Nothing New

Well, this is a relief. I will have nothing new to write about. I am delighted because I am busy.

op Nicole

Juxtaposed with the ad for the Blessed Little Bows, it just looks so. . .inviting, doesn’t it?


Frankly, I sort of wonder if Nicole wrote this or if someone else did. Surely a super “unschooling” mother knows that the correct usage is “I hope you’re up for the fun.”


Blessed Little Plans

needs a rest

This sort of tugged at my heart strings. Nicole just needs a rest, folks. She’s tired and she has too much going on. You know, all that housework and meal preparation and child care and schoolwork supervision has her overworked and stressed out.

So, I decided to help her out.

She needs to get organized, with a nice list of all her plans. That way, she can see exactly what she needs to do and when it’s due.

It’s okay, Nicole. You don’t have to thank me. I’m happy to help. We’ll update this every now and then, when we get around to it. Feel free, folks, to suggest additions. Note that I need a source for the “plan,” so I can document it properly. Organization means attention to detail.

spreadsheet June

Sunny Side Up

BLH solar panels

more about ac

These come from a discussion on BLH about living “off-grid.” I am astonished, frankly, at the level of sheer stupidity that occurs over there. Not because there are people who are curious and who ask questions, but at the level of Nicole’s total stupidity and/or complete dishonesty.

Really, she knows better.

Dave and I have some experience dealing with solar panels. We lived fulltime in an RV (actually two of them, two different times) for several years. We had a solar panel system installed on one of them and did a lot of what RVers call “boondocking.”  That’s parking in a place with no utility hookups. We spent an entire summer in Alaska in that rig and never plugged in once.

Solar panel technology has improved since then, but the basics remain the same. And while costs are down some, they aren’t down all that much.

While it is theoretically possible to run an air conditioning unit with solar panels, it’s not practical and it would be extremely expensive.


This is Ryan.  Ryan is standing next to his tiny house, that he built himself. Ryan has way more on the ball than the Nauglers, and that is putting it mildly.

Ryan runs an AC unit in his tiny house. See the size?  It’s 150 square feet plus the loft.  For one person.  One.  One person’s body heat.

Ryan spent about $10,000 for the parts to put together his solar panel system.

Read that again. $10K.

And his description of using that solar panel system to run his tiny little air conditioner is enlightening.  We’re talking about very minimal usage here.

Living in our solar-equipped RV,  we became very conscious of how much electricity we were using. Our regulator was located with its face in the interior of the RV (in the kitchen area) so we could see how full the batteries were all the time. And we checked. A lot. Especially after we had a bit of experience with suddenly realizing that the batteries were all discharged and having to turn on the generator.

Our system consisted of three large panels mounted on our roof and three marine batteries.  The entire affair, installed, cost us maybe $1500, maybe a bit more.

It would not run our AC, to put it mildly. It wouldn’t run our microwave. RV refrigerators run on gas when off-grid, with the exception of the indicator lights.  We used a portable catalytic heater (gas) for heat, so never used the on-board heating system (which sucks juice because of the fan).

Essentially, we were using the solar system to power on-board lighting, various indicator lights, the water pump, the television, very small overhead fans (short term use only) and the occasional small electric appliance.

Most of the time, at sundown, we’d have our batteries powered to the max, especially on sunny days. We could watch a movie after dark.  One movie.  No more. We were very careful about lights, and RV lights are tiny things in the first place. I did discover that on a sunny day, I could use my sewing machine all day long without ever reducing the battery storage.

The Naugler’s solar system is something similar to what we had. It won’t do much more than run a few lights for a short while and charge their all-important smartphones. On the night of the Blessed Little Excursion, it was just after dark and the Blessed Little Generator was running full on. Right after dark, to run some Blessed Little Lights.

Dave and I moved out of the RV and bought our place here in Kentucky in the spring of 2008. We did it in part because we began to get very nervous as the real estate market began to collapse. This was before the stock market crash in the fall of that year. We owned several houses at the time and were trying to sell two of them and it was brutal. Nobody knew what was going to happen, of course. There were several reasons why we moved here and the economy was only one of them, but it was a factor.

And we’ve always been interested in using the least amount of energy possible when it comes to fossil fuels. I know perfectly well that if I use less, my little contribution will do exactly nothing to affect the long-term world usage, but what we were really concerned about was our own aging. We don’t want to get to be in our mid-eighties and suddenly be faced with radical lifestyle changes regarding fuel without a clue how to deal with them.

So we moved here to our little farm. We have 20 acres, with a large pasture all fenced. Our house is well insulated and energy efficient. We’ve been here for 8 years.  We turned off the AC when we arrived here and didn’t turn it on again until the end of last summer.

We know how to live without air conditioning, in humid Kentucky, when it’s 100 degrees for several days in a row. We can handle it if we have to. It’s a skill we have learned.

Now it’s learned, and now we know, and now we have everything needed to do it, so we don’t have to do that anymore, so we have air conditioning again.  It’s worth every single penny.

Another thing we did was disconnect our hot water heater entirely. This came about as an experiment. When we bought our wood cook stove, it came with a reservoir that sits at the back and heats water. Initially, we thought we’d never use it much, but we played with it and realized that during the winter, we have a free source of hot water.


Here’s my wood stove. The firebox is on the left. The oven is to the right. It’s a full-sized oven, actually bigger than the one in my gas range. That’s one of my canners on it (I was canning something when the photo was taken). The water reservoir is the black rectangular thing in the back.

I wish somebody had explained to me how useful and wonderful these wood stoves are many years ago. They last forever if cared for, and cost about the same as a good plain Jane wood stove, but in addition to heating our entire house (we do not use our heat pump in winter), I also cook and bake on it in winter and we heat our hot water as well. Of course, we had the ideal hearth in place already to put it.

Anyway, we looked that reservoir and decided that it would be neat if we could figure out a way to use that hot water for more than just washing dishes.  So I bought a few of these.

solar shower
click image for link to source

In summer, we put them out on the back deck and they heat up nicely. In winter, we fill them using the wood stove reservoir.  Dave installed a heavy hook in the shower and it works great.

As a result of all this and some other energy-reducing measures, for several years, our electric bill was around $30/month. It’s higher now, even without the a/c, but that’s not because our KWH usage has increased.  It’s because the price per KWH has increased.  And we are seriously considering reconnecting our hot water heater, or perhaps replacing it with a more efficient unit. We get older every year and we already know how to do this if we have to.

Let’s go back to Ryan’s $10,000 for his solar panel setup.  Without our air conditioning, our electric bill currently is about $50 month. Investing $10K in a solar panel setup, for us, is just ridiculous.  At fifty dollars a month, we could pay our electric bill for almost 17 years before we’d spend that much, longer if you factor in the interest we can earn on that $10K.

Yes, our bills are likely going to be higher over time. But Ryan’s solar panels and battery bank are going to require replacement (batteries, especially) and maintenance. Furthermore, Ryan has to fiddle with this stuff all the time. I know.  We’ve lived with it. It means replacing all your current electric appliances (running a conventional refrigerator off solar panels is not practical, nor is running a freezer and we have two of each.)

And Dave and I are old and getting older.  It would be a stupid decision. Electricity is cheap.

If you live in a place where getting electricity is either impossible or horrendously expensive, it might a whole different story. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.  Neither I nor Nicole live in a place like that.

So, now that I have established my credibility, let’s go back to the list on Nicole’s FB page.

hot showers, air conditioning, dishwasher, washing machine, “laundry appliances”, indoor plumbing

Going down that list, one by one.

Hot showers: doable without any solar panels.  Lots of ways to do it, but the simplest is the little portable solar shower I showed above. I have about five of them. You don’t want to heat water with solar panels.

Air conditioning: not practical and very, very expensive.

Dishwasher: for pity’s sake, people. Wash the dishes. I haven’t had a dishwasher for many years. It’s really okay and I have a whole cabinet I get to use. I can’t even imagine somebody talking about going off-grid but demanding a dishwasher.

Washing machine: depending on the model, that would be doable. The hot water to go in it (like the hot water for a dishwasher)  becomes problematic, though. Heating hot water with solar panels is just ridiculous. Nobody does it.  You can build a solar hot water heater (not the same thing as solar panels at all), but we’ve never done that.

“Laundry appliances:” The expression implies dryer.  A clothes dryer is out of the question on a solar panel setup.  I don’t have one and haven’t had one in many years.  In summer, I hang clothes outside.  In winter, I do too if possible, but if not possible, I put them on racks in front of the wood stove.  I even had a clothesline affair that Dave built for me using PVC pipe that hooked onto the back of our RV.

And the answer Nicole gives twice is:

You can have all of that off grid. You just need the solar panels to sustain it.

No, you can’t.  Unless you have unlimited cash and don’t mind throwing it away. And she makes it sound like it’s all so easy.  Just buy some solar panels.

When in discussions like this, Nicole always acts like she’s the authority. She has all the answers. Always. Nobody can tell her anything, and anyone who tries is immediately slammed and/or banned.  Yet when she’s criticized, suddenly they are just “beginners” and they “make mistakes.” Which is it?

They live in a garden shed and run a generator to light it at night. Their place looks like it is in Bangladesh, not the United States. Standing in the weeds up to their chests and with trash strewn everywhere, they remind me of the movie Deliverance. Their Blessed Little Solar Panel setup was donated to them, as was almost everything else they have.  They have spent three years on that land floundering around, and in her own words, “spinning their wheels.”  Only they don’t even have any wheels to spin.  They spend most of their days at their totally on-grid business place. They are the last people on earth to be trying to tell other people how to do this.




Nicole statement

This is from last November, as you can see from the date. I want to talk about the paragraph with the yellow highlighting.

Joe took an Alford plea.

I will admit that I never heard of such a thing before, but then again, I don’t have a whole lot of experience going to court.  So I asked a lawyer, and I looked it up.

Plea bargaining, in and of itself, is a bit of a controversial topic. There are good arguments in favor of the practice (clears the docket, keeps the state from spending zillions of dollars trying people who readily admit guilt, or when it’s obvious they are guilty) and against the practice (tends to very much disadvantage the poor for various reasons, voids the defendant’s constitutional rights).  I won’t go into all of that here, but it’s interesting.

In an ordinary plea bargain, the defendant is required to stand in court and admit guilt.

In 1970, the United States Supreme Court heard a case called North Carolina v. Alford, and ruled that there was no constitutional barrier to a person pleading guilty without admitting guilt.  If this interests you terribly, here’s a place to start.

So, at its core, the Alford plea is simply a guilty plea in which the defendant does not have to stand in court and admit guilt.  Everything else is the same.

. . . he was NOT stealing water nor did he threaten anyone with a weapon.

This is simply Nicole’s assertion. It is not a legal finding. In many cases involving plea bargains, the defendant agrees to plead guilty and by doing so, is convicted of a lesser crime.  I don’t know if that was the case here, but it often is.

So, Nicole’s statement includes the ambiguous statement that Joe “took” an Alford plea and then consists solely of her own opinions.

But her alter identity (or her surrogate) is not ambiguous at all.

not guilty

Notice the date on this.  June 16, and that’s this year. Just a few days ago. Why was this brought up now?

Well, Joe is facing a courtroom yet again.

Joe Naugler was not found guilty of menacing.

Wrong. Totally false.  He, in fact, was convicted of menacing.

Here are the court documents.


Notice the charge?  Menacing.


I have highlighted all the places where this document (which is the Alford plea) uses the word “guilty.”  How many times do they have to say it?


And notice the word highlighted in red?

. . . because of my conviction here today. . .


Let’s define these words.

click image to link to source

conviction 2

Joe Naugler was, in fact, convicted of menacing. The only thing that is missing is an admission of guilt from him; however, prisons are slap full of people who have never admitted guilt.




I could almost, almost feel for Nicole here. She reads this bullshit stuff and believes all of it and so she’s “upset.”

Here’s the article.

medical kidnap

Notice the source?  Sigh.  Fear-mongering at its worst.  A site that every parent who ever had a run-in with CPS frequents regularly, because they are all (or at least this is way it appears to me) innocent.  And CPS is evil. Always evil.

And they steal babies. You know, babies born to 14-year-old rape victims who are brave and all pro-life and decide to go ahead and have the baby. Because CPS is just evil like that and hates children.  Or wants to sell children.  Or something.

Well, maybe not.

I spent about five minutes (really, about five minutes) looking around for a site that was saying something about this that wasn’t a lunatic site, and found this.


Of course, this is Snopes, and so George Soros, so we can’t believe it either.  Or can we?

Read it and see for yourself.


And my thanks to a sharp-eyed, super-Googler reader who found this. The grandmother decided to Naugler a bit, and started a GoFundMe.  It is now gone, conveniently (and good riddance – GoFundMe is just online begging). They have raised five of their grandchildren, and two of them had babies the same week.  I don’t know if the second grandchild who gave birth was a minor, but it’s for certain the first one was.

If I were CPS, I might be checking into this situation too.

If Nicole would get off these fringy silly conspiracy-theorist pages and quit immersing herself in one side of things, she might not be so upset.

And maybe then she could go back to being upset with the health department. They are real.


Shit: A Primer


They don’t read this blog, you know.  LOL

Call me dumb. . .

Okay, Becky.  You’re dumb.

becky 2

Slander is spoken.  I am not talking out loud.  I am writing. The word Becky is looking for is libel.  And it doesn’t apply in this case, anyway. What I have written about Becky is my personal opinion, quite clearly.  Obviously, I haven’t done IQ tests on Becky, so I have no way to know whether or not she is mentally challenged.  My expression (blithering idiot) was hyperbole (look that up, please, Becky and Nicole) and therefore obviously opinion, which is protected speech.

But Becky did “research.”  What she means is that she Googled a bit. And she found out that human waste is sometimes treated and then sold as fertilizer.  Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been doing this for decades. The product is called “Milorganite.”  I’ve actually used it before.

It is treated. That’s the operative word here. Treated.  It is contained and treated.  Treated how?  Actually, that’s sort of interesting. It’s treated with microbes. They are introduced into the sewage and they quite literally eat it, and then they (the microbes) are killed. Milorganite is essentially dead bugs.


Other plants treat human waste and produce what is called “biosolids.”

Remember that word?  Treated.


Of course, our sewage gets treated and then “put into the ground somewhere.”  What else would we do with it?  Fire it into outer space?

But the issue here is human waste vs. animal waste.  Why do farmers spread animal waste on their fields, but the Nauglers can’t fling their poo all around like chimpanzees?

Becky obviously doesn’t know.  Nicole doesn’t know.  And Erin doesn’t know.  They aren’t the only ones.  They are just the folks I chose to quote.

with Frances

Here I go, off the subject again.  But not really.

This is Frances the cow. Standing in front of her is Claire, the first calf she had after she came to live with us from the dairy.  We were going to do everything “natural.”  I told Frances that it was going to be wonderful. She was going to get to keep her calf with her and she was going to love it so much.

And there they are, all happy. Day 2.

And it was great, for about two weeks.

And then it started being less great. Actually, looking back, it wasn’t great after about the first two hours, but I was too starry-eyed and wanting to do everything “natural,” to understand what Frances was trying to tell me. She can’t talk.

Frances was getting sick. Before we realized it, she had gotten quite ill.  She got a condition called “ketosis.”  If you know anything about the Atkins diet, you’ll recognize the word.  It simply means “fat burning.” The Atkins diet, intended of course for human beings, promotes ketosis because the condition burns up a lot of fat, thus causing weight loss.

People generally can handle mild ketosis without many problems.  Cows cannot.

Cows get really, really sick and the condition can be fatal.

Frances started looking and acting depressed.  She would walk in the barn and stand facing the wall like she expected the wall to move for her. She had “fuzzy brain.”  She also quit eating.

When a lactating dairy cow quits eating, you are in very deep trouble.

The condition in dairy cows occurs primarily when the cow’s calorie expenditure exceeds her calorie intake. No modern lactating dairy cow can eat enough calories to stay alive on just hay and grass.  Grain is required. But you can’t feed them too high a ratio of grain to grass or you’ll get their digestion all screwed up.  So it’s a balancing act and many of them walk that tightrope without a safety net.

Stress can and often is the straw that broke the cow’s back.

So, when this novice cow-owner finally figured out that something was really wrong, we immediately jerked the calf off her and put the calf in a pen.  Frances, I swear, gave an audible sigh of relief.

I then began giving her molasses mixed in water (we call it “coffee”) to up her calorie intake and poured molasses all over her grain and hand fed her for several days.  She had obviously lost weight.  I felt terrible about it and frankly stupid.  It took her far longer to recover than it did for her to get sick.

And she never had that calf with her again.  Nor any other calf. Ever.

My cow loves being pregnant, but she doesn’t love mothering. She is really into her calves right after birth. She does the mama-moo thing (wonderful if you’ve never heard a cow do that) for about thirty minutes to an hour. And then she’s ready to go back out to the pasture for a snack and leave the calf with the nursery staff.  I am the nursery staff.

From that point forward, she pretty much ignores her calves and within a few days, couldn’t pick her own calf out of a crowd.

So much for “natural.”

So we put the calf in a pen. And that led me to feel sorry for the poor little calf in this stall all alone. So we got some more calves.


[BTW, before Nicole can start, these are well-fed Jersey bull calves. They are skinny.  That’s how they come.  They grow like weeds and they stay skinny because they are making bone, not fat.]

We raise Jersey bull calves for our local dairy.  They buy them back from us when they get to the age where we can’t stand them anymore.  The dairy then chooses the bulls they want to keep in their herd and sells off the rest.

So it was all great.  Frances was happy and has never had a serious problem with ketosis again, and she is delighted that the nursery staff takes the babies. She gets them back when they are adolescents and they form her “herd” and she bosses them around.  It works.

But we began to have a problem.  A big one.

The first batch of calves did fine.  We have an old wooden barn with stalls.  We put the calves in those stalls and allowed them access to the breezeway as a run during the day.  They were bedded down on nice shavings and straw. It looked perfect.

calf in stall

We probably raised a dozen or more that way and everything was fine.

But then, they started scouring.

“Scours” is a farmer word for diarrhea.  Watery, awful, smelling diarrhea. There are several types, and the calf’s age and the appearance of the scours can vary depending on the causative organism.  Our calves are 3-4 days old when we get them, have had their mother’s colostrum, and they were getting sick about a week after they arrived on our farm.

We treated the scours and it got to the point that every single calf we got developed it.  Treatment consists of antibiotics to hopefully kill the causative organism and mostly of hydration, electrolyte solution around the clock.  If you can keep the calf hydrated, he will likely do pretty well.

And then we got Twister.


Named for the tornado shape on his head, he was a super big guy.

On his ninth morning of life, Dave went into his stall to give him his bottle and Twister was staggering.  He kept falling down and refused the bottle. He was scouring.

By 7 p.m. that day, he was dead.

I cried and sobbed and I just can’t tell you how upset I was.  He was our first death (of a calf).  I knew why he died.  I had no idea until then how fast and brutal it could be, but I knew why.

I just didn’t know how to stop it.

I began reading everything I could find about scours. We implemented one practice after another to cure the problem. Nothing worked.  Our calves universally got sick and what was worse, they seemed to be getting sicker. We had two or three near-misses with death, and then finally had another calf die.

At this point, I was trudging out to the barn every two hours around the clock to force-feed calves electrolyte solution and we were ready to just quit.

The problem, we knew, was manure. (You knew I’d get back to the subject at some point, didn’t you?)  There is no way in the world to sterilize dirt.  Our barn is old. We have had lots of animals in it, not just calves, but Frances and the donkeys and the bigger calves.  They poo a lot.

We tried deeper straw.  Didn’t help.

We tried cleaning the stalls out completely between calves and spraying each stall with an entire gallon of Clorox.  Didn’t help.

We tried separating the calves completely in different stalls.  Didn’t help.

We had to get those calves off that concentrated manury ground.  We thought about creating concrete pens that could be hosed off (complicated and expensive).  You name the idea and we considered it. But the big, underlying principle was that our calves were getting sick and dying because they had immature immune systems and they were being overwhelmed by organisms in the ground.

Out on a field, for instance, with beef cattle, the calves stay with their mothers and move around the field, never staying long in any place that is concentrated with manure.  (Although beef calves can get bad cases of scours and some of them die. Scours is the number one cause of calf death. )

Anyway, nothing worked. Nothing even helped.

And then we looked at how dairies do it.  You know, those evil, Big Agra, unnatural places that are cruel to animals.  How do they keep calves alive?


Like this.

This was not practical for us for a variety of reasons, but we started thinking about it. Those hutches are moved between calves to new ground, and the ground is dug out and the floors of those areas filled with new sand. The hutch itself is thoroughly cleaned.  Those calves don’t die.

calf pen bare

So Dave built this.  We now have two of them, the second one located to the left of the first.

The “floor” is made of milk crates turned upside down on a gravel floor. Dave dug out several inches of the stall flooring and filled it with gravel. This is a stall that we have never used for animals, but mostly for hay storage, so there is little to no build-up of manure.

calf in pen

Here’s a little guy in the pen.  We put a good thick layer of straw as bedding. The calf is not on the ground.  His feet never touch the ground.  Between calves, we take the whole thing apart, take the milk crates outside, hose them down, spray them well with Clorox (a whole gallon per pen is the rule) and leave them in the sunshine for a couple of days.  The wooden parts of the pen are saturated with Clorox, and of course, the feed and water trays are cleaned.

Our calves live here for three weeks. On Day 21, they graduate to the mob that live in the breezeway and stalls. By then, they have developed an immunity to the various organisms that cause scours (pretty much).

We have not had a death since we started using these pens.  We have not had a single case of scours. We’ve had a couple who thought about it, but one day of electrolyte solution and we’re good.  And we’ve raised maybe 20 or so calves this way.

The microbes in manure can be deadly.  Cow manure was deadly to our calves.  Poor little Twister.

So why are we more cautious about human manure than we are about cow manure?  Because we are humans.

Dave and I have to be really cautious about cow manure around baby calves.  People have to be cautious about human manure around people, especially the elderly and babies who have underdeveloped or failing immune systems.

There are organisms in human manure that are specific to human manure and harmful to humans and not to dogs or cows.  Ditto with cow manure and cows.

There are a few organisms that are present in all manure and pose a problem for people, mostly commonly listeria, e. coli and salmonella.  And in fact, those three manure-spread organisms show up in food-poisoning recalls over and over again.

And the biggest offender seems to be produce, but not just produce.  Specifically green leafy veggies that are eaten raw, like baby spinach and that bagged, ready-to-eat salad.  ( I won’t buy that stuff for that reason.)

Another interesting thing is that buying organic doesn’t help.

5 percent
click image for link

I was stunned to discover that of the recalls for those three organisms (listeria, e. coli and salmonella), way more than 5 percent have been organic produce or organic products.  The figure is about 25%.  I can’t link to anything because to figure this out, you have to find the stats and then laboriously go through and count them and look up each company to see if the product is labeled “organic.”  It’s tedious and this article is too long now.  But I won’t buy organic if I can help it.

Why is that?

It’s because organic farmers are far more likely to use manure on their fields since they cannot use chemical fertilizers.  Ordinarily that isn’t a problem. We use animal manure here on our garden.

But we don’t put raw animal manure right on the garden on our growing plants.  Do you know what happens if you do that?  The plant will probably die.  Manure has to “rot.”  It has to sit for a while.  Nobody would do that more than about once.

When farmers take raw manure out and spread it on their fields, they are not spreading it in their corn, or soybeans. They  are spreading it out on the grass. We do it.  There is already cow manure out there because that’s where Frances and the older calves live. We just add a bit more and spread it out.  We are not eating any of that grass. They are. And they carefully eat around the shitty areas until enough time and rain has occurred that they deem it okay.

So how does lettuce get contaminated with e. coli if the well-rotted manure is put on the lettuce field and plowed in?  The usual way it happens is that there is a pile of manure someplace near the field and the fresh manure is rained on and the run-off goes down into the field and gets on the lettuce.  It’s not the rotted stuff that is plowed in that hurts us. It’s the raw manure, with living e. coli in it that is culprit.

Notice the common denominator here?  With our calves, the issue was figuring out a way to keep calves away from a build-up of fresh manure.  With organic farming (or any other farming for that matter), the issue is keeping the crops away from any contamination with fresh manure.

So we’re back to shit.

Why are outhouses okay?  They’re okay, if dug properly, because the waste is kept from leaching into streams or ponds (the water supply), and because people can’t be exposed to it because it’s way down under the ground, and because the ground itself at that depth provides a good filter.  In practice, sometimes it isn’t really all that good, which is one reason people who are not on a municipal septic system (like us) generally have  septic tank.

Septic tanks provide a safe, contained place for the waste to rot and then for the overflow (effluent) to be sent out into a drain field (all underground).  People are in no danger of being exposed to a properly functioning septic system.  Once in place, it’s a no-brainer and human error ceases to be an issue.

Humanure is fraught with chances for human error to screw up the whole thing.  At every step, it can be done wrong.  From spilling the bucket, to not constructing the compost bin in the right place or the right way, to not managing the compost bin so that it heats up correctly, to run-off, there are issues where those who are the neighbors of people who are using humanure systems have to trust that those crunchy,  back-to-the-land, self-described “beginner” homesteaders really read the book and are doing it right.

Why should the Nauglers’ neighbors have to worry about that?



Oh Shit


She actually did something she said she was going to do.  I am really shocked.  I mean, I was all ready to pounce and then I was so disappointed.

Not really.

Anyway, I saw a comment someplace that the color of Nicole’s blog is so apropos, and it is.

They went to court, as we know, and Joe pled not guilty, as we expected, and Joe has court on June 28th but that’s just a pre-trial conference, so this could go on forever. And Nicole has explained the whole thing in her blog.

Sort of.

quote 1

We begin here.  This is terribly misleading.

It wasn’t an issue.

We are talking about Child Protective Services.  We’re talking about a potty-thing that looks from the outside and with only a casual glance like an outhouse.  Of course it wasn’t an issue. That’s because CPS social workers don’t have special courses in sewage management.

The truth is more like this.  Nobody paid much attention to this until Nicole put up photos of the various incarnations of outhouses (mostly abandoned before being finished) and finally the last great effort, that filthy awful particle-board thing.  And I, along with some other folks, started asking the question.

What are they doing with the contents of the bucket?

quote 2

. . . every effort to put my family in harms [sic] way.

That’s so ludicrous it defies logic.  In harm’s way?  What?  I blog, Nicole.  How is that putting your family “in harm’s way”?

. . . to try to get us to move.

Nope. Don’t care if you move.  If you move, I will continue to write.  I don’t care where you live.

What I want you to do is quit begging online.  That’s it. I want you to quit pretending to be “homesteading,” when what you really are is homeless. I want you to quit with all the “simpler lifestyle” crap, when what you really are is broke. Just stop.

And I have absolutely no influence over the health department in Breckinridge County. I know not one single person there. I have never been there. I don’t know where it is. I don’t know their phone number.

I just blog.

quote 3

They got a notice.

Nicole doesn’t appear to know how to rotate a photo, so I’m doing it for her.  Here, so you can read it, is the notice.


Notice what it says?

. . . inadequate treatment and disposal of human waste above ground.

Notice what it does not say?


Do you see that word?  I do not.

When we were engaged in beer drinking with Joe last Friday night, he carried on quite a bit about diapers and run-off and contamination.  That’s because it appears that his neighbor has found, at the very least, some of the Naugler trash on his land.  This is really not hard for me to believe.

Remember, I’ve been there.

That place, the Naugler place, is strewn with trash. It looks like an inner-city neglected playground. The only thing lacking is a wall with graffiti.  I don’t know if the Nauglers just toss their trash around, or if they set bags of trash outside and the dogs get into it and they do the tossing, but somebody does.  The trash does not walk there.

So, the idea that some of this trash might end up at the neighbor’s place is not outside the set of “possible.”

The rest, the whole “contamination” thing, I have no way to determine.  One reason is that I have no idea where they are dumping the shit. She won’t tell us, except to make some vague reference to a supposed compost heap, covered with a tarp (which would make it all just smell lovely), in the back of the Blessed Little Property.  Only elsewhere, she or Joe said something about multiple compost heaps.  So who knows.

But anyway, the letter just says “Hey, Naugs, you can’t dispose of your shit above ground.”  Period.

Okay, so supposedly Joe spoke with Jeremy Hinton the next day and he said the “C” word.  Really?  Did he? I thought Joe recorded everything.  In fact, Nicole made it easy for us by providing a linky to the recording.

phone call audio

Here’s a link.

You go listen.  Now then, did you hear Jeremy Hinton say “contamination”?  You didn’t because he didn’t. The person talking about “contamination” was Joe Naugler.  In fact, Joe did most of the talking which is much of the Naugler problem.

I’m reminded here of some lyrics from the musical “Hamilton.”  In “Aaron Burr, Sir,”  Hamilton is having a beer with Burr and Burr says,

While we’re talking, let me offer you some free advice
Talk less, smile more

Joe might consider those words.

Anyway, what Mr. Hinton said to Joe was basically, “Kentucky law does not allow you to dump raw sewage on the ground.”  And Joe insisted that it does.  Only I can’t find a place anywhere that says so.  Now that means, well, not very much because maybe it’s out there and I just haven’t found it, but really, I tried.

And the reporter “has been linked” to the “trolls.”

I could not tell you the reporter’s name.  I have no idea. I never spoke with the reporter (her?  him?)  I assume because Nicole wrote a whole blog post about “trolls” and named me by name that she considers me a “troll,” but I do not know this reporter.

quote 4

And see how Nicole and Joe set up a straw man (a logical fallacy) and then start to tear him down?

There is no reason to believe there is any contamination. . .

Nobody has accused them of that in any official document. Mr. Hinton didn’t accuse them of that.

What follows is the Blessed Little Trip to the health department in search of the elusive permit.  Naturally, they recorded it.

Let me digress a minute.

When we were planning our cruise, we realized that we would be docking in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 17th.  That was the day of the Kentucky Democratic primary.  That meant that we needed to vote via absentee ballot.

So I contacted the clerk of court in our county and verified that we did, in fact, qualify to vote absentee. However, there was a fairly big problem, and one we just didn’t understand at first.  Kentucky law requires the clerk of court to mail absentee ballots to an out-of-state address under most circumstances (confinement in a hospital might qualify as an exception).  And the problem with that was that the ballot would need to be mailed to us in some distant location in such a way that we could get it, vote, and mail it back to Kentucky.

The clerk asked me, “Where will you be?”

My answer was, “In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.”


So, as you can see, there was a problem. The clerk of court had not the slightest idea what to do about it. She simply had her rules. The ballot had to be mailed out of state. Furthermore, they didn’t even have any ballots and couldn’t print any until they got clearance to do so and she didn’t really know when that would be.

We were leaving the USA on April 10.

It is our right that we should be able to vote.  We know that. The clerk knows that.

We could have gone into the clerk’s office and raised holy hell and produced a copy of the US Constitution and talked over her and carried on about “Article Thus-and-So” and totally pissed her off and we wouldn’t have been able to vote.

But instead, we went to the clerk’s office (actually, Dave went once and then we both went the second time because I had to sign for my own ballot) and we worked it out.  We were nice.  They were nice.

We came up with a Plan A and a Plan B. Two different out-of-state addresses, one in Florida, the other in Copenhagen, Denmark (we docked there three times during our trip).  If the ballots were mailed before a certain date, they went to Florida.  If they were mailed after that date, they went to Copenhagen, to our B&B.  I contacted the B&B people and they were happy to get the ballots, hold them for our arrival  and we’d fill them in and get them to mail them back to the USA for us.

As it turned out, they were mailed to a friend’s house in Florida, and got there before our ship sailed. The friend met us at the airport, we went to dinner, and filled the ballots out, and she mailed them the following day, April 11, in plenty of time to get to Kentucky.

But here’s the deal. We are the ones who had to bend.  They couldn’t.  They can’t change the rules to suit every individual who walks in the door.  They had to mail the ballots out of state.  So we worked around that and satisfied their requirements and we voted successfully.  And furthermore, the clerk called me on the day she mailed the ballots and said, “Success!  I am mailing your ballots to Florida today.”  She was all happy about it. I was delighted.  Dave was delighted.  Even our friend in Florida thought it was fun.

So, Joe and Nicole went to the health department and badgered a woman who worked there to get a permit that simply doesn’t exist.  The woman had no such permit.  It’s not her fault. And Joe and Nicole should have known before going in there that they didn’t have such a permit.

Listen to the audio.  Joe is belligerent and hostile.  He goes in there prepared to do battle with a woman behind a desk.  (Joe is typically very hostile to women—the menacing conviction is an example— but has a beer with the guys.)

Then they got a letter, Nicole says.  Here it is.

extension letter

In the letter, Mr. Hinton tells them that he’s extending the deadline because he failed to tell them how to fix the problem.  That’s fair.

How could they fix the problem?

Get a septic system. Either get a new one, or fix the old one.  Get it inspected and approved.  And then he tells them that he’s happy to meet with them on their property to talk about it.

Notice that there’s nothing in there about “contamination.”  The issue is simple.  There is no approved method of dealing with sewage, so get one.  If you wanna talk about it, call me.

They didn’t, of course. Instead, they called the state dude, who told them exactly the same thing Mr. Hinton did.

But of course, Nicole and Joe know more about everything than anyone else.

Anybody watch Nicole’s nauseating little vlog done while she’s grooming a dog?

Notice how she emphasizes that they are just beginners and are making mistakes and why is everybody always picking on them?  They are just beginners.  So humble.  So sweet.  So fake.

If that’s true, why are they calling the fucking Department of Agriculture and when they don’t like what he tells them, going online and declaring that this “display(s) the complete ignorance of the state”?  If they are just beginners, maybe they have got this all wrong?  Maybe they do not know what the fuck they are talking about?


One of her followers had this to say.


Nicole seems to have no idea that Becky Blass is a blithering idiot.  In Becky’s opinion, it’s all the same, human or animal.  And Nicole thinks that is fine.  This isn’t the only instance of this sort of stupidity being displayed on Nicole’s wall and she never corrects it.  She obviously doesn’t know any better, and this is enough to warrant never giving her any permit to handle human sewage, ever, under any circumstances.


quote 5

See all the pejorative language?

. . . neither party understands. . .

. . . ignorance of the matter has led to bias.

They sent it to the court, which was exactly the right thing to do.


quote 6

The original issue wasn’t “contamination,” as I have clearly shown. The original issue was dumping raw sewage on the ground, and having no approved and inspected waste disposal system.

Even if our compost was leeching, it wouldn’t effect my neighbors.

Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, Nicole, you moron, please learn how to spell.  The words are “leaching” and “affect.”

The two videos she links to show nothing at all worth bothering with.  They do not show the Blessed Little Compost Heap.

What are you doing with the shit?

quote 7

We are contesting the contamination aspect.

Which, of course, is not the issue at all.

We do need to file for permits and have a site inspection.  Which I have agreed to since the beginning.

Oh, Nicole, you are such a liar.

haven't refused inspection

doing it wrong

Uh, that is exactly what Joe was in court for. Doing it wrong.  That’s what it clearly says. Doing it wrong.

contamination again

Quote from the citation:

. . . inadequate treatment and disposal of human waste above ground.

Do you see an accusation of “contamination” anywhere there?

I’ve not refused inspection.

I will stand my ground.

invoke right

lawyer present

What do you call these remarks, Nicole?  You are a liar.  You just plain lie.

good shot

The black-out name is one of the children, and not one of the oldest boys.  A child.


2nd amendment

And this is what is most troubling.

Even after Jeremy Hinton offers to come out and talk with them on their property, Nicole carries on about lawyers and the 4th Amendment and standing her ground, and worse, the 2nd Amendment.

I know I have said this before, but the Blessed Little Excursion last week taught me something.

Nicole is not mistaken about all this.  She knows how to read. Her comprehension isn’t very good, but she can read English.  She knows what this is about.  She knows it’s not about “contamination.”  She’s not misunderstanding anything. She’s way smarter than Joe.  He’s just all bluster and blather and has to ask her about everything, including what you call this  :  (a colon).  (In the video at the health department)

Nicole is not mistaken.

Nicole is lying.



We did not have a permit.

And there’s the whole problem in a nutshell.  Not only that, Nicole and Joe are very unlikely to get a permit.  That’s because the state of Kentucky does not approve dumping sewage on top of the ground. There are good reasons for this.

The main one is that in order to do it correctly, the resultant compost bin(s) have to be maintained properly.  And Nicole has demonstrated quite adequately by her idiotic remarks (“what’s the difference”) on FB that she has no idea what “maintained properly” means.

She blithely waves her copy of the Humanure Handbook around but very likely has never actually read it.

And she’s the smart one in the family.  Joe is clueless without her.

If anything, by definition, the state is the nuisance.

I know Nicole and Joe want to live in a stateless society like Somalia.  They are free to move there tomorrow. I’ll help them pack.

In the meantime, the rest of us have a say in what they do. Funny how Nicole bitches and moans and actually calls the sheriff’s office because I rode down her “private” road and somebody took photos and Kyle gave Joe a beer and that infringes on her “rights,” but her neighbor is supposed to just suck it up when he discovers that the Nauglers are dumping human waste on the ground and refuse to allow anyone to inspect it to be sure it’s not a hazard.

In Nicole’s twisted mind, laws only apply to me and Al and the neighbor and the other local critics. They do not apply to her, ever.









Billy Sunday

Billy Sunday

He was flamboyant, a bit outrageous, and extremely effective. He became world-famous for his tent meetings.

I despise his religion and I certainly do not laud his legacy.

But, there is a super story about Billy Sunday that I want to share.  It’s more than likely apocryphal, but that doesn’t matter. I love it anyway and wish it were true.  And the following is my own rendition of the story as I remember it.

One night, as Billy Sunday was greeting people after one of his tent meetings (complete with the legendary sawdust trail), a well-dressed woman approached him.  This was slightly unusual, as Billy’s crowds tended to be working-class folks, and this woman was obviously from a higher socio-economic class as evidenced by not only her dress but her manner.

She began complaining to him about how she didn’t like the sawdust trail, and the whole “coming forward” thing, and that she thought he’d do better and perhaps reach a larger audience if he toned it down a bit and made his sermons a little more intellectual and refined and not rant and rave about hell so much.


Billy listened patiently and when she finished, he gave her a very simple reply. He thanked her for her criticism and then said:

“Frankly, madam, I greatly prefer what I am doing to what you are not.”

I’ll pause a moment while you think about what he said.  It’s awesome.

What does that have to do with this blog?


This blog is mine. It is not run by a committee.  I do have some help (and my heart belongs to the committee that is “The Nefarious Please”) but I am in charge here. I determine what is written and how it is written. I determine what, when, where, and how.  That’s fair, because I also take the blame.

I am happy to discuss anything if the person wants to come here and talk to me.  I really don’t mind criticism.  Hell, I get a bunch of it, and one’s skin thickens after awhile. And as I’ve demonstrated time and time again, I admit error and correct it quite readily. This blog isn’t perfect. There are only so many hours in the day and I have two blogs, four websites, and a working farm and I’m old and I get tired and sometimes I am cranky.  I know I’m often sarcastic as hell.  [Dave and I have learned that old people are cranky simply because we’ve lived long enough to have seen it all before and we’re tired of it, whatever “it” might be.]

But I do not give editorial license to anyone (except The Nefarious Please on occasion).

If you don’t like that I went on the Blessed Little Excursion, or if you don’t like the tone of my writing, or you think I should write about this or that, or not say this or that, well, that’s fine.  As long as you are polite and don’t yell at me, you can come here and comment about it.  I may heed your advice and I also may ignore you.  But in addition,  I would encourage you to go start your own blog and do it the right way.

I’ll probably even read it.  You can post the URL in the comments, and that will give you a head start with lots of free advertising.