Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
After a while, we had barbeque, and then they decided to turn the florescent (sp?) lights off and turn on the strobe light, which really kicked things up several notches. I convinced them to turn the lights back on so that I could get a video of two of Aaron's classmates demonstrating a dance to "Baby Got Back." Again, truly remarkable, as you can probably imagine.
The highlight of the evening was when they unveiled the "Prize" table. I cannot even begin to do justice to the prizes. Here is a picture of the prize table.
In case you are not able to see the depth, breadth, and scope of the prizes that were won at the reunion, I will recount them for you here. The complete collection includes: 1) Hairbrush, 2) SoftSoap, 3) a box of strawberry pop tarts, 3) a bag of candy, 4) a 2 liter bottle of green tea, 5) a pink candle, 6) a stuffed tiger, and 7) a tin soup bowl with "SOUP" on the side.
It was truly an awe inspiring assortment of goods, as you can see. Aaron won the tin soup cup/bowl, which he proceeded to fill with beer and sip from the remainder of the evening. We were hoping for the pop tarts, but oh well.
Here's a pic of the whole crew at the end of the evening. What a handsome class. It was truly an unforgettable experience. All I can say is "Wow."
Monday, October 27, 2008
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I've seen never-ending welfare helpso many poor people become self-sufficient and upwardly mobile.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I don’t really like to think about people who need welfare…I lump them into a group that I deem lazy and unworthy.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because everyone knows that raisingtaxes at the top won't really hurt people's jobs at the bottom.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I am more concerned with maintaining my status and wealth than I am about thinking about the millions of people struggling to stay afloat with two and three jobs.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because Barbara Walters is my idol and so is P. Diddy.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that Sarah Palin would make a wonderful president in McCain’s absence.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because English has no place beingthe official language in America.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I can’t understand why those damn immigrants can’t seem to learn my language…I mean, don’t they offer free classes or something?
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I'd rather pay $4 for a gallon of gas than allow drilling for oil off the coasts of America.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I’d rather save my money and spend it on Starbucks or some other huge corporation than think about the long-term ramifications of off-shore drilling for marine wildlife.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I think the government will do a better job of spending my money than I could.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I am not interested in hearing about, thinking about, or talking about the needs of the 80% of Americans who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because when we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I know the Islamic terrorists will stop trying to kill us because they'll think we're a good and decent country.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I believe that acting like a bully and beating up on other countries will end up working in the long run. Someday they will understand that America is always right…it will just take a few more billion dollars and a few more thousand lives.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I believe people who can't tell us if it will rain in two or three days, can now tell us the polar icecaps will disappear in ten years if I don't start riding a bicycle, build a windmill or inflate my tires to proper levels.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I basically like to trust my own intuition when it comes to issues I know nothing about. Seriously, why should I trust the work of highly educated scientists and researchers across the world who have dedicated their lives to studying these phenomena? They’re all conspiring to cramp my lifestyle.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because it's alright to kill millions of babies as long as we keep violent, convicted murderers on death row alive.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I can’t imagine why a woman might choose to have an abortion, what with all of abstinence education we provide in our high schools. I mean, I never got pregnant/got someone pregnant when I didn’t mean to. Don’t these people know about birth control? Also, I feel like if a person is convicted of a crime so serious that they’ve been sent to “death row,” there is absolutely no chance that they could have been wrongly convicted. Besides, it’s clear that people who commit crimes can never change or benefit from rehabilitation. I know, not because I’ve worked in this area, but again because of my intuition.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I believe businesses in America should not beallowed to make profits. Businesses should just break even and give the rest to the government so politicians and bureaucrats can redistribute the money the way they think it should be redistributed.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I believe that I should be able to ride on the coattails of my father, and my father’s father, so that I, John/Jane Doe III, will be even wealthier and more powerful than previous generations. This is the way things work, and who am I to think about the unearned privileges that I have related to class, not to mention the color of my skin?
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I believe guns, and not the people misusing them, are the cause of crimes and killings.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I enjoy shooting deer/dove/skeet at my family’s ranch/deer lease, and I believe that enforcing stricter gun laws might somehow threaten my right to have a rifle. I choose to ignore the fact that the gun laws that have been proposed have nothing to do with me or any of the guns that I choose to carry.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because oil companies' 5% profit on a gallon of gas are obscene, but government taxes of 18% on the same gallon of gas are just fine.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think it is great that Exxon Mobil’s profits continue to set new records each month. Good for them! And good for me, I hold their stock!
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I believe three or four elitist liberals should rewrite the Constitution every few months to suit some fringe element that could never gettheir agenda past voters.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I believe that conservative Republicans are morally superior to Democrats in Congress, and never request addendums to bills designed to benefit their local constituents.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because illegal aliens are not criminals, are not sucking up resources through government aid, hospital services, education, or social services, but are just people trying to make a better life by coming to America illegally. We can'tblame them for that, can we?
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that God arranged for me to be born in America, at this time, with my skin color, into my family of privilege, because I am especially deserving and in most, if not all ways, superior to people who were born in other countries, especially Mexico. If I were born in Mexico and could not feed, care for, protect, or educate my children, I would not do everything possible to work as hard as I could to provide for my family. But that would never happen to me anyway.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because the same teacher that didn't teach my child to read can reasonably educate them about sex.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that abstinence is the best choice for everyone before they are married in a heterosexual, church sanctioned marriage. I feel so strongly about this that I don’t think that high school students should ever learn about condoms or birth control pills. If we talk about these things, kids might actually think about having sex. As it is now, they don’t really even think about it until marriage.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because my trial lawyer's crippling multi-million dollar lawsuits against doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and HMO's will make health insurance and medicine much more affordable.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and HMO’s always have my best interests at the forefront, and are more concerned with my health and well being than lining their pockets with my money.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Jesse Jackson will end racism once and for all.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that racism is a thing of the past, and I don’t really like to talk about it. Even though I can count the number of token friends of color I have on one hand, I am “color-blind,” and think people should just get over it.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because Christians in the Republican Party are intolerant, theocratic warmongers and atheists like William Ayers have never hurt anybody.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I am a Christian, and I believe that not only am I on the only ‘right’ path, I also have an uncanny ability to make moral judgments about others, especially if they are on the ‘wrong path.’ When people accuse me of being intolerant, I just remind myself that it’s because they haven’t ‘discovered’ Christ, and ignore them.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT so that no family member of mine will die in a hospital bed. They will still be waiting in line for Obama's socialized medicine, so they will never actually make it into a hospital bed.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I feel like my health insurance will cover my family’s health care needs adequately, provided that I maintain my current employment and have no pre-existing conditions. As for the 47 million Americans who are currently uninsured, that is not my problem.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I like eminent domain and big business and government kicking me out of my home and taking my land.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I never use roads, bridges, parks, and schools and I feel like these should be built on someone else’s land that is most importantly, not mine.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because skin color and good oratoryskills are more important than judgment and experience.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that being above all else, being a P.O.W. inherently qualifies a person to be President of the United States.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because protecting barren wastelandis more important than energy independence.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I am concerned with the here and now, and am not worried that by destroying the ever-shrinking untouched landscapes and natural environments we are doing irrevocable damage to our land and other natural resources for future generations.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because my college professor told me that America is evil and should give up its place in the world.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I feel that America is better than any other country. No other country is as deserving as America to take from others, because our country is simply the best. I know this because I spent a semester abroad during college in Spain/England/Italy and got to see how much better America is.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I believe that everyone isessentially good -- even people like Ahmadinejad who call for the destruction of Israel. He just needs a little understanding.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I believe that in general, people that look like me, talk like me, and believe the same things that I do are good people. Others are difficult to work with and are often not worth the effort.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because we should all be forced to drive ugly cars with the horsepower of a riding lawnmower.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I don’t want anyone cramping my style and suggesting that I might do anything more for the environment than occasionally throw my cans in the recycling bin that my community gave me for free and picks up every week. If this is inconvenient, it’s really not worth the hassle.
I am voting DEMOCRAT because I believe in change; although I don't know WHAT the change will be, or HOW it will happen, AND I am pretty sure that I won't WANT toactually change anything I do, but still....I believe in change.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I want everything to stay the same.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because the government knows how toraise children better than parents do.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because the government is EVIL and wants to take all of my THINGS away. They also want to raise my children, I guess.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I want the rich to work harder, give me their money, and pay for my services so I don't have to.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I believe that if people would just ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps’ and work harder, they would end up having enough money. People that aren’t able to make it financially are simply lazy or morally bankrupt.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I don't give to charity or do volunteer work and then I complain about how selfish everyone else is.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I give just enough of my money each year to help me out when tax season comes along. This is my primary motivation for donating my money to charity. I also attend benefits and fundraisers that allow me to rub shoulders with my community’s elite set, which makes me feel all warm inside while also not forcing me to get my hands dirty.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I'm not driven enough to realize my dreams without the government holding my hand the entire way.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I can’t figure out how some people can’t pay for college or to buy their first home. Don’t most people have a trust fund or at least have some kind of nest egg when they graduate from high school?
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I want America to be Europe's prosthetic limb.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I want everyone to realize that America is superior to all other countries, and if I keep telling them that, someday they will actually listen.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I think we all should be equal...equally unhappy and unsuccessful.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that things are pretty good the way they are. Even though 80% of the nation’s wealth is held by 20% of our population, I think this is okay because it works well for me and my family.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because life just isn't fair and I deserve what other people have without working for it.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that I’ve earned everything that I have in my life through hard work and dedication. People that don’t have what I have just haven’t tried as hard as I have.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I like hearing the word "Change" 50 million times in presidential debate,seeing the word on celebrities' t-shirts and bags, onsigns outside of million dollar houses, and know that the only change that is going to happen is that I'm going to work 40 hours a week and not even see a penny of my paycheckbecause taxes will go through the roof!!! YAY!!!!
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I enjoy hearing about being a prisoner of war every chance I get. I also like to think about the word ‘maverick,’ and how much I want things to stay the same.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because Barack Obama is better than you, and he knows it!
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I can understand how John McCain couldn’t remember how many houses he owned. Hell, sometimes I have trouble remembering, too. There’s the lake house, the ranch, the cabin in Aspen, the family homestead…
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because Obama was endorsed by Hamas and terrorists endorsements are a must to achieve world peace.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I heard on FOX news that Hamas endorsed Obama, even though every other reputable news source has disputed this. Everyone knows that FOX is ‘fair and balanced,’ so I watch it religiously and take it at face value.
I’m voting DEMOCRAT since I believe those who are lazy, druggies, high school drop outs, etc. should be entitled to the money I wake up every morning and work my ass off to make!
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that everyone who is not as ‘successful’ as I am is lazy, on drugs, or a high school dropout. I like to think in black and white because it makes it easier to make these judgments about others who are different and thus, less worthy than I am.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because for some reason "change, change, change"..is the mantra for the Obama camp...so, since he won't explain what 'change' is...I guess he's asking for parking meter fare?...I have three quarters in my wallet.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I think that a better mantra than “Change, change, change” is “Drill, baby, Drill!”
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because "Hillary said so"
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because ‘W’ is voting Republican, and he is my hero.I'm voting DEMOCRAT because communist economics always work. Look how well off the Soviet Union is right now. That wall in Berlin has never looked better.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because I hate communism, even though during the past seven years I have supported unprovoked foreign wars, centralized government authority, and numerous acts that have invaded personal privacy in the name of ‘national security.
I'm voting DEMOCRAT because I agree with Joe Biden, that it really is patriotic to pay more taxes. So I'm going to pay a "direct tax." Instead of wasting time giving it to the government for redistribution, I will give my money to derelicts who loiter outside of liquor stores and methadone clinics. That's where it ends up anyway.
I’m voting REPUBLICAN because it is better to pat myself on the back for the incredible job I’ve done in my life so far. I don’t want anyone to screw that up for me. So instead of really thinking about the issues faced by other people who are not as fortunate, blessed, or privileged as I am, I choose to reject the concept of “change,” and hold on to my security blanket of the status quo.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Another thing I made from the site were a couple of baby dolls. They turned out really cute also, but unfortunately Roscoe thought that I made them for him, and he decided to taste them a bit. So they are currently in the intensive care unit (read: sewing basket) patiently awaiting repair.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
How cliche, I know. I also snapped a good photo of Otis the llama the other day. That's it for now!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
The rest of the trip was pretty typical. It was nice to only go to Madrid, because we felt like we could relax and see things as we felt like seeing them, rather than rushing around all over the place like crazy people trying to fit everything in. Aaron's favorite part of the trip was a side venture to El Escorial, a monastary about an hour's train trip from Madrid.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The actual process of traveling (dealing with airport, airlines, and general incompetencies that go along with transporting one's body across large bodies of water) is actual one of our very least favorite things to do in life. We just seem to have really bad luck every time we go anywhere. For example, years ago on our honeymoon when we flew from Detroit to Maui we got stuck in a snowstorm, lost our seats on the plane, flew for 9 hours in an airline with no functioning restroom, and were without luggage for 2 days in Maui. Sweaters and 85 degree weather are not a great mix. Or there was the time last spring when we were on our way to Virginia for my sister's graduation and our car broke down on the way to the airport, which led to two missed flights, a six hour drive from North Carolina to Virginia, and a night in a frightenly Bates-like "hotel" in Appalachia. Needless to say, our guard is always up when we venture out on an adventure that involves flying. The flight to Madrid was okay, though overnighters in coach are never really okay, if we're being honest. Of course, Aaron's little movie screen was the only one broken on the whole plane, so that made him a bit more miserable than would have normally been the case. Here is Aaron riding on the subway after we had just arrived in Madrid and were navigating the Spanish metro to try to find our hotel:
He's looking a bit bleary-eyed, no?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What else? We're having the first annual "One World Farm Festival" this Sunday afternoon, so we invited everyone to come out to see the animals and stuff. I'll post pictures of all of the "city folk" in the country!
We're almost done with this semster, which will be great. Aaron actually fininshed his last day at the hospital today, so he is VERY happy. I'm hoping that he will do the blogging now that he'll have more time on his hands, because he is much more of a natural "blogger" than I am. He's quite witty and I'm sure will be much less boring than my blogs tend to be.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
We're building raised beds for the garden this year, because as we learned from our failed attempt at a vegetable garden last year, our clay soil does not drain well. So Aaron built 4' x 8' rectangular beds out of 2x4s and we "double dug" 3 of the beds this weekend. Today we are just about 4 weeks before the last frost date, so I planted chives, leeks, carrots, spinach, mixed greens, and peas. I also transplanted the cabbage and broccoli seedlings we started last month. And then I planted purple coneflower seeds in all of the beds around the house. While I was doing all of that, Aaron and ML (who came over again to try to kill coyotes) built a milking stand for Matilda, who is due to have her kids later this month. The milking stand plans are available for free on the Fiasco Farms (http://fiascofarm.com/goats/milkstand.html) website, which also has a lot of good information about herbal worming for goats, if you're into that, which we would like to be.
So, as I was saying before, ML came over this weekend to hunt coyotes again. This time we had the whole setup. Aaron's friend from the hospital loaned him a special coyote calling device, which basically amounted to a tape recorder attached to a megaphone. It makes the most hideously painful noise which is apparently supposed to sound like a wounded group of rabbits. I am skeptical that rabbits make any noise, much less the horrible screaching this machine makes. In addition to the noise machine, the other new toy was a battery operated rubber rabbit replica that shakes like it is having a seizure when you turn it on. I must admit I got quite a kick out of watching the boys hiding out in the pasture in the dark with their toys and guns, just waiting for a hapless coyote to come wandering along. Needless to say, despite all of the accoutrements, no coyotes were harmed during the making of this weekend. Apparently a curious and confused owl was wooed my the seizure-ridden rubber rabbit, but since he was not the chosen target, he too survived the weekend.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACYEvery human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITYAll persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOMHuman societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
4. NON-VIOLENCEIt is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
5. DECENTRALIZATIONCentralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
6. COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC JUSTICEWe recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a “living wage” which reflects the real value of a person’s work.
Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers’ rights; broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our “quality of life.” We support independently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.
7. FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITYWe have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
8. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITYWe believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines.
We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.
9. PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITYWe encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
10. FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITYOur actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or “unmaking” all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
The ads that I thought were especially notable were:
1) 1st quarter ad for Sales Genie-stereotypical and degrading image of an Indian man and his family with an angry and powerful white boss
2) 2nd quarter ad for Bud Light--stereotypes of Asian, Latino, Hatian, and Middle Eastern men all vying for the attention of a scantily clad and well endowed white woman
3) 3rd quarter ad for Sales Genie-degrading images and accents of an Asian family
4) 4th quarter ad for Taco Bell-stereotypes of Latinos
Check em out at www.myspace.com/superbowlads
A few random thoughts:
Go Giants! Normally I would never cheer for the Giants due to my loyalty to the Cowboys, but I was really happy that they ruined the Patriots' perfect season. I was sick of hearing about how awesome the Patriots were. Ha.
Manda got into Texas Tech, and I am so excited! I know she is going to love it, and I am so proud of her!!! Yea!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
We did get the rest of the fence up yesterday, so that will be great for the sheep and goats. Now they can be out in the pasture all day even while we're at work. ML and Aaron also put up the tin on the north side of the barn, which was a big job. It will be great to be able to have the barn enclosed so that we can use it as our workshop/storage shed, and this was the first step toward that end.
Watching Family Guy right now and having a hard time concentrating on writing this..what a great show...
Friday, January 25, 2008
It is freezing, and has been since Friday. Ughh. I have no idea how we survived in Michigan for two years. I guess we just spent so much time studying in grad school that we never went outside. We've made it all winter so far without turning on the heater in the house. We have a wood burning stove in the living room, and it puts out a lot of heat. The only problem is you have to keep the fire going, because once it goes out, it is not only hard to get it started again, but it takes forever to heat the house again. There's no real reason that we have this aversion to turning on the heater--it's really just a weird game we decided to try this winter, to see if we could make it all winter without it. Well, that and the fact that we had a big fight with our propane delivery company a few months ago because they came out to our house and repossessed our tank one day while we were at work. Needless to say, it was their mistake and some kind of a "filing error." We fired them and haven't taken the time to find a new company yet.
This weekend I spent a lot of time organizing all of our crap. Thrilling, I know. But it was too cold to be outside, so I figured it would be nice to finally finish unpacking all of our stuff from our move over a year ago that we had just stuffed into closets and forgotten about. So now we have organized closets. Yea.
Speaking of "stuff" though...it is really amazing how much junk we accumulate. I mean, I try to be really conscious of limiting the material possessions that we collect, and try to buy only the "need to have" stuff instead of the "nice to have" stuff. But still, it really is incredible how we have this mindset ingrained in most of us in American culture that we covet just about everything that is bigger and "better." I have to constantly recenter myself in this regard.
I talked with my friend Chris about these ideas a couple of months ago, and she had some absolutely incredible stories about what she personally is doing to fight overconsumption in her own life. She made a committment to purchase nothing new (except food and essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.) for one year. Everything, from clothes, to furniture, to household items were purchased used, recycled, or simply not purchased at all. I think it is really inspiring and I doubt that I could do what she is doing. I have made some changes, though. For one, I buy all of my clothes from resale shops or from places that are committed to fair trade, like Fair Indigo.
We are wiped out! We spent all weekend working outside--planting all of those trees all over the place and also fencing part of the pasture with field fence. It was a crazy amount of effort, but I think it will pay off in the end. It will be great to let the sheep and goats graze all day and then just put them in their pens at night. It will certainly save us some $ because we won't have to feed them as much. As for the trees, we fenced them off so that the animals can't reach them and eat them while they're so tiny. Sometimes I wish I could see into the future to see what the farm will look like 10 years from now when all of the trees are big, but alas, no such luck.
This week we're hoping to get the majority of our seeds started indoors so that they'll be ready to transplant in March. Aaron is building a neat plant stand that looks kind of like a book shelf with lights that we're going to use to get the seeds started. We'll put the step-by-step instructions on how to build it on our projects page this week.
We found this great website that helps you choose which presidential candidate you should support. It gives a list of 25 issues which you choose to "support, oppose or unknown" and then rank the weight of each issue (key, important or minimal). The site then compares your stances on these issues with 13 presidential candidates and gives you a score. It's a really neat way to get an idea of where each candidate stands without relying on soundbites or media spins. Try it out: http://www.dehp.net/candidate/
BTW, the stray horses are finally gone. The Johnson County sherrif deputies showed up again and this time they successfully loaded them into a trailer and took them away. Granted, it took 3 hours and involved me standing out in the road holding a horse in my pajamas while we waited for the trailer to arrive, but at least they're gone. It's always an adventure here in Venus! :)
Aaron is always doing these presentations in for nurses that work in rural hospitals around the state of Texas. Today he did one about ethics in nursing practice at a hospital in west Texas, and on the way home he stopped at this nursery (think "trees") that we had heard good things about. Apparently they were super nice and really helpful and gave lots of advice about what trees will work in our area and everything. Anyway, he pulled up in the driveway this evening and literally had fifty trees stuffed in the civic. I am not kidding! So now we have our work cut out for us planting 50 trees by this weekend. Here's what he got: pecan, pomegranate, peach, blackberries, and even grapes. I guess technically the blackberries and grapes are vines, not trees, but whatever.
On a separate note, you know you live in the country when you have stray horses hanging around your house instead of stray dogs. These three horses showed up on Friday and have been hanging out in front of our house ever since. The genius sheriff's department deputies came out to look at them on Sunday and basically said that it wasn't their problem. Our tax dollars at work. So we finally found a neighbor down the street whose son is a real cowboy--one who rides in rodeos and stuff--who is going to come and "rope" the horses and take them to his pasture. What strange new world in which I live!
We finally got a tractor!!! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to both of us. I never thought in a million years that I would be excited about buying a 60 year old tractor, but it's true, I am genuinely excited. Funny what living in the country for a year will do to your priorities. Simplify, simplify....
We just got back from New Orleans where we watched Hawaii get crushed by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Uggh. We are exhausted. I feel like I played in the game myself! It was a great trip, though. New Orleans is such a fun town, though only healthy in very small doses, in our experience. :)