My ducks aren’t the only ones out for a swim today (crazy white people edition)

Happy Sunday evening from the frozen wasteland known as Michigan!

My chickens have a touch of frostbite on their combs because they insisted on coming out today for a bit; they’re going stir crazy in their coop. Even the crazy ducks and geese came out to swim in the pond, in the little hole in the ice that is still open, even though it was 15° with a wind chill around zero.  But they aren’t the only ones out for a swim…

On Chronological Snobbery

From Chronological Snobbery (And The Sin Of Pride) at Upland Gardener:

“My parents grew up here in rural Middle TN during the Depression. To some extent, the lyrics from Alabama’s song, “Song of the South,” applied: “Somebody told us Wall Street fell, but we were so poor, we couldn’t tell!” Since 1865, much of the South has known poverty, so that hadn’t changed much, but at least folks mostly still owned their own farms, had gardens, and livestock, and as a result, had enough to eat.

Now, I look at my family’s little hometown, and like much of rural America, it went from a bustling center of commerce, where the local farm economy supported the shops in town, and the shops and services in town, in turn, supported the local farm family. Sadly, especially since the takeover by government/Big Agra post-WWII of much of the farm economy, the little town now struggles.
Most folks choose to forget the past, and, as a variation on what C.S. Lewis termed “chronological snobbery,” every generation deep down considers itself a little more enlightened, a little smarter and progressive than the preceding ones.

However, just like the young man who, thinking of his ol’ man as a pretty dim bulb when he’s 18 or 19, grows to understand his dad gets a lot smarter as time goes on and life and Reality “happens” to him; this pattern does fortunately serve as a correcting influence. Sadly, though, starting with us Baby Boomers, successive generations seem increasingly self-satisfied in their arrogant folly, not understanding that the artificial prosperity we have enjoyed for a long time now, is not the norm, but is in fact a mere blip in history.

If we’re going to have Depression 2.0, there’s a part of me that would like to go ahead, hold my nose, and get it over with. Break this damnable crony-capitalist system along with the arrogance of the pampered elites. I then realize that when that occurs, it won’t be just the arrogant who suffer; it’ll be good people as well!

I pray we in the church especially will awaken to Reality, and not stay caught up in this corrupt system. We need to be there to be reflections of God’s mercy and wisdom in those times, and not mere victims, addicted to the goodies from the corrupt, collapsing system.”


On Depression 2.0 and crony capitalism: even if you are (unlike me) a believer in democracy (I am a monarchist),  you surely must be able to see at this point that both the Democrats and the Republicans serve the interests of the same people. There’s no difference.

I am pro-life and generally pretty socially conservative. You might think I would be a big supporter of Republicans, but I am not. Republicans serve the interest of crony capitalists as opposed to the well-being of communities;  just look at their support for free trade. Look at their support for switching over from pensions to 401(k)s. These kinds of things  impoverish the vast majority of people and enrich a very small elite. And despite what Bernie Sanders supporters may think, the Democrats support the same things. Recall that it was Bill Clinton who brought us NAFTA, allowing us to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Who benefited from that? Wealthy elites at the expense of the working class.

It is the same with environmentalism. Republicans support the Ann Coulter-esque form of rape and pillage of the earth to benefit Big Business, whereas Democrats are controlled by a bunch of uber left-wing idiots who usually want to enact policies that do more harm than good (mercury vapor light bulbs, anyone?).

On chronological snobbery: I’ve been guilty of it, and probably you have too.  In reality, with industrialization and urbanization to fuel our wealth, we’ve given away something very precious in exchange for material well-being. We have given away community and family, and it has gotten worse with every generation. I think millennials have pretty much reached peak chronological snobbery with their all-consuming focus on persona and lifestyle striving.

Repenting of (turning away from) materialism, pride and liberalism (of both the left and right variety) is the solution.


Building a duck house for a Michigan winter

We hadn’t planned to build a duck house this year since we had a serviceable shed that they were doing OK in. However, later in the fall a freak wind storm blew in and demolished the shed. Miraculously, the ducks and geese had come out into their yard in the storm and so were not killed when the shed collapsed.

Not everyone was so lucky; while waiting in line at Lowe’s to purchase the lumber to build the new duck house, the person in line behind my husband asked him, “What are you building?”

“A duck house,” he said.

“Me too!” the person said. Sadly, some of their ducks had been killed when their house had collapsed in the storm.

I thought I would share a bit about how Phil built this house for those folks who google “how to build a duck house” and end up here.

First, he cemented in 6 fence posts to make the support structure. The house is 10 feet long and 4 feet wide:


The front of the house is about a foot taller than the back of the house so that the roof slopes back, allowing snow to slide off.


While their new house was being built, the weather turned rather cold and windy, so I built a temporary rough shelter out of straw bales so at least they had a place to get out of the wind and lay their eggs:




For a while it was still warm enough to fill up their little pools in the duck yard but it has since turned too cold for that. We still have the bubblers on in the pond which keeps a small hole about 10 feet across open in the ice so they can come out and get a daily bath if they want to.


The house is about 18 to 20 inches off the ground, so they like to go underneath it and even sleep under there. I put some straw bales around it to provide some windbreak for them:


A long ramp with a gentle incline was built up to the house, and the pop door opens down onto it.


In order to give them some traction on the wood, my husband laid some of the leftover roofing shingles on it, and then he had the brilliant idea of gluing down wooden paint stirrers to provide even better footing for them.:


As you can see, their wet, messy droppings freeze on it and make it slippery, so we keep a paint scraper wedged into a bit of trim that we can use to scrape the frozen droppings off when they build up too thickly:


In order to give it a truly redneck flavor, Phil hung some colored Christmas lights on it.

He built access doors on both sides for cleaning out  soiled straw bedding and for gathering eggs.


The top of the door fits into a little groove and on each side there is a slide bolt to hold it in place. Two metal handles make it easy to lift it out and in.


Inside one of the access doors, we put a heated water bucket inside a low plastic bin in order to contain any water the ducks splash out of the bucket; this keeps their bedding relatively dry. Ducks are notoriously messy with their water!  The floor and about 6 inches up the wall are covered in cheap vinyl flooring to keep the wood from getting too wet inside and to make clean out easier.



The view from the duck house, looking toward the red rabbit hutch and our house.



A second heated water bucket out in the duck yard in front of the rabbit hutch.

 One of the most important things for a duck house is adequate ventilation. Ducks are very messy creatures who like to play in their drinking water and make lots of wet poo.  To provide the most ventilation, we left the rafters open so that fresh dry air would flow in and wet humid air would flow out, all up above where the ducks are nesting so they are out of the draft. Because their house is enclosed in a fenced run, we didn’t have to put anything over the opening to the rafters, but if your duck house is not fenced in, you will want to affix some hardware cloth to keep predators out.


Open rafters provide good ventilation


The finished duck house, just in time for winter!

The objective is to build a house that keeps wind, rain,  and snow off the ducks and geese.  It’s not important for the house to be “warm” and I strongly advise against using supplemental heat. Ducks and geese are VERY cold-hardy birds – they’re wearing down jackets, after all! My ducks are out and swimming in the coldest weather; the pictures below were taken on a day when the high temperature wasn’t even 20°F.


If anyone reading has any specific questions about how the house was constructed, feel free to ask in the comments and we will do our best to answer.  I hope this was helpful!

Hilarious Christmas feminist bitch-slap contains a serious and stinging rebuke for ugly, miserly feminists.

Some guy called Uncle Hotep, about whom I know nothing at all, tweeted this on Christmas Day:

Uncle Hotep managed to enrage a large (or possibly Extra Large) posse of feminists of every color, creed, and persuasion, but oddly many of them also felt the need to inform him of what great cooks they really are when they aren’t all tied up with the pressures of doin’ their feminism:

Readers are free to speculate as to why feminists felt the need to defend their kitchen skills.  For his part, Uncle  Hotep was having none of it and delivered the most epic of twitter harpy bitch-slaps:


It’s important to note that were just as many women who were like, “Right on, Uncle Hotep!” Are these women all oppressed stay-at-home trad-moms? Probably not. Like most women (including me), they likely have jobs.

What Uncle Hotep has managed to do is expose the true and very ugly face of feminism. Feminism is not about women having access to education and jobs; women had those things prior to modern feminism as a result of increased mechanization of household chores.  What feminism is about is rooted in insatiable envy which manifests itself as ugly miserliness (highlighting mine):

“The real reason feminists are ugly has nothing to do with their physical appearance. Feminists are ugly because they are miserly with love.

[…] I can’t think of any men of my generation or younger who don’t enjoy cooking. This is in stark contrast to the women of the same generations, who (typically) view cooking as an indignity. The reason for the difference in attitude boils down to what cooking is all about. Cooking is an act of love, an act of service to others. It is an opportunity to care for others in a very fundamental way, to literally nourish them through the work of your own hands. This is precisely what troubles the modern woman so much about cooking (or cleaning, or changing diapers). Serving others in the mind of a feminist is an indignity, so cooking, cleaning, or any other act of service and love is the object of revulsion. Women now actually compete to show off their miserliness in caring for others, each trying to outdo the rest in proving they are the greatest scrooge with love. It has gone so far that large numbers of women are quite proud of the fact that they have never learned to cook or otherwise care for others. Their miserliness is a badge of honor. Not all women have adopted this extremely ugly worldview, but the ones who are going against the grain of the culture here understand better than anyone how uncommon their loving and caring attitudes really are today.”

Feminists find the loving service aspect of cooking to be enragingly degrading.  Don’t believe it? Check out a few more tweets to Uncle Hotep:

There are more (many more) tweets of the same flavor. Uncle Hotep has done an outstanding job with one innocuous tweet of exposing the ugly miserliness of feminism.  Normal women with jobs and families definitely don’t want to be associated with such an ugly, hateful ideology that provides them with no benefit.



The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

I read once that the tendency to vote is genetic. I’ll blame it on that.  This morning, my husband texted me…


I loved his comment about the shit hitting the fan tomorrow. Somehow I think either way we will all be standing in front of that fan, though.

Phil doesn’t love Trump, but neither does he dislike Trump as much as I do.   What he does love is the Second Amendment, and despite all the other ridiculous things that Trump has claimed he would do if elected (like building an imaginary wall along the Mexican border or being reliably pro life) the only one that I think he actually would do is protect the Second Amendment.  Hence…


Hillary is projected to win easily, so I know my vote was pretty much meaningless. Outside of the Second Amendment, I really can’t stand Trump…and even if he were somehow to win, you must understand that in my political fantasies, the British Navy sails across the seas and reconquers America. Then they get rid of their own horrible democracy, and weird Prince Charles and ugly Camilla are exiled to Scotland where they spend their days drinking that disgusting Laphroaig scotch whiskey, and then lovely Queen Catherine and good King William rule over us with wisdom and gentility and Ye Goode Olden Dayes return.    Or maybe I just read the Chronicles of Narnia one too many times as a child.

Barring that outcome, though, I would at least like to still be able to have access to firearms and ammunition for hunting, recreational target shooting, and personal self defense.  But since we will all most likely be saying “President Clinton” tomorrow morning, I probably won’t even get that, and I’ll just be left with my monarchist fantasies…

Our duck and goose house and yard setup.

We’re getting lots of nice starter-sized duck eggs now, despite the shortening days:image

We also got our first goose egg:


Ducks and geese don’t need nesting boxes like chickens do. They’ll just dig a little depression in the straw in the corner of their house.  I suspect some of them are also laying their eggs in the reeds around the pond, though I haven’t yet found any.

I thought it might interest some readers to see our current duck and goose yard setup.

In the middle of the yard is a hugelkultur herb and vegetable bed around which I’m slowly building a lashed fence made from tree branches I harvest from our woodlands:


Spent straw bedding is used for mulch in the garden bed.

We had grand duck house dreams but ran out of time and had to settle for repurposing a Rubbermaid storage shed for now:


We removed the plastic windows and replaced them with hardware cloth. A bungee-corded fan helps with ventilation.


The rabbit hutch is also in the duck yard:


The duck yard is not covered, but does have an 8-foot fence around it. The bottom four feet are hardware cloth to prevent raccoons from reaching through and grabbing sleeping ducks.


There is a semi-dwarf peach tree that provides shade and fallen fruit for the ducks and geese. In turn, their droppings fertilize the tree.


We took a second piece of hardware cloth and attached it to the bottom  of the fence and made a skirt on the ground that extends out several feet. We then let the grass grow up through that hardware cloth skirt. This discourages digging predators from getting into the duckyard..


We also strung two strands of hot wire, one at four feet and one at the top to discourage climbing predators:


We have a large earthen pond…image

…directly behind the duck yard:


Uncle Waldo, our Pilgrim gander

The duck eggs we are currently getting are about the size of a large chicken egg:


Three brown chicken eggs and one white duck egg

I was uncertain about how cooking duck eggs might be different, so I followed Carol Deppe’s directions:

I use a heavy pan, which is covered and off the heat for the last part of the cooking. I scramble the eggs, adding a little salt, cayenne pepper, and oregano. (You can add milk if you want. I don’t.) I start the cooking on medium-high and stir the eggs with a spatula a few times initially until they start chunking up. When I have mostly big chunks of egg dispersed in some remaining liquidy egg, I turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook 2–3 minutes—until the eggs are lightly brown on the bottom. Then I use a spatula to turn the eggs over in spatula-sized sections, then cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and leave it for 3–5 minutes to finish cooking the other side of the eggs. I end up with sort of hamburger-patty-like slabs of eggs. These make great leftovers, hot or cold, and make good sandwiches or finger food.

I started with two duck eggs:image

Added the seasonings:


The whites are thicker and stickier than chicken eggs

And used my trusty cast iron skillet that we’ve had for 25 years:


Served on a slice of fresh sourdough bread with a few remaining cherry tomatoes from the pot on the balcony:


The duck eggs tasted richer and did not have that “chickeny” flavor. Yummy!


I’d rather deal with goose shit than read one more thing about Hillary’s dumps and Donald’s pussies.

Fall is really here, and last night’s dew…image

…is predicted to be frost tonight.

I live in a town that is relatively well-educated and politically active. I think in general it probably is a pretty center of the political spectrum place, with some liberal and some conservative folks. But what struck me driving home from work today was that, although there are plenty of yard signs in support of various school board candidates, county commissioner candidates, and even a few state politicians, there are virtually no yard signs for either presidential candidate.  This is because normal people, whether they be conservative or liberal, are simply apalled by the choices.   Never has the evil of our political system, or the complicity of our media, been laid so bare before our eyes.

In a word, everyone is grossed out.

We must withdraw our support from this evil system and these evil people. Whatever our political beliefs, we need to come together as communities and reclaim our humanity.  We are not just production units that “vote”.

People, not politics, are what matters.

Which is my fancy way of saying fuck this shit.

I mean really. Hillary Clinton? Donald Trump?

Again I say: fuck this shit!

And if you know me, you know I don’t use language like that lightly or often.

People, we are being had. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, whatever. We are being had.  We are being used as economic pawns. These people will never care about us or be loyal to us. So why be loyal to them?

Vote for school board if you want. Vote for county commissioner if you’d like.  Those are your people, the people who share the same soil as you. That is loyalty.

As for me,  I will just be here counting my chicken and duck eggs.


And making mock apple pies out of zucchinis.


And enjoying watching the ladies hunt for bugs in the autumn sunshine.


And going to homecoming parades…


And learning how to prepare duck.


Eating animals I raised myself is a new experience for me.

But I promise you that gutting poultry is a darn sight less revolting than reading the headlines on CNN-Fox-NPR-etc.