Monday, February 28, 2011

When It Rains....

It really pours! Least ways in our neck of the woods today!

Pull out a chair and I`ll grab the pot. Man-Oh-Day talk about a wild and wooly morning! *Flops down in kitchen bench* I know I`ve been bemoaning all the winter weather. Here in the high hills of Pennsylvania we`ve gotten easily over 24 inches of snow in a week. Just when Mister thought he was done plowing we got nailed Friday with another eleven or so inches, then the following night we woke up to find about 6 more inches. I`d given up talking to Ole Man Winter since he seems to ignore goatherders who are up to their caboose in snow!

Guess maybe he heard my complaints, Lord know everyone else has, so he done give me what I asked for. Warm weather (Well warm for us is above freezing this time of year) and rain. Lots and lots of rain. So much rain that now we`re under a flood warning. That two feet of snow has to go somewhere right? We even had thunderstorms rolling in around five this morning! Talk about shaking your head at the skies! Needless to say things here in our county are a tad damp and so are hubby and myself. I`ve come to the conclusion that Ole Man Winter may actually be that rascal Murphy in disguise. Here`s why I`ve come to that conclusion.

Mister left for work this morning at five as he usually does. I was puttering around (Okay, I was drinking coffee but puttering sounds better) and getting ready to head out to do the birds in the wind, rain and jags of lightening. I dislike going out in thunderstorms for the obvious reasons. Also I knew that walking would be treacherous uphill even with the spikes on my Muck boots. I had just gotten my watering can filled for the chickens and my canine helper ready when the phone rang. Six o`clock and someone is calling? Instant bad news alarm goes off. My alarm is never wrong either sadly.

Seems Mister was sitting alongside the road beside a salvage yard minus one alternator belt. Thank goodness salvage workers get up with the chickens like yodeling goatherders. Most businesses open at eight or nine or even ten here in the boondocks. I gave the skies outside a very dour look then told him I`d be there as soon as the school bus came. Off I went brisk as a randy bunny to get the chores completed and the wood stove tended. Miss and I skated to the truck, slid down the driveway and met the bus as it tip-toed down our road. Would it really hurt the township to sprinkle a few cinders for the school bus?! Sorry, I digressed there a bit.

Taking one last peek into the backseat to ensure I had the jumper cables I began my trip. Feral is not one who likes to drive in bad weather. My dad calls me a ‘Fair-Weather-Driver’ and I don`t deny it! Water was running from everywhere, the skies were heaving and hawing and rain was falling so hard and so fast my wipers couldn`t clear it fast enough. Why, I thought with a scowl, did the car have to choose THIS morning to throw itself?! Dumb car I muttered as I crawled along the roads that looked like Noah and his ark would come drifting down the yellow line.

The half hour drive took me about forty-five because I simply refuse to speed through rivers rampaging under my bumper. I kid you not I think I saw a hippopotamus when I crept slowly into Covington and I don`t think hippo`s are indigenous to Pennsylvania waterways. Or it could have been a cow wading out to wash off her udders now that I`m home and not having a nervous Nellie attack. Despite what was frolicking in the creek, I finally pulled up behind Mister with a huge sigh of relief. He had managed to call work and tell his foreman he was going to miss the day. Again thanks guys at Covington Salvage for allowing my husband to use your phone.

We hooked up batteries, sat and chatted about the deluge and the dumb car, then set off once more this time me following him in case we had to stop and hook up the batteries again. We only had to make one stop to charge the car up thankfully. Poor Mister, I felt so bad. He was soaked to the skin from hooking and unhooking jumper cables. I was pretty damp as well but he was saturated. I was never so glad to see the mechanic`s garage as I was this morning! I gladly handed the keys to my husband, warned him about wayward hippopotamus and dropped my anxious head to the passenger side headrest.

Of course now that we`re home safe and sound the sun is shining down like gangbusters. Which makes me pretty sure Ole Man Winter`s last name is Murphy. I know that has absolutely nothing to do with the header but I figured I`d share that mental wander with y`all just so you guys and gals are forewarned.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow Days, Down Days & Crow Days

Howdy gang! Let me turn the pot on and we`ll have a nice visit!

You know usually Feral spends all day home alone but not this week! Monday and Tuesday Miss Yodeling was home from school for a President`s day break. My thumb is still recovering from the video gaming we did! Then when my daughter went back to school Mister was home. He has down days from the foundry and has been home since Wednesday. It`s wonderful to have Mister home. He is a much better conversationalist than the dogs and cats! He also has been a busy bee trying to get some of his honey-do list done so that he can do some coyote hunting.

Now of course as we all know, hunting is a very gadget heavy pastime. Predator hunting is no different than deer hunting or turkey hunting in that regard. And thusly and therefore the more gadgets and gizmos one needs the more likely said gadgets and gizmos are to become misplaced. It is tradition in this house that the day before a hunt (Or morning of said hunt also works) the hunter will discover something imperative that is missing from his gizmo/gadget bag.

Also, if said hunter is male and married, he turns to his spouse and asks where the missing item is, even if the spouse has not used the missing item. Why this is I cannot say but perhaps it means husbands feel we wives have a sixth sense about things that they-the husband-have misplaced. Trust me gents we do not and you asking where it is over and over and over will only result in you being told unsavory things by your lovely if not somewhat aggravated bride.

The missing item of this day actually has absolutely nothing to do with coyote hunting. Why then, you may ask, would finding this particular item be so important to the man. Go ahead and ask yourself and if you can find an answer that makes sense to my estrogen filled brain I am all ears! Yesterday Mister and I spent two hours searching for a tape that sounds like crows. No not Counting Crows although they are a darn good band. A tape that plays the screams of about one hundred crows called ‘Crow Revelry’. This tape was yellow I was told twenty-three times. It also says ‘Crow Revelry’ on it I have also been told numerous times. Thank you darling. I now know what the missing tape looks like. It is committed to memory and shall never be forgotten.

Although on a plus side we did get the top of the refrigerator cleaned off during the mad search for that yellow tape called ‘Crow Revelry.’ Sadly the tape, which must be as valuable as the Holy Grail given how much time was spent searching for it, was not amid the forty-three boxes of shells atop my Whirlpool. We did however find a broken turkey call and the bottoms of a pair of old pajamas stashed away in an old strawberry basket.

“Why did I keep these?” Mister asked me from atop my kitchen chair.

“I couldn`t say,” I replied as I pawed through a drawer in search of that yellow tape called ‘Crow Revelry’.” Maybe you kept them to clean your guns with. Oh look! Here`s another old pair of safety glasses that were supposed to go to the garage!”

“I`ll take them later. It was a yellow tape,” he said and returned to his quest atop the Whirlpool

“Yes pumpkin doodle I know and it said ‘Crow Revelry’.”

And so the conversation went back and forth until the missing tape was given up on. Where it went I cannot say but I do know it is nowhere in this house. Although I did find a receipt from my Christmas shopping trip back in 2009 so it wasn`t a fruitless two hours!

After the quandary of the yellow tape he then opted to try out his coyote calls. Every coyote call he owns. He owns quite a few. Why? I cannot say. It seems if you have one call that sounds like a coyote then you should be set. This though is not the case as the thirty-nine turkey calls the man owns can attest to. Oh and how the dogs love to reply to those coyote calls! Why the house was fairly alive with howling and yipping and barking! There is nothing more soothing to the ear drum than the keening call of dogs is there?

“Honey boodles you know I love you right?” I said when my eardrums threatened to implode. He blew on his howler for a reply.”If you don`t stop blowing on those calls I am going to get touchy, and not touchy-feely either so stop waggling your brows!”

“I have to practice,” he replied earnestly but I could see the spark of mischief in his eyes.

“Then go outside and practice dear sweetness and light.”

“I could,” he murmured with fourteen calls hanging from his neck and three dogs winding down then gave me a wink and another round of pup distress wails.

After that last call he did decide to take himself outside to tidy the back porch. Wise man that Mister Yodeling is. Being the kind and considerate wife that I am I agreed to stop at a local sporting goods store on my way to pick up Miss Yodeling at the high school (She and the rest of the freshmen FFA members had to stay after to learn how to do their project books) and see if I could find a replacement for the missing crow tape. Mister had an appointment with the optometrist or I`m sure he would have went along. So I toodle along and a half hour later arrive at the sporting goods store. Yeah, round trips to the high school and home are sixty minutes.

In I go and I do a fast search of the calls back in the archery department. I can find no cassette tapes of any kind and so I head back to the archery shooting range. There a very pleasant young man (And I do mean young) asked if I needed assistance. I smiled at an older grey-haired gent perusing the compound bows then stepped closer to the counter.

“I`m looking for a tape for my husband to play in his predator caller,” I said most genially,” It`s yellow and called ‘Crow Revelry.’

The young man looked at me as if I had begun to spout Latin.

“A tape?” he asked with great sincerity and loss.

“Yes a tape. You know?” I said and stared at the young fellow.

“A cassette tape?” the old gent interjected and I nodded heartily. Finally someone who had heard of cassette tapes!!

Blank stare from the whippersnapper.

“They`re about this big,” I said and made the appropriate size and length dimensions with my hands, “And they have things recorded on them. Mostly music but in this case crow calls.”

“Lady you can`t buy cassette tapes anymore,” the young man replied with that ‘Old folks, aren`t they just precocious?’ tone.”You can buy discs or go to this website and download the calls you want then store them on a memory card.”

“Well that would be wonderful if my husband`s caller used memory cards as opposed to cassette tapes,” I said. It may have sounded snarky and I do apologize to that young man since he really was only trying to help out the doddering old woman.

How the heck can someone not have heard of cassette tapes?! Am I really that old?

Anydoodles needless to say I came home without a new yellow ‘Crow Revelry’ but I did have my daughter. I won`t go into the discussion she and I had as I tried to explain what the difference between a cassette tape and an eight-track tape was.

This morning I awoke to Tinker doing his beagle ‘I-Have-To-Pee’ dance on my lower lumbar. I was still kind of disgruntled over tapes in general and shuffled out to the front door muttering ‘Tapes’ as opposed to ‘Brains’. I opened the door and this is what greeted me.

(You just can`t tell some cats anything!)

It is still coming down like gangbusters and school has been cancelled. Mister just left to go sit in the snow and see if he can snipe an coyote.*Rolls eyes and shrugs*

Looks like another snow day/down day for me, thankfully minus the crows.....I hope.


Today we`re joining Verde Farm`s 'Farm Friend Friday' blog hop! It`s a great way to meet new farming friends and find new blogs to read!

Monday, February 21, 2011

One Liners-2/21

'Where just yesterday there was lawn....Sigh'

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Smile! You`re On Candid Camera!

Morning gang,have a seat and I`ll find more mugs.

Yesterday Mister Yodeling finally managed to get on the hill and pull some of the memory cards from his game camera`s. The snow drifts had kept him away from them but since we had a good melt the path was cleared pretty much. He has three out but the one that`s placed beside a scrap pile is the one that really excited us. If you recall a couple months ago we butchered our Holstein steer. There is a lot of things left over after a butcher job of that size! So Mister hauled the huge amount of undesireables up on the hill, placed them with some deer carcasses and set up his game camera.

I thought these shots were really cool and wanted to share some of them with y`all. It`s not often we get to see these predators here in Pennsylvania although I know they are around, and quite close if the coy-dog songs we hear at night are any indication. The game camera lists a ton of different things with each photo it takes which is a neat feature. You`ll be able to see date, time, temperature and barometric pressure on each snapshot!

Most are at night and the infrared doesn`t take as good a quality picture as the regular daytime camera seems to in my humble but the images are still pretty damn neat despite that. This is a pretty heavy picture load I`ll warn in advance. Gives you more time to sip some coffee right? *Winks*

Okay, let`s get this going then-


Coyote meets Skunk

Bobcat arrives

Bobcat meets skunk (Looks like the skunk got first dibs this time!)

Two bobcats ( A mated pair perhaps?)

Another picture of the two bobcats, a better one I feel

And the coyote returns

Coyote and bobcat meet

A really good image of Senor Coyote

One of the bobcats a couple days later sneaking up on the scrap pile

Pretty neat stuff isn`t it? I hope you enjoyed them as much as we did!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Look!! Look!!

Oh my gosh come look at this y`all!

Look at my back yard! Do you see that?!?!? It`s yard!!! Actual dirt and not two feet of frozen ice and snow!!

See my front yard?? There`s dirt out there too!!

Oh glorious days I feel a goatherding clog dance billowing up from my soul! Sixty-two degrees yesterday! Spring! Oh wondrous warm Spring has finally-


Is that snow blowing across the mountain across from us? Could that really be whipping flakes dancing in front of the camera?! Where did Spring go?

I refuse to accept this white stuff after such a glorious day yesterday. I shall head out in my wooden clogs and I shall track down Spring and ask-Nay demand!-that it return immediately! I shall brook no excuses and I shall not give up my tank-top that I wore yesterday with such giddy glee!

*Opens front door with determination and nearly gets blown down valley in forty MPH gust*

Okay, so after I put my winter coat back on I shall set forth, clad in my resolve and a nice sweater of wool, to find Spring and bring it back!

Wish me luck my friends!


A big yodel of welcome to Willard, a wonderful wildlife photographer and fellow resident of the Keystone state!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Morning all, come on in and have a cuppa!

Have you fellow bloggers ever had a spell where you sit and stare at the blank Word page wondering what to write about? That`s been me for the past few days. It`s been a ho-hum kind of week here. The weather has been warming up into the forties but it`s still too ugly to really do anything outside. Not to mention that it drops down below freezing at night so all that melted snow turns into a curling arena just in time for morning chores! Thankfully I have so far stayed on my feet thanks to the spikes attached to my Muck boots.

The goats are gestating nicely but even they seem to have the February blahs. The ducks and geese have been getting into some nice skirmishes the past week or so, must be the longer days are making the gangers and drakes a bit more aggressive. I`ll take their behavior to mean spring is on the way. I did go Tuesday to get my birthday shopping done for Miss Yodeling. Since she does read this on Facebook I won`t spill the beans about what she got. Nyah! *Sticks tongue out at nosy teenager*

Although I did have a moment of aggravation as I was driving to Wal-Mart.*Tugs out soapbox*

Why is it that some people just don`t think that the speed limit is fast enough? Can someone explain that to me? Is it really that important that you get to wherever it is you`re going two minutes earlier? Does your rush justify whipping around a person who is doing 55 (Which is the speed limit on this particular road) and nearly slamming into an oncoming on a wickedly curved country road? Do the words SPEED LIMIT really mean anything? Honestly this yahoo tore around me on a lethal curve and nearly wiped out not only himself but me and another car. I know that I`m getting old and all but is losing your life, the life of your passengers and the lives of innocent people worth getting there three minutes sooner?? Okay, I`m done ranting about idiotic drivers with needs for speed. *Steps off soapbox*

Today I was supposed to ride along with my mother-in-law up to Sayre so that she could have her final checkup on the carpal tunnel surgery she had. Actually I was kind of looking forward to it since, as I said, this has been a ho-hum week so far, but my brother-in-law Elmer (Actually his name is Jeff but somehow he became Elmer) has her car and volunteered to drive her up. So instead of gadding I`ve stripped the beds and am doing laundry. Oh the excitement of my life I tell you! Ah well I suppose we need these quiet times don`t we?

So what`s been keeping you guys and gals busy of late???

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart You

I Heart You

Fiction by Feral


It was February 14th and things were not good at the goat barn. Not good at all.

Anakin the buck was pacing nervously back and forth beside the woven-wire fence early in the morning, his hooves kicking up snow and his rumen quite distressed. Why hadn`t someone reminded him that today was Valentine`s Day?! Oh the looks all eight of his does had given him when they awoke and didn`t find a token of his affection awaiting them…..well the memory of those icy glances curdled his cud just recalling them!

Now he was outside in the cold while the does were inside, no doubt discussing that a lackluster buck he was for forgetting such an important date for lovers. Actually he ruminates mentally; it was warmer out here in the snow than it had been in that estrogen-filled barn! Brrrrrr! There was nothing worse than a cold doe shoulder times eight!

“Good morning Anakin! Isn`t this a most glorious day!” C.B. the barn rooster crowed as he flew up to sit on the top wire of the goat pastures fence.

The red buck shook his head in defeat.”Oh this is far from a glorious day,” the buck lamented sadly.”Did you know today is Valentine`s Day?”

“Why yes I did!” the rooster preened.”I gave each of my hens a very lovely peck and then called them over to share a fresh mound of corn!”

“Well I didn`t know it was Valentine`s Day and now my life is a living hell,” the goat sighed wearily.

“Oh that is a rather bad bit of misfortune,” the bantam rooster replied in manly commiseration. Both of the men stopped talking when Jack, the eldest gander upon the hillside farm, waddled over through a short snow-bank.

“Good day gentlemen,” Jack honked loudly.

“Good day Jack,” C.B. called down. Anakin murmured something then began pacing the fence line again.

“What seems to be stuck in his gizzard?” the gander inquired of the rooster.

“Well it seems our friend forgot today was Valentine`s Day and now he`s in a very bad place with his lovely ladies,” C.B. explained then flapped and crowed just to make sure his hens knew where he was.

“That is indeed a most difficult situation for a man to be in,” the grey and white gander murmured.”Thankfully for my two goose loves I gave them a heaping mound of soaked shell corn and two pans of warm water for them to bathe their lovely webbed feet in!”

“You didn`t give those gifts to them the humans did!” Anakin muttered as he paced by the two fowl.

“Not important,” the gander sniffed haughtily,” The humans did so at my behest! Those humans know that when I honk I expect them to reply’ How high!’”

Anakin and C.B. both rolled their eyes to the crisp cold sky. Geese were such braggarts at times.

“Well no matter who gave your goose`s-“

“Geese,” Jack corrected as he began to fluff up his down.

“My pardon,” Anakin coughed then stopped pacing to stare at his manly barnyard friends.” What can I do to rectify my situation? If I don`t come up with a gift for my does by the time the sun sets my goose will be-“

“PLEASE!” Jack honked with indignation.

“Sorry, uhm, I`ll be in hot-“

“PLEASE!” C.B. squawked and ruffled his pin feathers. “Never mention cooking or pots of hot water to poultry!”

“Sorry friends,” Anakin said with sincere regret,” I`m just at my beards end here!”

“Why don`t you go round and pick them some posies? All women love posies,” Jack the gander suggested. Anakin waved a hoof at the snow-covered pasture in reply.”Oh yes,” the gander whispered and began to stroke his bill with the tip of his wing thoughtfully.

“Maybe you could take them over to the manure pile and let them dig around for frozen bugs!” C.B. offered with a cheery tone.

“That’s a very good thought but we goats don`t dig in manure piles for frozen bugs,” Anakin sighed once more.”If I could just think of something that I could do…something that was sweet and something they`d enjoy….oh dash it! I am SO going to be roasted over a-“

“PLEASE!!!” both of his friends cried then shuddered.

“Sorry,” Anakin muttered and flopped down in the snow in a very woe-begotten way.

“You could possibly make something for them,” Jack suggested off the wing.

“That`s not a bad idea my caprine friend!” C.B. chimed in after Anakin gave the gander a sour look.”Maybe you could make a snow-goat angel for each of your lady loves!”

“Make something for them,” Anakin said and coughed up a sour cud to chew and think. After a moment or two of chewing and thinking he leapt to his hooves, his eyes bright with a grand idea.”I have an idea but I`ll need your assistance to pull it off! What say you? Will you aid a buck in matrimonial distress??”

“Far be it for me to turn down another man in matrimonial distress,” C.B. clucked.

“I suppose I can offer my aid as well although it IS creeping up on my ‘Chase the ducks from the watering bowls’ time,” Jack said.

“Excellent! You two are some fine fowl!” Anakin smiled and swallowed his cud.”Now C.B., I`ll need you to get the girls out into the sunshine. Jack I`m going to require that swanky bill of yours inside the barn!”

“Ah yes, inside the barn,” the goose grumbled and eyed the six foot fence.

“Are you telling me you can`t fly over this fence?” C.B. inquired tauntingly.

“Of course I can fly over that fence! Have you not seen my cousins soaring overhead each fall and spring!?” Jack bristled and extended his wide wings and began flapping.

Even with a running start the domestic goose only got his wings over the top of the woven-wire fence. Anakin and C.B. hurried to tug and yank at him, each with a wing in their mouth and beak. Jack honked and made quite a racket but after one mighty tug in unison the gander flopped over the fence and landed most unceremoniously in the snow on his back. Anakin and C.B. both spit out a few feathers as the gander righted himself quickly.

“I told you I could fly over that fence,” Jack announced with a regal sniff.”Now shall we get to this mission you`ve dreamed up! Does either of you know how to open the gate? Not that I need it opened mind I was just curious,” the goose asked as the three males crept to the goat barn.

All the does were having some fresh hay for breakfast. C.B. strutted inside and crowed with volume. The does ignored him and continued chewing. The rooster made a face then flew up and landed on Mallory`s back.

“Did you know fair doe that a pine tree has fallen over in the night and even now lays in the pasture just waiting for-“

With that news all eight of the does raced outside. C.B. tumbled from the black does back so great was her haste to find the pine tree. Anakin and Jack hurried inside the barn and with great finesse and very nimble lips, the buck was able to pry the latch free and close the door.

“Phew!” Anakin chuckled and swiped at his brow with his hoof,” I didn`t think anything could get them from their morning hay ration! Are you okay? You look like you have a few feathers out of place.”

“I`m fine,” the rooster huffed then gave his misaligned saddle feathers a dark glare.

“Okay, this is my plan,” Anakin said softly. The girls wouldn`t be gone long and once they discovered the pine tree ruse he had better have something to make amends with. “Jack, once I get this dog snap free I`ll need you to bring me bills of water from the rubber water dishes over by the wall,” Anakin informed him then began to wiggle and giggle the snap holding the gate to the grain can open.

“Do I look like some sort of mobile water carrying servant to you? That, my dear friend, is what we have humans for,” the gander said with quite a flair.

“Oh get down off your high horse goose,” C.B. replied snappily as he tried to help unsnap the snap.

“Well!” Jack coughed and waddled over to the black rubber bowl.

It took some fancy lip maneuvers and a few well placed pecks but finally the gate was opened and Anakin was pushing the lid off the grain can with his head. Soon he had a huge mound of sweet grain gathered before his front hooves.

“Bring me some water Jack!” the red buck cried out.

“Oh! Yes, of course, water!” Jack responded and climbed quickly out of the water dish.

“Waterfowl, sheesh,” the rooster said under his breath then grabbed a flake of oats from the large pile.

The gander hurried over with his bill full of water. Anakin pointed to the mound of grain with his hoof. After the bill-full was delivered the buck began to paw in the oats sweetened with molasses.

“We`ll need more Jack! Lots more it looks like,” Anakin said and the goose waddled back for more. Back and forth and back and forth that gander went. He made so many trips his webbings were beginning to ache but finally the red buck stopped patting the small shapes with his hooves.

“Well I dare say those are quite ingenious!” C.B. crowed and Anakin muttered a shy thanks.

“I am going to have to nap half the day to rest my weary webs,” Jack announced with drama.

“As if that`s anything different,” C.B. said with a wink of mischief for the buck.

“I heard that chicken!” the gander honked behind them, resting in the hay under the manger.

“I sure hope they like these,” Anakin said as he carefully carried each gift into the barn one by one.”I sure don`t relish the thought of sleeping outside in the snow!”

“By the sounds of things I`d say you best shake a leg my man! The ladies are getting restless!” Jack honked loudly to be heard over the girls kicking at the closed barn door.

“Jack, can you open the door for me?” Anakin asked very politely.

The gander blew out a breath then stood up and walked over to the door. Using all his strength he pushed at the door with his feathered shoulder. A doe pushed her head in the crack. Jack let out a loud ‘Wee-Snaw’ as eight goats nearly trampled him to come back inside.

“What is the meaning of all this?!” Francesca asked and shook flakes from her brown back.

“I got snow between my hooves!” Felicia scolded angrily.

“Yes Anakin! How could you bar us outside in the cold!?” Farrah inquired pettily.

“I wanted to surprise you with your Valentine`s Day gifts?” Anakin responded warily.

Sixteen feminine eyes regarded him coldly then he danced aside. There on the hay were eight hearts made of firmly packed and well moistened goat grain. Those cold feminine eyes then warmed up considerably.

“Oh Anakin you are simply the most wonderful buck a doe could ever want!” Elizabeth said around a mouthful of her treat.

“Just for this you can curl up next to me tonight,” Jennifer said and winked at the red buck.

“No he`s going to curl up next to me tonight!” Francesca shot back.

“No he`s going to curl up next to me tonight!”

“No me!”

“No me!”

“Well I think it`s time to make myself scarce,” C.B. mumbled as the does all began to rub up against the manly smelling buck.

He ran outside and in a heartbeat was over the fence and back with his hens where they began pecking ardently.

“Uhm…..can someone please open the gate?” Jack honked with goosely exasperation.


Happy Valentine`s Day!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night


Oh, sorry for the shouted greeting, my hearing isn`t quite back to normal must be. Come on in and have a visit! I`ll fill up a couple of mugs for y`all!

You might be wondering why I`m a wee bit hearing deprived this morning and why this entry is the title of a KISS song. Well firstly anytime I can work KISS into a conversation this ole-I mean classic-goatherders day is set! I`ve been a fan of KISS for longer than I should disclose but suffice it to say my sixteenth birthday cake had the cover from ‘Rock & Roll Over’ on it!

Ain`t that the cooliest? Ah Gene Simmons you are my idol despite the fact that even now we both are not quite as spry as we used to be lo those many years ago. Anydoodles, my rampant fangirl mania for Mr. Simmons aside last night Mister, Miss and I went to a fundraiser in a nearby town to enjoy a night of metal music. We`re all metal heads here, something that seems odd I`m sure given that we`re so very rural. I`ve nothing against country music, heck I was raised on Conway Twitty, Freddie Fender and The Possum George Jones, but my heart and soul is tightly bound to rock.

I knew this would be quite an experience for my two family members. Mister and Miss have never seen or felt a live band. Now the feeling part isn`t like running up to grab the bassist although if given a chance Feral would leap at Gene Simmons….sorry, I found another of them side roads. Feeling the live band means that the music is so loud it runs up into your chest as it rattles your eardrums. I could feel the beat outside the community center and knew it would be a good show! Hearing is vastly over-rated any metal head can tell you…well they would tell you if they could hear the query.

There were four local bands slated to perform to raise money for HISTIO, a rare form of blood disease that the organizer`s sister suffers from. Although I was there mainly to see A Dawn Becoming since Miss Yodeling had shown me their YouTube videos, the other bands were Null, The Peelers and Burden My Surrender. I thought I`d give you guys a chance to catch the band here so I`ve embedded one of their videos for you. If you`re not a fan of heavy metal you may want to simply skip over since there is much screaming and banging of heads. If you`re brave enough to enter the dark world of metal then rock on my friends!

As we were standing amid the crowd and wondering if we having heart palpitations from the bass reverberations slamming into our breastbones via our feet I got to thinking about my very first concert. Seeing Miss Yodeling and her friends that we met there rocking and rolling may have stirred up the memories. Or maybe it was just being in the same room with the sweaty hair-flinging godliness of rock and roll.

I was sixteen when I attended my first KISS concert. I even have the ticket stub to this day. The show was on January 30th, 1978 at the Spectrum down in Philadelphia and it cost seven dollars to get in. Seven dollars! I bet it costs a wee bit more nowadays to see a band that huge. This was the very first time I had been allowed to go to a rock concert. I made up for it over the years by seeing many a show! I`ve been lucky enough to see KISS three times, Ozzy Osborne, Def Leppard, Peter Frampton, Steve Miller and Yes all on the same day, and Motley Crue. My first concert though was an experience I shall never forget. It was winter of course and my mother was not one to drive in the bad weather. Since me and my girlfriends had these tickets and were beyond spastic my mother’s girlfriend Sally stepped up. God bless her. She also was a fan of country music so her volunteering to take three screaming teens who had painted their faces to look like demons, cats and spacemen was a real show of her stamina.

The night was a cold one I remember that. We piled into Sally`s car and off we went! I seem to recall Sally`s mutterings when we pulled into the parking area of the Spectrum. I also recall her mutterings when she and her three frenetic charges waded into the venue. To say that her eyebrows climbed to her hairline would be putting it mildly. I think they climbed to the top of her blond head and leaped off to hide inside one of the concession areas. The place was packed, and I do mean packed, with other KISS aficionados. Thousands and thousands of people all clad in black leather with kabuki style make-up on their smiling faces. We were in KISS Army heaven. Sally must have thought she stepped into one of the gates of Hell.

If the poor woman thought she had tread unknowingly into Hades domain then, when we pushed and shoved our way across the floor I`m sure she knew she had fallen into the pits of Tartarus. Somehow, lucky us I know, but somehow we managed to get within fifty feet of the walls of amplifiers. When the lights dimmed of course the place went insane. Every person there rose to their feet and screamed. Well, not everyone. Sally sat in her folding seat and gaped as the sound waves issuing forth from the mountain of Peavey`s blew her hair from her face. This was not The Oak Ridge Boys by any wild stretch of imagination.


Total and absolute bedlam erupted as Gene, Paul, Peter and Ace appeared. I think I went into total teenage mind meltdown when the guys blew into their opening number. I don`t recall much aside from moments of utter delirium as I breathed in the same air that Gene Simmons had just breathed out…minus the fire of course since that would be very painful. I can remember looking down a few times-didn`t want to miss anything-to see Sally, arms folded over her breasts with napkins shoved into her ears. Where she found the napkins to this day I don`t know but there she was. What a trooper! She persevered through the entire show, never tugging those napkins free until we were in the car. I think she made some comment about something but between the sheer glory of seeing KISS and having my earholes assaulted so wonderfully I couldn`t hear what she commented.

And so I stood last night, surrounded by teenagers bouncing up and down while flinging their heads, and realized that although A Dawn Becoming may not be KISS, the power and energy of rock and roll is something that will never die and thank the gods of metal for that!

So you all want more java? WHAT? NO I DON`T HAVE ANY CRUMPETS! Oh, creamer. Tee-Hee.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One Liners-2/12

'Okay Lucius, you distract her by eying the bowl while I look for the prize in the bottom of the box!'

As always y`all are encouraged to play along. Just add your one-liner in with your comments!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From Feral`s Front Porch

Winter Beauty

When it's winter in the Valley
and my breath hangs in the air,

The snow will crunch beneath my feet
and glisten in the air.

The stars at night light up my world
so I never walk alone;

It's clear and crisp and beautiful
in the Valley I call home.

Joan Adams Burchell

Monday, February 7, 2011

Warm Thanks And Soft Purrs

Hello fans of fabulous felines, it`s me Lu-Lu!

Oh pardon me for yawning in your face like that, I`ve been very tired since my harrowing experience the other day. My human, that goofy goatherder, told me that you other bloggers have been very kind and sent me a score of good wishes! Thank you so very much for that. I am feeling much better I`m pleased to report! My new cat food is quite tasty and even Lucius likes it, but then again he eats mice so his palate may be a teensy bit less refined than mine.

This morning I ventured outdoors when the dogs and Lucius went out. It was very chilly out there and I disliked the ice and snow on my prim little paws! I did get a chance to talk with C.B. the cow barn rooster though and he wished me to relay some news and general information.

According to C.B. his flock of hens and he are what he terms ‘Rebel Chickens’. I took that to mean that they have broken off from the main flock that sleeps in the chicken coop in some sort of anti-establishment sort of uprising. Why they chose to live in the cow barn is beyond me! Why there`s a cow in there! And I won`t even begin to talk about the piles of cow patties all over the place! Yuk!

C.B. also wanted to ensure everyone that the grey silky hen that was so thoughtlessly molested by that nasty old opossum will be fine. He assures me that he shall keep her very warm at night as they cuddle up together on the rafters of Sir Patrick of Moo`s abode. Personally I would much rather be cuddled up beside the goofy goatherder on their lovely bed at night. That is where a princess such as I belongs is it not?

Thank you all again for your well wishes, they made me feel so much better! I think I hear the goofy goatherder coming in from watering those noisy geese so I`ll meander off and begin my daily fourteen hour nap.

Yours in devilment-


Sunday, February 6, 2011

No Rest For the Wicked Or The Weary

I`ll let you guys decide which of the above I am. *Hurries to cover horns*

What a crazy few days we`ve had here on the hillside farm! It all began on Tuesday of course during the winter storm that rumbled across the country.

My cat Lu-Lu started throwing up while suffering some explosive diarrhea. This went on all through Tuesday and into Wednesday. I called the vet Wed. to see if they were even open since the weather was so horrid with snow and freezing rain. They were and so I set up a tentative appointment for three that afternoon, hoping the weather would improve. It didn`t. So another call to reschedule, this time Friday at one and I prayed things would straighten out both with Lu-Lu and the weather.

The weather settled down. Lu-Lu did not.

Friday arrived and I got her to the vets. After a very complete exam they took an x-ray to see if perhaps she were suffering some sort of intestinal blockage. They did give her some fluids sub-Q since she was so dehydrated by this time her collar was hanging off her neck. She did drop three pounds I was shocked to see. The good doctor came back and said that she had a large loop in her lower intestine that was filled with gas and quite a lot of feces in her colon.

They suggested that they keep her overnight, get more fluids into her and give her another X-Ray in the morning. If the loop was still there they may have to operate. Sadly I left her there and began worrying. I know she`s only a cat and some folks may say they`re a dime a dozen but we all know how special our pets are, and how irreplaceable also.

Okay so let`s skip to Saturday. I have groceries to buy and am now close to pacing beside the phone. Thankfully the vet called and said that the loop had gone down but she still hadn`t had a bowel movement so they had given her an enema. They wished to keep her for another few hours, draw some blood to see if they could find out if it were systematic or not and hopefully she would have a BM.

Alrighty then I said to myself, I have time to get to the store and back before they call back. Off I go with Miss Yodeling to town. We come back home and it`s now raining. Raining quite hard and the temperatures hovering at about 31 degrees. Ah yes, welcome back Old Man Winter you dirty rotten rassafrassin`…..Well you get the gist of what I said mentally.

Miss and I creep up our driveway and get the food toted in. Mister returns from doing some work on the Kubota down in his garage. The phone rings and it`s his mother asking if he can come back down to pull someone out of the ditch by her house. He leaves to tug the guy free with the tractor and the phone rings. It`s the vet and she`s happy to say Lu-Lu did have a BM and we can come pick her up.

I looked out the window and saw the glare and sighed. Okay, back out we go. Miss Yodeling and I skid and slide to the truck. We creep back down the driveway and find Mister has gotten the poor unwary driver tugged from the ditch. Our stretch of road is notorious for being terribly icy since the sun never shines on it. Of course the entire road was an ice patch by this time. Mister asks if I want him to drive. I accept graciously and off we crawl to town.

Lu-Lu is returned to us along with some bland dry food for her to eat for a few days. The blood work results should be back soon I hope. So off we go once more, disgruntled cat now in the back seat with Miss Yodeling. Cats do not like enema`s-not that anyone does for that matter-and she was quite vocal about the perceived mistreatment she endured! Once we got back up the hill was when the weather got funky crazy! Rain began to turn to sleet then back to rain. Thunder and lightning erupted overhead with enough force to rumble the house, then it began to snow like no-one`s business! We got a touch of everything yesterday that is for sure!

Somehow I did get the laundry done amid all the running and skidding and thundering and disgruntled cats. Oh! I just remembered this too. Last night our satellite dish wasn`t working well since it was covered with ice, snow and whatever else fell from the sky. Mister has this rather good technique to clear the ice. He fills a pan with hot water, stands on our front porch and flings the water onto the dish that sits on the corner of our roof. While he was out flinging he heard a terrible ruckus over in the cow barn.

“Something`s over there killing a chicken,” he said as he ran inside and grabbed the 20 gauge.

“Maybe Patty`s laying on one of them,” I said.

“Don`t think so,” he replied and out he went, shotgun in hand, hunters headlight on his forehead and still in his slippers and lounging pants.

These are the kinds of things one only sees if they live rurally my friends. Of course the two labs went banana`s since he left the house with a gun. Within a few minutes Miss and I and the labs heard the shot. Shortly thereafter Mister Yodeling returned and informed us an opossum had been attacking one of the hens.

It had been cornered by the steer Mister thinks and he had to reach down and pull it out of the wall by its tail since he didn`t want to blow a hole in the barn wall. Better him than me! I don`t even like looking at opossums let alone reaching down and playing with their old ratty tails! I guess the nighttime raider managed to severely pluck one of our gray silky hens. Good thing for her Mister just happened to be flinging hot water when the ugly old thing grabbed her!

Now hopefully it will be a nice quiet uneventful day. I think I might just go grab another cup of that wondrous brew and spend an hour or two catching up on some of my buddy’s blogs. That is if I can get Lu-Lu from my arm.

Meh, maybe I can sip coffee and blog visit with a purring cat on my arm.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We Made It!

Howdy gang, wade on in through the snow-bank and we`ll have a hot cup of coffee to thaw out!

I hope everyone managed well through the storms that barreled across the country. I`ve given up talking to Ole Man Winter since my pleas seem to fall on deaf ears or incurs his wrath, I`m not sure which to be honest!

We made out pretty well here on the hillside farm all things considered. Thankfully our power stayed on even during the worse of things, although our bathtub was filled with five gallon buckets and watering cans for the animals just in case. Tuesday we got 4-6 inches of snow which I feel helped us tremendously when it switched over to freezing rain Tuesday night. The snow absorbed a good deal of the water and now is a crusty mess but still better than just ice. Hose-Man is up to his pipe navel now!

Wednesday was all freezing rain and sleet and man did it come down! Then the wind kicked up. If anyone of my neighbors finds one of my chickens in their yard just give me a jingle and I`ll come round them up. I thought this was a pretty cool sight so I snapped a shot. If you look at the top of the hill you can see the ice line on the trees. I`m betting a good many came down yesterday with the ice accumulations and the strong winds.

During all of this of course school was cancelled, so Miss Yodeling and I had plenty of time to catch up on the girl talk and play video games. It was so nasty outside we only ran out to do chores and scurried back into the house afterwards. Funny how when it`s that ugly we don`t see nose nor hoof of a goat outside! I can`t say as I blame them either! Today looks like it`s going to be a nice one, colder than a witches heart but at least the sun is going to shine and no precipitation is coming down.

Here`s how some of the yodeling gang spent their time during the two day assault of Ole Man Winter.

Lucius did a lot of this—

Poe did quite a bit of this---

Miss Yodeling did a ton of this—

I`d like to point out that even though the guitar for Warriors of Rock is around her neck her notebook is not far away. How she can play a video game and chat with seven friends simultaneously is beyond me! I`m lucky I can chew gum and walk at the same time.

Mister spent far too much time doing this---(Notice Patty the Hereford supervising)

After the freezing rain and ice abated our four-wheeler was useless for plowing, the snow was just too heavy. Cue the Kubota! That tractor has proven itself a blessing over and over.

As for me I spent the past two days shaking a fist at the storm, whittling away on a few fiction tales and sipping cups of java. Now that life is back to normal meaning Miss is on her way to school and Mister is at the foundry I think I may just sit back, sip another fresh cup of that heavenly brew and catch up on my buddy’s blogs!

So how did y`all fare with the storm in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Liners-2/1

'Look ! Up in the sky! It`s a bird! It`s a plane! It`s another snowstorm coming!'

As alway y`all are encouraged to play along! Just put your one-liner with your comments. Also a loud Yodel-Ey-He-Ho to Smwon! Welcome to the hillside farm!