Monday, 25 December 2017

Friday, 15 December 2017

Pruning dead wood

(Click to enlarge Paul's pics. It was in the -20's that day, gorgeous!)

The other day I heard someone say that the reason it's so hard to tell people why you love (classical) music is because music picks up where words leave off.

Yep. Exactly.

And so it is with so much of life as I experience it. There is so much that I just can't express
because words can't go there. The things I do in a day, when described, sure don't look like they would create the kind of satisfaction and joy that they do. A stack of clean dishes in the rack. A swept floor. A home made cake. It's not the end results, not the things in themselves, but the doing.

"Mindfulness", they call it.
Must be non GM corn

Okay, except my mind isn't really engaged in those tasks so much as my heart and my hands. More often than not if the mind has anything to say I end up having to shush it, because who needs thoughts about what's going on in the world while making bread? Not me, and not anyone who will eat it. No, it's best to shush the mind and let the hands and heart and the dough be all that there is in that moment. Let the eyes, if they must wander, wander to the window, the tree tops against the sky. Then the mind, if it says anything, just gives thanks.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Be authentic - it keeps you healthy

This is a striking talk about the relationship between our inner lives and the health of our bodies.

Of course this is review for many of us, but so nicely put together by the speaker - Gabor Mate - that it's (I think) 26 minutes well spent.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Sometimes ya gotta get passionate

For those of you interested in my herbal medicine posts, there's a piece about the subtlety of learning the art (properly) over at the other blog, here.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

second post of the day

Just put up a post at the other blog on water based herbal remedies.

Clearing the traffic jam in my brain

Ever sit in a long line of cars wondering what's happened up ahead to stop traffic? That's how I've been feeling the last few days/weeks/months off and on. There's a line of thoughts up ahead of me, another building up behind. So what's the hold-up? Was there a collision? Is there road work going on?


Thursday, 23 November 2017

A crockpot decoction experiment

This post isn't strictly about mullein, but it begins there.

I've got my slow cooker on the counter and it's on a good simmer. After a few hours cooking last evening and sitting to cool overnight it's been humming along all day. It holds my latest experiment, a couple of days' long deep decoction of 4 or 5 quite small first year mullein plants, roots and leaves together. One doesn't usually decoct (as in simmer for a long time) the leaves of plants because they're too delicate; decoctions are for the tough stuff like barks and roots. But as I said, this is an experiment. Besides, mullein leaves are made of stronger stuff than most leaves, and I want to find out just what they'll offer up this way.

I dug the plants out of the snow yesterday as we were having a bit of a thaw - oh man, that was fun - because, well, I have lots of mullein out there and I could. It's been calling me, mullein has.

The rest of this post is over here at the garbling blog. It's opened up again, so anyone can read it, no membership required (don't ask, it's a long story).

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Making ourselves over

In the video below, the (to my mind very interesting) psychology professor Jordan Peterson responds to a question about the cliche of 'following your passion'. He ends by saying ".. so if you want to personalise your life .. you'd better act in a way that makes you a reliable guide". 

Oh boy. That's a mouthful.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A kitchen table philosophy moment

Heaven knows why, but Paul and I were up by about 4:30 this morning. Now, 6 or so, just starting the second pot of coffee - would you like a cup? - and I'm eyeing the brownies on the kitchen counter, tempted to have one for breakfast. I probably shouldn't but you know what? I might anyway! How about you? They're really good ..

There's some kind of Big Weather coming our way. The forecasters aren't sure whether what's about to fall out of the sky will be snow or rain, only that a considerable amount of something will fall. But the old guys hanging around the garage when Paul took the car in yesterday were saying snow, and I kinda hope they're right. The first snowfall is always welcome.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Adult content

Isn't it funny how "adult content" implies sexual content? As though the only thing that's not suitable for children is sex .. or maybe violence, although heaven knows kids get to see an awful lot of both in movies. Smoking, now that's a no-no in movies or even real life exposure. God forbid your kid sees someone smoking at the park (ciggies are outlawed in Canadian parks now.) We coddle our children selectively, don't we. (A statement, not a question).

What about how we coddle ourselves? Each other? How we, as adults, speak only in hushed terms or euphemisms about certain subjects that we really ought to be more open about, at least within our intimate relationships, ie our marriages and families?

Saturday, 11 November 2017

"Just because you have a pussy doesn't mean you should be one"

Don't mind me, I've been watching Camille Paglia videos, and today's title is a quote, a comment someone left on youtube. (I think it's t-shirt worthy, I love it).

The idea, basically, is about women standing up for themselves, especially when it comes to dealing with so called "sexual predators", aka asshats who can't keep it in their pants. I'll offer you the video in question at the end of this post.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Well on the way to all better!

Hey, was I dark when I wrote that most recent post or what? It sure wasn't pleasant to re-read just now, but I wrote it, and I'm leaving it up, as a record of what being drugged does to me.

I saw my physiotherapist/acupuncturist lady (the wonderful Sheena) yesterday. That woman has x-ray vision, I swear. The problem was in my thoracic spine, 3 of my ribs had sort of detached themselves from their little notches there. It's called rib subluxation, if you want to look it up. Painful? Oh yeah. Easily fixed by Sheena's skilled healing hands though. God, she is such a blessing! A round of acupuncture afterward to help me release all the tension from the week of pain (and then some) and I'm good to go. Still damn tender, though, which she tells me will take 'probably less than a week' to resolve .. especially if I do the stretches she prescribed. I do tend to slack off in that area, possibly how I got into this mess in the first place.

For the record, treating this topically did/is doing me the most good. Apparently, the spine/ribs popped back into place with ease compared to some cases, and I can't help but wonder if that was thanks to the mullein root compresses. Alder oil and St John's oil, combined, help ease the bruised, beat up feeling and extinguish the fire in the nerves, respectively. Aspen tincture, a few drops by mouth once in a while, was also helpful for the pain and especially the fear that came in waves due to just not knowing what the blazes this was.

Whatever else this was, it was a learning experience and all in all I'm about done thinking & talking about it. Pain is, well, a pain! Yuck!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Wherein your writer walks a half mile in someone else's shoes

Paul (my husband, co-pilot and all around nice guy) just looked at me with a great deal of sympathy and said "Aw .. you're still pretty, even though you're not Christine".


I'm on hour #8 of a 12 hr trip on a drug called Naproxen Sodium (brand name Aleve) and oh my do I ever not like it.

I don't like drugs, period, but once in a while - like when the pinched nerve in your back (or whatever the hell this is) makes it feel like someone has a knife in your ribs - you gotta go there. My xanthoxylum tincture isn't ready to try yet, and extra-strength Tylenol hadn't even touched this pain. During the day, mullein root compresses and alder oil slatherings made it so I could kinda go about my day, but the nights have been torture; it's worse when I lie down. So when my son recommended this stuff to help me make it through til I can see my acupuncturist I thought, well, okay ..

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Xanthoxylum Americanum - not what, who

"If we eat the wild, it begins to work inside us, altering us, changing us. Soon, if we eat too much, we will no longer fit the suit that has been made for us. Our hair will begin to grow long and ragged. Our gait and how we hold our body will change. A wild light begins to gleam in our eyes. Our words start to sound strange, nonlinear, emotional. Unpractical. Poetic. Once we have tasted this wildness, we begin to hunger for a food long denied us, and the more we eat the more we will awaken." 
                                                -- Stephen Harrod Buhner The Secret Teachings of Plants

He's right, you know, that is what happens.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Not the post I thought I was going to write.

Some things break when you try to write about them for a general audience.

That's one of the lessons of my blogging experience, and there ain't nothin' I can do about it. That's one of the lessons of the spiritual path, too. You don't share every thing with everybody.

It's not even a matter of pearls before swine; my readers aren't swine. It's the act of putting into words something that lies beyond words that's the trouble.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The hidden "ick" in our homes

To my mind a house with a clear, high vibe to it comes closer to what's meant by the saying "cleanliness is next to Godliness" than a house that's shiny as a new pin does. If the beds aren't made and there are dishes in the sink that's just untidiness (or as I like to call it, life!). But when our thoughts are clouded and our emotions are troubled there's no sense of shalom. We're not at peace.

Our homes are our sanctuaries.

Now, please don't get the impression that I'm going to start telling you to hang garlic to ward off the psychic vampires, I'm not .. not today anyway (ha!).

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Managing the "ick" factor

Mind/heart, intellect/intuition, ego/Self - here we go again having to divide ourselves up into bits for the purposes of discussion.

But don't worry. As my 4 yr old granddaughter would put it "it's just pretend."

As mentioned in the previous post (and the video), the mind/ego fights to regain control when we start to lead with our hearts. It feels threatened, and who could blame it? It's been in charge of our lives since about age 7. If it's not leading, it fears for us. So cut it some slack. It's just trying to do what it thinks is its job.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Mind Attacks

Being heart-led, or living the mystical life, or whatever you want to call it, is cross-cultural. Individual human beings everywhere and in every time have had some awareness of the truth of who we are. It's a message that's been offered many, many times by many teachers, gurus, spiritual leaders, writers, artists, musical composers - and ordinary people as well.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

That intimate, personal relationship with Creation

It takes time. It takes years that stretch into decades, yes, but most importantly, it takes moments.

We're running low on white oak bark - supposedly better collected in the spring, but because I need it now, fall collected will have to do - so I went down to the trail behind our house, heading for a particular youngish oak tree that I've developed something of a friendship with over the last few years.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Post on the other blog

I just wrote a little blurb on Chaga, sharing some of my experience with it that I haven't seen written about elsewhere. If you'd like to read it, it's here ..

If you can't get in because you're not yet signed up as a member, just email me (see contact, above) and I'll hook you up.

Hello Ukraine

The rest of you can ignore this post - I'm just checking on something. Every couple of days, I see one visit from Ukraine here. It doesn't appear to be a bot, as I don't see several "posts" being read at a time.

So - if you're the visitor from Ukraine, could you pop into comments and verify? Comment as "anonymous" by all means, if you'd prefer. Or you can email me - info under "contact". I'm just really curious as to whether you're real or not!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Fiercely individual

"Wander alone; bearing the Light and thy staff.
  And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee."
                                                       A.C., from The Book of Thoth             

My writing, admittedly, looks very intimate. I write "about" me, about "my" experiences .. but that's not what I'm really writing about at all. If you're looking for me, or to me, you're missing the point.

I'm a do-it-yourself type because I crave experience. I don't want to "know", I want to understand. I share my experiences to tantalize my readers into wanting that - experience, understanding - for themselves.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

More things in heaven and earth, continued.

As I carry on with my theme of heart-led living, I sometimes struggle with keeping hold of it in my own life. In some ways these posts serve as pep-talks to myself.

We're trained to think thusly:

Past - present - future. Top - middle - bottom. Actions/consequences. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A body in motion stays in motion; a body at rest stays at rest. What goes up must come down.

These are the (simplified versions of) the "laws" of our physical existence.

Mysticism, on the other hand, doesn't have the same sort of system of laws .. religion has them, of course, but mysticism, which I think of as the lived experience of the undercurrents of Life, isn't so neatly mapped out for us.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Tucking things away - a quickie

Mmmm, it's a lovely, thundery morning here. Many of the leaves are off the trees behind us so I can just see the top ridge of the hills over on the island. Nice to see you again, island! Oh, and the wind just came up so there's a swirl of golden leaves outside my window. Lovely!

The freaking bots are at it again. They tend to latch onto a post, "read" it (ha!) a dozen times or so, sometimes several times a day, messing with my stats and annoying the hell out of me.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Eating my words

The heart is the seat of the will, the convictions. It's a place of great mystery but it's not separate from us, not some thing that we own. It sometimes feels like a hard task master; it doesn't always take the easiest path. To be heart-led takes courage, the courage of our convictions.

I'm a writer. Not necessarily the writer I want to be in terms of what I produce, but the writer I want to be in terms of how it feels to write. ALL of it feels good, even the frustrated agony parts.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Whistling for the horse

(A shorter one today, continuing on our theme.)

"All our relations" - that's how the First Nations people (Indians) of Turtle Island (North America) refer to the non-human creatures of our world; the plants, trees, animals, fish, mountains, rivers, you name it. Even as they harvest them for food, shelter and medicine, when being true to tradition, they do so with deep respect.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Know thyself - the filter

(I seem to be writing a series here. This is the third instalment, and it's long. Perhaps you'll do me the honour of saving it for when you enough time that you don't have to skim. Here's the first part of the series and this is the second. in case you aren't caught up.)

People are crazy. It's only getting worse. The world at large is crazy and people need something to explain it away or ways to not feel it. It's a vicious circle and it benefits those who spread falsehoods (alien, reptilian heads of state!) misinformation (depopulation agendas!) and big pharma (you don't have to feel this way, ask your doctor!) and oh fuck it, let's drop the rest of this intro and get right to what I want to say ..

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Emotions, gating, and teamwork

(This post is a follow-up to the last one. If you haven't read that one yet, I suggest you do, for context.)

Emotions are .. well, they're a tricky business.

They're not things in themselves. They're part of our internal messaging system if you will, almost (but not quite) another way of sensing the world. But instead of telling us about the world, they're telling us about how we feel about the world. They're judgements. They're part of our gating mechanism.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, and some of those things are about to make themselves known.

I'm always amused when I read a headline like "new planet discovered". I mean, the damn thing's been there for eons, it's not new. Or "new gut bacteria found to aid weight loss" or "lost tribe found in jungle" .. it's unlikely the bacteria is "new" (although you never know with bacteria) and it's more than probable that tribe knew exactly where they were.

These headlines aren't just poor grammar, they're the hubris of the human intellect on display. We really do see something we've just discovered as new, as though it had suddenly popped into existence before our very eyes.

So I won't be at all surprised when the day comes that I read "new pathways in the human brain allow communication with plants".

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The "in" crowd

Okay, here's the story.

It's nothing personal, but I've decided to make the garbling/wildcrafting/plant medicine blog a members only site.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Excavations and flying monkeys

It sure looks like the work of a miniature front end loader. The sod is rolled up, quite neatly actually, leaving a trench a foot or so long and maybe 6" wide. This has been happening with some frequency over the last few nights, most likely the work of skunks or raccoons after some tasty grubs. I'm guessing skunks, they're more fastidious than raccoons would be. Raccoons are hooligans, skunks are quite genteel.

(Added later - having now seen their work up close and played the game of 'put the muddy jigsaw of a lawn back together', I'd say it wasn't all that tidy after all. Raccoons, then.)

Saturday, 2 September 2017

If anyone comes up with a title for this, let me know. I'm stumped.

I'm just going to babble at y'all today. Call it a warm up as writing season proper fast approaches (I can feel it coming on the northwest wind).

I spent part of today's afternoon lounging in a lawn chair tucked in between one of the pear trees and the long bed that runs down our side of the neighbour's cedar hedge. So to my right, tree, and almost touching me on the left, a sprawling comfrey, the fading sweet ciciley topped with fragrant, anise smelling seeds, and a jumble of extremely tall yellow chrysanthemum looking things (no idea what they're called), purple and white phloxes, pink himalayan balsams (they look like gigantic jewel weeds), more comfrey and beyond that the rhubarb sharing space with a wild honeysuckle (no longer in bloom) and some lovely volunteer agrimony with their yellow steeple flowers ..

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Is there anyone out there? Hello?

What with it being summer and all, it seems none of us are writing on our blogs lately! I don't (yet) have much to say either, so how about some music?

Thanks to an email exchange in the background, I've been taking another look at my taste in music and finding that it's even more eclectic than I'd realized. It would be impossible for me to pick a genre and say "this is my favourite" or conversely to say there's any particular genre that I just can't listen to.

That said, there are plenty of songs or artists that don't appeal to me for one reason or another (I'm looking at you, Rush) and certain genres that I think tend to be, (how to say this?), weaker than they could be. For instance, a lot of the modern Christian "rock" that I've heard leaves me feeling uninspired ..

But then along comes the soulful, heart-on-his-sleeve Amos Lee, with "Jesus (can You help me now)". With powerful, vulnerable lyrics and raw electric guitar licks that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the ones we all loved on Spirit In the Sky, this is a song I can listen to over and over. Maybe you can listen to it more than once too; first, here's the live rendition.

Now here's the studio version, also just excellent (I think). Possibly the better of the two, what say you?

And of course you can't go wrong with the classics. Years ago a friend sent us a mix CD of gospel-ish music, but without attributions, so we had no idea of who the artists were (which was very frustrating because it's great stuff). I had to search high and low on youtube to find this track for y'all, now my favourite version of "Ain't No Grave".

Monday, 24 July 2017

Bones & a mullein grove - a typical day in our a-typical life

(Lots of great pics by Paul in this one, do to click to embiggen!)

I won't say every day is like this, but our everyday lives are such that days like yesterday are not only possible, but quite likely. So it's not entirely uncommon for Paul (my husband, co-conspirator and all around good guy) to say things like -

"If you're good, I'll take you to see that dead fox tomorrow."

And for me to respond with a delighted "oooh, yes PLEASE!" at the prospect. Who wouldn't?

Besides, he needed gravel, and I needed mullein, (a lot of mullein); the dead fox just happened to be at the gravel pit on Ebert road, which just happens to be one of the best places to find just about any weedy herb I happen to need a lot of, so the next morning we happily set off on our little adventure.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A classical music interlude

It's a lovely day here. The morning was sunny and not too buggy so I was able to spend hours in the garden, then we went for a drive and by the time we got home I just managed to get the laundry in before it got soaked by the daily showers. Happiness!

I haven't offered up any music for a while, so here are a few quick pieces from youtube for y'all, just a few snippets of pieces we have in our music library in case you might want to add them to yours. I recommend viewing the last video full screen.

First, a little Mozart .. I particularly love the strings in this Andante, although the piano's not too shabby either ..

Thursday, 6 July 2017

If it works - or even if it doesn't - write it down!

Woops! That's poison ivy, isn't it .. oh shit. Oh shit shit shit shit.

That was me a couple of hours ago. That's not what this post was supposed to be about, I had something else planned entirely. So let's do the something else first, then I'll tell you about the poison ivy encounter.

It starts with strawberries, yesterday.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Restorative justice.

I wonder if the farmers around here are intuitive enough to take this as a hint ..

The farmland here is rolling, gentle hills. A little rocky here, sandy there, and clay-ey closer to the river. The farms are small, traditionally it's been all about cattle, with fields sown in hay, alfalfa & corn for winter feed. Some rotation, of course; oats do well here. Barley is iffy thanks to summer storms.

It's only in the last decade or so that we're seeing more and more soy, and only in the last few years that we're seeing 'modern' farming techniques being used. Massive, computerized machinery. Fields 'burned down' with chemicals to get rid of the weeds, hedgerows and sugar-maple bushes taken out to make room, and vast fields of that soy, year after year, crop rotation be damned.

Remember how I told you about our excessively snowy winter and the ensuing spring rains resulting in a whole lot of moisture? That was early May, and it's still raining. Now going on July and the fields haven't recovered; an awful lot of them remain unplanted. Boggy, that's what they are, especially (of course) those fields where the hedgerows and maple-bushes that surrounded them have been removed - that modernization greed has left the water table fucked. Fields that may have been just a bit damp are likely to now be unsalvageable for years to come.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

"Meat space"

noun informal
the physical world, as opposed to cyberspace or a virtual environment.

I can't think of a more vile term, or one more expressive of the disdain those who use it must hold for reality.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Thoughts on the 'intelligence' of creaturehood.

The 'intelligence', or 'innate wisdom' of the body.


We refer to 'instinct' when we speak of how animals know how to be animals.  A robin, for instance, knows how to build a robin-style nest, which differs from a grackle's or a crow's. The robin isn't taught, it just 'knows', on 'instinct' how to build its nest.. or at least this is the vague and non-committal way that science explains it.

potential pears
We humans have to be taught most of our human-ness (supposedly). We have a few instincts that we retain into adulthood, but not many, and most of those involve responses to danger. We've managed, just in the last several of generations, to quell even our most basic instincts, like the need for water or certain foods. Now we're told how much water to drink. There was a time we drank only when thirsty; the human race didn't die out from dehydration.

At the most basic of levels, the care of our newborns, once instinctive, has been so profoundly influenced by 'authorities' (social mores, baby formula makers) that many women have lost the instinct to breastfeed their babies. What was once an absolute necessity for the infant's survival is now a choice, and we've come to the point where there are many women who simply cannot produce milk.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Nothing important

First we went by Mr. Haldeman's house to see if he'd come home for lunch, but as he hadn't, we swung by his feedlot.

"Feedlot" is a dirty word to 'enlightened' city people but really, in winter, you can't be having the cattle out in the field without shelter, and risking your tractor getting stuck in the snow every time you bring them hay. There's wolves and coyotes to consider, too. So, for about half the year, most farmers bring them in where they can have an eye kept on them.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

A whole lot of moisture

It's still raining here. 

Actually if anything the rain is intensifying and it's starting to get to me. Our house will be fine, we're on the top of a rise .. but down the hill toward the main part of town the creek that flows into the big river is swollen right up to the bridge, not 'just' from the snow melt and incessant rain, but also because the river itself is spreading UP the creeks now. 

Normally a small, reedy marsh, it's now about 5 times its normal size.
On the other side of the houses is the Ottawa River proper, so
they're surrounded.
The hills of Calumet Island in the distance.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A shrub story (with tangents)

Our garden is an ever changing thing.

Not that it is an "it", of course, it's very much a "them".

Our garden is an ever changing cast of characters - that's better - and this year we're bringing in some new ones. A surprise influx of cash (aw shucks Dad!) means I'm now plotting to bring in certain plants en masse, in numbers I've always wanted to grow them but were previously out of reach, budget wise.

Frustratingly, now I'm having great difficulty finding many of the plants I want, leading me to wonder if there is a conspiracy afoot to keep herbs that are commercially important to the supplement industry (valerian, for example) out of the hands of home gardeners. Whether some nefarious plot is afoot or it just isn't profitable to the greenhouses to sell these 'specialty' plants, it all comes down to the same thing. Certain once-ordinary, 'garden variety' (pun intended) plants are no longer ordinary at all.

I was pretty depressed about that for a while there, but now I'm actually excited. It means growing them in my garden is all the more important. I've ordered some online, of course. But my stubborn hope is that in scouring the countryside for the smaller, out of the way nurseries I'll find what I need, and can support them rather than the Big Growers, if possible. The hunt is on!

Meanwhile, I've found love where I least expected I ever would.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Feeling our way along (becoming sensate)

There are 'feelings', ie emotions;

there's 'feeling' ie the sense of touch;

and then there's the other kind of feeling .. which I'll try to talk about today.

Stephen Harrod Buhner talks about "feeling the touch of the world upon us".

He's talking about the natural world, of course, but we have to keep in mind that the natural world includes people. You, for instance.

you can't get blood from a turnip

I'm in the midst of a love affair with beets.

Not, alas, fresh from the garden. It's only early spring here, so not much is coomin' oop yet. What there is, is a delight of course (do click to enlarge):

lilliputian dandelions
(shown with coyote bones)

adorable, crinkly thumbnail
mallows (with mullein)

finch feathers of yarrow
teeny tiny whorls of cleavers
with dropped clothespin

Minute as they are, none of these delights are making it to the house.

They're strictly for grazing on in situ, so to speak.

The beets in question are of the humble, bagged in plastic, devoid of greens, super cheap at the grocery store because hardly anyone ever buys them variety. Utilitarian.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

I like the cut of their jibs

Two stories from our little town to share with you today. In both cases, admittedly, there was enough money at hand to make things happen, but the money isn't the point here, it's the attitude.

The first involves our neighbour, Mike-next-door (so named to differentiate him from Mike-down-the-street).

Vexations to my spirit

My day to day life is blissful right now. It's not that it doesn't have some challenges - what life doesn't? - but I am feeling blessed beyond measure. It's spring, for one thing, and that helps. I do believe this past winter was the worst of my life, but it's over and I feel better. So much better.

However, when it comes to my blogs, it's another story. I wrote the post below a few days ago, just to get it out of my system, thinking I would keep it in draft to post if one more straw was added to my back. I'm not at that point, but I'm posting it anyway because .. hmmm, how to put this .. because readers of blogs sometimes forget that the writer is human. That the writer is sometimes overwhelmed by what blogging entails; this is particularly true of (but not limited to) the relationships that can develop in the background. 

These difficulties are probably just part of the game, and I probably just need to toughen up to deal with the worst of them. That's a conundrum though; I am already fairly prickly of personality and if I get any more prickly no one will come near me. I want people to feel they can approach me .. I just have to find a way to reduce the intensity of those relationships, to stop them from sucking the energy from me in the way they sometimes do.

Anyway, for those interested, here's the post, as it was written when I was approaching my wit's end ..

Friday, 14 April 2017

Halluci Nation

In the spirit of walking in the Spirit, allow me to offer another couple of videos

that most people

are far too milque-toast

to watch.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Boring is as boring writes

or something.

(As titles go, maybe I should apologize for that, it's lame. But considering my first choice was "ask me how many fucks I give right now" you could consider yourselves lucky. This piece gets ranty about stuff you've heard me rant about a hundred times and there are plenty of f-bombs to boot. So feel free to skip it, I just needed to get fucking well get it off my chest.)

As I said in the last post (read hundreds of times by bots worldwide!), these are interesting times, astrologically speaking.

My experience of which 'on the ground' (if I may continue in a cliched vein) is turning out to mean that certain 'challenges' and 'opportunities' coming up in my life, particularly of the 're-do' variety, are even more frustrating than they were the first time around. Seeing this .. er, crap .. coming up behind me in the rear view mirror (objects in the mirror are closer than they appear), I'm starting to feel like that bowl of petunias thrust into existence because some fool initiated the maximum improbability drive.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Taking our cues from heaven and earth

I had a look-see at the astrological charts for April and wow there's some interesting 'stuff' happening in the stars.

I won't go into detail (it's not my specialty) but I can tell you that 4 planets (at least) will be 'retrograde' for most of the month. Retrograde is an astrological term for the phenomena of a planet appearing to move backwards through the heavens. It's not, of course, (that would cause some gravitational mayhem, to put it mildly),

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Killoran stream

Just a quick little video taken today at our favourite haunt on Killoran road. You've seen this stream before and you will definitely see it again .. but it's different every time and we love it, so we can't help but share.

And yes, that's me following one of the deer paths into the forest. I don't have words for what it was like in there.

Saturday, 18 March 2017


Crows think they're silver.

That's something I thought I'd gleaned from the Carlos Castaneda books that we all read back in the day, but I've just googled it and didn't find any such reference. How odd.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Something in the air

Can you sense it?

If you watch the news or read the comment sections of almost any website, it seems like there is a collective hardening of the heart going on out there. People are fearful, "othering" each other; nations are strengthening their borders; police becoming more militaristic; medical practitioners and healers are declaring war on each other's specialities; the use of extremely powerful, mind-altering drugs (prescription or otherwise) is skyrocketing. Everywhere you look, someone is trying to avoid or gearing up to fight some thing, some threat, some change that they feel in the air.

Monday, 6 March 2017

A sense of place

If you've ever stood under a starry night sky, did it make you feel small, yet somehow .. right?

To me, there's something about the sight of the stars - I mean the way they should be seen, not blotted out by street lights and buildings so that only a planet or two twinkles faintly, but the whole vast starry heavens pouring by - that makes me feel .. corrected.

It's not that the uncertainty and the frailty of being human is taken away, but that the uncertainty and frailty seem just right. It makes me laugh (in the way that we laugh when we're faced with truth) and sometimes it scares me, but it's also just delicious to be reminded that I am small, that the Universe is far too vast a thing for me to grasp. I feel let off the hook, I see the folly of ever trying to be of any significance.

Do you know what I mean?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Writing about writing, a heap of frustration and a return to my roots

You didn't know, hell, even
I didn't really know or understand until this morning
that I have, in effect,
been lying to you all along.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


There's a post with pretty pictures over here at the garbling blog if you're interested.

I'll be back to writing on this blog in a day or so ..

Saturday, 18 February 2017

an alder-ed state of consciousness

Sometimes working with Medicine plants is pure magic.

Right now, I'm working with alder. The male and female cones, a few twigs for their bark and a couple of leaves for good measure were turned into both an infused oil and a tincture late in the summer.

Enlarge this and you'll see the two sorts of cones:
males (sometimes called catkins) are long and pendulous,
females look like tiny pine cones.

I say, "I'm working with alder" but it's more that alder is working on me.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

wildcucumber - a troll for Mother Nature

I troll in the comment sections of GreenMedInfo and Natural News - you should look for me there and join in sometime! - and today, in the comments below a post on (shocker!) the contamination of commercial supplements, I said this:

"This has been known for decades, yet people still buy supplements instead of eating real food or turning to growing their own, including herbal remedies.

And before you try to tell me that 'not everyone can' do these things, let me assure you that anyone can find sources of clean food, anyone can grow clean food IF and WHEN they wake up to the truth - that consumerism leads to chronic, learned helplessness.

Strike out on your own people, grow some 'nads and free yourself from Big Herb."

And do you know what the mods did? They removed my post, of course.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Nature - it's bigger than we are.

The above is the snowfall accumulation stats for the nearest measuring station to us, in centimetres.

It's a lot of snow.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Get up and dance!

I'm baa-aack!

Yeah, I know you may not have noticed my absence, but let me tell you, for a while there the 'events' in the 'news' have had me spluttering and fuming so bad I could barely string a sentence together without the word 'clusterfuck' in it.

Monday, 23 January 2017

The annual cabin fever post

A thaw at this time of year isn't necessarily a good thing, and we've been in the midst of one for too long. It certainly isn't pretty. The snowbanks are gritty and brown, the roads are riddled with pot holes which are full of water. Cars going through the pot hole/lake just out there on our street splash brown water almost to the house. Yuck.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Golden threads and shiny silver snares

When we create, how much do we create and how much do we just discover that lies there, always, behind the ordinary, waiting to be revealed?

Most writers (and other artists) would love to be able to answer that question but none of us can, not definitively.

Creativity involves a shift in consciousness. It's sometimes so profoundly different from normal states that we become unaware of the ordinary world around us. It is as though we go somewhere else, to a place behind this one, the place that underpins this one .. other times the ordinary world becomes imbued with the stuff of that other place, the two worlds blend, so that this one sparkles as though lit from within.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Music for a Sunday morning

I have to admit, I love youtube (for some things).

Today I found 2 versions of one of my favourite pieces of music, a track from Peter Gabriel's "Passion Sources". That's a collection of music from the Middle East (and surrounds) that he used as inspiration when writing another album, "Passions". Both albums are available in full on youtube.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Repost - Not content, but context

Here's a ranty little piece from about a year ago, back when hardly anyone read this blog. New readers take note, I still feel this way - if anything more strongly than ever.

In the Native traditions, the plants, trees and sometimes even the mountains are referred to as the Standing People. The animals, too, are spoken of as Peoples. To speak this way about Creation is not anthropomorphism, not "elevating" non-humans to human status. These traditions acknowledge that Creation is alive and sentient in a thousand ways, some similar to, some different from ours, but all of them legitimate. "All our relations" is a newly popularized, yet ancient saying that expresses this traditional belief that we and Creation are family.

When we honour these standing people we honour their Creator, and ours.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

A test of the system - and a lesson in vulnerability


Well it was a heck of a storm. Everything that could have fallen from the sky, did. Snow, in rather large amounts, alternating with freezing rain, rain and ice pellets. So it was not a surprise when from off in the distance, came the BUZZ/flash of transformers blowing. At first, brown-outs, but just after I went to bed down everything went.

It's remarkable how not dark it was. Not a bulb was lit anywhere for miles and miles, but it's as though snow stores light. It glows in the dark.

So next morning, Paul brought out the little camp stove (butane) and we managed to have coffee just fine. Midmorning, the power came back on, so we fixed breakfast and went to do our monthly big shop in Pembroke. It's a longish trip, so we didn't get back until around 2 p.m. Again, no power.

Well, shit.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Reprising an old post - You gotta get in to get out

Brother Ed Hurst and I have been chatting by email about something called the Heart Math Institute. The folks there had some interesting research several years back about the heart as an organ of perception. But in recent years, they've decided to cash in, and because everyone likes apps, they've created apps whereby you can see if you're meditating 'correctly', or if your positive thoughts are positive enough to affect your heart rhythms. Etc. 

It's abominable, as far as I am concerned, to further divorce people from their bodies in this way, to make them reliant on a piece of technology for feedback when the senses we're born with can serve us just fine in that department.

This is the beginning of the age of the Borg, my friends, don't be fooled.  

Anyhow, it reminded me of this post I did a couple of years ago ..  

Why do I preach so much about our relationships with our bodies? In the long run, to make it easier for us to leave them behind.