On Visibility

On trans day of visibility, I just want to say from experience that for many trans people, it’s still dangerous and risky to be visible.  Most are just average humans trying to make a living, go to school, access basic healthcare, or just go to the bathroom like the rest of us.  They’re not trying to stand out or be weird or bother anyone.  They don’t choose to be born with the wrong biological gender.  It’s not a choice or even an orientation.

They often get a bad rap from a minority who cross-dress on the weekend, or experiment, but haven’t gone through the long medical struggle to actually transition to their correct gender.  They continue to be discriminated against by doctors, employers, schools, businesses, and even their own families.  All they want is the right and security to live a normal life like others, without the risk of bullying, violence, or blind hate.

I look forward to a day when it’s safe to walk down the street while being trans, or black, or Asian, or however you were born, without being gunned down or denied essential services, or for that matter, singled out at all.  And I applaud all the brave people who educate the public and promote civil rights in any form.  They risk visibility for a good cause, so others won’t have to.

Here are some flowers, and some excellent potato latkes by E.



The Pesach Flood 2021

I don’t remember a Passover this stormy.  For what seems like 40 days and 40 nights it’s been continuous thunder, lightening, and heavy rains.  Another 2+ inches fell just in the last day and night.  So far we’ve avoided the many tornadoes and destructive winds that the whole southeast is experiencing, though we’re like a swampy island surrounded by flooding.  Parts of TN are literally under water.  It’s a bit nerve-racking, but we got off easy.

Well, back to “slaving in Egypt” (seder#2).  Somehow all this sogginess does not conjure up the proverbial hot, dry desert!  It’s more like the ancient worldwide flood.  Try parting that, Moses, or Noah, as the case may be.  I wouldn’t mind so much, if the giant puddle at the bottom of our field would go ahead and become a permanent pond, with a plague of frogs in it!  Is it too much to ask, crazy weather gods?

Many plants are budding out and starting to flower since the deluge.  Violets are covering any available ground this year.  Appropriately for Pesach, we even have what appears to be the beginning of the coming 17-year cicada plague.





Stormy Passover

More severe storms came through the southeast today, bringing yet more destructive tornadoes and deaths.  The climate is clearly becoming more volatile all the time.

We had a few scary moments ourselves this morning, as dangerous-looking dark clouds came barreling through along with t-storms and pounding rain, but thankfully it kept passing over (see what I did there).  I was in the middle of preparing the first seder, and had to stop and try not to panic.  Tornadoes are one of my worst fears.  But the threat seems to be averted, for now.  I was able to complete my seder preps and meal.  Did I mention my world-renowned superior charoset?

Being careful to separate even photos of chametz (not kosher for Passover food), which was symbolically purged and burned this morning, here is the last chametz from last night, a mushroom pizza by E.

In greener news, my tomato plants are going bananas.  I’ve had to pinch them back once already, and they literally grew back an inch in one day!  I have to prune them back again.

Charoset Winner 2021

Let the games begin!  And we have a winner!  Of course it’s my award-winning superior charoset, as always.

We were fortunate to avoid the destructive tornadoes that tore up the southeast last night, though we did get severe t-storms and inches of rain.  Once more we were saved by our location.

Today it’s as if it never happened, except for all the puddles, and the white petals like snow all over everything.  The redbud and dogwood are in bloom, and it’s a warm spring day.  Erin did the first mowing of the season.

I’m busy preparing for our Pandemic Pesach, complete with it’s own authentic plague.  As usual it will be very minimalistic and simple, but still as festive as I can manage.

Down to Earth

I’m still processing the fact that as of some time next month or so, my son will be moving far away, and so will my main reason for living in TN.  Also, my grandkids will no longer be accessible even a few times a year.  I guess they’ll just have to remember me in younger, happier times.

The year-long pandemic separation inadvertently helped prepare me for the loss, but at the same time robbed me of even more time we had left.  Since TN is in no hurry to provide us with the vaccine, I probably won’t even get to see my son off.  I know this time around, following is out of the question.

Of course I don’t blame him; he has his whole life ahead of him, and has every right to pursue it, as I once did.  He certainly doesn’t owe me anything.  I’m just sad, and resigned.

Oh to be a cat, untroubled by human misfortune, just luxuriating in the now.  Or an ephemeral flower, unaware of its transitory moment.  I’m surrounded by role models in nature, but it’s so hard to let go and just be thankful for what I’ve been privileged to experience.  Damn these pesky human hopes and regrets!

I try to keep looking up, but probably lowering one’s sights is a better way to survive.  Maybe that’s why I look for hope in tiny green ephemerals sprouting back to life from cold, hard ground.  Less of a letdown when you’re already down to earth.


Vernal Equinoxville

Happy official spring.  We lived to see it, so that’s something.

While we wait for this backward state to catch up to the rest with vaccines, I have plenty of work to keep me distracted.  Now to get motivated…

The weeds and invasives certainly don’t need the calendar to activate them.  I’m hoping the natives will take a hint and follow suit.



Island of Green

As is all too frequent lately with climate change, a wave of deadly storms and numerous tornadoes just surged across the country again, particularly the deep south, causing extreme destruction.  And as is often the case, the worst of it missed our area, mostly dumping inches of rain.  I’m constantly thankful for this one good aspect of living in this location, for as long as it lasts.  It’s like we’re an island, or an eye, in a growing tempest.

Almost overnight, it’s a green and flowering world out here.  Tulips are the latest to start blooming.  I’m still searching in vain for any signs of all the native woodland spring ephemerals I’ve repeatedly seeded around the house.  The ground we inherited must have been poisoned indeed.  But I continue to hope and keep trying.

Pies are one thing there’s no shortage of around here.  (We really do like pie.)  Here’s a cherry cheesecake pie by E.


Happy Green Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (?), we chanced our first spring pilgrimage to Lowes.  Most people were masked and distancing.  I was able to find much of my gardening list, while E got lumber and supplies to begin work on the deck project.

I’m especially pleased to have found a hellebore (Lenten Rose).  It’s not a native, but it’s one of my favorite shade perennials.

The southeast is about to get some kind of major storm, and it’s just starting to rain again.  The spring bulb flowers are drinking it up the way I drank up my St. P. Day Guinness.  Did I mention my peas are all coming up?