Activism, Apple Pie & Power Ploys

My first shot holding my Nikon above my head,
aiming over a construction fence,
toward the reflection of light of a setting sun, 
listening, not looking. - 2008

To my surprise, in my own little world, I was the one to play heavy! (Power ploys would be expected during any Pluto and Mars contact, but might likely be experienced especially heavy handed during an exact conjunction.) I had to stop workers from slapping more toxic sealant on to the fence that delineates our property, because our bi-laws clearly state that we use green products only. First the worker did not report my objections to his boss, later the boss had the audacity to blame me for having opened up another can. On my insistence they stopped only to continue the next day - with the same product. Management tries to cut corners, but I was adamant. I was told lies by our property manager. Our board had not approved the product as I was told. Then the manager complained about the cost, about double or more, as if I did not know, having used Livos, a green, citrus based product exclusively inside my home for over a quarter century. Finally she told me to just go indoors to avoid the fumes. Patronizing me like a petulant nuisance of one of too many property owners that had to be coddled. It is a matter of not only personal choice, laid down in our bi-laws, to adhere to basic standards of green living. It is certainly my personal preference to live a green life style. I am not particularly environmentally sensitive, a bit of toxic fumes will not likely kill me (the fumes outdoors were noticeable though even hours later) but the perpetuation of such small minded practices might just kill our planet, will certainly weaken our already stressed, fragile eco system.

I want to be part of the solution, not the problem. I want to be concerned with the world at large, not just with what is most convenient and what is cheapest, but what serves the overall good. That is why I have not shopped at a Walmart in years, maybe decades. Walmart has a lousy reputation as regards the making of their products. Look no further then last weekend's fire in a garment factory in Bangladesh where more then 112 workers perished. Trapped, ordered by the manager to keep on working, doors locked, no fire exits while smoke engulfed the workers in atrocious, unsafe, illegal and inconsiderate working conditions.. They underpay their workers, leave them no choice but to lean on government assistance programs, while the top tiers benefit from their big bonuses and lavish life styles, which includes drug and alcohol abuse, including vehicular homicides with no legal consequences! New Mexico is one of the last states where Walmart manages to avoid paying state taxes, further disabling healthy competition with local businesses by their ability to undercut prices. Walmart has been on activists shit lists for decades, despite their recent ventures in to organic produce. Black Friday we seen an effort to support Walmart workers in their demands for better working conditions. Personally, Black Friday seemed bad timing to me. Shoppers hell bent on cheap deals seem not likely supporters of protesters. We have those still that can not see beyond their noses and demand the cheapest prices no matter the cost. Walmart of course is not alone,  but may be the worst offender. Sam's Club may almost be as bad I hear, so an alternative may be Cosco, a company that at least treats their workers better with higher salaries and better benefits.

I like to add that things are  not simply black and white.  I can not conceive of using anything but an Apple computer, I am using my iBook to post this while I have to acknowledge that Apple could do better, certainly in regard to their manufacturing. I also shop at Whole Foods instead of the Farmers Market because yes, it is cheaper. But a recent new Whole Foods employee was just gushing on how much she liked working for this company, how she did not mind working on Thanks Giving, because they were free to go by 3 p.m., but got double pay. She considered Whole Foods one of the ten best companies to work for.
Meanwhile on the home front I am getting better at not wasting water, so important when living in the high desert. I now collect and reuse most all of my water, such as captured when washing hands or dishes, such as from  bowls set out for  my furry friends and of late visiting sparrows. Birds tend to appreciate access to water,  we have not had any precipitation despite forecasts to the contrary.  Of course I still water my plants from collected roof run off. I have used my little electric space heater only twice when temperatures fell in to the low teens, my wall heater has been unused for two decades. The sun streaming in through my south facing glass doors is by far enough to keep us comfortable, even with doors wide open most of the day. Curtains do help, even flimsy ones like mine, to keep the cold out and heat in, but best is sleeping with my warm bodied furry friends. I am getting more the hang of this too, feeling less imposed upon.

I made and ate my first baked mini apple pie since I ran out of apples I had collected myself, mostly off public trees in my 'hood this past August and September. (The storage of apples in a cool ice box worked only for a few weeks, so I had to make all the rest  in to apple sauce, now in my freezer.) Store bought apples just aren't the same, the organic Fuji tasted lousy, but was o.k. once baked with added cranberries, enough ginger and a dash of cayenne. Up early enough though, I was able to witness my bit of sky turn pastel colors, which made for a decent start of yet another brand new day.

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