Category Archives: Geekly Goodness

Seeds and stuff.

Growth doesn’t happen all at once.

I have this long term goal of being a “Homesteader,” living green in a place that has solar panels and an organic garden.  I have dreamed of living this way since first reading Thoreau and Emerson as a child. The desire has waxed and waned over the years as I have transitioned through various phases of consumerism.

Today I planted my garden. Well actually I just put a few seeds in pots and watered them. Mostly all I can see right now is dirt.

There are so many things currently in my life for which this is the perfect metaphor.

Patience is a virtue that popular culture not only doe not embrace it seems to scorn as it also seems to scorn embracing the passage of time. When I scan the titles of the checkout stand magazines I realize that every single one has at least on “get it now with little effort” article for peace, health and/or happiness and at least one reference to passing as “young”.

Farming in even the small way I am participating in it is an exercise in the opposite values. Growth has a schedule of its own, tasks that must be accomplished along the way with faithfulness and diligence, and ripening is not a negative but both the point and the product of time.

Here is what my suburban homesteading efforts look like today and a week ago. Very little progress can be measured, however excited those little green leaf heads made me, mostly dirt still but anything worth having is worth working and waiting for and I take this lesson into my other pursuits today.

Classical it is…

Rediscovered KBAQ on my car radio this week-end; 89.5  was all classical music with a lovely lean towards the Baroque.

Then today listened to Schumann Symphony #1 while writing. Tried a little Florence and the Machine “Lungs” at one point but had to return to my classical collection by song 5, too jarring and violent this morning. Currently listening to Mozart.

Some days are just about the classics…

Yesterday was all about the big band sound and Etta James and Doris Day,

and so far today has been, well classic

but I think I may be transitioning to a bit of Abigail Washburn here shortly, something I can clean and sew to without closing my eyes in reverie but which also inspires calm….yup, “City of Refuge” it is…if you like the new folk sounds at all, give Abigail a listen sometime, ask them at Hoodlums (or your own local store) to giver her a spin next time you are in there, and I promise you will walk out with a new CD (and hey, tell them Crowfae sent you, won’t get you anything but it sounds cool 😉

….and now I want to stop cleaning and dance around with my folk flag flying…..yup….I gotta run….

What I am reading this week…and a couple things I can’t wait to read…

First I apologize for posting this a day late. No excuse, just an apology. As usual I am reading more than one book.

I am reading aloud a lifetime favorite, “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle. Certain authors are my “go to” authors for reading aloud to patients depending on the patient’s age and taste; L’Engle, E. B. White, Dumas, Alcott, Frost, Twain, Dickens, Whitman. The authors language and chapter structure must lend themselves to “voices” and serialized presentation, and be music when spoken. The list has been fairly stable although a few new authors have joined the list this decade like James Owen with “Here There Be Dragons”  whose reveal at the end of this book rivals some of Vonnegut’s (who, however much I love him and his place on so many other of my literary lists, is not on the read aloud list.)

I am also reading “Homesteading” edited by Abigail Gehring. This is both research for my post-apocalyptic novel in process and research for my own desire to walk more softly and compassionately through this world. So far enjoyable. And my vote for best lines ever in a “you too can get green” introduction, “Before  buying chicks or any other animal to raise, be honest with yourself about the time you have for caring for them….. Homesteading is different for every individual or family. Sometimes being genuine means letting go – at least temporarily – of grandiose schemes for acres of land, a home completely off the grid, and a barn full of animals…….” And I know animal rescuers everwhere are equally impressed with the sentiment. I personally am starting (yet again) with plants and planting.

Reading “The Teachings of Buddha”, a free book put out by the Society for Buddhist Understanding. Don’t recommend it or “un”recommend it.  My problems with this translation and compilation is that it is to other compilations of Buddha’s life and teachings what “The Living Bible” is to the “King James Version”. All the reasons I don’t thoroughly like it are the very reasons others might just recommend it.  The language is very prosaic and couched in terms people familiar with western theism will embrace and understand. Words like “sin” and “omniscience” are not words I associate with Buddhism. However I understand why the translators/compilers went there, so to speak, and as the core Dhammapada is there for me I will finish it, but then probably just pass it on via coffee shop shelf. If you are an avid theist unfamiliar with any of Buddhist teachings who is interested in learning more, I would actually recommend Karen Armstrong’s biography of Buddha over this text as introduction.

Finally, I am about to start re-reading a “potato chip” book (just finished re-reading “March” which although more a nutritious meal was every bit as devour-able, addictive-ly tasty and enjoyable to read) called “Fuzzy Nation” by John Scalzi. The paperback comes out next month. Buy it, or be real supportive and buy a hardback this month. The author is worth it, his books are very much like my favorite organic, olive oil fried potato chips. They are delicious bits of questionable nutrition, but heart healthier than the usual science fiction, and you can’t just read one.

Which leads me to my very “un” peaceful NEED, CRAVING and desire for Scalzi’s next book “Red Shirts” due to come out in June

and on that same note is my attachment to reading the next book in James Owen’s dragon series due out in August.

I want……*sigh*