Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


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Scooter came. I CAN, theoretically, start it manually; it has a pull start. But my hands and arms are weak today (probably from trying so hard to start the OLD scooter!). So, I plugged in the battery charger; I'll start it with the ignition, tomorrow.

So, no trip to the grocery for cheap bread. But I did walk to the Pueblo Center and the nearby Walgreens (they mark stuff down a lot, and have cheap sodas, so I frequently stop when I pass). Apparantly, a nearly-microscopic sliver of glass got into my shoe and worked its way into the ball of my foot. So, it was an even slower walk home, I couldn't see it well enough to get it out on the road.

By the time I turned the corner to my street, I was limping pretty badly. I'm pretty fatigued, from assembling the scooter, trying to start it, etc., not to mention all the yardwork and stuff I did today. The sun was setting in my eyes and I was nearly blind.

I saw a woman, baby on her hip, coming toward me, yelling at a German shepherd. She entered a gate before I would have to pass them. The dog did not stay in their yard; it started running toward me. I could do nothing but freeze in the middle of the road and pray.

I said, "there's a leash law." She reacted very rudely. Her behavior was pure brat. Although dressed like a hippy, I think (since they're young and bought a rather expensive house) she's probably upper middle class, and expects the world to behave by her standards.

She called me a bitch. I simply responded, "you're breaking the law." She continued mocking and ridiculing me as I walked home. I just kept repeating, "you're breaking the law."

I just wrote this. I'm going to put it near their mail box. She has no idea how lucky she is to live on this street. For the most part, the neighbors are wonderful. it's peaceful here, now that we ran off the drug dealer. She'll make lots of enemies here, if they keep this up. And nobody here is hesitant to drop a dime to the authorities, if they don't like what another neighbor is doing that impacts on them.

I am disabled. I am vision impaired and I have an autoimmune disease. I cannot see well enough, especially if your dog comes up behind me. I cannot defend myself. My balance is bad and I am very weak. He could easily knock me down and hurt me very badly.

Hardly anybody on this street is as young and able-bodied as you. This neighborhood is full of older, disabled people. We need sleep. We need peace. We do not need some woman, shouting at her unleashed dog, in the middle of the street. In addition, some of us work nights.

Your unleashed dog is perfectly capable of jumping my wall or gate. He could easily kill my chickens, duck and goats. He is capable of chasing after my roommate, or me when we ride our bikes down this street and becoming tangled in the wheels.

There are several young punks who like to speed down this street. They could easily kill your unleashed dog.

One neighbor on this street despises others’ animals and threatens to kill them. She also puts ant bait out on the sidewalk in front of her house. It is very attractive. It smells like both sugar and meat, to attract both types of ants. Your unleashed dog could eat it.

I am not a bitch. I am your neighbor. I deserve respect. I have the right to walk down my own street, without fear of injury from an unleashed, out-of-control dog.

Frankly, any woman who would curse like that in front of her own child shows more-than-questionable reason.

You do not know me. However, I know enough about you to know you are: self-righteous, abusive, ignorant, arrogant, irresponsible and self-obsessed. You do not care that your dog could hurt or kill, or be hurt or killed.

I stated a simple fact: “ there’s a leash law.” You chose to address me with hostility, abuse and disrespect. I will not warn you again. Next time, I will have Environmental Services deal with you. They site people who do not control or protect their animals. Grow up and join your community.

de agony of de feet

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Every combustion engine that passes the house gets me up and out to look for a FedEx truck, with my new scooter on it.

I bought it here: http://www.utahoutdooractivities.com/scootersxg470.html. Normally, I wouldn't send readers to a commercial website, but this guy has been very helpful and I can recommend him. No, I'm not getting paid!

There's another Queer poetry reading this weekend: 7pm, Harwood Arts Center. We're recording it, too. I hope to have a pretty nice anthology for a fundraiser for Common Bond.

FSRN chose a really good documentary pitch: Native Hawaiians, working to restore national status, their traditions with their dead, family interviews, etc. It should be awesome, and I hope to hear it. Everything FSRN does is archived on their website. FSRN.

I'm still working on the NA Vets piece. Ma & I are contemplating buying an actual recorder of our own. She has a mic already. I hate borrowing equipment, but it sure ain't cheap. I'll have to really work, to pay it off.

With the scooter and some freelance work, MAYBE I can FINALLY get my TEETH fixed! bad word, bad word....

Suki, my white, Japanese silkie hen, is hovering over seven chicks. They're all white, or mostly white. I should take pictures, huh?

I've been very busy with fixing up the back yard for Oprah's and Suki's chicks. The backyard pond is ALMOST up to snuff.

WHERE'S MY SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTER???? I want to go to the Pueblo Center for some smokes, and maybe a snack. And I want to buy 2 for a dollar loaves of bread at Lowe's (today's the last day!).

And tomorrow, I have to go to the feed store for more goat and chick feed.

Some kids stole my old scooter out of the yard. I had it there to TRY to get the carb working. They had to lift it --forty pounds-- over a 4-foot concrete wall to get it out. Fortunately, my $35 EZ Seat fell off when they did. Some other kids found it a few blocks away, ditched, cuz it doesn't run. I'll try to fix it, even though I'm getting the new one, to give to those kids. It was an adventurous night, I'll tell you! All that work to steal from me, and what good did it do? huh...

I've been asking for opinions on recording equipment: minidisc or flash recorder? Which brands? how do various mics, preamps, phantom power sources, etc. work? Humming and hissing? Length of time recordable? Thankyou, Transom, for your great reviews of recording equipment! I'd die without that place.

We watched "Monster" the other night. I told Ma, with just a few twists of fate, I could have been an Aileen Wornous, easily. Our life stories are so similar. I was very fortunate to have found a group of ethical, principled and hard-working Lesbian Feminists to take me in, not exploit me, teach me to be self-sufficient and nurture me. Aileen only had the marbles rolling in her own head to hear. Her story is a sincere tragedy, experienced by thousands of women on a daily basis. Why MORE women don't become serial killers, especially of abusive johns, is a true mystery.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Finished the Peace Talks transcript

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You can read it here: http://rriverstoneradio.blogspot.com/2006/04/peace-talks-gandhi.html. It's about Gandhi. Pretty good, I think. I learned a lot.

I always had a gut feeling about the "pencil" story.

What I did learn was: passive violence creates physical violence. I've been on the receiving end of passive violence so often. And I always feel horrible when I finally blow my top and react to it. Usually, the passively-violent person acts like he/she did nothing to provoke me. It's gas lighting: making ME look crazy, so THEY look superior.

I also learned I participate in passive violence, too. I liked the idea about keeping track of the times during the day when I commit passive violence and working to lessen the violence in which I participate, consciously or unconsciously.

It seems a very practical method. I doubt I'll spend 3 hrs. per day, praying and reading "scriptures," though. I'm thinking a little meditation, reflection and reading of various philosophical stuff about nonviolence wouldn't hurt me, though.

Having PTSD, I'm easily threatened and I tend to be reactionary when I feel a threat. I've never been happy about that. I've been in denial about it, though. I KNOW it's not who I am; it's a learned behavior. I resent my mother, in particular, for the damage I've experienced. And there's years of other people who've made it a hobby to victimize me.

I react very similarly to the ways my mother acted; I learned it from her. I try to not be her, but, until and unless I confront how my behaviors are influenced by my upbringing, it'll repeat.

Of course, sometimes, people are passively violent, unconsciously ("I didn't mean to..."). It doesn't matter, of course, whether or NOT they MEANT to, if they cause pain. The trick is not to react, whatever the case.

Well, anyway. It was an interesting discussion, if you want to read it....

Willy's pee is clear! TAH DAH!

Monday, April 17, 2006

a million things I COULD be doing...

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I am doing laundry, just so's you know I'm not a total potato.

I did a LOT this week, and I'm pretty dang tired. Three days, six hours a day, in front of the computer: editing the radio play, researching the documentary, making phone calls....

I redesigned my web page, rriverstone works. It's stylin' now, boy.

Lots of people I emailed about the project are visiting it, this blog, my resume, my writing and radio samples, etc. But NONE of them has emailed me back yet! Whimper... Well, it's only Monday; I'm sure people have lots to catch up.

I don't expect to hear back from fsrn until Wednesday. So, for today and tomorrow, that's on hold.

The radio play's done -- my part, anyway.

I'm filling in on Women's Focus, April 29. You can go to KUNM for time, internet stream, etc. I'll only be on the air about fifteen minutes out of two hours. The regular host has "taped" interviews I'll be running. Dang. Oh, well... LOL. Mostly, I'll be babysitting the control room. Better than nothing, I always say. I get good listener feedback on my substitution broadcasts.

Guess I'll have a CD to transcribe tonight.

I haven't seen Willy pee since early this morning, when it was quite bloody. He was crying (not when he peed, though) sporadically and rather loudly, for him. He hardly ever cries. I think he was as loud this morning as he was while castrated. I've been "dosing" both goats with 6,000mg vitamin C in a gallon of water, with some molasses to make it palatable. I'm giving them as much as they want. They drink about half a gallon at a time. I'm waiting for my order of ammonium chloride to come in. Willy's not straining. His appetite's good and he's playing like normal again (he wasn't very playful for a few days, after the banding).

I read a website, by a vet, who said to palpate the bladder and urethra, to check for distension. The bladder's fine; he IS peeing. But Willy's willie is tender, and that made him cry, too. It doesn't now, though. Maybe I dislodged a stone?

I have a garden to plant, a chicken yard to clean up, my tent "garage" to fix (got knocked around by the wind last week; need to put some legs back together). I STILL have to clean my back pond. blah blah blah

I took the goats for a walk to the store on Saturday. It was only their second time. They didn't mind the leads so much this time, but they did yell their heads off, tied up outside the store. Everybody loves the (except the guy whose car hood they jumped up on, to get closer to his face).

My body's pretty sore from a bad fall last week, but the walk seemed to help.

Still don't know if The Big Thing will happen or not, but last week's next step went well, I'd say.

Just gotta let people discuss it among themselves and decide what they want...sigh.

Well, the laundry's done and I need to put in another load.

Have fun.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

script pitch and other nightmares

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Well, I submitted my Memorial Day script pitch to fsrn. We'll just wait and see. It's worth $800, if they approve a go-ahead. I've contacted lots of people and expect a full mail box by Monday or Tuesday. I have plenty of research material and good contacts. I've designed the flier and emailed it to a buncha people who are visited by Native American Veterans. I even joined a yahoo group, membership pending, for Native women Vets with PTSD. Basically, if people will just say, "go for it," I can put it together quickly.

Sent it to Paul Ingles. He has a gig now with npr as a consultant to independent producers like me. He read over the pitch, made some edits and sent it back. He says it sounds good. And I certainly trust his experience.

Willy (goat) seems to have urinary tract stones. It's common in boy goats. I'm flooding him with a brew of vitamin C, molasses and water. Ordered some ammonium chloride to dose him if it gets worse. He's not in pain and has no trouble urinating yet, but I have to keep an eye on this; it could kill him.

Ma went to her office to do some school work, undesturbed.

Actually, I demanded use of her computer, best in the house. I'm editing a radio play today -- and it's a play I already hate, not having heard a word of it yet. I've already loaded it. Soon's I'm done with this post, I'll start. Good thing I have lots of: Oreos, soda pop, fried chicken and Hershey bars. It's gonna be a long day.

I copied the "pitch" into my rriverstone radio blog, if you wanna see it.

Paul's bringing by a Peace Talks CD for me to transcribe on Monday and Ma's giving him a copy of the "Deadline" DVD we got for him. I think he'll like it. Reminds me of the newsroom at KUNM, for sure! ugh.

Well, gotta do this dang radio play now. C U l8ters....

Friday, April 14, 2006

Native American Vets Radio Documentary

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Seeking Native American Veterans
Plus Families, Friends & supportive others
Willing to be interviewed
For a radio documentary
To be aired Memorial Day Monday, May 29, 2006

We want to hear your experiences, challenges, frustrations, needs. This is a half-hour piece, to be aired nationally, on affiliated, community radio stations. Your words will be heard with the respect, dignity and compassion you deserve. What do you want to say?

Also seeking local, Native American musicians, poets, spoken word artists with compositions about Native Warriors, Veterans, Peacekeepers, etc.

You will get credits and recognition for this national broadcast.

Contact: Rogi Riverstone
PO Box 4609 Albuquerque, NM 87196

spring celebrations

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

eatin cheap biscuits

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Ok, I bought me some cheap biscuits at Try & Save the other day. Ma can't eat wheat; she has celiac disease and can't digest it. But, whenever _I_ eat wheat, she sure pays attention! There are recipes for biscuits, made with rice flour and either xantham gum or guar gum, but I haven't tried em yet.

It's a totally beautiful morning.

Willy's recovering from the castration incident. His lil scrotum is beginning to shrivel, poor thing. It must hurt him to be very active. There's no jumping or playing, much. But he's not hanging back. He's not afraid of me anymore. He was even playing butt-my-butt with Nilly last night. I think he needs an athletic supporter. It must be hard, having dying testicles dangling from an elastic band. Ouch!

I'm not sure what chores I'll do today. The chicken yard sure needs a good cleanin and straightenin up. I don't want to get too tired, though, as I'm taking the bus this afternoon to hear the next step in the Big Thing.

Ma rode my electric chopper bicycle to an electric motor repair shop this morning. She'll either walk or take the bus to work from there. It's only about a mile. She's much stronger than I and can ride it there much more easily. It's about 3 miles, all uphill. Woulda killed me.

I can't wait to have my bicycle back! I've felt so disabled, not being able to get around independently. That bike was my way to go when and where the busses don't. I could FINALLY make plans to go out at night! I miss that.

If the Big Thing happens, I'm DEFINATELY taking that bike, even though it weighs 80 lbs. and will cost a chunk to ship. I'm also starting to work on the fuel lines of my gasoline-powered, 2-stroke motor scooter. It can haul more weight than the electric bike can, so is better for grocery shopping. I'd ship it, too. The seat comes off and the handlebars collapse, so it doesn't take much space to ship. It only weighs 45 lbs. It'll be very nice to have it running again, too. But the fuel line problem MUST be fixed. The old tubing finally started to rot, between sun exposure, vibration and gasoline. Won't take long to fix it. 'course, now the carb's all out of adjustment, too and that'll take some work. sigh.

Trash has come and gone, taking a whole laundry basket of worn-out clothing with it. Couldn't be recycled any more. I found almost all of it used, anyway. I kept it out of the land fill as long as I could...

When I go into store, I'm always encouraged by how much I don't buy. I see tons of stuff I don't need, cuz I got it for free or used. I'm a terrible consumer.

I think people shop cuz we're hunters & gatherers; it's in our genes. We feel satisfied, searching for stuff to bring home. I feel the same satisfaction at: thrift stores, yard sales, trash-picking.

And I'm not compulsive, like so many overconsumers are. I'm satisfied with what I have. Bright, shiny objects are just as attractive to me as anybody else, but I'm satisfied with just looking at them.

I'm off to find stuff to do. Have a day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

the Big Thing

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Tomorrow night, an official next step in the Big Thing is going to take place. I won't know the RESULTS of it then; that'll wait until a process completes. Once the process completes, I'll know whether the NEXT step will be a factor. It depends on the elemination process. ugh. My head's going to explode.

But I'm very excited about tomorrow night's next step. Discussions are being held on the whole thing. People with vast experience and knowledge are assuring me there's noting to worry about. They're saying that the qualifications, experience, style, people-skills, etc. are all in place. They foresee no reasons why it isn't completely possible.

Of course, there's the factoring-in of the decision-making process, the particular needs of those who would make this happen, economic considerations, etc.

The bottom line, to me, is this: not too many people with solid experience, flexibility, genuine enthusiasm for marginalized cultures, technical expertise and personal humility are available to just pick up and leave everything they know for a remote location. People have kids, mortgages, social committments, etc. that they must factor in. Young people, with nothing but book larnin' and a credit card, could do it more easily. They've formed no attachments that require consistant commitment. But they also don't have the experience, tangible and not, to perform well in this place, under these specific, crucial and fragile circumstances.

I'm convinced the Big Thing can happen. I'm confident it has a good chance of happening.

If it doesn't something else will happen.

In the mean time, however, I'm looking at every stitch and sliver of my life and evaluating it for how crucial it might be if the Big Thing were to happen.

I already know how much it will cost to transport 2 cats and 2 goats. I know where the cheapest temporary housing is. I know where to buy groceries, look for more permanent housing, ride public transportation, rent storage, ship goods, get medical care, continue my education....

I've been over every virtual inch of this location, examining it for potential, analysing it for problems. I've adjusted my mindset to what is of real value there, and how I can be of use.

I'll have to give up a lot, sure. But it's not like I'm having to concede some sort of defeat. When I look around at my lifestyle, my possessions, my diet, my habbits, etc., I see much which I can let go, at no personal sacrifice.

Actually, the purging is good for me. As I do laundry, for instance, and put clothes away, I find I've gathered things I no longer need. They're so old, holey, threadbare, stained, nobody else would even want them. Most I rescued from trashpicking. Some, I've had for many years. I always had more clothes than many people, just because it was so hard for me to launder: long trips by bus, much walking, washing things by hand in the bathtub as I showered, etc. When I'm sick, I need fresh linens and clothing, even if I can't wash.

I won't need that surplus of clothing anymore.

There's much redundancy, for equally-pragmatic reasons, throughout my household inventory. If I do The Big Thing, that redundancy becomes unnecessary. In fact, it would become a burden.

So, tomorow night, I sit and listen to the next step in the process of elimination toward the Big Thing.

I'm thinking I'll know for certain what the outcome is by sometime around the beginning of June. If my head doesn't explode by then.

Let's put it this way: I never imagined I'd ever have an opportunity to return to a place I visited, for a very brief period, when I was only 13. I loved it then and I hated to leave. It has never crossed my mind since then that I could ever go back. I've spoken of the place quite fondly, over the intervening decades. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have always considered myself very lucky and priviledged to have experienced it, at all. Most people never will.

The prospect of actually being able to return is so amazing, so humbling that I can barely wrap my heart around it. I can smell and taste the air. I can see it. I'm even having dreams that I'm there, living as a resident.

I'm willing to do whatever it takes -- that causes no harm -- to have this opportunity to continue that aborted love affair with a most unique place and culture.

Here's to tomorrow night, and all the other nights, of hope, planning, happiness, love and welcome.

Whatever happens, whether or not I get to participate in this particular Big Thing, its influence on my perceptions of my own life has been profound, already. There's a paradigm shift in how I see myself and my life. It woke me back up. I was beaten down, discouraged for so long, just living in survival mode and trying not to get hurt anymore than necessary. I'd forgotten that life is about poetry, stars, deep breaths, small miracles.

This experience, as unformed as it still is, has reminded me to love and value who I am and what I hold most sacred.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I had a hard day, yesterday....

this is a wheely cart I buy mine at KMart, as they only cost fifteen dollars. THESE cost FORTY!!! Gees!

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Grocery shopping should NOT be a traumatizing and exhausting ordeal, but there it is. Took the bus to Sav-A-Lot (which Ma and I call "Try-&-Save," from either the Simpsons or King of the Hill, I can't remember which.) It's an ugly little store. One day, it stank to high heaven of raw sewage: an appetizing experience for food shoppers.

I usually only buy factory-sealed stuff there: Cheeses, frozen vegies, ground turkey rolls, etc. They had no turkey rolls out, so I asked the butcher and he hauled a case from the freezer for me.

They also had no frozen stirfry vegies, so I asked him whom I should alert. He said Juan, up front. Well, Juan (whoever THAT is) wasn't up front when I got there, so I asked a young woman, stocking dry goods. She acted like I just didn't know where they kept the stirfry. I didn't argue; I just obediently followed her. She picked up a bag of stirfry PEPPERS and said, "here they are." I dug in my cart for a bag of stirfry VEGGIES and said, "no, I want this kind." "Well, if they're not out, we don't have them." I explained about the "not out" turkey. She disappeared in the back and returned with, "They're coming in tonight." Fat lotta good that'll do me. So, I'll have to go back. Ma and I eat LOTS of stirfry vegies, even for breakfast. I make "sausage" out of the ground turkey, seasoned with cayennne, garlic salt, black pepper and sage. Tastes just like real sausage, and, that way, I can get away with melting a thin sliver of sharp cheddar on top. We can't eat much animal fat, and we both LOVE sharp cheese.

Well, I managed to buy about fifty pounds of groceries and pack them in my little "wheely cart." It's about the size of a milk crate. I dragged everything across the lumpy parking lot, across deadly Central Ave., and went to Kmart for nearly nothing. But it's the side of the street where the bus stop is.

At the bus stop, a lady with a maniacal grin and stained, yellow t-shirt said, "can I buy a cigarette off of you?" and fumbled in her purse. I like it when people offer to buy cigarettes, rather than just mooching them, and generally (unless I'm running out) accomodate. I handed her a cig. She took her hand from her purse, turned her back and walked away. She stole my cigarette!

A little while later (I wasn't watching this, but can surmise from the events), an old man passed her, asking for a light. She referred him to me. He stood before me and said, "gimme a light." I said, "did you say, 'please?'" He said, "Please." I was obliged to give him a light. You don't mess with people on the streets; being right can get you killed. He lit his cigarette (not mine) and walked away without another word. I ventured, "you're welcomed." Jees.

I lugged the fifty pounds of groceries onto the bus. The 2 front seats were folded up for a wheel chair. I need to sit near the front, so my cart's not in anybody's way. Drivers don't wait for passengers to sit. I held on for dear life with one hand and struggled with the release lever with the other hand. I asked the driver, three times, for assistance with the seat, to no reply. Two old men got into it and left me dangling from the overhead bar, trying not to fall, cornered by their fumblings, unable to sit anywhere. FINALLY, at a stop, the driver HEARD me ask for help. "Those seats are broken," he said. Great. At that point, one of the old men (the two of them were hogging FIVE SEATS in the front of the bus!!) finally moved things and made room for me to sit.

When we got to the transit center, where I needed to transfer to the bus home, the door kept snapping shut on me, as I struggled to pull my cart down off the bus and onto the sidewalk. An able-bodied white guy sat across the bus aisle, watching the door hit me and watching me worry that the bus might take off with my cart, groceries, wallet.... I finally got the cart down, looked him in the eye, and said, "thank you so MUCH for watching me struggle!" He looked at me stupidly.

Two boys were waiting at the transit center on benches next to my stop. They were saying FILTHY things about girls in their school and smoking weed. Several drivers passed. Nobody stopped them. Children were subjected to their filth and smoke.

The bus came; I went home.

An email awaited. The woman from the Pygmy Goat Club here who said she could castrate Willy had to bow out. Oh, hell! It's got to be done, and SOON! So, I sat down to call every member, whose phone number was on the members' list, who lived in or near Albuquerque. The very first person I called lives just a little north of me and was going to drive just a little south of me for a meeting. She'd do it for free, and would give Willy a tetanus shot, as well. Wow.

Ma TRIED to make it home; I was pretty worried. I'd have to hold the goat while she did the deed. I didn't want Willy to associate me with the pain. Ma volunteered. But she didn't get there on time and I didn't want to hang this woman (and her 2 friends, who came to watch) up. I held him for the injection, which left a big knot in his flank. I massaged it and let him down to walk it off. He was miserable and whimpering, already. He was suspicious of me. It took awhile to catch him again.

It took all four of us to castrate the poor bastard. A big woman held him on her lap and held one leg. I held his head (he has horns) and gently muzzled his mouth to muffle any screams. Another woman held the other leg.

The tool is like pliars (don't wince yet), but they OPEN to pull open an elastic band, round and thicker than a rubber band, something like a gasket. She pulled his scrotum through the band and then let the tool close. She pulled it out and the band was around his scrotum. It takes about two months for the testicles to finally fall off. Willy was in pain. Luckily, I had my orajel ready. I felt like such a kink. Orajel is, basically, clove oil in petrolium jelly. There I was, massaging goat testicles with petroleum jelly! Gawd...

She watched Willy for awhile. He's not trying to sit on them, lie down, roll onto his back, or do anything else that's not healthy for a freshly-castrated goat to do. But he's STILL suspicious of me and actually shies or runs at times if I approach. I'm heart broken.

Nilly thought it was all a great game, kept jumping on people's laps with Willy, danced all over the yard, and bleated whenever he did...which was a lot.

Just when we'd finished, Ma rode up. I thanked the women profusely and they left. I put the goats in my bedroom, to calm them and to mute the crying, and fed them bottles of pure, warm milk (I usually dilute the milk with water, as I'm weaning them, but thought they deserved "comfort food"). I made dinner and did my own whimpering, as Ma listened.

It was all necessary stuff. I was being responsible, all day, even when it hurt.

Today, I'm swamping out the kitchen, doing laundry, washing dishes: catching up on everything that had to be neglected for awhile, in the face of other priorities.

It took a LOT out of me. But we have turkey sausage....

Monday, April 10, 2006

For Trowbridge

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When I volunteered in the newsroom at KUNM, I was honored to share time and space with Tom Trowbridge.

I was treated quite shabbily by the news director and management. I was forced out for "speaking truth to power," as one middle manager likes to say (a politically correct phrase, going about academic circles.)

I felt horrible for a long time. I felt like a failure. I was ashamed and embarrassed. It was total humiliation.

But now I see I was in good company.

Tom is one of those old-school journalists. He does the "grunt" work without complaint. His standards are pristine. He is never influenced by power or glitter or sex appeal. He is fair and never editorializes. He's a ruthless editor.

He did his job professionally, consistantly. He did it under terrible working conditions, without respect. The entire organization depended on his consistancy, but never acknowledged it openly.

When he left, it rather broke my heart. Yeah, I was gone. But I wasn't a big contributor. KUNM's news dept. is the only possible hope for REAL, regional news in the entire state. It is failing its mission horribly. Tom's contribution was a precious resource.

When he moved on, however, it was a salve to my aching heart. I no longer feel ashamed. Anybody who could alienate Mr. Trowbridge so badly that he felt compelled to leave would, of course, take me out with the garbage.

I wrote a little tribute to Tom in my Radio blog, if you'd like to see it. I'm sending him a DVD copy of "Deadline," and included this little note.

Official announcement in UNM's student paper. Nobody "enjoyed" 911: student reporter. KUNM host leaves radio business

Sunday, April 09, 2006


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Weather's a little chilly this morning, but it'll warm soon. Starting to plan my days with outside work. I may start swamping out that nasty pond in the backyard today.

I ordered some fertile duck eggs to hatch. I have a plexiglass "house" I found in the garbage. I was using it for a greenhouse for herbs in winter. I cleaned it out yesterday. Today, I'll seal cracks in the floor with silicone. Tomorrow, I'll install the eggs, on a bed of alfalfa hay, under a heat lamp, in the house. Hopefully, Lucky, my Pekin drake, will have some chums and girlfriends. He's pecked my hens bald and he terrorizes the roosters.

We watched a GREAT movie last night, "Deadline" with John Hurt. Ma found it in the dollar DVD bin at Smith's grocery. We're going to buy some more for some friends, if we can find it. Rent it if you can. It's extremely topical these days. Hurt plays a British, freelance journalist in an Arabic country, about to turn fundamentalist. It's a great portrayal. I asked Ma if he was disabled, he was so convincing! You gotta get it! It's in the tradition of "Broadcast News," "Good Night and Good Luck" and "Salvador." You GOTTA see it!!!

Hurt played Mr. Haden, the billionaire, in "Contact." He was in a strange, little movie with Christina Richie called "Miranda," which I taped off UPN the other day (THAT's an excellent movie, too, by the way). He also played "The Elephant Man," which Ma and I really want to rent from Intelliflix to see again.

We get Intelliflix 'cuz it's only a hundred bucks a year, three movies out at a time, no late fees, good selection. We had Netflix, but I was anxious, waiting for movies to arrive. And it costs about five bucks more each month.

Intelli has all the usual rentals, and a good selection. They also have GOOD Queer movies and EXCELLENT documentaries. Netflix does, too.

We also watched "The Santa Fe Trail," with Ronald Reagan playing George Custar (how's that for typecasting?) and Errol Flynn. They're West Point graduates, 1854 class. They're stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, KA (the "last outpost of civilization"), trying to stop John Brown and the abolitionists from "terrorizing" the white supremacists. Kansas was a territory back then; there was great controversy as to whether it would enter the Union as free or slave.

All the main characters from West Point would end up on opposing sides' leadership during the Civil War.

The Blacks were portrayed VERY badly: stepnfetchit, Mammy... I told Ma, there's nothing I can do about 1940s Hollywood, but I don't begrudge the Black actors; they earned a paycheck.

John Brown was portrayed as half-crackpot, half-visionary (which he probably was). There was substantial revisionist history in it. His son is wounded and taken into custody by the Cavelry. We're supposed to believe they "rescued" him, of course. At first, he denies knowledge of his father's whereabouts. Later, he has a change of heart and confides to the female love interest of the flick where his father's hideout is. Then, he conveniently dies. I'm thinking the FACTS might be: He was captured; he refused to tell his interrogators anything; they tortured it out of him; he died as a result. He was fifteen.

It's interesting, really. Ma's from Kansas. We're working on a documentary about the Santa Fe Trail, from here back to Kansas.

Reagan was typecast as an awshucks, arrogant ass. Custer to a "T"

Well, it's warming up outside and I'm dawdling. Gotta put on my good gardening shoes and get out there. Ma's working on a radio drama she's producing for a class project at the university. She'll be at her office all day, editing sound.

I'm outtie. Have a bodacious day.Santa Fe Trail



Saturday, April 08, 2006

workin on a pond

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I have two fish ponds. One is a hole in the back yard, lined with an above-ground pool liner. The other is a kid's wading pool, in the front yard.

I just bought some swamp cooler pumps on eBay. I cover them with tulle (the fabric from which petticoats are made) and place them in baskets, to keep plants and fish from getting caught in the impellors. I cover the motors with cut-off, upside-down milk cartons, to keep water out and place a rock on top.

My backyard pond is a pure mess. It hasn't been pumped or filtered all winter. Basically, it's pure duck poop and algae, right now. I'll need to drain it, see if any fish are still alive to rescue, wash everything off and start all over.

I plan to use a 55 gal, plastic barrel as my filter out there. I'll submerge a fat comforter-style blanket in the barrel of water. The pump will rest in the pond, with a garden hose running into the barrel. The comforter will filter the cooties out of the water. The water will spill back into the pond. That way, more pond surface is available to the duck.

I'm looking at aquatic plants on eBay right now. I had good luck with the ones I got last year, but they didn't make it through winter. My bad: I should have taken better precautions.

I'll probably float some water hyacinth on top of the barrel. In the front, I have a large, plastic laundry tub for my filter, with submerged bed pillow stuffing in it. I'll put some hyacinth on it, too.

There's a plant called "lizard tail" which gives off an antialgae chemical that's not toxic to fish. I may get some. I'm waiting to see if my duck weed returns. There's SOMETHING floating on top. It's feathery. I see duckweed roots and some bleached-out leaves. It may come back. It's best to COVER the pond with plants, as they retard algae growth and protect my fish.

I have 6 for a dollar comet gold fish. I also have free mosquito fish, which look like, and are related to, guppies. I will return some of those to my rainbarrels, under the eaves of my house. They really do eat all mosquito larvae. Mosquitos are another reason to cover ponds in plants: they can't lay eggs on anything but smooth water surfaces.

I'm mostly looking at easy maintainance, flowering plants. Hyacinth are a noxious weed in wild water: they'll out-compete with native species and destroy ecosystems. But they're perfect when confined to a pond, and very pretty. I'd never put them in the Rio Grande, tho....

I am enjoying the fact that it's finally warm enough to garden again.

The Big Thing that might happen is progressing one step further. Doesn't guarantee a thing yet. The not knowing if and whether is anxiety-provoking, when I consider what a monumental task it would be to make the transition, how much stuff I'll need to unload, the challenge of finding GOOD homes for my chickens, duck, etc... I can't worry about it. Even if this Big Thing happens, I'd still have about a year to sort everything out.

I'm beginning to investigate some options for independent radio production, to subsidize the expenses. And, as I said, two friends have hired me for little, but monthly, jobs. The combined total would be about 1,500 extra, per year. Doesn't seem like much at the monthly level, but the annual earnings sound pretty damned good. It would pay to transport 2 cats and maybe even my goats to the new place... We'll see.

As soon as I start doing indi radio again, I'll warn you to visit my radio blog, ok?

Well, Ma's at the dentist. I have the joint to myself. I think I'll put on gardening clothes and get back out there...

Friday, April 07, 2006

PPNM to Hold Pledge-A-Picket Fundraiser

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Every year on Good Friday, anti-choice protesters hold a
demonstration at PPNM's surgical site in Albuquerque. Last year
183 men, women and children turned out to picket and pray - the
largest such gathering ever here. We're expecting another big
crowd this year.

For the privacy and safety of our patients, the clinic is closed
on Good Friday but we hold an annual Pledge-A-Picket fundraiser
to offset the loss of revenue. Individuals pledge to donate a
specific amount per protester - anywhere from five cents to two

This year we're expanding the Pledge-A-Picket time frame to
include all the protesters who show up the week of April 10-14.
Typically, we have 3-4 protesters per day. If you
Pledge-A-Picket, we'll count the protesters all week, add that
to the number who show up on Good Friday, and multiply the total
by the amount of your pledge to figure your contribution. If you
pledge 25 cents a picketer and we have 15 protesters during the
week and 190 on Good Friday, we'd multiply 205 x .25 for a total
of $51.25. You may put a cap on your pledge.

Email us at pledge@ppnewmex.org if you'd like to participate in
our Good Friday fundraiser. Please tell us how much you want to
pledge per picketer and if you'd like to cap the amount. We'll
notify you by email after Good Friday to let you know how many
picketers we had and the amount of your donation.

Last year we raised over $4,000 in pledges from our Action
Alert Network. These donations allow us to continue providing
PPNM's high-quality, affordable health care in New Mexico. If
you have questions, please call Development at 265-5976.

Thank you for supporting Planned Parenthood of New Mexico.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

found this in my "in" box

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Generally, I don't republish such things, but this was particularly clever, IMHO...

What You Need To Believe To Be A Republican Today:

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him,
a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him,
a good guy when Cheney did business with him,
and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist,
but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations,
and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body,
but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools,
adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies,
then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy,
but providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science,
but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is a impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades,
but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime unless you're a
conservative radio host,
Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

Supporting "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity).

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest,
but what Bush did in the 1980s is irrelevant.

Support for hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

PayPal: Chimps on Crack.

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Well, I had to retry FIVE TIMES, but I FINALLY logged a dispute with PayPal. They're "experiencing tech. difficulties." You only get 45 days to file a claim, and only three claims per year! I'm running out of time! But I FINALLY got to submit this:

This was an order for LIVE trees. After 3 weeks, I wrote her:
On 3/28/06, Rogi Riverstone wrote:
Where are my trees?

Her reply:
Name and address and I let you know thank you kindly"
She should KNOW my name and address!

THEN, she had the nerve to ask for feedback! NO WORD of a refund. I've waited 3 days, emailed 2xs, NO REPLY

Item title: Japanese Red Maples Spring Blow Out Sale,Japanese Red
Maples Spring Blow Out Sale

Item number:
Buyer User ID: rriverstone
Seller User ID: bullyloverz
Your total: $25.05

Item title: Japanese Red Maples Spring Blow Out Sale,Japanese Red Maples Spring Blow Out Sale
Item number:
Buyer User ID: rriverstone
Seller User ID: bullyloverz
Total: $25.05
Note: Every eBay user has a Feedback profile made up of comments from other eBay users.
Thank you so much for your business.
P.S. I'm sorry we couldn't complete this. I hope you have a great summer. Happy Planting. I will leave you positive and hope you do the same. Thank you.

As far as I'm concerned, she has stolen my money

The Island of Dr. Lovato

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First Choice Clinic set up an eye exam for me at the Eye Institute. I had to reschedule, as nobody asks ME when I can go to these things, and the first appt. was too early to make by bus.

It took 3 hours to get there. The Albq. bus schedule makes no mention of the fact that the original bus I was on, #36, automatically becomes the #50 when it reaches the Alvarado Transit Center. the #36 comes within a block of my house, but only runs 1x/hour. I got on it at 10 am, for a 1:30pm appt. It goes on a long, loopy trip and comes back to an intersection at Rio Grande & Central, where I transferred to a Route 66 bus. I was going to transfer from there to the #50 at the University and take that to the Institute.

I took myself out for a very nice brunch at the Olympia Cafe. As I ate and listened to "Never-on-Sunday"-esque music, I thought about how much ancient Greek culture still influences modern life in the USA, even though we rarely ever think about modern Greece. I wish the Romans hadn't dominated, with their don't-care-about-your-commrads, mechanical army style. Greeks were encouraged to LOVE their fellow soldiers. 'course, they treated women like chattel, but who hasn't?

Anyway, I figured a craptacular burger at Mickey D's, next door, would have cost the same as the chicken in cinnamon sauce, over a bed of pilaf, served with a mixed salad with feta and a pita which I chose. I ordered 2 lemon custards (I'm NOT going to try to spell THAT!) to go. They put them in styrofoam clam shells, inside a paper bag.

I caught the #50 south for a few blocks to the grocery (#50 makes a loop to the airport and back, so I thought I'd have time to pick up a few things and catch it going north). I got my groceries and wheeled my shopping cart near the bus stop. I opened my wheeled backpack to put things in it and discovered the custard had been smothered in honey/lemon juice sauce, which now coated everthing in my pack. I packed the custards in a plastic grocery bag, washed things off as best I could with my water bottle and waited for the bus. I must've just missed the bus. I saw the next one pass me, going south to the airport, and had to wait for that one to return. I stood out there for about half an hour, waiting.

I was still about a half hour early to my appt. I washed my rain jacket in the ladies' room sink. My appt. letter was sticky with honey and I apologized profusely to the receptionist as I explained.

Now, nobody told me what the procedures would be. I didn't know I'd be blind when I left, or I'd have worn better walking shoes and brought my cane. I certainly wouldn't have had a load of groceries to manage on the bus home. I would have brought dark sunglasses.

The nurse found pressure in both eyes. That's an indication of glaucoma, as I understand it. The nurse also saw how my eyes don't adjust right when one is covered for a while and then uncovered. I've had double vision for decades. My left eye is very weak, as I close it to read and watch tv. She saw how pronounced it was.

Well, Lavato walked in. He didn't test for eye pressure, but decided I had no swelling, anyway (huh?). He did the same double vision test the nurse did, but passed the vision obstructor past my eyes so quickly, it appeared almost transparent to me, and the effect was minimal. He said nothing was wrong.

As near as I can tell, the NURSE looked at my EYES. The DOCTOR looked at my medicaid and medicare, and based his diagnosis accordingly.

I literally had to beg to get someone to put dialation reversal drops in my eyes afterward. Everybody was dragging their feet. I kept explaining I felt a blinding migraine coming on and that I still had an hour of buses home. If I missed the bus that was due in 10 mins, I'd have to wait, in the sun, for an hour for the next one! I had goats to feed. I needed to get back before the migraine got bad, if it did.

I had to beg a guy outside, talking on his cell phone, to help me get to the bus stop, as all I could see was fuzzy, white glare. Nobody gave me eye shades.

I heard Lavato in the hall, talking to a patient, "You've been a very good girl. You behaved yourself very well."

Of course, I thought he was talking to a child.

Out walked an OLD Navajo woman: hair in traditional tie, long skirt, the whole thing. I don't even know if she spoke English. Her head was down, mortified.

How DARE he talk to a Dine elder in such a disrespectful manner! I was furious.

All the medical staff there insisted in speaking to me in terms of endearment, too: "Dear, sweetheart, darling, honey...."

You are NOT my lover, my parent, my friend! You are a medical professional, and you should speak to me with respect. Address me as Ma'am or as Ms. _______. Do NOT treat me like a child, a defective or a pet! It does NOT reassure me. It doesn NOT ingratiate you to me. It alarms me and it insults me. You don't know me well enough to assume such language is appropriate. Stop being so familiar and act like a professional!

Basically, I felt like I was being treated by Wal*Mart associates and conquistadores.

I see Lavato did time at Harbor in Los Angeles County. Some of the poorest people have to go there. He learned, years ago, not to respect low income people, but to leach from them for his practice. We're meat. Period. He doesn't care about our well being. He cares about the bottom line.

At this point, I don't care if someone pokes me in the eye with a stick, I'll never go back there.

I got home, fed the goats immediately, washed off my backpack and its contents, peed, got a cold drink and called Ma, in that order.

They never warned me the eyedrops hurt -- BAD. They didn't warn me they were coming at my eyeball with a lighted stick. They didn't explain ANYTHING to me. They processed me. I had to BEG for them to tell me what they were doing to MY BODY!

You wanna know why the poor don't get health care? Beyond the crappy options re: medicaid and medicare, beyond the lack of decent transportation to inaccessible facilities, beyond the INSISTANCE of institutions to book appts without consulting the consumers, beyond the lack of follow up or access to testing, etc because insurance won't cover it -- poor people are treated like mentally defective LIVESTOCK!

The healthcare providers are suspicious of us, disrespectful to us, abusive, neglectful, arrogant.

It was a simple errand: go for an eye exam.

It turned out to be SIX HOURS on the bus, humiliation, trauma and insult for a 90 minute exam, where the dr. pretends everything's normal.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Original, stolen image -- now renamed and useless to the jackass:

My replacement:

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So, in a few days, I'll just remove my "modified" smiley rainbow, so he'll have no image, at all. That'll mean the post below won't have it anymore, either.

He stole them from some of my net art.

Here are the URLs I had to fix. Mind you, I made "code" pages, so people could reproduce the art. I specifically said NOT to direct link to the images, or I'd have to remove the code pages from my site. But I won't do that; WebTV people love making "table art," and they're pretty good, these days, about TRANSLOADING images from one site to another. WebTV can't up- or download anything; they have to move things, across the internet, to their own domains or site hosts.

Here's my "art:"

Marquee Smiles

Marquee Tree

Gay Apparel

So, I had to go into my domain, look thru my net art, find the pages with the graphic, repair it and resave SIX pages!!! All on ONE cup of coffee.

Other than that, I'm having a nice day. LOL

Monday, April 03, 2006

ignorant lil twit

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This jackass decided to steal one of my graphics, post it on his blog and call it "his" flag. This is a COMPUTER user, not a webtv person who can't down- or upload!

Well, I'm just tickled boyfriend's so damn proud, but I can't afford to subsidize him!

So, I hid the original graphic and replaced it with THIS one!

kinda gloomy

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Well, my check's in. Paid as many bills as possible online...which may be all of them, come to think of it. Finally paid off the payday loan I got to buy Ma some xmas. 20 percent per month in "fees" and interest. Bastards. It was only $250, but it took me 'til April to pay it off!

I should probably go to the cheap grocery today. They have ground turkey for 99c a pound. Good frozen vegies, too, like stirfry with water chestnuts and snow peas. And they have cheap cheese, eggs, etc.

If I just organized the back yard, I wouldn't need eggs. But there are old ones out there right now.

It's a little chilly, though, and I'm not motivated to get on the bus and drag home fifty pounds of food.

I'm warming the bathroom for my shower.

Weather's always a factor, here, in anything I do. Really cold or hot days, I work in the house, if possible. Or come inside when it GETS really bad out. I have to be flexible in how I plan stuff. I hate going to preset appt's. when weather's bad; it can wipe me out for the rest of the day.

Oprah's chicks are feathering out. Most are frizzles, like her and Harpo. I'm going to segregate Oprah and her family into the front yard, with Harpo and keep the other chickens and duck in the back. The duck chases and torments Harpo something awful. And it'd look pretty, having frizzle banties in the front. They're very cute.

Got 2 small chunks of cheap brisket out to thaw. Guess I'll cook em in the crock pot with some beans and tomatoes.

Ma's working extra hard this week with 2 special projects and will be putting in long hours. Best to have something hearty and healthy fixed up, easy to warm when she gets home late and tired.

Sure wish the sun would come out and warm things...

Went to Chat4tv.com yesterday. Haven't been there in so long, someone asked who I am. LOL. I used to be one of the small pond "big fish," as I wrote for net4tv Voice and all... It was good to be back, sorta. Some of the rednecky types still get the hairs up on the back of my neck, but I noticed they didn't acknowledge I was there. Unfortunately, they use Teamspeak, a voice chat program, so I had to hear them, anyway. One's a very outspoken libertarian stoner. The other's a republican. It gets wierd sometimes. shudder.

I have 2 paying gigs now. Neither pays MUCH, but it's better than nothing. P. I. got me a little honorarium for transcribing segments of his radio show for him to post on his website. L. B. might have some games work for me, too. Need to email her...

I'm just glad to have the house to myself. I love Ma, and I'm glad she gets SOME weekends off (but not many). And it's nice when I get to hang out with her. But I'm pretty much a bachelorette here, most of the time. Sometimes, having her around disrupts my cow path. No biggy.

I guess I don't really have anything important to say. Well, I do. But I find I must edit my processes in these blogs. People who could cause me harm lurk here, in case they can find something out that they could use to trouble me. isn't that a shame? I guess that's why I kinda lost heart and stopped blogging for awhile. Sometimes, the stuff that's REALLY important in my life can't be documented here.

I try to save it up. One day, there'll be space to write some of the stuff I'm keeping close to the vest. Just not right now.

Ma says I should write a book. It's a thought...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

green roofs

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I'm gardening again. Basically, I'm just mixing up batches of "found" seeds, sprinkling them just inside the front yard wall (a lot of the seeds are "climbers:" beans, vines, etc.), sprinkling shredded paper over them and watering them. The rototilling took care of teh concrete-like resistance of the dirt. A little goat- and chicken poop, and that's all that's required.

Anyway, I'm thinking, once again, about how miserably hot it gets here and how little we attract clouds -- particularly with black streets, concrete buildings, etc.

And I'm back to my dream of retrofitting every building in town for green roofs. This is a project which even includes chickens! Here is a kitchen garden on a roof.

Here's a basic website, http://www.greenroofs.net/

There's even a commercial site, greenroofs.com.

Aluminum "I" beams could be used to build an inexpensive, weatherproof, durable exoskeleton around any existing building. They could even be bolted to walls, for extra support. The I beams would bear the load of the gardens. The gardens could be built of flatts, apx. a foot above the existing roofs. Between flats would be "cat walks." The entire structure would have guardrails, to keep people from falling.

Rain barrel water could be pumped, via solar energy, to irrigate.

This would provide protection for roofs from rain, wind and sun. The gardens would help insulate houses, particularly from heat. Governments -- particularly states like New Mexico -- could give tax rebates to property owners.

Parking lots could have "roof garden" shade protection.

Some planting could just be grass, for extra O2 and shade. But a lot could be foods, herbs, endangered native plants, etc. Indigenous and heirloom plants would thrive.

Now, NM has little water, true. But there are drought-tolerant plants that are in danger.

Other places, with higher rainfall (but higher land prices, making gardening extremely expensive) would see local residents eating virtually-free produce.

Even apartment buildings could produce substantial amounts of food for residents, especially if parking lots were also covered.

I wish I could do it here. We have a HUGE roof that just radiates and absorbs heat!

I'm already planning to scratch up the gravel driveway with a rake this year and plant lentils, marigolds, alfalfa and clover over it. I want to plant foods for goats and chickens. And marigolds contain pyrethrin (sp?), which is a natural bug killer. I grind the plants and make a "tea" which I spray around the kitchen. It's not toxic, at these low levels, to humans or pets, but it'll kill a roach fast.

The driveway was miserably hot last year. And it heated both bedrooms' outer walls, making going to sleep miserable without fan or air conditioning.

Last year, I did plant sunflowers against the wall. Morning glory vines climbed those. It did help. But six feet by forty feet of oven-hot gravel, radiating toward the house, is hard to overcome with a few sunflowers!

Well, the goats are fussing. It must be time for a bottle...

They're almost old enough to wean...