Chuffy

Bill the hairdresser called to tell us the dream was shattered. His wife had left him. She said it was the hogs.

Because Jason is too nice, we went to Bill’s Sunday morning to retrieve the hogs he said he would purchase from Bill. A last ditch effort to tempt his wife to return, perhaps? At any rate, at least we had the good sense to take a few panels with us. Bill made an attempt at calling the pigs…by name…to hop in the trailer like some kind of trained circus pigs. It may have worked had the bluebutt not been in the bunch.

The bluebutt (referred to only as such because I can neither remember, nor do I care to remember her name) jumped in the trailer only long enough for me to look away for a nanosecond. That was apparently plenty of time for her to make a dash for the exit. Gentle readers, Sunday was not the first time I have been but a speed bump on the road to glory and freedom for a renegade sow, nor will it be the last. However, it was Mother’s Day and I had no intention of losing any teeth Continue reading

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Liquid Gold

It rained. I stood with all the boys in the high school on the front entrance to the school during lunch. We breathed the air washed clean in the gulps of people too dry, too long.
Little girls spun and danced in the drops like the fairy princess mermaids in their imaginations. Rough and tumble boys ran and slid and jumped in the parking lot pools.
In a classroom, a clap of thunder left kindergarten kids in tears and a teacher with tears in hers once she realized the five year old didn’t recognize the noise. It’s been dry that long.
Community folks came and went, smiles on their faces and an unbelievable relief that was undeniable.
The drought isn’t over and we know that but it’s so good to know that the desperate prayers from eastern Colorado were heard.

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CFB representation of ag is great value

Centennial, Colo. – May 8, 2013 – The 2013 Colorado legislative session has finally come to a close, and the Colorado Farm Bureau has been working throughout the session to protect agriculture and rural Colorado. “This session has kept us busy, and we feel that we have been successful representing agriculture, our farmers and ranchers, and the rural way of life,” said Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau.

Prior to the general assembly convening, the Colorado Farm Bureau set priority areas including water, energy, fiscal policy/budget, property rights, animal welfare and wildlife. Bills were introduced that affected all of these areas, and with the guidance of the policy implementation committee and the board of directors, Colorado Farm Bureau staff have worked diligently through these bills.

On May 8, Colorado Farm Bureau member leaders met with Governor Hickenlooper to ask for him to veto SB13-252, which would mandate that 20 percent of electricity in the state come from renewable sources. “This requirement will undoubtedly increase the cost of energy for family farmers, ranchers, and residents of rural Colorado. Sadly, this was done without the voice of agriculture being heard Continue reading

Ooh! Pick me!

There is a state correctional facility in the rural county where we live. The bottom line about what this means for residents is frequent jury summonses.
I bet I’ve been called for jury duty twice per year since I moved here but I’ve never had to actually report but I did last week.
I am a nerd about a number of things and the law is one of those things. If online law school were a viable option, I would sign up despite my students’ claims that it will suck my soul from my body. The legal system is interesting and I was happy to perhaps be chosen to serve during a trial.
I was methodical while filling out my paperwork. I remained more neutral than Switzerland in hopes of being chosen. As the selection process wore on, I was more like the slow kid while the softball captains are choosing their teams.
I was surprised to see how many good folks were opposed to serving. Otherwise reputable people were going to great lengths to prove themselves unsuitable jurors. It reflected poorly on these people whether or not they realized it. Every lame excuse and every “damn” muttered when they were called to the jury box was noted. The most disappointing, albeit entertaining, way to avoid service was to begin all sentences with, “according to the prophesy…”
At the end of the day I was not chosen. It was probably not a terribly exciting trial; one of the many contraband trials for the Department of Corrections. But, the defendant is still a citizen deserving of a fair trial by a jury of his peers. Thank goodness we were all on the jury service side of the jury box rather than in his chair.

We Didn’t Start the Fire

One of my students asked me to help him choose a topic for his history paper. It had to be about “anything since World War 2”. A lot has happened since then, I told him and started brainstorming.
“Margaret Thatcher?” I suggested.
“I don’t like her,” he said and I knew then it was going to be a difficult task.
“Tony Blair?” I asked.
“Who is that?” he peered over his laptop at me.
“Thatcher’s more liberal replacement as Prime Minister,” I said. “Did they not cover that in your history class?”
“Grumble,” he muttered.
“Nixon?” I asked. Then I had an idea. I should also mention that my superintendent was visiting with another student while I had this conversation.
“Studebaker, television, North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe…?”
He looked at me with the look my students give me when they think I’m being embarrassing. So I kept going.
“Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, “The King and I,” and “The Catcher in the Rye,”
Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen, Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye!”
“What are you saying?” he asked.
“It’s We Didn’t Start the Fire,” I cried. “Billy Joel? Come on!”
By this time I was dancing, he was horrified, and the superintendent may have been questioning his choice in hiring me.
“I think I’ll just do The Catcher in the Rye,” he said and put his headphones back on and began typing.
I happened by later as he was typing away and swear I heard a few notes of Billy Joel from his computer.