Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Presidential Run

Hello Friends!

  Good morning!  I pray that the Almighty's blessings are abundant in your life and you recognize those blessings fully!  A few things before I start in on the exciting "next chapter" of my life (a 2012 Presidential run?)  Twice this week, friends have approached me and told me they are praying for me.  One is going through a bit of a difficult time with one of her children.  He's got a bit of an illness going on and they're trying to get it figured out. (So, please keep her in your prayers - if we can multiply prayer, it makes it all the more powerful!!!) So, we chatted and basically, her point was that she's dealing with this thing with one of her children and she was praying for me because I have to go through this daily.  My Jonah has to endure this constantly.  I have to say that this is our way of life, at this point, doctors, meds, etc... it is just what we do and I rarely give it a second thought... sometimes it is more than I can bear, but most of the time, it just is.  Another friend, and she's done this before, called me an amazing Warrior Princess. WOW.  That left me in tears.  Among friends, we know we are princesses - daughters of the King Most High... we own it - it is a marvelous thing!  But the addition of "Warrior" to Princess - just WOW!  I don't know that I've earned the title, but it made me realize how fully and completely blessed I am.  I have friends who are lifting me up in prayer all the time.  I have a life that I can hand over to God and try my best, in my mere humanity, to glorify Him in my actions, words and thoughts.  Today, take a few minutes to Glorify God - let HIM know that you know your blessings are too many to count.  Be a Warrior in your life.  Take the bad and do your best to make those circumstances Christ-honoring.  WE are the only ones who can control our actions.  Blaming "circumstances" is counter-productive - we make our own circumstances.  Acknowledge that we are accountable for our own actions and stand up and control those actions.  God IS in control.  But God gave us free will to control ourselves.  Owning this is our key to contentment in Christ.  Ignoring this will most certainly be our downfall.

  OK... So, on to the fun stuff!  So, next week, I may or may not be having a certain birthday that frees me up to run for the BIG TIME in the political arena.  Now, I will tell you that I AM having this birthday but am requesting that no one say "the number" out loud.  (Please?)  So, I was thinking... what is my platform?  What am I running on?  Why am I running?  This is going to be so much fun!  So, here goes... I'm officially putting my name in the hat for the nomination for the Presidency.  This, my friends, is what I will work toward.

 1) Stop taking money from China (and all other countries).  Our debt is entirely too high and we need to stop borrowing money that we can't pay back. Period.

2) We need to return this country to greatness. Imports - across the board - are allowed to come in - WITH a 33.3% tax.  Make it MORE DIFFICULT for countries looking to the U.S. to take in all their crap and support their economy.  We need to start making products and incentivizing U.S. companies to produce the things we need - RIGHT HERE in the U.S.  You want to move your company offshore to save money?  Fine - but don't expect to continue to sell your product here without aforementioned 33.3% tax.  We need to keep jobs here - too many people need and want jobs right now.  Make tax structures fair and easy for small businesses who are employing people right here where jobs are needed.

3)Stop. Killing. Babies.  A country that doesn't protect it's most vulnerable is not a country I want to support.  Make adoption proceedings more affordable and a quicker process for families who are DESPERATE to add to their families but can't afford the process.

4) Strong Military - fine and dandy.  I support our military members with my whole heart.  I'm sad that their Commander - in - Chief is a jackass.  Just because we have a strong military and that is a good thing - national defense is too important to not have a strong military - but not involving our military in non-sensical wars and conflicts is the mark of a strong nation... not endangering our soldiers unnecessarily is a sign of strength.  Moving in when and only when it is necessary is a sign of intelligence and compassion.

5) Government needs to butt out of people's lives.  There is most definitely a segment of the population who will not be happy with this - but here goes - Welfare - you're not entiltled to it.  I don't mind helping you out to feed your family if you're having a hard time. It is NOT my job to buy your food ad infinitum because you don't feel like getting your butt out of bed and working. Period.  Third generation welfare recipients - there is a problem here.  Change the problem.  Folks have been paying into social security their whole lives and you're gonna take their money and not give it back?  How about you give everyone back their money (Oh wait... what? You spent it?) and privatize social security.  Americans are smart enough to fund their own retirement.  Let them do so instead of taking money away from them - money most of us are likely to never see.  Other government programs - Medicaid - yes - on a sliding fee basis.  If you don't have a job - you are assigned a job watching kids so parents can go to work, you'll receive a fair wage (because parents who go to work will be paying for your services - this is not a government sponsored program - it is called being innovative - use the brain that God Almighty gave you and you'll be amazed at the wonderful things that could happen!) So, medicaid - yes - to CITIZENS who are paying into the program - medical care is too important to not subsidize. We need to stop paying for people who are not citizens to have babies and get free medical care.  That is just stupid.  The medical fee structure also needs to be revamped.  The charges are astronomical and out of line.  I'm not anti-capitalist, I'm just a realist.  I don't get to charge $10 for a dozen eggs - no one would buy them.  Medical care is doing exactly that... they are over-charging for services that are crucial to life, there are people going without because they can't afford care.  Get prices in line.  Including health insurance premiums.  Tort reform.  I know there are cases that are just blatantly the fault of Dr. X... and in those cases, Dr. X should pay for his mistakes.  But smaller, more common med mal cases need to be capped.  One way of managing healthcare costs - med mal insurance rates go down, they don't have to charge as much for services.  So, to recap - services to citizens who contribute.  Take care of the elderly and disabled - again - a country that does not care for it's most vulnerable is not a good place to be. 

6) Balance the budget.  Stop the pork projects.  $ goes to medical research - our scientists should not have to stress about where their funding is coming from.  There are too many people in this country who are living with diseases and conditions that are treatable.  We need to enable in the right way - enable our best and brightest to figure out the problems that we are living with.  $, indeed, makes the world go 'round... but beltstraps must be tightened, big boy and girl undies must be put on... there might be some cuts that have to be made that some are not going to like.  I'm not one to lean toward Machiavellian philosophy, and words like "The Greater Good" are rarely spoken... but there will be some who are unhappy with some cuts, unhappy that their pet project isn't funded...That's life. Move on.  Things need to be fixed - they've been broken far too long.

7) Drill, Baby, Drill.  Stop our dependence on foreign oil. Tax credits for those implementing "green" energy sources - solar generators for folks in AZ, wind energy for those in the Plains cetera. Gas is so expensive for political reasons - not because we don't have the ability to do something about it.

8) Two Words: FLAT TAX.  Eliminate the IRS. Do you have any idea how many BILLIONS of dollars I just saved us?

9) Encourage people to prepare for a rainy day.  Dependence on the government is a bad thing. 

10) Educational programs for lower income folks who are trying to get out of poverty. Nutrition classes for parents.  Breastfeeding education. Natural childbirth education (to avoid unnecessary c-sections, saving tons of $$ in medical costs, avoiding complications).  Empowering people and families to rise above their circumstances.

11) Lessen dependence on modern medicine by educating folks about natural hygeine, gardening, natural preventive medicine, healthful diet, getting back to an agrarian lifestyle - even for those who live in an urban setting.  Our separation of many degrees from our food is the basis of many problems in our society.  Reconnecting to our food is a good step in solving many issues (obesity, type 2 diabetes, medical issues caused by food additives and preservatives, behavior issues caused by artificial food additives, etc.)

12) Legalize backyard chickens for everyone.

13) Get rid of the involvement of high-powered lobbyists that end up costing the average American money (big pharma) and our health (dairy lobby).

14) My secret weapon?  Two Words: Jack. Bauer.

I'll let you know when I need help gathering signatures and fundraising... I'm sure it will be a snap with such a good base of friends!  :)

Have a great day, Friends.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Has SPRUNG!

Hello Friends,
   I apologize for my absence, but am thrilled to report that nothing bad or even minorly irritating is going on, just life, happening at a break - neck pace.  Since you were last with me, we've traveled to our Nation's Capitol and to historic battlefields and to historic "haunted" bridges and back.  We've experienced a difficult loss, it was jolting for me, but a shocking loss is much different for an adult to process than it is for a child.  Jonah had that one moment in a person's life... the moment when your mortality becomes crystal clear.  Unfortunately, this wasn't just the moment in time when he realized his mortality, but the person who died had an accident after having a seizure... so this was a terrifying "flash forward" for a 10 year old who has Epilepsy... and who's brothers have the disorder as well.   In a moment, a million thoughts and fears entered his mind and, as you can imagine, it was not pretty.  So we endured, made our way home (this happened at the hotel at the conference) and tried to move forward.  There were no smiles on my sweet boy's face for many days.  Then, last Sunday, that changed.  Papa (Grandpa) called in to me, right after I had been outside working and came inside to take a break and whatever it was... I knew it was big and I needed to move (even if I felt like taking a nap!).  I asked what it was - inevitably, it is something with an animal and I need to grab supplies before I leave the house.  His response was beautiful, I knew instantly, and I did need to attend to the issue, but I needed to get the boys first... Jonah needed this.  So I called for the boys, grabbed my goat vet kit and slipped on shoes and ran outside.  For your benefit, this is the cleaned up version of what I found when I came outside (along with Jonah's first smile in nearly a week).

                 Aren't they wonderful?  Isn't he wonderful?  Isn't God's timing AMAZING?  I wasn't expecting the babies until more than a week later, but God had other plans! 

 So, Spring on the farm is a life-affirming mixture of a whole lot of messiness... :)    Baby animals, plants popping up, both old familiar perennials that we love to see return each year, just yesterday, the daffodils bloomed, the tulip leaves got taller, I found tiny mint plants sprouting up, wild onions are going wild, chives are starting to come up, rhubarb's curly green leaves are fresh and small, the small, spiky beginnings of  horseradish, the strawberry patch (the constant Spring reminder that God provides) made it through the winter and the pointy leaves are enjoying basking in the sun as much as the barn cats, and an assortment of flowers are showing their green leaves at an alarming rate.  I'm almost holding my breath... the thought of lilies (asiatic in all of their amazing splendor, daylilies in their simple beauty and lilies of the valley with their delicate small flowers), daisies, black eyed susans, columbine, irises and even my hosta garden... I eagerly await their arrival and know I won't be disappointed when they get here.   So, in addition to all of the wonderful things that we've planted and come up every year,  we have a garden to plan.  As always, our garden takes on a life of it's own.  The past three years have seen a certain child getting ill and needing to be in the hospital *right* at the time that the weather warms up and plants bolt... including weeds... so it has been a rough few years for gardening... this year... MUAHAHAHAHAHA.... I have a plan.  No, really, I do.  (You know that saying about the best laid plans... yeah... I have NO plan)  I don't have a plan that will prevent illness, but I do have a new garden site picked out that is going to lend to our successes in the gardening realm.  The boys and I discussed our plans, what we "need" to plant and the sustainability plan that we've been working toward.  So, when the weather turns and we can plant outside... there's nothing holding us back.

  This year's plans include selling produce (we've not figured it out if we are selling at a farmer's market or if we will sell from the farm, more thinking to do), building a chicken tractor so that we can keep more chickens and sell eggs, as well as give away eggs to friends and neighbors, increase the expected yield of the garden so we can decrease our dependence on grocery stores, as well as increase the amount of produce that we freeze and dehydrate.  Since George had her babies, we are also excited that we can start milking again, which means not only fresh milk, but homemade yogurt and cheese as well.

  Spring is an exciting time on the farm.  We get to see God's creation first hand and it is such an amazing thing to realize that He made these things from nothing, and He made them with us in mind.   I often wonder how Creation can possibly be denied.  I look at a seed, one simple seed, and I see an eternity.  God's provision for His people blows my mind.  You plant ONE seed... you get not only something to feed your family, but you also get many, many more seeds to continue to bless your family and friends and community. 

   With that, for today, I leave you.   Beautiful Sunday, My Friends.