We begin this morning in a fogged cool breezy hilltop scene not altogether unbecoming:
That taken from the window in the computer room looking at the Catalpa Tree with those huge leaves. In ANOTHER state of the union, I grabbed this photo of fall taken in Cache Valley, Utah looking at the beautiful Uintah Mountains in the background and one of the earliest Mormon temples built in Utah, the Logan Temple (taken from the SL Tribune today):
Gorgeous, eh? Interesting that this is one of the only Church Controlled states (so far) in this countryâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦and sometimes it ainâ€™t pretty in politics there (yep, most of the arguing is covered or un-reported by the media).
So why am I a little blue? Itâ€™s the sad state of politics in this nation as we approach the most bitterly divisive election in my life memory bringing on a bit of blue. I too am on one side of this divide (I believe the correct side obviously) after studying and reading many books, getting a very clear knowledge of the facts behind the last four years history, and very clearly knowing why Iâ€™m voting against the current administration. If I am clear, why am I still a little blue? I know, not believe, the current administration is pandering to the extreme conservative Religious right simply for the votes, theyâ€™re lying over and over and over and over about the same things until their constituency believes them. They bait many followers with promises they have no intention of even remembering after November 3. Polling companies are shading and coloring their own systems to promote an appearance that the conservatives are winning even though they know that they are NOT reporting truth (Gallup CEO, the son of the founder, is an evangelical Christian for example). I have received not just a few e-mails from conservative friends and/or Mormon family who simply â€œforwardâ€ the party lies or bigoted attempts at humor that typically paint liberals ALL to appear ignorant, destitute, stupid, lower class and only alive because of Government handouts. They say theyâ€™ll â€œforgive meâ€. I have found the TRUTH is proving to be that many conservatives of this new world we are moving toward appear to more unwilling to read objective hard truths about what the end result will be if the current Republican Party Platform is followed to its end. I find truth in the saying, â€œYou have to think to be a Democrat.â€ I find truth in the list of freedoms conservatives prattle about that were one by Liberals fighting hard-won causes to win said freedoms. Liberals tend to be accepting, loving, fighters for truth. The religious Conservatives tend to be judgemental and arrogant but â€œOKâ€ as long as you agree with them. If you donâ€™t suspicion, paranoia, negative actions follow. The REAL REASON FOR MY ANGST is HERE: Lots of these folk are as American as Apple Pie and allow their religious beliefs to control what they think and do. They “believe” these leaders mean well for them and are unaware the REAL things they believe in are being hijacked right through the transperancy of the $$$$$$ ads being run. Democrats in power are not without complicity in this.
I see very clearly that it will take years and years to try to return Democracy to power in this country with equal rights for all let ALONE try to PAY for the Empire the current rulers, Corporate Giants are building overseas. I see this administration has just newly fostered generations of hatred toward westerners from any and ALL Arab Nations.
It is with great joy I report that for ME: My leaving the religious world behind is exactly what began a journey toward light and spiritual awareness and thus allowed a rich inflow of honesty, of learning, of a blooming understanding of great truths from every source.
OK. Now I feel better. Why am I rattling and sitting still when thereâ€™s â€œstuffâ€ to do?
Fallâ€™s now seriously here and a beautiful season it is even though itâ€™s mired in death and struggles for survival. Amidst the dying, Nature has grand beauty going on all around if you just look. The deer begin their rut in a next couple weeks so new life will be born around the middle of spring as new plants provide food for Mom. The Great Horned Owls are beginning to look around this forest for nesting places and males will begin territorial calls by the end of the year so baby owls will be born and fledged by the time baby mice and birdlets are ready to eat. We now have the daily visits next door and at Paul & Kristinâ€™s across the street by deer of all sizes that simply canvas the ground under their apple trees for the fallen available fruit. The mice and rats are looking for warmer climes (garages?) to make nests and warm up. Squirrels and Jays are grabbing almost all available seeds and running to deposit stations for storage in case we have winter on the way. As I write, Iâ€™m watching a little Douglas squirrel dig a storage spot under the fir outside the window, only pausing to roll around in it to mark the scent of the spot for future reference. Inside the house, furnaces are running daily, wood piles are being moved as needed inside the garage. As with all yearâ€™s ends, some odd things appear. Neighbors are reporting some Azaleas are blooming, Karen has some spring flowers blooming (0nly slightly of course), and even I have seem some straggling blackberries still trying to ripen for seed. What does that mean? Global warming? Just a fluke? The very very last of the garden has been taken in. All the hot peppers are now harvested and were shared with our friends here doing science research at OHSU, Desireâ€™ & Maguy Tschala and Valerie Palmer. These folks are from Africa and are just beginning to teach us what HOT food means (more below on the Chili Paste). The huge French Fennel has been trimmed, seeds harvested, dried, and now in jars. The deer fence around the garden space is now down and stored behind the woodshed. Small stringing branches coming out from the Filberts and Maples have been mostly cut back so spring pruning will be a little easier. The lawn continues to get mowed more for for leaf pickup than cutting grass. Weâ€™re finally going to take about a dozen shrubs/plants we bought in the spring for the berm and just plant them out there anywhere to allow them to rootâ€¦.and decide in the spring about permanent landscaping. The beautiful calls of Canadian Geese are again being heard over the house at night as they begin that winter trip to warmer climes (I just LOVE living directly above the bird refuge called Sauvie Islandâ€¦..we get a direct benefit living under this flight path in fall and spring). We heard the probably victorious coyote pack yelping early the other night after they probably captured something to enjoy a pack meal with as temperatures were lowering to 40 or below. By the way, this fall has come on so slowly but early that none of this has required a big burst of huge work.
As all thatâ€™s happening, puppy Mac has achieved the milestone of being about 55 pounds and by no means looking grown.. He now simply looks like a gangly teenage with big feet, long legs, skinny frame, huge ears, but still small head.
Just this morning I have picked up a baby tooth of his from the floor. He passed his four month mark so was taken in to have his hernia repaired. After first finding that our own local vet has such high overhead that the cost would pass $400., we scouted around to luckily find that friends Mike and Janice Stewart (Rodger works with Janice and Dr. Mike has his own Veterinary Practice in Silverton, OR about 90 minutes from Portland) could do this repair for $175. Mac was taken unaware of the coming procedure along a beautiful fall drive through Oregon Farmland, through the German community of Mt. Angel (with a beautiful old Catholic Seminary and Cathedral on a gorgeous forested hill) and on to Silverton (near the beautiful Silver falls State Park).
We arrived at Silver Creek Animal Clinic at 0800 Friday, October 22 and greeted by a warm friendly staff. We met the Dr. Jason Kimball who Mike had told us would do a great job and were impressed with his demeanor and outlook. Mac was left not to be picked up until afternoon after coming out of the Anasthesia. So. We saw all of Silverton.
We peeked at the huge Oregon Garden just of town but didnâ€™t pay to go in considering how little was available to be seen. The Oregon Garden is another big idea from some rich Oregon Few deciding they could make money by building an extravagant complex garden on some 90 (not sure of size) acres and believed â€œIf you build it, they will come.â€ Well they havenâ€™t. The Oregon Garden is now heavily in debt but still â€œbelievingâ€ that as it gets more development millions from the planet will make this 90 minutes drive to Silverton to see it. I donâ€™t want to downplay itâ€™s beauty. There are probably thousands of plants now growing here in beautiful display gardens that match the possibilities of gardening in all of the Northwest. But I think the size of the market planned ainâ€™t there. Weâ€™ll see, and once again, I digressâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..back to Mac.
We called in around 2:00 pm after running out of things to ever do and ended up reading in the library. MAC was waking up and we could pick him up. We did and departed after being told to keep Mac â€œdownâ€ or calm for 14 days. â€œWith What?,â€ We said. Mac is four months old and just reaching new levels of energy. The vet said to try Benadryl â€¦â€¦â€¦ We got him home and he was tired for about a day before energy returned. But by the third day, a hole in the stitches appeared as heâ€™d gotten away with some jumps and runs that were over the edge. He did have a few moments we couldnâ€™t stay serious with thoughâ€¦â€¦â€¦..weâ€™d gotten a â€œconeâ€ for him to wear if he began chewing the surgery area and a couple times he had to wear it. He looked sad at times, like a Nun at times, and otherwise just funny:
In the garage he walked into the side of the pickup and would not move until we coaxed him out by hand:
BUT with the bound up energy he had and the damage to his stitches threatening recovery, we called Monday and returned Tuesday morning to surgery repair. This time, Dr. Kimball replaced all of the stitches with stronger material and gave us tranquilizers for at least 3-4 days so the repair could heal.
We DID have time for lunch and were sent to what must be the best restaurant in Silverton, The â€œRose of Sharonâ€ . IF you ever go to this town, be sure you have lunch or dinner there. In a beautiful old house, this chef prepares absolutely everything on his own including sauces and dressings. And for our Veggie friends, several choices are Vegetarianâ€¦â€¦â€¦.
We got back home and popped a quarter pill (beginning dose) in the pup â€¦â€¦â€¦.by World Series Inning 4, we began to relax. So now you know the REAL story behind this long scribbled entry: Iâ€™m staying near the pup because NOTHINGâ€™s going to knock him out, but if I stay quiet and close, heâ€™ll lay there and hopefully, â€œhealâ€. GREAT Animal Clinic, GREAT people and attitude, and if I may say, a money saver compared to Portland area Clinics.
In closing, the Chili Paste in question? Taken from a Congo Recipe Site, hereâ€™s sorta what I made (I didnâ€™t follow it exactly). It is a very hot chili paste that can be spooned on any greens youâ€™re cooking, and/or put into any kind of beans youâ€™re cooking, orâ€¦â€¦â€¦.use your imagination. Since there is a little vinegar (or some sources use Lemon Juice), it will keep for weeks and weeks in the fridge:
African Hot Sauce An all-purpose hot sauce.
What you need
one dozen chile peppers (i.e., hot red peppers â€“ I used ALL Habaneros!)
three cloves garlic
one medium onion
two cans tomato paste ( I just used one —intentionally to make it concentrated)
four tablespoons vinegar
one teaspoon sugar
one teaspoon salt
What you do
Remove stems and seeds from peppers. — Careful! Wear kitchen gloves! Do NOT touch your eyes or face while handling hot peppers! Wash your hands with soap and water after you have handled hot peppers — Grind hot peppers, green pepper, garlic, and onion (or use food processor). Combine all ingredients in sauce pan. Simmer for an hour or until the ingredients cook down and are a little darker in color. It should be quite thick. Add cayenne pepper if desired. Put in jars and refrigerate. Serve with everything.