Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We've moved

We've moved!
And though we sometimes go long periods of time without a post please check us out at: Thedancingfarmer.com

Thanks!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Guinea Hogs for sale & Guinea Hog Piglets for sale




As of today we have a two week old litter of Guinea Hog Piglets—all registered—that are for sale.
2 out of the 6 are already spoken for but we have 2 males and 2 females left. We also have an adult female that is proven to sell also.

If you have been looking for a small farm pig to breed for a steady supply of meat or to help you till your garden and pastures without wreaking the havoc that large hogs can—this is the pig for you.
Easy to feed, easy to care for, and friendly (thus easy to move around simply by calling). Their smaller size makes them a dream to handle. Excellent for grass based farming their pleasant nature and size also makes them easy to pen if you need to —which on occasion does occur for even the most organized farm.

If you are interested in one of these piglets contact us at alandtc (at) catt.com

Generally we ask $300 for each piglet however in these economic times we are open to a bit of bartering. I am currently looking for two high percentage Lacaune and/or Friesian ewes. We are also open to other barter items---though I won't promise we will accept even if it is a good offer. Currently we do not need or desire: horses, llamas, boats or jet skis (thanks though).
Good quality bulk storage containers ---with gamma lids. Of course storage containers are not expensive items but...you never know what you might have that we might trade for.

Here are some pictures---enjoy---and feel free to contact us at alandtc ( at ) catt.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am adding new places...

Things have changed here on our farm over the past 6ish months. Changes that have decreased by quite a bit my blogging. Now that the dust has settled and we have had some restructuring, some deletions and some new additions I am again ready to blog away. With a few changes. We will still be gardening organically, maybe even more so than before consider this economic climate, but we are now without sheep or cows at all. Sad I know..but there you have it. We do still have our American Guinea Hogs --who will get their very own page at my new site---and my newer additions of Muscovy ducks.
Chickens? Well they are always hanging around in various forms and ages. And so...though posting content will stay pretty much the same (a bit less politics maybe) I would like to say:


Check me out at my new home for my personal, homesteading, organic, food raising, and animal care (even for larger ruminant information or help) blog at:

Dancingfarmer.wordpress.com

Or my group blog with my wonderful homesteading friends at:

Womennotdabbling.wordpress.com


I will keep this blog going for the information that it has with the eventual possibility of moving it. Occasionally I will add to it but not frequently.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's o.k......as long as it's not in my backyard

Recently, during a gathering of neighbors, a man and I had a debate about the horrible terrible, hypocritical jerk....Al Gore. This gentlemen was flogging Mr. Gore because he, and other leftist extremists like him (that would be me), were behind the stopping of drilling (to save some idiotic polar bears and caribou) and building of nuclear and coal plants.
This gentlemen felt that coal in and of itself would more than help the U.S become self sufficient in terms of energy and we should go back to relying on it. Add drilling and nuclear and we were set for as long as he could see into the future. (Of course so many of us are very short sited now aren't we?) Just to finish summing this thought up...this man was in his late 30's. So much for the future.

Changing thoughts...not long ago on this very site I blogged about a new technology that was being tried out in the ocean. It sounds wonderful...and clean...and non invasive (anymore than humans are in general I suppose). One person commented that they thought it was still a bad idea and that really all people just needed to use less energy. Period. No other thing but just that.
Now...after some thought I do agree with that commenter. How we will actually accomplish this, and can we as a society, I don't know. I have thought about it and just don't see it happening without MAJOR complications forcing it. Like gas..being so high this last year. Now that it is low...people are back to buying big vehicles again. And letting them idol while they run in the store to buy something.
I also know I don't go to enough trouble to change my own personal consumption. Not as much as I should anyway...though I am trying to and do use many ways to reduce my consumption, but by no means am I an ace at it.
I do use some ways most average Americans don't even bother with like power bars to completely shut all power off to electronics not in use. I mean...most of it uses the same amount of energy while waiting for me to tell it what to do as it does while doing it. On the other hand at times I do leave the t.v running when I am really not paying complete attention to it as I clean and what not.

Moving on....I am sure you heard of the Tennessee coal ash spill. This spill is maybe 2 hours northeast of me as the crow flies (if that far). And of course as it moves downstream it will eventually make it's way down into the Tennessee River, through Chattanooga (near me) and on to places like Atlanta Georgia. All shit flows south now doesn't it?
And so...did you hear that a few weeks after the Tennessee spill, TVA had another one over in Alabama?
Here's the link.

I have always been completely against Nuclear Power. I have on this very blog posted about that a number of times. If for some reason you can't understand my rabid dog (and yes, I can get very mad about it) opinion on NO nuclear....please read the title of this post. Now think of these coal ash spills.

My thought is this: No persons life, and the total wasting of land, was worth a nuclear melt down to me just so I could leave all my lights on while I ran to the store. (know people that do that) Soooo...someone wouldn't steal my stuff???
So I could see into the upstairs window when I got home??? So I could tell what time it is in every single room I walk into and the t.v will respond without me first having to flick a switch. So that I could have a t.v in each room and watch my show as I walk around the house and never miss a part (know people that do this too).
Now....I feel the same way about coal. Now...I must get even more serious about my power use. Not just because coal is more common in my area but because NO person's life is worth trading for me to have a light on during the middle of the day while I walk down a very familiar hallway (know someone that does this also).

So...are you one of those people that thinks it's o.k as long as it's not in your back yard? If we aren't willing to live in the zone of the emergency evacuation signs for nuclear plants or under the towering walls holding back the poisonous ash then why do we expect others to? I mean how can we ask someone else and their child to do it if we won't?

My point is both that we need the government behind clean technology (and I don't mean clean coal) and we ALL need to conserve......as if our very life depended on it. Because in reality someone else's might.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another New Year.

Yeah, to another New Year. Happy New Year a bit late everyone.
Hopefully those following this blog keep up with my more day to day topics on Women Not Dabbling along with some other fine writers sharing homesteading information.

Since I am writing over there I am only occasionally posting here. Every so often, especially as gardening gets going again I will post a bit more day to day . Right now in the heart of winter I don't have as much to write about that will give you something good to read about (because really day to day about my life isn't that enjoyable I wouldn't think!)

Anyway...right now NAIS still seems to be on the plate so to speak and here is the newest update in my mail box. Please...keep up the good work!

USDA Issues New Memo
Creates Many Unanswered Questions
In September, the USDA issued a memo to animal health officials that mandated NAIS premises registration be used any time someone had any activity on their property (such as vaccinations or testing) conducted under any of the federal disease control programs. We publicized the memo in November, and a public outcry ensued. The September memo is posted at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/files/APHIS_PIN_Mandate_080922.pdf
On December 22, USDA issued a new memo, posted at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/files/VS_Memo_No.575.19.pdf, that revoked its September memo. The fact that USDA felt pressured to take this step is good news! But the new memo is far from being a complete victory.

On the last two pages of the new memo, USDA still provides for mandatory premises registration any time Veterinary Services personnel conduct an "activity" related to a federal disease control program, including such activities as vaccinations, certification, or surveillance. Moreover, accredited veterinarians are still expected to provide information on their clients to the government authorities to enable the voluntary or involuntary issuance of the NAIS registration.
At the very end of the document, USDA includes language indicating that a property owner might elect not to have a NAIS PIN assigned to the premises, but does not explain how that fits with the directives in the memo that "all locations" that have a disease program activity "will be identified" with a NAIS PIN." The ultimate effect is very unclear.

So, what is the difference between the two memos? The primary difference is that the new memo is more ambiguous. We've seen this before: in the original NAIS documents, USDA had a clear list of reportable events. By late 2007, USDA had vague categories such as "local" versus "regional" and "high priority" versus "low priority" to determine what comingling events were reportable. Apparently this is USDA's mode of operation. It puts out documents with clear provisions, and then responds to citizen protests by cloaking the next document in ambiguity, without making significant substantive changes.

The main improvement appears to be that people who choose not to be registered in NAIS will not be branded with a special code in the premises database, labeling them as dissenters.

In the new memo, USDA tries to reassure people by re-iterating that it has a procedure for people to opt out. However, if any "activity" for a disease program has occurred on the property, the property address will remain in the NAIS database.

In other words, the new memo appears to establish the following procedure:
1) If an animal health official or a federally accredited veterinarian conducts any activity (including vaccinations and certifications) under a federal disease control program (which includes brucellosis, tuberculosis, scrapie, pseudorabies, and equine infectious anemia), your information will be submitted to the agency and your property will be registered in the NAIS database
2) If you then ask to opt out, your personal information will be deleted, but the address of your property will remain in the database with the assigned PIN number since a "program activity" is associated with it.

The language of the memo leaves a lot of unanswered questions, including what is the role of the state authorities. USDA states that "when the State or producer, or person responsible, for the premises elects not to have a standardized PIN assigned to the premises," a state PIN will be issued. But is this only after the property is assigned a NAIS number and its owner seeks to opt out? And will the state authorities check if the registration is voluntary or not before sending people's information to the USDA to be placed in the NAIS database? And what "events" or "activities" will prevent people from being able to opt out and use a state PIN? This memo creates more questions than it answers.

Take Action #1: Contact Your State Agency and Legislators
Write a letter to your state agriculture department or animal health agency, asking them to respond in writing with an explanation of how they interpret the new USDA memo. Ask for a list of all of the specific events and activities, if any, that will result in a person's property being registered in the NAIS database. Ask them if they will allow a property owner to elect not to have a standardized PIN assigned to the premises. If they will, how will that be accomplished? A sample letter is below.

Be sure to send a copy of your letter to your state representative and senator! Attach a copy of both USDA memos, and ask your state legislator to support a state bill to prevent people from being forced into NAIS against their will. You can download the memos at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/Government-documents

Send a copy of your letter to your veterinarian, as well. Many vets have not even heard about these USDA memos, or are unclear about their being required to gather and report information about their clients for this program. It's important that vets know that their clients object to NAIS!

Sample Letter to State Agency
Dear _______________ [head of the state ag or animal health department]:

I recently received a copy of two memos (attached) issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The September memo explicitly provides that any state animal health authorities are to register people's property in the NAIS database, with or without the property owner's permission, anytime a listed activity occurs under a listed disease control program.

While the December memo states that it revokes the September memo, the ultimate effect is unclear because the December memo still provides that a NAIS premises ID number will be issued for "all locations involved in the administration of VS animal disease program activities conducted by VS personnel." The memo also states that "animal health officials" will collect the data needed to issue the ID number.

Then, at the very end of the new memo, a caveat is added which indicates that people might be able not to be assigned a NAIS premises identification number: "the State PIN will be issued when ... the State or producer, or person responsible, for the premises elects not to have a standardized PIN issued to the premises." What does this mean to citizens of this state? Will you allow property owners to "elect not to have a standardized PIN issued" to their property? If so, how will that be done and recorded?

The citizens of this state are entitled to know how your department intends to implement the latest memo, if at all. Please provide a written list of any and all events and activities that will result in your agency either issuing a NAIS premises ID number or providing data to the USDA that would enable the USDA to issue a NAIS premises ID number. If the answer depends on whether the activity occurs on or off the property, please specify that fact. Your written response should also clarify what use your agency, or other state authorities, will make of information submitted by veterinarians relating to their clients.

As a citizen of this state and an animal owner, I expect a prompt written response from your agency. Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,
Name
Address
City, State Zip
Email address
Cc: Your State Representative and Senator (with attached memos)

Take Action #2: Opt Out
If you think you may have been registered in NAIS, with or without your permission, you can find out by contacting your state NAIS coordinator (listed at http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/contact_us/directories.shtml). You can call or, more formally, send a letter that requests them to put their response in writing. If you have been registered, follow the steps listed on the Liberty Ark website at http://www.libertyark.net/opt_out.html for how to opt out. Ask for specific clarification as to whether your property will still have a PIN assigned to its address or not.
If you were registered without your permission, write your federal and state legislators and tell them! The myth that "NAIS is voluntary" has hampered efforts to get anti-NAIS legislation passed at both the federal and the state level, and the legislators need proof that the agencies are forcing people into the program.

Excerpts From The New Memo
You can download the memo at
http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/files/VS_Memo_No.575.19.pdf
The first three pages are mostly non-substantive. The key passages are found on the last two pages.
Page 4:
"All locations involved in the administration of VS animal disease program activities conducted by VS personnel will be identified with a standardized PIN [previously defined as the NAIS PIN]. ... In general, examples of the activities for which the issuance of a standardized PIN is applicable include vaccinations for disease programs; certification programs; surveillance programs; disease investigations; or inspections of import-export locations....
The issuance of the standardized PIN will be administered as follows:

A. Animal health officials will collect the defined data fields for submission through the Emergency Management Response System (EMRS) or the Animal Health and Surveillance Management System (AHSM) interface with the allocator to obtain a PIN for the premises. The premises record processed through the EMRS, AHSM, or other VS systems will be provided to the States so the records may be added electronically to the State's premises registration system.

B. Accredited veterinarians, while not directly involved in the issuance of the PIN, will collect the defined data fields on official disease program forms, including forms for VS National Animal Health Laboratory Network laboratories, for submission to the State or Federal office in that State."

Page 5:

"APHIS is considering rulemaking to establish the standardized PIN as the sole premises identification number, when a PIN is otherwise required or assigned. In the meantime, the State PIN will be issued in the administration of animal disease program activities when the State or producer, or person responsible, for the premises elects not to have a standardized PIN issued to the premises."

Please Support Our Work!
We have raised approximately $2,600 out of the $5,000 matching grant so far! Please help us to raise the rest by donating now at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/join-farfa to double your gift.

Any size donation helps, whether it's a $10 grassroots membership or a $500 lifetime member. Every dollar, and every member, counts!

Please help us to continue to be a strong voice for your interests. Become a new member or give an additional donation at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/content/join-farfa


Working together, we can make our voices heard.
Sincerely,

Judith McGeary
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Phone: 512-243-9404
Toll-free: 866-687-6452


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obama takes comments on NAIS

This came in my email today. One of them ends today supposedly but if you see this late double check it. Don't miss the second web site ---one is his "official" and the other is a more personal (if that is the correct way to say it) web site. Both are taking comments on Nais.
SPEAK UP.....now is our chance to be heard!!

Online Action Items!
First round of voting on Change.org ends today
Two websites are allowing people to speak up about the issues they want President-Elect Obama to address when he takes office. The first is his official website: www.change.gov. The second is a private website: www.change.org. On both sites, only the top ideas will be presented to the administration, based on a voting process.
Both sites are currently running questions related to stopping the National Animal Identification System. The Change.Org site closes voting on the questions today! So as you make plans to ring in the new year, take a moment to make your voice heard.

Change.Org - Voting Ends Today!
The private website, www.change.org, will present the "Top 10 Ideas for America" to the Obama Adminsitration on Inauguration Day.
The first phase of the voting ends today, and the top 3 ideas in each category will be selected for the second round of voting. "Stop NAIS" is currently in third place in Agriculture, and the voting is very close! A few votes may make the difference between the Stop NAIS message making it to the next round, or not!
Step 1: If you are not already signed up for the site, register at: https://www.change.org/admin/sign_up
Step 2:
Go to http://www.change.org/ideas/view/stop_nais Be sure to click the box labeled "vote!" to the left of the Stop NAIS! Simply leaving a comment does not count as a vote.

Change.Gov
The Obama Transition Team has set up a section calld "Open for Questions" on the official website. They have not specified the deadline for submitting or voting on questions, but said they will respond to the top issues "in the new year."
Step 2: Type "animal identification" or "nais" into the box next to "Search Questions"
Step 3: Click on the checkmark by the question to vote "yes". If you are not already signed in, you will be asked to, with a link at the top of the box.

We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year! Thank you for all of your activism and support in 2008.
Sincerely,

Judith McGeary
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Phone: 512-243-9404
Toll-free: 866-687-6452

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We're making progress but.....

This was in my mail today from Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.
One is to write a quick, brief email to your Congress person and/or Senator.
The other is to make a quick comment on a USDA proposal that closes for public comment on December 23rd.
These are fast and quick to do...but have big impact. Hopefully you can get to it.

P.S Anne...I found that link for you for the 10/16/08 post.

Appropriations Process Moving Forward with NAIS!

Last summer, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee included a provision to require USDA to purchase meat products for the School Lunch Program from premises registered with National Animal Identification System (NAIS). After a public outcry, the Senate Appropriations Committee did not include this provision in the Senate version of the bill. Both versions of the bill included funding for NAIS and related programs (WLIC, FAIR, and RFID research) of approximately $14 million, much less than the USDA had requested.

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2009 got stuck due to unrelated issues. Now the process is beginning to move again. Although the bills never made it to the floor, Congress is skipping several steps and moving straight to settling differences between the House Subcommittee-passed bill and the Senate full Committee-passed bill in a "staff conference." Staff will come up with a draft final bill in December, and are aiming for the end of this week (Dec. 19). The Congressional members will begin consideration of the appropriations bills in early January.

TAKE ACTION

1. If you live in one of the following states, please call the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member(s) from your state:
California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The names and phone numbers of the Subcommittee members are listed below.

2. If you do NOT live in one of the states listed above, please call your own Congressperson. If you do not know who represents you, you can find out at www.congress.org or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 866-340-9281 or 800-417-7666.

When you call, ask to speak to the staffer who handles appropriations. If you get their voice mail, leave the following message, or something in your own words that makes the same points:

MESSAGE:
My name is _________. I am a constituent [or live in your state, if you aren't in their district]. I am calling about the Agriculture Appropriations bill for 2009. I am opposed to NAIS, and I do not want it to be tied to the School Lunch Program. I ask that you work to keep this provision, which was in the House Subcommittee's version, out of the conference version of the Appropriations bill. Please follow the Senate version, which did not include any such provision. I also urge you to stop all funding for NAIS, particularly any mandatory or coercive programs. Thank you for all of your work.

It is very important to be succinct, brief, and polite! The staffers are extremely busy right now and working under a tight deadline. A short, clear message will be more effective than an in-depth conversation. And if you can, find something positive to say - whether about a specific position the Congressperson has taken recently, or simply a generic "thank you" - please be sure to add that.

U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture:

· Diane Feinstein (D-CA) - 202-224-3841
· Tom Harkin (D-IA) - 202-224-3254
· Richard Durbin (D-IL) - 202-224-2152
· Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - 202-224-2541
· Sam Brownback (R-KS) - 202-224-6521
· Kit Bond (R-MO) - 202-224-5721
· Thad Cochran (R-MS) - 202-224-5054
· Ben Nelson (D-NE) - 202-224-6551
· Byron Dorgan (D-ND) - 202-224-2551
· Arlen Specter (R-PA) - 202-224-4254
· Jack Reed (D- RI) - 202-224-4642
· Tim Johnson (D-SD)- 202-224-5842
· Bob Bennett (R-UT) - 202-224-5444
· Robert Byrd (D-WV) - 202-224-3954
· Herb Kohl, Chairman (D-WI) - 202-224-5653

U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture:

· Sam Farr (D-CA) - 202-225-2861
· Rosa DeLauro, Chair (D-CT) - 202-225-3661
· Allen Boyd (D-FL) - 202-225-5235
· Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) - 202-225-3631
· Jack Kingston (R-GA) - 202-225-5831
· Tom Latham (R-IA) - 202-225-5476
· Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) - 202-225-0773
· Rodney Alexander (R-LA) - 202-225-8490
· Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) - 202-225-4404
· Steven Rothman (D-NJ) - 202-225-5061
· Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) - 202-225-6335
· Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) - 202-225-4146


NEXT ONE:


Comment Period On Proposed Rule for Organic Livestock Ending Soon
Earlier this month, we sent an alert out about the USDA's proposed rule for organic livestock. As stated in that alert, FARFA and several other organizations requested that USDA extend the comment period on its proposed rule for organic livestock because of the complexity and scope of the rule.
The USDA has not responded to that request, and the comment period will close on Tuesday, December 23.
The new USDA rule proposal and its analysis total 26 pages, as published in the Federal Register. The draft rule complies with organic community requests to close loopholes being exploited by factory dairy farms confining their cattle. But it is also a much broader rewrite of federal organic regulations than anyone sought. The new rules, if enacted as currently written, would put many family-scale organic livestock farmers out of business.
Several organic organizations have collaborated on an "alternative" proposed rule that would stop factory farm abuses of the organics label, while not imposing overly burdensome and potentially harmful requirements on organic producers. You can find a copy of the "alternative" rule on the Cornucopia website The website also has a sample letter that you can use for your comments to the USDA.
If you wish to submit comments online, go to the Regulations web portal: www.regulations.gov Use the search terms "organic pasture." Cornucopia has also offered to hand deliver comments to the USDA if you email them to Cornucopia by noon on December 22 at: cultivate@cornucopia.org
Remember that public comments must be received by the USDA by December 23

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Gardening



Sorry but I also posted this at womennotdabbling so if you read there it is a repeat. I don't usually do that but I wanted I liked how pretty the cabbage was so I decided to post here too :-D

On August 24th I started plants of Red Express Cabbage, Calabrese broccoli and some Nero di Toscano and Lacinato Kale. I put them out in the garden when they were still small and had just about 4 leaves each. Though they have not grown immensely in that time I wanted to post pictures of them to show encourage those of you that do not winter garden that it is easier than you think. The cabbage looks beautiful and the broccoli and kales look as if a few leaves have been tortured. We have though had two stir fry meals off the broccoli tops (no flowers bud yet) and many many meals off our kale. In actuality I have other larger Kale plants so don’t think I am a miracle worker getting many meals off these littler guys. My other kales were from this past spring and lasted through the summer and our waist high to me now. A few leaves will get burnt when it drops low at night but they keep growing new leaves each week and most never do discolor. We eat kale at least once a week if not more — yum.

There are a few reasons why people don’t plant winter foods. Sometimes summer burnout occurs (definitely my main problem) but another is lack of cold frames or frost fabrics and then there is also procrastination. We are all, of course, guilty of this last one. I know I do it when I am uncomfortable or unsure about how to do something. But just by looking at my pictures you can see that though we have had many nights that have dropped into the mid 20’s my plants have made it through without dying. No they do not have a cold frame cover on them nor did I drape frost fabric or quilts or any such thing over them. I could have of course…and they would look a tad nicer. But since my days have always come up in temperature I have not felt that I really HAD to mess with any of that yet. January and February are usually the months we really need frames and fabrics.

Now I know that I live in North Georgia, so of course it is a bit warmer. However, just by tweaking your dates you can accomplish the same thing that I have even if you live in colder areas. My point wasn’t really to tell you when to start or any of that but to show you that even if you don’t have a green house or huge cold frame or spun fabrics…..there are varieties of veggies out their that can do their thing really well even when cold. Which brings me to variety choices.

Part of the reason I decided not to cover some of my plants is I wanted to see if I could find varieties that would take my weather without really needing lots of help. One of the reasons I wanted to do this was because when it does warm up I keep forgetting to uncover the darn things–another of my problems with cold frames. I get busy and forget to open them on a sunny day. Another reason was I am essentially a lazy person on the inside so simpler is better as far as I am concerned. I felt if I could find varieties that will tolerate my nights and days then I may not need cold frames or at least won’t need them as long. Of course a green house would be lovely but since many of us do not have one we must experiment experiment experiment. Since each package of seed is a few dollars at most—less if you seed share—then it is an cheap experiment. My many meals have already paid for my experiment and I still have more lunches and dinners out there. All we needed to do was to read the descriptions on our choices to find some that were suited to colder weather. Here is were I will encourage you to join a group like seed savers since you can find seeds grown by people near you or even in colder areas than you. They can usually give you very good information on how each variety stood up to different weather patterns. Cold and dry, wet and warm, icy, snowy etc.

The last problem I find with growing winter veggies this late is finding meals to use them up in. But that is no big deal now is it? So…again…I am going to encourage you to try this “out of season” growing thing. You could start early this spring with your own experiments. Though do remember the smaller the plant the more likely it will need some cover. But don’t be afraid and don’t procrastinate because your not sure if you can do it. It’s really easier than you think and you will do the V8 smack on your forehead when you finally realize you put it off for so long.

And….last note. I am so sorry Dora didn’t make it M.P. Though I didn’t have time to put one together for today, next week I am going to do an article on sheep/goats and dog attacks and how to treat the animal. I hope to even have a very good friends home made salve recipe to add in—one that can be used for many types of wounds and has an excellent proven track record.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A great big THANK YOU

Thank you so much to everyone that helped Phelan.

In just a few days the total was raised to help her and her family save their house. Yeah!!

I have to admit....I worried that not many would come through. I think based on what we see in the news, day to day and sometimes (even worse) how we see people that are suppose to be "believers" act---that we can feel as if there is no hope in humanity. Everyone is out for their selves it sometimes seems.

As I walked through those days I prayed and wished that at least half of the amount would come through ---and I hoped it would be within the time frame that it was needed in.
Yet to my surprise (and yes, I did cry) the WHOLE entire amount came through in just 2 days. Wow!! I can't even use enough superlatives to describe the feeling of amazement I have. I am astounded. Really! And for the rest of my life I have a story of how good people can be to tell others.

So....I wanted to thank every single one of you that donated and thank those that missed out because Phelan "pulled the button" and thank those that would have loved to---but have your own financial problems like many across the country do right now. Bless you and no matter who you are...where your from...what you believe...thank you. It is truly amazing what caring people can do for each other when we see someone in need.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It is better.....

to give than receive.
I don't believe you could find any religion or human that doesn't agree with this.

And so I will tell the story of a friend.
My friend Phelan of A Homesteading Neophyte.
Who's family is just one of the many that we now know that have been affected by this terrible economic crisis affecting our country...and the world we are told.

Her family may lose their home----just in time for Christmas.
And though her husband and she have worked hard to make their payments and feed their children, her husband's new job does not pay close to his previous job lost earlier this year. Like many.

So...could I ask you to please read her story here? Read Monday Dec 8th's entry and the 9th's please.
And then...even if only a dollar .....could you please try and help her family make up the $1600 dollars they need? Also...could you send out a prayer or a wish of goodness to her and her husband and children? (There is a paypal button for convenience....she fought it but we -- her friends-- prevailed!)

And for those of you that are somewhat skeptical about things like this let me just say that there is a time to take a leap of faith.
Faith in humanity and our ability to move past the ugly we can sometimes encounter and help someone instead of just giving to an organization or a change jar or passing by altogether. I know many times in my life I have walked past someone struggling with something as simple as a door and not thought twice about helping---only later to kick myself for not doing something. This issue is much more important than the door though so please....don't walk past it.

And since we want everyone to realize we are on the up and up...you will be able to read Phelan's blog and keep up if she is able to stay on line through the library. If not...you can keep up with her through my blog here or my group blog at womennotdabbling.wordpress.com. We will absolutely keep everyone posted about how this turns out.

P.S....my computer is not "interfacing" with blogger correctly. Though I am told others can see this and I can get into this part to write, I can not see the actual blog nor reply to comments. Hopefully I will figure out this issue soon. Thanks for your understanding.

Trouble

I seem to have trouble yet again with blogger. I can't seem to see my blog.
Hellooooo....is anyone out there?!

Monday, December 1, 2008

New idea for power

Check this out (taken from the Telegraph UK)

Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim.

Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists
Existing technologies require an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth's currents are slower than three knots Photo: AP

The technology can generate electricity in water flowing at a rate of less than one knot - about one mile an hour - meaning it could operate on most waterways and sea beds around the globe.

Existing technologies which use water power, relying on the action of waves, tides or faster currents created by dams, are far more limited in where they can be used, and also cause greater obstructions when they are built in rivers or the sea. Turbines and water mills need an average current of five or six knots to operate efficiently, while most of the earth's currents are slower than three knots.

The new device, which has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of a system of cylinders positioned horizontal to the water flow and attached to springs.

As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity.

Cylinders arranged over a cubic metre of the sea or river bed in a flow of three knots can produce 51 watts. This is more efficient than similar-sized turbines or wave generators, and the amount of power produced can increase sharply if the flow is faster or if more cylinders are added.

A "field" of cylinders built on the sea bed over a 1km by 1.5km area, and the height of a two-storey house, with a flow of just three knots, could generate enough power for around 100,000 homes. Just a few of the cylinders, stacked in a short ladder, could power an anchored ship or a lighthouse.

Systems could be sited on river beds or suspended in the ocean. The scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research funded by the US government, say that generating power in this way would potentially cost only around 3.5p per kilowatt hour, compared to about 4.5p for wind energy and between 10p and 31p for solar power. They say the technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power generation.

The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is called Vivace, or "vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy".

Michael Bernitsas, a professor of naval architecture at the university, said it was based on the changes in water speed that are caused when a current flows past an obstruction. Eddies or vortices, formed in the water flow, can move objects up and down or left and right.

"This is a totally new method of extracting energy from water flow," said Mr Bernitsas. "Fish curve their bodies to glide between the vortices shed by the bodies of the fish in front of them. Their muscle power alone could not propel them through the water at the speed they go, so they ride in each other's wake."

Such vibrations, which were first observed 500 years ago by Leonardo DaVinci in the form of "Aeolian Tones", can cause damage to structures built in water, like docks and oil rigs. But Mr Bernitsas added: "We enhance the vibrations and harness this powerful and destructive force in nature.

"If we could harness 0.1 per cent of the energy in the ocean, we could support the energy needs of 15 billion people. In the English Channel, for example, there is a very strong current, so you produce a lot of power."

Because the parts only oscillate slowly, the technology is likely to be less harmful to aquatic wildlife than dams or water turbines. And as the installations can be positioned far below the surface of the sea, there would be less interference with shipping, recreational boat users, fishing and tourism.

The engineers are now deploying a prototype device in the Detroit River, which has a flow of less than two knots. Their work, funded by the US Department of Energy and the US Office of Naval Research, is published in the current issue of the quarterly Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Guinea Hogs for sale

Please see our June 5th 2009 post for our latest litter of guinea hogs!




As an update we now have our guinea hog piglets back on the market. As of today I have 2 female and 1 male guinea hog piglets for sale. These are great small farm pigs. Their size and docile nature make them easy to care for yet they still grow into something you can eat. A fine utilizer of kitchen and garden scraps along with leftovers from butchering your chickens or other livestock they make good use of all the "stuff" we usually waste and turn it into a usable by products : food or manure.
We also use these pigs to till our empty garden spots and find them excellent for this purpose -- and better: no gas needed!

You can contact me if you are interested at: alandtc (@) catt.com


Have a great day all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wow!!

WOW!!

I am continually amazed at my country!! How proud we should be that we have walked the talk of equality and democracy and not just talked the talk.

We can surely hold up our heads as a beacon of promise and hope to others.

Astounding!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pass this along!

Are you Poor? Black? White? Mexican? Young? New voter this election season?
Registered Democrat? Independent? Maybe even Republican?

Well you could possibly be disenfranchised this year. The warning is out. Forgot voter registration fraud the media keeps speaking about....I am talking about real voter voting fraud. Two entirely different things.
And before you read the "what to do section" below please also realize, no matter who you vote for, that some districts have ballots that if you register straight ticket it will not automatically register your Presidential vote --- you must fill in separately for the President even if it is the same straight ticket party you choose for the remainder of the ballot.

So, just in case you are challenged when it comes time to cast your vote here's what to do:

They're stealing your vote, but you can steal it back. Here are some steps you should take to protect your vote. First, avoid the November 4th minefield. Voters, wherever possible, should vote early and in person. Where feasible, avoid mailing in your ballot, many are rejected for flimsy reasons, and first time voters in many states must include a photocopy of ID. However, if you have a mail-in ballot, don't throw it away. Follow directions, use the correct postage (that's an error that cost a hundred thousand votes last time) and, if possible, walk it in to your elections office.

At the polling station, should you find yourself one of the 2.7 million purged, or your ID rejected, then do your best to resist a "provisional" ballot--one third of which are not counted. Return with proper ID, or call 1-800-OUR VOTE for legal assistance. And never just walk away discouraged. That's just what they want you to do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Will your vote count?---you should check.

In the recent media coverage of Acorn we are all hearing, yet again, about voter fraud. However there are a few things we aren't hearing covered adequately and that we need to understand....then check to make sure our vote will count.
The recent media blitz began when we learned that Acorn may have some "bad" registrations. And just so you know...bad registrations do occur however Acorn is not, by law, allowed to purge a registration it thinks may be bad. It can only flag them and point them out. Like Mickey Mouse---it gets flagged. Now...truly in this day and age there could be someone named Mickey Mouse. Which is why Acorn has to flag it and can't purge it. The state government is the one that will do that after it checks out whether it does or does not have a state resident named...you guessed it: Mickey Mouse. By hiring down on it's luck people (drunks, homeless etc) Acorn has helped get some individuals paying jobs. Some of these individuals, however, have shirked their duty and responsibilities and instead of finding unregistered voters have instead filled in random names. Now, let's at least applaud the fact, that like the Salvation Army, Acorn has used people that generally can not get jobs. Unfortunately they are paying a price for it. And instead of going on about this I would like you to read a very good article about voting fraud and disenfranchisement both of which are different than Acorn's voter registration issues.

If you haven't seen Robert F Kennedy Jr. interviewed this week, or read his article yet in Rolling Stones magazine titled "Blocking the Vote" do so now. Please.

Did you read it? Now pass it on to someone else. Voting is important and voting fraud and disenfranchisement outweighs voter registration fraud (or more accurately registration problems) by a long shot.

Then? Find your Secretary of State web site. It will have all the information about voting on it somewhere. Check information as to whether or not your state requires exact id match --- and I do mean exact in some states. Right down to whether you did or did not use your full middle name or just the initial. Or maybe your name is similar to someone who committed a crime and so it is purged for that reason. Or a data entry clerk made a mistake...and your purged.
If your state does require such exactness...and your name doesn't match correctly...or maybe your were illegally purged....you still have time in most places to fix it. (Don't wait, and don't not do it, every vote is important and every vote should count)
I don't know exactly how the web site will be set up but if you live in Georgia, their poll checker site here. When you click on that link go down to the section titled voting procedures. Read the paragraph and you will come across a somewhat hidden blue colored link that says: poll locater. Click on it and you can fill in your information. It is a link to help you find your voting precinct, and if it gives you your polling site then you are still on the rolls as of today. As far as I understand anyway.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

posse comitatus

In the beginning the founding fathers felt it was wrong to have a standing army keeping the citizens in line as King George did. As we all know or should, from our history books, using an army to keep civil unrest down (or technically: laws from being broken) can lead to abuse of powers.
Later, during various times of our history and especially after the Civil War, there were supposed or "imagined" abuses of power by the army. So...we got the Posse Comitatus Law of 1876. A bit more about the history is here.

So, knowing the history do you think it's a good law or bad? Personally I think it's a great law, reflective of our founding father's thoughts on Democracy, and a law that makes our country stand out above many others that use their military to control their population (also known as Fascism).

Recently though, our rights have been eroded, yet again, by our standing President. Democracy Now!

Now that you know what's recently happened let's go back a little farther to 2001 after the September 11th attacks to where some of this first began in an article on Fox News.
Then on to Hurricane Katrina.

Abuse of power can happen even in the most simple sounding of cases.

This just goes to show why sometimes people are so against things that sound "good". In an unrelated post earlier this year (I feel overwhelmed) an anonymous commenter said not to get worked up because the article I quoted from was an alarmist/extremists position.
I don't know....I may be an alarmist sometimes or quote from alarmist articles, however history shows that positions of power can and will be abused often enough that we don't need to weaken our laws to accommodate them.

As soon as we get a new President...no matter which one it is....I have this Posse Comitatus jewel on my list to write in opposition to. (clarification added 10/20/08---I am going to write in opposition to the changes to Posse Comitatus, not the actual law. I realized when I re read my post that I was ambiguous as to what I was against. Sorry)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I know it's not on our mind but.....

With all the economic problems, health care problems, gasoline problems and job problems we face as a nation some things may slip to the back burner...so to speak.
However this has come across from the associated press today and I feel we need to....I don't know. Write our Senators? Wait until we have a new President and write him? Write homeland security?

And before you click on the link below (update 12/17 --informed that link not working so I pasted in the information -- sorry about that) let me ask you one thing to mention if by chance you do write or call your representatives or the President. Please point out that while they have, and still are, spending millions to try and have small farmers (not industrial farms---their excluded) tag every single food producing animal down to fish with their idiotic NAIS (national animal identification system) they are allowing something far more dangerous to go unfunded. Something that is ultimately more dangerous to me than if my neighbor sells his cow to someone a few miles away and (GASP!!) the government doesn't know about it.


updated 5:42 a.m. ET, Thurs., Oct. 16, 2008

WASHINGTON - Intruders could easily break into two U.S. laboratories where researchers handle some of the world's deadliest germs, according to congressional investigators. The Associated Press identified the vulnerable lab locations as Atlanta and San Antonio.

The serious security problems at the two labs were described by the Government Accountability Office in a report expected to be released publicly as early as Thursday. The GAO, Congress' investigative and auditing arm, did not identify the labs except to say they were classified as Biosafety Level 4 facilities, but the report included enough details for the AP — and others knowledgeable about such labs — to determine their locations. Biosafety Level 4 labs do research on deadly germs and toxins.

In Texas, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research features an outside window that looks directly into the room where the deadly germs are handled. The lab, which is privately run, also lacks many security cameras, intrusion detection alarms or visible armed guards at its public entrances. Officials there said they will tighten security.

"We already have an initiative under way to look at perimeter security," said Kenneth Trevett, president of the lab in San Antonio. "We're waiting for additional input but we're not waiting long. The GAO would like us to do some fairly significant things. They would like us to do it sooner rather than later."

Unguarded loading dock
The other lab described with weak security in the report is operated by Georgia State University in Atlanta. That lab lacked complete security barriers and any integrated security system, including any live monitoring by security cameras. During their review, investigators said they watched an unidentified pedestrian enter the building through an unguarded loading dock.

"Georgia State clearly wants its BSL-4 to be as safe as possible," said DeAnna Hines, assistant vice president for university relations. "We are already taking steps that will enhance the lab's safety and security standards." Hines did not confirm the school's research lab was the one mentioned in the congressional report as lacking proper security.

Investigators said the lab in San Antonio used unarmed guards inside antiquated guardhouses with a gate across the access road. An outside company monitors alarms at the lab and calls police in emergencies, which investigators said could delay a quick response in a crisis. They called the San Antonio lab the most vulnerable of all the labs they studied.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the labs in San Antonio and Atlanta to handle the deadly organisms despite the security weaknesses. The three other BSL-4 labs in the U.S. feature impressive security, the report said. Those include the CDC's own facility, also in Atlanta; the Army's lab at Fort Detrick, Md.; and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Fort Detrick is on a secure military base, but it is known for a recent internal problem. Bruce Ivins, a scientist at the Army's biodefense lab at Fort Detrick, killed himself in July as prosecutors prepared to indict him for murder in the anthrax letter attacks, which killed five people.

Ebola research
The CDC lab is on the agency's high-security campus.

The viruses researched in the highest security labs include ebola, marburg, junin and lassa. All can cause incurable illnesses.

The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., urged the CDC to quickly identify all security weaknesses at the high-containment research labs and fix any problems. Dingell has been investigating security problems associated with such labs around the country. He said at least six additional high-containment labs are under construction.

The Associated Press reported in October 2007 that U.S. laboratories working with deadly organisms have experienced more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003 — and the number is increasing as more labs do the work.

A CDC spokesman, Von Roebuck, said each of the five labs described in the new report has its own security plan designed to fit the lab's particular security assessments.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What does this bailout mean?

This just gets worse and worse.
Now I have to admit that I (not being an economics major) thought that infusing the banks with a bit of cash so they could/would loan again might be a good idea. A good idea as long as the government got the heck out of dodge when they were no longer needed.
However it looks by this recent article in the Washington Post that the government is going to force smaller banks to take these loans irregardless of if they want them or not.

Read it yourself (click on the box/words) -- and good luck to all of us. We may need it more than we think:

Smaller Banks Resist Federal Cash Infusions

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guinea Hog piglets!

Two days sooner than expected and we have guinea hog piglets!
2 girls and 2 boys.

Actually it was 3 girls and 2 boys but it looks as if mom, being a newbie at this, didn't get the first piglet cleaned off and it suffocated. Too bad---but we're still happy with our take.

They are cute as a button and mom and dad are in with them and don't have a problem with us "loving them up".

This is a wonderful breed of pig we have found easy to care for. We will be also selling these babies so contact me if your interested.

One last thing: We would LOVE to trade a proven adult guinea hog boar (or a youngster) with someone -- want to trade? Let's work a deal!



Thursday, October 9, 2008

I HAVE to??

Whether you watched Tuesday's Presidential debate is irrelevant. More than likely you have by now heard that McCain has come up with a new program to help struggling homeowners. This new program, which McCain wants started immediately is to have the Treasury buy back the defaulted loans at loan value.
What this means is that if the home was purchased at 250,000 but is now only worth 200,000 ---we (the taxpayers) get to eat completely that 50,000. Here's a quote from McCain's adviser from an article about this in the Washington Post (article here):

Douglas Holtz-Eakin (McCain's senior policy adviser) said that taxpayers have to cover the loss because the economy has deteriorated so rapidly. "That's the only way to get a rapid and broad-based response."

I say....Bu$$crap!!
Now I am one of the most bleeding heart liberals that I know. However I think the mortgage companies that made these bad loans should eat that 50,000. Not ME. I PAY my mortgage---and have "made do" without a number of things recently that I would have liked to have had if the economy wasn't so bad-- but I have still paid my mortgage. Don't get me wrong I realize that some people have lost their jobs...and I think we should help them but there is a difference between that and buying a home to expensive for what you make. I do know that some people were "preyed" on. However, I also believe that anyone that has ever lived out on their own should have a least a basic idea of how much home they can, and conversely can't, afford.

I think food and medicine are a God given right---especially in as rich of a country as we used to be or even still are comparative to most countries. However, buying someone a house is crap. No one bought my house and I started out with a small one that was in a bad neighborhood for my first. I have saved and worked to build equity to afford what I have now. My home is now worth about 35,000 less than it was---since I would like to sell it will the government come pay me that difference of what I will lose?? You betcha they won't.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some of the hardest things

Please see Womennotdabbling for more continuous homesteading information. I write on Mondays but each day is filled with useful information from a variety of writers.

As I have mentioned previously changes are occurring here in our family and though I can't yet say if more is to come, I can say with certainty that we will be selling our home to move. That is partly why I have not been posting very much---we still have a bit of work on the house that needed finishing.
No, don't worry about us -- it's not the economy. We have however come to the realization that as our children have become older (and less often here) that this home is too big for us. It is a home that would be better suited to someone with a family still young enough to be home to fill it regularly.

We have worked hard on our home and will regret selling it for that reason but the chance to downsize (ie smaller square footage) and start with a clean slate (ie new garden) is not unappealing either. Yes, we will yet again have much work to improve our soil to make it grow and produce well for us but one thing I have gleaned more of than anything else from this property is: Experience

And because this property was large enough to own more than just a few of anyone animal and to raise livestock on a larger scale than ever before, we learned much. We learned volumes about nutrition, minerals, health of livestock as it relates to the quality of the soil, butchering, "the circle of life", and diversity in both plants and livestock for optimum use of resources.

So...to expand on my new found experience here are some of the hardest things I learned:

1) Digging fresh new ground for the first time ---1000's more square feet more than ever before. Whether by hand or tiller it's hard hard work. Especially when the smallest section is still 4 times larger than my previous largest section.
2) How to effectively (the key word here) use cover crops. I am still working on that one.
3) growing year round---that one doesn't take as long to figure out and my climate also helps a lot.
4)How to build a fence that is livestock proof from everything from a cow to a dog to a sheep and on down to a chicken. By this I mean how to build it once---not 4 times coming back to the same fence. Been there done that.
5) How to pack a fence post so it lasts and how to repair a fence and move livestock in the driving rain of a bad thunder and lightening storm.
6) How not to cry each time we kill, skin and butcher an animal.
7) How to eat the sheep we butchered the next day instead of weeks or months afterward. That was a really hard one.
8)To not be so squeamish that I can't finish the "circle of life" by allowing the other animals to eat the leftovers of the carcass. (Most specifically the head---that's just still kind of icky to watch the other animals chew and gnaw on)
9)To have more respect and appreciation for what it takes to make your entire living off of farming. It's not easy---ever.

Homesteading is in my soul. I can't imagine not, in some form or fashion, being somewhat self sufficient-- so my next home will include plans for feeding my family just with a smaller house. It is however full of hard physical and mental work and I realize now that we should never take for granted what it takes out of a farmer and his family. I do also realize though that to get the best food value for our money and not just the cheapest, that paying farmers living wages is something we need to address in this country. We need food that nourishes us---made on a farm where a farmer has pride in what he does. We don't need cheap food that comes from countries or places in the U.S where the only pride is in making a larger profit range.
Just my thoughts. Good week everyone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Health Care and Tax Cuts

Here's a link to an article comparing McCain's and Obama's health care plans. The article speaks mostly about McCain's plan but at the end tells the cost of both plans and who/how many will be affected and/or reap benefits.

Also, want to know how each candidates overall tax plan will affect your yearly bill? Here's a link to a site where you can plus in your basic tax information and get an overall view of what your tax bill will be using both candidates plans. Use your last years tax information and you can comparative look based on a Bush, McCain and Obama plan.
www.electiontaxes.com

Monday, October 6, 2008

what I would like to know (not that it matters to the economy at all)

Though I only wanted a campaign filled with ideas and solutions that is not to be the case. And though I tried to keep an open mind about each candidate I was leaning (I'll admit) a bit democratically. However Sara Palin was an interesting choice...until she opened her mouth. Now she may be able to debate by not answering the questions but when it comes to answering questions she makes me embarrassed to know that the first women VP or Pres that would stand for America could be that un smart sounding. Sorry....but during nuclear talks with Russia I REALLY doubt Putin will give a ding dang about being winked at.

So....on to the newest politcal cut the repubs are throwing at Obama. What I want to know is why:


conservatives may not want to draw attention to the issue of ties to violent radicals -- since John McCain is longtime pals with convicted Watergate burglar Gordon Liddy, who once plotted a journalist's murder (which was never carried out) and has advocated the shooting of federal law enforcement agents.

If Obama needs to answer questions about Ayers, McCain has the same obligation regarding Liddy. How about they both get started?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Understanding our Energy Options

for a homesteading only blog please see womennotdabbling.worpress.com

So, as the candidates, Presidential that is, fight over what the heck to do about our energy problem----we need to understand our options so we can make informed voter decisions. No matter what your top issue may be to help you decide who to vote for, energy is going to stay on our plate for a long time whether or not we want to face it right now. Even if you believe this affects the environment, and therefor that makes it important to talk about, is also in my opinion irregardless. (I do believe it has an impact so don't pound me for that statement)
Energy, no matter why we are concerned, definitely has an impact on our economy and since about the 70s.....our national security. The economy is our number one issue so I hear, though I am sure there are some that still have other issues that outrank that one. Probably not many but...
But back to energy, if we don't deal with this now, at some point we will pay the price of waiting. By dealing with it I do not mean mouthing platitudes or throwing us to the wolves of the establishment who do not seem able to help us move beyond were they will make another dollar.

Now I know some of you will be for options I am not for. That's o.k. However lets make our choices for helping our country energy wise based on fact.....not opinions. I do not know the perfect solution for our country. I do know that, I , me, myself, person numero uno would prefer something other than having to bury nuclear waste in someone else's back yard. And for clarification I can say with extreme certainty that the nuclear waste the U.S makes won't be buried in my back yard. That I believe is one reason why many people don't have a problem with nuclear. If I had to bury every bit I consumed on my property not only would I rip my kids for leaving on the lights (o.k I already do that but you get the point) but I would be much more likely to turn off the ac and use less electronic "gadgets". Technically, if I never thought about were the waste would go, I could waste all the energy I want to because it won't be "my problem".

Responding to safety concerns that have long stalled the nuclear industry's growth, McCain boasts that the Navy, in which he served as a fighter pilot, has safely operated nuclear power plants in aircraft carriers and submarines without an accident in 60 years.

here is the article about the sub

Beyond nuclear, I know windmills have really come under fire recently. As a matter of fact some really interesting false facts are coming out and also just some general misinformation (see my link in this sentence).
The biggest is the bird kill issue. Well for one...windmills are much different than they were even 4 years ago. However, and this is not because I read it somewhere, why don't we whine about cars killing all the birds? My husband accidentally hit a bluebird. He didn't know he hadn't missed it until he got to work and found it still stuck to his grill. I have also barely missed many owls and hawks during my driving. As far as I understand the bird kill problem is much much less likely with these newer turbine designs and here is one link to check out about this possible myth. I say possible because I do not know for sure. You can also find others but please find some that are up to date...not years and years old and do pay attention to the actual turbine design in the pictures.

Another myth I personally heard with my own ears is a gentlemen that called into my local talk radio station one afternoon. He said "environmentalist" were trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes (wool is sustainable now that I think about it) because he had heard and READ on line that the windmill actually needed regular power from a power plant to turn it. 90% of the power a windmill made actually came from the power plant itself. The show's host tried to get the exact web site but the guy couldn't tell him the name. The host did say he had heard others speak of that on a few occasions. He, like me, doesn't believe that....I mean....we've had windmills making power, pumping water and running businesses long before power plants have been here to "help them".
I looked on line but couldn't find this wonderful font of misinformation myself but maybe one of you can.
Another thing my husband and I recently were asked by a well meaning friend is "Why would T. Boone Pickens bother to back windmills? How would windmills help us save gas?"
Well, most people don't know that most of the power plants in Texas, and I am sure some other states, are actually powered by natural gas. The one we lived about 4 miles from was. If we could substitute wind power to power homes and businesses we can free up that natural gas to power cars. Natural gas is much much cleaner than petroleum AND the engine it powers will last longer because the gas doesn't "gunk up" the engine as readily. A win win situation. That's not even taking into account putting up solar panels on many homes in sunnier areas like Texas.

Speaking of that let me also point out that Obama has said he would invest 150 million for sustainable energy. That my dear friends is government money building clean energy, independent of foreign oil and the sometimes wildly fluctuating oil market (more on that below), and job creation all with one bang. There will be businesses to churn out those windmills or solar panels. People will be needed to install and maintain them. Taxes will be paid and local economies will have job growth. Oh yes tax payers will pay for it, at least initially don't you doubt for a minute, but McCain will only give you a tax credit for sustainable. For the average homeowner that will be the sum total of about a $300 dollar tax credit. Now don't confuse a credit with a refund. This is not a refund. They are not the same. And a tax credit does NOT help us. At least not very much. I itemize....I can assure you an average $300 tax credit doesn't do much for me. That was what we would have received this past year if we put up a solar water panel based on the current tax credits offered (they expire at the end of this year). Most people will not be able to afford sustainable (wind or solar) right in their own yard until the government gets behind it to help the cost come down. That my friends means spending tax payer dollars. Bummer...but there you have it. And any person that bitches about it should remember all the "bail outs" we have had for big businesses and some of those being considered even now. I'd rather spend my tax payer money creating jobs, energy independence and gross national production than bailing out some non progressive thinking car manufacturer.

And lest we forget, speaking of tax payer money, every time a nuclear power plant goes up tax payers paid for it. Build one in Florida....we all pay. Plus New Mexico gets to eventually bury the waste in various spots including some new ones recently slated to open. If it melts down the nuclear company isn't even libal AT ALL to repay for any damages. So sayeth the government. If they were not subsidized, were required to carry insurance and possibly pay for any damages they wouldn't be financial viable. Solar, wind, even clean coal would all beat nuclear out for price. However even with clean coal...same thing....we all pay. Except in this case someone's mountain gets blown apart and someone down wind might get asthma.
That old saying "not in my back yard" is a cop out. We are all responsible for using energy and we SHOULD NOT force others to pay for our consumption.

One thing I did not realize about off shore drilling I would like to mention is something I watched recently (last night???) on CNN. Commentator John Roberts asked some Republican spokesperson for McCain something about drilling. As we all know John McCain had been against it but now was for it. That's o.k---people do need to be somewhat flexible and open to other ideas than their own. I'm not for it but I can respect that polls show 70% of Americans are. (Actually when you look more people are for reigning in speculators than for drilling supposedly)
However the question Roberts presented was this "Even if we open up off shore drilling how will that help America? The companies that drill are international and will be required to put the oil they pump out on the open market for bidding....what happens if India or China out bid us?" Now....she (the strategist) never did answer this question however it's an excellent question and something I did not know we had to do. We would have to BID for oil drilled off our shores. So how the heck does that help us???? The U.S does get money in the beginning when bidding for who will be the extractor occurs. That though does not create jobs for us nor does it make us energy independent.

As I said in the beginning I do not know the best way or have any super great idea. However, I would put solar and wind on my property and try and make all my own energy if possible. Unfortunately I don't make enough money...though I don't mind saving for it and spending it in the long run.
Some articles suggest that spending that money and only seeing your payback in 10 to 20 years is laughable and ridiculous. What I think is laughable and ridiculous is not doing it and paying an electric company for the rest of my life. No noticeable improvement there that I can see. In the end, especially if energy prices continue to go up which historically they do, I still end up spending the money I would have on solar/wind AND worse.....maybe more. If I were 24 it would definitely be more. If I were 70 obviously I might not see a pay back on sustainable. However as the bible quote say "to those given much, much is expected". The bible, and morality in general, doesn't say to first consider what you will get back before you doing something that's good for everyone.