Tuesday, November 13, 2018


I've been watching Band of Brothers.

It's difficult to describe the feelings I have between this and Veteran's Day. One of my customers fought in WWII. The interviews at the beginning of each episode with the men being depicted in the show brings it to life more than any other method. Normandy was bad enough, but Bastogne...something about observing the cold, hunger and fear while I sit here listening to the wood burning in the stove and knit a hat; indescribable.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Well, poo

That was a very short adjustment time for the onset of winter. There's a layer of snow on the ground and the wind chill is -11F right now. I didn't realize it was so cold while I was doing chores and thought I was just being a wimp.

The chickens were not pleased and opted to stay inside their coops. Outside the pen, my yard is a crisscrossing maze of rabbit tracks. At least I know they can't reach my fruit trees and strip the bark off.

On the positive side, this hard freeze will let the farmers get out and harvest more of the corn.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Adjusting for winter

Yesterday rained;

Today is gray, cold and windy. The forecast is cloudy or mostly cloudy for the next week and today is one of the warmest days with an expected high of 35F. I know this is better than dropping straight down to single digit temps, but it is so hard to stay upbeat.

I need to put away 300 lbs of chicken feed now. Brrrr

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Errant Thoughts Story, Part 30

Iris humphed crabbily at the television before fumbling at the remote control for the power button. "People are too soft."

Susan climbed to her feet, resisting the urge to groan; scrubbing the floor was her least favorite chore. "What do you mean, Iris?"

Her charge turned away petulantly, "Where's Grace? She would understand."

Moving to sit so she could converse at eye level, Susan reminded her, "Grace has a doctor's appointment this morning. She promised to stop by as soon as she comes home." Noting the hunched position of Iris's shoulders, she decided not to wait. "Did you see something disturbing?"

"Fools! Crying about not having some thingy that they can't live without. They don't know..." her voice trailed off weakly.

Seeing a tear trace down the wrinkled cheek, Susan shifted closer and patted the elderly woman's hand. "What don't they know?"

"If we didn't work, our family didn't eat. It's so hard to sleep through hunger. We tried drinking extra water before bed." Even as the vague look returned to her face, Iris shook her head, "It didn't help."

Later, Susan mentioned the conversation to Grace who closed her eyes with a pained expression, "Yes, they had that talk show on in the waiting room. Women with familes were being interviewed. So indignant at having their benefits cut back, but insisting they couldn't work because of the children.

"I'm afraid that I agree with Iris; people are too soft and protected. They think they are poor when they still have smart phones and cars and a place to live. Real poverty is hunger and cold, no doctor when ill, giving up school to work."

Susan knew she would be haunted by the bleak expression that accompanied Grace's explanation as she finished, "Worst is the despair when months and years scrape by with no hope of escape. People don't understand how bad it can be and they don't see the edges of society's safety nets are fraying."