Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SHOUT IT ALL OUT



Shout it all out...


So why are we here, do we choose this live and if so why? (All depends on who you ask. I am just wondering who to believe.)

Good people in disguise, what exactly is that?

Do you have to dress funny to be spiritual?

What exactly is spiritual? 

I am asking these questions because I can, but you can answer them for yourselves.

My spiritual journey so far has been rather rough. What would you do if, every time you do your meditation like a good girl and speak to the Master (masters because they have mastered higher levels), every time you do this your life blows up in your face. Twice. That is a bit much, with human conditioning and all, these where very negative experiences and I did not want to repeat the same again. Hence, my withdrawal from the whole meditation thing. A bit too powerful and shocking to the system. On the other hand one might say that I was pushed into the right direction, hell, do they have to push so damn hard!

During this process somewhere I realized that one of the reasons the free will thing (kind of) backfires on me so often is because I know I will get it, but I still expect it to come the “hard” way and that is what I get.

At the same time there is this energy that comes in through these processes, channels have been open and energies flow through me. It starts with a buzzing in my ears, kind of a reminder, then this sensational energy runs down my spine, it is like a cosmic orgasm and it keeps on flowing right through me. Into the earth an all over the planet. I have to focus for only a few seconds and this to start happening. I think my soul purpose on this planet is to bring in this energy, that is all. I have never had any ambition or passion for anything, heck I am 47 and I still have no idea what I want to do with my life.

I have now decided to focus my thought on how easy things are… thank you for the lesson, now give me easy!

And I am meditating again; the energy flow is stronger than ever.  Let’s see what happens, as things stand I do not have much left to lose in the material world, except for my last bit of sanity. The universe the master and the whole bloody lot need to understand that I have a body and I need to feed the thing and I deserve to have a wonderful life. Thank you for abundance. I have work to do and places to go.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

MAGICIANS AND MONSTERS




Get it?

A friend of mine asked me a while ago whether I might be depressed without realizing it. This made me think. Actually no, I am not depressed; I think I have just reach a stage of melancholy. I just do not want to care anymore.

I have come to a few harsh realizations over the last couple of months.

Firstly I do not think we have to worry too much about planet earth; she will keep on spinning long after we are gone. We might be contributing to global warming and all that, but the planet and the universe also goes through natural changes, I think we are maybe helping to speed up the process, but things will change, with or without our “help”.

Then you think you will be fine if you can just look after yourself and make sure you can survive when there are shortages of food etc. This is another big joke, if you are self sufficient; you will probably be one of the first targets when anarchy breaks out. So what is the point exactly?

Then, on a whole other level we have this whole NWO scary stuff and I do believe that there are a few families on this planet with far too much power and money, absolute power absolutely corrupts. I have always wondered why that is, but is does seem to be the norm. We have had so many political systems, like Communism, Socialism and the biggest joke of them all, so called Democracy. All of these failed us, not because there is anything wrongs with any of these systems, in theory, but in practice we always ends up with Psychopathic puppets for leaders, regardless of the system.

It is an absolute reality that the few rich are getting richer and the rest are getting poorer and our wonderful democratic system makes sure that this happens, yet we keep on voting like a bunch of sheep. The truth of the matter is that we have no say, money and power has the first and final say, in all matters.

I do believe in free will, but the extent of your free will depends on your bank balance, just a fact. Even living a cleaner and greener live is expensive, harsh reality, only the rich can afford it. This is what we have created, this is what we accept, I have to agree with George Carlin “people are f&^%en stupid” and that includes me.

Between nature playing havoc and money being the Alpha and Omega in everything and having “elected” leaders making decisions based on corporate interest, we are in a pretty big mess here. Still, at least half the population of the planet has no idea what is going on. I so wish I was one of these people, ignorance is bliss!

When I started realizing all this, I started hating money, very wrong thing to do. That is the quickest and easiest way to push it away from you, especially if you see yourself as a “good” and money as ‘bad”, how do you bring the two together? The fact remains we need money, we helped to create this system, so deal with it. Money is simply pieces of paper with value and you can do good or bad with it, it is simply a choice.

Now I am going to throw a big spanner in the work and say we absolutely deserve what we get. It will not be pretty but it is simply cause and effect. How many innocent lives do we take on this planet every day? I am not just talking about human lives here; I am talking about the masses and masses of animals we so happily and readily butcher and eat and via this process we feed food for human to cows and we also end up with starving people. Do you honestly think this will have no karmic effect? We mass murder to stuff our (already) fat faces, we have no compassion, yet we expect compassion?

Unfortunately there are those religious nuts that actually believe god made these beautiful creates for us to eat; I find it hard to have compassion with that kind of stupidity!

We are as much fodder as the animals we eat; we are also animals to be “eaten” and the poorer you are the more likely you are to get eaten. We get what we hand out and as long as we keep on abusing the abuse will come back.

So here is my conclusion, make money, make lots of it, but get out of the conditioning of “find a job”, there are no job, you have to create like a Magician. 

Forget about those things you cannot change and change those you can, old news really, but that is really all you can do. Be the change you want to see and clear your karmic slate. This is now all about self love, it is about me, myself and I and the ones I love (that includes all animals) hopefully I do not turn into the next Dictator, but how are you going to make the world a better place if you cannot even change your own pathetic little reality?

I will be the first one the sing and dance when this system collapses or planet Earth shakes us all off, but that can take another 50 years or more and in the meantime I have to live and I still want to live green and clean and that is expensive.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

YELLOWWOOD FOREST



Vincent and the Pizza Oven

I want to tell you about the interesting connection between KD and Yellowwood, in Morgan's Bay. Two of the finding members of KD, Yan and Alex stayed here in a Tee Pee, in the Camp site, before they bought and moved to KD. They are both Buddhist and vegetarian and they built a Pizza oven here on the premises. This oven is still here and it is still karma free, meaning no meat has ever been cooked in it. It is a lovely wood burning oven under a sort of a Lapa. You can add some meat afterwards, if you absolutely have to or you can order from the other restaurant, which does all the other food.

We are now staying in a loft room above the Restaurant, this is obviously just for the season. We are really grateful for this space because it makes it possible for us to work and earn some much needed cash.


We have the whole of next year to properly plan and execute the walking trails and all our other plans, right now we have a car to fix, amongst other things. 

Yellowwood is basically two Restaurants and a Camping site, all in one. Right in a forest on the bank of a (small) river. 



The Pizza Oven Story












Sunday, December 18, 2011

BOOT CAMP AND GOOD BYE





Building in progress at the Retreat accommodation.

It seems like our days at KD are coming to an end soon.

We would have liked to move on before the Vipassana meditation started, we will not be able to charge any laptop or phones in the  house during the period of the meditation (the house will be used as accommodation) and that will be very difficult. The problem is that we waited too long (beginning November) to look for other permanent accommodation in Kei Mouth or Morgan’s bay. 

We have so many plans, the flyers for the walking trails are ready and we are ready to go, then this morning (cherry on to) we have a flat tire. Actually the flat tire probably saved our lives, it is actually a lot more than just a flat tire, the whole steering is skew, and we will only be able to make work of this on Monday and we are smack bang in the middle of Xmas/festive holidays.  All because of these roads, so now we are temporarily car less as well. Just to make it clear, I am not blaming anybody for the state of the roads, besides the biggest problem is the 8 km from the gate to the tar road that leads to the M2 highway. 

This puts all our plans in suspension, but this morning Shaun smsed Riaan to come and see him (Shaun and his family lives in and owns a Restaurant in Morgan's bay) and I have a feeling this is going to be good news, he did say something about maybe having a caravan for us to use until after season. If we can live there, we can work there. Riaan hiked though to Shaun. We will be fine without a car, for a while, if we actually stay in Morgan’s bay.

I hope everything will be ready in time for the Vipassanna meditation, but from what I hear these guys and girls are not here for a 5 star holiday and they have dealt with much worse in the past (the retreat area is still a work in progress). Somewhere between 20 and 30 people will be meditating for 10 days, obviously with time to eat and etc. in between. The people meditating do not really talk to each other; the whole experience is a very personal and inner affair.



Communal Kitchen far from complete

This is all very interesting and there are a lot of wonderful things being told about people that attends these sessions. I also like the idea that you do not pay for the course, you can only donate afterwards. That makes it accessible to everybody.

KD is busy putting together a new vision and I think this is very important, because after 6 months here, I am really not sure what the medium or long term goal or vision is. I do know that there is a very strong Buddhist orientation and there is the more practical side of things, like the perma culture and an honest attempt, by some to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

I have also learned that I am not really the community type, far too much of an introvert. Now people understand the term introvert wrong, it does not mean I am shy, it simply means that I am less social, I love my own company (and talking to myself) and I am happy that way. Then you get extroverts, they are not necessary the ones with the biggest mouths, but they need the company of other people constantly, they need to share their feelings and these sort of thing freak out the introvert.  Neither is wrong or right, it is just different and very often misunderstood.

I do feel sorry for Nicole and Fabian’s loss, (lots of Euro’s and passports got stone from them) but this is at a point of ridiculous. I told you they went to see a clairvoyant, and then based on what this person said every single black (yes people only the black people) where fingerprinted (so far no results). I feel so sorry for Meduna and his family, It would have been fair if everybody living here where fingerprinted, including the two accuser. Do these two people have any idea what sort of rift they could have created?

Do not be fooled, you need money to be green; it is actually rather expensive to be green, especially in the beginning.

I say a big thank you to Tim and Anne, because they are genuine people with good intent and they work very hard. We never really got to know Ole and Zanele, they were just never here, which turned out to be a big blessing. KD was fun, but when they returned from their European trip, it turned into Buddhist boot camp.

The couple with four children which was suppose joint the community and stay in the main house also had one meeting with Ole and Zanele and left the next day....

Kevan is cool and so is pretty much everybody else we met here. I also no longer think all American are Obese and brain dead, thanks to some wonderful American Volunteers we met and I will miss Caroline, the crazy Frenchy, as Riaan calls her.

We will probably be back after the season, but I will not be to stay, it will just be to get our car and our lives sorted. This also means we have some explaining to do to Lucky and Lua, regarding the kitchen we where suppose to built for them, but I am sure they will understand that this is a matter of survival.

KD is trying, there is still a lot to be done, there are a lot of challenges, but there is also growth and good intent. Get the vision out and go for it…

I wish you all love and light and the ability to stay in the moment.

Thank you for an enriching experience.



Friday, December 16, 2011

PESTO AND PIZZA



Joy making the biggest bowl of Pesto

It is interesting to see how people get all creative in the kitchen, pesto making (my favorite) and I make a mean one, although I must admit that my last attempt was not that good, a bit bitter, but Pascal made a rather spicy pesto that was really special.  The problem with me is  that I normally just throw together what I have and sometimes it does not work and when it works you can normally not remember exactly what the ingredients and quantities where.  The one thing I did find out is that pumpkin seed are a very nice addition and makes the Pesto creamier, especially it you do not  have Pine kernels. I also love Rocket in pesto, gives it that extra bite.

I have also noticed that the Pizza oven is being used quite regularly lately, big bread baking business. At the moment it is Joy and Greg living in the house and it reminds me of our bread baking days, but we eventually decided to keep this for special occasions because it is a rather pricey business (well, the type of breads that Riaan like to built in any case) and it is also quite time consuming, never the less fun to experiment with.

Come to think of it, maybe I should be super nice and give you my Pesto recipe, but I will have to make it myself again, seeing that the last batch was not so good, but I think it was because the Basil has already flowered, lots of plants go bitter when and after flowering. Maybe we should rather ask Pacal for his recipe..





Pascal making his Pesto

Riaan is still away and I am spending less and less time in the house and the garden, I have so many of my own thing to try and sort out. As much as this was mostly a fun learning experience we are right now in financial troubles, this lifestyle is not cheap, that we are finding out the hard way!


HOW TO PLANT A TREE




I have to shamefully admit that I have been neglecting the garden a bit lately, all the rain had an influence, but there was also so many other things than needed attention. I need to get in there today, we need to replants some Keerboom trees, they are legumes (enrich the soil/nutrient fixer) and they make good windbreakers and they grow quite fast. They are also indigenous to this area.


Big old Aloe with the Wild fig at the back

There is this Wild fig tree right on the edge of the garden, right next to a 300 year old Aloe Tree. This created a big dilemma. It is a wonderful tree, with a very extensive root system and it was becoming competition for the Aloe Tree and for the garden.  Eventually somebody (not sure whom) got the courage together and ring braked the Fig tree. When you ring bark a tree it dies. It is a rather painful yet fascinating process to watch.  First the tree started dropping big branches, one after the other, in an effort to “cut the dead wood” and survive. This tree knew it is dying, the fruits where suddenly all ripe and ready and seeding, an attempt to replant before it dies. There is currently only the tree trunk and one very big branch left, this branch is already intertwined with the Aloe Tree and this is what is keeping it up. 



Newly planted tree with companion plants (Marigolds) and mulch


I have only been telling you about the trees we took out, this one and the old Blue Gum. We have also planted at least 11 new indigenous trees in and around the retreat area. Here is some general advice on how to plant a tree.

·         Always plant trees at least 6 feet apart
·         Dig a square whole, not a round one, roughly 60 cm x 60 cm, but obviously take the size of the tree in consideration
·         Put some rusted nails or other iron in the whole, some plants absorb the iron, but will not if not needed
·         Plant the tree and fill in the whole.
·         What I use for compost is plain old fashioned cow dung, courtesy Meduna’s cows. You can also use Horse or chicken manure.
·         Add a small amount of Bone Meal to your compost
·         Put the compost around the tree, but not too close to the trunk, depending on what you use, it might be a bit too strong and burn the trunk.
·         Put some mulch in a circle, over the compost and around the tree, a fairly big circle.
·         Make another circle outside the tree circle, this is where you are going to plant your companion plants

COMPANIONS FOR TREES 


Garlic, Marigolds, Nasturtiums and (Mustard especially for fruit trees) and never forget the Comfrey. The comfrey also forms a sort of barrier so that the grasses and “weeds” are kept at bay. 
You can also make a fantastic liquid fertilizer, just soak the leafs in water for about 2 weeks and give this liquid to the plants.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

GOOD MEN DO NOTHING





Local ladies selling their wears at the Haga Haga beach

About a month (or less) ago, I told you about the brake in at Nicole and Fabian’s place, after that Zanele spoke to a Sangoma and Nicole and Fabian consulted a clairvoyant and now the clairvoyant says the Sangoma knows more than she is saying or something like that, the fact is we have no idea who or whom the guilty parties are. We have no proof. I am also very confused here because I understood that Zanile is an Sangoma?

This is no joke, this weekend a rather pricey Apple Max disappeared out of the office in the main house.  The main house has always been seen as a safe place to leave stuff, obviously not anymore. It is also the laptop with all our good movies!  I will not be able to replace my laptop if it disappears right now! So you end up being paranoid about your stuff.  

What to do, what to do? One does feel very powerless. The really very bad part about the whole thing is that it is creates suspicion amongst people. I can really be anybody and then there is the pedestrian traffic that crosses the farm and Meduna’s family all over the place, this “openness” makes it far too easy for anybody to watch everybody’s every move.

It has now become a case of evil prevailing because good men do nothing. The sangoma and the clairvoyant agreed on the following - it is a group of people and they are “working” for an older man with a white Bakkie (small truck).  Not much to go on and we are still waiting for the police to come back to us regarding the fingerprints they took at Fabian and Nicole’s house.

We are basically forced to take measures and control the traffic on and over the farm; we are even talking alarm systems and security cameras.

Why do people steel? Are they bad people or desperate people?

We live is a beautiful but desperately poor (apart from a few stinking rich farmers) area. Unemployment is very high, just across the Kei River (20 km away) is the area in the country with the highest murder rate, mostly young men in gangs taking each other out. It sounds savage, but it is a product of a sick and twisted society where you have masses of people with no feature and nothing to lose.

Everything in our world resolves around money and lack of it creates need.  Would we have thieves if we had no monetary system?  We can install all the alarms we want and hire all the security we can afford, but the real problem here is the fact that our every need (even basic needs) are not satisfied unless you can afford to through money at it. There is something very wrong here, capitalism obviously only works for the few and ironically enough, those few feel quite save, because they can afford the best in security, so you end up having the poor steeling from the poor in an attempt to survive and this create a further divide amongst normal people.

I can philosophy until I am blue in the face, right here right now we have a problem that will not just go away all by itself, we cannot play Ostrich any longer (stick our heads in that sand and pretend it is not happening). We will probably start by turning the office into some sort of “save house” where people can leave their stuff, like computers, phones and cameras. I do not consider myself as rich, well not rich in the sense of having lots of money anyway. I do however realize that the little I have might look like a lot to somebody who have even less.

I do also realize that some people just carry a lot of hate and anger and they want to damage and hurt, but I also believe that there are far too many people on this planet with nothing left to lose and they have to survive another day.



One of the thousands of villages scattered around the Eastern Cape.

There is an irony in the whole thing, we have high unemployment and therefore high crime, yet the whole crime “industry” is a very big job creator, in the form of security companies, the alarm systems business, electric fencing erectors etc. 

As long as our survival depends on having money, we will have crime. Think about this, we are the only species that actually have to pay to have a shelter/roof over our head/house, this should be a damn basic right and it probably is, but for a lot of people that human right means nothing because they live on the street or in a shack so my little car and my laptop looks like great wealth to them.

I am not justifying crime, I am simply trying to get to the route course of the problem and the route course of the problem is our current Capitalistic system, where almost everything, from where you sleep tonight to what you eat, if you eat, depends on how much money you have. I think we will always have people with different needs and drives and some will want more than others, which is fine, but if we have minister and the super wealthy splashing millions on parties and on the other end we have people starving, there is a BIG problem and we will have even bigger problems in the future.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

GARDENS BEFORE CIRCLES





Door by Brian

I am quite impress with myself, I have over 40 blog entries, but then it is easy to write if you have a lot to write about. I have notice that my blog gets the most attention when I write about gardening. I have also started a Green Tip for the Day section on my blog; you can see that top left. 

Imagine somebody gives you a free Perm Culture course and then they give you this big space where a garden was once laid out, which means there are swales, a seedling house and some seeds and seedling and you are allowed to do whatever you want. This is basically what happened to me. That is such a privilege, thanks Tim. The fun part is to decide where to put what and why. 
You should always have at least 3 good reasons for planting something in a specific place and in my opinion aesthetics is as good a reason as any. For instance I planted Peppermint at the kitchen drain, my reasons – it is nice to have your herbs close to the kitchen and peppermint is bushy so it hides the drain (aesthetics) area and ants do not like peppermint, so they stay away from the kitchen.  Mints are also one of the few herbs that likes wet feet (like a lot of water) and again the drain area is perfect.

We have 5 volunteers here at the moment. Greg is still here, I do not see that much of him, he got over the shock of getting flooded and he is mostly helping Tim with Cobbing or Niki with making our new sign for the front gate. Then there is Pascal, he is mostly helping Brian to hang doors and fix things around the retreat area that KD is busy building. They have both been here for a while and are quite settled in. Brian seems to be kind of part of the family, but he does not live here, he use to, but now he just built here.


Our friend Brian

Then we have 3 new arrivals. There is Rita/Joy I only met her this morning, I think we are going to get along very well, she also likes the garden. Then there is Chris and Bruce, I actually do not know that much about them either, they are South Africa, form KZN, they are spending most of their time with Tim, learning about Perma Culture.

I will have to see where I can get some extra hands, we need to weed!  Sometimes weeding is fun, it is a fantastic way to get rid of anger, frustration and stress, but I find it boring when I am not frustrated or angry, so I pull weeds when I have anger to deal with. Sound crazy but it works and from the state of the garden it is clear that my stress levels are very low.

We had a “heart circle” the other day. It is really just a space where everybody gets together and shares where they are at and what they are doing. Sound very nosy and my first reaction was not very positive, but I realized that my reaction was based on conditioning. I grew up in a very conservative Afrikaans family and in Afrikaans culture (especially for the men) it is a sign of weakness to show or share emotion and to “bear your soul” is unthinkable. So, I ignored my conditioned behavior and ended up hearing what other people are planning and doing and thinking, but in the end is does get a bit long and boring and you do feel obligated to say something, even if you do not want to. You use the talking stick method, I have explained this earlier in the blog, shortly - he who holds the stick is the only one allowed to talk. Conditioning or not, I have no intention of repeating this experience. 

There are a lot of new people and some old ones came back so the total number of people here at the moment is 18. 



Friday, December 2, 2011

SWALES


Occupy a garden, that is my advice and right now the plants are listening!

 

Green and growing

It is not raining it is pouring, nonstop, thank goodness for good swales! A swale is a depression/ditch that runs along the exact contour of a piece of land. That is to say, it is level all along its length. It is a water collection device and it works like this; Rain falls on your property, but instead of running straight down the slope and right through everything, it runs into the swale and gathers. There it soaks in slowly, forming a lens of water underneath the swale. Your plants do not get flooded and the swales collects eroded soil.

Digging swales is one of the very first things you should do, it should be part of your garden design. We had a long enough dry spell to get us a bit worried and now it is raining and raining and still raining. Our low water bridge is flooded, but that is not all, there is a little side stream, this normally does not even run, even that is in full flood, there is water everywhere but the garden is fine, thanks to the swales.


 

New swale

At least all the rainwater tanks are full and overflowing. I think if we had another 60 tanks we would have filled those too. Here is my one problem with thatch roofs, you cannot collect your rain water, actually you can, but it is a whole complicated story with special gutters and the water is always a brown color.

Niki went to town yesterday and last night Kevan and Riaan had to launch a whole rescue mission to get her and her friend (who came to visit) across the river. She had to leave the car on the other side. We have always been worried about getting stuck on the farm, but I have now realized it is much worse to be stuck outside - your house is so near, yet so far.

We have been made an offer to look after another house here at KD, until October next year and by then we should be ready to build our own place. The question is, do we still want to be here until then and will we/I survive until then? Funny how quick things and plans can change. 






Thursday, December 1, 2011

GREEN IS GREY




Another of the Cob houses at KD


Green is very often grey; by that I mean that you might assume that something is green or eco friendly, but is it really?

I will take our toothpaste as an example. We use Miswak, love the taste and no fluoride, much better than the Colgates etc. but that does not necessary make it green. The fact of the matter is that this toothpaste is manufactured in India and flown to South Africa, a big footprint, not green at all. Here is another example - you buy Organic Veggies from Woollies because it is better for you, but again how green is it? Look at all the packaging! Plastic pollution at its best and very often their products are also imported, not green at all.

I now make my own toothpaste, actually I am still experimenting. At this point I am trying Bicarbonate of soda with salt (equal parts) with a few drops of tee tree and a few drops mint essence. Miswak has a liquorices taste, I like that, so maybe next time I should put in liquorices essence, do you get such a thing? Better yet, Miswak is the root of a plant, plant the plants. Next problem here, now we are “importing” potential future invasive species, not well at all. Not so easy to be green and you might not always be as green as you think you are.

Then there is Tea Tree, I am in love with the stuff, but again the Tea Tree plant is an Australian plant and all the oil is imported from Australia. Local is better, imported stuff just does not make any green sense.  Tea Tree is a better mouthwash than any of the commercial stuff and it does not burn your mouth to pieces. There are a lot of uses for Tea Tree, I am going to miss it, but I will have to find something local that is similar, but if you would like to know more about Tea Tree, go to http://www.teatreeoiluses.com .

Solar power and even Wind power both gets stored in truck (like) batteries full of lead, (if you do not know what the problem with lead is, go to http://public.findlaw.com/abaflg/flg-5-2e-5.html ), how green is that?  They are called deep cell batteries and the plastic itself is very thick and will be around for the next trillion years. So you might not get an electricity bill every month, but it is not that green. I am by no means knocking solar and wind technology, I am just hoping they will come up with some other more friendly “storage system” very soon. The batteries also only last about five years and they are very expensive.You also need at least 4 batteries to store at least a decent amount of energy, at about Zar 2 000.00 per battery. 


Solar and wind, all good accept for the big plastic batteries, also do not be fooled into thinking these system are cheap, they are not!

I am going to say this again, I am not knocking the solar and wind business, we have to use and support these technologies, I am just saying that they are not flawless, there is still a lot that can improve, but I love the solar cooker, that obviously also has limitations in the sense that it only works when there is son. Want to see the solar cooker? http://kd-experience.blogspot.com/2011/09/twenty-five.html

Well, just keep on trying and thinking and you will get better and better at really living green and in harmony with earth and it takes a bit of getting use to, but it is all one big adventure.