HONEY ROCK DAWN

2019 Charlie Calendars!

The 2019 Charlie Calendar is here!
This is the 12th annual (WOW!!) Charlie calendar and my favorite one yet.
Click HERE to see bigger pictures and to order yours (after you vote, of course)!

 

Current Mood


linocut by @plainandtalll

October has been the most delightful summer this year. Apart from a sudden but brief mid-month blizzard, the weather has been the kind of summer weather I fantasize about. Sunny and 75. I spent days sprawled on the deck reading The Monkey Wrench Gang, and I couldn’t stop wondering, as I was reading, if this book would have ever gotten published today if it hadn’t been published in the mid-1970s. First and foremost, it’s appallingly racist. Annoyingly sexist, but appallingly racist (and the racism is so irrelevant, so superfluous, I kept coming out of the story to wonder like, can’t they edit this shit out???). I’m pretty sure a book so blatantly racist against Native Americans would not get published by a major house today, yay for minor progresses.

The part I wonder about is the plot – a group of random vigilante misfits who use chainsaws, corn syrup, and homemade bombs to fight back against the rape of our planet by industry and government. A blurb on the back of the book from The National Observer (a major newspaper at the time) raves, “It’ll make you want to go out and blow up a dam.” Would a book that inspires the general public to go out and blow up dams and strip mines be published today? I kind of don’t think so. Not when the powers that be deploy militarized police and violence and surveillance like that waged against the peaceful protectors at Standing Rock two years ago (not to mention the continued racism Native Americans face in fact if not in fiction) and the local and federal government support for and protection of corporate interests regardless of environmental impact.

I’m trying to think of current popular literature (fiction or memoir) that is openly critical of the anthropocene and I can’t. Can you? If so, leave titles in the comments, please. As for The Monkey Wrench Gang, apart from the racism and the sexism and the constant drinking-and-driving (again, OMG!), the book is immensely readable – the writing style is like Tom Robbins and Wallace Stegner had a love child – and the thesis still holds true: how do we save this planet from ourselves? It’s worth a few sunny afternoons or fireside evenings, should winter ever arrive…

.   .   .

My email inbox is a disaster I don’t know how to fix. My queue goes back to June. Is this the new normal? I know I’m not alone in this, otherwise “inbox zero” wouldn’t be an ubiquitous goal. How did we get here????

.   .   .

You know I love the Longform podcast. Here’s another great episode, which happened to be recorded the day after Dr. Ford’s testimony: Rebecca Traister. So much to love during this interview; this bit gave me hope and drive when I really needed a little hope and drive:

“Events like this past week remind you that you can act and you can care and you can put everything out there and you can still lose. Horribly. Degradingly. Humiliatingly. And it can make you feel crazy with fury that will feel futile. And that’s hard, that’s a hard thing to sign up for… What’s gonna happen next continues to be up to us, and continues to depend on us being willing to do that hard thing and risk heartbreak and defeat and degradation and hopelessness… like, what else is there to do? The vision of the better future is dependent on those of us who can envision it, committing to continuing to work toward it, acknowledging that maybe we’re not going see it in our lifetimes. But you know what? The people we most admire from the past, they didn’t see it in their lifetimes either. But they still did the work that got us to here.”

.   .   .

I was cleaning out my laptop and came across a pile of screenshots I’ve collected over the years. Some good ones:

When you see the entire world as your body, you’ll see everything around you for what it actually is. [@un1fied]

I say bless you when people burp.

When you walk into a supermarket you have the illusion of many choices, but most products are just rearrangements of corn.

Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. [Joyce Meyer]

Archbishop Helder Camara famously said, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” [@theathomasin]

TOLINKA // Translation: flapping ears of a coyote; coyote’s long ears flapping [Miwok language]

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen. [Robert Bresson]

A cool form of rebellion: being as chill and generous and present as you can be with everyone you encounter. [@hologramrainbow]

( quotes are attributed wherever possible, you know how it is with screenshots )

.  .  .

The 2019 Charlie Calendar should be ready for you next week! Check back here for all the pics.

.   .   .

Daisy is doing GREAT! I’m happy every day because she’s doing great.

 

The Food Bank Cooperation Donation


I’m thrilled and honored that the Food Bank Cooperation Donation has resonated with so many of you! Due to the logistics of delivering the beef and all the paperwork that will be done by the good people at The Food Bank of the Rockies, there’s only about six weeks left to join in on this venture this year. (It will open again in January for the 2019 tax year.) If you feel called to join us in the Cooperation Donation, you may do so HERE!

And if you’re like, ‘what is she even talking about,’ read on……

I donate beef every year to food banks, and believe that by joining together, we can give even more to those in need and keep even more animals from entering the feedlot system. I’ve teamed up with The Food Bank of the Rockies so that I donate the beef straight from my pasture and YOU get the tax deductions.

With your donation, you:
• help individuals and families receive nourishing, healthy food
• know your donation dollars go exclusively to food raised with organic, sustainable practices
• support ethical agriculture and the humane treatment of animals
• get a tax write-off for your kindness and generosity!

Supporting food banks was extremely important to my grandmother, the late, great Svensto, and I am honored to continue her legacy.

We all need healthy, nourishing food and I believe we all deserve it. And, for many, it’s getting harder to procure. Healthy, sustainably-produced food is generally more expensive, and I have a really hard time with the fact that one’s socioeconomic status determines the quality of food available.

I am disturbed by the widening chasm of income inequality. I consider this a heartbreaking crisis and I feel powerless in many ways. But I am in a position to donate the finest, healthiest, most delicious beef to food banks, and I do this with a rebel’s spirit. Cooperation is a revolutionary act, I believe this with my soul.

How this works:
Donations will be collected and pooled to buy humanely-raised, organic, grass-finished beef from Star Brand Beef at wholesale (more beef for your buck). That beef will be donated to The Food Bank of The Rockies in YOUR names. I will provide The Food Bank of The Rockies with a spreadsheet of donations received (which will include your names and addresses), and The Food Bank of The Rockies will then send YOU your own, personalized 501(c)3 charitable donation paperwork in the amount of your donation for the 2018 tax year.

To contribute, click HERE. You’ll see a drop-down menu of options – every amount has a big impact! Thank you so much for joining me in this venture in whatever way you feel called.

Snippets ~ End of Summer Edition

goldensteerHRD

End! Of! Summer!!!!!!!!! I rejoice.

Summer is intense. And exhausting. And hot. There’s a lot I loved about this summer – it was a whirlwind of travel and human connection and bonding with the Farmily at dawn and dusk and under the stars, and midday work breaks under the trees, but I’m glad it’s in the rearview and that autumn is on the way. A week or two ago, when I noticed with wondrous relief that it was dark at 9pm, I wondered if the cottonwood trees feel this way, too, like, “I grew so much and contributed so much – beauty and shade and oxygen and habitat – and it’s been glorious, but now I’m glad that I get to slow down, and soon, soon, I’ll have a much-needed, very long nap.” And they let their leaves fall.

.  .  .

Sage (who is now one year old) has been howling when Charlie howls. Charlie’s howl is strong and elegant and Sage’s is the opposite. So earnest yet so wobbly! As Mike says, “he hits every note but the right one.”

.  .  .

3M and Fiona’s calf are joined at the hip. They eat together, they run around together, they nap together, they play together. The cuteness is epic. They are both chubby and strong and healthy and happy. Fiona has done an amazing job.

.  .  .

Daisy, Miss Daisy, Queen Daisy, Our Daisy is doing GREAT! I had my other vet come see her and he said that while she’s not going to live to nineteen, it’s just as likely that she has two years than six months. I’m holding on to that. I wish she would gain more weight more quickly, but other than that, she’s fantastic. She’s getting around perfectly well – leading the rest of the cows around the property and up the steep driveway and staying well in the lead – and she’s perky and bossy and as voracious as ever. She’s getting tons of love and literal tons of treats. I often go out and find her – to brush her and cuddle with her and take her treats – but sometimes I’ll open the front door and there she’ll be, waiting, looming silently, staring me right in the eyes, like she had been willing me to open the door, and her telepathic message is, “I’m ready for some treats right now.” Having her surprise me like that is always such a treat for me.

.  .  .

Longform has become one of my favorite podcasts. Here are three great episodes:
Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah
May Jeong
Elif Batuman

Last month, I listened to and loved The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan. It’s a book – memoir – surreal, true stories beautifully told.

I’m a huge fangirl of Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and numerous other books); he’s on my list of “if you could invite five people to a dinner party, who would they be?” people. I recently found this talk he gave – titled Deep Agriculture – and it’s just incredible. I listened to it and immediately listened to it a second time. It’s from nine years ago and does not feel dated in the least. It’s fascinating to listen to it in that context, yet everything he shares is just as as applicable today – arguably even more so. I highly recommend giving it your time. You can listen to it HERE.

Have any recommendations? I’m always on the lookout for more podcasts. Leave ’em in the comment section, please and thank you!

.  .  .

The Shop is back open and filled with treasure!!! Check it out before I decide to keep all the new jewelry for myself. I have many more beautiful adornments to photograph, they’ll be popping into the shop randomly over the next couple of weeks.

.  .  .

I’m working on a new book proposal (!!!) so blogging will continue to be a bit sparse. It’s easier for me to post photos and snippets on Instagram when I’m short on time, so you can check in on the Farmily on my Instagram page, even if you don’t have an account. The button in the sidebar will take you there too….

Heart Broken

daisydawn

Back in May, I weaned Mara and stopped milking Daisy because Daisy was looking rough and not gaining weight. I also decided I was going to retire Daisy – prevent her from having another pregnancy – because this cycle was so hard on her. Weaning went smoothly (and Mara is doing great), but by mid-June, Daisy was still dripping milk and the veins across her abdomen were distended and rigid. The veins freaked me out, but I assumed they would go down when she dried off (they are offshoots of what’s called the “milk vein”), but by the beginning of July, she was still dripping milk (totally weird) and her veins were still abnormally prominent and so I made an appointment with the vet to make sure nothing was wrong. He was baffled by the milk dripping but said her distended veins were a marker of heart failure. He said we have six months together if we’re lucky.

There’s not a lot of data on bovine heart disease because it’s often not caught until very late stages (because cows are often out on open range and/or not observed as obsessively as I observe Daisy). At that point, most people give the cow a diuretic and sell her ASAP. So there’s little to no follow up in those cases, and relatively few case studies where the disease is caught early and tracked. Signs and symptoms, as the condition progresses, don’t always present in every animal, so while there are things I can be on the look out for, there’s not much to monitor or measure in any definitive way. It’s all incredibly frustrating. My vet said this was the absolute earliest it could have been detected and we started treatment right away. I’m giving Daisy weekly shots that will increase to twice-weekly and then daily as things get worse.

Daisy’s not showing any other signs of illness – she has her usual enormous appetite, she happily wanders the property as she wishes and does not seem winded or struggling. Her eyes are bright and she’s super social and still very much Queen of Everything. My current theory about the dripping milk is that there’s enough extra fluid in her tissues from the heart disease that she’s been unable to re-absorb the milk in her udder as quickly as usual and it’s dripping because of gravity. I’m taking her vitals two or three times a day so I can keep track of any changes, and listening to her lung sounds with my stethoscope. I desperately wanted to have an ultrasound done but it’s just not possible – the waves can only travel so far to give a clear picture and the distance from skin to heart and lungs in a cow is many times greater than that distance in a person or smaller animal.

I also talked to my other vet, the philosopher vet who lives in a different town (and who hasn’t seen Daisy yet) and told him how I’ve been tracking her vitals and how badly I wanted an ultrasound in order to see what stage we are actually at and asked him what else can I do and what I can measure and what are the percentages of likelihood of this and that and he basically said (in a more poetic and non-confrontational way) that perhaps this is a time to practice not being such a control freak because even with all the data in the world, I will never be able to control death. Which is excruciatingly true and excruciatingly hard for me.

I’m absolutely beside myself. I really can’t even write about this, hence the dry, fact-y blog. I’m closing my online shop tomorrow, indefinitely (except for digital delivery items which will still be available). I’m still planning the 2019 Charlie calendar and I will have more of Fred’s beautiful jewelry, but right now I don’t want my time more divided than it has to be. I also had a pile of emails I was planning to respond to but I archived them all and sent off telepathic replies. I know you care about me and care about Daisy and understand these choices. I promise to keep you posted. In the meantime, please send Daisy love and good vibes.

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