Friday, July 30, 2010

One Liners-7/30

'Excuse me-pardon me-coming through!'

As always y`all are welcome to play along. Simply put your one-liner for the above picture in your comment!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tattoo You

Nope, this entry isn`t about that album released by the Rolling Stones back in 1981, nor is it about my Wolverine tattoo. (Yes I do have Wolverine permanently inked into my skin. I am THAT much of a comic geek.)

Actually this here post is about getting ready for our county fair which is about two weeks away. Now as many of you know who have children who show at your local fairs things have to be done beforehand. This includes (At least in our county) paperwork that has to be sent in to our local extension office, forms mailed to our goat barn supervisor stating which goats and what classes are coming to fair this year, a visit from a large animal vet to ensure all who are going are healthy and lastly but not leastly 4-H books must be completed before Round-up which kicks off fair for our 4-H kids.

Makes ya tired just reading it don`t it? In all fairness it`s not as bad as it sounds, at least we goatherders don`t find it so. The goats on the other hand, now that`s a different story! This year’s entrants are already complaining loudly about the necessary accoutrements and falderal that`s being heaped upon them.

Through trial and error (Many errors to be honest) we`ve come up with a routine that seems to work well for us. I thought I`d show you some of the before fair goings-on just because it makes the goats so contrary and therefore makes me snicker some. Their faces sometimes just speak volumes!

What we do here on the hillside farm is tattoo our goats before we do anything else. Since we`re proud members of A.D.G.A. ( The American Dairy Goat Association) all our does are registered, as are our two bucks Anakin and Auron who by the way are still behind their fence. *Snickers at contrary goat male faces outside window.* I just love the word contrary as you can tell.

Anydoodles back on track here. *Sips coffee and mind clears*

Tattooing is our preferred means of identification. Some people use ear tags but after a rather nasty incident with one of our Nubian doeling`s ripping a tag from her lovely long ear we swore we would ear tag no more forever. (One of many new goat-owner errors I mentioned earlier.)

Our registration papers from A.D.G.A. have each goats herd ID and their individual ID along with their names and their genealogy back to grand sires and dams. Our herd tattoo is BVSL and must be placed in the goat’s right ear. Their personal ID numbers must go in their left ear. This year’s letter is A and must be followed by the goat`s number. So for example Calliope is A9-Freya is A2-Persephone is A1 and so on.

‘But what about those LaMancha`s? They have no ears!’ I can hear you all asking.

Very true and good job on the mental telepathy my blogging buddies! The LaMancha`s are tattooed on their tail-webs. YEOUCH! Talk about a rather embarrassing thing to have done to your tail-web! A friend of ours does our LaMancha tattooing for us since she raises them and has the much smaller tattoo letters and numbers required. I`ll spare you and Freya the mortification of posting pictures of her tail-web tattooing and just show ear tattooing.

So here we go into the wonderful world of yodeling goatherders and goat tattoos!

This is our handy tattoo tote, filled with all the assorted goodies we`ll need. Tattoo pliers, green ink, toothbrushes, rubbing alcohol, paper towels, digits and letters and rubber gloves. Why I carry the rubber gloves I have not a clue since neither Mister nor I will wear them. Go figure right?

Next we have lovely young Calliope who will be helping us show how we tattoo. First we get the inside of the ear as clean as we can with rubbing alcohol. All my goats dislike having their ears handled which adds to the enjoyment of the whole tattooing job by leaps and goaty bounds.*Rolls eyes*

Then we use one of the old toothbrushes to rub the tattoo ink inside her ear well.

One last check to ensure that the letters/numbers are not in the tattoo pliers upside down. The county vet who checks each goat when they arrive at the fairgrounds frowns upon improperly placed tattoos so we like to double-check just for our own peace of mind. Looks like we`re good to go!

Since the actual tattooing is a two-person job with lots of blatting, kicking and wrenching I`ll have to skip any shots of it occurring. I was too busy trying to restrain Calliope to make sure she didn`t jerk her head violently and rip the tattoo gun free. That would tear her inner ear and we don`t want to subject her to something that painful on top of the tattooing itself. It does hurt I won`t sugarcoat it, but it`s a short-lived pain. As soon as you release them it`s pretty much over with.

On we go to the left ear! Clean, ink, repeat.

It is a very messy job as you can see. Thankfully the tattoo ink wears off much faster than Blue-Cote but for a couple days Mister and I have way more than a green thumb!

Now as you`ll see in this last picture there is a reason we tattoo first, aside from letting the ink soak into the tiny tattoo holes, then bathe followed by their show clippings.

Green really is her color don`t you think? After the deed had been done Calliope got some extra hugs and smooches which seemed to make her feel special and much better. Next comes the bathing and clipping which I`ll post up shortly and is always a good time!

Nothing like soapy goats and yodeling goatherders to look forward to seeing is there?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

From Feral`s Front Porch-Thunder Skies

Over the past week we`ve been caught in a pretty steamy weather pattern, filled with stunning humidity levels and daily thunderstorms. Last night we got hit once again. The sky was just so oddly colored and somewhat intimidating I had to share a few images with you and a poem by my favorite poet.

A Thunderstorm

The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low, -
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.

The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.

The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.

The birds put up the bars to nests,
The cattle fled to barns;
There came one drop of giant rain,
And then, as if the hands

That held the dams had parted hold,
The waters wrecked the sky,
But overlooked my father's house,
Just quartering a tree.

Emily Dickinson

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One Liners-7/24

'First the popcorn then the movie!'

As always everyone is invited to play along. Just put your one-liner for the above picture in your comment!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bad boys, bad boys....

What `cha gonna do??

Well I can tell you good folks what we did with our randy buck boys, we moved them! Over the past week there have been some very odd sounds in our goat barn. Those of you who own bucks know the sound I`m talking about. It`s a mixture of a deer grunt and flopping lips with that deep buck baritone.


*Lip flop*


*Lip flop*

Uh-huh. The unfettered call of a riley goat-man! Since I don`t want kids to hit the ground in January we decided we had put it off long enough. (Actually I`m praying we didn`t out if off TOO long if you get my drift.) It was time to get Anakin and Auron out of temptations way. We had left a rather large area of our yard grow for just this reason, since putting them in with the steers just didn`t seem practical.

We cleaned out the small barn and freshly bedded it after booting yet ANOTHER chicken with maternal dreams out the doorway. Then it was simply a matter of running the electric fence around the new bachelor pad.

I had the glorious job of carrying the fence posts (I`m sure I would have had the instruction-reader gig as well but this job comes with none.) Miss Yodeling was the designated applier of new insulators and Mister Yodeling handled the driving of posts and manly direction-giving. Surely we girls would have been lost without his masculine knowledge of proper string un-wrapping techniques. *Rolls eyes*

Boy was it hot when we were doing this! Hot, humid and buggy. The deer-flies were out in droves and only buzzing around my head. Why the heck does this happen??? Why can there be my husband and child standing right next to me and the consabbit biting bugs only bite me??? I refuse to consider the explanation Mr. Yodeling gives me and have opted to think I am just far tastier than he is.

After a few welts and one sound swat to my head (I asked him to do it. There was a deerfly resting atop my noggin preparing to drill into my skull) the boys were rounded up and led to their new digs.

They seemed to be rather upset about the sudden lack of lovely caprine beauties at first. Then they found an autumn olive bush. After a good head-rub and some leaves complete with branches Auron and Anakin now stand at the three-strands of electric gazing with soulful goaty eyes across the driveway.

Oh the heartbreak to be thwarted once more by loves fickle finger and three strands of miserable yellow fence!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Liners-7/18

'Billy Baghead reporting for garden duty SIR!'

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Road Trip-Corning Museum of Glass

Good morning all!

I sure hope everyone is doing well and that life is smiling upon each of you! We goatherders have been keeping busy, which is hardly new. Heck anyone who has critters knows that boredom seldom sets in, and if it does some animal will leap a fence or engage in some other goofy exercise to get us off our bottoms!

As the two week vacation begins to wind down we still have a few things left on the ‘Honey-Do’ list, but they`ll have to wait for another day or two. Yesterday Mister and I, Miss and my darling mother-in-law set off to New York State and the lovely city of Corning. This was our first trip to the famous Corning Glass Museum, although Mister`s father had worked for the Corning Co. for over 35 years.

The weather was kind of gray and misty but actually that was welcomed since it kept the heat down! Of course the museum was fully air-conditioned but the forced cool air wasn`t the only cool thing about this amazing museum! We strolled though exhibits from modern glassware back to the very beginnings of glassblowing. We even got to touch an urn made in Roman times!! From fiber optics and television tubes to Chinese glassworks, we even got to see glass being blown into a stunning bowl. This museum had it all and if anyone is ever in the Corning area, I heartily recommend stopping and spending a few hours.

I literally took over a hundred pictures and wish I could share them all with you. It would get rather tedious though even if you have been sipping my coffee while we looked. So I worked and worked to pick out some of the most stunning works to show everyone. Due to the huge amount of glassware displayed and the various ages I simply narrowed it down to two categories-Contemporary & Historical.

I`ll warn you, this is a pretty heavy load of photos, but they`re all beautiful I assure you.





And yes, all those flowers in and around that old truck are all made of glass! I hope you enjoyed seeing just a fraction of the sights to see at the Corning Glass Museum!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rural Ramblings-Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Hi y`all! Have a sit down and I`ll pull out the virtual photo album. (Yup, lots of pictures are a coming!)

Today dawned cool and beautiful here in the Laurel Highlands, so we trio of yodeling goatherder`s set forth for a day trip. We have a couple planned during this last week of Mister Yodeling`s vacation and have been looking forward to them. Today`s trip is one we make every year yet we always stand awe inspired when we arrive.

We did take the scenic route today as opposed to running along the major highways. I love taking rides through the country and woods! I clearly recall Sunday rides when I was a child. My younger brother and I in the backseat, heads turning like barn owls to take in the sights! Our first stop was another favorite site of ours that`s located near the right branch of Asaph State woods, a beautiful parcel of land in our county.

This is a millstone that was left behind many, many years ago. A local man would come to this spot and cut these massive stones then load them onto a horse-drawn wagon. Then the millstones would be taken to a grist mill close to fifteen miles away in Sabinsville. Just imagine the back-breaking work that went into such an endeavor!

After stopping there we loaded back into the car and drove to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. There are two vantage points visitors can view the gorge and Pine Creek from-Leonard Harrison and Colton Point.

We chose Leonard Harrison this time, although both sides of the canyon are equally beautiful. The deepest section of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is 1450 feet. From the lookout at Leonard Harrison the elevation is 1833 feet.

There have been sightings of bald eagles nesting along the gorge. We didn`t see any today sadly but hopefully we will next year!

I`ll let the scenery speak for itself since whatever meager words I put down will not do the PA Grand Canyon justice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Driving Mister Yodeling

Hi y`all! Have a sit down while I ponder upon some important things.

Hope all is going well with everyone who drops in for a cuppa! I am most pleased to say that my time hauling hay has drawn to a close. Not that I didn`t enjoy spending time with my husband because I did. I love the man dearly as our nineteen years of wedded bliss can attest to. Spending a week driving my husband from hay field to barn to hay field to tractor has been quite illuminating.

Now this post kind of falls under the ‘Advice for engaged gals’ category I think. We classic women who have had our bands for a few years can sit and sip their coffee and nod along.

Men, it seems, think we women can`t drive. Or maybe I should say they think we can`t drive as well as they do. That distinction works better so we`ll run with the latter. I`m not quite sure how this misconception came to be. Is it just rumor or is it somehow related to testosterone production? Like the famous Tootsie-Pop commercial says’ The world may never know.’

Personally I have yet to hit anything with any of our vehicles. Okay, I did back into our farm truck once….and last winter I did slide off the driveway and into the fence. But those things could have happened to anyone! The driveway WAS treacherous. Granted the hole my bumper ripped in the cow pasture fence was rather large but there has been a man or two who also has introduced woven wire to bumper over the course of our winters, so icy drives don`t count.

Anydoodles, over the past week my dear spouse and I have had some enlightening discussions while I ferried him hither and yon. Why, I wonder, does he feel the need to point out that another car is on the road?

Mister-“Watch that car coming!”

Me-“Yes dear, I see it.”

Mister-“Well you could have given him more room.”

Me-“I didn`t push him off into the ditch did I?”

Mister-*Hard to understand mumbling that may be related to women occurs*

Now my sight may not be what it was when I was twenty but I can still see cars heading at me. Also, does it really matter where one enters a hay field?

Mister-“Why`d you pull in here? I would have went down ten feet and pulled in there.”

Me-“I liked this spot better.”

Mister-*Hard to understand mumbling that may be related to women occurs*

Another tidbit for discussion amongst yourselves is this snippet.

Mister-“You know if you shift into low the transmission wouldn`t have to work so hard on these hills.”

Me-“I`m a shiftless driver, you should know that by now.”

Mister-“Yes I know your aversion to shifting but—“

Me-“There is no but with shifting. One either is a shifter or isn`t. I am not a shifter. Once it`s in D it stays in D.”

Mister-“Does this have something to do with not making left turns?”

Me-“It runs along the same thought process yes. Shifting, left turns, parallel parking and backing up, all things I don`t do.”

Mister-*Hard to understand mumbling that may be related to women occurs*

Now from my decidedly feminine point of view I think my driving is aces! As I said earlier it was not I who collided with several deer and a bear over the course of nineteen years of holy matrimony. I did hit a robin about a month ago but he flew into my bumper in a crazed suicide attempt. Birds’ flying into cars does not count as bad driving just unlucky timing….either for me or the bird or perhaps both.

I`ve yet to be involved in an accident or gotten a speeding ticket nor have I ever drifted off the road while driving and watching a flock of turkeys. I did once veer slightly while imitating Rob Zombie shaking his wild hair while singing ‘Dragula’ but a veer is a far cry from a drift!

Somehow I have managed to arrive at my destinations intact despite my apparent lack of masculine driving skills. So any young ladies out there who may have said ‘Yes’ and accepted that diamond ring you are now forewarned.

When your new husband asks for a lift somewhere after the vows are exchanged agree pleasantly, slide behind the wheel and buckle in, smile sweetly at your spouse and recall the words of a yodeling goatherder when his palms hit those invisible brakes on the dashboard and you`ve yet to leave the driveway.

Don`t take it personally, it`s a man thing.