In Defiance...Hope in Everyday Ramblings

  • June 29, 2022, 1:14 p.m.
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  • Public

Here is my work in progress. Last year I had leaf miners in the chard and beets and the amazing people at the Oregon State University extension gave me some tips on how to manage them organically. In the end I netted them, which worked well but was a bit of a hassle and not pretty. The other thing they suggested was planting columbines nearby. I tried growing them from seed but learning how to grow healthy starts from seed is still a challenge for me.

I am making progress. This year I have a couple of viable ones. But it is too late in the season for them this year and I was sharing that with Kes recently.

My birthday was the week before last and they had planned to come up and spend part of the day with me but there was a serious crisis with one of Most Honorable’s colleagues who is also a neighbor and they stayed home to address this. Kes felt bad about it all, but I was fine with it and totally understood.

Yesterday she came up alone and she brought me two beautiful big columbines. You can see the blue (purpleish) and white one in the center of the plot. I got it in this morning. I will plant the pink and white one tomorrow.

It is clear with the crazy weather this year (who isn’t having crazy weather?) that I made some fundamental planting mistakes. I now know why most folks don’t grown cauliflower. They get so big! The carrots are going to flower, and I planted the chard and the spinach way too close together. And it was an odd kind of spinach anyway. Not all that tasty. This morning I pulled up half the spinach plants and will pull more up tomorrow.

I feel better now but I few days ago I was discouraged by the whole enterprise. Now I am going to redesign. It looks like I will get some tomatoes towards the end of July and the blueberries are almost ripe. I admit to poaching a few raspberries off a few untended bushes in the early morning when I am down there.

We went from not having to water once from April through May to having to water every day. It is finally cooled down enough to be reasonable and it looks like we will get a reprieve from extremes for about 10 days. It will still be summer but not quite as overwhelming of one.

The January 6th hearing yesterday was riveting. I only was able to see part of it live, but wow, talk about crazy town and dysfunctional workplaces. I have only ever worked for one manager with anger management issues my whole career and he was like a baby rabbit compared to our former president. What an awful place to work.

The Supreme Court and the powers that be in the extreme wing of the conservative movement may be taking away our right to bodily autonomy and agency in our private lives, but in terms of courage, raw principled courage, our witness yesterday was astonishing. Who is looking weak now?

We had 1,922 new confirmed cases of Covid here yesterday and 13 deaths. For the families of those who didn’t make it I think they might argue about the idea that the pandemic is over. This doesn’t include all the folks not getting “official” testing that is reported. Thank you very much, I am still looking like a duck in my N95 a bit longer in places where there are people I do not know or trust.

I haven’t traveled much, but I have been to Paris. No, not in springtime, but in November, Thanksgiving back here. I spent a week wandering around by myself. Roasted chestnuts and Christmas decorations going up.

This week, I have been binge watching “Paris Murders”. I don’t recommend it. Besides being violent, it is basically absurd, but you, know, it is Paris.

Like “Highlander”, which I watched every episode of, it is just absurd enough not to conflate with this real world we are experiencing right now. And they do speak French. Most of the characters are so good looking and stylish that when they have a more ordinary looking person they stick out.

It has been fun though, to go, oh, I have been there! I know that church that street, that…

I’ll leave you with a quote I heard this week on hope…

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.

If we remember those times and places, and there are so many where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act in however smaller way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents. And to live now as we think human beings should live in defiance of all that is bad around us is itself a marvelous victory.” Howard Zinn, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.”

Last updated June 29, 2022

Dafnee June 29, 2022 (edited June 29, 2022)


oh your vegetable garden looks already great. For sure it gives you much satisfaction. Plant or sow and take care of a garden is always very relaxing. Don’t you think? last year we sowed the seeds of green peppers in a pot. They became beautiful large plants with delicious peppers.
Robert, my husband, has always maintained a very large vegetable garden behind his mother's house. They had almost everything…. potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, courgettes, various cabbages, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
His mother, already in her eighties, spent almost every day a few hours in the garden, but Robert did the heavy work like digging, harvesting and preparing it for the following year.

noko Dafnee ⋅ June 29, 2022

Yes, relaxing and a feast for all the senses. I love the way the garden smells, every plant making a symphony. How lovely your husband was able to help his mother with her garden.

Zipster July 01, 2022

Gardening is such a huge learning curve! And just when you think you have one thing solved, another comes along to stymie you. I love how certain outlets now refer to the general craziness as "trump world". One of my husband's young coworkers asked him if the world has ever been as messed up as it is now. He tried to give him some perspective and hope, hard to do when you are not feeling it yourself.

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