I’m tired.

I know that I always try to find some inspiration in everyday things to pass along for my readers but wow, sometimes life is exhausting.

I’m tired of angry people.

I’m tired of paranoia to the point where everyone is suspect in some non existent crime of corruption.

I’m tired of people so callous about the natural world around them that they would destroy the breeding habitat of endangered birds instead of power washing the building when they leave their nests at the end of the season.  Whose weekly commentary is about getting rid of the birds.  They should see it as a privilege to have them there and take a few minutes to watch them.

I’m tired of policy changes that do not take into consideration the lives that are affected without any input from them.  Changes in policies they know nothing about but because they see themselves in positions of power, they feel a need to micromanage things that have worked for decades.  Stop, just stop.  Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before making a knee jerk decision based on someone’s anonymous complaint.

I watched the trailer for the new movie coming out about Fred Rogers called “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”  and wept at what we have lost. I think there are so many fears, so much anger that people have lost sight of the fact that our world would be a better place if they were kind.

Try to be kind, you have no idea what the people you talk to today are going through, a kind word can go a long way.



This Ain’t Right



My dogs are spoiled rotten.  They are total indoor slugs that I indulge.  Here’s the thing, they were bred to be that way.  My dogs are house pets, not working animals.  There’s a huge difference.

A particularly alarming event has been unfolding in New York state over the past couple of weeks and I think everyone needs to know about it whether you have animals of any kind or not.  Something is happening all over this country that threatens everything I think is right about small scale farming and I am at a loss.

Jon Katz just posted Gofundme – Save West Wind Acres from an Orwellian Nightmare.  They are going through something I can’t even imagine, yet in following this I realize that it can happen to every single one of us that has animals of any kind.

This winter has been brutal – snow, wind, bitter cold.  My dogs spent most of it by a fire in the wood stove.  I can’t say the same for my chickens and a good deal of worry went into how they were fairing in that coop in the cold.  Their water was heated.  The coop was situated in a place to catch what little winter sun we had and it was up against the east side of our house to cut down on the wind that would hit their building.  Their bedding was deep.  I was fortunate and the only casualties were a number of eggs frozen solid that weren’t collected in a timely manner.  If I’m honest there might have been a couple of combs that had a little frostbite.

I grew up with a menagerie of farm animals – horses, cows, goats, a couple of sheep, chickens.  We took good care of our animals.  They had shelter available to them at all times.  They had good pasture, they had fresh water but they had a choice of where they stayed no matter what the weather was.  I remember seeing the horses standing just on the other side of the fence (quite a ways from their shelter) on a cold, cold day with freezing rain.  There backs were covered with sleet and there were icicles hanging from their chins.  Did they know they could go inside out of the weather?  Of course they did.  Would they?  Not on your life.  I think they were afraid they would miss something if they weren’t overlooking the backyard.

We seem to be experiencing a loss of freedom at a rate I can’t begin to understand.  Someone can file a complaint about their perception of something happening in my backyard and I can be arrested, brought to court or fined.  What ever happened to trust in personal responsibility?  I live with small farmers all around me.  I would be the last person to file a complaint based on something I see as I’m driving or walking by a place.  I never before thought about what it meant to live in a world where a person’s ignorance regarding nature, farming, food production, gardening was so extreme that they presume they know better and need to call the “authorities” to rescue whatever I’m raising.

We are being regulated to death.  I’d like to be able to take responsibility for my own well being.  If I go to a workshop at someone’s house I’ll risk illness by drinking their well water.  I’d like to take the risk in eating that whoopie pie baked in someones home kitchen and brought to the school bake sale.  While I’m at it I will be also eating those dill pickles that aunt Bertha made with very little processing.  I’ll eat that tomato or potato or cucumber right from the garden, just wiping the dirt off on my jeans.  I want my cheese made with raw milk, thank you.  If I get sick the only one I have to blame is myself.  I’ll take my own risks as mundane as they seem.  I really take offense at someone telling me what I can and can’t do.  Wow, aren’t there a lot of you out there that are with me on this?  Do you feel like things have been taken too far?  Are people soooooo stupid that they have to be forced into eating and doing only the things that someone tells them are safe?

Read Jon’s article and if so moved send a few dollars to the West Wind Acres funding request.  Honestly, if I could have been at the courthouse today I would have.  Thousands of others should have been too.  There are things that should just be left alone – good people doing good things is one of them.



Today in the News

140117 (3)Yup, it’s cold.  It’s January folks, and to the best of my knowledge it’s cold and snowy in January – at least where I come from.  We have had some wintry weather for the past couple of weeks but if you watch the news you would think this was apocalyptic.  You would think that no one had ever dealt with frozen pipes and huge heating bills.  DEAR GOD and what about all those potholes!  The leading story I heard on the news this morning was that Justin Bieber was arrested overnight for DUI and drag racing a Lamborghini. Seriously?

I have friends in Thailand that keep me up to date on their current fight to overthrow their corrupt government.  They share information so I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of what is going on.  The only news source that I have heard even a few seconds of news about this is Al Jazeera America.

Did you know that there are deadly protests going on in Ukraine? There’s a severe drought going on out west that will probably cause food prices to soar in the next few weeks (although the good news in that was people are starting to become more aware of eating organics). How about the fact that tar sands oil started flowing through that pipeline yesterday?  Hmmm, now the terrorist threats to the Sochi Olympics are getting a little traction but are we hearing anything about the discontinuation of unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of people?  That happened a couple of weeks ago. Watch the markets take off when the new unemployment numbers come out showing that we are at the lowest unemployment rate in years.  You know why?  They only count the people who are collecting.  Yup, you won’t hear about that.

The news has become nothing but a distraction.  It tells us nothing. It’s gossip at best, fear mongering at its worst.  It amazes me that people buy into it.  Predict a snowstorm that never materializes and business drops off to nothing (unless you own a grocery store).  I may be showing my age but when I was going to school the six years that I rode on a bus (an hour trip one way) through the hilltowns of the Berkshires we had school cancelled very few days.  I do remember taking a couple of very scary rides.

What I see happening is the news is causing so many people to live their lives in fear. They stay in their homes and worry about the killer that’s going to break into their house.  They stock up on bread and milk at the hint of a storm.  I’m all for being prepared but the last thing I will be doing is spending a crazy hour shopping for things I should already have in my kitchen.

I will continue to get my news from sources other than the main stream media and I will look at the weather maps available and make my own forecasts.  I could do with a lot less hype in my life.  For me it builds my anxiety level and I’d like to keep my blood pressure down.  I think I’ll go take walk in the bracing cold in a quiet field with my dogs.