September 16, 2007

It was perfect weather for the Odessa DeutschesFest parade on Saturday, and I got to march through twice – once with the entry for Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Congress, and then a second time with the group from the Odessa Memorial Healthcare Foundation to hand out water and healthy snacks. The Fest offered good bratwurst and kuchen and a lot of opportunities for visiting. The only discordant note to the day was when the Reardan-Edwall Community float (a pirate theme) went up in flames at the end of the parade route, but fortunately everyone was able to abandon ship safely.

Got home mid-afternoon and went out to catch up on chores. One doe had her head stuck in the wire fence; got her freed and checked the yellow jacket nest from a sensible distance. I had hoped to see nothing. Unfortunately, the little pests seem to have survived. I will not underestimate my opponents, but I will eradicate the yellow jacket nest in the pasture. Craig called from Federal Way where he is out on a project with the main herd, and we lost a doe there today to an attack by hundreds of wasps covering her head. He got stung once himself when he approached with the wasp spray to free her. He treated her with epinephrine without success. The population of wasps and hornets seems to be especially bad this year.

Today I met with a group of farmers and ranchers with small operations, and the discussion turned to the challenges of farming. When asked how to best make a profit as a small business, the first person to answer piped up with “move to Idaho,” which is exactly what she is doing. She’s sold out her livestock (we bought her goats) and is moving to St. Maries. The consensus of the group was that Washington is not friendly to small business and especially not to small ag operations. We have to get our state back on track for small business by eliminating redundant layers of regulations. We have a system that is so complex it practically guarantees every small business owner is a lawbreaker.