Archives for posts with tag: opinion

Yeah, that’s right – I have mixed emotions about hunting season.  I understand that it’s a way to control the overpopulation of deer in our area.  I understand that venison is a great way to supplement the family’s food supply.  It’s also a way to connect with your ancestors who were forced to hunt for survival, and a way to give thanks for all of the blessings we have in this life.

But that’s not why most people do it.  They make killing into a sport.

That’s what bothers me more than the random gunshots in the middle of the day, the fact that they leave their cars and trucks haphazardly on the side of the road, or that some hang dead deer from trees in their front yard.  (For anyone who isn’t a hunter, you have to hang the deer for several days.  I would just prefer if they did it in their garage or barn.)  I simply can’t get behind the idea that killing something should be held to a fun pastime.

‘But it’s only a deer’, right?  Yeah, it’s only a horse, a dolphin, a whale, a bald eagle.  Their only animals, so who cares?  Who cares about causing pain with the intention of sport?  Who cares about hunting something and leaving everything but the head?  Who cares about wasting a life for a trophy?

I’m not saying don’t hunt – that is useless and wrong.  Hunt if you like.  Do it safely, responsibly.  Don’t leave the body in the woods.  Don’t be cruel.  Don’t be heartless.  Do it for the environment.  Do it for food.  Do it because your ancestors did.  But remember that you are taking a life – you are making a choice, and it should be treated with the proper respect it deserves.

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This is the first time I’ve written a response to ‘The Daily Prompt’ on wordpress.  If you are a fellow wordpress blogger, I’m sure you’ve seen it.  If you haven’t that’s okay!  Here’s the link: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/daily-prompt-time/

It’s about procrastination.  Now, I know what you’re thinking – but it isn’t that kind of a post.  Today, I am talking about warm-and-fuzzy stuff.  Specifically, the personal life vs. the professional life.

I am not a party girl.  I never have been.  Two weeks out of high school I went off to one of the toughest schools for artists in the country.  The school is intensive, with classes all year, even the summer.  Strict attendance policy (meaning if you don’t go, you fail the class), and a dry campus makes for a bunch of artists working to the point of insanity.  You can’t party in that kind of atmostphere. After college, I gave everything to my job.  I walked miles, took buses, even had a two hour commute to get back home at 11pm at night.  Whatever I am doing, I give it my everything.  Not many people work themselves to sickness like I did. 

That is where my procrastination comes in.  I set aside everything for my ‘work’ – whatever is dominating my life at the time.  That can be a good thing, or a bad thing.  I am not sure which one applies to me.

I not only put off having a personal life with friends, or even *gasp* a significant other, but I put off being with my extended family as well.  This is part of a bigger issue I have with internalizing my emotions to get through the day.  I procrastinate dealing with my own emotional health, but also trying to fix my relationship with my extended family. Why do I do that?

Because my father died seven years ago.  I was a freshmen in college, in my first quarter of school. It was a few days before I could get home to see him on life support in the hospital.  My school was six hours drive away, and I had school. School was more important. 

I went home for, like, two days.  My Mother and Grandparents were there.  I don’t really remember much after that. Do you want to know who else was there?

Nobody.  No friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so on.  Not a single person who was notified came to see me.  Hell, they didn’t even call me.  They didn’t call me for seven years. 

Whenever I saw them as a child and teenager, they usually made me feel bad about myself.  I was too fat, or too loud, or I said the wrong thing.  My aunts and uncles never made me feel like I was worthy of being around them.  Years after my father died, I wondered why, as an adult, did I feel like I needed to be around them?  Like I owed them something? 

About three years ago I wanted to be a healthier person.  I have been working on changing my life: healthy eating, exercise, doctor checkups, and so on.  I am even starting seeing a councelor when I start school in a week and a half.  At the beginning of this, I felt that I needed to find my true family.  The people who really cared about me.  Everyone else was cut out of my life.

I don’t know if procrastinating about my family issues is a good thing.  Probably not.  It is difficult now that I moved back home because some of my family want to ‘get us together’.  I keep putting it off, canceling it, and saying no.  I want to be happy, and maybe that doesn’t include them.

Now, I am pretty happy with my little family.  My Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa care about me.  They want me to be happy and succeed.  It means a lot that they support me in going back to school.  Sometimes, they seem more excited than I am.  My Grandfather even told me in a quiet, excited way,

“You’ll need to get a back pack!”

“We have a few old bags lying around.” I replied with a smile.

“You’ll need to get a back pack!” He repeated. 

He is excited.  We all are. 

I have said this before to people who are having problems.  If you are around people who bring you down – family, friends, etc. – then they aren’t really friends. 

That’s my procrastination, I guess.  Thank you for reading. ❤

It’s late, here. Night is the time that I ponder things – people, places, problems, memories, things I should do. It has been a bumpy road, and it has only just begun. Or so I am told.

The interesting thing about my family is that they never take part in the community they live in. When I was younger I just wanted to leave. Now, I am back, but I feel as alone as ever. Small town America is stereotypically tight knit, and it is – but I never felt included. So, I guess that is my wisdom for tonight. Go find a community to belong to. Whatever you are interested in, go nurture it! You shouldn’t have to be alone. 🙂 Be happy in whatever you do.

Goodnight. ❤

Off and on through my life, my family has kept chickens.  My Father started the tradition when I was only a child, but I remember marveling at the chickens on the other side of the fenced coup.  Unfortunately, a raccoon (or a similar rascal) broke into the chicken coup.  My parents found them in the morning.  The rooster’s name was Paddy.  He was mean to anyone who got close, but I remember him as being a beautiful rooster with long green tail feathers and a copper red body.

When I was a teenager in high school, I wanted to keep chickens again.  My Mother decided that it was a great idea!  We got one Road Island Red and five black chickens. Each one had a name that described their personality or feather colors.  This backfired a bit when they grew up and all the black ones looked the same.  They became ‘Sunny and The Girls’, since Sunny was the only red one.  I held them every day, meticulously cared for their food, water, and coop cleanliness.  They became lovely free range chickens that lived in the barn alongside horses and barn cats too fat to care about the huge birds.  Since I hand raised them, you could pick them up, pet them, and even cuddle them a bit.  We loved them very much and had them for many years.

A family moved into the run-down shack across the street and had a dog that liked to run away. He got a few of my chickens, but four remained for two years or so.  Eventually, they were gone too.  That’s the way of life.

Last year, my Mother got heirloom chickens that were supposedly the best free range egg layers.  I was very proud of myself that I spotted it in Urban Farmer and researched the breed.  They were nine chickens and a stow-away rooster.  They were… not as wonderful as described.  Only one still lives. My Mother named her, “Sweety Pie Chicken”

 

"What are you doing? Is it time for my close up?"

“What are you doing? Is it time for my close up?”

So, this year my Mother went to the store and told the shopkeepers, “I want smart chickens that are good for free ranging!” They were a bit confused, but they gave her their suggestions. It took her over an hour and a half to pick them out.  She got eight red cross breeds, and a White Silky (who is VERY feathery and ADORABLE).  The Silky was protecting a small grey chick from the others in the pen.  My Mother was so taken with the pair of friends that she took the little grey chicken as well.  She looks like a Dove, and she and the white Silky are inseparable. The whole flock has accepted Sweety Pie Chicken, and they are one big happy family.

This story is a big part of our lives.  Over the years we have learned from our mistakes, and it has made us better at our tasks.  We know the best way (or a very, very good way)  to keep our animals healthy and happy.

There's always one who doesn't want to go to bed!

There’s always one who doesn’t want to go to bed!

Many people go into the grocery store and buy the cheapest eggs on the shelf, even if they can afford something better.  These eggs come from chickens packed into tiny cages, with barely any room to move.  They have no life.  They are fed terrible food instead of their natural diet.  Chickens need to move, they need to peck, and they need to eat a variety of food.  These differences produce a rich, delicious egg that is filled with more nutrients than their counterparts.

But it’s more than that.  We are humans, and that means we have different brains that are capable of compassion and understanding.  Eating and egg shouldn’t mean that you benefit from another living thing’s suffering.  I would rather have my eggs come from chickens who actually can move, eat, and thrive in their lives. I feel that just because something is different from me doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be respected.  A Chicken gives us eggs, meat, and in many cases enjoyment.  They give us their entire existence.  That means they deserve our respect.

You can tell I have had this discussion before, mainly with people who do not value an animal’s life.  They see them like a paper cup: simply something that is theirs to use.  That is so heartbreaking.

It makes me sad that people don’t understand why cage-free eggs are so important.  My family’s chickens have a pen and a chicken house.  They would not be safe at night otherwise.  But they are out from early in the morning through just before sundown.  They explore the world around them: the trees, the Sumac bushes, the horse paddock, and so on.  And you know what?  I think that is marvelous!  I wish everything could be as happy as they! Don’t you?

This is what a Chicken Stampede looks like!

This is what a Chicken Stampede looks like!

So, we are still up here, struggling against oppressive heat, still angrily mourning the tragedy of Treyvon Martin’s memory, debating Florida law, and wishing that something can be actually accomplished in Washington D.C.  We are here in Rural America, Chickens and all, struggling to have our voices heard.

On a happy note, it was announced today that the Lakeside Hospital was acquired, and is being renamed “Strong West”.  They hope to restore services by January.  Or so the news said.  I hope it is sooner.  Either way, it is nice to know that they didn’t completely forget us.  Why couldn’t they have done that before the hospital closed it’s doors is beyond me.  Perhaps it is a conspiracy to keep us dependent on this or that.  All I can say is that we will breath a sigh of relief when the emergency room is reopened.  Until then all we can do is wait.

Wherever you are, please stay cool, stay safe, and stay happy!