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Friday, August 20, 2010

Ode to August

We have been so busy cutting hay, fertilizing peanuts, planting fall crops, milking cows and just in general meeting ourselves coming and going that I have had a hard time making it to a desk and a computer to blog.

Fortunately for me I have some help....

I have some "guest" bloggers that are willing and able to fill in. They are so fantastic that you may prefer them and never want to hear from me again!

Their photography is exceptional. It was hard to narrow the pictures down to a handful but below are some very special photos. Special because they were taken through the unique lens of a child's eye...

photos by:

Rosy Red Princess

the Littlest Princess


Robot Boy with super powers extraordinaire!

Runaway heifer...she broke through the fence and has been living wild and free around the farm. That needs to stop soon, meanwhile she is enjoying herself very much.

equipment that works

equipment being worked on

grass needs mowed

no words needed:

shoes to fill someday

summer skies

We got a special treat when Robot Boy decided to make us all a snack of his own creation.

The Robot Boy Special
hot dog bun
two saltine crackers laid carefully on the bun
a slice of American cheese ripped in half
and his secret ingredient...
a thick line of whipping cream from a can sprayed down the center.
close the enjoy.

Thanks Robot Boy!

Special thanks also to our star photographers in this "self" photo"

Rosy Red Princess and her sidekick, the littlest princess

~ stay cool everyone, fall is almost here!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Morning Nap

Ever wake up so early that by 10:00 a.m. you are exhausted?

Yesterday was a little like that.

I was up late the night before (being "lady liberty") and the funny thing about staying up late on a farm is that it does not necessarily translate into sleeping in the next morning!

I have one inside dog, the rest sleep outside. This inside dog Emmie, cannot make herself rest past dawn though. She is a canine alarm clock and somewhere between 6 and 6:30 she shoves her nose against mine (or sits and whines loudly) until I stumble to my feet and open the door for her. Opening the door then makes me curious about the weather ( you obsess about weather on a farm) and I stand there rubbing my face and looking at a fog covered world and wonder about the weather that will be for that day. This thought makes me pick up the remote and flip on the TV weather.....which all in all means I am pretty much up at this point.

What that leads to is sometimes being a little tired and needing a nap or a doughnut or coffee or something around 10:00am.

Today however, at 10:00 I was in high gear. Two of our trucks were broken down. One had a leaky radiator the other was/is a fuel pump(?)

A flurry of phone calls and ordering parts added to the days normal routine.

That did not mean that naps were not being had though...

As I happened to pass by a door I saw this:

break time in the poultry world....

my usually taciturn and remote rooster, dozing right by the door! That never happens.

He looks dead doesnt he?

and just inside the door the same thing was happening in "canine" world

only this always happens....

Emmie does her "doggie yoga" each morning come what may...

This is her "upward facing dog" pose (she likes to live outside the lines)

Here is her "downward goddess" pose

Her "go away you are annoying" pose...

But the rooster was what really intrigued me. He wont let you get close to him. He is a very cautious fellow that way. So to see him lay right on the beaten path so to speak was a first. I went out the front door and crept around to the side of the house where he was taking his fiesta cuddled against the lemon tree...

in the time it took to walk out the front door and around to the side of the house, he had shifted his position and moved even closer to "danger" (the door).

I wished I could get a close enough shot to see his 3 eyelids, they look like membranes. One is clear and goes from side to side, one goes down and the other closes up. Pretty fascinating stuff but every time the camera clicked - he opened them.

You know what just dawned on me? "Roo" has no eyelashes! None at all, nadda. Thereby eliminating all need to ever buy mascara, which is good since he doesnt drive, so how would he go get his mascara in the first place? And even if he did have eyelashes and he did drive to get his own mascara, then what? Would he have to sing on American Idol, change his name to Adam, move to California and become a rocker? Where would this lead poor little "Roo" in his life?

No. He is better off nappping in the sun at 10:00 am on my deck. Sometimes nature really does know best.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

911 In a Pasture, Lady Liberty & the Pursuit of History

I have a few heifers (young female cows) living amongst my "Lost Boys" (steers - beef cows; males who are "fixed")

Due to lots of time spent haying and just being busy, I didn't pay attention like I should have...

they found some Nightshade (deadly poison) and some of them nibbled it.

As a result I have over the last two days:

one dead heifer,
two very sick heifers
two slightly sick steers.

One little heifer has responded to treatment. I took her all the way back to ground zero (fed her colostrum) and she has rebounded.

The two steers seem fine with being allowed to run free and eat whatever they want. That leaves just one little heifer....

she is losing ground each day on her own so today in addition to colostrum, she got a shot of antibiotic and an IV of glucose along with a bolus of vitamins.

SO at the end of a very long day which included losing our power in a storm, I got to stand in a damp grassy field using the lights from the truck

to hold a bottle of glucose hoisted over my head while it infused into my little patient

looking up at the stars on a very dark night

and started reciting as much of the words engraved on the Statue of Liberty as I could remember

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...hmmm...

the IV bottle gurgled while I tried to remember...

establish justice, insure domestic tranquility? no, that is the Preamble to the Constitution -

I didn't watch School House Rock for nothing!

I ran through a few other nuggets from old history classes

"Two if by land and one if by sea? no....

"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?" no,

being the statue of Liberty isn't very easy...

my nose was itching and the blood had drained out of my arm...

that's it! something about her arm!...

She lifts her lamp by the golden shore....or door..or something like that.

The last of the life giving fluid gurgled down the tube and I gratefully lowered my lady liberty arm, climbed over the fence and came home.

I had to Google it....

Its all coming back to me now!

On the pedestal below her, it says,

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of you teaming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This poem is called the New Colossus and it was written by Emma Lazarus.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Monday Minutes

The view outside my window

One more hayfield harvested, several more to go...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Life Is Like A Bowl Of

The last of the summer cherries...

Ever made Clafoutis?

Thats French for pancake batter!


You end up with a delicious dessert that is custardy if you serve it warm and more crepe-like if you let it cool. The beauty of it is you need to only have 3 cups of cherries (or any other summer fruit, really) and the basics: milk, eggs,a bit of flour to make this.


1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Almond extract*
6 Eggs
6 tablespoon Sugar
1 and 1/4 cups Milk
Pinch Salt
3⁄4 cup All-purpose flour
3 cups black cherries, pitted or unpitted*
Confectioners' sugar (optional)

*(Some people dont pit the cherries, the pits add a lot of almond flavor.I add the almond extract and pit the cherries instead) Preheat oven to 425° and generously butter a 9" cast-iron skillet or baking dish. Combine vanilla extract, eggs, sugar, milk and salt. Whisk till blended, then add flour and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour batter into buttered skillet and evenly spread cherries over top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar or a spoon of whipped cream if desired.