Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grade A Dairy

I was really happy this morning reading the Saturday paper when lo and behold there was an article about a new Grade A goat dairy in Colorado! It's in Canon City which is probably 3-4 hrs South of us? and it's the ONLY Grade A goat dairy in the state.

Mini Moos and Kids Too is the dairy name. They make a variety of goat cheese, including soft, semi-soft and aged varieties that range in flavors from plain to fiery red pepper or a more subtle lemon pepper.

Right now they sell to Southern Colorado markets and restaurants so I haven't seen their product this far North... yet. They don't have a website right now and I didn't see any mention of one in the article. I was hoping they took online orders. I really hope they make it!

People sometimes ask me why I'm not a grade A dairy. I don't know all the specific ins and outs of why, only that I know it'd be really, really, really, really, really expensive and time consuming.

Here is a blurb from the newspaper article originally printed in The Pueblo Chieftain by Tracy Harmon: "...she had to aquire a wall full of state licenses to get the business going. And with licensing came the need for plenty of expensive equipment. But $250,000 worth of investments later, the couple has created the state's only Grade A goat dairy. .... the milking parlor and pasteurizing facility have their own strict requirements to follow: endless scrubbing before and after each milking and lots of bookkeeping. When health inspectors come every 3 to 6 months, Anderson has to prove how she has handled, stored and processed the milk. Strict temperature requirements have to be met, or the batch goes into the trash..."

yeah - see? No way I'm becoming a Grade A dairy. I don't have enough space to aquire a herd of goats large enough to justify it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hooray for Dr. Wheeler D.V.M

I stopped by Mountain Vet Supply today to pick up some Banamine. I can only purchase Banamine if my vet writes me out a prescription. If Sera (my mare) ties up again, I'll give her Banamine to decrease pain and swelling. She hasn't tied up again. But that Banamine is really handy to have around.

If there is ever a barnyard animal emergency and you call the vet, the vet always asks, "Do you have Banamine?" They proceed to tell you how much to give and how often to give it until they can get there.

I get nervous when my Banamine supply gets low. Some vets are touchy about letting their clients have it because you really shouldn't use it willy nilly. I don't but I'm sure others do and have.

Dr. Wheeler called in a prescription for me and when I went to pick it up, I noticed the script read 'open til 1/13/2010'... which means I have a steady supply of Banamine for a year. I can go in any time between now and 2010 to buy a tube of Banamine. NICE! Thank-you Dr. Wheeler!

Tho' I say this and in the same breath I hope I don't NEED any more than I have cuz it means something is going wrong!


Did I tell you I'm gonna win $75K? heh. The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News have a "Stimulus Sweepstakes". I fill out an entry form, published each day in the paper, and drop it off at one of many designated locations each day. The more times you enter, the better your chances to win and it's a one entry per person per day thing.... I dunno how long I'll keep it up cuz the contest goes on til March or something. It is sort of annoying but I keep thinking - it wouldn't be annoying for $75K! Can't hurt and it keeps me entertained - y'know thinking 'bout what I'd do with $75K. *insert big cheesy grin.

Speaking of keeping me entertained... I heard part of this radio ad the other day driving home from work. It made me laugh because one guy called another guy 'tater chip. I don't know WHY I found that funny. Maybe I was punchy after a day in the guv'ment trenches? Anyway, now I'm trying to start a new fad. From now on, try calling people random food items. As in, "Oh, hey there brussel sprout! What's new?"

You have to refrain from referring to certain body parts because that's just not nice. Someone could take offense at being called 'cauliflower face' or 'melon butt'. Furry Husband rolls his eyes at me... but c'mon, it's funny! Give it a try banana peel! What are you waiting for cherry tomato?! The best part will be the funny looks you get from people....


Thursday, January 29, 2009

What are you reading?

I am currently reading the Stephen White murder/mystery series. I'd heard of him years ago because he is from Boulder and writes about familiar restaurants, hot spots and other places in Colorado. I'd been meaning to pick up his work and somehow never did.

A woman at work has his whole series and lent them to me. They are very entertaining and I've turned Furry Husband on to them. He wasn't a big reader until he found John Sanford. He read all of Mr. Sanford's books and entered into a slight depression because there were no more. I was trying to find him some more murder/mysteries he'd like. I'm on book 6.... Furry is on book 7.

I'm also reading Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Another person at work gave me this and the 2nd book in the trilogy. I've had them for over a year and figured I should crack them open... this one is slow going. I read a bit and put it down for a long time... it's not a bad book, I guess it hasn't quite sucked me in yet. ?

Furry Husband's Mom gave me Canal Town. It is an old, old book. She says it was a favorite of hers. I got about 10 pages in and I'm not sure I can finish it. I'll try though.

I just finished Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts . I was a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE Stephen King fan in my teens and 20's. I haven't really read a creepy or horror genre book that I loved since. I tried a few and gave up. This collection of short stories was REALLY GOOD. There were 3 in particular that gave me serious creepy feelings and as I got further into them I wondered did I really want to continue for the case o' heebie jeebies they were gonna give me? I was out of practice for a spine tingler!

I have Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia on my desk at work for breaks and lunch hours.

I also have The New Basic Training of the Young Horse by Ingrid and Reiner Klimke and 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider by Jec Aristotle Ballou at home to pick up and read...

What books are you reading and what are some of your favorites? I'm always ready for a good read!





Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wind...

We HAD at least 5 inches of snow. The wind kicked up last night and it's all gone. The area where our trees are and the open space where I want to plant grass? It is brown, bare and plain ol' dirt. No snow. No moisture.

There are drifts tho'. The neighbor across the road was high centered in his driveway - Furry Husband went to help and as fast as they could dig the snow out, the drift returned. We had a big drift on either side of our gate to go out to our cars. Furry Husband dug it out and by the time I ate my toast for breakfast, it was back.

I HATE THE WIND!

Also... today is the day.

Furry Husband is taking our 8 mos old Alpine wether to the guy that will butcher him. Gulp. I asked him last night - "You aren't nervous about taking him?" He's not. He asked me, "Are you?" YES! I know it's o.k. to do and I am a meat eater and I will always be a meat eater... I don't judge anyone that raises livestock for their dinner plate or who hunts.... I KNOW where my steaks and roasts and chicken dinners come from and still it is really hard to know the animal I will eat!

A lady I work with grew up on a ranch and I told her we were going through with it because I know she can understand it. Another woman heard me, her eyes widened in complete horror. She had to leave the area because it disturbed her so much and yet she wears leather shoes, eats meat....

She said completely AGHAST, "Can't you give him to CSU?!?!" I could. And what do you think CSU is going to do with him? The same exact thing. Only then we lose money cuz we've been feeding this goat for close to a year and our freezer would remain empty.

It's been 6 yrs leading up to this day. 6 years I've been thinking about it and mulling it over... it's not something that is easy for me at all. I'm also a little proud that I've reached this point. My thinking has shifted and I can see the resourcefulness and responsibility associated with it. I am grateful to our goats for providing so much to us.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Ranch...

K - so this hay probe thing reminds me of some nutrition classes I took in college and my first "real" job out of college at Ranch-Way Feed Mill.


Ay yi yi. I was the second woman EVER to be hired in the mill. I shoulda known what that was gonna be like but ignorance is bliss to stoopid 20-somethings.


The mill made all sorts of formulated rations for local ranches. Big semi tractor trailers would come and deliver different grains and meals and other feedstuffs. The feed would run through the mill to be mixed with minerals, additives and then it travelled up through these various screen sizes making different size pellets according to the type of animal eating the pellet. Sorta like a cookie cutter or one of those play-doh things where you can press the play-doh out to make spaghetti type tubes or stars or whatever. It was really very interesting... only maybe not so much at the time.

I was hired as the Hand-Ad Operator. When the feed was being mixed, I had to throw all the smaller amounts of protein, minerals, vitamins and other additives into this hole where it was mixed with the bulk ingredients of the mix. I didn't have all day to do it either. I had a timer and a buzzer and I had to get EVERYTHING in before the buzzer went off or production was slowed waiting on me.


I wore a hard hat, a respirator, earplugs, a back brace thing and there was big, noisy equipment all around me with pictures of that stick man losing a leg or being electrocuted or otherwise dying and being dismembered.



NONE of the guys that worked there could figure why a woman would be there. I'm not really sure why I was there either, only that I wanted to work in Agriculture and I was strongest in my nutrition and reproduction classes. The feed mill fit into my nutrition niche or so I thought.


This guy named Alex was my trainer when I started. I didn't know this at the time but he began wearing aftershave to work once I started. He got a lot of shit from the other guys about that!


I had big, big barrels of vitamins A, D, E etc. behind me that I'd scoop into an empty tub on a scale to measure it all out. I had bags of other trace minerals - cobalt, magnesium, selenium... you name it... to add to the recipe. A lot of them were weird colors... there was something that was glacier ice blue, something else that was bright yellow... and it was toxic if ingested in other than micro quantities so when I was done with my shift, I kept my clothes in a plastic tub with a lid at home. It probably wasn't deadly, but I worried my dog and cats would be poisoned if they sniffed or licked or slept on my clothes.



The vitamins looked like sawdust and sometimes when I was scooping it out, there would be a dried up, dead rat... you didn't have time to think about it - you tossed it aside and hustled your ass to get your ingredients added before the buzzer went off. And you could NOT be girlie... that would have been a death sentence with all those guys. Having boobs and no dick was bad enough to them.


Dairy cow rations were the worst. Many of them had blood meal and fish meal - like 10 - 20 bags of each and the bags were all 50lbs. I had to load them up on a dolly, run over to the hole where I added the ingredients, cut big Xs in the bags with one of those carpet knives, flip it over to dump it in, tossing the empty bags aside to clean up later.



I would try to keep my mouth closed and breath thru my nose, but hustling and throwing 50lb sacks and moving my ass to get it all done before the buzzer sounded, left me breathless and inevitably I'd get blood or fish meal in my mouth. It was hard to breathe heavy in a respirator and I didn't wear it all the time. I remember looking in the mirror in the bathroom and having dark red powder (blood meal) all around my face and in my teeth. Uck. And yeah - blood meal is really blood that is instantly dried... just add water and you have blood. Fish meal was fish ground up fine into a meal/powder like substance.


The jokes the guys made on the days when I worked with a lot of blood and fish meal? I'm sure you can imagine.


Sometimes the bags I had to add were small and 50+ lbs - really low center of gravity - if you've ever carried a bag of quick-crete you know what I'm talking about. When I put those kind of ingredients on my dolly, the center of gravity was so low that I couldn't get the dolly back on it's wheels to move it... I would literally be on the handle of the dolly with my feet kicking in the air trying to get it tipped up onto the wheels. Most of the guys would stop what they were doing, and watch me laughing before one finally would come and give me a grudging hand...
Geez. I write this and I really don't know how in the hell I survived this job!

Most of the guys really didn't like me or know how to talk to me and my boss would send me down into the basement to sweep on the slower production days so he wouldn't have to look at me.

Grain dust is highly explosive and it's essential to keep things clean. The amount of feed processed caused a lot of dust. I would descend into this basement full of machines, tubes, pipes etc. so loud that you could hardly hear your own voice if you yelled. It was dark and cob webby and you could see the foot prints of rats in the dust all around you. I tried to bang around so the rats would know I was there and keep away. I don't know if I ever actually saw a live rat but I knew they were around. I'd sweep and sweep - out of the way of my boss who really didn't like me at all. Gawd he was an asshole.

I remember him always telling me I wasn't fast enough and that I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. (Tho' after I quit I heard the guy he hired to replace me was worthless - way more worthless than "the woman" and he bitched and bitched which made me laugh!) He had a brother - Jake - who worked at the back dock driving a fork lift and loading trucks. I remember Jake giving me a hard time but it seemed more joking than serious. I went out with him and a buddy of his once for a couple beers - nothing romantic at all. Afterwards there was a rumor around the mill that I'd given him a blowjob and I was a whore. Nice. So much for any camaraderie with my co-workers! Another guy who thought he was a ladies man would always ask me out.... I always said no. Inevitably a rumor circulated through the mill that I was a lesbian. You couldn't win. I tried and it was impossible!

I did befriend a couple guys. Bill was way, way cool and very normal - I hung out with him a lot. Course that meant he and I were getting it on in the mind of the other mill guys. (rolling of eyes - Bill wasn't my type) An older guy Don was so very kind to me when I was having a particularly hard day once. I remember him - I can see him in my mind right now - he was a really good guy.


The second-in-charge on my shifts was this guy named Dennis. He was o.k. He acted tough but was always fair with me. He had this funny habit of coming into the basement where I was sweeping... climbing around on the machines or equipment until he was right behind my unsuspecting sweeping self and he'd shout as loud as humanly possible just a hairs breath away from my ear... 'SHANSTER!' It always sent me leaping out of my skin. He'd chuckle and wander off leaving me to my sweeping.


I moved out of the mill and into the retail store after a year. The retail store was where all the ranchers would come in and order their feed. My new boss Chris and I got a long fine. The guy who took orders and organized the delivery trucks, Scott, was great too. In fact, I still talk to Scott every now and then. He is way out in Eastern CO somewhere brokering feed deals.



I was really happy to be out of the mill and to spend my day in the retail store where my clothes stayed clean. I made friends with some of the other guys that worked in the office - the purchaser and the nutritionist. They were older than me, married and had kids. I remember the purchaser had sheep... he'd always talk about lambing and shearing and all the other things sheep producers do to maintain a flock.


I asked him once if I could come to his house and see his family's sheep. I wanted to learn and I'd never really seen sheep production in school. I remember being really hurt and shocked when he told me that a married man couldn't bring someone like me home because there would be talk. I wasn't asking him out on a date or to bed. I wanted to come to his place in full daylight, with his family there and see his SHEEP.
It was a really different world. I went in there once when we moved back to Ft. Collins to buy some feed and it was too weird for me. We buy our feed at another feed mill now and we love that place.


And when Furry Husband and I come home with feed for our animals? I struggle to pick up and carry ONE measly little 50lb feed bag!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hay probe...

I know this sounds like one of the first episodes of South Park when Cartman is abducted by aliens and has an anal probe....

Since Sera, my mare, has tied up twice in the past 3 months, we need to have our hay tested to determine is something nutritionally is causing this issue. You stick this hay probe into several bales of hay, it takes a representative sample throughout the entire bale of hay, you put the samples in a baggie, send it in to a lab and they run their tests on it to tell you all the percentages of carbohydrate, protien, minerals etc.

The feed analysis is pretty inexpensive BUT they want to charge you $120 for they hay probe. I just called our feed store and they have one they'll let us borrow one day to take our samples. I've never probed hay before! This is gonna be fun! (yeah, low entertainment threshold that is fo' sho'!)



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lame-O

I am a big ol' lame-o.

We got up, had our coffee, read the paper and by the time it was 8:00 am it was 8.4 degrees. I called my trainer and cancelled my lesson today ... she said no one else had called to cancel. In fact, Patty, who is due to have her 2nd kid in 3 weeks is even coming out with her horse. ( Rex rides while Patty watches - but still she is getting out and loading up a horse and driving in) I hung up the phone and felt like I should stop being such a pansy ass... I mean I'm nursing a bit of a cold but I bet it's not nearly as inconvenient as having a large belly swollen with child!

I dunno. Every time I look out side... well .... it's snowing and it's 8.4 degrees, I have a sore throat, cough and stuffy nose. Any motivation I may have had is stopped at the kitchen window.

Think Furry Husband and I will go see Gran Torino cuz Furry Husband's first car was a Gran Torino, we'll stop at the store on the way home and call it a day.

shrug. I cleaned the shower/bathtub this morning... that's something productive anyway.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cracks....

Oh - and when I went to the Denver Stockshow with Kylee? We parked in this neighborhood near the venue and walked a couple blocks. Kylee told me to try and not step on any cracks cuz it means you'll break your mother's back...

So we walked, hopped, tippy toed to the Stockshow avoiding cracks.

This morning coming into my very boring guv'ment job... I noticed I was walking funny... I was avoiding the cracks and didn't really realize it at first......

Soul Street Dance Co.

Last night Kylee's Mom dropped her off at my office cuz I had FREE tix thru the mentoring program for the above performance. We went back to our place, she helps us with chores and I showed her "goat frolicking". The goats have been sorely neglected on that aspect cuz it's been too cold or too dark or too windy for me to "goat frolick" with them.

I run around waving my arms in the air, yelling in a squeeley high pitched voice - "GOATIE GOATIE GOATIE GOATIE!" And I'll duck down behind one of their houses or behind the spools they have in there to climb on... and I pop out and run all around. The goats actually LOVE this. Well. I think they love it. Their little eyes get all buggy and they all begin running and leaping and racing around. When I'm hiding, you can see them craning their necks looking for me.... anyway, it's really funny.

Sometimes tho' I tell people about this "goat frolicking" - build it up you know? They are really interested to see what this is all about and come over to our house. I'll go in the goat pen to play and show this person what "goat frolicking" is all about. Drum roll please.

And this is usually when the goats all decide to stand very still and very stoic. They watch me with very disdainful looks on their little goat faces. They look at me like I'm insane while I run around like a fool waving my arms, yelling at them and popping up and down behind stuff. I come out of the pen a bit embarrassed and completely out of breath. The people watching me are doubled over with laughter... "right Shanster! Sure the goats 'play' with you! Show me again!"

The goats were all in good humor last night tho' and showed Kylee all the fun they can be. She stood in one spot laughing at me and the goats... I was hoping she'd join in. She's pretty reserved tho'. Maybe next time she'll play a little with the goaties...

We had dinner and left for the show. Furry Husband and I teased Kylee that SHE was gonna be the show. She was gonna have to get on stage and dance with no music... we had her laughing over that. I think the idea of dancing with no music on a stage by herself...

Anyway - this Soul Street Dance Co. was so COOL! Four guys from Houston, TX and they did some hip hop and break dance stuff... I can't begin to describe it but man... too, too cool!
Check out thier website: http://www.soulstreetdance.com/

How they can move their bodies the way they do and the mastery of movement... truly amazing to see!

After it was over and I was driving Kylee home, she turns to look at me and says in this really excited voice, "What are we gonna do the NEXT time we see each other?!"

I took her to the Stockshow over the weekend to see this Superdogs show along with all the cows, chickens etc.... and now we were leaving this really cool street dance troupe....

I laughed and told her, "I have NO idea what we'll do next!"

When I got home I told Furry Husband. We were both laughing about how we'll have to drop that bar a bit! I don't have that many more tricks up my sleeve!

The next idea I have is that there is a HU-GONGUS dog show in Feb. in Denver. The Gordon Setter club put out notice they need volunteers to steward some of the rings. I volunteered myself and Kylee to work 1/2 a day.

I tried to explain the dog show to her but I don't think she understands it exactly. I told her there would be agility and flyball and obedience and every type of dog you could ever imagine would be there. I think she is excited about that. And since I volunteered, we'll get FREE lunch and FREE parking. And I am so ALL about the FREE thing.

But after Feb? Dry spell. I'll have to put some thought into what we can do next and make sure I can spread it out over the course of a year!

Anyway - it's Friday, Friday, Friday and I just couldn't leave y'all with that deep and sorta depressing post from yesterday. Tho really, I WAS very happy when I wrote it....


Thursday, January 22, 2009

I love Dennis

I dunno if any of you have a really sick parent. If you do - I am so sorry. I wouldn't wish that on ANYONE. And anyone with parents experiencing dementia... it is really difficult to see them sorta dwindling away with a healthy body while the mind rots and there is really nothing anyone can do.



With this wierd little blog in cyberspace I mostly remain cheerful and happy because that is who I choose to be.



Mostly.



I have baggage from my bizzare childhood... and it is biz-ARE. We all have baggage. A lot of people on this Earth had it way worse than I ever did and a lot of people didn't. shrug. I think it is simply the hand you happened to be dealt when the universe was playing poker.



I think mostly people come thru those difficult experiences cuz of who they are. Some people don't come out of difficult experiences very well at all.



In my opinion, my sister didn't come thru our childhood as well as I did. I think she struggles more with it. Which must be a lot and I'm glad I don't live in her head. I have a hard enough time with my own damn self and the hamster that eternally runs on the wheel in my brain. (I'd really love to kill that f'ing hamster but he jus' keeps a goin' and a goin' and a goin') I don't think anyone knows what gives one person the ability to survive a thing that would destroy someone else? I don't always feel like a survivor, but I guess that is what I am. Like many, I survived my childhood.

Sometimes, and a lot of times over the past year, I really and truly wish I hatched from an egg on a beach somewhere with NO family and NO parents and NO siblings. Wish I coulda just crawled right into the primordial ooze and been done with it. This past year I feel like my family finally got to me... finally broke me... finally got into my head and blew out the "happiness pilot light" I always kept squirreled away in there (somewhere near the hamster)... it's a long story about what happened this year and I dunno if I will ever go into it because... I dunno if people want to listen to the darkness. There is too much darkness in the world as it is.



I keep trying to tell myself these people helped to make me who I am. The experiences I had in my life helped to make me who I am and for the most part I like who I am. I really like the life I chose for myself as an adult. To really hate the situations I was in as a kid or the people who put me in those situations is sorta counter productive. Doesn't it somehow say I hate myself?? I don't know. I still struggle to file it away somehow in a manner that makes sense to me and that I can live with.



I am an adult and every day I have choices. I can choose to get out of bed or not, I choose to go to work, I choose who I want to be every single day. And mostly that is a happy, easy going and pleasant person. Watch Jimmy Stewart's movie Harvey... there is a quote in there when he says something like, "My mother told me you can always be right or you can be pleasant. I'd recommend pleasant." It's what I shoot for. I don't always make it of course ... and the past year was hard. Really, really hard.





Anyway - I dunno what brought all that on. Only that I am feeling so RELIEVED right now.



Ah hell - my Dad's financial situation along with his nursing home situation just sucks the life outta me. All of a sudden I have a dependant. Someone played this nasty joke on me and left this big 6'2 demented man on my doorstep... rang the doorbell and ran away.

I dunno if you read Stephen King? In one of his short stories, there is a kid who has a really mean Dad. The Dad sends him out to get him beer. The kid brings him back a six-pack and when the Dad drinks one of the beers, he looks like he's gonna get violently ill.... it passes but it's clear that what he drank is changing him. The Dad begins to demand more and more of the kid, he develops this hunger and requires the kid to bring him more and more... horrific things ... the Dad begins to change into something vague, slippery and cellular.... something much more primal. The Dad can't speak any more, can't think other than to demand, think of the simplest life form you can... The kid keeps caring for him/it.... and it ends with the Dad beginning cellular division... you can all do the math can't you? 1 divides into 2 and 2 divides into 4 and 4 divides into 16.....

This is how I picture my Dad now and what the Parkinson's and dementia have done. I know. It's all sick and wrong and not exactly what Norman Rockwell portrays in any of HIS pictures.


I have no idea how my Pop screwed himself so completely and royally on his way down the slippery rabbit hole to dementia but he did and I'm the one left to deal with it. It's a mess. Less than back in 2005 but still... it just keeps going and happening and popping up when I don't expect it. Businesses generally don't believe me when I'm attempting to salvage something for him. I always have to prove this or that and show all kinds of documentaion and I always end up being a suspect in elder fraud.



Which is funny cuz that already happened and is part of the mess. I always wonder where were all you roadblocks when he was in trouble?! I'M the one trying to save what he has left... even though it's such a small, teeny piece. And I always think it should be more and I should do more, be more and he should have more but I've somehow fucked it up. It sucks in ways I can't begin to say. It's incredibly embarrassing. A lot of people are so proud of their Dads. I am so embarrassed and horrified of mine. And then I'm embarrassed for feeling embarrassed.



My sister offers to help. When I give her something to do tho', I never hear anything.... never hear if she ever did it or not so I'm not comfortable giving her much. If I follow up, she gets pissy and since we are "trying" to mend our relationship... ? Well, let's just say it's not so productive. I never get any information from her and I end up doing it myself anyway. It is easier to not ask and do it myself. I think it's her cop out method or coping mechanism for dealing with our family.


Like when he was moved from assisted living to a nursing home in the past year, we picked the week she was on spring break so she could help and when that week came around? She went on a trip and tried to play the "Oops! I forgot what week we were moving him!" card. Right. You forgot. Even tho' it was a week YOU picked and there were a lot of logistical things with dates in e-mails to YOU.... sure. O.k. You forgot. Right. Forgot.



Dad pretty much alienated his family so they aren't around to help and he beat the shit outta his wife, so there is no asking Mom to help. I suppose I should feel that I don't need to help him either... but if I don't help him when he can't help himself, doesn't it somehow make me as much of an asshole as he chose to be?


I love my Dad cuz he is my Dad but I don't like him very much. It is a very wierd and schizophrenic place to be. And yet he makes up 50% of my genetic material... so if he is all bad, then what does that make me? I have to believe there is some good in him somewhere in order to love myself and think that I am good.



When the whole mess went down with my Dad originally back in 2005, my sister was in Poland on a Fullbright. She didn't really have the option to be here and to be involved. I kept her posted on everything so she'd know what was happening but she will NEVER EVER know the true horror of what I found or what I did or what it feels like to leave your Dad at an assisted living facility and drive away with him trying to chase your car cuz he doesn't want you to leave him there with people he doesn't know in a place he doesn't know with only a handful of his personal belongings.



I remember Furry Husband looking at me with eyes as wide as saucers during our trip to Omaha and what we found and moving Dad to assisted living. He told me with a little in awe in his voice that I was so strong... and I think that is about the time I broke down sobbing. In the past, I have been told I'm strong... I don't see myself that way at all.



And it's all so schizophrenic because of who he was when we grew up. The reign of terror he held over our family and the constant choice he made to be a really big asshole for the most part. Oh, he wasn't all bad - I have good memories of him along with all the bad. See? Complete schizophrenia. J ust call me Sybill. Doesn't help that everyone who met him just LOVED him. He was always smiling and joking, athletic and I guess he was probably good looking - blonde and blue eyed. They just never saw him in a rage behind closed doors. He could be a lot of fun... but yeah, he could also be a monster.



I don't think anyone is ALL bad... and he had a pretty shitty childhood as well with a Father that was a sexual predator to his only daughter, was mentally ill and abusive. So not like my Dad had a lot of good role models.... but still. No excuses. You always, always, always have a choice about who you want to be.

Ultimately YOUR actions are YOUR responsibility and I think you have to claim that responsibility instead of hoisting it off onto others and what they did to you... I can't walk down the street, beat the crap outta someone and say, "It's not my fault. It was my childhood!" Not if I'm sane and not when there are so many avenues to help you cope or deal or forge a different path for yourself. Therapy, counseling, medication, group meetings, dial-a-psychic - whatever you might need - it's there for you.



Geez. Again with the sob story. Sorry. I'm really not feeling sorry for myself at all - these are the facts of my life. I guess I'm trying to set the stage for understanding. It helps to show you the level of relief I am feeling I think and how hard it's been.



The REASON I'm so relieved is cuz I just talked to Dennis. (insert angels singing on high and a ray of light shining down from above) Dennis is a guy who works at Dugan Funeral Home in Scottsbluff NE. (more light and shining angels singing on high) He very quickly and simply and with no fuss or fanfare wrote up a contract for my Dad's cremation.



See, I had this $1,500 in an IRA for my Dad... the IRS is after him and the Medicaid lady is a total f'ing bitch... I was afraid the IRS would confiscate this small IRA. I had hopes that if Dad needed something or in the event of an emergency it could be used for him and in the meantime earn interest. Whatever was left when he died would be used for his cremation. He is young - only 64 and his body is strong - his mind? yeeeaaah. Not s'much. Anyway, I don't anticipate his death any time soon.



The other burial things were put in place by Dan, (ominous thunder sounds and lightening cracks in the sky) the funeral guy in Omaha who was incredibly frigging hard to deal with and I spent literally MONTHS trying to get everything in place and it was so difficult and I almost went bald pulling all my hair out in dealing with this guy. The cremation wasn't paid for because I couldn't stand to deal with this guy any more. And the only way I got as far as I did with him was cuz Furry Husband helped me out quite a bit by making calls and talking to this guy. BUT Dad had pre-paid for some stuff with Dan (the ground shakes and cracks appear) back in the 80's and so I was sorta tied to the contract or I'd lose even more o' dear ol' Dad's money.



Well with the economy in the shitter and the IRS sending threats... I had to cash the IRA out. Sigh. More $$ lost for Dad - I couldn't risk keeping it there til the market corrects. I'm his POA and I have a bank account under MY name so his money can remain hidden from anyone after him. I have to spend it on something that the Medicaid bitch deems acceptable before it fritters away on small things like his cable bill, phone bill or sending him a little spending money for his pocket. I don't think the Medicaid bitch would go for me re-investing it under MY name. She barely and I mean barely tolerates that I have this bank account under my name for him. I had to send her copies of letters from all the collection agencies I get about him. She still put up a big ol' stank about it.



Dad's nursing home gave me the Dugan Funeral Home number where I spoke with Dennis. (more light, angels, long shiny trumpets, harps and a chorus of halleluia)



It was a 10 minute phone call I'd been putting off for two weeks. He made it easy, simple and by the end of the phone call I was singing his praises, telling him how wonderful he was and basically telling him how much I loved him and how much he just made my day. That man is WONDERFUL. He didn't put me thru the wringer and he is doing what I want. He didn't upsell. He didn't talk in circles. He didn't put me off and tell me he'd call me back without ever actually calling me back. I didn't have to talk to his supervisor. It was a SIMPLE business transaction. It didn't take months to complete.



He's putting the contract in the mail today and I can't tell you how much of relief it is that 1. the IRS will not get Dad's last tiny amount of $$ which if they did shows what a shitty daughter I am as well as a failure - (not really but that is what my brain tells me) 2. his funeral plans are totally complete and final so when the time comes, that is one piece o' the puzzle I won't have to deal with. 3. I don't have to fret and worry and hold on to this any more... it's been on my mind since before Christmas when I got the letter from the IRS saying they were gonna take his money.


Wierd huh? That making cremation arrangements for my Dad could bring me so much relief and joy.


Ahhhhh.... deep cleansing breath and let the tension outta my shoulders..... I love Dennis. Thank-you world for making men like Dennis and letting me talk to him today.






Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One more for the STOCKSHOW!

Warm up ring for the English style riders... there are 3 jumps in the middle of the ring for them to go over. I keep trying to talk Furry Husband into letting me have geese... he keeps sayin' NO!
Somebody at the stockshow has a sense o' humor! These fine looking ducks were in a cage where the rest of the ducks and chickens were...

A Polish rooster...

Furry Husband with his once a year corn dog....

Silkie roosters.... we had a silkie rooster - he was black, we named him Larry and I bought him on Eggbay for $1. He arrived at the post office one day and we got a call to come pick him up... he was a really good rooster and he lived a good, full life till he died o' old age. R.I.P Larry, R.I.P.

I liked this pix... a horse that doesn't bat an eye at all the chaos in downtown Denver... goes right past all the people, the cars, the frying vats o' grease at all the food vendors... my horses? They woulda taken out 10 people before breaking free and racing down the interstate causing 26 car collisions and death.....
Cowboy hats.... real cowboys wear the felt hats in winter and the straw hats in summer...

Awwww.... isn't she cute? Young female pigs are called gilts, neutered males are called barrows... just a little pig trivia for all you folks at home.


Nighty night....
I'm off to open up a bottle o' sparkling wine to celebrate our new President and watch all the inauguration proceedings... we LOVE Obama. LOVE HIM! I can't even imagine the energy that was in D.C. today. What an amazing and historical event.

Let's all go to the STOCKSHOW! post II

Denver has this National Western Stockshow - it is a HUGE event. It's held at the Denver Colleseum and all the surrounding buildings... it's really cool. I've been going since college. When Furry Husband and I met, he'd never been. I took him on a date, and showed him what the stockshow was all about. We've gone every year since.


The only experience I have really with any sort of stock really was for extra credit in a nutrition class when I was in college. I showed a dairy heifer at a smaller stockshow. Heifers are cows that haven't had any calves yet. I had to bathe, brush, clip her and teach her to lead around with a halter. All I know is that cows don't necessarily WANT to go with you and when I was giving my heifer a bath she about kicked my head in.


There are cattle shows, yak shows, draft horse performances - if you've never seen a team of draft horses all decked out with their fancy harnesses and hitches, you are missing out! They are impressive. There are amazing horse Grand Prix jumping classes with a $40K jackpot to win, rodeos, horse and dog pulls where they hitch dogs or horses up to a sled loaded with sandbags, they keep adding more weight til only one winning team of dogs or horses can pull it.

There is bull riding and there are stock dog trials - herding dogs have to run either sheep or cows through a series of activities, like thru a gate, into a pen, loaded into a trailer. You can see western horse reining and cattle cutting competitions, steer roping, wool shows, fiddle contests, mules, donkeys, ducks, geese, llamas, alpacas, pigs and chickens and goats etc.

And there are vendors - millions of vendors selling everything from ranch equipment and squeeze chutes to ceramic curling irons and cook ware. People come from everywhere to show their animals, talk deals, trade, buy, sell and catch up with each other. Anything you can imagine about farm animals probably happens at the stock show... (oh, get your mind outta the gutter!)


Furry Husband and I both took the day off from work and headed down to Denver for the Stockshow. It's way less crowded during the week than on the weekends.


We didn't buy tickets for any particular event. We walked around and watched. We each had our annual corn dog and some kettle corn.
A big ol' pile o' turkey legs just seemed funny to me for some reason...?

Some sheep are bald... some are not....

And here is the reason why! Sheep shearing demonstrations!

Now wouldn't you like to have your very own Boer buck necklace? How about a pig or beef steer? They are all 100% sterling silver and would go nicely with your Wranglers....

This was a horse halter class...the darker horse with four white feet and the guy in the blue shirt with the black hat? He won the class...

This lady is showing her Boer goat... I've never seen them clipped this way. Sorta looks poodle like. The picture doesn't show the lady's hair very well... Furry Husband wanted me to be sure to get the hair.

Our favorite.... CORN DOGS!


Belt buckle anyone? Anyone? This was just one of many vendors sellin' buckles the size o' dinner plates...


I have so many more pix... no wonder I overloaded blogger!

Let's all go to the STOCKSHOW! post I

I'm gonna try this in 2 posts. Think I have too many pictures for all y'all....


This is Sammy Semen... he was sorta big in the Ag department at CSU when I was in college. A lot of people had this in t-shirt form. I was wearing it once and I stopped in Boulder to fill up my tank... the guy at the gas station about went ape shit over my shirt and tried to get me to trade t-shirts with him... I probably would have but he was sorta dirty and stinky and lord knows where HIS shirt had been!

Furry Husband bought a hat from Universal Semen Sales with Sammy Semen this year. There are a lot of semen companies actually at stockshow. You can get catalogs full o' great looking bulls... order up some frozen semen and artificially inseminate your cows. It's big bid'ness.

I almost learned how to inseminate cows in a class and I was gonna contract myself out to ranchers... but somehow I never did. I guess the whole arm up a cow's ass never really ended up being something I wanted to do over and over and over.
Sorry for the fuzzy pix... my camera was on some funky setting... Lots of buyin', sellin', tradin' o' bulls and cows.


Bath time! This is what I was doing with my dairy heifer when she tried to kick my head clean off back when I was in school. Only I was stooopidly scrubbing her back legs with my head right down there within' kickin' range.

Lots and lots o' cows... they were being clipped and bathed and trimmed and fluffed and blow-dried getting ready for the show ring.

A tired Boer buck. Boer goats are meat goats...these goats are STOUT! Many people will cross Boers with dairy goats cuz the dairy goats have a bigger, taller frame. I guess you get more meat that way, but because the Boer goats are so much beefier, there can be problems getting them to fit through a dairy goat's pelvic opening... the dairy breeds just aren't wide or big enough to get that big ol' Boer head through.


Sorry - 'nother fuzzy pix but some of these bulls were just HUGE!

3 little pigs...


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spa day

I'm trying to post a blog about the Denver Stockshow last Thursday but I guess I'm trying to post too many pictures cuz Blogger keeps freezing up. I haven't had the patience to figure it out but I will...


In the meantime, I met my girlfriends Laurie and Belinda for a spa day in Boulder on Saturday. I was actually pretty intimidated. I'm just not really the spa type. We went to St. Julien's spa and I have to say it was really pretty fabulous!


Everyone gets their own heavy white robe and your own flip-flops along with a locker to put your things in. We went early to take advantage of the "amenities". We sat in the steam room and drank cucumber water. When Belinda and Laurie were called for their spa treatments, I still had 30 min before my spa treatment. I used the pool, hot tub and the showers complete with high end body scrubs and hair product.


I opted for a pedicure on my spa day. My first one! I was nervous cuz I have Fred Flintstone feet. People have seen my feet, laughed and said they look like Fred Flintstone's feet. I'm not making it up. My big toes are hairy and I don't care enough to shave them. AND I have the freakish Kathe toe. Pronounced cot-ee.


Kathe is my Gramma's maiden name. She has this toe. My Dad has this toe on both feet. I have this toe on both feet. My sister has this toe on one foot. My sister had a baby in July of aught 8 and the baby has this toe. I don't know if the baby had the toe on one foot or two yet cuz I have not seen her bare feet, but my sister says she has "the toe".


I've joked that I can count change, hang from trees, write my name with a pencil, shake hands, fold clothes, cook food, iron your clothes - all because of this toe. People actually BELIEVE me when I say these things with a straight face.


Mostly the toe gets in the way of some shoes... if a seam runs across it can rub and cause discomfort. In the 80's hirachi sandals were all the rage and I wore them - only the little leather part near this toe always sorta popped out and let my toe free. Otherwise I don't notice. I think I walk pretty normally, and no. I am not holding my toe this way - it just does this. I've never tried to put some sort of spacer on my feet to re-arrange my toe. I've never taped it to hold it in place like other people's toes... I was never taken to a podiatrist as a kid.

So here it is for the whole world wide web to see.... my freak Kathe toe! But doesn't my pedicure look nice?



Friday, January 16, 2009

The 70's

Furry Husband and I watched Kansas City Bomber this week on Turner Classic Movie channel...


O.k. - this movie was HILARIOUS! There was little to no acting. It was all about K.C. Carr (Raquel Welch) and her roller derby career. She was traded to Kansas City and started dating the team manager. He turned out to be a jerk and traded off all her friends, was gonna make her big in Chicago but of course her kids would be in the way and she was a single mom ... Goodness, what is K.C. Carr to do?




The movie frequently showed close-ups of the fans. This was the best part. We couldn't stop laughing! I can't believe most people looked THAT bad in the 1970's.... the people the movie kept showing were either morphing into werewolves, mongoloid or 108 yrs old. When they showed the close-ups of the 108 yr old lady, she'd be yelling something only we could never make out what she said? It sounded like a melted or warped 8-track.


I don't remember. Was roller derby really THAT big? Did they have professional teams and they were traded? We've gone to a recent roller derby event and it really was pretty fun... I guess I just don't remember it being huge when I was growing up. ??


More importantly, was this truly a GOOD movie back in 1972? I can remember to a day when I would have thought that movie was great. I mean I thought Charlie's Angels was the shit back then... bought the bubble gum and collected the cards. Any make believe game you played, you wanted your name to be Kelly or Sabrina or Jill. I can see where a grade school kid would think roller derby and K.C. Carr were cool. I remember going to skating rinks and hanging out with my friends.


I wonder if any adults loved this movie? Was it meant to be a spoof - like Kingpin or Happy Gilmore? Somehow I don't think it was. I guess K.C. Carr's rival in the movie was nominated for a Golden Globe!


If you'd like a blast from the past and movie you really don't have to think about to "get"... and I mean you don't have to think AT ALL. Rent this. Oh, sniff... our ribs were sore from laughing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Furry Husband's suprise...

Hey I went to yoga today and I listened for wind from people's back passage... nuthin'. I heard nuthin! Tho we did this one pose - um - I think it's called bow pose? You are on your tummy with your knees bent so your heels are right over your bum. You reach back, grab the tops of your feet and then you kick out with your feet and you sort of look like the letter U on the floor.

I look for a focal spot, usually right in front of me, when I'm in a pose to help me concentrate. I was a little suprised when I was staring straight ahead, finding my focus - concentrating - all at peace with myself when VOILA!
The guy in front of me had super baggy shorts and I could totally see his junk. Nothing like the shock of seeing male genitals lying on the floor right in front of you! I quickly found a different focal point off to the side.

O.K, but that is a little off topic and it's NOT Furry Husband's suprise...

Furry Husband took me to the Rio for lunch in Ft. Collins on Sunday. I was tired, hadn't slept well the night before and I drank too much wine with our 3 day, better than sex, pasta sauce. I wasn't feeling too hot. Furry Husband says in a very serious tone, "Honey. There is something I want to talk to you about."

He is NEVER serious. I'm thinking... great. Here it is. This is the part in my life when he tells me there is someone else.

He goes on to say, "You remember my friend Larry?"

I nod - I vaguely remember going to lunch with him and going to a party of his years ago.... not sure what this has to do with the imagined affair Furry Husband is having...?

"Well, I looked him up and reconnected with him. He lives in Baja, Mexico with his wife and daughter now. They own this vacation rental company; he says he'd love to see us and would put us up for free if we come down. What would you think about lobster and margaritas on the beach in Mexico this March?"

What do I think?! I think HELL YES!

I'm waiting to see if our pet sitter can watch our place and I looked up whale migration... (yeah, remember I'm a complete animal f-r-e-a-k... FREAK) And it just so happens that grey whales use this particular coastal area as a nursery for their calves during migration from Dec to April.

I guess I'm still a bit in shock over the suggestion. I mean we are paying things off to become more financially stable so we watch our pennies and this seems like such a rich person thing to do on a spur of the moment idea. But if all we need to do is buy a couple o' plane tickets to San Diego on the cheap and rent a car to drive an hour South... it wouldn't be that much and man, what a nice get away it would be!

With all the winter doldrums around and my general crankiness about the weather..... I think lobster and margs on a beach sounds pretty f'ing good! This is the place we would stay - right smack dab on the beach.



Monday, January 12, 2009

Potty humor...

Yeah - I'm completely immature and I think farting is funny.

I also really like yoga. I try to go at least once a week and it keeps my back from going out. Even tho' my chiropractor is 10 yrs younger than me and really cute, I don't really like having to give him money to stop the pain.

This woman I work with asked me last week if everyone in my yoga class farts?

I'd never heard of this phemomenon before! She said that she was told everyone in yoga farts because your body wasn't meant to bend that way. I about died laughing. I personally have not heard or smelled any farts when I go to yoga class. I'd probably find it way less relaxing if there were big ol' flutterblast gas bombs going off all around me!

Another friend told me she can't go to yoga because every class she's been to, someone has let one or two rip. Wow. I really have never experienced this!

My only really great fart story is from when I was working in downtown Denver. I worked in this highrise on the 17th floor. The elevators were really fun and super fast - it was like riding an amusement park ride every day. And every floor it stopped it always overshot the floor just a bit and came back down, giving you that fun jump in your belly. You know what I'm talking about?

One day I was in the elevator with probably 3-4 people, it was zooming it's way up when all of a sudden it screeched to a halt between floors and all the lights went out.

Someone next to me screamed a bit and grabbed my arm... it startled me and I farted.

I guess when I get scared I don't scream, I pass gas!

It was hilarious and I almost blew (ahem -pun intended here) my cover and began laughing hysterically. The lights came on within a minute or so and I arrived on the 17th floor perfectly safe and sound. No one really knew why I kept laughing that day either.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I was wrong!

It was NOT windy today!

Furry Husband and I got up, drank our winter weekend coffee consisting of a healthy dollup o' the Baileys Irish Cream. We only have it in winter. Helps us get through winter.

And then I asked if we should go to the gym. Yoga starts at 9am. Well, miracle of all miracles we actually WENT to the gym on a Saturday morning. Got there 4 minutes after 9:00 and the yoga room was chock full ... I looked in the window for a few minutes trying to figure out where I might fit. No dice. Instead Furry Husband and I put ourselves on the treadmill and lifted some wieghts.

The last wieght machine I was on was next to this exercise bike where there was some old, white haired guy peddling away and another old, white haired guy next to him. They were Obama haters. (now use an old geezer accent) "These young people. They all voted for 'im. He's a socialist and he's putting his socialist agenda right under their noses. Well, they'll find out. They'll all find out when it's too late!"

OMG. I wanted to go after them like a spider monkey.

I was very mature. I walked away. I wanted to lay into them but I'm so bad at arguing and usually just make a complete ass out of myself. So maybe it wasn't so much maturity as simply not wanting to make a huge fool out of myself. I mean seriously... I forget what to say and I become speechless and I stammer and my face gets all red. I wouldn't remember all the intelligent political points that I've read or listened to... I just really suck at arguments. Especially arguments that I feel strongly about. My emotions just get the better of me. (hanging head in shame)

BUT - we got to the gym and we worked out which is good for us and way to go us!

We stopped in town to get Furry Husband's new glasses. When the girl went to get them, Furry Husband told me to act mean and say I hated his glasses. The eyeglass girl came back and put the glasses on Furry Husband. I told him they were ugly and I hated them. She adjusted them. I said they looked really small on his head. She adjusted them some more. I told him they looked like his Mom's reading glasses. Yeah. We are so wierd but we have so much fun together!

We also stopped by Mountain Vet Suppy and picked up some dry cow treatment. I dried Spot our goat up tonight. I milked her out completely, wiped off each teat with a sterile alcohol pad and injected some dry cow treatment into each teat. (I have to line up this little syringe thing with the teat hole and squish the gel up all up in there - Spot didn't like that so much. ) It's basically antibiotic to prevent any infection while her udder goes thru the change of not being milked anymore. We dry the goats up around 2 mos before they are due so all the energy can go to the goat-lets growing inside and it lets their udder heal up and rejuvinate... ready for the next lactation cycle.

I also rode both horses today. Everything was fine. No tying up for Sera and no incidents with the baby Rosso. It was a really, really good Saturday.

We have our Canadian neighbors coming over for dinner. Furry Husband made his 3-day pasta sauce. This sauce is way better than any sex I've ever had. It is amazing. People try this sauce and they begin trying to invent excuses to come to our house for dinner.... they politely hint about when Furry Husband might be making his sauce again? It's like meth - they become instantly addicted.

My goal tonight is to not eat so much that I feel like a bloated tick that is about to fall off a dog.
I made a really good salad and I'm hoping to fill up on that.... Wish me luck!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mental Health Day

I took one yesterday.

It was supposed to be 60, sunny and most importantly --- NO WIND. I mean what good is it when it's temperate with 75mph winds? You still can't really DO anything outside. And this weekend is supposed to be wind, wind and more wind.

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. I worked the big, red, chicken. He was extremely naughty. Shrug. He's young - he'll figure it out one day. ( I hope.) I tacked him up and put him on the longe line. Explode, explode, explode. Bucking and striking and kicking... good grief. Think it was a big "F-YOU! I'll do what I want when I want and not when YOU tell me to!" sort of day.

He got to keep on working until he could walk, trot, canter when I asked vs. being a wild jungle animal. Poor, poor baby horse. Sucks to be you.

He certainly is athletic - I'll give him that! Wow. I watch him flailing all about at the end of this longe line - all his acrobatic maneuvers and I think, "Hmmm. Will I be able to stay on if he does that with me in the saddle?"

Guess we'll just have to wait and see. My trainer says what they do on the longe line and with a rider are often very different things. I don't know if I believe but I am keeping my fingers crossed.


I had a light ride on Sera. There was no tying up. Our vet is still flummoxed why it's happened twice in 2 months. We made some feed changes and I'm documenting everything - her feed, the times I ride her, the weather, what I had for dinner. Maybe a pattern will show up. Maybe the feed changes will work and it will never happen again? Again - guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Tonight is Cozzola's Pizza Night. I am drooling already just thinkin' bout it! And I bet we'll get to have a nice, big, fruit forward, spicy zinfandel to go with it....


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wind and Napa...

Wind. I hate it.

My girlfriend in Fairbanks, AK tells me that at least if I get stuck in the wind I won't die. She lives with -40+ degree temps. If she were to get stuck outside, she would most deb'inately die. So I shouldn't complain, but I will anyway.

We are supposed to get gusts up to 75 mph. That is strong enough to push ME around and I ain't no petite flower. I am strong, hardy, German, big boned and I like to eat.

Makes me wonder what those fit, thin women do in this weather? Can they even leave home? Do they have rock climbing gear and carabiners under their clothes to keep them tethered to the earth? (eh, so I have sour grapes...so what!)

Furry Husband borrowed the chemistry goggles I use when I make goat milk soap (the lye is why I wear goggles) when he went out to do chores. Smart man. In this kind of wind, anytime you even LOOK at hay, it is suddenly in and on every part of your body. There is hay chaff in your hair, up your nose, in your ears, in your mouth and you are half blind because it is in your eyes as well. And no matter how many layers of clothes I have on, or how tight my coat is buttoned up - I get hay chaff in my bra and yes, it even finds it's way into my underpants.

Really.

It is no way to start off your day.

I get a lot of wierd looks cuz I'm the only one here that needs to feed her animals hay --- I'm sure people are wondering what those green flakes of stuff in my hair are cuz no matter how well I think I've de-chaffed myself, there is ALWAYS hay chaff on me somewhere, somehow. I like to think of it as country accoutremon.

Furry Husband called because he had just hung up with Clos Du Val winery. They called to tell him that he won another trip to Napa/Sonoma for being such a Super Salesman! Spouses aren't allowed cuz it's a "work trip" but he is excited to go and I'm happy for him. He is truly a Super Salesman!!

If I travel for my job, I get to go to Kansas City, MO or St. Louis, MO. My last trip sent me to St. Louis. Where I enjoyed a "real" St. Louis style BBQ lunch one day. The menu included a pig ear sammich and fried pork snouts. No lie.

Ummm. I get those things for my dogs to chew on at the feed store and they don't look all that filling or nutritious. They look pretty cartilidge-y. I went with the pulled pork sammich that day.

Bet Furry Husband won't be fed any fried pork snouts at Clos Du Val! The menu will be amazing, fabulous and gourmet wine paired meals.

Geez... what sort of wine would pair with a pig ear sammich anyway?





Tuesday, January 6, 2009

38 and going to my first 4H meeting

I wish I was 8 and not 38.

I was a Bluebird for a little while when I was a kid... I vagely remember going to camp and singing a song about "Magdalena-hagdelena-ooka-taka-walka-talka-oka-mocha-polka was her name, some name!". No one else has EVER heard of this song and yet I can still belt it out any time the whim strikes me.

(Poor, poor Furry Husband. Glad I'M not married to ME and he is!)

What in the hell is a Bluebird anyway?!? The cool girls were in Girl Scouts.

Anyway - while researching dairy goats, we went to some goat shows. This is where I learned about all the really great programs in 4H for children. They have all sorts of animal projects they can be involved with - from cats and dogs to horses, beef cattle and dairy goats. I would have been all over this when I was a kid. I don't think either of my parents were aware that anything like this existed because no one else in my family has this bizzare animal obesession like I do.

Anyway, I'm in a youth mentoring program and I'm mentoring/doing stuff with this 10 yr old animal lover named Kylee each week. I decided to sign us up for 4H and we can work on a dairy goat project together. Hopefully it will help us to bond and work on something together. She is awful quiet. Most times I wonder if she isn't feeling like she got stuck with the biggest dork the mentoring program could find.

Oh yeah. Well. She probably did actually...

Wish me luck tonight! My first 4H meeting. Isn't it exciting? Poor, poor Kylee!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Holiday's over

I had grand ideas about getting up super early and getting to work super early so's I could go work out over lunch and still leave work at my normal time...otherwise I have to stay late to make up time.

sh'ya.

right.

I could barely get my ass UP, let alone early. I am so undisciplined. I guess another thing to work on with myself... add to the list of things to work on or fix 'bout myself! (insert eye roll)

Anyway - I got to work and found a plate of goodies on my desk from this nice man I work with. His wife and 3 daughters made stuff for his co-workers. Guess what I ate all afternoon? So much for the gym!

Dr. Wheeler called and says my mare's blood work is perfectly normal. I was hoping for something to show up - something we could "fix".

It is still friggin' cold and dark out and my motivation to do much of anything is in the negative numbers.

Oh- and Furry Husband and I are trying not to drink on week nights to assist with healthy eating habits and total number of calories consumed or something. Sigh. I sure could go for some al-key-hol right now.

Here is a cute video of Itty Bitty Opal Kitty. (my first blogger video) In walks Robinella Buzzer-bomb and you can hear a goat....

It does sorta make my mouth twitch spastically and sporadically upwards into some semblance of a smile... still wish I had a beer or something in one hand. You probably won't find it as amusing... but whatever. You have your al-key-hol.



video