Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rush Limbaugh is Wrong about Feminists

Rush Limbaugh is contaminating the airwaves with his misinformed rhetoric about feminist women being ugly women who no man would want anyway. His very "explanation" of feminism is offensive and degrading to women. To help set the record straight for those who actually believe this type of misleading and mentally bankrupt thinking, here is the definition of feminism according to

Feminism: The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men; an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women; feminine character.

Why does this man feel so threatened by women? Or does he just feel rejected by intelligent women who can think for themselves?

One more thing - feminists do not hate men, some of our best allies are men - very strong, respectful men. Men like my husband, my father, my brothers, and my President. What I (for I cannot speak for all feminists) despise is people like Mr. Limbaugh who disrespect women for being women and spreading hatred that inspires extremists/terrorists to commit acts of abuse against fellow Americans.

Michelle H-B.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Women's Rights

Lubna-Hussein Pants Trial (Huffington Post)

I read this article today - it is about a group of women who defied the law by wearing trousers in public and were arrested (some were flogged and fined $125). Lubna is taking her case to court. It made me stop and be thankful to be a US citizen. It made me sad that a woman would be flogged for wearing pants in public as if her body were not her own to do with as she sees fit. This woman (and her friends) is a hero in my eyes - because it is not just for the sake of her pants that she is fighting. It reminded me that all women, no matter where they live, need to stay vigilant on women's issues.

Articles like the one about Lubna allow us to become aware of the world around us. The way we treat women and girls throughout the world is not sustainable. Here is a quote that puts it all into perspective for me and is why I feel so emotional about this subject:

"Significant numbers of the world's population are routinely subject to torture, starvation, terrorism, humiliation, mutilation and even murder simply because they are female. Crimes such as these against any other group would be recognized as a civil and political emergency." (The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World. Quote by Charlotte Bunch and Roxanna Carrillo, p. 26)

Thank you Lubna - I hope you are victorious in your fight for Justice.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Garden Update - July 2009

It is hard to believe that this garden used to be lawn. Now it is providing produce for our family and some for our neighbors. The garden offers us a little oasis in our own yard that is not only beautiful to look at but oh so tasty and nutritious.

Dustin and I both love to come out and water, eat, or photograph our garden. It changes every day and there is always a surprise for us or the kids to discover.

Right now we are harvesting lots of blueberries, and red raspberries, nasturtiums, carrots, lettuce, peas, broccoli, beets, a few onions, and chard. Our tomatoes are starting to mature and are very abundant. We have one Early Girl, one Roma, one Pear, and dozens of volunteers from last year's Sun Gold Tomatoes.

I've noticed that without a tomato cage the branches of the Roma want to grow out and down to prop itself up under its own weight. The branches act like a dozen different braces, and then shoot back up to bear 5-6 flowers ripening sweet fruit. The plant does an ok job of supporting its own weight.

In addition to our food crops we are also growing chamomile for tea and cilantro for coriander for seed. We are also looking forward to pickling our beets and cucumbers so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labor well into Winter.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Garden Update

We have been putting lots of energy into creating our garden space. We have seeds that have sprouted and have begun to grow, starts that are taking off, and some new plants in the yard. It has been a cold spring so far but there have also been many nice sunny days in between 3-5 days of rain and overcast weather. Everything has been slow to take off, but that has given us the extra time to get a few new things in the ground.

In our garden, we are growing:
  • vegetables: sweet corn, several potato varieties, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber, sugar snap peas, pole beans, rainbow chard, carrots, parsnips, sweet onions, leeks, garlic, lettuce, beets, spinach, celery, rhubarb, and tomatoes.
  • fruit: cherries, figs, plums, blueberries, salmon berries, thimble berries, service berries, black elderberries, grapes, strawberries, and raspberries.
  • herbs: dill, oregano, cilantro/coriander, thyme, lemon balm, nettles, dandelions (not difficult to grow), hyssop, miner's lettuce, and chives.
We have tried to plant using companion planting guides found in the book "Carrots Love Tomatoes" (Louise Riotte). Many different plants can be packed into a smaller space by combining plants that grow at different levels (heights) to eliminate having plants out-compete each other for sunlight, and some can help deter pests.

Michelle and I put all of the garden posts in the ground and attached the first 50 foot roll of hog-wire fence. We need to get another 50 foot roll to finish off the entire fence, but it is much more protected now from errant balls, dogs, and playing kids. Now if only the weather will continue to warm, the plants will go crazy.

One of the best things that have come from the garden so far is that many of our neighbors will come over and ask how things are going and what we are growing. Since our garden is prominently displayed in our front yard it attracts a lot of attention. I find myself talking about gardening tips and ideas with friends and neighbors and we are looking forward to see everyone's reaction in another month or so.

Here are a few pictures to look at.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Waking up the garden

This year we have decided to expand our home vegetable garden from 3 medium sized raised beds to a total gardening space of about 30'x15'. Growing a good portion of our food is part of our strategy to help get through these tough economic times. If the price of food goes way up then we will be insulated a little more than others and we can be sure we have wholesome, organic produce.

Michelle and I have been pouring through the Territorial seed catalog and all of our gardening books for the last several months as we planned for this garden expansion. We want to pack a lot of veggies into the garden space so we have been using companion planting techniques to ensure the plants get along well in tight quarters.

The first task was to create a little extra driveway space to give us room to open the car doors once the garden fence is up. We cut out the sod and filled the space with crushed rock, the kids helped out and Grandma Kathy kept Jackson out of trouble. We had 2.5 yards of garden compost mix delivered. Right now we have the grass (and sod we cut out of the driveway strip) covered with cardboard and weed fabric to help kill the grass. In a couple weeks we will do a single tilling to break up the dying sod, mix in the garden compost and level out the ground.

Michelle prepared the front of the garden (facing the road) with a nice rock border and thyme we transplanted from our backyard garden beds. We need a few more big rocks though, and there is no shortage of those around here.

As of today, our black elderberry bush is beginning to leaf out and the leaf buds on our cherry, plum, and fig trees, and our berry bushes and shrubs. Our crocuses flowered in the last 2 days and our bulbs are looking perky and green. It is exciting to see our plans begin to take shape and we are beginning to get anxious to begin planting.