My husband has barn envy. He has seen two new barns this month that are just what we need. Small, tight easy to build, perfect for a couple of goats and keeping some hay, grain and a small tractor out of the elements. But we can’t build the barn because much of our land is in the 100 year flood plain. Back in the 30’s, the water from a rare Northeastern hurricane ran down the center of our main street. Now we can’t build in that area. It’s for our own protection of course. No insurance company is going to cover a building that could get washed away in a storm. What if I paid cash for the barn and didn’t insure the building for floods? Sorry. Those are the rules.

I used to home school my daughter. I needed permission from our school district to do so.  This was actually pretty easy. I filled out a simple, 2 page form explaining my qualifications and my curriculum plan. I could have been asked to hand over proof of her progress at any time although that never happened. I do know many families from other, less tolerant school districts who were threatened with everything from being turned in to child welfare agencies to criminal charges for educating their own children in their own homes.

I prefer raw milk. I know dairy farms with milk to sell. But they can’t sell and I can’t buy because it is illegal, for my own protection, of course. I have never gotten sick from raw milk and I would be happy to sign a disclaimer so I couldn’t sue if I did get sick but it doesn’t matter. I can’t go buy raw milk without some duplicitous maneuverings.

It does seem as though an awful lot of time,  money and energy goes into the government making sure I don’t do something stupid and get myself killed. One of the good things about a shift to a more local way of living will,  I hope, be a return to some common sense. I’m a big girl and I really don’t need to be taken care of. I just finished reading Joel Salatin’s wonderful book, Everything I want To Do Is Illegal. It is a must-read for anybody interested in small-scale agriculture and living a scaled down life. I watched a piece yesterday on our national debt. It was scary to watch those numbers fly by as our debt grows with every tick f the clock. Here’s the truth of it. We can’t afford to be babysat any longer. It takes a lot of money for the level of oversight we now have and it’s money we don’t have for a lot of oversight we don’t need.

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