Moving Forward

First, thanks for your interest in my stories about my past adventures. I expected to get about twelve people to read yesterday’s post, not the actual number! It’s a Blogmas miracle! This makes me think that I may want to write up some memories every week or so. First I have to go plow through some photo albums, half of which appear to be in Austin and half in Cameron (oh the problems of having two houses, lol).

Here, to show you how happy I am, enjoy a photo of me from…a long time ago? I have no idea when this was taken.

While I do have more memories to share, my thoughts this morning got all derailed by reading a couple of posts on conspiracy theories and code words. First I read a cautionary piece on Facebook by Jim Rigby, my favorite Christian minister. He talked about the importance of not thinking that the issues the US is dealing with will just go away with a change in the presidency.

He also provided a handy kind of “dictionary” that helps in understanding what you’ll hear certain groups (conservative subgroups) of people saying they believe in, versus what the underlying implications are. Here are a few juicy ones:

“Elites” is a term of derision. It is not generally applied to the plutocrats who pillage our nation, but is reserved for stigmatizing and marginalizing anyone with expertise.

“Family values” is a term of reverence for the patriarchal hierarchy.

“Religious liberty” is a term referring to the “right” of Christians to impose their religion on non-Christians. If Muslims try to have influence in the public sphere they are accused of trying to bring about shariah law, and Jewish activists are smeared with tropes going back to the Spanish Inquisition

“Christian persecution” is a term often using actual persecution against Christians in other countries to pretend that Christians are being persecuted when not allowed to rule THIS land.

Jim Rigby, link below

You can read the whole thing below.

I’ve gone on and on about how vital it is to take into account the facts (yes, that means things that have really happened) about race relations here, like Jim Crow laws, lynchings, jerrymandered voting districts, educational inequities, housing inequities, yadda yadda. There’s a boatload of it. What I liked about Rigby’s piece is that he spelled it all out so succinctly (considering it’s a boatload).

Oh look, some flowers. Let’s breathe and enjoy them.

Then, I happened upon a great article from The Economist that you can’t read unless you sign up (grr). It talked about conspiracy theories around the world. Whoa, I had no idea how widespread and crazy some are. Did you know Putin has numerous body doubles, so he can live forever? On the other hand, apparently gays are trying to take over his government, even though they have no power. And there were weird ideas from Japan and other places, too.

Conspiracy theories are just fine, until enough people are convinced they are true and start harming others. I’m keeping an eye on them!

Sorry to be such a downer today. I just want to say that it behooves all of us, no matter what “team” we are on, to make sure we are basing our opinions on what it actually happening, and to not hide in our safe little circles. Everyone needs checks and balances, so let’s be responsible.

More flowers, the last of my autumn decorations. I got one bouquet to last well over a week and become multiple smaller ones. Happy December!

Back to cute stories later. At least I shared some fun photos.

Happiness Is New Life

As I was reading my morning news/opinion pieces, I was reminded by the Rev. Jim Rigby that it’s important to remember that there’s good stuff going on today. Go to his Facebook page to see his ten reasons to be grateful today. What struck me was this:

What a shame it would be if we forgot to celebrate the fact we are alive, that we are all connected to each other, or that underneath all our problems we are still expressions of a cosmic process. What a shame if, in the middle of this terrible storm we did not pause to appreciate the courage and nobility of those who struggle on our behalf. 

Jim Rigby, Facebook, July 27, 2020

To that I want to add that we continue to celebrate that life and death go on, regardless. While I heard of the death of an old colleague this morning, I also saw beaming baby photos from three other friends.

My morning also featured this new heifer, who doesn’t seem to understand that cars have the right of way! The old ones politely moved.

And last night, when I went out with Lee to look at the frogs, he asked me what a particular plant growing up out of the disturbed earth was. Usually what we see are the plants that typically come up in disturbed soil, but this one looked familiar.

It’s a leaf, all right. I didn’t take a picture of the whole thing.

It was not a hackberry or a cedar elm, even if the leaves have serrated edges. It looked like, hmm, what is that tree in the field on the other side of the woods? Thank goodness I have iNaturalist!

Sure enough, it’s a cottonwood, which is also a native tree, but we only have ONE on our property. We had just been talking about how we REALLY need some trees. And boom, we have one! New life to be happy about.

We may or may not move it. It might look nice next to the little pond. I know their seeds are a big messy, but I love the way the leaves shimmer in the wind and the seeds fly around like snow. We only have the one tree, because cattle eat up any saplings in the pasture. Now we have one with a chance to become a nice shade tree, eventually.

The rain that fell all over the county completely missed our ranch. There was a little peninsula of nothingness, and we were in it. But we got a nice sunset.

Now I just have to mark it so no one will weed-eat it or pull it up! I’ll just stay optimistic about this, and carry it into the rest of life today. Back to work on the ole kanban cards.