Monday, August 30, 2010

A day of firsts

Hi all! Hope your weekends were good ones!

Did you ever notice how some days just seem to be full of firsts? Sunday was one of them days for us here on the hillside farm. It was a beautiful day, if not a little warm for my tastes. See I`m one of them ladies who likes to have to wear a sweatshirt when I step outside.

For Feral to be happy most other folks-Mister Yodeling included-are shivering. Bedtime is always fun….well aside from that of course you scamps you! I sleep with a fan or two blowing on me all summer and hubby is in long pants and a long-sleeved shirt shuddering as the arctic winds rush across his goose-pimpled skin. He has learned not to touch the fans after nineteen years or he`ll have a very crabby polar bear woman snarling about lack of frostbite on the tip of her nose. Poor, long suffering man.

Anydoodles since it was so warm we did the heavy labor as early as we could. Our first load (Of many) of firewood hauled and stacked. Now that is a sign I like to see of summer winding down!

Also as we were fiddling about stacking wood-Miss Yodeling and I are expert fiddlers much to Mister`s chagrin at times-We found our first monarch caterpillar! Every year since my daughter was old enough to enjoy it we find a monarch and let her witness the miracle of their transformation. Truly as often as I`ve seen it myself every year when that beautiful butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, I stand in awe. I`ll keep everyone informed about Absolem and how he progresses.

After lunch we then had our first archery shoot of the season. This will be Miss Yodeling`s first year out deer hunting and she wishes to try her hand at archery as well as rifle.

Dad offers her lots of advice on form and technique.

Of course being Marvel fans my daughter had to do her Wolverine impersonation for her mom!

Here she is looking like Clint Barton (An archer from Marvel comics) who calls himself Hawkeye.

First round of arrows and look at that grouping! Not too shabby for a first-time archer. We`re now calling her Strap Assassin, a quote we borrowed from Uncle Ted Nugent.

Quite a full day of firsts don`t you agree?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The bucks speak out

Hello there humans!

My name is Anakin, and this strapping fellow standing at my side is called Auron.

We`ve been putting out heads together (In more ways than one) and have decided to hijack this blog! That`s right, we bucks have a thing or two on our minds and by our dandy beards we`re going to have our say!

For weeks now my companion and I have been stuck in this pasture….without any lady goats for company! Oh sure we have nice hay, grass and pine boughs to nibble on, fresh water and comfy bedding (Although the chicken sitting on eggs in our hay mattress isn`t exactly a very friendly bedmate) and a big scoop of delicious goat grain every morning. Those things are all well and good but a man has needs!!!!

Despite how much we sing our lovely Nubian song of love and desperation that goofy goatherder pays no mind! What does a man or two have to do around this place to be sprung from this prison of caprine loneliness?!?!? Can`t those people smell how wonderfully bucky we are? Don`t they know that those lovely and enticing lady goats are pining for us?! We can tell the does are pining. They might not show it but we can tell. We`re mangoats after all! We have extra-sensory buck perception about goat ladies.

Now despite how difficult it was to type this Auron and I feel that the cost far outweighs the hardship encountered by having to use the tips of our hooves to hit the letter keys. All we ask is that you other humans speak to the yodeling goatherder on our behalf. Apparently she is not bilingual or simply cannot grasp goat-talk in its most basic form. We have concluded her mental deficiencies bar her from understanding simple caprine conversation, or she has simply not had enough of that coffee stuff she so adores.

So we have taken over this blog to appeal to you bloggers. Please, please, pretty please with a big bag of grain and molasses on top….PLEASE tell the goatherder who owns us to just let us visit the ladies. Even just a short trip down to the big barn would be better than nothing! I`m not sure either one of us can last until October! I fear we may both fall over and perish due to lack of romance!

Thank you in advance. We anxiously await your help….and we mean ANXIOUSLY!

Anakin and Auron

We`re joining the Saturday Pet Blog Hop! It`s a wonderful way to find new blog and new bloggin` buddies!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Worrying about # 3

Now I know some of you are wondering what kind of new Monkism Feral has developed.

There are quite a few things to worry about true, and most of those really shouldn`t reflect on the number three. But let me explain before you all begin to back away slowly. Around these parts, and maybe your parts as well, we have a saying that bad things come in three`s. Last week of course our neighbor passed. That`s one.

This picture details number two, which came yesterday.

Yes that is a rather odd place for one to find a chest freezer I agree. Seems sometime over the past 4 days our freezer decided to toss in its chips in the great poker game of appliance life. We had not a clue until I opened the lid yesterday to take out some ground meat for dinner.

Oy, what a mess! Mister hauled over sixty pounds of home-grown poultry, wild turkey, venison, bacon and ground chevron to the woods. The bears and coyote`s thank us I`m sure. All of last years silver queen was fed to the chickens. I won`t even go into the four inches of warm blood in the bottom we had to clean out. Suffice it to say I know where to find our dogs now. They`ll be out licking the grass in our backyard. That was number two.

So don`t mind me sitting here sipping coffee and nervously looking about. I`m just waiting for number three.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A list and a memory

Hi there gang! Let me grab the milk and sugar and we`ll have a good sit-down and reminisce just a tad then I`ll get to my list. Since the remembering kind of lead me to the list and well-it`s kind of roust-about but it`ll all make sense….I hope.

First thing I`d like to touch upon is how much your kind words and condolences have meant to both Mister and I. It is very true that once that warm wave from the front porch is no longer there it leaves a hole in your life. In honor of our neighbor and dear family friend I thought I would relay one of the memories of our friend that stands out most in my mind.

This was quite a few years ago, back when Mister and I were still giggling newlyweds, way before Miss Yodeling came along although we had been trying….which more than likely accounts for all our giggling. Our neighbor-we`ll call him Farmer F. - worked for our local gas company for many years. If I`m recalling correctly during one of the foundry’s shut-downs Mister and I agreed to do afternoon chores to help Farmer F. out.

Farmer F. raises beef cattle. We got our Hereford steer Sir Patrick of Moo from Farmer F. as a matter! Chores consisted of getting the cattle into the barn and into their stanchions, graining and haying them and then letting them back out to pasture. Since Mister had spent a goodly amount of his childhood on this farm he knew things inside and out. Me? Not so much but I was a fast learner and enjoyed spending time with the cows and steers. Please take note I did not say I enjoyed my time with….The Bull.

Now The Bull was not particularly nasty he just had this gleam in his eye. When I would walk past dropping their grain into the trough I would catch that gleam as he looked at me. I wasn`t sure if he knew we weren`t Farmer F. or not, but his actions as the week went by sure proved The Bull knew we were new kids on the beef block.

After about three days of relative calm The Bull decided it was time to play his bully cards. Apparently much to my unwitting mind, one of the cows had come into heat. When Mister opened those barn doors the herd came charging in as usual. Only thing not usual was one of the cows who had a passenger shall we say?? Now I`ve heard of piggy-back rides but this one topped the cake AND added the candles!

The cow was clearly NOT enjoying the amorous attentions from The Bull that was obvious. Maybe she just wanted her dinner? Mayhem broke out as the cow tried to dislodge her romantically inclined suitor. All two thousand pounds of Hereford slammed into one of the posts holding the hay loft over our heads!


The floor creaked and clouds of chaff came broiling down upon our stunned heads. Must be the concrete pillar made him lose his footing somehow. I couldn`t see because of the fog of chaff that was settling on my head. Madame Cow got her head in the stanchion and The Bull saw his golden opportunity! With a blood-curdling MOO (Okay maybe it wasn`t blood curdling but it sounds more dramatic to say it was) Mister-Hot-To-Trot leaped onto her back once more. His shoulders shattered the lighting fixture and sparks and smoke rolled from his hide.

I would say something about males and how single-minded they can be when it comes to certain amorous pursuits but I`ll be good…..this once.

Well through all this hoopla Mister and I were trying to persuade The Bull to stop being such a…. well….bullhead, with little success. Finally the singed and smoking bull ( Smoking from the electrocuted fur on his back being on fire and not smoking a cigarette afterwards…just wanted to clear that up) dashed from the barn and the herd followed. Mister and I stood gaping at each other, and the damage done to the barn, then decided Farmer F. needed to be told about the brouhaha.

Next day we waited until Farmer F. got home from work to do chores. When we let the cattle in The Bull was acting just as dumb as the previous day! Madame Cow went racing by with her new ‘friend’ on her back and Farmer F. simply walked up to the pair and drew back with all his strength. The thick oak branch he had been holding came down right between that rude and rhiny bulls eyes.

Now I`m not one to condone abusing animals but trust me folks a cow has a phenomenally hard skull and sometimes it takes drastic measures to make them pay attention, especially a bull with love on his mind. I think Senor Toro may have seen quite a few stars but he did stop his foolishness immediately. Farmer F. then handed Mister the oaken bough with a smile.

“Just in case you need to get his attention tomorrow,” he said to my husband.

Now I told that story so I could get to this one! See, I eventually get you there but I go via Saskatchewan to do so. * Smiles sheepishly*

Recently a blogging buddy of mine, Small Farm Girl, posted up a list of things she would like to do or learn. Maybe her list stuck in my head because of the loss of our neighbor. It may have reminded me that life is short, and if we have things we wish to do, we had best be doing them. Anything is possible when we`re talking about my mind. So here is my list of things I would like to do before I move over yonder to the eternal goat pasture.

1-Go fishing in Canada with Mister Yodeling.

2-Learn how to drive our tractor.

3-Visit the Grand Canyon.

4-Lounge on a beach in Hawaii with Mister Yodeling.

5-Figure out how to program my VCR.

6-Have a comic autographed by Stan Lee.

7-Meet Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman and/or Robert Downey Jr.

8-See something I`ve written be published.

9-Witness my daughter graduating collage and becoming successful in her chosen field THEN getting married and having children. *Whispers prayer to the gods*

10-Learn how to use my computer half as well as my child does.

(My kid still can`t believe we actually had typewriters as opposed to laptops. I inform her that yes we did and it was really hard learning to type while trying to avoid being eaten by a roaming velociraptor.)

Life is indeed short. What`s on your lists???

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rainy days and Mondays......

….always get me down.

Well not always, but sometimes. But even though the day may be cloudy and dark somehow something always seems to come along to brighten a gloomy day. Come on in and have a cup, the pots just gotten done brewing.

I`ll admit the last few days here on our hillside farm have been rather sad ones. We lost a dear friend and neighbor last week, and although his death didn`t come as a shock (He had been very sick for awhile) it still was a loss. Mister Yodeling took this man`s passing very hard as he grew up working on the farm since he was old enough to pick up a manure fork.

Saturday we went to his viewing and service. He`ll be sorely missed by many up and down our dirt road. We send his three daughters, their husbands and children our deepest condolences. Naturally after such a loss our emotions were rather glum. Sunday the rain set in and today is just as wet and chilly. Good thing the coffee is hot isn`t it?

Today marks the first day for Mama to have the house to herself all day, since school for our district started last Thursday. Mister let out for work early as usual then Miss Yodeling and I met the school bus at seven. Now I could tell y`all that I spent this first day of ‘Me time’ cleaning the house. I could but you know me too well to know I spent all day cleaning. I did do a couple loads of wash though so I figure that`s something!

I did find my writing today to be rather sad and could only reflect on why that was. Perhaps it was the loss of our neighbor and all that I`m sure. Maybe it was the rain or mayhap it was just due to it being Monday and my house is empty. Maybe all of the above? Whatever the cause I muddled through the writing and laundry and decided to have lunch.

My lunch seems to be the catalyst for dog kidneys to call. Honestly as soon as I stand up from the kitchen table all three dogs have to go outside and they mean right now lady! So not wishing to have a puddle inside as well as out I let them out. Wouldn`t you know it Lucius streaked out the door like a shot. I stood with the front door open and a rather smug look I admit.

“Uhm slick, in case you haven`t noticed it`s raining outside?” I said to the yellow kitten.

I then snickered as he dashed from the porch to lurk under my truck. Lurking, it seems, is preferable to being dry. I`m beginning to wonder if this cat is missing a few bolts. Usually one has to toss a cat out into the rain don`t they?? So I decided to linger a bit and see just what a cat did outside in the rain. None of the chickens were out due to the downpour. Apparently the chickens are brainier than my kitten. The only signs of life were the ducks and geese who think two soaking days are two glorious days!

So I took my fresh cup of afternoon coffee, let the three wet dogs in and meandered to the front window to watch. Now since the chickens were smart enough to stay inside that meant that Lucius had only two stalking options-ducks and geese. By the time the cat worked up the courage to dash from under the truck for an ill-fated attack I was in stitches! He was quite perplexed when the geese did NOT run from him squawking loudly like the chickens do. When the first goose neck stretched out and that bill came closer that kitten took off like the devil himself were hot on his long yellow tail!

Needless to say he came inside nearly as fast as he went out! I had to laugh at the soaking wet goof!

I guess even if the day is gloomy we can always find a smile to lift our spirits, especially those of us lucky enough to have critters!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fiction by Feral

The Wisps of Rugby Pond

Flit and Chirp and the Great Gray Gosling Race


Flit and Chirp are twin wisps, fairies the human call us. They, their parents and I live among the other wisps that call Colonel Reginald Rugby`s estate home. Now there are many differing kinds of wisps I should like to point out. Wood wisps and water wisps, air wisps and floral wisps.

Not that the humans know about the wide variety of fey folk that live side by side with them. The humans call we wisps fireflies or some other such very humanistic type thing. But as for this telling I`ll pass along that Flit and Chirp are wood wisps as I am.

We wood wisps live in the hollows of trees and tend to our forest friends. The trees are thankful for the care of their roots, branches and leaves and allow us residence. It is a very purposeful and fulfilling existence. But I should not dally about such trivialities. Let us return to the telling shall we?

Both Flit and Chirp have bright red hair and freckles that are splattered across their upturned noses. Most days both young wisps hair is blown akimbo from racing about among the bulrushes that line the pond our band live near. Colonel Reginald Rugby`s pond that is.

The twins are rambunctious boys even by wisp standards. Many a time I have seen them tugging at the tails of tadpoles as they hover above the surface of the pond, their iridescent wings moving in a blur and their blue shirts and brown trousers soaked and caked with mud. Their mother is continually on nerves end about her children and their follies but boys will be boys, even wisp boys.

One late spring morning the boys had come streaking down to the pond as I was gathering green seed pods from the whippet plants that grew at ponds edge.

“Good morn to you Elder Cristo!” both young men called. I straightened from my task and waved at them as is proper. The twins dropped down to a lily-pad and watched me with bright emerald eyes.

“What is it you do Elder Cristo?” one of them asked. I never could tell one child from the other so I called them both ‘Lad’.

“I am gathering green seed pods to brew into a salve for healing the roots of that sickly elm by the fence lad,” I explained then moved some long silver hair from my face. The twin wisps nodded in unison.”What sort of mischief are you two up this morning?” I inquired and placed my hand to my lower back as I moved to and fro. Damp mornings are quite uncomfortable for such old wisp bones as mine.

“We are going to the other side of the pond!” one lad exclaimed.

“To catch two gray goslings!” the other said.

They tended to finish each other sentences more times than not.

“And what do you propose to do with the two gray goslings once you have caught them?” I asked as the sun peeked over the very tops of the oak and beech trees.

“We are going to saddle them!” one lad with an upturned freckle nose said.

“And have a race across the pond!” cried the other lad with the upturned freckle nose.

“I see. And have you asked Mister and Mrs. Gray Goose about this?” I asked with neither displeasure nor condemnation in my voice.

Both wild red heads shook soundly. Now as my role as elder it sometimes falls upon my old shoulders to pass the wisdom of my hundred years of wisp living along. Then there are times that rambunctious young wisps need to learn their lessons on their own. This, I decided, was one of those times.

“I bid you good favor on your gosling quest. If you wish I shall call out the winner as you pass the fallen log by the beaver dam?” I offered most graciously.

“We would be very pleased!”

“To have you do so Elder Cristo!”

“Now we need gather bark for saddles!”

“Also vines for reins!”

I waved merrily at the two lads as they zipped skyward to begin their hunt. Then a large splash erupted to my right. I peeked over to spy Gragon the bullfrog hop from amid the lily pads to the bank beside me.

I placed a finger over my lips when the bright green frog opened his wide mouth to speak. His large yellow eyes grew even wider but he remained silent until Flit and Chirp flew to the nearest tree to ask for some loose bark.

“Cristo,” the bullfrog croaked then licked his bulging eye with his long tongue.”Even I know not to tamper with Mister and Mrs. Gray Goose, especially when they have nestlings!”

“Yes, that is common knowledge for those who reside by Colonel Reginald Rugby`s pond,” I replied and shook the dew from my shimmering wings.

“Then why did you not relay that to those two wisplets?” he asked so loudly my pointed ears rang.

“Because my good friend sometimes the best lessons are those learned by error,” I told him.”Shall we move to the beaver dam for the show?”

Gragon shook his green head and chuckled warmly. I had to assume for his silence I would have to bake a batch of gnat cookies but that seemed a small price to pay for the sight we would soon be witnessing. I bent over to retrieve my basket of green seed pods. I took to the air with my basket under my arm and Gragon leaped with long strong leaps to the top of the beaver lodge.

Flit and Chirp raced over our heads with hoots of glee, each lad holding a shank of smooth dark bark and several vines from a weeping willow tree. Those willows are most gracious! Not like the elder oaks who horde everything greedily. How many arguments I have had with elder oaks about sharing I cannot say but they have been numerous.

I placed my basket of green seed pods down on the roof of the beaver’s stout home, gathered my robe up over my knobby knees, tucked my wings tightly to my back and sat down. Gragon arrived then and apologized for his delay. He had seen a dragonfly within range and well… WAS time to break his fast. I was just about to inform him not to worry about being tardy when a commotion erupted from the far end of the pond and what a commotion it was!

Gragon let loose a loud ‘RIBBET’ in shock and I lifted my sight from my friend and Friday night card playing partner. Out of the bulrushes came Flit and Chirp on the backs of two fluffy gray goslings. And directly on their tails-The goslings AND the lads-were Mister and Mrs. Gray Goose. It seemed as if the lads were having some trouble holding their mounts to a steady course I noticed. One boy’s gosling went to the left, flapping its short wings while the other boy’s gosling veered to the right.

Mister Gray Goose went left and his wife went right. Gragon leaped behind me for he fears the gray geese greatly. I shouted out encouragements to the lads yet I suspected they may not have heard me, what with the honking and loud cracking of adult goose wings on the once tranquil pond. Then the rest of the goose family arrived. The seven siblings were also making a terrific racket. Madame Beaver surfaced then from her underwater tunnel.

“What ith going on out here!?” she asked with a very heavy lisp.

Beavers have such long front teeth you see. I shouted out what was occurring and she sighed wearily then climbed up beside Gragon and me to watch. She smelled strongly of castor but I said nothing and merely moved some to accommodate her rather large brown furry rump and flat tail. Suddenly the lads appeared and they were looking much worse for the wear. They were being drug through the water behind their steeds, each wisp instigator clinging to a vine rein for dear life.

I stood as quickly as I could, due to my knobby knees, and yelled to the two red-haired wisps to stay the course for they were nearly to the finish line. Mister and Mrs. Gray Goose erupted from a tangle of thick reeds and rushes as did their seven other offspring. Oh the uproar! I nearly laughed aloud when one lad’s goslings raced pell-mell past us spectators. I could see bits of pond scum stuck to the lad’s freckled nose and cheeks as he was drug past.

“We have a winner!” I shouted loudly and raised my hand into the cool morning air.

Gragon peeked around the side of my robe as the adults sped past. The second gosling carrying the other lad swam past so quickly it collided into the side of its father soundly. Mister Goose reached down and pinched the rump of Flit…or it may have been Chirp…I can never tell them apart. The boy squealed out and was then unceremoniously dropped back into the pond. Mrs. Goose delivered the same punishment to Chirp or Flit then gathered her very weary young to her side.

“Well that wath thertainly ethciting!” Madame Beaver said with a chuckle.

She too had dealt with the rapscallions on more than one occasion. The last time being just a few days ago when the lads had tried to use her youngest kit as an underwater diving devise complete with periscope made of hollowed out pond reeds. She had chastised the wisp twins soundly then told their mother of their misbehavior. I believe they had been made to clean the inside of the beaver lodge for punishment.

I folded my arms over my chest as the two bedraggled lads sloshed their way from the pond, each boy rubbing his posterior as their wings dragged sodden behind them. It would take some time for them to become dry enough for flight I knew.

“Well lads that was quite the race!” I said as the duo slogged up to the top of the beaver lodge.” What say we schedule another one for tomorrow morn?”

“We think we are not really keen,” one lad muttered still rubbing his pinched bottom.

“On gosling races anymore Elder Cristo,” finished the other holding his offended cheek tenderly.

“Ah well that is too bad. Would you care to have a seat?” I inquired just filled with wispish devilment.

Even Madame Beaver had to laugh at their wide-eyed announcement that they would stand until their wings dried sufficiently thank you all the same.


Monday, August 16, 2010

It`s good to be back!

*Falls into kitchen chair and tugs mug of Folgers goodness closer*

Ahhhh, now that is truly Nirvana! How the heck are y`all? I sure have missed being able to drop in and visit over the past week. I plan on getting back into the blog swing now that fair week has wrapped and school begins this Thursday. You should see the look on Miss Yodeling`s face whenever I innocently bring that up! It is my role in her life to provide wise counsel, embarrass and tease my child whenever possible.

Since I hadn`t done a lick of housework for the past week I figured I`d be good and get some vacuuming and dusting done before I sat down to write. Well the vacuuming got done anywho! Don`t want to do too much at once and risk a muscle pull or something.

Oh! I thought I would share the pictures Miss Yodeling entered in our county fair. I`m rather pleased to say she won third place in the black & white division.

Amazingly-or perhaps not since we`re dealing with teens-her premium check is already spent and she just got it yesterday! I thought I smelled denim burning after the check got shoved into her jeans pocket. She pre-ordered Fable 3 for her X-Box which is a win for both of us. Yes, I am a gamer as well as a comic geek. And yes I do love Star Trek as well. Might as well come clean on all my nerdy fronts!

While we`re chatting and sipping I have to tell you about yesterday! Actually the beginning of the story occurs a few days ago when Mister Yodeling reminded me to stop at Auto Zone and get a new windshield washer for my truck. Why is it that the driver’s side blade always goes belly-up while the passenger side remains like new?! I don`t know either but I suspect Murphy and his law.

Of course as soon as he said that it went right out of my mind. To quote my dear departed mother ‘I`d start taking my Ginko Biloba but I can`t remember where I put the damn bottle!’ That is me to a tee! So of course the window washer blade wasn`t replaced as it should have been. No biggie since the weather all week had been dry. Cue Sunday! The day we have to bring our goat’s home from the fairgrounds in their open crate. Cue rain clouds and scattered showers.

Miss Yodeling and I set out for the fairgrounds and Mister went to pick corn with one of his friends. Giving credit where it is due my hubby did ask as we piled into the pick-up.

“Are you SURE you don`t need me to come along?” he inquired.

“Pishaw! We women can handle it!” said my daughter and I as we cranked up Helen Reddy. (Actually it was Queen playing but close enough right??)

“You better hope it don`t rain,” said smug male as he eyed disjointed windshield wiper.

“It won`t,” said I and slipped it into R.

We arrived at our fairgrounds with no rain. Then we set into cleaning our girl’s pen, taking down the ribbons and boards and mangers, toting tack boxes and mangers and feed and water buckets to the truck and finally leading our two winners to the crate. Freya and Calliope were more than ready to come home and dashed to the truck, with us along holding their collars!

Things had gone splendidly despite the small problem of my child being unable to figure out her dads drill to remove the screws holding her board to the goat barns plank lumber. As this required a climb and very long legs and arms, of which I do not possess, she ended up using a screwdriver to untorque that which her father had torqued. (Mister is famous for over-torqueing.) Aside from that small sideways thing we ladies were kicking butt and chewing bubble gum!

Then on the ride home it happened just as you knew it would.

The closer we got to home the darker it got. I frowned at the crappy wiper blade as it streaked across the windshield but when the deluge hit I did more than frown rest assured. I may have muttered some very unsavory things about rain and missing Ginko Biloba.

So here we are creeping down the Muck Road at about five miles per hour. I`m humped up like Quasimodo trying to see through a little space of about three inches that the blade actually wipes and the goats are getting saturated.

We finally found a small cemetery to pull over in thank goodness! Then we leaped from the truck and rummaged around under the boards, tack boxes, chairs and other assorted fair paraphernalia to find an old sheet.

There we two ladies were, standing in this torrential downpour, covering our two VERY disgruntled goats. Goats do not like water on their precious hides. I think they are obviously made from sugar cane or something that makes them melt like the Wicked Witch or chocolate on a hot day.*Rolls eyes*

By the time we got the girls covered we were absolutely soaked! I looked over at her and she looked at me and we simply busted out in laughter. Of course once the goats were covered and we were sodden the rains let up. Go figure she said sarcastically.

Once we got back home and got the fair entrants taken back to their digs and their buddies both of us ladies came slogging back into the house as the sun peeked down.

So what Feral, you are asking, is the moral of this story? Good question. I shudder to think it may be that I should have listened to my husband when he told me to stop at Auto Zone! I`ll simply say that the moral of this story is to never drive into a raincloud with one dying windshield wiper and two complaining goats.

Oh! And to make sure you find your bottle of Ginko Biloba!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One Liners-8/14

'Now that`s a real cowlick!'

As always everyone is invited to play along! Just leave your one-liner in with your comments. We`re entering the Saturday Pet Blog Hop this week! It`s a great way to find new blogs and meet new bloggin` buddies!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2010 Dairy Goat Show-Tioga Co. Fair

Hey all, come take a load off while I tug out the virtual photo album.

Yesterday, as you all know, was our dairy goat show at the fair. It was a hot and humid day but that didn`t seem to dampen the spirits of the kids in the goat barn! One of the best things about fair week-aside from the cotton candy and milkshakes-is getting to spend time with friends.

I ran into so many people that I hadn`t seen since last years fair and it was nice to touch base with them.

Our show began with showmanship judging. Miss Yodeling came in second out of six in her 13-15 year old age group. Our judge was a very nice man who passed along great tips on showing and care for the caprines in our lives. He also is an A.D.G.A. judge so his thoughts on the kids showing styles and our goats is very valuable indeed! Thanks Todd for a great learning experience!

After showmanship the breed classes got underway! A good part of showing is waiting for your class to be called with your animal. Your animal has to be clipped, washed and as spotless as possible. Also this is where all those hours working with your animal really shows!

Judging the LaMancha class.

And the results! Freya won grand champion rosettes for open and 4-H for the LaMancha class!!

Now we wait for the Sable class to be called to the ring.

Waiting for the judges decision.

Calliope wins grand champion rosettes for open and 4-H Sable!!!

So after eight hours the dairy goat show drew to a conclusion for this year. My daughter was tickled many shades of pink and old mom here is burned several shades of pink! But it was, as it always is, a wonderful experience for kids and adults alike.

Today I have a load of wash already chugging away because we`re due back at the fairgrounds by noon so that Miss Yodeling can assist her friend in showing thier Boar goats. Then Thursday the beef show is scheduled and a girlfriend of my daughter`s is showing some of her beefers, so we`ll be at the fairgrounds by 8:30 to watch that. Busy as the bumblebee we are during fair week!

Hope y`all have a great week and I`ll catch up with everyone as soon as the dust settles!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shave and a haircut...

....Two bleats!

*Falls into hysterical laughter at lame play on words* Ah me, it`s a sad state of affairs when you amuse yourself so thoroughly isn`t it? Tug out a kitchen chair and have a sit down, I`ve been relaxing here with a cup of fresh coffee for about an hour myself. Lord sakes but it has been a crazy couple of days here on our farm! It all began on Wednesday when my beloved laptop began having some sort of megabyte seizures.

By Thursday it was so badly convulsing it wouldn`t log onto the internet. Frantic as any owner of a cherished Dell would be, I ran it down to the computer ER on the main road. After listening to the symptoms the good comp-doc said my dear Mama (That`s what we call my big black Dell. Miss Yodeling`s notebook is called Baby as in ‘No one puts Baby in a corner’). Sorry. My mind is the first thing to go. *Slams back a slug of java-juice*

Our tech-man said he suspected a Trojan. Usually this would be greeted with some merriment as anytime Brad Pitt dressed in the armor of Troy wants to play a visit he is MORE than welcome!

Alas, this Trojan was not of the Brad Pitt variety. I know, right? How unjust huh ladies? Long story short I just got my laptop back and she is running like a new one! I have hugged her many times since her return rest assured!

Yesterday was Round-Up for our 4-H kids and also the last chance for their quality assurance seminar. So Miss Yodeling and I spent a goodly amount of time at the fairgrounds….after taking the long about way there and home. Someone * Coughs* Penndot *Coughs*decided to close the bridge on the shortest route to the fairgrounds just in time for fair week! After taking enough time to grab a cup of that roasted delicacy called coffee it was then time for the clipping and bathing of our two fair lovelies.

Let the clipping begin!

The required bottlebrush tail clip.

Rub-a-dub-dub two goats in a tub!

I think Trinity was just glad it wasn`t HER in the tub!

Our dairy goat show is on Monday at 1 PM but as anyone who has kids who show or have shown themselves knows the running goes on all week. I`ll certainly post some pictures of Miss Yodeling after the show and let y`all know how she and the two girls did. I may not have as much time though to visit all the other blogs I so enjoy visiting and I do apologize for that. After fair week things should *Crosses fingers and toes* return to normal. So if I don`t see you all very much over the upcoming week don`t worry. I`ll be back!

I sounded just like Arnold there didn`t I??

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Web-footed friends.....and foes?!?

Or foes y`all are asking with a raised brow at the goofy yodeler who herds goats.

Clearly that woman has gone off her rocker since ducks are about as dangerous as kitten’s right? Well yes, ducks are pretty sweet birds no doubt about it. I can honestly say that out of all the ducks I`ve ever owned not a one was mean. I have heard tell that Muscovy ducks can be kind of persnickety but I`ve never owned a Muscovy so I can`t pass judgment.

I have owned many ducks since we moved here to the hillside farm. This year’s batch of Rouen`s is already proving to be just as affable and comical as their previous counterparts! As you can see they have certainly grown from the wee fluffy puddle-dabbers I brought home a few months ago. Their winning personalities have grown with them as well!

I THINK I have 3 ducks and 3 drakes judging by the color of their bills. Drakes of this breed have that lovely olive green bill and ducks have a golden bill usually. There are two in this group that have brown bills but talk like they`re ladies and no, that does NOT mean non-stop as Mister is muttering in the background. *Sniffs*

I`ll know for sure once the drakes molt out of their juvenile feathers and grow in that glorious blue/green head, white neck band, russet breast and smoky gray body. This bunch of waddling buddies is already very gregarious and will waddle up to me and discuss things in their amusing duck banter.

Then there are the geese. The five I own now are in no way, shape or form foes of any goatherder. For being geese they are rather docile with us humans. I`ve only had to boot my eldest gander Jack once this year for being a tad more defensive of his mate than I thought necessary. My favorite gander Lenny will eat from my hand if the mood strikes.

The geese and the ducks have begun to hang together, although the ducks do honor the personal boundaries space the geese insist upon from all who roam our yard. That includes dogs, cats and chickens. If another critter dare to step over the invisible goose line the barnyard Mafioso will retaliate quickly!

My pilgrim geese are pleasant enough though for me although I have owned geese before that were not in any way, shape or form pleasant. The first geese we ever had here were a mated pair of Embden geese that someone had dumped on our neighbor’s farm pond. Being the rather soft-hearted and some may say soft-headed gal that I am, we rescued the pair and brought them home. After a wee amount of time we could see why someone had dumped this pair, the gander in particular.

I would show you a picture of the duo but every time a shutter would open in the vicinity of this gander the celluloid would begin to spit and bubble and ooze from the camera. I am deadly serious. I snagged this image from the web so y`all could see what an Embden goose looked like. Must be this gander wasn`t possessed by some sort of poultry demon from Hell.

This gander who I think should have been named Beelzebub was hands down the meanest, ornery and plain old nasty bird I have ever encountered! Miss Yodeling was perhaps five at the time we brought them home, I can recall she was in pre-K at the time. That gander took one look at my daughter and made it his personal mission to terrorize her. He would go out of his way to chase this poor little child down every single day. She would come running inside, crying and scared half to death, not even able to play with her chicken buddy Turtle. This all within a darn week of them arriving!

One day Mister had gone to church to pick her up from Pre-K and brought her home. When she exited the car that fowl Leviathan spied her. That gander came charging down the hill, wings spread and hissing. Then Mister Yodeling stepped in front of my cowering little girl. Oh me and oh my did the feathers fly then! I had raced out of the house by this time and my daughter, me and the goose watched Mister and the spawn of Hades in feathered form go round and round.

Now my husband is not a small or scrawny man. He stands six foot and weighs in a good two hundred and fifty pounds. Damien Demonseed gave him one heck of a fight. That nasty gander would NOT back down! At one point the gander had a tight hold of my husband’s shirt with his bill and brought those wings back and CRACK, he whipped Mister on the shins with all his strength. My hubby said later that he honestly thought that goose had broken the bone it hurt that badly.

Eventually the two males separated, the gander was minus quite a few feathers and Mister had some lovely bruises. Did that episode stop the harassment of my child though??? Nope. Needless to say the die had been cast for that gander. As I have said before I don`t allow mean critters on this farm, and this gander and Dynamite the buck from the same hot underground location, were what taught me this very valuable lesson.

Since I wouldn`t allow this gander to be sold just due to his terrible temperament he ended up in our freezer. His goose however did find a new home with a large farm pond and other geese to keep her company. That may sound harsh but sometimes farming is a harsh business.

Thankfully my pilgrim geese are much friendlier….well they`re as friendly as I wish my geese to be. I`ve read a great deal about geese since our first pair and have learned NOT to let goslings imprint on humans. Allowing them to imprint on humans sometimes causes trouble when the cute little fluffy-butts are mature, for they view you not as something to respect but as another member of the gaggle.

Respect is important when dealing with geese; at least it is for us. I`m sure others have raised geese and may have differing views on their development and how to raise them. For us yodeling goatherders we follow this thinking and have had FAR less problems with our geese.

So after all is said and done I guess we now have web-footed friends and that`s the way I like it!