Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Simple Reason

I am known for a lot of words . . .in person, online. . .

I'm going to try to make this simple, to make it short. 

In America, you can buy raw chicken and eggs. You can buy raw seafood, cantaloupe and leafy greens. All of these foods cause mass illness all over the USA each year. They causes deaths, as well. But still. . .they are sold. Simply put, whole - real foods in their natural state have some marginal risk. Big deal. So does driving a car on an interstate over a back road.

When we sit down to order at restaurants across the county, we can order raw oysters, beef steak tartare (minched raw beef), sashimi (raw sushi/fish), uncooked produced (which results in a huge amount of food borne illness each year), Cesar dressing (made with raw eggs) and eggs over-easy (mostly, raw) collected or processed in massive factories or in bulk, and all we encounter are little warnings that say, to paraphrase: "Eating undercooked foods may pose risks," at the bottom. We also encounter some level of illness. The question about raw milk isn't is there any risk. Instead, the question is does raw milk present more risk than the other raw foods consumed in the USA, and that answer has always been no. Further, The next question is. . .if we are cooking raw milk before selling, then why aren't we cooking every single raw food out there? Should Americans be able to decide how their food is cooked? Is raw food, as you say, poison? Really? What a Joke.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2009 Food Code allows food service establishments to serve raw or undercooked foods at a customer’s request as long as the customer is informed about the risks associated with consuming undercooked food," (Living Strong online) and yet, because dairy is controlled by essentially 3 major corporate buyers in the USA and is a roughly 100 billion dollar industry where Kraft Foods (one of the 3 Major Buyers) enjoys buying milk from controlled Grade A dairy under Government regulation at $1 a gallon (keeping the producers in poverty or receiving tax payer subsides), those who operate small, local raw milk dairies are prevented from letting consumers, that would prefer access to the REAL product, purchase it; and the government denies small farmers the sale of the real product at $10 per gallon, as well, in a state they cannot afford to do such a thing.

The government has willfully perpetuated that raw milk isn't safe, though no data backs this up when it is compared to other raw foods, and tremendous independent data and long time use in American prior to the 70's show how very safe it is. The government has watched dairies without any instances of illness close over the last 40 years, like here in Wayne county, WV, because raw milk sales promote local sales at higher prices than bulk sales, and thus they impact very powerful corporations who have a lot of funding to lobby very hard against change.

Most states in the USA have access herdshares or raw milk sales, though. Almost all have some form of raw milk sales or herd share in operation. Actually, WV has an active raw milk market, too, but the purchases are usually from farmers from Pa, Ohio, Va and Ky, where sales or shares have long been legal. 10% of the population in the USA drink raw milk daily, many times a day. There have been no large outbreaks of food borne illness from actual raw milk according the CDC in 30 years, though many other raw foods have had deaths and mass illness related to them, like Cantaloupe. While many residents drink raw milk in WV daily from out of state farmers and we've had no notable outbreaks, we've given a huge amount of business to farmers outside of out state each year. Outrageous.

All of this is not able to be explained ethically or reasonably. And those who ramble on about the dangers of raw milk have already drank something anyone barely thinking knows is the real danger in our society. . . and that is from the Government's teat. That is what scares me. . .not milk from a cow.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Raw Milk Amendments: Sigh

smile emoticon

Right now, the Raw Milk bill has gone through the Senate and should go to the Senate floor soon.It passed Sen. Ag Committee, and it was waived past Sen Judiciary and Sen Health. Last year, it went to all 3 committees in the Senate.It will go back for the second time to the House Ag committee Tuesday. The lobbyists for the Health Dept made a mess of it last Monday there. They may go on and adopt the Senate language at that time. The bills have to end up the same, eventually. It will then go to House Health, same as last year.The House bill is a one page bill without regulation, much like all active Herdshare laws in the Nation. The Senate bill began as the same regulated bill that passed the Senate and House last year (which was nearly law in 2015), giving the Dept. of Ag rule making ability and providing extensive regulation, but it did exclude the Health Department from the rule making process, thankfully.The bill that was vetoed by the Governor last year was the most regulated herd share bill in the Nation at it was written then. Farmers could have managed to work with it, though. It was not a true Food Freedom type of bill, but it was workable. This year, Several County Health Departments have hired Lobbyists, which the Dept. of Ag confirmed, and those lobbyists are being paid for with your tax dollars.Do you get that? Lobbyists are being paid for with YOUR MONEY to get Your Legislators, who are paid with Your Money, to work against you. Please do not believe this is based on concern for your health. If you’re involved in this farm freedom work, you know that concern for your health isn’t at play here. You should be outraged. I give you enough credit that you (and I) can look out for our own health. I don’t think anyone involved in the West Virginia government is qualified, given the track record of health here, to make ANY decision FOR me on what is safe. I've seen enough people die from what they call safe. Thanks very much.I began this effort in 2009 when few people seemed aware. I've used the Lucas Farm page and its broad reach to spread the word year after year. Through 2012, there wasn’t much interest, but by late 2013, I was able to find 2 lead sponsors for the first ever Raw Milk bills in the state: A sales and a herdshares bill. I wrote the language for these bills, it was sent to drafting by the delegates, and Del. Sobonya and Del. Miller introduced the bills in 2014. I can’t tell you what a sigh of relief I felt finding this action after so long was, and this allowed many people to believe SALES OR SHARES could happen Here. WE started to see mass support and attention nationally.While the political climate IN 2014 didn’t allow the bill to move beyond House Ag. Committee that year, it was a bill they assure they would keep working on, and they did. From the start of 2015, the House and Senate introduced the bills. I was asked to speak before the Senate Judiciary in 2015, and along with Trebor of Faithview Farm, we argued hard to leave the Health Department out of rule making. They were finally removed. I was asked to argue for the bill before the House Health committee, and after it passed and went to the House floor. The bill was passed by a landslide 81 out of 100 votes in favor. I was there, it was amazing.The herdshare bill passed, though heavily regulated, through the Senate and House without the Health Department involved at all. The governor vetoed the bill because The National Milk Federation (and likely others), who spent almost 1,000,000 the previous year and ½ a million in 2015. . .wished him to. Not because of lack of regulation on the bill.Some want to perpetuate, inoccently or intentionally, the untruth that he vetoed because of public health concern even though he was thanked by the above lobby group the day of the veto. That lobby group works for commercial dairy interests . . .do you think they are worried about your health or their pockets? Dairy is 180 billion dollar industry, ya’ll. They don’t want small, local raw milk farmers involved. Period.I've been up there year after year. I have seen more than I could relay, and many things in confidence I can only allude to if I wish to maintain honesty.We were assured an override of a veto this year. The bill was up and moving with plenty of time, without amendments to include the Health Department, to be vetoed and then for House/Senate to override. There are plenty of other bills they will be overriding this year. We DID NOT have to accept a new bill for fear of a veto. This misunderstanding is so detrimental.Lobbyist lie, folks. That is what they are paid to do. They bully and lie and work against the people. They work for corporations or your own government, but not YOU. Though you are paying this bill. Sadly, those up there lobbying against this bill, at least one of them. . . I have worked against before. A more dishonest, liberty despising person you could not find. A snake of a human. They have convinced some senators, some farmers and even some alleged raw milk advocates on other WV raw milk pages not associated with this one that came to the fight much later than I did. . .that "they" know best. They want to work together. Yet I’ve been assured by them. . .they intend to never see herdshares up and working in this state more than once. Those who support the raw milk movement who work in many health departments have let me know what is actually happening, though they fear losing their jobs, and the same is true in the Dept of Ag (which is just as crooked).Now, the fact is. . .our farmer based movement has no money. We are a broke, grass roots movement with TOO few people working at the capitol, but I know we have a huge voice via email, social media and on the phones of the legislators. We have value, but without Money, it is possible the Health Dept lobbyists have spent enough, when paired with the other national lobby groups, that we are outnumbered in dollars beyond overcoming it. It could be they have made it so that this year, the bill will not exist without being regulated to the point it is valueless. There are states where raw milk sales are legal, but the regulations are impossible for a farmer to comply with. . . and so, the law is without any merit.Is that what We’ve fought for so long? It isn’t what I’ve worked on for 7 years. Not by a long shot.Now, the bill only passed last year in the senate by one vote. I’ve been told Senator Williams (D) has decided to not support the bill unless the Health Department is involved. How convienent. He supported without it last year. I’ve been told by supportive senators who do not want the HD involved that they fear if they take them out the HD, Williams with not support, but truly, I feel we are far better off to risk It and have a bill we know farmers can benefit from than to have some useless legislation people are too silly to realize is of little or no value after all this time and effort. . . which is unlikely to be changed once it is created. The Health Department will not ever let it go once they get hold, I suspect. It has been said by some in the senate they intend to make the language such that the Health Department will be bound to work within herdshare language already on the books in other state, but this trusts that the HD and the rule making would be by the book. Let me tell you, often things do not go as they should, and that is still putting a lot of faith in the Health Department than you cannot have any in that department. Further, I’ve spoken too many times when they were before or after me, and I’ve heard how dishonest they are, how they are willing to be as unethical as needed. . .to believe ANY bill with their involvement like this will work to the benefit of the farmer or be a foot in the right direction.I press upon you to not believe everything called a herdshare bill means you will be abel to actual operate a herdshare. I want the real thing for the farmers in this state. Not more asinine regulation.As it stands now, there is no fine for selling raw milk, by the way. At least we have that :)
Posted by Lucas Farm on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government..."

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government (. . .)"
Ansel Adams
He went on to say. . ."to save the environment", but that is not where it ends or even begins.
We have to fight to save anything and everything of value. Or to even find anything of value because what we've had before was an impersonation of honesty.
We've become a passive people. And the people who feel motivated, more often than not, with good intent seek to create change, but they become part of the Government, and in a short time, they are what people must fight against.
They face no opposition from the people of any great significance.
But folks complain, and they do not act.
I'm Preaching a broken record to a people who are too passive to care.
Heck, at this point, I'm on my way to being too disillusioned to bother.

There is a Lesson in Everything and Everyone We Encounter

There is a Lesson in Everything and Everyone We Encounter; if I've learned little else in these 3 decades and some odd years, it has proven true without fail.

I met Ethan Pauley​'s Family in the fall of 2009 during a 4-H meeting. Surely, Ethan was there, but I remember only the youngest boys that evening.

Through the years, my oldest son became great friends with the middle sons of Steph Pauley​ and Jim Pauley​. My then babies become little boys then just "Kids" with their youngest son, Eli.

Stephanie and I became famous and infamous goat, pig and cow wranglers all over the Tri-state facebook farm community pretty quickly, always able to be found at the best of restaurants any random place in Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio or Kentucky had to offer with livestock waiting out in the van.

We learned quickly to call Jim should we need anything constructed . . .be it a rescue horse shed or truck bed temporary livestock transporter. He was the go to guy.

But where was Ethan? Who was he?

I think I must have noticed him most in what ended up becoming roughly a by-yearly type family photos session I'd take or at Easter Church service in more recent years.

Ethan was always there. Or not there. Coming. Going. This was especially true as he got older, and they moved from Wayne county to Wheelersburg.

He played Soccer. He loved Soccer. Stephanie asked, "Come up and see Ethan Play" many times. I never went. My answer, "Oh, you know me. I can't sit through sports things, but maybe I'll try sometime."

I never did. That was a long time to never go.

I found time to go see the Luke at a horseshow now and again; I made it to Jake's and Eli's birthdays usually, too.

I remember Ethan went along about 2 years ago because he needed soccer cleats or something like this when Stephanie and I headed to the mall. He didn't say much, but I do recall he asked her to buy him a sizable novel, and he took it out to the van to read while he waited on us. When we finally made it out, he was about half way through, and I remarked how nice it was to see a 16 year old boy read with such voracity. I thought on that each time I'd see him. Odd what sticks with a person, isn't it? It often connects to what we personally like somehow or other.

And our memories about someone are made up of what "We" think about them. How common but telling that is.

Going into the fall last year, Stephanie said to me, "Oh, I want you to take Ethan's senior photos." My answer? "Shew, I am no good a teenage boys photo sessions. They just don't like taking them, so they make getting nice shots awfully hard. But I'll take them sometimes this fall."

And I went up to Ethan's school and soccer field. Over all these years, he was always coming and going, you know. I mentioned that before. How often his mother said to me, "Ethan seems to know everyone" or "I'm telling you, Tinia, everyone likes him so much." These things may sound like a typical proud mother words, whether "everyone" really meant 10 people or 1,000 was of little consequence then. But now, in fact, it really meant EVERYONE, reaching so far outside of his community. I'm so thankful for that. For him to have that. For them to have that. It is priceless.

Because when someone you love it gone, you are left with memories, and those are made up of what everyone thinks of them. There is such power in that. And comfort when everything stays broken for so long after such a loss.

I digress.

I'm a tough girl to impress. I guess that is where I'm going with this, but I easily overlook things if I'm not invested at that moment. Then something small can happens and I will remember it and be moved so deeply in unexpected things.

Spending 2 hours taking photos, you are invested. . .and in that time, Ethan never once did anything but be so polite and cheerful. Doing Exactly what I asked him to do. That may seem a small thing, but this meant getting out on a field where a team was practicing and him posing in all sorts of manners that would have felt awkward with a crowd around, it meant dodging footballs on the field and making subtle changes in expression over and over again with a camera in your face. It meant chasing a soccer ball down a hillside 20 times for me to get "the action shots" I wanted.

And you know. . .he did it, and when I look at the hundreds of shots I took in those 2 hours, as someone who has been capturing kids and young people for a long time, it was worth noting, there isn't one frame he was not trying his hardest to do what I was asking of him and to do it well.

He sent me a message on Facebook that night to say thank you for doing his senior pictures.

This past Christmas, when he asked for a certain novel, Stephanie asked me if I could get it quick through Amazon Prime, and again, I paused to think, "How odd and how nice it is for an 18 year old boy to be asking for a book to read for a gift."

Little things, but in many ways, it is sad to say that is the extent of the time I invested to know him better, and while I recognize
this is just normal life and shows the connection of ages of my sons and his younger brothers, it serves to remind me and anyone that we could give closer notice to those who we have growing up or just leading lives so very, very close, right by and inside of our own whom we may not be taking enough note of. I assure you, if you think on that, folks will come to mind where this applies to you as much as I realize it does to me.

We know, in this extended area, this beautiful boy managed to impress people not only in Wheelersburg, Ohio, but far out into Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, and of course beyond those borders with his extended family being all over the United States, in California, Michigan and elsewhere. The messages I've received through his YouCaring page about him have been some of the most heartfelt compliments you can imagine, all speaking to his sincerity to be his very best at whatever his hand found to do, always looking to cheer up a friend and truly polite to every parent he met. Making impressions of tremendous value.

And I would be so remiss to not pause and think, I believe I should have known him better. Indeed, I should have.

Like I said, there is something to be learned of value in every situation and in everyone we encounter. And I suspect I'll think of this lovely boy I feel I personally only know in pictures whenever I pause to wonder if I've tried hard enough to be more than just a stranger in someone's life that has been lived quite entwined with my own.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Clauses do not actually exist with compassion

Clauses do not actually exist with compassion
We never have the right to be blatantly cruel to any sentient being. . .
It should be able to go without mentioning that this includes going beyond those you "like," including children, the poor, the dejected, the elderly and animals, but in this world, any of those I just mentioned are willfully excluded under all sorts of convenience clauses.
But clauses do not actually exist with compassion, folks. That door is closed. It isn't even a door.
How very inconvenient this is.
"Kids annoy me, so. . ."
"I am not a dog person, so. . ."
"I own that creature, so. . ."
"They are poor because they want to be, so. . . "
"Old people don't move quick enough to suit me, so. . ."
While you may not want to build a life with kids, dogs, the homeless all packed in a nursing home, you had better believe that should you find it easy to exclude beings from kindness, the problem is within You.
I digress right off the start, though. Getting side tracked and so forth. . .
You can believe in accountability, live child-free, farming and not pick up every stray animal you see with ethics and compassion in tow.
And this is really more about the differentiation some folks make between those who care for all beings and those who claim to care greatly about selection beings, but never all (which really means none).
I hear it more often than I care to tell you.
From those who would classify themselves as lovers of "American
Freedom. . ." about how we have to guard our rights to do whatever we wish with our animals from those who would regulate or reduce those rights. . .
What on Earth does this even mean? I'm being quite serious.
You cannot lose a liberty that doesn't exist. You do not have the liberty to abuse. That isn't in the Constitution, as a side note.
You do not have the right, whether in America or not, whether there is an appropriate law or not. . .to perpetuate cruelty or to neglect beings able to feel that neglect.
Do not tell people in one breath all your concerns about preservation of human lives (that, facts are, you do not want to care for in even a small capacity once they are out the womb) and then in another breath tell us how we have to guard our ability to tie our dogs on ropes behind the trailer without shelter in 5 degree weather.
I'm saying this because I see posts just like this all of the time.
Oh! My eyes. My eyes.
You know, because assuring the right to neglect animals here. . .THAT is exercising American Freedom. . .or something?
Legitimate compassion has no limits, folks.
You do not have the right to do absolutely whatever you wish with those under your care: Be they children, your feeble parents or your dogs.
No state or person or law can give you that right, and laws governing the care you provide are really simple writings of what should be an understood moral code.
Moral. Code.
If the type of compassion you have excludes certain age groups, socioeconomic groups or ends at humans. . . you're just packing around an agenda. . .masquerading it as kindness. . .
That isn't what it is. Just so you know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Minerals in Livestock

We are all familiar with salt and "red" mineral blocks, but what if
 I told you those are inadequate?

Loose minerals are superior to blocks in multiple ways:
  • They are more balanced for individual breeds / types needs.
  • They can be more absorb-able 
  • They have high values and are more complete
  • They are easily for the animal to consume 
  • They are more weather resistant 
The blocks take more effort than most animals will put forth licking to get what they "NEED." So the blocks are inferior already, but the animals will also not work hard enough to get what they need out of them, at any rate.

I've not found a block with a analysis tag to compare to most loose minerals.
Most bags of minerals are 50lbs and cost $15-30 per bag (Compared to $6 for a 50lb block). The loose costs

 more, there is no doubt, but their content and the what the right mineral does for your herd of cattle or goats makes the cost of a quality loose mineral the BEST investment you can ever make year after year in your management program.

Compare the top Loose contents with the bottom Block contents

Always use a Loose mineral that works for the livestock you have. Dairy cattle and Dairy goats will require the most in their mineral. Sheep cannot have copper, yet goats cannot be without it. You will see some loose minerals listed for goats and sheep, but these are mislabeled and useless for goats.

We currently use and are happy with Ragland Minerals. They have a huge selection for all species.
12% Hy-Phos Mineral With 15 ppm Selenium

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Action Plan for 2016 and Raw Milk in WV

West Virginia Folks, please Do Not Grow Weary with this fight to gain Food Freedom. (with easy to clink links)

Food Freedom Advocates in West Virginia, Our Bills are up in the House

please contact the Senate and House and friends who may be interested or unsure about raw milk to:
The Raw Milk Symposium
in Charleston, West Virginia on
January 22, 2016 at 4:00pm located at
Panera Bread
3000 Charleston Town Ctr, Charleston, West Virginia 25320

Plan to attend, if you can. Share the press release here with all media outlets.

As of 1/13/16:

The House Real Milk Sales Bill #2448 is up now

The House Herdshares bill #2449 is up now

The Delegates and Senators we have spoken to have said all 2015 bills that which received a Veto by the Governor are this year's priority.  This includes the Herdshares bill.

Please review this link that shows how the House and the Senate voted last year:

Take time to email, through the links at the end of this post, as many Senators and House members as possible in the coming weeks and months.

Remind those that did not support the Bill(s) in '14 and '15, they are elected servants of the people, and as such, it is their duty to uphold Your Freedom and that will never include infringing on the right of the people to chose their foods or regulate the co-ownership of livestock.

IF NEEDED: Use these links for solid information on the safety and economics of raw milk, then Use this one for the Freedom aspects.

There are many more excellent links online, especially:

I know many of your have been fighting this with me a long time, and you know your material as good or better than I. Use your judgement. What one political body need to hear may not be what the next needs to hear.

January 26th is a Local Food Lobby day for the public. I will be there, and I encourage you to be there. Nothing says "We are informed and expect action" like a presence at the capitol. You do not have to speak directly, if you do not wish, to legislators, but you can go along with those who are and be a firm presence. Register here.

Remind those who have been against the bill, you are aware of the National Milk Producers Federation, Commercial Dairy Lobby special interest group which thanked our state governor last year when he vetoed a bill that passed by a landslide and spent almost 1/2 a Million dollars lobbying against efforts such a these (SB30).  You can pose the question of how much of that money ended up in the pockets of Politicians for this Lobby group to publicly thank our Governor, as well.

The 2015 Herdshare bill passed the house by a landslide, so Your Focus must be the Senate. Thank the members of the House, which are many, who have long supported this legislation. While sales seem unlikely, we do need to keep working on those, but if you work hard, WE WILL have sales in 2016.

Keep in mind to STAY in constant contact, emailing weekly if possible. Again, this is the link to the list here showing you HOW the senate and house voted, composing your emails accordingly.



Your personal thoughts are always best, and phone calls are really good ideas to follow up after your emails.

It doesn't need to be lengthy. It should be firm and professional. Keep it to the point, express how important this freedom is and using a single link to good information outside of the email is ideal.

2016 is the year if you do not grow weary and faint, folks. Stay the Course.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When you have had too many instances to talk of those you loved. . .once they are gone

Copies from the 2007 and 2009 Word Documents of the Eulogies I've given for my Brothers, Sister and Father at their funerals

The 2009 Eulogy for my father:

"I wish I could tell everyone here about my Dad's life, tell you all of the fascinating things I know have taken place, things he did for so many people, about his life as a child in this rural area, the tough times he lived through, but honestly, I came along pretty late in his life. I feel like many of you could tell about those stories, many I've never heard, but when a man lives 85 years, it is hard to hear all about his life from any single person.

I realize how little I knew when I was talking to his Nephew, Mark, the day before yesterday, and he told me Daddy was Commissioned by the Governor of Kentucky in 1973 as a Kentucky Colonel. This was something I did not know, and it reminded how little I do know, despite asking all the questions I have over my 27 years. So, I looked into that honor he was given, and I learned this Commission is only granted by the Governor of Kentucky, and only he knows the reason why, but usually the reasons are for being dedicated to the welfare of others and for overall strength of character. Well, those are things everyone who knew Daddy understood very well about him.

I cannot count the times people have told me that they would not have made it if he had not been there to help them. I feel very confident when I say there could be no person around that did nearly so much for the people of his area for year after year after year.

Imagine being told by people that they would have gone hungry as children had your dad not been there month after month, and this is a story I've heard from people since I was a child.

And there in the store: hundreds, Thousands of unpaid bills and bad checks stacked box on top of box. Daddy always said the amount of money owed, well, it was so much he really could not imagine trying to tally it all, and it was given to help people, money he was never repaid, but Money he kept on giving.

I know this area will never see someone else like him, no one else to impact an entire Generation, Never Again.

The Bible says to "Give honor to whom honor is due", and I feel inferior to the task. . . when he is due so much.

And I have spent most all of my life thinking that Daddy, being nearly 60 when I came along, would not be with me very long, so you would all think that I was prepared for this, but I cannot tell you how unprepared I really was, really am.

I believed as years went on, he would have to live forever. Certainly, he would live forever!

Then, I told myself that after we lost Ben, Angel and Quentin that if - and I stress IF - Daddy died, then I would feel it was for the best because of how hard it was on him to go on without his little kids, but selfishly, I will stand and tell you today, I cannot fathom him never calling me saying,

"This is your Papa, How are You."

I cannot imagine that. And that is how it will now be. . forever more.

Still, I know he was never the same after that happened, and I have reminded myself of that fact daily, and I will continue to do so for a long time yet.

He told me recently, talking about my Baby, "Jack," who is almost 8 months old, "Maybe I'll live long enough for him to remember me," and I think about how I must remember to teach the Baby about his papaw Tiny. . . and remind his older Brother to tell him about him, and I think about how I can never really Show him how his papaw was, and I think about what he will have missed.

Constantly on my Dad's mind was doing what was right in the sight of God. He really worried about those he knew and hoped they would walk in the right direction. He was as much a Man of Honor and Integrity as I will ever know.

He talked so often of what a strong man he had been, and I think of how he must be now, I imagine, he is that young man again, and he is with his babies, and I think that I really will be okay without him, but I also think of how I must remind myself of that every day from now to be able to accept him being gone.

I know this might just seem true to me because he was Mine, but I believe in Ernest that never was a Father more loved for just the person he was than I have loved mine.

I know that anyone who ever really knew him will never have him far from their thoughts, and I think not a day will pass that I do something Daddy would see as extravagant that I will not hear him say to me,

"My, My. . ." '

The 2007 Eulogy for my 3 siblings:

What I have to Say, I had to type it, else I’d get up . . . starting crying and then what would we have?
A mess.

So, I’ve sat the last few days and typed it . . up till this morning:

I will talk most about Angel, believe me when I say thatI could stand here until the end of time and talk on nothing but my brothers alone:


His was a FAITH I will likely  spend my life searching for. . . his was as perfect a faith as I’ve ever known.


As my Husband, John, wrote on your memory board. . .

“I’m sure heaven has more than pickles, mayonnaise and more Wal-Marts than we do here, so we know you’re loving it" . . .

But I will talk about Angel most because she was the greatest friend of my life, and as her friend Hannah also wrote on Angel’s myspace, she was “The Love of My Life”. . .

I found, after this happened, some of her notebook papers. In them she had written when I moved away in 2005, what hurt most about that was she had lost her best friend, she wrote no one made her feel like I did, and I hope that was a good thing. She talked about how much silly fun we had. . . the thing is, not a word of that is news to me because she told me these things often, and although I felt the same way, me. . being thoughtless and prideful. . .I suppose. . .never told her I felt the same way.

She was the greatest friend to me I’ve ever known. I hope someone can learn from my irreversible mistake here today. . .

Monday, January 11, 2016

Free Online Programs to Help teach reading to Homeschoolers


The Reading Bear

"Reading Bear is a fun way to learn to read. We teach over 1,200 vocabulary items. Our 50 presentations cover all the main phonics rules. All free and nonprofit!"


" is a program service of Starfall Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity. The website opened in September of 2002 as a free public service and social enterprise supported by the Polis-Schutz family. On July 1, 2015, the Polis-Schutz family donated their full interest in Starfall to the Starfall Education Foundation."

Teach Your Monster to Read

"The groundbreaking game that makes learning to read fun
Covers everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences.
Designed in collaboration with leading academics.
Complements all synthetic phonics programmes used in schools.
Computer version is 100% free."

Owl and Mouse

  "Help children learn to read with our free interactive games and software.  Learning to read is the single most important part of your child’s education.

     Learning to read starts with learning the letters of the alphabet"

$7 Per Month

Hooked on Phonics



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington