Thursday, July 16, 2015

My knickers are in a twist...

Get comfy. I have a lot to say. Or just quit reading when you're bored!


So today on Twitter, I got my first-ever nasty Tweet!


I'm so proud!

I had merely tweeted some photos of our wildflower fields. They were very pretty last night:






The Snot-rag who replied to me only knows about my lawyer hubby because I mention in my Twitter profile that I live on a farm with my hubby @gsclawfirm. Which I do. And I love him, even if he is a lawyer!

At first I had to share her tweet with my Facebook friends, because I wasn't even sure if she was being snarky. I mean, really: wildflowers inspiring vitriol? WTF? But they all agreed that she was indeed being a jerk, which was my sense as well.

Now this woman doesn't follow me on Twitter, but the Ontario Beekeeping Association does, and they retweeted my initial tweet, and that is one the woman (here in referred to as Ms. Snot-rag) replied to.

I'm not entirely sure of her bias, except that she lives in Alberta and has a lot of farm/farmer-related tweets in her feed. So I'm guessing she likes farmers. (I do too, mostly!) 

My suspicions/observations are as follows:

(1) She hates lawyers (fair enough! I hate some of them too!)

(2) She makes a lot of presumptions about people she knows nothing about.

(3) She thinks that because 21 of our 86 acres are planted in wildflowers/native grasses as bird/pollinator habitat, that we aren't real farmers, aren't earning a living off our land, and can only afford to do that because my husband is a filthy-rich-greedy-bastard-of-a-moneybags lawyer! (Okay, I freely admit that we're not farmers! So what? Does that mean we can't live on a farm and do what we want with it? We pay the mortgage on it!)

(4) She's got some bass-ackwards ideas about women, because she presumes that I do nothing to earn an income. Uh, I am a graphic designer, an artist, a beekeeper, a writer, and I even supported Mr. Moneybags for a year when we were first starting out! Oh yeah, and I care for seventy billion rescue animals, or at least it feels like that some days.

(5) I do wonder if she someone who is taking sides in the neonicotinoid debates going on involving farmers and beekeepers. It's clear in my Twitter profile that I keep bees. I also say I live on an 86-acre pet farm. Regardless, apparently she feels free to shower sarcasm on me because I am not out on a tractor all day spraying soybeans with Roundup.

Ontario is planning on curbing the use of neonicotinoids soon and the result of that seems to be an unfortunate pitting of farmers against beekeepers. Which is ridiculous. I know plenty of farmers who keep bees. I also know plenty of farmers who would be screwed without pollinators.

The Grain Farmers of Ontario are taking the government to court over the whole thing and have made some frankly snotty comments about beekeepers and have threatened to spray foliage instead.

WHATever. Threats and nonsense and meanwhile, pollinators are dying everywhere. It just makes me sad that this is turning ugly, farmers vs beekeepers, and I suspect Ms. Snot-rag's tweet is a reflection of that, since she specifically picked up on the retweet by the OBA. On the other hand, maybe she knows I was born in downtown Toronto and hates me for that, too! :)

And  I am sad that I lost hives this winter for the first time in the past six years and had several queen failures this spring. And if you think fields of soybeans support any kind of life, go stand in our soybean field (yes, we rent out 50 acres to a very nice farmer who plants some of it in soybeans!) then go stand in our wildflower field and tell me which field is filled with birds and insects (hint: no tofu comes from that field.)

So here's what I would have liked to say to Ms. Snot-rag, had I more than 140 characters:

(1) We can afford to keep 21 acres in wildflowers because we both work, we've both earned everything we own (none of it was handed to us), we rent out some of our land, and because a solar farm had to do a bird habitat project to make up for land THEY took out of production, so they paid for the seeds planted AND they pay us rent on the land AND Ducks Unlimited and the local conservation authority helped with the project and are maintaining the land! (Mowing or controlled burn every three years.) They also come to do bird counts here. 

And we live in a part of Ontario where farms and farmland are still affordable for the average person. So you don't need to be married to a lawyer to have 21 acres in wildflowers! For the record, I know it's hard to believe, but not all lawyers are filthy rich! Not all lawyers are even assholes! I certainly am not complaining, of course. We just spend a ridiculous amount of our income on cat kibble, dog food, animals feed and vet care! But doo I LOOK like Eva Gabor?!


(2) It's incredibly insulting to presume that because someone has another job, he/she can't be a farmer too. We are not farmers. We don't claim to be! However I know PLENTY, and I do mean PLENTY of actual farmers around here who work their farms AND hold off-farm jobs. In fact, one of the biggest farm families I know not only farms many, many acres, they also run a cabinet-making business to supplement their income (and do beautiful work!) Wait, does that mean they aren't farmers? Does that mean they are not making a living off their land?! Are they lucky they are cabinet-makers so they can plant 2,000 acres of soybeans, wheat, corn and alfalfa?!

Hang on... although I said I'm not a farmer, I AM a beekeeper and my bees work those fields, and I earn money from those bees. So screw it, I'm a farmer! Yes!

At the end of the day, the thing that irks me most about this is the rudeness of some people on the internet. It's like driving a car through Toronto and giving someone the finger when they cut you off (who, me?! NEVER!) You feel all safe and anonymous in your car, free to let the assholery fly! It's the same on the internet. Sitting behind the screen all anonymous-like and sipping your coffee, you feel free to be rude and presumptive and say things to people you don't know as if you did know them. The whole world would be a better place if people thought twice before they opened their mouths or typed on their keyboard, and were just plain KIND and POLITE.

The sort of crap is the reason I can't bring myself to read online comments anymore (apart from on blogs!) They are invariably filled with bigotry, misogyny and ignorance and cater to the lowest common denominator.

Btw, I have plenty of admiration for farmers. Some of my best conversations are with the farmer who rents our land. I think they work hard. Why can't we all just get along? Are the Japanese really suffering because we took 21 acres out of soybeans destined to become tofu?

And that is the end of today's rant! If you want to know more about our Bobolink/Meadowlark habitat, here are links to previous posts:





PS: Ms. Snot-rag, in your Twitter profile you claim to be a writer. May I suggest a refresher course in the proper use of apostrophes?

44 comments:

  1. Yip, I also noticed that apostrophe omission. Although I don't tweet, I love reading your blog and the way you enhance nature on your farm. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks Jo! I had to let off some steam. :)

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  2. Oh my goodness! Ms. Snot-rag obviously knows nothing about you and your life. If she bothered to read your blog, she would find out how wrong she is. We all love you and Gordon! And all your cats,dog,ducks bees......

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    1. You are very kind!! :)

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  3. She missed a lot more than apostrophes. Whole tenses right off the back of the tractor!
    I'm so sorry.

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    1. Hahahah yes! It's okay, I just needed to vent!! Far worse things could have been said about me.

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  4. What a silly woman Ms Snot-rag seem to be. Sounds like she has a case of, I want but don't want to work for it syndrome. Enjoy your life!

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    1. I need to come up with a name for that syndrome!

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    2. Notalawyer'swifesyndrome. Aint you heard of it? [ :) ]

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  5. I'm so glad I don't use Twitter or FB, that kind of thing bothers me greatly (thin skin).

    You know, it's easy to make (false) assumptions. I'm 51 and I've only realize that I come by that tendency naturally--my own mother jumps to conclusions without any or all info quite frequently. I'm trying to catch myself when I do it; maybe this woman will learn to as well.

    On the flip side, maybe she's not really a mean, nasty person. While there's no excuse or valid reason for her tweet, you don't know what kind of stress she's under, if she's facing bankruptcy, is in an abusive relationship, dealing with a dying parent...who knows. Or maybe she's just a b*tch.

    I'll ditto Crafting Queen's comment: Enjoy your life. You both work hard and you know you're fortunate to be able to do this, to have what you do. Appreciate the "fruit of your labours" and pfffttttt to anyone who is making snap judgments without sufficient information.

    Peace.

    Kim and the boys

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    1. That's why I didn't post her name in the photo above! :) But I did need to vent. Her remark caught me off guard. I've otherwise had almost exclusively positive experiences on Twitter! :) Thanks for your kind words!!

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  6. What you probably have here is an internet troll. They derive great pleasure from making remarks and reading the resulting fallout. It's best to ignore them.

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  7. Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog and have always been so impressed with all you do in caring for neglected/homeless/abused/etc. animals. To me, that speaks volumes. So sorry for the negative comment!

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    1. SHirley, most people are like you: kind and thoughtful. I'm glad you enjoy the blog! Thank you! :)

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  8. Knotalee, I don't use twitter... although I do go on Facebook to check on friends and family... and download pictures! But I rarely comment there. But there will always be people who find fault. I've had negative comments because I care for feral cats. Many think this is wrong... what can I say? Each to his own. Did your "twitter commenter" say more than what you showed? From those few words, I can't tell that she's being snarky or not. But my "snarky detector" may be on the blink. I let an awful lot go right over my head...
    But I'm glad you were able to vent. It's good for you. And... the your pictures of the wildflower fields are beautiful!

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    1. I wasn't sure about her being snarky so I asked a whole bunch of people first. Anyway, I blocked her on Twitter and it's all done.

      One thing I love about FB is being able to keep in touch with family members I otherwise probably wouldn't hear from! :)

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  9. Knotalee she isn't worth it. Truly, she isn't. I agree that she is probably an Internet Troll, jealous, or who-knows-what or all of the above.
    You do NOT owe her any sort of an explanation!!
    OMG the work you do with rescues, the love that you show your animals, your caring, kind ways.......WE know the truth about the wonderful person that you are.
    As for lawyers, yeah, some of them are crappy, but I have a brother-in-law whom I love to pieces that is a lawyer and as you know, that is no easy job! Hell, I majored in Rhetoric and was going to go to law school myself but I was too lazy.
    My cousin that has a home on Cape Cod that I visited last month is a prominent lawyer in Chicago and she has two homes (YES she earned them!)

    Please, please don't let this venomous, hormone-imbalanced prig get to you. You are waaaaaaay above that!
    xoxoxo

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    1. Lawyer jokes aside, my hubby works really hard at what he does and I respect that. There are some good ones out there... like your cousin! And brother-in-law! Thanks for all your kind words and comments. I always like hearing from you.

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    2. And I laughed out loud at "hormone imbalanced"... :)

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  10. You go sister WOOHOO ! I come from a long line of British farmers and I was raised on a 200 acre farm back in the 60's 70's and 80's and we lived off of our land and live stock but my father still had to work off of the farm to make ends meet whilst my mum stayed at home raised us kids and looked after the farm whilst my dad was at work some times one still has to do this as farming is tougher then most realize especially now a days , My parents had to sell the farm as it was costing to much to keep running even though my mum took up work out of the home cause back then there was no such thing as working from home on a computer to earn money your lucky to be able to do that . This person is ignorant to what really goes on on a farm obviously and it sounds like she farms in her dreams cause if she was a real farmer she wouldn't of even bothered with this crap and would understand how the effect's of humans have on farming yes the use of crop chemicals is wrong we didn't use any on ours as there was none back then to use so why do they have to use it now be a real farmer and do it the old fashioned way suck it up people real farming like back in my day you wouldn't survive your all so modernized now and have to have the use of chemical to keep your crops going unless your Amish bet they could teach these so called farmers a thing or two ! Besides a real farmer loves wild flowers and nature it is part of what they work for . Oh people like this tick me off all talk they are all talk !! I would give anything now a days to be able to farm the way we did when I was a kid but like I said farming aint what it used to be to much crap is involved with to many cheifs and not enough Indians as the saying goes and if that aint political to bad stuff political ! So there !!

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    1. Hahahah thank you !! That's awesome. I think it's sad that so many farmers have to work off the farm to keep it going.

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  11. Super rant! One wonders how somebody can make such an ignorant comment. We do have our red necks here in Alberta. Lawyers farmers , teachers all have their good and bad people.

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    1. I agree with that for sure. We have lots o' rednecks around here, don't you worry! :)

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  12. I wish you wouldn't be so guarded in what you say; can't you tell us how you really feel?

    And do your fields have any meadowlarks or Bobolinks, yet? If you ever need help doing a bird census...

    :)

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    1. I believe you've known me long enough to know that holding back is not my strong suit, LOL! And I think I've seen Bobolinks in there. You are welcome to come visit/count anytime! :) There could be meadowlarks, too. I had a Horned Meadowlark nest in there back when it was a soybean field!

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    2. Horned Lark, I think you mean.

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    3. And I forgot to mention... Illegitimi non carborundum!

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  13. I hope she reads all of the above. I occasionally have just plain nasty 'chip-on-shoulder' commenters, and just once suffered from a few extremely nasty paedophiles, having naively posted a a rear view picture of a near naked grandson (I now know better). Sadly we all meet people who are jealous of those who have a little more than themselves. I think you've put her in her place perfectly!

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    1. Fortunately the vast majority of people I encounter through blogging and tweeting are really quite wonderful! :) How else would I come to know English artists living in France, for example? :)

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  14. These comments are not even worthy of replying to. You do not have to justify your existence. There will always be those who feel shortchanged by life.

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    1. Thank you beadhen! I had an uncontrollable urge to vent yesterday! :)

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  15. Obviously,someone peed on Mrs Snotrags cornflakes this morning!
    Jane x

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    1. Her lawyer, perhaps? bahahaha

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  16. We love your blog and your farm. Snarky comments really aren't necessary from anybody.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Julie Q

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  17. I just wish all your blog readers could line up in front of Ms Snot-rag. We would point out what a fabulous humanitarian (animalarian?) you are with all of your rescue animals. You are a better person than 95% of us could ever hope to be. Oh, and hello? Would she rather you pave over the acreage with asphalt instead of provided the land with bees that make it possible for farming to happen in the first place?
    Good grief.

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    1. MARTY! Now I'm blushing!!! But believe me, I have plenty of flaws. I just don't highlight them on the blog, LOL. I have the BEST people reading this blog, kind and supportive and funny and just plain wonderful. Thank you, my friend!

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  18. Girl, I think Ms. Snot-rag is just a jealous bitch. Sounds like she enjoys throwing shade on good folks like you. She should be told to have a seat –-which is when someone does or says something that makes you wanna just offer them a seat in the corner to think things through. It even comes with a T-shirt:

    http://luvvieig.spreadshirt.com/no-have-a-seat-women-s-t-shirt-A8199990/customize/color/187

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  19. Sesms to me that you don't like "snot-rags".

    Hey, the world needs a few snot-rags to make us appreciate what nice people are like. :)

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  20. People like that don't even deserve a reply. I just ignore them (unless they become persistent).

    Your flowers are beautiful :-) And although they don't feature in the post... your animals are cute :-)

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  21. Even though she's not worth the effort, sometimes it just feels good to have a rant. :)

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  22. Eh. Her comment says much about her and nothing about you. The world needs more bees! And many more people like you and Gordon. : )

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  23. I have enormous respect for all the wonderful work you two do in supporting the environment and helping homeless animals. I often say that Jane Goodall is an Earth Saint. So by that standard, you are well on your way to beatification. And remember, even saints have their detractors!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!