Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crisis Averted

There's just something better about any disaster or “challenge” when it's written about after the fact, rather than in the middle of the crisis. At least that's the way I feel about it. While I'm given the “opportunity” to stretch myself, discover how my character has a chance to further develop under adversity, I just don't feel much like sharing the news. I'm too taught, wound up and ultra focused on getting myself out of the particular mess that I'm in.

Messes come in all shapes and forms, some are minor but seem horrific at the time, others are life threatening and many are damaging on other levels. This time, I'm just talking about common crises that pop up in most lives, although they may be different colored for different people, depending on their circumstances.

Now that this crisis is over, I can talk about it. Living off the grid, east of the Cascades means that our winters are somewhat colder than those in the Sponge, ie Portland, Seattle and significantly colder than Florida, California etc. Don't like hot buildings, it's much healthier living in European style room temperatures. I like indoor temps around 62 degrees, maybe 65, but any warmer than that and it feels too hot. Besides viruses survive in warmer temperatures.

Living in a log cabin, with radiant floor heating sounds plenty cozy, and it normally is. Except when something goes wrong as it recently did. No noisy furnaces blasting uneven heat everywhere...just a gentle warmth that is everywhere.

The other night, why do emergencies always happen at night? We ran out of water. Nothing new there, we pump from a private well into a 1,000 gallon holding tank. While that system could be automated in a perfect world, there's just something about 40 dogs, horses, cats, chickens etc that keep us from enjoying any type of perfection. Back to the story. When we forget to pump into the holding tank and use all of the water we run out. Sometimes we forget when we pump, since summer brings more water usage than does winter.

I knew that we shouldn't be out of water yet, I remembered this time, because during winter I have the thrill of hauling 300 feet of water hoses around to water animals and then draining that same 300 feet so it will be ready for the next water. About every other day during the winter is what it takes to keep water troughs and buckets full. So running out before that was a clue that something was wrong.

Well trouble shooting what that something is can take awhile. We put on the thinking caps first, checking the most obvious, ruling them out one by one, until we're left scratching our heads. Maybe we better check the radiant floor heating since we noticed our indoor temps starting to drop. OH NO, there was a minor flood. Not a big deal, it's in an unfinished part of the house. Well, ALL of the house is unfinished, but this is in an unfinished AND uninsulated part. Not a bit deal after all, a hose clamp had come loose and pumped out all of our water and drained our holding tank dry. Refilled and watched and waited, but the temps wouldn't start to regain.

When we're already at 62 degrees inside, it doesn't take long before it starts to get a little chilly. The indoor pooches look at us and prefer laying on couches instead of the cooling floor. I put on another layer of clothes, then the hoodies. We just can keep the water temps up going into the heating system, and they're dropping on the out flowing line. Not good.

Bingo, after 2 days, we figured it out. Bleed the lines to get the air out. So we drained the lines, refilled and then slowly watched the temps start to raise. So once again we're smiling.

Yeah, it wasn't a death sentence, temps outside were in the teens and 20's, but what if the temps dropped before we could get things figured out, then we'd be looking at a real potential-pipe-breaking-mess. But then I remembered that old saying:

“bridges you cross before you get to them are over rivers that aren't there”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't Touch My Junk~ TSA Hustle Video!

This video is rated not suitable for children, but rather than shield them from the reality of the potential sexual molestation they face if they try to board an airplane in the US, you might consider showing them the video.

Don't fly and be molested, the airlines can stop this. We can stop this. The original program initiated in 2001 has a 2 year contract. Vote with your dollars, do not fly until sexual molestation stops.

"With people getting partially molested at checkpoints, all that is going to be a real shock for them," said Greg Wells, senior vice president of operations at Southwest Airlines.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love Animals? Stop The US Army From Animal Cruelty!

This article is a plea from PETA with an online petition. So far the Germany Government has done the right thing in not approving the permit for the US Army to mutilate animals on German Soil. There are simulations and models that serve better. Thanks for helping!

Online Petition

The U.S. Army is once again applying for a permit to cut apart and kill animals in cruel and crude trauma training exercises in the district of Oberpfalz (Bavaria, Germany), even though the Army's first application was withdrawn because of overwhelming public opposition to the plan. Its second application was also recently denied because officials said that the animal laboratories would violate Germany's animal protection law, since effective non-animal methods are available for use in the training instead.

Germany's own Armed Forces has written to PETA, stating: "[T]he armed forces do no animal tests for training purposes. For training exercises the soldiers learn with really good models and the doctors don't need animal experiments." The U.S. Army's own Alfred V. Rascon School of Combat Medicine at Fort Campbell does not use animals in its trauma program, stating that "[t]raining on [simulators] is more realistic to providing care for a person than training on animals."
Please help spare animals from these cruel and deadly trauma training exercises right now by sending polite e-mails to German government officials urging them to stop the U.S. Army from pursuing permits for trauma training in Germany. Please Sign Petition:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

McDonalds, I Was Loving It!

McDonald's targeted in US health ad This was from UK publication.

Unhappy meals: American doctors' TV ad features a corpse holding a hamburger and the line 'I was lovin' it'. McDonald's, which has thrived in the recession, isn't laughing

Don't miss this video!

Mommy Mommy, Why Am I Fat?

Excerpted from Mommy Mommy, Why Am I Fat Richard C. Cook, veteran Project Manager for the U.S. Treasury Department and Policy Analyst for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

"Cheap, mass-produced foods are largely based on grains and beef raised by massive agribusiness firms, so that the atrocious American diet is inextricably linked with capitalist enterprise controlled by Wall Street."

"American farming at present is completely incapable of supplying nutritious foods on a scale that would make a difference. In order to furnish natural and healthy foods to poorer markets would require a revolution in American farming where small family farms using heirloom seeds and natural farming methods would once again become prosperous.

Unfortunately, this sector has been destroyed by agribusiness and by the federal government policies, not to mention bank lending practices, that favor it. We also have a massive food chemical industry, closely aligned with the pharmaceutical industry, that thrives on doctoring unhealthy and non-nutritious food, with the aid of the Food and Drug Administration which approves their chemical formulas."

"In other words, a big part of the U.S. economy, again under the control of Wall Street, gets rich off making kids obese and unhealthy to the point where we no longer have the capability of producing anything else on a large scale."

This article is wroth reading and reflects the dismal health of the majority of North Americans who apparently prefer to eat garbage, "food like substances" rather than real food.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poop Power?

According to the
San Francisco Chronicle, "American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it's going."

Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world's leading authorities on waste reduction and composting, was quoted as saying. "Most of our pets' poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it's embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches."

And so San Francisco has become the first city in the country to consider turning Fido's droppings into methane, which can heat homes, cook meals and generate electricity. "Poop power? Yes, it's possible to produce electricity, natural gas and even fuel from Rover's poop and other waste material,"

By the way Happy Tails composts and considers it a valuable resource for pastures. Our compost temps far exceed 150 degrees which kills all pathogens.

Green Dog Cleaning Company of Portland, Oregon is an innovative, energetic new Pet Waste Professionals company that offers a variety of services at very reasonable prices that include scooping your poop and turning it into compost!

They were even the focus of an article in Oregon Live With dogs in the city, doesn't it make more sense to compost rather than to enshrine poop in plastic bags that are not biodegradable? Don't we need to become more creative with our disposal methods? We always wonder where "away" is when we talk about throwing "away.."

United States Dept of agricultural

National Resources Conservation Services releases Dog Waste Composting Guide The average dog can produce 274 pounds of waste each year. Composting dog waste is a simple and inexpensive method for disposing of dog waste that can enhance the environment. This guide will show you how. USDA Alaska Dog waste is a safe soil additive for revegetation and landscaping when composted properly.

What is Composting?

"Composting is the controlled breakdown or degradation of organic material into a product known as humus. Dog waste composting is a natural process that requires air, water, organic matter, microbes and a little human intervention."

"REMEMBER: It takes at least 10 dogs, preferably 20, to generate enough waste to maintain a bin.

A large pile (3 to 5 foot cube) is needed to provide insulation and keep temperatures high in the piles' center. For fewer dogs you can keep a separate compost bin for dog waste and add grass clippings or other nitrogen sources to increase the volume. Treat the finished compost as you would other composted dog manure."

Happy Tails uses 4 pallets to contain the material, we rarely have to cover it because it gets hot enough without a cover. No odor, no flies, no mice etc.

Best way to collect is to add a carbon source (sawdust, chopped straw, bedding) to the dog waste as you collect it and mix it after being placed into your bin. There won't be any composting until water is added. Choose your location and bin, gather your materials and never use those non disposable plastic bags again!


For every two shovels full of dog waste, add one shovel full of sawdust or other carbon source and mix thoroughly after each addition.

Add water in small amounts until the compost mixture is as moist as a wrung out sponge. Continue adding ingredients until the compost is two to three feet deep.

Once a bin is full, do not continue adding fresh materials. You may be surprised how quickly the contents seems to shrink, we rarely fill our 4 x 4 area.

Place a cover on the compost mixture. Microbes will begin breaking down the organic materials. As the microbes go to work, they release heat and increase the temperature of the compost pile.

Mature compost has a dark rich earthy color, it's moist, crumbly, and truly has a pleasant earthy odor. Dig in and use this valuable natural resource!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Feed Grade Corn For Cattle

How often have you heard that it would be better if North Americans stoped eating beef and gave the food that is fed to the cattle to the starving nations of the world? Supposedly if Americans became vegetarians, world hunger would stop almost immediately. I remember having this rhetoric drummed into me during my early school years decades ago.

The basis for the argument is that it takes about 18 times more food to feed cattle than what the animal can produce. So why not take all of that grain that is fed to cattle and feed it to people in impoverished countries?

Industrial feedlot cattle are fed sub-grade corn, about 95% of that corn is genetically modified and highly sprayed with pesticides. Nature did not design cattle to eat corn. The corn does provide calories and does pack on weight, but it disturbs the metabolism and if the cattle lived long enough, it would have the same health problems that people would have if they ate this GMO corn based grain as their primary diet

Wouldn't it be a more logical solution to stop growing the GMO garbage, unfit for cattle or man?

Cattle are designed to eat native grasses. When they eat grasses their meat is very healthful and full of nutrients that is lacking in industrial feedlot beef. These are nutrients lacking in other foods and can only be found in grassfed or free range animal products.

Then just imagine that we would no longer have to waste money on gas whacking down native grasses. Instead the cattle can eat the grasses, we save gas, equipment and time not mowing it down. We have then just turned a waste product into something in high demand, grassfed beef. Think about it

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day In The Words of Khalil Gibran

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work, you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love, you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

“And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back To Real Milk

North America offers pasteurized or raw milk, they are not created equal, nor is getting raw milk an easy task. During the early 20th century drinking unadulterated raw milk was considered normal and healthy scientifically, legally and medically. Raw milk was considered an expensive medicinal food, straight from the cow, goat or sheep. The famed Mayo Clink Foundation used Raw Milk Therapy on over 18,000 patients for a broad range of disorders.

The fight over raw milk is reaching a boiling point. I believe only 9 states allow the sale of raw milk. Transporting raw milk across a state border is considered the same as drug traffic and with similar punishments. Lining up on one side of the battle are the growing numbers of people who are demanding to choose pure, natural foods.

On the other side are the FDA, Farm Bureau, USDA and the Industrial Food Giants who are financially persuaded to support outlawing pure, natural foods. The FDA has the arrogance to say that the American people do not have a God given right to choose which foods to eat or drink, that they must first seek permission from the FDA.

The American public are considered captive consumers for the pharmaceutical and chemical giants who depend on a legally drug addicted, demoralized, weakened, sickened and uninformed public to suck up their toxins, which keep them raking in billions in yearly profit. I say we can still vote with our dollars and not support the industrial giant companies that do not represent our interests.