12.11.17 (A Brief Sketch of Self) 

I got all worked up in a intended blog post, over the weekend. It was ranty, internal, melodrama sort of stuff. We do that and feel icky about it, or at least I do. It was about marriage and family, the problems of male and female. I thank the Uncaused Caused that I didn’t, that ethereal editor was amped up over the weekend. Maybe it’s a dying spiteful 2017, donning his funereal vestment. Whiskey on the rocks in one hand, something smoking in the other. 

In the middle of our arguing, I lost my voice. Had a bad cold thing brewing. I realized the lost voice was a huge blessing in a way. There’s something very dangerous, beautiful, and ugly in the rant. My wife is such a calm, level headed person, the anima inspired rant can get her into a confused swirl. She’s forced to latch on to extra-spicy bits and perry from there. 

I think about it. Why do some people get it, some don’t. Some are fighters, some aren’t. I think everyone wants to be. Like animals, we want to be free to impulse. 

Advertisements

12-2-17 (The World, Hunters, Homesteading, Remodeling, Family, Photos)

IMG_0191.jpg

 

The World. Two dogs about to fight, while the pack swarms around them, riled with the spirit of it. Except, they’re not really dogs at all. Screaming steel eagles, with Easter eggs, for hell’s pleasure, tucked in under the wings. They screech through space, saying much simply; we are here.

 

IMG_0193.JPG

 

Hunter stopped by, napped a good one. Young buck, right through the heart. Helped me drag it to the back of the pick-up, requested the antlers, told me to spray it out, pack it out with a 10lb bag of ice.

Hands stunk after, and you couldn’t help but smell them. Stare at it. I had to flip it around in the truck to wash it out. Through out the day, bits of blood and spit coagulated on the bumper.

Was told the butcher was a religious man, would only be open for a couple hours in the evening. Call up there to see when. Four to six, a pleasant sounding woman said on the recording, shotgun season. It laid there packed with ice, under my tree, while I finished applying polyurethane to the trim pieces,  intended for the coagulating living room.

Unusually warm, maybe sixty in the sun, a last whisper from Fall. Reflection is the spirit. It’s been over a year, since we’ve had that living room space, couch, table, TV. A place to just sit around and relax. It’s all still surreal, someone’s life I have stolen, or rather a role I’ve snuck into somehow. I walk around the house, can’t imagine all the work I’ve done, and there’s still so much to do, but there’s that light, a new normal, new nest in front of us.

 

IMG_0187.jpg

All day, I was sort of nervous about taking the deer to the butcher. Nervous at the newness, I guess. Never hunted. Never washed out a giant deer carcass. Never ran down a highway going sixty with hooves dangling. Figured it would be a spectacle and it was. Whole town filled with trucks, loaded up with deer. Anxious, focused masculine energy. Guy behind me critiqued that they should just have a stack of forms to hand out, make a faster line. Speed it up. It was fine though, lady was nice enough, eighty bucks to be boned and bagged. I plan to process the rest, stews, jerky, etc. Excited for that, spending a winter smoking meat, and doing sunflower shoots inside. Spring feels right around the corner.

IMG_0216.JPG

 

Britney cooks tortillas below me. They make an extra pleasant smell in the cast iron skillet. Ended up with a propane stove out here. Something about that real heat, it’s special, and cooks so much better. Hunters might bring us another deer, that and the pig we got, will almost fill our freezer. Including all our canned stuff, we hold a solid six months worth of food on hand, and really more like a year’s worth. And what’s extra cool, is there’s a lot of food processing in all that, which is expanding our homesteading skills, like learning how to make sausage.

Watched a video on how to butcher a deer today. Didn’t seems so hard. Neighbor said I was welcome to hunt his land. Said just go right over the hill there. Help yourself. Go in the morning. Set up before 6AM, when they come in to bed for the day. Don’t smell like nothing fancy, and be quiet. Aim for the heart. You want a younger, smaller animal for quality of meat. And make the shot clean, so the animal feels no unnecessary fear or suffering. Fear ruins it.

 

IMG_0215.JPG

 

The Moon From My Porch 

Like a perfectly circled cut of light,

Out of the firmament, 

It shines. 

Blue, to purple, to pink, 

Provides the the backdrop. 

Intrepid birds, flutter and chirp in amazement.

It’s not possible, but there it is.

Ancient symbol of the deeper truth. 

Stationary, yet always changing. Illusions, obscuring hard realities. 

11-16-17 Philosophy Through Family (In Praise of Patriarchy)

 

A Musical Accompaniment

I love and hate mankind in portions which may seem unhealthy. That’s the thing, they’ve made the basic human experience abnormal. Normal activity, inexplicable wave like emotions and experiences, which prompt change and growth,  have become negative attributes. Disruption is the critical marker, but then everything is disruptive, isn’t it? The empty fuel tank light, the nutrient deficient belly after dinner, traffic, red lights, bosses, children.

Parenting is the template to understand everything, Nature, God, whatever you want to call it. It answers all wandering philosophical questions, most importantly God’s alleged apathy. It’s not that nature doesn’t care about us, it’s that we are evolving life forms, who begin life dependent, but must be wired to separate from this life-source and function “independently” and keep the goddam wheels on the thing. I guess, cause that’s the problem, there is an element of illusion in that, limits on free choice, limits on our true independence.

Male and female, and they are real things, provide the solution to the paradox. The positive and the negative give balance to the story. Comedy and Tragedy. Adults are rounded out, settled down through parenting. Patience. Principles. Purpose. These are skills you have to have for Nature to flower and flourish.

There is so much illness and insanity in our culture, you can’t help but analyze some of the basics things, food, sex, employment, and recognize these are the problem areas. As a Father, it seems only right that I view these things through often critical lens. And frankly, when I take that position, it immediately draws you into conflict with the world. Power. Patriarchy. Pride. Potential. Dangerous, possibly prohibited words these days.

It’s easy and right to slip into an US vs. Them mentality though, which objectively isn’t historically the best stuff, but frankly in the small social scale is fundamental.

You should hold your family above others. Or even more yourself above the general thing. I remember that demented thought experiment (that’s basically the best of philosophy, imagine nightmare scenarios and make deductions from them) presented in some college ethic course, imagine you’re on the Titanic, shit goes down, and everyone’s drowning, you see your one kid floating away one direction, but there are like twelve other kids close by, drowning on a bit of wardrobe, who you could save immediately, but then your own kid’s gets a seat in Davy Jones’ locker. What do you do?

No question for me. I’m going for my kid. And curse the boat builder and god itself as I did it, and forever. But it can’t be any other way and it isn’t. More or less we all recognize, there’s nothing we can really do about “it”, is there? What’s worse, this problem is what has society at large in the tank. And it’s because from some quarters (rich and familial) has come the argument of over-population, and the value and pleasure in narcissistic mores of life. Which in reality amounts to shitty television, shitty food, and jerking off. But these apparently are enough, until inevitably they’re not, and so we try to drag the old crusty, models, the skeletons now, out of the heap in the backyard, but they don’t stand right, and we don’t have the tools, nor skills to build them again. Shit…can someone get a six-pack, maybe stop at Mcdonalds, maybe pick Grandpa up from the home, he loves tinkering with this shit….

11-13-17 dreaming of winter 

Can’t wait til the snow comes. Hope it rises 10feet high.  So high everyone’s stuck inside for a week. The electricity will go out, so no TV and we’ll go to bed early. But during the the day we’ll still stomp around, sled down the hill, throw snow balls. And when we’re done, we’ll pile into our beds, layered in pajamas and sweatshirts to snuggle. Take turns reading books and taking naps. Take back the world. Can’t wait for it to snow.

11-9-17 Nighttime Digestion (On The Paradox Of Being a Good Cook But Sick of Food, Learning to Play Guitar But Being Scared to Sing, And An Unshakeable Routine Which Must Be Questioned)

Got a weird energy, seems too early to be cabin fever, but think it’s something like that. Outdoor homestead activities are shutting down, and I’m feeling sort of cooped up. Feeling stuck in a routine of stay-at-home parenting, domestic leadershiping. I always describe my life as sort of building the parachute as the fall the is taking place sort of thing.

I’ve gotten sick of food, maybe sick of eating is a better way to put it. But when you got great cooking skills and you got to cook for a family, you sort of can’t escape it. It’s also part of our larger plans and goals, being frugal, healthy, etc. And I recognize the need for balance, and we’re not scared to grab take-out if that’s what it comes to, but I guess I have trouble finding that balance before it becomes a problem. And the food is so delicious! I’ve been putting on pounds, all that sour-dough bread! And then Halloween candy ruined me. And the Holidays approach, all about food and eating!

Today I made kids favorite spaghetti and meatballs. I used a frozen bag of tomatoes, that was previously roasted with onions and basil. I sauteed shame shallots and then put the frozen block of tomatoes in, waited til it was melted some added the garlic. It smelled delicious. Sauteed the meatballs in our new cast iron skillets, tossed them in the oven, and poured a couple ladles of sauce on top. My soon to be 3 year old said the were delicious, in the most twisted up, yet understandable way possible. The polysyllabic toddler babble always makes the writer dad proud.

Speaking of that, my seven year old has put the pressure on about the book buy through the school. Want exactly 16 bucks for his bucks. Told him about how he blew his recent birthday money stash on cheap toys, and wouldn’t it be nice to have those funds now. And how holidays are right around the corner, so we’ll get a bunch of new stuff then. And really Chay-Bobby, these damn school sales are a scam! Think about that yo-yo that you bought a month ago, you don’t even play with it. Yes, I do! Okay, still all these school sales, they  just nickle and dime you to death. Dad, gosh, you know I like to read!…So it goes…

I think the energy I got is primeval. Felt it today strumming the guitar as I took my time to self this evening. So much fun to bang on those strings. And I’ve gotten good enough I can play basic versions of a lot of my favorite songs. Love Potion #9 pooped up in the YouTube feed, and Nirvana Come As You Are was up next. Played through both,  and after the Nirvana, I had the urge to smash the guitar, but settled on tossing it on the bed, and flicking the pick. Wisdom, frugality, such precious things, but they can become excuses for not pushing forward, not challenging. I’m trying to learn to sing as I play, and I can feel it there holding me back, being embarrassed to sing, to let it out. And embarrassed about what? My wife hearing me? The kids? Or just sucking in general?

But what I know is it feels good to let go, to use that body and brain while they’re still there. While I still got the breath and spirit to get out.

Snippets 111

Isla_Tapu,_Phuket,_Tailandia,_2013-08-20,_DD_36

The Man with the Golden Gun-Ian Fleming

Sir James Molony had said that his memory would be sluggish for a while. The ECT treatment at The Park, a discreet so-called ‘convalescent home’ in a vast mansion in Kent, had been fierce. Twenty-four bashes at his brain from the black box in thirty days. After it was over, Sir James had confessed that, if he had been practising in America, he wouldn’t have been allowed to administer more than eighteen. At first, Bond had been terrified at the sight of the box and of the two cathodes that would be cupped to each temple. He had heard that people undergoing shock treatment had to be strapped down, that their jerking, twitching bodies, impelled by the volts, often hurtled off the operating-table. But that, it seemed, was old hat. Now there was the longed-for needle with the pentothol, and Sir James said there was no movement of the body when the current flashed through except a slight twitching of the eyelids. (044)

Snippets 110

Bonesmen_clock

This Side of Paradise-F. Scott Fitzgerald

“No, its isn’t silly. It’s quite plausible. If you’d gone to college you’d have been struck by the fact that the men there would work twice s hard for any one of a hundred petty honors as those other men did who were earning their way through.”
“Kids–child’s play!” scoffed his antagonist.
“Not by a darned sight–unless we’re all children. Did you ever see a grown man when he’s trying for a secret society–or a rising family whose name is up at some club? They’ll jump when they hear the sound of the word. The idea that to make a man work you’ve got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We’ve done that for so long that we’ve forgotten there’s any other way. We’ve made a world where that’s necessary. Let me tell you”–Amory became empathic–“if there were ten men insured against either wealth or starvation, and offered a green ribbon for five hours’ work a day and a blue ribbon for ten hours’ work a day, nine out of ten of them would be trying for the blue ribbon. That competitive instinct only wants a badge. If the side of their house is the badge they’ll sweat their heads off for that. If it’s only a blue ribbon, I damn near believe they’ll work just as hard. They have in other ages.”
“I don’t agree with you.”
“I know it,” said Amory nodding sadly. “It doesn’t matter any more though. I think these people are going to come and take what they want pretty soon.”(312)

11-5-17 Morning Briefing

IMG_2895

 

After the bear ate the Honda, we sat and thought about what to do with its remnants, roughly 7k dollars. The obvious choice to some, would be roll it into a similar vehicle, maybe something a little nicer, and go on about your business. Our ideas ranged from thousands of dollars worth of berry and tree plants, to quitting employment, to eventually paying off a high interest credit card and buying a 1996 Honda Odyssey for a thousand bucks. Old thing had less then a thousands miles, and decent gas mileage, it was fun, gambling. And things have mostly worked out. Took it to the mechanic and he said there wasn’t anything worth fixing right now, put some miles on it. Good enough.
That all to say last night, I noticed the interior light was on. Asked the wife about that, she said oh yes, been on all day. I stood out there for fifteen minutes messing with it, trying to get it turned off, pressing the door censors, trying to pull the fuse, nothing would work. Wife took the plate off, got the bulb out, no problem. I checked it this morning, started it up to make sure it hadn’t been drained, put the bulb back in, fidgeted with it and go it to work normal, so I’m guessing something is wrong in the dome outlet itself.

Then I feed the chickens. Neighbors had stopped by with the remnants of their garden, watermelon, fatty kohlrabi, tons of gourds . Lifted the stinking trash barrel with body breaking hulk strength, a plentiful offering to the gals. We continue to feel beyond blessed with how well the homestead has developed. We’ve spent the last month scrapping the main living room of several layers wallpaper. We got one little corner left to scrap clear, which I plan on finishing today. Then its some of plaster work, and time for a paint job. After about a year now, we might have a living room, with a couch. The deep question, do we need one or want one?

After breakfast, I set the gang to cleaning beans. They love it, smashing open the pods, getting the shiny beans all piled up. We talk about the whole process, what we’ll do next. The different kinds, how we’re eating some and setting some aside to plant next year.

I got garlic planted a couple weeks ago, planting next year food now. I also built a couple more raise beds before winter, they are halfway filled with composted chicken manure, wood-chips and a heavy layer hay, just waiting perfect for next early springs planting of radishes, cabbages, and onions.

A Neighbor supplied us with a hay bail, and sold us a pig, which we got this week. Another use of the bear check, was a new deep freeze. Same neighbor is offering to bag a deer for us as well, so I look forward to make jerky with that this winter.

For breakfast, Britney made fresh biscuits, and we had egg and bacon sandwiches. Somewhere in the year, she’s become an expert baker. I had gotten into starting sourdough cultures, but she came in out of nowhere and became the expert on it all, bread, cakes, tortillas, rolls. Its great eating, and more and more, the idea of food sustainability, eating off our own land, becomes a real achievable goal. A guiding principal in all this has congealed in my mind, the 1800s mindset.

Now this isn’t a dogma, or any sort of strict rule, but before I make a decision I like to think, what would a 1800s homesteader do in this situation. How would they approach it and look at it? So for instance with the car. Thinking 1800s told me I’m not planning on traveling too far on a daily basis, that any transportation I do have has to serve multiple purposes, and that ultimately I couldn’t spend that much, and definitely wouldn’t have or be comfortable with easily accessible and expensive debt. We giggled one night, thinking about how horses would be ideal, get a buggy like the Amish, to haul the gang. Is there anyway they could stop us?

Amish_buggy,_Lancaster,_Pennsylvania_LCCN2011634354.tif

That’s how it feels mostly. Like I’ve snuck of the reservation and made it to clear land. A place to be and do what I want. Land. Big plans are brewing for the future, and the beauty is it begins and depends on simple things. Fresh eggs and biscuits, the moon when it makes the sky glow, the froth of the Milky Way, little hands moving with archaic deftness separating the beans…

Snippets 109

Fitzgerald,_Saturday_evening_post

This Side of Paradise-F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Well, my first point is that through a mixture of conditions of which the family is the first, there are these two sorts of brains. One sort takes human nature as it finds it, uses its its timidity, its weakness, and its strength for its own ends. Opposed is the man who, being spiritually unmarried, continually seeks for new systems that will control or counteract human nature. His problem is harder. It is not life that’s complicated, it’s the struggle to guide and control life. That is his struggle. He is a part of progress–the spiritually married man is not.”
The big man produced three big cigars, and proffered them on his huge palm. The little man took one, Amory shook his head and reached for a cigarette.
“Go on talking,” said the big man. “I’ve been wanting to hear one of you fellows.” (310)