Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Morning, Everyone. We are back in the oven for a few days. We had to close up and put the air on yesterday and will do so again today. I have a few items to take in from the gardens, tomatoes, peppers and herbs. And, yes, a few more of the cayenne peppers. But we have found a place in the kitchen where we think they might be hung to dry. We can string a line between the walls, about 6 feet, and position the peppers on that in the middle where they won't interfere with the cabinet doors. We don't often get into those cabinets anyway. Mom is still recovering from the pepper prep on Monday. If drying the peppers inside doesn't do well for us, we have a plan B--choose dry days and move the operation outside. We have a portable tv table and an outlet by the patio door. Sounds like a solution.

One of our neighbors likes eggplant so I gave her a bunch of the Fairy Tales fruit. We have just about enough. I don't think I will grow the Fairy Tales variety next year. We like them well enough but like the Ichiban better. And I will limit the number to two plants. I will also limit other plants as well. They all need much more room than I gave them. I usually start twice as many seeds as I need in case they don't germinate. But I have a hard time culling them. If they sprout I want to let them grow. Instead, I will plant exactly what I can put in the gardens and, if some fail, I will replace them with plants from the local nursery, even if I have to use a variety I wouldn't have used otherwise.

Well, the drum beat is growing to 'do something' about Social Security, as this article in the New York Times shows. But I have a major problem with how the whole matter is presented. When ever anyone talks about the deficit and where the government is spending its money you see the list of the 'usual suspects' and at the top is military spending (and only the acknowledged spending, not military spending assigned to other departments) followed by Social Security. Why should I have a problem with that? It makes it appear as though Social Security contributes a whole $738B to the deficit. It ignores the fact that Social Security has its own dedicated income stream. If those listings were accurate the total Social Security would add to the deficit this year would be about $1.5B, largely because of the recession related drop in revenue. I don't think we should be talking about benefit cuts or means tests (which is exactly what reduced benefits for higher income earners means) or raising the retirement age. I think they should raise the income cap which, I believe, hasn't changed since the 1980s. What has been the inflation rate over the last 25 or so years? Raise the cap to reflect inflation.

Robert J. Elisberg puts very succinctly exactly why I will not vote for any Republican candidate for statewide or national office this year. I noticed earlier this year when the candidates for the primaries came streaming out of the woodwork that every Republican had the same agenda--repeal health care reform, repeal or block financial regulation, privatize Social Security, cut taxes (without saying for whom) and cut spending (without saying which programs would get the axe). The only Republican I will vote for is our town's mayor who has accomplished some very necessary things, including road repairs that languished for years before he got into office. I don't necessary like the Democrats running but I didn't like the Bush years at all and the Republicans promise a return to those policies. I still think we need a good organized third party that reflects those of use in the middle. The Tea Party ain't it. Nor are the Greens, the Libertarians, or any of the others out there.

We just got a bit of a chuckle from reading the latest e-mail from one of our local farm markets. They have a special on jumbo eggs which they assure customers is from a farm in a local town 'Not from Iowa.' Those are the eggs we buy and some time ago we looked up the farm on the internet just to see where it was and how they treat the hens laying the eggs and how they process the eggs after--cage free (though not free range) with an onsite USDA inspector. That is worth the few cents per dozen more than the Lucerne or Dutch Farms eggs we once bought.

Grist has this story concerning the owner of the Wright County Farms egg production operation that, quite frankly, is stomach turning. If the time line is correct this bastard has been engaged in illegal and unethical practices that are a danger to the public on many levels for more than 40 years and no one has shut him down.


Looking to the Stars said...

Good post! I think you have the right idea about your garden for next year. Your garden sounds yummy, you have the greatest green thumb :)

take care

Mesothelioma said...

Great blog. I enjoy reading it.