Things I’ve Learned This Week

  • I am a socialist.  Not a Marxist.  Not a communist.  I believe specifically in the Nordic Model of socialism which, though each version of this as applied in places like Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden is different, places a great importance on providing universal human rights (medical, education, etc) for it’s citizens.  Before making rash judgements and castigating me as a devil worshiping un-American person, take the time to read the information provided in the link.  You can disagree with me vehemently, I will respect that, but don’t jump in and do so until you understand it.
  • If there’s a civil war in this country I will have some family and friends across enemy lines.  This is a sobering thought.  It does not change my political views or desires but it’s sad, it’s frightening, and makes me think about the vast devastation and division that the last civil war brought to families and friends.  Considering how many people (mostly southerners) still aren’t over the last one, makes me wonder what kind of country would emerge after a second one.
  • Putting your money into your own community can create some strong bonds and some surprising rewards: if you give most of your produce money to local farmers and if you actually work at getting to know them, they are much more likely to give you a bag of free tomatilloes.  I don’t spit on free food, especially not from a small farming family who work hard and don’t make tons of money.  Thank you Andre for your generosity and for all the great conversation I look forward to every week with you at the Saturday market!  (I hope you’ll still be as kind and funny and welcoming when you find out I believe in a model of Social Democracy)
  • I have more friends than I knew.  A couple of amazing (and delightfully quirky) people who have been reading my blog for a long time have, not for the first time, brought me the incredible gift of 55 fresh laid eggs from their flock of truly free ranging loved hens.  Every time I see John and Jin I enjoy myself so much and love hearing their wild stories and their laughter.  This week I am particularly thankful for their gift of eggs because it coincided with Max wanting egg toast again. This is always a short lived phase but this week he has eaten almost a dozen eggs on wheat toast and knowing that the eggs I’m feeding him are the highest quality in the world (I exaggerate not) makes me feel a kind of gratitude it’s difficult to describe.  His body, which I am responsible for feeding, needs every scrap of nourishment it can get and this week I have felt that those eggs are giving him something precious. As our close friends Jim and Ericka have driven away back to Utah I am feeling grateful that John and Jin are still here, laughing, torching cobwebs for fun, and feeding their roosters individually to keep them from fighting*.  Even though I don’t see them often, I’m realizing that even the friends I don’t see often are enriching my life and keeping me from feeling alone.
  • I want to develop the class, intelligence, and wit that John Stewart uses to debate with his political adversaries.  Watching this exchange is humbling to me: Jon interviews ex Judge Andrew Napolitano and doesn’t call the man a douchebag, clinically insane, a charlatan, or any number of other words that came to MY mind while listening to this man spew his crazy-ass views.  Jon handles him adroitly and with respect.  I have a long way to come.  Jon Stewart is truly a hero to me.
  • I am going to fall apart if I don’t get back to writing soon.
  • I have entered a new reign of insomnia and nightmares.  The brilliant thing is that this time it doesn’t matter if I have beer or not (beer being, in the past, soporific  and helpful in getting me to sleep, though it has never prevented nightmares or waking up constantly).  It matters not how much exercise I get before hand or whether or not I’m exhausted.  But, this is just going back to life as I knew it pretty much always.  It’s just been a while since beer hasn’t helped me at least crash into sleep.  Fortunately, I have an appointment with my doctor this coming month and will ask for something to help me with this.
  • If you wait long enough, the fall will come.  The rain, the frost, the cold wood floors will come.  If you wait long enough the mornings will drip with drizzle and the winds will scour your spirit clean.
  • It gives me exquisite pleasure to give my things to friends.  Whether I give it in person casually, labor over some gift I’ve tooled for them, or put things in a box that I think they will like.  It is like pulling teeth for me to get packages in the mail but with Philip helping me (I have an irrational anxiety about getting packages in the mail right now) I was able to send thank yous and bits of care and love to people I know.  Sharing, giving, disbursing our belongings to others is life affirming and creates a circle of small pleasure that the world needs more of.  Christmas is a sham.  When you do this for no reason at all it’s ten times more pleasurable.  I have a few more gift ambushes to make.  Let go of the excess of riches to make others more rich.  It’s not a communist idea, it’s just love.

*I don’t have permission to share these details with you but I hope they’ll forgive me for putting them in a wee spotlight.


  1. Jessica King says:

    Hi dear, different ideas but we’re not on opposites so much as you think. Talk to Philip a bit on this. I like this picture of your cat. Really good one.

  2. angelina says:

    I wasn’t just referring to you, actually. But our discussion earlier in the week certainly got me thinking about this.

    Thank you- I have to camp out and annoy my kitties for an hour to get one good shot. I love catching them in mid-yawn.

  3. angelina says:

    You take some cute pics of her too! My cats are actually “easier” to get pictures of than Chick. Chick is really fidgety and seems to have a strong aversion to me taking her picture. She thinks what I want is for her to come lick the camera.

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