Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inspiration.

Today my grandson and I visited a quilting friend from our church.  From beginning to end, it was a wonderful adventure and much, much different from yesterday.

Setting out and walking down the little road we stopped first at our church so that my grandson could tell everyone thank you for the gifts he received for Christmas.  We then continued on our way through the lightly falling snow, down the hill, past the neighbor's dog, past the cows and standing aside while at least two cars passed us.  My friend lives on top of one of the little hills within the valley and despite the snow, the view of the neighboring farms on the hills across the valley was gorgeous!

We spent about an hour with my friend who showed me her sewing room and sewing machine while the little guy was busy coloring pictures for everyone.  I must say that it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons I've had a in a long time.  My friend showed me several of the quilts she had made over the years and told me stories about each of them.  It was like stepping into her life for a bit and after we hugged goodbye, I felt as if I knew her so much better than I did before.

Friends are such gifts - even for a dedicated hermit such as myself.  After this afternoon's visit, my inspiration to finish some quilts has been renewed.  Partly because as I listened to her stories, I could feel the passion of creating a thing a beauty and I remembered that feeling.  Partly because I just know that my friend will expect me to start quilting again.  I promised her I would.


And I will.  Because she's my friend.
 

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My world.

Tipper always makes me smile!
In the world on One Old Goat farm, things would be a whole lot different.  First of all, I would be able to read the dosage on a bottle of tylenol without the use of a high powered magnifying glass.  I would be able to find at least 1 of the three pair of glasses I've misplaced without the use of said glasses.  Crackers would be packaged in waxed paper like they used to be and cookies wouldn't be locked up with a hermetic seal impermeable only to a high temperature blowtorch.

In the world of OOG farm, customer and service would be reciprocal.  Good customer behavior AND good customer service.  Fair customer service.  Not kissing-the-butt of a nasty customer simply because we want his/her business.  Which goes against most business models but I don't care because it is the world of One Old Goat farm. 

In this world, there wouldn't be any shoulds or oughts or mights.  I don't want to be told that I should like to cook and clean and all of that crud simply because I am a female.  I don't want to be told that I ought to act or think in a certain way because of my age.  I want to be who I am, how I feel, what I like until I die.  Regardless of public opinion.

I realize that I am a stodgy old coot but I am not quite as stubborn as most people would believe.   It has been a relatively cruddy, depressing day and I really wish that my world was like this.  Everyday.

Keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow is a tad bit better.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Feeling pretty.

Pretty is the last word anyone who knows me would use to describe me.  I'm more of a function over fashion type of person.  For me, beauty is more of a word that I would use to describe a person's character than their appearance.  As far as things go, the word beauty would be a ruggedly made jacket that will last me for years and years and years - becoming more comfortable in many wearings. Beauty could also be used to describe a pitchfork whose tines don't fall off within a few months of purchase or beauty could be a well=built fence.

But last week I really did win a thing of beauty from one of my favorite blogs - Granny Sue's News and Reviews.  I won a beautiful tea setting with a tablecloth, placements, salt/pepper shakers, sugar bowl and cream pitcher, and a tea pot.  I also won a bag of loose Earl Grey tea and a tea ball.  I have some tea brewing right now and as soon as I get this posted, I'm going to sip on tea in my dainty little tea cup and read Jennifer Chiaverini's new book The Union Quilters.

I don't know how I came upon Granny Sue's blog - through a search for a dulcimer festivals perhaps.  But if you visit her site, check out the links on the rightside of the site too.  Granny Sue is a storyteller and one day, I will listen to her in person.  Her blog about storytelling is called Storyteller Granny Sue: Stories from the Mountains and Beyond .  I just love browsing through everything on her sites and have to say that her blog - by far - has always been one of my most favorite. 

So for a little bit this afternoon, I will be pretty. I shall sit at my window and sip on good tea on my very lovely tea set.  Thank you Granny Sue!!!






Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 Merry Christmas to all from the creatures - large and small - at One Old Goat farm.







Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Where music goes.


I have always shied away from science but I'm pretty sure that when beautiful music is released into the universe, it is put in a repository for the angels to enjoy. 
Thank you, choruses and bands of Penns Valley Jr./Sr. High School, for letting the angels sing!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Future.

Another Penn State grad in the family!  My oldest daughter graduated from Penn State, Behrend College on Friday among 300 and some other graduates.

Ten years ago, we both would have thought this to be unlikely event.  Eleven years ago, I sat in the high school guidance counselor's office with her trying to convince her that dropping out of high school with only a half year left to go was not a good idea.  Thank goodness she agreed.

Kristen has not only graduated but she has had every reason not to and every time, she made the decision to carry on.  A lot has happened during the time since she enlisted in the U.S.Army after 9-11.  Mainly, she has grown up. 

I think Kristen is destined to do great things.  Like her brother, she is gifted in academics however she is a rock star in math and science while Ryan and I lean more toward English.  Kristen has an interest in water quality and with her degree in Environmental Science, plans to work in third world countries to try and improve water supply and quality.

In the past ten years, Kristen has become a veteran and a mother - two things of which to be so proud.  I would suspect that the next ten years will be equally exciting. 

So proud of you Kris!

Happy 5th Birthday!

To one of the greatest loves of my life! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This Christian Life.

Is hard. And I fail miserably at it. Every. Single. Day.


I’ve learned a lot - that becoming a Christian – at least for me – is not a single aha moment. I mean it was kind of like an epiphany in that during a random moment at a Bible Study, I realized that what I was looking for had been there all along. And that realization has really given me tremendous direction in my life.

But still– I have nearly fifty years of being me and it's not been good. I am a grouch, can't hold a conversation to save my life, feel more comfortable in the company of animals to that of humans (usually), and when I do try to converse or otherwise fit in, would do much better to sit back and keep silent.  As I am sliding from merely being an irritable, socially-inept loner into the more whimsical label of being just an eccentric curmudgeon, I’ve realized that I don’t really want to be like that so much.  I'll be silent but with a smile on my face.

 I suspect that my gift lies more with what I can do rather than what I can say and that the master plan was never for me to be in any role that puts much attention on me. But you never know. Our pastor said something a few weeks ago that has been on my mind.  He said that when we open ourselves to what the Lord wants, something wonderful and unexpected can happen. That sounds really good to me. I’m always up for a challenge and I wait patiently for what my role on earth is meant to be. I just really hope that I know it, when He tells me.  I've been told that it could be years before I know.

But I feel as if I am flying blind and am not sure what I am doing.  I'm confident that I will figure it out.  I'm buying a bible that will help me understand and that includes Cliffnotes of sort that are meant (I think) to help those of us starting from scratch. But I feel as if I can't change me or that I shouldn't change me.  I wouldn't know how to begin to morph into a social butterfly - or even just a social caterpillar.  But if I'm asked to change, I will. 

I was really naive to think that simply by accepting God that the Christian road was wide open and easily navigated.  I've found that instead, the Christian life is a journey.  It looks as if it is going to be very interesting and very rewarding.  I just really wish that there was a map.

But I'll get there.






Sunday, December 11, 2011

Neighbors.

 You know it is going to be a rocky day when you are awoken (waked, awakened, woken up, whatever....) by hearing a message on your answering machine that begins with, "I think I just saw your horse walking toward Bible Road".  Oh yeah.  In less than 20 seconds, I had on my muddy overalls, my barn boots, and the ratty sweatshirt that I use when feeding the animals.  Within about 3 seconds after that, I had grabbed a lead rope and was headed out the door toward Bible Road.  (A lovely sight, I was)

 Lucky for me, the neighbor who called me was the same neighbor who had previously helped my husband corral the goats when they were out on the road and whose dogs we had rescued and returned home a couple of times.  We may not always remember each other's names but we know each other by our animals.  Which is common in our neck of the woods.

After less than a couple minutes, I spotted Buddy the wayward horse grazing outside the fence in the company of some mighty nice looking heifers who belonged to another one of our neighbors. I clipped the leadrope onto Buddy's halter and my husband walked him home.

 At church during the sermon, I remembered that the potato casserole was still in the oven so I ran home to turn the oven off.  While I was there, I peeked out and sure enough........Buddy and Clover were both out of the fence and were nibbling on the grass.  I went back to church and sent my husband and son over home to bring the horses back in.  It was clear that the fun and games were about over.  Chasing the horses and bringing them home was quickly losing its appeal.  All along, I was under the (wrongful) impression that the spot in the fence where they were escaping had been fixed.

So then after church but before our church meal, I went over to the house to bring the casserole over and looked out just in time to see Dolly Llama hop the fence.  And even though Dolly Llama has the ability to hop nearly any fence, she only does so when the horses are in the lower pasture.  So I ran the casserole to the church and ran back home.  Literally.  I got in the house to put on my boots just in time to hear our other neighbor say that the horses were over in their yard checking out their garden.   Let me tell you: about that point, I was having not-quite-Christian-like thoughts about the fence, the horses, Dolly Llama, my husband, etc.

Suffice it to say, that the horses were successfully put away - Buddy in the barn, Clover in the upper pasture and Dolly Llama in the company of Clover. The spot where they were sneaking over to the unsecure lower pasture was fixed. What could have ended tragically since we live within 1.5 of a main road, ended well - thanks to some really good neighbors who decided not to ignore a large horse strolling down the road.  So though we may only know each other by the names of our pets/animals (at least in the early hours), we do know each other.  We have each others' back. 

I think that many times country neighbors are compared to the more transient city neighbors.  Those of us who live in the country and are lucky enough to have others in close proximity may not always know the first names of our neighbors but that doesn't mean we don't know them.  It doesn't mean that we don't look out for each other.  This morning has proven to me that neighborliness is alive and well.  At least in Georges Valley.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lessons learned as a kid.


Tonight I am bone-tired. I've got blisters on the palms of my hands. My knuckles are bruised and scraped and I am sure that tomorrow my back will be as stiff as the boards I pounded all day long.  Today I built a chicken coop - not just any chicken coop but the Fort Knox of chicken coops.  A friend of a friend gave me 3 hens who had just begun laying and since all 20 or so hens of mine have put the egg-laying on hiatus for the winter, I drove over the mountain and through the woods to pick them up Saturday.  I didn't want to mix these new chickens (Peter, Paul, and Mary) with my other chickens mainly because I wanted to be able to locate at least a few eggs a day.  All of my other chickens free-range and where they lay their eggs depends on the time of year and the weather. 

So Saturday's quick slapping-together of a coop was just temporary.  In fact, Peter and Paul escaped and roosted with the other chickens in another coop leaving Mary all by herself - and  Mary was not very happy about it.

So yesterday after church, I headed out back to make an escape-proof, windproof, sturdy coop.  And because I didn't want to reinvent the wheel, I decided that it would a more effective use of my time to fortify and modify the temporary coop.

Now one thing about me, is that not only am I money-poor, I am just plain cheap.  Another thing about me is that I was a stellar cabin builder when I was a kid.  My best friend and our siblings had cabins all over the woods and the back field in a variety of stages of design.  We made treehouses out of wood we found in our dads' scrap piles or wood that we found in the forest.  We made cabins hidden in the high grasses of the field regardless of the fact that we would sneeze continuously and wheeze and that our eyes were so red and itchy that we could barely see.  We had less sophisticated forts that were simply outlined with fallen timber in the pines in the neighborhood on which a house is now built.  In making our cabins, treehouses, and forts, we used whatever we could find and we weren't too proud to scrounge through the dumps that used to be all over the place back then.


 
So in the spirit of my childhood, I grabbed a screwdriver, a hammer, a handful of nails, a box of deck screws and any decent piece of lumber I could find.  I sawed and pounded, nailed and clipped screen and ended up with a chicken coop that could withstand a hurricane! As a finishing touch, I unearthed some old pieces of tin that I believe came from a long ago neighbor's produce stand.  And with that, the coop was complete. 

Now some eyes may look at my little coop and think what a pile of junk, what an eyesore - in fact, I think that's where my husband was going when he said 'we'd fix it up next weekend'.  But when I look at this heavy duty, invasion-proof, escape-proof, warm, dry chicken coop, I only see Peter, Paul, and Mary quietly purring on their nests.  I see an absolutely breathtaking array of old, aged wood along with just as old rusted tin.  I see a little bit of the history of a long ago Sprucetown and know that my creation will be home for chickens for many, many years to come!

Rusted tin and old wood.  Is there anything more beautiful?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stars in Penns Valley.



The stars were out in Penns Valley tonight.  At least one bright and shining star anyhow!  It seems that God was a little disproportionate when he sprinkled stars across the world and more than the fair share landed in our little valley.

There is always something to brag about in the Potters Mills, Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Millheim, etc. area.  Books could be written about the caliber of people you can find in this neck of the woods. Oh, but tonight. . .

Tonight one of my daughters and I decided to attend a concert by Autumn Blaze and her orchestra.  I doubt that anyone outside central PA has ever heard of this young girl - who is in 11th grade in our school district, who played the lead in the spring musical this past year, who - two summers ago - won the Grange Fair Idol competition.  But I bet that is all going to change one day and quite a few people are going to have heard her and of her.    For two hours tonight, seemingly the entire valley sat enchanted by a mix of jazz and contemporary music.  Autumn was amazing! The orchestra was first class.  It was an experience that I know I have never had.  The high school parking lot was full!  There were ushers in black, luminaries lined the high school hallways, plush rugs lead the waiting patrons to the doors of the auditorium.    The entire evening was musically magical. 

Autumn sang Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, Lulu's Back in Town, Pokerface, and I'm not that girl (from Wicked) - a variety of genres and all done so well.  Even to my slowly deafened ears.

But the magic wasn't just with her singing and the beautiful mixture of the piano, the bass, the horns......the truly magical part of the whole thing was that this young girl is donating the profits to Penns Valley High School Drama department.

Who says the arts aren't important?  I beg to differ.

Thank you, Autumn!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Miss Shaw.

I have no pictures today.  But I've taken a mammoth step and offered my services as a pianist to our church next year.  True - I've been playing the piano since I was 5 years old and was able to crawl up on the piano bench in my grandmother's parlor.  True - I took piano lessons for years from Miss Georgia Shaw who was not only a great pianist but a wonderful violinist as well.  She also taught me to play the church organ and I'm really hoping that some of her teachings come back to me. 

I'll never forget Miss Shaw.  Two bucks a lesson and she was the kindest, gentlest person I've ever met - then and now.  She made me believe that I was never less than wonderful.  And I think every kid should believe that about themselves in some area.  I'm not so sure whether she taught me nearly as much about the piano as she did about life.  She had polio when she was a child which left her bent over nearly into an upside down U.  She wasn't married.  She obviously loved kids which was why she taught us all how to play the piano.  She often told me stories about her life and I don't think I ever remember her saying anything negative about her life or about anyone. She was the happiest, most optimistic person I have ever met.  She taught me that stuff happens to people - really bad stuff - and yet we muddle through.  We survive to play beautiful, beautiful music.  She taught me that I didn't need to be perfect as long as I put my heart into it. 

Miss Georgia Shaw taught me that music was the great equalizer but I failed to see at the time what she meant by this.  When Miss Shaw played her violin or the magnificent pipe organ for me, she was not a little, bentover person with a hairy chin - she was.........larger than life and in my ears anyway, she was perfection.  No violin or organ has ever sounded so sweet to my ears.

So in memory of my piano teacher who believed in me regardless of the missed lessons, of coming in smelling of cigarette smoke, of giggling throughout my lesson, or my obvious lack of practice, I've promised my church that when needed, I would play the piano for them and for her.

So I will be praying - fervently.  And I hope that I will receive some other prayers along the way because I'm going to need them.  It is one thing to have shaky hands while singing, but while playing the piano - shaky hands are not so good. 

So my first song is for you, Miss Shaw.  Thank you for your patience in showing me the beauty of music.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks.

After the 334th consecutive rainy day here at One Old Goat Farm, I found myself running out of different ways of effectively complaining about the mud that I have to slide and trudge through every morning and night.  The kind of thick, clay muck that is impossible to scrape off your boots and clings to shoes stronger than any glue known to mankind.  Well anyways, after 334 days of this crud and in homage to Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, I decided to switch gears and instead of complain, to count my blessings.I'm thankful for my goats being back on my farm.  It is really odd living at One Old Goat Farm and writing as One Old Goat at not having any goats.  I am thankful that Hansel, my little wether, is such a friendly guy and no matter my mood, is always right there for me to hug and scratch and love.



I am thankful for my new pitchfork.  A seemingly insignificant joy but seriously, if you've ever tried to scrape out cow poo with a pitchfork that the tines kept getting pitched with the poo, you would understand.


 
I am thankful for Dolly Llama and secretly am very flattered that she seems to prefer me to anyone else.  It's like we are kin.  Kind of.  There is something very calming about being nose-to-nose with an animal of that size and that is just how Dolly likes to communicate with me.  I have a big family and not everyone is particularly interested in what is going in my life.  But Dolly always notices. 



I love the little bunny that visits us - well, visits the chickens every day.  He doesn't let me too close to him but just seeing him first thing in the morning always makes me smile and lets me know that the world is good for another day.                                                                                                              I'm thankful for the sunny days we did actually have and gave us my husband and kids time to split and stack enough wood to get us through the winter.  The fact is, I have more things for to be thankful than I have to complain.  I hope to remember this tomorrow when it rains.  For the 335th day on One Old Goat Farm.




Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Angst.

I'm feeling irritable. I'm feeling impatient. 

I really thought that with my religious epiphany this past summer, I would enter into the Christmas season a little calmer.  But today I found myself feeling not so calm.  True, it may be all of hullabaloo surrounding my workplace, my Alma mater and the nonstop regurgitating of the same old not-so-new news.  It may be the dreary weather.  It may be the fact that I've traveled a lot the past few months which I've really enjoyed, but always puts me off kilter. I'm not sure.  Maybe I need just a little more good news in my life - I think we all do.
 
There are so many things to enjoy and love.  Way more good things in my life than bad.  It really seems rather masochistic to listen to the news.  I gave up Walmart because I didn't like the affect it had on me or the affect I believe it has on society as a whole.  Why not give up on the news?  I really don't think that my world would stop turning if I no longer tuned into the morning news or read the newspaper.  At almost 50 years old, I have a fairly good understanding of what my role is as a human in the human race.  The 10 commandments have given me that information.

 There are some good websites out there if I'm so inclined to see some of the good going on in the world - http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/



I subscribe to several online groups that relate to my own quirky interests and I pick up bits and pieces of the world's goings-on through that. 

Blogs that I follow also are likely to include a more humanistic view of the world so I won't be totally in the dark.  And of course there is my church family.....anything that is worth knowing is discussed at our weekly family meals. 

So my gift to myself - which will hopefully affect my family - is to live in my own sheltered little world.  That may not work for many people and I respect that.  But I want to truly enjoy Christmas and all the days leading up to it in the manner in which I believe it should be enjoyed: without the anxiety and worry and rushing here and there and trying to get more and more and more done. 

Although for many, many years I've said that I was a Christian, this is the very first year that I understand why I am Christian.  It is hard to explain but this is the very first year that Christ's birth is a true event for me and not just a token day that I am celebrating and I will be celebrating with all of my heart! 

And instead of freaking out over things about which I can do nothing, I will rejoice in the true gifts in life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New York.

Last week I had the opportunity to go to New York City for the second time of my life.  The first visit was only for a day and to chaperon a student council.  This past week I left on Sunday and returned early Wednesday morning. The highlight of my trip was that I enjoyed the company of my oldest son. 

I haven't spent this kind of one-on-one time with Ryan since before he went to college and a certainly hope that we have the opportunity to spend time together like this again. 
New York was nothing like I thought it would be.  I expected to have profanity hurled at me at every step.  I expected to meet with faceless New Yorkers who would rather trample me than smile at me.  I expected to see people dressed as fashionably as models.  I expected to be mugged in Central Park.

Surprisingly, what I found was people just like us.  People of all sorts, really.  I saw people who were dressed to the nines and people who dressed as if they just walked off the farm.  I saw people who were in a hurry and people who were tourists. 

I found that if I smiled at someone they would smile right back at me.  I had more than one experience of someone holding the door for me, allowing me to go through first.  I experienced valets who remembered me and greeted me with a smile even though obviously, I wasn't a big tipper.
 Yet another stereotype has been crushed for me.  I've found so far this year that whether I am in Denver, CO or New York City, NY or State College, PA, people pretty much treat me the same way that I treat them. 
But really, I hadn't expected this in New York City.  I can honestly say that while I wouldn't want to live there, I would definitely like to return to New York City.  I've found that all of my expectations of the people living there were incorrect and that there a friendly, kind folk wherever I travel.  But I hadn't expected here which would explain why I waited nearly 50 years to spend more than a few hours in their city.

Crazy New Yorkers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Been Wondering.

I, like many others, are overloaded with the events of the past few days.  On one hand, I am absolutely floored and disgusted and angry that somone to whom many people looked up could do something so reprehensible to a kid - to many kids.  Not to mention that trauma to the kids that were abused but all the kids in the future who will never, ever get to experience an adult who truly cares, who wants to help.  What this devil has done is to prevent any parent from ever trusting anyone who professes to 'just want to help' kids.  If we trusted this pillar of our University who had such an earnest face and such sincere words and such altruistic intentions, and who rooked us all, how can we possibly ever put our kids in the care of anyone?

And my beloved JoePa.  That breaks my heart.  I've known of JoePa all of my life. I certainly did not know him personally but I knew of him from the way my parents talked about him, my interactions with his family on committees on which I've served, from the way that the media (on good days, in winning seasons) have portrayed him.  Poor judgment and the assumption that superiors within the University would appropriately take care of matters are what has brought around JoePa's end as coach.  I think that is incredibly sad.

My parents taught me right from wrong - there is no doubt about that.  As a kid the worst possible consequence of careless acts on my part would be to disappoint my parents.  But yet, how many times have I made a decision to do something that could potentially harm someone else?  Not waiting for a bigger break in traffic before making a turn, not returning a phone call, not volunteering for something, not keeping my word.

It is really sad to think that so much of this horrific mess could easily have been avoided and lives spared if someone along the way had done the right thing.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and I think that there have been many weak links. There are always weak links.

As a Penn State alumni and a Penn State employee, I will always be proud of my University.  Because Penn State is the students, the faculty who teach them, the staff who work hard to provide the best, most excellent service to our students, the ones who don't earn 6 or 7 figure salaries who oftentimes, can barely make ends meet but yet show up to work each day because we believe in the value of education.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Still Standing.

This has always been my dad's tree.  I remember being told this when I was very, very young.  This lone pine near the edge of Route 27 looks exactly as it did nearly 50 years ago.

I have taken many pictures of it over the years.  It is a comfort to me knowing that it still stands straight and tall despite the storms it has endured.

Friday, October 21, 2011

THEY ARE COMING HOME!

Our soldiers - our U.S. soldiers - are coming home from Iraq!!!  And this makes lower case, non-bolded headlines?????  Are you kidding me???  Is this America???

Everyday I see newspaper headlines of pure crud.  This week there have been at least two online headlines of a local person getting arrested for their second and third DUIs.  They get more coverage than our soldiers (remember them? Our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers????) coming home from Iraq?

I wrote yesterday about nightmares of waking up in Wally-world.  This is far worse.  I've shared facebook posts about my favorite music artists, about fracking in Sharonville, about this and about that.  But does no one think it is Facebook worthy that our troops are COMING HOME FROM IRAQ?

Someone please inform me if I have missed something.  If this is not a reason to be celebrating.  For the past seven years I've lived in fear that my daughter - my baby girl- would be sent back to Iraq. 

What am I missing?  Our soldiers are returning home to America, the land that I love, God bless it all! 

How about a smile?  A pat on the back? A thank-God-they-are-coming-home? 

Really? Is this MY America??????

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wall-mart.

I've written about it before. 

And I've returned a few times since.

But no more.

Walmart's latest campaign - Save Money. Live Better.

Yeah.

What is sad is that this company targets people like me.  And it works. 

But in the same voice, the company is targeting people like me while it destroys people like me.  The company - Walmart - is an enabler - dangling their slogan of living better.  That we need more 'stuff' to live better.  To be better.  To feel better.

In the meantime, Walmart seemingly is destroying the free market.  For human needs anyway.  Their guarantee is that no matter the cost they WILL undercut any competitor's price.  On anything. 

I have nightmares of waking up in a world in which everything is own/operated by Walmart.  I am terrified of needing hospital care but having to give-in to substandard care because WalHospital guarantees the lowest price.

I don't have a degree in Economics or Political Science or Business - but I do have degrees relating to humans as well as nearly 50 years experience of being a human.  I want to have valid choices.  I want to be able to make my own decision of cost vs quality and not being forced to subscribe to that.  I don't want more.  I want good.

I do believe in free enterprise and that people should have the choice between getting cheap goods for a little bit of money or investing in their country.  But it terrifies me that the choice is being made for me.  Everytime I buy something from a company that attempts to crush any mom and pop business, I am basically pounding another nail in a small business' coffin. 

Walmart has seen the last of me.   

Dang! I will do without before I give another cent to that company!