Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Snowflakes, lists, pollution and Challenge.

It's cold again. The day has begun and there is a cast iron gray sky, powdery looking branches that feel they like the could snap off if you gave them a good push and the wild birds look slightly dull from the dry air. Poor guys...guess I'll have to put some seed out for them. I stopped doing this for awhile or actually, I did this too often and attracted a wonderful array of wildlife including a hawk...Let's just say, cleaning up feathers was not fun. Thankfully, Jon cleaned the feathers up for me...just a little much for this weakling.

But I have started feeding the animals again. How could you not? In the middle of Winter and beginning of Spring wild animals need the most help. Their access to seeds are limited and with people tearing down trees and wildlife left and right it makes it nearly impossible for critters to find food. And don't get me started on chemicals used to "protect" their gardens from insects or to make it "green". Basically, those people are giving their pets/children access to Cancer and early death. Not to mention their own bodies being poisoned by that crap.

My best friend’s husband works as a landscaper in Ohio and he often brings home piles of wood, grass clippings and all sorts of leaves...stuff you'd LOVE to compost but they have to dump. Caroline asked him about starting a compost with that stuff and this is what he said: We can't, Caroline. It's full of sprays with bug killer, the grass is full of toxins to make it look pretty but causes illness... I got angry when I heard that. Why are people so stupid about this sort of stuff? Really.

When I was in California, Jon and I were part of a city co-op gardening group. Originally, the group was a bit slack and hippy-ish, and would use found objects to support their bean poles, etc. Then, the main guy died and the city put in a hired hand who was very tight on what things should look like and be like. Basically, he was a jerk as he wasn't a gardener and would tell seasoned gardeners how to grow things and what not to use. The garden looked nice and people did do the organic thing. That is, until paths (between the garden plots) became an issue. The paths would grow this tough crab grass like weed that is nearly impossible to pull out by hand. It is extremely aggressive and unless you are on it constantly, will invade all parts of your plot and everyone else’s. We pulled, ripped, dug, chopped at this weed and it constantly came back. Then, when we were just getting so frustrated this little old guy comes up to us and whispers about a certain chemical to get rid of it. You see, we were wondering why lots of plot paths looked great and low and behold Chemical X may have been used. Definitely not organic and not kosher. We used some of this and the weeds went away but my conscious was left heavy. We decided to give up the garden for several reasons and this was one of them. I realize now that weeds are plants. If they grow in the path, they grow in the path. Just dig them out and be done with it. And if they come back, repeat but don't beat your self up and others to have perfection.

I wonder if that community garden is still there. Land prices may have made it too tempting to the city. I hope not.

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On to other parts of the day: Lists

I've noticed a number of blogs writing about lists and especially books on lists. I admit I've always been a list keeper and writer of lists. I love them and have driven myself to exhaustion in the pursuit of finishing my lists. But I've gotten past having to accomplish every little thing I've jotted down. I usually use my list as a reminder to do stuff either for the long or short term. At one point, I had a book with my idea list. I just gave it random numbers as headings such as Idea #245: Make a sculpture out of found objects from lake. Stuff like that. I'd plug them into my sketch book and laugh at what future people might think about these numbers in my sketch books. I'd imagine them wondering, Where's number 14, 15, 16-100? What? I don't get it??
--For some reason, that's funny to me.

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Locally, I started a yahoo group called "BC Barter and Trade" as in Blair County Barter and Trade. Anyone can join it (though for some things it has to be locally) and it operates on the principle of trading instead of using money.

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In other news, I finished three sculptures and now need to photograph them for submission to a local art show. I hope I get this done with so I can go on to my next project. I'd like to update my webpage and maybe even hire someone to do it properly. I need to find out who does this, prices, and if I like the concept. If anyone knows of people who do web design send em' here.

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Interesting article on how much of America is bought and sold to pay off debts. Seriously makes you want to consider buying products from places that don't pay their workers fairly and treat them in a humane way. I'm guilty of this myself. A teapot/cups I just bought were cheap and when I got home and turned them upside down...from China. Argh. I've got to watch out for that.

Why do I not buy things made in China or try not to buy from China? The first reason is pollution. This country is becoming so polluted that they have actually named the village Cancer Village. Horrible. I feel very guilty buying from companies that don't do anything to stop dumping crap in the water, air and land. So, that's the first reason why I don't try to buy China made products. The second reason is I want to buy products from places that employees could actually buy the products themselves if they so choose to. This is important because if your own employees can't afford the shirts they make, who are you going to sell them too? And secondly, that's pretty darn crappy if you can't buy the shirts you're making because your family would go without food if you did.

This reminds me of the town where I live. At one time, there were a bunch of factories here. People used to have some good jobs and made decent wages...Now, those jobs have gone over seas, all the people fired and working at odd jobs to make ends meet. Why? Because the heads of the company wanted to pay less to their workers and found that slack laws allowed them to get away with unethical work standards...hence China and a whole lot of other unprotected areas. Wrong and enraging.

So, when I think of the crap I've bought and helped fund these companies I am ashamed. I've gotten to the point where I usually look twice before I buy a product...is it made in conditions that I would not tolerate? Is it made in conditions where the people who made this could afford it? Ask yourself these questions and think twice. Can you find it made in conditions that are fair? That is the challenge.

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