Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I apologize for not having written in so very long. To update everyone...we found out that we are expecting number three in August! I have been dealing with "morning sickness" which for me is actually "all day sickness".
We are no longer getting raw milk as the cow went dry. We were getting it from a local Mennonite community and they said to check back in the Spring. We have discovered that our two year old daughter is lactose intolerant. So we buy the "store bought" milk but mainly use it for cooking.
We still have our chickens although we have lost a couple. We have one new chick. We had two but something got one of them. The other chicks didn't make it very long after hatching. We are keeping them up most of the time as there aren't really any bugs to peck for in the winter. We aren't getting very many eggs but that too is normal for this time of year.
I'm not doing so well with my traditional foods cooking but that is because the thought of cooking anything is pretty nauseating right now. I am still doing well with the natural cleaners and the living frugal. We still use cloth napkins and my entire family uses family cloth now...saving the toilet tissue for guests. I have gotten our monthly non-food shopping list down to a few basics:
  • Dish Washing Soap
  • Cat Litter
  • Cat Food
  • Ivory Soap (for bathing and washing clothes)
  • Razors (I bought my husband an "old fashioned" razor that uses the straight blades - 5 for $1. at Dollar General)
  • Contact Solution

There are some things that we buy in bulk when our tax money comes in and that way we have them for the entire year. For example, I buy several multi-packs of toothbrushes once a year. I have found that the "cheap" toothbrushes that come in a 5 pack for a dollar work just as well as the expensive $4. a piece toothbrushes. That said, there *are* some environmentally friendly tooth brush alternatives that I am going to be researching for the next year. I don't really like putting plastic in my mouth. If I shun plastic in every other area - why on Earth would I put it in my mouth? I also buy enough air condition filters to last the entire year as well as oil and oil filters for the oil changes.

I enjoy the challenge of seeing how small I can get my list. I enjoy living off of things that I can make myself. I enjoy living simply and seeing what I can do without comfortably.

I have discovered, much to my relief, that we have pretty much everything we need for the new baby. I went through the storage building and I found a HUGE pile of prefold cloth diapers that should fit a newborn just fine. I also have another large pile for when it gets bigger. I have clothes for either sex, either season that I have saved from my other two children. We aren't really into "baby items" so we have no use for the baby tub, crib, etc. I do have a bouncy seat and swing in case this one likes those sort of things (my other two didn't really care for the swing, they liked the bouncy seat ok). I have a car seat that is in great condition and has not expired.

Ironically, the main thing that we are going to need is a new (used) vehicle! We currently have a Ford Escape and there is not room in the back for three car seats. Things usually have a way of working out and I am hoping that this does as well. If not, I'm not sure what we will do. The only other things I can think of that I would like for the new baby are a Foogo stainless steel sippie cup and a "natural" baby book. I remember seeing a baby book a few year ago that was so beautiful. It had "parchment" type paper and a nature theme. It was geared more towards a natural birth and natural lifestyle. Of course now that I am pregnant I can't find it anywhere. If anyone knows of such a book - please let me know!

I will try to be a bit better about updating this blog. Hopefully I will be feeling better soon!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gay Equality...

Today I am going to write about something that is dear to my heart...gay equality. I was thinking about this, and how I usually use the term "gay rights". But upon deeper thought, the term gay "rights" seems to indicate that a certain sector of this country want things above and beyond what everyone else has. That simply is not the case. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people do not want special rights...they want equal rights.

They want to be able to walk down the street and hold the hand of the person who makes their world shine, just as any straight person does, without giving it a second thought. Yet, in most areas of this country, they cannot do that. To do so would subject them to looks or horror, nasty comments and even outright violence. In addition, it could cost them their job, their apartment (I have known of people being evicted when the fact that they were queer was brought to light)...even their life. There are currently very few laws on the books that protect LGBT people from discrimination. The laws that are on the books are sketchy at best. They could be interpreted either way.

I am constantly in wonder of the attitude of people who are "against" gays. I put "against" in quotes because even that is hard for me to wrap my mind around...how can you be "against" someone who is just who they are? This is akin to being "against" people with brown hair or "against" people whose favorite color is green.

And yes, I am fully aware of the "born that way" versus "it is a choice" debate. I have a few thoughts on that. First, for the straights out there, when did you choose to be straight? Did you actually grow up liking both sexes and then one day wake up and say to yourself "Well, I think I'm going to decide to be straight"? Do you really think that gay people are any different? Do you really think that they started out liking the opposite sex and then one day, just for shits and giggles, made the decision "Hey, I think I'll just be gay, this straight thing isn't doing it for me". Why on Earth would someone choose a trait that is, in most cases, going to make their life harder?

But not even that, it is also the idea that being gay is all about sex. Or the idea that gay men are attracted to every man out there simply because he has a penis. These things are not only inaccurate but they are downright offensive. Most people's lives, gay or straight, do not revolve around what they do in the bedroom (or anywhere else in the house, for the kinky out there). The "gay lifestyle" that I hear so much about has eluded me. The only "gay lifestyle" that I know of is the one where you get up, go to work, come home, cook supper, bathe the kids, go to bed. Does that sound familiar? Sounds just like everyone else's life, doesn't it?

"Gay Marriage", as they are coining the term, isn't about "pushing an agenda" upon the American public. It isn't about "stripping away the sanctity of marriage". Believe it or not, it is about the same concerns that you (the married straight person) had when you got married. It is about a commitment, in the eyes of God (for those who believe) and in the eyes of the law. It is about parenting and about both parents having legal access to their child in case of the unthinkable. It is about having the same legal rights that every straight person in this country is afforded.

I could tell you heart wrenching story after heard wrenching story about gay parents who had a child and then the birth mom dies and the child is ripped away from the only other parent she has ever known and sent to live with her homophobic grandparents who were strangers to her. Or about the couple who had spent the last forty years of their life together only to be kept apart in the very end by one partner's homophobic family who had legal power to do so. Even the day to day things, like one partner visiting the other on the job and having to act like a roommate and having to use a code word for "I love you" when they part for fear that co-workers would figure out the secret and his career would be destroyed. When is the last time that you, as a straight person, even gave a second though to giving your husband or wife a quick kiss goodbye?

Then you have the camp that says "I don't hate the person, I hate the sin". Well that is another huge load of hogwash. I won't even go down the path of why I don't really believe in "sin". I will just say this; sexuality is human, it is one of our most basic "instincts", if you will. It is horribly, horribly cruel to expect someone to go through their life denying who they are. It is entirely possible to be in a room full of people and still be utterly alone in your soul. Even with leaving the sexuality part of it aside, everyone deserves someone to love and someone who will love them in return, without having part of the relationship be an utter lie.

I haven't looked at the current research on the debate, because in the end, I don't really think it matters why someone is gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered. Sure, some people were molested at a young and vulnerable age and it may have changed something in them, flipped a switch. Sure, some women were horribly abused by a sorry excuse for a man and subconsciously decided that it was never going to happen again and thus they identify as lesbian. Then, others may have had the perfect childhood but just have always known that they were attracted to the same sex. It simply does not matter. They are who they are.

That is actually one of my outlooks on life... It is what it is. Meaning, don't try to dissect it, don't analyze it, don't fret about it, don't label it, just live it. Life is a continuum, it isn't a set state of being.

I will leave you with an excerpt from an article written by a number of straight-identified students at Earlham College who got together to look at some examples of straight privilege. "Straight privilege" being defined as the privileges you are afforded in this society when you are straight (or perceived to be straight). You are pretty much guaranteed:
  • You can be affectionate with your significant other in public without fear of violence.
  • Your sexual orientation will be represented in TV shows, books, magazines, and music.
  • You won’t be excluded from any religious community for being heterosexual.
  • Nobody will ask you to defend your heterosexuality.
  • People don't ask why you made your choice of sexual orientation.
  • Your orientation is represented in your local, state, and national representatives.
  • None of your family will disown you because of my orientation.
  • You don’t have to fear emotional, psychological, economical, or physical abuse from family or friends who find out you are straight.
  • You are not accused of being abused, warped or psychologically confused because of your sexual orientation.
  • Nobody will use your sexual orientation as a slur against you.
  • You can be open about being straight without fear of losing your job.
  • You won’t be accused of being abused or an abuser because of your orientation.
  • You don’t have to be afraid to be yourself.
  • Your masculinity/femininity is not challenged because of your sexual orientation.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My Mission...

I read quite a few blogs about "living simple", "living green", etc. and they inspire me. But I find that in my day to day life, I often take shortcuts on my road to the more natural life. I am going to try the experiment of blogging my progress towards the life I want and see if the accountability will help me stay on track.

My mission is not one of "fitting in" or "being trendy" (although living green certainly has gotten to be quite the thing to do lately). My mission is one of finding myself and of being who I feel that I should be. I have been "different" since childhood. I have been a hippie since my past life and it carried into this one. :) So all of this is nothing new. More, it is just something that I am now able to do, as I was not able to live the life I wanted when I was caught up in the corporate hamster wheel.

I can remember, when I was about ten years old, reading something about Earth Day and being elated. I remember wanting to celebrate it as a holiday on the scale of Christmas. I also remember my family and my friends thinking I was a nut. Well, my family has finally gotten used to me and I have made friends that share my values so my last hurdle is the battle with myself and with my own laziness. Hence this blog.