Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Dixie Belle
September 1998 - November 25, 2014
 Beloved companion and family member

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Am the Lorax

It's that time of year when we spend one day being thankful for what we have and the very next day we're up at the crack of dawn to fight with strangers over things that we and our loved ones neither need nor want, all in the "spirit" of the holiday. 

Some people call this coming Friday "Black Friday." I prefer to call it "Buy Nothing Day." Before you rush out to buy the latest greatest thneed, think it over. Is it necessary for you or your loved one to get that item? Is it worth the damage to the planet via the consumed finite resources and associated pollution? Is it worth making retail employees miss a long holiday weekend with family? Make Buy Nothing Day into an entire season. Give the gifts of love, service, or time. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Morning Amusement

This Chris Rock monologue is funny and sad at the same time. 

This post isn't exactly the way I wanted it. The part of the video that I wanted to feature begins at 4:30 and ends around 5:15, but I couldn't figure out how to embed just that portion of the video and the online tutorials didn't work for me. So below is the entire video and the portion I wanted to share is here:

Chris Rock's take on the American Christmas experience is spot on.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quote for the Day

"Dream....Dream of other ways of living, dream new joys, dream a world where you have less but live more."
~Charles Bowden

Friday, November 21, 2014

Farm Friday

This week has been a week of highs and lows. 

Monday night around 7:00 we let our Maine coon cat Mr. Fabulous ("Fabs") outside for his usual nocturnal prowling. When he didn't show up for breakfast the next morning I was slightly concerned. Now that he has been gone all week, I'm extremely concerned. But I'm still hoping he shows up. We had one of our cats disappear for about 6 weeks. We don't know what he did during that time or what happened to him, but he never again left the area between our house and barn.

Wednesday night I learned that I will soon need to say goodbye to my sweet house cat Dixie. Dixie is 16 years old and has been with me since she was 4 months old. She recently developed an abscessed tooth and ended up having an extraction. The infection would not go away and she has been on 4 or 5 different antibiotics. The vet told me it's probably a tumor in her sinuses and, although there are other interventions, if it were her cat she wouldn't do any of them. But she didn't need to tell me that because I know that would be pure torture to the cat, with a very high risk and no guarantees. Dixie is pretty old for a cat and I don't want her to suffer, but it will still be hard to tell her goodbye. She and I bonded from the moment I met her and Bill has always called her my familiar.

We knew we would be getting frost on Monday night so harvested much of our cold-sensitive greens. The broccoli was still young so had small heads and very small harvest overall. We sold out of it so didn't even get to save any for ourselves.

Wednesday Bill and I borrowed our neighbor's trailer so that he could take one of the pigs to market. Getting the truck backed into a tight spot where the trailer was stored and then getting the trailer hitch to line up perfectly with the truck was a challenge but we managed to do it without too much trouble. We raised this particular pig for a nonprofit organization we work with and they will give away some of the meat to low income individuals in their community, as well as use it in their community dinners and fundraisers.

A couple of weeks ago we received an invitation to a reception/celebration at the Governor's mansion. We weren't sure what the event was about or why we were invited until the Governor's office announced the formation of the Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide with Virginia's First Lady as Chair. The purpose of the council is to eliminate childhood hunger in the commonwealth. So last night we visited the mansion, along with a small crowd of people, mainly cabinet members, delegates, and staff members. We were honored to be included for the celebration. It was good to talk to Mrs. McAuliffe and hear more about her plans. As the mother of five, she's very passionate about ensuring that no child goes hungry in Virginia. We were also able to meet and chat with Gov. McAuliffe for a few minutes. Although it was a long trip - we weren't able to spend the night - we were glad to be able to be a part of the celebration.
VA First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe with Bill and me
I have a craft show tomorrow and will be selling my trademark women's aprons, as well as hot/cold therapy pillows and a few other items. After this show, I have one more in December, then I think I'll take a vacation.

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Positive Things

Our current Kiva loan recipients
Since I often complain about things that are wrong, I wanted to highlight something that is right. Kiva is an amazing organization that give micro loans to individuals around the world in order to start or expand small business enterprises. Years ago I made a small investment in this organization and over the years, that small investment has been reloaned nine times. Today I had to smile when I got notice that part of the current loan had been repaid - 44 cents. For Americans, 44 cents is a trivial amount. We probably can find more than that in the nooks and crannies of our cars and sofas. However, for the group that borrowed the money, a small food market in the Dominican Republic, that is a tremendous amount. And the fact that we've had no defaults on any loans is impressive. Although I get nothing in return, I consider it my best investment.