Burden of Proof

In the late nineties, after we moved to Alaska, I deconverted from Christianity.  I’ve mentioned before how difficult it was, how gut-wrenching the whole process became, and how I had to basically re-evaluate everything I thought I knew.

One of those things was the idea of “burden of proof.”

When you wade into the fairly treacherous waters of controversy over religion, something you frequently hear from the still-religious is a demand that you “prove there isn’t a god.”  They think saying this makes them look like geniuses (it doesn’t) and that it paints the atheist into a corner (it doesn’t).

If this is all elementary to you, please bear with me. I simply was not taught any of this when I was young and didn’t understand it at all until I was in my late forties.


Just a short time after my deconversion, some guys hijacked some planes and brought down the World Trade Center and changed the world.

As a result of 9/11, George W Bush did something that was simply astonishing to me (and I was still very conservative at the time, and in fact, voted for W in 2000).  He demanded that Saddam Hussein prove he didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.

UN weapons inspectors in Iraq

This thing, this condition, that W put on Hussein was the beginning of my disillusionment with first, Bush, and second, conservatism in general.

I knew that it was impossible for Saddam Hussein to do what Bush was demanding.  No matter what he did, it wouldn’t matter. And that’s when I knew that Bush was going to war no matter what.  He wanted to invade Iraq and the whole WMD thing was a smokescreen.

Lots of atheists claim that you cannot prove a negative.  You cannot prove that there is no god. Hussein could not possibly prove that he didn’t have any WMDs stashed anywhere. That’s true. But they go on to assert that no negative statement can be proven.

This is not entirely true, however.


Let’s assume that I have this box. I walk past you, carrying the box.

You say to me, “Is my book in that box?”

I answer, “No, it isn’t.”

You don’t believe me. You think I’m trying to make off with your book. So you demand that I prove that your book is not in the box.

Can I do that?

openboxOf course I can. I can just open the box and show you that it’s empty. And in doing so, I have proven a negative assertion is true.

However, the reason I can do that is because the box is small enough to search easily.  My house is small enough to search relatively easily.  My property could be searched easily enough and my negative assertion that I do not have a stash of stolen bank notes buried anywhere shown to be true.

But how do you search Iraq?

What happens is exactly what did happen: no matter how much they searched and found nothing, the White House just insisted that Hussein was moving the WMDs, or that they were hidden someplace.

And how do you search the universe?

So generally, the idea that you can’t prove a negative is true, unless it’s easy to prove the lack of something. Here’s another example. If your uncle lost a leg in Vietnam, it’s pretty easy to prove that he’s missing a leg.

Go to court, though, and you’ll discover that the burden of proof in court falls on the party making the positive claim.  In criminal court, that is generally the state. The state says that the defendant did do something, and the defendant doesn’t have to do anything at all. The state has the burden of proof.

That’s because it’s far, far easier to prove that the defendant did it than it for the defendant to prove he didn’t. The state has to only prove one thing. The defendant would have to prove a zillion things – a whole pile of moments in which he was doing something other than breaking into that bank.

Have you ever wondered why this is the case for a regular courtroom (innocent until proven guilty) but it’s not the case for the IRS?  It’s pretty much the reverse.

You have to prove, if audited, that you did, in fact, spend X dollars on Z, and therefore deserve that deduction. The IRS simply asserts the negative – that you didn’t – and that’s what stands until and unless you can prove  you did.

See what the difference is?

In the criminal courtroom, the state is making the positive assertion: you did rob that bank. So the state has to prove it.

With the IRS, you are making the positive assertion:  you deserve that deduction.  So you have to prove it.

dearestSallyAnd that leads me here.  Nicole is demanding here that I prove that her children don’t know stuff.

And she then claims that if I cannot do that, somehow the alternative is for me to “admit” (there’s that word again – she loves it) that I “pull info out of (my) ass.”

What she’s all pissed off about is the blog posting I did about books.

Here’s the one she’s talking about.

Here’s another one.

And here’s another about testing.

And here’s a page about their philosophy of education in general.

And some more.

In fact, if you look on the right of this page, at the top, you’ll see a little search box. Enter the word “Education” and you’ll get everything on this blog categorized that way.

I have shown over and over again why I believe that the Naugler children are not being educated.


But here’s another example.  On BLH, Nicole and her little humpers were discussing handwriting and specifically, cursive handwriting.

Nicole had to ask her children if they wrote in cursive.

Let that sink in a minute.

It’s not important whether they can or not. It’s not important whether anyone can or not.

What’s interesting is that she didn’t know.

She didn’t know.

She didn’t know how her children learned to read, she said elsewhere. She doesn’t know if they write in cursive.  This means that she doesn’t read their writing enough to know.

She’s not teaching them.

Nobody is.

And we’re back to that pesky burden of proof thing. She claims that her children are “educated.”


It just takes a few minutes of interacting with my children to see how bright and well rounded they are.

Well, Nicole has posted several videos where she “interviewed” her kids and I didn’t see anything of the sort in those videos.  I saw her talking to kids.  Just regular kids.

You cannot tell if somebody is “bright” by “interacting” with them for a few minutes. Of course, you can tell if that person happens to be profoundly challenged in some way, but you can’t tell much more than that.

You will get a better assessment in a 10 minute conversation than any test could provide.

Well, no, you won’t. You can’t. If you could, schools would have tossed all the testing decades ago and quit spending money on it.

She’s their mother and she doesn’t know if they can write and/or read cursive writing or not.  She doesn’t know how they learned to read, which leads me to wonder if she knows if they can read.

She and Joe are not teaching them.

The burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim.


27 thoughts on “Burden of Proof”

  1. If the Naugler boy is found guilty in the gun charges, will guns need to be removed from the home? I don’t trust them to comply. I don’t trust them to not buy more guns.


  2. You also have to take into account the fact that the leg humpers who are encouraging her to #unschool believe that the founding fathers were all unschooled with no formal education. I homeschool/online school (they have actual work, which is due daily and they have teachers who assist them) we just happen to do it from home. I have nothing at all against those who choose to homeschool based on their own curriculum. What I do have an issue with is any parent who remotely thinks for 5 seconds that children when given the option of zero authority or goals will choose to sit (in filthy, cramped and loud spaces at that) and read or write. Especially in such chaos. “Mom” wants to pretend its the evil trolls who make her kids lives living hell,the reality is its the parents who do it and intentionally. Her latest video where she drones on and on about all the chaos her kids are exposed to at the vile hands of the trolls, is being vocalized by HER like the kid isn’t even there. Oh, I’ll give her credit for paying vague attention to his clear begging for her attention while all she could muster was random, “oh I see (insert random shut him up comments here and there).”
    Just know this N and J, one day those kids will know it was their lazy and paranoid parents who did this to them. You can only blame imaginary beings for so long and they will eventually realize the monster under the bed were their own parents all along.


  3. She’s doing exactly what she states in prior posts….. “unschooling”, not schooling…… she and Joe do absolutely nothing with the children to teach them to learn! The are worthless, idiotic parents! Unschooling, uneducated, somewhat illiterate ……. I’m saddened by hearing this.


  4. Often the court requires the guns to be removed at the arraignment if bail is to be given. They give one the choice between handing the guns in or staying in jail.


  5. I found the “burden of proof” artical to be well written. Being a Mother, (and probably because I have always been an egghead) I have noticed many areas, regarding their children, where my Mama-cord twanged loudly.

    My and Eric’s issues with them have absolutely zero to do with their lifestyle and/or children. Dispite her rants accusing us of a bias in that vein.

    Because I take being a parent so seriously, I draw the line at opening myself up to misquotes and ridicule that has anything whatsoever to do with their children.

    Thats not to say I don’t have opinions regarding child rearing. Oh my goodness, Yes! I absolutely do. I run a strict ship. Some of the tactics I utilized twenty years ago (I have 20+yrs between my first child and last) I would never bother with. However, in my experience, some of the classics will always work.

    You may be wondering why I bothered to reply, maybe this sounds too mercurial to be of any use. Basically, my bottom line is this; [* pls note Im aware of EVERYONE that’s reading this, so I am careful not to expose too many facts]
    Back to my 2cents worth…. There’s a famous quote that says ‘childhood is what we spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome’….I agree. I’m acutely aware of how impressionable children are. None of us can know for a certainty what will influence them the most, or who they may remember when twenty years has sped by, or what event will forever change the course of a childs life. Most parents miss the subtle, yet permanent change in their own children, the best of teachers do not see it. I’ll go so far as to say that, consciously, the children themselves wouldn’t be able to put into words exactly what created the change. But, these changes, stacked one upon the other mold and ‘shape’ us. All of us. If we experience wonderful, poignant, epiphanous moments of exhaltation and joy….bam bam bam!!! one upon the other…..VS …..a life of tomultuosness, inadequacies, chaos, abuse, hunger and fear. Well, it doesn’t take a master’s degree from Harvard to extrapolate who may be more productive and level headed.

    Not always.
    I could list a million exceptions. You can, too.

    I dont feel comfortable saying how this or that should be done, in regards to the children. Because I am not willing to physically assist that change. That mat sound harsh. Its actually just brutally honest. My opinion is, if you aren’t ready to step up and go the distance in the life of a child, then please shut up and sit down.

    [I could expand on this opinion, but I’m probably boring yall to death. I mean no disrespect. And I’m thankful for this platform, to share my opinion. Thank you Ms. Sally]
    BB, Viv


  6. First of all, thank you for this blog. I have read here often and enjoy it quite a bit. I have never commented though. Of all the things about the Nauglers, this bothers me the most. I have five children and I homeschool. I spend HOURS educating myself and doing lesson plans. If you choose to not let the professionals educate your children, then you must become as professional as you can, for your children to get what they need. I know the Nauglers call it,”unschooling”, but even at that, it requires parents to be even more on top of their game. They need you be ready for anything. There is no possible way they could know about every subject every child wants to study. There are things my children want to learn about outside of our regular studies. If I don’t know about it, I have to educate myself or find somebody who does know. I don’t see the Nauglers doing either. Your children have to come first and it is obvious theirs don’t. They are not,”unschooling”, they are being lazy. When you have as many children as they do, there is no time to be lazy. Just like their, “homesteading”. By the way, they are not fooling anybody, they did not choose to homestead, it was a lack of options.


  7. Great post as usual Sally. On a total tangent, the branch of the Canadian government that handles disabled veterans, came under fire last year for requiring amputees to have a doctor sign off that they are still amputees every couple of years I think it was, and therefore required assertive devices like wheelchairs. WTF?

    @Viv – you are spot on. Nicole is blaming, blaming, blaming. She is desperately trying to convince everyone that their life sucks balls because of the evil trolls. She simply doesn’t seem to get that she and Joe are 100% responsible for their trail of tears. And they are 100% responsible for neglecting those children. One day I think some, if not all, will really understand how completely crappy their lives were all because of their parents.

    Those children are receiving no education other than what they can figure out for themselves or that maybe Jacob, Q and perhaps A have been able to “teach” them. They are going to spend their lives in poverty. Plain and simple.

    Nicole posted again today that they are moving. I really had to laugh when she described themselves as minimalists and then went on to describe how they had at least 20 bicycles. I think I’ve only seen 2 that are actually functional. She has received few comments compared to even the most recent past and most have been a good luck and we’ll pray for you sort of thing. I know she is hoping somebody will ask how they can help or how they can donate but it seems even the leghumpers are wising up. More than one has urged her not to blog anymore so the “trolls” can’t find them. Of course she refuses to do that.

    One of her responses was hysterical. “They will find it anyhow. It probably won’t be hard. But if and when they do it will be enough to bring the stalking charges to court. I have enough now, but evidence like that would make the case cut and dry.” LMAO. No Nicole, there will be no case. Nobody is stalking you. You put all your shit out there, figuratively and literally, for everyone to see and then throw temper tantrums when people criticize your insanity. Finding out where someone lives is not a crime.

    Hopefully Joe will be locked up soon and CPS will finally step back in and take those kids for good. I also hope Q goes to jail. Harsh? Yes. He will finally have some structure, his own bed, proper nutrition, clean clothes, access to clean water, health care and an education. Might be the best thing for him.


  8. Question…did you post the blog link on your FB page? I found this entry at the blessed little trolls and their minions FB page. Just wondering if something is wrong with my phone or possibly my FB account.


  9. Question…did you post the blog link on your FB page?

    Nope. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I forget. And I’m referring here to my personal FB page. I don’t run any of the others.


  10. Very well done Sally! Bravo! I enjoyed that a lot and like always I learn things all the time when I read your blog. Its just a shame nothing you say or do will be right in Nicky’s Mind. She does nothing wrong and YOU HAVE TO PROVE she is always wrong. Even when you DO PROVE it OVER AND OVER AGAIN lol with her own words backed up with facts your still WRONG in Nicky’s mind. SO its up to you to PROVE her kids are stupid and lacking any kind of education. Nicky will NEVER EVER take ten minutes to PROVE her kids are as bright as she says they are. We play Nicky’s game on line NOBODY ELSE KNOWS ANYTHING CEPT NICKY! 🙂


  11. Excellent blog post Sally! And kudos to the posters here. There’s a lot of well thought out comments left. It seems more often than not I end up learning something new every time I come here.
    I don’t remember who posted the older links to the BLH blogspot, but I came across this picture of Joe and Jacob when the family went on a “field trip” to see some beehives, I think, in 201o.


    Maybe Joe brought his pistol to shoot at some killer bees, or maybe there were lions and tigers and bears (oh my) in that neck of the county, or maybe the bees were in a bad neighborhood? I highly doubt it. Most likely the gun made Joe feel important and powerful since he’s an early responder with the militia and all.
    We’ve seen Jacob carry a gun on the homestead. It would only stand to reason that Q. may carry too. Especially since Joe and Nicole continually tell their kids about the ever present danger the family is in. You never know when drunken trolls might drive by, or when someone trespasses after going past 5 ‘no trespassing signs’ intending to bring the family harm. It would only be natural for Q. to want to protect his family. Just my opinion.


  12. Great Job Sally!
    Another point to consider with J and N is that they are not trustworthy appointments because they are not trustworthy narrators. They rewrite history so that the facts begin to lean towards their narrative. They even pull in bits and pieces of those who were around in a vain attempt to substantiate their claims. In order to prove their claim that their child had no gun, they both refer over and over again to the statement that was given to the police that the child had a bucket of feed. They also use argumentative strategies that are not logical such as attacking the person or organization with whom they are in an argument with. They attack the person’s or organization’s character or reputation. That’s why she posts all those memes about children being abused in the system and police doing bad things because she wants her audience to see the guilt by association and transfer that guilt to the social workers and police officers who she is in contact with. They also use the strategy where they beg the question well if he did this then why that. For both J and N, they think if they yell and intimidate, they can win an argument. I suppose it works with their children and maybe other family members but that won’t fly in court nor with people who will tell them to stfu. You know, it’s very difficult to rise above your raising. It’s much easier to sink below it and I have from time-to-time, a fact I’m not proud of but hey, youth can invite some really interesting challenges that are wrought with wrong decisions and actions. But that rising above is difficult, and I suspect that unless those children are given some opportunities for education, socialization, and culturalization, they are in for a hard life. I think the boy who will be in court soon is going to find out just how his parents have set him up for failure, and I really hope he sees them for what they are, but it’s unlikely.


  13. Peg,

    Her “documentation” must seem very compelling in Naugastan where laws are made up on the whim of trying to be important and where thin conclusions reign. But that documentation has to be so thin. No lawyer is going to go near it. At the very least, if Nicole is constantly whining about being stalked, but keeps her online presence very public, yet expresses a hope that she will continued to be commented on from her very public online presence to prove that she is ‘stalked’ (I guess to Nicole that constitutes stalking–does that mean I stalk Amazon ?), is she advertising a pathetic plan of entrapment? No joke, no lawyer is going to go near that.


    I have no idea why the fashion of Naugastan males is a pistol on the hip. I agree, since it is so fashionable in that weird settlement it is incredibly feasible that Q would be carrying as well. FWIW, I am very far from being anti-gun. I have a few guns at my house. But I very strongly believe in good judgment and discretion if one deems it necessary to carry or have dealings with guns at all. I tend to think that open carry of a firearm, in this day and age, is more about proving a point, trying to look important or official, or trying to be intimidating. The Nauglers, with a menacing conviction, and a nearly constant display of disdain for any judgment or discretion cannot be carrying (around bees?) for any other reason than to look important and menacing. I promise, unless I am wearing a swimsuit, no one would ever know it when I do carry (which is very uncommon for me to do). But, I think the sight of me in a swimsuit is likely far more hazardous to the beholder than any weapon I could possibly carry.


  14. I am late to this party. Must have been traveling when Nicole posted her pregnancy pic at the end of January saying she’s due in July with baby #12. I just saw it.

    She is HUGE for being 12 weeks along. MASSIVE.

    And this is a problem because of much increased risk of fetal macrosomia in great-grand-multiparity women. (women who have had more than 8 pregnancies).

    There are several life threatening problems women in this situation can encounter….but I’m focusing on this one because Nicole is textbook for it. She has a history of having increasingly larger babies.

    The earlier babies were estimated at 8 to 8.5 pounds
    The later babies were called 9 pounds plus.

    The latest baby, #11…was thought to be 9 to 9 and a half pounds.

    Would be really helpful if she actually weighed these kids and had data points…but all we’ve got is guesses and pictures of extremely big babies and shockingly large belly photos that we’ve seen nude and crude.

    But the worrisome part is the trend…and the last baby being so large.

    Macrosomia can be caused by gestational diabetes, and is common in older moms who have had lots of babies. The risk of fetal macrosomia increases with each pregnancy. Up to the fifth pregnancy, the average birth weight for each successive pregnancy typically increases by up to about 4 ounces.

    Possible maternal complications of fetal macrosomia might include:

    Labor problems. Fetal macrosomia can cause a baby to become wedged in the birth canal, sustain birth injuries, or require the use of forceps or a vacuum device during delivery (operative vaginal delivery). Sometimes a C-section is needed.

    Genital tract lacerations. During childbirth, fetal macrosomia can cause a baby to injure the birth canal — such as by tearing vaginal tissues and the muscles between the vagina and the anus (perineal muscles).

    Bleeding after delivery. Fetal macrosomia increases the risk that your uterine muscles won’t properly contract after you give birth (uterine atony). This can lead to serious bleeding after delivery.

    It is really important not to gain an excessive amount of pregnancy weight when you’re at risk for this syndrome. Really, no more than 25 pounds is necessary for a health birth. It’s so important to eat right and not binge on carbs. Refined carbs are a glycemic roller coaster that can cause increased fetal weight. Eat lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of veggies and complex carbs that have a lower glycemic index and metabolize more gradually.

    I’m looking at all the groceries…and so much of it is sugar, white flower, pasta and crap…..like the worst possible things for someone at risk for fetal macrosomia. Even if Nicole has to eat better than the rest of the family, it should be allowed for the sake of her safety and the baby’s health. The extra expense is necessary.

    Nicole and Joe…if you’re reading this……get Nicole to a damned doctor.

    I think you are loathsome people who are perhaps the most disgustingly selfish parents I’ve ever heard of. I have no love for you.

    But I DONT want to hear about you bleeding out in your damned garden shed while all your poor children watch you die. I don’t want you to have to live with the knowledge that your baby died in the birth canal because you were too stupid to get him/her the necessary help until it was too late. I don’t wish tragedy on you.

    For fuck’s sake…..get checked out. Get a fasting glucose run and make sure Nicole isn’t pre-diabetic. She looks awful lately.


  15. Somewhere along the line I read that Joe and Nicole were going to become professional beekeepers (think of Following the Bloom by Douglas Whynott) but they were unsuccessful at keeping even a hive or two of bees going.

    Seriously. Beekeeping isn’t the easiest of hobbies but it’s far from the hardest. Beekeepers LOVE to talk about bees with interested people. I wonder if they managed to kill off their bees through neglect or once they realized that some states want to know about even backyard hives and inspect them once a year or so to get a feel for their general health and minimize spreading diseases from one hive to another, they abandoned the idea.


    http://www.abfnet.org/?page=28 (Legislative Updates – there is some interesting stuff here)

    This is from 2012 and I bet Joe and Nicole weren’t too pleased to learn that they really had to spend time learning from others – for real – or they wouldn’t be successful.

    ““Beekeeping can sound deceptively simple,” Mussen writes in the chapter, “but in fact beekeeping is a form of animal husbandry that involves providing feed when nectar and pollens are lacking, preventing infections from various microbes, dealing with two well-established parasitic mites, and reducing the influence of Africanized bees. Before you try to keep bees commercially on your own, you should gain experience working with a commercial beekeeper for one or more seasons.””


    It’s not too late for the kids to learn about how to keep bees. Classes are still available this year.



  16. @Sculder&Mully – Naugistan….love it! And thank you for owning up to stalking Amazon. Me too. Perhaps we need a support group?
    I agree with your observations about the sidearms and the Nauglers. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when viewing the pics of Jacob wearing a pistol while gardening. And I have no doubt that that pistol is handed to the Enforcer every day his idiot, neglectful parents flee the shitstead. I imagine guns give Joe a boner and he has likely passed that false security onto his children. He is a joke. Really and truly. Every time I see someone open carry I know that they are like my banty rooster and are a zero threat. I conceal carry. My ownership of guns is not for public consumption and that is why you will never see photos of me with firearms. I train seriously with all my guns so that I am safe and competent. None of them are zip-tied or duct-taped. I am prepared to be deadly serious if I have to be, but I pray that I will be able to use all my other skills before pushed to that.
    We were victims of crazy militia people and went through a nightmare. I was forced to come to terms that I would kill someone if I had too. I took that VERY seriously. As much as I hate the people who tried to harm us, in turn I had no desire to harm or kill them. It was a long journey to get to the point where I knew I would kill in self-defense. It is no joke. It is not a game. It is not a boner. I have nightmares because of this decision, as any decent person would. Fucking Joe, you are a complete and total failure and an asshole. Oh yes, and you are a fucking coward. When confronted man to man, you ran and hid. Sad thing is that your hormonal teenage children may react very differently because of you.
    @Joe&NicoleREADTHIS – thank you, thank you, thank you. Nicole is VERY unwell. She has horrible oral health. Those rotting teeth likely not only hurt, but she is passing on that nastiness to the unborn child. She is losing her hair. Her face and body are drawn and boney.
    Her diet is all processed, chemical crap, sugar and dented mystery tins. The baby is developing with really crappy nutrition. I would bet that this child will be born with a host of very serious medical problems. My hope is that CPS is there to catch that infant. It would be a sad deal if Nicole dies during child birth or afterwards because of complications but honestly, she has made her own filthy bed. No blessing by the hungry hippo prophet will pull her out of this one. Am I harsh. No, not really. These breeders are neglecting their children and really don’t deserve them.


  17. keep bees.

    Here’s a story for you.

    Back in the day, Dave had a couple of hives of bees. I made him a bee suit and he got all the stuff and looked like Michelin Man and went out to do battle with bees periodically and then we got honey.

    On one occasion, we had a couple of friends over for dinner. Highly educated professionals, but city people. One of them asked about the hive boxes (what they were) and we explained. The woman looked thoughtful for a bit and then asked, “How do you keep them from running away?”

    The guy replied, “They use a little bee fence.”

    We just sort of went on eating and have laughed about it ever since.


  18. We have neighbors that keep bees. I appreciate all the work they do with them. Being in the city I appreciate anyone willing to do that. I try to plant bee friendly plants in my yard and don’t treat the dandelions that pop up every year, much to the dismay of my husband who wants that pretty solid green lawn. I’ve looked in to keeping bees, not because I want to keep them but because it’s cool to read about. Way too much work for Joe and Nicole.

    All I could think about when I saw Joe with that gun on his hip was wondering if it was full of mini bullets to fire away at the dangerous bees. And like others here I am not against guns at all. But I also don’t think there is any reason to be packing in Kentucky, especially since that photo was taken way before the “trolls” got involved. I thought their life was so idyllic before all those meanies “trolls” made everyone hate them. Hahaha!


  19. In the back yard of the house that we are renovating (rebuilding), wild bees built a huge and when I say huge I mean huge hive in an old dead tree. The honey was dripping through ever branch of that old tree. We called a bee keeper whose name was we found on a government website. The bee keeper came and began moving the bees into a little bee house that he put in our yard right by the old tree. We have to leave it on our property until after spring. The health department folks came and took a few of the bees to check for something and they checked inside the old tree and are helping the bee keeper keep an eye on the health of the hive. I don’t do anything to the hive because I am not a part of the rescue team but the beekeeper comes over two or three times a day to check on the temperature and to make sure the stuff he puts out for them is okay. I had thought I’d like to keep the hive in my yard but seeing all the work that it entails had changed my mind. The honey from the hive is delicious. The honey is the only positive thing I can see from bee keeping…maybe the wax stuff too. Well, they do pollinate the hell out of all the plants so I guess that’s a plus too but the damn work and they sting and I’m allergic and have to take a shot…oh hell, I cannot make up my mind to bee or not to bee….


  20. We are very lucky. Our neighbor keeps bees. Since he has no way to keep them home (bees-at-large is not against the law!) we get the pollination benefit for our garden. And I’m happy to buy honey. He also makes sorghum molasses which we actually like better.


  21. Sally,
    I think I’ll be stocked in honey for a while. We buy sorghum molasses from a family down in Sorghum Hollar about 30 miles from our little house. For generations, his family has raised milo and cooked it into molasses, and for as many generations, my family and ancestors have bought or traded for the molasses. I remember my mother trading eggs, some kraut she had made, and some homemade ground sausage for a gallon of molasses. My grandmother thought it would keep me from getting “the polio” again so she dosed me with it every morning. But, my favorite thing about molasses was buttermilk biscuits, real butter, topped with molasses. My second favorite thing was my nanny’s molasses cookies. Yep, we are gluttons.


  22. My Mamaw made molasses taffy. I remember watching her “pull” it & she cut it with scissors.


  23. As a parent who has unschooled my children, I have to strongly disagree with Nicole’s version of unschooling. When I unschooled my child, I watched her closely for any interest she seemed to have, she loved horses, so I designed my curriculum around horses, all subjects, reading ,writing, math science and social studies. It was a lot of work. It took hours, That is how you “unschool”. It would be impossible, to properly homeschool that many children, and try to develop a new business. Nicole is doing nothing but letting her children, do whatever they want and calling that “unschooling”. Good job Nicole for “uneducating” your children!


  24. I got to thinking about something after I wrote my post, and I would like to prompt a discussion , in hopes that Nicole will see this and start “thinking”on her own. How does a person become illiterate? There are some people who take the concept of” unschooling” literally, meaning they let the child learn by living life. My question is this can you really raise a reading , writing , well educated adult this way? If it were true that children learn thru simply living life , than there wouldn’t be any illiterate adults right? Now I know children learn by living life, but can they learn all they need to succeed in adulthood is what I’m after. I would love to hear your opinions.


  25. If it were true that children learn thru simply living life , than there wouldn’t be any illiterate adults right?

    “Illiterate” does not mean “cannot read a single word,” although it can mean that. The group we call “illiterate” often can read a wee bit. My father-in-law was illiterate. He could sign his name. He could read most road signs. He read well enough to get a driver’s license. I suspect with some effort he could have filled in a simple form. But he couldn’t read a newspaper with any comprehension. He was a WWII vet. He enlisted when he was very young (in fact, I think he lied about his age). He’d quit school long before that. I’m sure he never completed elementary school and when the war came, nobody cared much about mandatory school attendance.

    Illiteracy is a huge problem all over the world. It’s one of the things that enslaves women in totalitarian nations, especially Muslim-majority nations. If you want to improve the living standard of a community or nation or group, educate them.

    My father-in-law got by okay during his lifetime (he died in his nineties in the early 2000’s) because he was a mechanic and computerized stuff hadn’t come out yet. He didn’t have to read anything much in order to do his job, and he was an extremely adept mechanic. His inability to read had nothing whatever to do with his innate intelligence. He planted the most beautiful garden you ever saw every year well into his late eighties. He maintained their home beautifully. He got along fine.

    But he would be hard-pressed to do so well today.

    And he missed out on so much because of his inability to read. Just think of the books he never read, the stories he didn’t know, the upper-level positions he never was considered for in spite of his hard work and ability, the sheer thinking and discussion and argument that he could never participate in because he didn’t know much.

    I’m not certain I would describe him as unhappy because of this. He didn’t know a bigger world existed and he didn’t worry about it. But it’s sad to me, because I knew him and he was smart and so much potential never had a chance to flourish.

    If anyone could have just educated themselves through “simply living life,” my father-in-law could have. He didn’t. He was no more literate when he died than he was when I first met him when I was in my teens.

    Here’s an example: He used to refer to the “exit” sign on the freeway as the “excise” sign. He did not know the difference in those two words. He knew that the “exit” sign was where you could exit, but he had no idea he was saying it all wrong or that “excise” was a completely different word with a completely different meaning. Nobody ever had the heart to tell him.


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