Saturday, February 28, 2009

Neuroses and Nosebleeds

You never really know what you might wake up to when you have animals. Today we woke up to this! See?! See?!! This is why I get all freaked out about leaving home!

Here is a nice bloody spot where he stood in the pen... looks like there was a drive-by shooting.He still went to his feed tub and snorffled around in there to make sure it was licked clean. And his front legs where he itched and rubbed his bloody nose. Nice.
Turns out it was just a nosebleed... he is enough of a goof that he was probably teasing the old gelding - playing and hit his face on something. No wonder his previous owner called him Goober. Not a big deal. Sure LOOKS ugly tho huh? I called the vet this morning to make sure... she says to let her know if it happens again.
Unconcerned - happily eating his breakfast. All is well. Doesn't help my little "going away from home" neuroses tho....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gaak! Bridesmaid dress alert!

A friend of mine is getting married this summer. She is currently teaching with her fiance' in Italy and she sent an e-mail with a link to a bridesmaid dress she's thinking of. She wanted someone in the wedding party to try it on to see what it'd look like on a human body.

I drug Furry Husband along to take pix. Great googly moogly there was a lot of estrogen in that bridal store. I've never seen so many wedding dresses. It was making MY palms sweat and I'm not getting married!

When we were married, I picked my dress off the clearance rack at Lord & Taylor for $80. It didn't really have anything to do with money, tho' the cheap ass part of me was screaming - SCORE! - it's the dress I really liked after looking for awhile. It was light blue satin with spaghetti straps fitted thru the waist with a full skirt and it had a micro lace sheath covered with little light blue polka dots... definitely non traditional.
I didn't have bridesmaids or a maid of honor really. We got married at an open space park up in Pine Colorado... you crossed this beautiful little bridge over a mountain river and walked up this path flanked by gorgeous Colorado native landscaping to this little white gazebo. The day of our wedding there was a grade school field trip so you heard the river and the laughter of children the whole time we were there. It was really beautiful.

It cost us $20 and we invited 25 people. Furry Husband wore a suit. We started the ceremony at 12:20 because that's the time they throw the first pitch at Wrigley Field. Furry Husband is a die hard Cubs fan... poor guy. The man we hired to marry us - ordained thru the back of a Rolling Stone magazine if I remember correctly? - threw a baseball and shouted, "Let's play ball!". I think the actual ceremony lasted 15 minutes? And after pictures, we all drove to the Buck Snort Bar and Saloon for the reception, where we ordered off the menu and had a really, really great time.

We had a more formal reception at the Wynkoop Brewpub the next day (where Furry Husband and I met) with a wedding cake, some food and all the Wynkoop micro-brew beer you could drink.

I've never experienced wedding stuff at this magnitude. It was sorta freakin' me out. Furry Husband whispered, "I feel uncomfortable." Yeah - tell me about it!

We got the dress my friend is thinking about, I tried it on, Furry Husband took pictures and I e-mailed them off. It's not the color she wants, but at least she gets to see what it looks like on a live body. I'm definitely not 20 anymore. Try almost 40 and packin' 20 extra pounds. And why is my head so small?! Looks like a grape sittin' atop a watermelon...

Stuff to get done

'Member how I told you going on vacation next week was off my radar? Well it's on my radar now and I'm barely able to sit still! I'm getting out of work early today so I can tie up loose ends at home and get ready for travelling.

Once I'm actually gone I'm fine. Once I'm out the door and on the road, I am confident all will be well at our place. Our pet sitter is very competent, we have lists of numbers and veterinarians and people that would help out if need be.

It's the PREPARING to leave before a trip that gets to me. All of a sudden I look at all the animals like it's the last time I will ever see them. I see all the things I've been putting off and suddenly I want to get everything completed RIGHT NOW. The house has to be cleaned and laundry washed and the animal pens spotless with clean and full water tanks.

I worry that my big, goofy dog Booker will be too obnoxious. A lot of people already don't like him. He is really happy. He isn't a spastic dog that jumps up and down or clambers all over you slobbering and licking but he won't let you ignore him either. He is a Gordon Setter and they use their noses to flush out or find game. He has a really, really good sniffer. He sniffs you a lot - touches you with his nose. He doesn't jump on you but he likes to be right there next to you.

He really likes attention. He's really happy. His attitude when people come to our house is more along the lines of, "Oh, you are here to see ME?! Yes. Yes you are and I'm so happy that you are here to see ME! Simply pleased as punch!"

He's tall - tall enough that his nose is right at crotch level and he likes to stick his nose between my legs for a major ear skritchin' and neck rubbin'. It's not that he is sniffing my crotch or that I'm getting some perverse sexual thrill... he just likes to bury his nose on some part of you. If I'm sitting down, he'll bury his nose in between my ribs and my arm or into my soft belly... just happens that when I'm standin', my legs are the best thing to stick his nose into.

Most people aren't gonna let this big ol' dawg stuff his nose in betwixt their legs and into their nether regions. Booker doesn't get this. Nope. Doesn't get this at all. He thinks he is the mayor and everyone should love him. He thinks everyone is there to see HIM. Everyone would love to have his nose in between their legs so they can skritch him and love him.

So he will nose bump you and he will let out a series of 'rrroooooooooo, rrrroooooooooo, rrroooooooooo!' As if he's sayin - hey - you! I'm talkin' to YOU. Hey - give me a little love. Hey - hey. You. Why won't you just skritch my ears? Just a little skritch? Hey - buddy - give me some neck rubs. Just touch my neck - c'mon man... where is the LOVE here?!

And when that doesn't work, and whomever he is trying to win affection/attention from keeps ignoring him, he will jump up in the air and give them a push with his paws - it's not a typical dog standing on it's hind legs leaning on you with it's front legs... it's a full on up in the air - no contact - shove you with my paws to get your attention - resume no bodily contact and land on the ground. "HEY! I'M RIGHT HERE! CAN'T YOU SEE ME!?"

He doesn't do that to me or Furry Husband cuz we tell him to knock it off and we make him lay down and chill out. New people tho? Yeah. They don't know that it's only gonna keep escalating until they either give him a correction and make him lay down or they pay attention to him and give him a whole lotta love.

He is noisy - his tail is always wagging and it's a long, strong tail. CLANG, CLANG, CLANG into the washing machine, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM into the cupboards as he stands there happily looking at you roo, rooing. He shuffles his feet and it sounds like there is an old man in slippers wandering around the house...

I look at him as I'm getting ready to leave and I know he will be ignored and disliked for all his insistant happiness and loudness. And I feel sorry for him.... it's gonna be a long week for him without the love and skritchin' and affection he is used to from his Mama. And boy oh boy is he a Mama's boy. Mama's boy for sure!! Ignore the ugly blanket and our old couch... see how cute and cuddly my big ol' Booker dawg is? He LOVES his Mama!

I know, I know. I am assigning human emotions to a DOG. I know. Anthropomorphism at it's finest. Dogs don't feel sorry for themselves. Booker doesn't feel sorry for himself. He's got me feeling sorry enough FOR him!

He will be fed and he'll have clean water and someone to let him in and out of the house and plenty of outside time - not like he is gonna be abused or anything. Far from it actually.

It's just one of my little "going on a trip and I'm leaving home" neuroses.

I have several.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My new pitchfork!

Hooooooo - eeee! When you live rurally you get excited 'bout different things.

I've wanted a pitchfork for awhile but it's one of those things you would like to have when you need it and all the other times you sorta forget about needing it?

For some reason, I remembered I wanted a pitchfork the last time we were in JAX Farm and Ranch and we headed over to the pitchfork wall. Yes, there was a whole WALL full o' pitchforks. Some had 3 prongs, some had 4 prongs, others had a whole lota prongs. There were short and long handled pitchforks. Heavy pitchforks and lightwight pitchforks.

I chose the 4 prong, long handled fork and we happily brought it home. It leaned against the hay shed and each morning and evening when we fed the horses and goats, I'd look over to see our shiney, new farm tool.

When we get moisture, the hay spilling from the feeders in the goat pens gets matted down trapping manure, urine, hay chaff, straw etc. and that is a breeding ground for bacteria or nasty bugs. Our normal plastic horse manure forks can't really get through that matted, wet, layer of muck without breaking fork tines.

When we first moved out here we had to borrow all sorts of stuff... post hole diggers, heavy duty tin snips, chain saw, pick axe, harrow... but we began accumulating tools bit by bit. I used to run up the road and borrow a neighbor's pitchfork to get that matted muck picked up. And now I can proudly say we've added a pitchfork to our little tool collection.

Last night I had some extra energy to burn and Furry Husband was finishing up some work on his laptop so I went out to play with my new pitchfork. I had noticed a couple spots in the goat pen that were sorta mushy where they like to pee... hay and straw were getting tamped down into the mushy spots. PERFECT opportunity to bust out my new pitchfork.

I disappeared outside.

Furry Husband came out after about 30 minutes... "Uh - honey? Are you o.k.? Where'd you go?.... What are you doing out here in the dark?" his voice full of worry....

"I'm cleaning the goat pen!"

Geez - duh! Yeah - cuz everyone goes out to clean goat pens in the dark... don't they?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Glove compartments

What do you store in your glovebox?

Furry Husband helped me clear out my old car last night. I have 3,417 napkins from a dozen years of hoarding napkins in my glove box. I'm always afraid I'm going to be on some roadtrip or adventure (like some goat, horse or dog function) and I'll have to pee and there will be no bathrooms and I'll have to pop a squat in some bushes with no toilet paper. I hate having to drip dry.

I had hundreds of those individually wrapped toothpicks. ?? I don't use toothpicks. I never have used toothpicks. Furry Husband doesn't use toothpicks. I have no memory whatsoever of wanting or needing toothpicks.

I have a tire pressure gauge. (like I ever check my tire pressure... right.)

I have a small flashlight. (I bet the batteries are dead and if I ever need it, it's not gonna work)

I found 10 pens and a black Sharpie marker. I definately don't need 10 pens. I kept a couple... y'know ... just in case you go somewhere and need to leave a note. Kilroy was here. The Sharpie would be good for that.

I had one Kentucky Fried Chicken wetnap. That thing was o-l-d, old. It was all dried out when I opened it. Wonder what the expiration date is on those things?
I have a Colorado map and a Nebraska map...

I have all the owner manuals, car dealer ppwk, waranties - all that boring stuff.

I had a Dairy Queen Blizzard punch card from a Dairy Queen location that doesn't exist anymore. With 8 Blizzard purchases, you got a free one. It only had 2 punches on it. What does that mean? Does it reveal that I have trouble finishing what I start?

I have a lot o' paper wrapped straws, and there is a story behind those. When I have a coke at a restaurant, I like to drink it with a straw. I remember several years ago, Furry Husband took me to lunch and the restaurant was OUT of straws. Seriously - wtf? What sort of restaurant runs out of straws?

I guess I can be a little --- how shall I put this? ---- single track minded? ----- obsessive?---- curiously strong willed about random things?

I didn't want to drink my coke from the glass. I wanted a straw! Furry Husband actually left the restaurant and went to a fast food joint to get some straws so I could enjoy my dining experience. See? Now THAT is the difference between a boyfriend who will just roll his eyes at you and the love of your life - your husband - who wants to make you happy!

heh - and I say I'm not high maintenance... well, not typically.... but seriously, what restaurant runs out of STRAWS??
Now I have the rest of that handfull of straws in my glovebox so I'll never, ever have to run into that horrible situation ever again! (Think Scarlett O'Hara and her vow to never go hungry again.... that is how I feel about straws)

I have an autographed postcard from the Avalanche player Uwe Krupp. I got it shortly after he scored the winning goal for the Av's when they won the Stanley cup. I worked at Evergreen Nursery around that time. I was the tree and shrub gal. This woman - a co-worker- had a landscape consultation at his house.
She knew I was a fan and without me asking, knowing she was at his house or that she met him, she brought me this Uwe Krupp player postcard with his signature addressing ME! "Shanster, all the best - Uwe Krupp" How cool was that of her? I remember going to her place after work a couple times and hanging out, but we were never all that close. ? I guess sometimes people are cool and just do nice things.

Left overs

We had left over goat stew last night. I wasn't AS funny about it in my head. I suspect it will get easier and easier?

And if it does get easier, and raising our wethers (neutered males) for our freezer becomes the norm, I wonder if we should breed one of our does to a Boer buck this fall?
* uh oh * I feel a goat post comin' on!
Boer goats are THE meat goat in the goat world. When you see a dairy goat kid standing next to a Boer goat kid, you can absolutely see the difference. Dairy goat kids are tall, angular and thin - maybe like a basketball player, while the Boer kids are short, stocky little sumo wrasslers.

Pix of an Alpine dairy doe - long and angular. All her energy goes toward milk production.

Beefy Boer buck. He is shorter, stouter and all his energy goes into making more and more muscle on his frame.

Lots of people cross breed dairy goats with Boers - you get a taller frame from the dairy goat genes with a lot more meat from the Boer goat genes.

If we do that, the kids can't be registered and they will all most definately be sold for meat. I like the idea of our doe kids going to families as milkers and for children to show in 4H programs. It's the reason I got into goats - for the milk and cheese. Not so much to produce only meat animals.

Also, because the Boers are so beefy - dairy does can have a hard time getting a Boer kid's stockier head and shoulders through their pelvic opening during kidding. I really hate having to go in and pull kids - it freaks me out and I am always afraid I'm going to lose the doe in a difficult kidding.

Many people who have Boer's don't test their herds for CAE. They don't care if their goats have CAE because they usually aren't around long enough to show signs of the disease. There is a possibility of introducing something into our micro-herd we don't want. I could find a clean Boer herd thru the internet, but it probably wouldn't be someone right around the corner.

(CAE is a goat disease that is transmitted to kids through the milk which is why we take the kids at birth, pastuerize the milk to kill the CAE, and bottle feed them. It cannot be transmitted to humans.)

We test our micro-herd each spring after kidding and so far they remain negative but CAE can lie dormant and show up unexpectedly. It's controversial in the goat world, this CAE disease. Some people are strongly against it and others don't care if their goats have it. My stance is to keep a clean, CAE free herd because if we do, people on both sides of the CAE argument can buy our goats. If we allow CAE in our herd, it automatically wipes out buyers in one camp of the CAE controversy.

Well - I have a while to mull it over. Breeding season is a long time away! Right now we watch our two pregnant does get larger and larger with kids and we wait. I liked leaving Chocolate on a 2 year lactation cycle this year. We didn't breed her so we could keep milking her. It was really nice having milk and cheese through the winter vs. buying milk from the store.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


What happened?! My blog was all blank this morning. Everything was there last night...??

I went out to my "edit posts" opened up my latest one, hit "publish" and voila! Everything reappeared before my very eyes. If you were trying to see and there was nothing there - sorry 'bout that. Should be fixed now. I have no idea what happened?

I get to pick up my saddle tonight or tomorrow! I took it in to have it reflocked. All the padding underneath the saddle was squooshed flat... Happy Horse Tack Shop has all the tracings and measurements from Sera's back when they did the saddle fitting so they will reflock it according to her measurements. Sounds like a bra fitting!

And next week we venture into Mexico! I keep forgetting... it's just with work and stuff and it was a last minute trip and I don't know but it keeps falling off my radar. And then I remember and it will be nice to get away for a week! I hope it's sunny and I hope I see lots o' grey whales...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Polka dots...

I e-mailed Car and asked about polka dots. Did they per chance have pictures of any cars they may have polka-dotted? Of course not! I could be one of the only people to WANT a polka-dotted car.

They said they could make some bigger dots for me - 4.5" in diameter. I ordered them today. I mean, I can take them off if I don't like them - no harm, no foul. Poor Furry Husband. What must it be like to wake up to me every day? snicker

He called me from Denver after a work meeting during lunch with his buds, Al and Chris. I asked Chris if my polka-dots were simply a pathetic attempt to hold onto my youth - he laughed and said YES! YES! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS!


I'm gonna do it anyway. You only go 'round this world once and I might as well live large in my polka-dot car.

I talked to Furry Husband's mom last night. She said she was tired of her red car. She's had it so long that she's tired of the color. I told her about the polka-dots and that I'd send her some so she wouldn't have a plain red car anymore. I've never seen an eighty-something year old woman back pedal so fast!

She was looking for the 100th year special edition of the Anne of Green Gables book and said the woman at the bookstore couldn't locate it. She asked if maybe I could find the ISBN number on the internet and send it to her.

I can do better than that! I found it and it will be shipped out to her tomorrow along with some Anne of Green Gables celebratory complilation including original illustrations from the series, popular recipies and gardening tips from 100 yrs ago, author biography, synopsis of the series etc.

Nice to be able to do something for someone who can appreciate it. I can't really do anything for Dad - he can't read anymore or figure out electronics - so a book on tape would really send him reeling as would a DVD or an iPod or any other every day thing you and I wouldn't think twice about.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

dun, dun, dunnnnn - The Stew....

Like I said in my previous post - the stew smelled good - smelled like a normal crock-pot dish. You know - that smell when you've been gone all day and you walk in the house and there is a good, somethin's in the oven smell that makes your mouth water and your stomach growl?

But would it taste good too?? It was both Furry Husband and my first run in with goat meat. And from a goat we knew and raised.

We had a nice red table wine from B.R. Cohn winery - Moose's Red. We both dug in. I'm not sure what I was expecting. Everyone kept saying goat meat is distinctive. A guy at work keeps saying with a grimace on his face, "I want to know what it smells like when it's cooking!"

I was looking for a difference in taste, texture, flavor, smell - whatever.

Nope. I couldn't tell the difference between these bite size pieces of goat stew meat and beef stew meat. It was tender and fell apart in your mouth - there was no strong taste or distinctive taste. I was looking for something to be different and I couldn't find it. I'm not an adventurous eater either... I'm not usually all gangbusters to eat odd or unusual foods. I would never last on one of those travel channel shows that highlight the host eating foods like roasted beetle or jellied moose nose.

I won't lie - I didn't dig in like I could with an anonymous animal. I had to really try hard to not think about where this meat came from and when I first saw Furry Husband cutting it into pieces for the stew I cringed... but I ate it! It was good, nutritious and I couldn't find a thing wrong with it as much as I may have wanted to.

I suspect - like with goat milk - the people who had a bad experience with goat meat maybe didn't prepare it properly? Didn't do the research first? Couldn't get past the social stigma in their brains? I don't know.

Goat is the primary food and milk source in many, many countries. Much more than cow... I wonder why goats have such a bad rap in the U.S.? Tell people you drink goat milk and just watch their faces screw up into disgust. I did tell you we have taste tests? I will buy whole cows milk and I'll pour a glass alongside a glass of our goat milk. 99.9% of the time people choose the cow milk as being the one that tastes weird. No lie. I had one person in 6 years tell me correctly which was goat milk.

I might have to look into why my cute little goaties have such a bad rap and let y'all know what I find.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New vs Old

Whattya think? It's like the same.... only BETTER! Granted, my old car is dirty but it looks sorta tired doesn't it?

We have a stew in the crock pot... carrots, celery, lentils, barley, tomato paste, garlic, shallots and 2-3 lbs o' goat meat with enough water to cover it all. It smells good. I hope I can eat it. I hope the meat is good. I hear goat meat is "distinctive" and I don't know what that means. I also heard goat milk sucks and that wasn't true at all so I remain open minded. Wish me luck! Gulp.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I just finished reading a book by Jodi Picoult called Change of Heart.


AMAZING book. Truly moving and amazing. Loved it.

It's a character driven book - a Catholic priest, Michael. A mom named June whose daughter needs a heart transplant. An ACLU lawyer named Maggie who was raised Jewish and whose father is a Rabbi - she is now an athiest. And a prisioner named Lucius in a cell next to an inmate serving time for killing a cop and his young daughter and who wants to donate his heart to June's daughter.

This book was hard to put down and almost painful that it actually had to end. Wonderful, wonderful book.

If you are lookin' for sumthin' to read... give this one a whirl and let me know what you thought. Oh, man... this one is GOOD!

Feeding program

We got our hay results. Our vet sent them to a nutritionist she was working with and we got a big thumbs up for feeding great quality hay - both the alfalfa and the grass/alfalfa mix were deemed excellent sources of nutrition. That is great, but Sera's two tying up incidents still remain a mystery.

I answered a few more questions about when exactly she ties up... is it before I exercise her? During? After?

I also e-mailed a vet at University of Minnesota who specializes in tying up incidents but I haven't received a response. He could be travelling or maybe he gets 100's of e-mails a day and it takes him a while to slog through them all? Who knows.

So far, Sera is going strong and hasn't tied up again. I'm riding her as if it isn't going to happen again because what else can I do? She is healthy as a *cough* horse. It's going on two months since it happened last, but she waited two months between incidents last time. I guess I'm not holding my breath that it won't happen again but I remain hopeful.

Spot, one of our dairy does, is HUGE. Almost as wide as she is long. She isn't due until April 1 and we wonder how many babies she has cookin' in her baby basket?! Ring Around the Rosie is due April 17 with her first kids. She doesn't even look pregnant! Slim and trim - tho' she hasn't come back into heat so she must be... right? Maybe Spot's tummy muscles are stretched and flabby from having kids and since Rosie is young, her muscles are tone and tight? Makes sense to me!

I get to pick up my car today! Yee hooooo! Tho' it's awful "sterile" looking. My old car is covered in stickers showing my quirky personality. I found this site... Car Tatts.... check it out dawg! I'm trying to talk Furry Husband into putting black polka dots all over the new car. How fun would that be?!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dream sequence...

The dealer agreed to our offer after some haggling. I pick up my "new" car Friday after work. Part of my deal was they include tinted windows - I told them I want it gangsta dark tint so no one will know when I have goats in the back of my stationwagon!

I came back to work after my break and signing papers with Furry Husband - excited 'bout my "new" car and there were 2 messages on my voice mail from my Dad.

He was crying and wanting me to help him and telling me how much he loves me... which is more of a manipulative thing than anything. I mean, yeah. I know he loves me. But growing up, he would often cry as a manipulative tool - sobbing - clutching at us - smothering hugs full of snot and tears and wailing. "I love you sooooo much.... no one could ever love you like I do.... I love you more today than yesterday.... I can't live without you.... I will die if you leave me... "

Now what small child could ever have any defense against this? Shit. I hardly have the defenses now to deal with it and I'm 38 and I know better!

Dad can't find his words anymore. His brain is active but because of the dementia, he can't put together words that make much sense. It's sorta like talking to someone whose cell phone is cutting out badly and all you catch are every 3rd or 5th word in between long pauses and sometimes there is a word thrown in completely out of context like - dishwasher. It doesn't make any sense.

Sorta put a damper on my new car experience.

I know he is miserable. I know his disease frightens him. I know it is progressive and things are only going to get worse. I can't help him. I can't fix it. I can't make him happy. I can't stop it. I can't care for him in my home like he wants me to. I can't do anything for him.

I have to try really hard to focus on the fact that he is safe. He is fed. He is clean.

Listen to the dream I had last night:

There were these woods in a remote location and "they" (whoever they are?) had sent a team of specialists - wildlife biologists - really smart people that know their stuff - down to scope the area, take wildlife information, record data about the remote forest, things like that. Sorta like the away team in Star Trek. Then "they" sent me down to see how these people were doing - collect their data to bring back to whomever was running this project.

I get there and everyone there is dumber. Like they can't hardly speak anymore. They can't recognize simple forest animals like owls or hedgehogs (yeah - in my dream I was really asking them about hedgehogs!) or trees. They don't have their knowledge or smarts anymore. It's like their brains have been wiped clean. They don't know anything anymore.

There are natives in charge - they are tall and all in white - (like nurses I think after I am fully awake and writing this down) and they herd the people around and won't let them leave the forest.... (Dad wears a wander-guard device he can't remove so he can't leave the nursing home - if he does alarms go off alerting the staff) I pretend like everything is o.k. and I go along with everything but the first moment I get, I sneak out and I run away. I am running down this dirt trail/road and I keep running thru the forest until I get to this town. I'm scared that this loss of your mind is contagious and I'm worried this town I found will have the same affliction...

I find a lady at a general store and I talk to her - she seems normal. Her mind is functioning and she can communicate with me on a normal level. I ask to use her phone. I go upstairs to her bedroom and I am trying to call my headquarters - I want to tell them what is happening and have them send in reinforcements to save the people trapped in the forest. We need to alert the army so we can prevent it from spreading!

I think the forest must have mold spores or some sort of pollutant in the air causing all these specialists to lose their minds. Someone has to be alerted! I can't reach anyone. I don't have the right phone numbers. I can't dial the phone correctly. I can't make anyone in the town understand what is happening. There is no one to help. There are no reinforcements coming.

The natives in the forest I escaped from come looking for me. I hide under the bed... isn't that the first place they will look? I want to find a new hiding spot but I can't because they have arrived....

and that is when I woke up.

Certainly no special dream dictionary needed to figure out what that dream is about! Dad and nursing homes and dementia and how I can't escape.... crazy how your brain processes stuff ain't it?

At least it's Thursday and tomorrow is Friday and I have my gangsta tint windows, sunroof and foglights to look forward to! Heck, maybe I'll put a goat in back and drive around just for the thrill of knowing that people can't see in and they don't know I have a goat in my car!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When is enough, enough?

I have a Subaru. I bought it when I was 26 yrs old, it was a dealer's model for test driving and it was practically brand new. I remember after buying it, I was home alone. I drew myself a bath and sat in the tub til the water got cold in a near panic thinking, "OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG. What did I just do?!"

This car, a 1996 Subaru Legacy wagon, has served me well. Is STILL serving me well. It has 285,000 miles on it. I've done maintenance things on it, timing belt, various other belts, brakes... it's never needed any major repairs. And it always, always, always, always starts. It is great in snow and it gets me everywhere I need to go. I happily fit 50lb feed sacks, dogs, saddles, furniture, goats into my stationwagon and toodle on down the road without a second thought.

The body is in great shape. The interior is in great shape. Even when a goat peed in it, I had my bed liner down and hosed it off later. Voila! Good as new. I keep my car clean. No one would ever think it has 285,000 miles on it.

Furry Husband has been after me to get a newer car. He doesn't feel safe with me be-bopping around in a car with such high milage. It's not so bad in town but if I drive the 3 hrs to visit my Dad in NE or if I happen to head to Denver for a day or if we head out on a road trip to Grand Junction or to visit his Mom in Illinois.... he doesn't think it's safe anymore.

I know he's right.

My windshield wipers are tempermental. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. If I hold the wiper stick on the steering column they know when it's sprinkling and you just want one wiper pass so you pull the wiper stick and the wipers do their thing one time? THAT still works all the time, so if it rains and my wipers decide not to work, I just hold that thing in. I can see fine.

My brake pedal sticks to the floor on mornings that are 20 degrees or lower. Sometimes. If I allow my car to warm up for 3 minutes, it doesn't happen. Never has happened while I'm driving it. Only when my car is started from being dead cold and it is below freezing outside does my brake pedal stick to the floor rendering my brakes useless. But that is what I have an emergency brake for, no?

The right front CV boot is torn. Who cares? I don't know what it is and I don't think it's relevant to the primary function of driving my car. My car starts, backs up, goes forward, turns right and left.

The anti-lock brake system broke many years ago. It was going to cost me $500 to fix and since I grew up in NE with hellacious winters. I don't need the anti-locking brakes. I know perfectly well how to brake in snow and ice.

The insulating rubber thingies that line your door? Well on the driver's side, that thing is sagging on the bottom of the door, away from the body of the car. Like sagging support hose. A repair place quoted me $200 to fix it... $200! Hell. Get me some duct tape and I'll fix the damn insulating rubber thingy in under 3 minutes.

My headlights are sorta dim. I drive around with my brights on and no one ever flashes their lights at me anymore. If I return the lights to "normal", I can't hardly see the road. So? I'll just drive with my brights on.

The rear windshield wiper doesn't work. It never really has. It goes back and forth but doesn't touch the glass. I had the dealer fix it 53 times when it was under warranty and they never could get it to function properly. It's the only thing about my car that pisses me off so I never use it.

There is a dent just above the tail light on the driver's side from when I backed into a tree on my way out the driveway at my Mom's house in Bailey, CO because my boyfriend at the time and I were breaking up, he showed up and I got zero sleep the night before. I have all my stickers on the car... my Itchy and Scratchy stickers (the cartoon they always show from The Simpson's), my Happy Bunny stickers, my Cartman farting fire sticker from the episode where he was abducted by aliens the first year of Southpark. It's got my Grand Mesa Ski stickers, my Girls Kick Ass! sticker... my quirky personality is all over that car.

Furry Husband called me yesterday and asked me to meet him in front of my work building for a cup of coffee. I came down and he was in a sparkly clean Subaru Legacy Wagon circa 2004. It has 50,000 miles on it.

To me, that is like a brand, spankin' new Subaru. It has a sunroof. It has heated seats. It is super clean inside and out. It has fog lamps. The asking price is $1K under Kelley Blue Book.... we were able to keep it overnight last night. We took it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase exam. It's clean. There were a couple cosmetic things... but it is a velly, velly nice little car. The wipers work - ALL of them - even the rear window wiper. The headlights are so bright I can actually SEE the road on the regular headlight setting. The brights are like stadium lights, they are so bright!

It was sorta my goal when I first bought my car back in 1996 to drive my little Subaru wagon to at least 300, 000 miles or until there was just a seat and a steering column left... but I wonder... when is enough, enough already??

We made an offer on the 2004 model. We haven't heard back from the dealer. Shrug. I don't NEED a new car. If they don't go for it? Well. I drive mine and maybe I make it to 300K? There are other cars out there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wow - busy weekend!

Saturday was LOOOOONG. I picked Kylee up around 6 in the morning and sure enough when I got up that morning, there was fresh snow on the ground. We left later than I wanted and I was sorta freaking out that we'd be late... I had to drive slower due to the snow, ice and fog but we made it in the nick of time.

There was another steward assigned with us to work inside the ring. She kept the order of go for the exhibitors/dogs in the right order, would call the next class in and lay out the appropriate ribbons for the judge. Kylee and I checked people in and handed out armbands. I think she was sorta bored, but there was a lot to watch with all the different dogs and people AND it counted as our volunteer activity for the Partners program.

After our shift, we dropped off the judge's results for our ring at the Superintendent's Office and picked up our lunch tickets.... only there were no lunch tickets. Someone walked us over to the lunch room, told the woman out front to let us in because we worked Ring 14 and she left.

The woman working the lunchroom door gave me the evil eye and looked at Kylee. "She is eating too?"


"Did she work?"

"Yes. She handed out arm bands."

OMG - I drove 2 hrs down here in snow and ice, Kylee is 10 and very skinny - how much could she possibly eat? We volunteered 4 hrs of our time to help out at this show - let me the f* in there! I'm hungry and lady, trust me, you don't wanna get between me and a Ritz cracker.

The lunchroom bouncer let us in - she must've recognized the look in my eye. After lunch Kylee and I walked all over looking at dogs, petting dogs and talking about dogs. It was pretty fun and on the way home we were both too pooped to play games...

Sunday I rode my nice red mare. We are working to get her using her back and topline. She would much rather look pretty than really use her body. Ann rode my young gelding, Rosso and did well. After riding, Furry Husband helped me clean the barn. He is so awesome. When I do it alone it takes about 2 hrs and when he helps, we knock it out in 45 minutes! After, Furry Husband and I ran into town for errands. We stopped at Rio for a late lunch/early dinner and boy did that margarita taste GOOD!

I didn't have any cool birds visit me this weekend but I logged in some blue jays, a western scrub jay, cassian finches, house finches, goldfinches, red-wing blackbirds, Eurasian collared doves, juncos, pine siskins, house sparrows and I think I had a few song sparrows. Did anyone have any interesting birds visit?

Friday, February 13, 2009

I almost forgot!

Don't forget to count the birds!! Remember my post back in November - here? The Great Backyard Bird Count is today through Monday!!! Go here for information on how to do it. Don't worry, they have ID pictures and all the information you could want on birds and how to participate.

The GBBC helps scientists see how birds are wintering this year. Bird populations are forever changing, and this helps those scientists see movement patterns of birds, how the birds are responding to environmental changes, how different bird populations grow or decrease and if their range is expanding or shrinking.

Help a scientist out this weekend - it's Valentimes - give them a little love. They are usually all locked away in a lab and don't get much love. Look out your window and count 'dem birdies! It's easy! You can count can't you?

What a great activity for all you "lovebirds" on Valentimes Day or what a fun project to do with your children!

Submit your bird count here:

Have fun counting the birds!

Friday news

I have lots of trivial news for you today!

First of all, I went to get Furry Husband a little Valentimes gift (yes, ValentiMes not Valentines) yesterday over lunch and I found THIS! I am just not very much of a dress person. I think my body looks much better in things that can bi-sect it.... pants or skirts with tops.

Lookee! Busy dots hide flab, the 3/4 length sleeves hide that unattractive kindergarten teacher underarm wiggle, the v-neck draws attention up to my better features (my rack and my animated chipmunk face) vs. down around my "problem areas". And now I have ONE dress in my closet!

Also - how many animals can you see in this picture?

Bequia by the bathroom, Booker where he normally is - with his nose up my ass and part of Itty Bitty Opal Kitty near my foot...

I finally, finally, finally reached the woman in charge of volunteers for Friday and Saturday at the Plum Creek Dog Show. I am assigned to ring 14 from 8 - 11:30am. I'm working with judge Eugene Blake... and the woman asks if I've stewarded before. I told her I have stewarded obedience but not conformation, tho' I have shown conformation. She says she'll find someone experienced to work inside the ring and I will be assigned to outside. She goes on to say the judge is very particular and likes his ring to run the way HE likes it and doesn't tolerate much else. Awesome. (eyes rolling to the back o' my skull)

Gonna be an early morning for me and Kylee... I plan on leaving at 6 or 6:15am because parking is confusing and you NEVER know where the ring is in relation to the map. There are a ga-zillion dogs and people getting ready to show and I want to be there in plenty o' time for ol' Eugene. No reason to start off on a bad foot and hold up the ring. That would be really, really bad.

I looked up the Judging Program and we will be stewarding for the smooth coated Chihuahuas, Italian Greyhounds, long coated Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Havanese and Chinese Cresteds. Should be fun. It's a whole group of dogs I'm not very familiar with and it'll be fun to see how the handlers primp their dogs for the ring. There are 21 chihuahas in each group and 21 Cavaliers. Big classes!

I hope Kylee has some fun and isn't bored out of her ever lovin' mind. The people and dog watching should be most excellent... if you haven't watched that movie Best in Show - you should rent it tonight! Hilarious and we found it to be pretty accurate of the personalities you can find in the dog show world.

Now - on to the next bit o' news from my world. You know how I have this sort of funny, irrational fear that in the night some predator will come and kill one of our animals? It doesn't have to be as big as a Mountain Lion... I also fear that foxes or coyotes will come and we will have forgotten one of our kitties outside. I will wake up at night thinking I heard something and I listen as hard as I can with my heart pounding against my rib cage - pitter pat.

That happened last night. I heard what I thought was a cat screaming. I am on instant alert. My heart thumping wildly. I am listening hard to see if I should leap out of bed and... and do what? Wrassle a coyote?

There it is again! A screaming sound! Oh my God!

Wait a minute... that sound isn't coming from outside.... Oh. Well, geez. It's Furry Husband's NOSE whistling!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And the winner is....

Plopped my butt down last night and watched the closing night of the Westminster Dog Show. So much for no wine during the week. Furry Husband had 6-7 open bottles from tasting with customers for new placings in stores. They NEEDED to be poured into glasses and consumed before going "bad". tsk, tsk. Woulda been a shame to pour it all down the drain vs. our throats!

Back to Westminster...

Winner of the sporting group was a Sussex Spaniel named Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee.

The sporting group placed the Giant Schnauzer, Ch. Galilee's Pure of Spirit first.

And last but not least is the toy group winner, a Brussels Griffon named Ch. Cilleine Masquerade.

After the winners are chosen, all 7 from their respective groups go into a ring with a judge that has been sequestered. The judge hasn't heard about or seen which dogs he or she will be judging for Best in Show.

The dog that won was... drum roll please.... THE SUSSEX SPANIEL! I was pulling for the Puli from the herding group... I liked the spring in his step.

It's a first for the Sussex breed to take a Best in Show at Westminster and I like to see new breeds take the win. They say the dog is 10 years old and he almost died in 2004?! Good god. Retire that dog already! He's ancient! His call name is Stump - that's pretty funny. Way to go Stump!

And that my friends is Westminster.

This weekend is the Plum Creek Dog Show in Denver. It's the biggest dog show in Colorado and oft times winners from Westminster are there. It runs Friday through Monday.

I'm headed down there on Saturday with Kylee. We are volunteering to Steward a ring. Stewarding involves checking people in and handing out armbands, keeping the judges comfortable, handing out ribbons... that sort of thing. It will count toward the volunteer requirement that Partners Mentoring Youth requires and it will be lots more fun than picking up cans on the side of the highway or something....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Goat 4H

I didn't catch Westminster last night! I know all the winners are posted at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show site and the Best in Show dog was in the paper but I didn't look. I'm saving the suspense for tonight when I can watch the DVR recording. If you know who won, don't tell me! I'll post the winners tomorrow for those of you that care... HA

I picked Kylee up last night right after work and brought her to our house. She helped with chores and got a couple squirts of milk from Chocolate Chaud before she gave up and let me finish milking. She LOVES and I mean LOVES Mojo our big, black, kitty. She calls him Kong and he really IS the King Kong of cats. She pets him and he closes his eyes in pleasure, "yessss, human child, adore me!" Kylee pointed out that he has 6 white hairs on his chest and that makes him look more manly.

We ate left over Southwestern Chicken Soup and salad for dinner. The soup is chicken broth based, has chunks of chicken breast, corn, black beans, kidney beans, rice and salsa in it. When I was Kylee's age I would NEVER EVER have touched that soup. I would have gone hungry vs. having to eat something that "grown-up" and gross. I was the pickiest damn eater in the whole world.

I told Kylee if she didn't like it or didn't want the soup, we'd make something else for her. I have a thing about making kids eat food cuz I spend time in a bad foster home when my parents were going thru custody battles and if you didn't like what they made, they set a timer - if you didn't eat whatever it was by the time the time the timer went off you really got it with a belt or a shoe or a wooden spoon... anything that "sounded good" when the foster-mom smacked it against her hand.

I make sure Kylee knows she doesn't have to eat it if she doesn't like it. Nope. She dug right in and ate it up yum. I showed her all our salad dressing choices... out of ranch, italian, blue cheese, lime vinagrette, sundried tomato vinagrette and a sesame ginger dressing, she chose the sesame ginger. I let her taste it first to make sure she'd like it. I think she has an incredibly adult palate, which is great - makes it easier on me because she eats the foods we make and have around. I don't need to worry about making sure we have "kid friendly food" in the house.

We left for the 4H meeting. This meeting was MUCH better than the last general 4H meeting. There was an agenda, handouts, dates, times, information specifically about our project. I know Kylee was bored thru the last half, but things will pick up when we actually begin doing some hands on things and she did o.k. During the refreshments, a few of the Larson family members talked to her and I think she's beginning to recognize people...relax a little.

At one point the meat goat project leader was talking and Kylee whispered, "Meat goats?! Poor goats!"

*ahem* I did NOT tell her that Linus is now in our freezer! When she asked about him last week I told her that he went to his new home. I think adults should know where their food comes from, but I don't want to freak out a 10 yr old. I have no idea her family's stance on this and I'm such a small piece of her life. I'm sure we'll talk about it sometime... she liked Linus and said he was her favorite goat so I'm not about to tell her we killed him and plan on eating him! If it comes up, I'll talk to other moms about that whole subject because I really don't want to freak Kylee out about it. I don't want to scar her for life like Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs.

Clarice Starling: I went downstairs, outside. I crept up into the barn. I was so scared to look inside, but I had to. Hannibal Lecter: And what did you see, Clarice? What did you see? Clarice Starling: Lambs. The lambs were screaming. Hannibal Lecter: They were slaughtering the spring lambs? Clarice Starling: And they were screaming. Hannibal Lecter: And you ran away? Clarice Starling: No. First I tried to free them. I... I opened the gate to their pen, but they wouldn't run. They just stood there, confused. They wouldn't run. Hannibal Lecter: But you could and you did, didn't you? Clarice Starling: Yes. I took one lamb, and I ran away as fast as I could. Hannibal Lecter: Where were you going, Clarice? Clarice Starling: I don't know. I didn't have any food, any water and it was very cold, very cold. I thought, I thought if I could save just one, but... he was so heavy. So heavy. I didn't get more than a few miles when the sheriff's car picked me up. The rancher was so angry he sent me to live at the Lutheran orphanage in Bozeman. I never saw the ranch again. Hannibal Lecter: What became of your lamb, Clarice? Clarice Starling: They killed him. Hannibal Lecter: You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs. Clarice Starling: Yes.

During the ride home we played games. Somehow things diverted into silliness.... at one point I had her laughing really hard. Remember that song by Drop Dead Fred or something? "I'm too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it huuurts!" I sang this in the weird Dead Fred voice but from Mojo's point of view. She looked over at me and asked in a suprised voice - "did you get that from Shrek?" I said - oh, did Shrek sing that? I don't remember. She sang it for me the way Shrek did and then she made me do each and every animal we have... she did some too. They were just silly. This is good! Normally she is SO quiet and reserved and when I'm goofy to try and draw her out it's met with crickets... no reaction... and then I feel incredibly lame. I think she's opening up and feeling more comfortable. She's gonna love the baby goats.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Westminster Dog Show

I forgot opening night was last night! We DVR it of course. (hello? animal dork alert!)
They had the herding, hound, terrier and non-sporting groups last night.

I know y'all are dying to know who won. First, here is some dog show lingo.
The Ch. in front of the name mean Champion. Champions have earned 15 points and 2 majors at different dog shows under different judges. You are only awarded points when you win first place. You get more points the more dogs you show against. Only champions are invited to Westminster.
A major is a show you've won against X number of dogs, dictated by the AKC. There are different numbers in a major according to the breed. There are A LOT of labs out there so a major for them probably includes a pretty large number of dogs you have to beat. There aren't as many Gordon Setters so if I remember correctly, when I was showing Booker, a major was 4 dogs? I had to beat 4 dogs at a show to win a major. For a dog to be a champion, they have to have 2 majors within those 15 points.
The next word is usually the kennel the dogs came from - the people who bred the dog. So if you see a dog you like, you can track down the kennel who bred the dog and inquire about further breedings or puppies or whatever. Then comes their kennel name or their AKC registered name. Usually all dogs have a "call name" which is not on their registration papers but what their family calls them... like Fluffy or Spot or Fido.

The Scottish Deer Hound , Ch. Gayleward's Tiger Woods, took first in hounds (all pictures courtesy of the AKC website)
The Scottish Terrier , Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, took it in terriers --- I think former President Bush has one of these named Barney and it bites! Not that the Westminster winner bites... and heeeeyyyy is Scotland in on some dog show conspiracy???The Standard Poodle , Ch. Randenn Tristar Affirmation, won the non-sporting groupand the Puli , Ch. Cordmaker Field of Dreams, won the herding group.

Tonight the toy, sporting and working groups will compete. Furry Husband and I watch and we tease each other...
"Hey! What about that dog? Do you like that one?"
"Eww - I would NEVER have a dog like that!"
"Well, I'm gonna find a breeder and come home with SIX of that kind of dog tomorrow!"
Once we went to a neighbor's house around Westminster Dog Show time. We were telling her about the show and the commentators and how funny it can be. I said something about "the little captain" - which is what the commentators always, always, always talk about when the Schipperke is shown. Tho' I must have forgotten to preface my little captain comment with the dog breed.
Our neighbor raised her eye brows, blushed and nervously tried to change the subject.... she thought I was talking about Furry Husband's thang!
We laughed and rushed to tell her - no, no, no - not Furry Husband's "little captain", the Schipperke! It's a breed in the dog show! It's name means " the little captain"!!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Have any of you played with a Wii yet? Fun to say eh? As in: "I touched her Wii" or "Do you like my Wii?" I know. I'm infantile.

I went to my girlfriend, Sally's house... of Harry and Sally who went to Napa/Sonoma with us?

It was really fun! I think I like boxing the best - it was like being in a slap fight with Laverne and Shirley! We created Furry Husband's and my avitars and they are US! Sally says now that we will appear as people in the crowd for other people's Wii... AWESOME!

I had a good time girltalkin' before the men-folk came home. Furry Husband was in a disc golf tournament benefit for The Food Bank. He raised $1250.00 and his disc golf club as a whole raised $14,000! How cool is that?

I had lots of horseback time this weekend which was good for my soul and we got our taxes done so yeah, good, good weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Useful goaties...

I'm beginning to get my butt in gear for selling my goat milk lotion in retail stores. I have the fabulous new label designed by my friend B and I have a phone book open looking at printers I will send it to for bids.

I finally called my site provider and I can once again edit my site. I'm not very techie and I was procrastinating on this because it's intimidating to me. Anything I don't fully understand? I procrastinate and let it sit in my "to do" pile for a loooooong time.

Did I tell you I've started making yogurt? It is SO easy!! ANY ONE of you could do it. It's healthier without all the preservatives, lower sugar and you can add any fruits you like. I happen to use whole goat milk because that is what I have on hand. However, you could easily make it at home with 2% or 1% milk.

Take 2 qts of milk (don't use the super, duper, ultra pasteurized kind) , heat it to 115 degrees in a water bath. Add 2 tsp of plain, active culture yogurt from the store. Mix gently but well. Pour the milk into pint or quart jars. (I used a 2 qt jar and it didn't work - I'd stick with the smaller jars!)

Place the jars in a pan of hot water up to the neck and keep at a temp of 90 - 100 degrees for 8-12 hrs. For some reason my yogurt takes a full 12 hrs. Yours might only take 8. I put my yogurt in the oven on the "keep warm" feature at 100 degrees, go to bed and the next day it's ready to go in the fridge.

I was warned that you should not jostle or disturb the jars of milk while they are incubating. The yogurt is a lot thinner than store yogurt because it doesn't have all the chemical thickening agents. When it's ready it is a bit thicker than regular ol' milk and it smells like yogurt.

Cut up 3 or more cups of fruit, add 1/2 cup sugar and voila! You have some really great, cheap, healthy yogurt. If you want to thicken up the yogurt a bit, you can add gelatin. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil, add 2 packets of plain, unflavored gelatin and stir until dissolved. Mix it with your sugar/fruit mixture and add to the plain yogurt. YUM!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sera and Rosso

Sera is on the left, Rosso on the right. They are 1/2 siblings because they have the same dam or mother. I think I've posted this before but it's the only picture I have of both of them right now.

My friend Ann's horse, PJ, had to have colic surgery and while PJ is recovering Ann doesn't have a horse to ride.

I offered that she could ride Rosso. He is perfectly fine up at Rex's indoor arena and doesn't try any of his monkey business like he does at home.

I brought both horses up to Rex's indoor arena last night and Ann met me there. We had a blast! Ann is cheerful and fun and it's really cool to watch someone else on your horse. He did well for her. He spooked once and Ann handles it just fine.

When you ride you feel how they are going but you can't really SEE what they look like. I had fun watching him go and we had a great time. I worked some stiffness out of my muscles, got some exercise, had fun, BOTH of my horses got worked and by the time I got home, my mood was drastically improved.

Nothing elevates my mood like a good ride and being around the horses. Buh-bye bete noir!

Ann is gonna come to my riding lesson on Sunday at 10:00am and I'll bring Rosso. It's gonna be fun. SHHHHHH! Don't tell Mrs. Kravitz on us.... she will be jealous that I didn't offer Rosso to her to ride first. He isn't really out on loan like a library book for anyone to ride ... and I'm pretty sure their personalities wouldn't mesh. If he spooked, she would most definately, without question fall off which would be bad for everyone involved.

I clean Rex's barn tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. I'm the fill in cleaner when the regular working students can't do it and I am a complete and total whore for lessons... each time I clean the barn it = free lessons.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bete Noir

I am in a dark mood today... bete noir.

I picked up Kylee and we headed to the 4H meeting. We got there about 5 min. late... the meeting is run by the kids and there are 3-4 of them at the front of the room. I assume the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. I wouldn't KNOW because NO ONE is giving me any sort of 4-H handbook, rules, outline about what 4-H is and how it is supposed to go.

There was discussion that we should have our rule books by now but they are unavailable and they will try to get them to us by the end of the month. Great. In the meantime I am left completely clueless.

I don't understand anything they are talking about. There is some 4H Carnival and evidently they run a booth and last night they were voting on what sort of prize to give away at the booth, the tickets to win the prize and the cost of the booth.

I have no idea what the booth is about... is it a shooting gallery? A guess your weight booth? And then there was discussion about a sign up sheet for demos. Wha? Demos? Demos on what? Changing a flat tire? Shoeing a horse? Feed and care of a rabbit? I have NO CLUE.

The meeting adjourns and then there are 2 demos. The first is a girl with a cat and she talks about preparing the cat for the 4-H Cat Show. The second demo is a girl who shows us how to decorate cupcakes.

Once the meeting broke, I asked Hannah - the oldest child from my favorite family, The Larson's. She tells me that the booth for Carnival is a big piece of canvas painted like a shark with a hole painted into a big open mouth. The game is to slingshot Barbie parts into the mouth. Carnival is on March 21. Everyone has to do a demo but for first year 4-H'ers the demo is only 2 minutes long, has to be about their project and is really easy. Then Hannah tells me that Kylee can do the demo for friends and family and it doesn't have to be at these meetings. I'm relieved because Kylee is pretty aprehensive about all this.

Kylee is SUPER QUIET at these meetings and seems pretty intimidated. During the meeting I sorta kick her shoe and she kicks my shoe or I'll poke her in the leg and she will poke me. I'm trying to let her know I'm there and we will have fun and it's not anything to be afraid of...

The meeting is over, the demos are over and I go to the group leader lady and I say, "Hanna tells me that they don't have to do the demo here in front of the group, is that right?"

"No. They HAVE to do it here!"

"Well, Kylee isn't that comfortable. If I sign her up for a month and she still isn't comfortable, can I scratch her and move her to a later month?"

"FAIR IS IN AUGUST!" the group leader says in this voice like - duh! - and sits there looking at me like I'm stoopid or mentally ill.

I look at her like - are you friggin' kidding me? I say in a very testy voice, "I'm new and I don't know what that means"

A woman sitting nearby sees the tension and tells me she signed her son up for July so they can watch a lot of the other demos and get an idea of what they are supposed to do because they are new too. Thank-you - now THAT is helpful. I signed Kylee up for July. I told Kylee I signed her up for a demo and she looked totally and completely terrified. Seriously. Like a rabbit about to be mowed over by a truck. I quickly told her that it was a long way away, not til July and we can watch other demos to see how they go and I will help her. She looked better.

Hannah walked with me out to the car and asked if we would be going to the goat meeting next Tuesday. First I've heard of it. She said it's in the 4-H newsletter...and then says, oh. You probably aren't getting them yet... she said she'd have her Mom e-mail me the information.

I am really annoyed. I am absolutely HATING the completely unhelpful bordering on rude group leader lady right now. I think the goat meetings will be good - they will be smaller and about the project Kylee and I are doing together. Screw these bigger meetings that seem so chaotic and less than helpful for someone completely brand new to 4-H. I mean - hey - people. News Flash - I don't have 5 children and I haven't been coming to 4-H meetings for 20 yrs.

Now that I've had a full night's sleep I'm like - screw that. Kylee doesn't have to do a demo if she doesn't want to - I mean I'm doing this because it's supposed to be fun and a bonding thing for us, not some terrifying public speaking event. We'll see - if it's closer to July and she still isn't comfortable, I'm not makin' her do it.

AND every muscle in my body hurts from the classes I took yesterday at the gym.

AND I bit the inside of my lower lip in the front. Now it's swollen and every time I try to eat something I bite it again and it hurts so much that I see stars like in a Wil E. Coyote cartoon. It's all I can do not to shout out some horrid explative and lose my job. Good thing I have soup for lunch today.

AND when I opened the door to leave this morning, Split Pea, our indoor/outdoor kitty came running inside with a BIRD in her mouth. I put a collar and bell on her to stop this bird killin' and now I know it's not working. I am especially pissy about this because I had just filled my heated bird bath with clean water, stocked the tube feeders and platform feeder with seed and practically rang the dinner bell.... both for the birds AND Split Pea.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


As in my muscles are noodles! I was sick last week with a cold and did not venture to the gym once. No sense in wheezing and snorting with sinuses full o' goo ... I wheeze and snort enough when I go to the gym sans goo!

I decided the peaceful stretching of lunchtime yoga was too tame after missing a week. I went for a 30 min core class and stayed for the group power class. When I got back to work, it took all I had to walk across the parking lot. All the muscles in my body are like wet noodles. Bet Ima gonna be sore tomorrow! I'll go to a peaceful stretching yoga tomorrow and work out some of the muscular stiffness...

Tonight is my second 4H meeting. Sigh. I am NOT liking this driving all over the place on a weeknight. However I made a commitment and paid my 4-H dues and I will go. Yikes - I haven't heard from Kylee's mom yet ... she was going to call and let me know where to meet her in town. She had dinner plans and was going to take Kylee along for me to pick up....

Furry Husband picked up the goat today. Deep breath. Linus gave us 39 lbs of meat. (uh, yeah, won't be naming any more of the boys...) Cost us $60 to have him butchered so it comes to $1.54 a pound. Not bad. I sure hope I can eat him. A lot of hamburger, a roast and I don't know what else. I told Furry Husband he can NOT make jokes about it when we eat it. I'm having a hard enough time with all of this raising and butchering an animal you know...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hay samples...

We pulled hay samples this weekend from the alfalfa and the alfalfa/grass mix. I should have taken pictures but there was so much dust and hay chaff -- not sure that is so good for a digital camera.

Here is what a hay probe looks like (pictures courtesy of Dairy One Forage Lab) ... the metal tube is hollow, you attach it to your drill and push it into your hay bale like the next picture. The white thing goes in the hollow tube to push the hay sample out. Do this for 11-20 bales of hay, put the samples in a baggie and voila! You have your sample to submit to the forage lab.

The lab tests for EVERYTHING... minerals, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, ash, digestible energy etc. etc. etc.

Our horses got the alfalfa/grass mix until our hay supplier lost her 2nd cutting of hay. We bought the straight alfalfa hay from a hay broker. It will be really interesting to see the differences in the two samples.

The two ziplock bags I used to hold the hay samples looked like they were full to the brim o' pot. Nice. I had to take them to a post office and suffer the weird looks... "psst! Hey lady - what's the goin' rate for your weed?"

Both bags had scotch tape all over them because Itty Bitty Opal Kitty decided baggies full of hay look mighty, mighty tasty! Furry Husband laughed watching me tape up all the tooth holes. He wondered why I didn't put the samples in different bags. Silly Furry Husband! I like to provide entertainment.... the lab will get these baggies full of kitten tooth holes that are taped up. What conclusion or theory will they have?

Probably nothing - they'll dump the hay into whatever tester beaker they have and toss the baggie without another thought!

Wow. I really DO have a low entertainment threshold don't I?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mom said...

Today Sera was major bitch queen in our lesson today. She has moods. And I can say she isn't normally this way.

Anyway, she needs to use her back more and bring her hind legs more under herself so she CAN use her back more. When I asked her to do this with my leg she gave me a big ol' F-you and ignored my request. As an enforcement of my leg, I carry a whip. I "tickled" her with it... Sera is not a horse you whack with the whip, unless you feel like working through WWIII... so I lightly touch her with it as a reminder/enforcer. That is normally enough and she will give up and comply. Today, she gave me an even bigger F-YOU! Sigh. And because I can't let her get away with that attitude and reaction, we work and work and work until we get some submission or some try from her. We did... eventually.

And now she is in the pasture peeing and squeaking and putting her butt in baby brother Rosso's face. She must be in heat. And there is my reason why she was such a bitch today! At least there is a reason!

Kylee came over and hung with me for a while this afternoon. When I took her home, her Mom gave me a baggie of cookies ... this is what they look liked... Mom said! What a riot!