The Way Home?

CricketEditing
Cricket helping her mom copy-edit.

Last Tuesday, my cat Cricket died. She was about 20 or so years old. I got to be with her all day and into the evening, at least. My little Queen Bee.

She was the last of 12 (13?) critters in my animal family. I kinda lost count of how many critters I had, because, well, I can’t count too good. *wry laugh* I started doing rescue work, and ended up with a lot of new animal friends. (<—sucker).

Cats: Sid, Nancy, Forest aka Loki, Lettuce, Smelly Cat, Cricket. Rabbits: Rowan and Charlotte, plus a guinea pig named Bubble Piggy, and an (also adopted) hamster named Russia. And some fish and a couple of captive-bred leopard geckos I got from a herp expo. I’ve got a gazillion pictures I could post, and about that many more on actual film. Want to see? Nope? Fair enough. (Maybe just one more?).

CricketSnuggle
Cricket and (Diva!) Lettuce.

Care to hear about the million and one things that made them all the best critter companions ever? I didn’t think so.

It goes without saying that I miss them so much. All of them. Even Smelly Cat, the old stray who showed up on my doorstep crying pitifully, being outrageously skinny, and in the end stages of renal failure. (And, yes, he looked just his more famous counterpart!)

Cricket had to be everywhere I was in the house, so not having her around is just beyond comprehension. About half the time, I don’t even believe that she’s gone.

I always made a joke of the fact that my livespace belonged to my animals, not me. One of my animal rescue colleagues came over one day, and told me that when she died, she wanted to be reincarnated as one of my pets. But, with all of them gone now, I realize that my living in a house was a lot more than just making sure that my animal friends had a plethora of toys, litter boxes, gourmet food, comfy beds, hidey-holes, playpens (for the rabbits and guinea pigs), and the majority of  my own bed space.

CricketDND
Cricket hiding out until her mom came home.

 

Any house, apartment, etc.  was, and is, expressly for my animal family. Now I’m sitting here in this current too-empty house, and wondering what the point is of living in one place, surrounded by four walls. It’s basically a fancy container to hold all my stuff. Even after all the downsizing I’ve been doing, I still have so much crap. I can’t bear to donate all of their cat beds and toys and food bowls and kitty crates for travelling.

A long time ago, I dreamt of my beloved cat Sid…one of those cats that’s almost like a soulmate…and he was waiting for me by the ocean.

I think of that spot all the time now. In my quiet house as I stare at all my crap I can’t bring myself to get rid of, but at the same time, wish I could just set fire to.

I stare at one of my pictures by Landon Richmond. The one of a little girl in a red-and-black scorched apocalyptic-looking world, using a phone booth. The text in the print says “Can I come home now?”

And I want so badly to go home. But I don’t have anybody to call. Or anyplace to go. Or any money, for that matter. So, every night, right before I go to sleep, I visit that spot by that grey, stormy ocean, with a garden and a forest and lots of magic and magical creatures and definitely some wild horses. And Sid there, still waiting, by the salt-frosted roses.

And everybody else warm and happy and fat and non-smelly in the dappled-sun garden.

I didn’t want to make this into a blog about how much I miss all my critter babies.

I just wanted to put out into the universe somehow that I hope to see them all again. Even in this disjointed blog entry. To finally have a place that feels real. A place that’s safe, where everything makes sense, and a place that I actually belong. I just want that place to exist, somewhere, in some dimension out there.

I’m waiting, too.

CricketMouseToy
Cricket waiting patiently for the toy mouse to pop out of the cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Menstruation!

 

There’s much debate over the environmental impact over the products we women use to soak up our monthly bleeding. (Oh, come on, it’s 2016!!! Though, given the current state of things, sometimes I wonder…)

Anyhoo, the debate rages on such topics about comfort, period shaming, and women’s health. (Disclaimer: I have not received any products for free in the making of this review blog.)

Here’s a site I found that breaks it down pretty well:

https://rathofeve.wordpress.com/using-disposable-menstrual-products-what-are-the-environmental-impacts/

I, for one, was delighted to discover LunaPads back in the…90s? Years ago, anyway. (I discovered them in a Bitch Magazine ad) Disposable pads just didn’t cut it. I tried everything for years (sans tampons–not a fan)–heavy “flow”, wings, industrial-strength sponges (just kidding!), but nothing worked to prevent “leaks”. (Yep, yet another reason why I hated high school–aside from being a huge nerd, that is…LOL)

But LunaPads did. They were fantastic! I never had any problem after that. Well, until they changed their construction. The old ones had the wings on the inside, sewn directly into the base wing pad, and now they had one of the wingless inserts sewn onto the base. When I purchased a set of the new ones, I realised they were no longer as effective. I even contacted the company directly and asked them why they changed the construction and explained that they weren’t as effective, and they said they had customer requests and positive feedback about the new design, and that’s how they were going to be made from here on out.

So, I’m on the quest for new replacements. I have tried GladRags in the past, and they weren’t my first choice, but I might try them again, as I desperately need a more effective alternative. I’m also looking at the “Period Panties” that Thinx makes.

In any case, I put together a shopping list to get you started. Please, post up below with any feedback or comments on these products! Thanks!

http://www.shethinx.com/

http://gladrags.com/

http://lunapads.com/?geoip_country=US

http://www.earthwisegirls.co.uk/ecofriendlyperiods-g-19.html

http://www.theveganwoman.com/green-period-5-eco-friendly-vegan-period-products-will-change-life/

Happy Green Bleeding! (i.e. environmental, not Vulcan…it wouldn’t be the Chaos Fairy without some lame nerd humour!)

 

 

(Not) Understanding the Suburban Mentality

 

Mulder: “I mean, is it so damn important for everybody to have the same color mailbox?”–The X-Files, “Arcadia”

Okay, I admit, the mentality of suburbanites and gated-community dwellers just plain mystifies me. I used to be a little more philosophical about it–live and let live–as long as I don’t have to live there. Or even visit people I knew who lived there. Until I really became aware of the environmental impact of the suburbs (back in my late teens/early 20s–so a while ago *wry laugh*).

Little Boxes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUoXtddNPAM

Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States

Let’s temporarily forget about (not that you should) the acres upon acres of wilderness (in Florida, where I’m from originally, it’s the already severely diminished wetlands and swamps) that fall prey to the developers’ chainsaws. Let’s look at the communities themselves. Instead of renovating an older home or apartment building, there’s this trend where everything has to be brand-sparkling-new. This one young person I knew actually said those specific words when she was complaining about her old-building rental. So, now, because people don’t want to live in a place that’s been used and lived in by someone else, they help contribute to the destruction of the environment, because of all the new construction materials that have to be manufactured to build these perfect new homes. And, typically, they are pretty cheaply built on top of that. Or, if there’s an old home on the site, it has to be demolished and carted away to a landfill, generating more environmental issues.

So, having ignored all of the above, I don’t understand why you would even want a cookie-cutter home that looks like all the others. Boring. Plus, how on earth do people even find their trendy brand-new home, after one too many mixologist-concocted drinks, if they all look alike? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLxC1bJmF_Uhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLxC1bJmF_U)

Then, the lawn mania. It astounds me how obsessive people still are about having perfect green lawns. All day long, every day, you’ve got people or lawn crews out with lawnmovers, leafblowers, weedwhackers–the noise is constant and it’s all…day…long. One couple even had a ShopVac that they used to vacuum leaves off their lawn–seriously. People, having those green lawns, especially in Florida, takes a toxic combination of chemical fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides. And guess where all that stuff is going, especially in coastal communities? Yep, right into the waterways. (http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/dark-side-lawns) And, it seems to me that it’s completely unregulated. Even organizations and people who are supposed to be advocates for environmental protection and protectors of our natural spaces not only use things like Round-up, but are strong supporters of its use. (I know, I contacted some local representatives of these organizations directly). You know what that causes? http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/01/us/florida-algae-pollution/http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/01/us/florida-algae-pollution/ (This recent news item is the main inspiration for this article, by the way.) I can also speak from personal experience. Red tide used to only happen maybe once a year when I was growing up. When I was living there more recently, red tide was happening practically year-round. When I was growing up, there were less turfed green lawns–now everyone seemed to have one. And, of course, there’s the dead zone in the Gulf. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/080415-gulf-of-mexico-dead-zone-above-average.html. So, what can be done about it? Even for those of us trying to fight it, it’s difficult when the local city and state politicians are corrupt and firmly on the side of developers and tourism. See examples here: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150630/ARTICLE/150639959  and  http://www.srqmagazine.com/srq-daily/2016-03-26/3713_Institutional-Corruption and http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150319/ARCHIVES/503191026

This paper espouses a stronger viewpoint about the state of things in Sarasota: http://sarasotaphoenix.net/

Sadly, even when people strive to implement xeriscaping, or try to use mulch beds in combination with native plants, they then resort to using Round-up to keep the weeds out. Which makes no kind of sense whatsoever. I mean, why bother with the environmentally friendly landscaping if you’re just going to dump Agent Orange Round-up all over it?

I hated to leave Florida without being able to affect any kind of change whatsoever. It felt like I was abandoning it to the mercy of the people who just wanted a beachfront paradise/condo–abandoning the swamps and the natural Florida I loved as a kid. But I couldn’t afford to live there among all the rich snowbirds, and an opportunity opened up to get out of that conservative hellhole.

So, I moved to New Mexico. Santa Fe. Where I’m at, at least had a little bit of a rural feel–a touch of the wild. There’s a ditch right by my driveway, and it was lined with beautiful flowers. Tall yellow flowers that followed the sun, and little orange and purple flowers. Essentially, lots of green growy things that helped take the edge off moving to the desert from green, lush Florida. And it was so quiet–no sirens, no SWAT teams running down the street, no gunshots,  and, best of all, no lawn equipment.

Then I was woken up (7 am on a Saturday morning, no less) to the sound a weed-whacker right outside my window. Yep, all the lovely wildflowers–gone. All the lilies around my rain barrel–gone. The whole lovely meadow, full of waving, shimmery grass in the compound–gone. And now the compound is coming after me because the area lining my gate looks “messy”, so, by the laws of the unit, I have to get rid of all the growing things along the fence.Or some of them. I still don’t understand what they are talking about. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to weed out. It’s no different than when I moved in. To me, it’s just beautiful, wild nature.

I don’t really feel like I belong in this world–it makes no sense to me.  I’ve never felt more like a social misfit then I have this week. And I’ve always kinda been the odd one out.

I have some things to figure out about where to take my life from here…to continue the fight and how best to make a difference for this planet and all its wonderful plants, animals, and other natural elements.

 

 

 

It’s a small (shark) world…learn to share it, humans!

“Fish are friends, not food.”–Finding Nemo

For my sustainable Saturday post, I was inspired to make the topic sharks.

Partially because of a tweet I saw this morning, which had a Care2 petition to urge FedEx to stop shipping shark fins. (Sign it here.), and partially because I saw an ad for a show that yet again played up the shark’s reputation as a vicious monster.

And, it’s Shark Week, as I just realized, belatedly.

Growing up near the ocean (well, the Gulf of Mexico, technically) as a kid, we learned to be smart in the water. If we were stupid enough to ignore shark alerts, or go swimming at night–things like that–well, it was our own damn fault if something were to happen to us. There just seemed to be common-sense things that you did without question, especially in regards to animals and nature in general. Guess it was a different world?

Here’s some sites with statistics that highlight the odds that are stacked against sharks (and, what fascinating creatures they are).  Because we humans have much more of an impact on sharks and other creatures than they do against us. Nature is not the enemy, we humans are.

http://sharkangels.org/issues-facing-sharks/looming-extinction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_attack

http://natgeotv.com/ca/human-shark-bait/facts

http://www.seashepherd.org/sharks/?gclid=CjwKEAjwzN27BRDFn9aAwLmH2yISJABWuEXcbE1ZjUm_38HfOG-KUF1kz2bF-amjpdmsYj-SUnTzOhoCDnHw_wcB

http://aqua.org/blog/2014/november/shark-diversity?gclid=CjwKEAjwzN27BRDFn9aAwLmH2yISJABWuEXcc4VqKHMmfimolEXLk1U9TARcwqUSjjqD2GVTMaRwgBoCDGrw_wcB

http://www.oceanicresearch.org/education/wonders/sharks.html

http://www.livescience.com/topics/sharks

Save the Sharks!

 

‘Every Day is like Sunday’

 

‘Every Day is like Sunday’

A lackluster week for writing/inspiration…maybe a visit to The Writer’s Path will help.

But, it is summertime, after all– (Hello, laziness :p)

I so miss the ocean out here in the high desert.

Or, I’m just in need of some summer adventuring. National Geographic also has some neat summer adventures if you’re in the U.S.

Gelato in Italy might be the best place to kick the summertime blues…

…or other travel ideas if you’re the romantic type.

Can’t afford to leave home? Read a book. Or ten.

Have a conscience? Try a volunteer vacation.

Okay, I’m off to be lazy elsewhere.

Got other ideas to help fend off summer ennui? Post up below!

Have a fantastic summer!

 

 

 

Ocean Song: Sounds of the Sea

Running behind today (I spent the morning helping a neighbour rescue an injured possum), so I’m going to “borrow” this for my Science Saturday blog…just because it’s so FRICKIN’ awesome!

Ocean Song: Sounds of the Sea.

Human Extinction….

…a certainty considering we are not evolving, and, perhaps, even de-evolving…. 

At the end of this entry, I’ve posted ways for us to get off our ass and get involved (if it’s not too late..). Feel free to share other ways to get involved, in the comments below. 

The new “Cosmos” is a good place to start, for a wake-up call (if you haven’t had one already)…a fantastic show, overall. 

http://www.cosmosontv.com/ 

http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/

I’ve posted some links re: the impact of us humans on the environment, below.

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/poachers-kill-40000-african-elephants-year

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/desert-rain-frog-dangerous-beast-or-adorable-squeaky-toy

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/tiny-tarsier-subspecies-discovered 

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/seaworld-build-better-orca-enclosures-after-blackfish-documentary-hits-profits

Nature Wins (?): 

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/5-diseases-you-should-be-more-afraid-ebola

http://humon.deviantart.com/art/Mother-Gaia-207388674 

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/cities-are-making-spiders-bigger 

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/icelands-next-volcanic-eruption-about-happen-0

DO SOMETHING!

 http://www.idealist.org/ 

http://jobs.oriongrassroots.org/ 

http://www.seashepherd.org/ 

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/ 

http://earthfirstjournal.org/

http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ 

http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/ 

http://ciw-online.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement