Monday, November 30, 2009

Annie get yer gun!

The first day of rifle deer season is upon us here in the laurel highlands of Pennsylvania!

Or as my father has been known to quip ‘The high holy day for hunters.’ My dad is quite a quipster let me tell you!

Now before we get into this entry I`d like to take a minute to address something if y`all don`t mind? Generally my goal with this blog is to try to entertain by showing the humor in our day to days, and the downright funny things we experience with a small farm and its critters. I tend to shy away from controversial subjects when I blog because frankly in this day and age I feel we all appreciate some levity and a few chuckles.

I know hunting is a HIGHLY controversial matter with strong supporters on both sides.

I also am a hunter (albeit not a great one) as is my husband and now our daughter. Hunting is part of our lifestyle. It provides us with food for our freezer. It teaches our children the importance of stewardship and ethics. It passes on a gentle kind of education of our state flora and fauna that a textbook just cannot.

But perhaps most importantly it enables mentors… be they uncles, aunts, family friends, grandfathers, elder brothers or parents to spend TIME with a child as they pass along those valuable life lessons surrounded by nature. Time without texting or video games or a television running. I think they call it quality time and it`s something many in the younger generation are sadly denied due to the hectic lifestyles many live.

Hunting is a part of who we are. If this entry should offend anyone I do offer my apologies but hunting for us is a cherished way of life and this blog IS about our lives on the hillside. Please feel free to skip over this entry if it isn`t your cuppa with my blessings, yet do come back! I`d miss your company if you stayed away too long!

Okay now that I have that taken care of I`ll dive into this entry. (Finally huh?)

Once our daughter turned twelve she was old enough to take the hunter safety class our game commission dictates any would-be junior hunter attend. I am firmly behind this concept for education about firearms is crucial for a novice hunter as is the maturity of the requirement age.

When I decided to take up hunting after spending years as a hunting widow (I bet a few of you ladies can relate) I attended the classes myself. As an adult our game laws didn`t demand my attendance but I felt the more knowledge the better! The classes run on average three nights and last roughly four hours each night. I think I was the only adult in my class several years ago save for the W.C.O. `s (Wildlife Conservation Officers) that taught the class! Talk about a fish out of her middle-aged waters!

But I enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal about trapping, archery, gun handling and safety in the field as did Miss Yodeling when she and her father went to her classes in early September of this year. Despite my husband`s many years of hunting experience he did learn a few things and got to spend time with our girl to boot!

Monday morning here in PA dawned damply. Perhaps dawn is a misnomer… pre-dawned is more accurate since the alarm rang at four-thirty. Mr. Yodeling and I are used to this wake-up time but our child is not.

Poor man.

Having to deal with twin zombie-type females. She did roll out rather quickly though considering the time and darkness outside the windows. She downed her bowl of cereal and the two commenced the ritual of getting ready to go hunting. For anyone who hasn`t experienced this ritual it goes something like this…

“Okay, where did I put the shells?”

“I can`t get this boot up!”

“Now where did I put my gloves?!”

“Ouch! This blaze orange stocking cap is catching on my earrings!”

“Wife! (Substitute your name of course) Where did you put my hunting license?”

“Mom? (This title is universal so no substitutions are required) Do you know if Super Hero Squad is on tonight?”

And so on….

Finally they completed the ritual and were all ready to head out into the rain showers and climb the mountain across the creek. I gave them both a wave and a guttural mutter of ‘brains’ as they went out the front door, rifles in hand, to track the elusive white-tail. I had a doctor`s appointment at eight for a yearly lady check-up so I trundled about and did chores then set off for town in the gentle yet chilly November rain.

As of this time which is dinnertime for we yodeling goatherders, my daughter has returned home empty handed and more than a wee bit damp around her collar. Although she may have struck out in putting some venison in our freezer on THIS excursion the time spent sitting side by side and talking of things that only a dad and daughter talk about I`m sure make up for the lack of back strap.

There truly are some things that money can`t buy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Those Udderly Wonderful Goats-I can see clearly now...

Sometimes I think goats are THE most inquisitive critters!

Then I recall how nosey my dogs are and have to concede it may be a tie for the coveted ‘My nose got me into hot water’ blue ribbon. I`ll let you all decide which of the two species brings home the first place placard.

First off I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours here on the hillside farm was very enjoyable, small in numbers but large in home cooking and family time. The day after the holiday was a busy one and thank goodness too since I needed to work off that second helping of dressing I had. (We won`t mention the pie and apple crisp that followed.) *Winks*

It started off with a run to the feed store for calf grain then a quick stop at the local farm store for a roll of clear plastic. Then we three still over-stuffed goatherders ran to the grocery store. I generally avoid retail and department stores on Black Friday at all costs. Call me a coward but that kind of intense crowding is not my cup of Joe. It almost reminds me of our goats when we unlock the gate so that they can get their evening grain. Heaven help any poor chicken caught underneath the stampeding hooves!

After the groceries were put away Mr. Yodeling and I ran down to the hardtop to grab a round bale for the steers and visit the farmer who sold us this bale and the other dozen we have stored for winter. While the guys were gossiping I meandered over to admire the draft horses our friend owns while keeping an ear turned to the men as they chatted along. (I would hate to miss anything of worth that we ladies may not have heard!)

We returned home and got Patty and Bubba J. all squared away then grabbed a fast bite and slow cup of coffee. There are some things I won`t rush, coffee is one of those things. Also any movie with Ryan Reynolds but I digress…..

When my Nubian mug was drained we…..Oh! I nearly forgot this little side episode that occurred and which helped the dogs come into a neck and neck in the nosey critter race! As I was sipping my Folgers after out noon meal and chatting with Mr. Yodeling our yellow lab Poe stepped from her napping/vigil spot on the couch.

She walked decorously to the boot rack and proceeded to get sick on the carpeting not four inches from the linoleum. Why can`t they EVER make it to the easily mopped up kitchen?! Now anyone who has lived with dogs for any length of time won`t be shocked by this occurrence in the least. What was unusual about this particular episode of upset belly was what she left on the carpet. I`ll be as discreet as I can about this for y`all.

It seems our grand dame spent her morning potty time run rummaging through our burn pit to dig up and ingest the roasting bag our Thanksgiving turkey had been cooked in. Uh-huh. We had made a point to burn anything we thought would be a temptation to three canine noses immediately after our holiday meal. Ask me not why a bag so rich with grease didn`t catch afire but it didn`t.

You know I`ve heard that charcoal is an effective remedy for a queasy tummy but judging by the amount of burnt offerings that came along with the intact roasting bag I may have some doubts. Thankfully she did bring it up since I can`t imagine an entire roasting bag in a dog`s stomach would be a good thing!

Okay, so now back to the curious goats.

Once the living room carpet was scrubbed we had another job in store, replacing the plastic over the front of our barn. See our barn was originally built for horses and so the upper halves of the two large front doors are open. Since we have dairy goats and not horses we cover the gaping holes with thick plastic to keep the caprine one`s snug when winter winds blow down the valley. The old plastic had seen better days what with the sun and wind and more than one set of goat assisted rends.

Doing anything with the goats present is always an entertaining yet patience pushing task. They are naturally curious animals and think nothing of shoving their noses into places their noses do not belong. Our herd queen Fawn began the investigations by using the new roll as a head scratcher and the rest followed suit.

Taking the tattered old plastic down was quite invigorating to say the least. There was a mad chase of my junior buck Auron who absconded with a chunk of old plastic. Let me tell you goats are darn fast when trying to escape with pilfered plastic pieces!

Right after he was relieved of his treasure Jennifer decided to dig into the bag to see what she could make off with. It was comical to see their reactions when they discovered the upper half of their doors bare.

I would peek in at them and they`d peek back.

Of course the dogs had come along to assist and hopefully NOT eat anything that would make them sick since one round of carpet cleaning was adequate in my book for the day. Trinity did her bit by deciding to carry the feedbag of discarded plastic about in her mouth to earn another merit for that helpfulness badge.

It also is a necessity while working with goats to hug and schnozzle them whenever they deem a fitting time. A fitting time being all the time it seems, which makes getting any work done a tad difficult but much more enjoyable.

Case in point….

As we were finishing up the job our wether Ron (Named after Ron Weasley of Harry Potter fame) had the idea to practice for the upcoming caprine Olympics balance beam competition. What the gymnastic hopeful hadn`t taken into account was the sleet that had been falling on and off all afternoon.

Needless to say his Olympic dreams were shattered as was his pride when he failed to nail the landing and left the pasture gymnasium in shame as titters from his barn-mates rang down upon him.

I hope he doesn`t try to pursue his second dream….synchronized swimming.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Liners-11/25

"Uhm, Joe? Why are they looking at us like that?"

Happy Thanksgiving from our farm to yours!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One for the guys

Sometimes I have to feel sorry for men.

Especially men with teenage daughters, wives and mothers. Imagine what a wondrous yet puzzling path a man who is surrounded by women must walk, it fair to boggles the mind I`m sure. Picking where one places their masculine foot along a trail laced with feminine thought patterns that even the most stalwart of males surely must cower from at times.

Imagine trying to comprehend the constantly changing moody footpath of a thirteen year old while ducking the limbs of a wife that hang down across the walkway, their sole purpose to knock his manly thinking cap astray at every possible opportunity. Add into the dangerous hike a mother whose boughs are much like his wife`s except that they carry the extra weight of ‘I carried you for nine months.’ It really is a wonder than men can keep their masculine thought berets in place at all along such a dangerous trail.

Poor Mr. Yodeling had his fair share this past weekend and I`m relatively sure his boots are still filled with the quagmire of womanly notions and teenaged giggles and sighs. His poor Red-Wings may never be free of the quicksand the man found himself in.

It began Friday night when after months and months of eager anticipation the movie ‘New Moon’ opened. I may have mentioned what a romance junkie I am in previous blog entries and it seems my daughter has inherited her mother`s love of courtship and long glances shared betwixt the hero and heroine.*Sighs*

My husband decided to accompany us, and his mother who also read all four books, to the movie`s premiere. Now keep in mind that I had given him ample warning since he didn’t` go along to see Twilight last year when we ladies did. Perhaps he thought I was kidding about the fervor surrounding the movies but when we pulled up and saw the line creeping around our small city block he began to see the light.

After waiting thirty minutes surrounded by anxious young ladies I could see the look of amusement mixed with a tinge of ‘What was I THINKING!?’ on his face. I think perhaps I may have enjoyed watching him and his masculine reactions to so many hyped teenage girls nearly as much as I enjoyed the movie itself.

At least he had the sense to NOT sit beside my daughter. Every time her hero Jacob Black appeared on screen my thigh or bicep was grabbed tightly in a near death grip the likes I haven`t seen since my own teen days and KISS would appear on Merv Griffin. (Please tell me someone else out there recalls Merv?)

The man has to be given his due though for he sat through the sighs and squeals of the packed theater with good grace and even commented on how he enjoyed the film as we drove home. That is when he could wedge a word into the diatribe Miss Yodeling was having about the heroine`s lack of common in sense in choosing a beau.

Saturday morning found him out in the woods at the crack of dawn searching for a wild turkey. Perchance he also needed a few hours to enjoy the silence before one of my daughters girlfriends came over to spend the day? After he got back he and I set into doing some of the weekend chores which included cleaning all the bird coops then getting hay for the goats. I kept his ear well bent all the while with various tidbits about the local gossip I had heard and various thoughts I had about what to buy for whom this Christmas.

My mother-in-law walked up with her dog for a visit as the two girl’s tee-heed and giggled about secret teen things. Through it all the man merely nodded at the appropriate times in the small gaps of conversation or replied when prompted by either his mother’s queries or mine about which side dish to have for Thanksgiving. Saturday evening we gathered around the television to catch a comic-hero cartoon show my daughter and I enjoy then we got to watch ‘Star Trek’ which I had leaped on at the video rental store. My geek factor is so obviously apparent at times even I have to snort at it.

As I write this entry on Sunday morning Mr. Yodeling is off helping some pals of his to haul firewood and I sent him off with my blessings since he had been waist-deep in estrogen and nerdism`s all weekend. He needed some guy time I`m thinking since his eyes were getting glassy by the time Kirk and Spock saved the world last night. So here`s a tip of my cap to men who muddle through surrounded by the women they love all day.

Hmmmm I wonder if this cap goes with my eyes…..Honey???

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Update Time!

It`s time for T.F.Y.G.H. updates!

Holy moley I just realized that I sounded a good deal like Charlie Farkeson doing his news reports on Hee-Haw! The only thing I`m missing is a slew of egg cartons to use as paneling and……

Oh. Uhm. Tee-hee.* Blushes * Well at least I don`t have a chicken sitting on my news desk/ kitchen table. At the moment.

It has been awhile since I posted some entries about some of the critters and their goings-on so I thought I would try to get you caught up. We`ll start off with the bovines and go alphabetically, although they are also called cows which would put the chickens before them unless you used the term fowl which… *Takes sip of coffee and mind clears instantly * Thank goodness for Folgers!

To the cow barn!

The first update has to do with our Holstein steers name. Yes, the poor thing FINALLY has one after much deliberation amid we three goatherders. His official moniker is Bubba J.

I hope that if Jeff Dunham reads this he takes the news of our cow sporting the name of one of his creations with the obvious good humor he seems to possess. (We love you Peanut and Achmed!)

Bubba`s name actually emerged from Mr. Yodeling calling him ‘Bub’ over and over while doing chores. I, being the comic geek queen that I am, leaped on that and wanted to call him Logan since Wolverine uses the term ‘Bub’ when he addresses people…right BEFORE he does what he does best mind you!

That idea was nixed rather quickly in a round of very democratic voting (I still think a monarchy is a sound and rational idea as long as I`m ruler) then my daughter suggested we just call him Bubba J. It seemed to fit. He does at times look like he spends too much time watching NASCAR and drinking beer. (Note his tongue in the above photograph.)

Bubba J now resides with our Hereford steer Patrick as you can see. They seem to have struck up a nice, amiable cow friendship. Hopefully they won`t require therapy to sort out the species-confusion issues that manifested from them living with goats. I`m not sure our large animal vet has a diploma in psychiatry. I`ll have to ask the next time she`s out.

To the goat barn!

The goats are all happy and contented and back together. The love train made the trip back to my friend Marcia`s to bring home the two visiting dignitaries and is now sitting silently on the side tracks until next fall.

Romance being what it is the ladies and gentlemen seem to have fallen into the ‘After-Courtship’ humdrums. That time when the flame and passion spurred by long loving looks flashed coyly from the ladies and the robust pronouncements of love ever-lasting and enduring from the caprine gentlemen slackens into ‘Meh. I`m hanging with my buddies’ and ‘What-evah! Me and the girls are going shopping in the side pasture.’

Now we just wait. Five months seems like a very, very long time especially over what is usually a cold, dreary and painfully drawn out winter but I suspect that before we know it those midnight vigils in the goat barn will commence. Truthfully those wee kids struggling to stand and nurse for the first time as mom talks to them with encouragement is what keeps us so enraptured with our goats, their winning personalities and charming foibles aside of course. *Winks*

To the bat-cave! Sorry. To the poultry coops!!

As those of you who own poultry know aside from molting as the days grow shorter not much changes in the lives of our feathered friends. Spring is the season that finds the most hub-bub especially with the turkeys and geese since they`re seasonal breeders. So the birds are pretty much doing what they do every day, eating and scratching about in the cow and goat barns. Sadly I do have some glum news to relay in our fowl updates.

I lost my duck Wade about a week ago. Apparently something got into his enclosure and hauled the poor drake off in the night. We did a thorough search yet couldn`t find one feather the following day. He will be sorely missed. I have a special love for my web-footed birds and the ducks especially so. Wade was a one-of-a-kind drake, odd as a cod yes, but his antics we`re a great source of laughter for all of us here.

Since I`m now totally duck-less I have already announced that come spring this yodeling goatherder will be ordering some ducklings from the feed store. Both Mr. Yodeling and Miss Yodeling know how much I enjoy my ducks and are one hundred percent ready for wee little fluffy ducks come spring! We will miss you Wade.

Back to the house!

The indoor critters are all doing well since their last tales were blogged. Life for the dogs and cats is good yet of late they`ve been kind of blasé about entertaining things. Well, aside from our kitten Lu-Lu that is. I have never seen anything with as much energy and sass as that kitten! She recently made a trip to the small animal hospital for ‘The Operation’ and now has a bare soft belly that we love to rib her about. She finds very little humor in her naked abdomen though.

My old calico cat Bean is still hanging in, bless her ancient heart! We all thought she was going to leave us a month or so ago when she suddenly became ill and the weight just fell off her. At 19 years old we are more or less just taking each day as it comes with her, but so far she is still avoiding the grim reaper. She`s started eating again and her eyes are quite a bit brighter. She spends most of her time now lying in the sun cat-napping and spitting at that whipper-snapper kitten. I can almost envision the old gal with a cane in her tri-colored paw waving it at Lu-Lu in vexation.

Oh! There was a sighting of the lost cat collar about a week ago! My daughter found it mysteriously lying on her bed and I hurried to snap that adorable little belled thing around Lu-Lu`s neck. Needless to say I have since done laundry and Lu-Lu used the dryer for her time-traveling expeditions. The collar is now nowhere to be found again but I have suspicions that in a galaxy far, far away an Ewok has a snazzy paw-print yellow belled bracelet.

Or that could just be the caffeine and my geekiness talking!

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Feral`s Front Porch

Roderick Rooster-"Tell ME I can`t carve a pumpkin will they!?"

Hester Whitehen-"You made the eyehole too large!"

Julietta Bantyhen-"I`ll get to work on the nose!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009


There`s a word that stirs up thoughts of drudgery and boredom.

Yet any of us who have animals, be they house pets or farm critters, know that routine is the internal clock our four legged friends run by. It is a precise time measuring device, far more accurate than any Timex, Rolex or Swatch. (Do they still make those and did I date myself yet again?) I know everyone who reads this will nod their heads in understanding while recalling their daily routines and the animals involved. I thought I would share my morning ritual with you all in case there is someone who is wondering why I am the way I am. So here we go, a typical morning for a yodeling goatherder.

4:15 A.M.-Husbands alarm goes off. Yellow lab that sleeps in bed follows husband out, allowing room for others to hog space.

4:16 A.M.-Black lab and beagle leap into bed. Kitten pads over sleeping goatherders back purring loudly. Black lab curls up behind sleeping goatherders legs, beagle curls up in front of sleeping goatherders legs, kitten walks over sleeping goatherders head purring loudly, reclines over sleeping goatherders face then ninnies sleeping goatherders scalp.

4:17 A.M.-Sleeping goatherder flails at animals muttering uncharitable things.

4:25 A.M.-Repeat 4:16 A.M. and 4:17 A.M. routines until sleeping goatherder gives up and tumbles from bed.

4:30 A.M.-Rumpled goatherder stumbles from bathroom, trips over kitten and dogs while mumbling ‘brains’ and dragging left foot sluggishly. Black lab ‘helps’ zombie goatherder by grabbing left slipper to carry for zombie goatherder to front door. Dogs engage in ‘We have to go REALLY bad!’ routine which includes beagle dancing on back legs like Pogo the circus dog while labs go in circles and woof softly, black labs woof muted by left slipper in mouth. Husband inquires why goatherder is up.

4:32 A.M.-Husband makes same query as noted above gets ‘brains’ for reply, shrugs and drops subject. Goatherder opens door for three dogs and kitten, forgetting black lab has slipper in mouth. Goatherder then shuffles to coffee pot to begin infusion of caffeine. (On a side note coffee DOES cure the dreaded zombie virus so prevalent in horror movies. Why Hollywood hasn`t discovered this I haven`t a clue but someone should tell Woody Harrelson about it. He would save tons on ammo.)

4:49 A.M.-Goatherder is halfway through recovery process, caffeine courses through mind as dog waits on porch minus slipper. Kitten wants in. Goatherder begins ritual of calling for other two dogs that are off a-wandering and/or chasing rabbits. Husband is in bathroom. Child sleeps through yelling for missing dogs and snarled commands to black lab to go find lost slipper in yard. Kitten wants out.

5:10 A.M. - Husband yells for dogs on way out door. Dogs come, slipper still lost in yard. Kitten wants in. Goatherder ingests second course of zombie neutralizing agent, gets peck on cheek from husband who she fears is afraid of contracting zombie curse. Kitten wants in. Goatherder tosses Milk-bones to waiting dogs. Dogs go back to sleep. Kitten wants out.

6:00 A.M.-Childs alarm goes off. Cure is taking effect. Slipper is still in yard. Kitten wants in. Goatherder is dressed and shakes child vigorously before taking black lab out back door to begin chores. Goatherder and slipper thief black lab trundle uphill to feed and water duck, geese, chickens and turkeys. Cows and goats await morning treats mooing and screaming loudly at goatherder at chicken coop. Black lab carries watering can back down hill but slipper is still A.W.O.L. Kitten dashes in door between legs, lab drops watering can inside doorway, goatherder trips and mumbles uncharitable things.

6:15 A.M. - Goatherder shakes child vigorously again. Child mumbles ‘brains’ and rolls over. Kitten knocks dish of dry cat food to floor in attempt to cover food. Dogs race in to gobble food as bottle warms for mooing Holstein calf in microwave. Child shuffles from bedroom. Kitten wants out. Goats yell louder in pasture, Hereford begins foghorn moo that indicates his displeasure at waiting. Child needs help with earrings. Goatherder helps undead child with guitar earrings then heads out to grain Hereford steer and goat wethers. Goat buck screams out high pitched love song as Holstein steer moos plaintively for his morning num-num.

6:45-Child returns with empty num-num bottle then remembers she has assignment due today and fires up desktop. Dogs begin ‘It`s time to ride to the bus!’ dance at door. Goat wethers begin to protest being locked from barn so they don`t eat Herefords grain. Kitten wants in or out, goatherder is now not sure of which day of week it is or kittens name. Child prints hastily typed assignment while watching television. Goatherder is out in truck with dogs beeping horn for child since school bus is now in turn-around on dirt road. Child races out door, trips over kitten, mutters uncharitable things then runs to truck. Goatherder backs over missing slipper in driveway.

7:00 A.M.-Goatherder returns to home, black lab has slipper with tire tracks in mouth. Goatherder forgets about letting Hereford out until steer slams into gate with force of Mack truck. Goatherder runs over to let disgruntled wethers in and Hereford out before barn damage occurs. Goose pinches beagle on return trip to house. Dogs enter first, kitten is waiting at front door and leaps on beagle which starts a fifteen minute game of ‘Chase me over the furniture!’ which beagle loses when he runs over coffee table in hot pursuit of kitten and gets scolded soundly.

7:15 A.M.-Goatherder falls into kitchen chair, magic zombie cure steaming in Nubian mug and fires up laptop to begin blog entry about routines and Woody Harrelson.

That explains a great deal doesn’t` t it?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rural Ramblings

Another photo from our meanderinga around our beautiful county.

This was taken up the road from our hillside farm at our neighbor`s large farm pond, which also happens to be our favorite place to fish for large mouth bass! The Canadian geese are flocking together now and over the course of the past few weeks thier numbers on this pond have grown to the hundreds as they prepare for thier long journey Southward.

There are also a few mallard`s in the picture that seem to be in the same mindset as the hordes of geese. Sadly the drakes striking green heads didn`t show up well since they were in the shade of the mountains. One more sign of the changing season that only nature can provide.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seasonal signs, lady bugs & white birch

As I sip my mug of after-lunch coffee I find myself pondering the signs of the seasons, and fall in particular.

There are many, of course, such as the turning of the maple leaves from green to scarlet, the flocking of blackbirds or even the unmistakable crunch of frosted grass under your chore boots in the morning. Also where one lives would affect this I tend to think. For those who are in the Southern states perhaps you`re seasonal signs are less crispy underfoot?

For we yodeling goatherders who call the mountains of north central Pennsylvania home one of the most reliable harbingers of fall is the need to fill the wood room. Over the past few weeks as October got nudged aside by November our evening temperatures have fallen steadily. Waking up to twenty-six degrees will surely frost the Herefords nose! (Well it would if he didn`t keep it so wet and slippery all the time with his cow tongue!)

In the summer of 2008 we purchased an outdoor wood burning stove to replace the costly propane we had heated with since we moved up on this here hill. Of course along with the new stove and the considerable amount of savings we stuffed into our wallets came the work associated with burning wood for heat. I`ll be frank and admit cutting wood isn`t my favorite task in the world. I would much rather linger UNDER the shade tree with a spicy romance novel then spend all day chopping the tree down. But I also like to be warm, as Mr. Yodeling likes to remind us girls when we pull sour faces at the mention of wood cutting, so I guess the chainsaw wins.

We try to keep a good amount cut and drying so that when Jack Frost arrives to sprinkle his crystals on the goats backs we`re ready. This year is no exception and so Tuesday when Mr. Yodeling returned from his tree stand empty handed (Stiff upper lip honey!) we decided he had shivered enough and set into filling our wood room.

As I sip it comes to me….have you ever noticed how hotties and coldies always seem to marry the opposite? I`m a hottie *Winks* and Mr. Yodeling is a coldie. I sleep all year round with nothing save a sheet usually and he`s bundled up like Yukon Cornelius Rudolph’s gold seeking buddy when he comes to bed. I wonder if you reader`s have a hottie/coldie opposite mate too?

As we began to fill the cab of the Chevy for the short trip from the wood piles to the rear of our house I discovered more signs of the Earth preparing for winter just as we were. A large group of ladybugs had gathered together in the white birch pile, getting as close as they could get to each other to ride out the long cold days ahead.

Even though my daughter was at school and missed all the fun we did have lots of help from the canine corps! Trinity seems to find hauling wood an especially good way to work on that helpfulness merit badge she covets, and Poe stood vigil on the wood pile itself in case we may happen to unearth a squid. (You know Poe and her SQ word obsession!)

Tinker, well, he helped by working the weeds for rabbits and thusly keeping our minds sharp by calling for him every five minutes lest he wander off. So yeah, lots of help from the pooches made the work go faster.

One chunk of red oak caught my eye as we were hauling and calling beagles and I just had to snap a picture of it to share. Looking at this it reminded me of a girl’s hair that had been crimped. Neither I nor Mr. Yodeling can explain why the wood grew this way but it was so unique and pretty I just had to show it to you. And no, I was NOT lollygagging or trying to make a certain other wood hauling person do all the work despite what that other wood hauling person may have been thinking! *Looks around* Okay, maybe I was but that`s our little secret!

So for now we`re stocked up for a couple of weeks and I can enjoy the smell of wood smoke once more. It`s an aroma that I associate strongly with shortening days and trips to my mother-in-laws house when Mr. Yodeling and I were a-courting way back when.

Isn`t it funny how the signs of the seasons come in so many different forms?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Liners-11/4

'Training for the Annual Yodeling Goatherder Caprine Staring Contest assures me of yet another victory!'

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Flu Shots

‘You look like an ad for death’-Benjamin Franklin `Hawkeye’ Pierce

Oh my good Dr. Pierce, no wonder you were always my favorite one among those wise cracking medics of the 4077th! Over the past four days did I not only LOOK like an ad for death, I felt like one as well. It was my turn to battle the flu bug that’s been sweeping across our county and the rest of the country.

My daughter had earned her stripes a week prior when she left school early Wednesday morning then spent four long days shaking and shivering on our couch. My good times set in exactly one week later when we were leaving Pizza Hut after dinner and my teeth began to rattle even though it was fifty degrees out that evening.

Since I was a bit too out of things to actually attempt to write a blog entry….well I did have two ideas while my brain lingered in the land of the lost and the heavily cough syruped…..

One was to tell you all how really beautiful that 18 carat sapphire and diamond square cut ring on HSN looked at 3:12 A.M….. The other was to relay how ruggedly handsome Worf the Klingon was when I found Star Trek-TNG on TBS at 2 in the morning with a fever of 103.7.

Yeah, scary as all heck ain`t it? Although Michel Dorn does have some dreamy eyes…Ahem. Anyway to avoid embarrassing myself with my odd realizations I decided to just show you a few shaky snapshots I took while I convalesced.

The above one is my coffee table and what I found to be my necessities for flu survival. Yours may differ of course, but littering the coffee/dining table you will find-My laptop, tissues, Advil, NyQuil, my thesaurus, last week`s comics and a spicy romance novel. Ignore the ducky statue wearing a necklace; I think that may have been some ancient Klingon ritual I tried to replicate while my brain seared. My coffee mug isn`t in the picture because Mr. Yodeling thought mixing caffeine with copious amounts of OTC medicine may make me loopy…. loopier.

This one overhead is a nice shot of my sick bed partners Tinker and Lu-Lu. Our black lab Trinity tried to wriggle her rather substantial backside in as well but I had to put my foot down somewhere! So she resigned herself to grabbing one my husband`s walking sneakers and then dropping it on my head as I dozed on the couch.

The last one is what I faced when I ate my lunch every day. This day I had slugged my way out to the kitchen and whipped up some Campbell`s Spongebob Squarepants chicken flavored soup. Mmm-Mmm good. He was saying this via mental discussions we had frequently…. ‘I know you THINK I`m begging from the sickly but I`m really only trying to save you from all the sodium in that soup. It could raise your fever you know!’

Or maybe my telepathic communication with a beagle was a direct result of OTC medicine and the cups of coffee I snuck during the day???

I didn`t think so either!