So, the US government charges 93 percent less for cattle grazing than private landowners. We are either getting ripped off, or the ranchers are getting a much needed good deal depending upon your point of view.. Regardless, the ranchers get a huge discount on leasing the federal land, all for the benefit of their own private business. We also subsidize them through handouts to help with drought relief, low-interest agricultural loans, emergency livestock feed programs, emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands….we even pay for many, if not most, of their fences, and the government pays to protect their livestock. These folks get to take out loans based on the “value” of their grazing permits, not off their own credit or property. My oh my, they sure know when they have been treated badly.  A good thing about this siege is that these sad “heros” have helped shine a light on how they are damaging our environment at our tax expense, ruining our lands sacred to others at tax expense, making their living at tax expense, and now they want to bite the hand that feeds them – at our tax expense. Our romanticized notions about cowboys have become a very expensive piece of fiction.

The Inquisitive Skink

Coffee Cake!

Food Works For Middle Way House is offering delicious coffee cakes!  We have discovered that everyone’s idea of a perfect coffee cake is different.  You have those who want the yeasted bread type of cake and the others that prefer the quick bread type.  Charlotte Zietlow, famous in Bloomington for many great reasons including her critical role in getting Food Works off the ground, has provided us with her favorite recipe and that has now  become our stand by recipe.  Feel free to call us and order a coffee cake the day prior…..and if you have your own recipe you want to share, we can do that too!  (812) 219-9525…….P.S……I am planning a coffee cake recipe contest in the future!
The Inquisitive Skink


Anyone who knows me knows how much I require being around trees.  I remember when I transferred to Purdue starting the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college.  I had started at Hanover College, a very pretty, 650 acre wooded campus but wanted to consider Speech and Hearing so off to Purdue I went.  I know it wasn’t the only reason I didn’t stay there, but back then that campus had almost all of its trees shaved away, the town was ugly concrete, and I truly just couldn’t handle the lack of nature in the environment.  It cost me money, and set me back a bit in graduation time, but I didn’t stay for the fall semester, scrambled to re-enroll at Hanover until I figured out what to do next. I had get back to the trees. I had spent most of my youth walking the woods around my folk’s place, hiking at Clifty Falls Park and the State Hospital in Madison.  I’m odd.  I really need to be around trees.  I transferred my junior year to Indiana University in Bloomington, and have been in this area ever since.  This is an area where the people tend to honor trees, talk about them, fight for them if need be.  I belong around an area like that.

Mark and I have 55 acres of woods.  Hiking is something I do almost every day year round, and this is coming from someone who often works ten hour days. The forest and the outdoors are my sanity.  They are what ground me.

We have quite a few pieces of stick furniture we have built and one of my favorite plant stands is a beech tree that frankly looks like a mans legs and crotch area.  I will try to post a photo later.  This entire blog post started because that plant stand came to mind after I saw a page titled 11 Trees That Look Like Genitals.  I think they have cheated on one of them….its simply a picture turned upside down.  But a few of them are pretty neat.

The Inquisitive Skink

Raging Granny Songs

I’m having fun adding raging granny songs to the Hoosier Raging Granny website.

Here is one of the songs in support of gay marriage:

Gay Marriage

(Tune: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)

Let’s sing out for our citizens

Hip hip, hurray

For every sexuality

Both straight, and gay

Isn’t it fine for us to see

A little more diversity

And we’ll ALL feel gay when

Gay marriage is allowed.

Get ready for that happy day,

We’ll sing and shout

When wedding bells will ring out loud

Then we’ll sing out!

WON’T it be fine when all of us

Have EQUAL rights without a fuss,

And we’ll ALL feel gay when

Gay marriage is allowed.

That WOULD be a cause to celebrate,

A time to cheer,

When everyone’s thinking isn’t straight

For once, my dear!

Sexuality isn’t straight

There’s SOME things you can’t legislate;

And we’ll ALL feel gay when

Gay marriage is allowed!

Thanks to Granny Vicki in San Franscisco!

The Inquisitive Skink