Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Feral Ponders-20 Years of Wedded Bliss

What can a woman say about being married for twenty years? Well, I`ve been pondering….

When I first sat down to pen this entry I had a mixed bag of ideas. I thought about telling y`all how Mister and I first met, but didn`t know if he`d like the idea of me informing folks of how shy he was back then. Oops, well the cat`s out of that bag now isn`t it?! Sometimes I look at the man I`ve shared all those years with and can`t see that quiet man I first met. Other times I look at him and can see the silent guy very well. And sure, sometimes I wish that male that hardly said two words to me during that double-date with a couple friends were back!

I guess quite a bit of being married for so long is about just that. Still being able to enjoy the fellow you first met while watching him, and yourself, grow and change. And just as the people who are involved must change, so must your marriage. I can`t imagine a woman out there who`s been married for more than six months can honestly say their union is the same as when they were blushing newlyweds. If it is then the hubby and you are living in a vacuum of time and space. How can it remain the same?

We all know that the rosy blush of that first year fades over time. Now that`s not to say that the passion withers away, although of course the passion seems to take a backseat when the kids start to arrive. I can recall our first year of marriage. Living in a tiny trailer that shook when a mouse sneezed in the tin walls, although we didn`t seem to mind much. We had other things on our minds! *Waggles brows*

Funny how now Mister and I find ourselves growing back together now that our daughter is growing up. Seems so much of our time and energy was spent making sure she thrived and had the attention she needed that now that she`s almost old enough to drive we`re now looking at the fact that it`s just going to be us soon. Okay, soon is three more years but as fast as time goes that`ll be here before Mom and Dad is ready for it!

Over the past couple of years our marriage has gone through some changes and some hard times too. But we stuck it out, rode over those nasty lumps and emerged with a stronger union.

Again, if someone tells you they`ve been married for a long time and have never run over a few speed bumps they are lying. You cannot live with another human being and have it be all sunshine and unicorns! They will, on occasion, drive you nuts. And I`m pretty sure I`ve driven Mister Yodeling to Looney Town a few times over those twenty years! Word to the young girls sighing over wedding gowns-It`s the little things that will make you pull out and braid your hair.

Like never closing cabinet doors.*Sighs wearily* To this day I cannot grasp how a man can open a kitchen cabinet or drawer and not close it. How is that even possible?! Do you not see that cabinet door hanging open, waiting for your little Hobbit of a wife to run her head into it?? Does the male mind only work on the ‘Open’ synapse and not the ‘Close’ one as well? Don`t they go hand in hand?! Open-Close-Open-Close-Open-Close-See the rhythm there guys?

Also, if I may point this out purely for the young ladies who are staring at their fiancée with stars in their eyes-It takes years to train that male you`re so gaga over to rinse out their own pop cans. We won`t go into the carrying the empty ice cream bowl and spoon to the sink battle for that would only make you brides-to-be overly anxious and I don`t want to cause any wedding plans to go awry.

Just know that after many years of gentle persuasion which your husband will call harping, you will have him swishing water in his empty pop can and placing it into the dish drainer. If you`re really lucky you may have a Labrador retriever that will bring you the ice cream bowl and spoon upon request! (Your husband’s request that is, since he doesn`t wish to leave the recliner and the hunting show that’s on.)

But in all fairness I am not without my foibles. I, for example, am the one who doesn`t screw the cap back on the toothpaste tightly OR flatten out the tube. I am a squeezer. Mister is a flattener. That little fracas has been going back and forth for many years. I figure why screw tightly when you`re just going to be unscrewing again after your next meal?? My spouse on the other hand seems to get rather annoyed when he has to try to retrieve the cap from the teensy little drain in our bathroom sink.

I also tend to be rather pedantic about odd things such as folding the blanket on the back of the recliner a certain way. Really it shouldn`t matter to me if Mister folds it only four times as opposed to my six times should it? As long as he folds it and doesn`t toss it to the floor for me or the orally obsessed black lab to pick up that should be good right? So yeah, I`m no Snow White to live with either it seems upon reflection. Ha! See I used Snow White and reflection there with the whole mirror thing and-Ahem. Sorry, I amuse myself far too easily at times.

I guess what I`m pondering over is the fact that despite the little bumps-like open cabinets and toothpaste caps-and the really large gulley your marriage van of happiness may run over, or into, the key thing is to not give up too easily. If your man is a good one-One that works his ass off to provide for you and your kids-One that comes home and doesn`t leave his paycheck at the bar-One that never raises a hand to you or your children-One that treats you with respect and humor, then try your darnedest to ride along life`s rocky road together. If you find that you can`t live with each other after exhausting each and every auto repair manual then go your separate ways, but don`t go until you`ve tried everything to restart that marriage motor.

Oh sure, you may have to get out of that rackety old Studebaker of love on occasion and pump up a flat. And sometimes you might have to give an overheated radiator time to cool off before you dump water into it. Heck, you might even have to give the engine a shot of ether on cold mornings to get it to roll over! But those are the things we have to do to keep a classic vehicle purring along the roadway of wedded bliss. I had a thought about gas but opted to skip that since it would be in poor taste but yeah, you old married gals don`t need to be told about THAT now do you??

My mental meanderings have brought me around in a neat little circle, as they usually do, and this time I didn`t even end up with a moose in the passenger seat! This time I ended up with Mister there, and I really can`t imagine a better person to clutch the dashboard with as I go chugging down the road of life.

I love you honey…..Happy twentieth anniversary.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shiver Me Timbers!

Ahoy there me mateys! Gracious someone stop me before this whole post sounds like a bad snippet from Pirates of the Caribbean. I guess I was in a nautical mindset because yesterday Mister and I spent the day celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. Since he has to work on the 29th, which is the actual day, we decided to set sail yesterday! Leaving my child at home to supposedly do something productive we two young lovers *Snorts* went gallivanting off to Watkins Glen New York for the day. There be lots of pictures me hearties and-- Someone stop me!!

We had reservations for a luncheon aboard the Seneca Legacy-

While we waited to board the ship we dallied some along the marina.

Man I wish I had one of those in my yard sometimes!On second thought it`s probably best that I don`t or he`d be in there most of the time and who would kill the hornets that get inside?? This is a lovely hotel that sits beside Seneca Lake-

A shot of the marina-

This is the schooner 'True Love' that takes folks on a long sail around Seneca Lake-

And here be the young couple. I can`t even type that without snickering!

And some ducks! Yes, I know, I have ducks just like these I can see everyday but come on, Feral just loves ducks and they were so cute and web-footed-

Another picture of the Seneca Legacy as we were getting ready to board for the two hour luncheon and cruise-

Here`s my handsome hubby looking very spiffy in his nautical themed shirt as we wait for the meal to be served-

And me mumbling 'Feral need coffee'-

Coffee!!!!! It was so good it really deserved its own photograph. The meal was delicious as well! We had roast beef that melted in your mouth, mashed taters with gravy, corn and a tasty little slab of chocolate cake.

This is Seneca Lake, or what can be seen of it from the boat. Seneca Lake is thirty-five miles long and is five hundred feet deep at its deepest.

This is a picture of some of the vineyards that produce the fine Finger Lakes wines. Seneca Lake helps the wine-makers. Since the lake very rarely freezes in the winter due to it being spring fed, it helps shelter the vineyards.

Here is some of the bedrock that lines the lake-

And one last picture of that georgous schooner moving over the lake.

Mister and I had a really wonderful time and I highly recommend the cruise if anyone is ever near the Finger Lakes. I`ll have something special for Wednesday to touch on my thoughts about being married for twenty the same man! Hope you enjoyed sailing along with Mister and me! Now I`m off to swab the poopdeck!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

From Feral`s Front Porch

Mister just had to capture this shot yesterday afternoon. We had showers on and off all day and then the sun suddenly broke out while it was still raining. Every time I see a rainbow it reminds me of this song--

'What`s so amazing

That it keeps us star-gazing

And what do they think we may see?

Oh, someday we`ll find it

The Rainbow Connection

The lovers, the dreamers, and me.'

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What This Blog Means To Me

Howdy all! *Drops into kitchen chair and takes a long loving gulp of java juice*

To quote one of my favorite X-Men Hank McCoy, ‘Oh my stars and garters!’

I have been trying to find time to sit down and pen a blog post for days!’ Well, Hank isn`t bemoaning his lack of blogging time I don`t think when he says that, but I just like the saying and figured Hank wouldn`t mind me borrowing it. Those comic guys are pretty good sorts most generally.

Life has just been crazy with a capitol K here on the hillside farm, and sadly my blog seems to get the brunt of my lack of writing time. For that I apologize. Mister had Tuesday off and we spent the day laying a drain pipe down at the goat barn. Not that a moat isn`t cool and radical or whatever the kids say nowadays but slurry is not cool or radical or even groovy. Our pretty Pennsylvania red clay sure stinks for drainage! But the problem is fixed now and we don`t have to wallow through that mess anymore! But there went my writing time for Tuesday.

Yesterday we had to have Miss Yodeling down to Danville to see the orthopedic surgeon to check her back. A few years ago the school nurse informed us Miss had scoliosis. We ended up seeing one of the surgeons down at Geisinger who, after some x-rays, told us that although she did have some curvature he thought it was coming from one leg being a tad longer than the other. Wednesday she went back for another check-up and more X-rays. Her spine hasn`t gotten any worse, thank heaven, so now we`re looking at getting a lift made for her right shoe.(See Miss, Grandma was right when she said all those years ago that running up and down these side hills would make one leg longer than the other! Grandma`s are ALWAYS right!)

After stopping for lunch and some odds and ends we came home, did chores and then Miss and I let out for Wellsboro.

There is a new writers group forming at the book store in town (One of my favorite haunts as y`all know) and I was pretty keen to be a part of the organizational meeting. I run a writers group that meets at our library in Wellsboro once a month and this new one sounds like it will really complement what we do at the library nicely! There really is nothing like interaction and feedback for a writer. I adore my writers group and have learned so much from it.

Anydoodles, during a break from the setting up and general discussions I spent a few minutes chatting with one of the ladies that is a regular at our library group. This is a link to her blog, she is a delightful person and a very skilled scribe that just recently self-published her first children`s novel.

Life is short-Write it all down

As we were talking amid the books I mentioned to Michele that I always feel so badly when I can`t find time to do my blog entries. She is a busy blogger and I really just stand in awe of folks who can update their blogs almost daily AND find time to write novels and just do the whole life thang. After the meeting I got to thinking about blogging and what it means to me.

I know many writers use their blog to get their name out there, because hey, a blog is a form of publishing right? So I suppose in a way I use this here blog for that, although my name isn`t listed but my username from a comic board is. That`s okay though, I`ve been Feral for so long I now answer to it as neatly as I do my real name! Sometimes better truth be told.

So yeah, while I do think that part of my blog is to help get my name out there, I don`t think that`s the real core reason I love to blog. I don`t use my blog to push my fiction work so I don`t suppose that really is aiding me any in that distant dream of someday seeing what I write published. I don`t use my blog to shout out my feelings on controversial subjects like politics, religion or any of the other things millions of bloggers blog about. I don`t stick to one subject-say writing or skiing or hunting-so this blog isn`t a venue for me to show how knowledgeable I am about things. Actually the thought of me on skis is pretty funny isn`t it?? Ah, sorry, I digressed there for a minute. I try not to prattle on about the novel I`m working on all the time so this blog isn`t meant to be a means to hype folks up about that either.

Why then do I blog? And why then do I feel so badly when I can`t get back here?

That was what had me ruminating all night after the meeting at Kasey`s bookstore. I think I`ve come up with the answer.

I feel badly about not having time to blog, and devoting the majority of my writing time to my book, because this blog is about friendship. Just like when you want to talk to that friend you haven`t talked to in SO long but you just can`t seem to find the time to call, and when you do get a breather it`s too late at night? That is why I get so guilty when other projects and life drag me away from this wonderful community. This blog has come to mean more to me than just a means to get my name ‘Out There.’

It`s grown to be a breather of sorts for me, a time to sit down, have a cuppa and just chat with friends about the day to day. To catch up with the friends I`ve made blogging and see what`s cooking on their farms and homesteads.

Over the past couple of years it seems my life has grown by leaps and bounds. For a woman who is fifty I`ll admit that I`m pretty tickled over that! When I was a pup I couldn`t imagine that I would be looking at a new love (Writing that is, Mister is my old love. *Waggles brows*) and thinking of stepping into the sometimes shark-filled world that is publishing. Heck I figured I would be sitting on the porch shucking beans and rocking in my creaky rocking chair at fifty! Goes to show what I knew at eighteen huh?

That I now have the fortitude to strike out, either by the traditional publishing route or self-publishing, I owe in large part to all of you. Yup, each one of you, be you new friends or old ones, have given me the encouragement I needed to do what I love to do. Knowing that y`all come here for a cup and a chuckle warms me like a fresh mug of Folgers on an icy winter day. With your support and kind words and the backing of my husband and daughter and family, I now stand here at fifty, proud to say that I`m a writer. Whether I`m a good writer or not isn`t for me to say but I think I`m fair to middlin` as my mother was known to state.

And this blog is a large part of that confidence. Even if we only chat about our goats or our dislike of a certain piano playing man on my classic rock station, the friendship that has blossomed from this blog is a large part of my life now and man do I miss it when I can`t get here to shoot the breeze!

That is what this blog means to me. Friendship and a hot cuppa, what more could anyone ask?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One Liners-6/21

'A sun-hat is a must for the dog on the go!'

Friday, June 17, 2011

There Must Be Something In The Water

Hey all come on in and have a sit-down while I grab a couple of cups!

You know how sometimes you look at your pets and wonder what they`re thinking? Well over the past few days I`ve begun to look at my outdoor critters and wonder if someone spiked our well. I`m not sure who, or why, anyone would want to slip my farmyard beasts a Mickey Finn. Maybe it`s some odd microorganism that just suddenly decided to ferment in our well. If that`s the case when why the Sam Hill isn`t this fermentation effecting me and Mister? Hell we both could use a nice cool glass of fermentation daily. I digress, where was I? Oh right, the conspiracy theories about our tainted water supply.

Perhaps, and this is a long shot, but perhaps some fraction group of bio-terrorists thought it would be grand fun to put goofy-juice into our-Oops hold on----It has just come to my attention that it would be a FACTION and not a fraction group. *Sniffs* Well who knows right? It very well could have been a band of mathematical geniuses who got tired of dallying about with numbers all day and wanted to see some poor goatherder who stinks at algebra deal with doofy waterfowl.

Whatever or whoever it was I am left scratching my head daily at the goings-on`s around this here place. Now when the inside pets act scatterbrained I think nothing of it. I`m used to the black lab with the shoe fetish, the yellow lab that guards our home from anything in the yard that starts with the letters SQ and the beagle with the foot slurping while Feral is trying to drift off to La-La Land foible. Heck I don`t even cock a brow at the cat that likes to sit in my dish drainer or the other feline that comes in and then has to lick every dog in a five mile area. Old news! Been there and seen that!

It`s this new and odd behavior of my waterfowl that has me eying the well with trepidation. Last night it was discovered that all the young ducks and geese, instead of returning to their own coop for beddy-bye time had decided to bunk with the chickens. Okay, that`s a mistake that I can overlook mostly although the chickens were none too pleased! They`re young and they`re new to the whole ‘We Are Not Web-Footed So Stay out of Our Coop!’ ways of the chickens but uhm, what`s up with the older waterfowl??

My ducks have decided it`s time to stage a rebellion and flat-footedly out and out refuse to return to their pen at night. The geese then thought that since the ducks gave up their coop they would move in. Three squatters are now making the duck coop their home while two other geese are hogging the entire goose coop. Ducks are laying eggs hither and yon, geese are laying eggs in the duck coop! Dogs and cats living together!! It`s mass hysteria!!!!

Sorry, had a small moment of Ghostbusters there, it`s all good now. If anyone has any clues about the culprits please notify the FBI or me promptly! Until I know otherwise I`ll be sitting on my back porch keeping a very keen eye out for be-speckled young men with high waistbands and pocket protectors milling around suspiciously by my well cap.


I`m going to take a moment here to do some motherly bragging. Miss Yodeling and her team of land judgers nailed first place at the FFA State Activities Week down at Penn State and will now proceed to the FFA National`s in Oklahoma!! We`re so proud of all four of the kids that worked and studied thier butts off! Way to go CVHS FFA! Onto Oklahoma City you go!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Look What the Postman Brought!

Well he didn`t bring the stuffed duck, but he did bring that adorable goat kid coat from Texan.

All my kids are too big for it now and the cats seemed displeased when I tried to get them to model it so Mister Mallard got the honors! Thank you so much Texan for such a cool give-away! Rest assured come next spring we`ll see that coat on a goat and not on a duck!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Does the Yellow Light Mean?

Howdy all! *Collapses into chair with fresh cup of decaf*

Man alive it has been such a busy week I don`t know if I`m coming or going. I hope everyone had a nice weekend! I think we did. I`ve been doing so much running since school let out I`m now beginning to feel like Reverend Jim, played by the amazing Christopher Lloyd on Taxi.

Some of you may recall during that classic bit with him asking about what the yellow light means during his driving test and Jeff Conaway`s character Bobby Wheeler replies ‘Slow down’. With perfection of comedic timing Reverend Jim then whispers ‘What…..does……the……yellow……light………mean?’

I`ve been hustling my own taxi back and forth all week and tomorrow I`ll have another run. Miss Yodeling, we`re rather proud to say, has been chosen to attend FFA Activities Week at Penn State University from June 14-16 as part of our high schools land judging team. Since school is over for the summer she and her three other land judgers have been reporting to their Ag teachers home every other day, or there about, to study as hard as they can in preparation.

Of course a trip to Penn State for two days meant a clothes shopping run on Thursday to Wal-Mart for a new swimsuit and other last minute items. Friday I had to take my MIL to the eye doctor so she could have her eyes checked and pupils dilated. This trip to the optometrist ran into the trip to the Ag teachers house but thankfully Miss Yodeling`s friends, and fellow judger of land, mother picked the girls up and brought them home.

Also during this time of the yellow Mom taxi frenzy I`ve had an ad in the paper trying to sell goats, ducklings and goslings. So of course the phone has been ringing and I`ve been jogging down to the goat barn to talk to prospective new goat owners while arranging to have my buck Auron take a love trip to someone who has three does in heat and no mature buck! Oh, and of course there was the usual weekly grocery run and a not-so-quick trip to town to purchase Miss Yodeling her first cell phone so I could call down to Penn State and make sure all is well. Yeah but I`m a mom and that`s what we do so learn to live with it kids!

Friday night was a big event as well as my nephew Shane graduated high school. Today his folks threw him a party and we all had one heck of a good time. I ate WAY too much but the food was just too good to pass up, and yes Kelly, those were deviled duck eggs! I have a few snapshots of the get together to share, not too many, I promise!

A table filled with cousins-

Me and the graduate (Congratulations Shane!)-

And one of my niece just because she didn`t want anyone taking her picture!

Tomorrow is the last trip to the Ag teacher’s farm then Tuesday we have to be at our local fire hall by 8 AM for the pick-up for the FFA trip to Penn State. I`ll be back tomorrow morning to catch up on everyone`s blogs, I have to dash now and meet another person who wants to take a look at the goats I have for sale. No wonder Feral is slightly fried much like- And here he is now!

Phew, fast addition before I go collapse for the night. Sold all my buck kids! Yippee! Okay, now I`m going to go sit my butt down and relax for a spell!

Have a grand evening all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Word of Mouth-The Lost Hero

Hey there gang, time for some more Word of Mouth!

This time around we`ll be talking about the first novel ‘The Lost Hero’ in the new series ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ by the wonderfully talented Rick Riordan.

Some of you may be familiar with Mr. Riordan`s previous series of books about the demigod son of Poseidon Percy Jackson. A movie was made based on the first book of Percy`s five novel series-Percy Jackson and the Olympians-The Lightening Thief that perhaps many have seen. First off I will admit that I am a HUGE fan of the Greek pantheon of ancient gods. I`m no learned scholar mind you, but there is something about mythos that appeals to me on so many levels, and the Greek gods are my favorites bar none, with the Norse deities and Egyptian coming in a very close second.

Since I devoured all five of the Percy Jackson novels like they were Milano`s I was all aflutter to get my hands on this new book. Mr. Riordan did a wonderful job of taking the old mythos and gods and making them modern and relatable to young readers. Don`t let that fact, that these books are aimed at young readers, scare you off! Trust me they are appealing and entertaining for readers of all ages be you a fan of Greek legend or not!

This new book centers around three new demigods to grace Camp Half-Blood. (The summer camp where all half-mortal/half-god children learn to work with their powers and is run by a centaur named Chiron.)

Jason is the star of this new book and he has a slight problem. He doesn`t remember anything before he woke up on a bus filled with kids on a field trip. It seems he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best buddy named Leo. They all attend a boarding school called the Wilderness School, a school for ‘bad kids’ as Jason`s pal Leo calls it. What Jason did to end up here he can`t recall or does he know why he is there, all he knows is that things seem very wrong.

Piper has a very big secret, one that revolves around her father, a famous actor. Her dad has been missing for three days and she has been having some terrible nightmares about him and the trouble he`s in. She doesn`t understand her dreams or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn`t know who she is.

Leo has a knack for tools and he too seems to be hiding some secrets from his childhood.

The three kids, along with their gruff counselor Coach Hedge (Who I just adored!), end up being caught up in a freakish storm while on their field trip. The storm unleashes some very strange creatures that seem intent on wiping out our trio of new heroes. Help arrives and the threesome is then taken to the safety of Camp Half-Blood where at least two of our new heroes will find out who their godly parents are. Jason has a much harder time figuring out his parentage but eventually he also works out who is daddy is. I`m not telling, y`all will have to read to find out!

From that point on the three young heroes are sent on a quest to find and save Hera, the wife of Zeus. They encounter a wonderfully entertaining and sometimes very deadly bunch of gods and creatures as they battle onward to save Hera and stall a new and perhaps more deadly prophesy than the war against the Titan`s that Percy Jackson and his friends thwarted in the previous series. We see some old faces reappearing in this new series which is a nice bridge and keeps the reader appeased. I was especially glad to see Clarisse, the daughter of Ares, in this book as she is one of my favorites from Percy`s tales. (I have a weakness for Ares the god of war.) The plot is quick and clever, there is a ton of action, the mystery and suspense about Jason and who and what he is, and if these teen`s can aid Hera is woven well and of course the gods and beasts are presented with the touch only Rick Riordan has!

The only complaint I have about the book is the new characters themselves. They are very angst-ridden. Sometimes close to the point of me wanting to sigh out loud and beg them to just please stop. I realize that Mr. Riordan was trying to craft a new set of characters that were very different than the previous ones. As a writer I fully grasp that and understand his reasoning. New book, new series, new characters. That`s fine with me and I grew to really care about all three of the leads as I read along.

Perhaps it`s the fact that these kids are older than Percy was when he began his series, although he did grow up as his books progressed. Older kids mean different worries and troubles, and once more, I understand that. The humor though in this new book isn`t as rich as it was in the Percy Jackson`s series I feel. There are still funny moments of course but they tend to get over-shadowed by the angst at times. I bought this book for my daughter as a Christmas present and she read it first. Her words were’ It`s good and the gods are cool but the kids are too emo.’ That coming from a fifteen year old, the target audience for these books, but I wanted to read it and judge for myself. She was right, they are really far too emo, at least in my humble.

Aside from the teen angst I was once more swept up and carried away by the book and would recommend it to anyone who shares a love of mythos, action and adventure! I mean can anyone ever get too much Greek god?? I think not!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Patty`s New Friends

Hello everyone, it`s me, Sir Patrick of Moo doing a blog post!

Actually I had to have C.B. the cow-barn rooster and my good buddy do the typing, my hooves and laptop`s aren`t a very good combination. That C.B. sure can hunt and peck though!! We had a really good weekend here on our hillside farm and got to welcome some new friends.

The first group of new buddies was born right in my own barn! The yodeling lady calls these hens the ‘Hole in the Wall Gang’ for some strange reason. She`s pretty strange anyway so whatever she says I take with a lick of salt. All those peeps were hatched under three mama hens, and the moms share the peep-raising responsibility! How cool is that? Three moms to fuss over you! I think those little chickens are darn lucky!

I also have more friends coming very soon! If you peek over the railing in my barn just so you`ll find another member of the ‘Hole in the Wall Gang’ sitting on eggs. Her eggs are peeping. I heard them just this morning!

Of course, once the peeps start arriving the humans put up some sort of Anti-Patty devise to keep me from eating the peep food and stepping on the peep water fount.

I have to say in my own bovine defense that peep food is really, really good! Can I help it I have a long tongue??

After the peep situation got settled I got a scoop of grain which I enjoy a great deal then I stood in my pasture to watch the two lady goatherders driving off. They said they were going to go pick up a new goat. Like they needed another one??? Who am I to say though? I asked if I could go but the young Miss said she didn`t think her lap would hold me like it would a goat kid.

I fear she may have meant my butt was fat but I am after all a beefer and beefers have beefy butts, am I right?! They came back in about an hour with this new doe kid, a Sable goat I heard, that they named Tali. She got to go with the other goats and hang out in the goat barn. She seems nice and really cute, for a goat you know.

It`s been a really busy and new friend filled Sunday! I think I hear a cud calling though so I`ll sign off with a hearty Moooooo!


Sir Patrick of Moo

(Who has a big beefy butt that is really comfy to sleep on!-Addendum by C.B. the typing barn rooster)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

Okay, so, there I was this morning with my Nubian cup filled with nice hot coffee and topped with a dollop of fresh goat milk wishing I had something to write about for the blog.

The weather has settled down nicely so aside from it being absolutely glorious out that topic was done. Over the four day holiday weekend we got all the boy goats moved into another pasture and coop so nothing exciting on that front. Milking is going well and the girls took to the stand like the old troopers they are, so again, blah. I mulled and I sipped. There is a book review to do but I`d rather do that on the weekend when the house is full since those don`t seem to require as much attention as the fiction tales do. I contemplated doing the edits to my book-in-progress, taking the comments and suggestions from last night`s writers group and reworking a few things but Meh, didn`t want to do that either.

So there I sat cup in hand with nothing to write. Life has been very serene the past few days apparently. So giving it up for a lost cause I got Miss down to the bus for her next to last day of school and got around to go to town. There I was tootling along down Route 287 singing along with Queen (Thank the Gods not one Billy Joel song was played this morning!) and enjoying a lively rendition of Fat Bottom Girls when out from a field scuttled a woodchuck. He didn`t stop to look for traffic coming or even have his running shoes on, he just rumpled his big fat rump into the lane and Feral ran over him.

There was not a thing I could do to stop it. I was clocking along at fifty-five which is the speed limit for that stretch of road. I couldn`t slam on the breaks because someone was behind me. I couldn`t swerve because there was a convoy of water trucks ripping past in the opposite lane. All I could do was try to straddle the poor fat bugger. My straddling didn`t straddle and over him both tires went. Ugh.

I felt so bad. I have NEVER run over anything before. I once had a robin fly into the windshield but aside from that I`ve never hit anything. Mister Yodeling on the other hand has plowed into numerous deer and even a bear once. I`m always as careful as I can be going down these dirt roads just because you never know when a deer is going to leap out in front of you. But a woodchuck with a death wish never entered my mind!

I pulled over when I could and stepped from my truck to see if by some weird quirk of fate the woodchuck was alive. What I thought I was going to do with him if he were I haven`t the foggiest! Not like you can walk into the small animal hospital with a woodchuck wrapped in a blanket. Well maybe you can but who would or could afford such a thing for a woodchuck? The woodchuck was not among the living anymore so I slid back into my truck and sat there, feeling just terrible. I had committed vehicular herbivore-slaughter. Egad. Now who would tell us if there were going to be six more weeks of winter? I had just run over one of the natural world’s most famous weather prognosticators! Now we`ll never know how much wood a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.*Sighs*

Next time I`ll have to be more specific when I wish for something to write about for my blog I guess.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Searching for that Silver Lining

Hey gang, tug out a chair and I`ll grab us some mugs!

I hope everyone had a safe and pleasant Memorial Day weekend. Things in my neck of the woods have been busy and pretty darn scary at times! Over the past week we`ve been caught in a terribly turbulent weather pattern. The temperature has climbed as has the humidity until we`ve been sweltering at around ninety degrees with bone-sapping moisture in the air. That kind of weather means thunderstorms for us in the spring. Now usually we get a few here and there and most don`t build into something worse. They just rumble past and douse the chickens with those gulley-washers we all are familiar with.

Since Thursday of last week our county has gotten its rural rump kicked by horrendously strong storms. A neighboring town of ours Mansfield got socked with a very strong line of storms that downed trees, cut out their power for at least two days and caused a few injuries when the storm system moved over the Coal Festival occurring in Blossburg, a small town beside Mansfield. It seems as if every day we had one of these nasty cells cranking overhead. Our power companies have been pulling triple-time to try to get everyone`s electricity back on. Then Sunday morning around 2 AM we were awoken with yet another nasty storm ripping through. Our farm didn`t get hit too badly, just some terrible wind and heavy, heavy rain but the small valley village of Knoxville about fifteen minutes from us got hit and hit hard. I have a link from our local news to share with y`all.

Tornado touchdown in PA

The NWS has said that our neighbors did get hit by an F1 tornado. It has been a very nerve-wracking time here and my wishes to go all those who suffered through that terrifying experience.

We here on the hillside farm had a night without electric Friday night, although there was no storm in the area at that moment. I almost had to think that perhaps the utility companies were tying into lines that had been taken out in other areas of our county. Thursday evening, the same night that Mansfield got nailed so badly we kept our power but did the Unplug! You know the Unplug, when you tug the cords from the sockets on your satellite dish and modems in a big ole` hurry?!

Since we were sitting here, surrounded by winds and lightening we decided to pop in some of our old home-made videos. Miss Yodeling chose one that covered easily a year from when she was four to her fifth birthday. Oh but did we laugh at some of the things she did back then! She was so precocious and so innocent. We watched her coloring eggs and talking about the Easter Bunny coming. We chuckled at some of her song and dance routines to Barney songs. Lord sakes but did that girl blush as we sat and enjoyed the younger version of our lovely young lady.

Our old yellow Lab Poe was just a youngster in that movie. Filled with enthusiasm and vinegar, all long legs and lolling tongue. Ready for any adventure she was. Her legs were strong and powerful and her fur just as yellow as liquid gold. Now I look at her and see more white than yellow fur, her hips are shot and her eyes are cloudy. As I said to Miss Yodeling, the only difference between the movie and now is that most of us are older and fatter.

Then the home movie moved past spring and glided through summer and slid into fall. There sat Miss Yodeling on the couch we used to have, dressed in an adorable dress my mother-in-law sewed for her playing with my mother after our Thanksgiving Day feast. Its been several years since my mother passed away, and in all honesty I thought I had gotten over her loss. Sitting there, with my family while the winds churned and the skies lit up I realized that you never get over losing your mother. It was wonderfully heartwarming to see Mom sitting there and playing with this tiny little horse stable with Miss Yodeling. How she adored her only grand-daughter! Yes, I ended up crying as did Miss Yodeling.

“Keep this in mind,” I said as she and I dabbed at our eyes with tissues,” You never really get over the loss of your mother.”

I`m not sure if she actually grasped what I said. Hell before my mother passed I would have of course understood that losing your mother is hard. After living through it though I have come to know that it is a hole in your soul that can never be filled. Our home video evening turned out to be very bittersweet and yet I`m glad I got to share those memories, and those tears, with my daughter.

I think that it`s really nice to tug those old tapes out from time to time. Just as it is to have a night with no power once in awhile to remind us of what being a family is all about. Seems today we all get wrapped up in our own worlds-Television and video games and the wonder of the internet. It`s a good thing to have those things taken away from time to time.

It makes us reconnect.

It makes us have to entertain ourselves, something the kids of today seem to have some trouble with in my humble. It forces us to sit down with only the light from a kerosene lamp and make up stories and laugh and sing theme songs from old sit-coms and cartoons. It reminds us of what is really important once all the games and TV shows and Facebook is gone.

It makes us a unit and it reminds us of how much we love each other. I guess even during the most trying and scary of times we can find something good amid the bad.


Just to let y`all know I am STILL not able to comment on this blog or any other Blogger blog. To say Feral is getting a wee bit tiffy with Blogger is being gracious. I am reading along with all my buddies who have Blogger accounts I just cannot comment. Any other blog I seem to have no trouble. I will keep reading everyone`s blogs while I continue to nip rather viciously at Blogger`s tech heels.