Challenge THIS!

There has been some “Food Stamp Challenge” floating around on the news and the web the last few days. Some congress critters signed up for this challenge to eat on a food stamp budget of $30 a week. I decided to take a closer look as I was SURE it was nothing more than an agenda promoting publicity stunt. (Update. I was right- it is a publicity stunt- and a fundraiser to boot! Why oh why am I not surprised? Beware this page- do NOT click on the participant handbook- it locked my computer up twice. This is a link to their FAQ page where you can see the begging  fundraising instructions.)

First I went and looked up the actual amount a recipient could be expected to receive and found that info easily enough.

Chart of food stamp allotments

I could not find a government statistic link for the average family size of food stamp recipients but did see a few mentions of a 2.3 people per family. For a family of two the allotment is $367 a month. Over ten dollars a day. Hmmm. Yup- I could do that. Years and years ago I fed my boys and self on food stamps- at the time my benefit for the 3 of us was $205 a month. And I did it. Was it easy? No. Some strategies were necessary. Starting with- NO JUNK. No sugary cereal. No store-bought cookies. No soda pop or chips or candy. No prepared foods like spaghetti in a can or canned soups. Absolutely NO brand name things- unless you have a coupon that brings the price below the store brand. Snacks were perhaps carrot sticks, an apple, celery with PB. Raisins. A big treat was plain nacho chips with block cheese grated over the top and popped in the oven. Gee- my house was THE go to home for good eats for my boys friends- they LOVED those nachos lol. Tuna casserole. Eggs- cheap and nutritious protein. Home made oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal – NOT instant in individual packages. Very nutritious and filling. Chili. A chicken would make AT LEAST three meals. Who needs Bisquick? Make your own and save a LOT of money. Keep a good basic pantry with flour, baking powder and baking soda. Yeast. Make your own bread. Purchase seasonal items. Potatoes and rice- always filling and potatoes are chock full of vitamins and minerals. Try to get yourself and your family in the habit of eating the skins too. Waste nothing. Watch for sales and buy in bulk when possible. For example- if chicken is on sale- buy extra and freeze it. Do not pay extra for cut up chicken-check the price. If whole chicken is cheaper- buy whole and cut it up yourself. Same with pork and beef. Buy big and cut it down. Save the ends of celery and carrots in a bag in the freezer for stock. DO NOT take children with you to the grocery store. Shop only twice a month. (I had a milkman back then so it made it easier.) When apples are cheap in the fall- buy a lot and make your own applesauce and apple butter. Make up apple pie filling and freeze it. Same with pears. Same with peaches. Get it while it is cheap and learn how to preserve it. Most vegetables freeze very well. Buy vegetables in season and learn how to blanch and freeze. Watch price differences on fresh vs frozen vs canned. Not a big fan of canned vegetables- too much salt- but if it is the cheapest per pound go for it. Many times frozen vegetables price per pound is cheaper than fresh and just as nutritious. On the subject of frozen- milk can be frozen too. How about powdered or canned milk? Is it cheaper per gallon?

Popcorn. Regular old plain popcorn. NOT microwaveable in a bag portions of popcorn. Why pay extra for convenience and packaging? (That lawmaker taking the “food stamp challenge” who got pre-portioned microwave popcorn? What a joke. That crap should not even be allowed on a food stamp budget.)

Does it suck that so many Americans are in need of assistance? Yes it does. But the question is can you have a decent diet on that assistance? Could I do it today? I would say I probably could. I still shop only twice a month and average $48 per trip. Husband shops at the alternate stores weekly and spends about $35 a trip. We have the luxury of having an Aldi’s and a bent and dent store in the area. When I go to the store I head first for the marked down produce. I can often get oh luxury of luxury! Mushrooms at half off. Last shopping trip there were five packages of bananas marked down from 59 cents a pound to 39 cents a pound. I bought four packages. We ate one, I made a big batch of banana bread mini loaves- we ate one loaf and froze the rest for holiday giving. I froze the rest of the bananas for later baking and smoothies.

We save all year to buy a whole hog or lamb at the 4-H market auction in August. This year we got a whole hog for $2 a pound. That was $440 for the animal and then .45 a pound for the local processor to get it ready for the freezer. After processing and loss from the processing we paid about $3.66 a pound for pork. Pork enough for us for one year and some to give to church.

A CNN producer took the food stamp challenge– and bought chicken breasts? Lady are you kidding me? Chicken breasts? See the above- you buy a WHOLE chicken. Unless the chicken breasts were marked down to less than the cost of a whole chicken or less than legs and thighs.

Quit with the boo hoo bs before you start on me about food deserts and all that BS. Every city I know of has a farmer’s market and most all accept food stamps. Why not pitch in together on gas and get to a grocery store? God Forbid I should suggest that perhaps churches and other organizations could maybe run a van out to the grocery stores a couple of times a month? When I was on hard times my friends and I would chip in together to buy big bulk packs and split them up at home. Can the current recipients get together and do the same?

And let us not forget the OTHER government run food programs- WIC and the Surplus Food distributions. What is surplus food distribution? It is now called the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

The types of foods USDA purchases for TEFAP distribution vary depending on the preferences of States and agricultural market conditions. More than 60 products are available for Fiscal Year 2011, including:
 canned fruits
 canned vegetables
 fruit juice
 dried egg mix
 meat/poultry/fish
 dried beans
 pasta products
 peanut butter
 rice/grits/cereal
 soups

This page is a list of the items available for distribution.

Go HERE and scroll down to page 5 and beyond to see the monthly distribution PER PERSON by age of infant formula, cereal, juices, cheese, milk, tuna, chicken, salmon, powdered eggs, beef, peanut butter, beans, potatoes, pasta, rice and canned fruit and vegetables. This is all ON TOP of food stamps mind you.

So the premise of the “Food Stamp Challenge” is incorrect. $31 dollars a week. From food stamps. Food Stamps or SNAP as it is now known- is only ONE resource for those in need. Add in the Surplus Commodities distribution AND what should be in any pantry- flour, rice, oils, leavening agents and it is very doable. Also understand another flaw in their experiment- they allotted $30 for the week- but the entire month’s food stamp benefit goes on the card at once. This means that recipients CAN buy things like flour, ten pound bags of potatoes, big bags of rice and beans and use them throughout the month.

Stop making people feel sorry for themselves and pointing out how life sucks for them. Teach them how to succeed with what they have and how to strive to make it better. Stop trying to make people who CAN afford a more varied diet feel guilty. Stop trying to frighten people.

And quit with the BS of Congress people and “journalists” doing publicity stunts and not giving the whole picture. It serves nothing but to promote an agenda.

I challenge ANY journalist or Congress critter to come here and I will show them how it is done and done well. I challenge the “journalists” to state FACTS- ALL of them- not just the sensationalized agenda promoting ones.


98 Responses

  1. Uppity – what you write is so true – HOWEVER – YOU have initiative and ingenuity. SO MANY of those who are “On the Dole” for what ever reason have had that zapped out of them by TPTB who have provided largess for so many generations. If there is one thing I can say nice about Michelda and her “Do As I Say – Not As I DO” meme it is that she tries to motivate people to think differently about their food choices when money is an issue. Yes, I know buying Arugula or shopping at the local Fresh Market isn’t good advice, but the point is to think differently.

    Unfortunately, there is an entire army of Congress Critters and “Journalists” behind her who continue to tell people they are stuck in their situation, will never get out, and it is the Government’s responsibility to take care of them and to vilify those who suggest otherwise.

    Not sure if that made sense. It’s been a V E R Y long week for me, and I have to get going to do it all again today! No Food Stamps for me! Gotta go WORK.

  2. FF- oh yes it made sense. And changing people’s thinking on food choices is a good thing.
    Unfortunately, the change this program is looking for is not to teach people how to make better choices. It is a blatant guilt trip for those not on “the dole.”
    Instead of trying to influence legislation to get more money flowing out of the bare cupboard of the govt coffers- they would better use their energy in teaching recipients how to shop and cook.

  3. It’s Mom’s post, FF.

    How ya doing girl? thanks for taking time out for new headers while you’re working like a dog. you amaze me.

  4. Thanks for sharing a lifetime of practical ideas. Don’t forget that SNAP, Medicaid & SSI may make you eligible for free phones. The rest of us suckers pay for them. From a yahoo search of assurance wireless:

    Assurance Wireless: A Free Cell Phone and 200 Free Minutes …
    [Sep 28, 2010] Assurance Wireless is the newest free cell phone service being offered to low income Americans. Safelink by Tracfone is the other available free cell phone service … ( 9 Comments ) –

    And just to twist your panties a little further, the assurance TV ad on CBS-NY around Judge Judy time every weekday afternoon, refers to Medicaid and SSI as government services. For we chumps who paid into that stuff, they are of course, entitlements.

  5. Pamela- thanks for that info. Yes, there are many, many programs for the poor. And I venture to say that word of the “free” stuff gets around. Or, as you point out, is advertised heavily.
    Husband and I go crazy when we see one of those commercials for “FREE” mechanized wheel chairs and “FREE” diabetes supplies and cookbooks.
    Uhm- NO they are not ‘FREE’- somebody is paying for them – the taxpayer.

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in line behind someone using an EBT card to buy junk food.

    Just junk food – candy, chips, cookies and soda.

    No meat, fruit, bread, taters, milk, or cook-it-yourself food.

    In fairness, I don’t think some of those people know how to cook.

    They can make a meth pipe out of a light bulb but they can’t cook pasta.

  7. One can eat cheaply on what I call “peasant” dishes, very nutritious and varied. All you need are some staples. Potatoes, cabbage, eggs, onions, ground beef, flour, some fruit.
    All kinds of casseroles and soups can be made with these ingredients.
    Keep away from packaged convenience foods. There, problem solved.

  8. You all know how I feel about welfare. I think it needs to be done away with and for these reasons.
    it is now a program designed to keep you poor
    It robs you of self worth and strips what is left of your drive to succeed.
    It becomes a life style choice and begets anger and class hatred.
    It robs the working poor driving them lower into a sink hole
    It breeds laziness and ignorance.
    It brings on greed.
    Now I do not wish to see folks in dire straights or want them to just ball up and die but this system does not work and that has been proven for decades. It is riddled with cheaters and brings on cheating.
    Rather then have a program designed to give you a hand up it is designed to trap you and hold you while making a mooch out of you. It does not work.
    Like Mom said if it taught you to shop wisely and cook wisely and if it educated you and got you back out into the work force and showed you how to live within your limited means it would be fine and if it was a limited time offer as well.
    First and foremost I could get behind welfare if folks realized they were taking money away from other single moms struggling to feed their families and spend what money they take from struggling workers wisely and make all efforts to get off assistance and become one of the givers to the program. Not take trips to Myrtle beach on the tax payer dime while boyfriend is paying bills under the table.

  9. Husband and I go crazy when we see one of those commercials for “FREE” mechanized wheel chairs
    And explains why certain immigrants feel so incredibly entitled.

  10. Myiq- oh yes- and that is a HUGE part of the problem. Why the hell are these EBT benefits not restricted like WIC? Oreos and Pepsi are not rights! I recently read that some state- (California maybe?) is allowing EBT benefits to be used at RESTAURANTS? WTF is THAT about? One trip to McDonald’s for a parent and two kids will cost what? $15 bucks? JEEBUS! For $15 I can buy a ten pound turkey, potatoes, onions, celery and carrots. With that I can make a whole LOT of meals.
    Instead of angling for more benefits- how about they make it a priority to educate the users? For you are sadly correct- a lot of them do not know how to shop or cook. How about requiring basic skills classes before handing out benefits?

    Meth pipes out of lightbulbs? Are those made out of the new curly poison mercury bulbs? Never mind.

  11. PMM, you are so right on…where there is a will, there is a way. When I walk out of our local grocery store, I see a lot of processed foods. Little is created with the I want mentality. I have an old collection of recipe books (some dating mid 1800s) and they just made do with what was available in the region. It was always seasonal and of course there were staples. I have a difficult time in the store. I purchase large bags of brown rice while the Lone Star card holders purchase minute rice in a box.

  12. Utah- you get my point. It IS a trap. And something needs to be done. Increasing “benefits” without educating the recipients is NOT the answer!
    Gumsnapper- yup- peasant food. And a ban on buying convenience foods with Food Stamp benefits.
    But we will be called mean, right wing Fox news watchers for stating the truth. Or raycist. Or Republican.
    I have been calling out this BS for years. I have written uncounted letters to congress critters. No results.
    I challenge the government to DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE! Stop throwing more money at the problem. Put some effort into teaching skills.
    And if the recipients want chips and cookies and soda- get a job.

  13. There are also community gardens in my neck of the foods. The seeds are provided and you get to keep what you grow. My church has a soup kitchen that does not get ANY money from any governmental critter and they are able to feed people decent meals for about $ 1.50 per person–entree, salad, fruit. And we will feed anyone, doesn’t matter if you take the bus or drive up in a fancy car-we figure if you are humbling yourself to come, you must need the food.

    Part of the problem with some of the food stamp crowd is that they live in inner cities so their options are limited. Some dude in Detroit has a fresh grocer bus loaded with veggies and fruits that visits the inner city and the company accepts food stamps.

    And then there is Clara with her depression era cookbook and Youtube videos. It’s not easy to manage on foodstamps, but if you are watching some member of the political aristocracy and looking for clues on how to manage, then you are in big trouble because they can not balance the budget. So looking to them for budgeing information is like looking to the Marquis de Sade for lessons on humanity.

  14. I guess it would not be right of us uncaring nasty taxpayers to demand that if a young girl gets knocked up at 15 and needs our help to pay medical bills and such we demand that after having said child she return to schools and maintain a certain GPA to retain her benefits would it ?
    I guess it would be very ugly for us taxpayers to say to keep your benefits you will attend training or GED classes for those of you who have not graduated or to have to work several hours of community service ie park clean up, city bus clean up you name it but there is plenty of thing that could be done to save taxpayer monies.
    Giving more freebies like cell phones only begets more dependance and demands of taking more money from those of us who do have jobs.

  15. AnnE

    if you are watching some member of the political aristocracy and looking for clues on how to manage, then you are in big trouble because they can not balance the budget. So looking to them for budgeing information is like looking to the Marquis de Sade for lessons on humanity.

    DING! DING! Excellent! ROFL!

  16. Utah- correct. How terribly uncaring of us to demand accountability and results!
    LOL I just want to knock some heads some days. I believe in helping people- because it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately I refuse to get on board with the “progressive” definition of “helping.”

    AnnE- The whole inner city food desert meme makes me suspicious. Pittsburgh has plenty of grocery stores, community gardens, farmer’s markets. Same with Boston, Cleveland. I got suspicious when I looked at one of meancheldas food desert maps and found out I supposedly live in one. HAH! There are two full service grocery stores in this town. A farmer’s market right downtown. A local farmer runs two farm stores from march through December. We have an Aldi’s. The Amish bulk store. And the dreaded Wal-Mart (where prices are generally 20 percent higher) Plus the bent and dent store. Then there is the smaller old time family grocery store. And the three meat markets. And all the little driveway produce stands. And the Amish stands along the main road.
    But this is a food desert? Because all of those commercial stores I listed are in the center of the county and people have to drive to get to them.
    ROFL- I don’t think anybody living around here thinks they are in a food desert.

  17. I’m not even touching this post with a ten-foot pole.

  18. Just a friendly reminder. Girls who get “knocked up” had a little help…just sayin’.

  19. Beata…I first read your post as…a ten-foot PIE! LOL! Pie on the brain!

  20. One has to wonder how this will all pan out in the end. With work drying up in this country at an alarming rate. More and more folks having to depend on government aid and less and less contributing to it.
    So when the government realizes it has a growing nasty gobbling monster on it’s hand that it can no longer afford to feed what then. They kill all aid then what ?
    What will the #’s of folks do that were raised on this gobbling giant of a system ? How will they survive ? Will they take to the streets and grab what they can via riots ?
    I used to laugh at survivalists in the 80’s. I am no longer laughing and taking heed as to how to prepare ones self for what might be. I do a lot of drying of food. Drying will store when power is gone or gas for generators unavailable.
    I just have a very uneasy feeling about our future right now and if I am wrong no harm no foul but if I am right I am going to come out fine. I just bought 2 cases of PB because price went up by 40%.
    I do worry because folks have become so dependent on the fact they can run to a Taco Bell for dinner, have not learned to save and by that I am not just talking money but ham bones etc.

  21. Just a friendly reminder. Girls who get “knocked up” had a little help…just sayin’.

    LMAO yes I guess you are spot on there lol.

  22. Beata- what Uppity said xoxo. Please do understand that my problem is with a system that traps people and with a group that uses a “Food Stamp Challenge” as a fundraising publicity stunt. Food stamps and a life in poverty is not fun or easy. But Food Stamps, if used properly, CAN provide an adequate diet. Not high falutin and no room for convenience foods or junk. But adequate.
    As pointed out above, there is a huge problem with the program. Or problems. One of the biggest problems is the lack of standards on what can be purchased with the benefits. Buying junk cereal, soda, cookies and chips should NOT be allowed,
    Allowing EBT to be used in restaurants? Sorry- but that should be a no brainer and not allowed. At all. Ever.

  23. Don’t push your luck, Mom. LOLOL. Beata’s tongue is bleeding from the bite.

  24. Ok Uppity- I hope she knows my heart is with the poor though. Having been there and knowing how hard it is to escape.

  25. Pamela! Where you been girl???

    I want to thank you for your contribution to Bill’s disgusting habit. Here’s to more post cards!

  26. Again I refer you to this link to see how unemployment is mounting and that also should give one insight as to how many are left to contribute.

  27. I think I mentioned how last year I had to go to the social security office for an elderly person. The place was packed with standing room only for the FOUR hours I was there waiting. There was only ONE elderly couple there. Only ONE. The rest were young people, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I wouldn’t want to be walking in the dark with any of them behind me. This was riff raff. There also seemed to be quite a few single mothers (a guess) with young children there, very sad. I was wondering what they were all doing there, as they certainly weren’t on disability, that was in another area of the place. When I finally got “served,” the guy apologized for the wait as it was a particularly heavy day for SSI recipients.

  28. I will say that I think free cell phones are a stretch. I just don’t think it’s right. It’s NOT a necessity, it’s a luxury. When people have to cut their budgets, cell phones are on the list. I would far rather see tax money spent on food and shelter for the poor. Some of them are forced to live in real slums. A cell phone wouldn’t be helpful but hot water would.

  29. Here is a bit about so called food deserts

    How is a food desert defined?

    The HFFI working group defines a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store:

    * To qualify as a “low-income community,” a census tract must have either: 1) a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, OR 2) a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area’s median family income;
    * To qualify as a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract’s population must reside more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles).

    So you see how this can be artificial? We live in a county that is very agricultural. A large percentage of the population lives outside the county seat where the (major) grocery stores are located.
    They live on farms.
    I HATE it when data is manipulated to arrive a fore drawn conclusion or to support an agenda.

  30. Re: The dumbshit government telling people to eat more veggies and get thinner. This is a CLASSIC example of how out of touch with reality the Michelle Obama’s are. Poor families are often overweight because five pounds of potatoes and a loaf of bread go a lot farther than a freaking head of lettuce, a bag of carrots and some goddamned radishes. It’s sickening to listen to this snobby snot preach this shit day in and day out. Produce is VERY expensive. I have to pay a BUCK for a blood orange for Chrissakes. What the HELL is the matter with that nut? People who have to eat on the cheap are going to take in as many calories as they can in one sitting. It’s survival.

    If you have $30 in food stamps, are you going to buy bread, rice and potatoes for the kids, or are you going to buy iceberg lettuce, carrots and onions?
    And arugula?

    Take your time. I’ll wait.

  31. Utah, right now in my county, 40% of the people are supporting the other 60%. Seriously. This is why people are dumping cities and moving away. The property taxes are killing people. Many homeowners are UNEMPLOYED and paying school, county and city taxes for others to benefit from. They can’t afford it any longer. It’s never ending. You kind of feel resentful when you are struggling to feed your own family and keep your house and you know you are paying for other people’s lives. It just makes people bitter. I am seeing it more and more. I think this is the real reason for the rise of the far right. It’s not so much social issues as it is the fact that people are struggling themselves and can’t afford to help out the rest of the world when they aren’t sure they can cut it themselves.

  32. LOL Uppity. Yup Meanchelda preaches a good game. Though I will say that I did do my homework for this post and actually went to the grocery store yesterday and priced out 30 bucks worth of food. (Just in case some bot should come along and try to tell me I was full of it) I got vegetables, protein, starch, fruit and milk. And bread.
    For those who want to take a look here is the food desert map.
    Go ahead and look. Tell me what you see? Would you expect, from all the hype, that Chicago would be a food desert? Or Boston? How about Cleveland, Pittsburgh, NY city? SURELY Detroit?
    NOPE. Not one of those cities is a food desert. Go look and tell me what you see.

  33. Mom, the thing is, 30 bucks in your town and 30 bucks in my city aren’t the same 30 bucks. Not that I couldn’t make do, but it would be a lot harder. You had mentioned you could get a package of mushrooms for 99cents, for example. I’m here to tell you that package is $3.49 here. FORGET fruit! VERY expensive! Sucks.

    The food desert thing is at least in part, horse crap.

  34. I’ve also noticed that in the past year alone, the cost of my weekly groceries has gone up pretty close to 50%.

  35. Uppity- yup plain old button mushrooms are usually in the $3.50 range here as well. But pears and apples right now are .99 a pound. The mushrooms were marked down because they had some brown spots. They had bananas marked down to .39 a lb for the same reason.
    Yes, costs are different in different areas. That I know. But each area will have regional items. And every store will have marked down items- that has been the case in every grocery store I have shopped in for the last 30 yrs. You have to kind of hunt them in some stores- but they are there.
    And you and I know how far a bag of dried beans and some rice will go!
    And yes, the food desert is at least partially a pile of crap. When they put a rural, agricultural area like this on that map I knew something was up.

  36. Most rural areas tend to have plenty of food they put up themselves during the growing season. They are very resourceful people.

  37. I see Bill is on his game this weekend.

  38. Uppity- yes costs went up and package sizes decreased as well. You really have to pay attention to the cost per ounce on a LOT of items now. For example- yesterday there were canned tomatoes on sale for 99 cents. A bunch of 15 oz cans- diced, chopped, stewed etc.
    On the shelf below that there was one row of 28 oz cans for the same 99 cents.
    Sneaky bastages.

  39. There are no food deserts unless you are talking about Lobster and Kobi beef. Come on really ? I knew many poor when I was a child growing up. Moms cooked. Many were in the military ! They spend their allotment in the commissary buying cases of canned veggies and things to last a month. Not all that different from food stamps. Where I grew up it was not uncommon to go to school with kids that had their levis patched or were wearing their brother pair from last year. Now you would be unfit if your kid had to wear hand me downs or patches. Driveways in many of the houses sat empty because cars were a luxury and you darn sure did not see tons of new ones or more then one in a driveway. I remember when the color tv came out. Oh how it would have been great to own one but it was not in budget. I think it was 1969 when we got our first color set. Going for a hamburger and fries was a treat ! Not a right or way of life. It happened once every several months. We went to school with kids from better means too but they were fine coming to our homes or the homes of the poorer it seemed not to matter what you had or didn’t have.
    My folks lived in a poorer neighborhood and kept their kids like the ones around us. They saved and bought a home by living under their means.
    I guess back then pride was a thing many had and they did not expect the rich to care for them or the government. They believed if they worked hard they would too get better. I understand there are some who by illness can not and I am not opposed to helping those but ever see the #’s of bad backs drawing ssi while going out and playing on a motorcycle in the dirt etc ? So you went out and became a drunk or popped drugs so that means you now have the right to SSI and me paying for your bad choices. I have a heart for those who deserve it but if you just went out and screwed up why is it my task to take care of you now ?

  40. MKBill! We love us our moderator kitteh!

  41. Upp. said.
    The food desert thing is at least in part, horse crap.
    99 percent. 😆

  42. actually those boxes aren’t bad if they are cooked and seasoned right.


  43. ok this is funny

  44. utah, Upps has linked to the meow choir boys many times. You likely saw it here first.

  45. Bill’s disgusting habit
    You know I have broken copyright laws to be able to have his likeness on the wall here. What can I say? I’m hooked on Bill.

  46. nope first time for me ….my bad

  47. Bill says it better be a photo of his good side.

    Which, being a cat, means that in his mind, any side is a good side.

  48. Yes that is Rossini’s Le duo des chats

  49. Hope the school master kept his hands off those boys too. They are all grown up now. The boy on the right still sings although didn’t quite make it big. The boy on the left, eyes darting, worried me.

  50. This seems so obvious but Bill has to be the one to point it out for the current clueless administration. I am definitely getting this book.

    “Clinton also says Obama and Democrats could now be more effective in making their case for higher taxes on wealthier Americans by not emphasizing the class divide.”

  51. I watched the Cain debacle from afar for the most part. I was starting to warm up to the man and considered him a candidate I could feel good voting for. Not now. I changed my mind. And not because of the sexual settlement/agreement and his obvious obfuscation of the issue and the pretending to forget the facts bull shit. I could never in a billion years support him for president because of his response to China being a potential threat militarily. They are starting to develop nuclear powers? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is my age. The man should freaking know that fact from the 60’s as well as he knows his own phone number. Sheesh. He must have been not too involved in learning about the world around him. He seems to have only been concerned about money and corporate ladder climbing. No foreign skills whatsoever. I will pass.

    Romney. ugh. Can we get a miracle, give us some choice, please?

    In this great big world this is the best we can do for choices for leaders of this great country? Hard to believe we are going to have nobody worth voting for once again.

    Run Hillary Run.

  52. Obama blew it. He blew EVERYTHING he tried to do (if in fact, he really wanted to succeed at any of it). He blew it because he’s mean. And snotty. And inept. And petulant. And annoying. And lazy. And a snob. He blew it because he is half of the Ferdinand and Imelda team. He can’t reverse any of this because all of it is his nature. He is not capable of sympathy, empathy, warmth, or anything else that is a redeeming social quality.

    I can’t help but remember Michelle talking about how detached he was, as if he were raised by wolves. It’s all true. He does act that way.

    And he seems to love killing, too.

  53. Obama sucks. Nature rocks.

  54. Karen! OMG! That is so beautiful! We just saw something very similar here last month. The trees in the orchard and along the property line were ALIVE with the things. Every branch had birds on it. They would all take off, at once it seemed, and wheel and swoop over the field. And the racket they made! LOL. The poor dog was cowering in his dog house. Starlings are not the prettiest birds to look at- but they eat grubs (japanese beetle larvae) mosquitoes and ants so they are welcome here. And to watch them arrive like that in the spring and depart in the fall is amazing!

  55. Wow. It’s amazing how a little dumb bird knows enough to get the H out of my part of the country before winter — and the rest of us still stay and then act surprised when everthing turns to crap.

    The only other thought I have is, Man, those people must have gotten on boatload of bird crap on them.

  56. back to there a clue in there??
    RUN HILLARY RUN!!!!! 🙂

  57. Great post… I just dunno about eggs being “cheap protein”: when my girls shut down production this summer during our horrendous heat wave, each egg we got was pretty dear considering the cost of chicken feed!
    (now that the weather’s cooled off, we’re averaging 5/day)

  58. Like Uppity, where we live, food is very expensive, especially produce and meat. Even the Farmers Market. Mom, you wouldn’t believe how expensive our farmers market produce is. Considerably more expensive than the chain grocery stores that are supposed be discount or middle class. I am trying to spend less on food every week, becuz I want to save more money, but its a challenge. Basically, I just stock up on stuff when its on sale, shop at Target for non food or canned/dry stuff, get the meat & produce at a grocery store or Whole Foods. Whole Foods or Sprouts usually has the cheapest produce in my immediate area & that includes the Farmers Market, and I can walk to all three where I live. One of my fav old stores, Gelsons (a place where I see celebrities all the time) has been having great sales lately, I believe their business has dropped off quite a bit as people are shopping at the warehouse places more. Anyway, I was there a few days ago & they had the San Marzano tomatoes (real ones from Italy) and my favorite pasta marked down 40%. I bought a bunch! I agree that Food Stamps should not be allowed to be used for soda, candy, alcohol, restaurants, etc.

  59. Cool video, Karen.

    Back to the food, a dozen Egglands Best eggs here is $4 or $4.25. Once in a while, Gelsons will have them on sale for $2.50 or Target will have for about the same. Uppity is right, they are definitely newer, fresher.

  60. Oh & I just checked out the Food Desert website & I, too, call BS!!!

    They break their own rules: highlighting a huge tract on west side of Ennis which I know contains two huge grocery stores! (the claim for “desertification” is if no stores are w/in 1 mi in urban areas, but 10 mi for rural…)

    Why isn’t my tiny town highlighted??? It’s 11 mi to HEB for me!

  61. You’d think if these welfare queens could figure out how to get a Cadillac they could figure out how to feed their kids on 20 dollars a week each. That is what they get around here. I don’t know, driving around in Cadillacs eating potato chips. They have it made.

  62. Why isn’t my tiny town highlighted???

    Because you aren’t enough votes to matter and because you are white, rural republicans for the most part.

  63. Oh yeah socal. I love Eggland’s best eggs. They are usually around 3 bucks here. Eggland uses local farmers, which they certify. That’s why the eggs are fresh.

    Agree that farmer’s market is becoming very expensive. It started out great here but little by little, these guys are copping a tude. New ones springing up have curtailed it a bit though. Competition always does that.

  64. Geez Socal- I would expect produce to be cheaper in California- what the hell is up with that? Our little dinky farmer’s market here in town is a rip off as far as I am concerned. But we have a really good farmer here. He had a place about twelve miles away- but on husband’s way to and from work. The guy has such good prices that people were taking the drive out to his place. So he rented a small storefront closer in. Then business picked up again and he opened a store on a corner just out of town where he has a small field and where he keeps his bees over the winter. That went so well he was able to buy a good corner spot in town. He really does well. What he does not grow himself he buys from local people. All the signage tells you where each thing was grown. And his prices can not be beat. I got pumpkins from him this week for a buck a piece. Next week they will probably go down more and I will get a few more.
    Val- our girls are slowing down for the winter now. We have four hens and I am getting two eggs a day. But eggs at the grocery are still only $1.79 for the generic brand. Eggland- I don’t think we have those around here. I only know how much eggs are cuz I went and priced out things yesterday for this post. (Ammunition so to speak) The cost of feed has gone way up but fortunately our chickens get most of their food outdoors for most of the year. Even now they are out foraging because the weather is holding well.

    Thanks for weighing in on the food desert map. I know my area and MA and parts of NH. (MA has NO food deserts on that map) I was surprised to see so many in CA. And I wish I was more familiar with the western states- seems like HUGE blocks of desert designated out there- but in areas I did not think had large populations.

    Produce is expensive for sure. Though I just got the flyer for next week’s sale at the grocery- and they have frozen veggies at $1 a box/bag. And meat is almost unaffordable- the days of 99 cents a pound ground beef will never return. But chicken is on sale for 99 cents a pound. The cost of feed for meat animals is part of that, as is the cost of fuel.
    Thanks ethanol lobby.

  65. Oh- meant to say that a local family at our church put a notice in the bulletin the past few weeks. Half or quarter side of grass fed beef- $3 a pound hanging weight. Which is a great price- even allowing for loss when processing. Wish I had the cash on hand and room in the freezer!

  66. Yes, its ridiculous about produce being so expensive here. I thought Calif is supposed to be the nations “salad bowl”. It is probably a lot cheaper in the inland cities and counties. I live about 11 miles from the coast, in a really nice area that used to have a small town/ranchy vibe to it, but was “discovered” after the 1994 earthquake as a great, non-smoggy, uncrowded place to live and the population has really grown since then with lots of upper middle class & upper class neighborhoods here now. So I’ve spent most of my life here but its a lot pricier than it was in my youth. We’re are always looking for cheaper places for retirement.

  67. Yes Uppity you’re absolutely right (no need to cater to rural folks as we cling bitterly to our guns & Bibles 😉

    Unfortunately my girls are imprisoned since we’ve “inherited” a new dog (thanks to one of my mom’s neighbors who trapped my boy on their street 😦 who likes to chase poultry… He’s going to be chasing ’em in Heaven if we can’t reform him!

  68. Val- oh oh. An old farmer told us when you get a puppy put it in the chicken shed overnight and the hens will scare the bejeezus out of it and it will never chase them. Same guy told us if a dog kills a chicken- tie the dead chicken around it’s neck for a few days and they will never do it again. Aladdin does not even bother chasing them anymore- if I need help getting them back in the shed he will help me herd them lol.

  69. Foxy…I agree, run Hillary run. Dorothy is in heaven watching and waiting… she is so proud of you Hillary. You are her greatest work.

    There is a story in the current Time magazine about the fact that the US is now 27th in the world in terms of social mobility. If you are born poor you have very little chance of leaving poverty. College is out of the question for many young Americans.
    We need someone with the will to change this. We need some one with the courage to take a chance on trying big enough and risking big enough to fail, but willing to fail so that maybe, just maybe we can win. 26 nations in this world are ahead of us in terms of “the American Dream”. That’s just pathetic. I believe Obama is perfectly happy for us to fade in a 2nd class nation. I do not believe he believes in American exceptionalism. I also believe all the republicans running are dolts in one way or another. We need someone exceptional.

  70. Another oddity about produce. Its quite a bit cheaper in Washington where my family now lives, even the stuff that is grown here in Calif! During the late spring, summer & fall, they get fabulous, fresh local produce from various small farms that sell direct. Their Farmers Market is also more expensive than the stores or farmers stands, I think becuz its “trendy” to buy from the Farmers Market, so they can charge more becuz their hip clientele will pay for it. My mom & sibs also grow stuff. They have great, acidic soil up there, anything grows. Where I live, the soil is poor and rocky, bad for growing, good for earthquakes though. The earthquake waves travel faster through the dense rock so you get less damage. We had very little damage here in the ’94 quake, compared to towns only 15-20 minutes away.

  71. LOL on the soil.We have clay. Took years of manure and leaf raking and compost to get decent soil for a garden here. The wild stuff loves it though- the berries and so forth. Some years are better than others for different things- but there is always something!

  72. I did a double take at the header. It took me a minute to get it! I’m denser than usual from cold medication.

  73. Farmer’s stands are the best places. You go right to the source. We have area growers who always have their own setups and it’s always the best place with the best prices. Farmer’s markets are becoming more of a racket now and tha’ts too bad. You’re right. They are taking advantage of the “hip”.

  74. Hey Val, did you take the chicken around the neck course in vet school?

    You see, sometimes the street wise have better ways. Laughing.

  75. LOL I forgot Val was a vet! Guess she does not need any old farmer tricks for dogs and chickens!
    I love farm stands! And we have so many around here- each has its own thing. Some for strawberries, tomatoes, we have some good local peach places- just people that have a few trees and can not use them all. And of course there are always the card tables with the zucchini free signs…..

  76. LOL was just going through the little local paper that comes out every week delivered free in the mail. Carries stories about what is happening about town- the local theaters, flu clinics, the benefit dinners and so forth. And sure enough- there was the notice for the November Surplus food distribution. Date, time, location- first come first served.

  77. ……….trying to envision my horrified dog with a chicken tied around her neck while the cats try to eat the thing off of her.

  78. Love this link.. While raising six children, we ate simply and frugally, now that they are grown we still do. Is there anything better than picked-that-morning corn and a sliced tomato ? That’s dinner at our house..
    In my last job, I worked mostly with illegals and minorities. We tried everything, from free potted tomato plants, which the employees took home at the end of the week, to offering free classes and the materials to make their own baby blankets, no luck. Yet every time they had their umpteenth kid, they asked for the free baby blankets and clothes. Okay I see the challenge coming, but mine is a second marriage and a blended family, so don’t bite me, lol!
    If the average taxpayer had the real numbers of what all this largesse costs, they wouldn’t believe it. They may know it’s bad, but they have no idea how bad.
    There is a sub group of people in this generous country, who I have found are none too bright, and have zero ambition to improve themselves.. They go from waiting room to waiting room at all the social service agencies, to them, it’s their job..
    May I add that they often arrived for their services in taxis and late model cars, maybe I ‘m underestimating their smarts….

  79. ROFLMAO Uppity! Needlenose would never kill a chicken! She is a good dog! Pitbulls on the other hand are definitely on the menu! As for the cats eating the thing? I think they might manage to get it off the dog only to drag it over and drop it at your feet to pluck and cook for them!

  80. Sophie- not sure why you went to spam. Love the story about the tomato plants and the blanket classes. As most here will recall, I was infuriated this year when I invited a few families I know are on hard times to come and take as many apples as they wanted- free for the picking.
    ONE family showed up.
    One young woman- single Mom by choice without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of- does nothing but bitch and moan about how horrible poverty is in this country, how great Obama could be if the evil R’s would just stop blocking him because they are evil, money grubbing raycists and carries on about being unemployed. Every day she post something else on Facebook about how WONDERFUL the Occupiers are!
    This young woman worked the system very very well. Has govt health ins for herself and her children, got through school on govt programs, and is overall very very BOOK smart. I met her when she had only the first child and was a waitress where I was the manager. She would bring that child in to the restaurant late at night and could NOT control the brat.
    I invited her to come and get some apples. Her kids only eat MacIntosh apples she told me.
    I so want to call her up and tell her to STFU about how hard it is to feed her kids on the pittance the govt gives her.

  81. Proud..In my younger days, I had a good friend with four kids and an abusive husband. She finally had the police haul him out of the house in his skivvies..She too, got gov’t funding for school, and welfare. She went on to become a psychologist with a successful private practice.
    I feel that’s what well intentioned people Thought social programs would do for those in need..
    Unfortunately, there are far too many like your former waitress.. It is not surprising that the general public has run out of sympathy. Every time Moo talks about eating a salad, while ‘gardening’ in 900 dollar boots, I want to slap her silly.. Sell the boots and buy them all a damn salad, hypocrite..
    I went into Public Health with high ideals, I left with low expectations.

  82. Sophie- we need more like your friend and fewer like my waitress. (and forgot to mention that when she went to school she got a teaching degree. Gee whiz, I KNOW for a FACT that there are govt programs to get teachers in to inner city schools- hmm- but she wants a position HERE. Guess what? Everybody for a 30 mile radius knows her and her history- nahgannahappen)
    Just think what a person like myself could do to teach classes on shopping, budgeting, cooking etc to those on the dole. The govt just wants to keep throwing more and more money down the hole without ever giving people the skills to survive and thrive.

  83. Hi folks…power’s finally back on. Six days! Just like Irene, I can’t believe it. My front yard looks like a war zone.

  84. PMM the government rarely provides the skills necessary to remove oneself off the rolls. I drove home thinking about what $300 dollars would buy as staples. For myself, that would have easily lasted a month with three people in the house. Of course, my mom and grandmum taught me how to cook from scratch. With a lot of preplanning, even a birthday cake wouldn’t be out of the question. I do think that people have forgotten how to cook from scratch. It was something that was handed down to me.

  85. Yeah Sophie’s out of the darkness!

  86. It’s really wonderful, mcnorman. It’s pretty cold these days. There are still 1/4 million people in CT without power.

  87. PMM, Sorry for the delay. Message received. Action taken only to find out you already took care of ‘bidness. 😉

  88. PMM..I still think O’s trying to figure out how to give illegals a vote, we know that plenty of them voted in Az, in 2010.. So he will keep the goodies coming. Even if he wins another term, he will drop them like a hot rock, as soon as it’s over.Blacks are a different story, he needs them to fund his ‘library’.and buy his future ghostwritten books.Moo is trying, in her harebrained fashion, to clean up her diva image, I suspect she wants to keep the perks coming, and may run for office herself.
    Don’t even get me started on trying to get the same ‘goodies’ for veteran’s, that is a whole other drama.

  89. Hey, isn’t the fateful election in just ONE YEAR? Countdown!!!!!

  90. Sophie, I was curious as to why you would land in spam. Looks like your IP address is dynamic. AOL, maybe? that and two different emails. The system has to learn that both are okay. The IP address thing is another story. Most AOL people, if you are AOL, or anybody who has an ISP that gives dynamic IPs out (IP changes; Verizon DSL does it too) seems to land in spam now and then, so bear with us.Or maybe two different sophies? One using lower case s, other upper case, One with an icon assigned, one with her own icon. So maybe there are two of ya? If so, the small s sophie is kind of new to the spam reader. Or some such thing. Hey, it’s late! lol.

  91. Welcome back into the light, Sophie, you were missed. What an ordeal!

  92. At Smart’s place, Sophie (the second here) is always claiming to be a thousand years old. Now that I see she has aol, I’m inclined to believe her. Welcome here, Sophie II.

  93. Our first human artifact! Cool! We shall have to get her to put a number after her name so we don’t get confoozled over which sophie we are reading. It’s not necessarily AOL though. Could be a number of DSL type ISPs. I didn’t check the ISP because I am insanely lazy as you know.

  94. I added a 2 after ‘sophie’, I would change the name, but since I’m’a thousand years old’ I would probably forget it.!
    I’m a baby boomer, so sometimes I feel like a thousand so NES is correct, as the saying goes”you’re only as old as you feel’.
    The fact that I feel backwards off a step ladder yesterday is probably contributing to my feelings of antiquity at the moment…
    As my dh said, “thank God you studied for your bone density test.”.

  95. upps said.
    rying to envision my horrified dog with a chicken tied around her neck while the cats try to eat the thing off of her.

    😆 😆 coffee aaaaaaaaal over the moniter

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