Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day 2014

It's a different world than the one that organized Labor Day in the US, in 1887- that day that celebrates workers  both for their works and the unions, fighting for decent working conditions, decent pay, did away with child labor (at least legally) - than the one we live in today. The one where the tag Made in the USA slipped out the back, Jack, while a whole lot of people were looking the other way. Maybe they were looking at Walmart and carrying home cheap goods made in another country where labor unions don't exist, or maybe they were banging on about Mexicans stealing jobs that obviously hoards of folks were lined up for, such as picking tomatoes for 10 cents a bucket. A big bucket.

No. The jobs being taken, those jobs where sweat runs, those jobs building things we use every day like electronics and clothing and food (food that yes, goes from America to be processed and then is shipped BACK to America) and tools and ceiling fans and, well, all of those jobs? Those were taken by politicians and corporations, by letting corporations move their work and their wallets out of the US to where children do have to work, pay is less than subsistence (oh, like here, but not like here at all) and a work week is never done. Literally.

I never thought I'd post anything touting Republicans, but as you can see, in 1956, they were a very different breed of cat.

It's not just China, far from it. You can read about where some of your Fruit of the Looms, Hanes and Levi's come from (for a worker making less than five bucks a day) here. photo credit: unknown
So my hat's off to the laborers. Hats off to those who go out of their way to buy American products, even if they cost a little more. Hats off to anyone standing in the way of the backdoor tax evaders. What happened to that oomph, America?

And yes, I'm guilty of hypocrisy. I make this on a Mac, I take photos with a camera made who knows where, but where do I buy an American made computer or camera? I do try to buy American or buy used, recycled options, especially in tools. One reason is selfish, old tools, tools once made in the US, when well taken care of, they last! There ARE websites dedicated to helping you find American made products, such as these -, and to help you sort out what is and isn't really made in America. We DO have choices, just sometimes we have to work harder to make good ones.  What happened to our jobs, our factories anyway? You can read about it here and find out.

I will bet this is NOT a Republican poster in 2014
I think our culture of 'gotta have it and have it right now' is one of the reasons I love living on Culebra. I haven't seen one Labor Day (or any other day for that matter) sale here, except maybe Valentine's Day and that's from our local plant nursery. There are no billboards with products you didn't even know existed to lure you into thinking you need it and need it now, take the mall exit here. It's easier here to do with less and have that be more. I like that. A lot.

This photo was made with a camera made in China or Japan. Bad me.
So happy Labor Day, readers! Do your part. One by one by one, things can change. The Power of One works. Really.

Have a made-here mercantile Monday. Do something mightily minuscule.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ What IS that smell? No Mystery Here.

One result of the storm last week, as I've mentioned, was the piled up sargassum seaweed on almost every shore around the island. As it has deteriorated, there has been a smell emitted that, as also mentioned, is akin to raw sewage (ok, I still wonder about that). It is not the best smell to have permeating Paradox, no matter your viewpoint on Nature and her wonders. So today we are free ranging a bit far afield from food, because truthfully, the aromatic unpleasantness is less that appetite inducing, killing any cooking desire with a definitive inhaled thud. To put it simply, feeling nauseous keeps hunger at bay, no pun intended. Maybe this is a great diet idea, I'll have to think about that.

Upshot, when a friend proferred a beach swim time, I was in! Usually we'll be there an hour or so, but even as dark clouds grew on every side, we stayed, breathing the beautiful air, cleansing nose and mouth and lungs of...well, that other air. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

While there weren't a lot of people there, a variety of birds were industriously feeding and socializing

Anyone know what this bird is? It reminds me of a ruddy turnstone (I love that name!) but without the ruddy.

Jokers to the left of me, humans to the right. 

Daphne was a brighter spot on an already bright afternoon.
Still unwilling to relinquish good air, we headed to Zaco's, where I didn't take photos of the pork belly, gyro tacos and smoked tuna tostada that came to the table; they disappeared quickly. But one can only linger over that last sip of wine so long - it was time to head home and find some incense.

Wind had been blowing steadily and happily and the air was a bit cleaner than hours before. Then a rain settled in, helping move the fug along and away. Color me grateful. This morning, there is a lingering of fugugh, but not much, and while piles of seaweed await on the waterside of El Batey for some brave and smart soul to make use of its fine nutrients for gardens (thanks for the tip, Annabelle!), I'm going to leave well enough alone. Being older does have a few perks, one being learning to sometimes leave well enough alone. Sometimes.

My garden needs something though. Maybe seaweed would deter iguanas and thrushes, who have reaped most of the potential bounty from my plantings this year, along with a very sporadic amount of magic rain water. But occasionally, an heirloom cherry tomato or pepper survives, like little jewels of oh yes!ness.

Have a fresh-air Friday! Do something fragrant.