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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: US
Current location: retired to MidWest
Member since: Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:15 PM
Number of posts: 5,841

About Me

Still an ardent Irish-American Catholic damnYankee Yellow Dog Democrat socialist after all these years. (cue Simon music) Army brat and wife for many years, now have been on the loose far longer than I was married. After my two red chows died, I took in a mini-beagle cross that I named Molly Maguire, thinking she might need a good Irish name like my original real one. Later she got a baby sister, a smooth-coat JRT I named Brigid after the greatest of the ancient Celtic goddesses. My great-grandfather and his son fought for Michael Collins and barely made it out of Ireland one step ahead of John Bull. They slipped over to Wales for new identities and then forward to the States for a fresh start. That makes me second generation of illegal but certainly justified immigrants. There are precious few people to whose defense I fly immediately, but the list includes Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama even when I disagree with him - it happens! - and living Irish patriots Gerry Adams and Martin \\\'Mind Your Kneecaps\\\' McGuiness. I pray earnestly for a united and free Ireland rescued from all official British occupation, with every square inch of alleged \\\'ancestral lands\\\' now held immorally and illegally by the invaders returned to the rightful owners. Irish-only rule for Ireland. No foreign masters anymore! I find it passing strange when Brits chide ME about \'interfering\' in Irish politics!

Journal Archives

How beautiful! Thanks so much for that picture.

It's going straight into my file Saved For Later Large Prints. Look at the dainty little feet on that baby... they're gorgeous animals.

That's the major 'beauty point' some hold against Arabians, their comparatively large hooves. But that was to promote navigating treacherous sand dunes, and I think it even helps their stamina. They also have an undeserved reputation in some quarters of being flighty. I say that's due to human fault entirely. Every one I ever had was as cool under pressure as a cucumber. In fact that was the nickname for one of my saddle mares. I could and often did ride her straight into a flock of birds resting on the ground. When they flew up all around us (sorry, birds!) she'd shake her head and whinny at our mischief. Loved it.

Since I'll never be able to keep horses again, I'd really love to get my hands on some Marsh Tacky videos. I'm totally entranced with them.

PS: In the past I might've had an edge at those races, however, given equal mounts, because my preferred saddle was a 3-lb Stueben that was little more than a leather pad with racing stirrups. God love people who ride Western, but it drives me battier than I am already when I try. I need a forward seat with as much direct horse contact for myself as possible. I was great at plunging at top speed across unmarked rough terrain, but I'd be pretty useless working on a ranch. (Love to watch cutting horse competitions.) Never used more than a broken snaffle, either.

While I'm not exactly wild about the DAR, having noticed an apparent preponderance

of conservative members, I have a friend who belongs and she passes along to me their official magazine because of my general interest in history. Recently one edition had a fascinating article about South Carolina's Marsh Tacky horses and their use in the Revolutionary War by The Swamp Fox. An effort's now underway to create a formal breed registry for them, as they deserve due to many unique qualities.

One interesting thing I learned is that when caught in quicksand, unlike most other horses which would struggle, Marsh Tackys will instead lie on their side for bouyancy and get out that way. They also have particular physical characteristics, of course. And they tend to run smaller than many modern horses do due to mankind's mania for size. The breed standard will run from 13 hands to 15. Despite the damn-near knockdown dragouts I've had over general horse vs pony classifications, particularly with regard to straightline Egyptian Arabians (whose bloodlines go straight back to the original source with no side branches), I'm glad to see another breed registry willing to accept compact models of only 13 hands as true horses.

My estimation of South Carolinians shot up over this lovely bit of reason. Too many Americans look down their size-obsessed noses at smaller horse breeds, not appreciating the fact that any top drawer Egyptian Arabian can run the socks off any thoroughbred given a good 3 miles to prove it. Most true Arabians (I tend to dismiss modern variations like Russian and Polish) can do 3-4 miles at top speed w/o blinking. One time I allowed my favorite mare to run all she wanted on a loose rein, but I had to pull her up after close to 5 miles because I started to worry about possible injury.

I used to breed straightline Egyptian Arabians and have a keen appreciation for toughness and brains, both of which appear abundant in the Marsh Tacky. W/o that magazine I might never have heard of them.

I was particularly impressed by something in the news this week.

Unfortunately it involves the tragedy of the ebola outbreak in Africa. A news show happened to mention that one doctor who died while treating patients was a sheik. Sorry I don't remember his exact name. However, that's less important than the fact that here was a person of means who could clearly be living a life of ease but chose instead to serve his fellowman at great personal risk to himself. I always find that sort of thing noble, wondering - doubting, if you must know - whether I'd be willing to risk my own life and comfort that way for people I don't know, just on principle.

Part of the reason I'm posting this is because I retired to a remote tiny town in the Midwest where almost everyone's a carbon copy of the next (although it doesn't stop them from fighting like cats and dogs!). There are no minorities of any kind here unless you count me, the only outspoken liberal around. When I hear people say dumb things about other people I know very well they've never met, I do try to give them a gentle admonition. But although I know a certain amount of history, that's too far in the past to matter to these people. Having been marooned here for quite a few years, I no longer have direct personal friends of other religions and ethnicities to cite as admirable examples. Specificity carries weight in statements.

Now I'm really sorry the good doctor died, particularly from such a dread disease. I'm also sure he must have loved ones who'll miss him sorely. But the next time some yahoo says something stupid around me, I will have an excellent example to offer them of conduct superior to their own. There are many others, I'm sure; although as I said, my direct knowledge is sorely lacking. I once googled 'famous American Muslims' for people everyone would recognize, but at the moment I only remember Kasey Kasim and Dr. Mehmet Oz. I know there are countless others, so I need to google that again.

Anyway, I'll never forget the sheik and intend to make sure these people here don't either, even though they're xenophobic as geese.

An unusually pleasant day in the remote Midwest (aka RedNeckLand)

I bellyache often enough about things in this tiny backwater town in the remote Midwest, thereby obligating myself to give compliments when due as well. This is one of those times.

Had a fine time Tuesday morning. What started out as a simple errand for myself and an even more elderly friend turned into what passes for adventure around here. In trash picking, I mean. It was trash day and when I drove past a marvelous, huge mahogany desk at the curb toward the middle of town, I pulled up and immediately removed all the drawers to make it less appealing to someone else who might appear later.

But my friend's small car did have room for the drawers; on the way home I stopped at the library to pick up a ton of discontinued books I'd bought on Monday and had been unable to carry home on foot. Since there were several other folks there, I piped up and wondered aloud if anyone knew somebody with a pickup truck, a soft heart, and a strong back.

Well, the library employee I like best (we would be friends if our paths crossed more often) said she'd driven her truck in to work and she'd take her lunch break right then to help me. How nice is that?!

You haven't lived until you've seen two 5' tall little old ladies wrestle a 100-lb-+ conference-room size desk onto a pickup bed. But we did it and got it home on the ground outside my front gate while keeping all our fingers and toes. Then I called a husky fellow from church, knowing he has 2 even bigger sons, and asked him to come over after dinner to wrestle it onto my front porch. It would never fit inside these narrow doors, but it works fine as a plant stand for shade plants behind the lattice. Nobody can see much of anything on the wraparound porch due to all the spirea surrounding it.

The knee well makes a fine outdoor dog house too, not that my furkids need it. But it's there. Removing everything else to make room was a very hard job but still well worth it. Then all the heavy plant pots had to be put back again. I'm sore and still tired today, but the project did turn out rather stunning, I think. I'm not a person who can live w/o lots and lots and lots of plants. Imagine the fun of dragging them all indoors for the winter and then back out again the following spring - still worth it to me.

And I'm deeply grateful for the help of those kind people, w/o whom the whole thing would've been impossible. One's a wingnut, true enough; but he has certain good qualities too. The library friend wouldn't dare say so aloud because she could lose her job, but I get the feeling she's at least somewhat sympathetic to progressive causes. With all the loud teabaggers around here in RedNeckLand, and the near-silence of liberals, it stunned me to see that even when he was up for re-election, President Obama got almost 30% of the votes in a remote county where there are NO blacks. So it wasn't even possibly due to racial loyalties. I would've been surprised at 10%. God bless him, he deserves 100%.

Please don't anyone latch onto that last sentence to start a quarrel. I just felt that under the circumstances it needed to be said. Sometimes the people around here can be surprisingly nice. True, a lot of them are the opposite to a very dangerous degree; but I don't want it to make me as sour and mean as they are and not give the nicer ones a chance. It felt good beyond all reason to be treated so well.

Only problem now is that I owe at least the next two or three who really tick me off a free pass, not for their sake but for mine, because I know how easily I can go to war with them. Where's the challenge in that?

CP, you're the only person in this story whose name I even recognize;

Regardless, I'm happy for this good news. I really wish the best for everyone.

According to some state laws, you can also wind up with a 'temporary renter' who

legally becomes a tenant it can take up to a year to dislodge while he wrecks the place and refuses to pay rent besides. You might be an ideal tenant yourself; not so for everyone. Please do think of the differences involved as well between singles and couples, homeowners and those unattached to real estate. The upside to where I retired is that houses are comparatively dirt cheap. The downside being that only a fool buys here to flip. And I knew all that beforehand. At some point the real estate boom might hit here, but who knows how old I'll be then? Old trees and old people are hard to uproot.

That said, this is still tornado alley and we're dead center atop one of the major earthquake faults in the country. Should disaster strike and I survive, however, I won't forget where I could move and pick up the pieces of my life quite well. I really love dome home kits. In the digital world one must wonder who needs a thousand-volume personal library no matter how much actual books may be preferred.

I wish you and all ex-pats the best of everything. Save a place at the table for me in case I ever do show up.

Michael Moore was right.

When I encountered relatively brief but quite serious health issues and had NO means of medical attention other than my own knowledge as herbalist and bush doctor, I used to wish I could swim or sail to Cuba FOR MEDICAL CARE DENIED ME IN MY OWN COUNTRY!!!!!!!

I've got a big old Vic but not enough insurance to replace it if disaster strikes;

so I feel better knowing what I could do with insurance $ if that happened. I've found an excellent dome home kit that 3 people can assemble on a foundation in 4 or 5 hours (get Amish for that). 2 different sizes available, one's 20' wide with 12' ceilings and even the biggest I seem to recall is no more than $20K. If anyone wants the url, I have it bookmarked.

Two Minor Victories in Frugal Living

Lots of my projects don't pan out. I'll admit that. But today I think I surpassed myself in trying to get better tv, fm radio (for NPR), and internet reception. Although I bought an extra-long-range radio, it was still a chore to find NPR and then it usually came with static. Try listening to music with that. Since I have to piggyback a weak if open wifi signal from a nearby church, besides buying 2 strong signal boosters I still got dropped every half hour or so due to the weak signal. And it was slow as December mud. (My laptop has 4 usb ports, so I use 2 for long range signal boosters.)

At last I learned how to make really good dish boosters from disposable heavy aluminum bakeware. It's strong enough to maintain shape but still malleable. Now the formerly static-plagued radio signal is clear as glass - finally! - and the number of bars on any open wifi signal has doubled just from the aluminum dishes. For once I didn't wind up with egg on my face!

The other situation has to do with bad neighbors on the corner. While it waits to be sold, they mow the house on my north side. I've never worried about adults riding big mowers around my fence which is flexible woven wire, the kind with the pretty scallop top. I just take a peek to see who it is and then go on about my business.

But then last week I heard Bad Neighbor (the one who posted a threat to beat me up on her FB page) screaming at her son while the motor roared. I went outside to check, and by golly that poor kid could hardly reach the pedals even when he scooted down in the seat. He had little to no control over that powerful mower. So I stood there in my front yard with my arms crossed until she'd finished berating her son and then finishing the job herself.

But just in case she tries to make him mow again while he's still too short, I hit upon a perfect solution; at least it's more frugal than a lawyer, because those are the kind of people I'd have to drag to small claims court to repair or replace my fence if their poor little kid ran it down.

I took 3' sections of 1/2" rebar and pounded them in the ground fairly close together along the outside of the north portion of the fence, about 2" away. About 8" of rebar show above ground. Anyone who accidentally rams into that will correct their bad steering soon enough. I can use that strip of ground because I always set a fence at least an inch or more inside the property line just in case. If the rebar disappears some day, the next set will be embedded in concrete and wired to my fence for a total cost of around $20. It's only about a 6' length on the north because of the wooden privacy fence running along most of the border with the north property.

Altogether it's a lot cheaper than hiring a lawyer. Everybody in town knows that woman posted the threat on her FB page because some of her alleged friends sent me screenshots of it. Which I proceeded to publicize at the town council meeting where all the neighbors were up in arms over something that woman and her husband were doing. I really don't think she'll steal my first set of rebar barriers because she knows what a loudmouth I am when somebody tries to pee on my leg and claim it's raining.

I don't know why some urbanites think small town life is boring. We can always find something to fight about, and that's entertainment aplenty.

If they have NO intention of moving, don't you think it would be better business to say so ASAP?

You can't blame people for getting in an uproar when companies even let a devilish demand like offshoring go unanswered for so long. If I wanted to keep customers, I'd get out in front of a 'rumor' and quash it immediately.

Walgreens hasn't even offered a weak denial that I know of, so don't snap the whip over people for getting riled at the possibility in an effort to make yourself seem like the only adult in the room. I'm 68 and I say raise hell with corporate HQ to make sure they don't decide against Americans.

No apology either, btw.
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