I'm a performance poet, poetry lover, earth adorer, mystic seeker, permaculture geek, and now memoir writer. I was raised in Brazil after leaving New England when I was 8 years old. The other theme of my early life was being raised by fundamentalist Christian missionaries, not only my parents but the surrogates I was sent to for obtaining an American education deemed much superior to the Brazilian education available to me.
The spirituality, cross-cultural perspective and survival skills are the story. Hope you like the read. I will post excerpts here with information on where to get a complete copy if you choose.
My wife is a Veteran. I’ve always stayed clear of the military as much as I could, although I spent a lot of time with returning Vietnam Vets in my early twenties. It seemed then that most of my male contemporaries were gone to war or returning ragged and unable to cope much with life back home.
I danced with them on Maine summer nights away from college, watched them get drunk driving me home and felt helpless to make anything right for them or for myself. I married a guy with a high lottery number after a three year college deferment. That was after I was asked to join the revolution by a guy who was interviewing me for a job in social services. I was a bit of a radical working in the ghetto of Newark, New Jersey, but I wasn’t ready for anarchy.
Do you feel like big brother is watching you? Sometimes when I write about myself, I wonder if some government agency will pick up on words I write and show up to question me now that our basic citizen rights have been terminated. My father is one of the few remaining WWII veterans. He has a purple heart and taking him to Applebees today for a free meal was a sweet experience today. My mother turned 90 yesterday and my father is on his way to 92. That they live together in their house, drive a four wheel drive car and pretty much take care of themselves is some kind of miracle. They spent their lives as Christian missionaries and ministers. Their faith is deep and all encompasing. Their longevity may have something to do with that sense of pupose they carry.
Moving to rural Maine is like moving to another planet. People here work hard, at least those who can find work. There is a deep bone poverty here. Many natives seem isolated from the rest of the country. I observed a lot of respect for veterans today, the kind
It feels like everything is in a huge wave of change. like I’m in a parallel universe and moving between planes. That’s Sam our grandboy. More about him later.
I made oatmeal cookies, kind of healthy with old fashioned oats and coconut sugar. They were chewy and delicious. Think I’ll brew another cup of coffee and eat another one. The chew is fairly grounding. I know, these pictures as obnoxious as a new mother showing you her baby. I’ll go to something else.
We went to Boston on Sunday and visited the Christain Science complex there. The history of Mary Baker Eddy and the rise of a religion is really interesting. We parked in the underground parking there and attended the church service. After that the parking was free all day. The highlight of the service was the ginormous organ and the performance at the end.
I love spirituality, but religion often gets my goat! So awful boring and pretentious, an arrogance of we know more than you do, that’s why we have it so good. Come in here and be like us and you can have it too. Truth is truth, but often groups like to claim to have the right version. To me the test is always love. It’s how I test myself and my actions too. Often I need revising. I love a god who speaks and has me listening mostly.
Sam, in the above photo, is totally unschooled in religion, but since he was tiny he has been giving us lessons on praying and meditation. The other day he said that God likes short prayers, but allows long ones sometimes for angels’ benefit since after all He created them. He is six now but still goes into the lotus position to pray, and he is always silent, listening.
“I tell you the truth, uless you change and become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven, ” said Jesus. I can see that from listening to Sam.
For those of you who love pumpkin pie, I’d like to give you my recipe. I’m a great cook because I just love it. So, what I have gleaned about pumpkin pie is this: Many people who love it suffer from heartburn/indigestion after they eat it. I’m one of those so here is my way for Indigestion Free Pumpkin Pie:
1 can of pumpkin or a cup of fresh mashed
1 cup of evaporated milk or what I prefer:
1 Cup of 1/2 and 1/2 and two tablespoon of sweatened condensed milk(just don’t do both.)
2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 Cup of agave and 1/4 cup of brown sugar
Cook in a crust of your choice. Mine is Trader Joes already made, but graham cracker is good too.
Bake for 35 min. to 45 min. at 350. You can put foil over the top of the crust if you don’t like it too brown.
I’m trying to learn not to be grouchy when I’m tired. I hate being grouchy, but notice that I often am. I lost one little baby tomato plant today. Felt bad, but grateful for all the healthy siblings.
Hopefully I’ll get the lights in a permanant hanging position today. I’m feeling hopeful about being able to survive in the world today. How about you?
Today, I’m re-evaluating, planning on transpanting the seed tomato plants into big pots and replanting lettuce. I’m looking at homemade rooting hormones and have discovered some interesting options: 1) Asprin 2) Willow tea 3) Aloe Vera Juice. They all have a rooting enhancing compound known as Salicylic acid . In addition I’m going to get some Hydrogen Peroxide to keep the watering balance and prevent root rot. Click on the article to check out the details.
Will probably be spending the day at Maine’s Fryeburg Fair, which is fairly famous around here. Every farmer and a lot of wanna be’s like me will be watching the horse pulls, the skillet tosses and eating carnival food while we smell the manure and enjoy the beautiful fall day. That’s because Troy, our guy from Barbedos got here last night. He’s already out taking pictures of our lake. I’ll have to try to get some up here, but he usually takes months to get them into the shape he wants them, so meanwhile they will just be my phone photos. Happy Harvest.
God, we live in a gorgeous place. Frigid today. 42 degrees when I woke up, but the sun is out over the lake warming us and the pumpkin pie I invented yesterday was delicous for dessert last night and breakfast this morning.
Today it is real. Scraped the windshield this morning. The garlic bulbs that are getting cold before planting had to be brought onto the enclosed porch for the last two nights. They should not really get below the low forties. I still didn’t fix my grow light to get it closer to my plants or get the reflective material in place, but inspite of that the gorgeous seeds are becoming small plants, reaching up for the light.
Photos are hastey this morning. Our friend from Barbedos arrives today, so I have to clean and cook and leave the plants for the most part. They just keep smiling and growing unless I forget something. It’s almost time to transplant the little tomatoes into bigger pots I think, but for today they will grow some more where they are.
I woke up around 3:30 this morning thinking about too many things. In conclusion I decided that All Is Well All Is Well All Is Well, so now I’m really sleepy. The tranquility of the lake in Maine, the warmth inside, a long term love relationship and living close by to my 90 year old parents are great gifts.
I’m going back to plain water and waiting for a week or two before more fertilizer. I guess plants don’t eat like we do. Time to bake and get the house clean. Wish these things paid better. I’m looking at ways to make money doing the things I know best. Always looking, trying to overcome the barriers of this system that appears to have taken everything over, but in truth is just a collective leviathan giving benefit to very few.
Here’s a long and worthwhile speach by Bernie Sanders if you have a mind to listen.
Just want to say, this growing is helping me to fall in love with everything including you. Hope you are enjoying the read. JJ Kalush
The leaves are turning quickly to reds and oranges. Maine apples are abundant and tonight we will have a pie. We have gone from hot days and cool nights to cool nights and constant rain. October reminds me to pick the last tomatoes, cover what needs winter protection and plant the garlic. It’s probably the rebel in me, but I decided a few days ago to spend the winter experimenting with gardening indoors. Here is a list of what I have been researching. Will maybe go indepth in later posts as things progress.
Grow Lights. There are a lot of fairly ignorant posts on the internet. Many contradict each other. I think I have found a cheaper solution. Hardware and farm stores around here look at me like I must be growing pot. It has become a somewhat legal cottage industry in Maine, so the production is flourishing mostly as hydroponic growing. So in the Paris Farmer’s Union store I found a sign that said if you are a marijuana grower, don’t bring your product into this store! Actually, the local hardware chain has the best option for me. Today I’m picking up a regular shop light fixture, on sale for $17.00. It is 4 feet and holds two bulbs. They also carry grow bulbs that fit into that fixture for around $11.00 each, so I will have a 4 foot set-up for about $40.00 plus tax. Most of those I found as grow lights were about $100+, double that for 4 foot set-ups versus 2 foot.
Homemade Fertilizer. Would you belive asprin, epsom salts and egg shells?
What to Grow Indoors in Winter. The list is long, but haven’t seen peas on it so I planted a pot full just to see what happens. The other sprouts are basil, lettuces, spinach, and a pot of ginger that is resting in the dark.
How to Grow Indoors. I have tomoatos from seed, cloned and one plant brought in from outside.
Potting soil mixes. I found a cheap one that shouldn’t have been on sale, but it had coconut husk to keep the moisture balanced and I added another organic one with worm castings. I also got a block of coconut husk, but I haven’t had time yet to soak it into the form to add it to the soil.
There are so many ways to grow, even for an old woman. I let myself learn to trust this exquisite Life that constantly comes to me new. I wake each morning now, cold and ready to see these small miracles burst forth and grow like crazy. I’m in love with this process, trusting more, feeling myself part of every grain and branch and person. I kiss this journey and plant myself inside for a while, excited to see how I grow.
That phase is over. We only raised $250. 00 minus the fees for Indiegogo. The truth is, I’m not ready to quit yet, just
beginning to learn the ropes. Some of the wonderful women who contributed also gave me some great ideas for moving on.
I’m going to work hard and keep you posted here and on Facebook. I’m exicited to begin to articulate better and start small to show, not tell what we are up to. I hope that I have some followers who will give me input as well as help me find other strategic partners who will get this great concept into a concrete and operating business.
Any ideas greatly appreciated. For now, I’m going to re-invent my illustrations, create a new simple video and put up a site that illustrates what I’m talking about. Time for cocoons and butterflies.