Category Archives: Organic Gardening

We’ve had a lovely afternoon and evening at the American Conservation Film Festival.

We are in the four day period of the ACFF, now celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary of presenting conservation and nature support films here in Shepherdstown.

We saw two films this afternoon, but tonight we saw two films accompanied by live discussions and question periods with the filmmakers.

The most interesting to me was Marion Stoddart whose life and career spent saving the Nashua River was so well presented in the short film “The Work of 1000.”

Filmmaker Susan Edwards broached the subject Can one person truly make a difference? This film tells the inspiring story of how a remarkable woman saved a dying river–for herself, for the community and for future generations–and became an environmental hero honored by the United Nations.

Mrs Stoddart, now in her 80s spent decades getting a very polluted river clean… petitioning, demonstrating, approaching manufacturers and politicians directly, and getting her husband and children involved. Her live presentation with the audience was very involving.

Our Nation’s River: A System on Edge  was the second film we saw this evening. Ten minutes long and made by Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of historic natural filmmaker Jaques Costeau. This piece was particularly meaningful for us, since it is about the Potomac River, the water body that forms our northern border and flows from us down to Washington DC.

Ms, Cousteau answered questions but also presented a discussion panel of professionals from the Nature Conservancy and the Potomac River Foundation.

The House was pretty full at Reynolds Hall, Shepherd University, with a number of standers who wanted to catch everything as well. Among the folks there tonight were most of the officers of Sustainable Shepherdstown (My wife is in that bunch, of course), our current State Delegate John Dolan whose work for us has been spectacular and who is leaving office at the end of the session. Steve Skinner, the Democratic candidate for Delegate who, hopefully, will take John’s place, was there as well. Both men realize the importance the Potomac is to our community. Of course, Republican Candidate Elliot Spitzer was NOT there this evening. Preserving our environment is just not a Republican issue… after all, don’t they all think that Climate Change is a joke?

We’re going to some more films tomorrow.

Environmental Scientist Barry Commoner Dies at 95

One of the men I admired most in the early environmental movement, Dr. Barry Commoner, has died at 95 at his home in Brooklyn Heights, and I think the world experiences a great loss. He was an early champion of recycling, organic food and reducing fossil fuel use… and, of course, he took a firm stand against nuclear testing.

Commoner was trained as a biologist at Columbia and Harvard and combined scientific expertise and leftist zeal. His work on the global effects of radioactive fallout, which included documenting concentrations of strontium 90 in the baby teeth of thousands of children, contributed materially to the adoption of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

He was a popular speaker and author 1n the 1960s and ’70s, and even campaigned for president in 1980.

Time Magazine called Commoner the Paul Revere of Ecology on the first Earth Day in 1970.

His four informal rules of ecology were:

1. Everything Is Connected to Everything Else

2. Everything Must Go Somewhere

3. Nature Knows Best

4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

Dr. Commoner’s was both concerned with ecology  and an ideal of social justice in which everything was indeed connected to everything else. Like some other leftist dissenters of his time, he believed that environmental pollution, war, and racial and sexual inequality needed to be addressed as related issues of a central problem.

Commoner insisted that the future of the planet depended on industry’s learning not to make messes in the first place, rather than on trying to clean them up after they were made. He thought scientists in the service of industry could not just create some new process or product and then remove themselves from a moral responsibility for the potential results. He was a lifelong opponent of nuclear power because of its radioactive waste and scorned the idea of pollution credit swaps because an industry would have to be fouling the environment in the first place to be rewarded by such a program.

He saw that social needs were tied up with environmental ones… for instance:

“I don’t believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together. For example, if you’re going to revise the productive system to make cars or anything else in such a way as to suit the environmental necessities, at the same time why not see to it that women earn as much as men for the same work?”

Harvard paleontologist Steven J. Gould’s summary of Barry Commoner’s work and achievements is clear:

“Although he has been branded by many as a maverick, I regard him as right and compassionate on nearly every major issue.”

Romney is Monsanto’s Candidate…there go our farms!

You know that this blog has a long history of exposing and criticizing Monsanto for the chemical destruction of what once was our fresh food products —Monsanto, whose dark history features scandals involving PCBs, Agent Orange, bovine growth hormone, NutraSweet, IUD, genetically modified (GM) seed and herbicides, reaching back to the 1970s and ’80s.

Those of us who support the remaining organic food growers, and who grow our own out of necessity, have set Monansto as the most evil of challenges.

If we go way back to Romney’s beginnings with Bain Capital when he was 30 years old, who do you think his largest client was, and who remains his friend today? You guessed it. Monsanto. This matters for a number of reasons:  it sheds on Romney’s self-ballyhooed business experience; Romney helped create Monsanto corporate objectives that clash with planetary concerns; If Romney is elected, this enemy of environmentalists will have a very old friend in the White House.

Monsanto’s former CEO John W. Hanley is in fact the only business executive outside of the Bain founding family to so shape Romney’s career—jumpstarting the two companies, Bain & Company and Bain Capital, that account for all but two years of Romney’s much-ballyhooed business experience.

Monsanto, who currently produces Genetically Modified corn, soybean, alfalfa and other seeds, which are  engineered to resist Roundup and increase yield, faces many global disputes, and has lost two recent, at least $2 billion, court decisions in Brazil -  5 million soy farmers sued them. The Brazilian farmers’ issue is also a source of frustration for US farmers—the contracts farmers are forced to sign pledging not to save seeds for future harvests, a common farm custom that resale-fixated Monsanto has hired a seed police army to stop.

Roundup Ready” seeds, of course, are completely responsible to the success and safety of Roundup itself. However,“super-weeds” are developing a Roundup tolerance, requiring more and more spraying to work. This is harmful both ecologically and financially  for farmers.The seeds, introduced in the Bain years with Bain boosting, Roundup’s supposedly “biodegradable” and “nontoxic” claims, have led to false advertising findings. This is part of Romney’s business trustworthiness and acumen.

In the presidential campaign, Romney is deliberately vague . He’s moved publicly in Monsanto’s direction on the company’s genetically engineered ethanol and farm subsidies, appears aligned with it on labeling (Monsanto wants to avoid labeling its fruits and vegetables with the 5 digit code, different for organic competitors), and his spokesman Shawn McCoy said this month that the candidate was “concerned by the effect that the Obama administration’s crushing onslaught of regulations is having on agriculture.” Read from this what effect the Obama administration will have on one of his largest campaign contributors.

Musical Theatre Fans… Here’s the best political parody I’ve heard so far this year…

If you’re a Les Mis fan like me, you’ll love this piece, “One Term More”, based on “One Day More.”

Here are the lyrics if you want to sing along:

One Term More!
A time to celebrate democracy,
Repeal Republican hypocrisy.
This man who would unseat Barack’s
A bleak choice at the ballot box.
One Term More!
A G.O.P. perdition-bound,
All sense of right & wrong eroded.
One Term More!
With laws that let ‘em stand their ground,
Republicans are locked & loaded.

Contraception’s now a sin,
Screwing G.M. in the clutch.
Incivility’s a virtue,
Homophobic. Out of touch.
Filibusters. Budget scrums.
Ultrasounds & speculums.
To the Dark Side they’ve succumbed.

Soon Election Day will dawn,
We were meant to hold this seat!
At the ballot box of freedom,
Unemployment’s in retreat!
Now the battle lines are drawn,
And Detroit’s back on its feet!
Will you take your place with me!

The time is NOW the vote is NEAR!
One Term More!
One more day to re-election,
And until the music stops,
We will fight to save the jobs of
Teachers, firemen & cops!
One Term More!
One more day to resolution,
We’ll defeat those fetid nuts,
We are fed up with pernicious
Talk of prostitutes & sluts!

Watch ‘em throwing up,
Minting malcontent,
Drinkin’ all that tea’s
Made them incontinent!

Dissembling persists,
Divisiveness prevails,
Calling colleagues Communists
Is OFF the rails!

Listen to them spew,
“Femi-Nazi” rage,
Misogynistic rants
From the Jurassic Age!

To Obama’s second inning,
He’ll drive home another run!
Norma Rae let sisters sing,
Rosa Parks let freedom ring!
For Obama’s just beginning,
Yes! The West Wing WILL be won!

AND we’ll get the Dream Act DONE!

My place is here, I vote with you!
One Term More!
Emboldened by Star-Spangled myth,
We want a JEDI…NOT a SITH!!!

Petty partisan obstruction’s
Why we’ve gridlock on the Hill!
One Term More!
Healthcare is a right,
Medicare’s a must,
Don’t let rogue Republicans
Betray that trust!

Speaking of betrayal,
Bullied by his peers,
Tackled to the ground,
Screams turned into tears.

Hunting down the queer,
Cutting off his hair,
SPIKED the ball, yet… “Can’t
Recall” if he was there???

It’s his character we question!

Mom, apple pie & Chevrolet,
Don’t let ‘em down Election Day!

That’s when we will determine
What our God in Heaven has in store!

ONE MORE TERM!

OTRA VEZ!
(One More Time!)

ONE TERM MORE!!!

 

Sunday Farmer’s Market in Shepherdstown…

Since I am trapped in my recliner with my broken bones, Elly has already gone without me over to the Shepherdstown Farmers Market to buy our weekly supply of organic vegetables and field-raised meats that show up there. We are fortunate in our geographic area to have several farmers markets…  Saturday is the one at Morgan’s Grove and of course we also have them in Charles Town and Martinsburg and recently we saw signs for one one over in Hagerstown at the VFW Hall.

Our local farmers make a point of raising organic foods and for that we can be thankful. There are plenty of places in this country where organic foods are not available. Also, GMO foods are becoming more and more pervasive in our grocery stores. Thank you, Monsanto.

I hope you have great food available to you wherever you are. and I hope the organic food world expands everywhere. Support your farmers markets.

War on Health

 

I’m happy to present Gary Null‘s documentary: War on Health, The FDA‘s Cult of Tyranny.

If you are worried about organic foods, raw dairy products or other things being available, or if you are afraid of GMOs in your food, this will startle you:

 

The next time your pals say there is no such thing as Global Warming, show them this:

If this doesn’t convince them, suggest they go live in the grain producing areas of the midwest. That should back up their belief (but don’t laugh too hard.)

80% 0f Antibiotics are Fed to Farm Animals – and it’s killing us!

Here’s something we should all be aware of (especially when we go food shopping):

I hope you signed the petition… and look for the label in the meat department that tells you your steak is from a cow raised without antibiotics.

Will Monsanto be allowed to poison us?

Just when we thought there might be some federal control over the spread of genetically modified vegetables and grains, a so-called “Monsanto rider” has been quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill. This  would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate organic crops and lay waste to a healthy food supply.

Centre for Food SafetyUnless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the Republican (read “industry”) dominated House of Representatives is likely to make this dangerous rider the law very soon.

Here is what the Center For Food Safety officially had to say about the biotech industry’s latest attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards:

Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.

In other words, if this single line in the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill slips through, it’s Independence Day for the biotech industry, and Monsanto comes out on top.

This is the time to contact your Representative and complain… by telephone and in writing… to keep the “Monsanto Rider” out of the law.

When you shop for fruit and tomatoes, look at the stickers.

From Dear Ruth O’Donnell:

Bill vs. Critter

Just got back from releasing the groundhog I trapped at our aging and unoccupied chicken coup into the wilds of the Potomac River woodlands. Elly is thrilled, I’m thrilled, the garden is safe again (unless there are more groundhogs (woodchucks?) living under the coup.

Hard to see it, but it’s in there.

This afternoon I have to rebait the trap with cantaloupe and give it another shot.

Score do far is me 1, critters 0.

Over at Mellow Moods having coffee after the show…

Not a bad show on WSHC this morning… a lot of song request challenges (and I found all of them) from my regulars and nothing went wrong with the equipment (Ta Dah!).

The weekend looks lovely. After coffee, I’m on my way over to our now up-for-sale town house to get some hardware off the garden fence. Then back home to make up the sleep that I DIDN”T get last night.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Genetically Modified foods should be labeled…

…we have a right to know what we are eating, and the right to refuse to eat GMO foods.

Just Label It! We have the right to know.

Do Monsanto Employees eat GM foods?

If you worked for Monsanto and knew their pharmaceutical evils, would you eat Genetically Modified food?

There is a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory is High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers

as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve.”

The notice was posted by the Sutcliffe Catering Group.

Adrian Bebb with Friends of the Earth says the notice in the Buckinghamshire plant is hard to misinterpret:

“The public has made its concerns about GM ingredients very clear – now it appears that even Monsanto’s own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology.”

Monsanto company spokesman Tony Coombes says the only reason for the GM-free foods is because the company “believes in choice.” Yeah… that’s a good one.

Unfortunately, we won’t see such announcements in the United States which won’t even require LABELING to show genetic modification. The reason? If LABELING was permitted people wouldn’t buy it. It also doesn’t hurt Monsanto that FDA head Michael Taylor, a Monsanto executive, was appointed by Obama… and America’s Chief Agriculture Negotiator, former Monsanto lobbyist Islam Siddiqui, was also an Obama appointment.

We are, as they say, screwed… unless everyone realizes the problem and takes action, whether writing Congressman or shopping for organic foods or campaigning against the patented seed stores of Monsanto.

 

 

 

 

Shepherdstown Community garden is organizing again… there are still some plots left this year.

 

My wife, who directs the Shepherdstown Community Garden, is getting together with those interested on Sunday morning (April 15) at 8:45 AM to do manure spreading on the garden. On Saturday the 21st there will be a seed exchange in the morning (@10 – 12 Noon) and then a group meeting of gardeners from 12 to 1:30 PM. At 3:00 PM, Sustainable Shepherdstown will be hosting a film, “Good Food“, at the Opera House.

If you are interested in getting one of the remaining plots at the Community Garden, here’s the info:

1. The prices will remain the same. $20 for your first 10′ x 10′ plot, $5 for each additional – So 20 x 15 would be $25, 20 x 20 would be $30, etc.

2. We will e-mail a copy of the current plot map upon request. The contract can also be sent in a separate email. E-mail Ellen Smith at esmithart30@yahoo.com . You can mail a check to Ellen Smith at 2873 Engle Molers Road, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.
We are really hoping to get all the plots sold or under straw/cardboard etc., so we do not have to mow and do not have to have weeds. Then we can work on making the paths unattractive to weeds. If you know someone who would like to join us, now is the time!

Community garden was one of the most successful programs last year, thanks to the cooperation with Morgan’s Grove Market and Peter Corum. It is protected from deer and other creatures by an eight foot high fence built by members and has access to running water.

If you are interested in joining this phenomenal group of gardeners, get with it before all the plots are gone.

 

From Mother Jones: A Bayer Pesticide is reducing the population of bees…

Here’s another pesticide controversy… one we can add to the Monsanto Mix… it relates to Bayer (yeah, the people who make the aspirin you take every day.)

Here’s a clip:

3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide

It’s springtime, and farmers throughout the Midwest and South are preparing to plant corn—and lots of it. The USDA projects this year’s corn crop will cover 94 million acres, the most in 68 years. (By comparison, the state of California occupies a land mass of about 101 million acres.) Nearly all of that immense stand of corn will be planted with seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides produced by the German chemical giant Bayer.

And that may be very bad news for honey bees, which remain in a dire state of health, riddled by large annual die-offs that have become known as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). 

In the past months, three separate studies—two of them just out in the prestigious journal Science—have added to a substantial body of literature linking widespread use of neonicotinoids to CCD. The latest research will renew pressure on the EPA to reconsider its registration of Bayer’s products. The EPA green-lighted Bayer’s products based largely on a study funded by the chemical giant itself—which was later discredited by the EPA’s own scientists, as this leaked memo shows.

When seeds are treated with neonics, the pesticides get absorbed by the plant’s vascular system and then “expressed” in the pollen and nectar, where they attack the nervous systems of insects. Bayer targeted its treatments at the most prolific US crop—corn—and since the late 1990s, corn farmers have been blanketing millions of acres of farmland with neonic-treated seeds.

And it’s not just corn. In addition to the vast corn crop mentioned above, Bayer’s neonics have worked their way into substantial portions of the soy, wheat, cotton, sorghum, and peanut seed markets. In 2010, according to research by the Pesticide Action Network of North America, at least 142 million total acres were planted in neonic-treated seeds—a trend that will continue if not increase in  the 2012 growing season. That represents a landmass equal to the footprints of California and Washington State.

But even that’s not all. As I showed in this January post, Bayer’s neonics are also common in home-garden and landscaping products.

Read the rest (and there is a lot) HERE.

Living in the rural district…

Bird's nest over our front porch.

Sunny day, warm weather and I spent the last half hour sitting out on my porch with my next door neighbor, Francis, talking about lawn mowing, hay growing, birds nesting, different kinds of tree blossoms…etc,etc. This is nice.

If you are going to be retired, I can’t think of a better place. It’s a great place to write and develop theatre projects (John Case and I are working on an updated

Flowering Pear Tree

version of Odets’ “Waiting for Lefty” which will include contemporary references and some music… we’ll be performing it at The Folly sometime this summer.) It’s also wonderful for gardening and other outdoor activities.

There’s a whole different kind of concerns out here than there is in the closer suburbs… the weather relates more to how the land operates than to what you’ll wear and how you will move around. Rain out here is is a prized phenomenon (and we expect some this afternoon and tomorrow.)

And now that winter has been eliminated by an early spring, it looks like things will get even better.

Passing on a Disgusting Practice…

Here it goes again…  My cousin turned me on to this piece:

Seven Million Pounds of “Pink Slime” Beef Destined for National School Lunch Program

By Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo! blogger | Healthy Living – 6 hours ago

“Pink slime” burger? McDonald’s and Taco Bell have banned it, but now the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is buying 7 million pounds of beef containing ammonium hydroxide-treated ground connective tissue and meat scraps and serving it up to America’s school kids. If you thought cafeteria food was gross before….

Related: What You Need to Know About the New Meat and Poultry Labels

According to TheDaily.com, the term “pink slime” was coined by microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein, formerly of the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. He first saw it being mixed into burger meat when he was touring a Beef Products Inc (BPI) facility in 2002 after an outbreak of salmonella. “Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein told The Daily.

“Pink slime,” which is officially called “Lean Beef Trimmings,” is banned for human consumption in the United Kingdom. It is commonly used in dog and chicken food. Celebrity chef and safe food advocate Jamie Oliver featured the substance and called for its ban on the April 12, 2011 episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which may have influenced McDonald’s to stop using beef patties containing the filler.

Reportedly, Zirnstein and his colleague Carl Custer studied the substance and classified it as a “high risk product.” Custer, who worked at the Food Safety Inspection service for 35 years, says, “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”

Another issue is the ammonium hydroxide, a chemical that is used to kill pathogens such as E. coli. The FDA considers it safe for human consumption but a 2009 expose by the New York Times questioned its safety and efficacy. Some food advocates are asking for meat containing “pink slime” to be labeled. It’s used in about 70% of ground beef in the US. “We don’t know which districts are receiving what meat, and this meat isn’t labeled to show pink slime. They don’t have to under federal law,” Bettina Siegal, a writer and mother of two who created TheLunchTray.com told NBC. Siegel has started a petition to demand the USDA stop using the product in the National School Lunch Program.

Two weeks of moving start today…

Elly and Me?

We closed on our “farmette” on Friday, and now we will spend the next two weeks moving, emptying the townhouse and getting it ready for sale (say, are you looking for a nice townhouse in Shepherdstown, WV? Let me know.)

Home for Chicks

The thought of entering a life as somewhat of a farmer has been entering my consciousness as I plan to repair the very old chicken house on the property so we can go out in April (or earlier) to get a dozen or so live chicks. Sure looking forward to eggs by the end of the summer.

If this makes the blog come out at odd times of the day in the next week or so (no internet connected to the new house yet) then we will have to live with it.

Peter Corum’s Plan for Morgan’s Grove Market…

Peter Corum

It was more than a free lunch at the Bavarian Inn today… It was Peter Corum and his team announcing the exciting plans for the Morgans Grove Market area that he started up last summer. This time the goal is to create an Agriculture/Arts/Community campus that will serve many interests locally and do it year round.

Peter called this a “Charette,” which Webster’s defines as:

a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

Represented were the architectural firm he has been consulting, various arts and

Participants speaking

humanities “businesses,” agriculture folks, local development people, etc. My wife represented Sustainable Shepherdstown.

Over the course of about two hours just about everyone in the room spoke, made suggestions, pointed out various organizational needs and, in general, gave Peter hands down support on the project.

A really good range of attendees

Now we’ll have to see what comes next with the local and county government, the state and

all the other committees which will get in the way (sort of like the solar LLC discussion we had the other night at Town Hall.)

Well… we support Peter and Under The LobsterScope will keep an eye on this project and report good or bad news to you.

Lunch, btw, was great.

Court: Monsanto Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France

Many thanks to my wife who forwarded this article to me.
Published on Monday, February 13, 2012 by Common Dreams:

A French court Monday found US agriculture giant Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of a farmer with one of its herbicides in 2004.

Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente “Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois’ suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product… and must entirely compensate him,” said the judgement from the court in the southeastern city of Lyon.

In 2004, Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente, opened the tank of his pulveriser machine. He inhaled fumes of Lasso, a weedkiller manufactured by Monsanto, and fainted.

He was taken to hospital and stopped work for almost a year, reports radio station France Info. He suffers from memory loss and often feels faint.

* * *

Reuters is reporting:

A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

Farmer mixing Lasso, a Monsanto herbicideIn the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller in 2004.

He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois’s losses to establish the sum of damages. [...]

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

He and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products.

The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers’ reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year.

Now let’s get after Monsanto HERE IN AMERICA!

Germany Decides Genetically-Modified Foods Are Not Welcome

German chemicals giant BASF is closing its biotech division in Germany. The move was prompted by massive resistance to genetically modified food among both the public and politicians. GM opponents are jubilant, while some researchers are complaining this is another case of German hostility to technology.

Getting closer to moving…

The House inspection was finished yesterday and there is a small list of things we have to fix up… not too bade at all. Now we just have to get the final bank and legal papers done and we can close and start the (miserable) process of moving. We think it will take us about a month to change houses, fix up the town house and put it on the market. Hopefully we’ll have it sold by the end of April or mid-May.

There are so many things to plan in moving here… getting fencing up for the dogs, figuring out what Elly needs to raise chickens (this is her first major farming item), having Dave come over to put in a door for the room we are converting into a first-floor bedroom, etc. etc.

So, plenty to look forward to… alot for an old guy like me.

In house buying, the hardest part is the waiting…

Elly and I have been hunting for a retirement property for almost a year. At least once before we thought we had it, then something fell through with the deal and we were out looking again.

Last week we put in 3 offers on the same property (we went down, they said no, we went up. they went down-but not enough, we went up to our limit, they accepted our letter of capacity (that shows we have credit and can afford the purchase.)

Now we are just waiting to hear that they have reviewed the letter and we have the property. This is a foreclosure and we are dealing with the company that owned the mortgage, but, unfortunately, they are in Texas… 2 hours behind us. We have been hoping to hear from them all day, but so far our real estate agent hasn’t called with the good news.

This is our chance to own a little “farmette” (as Elly calls it) where we (read “she”) can garden, raise chickens and a couple of goats and have plenty of room for our dogs. The House is not the passive one we wanted to build, but, if we get it, we are going to seal it up some more and look into solar power. Also, with the 4.5 acres, we may have room to subdivide, build our passive house on 2 acres of the lot and sell off the existing house and 2.5 acres that are left. There are all kinds of possibilities.

We just have to get it. Here at 65 I feel like a young man getting started again. Let’s see how long I hold out.

Now we just need the phone call.

Queen of the Fat Diet May Announce She has Type 2 Diabetes…

Speaking as an overweight diabetic who is desperately trying to take the weight off and has gone Vegan in his diet, seeing this news about Paula Deen. the pork fat queen, was revealing.

According to The Daily:

The Georgia-born chef — a Food Network star who has written five best-selling cookbooks — has been trying to keep her condition a secret, even after the National Enquirer reported in April that she has Type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with fatty foods and obesity.

Sources say Deen, 64, who never addressed the diabetes question, has worked out a multimillion-dollar deal to be the spokeswoman for a pharmaceutical company and endorse the drug she is taking.

Novartis, the drug company she is said to be working for, declined to respond to Flash’s questions, as did Deen’s agent and Deen herself.

“Paula Deen is going to have to reposition herself now that she has diabetes,” said one source. “She’s going to have to start cooking healthier recipes. She can’t keep pushing mac and cheese and deep-fried Twinkies when she is hawking a diabetes drug.”

I’ve been watching her on The Food Channel and wondering how someone could eat like that and be so heavy and not be at death’s door. I only wish Novartis, whose products co0st me and my insurance company a fortune, would pay to let me endorse their products.

 

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