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March 2015

I apologize for my absense

I know I said a blog post would follow Hope’s new bull calf, Bug-a-boo, but my desktop has all the pictures, and its guts are spilled out all over the living room floor.

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Furthermore, not only am I waiting for its parts to arrive, I have to put it together and do the right dance to make it work again.

So, I will get them up as soon as I can.  In the meantime, I’ve been running every wonderful week of wonderful weather, Marigold should calf before too long, George Junior is now George Senior, Marcus’s homeschool co-op is back on schedule and awesome as always, and I just got back from an amazing baby shower for my bff from Africa.  She’s from Africa, not the…  Well, actually, she’s from Knoxville, lives in Africa, and came back for a shower.  It’s complicated  🙂  Have a nice week!!

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Racial Slurs

We have a cat.

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His name is Boy.

He’s the one on the right.

What?  Did you think it was the one on the left?  Our child named him, at the age of 7.  He named him Boy because he IS a boy.  We had no idea it was a racial slur, and until someone asked, “Is he black?” we never thought anything about it.

I just finished watching a sitcom where the black neighbors come over and make several racial jokes.  Apparently blacks can’t swim?  Is this another racial stereotype I was unaware of?

I never heard of any of these racial things until I got older and heard it from blacks who don’t like to hear about it.  Interesting.

What’s really sad though is that I am fussed at for letting my child name our cat Boy.  I’m not changing his name, and you can just get over it.  Maybe, just maybe, you should be happy there are a bunch of white people running around that have heard less stereotypes of other races than the other races have.  In fact, I never get racist jokes and have to have them explained to me.  In other words, I never hear any racial comments in everyday life.  If I did, I would know what they mean.  (I hear the jokes from comedians on TV).  That means that the real world of white people isn’t as bad as you think.  At least my world isn’t.  And I live in a very poor and rural area, so put your stereotypical thoughts on that one.

I suppose it’s only natural though.  I bet I know far more racial slurs against white people than other races do.  And if I don’t…  What does that say?

The First Run of the Season

Today’s weather was perfect.  The high was around 74.  The low was around 50.  I even slept with the windows open last night.

I had been working out religiously this winter, and it appears to have paid off.  I didn’t get to yesterday, that’s another blog post in itself.  And I couldn’t figure out what to do today.  I do my hardest on the first and fourth days of the week, but I just wasn’t motivated.

And then I realized.  I can run.  Yes!!  It was warm enough to run!

I uploaded my latest tunes (three new Nickelback CD’s), found my forlorn running earphones, donned a tanktop, shorts, new running shoes, and a sweatshirt.  I stretched at my usual rock, and then placed my shirt on the barbed fence near the mailbox.  It was time.

I was scared at first.  Could I keep up with where I left off?  Would my knees hurt?  Would I have to start all over again?

As it turns out, I was right.  My winter routine was, indeed, harder than the running.  Awesome!  I ran over 40 minutes and about 4 miles.  That’s a record for me.  I’ve never run over 3 miles or 30 minutes.

It’s the next morning now.  My hips are calling 911 claiming domestic violence.  I have a wee bit of sun, but so far it doesn’t appear too drastic.  But I feel great!  As of now, I don’t plan to run as often as I did last summer, just once a week, implementing it as just another exercise to mix in with the rest.  But I can’t wait to do it again!

Woohoo!  Spring is here!

The Giver

I read a great book from the library called The Giver by Lois Lowry

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It is the first of a four book series.  The series is here.

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And it’s now also a movie.

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I’ve never seen the movie, so I can’t tell you how good or accurate it is.  But I wanted to share the book with you.  This is an opinionated review.

At first I was absolutely engrossed in the book.  I have been writing a lot lately, and editing, so it’s hard for me to enjoy a good book anymore.  I read the whole thing in one morning.  (okay, I started it the night before).  It was amazing.  Written in 1993, it is a dystopian YA novel.  Many younger children have read it, but I do not recommend that.  Although the MC is 12, and therefore it should be classified as MG in today’s standards, it reads like a YA and has material too disturbing for younger audiences.

SPOILERS!!

The following will discuss the book without respect to not spoiling it.  Skip to the bottom (clearly marked), to continue reading.

First off, the author is clearly trying to relay a message that Sameness is not preferable.  That’s fine, but when the MC, along with a baby he’s trying to save, dies because he rejects the safety of Sameness, it contradicts the author’s purpose imo.  Other readers didn’t see it that way, but I did.

I understand some people want unhappy ending and drama in their life.  They’re the kind of people that listen to music about a drunkard who’s mother is in jail and never knew their father.  I do not understand why they want to do these things, just that they do.  Me?  I want happy endings with glitter, unicorns, rainbows, and fairy wings.  I want to finish a book and feel better, not want to shoot myself when I’m through.

Although this book didn’t make me want to shoot myself, and it did, in fact, raise excellent topics of discussion to the point that I’m making it required book report reading, it was very deflating.  I honestly felt like Sameness is safer and better.  And she did have a personal note or two in the book, so I know that wasn’t her intended purpose.

As far as age appropriateness, they use lethal injection, in great detail, on a baby.  They also use it on one child and all of the aged, but not as detailed.  A heart wrenching picture of warfare is painted.

Off topic, there were also conflictions that I wondered about.  For example, the pretend gun fight seemed very improbable given the society.  And there was one sentence I read at least a dozen times and still never understood, but no one’s perfect, especially me.  I just wanted to point those out.

END OF SPOILERS!!!!

So, again, although I recommend it for book report reading (they always want people to read unpleasant stories for those things anyway), I do not recommend it for under 14, or a pleasant/happy read.  If you want a good think, read.  If you are not in need of an uplifting experience, read.  But if you want butterflies and glitter, don’t read.  Excellent for sci-fi buffs as well.

Spring is Here!!!!

Now for most people, this is an exciting time of gardening, vacations, and warmer weather.  It is for us too.  And I was really looking forward to it!  Unfortunately, I forgot about all the work involved.

Thrilled to finally get to place my poor plants outside…

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I looked over at the coop and realized, spring cleaning is upon me.  As soon as it quits raining … whenever that may be, I’ll shovel out the coop and put in fresh hay.  Why not do it more often in the winter?  Because it’s frozen.  You can’t shovel frozen poop and replace it with frozen, wet, snow covered hay.  So my poor birds have to endure nasty housing for a good month or more, depending on the weather.  Don’t worry, I keep it clean otherwise.

Now, back to spring.  Every year, I bring in certain plants: a fig, an olive, several bananas, and a happy basil plant.  The fig goes dormant, losing its leaves, the basil plant dies off (that’s normal), and everything else just gets very unhappy.  Every spring, I sprinkle the seeds produced by my basil plant into a new pot, and “harden off” my trees.  I used to have an orange tree too, but it couldn’t handle going that long without direct sunlight.

Hardening off is when you reintroduce sunlight to plants.  Plants sunburn just like us.  You have to put them in the sun for one hour the first day, then two, then three.  By the end of a week or so, they’re happy to be left out all the time.  You can tell if a plant is getting burned because the leaves will turn grey.  Crazy, yeah, I know.  I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

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I also put my peace lilies out.  In case you can’t tell, they’re very unhappy.  I know they can’t handle direct sunlight, which is why they’re on the back porch.  It faces north and doesn’t really see the sun, unless you stand on tippy toe and crane around a post.

And the most awesome news is-it’s not supposed to go below 50 for several days.  My bananas can’t go below 50, at all.  So this means I can put them on the back porch when their tanning time is up and not have to bring them into the house.  That big one’s pretty hard to maneuver, so that’s really good news!

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I do worry about my cats though.  Boy, Knight, are you going to bother my plants this year?

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