Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The case of the prematurely passing poultry



It was a cold and dismal winter day when murder most fowl was committed.


My associate and I, the lovely and enthusiastic Miss Yodeling, were resting inside our domicile enjoying a cup of cocoa for the youngster and creamed and sweetened coffee for myself.

“I say Mrs. Yodeling, don`t you think it`s time to engage in our nightly farm duties,” my associate inquired.

“Yes I do Miss Yodeling, the bovine`s seem to be rather anxious this evening to partake in their nightly ration of grain,” I replied sitting my cup of heady brew aside to don my chore parka and Wellington`s.

Out we meandered to the bovine barn, our heads tucked against the chilling zephyr. Unbeknownst to us we would stumble across a most perplexing and heinous case, for once we entered the pungent housing our well trained and detective like eyes fell upon a cadaver lying beneath the hay manger.

“Great ghosts Mrs. Yodeling! T`is murder most foul!”

“Now now my good woman, let us not jump to any hasty conclusions,” said I pulling a bubble pipe from within the folds of my cape-like chore parka.”Perchance this small bird has merely come upon the end of his Earthly days.”

My associate mulled upon my words as I bent down to investigate the crime scene holding my pipe between my teeth.



Immediately I noticed that the poor deceased fowl bore no marks upon it. Taking care not to disturb the crime scene overly I lifted one wing of the corpse gently.

“Look here Miss Yodeling,” I stated calling her attention to the cadaver,” This bird bears no marks of any predatory attack of any kind.”

“What does it all mean?!” my associate inquired of me.

“It means this is not the work of our arch-nemesis buteo jamaicensis, or the red-tailed hawk. Also one should lay a keen eye to where the corpse was found,” I stated as I rose.”If this dastardly deed had been wrought by our nemesis do you think we would have found the remains inside this out building?”

“Why no, it would have lain outside! By jove Mrs. Yodeling you are most astute!!”

“It is merely elementary deduction Miss Yodeling,” I commented and ran an accessing eye over the inhabitants of this small, hay bedded home. After a moment or two of reflection upon the baffling death I chalked it up to age of the fowl and my associate and I continued onward in our duties.

Truthfully after we disposed of the poor bird my mind went to other things and the untoward demise of one of our flock left my attention. Not until a fortnight had passed would my associate and I be thrown back into the dark abyss of bird-slaughter, which is much akin to man-slaughter but carries a lesser sentence.

We had set off once more to attend to the farming duties, only this most wintery of days our good friend the chief inspector Sir Yodeling Goatherder was accompanying us. A more clever and erudite man you would be hard pressed to find and we had spent the afternoon enjoying some freshly brewed java beans and some holiday cookies.

As we neared the barn the duo of beefy ruminants spoke to us in persistent and impatient tones. Perhaps we HAD dallied in the warmth of our farmhouse sipping and chatting but the oversight was unintentional I assure you.

Due to our late arrival the steers were most aggrieved and as the chief inspector and I entered the feeding area there was much discord and wringing of large heads.

“Now stop your foolishness immediately!” I chastised the beasts soundly, taking care to avoid the plethora of chickens that have resided in the cow barn since a small red hen hatched her clutch there in late summer.

It was directly before the feeding of the grain that another crime was committed! During the melee that ensued as grain was deposited into feed dishes we three heard what would be the last word and testament of yet another chicken.

“Dear heavens!” I gasped.

“Merciful laws!” Chief Inspector Yodeling exclaimed.

“That`s gross!” my associate Miss Yodeling cried out.

Our perpetrator had struck once more and right before our very eyes! Yes, it seems as if our Hereford Patrick was the committer of crimes against poultry. Innocently of course, his girth and bulk led him to place a hoof in such a manner as to irrevocably terminate the sentience of yet another chicken.

After witnessing the homicide it was clear to all gathered that no charges could be filed against the Hereford. It was nothing more than a case of a chicken being in the wrong place at the wrong time and even the chief inspector agreed.

“Well my good Miss Yodeling, it seems this case has been solved,” I commented searching for my bubble pipe.

“It`s a barnyard out there…it`s a barnyard out there,” my associate sang.

“That`s the wrong detective,” I muttered finally finding my beloved pipe, right underneath a Holstein`s rear hoof. Ah well, such is life for the world`s foremost farming detective I reflected.


*~*~*~*

The above case is based on actual facts.

I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Also regrets must be passed along to Peter O`Toole, Basil Rathbone, Robert Downey Jr.* Sighs dreamily* and any other talented thespian who has played or will play Sherlock Holmes. *Ponders on possibility of Moriarty tampering with coffee*

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bovine time!- Workin` off the pretzels



Hmmm, I suppose I should clarify the header a wee bit.

The steers of course weren`t workin` off the pretzels, I was. Or at the very least I was TRYING to work off the pretzels along with the other unwanted but merrily added pounds the holidays brought. I don`t know if cows like chocolate-covered pretzels but it seems as if they would.

Seriously chocolate-covered pretzels are right up there with Milano cookies and chocolate-covered cherries in my book! Maybe it`s just chocolate-covered anything will grab my attention quicker than a freebie rack of Deadpool and Ironman comics. *Scratches chin and ponders* Chocolate-covered comics??? Sorry, I drifted off into nerd-land for a moment. *Sips coffee and clarity returns briefly*

Although a solid milk-chocolate Ironman in my Easter basket would…FERAL!! Focus! (I need to switch from this light caffeine stuff back to the full-bore-Chock-Full-O-Nuts brew it seems.)

Yesterday both Mister Yodeling and I decided enough was enough and tugged out the ‘To-Do ‘list. Mine had some major cleaning to hit so I dove into it with a vengeance. First thing was the removal of the tree from our living room much to Lu-Lu`s disappointment I may add. After that mess of shed pine needles was vacuumed up and the ornaments were packed away for next year I moved onto the bathroom.

In all honesty I would MUCH rather have root canal than scrub toilet`s or our bathtub. I`d even skip Novocain for the root canal that`s how much I dislike this particular domestic job. Actually it`s not even so much the toilet as the tub and shower walls.

A classic such as me should not EVER attempt to stand on her head in a wet tub while scrubbing soap scum with vigor. Talk about a recipe for disaster and a lower vertebrae that sounds like Orville Redenbacher`s when straightened afterwards! I am glad to report no major catastrophes occurred while I had myself bent into a pretzel. Mmmm, pretzels…*Eyes four remaining white-chocolate treats with longing*

Once I had my lumbar back into its original spot I moseyed outside to give the hubby a hand. After I got done applauding and he finished giving me a stink-eye we set into the job. Poe thought that this rather nice day called for some fresh holes dug to China. Gotta strike while the grounds thawed must be!



Our task today was to tear out the hay feeder we had in the cow barn and replace it with one the steers could use with greater ease. The wire-panel worked well with the goat boys and when the cow boys were smaller, now though a certain huge Herefords head couldn`t reach the hay.

First we hustled (Well, hustle meaning shove and push) the two steers out of the barn then closed the gate in their faces. Disgruntled barely covers the attitude Patty and Bubba had and the entire time we worked my wee baby Patrick kept playing a game of ‘I spy with my bovine eye’ with me.



Wee baby…*Snickers* All several hundred pounds of him.



It went amazingly well and by lunchtime we had the new and improved hay rack done. As you can see from the photos we are what we like to call frugal not unlike that gourmet who used to be on television. Why run out and buy lumber when with a Jonsered and a rugged goatherder hubby we can cut down our own posts?




If there is one thing my husband is a whiz at its chain-saw carpentry. Drives my one brother-in-law crazy when he arrives and lays an eye on some of our projects.

“Did you level that roof?” he`ll ask.

“Well, I had the old lady eye it,” my hubby will reply chainsaw running in his hand.

Ahhhh the poor guy, we love ya Dave!



Judging by the mouthfuls of hay the steers are chomping on we have to conclude that we got a ‘Hooves-Up’ for the job and maybe I burned off a pretzel too!


Now if only those four remaining ones would stop calling my name…….

Saturday, December 26, 2009

In praise of elastic waistbands

I don`t know who the man was who invented elastic waistbands but he has my eternal thanks.



I would honestly marry the male who came up with the idea of that most wondrous stretchy material, but then again I`ve been known to state the same about cut, copy, paste. Although marrying CCP would present more of a problem than wedding the man who first saw the need for elastic on the top of a pair of pants. But since I am already wed to a man who has learned to live with my oddities (Like me telling him I would enter into holy matrimony with cut, copy, paste) I`ll just offer the inventor of stretchy pant-tops my praise.

I don`t know about y`all but over the past two days I have eaten more than any goat or goatherder should. I do hope everyone who stops by for a visit and a cuppa had a good holiday and could control themselves better than this yodeling woman did!

Thank goodness my kitten took over for the Christmas post since I was long past writing after a dinner of baked spaghetti and garlic bread. It went WAY past feeling logy! I was so stuffed from the one o`clock meal I had no room for popcorn when we went to see Sherlock Holmes. ( I`d like to warn you all now that one should not allow a logy goatherder to watch Holmes then come home to write. You`ll see what I mean later in the week….just blame it on carbohydrate overload, too much caffeine and Robert Downey.)



Today we had the second feast at my sister-in-laws house, the family gathering of my husband’s side. Here`s a photo of my hubby`s sister, husband and two dogs Emmy and Jessie. We also had a new pup at the shindig. This adorable guy is Farmall Red, yup that`s really what my nephew named him. Once a farm boy always a farm boy huh Kyle? *Winks*




Just look at this buffet table! Two hams, macaroni and cheese, Harvard beets and shrimp cocktail, buns….



Then of course there was the dessert`s to follow. Monkey bread, brownies, blueberry cobbler and hand-covered white chocolate pretzels with crushed candy cane sprinkles. I ate enough of those pretzels to sink a ship! Of course when my other sister-in-law said there were only eight left I had to bring them home with me….just to free up the platter they were on of course. *Wonders if they bought that excuse*



We always have a good time when we all come together for Christmas. I got to catch up with a nephew who now lives across the country, and chat with family who we don`t see nearly as often as we would like.



There was the standard elf armed with a new Nerf gun and…..really? Armed elves aren`t part of every gathering??? (I think his uncle just took a Nerf to the eye. I know, it`s all fun and games until an elf shoots you in the eye with a Nerf rocket.)



Despite the gluttony of pretzels I free-wheeled into the afternoon was a fun and filling one. Sadly the day’s activities seem to have affected me and Farmall Red the same way. We both need a nap to help digest our meal ….or maybe a cup of coffee to aid digestion would be the ticket??




At least Red doesn`t have to worry about elastic tracks on his belly like a certain yodeling goatherder does. *Sigh*

Friday, December 25, 2009

Purrs & Wags-A cats eye view of Christmas

Hello fans of fabulous felines!

In case you`re wondering no this isn`t the lady who usually writes these this is Lu-Lu, that lady`s adorable and often times misunderstood kitten who is taking a crack at this blog stuff.



When I first heard the word blog I thought the lady was saying dog and immediately discarded any interest in it. Dogs are fun I suppose in their own way… their butts are fun to pounce on when they run by or are sleeping, but aside from their butts I don`t see the draw.

My lady is busy and her laptop was just sitting here so I figured why not? Maybe a feline perspective would bring some class to this blog. Morris knows it could use some!

I do wonder why the people who I allow to live with me sleep all night though since everyone who meows knows that sleeping all day is the key to feline happiness! All the good stuff happens at night, the real prankster kind of kitten fun!



Anyway, since the people are occupied and I`m bored of pulling the fun things off the scratching post they graciously provided me with I thought I`d tell you how this Christmas thing went. I had never heard of Christmas before. It sounded like a lot of work if you ask me, since most of the stuff is done during the day when sensible creatures should be sleeping.



But I was wrong, it wasn`t any work for me at all! It turned out to be fun with a capitol F! First they all woke up, even the kid who usually sleeps nearly as long as we felines do got up. I did my required purring and rubbing of legs and pawing at the front door while they drank stuff in cups that even I wouldn`t put my paw in!

Once they let the dogs out I followed. Now the lady may say it`s because I love to play outside with the dogs that I accompany them, that is a fallacy. The reason I go out with them is because it makes me laugh to see them have to poop outside! In-the-snow!! Dogs, what goofs! I`ve tried to explain to them that you should hold it then rush inside to use the litter box but I suppose you have to consider the species.

After the people did their chores with the big animals they came back in. What kind of animals they are I haven`t the slightest since I don`t go near them. They live in barns and I do not wish to encourage any kind of human thinking about me taking up residence in a barn. Who would I annoy down there? I mean entertain down there?



Once the people and dogs had come back inside I left the dish drainer and watched them gather around the scratching post. The lady wore that red hat that I just adore with the bouncy white ball then sat down to hand out boxes with ribbons. On-the-floor!! Eight tiny holes in her back seems a small price to me, since I did get that darn white ball. I am a mighty hunter!!

After the lady got done making her annoying yodeling/agony sound things resumed quickly and she returned with the man who had to dab purroxide on her back. Purroxide is used here a lot…do you think they`re trying to become cool cats like me??



This was mildly interesting and I observed from a special sneaky spot I have. Cats can see better when hidden, its fact. Suddenly there was ripping paper and ribbons flying all over the room!

The ribbons needed chased and I tried to do so but of course the people had to be party poopers. Is four claws in the thigh REALLY a valid reason to scream out loud and carry on so? I didn`t think so either but the lady seemed to believe it was. She`s an over-actor if you ask me...what is a turn-a-cut anywhos?? Maybe she meant turn-a-cat which sounds like a blast!



Of course the dogs were enjoying themselves, allowing the kid to stick bows on their heads. What self-respecting animal would walk around with a bow on its head?! I don`t allow even a collar to mar my feline beauty let alone a dumb bow. When the kid tried to stick one on me….well let`s just say the purroxide came back out. I`m sure she won`t try to treat ME like a dog again!

There were lots of new things to investigate and since that is my duty, I investigated. Old granny cat or cranky-puss as I call her ignored it all. I thought she should wake up and partake of this Christmas thing but as soon as I leaped on her butt the people yelled. They yell a lot.



I think they have hearing troubles or something and just like to yell my name at the end of all their sentences to give their statements more pizzazz! Just add Lu-Lu to any of your sentences and it springs to life, like a kitten who found a catnip field! Try it people, you`ll see. My name is a sentence enhancer!

Overall I give the Christmas thing three purrs out of four. The scratching post has been a blast, the ribbons were neat and the new socks the kid got that I stole and ran off with were a gas! Now if the people could just schedule this Christmas thing at night it would get that last purr of approval.


Got to motor, there are sleeping dogs that just can`t be left to lie!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A holiday poem

T`was the night before Christmas, on Feral`s goat farm

And the poor Christmas tree, it was not safe from harm;

The beads were disheveled-the lights hung askew

While ornaments littered the floor freshly chewed;

The goats and the steers were all snug in their hay

While dreaming of apples and grain and what may;

Hubby in his PJ`s-Me in a comic tee,

Lay squished betwixt two dogs which is normal you see,

When out in the living room there arose such a clatter,

I rolled over a beagle to see what was the matter,

Down the hall I went, tripping over a lab,

Who carried one slipper she managed to nab.

The moon glinted off of our goat barns tin roof

Then I stumbled over my dog with an ‘Oof!’

When, what to my bleary old eyes should appear,

But a lovely tree that had suffered most severe,

With a little bad kitten so lively and quick,

Sitting beside the wreckage with hardly a nick!

More rapid than goat hooves charging in for their treat,

Did that kitten streak off right between four dog feet;

“Consabbit,” I yelled as that cat darted by,

“Rassafrassin,` “was also muttered by I,

“You may hide on the porch; you may hide `neath the bed!

But find you I will Missy Lu-Lu!” I loudly said.

By this time the mister had roused from our bed,

And came stumbling out whilst scratching his head,

He surveyed the scene while I raced down the hall,

One slipper flapping which caused me to fall,

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,

The speedy escape of a cat on the hoof,

As I picked myself up amid three dancing hounds,

Over the stove room roof Lu-Lu went with a bound.

Now I know I was dressed in an Ironman tee,

With gray jogging pants and one slipper left me,

And I knew I may end up all covered in soot,

With blue toes on my one naked wee little foot.

As I stood in the snow I just happened to spy,

A cat on the roof with a gleam in her eye,

Her droll little mouth was drawn up in a bow,

Then the rascally minx leaped down to the snow,

Off she raced to the barn while my mouth held my teeth,

And the wood smoke encircled my head like a wreath,

Down the hill did I run and my was I tense,

“Darn!” I cried out, “Forgot the electric fence!”

That mild shock did produce a sharp yodel,

The goats wandered out, all thirteen in total,

A wink of my eye which I hoped they all read,

But sadly not a one returned to their bed,

I pushed through the throng and I entered the barn,

I flicked on the lights and then whispered ‘Darn’,

There sat in the rafters with webs on her nose,

A most angelic puss, minus the haloes,

She sprang to my arms, to my chin gave a rub,

Her purrs I could swear heard by Patrick and Bub,

A hug did she get and so now I must write,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.






Warmest wishes from our hillside farm to all of you!


Feral

Monday, December 21, 2009

One Liners-12/21




'HA! I`m first in line to sit on Santa`s lap!'



Let`s here those one-liners of yours gang!


Oh, a fast side-note, thanks to Miss Yodeling for the ' This blog should be on TV' award, which I will pass along!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rural Ramblings-12/20

I know that the following pictures aren`t in any way, shape or form holiday oriented but they are so cool I just had to share! Last night before popping in a movie we had rented we decided to go for a drive and a catch a glimpse of this natural gas well. This one is about fifteen miles from our house and Mr. Yodeling had seen it on his trips to and from work.




Over the past couple of years Pennsylvania has seen a huge surge in gas leasing and drilling. This one sits right beside a major road in our county. It`s a pretty awe inspiring sight to say the least! The sound was like a jet engine and the heat it threw off was amazing! Why they burn off the gas before capping the wells we don`t know but it provides a heck of a sight, especially at night.



Just to give you some perspective, those little orange boxes lined up at the bottom left are tractor trailers. Mr. Yodeling estimated the flame to be around 30 feet high from the top of the casing.


The things we rural folks do for entertainment! =)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Honest Scrap!

To quote Mark Twain-‘If you tell the truth you don`t have to remember anything.’




I knew there was a reason I admired Mr. Twain so! Anything that helps me not to have to remember something has got to be a good thing…I think I just confused myself. * Scratches head*

Oh well, pressing onward. The other day the lovely and talented Tammy over at Flat Creek Farms (A delightful blog that I encourage all to check out) handed out the Honest Scrap award to anyone who follows her blog. The basic premise of this is to list ten things about yourself, ten HONEST things, then pass the award along to another blogging buddy. This sounded like a hoot so I took up the challenge!

Miss Tammy couldn`t chose just one person to pass the award to and after taking a few days I find I can`t pick just one either. So, I`ve decided to pick three from the good folks who follow along with my yodeling antics to bestow this honor on. After my list you`ll find the names I`ve chosen.

If you`ve done this before feel free to give me an odd look (Wouldn`t be the first one I ever got nor the last I`m sure) and pass it along if you wish. If you haven`t and aren`t too stunned by the magnificent honor bestowed upon your bloggy self then have fun with compiling your list, or pass it along. I`m easy to get along with; just ask Mr. Yodeling….Hmmm on second thought maybe you should ask someone else. * Grins*

Here we are then….ten honest things about little old me, the feralest of yodeling goatherders.


1-I have made it my mission in life to see every movie Ryan Reynolds has ever been in.

2-When I was in elementary school my two girlfriends and I won our Spring Talent show with a bouncy song and dance routine to ‘Hitching a ride’ sung by Vanity Fair.

3-I buy and then hide packages of Milano cookies.

4-When I was a child I had repeated and frequent bouts of tonsillitis. During one of these rounds I was so sick with a raging fever I saw Robert Kennedy in my bedroom mirror. As I look back now I have to conclude this happened after he had just been assassinated and I saw the news reports. I would have been seven at the time but the memory is still a vivid one.

5-I cry each and every time I see Old Yeller and any show/movie with Lassie limping.

6-I believe coffee to be the drink of the gods and bow down to the great java deities in thanks for allowing we mortals to partake of their sacred ambrosia.

7-As a child I had my skull cracked open on three separate occasions. Each one I can remember clearly and each time my older brother was in the immediate vicinity. Happenstance or diabolical plot?? I`ll let you decide. (Love you big brother, and I forgive you for the Barbie doll massacres of our youth.)

8-I have been known to fall down. A lot. I have fallen out of a boat, down my steps, up my steps, on snow, on ice, on grass, on flat pavement, at Niagara Falls. (The last one was not my fault. I saw Canada and got excited to be so close to the country that gave us Wolverine and Ryan Reynolds. I made a mad dash to inhale Canuckian air and tripped over a chain attached to an ashtray. Who chains up an ashtray?!?!)

9-I dance and sing along to the oldies songs they play in the grocery store.

10-I am hopelessly addicted to paranormal romances.


Rather scary isn`t it to peer into the mind of one who herds goats and yodels? Now to the three bloggers who I shall pass the Honest Scrap to…






Houndstooth

Mr. Oz

Small Farm Girl


Have fun with it if you decide to play along! Now I must be off, the coffee`s done and Gena Showalter awaits! =)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One Liners-12/17




'Just checkin` the water Ma!'



Once more I invite all who follow to play along and post your one-liners!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Purrs & Wags-Tinker settles in

For some reason I`ve had this entry at the back of my mind for some time and yet haven`t penned it.


Mayhap it just got buried amid some of the other daily things that seem to crop up and shout ‘BLOG ENTRY!!’, or maybe it`s simply the right time to tell this little beagle`s tale. After all, the holidays are a time of miracles and I like to think that perhaps this is one, albeit a small one. Not on the scale of say peace on Earth or our troops all coming home (We miss you Daniel, stay safe over there!) or Ryan Reynolds knocking on my door with an offer to star in the upcoming Deadpool movie with him….*Drifts off for a moment*

I`ll have to go back in time a bit, let me find the keys to the DeLorean. (My daughter will SO not get that.) This dog’s story begins about four years ago when my father decided to get a dog. My mother had passed a few years before hand and I suspect he found their home just too darn lonely.



When he mentioned this decision to Mister Yodeling and me I must admit to some trepidation about the idea. My father is well into his 80`s and although he still gets around well and is thankfully very much the quipster dogs are a lot of work let`s be honest. I tried to nudge him into a cat for a pet but he would have none of it.

I explained about how much easier cats are overall. They don`t need walked being the key issue in my mind as I had visions of him out in the middle of winter trundling about after a dog on a leash and falling down. Every gentle argument I made against a dog he simply rebuked. Once my dad has his mind made up to something the voice of the Arch Angel Gabriel speaking from on high could not dissuade him, used to make my mother half loopy at times how stubborn the man is. * Tosses look at Mister Yodeling but keeps typing*

So with his mind firmly made he went and bought himself a purebred beagle pup. I will admit I am partial to the breed and they are perhaps my second favorite right after labs. There isn`t anything cuter than a beagle pup with those mournful brown hound eyes and long floppy ears. It didn`t take my father long to decide on the rapscallions name either! When I called him a few days later to find out how the puppy was doing he announced that his name was now Tinker because he didn`t think he would ever amount to a tinkers damn, his exact words.

Now when Mister Yodeling first heard of my dad`s choice of breeds he expressed some mild worry, not due to any kind of temperament problems since beagles are about as loveable as they come, but mainly because a beagle is a hunting dog, full of energy that should be released daily with either long walks or runs through the brush after cottontails. Actually I had hoped my pop would find an older dog, one who was well past the puppy stage and would be contented to just hold down the couch, much as our old beagle Jake did for years. Again, dad wanted a puppy and a puppy he got!



As time went by there were some issues with discipline that pointed towards what could be some major problems for Tinker. I love my father dearly but he is NOT a disciplinarian. That task always fell to my mother simply because he couldn`t reprimand children or dogs or well, anyone or anything!

On my visits to dads I would see this dervish of a hound running across the furniture, coffee and end tables, leaping at visitors wildly when they entered and trying to steal food from my father`s kitchen table. We had many, many discussions about how a firm command along with a rolled up newspaper would make this wild hound a better behaved young man. Again, dad just couldn`t bring himself to chastise the pup and so the behavior only got worse as the years went by.

Now in Tinker`s holiday tale the time is summer of this year. Four years have passed and my father is now looking at another bitter, icy northeastern Pennsylvania winter encroaching. After much thought and with a very heavy heart he decided to move from the house he and my mother shared down to Texas with his daughter from his first marriage. Yes, he is in actuality my step-father but in my heart the man is my dad for he was more father to me than my biological sire had ever been. I know this is understood by many out there.

At the time of his decision to pull up roots and sell their home he was most worried about his dog. Despite Tinker`s sometimes bad habits the two of them had become best friends. We had three dogs at the time along with a geriatric calico cat and a kitten who is going to get more than a firm scolding if she doesn`t stop sitting in my dish drainer! But when he sat here at my kitchen table and said he knew Tinker would get adopted quickly at the pound, well, I just couldn`t let my father take his dog to the S.P.C.A. so Mister and I told him we would take Tinker in.



I`ll confess that I had some MAJOR apprehensions about this dog coming into our home. As fate would have it over the course of time it took my dad to find a buyer for his house we had to have our old beagle Jake put down. The poor old fella`s body was just giving up on him. Now we were down to just our labs and our cats, which was another concern I had since Tinker had never been around a cat in his life. Needless to say the day my dad and stepsister pulled out for her home in Texas and we loaded Tinker into our truck was a very anxious one for all of us, Tinker included I am sure.

We made the dog introductions outside since our black Trinity is a touch possessive about her home. Being a beagle Tinker runs toward being timid and when our two Clydesdales came barreling out the door and over to him he simply cowered some. I think that his reaction to them was what made the pack grow back to a trio since he showed not one iota of aggression. He knew the women were in charge and accepted it instantly. * Throws look over at Mister Yodeling but keeps typing*

Once inside we had the cat issue to deal with. Now I know I may wrangle a bit about Lu-Lu but as I`m sure y`all can tell I am crazy over that little stinker, so I was more than concerned over the meeting. My worries were for naught since Tinker and Lu-Lu each took one look at each other then she proceeded to swat him which led into a chase over hill and yon and my sofa. Our old cranky pants calico gave the poor lad a nasty growl and hiss and once more he knew his place.



There were a few episodes where the short-legged hound needed some discipline. Dancing on my coffee table for one is not allowed by dogs. I always wonder what the canine`s think when the cats meander across the very same tables without a word said. Perhaps I can see why dogs like to chase cats, it`s because cats are allowed to walk on tables!

Tinker has settled in wonderfully to our new home and his new life. When he lived with my dad he was resigned to doing his duty on a short run but now…..now he has access to over eleven acres of pasture and woods and rabbits!! Oh my goodness the rabbits! This place must seem like a beagle version of Shangri-La to him! Sometimes when he and the labs are out on a potty run you`ll hear him open up on a trail and run outside to see him running the scent backwards. Yeah, he needs some work on that.

He`s learned our routines and seems very content to spend his days napping as I do housework *Snickers* but when 3:15 rolls around he can be found at the front door doing his Pogo the circus dog dance routine. He knows that once he and Poe and Trinity leap into the backseat of our truck that his bestest and most favoriteist time of the day is here! When that big yellow thing pulls up and his kid gets spit out, well, that’s even better than running a rabbit backwards!!





So in retrospect I guess it will depend on your point of view if this is really a holiday tale or not, guess it comes down to what you term a miracle to be and how large the gift is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

From Feral`s Front Porch ( And inside too this time )

This snapshot is what greeted us when we ventured out to do chores yesterday morning. Red sky in morning sailor take warning surely did prove true because not two hours after this shot was taken we got lambasted with an ice storm.



Thankfully we were up and moving early. We managed to race to our township`s cinder pile to stock up then found our tree just as the rain was beginning to fall. We spent the morning decorating and I think she turned out pretty well...if you look at it from this direction! *Snickers* She lists a wee bit to port due to a crooked trunk but it gives her character I say.




Once the official tree inspector checked everything out we all felt much better about our leeward tree. Sadly the 'inspector' apparently found something amiss with one of my decorations though since it was badly battered and chewed sometime overnight. *Sigh* Kittens and Christmas trees, what can ya do?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

One Liners-12/12




'Yes I`m SURE I can see Santa arriving better from this position just hold still!'




I`d like to invite anyone who follows to come-up with thier own one-liners for the above picture and post them as your comments! I know you all are witty to the max so let`s hear `em!


Feral

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day!!!!!

Aren`t those words every child loves to hear?


Today your friendly neighborhood yodeling goatherder awoke to find her front yard covered in about five inches of wet snow. Well, of course the backyard was covered as well because if it only snowed in the front that would be rather quirky. *Takes sip of coffee to dispel fog in mind*



We had known of course that the winter weather was heading our way so I wasn`t greatly shocked when I came shuffling out to find a note from Mr. Yodeling tucked under my Nubian coffee mug. (He knows me so well…want her attention in the AM? Slide note under waiting coffee mug.)It read something like this….

‘I`m pretty sure there won`t be school today so I took the truck. It`s a blizzard out there!!!’

The man usually isn`t prone to exaggeration, unless it`s reciting tales of the buck with a rack SO wide he had to turn his head sideways to walk through the woods….. Or a turkey gobbler with a beard SO long he had to walk backwards so he didn`t trip over it. Both of those are followed by how he missed the buck/gobbler by THIS much to his buddies most generally but I digress….

So I took him at his word and began the infusion of caffeine. The dogs were all ready to go outside of course so I meandered over to let them out to do their business…..which I wish to reiterate to a certain yellow lab is NOT digging in the burn pit!

Most generally Lu-Lu is a streak as she races out the front door with the dogs every morning but this morning the little devil hit the brakes faster than I would if I spied a comic book convention! Seems cats don`t quite like snow mixed with sleet mixed with rain. Who would of thunk it?



I did mention the weather conditions to her beforehand but in typical feline fashion she thought I was perhaps not as smart as an eight month old cat and opted to make the climate check herself.*Sighs*

At 5:30 the phone rang with the automated announcement from our school district that school had been cancelled for the day. So I crept back to turn off Miss Yodeling`s alarm so she could grab a few extra hours of sleep. It`s funny to me how she can sleep through mostly anything….alarm clock…dogs barking at imaginary something outside…..zombie mother yelling at dogs to be quiet….yet she was wide awake when I reached over her. Teens. Go figure.

I decided to allow the sun to come up before venturing out to do chores since I seem to have a rather embarrassing trend to fall down. A lot. I can slip, trip, stumble and slide on a dry stretch of driveway and nail a perfect pratfall better than Jerry Lewis that is the honest truth. So darkness and slippery snow??? No thanks. I want to see where I fall. Besides my companion animal would be so busy carrying my watering can she wouldn`t be able to assist me like Lassie would Timmy. Thank goodness our well is covered is all I have to say.



The cows of course were out in the messy weather waiting for their grain but the chickens, they were another story. Now the geese don`t seem to mind foul weather * Giggles at own joke* Sorry, I had to stick that in.



Ahem, but the chickens do not. They came out in their usual clucking flurry then stopped dead in their tracks, snow up to their low carriage bottoms. Being the nice goatherder I am I made sure they had enough feed inside the coop but I still got some very dark looks as they waded back inside with damp ruffled feathers.



Now as you can see from the above shot from my front porch there is not a caprine head to be seen. Goats, at least MY goats do not, and let me repeat that, do NOT like snow falling on their exalted hides. We`ve been known to joke that once the goat yard sees a single flake land on a blade of grass no-one would know we own goats since nary a hoof will step from the barn. Of course being made from pure cane sugar as my caprine buddies seem to think they are I can understand their aversion to moisture. I guess, sort of, maybe.*Shrugs*

So now it`s 8:30 and my daughter is still slumbering. Pretty soon though I`ll go give her a shake since the goats need their water checked and that be her job in the morning. It looks like we`ll have a day at home together playing video games and maybe watching a rented movie until she decides to forget her usual teen disdain for childish things and goes out to play with the dogs.

Snow days. They always seem to be cool even if you are a ‘classic’!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Dickens of a good time!

Our small town took a step back in time this past Saturday.

And a wonderful holiday time it was for all! Why the Christmas elves even arranged a light dusting of snow for the festivities as a topper for a very entertaining shopping trip. Every year our county seat throws a holiday extravaganza known as ‘Dickens of a Christmas’.



The participants dress in period clothing from Charles Dickens time and stalls line the sidewalk selling various handmade crafts and presents as well as delightful treats for your palate as well!





A portion of Main Street is closed down, and yup those ARE gaslights you see, to allow for horse drawn wagon rides.





Of course someone has to clean up after those massive equines and this darling little goat has the honor of being the official ‘Carrier of dropped presents’. I hope I don`t find any gifts like THOSE with a tag bearing my name. Although I have been threatened with similar package contents just from a differing species if I didn`t start behaving so it`s a real possibility!




Miss Yodeling and I strolled along admiring the handcrafts and the costumes many wore.

We stopped to watch a very entertaining performance from a snake oil salesman who had the crowd in stitches with his witty hawking.



Along the way my daughter did find some gifts for Mr. Yodeling. I would tell you what she got him but he reads all my blog entries so it has to remain hush-hush for if he gets even the smallest sniff of a hint he`ll snoop…...perhaps it`s time for me to come clean about my dear partner in yodeling and goat herding.

*Takes deep fortifying breath*

My husband is a shaker. It`s true. Sometimes he has even been known to pinch and poke presents. I keep looking for a twelve step program geared towards present shakers and pokers but have yet to find any for him so he will undoubtedly shake, pinch and poke this year as well. But since she hid her booty in the….Oops, almost slipped up there! (I`ll show you all later what she got him.)

We ran into friends and family and members of our 4-H group as we meandered from one booth to the next. It really is quite a large draw for our small county with tour buses coming and going to deliver visitors to our quaint town.



The food booths merely added to the atmosphere as the smells of popcorn and crab soup danced on the slight breeze along with the flakes. By the time we had finished our shopping and general gawking those aromas had done their job so we stopped to buy ourselves some fresh soft pretzels.



As Miss Yodeling and I made the long walk back to our truck we chatted and nibbled warm braided pretzels as we passed homes that were as festively decorated as Main Street had been. It was a great way to spend a morning among neighbors, friends and family.


I suppose being called a little Dickens isn`t always a bad thing now is it?