Saturday, September 30

Just babbling

Good afternoon, every body! Hope your day is a good one so far. Mine is, I guess. Just got through reading random blogs at homeschoolblogger and blogspot. People sure do write in so many different ways. Some write instructional blogs, some just post lyrics from songs, others post nothing but videos they've made on YOU TUBE. Although, now that I think about it, I did only see ONE sort of instructional post, and it was more about a tool he got that made the grooves on the ends of pipes. Oh yeah, it was a metal lathe. One blog complained that he/she doesn't think she should have to post more than a couple of times every other week because "my life's just not that exciting". Boy, can I understand that comment. Yet here I am trying to post pretty much every day, or at the very minimum, every other day, and *my* life is *definitely* not exciting on the homestead. I mean really, who wants to read about what the chickens or cats are doing? Chickens just wander around eating and messing with each other. And the cats? If they're inside, they're usually sleeping or eating. If they're outside, who knows? I did see one, when I looked out the bathroom window earlier, carrying some sort of rat-looking thing. I really don't know what it was, but it was fairly big, but not rabbit-big. I dunno. Other people just pretty much write about nothing, not even coherently really, meaning I couldn't figure out what the hell they were talking about. *grin* I'm just babbling. *sigh*

I have nothing else.

Friday, September 29

My morning, homeschooling blog, stupid senators

Doing pretty well. Got up this morning after my wife came in to wake me. I was already awake, just hadn't gotten out of bed yet (I was so comfy). She asked me if I'd like a cup of tea heated up, and of course I said, "Sure". I sure do love her. Once I got up, the cup with hot see was sitting on the coffee table waiting for me. *smile* Then I watch the end of the Price Is Right. While waiting for the news to come on, I started one of two antispyware scans on the computer. At the first break in the news I started the oil heating up to I could make some fries. After a few minutes, I dropped the basket with some fries in it into the grease, waited about 4 or so minutes, and they were done. Put them on a plate, added ketchup, took them to the living room, and I watch the rest of the news. At the next break I started a hamburger cooking, and in about 15 minutes it was done. I put it on the same plate the fries were on, and took that to the living room as well, and finished watching the news. Once that was over, I finished the first scan, restarted the computer and started the 2nd one. When that done, I restarted the computer again, and started the Disk Defragmenter. While that was running, I took a shower. After that, I read some email, responded to quite a few of them, read some blogs, responded to a few, and now here I am writing my own blog. *smile* In one of the emails I got this morning, I found out about yet another blogging site, but it for homeschoolers, and you can find it at Haven't decided if I'm going to get an account there or not. I might get one and then see if I can send entries in via Qumana or Zoundry, and if I can, then I'll keep the account, but if not, just delete it, or whatever.

US Senate backs terror trial bill

As for the news... that was sad. Why? Because the idiot senators passed an unconstitutional (IMO) and archaic bill that pretty much strips anyone who's picked-up and accused of being a "threat" to the u.S. of their rights. If you weren't born in the u.S. you can be denied Habeas Corpus and held pretty much forever without being able to question why you were picked up. You won't get a lawyer, be able to contact a lawyer, or be able to sue the u.S. government if you ever do get out. It's a sad, sad day in these united States :-( Hopefully it'll be challenged and overturned. *crossing fingers*

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Wednesday, September 27

Buffalo Homeschool Group Park Day

I got up an hour earlier than usual this morning so that I could eat breakfast, so that we could get to the park in Buffalo, MO to meet with other homeschooling families. We had a really good time talking to the two parents that brought their kids, while the kids played basketball, Frisbee, painted pictures, swung, spun, bicycled, and played on the jungle-gym and another thing with bars. My boy was very happy to get to talk to another young man who loves video games like he does. *big smile* It was nice getting to know both A and F - they're both *really* cool and nice, and their kids are just adorable and well behaved. *smile* I think both Rain and I had a good enough time to make Wednesdays a regular park day, whether it's at the park when the weather is nice, or if it's somewhere indoors if it's cold. Although I'm sure the older kids would say that no weather is too cold when you're playing in it. *grin* I know that's what ours would say anyway. I tend to disagree though. *smile* While we were there, there was a maintenance crew preparing the playground for a new slide. So, the next time we go there, the kids will have yet another thing to play on with each other. Awesome! :-)

After the park we stopped by the grocery store for a couple of things, then we came home. Once home, a certain boy started playing the video game he's been immersed in, this wife that I've known for a while checked for email and played a computer game, and my daughter and I talked about all the fun we had at the park.

Eventually I checked how much gas was left in the mower (half tank), and went out and mowed for about an hour. Got most of the field done, the one I didn't get done the other day. I think I'm pretty much done mowing for this year. YAY! I even saw a pretty big turtle while I was mowing. Not sure if it was a snapper of not, but I think it might've been. Had I been paying attention, I would've seen where it went, and taken a picture after I got done mowing, but I didn't. Sorry :-(

So how was *your* day? :-)

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Tuesday, September 26

Blog*Spot comments

I want to get email when a blogger responds to a comment I left on *their* blog, if I'm a registerd Blog*Spot user. Anybody know of a way to make that happen automatically?

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Write your reps. News. Clothes. Weather

I went and sent emails to my representatives, urging them to vote against the bills that would allow torture to continue, and also allow warrantless Internet spying to continue. You can find petitions to send at One is called, "No Torture! No “Star Chamber Courts!" and the other is, "No Warrant? No Search. I got all three of the links from Whimsperation's blog. I don't know if it's too late or not, but I strongly urge you to try. Thanks in advance.

So far today I've just watched the news on, eaten a hamburger, drank some tea that Rain had ready for me when I woke-up, read some blog, responded on a few, read some emails, responded to a few of those as well. *smile*

I've still got a load of clothes in the dryer to deal with. They were done last night, but there was a football game on, so I never got to them. I'll do them, probably, as soon as I'm done writing.

It's looks like a beautiful day out there. It's sunny, and according to Weatherbug, it's 76*F. I probably should go outside and do something, like clean the chicken coop. Oh yeah, that's what sunny days are meant for. Not! *smile* Seriously, it does need to be done.

Okay, all that being said, I'm out of words. Write to ya later, tater! :-)

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Monday, September 25

Peacher-creature. Mowing. SOB friend

Peach (aka: Peacher-creature)

It's been a while since I posted a picture, and since I took this incredibly cute one just the other night, I figured it would be a good one to blog. *smile* As you can see, she's a bit too big for that box, but of course that didn't stop her. Peach (aka: Peacher-creature) stayed there for quite a while, so she was obviously comfortable.

Haven't been up to a whole hell of a lot, just doing that thing called "life". Been to the store a couple of times for this, that, and the other thing. Today I mowed a goodly portion of the place. Got all of the area directly in front of the house done, and most of the back. There's still one field that I usually mow, but since it's getting late in the mowing season, I may or may not get it done. In fact, the mowing I did today was the last for this year. Wasn't even going to do that, but my wife decided that "one more time just to neaten the place up" would be the thing to do. Not being one to question "the boss", I did it. *grin* Actually, I asked two days ago, Saturday I think, if I should mow one more time, she said no. Then later that evening she decided, "Okay, one more time". Sheesh, women! *smile*

I got one load of laundry completely done earlier today, now I just need to put the stuff that's in the dryer on hangers and such.

A good friend of mine won an "SOB" blogging title. You can checkout Whimsperation's blog  if you want to know why. She's an excellent blogger :-) Some day I hope to be in her league. *shy smile*

Okay, well, I've got a few emails to read, so I'll let you go... for now...until next time. Bye!

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Saturday, September 23

Doing something without energy

Okay, now I can justify writing something, because I've actually done something. I was sitting here, after reading email, thinking, "I just don't feel like doing anything, but I should DO something". I already had a load of one of the kids bedding in the wash machine. Really didn't have much get-up-and-go in me, so I forced myself to get up off my lazy ass and take the trash from the bathroom and the kitchen, out to the burn barrel and burn it. While I was out there, I picked up some twigs that had blown off the trees and put them in the barrel to cook to ash. I also picked up a few of the twigs that fell off of the tree limbs that broke off of the trees a few days ago, and put them in the barrel too. Came in, put the load from the washer into the dryer (no, we still have no clothes line up), rounded-up dishes from other rooms of the house and put them in the dishwasher, and started it. And now, here I am. Aren't you proud of me? *grin* Speaking of doing things, "we", as in the kids as well as the parents, need to walk around the property and pick-up all the branches that've fallen from the trees, primarily the oak trees, and put them in the brush pile. That'll serve a couple of purposes. 1) They'll be out of the way the next time I mow and, 2) We'll have kindling (by breaking-off smaller branches from the bigger ones) for this winter's fires. The trick is getting the kids out there to do it. Last year one time, we asked them to go outside, pick-up some branches and take them to the woodshed. When Rain and I got to the shed, the kids had only picked up THREE branches, and not even big ones. Needless to say, we were a bit peeved.

Earlier today we went into town and picked-up the food we ordered from the Angel Food Ministry. Now we've got some meat to last us a while. The order came with a batch of cookies to bake, which we've already done and already consumed. *grin*

Other than that, we're just lazing around. It's a beautiful day outside, but we're obviously not out in it. Why? I don't know. I'm on the PC, kids are video gaming, and Rain is napping. We'll be going out in about and hour or less to feed the chickens and collect eggs. The festivities for the rest of the evening are still up in the air.

Thanks for tuning in, now it's time to tune out :-)

Friday, September 22

A walk. A night of premiers. Food. A visitor

It's been a pretty uneventful day up until about an hour ago. That was when Rain and the kids were getting ready to go for a walk. I had only been up from my nap for a little over an hour, but I was awake, so I put my shoes on. They asked me if I was going, and I answered in the affirmative. We just got back about 20 minutes ago. Since then we've been drinking water and wiping the sweat from our brows. *smile* We walked to the cemetery and back, which is a 2 mile round trip. It's been a LONG time since I've walked that far, but I did it, and ain't too bad. My back's a little sore, my pores exercised by the sweat pouring out of them, and my legs will probably be sore tomorrow. *grin* I'll be okay though, hopefully :-)

While I was taking my nap, I guess we got some rain. Don't know how much, only that the other 3 didn't go on their walk because Rain didn't want to get caught in a tornado. She says we were in a "warning" until 1:15 p.m., and are currently in a "watch" until 9 p.m. tonight. Anyway, she also didn't want to get caught in a sudden downpour. Apparently there was a few times where it rained off and on, the on parts didn't last long. Like I said though, I was asleep during the excitement. *grin* I glad they did put the walk off, because I think it was good for my psyche to get a bit of exercise. *smile*

Again tonight there are going to be a couple of season premiers of shows that we like. One is "Num3ers", another is "Ghost Whisperer", and yet one more is "Close To Home". Therefore, just like last night, you may not "see" me on unless the shows turnout to be a bust, which I don't anticipate.

Tomorrow we go and pick up the food we ordered through the Methodist church around noon.

Oh, speaking of churches. This man came to our house this morning and asked if we went to church. I told him no. Then he asked if I knew of the church that's at the end of our road about 3 miles from here. I told him I had seen it. *grin* And he said okay, and if we ever needed one, there is one there.  I thanked him, and away he went without a hitch. *smile* He said he was just wandering who all in the neighborhood went to church, so he decided the only way to find out was to go door to door and ask. *shrug*

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Thursday, September 21

Big city shopping. Evening television.

As they say in my neck o' the woods, "Howdy!" Ok, I don't know if they say that or not. I live in my neck of the woods and I say it, so they might say it too. Or if they don't, they should. *grin* Not up to anything in particular. Drove into 'the big city' today (Lebanon) and did a little shopping, for 'the usual', which would be gas, lotto tickets, and a few groceries, and cat food. Always cat food. They go through about 20 lbs. a week. *sigh* We've tried to ration them, but I don't think there's enough mice, rats, or much for them to hunt. Occasionally we see them with a rabbit, but not often. Seen 'em once or twice with a squirrel, but again, not often and not for quite a while. So, we feed 'em the cat food. Speaking of food, our chickens are either hiding the eggs they lay, or not laying them. We're leaning towards the first thing. Since it's starting to cool off and the days are a bit shorter, we're going to hook the light in the coop back up. Maybe they need more time with bright lights. Not that I'm a huge egg eater, but Rain does like to bake sometimes, especially during the cool months of Fall/Winter, so we kind of need the eggs, ya know?

I most likely won't be on-line much this evening because I plan on watching 'Survivor' and 'CSI Las Vegas'. If there's nothing on after those, I'll probably check for email at that time. But until then... get as much fun out of life as you can, ya hear? *smile*

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Wednesday, September 20

Success and what it means to me

I haven't gotten anything at all done today. Consequently I'm not in the most upbeat mood, yet not really depressed either. I came out of the bathroom earlier and said to me wife, "I think that my depression is directly related to my lack of success". Meaning, that I don't think of myself as successful in life. Yes, I know that "success" is all in your definition of it. Obviously, my definition is due to the way I've come to understand it in terms of what society deems successful, and that means financially comfortable. When you're comfortable, you don't have to worry about having enough money to pay all the bills, and still have enough to take nice family vacations to places that are inaccessible to most other people. Kind of like a reward for working harder than most everybody else, I guess. There in lies the rub, perhaps deep down I feel I didn't work hard enough earlier in life, and now I'm financially poor because of that. Now I've got MS and unable to work outside the home, and not motivated or talented enough to do anything that would bring in enough money to pay all the bills, or any bills for that matter. I'm totally dependent on the U.S. government for my wages via Social Security Disability money. Yes, that bugs me, because as a whole, I don't trust the U.S. Government any further than I can throw them, and that's 'not at all'. Yet everything I've tried in terms of home businesses has gone precisely nowhere. So basically, my financial situation is not going to change in the foreseeable future, unless we win a big lottery - 200K in U.S. dollars would be enough, we've determined. That's why we keep buying the tickets - just so you know. I know that the odds are not in our favor, but they're higher than not buying the tickets, if you know what I mean. Do you?

The thing is... I have a beautiful wife and 2 fantastic kids. I'm truly blessed in that regard. I've got a fairly nice home on ten beautiful acres with chickens, ducks, cats, and a dog. We have food on our plates whenever we get hungry. We've got fresh well water that comes out of the tap. We've got clothes on our backs (although they're getting very close to all needing replacements). And we stay pretty warm in the Winter, and fairly cool in the Summer. So if you think about it, we're really not wanting for anything except the money to payoff our credit card debts, which I admit is our own fault, but there nonetheless. I think what we lack the most though, is contact on a regular basis with real life friends. We're constantly working on that though. Luckily, I've got some really great on-line friends, so I suppose that's the way it is in the 21st century, especially for those who don't like, and aren't willing, to live in cities or towns with a lot of people. I guess I just need to be happy with what I've got, and not worry about what I don't. In my case, unfortunately, it much easier said than done. Workin on it! :-)

Where is this all going, you ask? Nowhere, I've just thinking out loud, something I haven't done for a while. I had been trying to write only what I thought other people might find "interesting". Today however, I don't have anything like that to say.

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Tuesday, September 19

Buffalo area homeschool group

This morning we went to our first homeschool group meeting, in Buffalo (Missouri), only 10 miles from here. We met a few nice parents. There were LOTS of kids, most we younger than our two, but there was a few close to their ages. Hopefully they'll be at other events, like the bowling once a month, or on the play days every Wednesday, so that we can get to know the parents better. Hopefully we'll get to meet some new ones as well. I'm terrible with names, so I can only remember *one* person's name from today. *sigh* If you live in Dallas County in Missouri, check the group out at I played with some clay and made a bookmark with some stuff that the people from the scrapbooking business in Buffalo "Scrappin Spot" brought.

Click picture to see the full size

My boy also played with the clay, and my daughter made a drawing of a butterfly using a piece of graph-like paper with instructions, of which I cannot find so I can't scan a copy of. *sigh* Anyway, it was scheduled to last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but we only stayed until noon because we were tired (I had gotten up at 7 a.m. this morning), so we came home. A good day though, and it was nice to see that there were quite a few home educated kids in the Buffalo area! YAY! Definitely plan on getting involved with other things planned, like bowling nights and stuff. *smile*

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Monday, September 18

Son's Birthday. Mom's update. Aunt's death

My son's birthday went well yesterday. After breakfast we had cake and ice-cream. Both were delicious. Then I took a nap for an hour because I was fading fast, because I got up at 7 a.m. (woke-up at 6:30 though). Feeling a bit rejuvenated, I was ready for his birthday dinner. We went to Pizza Hut, and we all got the buffet. It was a busy, busy day for PH, busier than I think we've ever seen it, then again, we generally try to get there before or after the church crowd. Here's a picture of the fantastic tasting cake that Rain made for him

And here's a picture of one of the presents we got him, a bracelet .


In other news:

Mom had her endoscope last Tuesday and they couldn't find any reason why she couldn't eat. The doctor installed the feeding tube at that time. It looks like a big straw coming right out of her stomach, according to my sister. Mom is connected to the machine all day/night except 7-10am, 11-1pm, and 4-6. That way she gets nourishment all day/night, but if she feels like eating she can. They pump liquid Ensure in through the tube, and flush it with water when they disconnect it. So she is getting nutrients and water. Something we couldn't get her to do before. She now weighs only 119 pounds. The doctor said it would probably be several weeks before she feels like eating. And so far, she hasn't/won't eat anything else.

My Aunt Bonnie Garber died on Friday evening (9/15) at around midnight from the cancer she had. She had lung cancer, cancer of the spine, colon cancer and uterine cancer. Besides being our aunt, she was also a very good friend to mom. She is taking her death very hard.

Saturday, September 16

Pioneer days in Buffalo, MO (w/pictures)

I mentioned yesterday that we were going to an event called "Pioneer Days" in Buffalo, MO today. Well, we did indeed go, and these are the pictures I took while we were there. Prior to getting there, I really didn't think I'd be taking that many pictures. However, once we got there, things looked interesting, so I was happy I brought my camera. We walked through pretty much every building, including the old train caboose that was on permanent display there. So without further adieu...

This is the beginning. Well, it wasn't at the beginning per se, but it was leaning up against a wall, so I took a picture. *smile*

This is a very old cabin. It's got two doors, the one you see, and another one on the left-side. My wife tells me they always had two doors so if they wanted to add-on, they have an entrance into the next room. It's a 1 room cabin w/ a loft. The ladder on the right is another entrance to the loft (or a teenager's escape route. *snicker*)

This was a schoolhouse. It has 1 room. When you enter, you can see the smaller desks up front for kids that were in the beginning classes, and as the kids grew and got into higher grades, the desks got bigger towards the back. Interesting. I asked the lady up front, "What are you teaching today?" and she told me, "Reading, writing, and arithmetic. What do you want to learn?" I told her arithmetic, and she replied, "well then, you pick up your quill-pen, dip in the the ink, and start writing". Of course there was no pen, nor any ink, but there was a hole on the desktop where the ink would've set. All the school's class photos were dated '1948'.

Although it now says it's a museum, it once used to be "The General Store". Inside they had all kinds of displays, from old pianos, to old civil war uniforms, as well as old typewriters and sewing machines. Pretty interesting to walk through and see how it used to be. You could just imagine yourself back in 'the old times'.

This is another 1-room cabin with a loft. It's newer than the other one. I know this because, well, it's bigger. So I guess I don't know it's newer, I just assumed. *smile* Still pretty cool. I still can't imagine raising a large family in one. I can imagine though that they spent a lot of time outdoors, else they would've really got on each other's nerves. Or perhaps they got along better because of it. I don't know what I'm talking about. *grin*

This is the same cabin as the one above, just looking at it from the other side, back by the top of an old outhouse. Can you imagine getting your daily water from that well on the left? I bet they used less water than we do now just because of that.

This is the top of an old outhouse. Looking inside, you can tell it was a plush one, it was a 2-seater. *grin*

I don't know what years these cars are, but I do know they all had current license plates on them, so they all run.

And last, but certainly not the least, an old caboose. We walked through it. There were seats for 3 people, a wood-burning stove, and there was even a restroom. That's the first time I had been in one. It was cool!

We really wanted to see the advertised square-dancers, but I guess because it was so windy, they decided against it. But, they did have a horse-shoe pit set-up where the kids could play. Plus they had a riding-mower being driven around pulling a plastic horse for the kids to ride if they wanted. All in all, a good experience.

After this we went "modern" and went to Taco Bell for lunch. *smile*

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Friday, September 15

Lebanon fiasco

Went into Lebanon today to do a bit of shoppin. Got the cash we needed from the bank so we can take our son to Pizza Hut for his birthday on Sunday. He'll be the big 1-1 :-) Next we stopped to get gas at $2.17 per gallon. Then we stopped and got a couple more lotto tix. Next stop was the cig. store, which was the Conoco, but that particular one closed down. We think that's because they're going to be moving into the new station that's being built across the street from there. So we drove on. Got to another station, but their cigs were too expensive ('Basic's were more than 'name' brands), so we continued on to Wal-Mart. First of all, they were out of the big bags of the one brand of cat-food that all of our cats can eat with none of them getting sick. While waiting for someone to check in back for some that hadn't been moved out yet, we hear an announcement that they're having power outages around the store, and that all the stuff that is in a refrigeration unit is inaccessible because they want the doors to stay shut until after the power comes back on. Noticed that the milk area was completely blocked off (upside-down carts in front of the doors), so no milk. Also needed hamburgers, but before we even got there we saw that area completely blocked off as well (paper over everything that had meat in it). See how much blocking of the food they did, we figured it had been out a while and it didn't look like they expected it back on any time soon, so we got the few unrefrigerated stuff we needed and headed for the check-out register. While standing in-line, the power came back on. Figured that by the time they uncovered everything, we would've already been there too long, so we just paid and got out. Besides, the electric was flickering. Kind of nice only spending about $13 for a week's worth of stuff. *grin* We've got to run into Buffalo tomorrow, so we'll go to the small Wal-Mart there and get the cat food and some milk. Will wait to get hamburgers until next week sometime. There's going to be a thing called "Pioneer Days" happening in Buffalo tomorrow, and that's the original reason for going there. Other than that, a pretty nondescript day. *smile*

Thursday, September 14

Bugs, Ad-Aware, Spybot, Video game education

It took me a little over an hour to start reading email. Why? Because of yesterday's experience. I was watching the news and decided that since I wasn't on the computer I would run a scan for spyware using Ad-Aware. Well, yesterday, it found 4 'critical' bugs, which I let Ad-Aware remove. But after I restarted the computer and ran another scan, it found 1 'critical' bug, which was one of the 4 I thought had been removed. After running SpyBot and Ad-Aware, the bug was *still* there. So, I went on-line and got an update for Ad-Aware and of course ran another scan, which *didn't* find any bugs. Back to this morning. I came over to the computer and decided to run a scan to see if yesterday's bug came back. It didn't, but AA found a different one. And again, I couldn't get it to go away permanently until I got another update for Ad-Aware. So I don't know it the bug it found before the update was a false-positive, or if the update somehow made the removal work better. Anyway, after scanning, restarting, scanning, updating, scanning and restarting for an hour, I finally didn't have any bugs in the computer and opened our email program. Got the emails read, and responded to those I felt compelled to.

Then I thought about blogging, but couldn't think of what to write, so I went to one of my favorite news sites at Couldn't decide what to read, so I picked an article about video games and education called "Reading, Writing, and Video Gaming". I think it's a good article. If you've got kids, especially between the ages of 9 to 11 that you think are turning into "zombies", maybe they're not really. Perhaps they're learning more than you think. There is apparently a teacher in England ("Tim Rylands, the most popular teacher at the small elementary school Chew Magna, in the village of the same name near the English city of Bristol.") who uses video games, successfully, to teach his students. Now I wish *I* would've had a teacher like THAT when I was in school, maybe then I would've actually liked school! He says that it helped boys the most in raising their literacy levels, including "spelling, grammar, vocabulary, etc.". I think that's great! They talk to the guy who founded Atari (Nolan Bushnell). The article even go on to say how Mr. Bushnell would love to start a school using video games exclusively to teach because he says, "We don't need books," and "Sure, kids need to read, but not necessarily books. Books are obsolete." Now I don't think books will ever be completely obsolete, but perhaps just because some kids aren't reading books, that doesn't mean they're not reading. I know in fact that my own son basically taught himself how to read because he got tired of waiting for people to read the game instructions for the video game that were on the screen. Now, he will read the entire booklet that comes with a game before playing it, and understand the game better than his sister who doesn't read the booklets. *smile*

Wednesday, September 13

Foodstamps and shopping

Not much happening here, which is why I seriously considered *not* writing anything. But, you know, I figured, "Eh, what the hell, I'll write something!" *grin*

We went into town today to talk to our case worker at DFS about food stamps. Well, to just reconfirm what they have for our financial stuff. We also asked why it was that the amount of food stamps we were getting in '02 suddenly dropped from $200/month to about $100/month when our son turned 7, and for the last 2 years it's been $72/month. She said that they, meaning the people who pay for the food stamps, do reconfiguring of their program every September, and that it had *nothing* to do with his or anyone else's age. Although she did say that because my wife wasn't working at the time (she still isn't) and didn't have a doctor's note saying that she *needed* to be home 24/7 to take care of me, that she probably got "sanctioned" because she was "uncooperative about going out and getting a job". Nice of them to tell us FOUR YEARS LATER! *grr* We supplied that note about 5 months ago, so Rain is now Unsanctioned. We're hoping that that will mean we'll get more than $72/month for food stamps for a family of 4 living *only* on disability payments (SSD). Though we're not too sure about that because I now have Medicare Part D (prescription coverage), so we're not spending as much for medications. The way our luck is with those people, we'll probably get less, not more :-( Hoping for the best though. *smile*

Other than that, all we've done is buy a couple of lottery tickets, a newspaper, a pack of cigs. for Rain (she didn't smoke from bedtime last nite till about 4 this afternoon. Very proud of her!), butter, bananas,  and potatoes. *grin*

Tuesday, September 12

Broken limbs, chicken-stealing coyote, leaves, grass, laundry and rain

Apparently we had some really strong straight-line wind last night or early this morning. I say that because when I went outside to chase the coyote away that was carrying one of our hens, I noticed two trees that had limbs almost the exact same height, broken.

And yes, you read that right, a coyote carried another chicken away. Rain had just went into the bathroom when I heard her scream. When I got about half-way to the bathroom I her her yell, "Shit, Coyote!" So I headed for the front door, but by the time I got out to the yard, the coyote already had the chicken in his/her mouth and was running away into the woods. Guess that's the price of raising chickens in the country, eh? About the only way to stop that is to set traps (no-kill) and relocate them (I don't even know if that's done for coyotes), or, we could sit outside all day, every day with a gun and shoot them when we see them. I tried peeing on the ground out back, but apparently that didn't work.

You may or may not care why I haven't posted for a couple of days. Just in case you do care, you can rest easy as there is nothing wrong, I was just watching football on Sunday, then on Monday I think I read a few emails and maybe even responded to a few. And of course the same goes for any blogs I may have looked at. But, I just wasn't in the mood to write.

Yesterday I got a wagon of leaves raked-up and put in the garden, as well as a couple wagon loads of grass that I had mown a couple of days earlier. Later on, my daughter helped me collect a couple more loads of grass to put on the garden, which I did.

While I was raking grass, Rain was washing our bedding. She got the comforter done and hung on the line, as well as the sheets. She jokingly said after she got the sheets hung out that it'll probably rain now. Well, not more than about 30 minutes later her and the kids ran outside to bring the sheets and comforter in because it was POURING rain. LOL.

Sunday, September 10

Update on mom. Mercury in ear medicine. Effexor XR.

Good day, everyone! So far it's been okay for me as well. Then again, the only thing I've accomplished is waking up, getting out of bed, drinking some water, watching tv, and having a hamburger for breakfast. Yum! *smile* I suppose I could empty the dishwasher, if there's no email or blogs for me to read by the time I'm done writing. After Rain and my daughter get up from their morning nap, I need to take the clothes from the dryer into our bedroom and hang some of them up, fold some and put them in drawers, and leave some for the kids to come get and take to their room.

Yesterday, as you know, we went to the Celtic Festival. After we got home I got some trash burned, a shower taken, shaved (trimmed my chin-beard) and brushed my teeth. Not too exciting, but hey, that's my life. *smile*

Yesterday when my wife was putting the ear drops we got from the pharmacy into the kids ears, for some reason I thought to ask if they had mercury in them. She didn't know, so she looked. Sure enough, they frikkin did, as a preservative. So, she threw those into the trash. Sigh. Why do they have to put poison in almost everything?! GRR!! But, we've still got the antibiotic pills for my daughter to take, so she'll be fine without the ear drops, and my son's ear was only irritated, not infected, so he'll be fine too. If there's a next time, we'll *definitely* look at the ingredients *first*. I don't know why we didn't this time. Brain fart, I guess. *sigh*

The kids got some grass and leaves raked-up and put in the garden yesterday, and might do some more today. I say "might" because it's the weekend, and we generally don't push for much work on the weekends. In fact, I changed their chore schedule so they don't have any on Saturday or Sunday. Wasn't that flippin nice of me? LOL. I'm such a good boss, er, parent, er, father, er, dad. *grin*

Oh, I got an email from my sister a couple of days ago. Apparently my mom isn't doing well. She's has barely eaten anything except Jell-o in the last 8 weeks. They don't know why, other than she says everything upsets her stomach, so why bother? My sister told me they want to put a feeding tube in, but mom doesn't want it (thinks it's only for those on their deathbed). She says that if she wants to die, then my sister should let her and stop telling her what to do. But my sister and the doctor think it's the depression talking, and the fact that she hasn't been able to keep food down for some *physical* reason, and that's affecting her depression, and the circle continues. They're thinking if they can get something nourishing into her, that she'll start to feel better and will think more clearly. I don't know what my dad has to say about it, I suppose I should call him and ask. Anyway, that's the latest.

As for me, I was prescribed "Effexor XR" (150 mg) for my depression. Been on it four days, and so far so good. I'm a little concerned though, because I was reading on-line that it's caused loss of memory (read the comments at that link's destination) for some people after while. Don't know if it's the medicine itself, or that it causes a loss of sodium that causes the memory loss. I guess either way that it's related to the Effexor XR. Hmm...

Well, that's all I've got. The rest of the day will probably be spent watching football. Not because I'm really all that *into* it, but because there's not much else on. I know, I've checked.

Saturday, September 9

Our day: The Celtic Festival in Buffalo, MO

We went to the Celtic Festival in Buffalo, MO today. I took eleven pictures, but I'm only going to show 3 of them in this blog (because it also goes to a couple of e-lists, and some of us have slow connections). For the other *8*, you can see them at All the pictures you see, on this page and the one linked to, are "click to enlarge" pictures, just so you know :-)

A bunch of Boer goats

As we were heading out of our little community we pass a farm. Apparently they, the farmers, got a WHOLE BUNCH of new Boer goats recently. I mean, there must be at *least* a hundred them. Really cool. Well, if we ever want to raise goats again, we know where to go to check. *smile*

Woods, the grocery store

We stopped here, Woods, to get cigs for Rain, and cash to spend at the festival.

And this is right after we got there.

From there we just wondered around and checked things out. There were some animals there, so we went and looked and petted them. There were Shetland sheep, Highland cattle, and Clydesdale horses. We even saw a couple of Irish Wolf hounds. They were all beautiful, but we didn't get pictures of the dogs, sorry. We did of the other animals though :-) Then we got a drink and sat and watch a guy playing the bagpipes, some women practicing throwing a 12 pound bag of hay over a really tall bar between two poles. Watched a parade of the clans who were represented, and walked around some more. Eventually we got hungry, so we got some food. While we ate, we watch what they call "the bonnie knee" contest. That's where a bunch of men with kilts on, stand on the front row of the bleachers while a couple of blindfolded women feel their knees to decide who's are the best. LOL. Quite silly! Then we came home.

To see *all* of today's pictures, go here:

Friday, September 8

Groceries, leaves and wood, Politics

Yesterday we drove into Lebanon to do just a bit of shopping for essentials. It was nice that the Wal-Mart wasn't very busy. Yay! The kids bought themselves a box of Naruto cards, so they're happy :-) Then we came home.

The kids raked up a couple more bags of leaves and dumped them on the garden ground. And hopefully they'll do that again today. Rain, DD, and I finished stacking the wood that was delivered on Wednesday. As near as we can tell, we paid for a cord, but in reality got about a cord and a half. The half was a bunch of 'rounds' that were too small to split. Those are okay too, we  use them when we're getting ready to go to bed in the evening and need something that's going to burn a little longer, so we throw a few of the round ones on :-)

Other than that, a pretty stress-free day. How was your day yesterday? How's  your day going so far today?

We noticed that the gas prices have dropped a bit. That makes sense, because now the summer driving is slowing down so the oil companies figure they won't be making as much anyway. Coincidence? I think not!

Saw on the news that Bush is trying to get the meaning of the Geneva Convention's rules on torture changed (actually, he wants the definition of torture changed), so that the people who tortured prisoners in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gitmo, and elsewhere can't be brought up on war crimes. He's saying they shouldn't be punished "just for doing their job". Yeah, right, just following orders! That's no longer acceptable!

Also, please do NOT watch the ABC version of 9-11 this weekend (The Path to 9/11). It's a bunch of propaganda. Basically, they're calling it a "docudrama", but trying to imply that it's a documentary that's more true than not. It was written and produced by right-wingers with an agenda! Unfortunately, from what I've read, they've purposely lied to make the republicans look good, and the democrats look bad because we're getting close to the November elections and they (repubs) are worried they're going to lose power. I, for one, as well as my wife, will NOT be watching it.

Wednesday, September 6

Doc visit results. Wood.

Doctor visit results:

  • I got a prescription for a new antidepressant.

  • Daughter has an ear infection. Got prescription for ear drops and antibiotic.

  • Son just had an irritated ear. Got a prescription for ear drops.

  • Rain didn't get a damn thing, as usual. *grin*

Other news:

  • We got a cord of wood delivered this afternoon.

  • We've stacked some of it, will do the rest tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 5

How to Argue with Ultraconservative Fundamentalists

How to Argue with Ultraconservative Fundamentalists

  • On Defending the Environment (what they call "Creation Care"):

    Fundamentalists say: God says in Genesis "let mankind have dominion over all the earth." Plus, the Rapture is coming soon, so why bother picking up our beef jerky wrappers if the end is near?

    Sinners say: God also promoted stewardship of the Earth in Genesis. And dominion isn't a synonym for pillage. Otherwise Genesis would state, "kick the living shit out of that tick-infested dump, it sucks worse than Hell." Environmental disasters, like Katrina or polluted waterways, hit the poor the hardest. In fact, the progressive Christian charity, Christian Aid, released a report in 2006 warning that close to 200 million people could die in Africa by the year 3000 as a result of famine, drought, and floods brought on by climate change. And remember, Revelation 11:18 says God will destroy those who destroy the earth.

  • On Gay Marriage:

    Fundamentalists say: What's next? Are you gonna let them have sex with cocker spaniels? God calls it an abomination.

    Sinners say: Why do evangelicals always use cocker spaniels as an example? Cocker spaniels are straight. Greyhounds, on the other hand. Now they're into that gay shit. Despite evangelicals' rhetoric about the institution of marriage being placed under attack by the liberals and the gays, the real assault is coming from within their own ranks. According to Barna Research, Born Again Christians have a higher divorce rate than any other social group in the United States.

  • Intelligent Design

    Fundamentalists say: Humans are too complex to not have a Creator.

    Sinners say: Who created God? He's complex too, right? Does God have an Intelligent Designer as well? Plus, there are many unintelligent imperfections in nature, such as the human eye, whose inside-out retina causes a blind spot in our field of vision. And come on, would an Intelligent Designer really create Matchbox 20, Vin Diesel, or men with nipples? If you want to teach Intelligent Design, save it for philosophy class. It's not science.

  • Euthanasia:

    Fundamentalists say: The Youth-in-Asia worship oriental dragon gods and don't realize that the fortunes inside those cookies are tools of Satan.

    Sinners say: God never intended for us to be kept alive on machines, otherwise he'd have included a power switch on our asses.

  • Michael Moore:

    Fundamentalists say: He's annoying.

    Sinners say: He's annoying.

  • Women

    Fundamentalists say: Women need to accept their traditional gender role as casserole-cooking servants. They allowed sin to enter the Garden of Eden and are weaker than men emotionally and physically.

    Sinners say: The Old Testament often compares God to a mother. Jesus loved women too. He appeared to Mary Magdalene first after resurrecting instead of revealing himself to some smelly disciple with a fig-leaf jockstrap.

  • Capital Punishment

    Fundamentalists say: The Bible says an eye for an eye.

    Sinners say: The Bible also says thou shall not kill. Jesus spent his time on earth forgiving and healing sinners, not strapping them to a chair and shooting lightning bolts.

  • The Iraq War

    Fundamentalists say: We support the troops but often wonder why there was no cool T-shirt line, like in Operation Desert Storm.

    Sinners say: We support the troops but wonder why there was no planning or exit strategy.

  • The Holidays

    Fundamentalists say: A banner at Target says Happy Holidays! Quick, tell the kids to crouch beneath their desks! There's a war on Christmas!

    Sinners say: It's true. We've waged war on the holiday because there is strong evidence to support that Christmas has tried to obtain highly refined aluminum tubes from Africa to reinstate its WMD program. Come on...Nobody, except Falwell and O'Reilly, cares if you want to call it Christmas or even Baby Jesus Birthday Cake Day. As long as you're okay with Jews wishing you Happy Hanukkah and sending you a Cracker Barrel gift basket where the pork sausage stick has been replaced with Kosher liverwurst, a decorative menorah, and a yarmulke. And incidentally, Bush has sent out a generic "happy holidays" card every year since he's taken office.

  • Faith-Based Initiatives

  • Fundamentalists say: Church-based social services groups should definitely receive government funding, as long as they're not of an immoral non-Christian faith, of course.

    Sinners say: People in need of social services and relief should be able to find help without having to visit a government-subsidized group of faith healers who want to convert them and teach them how to handle rattlesnakes. Many "secular" groups have been losing funding to faith-based initiatives, especially if they promote condoms, education about abortion, or break with the evangelical agenda. George Bush even created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001. And let's be honest, "faith-based" means Christian. Buddhists and Wiccans aren't getting the money to run sex-ed classes and operate homeless shelters.

  • Stem Cells:

    Fundamentalists say: We couldn't hear what they was something inaudibly shrill about babies, the Holocaust, and Ted Kennedy.

    Sinners say: You've got to be kidding. Why not defend the rights of the psoriasis flakes from Pat Robertson's scalp. Or how about boogers?

  • The Poor:

    Fundamentalists say: We don't want no welfare nation. Tax-'n'-spend Communists like Howard Dean want to give our money away to the lazy people in society.

    Sinners say: The Bible mentions helping the poor over three thousand times. It mentions tax-'n'-spend liberals, um, zero times.

  • Abstinence Education:

    Fundamentalists say: Sex education sends a mixed message. Virgin does not mean loser.

    Sinners say: Did you wait until marriage? Probably not. And to be clear, virgin does, in fact, mean loser. Look it up.

  • Abortion:

    Fundamentalists say: You're pro-death, not pro-life.

    Sinners say: A member of George Bush's own bioethics team, the neuroscientist and author Michael Gazzaniga, claims that embryos are about as aware as "sea slugs" in their first twenty-six weeks.

  • Booze

    Fundamentalists say: God condemns getting drunk.

    Sinners say: Jesus's first miracle in John was to turn water into wine for a bunch of drunk people: "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you [Jesus] have saved the best till now."

  • Affirmative Action

    Fundamentalists say: Minorities don't know how good they've got it here. In fact, they just hired a couple of them coloreds down there at Roy's Discount Muffler Shop. Roy even lets 'em work the cash register when the cameras are turned on!

    Sinners say: End affirmative action when equal opportunity actually exists.

  • The Rapture and End-Times

    Fundamentalists say: Once the prophecies are fulfilled, Jesus will Rapture the church, just like in that Kirk Cameron movie "Left Behind."

    Sinners say: The word "Rapture" is never once mentioned in the Bible. And with regard to Jesus returning, Matthew 24:36 says, "No one knows about that day or hour." Sometimes we also say, Are you insane?

Clinton Ended Welfare, Not Poverty

Finally, I found an article that says what I've believed for a long time. That just because fewer people are on Welfare, doesn't mean for a second that people are any better off, just means that the government has washed it's hands of them :-(



Clinton Ended Welfare, Not Poverty

By Robert Scheer, AlterNet. Posted August 30, 2006.

You'd think Bill Clinton doesn't know the difference between getting single mothers off the welfare rolls and getting them out of poverty.

To hear Bill Clinton tell it, his presidency won the war on poverty three decades after President Lyndon B. Johnson launched it, having changed only the name. Unfortunately, however, for the mothers and their children pushed off the rolls but still struggling mightily to make ends meet even when the women are employed, the war on welfare was not the same battle at all.

Clinton masterfully blurred the two in a recent New York Times opinion column, as did most others on the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, writing as if getting mothers and their children off the welfare rolls is the same as getting them out of poverty. In the absence of any evidence that poverty is tamed, he celebrates a "bipartisan" victory, which was good for his image but not necessarily for those it claimed to help.

The ex-president gloats over the large decrease in the number of welfare recipients as if he is unaware of the five-year limit and other new restrictions that made it inevitable. Nor does he seem bothered that nobody seems to have thought it important to assess how the families on Aid to Families with Dependent Children fared after they left welfare. The truth is we know very little about the fate of those moved off welfare, 70 percent of whom are children, because there is no systematic monitoring program, thanks to "welfare reform" severing the federal government's responsibility to help the nation's poor.

The best estimates from the Census Bureau and other data, however, indicate that at least a million welfare recipients have neither jobs nor benefits and have sunk deeper into poverty. For those who found jobs, a great many became mired in minimum-wage jobs -- sometimes more than one -- that barely cover child care and other costs they incurred by working outside the home.

Yet, in rather the same way that President Bush likes to follow sentences about Sept. 11 with the words "Saddam Hussein" to imply a connection unsupported by facts, Clinton follows his boasts about welfare "reform" by announcing that "child poverty dropped to 16.2 percent in 2000, the lowest rate since 1979," as if that proves a causal relationship.

But if crushing welfare is such a boon to poor children, the effects should be snowballing the further we get from the bad old days, right? Well, no: The same census data Clinton cites for 2000 also records a 12 percent increase in childhood poverty over the four subsequent years.

Of course, Republican funding cuts to various poverty-related programs have no doubt played a role in this sad state, as has a bitter resistance to raising the federal minimum wage, which, in real dollars, is now at its lowest point in a half-century. But it is ridiculous to imply, without evidence, that welfare reform is responsible for declines in poverty but is unrelated to increases in poverty.

What we do know unequivocally is that real wages have been declining for workers, both lower- and middle-class, despite increases in productivity. As the New York Times reported on Monday, "wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation's gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960s." These numbers are even more depressing when we realize that the top 1 percent of wage earners, beneficiaries of Bush's feed-the-rich tax breaks, now earn an outsized 11.2 percent of the nation's total wages.

Now, Clinton knows full well that the playing field is neither level nor fair, so it is unconscionable to have singled out the minuscule welfare program for a big propaganda campaign to improve government efficiency. The overly examined welfare program costs $10 billion a year while the $300 billion already spent on the Iraq war is rarely raised in discussions of taxpayer burden and fiscal responsibility.

The sad reality is that "ending welfare as we know it" was championed by Clinton because it made him appear to be a "new Democrat" and not because it would improve the lives of poor kids. Otherwise, he would not dare boast in his column that "as a governor, I oversaw a workfare experiment in Arkansas in 1980," because that program was a failure.

In Arkansas today, fully half the children are described in Census Bureau data as "low income," while 1 out of 10 live in a situation that researchers call "extreme child poverty," meaning that a family of four survives on less than $9,675 per year.

Yes, Clinton all but ended welfare. Unfortunately, child poverty is again on the rise in Arkansas and throughout the nation.

Robert Scheer is the coauthor of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq. See more of Robert Scheer at TruthDig.

Town trip, garden, mowing, doctor, wood

We drove into town and got 5 gallons of mower-gas, 2 lottery tickets, 4 candy bars, 4 colas, a new sprinkler, and my prescription. *grin* Not necessarily in that order though :-) Later I mowed the yard in front of the house, which took me about 3 hours or so. Maybe a little less, maybe a little more. In other words, I wasn't keeping track of how long I was out there. While I was doing that, Rain and our dear daughter, also known as DD, were picking up those rocks I told you about yesterday, and putting them around the outside of the garden fence. Tomorrow afternoon, after we get home from the doctor, I'll mow the back yard, which should only take me a couple of hours. *grin*

This evening I called 'the wood guy' to ask how much a cord of wood would be, delivered. He said it would be $120, so we have to drive to the bank in Lebanon to get the money, which will take us "about an hour". Just like the amount of time it take them to make glasses.LOL. That means we have to go there and then drive all the way back to Buffalo for the dr's appointment at 1 p.m. Lots of driving starting just before noon. Good thing I like to drive. But still wish we didn't have to make that long round trip, because that just means we'll need gas for the van sooner. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do though.

Monday, September 4

Garden - Part II and yard work. Call from sister for mom.

Garden Stage 2

This is one thing we worked on today, getting all the cardboard we had, and all the used, paper feed bags we had, layed out over the garden area. The one with the hose is Rain, she's soaking it all down so it doesn't blow away. In the upper left is my son, he's walking towards where my daughter is raking leaves to put in bags, that will be spread over the garden as well. *smile* I suppose I should tell you that the dog you see is Sugar, the couch potato. She will lay on the sofa *in* the house if given half the chance (like when we're in bed or not home), and she'll also lay on the junk/porch sofas we have on the porch *outside* when she can. Lazy, lazy dog!

We also spent a few hours pulling weeds around the house and small shed, and throwing those weeds on the brush pile out back. We found some rocks, big and small, that we're going to move up to the garden and spread them around the border so that eventually we'll have a rock wall around it.

But, before we did all that, we went to lunch in Buffalo at McD's. We originally had planned on going to the pharmacy and filling my prescription, but when I tried to call them this morning, there was no answer. That's when I realized they were closed because it's Labor Day. So, when we go into town tomorrow to fill it, we'll also stop and get a couple of gallons of gas for the riding mower. The grass is now looking shaggy enough, and needs a good mowing. *grin* Anyway, after lunch we stopped at the park and the kids and I played for a while, then my stomach got queasy from swinging, so I went and sat with Rain and talked. *grin* But the kids kept playing for a while longer, then we came home and started doing the yard work.

While we were outside working on the garden and stuff, my sister called from CO., from the nursing home where my mom is staying temporarily until her hip heals enough to go home. My mother doesn't have a phone at the home, so they called on my sis's cell phone. Of course, nobody ever calls when we're in the house, only when we go outside or leave to go into town. LOL. My sis's call was no different. *sigh* Unfortunately, the message on our machine said, "Mom is here and she wants to talk to you". I was thinking she was supposed to be home from the nursing home (a couple of weeks a go they said she'd be home in a couple of weeks), but nooooo, she wasn't "home", wasn't at my sisters, but here at the nursing home. *sigh* Luckily I had her cell # and called that *last* and *then* I got to talk to mom mostly, and a little with my sister. Mom's doing okay, 'cept she hasn't made any friends there, dad only visits a couple of times a week (his health not being the greatest), so most of the time she just sits in her room alone. Don't ask *me* why she can't find *someone* to talk to, like out in the common area. Then again, she could be making it sound worse than it really is. Who knows? *sigh*

That was pretty much my day. Tomorrow I get to get my drugs, gas, and do some more yard work. Woo-Hoo! :-)

Trippy the cat. Doctor appointments


This is Trippy. He just looked SO comfortable that I HAD to take a picture. Cute, idn't he? *smile*

So far this morning is going pretty well. The chickens & ducks are happy because we fed them. We've cut down the amount of food we're dolling out from 2 cans of chops to 1. We've done that for two reasons: 1) To save money, because obviously it'll last longer, and 2) The last few chickens we've butchered have had quite a bit of fat on them. And just why did you need to know that? No particular reason I suppose. *smile*

I got 1 and a half load of laundry done yesterday. The half I didn't get done is... you guessed it... still in the dryer. *grin*

Rain made brownies last night, and boy were they delicious! Actually, they still ARE. *smile* She made a cake-size pan of them, and we've only eaten half. In fact I've already had a piece this morning. We were talking yesterday about whether we should go to McD's for lunch today, or treat the kids to DQ. We decided that since we've got brownies at home, it will be healthier to get lunch at McD's. We'll be running, driving actually, 10 miles is a bit too far for us to run, into town today. I need to get a prescription filled, and we need to get a couple of gallons of gas so we can mow.

Wednesday we have doctor's appointments for the kids and I. The kids because they've been having ear aches. We *think* they've got 'swimmer's ear'... again. *sigh* Can't seem to get them to rinse their ears well enough when they take a shower. Our 13 yo DD's ear has been bothering her since last Thursday, bad enough that it's affecting her hearing in that ear. Probably just wax build-up, but we want to make sure. I want to talk to the doctor about changing antidepressants.

Sunday, September 3

Garden area that we fenced

Garden with fence

Here is the garden area we worked on getting a fence around yesterday. I know it's extremely hard to see it, but there REALLY IS a fence there. *grin* The wooden thing in the left corner is our compost bin, the blue thing in back, on the right is a chicken tractor that has become a permanent fixture where it is because we built it too heavy, and can't move it. Right now though, it's just sitting there without any chickens, chicks, ducks, or anything using it except to explore for food leftovers. *grin* Basically it's a broody pen for any of the chickens that want to sit on eggs. It's also used as a confinement pen if one of the birds gets injured or sick and needs to be separated why it heals. And last but not least, if you care, that white thing on the right of the picture is the pump-house for our well. *smile* Anyway, now that we've got the garden area fenced (except we want to add another fence on top so it's taller), now we need to start adding cardboard, newspaper, grass, hay, and compost so that by next Spring it'll be ready to have things planted in it. The trick is going to be keeping the chickens out of it. That's one reason we want to make the fence taller. We plan on that layer not being very sturdy, so that the chickens *can't* land on it and then hop to the other side. Besides which, yesterday a couple of the birds got in and then couldn't remember how and then couldn't get out until we opened the gate. LOL.


Saturday, September 2

Bounce Out Blitz, Rated "G" elist, Fencing

I'm posting because I don't have a life and everyone else does. LOL. I'm checking for email, and nobody that I'm interested in is posting any. So what's a guy to do? That's right, he creates his own email. *grin* Thus going for the old axiom, "You shouldn't expect mail if you don't send any". Seriously though, I've read all the email and blogs there were, finished the game of "Bounce Out Blitz" (for the on-line version) that my now sleeping wife started before she layed back down (no, I didn't get her on the 'high score' list), and munched on some more M&Ms. *drooling*

On one list that we are on, but only my wife reads because I've been boycotting it for ages, my wife answered a post where someone asked for a recipe. Well, no one, not even the person who asked the for it, acknowledged her answer. I wrote a letter to said list saying that I was upset that her post was ignored and that she felt offended. Well, because that elist is *SO* G-rated, my post was *denied* because it "could cause an uproar". The whole reason I've been boycotting it is because I was told that because "suck" is a vulgar word (it was in my sig-line ages ago, as in "mean people suck"), I decided I wouldn't post there. So I post today, it's denied, and once again I'm reminded that I don't like the protectionism by the moderators for that list. *sigh* Ah, what the heck, here's my post that was denied...

* Ya know, the fact that *NO ONE* even acknowledged that my wife tried to help, is why she doesn't post much at all. She just got tired of being *IGNORED* when she did post :-( No "thank you's", no nothing, EVER, so why even bother if no one knows you exist?! It seems unless you're one of the "main" posters on this list, your voice isn't heard :-( Yes, I'm upset because I don't like my wife being offended that her help was ignored :-(

Today I think I'll put another T-Post up for the garden fence and then ask Mrs. Wife if she'll help me put the chicken-wire fence around it and the rest of the poles. Other than that, not much planned.


Friday, September 1

USDA Hides Another Biotech Disaster

And you wonder why I don't trust genetically modified food or the USDA? *sigh*



USDA Hides Another Biotech Disaster

By Megan Tady, The NewStandard. Posted August 30, 2006.

Bayer CropScience kept it a secret that its genetically modified rice contaminated public food supplies. The government was only too happy to help.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that U.S. commercial long-grain rice supplies are contaminated with "trace amounts" of genetically engineered rice unapproved for human consumption.

The genetically engineered (G.E.) rice is known as Liberty Link (LL) 601. Its genetic code has been modified to provide resistance to herbicides and is illegal for marketing to humans because it has not undergone environmental and health impact reviews by the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). LL601 was field-tested from 1998 to 2001 under permits granted by the USDA, but Bayer Corp Science, the developer of the experimental rice, did not seek commercial approval for it.

The contamination was only disclosed after Bayer notified the USDA itself. Currently, the government relies on self-reporting from food companies to determine genetically engineered (G.E.) contamination, rather than a federal testing system. The USDA dismissed concerns that companies may not always "self-report" or even be aware of their mistakes, which would lead to further undetected contamination of unapproved G.E. food.

It appears a separate company first detected the contamination in January of this year and that Bayer may have known about the contamination since May. But the government was not notified until July 31. It took another 18 days for the USDA to tell the public.

At a press conference, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns would not divulge how the contamination had happened, or how far it had spread. It was unclear whether he even knew. Jim Rogers, a USDA spokesperson, told The NewStandard the contaminated rice was detected in barrels sent to Missouri and Arizona.

"But the rice could have come from anywhere [in the U.S.]," Rogers said.

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