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Friday, December 31, 2010

Dining Etiquette 101

Sometimes its good to have a gentle reminder of what constitutes a fine dining experience. With so much food being eaten on the run or in front of electronic devices of various sorts there is a danger that time honored traditions can slip by the wayside.
Never may that happen!
Lets begin with a couple of "don'ts".
Or maybe more than a couple.....
One definite don't would be to ask your dinner companions if all the gnoshing makes your butt look big.
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Nobody wants to think about your butt while they eat. That is just basic 101 Lady, so if you are really a "Lady" ...just don't...
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That is best Lady. Good for you!
Moving along with our list of do nots
(not to be confused with donuts - that is another list entirely)

This would probably be a good point to mention that good dining manners would include not having food on your face OR hanging out of your mouth...
OR your nose for that matter!

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and as for reclining at the dinner table...
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unless you live in ancient Rome or are one of the 12 apostles,

That is considered highly inappropriate also.

Ahem! Do you here me? Someone needs to "steer" you steers in the right direction that's for sure....

Sometimes guests both invited and unexpected will show up for dinner. It is considered poor form to look down ones nose at such guests.

Its a much better course to show a keen interest, make good eye contact and listen carefully

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For the fact of the matter is...

no matter what culture, race, gender or species divides us, the act of coming together in peace to share something as simple as a meal,

is what unites us.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"I Know he'd be a poorer man...

...if he never saw an eagle fly...
lyrics taken from the song "Rocky Mountain High"

We see plenty of birds, living way out here in the boondocks. Mostly we see smaller birds. Robins, blue jays, cardinals and so on. We see buzzards, oh yeah, plenty of buzzards. We even see quite a few owls.

Probably the hardest thing to catch a really good glimpse of is an Eagle. I know I have never gotten a picture of an Eagle myself.

That makes it so cool that my middle son,known around these parts as "handsome son" (self named) was able to grab my camera and capture this

Eagle feasting

birds eye view

taking wing

thanks handsome son!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Solstice, The Eclipse & The Gift

Last week was an eventful one.

The winter solstice.

The full moon, accompanied by a full lunar eclipse.

All of this occurring in the space of one night.

Along with this...

we got one more gift.

It was a gift we gave ourselves.

An opportunity became available to buy some really nice, well bred cows from another farm.

40 of them to he exact.

So that is what we did.

Shipping live animals is an art ( I have learned) and we finally agreed upon a shipping date and put our trust in the ability of a trucking company to haul this precious cargo.

The bovine ladies would be moving from their "Big Easy" life in New Orleans down here to Florida. To make transit as easy as possible, they were fed, watered, milked and loaded on to the semi for transport. All of this meant that they would, of necessity, be arriving at about 4 A.M.

Their own private field was all prepped and readied for them with two large round bales of our very best hay and fresh water..

and we waited.

Things went even better than hoped for and the call that the cows were almost here came in at just before 2 A.M. The driver was pulling on to the farm!

I don't think I have ever seen such an unexpectedly beautiful sight.

The "N'awlins" ladies looked like they brought the Mardi Gras with them! A dazzling array of lights (and some mooing). A veritable lagniappe as it appeared out of the dark, like a floating party barge in its very own parade.

I expected trinkets!



Tossed down to the crowds as it rolled its majestic way across the hay field

The bovine beauties and the big eclipse arrived at pretty much the same moment. The celestial darkening and the big puffing brightly lit semi creating quite a vignette that was definitely a first.

We unloaded cows during the eclipse in a dark frosty barnyard so cold the air stung your eyelids and made your nose run.

But nothing can prepare you for an eclipse. So awesome and indescribable.

I did not take the picture below but it is the closest one I could find to convey what it actually looked like.

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photo by Goodimages

The cows never looked up. They came down out of that huge trailer (it was two stories high and each cow had its own stall - amazing)and once on solid ground they sniffed the ground in big blows of white foggy breath, decided they liked what they saw and moved right to the hay and water.
Not one cow had to be chased or blocked or coerced. Even by the dark of the moon they seemed happy to get off a rolling truck and back to more familiar things. As is the way timing sometimes goes,just as the last cow entered the field and the gate was shut the moon burst forth blazingly white again.

The eclipse was over.

The cows cows long voyage was over and now the fun begins of getting to know 40 new personalities while they get to know us!

Laissez le Bon temp rouler!
Let the good times roll!

more on the eclipse:

The December moon is called The Full Cold Moon, the Full Long Nights Moon, or my favorite: the Moon before Yule. The moon is above the horizon for a long time and, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, it has a high trajectory across the sky because it’s opposite a low sun.A total lunar eclipse during winter in the northern hemisphere is somewhat common, according to NASA. But a lunar eclipse falling directly on the date of the winter solstice is extremely rare.
With the full moon high in the winter sky, the lunar eclipse will be visible from four continents, with the best views from North America and Central America if weather permits, scientists say.
This year's event will take 3 hours and 38 minutes. The eclipse begins on Tuesday at 1:33 a.m. ET, when the Earth's dark-red shadow will turn up on the edge of the moon, according to NASA. It will take about an hour for the shadow to cover the entire moon. Totality begins at 2:41 a.m. and lasts for 72 minutes. (courtesy AOL News/Lisa Holewa contributor).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It was a very cold you can see with Minnie's sweater, (and jacket)

But Minnie wasn't the only one in sweaters and jackets!

Even Lady had a fur coat!

But one thing Lady had never seen is a dog in a fur coat.

But from Minnie's point of view she was like " Oh my word! What is that thing?!"

Emmy was jealous of Minnie and her warm was to small so she wanted ours!

This is our "Make it snow pose."

Uh oh....we snow for us!

Medusa gets mad when there's no snow.....purple fleece girl flies away.....while superboy gets ready to clobber Medusa!

And this ends the tale of our very exciting and freezing cold day!


This story brought to you by crystal season fairy (Nana's favorite :) )

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

The field mice are hiding in their burrows.
(and in my house)

The world has gone to ground (in Florida terms)

Everything is frozen and for us? That makes everything a work of art

Hope each of you are staying warm and enjoying the the beauty!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nannok of the North,

checking in!

Day 3 of a hard freeze in the "sunshine state"

To document these record breaking temps I bring you little seen photos....

Frosting, its not just for cupcakes!

It looks amazing on a cattle trailer too, turning it from red to white

itty bity ice crystals melting where the sun hits - all very exciting to a Floridian who usually only sees this kind of thing when leaving the freezer door open too long while looking at ice cream choices...

Its probably not a good idea to put your prize picture in the middle but here goes anyway,


the frozen tundra (just last week it was a hay field)

frozen leaves

icy roses

and last but not least! I bring you some mighty unhappy little chilly chickens who no longer like this Florida and want their money back.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Here A Honk,There A Honk...

Lady the horse came thundering into the corral yesterday, head up ears pricked forward tail streaming like a banner, she skidded to a stop just in time for the fence snorting loudly. Fear? Excitement? Indignant? All three?

The last time she was this worked up was when a couple of deer jumped into her paddock while making their way across the farm. She wasnt at all sure where those "mutant horses" had come from and why no one sent her a memo about their impending arrival. Before she could even get a good lather going they were gone, clearing a fence as effortlessly as Lady could only do in her dreams.

Since Lady continued to run up and down the fence line snorting, I decided it must not be a here one minute gone the next deer invasion. So what then? A stray plastic bag caught in a tree limb maybe?

What I saw when I went to investigate sent me flying back inside for my camera.....

I was afraid they would leave if I got too close thus the skulking around in the weeds by the fence line. Nothing seemed to deter them though. Not crazy camera woman, not even Lady and a couple of steers who wandered over to watch. That is IF prancing 5o feet one way and wheeling and prancing 50 feet the other way with tail arched and snorting can actually be defined as mere "watching".

Two females and a male. Busily feasting. Do geese eat grass? Seeing geese is rare and always before just flying overhead. It was thrilling to see them on the ground. These particular geese I would find out later (thank you Google)are called Snow Geese and live in Northern Canada and Nova Scotia. Their migratory path usually takes them to the coast of Lousiana. Perhaps the extreme early cold has pushed them furthur south this year? That newly sprouted field of rye must have looked delicious from above, convincing them to land for a long lunch. They looked amazingly plump after such a long journey.

Once the shadows across the field grew long, they gracefully took flight, in formation, male in the lead heading southwest flying towards the setting sun.

It took another few minutes for Lady to calm down and settle in at her hay bale for a long winter chomp herself.

and once again, all was right with her world.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
( was mid afternoon but I was weary...)

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,

this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
(all right! shes not ebony, shes a rhode island red. what do you want from me?)

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'

Quoth the raven/chicken,


Nevermore will we enjoy balmy nights of 70

like we did before

the freeze is coming and my concern is severe

you need to add more hay

to my henhouse, ya hear?

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as `Nevermore.'

Is that you turkey lurkey? I rubbed my nap blurry eyes. Why are you going all Edgar Allen on me? If you want another layer of hay in the henhouse before the big freeze tonight why didnt you just say so? I will get right to it...but first lets sit on the steps and have coffee together. What do you say?

What do I say??? said turkey lurkey? I say that I dont drink coffee....that is what I "say". However you have the hay and the arms to put it in my house and spread it most delightfully. For this reason I will be happy to sit here with you while you drink your coffee and then you get busy! Agreed?


and that is just what we did.