Coming In Droves…

My bird feeders certainly get a lot of activity during the winter months.  We feed about 100 lbs of seed a month during that time.  One thing that always amazes me is that those coming to the feeder usually come in droves.  The squirrels were here in mass this morning. There were four of them who did not get included in the picture!  Soon the bluejays will come followed by the Cardinals.  Later in the day it is usually a very integrated group.

 

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All Puffed Up…

It was down to zero degrees last night here in Indiana. I sometimes wonder how all my feathered friends cope with these conditions. The picture below is one that shows one way they cope.  They get all puffed up to maintain body heat.

Here is to you my friend.  I promise to keep the feeder well stocked during these cold winter months so come back often...

all-puffed-up

In A Panic…

Snippet Banner  It is supposed to get down below zero tonight here in Indiana and I think all my feathered friends know it as they are in a panic mode below the feeder.   I wish I could bring them all inside but I know that would be messy and impossible.  🙂

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Simplify…

The last few years the concept of simplicity has been a major theme for me.  I have spent much of the last year decluttering my life and all the stuff I have unnecessarily collected. That included a closet of clothes never worn in several years and a 30×60 foot barn with decades worth of accumulated junk.

For some reason I now find it much more satisfying to live a cleaner life without so much stuff.  I don’t know if this is because I can see the end of the tunnel or if this has been a lifelong endeavor that is finally risen to the surface. Either way I am glad to welcome it into my world.

I searched out my photo library for what I think is the very idea of Simplify and came up with the following photo. Living simply does not mean living without beauty…

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My Small Town And Crime…

2016-04-22_10-04-25.pngI am going into my seventeenth year living in my small town in southwestern Indiana.  It is a town of about 2,000 people and a county of 20,000.  It is in the bottom 20% of the State in that regard. I certainly enjoy small town life.  I have been here long enough that most people at least know that I am the  old”deaf” guy. We aren’t quite “Mayberry” as portrayed to the right but we are probably about as white and as few in number. 🙂

Our small daily newspaper, yeah we still have one, doesn’t have much of a staff so they for the most part just print what is given to them. It seems the majority of our daily newspaper is about high school sports and who recently died.  Investigative reporting is non-existent. There are occasional letters to the editor that discusses our local government but for the most part no one in government and especially law enforcement are seriously questioned.  That is an underlying theme for this post.

In the sixteen years I have lived here crime it seems has been pretty static, at least from what I can glean from the newspaper and talking to other townspeople. There was recently a murder of a small child that made State wide news but murder and robbery is thankfully a very rare occurrences in my small town. A couple of times a year I see where the sheriff raids another meth lab but for the most part my small town seems almost immune from the big city problems of Indianapolis which brings me to the main topic of this post.

The budgets related to criminal activities  in our county has taken a sharp increase in the last few years and I just can’t fathom why. For years we got by with one judge handling the legal matters for our county. Most, if not all, the county employees were housed in the 100 year old county courthouse.  And then things suddenly changed. About four years ago when our long-time circuit judge retired it was decided that one judge could not handle the volume anymore. We needed two judges now.

We also needed a greatly expanded support team including more deputies for the three enforcement agencies in our small county. So many more employees where added that they had to seek additional space beyond the court house. Of course along with all this demanded remodeling much of the court house space to accommodate the expanded bureaucracy.  More tax dollars…

Tax dollars dedicated to criminal activities have taken a giant leap here but I just don’t see the cause of it?  And now a plan is underway to close down three of the four courthouse entrance doors and to put some more newly hired  guards  with metal detectors and weapons at the final one.  Of course that means more expense.

Is all of this being caused by real threats or just  increased fear?  Since my county is very red when it comes to its politics I kind of think the later. Fear is very dominant on that side of the aisle.   But I won’t be voicing much opposition to these changes as I don’t want to be deemed the “troublemaker” in my small town.  That can almost be the kiss of social death in a small town….