Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

spells of nothing

I know I've been rather remiss in posting lately, and I would love to tell you it's because there have been loads of really exciting things happening. I would love to fill pages and pages of this blog with stories about our beautiful autumn weather, my bumper crop of fall greens, poultry antics, adorable pictures of the goats...but I can't.

I'm afraid that sometimes...nothing happens. Oh, it's not that nothing at all happens, just nothing worth telling about. Every day I do chores, I work, I do laundry and cook dinner, I run errands. It rains. It rains some more. The dogs sleep. And that's all. I don't even have any earth-shatteringly deep musings. It just is what it is. We ruralites, living the dream as it were, have our share of ho-hum, ordinary, run-of-the-mill days too. And there's simply no way I can blog about vacuuming and make it sound interesting. I'm just not that good.

Please be patient. Exciting times are always just around the corner here. Only this time, it's a very broad, sweeping curve, and not so much a hairpin turn.

P. S. Did you know that dogs can suffer from tonsillitis? It's true. No, it does not mean they get to eat ice cream. It does mean, however, that crunchy kibble is painful to swallow, so I get to cook TWO dinners every night for awhile.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fancy says:

"Hey thanks, lady. That's better."

"My babies need privacy. Plus, all that sideways rain was really starting to bring me down. It's still coming in from the top a bit, though. Maybe you could send someone 'round to look into that?"

Poor Fancy. She's so determined. So devoted. How can I tell her that she's sitting on a wooden egg?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ladies and gentlemen, I look like sh*t

Let's be clear: I could never be described as being "beauty conscious". Far from it, in fact. Of all the things in life that weigh heavily (or even lightly) on my mind, the acceptability of my appearance is rarely among them. Think of the least beauty conscious person you know, and know that I am even less beauty conscious than that. (Unless you know me, and the person you were thinking of was me, in which case, you're spot on.)


After a full year plus a bit of manure, dirt, blood, mud, manure, dog hair, rain, manure, grass, feathers, manure, sun, wind, grit, manure, vomit, hooves, food splatter and manure, I evidently JUST NOW decided to look in a mirror. And let me tell you, I have really gone to the dogs. I haven't had a haircut in a year. I have permanent eye-baggage. All my clothes have holes or stains. My nails are usually ragged, broken and dirty, never mind polished. Let's not even discuss shaving. How my wonderful husband finds the fortitude just to come home every night, I'll never know.

I am taking my hot mess of a self to the S-P-A. Ladies with phony cosmetic faces will come at me from all sides with scissors and files and potions and creams. They'll peel off my exoskeleton of crud, and I will emerge fresh and new. I will bravely go forth among the denizens of Botox and collagen I will prevail*. No, it's most certainly not a permanent solution - merely a boot to the fanny which will hopefully kick me back into the human race.

* Don't worry - I'm not doing anything really weird. Just basic maintenance. ;-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

now, see here...

This might look like nice Autumn yard art to some of you, but make no mistake. This is a critical element of my goats' comfort. This is their mattress, their blanket and their pillow all rolled into one. It's their doormat, their sofa, and their towels. Sometimes it'll even do for a snack.

And they neeeeeeeeed it.

So before you run off to the feed store and buy it all up to set at the end of your driveway covered with cornstalks and gourds, please...think of the kids.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

sunny and cheerful

No inspirational birthday post today, just new boots! Happy Birthday to me.

Aren't they cheerful? I'll tell you, I'm not normally the neon-pink-stripe type, but when it comes to Wellies (or Wellie knock-offs), I find that really colorful ones make slogging through the muck a bit more pleasant. They really will brighten up the dreariest day. You just look down at your feet and you can't help but smile.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

new blog project needs your help!

I think we can all agree that things out in the world have been weird lately. The mainstream media has begun to ring the bells of recovery, but I think we can also agree that...what??? What recovery??? Right. No matter what they say, it still doesn't look, from most people's vantage points, like anything is really improving.

Let's tell the story like it really is. Visit The View From My Town to post stories from your locality. How are the economy, world affairs, resource depletion, climate change and politics affecting you and your community? I hope that through your dispatches we can create a truer picture of what is really going on in our world, and of where we're headed.

Please visit today, and consider contributing stories and events as you see them from where you are.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

bad dogs and the suckers who love them

Big Stan is a Bad Dog.

No, strike that. He's a good dog, with a Bad Habit. When he sees a chicken, he becomes The Terminator. He is a four-pawed, furry killing machine. Something deep in his brain clicks, and he will hunt down poultry wherever it hides and DESTROY IT.

You can imagine the conflict of interest.

After a particularly stressful day involving a lengthy plumber visit, and being shuffled back and forth between the bedroom and the backyard, Stan needed to blow off some steam. On one of my trips outside, he pushed past me out the door and went straight for the meat and potatoes - fifteen of our feathered finest, who were strutting their stuff all over the yard. Chaos ensued. He bore down on those birds and they scattered in every direction. I broke into a sprint and tried to head him off around the ccop, around the tree, around the patio - anywhere I could try to cut him off - but I'm out of shape, and he's a young, spry German Shepherd. I just couldn't catch him, and ultimately he chased a pullet into the underbrush and had her in his jaws, feathers flying.

Did I mention that he is a German Shepherd? The Achilles heel of every German Shepherd is his desire to be as close to his human as possible (he would be up your nose if he could find a way to fit). This effectively prevents them from running off. Once they have Destroyed The Threat, they will snap out of it, and look around for you, as if to say, "Look! Look what I did! Aren't you proud of me?" I seized this opportunity to take him to the ground and pry the pullet from his mouth. She fled - thankfully I got to her in time. I rewarded my most dedicated servant with the...ahem...most stern reprimand he's ever received in his life* and dragged him by the collar into the house.

I caught my breath. I took a headcount. I assessed the damage. One, two...six, seven... Slowly they reappeared in pairs and trios. After some time had passed, it was apparent that Winston, the rooster had a limp and two birds were still at large. The violated pullet turned up later, seemingly unharmed. The "rooster who is not Winston" was discovered in a tight corner outside the back door, behind a derelict refrigerator, literally playing dead. I myself was quite convinced. So much so that I cursed, went inside for some gloves and returned to remove his carcass but when I reached for him he bolted as if shot from a cannon, very much alive and in good health.

With everyone accounted for in the poultry yard, I went inside and implemented The Shaming. Stan was (temporarily) dead to me. He was not to be spoken to. He was not even to be looked at, except in a menacing manner. He became quite distressed by my attitude and slinked off to his fenced yard to make himself scarce. As I cooked dinner, every few minutes, he would poke just his face through the flap of the dog door...just a nose, and an eye looking at me tentatively. I'd flash him the biggest stinkeye I could muster. His big nose would disappear back out into the yard.

Repentant German Shepherds Who Know They Are In Deep S*** are adorable.

I finally had to relent and tell him it was okay to come inside. He's a smart boy. He was inside in a flash and found a place to take a nice, non-troublemaking nap.

* This is a nice way of saying that I pretty much threatened to beat him within an inch of his life. (Threats only - I don't beat my dogs.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

let this serve as a warning

When you have eggs in your jacket pocket, you'll want to pay attention to what you're doing. You'll want to especially think twice about, say, closing a door with your hip.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

under the weather

My apologies for the sparseness of posts lately. I'm under the weather, in more ways than one. I've felt pretty down and out for a week or two now - not quite sick, but not really well, either. On top of that, I'm staring down another solid week of rain. That is Not Supposed to Be. October is the one month out of the whole year that we have perfect weather, and I feel like I'm being cheated. We can't get anything done outside, either. We've literally been trying to pour some concrete for about three weeks now, and just can't catch a break.

I'm resigned to laying low tomorrow. I think I'll spend the whole day on the sofa in my pj's, under a blanket. I'm afraid there's not much left to do at this point.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Meet Winston.

Winston bears the honorable distinction of having survived two rounds of layoffs. He has, in fact, been promoted, and is carefully supervising his future underlings here.

When you find yourself with excess cockerels (and who doesn't, from time to time?), the process of choosing one to keep around is...interesting, and far from scientific. There are all sorts of considerations. You consider his looks - is he handsome? Big and Beefy? Tall and Slender? Short and Stocky? You consider the attractiveness of his feathering, and the overall robustness of his stature. Good health and longevity are important, after all. Being easy on the eyes also doesn't hurt.

You pay close attention to his behavior, too. Does he have a bad-to-the-bone attitude, or is he a gentle giant? Is he attentive to the ladies? Does he force himself on the poor girls? Does he keep a watchful eye over them and offer them the best tidbits? You want a caring rooster, don't you?

You'll find yourself studying all aspects of his personality, real and imagined. You'd swear that one seems to have a sense of humor. One thinks he's cock of the walk. Another is shy, and defers to the rest. You consider what sort of offspring they'd make, too. You think about whether they'd be a good match and if they'd give you a beautiful flock of purebreds, or a yard full of mongrels.

In the end, however, you wind up choosing the one that just fits. The one that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. The one you feel most attached to, even if the reasons are illogical and hard to justify. You choose the one you love best.


give peas a chance