Sunday, October 15, 2023

Fairy In the Garden

 I was talking on the phone to an old and dear friend, someone from long ago and far away.  He was telling me that he is catching glimpses of animals and other spirits from the corner of his eye as he is working in his garden these days.  

The last few years have been a series of one medical emergency after another for him, including a dream or a vision wherein he spoke with someone exceedingly dear to him who has already crossed over.  The veil is thin for him now and he does not have to be in medical crises to perceive these secretive inhabitants of this world, (or those of the next).  He and I have always believed in mysterious experiences, in those precious few times when the truly sacred reveals itself.  It is partly why we remain friends six decades on.

As we were talking, I was looking through the window where I spend an amount of time every single morning watching the sunrise, watching the birds and rabbits, greeting my day.  This strange plant, one I do not recognize, had became noticeable just a day or so before this photo.  It was brown, apparently dying, unlike all the plants around it, and it caught my eye. 

Our conversation turned from my friend's new-found perception of animals or energetic entities to Findhorn, Perelandra and other sources of serious discussion regarding fairies and elves and nature spirits.  The very unusual multicolored plant began to gently wave and sway in the breeze, but not in unison with the other vegetation surrounding it. It seemed to take on a life of its own.  Of course, I knew it was a plant, though an odd one.  As I watched, it transformed and appeared to be motioning to me.  I acknowledged my Westernized scepticism but also refrained from any judgement as to what I was experiencing because it was delightful.

As soon I hung up, I took this photo through the screen.  I put the phone directly up to the screen hoping to get a clearer photo but the phone would not focus at all then.  I was a bit shocked when I looked at this photo close up.  I can see a distinct face, clearly an elven ear, and a crown with a bright "light" above her face.  She is bent forward with her right arm and hand forward, and appears to be wearing a gown or at least a long, full skirt.  I see a pair of wings behind her, and I see a silhouette of a smaller figure behind her.

I sat watching through the window for a while - until the plant became just a dying plant, waving in the breeze like the other plants you see in the photo.  The next day the yellowed leaves had all fallen.  

I do believe I was visited by a fairy.   

Thursday, October 12, 2023

An Email to a Bookseller

This sort of thing embarrasses the crap out of my children! I can't help myself.

A Quick Note

I received a used book (that is like new), ordered from Half Price Books via Amazon.  Thank you for dealing in
used books, for having a business that trades in books, new and used, and for making them available to anyone

I am soon to be 71 years old, and I have read thousands of books in my life so far.  I love books even though
there are audible recordings, digital editions, and other access to the stories that first came to earth as books
(movies/plays/paintings/sculpture etc).  Nothing is as wonderful as a book - one you can hold in your hand,
tote around for days, make notes in, put on a shelf, take down years later to look for a particular passage.   

I do not know how many people work for your business but please tell them all "thank you" from an old woman -
from the janitor to the manager to the owner and everyone in between.  They may be young folks who take the digital
world for granted, or think they are wasting their time working in an "unimportant" job, being of the opinion that printed
books are not important.  If they only knew how important books are to human beings, to the greater good for this
world, they would come to work with pride, as they should anyway.  People willing to work and make their own way
are the true treasure of any civilization.  People trading in real books are providing a genuine service to the rest
of the world, and me in particular.

I have read books that are considered great works of literature and I have read books that are considered trashy
by some, but regardless, I learned something from every book I have ever read.  Now, in America, we have people
censoring books, as if they can stop the truths contained in books!  One damned good thing about the internet:
burn the books in my school, I will read them online!!!

I started working at age 14 for 65 cents an hour, worked minimum wage jobs until I finally got through school,
then I worked for 39 years.  I know how easy it is to view a job as a soulless grind, or a low paying waste
of time, and everything in between.  Maybe you can share my sincere appreciation for the employees of your
business and thank them for a wonderfully valuable  service.

Most sincerely,

An old woman

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Not the Queen of England

 Long-time readers may well recall the dismal customer service routinely experienced at a Topeka farm store over the years.  In fact, employees who exhibited cheerful, helpful attitudes never lasted more than a few weeks - ever. I always thought the employees must have worked for a bastard of a manager.  No one worked there for very long.  There was never anyone who seemed to last even a full year- not even the most disinterested, surly employees who seemed to be the favorite hires.

Some things in life simply are, and because that particular farm store was so conveniently located, I continued to take my business there.  The employees were only borderline rude and if I genuinely needed help, it only took about ten minutes to track down someone.  Since I am not the Queen of England, after all, it was tolerable.  At least I always knew what to expect.

Saturday I needed salt and mineral blocks, dog food, and equine fly spray.  (I also knew they would have baby chicks, my favorite time of the year!) The place was hopping!  I only recently started going into stores again, so all the hustle and bustle is almost overwhelming.  There were so many customers that all the flat bed carts were in use.  I had to use a deep, grocery-type cart.

I trundled along, getting my supplies by rote, especially after they only had ducklings left - very disappointing.  (Ducks are cute little critters, but they are not chicks!)  The American Stockman mineral blocks weigh 50 pounds apiece.  I can still easily pick them up but lifting them above my waist is a struggle.  I slid one block under the cart, trying to figure out if the second one would also fit under there, when a nice woman happened by, only a few things on her flatbed cart.  She saw me shuffling the blocks and asked if I would like to trade carts with her!  I readily agreed, thanking her very sincerely. 

I no longer walk with a cane, but I must appear to be around 100 years old, or something, because often people offer unsolicited help.  This kindness happened in the long depressed, surly atmosphere of the farm store!  A minor miracle that simply made my day.  

But, it gets better!

Only one cashier when I got to the front of the store but I am patient.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, farm store employees appeared.  A young gal looked specifically at me, calling me to her register.  What's this new devilry?!  She was so pleasant, speedy, knowledgeable - and apparently a manager as she also directed several other employees while I was paying.  She asked if I wanted to sign up for an award card since they are now a different company.  I did not catch the name but it was news to me.  

And, even better!

I was making my way out of the store, threading through incoming customers when the heavily laden cart smashed into the edge of the door!  I was horrified that I had broken the door but there was an employee right behind me, and I apologized.  He assured me that it was not the first time that day people had crashed into the door.  When I saw that it was not broken, I quickly got out of the way of all the folks coming and going.

I made it to my car, and was debating whether to put my purse inside first before I unloaded the cart when a man's arm appeared reaching over my purse.  Oh my god, I was getting mugged at the farm store!! I spun around into the smiling face of the employee who had fixed the door.  He had followed me to help load my car, scaring the bejeezus out of me!  I started laughing, mainly happy that I was not a mugging victim - but help to load my car that I did not have to ask for?  Witchcraft!  Are you kidding me?  Happy, helpful, energetic employees?!  An Easter miracle!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

That Time of Year Again

I am hitting a milestone birthday this month.  It is a big one.  I am officially entering "the last part of the day", as Bob Dylan terms it.  Each passing year it is apparent that I have much to be thankful for, including good health, and good relationships, and good friends, and good neighbors. There is a steadily rising tide of news regarding people I have known for decades, already gone or soon to be leaving.  I know I am old but I still wonder who is the old woman in the mirror, though I have had more than enough time to acclimate to being an old human being. 

I have noticed many changes in the world at large.  Young people cannot read my cursive writing, and they are not children but adults.  A person's handwriting is as distinctive as their personality, instantly recognizable. I lament an art that was lost in so few years!  

Young people cannot pronounce my given name.  It stumps them.  They erroneously try to pronounce the first syllable with a soft "C".  It was once a very easy name for people to recognize and say correctly. It is remarkable that our language changed so in such a short time.

Often I am surprised by the kindness of young strangers willing to help me carry a large bag of dog food, or load heavy items into my car.  I graciously turn down their offers because if it is something I can still do, it is a small victory against the inevitable decline.  It is always such a pleasant experience when someone offers to help, though.  I am grateful for their kindness and concern.

On Thanksgiving this year, I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that the tide has turned irrevocably for me.  I was opening a container of gravy when it somehow slipped out of my hands.  It spilled that precious golden nectar down the cupboard and onto the floor, much to everyone's dismay!  Before I could even think what to do, both of my adult children immediately set to cleaning up the mess. I am no longer the de facto supreme ruler of this family.  I am no longer The Mom. My children quite naturally cooperated, managing the minor crisis, male and female.  I felt it quite deeply, minor as it was.  I do not have to take care of everything all the time now.  My family is in capable hands.

It might be difficult to see through the craziness in the world right now, but the young people coming up are going to be okay.  They grew up in a world different than that of my baby boomer generation.  A million things that are still fresh in my mind they did not experience and have no frame of reference.  Of course the world changes.  It changes every single moment.  I try to stay up on things simply because I do not want to be left too far behind, but with each passing year it matters less.  

The newest and best television and movies display an inclusive world.  Each of the various Tolkien races in The Rings of Power contain human actors of every race. The Walking Dead, an apocalyptic science fiction series that aired for 11 seasons, showcased women warriors every bit as capable, heroic and brave as the men, sometimes even more than the men. In my lifetime, the first woman I saw on the screen that did not fall off her high heels was Princess Leah! Our entertainment has changed to be as  inclusive as real life.  A grand achievement!

Though climate change still engenders an enormous amount of angry deniers, the earth herself is delivering the message to each human personally.  Quite soon there will be no argument left, no possible or plausible denial,  It will be life and death for millions of people. Humans will either change or perish.  It is simple. Other countries are far ahead of the USA, countries where humans make their decisions, not corporations. 

Maybe we will wake up but maybe we will argue with ourselves until it is too late.  After all the wonderful progressive science, education, industry and social advancement America achieved in my life, we have lately fallen into polarized hate, anger and ignorant denial, crazy conspiracy theories, and tragic domestic gun violence.  It is shocking. It is heartbreaking.  I think it is ultimately life as usual.  There is always something on this earth that presents true challenge and requires courage and sacrifice. 

For me personally, it is hardest to admit there are things that I can no longer physically do.  (Well, I can probably do anything at least ONCE more!)  I sometimes dream I am on the highway, riding my Harley effortlessly across all the miles. And when I wake up, I am happy.  I cannot dance, but I can watch young people from all over the world dancing on TikTok - the next best thing!  I can no longer walk up the front steps carrying five gallon water jugs, so I bought three gallon water jugs.  Some day I will not be able to walk those up the steps, either.  I will think of something when I get to that. 

So, it will soon be my birthday and then Christmas, and the New Year and so on and so fourth. As my old confidant, Bob Dylan says: "I feel a change coming on, and the fourth part of the day is already gone."   

In time honored fashion: 

Wishing peace on earth and goodwill toward (some) men - 
from the Crazy Woman, the Supreme Beings, and the wolf dogs of Spiritcreek Farm.

My family (and son's Cane Corso)

Daughter and her Red Heeler

My Hell Hounds

Supreme Being

Wally Lama

Monday, November 14, 2022

All By Moonlight

The best my phone can do with the bright moonlight.

Wally is always visible - even in starlight - but he glows in moonlight.

The little house on the prairie - alight beneath the moon.

 It has been uncommonly warm for October and November so far.  It makes for good time to spend outdoors, especially beneath the waxing moon.  I do not wander far from the house these days, or dare to hike the creek in the dark, or even follow the horse paths through the tall grass, day or night.  But I remember, and the magic retains its potency.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Respect! Or not.

 Mattie, the best and most perfect German Shepherd dog in all of Northeast Kansas and Southeast Nebraska, loves me.  She recognizes my authority in all but one matter (chasing the horses).  If she is sound asleep at my feet and I make the merest move, she is instantly on her feet and ready to follow.  I try hard to not disturb her, because normally I am just going twenty feet or less away, but she gets to her feet every time.

Kenzie, the brattiest German Shepherd in all of the Central United States, parts of Canada and the northernmost edge of Mexico, does not give a rat's ass.  Even if she is in my way, she will not move a muscle.  Indeed, she will not even move her eyes in my direction.  

I wish to pass between the table and the sofa.  Kenzie is not even asleep.

I step closer, hoping she takes the hint that she is directly in my path.

I try another direction.  Notice that there is no movement whatsoever, though she is conscious and alert.

I do not even merit a side-eye.

"I am a German Shepherd, not a mere human."

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

We Need a Deterrent for Assholes

 I want a magic gun that can be aimed at a person's mid-section.  When the trigger is pulled, that person automatically and unavoidably shits his or her pants.  That is the appropriate function of an asshole, isn't it?

I removed the flat front wheel on my lawn tractor and took it to Topeka to be repaired.  Easy as pie.  It was very straight forward:  three washers, a keeper ring and the rubber hub.  

I took it to PROFESSIONAL lawnmower people to repair the flat - because when the PROFESSIONALS "fixed" it at the automotive tire store, it was flat as a flitter the next morning. The auto tire guys fixed it for free because they felt guilty cheating me on the road hazard deduction for the ruined tire they would not fix.    

After waiting two days I called the lawnmower shop to check if the tire was repaired.  I made another trip to town to pick it up.  I was so happy that I would finally mow again!  A long string of unfortunate events had prevented me from mowing for over a month! And, I really love driving my little tractor and keeping the place mowed.

I came home with my newly patched tire and attempted to put it on the tractor straight away.  I did not expect one hiccup.  It is easier than changing bike tires, or car tires, or truck tires, or motorcycle tires - all of which I have changed.  The problem came when I could not see where the keeper ring was supposed to go.

Long story short, the rim they returned was not the one I took to the shop.  The hub through the middle was far too wide, covering up almost the entire axle, even without the 3 washers.  It was too large in diameter to fit into the inner cup.  No matter what I did - whether I put the wheel on with the valve stem side in or out - whether I double-checked that the jack was not in the way - whether I tried to force it or not, the wheel did not fit on that axle.  

 A smarter person would have figured out the problem far sooner than I did.  After an embarrassing amount of time and sweat and enormous cussing, it finally dawned on me that it was the wrong rim.  If I get any slower, I will be a human slug.

I knew it was going to be irritating to deal with the people in the shop.  And it was.  First, a woman helped me.  She raised her eyebrows when I explained it was not the rim I brought in.  She went in the back and "warned" the guy who repaired it. I would have liked to have shot her with the magic Intestinal Evacuation Gun, but I knew there were going to be bigger guts to shoot before it was all over.  Besides, no need to escalate right off.  

I explained to the professional guy that it could not possibly be the rim I brought in, so he returned to the back to look around.  He came back and shrugged his shoulders.  Nothing back there.  He did not know what he could do for me.

I did NOT want to end up on TikTok "cussing and snortin' " as my mother would describe adults having tantrums in public. But my face was getting red.

I said, "Respectfully!  This is NOT the rim that came off my tractor!"  I am sure I was giving him the evil eye.  He towered over me but I think I could take him.  He certainly deserved the first shot to the gut.  If only.....

Another guy quickly appeared, and asked for the photos he had requested over the phone.  I handed him my phone but there was nothing that truly helped identify anything about the rim. Though I was able to determine for myself that it was probably the same tire.  He then started asking the man questions:  

"Sooooo, are these the photos of the other tire still on the tractor?"

[JESUS CHRIST!!!  NO!!!  I took all these photos of the wheel you are looking at on the counter right now!!!  Sarcasm.  I did not say it but I was thinking it.]

He gets the second shot, point blank, right in the ol' guts!

"And did you try putting it on from both sides of the rim?"

Since I did not have the magic gun, I said, "Listen, I rode my own Harley, and I could wrench on it.  I am not a fucking idiot!"

I was getting close to potentially being a Karen on TikTok, so I calmed down.  But, Jesus Christ!!!  I would have shot him with the Gut Gun about ten times right then.

He changed his tone a little bit.  

All that, and as I was driving home, I started to doubt myself.  Did I miss something?  Was that honestly my rim and I just missed something?  But there is nothing to miss.  Solid steel does not shapeshift in normal reality.  The axle is a simple thing.  I should have shot myself in the gut with the fantasy gun for letting men cause me to doubt myself.  

So... no mowing.  No tire.  No rim.  I already looked up replacements on the Sears Parts website and it is going to cost a small fortune to replace the hub, wheel and tube. Easily over $100, not including shipping and taxes. And, it is all on back order.  I already paid $37 for the mower shop to repair the tire and lose the rim.  

I should go ahead and order the parts because I have a feeling I will have them long before these assholes find the right rim. At least the one guy apologized but he was not sincere.  He needed one more blast from the Gut Evacuation Gun as I left the shop, for good measure.   

Addendum:  The shop where the wheel mix-up took place asked me to leave the tire/wheel with them when I took it back for not being the wheel that came off my tractor. I made them put a tag on it with my name.  I said I have no collateral if I leave it here. (Yes, I have been ripped off a time or two by men in shops - Harley shops, lawn mower shops, car garages.)

After numerous texts and photos and one discussion to "trouble-shoot" because I could not possibly know whether a tire fit my tractor or not, I went back to get the wheel.  The official judgement was there was a burr preventing the wheel from going on, though I said in text and in person that I had felt for a burr, or burrs, and there were none.  It was as if he did not hear me say that.

I took the washers that came off my tractor and made a little measuring stick so I would know for sure that it was going to go back on my tractor before I brought it home. The second wheel that was returned to me was darker gray, smaller, had far more grease and dirt on it than the first one they sent with me.  The washers fit and the stick measured appropriately, so I brought it home.  It fit perfectly back on to my tractor the way I expected it to - easy as pie.  I had the whole thing, greased, placed, keeper ring on and the new plastic hub on in less that 5 minutes. No burrs.  No forcing the wheel. No cussing or sweat in my eyes because it went on as easily as it came off.

I do not choose to believe that the guy I dealt with was lying.  He seemed very sincere.  But someone in that shop found my tire and returned it without saying anything.  No apologies for the mix up because there was none in that guy's mind.  This is what women deal with all the time!  

Though I am handicapped by being born with ovaries and by not being the smartest person on the planet, do you think, by looking at these photos, I should be able to readily tell if the wheel fit or not?