Thursday, October 08, 2015


Tonight as I was watering in the backyard at dusk I noticed a bit of movement down by the fence by where the old fruit tree - mostly dead now - backs into the corner.  The movement resolved itself into a rabbit, sitting in the grass, watching.

I was a bit surprised as it did not start with the water being only five feet away or so - it just sat there, watching me, then hopped more into plain view.  It was plainly there for a reason and plainly not scared of me at all.

I turned to water something else and then looked back - and was surprised to see the rabbit had hopped up to the patch of expiring black-eyed peas that I have growing (they are dying out due to the end the season, not for a lack of watering).  Without further ado he pulled one of the leaves off and sat there devouring it, clearly not at all concerned with what he was doing or if I was likely to chase after him to catch him.

I admit that I was surprised by this boldness.  We have rabbits that visit (I assume that they are the same ones, as in dusk it is difficult to tell them apart) and have become surprisingly nonchalant about our presence there - in fact, sometimes they will simply crouch down in the grass when Syrah the Mighty is there, and then raise back up when she has left.  But I cannot recall a time where I have seen such a blatant move.

It is a bit concerning of course - after all, rabbits eating garden things are things that I am not going to eat.  But I have a soft spot in my heart for these rabbits and can hardly begrudge them for eating something that is dying off anyway.

The whole experience, of course, has given me a new word:  rabbitude.  The act of being bold with panache while knowing that everyone knows that this is atypical behavior for you.

It is the unsurprising that sometimes carries the day - or in this case, the dinner.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Monday, October 05, 2015

Abandoning The Cause

There are moments when one feels like abandoning the cause.
It can come in a variety of forms, personal or professional or volunteer or even religious.  It can come after a short period of time, but I think that it comes after a longer time.

Enthusiasm wans.  Little things that were issues getting magnified into larger issues.  The energy to do simply is not there.  Or maybe it is the will.  I am never quite sure of such things.  Bottom line, one simply feels like giving up.  Packing it in and going home.  Locking the door and never going out again.

I have threatened - at least, I have threatened in my mind - to just start driving one day and not come back.  Just keep going until I hit the Pacific and then maybe make a right and head up the coast.  It is fantasy of course, mere stupidity.  After all, I have a fairly extensive list of responsibilities that I have to meet.

Not joys, responsibilities.  It feels like all that my life is dominated by such things at this point.  And that leaves me feeling like simply abandoning the cause.  All of them.

I will not, of course.  I will get up tomorrow because that is what adults do and go do my job and my responsibilities.  Children will be provided for.  Animals will be fed and plants watered.  My job will have the benefit of my attention and I will accomplish my tasks.  Bills will paid.  All the things a responsible person does.

But yes, probably, I will be driving to the Pacific in my mind.

Fall Garden 2015

So today began Fall Garden 2015.

I am somewhat scaling back and recalibrating how I garden.  After I opened up the space nearer to the house in April  I noticed a few things:  It had more exposure to sun, it was easier to weed, and it closer to the house and therefore easier to water.  This has changed how intend to try garden this year.

The space is not huge - perhaps an additional 20 square feet, 2 feet long and 10 feet wide.  It is still a bit planted with some volunteer peppers and tomatoes and the second growth of Sorghum.  Rather than replant the whole thing in winter crops (which will crowd out the spring and summer, which always gets me)  I have decided to narrow my choice to garlic (which always grows), spinach (sometimes yes, sometimes not so much yes), and leeks (never tried here.  Why not?  Leek soup and Leek pie are great!).

The space to north, which is a bit under the neighbors oak, which is usually where I garden, will be partially turned over to barley and winter wheat.  The rest will lie fallow under what is rapidly becoming a fair amount of detrius of dissolved wood pellet bedding (with rabbit urine) mixed with hay and rabbit manure, ready for spring.

My hope? The first is that the change in location will help more things grow.  The second is that with a smaller space to manage, I can cultivate it more productively and intensely.  The third is that by managing my space, I can get more by timing my plantings.

Worst case, at least I will have garlice.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Moths and Flames

I realized today that people are either moths or flames.

Most people are moths: they are irresistibly attracted to the lives of others.  They cluster around the lives of those that are flames, basking in the warm glow of their lives and their existences, which at some fundamental level they substitute for their own.  In fact, they are so entranced by the lives of others that they build their lives around them to the point that their interests, their live, their thoughts are merely the imitation of the flames that they dance about.

But a few people are flames:  they burn brightly with the light of inner achievement and activity.  They are not overly entranced with the lives of others; instead they are comfortable with the fact that they can define their own interests and desires, not have to adopt them whole cloth from the lives of others. They may be bold or subtle, bright or subdued, but they definitely - in their own way - light up the night.

I suppose at some point in life we are either one or the other, either drawn to the lives of others in imitation or burning brightly for ourselves.  Arguably we should always seek to achieve more the status of flame and less the status of a moth.

 Why?  Because when we are so entranced by the flames of our lives that we do not pay attention to how close we are getting to them - and so we are consumed by them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Time To Move On

It is time to move on in my career.

The parting shot has slowly been building all week. With the big push of the recent months past, work has slowed down considerably - considerably enough that I am re-engaged in the very bottom layer of tasks on my "To Do" list, the sort of mind numbing tasks like cleaning out documents to check if they are still in process and deleting or pushing them through.  Important work some say; painful underutilization of my skills, says I.

But the final blow seems to have come yesterday.

My dear friend Nighean Ruadh was notified that after a year on the job, she is doing such a good job that they are adding to her job duties.  They like and trust her and like her attitude and are willing to have her do more for the company.  Very exciting stuff and I am very proud of her.

Then came the sinking realization that I have not had a new job responsibility in four years.

Think of that.  Four years and no change in my job.  No increase in responsibilities.  No real new talents or skills acquired.  Just four years - six years all old - of essentially treading career water, hoping against hope that either I would move to the next level or find something else that would move me there.   If you have followed my blog long enough, you know that precisely neither of those two things have happened.

So where to now?

I keep finding other things to do with my energy. Part of it, I know, is that I simply like doing other things than work anyway.  But if I am brutally honest with myself, I think part of it is the fact that I simply do not want to start the painful effort of a sustained job search that results in a job.

It is hard.  It is painful.  It requires hours that I would like to spend doing other things.  And in my case, it will require the effort of retooling my resume to make it non-career specific in hopes that I can move out in something more as my chances in my industry here are limited.

I do not want to do this.  My soul shudders as I think of the undertaking and the multiple rejections I am sure to take.

But then I think of my friend and realize that if I want that feeling of recognition and doing more, I am going to have to something different.

Because this is sure not working.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015