Guilt, Burrs, and Foot Cream

Why did I wash my face this morning with foot cream? To fight wrinkles? To cure acne? To have silky smooth skin? Let’s talk about that in a minute. First let’s hit the guilt issue. Afterall, I’d feel guilty if we didn’t hit the guilt issue first. The question is this: why in the world do we let other people make us feel guilty about anything and everything? We accept guilt trips so quickly, so easily.

Be smart, do your best, but don’t let someone else make you feel GUILTY about your choices.

 Confession: sometimes I forget my cloth grocery bags and sometimes I buy more groceries than I have cloth bags for.

So I come home with plastic grocery bags. And I feel SOOOOOOO guilty………

Yep, even though I’ve found a million uses for them I still feel guilty. Because I’m supposed to. Because I should remember those cloth bags.

I use trash bags for liners in my bathroom garbage pails; I use them to scoop and throw away dirty cat litter. And most recently I used them for boot covers in the slushy, muddy snow and ice.

Do you think I’m horrible right now? I’m sure you do much better than me and never forget your bags. But, I do. I am not perfect . dangit. alas. sigh. and all that.

But I must learn not to feel guilty about it. I will do my best and let go of the rest.

I think the only GUILT we should consider is that little whisper in our own souls and heads. It tells us if something doesn’t feel right. It lets us know if something doesn’t fit into OUR belief system.

See, I think we allow other people to make us feel guilty about our choices without thinking that much about it. We just let them throw the guilt on our shoulders and then we lug it around all day. I mean, take those plastic bags I sometimes wind up with. What would I use for cleaning out the litter box if I didn’t have them? What would I use in the little bathroom garbage cans? I guess I’d buy some little trash bags? I don’t know, because I’ve always got a few stashed around the house some place from all my forget-y-ness.

Now, like I said at the beginning of this. We need to be smart and educate ourselves and do our best. And, yes, maybe I’ll google right now how to dispose of the cat litter without plastic, but we can’t allow other people and THEIR choices make us feel guilty about ours.

This whole guilt thing got into my head when I started thinking about ordering some spring chickens.

Yes, I eat chicken. Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken Casserole, Chicken Soup, Chicken Fajitas. Baked Chicken. Roasted Chicken. Grilled Chicken. Fried Chicken.

But no, I do not slaughter chickens.

Nor will I ever.




Because I don’t want to.

Because I live in a time when I don’t have to.

Because it would horrify me.

Because I can CHOOSE for myself and I choose NOT TO.

And, folks, that’s okay. You might choose to slaughter your own meat. Fine and good. But it is not fine and not good for me.

You hear this argument A LOT: “Hey, you’re a hypocrite. If you EAT chicken you should be willing to raise and slaughter it.”

That is wrong. Big time. It’s what we called a “slippery slope” argument in law school. It works like this: if you take that position, then you have to take ALL the ones that are like it.

For example, I use indoor plumbing. And I have a septic tank. But I do not clean out my own septic tank. Why?

Because I don’t want to.

Becuase I live in a time when I don’t have to.

Because it would horrify me.


For another example, I have relatives that have died. And I loved them. But I do not care to take care of their bodies after they die. Why?

Because I don’t want to.

Because I live in a time when I don’t have to.

Because it would horrify me.


There are a million other things like that I could mention.

Just because I eat chicken does not mean that I should be willing to raise and slaughter them. What sense does that make? I drive a car, but don’t know how to fix it. I have a colt I want gelded, but I’m not going to do it. Why do I have to kill my own chickens? I refuse to accept the GUILT that other people try to lay on those of us who don’t want to slaughter our meat. I’m not trained to kill a chicken. And more importantly, I don’t WANT to become trained to do so. Yes, I can eat chicken and not be the one to raise it or kill it.

I will order some chickens this spring. And I will eat their eggs. But I will not eat them, my little chickies. I don’t mind a bit (at this point, any way) eating other people’s chickens. But not my own.

For you? Well, you might order some chickens this spring. And you might eat them. And that’s fine with me. Very, very fine with me.

Shall we move on to burrs? Because that whole chicken stuff is a burr in my saddle.

When we first moved to this Farm, it was covered in growth. There was a most lovely purple flower blooming all over the farm. I photographed it many times because I thought it was so beautiful.

Exquisite and lovely, right?

And then something happened. The flowers died and BURRS emerged. In the south we call these pretty little purple flowered plants cockleburs. Yes, I grew acres and acres of cockleburs because I didn’t know any better. They stick onto everything. Clothes, socks, dogs, horses, farmgirls, messy farmgirl braids. I came in the other day and felt something in my hair. Ta da. Even with snow on the ground, cocklebur stuck in my hair!

I should have weeded those out. Weed out the guilt! Weed out the cockleburs!

Okay, let’s end this post on the same note I started on.

This is why I washed my face this morning with foot cream.

The tubes look EXACTLY the same and I can’t see a dang thing without my reading glasses.

Ah, to be pushing 50.

Talk to me.

Until next time, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. I can’t say much because I’m too busy laughing (about the foot cream) and nodding my head (about your slippery slope).

    Oh, and the burrs. Weeds grow best for me, too. But one popped up even with snow on the ground? Is nothing sacred?

  2. Gladys says:

    Now I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming over again to read additional news.

  3. Sherry H says:

    Loved this post…loved it. You are living the life I dream of….and I know it is beyond me, but I am so happy for you. This post made a LOT of sense, AND it was a fun one. Like I said. Love it.

  4. Teri Schneider says:

    Your conversation reminds me of a sign I have in my house from Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." So I try to remember that whenever good ole guilt comes trotting around the corner!

  5. diana henretty says:

    Love it, love it, love it, your pure honesty and your whit, had to chuckle over
    the mix up of foot and face creams too!
    Good morning from the Ozarks!
    Spring is around the corner here, we have that season of renewal and hope again for warmer, sunny days and growth in both our gardens and our spirits.
    People ask us all the time why we would cook on an old cookstove when it is
    work in many ways, why we garden when we can just walk to our town’s store,
    why I make my own antibiotic salve when I can buy some from the drug store,
    or bake sourdough bread that takes all day to rise, but there are just some things we do because we want to and chose to.
    You will love your 50’s, each day you will become stronger and stronger
    and it brings out the very best in all of us!
    (I have a whole cupboard full of plastic bags that I have collected too!)
    Blessings to you this morning from the Ozarks……..Diana

  6. Tammy Nicholas says:

    I am 50+ and could definitely see myself using the foot cream versus the facial cleanser. Now will the foot cream remove facial "blisters"? Just askin – LOL

  7. Adrienne says:

    Rebekah dear, I live in San Francisco and I’m Jewish, so I have guilt about plastic bags and other offenses coming from all sides. I solved the plastic bag ban problem (yes, they are banned in the city and I’m charged 5 cents per paper sack) by having a small zippered cooler stuffed with at least 8 tote bags and two large mesh bags). The cooler has a strap that goes over my shoulder, an outside pocket for my grocery list, and it goes with me to the grocery store. The milk, eggs, cheese and other cold items are in the cooler; the rest of the groceries are divided among the tote bags so each is full but not too heavy to lift. You can get a plastic bag for 10 cents and it will be recyclable, relieving the guilt as well as your wallet. My friend uses a litter called S’wheat made out of–yes–wheat. It’s scoopable and decomposes unlike clay which lives forever in a landfill. In our apartment building, everyone has a small lidded container for our compostables. We empty it once a week into a plastic bag from our produce and place it in the compost bin which is emptied once a week. There are two other bins, one for recyclables and one for landfill. We’re as eco friendly as we can be but none of us feels guilty about it.

    My suggestion: take a moment to find all your tote bags. Fold them and stuff them into one bag and leave them in your vehicle for shopping day. They’ll never be forgotten and you can wash, fold and return them to your vehicle before your next trip.

    As for your chickens, I eat eggs from free-range cage-free chickens and we have farmers markets with wonderful folks who raise them organically and as humanely as possible. I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian and will absolutely not make anyone feel guilty for their choices. Keep the good intentions in your heart and do what’s right for you. Best of luck!

  8. Jan says:

    Thank you! You gave me a chuckle this morning! I thought that maybe you had seen one of those helpful tips from Dr. Oz or something that suggested using foot cream on your face for ‘fine lines and wrinkles’. Maybe you’re on to something….

    I’ll admit that I also have many uses for plastic shopping bags. The eco-friendly garbage bags are cost prohibitive for most folks that use a lot. We’ll try to leave our minds open for ways not to use plastic bags…

    I’m with you on the chickens. I’m pushing 60 hard enough, and I choose not to slaughter any animal personally. Been there, done that, not going to again..

    We have a whole different version of the cocklebur. Blooms small and vivid purple and is really attractive. The bur is about the size of a pea. Do you have cheat grass in your neck of the woods? Watch your socks and the inside of your dog’s ears.

    Happy spring!

  9. Jan OB says:

    Rebekah, you are a hoot!!!!!!! GUILT is an ugly thing that just takes up alot of our time & effort. FORGET IT!!!! My girls (chickens)are for egg laying & nothing else. Kill them, I DON’T THINK SOOOOOOO!!! I have great respect for those that can, but I don’t happen to be one of them. My girls will die of old age and natural causes. You have finally gotten to your dream farm, and you need to leave guilt out of it especially on this subject. Garbage bags, I’m right with you. Sometimes I remember other times not. When I bring them home they get used for kitty litter and many other things around our country home. I figure we recycle 99% of our household waste so I have no reason to feel guilty about a few grocery bags that I bring home. As for the foot cream. IT HAPPENS!! Glasses are a wonderful thing, and without them strange things sometimes happen. I totally enjoy reading your blog, and I’ve kept up with your farm dream, knowing that it would sometime happen. Enjoy every minute of it. We’ve been in our country home for 25 plus years, and there’s something new everyday. Enjoy your farm WITHOUT THE GUILT. Jan OB

  10. Lisa says:

    What a relief to know that I am not alone in feeling guilty for a few plastic bags beneath my sink and lining my bathroom trash basket. Sometimes I feel like that boy who tried to stop the dam from bursting by putting his finger in the hole – there are so many ways to reduce my carbon footprint, it’s overwhelming … and guilt-inducing! I especially feel badly about those styrofoam plates that meat are wrapped on. Styrofoam is not recyclable. … As for the reading glasses, perhaps a special pair just for the bathroom?!

  11. Joan says:

    Oh dog’gon that GUILT it has caused more havoc than the All State havoc man, so let’s get rid of it right NOW!!! Yes we all need to listen to our inner self and do all we can to SAVE (the environment, world) but we must live without feeling guilty. I too use those dern bags more than I want too but if it isn’t a grocery bag then it will be a purchased bag and why waste the money on purchasing. I do also recycle the bags – more than I use, so that helps me not feel so guilty about the used bags. Now about those ‘pretty little flowers’ – what a love hate relationship I have with them too also we have Sand burrs – smaller but just as prolific, I use vinegar,salt, HOT WATER on them – yes they aren’t gone forever but mostly for a season. And now about the misusing of the creams – ahhhh the eye sight – I remove all such items into reusable containers, different colors for different product – but what the heck about the mix up – maybe you have come up with a great new idea. I wish you a very happy day – actually – and I’m sorry to say so but I did laugh through your entire experience – BEEN THERE DONE THAT!!! God Bless

  12. Melissa says:

    Thank you for writing about this. I have had the same angst about forgetting my cloth bags AND the same thoughts about what I would do without those pesky plastic ones in my house. I try to make the best choices I can, when I can. Every little bit makes a difference.

  13. Cindy Ingram says:

    Rebekah, loved your story! And, Amen! I could not kill my chickens, cows, pigs, or any other animal. Prefer to buy meat on those little foam trays at the grocery store, and if it comes to me having to kill my food, I will just learn to love beans! Once, my friend, forced me to take a quilting class with her. Those women bragged about their sewing machines, bragged about all those quilts they made, bragged about not watching television, (NOT watching TV?…I LOVE TV!). Sewing is just not my thing. One woman stood at my shoulder and ridiculed the way I cut, the way I pieced, and the way I stitched. She bragged about her Bernina, and laughed when I said I had a Brother, from Walmart, the cheapest one, of which I have owned for years, and I have still not figured out where to put the oil. My friend made a beautiful queen sized quilt, and a baby quilt. I walked out of there with one completed square. I intend to put it in a frame, and hang it on my stairway wall, that I papered in a beautiful rose patterned wallpaper, (ahh, something that I actually can do.) Bet that Bernina lady doesn’t have a clue how to do that. No guilt! Keep writing, love your blog. And by the way, I loved those purple flowers too. I once entered an arrangement in the county fair and won second place. I did not have a clue they made cockleburrs! Cindy Ingram. Fitzhugh, OK.

  14. Barb says:

    I don’t have a guilt complex. When they lined us up to receive it, I thought they said QUILTS and I already had a couple.

  15. sharon m says:

    I feel exactly the same way that you do about chickens, septic tanks and plastic bags, we eat chicken, and when i get the plastic bags I use them to put trash in that "recycle worthy".
    Regarding the Burts Bee’s products – – maybe you could suggest they think about changing there packaging – -different color backgrounds would fix the issue. At least it was not "toothpaste" that you mistook footcream for or visa versa… 🙂

  16. Pamela says:

    Hey, Rebekkah- Just get a small box or litter tray to scoop the cat waste into, then throw it in the trash. Same with garbage, line the can with a grocery bag, but then just dump it into the bigger container outside. I have never understood the need to contain all garbage in plastic, unless perhaps it is required by dumpster pickup, etc. I want the garbage loose to decompose faster when it hits the landfill, not slowed by being encased in needless plastic. Same goes for vacuum cleaner bags. I’m bagless, all the way. I love the picture of your braid with the burr stuck to it. Keep it up, farmgirl, but do buy some leg gaitors!

  17. Oh Rebekah, you are too funny. I like chicken too and I ain’t gonna kill my own either, and yes I said ain’t just because I wanted too. lol. Also, just be thankful you were washing your face and not brushing your teeth with the foot cream. lol. Girl, you better put some glasses in the bath next to your toiletries. Be Blessed and keep blogging.

  18. Marlene says:

    I get plastic bags on purpose because you can cut them into strips and crochet them into mud rugs that can withstand anything a cockroach can withstand, they are washable,portable, and make great gifts for free (well not counting the cost of groceries). I laugh in the face of guilt.

  19. Flo says:

    Wow pushing 70! That’s right pushing 70! I know about the burs!!! Horses tails are the hardest.

  20. Mary Rauch says:

    There were weeds growing all round the back corner of my girlfriend’s house. She implored her dear husband to pull them all out and dig up the space for tomato plants. He actually convinced her that they were "wildflowers" and she should be happy to have them seeded there in their yard….and she bought it. She was cranky with me when I offered to help her weed out the space for her plants….Oh well…??

  21. Sabby says:

    How about taking a neon marking pen and draw a line around the entire tube to differentiate it from the other similar looking one? Or I take a marking pen and write one letter on the top. In your case, I would write a letter "F" on the top of the foot cream to remind me what it is. Also, hang the guilt. That’s what’s so great about 50!

  22. Reba says:

    I think guilt is something many love to place onto someone, whether it’s killing your own chickens or not killing them for food. It goes both ways unfortunately. I have new baby chicks for egg-laying and I also have new baby chicks for meat. You do not know how many times someone has tried to place guilt for killing the meat chickens as well. Not accepting it!!! Love the cute little egg-laying chicks too. They are so entertaining!

  23. Pam deMarrais says:

    Rebekah, now I feel guilty for not switching to tote bags for my food! I do reuse my bags, so I guess that I shouldn’t feel horrible, but you do make a great point. Love the pretty flower story….you are such a hoot! Have fun choosing your feathered friends. Just remember that you can’t have more than one rooster, or you will have a real fight on your hands. I learned that the hard way when I raised some chicks from our eggs. It seemed like my hens liked to have roosters [cockerels] for babies rather than hens [pullets]. Of course you don’t have to have a rooster, but they do a great job of keeping the flock in line and safe. Thanks for the great chuckles!

  24. Deborah Bessom says:

    Oh yes, it seems that so many people want you to bow at their altars. Thank you for admonishing us to listen to our own small voices. However, every one is entitled to my opinion-lol!

  25. Cindy says:

    I’m laughing too hard right now! Too funny, girl! I so get the reading glasses part! And I save Kroger grocery bags specifically for cat liter…I have FOUR indoor kitties! I gave up guilt a long time ago! Freed my soul, that’s what I did! I love meat, but I don’t want any part of the killing, either! Nope, not me! I once brushed my teeth with Prep H. Don’t ask, but it had to do with my lack of glasses! My teeth didn’t swell for weeks! Anyway…TMI.

    Have a wonderful time giving up guilt! Run free…


  26. Shery says:

    I’m a rancher. I don’t kill the beef we eat. I don’t want to and I don’t have to. I have laying hens and they die of old age. I love their eggs and their company around the barnyard. They don’t owe me a thing when they get old.

    Years ago, my dad was out of talcum powder. He liked to pat his underarms with it in the morning before he dressed. On this particular morning he told my mom that he borrowed her powder from the medicine chest in her bathroom. She responded by saying, " I don’t have any." He said, "Sure you do, but the texture is a little different than mine." Mom repeated that she didn’t have any talcum powder. He went into her bathroom, pulled it and yelled downstairs, " You do too, it is right here, it says ‘Vagisil’ on the label." Favorite family story :o)

  27. Nan Roberts says:

    Oh, hahahahahahahaha and HA! about the foot cream. You’re right, they need to change the packaging. That’s just funny. Ditto the Vagisil, that’s even better!

    Thanks for all this. My thing with killing the chickens or bunnies I raise for food would be that I would give them a good, decent life, and a quick humane death. I mostly don’t eat any meat from the grocery store, because the conditions the animals live in are unspeakable. But OTOH, there is a farm near Corvallis (Ore.) that sells organic, humanely raised etc chickens. It’s an hour away, and I"ll have to buy in bulk and freeze, and I might. But, reading Farm City, Novella Carpenter makes some very good points about all this. I don’t feel guilty about any of it, I just want to reduce suffering in this world.
    I do know where my meat comes from, because it came from farms nearby and they treat their animals properly. Right now I’m trying to find a dairy that does the same. Geesh, who’d a thot that you couldn’t find free-range dairy cows.

    I used wood pellets for my litter boxes. It is usually pine, it dissolves into sawdust, and it is impregnated with urine, which is a lot of nitrogen. Right to the garden. I looked for the most dust-free I could find, and ended up buying bedding for animals, but I’ve also used pellet stove pellets.

    Man, that’s something about the cockleburrs. None of that on the Oregon Coast, thank heaven.

    I love your posts, Rebekah. I’m still trying to figure out wordpress for my baby blog.

  28. Tina says:

    Love reading your blog! I can relate to your mind set. It always makes me feel better about my own ideas. 😀

  29. Mozelle says:

    Inspiring story there! Thank you for sharing your life with us! After reading, I always walk away with something special on my heart to ponder.

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