Saturday, June 29, 2013

Going Postal

Yup, I was hired by the United States Postal Service this week.

I know, WTF am I thinking, thought you were opposed to the FedGov, how the heck did they hire YOU if you are as radical as you say?

Well, bluntly, there are danged few jobs in this area.
The school district where I am employed didn't give anyone but the teachers contracts of employment this year. They are going to have to make cuts - and rather than cut a teacher who makes $50,000 a year plus full, completely paid for family benefits, they are going to cut a couple of low level staffers without benefits,  whenever they see fit, to balance the budget.

To this end they have cut the school year by 8 weeks; by both cutting off two weeks at the beginning and going to (mostly) four-day weeks throughout the year - but increased the daily hours for students to attend to 8 AM to 4 PM. This means that I get to work 4 10-hour days; one hour before school starts and one hour after. Um, Yay. I get to leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark, 4 days a week, all winter long. Also, by cutting off the days at the beginning of the school year, they've  cut me out of a whole month's pay.  Not to mention that the latest superintendent accosted me the last time I came in to tell me how much he trusted and admired me - and gave me still another job that one of his whiny, helpless, hapless (yet protected by union and tenure) teachers has refused to do for the last 3 years. About every 3 years I get a new boss - and each one is more arrogant, more misogynistic, and less cognizant of or concerned with the staff's jobs than the last.

Post office, I'll just be part-time - at first. Saturdays (3 hours) and then as a sub for the current postmistress when she's out. But next year,  due to contract negotiations with the unions, that will change, and I can work as many hours as I want. Also, from my date of hire (no matter how many hours I work in the year) it starts the clock of waiting - after a year, I'll be eligible for a mandatory week of vacation as well as medical insurance. Moreover, if I need more hours, I can sub at any PO in a 100-mile radius - or, if I'm happy with my paycheck and have things to do, I can stay home.

Let me think a moment... yeah, the school district is struggling to survive and getting ready to lay off workers and increase the burdens on those who remain, as well as kicking employees who do not have insurance to the curb so that they don't have to fund ObamaCare for them;  while the USPS will always have job openings, and are not looking to close this PO (too centrally located), and are contracted to provide, not merely vaguely promise, insurance for all employees. Not to mention I'll be making a dollar more an hour to start, with guaranteed regular raises - when it has taken me 5 years to get up to my current salary at the school district office.

There is no ideal job, no matter what the Obama-worshippers think. There will be shit work and crud to put up with. But no changing bosses every three years, no yearly threats of dismissal because of budget cuts, and no more dealing with other office workers'/teachers'/superintendents' personal problems that they drag to work with them every day, and take out on everyone else, because it's a 'helping', emotionally socialist environment, where the lower staffers are expected to put up with everyone else's angst, ennui, pretenses, delusions, and foibles. (Can't tell you how many times in the past 5 years I've had to put up with out-and-out temper tantrums from highly unprofessional  'professionals'.) No more emotional hemming and hawing, seeing and sawing, and demands that I "volunteer" my time because I am a lowly staffer and 'should work just as hard as the teachers' (who get paid for any extracurricular activity, above and beyond their salary). The new job won't be heaven. But it will be an improvement.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vindication is a Sweet Pastry

Yeah, a lot of folks called me a Conspiracy Theorist when I told them that, thanks to the Patriot Act, there would be serious and egregious violations of the Constitution. I told them that the Bill of Rights would become the Bill of Permissions - where only certain people would have rights, especially their rights to speak freely and have their rights to privacy. I endlessly repeated Ben Franklin's quote - that those who give up their rights for security would have neither.  I was pooh-poohed and snickered at.  "That Could NEVER Happen Here - This is AMERICA!"

You may all bend over and kiss my ass now.

The only problem with being a Cassandra is that one is excoriated for what one predicts - even (and I should say, especially) when one is RIGHT.

Folks were derisive when I gave up my two cell phones for none. Didn't make much sense to have even one anyway - out here, you are lucky to hit a tower at all, much less have any bars. And 60 acres of untrammeled, non-wired peace is what I bought, on purpose.  Not to mention that I neither want nor need to be gotten in touch with constantly nor immediately. Nothing and no one is that important.

Yeah, I stay in touch with people thru FaceBook and emails, and yes, I know they are monitored, too. But - I never write anything I don't mean. Moreover, 20 years ago a group of friends and I published the list of 'FBI-words" (now, of course, they are HLS words) that the computers that recorded our transmissions would flag - and then we used the piss out of them. Damned straight. Our attitude then was "Yeah, so what? As an American I can say what I want!" Of course that is becoming less and less true - but let them come all the way out to Nowhere, Nebraska and say something, try anything. They won't. Out here I am a harmless ranting crazy old lady - and you betcherazz that's just the way I like it.

The time is fast coming, though, when people will have their income, jobs, and lives affected if they dare to raise a challenge to the omniscient, omnipotent juggernaut that we have created. "And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. " Check out those RFID chips, that are being touted as "The easy way to pay!" and "Protecting our children from being lost!" and even mandated in the endless pages of the Obamacare legislation. If you don't want the chip, and refuse it, can you produce your own food? Make your own clothes? Provide for yourself and your family with that little half-assed garden next to your house in that restricted neighborhood? Take care of yourself medically? I'm betting not. You'll knuckle and excuse yourself, just as you have always done. You'll have to, if you want to eat.

 And if you refuse to believe Cassandra on that as well - just wait. I don't give a damn what you believe any more; not going to try to sway you or influence you at all. Because you ignored me and others like me, or insulted us and made fun of us, you are about to reap what you so derisively sowed. You won't be able to come out here and kiss my ass, though - you'll be broke, restricted, and monitored.

And you'll deserve it. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013


  • Did you ever wonder what caused 9/11? Really, truly, no pundits involved?
    My theory is that 3 things caused 9/11 - Welfare, the "dumbing down" of our
    children, and the Drug War.

    Bear with me a minute.

    There were other factors involved, of course - the fall of Russia, the
    socialization of England, Israel getting nuclear weaponry. It wasn't all
    our fault. And no, I'm not one of those ranting conspiracy theorists who think
    that there are a group of people, Skull and Bones, whatever, that rule the world
    and make all the decisions. Committees and groups of even the most like-minded,
    single-purposed types, just aren't that bright. Sorry, but they aren't. Those that do grasp cause and effect only see it dimly, temporarily, and with skewed perspectives. Those perspectives may be altruistic, or they may be purely selfish - but they are still human
    perspectives, with human failures and perceptions. There are no 12 or 18
    people up there in the stratosphere pulling the strings.

    What there are, is people who have what they think is a good idea and who
    have the (limited) knowledge to push it through - a legislature, public perception,

    Welfare was a good altruistic idea... on its surface. Save all those poor people from borderline starvation, help them so that they don't have to have gardens in the backyard just to survive the winters, so that they have more than one change of clothes, so that they can have the best start for their children available. Who knew that it would destroy the pride of the poor American families, that it would encourage once-strong families to split to get more money, that it would encourage teenagers as young as 10 to breed babies (liberals shut UP I've SEEN it) so as to bring more money into the household or to gain their 'independence' from a bad family, bad neighborhood, bad community? Who knew that people would lose their pride and self confidence to the point where they would lie, cheat, just to get an extra 20 bucks a month for which they didn't have to work? Who knew that folks would give in to their baser desires - sex, drug, alcohol, food induced stupors of overindulgence - just to get more money for which they did not have to work?

    Welfare weakened the society rather than strengthened it. Instead of raising up an 'underclass', it diminished it, paralyzed it, set it up for failure - and ready made excuses for that failure. It created more slums, as people who were given everything and worked for nothing became demanding, insisting that more and more was due them rather than using the handout to build something better for themselves, as Welfare was intended and was believed to be able to do. People in the slums destroyed any and everything - since they did not work for their homes, their food, did not have the satisfaction of achieving from their own hard efforts, they did not feel responsible for caring for the homes in which they lived, the children that they bred to satisfy the government qualifications, the partners that they chose to help them fulfill those requirements. They stopped taking care of everything around and attached to them - including themselves. Why not? The government would always provide more. Live for today, indulge any and every whim and vice, because someone else would always pay for it.

    Bear with me a little more...

    Next and hand-in-hand with this was the dumbing down of our educational system.
    First math facts were thrown out the windows of the schools; "close" became
    good enough. Then the accent on "dead" languages and literature, history, basic psychology and sociology were tossed out, as educators determined that memorization was far superior to phonics, that there ws too much to teach and too much to learn as time had passed, so 'feelings' rather than facts were posted as truisms in children's minds. Why teach a child to learn throughout his life, when most children could not understand the reasoning process anyway, and they needed to learn only the basics supplied to them to establish a career?

Welfare made our children disposable, and education made them further understand that achievement and success were not predicated on their own efforts, but on the mutual efforts of everyone around them. Why try to excel when that made other children who didn't try feel badly about themselves? No, everyone must be the same; receive the same trophies and rewards as well as the same punishments. From both Welfare dependent parents and their own teachers, children learned that they were no better than anyone else, and that their lives were to be nothing but a series of endless satisfactions and indulgences. With these two altruistic and helpful policies, they set children up to indulge in drugs for escapism, as well as for profit and play. For what else is a brilliant yet uneducated child to do, who is not taught self-discipline and effort will result in rewards - but rather, taught by example that rewards come whether they are earned or not? These two social policies paved the way for - the Drug War.

For if so many American children and adults had not turned to so many drugs - to either blunt their own knowledge of their inabilities and inadequacies, or to sell to others to increase their profit and thence their feelings of worth, or even to gain a power denied to them by a lack of training or ability to meet lifetime educational, achievement, and life challenges - there would have been no real need for the Drug War. In every generation; even in ancient China, there have been members of the population who gave up their lives to addiction. Previously to the Drug War, these people were basically ignored or pitied or left to indulge their own vices, away from the general population ("opium dens") or taken care of quietly by family, friends, and pharmaceutical suppliers.

The Drug War changed all that. All drugs were deemed illegal; heavy fines and exacerbated prison time was given to sellers as well as users. But where were the main suppliers of the drugs?

Afghanistan. Asia. South America. Poor areas with no real income, eking out a living with their supplying local and home-grown addicts, suddenly had a world of opportunity in America, thanks to the increasing numbers of addicts to, as well as purveyors of, drugs. When the American judicial system made the drug war a priority, it set up the drug world to no longer be a place where those who indulged could live out their lives in their own private haze - it made them criminals, it made their world a violent and vicious place, it made the mere buying of a joint or a gram of coke dangerous. It also, because of the billions involved, made cops and judges and even juries susceptible to bribes. Justice was bought and sold, crimes that were only crimes against oneself were prosecuted far more zealously as crimes against other people.

The Taliban with all of its faults and extreme punishments and ways of life banned drugs, thought they were reprehensible. The only people who remained to fight them were the people who bought and sold and provided America with its ever-increasing demand for drugs. Americans were told that the Middle Eastern states were wrong, Muslim, hated us, and were evil. The CIA - long purveyors of the trade of drugs-for-weapons, instigators of dictators and unrest for political gain and the usurping of not only individuals but whole governments and countries, worked their magic. It was the US, after all, who put Saddam Hussein in power, given guns by the CIA. We were told "Well, if WE don't sell guns to them, then Russia or China will!" Yet the whole time these diverse tribes were playing one country against another, buying guns from The Big Three, using American drug money to buy Russian and Chinese armaments as well as American armaments. The CIA encouraged hyper-fanatical regimes and governments, thinking that they 'owed allegiance' to America - and only 'finding out' much later that these peoples' only allegiance was to themselves and the proliferation of their own ideologies. (Seriously, if they didn't know they were being manipulated to begin with, how really stupid could they be?)  As with the Welfare State, those poor peoples, made rich by the CIA's machinations, grew to resent American manipulation and infiltration of their economies and lives, and 'hated Americans'. Well, duh. They attacked us over 118 times before the WTC bombings - the Lockerbie plane bombing, numerous attacks on our embassies as well as on individuals and businesses, even the first WTC bombing, which few people remember or talk about, that was 'unsuccessful' (a garage bombing that didn't take down the Tower as planned). 

These people don't want us in their countries, taking all of their resources (everything from poppy fields to oil) and trading guns for power, then kicking successive self-built regimes to the curb. But their protests and demands go unanswered and unacknowledged. When they react with violence against 'innocents' from our and other '1st world' countries, they only see it as retaliation against the murder of their own innocents, caught between the CIA, Big Business, and Big Oil, as well as the power players in their own countries - power players who would never rise to power if they had not been supplied and trained by these same first-world countries.

That's not to say that I support the Taliban, Al Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization. But I do understand them, I do 'get' them.  Even now, on self-described "Patriot" websites, people are talking about killing the invading forces from China, the terrorists from the Taliban - taking up arms and defending America from the invaders. How is this any different from the Middle Eastern countries attacking our own soldiers, sent into their countries to protect their poppy fields and empower their dictators and terrorists?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I Hate to Say it, But Joe is Wrong

First let me say that I consider Joe Wilson to be one of my dearest friends in politics; he really is one of those weird people, an honest statesman. Several years ago he was vilified by the House and Administration, for simply - under intense pressure, because at no other time could such an honest and caring man be forced to do so - stating the obvious - "You Lie!" - and of course it turned out that Joe was right.

But this time, Joe is wrong and I cannot convince him otherwise. I am talking about the Keystone pipeline.

Let me say this - I devoutly believe that we should use our own oil and let the rest of the world find their own. I am a firm proponent of "Drill, baby, drill!" And I am certainly no greenie, slavering away after every false flag invasion on our environment, wanting everyone to go back to wearing leaves and hugging nature, hanging up their iPads for smoke signals.

But the Keystone Pipeline is wrong on several levels.
1st, even the 'revised' path of the pipeline goes across the sandy sections of Nebraska, over the Ogallala Aquifer. That may not mean too much to east coasters, I know. But the sandy soil of the Sandhills region supports not only dryland corn growth, but masses of cattle - that provide the east coast with its hamburger and steaks. Thousands of cattle roam hundreds of thousands of acres... and in the recent drought, the Aquifer was the only thing that kept Nebraska agriculture alive and competitive. But even a devout vegan has to understand that the aquifer provides water for six states, our own inclusive. Run a tar-sands oil pipeline across the sandy soil that covers the aquifer, and you have a potential disaster that far exceeds the recent pipeline leak in Arkansas. A former Keystone employee testified that this type of leak would be devastating to the aquifer. Like the rest of us 'flyover state' protesters, he was ignored.

2nd, the problem with gas prices will not be solved by running the Keystone pipeline, any more than it was solved by running  40 other pipelines that criss-cross the US, any more than it was solved by the Alaska Pipeline. The problem with gas prices starts at the feet of Congress, who, in the 70s, and in collusion with Big Oil and the greenies, limited the number of refineries that could be built and maintained in the US. Where are most of the refineries? On the coasts of the US. Where does most of that refined fuel go? Overseas, most recently to China.

3rd, the exhortation that it "will bring thousands of jobs to the US!" is a boldfaced lie. The most jobs it will bring is not 100,000, not 50,000 (the numbers keep going up, year by year) but - 6,000 jobs. Most of those 6,000 jobs are part-time, and only for the construction of the pipeline. After the oil starts flowing to the refineries at the Gulf, those jobs are over. Anything else is a lie. What would bring real, lasting, permanent jobs and lower gas prices would be to build refineries where the oil is drawn... but Big Oil doesn't want to do that, because then it would not be cheaper for them to sell their products overseas.

I could tell you things like the strong-arm tactics that have been used against farmers and ranchers, the threats of eminent domain (which is illegal in Nebraska) and the threats of supporters against simple folk who are promised 'get-rich-quick, sign on the dotted line' wealth, and criticized heavily for not doing so. That sort of stuff is typical east-coast tactics, not gentlemanly and respectful Nebraska politics. But the Pipeline has caused more contention locally - and purposefully - than anything else. The bottom line is that ranchers and farmers, generationally-long responsible caretakers of Nebraska's natural environs, multi-generational proponents of responsible crop rotation and cattle management, are being told that they should sell off quick and not care what happens to the property and aquifer underlying that pipeline. The problem is that they DO care. They also see that their resistance is classified under the 'greenie' hysterical banner, and this angers them. Being responsible caretakers of productive land is a far cry from the self-destructive hysterics of the green movement, and everyone knows it - except the politicians.

So, to those who don't live here, who worry more about the SRP's tritium in their water than about the infringement of tar sands oil into the waters that supply the far-distant breadbasket of the country, I plead with you - take a closer look at what is being said and promised. Then look at the facts... and realize that you, Joe Wilson, and the House in their grand gestures of salvation, are being lied to - once again.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"And That's all I got to say about that."

I hate liars and thieves.
Literally, gutwrenchingly hate them; badly enough to pop them in the face when they lie, or to grab their arms and twist them behind their backs - or worse - when they steal.

I know - I should say, I KNEW - quite a few.  Now - not so much. Most folks here are blindingly honest, whether it hurts you, or them, or not. It's nice. There's a couple of liars, a couple of thieves, but everyone knows it and steers clear of them. They do not profit.

What irritates me is when honest, decent people trust liars and thieves, and give them every opportunity to redeem themselves, and to become successful, intelligent, and cognizant human beings  - and the liars and thieves walk away, screaming 'Racism!' and "Prejudice!" and other epithets, laughing and sneering at the people from whom they've stolen for being such dupes.

What I see is a couple of people who lied and stole, purposefully, intentionally, and viciously, and a couple of others who trusted them until they were proven wrong - and then kicked them to the curb. Sadly, the decent folk are often persecuted as politically and as viciously as the former - because "they should have known". Riiiight. 

LITTLE-KNOWN LEGEND - Many years ago - so the story goes - a couple of Mormon missionaries went to a certain Southern-SC  town. They were harassed and vilified, even to the point where their Temple garments ("Mormon underwear") were hung up in the windows at the local dry cleaners, with the sign, "Mormon Monkey suits" plastered across them. Their church leaders told them to get out, and to "kick the dust from their heels" when they left - which was the Mormon way of cursing that town. (Matt.10:14 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.") They did. Whether you believe in curses, or that the natural meanness and inbred viciousness of that town is their real curse, doesn't matter. To this day that town is cursed with innate cruelty, viciousness, and the virulent promotion and defense of meanness, lies, thievery, and depravity as a norm. To this day, no Mormon missionaries are allowed to live there - they can proselytize, but must be out by sunset.

Guess which town that is.

No matter how many people try to save, help, raise up, and promote them, the residents will either insistently drag them down to their level - or 'go after them' with every evil device to hand; to beat them down, to torment them, to impugn them. They are crabs in a bucket, each one struggling to pull another down, to keep everyone in the same swamp water that they pollute with their own feces. They cling to and wrap themselves in their ignorance and self-loathing like a filthy tattered quilt against the light, the truth, against God Himself. Their God is Mammon, and they vicariously glory in anything they can get from someone else; be it their innate decency or their money. (And, BTW, no, I'm not a Mormon - but I can see evil.) No, not all of them - but of the ones who are not, most will defend to the death and believe in the ones who are evil, against all rational and God-fearing thought or emotion.

Glad I'm out of that smarmy, politically-motivated morass of self-abuse, crab-clawing, and throat-slitting.Wish I could extend my salvation to my few good, honest, and decent friends who are still caught up in that Evil - but they have chosen their own paths.

"And That's all I got to say about that."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I love Fred Reed's blog; I can't help it. I may disagree with some of his misogynistic  tendencies - I was raised to be a tough independent woman with self-respect, not a clinging vine, dependent on a may-un, and I married a man who was a real man in his own right, and who wasn't intimidated by me - but all in all, Fred hits the nail on the head.

His latest is a great post - and is why I moved to where I did and do what I do.

We tore down an old falling-down garage on the property and put up a bright shiny new one - red and white metal, with electricity - and never filed a single permit. One of the older guys in town pulled up one day after we were mostly done, and had a beer with us while he went around the place. "Good job. I approve." And no money changed hands, no papers were signed, and we had a garage for the 4-wheeler and a workshop for Mike's power tools.

We rewired the basement to accommodate some new equipment, and re-plumbed the water pipes to the trough - and no one said a word. We put in fruit trees and gardens and a huge chicken house with a yard - and there were no ordinances to stop us, no cops driving by to measure the height or breadth of anything to write tickets. Rusty the sheriff lives two blocks away, and waves when he drives by. In two months I'll be putting up my first beehives - and the neighbors are thrilled to get the pollination activity.

We do whatever we damned well please, on the edge of a town where everyone does as they damned well please, surrounded by ranchers who do as they damned well please - and nobody gives a damn, no one infringes on anyone else's rights, nobody cares - we're all too busy.  When rabbits came down from the hills and infested our gardens, we took .22's into the backyard and dispatched them. When coyotes start howling on the west side of town, George turns loose his greyhounds and runs them until they get within range - then dispatches them. When wild turkeys swarmed our back hill, a teenager asked if he could hunt them - we gave him free reign.When my daughter and future son-in-law brought out their AR-15 to practice, we took them into the back pasture and let them blast away at tin cans lined up on the side of a hill - pointed away from neighbors or their cows, of course.

Fred's right but he's wrong; the cubicle-dwellers who panic at the thought of a big stick that goes BANG are the biggest problem - and we don't have that crap out here. Moreover, unlike Fred, we don't ever expect it to change - because no cubicle-dweller wants to come out here, no city-bound nervous nellie knows who or what's out here, and could care less. Even the city people who have to drive this way get distinctly nervous about being stuck out here; they won't stay in my neighbor's cute country cabins over night, they must flee at dusk to a city with a motel chain that they recognize, where they feel safe surrounded by neon and sewer pipes and fast food restaurants. They are appalled by the women who wear well-worn leather chaps over their pants to protect them when they go out on the range, or by the chunks of cow poop that fall off of the boots of old and young alike when they politely scrape their feet at the door.

And do you know how I feel about that? GOOD. Get the hell out. A blizzard's coming, where a foot of snow is predicted with six-and-eight-foot drifts, and you don't want to be stuck here - where we all open carry, even down at the local restaurant and bar, and no one ever gets shot or even shot at - because everyone else is carrying, too. Where we all have woodstoves to back up our propane heaters, solar-powered heaters and lights with fully-charged batteries,  and candles and kerosene lamps to light when the lights go out, and hand pumps to back up the generator pumps to back up the regular water pumps that go out when the power does.  Lock yourself behind your metal doors with multiple latches and tremble in terror when the neon lights or the heat go out, or the water gets shut off, or the grocery store shelves are empty because of some weather or civil anomaly, or the crackheads down the street start taking to the street. Scream for protection from the evil people or the evil guns, or the horrors of doing for yourself when all of your resources and expected pleasures and joys disappear or are inaccessible to you. Demand that someone, somewhere, take care of you and your children, and be responsible for you and enforce your rights for you. Yeah, that'll work out well for you.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Symbiosis, baby!

I just ordered my first package of bees. 
Yeah, I know, that's confusing as hell. How - or why - would you order a "package"  of bees? Bees come in, like, a package? Don't bees sting, aren't they dangerous, why would you want them?

Yeah, well, I'm not allergic to bees. The stings are painful and piss me off, but that's all. Besides, I have access to an epi pen if I need it.

First and foremost, there's the whole honey thing. I love honey. I cook and bake with it. I use honey instead of sugar, honey instead of corn syrup in my pecan pies... honey in everything. I use about 60 lbs of honey a year... that's a whole 5-gallon bucket.  Considering that you use less than half of the sugar measurement when you use honey in any recipe, that's a LOT of honey.

Second, there's the whole beeswax thing. I make my own soap and am starting to make my own lotions, and the honey and the beeswax are important parts of that. Candles? You bet. Beeswax is smokeless and pure, and most people with candle allergies are actually allergic to the petroleum in 'regular' candles. I'm not - no allergies here - but if I am going to make candles (and I am) why not use the beeswax?

Not to mention the royal jelly and the propolis ('bee glue') that are also good for you; heals wounds, kills bacteria, etc.

A bee "package" is a producing mating queen and 4000 or so worker bees. By the end of the summer, there will be 20,000 bees - workers and drones, along with the queen - in a single hive, from a single package.

But there are a lot of beekeepers out there nowadays who just don't seem to understand symbiosis. They brag about having hives that they ship all over the country to pollinate fruits and vegetables, and even alfalfa for cattle feed. They lament about the multiple drugs and pesticides they have to use on their bees every season, just to 'keep them healthy'. They don't understand the dichotomy there. If you are shipping your bees all over God's Little Acre, and mixing them with other bees (who may or may not be infested with mites or infected with all sorts of diseases), you are literally putting your bees in a swamp of potential disasters... and then wondering what happened to your carefully-bred Carnolian or Italian darlings, who can't even clean themselves or take care of themselves without your human intervention. More - the more you 'treat' your bees with insecticides and pesticides and all sorts of tainted products, the weaker and more dependent your bees  become - and the more likely your honey and even your wax will be tainted with the same things. Anything you therefore eat or inhale from your hive is likely to poison you, too...

So I found this guy in Nebraska who breeds a special type of bee. He doesn't ship them to hell and back, he raises and breeds them in Nebraska. They are specially suited for the cold winters here, and they are self-sufficient. He doesn't use miticides, pesticides, or any treatments - at all. He doesn't rob the hives; he takes less than half of what they produce, and leaves the rest, for them to overwinter on their own stores. This treatment produces - so he says - gentler, smarter, and more self-sufficient bees. Unlike the hybrid bees of other species, they clean each other, themselves, and their hive - constantly. They are tough and yet - not aggressive to humans. They are productive and make honey out of any and everything - because they aren't being shipped to this alfalfa field or that almond farm, particular about the types of pollen and nectar that they gather, and the honey that they produce. These seem to be the bees I've been looking for, to complete the plan.

It's about symbiosis. I have cows that eat grass (any type of grass) and poop fertilizer. I have chickens who eat scraps and poop fertilizer. In the process they feed us meat, milk, and eggs, all as casual byproducts. I have fruit trees and vegetables, fertilized with cow and chicken poop, soon to be pollinated by the bees that will produce the honey. Everything works together, everything provides something for the farm, and incidentally will feed us too.

Next week we'll pick up Ashley, our second hand-raised and home-bred steer, from the butcher. 480 pounds of burger, steaks, ribs, and roasts for a total of $250. That will last us all year long. The meat provides us with food, and the strength to go out and plow and plant, feed up and water, and build and harvest. Symbiosis. Everything working together, everything dependent on each other, everything working in harmony, breeding and producing endlessly and repetitively. A closed farm, a closed herd, a closed apiary, a closed orchard, a closed garden; all enclosed and working together without shipping anyone out - or in - to contaminate the perfection of it all.

The 10-year self-sufficiency plan is right on schedule, even a little ahead of schedule. But everything is working, and working out. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"I'm Coming Out There!"

Um, no, you're not.

First off, you weren't invited.

Second, there's no place out here for you to stay. No fancy motels, no motels at all within 40 miles, and our home isn't some free  bed-and-breakfast where you can be catered to just because I know you, or am distantly (or dismally) related to you.

Third, you're the type of people I moved to get away from. Drama queens and kings, manipulative, lazy, foul-mouthed, and useless, you wander through life like it was your own personal stage play, all props provided.

This is a working farm - why should I spend money to feed, warm, and house your nasty azz, while you sit on it and play grande dame or grande master of all you survey - when you've never had a pot nor a window that you've earned on your own?

Yes, my nephew is here, with his 4-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. He was invited. He pitches in, shovels hay and cowshit, and feeds the chickens. When a neighbor needed help with her heater, he was on the roof clearing away the collapsed masonry around her vent pipe - in 20 degree weather, with a snowfall - to make sure that her heater would work and she would not be cold as the freezing temps moved in. His kids - unable to comprehend even the basics of living, working, and surviving without drama - are slowly getting to the point where they can function without thinking that a childish smile, giggle, and coquette will get them anything they want. They are doing things that they never did or could have done back east - too many lowlifes lurking around every corner, too many loudmouthed entitlement mommies shoving their children under everyones' noses, too many people and too few decent choices. They go to Wednesday Kids' Club to learn about Jesus in a non-invasive way. His daughter is on a small-fry basketball team. His son wears cowboy boots and walks around the chickens and cattle like a tiny cowboy.

Every other weekend, for $5, they go to the town theater for 'movie night' and eat pizza with their new friends. His son helped his dad and his uncle take the steer to the butcher. His daughter and I are planning her first vegetable garden. When they first came here, they wouldn't eat vegetables, didn't know what they were, wanted candy and potato chips and junk. Now they are learning from where food comes, and are amazed every day by what they can do. Last week after a particularly heavy snowstorm, the kids went sledding - down a hill about 1/4 of a mile high. Something that 3 months ago they would have been terrified to even look at, much less do; now they are enthusiastic and will do it for hours in 0 degree temps.

A couple of times a month we go down to the local bar/restaurant, where kids are always welcome. We sit with friends and talk about grownup things like weather and cattle, and the kids listen intently, or find their friends and sit and talk. We might drink, or we might not. But there are no staggering drunks, everyone is friendly, everyone stops by for a chat.

No, this is nothing like you are used to and nothing like you think. Types like you would be easily bored, looking for action, looking to start trouble and stir shit, demanding to be the center of attention, trying to find a drug dealer or a cadre of drunks with whom to get loud and play mindless, purposeless games. And that simply isn't happening here. Out here is real life, real emotions, real work, and real rewards. And, quite honestly, you couldn't handle any of it.