Welcome, Ox. You sound like a sensible person with a lot of practical knowledge that I think will be very welcome here. As you say, being an “educated hick” makes me think you have a realistic perspective that many lack. I look forward to reading you in the future.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!