Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Animal For Our Homestead!

How do you like our first farm animal?? Heh heh...
I've been holding my breath and it looks like it'll happen (this thing I've been hoping would)...and that's the big news around here! Seriously, want to guess what it is?
We're bringing home our newest and FIRST addition to our homestead tomorrow, if all goes well....and oh MAN am I excited!
Pictures to come, after tomorrow...any guesses??
Woo, I don't think I'll be able to sleep till then!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Guess You Can Grow It In A Pot

A mini-watermelon, grown from seed bought in a packet at the hardware store. I can't remember what type, but it grew in a bin, waiting being transplanted into the ground...a day which never came. I don't recommend treating plants that way, but hey, it still bore several small fruits! We thought this one was a loss because there was a large hole from something eating or gouging the side, but when I cut into it, it had never penetrated to the interior.

One fruit is just big enough for a single portion. Or if you're really in love with your husband and don't mind sharing, two portions ;-)

The taste test will be tonight after it's finished chilling. I wanted to make sure it was fine on the inside, with no unexpected visitors (after inspecting the hole in the side). Looks great...can't wait to try it!
I like the idea of the mini melons. I think we'll have to keep them on the menu for next year's garden...with less neglect :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Computer Gremlins

...are eating my computer. Back to the shop for DELLa.

I'll be back, but I'll be stranded for a few days...hope your weekend is great!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our Career Shift

...or otherwise known as What We Want to be When We Grow Up is my ramble for the day over at NotDabblingInNormal.

I'm probably slow on the uptake, but it was only last week that I realized which "career" is my very best fit. And at the same time, and separately, my husband had his own light bulb moment regarding his own ultimate desires along those lines.

Wow, now that we're clear on those things, does this mean we have to begin actually behaving like grownups? (that may be the only glitch in the equation)


Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Worth the Effort, No Complaints

I wanted to stop here briefly to thank everyone who has commented recently. It's so nice to be able to be real and have some great dialogue about concerns that affect us all, especially with so many different perspectives on things. I really value your input, and it's great to know what others besides myself are thinking and going through...thank you!

Lest anyone think that the last couple of posts are a pity party or Poor Little Me diatribe on my part, I'd just like to say that they were never intended to be. In fact, I feel immensely blessed, and figure that change is par for the course. Though Jack's and my path are not what we expected they'd be in some respects, in all respects we can say God has brought us through the challenges as better people, and maybe with some resolve and lessons learned that will last us through any more. Instead of thinking of sidelines in our lives as detrimental, we both strongly feel that it's opened more doors for us than have been closed. Necessity is said to be the mother of invention, and for us it's been an unifying factor...we need each other and love to put our minds together to innovate and find a way to make a Best Life that may never have looked quite the same were there never challenges and roadblocks.

I have to say I really like where it has positioned us, because it's narrowed the field of possibilities to the few that mean the most to us. And for that, again, we thank God.

It's almost shabbat again, and I'm so thankful for all the good things that come to us without asking on a daily basis. Looking out at our neglected and overgrown garden and pots, I can see that all that riotous Bermuda is evidence of fertility and vigor, and we have some exceptional plants that seem to be weathering the extremes with good humor and vitality. Indoors we have about a dozen calabazas in different stages of ripeness, awaiting eating or preservation. Slowly, the habits we've been adopting are becoming a part of our everyday lives. Trips to the store now are fewer, and if we have to wait, we have staple goods that are simple and hearty that can be fixed from what's stored in the pantry.

What a wonderful feeling! Even when things seem to take longer to accomplish over the long term (or short) than we'd like, we like having made the changes we have, and I can't say that what was necessitated by our changed circumstances is anything but good...changes we needed to make all along, but didn't even know it.

We're happy :) Thank you for sharing your viewpoints openly and welcoming mine. I'm grateful, every day, for the opportunities we DO have, even though it may sound otherwise when I'm on one of my rants about freedom and the government and some of our past experiences. I'd rather have freedom and take the long road of investing time and elbow grease towards our own self-sufficiency than have a government or anyone else offer me different options at the expense of our taking responsibility ourselves for our thanks.

I hope your weekend is restful and full of green, growing things and time with your loved ones.

:) Shabbat Shalom

Monday, August 10, 2009

Employment Statistics Inaccurate

If you have 1,000 people, and 500 of them lost their jobs last year and don't have new ones, there is no upswing of employment.

If 250 more of them lost their jobs since, even though that's less, it does not account for the existing 500 who are still unemployed.

It might look like "recovery" since the "numbers" went down from last year's tally of 500 to 250, but in reality it's all based on that 1,000 people.

I'll illustrate how difficult it is to get a true picture of employment stats using our own family as an example.

We both lost our full-time jobs early on in the Slump that started prior to the big slide down. My industry at that time was tied to the construction industry. Jack's was a skilled technical job, and they shut down one of their divisions...the one he was in. Our home business was also construction-related, and that had to be closed down entirely.

Here's how we did and did not fit into any of the unemployment statistics to date:

Jack qualified for unemployment initially when he lost his technical job. After a time of doubling his commute for additional jobs, he saw that wouldn't work for the long-term and that his companies' policies were to hire young unskilled workers and to let go of their older lifetime-career employees who were nearing him.

So he chose another industry that paid less, and trained for it, and became employed in it, at half the pay and no guarantee of regular hours, and with no benefits. (Why? because it's in an industry necessary regardless of the economy, and more skilled jobs here became very scarce and fiercely competed-over. Thus, better to have some job, even a lesser one, than no job. And we began seeing self-sufficiency being more of our goal and care less about HOW to get there...having our self-sufficient homestead is more of what we consider our ultimate job...but back to the topic)

This industry is likely to be a bit more depression-proof than some, but it's still affected, and it's one in which his schedule is an on-demand one...there is no full time 40 hours guaranteed or assigned because they work employees one or two hours below what would qualify them as full time. Why? So they don't have to pay unemployment if an employee is let go for any reason, and don't have to pay overtime if an employee has to fill in for someone else if an emergency arises. It's not specific to his's a policy specific to that industry at large. He knew that, but it's what was at hand and available, and nothing else was.

Backing up, I was working fulltime in an industry hinged to Construction. But I could never qualify for unemployment no matter how many hours I worked...why? Because that company had become very cautious in taking on any more employees and hired all the new ones via temp agencies. I applied directly to the company, but before hire had to go register with a temp agency and was paid through them and officially considered their employee. This disqualified me for any regular benefits from the industry I was working in, and disqualified me from unemployment benefits if my job ended. The company responded to the big economic slump by laying off a big percentage of the employees. I survived the first cut. I did not survive the second. It was mandated from Corporate, and my boss fought to keep me on, but unless she would have contracted to pay me from her own pocket, my job got cut...which it did, and ultimately she herself and the other employees are no longer there, with the exception of the receptionist.

So I went from fulltime to nothing, and the unemployment figures would never have reflected my job loss since they are based on people filing for unemployment.

Since then, I worked at a number of jobs, none of which qualified for unemployment since they were not hiring for 40 hours a week. I trained for a 911 job and the training lasted several months and it was fulltime (and then some), but the training period was exempt from being counted since it was a probationary period. After those months, my stress level was pretty incredible and though I'd hoped it was the right job for me, it exacerbated into regular anxiety attacks and made the decision to find another career...again.

So another job loss, my choice, but of course not eligible for unemployment.

So I trained for the same industry my husband is now in, and the same conditions apply to me as apply to him...we work double the commute, share a vehicle, and sometimes he will work 50 hours a week...or 8...depending on how much he is called in, and over which he has no control. We work for different companies and mine has the policy to not schedule for fulltime, so I work more regularly, but just under what would qualify elsewhere as "fulltime" hours.

So if either of us lost our jobs, neither of us would be eligible for unemployment.

And if you think we haven't been looking for other jobs in the meantime, that's not accurate. They simply are not to be had within an hour commuting distance and more any direction from where we're located.

At this point we're VERY fortunate that we're able to accomodate two schedules with one vehicle.

The reason I'm typing all this is to illustrate that a lot of companies have responded to the downturn by cutting back on their employee numbers and hours in order to stay in business and not have to lay off more people, or shut their doors. It's not their fault. But it disqualifies us from filing for unemployment, and that is the statistic that's used today to measure unemployment trends.

That's not to mention our home business, which as I said was tied to the Construction industry. We were small players, a very small business. But the folks we paid were contracted out, and when we closed down, that was business they didn't have any more. And, again, we were unqualified as a statistic if based on people filing for unemployment...but it was a business closing and a lot of other businesses lost business when we did.

We are very unimpressed with monies handed to big corps to help them survive, and pretty much think it's unconstitutional. But that's another whole subject.

If you count the span of months in which we were unemployed while we were training for a new job (on our own dime and time), or were unemployed but not eligible for any unemployment money, I think we're more typical of a lot of Americans.

And so that means that since 2006 and our both having and losing a number of jobs, the statistics would only show that ONLY one job was lost in 2006, if based on unemployment filing stats. NOT accurate for us...not at all.

And the numbers will never reflect the truth of those situations...our own very real situations.

Especially for those who have become jobless, don't qualifty for this and that, and have not been able to find new jobs. Or who have, but those jobs are part-time jobs that will never show up accurately in polls and data.

That's why I'm unimpressed with the way numbers and "facts" are thrown around as a supposedly accurate measurement of employment.

They're really not. Which is's the nature of the limitations that come with that sort of collecting. But when I hear politicians lecture Thinking Americans as if they're small children, it's insulting to me, and when they back up many of those diatribes with data, that data represents ACTUAL humans with ACTUAL lives...and it's not accurate.

And if you measure new job starts, be sure to also measure businesses that are closing or laying folks off....let's shoot for the more accurate picture.

I hope people will non-violently insist that their voices be heard about the important issues at hand, even if town hall meetings are now discouraged...go and legally get the paperwork for your own meeting, or have a legal Sit In and hold up your signs. Your hand holds the vote for your representatives and it's OUR voices that count. Calmly, lucidly. Refuse to be bullied and to be bullies. No one can close down our right to assemble peacefully to have our voices heard. The day that happens, it's a police state.

A final note......

we don't need our government as our Protector. Our constitution provides that we have the right to protect ourselves. When the government becomes Protector, again, that's just another word for Police State.

No thanks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

False Roselle/Cranberry Hibiscus Update

Back in early June Jack planted Cranberry Hibiscus/False Roselle seeds. Here was the initial post after they had first sprouted...they certainly weathered the heat and extremes well. From those very small seeds emerged what appeared to be red maple seedlings. It is now early August, about three months total, and many of the plants tower over me.

The leaves are very similar to a red maple, or Japanese maple, sometimes appearing purplish with green tints intermingled, and sometimes tipped in vibrant crimson (especially the newer shoots and leaves).

These will benefit from getting cut back, since they are a bit lanky and need to be pruned in order to get a good bushy habit. I think that should also promote more flowers, too, as these will likely be blooming later in the year (let's's our first time around with them).
We got them started in the plastic bins, but it's clear they need to be planted out soon. We're figuring that since they naturalize pretty easily in Florida in general, that they'll stand a better chance with freezes if they're in the ground and their roots can be better established by then. If they die back, they'll likely regrow from the roots. Again, let's see.
At a distance, their color here appears a dark plum color. Up close, the leaves are works of art, in every shade of plum, purple, violet, mauve, and the red spectrum. The veins are burgundy red.

We have tried eating both the tender emerging leaves (the dark red ones you see here at the tips) as well as the medium-sized leaves in teas. I've never tasted sorrell, but some folks describe the flavor as similar. To me, they have a mildly tart lemony flavor. The small tender leaves are very delicious in salads...we really like them! The other larger leaves are my current favorite in hot tea, especially combined with other medicinal tea plants. Right now I make a mix of fresh leaves of the false roselle (cranberry hibiscus), comfrey, moringa, and yerba buena...I feel good drinking it and even though I've been sick on and off this summer with a very stubborn respiratory infection, I do believe the tea helps give me a boost to build my immune system, or at least that's my hunch :)
I was delighted to find this video by Green and informative...check it out if you have time :)

But here's where the False Roselle is in its glory...with the blazing sun backlighting its leaves...this is the view out my dining area window (the only window visible from my kitchen), and when the sun is trying its best to wither and melt down everything in its path, the plucky false roselle's leaves gleam like jewels.
We are definitely keeping these for the longterm...they are so easy to grow from seed, they aren't bothered by extremes of weather, except for freezes, they are perrenial to our area for the most part, and for areas that have cold, they are easily grown from seed after the frosts. Prune them? They flourish and the pruned bits can be stuck into the soil to propagate more plants. They're delicious in salads and in stir fries...and teas.
When they flower, the blooms are a more delicate-looking version of a hibiscus, pink with purple veins, and though the flower has no taste, it is beautiful in salads. I can't wait to try them the way the ECHO global test farm recommends (check out the search bar for more about ECHO...we love them and use their seeds) pick them when the buds are closed near dusk and then to blend them with lime and sugar and serve as an iced drink...fresh limeade with a gorgeous pinkish glow...mmm!
When a plant is this versatile, I'm all about trying to think of how to use it in other ways. I wonder if the more tender medium-sized leaves could be used in recipes that would usually incorporate grape leaves, and if they might even be preserved for the longer term in brine the way grape leaves can. I haven't ventured much into the realm of making dolmas, but I've had some Greek food before, and eaten bits wrapped in grape leaves and thought them delicious. I wonder if the taste and texture of the false roselle leaves are close enough to grape leaves to serve as a delicious alternative with lemony undertones? Or if it would taste good flavoring a vinegar? Or included in jars of pickles (my grandma put grape leaves in hers along with the garlic and dill, etc) when canning. Or boiled with sugar and made into a simple syrup?
At any rate, if you have a hunch to try this plant, do! It's a great pollinator attractor and can be grown in clumps in the landscape, edible garden, or flowerbed.
We'll keep you posted as we transplant it and see how the bloom time goes, and how well it weathers our winter and some benign neglect from time to time. And I'll see if we can play with it a bit in the kitchen, too! If you have any ideas along those lines, let me know...I love to experiment :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Emperor's Still Naked

First I have some unburdening to do and it won't be pretty. Best to go on to a friendlier blog if you've got no time for a harangue, 'cause this one's a doozie.

I haven't been here posting much. I don't like writing when I'm riled (that's Tennessee lingo for worse words), for many reasons. However, I began this blog as a chronicle of our real lives rather than for any entertainment factors for others, despite how much I really love everyone who stops by. (Thanks!)

Because chronicling our reality, rather than a narrower topic, is the theme here, I don't have to be politically correct or necessarily write only about the garden, cooking, etc. And I have to say...I'm sitting on a quiet rage right now. In fact, there have been moments I've been about ready to air some of them in a way that would immediately lose this blog its G rating, and me my resolution to not indulge in some bad language.

I hate what is happening to this country.

I like to stay far away from subjects like our economy, civics, etc, except for some things I've posted in the past related to farming and food rights...and I posted enough of those that now I don't do so much any more...I've seen enough other blogs that are raising awareness that I've backed away here.

And I'm "going there"...I'm going to step in it now in a big way....I'm giving some thoughts on politics, maybe even religion, so if that's not what you're wanting to read here and it'll ruin your day, please X out my page...truly. Because this may make EVERYbody mad.

I didn't like President Clinton, I didn't like President Bush, and I don't like President Obama. I am an Independent and not party-loyal.

I am delighted above most average folks that our country finally FINALLY got to a point where a black man can become President, and where a woman almost did. I'm glad she didn't, though, because I don't like Hillary, either. (Yeah, I'm really making friends by the second by typing this, right?) :)

But enough about things I cannot change.

I've been sick a while, and it was strangely a welcome reprieve even from the very limited exposure I have to the news (we don't have TV service).

But here's some perspective as I am freshly regaining my mind back...I hate what I see and where we're headed. For the first time EVER, I feel like I have NO impact on the direction my government and country are headed...none. I do not feel hopeless. I am not powerless. I'm not a pessimist by nature. I'm not a political armchair quarterback.

But I'm also not a lemming, a zombie, or a moron.

I am watching ALL our freedoms being affected, and the rate they are being bandied about has increased exponentially in the name of Change and Progress and Reform.

EVERYone is playing the blame game. And I'm pissed. (That's my crude word for this post)

I'm PISSED because I've been careful MOST OF MY LIFE to pay my bills on time, NOT declare bankruptcy (yeah I know some people have to, but a lot don't), and eat tuna/beans/macaroni more years than I can count when times for us were tight DURING what others considered "boom" times economically...I had to economize to the bone BACK THEN.

Why do I need to pay everyone else's debts, too?? This Is Not a Communist State, last I heard.

The debt we are now paying off for my family is tiny compared to most folks' and that's because I did not buy the new sofa/bedroom suite/vacation/cute haircut/favorite restaurant meals/latest electronics/Kitchenaid Mixer/William Sonoma products I love/really cool clothes/gadgets for my child/private schooling for her/finishing college for myself......and so on and so on. The point is, I didn't think of myself as a martyr. I did pout for a while, but then sucked it up because THAT's LIFE and I'm beyond wanting to be up with the latest anymore...I've learned to be comfortable with a little and that that stuff's temporary anyway...blah blah blah.

I grew up with feast or famine. For anyone dependent on a family where Get Rich Quick mentalities rule, the promise that "our ship will come in someday" holds no charms. It's like a gambling addiction to some people...they have to have the Always Something Better, Just A Little Bit More mentality because they've never learned to be content. And even when the ship occasionally DOES come in, they've got to shoot for a bigger gamble the next time around. It wasn't the doing without I minded as much as the build-up...the strange light in a parent's eye when talking about a fresh "sure fire" scheme that'll be secure, all based on statistics and possibilities that are sure to be winners, but there's hardly any food in the fridge and your idea of a splurge is having milk for something besides just cereal.

The problem with the spin a salesmen use is that any data can be massaged, somebody else is the bad guy if something malfunctions, and if it can fuel Need and turn it to Greed, enough is never enough.

That's where our country is now. Enough is not going to be enough, and there is that hoo-rah hype that ANY good salesman can recognize...cook the facts to please your audience and hype people who are tired of the status quo or are in desperate need of solid answers, and GAMBLE IT QUICK before the opportunity passes...that's seriously the same weird light I recognize from childhood.

The sales pitch has that glazed-over desperate sort of false optimism, and it's been going on a LONG TIME, but is now frenetically bombarding our country when it's most vulnerable.

When people need relief (I know this from experience), they'll go to unusual lengths for it if they feel panicked and emotional. It's nearly impossible to stay focused and objective. I felt panicked years ago when I was stupid enough to CALL the IRS and ask what my penalty amount was for not having filed one year we were in hardship (dont ever call and ask them). If I hadn't called, I could have fixed it through my accountant the next spring, but since I HAD called them, they said Hey owe this much and by the way since you alerted us to it, it's due in ten its entirety. That was back in the day before there was any other option in repaying them. So we felt we had to turn to a loan shark. Oh they were so happy to "help" us. At 25% interest and a lot of other ridiculous "necessary" fees.

The same thing happened the time a vendor didn't cash a check I'd written.......for a YEAR. By then, I'd forgotten about it, and I was a single mom. And the bank put the check through and boingggg went all those bills (repeatedly because I didn't know it was happening for a few days) that I was paying so steadily monthly. So I thought my only option then was to go to one of those loan places that take what you owe out of your next some other ridiculous interest rate.

Etc etc.....I did crazy stuff when I panicked. That's what I feel like our government is doing right now.

Dear Government Bureaucrats........STOP SPENDING.......PLEASE. A couple billion may not seem like a lot to YOU, but I don't NEED the extra debt YOU'RE putting on me in order to help some people ditch their old cars for new ones. That's not recovery, it's throwing money away. Ultimately, it's going to be better if you STOP encouraging people to take on more debt, and I guarantee you those car buyers ARE taking out loans for the balance on those new cars.

The government is not only out of's taking control. Does anyone see this??

Follow the money leads right back to Washington and the big Corps/Banks. That is, if you can even find the money trail (how about the stats on the whereabouts of the money given to those banks...huh, huh?) Does anyone realize that by handing the goverment control of ANY of these things, we are no longer a democratic republic?? Are we really willing to be THAT powerless?

Does anyone remember why we LEFT ENGLAND to begin with? Why is it ok to be idealizing nations we tried to flee in order to have freedoms in the first place??

And when did we start believing rhetoric as long as it promises change change change??

I DON'T BELIEVE the reports that we've finished hurting yet and that jobs are on the rise. They aren't around here. I heard a leading economist admit that the "recovery statistics" they're crowing over show we are not declining as fast as expected...since when is a slower decline equivalent to an upward swing??

Why do I have to be shackled to a huge national debt that I have no say in when we're doing our all to get out of our tiny tiny debt by working jobs most people would turn up their noses at...because they aren't our chosen careers (we lost those three years back.)

I don't even have a doctor, and I can count on one hand the times I've gone to a doctor/clinic in the past 5 years...where I PAID for services even though the price is high. And now I'm hearing that I won't even have THAT choice, or I may be REQUIRED to have health insurance???

HEALTH INSURANCE is not a human right. I'm speaking as an under-insured person. It is not wrong for medical care to be competitive. Boy have we lost it. And no, I'm not willing to pay for other people's. I'm sorry to be a B-word about that, but I'm diabetic, overweight, work at barely over minimum wage to help put food on the table, and am having to save for months to have a regular women's health exam I should have had 4 years ago. (I'm trying to participate in my own health recovery and better these things as I'm able) And NO, I don't want it handed to me.


Because I am as yet FREE to make my own choices. When we cease to have choices other than ones made for us, we cease to be free.

I don't want a Big Brother or a Big Daddy being more informed about or involved in my life and choices, no matter how insecure things might seem. I moved out of my parents' home when I became an adult, and that came with a new set of responsibilities. I don't need any other "parents" for the sake of some supposed security.

I want those choices as I age or become disabled. I'm not thinking like other folks that being helped by the government is a fundamental right. In fact, thinking of the government being in CHARGE of my aging and healthcare is terrifying. They will kill old people and sick people because they will no longer "have worth" when it's all about numbers and data. It's only mere steps away from Population Control, and if we don't believe that, just look what happened with Roe V Wade. It was said that it was ONLY to protect rape victims. No, it was a door that once opened allowed any number of other factors to swallow the original intent.

We are become a socialist nation, and I spent my younger schoolage years hearing about how we are a great nation because we're NOT a socialist nation....

...unless, I guess, till we're up against the wall and thinking in that Loan Shark as Savior mentality.

I'm not generally an angry person, but how much is a trillion anyway? No one is wanting us to save instead of spend.


And oh yes, massage the data so that hey everyone, the Emperor's not REALLY's just a dirty rumor promoted by (name the partisan opposition of the day)...see? I didn't realize that Monopoly money he's holding up is considered clothing now, hmmm

I'm NOT going to spend. I'm NOT going to buy into ANY program. I'm not going to cooperate any more with "reforms." Until the SPENDING STOPS, I will break the law if I have to to NOT cooperate with the loss of our freedoms.

Nope, I'm not talking violence. I'm talking about uncooperation. This has become a moral dilemma for me.

I don't believe in usury....I'm being forced to pay for the consequences of other people's abuse of usury and our goverment's determination to perpetuate an economy that's become reliant on it.

I don't believe in handing control of my freedom to a Big Daddy goverment...and neither did our founding fathers. But it's being forced on me.

I don't believe in socialism. I'm opposed to it. But it's being forced on me.

I do believe that everyone who plants vegetables is probably at heart taking back some of that freedom, but bully on anyone who tries any more to tell me I don't have the right to have control over what food I raise...IN MY OWN BACKYARD. I'm done with it. What happens to the squeaky wheels? Grassroots organizations do produce some change...I'll be a part of that. They also get special attention from the's come down to that. Attention meaning becoming potential targets. As are some farmers.

There's almost an underground language needed dare someone offer pure milk to another must be "pet milk" for animals only, and in some places must be dyed black...just to make sure. Because a whole generation or two can't remember milk comes from something called an udder, rather than a plastic jug in the supermarket.

And can I mention industry and manufacturing in the same sentence with Recovery? It used to be that WARS meant a boom at home...when WE made the things WE need right here. Now it's China. Freaking China. The leaders in devaluing human life, the earth, and the food stream for a buck. (Think it comes with no consequences? The Plague just popped up there, no joke) It chaps me that we even have dialogue with murderous governments at all, much less making ourselves DEPENDENT on them (thank you WalMart). Sanitize the lingo, but WalMart is a traitor to its founder and the American Public.

And along those same international weirdness lines, just when did we call people like Hugo Chavez "amigo"??? Try to negotiate ANYTHING with Iran's maniac, or Kim Jung Il? Raoul Castro is now our ol' buddy ol' pal ???(what a sellout to the dissidents IN Cuba as we speak) Since when did we bloody apologize to three other continents for being Americans?? (Clue: The U.S. just lostany remaining semblance of internation respect and is now in the same category as My Little Kitty) HOW did it become protocol to bow before Arab leaders? Why do we feel we have the RIGHT to demand that Israel NOT RETALIATE for the 10,000 plus attacks against it...and where do WE come off trying to negotiate other nations' disputes??

During the last decade or so, I've been feeling towards our bureaucrats like a woman feels when married to a husband who refuses to be financially responsible and makes really stupid decisions without including me in them. I used to think marriages like that were unfortunate but that the women were bound by promise to stay in the game no matter how ruinous, manipulative, gambling, cheating, falsely conciliatory and truly abusive the husband was. Not so any more.

The world is ready to stick it to us, and apparently we are applauding the process of sticking it to ourselves. That's a serious case of unmedicated Bipolar.

Well, now that I've probably lost ALL my friendly co-bloggers due to this rant, I'll call it a day.

I'm encouraged that we, my husband and I, will plod onward with our personal plan and the necessary changes. But as concerns paying for Big Daddy's gambling habit, empty promises, usury dependency, and spending spree, I'm going to conscientiously fail to cooperate whenever possible.

The Emperor is still Naked, he is. And he's still printing Monopoly Money and using it for spending sprees.

I opt out of participation in the National Lemming Cliff-Diving Olympics.

And the Koolaid.

No, folks, unity is not the way to go when it comes to this sort of collective national destruction.

(It's official. I'm SO seriously OVER this. OVER OVER OVER. When good is called bad and bad is called good, I'm just going to be a bad girl...and probably feel a whole lot better about life in general)

I've heard that whether you're a rebel or a patriot all depends on which side you're looking from. Now being patriotic is for rebels. Hmmm. OK, so I'll NOT CHANGE and be called a rebel. So what?

My mother predicted this would happen, but I rather suspect it began in earnest the day I switched from margarine to real butter

(deep cleansing breath.....)

Alrighty then. All better now... sorta

Shabbat shalom :)