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With a handful of glowing coals, I can take a bit of dryer lint, a few pages of crumpled old mail, some slivers of fir or cedar collected from the base of the chopping stump on the front porch, a piece or two small soft wood... it'll smoke for a few minutes but within a few more minutes, I'll have a new fire going.  (I actually did this a few minutes ago and I'm listening to the crackling of the new fire just now as I type.)  I pride myself on using a box of matches for years before I need a new box.

I feel that this is kind of what Barack Obama and the grassroots together did with Healthcare Reform.  After the MA Senate election, things were looking grim.  I was feeling pessimistic. The blogs I read, the radio I listened to, the TV discussions.... none of them held out much hope either.....

And yet today, I'm sitting here watching our House of Representatives move forward decisively to pass Healthcare Reform.  The Republicans are playing their part with vigor.  I can't help think of the rats in my barn.  In a truly Zen sense, they are entitled to their life ie their opinions.... but I live in the real, less Zen world... and I intend to give love and lots of goats milk to the barn kitties who will hopefully eat them before they can do any more damage....

This is my first diary and I apologize for it being more emotion based than fact based.  I have no new, breaking news to report.  I only recently discovered that other KOS readers could Rec my comments and to discover that some of them actually DID. I've been commenting mostly on local food/sustainable farming/rural lifestyle topics with lots of other random stuff in the mix.  I read most of the recommended diaries and many of the others.... with current politics being my first interest.  Again, lots of random subjects catch my interest as well... I thought I had more to learn than contribute so my participation has been mostly as a lurker.

But today is a misty, spring day in Oregon.  The goats are cozy in the barn, including all the new babies.  The dogs are romping in the cool greeness and I want to do nothing more than sit at my computer while my husband channel surfs between MSNBC, CNN, FOX and CSPAN.... sitting here feeling like a proud American.  My Rep is Peter DeFazio and I am so honored by him and his progressive efforts on my behalf, but have been urging him repeatedly to please, in the end, vote for the bill.

I tried the French Toast recipe from another blog, using our homemade french bread, goats milk and eggs from the chickens in the barn.... checked on all the expectant Moms then came inside to restart the fire....  we live a great blend of rural/sustainable and information highway connectivity.  We spend all week on the farm, making cheese, caring for the critters and enjoying the freedom to spend time every day tuning in to the political life of this country.  We go to the city every weekend to bring our products to markets.  We rarely shop.  If we can't trade for it or order it off the internet, or buy it at the Mercantile in our village a mile down the road.... we mostly find we can live without it.  We love this life...

But we do not have health care... well, to be more accurate, "we" did not have it but my husband has qualified for care thru the VA, but I still do not have healthcare.  By working hard, we paid off the farm, but I had an emergency a few years back requiring surgery and now the monthly payments to pay off the bills for that are more than the mortgage payment used to be.  Thank god they weren't more.  Thank god we could still keep this farm.  But what about the next illness/accident/injury?  

Thank you President Obama.  Thank you Democrats.  Thank you grassroots.  Thank you Thom Hartmann, Randy Rhodes, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann, Bill Press, Lawrence O'Donnell and so many others.  Thanks for building a new roaring blaze from the tender coals of the nearly dead Healthcare Reform debate.

I am so, so very proud to be a small part of this.

Originally posted to on Sun Mar 21, 2010 at 01:25 PM PDT.

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