it’s about as real as a fucking unicorn. And like my Nana always used to say, “Never take life advice from a grown man who believes that unicorns are ‘extinct.’”
And this “good girl” shit isn’t just limited to odious ding-dongs like dude-who-doesn’t-know-the-difference-between-extinct-and-fucking-mythological. I know plenty of progressive, liberal, adult men who openly say they’re looking for a “good girl”—who prioritize some paternalistic illusion of “self-respect” over personality and chemistry. And to those dudes, I say, HOW DO YOU NOT SEE HOW CREEPY THIS IS. Can you imagine if women went around saying they were just looking for a “good boy” and sometimes they “jokingly” scout kindergartens for promising baby virgins?!?!?! Groooooooooss!!!!!
West’s article is a hoot and holler to read. It is raw. And truthful. And angering. It is the way it is but shouldn’t be.
I don’t know how the bad attitudes of misogynist males can be changed. I don’t know how to prevent their younger brothers from becoming just like them. Is there a warped Y chromosome or strain of testosterone that is being unknowingly spread to each generation of males? Is it something in the water? Is it something that we should put in the water?
I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that there needs to be more females refusing to put up with stupid men’s bullshit.
Really, I can’t find my set of keys that hold, not only my car and house keys, but all of those little tags they give you with bar codes that give you special privileges — like discounts at the food market, drugstore, and gas station. It also had my library card on the ring. And a tag that gives my phone number in case the keys are found.
Since I haven’t gotten any calls, I assume that the keys are somewhere in the house. I keep looking. For all I know, they fell into the trash at some point.
There is a place to hang our rings of keys right by the front door when we come in. But I forget to do that.
When I was my mother’s caregiver, and dementia caused her to hide stuff all over the place, I bought a set of key finders and attached them to her keys and her wallet. I would press the remote and the beeping would lead me to the lost article — sometimes tucked in the corner of her pillow case, sometimes in a purse at the bottom of her closet, sometimes under the mattress. Once in the refrigerator.
So I just bought a set of key finders for myself and attached one to my spare set of keys. But I don’t have all of those tags, and now I have to replace them all. I have one “key” finder that can be stuck to the back of something like the tv remote. I think I’ll stick on the back of my iPhone, since that’s the other thing I keep misplacing.
It’s bad enough that, more and more often, I can’t find the word I want to complete my thought. Now it’s my keys that get lost. What’s next? Me?
I enjoy reading mystery novels. Even more if the main character is a female. Even more if the plot involves some kind of “headology” — that intriguing mish-mash of psychology and shamanism, magic and wishing. (Granny Weatherwax is what I consider to be the model for practicing headology, but I’ve posted about her before and that’s off the topic of this post.)
I am thinking about niches and headology (two rarely connected topics) because I just finished the novel Night Angel, which applies various kinds of headologies to the process solving a murder mystery that involves a group of former 1960 Haight-Ashbury roommates.
I never lived that hippie life except in occasional free-flowing fantasies that I knew would probably not be as satisfying if played out in reality. But that didn’t stop me from fantasizing.
In the 1960s, I was married with children and living in a rural suburbia; I believed that had I not been living the responsible life, I might have been on some Magical Mystery Tour of my own, taking the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. But I never even had a puff of pot back then. (Oh wait, yes, once, when a cousin who was married to a prison guard gave me a joint to try. Never having even learned how to smoke a cigarette, it was a failed secret experiment for me.)
If housewifery was not my niche, neither was hippiedom. Decades went by without the feeling that I had finally found where I was supposed to be in the world. I simply made the best of wherever I found myself. I guess that I am still doing that.
I look back and see myself as sort of a wife, sort of a mother, sort of a poet, sort of an activist, sort of a bureaucrat, sort of a dancer …. so many sorts, but no real niche, no place of grounding.
Maybe I found this Night Angel novel intriguing because each character seemed to have his or her own consistent niche.
My late once-husband had a very definite niche: He was a writer. He once said to me that everything else was just sawdust. He lived to write. He had found his niche.
Alongside my new La-Z-boy recliner is a box with 700+ pages of a typewritten novel of his that our son is self-publishing for him posthumously. It will be available soon to the public.
I want to read it because he often wrote with a strong sense of the power of headology, and his female characters were always forces of nature. But at the moment there is something in me that is envious of his niche — resentful, even. His niche has manifested into legacies that will go on without him.
You need a niche to leave a legacy.
I never found my niche.
Unless it’s late night blogging.
This afternoon, as the kid from next door sat on our front steps playing Mine Craft on his iPod, my grandson stood nearby, tracking the flight of our resident red-tailed hawk. Suddenly the hawk loosed a feather, and my grandson watched as it caught on a tree branch, and then let go, and finally landed in his waiting hand. He ran into the house shouting that he caught a hawk’s feather, wanting to share this miracle with the world.
Two kids, roughly the same age. One is home schooled. Easy guess, which one.
So, you could say that my grandson, Lex, received a message from his totem animal. Such is the spirit mystery of the natural world.
While the rest of the family is planning and preparing their vegetable garden on the more fertile side of the property, I have commandeered the side of the yard where the pervasive roots of the ancient maple that was destroyed during the Snowpacalypse two winters ago make it impossible to till soil or grow anything. Poppies have already spouted in the main stump container, and my mini calla lilies that spent the winter in the cellar are generating buds under the soil of the other.
I emptied the shed of all of the big pots and have begun a kind of container garden that will include herbs, flowers, and all kinds of tomatoes. And garlic. Lots of garlic. The pots are lined up along the nearby fence, which gets sun all afternoon. The soil there is not great, but hostas and wild violets seem to be happy there. I planted three sunflower seedlings and some Creeping Jenny and have lined up the pots, some of which already contain herb and flower seedlings. It is not yet the configuration I want; I will have a better sense of the aesthetics as the bloomings emerge.
In a month or so, it will be fun to compare this photo with one that boasts a more colorful and thriving container garden. There will be some re-arranging and adding to. My projects, be they gardening or knitting or sewing always seem to be continuous ones until something out of my control puts an end to them. Sort of like everything in my life. Circles. Now, there’s a metaphor.
I’ve been looking for some kind of statuary around which to focus the container garden. For the moment, I’m using a cairn that I found (oddly enough) at Home Goods. We already have a Buddha in a little meditation spot in a shady part of the yard.
It’s one of those nights when my body can’t lie still. So it’s a good time to try out blogging from my new phone pad — lying in bed, Simon and Garfunkel playing in the background because I’m feeling nostalgic for a time that I romanticized even more then than I do now.
It’s too slow going on this flat screen keyboard. If I’m going to do this I’m going to have to get a little keyboard.
I’m wondering what ever happened to Art Garfunkle.
This is a test.
I’ll admit that I am writing this because there’s a contest at nerdwallet.com. I don’t know whether my suggestion falls under “service” or “purchase.” I would think both.
I can’t imagine any mother who would not just swoon at the thought of getting a chair massage. Whether you’re a young mom hauling around a baby or toddler, a typical mom keeping up with household chores while also (or not) holding down a job, or an empty nester still carrying around the weight of family cares, your shoulders and upper back can always use some TLC.
Even an enterprising offspring might have a little trouble tracking down a place to get his/her mom that 20 minutes of nirvana, but it can be done. Fitness centers, spas, and Senior Centers sometimes offer them. Sometimes massage therapist offices do. You have to call around. But it’s worth every minute and every dollar spent.
I am lucky. My neighbor, a massage therapist, does them in her home. I think I’ll give myself one for mother’s day.