Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who's With Me?

We were talking today about how fun it would be to use the new Apple iPad as a cell phone. Like so.
That is all.

Monday, January 25, 2010

*insert Benny Hill theme music

Here's the scene of all the mayhem yesterday. I'm sad because I don't have action shots from yesterday.

Yesterday was the day that we penned up the 4 beefs so that they'd be ready to trailer and transport this morning.

It was timed perfectly to coincide with lots and lots of rain. So untamed cows plus mud equals a perfect Sunday afternoon.

We withheld their feed (just their grain, not their hay, don't worry) the previous night so they'd be more anxious to follow a bucket of feed.

One cow in the corral... two cows in the corral... three cows in the corral... and the token rebel cow who just wouldn't cooperate.

Mark and Sam were doing the honors. I was peeking out the bedroom window watching the festivities.

After they'd been out there a while and that 4th cow still wasn't in the corral, and knowing Mark's timeline of escalation during animal round ups, I thought it might be helpful for me to go out to add another body to the efforts.
By that time, the notoriously rickety gate that was supposed to keep the horses in a separate pasture was knocked over by Mr. Nosey Admiral who couldn't bear to have someone messing with his cows without his supervision. Either that or he figured there was food involved.
So you've got Rebel Cow plus (mud plus manure plus whiz) plus buttinsky horses equals husband's rapidly approaching boiling point. Sam was assigned the blame for the gate. It was all "If you would've locked the gate, we would've been done by now!"

Then when I came out, apparently I distracted Rebel Cow who was "just about to go in!" And out the cow ran, bucking across the flooded creek. So strike two was mine. Eh, I'm used to it.

Also, ten years or so with my husband is enough time for me to know to keep my mouth shut, don't laugh, when I see my beloved leaping through the creek and falling as he chases a cow. Even though it was awesome!

We eventually abandoned the first plan & first corral for an "easier" corral on the other side of the barn.

It was a fantastic soup of poo.

Our goal was to run him into the opposite side of the barn where he could be easily shoo-ed through the barn to the corral on the other end of the barn with his buddies.

Sounds pretty simple, but of course he was having none of it, and we went round and round the little fenced in area for a long time.

Running through mud is a terrific workout! I refused to let him have one second of rest unless he was approaching the barn door, so every time he bolted back away from the barn, I'd have to go running back after him to keep him moving. Round and round the hay ring I went *

Long story short, with the help of a gate, a metal step ladder, and a feed trough we were able to herd him into the barn.
And I was only five minutes late getting Aggie to her basketball scrimmage. Sure I was covered in mud poo up to my thighs (I quickly wiped the 'mud' specks from my face) but I didn't have time to fix it. I offered to not make an appearance at the game, hide out in the car or even run home to change, but Aggie said it was OK. I figured we're not the only family with cows in this school district & I made sure to sit far enough away from everyone to keep the stink to myself.

The important thing was that the cows were where they were supposed to be. And Aggie got a basket!

Look, it's Rebel himself! I will miss my lovely baldies (white face beefs.)This morning's plan had been for Mark to go fetch Charlie's trailer and Charlie would follow with his big beautiful tractor to haul the trailer full of cows up to the level parking lot.

Unfortunately, Charlie wasn't bringing the tractor, so that meant my car had to fill in. Fortunately, Charlie brought himself and his overalls and his priceless brand of crazy.

Hello, Mr. Bedillion. I am delighted by these overalls. Delighted.
Workin' so hard this morning.Doin' farm stuff.Men folk stuff.With a side of crazy. Any job is more interesting with Charles.Aaaaah. So nice and dry from my perch in my bedroom. And how dreamy was it, as I waited for my car so I could go to work, to be home in the morning on a week day, house empty and still but for the hum of washer and dryer, folding clothes at my leisure, nobody there messin' stuff up. Gee, it was a shame to end that bit 'o loveliness.

Aw. More overalls.
It's "The Commander" himself. That's one of Mark's nicknames for his grandfather. Charlie in amongst his cattle brethren and sistren. Sisthren? Sistren. Sistahs!
Not Fluffy. I call her The Bunny for she is soft as a bunny.And a final farewell. I hate to see them go, and I'm glad I didn't ride along. And so went that spin of the cycle of life.
I love our cows!

Friday, January 22, 2010

For The TV Tells Me So

I don't get to watch a whole lot of TV. Aw, listen to me, "get to." I just don't make a big effort to watch, except maybe on lazy Sunday mornings when the Loonie Tunes are exceptional.

Or maybe it's because I get the remote control all jacked up like last night and can't watch TV.

But the past couple of days I've been a little mental so I was drowning my sorrow in the idiot box and I caught most of Modern Family, which was funny. Especially because there was a bit about a wife smashing the remote control out of frustration. Boy, did I relate to that last night. I was like an ape mashing the buttons. 2 remotes going at once. The 3rd remote that I didn't try was naturally the one I needed.

Since I was starting to pop blood vessels and about to tear up (ya, one of those days) I gave up, grabbed a book, and laid it next to me while a took a nap. Problem solved!

Mark eventually came in and fixed it in about 3 seconds. And I got that crackhead rush when the picture came back on the screen. Sad, but true.

Then I learned some stuff.

The channel that popped up first was a religious channel. They were having a telethon and I got sucked in by their shopping network smiles. There was a middle aged man, typical enough, and a pretty 20-something gal who simply would not stop smiling. Whether she was speaking or not, that intense (and to me, painful looking) smile never left. I imagined that she was very relieved when the camera switched to the next pair of folks urging me to send money.

And I kept listening and watching the way you watch those shows about morbidly obese people or drug addicts or Cops. I kept wondering what those people are like in real life. Wondering how they felt about what they were doing. They never really specified what the contribution was for and I wondered if anyone watching noticed that.

So they were pushing and pushing, specifically for $1,000 gifts at that time. $1,000! And I was thinking about all the little old ladies and lonely folks getting caught up in the hype (and guilt,) just wanting to talk to someone, so they call and give money they don't have. Then, what made me so mad that I finally turned it off, was when one of the auctioneers basically said, even if you don't have that thousand dollars, give in faith that you're going to get it. And they had all sorts of scriptures to twist in support of it, of course.

Now I'm not knocking faith. Or scriptures. At all. But how irresponsible is that? Folks living on food from the dollar store giving all their money to these cheeseballs in the name of faith. So wrong. So creepy.

So there was that fiscal lesson. Then I got another nugget of wisdom from this bank's commercial.

A creamy, dreamy voice over is talking about saving money, blah blah, how they're going to help you do it with their plastic card.

All the while, pretty mom is in the convenience store! buying giant, brightly colored beverages for herself and her children with the friendly plastic card.

In other words, No, it's not cutting back on stupid unnecessary purchases like overpriced crap drinks at the gas station that will save you money; it's the card, the card. It will save the money for you. You just keep buying 15 bucks worth of crap every time you leave the house. Sigh!

And then I watched New Lawyer Drama, which was pretty good but for the fact that everybody has sex with everybody and cheats on each other and it's no big whoop. Really? It adds nothing to the story (for me, guess I'm a prude?) and just seems a little silly. I did like how pretty everybody was and the bright and shiny lighting. Plus Deb from Napoleon Dynamite is in it.

And finally I watched Old Medical Drama with all the Mc-eamy doctors. Never really watched it before. I could do without the dank lighting, terrible makeup (is that on purpose?,) everyone being a dick to each other all the time, and...everybody having sex with everybody. Really? With whom would this arrangement be OK in real life? I'll admit though, I watched it through to the end. So, you win! TV drama. You win.

And that's the story of what happened when I peeked out from under my rock and watched current TV instead of old Newhart reruns. And my apologies if this is a little cranky.

Hey, here's how we'll end on a sweet note: It just looks like a box of wax paper, but it's actually wax paper with the homemade fondant candy that Mark made for his bees. Cooked it himself, he did. Just a little something to tide them over.

I tell ya, the first hive we bought was kind of just mine. Just to have. To play with and learn about. But Mark soon took over bee duties and has expanded it beyond what I could have foreseen a few short years ago. He know so much stuff that I don't even know what he knows.

Like he knows (but will say that he has so, so much more to learn) that feeding this straight candy now versus pollen patties that he'll feed later will hopefully set the bees up for good timing of brood production and therefore honey production. There's more to it than that, but that's all I can remember from what he explained.

I was too busy watching TV to listen.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

`a la carte

Small town living.
One thing I've relished about our small town telephone company is not having to dial our local area code. I'll admit, I felt a small thrill every time I did it, only having to dial 7 numbers instead of 10. But alas, the good old days are over. They up and got modern on us. Bummer.

Wake up call.

Ah, Sunday morning. Sleeping in. Leisurely cups of coffee over the Sunday paper. Eggs and bacon. My butt faithfully parked on this bar stool....
Pancakes, pajamas, cartoons. Urgent knocks on the back door by the ex-convict asking to borrow money for the second day in a row. I just need a little gas money. Basically, he is like a stray cat that Mark fed. We could take him to the pound I suppose, but no one is going to adopt him at this age.

Cat Scratch Fever.
Like not the Sweaty Teddy kind either. Lily came home from school Thursday with 2 big ol' blisters on her ear. They were fluid filled and sore. Her ear was swollen and red. I'm not usually an alarmist about illness or injuries because that's Mark's job. I will however usually defer to a second opinion from my Mom. So next day Mark took Lily to the local urgent care jiffy doctor, who prescribed antibiotics and steroid cream and gave no diagnosis.
Since the moment Lily came home with her pustules, Mark was insistent that it was cat-related. I didn't doubt the possibility, but figured, even if it was, (a.) it wasn't life threatening and (2.)abstinence from cats was out of the question sooooo no use getting too bent out of shape about it.
We don't have an official diagnosis, but based on my extensive google research I feel confident that it is possible that it may or may not be cat scratch fever. And not that I wish the fever on anyone, let alone my children, but how cool is it that it's a real thing? I'm kidding! a little.
And she's fine, by the way. The cream literally had it gone the next day. (Antibiotics likely overkill. It kills us to give them to her on the chance they aren't necessary, but...that was the call we went with.)

Bee poop.

Mark checked in on his wee workers Saturday since the temperatures were up in the 40's. Lookin' pretty good.

It is during these brief warmups that the bees are able to finally, finally take a potty break. See all the spots in the snow?
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Shirts and Skins.
Finally! They've only been practicing for An Hundred years. We finally got to see them play a game!
And they won! And they lost! Because they were playing themselves. So, almost a game! And I keep wanting to say that Aggie got a goal. I know, I know! It's a basket. Aggie made a basket.

And of course her Dad had to ask her when she came home if she got a trophy. It's a tradition with those two that no matter the activity, no matter what point in the season, when Aggie gets home Mark asks her if she got a trophy and she becomes very (pretend usually) irritated and says No. Then Mark says she is talking like a cat and he meows at her, then Aggie becomes irritated some more and scrunches up her face and pretends she's clamping on Mark's forearm with her sharp talons and quietly growls Daaaaaaaaad stooooooooop dramatically through gritted teeth. And then they both go about their business like none of it ever happened. Kind of like in a musical, when they're dancing around like maniacs and singing, and then suddenly the song is over and everything goes back to normal.

Family Date.

Our family went on a date with our good friends 'n neighbor's family. We all rode together in the same vehicle. Went to the mall, went out to supper, and then checked out the super, cool new grocery store with the rare meats & funky fruits and vegetables. They even have a small section where hydroponic lettuce is growing for your hydroponic lettuce needs. They had truffles ($139.99/lb) and buddha's hand fruit. We stolled and strolled and only scraped the surface of what they've got.

We bought ice cream sandwiches and popcicles (Hey, it was in the balmy 30's!) and ate them in the car on the way home.

Final Thoughts.

If you're not making these, you should be. I've made them 3 or 4 times just since Christmas (that is a relative $#!tload of cooking for me these days) and they're just so dumb-tasty. Like pretzels and Nutello. Or honey on vanilla ice cream. Or homemade Chex Mix. Or toast. Or pepperoni rolls.

So we had those peppers, stuffed mushrooms, potato pancakes, and elk cheeseburgers for supper with the brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nieces. All our girls together playing, sewing outfits for the cats & rockin' out to the black eyed peas, all the guys hypnotized by a video game, and us moms in relative peace in the kitchen.

One of those weekends the floors didn't get swept enough but we ate well and had fun times.

Guess that will do for now. Toodles!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yes, We Do Love It, Don't We? aka Lazy Title

Inspired by Suburban Matron's recent post about how we decorate (or don't decorate) our homes, I shall share some favorite stuffs o' mine. I like to think about the little nooks and crannies that I enjoy most in our house. The very stuff that makes it our home.
I guess my decorating style is a little tongue in cheek.
So come in. Hang out with me. We'll talk, we'll have coffee, we'll have coffee talk.

And I'd take the tour from the front door in, but I'm sick of rearranging the photos in here. Blogger do you hear me? It's not convenient!


That is a Gen-U-Ine velvet painting of mallard ducks. It came with the house. Great Honor. Oh! And a gun cabinet. Yep. First thing you see when you walk in the house.
Now. The first time I ever came in our house, when we walked through with the realtor and got the Not So Grand tour, the house was basically a train wreck. I think the shock of how yucky it was left me with very little memory of our visit. Hysterical Amnesia, if you will.
We went home after that and I could not remember any of what I'd seen save for this tile back splash.
Thank God I remembered nothing else or we never would have signed papers. Boy, was I in shock again the first day we stayed here, wondering what in the hell I'd done signing my life away for a $#!thole.
Anywho! The tile could not be any more perfect for us. It is so representative of our family, it's almost spooky. I count it as one of those divine signs and a comfort.
I realize it's not all that remarkable for a house in the country to have farm-y decor, but this groovy tile stood in stark contrast to the red shag carpet, black poufy valances, and pee stains, among other really weird stuff.

Fruit market:
Raising animals & processing ourselves. See, directions! "Butt" always makes me laugh a little when I'm washing dishes.Kitties!And much much more.

My view from bed. Aside from Mark's fancy TeeVee. Mah Baybehs. Mark's bookshelf. Bee books.
Cellar wall. Love that crumbly stone.
The stairs. Covered in wretched filthy turquoise carpet when we moved in. I painted the backs of the steps, but I'm letting the treads wear. I like it worn.
View from my typical reclining position on the couch. I can see the kids handwoven baskets on the cupboard in the kitchen. Dragonfly light reflected in the mirror- my substitute (the mirror) for a transom over the door. :(
Favorite painting. Painted by the father of the man who owns the horse farm our horses came from. That is Mark's dad on his horse Shebang.
Shebang!Scythes hung over the windows as curtain-less curtain rods. I just like 'em hanging there. "Painting" that always hung over my great aunt Shirley's couch. It is literally cardboard in a frame, but the picture has provided lots of staring time.
My great grandmother's afghan. Guess I could have done a more poorly lit photo?
Scotty dog cross stitch and oval frame that belonged to another great grandma. Deer head that was on the front porch of the house when we bought it. Barn painting from the second hand store. Turquoise hearth. Horse painting on the mantel from a home show at the convention center. Badly lit photo...
The ghost of a window on the living room wall.

Still in the living room. Three foot tall resin Native American chief? Check. It was a gift Mark gave to his grandmother way back when. I can't imagine how she's been living without it all these years. Chief Wakasorta they call him, I think. I don't call him anything. Maybe Dude?The paper barrel. For holding the furnace's snacks. The scale hanging between the kitchen and dining ?room? area breakfast nook place? The place where the table sits... We actually use the scale for weighing sausage and or kraut or whatever.
Cluttered letter/bill(/feather) holder. It came with the house.
Foyer Laundry Room. The whole house used to be Cracker Barrel-ed like this. Now the fun is all reserved for this room. Horse bits found here on the farm. Deer head wearing wampum imported from the local junk auction. I feel kind of daring for having such a ridiculous thing hanging prominently in my home. Makes me laugh inside.
Cross stitch of a pistol over the bathroom door. A gift given to Mark.
The bathroom floor made of pebbles.

The door to the cellar. Green glass knob. Door in desperate need of scrubbing and painting. Retired cat door.
Framed insert from the waffle iron bought at a local yard sale. The waffle iron works like a charm, too. It hangs over the washing machine for some reason?
The view that greets you as you enter through the back door. Which is kind of the front door now. The Foyer Laundry Room. Tre Fancy. (Ya, like I said, the photos aren't in order. Lay-ZEE!) That washboard belonged to Mawsi. She really used it.
A friend built this table and it is the gathering spot for pots of macaroni and cheese and people. Or people and pots of macaroni and cheese. I swear, there are no pots of people!

We found this clipboard in the barn. It has slips for feed from the Hickory Feed Mill which belonged to Mark's family for many, many years. Actually up until a couple years ago when Pops sold it and retired. Mark working there kept us out of the poor house back in the day. Very cool piece of family history.
Weird little cubby shelf in the kitchen. Used to not be trimmed in wood. Used to be nothing but painted paneling. Soooooo ugly. But cute now, I say. My green chicken dish.

For Amy, Matron Down Under: my Australian calf liver tin. Do ya'll eat that with Vegemite?

Fetch me milk! Stat!
Not so favorite: The Steelers Head Band. It comes out every Winter. It originally came out of a rag bag I think.

No, he's not some big Steelers fan. He just thinks it's funny. And functional for guys with naturally hot heads.

Now Shoo! Mama, needs milk...(Shoulda been cream, but we'll settle for milk...)
...a couple final favorite things! :) We love farm fresh milk. And stuff. Cheers!