Truth or Facade

Wildlife 002

How important is what others think of us? How far do people go to be liked? Is fitting in important? Does being alone really mean being lonely?

I’m not a philosopher, but I have been witness to many a peculiar human act. As a species we truly seek the company of others. Sometimes we wear a proverbial mask that portrays  us similar to those around us, even if on our own we would not act the same. Sit and observe a group of teenagers at a mall if you don’t believe me.

I have seen people get haircuts, etc to blend in. Get tattoos because others did. Buy a certain brand or type of clothing. Why do we do this? I don’t need to look like, act like, or dress like someone else to love myself. Yet at times I feel I have done just that.As if I needed their approval to be okay. I AM OKAY! Just the way I am.

Not everyone wants to grow a portion of their own food. I do. Not everyone wants to spend solitary moments in nature. I do. Not everyone wants to continually learn new things. I do do.

Do I want to fit into society? Of course I do. But at what cost? I don’t want to quit being me just to be accepted by someone else. As Popeye said, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.”

I am not perfect. I have flaws. But I can look in the mirror and respect the man I see. I served my country. I give an honest day’s work. My life is not a facade. I am a simple man leading a simple life.

If GOD provides me another chance at romance I’ll give it a try.But until then I’d rather be alone and happy than be in a relationship where I sacrifice my happiness for that of someone else.

Enough rambling for one night. But it feels good to finally write again.

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Dog Days of Fall

Its November. The weather here is stuck in Summer mode. Matching or breaking previously set record highs. Almost daily thunderstorms. Yard work really is a chore, either too hot or too wet. A/C runs continually, tea won’t stay cold, mop the floor just to drag in a fresh coat of mud. Did I mention its November?

On the bright side I don’t have to manually water the garden each night. Plants that normally would be difficult in November are thriving. Weeds are also thriving, but that’s okay. Into every-life some rain must fall. Flowers on the Okra plants hint of upcoming stews. Bright green Kale glistens in the morning dew. Trimmings from an overgrown Rosemary bush are hanging inside just for the aroma, I could never use it all for cooking or garnish.

Rainy nights make for great sleep. Tomorrow it will be back to work, but this week is split by Veteran’s Day, so there will be a brief respite. I actually enjoy my job most of the time and although there is always a wrinkle in our plans we seem to find a way to work through it.

Not sure what the future holds. Today, I plan to sit on the couch with my dog and enjoy the moment. The weather will change in due time. Did I mention its November?

Procrastination

Procrastination has been my enemy for most of my life. Rather than doing, I wait. Why can’t I just make up my mind and take action?  I know I’m not alone in this battle. I believe many others are reluctant to commit themselves without some period of indecision.

What are we waiting for? What are depriving ourselves of by waiting? Is our lack of action hurting others? Are we being selfish? Can we stop?

Some decisions do need to be carefully considered before we commit. Some things cannot be undone. Mistakes will be made. Our choices affect not only ourselves, but often include those around us. Realizing which decisions to make quickly versus those we should weigh all options can be daunting.

Indecision is simply deciding to put off our decision.

Today I decided to accept the task of free-writing for 20 minutes. Even if no one else reads my post, I chose to write.

I believe we all have something to contribute. Waiting around for that perfect moment might mean never taking action. I believe if each of us take even the smallest of actions we can create major changes. Let’s feed the hungry by showing them how to grow their own food. Let’s reduce our dependance on fossil fuels by trying alternative sources like solar. Let’s show gratitude for what we have and quit complaining about what we lack.

Today, look in the mirror and ask “What am I waiting for?” Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, today I choose to act.

Have a BLESSED day!

Baby Steps

GE DIGITAL CAMERAEllie May is the newest addition to my family. She was formerly known as Baby Girl at the pound where I got her. She dug up most of my garden her first week here. Rather than punish her I added more fencing. She was just doing what came natural. Now we are both learning how to interact with each other in ways that are mutually beneficial. Baby steps towards a lifelong friendship.

After making efforts to keep her out of the garden, I spent more time doing what she likes, mostly play-fighting and fetch. I also expanded my garden on the other side of the fence. I added two more raised beds, each with more tasty and nourishing plants. Baby steps on my way to sustainability.

Tomorrow I plan to visit my parents and work in Dad’s garden. His is much larger than mine, but last year he lost almost all of his plants to pests. Pickle-worm destroyed multiple types of squash, melons and cucumbers. The use of raised beds may reduce the damage from these pests. The pigs, coons and armadillos  are a different story. Another Baby step towards self sufficiency.

I hope someday to reach a state of complete self reliance, until then I’ll keep taking Baby steps.

Drying Fruit

Fruits and veggies are good for us so when they are on sale we tend to buy them. Sometimes we don’t use them all before they start to lose that fresh picked flavor and sometimes wind up in the compost bin. Bananas, no matter how green in the store or market, seem to go really fast. Two days ago I sliced several bananas and set up the dehydrator. While I was at it, I sliced apples, peaches, nectarines, and an orange. The dehydrating process is mostly unattended so it didn’t take me away from doing other important things. Some folks like to dip the fruits in lemon juice or other solutions to prevent browning in the process, since the browning doesn’t affect the taste or safety of the fruit I usually don’t bother to dip them. Once dehydrated, all the flavors are concentrated and the fruit is preserved to extend the amount of time it is edible. The orange didn’t do as well as the others, but is still quite tasty.

In the future we plan to try canning again. Our previous attempts didn’t go extremely well, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. There are tons of information about the canning processes commonly used, so perhaps it will go better next time around. If you have tips on canning feel free to leave a comment or two.

That’s all for now.

Cheers

A Fresh Pot of Chili

This photo is of an area in the everglades not overly disturbed by man. YET!

My wife and I made a fresh pot of chili today, along with garlic bread. What does that have to do with sustainability? You might ask. Taking a hint from history, most notably Cracker houses, we didn’t cook in the kitchen. Just as a side note; Cracker houses didn’t even have indoor kitchens, nor did they have indoor laundry facilities. Cooking outside, or as we did today, in the garage (due to weather), reduces the heat created inside the home. Less indoor heat means less work for the A/C. On top of that, we also used solar/wind powered batteries and inverters to assist our cooking activities. It won’t save us a fortune in energy costs, nor can our actions alone  heal the planet. If enough people will start making small sacrifices here and there we can make a difference.

Dinner is good, I’ll probably have seconds.

Peace and Love be with you.