“But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘shit, it’s raining!'”

I love Cold Mountain. The book, the movie, the actual place that is pretty close to where I live. I’m not sure what all I love it so hard for… because it is set in North Carolina… because I think it shows the strength and perseverance of women… because it is about struggle… or growing food to survive hard times…. or because it is about all of those things for me. But, I love it. It’s sort of a go to for me when I can’t find anything else to watch or read and when I need to find my piss and vinegar to keep dealing with incredibly hard things. For years now, it would get to the point of this quote, and I’d get all weepy eyed. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I was watching it again for the hundredth time that it settled down into my gut as to why. And this entire blog post tumbled out into my brain in about thirty seconds. Now that I’ve been thinking on it for months, I’m ready to sit down and write it.

Ruby Thewes: Every piece of this is man’s bullshit. They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘shit, it’s raining!’

Y’all…. it’s raining. Talk about a cloud over the land.

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Over the last year or so that I’ve been so sick, I have had to try to figure out why it’s happening. Which, honestly, I’m still trying to figure out all of the pieces of. I know more than I did before (Celiac, stupid amounts of food and chemical sensitivities, histamine intolerance, nutrient deficiencies, anemic, low blood sugar, anxiety, thyroid problems that I’m still waiting for a biopsy on, adrenal fatigue), I know what it’s not (diabetes, Lyme disease, black mold in our house, a heart or lung or lady parts issue) but still don’t know enough (there could be more than that going on, but I’m still currently knee deep in doctors and tests). But one thing stays the same amongst all these unknowns, the reaction that folks have to me trying to explain what I’m going through. There is a lot of head shaking and confusion over why I, at 39 years old, would be battling so many health issues. Especially after trying so hard to shift my life into being healthier eight years ago. Is it something I did? Is it the way that we live? Is it stress? Is it all in my head? Or…. is it because I was simply conceived and then born into the wake of man’s bullshit? Because I tell you what I have learned lately, and that is……. I’m sure not the only one that is dealing with these kinds of health issues. Makes me think maybe it’s just the weather they made.

In my mind, I have this really ridiculous image of a bunch of sadistic little kids performing this crazy science fair experiment where they spray everything tip to tail with chemicals, poison the food and water, try to completely destroy the subject’s habitat and then decide that they will just throw every creature that exists back in there and just see what happens. (Then they hop around from foot to foot laughing maniacally saying, I bet we can get them humans to pay us money to ride this ride too! Bwahahaha!) That, my friends, is what the world feels like to me today.

It breaks my flippin’ heart…. every. single. day.

For the last few years that I’ve been realizing and learning about all the many ways the world is falling apart, if I am being honest, I hung out up here on our mountain… gardened… fed my animals… cooked our organic food…studied and practiced permaculture like it was the only thing that could save us… and cried about it like a little child. I was so sad over the whole thing, it ached like nobody’s business all the way down to my toes and back. When I wrote no such thing as a broken heart six months ago, I was trying to find the right way to accept it and move on. (And, just as a side note, it blew my mind just how many of you wrote to me saying you were feeling the exact same way. It meant more to me than you all know. Thank you.) I thought I would write it, make peace with it, put my typical super positive spin on the situation and move on back to my happy go lucky homestead self of years past. But then after I posted it, I quickly realized I didn’t really understand the succession of myself yet. Or what would come next. So, I took some time for myself and stopped sharing my writing.

Sometime this spring….I had been right about one thing, the sadness did start to fade some. The tears dried up most days. And something in this “smile pretty and be sweet now” southern girl…. GOT TICKED OFF. That’s right, I’m angry. And my wife helped me get to a point where I’m finally okay with letting myself feel that emotion these days, since, you know, it’s all about what I do with it. I’m not going to go out and beat anyone’s butt over it. But, what I am going to do is stop hiding the fact that I am…FED THE TARNATION UP. The state of the world these days, in my opinion, is a flipping crap show on so many dang levels and I’m so angry about it I could spit nails. A friend of mine posted a cute graphic pic the other day that said, “Never pick a fight with a woman over forty. They are  full of rage and sick of everyone’s shit.” It was awesome. So good. And here I sit, all special like, having already hit that point at 39! 😉

I AM fed up. I hate what is happening to my body, it’s so hard to swallow. I’m scared too, that there may be even more wrong that I don’t know about yet….or that all this work I’ve done on it was just too little too late. I hate what I see happening to the health of my family and friends and their children. I want to totally freak out like a crazy chick when I see someone feeding their five year old fritos and factory farmed pork and sugar coated snacks all day long while they seem to not even consider that there could be some consequences for that. It plain ol’ kills me to see what is happening to our beautiful planet and its plants and animals and spaces. It’s. just. not. right. Lately, I’m finding that what is working for me at least halfway decent in trying to deal with it, is using that anger to fuel getting my wiped out self down to the forest garden to work on whatever and as much as I can. Because I still have such huge dreams of trying to provide healthy, actually affordable, organic food to low income families… and trying to get back to having enough stamina to be teaching about how they could be doing that for themselves too. For now, it feels like a good outlet…. turning rage into radishes and such. It’s what I’ve got, it’s what I’ll do.

And, on top of that…. I figure, it’s time. To run my dang mouth while I still can. On the days that I’m actually able to pick myself up, dust off the not feeling well and pain enough to share or talk to ya’ll. And if you don’t want to hear what I have to say… then you just go on ahead now and unsubscribe because it’s not going to only be all cute bunnies and “oh growing your own food is so awesome and easy” and “permaculture is a piece of cake!” from here on out like it was when we were beginners. It’s cool, it won’t hurt my feelings anymore if you unfollow me! Because It’s permaculture homestead truth time. For this homesteader. For as long as I’m able. I’m so ready to talk and tell the truth about how I feel about all of this….and what my first eight years of homesteading was really like and what I’ve learned… about what happened after I lost all that weight that I wasn’t expecting…about the connections I’ve made about just how much what we choose to put in our mouths and how we spend our time impacts our health…….and I have a sneaking suspicion that I might just have some other friends here locally that might want to get real and talk about all of this too. It does feel like it’s time, to connect to each other and make some real changes before it really is too late. I mean, is it just me or does stuff seem a little tense and crazy out there in the world right now ?!?!

It just keeps repeating in my head and my heart….. IT’S RAINING. And in my opinion, us little guys, we didn’t make the rain. But we sure seem to be expected to have muck boots tall enough to stand out in it and not get swallowed up.  Our permaculture instructor from 2016 called it, “trying to learn how to survive and thrive while living in chemical soup”. In my opinion, it is hard to swallow, but it’s the truth…she was right. Our planet, its creatures and plants, everything’s health… as hard as it is to face, and as deep as the rabbit hole goes… it’s red pill blue pill do you really want to start to seek the truth time. Because ignoring it or burying our heads in the sand isn’t going to keep us dry this time I don’t think.

I want to start to reconnect with ya’ll again and find out what you think about all this. When I can and on the days I’m able to. Find out where you are at with your health and your homesteads. And, like always, I have questions… What in the world can we all do now to try to fix it? And….

Who is willing to pull their boots on and wade out there with me to start shoveling?

-Rain

6 thoughts on ““But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say ‘shit, it’s raining!'”

  1. Speak it loud & clear. You could be my husband speaking. Angry at the state of our existence and the damage of what he calls the chemical world is doing to us. My husband has been a certified organic vegetable farmer for the last 12 years (we met 2.5 years ago after his wife passed away from breast cancer) & it is a very hard life with little monetary reward. But it is what he loves and while it will never make him financially rich, he is rich in so many other ways. Ways most people do not understand. We live in NW Florida & when he began the adventure of growing his own food to feed his family 30 years ago people told him he could never do it here because the land would not support it. But he did. We live on 28 acres of chemical free land. As I helped him pick tomatoes & green beans for a delivery yesterday it was so cool to listen to him talk about all the intricate details of farming without chemicals. This weed, those bugs, that disease & so forth.

    The state of our food supply is appalling and most people have no idea what they are shoving into their bodies or simply don’t care. It is like people are afraid to eat real food. I myself dealt with a body gone wacko in my early 40’s & learned to pay attention to where my food came from. It took me about 10 years to straighten myself out and have to be extremely careful to not let myself get to far off the reservation or my body pays for it.

    My husband & I believe the amount of damage that fake food is taking on our society, coupled with the overprescribing of drugs to mask the damage, is a toxic soup that has only just begun to rear it’s ugly head.

    Just as a couple of side notes we just watched Cold Moutain last Sunday. Are you sure you are not dealing with Lyme disease? And finally, I never leave reply’s but this just spoke to me this morning. Looking forward to your future thoughts.

    Yes it is raining, dam hard.

    • Hey terry! This is such a great comment. Wish y’all were closer, would love to check out your place and just sit around talking about the state of things! Yes, I’ve been tested for Lyme so it’s not that. Thank you so much for sharing this… it made my night after a rough day. Would love to talk to you more… could you email me so we can chat? Rain@eightowlsfarmstead.com

  2. I love reading your blog. We are working on a piece of ground that with the house on it comes in at a whopping 2.3 acres. Three sides of it are surrounded by conventional Ag. The first thing we did when we bought this place was politely decline the offer from our neighbor to cut down all the trees and shrubs on the perimeter. First we thought it was weird because he said he couldn’t see our house but also, we wanted some kind of barrier between us and the fields of soy and corn. Over the last 4 years we have let it get so overgrown that in the summer you can’t see out three sides of our place. And we noticed something amazing- when we first bought this place, there weren’t any bugs or birds or rodents. We’re both country kids from the beginning so that didn’t sit well with us. We have seen so much return of wildlife. We have so many noisy scrappy birds making nests on our property now, a pair of barred owls that made a space in our jungle in the front yard, insects, bees (woohoo!!!) rabbits, snakes and all other manner of wild thing. We keep free range chickens and they are happy and healthy running around here. We have pigs, turkeys and ducks and this year or next we want to add something new, maybe a couple sheep. You can spot our property from the beginning of the small rural road’s beginning, because we have so many trees and plants, while everyone else has a couple trees and more dust than grass in their yards. But they dutifully mow that dirt every week around the same time. I work in a hospital about 2 1/2 hours from home in a big city and I can usually handle 3 days away as long as I have food from home with me. It’s not ideal but it’s what we have to do for now. I started taking extra meals with me and whenever someone I work with forgot to bring food or planned to go downstairs to the cafeteria, I say here, try this instead. I have people ask me to make them from scratch foods and bring them in for them. We have started selling eggs to not only the people I work directly with, but also people who have heard about my eggs from people they know. One of our housekeepers takes home 3 dozen a week- she only wanted 1 but her grown son and her sister started taking her eggs so now she just gets them their own. This year I took probably 40-50 San Marzano tomato sets to work and had people tell me, I’ve never grown anything but because you talk about it so much, I thought I should try. Coworkers have stopped asking me about the garden unless they have plenty of time because they know it’s not a quick answer. I have a mom I work with whose 8 month old has food allergies who I have offered to bring duck eggs to for her to try and who I got a text from of a picture of her daughter smiling and loving her duck eggs. She can eat them!
    I guess the short version of this (I never have a short version) is, keep it up. Keep at it. In all the history of the world, the people who brought about change were the food people. Farmers, homesteaders, people who understand what it takes to make good, real food. Those of us who understand the crisis we are in will add our voices to yours and hopefully in each of our little corners of the world we can bring more people in.
    One more time, cuz you gotta hear it a bunch- I love your blog. You inspire me to keep at it when I want to be lazy and give up.

    • Gah! This is awesome!!! You painted such an awesome pic of your land with your words friend, keep up the awesome work you are doing and thank you so much for the vote of confidence!! ❤️❤️

  3. “turning rage into radishes” What a wonderful turn of phrase, and it speaks so well to the situation. This rage we feel is so toxic to us that it becomes another pollution that poisons. And it’s so very tough to deal with.
    I’ve been allergic to the world my whole life and it hit a crisis point when I was over medicated for one symptom and a doctor pulled me off of it and didn’t taper off like should have been done. Within a month, my adrenal gland shut down, all my joints were swollen with arthritis and asthma made it hard to breathe. I’ve lived on this old piece of land, 3 acres, in Northern Indiana for 45 years, and when we moved here, there wasn’t a snake, toad and very few birds. Slowly over the years, we’ve made it more clean and natural and now it’s a designated Wildlife Habitat and our days are filled with birdsong, and all kinds of critters. I too, refused to allow the neighbors to cut down the trees that surround us, and over half the property is in woods. We grow as much of our own food as we can in a very large garden, tap the trees for syrup, forage in the woods for mushrooms, edible weeds, and mow very little of the grass-and we rake that up to mulch the tomatoes.
    I still have the arthritis, but the asthma is under control, and I’m healthier now than I was 30 years ago. Now that we’re aging, we’re thinking about what comes next. The garden is too much, but so far we keep at it. I’m 73 and my husband is 81 now, so we’re thinking about moving off this place to find what comes next. How can we find a healthy life and food source, without a connection to the land?

    Rage at what has been sold to us as our food supply is a totally logical feeling.
    The problem is, rage is toxic. I remember feeling the same fury in the 60’s when we faced all the bigotry and stupid thought around us, and realizing that I couldn’t afford to hold that anger. I had to find a way to live with the situation as it was, and live my life in as positive way as possible. For me, it is finding small ways that I can make my world work, and help those around me as I can-lots of volunteering. I can’t change the whole picture, but maybe a tiny corner of the world will be better for my actions.

    Rage is building again, being used as a deliberate manipulative tool that may yet destroy our way of life in this country. How can we cope and stay well ourselves? Maybe the answer is in weeding the radishes?

  4. I just have to add my thoughts about Cold Mountain. It is one of my favorite movies too, and that line about the Rain just perfect, each time I watch it. I think it’s because both of those women are cliches. One the pampered helpless rich girl- stereotypically helpless feminine, and the other crude and shut off from anything gentle masculine and rough. Over the course of the movie they both cope with tough stuff to move into much more fulfilled capable people, and from completely different directions. Such a wonderful exploration of personal growth. Thank you for reminding me of wonderful movie. The only other one I like that much is Shirley Valentine. Another unfolding, expanding woman. Good stuff.

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