Blogging at The False Rape Society

I'm gratified by the opportunity to become a contributor to this fantastic blog begun by Attorney Pierce Harlan.  You can't read my blog or website -- or my novels -- without concluding that I'm no feminist and that I support the men's rights movement.  And false rape accusations overwhelmingly impact men.

Over time, I'll  educate myself on what feminists say about the "rape culture" and how it appears to impact the growing number of false rape accusations.  Actually, do anyone but feminists talk about a "rape culture"?  I think the claim is as dubious as the article positing that overwhelming "hatred of women" exists in the United States (it was on truthout years ago, or Daily Kos or one of those ultra-lib websites -- I'll find it and post a link when I have time).  Really?  The USA, where women have excessive influence over government, run public education, and enjoy the cushiest female existence on the planet?  Gimme a break!

In any case, I'll post what I discover in short essays at The False Rape Society.  Many thanks to Pierce for the opportunity!

Taking a break from writing... mess around in the great outdoors....

My Upside Down Garden

I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I've been doing a little more of that lately and one thing that's caught my eye is something called the Topsy Turvy tomato planter. Last time I tried to grow tomatoes, squirrels and some kind of little worm shredded the plants, so I wondered if this off-the-ground garden might work for me. 

But with my track record, I didn't want to spend twenty bucks per planter. Soooo, I got online and found all sorts of do-it-yourself upside down planter instructions (I do love the Internet!) and decided to try my hand at upside down gardening on the cheap.

My planters are gallon ice cream buckets (I've been sticking them in the back of the cabinet for-ever -- always knew they'd come in handy for something!). They're smaller than the Topsy Turvy and some other homemade solutions (five-gallon hard plastic buckets, for example), which means I'll have to water and feed the plants more often.

But here's my first attempt, cobbled together Tuesday and Wednesday, April 20 and 21, 2010.

Below: My happy little ice cream bucket upside-down planters --  one missing a top. Various sites recommend keeping a top on the planter, to keep in moisture. Apparently these things can dry out pretty fast. Recommendations are to water once or twice a day, and feed the plants every couple of weeks.

Below. Big Boy tomato -- 78 days from transplant to harvest. Late June or early July, tomatoes on my table! Yum!

Below: Yellow crookneck squash. (Love cheesy squash!) Sixty-five days to harvest.

Below: Cucumber. Fifty-five days to harvest after transplanting. Ah, I can taste the cuke and tomato salad now!

Below. Another view of my upside down veggie garden. I knotted the plant hangers from clothesline -- it's made to take what the outdoors dishes out -- purchased at a big box store.

Below: The, um, gallows? I made it myself from two old fence posts and a somewhat curved two by four.

Below. My post hole diggers -- an old kitchen knife and a throw-away plastic container (purchased at Winn-Dixie full of macaroni salad or cole slaw). I recycle these containers but I've never used one as a substitute spade! (We used to have some for-real post-hole diggers, but I have no idea where they got off to.)

Below: Another tip found online. Make a "soaker" waterer out of an old gallon milk jug with pinholes punched in the bottom. Since my planters are "half-size" I'm using a half-gallon jug.

So there it is; my upside down veggie garden. Maybe this is just the beginning --peppers next? Beans and peas? Herbs growing out the top? We'll see how it goes.

Just released -- High On a Mountain by Tommie Lyn

A MacLachlainn Saga, Book One: Ailean.

The stirring tale of one man's remarkable journey through life; a story of adventure and love...of faith, loss and redemption.

Dedicated to our Scottish ancestors,
who suffered so much, yet
endured it all without complaint
and without succumbing to self-pity.

As a boy, Ailean MacLachlainn dreamed of living an adventurous life and longed to be a celebrated warrior of his clan. Until a shy smile and a glance from Mùirne's blue eyes turned his head and escalated his rivalry with Latharn into enmity and open conflict.

When Ailean became a man, his boyhood dreams faded. Until Bonnie Prince Charlie came to reclaim his father's throne. The Jacobite loyalties of Ailean's clan chief involved the MacLachlainns in the uprising and set Ailean on a course toward a destiny of which he could never have dreamed.

A hearty congratualtions to my sister, Tommie Lyn, on the publication of the book that started it all for her. Fantastic job, sis!

Confederate History Month

"The SOUTH is a land that has known sorrows; it is a land that has broken the ashen crust and moistened it with tears; a land scarred and riven by the plowshare of war and billowed with the graves of her dead; but a land of legend, a land of song, a land of hallowed and heroic memories.

"To that land every drop of my blood, every fiber of my being, every pulsation of my heart, is consecrated forever. I was born of her womb; I was nurtured at her breast; and when my last hour shall come, I pray GOD that I may be pillowed upon her bosom and rocked to sleep within her tender and encircling arms."

Edward Ward Carmack (1858-1908),
United States Representative, Tennessee

It's unfortunate if anyone is offended by my tribute to Confederate History Month, but I don't apologize for esteeming my Southern ancestors, or blame them for fighting an invading army that brought waste, fire and death to their homes and region.

My position is that the people of the Confederacy were no worse than anyone else -- particularly the ones who came South and made war on them.

I'm not one of those who claim, "The war had nothing to do with slavery." Nor do I accept the simplistic reasoning that slavery was the only reason for the war. A review of history plainly shows that there had been bad blood between north and South since colonial days; slavery was just an excuse to bring the animosity to blows.

I can't say it any better than Douglas Harper has written it:
Dealing with American history on this level requires patience and the ability to get past attitudes unwilling to go further than, "They had slaves, slaves were wrong, the South deserves everything it got." The American Civil War was "about" slavery like the Boston Tea Party was "about" tea. Slavery became the symbol and character of all sectional differences. It was the emotional gasoline on the sectional fires. Its moral and social implications colored every issue in terms of right and rights. William Seward, the Republican leader whose party made so much of this, recognized the fact: "Every question, political, civil, or ecclesiastical, however foreign to the subject of slavery, brings up slavery as an incident, and the incident supplants the principal question."

No matter what squabbles the regions had, and there were many, somebody always brought slavery into the argument, so that what has come down to us is an erroneous emphasis on slavery as the only issue.

All that's necessary to see there was far more to the war than slavery is to read the declarations of secession issued by the states. On anti-Southern blogs, you sometimes find the declarations with everything deleted but the passages referring to slavery.

This is possibly a photo of my ancestor, Private Balus Brackett, Company I, 39th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army of Tennessee, C.S.A. Gilmer County, Georgia, "Gilmer Tigers #2" Joined the Confederate Army March 4, 1862. Fought in the Battle of Corinth, Miss, October 3-4, 1862

In any case, whatever others may choose, I will honor my Confederate ancestors and their causes, plural, their gallantry, their nobility, their sacrifice. Had the Confederate States of America prevailed, had slavery ended peacefully, the victim of economics and industrialization, as it had ended everywhere else up till then, I can't imagine the CSA would be any more screwed up today than the United States of America is....