Tuesday, November 02, 2004


The cow is showing some promising swelling in appropriate parts for being bred. And she started dropping some in her milk production -- not that much but some steady dropping. I started looking around at the goats to try to determine when they will kid and when I can milk them. I didn't think the cow should dry off until about 6 weeks or so before her due date but then again, what do I know?

Husband came home having talked to a guy whose family used to have a dairy herd and said, "Well, what they'd do in big dairies is pour the grain to her to keep her production up." This is exactly opposite my inclination. My instinct is that she needs less grain if she is producing less. Truth be told, she didn't "need" any grain during the summer -- it was just there to keep her still while I milked. But just think Ms. Goddess, it isn't summer anymore and she's gestating and duh, more feed makes sense! So I try it, just a scoop more each milking, and sure enough, her production goes right back up.

So it makes me wonder, did this show me some fundamental ungenerosity in or of my soul?

If I see a need, I am quite generous. What it is is that I sometimes, maybe even often, don't define "need" the same way other people do. I don't, for example, find any reason for anyone in the US to be hungry when so much food is so cheap. Bulk potatoes, bulk beans, bulk rice, all available from Wal-Mart even, are very very cheap and good and adequate food -- especially add some wild greens, some gathered apples, etc. I mean, people don't really NEED frozen pizzas. And then there is the "I'm waiting on the food stamps to get here to feed the kids but I've got to run to the market to get some cigarettes" (and that is a real quote).

Likewise I am not generous to people who take drugs instead of attending to their health -- which usually means weigh a reasonable amount and work a lot more. If someone's back hurts, the first thing that occurs to me is not, "Oh, I'm so sorry" but "Have you tried strengthening your stomach muscles with sit ups yet?" I don't find it laudible to not be able to do things. My role models for health are people who are healthy, not people who are sick.

I tend to be un-generous when people's choices have made a mess of their finances. If one is paying all his income out to barely meet monthly expenses check to check, shit can happen, shit does happen, and when it does *I* don't find it a big surprise or a tragedy or something that needs my sympathy. It is what it is. Learn and make different choices. As husband's town job ends in weeks, we find there was one single choice we made this year past that makes the biggest difference in how the year coming will look financially to us and that was the decision to NOT go into debt to buy land adjoining ours. Instead we can stay home for months with no income if we so choose -- although we will most certainly not make that choice either.

So sometimes with this bent I may miss a true need, like the cow and an extra scoop of feed. But I do listen to real friends who tell me how they see it, what their experiences are. Like the cow and an extra school of feed. I in fact depend on those friends.

Although I still think more harm is done defining "need" generously, creating weakness and calling it compassion. Obviously I'm still inclined to be plenty Contrary.

1 comment:

Karen Sue said...

i am so with you on this...i believe there is always a way to make ends meet..i worked in a small town general store for awhile and yes, i passed judgement on the foodstamp families. some you knew were temporarily using it to get back on their feet, but some were 2nd & 3rd generations stampies and they would make several small purchases at a time and get the coinage back to combine for enough money to buy the cigs.