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just finished reading this:
resistance resisters by derrick jensen (published in orion magazine) available here- http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/5340/
for derrick’s previous writings in orion see here- http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/mag/contributor/4698/

now reading this:
being the explorations of one fine summer: a personal zine, in photo book form by magpie killjoy-
http://www.birdsbeforethestorm.net/2009/09/surprise-i-have-a-second-book-out/

there are a bunch of other things i was going to say but i’ll just leave with this for now…
i’m deep in a wave of sadness. having gotten so close to death in the past because of my chronic illness (fuck you toxic chemicals, endocrine disruptors, and civilization in general) and wanting to live so fucking bad, my mind works in such a way that even at my worst moments i never feel like giving up and for that i am grateful. i’m able to be right here, buried in the mud at the bottom of a lake made of my tears, and just be. i feel no particular pressure to force myself out of it. i know i will swim back up to the surface sometime soon (this never lasts for too long) and find that the sun is out and the surface of the lake is warm.
but right now, i’m down here.
the other day i found out that the river that is the lifeblood of my partner’s people is drying up. the place where his culture believes that dragons live (down at the bottom of that huge fertile river), the place where they receive the gifts of water-dwelling foods, and where some of his people drowned as they tried to escape a war they wanted nothing to do with, is drying up. i felt my pulse quicken as i read the screen. i called to him. “i have to tell you something sad”, i said. “your river is drying up. they are putting up dams and the climate catastrophe is causing it not to rain the way it use to.” he stared at me for a moment, the muscles in his face hanging heavily, and said, “where will the dragons go?”

a letter of support for tim dechristopher (“bidder 70”) and call to action by derrick jensen and lierre keith:

When a government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
Do you believe that the United States government takes better care of corporations, or human beings?
I don’t know anyone who believes the United States government takes better care of human beings than it does corporations.
Do you believe that your vote counts as much as the votes of owners of transnational oil and gas corporations? Do you believe your vote counts as much as the money of owners of transnational oil and gas corporations?
The United States government is not a democracy. It is a plutocracy: government by, for, and of the wealthy.
It is a kleptocracy: government by, for, and of thieves. These thieves, these extremely wealthy thieves, these thieves who own corporations and the thieves who serve them in the U.S. government, steal communities, and they destroy the land. When they destroy the land, they steal not only the present but the future.
The purpose of a corporation is to amass wealth. That is its function. The function is not to protect communities, not to promote democracy, not to promote the health of the land. Corporations have no morals, and those who run them do not scruple at destroying life on this planet. Indeed, that is precisely what they are doing.
If aliens from outer space came to this planet and did the harm that oil and gas corporations are doing, we would stop them using any means necessary. If aliens from outer space were making it so there were carcinogens in every mother’s breast milk, we would stop them. If they were putting in oil and gas wells all over the planet, we would stop them. If they were changing the climate, we would stop them. If they were destroying landbase after landbase, we would stop them. And if they set up governments to “legalize” their sociopathological behavior, we would stop them.
When a government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
When a government and corporations work together to destroy life on earth, it is the responsibility of the people to stop this using any means necessary.
In a sane culture, Tim DeChristopher would not be facing trial. He would be seen as the hero that he is. And the corporate executives who destroy landbases as surely as they destroy democracy would be on trial. And the federal land managers who put out illegal oil and gas leases, leases which violate law after law after law, would be on trial. And the police who arrest those who protest against these illegal gas leases would be on trial (do these individual police officers realize they are lending their talents to the destruction of the land and of democracy? They are to protect and to serve, but do they realize they are protecting and serving not the people, not their communities, but instead sociopathological corporations and the politicians who serve those corporations?).
Never forget that the atrocities committed by the Nazis were under their own laws legal. The Nazi government passed laws allowing them to legally commit atrocities. And they arrested those who opposed those laws. Never forget that the atrocities committed in apartheid South Africa were under their own laws legal. The South African government passed laws allowing them to legally commit atrocities. And they arrested those who opposed those laws. Never forget that the atrocities committed in Stalinist Soviet Union were legal. The Soviets put on show trials for many of those condemned under these laws. And the police arrested those who opposed these laws.
In all of these cases, including the current one, the question becomes, whose side are you on?
In the current case, Tim DeChristopher is on the side of communities, on the side of the land, on the side of democratic decision-making processes. He is standing against atrocities, and against a sociopathological kleptocracy.
Whose side are you on?
I’m on Tim DeChristopher’s side.
Never forget, when a government becomes destructive of life, community, and democracy, it is the responsibility of the people to alter or abolish it. If you do not, that government will destroy life, community, and democracy. As we see.
It is time we fulfilled our responsibility. The corporations would like us to believe that we can’t fight them. Timothy DeChristopher has single-handedly proved them wrong. Whether he is successful now depends on the broader environmental movement. Will we let Timothy’s act stand alone, as a symbolic protest that got a moment of press and then faded? Or will we join him in protecting the last scraps of wilderness, the final, fragile shreds of our planet? Will we let corporate power turn mountains into rubble and deserts into sludge? Or will we do what it takes to stop them? We have weapons, from protests and lawsuits to the time-honored American tradition of civil disobedience to the serious tactics that resistance movements have always used. Whatever weapons you choose, use them wisely and use them well, but use them.

I LOVE SNOW!

below are some recent pictures i took. there isn’t a lot of snow on the ground here right at the moment but there will be more soon. also, as some of you may know, i do not live at my true home. these pictures are from where i’m staying here at my parent’s place in the city (for various crappy reasons) and right now i’m daydreaming about what the snow looks like at my true home.

zsnowpattern

zcurranttomatosnow

there’s a bumblebee nest in the ground in the grassy area next to a large maple shown below. i protected it from mowers all summer. the bumblebees would fly in and out all day- there were so many of them! it was wonderful to sit and watch. one time i was out there and i heard this unbelievably LOUD crunching noise coming from their home. i went in closer, thinking that somehow an animal must have gotten in there and was eating everything. but nope, it was a bumblebee chewing on and shaping a leaf to serve as a rain door over the opening of their nest!
zbumblebeehomesnow

zsnowyboots

isn’t it wonderful the way the body adapts to temperatures? every year this same thing happens and every year i am amazed by it:
after 70’s, 80’s, and a few 90’s for the summer, once it gets to the 50’s i think “ooh, this is chilly” and in a matter of days i find the 50’s mild. right now its 26 degrees fahrenheit and when i go outside i think “ooh, this is chilly” but once its below zero, i’ll be saying that 26 degrees feels mild. i can remember one night when i was a teenager being outside at my true home in the middle of the night watching the aurora borealis and it was negative 45 degrees fahrenheit and although i wasn’t wearing enough clothes (i had jumped out of bed in my pajamas and put on some choppers–these are choppers if you’re not familiar with them: link, and a hat) i wasn’t cold at all. although maybe it was my concentration on the northern lights that kept me warm:)

hello everyone,
here’s my quick contribution for this month’s herbal blog party. the theme is sweet medicine and is hosted by kiva rose at the medicine womans roots– please head to kiva’s blog to see the other contributions!
i had planned to write a bit more about this but we finally had a thunderstorm here so i had to stay off the computer.

first, i should mention that i am absolutely madly in love with monarda. some of you may know of this plant as bee balm, sweet leaf, or wild bergamot. the local variety is monarda fistulosa. take a look at a beautiful blossom:

zbeeonbeebalm

gorgeous right!? and as you can see, the bumblebees love monarda too.

some of the monarda started blooming here a little less than two weeks ago and some plants are just starting now. a week ago i went outside to gather blossoms to infuse into honey.

here’s how:
on a nice day, go outside (or if you were already outside, then that’s even better). sit with the monarda and admire. harvest blossoms. remember to leave PLENTY for the bees. fill glass jar with blossoms. stare at glass jar and feel like you might faint from all that beauty being packed into one jar (make sure you’re sitting down!). you can add monarda leaves to the jar too if you want. cover blossoms with honey (preferably local raw honey). stir so that the honey is coating the blossoms. put lid on jar nice and tight. back inside your shelter (whatever form that takes) place the jar somewhere that you will pass by often. flip jar upside down whenever you walk past. this helps the honey really coat everything. let sit for a few weeks. taste-test OFTEN (no, not because it will go bad but because it is oh so good). flowers can be strained but its much more fun to eat them.

zsweetmedicine
(note: the 100 proof vodka in the pic above is not for honey-making but for monarda tincture, another awesome herbal medicine!)

zmonardahoney

monarda honey is particularly good for a burn dressing (in the event that you haven’t made the infused honey but you’ve got monarda around, you can chew the leaf and place it on burns) or for a sore throat or just for eating or putting into tea!
monarda honey is sweet and spicy and SO very yummy!

p.s. a special request: if you have native monarda fistulosa growing where you live and you know that your variety is specifically monarda fistulosa var. mollis, please see my wish list page or leave a comment here. thanks:)

our first snow came yesterday. the white crystals fell, dancing in the air with yellow and orange leaves before melting as they touched the ground. it was cold and windy, but beautiful. in the evening the clouds started clearing, making it even colder, and the wind was singing outside.

i spent most of the day inside (boo!) due to the wind. i read, cleaned, processed some dried nettle seeds (probably more about that in a future post), ate some delicious cooked vegetables (carrots, zucchini, potatoes, garlic, cabbage, and cauliflower) with hummus and a little pita bread on the side. i also made a small batch of lip balm since we were almost out. my partner-in-crime has lips that are very sensitive to chemicals, so he can’t use lip balm from the store. i just made it plain yesterday: oil and beeswax, but soon i’ll be making a larger batch with my herb infused oils to give as gifts for winter solstice.

here’s some recent pictures:

a nearby maple in its showy transition-

foraged and homemade elderberry-sumac jelly-

this spring we planted 12 sunroot aka “jerusalem artichoke” (helianthus tuberosus) tuber pieces. this was our first year cultivating them. we recently harvested just *one* of those plants… this is what we got from that one (and we couldn’t even dig all of them out!)-

anyone got any favorite ways of eating/preparing sunroots? and does anyone know of a place to get heirloom/wild varieties of “jerusalem artichoke”? i got my tubers from the food co-op and i read that most that are available in stores are a kind that have sterile seeds from hybridization. and as much as i look for them, i can’t find them in the wild around here.

currently reading:
-how shall i live my life? on liberating the earth from civilization by derrick jensen
-herbal medicine from the heart of the earth by sharol tilgner which i got from kiva rose: http://bearmedicineherbals.com/

right now i’m eating delicious wild mulberries that i foraged the other day- yum!
also, i have found nannyberries along the creek! they’re still a long ways off from being ripe though.

here’s some pictures i’ve taken recently (click each thumbnail for a larger view):
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common milkweed -asclepias syriaca:

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purple prairie clover – petalostemum purpureum:

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butterfly weed aka pleurisy root- asclepias tuberosa:

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goat’s beard aka western salsify – tragopogon dubius

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culver’s root – veronicastrum virginicum (in front of a garden delphinium):

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spiderwort – tradescantia virginiana:

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wild rose – rosa spp. (i think it’s rosa arkansana):

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motherwort – leonurus cardiaca:

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mulberry – morus sp.:
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