Platitudes on Aging and Other Annoying Things


Wait for it…The end is perfect!

COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

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I hate platitudes. You know those annoying statements people say to make you feel better about a situation. I come from a line of women who live long lives, into their eighties and nineties. Based on that kind of lineage, I anticipate a long life too. I’d prefer to be one of those women who age gracefully (whatever the heck that means).

My mother, a proud woman, wore her crown of white hair and the wrinkles on her face with pride. Coloring her hair would have been an insult. “I earned every one of these gray hairs raising six kids, ” she said, more times than I can count. Never at a loss for words, Mother had quite a few trite statements and tiresome clichés in her repertoire of advice. None of which prepared me for the grim reality of aging. I would’ve preferred the truth.

In honor of…

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Liebster Blog Award


 

I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog award by the gracious and always interesting (and multilingual) Sara  E. Ackerman, Author! These are the rules if you wish to participate:

1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award. Thank you to Sara Ackerman, Author!
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 blogs.
5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

I am delighted to share the answers to her questions.

1. Out of all the countries you have visited, which did you like the best and why?

I lived in three countries on two different continents by the age of thirteen. I was born in Havana, Cuba, to Asturian parents. Asturias is a region in the northwest of Spain. I always promote it because it is not well known outside of Spain and that’s why I decided to start the #TheOtherSpain collection of photographs. If I had to choose, I’d choose Spain. However, I feel I will change my mind when I visit Scotland…

2. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?

Changing my place of residence from a city to a village of about 60 inhabitants. I lived there for 19 years. People thought I wouldn’t last a couple of years. Lesson: never challenge a Green Dog.

3. If you could take someone with you in your travels, who would it be?

I would undoubtedly take my wonderful Scot, the man who gives the best hugs in the world.

4. If you could give someone $1 million who would you give it to?

If it has to be a person, I’d give it to my sons, equally divided.

5. For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?

For my health and the people in my home.

6. Given the choice of anyone living or dead, who would you choose to have dinner with and why?

I ‘d choose Noam Chomsky because I find the way he explains the world both thorough and easy to understand.

7. Give some advice to other bloggers or blog starters.

The only advice I feel qualified to give is enjoy it and write what you would like to read.

8. What is the most scandalous thing you have ever done?

I haven’t done anything really scandalous. I am allergic to unnecessary drama.  I’m scandalous enough just being me!

9. What is your greatest accomplishment?

Raising my sons and learning that I am capable and worthy. Accepting that I am A Green Dog and proud of it.

10. If you could do any career in the world, what would you do?

Write and travel. Or cook.

11. If you could live one day over again, what would it be and why?

Probably the days that my sons were born because I was too worried about doing it all so perfect that I didn’t live it like I would have liked.

ELEVEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

1. I am the Green Dog because my oldest son said that I was like a green dog in the middle of a herd of cows to explain how utterly weird I was in comparison to other people.

2. I am bilingual (Spanish-English) because I grew up In New Jersey in a Spanish family. I also speak French and the dialect of western Asturias, Fala.

3. I am an only child. If I’d had brothers, I would have left home before I was 18. The double standards would have been unaceptable.

4. I am an ESL teacher.

5. For almost two decades, I was a cattle farmer in a small village in the mountains.

6. Just recently, I found a word that describes how I feel: Monochopsis, the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

7. I mix up words in Spanish and English and have a knack for speaking both in the same sentence, changing from one to the other every few words. Tu sabes what I mean?

8. I have a hard time understanding most jokes.

9. I am a chocolate addict. Once, I ate 11 (lol!) chocolate bars in one go!

10. I am a chronic overthinker.

11. I found love on Twitter. So far, so good…

I would like to nominate the following blogs:

https://gbolaboadetunji.wordpress.com/

https://hocuspocus13.wordpress.com/

https://theshowersofblessing.wordpress.com/

https://settleinelpaso.wordpress.com

https://autistsix.com

https://rajivbakshiblog.wordpress.com

https://afterlifelovestory.wordpress.com

https://theoriginalphoenix.wordpress.com

https://curvygirlme.wordpress.com

https://cowpasturechronicles.wordpress.com

https://erikadaniellephoto.wordpress.com

 

Now, here are my eleven questions for you!

1. If you could erase a moment in your life, which would it be and why?

2. Who’s your favourite literary heroine?

3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

4. Do you like to cook?

5. Who would you change lives with if given the chance? Why?

6. What would you never change about yourself?

7. What would you tell your younger self?

8. If you could fast forward 20 years, would you? Why or why not?

9. What superpower would you like to have, mind reading or strength?

10. Who is your hero?

11. What would you want people to know about you instantly and why?

 

¿Los Últimos Ganaderos Asturianos?


Por Guadalupe García Fernández

Hay una cosa que nadie se da cuenta: urbanitas, ecologistas, funcionarios y ganaderos se está tirando los trastos a la cabeza. Todos quieren lo mismo :que no se queme el monte, pero unos quieren imponer sus normas a costa de las necesidades-tradiciones-estilo de vida-conocimiento de la flora y fauna.
No todo el mundo está capacitado para dirigir a los demás, pero sí para ayudar.
Y en este caso espero ayudar a comprender algunas cosas que muchas veces se olvidan o se ignoran.
Los jabalíes campan a sus anchas en ciudades como Oviedo o Gijón, pero mucho es porque en el monte NO HAY NADA QUE COMER. El motivo es la falta de desbroces y quemas controladas QUE SIEMPRE HUBO BAJO VIGILANCIA para que los toxos, artos fulgueiras y otras lindezas de ese tipo no invadieran los montes. Antes el ganadero y CUALQUIER VECINO acudía al monte con el carro o el tractor y llegaba a casa con el mullido para hacer las camas para los animales y para HACER ABONO ECOLÓGICO. También aprovechaban para traer los árboles secos y los que impedían el paso por los caminos, antiguas de agua (por donde bajaba el agua años atrás pero que ahora no tiene agua pero si llueve mucho puede ser que vuelvan a llevar agua), orillas de ríos y arroyos, etc.. Tanto antes como ahora se hacían quemas controladas, pero siempre se procuraban hacer en momentos que no se produjeran situaciones de peligro, pero no todo se puede controlar, por ejemplo: el tiempo, el viento, la lluvia, etc.
Hoy los montes están sucios y se han quemado cientos de hectáreas y sólo se culpa al ganadero, sin tener en cuenta que acaba de terminar la campaña de saneamiento, con lo cual ya podemos sacar a nuestros animales de las cuadra y enviarlas a los montes, unos montes que están faltos de un mantenimiento, ya que muchas de las solicitudes que hacen los ganaderos para la realización de desbroces no pueden llevarse a cabo por la falta de medios, casi siempre económicos, ya que no somos millonarios, no somos ni “condes” ni “duques” ni millonarios, pero se nos considera un “pozo sin fondo” que tiene un agujero en el bolsillo, del cual el dinero sale a espuertas y lo vamos tirando por donde pasamos, porque llevamos bajo nuestro culo un tractor que cuesta 30000€ (y más) al que se le deben añadir los aperos: remolque (4000€), rotativa (6000€) o segadora (6000€), fresadora (5000€), arados (3000€), cuba (7000€), y más maquinarias que se utilizan a lo largo del año a temporadas, según las tareas que realicemos.
Todo eso sale de nuestro bolsillo a base de MUCHO ESFUERZO.
Eso es lo que la gente que viene de la ciudad ve, no el que muchos se levantan a las 5:30 de la mañana para ordeñar las vacas, para darles de comer, limpiarlas, alimentarlas, acariñarlas…. Porque a todas las conocemos por su nombre y a alguna también por el número de su crotal. El trabajo que es levantarte 365 días al año para hacer una visita a nuestros animales y comprobar que están sanos, que están bién, que el lobo o los buitres no se han comido a ninguno de nuestros animales, porque claro, ese es otro problema que también tenemos en el campo: LIDIAR CON LA FAUNA SALVAJE, tratando de convivir con ellos sin que nos ahoguen.
Pero siempre nos toca oír el típico “los lobos estaban primero” sin pensar que los lobos vivían en la sierra, no en zonas tan bajas, que se han desplazado por dos motivos:
1º- Los montes están tan sucios que no tienen donde alimentarse, ya que los jabalíes y corzos no tienen donde alimentarse y son los primeros en buscar zonas donde les es más facil alimentarse.
2º- La consejería a estado soltando desde hace años lobos criados en cautividad. Estos no tienen miedo del ser humano, ya que es quien lo alimenta. Pero para cuando llegan a estar en libertad no saben cazar puesto que es “el hombre” quien los alimentaba. Por eso se acercan a las zonas rurales en busca de alimento facil: animales que están cercados y no tienen a donde escapar.
PERO ESA ES UNA REALIDAD QUE NO INTERESA A POLÍTICOS Y/O ECOLOGISTAS.
Hoy en día los ganaderos no pueden ir al monte a tirar leña sin permiso del forestal; las piñas no se pueden recoger aunque los habitantes de las zonas rurales SABEMOS MUY BIEN que las ardillas solo se comen las que han cogido ellas y los ratones de campo NO las comen y SON TEAS; si encienden una hoguera para quemar los rastrojos de las fincas necesitan permisos y si no los tienes las multas son de aúpa; si se produce un incendio los primeros en salir a extinguir el fuego son los vecinos y ganaderos con mangueras o con bidones, si está cerca de las casas, sino los ganaderos cogen sus tractores y cubas, las llenan de agua y van a ayudar en los trabajos de extinción.
El monte, hoy por hoy, tiene demasiados “novios” y se olvida de aquél que toda la vida vivió en él siempre lo trató con respeto, ya que es donde encuentra los recursos para poder vivir, tanto si es un ganadero que envía sus animales al monte para ahorrar forrajes y que nos duren hasta pasar el invierno, como si es un vecino que va al monte a buscar un árbol, de la especie que sea, que haya tirado el viento impidiendo el acceso a cualquier finca u otro lugar.

Si has aprendido algo comparte, si tienes dudas lee el libro “El Último Cazador” y si todavía sigues sin comprenderlo no te molestes ni en contestar.

Atentamente
ALGUIEN QUE VIVE EN LA ZONA RURAL DESDE QUE SU MADRE LA ENGENDRÓ

PROTESTA GANADEROS ORIENTE POR LOS DAÑOS CAUSADOS POR EL LOBO MARIO ROJAS 28-11-13

 

 

 

 

The Last of The Asturian Farmers


 

There’s something that nobody realizes. Urbanites, ecologists, civil servants and farmers are attacking each other. They all want the same thing: for forests not to burn but some of them want to impose their blanket rules in spite of the needs, traditions, lifestyles and knowledge of the flora and fauna of the others.

Not everyone is capable of directing others, but we are all capable of helping. And in this occasion I hope to help people understand things that are often forgotten or ignored.

Wild boars roam cities like Oviedo or Gijón and it’s because there’s nothing to eat in the forests. The reason for this is the lack of clearing the forests and controlled burning that has always been done so that the undergrowth didn’t invade the woods. Years ago, all the farmers and inhabitants would go to the forest with a cart or a tractor and cut a load of ferns and brush to use in their barns to make natural fertiliser for their fields. They also brought back some wood from trees that had been uprooted or broken by the wind or had dried and perhaps were obstructing the old waterways that directed the excess water away from the houses and that now are completely abandoned. Riverbanks and creeks were also kept clean. There have always been controlled burns that were done at the appropriate times, when they wouldn’t be a risk. Of course, not everything can be controlled: time, wind or rain.

Today the forests are not clean, hundreds of hectares  have burned and only the farmers are being blamed, without taking into account that the sanitizing campaign has just ended and now is the time we can take our cattle out of the barns to graze, only to find the burnt forests where no grass grows because they are not well kept due to lack of funds, because we are not millionaires, we are not ‘counts’ or ‘dukes’, in spite of which we are seen as an endless source of money which we spend carelessly because we are sitting on a tractor that costs 30000 euros or more, to which we must add the working tools: trailer (4000 euros), rotary grass cutter (6000 euros), milling machine (5000 euros), ploughs (3000 euros), water wagon (7000 euros), all of which are used constantly or seasonally, depending on what tasks we are doing.

All this hard earned money comes out of our pockets.

This is what people who come from the city see, not that many of us get up at 5:30 a.m. to milk cows, feed them, clean them and pat them, because we know each of them by name and some by their ear tag number. They don’t see the work that we put in 365 days a year to see that our animals are well and healthy and that the wolves or other wild animals haven’t harmed them. Of course, this is another issue we face in the countryside: dealing with wild animals, trying to live with  them without being suffocated by them

Regardless of this, we always have to hear the phrase ‘the wolves were here first!’, said without thinking that wolves lived in higher areas, not in the farmland. They have shifted their habitat for two reasons:

1.- They no longer have other animals to prey on because these animals have fled in search of  a place where they can find food.
2.-The Regional Agricultural Authority has been releasing and reintroducing wolves raised in captivity back into the wild. They are not afraid of humans because they have been fed and raised by humans. When they are released into the forest, they do not know how to hunt and therefore search to satisfy their hunger with domestic animals that are easy targets as they are enclosed in their fields.

But this is a reality that does not interest politicians or ecologists.

Nowadays, farmers cannot go into the forest and chop down a tree for wood without the authorisation of the forest guard. They cannot collect pinecones even though we all know that squirrels only eat the ones they collect and field mice don’t eat them either. Their use is to light our wood burning stoves or chimneys. If we want to light a bonfire to burn the stubble from cleaning a field, we need a written permit from the local authorities and if anything happens the fines are huge. If there’s a fire, the first people out to fight it are the farmers with their water wagons, helping the fire brigades.

Our forests have have many ‘defenders’  nowadays and people forget the defenders that have always been there, caring for it and respecting it because they make their livelihood from it, whether it’s a cattle farmer that grazes their cattle or a neighbour that goes for a bit of wood  that the wind knocked down for the fireplace, perhaps cutting access to a path or a field.
If you can understand it, great. If you have doubts, watch ‘The hunter’, or read the book on which it is based, ‘The Last Hunter’.

If you still don’t get it, forget you read this.

Signed:

Someone who’s lived in the countryside since her mother birthed her.

Original post By Guadalupe García Fernández

Translation to English by MariGreenDog (Maritsa Solares Rico)

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El Patriarcado del Salario: “Lo que llaman amor, nosotras lo llamamos trabajo no pagado”


Prensa Comunitaria Km. 169

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Conversaciones con Silvia Federici (I/II)

Por Gladys Tzul Tzul[1]

Silvia Federici. Teórica y militante feminista italiana. Autora de Calibán y la Bruja (Pez en el Árbol, 2013); la Revolución Feminista Inacabada (Calpulli, 2013); la Revolución en Punto Cero (Traficantes de Sueños, 2013). Federici participó y acompañó luchas de las mujeres por la defensa de las tierras comunales en Nigeria; en los años setenta realizó una campaña por el salario al trabajo doméstico. Sus reflexiones abordan de manera histórica las luchas políticas de las mujeres por producir lo común, con una fértil mirada sobre la reproducción de la vida. En esta conversación que sostuvimos en Puebla, México, nos presenta elementos teóricos para interpretar de manera más amplia el funcionamiento de lo que ella llama el patriarcado del salario. La conversa nos dota de una serie de detalles de la historia del capitalismo que sirven para comprender nuestras luchas.

GTT. Tú…

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Requiem For The Global Dream


 

What is happening in the world when it seems as if everywhere you look the same  worldwide current of globalization is becoming toxic for the majority of the people?

When people say that we are all human, which is obvious, they often forget that we are not born equal.

No, we aren’t. Or would you say that you are like that corrupt politician or like a serial killer? Are we like the 1%? I doubt it.

Then why the brutal emphasis in confusing equal rights and obligations with equal capacities, needs, aspirations and attitudes?

These are currents that  apparently strive to integrate and homogenize but that really aspire to create a false global culture which is convenient to the rich and powerful. As I’ve said in other posts, if you shame the elders and uproot the young, you disintegrate a culture, leaving it at the mercy of the strongest cultural wind: the one that the elite want, the one that keeps us all in a position of subservience.

Throughout history, democracy has not been what most people understand as ‘democratic’, that is, a government for the people, by the people. Or at very least there have been  near constant waves of rebellion from the lower classes followed by backlash  from the upper classes to try to reestablish  a system which favours them and their interests. According to James Madison, “The use of the Senate is to consist in proceeding with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom, than the popular branch.” (Wikipedia, ‘ History of the American Senate’)

In his seminal work, ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776), Adam Smith points out that “All for ourselves and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world,  to have  been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind” .

There has been an enormous, concentrated, coordinated business offensive beginning in the ’70s to try to beat back the egalitarian efforts of previous decades that went on all over the Western world.

The ruling elites concluded that the people were becoming too educated, so the schools must be brought under control.  Academic autonomy for schools and academic freedom for educators have come under increasing attack. The institutions of education and socialisation have become the tools for indoctrination. As the ’70s give way to the ’80s, Western culture largely shifts from a more egalitarian worldview to a more individualistic, or depoliticised and/or apathetic, consumerist worldview. This way of shaping ideology has only got worse since then and up until the financial crisis of 2008.

 

Another circumstance is that since the 1970s, there’s been a concerted effort on the part of the masters of mankind, the owners of society, to shift the economy in two crucial respects.

The financialisation of the economy means that moving money around in complicated ways produces more benefits for corporations than actually manufacturing goods or providing services. In previous decades, between the 40s  and 70s, the directors of major companies were experts in their fields: engineers or economists. Now they are financial directors, experts in financial trickery.

Offshoring, producing in other countries which have less regulations as to welfare or salaries is the global race to the bottom of the labour barrel. It pits workers to compete against one another to lower wages.  Meanwhile, highly paid professionals are protectedYet, the classics,  such as Adam Smith have long argued that free circulation of labour is the foundation of any free trade system. Workers aren’t free to move,  but capital is.

Through the manoeuvres of these financial CEOs , corporations have steered the economy in such a way that  through regressive tax policies, such as shifting taxes to wages and consumption and away from dividends and capital gains, the burden of sustaining basic services through taxation has been shifted from those that earn more and have more dividends to ordinary people who have seen their income tax and general taxes increase, while declining steadily for dividend holders. Here we encounter a new term, the Precariat, that is the precarious proletariat.

The glue that held societies together was quite often solidarity.  It fostered empathy and harmony. From the point of view of the masters, you’re only supposed to care about yourself, not about other people, so solidarity is a dangerous trait. The steady chipping away of community ties through pitting different groups of people against each other leads to a lack of empathy and willingness to contribute to the community unless you are benefitted from it directly has been a constant.  Attacks on organized labor mean that workers will not have a chance to join together and fight for their rights. They will effectively be isolated in their struggle for better working conditions. The goal of directing people to superficial consumption as a means of keeping people in their place was explicit and has been reached. In a market economy, informative advertisements would result in rational decisions. But actual advertisements provide no information and promote irrational choices. This means not just ads for automobiles and soap, but also election campaigns for candidates. Obviously, obsessive consumers are not born, they’re molded by advertising.

The 1970s saw enormous growth in lobbying. It is now routine for the interests being regulated to control the regulators, which makes things much easier on the regulated. The creation of corporate personhood, the equation of money with speech, and the lifting of all limits for corporations makes it possible to keep the vicious circle of wealth buying power and power legislating in favour of wealth. If you can buy your candidate you can change the course of elections. Ultimately, the so-called nanny state favours not the poor or needy but the rich.

Globalisation is, in sum, a manoeuvre  by and  for the further enrichment of the wealthy.

If the local and regional cultures of people die out, so will the solidarity among them and we will be faced  with a grim future. This only benefits the mega-rich, who know full well what culture and class they belong to. They are the Masters of the world. They do not need to be aware of anyone’s needs but their own. It is inconvenient for them that we have anything to be proud of, anything to bind us together except just being human.

For the 1%, the World is their oyster.

A global society based on the vile maxim that Adam Smith pointed out in ‘Wealth of the Nations’, ‘All for me, nothing for the rest.’ is bound to be catastrophic.

And for the rest of us – bread and circuses.

 

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/harmony/">Harmony</a>