Where there walks a logger

Logging is the second most deadliest job in the US behind Alaskan crab fishing. I don’t think anything describes the loggers I know better than this song: Where there walks a logger there walks a man.

Published in: on December 12, 2008 at 10:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

HSBC lumberjack/logging Ad

When I first started watching this commercial I was prepared to be very upset. The passionate environmentalists vs. the evil loggers is what I expected to see. From some of the other blog posts I’ve read about this Ad, that is what some people saw. If you watch the commercial to the end there is the message “we recognize how people value things differently.” To me this is an important concept that might have monumental results if we implemented it in our daily lives. That said, I don’t see how this commercial has much to do with a bank and it does not make me want to bank with them. In fact if I have to pick the enemy in this ad its not the logger or the environmentalists, its the bank. But that is a topic for another day.

I am going to write my thoughts on some of the comments I’ve read regarding this ad, a little about myself, and a little about our business. I would consider myself environmentally conscious. We organically grow and can our own vegetables, live in a moderately sized home on a sizable piece of land that we choose to leave natural to provide natural habitat for animals birds and insects, raise Monarch butterflies every year to help aid the declining population, recycle, have sworn off household chemicals, use soap products free of phosphates, use low energy cfl bulbs and keep household items unplugged when not in use. We also operate a logging company. Not all loggers and logging companies are sent from the devil.I cannot speak for everyone, only myself, but I know its not fair to generalize. When my husband goes to work in the morning he does not bellow “mwahh hahaha ha” as he lays his chainsaw into the side of a tree. our company is a hardwood logging operation (which is quite a bit different than most seen on TV) this means that the timber harvested will eventually become furniture, flooring or kitchen/bathroom cabinets. We do select cut logging. No trees under a certain size will be taken. In our region people are usually mistaken when then see a piece of land cleared for a housing development and assume it was by loggers. Those are land clearing companies who get paid to take down everything and the trees usually go to waste. A logging company does not get paid to take down the trees, they purchase them from the landowner. We are a US based logging company and do not brake the law.

I remember an instance where a friend of ours who does residential tree work( takes down dead dangerous trees and branches in peoples yards and over houses) was hired by a university to remove a dead tree from there courtyard. We can all imagine, had this tree fallen and injured someone how fast this college would have been sued. As he was taking the tree down a few students gathered around him and began harassing him. Making comments such as ” don’t you feel bad for killing this tree” all the while ignoring the fact that the tree had been dead for quite some time. I do want to make it clear that I view certain environmental organizations as being very important and do contribute to them annually. It is the practice of being radical and fanatical that I don’t agree with because I believe that it damages the credibility of everyone.

Are all the US logging  companies that are targeted by activists invovled in illegal logging? For anyone who believes logging should be stopped, look around you. What is your home made of, your floor your cabinets, your furniture? Do you use paper, toilet paper, or pencils? Can there be a balance? If not, what is the alternative?    One final thought….did anyone notice the woman with the baby? People don’t really take infants into hostile protest situations do they?

Published in: on December 10, 2008 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Funny logging story?

My husband came home the other day with this “really funny” story that happened at work. They had some trees hooked up to the skidder. When MH cut the last tree it sent the logs flying down the mountainside. He and his partner, in tandum, jumped off a 6ft embankment to avoid being swept away by the logs. Not really to funny and I hate it when he tells me that stuff.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 5:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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My love affair with vinegar

We’ve been making an effort to be more environmentally friendly around our place these day. In doing so, I’ve turned to vinegar. As I’ve mentioned before, a glare on my windows that can be seen from the street is very important in my neighborhood. So I purchased an empty spray bottle from Family Dollar and mix a vinegar solution in it. There are several different recipes for the solution. I use one of the following:

1 white vinegar to 3 parts water or

equal parts vinegar & water

There are some formulas that call for ammonia or alcohol but I choose not to use those ingredients because I have small children and in the event that they might accidently get a hold of the bottle I didn’t want to use anything that toxic. It is recommended that windows be washed the first time with a mild soapy water solution to remove the residue left behind from commercial cleaners to avoid streaks. I love using the vinegar now because I know its safe and its super cheap. I can get a bottle for about a $1.50 and it will last for several months. I also use it for cleaning other surfaces like my babies high chair.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!

faline28

I am absolutely obsessed with all things horses! I love all horses but I am particularly fond of the American Quarter Horse. That’s my beauty in the picture. She’s out of cutting horse stallion Cooke County Etc in Texas. My original plan for her was to show her in reining but after 60 days with a trainer I couldn’t afford it anymore. Then, a week after my youngest was born my husband lost his job. We made the hard decision to put her up for sale. After advertising her for more than a year, I’ve gotten no serious interest. I was astonished at how low the prices had dipped on horses. Although financially I really need her to sell I’m not advertising her any more because I feel like I’m just throwing my money away on these ads.

PS. I actually like the smell of manure. It reminds me of my neighbors spreading manure on their pastures when I was a kid and gives me a nostalgic feeling.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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Maybe I need to start milking my goat

bubbles

When I was a kid my parents raised some dairy cows so we always had fresh milk around the house. Fresh milk needs to be shaken before you drink it to mix the cream that has risen to the top. For some reason my sister and I were not big fans of this so my mother wold usually skim off the cream. When ever we were bad, my mom would fill a Ball canning jar with cream and had it to us. Our punishment was to shake the jar until the cream in the jar turned to butter. It was very effective…I’m thinking maybe I should start milking my goat.

Published in: on November 25, 2008 at 2:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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When can you call yourself an artist?

I love to draw and always have. Art was always my best and most favorite subject in school. After high school though, I gave up on it for a while until one evening my husband and I had a fight. I was trying to give him the silent treatment and found the silence to be a little to awkward. So as a diversion I got out my drawing pad to finish a drawing I had started 6 years prior. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed to draw and started drawing quite a bit after that. After a few blue ribbons at the county fair (not an artist make I know) I felt that maybe I would try to take my drawings to the next level. There were so many questions though, even things as simple as what is the best paper to use. At one of the local horse events I saw some incredible artwork featured by a woman named Kelli Swan. Her artwork is amazing and inspiring to say the least. I would encourage anyone who loves graphite art (especially equine art) to check out her work. I decided to contact her and another female artist that I respected and see if they could offer my any tips with my art. Well, the one woman I never heard back from but Kelli Swan did email me back. I was so thrilled that she was so generous to offer some of her expertise to me and the tips she gave me really helped.

In the coming months I will be posting more about my artwork, including some of my work. And hopefully be documenting my journey to becoming and artist. Which brings me to my question: when can you call yourself an artist? What entitles someone to this label, creating art, selling it, winning an award, art shows? This is something that I’ve always wondered. If anyone has an opinion on this I’d love to here it.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 7:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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Western decorating on a budget

Not only do I have a passion for horses and Texas but I also like to combine those to things in my decorating. Like everyone these days finding the best prices on things is essential. I get lots of western lifestyle catalogs in the mail that have very few items that I or even anyone I know can afford. But I never throw them away because they are a great source of inspiration. You can use the rooms in the photos for ideas on how to set up the rooms in your own home even down to the paint colors they have on the walls. One of my favorite catalogs is the King Ranch catalog. I can’t afford a single thing in it but what I do is pick out an item that really strikes me then comb the internet for something similar. A good example of this is this rope basket

ropebasket

These baskets are made for old lariats and have great western appeal but in the catalogs and at the All American Quarter Horse Congress trade show, they were selling from between $70 to $100 dollars. So I turned to eBay. I think eBay is one of the best resources out there. Not everything on eBay is inexpensive but if you do a little research your bound to find a deal. I paid about $20 dollars for this basket on eBay. A lot of small business owners, people who need extra cash, and some really talented artistic people sell on ebay and thats one of the reasons why I am such a big fan of eBay. Not only did I get a great deal but I new that I was supporting a woman who lived on a ranch and was hand crafting these baskets in hopes of creating a business of it.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Did My Hen Just Crow

chickens

So this spring my in-laws picked up some chickens at the local feed store and were nice enough to give us a couple. I’ve been trying to transition to a more organic lifestyle and to become less reliant on stores for everything so this was perfect. My mother-in-law had taken great care to accustom these chicks to people, so we immediately bonded with them because they were so friendly. Out of all the animals we have around here the chickens have quickly become my sons favorite. So we anxiously watched the hens grow waiting for the day we would see our first precious egg arrive. Then, one day, as we were cleaning the barn my beloved Barred Rock let out a funny noise. My husband and I looked at each other and I asked “did that hen just crow?” I went running for the internet in search of info that helps you determine if your hen is turning into a rooster. This must be a common question because I found tons of great resources. Well, this was the outcome of my research:

rooster2

Yes, she is now a rooster! Siren became his new name. He crowed from about 3:30am till 12:00am. We no longer have him because he saw my 1 year old as a perfect target to assert his dominance so he now reigns terror at my husbands’ partner’s house.

Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What’s so bad about The Pioneer Woman?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a life long dream of giving up Amish country and heading out west. So a  good friend of mine told me about this blog that she had been following that talked about life on a ranch. I’m sure most of you have heard of The Pioneer Woman blog, if not I highly recommend that you check it out. I will admit that I like this blog. Not because I’m under the false impression that she actually is a pioneer woman that makes her families clothing or churns butter, but because I think she is entertaining and I appreciate the stories and photos of a way of life that I dream about.

When I was searching for this blog I came across some other blogs and message boards that attacked the pioneer woman with much venom, and this bothered me. The reasons that were sited for why we shouldn’t like her were nothing short of irrelevant. The first thing I came across was the “fact” that this ranch was a 20 million dollar ranch. I’m sure this was taken from an article that was published stating that the family had sold a portion of the ranch for that amount. In a day and age where everything we buy is junk, sometimes toxic, and mostly from Asia why on earth would someone harbor hard feelings towards a US based company being profitable. Ranching is a dyeing profession, its becoming increasingly difficult for the agricultural industries to survive due to many factors including fuel, grain, and land taxes. I don’t know about anyone else, but the idea of eating beef produced in China scares me. I know that in my state .19 of every dollar spent on farm goods actually goes to the farm. I personally feel that that hard working rancher in the American west earned every penny of that 19 cents.

Ree’s Calender….apparently we should all despise this woman because she made a calendar and actually made a profit. When I walk into the mall there is a stand that sells nothing but calenders. Ironically enough I’m hard pressed to find an article or blog criticizing the people who made those calenders. This woman is clearly an aspiring photographer and is following her dreams, should we dislike her for it? The fact is that nobody made those people buy calenders, they wanted them and knew they cost money.  I guess if the American dream is not dead already some people out there wish it was.

Finally, I have seen some people speculating whether or not her posts are fact or fiction. My answer to that…what difference does it make?! Where is the rule written that everything we read must be true? If that’s the case there is a whole industry of fiction authors out there in trouble. The Pioneer Woman is an author whom we visit her site for entertainment. Fact or Fiction, everyone has the right not to go to her site if it is bothersome.

Food for thought: There is one blog site in particular that regularly criticizes The Pioneer Woman. I wonder if anyone realizes that this person is relying on the success of PW’s blog to make there’s successful also.

Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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