Friday, March 25, 2005

Thomas Jefferson Was Wrong

Each day finds me trying to relate agricultural history to the cultural identity of minorities in modern America. Luckily, eyes on the prowl (thanks Dr.D) hipped me to this interesting piece that aired on C-SPAN's "Book-TV": Israel on the Appomattox: Experiment in Black Freedom by Melvin Patrick Ely.

WHAT? Of course, when I saw the words "Appomattox" and "Black Freedom," I just knew it had something to do with Petersburg, from which I hail. Well I was wrong. But so was Thomas Jefferson. To find out why, and to read more about the batteaux, Nat Turner (also a fellow Virginian), and this early foray into the African-American permaculture movement, check out the book and C-SPAN coverage of the author. There's also an interesting interview with Ely on William & Mary's site.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Your Dollar Goes a Long Way Baby

Revel in the power of the fiscal commandments, oh happy American consumer. The market is your plaything. It is you that holds the key to the world's future. And by future, I don't mean 50 years from now...that magical sometime-far-from-today. Each and every one of our purchases TODAY has the potential to change the world, or at the very least your waistline. McDonalds vs. the local farmer's market (hey Pat!), HD vs. Mom & Pop's Feed-n-Seed, coalpower vs. greenpower, coke vs. a naked or *gasp* WATER, TDI vs. F350, FSC vs. get the idea.

What you buy and how you use it says a lot about you, your thoughts and perceptions of the world, and perhaps even your goals for the future. Yes, the global ruling elite might have something else in mind (namely the health of their own offshore bank accounts). But as the entire globe lurches and leaps toward "First World" lifestyles, it's up to us consumers to set the trends for international growth. Nowhere is that more important than in the United States, current soveriegn symbol of consumption and excess; "Yes it's our birthright. Screw you buddy!". Difficult decisions, these things called purchases. Fraught with battle realities - a genuine concern for the world's creatures (humans, plants, know, all the living stuff) versus the economic realities of a world gone western - what's a shopper to do?

Try being more conscientous of your purchases. Do a little research (go ahead, admit the fact you enjoy office contests whereby people race to google little-needed facts. We all do it). Know what you're buying, who made it, where it comes from, how it impacts you down the line. Investigate product lifecycles. Rail against excessive packaging - it'll save you from emptying the trash so often. Buy better quality items, even if they might cost more. Why? Well of course they may last longer, they tend to be higher quality and maybe even more stylish, and people will be jealous of you. Of course all of this requires you to think. Go ahead, it's okay. Be a trend setter, make the mindless sheeple follow your moves. If R. Kelly was a pied piper, imagine what you could do.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Film, About Love

Have you loved someone, or something SO much that you were totally oblivous to its impact this feeling was having on your daily life? I have, and my addiction is growing. How frightening this thought. I can't help it, and honestly, neither can you. So join me in this sinking ship, but MAINTAIN hope, intrepid Earthlings.

"Oh I love you so much. Yes, YOU...your syrupy black goodness being that which sustains me (and all my kin)." This is the kind of love they make scary movies about. Feel the emotion.

To counter some of that love though, one must have hate. But only to flip that back around into love (yadig?). Take a look at this rosy, psychedelic hate-engorged advertisement. It's full of penguins and flowers and bunnies with shotguns. Sound like the kind of hate that gets your motor running? I thought it would. Have fun.

*By-the-way, the image above, entiteld "Cats Can Kill," is a nod to a blog called Music For Me. It's in French, so I have no idea what any of it is saying. I suppose I could babelfish? At any rate, the pictures rock. That is all.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Wow, it's Wednesday already?

((I say Wednesday, though it's Tuesday, because by the time I get home, eat dinner, hang up clothes that like to sit in chairs, watch a movie, pee, and listen to some music, it's time for work again and then it'll be Wednesday.))

Weeks fly by when you've got a lot of work to do. Or are having fun. Or getting old. But not if you have a rocking chair on the porch. My chair isn't any Sam Maloof, but it's workable. The salvation army is great for stuff like know, cheap old rocking chairs for the slow days. It's been said that people under 70 don't belong in rocking chairs, but I think it's good to get practice. Sitting on the porch, rocking, watching cars go by, reading the paper...or better yet, some good Mark Twain. Rocking some more, drinking lemonade, or a cold Newcastle. You know, post-teenage, pre-middle age stuff.

I don't have anything to talk about today, besides the fact it was 65 yesterday, and today it snowed. I didn't sit in my rocking chair, I just kinda sat on the couch (yes, there's a couch on the porch)...looking at my rocking chair. I rocked it by the arm, but I didn't sit in it. I want to save that for the time when lightning bugs come out. And the crickets start singing. Then you know it's time for the rocking chair. I don't think we'll have spring this year; just 1 week of moderate temperatures then full-on gotta-sleep-naked southern humidity. No breeze, just stagnant heat. Can't wait. My chair will be ready.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ready to make some green?

Whole Foods is expensive. Not to mention a bit of a ways from my house. Maybe yours too. What can you do about it? Start a garden in your backyard. For all things herbal, check out our square-foot organic gardening blog. For citified ladies that know squat about soil pH, earthworm biology and the like, there's a jiffyneato little site called yougrowgirl. How apt.