This weekend, thinking Greg had killed one of our free ranging chickens for digging up yet another landscaping project, I sleuthed around in the dark corner of our coop. There I discovered our lost hen, patiently sitting on a couple of dozen eggs. Our production had been dropping for the last few weeks. That, combined with landscape mortality, made it a reasonable assumption that Greg had murdered one in a fit of fury.
I also went to a campaign party this weekend. Someone told me that the rumor on the street is that my opponent and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. They credited him with being very conservative, and me with being extremely liberal. I found this interesting, as I have always considered myself as being pretty conservative. So… I did what I always do in this situation. I looked up the definition of conservative and liberal in my handy dandy online dictionary, and tried to apply the words to my life.
Conservative means disposed to preserve existing conditions, or to restore traditional ones, or to limit change. It can also mean cautiously moderate or avoiding novelty and showiness. Having the tendency to preserve or conserve. I have always been fiscally conservative. I like having money in my savings account, I dislike debt of any kind, and live within a balanced budget. Policy wise, I want to preserve our safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, and make sure retirement funds are available for the folks that have paid into them for their entire working careers. I want to conserve our natural resources and make sure our public lands remain in public hands and are accessible to my children and their offspring, even if all I have right now is a grand pup. I am not showy, I don’t like short skirts, and if my jeans are tight, my shirt is long. Public speaking still creates some anxiety. I preserve everything not immediately eaten out of my garden, and am working with the NRCS program to restore our forestland to the healthy state it was in prior to being clear cut 50 years ago. That involved removing about 200 small trees in the last year..which have all been turned into firewood, peeled rails for fencing, and chips for the landscaping projects that the chickens love to dig in. “Limit change” is a tricky phrase. Death, taxes, and change seem to be the inevitables in this life, and trying to limit any of them seems a futile effort.
Liberal means favorable to progress or reform. It also means favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression. Politically; of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies. Also, free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant. Generous and giving freely is another synonym. I am liberal, too. Given that change is inevitable, I have to be open to ideas of progress and reform. It is because I have extra time, energy and passion to give freely at this time of my life that I am even running for office. I believe strongly in a representational form of government and have spent countless hours listening to the people of Latah County to make sure their voices are heard. I also support individual rights including respect for private property and basic human rights regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief, and economic status.
So, am I conservative or liberal? I guess the simple answer is “yes.” People, me included, are complicated and complex. As I have been telling folks when I knock on their doors, don’t just blindly give me your support. Google me, I am not hard to find out about. I did a lot of writing when Jim was sick, dying, and then as a grieving widow. I am all over the internet.
I destroyed the chicken’s nest as we really don’t want to expand our flock at this point. I cleaned out the coop and replaced the litter with freshly shaved pine bark from our trees. Smells great! I fed the eggs to the neighbor’s pigs as they did not smell so wonderful. We agreed that free range chickens were a great idea, but not compatible with wanting to grow any kind of landscape. I can now set mouse traps since I don’t have to worry about maiming a chicken, and the hens love the extra protein. Our production is back up, and Greg built them a jungle gym in the run. Change in this case was all for the good.