Hmm. Reading around on the net, I see there is a little more to all this chicken rearing than I had thought, for healthy birds that lay well. With some advice from friends, I think I can manage, though.
Back in sunny Seattle. (!) We were so thrilled at our hosts' minifarm in Ellensburg, WA that we have decided to get some chickens. They have rabbits, too, but that would be a little difficult for us to deal with. We would not have to get feed for chickens. Our yard and our kitchen waste would provide ample food for them, and they would provide many eggs.
It is great in Ellensburg Washington, with relatives and friends who are thriving in a place that seems still like that America many of us are nostalgic for. Our hosts grow a tremendous amount of food on their small lot. They have rabbits, chickens, a big vegetable garden. Their neighbors, who are in an out all the time, are almost like an extended family. What our friends say is that they agree about most matters but don't discuss politics. Here, peoples' way of life is not under threat. We went hiking to a lake and had a picnic, and later on enjoyed smores at the neighbors' place cooking marshmallows and chocolate on an open fire. Lots of fun even though I can't eat such things any more, it's fun to watch others enjoy these treats. There is so much civic activity and a sense that the place belongs to the people who live here. In Hawaii I feel we're always dealing with remnants of the plantation mentality, which trains people to keep their heads down and not make waves. Oh, and the weather has been wonderful here, and we've been outdoors almost all of the time. This is the "ideal" America that so many long for though they live in the city now. I was reminded of family get togethers in the San Joaquin in my childhood, where we kids ran around all day and the parents drank and socialized until all hours.They were reactionary in their politics but warm and open on the personal level, which is the way people here seemto be.
Yesterday I had a long long talk with an old friend of mine who lives in Portland. He is still teaching at the community college where I used to teach in the early 90's. He has witnessed the deterioration of the ESL program that was not so grand in the first place, and he is just holding on until he can retire. His human and humane attributes are not welcome there, and he has learned to accept his place as a lowly cog. This is not a school for upward striving success oriented people but rather for people who are doing their best to survive in a system that is set up to keep them down. And that applies both to teachers and to students.
He recommended a book to me: Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields by Charles Bowden. Don't wake me up from my pleasant dreams, you say? Well, that's what the people of Juarez say, too. Do you ignore crime and murder where you live or imagine that only criminals, gang members, prostitutes and other wrongdoers are getting offed? Do you believe what you see on the TV news? Do you take mood altering drugs? Do you drink? Are you living defensively? Do you prefer fantasy to reality? Welcome to the new global order! We're all Juarezians now. Think you can't live with it? We're all living with it.
Across the street at the retirement home, I see the food service trucks coming in and the ambulances going out, slowly, in no hurry since they get there too late, every day. I imagine this has no bearing on my life. That is certainly a fantasy of denial.
One particular soothing fantasy of mine is of the distant past. I imagine soulful people meeting on pilgrimages to holy sites and earnestly discussing the nature of their immortal souls. Since I am an atheist, this is a little odd, I admit, but what a beautiful concept!
The Seattle Museum has a small but choice collection of Renaissance art, and I particularly enjoyed the beauty of this piece: (enlarge for details)
Lakoff is the person behind the best reasoning on the left these days. He is warning Obama that he is sounding weak, because he does not place moral imperatives at the center of his thinking, above all empathy. Instead, Obama seems to be afraid of his critics on the right. He should simply ignore them and get on with a unifying agenda to put this country back on the rails. That is what people elected him for. BP has crapped on the 'aina. This is the only planet we have got, and the corporate greedsters have made a nasty mess out of our only home.
Obama should have made it clear from day one of the spill that this was insufferable. And as Lakoff points out, Obama has needed to show how corporate malfeasance has been the ruination of this country in everything from the lousy health care system to the subprime mortgage mess. Yes, he should come out swinging! It's not too late, but it's almost too late. This could be our Chernobyl.
Although we have been having a grand time, The Shangri-La effect is kicking in. I look and feel 20 years older after being here for more than a week. As usual, I have a bad cold, which I think is really allergies, and am full of antihistimines and Advil.
We're heading out to visit relatives in Ellensburg, which is in Central Washington, It's in a completely different climate zone: in the desert! They get hardly any rain at all! I can't wait to see the sun!
We've been having some outdoor diversions, in spite of the weather. This was taken at the Ballard Locks, which is a short walk from our place. They opened the big locks to let this huge barge full of sand through.
Gigi wonders why she had to go through an extra step to post comments here. I think it's because I'm using a different online service from the one at home. I have to moderate because of trolls. Type Pad does a good job of winnowing out spam, but the occasional hostile commenter shows up.