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Bappy hirthday to me!

Today, I turn 29! Again… 😉

Actually, I really love being in my thirties. I feel a bit more settled and at home in me, and long for this to only increase with age.

As I always seem to be on here apologizing for my delay in posting or for taking months off, it’ll be no surprise to read “I’m sorry!” again – and I am. I can’t seem to express in words just how ill I’ve been. I could be wrong, but I believe I mentioned seeing a naturopathic physician, and just being fed up with the medical system in general. Ok, so I promise I won’t turn this into a venting session, but lets say that the last several years of me not feeling well, but nothing showing up on tests, has left me feeling more than a little crazy, honestly. Now this wonderful new doctor runs tests and finds SO much wrong. I know I should probably be upset, but I’m just happy it means I’m not (entirely) crazy! It’s been a long, rough journey with the last couple of months not being an exception, but today, on my birthday, I’m actually starting to feel better. I’m not ready to shout this out on top of rooftops yet, but a whisper will suffice. It’s a really nice gift!

I’ll probably be gone for a bit longer, but I do have a few recipes to post – some yummy, some… not as much, but that’s what you get for trying out recipes, right? Right!

So here’s leaving you with wishes for a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year, spent with those you hold dear!!

xoxo
Heather

::Happy Celebrating::

Red lips

Yesterday I decided to be someone else.  I decided not to be a licensed esthetician and instead, to quote No Doubt, “just a girl.”  I’ll explain…

Having recently run out of some make-up, and not caring too much until now as I’ll be in a wedding this weekend, I stopped by a local department store to try out some new make-up.  I just sat there while this nice girl talked about serums, and foundation, etc.  It was fun.  I said “neat!” and “wow!” when required of me (and because I meant it) while never giving away that I already knew this.  Maybe you’re thinking this is some sort of weird ego boost, to sit there thinking “haha, I already know this stuff!” but really, it was relaxing.  I need relaxing these days.  I just switched things off in my head and let myself get slightly pampered.

Bonus, I left with finally (after a bajillion years of looking) a lovely shade of red lipstick for me – having fair olive skin, it’s been quite a challenge.  Not sure if any of you out there can relate.

image

sorry, wiped - though, I love how it almost 
looks like I'm underwater.

Plus, having made it through the first four seasons of Mad Men hasn’t been helping my red lipstick “dilemma” as I’ve been wanting it more.  There are red lips all over the place!  And to think, when I thought of the 60’s before, it was always about hippies and peace.  I was missing out on so much style!

Well, that’s about it for now.  I have my dear, sweet friend’s wedding this weekend, as well as my nephew’s 2nd birthday party.  Fun stuff!

I’ve tried out a few more recipes to post, but I’ve been under the weather lately and am currently going through a gauntlet of tests courtesy of my good new naturopathic Dr.  So, I’ve been needing to rest a lot more (hence four seasons of Mad Men! lol).

I’ll post more soon, I hope.  Until then….

::Happy Searching::

 

the best way to kill zombies.

I frantically awoke early last night as I had (brilliantly) discovered – whilst dreaming, if you missed that – the best way to eliminate zombies.  Umm, probably my first problem, but I’ll get back to that.  So I would remember this ingenious plan of mine when I really woke up, I texted a friend who knows a thing-or-two about zombies, and then went back to sleep… completely forgetting my clever plan.

Enter this morning.  Check phone and… what did I send??

Here’s my text:

I think you should be able to kill zombies w/ procrastination.

It gets better…  Here’s the little I remembered about my plan (and my attempt at recovery from dreaming-n-texting):

It dealt with positive and negative time (as if there are such things, lol) and the way it worked out, negative time should kill them; something like that, haha!  I love dreams where I think I’ve solved non-existent problems. 🙂

And there folks, is what I had missed all along.  Zombies aren’t real.

will farming join the dinosaurs?

I’m sharing a few full articles in this post, so I apologize for the length.  Just want to get the word out.

Have you seen this article?

from

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, most children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., told The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will do far more harm than good.

“The main concern I have is that it would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they’re not at their parents’ house,” said Blinson.

“I started showing sheep when I was four years old. I started with cattle around 8. It’s been very important. I learned a lot of responsibility being a farm kid.”

In Kansas, Cherokee County Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark was out in the field — literally on a tractor — when TheDC reached him. He said if Solis’s regulations are implemented, farming families’ labor losses from their children will only be part of the problem.

“What would be more of a blow,” he said, “is not teaching our kids the values of working on a farm.”

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average age of the American farmer is now over 50.

“Losing that work ethic — it’s so hard to pick this up later in life,” Clark said. “There’s other ways to learn how to farm, but it’s so hard. You can learn so much more working on the farm when you’re 12, 13, 14 years old.”

John Weber, 19, understands. The Minneapolis native grew up in suburbia and learned the livestock business working summers on his relatives’ farm.

He’s now a college Agriculture major.

“I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12,” Weber told TheDC. “I started spending full summers there when I was 13.”

“The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It’s harder to get a 16 year-old interested in farming than a 12 year old.”

Weber is also a small businessman. In high school, he said, he took out a loan and bought a few steers to raise for income. “Under these regulations,” he explained, “I wouldn’t be allowed to do that.”

In February the Labor Department seemingly backed away from what many had called an unrealistic reach into farmers’ families, reopening the public comment period on a section of the regulations designed to give parents an exemption for their own children.

But U.S. farmers’ largest trade group is unimpressed.

“American Farm Bureau does not view that as a victory,” said Kristi Boswell, a labor specialist with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s a misconception that they have backed off on the parental exemption.”

That narrow “parental exception” has quickly become a political football in U.S. agriculture. The Farm Bureau and one other national agricultural group told TheDC that it would only apply to parents who “wholly own” their own farms.

That would rule out kids working on an uncle’s farm, or a grandfather’s, and it would ban teens from working on farms where ownership is split — even among several generations of the same family. It would also mean teens couldn’t be around when their friends are doing farm work.

Estimates vary on the number of children who live on farms their parents ”wholly own.” One state-level Farm Bureau cited an internal estimate of less than 30 percent. That number, the organization said, takes into account the fact that many farms in animal agriculture are part-owned by the large food companies that ultimately purchase the mat after slaughter.

More than 10,000 letters and emails poured in when the regulation was opened up for public comment in late 2011. Boswell’s objection stems from Labor Secretary Solis’ decision to give the public a second chance to weigh in after the first round of public opinion was decidedly in favor of letting kids participate fully in agriculture.

Boswell also chafed at the government’s rationale — injury rates — for bringing farms strictly into line with child labor laws.

“They have said the number of injuries are higher for children than in non-ag industries,” she said. But everyone in agriculture, Boswell insisted, “makes sure youth work in tasks that are age-appropriate.”

The safety training requirements strike many in agriculture as particularly strange, given an injury rate among young people that is already falling rapidly.

According to a United States Department of Agriculture study, farm accidents among youth fell nearly 40 percent between 2001 and 2009, to 7.2 injuries per 1,000 farms.

Clark said the regulations are vague and meddlesome.

“It’s so far-reaching,” he exclaimed, “kids would be prohibited from working on anything ‘power take-off’ driven, and anything with a work-height over six feet — which would include the tractor I’m on now.”

The way the regulations are currently written, he added, would prohibit children under 16 from using battery powered screwdrivers, since their motors, like those of a tractor, are defined as “power take-off driven.”

And jobs that could “inflict pain on an animal” would also be off-limits for kids. But “inflicting pain,” Clark explained, is left undefined: If it included something like putting a halter on a steer, 4-H and FFA animal shows would be a thing of the past.

In a letter to The Department of Labor in December, Montana Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg complained that the animal provision would also mean young people couldn’t “see veterinary medicine in practice … including a veterinarian’s own children accompanying him or her to a farm or ranch.”

Boswell told TheDC that the new farming regulations could be finalized as early as August. She claimed farmers could soon find The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division inspectors on their land, citing them for violations.

“In the last three years that division has grown 30 to 40 percent,” Boswell said. Some Farm Bureau members, she added, have had inspectors on their land checking on conditions for migrant workers, only to be cited for allowing their own children to perform chores that the Labor Department didn’t think were age-appropriate.

It’s something Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran believes simply shouldn’t happen.

During a March 14 hearing, Moran blasted Hilda Solis for getting between rural parents and their children.

“The consequences of the things that you put in your regulations lack common sense,” Moran said.

“And in my view, if the federal government can regulate the kind of relationship between parents and their children on their own family’s farm, there is almost nothing off-limits in which we see the federal government intruding in a way of life.”

The Department of Labor did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Article was published April 25, 2012 1:31 AM

Update, April 26, 7:55 p.m.: Citing public outrage, the Department of Labor has withdrawn the controversial rulemaking proposal described in this article.

Good news!!
 

NaturalNews) A proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) that would have restricted children under the age of 16 from performing certain routine chores on family farms has been officially revoked. According to The Daily Caller, which originally broke the story, a groundswell of public outcry that occurred after the story went “viral” ultimately led to the decision, which was announced late Thursday evening.

Traditionally, children of farmers have always been involved with helping out around the farm, whether it is feeding the animals, cleaning up after them, or helping to grow and harvest crops. This is why it took the public by surprise to learn that DoL, under the direction of the Obama administration, had planned to outlaw children under the age of 16 from doing this type of work.

As we reported yesterday, the DoL rules would have exempted children working on their own family farms from the new requirements. However, the entire structure of how children learn about agriculture would have changed dramatically regardless of the exemption, as the federal government intended to seize control of agriculture education programs as well as restrict who could legally participate in them.

“The decision to withdraw this rule — including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ — was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” says a DoL press release issued Thursday evening. “To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”

You can view the official DoL press release here:
http://www.dol.gov

The decision is great news for the thousands of young children who participate in programs like 4-H and FFA that provide agricultural education and immersion for the next generation of American farmers. DoL’s proposals would have eliminated certification for 4-H and FFA, according to The Daily Caller, and replaced them with state-run agricultural education.

“I am pleased to hear the Obama administration is finally backing away from its absurd 85-page proposal to block youth from participating in family farm activities and ultimately undermine the very fabric of rural America,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “The Obama DoL’s youth farm labor rule is a perfect example of what happens when government gets too big.”

April 28, 2012 

 
 
 
 
I’m so thankful for this good news!  We’ve got enough people like this (see video below), why encourage more by taking their trade and livelihood away?
 
 

small and BIG changes

I made a few small, yet noticeable, changes to my blog last night.  I was feeling quite inspired!

This weekend, after I spoke with my coach from school, my brain kept working things out and I came up with my life plan.  Wrote it down, and everything!  This has taken me 31 long years, but the beautiful part is it incorporates almost everything from those 31 years.  This plan is custom fit to me, as it should.

If you each were here right now, I’m sure I’d give you the biggest hug of your life – just so I could share my joy with you.

This plan will take 4-5 years to fully come together, but I long to share all the ups and downs with you through that time.

I kept thinking of the cliché (and great) Steve Jobs quote earlier, in the hopes of being inspired:

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

I think it goes a step beyond simply loving what you do.  Meaning, you love it because that’s how you were made to serve and glorify the Lord.  And so, with all of my ambitions before me, I also want to keep this quote from C.S. Lewis in mind:

Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.

Now I need to get to work on all of this!!

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