Through the looking glass…

It’s kind of weird that September 7th, 2021, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled it’s federally unconstitutional to criminalize abortion… legalizing the procedure nationwide, though the availability still varies state to state… like two words spoken with the same breath in the same sentence, the United States Supreme Court/Texas “abortion ban” & Mexico Supreme Court abortion legalization happened almost simultaneously. A bizarre coincidence that drastically differentiates life on one side of the imaginary line from the other.

New York Times says the way it’s set up is a citizen can sue an abortion doctor/clinic & if they win they get ten grand plus legal fees, but if they lose they don’t have to pay the defendant’s legal fees… which means there’s no financial risk to carpet bomb sue every abortion doctor in the state if a person wanted to. That’s enough to maybe scare some abortion doctors into leaving Texas, and hopping the border as a well trained provider just in time to be at the forefront of the laws changing in Mexico. Sounds like maybe there was a lot of medical/abortion tourism going on, sounds like the surplus of abortion doctors were gonna lose all their business when it became legal in Mexico, sounds like the legislation was a strong suggestion to close up shop and follow the work before Texas was an enormous halfway house for out of work abortion doctors. “Hint, hint, nudge nudge, move your ass to Mexico.”

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

“Shit Paper, Trail Mix”

The campground we

are staying in

this week has fancy toilet paper

in the bathroom. The quilted kind

with flowers and butterflies

like a grandma’s house, and it spins

on the roll the way toilet paper should.

At the intersection of the freeway and the

main road, as we pulled through,

there was a person holding a

cardboard sign. The person presented as a

conventionally attractive cis male, so I will

gender him “he,” though I have no way of

knowing. As I drove closer, the sign read,

will work for food.

I’ve done my fair share of working for food,

though I never held a sign in the road in

high summer heat to do so. He looked like he

needed a shower, but otherwise he was just

walkin’ down the road; no backpack,

no belongings, just a man and his body.

I made a double batch of trail mix;

enough to fill the Tupperware container &

the tub the peanuts came in. I

rolled down the window,

“Hey, man, you hungry?”

He looked me up and down and

raised his eyebrows,

yeah, man… anything.

Left arm, with my sleeve,

out the window, holding the peanut tub,

“Trail mix.”

Thank you, brother. God bless you.

“Stay safe.”

If I’m not mourning the loss of my voice, why are strangers weird about it?

Big dog doesn’t do well in her crate in the heat. She starts panicking and hyperventilating; so when it’s really hot (like all month), she has to sleep on the floor with the fan in her face… then I’m worried all night that she’ll spook and rip a hole in the tent to chase a squirrel.

Tonight, I put Icy Hot on her chest, muzzle nuzzle, and chin… magic.

It’s the first night I’m sleeping on the ground without the cot that lifts my butt three inches off the ground. We’re in a campground with a really low bug population, so there’s not much reason for it and it’s awesome. There’s so much more space.

I continue to be amazed, confused, and saddened by people’s response to the pen and paper and no talking communication. It’s hit and miss. Today, a cashier asked me if my voice would ever come back & when I said no, cashier had a really negative response to that, started saying how awful that was, & also became incapable of normal customer service banter. I was buying half a dozen pens and tiny notepads, and I wrote a note saying that’s why all the pens and paper, with a smiley face at the end of the sentence… “oh, you want the pens and paper in a separate bag?” Huh?

It was our second visit to the park we moved out of today. Last time, the attendant at the gatehouse said the day we were checking out was attendant’s birthday! So I made a set of prayer buttons during our stay as a birthday gift when we left. There’s a form letter that explains how and why I started making the buttons, not a suggestion that a person should do anything differently with their prayer life than what they’re already doing, just a thing I like to make & I’m grateful to give them away so I don’t have a buhjillion set of prayer buttons.

This week, attendant showed me the “cowboy hat”… straw hat with a brim… with the buttons tied around the brim like a hat ribbon. So awesome.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Natural Resources Committee: government code for, “we’ll hide the important shit five layers deep in the National Parks where no one will notice.”

Are you familiar with the Natural Resources Committee? The sprawling reach and compartmentalizations of the way it’s structured are fascinating and worrisome.

I spent an hour today, during a thunderstorm in the tipi with the furbs, combing through the website and some relevant Wikipedia articles linked to the content. I watched a two hour committee meeting on YouTube the other day & got interested.

The Compact of “Free Associated States” and the Wikipedia information on our nuclear test sites in the Pacific Islands, and the refusal of healthcare for cancer and diabetes patients from those areas, is excruciating.

The end of the wiki cites Arkansas as a large residential area for said patients… there’s a dialysis clinic in Hope, Arkansas which caught my attention the other day as oddly placed and now makes more sense… Links:

https://naturalresources.house.gov/subcommittees/full-committee-insular-affairs

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_of_Free_Association

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Arkansas DaddyLongLegs Are Fuckin’ Terrifying…

Okay. I don’t even know where to start, so this is gonna be a little bit Fight Club, a little bit Tarantino, a little bit David Attenborough and a whole lot of en media res disjointedness:

Today the kitkat was nibbling some treats by the pine tree, and I sat down next to him so we could have some quality time. His dry food ran out today, and the brand he eats is usually an Amazon purchase because it’s only available at one store I’ve found so far (and shockingly it’s a chain in southern Arkansas; I about shit myself from the shock)… anyway… he’s eating a diet of tuna & what I’ve been calling chicken candy bars until we restock his normal food.

The “chicken candy bars” are Rachel Ray cat treats that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and he doesn’t seem too bummed out about the opulence. The local grocery store had some really garbage cat food, and those… it wasn’t even a maybe.

As I’m sitting next to him, leaned up against one of the nicest pine trees I’ve ever met, I look to the left and there’s an Arkansas DaddyLongLeg… now is the time that’s worth pointing out, these fuckin’ things look like Oklahoma DaddyLongLegs mated with a coyote. They’re enormous, and not at all the delicate, small, adorable things I grew up with. There was a nest of them in the electric box at our last campsite, scared the shit out of me. Anyway… this fuckin’ guy walks up to a piece of chicken candy bar and proceeds to crack it open like a squirrel with a nut and fuckin’ eat it!!! The what?! That’s it. That’s all I have to say about that part. Actually no, that’s not all I have to say… that chicken candy bar is way harder to eat than my eyeballs, or any of my appendages really… fuckin’ terrifying.

It is worth sharing now that the Wikipedia article of DaddyLongLegs is fascinating.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Bark until your throat bleeds, until there’s a different situation…

Typically, if the pups start barking at someone or something that isn’t an actual threat, I can ask them to stop and they will.

Last night, I was in the tipi, and the pups started barking, and I asked them to stop and they wouldn’t. They went bonkers. So, I got up and walked out to ask them what was goin’ on, and it turns out that the park ranger had pulled up and parked and gotten out of the truck and was walking toward the tent, and the pups were saying, “Nope, not gonna stop barking until you see what’s goin’ on, and then if you still want us to stop barking then that’s a different situation.”

When I saw what they wanted me to see, I did *not* ask them to stop barking, because the pups were right and doing what they were supposed to do. I put the big dog in her crate, she barked the whole way; left the Little Dude out, who continued to bark the whole time.

Had a really nice chat with the ranger, who had brought us supper, which was really appreciated; the three of us shared steak and corn on the cobb when we really needed it and that was awesome.

The past decade, I just keep barking while everyone tells me to shut up & I refuse to stop until everyone gets out of the fuckin’ building and sees what’s goin’ on. The consistent, persistent, and insistent ways my kids’ lives have been adversely affected—by everyone’s response to that barking—is constant proof that the barking is not only justified but required.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie

Now what?

“Can you please just tell me what you need me to do next? I came here, because you told me to. And I’m struggling with my purpose now; because I did the things you told me to do maybe a lot faster than I think you expected I’d do it & now my to-do list is ‘get the paperwork sorted out,’ and that’s great, but doesn’t seem super important in the grand scheme of things. The world thinks Jesus was a person and the Christmas tree is just some symbolic old tradition… not the actual, annual crucifixion of Jesus… but whatever… I think you’re not doing your job, Guardians of the Galaxy. I think you were suppose to oversee all of this and now we have pubescent kids from Sweden yelling at the humans that the humans aren’t doing enough for you, and I think you need to recalibrate your message. I think you’re transmitting your broadcast too heavy handed, too loud, but not clearly… so it sounds like a constant ringing in our ears, migraines, nose bleeds, anger and violence like static from the tuner between radio stations… you haven’t done your job, and now our kids are bearing the guilt and shame and responsibility to fix that… because your guilt and shame of failing to be the Guardians of the Galaxy is constantly broadcast, y’all need to recalibrate your thoughts and stop pumping that shit into our kids’ heads. Do your job, or shut the fuck up, it makes no difference to me which.

Now, wanna lie down in a circle and hold hands and tickle palms?”

“Yes, please.”

Tree falls in the woods…

Vs. what happens when I do watch YouTube? Everything awful. Shitty hack job pimps, politicians, and gossips trying to pass as pastoral care, public servants, and experts. Humans who cash paychecks on the premise of helping people, who instead perpetuate agony and abuse; humans who disregard and disenfranchise the entire population the paycheck is tasked and sworn to protect; humans who mistake time in front of the camera for productivity; humans who manufacture Hunger Games frienemy fights for one more news cycle of faux relevance; murderers who are complicit in the slow and painful process of the best of humanity oppressed to death in the ditch.

You know what happens when I don’t watch YouTube for a week? Nothing. Absolutely nothing happens. I skimmed back through after a Mon-Fri detox, and I missed zero important updates.

The difference in my quality of life when I let that tree fall in the woods without being around to hear it, vs. paying an exorbitant price with my life and attention wasted on giving audience, is enormous.

Toward the end of his life, Billy Graham—whose entire career as a televangelist was based on television broadcast—preached about turn off the television. He stood in front of TV cameras and said, “turn it off.” Amen, brother… amen.

More soon, much Love,

-Effie