My grandson was over for a swim in the pool and he saw one of the mantises on a milkweed. So my granddaughter had a good view of this one today. The project goes well!
That lying sack of crap, Anthony Fauci M.D., stole a year from us. And more than a year. He smashed millions of small businesses that took lifetimes to build up. He drained away the life savings of a generation of hard-working people. He interrupted and marred the education of tens of millions of children. He imprisoned a nation of 330 million and delayed marriages, births and every hope and dream of a nation. And the most horrible thing is that it was for no benefit whatsoever. The same people who would have died from COVID did die and are dying despite all of the useless torture that was inflicted on the healthy population of our country. He is a tin-pot Pol Pot. May he roast in Hell.
But yesterday was a renewal. Almost all the descendants of my parents were gathered together in one place and time and enjoyed a party that included all the familiar and life-affirming rituals of a summer get together. And even the weather blessed us with perfection. Eighty-two degrees, bright sun with just a few wispy clouds, bone dry air and a refreshing breeze. Just warm enough for some people to go in the pool and just cool enough to let the young at heart toss around a baseball or play a few lawn games with their kids and grandkids and even let one person watch her great-grand-children play.
Camera Girl in her culinary wisdom decided that instead of a barbecue she would cook the traditional Southern Italian peasant feast. Ziti baked with cheese, eggplant parmigiana, meatballs, sausage and to start with, our version of an antipasto. Huge portions were devoured with zeal and fueled loud and animated shouting about amusing and nonsensical things. And in my earshot, there was not a moment of political discussion or anger. Spirits were higher than high. The highlight of the day for me was a four-way catch with two of my grandsons and a nephew. I haven’t really had a good long baseball catch since forever. Even the afternoon sun that was directly in my eyes I found enjoyable. I actually felt young again. Maybe today my shoulder is a little sore but it felt fine while we were out in that golden sun.
When my younger daughter showed up with her little 2 ½ year old girl the baby was terrified by all of the old fat strange-looking men shouting to be heard over each other in the meal hall I set up with folding tables and chairs. After all, she has spent her entire conscious life in lockdown and hardly saw anyone but her parents and grandparents. A cacophony of sound and strange faces truly frightened her. But her mother was smart. She took the baby outside on the deck and then into the swimming pool that she loves and there she was able to meet and play with the other children and slowly by degrees bring her back to the crowded areas where even the loudest old men were, at this point, too gorged with food to make much noise or even move. So even that residue of the Fauci curse was lifted. From two to ninety-two everyone was partaking in an old-fashioned family get together.
And I will be honest when I say that the relief to finally all get together made this the most enjoyable, least stressful gathering I can ever remember. By the time the pie and ice cream and coffee were finished and sun was long below the horizon everyone was satisfied and ready to gather their children and say their goodbyes and head back on the road to home. But promises were made to get together at the other homes for other occasions and other holidays. Labor Day and Thanksgiving and Christmas lie ahead. And we have broken the ice and hopefully we won’t allow that creepy little man to steal anymore of our lives away again. It’s over and normal life has returned.
Ah, the great day has arrived. The cleaning (by me!) and the cooking is all done. An armada of tables and chairs have been arrayed with plates and silverware. Glaciers of ice have been procured and cold beverages are resting on them. The grass is manicured (sort of) and the hounds have been sent away for the day. All that is needed are the guests and their appetites. Frivolity and bom homme will abound and never will be heard a discouraging word. But that means this will be a very slow day on the site until much later. So my faithful readers I leave you to your own devices. Enjoy what is touted to be an ideal summer day.
Finally, finally, a day without rain. So I went out there and cut the grass. Although not all of it. About two thirds of the west field was still too soggy to cut. But the rest is done and now I’ll get back to work.
A week ago I was in a store looking for a baseball glove. I have my grandsons coming over on Saturday and I want to be able to have a catch. I’ve been using one of their spares and it’s a little on the small side. So I looked at some gloves at a local store and they’re all made of pleather? I was outraged. The salesman called it vegan leather. I walked out. Finally I found a real leather glove. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. With MLB supporting cop killers and disrespecting the flag and anthem I’m done with them too.
But now I can enjoy baseball the way it’s supposed to be. Tossing around the baseball with my son was one of my favorite memories. It brings me back to having a catch with my Dad. He never had much time and we mostly played with the other kids but every once in a while he’d throw the football or the baseball around with us and invariably he’d pull something in his back or neck or whatever. He’d put on a big show of being injured and beg off from the game and just watch us. Mostly he’d yell warnings that we better not break any car windows on the block we lived on. But it was still something I remember fondly.
Camera Girl has given me a new list of demands. I must sweep the basement, vacuum the window blinds and clean up all the junk so we can have thirty people on Saturday in splendor. We’ll see about that. Calls are coming in about food that people are bringing and Camera Girl is getting kind of uppity when I ask about the arrangements. I think she’s trying to pick a fight with me but I’m too wise for that. I told her that she can serve the food in a trough if she wants, as long as we feed the guests I’ll be good with it. My family isn’t too picky about meal protocol as long as the food is tasty and plentiful. And I’m sure both of those will be true. The whole family hasn’t gotten together in two years. So this is going to be kind of great.
And miraculously (although maybe I’m trusting too much to the accuracy of weather forecasters) the weather is supposed to be sunny and in the mid-seventies. That should make the party very comfortable for everyone including the cook and the busboy (me). So the summer has reappeared just in time to make the family get together great again (FGTGA).
The news cycle right now is full of the usual nonsense that the Democrats talk about. Four trillion dollar stimulus bills that they hope to use for illegal alien amnesty and other horrors that they hope to inflict on us. Good inflation and delta variants and Bezos in Space and Ben and Jerry’s joins the PLO. The silly season is in full swing. The runaway Texas democrats have infected Pelosi’ and Biden’s staff with the plague. Let’s just say there’s no good news and the bad news is just too stupid to talk about. Enjoy the summer and enjoy your life. I’ll let you know if something interesting comes along.
We talk a lot about the Right and the Left and who is on the Right and who is on the Left. For instance, a large part of the 2016 fireworks was over people who said Donald Trump was not a Republican. And a large contingent of these people were neoconservatives and libertarians. To them Trump was just an opportunist who had seized on nativist talking points to appeal to the worst instincts of the working-class White Americans and would lead the Republicans to disaster in the general election because his policy priorities would be rejected by the wider American electorate. As it turned out they were dead wrong. “Making America Great Again,” and putting America first resonated with the majority of voters.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since 2016 and the neocons have become the NeverTrumpers and have self-ejected from the Republican party and the Right in general. They are now indistinguishable from Woke Leftists except in their enhanced emphasis on all things anti-Trump.
And this is the crux of the point of this post. The Neocons were never conservatives. And it should have been obvious from the beginning that if you are not socially conservative then you are not of the Right. And that goes for others “on the Right.” Being in favor of market capitalism makes you a capitalist. It doesn’t make you a conservative. You can be an enthusiastic capitalist and compete ferociously in the free market and still be in favor of deconstructing the United States of America, the Family and Western Civilization all at the same time. So, the former dichotomy of Right and Left being capitalists versus communists doesn’t really apply to today. The Woke Left is spearheaded by Silicon Valley billionaires who print money by the metric ton but want to turn America into a digital gulag. So, defining the Right isn’t what we thought it was back in Reagan’s day and never was. Somehow Donald Trump knew that the Right wasn’t the Right and he was able to seize the high ground and overturn the establishment Republican’s narrative. He became the Right. But Donald Trump will not always be around and we need a definition of what the Right is or represents so that we can measure other leaders and other policies to see if they align with our interests.
So, what is the Right, what is conservatism? As far as I can tell, conservatism is the Right and what it means is conserving the things in life that have value, things that give life meaning. And so, it comes down to individual judgement. But I think if the “normal” opinion on what gives life meaning is assumed then what we are talking about are the rock-bottom requirements to making life human. And I don’t think you can get any more fundamental than the preservation of the family. A man and a woman raising kids is just about as basic as it gets. All that needs to be added is the framework for raising them which we call religion. So, God and Family. And because this is America, we add in the Constitution of the United States to allow all the families to interact without having to kill each other. In fact it’s probably one of the finer blueprints for running a country. God, Family and Country. That’s it.
For the most part what we have to do is see where a particular policy or leader aligns with or hampers these things and we’ll know whether it’s of the Right or not. For instance, the Supreme Court has declared gay marriage a Constitutional right. This makes it very difficult for a politician to do anything about eliminating it. But if a politician says he’s a conservative and he also espouses gay marriage or transgender rights then you know that he’s a Leftist.
There, that’s easy. Look at what politicians say they agree with and you’ll know what side they are on. If a politician says he’s anti-communist but his idea of capitalism means sending all the jobs overseas and importing low wage laborers into this country then guess what? He’s a Leftist. He may claim he just believes in free markets and capitalism but what he really believes in is globalism and therefore he doesn’t believe in the United States of America. If a politician says he believes in God but says that you aren’t allowed to object to sexual deviancy being taught to your children then guess what? He’s a Leftist.
Now how easy is that? Try it on any politician who waxes poetic about conservatism but never seems to get any results. Find out what he’s actually said about specific policy points like illegal immigration or bringing jobs back to this country or tariffs or “free trade” or transgender rights or freedom of religion. It should be pretty easy to sort the wolves from the sheep dogs.
I’ll try to put together some further examples to try to refine my thoughts on the definition of the Right and the various groups like libertarians and social conservatives and socialists but I hope this makes clear what I think conservative means. It means pro-family, pro-religion, pro-America. In other words pro-normal.
So the first survivor has made his appearance in the yard. This one found his way into the stella d’oro daylilies in the swimming pool area. May he be the first of many that show up. My little granddaughter will find out that praying mantises don’t talk like they do in her Eric Carle books but they are very exciting for an insect.
Good hunting little fellow.
Sunday, June 20th was the Summer Solstice this year. That was the longest day of the year. And Thursday, June 24th is Midsummer Day which is the traditional center of the growing season. And that is called the beginning of High Summer. That is the finest time of the year and unless you are afflicted in either mind or body, you’ll probably be feeling your oats about this time of year. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that it is the Feast of St. John the Baptist and that “the dew on Midsummer Day makes young girls beautiful and old people look younger.” Well, it’s worth a shot.
And anyone familiar with Will Shakespeare’s, “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream,” knows that faeries and goblins celebrate and cavort in the forests and wild places that night. Well, we’ll see about that. But I expect that the fireflies will make their appearance and that will suffice as far as magic for me. I’m hoping to keep my little two-year old granddaughter up past her bedtime one night soon to see the fireflies for the first time in her young life. She’s had so many books about them read to her. It’s time she saw what all the hype is about. I think she’ll be impressed.
I’ve got a couple of parties coming up, one for family, one for friends, and just thinking about them makes me feel like a kid waiting for his birthday or Christmas. And it reinforces what I’ve been thinking about all the crazy things going on in this world we live in. What really counts is the people you care about. Being with them and sharing the small rituals and celebrating the things that are happening in their lives is infinitely more important than what that meathead in the White House mumbles at us on tv. Sure, he can make our lives worse and he can help other evil men attack us but that’s no different than a lot of the other dangers that lurk in this world.
So, the world keeps circling the sun and wobbling on its axis. We keep being born and growing up and bringing new people into this world. All this other nonsense about white privilege and transphobia and gay marriage is all mental illness that we have to hold at arms’ length so that we don’t miss the fleeting joys that this life holds. Be honest with your kids and grandkids. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you believe and why. Otherwise, they’ll assume you believe in what the teacher at school tells them is true. Tell them what the important things in life are; family, marriage, children, work and fun. Whether we ever reclaim our liberty in this “land of the free” is uncertain. But stopping your life waiting for it is foolish. Sure, pay attention to the politics and how it affects you but ruining your life fretting about defeats in Washington is madness. You can make a much bigger impact on the world by acting on your local reality.
So, this Fourth of July I am declaring my independence from Washington. They are a foreign power and I renounce all loyalty to them and deny their legitimacy. I know what the Constitution says. Those are my rights. Anyone who denies that I have those rights isn’t an American and has no business governing a free people. I will work to make my life meaningful and help the people that I care about. If I find people who agree with me then we can find common cause and maybe my horizons broaden. That’s how politics is supposed to work.
But if it comes right down to it even our side doesn’t have a claim on us unless they prove that they’re more than just talk. Republicans have been lying to me my whole life and other than a couple of exceptions they haven’t saved a damn thing worth saving. If they want my support then they need to support me.
So that’s my thesis. I’m going to put summer to its highest and best purpose. I’m going to enjoy the intensity of summer at its peak and celebrate my life with the people that matter to me. I hope you enjoy your summer too.
“The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.”
Well the Memorial Day Family Barbecue Day dawns wet, freezing cold and gray.
Perfect for New England! The land of cold and mildew.
But all is well. I got up and cleaned the grill on the lowest deck and moved it so that the smoke will get blown out to the sky but will leave me under the overhang, snug and dry. I walked the property in the rain and saw all the flowers and weeds swelling in the rain. One of the ponds had cold bull frogs and leopard frogs that were too chilled to care that I was walking by. I dropped the level on the swimming pool and backwashed it to get rid of all the pollen and tree debris that the wind and rain brought down. We won’t be using it today. That’s for sure.
The hellebore flowers are fading out now and the rhododendrons are at peak bloom and one of the earlier blooming bushes is already shedding its flowers. Have to get a few photos soon. The cone flowers and the roses are starting to bud and the irises are just about done. Boy they don’t last long. And miracle of miracles the deer haven’t eaten the daylilies or the hostas like they usually do. They did pick off one bunch of Solomon’s Seal bunches but I’ve got plenty to spare. As Camera Girl says everybody’s got to eat. Well, I wish someone would eat the deer but that another story.
It’s too cold for us to eat outside so I’ve made a big table in the dining room from four folding tables and we’ll all sit together and feast on Camera Girl’s fixings and my barbecue skills. Today is restricted to burgers, dogs, and sausage on the meat side. We’ll complement that with homemade potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, washed down with lemonade and followed up with watermelon, Italian cheese cake, apple pie, strawberry shortcake, vanilla ice cream and by popular demand Klondike Bars. All of that dessert will be washed down with good coffee and lots of good talk and laughter as the grandchildren get spoiled their grandmother and I tell lies about the good old days.
Afterwards we’ll talk about school and what they want to do this summer and their vacation plans. I’ll make a point of leaving out politics and COVID since that will just upset everyone on a happy day. We’ll talk about inflation and education costs and whatever else is on their minds. Maybe we’ll watch some old kids’ movies. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just put on some music. Should be a lot of fun.
What else can I ask for. Healthy kids, productive adults and functional families. That’s as good as it gets. So at least for this year I’m still king of my castle and the secret police aren’t supposed to make an appearance at the castle gate. I can make believe that Memorial Day still means we live in the United States of America. Enjoy your holiday.
Well, the little buggers arrived two days ago and unharmed apparently. Some hatched out today so I held onto a few and attached the egg cases to tree and shrub branches around the perimeter of the yard.
But I’ll try to feed them by raising fruit flies and letting them feed on them. Here is my fruit fly attractant.
The game is on!
My two-year-old granddaughter is a big fan of the books by the children’s author Eric Carle. And one of her favorites is the Very Quiet Cricket. There is a YouTube video of an animated version of the book and one of the characters is a preying mantis that whispers in a hoarse voice a funny sounding “HELLOOOOO!” And that character is my granddaughter’s favorite part of the book. So, she is a fan of preying mantises. And by a strange coincidence so am I. I’ve always liked finding mantises wherever I have lived. And I have found them here in New England too but infrequently.
And so, for that reason I’ve decided to increase my odds of finding them this summer for my granddaughter. She said, “Pa, show me preying mantis.” She calls me Pa because that is what all my grandchildren call me. My oldest grandson made the name up when he was barely able to speak and it became official.
So I have to find her a mantis. I looked to see if any of the gardening supply stores in the area sell preying mantis egg cases. They didn’t so I just ordered some on-line and should have them soon. Camera Girl thinks it will be educational to see the baby mantises hatch out and thinks we should keep a few to raise up. The prospect of finding aphids and then larger insects to feed them sounds challenging but I’ll give it a try.
With any luck by summer we’ll have a few good sized mantises and my granddaughter will learn a little bit about an interesting insect. At least that’s the plan.