and how was your day?
June 16, 2013
watching my chickens, and observing certain behaviours, has shed some light on certain things that perplex me about things that happen in michigan.
sometimes a chicken will peck another chicken who is smaller, younger, or weaker in some way. surprisingly, if that peck draws blood, the blood will actually act as a signal for other chickens to join in pecking the weak chicken and attacking it even more brutally. this is why when chickens are overcrowded or in other stressful conditions, owners will sometimes hang red lightbulbs in the chicken enclosures. it’s not that the chickens are prostitutes; rather, the red of the light hides the blood coming from the wounds and thus discourages other chickens from ganging up on each other and pecking injured chickens to death.
so, you may now be wondering- especially if you live outside of michigan- what does this all have to do with a small midwestern state shaped like a mitten? the midwest is so friendly, and all, “how you doin, neighbor?” and stuff like that, right?
well, yes. unless you get on the radar of any number of local governments.
and then holy star-spangled-banner, but are you in for it…
it has gotten so that pretty much any time i get some wack-a-doodle story in my email inbox i can almost guarantee it comes outta michigan. i love that in just about 49 other states you can breathe without a permit, but heck michigan- what’s wrong with you???
now before you political hacksters get your knickers in a noodle, this has happened under both the reds and the blues. it has happened under all sides of the aisle. if you are a prepper, i can confide in you that i think perhaps the zombie apocalypse has indeed already happened, and we just didn’t get the memo; they are giving it a trial run in michigan. texas- get some spare rooms ready at the motels, cuz michigan may just come a’knockin…
i have several stories all competing to be shared with you, but the one that just flipped my switch was one posted by my friend pinku-sensei over at crazy eddie’s motie news (http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/06/dog-census-in-michigan.html).
here’s my satirical take on it, and then you can hop on over to his blog and read the actual (non-hysterical) story:
basically the folks who rule the universe in a certain city in michigan (but you could really insert any name of any city in michigan, because they are all equally plausible in this story…) can now scramble a tactical team in full gear, assemble on your property, breach your door, and strip search all members of your household to determine if you are sheltering any fugitive animals. (i wonder if you could tell them there is no such thing as an illegal animal? or that they just aren’t documented yet???) if they determine you to be on the wrong side of the law, they will publicly flay you alive or some such other appropriate punishment, but not before confiscating all of your worldly possessions and transferring your assets unto themselves, because that is the actual real reason for their sudden diligence in the pet realm; they are lacking in funds.
it’s all about the payday… and the power…and the pecking order…
so do any of you have a red light big enough to hang over the state of michigan?????
it’s getting pretty dire…
June 14, 2013
June 10, 2013
thanks to sofia, for giving me this smile
and the coolest project idea ever:
June 4, 2013
i’m happy that i was able to settle on this name for this post. this past weekend, i went to the mother earth news fair once again, and once again it was awesome!
it was only $15 for a weekend pass (bought in advance), so it was pretty affordable, and for the amount of information and access to people on the cutting edge, it was fantastic!
once again, i did not get alpacas (yes, i do value peace in my home- but i did find out that you don’t even need to compost alpaca manure before you put it in your garden and that the manure smells much less than other livestock. who knew, right? almost irresistible…). i did, however, spend almost every spare minute with alpacas and llamas, which was not only gratifying but interesting given that at the end of the day joel salatin said that if you feel strongly drawn to something you should follow that passion. so, no dice, joel, but you owe me a big one, *h…
i went to a cheese-making workshop, and an advanced yeast bread workshop, and met some folks who asked me if i knew about the ballot initiative to label GMO foods in washington state.
and i was like, “ah, yes. let me tell you about that initiative!” no, just kidding- hahahahaha- but really i told them that i wrote all about it on my blog and signed their petitions and was super impressed that they managed to get it on the ballot. and then i gave them a donation and wore one of their doofy pins all day, because why not publicize a good cause??? (if you are in washington state, vote yes on 522!!!!!)
i lovey love that the fair provided a venue for all kinds of groovy-ish people to be in one place… i also got to give props to the washington homeschool group that was such a great resource to me when i first moved here and couldn’t figure out how to navigate the bureaucracy around homeschooling in this state. i stopped by a speaker i heard last year who was looking a bit lonely and told her that she really energized me last year and gave me some great ideas and that i really loved hearing her. i went to a booth with some organic produce to buy a treat (cherry tomatoes) for the kids at home and entered a raffle to win an apron or an oven mitt or a cutting board. i told them that i really really wanted the apron (does anyone in america besides my family even wear aprons anymore???) and they should send me good apron karma- and when i got home i had an email telling me that i had won the apron! so, i don’t know if i won/won, or if they just gave something to everyone who entered, but as my oldest daughter said- who cares? i still got a new apron! yay!!!
i saw pat foreman again (author of city chicks, as well as several other great books on raising chickens…), and she was as good as ever. she was looking for a home for an 8-week-old chicken, so i almost came home with a new addition, but she was able to find a different home. i was also able to resist the pull of free chicks, a free dough scraper ( i figured if i’ve lived without one this long i could continue to live without one…), free lotion samples that made my hand burn (although they tried to convince me it didn’t really burn…), and several other odds and ends. go, anti-clutter me!
in addition to not buying the alpacas, i didn’t buy a knife set (very cool), a roasting pan (could have used it, but i’m just too cheap), a tabletop water filtration system (it would take too long to explain why not), a yummy-lookng bottle of soda with some funky-sounding sweetener i’ve never heard of (just because it’s groovy doesn’t mean it’s good for you…), lots of pretty bags (of course all fair trade and blah blah blah), and the cutest measuring tape ever in these little crocheted animal thingy covers so that the tail of the animal was actually the end of the measuring tape. only $10 for yet more detritus in my house! so i literally said, “this is perhaps the most adorable thing i have seen all day, so i need to walk away now. but good luck to you- i hope you sell them all!”
but the best thing was that i was actually a nice person all day long.
this may not sound so remarkable to you, but in light of recent events, this was a seismic shift.
the last few weeks have been building toward a state of unsustainable awfulness on my part.
saturday i met someone for the first time who asked me if i homeschool because i am “intellectually combative”.
friday as i drove down the street someone coming toward me was speeding and blasting music in the center of the road and i pictured myself throwing the car into park and getting out and just firing an entire magazine of bullets into his windshield.
thursday i almost punched a hole in the wall.
i can’t remember what happened on wednesday but i’m sure it was more of the same.
my self-esteem lately would fit on the head of a pin.
i told *h that i needed an entire day to turn off my cell phone and be off the radar and just disappear. i left early in the morning, and quite frankly the only reason i came home is because the ‘check engine’ light came on in my car.
but a whole day of relating to a completely new set of people who i had no connection to was exactly what i needed. i was warm and friendly and calm and centered and i saw that i really was who i thought i was.
and that was so reaffirming that it allowed me to come up for air.
so, rock on mother earth news fair- in more ways than one!
and now i’m back
do you hear the angels singing???
May 30, 2013
well, i did that thing…
i awarded the best moment awards…
and it was so much fun, i may just keep on doing it!
but, like the tooth-fairy, i did it with discretion.
i had a whole moral dilemma about how to award certain people and possibly forget other people… how could i play favorites??? how could i give some awards when i knew that if i posted who i gave them to i would absolutely remember others i should have given to the minute i published the list?
so, the people i gave them to know who they are.
and to the rest of you, yours may be coming…
or i may be busy and distracted, but you might really really deserve one…
this is the kind of angst that keeps me awake at night.
okay, this and some other stuff…
anyhow, enjoy the awards- and if your turn hasn’t come yet, make your own award and know that you darn well deserve it!!!!!
May 27, 2013
check out this baby!:
this came to me courtesy of chandanimane, over at bluehyacinthoperetta.wordpress.com- a person i am flattered/stunned/floored/overwhelmed/etc- to not even know! (not because i don’t think she would be great to know, but because this means she really likes my writing, and not that she just feels bad for me in real life and is throwing me a bone…)
yes, so a random stranger likes my blog enough to nominate me for an award! wow…
this is especially cool on numerous fronts, some of which i will perhaps share here if i prattle on long enough. but suffice it to say that although i have truly no idea about what this award represents (in spite of trying my best several times to understand it…), i am giddy with excitement about receiving it!
you are supposed to do several things when you get this award. one is to write an acceptance speech, which i will try to tackle in a second. another is to nominate other blogs, which may take me another few days to get on top of (in spite of the fact that it has already taken me an embarrassing amount of time to even post this award. sometimes i am on my game, and sometimes not so much, huh?). and last is to re-post the rules of the award, which means i have to cut-and-paste, which sometimes works for me and sometimes not really. so we’ll all be privy to the results of that experiment about the same time… wish me luck (!).
on one of the many links i clicked on to try to figure out this award, you can watch like a gazillion famous people giving acceptance speeches to get ideas for your own. it will become obvious very soon (perhaps painfully so) that i did not click on those links. sometimes ignorance is bliss, and sometimes it is just ignorance.
which actually is a great intro for the first person i should really thank for this award (and i seriously did not plan saying any of that ahead of time- hahahaha)- but i should really thank kevin rulkowski, the city planner of oak park, michigan. without his dictatorial governing style and complete lack of media savvy i may never have had a well-known blog. i started out as just a suburban mom who made a blog to get advice about dealing with a city violation about a garden. within hours of his televised interview, not only was “suitable” the most looked up word on websters.com (no, i am not making that up- and it stayed in the top few words that entire week!), but i had tens of thousands of new online friends from all over the world!
next, i want to thank chandanimane. although i don’t know who you are, or how you found my blog, or why in the world you think i live in the moment when i am so clearly a tortured soul (hahahahahaha)- i LOVE that you gave me an award and i LOVE that it came with a badgey thing i could put on my blog and i LOVE that thanks to you i am now the queen of the world and currently possess the power to bestow this award on other people seriously, very awesome, and i am very grateful
in the vein of a real speech i would have to thank my kids for allowing me endless hours to deal with my blog in real life and *h for allowing me even more time to obsess over it in my head. i know i take away a lot from them in order to have this blog, but i’d like to think i come away with a lot too, and that makes me a better person when i go back to them in the end. sometimes, though, i just shout at them to leave me alone and let me finish my post. so for those times, i will thank them for their patience, and i will hope that when they realize how important i now am, that it will all be worth it. maybe this will sway the acceptance people at swanky universities and such, and will smooth the life-paths for all of my kids, and they will one day call out, “dearest mother! thank you indeed for spending time on your wonderful blog! look at all of the pay-offs there have been for us! we are so very grateful to you for raising us in a city that hated veggies!”
maybe not, but i never dreamed of winning a best moment award either, did i???
i would thank all the people who came before me, and all the people who inspired me, and on and on ad nauseam, but i have limited adjectives and i know some of you are reading this on very small screens, so i will cut this all short (you’re welcome, phil ).
here’s the part where i try to cut-and paste:
RULES of the Best Moment Award:
Winners re-post this completely with their acceptance speech. This could be written or video. Winners have the privilege of awarding the next awards! The re-post should include a NEW set of people/blogs worthy of the award; and, winners, notify them the great news!
What makes a good acceptance speech?Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in MomentMatters.com/Speech
Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
Humour. Keep us entertained and smiling
Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in MomentMatters.com/Award