Monday, May 26, 2008

its the little things

i found this at the thrift store...not only am i a wallace and grommet fan but come on people...its a sheep! i love its wooly jumper.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

after 2 glorious days of nonstop rain...

everything is just beaming green and hap hap happy...this is my bed of beets and peas!
can someone please tell me what kind of tree this is? its draped allover with these gorgeous flowers that are just humming with bees.
and this is the resident cutest thing ever comin' at me for treats. (its all about food)
my pasty legs on the bridge.
the rain was just the trick to get my zapatista corn to make its grand appearance!! yay! my basil and calendula also came up after the sacred soaking.and here is one of the survivng romaine plants after the second and seemingly fatal chicken truly is a garden miracle.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

...and with the owl comes death

so, since my rather intense owl visit a couple days ago i've been pondering who it is that might die or if maybe just maybe i'm through with all that and it was just an owl and me occupying the same space...end of story. but i just got a call from an old old friend and yesterday his dog, that was once our dog, died. She was really old for a big big dog. Akeyla was her name...we got her from the oakland flea market when we lived in the east bay, maybe '93 ?. At that time we also had Lupa, my beloved wolf-dog that was rescued in portland. Lupa died back in 2002.
I don't have any digital photos of Akeyla, but she was a big shepherd/sled dog beastly huge endless endless appetite. if i find an old photo and can get it up here i will.

so, there we have least now i can relax about the whole who's gonna die question. it 1989?

I had the strangest day in vegas yesterday. really strange. a bit unsettling.
i love vegas really, its a great little town. i've been going there for years now for supplies, to the hot springs, the thrift store, to get my veggie oil for the mercedes. but yesterday came at me like some archaic homophobic brick.
it was weird.
now, like a true farmer i dress like a "man"...but swagger like a limp wristed fag...but thats always been true.
but let me preface this story by letting y'all know that i cut my hair. shaved it off. and no big deal right? well, apparently it is.

now, no one threw beer bottles at me or yelled "faggot" out there car window or chased me with a baseball bat like back in the days of my youth. this was very low level and persistant.... men looked through me or at the ground, women clutched their boyfriends arms or pulled their children closer. this in a town where everyone usually smiles that warm new mexican smile because its not some big city where you become numb to the humans around you.
and mind you, i'm super smiley and friendly...hell, i can charm anyone...or so i thought.

at the opposite end of this surreality was the vegas queers, of which there are many when you're equipped with well tuned gaydar....some of which looked at me like deer in headlights...eyes saying "what are you doin? you'll take us down w/ you!" while others gave furtive knowing urgent glances.

have i mentioned this was all really weird?

having almost 2 decades of queer living under my belt including the mandatory time in san francisco, its intense to feel like i've stepped back in time to a place where there is no pride parade, no lgbt organizatons , no queer neighborhoods or places to go....things that big city or college town queers take totally for granted anymore these days.

i hadn't realized how much a bit of a pony tail had been glossing all this over for me.

and i like small towns....sigh.

but smaller towns that are queer friendlier are usually whitey college towns and waaay out of my class range. and living in some upper class town would have its own kind of surreal ickiness for me contend with.
so ....i'm stuck between worlds.

whats fucking new. today i'm just here on the farm. i'm just a farmer.
til' the next time i go to town....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

owl and rain

it began in the wee hours of the morning. lightening, thunder...then rain. sweet sweet rain. and it hasn't stopped for hours. So rare these deep soaking substantial rains are this time of year that the day feels magical. sacred. every moment blessed and lifted up and out of the ordinary.
the last real precipitation we had was maybe in march? i honestly can't remember.

and speaking of being lifted from the ordinary...yesterday afternoon i was down below next to the orchard playing with the dogs when an owl appeared in the trees above me.
for those of you that have been with me for a while on this little blog, you've read about my owl history and death connection, but for newer folks just have a look here.

once i noticed it in the trees everything else fell away. i've only actually seen an owl one other time in my life. well, this one was huge and with a bit of maneuvering around i found a clear view...i felt like i was attempting to look at the sun.
It looked right back at me. we literally locked in a stare. the big creamy white moonshaped face and huge black eyes. i was ....i was so many things....and nothing...i was nothing at all.

it took a short flight then to a tree that was out of my range.

then i saw the nest. now i'm not sure its the owls...but its really big. i know little about owl nests, except that they tend to use old nests from other birds, or holes in trees or barns. but how amazing if theres gonna be little owl hatchlings in the orchard...a nest full of moon faced seers.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One hundred plus farm workers evicted!

i'm passing this on in the hopes of getting more folks in the learn more and send off a letter of protest/demands go HERE!

"Yesterday more than 100 migrant farm workers were living in an orchard. Tonight they have no place to go.

Why, you ask? These Washington state cherry pickers came to Shafter, California after being told by company representatives to come to Califronia for a job in the cherries. Consequently workers and their families traveled from Washington State to work at the Kyle Mathison Orchards. Kyle Mathison is part of the Wenatchee, Washington based Stemilt Growers Company—which, according to its web site, is the largest shipper of fresh-market sweet cherries in the world.

When these farm workers reached California, things were not as expected. A number of the workers were hired, but other workers were told to just wait and see if jobs were available. According to KERO 23 news, a farm worker said, "I came from Washington state. We came here to work, but they haven't treated us like they should and we're a little worried because we may not have enough money to go back to Washington."

While in Washington, some of the workers were informed that housing would be available to them when they got to California. However, when they got here there was no housing. They had no choice but to sleep in the fields. Some stayed in tents, others in cars and still others slept on cardboard or simply the dirt.

Workers complained of rashes from having to bathe in irrigation water. The KERO 23 news report quoted another worker as saying, "I asked where do we shower? And he said 'There's the water hole.' ... and there's ducks and fish! I asked, 'We shower there?! Where do the women shower?!' He said the same place."

When workers went public about being left out in the cold, things only got worse. Last night Bakersfield area television stations showed the workers’ bleak situation. Today, Stemilt company representatives' called the sheriffs to have the 100 plus workers and their property evicted from the orchard.

The workers who are currently working were told they would still be allowed on Monday—however they now have no place to live. The others have no place to live and no job—the company told them to still wait and see.

Stemilt says their core values include treating workers, growers and customers fairly. How is this fair?

Take action now. Tell Stemilt to provide housing for these out of state workers tonight, pay reasonable travel expenses and immediately hire the rest of the Washington workers instead of forcing them to wait and see."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

farm visuals

this is the bridge thats in front of what will be my little house...someday...when all the freakin' work on it is'll be nice since i can hear the water from the house.and hey! theres the airstream! remember the airstream?
the big ol' cottonwoods are just beginning to bloom...and i am just beginning to sneeze non-stop.
heres my girls...they don't get much blog attention.
ahhhh...the little ones....the white ones name ended up being siren since i'm pretty sure she'll always be the one yelling her head off. and little june has become june-bug....because she is. I love love their little dirty knees.

yesterday as i sat down below in the orchard with the sheep, a hummingbird flew up to me and checked out my entire head...all sides, my hair, my ears...even my face.tapping me lightly with its funny little hummingbird tongue. i held totally still, trying not to laugh.

Monday, May 5, 2008

when its this dry you feel every drop

fog this morning. no rain...just fog.
inhaling the wetter than usual air soothes my lungs, my nostrils, my skin. the smell throws me the land of swamps, ponds and lakes.
the extreme dryness of everyday life makes a slighty damp morning like this seem ultimately sacred,
and this is how the desert mirrors my life.

long stretches of just enough...not really enough...makes just a little bit of enough seem like a deluge.
but this mornings fog will burn off with the rising sun.
evaporate to the norm of dry and the roots growing deeper deeper looking for wet.
roots grow whether i like it or not.

sometimes touch comes to me. or laughter. or even children running through the pasture.
sometimes love hangs thin like the fog. til the sun burns it off and i'm left with roots burrowing deeper still....looking for enough underground.

you won't find soft broad leaves in the high desert. green only lives right up against any precious water source. and even the cottonwood leaves have a waxy shell. soft broad and open loses too much water too quickly. things here are narrow leaf pointy thorned and protected.

standing in a brief fog of almost enough i think i might be through with thorned and protected.

the swamps of broad and open haunt me. mists of touch and love burrow deep so as not to evaporate in the heat.
burn off.
everything always burns off.
but i'm rooted
i have to be.
rooted like a cottonwood tree. waxy. impervious.
patiently thirsty and dreaming of a deluge.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

May Day!

now, anyone that knows me at all knows that i've got a lot to say about class, classism and capitalism in general...right? having straddled the tattered line between working and poverty class my whole life...including right now....its no surprise that may day, or international workers day, is one of my favorite days.

the roots of May Day trace back to 1886 and the Haymarket riots in Chicago which began with the national struggle for the 8 hr work day.

heres some photos i gleaned from the Associated Press of workers rallying around the world...members of the united russia party in Moscow.
Andalucia, southern Spain.
May Day protests were banned in Turkey and cops broke up crowds w/ tear gas.
Los Angeles
Paris. the sign says "Workers of the World Unite!! There are no foreigners in this land. Liberty, equality, fraternity. Justice!!!"