Life has gotten so hectic lately. I have this thing to purge such  things and yet I have not been using it. I still feel burned on it. I feel that I should go else where, but at the same time I have this. Since I have it I should use it.

Right now I do not wish to talk about the chaos going on. Right now I want to talk about something I believe strongly in. Climate Change.

Now I have friends all over the spectrum of the topic. That’s fine. Yet I have been asked how I can believe in climate change. For me it is a very very simple thing. I have seen it happening.

I love the outdoors. I love nature. I’m obsessed with plants. And honestly when I was a teenager and young adult I was skeptical about the idea. But I used my own eyes, ears, and hands. My feet took me places. I saw spring coming earlier and earlier. I witnessed the change in streams and rivers. The change in forests and fields. But these are smaller things…. Yet I saw changes in weather. Subtle but still there. Still consistent. I also have seen animal and insect behavior change. These things I saw with my own eyes… But my mind took it even further.

I thought of the world like a garage. We have all our stuff in it. All our things. You park your car in it. If you sit in your garage with your car running what happens? So what happens if we keep pumping shit into our water? Shit into our air? What happens? It’s not going anywhere? Yet we keep sending it up at a faster and faster rate… This can’t be good. It just can’t be.

So with these things I’ve seen. With these thoughts I’ve had. I have been an avid supporter of action for climate change fore many many many many years now. But I become so disheartened by others.

Pain

So I am mildly concerned at the moment. I’m currently on day 11 of testicular pain in my left testicle. The pain changes from day-to-day. Some days it’s mild. Other days I want to throw up from the pain. At work recently I jumped a flat standing jump to pull something off the top shelf. When I landed I almost passed out from the pain and was sick the rest of the night. To put that in perspective I’ve experienced some hellish pain before and I’ve only now blacked out twice. One of those times was after oral surgery when I woke up and found no painkillers.

Now I know. I should go to the doctor. Couple of problems with this. My insurance is not active yet and I have shitty restaurant insurance right now that won’t cover much. So when it does go active… Well I’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong but I don’t know what else. We’ll see what happens when I get insurance.

Here’s the thing. I’ll be fine. One way or another I will. It happens. It will get better. It’s just incredibly unpleasant until then.

Pain

Hatch Day Question

My Hatch Day (birthday to most of you) was December 27th. I hate it. Hate it a lot. Someone asked me today why I despise it so much. Well really the simple answer is I can count on my hands out of 31 of these occurrences that have been pleasurable to me. But that’s the simple brush off answer. Not a lie, but not everything.

There is the thorn in my side that I’ve never had a birthday party on my Hatch Day itself, nor have I ever had one that wasn’t just family. No one has the energy to do anything two days after Christmas. I can’t blame them. Everyone is crashing. Weather is often questionable. So it’s this just ug time of year. You also have everyone gearing up for New Year’s Eve. So it’s just a dismal time for everyone to do anything.

With that there is also this weird random occurrence that no matter how hard I try to have a good day something implodes. This previous birthday was no different. So I have to take care of that issue.  This is a repeated event and always is so random but happens like clockwork. When it happens, be it in person, a phone call, text message, or e-mail I just accept it and start dealing.

Along the same lines that day has always been about other people. The only time it has ever been about me are the two I had by myself. One of which was completely awesome. It just always turns into a day about others so I gave up trying. But most importantly it is a day I weigh myself on my scales of judgement.

No one else is judged on those scales. They are reserved for me alone. The naked and harsh truth of my being is placed on them for judgement. I take a moment to look back over all the years and judge myself on the entire span. I’ve been told the standards I hold myself are too high, too tough, too rigid… This is all probably true, but I have to. I have to always hold myself at a higher standard. I will pick everyone else up and I will pick myself up. But I fall short.

No… Short is far from the word. I am still in the canyon waiting to climb. I’m still at the starting line waiting to punch the pedal. Oh people would tell me that I’ve accomplished more than most. This may or may not be true. I don’t compare myself to the goals, accomplishments, and aspirations of others. I challenge myself to my standards. It is exhausting and some years it even breaks me.

I know it would be healthier if I just stopped doing that…. But I have to hold myself to higher standards. I have to hold myself to point that I may never achieve. If I don’t I’m likely to just die. If I don’t drive myself so hard I will give up and let myself cease to be. I know. I’ve been there. My drive evaporated away like a pot of water that was forgotten on the stove.

When this occurs a slow wither and death starts. That withering leads to other terrible things. Things that I don’t care for. Things that harm people. Things that consume. So I hold myself to a standard that may be impossible. That may condemn me to a miserable day of judgement every year.

So that’s that. That is why I despise the day of my hatching. It comes once a year and it leaves me beaten each year and curled up on the ground having to force myself up again. I have to make myself stand and place my hands and feet on the stone wall and try again. And I will fall and fall over and over again but that self judgement keeps me alive and sometimes, not necessarily this year, you wake up and all you have is your life.

Hatch Day Question

Coffee grounds oh coffee grounds

So I love coffee. Love it lots. We consume a lot of coffee here at home. I am also all about reusing everything I can. Well I’m an avid gardener and have been mixing coffee grounds in my garden soil, compost, wormbins, and making a slow release fertilizer for years with fairly good success. Yet I found some information that made me question my practice for a while.

You see supposedly research has been done about how putting coffee grounds directly in your garden is actually counter productive on the nitrogen side of things. It encourages bacteria to show up that gobble up all the nitrogen from the coffee grounds. So you are left  with no nitrogen. The research suggested if you were putting coffee grounds on your garden you should also add another nitrogen rich fertilizer to balance out the bacteria consumption. The research continued saying that it should all go into your compost and let that lock all the nitrogen in…. Personally I found the whole thing flawed after some thoughts and questioning.

You see if that’s the case putting items like blood meal, alfalfa meal, corn meal, etc on your garden would have the exact same reaction. There would be no net gain. So really it does not make sense at all to me. Also there are the other qualities of coffee grounds.

You have a lot of trace vitamins and minerals. These can help fill in gaps of necessary nutrients for your soil. That’s important. People often forget about those things. Plants like lots and lots of nutrients. But there is more.

Let’s say that bacteria and fungi and all kinds of other microscopic organisms do come to gobble away at the coffee. This improves the soil microorganisms of your garden which in some parts of the country is desperately need it. More and more research is showing the better microorganisms in your soil the healthier your plants are. So why not encourage these things? Also worms start showing up. With them other creatures. slowly you have a nice beautiful balance starting to appear. With all that I have personal experience as well

I always showed good growth from my garden and better soil quality after I started putting coffee grounds in it. The slow release fertilizer I would make for my house plants also seemed to greatly improve there over all quality. So over and over again I have evidence to show that it is indeed beneficial. What was up with this research?

So my thoughts are that this study was flawed in someway. It didn’t look at the over all balance of things. It didn’t look at long term use. It was simply short term results published for who knows what reason. I didn’t bother to look at who funded it, that takes a lot of time and I just didn’t feel like back tracking the money. A lot of times research like that is funded by some company looking to sell a product.

Anyway so my suggestion is that you use the coffee grounds in your gardens. Let your plants tell you what they need and run with it.

Coffee grounds oh coffee grounds

Wants.

Just feeling sad and journaling about some of my feelings.

Was in bed with my fiancee trying to nap, we have a long night ahead of us, but no matter how exhausted I am I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned and finally just had to crawl out of bed and come downstairs. I feel utterly alone.

I feel so alone that my body aches from it. Ironically is I have more friends that truly care than I ever have had. So many people that would be willing to sit and talk and listen, but I’m tired of the sitting and listening. I’m tired of me sacrificing myself.

The question of “When is it my turn?” continued to selfishly ring through my head. Followed just as selfishly by “When is what I want important?” The answer is never to both of these. I’m designed over and over again to sacrifice myself to dust for those that I care about. I’m just tired of the person putting out the efforts so that everyone else get what they want. And I’m not talking about things. I’m talking about experiences, emotions, etc.

I don’t know. Days like today make me wonder about a lot of decisions I’ve made in my life.

Wants.

And yet another year

Today I will continue my tradition of assessing my year. My new year started around 8:35ish this morning.

All and all the year wasn’t bad. There were a lot of stressful moments… Some seriously stressful moments.  Currently a stressful beginning. It also ended roughly. I had so many nightmares last night that I just finally opted not to go back to sleep. Yet there is a beautiful beginning to this new year for me. It is snowing outside. I love snow. I find it to be beautiful.

Back on track. I grew a lot this last year. I grew a whole lot. That growth was much needed after a period of stagnation. I appreciate that.

I also took a few large steps back. I rapidly grew a tightly woven wall of thorns that I am having trouble getting rid of. It will take time.

I feel this is my shortest year assessment yet. The main reason is I feel like I’m blindfolded walking across a bridge with no railing over a bottomless chasm. I feel tempted to tip over that edge just as much as to battle across blind.

This coming year will be interesting to say the least let’s see what dreams may come.

And yet another year

Christmas

I don’t like Christmas. I had first intended an entire entry about the reasons why. This really is just hashing out stupid things that really don’t matter. Not in the grand scheme of things. All they are now are little scars that tug when I turn just the wrong way. So I decided to write about what I did for Christmas.

Excluding last year I had started a tradition of going hiking on Christmas. Being that I am back in Oklahoma this makes it a lot easier since it’s rarely dangerously cold on Christmas. By afternoon it was actually in the 60s so I ventured out, that morning. This year I took two of my three dogs with me. The third one is old, has too much hair, and just is not quality hiking company. One of the three is an excellent hiking companion, and the third one is turning out to be a good hiking company.

We started out at some smaller trails closer to the house. It just was not feeling right for me. The more I walked on these trails the more I was frustrated.  So I went just off the trails where there is a large field I like to harvest wild edibles from. I let the two dogs loose there and let them run and play for a while.

Wasn’t too much later that I loaded them up in the car and we decided to go to the lake. I passed one of the entrance to the park at the lake and decided to push on. This was until I started driving over the bridge that crosses the lake. The water was low on the lake and a peninsula had been exposed that went way way WAY out into the water. I turned around at the next available place and went back to the entrance that I had passed. We parked. It was just me and three guys fishing.

So the dogs and I went hiking around the bank. It was a lot further than I previously had thought but was fun, excluding the harsh wind blowing on us the entire time but you get use to it after a while.

About a quarter of the way up the peninsula I released the dogs. They took off. They ran and played and had a great time. It brought a much needed smile to my face. Oklahoma is just not a dog friendly state. Not like Kansas City, MO. So I’ve really missed just being able to go out like that with the dogs. I also had another realization while I was walking.

I’ve missed that alone time in nature. Being so ensconced in an urban environment for two years has chipped away at me. I can live in them but I have to have regular time in nature. It soothes so much of me. The insane part of my mind feels at home in nature. I also learned another part of me.

I desperately wish to be by the ocean. All of my major vacations have taken me to different locations of salt water. I miss that smell, the roar, the taste of the air, all of it so desperately has become a part of me that I’ve pushed down…. These realization caused a hollow sadness in my being. Deep echoing dark chasm of cool quiet sorrow. The kind that aches but that doesn’t ruin your day.

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Here are my two hiking companions. The one in the shirt is Vario, I’ve had him since he was 7 months old (he is 7 years old now) and he has been a long time hiking companion of mine. The other is Ink. I’ve had Ink since he was 6 weeks old (he is 3 now) and he is turning out to be a great hiking companion. Vario climbed up there on his own. Ink was uncertain so I assisted him up. That drift wood was chest high on me.

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Ink is a terrier mix and does have a fairly high prey drive. He thought the driftwood out there was an animal. Now he does also have a good recall when I yell but I let him go after that. While I’ve taught Vario (and Conner who was at home being fed croissants and dog cookies by two little girls) how to swim I have not gotten around yet to teach Ink how to swim. So he went running out there after that driftwood and then freaked out and stopped when the water was up to his neck. Vario was very angry at him and went swimming out to him right after this photo and nipped at him. It was funny and I laughed very hard.

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Here we are at the very end. Goal accomplished. Slow deep breath… This is a view looking back at how far we had gone. It felt good to be out there. Peaceful. Relaxing. Let that breath go very slowly. This was a place to listen to the beat of the world’s pulse away from the noise that people create. Away from the chaos that is “modern living.” This was me. This was that satisfying alone time with me and Nature.

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Two pieces of driftwood I took pictures of on the walk back.

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The dogs playing in the nastier mucky water along the bank. They were so dirty and smelly when we got home. I should have taken off Vario’s shirt but he really didn’t want it off and they were playing so hard that he stayed warm. The horrendous wind also dried both of them off very quickly over and over again.

I also have this obsession of taking pictures of dead things. We found the skeleton of a HUGE catfish and the carcass of a raccoon that a hunter had obviously split open and took all the organs and meat. It was far to clean to be an animal. So I snapped photos of those but I won’t be sharing those on here.

All and all it was exactly what I was needing. It made me more stable for the emotionally taxing issues I would have to deal with when I got home. It was several hours well spent.

Christmas