Why we can’t talk about Anything anymore…

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I love hearing other people’s ideas, thoughts and suggestions. Why? Because I know that maybe, just maybe I don’t know everything about everything… I know shock right? There is so much to learn from other people and I think we can learn a lot more from people than we would from books (that was painful for me to say… as I love my books).

I am going to be honest… I had a strange weekend. My son, who has sensory issues was quite highly strung and I was having to use a lot of patience being able to work with him. He was discussing his goals with me about wanting to make $10 more to pay for a LEGO set he had wanted. I told him how I could not give him $10 in one day for chores… I was going to suggest other options but instead he reacted before I could get there – strongly. His words were “You don’t care about my goals, or that I would like to try to buy Continue reading “Why we can’t talk about Anything anymore…”

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Why as a woman I feel disappointed by the #metoo movement.

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TRIGGER WARNING FOR THOSE DEALING WITH SEXUAL ABUSE:

I had been in support of the #Metoo movement from the beginning – I thought this would change everything. I had memories of bosses making moves on me and if I didn’t respond I would be ostracized the next day. I have memories of being grabbed in public places even when fully clothed. Most importantly, I was best friends with two girls who had been raped. I felt like there was an epidemic, that I was one of the lucky ones who narrowly escaped some tricky situations that could have ended in rape. I am not being overdramatic. I have had the same concerns for my daughter who is of the age I became aware of the rapes of my friends, but felt “a little safer” in the location we live in. I felt that there hadn’t been enough done for victims that I knew or enough to even protect me in previous jobs. #METOO was supposed to change that.

Then the Brett Kavanaugh hearing happened. Now, I’m not going to go into sides – but the words “EVERY WOMAN MUST BE BELIEVED” was the slogan. I suddenly became sick. Other memories of guilt came to mind.

I was at a summer camp where our dorm of 10 year old girls were split into two cabins. Kate* (*name has been changed for protection) from the other cabin told us right before sundown that she had overheard a Wendy* (*name changed for protection) scream out “Daddy no, don’t touch me” in the middle of the night. The scary part? This girl who supposedly yelled this out had her father working at the camp WITH US. I have never seen anything spread like wildfire among a young group of girls. Suddenly rumors and accusations of pedaephilia became very well known within 45 minutes of the first whisper. Girls became hysterical, crying about how scared they were. I believed it 100%, why would anyone make this up? Girls in the dorm started questioning Wendy about her relationship about her father, a memory that still makes me sick. She denied everything and stood in shock as she witnessed the girls talking about her father in this way.
Wendy could have been me, because my father, was not only working at the camp too, but he was the camp director. My father called me into his office. In the other room was Wendy’s Father. My dad had rightfully detained him (as he had to protect possible victims) while my dad privately questioned me about what I had heard. I was scared to tell my father, I had never heard of pedaephilia at the time, nor did I understand that a father could do that to their daughter. After assuring me that I could tell him anything, I explained the situation to my dad.
I was upset that this was something I personally had to deal with – all I had heard was a rumor – a disgusting one, and I was not involved with witnessing anything. As officials had to get involved and people were questioned, there was no foul play found, and even the man accused forgave the girl who made up the rumor. I did not realize all of this had gone on, until I was in a group of girls with Kate hours later and she was laughing about being questioned. Surprised I asked “Wait, that wasn’t true?” She found that question the funniest question in the world and laughed a lot while I stood watching her in shock, and finally she answered “No, of course it wasn’t.¬† I persisted “But, why would you make that up? I believe you!” She just shrugged her shoulders and said “I’m bored, it was fun to stir you all up”. I remember just staring at her and watching her keep talking to the other girls like nothing happened. My heart was heavy thinking “what if she had done that to me or my father?” I knew this had affected Wendy – she never spoke to us girls again or came to a summer camp. I ran into her and her father a couple of times over the years after that and even though her dad would smile and say hello and EVEN THOUGH I knew what Kate had said was false – I couldn’t look at Wendy’s father in the eye. I was scared to go near him, even knowing the truth, and I felt horrible for Wendy – as she didn’t even want to be friends with many girls after that.
A few years later, Wendy’s father died from cancer. We were 14-years-old and I remember thinking how hard it must be to lose a parent at my age. I never saw Wendy again but I knew I couldn’t ever give her condolences after what she and her father had been put through. That memory haunted me for years and as I had not seen Wendy in so long I had put that memory behind me – until the slogan “EVERY WOMAN MUST BE BELIEVED” appeared recently.

The thing is people lie. MEN AND WOMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS. ALL PEOPLE LIE. And it’s more common than you think. Look up the national registry of exonerated convictions – just for RAPE. Proved false by DNA.

The reason as a woman that I cannot stand by “EVERY WOMAN MUST BE BELIEVED” is because I have a father, a husband, a son, wonderful brothers and nephews. They deserve to be believed too if a woman ever thinks it’s okay to accuse them for any reason other than the truth.
THIS IS WHERE THE #METOO MOVEMENT HAS LOST ME. They have lost their momentum and all the progress that they were making to help REAL VICTIMS. They have done the opposite of helping female victims by using that slogan, and that hurts for all those that were hoping for some sort of change.

My plea for farmers of Australia

My son feeding a calf from a Norco Co-op
The chickens were happy
My son feeding sheep

Watching the cow that was about to be milked

I try to stay away from politics. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very opinionated when it comes to politics but when it comes to writing blogs – I stay away. I personally think that there is too much out there and people are getting bombarded with so much hate and vitriol that there is a huge need for people to be exposed to something other than the stress of the news. So I try to stay away… but today I can’t and I hope not only will you forgive me but share this so that the “city folk” can understand why this is so desperately needed. ALSO – I want to say NO ONE is paying me for this – this was based completely on attending an school excursion today with my son (yes – a simple school excursion has turned me into a passionate advocate).

Also, I have had so many debates over the year over Australian Dairy. I know – I’m American as well. People try to tell me all the horrible things that are done to the dairy cows from the documentaries they have seen and I tell then “I am pretty sure Australia is different,” but I had no proof to back this up – until now.

Last year my daughter visited one of the many (approximately 250?) Norco Co-op dairies in Australia. I was unable to go on the excursion but she came home completely converted that we had to buy Norco. I said to her that it was a higher price and I tried to give her all the reasons why I never bought Norco, but her little mind and voice was trying to explain to me what she heard that day. I nodded and didn’t really understand what she had interpreted and never really thought about it.

Fast forward to TODAY. Today I got to visit a different Norco Dairy Co-op in the Scenic Rim with my son’s class. I understand why my daughter was converted and now, I have completely converted too.
First – this isn’t anything like you see on TV. These are passionate Dairy farmers who know the names of every one of their cows, they are concerned for their cows, they talk and chat with their cows. This isn’t a mass production for a reason – AND FOR GOOD REASON. These are farmers (and there are many) who care about their animals – if they tried to expand and become massive they know the quality of the milk – and their cows would suffer. They choose to stay small, they choose to care and they choose to deliver the best milk on the market.

I have seen horrible misinformation out there about milking cows. How calves are taken away from their mother – etc etc… this is not the case with the smaller dairies. The cows are only milked after the calves take exactly what they need. It benefits a lot of these family owned farms to have healthy calves to raise to also contribute later on – so why would they deny a calf food to make money? In fact a lot of these small dairies know the family line of many of these cows that they are milking today -they know their mothers and grandmothers – why? because there are actually people out there that care about animals that also produce food. Amazing right? I know quite a few farmers (although none of them in the dairy business until today) who have talked about the only reason doing it is the love of the land and/or the love of the animals. These animals are cared for. Proof? One of the ways to check quality is testing the white blood cell count – the lower the count the healthier the cow… guess which “brand” has the lowest white blood cell count? Yes… and I haven’t barely even started… I was shocked to find out that NORCO is 100% Australian owned. My mind screamed “yes but so is… ” and I had a bunch of names in my head – I was assured… some of those brands are Partially Australian – but there is some foreign ownership (seriously it makes me cry when I type that as I have been super loyal to other brands).

I had heard something about a 10 cents hike – the farmer I spoke today told me that would be a minimum¬† – it would help but it needs to be higher for them to benefit (he was hoping for 20 cents) – but branded milk can only be hiked if the homebrand milk price is hiked. I don’t know why this is – I didn’t ask – I assume it’s basic economics, or contract related. Right now they are only receiving profit from farmstays and tours. NOT the dairy. That’s not good enough.

I don’t know about you but I buy A LOT of milk – I thought out this price hike and realized that at most this would be $0.40 difference for me a week – I’ll take it – if I can get all Australian owned good quality milk – where I know the cows are treated very well it’s worth it.
You see – I joked with the leadership spill recently in Australia – announcing my run (everyone else was doing it) on my personal Facebook account. I was horrified that we had given over $400 billion dollars to a Great Barrier reef conservation company(when they didn’t ask for it) with six employers… and yet – our Australian farmers are having to sell up because they simply can’t afford to run their farms. I joked I could win votes by just saying I would give most of that money to farmers “because food” (I got many likes from this statement – I think the people want to support Australian farms – and possibly they just like food). I’m sure the $400 billion to the GBR will pay off when we are all starving but the Great Barrier Reef will be alive and well. I am for all animals and all conservation so don’t get me wrong – this isn’t anything against the reef (fyi there is a small amount of information out there but they can help the reef and it doesn’t cost $400 billion).
We need food. We also need Australian food (for quality and price control) and we DESPERATELY NEED AUSTRALIAN FARMERS. If I was in politics – this would be the first thing on my agenda – and I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t see it this way. Second – as an AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN – we need to have this as our top priority or we could easily be a nation depending on the generosity of another country to supply us basics.

So this is just my plea for Australians – PLEASE support a minimum 10 cent price hike in dairy.¬† Second – please – lets have no tolerance for ANY politician who isn’t willing to make this their top priority in the next election. I don’t care which side you sit on. Food is kind of necessary for survival. ALSO – since NORCO is 100% Australian – please – if you do drink milk – please pay a little extra for those farmers who actually care about their animals and quality more than profit. They deserve it. We need them.