Daily Stuff


I have to laugh whenever someone says that I’m “retired.” First, I’m a little young for that, and second, if you’re on a homestead, you will NEVER retire. NEVER.

On a typical winter’s day, after starting the coffee, I feed the small critters, a dog and two cats. At least one cat inside, but on most mornings, the other one is outside. Speaking of, the dog needs to go outside too for a few minutes!

I try to get the fire in the furnace started before feeding time; it depends on much the constant meowing is annoying me . . . My perfected method of fire starting is (after emptying the ash pan) to throw all the little stuff in, add a big wad of newspaper or whatever I can scrounge from the burnables trash can, put a couple logs on top, and then use 17 matches to get it going.

I exaggerate. I normally only use seven . . .

By now, I’ve started the caffeination process of two cups while I read the news and catch up on email and so forth. The fire needs tending about every 15 minutes and, with any luck, the blower will kick on in about half an hour.

Or so.

Next, I layer up and whistle to the horses; they answer. If the temp is below, say, five degrees, I’ll take the farm truck to the barn. Otherwise, I use the Mule and spend another ten minutes getting it to A) start, and B) actually move. It prefers reverse.

I unlock and open the gate, providing the lock isn’t frozen, and open the barn and turn off the alarm. After doling out everyone’s grain rations in their buckets, I have to wrangle down a bale of hay.

This generally involves reaching and pulling until one works loose, then I jump out of the way in case more than one has chosen to cooperate.

I load up, making sure to have a hammer somewhere close at hand, and mosey on over to the pasture. Chestnut knows her spot, so dropping off her bucket is easy. I move around to the other side, by the gate, and take in Cody’s and Cav’s buckets. Cody still isn’t particularly interested, but Cav lets me hold the bucket while he eats. About halfway through his breakfast, I set it down and try to encourage Cody to eat.

That doesn’t work so well, so I ignore her and go get the hay, spreading it out in three different piles. Next, I have to break the ice on the water trough. The end result is available water, wet gloves, and ice freezing to my glasses.

Once back inside, I have to feed the fire again, and then I have regular household stuff, just like everyone else. Cleaning or dishes or laundry or meal planning and grocery list making. You know. Stuff.

If it’s bitterly cold, I’ll go back out to the pasture around noon with lunchtime hay. If it’s not, I’ll spend an hour or so doing chores out there or working with the horses.

And sometimes, after lunch, I’ll take a nap. Hey, it’s winter, amiright?

But there are also things to tend to in the greenhouse, and garden planning, and projects in the barn. And cooking dinner, and more dishes. And the constant, every hour on the hour, feeding the fire. See, if it goes out, we get cold. And it’s a right bitch to get started again.

By evening, I’m beat. It can be a real struggle to put on and take off six layers of clothing; I get plenty of exercise just doing that . . .

So we watch a lot of movies. Or I do some leather work, which I’m just getting back into, and I may yet give that knitting thing another shot. Or not. We’ll see.

 

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Fan Friday—Politics


Yes, I’m going there. I’m going to break a cardinal rule regarding talk of religion, politics, and money.

Okay, not the religion or money, but still . . .

I’m really, really tired of people bashing politicians—particularly the GOP. Yes, I said that. I’m a Republican. Surprised?

See, I’m a child of a mixed marriage: Democrat and Republican. As a teen, I was swayed toward the liberal side and now that I look back, I think it was just an act of teen defiance. Made for some fun times around the dinner table, since I lived with the GOP side.

At any rate, I’d like to set a few things straight, based on my perhaps limited understanding.

Republicans believe in small government. That means that we think less is better: less regulation, fewer offices and rules and bureaucracy. We believe in being conservative with money and are mostly traditional in morals and values. We believe in personal responsibility.

Now, you may say the GOP has strayed from these principles and I won’t argue. You can say that they spend too much on defense, give tax breaks to corporations, pollute with impunity.

Some of them do.

And this is my point:

Individuals are not the party. A politician, or several of them, are not the party. When you bash the GOP and say “all” of them are [fill in the blank], you are bashing ME. And that pisses me off.

For example, the GOP didn’t poison Flint’s water; a series of idiot events, presided over by idiots, did that. They happen to be Republicans? THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS THE PARTY, or even ALL REPUBLICANS.

Get a freakin’ grip.

But as a Republican, what do I see on the “other” side?

Bloated bureaucracy. Regulated everything. Feelings.

A government, or an executive board of an organization, or a business, needs to be workable. Fewer chiefs, more Indians, to use a probably politically incorrect phrase. When there are departments of EVERYTHING, those everythings get confusing and expensive. Look at some of the ridiculous things that the US government spends money on—and please don’t point fingers at one party or the other. They ALL DO IT.

Pork. This is why so many beneficial, sensible laws do not get passed. It isn’t because the GOP is against feeding children, for example, it’s the added crap someone—anyone—put into that bill.

Compare that to an executive board: fifteen people all trying to agree and all voting on everything little thing instead of letting the committee responsible do its job.

Or a business. A mom and pop business, at the beginning, has mom and pop in charge of EVERYTHING; if they’re going to be viable, they share the duties or split them. The company grows, and so mom and pop simply can’t keep up with EVERYTHING, so they appoint or hire say, vice presidents. Twenty of them. All the employees are now executives, making decisions.

End of business.

Conversely, they have maybe ten VPs. And each one keeps hiring assistants or admins or whatever. No one is doing the work, because everyone has a “position.”

End of business.

Regulations and rules can certainly be good things. Christians have the Ten Commandments as a base, and even many of my atheist friends have adopted those, although maybe not in so many words or don’t claim them as such. But they certainly live good, moral lives.

No, I won’t go into morality and all that—my point is that a civilized society MUST have rules. Some. A lot fewer than we have now. We’ve all read articles about silly laws still on the books from way back in the old days. Makes me laugh to think how, in the future, we’ll all laugh about some of the current ones.

Kids pointing fingers and shouting “bang,” for example, as being grounds for suspension or expulsion from school.

And no, I’m not saying Democrats think this is okay—some do; some Republicans do too. These people are idiots. My point, again, is that SOME THINK THIS IS OKAY. Both parties.

Here’s a personal example:

When we had the bookstore, I noticed an odd charge on my sewer bill so I called and asked about it.

Here, in STLCO, all businesses are charged a fee IN CASE they are flushing chemicals down the toilet or allowing run-off into a stream or wherever.

This is not a fair or just regulation. This is an example of government gone wrong. I have no idea who came up with this or to which party he belonged.

Let’s talk about feelings.

You cannot legislate feelings. For myself, yes, I have them; I just don’t believe that everything sad that I read “breaks my heart.” My heart has been broken; whose has not? But by a person, an individual, someone I actually know—and I’m speaking in general, to compare a sad story or article to an actual experience.

Many claim that Republicans have no feelings because—may as well let it all out—for example, those same people claim that the GOP doesn’t want to feed or take care of children unless they are still in the womb.

Bullshit.

Go back and read again about pork. And continue:

Republicans believe in personal responsibility—have children or not, but if you do, take care of them. It’s your job. Your responsibility. It is not the job of the government to take care of you or your children. Be a freakin’ adult.

And speaking of adults, either a person is a child or an adult. In most states, 18 is the age of majority. At that point, you aren’t a teen, per se, you aren’t a child, you are an ADULT. Prior to that, as a parent, you’re darn right I’m making the decisions.

From what I see, Democrats think kids should call the shots—get an abortion, no problem; have sex, go for it. If it feels good, it’s okay, do it; it’s YOUR body.

Wait, see what I did there?

I just said that DEMOCRATS believe these things, and that sentence immediately implies that ALL OF THEM believe these things!

And that, my friends, is just plain wrong.

I have many friends on both sides. I’m quite sure we disagree on many things. But very few of them will post or talk about how ALL REPUBLICANS or ALL DEMOCRATS or conservative or liberal or whatever word you want to use are evil and moronic.

And those that do, piss me off no end. They aren’t fair. They aren’t right. They merely show that they are not capable of thinking clearly or critically.