Summary of Q&A, Chapter 8

CHAPTER 8 (minute 1:45 – minute 2:04. And seven seconds.)

TOPICS COVERED: Not vaccinating; Not being on the grid; Not being a prophet; Neglect Is a Hairstyle; Native American music; Narcotics; Nights out; Nanowatts of solar power; Nicole and Joe have rights (Maybe you’ve already heard).

Head-Scratchers:
– Why are they still talking?
– Why am I still watching?
– Why do they keep saying they are going to stop…and STILL NOT STOPPING?
– Why does Nicole think it is any kind of defense to state that her kids would rather lie on bare dirt ground than in their own “house”?

Fun Facts:
– The world is not flat. You heard it here first.
– Nicole and Joe are not hateful people. Again, first.
– CPS vaccinated three of the Naugler children against court orders. I didn’t know there was a vaccine for that. Maybe it’s still in the trial phase. BaBOOM!
– The best way to prepare for the temporary inconvenience of losing electric power in a storm is to resign yourself to living with that same inconvenience both before the storm and after the storm, and making that inconvenience permanent, since there are bound to be more storms down the road. Won’t you look like a genius!
– Nicole describes her hair as dreadlocks, dread locks, or knotty hair. Or did she mean “naughty hair?” I believe the formal term for that would be “oppositionally-defiant” hair.
– They eat the goats. Some of them. The ones Nicole doesn’t like.
– Yes, they will be doing this again, although they don’t specify what “this” is: Chatting online? Sitting in the van? Scratching? Avoiding your questions? Avoiding their children? Avoiding Reality? Rebranding as Flaming Trollfest LIVE!!! for 2018? Will it be before or after they read the comments and write down everyone’s names?

Grins ‘n’ Giggles:

Joe’s Jokes: (Did you know Joe can tell jokes, and we can’t stop him?)

“My head is itchy….Naaah, just kidding!”
(Well, he thinks it’s funny).

And now, for the first and last time, Grins ‘n’ Giggles introduces
Nicole’s Riddle me this!

Q: How do you gain control by giving up power?
A: By going off-grid!

Q: How do you go off-grid but still use the Internet?
A: Kiss my ass!

Q: Nicole, how can we kiss your ass if Lisa has it?
A: Please consult my previous postings disclosing Ms. Luthi’s residence including address, phone number, driving directions, list price, number of bedrooms, and satellite photos of both street and aerial views. I’d post them again but my toddler fed the printouts to my dog.

Q: Nicole, does this mean Lisa will have to give you next year’s birthday spanking?
A: All right, that’s it. You’re blocked.

*****
I’d like to leave you with a few inspirational words from Joe and Nicole. That way I can run away before you realize you’re stuck with them….

From Joe:

“We want people to know you can do it.

[I’m still waiting for evidence that YOU can do it, Joe.]

You can live a more simple, basic, minimalist lifestyle to get out of the stress and the mundaneness of the culture that we live in.

[Shit in a bucket, or take a world cruise…you decide.]

You can do it with ten kids.

[Just not twelve.]

You can do it on a shoestring budget.

[By not including the actual shoes].

You can do it without government.

[Guess that means no internet, then.]

Nicole adds:

That’s a good thing. Free yourself.

[Because the VERY BEST WAY to get free is to let Nicole tell you how to think and what to do.]

As for me, I’m just glad to be free of this chat. Thanks to all the readers for not throwing tomatoes. Thanks, satisfied readers (you know who you are), for your compliments. Most of all, thanks, Sally, for giving me space to play in your awesome blog this week. I happily turn the stage back over to you.
SheerLuck

_______________________

And I pause here to allow everyone to give Sheer Luck a well-deserved round of applause.  This is awesome. My sincere thanks.  I had to wipe away tears from laughing so hard in order to post this.

Summary of Q&A, Chapter 7

Author’s note:
Some of you may have thought you were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when I listed the time segment of Chapter 6 as 1:30 – 1:45.
Alas, that was in error. Chapter 6 runs from 1:15 – 1:30 and Chapter 7 runs from 1:30 – 1:45. It’ll all be over soon, I promise. – SheerLuck

CHAPTER 7 (minutes 1:30 – 1:45)

TOPICS COVERED: Virtues of Polygamy; Views on wife-sharing; Voluntary education; Vaccination; Visit with the fetus (“she’s very soft”); Valuable dog breeds; Very special birthday traditions; Vile Rumors; and Viral trolls.

Head-scratching moments:
– Do Nicole and Joe realize their chat is being bombarded by trolls?
– Do Nicole and Joe realize that by now the number of people taking this chat seriously is less than or equal to two?
– Why is Nicole’s fetus soft? Will it toughen up after a few muay thai classes?
– What is going through Nicole’s mind when Joe gives her a green light for future extramarital action?
– Viewer: “Do you shower?” Truthfully, at this point, will we be satisfied with ANY answer Nicole and Joe offer in response?

Fun Facts:
– You can’t teach ANYBODY. Ya gots tuh learn ’em.
– Polygamy: It’s In the Bible!
– Education pioneers Joe and Nicole Naugler ESTABLISHED their Unschool Method in response to the prevailing traditional unschool practices and their narrow-minded tendency to focus on Actual Education.
– Trolls can be boring! Who knew?
– Math is learned through construction. Which is why the math whiz kids always look so buff.
– There is no truth to any rumors floating around about the children. And Nicole should know. She started them.
– The Nauglers bestow birthday spankings upon one another. It’s nice to know that, while they don’t do Christmas trees, Easter eggs, or Trick-or-Treat, they still make time for the most cherished of all holiday traditions.
– You have a greater chance of being beat up by police than contracting polio. OK, wait…I don’t want to generalize. Joe was only giving these odds for members of his family.
– Joe’s favorite dog breeds include the Great Pyrenees and the Pretty Good Border Collie. As working dogs they play a vital role on the homestead that would otherwise have to be done solely by the children.
– Joe also likes Boxers (For all the ladies out there).
– Joe also likes bully breeds in general. We are not surprised.
– Many people get this confused, so let’s review: Some oysters have pearls, while some clams have crabs.

Grins ‘n’ Giggles:
The light slowly dawning as Nicole and Joe begin to suspect some of these questions are not entirely in earnest….
Nicole: “You’re just getting boring!” (That’s to the trolls, not Joe.)

Joe’s Jokes! (Back Despite Popular Demand!)
Troll: “Can you smack your wife?”
Joe: “No, but I’ll give her a kiss.” (Joe kisses Nicole on the cheek.) Hold on – that was actually clever! Too bad I had to wait nearly two hours into the act for that little zinger. I’m not really happy about the 2-drink minimum, either, since all they had was Japanese water. Next time I’m going to Hardee’s.

Gangs

One of the things I noticed most after leaving religion behind was that the fundamentalist Christianity of my youth gives its adherents a sense of superiority.  As a group, they are, of course, not superior at all to anyone. They are generally not as educated or as successful financially as their non-religious peers. Their children aren’t any better, and in many cases, have much more negative outcomes.  Their divorce rate is higher than that of non-religious people, which seems to translate into unhappier relationships.

But their religion assures them that they are special. There are several different flavors of this, depending on the exact sect being discussed. For instance, Calvinists believe that they are absolutely chosen by “God” (they call this “election”) and that people like me weren’t and are just destined for hell no matter what we do.  Others, the Arminian sort, are more about “whosoever will may come,” but think they were the wise ones who chose to “come to Jesus.”

childofking

And it’s really obvious, this sense of entitlement and superiority, when it’s expressed to somebody like who has left.  There is positive glee when they tell me that I’m headed for hell. They are delighted about it.

It’s almost impossible to convince these people that their fantasy is a fantasy.  My mother will die a True Believer.  It has given her life meaning. Without Jesus, she would have to deal with the fact that she has sacrificed so much, and gone without so many things, and spent so much effort and work for nothing at all, and I don’t think it’s possible for her to do that and remain sane.  At this point, she probably doesn’t have the mental capacity left to do it anyway, but her situation is shared by many others.

Being a “child of the King” is their identity. They cannot give it up.  Special creation means that somebody “out there” is in charge. Without it, where in the hell would we all be?

They believe strongly that if we, for example, end up in nuclear war because of the moron in the White House, well, that’s “God’s will.” They find comfort in that.

But mostly, they believe that they, personally, are special; that the guy who is in charge of everything knows all about them personally; and that he is arranging every detail of their entire lives. They will deny this, but they believe they are better than everyone else.  They cover this up by saying, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven,” and shit like that, but believe me, they think they’re better/smarter/more humble/more worthy.

Photo courtesy of That Guy Doug

This old building was part of the complex where I lived for three months in 1967. It didn’t have broken out windows then.  It was full of people, mentally ill people.

This is a part of the enormous place that was the State Mental Hospital on Bull Street in Columbia, South Carolina, and it’s where I did my psych rotation as a student nurse.  We lived in a nurse’s residence which included not only our rooms but classrooms in the basement and a kitchen. I remember sneaking down to the kitchen late at night sometimes to raid the cabinets and refrigerators for snacks.

We did most of our training in what was called the Admission Building, where newly-committed patients stayed for the first 30 days (I think – it’s hard to remember exactly after so many years). At the end of that period, they were evaluated and either discharged or held for another 30 days.  And finally, if they didn’t improve enough to be discharged, and it was felt they required long-term care, the patient was sent to the chronic wards.

We spent very little time on those chronic wards and I was really glad because it was essentially a warehouse full of mentally ill people without good drugs and with little treatment available.

There was also a separate building for the criminally insane, which we never visited for obvious security reasons.

The hospital was closed for good in the 1980s, in favor of smaller, community-based mental health treatment. I’m not sure that those folks are better off now.  The sorts of people we had were those that you see now as homeless people living on the streets.

taken from video by AbandonedSC

Anyway, during my stay there, we were assigned a patient or two every time we went to the ward (several days per week, and we often accompanied the patients on outings and to church on Sundays – you can see the church in the photo above). We were given access to their charts and expected to know everything in the world about them, and we were quizzed on it. And we were expected to interact with our patients in the day room.

This could be a challenge.

The day room was a large room filled with people and with a television going all the time. Conversation was difficult at best.

But I remember one patient in particular. Funny how I’ve never forgotten him.  He was an older man (since I was so young, he was probably in his forties), tall and thin.  And he was very, very out of it.  He had managed to get the staff to give him a mop head.  Not the mop stick, just the stringy mop head.

He wore it on his head all the time.

He walked around the day room constantly (which is more than likely why he was thin), talking to himself.  Trying to have a conversation with him was almost impossible. He would look at you, acknowledge your presence briefly and then be gone back into his private inner world.

His diagnosis, which was pretty obvious with about two minutes of observation, was paranoid schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia (literally “split mind”) embodies a break with reality. Schizophrenics often hear voices, or have all sorts of delusions, and the folks who have the paranoid version of it think somebody is after them, or out to get them.

Paranoia is one of the very common things you see in an acute psych ward.  Another is a fixation on religion, often wild and odd and sometimes obscure.

This particular patient had them both.  He was getting messages from “God” via his mop head which is why it was so important to him.  He paced all around the perimeter of the large area, carrying on animated conversations with the “God” he heard that we couldn’t hear.

He was special.  “God” talked to him.  “God” didn’t bother with the rest of us. Only him.

And all that, which I know looks like rambling, leads me to this.

headlineNYT
click image to link to New York Times article

Mental illness is not illness the way appendicitis is illness.  I know that people try to picture it that way, but it’s not.

You either have appendicitis or you do not.  There are degrees of severity for sure. Some cases of appendicitis are mild enough to respond to antibiotic treatment and others require surgery, but it’s still either an infected appendix or it is not.

You either have diabetes or you don’t.

But all of us are a wee bit crazy. All of us exhibit slight personality disorders.

Ever lock the doors before bed, and then get in bed and suddenly become obsessed with the idea that maybe you didn’t and get back up and go check?  That’s a very mild version of what obsessive-compulsive disorder is like.

Ever experience depression for no obvious reason, short-lived, or a sudden euphoria without discernible cause?  That’s a very mild version of what it’s like to be bipolar.

It’s a big question:  what is “normal”? What does that mean?

The mop-head wearer in the mental hospital was hearing “God” talking to him. He was determined to be insane.  My mother talks to “God” regularly.  My mother also believes passionately that “God” answers her. Yet she’s never been considered insane.

Why?

What’s the difference?

It’s in degree.

Mop-head Guy was delusional.  My mother is delusional.  But Mop-head Guy’s delusions interfered with his daily life and his ability to interact with people to the point that he simply couldn’t function.  My mother’s delusions haven’t. They’ve caused her a lot of unnecessary trouble, including a divorce, but she’s never been considered even slightly “insane.”

When your obsession over whether or not you locked the doors or your emotional mood swings become so severe that you can’t hold down a job, you can’t get through a day without forgetting to eat, your ability to function becomes seriously impaired, then you are deemed to have a “mental illness” or “personality disorder.” (There are only fine distinctions between the two terms, and no agreement about what they mean.)

So, you can be considered weird, or eccentric, and if you can function in your daily life, nobody is gonna describe you as having any sort of psychological pathology.  Get to the point that you’re walking around wearing a mop-head and can’t hold a conversation with a real person for more than a few seconds, and you’ll find yourself either homeless in Chicago or in a mental institution.

The New York Times (above) describes a whole group of people with paranoid delusions. These people, who call themselves “targeted individuals,” would have been just considered a bit odd back before the internet came along and probably would have continued to function okay without treatment of any sort, but because of the internet, they are no longer alone.

They have found the other people who have similar paranoid delusions, and formed nice little clubs and groups and stuff where they feed each other.

They believe that, for one reason or another, the government is out to get them.

I found this positively fascinating, and did a little looking around, and fell into the rabbit hole that is the world of the “targeted individual.” They look normal, don’t they?  (Video in the NYT article)

Here are some quotes from some of their websites.

Terrorist Gang Stalking is a tool employed by fascists who seek to quash freedom of speech along many other Constitutional rights. Please join us in the fight to expose and stop this insidious crime.

With the variety of digital cameras available (cell phones, spy cameras, etc.), you can take photos and videos either overtly or covertly. Both have advantages. If you are trying to annoy the perp’s, taking their photo in an obvious way, might be a good method. On the other hand, if you’re trying to document their actions, a covert spy-camera approach might be better.

Once caught in the web of the gang stalking Program, a target is subject to a full court press that invades every aspect of their life and is calculated to destroy that person. The process is highly formulaic programmatic, systematic and systemic. Key to the destruction of a gang stalking target is a full penetration and infiltration of their environs, including their constant surveillance and harassment in their home, workplace/school mobbing of the target, and target’s isolation from friends and family members.

These kind of claims run the gamut from the couple who claimed that people in town didn’t like them (because they tried to force a couple to sell them property when the couple didn’t want to sell at all) so they all drove past their house and beeped their horns (I’m serious, this made the national news), to people who believe that government somehow does “astral” examinations of them which seems to be something like alien abductions.

All this would be funny, in a sad sort of way, but these folks have managed to band together and in some cases, demand that legislatures pass legislation they have dreamed up in their heads.

If you don’t do anything else, do take the time to read the New York Times article.  It’s pretty comprehensive.

Trying to convince these people that they are having problems with mental illness and delusional behavior is pretty much fruitless, because they have banded together and insist that anyone who disagrees with them or who tries to convince them they are bananas is “in on it.”

So what does all this, fascinating as it is, have to with Mop-head Guy or my mother and her religion?

It has to do with being special, with having meaning and purpose.

Mop-head Guy was special because “God” spoke to him directly in his head.  My mother believes she is special because Jesus is directing her every step personally.

And these people, who are suffering from delusional psychoses to some degree, think they are special too. They are “targeted individuals.” Targeted. You poor sap, you aren’t. You don’t matter as much as they do.  They have taken a stand against evil government, or they know something that would be damaging. They are preparing to expose the corruption that exists in their town, county, state, nation, and the local officials/US government officials are hell-bent to do anything possible to silence them.

The couple with the honking horns seem to have never considered that perhaps they just pissed off a whole pile of people in a smallish town and that they simply aren’t liked at all.  Instead, they see themselves as victimized. They see the dislike as organized.  It has to be.

Otherwise, they have to face the fact that they are most probably just assholes.

Nicole1

Nicole2

nicole3

Nicole4

Joe1

Joe2

Joe3

 

Measles

portuguesedeath

Look at her. Go on, look at her.

Smiling, happy, healthy?  Right?

No.

She is dead.

She died, at age 17, just a week or so ago, of measles.

Measles is the leading killer among vaccine-preventable diseases

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Of all the diseases that you can prevent with a simple vaccine, measles is the most likely one to be fatal.

And those fatalities, while more prevalent among small children, aren’t limited to them, as a family in Portugal learned to their profound grief.

WHO facts
click image to link to WHO page

Now, tell me again how measles is just a mild disease that makes children break out in a rash and feel bad for a couple of days, but it’s really no big deal and you know that because you saw it on the fucking Brady Bunch.

Why don’t you tell Ines Sampaio’s parents that?

UPDATE:

I smelled a rat, so I did a little looking. The episode of the Brady Bunch involving measles aired in 1969.  The series went into syndication in 1975, and the series has been aired since then as re-runs, but almost entirely on cable channels like TBS or Nick at Nite.  Guess who doesn’t have cable television and hasn’t had it, I would guess, for many, many years? And guess who was born after the program was already in syndication?

However, if you Google “Brady Bunch measles” you get many, many hits. Many.

Here’s a few.

googleBradyBunch

There are at least four pages of this sort of thing.  Most of the references are to anti-vax sites that use the Brady Bunch measles episode as “proof” that nobody died of measles back in the days before the MMR was invented.

That’s where somebody got the Brady Bunch anecdote.

From crappy, idiotic anti-vax sites.

Not vaccinating children should be grounds for their being removed from the home, permanently. Forever. Period.

 

 

Summary of Q&A, Chapter 6

Sheer Luck has been busy.

___________________________

CHAPTER SIX (minutes 1:30 – 1:45)
Author’s note:
Apologies to those looking to find all these…uh, these pearls in the video; There is an error in the last chapter. Joe’s “Secrets of Great Parenting” actually occurs in Chapter Six, not Chapter Five. I don’t know how they got mixed up, but I’m totally blaming my kids. – SheerLuck

TOPICS COVERED: Snake snacks; Snapping-turtle snacks; Snooping stalkers stealing shitstead snapshots; Sowing strawberries; Smoking cigars as substitutes for other substances; Siblings and…sleeping arrangements; Scissoring beards (we don’t want to know); Speculations on skin color; Sheds (it’s a LOFTED CABIN, people); and Sawing down shaky stuff.

Head-scratching moments (Now with answers!):
– Joe’s still not sure how many children he has. Ten. No, eleven. (Answer: Twelve, soon to be thirteen, and Thank you for playing!)
– Was that really a burp? (All signs point to Yes)
– Honk if you love Jesus! Or if your kids got out of the shed!
– Where did all these fresh trolls come from? (Answer: I don’t know, but they live under a MUCH bigger bridge)
– Why do the trolls keep asking Joe and Nicole to put their shoes on their heads? Do they like orange crocs? Are they tired of Joe’s hat and hungry for change? Do they think it will make Joe stop scratching? Do they hope it will squish any dreaded spiders? (Answer: None Of the Above; It’s Just A Thing. Those Crazy Trolls.)
– Why do the trolls keep mentioning clams? (Answer: Yes, it’s what you’re thinking)

Fun Facts:
– The next garden planned for the Homestead is an herb garden. Because nothing is more essential to a survivalist’s self-sufficiency than fresh basil.
– The Nauglers’ home was built ENTIRELY BY MENNONITES. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
– Many people confuse Mennonite-built sheds with Amish-built sheds; while they are similar, the Mennonite sheds are built to a less-strict code* than those of the Amish. For instance, Mennonite-built sheds have some modern appliances, and are not as plain in manner and dress.
– The Nauglers’ home is NOT a shed; it is a “lofted cabin” MODEL of a shed, made by a shed company. And Mennonites. Not Amish. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that.
– You may be surprised to learn that the model name “lofted cabin” was NOT a reference to the likelihood of it being swept away by a tornado.
– Nicole would like to live in a hemp house.
– We suspect Joe would, too.
– There are currently no statistics on the likelihood of a hemp house being blown away by a tornado.**
– There are currently no Mennonite-built lofted-barn hemp-cabins offered for sale in Kentucky. Maybe try Indiana. Or the Amish.
– Siblings can’t get married, but did you know they can procreate and we can’t stop them? (Actually, Joe, I DID know that Fun Fact. Siblings procreate all the time. Just not WITH EACH OTHER.)

We introduce a new sub-heading to our Grins ‘n’ Giggles section we call….
Joe’s Jokes!
Q: Where do atheists go when they die?
A: In the ground! No, wait – Anywhere they want to! Ba-dump-BING! I’ll be here all day, folks! Try the gator!

More Grins ‘n’ Giggles:
– A viewer inquires: “Are you black?” Not that there’s anything wrong with the Nauglers being black. (every black person on earth, in unison: “OH YES THERE IS!!!”)
– Once again, Joe proclaims himself “a face-to-face kinda guy.” I suspect this is the positive-spin version of an “in-your-face kinda guy.”
– Actually, in this segment, he’s more into his own face. Specifically, his beard. And, at times, his nose.
– Nicole found Neal Boortz! (Wait! Don’t tell me – He was hiding in the bag with the screenshot printouts, wasn’t he?)

*DISCLAIMER: Satire. I’m sure the Mennonite-built sheds follow all applicable building codes, are just as good as the Amish-built sheds, and both sheds will be equally rewarded with eternal life.

**At least, there are none when you Google it using those exact words.

Summary of Q&A, Chapter 5

And from Sheer Luck:

_____________________

CHAPTER FIVE (minutes 1:00 – 1:15)

TOPICS COVERED: Bitcoins and How To Launder Them; Background Checks and How to Avoid Them; Bad teeth; Bogus college degrees; Boarding horses; Best restaurant (Hardees, which is no surprise, but the reason it’s Joe’s pick made the Head-Scratcher List); Bragging about being able to eat all sorts of weird shit; Boiling turtles; and Best Course of Action During the Apocalyptic Event of Your Choice.

Head-Scratching Moments:
– At last, Joe reveals Why He Loves Hardees: Is it their burgers? No….Is it those curly, curly fries? No! It’s….their one-of-a-kind, can’t-get-it-anywhere-else All-You-Can-Drink-While-On-The-Premises policy! (Who wants to tell him?…Me, neither.)
– Joe is going to get his wife a nice new set of teeth after she has the baby (I myself prefer champagne and flowers)
– Joe is rather coy about what constitutes “authentic Chinese food”….

Fun Facts:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The volcanic eruption originally slated to appear at Yellowstone National Park has been relocated to Mount St. Helens, Washington State. As of April 23 we have downgraded our eruption impact forecast from Catastrophic Explosion That Annihilates the North American Continent to “We Might See Some of the Ash.” (press release courtesy of Blessed Little Learning UnSchool Academy)
– If you visit Louisiana you can get Gator-On-A-Stick. Even if you’ve been vaccinated.
– There’s a difference between diagnosing someone as crazy and just deciding they are.
– Joe’s patriarchal blessings include “the power of discernment.” I think this comes with higher-level Pokémon.
– The secret of great parenting is to quietly steal up to your sleeping children, and one at a time, in each little ear, whisper “You’re my favorite…don’t tell the others.” Then leave the room and see how many seconds it takes for one of them to spill the beans. Don’t miss the beautiful, mutual moment of discovery that follows, as they realize Dad lies to all his children in equal measure.

Grins ‘n’ Giggles:
– from a viewer: “Show us the horse!” Things are getting rowdy in here!
– Joe: “We’re gonna start investing!” … Wait – he wasn’t joking.
– Joe: “We keep loaded guns all over the house, ha ha ha!” ….OK, that time he WAS joking. I know it’s not even remotely funny, but there we are.

Summary of Q&A, Chapter 4

From Sheer Luck, with my gratitude:

_________________________

CHAPTER FOUR (minutes 0:45 – 1:00)

TOPICS COVERED: podcasts; proof (or lack thereof) of damages; priesthood; the plethora of patterns in the planets; personal scriptures (go ahead – write your own!); posteriors placed into one’s palms via public hearings; port-a-potties; pregnancy; prophets; Pace’s philanthropy; The patriarch’s philosophy; participation in organized religion

Head-scratching moments:
– Nicole’s statement that Rh incompatibility is only an issue in the event of accidental falls
– I’m pretty sure “hippie Mormon” is an oxymoron
– A comment from a viewer: “Tell that man to stop interrupting.” Puzzling only because by this point Joe would be interrupting himself.

Fun Facts: (or More Head-Scratchers; I couldn’t decide!)

– Kentucky Land Company now joins Sheriff Todd Pate in rating the Blessed Little Homestead Lifestyle as “kinda neat.” (For clarity I would like to point out this is not equivalent to “kinda tidy.”)
– Joe and Nicole are “in good standing” at their church. Which is fine, as they haven’t sat in it for quite some time.

Grins ‘n’ Giggles:
– Joe waxing philosophical in what is supposed to be a question and answer session
– Joe leaning so far forward we expect his nose to press into the windshield
– Joe peppering his philosophic musings with plenty of “whatnots”
– Joe generally acting….well, let’s call it “lofty.”
– “Tell that man to stop interrupting.” The only moment to truly earn two categories. I didn’t write down who said it, but the picture in my head is of a computer class at a senior center.

Summary of Q & A – Chapter 3

From Sheer Luck, with my thanks:

_______________

CHAPTER THREE (minutes 00:30 – 00:45)

TOPICS COVERED: McDonald’s manager testimonials (aka My Kids Are Great); Meddling governments; Miracle Moments (ie Nicole’s admission she was disorganized in court); Minions and Their Blessed Little Masters; Mobster laws to be invoked; Massive girth; Martial arts mastery; Malapropisms (“liable and slanderous”); Mishaps at the ball pit (I’ve fallen and I can’t get up); Monetizing the blog; Mature language; and My favorite Actual homesteaders.

Head-scratching moments:
– Nicole’s ideal government would exist solely to settle contract disputes
– Joe discussing anti-racketeering laws and “trolls” in the same sentence
– Joe and Nicole going on at length about how much they love to swear (which has been observed in other situations) without actually swearing: “We love using the F-Word”
– Joe’s “Japanese Water Diet” – what is that? Is it the one where you eliminate water from your diet because your homestead doesn’t have any?

Fun Facts:
– 68 people were viewing this segment
– Joe sports a 42-inch waist and is 42 years old! He ‘s a Mormon who likes rock-climbing and muay thai! Joe wants to see and share your energy (aka dox you), so give him a call!
– Joe’s highest last-known weight was 320 pounds. If we use his last known height of 5’8″ and consult this chart, we find….that we need a bigger chart.
– Joe has dropped 4 inches and 2 pants sizes. But if he ever stands or sits up, we should re-take the measurements.

Grins ‘n’ Giggles:
– Joe inviting us to consider the image of him trapped in a ball pit
– Joe inviting us to consider the image of him “swinging [his] gut around”
– Joe inviting us to consider the image of him swinging his arms and legs around as he practices his martial artistry
– Joe inviting us us to consider the feasibility of him nimbly scaling the rock-climbing wall at the gymnastics center
– Joe inviting us to consider anything at all concerning his romantic and/or sexual attractiveness
– Joe and Nicole’s desire to sue the trolls in order “to see the whole process.”
– The prospect of being charged with “liable and slanderous.”

 

Summary of Q&A, Chapter 1-2

From “Sheer Luck” we have this.  It’s super and I am ever so grateful and it gets its own pages.  By all means, we await the next chapter.

Thank you ever so much.

______

This week’s headlines:
Slow-Moving Train Wreck Now Involves Vanload of Manure

As promised, here’s a list of bloviating points from the T & A (for Troll-and-Answer) live Facebook Session on Nicole’s Personal-Profile-Public-Page.

CHAPTER ONE (minutes 0 – 15:00)

Topics covered:
Corruption, crooked cops, and circumcision (aka What Nicole Posts About); Charles and other socks; Court case; CPS; and Chopper flyovers (something about having photos of Al’s helicopter).

Head-scratching moments (ours, not theirs):
– “Animals have died; we have killed them…and eaten their bodies.”
– It’s not squalor if Nicole says it’s not
– “I don’t have to see someone stalking to know they’re stalking”

Fun Facts:
The Latest Animal Inventory – sing it if you like:
On the Nog Crazy Shitstead, here is what I see:
1 absent horse
4 barking dogs
2 tethered goats
3 mystery Cats
2 Pet rabbits
4 Breeding Rabbits
And A whole bunch of roosters and hens….

CHAPTER TWO (minutes 00:15 – 00:30)
Topics covered: Troll geography; TRUTH; Todd Pate; The True Career Criminal (Joe says it’s Nicole); Termination of moving plans; Talking about new plans (it’s the same as doing them); and more about Tsqualor (It’s not misspelled if I say it’s not)

Head-scratching moments:
– Joe looking to purchase the adjoining 65 acres
– Joe abruptly leaving the car with no explanation

Fun Facts:
– Nicole’s baby is due in July…unless it’s due in August.
– The woman seated next to Nicole in court was a domestic violence counselor, who now has new empathy for those trapped in untenable circumstances.

Grins ‘n’ Giggles:
– Joe dropping the g’s from all his verbs – so folksy!
– Joe on being the stay-at-home parent: “I do make it look easy.”

Stress

While she was in court, Nicole used the word “stress” or “distress” about a dozen times. She said it so often it was noticeable.

I suspect her word choice was purposeful, because she was trying to convince the judge that if she had hurt feelings, Lisa should be punished, but it’s still interesting.

One of her continual mantras is that they’ve embraced this minimalist (meaning “ain’t got a pot to pee in,” literally) and that in doing this, they have gotten rid of all the stress that imprisons all of the “rats in a cage.”  You know, normal people.  We’re all subject to the stresses of daily life, so we’re unfortunate and unenlightened like her and Joe.

This sort of thing.

minimalistminimalist2

They are “minimalists.”

We all know what she’s talking about. We all swear we’re gonna do it one of these days when we finally get up to here with all of it and clean out that closet and get rid of all that stuff.

I have lived both ways, at both ends.  We’ve had full-sized houses and too much stuff.  We’ve also lived in an RV and couldn’t have much stuff at all, in fact, hardly any stuff.

What I’ve discovered is that we typically expand to fill whatever space we are living in, so to keep it more or less manageable, we have a smallish house.

I refuse to discuss the basement.  🙂

And there is no question that materialism can be a negative thing. But that’s not what I am writing about here.

Nicole and Joe Naugler are poor.

They are not minimalists who have consciously chosen to live without a lot of material possessions.

They are poor.

Dirt poor.

Really poor.

annualincome

Raising a dozen children on approximately $34,000 annually is very, very poor.

While Nicole is wrong – poverty is not subjective at all – the perception of poverty can be.

The issue is this: what does your balance sheet look like?  How much is coming in?  How much is going out?  If you have more going out than you have coming in, either you have to reduce the amount going out or you have to increase what is coming in to find balance.

If you don’t, if you can’t, the result is. . . . stress.

When Dave and I were much younger, and Nathan was a baby, we made a decision that I would stay home with him.  It meant living as a one-income family, and it meant tightening up pretty severely, probably more than most people would have wanted to do.  I stayed home until he was four, and then we were able to arrange for him to go to day care a couple of days a week, which ended up being pretty much staying in my mother’s kindergarten class, and I went back to work.

When he was six, Dave turned the tables on me and went back to school and we were back to the one-income family thing for a couple of years. After that, Dave worked a full-time job, went to school for those last two years of college at night, and then held down a part-time job doing back-up tapes at the local courthouse until about 2 a.m.

It was pretty brutal for a short while but all of it paid off handsomely in the end.

But the deal is that we lived for a while in conditions I considered “poor.” My son was in school before he found out what a Happy Meal was.  I doubt he ate at McDonald’s three times in his life before he was 7 years old. He never got new clothes, except for shoes (no used shoes, ever) and jeans (kids wear jeans out) and underwear (eww to used underwear).

He was a kid. He didn’t care. He didn’t even notice. Kids don’t.

But adults do.

This period, of course, was while I was religious, and I remember making a deal with God.  I made deals with God from time to time, and none of them ever worked out particularly well, but that didn’t stop me from trying.

I made a deal with God that I would never complain about money if I just had enough to pay our basic bills.

I remember that at one point during that period, we went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Amish country and I looked at those people with envy.  They had security, cradle to grave, or at least that’s how it looked to me.

In the late eighties, we moved to South Carolina.  I was working full-time, but on weekend nights and we were homeschooling during the week. Dave was home when I was working.  Cash flow was improved, but we’d racked up a good bit of debt during those lean years, and I chafed.

Finally, I discovered Dave Ramsey. He’s religious, and I don’t recommend his stuff at all, because he’s basically just making a living telling you something I will tell you for free. Here’s what I did.

I took all our bills, with the exception of our mortgage.  A house is generally an appreciating asset, so you don’t count it. (The 2008 mortgage meltdown is a whole ‘nother subject, and you have to be careful getting a mortgage, but that’s not what I’m talking about.)  In our case, we had a car payment, and we’d bought a computer on time, and some credit card debt and a few doctor bills, and I can’t remember now what else.

I made a list of all that debt and sorted it by amount and interest rate.

The idea was to put the stuff with the highest interest rate at the top, especially those with the lower amounts due.

And then I started working on paying off Number 1.

That took a while. All I could cough up was an extra $5 or $10.  It didn’t go far. I remember that it took several months.  Everyone else got the bare minimum.  And it seemed like nothing was changing, but of course, it was.

Finally, one day, I sent off the last payment to Number 1.

The next month Number 2 got the payment it usually got plus the payment I would have been sending to Number 1.  This time, Number 2’s balance dropped more rapidly because I was paying so much more monthly.  And after a few more months, it was paid.

And then all the money for Number 1 and Number 2 went to Number 3, and this was repeated again and again until we were down to the biggies.  By the time I got there, I was paying something like $500/month extra to whatever was the current bill being paid off and they were disappearing like lightning.

When I got to the last thing on the list, it was paid off in two or three months and we were debt-free (except for the house).  In our case, our houses, because they kept appreciating and because we moved down the last time, paid for themselves. And Frances now pays for the taxes and insurance on this place.

The whole process, for us, took about three years.  It was painless.  We weren’t spending any more money than we’d been used to spending anyway (except for that first little while when I had to cough up enough extra to pay down Number 1), and when we were done, it was like we both got raises.

And suddenly, I figured out that God didn’t have to fix my finances. We did.

What I found out on the far side of all that is that being poor is stressful.

After we “snowballed,” which is what we called the Ramsey thing, I began to sock away money.  Dave referred to that as my “squirrel accounts.”  Dave would buy new tires. I would take that amount (say, $800), determine how many years the tires might reasonably be expected to last, and convert that to how much per month I needed to put in savings so that when we needed new tires, the money would be there.  Ditto for everything that wears out or breaks that we had.  Sometimes, the amount per month would be $3.  Nobody would bother with that, except me. I bothered with that.

And I never had to stress over money again. This happened in the late eighties.  I have never once worried about paying a bill since.

I’m frugal as hell.  I still only have about three pairs of shoes.  But I never have any stress over money.

stressPovertychart
click image to link to source

The poorer you are, the higher your stress level.  This is not a theory.  It’s a fact.

Yes, there is wiggle room there, as Nicole tries to say, that if you reduce your monthly outgo, you don’t need as much income to have the same equilibrium.  However, regardless of that, being poor is really bad for your health.

Not just for your psychological health, but in terms of chronic severe illness as well.  The rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure all go up if you’re poor.  Mental illness is more common in poor people.

And what is really bad is what poverty does to children.

Remember, I said Nathan didn’t care?  Well, he didn’t.  Sort of. He didn’t understand money or finances.  He didn’t feel deprived.

But having it tight leads to stress and children sense tension.

Poor children are more likely to struggle in school.  That is not because they are genetically “dumb.” It’s because they are poor.  Throughout their lives, they are less likely to rise to their potential, less likely to achieve success academically, less likely to succeed economically, more likely to develop mental illnesses and/or personality disorders, and on and on.

Obviously, I have no way of knowing what the Naugler balance sheet looks like, but I bet if their van refuses to start, they will experience a bit of stress trying to figure out how to pay for the new engine it needs, or even the new alternator. And I know her gas bill at the shop concerns her, because she keeps posting stuff about it.

From where I’m sitting, which is admittedly outside looking in, when they were faced with too much outgo and not enough income, they opted to reduce outgo.  Over and over, they reduced outgo, to the point that I doubt there’s any more outgo to reduce.

But all that time, they kept having babies.  It’s relatively cheap to feed three toddlers. Not so much three teenagers.

She complained bitterly about stress from the “trolls.” I do not doubt she’s under a pretty severe amount of stress and has been chronically for years. But I would posit that “trolls” aren’t the problem at all and never have been.