Politics (Probably Part 1)

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook might think that all I ever talk about are the recipes I’m cooking, garments I’m knitting, what wildflowers are blooming at the moment and where my next cup of coffee is coming from.

And on some days, you’d be correct.

But there’s a lot that is missing from that picture.

My job is very political. I wear a Federal uniform to work every day. And I generally don’t post too many political things on Facebook, unless I’m fairly certain I can get a laugh out of it. In the case of humor, I tend to be an equal-opportunity basher.

But the truth is, I cannot get away from politics. I spend hours each day explaining policies, choices and common resources to both United States citizens and visitors from around the world.

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In this election season, Facebook is more abuzz than ever before with political adds, pictures and phrases. And it makes me sick.

Tonight, an acquaintance had ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ a picture that included the phrase, “Teach a man to fish and you lose a Democratic voter.”

Of course, I realize that this phrase is meant to spread the word that Democrats are lazy and want handouts. If you learn to do for yourself, you’ll never vote Democrat again!

Not only does this go against much of my recent life experience (many of my subsistence friends in Alaska vote liberal so as to protect the resources that sustain their very lives!), but this is just yet another stereotype that needs to be busted wide open.

What about me?

  • I work for the government as my main source of income. And my job doesn’t even earn me benefits like health insurance. Yep, no doctor visits for me!
  • My knitting affords me a bit of extra income, and between the two jobs, I work 45-50 hours a week.
  • I am a single woman. By choice.
  • I am fairly well-educated (two Bachelor of Science degrees, a Master of Science degree and 45 credits towards a Ph.D.), with an amazing amount of student loan debt in my own name. On which I am proud to say I am not delinquent. Overwhelmed, but not delinquent.
  • I walk to work.
  • I make much of my own food from scratch, gather wild berries and other edible plant materials in season and can/preserve to help sustain myself over the winter.
  • I make some of my own clothes – I haven’t bought factory-made socks, scarves, gloves or hats (with the exception of my required uniform hats) in over 10 years. I’ve made many of my own sweaters and warm winter layers too.

Am I lazy because I don’t vote Republican and am embarrassed by Mitt Romney?? Of course not. But many people refuse to see the truth right in front of their very eyes. It’s just easier to stereotype than to actually THINK.

If you’re keeping track, I still need to write about the forest fires here in Colorado, and I want to attack the political nonsense some more in the coming days as well. Be warned.

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A Watchful Mama

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All week we’ve been watching this female Broad-tailed Hummingbird. We believe her to be sitting on two eggs, waiting for them to hatch. She sits as still as a statue, and is in essentially the same position every time we check on her (from a distance). Keep watching for updates on Mama!

A Little Sunflower

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Rydbergia grandiflora

A long time ago, someone made a choice. And because of that choice, last week I had the privilege to see this flower blooming. These Alpine Sunflowers are quite a sight to behold. Short in stature, they frequently seem to be bright yellow polka dots spread across the alpine tundra. The blossoms can appear to be larger than the stems, which might only be a few inches tall.

But what’s really unique about these beautiful flowers is that each plant can grow for decades before it is mature and healthy enough to actually bloom and produce seeds. Once it blooms and produces seeds, the individual plant dies.

So in order to see the blossoms I saw last week, someone had to make a choice to not pick a beautiful flower years and years ago. That flower, all of those years ago, had to be allowed to bloom, become pollinated, produce seeds and complete its life cycle.

Like that little flower, sometimes we have to make a choice to let things grow. This growth may not be in a time frame that we can easily comprehend. It might require patience from us, or openness to let the growth proceed. Sometimes, it might require a change in our thoughts or actions.

But if we want to see that amazing blossom at the end of the process, we have to make a choice early. We have to move by faith that the result will be worth the wait.

That little sunflower sure was.