It’s all perfect, and it’s all terrible, and it’s alright

Some thoughts on Life, and Death, and how they’re so intimately connected … from a man called Tim, who lives in Ireland and recently lost his son.

I Confess Myself Disappointed, and Other Nonsense on a Sleepy Sunday Afternoon

Yes, in the immortal words of the almost immortal L. Voldemort, the quality of today’s scammers has left me disappointed.

I received an email today wherein I was informed that my Facebook account has won a million (US) dollars. Not me, myself, mind you, but my account.

I don’t have a facebook account.

Shocking, I know!

Shocking, I know!

They requested all the usual things, name, telephone number, where I work, how old I am, but what obviously tagged them for crass amateurs was that they also wanted my marital status.

In my day, no self-respecting scammer would’ve needed my marital status to fulfill their scammerly responsibilities to their nefarious overlords. Derelict dilettantes, all of ’em!

Where are the halcyon days of Nigerian princes and impoverished  European royalty who just needed a kind and understanding helping hand?

On the other hand, they did sign off politely… and I quote: ‘Office of the President, CEO of Facebook, Mr Mark Zukerberg’ … calling him, ‘Mr’ was a nice respectful touch, I thought.

-oOo-

Lets talk about ‘dark matter’. Scientists have weighed and measured the universe and they can’t find enough ‘stuff’ (that reflects light so they call it ‘light’ matter) to account for how big it is and why it hasn’t collapsed back in on itself like one of those bouncing castles that’s sprung a leak. So they decided there was a whole of ‘stuff’ out there they called ‘dark matter’ because they couldn’t see it, measure it, etc.

As is the way of scientists when faced with such dilemmas they did Experiments … and slowly discovered a great many things that dark matter wasn’t … but nothing that could tell them what it was.

The answer is simple, of course, all that dark matter is simply unused magic. Think about it, if all the light matter is recognized by science to obey (love that word in this context) scientific principles, then it stands to reason that something that completely ignores all their instruments and experiments, (which I’m sure pisses them off no end) would be … magic!

It's magic!

It’s magic!

-oOo-

Did you know that irises have seeds?

We have a wild stand of them along the back fence that dutifully flower every spring …

Rampant

Rampant

… and keel over in autumn.

I thought they did the whole expanding bulb thing to be fruitful and multiply, but no … well they do, but they also have seeds.

Once the flowers die they leave behind pods that look like this …

Gorgeously green

Gorgeously green

And when the pods dry out, they shower forth seeds that look like this …

Fascinating little greeblies, aren't they?

Fascinating little greeblies, aren’t they?

Last year I collected a few pods-worth of the seeds and promptly forgot about them until I was looking for the seeds to go in the bean pyramid/tipi.

I tossed a few of these into a couple of paper cups with some of the soil from the pyramid garden and waited … and waited … and waited … and gave up on them … and then …

Life ... always finds a way

Life … always finds a way

I love Mother Nature

Never predictable, never defeated

Never predictable, never defeated

(This is a given, but I do like to toss a disclaimer out there every now and then … all the pictures are either from Microsoft Word’s clipart collection, or my own trusty little i4 phone)

Mistress of Evil

Well, well …

Maleficent is at it again. Turns out she was never just another fairy.

I Found Lucas Again

Last year, about this time, I posted a short video of Lucas, the Spider, thoroughly watching adored it, and promptly forgot all about him.

Yesterday, I was researching some stuff on YouTube for a big project Mrs Widds and I are planning for next year, and I’m sure you know about that dastardly sidebar that leads down all sorts of rabbit holes. Well, there he was looking out at me with those adorable shiny eyes, (all eight of ’em) and I decided to share his latest adventure with you.

Just in case you want to investigate his adventures further, here’s his Youtube channel.

Here we go …. Boop!

Midsummer Chills and the Pyramid

At the beginning of May we had a week of summer temperatures, and at the beginning of June we had three consecutive days where the sun managed to break through the cloud cover for more than a few fleeting minutes.

These are the ‘interesting’ times we now live in, and which will continue to get more ‘interesting-er’ as the seasons progress.

The seedlings I started in pots and carton-halves in the patio are only now strong enough to go out into the gardens. I will tend them as I can, but their survival is uncertain.

The beans and climbing cardinals, (I have no idea what they actually are but the flowers looked pretty on the seed packet) will be going into a new garden that Mrs Widds and I constructed, in between rainshowers and thunderstorms.

Baby beans ...

Baby beans …

... and baby cardinals

… and baby cardinals

Our little rented house on an island in the middle of a lake is a duplex. Since the new owners took possession four-ish years ago, the other half of has remained vacant except for their infrequent flying visits, so we basically have the yard to ourselves.

A previous tenant had build a firepit with old bricks, but it soon degenerated into a pile of ash and weeds. In order to do some sort of gardening this season I decided to take it in hand.

First there was the removal of bricks and weeds …

… to reveal a decent heap of ash, most of which we removed to the compost heap, then rebuilt the soil with compost and sandy topsoil. Then it was time to assemble the required tools …

An assortment of dried bamboo sticks ...

An assortment of dried bamboo sticks …

Scissors, a ball of old wool, and duct tape - a gardeners best friend

Scissors, a ball of old wool, and duct tape – a gardeners best friend

… and construct this …

I stopped stringing the wool halfway down to plant the seedlings

I stopped stringing the wool halfway down to plant the seedlings

Look at that craftswomanship!!!

Look at that craftswomanship!!!

Here are the babies, all snug and sound in their new home ...

Here are the babies, all snug and sound in their new home …

That white stuff on the ground isn’t snow, (although the high passes to the interior just north-east of us did get a bit of a fall for Summer Solstice) it’s crushed eggshells, to ward off slugs. They don’t appreciate all those sharp edges …. bwhahahahaha …

The sun graced us with her presence yesterday so I took advantage of the light for the final shot.

... and now we wait

… and now we wait

Why Mirrors Lie

Mrs Widds seemed in a pensive mood last night.

As couples who have been together for a while tend to do, we both, for no particular reason, turned to each other at the same time. I, from my computer and she, from her book.

Perhaps something had been triggered by what she had been reading, for she looked at me and asked, probably rhetorically, “Why do mirrors never show us as we see ourselves?”

“Because they lie,” I answered without thinking.

It’s not their fault, of course, they were cursed, a long, long time ago: And this is how it happened …

When they were first invented, by a cronemage who chose the name Skögul after one of the Valkyries of legend, mirrors reflected all aspects of the viewer back to themselves.

First there was the Physical image, but it was a weak, thinly defined, image, because, of course, the physical is only the first stage of one’s Self. Layered on the Physical, was the Mental image, where one could, if one looked closely enough, discern all the thoughts one had ever created. The third layer was the Emotional, thick and full of drama and beauty, it was the layer that created a three dimensional aspect to the other two. Finally came the Spirit layer that bound the other three to it and thereby giving the viewer what was known as a True Reflection.

Skögul made them, freely available to all who asked.

When she felt her life drawing to a close she made a special mirror that enabled her Spirit, at the moment of her Death, to brush lightly across the surface of all the mirrors she’d created, in a kind of a Blessing. Then she was no more.

Eventually one of Skögul’s mirrors crossed paths with a wizard. The sort of wizard who had long white hair and a long white beard, both longer, in his estimation than all the other wizards he knew. In fact the wizards gathered together once a year for a beard & hair measuring competition, as is the way with wizards who are concerned more with the length of their, beards, than being wizards.

This particular wizard looked at his reflection in the Skögul Mirror, and to his horror and disgust, saw the true nature of his Spirit.

He was also bald and cleanshaven, which wouldn’t do at all.

He gathered his dignity around him like a shroud and, ignoring the twitching eye in his reflection, cast a mighty spell that broke the enchantment on every one of the Skögul Mirrors, so they would show him only what he wanted to see.

Skögul, of course, had the last laugh. The wizards curse didn’t quite work out for him. From that moment on, all the mirrors ever made, in all the world, would only ever reflect back the thinnest, meanest, layer of what a person truly was.

Every now and then though, in dusty corners of second-hand stores, or mouse-nibbled boxes in attics and basements, and wrapped in cloth that smelled of mists on lakes, and sunsets on ancient stones, and if one is very lucky, a true Skögul Mirror will appear, and a True Reflection will be shown.

The Perfect Riposte …

… on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Found this on a ‘fun memes’ thread at Permies.com, an all-things-permaculture-y site.

Bon Voyage, Doris Day

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

This is a report commissioned by the United Nations. Wikipedia has an outline that’s worth reading. One sentence leapt off the page at me and it goes like this …‘The total biomass of wild mammals has decreased by 82%, while humans and their farm animals now make up 96% of all mammalian biomass on Earth…’

And then there’s this bit …‘humanity has rendered 23% or Earth’s land ecologically degraded and no longer usable’. On a planet where only 29% of it’s entire surface is land.

Are you angry yet? Is there a sick feeling in your stomach yet?

The UN SDG (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) website has a much more in-depth breakdown, and it’s just as horrifying.

All those facts and figures aren’t what’s coming, they’re what’s here, they’re real, and they’re going to get worse because politicians will tweet and squeak and blame the ‘other’ side. Their willfully thoughtless followers will do the same. Corporations will continue to use ‘jobs’ and ‘profits’ and ‘shareholders’ to justify their actions.

Others will use the good old standby of ‘no-one else is stepping up so why should I?’

Others will trot out their ‘sustainability’ credentials as if that absolves them. ‘Unwilling to comprehend that ‘sustainable’ is no longer enough.

There are men and women, and children, all over the world, millions of us, who resolutely face how things are, and are doing what we can to change this catastrophic trajectory, but right now in this moment, it’s not enough.

It’s not enough. This I believe.

More and more people will take action over the coming years, and perhaps that trajectory will be swayed. This I hope.

Right now, I’m going to take my tea and sit in my garden and I’ll probably have a good cry because my heart is hurting … and then … and then … I’ll watch the newly awakened bees, along with all sorts of other creatures, pollinate our strawberries, and the dandelions and buttercups.

This too, is where I find my hope.

Strawbs and Co

Strawbs and Co

Spirit House – Part 1

Most of the time these days my mind is coursing throughout the galaxy with my characters in my new story, (alluded to in my last post) so much so that I’m finding it hard to be present in the here-and-now, and when I do turn up, I’m ambushed by my body that has allergic reactions that put me out of action for three days, or migraines of varying strengths, or just general wear-and-tear on a body that’s spent more than half of it’s existence getting by with one-and-a-half knees.

(I give thanks to Efficacia Herbilaria, the Goddess of the herb, Star Anise on a regular basis this time of year. I’d do the ‘burnt offering’ thing but that would defeat the whole purpose)

It’s no wonder that I wander around in a semi-coherent daze, and want to get back to my galaxy hopping companions with more alacrity than is seemly in a lass of my three-score years, and seven months.

There are, of course household and garden tasks to hold my attention, relationships to maintain, the making of salves, repairing old journals, etc, and many and varied crafty projects to keep my feet firmly in this Realm … for a while at least.

So, we start with the basics, a table, lots of scrap cardboard, and an assortment of manufacturing tools …

... and a long stalk of bamboo, apparently, which is probably why the secateurs are there too, possibly

… and a long stalk of bamboo, apparently, which is probably why the secateurs are there too, possibly

I used this video on YouTube, as my inspiration. Beware though, if this sort of thing has any attraction for you, you will disappear into a nightmarish rabbit-hole from which there is very little chance for your safe return unscathed. I have the scathes to prove it.

I decided to go with a cardboard base rather than a plastic jar, because if there’s a hard way to do something, I’ll be in the deep end before you can say, “Maybe that isn’t …”, and ended up with this …

 

The front stoop, with spider-webbed portholes ...

The front stoop, with spider-webbed portholes …

... and in the rear windows,two cats having an intense conversation ...

… and in the rear windows, two cats having an intense conversation …

... which went on into the wee small hours of the morning

… which went on into the wee small hours of the morning

Next it was time to cover everything in paper clay. The recipe for which I got from this video by the same Irish lass as previously noted.

A close-up of the feline conversationalists while their window frames were being formed

A close-up of the feline conversationalists while their window frames were being formed

 And here it is, drying out in some late afternoon sunbeams on the front step.

Mmmmm, beams

Mmmmm, beams

-oOo-

Next … Part 2 – The Paint Job … see you then. I’m off, back to the other side of the galaxy to see what kind of trouble that motley crew have got themselves into while I was away.