Humans First.

When I was  a little girl, I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house. My grandpa let me follow him outside quite a bit.  Now that I have my own children, I think I know why.  I was probably full of energy, got into everything, asked a lot of questions and drove my grandma nuts.  So outside we would go.  As I look back, those times with him are where I learned the most about the world.  Not that he and my grandma had a grand estate with twelve ecosystems, far from it.  They had a ten acre farm that was mostly a walnut orchard.  Nevertheless, the lessons were big and I carry them with me today.

He would tell me about animals, show me where they lived.  He pointed out danger.  He whistled.  He made up stories.  He answered all of my many, many questions.  If he planted a tree he would tell me all about it as he walked me to it.  He made me care about my surroundings.  He instilled an excitement about nature and new life. He was also willing to share with me the hard facts about loving animals as well.  Dear furry friends did in fact die, and it could be really tough on the heart.  My big tall grandpa hated to lose a pet.  He also made no bones about the difference between pets and livestock.  There were no tears shed over the little lambs who grew up to be sheep, then soon appeared on the dinner table.

I think about how lucky I am to have a grandpa like him.  He is still alive and well, but so very far away.  I wish my kids could walk with him, but they can’t, so I do my best to fill the void.  I find myself whistling and telling them tales, or getting excited about birds, trees, and bugs.  I have them help me dig in the dirt, or plant seeds for the garden.  Those are moments that I treasure.

I guess what I am getting at is this:  we need more effortless times of wonder with our kids.  We need to get excited about rainbows, and rain, finding a bird’s nest, steering clear of snakes.  There is a connection that is made with their surroundings.  THEIR world.  If you teach a child the proper order of things, they get it.  In turn, they won’t grow up and destroy what is precious to them.  I’m not talking about going crazy with worshiping the earth or joining a radical environmentalist group.  I’m talking about a natural love and tenderness that grows for people, plants and animals, from the heart of the child.  That is how you change the world.  Put humans first. Take time to teach a small human.  Then this beautiful garden we have been blessed with will only benefit.

You may say, “My neighbors are idiots and their children blow up their toys all day.”  Well, if you can, be a positive influence on those wild kids.  If you can’t, society will probably weed them out quickly and they will be housed in some sort of long-term facility.  At least then maybe they can recycle something.  Just skip the rhetoric, hate, and misguided legislation.  Raise up a generation of passionate people.  Better than any weapon, stronger than any army.  Human hearts are an untapped, renewable resource!  (But not suitable for fuel or food, let’s not go Soylent Green here people!)

Humans First.

 

Blog is Dead.

Okay, so the month of February is going to force me to into a decision.  Continue blogging for my six readers, or chuck it all?  I am trying to think long and hard about why I started this mess.  What are my intentions?  What is my message?  Who cares?  So what?

On the one hand, I see what blogging has become.  No longer a treasure trove of creative writing, critical thinking, and philosophical musings, (all except for grumblesandgrunts), the typical blog has become a pile of poo-doo. It’s all so formulaic and frosted.  Blech.  I follow twenty blogs that are about the same thing.  Food, breasts, crafts (guilty!!!), and parenting.  If there were just 5 blogs that were  in that vein, I would look at them as a wealth of knowledge and would reference them heavily.  But this whole idea that EVERYONE is living this awesome life where the only concern is if their sucanat order will arrive before Menu Planning Day?  Whatever.  I don’t buy it.

I know from my own experience that being a blogger is not all roses.  I have dark underbellies in my life that I want to write about.  So, why not write about them?  Yeah, that works.  The few times I have touched on our family struggle with alcoholism, extended family members who never speak to me, all of a sudden have an opinion on my blog.  “That’s private.  She shouldn’t be writing about those things.”  Oh, pardon me, let me put up my Super Duper Gluten Free Corn Bread recipe instead.

My husband certainly doesn’t take blogging seriously and could care less about it.  Now, if it made us MILLIONS, that would be another story.  So overusing the DH or giving him a goofy moniker that makes it appear like he is involved would be a lie.  Why lie?  He probably thinks I knit too much, that I read too many blogs and it’s a total waste of time.  Good!  I like having my own hobbies.  I don’t need a creepy, tandem husband.  He can write his OWN blog.

The kids sure do say the darndest and the cutest things.  They also scream at each other, throw toys, make huge messes, and get sassy with me.  Levi won’t potty train.  Neither of them will get out of our bed.  (We are tired and want to be alone!!)  I also let them watch WAY too much TV. Jacob never rises before noon.  Who cares?  I love them, their dad loves them, they love each other.  No harm, no foul.

That’s a pretty hard outlook to hold on to if I jump over to the “We Never Spank, and Heart Our Family Bed” blog.  Wow!  Are they better than me?  Are they?  If you could see how many times I have tried to implement something in our home because another blogger said it was good and right, you would feel sooooo very sorry for my family.  It’s an automatic fail.  What works for one family does not work for MINE. The competition to be the Most Christian/Secular Crunchy Lactivist Intactivist Homeschooling Crafty Momma is brutal.  The movement is damaging, hurtful, and alienating.  It destroys friendships.  It creates animosity.  It makes it hard to love your neighbor.  I hate it.

That’s just touching on the blogs that deal with THAT crap.  What about the FOOD blogs?  Dear me, I can’t keep up!  Paleo, grain free, low carb, soaking grains, fermented foods?  Sorry, but I don’t run a lab, I run a kitchen.  After years of sharing a bed, I am too tired and crazy to make up a plate of @#$% my kids won’t eat.  I have totally ticked off my husband trying to get these goofy ideas  up and running.  He wants meat and potatoes.  Good.  Done.  Why do I want to see my kids crying at the table over some sort of purple fermented mush?  Get outta here!  There is no way in hades that I will ever believe that these women eat that way all the time.  If they do, they NEVER have PMS, and if that’s the case I don’t even want to know them anyway.

Last, I must give some love to all the repurposing used toilet paper, modge podge my cereal boxes, and zero waste blogs.  Thanks for making me feel inadequate.  Thanks for making me care more about a TREE than my children.  Again, I say these sites are full of it.  There is NO way that these people live this way all the time.  None.  Doesn’t happen.  If they do, then they have made garbage their idol.  I say, keep it off the roads, paths, and trails, put it in a garbage can and be done.  Don’t take/use more than you need.  Repurposing was called crafts when I was in grade school.  You painted up a coffee can and made a pencil container for your room.  No guilt.  No obsessing.  Just fun.

Fun?  What happened to that?  Joy?  Peace?  What happened?  From the time I get up I can seize the day, build relationships, work my lungs, give kisses and hugs.  OR, I can get up, make coffee (free trade, recycled filter, reverse osmosis water?????), read blogs about how awful my life is, wipe my behind with cut up t-shirts, go over the periodic table with the three year old, check my cervical mucus, check on my soaked oatmeal, check my sucanat order, troll the pro-vaccine boards, wash out my tuna cans, roll my eyes at the neighbor who gives her kids Capri Sun, wash my hair with vinegar and baking soda, and everything else that sucks up my life.  My LIFE.  I get one. ONE.  What is this alternate reality that is supposed to be the new norm.  It’s ugly.

For the people who truly live that life and it brings them joy?  God bless.  They don’t blog about it.  They live it.  They tell you about it if asked.  They don’t lecture.  Most blogs have become giant finger pointing forums.  It’s just another version of the high school clique.

Here is the video that set all of this off.  At first I laughed and laughed.  Then, I got mad.

Oh, yeah, I just blogged from the toilet.  I ate spinach artichoke dip for breakfast.  I put SPLENDA in my coffee.  The TV is on.  Bite. me.

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Sustainable Farming Under Attack

I am going to break my own rule and get a little political today.  A fellow Facebook-er put up a link to a video that made me so upset  I could spit red hot nails.

What’s the story?  Quail Hollow Farm, a CSA, located in Overton, Nevada was set to have a dinner to showcase the beautiful benefits of sustainable farming practices.  Farm fresh meats, produce, eggs, honey are produced locally on the farm.  All waste is effectively used as compost to nourish future crops.  Located in a quiet setting, the farm harkens back to the good ole days with a touch of modern flair.  The idea is “if they can do it, anyone can.”  A simple, elegant message that deserves praise in a time of excess and  waste.

Praise, unfortunately, did not come on the evening of October 21st, 2011.  What happened was a fiasco so Orwellian in nature that I struggle to even believe it.  What truly amazes me is that this would happen HERE in the United States when the “People of Tolerance” are in power.

The video link is here.

Here is a link to the article.

Read it.  Even if you don’t give a rip about sustainable farming, take the time to apply it to an area that you do give a rip about.  The government came in, tried to shut down a dinner because the food was not under the caring concern of our champions, the USDA.  The food not only had to be thrown away, it was deemed unfit for pigs.  The health inspector required that bleach be poured all over the food, lest the upstart farmers fish it out of the trashcans and eat it.

Is this America?  I know that sounds cliche, but a statement that makes sense of this situation completely eludes me.  I can understand that environmentalists have a beef with Big Agriculture.  I get it.  But this?  This farm represents the perfect “balance” as championed by environmentalists!  When something as ludicrous as this occurs I have to ask, do environmentalists realize who they are in bed with?  How does it feel to have linked arms with the government so tightly?  How does it feel to have your message hijacked and used to control innocent people?  You don’t see it?  Then tell me exactly what these people did wrong.  Oh, and after that, tell me how the government needs to instruct me on what I can and cannot give to my family.  Where has common sense gone?  If the government doesn’t tell me what I can feed my kids, I may just decide to give them bleach to drink.  Is that what it has come to?  Pish Posh.

I don’t want to live in a land where I am told the wage I WILL be making, the food I WILL be eating, the housing I WILL be living in, the work I WILL be doing, the clothes I WILL be wearing,  the number of children I WILL be having, the number of items I WILL be owning, the amount of money I WILL be “donating”.  That is not freedom.  That is life on the plantation.  And this country has shed too much blood, and fought too hard to go back to the plantation.  Wake up.  Wake up.  Wake up.