Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's my birthday!

Well, today's my birthday. 30 years old. I'm a little sad, because I REALLY liked my 20s. If I had a choice, I think I'd do my 20s again, because all in all, that was a great decade for me. I spent most of my 20s in college, and if I had it to over again, I'd do exactly the same thing. I got a great education, lived in some awesome places (Austin, Ann Arbor, Hawaii) and absolutely lived it up. I only hope my 30s will be as great. We're off to a good start. I can honestly say I am very content with how my life is going right now, which is a good place to be. I mean, really, I've got a wonderful husband whom I absolutely adore, I live on a farm surrounded by my own little petting zoo, and I've got a great job that I look forward to going to every day. Okay, enough with the sap...On a less philosophical note, I was hoping that Matilda would have her babies today and I would have little baby goat kids for my birthday present. But alas, she's still pregnant as ever and no babies have popped out as of this evening. Maybe they will appear tomorrow for Aaron's birthday. That would be fun.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Long time, no blog

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. My grandmother died last Wednesday, and will be sorely missed. We used to go out to lunch with her every Friday after we volunteered at the clinic. Friday afternoons will certainly feel a bit empty for a while.

On to happier news...we got three new registered babydoll sheep last week. Two ewes (Sigourni and Sheldon) and a ram (Richie). Don't ask about the names. My sisters M & W named them and I haven't learned their signifigance yet. They chose a different name for the ram but I overruled them in favor of "Richie" because I think it goes well with "Petey." (ha ha)

As for the garden, I transplanted the cabbage and broccoli seedlings too early and they got beaten down by a heavy ran the day after I planted them. They all died. So yesterday we bought new transplants of collards, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Aaron went way overboard on the onion sets, but of course, we planted all 50 of them. It seems that we will be eating a lot of onions a few months from now.

We are counting down the days until we can transplant the rest of the seedlings, because now they have taken over both guest bedrooms. It is getting a bit ridiculous. The farmer's market near UTA said they might buy some of them from us when it gets closer to time to plant, which will be great.

That's all for now, I guess.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great weekend!

The weather was absolutely perfect this weekend! It felt like May rather than February. The "teaser" for tonight's local news says that we're in for cold weather this week, but at least we had a couple of days of early spring.

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

Green Party

These are the 10 Key Values of the Green Party. Food for thought...

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

Super Bowl ads

Was it just me, or were several of the Super Bowl ads extremely racist this year? I teach a class on diversity at UTA and we focus on uncovering hidden (and not so hidden) stereotypes and biases in mainstream society, so I'm always on the look out for evidence, especially in the mainstream media.
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

In over our heads with seedlings

So, it seems we went a little bit overboard with our seeds this year. We started way too many seeds, and are overwhelmed with seedlings. We must have over 300 seedlings in our guest bedroom right now. All day Saturday was spent transplanting the seedlings into bigger pots--it was quite a task. If our garden doesn't produce like crazy this year, it just wasn't meant to be. I guess we'll be able to give some of the extra transplants to friends and family if they want them when they're ready to be planted in the ground.

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!