Thursday, September 27, 2018
Welcome to the Blog,'Zine, and Bookstore of Priscilla King. The Blog is in the process of conversion to pay-per-view mode; new posts will appear as they are paid for. The Bookstore, and the free-public-information part of the'Zine, continue to appear as they have done in the past. Old posts, and keyword lists for new posts that may not be visible, can be found by using the site-specific search bar on your right. New posts can be seen at Live Journal for $1 and become visible free of charge, in a graphics-friendly format here and a graphics-free format at Live Journal, when they've earned $5.
Amazon cookies are embedded in book and other product links, of which almost every post contains at least one. They may be used to remind you of Amazon merchandise when you visit other Amazon Affiliate sites. This site uses Amazon images to show you more about, and help you purchase, specific products cited in posts and articles. Many Amazon Affiliate sites use what the company calls "Native Ads," which remind you of Amazon links that your browser has opened but that you did not use to make a purchase in the past. Although only one "Native Ad" has appeared here, merchandise discussed here is likely to appear in "Native Ads" you see elsewhere.
This web site does not deliberately embed other cookies, big splashy graphics, self-playing audio or visual gimmicks, or anything likely to overload or harm your computer in any way. Working with older and smaller devices is one way we keep it real and filter out links to anything that's not browser-friendly.
This web site does not discriminate according to physical disability or device limitations. Newer devices should be able to convert almost all posts to either a printed copy or an audio file, but users of older devices may order those at the rate of $1 per printout or $5 per audio file.
Payment options currently include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Paid-up subscribers can see all posts at my Live Journal page, with a tiny padlock picture beside the titles of the posts not yet available to the public. Non-paying visitors will see paid posts and a timeline of my Tweets at:
To send payment directly by Paypal, you may use the Paypal button below if it works for you (some browsers will show a working button, some a non-functional button, and some a blank space), or e-mail salolianigodagewi @ yahoo for the correct Paypal address. This web site supports multiple Paypal accounts, so you need to tell Saloli the Message Squirrel whether you want to support the web site or buy something, such as a book, discussed in a post here.
Better yet, send a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.
Friday, October 20, 2017
(Amazon doesn't have even a computer-generated book image for this vintage novel. Click on the title to order the book directly from Amazon. Here, for Google+ purposes, is a picture of the sort of house shown on the front cover of the book. Real house picture donated to Morguefile by Saffrodite .)
Thursday, October 19, 2017
You can also mail a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.
I'll do another Link Log and two more "good" posts, later, but...when I dragged myself into town this morning, someone said, "Where've you been? We've missed you!" and this is always a dangerous question to ask anyone over age fifty. We might tell you the truth, rather than just mumble something we hope sounds polite. Here, for those who can bear to read it, is the true answer. You've been warned. Nobody should have to listen to this in a cafe where they're paying to enjoy their food and coffee...but it does need to be Out There in cyberspace.
Basically I've been sick, though able to work around it, for the past five weeks and yesterday the situation was especially disgusting. (Feel free to skim through the rest of this me-me-me post; there's a pleasant status update about the cats at the end.)
That's not the flu-bug that's going around, which is a rerun of the past two years' nuisance, causing pneumonia and/or vertigo for vulnerable people and nothing for those of us who've evolved resistance to it by now. It could be a celiac reaction if I'd been eating wheat, but I've not. I've been eating things that were safe for me to eat in September--beans, peanuts, chicken, rice, tomatoes, plus some of the freshest coffee in Virginia--but apparently this summer's new crop of some of those things has been "ripened and protected" with glyphosate, which affects celiacs just like wheat gluten only more so. And since farmers are not required by law to confess to manufacturers that they've done this evil deed, that they've sprayed poison right on freshly harvested food (even "organically grown" food!), finding out exactly which of those foods has become deadly poison to me in the past month is going to take detective work. I've been trying to do some of that detective work during these five weeks, find out what (if anything) I can still eat, but it's not easy.
I logged onto Twitter, and right at the top of my news feed was a sponsored tweet from my old friend Mr Peanut, the Planters mascot. I have loved Mr Peanut and all that he's stood for since early childhood but in recent years some, not all, of his delicious, farm-fresh-before-being-roasted-and-salted nuts have been making me sick. Did he do it this time?
Or was it the local candy maker who supplies Addco chain stores with their absolutely splendiferous old-fashioned "Christmas" candies? Those chocolate-coated and maple-sugar-coated nuts are waaay fresher and yummier than the name brand with which they compete, made without high-fructose corn syrup and a higher proportion of nuts to fat-and-sugar. I use the public conveniences in Addco chain stores often enough, all year, that I hate to miss any chance to buy anything there for Miss Manners, and I feel that Miss Manners particularly approves when I'm able to buy the best deal in its category in town, which those only-in-winter candies are. Most things sold at Addco are overpriced, because you're paying Addco to buy them from the big-chain supermarkets and bring them to more convenient locations; but when they buy their winter candies they don't have to pay a middleman and everyone gets a better deal. But is this the year their nuts were...poisoned?
Was it Zatarain's rice...again? Success Rice...again? Bush's beans...again? The store-brand beans I started buying when Bush's beans were poisoned, years ago? I complained to those companies then. I thought their consciousness had been raised and their rice and beans were fit to eat. Has some farmer thought that what people don't know wouldn't hurt them? Wrong, wrong, wrong...
I don't think it was Dollar Store chicken-in-a-tin. Gwaltney chicken "dogs" and bologna, which are cheaper and which I buy in cool weather, are a leading suspect because they contain additives that are likely to be poisoned. Yes, the actual birds fed on tainted grain can contain glyphosate residues and make celiacs sick.
What about the coffee? Oh please, Jesus...it's bad enough using an Internet cafe as an office when I can't eat the food. I feel like such a callous heel, already, living on peanuts and rice and beans in the middle of what's officially rated one of the best bakeries in the State. Please let me be able to drink the coffee. I've tested for that before--recently--and the fully caffeinated coffee seemed to be safe, as of, er um, September...
But it's hard to tell, because since that last drastic reaction to Cheerios, five weeks ago, I've not completely recovered from one celiac reaction before another one's started, and the celiac reaction slows down the digestive process so it's hard to tell exactly when each reaction did start; the hostile mood and cramping can start two or three days before the blood-gushing, or only hours before.
And the list of things I can safely eat, afford to buy, and find close to where I live, is short at best; the idea of shortening it even further to find out exactly what is (more likely are) making me sick this fall would be discouraging even if I weren't in a gloomy celiac mood. Thanks to unauthorized spraying around the power line last summer I can't feel absolutely confident even about eating things that grow on my own True Green property, the wild persimmons that were actually ripe and sweet before the First Frost on Tuesday morning, the black walnuts whose hardwood shells keep out almost everything but that were just beginning to form when the trees were exposed to poison...
Actually the weather this weekend--this long weekend--was delightful. These were the kind of days when a person would be well advised to use any mental health days their job may provide for, because you never know for sure that you'll live to do the same things in such perfect weather ever again. I mucked about in the stream below the mountain spring, keeping the channel deep enough that the water runs as fast and clear as it should, and having a jolly good time in the hot sun and cold water. I pruned vines, and turned dead leaves over to sort out undesirable seeds, and cooked rice in a Dutch Oven over a fire of dead leaves and junkmail, and could have snapped pictures of Heather and Samantha kissing each other and eating out of the same bowl if youall had paid for the phone minutes, and generally had as much fun as a person can have while being seriously sick. I may not look like a typical Irish anything, but I am a typical Irish celiac who grew up being cheerful while being seriously sick. If you're about to develop some horrible disabling condition and die of it, why add any more misery to that by not being cheerful?
Of course, another thing about Irish celiacs is that we're the ones who made the Irish Curse an art form, a genre of poetry just like the Irish Blessing. In old Ireland where people believed celiacs were victims of some sort of mystical curse I doubt that anyone ever wrote a really good curse on the person who's caused a celiac reaction. Well, now there is one. I've written it. And I have seriously prayed it. While feeling cheerful.
Cursed be the one who, from mere laziness, pollutes and poisons the land.
May he never see the land again.
May he want to return to the land he has poisoned, every day of his short and painful life,
and may he never again be fit to go near it.
May each and every one of the curses that Moses pronounced on those who pollute the land,
in the twenty-eighth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy,
come upon this poisoner, every one in order, like a hurricane:
so that when he thinks he has endured all of them,
straightaway each one of them comes back to hit him, again, from the other side.
May no part of the pain that he has caused to any other living creature,
whether it walks on two legs, or on four, or six, or eight,
be spared him; may he feel every pang ten times over.
For myself alone I say:
because he shortened my breath,
may he never again draw a breath but it cuts like a knife and burns like a flame;
because he sapped my strength,
may he never again stand on his feet, but fall on his face and lie on his face crying with shame;
because he drained my blood,
may he be one of those who become sick and faint at the sight of their own blood,
and may he never again open his eyes but he sees his own blood,
draining from any and every part of his body that can bleed.
And may none of this suffering shorten or relieve the suffering that he has earned
by the suffering he has caused to any other innocent creature.
May he cry and beg aloud to die,
and may he lack the strength to kill himself,
and only if he has the presence of mind to repent, confess, and make restitution
to every one to whom he has caused suffering, every one of every kind,
may his suffering eventually end with any relief, in this world or the next.
(And although I myself would accept restitution,
may he know, even as he begs me on his knees to accept land and money,
that it is already too late to make restitution to other creatures
who were more innocent than I, and whom he wantonly killed, from mere laziness.)
May people remember for a hundred years after our grandchildren's time
the suffering this fool earned by poisoning his neighbor
who was a widow and fatherless, and had done him no harm,
And may the Lord do the same to me, and more also,
if I ever sink so low as to poison the land
and cause others to suffer and even to die in agony,
for no reason but greed and laziness.
Well, you say uncomfortably, an Irish Curse is an art form. Yes. And this one does not, you notice, describe anything any mortal person could do, even if that person tracked down a poisoner; I'm not advising other sufferers to hunt down the Monsanto Corporation's dupes. We have better and more enjoyable things to do with whatever time we have to live. What this curse does describe, poetically, is one of the natural consequences glyphosate exposure is documented to have on non-celiacs...kidney failure, frequently including kidney cancer. Forgive me that I enjoy knowing that the curse will indeed descend on those who deserve it.
It came to me over the weekend...nobody knows what causes multiple myeloma. Probably an interaction among many things causes multiple myeloma. My husband had had stubborn hypertension and rage episodes, regular enough that he sincerely believed he'd been reacting to his ex-wife's hormone cycles, for some time before we met; probably the whole ten years we had were a period of remission.
But we had some neighbors, not next-door neighbors but fellow gardeners whose back garden faced ours, at our little house in Maryland. They had perfectly manicured grass, trees with cardinals in them, and beautiful roses. They were great-grandparents. We used to see the old gentleman out spraying stuff from a can onto his roses, and mostly it smelled like harmless fertilizer...but sometimes it caused my sinuses to clog, and a few days later we'd see dead robins, thrushes, and sparrows along the road. Both of those things are evidence that the fertilizer contained one of those super-popular glyphosate formulas.
Six months, to the day, before he died, my husband took the first sick day he'd taken since I'd known him, and the immediate cause of his sickness was kidney failure. Everybody in the hospital wanted to know why, when he'd seemed to be so healthy and to lead such a healthy life. He had no idea. Neither had I.
The next year, the old gentleman sprayed his beautiful roses, one more time, and one of our robins died. And that summer I heard the old gentleman also died...from kidney failure. Apparently kidney trouble, not rheumatism, was what had caused him to move in that stiff-hips-but-healthy-shoulders way he'd always had.
Glyphosate is known to cause kidney failure.
He didn't know. Long-term studies of these things can't be done until the latest poison that doesn't seem to harm most humans turns out to be deadly to humans, too, in the long term. But that old man had lived long enough to notice a pattern: There is not and has never been a poison spray that has not turned out to harm humans. They always do. Instead of believing the greedy marketers' claims that this or that new poison doesn't harm humans, we need to learn that what doesn't immediately trigger a reaction to get it out of the human body, but does reliably kill smaller creatures, always does more serious harm to humans later on.
"If you don't photosynthesize, it can't hurt you," babbles a farmer whose web site shows that his research on the effects of glyphosate has been limited to commercial marketing propaganda. Duh...if you eat plants whose ability to photosynthesize has been affected, that can hurt you. And also glyphosate, which is chemically similar to wheat gluten, affects the minority of gluten-intolerant people just as gluten does, only more so. If it gets inside our bodies, it shreds internal tissues, and blood gushes. And also studies are showing that long-term exposure to glyphosate has other unintended consequences, possibly including cancer as such, but certainly including kidney failure--which certainly aggravates cancer.
We need to ban all spray-on poisons, altogether. We need to be much more careful about applying anything that kills insects, even if the insects in question are killing people. We need to be very stringent about letting anyone even try to poison plants, since plants do not kill people.
If "herbicides" are allowed to be manufactured or sold at all, they should be made available only by an arduous permitting process that, among other things, holds the poisoner responsible for any new health problems reported within five miles of the poison site during the next five years, requires an informed consent form from everyone living within five miles of the site, and allows poisons to be injected into plants via a fine syringe, never sprayed into the air, onto the ground, or into the water.
Anybody who's still spraying "Roundup" richly deserves kidney failure in its fullest and most horrific form, with plenty of time to envy my poor husband, who at least had a form of cancer that caused numbness rather than intense pain. Anybody who's still spraying "Roundup" deserves the pain.
But at least, at the Cat Sanctuary, the poison was only in food and affected only me, this time.
Johnny Wren didn't stay as long as I'd hoped, after Jenny laid that deformed egg and died at her nest. The paper wasps won't be back before spring, either. The stinkbug population is booming.
Heather has found a name for Samantha in cat "language." I still suspect Samantha of being a merely normal cat, albeit a clever one, and affectionate. For social cats normal cats can become pets; I had some concerns, because Samantha has formed an ugly habit of threatening violence when she's scared, and she was scared of Heather at first, but I've enjoyed watching her get over it. She is becoming Heather's pet, and mine. She followed me around, all weekend, and positively bounded to me when called. If she's not quite qualified to replace Irene, Heather seems to be nonverbally saying, at least she'll do to replace Inky.
Long may their proud tails wave, in an orchard that belongs to people who've had enough sense not to poison our land for fifty years.
(Regular readers know: Gluten intolerance is a rare genetic condition that existed before glyphosate was invented. Gluten sensitivity, which is common, has been documented only since glyphosate became so popular with greedy, lazy farmers and gardeners...y'know, the ones too stupid, too hateful, generally too unworthy of life, to know that THIS is what we use when we don't want a plant in the place where it starts to grow:)
I wrote this just before I went to Paris in 1990. It became a metaphor for resolving things that could not be resolved.