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Showing posts from August, 2013

Vacation for Two

Vacation, a time of rest- meaning a time to do the rest of the things you never get around to in a normal work week.  A certain amount of the vacation I'm allotted must be used before the end of the year, or it melts away.  Since I'm often busy with the next big project, anticipating a meeting, or adapting to changes, the scheduling of those days gets pushed toward the end of the year when the pressure is on to use it or lose it.  Generally, my first significant vacation of the year ends up being in late August.  It works out because that's generally when there's more going on in my personal life that I'd like the time to enjoy- the GenCon gaming convention, our (my husband and I) wedding anniversary, my husband's family reunion (followed in September by my family's annual camping trip.)  I started a week off on Wednesday, spending the day on the deck in the sun, but not as you may think.  Vacation, as I've said, is usually a time when I can get th…

Wild Tomatoes

I knew when I planted them that these would probably be the last tomatoes I would be able to grow in the back yard garden.  Our trees have been getting steadily bigger, their flourishing foliage increasing the shade there year after year.  From one crop to the next, I've moved their position in the plot to maximize their time in the sun.  Vegetables in general tend not to be shade plants, but some require more sunshine than others to do well.  Tomatoes and peppers, two of the most requested vegetables each time I ask my family what I should plant, are particularly sun-hungry.  So, when spring buds unfurled into summer leaves, and the canopy began to block out the sun, I wondered if we would get any fruit at all from these plants.  They started out looking weak and spindly, so I've worried over them all along.  While I'm generous with the compost, I don't use chemical fertilizers in our garden to give things an artificial boost.  Still, I've tried to give them …

A Lesson on Taxes

NOBODY likes to pay taxes.  Even the least materialistic left-leaning person would rather hang on to  the money they've earned and spend it as they choose.  If you recognize the need to make money in order to take care of the practical stuff in life, you tend to want to keep those gains without having to hand over any more than you have to.  The instinct to take care of number one is a pretty basic one.  So, why do we have taxes that everybody would rather not pay?  Is it because the evil government just wants to waste more of your money on programs and projects you don't use?  The question really becomes why do we have government, and what is it before we can even get to the matter of taxes.

     That basic selfish instinct I spoke of takes on an interesting form in social animals.  There is recognition that we're much more likely to survive in groups, which leads us to form families, communities and countries. It leads us to create laws and express ideals that impro…

When I Am A Yak

In the time between the last post and this one, I've been back and forth on what its subject should be.  One day, I'll think a particular topic is important to speak on, but before I can start putting words on the page, life comes along and distracts me.  Things happen that draw me away from my intention to write, or else my mind is drawn to another topic of equal importance.  New ideas or interests occur to me, and they too are shuffled to the bottom of a list that includes more pressing ways to eat up my day.  At the end of it, or rather at the point where I can see breathing room to actually put a post together, I'm faced with all sorts of possibilities.  There are half a dozen things I might expound on, some merely interesting and frivolous, some with weight and purpose, and some I know would have been perfect if only I remembered what they were.  Where to start?  and What to leave behind?

     Those two questions, I find, are more and more common as I grow older,…