Category Archives: General Interest

Entering the leftist ideological realm

Last night I started a new book and it pained me to spend money on this – COVID-19: The Great Reset by Klaus Schwab. I also bought the follow-up – The Great Narrative (The Great Reset Part Two). I ordered kindle versions, because they were cheaper and I don’t care about having hard copies of these in my book collection. I bought them because I have heard Schwab’s name tossed around right-wing media and social media with ominous warnings about “The Great Reset,” but I want to try to understand the ideas and ways they intend to structure this remaking of the post-Covid world. Hearing alarming phrases tossed about doesn’t really provide any understanding of what ideas underpin this Great Reset plan or their umbrella of policy proposals to reorder the global system, so I want to get a better understanding myself.

What prompted me to read Schwab’s books is with the populist backlash by the farmers in the Netherlands and seeing how quickly that populist anger is spreading to Germany, Poland and even Italy now, well, it’s bound to come here to America too – probably sooner rather than later. In fact, it was set to explode earlier this year following Canada’s efforts to crackdown on the trucker’s protests and both Trudeau and Biden enacting Covid policies targeting truckers who cross the US-Canada border. What interrupted the US trucker protests was Russia invaded Ukraine and then all eyes pivoted to that hotspot. Despite that short reprieve, I expect protests like what happened in Canada earlier this year and what’s happening in Europe now to hit US shores soon too.

After reading only a small portion of Schwab’s book, it’s obvious to me he takes a systems analysis approach and I like studying systems too. Before Schwab coined this “The Great Reset,” globalists have been tossing these sorts of ideas among the elites, like the Davos crowd and in ivy-league academic circles for decades. Giving old globalist ideas a fresh look with bright new terminology and catchy phrases doesn’t ever really change the globalist structure underneath, so I’m expecting a lot of the same old globalist ideas gussied up in shiny new terminology. I presume the second part is the narrative that’s being proposed to sell “the great reset” ideas and policies.

On my blog I’ve written about the spin information war for years and it seems obvious that the spin information war is going to remain, not only the American partisan political battlefield, but the main battlefield for the larger global ideological war. I expect many efforts to silence voices opposed to the globalist agenda (the green agenda is a huge front of the globalist agenda), to target and try to silence right-wing and more populist voices in America. I expect populist sentiments will intensify as ordinary people feel their livelihoods threatened and the pain of economic turmoil spiraling out of control threatens more people’s daily lives.

The liberal (mainstream) media has been avoiding giving a lot of attention to the Dutch farmers protesting, while they’re trying to fuel anger about Roe being overturned and hyping the J-6 committee hearings. No one in the liberal media is asking why on earth the Dutch government decided to limit farm production, ostensibly to meet environmental goals, with the war in Ukraine impacting the global food supply and the UN warning of catastrophic food shortages this fall. Why would the Dutch government try to limit food production with a massive global food shortage projected in just a couple months?

This is similar to President Biden releasing oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, supposedly to lower soaring US gas prices, but then selling millions of barrels of that oil overseas, even to China. Biden has jeopardized American national security by putting our reserves at such a low level and limiting fossil fuel production at the same time.

Nothing makes sense.

Nothing has made sense with how Biden and European leaders have handled the war in Ukraine either. While railing about Russian aggression and Putin’s villainy, European leaders and Biden imposed all sorts of sanction against Russia, but they were still buying massive amounts of natural gas and oil from Russia. At this point the entire Ukraine war effort seems more like a theatrical production by the West and not a serious effort to stop Putin. I suspect Biden and most European leaders would happily bargain away sections of Ukraine, cut a deal with Putin and keep buying Russian gas and oil, all while blathering on about how serious the Russian threat is. The hypocrisy and dishonesty of the Biden administration is breathtaking.

If I learn anything interesting reading these Schwab books, I’ll share it in a blog post. Wish me luck as I plod into the leftist ideological realm… a place I always find oppressive, dystopian and filled with ideas on how to crush individual liberty.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics

The Biden oil spill just spread

There’s a Washington Free Beacon article today, Biden Sold a Million Barrels From US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China-Owned Gas Giant, that made me wonder where on earth the liberal mainstream media is. They aren’t reporting on the Biden administration sending oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve overseas – to our adversaries.

“Biden’s Energy Department in April announced the sale of 950,000 Strategic Petroleum Reserve barrels to Unipec, the trading arm of the China Petrochemical Corporation. That company, which is commonly known as Sinopec, is wholly owned by the Chinese government. The Biden administration claimed the move would “address the pain Americans are feeling at the pump” and “help lower energy costs.” More than five million barrels of oil released from the U.S. emergency reserves, however, were sent overseas last month, according to a Wednesday Reuters report. At least one shipment of American crude went to China, the report said.”

Surprise, surprise, the article goes on to state that Hunter Biden has ties to Sinopec: : “In 2015, a private equity firm he cofounded bought a $1.7 billion stake in Sinopec Marketing. Sinopec went on to enter negotiations to purchase Gazprom in March, one month after the Biden administration sanctioned the Russian gas giant.” The corruption with this is so grotesque and unconscionable, considering millions of Americans are struggling to pay these high gas prices and rapidly climbing inflation at the grocery store. This is wholesale public corruption that demands an investigation.

The liberal media instead is gearing up for a J-6 committee hearing that’s being scheduled for prime time. There’s not even any facade of being objective reporters among the liberal media anymore – they are just part of the Democratic Party communications operation.

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Filed under General Interest, Public Corruption

Dutch farmers protests and the green push

This is going to be a short post.

Dutch farmers continue to protest the government’s new laws that limit nitrogen emissions and allow the government to confiscate farmland. There have been reports that Dutch fishermen have joined the Dutch farmers protest and that German farmers are supporting the Dutch farmers protest.

This has echoes of the Canadian overreach with forcing vaccines on truckers and the ensuing truckers protests.

While events that happen in unstable countries like Sri Lanka aren’t a good indicator about what might happen here in the US, events happening in Europe, Canada, Australia are good indicators, I think.

The Netherlands is the #2 agricultural exporter in the world, so their government trying to limit food production at the same time the UN is warning about massive global food shortages begs the question of why now? Why would the Dutch government try to limit food production to push the green agenda?

There’s a lot of speculation within the right-wing online sphere that this Dutch government action is part of a global green energy plan to deliberately create shortages and force people to consume less. Strange things are happening with the green movement and the global elites who are pushing all of the green agenda, but I don’t have solid information to tie everything floating around the right-wing online echo-chamber in a neat bow. I still have seen no solid evidence connecting the food storage fires in the US and then linking them to a larger plot. One bizarre green agenda thing, in the past few years I’ve come across many articles pushing eating insects as better for the environment than eating meat. I don’t want to eat bugs.

If this sort of unpopular government actions to shut down workers/destroy people’s livelihoods spreads, the potential for massive chaos, civil unrest, economic turmoil, and widespread shortages leading to governments teetering and collapsing, even in the free world, is a real possibility. That could create a tidal wave of global chaos. I hate to sound alarmist, but that’s how I see this situation. After the pandemic government overreaches in the US, Europe, Canada and especially in Australia and New Zealand many people in the free world are fed-up with rules that make no sense and that undermine people’s very ability to work and provide for their families. There’s a real potential for massive populist uprisings in the free world.

It’s worth noting the mainstream liberal media in the US hasn’t rushed to send reporters to the Netherlands to report on the Dutch farmers protesting and their coverage has been very limited. Pay attention to how much the liberal media in America tries not to report on people protesting against green policies and if they start to portray the farmers as terrorists or subversives, like they did with the Canadian truckers.

That’s the post – I definitely encourage everyone to keep preparing, so you have food, water, medicine and supplies stocked up to keep your home running in case shortage situations worsen or there are some other problems. Pay close attention to how things play out in Europe.

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This is absolutely outrageous

President Biden had been releasing oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve and guess what:

Reuters is reporting: Oil from U.S. reserves head overseas as gasoline prices stay high

Here’s the first paragraph:

“HOUSTON, July 5 (Reuters) – More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency oil reserves release aimed at lowering domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices touched record highs.”

Just let that sink in. Oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve is being shipped overseas, while American are struggling with soaring prices at the pump.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics

Sowing seeds of liberty

Tomorrow is the 4th of July in America.

When I was a a kid, in school I was fascinated by history, geography and stories. Something that was missing in how I learned history, I think, is a common gap in how many kids learn history. History was taught by focusing on big personalities and big events in history and often within the framework of the big events, there’d be some sort of sequential timeline for those big events, but then we’d move on to some other big personality and some other big event.

I was missing a big picture timeline in how I was learning history in school. Many parents purchased a set of encyclopedias when I was a kid. My parents bought the 1972 set of World Book Encyclopedia, which I now have. Having this set allowed me to look up all sorts of things and to begin piecing together larger spans of history and try to figure out how previous events led to the current big event I was learning about. It’s important to understand the background of how we got to events rather than just jumping from loud sound bite to loud sound bite.

In 1976 Americans celebrated America’s bicentennial and our country was awash in information and popular entertainment centered on America’s founding. I began reading more to try to understand a longer timeline of American history However, it wasn’t until many years later when I read through the first volume of John Marshall’s five volume set of The Life of George Washington, that I really felt like I had a better understanding of the timeline of how America’s Independence Day came about. John Marshall was the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Here’s a paragraph from the preface at the free site that explains:

“Many events too are unnoticed, which in such a composition would be worthy of being introduced, and much useful information has not been sought for, which a professed history of America ought to comprise. Yet the history of general Washington, during his military command and civil administration, is so much that of his country, that the work appeared to the author to be most sensibly incomplete and unsatisfactory, while unaccompanied by such a narrative of the principal events preceding our revolutionary war, as would make the reader acquainted with the genius, character, and resources of the people about to engage in that memorable contest. This appeared the more necessary as that period of our history is but little known to ourselves. Several writers have detailed very minutely the affairs of a particular colony, but the desideratum is a composition which shall present in one connected view, the transactions of all those colonies which now form the United States.”

Once I read through Marshall’s volume 1, all sorts of things I’d learned in school and read about early American history made more sense and more pieces of history fell into place for me. Rather than a big event here or a big event there, the American story became a much larger story with lots of chapters.

The bigger takeaway is the American colonies were filled with people who adapted not only their daily lives to survive in a harsh and unforgiving new land, but they were people who experimented with differing types of social organization and governance.

This 4th of July, our country is going through a period of growing divisions and global economic storms beginning to hit land here too. Many Americans are understandably concerned about the near future, like how expensive will gas be in a few weeks, let alone a few months or how bad will food shortages get this fall, or how on earth to afford heating oil this winter.

I’m still optimistic for America’s future, because everywhere I’ve ever gone in America, I’ve met innovative and creative people. I’ve lived around the Army community since 1979, even now I live in a town by a large US Army post and most of my neighbors are retired military or active duty military, from all over the country. Even though some may vote D and some may vote R, at their core, I know they put being American first. This same American spirit still thrives in rural America, in small towns, and although I try to avoid large cities as much as possible, I suspect there must be some glimmers of that American spirit there too.

The American experience didn’t start in 1776, it started in the late 1400s. Shortly, after Columbus’s voyage to the New World, in 1497, John Cabot, sailed out of Bristol, England and headed to North America too.

We live in a world where information travels around the globe in the blink of an eye and it’s easy to feel unsettled with so many dire events hitting us faster than raindrops in a strong storm, but if we slow down, take a deep breath, and just ponder how many lifetimes were spent since 1776 building our great country, defending our great country, and persevering against what has to seem insurmountable odds, I still believe there are enough Americans, who will pull together when the going gets very tough.

Many children, especially little girls, have loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie children’s book series, based on her childhood in the late 1800s, as her family moved to the Midwest amid the great American expansion westward and struggled to homestead in a harsh and unfamiliar land.

Wilder wrote those books during the Great Depression and facing serious family financial hardships, Wilder’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who had left home in her late teens and had worked tirelessly to become one of the highest paid female journalists of her era, encouraged her mother to write these stories and then she worked to get her mother’s stories published. There’s some dispute about how much editing and rewriting Lane did, but the stories themselves are definitely based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood.

Wilder had struggled throughout her adult life dealing with failed farming efforts, moving, and her husband being disabled from side effects from diphtheria. When they settled on their farm in MO in 1894, it took 20 years for them to turn that farm into a profitable dairy and fruit farm. Along with the farm to work, Wilder spent decades writing a column for a farm journal.

There were no overnight success stories involved with anything Laura Ingalls Wilder did – she worked tirelessly for years, as did her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Even the Little House series started with Lane trying to get her mother’s stories published as adult novels, but after numerous rejections and advice to rewrite the stories as children’s stories, the first Little House book was published in 1932. This book series reversed the financial fortunes of both Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane, who had both been wiped out financially in the 1929 stock market crash. After the Little House success Lane wrote some very successful novels themed on homesteading in the Midwest during the late 1800s too.

Lane later went on to write books on politics and became a thought leader within the libertarian movement. Her work Discovery of Freedom is brimming with optimism for American liberty. Along with her journalism and writing career, Rose Wilder Lane was an expert needlewoman. In 1963, Woman’s Day published the Woman’s Day Book of American Needlework, with the narrative written by Rose Wilder Lane. It’s not just a how-to guide of various needlework techniques with some dry historical tidbits, but a unique soaring narrative about the American spirit and American liberty.

Writing about patchwork quilting Lane wrote:

“Poverty came across the ocean with the immigrants. Here on the farthest rim of the known world, it became direst need. The smallest scrap of cloth was precious to a woman who could have no more cloth until the trees were cut and burned, the land spaded and sown to flax or to grass for sheep, then next year the wool sheared, washed, combed, carded and spun into flax pulled and carefully rippled, retted, dried, beetled, scutched, heckled, spun, and at last the loom made, the warp threaded, the shuttles wound and the cloth woven.” (p. 14)

“In the wilderness thousands of miles from home, depending only upon themselves for their very lives, these poor immigrants learned the inescapable fact that a person is the only source of the only energy that preserves human life on this planet. With their minds and hands they made houses, they produced food, they wove cloth and built towns, and each ceased to think of himself as a bit of a class in a nation. They knew that each one was creating a neighborhood, the town, the colony.” (p.14)

“To women who knew this, every precious scrap of cloth had a new meaning; they thought of what the small pieces, together, could make. And they began to make a pattern of them.” (p.14)

American patchwork quilting broke the rules of English quilting, with new patterns, like the Log Cabin, Bear’s Paw, Tomahawk, etc.

That brings us to something to think about this 4th of July. Lane commented that for more than a century students of folk art admired the Old World’s peasant crafts and she wrote, “Only recently have curators of American museums seen American needlework. Yet in 1776 its spirit of freedom was nearly two centuries old.” (p.14)

With our current economic situation many Americans are learning about how people survived the Great Depression and WWII ration meals, but the American timeline of struggling is much longer and filled with mostly forgotten stories of the daily toils and struggles of brave and stalwart people who dared to set forth in wild unknown lands to be free. That is our America heritage, that we should occasionally think about a bit. Those seeds of liberty came to America with the first settlers and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to continue to sow them and tend to them all across this great land.

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Filed under American Character, American History, General Interest

A different potato salad recipe

My family loves my potato salad, but several years ago I decided to try a new potato salad recipe, that’s completely different than mine. It’s the Barefoot Contessa Old-Fashioned Potato Salad recipe that I found in one of her cookbooks. It’s made with red potatoes and it’s got a lot of chopped fresh dill in it.

When I told my husband and sons that I made a different potato salad recipe they complained about how they love my potato salad and why mess with that. Then they tried this new potato salad… and they loved it. I make mine sometimes and other times I use this Barefoot Contessa recipe. If you’re looking for a different potato salad recipe to try this 4th of July, I recommend giving this one a try. It goes together quickly. Go generous with the chopped fresh dill , because that makes this potato salad absolutely delicious.

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Yikes: “the future of the Liberal World Order”…

Short politics post here:

Tens of thousands of farmers are protesting in the Netherlands about new legislation passed:

“THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Farmers protested around the Netherlands as lawmakers voted Tuesday on proposals to slash emissions of damaging pollutants, a plan that will likely force farmers to cut their livestock herds or stop work altogether.”

This has echoes of the truckers’ protests in Canada last year when prime minister, Justin Trudeau, pushed another global liberal cause – more Covid rules that targeted the livelihood of workers in a vital industry. Trudeau was hellbent on enforcing more and more CVOID restrictions, but now climate change and green policies moved back to center stage for power grabs by the “Liberal World Order.”

Within the climate change activist sphere, the green energy proponents faced a set-back in the US, with yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling limiting the EPA:

” WASHINGTON (AP) — In a blow to the fight against climate change, the Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.”

“By a 6-3 vote, with conservatives in the majority, the court said that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming.”

Of course, if Democrats lose control of the House, Senate or both in the elections this fall, that might lead to America dodging a bullet from having the US Congress passing legislation similar to what’s passed in the Netherlands. However, the Biden administration assuredly will continue their war against American fossil fuel and pushing the green agenda. Here’s a video from yesterday with a top Biden official’s response to a question about families who can’t afford high gas prices:

The Biden administration policies continue to push the global green energy agenda, regardless how much it hurts American families and workers. Although it’s easy to think the green activism has almost a religious fervor to it, I still believe this is all about power and big money. Many very powerful and wealthy people are propelling the green agenda, because they’ll reap billions upon billions of dollars from green energy technologies and policies.

Everything connected with Covid mitigation and the vaccines led to quick power grabs and certain companies and wealthy people making vast amounts of money, at the expense of smaller businesses, who faced shutdowns and all sorts of restrictions. The people pushing these latest green measures will likely use similar tactics with forcing their polices on certain groups of people and certain businesses in various western countries. During Covid, many big corporations working in conjunction with Democrat politicians imposed rules and restrictions on their employees and with their business practices, to advance the Democrats’ policy agenda without Democrats having to pass new legislation or impose new rules. More of this social engineering/stealth imposition of liberal policies by corporations seems likely.

More fun times ahead.

Update: 7/1/2022, 7:51 pm – The “liberal world order” is a phrase that’s been used to describe western democracy, I know. I saw a conservative pundit comment that he didn’t understand the uproar over the Biden official using that phrase. My opinion is there’s a sleight of hand going on with the Biden administration messaging effort. First, a few months ago, Psaki dismissively suggested Americans just need to buy electric cars when gas prices started climbing rapidly, then the Biden WH floated “Putin’s inflation” and trying to scapegoating oil companies as being unpatriotic for high gas prices. All the while the US and a whole lot of western Europe was still buying Russian oil and natural gas. Here’s a NYT report from June 13th – Russia’s Oil Revenue Soars Despite Sanctions, Study Finds. The legislation in the Netherlands is about the green agenda, not Russia or the war in Ukraine. Likewise, the Biden policies regarding American fossil fuel production are about the green agenda. Biden officials have been traveling to countries, like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, whose values run counter to the “future of the Liberal World Order,” trying to buy oil from them and the US is still buying Russian oil. I believe the “liberal world order” the Biden administration is concerned with is the global green energy policies and ideas coming out of the EU and Brussels, not liberal western democracy.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics

Harder struggles

Watermelons are growing.

Wherever you’re at on your life’s journey, the truth is everyone’s path takes twists and turns that are a little bit different than everyone else’s. Everyone learns different things and forms their own perspective and views. A phone conversation with my youngest daughter this morning got me thinking about how there’s so much blanket advice and how many people become committed to a one-size-fits-all approach in so many areas – even gardening.

I mentioned the watermelons growing in my container garden and my daughter right away reminded me of how when I grew watermelons and cantaloupes in my backyard years ago they got rotten spots on them before they were ready to pick or the bugs got them. I told her I remember all that. That’s why when I posted a picture of the little watermelon the other day, I said I don’t expect much.

I used to plant an in-ground garden. After my melons rotting the first year, in subsequent years I put mulch underneath the melons right when they formed to keep them off the wet soil, with no success. Then I tried trellising the cantaloupes and gave up on watermelons. I had minimal success with growing melons in my backyard, which was GA swampland before they built this residential area.

Our property wasn’t a designated floodplain when we bought our house, but many years later FEMA redid the floodplain map and a small corner of our backyard fell into being part of a designated floodplain. We had to purchase flood insurance, in addition to carrying homeowners insurance. The new designation cost us money, but the reality has always been that the backyard is often very swampy. And yes, my husband put down more top soil and he added a lot of amendments to the garden area, but it didn’t help much.

One of the first things my father told me when my parents first visited our new house was that we would have been better off buying a house up the street, because it’s on higher-ground. Luckily, knock-on-wood, our house has never flooded, but if we get a heavy rain we’ve had our backyard remaining a swampy mess long after the front yard has dried out.

An in-ground garden was a constant struggle in my backyard and even with this container garden effort, I weighed the pros and cons of using weedblock fabric and putting woodchips down to keep the containers out of sitting in mud, if it rains a lot vs. woodchips attracting more insects and voles. We’ve had voles many times in our backyard.

With gardening a lot of people have very strong views about which methods, which seeds ( I buy some heirloom, some hybrid and I don’t care one iota about “non-GMO” truthfully), which products and how to deal with challenges are the right ways and I’m pretty much agnostic. I’m willing to try different things, but I don’t have rigid views on gardening. I’m an amateur gardener and have had more success growing flowers than vegetables, but even with flowers, I’m a realist. My climate and especially my yard isn’t conducive to growing things like tulips or daffodils, so I just buy a small pot at the store to put on my table, if I think I need some tulips in the spring.

I bet some of the backyards in my neighborhood up the street, that are on higher ground, are probably better suited to growing vegetables, but I live here and will make-do with what I’ve got. I’ve been grateful for everything in my container garden that grew this year and produced food. I made 7 pints of dill pickles today.

I’ve seen a lot of debate about back-to-eden/no till/lasagna gardening methods vs. traditional tilling methods or using woven groundcover.

I had an elderly friend give me some Jerry Baker gardening books many years ago, but I never was taken with his home plant concoctions. I did try mixing up one long ago, but when I told my mother about it, she didn’t think much of using that. It didn’t work.

Instead, one of the gardening books I’ve found most useful is a GA Master Gardener’s Handbook I bought for under a dollar at my local Goodwill store many years ago. That handbook has clear information and science-based advice from UGA’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies. UGA has a ton of information specific to my area online. Someone else might be a Jerry Baker adherent or Ruth Stout or think back-to-eden is the best method.

I did buy the Patricia Lanza book on lasagna gardening and a Ruth Stout book, based on a recommendation from a guy who has a YouTube channel about no-till gardening. I’m curious to learn more, but at the same time I’ve seen numerous gardeners and homesteaders who say why these no-till methods didn’t work for them in the Deep South. I am open to trying a small area in my backyard using a no-till method and seeing how it does.

The truth about my backyard is it’s naturally GA swampland and that’s a reality no amount of gardening information and savvy will change, so I’m trying to work with what I’ve got and what I can manage. The container gardening has worked better than in-ground gardening did, but I would like to try a couple raised beds and see how that works.

There’s very productive farmland just a little further inland (my area is considered part of coastal GA) and I used to tell my husband repeatedly that I wished we had bought a house out that way in a more rural area, but at this time here’s where I am and the benefits are medical care is nearby, grocery stores are nearby, friends are nearby and aside from the swampy backyard, I like my house a whole lot.

Next week, I plan to take an elderly friend, who is 85, to Lowe’s so she can look at the flowers and get a new flower arrangement for the table on her front porch. I worked with her for years and she lives nearby. She loves purple and I had gotten a container with purple petunias and some other lighter lavender flowers earlier in the spring, but I told her yesterday, it’s time for some new flowers for her front porch. The heat’s taken a toll on those petunias.

Her mobility has gotten very poor, so she uses a walker even in her house. She keeps telling me how much she’d love to be able to work on planting flowers in her yard, but that’s not possible. Instead, she has a lot of houseplants she tends by pushing her walker around with her watering can on the seat. She loves the flowers on her front porch, which I water for her, but she can’t safely work in her yard. I’ve been telling her about my container garden challenges and she told me for years she kept buying ferns for her front porch, which gets full-sun most of the day, and no matter what she did they died. I told her ferns love my front porch, because it gets a lot of shade. Sometimes we have to accept that some things we really want to grow where we’re at, aren’t going to thrive there.

I started buying cut flowers for her often and putting them in a vase on her kitchen table rather than putting flowers on my husband’s grave. She loves having a vase of pretty flowers to look at and truthfully, I know my husband would think getting flowers for her makes more sense than putting flowers on his grave. Her remaining son died last summer, a couple months after my husband died and she lives alone. She’s on home hospice care. Whenever you think things are bad, you don’t have to look far to find someone who is facing even harder struggles.

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Filed under Food for Thought, Gardening, General Interest

Being like the water fowl

In my blog post yesterday I mentioned that my little container garden has brought me many hours of pleasure and it’s helped me come to terms with major loss and the loss part is what I want to write about today. No, this isn’t going to be about losing my husband, although that’s been the most crushing loss I’ve experienced in my life.

Being fearful is easy. Putting fear aside takes hard work. I speak from experience. I was an extremely fearful child, to the point “Scared” should have been my middle name. One of my biggest fears, besides the dark, was I was terrified of strangers. It took years and constant encouragement and prodding by my parents to get me past a lot of that. I had to work hard on dealing with my fears and learning to face them. Then I had to learn to not let fear take a hold of me and often that involves not listening to people spreading fear and for me it takes praying and asking God to help me.

Even as I reached adulthood, I was still a very fearful person and overly cautious. My husband helped me learn to face my fears and some of his courage and fearlessness rubbed off on me over 40 years of marriage. He always told me I can do things, while I would list the reasons why I would fail.I wandered around my home many hours each day for almost a year after my husband died last March.

Planting this little container garden hasn’t been some spectacular garden and some people would scoff at the small amounts it’s produced, but for me each seed that sprouted and grew into a plant felt like it was filling a hole in my heart. It felt like God was blessing me with growing things in my backyard and each tiny success gave me enormous hope.

When I was a kid one of the little habits I started when fears started taking hold was to deliberately focus on all the things that were good that were going on around me and all the many blessings all around me. By switching my focus to looking for positive things the bad didn’t disappear, but the good started taking an upper-hand over the bad and the fears. I prefer to focus on working on things I have some control over in my own life and trying to help people where I can. Worrying about global conspiracies, evil elites, even real major system failures with the global economy doesn’t get me anywhere, while looking around my own home, family, neighborhood and focusing on things I can actually do each day moves me in a better direction. What I do might not work for millions of people and it’s likely millions of people won’t agree with my views.

Writing blogs is a trend that’s losing popularity, as social media has moved on to other formats most people now use – video content is way more popular, podcasts are popular too. Instant and quick have large audiences while reading 1,000+ word blog posts is about like reading books – most people don’t want to invest that much time. In fact, even with news, it’s obvious on social media like Twitter that most of the blue checkmark crowd of politicos there react to headlines and don’t read through the articles linked.

Starting this blog was tackling another of my biggest fears. I always loved writing, but I had a lot of fears about writing and letting people read what I wrote. Self-doubt literally crippled me from writing. This blog was like a blank piece of paper that was mine to fill as I chose.

A friend urged me to start this blog and it’s been a whole lot of commentary on politics and current events. Watching the corruption expand in our institutions, from government to media to even things that shouldn’t be political, I’ve found myself becoming less of a right-wing partisan and thinking more in terms of just being an American citizen, as our politics has gone further off the rails in recent years. I don’t want to be part of Red Team America or part of Blue Team America. I just want to find ways to work toward things that matter to me and that I feel are positive for all of America.

I’ve had to catch myself recently with writing commentary on my blog about things I see on social media and disagree with, because I’m not into popularity contests, pissing contests, the clique mind-set or people caught up in their social media “followers” and “subscribers” status (I’ve watched this on Twitter, people on facebook bragging about the number of friends they have and on YouTube – those are the social media formats I’ve used.) And I do find a whole lot of things I see online that I think are fear-mongering for clicks, total bullshit, or the rush to weigh in without doing any fact-checking. It’s not just regular people who have social media formats that do this.

What’s really distressing is how many professional journalists, political pundits, and even political leaders rush to weigh in on every hot button thing that flits across social media too. In the process, trust in the news media and our political class has plummeted. Too much of America feeds on reacting rather than taking some time to think about information, do some fact-checking and then taking a little time to think things over. I write my blog posts for myself, as my space online to write what I think and believe is the truth. I will never monetize my blog and I have no desire to venture into more social media formats. I don’t do public speaking, have never taken a selfie in my life (I found that selfie trend very disturbing when my kids were younger), I don’t do videos and I intend to keep it that way.

I’m also going to be consuming less prepper-related content and less politics content online, because very little of it makes me feel any-better informed. I don’t want to indulge in reacting to the latest hot-take conspiracy theory, dire predictions, or news reporting that is more retweeted crap by journalists that none of them fact-checked. I also don’t want to hear reports that random people send to a content creator that haven’t been verified in any way. I don’t want to lose my peace of mind in living a simple lifestyle and succumb to fear-based shopping or financial decisions or feeling America is doomed based on information that will likely completely change in 10 minutes, an hour and in a day most of the current hot take information will turn out to be totally wrong. Very little of “the facts” in the news that create a buzz online holds up in 24 hours.

Spending more time in my backyard has made me think about many things. I felt a keen loss of quiet time that this little container gardening effort has restored as I’ve spent less time online. In a recent blog post I wrote about my quotes notebook and our retired pastor’s wife when I was a kid. Her nature walk came to mind, because of a loud squabble one recent morning sitting on my patio sipping coffee after I watered my garden. I watched a water fowl (could tell from the legs, feet and size of the bird, even though it was a good distance away). It flew and landed in a tall tree in the woods behind my back fence. That bird created a near riot among the mockingbirds, which flew in from both sides of my backyard and one flew out of the willow tree in my backyard. Those three mockingbirds were squawking loudly as they charged toward that tall tree to chase the water fowl away. It was fascinating to watch those mockingbirds. Often I feel like people act like that too.

The water fowl flew away and the mockingbirds settled down. I’m flying away from some contentious things online too – and moving back to reading more books and writing about some topics besides social media drama, current events, politics and doom and gloom economic news.

I want to write more stories from American history

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Wild ride ahead

Well, time to buckle up for a wild ride ahead in America.

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Filed under General Interest, Politics