Time to Wake Up! Ally Ally Oxen Free

On a recent trip business trip to Europe, I was startled awake by the alarm song on my iPad. It was Love Shack by the B-52s – a personal favorite – but not a great way to wake up when you are feeling like a 55-gallon drum full of jet-lagged sludge. Ay-eee!!!

Not me, but pretty accurate!

Must. Pick. Different. Song.

Must. Ease. Into. Wakedness.

So the next night, I remembered to choose a new wake-up tune right as I went to bed. Being lazy – or still jet-lagged – I quickly started scrolling through the default sort of songs by title. I don’t have that much music on my iPad (unlike the 6K+ songs on my computer’s iTunes). I’m not even really sure how the music got onto my iPad, actually. I was in a hurry to pick a song and go to sleep, but none of the first few I scrolled past in the A’s were appropriate for a gentle, jet-lag respectful wakeup.

Africa by Toto? Nope. Too 80s. Might be tempted to make my hair big.

Ain’t Anyone Here for Love (from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) by Marilyn Monroe and Rosalyn Russell? Wrong subject matter, although I did consider it briefly, because that scene is set in Paris, and Paris is where I was.

Akobi: First Born S(u)n by Somi? Lovely, but no. I’d be tempted to stay in my hotel room and listen to the album.

All of Me by Tchavolo Schmitt (“gypsy jazz guitarist)? Nope, too upbeat, although Tchavolo is Parisian…I was really tempted but it could be as jarring as Love Shack if I was mid-dream.

All by Myself by Eric Carmen? Too depressing; my limbs would feel numb and I’d never be able to climb out of the jet lag pit.

Ally Ally Oxen Free by The Kingston Trio? Yes, that’s it! I hadn’t heard that song for quite a while, since my days by the water, growing up at my parents’ house, but I knew it would have just the right tone and tempo to get me out of bed, happy to face the day.

Well.

I got more than I bargained for.

Ally Ally Oxen Free was a perfect wake-up song. The sound of it made me happy. It made me thoughtful. It made me get out of bed and walk across the room to replay it and listen again. It woke me up every morning after that on an 11-day, 3-country trip, and stayed in my head for days. I had either forgotten or was too young or distracted to remember that it was a (peaceful) protest song.

Well.

It is incredibly timely. Incredibly.  

Give it a listen; see what you think

Ally Ally Oxen Free (McKuen / Yates)

Time to let the rain fall without the help of man
Time to let the trees grow tall, now, if they only can
Time to let our children, live in a land that’s free
Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free
(Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free)

Time to blow the smoke away, look at the sky again
Time to let our friends know we’d like to begin again
Time to send a message across the land and sea
Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free
(Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free)

Strong and weak, mild and meek, no more hide and seek

Time to see the fairness of a children’s game
Time for men to stop and learn to do the same
Time to make our minds up if the world at last will be
Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free
(Ally, ally, ally, ally, oxen free)

Well.

This is not a political blog, but one has only to breathe the air in an any major city, read the reports about plastic particles in the ocean to, or look at the violence and anger in every day’s news reports from every country to know that something needs to change. A lot of things.

Ally, ally, ally, ally oxen free.

Time to wake up!

“Time to blow the smoke away, and look at the sky again.” A beautiful, smogless December sky in Jefferson, CO.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Lonely Future / How It Be, According to The Storyteller

Glover Gardens is not a political blog, but the publisher (that would be me) does have opinions.

The post that I’m linking to here from The Storyteller blog really resonated with me. While its author wasn’t specific about which “regulatory roll backs” he was referring to (see below), I instantly went to my environmental concerns. Here’s part of what he said:

I call it this picture, “Lonely Future.” It’s about all the constant regulatory roll backs of the current United States leadership. No people. No cars. Just weirdly colored skies.
It’s not a Sunday picture, Well. It is. Sorta. A long time back I use to publish “Experimental Sunday.” It was a sort of predictable Sunday feature when I posted images that I was… (click to read more )

Again, this is not a political blog, but I don’t think anything about protecting our environment and the animals and people who live in it should be political. How can caring for something that benefits us all be a partisan issue?

Perhaps I’m too simple and idealistic.

Perhaps I’m not smart enough to understand how short-term economic or material gains could outweigh long-term benefits for the health of our ecosystem and all of its components.

Maybe there’s some greater good that I can’t grasp about relaxing regulations against pollutants.

Maybe I’m an idiot to feel that the loss of even one more endangered species puts the world as a whole in a little more danger.

Maybe.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, the dystopian nature of the artistic Lonely Future picture from The Storyteller took me to this place, and now I’ve pulled you into it with me. But I stick by my assertion that Glover Gardens in not political. Look for more stories about memories and food tomorrow. Or a haiku. You seem to like my haiku.

Source: How It Befrom The Storyteller Blog

Purple Mountain Majesties

On the 4th of July, I’m thinking of our beautiful country. We’re smack-dab in the middle of some gorgeous countryside here at Little House in the Rockies. Just off the western edge of Pike National Forest in Colorado, Little House in the Rockies is surrounded by mountains.

83688074c1b24bcbe84345d53f7a7c81It brings to mind America the Beautiful. The song. The poem.

Originally titled “Pike’s Peak,” Katherine Lee Bates wrote the poem in 1893 during a visit to Colorado. She was inspired by the beauty of the country, having traveled by train from the northeast across the plains to Colorado Springs. It was published a couple of years later to commemorate the 4th of July, and later set to music by Samuel A. Ward. I love the first stanza:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

More than a century later, this is still inspiring country. I took this photo on Monday during a picnic in Pike National Forest. I didn’t realize until I looked at it on the computer later that there is a tinge of purple in the mountain range. Purple mountain majesties.

Purple Mountains Majesty

There’s a recent poll that says Americans are less patriotic than we used to be. Maybe so, maybe not. It depends on how you define patriotism (in my humble opinion). My patriotism today is focused on our beautiful country, the way that it was portrayed in that famous poem from so long ago.

Are we doing enough to take care of it?

I don’t think so.

Fires and pollution and global warming are taking their toll.

Will it be America the Beautiful in 50 years?

It depends. On us.

We need to do more.

I need to do more.

I will do more. In my own little way. Here in Glover Gardens with my words and conversations with all of you, and by joining the Palmer Land Trust. And by reducing my carbon footprint and the waste I produce. And most importantly, by voting for candidates who will make choices that preserve our environment rather than pillaging it.

I want it to be America the Beautiful forever. For my kids, and yours.

Flagpole

Happy Independence Day.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Earth Day 2018, Part Two

This is the second of two Earth Day posts.

I think Earth Day is a cool thing to celebrate. Way cooler than, say, National Jelly Bean Day, which is also today. Who thinks that’s a good idea???!!!

My first Earth Day post today was all sunshine, swans and squirrels, but earth day is about more than loving nature.

main-logoEarth Day reminds me that our world is fragile and needs care, and that I should be an agent for positive change.

This year’s focus for the Earth Day Network is ending plastic pollution. They have a great site; I learned a lot about the size of the problem.  Here’s one example:

Scientists predict that if nothing changes in our plastic consumption habits, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish (by weight).

That’s bad.  How to help:

  1. Reduce your consumption of plastics.
  2. Properly recycle the plastic you use.
  3. Remove plastic that is already in the environment.

If you’re interested, there are lots of great suggestions about how to do those three things in the Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit. The very first thing I’m going to do is to always, always, always use reusable bags when shopping.  Easy-peasy! And I’ll be taking many other steps now that I’m aware of enormity of the plastic pollution problem, like finding products that aren’t in plastic bottles or containers.

Don’t get me wrong – Glover Gardens isn’t about lecturing, posturing or sanctimony, but I’m musing today about the delicate balance between the way humans use the earth and its resources versus the way the rest of our ecosystem partners function within it. And resolving to be more mindful and have a smaller footprint so that my future grandchildren can enjoy the world the way I do.

On a lighter note, I didn’t use the photo below in my earlier happy-happy Earth Day blog post because I thought there was a drone in the background, just above the bird and slightly to the right. It made me really grumpy for a few minutes – “really, a drone in my bird picture, for an Earth Day post??? – sheesh!!” – until I zoomed in as far as I could and realized that in addition to wings, it has a stinger. It’s some kind of nefarious flying insect, but definitely not a drone.

fullsizeoutput_23bb.jpeg
A bird and a bee, framed by a tree. Not a drone in sight!

Once again, Happy Earth Day.

© 2018 Glover Gardens