Saturday, April 26, 2008

Adler Online

Good morning, Charles. I commented on your show with regard to this letter (You might need to search for it, couldn't find a trackback). I'm not particularly articulate commenting on the radio, apparently :), but I was trying to say that ignorance isn't always in the eyes of those beheld. Sometimes it's just as much or more in the eyes of those doing the beholding. Your friend sees all this going on around him, and he passes judgement. That, in and of itself, I find interesting. Just how much does he know about small towns and the dynamics within which they run? Did he leave a small town because of these very reasons to go off to the big city and become more enlightened or did he grow up in said city to seek out the 'idyllic life of small town Canada'?

Assuming that people are uninformed or uncaring of world events because they choose to focus on their surroundings and their portion of the world is as narrowminded as he seems to feel that those around him in the small town are. Sure, small towns are cliquey, you work with the people you grew up with. Bonds and biases formed in grade school colour your actions every day. Does that make you bigoted? I suppose it might. It also might make you comfortable and content to live the life you do. People leave small towns for the cities to seek out the 'world' and often return to refind the simpler things in life and then complain because their version of that simpler life isn't what they idealized. Dogs still crap on the grass. Cats still dig in the flower bed. Idiots still throw beer cans at your mailbox. Do you really think you left all that wonderful stuff behind when you moved to country life? It's the same sort of stupidity only flavoured with country.

Didn't you see that Chevy Chase movie? Funny Farm. Nasty people abound. Regardless of where. When you're dealing with a pool of 300 people instead of 3000 the concentrations are going to be higher because Like Attracts Like after all. If a person is happy in a small town it's because that's the way they want to live. Leave your city enlightenment where it belongs, thank you very much.

I don't live in the country or a small town because I want to have a neighbour that comes over with brownies when I move in. Or because I don't want the world events intruding on my idyllic sunrise watching with a cup of steaming coffee, leaning over the railing of my deck. I live in the country because when all is said and done I don't much like people and it's easier to avoid them in a small town. And if I want intelligent converation beyond that I already have, I'll join one of the many grass root clubs that still run in small towns. Like the Rebekahs, or the Women's Institute. Or maybe the Lions/Lionettes

You wave and smile and keep driving and you fit in, in a small town. Believe it or not. No one really wants to know all your business. I've found more prying people, more do gooder types, more people who are gonna save me no what what I want, in the city than I have ever in the country. I've had people intrude upon my life in the country, but every single one of them was some city folk type who moved out to 'seek a simpler life'.

I've met 'farmers' who live their lives on the dirt of the land, who could articulate in 3 sentences what it takes some philsophers volumes to impart. Life is as simple or as complicated as you make it. But because they really don't give a good shake of their head about world events, they are labelled as ignorant and bigoted men who are nothing more than rednecks. Give me a good rednecked man any day, frankly. At least I'll know that he knows how to work for a living.

Sometimes it's not about whether it will kill a seal, or a tree some continent away, it's about keeping the neighbour's dog out of your sheep pen. And when it's about that, it's simple. It's your sheep pen. Livestock law. Dog runs livestock, dog dies. End of story.

Oh, we're past that, that's barbaric, that's inhumane, that's *quick get the paint and make a sign to wave*.


That's the reality of life.

Life doesn't leave time for nitpicking the actions of others, if you're actively living it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Found Treasures

Today I found a back up disk from 'waaaayyyyyy baaackkkk' when. I think this is from a computer that primarily ran Windows ME (millenium edition) ... badly at that. Although,I think I eventually upgraded it to 2000. In fact, now that I think about it, we still have it and it still 'works' after a fashion but it's many a reformat ago that this disk is a back up of.

On it were a number of files I'm glad I found. Some patterns I'd saved from here and there on various websites that are long gone. Some notes for stories I was writing at the time (and still to be honest lol) and a few other saved emails and such.

The following was among these files, and since at the end of it, it says to repost freely I'm doing so. If anyone knows where this is from or who wrote it, please let us all know in the comments as it deserves credit.


I went out last night, just after midnight, to make sure all the heat lamps
were working in the goat, chicken and turkey houses. The temperature was
supposed to go to zero or below. All the dogs had long gone to bed and the
night was silent. Stepping on the porch I was greeted with the sight of a
crystal clear sky and multitudes of stars. Turning on the flashlight (we
refuse to have one of those blasted dusk to dawn monstrosities that keep the
stars from shining) I made my way to the barn.

Earlier in the evening I had taken some straw to freshen the farm animal's
bedding, and had dropped a flake outside the gate that I failed to retrieve.
Walking down the drive, I saw a set of bloody paw prints pressed into the
snow, that came out of the woods and ended at the pile of straw by the gate.

Curled on the pile of straw was a dog. Medium sized. Could have been any
kind of dog. It was hard to tell in the darkness. The only thing for sure
was that it was a dark color. I put my hand on the back and felt cold ribs.

I took my gloves off and felt behind the front leg. A heart beat. Then I
heard a faint thump. The end of the tail was going up and down making a
slight impression in the snow, but the head didn't move. I saw the deep
brown eyes that seemed to say, "please don't run me off. I can't take
another step." The feet
were cracked and bleeding. I checked to make sure the heat lamps were
working and gently scooped up the frozen dog. No resistance, just the thump
of the tail. Not much weight for the size of the bundle. I made my way to
the front door.

Coming inside I laid the dog down inside the door. It never moved. Checking
to make sure everyone was still asleep, I began the search for a blanket. I
was pretty sure we had used the last dog blanket for our latest rescue.
Nothing in the closet, nothing in the dryer, nothing on the couch. I went to
the bedroom
and gently retrieved the one off the bed. Even it, was old and beginning to
fray around the edges, but it was the last one available. I folded it and
set it by the heat register closest to the furnace. Then I picked up the dog
and laid it down on top.

After midnight, on New Year's Eve, in a very rural area of Southwest
Missouri no way I could get a Vet to see this one tonight. We would have to
try tomorrow. I went to the kitchen and took a container of chicken broth
out of the fridge and popped in the microwave. I went back to the living
room and set the bowl down next to the blanket, within easy reach of the
cold nose. Another thump of the tail, was the only movement.

I reached down and put my hand under the chin, gently lifting the head. Now
inside I could see that the dog was black, at least on the parts that had
not turned gray. Almost the entire face showed the white signs of time past,
and the pupils surrounded by those dark brown eyes were blue. The ears were
that of a Lab and so was the tail which thumped every time I came near. The
body was skin and bone. There were no front teeth. The canines were worn or
broken down to nubs, and I was able to see three teeth in the back. I didn't
want to pry to see if the old dog was a male or female. It really didn't
matter anyway. I told the old dog I was going to go to bed and patted it's
head which was met by another thump of the tail.

On my way to the bedroom, I wondered how in the world the dog had gotten to
our farm. It came through the woods which were large and uninhabited. I also
wondered why here. The answer was simple. The hand of God had brought the
old dog to the right place.

It's morning now and I've been up for a few hours. The bowl of broth was
empty and the blanket was much as I had left it. No bloody paw prints on the
carpet, only on the old blanket. Sometime after I went to bed, the old dog
lapped up the chicken broth and licked the bowl clean. The blanket had been
fluffed a little and the old dog had curled into a tight ball with the nose
tucked inside the tail. When I bent down to say good morning, there was no
thump of the tail. I knew then that the old dog had crossed the Rainbow
Bridge in the night. Kneeling there in front of the old dog, I thanked God
for the one old blanket I had left and for the hand that gently guided the
old dog to Rainbow Farms. It was then
that I thought of the poem that Walt had written for us:

"Listen to the kindness, spoken softly,
Often lost behind the tears.
Place your hand upon my shoulder,
Let it take away my fears."

- --Walt Zientek

May the New Year bring you closer to the hand of God, and all the old
blankets you may need.

Permission is given to repost anywhere - maybe it'll catch a few who don't
appreciate the gift they have.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dear Protestor:

Dear Protestor:

I'm well aware of your views on [the Olympics/animal cruelty/Kyoto/globalwarming/insert current media darling cause de jour]. I'm not illiterate nor stupid so please don't assume that when I don't agree with you that it's because I don't understand the issue at hand. Or do not care enough.

I see you waving your signs, screaming like some maddened two year old throwing a tantrum and otherwise displaying your brutish behaviour; exemplifying your ignorance of the realities and true facts in so many different ways that any sympathy I may hold is quickly subsumed by the pure disgust for your disregard for the views of anyone else but you and your rabid cohorts.

Too harsh you say? Let's examine harsh. Dousing people with blood? To ruin the fur coat they are wearing. Why? So they'll go out and get another one, thereby requiring the (supposedly) inhumane slaughter of more helpless cute little minks? Ever met a mink? Talk to a farmer who's had to clean up dead fowl time after time and see how cute and helpless he finds them. Ask them how many of those chickens were destined for his own family's consumption. And releasing them to 'run free'. Yeah, there's a good idea. Turning helpless animals accustomed to the safety of cages out into the wild to die of hunger or horrendously at the paws and teeth of non-domesticated animals. Ever think about the consequences of your actions? Ever think rationally at all? Because about now, it doesn't appear that way to me.

And the lecturing me about how I could be a better resident of earth? Pullleeeassee...

Stop eating meat. Stop slaughtering animals bred purposefully for just that purpose and become vegan. Stop eating food I enjoy and thrive on? Put my children in danger of disease and illnesses that could be counteracted by eating a balanced diet?

Uh...,no. How about you just go ahead and live your life your way and stop telling me how to live mine?

Stop animal testing. Sure okay, you going to step up? Are you going to offer up your children to save the lives of thousands of others? Thought not. No, animals are not expendable but are humans? Although to see how you all wail about the cruelty to animals and turn a blind eye to the plight of people all around you living in less safety and comfort than most animals in a zoo or on a farm or heaven forbid running in a chuckwagon team. Not to mention with adequate and reliable healthcare. Given all that, I have to believe you do care more about animals than you do people.

Oh wait, you protest that too. From your home here in N. America. You protest about the actions of a country across the globe from you. Decrying the actions of people you have absolutely no clue about. But some celeb spokesperson you admired in a role in a movie or heard on the radio or wears the clothing you want to said they were bad, so here you go, jump on the bandwagon quick before it runs over your toes.

Oh, you say you're protesting for the world. You're not one of those 'crazed' protestors. You know about what you're protesting about. You have researched it and made your own decisions and you protest in an orderly fashion.

You hand out pamphlets and do your part. You recycle and you drive a responsible vehicle. Probably a hybrid. And you teach your children to not be cruel to animals.

Let's examine all of that.

Pamphlets. By popular definition, printed paper products filled with information about your cause.

Paper. Made from lumber. Lumber comes from trees. Trees work to maintain the earth. They provide wind breaks and shade for other flora. They provide shelter and food for fauna. They contribute in a large way to doing exactly what you're telling others how to do by cutting them down, running them through a pulpmill (adding all sorts of polution to the area but also creating innumerable jobs and in some instances revitalizing a community) printing them and oh yeah, handing them out. Yep... definitely doing your part with the pamphlets.

Recycling. You mean reusing things that are old and useless and making them new and usable again? Wow. Who knew? I mean that's such a novel and brilliant idea I bet no one ever thought of that before. I wonder if my grandmother knew she was doing such worldy good when she'd turn the seams on a dress. (by the way for those of you who don't know that means take it apart, resew it together again so it would show less wear not send it off to good will so you can feel good about yourself and also make room in your closets for more clothing you won't wear more than a dozen or so times before the season changes and I'm being generous here, before you send it off to good will again assauging your conscience because you're recycling AND doing a good deed) spend hours darning socks after working in her garden that she used compost on. now there's another wonderful idea. Rotting waste and using it as fertilizer. Good thing you lot came along. The earth had NO idea how to feed itself until then.

Not enough, you decry? Why not? Aren't we here to live? Some of us choose to live large and leave a footprint the size of small state on the surface of the world. Some others, do not.

While you are protesting the loss of freedom in the third world countries maybe you ought to take a good hard look at your own tyrannical attitudes towards your very neighbours. Who are you to decide what I eat, how I get to work, what I wear. Isn't that why I choose to live in a free country and not go somewhere else where my every movement will be monitored?

Didn't the US win their freedom from oppression? Didn't Canada finally squiggle away from most of it? Don't we owe it to other countries and people to have that self esteem?

Give someone something, without any strings. Something precious and particularly difficult to define; something you cherish beyond all thought, with every action you take in life. Will they cherish and husband it the way you do if it's not as hard won as your own? Somehow, I find it difficult to believe that they will. We won't even get into the people that don't want to be saved by you or anyone else.

So, dear protestor, not that I think any of you will change your ways, perhaps, you'll find an iota of truth among my sarcasm and examine your own actions and govern yourself differently. Because were I to forcefeed you this as you choose to do your causes to me I'd be exactly what I'm pointing out you are. So there shall I leave it. Whether you take anything away from reading this or not, is up to you. I've said my piece. I'll probably say it again somewhere along the way.

But one thing I guarantee you, I won't ever be caught waving a big sign and screaming about it on TV.


a reasonable female

And furthermore...

Geez Heather :) I could have just used your last paragraph (see comments for previous post) and saved myself a whole bunch of words.


Thank you for saying so succiently what I attempted to articulate.

And, thank you also for seeing through to the heart of what makes me crazy about this. It's not really about Robert Latimer and his daughter for me. Which the minute I say that, seems to mean that I'm condoning his actions and I am not. It's about the way the whole case is indicative of the mess that we call our judicial system. Full of inequities, special interest groups and the like.

So let me reiterate:

1. I don't agree with Mr. Latimer's actions. That's not my judgement to make. I can empathize about how I would feel in a similar situation and extrapolate on how I would feel and react and deal with such. Just because I don't want to immedately condemn someone to hanging doesn't mean I agree with his actions.
2. Personal decisions of this nature carry their own burdens. I know, I've made decisions in my own life for which I pay consequence on every day of my life. To my knowledge, none of those decisions have broken the law, but many of them have affected the lives of others and will continue to well beyond my time on this earth.
3. Oh how about judge not lest ye be judged?
... and the list goes on.