Posts By Donna Schoenkopf

Thursday, March 15, 2012 / 2:28 pm

Some Things Just Aren’t Meant to Be Corporations

Agribusiness is a bad invention.

by Donna Schoenkopf

life as a chicken

Just got this email from Tyson Foods. I had sent them an email—the kind that you send to a corporation or group or whatever about an issue that’s near and dear to your heart. You can be a good citizen just by filling in your name, etc., and voila! Your voice is heard. (I love technology.)

I had to ask daughter Rebecca about the last paragraph. Go to the very end to read it for yourself. It is a very weird paragraph. As you all know she is an editor, journalist and Constitutional enthusiast as well as having been an A+ student in her college Constitutional Law (with an emphasis in Journalism) classes.


So here’s the email from their corporate office that they DON’T want you to see:

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Sunday, March 11, 2012 / 3:01 pm

Ladies in Long Dresses

Christian women strut their stuff.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Fundamentalist Mormon women

Yesterday I saw my fifth group of ladies in long dresses.

There have been usually two women together, but sometimes up to four.

They are members of at least two different offbeat Christian sects.  I don't think the women in long dresses are of the same sect because their hairdos are slightly different.  One group has the high pompadours and braid down the back that the Mormons on Big Love wear.  Others have head coverings over their hair.  But they all have one thing in common – they wear long, loose-fitting dresses down to their ankles.

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Friday, March 9, 2012 / 7:48 am

Fukushima’s 1st Year Anniversary

When will we ever learn?

by Donna Schoenkopf

child being checked for radiation

Years ago, when my kids were still kids, I loaded them into the car along with some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit for our lunches, and drove to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on the coast of Central California. 

It was a long drive.  We were all excited and happy and looking forward to doing our duty as citizens of the Earth by protesting Diablo Canyon's very existence.  We all knew the dangers of nuclear power.   Things like radiation leaks, the killing of the plant and animal life in the ocean waters that are used to cool the reactors, the fact that the damn thing was built on an earthquake fault, that the reactors begin to get brittle and crack after twenty years.  All this was on our minds as we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway alongside the shining sea.

When we got there we saw groups of people walking the wrong way.  We stopped to ask what was going on and were told that the demonstration was over.

We had gotten there too late.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012 / 11:13 am

Rural Life: Living in a Glass House on Top of a Hill in Oklahoma

Living on the edge.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Farnsworth House

I wanted something like Mies Van der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Indiana.  The Glass House by Philip Johnson in Connecticut intrigued me, too.  But what I could afford and what I needed to do because of the weather, only vaguely resembles those two beauties.

But my little Housie suits me to a tee.

Imagine living in a place where the weather is the most dramatic factor in your day-to-day life and you live in a (mostly) glass and steel house on top of a hill on thirteen beautiful hilly acres of forest, wildflowers, and prairie grass.  That's spring and summer.  Winter's different.  But we won't go into all that.  Nor will we go into flooding, drought, and high straight winds.

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Monday, March 5, 2012 / 7:53 am

I Want This CAR!

The Prius C rocks my world.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Prius C

The first car I bought on my own was a Geo Metro.  I loved that car.  Turned on a dime.  Got about 40 mpg.  (Although I must admit I am not the greatest calculator of mileage.)  And that hatchback!  Wow.  Got more stuff in the back of my car that most large ass sedans.  Seriously.

I owned a series of Geo Metros until they stopped making them and then, even though the monthly payment was about $400 a month – which was HUGE in my life – I bought a Prius.  A 2001 Prius.  Used.  It had a price tag of a little over $18,000.  It was the single biggest monetary investment in the environment I had made up until that point.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012 / 8:56 am

Rural Life: What To Do With the Paint Thinner

Mother Nature reminds me that we are all connected.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Mother Nature

I am having trouble with the issue of paint thinner.

I will not pour it down the drain.  That goes to my septic system which goes to the edge of the forest on my east and down to the aquifer below me from which Smitty and Neighbor Jim and Steve & Sheila get their water.  And that's just in our tight little neighborhood.

Orval & Shirley and I take rural water from the Pottawatomie County Rural Water District #3.  The water is scrutinized there.  We get (relatively) clean water. 

(I learned my lesson about water contamination from the United Farm Workers and local SoCal news back in the day.  Cancer clusters.  In agricultural areas.  Then “Erin Brokovich” came along.  No rural water for me, thanks.)

So I will not pour the paint thinner down the drain.

Nor out on the ground.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012 / 9:18 am

Life and Death and Daily Life

Thinking about things while painting a mural.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Magical Irish scene.

It is a clear and light morning.  I am hip-deep in painting a mural for the Pottawatomie County Democratic Club's annual St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser and Celebration.

It is 9 feet high and 21 feet long.  On brown painting contractor's paper.  The kind they put on the floor as protection against spills and spatters.

I have cut it into 3' x 3' squares and primed all 21 squares and painted 3 of them according to my graphed out photograph of a magical forest with a diaphanous rainbow over a castle, wee in the background, and a lake in the foreground.

I've already made a couple of mistakes in matching up the squares.  All correctable.

I have been at it for a day.

Normally (if I were still a third grade teacher) I would have access to those very fine huge bolts of colored butcher paper.  I used to tear off long lengths of every color to create … just about everything.  Ahhhh.  Those were the days.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012 / 4:23 pm

FUCK YOU! ! ! !

Why I love cussing.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Mario Savio

I taught my children, by example and by lecture, that cussing was the way to keep one's freedom of speech.

I never cussed when I taught.  I was afraid of getting fired.  Actually, I may have said “hell” or “damn” once or twice as I was just getting ready to retire.  So I understand your reticence of taking up the banner of Freedom of Speech.  You could lose your job!

Anyway, back in the 60s, when I was a lass, I fell in love with freedom of speech.  And cussing to me is an expression of that.  And every time I say fuck you, I feel free all over.

I am still in love with Mario Savio.  Look him up.  He's dead now.  Died unknown and unloved.  But he is my hero.  He stood on car roofs with a bull horn and blasted “FUCK YOU ! ! ” out over the world and I loved him til my I felt the way I feel after an orgasm.  All spent and satisfied. 


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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 / 2:56 pm

Venting My Spleen: Election Day

My adventure in voting after a long, long day.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Eddie Stackhouse

I had worked all day (ten hours, to be exact) and was tired, hungry, and crabby.

The drive home down Killer Highway 177 was long.  I couldn't wait to see my happy dogs and get something in my starving self.

But as I was nearing my turnoff I realized that it was election day.  There was a County Commissioner race and a School Board race.

I have never missed an election but as I pulled into my driveway I actually considered skipping this one.  I climbed out of my car, dogs hopping happily all around me, and walked into the house.

And knew I wasn't going to skip this one either.

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Monday, February 13, 2012 / 5:00 am

Rural Life: Report From Chigger Lake

Life (and death) in the country.

by Donna Schoenkopf

Schoenkopf 41243 sign

I'm living on thirteen beautiful, hilly acres in Oklahoma. I live in an affordable ($50,000), environmental (simple rectangle, southern wall a row of 6 sliding glass doors looking down my hill, passive solar in the winter, breezy in the summer) house of glass and steel and concrete that I designed and helped build. I've been here for four years. I am a 68 year old retired school teacher who wants to learn how to do all kinds of things—building, fixing, planting—by myself. I like to experiment just to see what will happen.

I don't have a lot of money. And I do want to keep everything here as natural as I can because I am, above anything else, striving to live lightly on the earth.

Here's what's been going on.

The Fabulous Outdoor Shower

My outdoor shower is going through an awkward period. It had been lush and glorious because it was surrounded by waist high grass and sunflowers that were taller than the house. Then I mowed. That left it naked and kinda ugly.

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