Monday, April 30, 2012

Inquiring Minds...

This will probably label me as a big honkin' bigot, but something has been bothering me for ages.

If gay folks like members of the same sex, why do they tend to dress/act/express themselves as members of the opposite sex?

Once I knew a man who was so androgynous, I did not know whether he was male or female for over a year. Apparently, I was not the only person who didn't know. He worked in a medical office I went to, and, eventually, the staff gently told their clients by saying something like, "You know that gentleman,Pat, who works here? Well, he..." OK, no big, he did his job and that's what counts, right?

Then I learned he was married to one of the doctors in the office. SHE was very, for lack of a better word, manly. Yeah. The effeminate-ish guy married the manly woman. Another client once said to me, "Hmmm...Guess they figured it out. Why is it so hard for so many others?"


So, today, I went into the coffee shop. The man who took my order was very much like Pat. He had the feminine hairstyle, perfectly coiffed, colored, and flipped. He flipped it in that airy way many women use. His eyebrows were better tweezed than mine, and I just did them last night. And his outfit, while it fit the coffee-corporate uniform, was impeccable. He matched down to the shoelaces. His voice was sweet as honey and his giggle was light and ripply. Only his mustache and beard gave him away.

I hope he works with a nice, Katherine-Hepburn-ish woman.

(Note; yes, homosexuality is on the outs with my religion. No, I would not be happy to learn that someone close to me was gay. But I really don't care if anyone else is. I just really wonder about that question I asked, earlier on...)

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Wish

We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of our great adventure. A friend of mine is soon to leave on her own. So, Glenda, auf wiedersehen and arrivederci! Gute Reise and buon viaggio!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Remember this cutie?

Well, yesterday she wasn't feeling well. We found her, later in the day, curled up in the pasture, calling for help. We brought her in, called the vet, followed directions...

My friend Wendi often says, "Baby animals are always looking for a way to die." Although we brought her inside, wrapped her up nice and warm, and watched over her, sometime in the night, she found her way.


It's always the cute ones. And the ones you have plans for. She wasn't going into the freezer, this one. She was going to be bred, to supply us with milk and future meat.

Well, such is life, I suppose. At least we know we tried.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goodnight, Irene

I remember my grandfather singing this to my grandmother, whose name was Irene. So, when my friend Paula, posted it on Facebook this morning, I got to miss them both.

Thanks, Paula!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Farm Report

I have hit the two week mark at work. Yes, I'm working. I supervise study hall at Mary's school. It's a lot like babysitting, but the "babies" get all hormonal, or attitudinal, and things can get complicated. But things are going well. Either that, or I'm completely delusional, and the inmates are running the asylum.

Getting accustomed to working has eaten up quite a bit of my time. I know, I know, millions of people work and I should just get over it. But those millions probably went through an adjustment, right? I'm at the point in mine where I am tired enough to be worrying about getting sick. Yeah, that's all I need right now.

I'm behind on cleaning. On organizing. Laundry is caught up, though. But the garden is sad, sad, sad. I'd planned to have potatoes and peas planted by now, but no such luck. I'd like to get out there tonight, but that's not going to happen. There's always tomorrow...

Baby goats are weaning. Baby lambs are on the radar. We're looking for some, and also some pigs. I also saw an ad for some Jersey steers, so a baby beef is out there for us, too. Wakiya seems to be no worse for having lost her pasture buddy. Mary's been up in the saddle this week, finally. She tells me, "Wakiya went a little wonky, but I stayed on. I didn't grab the horn, and I stayed on." Yay, Mary!

Tonight Minah is having two friends sleep over. Pray for us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making Connections

My husband argues that making connections between disciplines is critical. Well, he's right.

Lately I've been reading this book. It is an interesting fictional account of life in Nazi Germany. Yeah, I like me some light reading.

While driving to buy lunch today, (which happens when you leave your lunch on the kitchen counter as you rush off to work) I listened to Dennis Miller. He was interviewing one of the stars of the new Three Stooges movie. (It was "Moe," if that matters to you.) In the course of the interview, a caller to the show reminded me of You Nazty Spy! which was a 1940 satire of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. It made Moe Howard the first actor to portray Hitler on screen. (For you nit-pickers, it came out In January,1940, before the October release date of this movie.)

I only share Part 1 here, but, if you'd like to see Part 2, it's in the sidebar when you follow the link.

I've made my cultural connection for the day. I are so wise!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Farmer's Dilemma

Another blogger posted today about "Looking Meat in the Eye," in other words, eating those critters we raise.

We get asked that alot. "Do you eat your own animals?" (Yep.) "How do you butcher them?" (I don't. I hire someone.) "Isn't it hard?" (That's the point of this post.)

The first year we bought meat chickens, I was terrified. As we unloaded those cute little fuzzy yellow things into their new home, I thought, "There's no way our kids are going to let us butcher these." There were 25! I was completely ignorant about raising them, but I knew in spades that I wouldn't be able to keep 25 full-grown chickens until they died a natural death. I needn't have worried. 8 weeks later, those cute little fuzzy yellow things had grown into fat, waddling, stinky things that bit at us when we fed them. The kids tossed those puppies into the truck, saying, "Get these things outta here, Mom!" They were disappointed that we continued to grow them, year after year, but they have coped by leaving all the work to us.

Next up were turkeys. They, also, started out cute. They actually end up pretty cute, too, but we still managed to get them to the butcher.

Our first goat kids were cute as cute can be. We knew, going in, that female animals stay with us. (Our vet said, "That's why it's called a 'herd,' not a 'himd.'") Three little boys were born to ZeeBee. We sold one as, we hope, a pet. At least when they walked off they were talking about how much he was going to love them and they would love him, too. But the other two...Well, we did strike out there. Goat meat is not our favorite, and we don't eat much of it. But we have sold it to people who do, and who make no bones (no pun intended) about what they're going to do with the critters. And we hope they enjoy it.

When we bought our first beef calf, I was worried. We had a cow for a couple of years, and sold off her first calf to a family who used her for breeding until they finally butchered her. We love bovines. We haven't had one for a couple of years, and we're thinking about it again, partly because we miss seeing them in the pasture. But Jr. was our first bovine purchased for the purpose of filling the freezer. It helped that we named him Jr. Cheeseburger. We knew, right away, that his destiny was set in stone. But he was a good boy and it was a little tough to load him in the truck and take him to Eickman's. And, despite his goodness, he was big and brawny. He once chased Mary up a fence post. I heard her screaming and ran to find her perched in the corner of our pen, Jr. shaking his head at her. He thought he was playing, or begging for food, but he could have hurt (or worse) her, and she was scared. But...he was a good boy. Those were some of the best beef meals we've ever had.

Lambs? Stupid, flighty creatures that deserve to be roasted. Sorry, but true.

Pigs? One warm summer day, John and I were measuring our first pigs. We were plugging a collection of measurements into a formula, to figure out how much they weighed. I was writing and John was measuring. I was wearing shorts and knee-high rubber barn boots (it's a high-fashion look.) One of our piggers sniffed my leg, and, like a dog, took a nibble to see what I was. She grabbed my skin between layers of rubber, and I ended up with a honkin' bruise. I hollered and pushed her off. She sniffed around and then picked up my foot and shook it like a dog shakes a bone. Before she could let go, I climbed up and over the pen fence, saying, "John, I love you, but you're on your own!" I have been leery of our pigs ever since. They're omnivores, after all. That means they will eat veggies...and meat. People, in case you aren't as informed as I, are made of meat. Pigs will eat us, if given the chance. One of our vets once worried to me about an elderly, unsteady client who insisted on walking among his pigs. "I'm afraid of what someone's gonna find someday." I figure I'll get the pig to the butcher before she gets a chance at me. If that makes me cold-hearted, so be it.

I couldn't eat horsemeat. Or dog. Unless it was some time after TEOTWAWKI. Even then, it would stick in my throat as it went down. If that makes me squeamish, so be it.

So, there you have it. My manifesto on eating home-grown meat. Yes, for most critters, I can look them in the eye as I unload them at the butcher's. Although many of them can hurt, maim, or even kill me, I've cared for them humanely, fed them well, given them the free and open lifestyle they need to grow and thrive. Our critters do not grow in the confined, unnatural manner used to produce most commercially available meats. I prepare them carefully and frugally for meals for my family. So, I have no guilt about using them that way.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Trail Ride

Yesterday, Mary and I took a trail ride.

It wasn't planned that way. I came to the realization that it made sense for Hope to have a new home. I won't have time to ride her in the next few months, and the costs to keep her were just getting to be too much to handle. If one or the other were manageable, that would be different. But they weren't. So she was to return to the farm where she lived before she came to us.

But there were conflicts, and the trailer she was supposed to ride in was unavailable. She tried, but wouldn't get into our trailer, so that was also not an answer. Having made a tough decision, I didn't want to drag it out any further. So I made the decision to ride her to her new home.

This was a dicey decision to make, for unexperienced me. Neither Mary nor I had been in the saddle yet this year. Neither horse had been ridden this year. Neither of us had ever ridden either horse near traffic, and the approximately 5 miles between our farm and Farm #2 were along some country roads. It was a 2 1/2 hour ride. I wanted Mary to ride along, in case there were difficulties, but I worried about both of us getting into something stupid.

In the end, it was a lovely ride. The weather was good; not too hot, not too cold, not much breeze, cloud cover, so, not much sun. Once or twice we rode along open fields, where the "not much" breeze was magnified and Hope got a little antsy. Twice she decided that she'd had enough of this fun, and decided to turn around to go home. We had it out, and I won. (Yay, me!) There were some dogs. There were some scary (to Hope) cows. In the end, we arrived safe, sound, and healthy. Tired, and little sore, but healthy.

And Hope? She was settled in, nice and comfy. She was even reunited with her last baby, Faith. (See what they did there?) If I had to rehome her, this was a good place. (Faith is on the right.)