Monday, November 29, 2010

We need to let her pick our lottery numbers!

Morning all! Hope you and yours are staying warm on this blustery, chilly day!

In case you`re cold I`ll put a fresh pot on. How did everyone`s holiday weekend go? Busy for all of us I`m sure. We had a sweet 16 birthday party for my niece over the weekend, happy birthday Trisha! Aside from partying, eating and cleaning up after pets that thought my home was Delta House (See entry below) we butchered a couple of goats to add to the freezer.

Speaking of things to add to the freezer, today was the first day of rifle deer season here in PA. Both Mister and Miss Yodeling were up and at it at 5 this morning. They bundled up as thickly as possible since we had a staggering 22 degrees on the back porch! Both hubby and I have concluded that our daughter is one of the luckiest people we know. Her first time out back in the spring she bagged this massive triple-bearded gobbler.

Today a little after 8 she bagged this impressive 8 point buck!

Sitting beside her dad in a treestand they tell me he walked out and presented her a perfect shot at about 50 yards.

I may run her down to the Dandy Mart and have her pick 6 for her old Ma!

Friday, November 26, 2010

To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga!

Have you ever woken up and thought you had come awake inside a frat house???

I swear when I rolled out of bed this morning I found not my quiet, serene and somewhat tidy home but some scene from Animal House!

Now I`m sure that most of you folks had the same carbohydrate overload as I did last night….or perhaps y`all are more resistant to the lure of mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. I was still in a state of mental torpor and shuffling slippers when I slid from my covers. Have you ever taken just a few measly steps and known the day was going to begin with a bang??

My slipper slid in something at the end of the bed. Oh yes, I can hear all you pet owners muttering along to that miserable feeling. I limped into the bathroom and found a dogs dinner stuck to the bottom of my slipper. This was most pleasant at 5 AM. Nothing quite like stepping in kibbles and left-over corn before the coffee hits the bloodstream. Feral was not amused. I took a moment to wash off the sole of my slipper then slugged down the hallway and tripped over my lamp. Seems someone in the fraternity had cleared off the end-table during the night of wild pet revelry. Lamp, picture of Miss Yodeling, doily and an air freshener had been tumbled. How I didn`t place my foot on the round air freshener and roll across the room like a roller derby queen I have yet to know.

Zombie-woman tosses lamp back to table and proceeds onward with only the stoves hood light to guide her through the darkness. I find the other lamp where it belongs and mutter something like ‘Brains’ or possibly ‘Blintzes’. Not sure, it was early and my mind was still slow from all the gravy. I take two steps and find a pile of doggie-doo not an inch from the bottom of my still damp slipper. Again, how I missed THAT little package remains to be seen. Guess the fairies were watching over me. I clean up the stinky gift and let the very quiet dogs out then pad into the kitchen, intent on the wondrous brew calling to me.

That’s when I found coffee grinds and egg shells scattered all over my stove and counter. (We dry out the grinds, filters and egg shells in an old pie tin and toss them in the wood stove.) Ah but there really is nothing like dried coffee grinds to try to clean up from the range top at 5:03 AM! After taking a moment to get some coffee a.k.a. zombie-cure into my veins I gathered up more paper towels and rug cleaner and schlepped back to the bedroom. I was fairly certain that when Mister woke up he would step in the mounds of doggie upchuck barefooted. Despite the humor that thought gave me I cleaned it up anyway. As I passed Miss Yodeling`s bedroom door with one damp slipper and a bag filled with dirty paper towels I spied yet another offering from a canine just inside her portal.

I am reasonably sure I made a very sour face and may have said some unladylike words as I dropped down to my knees yet again. I wasn`t sure how the dogs got so much corn since the only corn around was some funky old corn I found way in the back of the fridge and tossed out the back door for the chick—And pop goes the light-bulb at 5:15 in the morning. Things have been pretty subdued among the party animals this afternoon. Guess they`re either resting up for another shindig tonight or they`re recuperating from the rager last night.

If I find any small togas stuffed under the coach I am NOT getting out of bed first tomorrow!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Howdy all! Yes I`m still alive here on the hillside farm!

Actually things here have been so hectic that I haven`t had time to even blog. I do apologize for not being around more the past week. Thankfully I crested my 50,000 word mark for NaNoWriMo this morning. Although the story is far from done at least I don`t have to spend every free moment working on it! I don`t know if my fingers could have taken much more to be frank.

Not sure even where to begin with the happenings around here. I suppose we`ll start with my dad and his constant troubles with his medication, the blood thinner Coumadin in particular. Last week the home health nurse called me frantic about the fact that he took a week` s supply of the powerful blood thinner in one day. We rushed to get some vitamin K into him. Then a few days later I went with him to his next doctor`s appointment. Suffice it to say me and the doc had a nice long talk about the plethora of medication my dad was on. Now forgive me as I tug out my soapbox, something I don`t try to do here since who wants to hear some pudgy farmwoman rant? I`ll be brief I promise folks!

*Clears throat and steps onto soapbox*

Why in the world would a man whose blood pressure is notoriously low be on three different medications for high blood pressure?!?!? When we were at the family doctor`s I inquired about each of the many bottles dad had in his little grocery sack. I was informed that he was taking three pills for high blood pressure that had been prescribed for him when he was in the hospital. Now call me a dolt if you will but I think I mentioned that his BP when he was recuperating from his cancer surgery dropped so low he was unresponsive did I not? Then why the heck would he be on medication to lower his already low blood pressure?!? What am I missing here??

Feral was not pleased.

I expressed my feelings to our family doctor who could only say it may have been prescribed due to his BP being high due to pain. Okay doc I`ll give you that possibility. Does no-one check on the hundreds of meds that are given to older folks after their discharged? I fully can understand how confused he was looking at the many, many pills he was sent home with. Heck I`d be confused too! Long story short I told the good doctor (And he is a good doctor please don`t get me wrong here) that I would be taking all meds home that were not needed to avoid any more confusion on dad`s part. After the visit with his doctor he now takes 1 blood thinner, 1 tablet for his BP and 1 iron tablet. That`s it. Three. The problems with over-medicating seem to be over and despite his blood being thinner than they would like things have calmed down on that front. Okay, I`m done ranting.

*Steps off soapbox*

Along with the daily calls from home health about dad and his blood we`ve had some losses to deal with. One of my drake ducks disappeared the other day. Not a feather could be found. I`m still stumped as to what could have taken him since a hawk has trouble picking up one of my bantam chickens. Could have been an owl right at dusk before they were locked into their coop for the night I suppose. That was a real bummer since I really adore my ducks and geese.

Then we lost one of our goats. That really knocked us all down for a bit. She was my daughter`s LaMancha doe Bianca and it hit Miss Yodeling very hard. Here on our farm we fight a battle of astronomical proportions with intestinal worms in our goats. We are literally worming non-stop and yet cannot get ahead of the barber-pole worm. For those who are not goatherder`s the barber-pole worm or Haemonchus Contortis is a parasitic worm that attaches itself to the abomasum of a goat and sucks their blood. A severely infected goat can become deathly anemic and in severe cases of infestation death can occur. Bianca, despite our heavy worming and weekly checking of lower eyelids called the Famacha method, was one of those goats that could not handle the worm load. She grew weaker and weaker. We would give her iron shots and injections of B vitamins. Her lower jaw would swell with a condition known as bottle jaw. She grew thinner and thinner until she simply passed away.

It is a terrible thing to lose a valued animal like that. You work and work and try everything you can think of to help the poor thing and it`s just not enough. So we have a new grave now under the pine tree. *Sighs* Enjoy that alfalfa-rich goat pasture in the sky Bianca. We`ll miss you.

Then there was the tick that Mister discovered near his armpit last night. The bite sight was red and inflamed and I insisted he go to the doctor`s. This was one instance where he did not fight me on things medical. Usually he will balk like a mule when the mention of a doctor visit is brought up. Not this time. He went this afternoon and just came home with a positive ID of a bulls-eye rash and a course of antibiotics for twenty-one days. I am SO glad he went as soon as he did because left untreated Lymes can be a very nasty disease.

But there has been some good things happening around here don`t despair! Saturday we went to see Harry Potter with my mother-in-law and daughter along. She had already seen it with a group of her friends. Those crazy teens went to the midnight showing when it premiered. I have proof now that the zombie curse is indeed hereditary! You all should have seen her Friday morning when mama shook her at six AM. Now I know how Mister Yodeling feels when he sees me early in the morning!

As I mentioned I got over the hurdle of words for the NaNoWriMo which I`m very proud of. Tomorrow of course is Thanksgiving Day and my dad and mother-in-law will be coming to share the bounty with us. I shall not and I repeat shall not venture near a store beside the grocery store on Friday! I avoid shopping on Black Friday like a chicken avoids the duck pond! I do need to get cracking on the shopping though since I have bought exactly nothing yet. If I knew what to buy it would make things SO much easier! So I guess I should wrap this up. I`m off to catch up on what y`all have been doing then I think I`m going to go take a long bubble bath and play some Assassin`s Creed-Brotherhood with Miss Yodeling.

From our farm to yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday everyone!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rude Awakenings/ Life with Feral

Happy Wednesday gang! Have a sit-down and a cup of java!

You know I`ve been slugging through the mornings now for neigh onto 50 years, and I haven`t quite found anything that can make my brain work quite as well as coffee. It is, as we all know, the cure for early morning zombieitis. I love my coffee and it loves me! *Hugs Nubian coffeemug tightly*

All that java love aside though I did finally find the one thing that will wake you up faster than a pot of Folgers! Oh yes my friends, just this morning this discovery came and I now shall pass along the how-for to y`all, my bloggin` buddies! I`ll set it up just a bit though so you have a good grasp of the situation.

Over the past two weeks our temps have been pretty consistantly below freezing in the morning. Today it wasn`t but we`re in the middle of a rainy system that has winds strong enough to blow a goose across the yard! Since freezing temps means no hoses up to the bird coops my hubby, dear and thoughtful man that he is, filled up numerous buckets of water for me and lugged them all up the hill. I know, that was very nice of him wasn`t it? I thanked him warmly for that since I wouldn`t have to lug 2 five gallon buckets up the hill due to his gesture. My lower lumbar also thanks Mister most graciously!

This morning at 6 AM Feral sets out to do the chores. I trundle up the hill and let the ducks out and give them thier breakfast, then I mosey to the goose coop and let the barnyard Mafia out to strong arm the ducks. Over I schlep to the chicken coop. Schlepping is how I move in the morning even after two cup of my beloved brew. There sitting atop the chicken pen is my hubby`s thoughtful gifts-nice, full buckets of water. I smiled and once again reflected on what a good man he is. Then I reached up to grab a bucket of water.

I came to the realization quickly that my Hobbit height may be a problem as I struggled to tug the bucket forward. Mister is 6 foot and I am Frodo-foot. Can you see where this is going my friends? Ah yes, I tug since I can`t lift and the bucket catches on the roofing and five gallons of very, very, very cold water cascade down over my head, into my jacket and down between the valley of my bosom.

Coffee is wondrous but ice cold water on your boobs at 6 AM is a guaranteed waker-upper!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Night Lowdown or.....

…..What I did during my husband’s vacation.

Howdy gang, tug out a chair and have a sit-down! I hope all is well in your lives since we last shared a cup. Everything on the hillside farm is chugging along nicely although it has been busy as ever. First off I wanted to pass along that my dad is out of the hospital and doing nicely. He drove up today to visit and aside from having too many meds to take he`s rather chipper!

Now as this post indicates Mister Yodeling had the past week off. Originally he was supposed to be archery hunting for deer but since he filled his tag earlier than anticipated he had a whole week to attend to that honey-do list of his. One of the first jobs came rolling around on Monday. He had been saying he wanted to build a roof to cover our hanging pole. For those of you who don`t hunt, the hanging pole is where you hang your deer to skin, gut and let it hang to cool. The roof was in anticipation of having to butcher a Hereford steer.

Now being the kindly and obedient wife I am (I know that made me snicker as well) I volunteered to help. Mister had some plans on how to reach this post that I was a tad leery about. When the tractor was brought up and parked under the future building site I grew even more anxious. See living on a side-hill ladders are rather dicey so my husband decided that standing in the bucket of the Kubota would be safer. I was the tractor operator and it was my job to lift and lower the bucket while he balanced precariously inside it.

Uh-huh. Have I ever mentioned that I do not drive anything not automatic and that clutches and I are sworn enemies? I dislike clutches and they dislike me. It’s a mutual hatred rest assured. The day kind of went just as y`all expected it would go. I ended up saying very sweetly, since I am so kindly and mild-tempered, that if he told me to push in the clutch one more time I would not be responsible for the expletives that followed. Despite some heated words and a lot of jerky starts, stops and lifts we got that job done and it only took seven hours!! It will keep the snow off the Hereford I think. It better, because I`m done playing Bob the Builder rest assured.

During all this I`ve also been hard at work at my NaNoWriMo novel. NaNoWriMo-National Novel Writing Month-is a contest of sorts held by the Office of Lights and Letters that encourages writers to pen 50,000 words during the month of November. I think if you get to your goal you`re considered a winner. As of this evening I`m at roughly 27,400 words in my fantasy novel, so it`s coming along well even with my husband home all week.

Wednesday we tore up all our old linoleum in the kitchen. We had ran uptown and ordered some new to be laid on Friday. Again, nothing says love like doing home improvement jobs with your spouse. At least this job didn`t require a clutch and nearly spilling Mister out of a Kubota bucket. It only required we remove all the appliances and rip and tear.

Mister is very good at demolition and he`ll freely admit that! Friday came quickly as I typed and typed and typed some more, and then our new floor was done! The fellow did a great job and it looks really good I think. It`s dark which is a plus. I swore I would never ever have white linoleum again!

Three dogs, two cats, umpteen goats and two cows that make pooh-pooh to track in, a teen-ager and a husband + white flooring? What was I thinking??? In my defense when I ordered the flooring for our trailer we didn`t have dogs, cats, goats or kids. Now of course the paneling doesn`t match the floor. Did I pick out new flooring knowing it wouldn`t match and therefore ensure I would need new paneling for the kitchen??

Would I do something like that???? *Bats lashes coyly*

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Night Lowdown

Howdy gang, come on in and grab a cup!

What kept y`all busy this weekend? We had plenty to do it seems and not quite enough time to do it, not that that is anything new of course! Now with the clocks turned back seems like night falls like a boulder doesn`t it?

Friday night we goatherders loaded into our goatmobile and trundled over the hill to watch our varsity team play their last game of the season. The boys made a good effort but we ended up losing. Looks like this past season was a rebuilding season we`re going to say. After the game Mister and I had a nice meet and greet with Miss Yodeling`s new beau and his family. His parents and grandma seem very nice, as does the young man.

Saturday began early. Mister rolled out before the chickens to go fall turkey hunting, while I chose to stay home and work on my NaNoWriMo entry. For some reason I still cannot fully comprehend I chose to enter this year. 50,000 words in 30 days, cake right? I`ve gotten up to 8,800 words as of this morning, so if my posts seem kind of short over the next few weeks please don`t be too upset. As I was typing along the phone rang and I saw on the caller ID it was the hospital. Seems pop had a swollen leg on Thursday, went to the Dr. on Friday and they slapped him in the hospital PDQ. The scan showed a rather large blood clot so he`s once more laid up. I ran up as quick as I could get around to bring him some personal effects. He seems in good humor about it all, and understands how serious a blood clot can be.

After the trip to the people hospital I stopped off to pick up Lucius. He had his man surgery Friday. We got home and had some lunch then Mister and Miss went out again to track those elusive birds. They came home with one that Mister got. Miss Yodeling couldn`t get a good bead on another jake that was with this one, but she still enjoyed the outing!

Today was cold, damp and gray, a typical November day. I did some writing in the morning on the NaNoWriMo novel then ran Miss Yodeling to a student council meeting at the high school. During all that I stripped the beds and got them washed and made back up. Mister went to help our neighbor Mister L. move an old camper that was given to him. Hubby used our tractor to get the camper off some blocks and then when they got to the road he chained the camper to the Kubota in case the one brake line decided to give out. All went well thankfully and neither of the guys went for a wild ride!

Now dinner is done and the dishes are washed. I think I`ll go visit some of my blogging` buddies, tend to that highly addictive Farmville farm and maybe crank out another 1,200 words on the book.

Or maybe I`ll just skip the book in lieu of a nice, hot, long, bubbly bath!

Friday, November 5, 2010

One Liners-11/5

Tinker-'Please don`t let them see me, please don`t let them see me, please don`t--'

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pop`s Home!

Morning all! Tug out a chair and I`ll grab the pot and some cups.

How is everyone? I hope life is treating you all well and that you`re staying warm. The past two mornings we`ve awoken to a temperature of 22 degrees, talk about frost on the pumpkin! I did not miss having to go out and start up my truck in the morning. Sad thing is I know that it`s only going to get colder and colder. Ah well, at least we have the woodstove cranking away. There is nothing like wood-heat is there?

I`m really happy to report that my dad was discharged from the nursing home yesterday! As always he seems to be able to rearrange my well-laid plans. I had everything all planned out as I drove to pick him up yesterday. I would sign him out, take him to his apartment in town, help him with his suitcase and run any errands he needed done. I`m sure his milk is not drinkable by now. Then Mister and I had planned to bring his beloved El Camino to him in the evening.

I should know better than to plan anything with dad! When we got all the paperwork done and had a walker lined up to be delivered to his house, he turned to me and said firmly.

“Take me to my truck.”

“Pop,” I said as I loaded his suitcase and cane we borrowed from my mother-in-law into the rear-seat of my Chevy,” I`m going to take you home and help you get—“

Guess the word ‘help’ was kind of the no-go word in that statement. Talk about a being fiercely independent!

“I don`t need help getting inside, I need my truck.”

“Pop,” I said once more and hoisted my Hobbit-butt into the truck,” How are you going to get up those stairs and carry your suitcase, bags and all the medication the nursing home sent home with you? Just let me get you home and settled then this evening Mister and I will—“

“I carry my groceries in all the time by myself. This isn`t any different,” he said and I knew right then there was no more point in arguing. Once his mind is made up it is made up! “I`ll do it in shifts.”

I know I sighed then.

I really do admire his drive. So many folks at his age would have given up but not pop, no sir buddy! He can dig in like an Arkansas tick when he wants to. So needless to say, I drove him to my mother-in-law`s house, got his windshield scraped for him and off he went, happy as a clam down the road, his independence restored!

If I can be half as feisty at 85 I think I`ll be doing pretty dang good!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things a Jack-O-Lantern has to live through

Morning everyone! I hope y`all didn`t snack on TOO much of that Halloween candy!

Our spooky weekend was so crammed I didn`t even have time to pen a sunday night wrap-up, so we`ll just call this one a monday morning wrap-up. More time to sip our coffee in the morning anyway right? Friday night we went over to watch our varsity team play thier homecoming game.

It was so darn cold! Mister and I were like two frozen goatherder popsicles sitting beside that field! Sadly our boys lost. It`s been a rough year for the team to say the least. One more home game this Friday, then the season is over. I`m sure we`ll be there despite the arctic winds. Why we`ll be there is explained down a paragraph.

Saturday was spent getting Miss Yodeling and her attire ready for the homecoming dance. Now I do have a very nice picture of her and her new beau but I am forbidden to post it anywhere on the internet. *Sighs deeply* He is a very cute boy I will say that. Clean cut and polite. Also one of only two freshman on the varsity team. Uh-huh, that`s why it was so imperative we go to all the home games! I`ll keep working on her for permission to post the homecoming dance snapshot.

Miss had a wonderful time and now it seems has her first boyfriend. Oh the ride home from the dance was quite something! I`m still not sure her father has accepted the fact that his baby girl has a boyfriend. Although the lad`s love of hunting, trapping and fishing may help him a bit! Poor dad. I think it may be harder for dad`s than it is for mom`s sometimes.

Yesterday we spent all day cleaning barns and getting hay brought up for the goats and steers. Since we live so far off the beaten path we don`t get too many trick-or-treaters-actually we don`t get any. But we still carve a pumpkin anyway! This year our poor jack-o-lantern had two shocks to live through!One was this hiding inside him....

As if a yellow kitten belly warmer isn`t bad enough, then the poor thing had to endure this on his head this morning....

Yup, another dusting of snow. Poor old Jack, the things a carved pumpkin has to endure I tell ya.

So how was everyone`s Halloween weekend??