Sunday, January 31, 2010

From Feral`s Front Porch

Or more accurately from the bottom of her driveway. *Winks*

Ahhhh winter......a recent warm-up that arrived with heavy rain that then turned to over-night lows of single digits has done this to our driveway.

We now refer to our windy dirt-road as ' Back-up-and-get-a-running-start-at-it-Lane.'

Is spring coming soon????

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The battle of Sir Giggity

My story begins at the local fair, where I was won by a pretty young blond girl. I was taken to her home as a gift for her parents. Little did I know the horror and humiliation that was to follow! In this home there lived two dogs, two dogs that loved me almost from the first moment, two dogs that would carry me around in thier mouths!!

And chew on me!!!

I could live with the oral assaults. Sure it made my fabric stiff but at least I still had some honor. Then I began to feel the humiliation of being dropped wherever those two dogs deemed!

Nice view I suppose....


Oh goody, comic books.

But this, this was the last straw!!!

I had had enough! I decided to fight back, for honor, for stuffed dragons everywhere, for Narnia!!!

I stood my ground and met the cold, steady eye of one of the duo who had sullied my good name.

I had looked the beast in the eye and had emerged victorious! I was carried to the highest parapet, torn and ragged, to announce my victory over my canine foes.(She could dust as opposed to writing blog entries and sipping coffee.Good help is hard to find.)

Never again would one of them dare to use this dragon as a-To arms!! To arms!!

And so the battle wages on........

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Liners-1/26

'Will I or won`t I?'

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oopsies & Opossums

Howdy! Come on in, pull up a chair and have a cuppa gang.

This past week we had a case of both, oopsies and opossums, which I figured I`d pass along to y`all seeing how it`s been slow here on the hillside farm. Also any chance to pass along a story of the interaction between a husband and wife of close to 19 years should never be overlooked! Give those single gals a first-hand peek at the joys of blessed matrimony, which is kind of a civic duty for old wedded women such as me. Classic!! I meant classic wedded women such as me.

We`ll talk about the oopsie first since it happened first. It was Wednesday past and as planned I let the fire go out in our wood stove so that Mister Yodeling could clean the pipe when he got home from work. The days had been climbing nicely into the forties so the house stayed warm until Mister returned. Being the lovely and considerate wife that I am, * pats self on back*, while he was elbow deep in creosote I decided to do the afternoon cow chores. Miss Yodeling was doing homework then was headed down to do the goats.

I gathered a pail of warm water, donned the chore coat and Muck boots and set off to the steer barn. I may have been whistling as I did my winter penguin waddle across the top of our driveway. I`m relatively sure I wasn`t yodeling yet. How our place is situated we get a lot of sun which aids in melting the snow but as soon as the sun drops behind the mountain, all that water turns to ice, ice baby. (Sorry about that 80`s flashback gang.)

Long story short Muck boot hit ice as I stepped down, foot went out, yodeling goatherder went down on right knee, bucket of cow water went skyward, yodeling goatherder got bath THEN set into yodeling colorfully. It took me a minute or two to get myself up, all the while Patty and Bubba J. were voicing their bovine displeasure.

“Seems like you could`ve offered a hoof up,” I scolded when I limped into the barn with half a pail of water and already freezing bifocals.

After I had the whiney boys taken care of I gimped out of the barn and made my way over to my dearest, to tell him about the fall. Not that he could do anything about it unless he has a time-turner like Hermione Granger stashed away somewhere, but he needed to know just how much blood and flesh I offered up for him. *Looks around quickly* (Between you, me and the fencepost it didn`t bleed at all but it DID hurt like the dickens.)

“Hey,” he said, kneeling in a pool of liquid creosote that he had just let loose from the previously frozen bottom of our stovepipe.”What are you limping for?”

“You know that rock, *hiss*, we use as a step over at, *hiss*, the cow barn?”


“It must have, *hiss*, had ice on it and I, *hiss*, fell down on my knee.”

“Are you okay?”

“I don`t know,*hiss and wince*, I think I shattered my kneecap.” * Hiss and wince and pained voice*.

“I don`t imagine you busted your knee or you wouldn`t have walked back to tell me about it.”

*Scowl*” I`m classic, my bones are becoming thin. It could have shattered!” *Hiss and wince*

“Uh-huh. Should I call an orthopedic surgeon? You`ll have to pay for it out of pocket, there ain`t no compensation on this job you know. Comic book fund should cover it don`t you think?”

*Deeper scowl*”Comic book fund is sacred, like hunting fund. Do you want to see, *hiss*, it?”

“Right now?” * Looks down at hands coated in black with knitted brows then sighs* “Sure.”

*Wrinkles nose at filthy hands*“Not out here, it`s too cold. If I can get inside I`ll show you when you`re done.”

“You sure you don`t want me to carry you inside?” *Tone now slipping deeply into smart-aleckness*

*Sniffs haughtily*”No, no, I`ll manage Sir Galahad.”* Gimps back into house*

What I ended up with was a pretty purple bruise along with a rug-burn. Hmmm, I guess that should be rock-burn. Truth told it doesn`t even hurt now and we didn`t need to call an orthopedic surgeon so the comic book fund is safe. (Thank the gods since there are SCADS of Ironman comics coming out to bolster the impending Ironman 2 movie!) * Takes deep calming breath*

Mister did give it a good look after we had the fire going again though and offered me his sincerest sympathies. Also the next day a fine, thick coating of cinders had been spread over all the paths I use. He`s a good guy, that fellow goatherder of mine, even if he does have a smart-aleck streak at times.


Now onto the opossum tale!

This was all related to me second-hand since I was lounging in the bathtub when it occurred. I love to take nice hot baths, and I had to soak my wounded knee. * Wonders if anyone is buying that excuse*Actually I have a story lined up about my bath-time experiences but that`s to be posted another day. Onward to the `possum tale!

Miss Yodeling has the job of shutting up the birds at night. She`s younger than us and can climb that hill with great speed, especially if she`s in the middle of a video game. Amazing what the proper motivation can do for a teen-ager isn`t it?

Anywhozits, off she went with our black lab Trinity at her side. Trinity always accompanies her in case there may be a critter lurking about and to carry the egg basket back to the house. Miss Yodeling carries the eggs in her hands so that they arrive whole as opposed to scrambled which would happen with a lab carrying the eggs I tend to reason. I`m drifting aren`t I? Sorry. *Dashes to pot for refill of java juice*

As she neared the chicken coop she saw something large and light colored sitting on the post we secure the coop door to so that it doesn`t blow shut. According to her she at first thought it was a bird of some sort, since it was pert near dark at this time, and all she could make out was a long beak. (Turned out to be the opossum`s nose.)

Scared the wits out of her once she got close enough to get a good close look she tells me, and I don`t doubt it did. They are some down-right ugly critters! She and the dog came running back to the house to get a light and Mister Yodeling, who was sending game camera pictures to one of his buddies of turkeys on the desktop. Even in the off season it never stops. *Sighs*

Back out they went. I was lounging and soaking and somehow didn`t hear any of the conversation or the back door opening and shutting frequently. The Calgon Zone is a truly wondrous place! Once both of them, and Trinity, arrived at the coop there he sat, all hunched up atop that post and hissing like a cat with a sideways whisker.

“You make the call,” Mister said to her.

“I don`t know how to sound like a `possum!”

“No,” he chuckled.” Do we send him to that `possum playground in the sky or do we leave him be?”

Since we have a rather strict policy about critters that linger near our poultry for ANY reason that opossum is now no longer trying to sneak into chicken coops suffice to say. As all this was going down I emerged from the bath and padded out to an empty house.

“Hello??” I called wondering what in tarnation had happened to my other goatherders. Did they get abducted by aliens who wished to study rural folks? Once I spied their headlights bobbing around in the yard, then I knew something was going on and all would be revealed soon enough. And so I have now passed the tales of Oopsies and Opossums along to y`all!

Heck, guess the week wasn`t so slow after all huh?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rural Ramblings

This picture was snapped on one of our wood cutting expeditions. I`m always impressed with Mother Nature and her children. This old dead tree may look worthless to we humans but the pileated woodpecker saw it as a home, or a fine nesting place perhaps.

Someday it will drop in a strong wind or under a heavy snow, returning to the soil from where it began its life. Or perhaps it may stand another twenty years. Either way, I thought it was a neat snapshot and wanted to share with y`all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Those Udderly Wonderful Goats-Dy-no-mite!

*Spins in a circle three times while holding a potato*

Wow, that was quite a head-rush, what with bifocals and all. Now you all may be asking yourselves ‘What in tarnation is wrong with that yodeling goatherder?! Has she been adding cooking sherry to her coffee? What`s with the potato? Is she hungry? That`s a terrible Jimmy Walker impersonation.’

I shall answer by saying there is nothing wrong with me * Tosses glare at scoffing husband* and that the reason I performed that old ‘Be gone demon buck!’ routine of my great-grandmother`s was because the subject of this post was, and may still be, an evil unlike any that has ever entered the caprine world. The potato? Well, I just kind of like potato`s and it IS getting close to dinner time……

As I ponder on the telling of this story it occurs to me that there is not one thing that befalls us that we cannot learn from. I learned a great deal from owning Dynamite yet most of what I learned falls into the swear word category and isn`t suitable for a family blog.

Let me carry you all back about six years to tell this tale of horror and severely bruised buttocks… (Imagine wavy lines and an odd feeling of time displacement. Y`all can hold my potato if you wish to quell the nausea time travel foists upon you.) Oh! I have to mention that I have no pictures of Dynamite as his image would not appear on any form of film. No really. I am quite serious.

Okay, back in time several years.

We had come to the decision to purchase a dairy doe and a buck so that we would have fresh milk. Not knowing much about goats we nonetheless were exuberant to begin our foray into the caprine world. We found an ad in our small local paper and off we went to look at the goats for sale!

When we arrived we had quite the selection of goats but our hearts immediately went to Fawn. She was a mature doe at this time, how old she was her owners couldn`t tell us, but she was a sweetheart and she came with her kids, a doeling and buckling, at her side. SOLD!!

Now we had to pick an unrelated young buck since, yeah, y`all know why. I recall they had quite a few scampering about their yard. We seemed to like the looks of a spry black fellow who they had named Dynamite. * Clutches potato closer* His owner`s at the time spoke well of the lad and he seemed to be full of vim and vigor and attitude. How much attitude we would soon learn all too well but I digress…

Novice goatherders that we were we paid for our four goats and brought them home in the make-shift pen we had hastily cobbled together in the back of our truck. As we rode home we came up with names for Fawn`s twins- Alex and Mallory. (Alex sadly had to be put down about a year later when he broke his leg but we still have Mallory who is very much her mother`s daughter personality wise! Sorry, got side-tracked again. *Dashes off for refill of java juice*)

We got them settled and a few days later neutered Alex. All was harmony and lollipops for the remainder of that year. Dynamite did his duty and the following spring Fawn had twin boys which Miss Yodeling named Harry and Ron. (She was big into Harry Potter at the time obviously.)

It was at this time that Dynamite began to show signs of his true nature. It began small-subtle nudges to the backs of your legs-playful, or what we assumed was playful, rearing up on his back legs at us. We were new to goatherding and brushed it off as boys being boys. I know now that his behavior was aggression and perhaps if we had reprimanded him at the time it would have lessened, but I tend to think not. Dynamite was just one of those bucks that you dared not turn your back on. As he got older his behavior got worse and worse.

Mister Yodeling and Dynamite had one major go-around that stopped that evil buck`s nastiness…at least to my husband. Mister was entering the goat barn with two five gallon buckets of water one morning and Dynamite lambasted him in the back of his legs, knocking his knees out and dumping ten gallons of water into his chore boots! A rather swift and loud session of attitude adjustment commenced. As I said, after that Dynamite never did go after Mister Yodeling again. He did though turn his entire wrath towards me and my daughter.

It got to be so bad that Miss Yodeling, who was about six at the time, was terrified to enter the goat barn alone, and I wouldn`t let her to be honest. A six year old girl is no match for a mature Nubian buck and neither was I if truth be told! If we wanted to play with the girls and kids we had to carry a stick to try to keep Dynamite at bay. This was NOT the idyllic situation we had envisioned, yet by most accounts this was what bucks were like and if we wanted kids we had to deal. I will say now that if we had known the goat herders then that we do now we would have known better. Live and learn as they say.

We persevered with that demonic buck through another breeding season. Winter is now upon us (Time sure flies in these tales don`t it?)and as par the course we were up to our keister`s in the white stuff. After a storm had blown in and dumped on us Mister Yodeling began to fret about the weight of the snow on the barn roof. We decided to go down and plunk a ladder up so that he could shovel the snow from the roof. I was the official ladder holder. (We wives have many official titles-ladder holders-flashlight holders-readers of directions. The list is endless huh ladies?)

I`m betting y`all are seeing where this tale of demonic caprine possession is going aren`t you?

Sure enough, by the time Mister Yodeling got himself up on that snowy tin roof with his shovel good old Dynamite stuck his head around the barn door. I saw him and he saw me and a grin of pure malevolence spread across his face. No really! I saw it! Out he sauntered as I held onto the ladder. By this time I had yelled up to my hubby that Dynamite was eying me with evil intent.

“Just don`t let him push you around,” was shouted from the slippery roof.

“I don`t LET him push me around! He just does!”

“If he gets pushy slap him upside his head!”

“Slapping him only makes him worse!” I shouted as the buck neared, head lowered and snickering with a deep, evil goat snicker. No really he was!

“You`re not slapping him hard enough then!”

I know I rolled my eyes. Such a typical male statement and one that makes sense if one can slap as hard as a six foot tall, two hundred and fifty pound man does. I was about to reply to my groom with something witty and slightly cutting about how I`d like to slap him at times when the son of Satan struck! That buck knocked my legs out from under me, I went down in the snow and the ladder crashed down beside me.

Hubby was now stranded rooftop and I was on my back trying to keep that ebony head with the 666 from driving into my chest. Seriously gang I would not lie to you, I saw that trio of numbers on his head as he tried to slam his head repeatedly into me. He should have been named Damien; it would have been more fitting.

I was stuck, back-pedaling on my rear while pushing back on his head. Mister Yodeling was shouting down at me to get up and kick the snot out of the buck. I remember wondering how my dear husband thought I should get up when I had a one hundred and fifty pound buck straddling me. The shovel impacting the back of Dynamite`s rear-end was enough to make that demon seed lift his head from me for a split second and I rolled to the right, or left, can`t recall clearly my mind was filled with terror.

I ran for the gate and only when my husband reminded me that he was on a tin roof covered with snow minus a ladder did I stop. Well this was turning out to be a fun filled day on the farm! I peered over the gate at my groom then at the buck who was waiting and pondered my options.

“How far can you jump?” I called.

I cannot in good conscious repeat his reply. I had to use my superior brain to outmatch Dynamite`s brawn it seemed.

It took me a second of standing and thinking but I finally decided on a course of action. I skedaddled around the gate and reached up to tug a thick bough of evergreen down so that he could reach it. To get to the goodies the buck had to slip around the door which I could latch behind him. I guess his love of pine over-rode his love of mauling yodeling goatherders because he high-tailed it over to munch on the treat.

We finally did get Mister Yodeling down from the barn roof. Within a week of the ‘episode’ Dynamite was sold to an older gent who assured us he knew how to handle such a buck. Since that time we have been blessed with three breeding bucks-Titus, Anakin and Auron- who were and are the ultimate gentlemen and sweet as cherry cobbler. I did learn a valuable lesson that day and from that buck.

We would never, ever, ever, EVER have a male animal on this farm that displayed an iota of aggression.

That goes for bucks, steers, roosters, ganders….whatever. Yes Dynamite was a good looking buck, and yes he sired some strong kids, but that did not in any way counteract his temperament. Also, we now know that temperament can be inherited.

Thankfully his son Ronald did not inherit his father`s temperament even if he is the spitting image of his sire. (Maybe it was the removal of Ron`s manly things that helped make him such a goober lovey-dovey?)*Hears scoffing husband fall into silence*

I guess I can use this potato for French fries now… unless y`all want to hear about my mother-in-laws evil attack rooster???

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Case of the Calamitous Caprine Collar

It was a humid late summer day when I found myself once again embroiled in very enigmatic circumstances.

On this particular August date my associate and I were to be found inside the confines of our pastureland. I was reclining on a most ingenious hand-crafted playground hewn from massive logs that our dear friend Chief Inspector Yodeling had built. As this hamlet for immature caprine frivolity lies directly in the cooling shade of a considerable evergreen and affords one a wealth of cooling respite from the sun, it was the ideal place for supervision of my associate.

Miss Yodeling was in the process of rudimentary behavioral classes for the candidates for our county`s annual exposition. Four outstanding does had been chosen for this prestigious event, each one hopefully endowed with mammary systems that would enrapture the judge’s most critical eye thusly winning my partner the highest of honor- a blue ribbon.

“Now do recall that one should not step between the judge and the doe,” I called between sips of heavily creamed and sugared coffee.

“I`m quite aware of that!” Miss Yodeling commented whilst arranging the rear legs of her ivory Lamancha.”What say you? Does her top line look favorable?”

I studied the goat carefully as I swatted a caprine nose that seemed intent on robbing me of my beloved beverage.” Try that again my good sir and I shall be forced to use more drastic measures!” I warned the young fellow firmly.”I say, why don`t you try tickling her above her tail and see if that straightens her out some!”

“I have been tickling her yet she refuses to co-operate!” Miss Yodeling called back over the hum of honey-bee`s and the snuffle of curious caprine on-lookers.

“Hmm, well perchance she grows weary of the exercises. If you wish, I would be more than willing to enter the barn and lead one of the other exposition participants out!”

“Yes, thank you very much Mrs. Yodeling! That sounds like a stellar idea!” Miss Yodeling replied before blowing a loose strand of hair from her face.

I rose, taking great care to carry my mug with me lest an unwanted snout should decide to partake of my delicious roasted drink. Into the sturdy outbuilding I went, mug held tightly in my grip. Several of our goats were inside the building. Some were feasting on hay while others merely lounged in the coolness of the barns interior.

I moved through the languid beasts until I laid eyes on our sable doe. It was then that I noticed a most perplexing sight! It appeared that the rascally thing had slipped her collar. This is not an uncommon situation to say the least, yet as our local exposition was only two days in the future, it was cause for concern for my associate is MOST strict about having restraining devices that are all the same in color and pattern.

“Miss Yodeling,” I called loudly,” Did you by any chance remove Jennifer`s collar?”

“Why no Mrs. Yodeling, I did not,” my young yet clever associate replied boisterously.” Dear heavens!! Did she lose her collar?! I pray not as that was the last one the local farm supply had! What a calamity!” she cried in a tone rising with distress as she dashed into the well-bedded barn.

“Now, now my good woman,” I said reaching into my denim pocket to extricate my bubble pipe.” This is far from calamitous yet. Let us just stop and gather ourselves, then once we are again in possession of our facilities we shall begin the search and gather clues.”

I looked over at her with my pipe clenched betwixt my teeth. Much to her credit Miss Yodeling swallowed her anxiety and nodded pertly.”Yes, you`re correct of course. Where should be begin the search?”

I ruminated on her query for a moment, chewing the plastic in deep and purposeful thought.” What say we look thoroughly inside, as this is where the absent collar was first noted missing?”

“Very good reasoning Mrs. Yodeling,” my associate exclaimed. I nodded with a small amount of discomfort for the praise then we set into hunting.

“Perhaps we should widen our search to include the pasture?” Miss Yodeling said as she swiped at some hay that lingered in her hair a short while later.

“I think not for I believe I may have come upon a clue that will lead us directly to the missing collar and the one who absconded with it.”

“No! Why Mrs. Yodeling, you`re not saying the collar was, was, stolen!?” my erstwhile partner in crime-solving gasped.

“Indeed I do Miss Yodeling, and I shall explain why I came to this conclusion as we make our way to our domicile,” I said tapping my pipe against my thigh then slipping it back into my front trouser pocket. I took a sip of the now luke warm java to wash the dust from my palate as we set off for our home with undue haste.

“So tell me Mrs. Yodeling, what clues did you garner to lead you to proclaim such a heinous thing,” Miss Yodeling queried as we left the caprine pasture.

“Did you take note of the rather large area of excavation directly beneath the most western of hay mangers?” I asked latching the gate firmly behind me.She shook her head and more chaff fell from her golden tresses.

”Ah! Well then perhaps you should have for THAT is the one clue that would have shown you who the culprit truly is! When the goats make a gulley in their bedding they simply move the bedding about. The ransacking of the bedding I found was not merely a caprine attempt to fluff their clover-rich sheets! It bore the marks of another animal, one who is fond of digging for not only had the hay been shifted but the ground beneath had been reached and flung about in a most haphazard manner.”

Her brows knitted as we hurried up the stairwell and into the house.”What does that mean?! Scattered soil can hardly be used as a reliable….”

“I beg to differ my dear woman,” I said strolling over then kneeling down beside the long wooden bench that matches my kitchen table. Reaching with caution under the trestle that supports the darkly stained wood I then tugged out the missing collar.

“How did you know!?” Miss Yodeling inquired taking the collar from my hand then assisting me to my feet.

“It was elementary Miss Yodeling. Perhaps you failed to notice the rather dirty canine prints covering the linoleum when we entered? If you recall, the Chief Inspector had been here before we left for our nightly round of caprine behavioral exercises? Very good! Then you should also remember that he lingered a bit to watch before leaving to socialize with our good neighbor Mister L.? When he readied himself to leave we inquired if he would take the three hounds and return them to our humble home,” I said as I rinsed the hay particles from my clay mug then refilled it with fresh coffee.

“Why yes! Now that you mention it I do indeed recall all those incidents!”She said still gripping the collar tightly.

“I should think that if you were to look closely at the front feet of our black Labrador you would find soil packed between her pads. Soil that she gathered while digging in the bedding beneath the manger in the barn,” I said stirring three level teaspoons of Splenda into my brew.”What drew the beast to dig so I cannot say but she must have had the collar in her jowls when the Chief Inspector summoned her from the pasture. She then carried it into the house and deposited it in her cache as she is want to do. “

“Good heavens,” Miss Yodeling sighed,” Our own dog, a collar-napper!”

“Don`t be too harsh on the beast, she was merely being over-exuberant in her quest to assist us. Although I should think we would be well served to find the sleeping canine and hurry her into the tub before she leaves further proof of her criminal tendencies all over our furnishings,” I commented lowering myself and my mug into a seat at the table.

“I think we may be too late for that,” Miss Yodeling snickered and it was then I heard the tell-tale sounds of my bed springs squeaking.

“Well, it appears a load of laundry is in store for the world’s foremost farming detective,” I sighed wearily.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Passin` the love along!

Ain`t this pup just as cute as hogs whiskers?

This award was passed to me by Houndstooth over at her blog Tales & Tails and I thank her for the nod, and the award! Now I shall show some love to my fellow bloggers as well by passing the gift on.

Some of these blogs you may read, and some not. All are worthy of attention and hopefully will help keep you all entertained during these long and oh-so cold winter days!

Oh, uhm…since I`m not all that savvy when it comes to computers and linkages and technological what-not’s I`ll direct you to my Bloggin` Buddies list for the links that will whisk you away to each of the blogs below!

*~*Granny`s Best*~*

Over at Brenda`s blog you can find a wealth of information about goats milk cheese and how she makes her wonderful looking creations. It`s a fascinating read and chocked full of great pictures of her dairy farm. If anyone out there is thinking of learning how to make cheese or simply wants to learn about the process, Granny`s Best is the blog to read!

*~*Pink Sunshine*~*

Houndstooth has a skill with humor and wit that many who read her doggie blog are very familiar with. Pink Sunshine shows us that there is much, much more to the woman than just her dog stories. Here you will find wonderfully penned poetry and short stories that always touch me when I read them. Stop by and be moved by her words!

*~*From my front porch in the mountains*~*

Misha has a lovely blog that is charming and fun. Her entries about her horses are always beautifully done with gorgeous photographs and stories that warm the heart. She writes well crafted entries that capture the joys, and sometimes the hardships, of living with animals of all sizes.

*~*The Simple Life*~*

Tonia`s blog is always charming and filled with the things that make living the farm life so wonderful! Friends, family and animals both large and small, things are always warm and welcoming over at The Simple Life!

*~*Letters from Chase*~*

What can I say about Chase`s blog? If you live with a cat now or have in the past or even know a cat from another life, Chase`s blog will keep you in stitches! Each entry from that cantankerous feline is not to be missed! Lu-Lu herself claims Letters from Chase to be her favorite blog bar none and gives Chase two paws WAY up! (Why does that worry me so??)

I hope y`all find new friends and enjoy the wonderful reads of the above skilled scribes!

Monday, January 11, 2010

From Feral`s Front Porch

Howdy gang, say hello to our new tractor. ( Well new to us that is.) We finally got enough money stashed aside for a down payment and I for one am thrilled to see that hay spear! *Breaks into happy goatherder dance*

No more wrestling frozen 6 X 6 round bales into the barn by hand! A much needed break for a classic such as myself. Now if I could only figure out how to get that Kubota to carry water twice a day via a remote control.....*Sips coffee and strokes chin in thought*

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Purrs & Wags-A bad day to be a cat

Hello fans of fabulous felines; this is Lu-Lu taking control of the laptop to vent while the lady is busy.

Today was a very bad day for me and I am very angry about something! Why, I`m so mad I could spit!

Let me tell you why my furs been rubbed the wrong way but first I want to explain about cats and our need to hide and stalk from the shadows. This is very important stuff for us cats because it hones our already fabulous hunting skills. We work HARD at finding dark places to lurk and sleep and pounce out of when some unsuspecting dog or bare human foot walks past! So when someone just comes along and yanks one of your best hiding/sleeping spots out the door it makes a cat`s whiskers curl in contempt!!

My favorite secluded spot was taken away today! Without one word from that lady these strange men came in and removed it!!!! It took me a good six months of shredding and perseverance to tear that stuff down from under the lady and man`s big plush human basket!!! And now, in one foul swoop, it`s gone!! Gone!!! She could have at least warned me about it, but did she?? No!! Her toes are mine rest assured.

And if that wasn`t bad enough, the man then had this brilliant idea to put a thin piece of wood…I think I heard him call it paneling…. I can`t be sure because I had my ears laid down flat I was so ticked off. He put this paneling stuff underneath the new human basket they sleep on so that I can`t even BEGIN to make a new super hiding /cat napping place!!

Now if you were a cat wouldn`t your tail be kinked too!?!? Talk about rude! He thinks he is SO smart but we`ll see who`s smart when I sit on his face in the middle of the night. Never cross a cat. Just because I`m not black doesn`t mean those rude people of mine won`t have bad luck for awhile or cat fur from a very unpleasant place stuck to their eyelids.

Then to top it all off, she…that yodeling goat lady…found that choking thing that jingles hidden in my ultra-secretive napping nook. I thought I had it well hidden in there but she just HAD to spy it! Now the dumb things around my neck and I jingle when I stalk! JINGLE!!! The shame of it all.

Got to motor, there are plans of retribution to make before they go to sleep.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

That`s Fowl!- Talkin` Turkey

Domestication of the turkey has done the birds no favors.

Perhaps that sounds harsh and I do apologize to any turkey fanatics out there but domestic turkeys are not the sharpest of tacks. We`ve had birds of just about every flavor on this hillside farm so I feel rather qualified to make the above turkey smartness remark.

We`ve had chickens and geese and ducks and pheasants and guinea hens yet none of those birds came close to being the dim bulbs domestic turkeys are.

Now usually I refrain from poultry profiling because it`s wrong but folks and solks after having the pleasure of having many various breeds of turkeys gadding about our farm I shall stand by my statement. Most generally when an animal allows itself to become domesticated it learns to work with humans and thusly becomes smarter, or at least to our human way of thinking. Smart in this instance meaning they retain their wild cousin’s intelligence to some small ninth of a degree.

Maybe it`s just us. We do tend to have this skill for picking out critters that seem to bumble about lost in their own little critter worlds. Excuse me a moment I`ve just been handed a paper from the dogs, cats and goats calling for a retraction. *Rolls eyes* I shall amend that to say we tend to have this skill for picking out TURKEYS that bumble about….Sheesh! What, the cow’s didn`t want their names cleared as…….*Peeks out window to watch Patrick and Bubba J. staring at side of cow barn in bovine daze* Moving onward…..

I remember the first turkey we ever had here on the hillside farm. It was the first summer we were here and we had already had gotten chickens but nothing else in the way of farm buddies. Mister Yodeling had heard about one of our neighbors who had some turkeys he wanted to get rid of so off him and his buddy /our neighbor Mister L. went! A short time later they pulled up and Miss Yodeling and I hurried out to see our newest pet. When the two men opened the trunk of our car (yes you read right, they brought the turkey home in my trunk) my jaw nearly hit our dirt driveway.

There was the biggest, dirtiest and nastiest looking turkey I had ever seen. If this bird didn`t top the scales at forty plus pounds I`ll eat my Muck boots! Being the clever and witty goatherders we are we named him….wait for it….Tom.

Now broad-breasted turkeys are not meant to be kept for years. They`ve been bred for massive breasts and short-life spans. Their legs will just not support their huge weight and I have to assume their hearts don`t last for too long either. Our genetic fiddling has given us a wonderful bird for eating but those huge breasts also cost turkey his romantic ability. Their breasts being SO huge and their legs SO short and weak the tom cannot mount and breed the hen so turkey ranchers use artificial insemination almost exclusively now.

How old Tom was we hadn`t a clue but he was now ours, all fifty nasty pounds of him, lover or not.

Tom, it would turn out, would end up being a good turkey as far as turkey`s go. Since he could barely walk down the hill he didn`t gad off like the ones we have now do. Although Tom did have a few quirks, one in particular that seemed rather………..bizarre may be the word I`m looking for.

We didn`t have a hen so we didn`t think much of Tom and his ‘seasonal desires’. Well good old Tom had meandered down the hill one warm spring day, gobbling to beat the band then stopping to catch his breath between gobbles, when he must have spied my daughter`s plastic kitchen set that sat beneath a shade tree in our front yard. She had this small little white three-legged stool with pink legs out there to sit on as we played tea.

How can I put this delicately?? Let`s just say that Tom and that stool became quite an item over the course of that summer. Our friends and neighbors found this strange turkey/stool love affair most entertaining when they would visit, especially my dear hubby`s buddies. Only here gang I swear it!

We had Tom for another year then his old over-worked heart just gave up the ghost. Thinking we were now done with turkey`s I found out otherwise. We ended up ordering some Royal Palm`s from the feed store with my groom`s assurance that these lighter birds would preen and keep themselves tidy, as opposed to Tom who was just too large to preen or even roost so he slept in his droppings. I had reservations but being a sucker for any wee chick, duckling, gosling or poult I went along with the plan.

I do have to admit that those Royal Palm`s were my favorite turkey breed. As they grew they did indeed roost every night in their coop and aside from not being overly erudite they grew into stunning mature birds. I think we ended up with more toms than hens, as is par the course with straight run it seems, so we processed all but one tom. This tom oh he was a something to see! Handsome with crisp bars of black along his tail and white, white feathers!!

Yet he remained nameless for months. Since I do the birds they all seem to know me the best and bond with me more than hubby or Miss Yodeling. (Do not ask about the one Embden gander we had who liked to try to bond with my head if I sat down in the grass…..)

One early morning I was out doing my birds and happened to be singing. I sing a lot, and dance too when the mood strikes, makes my kid want to curl up and die. Tee and hee. This particular AM I was crooning an old, I mean classic Elton John tune and that tom turkey just came unglued! He gobbled and gobbled and gobbled as I fed and watered him and his harem. So…… he shall be Levon.

We had Levon and his ladies for quite a few years. Mister loves to hear the gobbles in the early spring mornings and we have witnessed more than one fight when wild birds all het up with spring fever will come down to try to challenge our toms.

We keep all the domestic turkeys penned until after the wild birds are done courting because the wild turkeys do NOT need that dumb gene in their pool. Not to mention any disease our domestic birds may harbor that may infect the wild turkeys. Some of those fights lasted for hours though…. our tom on the inside, the wild tom on the outside and wings cracking into the wire fencing!

Over the years we lost one hen then another, some would sneak off well after breeding season to try to set a nest and not return. Others just passing as poultry do. Eventually we had only Levon left and his days were looking to be limited as well. Sometimes being a farmer isn`t always easy, but we did what we had to do for the handsome old man.

So once more I assumed we were now well and truly out of the turkey game. Wrong!!! Oh silly woman you! Once more our neighbors kept us in the turkey biz when they offered us eggs a couple years ago. These were mixed-breeds of bourbon reds, Narragansett’s and Eastern wilds. You can buy eastern wild turkey poults from hatcheries but local game laws apply with certain guidelines. Of course once my yodeling other heard of free turkeys we once more had a coop full.

This batch of birds is the reason I say that domestication has not helped the noble turkey one iota. Talk about a flighty flock of goonies!! Every single day of the year, three hundred and sixty-five of them, I do bird chores as I mentioned earlier.

I open the goose coop door and the geese are all ‘Yo lady who feeds us every single day, what`s new?’

I go down and open the door to the chicken coop and the chicken`s are all ‘Yo lady who feeds us every single day, what`s new?’

I go to the turkey coop and open the door and the turkeys go’ AHHHHHHHHH!!! Someone`s coming in!!! Hurry!!! Leap and jump and fly around the coop!!!!!!!!!! The end is nigh!! The end is nigh!!!!!’

Now I realize they only have a brain the size of a walnut but so do the chickens and they don`t come unhinged every single morning! Needless to say this particular bunch of caruncle-heads are not my favorites. I`d sell them off to the highest bidder faster than one could say ‘drumstick’ just to not be flogged each and every day. Heck I`d give the dolts away!

Anyone want a flock of turkeys??? *Smiles ever so sweetly*

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One Liners-1/5

'Just look innocent and no-one will suspect it was you.'

As always I encourage y`all to play along and leave your one-liners!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fun & Games & Blue Collar comics

Hey gang! Come on in, grab a cuppa and shake the snow off your Carhartt jackets.

I hope the beginning of 2010 has been good to everyone so far. It`s been colder than the wicked witch of the west`s heart here which isn`t anything new for North central PA in January but it does limit my playtime with the outdoor critters. When it`s 10 degrees out with a chipper wind coming off Lake Erie we tend to run (or in my case waddle like a penguin due to the falling-downitis affliction I have) out and rush through the chores then dash ( or waddle ) back to the warmth of the woodstove.

I`ll do my best to keep things up-to-date on the barnyard buddies but there may be a slight increase in the indoorsy and introspective entries until the mercury gets above at least thirty. Let me apologize in advance for the introspective ones that come along since my mind likes to introspect different than most.*Smiles impishly*

Since it is so dern cold out we`ve all been trying to find ways to keep occupied. Here is the latest contraption my dear yodeling other has made for Lu-Lu. (Cabin fever + bored male=contraptions, that’s well known math they don`t teach you in school unmarried gals!)

Since it`s too cold for star-gazing we packed away the lenses for the telescope but the tripod has been retro-fitted! Please direct your peepers to the orange pom-pom made from baler twine which is tied to a firm length of wire. Wire is then black taped (Nearly as useful as duct tape) to a broken fishing pole. He just KNEW that broken fishing pole would come in handy someday so isn`t it a good thing he saved it instead of throwing it out like his wife suggested?! *Sigh*

We jokingly coined it the ‘Feline Tip-up’ because when we`re eating in the kitchen that old pole will set into jerking downward and looks exactly like a tip-up they use for ice fishing!

“You got a bite honey,” I`ll say over our meal.

“Bet it’s a catfish,” Miss Yodeling will add.

“Yeah, it`s a great big sucker alright,” Mister will quip.

Every time I walk past the feline tip-up I think of Jeff Foxworthy who might say something like-’You might be a redneck if… you make cat toys out of baler twine.’

Speaking of Jeff Foxworthy * Pats self on back for awesomeness of segway* he played a key role in our first family fun night of 2010. For Christmas I received a DVD version of ‘Are you smarter than a 5th grader’ the show Mr. Foxworthy hosts. I have to wonder if someone in my yodeling family thought to get a few guffaws from watching old Ma Yodeling play this game. * Eyes kids with suspicious maternal gaze*

I seriously wish y`all could have been flies on this classic goatherders wall while we were playing that game! Quickly realizing we were at a disadvantage hubby and I teamed-up against my daughter and played head to head. Since you all couldn`t be here to witness the game play I`ll slip a few of many, many dissertations betwixt my groom and I for your reading pleasure.

One question was in the 3rd grade Art & Architecture topic and was ‘Are red and green complimentary colors?’

Mister looks over at me blankly. I have to assume because he sees only primary colors. Our carpet is not burgundy it`s red in his male eyes. I look at the television screen then back at husband.

“Well, they`re Christmas colors,” I said.

“But are they complimentary?” he asked as child shivered on couch with joy at knowing the answer.

“I don`t know! I wouldn`t wear red pants and a green shirt so I guess not.”

“Are you sure?”

“Would you compliment me in red pants? I didn`t think so. The answer is false.”

“Maybe we should peek at the T.V. kid`s answer.”

“Okay, fine peek at the ten year olds answer. His mom probably still picks out his clothes…”

*Huff* “Okay, the answer is false." *Hits button on remote*

Of course I was wrong.

By the time we got halfway through the third of five games we played my husband leaned forward in his seat and said ‘You know we`re going to end up hating Jeff Foxworthy before we`re done here.’

I was getting really close to muttering VERY uncharitable things to the comic who I had admired greatly beforehand. Below are a few more off-handed comments that arose during the battering of adult prides.

“Yes I know I just copied from a person who can`t vote for another eight years Jeff!!! “

“Stop taunting me Foxworthy and just tell me if we`re right or not about where the geographical center of North America is!! “(We were wrong. We picked Kansas, it was North Dakota. )

“5th grade math does NOT have letters in it Jeffrey!! Oh man….*pained groan*”

I won`t bore y`all with the final tally of wins and losses but I will say I bet Jeff Foxworthy`s ears were ringing for a few hours and a certain young goatherder was feeling pretty smug. It`s okay though, just wait until they invent the ‘Which 70`s rock band sang this song?’ game!

Miss Yodeling won`t know what hit her! *High fives Mister Yodeling*

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Resolutions

Ho boy, is it January 1st already?

Where in the name of Minnie Pearl`s price-tag did 2009 go?! How did another year zip by so fast? Where is my list of last year’s resolutions? I have to bet it mistakenly got tossed in the burn-bag about two weeks after January 1st of last year so I won`t be able to check back and see if I really did any of the things I said I would do. (Okay, I know I didn`t but like they say a poor excuse is better than none at all.)

As I take down my 2009 Marvel Heroes calendar and replace it with a new 2010 Marvel Heroes calendar I find myself in the awkward position….and no it`s not upside-down in the bathtub covered with scrubbing bubbles and no there are no pictures to be found-I made sure of that….of having to write down what I resolve to do in this brand new year.

Hoping to put it off as long as I can I went to the other yodeling members of my family and asked them what they wanted to accomplish in 2010. And when I say I went to the other members I mean ALL the other members! When I want to put something off I can be most creative! So here are some resolutions from us way up here on the hillside farm.*Sneaks off on tippy-toes hoping to evade detection*

Miss Yodeling has resolved to stay on high honor roll.

Mister Yodeling has resolved to bring his wife roses every week and give her foot rubs when she asks, also clean the bathtub as opposed to hunting and….Yeah, you all ain`t buying this version are ya? Well a woman can dream can`t she?!

Mister Yodeling has resolved to lose some weight. (I prefer the above resolution myself but the truth in blogging act of 1892 states I can`t fib about my husband’s resolution too much….. Oh, that was the truth in LOGGING act of 1892. I was wondering…)

Bubba J. and Patrick have resolved to not pooh directly behind their door every single night, therefore making it easier for a yodeling goatherder to enter the cow barn without having a frozen cow patty doorstop barring her entrance.

The chickens have resolved to stop laying their eggs hither-and-yon and will from this point on only lay eggs in their lovely 6-hole nest box which will put an end to daily Easter egg hunts, frozen solid eggs and fifty-two dozen broods of ‘SURPRISE!!’ peeps.

The goats have resolved to only have their kids when a human is actually IN THE GOATBARN and not placidly chew their cud while crossing their legs until said human leaves to make a potty run then dropping two kids in forty-five seconds whilst snickering behind said exhausted humans back.

Poe the yellow lab has resolved to actually turn her hearing aids ON when she goes outside when Mister Yodeling isn`t home, ending the screeching sounds and resulting aggravated larynx of Mrs. Yodeling.

The geese have resolved to be nicer to the chickens. (This is still in contract negotiations since both sides are demanding things the other side ruffles their feathers at. *Cracks up at own feather joke*)

Tinker the beagle has made the resolution to stop barking at the talking Peanut doll whenever Peanut utters one of his catch phrases or merely looks at him or happens to touch him in any way, shape or form.

Bean the old calico cat says she can`t recall what a resolution is and is too damned old to be making one anyway although she wishes she had one less kitten in her life.

Trinity the black lab resolves to help in whatever way she can and realizes carrying slippers into the snow then dropping them to chase a rabbit with Tinker the beagle at 4:30 AM is not really helping despite her best intentions.

Lu-Lu has made the following resolutions for 2010- She will wait patiently as the lady scoops and cleans the litter box then will immediately leap in and make it dirty again before lady is even standing straight. (Wait, she does that now so how is that any kind of improvement??)She will only make Bean the old cranky-puss hiss once an hour unless it`s 4:30 AM and someone isn`t letting her outside quickly enough. She will try to remember that toes are not cat toys but makes no promises. She`ll do her best to not come from the cat box then leap onto the kitchen table to taste the kids cereal milk with her paw. (She knows where her feet have been thank you! Right at the end of her legs, DUH!) Her claws will not use any of the furniture for scratching posts. She hopes she can stop pulling stuff out from under the bathroom sink or stealing the lady`s razor from the side of the tub and running through the house with a dead Bic disposable in her mouth. (This is just a partial list of bad behaviors that you, I and Lu-Lu know will not be amended until the year 2020 or beyond.)

Hmmm, guess that`s the whole kit and caboodle isn`t it? *Sighs* Okay, I`ll add a few of my own. *Takes slug of coffee for fortification*

I resolve to not push any small children aside in my haste to get into the movie theatre when Ironman 2 comes out in May….although anyone over the age of thirteen is on their own!

I resolve to clean my house more frequently. *Laughs internally*

I resolve to not buy anymore paranormal romances until I have the pile under my end table read. (This resolution is null and void if J.R. Ward releases a new Black Dagger Brotherhood novel or Houndstooth recommends something just so y`all know.)

I resolve to not yell, shout or curse lividly at my comics as I`m reading them. Laughing at Deadpool is allowed though since that doesn`t raise the eyebrows of my family members like ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? NO WAY IRONMAN WOULD LOSE TO MOLEMAN!!! WHO WROTE THIS TRIPE ANYWAY?!?!?!?’ during a quiet evening at home.

I resolve to see every movie Ryan Reynolds releases in 2010. (That one has a high probability of actually being done.)

And finally I resolve to keep submitting my stories until I see one of them in print somewhere.

There! Done! Oh sure I know, there are lots of conditions in my resolutions but at least I may actually stick to them although #2 is looking shaky already.* Tosses dust rag over shoulder to sit down and write*

Happy 2010 from our farm to yours!!!