Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This is a deviation from my normal blog but it is something I felt I had to put out there.  Read at your own risk!

I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of being assaulted daily with political ads and propaganda.  It has become so aggressive, that I don’t even like visiting social media sites or watching the TV because I really don’t care who lied about whom about whatever or who is hiding what from the public.  It has no bearing on my life. 

I think the whole format of elections needs to change.  Because I really don’t care what their political agendas or views are, I just want a candidate that knows what it feels like to walk a mile in my shoes.  And, honey, after walking a mile in my shoes, they are going to need orthopedic surgery!!

We all know that the hottest shows on television right now are reality shows.  Bachelors picking wives, geeks  picking blondes, 5th graders picking on adults and judges picking on singers.  So why don’t we take all the presidential candidates, and yes, there is more than two of them, and put them on their own reality show?  That would definitely be one way to increase the voter turnout! 

The only time the candidates are allowed to make political speeches will be on the first show when each candidate is introduced.  And they will only be allowed to talk about their views on issues of America’s choosing.  And there will be no political backstabbing, that would be an automatic disqualification.

Each show would feature a different theme.

Show  1– each candidate is introduced with a host/hostess giving a brief bio.  The rest of the candidates would be in a sound proof booth backstage where they couldn’t see or hear the candidate that was being introduced.
The next step would be a speed round in which the host would read off a long list of political yes or no questions, such as “are you against abortion?  Yes or no.”  “ Are you against gun control?  Yes or no” etc. The candidate would have 1 minute to answer as many questions as possible.  The idea being that with the time limit, the candidate will be more apt to give an honest answer without thinking about his political advantages or disadvantages.
At the end of the speed round, the candidate would have 2 minutes to make a speech on his political viewpoints on pertinent topics that America wants to hear about.  At the end of this show, America would go online or vote by phone, and only the top 20 candidates will go on.

Show 2  – this show will feature the candidates going ‘undercover’ and living on the streets for a week.  No cell phones, no suits, no get out of jail free card.  Each candidate will be assigned a mentor who will show them how to dumpster dive, how a soup kitchen works, how camp and shelters work, the finer points panhandling, how to handle police intervention and in the case of northern climes, how to migrate south for the winter.  Each candidate will be allowed to pick 1 item to take with them but will be handed to their mentors wearing nothing but socks, shorts and a thin t-shirt.  Lose 2 candidates.

Show 3 – would feature the candidates getting to know the young people;  the gangs, violence and lack of education in schools, teenage pregnancy, drug use, suicide and bullying. Lose 2 candidates.

Show 4 – this show would be about low income households and what they have to do to take care of their families; the lack of funding for food banks & social services, no access to affordable health care, drug, alcohol and domestic abuse, losing jobs, homes and going into bankruptcy.  Lose 2 candidates.

Show 5 – The candidates would get to spend a week with a special needs family and see what they have to go through to get the care their special person needs.  The daily fights with insurance, negotiating with Social Security about pay raises, getting divorced just to have access to services, putting their child in foster care or institutionalizing them so they can get the services they deserve. Lose 2 candidates.

Show 6 – An up close and personal view of what its like to be an elder in our country where no one listens to you, being over medicated with medications you can't afford, having your rights taken away, being abused by family members and assisted living homes and having no retirement funds because your spouses care used them up. Lose 2 candidates.

Show 7 – 3 words – Marine Boot Camp!  Run by Honorary Gunny  R. Lee Ermey for the top 10.  Lose 2 candidates (at least).

Show 8 – Life on the front lines.  Lose 2 candidates (or more, depending on how the Middle Easterners vote!).

Show 9 – Life for veterans.  The candidates will be assigned various disabilities, if they don’t have any of their own by now, and see what our military has to go through after discharge.  Lose 2 candidates.

Show 10 – Mr Presidential America contest for the final 4 candidates.  This will involve a swimsuit competition, stupid ‘pres’ tricks, have to answer 1 question (like on Miss America), re-do and compare the show 1 speed round questions and see if any views have changed.  America votes for their favorite presidential candidate.

Show 11 – The bottom 2 candidates are introduced and leave. Mr Vice-President is announced (the runner up).   Mr.  President is then announced with a look back at his time throughout the competition.  He is given a very blinged out crown to remind him of the journey.

This is just me venting, but in all ‘reality’, wouldn’t a format similar to this give us a better idea of what the candidates really stand for?  They would get a chance to walk in our shoes, pay our taxes and we can see if they measure up to what we, as Americans, have to go through every day just to keep our families fed and taken care.  There is a huge disconnect between what I go through day to day as an unemployed parent of a special needs child and the life of a presidential candidate. 

If one of these so-called candidates took the time to get to know me and mine, maybe I would care more about who I vote for.  From my point of view, it doesn't really matter who sits in that fancy chair, I still can't pay my bills and I still can't afford to get my son the therapy he so desperately needs.  And that's not going to change any time soon from the looks of it.

With that being said, yes, I still plan on voting.  Who's up for a game of Eenie, Meanie, Minee, Moe?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Better late than Never!

Wow, its been almost a year since I posted last.  That is not good!  Life has been busy and just got away from me.  To have a bit of a recap of what happened last year:  My oldest son, Cody, had surgery the end of August to have a device called a Vagal Nerve Stimulator, installed in his chest, just under the skin to help control his seizures.  It does really help but he has ended up with chronic ear infections which seems to set the seizures off, up to 6 a day.

My sister had her 'official' wedding ceremony in September and I got to meet her husband, Alex for the first time, albeit, very briefly.  Max, our youngest, was the ring bearer.  I don't think my sister knew what she was doing when she picked him :).  He made it halfway down the aisle before he spiked the pillow and headed the other way as fast as he could!

We had a big family get together for Thanksgiving, and one of my nephews, nicknamed Thypoid Joseph, managed to get everyone sick again.  This time with the stomach flu.  UGHH!  Things just went downhill from there.  I normally get a cold once or twice a year, but this year, I was pretty much sick non-stop from Thanksgiving through the end of April.  I had the stomach flu, the flu, bronchitis and pneumonia.  Trying to deal with that, the farm, the kids and everything else in my life was nigh on impossible.  I have been busy the past 2 months now trying to get caught up on all my chores.

My husband ended up being unable to work for about 4 months due to some bad back problems.  He went back to work in January but his back will never be what it once was.  So now I have to do all the heavy lifting in the family, such as garbage and hay :(   But despite having no money this Christmas, I have to say, it was probably the best one in a very long.  It was nice to take things back to the basics and concentrate on making gifts instead of on the dollar value.

The good news though, we had a great New Year's Eve.  I went out to the barn and discovered that two of our does, Annabelle and Silver Belle, had kidded without telling us.  Silver Belle had two beautiful does; one a dark brown with black cape (just like her sire) and the other is a beautiful chamois with black cape.

Annabelle had polled triplets; 2 bucklings and a doeling that looked just like their sire.  The doeling wasn't in good shape and was rejected the next day by her mom.  I couldn't get her to take the bottle but Silver Belle was willing to nurse her as long as I was near by.  I kept the little girl with her brothers and checked on her often. About a week later, just when she was starting to put on weight, I went out one morning to discover the little doeling was dead.  Since she had been fine before I went to bed, I suspect that Annabelle laid on her and killed her.

Then 3 weeks later, Mary Elizabeth kidded with a nice looking little buckling.  I was disappointed that there was only one kid but I think she had a partial miscarriage about halfway through her gestation.

On May 1st, our Nubian doe kidded with 1 silver earred  doeling that I named Daisy Mae.  She is our 1st mini Nubian.

I tried selling the 3 bucklings but only one sold, Mary Elizabeth's, as a wether.  I wethered one of the other bucklings and kept his brother intact.  I would still like to sell them though as I have too many male goats running around.

Earlier this month, I went and looked at a little buckling over at Red Roof Farm and put a deposit down on him so we will be adding another buck to our herd soon.  He is out of  Camanna ZH Lilac Haze and Coast Wind BWC Chip.  I am hoping he will bring some nice attributes to our breeding program and plan to use him to breed our junior doelings later this fall and maybe one of the older does.  I will go pick him up after he is weaned towards the end of July.

My mother and I spent Memorial weekend getting my garden rototilled and partially planted - Yeah!  I wasn't sure we would even have a garden this year thanks to the weather.  But when the sun finally came out, we put in some serious sweat equity and got it done.

I planted corn, bush and pole beans, edamane, broccoli, cabbage, green and white cauliflower, celery, swiss chard, peas, turnips, basil, parsley, kohlrabi, leaf and head lettuce, sage, oregano, cucumber, tomato, cilantro, chives, 75 new strawberry plants, and about 200 red and yellow onions (no joke!).

I still need to plant some hot pepper and eggplant seedlings I have in the house and the Jerusalem artichokes that are left over from last year.  Then weed the raspberries and transplant some of the runners to a new part of the garden and we should be pretty well done.  

I am giving some serious thought to changing my garden layout next year.  I am thinking about taking half of the garden next year and just turning it into a berry garden.  That would make a lot less work (I think) for me in the spring.  I already have 4+ rows of strawberries and 2 rows of raspberries on one side.  I think I might dig up my 2 surviving blueberry plants and put them in the garden and buy 1 or 2 more and also plant some grape vines to run along the fence.  My female kiwi plant died but the male is still doing good so I need to buy one more to get fruit.  

For other news, I recently became a Training Leader for Avon so have been busy working with my clients and trying to build a team (anyone interested in joining my team?).  It has been a lot of fun and its a great way to meet different people in the community.  I also took a cheese making class at Quail Run Creamery that was very interesting.  I am suffering a bad case of  farm envy after touring their facilities.  Some day, when Avon makes me rich and famous, I will buy some goats from them.

With things looking up, for now, I am just going to concentrate on getting caught up on my chores (next up, cleaning the chicken coops and goats stalls - yuck!) and trying to having some summer fun with the boys.  I also need to work out a breeding schedule for the goats and to get ready for the 3 litters of rabbits due next week.

Until next time, which will hopefully only be in a week or two, have a great 4th of July!