Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who Plants the Seed Beneath the Sod and Waits to See Believes in GOD

So, here's a topic we've never talked about here: Our Garden.

Today the mail arrived with the two tiny blueberry plants that Mary Alice had ordered last autumn and, since the sun was high and bright, and the wind was down we decided to start planting early.

We dragged all of the vegetable and flower seedlings, which have hitherto made their abode on the dining room table, and all over the kitchen, out into the shady part of the garden on the upper tier (there are three) and watched them wilt a bit whilst we cut up year-old Yukon Gold and russet potatoes and planted them on the second tier in mounds we tilled up by hand out of the mulch. So long as the strange fungus that has attacked half of our little town doesn't get a foothold on our plot, they should be fine.

Early last autumn we had collected a compost mound (that will later be part of our third tier) that ended up being twenty feet long, twelve feet deep and well over five feet high; now it is only about three feet high and it needs to be supplemented. So this weekend, I will borrow the neighbor's pickup and drive down the road fifteen miles to Erickson's Farm to collect my annual seven-to-twelve load "order" of composted manure and a winter's worth of chicken bedding and all the bedding from spring lambing (which all of the neighborhood dogs love to roll in....). Once I've got it all unloaded here, we'll spend a weekend turning it into last year's compost heap and then, just like every year before, we'll plant squashes, watermelon, zucchini and herbs right over the top of it just to keep the heat and moisture in and make the alley pretty whilst it does its thing.

Our tomatoes are going to be basket-planted this year and suspended from six-foot-tall garden hooks, instead of putting them in the ground and wasting precious space that we need for other things. And next week, if the weather stays, I'll be moving the blackberry and raspberry canes from the front of the house which faces north to the back alley beside the compost bin--so that they can trellis up the fencing.

Hollyhocks and iris have taken over the east side of the house all on their own--even volunteering in the cracks of the old concrete carport that will one day soon be a greenhouse--and somehow all of our strawberries mystically migrated from their little brick-walled patch into the lawn down below so that we spent an hour this afternoon putting them back in their rightful home. The roses have begun to send out new shoots and the hydrangeas are budding beneath the peeling paint on the house....the earth smells sweet and the ground is cool and soft....Now if we can just keep our neighbor from "helping" us and weed-whacking the whole lot, we'll be very happy, indeed!

So far, it's looking to be a good year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When the Red Tape Refuses to Cease and Desist

For the sake of levity....

Noah, 2008

In the early spring of 2008, the Lord came and spake unto Noah, who was now residing in a Chicago suburb in the United States.

The Lord said, "Once again the earth has been besieged with all manner of wickedness; it is over-populated by heathens and overrun with lawlessness. I see the need to end all flesh before me and begin anew."

"Noah," the Lord exclaimed, "Build another Ark and collect two of every living creature that roams the earth along with a few good humans, if you can find them. You have six months from this hour to build the Ark according to my command before I begin to bring another deluge over the face of the earth for forty days and forty nights."

So, the Lord gave Noah a set of blueprints and left him to his work.

Six months passed. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting cross-legged on his Scott's Turf-Builder lawn weeping in despair. No Ark could be seen.

"Noah!" the Lord roared like a terrible thunder, "The deluge is about to begin! Where is my Ark??? Where are the animals? Could you not find one good human?"

"I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord," cried Noah, "But things aren't like they had been in ages past. I have tried my best, but I have failed to accomplish the task which You have given me. You see, I needed building permits and I've been arguing with the building inspector about whether I really need a sprinkler safety system in case of fire. And then there's the matter that my neighbors have filed an injunction against me claiming that I have violated neighborhood zoning laws by building an Ark that exceeds local height limitations; we are still waiting for a decision from the Development Appeals Board for a ruling on the issue.

"Worse yet, the Department of Transportation has demanded from me the payment of a very large bond for the future cost of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions that would impede moving the Ark out to sea. I told them that the sea is coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

"And getting the lumber I need has been another serious problem. There's a ban on harvesting local trees in order to save the Spotted Owl. I have tried to convince the environmentalist groups that the entire reason I need the wood is to save the owls, but they in turn have declared me insane and an eminent danger to wildlife safety.

"So, then I began to gather all the animals two by two....and the animal rights groups filed law suits against me insisting that I was hoarding the animals against their will. The activists have argued that my accommodations are too restrictive and that it would be cruel and inhumane to keep so many animals in such a confined space.

"And yesterday the EPA ruled that I cannot build so much as a dog house until they conduct an environmental impact study regarding Your proposed Flood.

"I'm still squabbling with the Human Rights Commission about how many minorities I must hire for my building crew which really wouldn't be a problem but for the fact that the Immigration and Naturalization Service is holding most of my very best workers and their families whilst they check the status on all their Green Cards. And the Trade Unions have filed an injunction stating that I cannot hire my own sons--they insist that all of my foremen be Union workers with previous Ark building experience.

"To make matters even more hellish, the IRS has seized all of my assets, claiming that I'm trying to defect from the country illegally with endangered indigenous species.

"So, please, Lord, I humbly beg Your pardon, but with all the red tape involved, it's going to take about ten years to finish building this Ark!"

Suddenly, the clouds parted, the sun shined brightly over the whole earth and a beautiful rainbow shimmered in the eastern sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and exclaimed, "Lord! Lord! You're not going to destroy the earth again after all?"

"No," the Lord sighed, "Looks like the government bureaucrats have beaten me to it."

Catholic Worker Jailed For Civil Disobedience

We'd like to ask for your prayers and financial mercy for our brother, Marcus Blaise Page, from the Trinity House Catholic Worker Community in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There's a $1000.00 price tag on his head whilst he sits in jail as a guest of Big Brother for a misdemeanor charge--an exorbitant cost which will hinder other local community works of mercy that all the members of Trinity House are involved in carrying out at a personal sacrifice ....

15 April 2008

Contact Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists: 505-242-0497 or Chelsea: 510-499-8917

Los Alamos Lab Security Arrests Two Peace Activists; Vigil Continues for Tax Day

Two representatives from the Albuquerque-based Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists were arrested last night (April 14) at 9:30 pm during a 24 hour prayer vigil at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Three other vigilers are continuing the action today at the Lab until noon at the corner of Diamond Drive and West Jemez Rd.

The event began at noon on April 14th. Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists (TNA) had verbal permission from head of security Donna Martinez for "daylight hours" only. Two TNA members were arrested while praying, after they stated to Los Alamos police officers that they were not on the property to cause violence but to protest the nuclear weapons design happening at Los Alamos Lab. The two pled Not Guilty this morning to the charge of criminal trespass, which carries a $1,000 fine and/or 364 days in prison. They will be bonded out from jail today and expect a jury trial within six months.

TNA has two purposes for being at LANL today, Tax Day. The primary purpose is to prayerfully encourage the nonviolent, safe, clean disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, along with the clean-up of LANL, under the guidance of LANS. The second is to visibly celebrate the war-tax boycott organized by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. "This maybe the first time people have held a 24-hour public prayer for abolition here on alleged Laboratory property. Such prayer-actions are necessary for spiritual health and public health. Our nuclear New Mexico urgently needs different uses of federal income tax allocations." said Marcus Page of TNA.

This is the 9th monthly vigil for peace conducted by TNA, and the longest one so far. TNA is committed to the cause of sanity, safety, decency, beauty, love and peace--all in opposition to LANL's work. TNA consistently calls for an end to all nuclear weapons research, development, testing, refurbishing, and production. Aware of the tax money allocated for nuclearism TNA is part of the worldwide nuclear abolition movement working for social justice and spiritual integrity.