Thursday, April 30, 2009

Embarrassing Horse Story...

Three years ago my mare, Sera, was thinking she didn’t want to work for a living. When I rode her, she’d run through her shoulder, go backwards instead of forwards and she would rear. She was six at the time and a race track reject. And I was teaching my very first "horse project" her new job as a riding horse.

She had me scared. I'll admit it. But I am nothing if not determined! Mostly I could ride her through the bad behavior, but the rearing was freaking me out. I’d jump off when she was at her worst and lunge her. If you can’t be good, you will work my dear. You will go forward and you will work. Hard. And work she did!

Around the time I finally had her convinced to move forward vs. sucking back and going up, I noticed an ad for a “De-Spooking Clinic”. It sounded interesting and maybe it would help me with my courage which was sometimes lacking!

I called the number and talked to the barn owner who was nice as pie, but the clinic was 2.5 hours away. Hmmmm. I wasn’t sure I wanted to drive that far by myself. What if something happened like a flat tire or my truck broke down or there was an accident?? I told the nice woman I’d have to think on it and get back to her.

I can really get myself in a twirl over the “what if’s”. I know it’s a bad habit. I told that voice in my brain to shut up and decided I would go. The woman at the barn gave me the name and number of another person I could meet up with along the way to tailgate with over to the clinic. That made me feel better, at least if something happened on the Interstate, I wouldn’t be totally alone.

Of course Sera and I arrived safe and sound. The barn hosting the clinic was immaculate. There was an ornate, iron, automatic gate that slowly opened when the sensors detected a vehicle. It closed automatically once the vehicle was through. “Wow – that’s fancy.” I thought. I parked my truck and trailer, unloaded my mare, groomed her and walked to the indoor arena.

The first half of the day was ground work with nothing but a halter and lead rope. There were tarps set up and bridges and pots of big bushy plants… things to startle or spook the horses.

We spent the morning in groups at each “station”. Each horse and handler team worked to get their horses over, on or up to whatever scary thing was there. It was fun and watching all the different horse and handler teams was interesting. There was every size and shape of person, horse and pony.

We broke for lunch and we were supposed to meet back up in the indoor fully tacked up and ready to ride in an hour.

When I returned to the indoor with Sera and climbed up on her, she was an instant live wire. She was snorting, tense, running through her shoulder and threatening to rear. I simply breathed, in and out, deep breaths and kept her moving forward. She seemed to be the only horse exhibiting nervous energy and a lot of people were staring at me. I tried to block them out as I moved Sera forward.

She calmed down eventually… well “sort of”. As long as I let her keep moving, she was o.k. While the clinicians talked to everyone about what they would be doing, we were supposed to be on our mounts standing still. Not Sera. Well, not unless they wanted to witness WWIII. I kept her going in small circles both directions, out of everyone’s way. We'd stop occasionally but it wasn't for long.

The clinician wanted me to back her until she’d submit to standing still.

I don’t always stand up for myself very well, but there was no way in hell I was going to go backwards on Sera after I’d spent all winter getting her FORWARD. I politely told them, No thank-you and continued with my mare going forward in little circles.

Sera relaxed as the afternoon wore on and our group finished up with some outdoor riding exercises. Sera was glad to be outside and moving forward. I felt exhausted from a day of trailering, ground work, riding and a lot of different concepts.

I led Sera back to my trailer, untacked her, groomed her and loaded her up. The people I’d followed down were ready to leave and I followed them down the drive. They drove through the fancy, ornate, iron, automatic gate.

I started to drive through the fancy, ornate, iron, automatic gate. I was moving slowly forward, inch by inch. I looked up for a moment, distracted by someone waving goodbye to me.

CRUNCH

Oh crap.

I looked in my mirrors and the hub of my trailer was impaled on the fancy iron gate. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. My armpits began sweating profusely. The rig I was following home didn’t see what happened and continued on….

Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap… I didn’t pay close attention to how exactly we got here since I followed them. I’m never going to find my way out of here! Crap, crap, crap…. Beads of sweat appear on my forehead.

I tried to go backwards.

SCREECH CRUNCH SCREECH

Nope. I can’t. My trailer hub has become one with the fancy automatic gate and I’ve completely trashed the first tire.

Everyone in the outdoor arena going through their paces stopped to watch me.

Crap, crap, crap. I want the Earth to open and swallow me whole.

I get out and I smile through clenched teeth while I give a small wave to the onlookers. “Yup – s’all good here. Nothing to look at, I’m fine. See how non-chalant I’m acting? Oh, it’s just a little scratch. Go back to riding – stop looking now. I’ll be on my way in just a moment…”

I look and there is NO WAY I can go forward or backward. A crowd of children has gathered around. Where in the heck did all these kids come from anyway?!

One little boy goes running back to the barn, “Hey you guys! Com're! Lookit this lady who ran into the gate! C’mon! Hurry!”

Please God, can you strike me down dead right now? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

The owner of the barn comes out. She is still so nice it’s almost painful. She gets her husband. There is a small crowd surrounding my trailer. Everyone is evaluating the situation.

No one can leave the clinic because I’m blocking the driveway and gate. There are a couple trailers in line to leave. No one can come into the barn for the same reason. There is a boarder in her car waiting to get in on the other side.

My shirt is soaked with nervous, anxious sweat. The pits are wet, the back of my shirt is wet, I have boob sweat and I have sweat running down my face. I want to die from the embarrassment.

The owner’s husband tried a crowbar. No dice. He tried a hammer. Nope. He tried every tool he had without success. My wheel well was melded to the gate. How that happened while I drove 5-10mph I will never know.

His gate was most definitely broken - adding insult to injury. I gave him my information for insurance purposes.

We got my tire changed while people were trying to figure out how to release my trailer from the gate. The people I was going to follow home? The blessed angels realized I wasn’t behind them and they came back for me. I wanted to cover these complete strangers with kisses I was so, so, incredibly grateful.

The barn owner’s husband ended up going back to the barn and bringing back his CHAINSAW to cut the wheel well free from that fancy, ornate, automatic, expensive…. now broken… gate.

And the same little boy who went running off to gather his friends to watch? He looked at the chainsaw, he watched them cut the wheel well away and he looked at my trailer containing Sera who remained totally and completely silent throughout the ordeal.

“Boy. That’s a good horse in there!”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine flu and Mrs. Kravitz


Our wacky and lovable neighbor, Mrs. Kravitz, is hoarding for swine flu. She told me she spent $250 on hoarding supplies over the weekend in addition to the materials she still has from the avian flu scare and Y2K.

She asked if we were hoarding wine.

Well, technically, we ARE hoarding wine. But it's not because of swine flu. Furry Husband likes to keep bringing it home and it's a habit I really don't mind! I told her yes, we were hoarding wine.

She says she'll share her cans of Spaghetti-Os and Beef-a-roni if we'll share our wine when the pandemic breaks out.

K.

Sounds good to me! shrug. (shhhh. it's best not to argue!)

I don't think I'm going to tell her that our buddy in Mexico drove to CO this week for a business thing and he is bringing me some more little metal figures I wanted but couldn't fit in my luggage when we visited back in February.

I'm sure if I told her we were meeting up with someone FROM Mexico this week, her head would explode. Some things are better left unsaid.

Messing with her can be fun, but you have to know how far you can push to keep it fun vs. pushing her over the edge.

She sorta thinks our other neighbor, Greg, is a terrorist. Or she used to. I think that fear has died down a little. Especially since Greg, who is an electrician, helped Mrs. Kravitz to figure out an electrical problem in her garage.

To poke fun at Mrs. Kravitz (poke fun... a term used by my 7th grade teacher) I had a girlfriend who travelled to Egypt and brought me souvenir wrapped in local newspaper. The newspaper was in Arabic. I underlined words, circled words, put big exclamation points and arrows in red sharpie marker all over the newspaper and left it in Mrs. Kravitz's mailbox.

She called to tell me about it and that if I wasn't playing a joke on her, she was going to call the FBI. She's called the FBI before. When she thought Greg was a terrorist, she called them. She'd do it again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tagged...

My first tag. Awwww.

My best friend in grade school had a dog named Tag and he liked to hump pillows... Oh. Wait. Not that Tag. Tagged as in a blog post meme! I was tagged by Soyez la Bienvenue Chez Moi. Here goes....

1. What are your current obsessions? Goat milk, goat cheese, goat kids, milking goats, washing milk buckets, pasteurizing milk, cooling milk, storing milk, washing milk bottles, feeding milk to goat kids .... we are drowing in milk. glub. glub. glub.

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often? I have soft, baggy fleecey pants that I like to put on the SECOND I am home.

3. Last dream you had? I was in a swimming pool I thought was private. I was skinny dipping and all of a sudden, families and people from the attached hotel came in! I was desperately trying to figure out how to get out of the pool and get myself covered before everyone figured out I was nekkid as a jay bird. It was SO embarrassing!

4. Last thing you bought? A bottle brush for cleaning goat baby bottles and a thermometer for pasteurizing milk/cheesemaking because the other thermometer was intermittantly broken and it was driving us INSANE.

5. What are you listening to? I'm at work and I have NPR on the radio. I can hear co-worker phone conversations and tapping keyboards. Oh. And the voices in my head. I always hear those....

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be? Awww heck. I dunno. Venus. yeah. That's it. Venus. Rhymes with penis.

7. Favourite holiday spots? I'm with Dedene - home is a good place to be! Wine country when you are staying in comp'd fabulous wineries cuz your Furry Husband sells wine, is a close second.

8. Reading right now? I just finished the Twilight series and now I'm on Stephen White murder/mystery book, it's the 11th one in the series or something. They are easy reads - entertaining.

9. Four words to describe yourself. Shock value, laughing, goofball (is goofball one word??)

.10. Guilty pleasure? Straight lard and sugar frosting. I love those big ol' frosting flowers. Good thing I only have birthdays once a year.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak? Furry Husband, good lord he is hilarious.

12. Favourite spring thing to do? Be OUTSIDE

13. Planning to travel to next? Does leaving work to go home count?

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately? Jeju sushi on Sunday

15. When did you last get tipsy? Friday. Wine and pizza night. MMMMMM

16. Favorite ever film? Sixteen Candles.

17. Care to share some wisdom? Don't ever decide to feed your dog twice the normal amount of his food because you think he could use some weight. You'll pay for it all night long because he will have heinous gas and you can't escape. ALL NIGHT LONG it will go on and on, bringing you out of rem sleep patterns with the smell and making your eyes water. I promise you. Don't do it.

18. Song you can't get out of your head? I'm a little tea pot, short and stout, here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up then I shout, "TIP ME OVER, POUR ME OUT!" (probably explains a lot about me)

19. Thing you are looking forward to? Summer and more saddle time for me, once this wacky spring weather stops raining and/or snowing making things so wet and sloppy.

20. If money were no object, where would you choose to live? Same place I do now, only I'd buy out all the neighbors and build a compound like Ted Turner has in MT.

Tried to be clever...

K - I tried to be clever and write up a post for today... but I can't make it post after my goat frolic video. Click below for today's post. So much for being clever! *snort*

http://shanstergoatsnmore.blogspot.com/2009/04/cheese.html

Monday, April 27, 2009

Post Milking Frolic

Everything is grey, muddy and messy... but the goaties have had this little post milking frolic thing going the last few days! I caught the tail end for your viewing pleasure...




video

Cheese!

I'm pretty much hosed when it comes to dieting because I love cheese. I will eat most any kind of cheese until it is gone... I just keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny.

I had a washed rind, really, super, stinky cheese in CA once that I didn't care for because it smelled exactly like my cats' litter box. But that's just it, I didn't care for it. It's not like I wanted to barf or I HAD to get it out of my mouth IMMEDIATELY because it was so bad.

Having our little goaties, we have an abundance o' milk. I make a really nice fromage blanc and a really nice chevre. I'm hard pressed to tell a difference between the two but I lean toward the fromage blanc. I like the texture a little more I think.


They are so incredibly easy to make that I make them without even thinking about it. We have enough milk for me to make one of these cheeses probably two or three times a week right now with the babies gobbling up everything else.

I get this package for $5.95 from New England Cheesemaking Supply. There are 5 small packets inside, like the white one pictured, and each packet is good for a 1 gallon batch o' cheese, glorious cheese. (another reason I completely identify with Wallace - not only do I look like him, but I share his cheese fetish)


We pasteurize the milk by heating it to 160 degrees in a double boiler. We move it over to an ice bath until it cools to 86 degrees. I open up that little white packet and slowly stir the magic powder into the milk. We cover it and let the magic happen for 12 hrs.


After 12 hours we have this. Curds and whey baby. Curds and whey.



We use stainless steel milking buckets, pots and slotted spoon.

Scoopin' the curds....Into a colander lined with muslin you lovely and delicious curd. Cheesecloth from the grocery store is more like gauze than what you'd really like for cheese making. You want this muslin cloth so you don't lose any of your wonderful, cheesy, goodness.

Hang it and let it drain for 6-8 hrs. It is that simple. And wonderful.

We sprinkle some non-iodized salt onto the cheese to give it some flavor. And we will add garlic and dill which is a HUGE hit at potlucks. Or I like to put some cinnamon, honey and walnuts in it for an incredible dessert cheese or oh so good on bagels. Sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and basil are awful yummy. Herbs de Provence give a mild herb flavor. Green chilies mixed in are to die for!

This one batch makes 3 small margarine type tub containers full o' cheese. It is so much fun to mix it up and discover new taste sensations.

I don't know that my expanding waistline is so great, but boy are my tastebuds happy, happy, happy!

I survived the rototilling!

I started my cold, grey, misty, Saturday morning with Ditch Day. All the neighbors who use our community well to irrigate their land meet to make sure the water flows correctly, there are no holes in the irrigation pipe to repair and every other year we lay new pipe. (insert Beavis and Butthead laugh here - we lay pipe heh heh heh)

Once Ditch Day was over, I headed to George's house as promised to borrow his rototiller. I got the third degree. Totally expected. He's looking at me close - eyeing me the way a duck might eye a june bug. He asks: "Now your name is ....? " along with "You are married to....?" and finally, "Your last name is....?"

He threw in the fact that he works at the sherriff's office 2 days a week and he could have a cop come to visit if the rototiller wasn't returned immediately when I was finished with it for good measure.

He showed me how to run it and I pushed the big mofo rototiller down to our house, rototilled my little heart out and ran it back to George's house.

He told me since I was so honest and kind, and I returned the rototiller as promised (I felt like the moral of a fairytale at this point) that he had a chainsaw, a riding lawn mower, a push mower, cataloging everything in his garage I could borrow since I am now deemed trustworthy. He went on and on about all the stuff I could borrow if I ever had a need to.

(que the suspenseful music)

THEN - he asks me if I believe in Jesus Christ. Says he is a born-again Christian. He asks if I watch football... I say no. He says have I ever heard of John 3-16? Well the Bronco quarter back forEVER was John Elway and people LOVE that guy so I'm thinking he's talking about some hail mary pass John Elway love thing and my brain is still on football....

He begins getting sorta agitated - "have you ever HEARD of John 3-16?!"

I say no.

Turns out he meant the GOSPEL of John as in John 3:16. He begins reciting the passage for me. But get this - he is on his hands and knees picking me little scraps of asparagus from his garden that he's gonna rototill up once I'm gone.

Here I am, squatted down with this 80 yr old guy who was on his hands and knees picking little asparagus plants which are puny and few and far between which is why I guess he's gonna rototill them over? And he's quotin' me some scripture up one side and down the other and interspersed with the scripture is, "it's not the church, it's not the people, it's the MESSAGE" which sends him into another scripture verse outlining the message.

Then he says Jesus will only woo me for so long before he gives up and while everyone who is a born-again is up in heaven, those non-believers will be stuck on Earth in some sort of hellish sci-fi movie you wouldn't ever wanna be in.

He asks if I believe in Jesus. I tell him I was raised Catholic. He says so was he, but he couldn't find salvation through the Catholic church. And I'm thinking silently to myself, "I thought it wasn't about the church or the people?? I thought it was about the message, George. The MESSAGE! "

I left with my hand full of asparagus, an open invitation to church and all my rototilling needs fulfilled.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rototiller

I called Grumpy George, a neighbor, to see if I could borrow his rototiller. I want to plant some native grass seed vs. our bare, hard packed dirt yard. I'm tired of my hillbilly ways.

It was such an interesting conversation. George is funny because he is all about extremes and making sure nothing screws with him.

For example, if he notices you have dogs, he'll tell you about the time some dogs came onto his property and he had to shoot one with a shotgun so you better make sure your dogs don't get out and run into his property. Dogs will become pack animals and they are dangerous. A pack of dogs'll turn on you. (see? neither you nor your dogs will screw with George by God!)

He's in his 80s and if you get his answering machine, it's George singing a lovely rendition of Danny Boy. He seems pretty grumpy.... he wears thick, dark framed glasses, blinks rapidly and never, ever changes his facial expression - which looks pretty pissed off to me. I have never seen him smile. We've lived in our little country neighborhood for 8 years. We've been at neighborhood picnics with George and his expression doesn't change for nobody - not no how. God bless his heart.

G: Hello.
Me: George?
G: Yeah.
Me: Hi, it's Shanster, I'm married to Furry Husband and we live down the road?
G: Yeah.
Me: I hear you have a rototiller?
G: Yeah.
Me: Um... I was wondering if you might be willing to lend it to me and I'd give you some goat cheese or goat milk, whichever you'd like. Of course if you don't feel comfortable lending it to me, that is fine too!
G: Well.... I don't have a problem lending it out but I lent it to a guy once and I had to get a lawyer involved to get it back. I had to sue him. You know you have to give the things you borrow back. I don't want to get lawyers involved and I don't want to have to sue anyone.
Me: Oh, of course! I'd return it right away. That's awful that he kept it like that!
G: Do you have your space prepared?
Me: (thinking what is there to prepare???) Yes.
G: Well how you gonna get it there?
Me: Oh. Well. Would it fit in a pick up truck?
G: You can't lift it, it's too heavy. It's not one of those small ones like they have at..... what's the place I'm thinking of?
Me: Home Depot?
G: No. Not Home Dept..... well, anyway, it's too big and you can't lift it.
Me: Could I wheel it down to my house? (my house is 3 houses from George's house)
G: Yeah, I guess you could wheel it down there. When do you want it?
Me: I was hoping Saturday after ditch day? But if that doesn't work I could do it on Sunday?
G: We go to church on Sunday.
Me: O.k. Well does Saturday work?
G: I was going to use it Saturday because my raised beds are looking sloppy. But if you come RIGHT AFTER ditch day... you know, ditch day isn't like it used to be when we'd all meet and burn the ditches. Y'know, you can't do that these days.
Me: O.k., I'll come by right after ditch day. Would you like goat cheese?
G: You don't have to pay me for anything.
Me: Well, I'd like to bring you some cheese. Would you and Laverne eat it?
G: Yes. (long pause) I suppose we would. Y'know we used to have goats. We'd milk them before we went to work and we'd milk them when we came home. We never had a buck around because they are too dangerous. Even if you raise them up from a tiny thing, once they get big, they turn on you. That is the nature of animals.
Me: O.k. - well, thank-you very much! I'll come right after ditch day. Thank-you George!
G: Be sure you bring it RIGHT back when your done with it now.
Me: I will, I don't think it will take very long. Thank-you!
G: You know how to run it?
Me: No. I've never rototilled anything in my life.
G: Well, you can't just turn it on! Someone is gonna have to show you.
Me: Oh, of course! I don't want to break it! I was hoping you could tell me how when I come to get it.
G: Oh I suppose I'll have to come home with you when you get it to tell you.
Me: O.k. Thank-you George! I'll come by after ditch day. Thank-you.
G: You'll need to bring it back right after you are done with it.
Me: Yes, I think it will only take an hour. I'll bring it right back. Thank-you George. I'll see you Saturday right after ditch day.


I am so scared for Saturday and the rototiller.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Space Time Contiuum

I think I experienced one of these yesterday.

I came to work and I did some stuff, I know I got up to go to the bathroom once. And then all of a sudden it was time to go home. I didn't eat my lunch (odd since I NEVER pass up an opportunity to eat), I didn't pee the whole rest of my 8 hr day (also odd since I have a bladder the size of a walnut), I didn't drink any water, I didn't move all day.

I looked up at the clock and it was time to go home.

Maybe I slipped into a coma?

Maybe I experienced lost time due to an alien abduction? An out of body experience?

I really have no idea.

It's like that when I drive too. I have no idea how I get from point A to point B but all of a sudden there I am, where I wanted to go.

Friends see me driving and they wave or honk or jump up and down and I don't see them. A co-worker said she was behind me one day. She was honking and pulled up next to me with her windows down, waving, shouting my name and I sat immobile, staring straight ahead, not acknowledging her at all. She was so embarrassed, on the verge of anger and hurt feelings actually. She thought I was ignoring her on purpose.

I had to explain it's like that for everyone who sees me driving. For reals. I see no one. I see the road in front of me and that is it. It's weird. People make fun of me all the time for it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Repeat of Polka Dots...

Someone just asked about my car and if I ever polka dotted it? Why yes. Yes I did.

The post is here with pictures.
.


Happy Earth Day!

I'd try to offer some green tips but... they are rife in the papers today anyway! Better tips than I could give!


I went to my first quilt club meeting yesterday. I joined to meet some people I could ask questions of if I get stuck and I was hoping to keep my motivation up for the quilt I'm making with my Mom-in-Law.

Furry Husband is laughing at me again...

The club meets at 10am, 2pm and 6:30pm every third Tuesday. I took a late lunch and hit the 2pm meeting. There were maybe 7 women there? All of them were 60+ and all have been quilting a long time. They all have sewing machines. The woman leading the meeting used all sorts of technical sewing terms, I sat smiling and nodding like I knew exactly what she was saying. Mmm mmm, (nodding wisely) selvages. Oh right, everyone knows to cut along the long side! Yes, yes, of course you would press to that side.
I had and still have no clue.

Everyone looks at me like "oh you poor thing" when I tell them I'm hand piecing a quilt with my Mom-in-Law. I know it would go faster with a sewing machine but I'm sorta liking the slower pace and the back to another time feeling of hand piecing.


I don't know nuthin' bout no sewing machines! They sorta scare me. They look complicated with the bobbins and the thread going through and over and under on top. People talk about adjusting tension and different needle gauges and thread types. That isn't even touching sewing machine models and/or stitch options or other sewing machine magical fanciness.


Besides our house is like 900 square feet with 2 adults, 6 cats and 3 dogs.... where exactly would I put a sewing machine anyway? I did meet some lovely ladies and best of all, they served COOKIES after the meeting! Anyone serving free food has my undying loyalty forever and ever amen. I will keep going... they had me with the snickerdoodles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Names and Bed Bugs

We are still undecided with Spot's black doe kid... we are torn between Speck and Nebbiolo! Because Speck begotten of Spot makes us laugh and Nebbiolo is a wine thing and we love all things wine related.

We'll name the buck kid Chablis or Bongo... depending on which name we end up with for the doe kid. Sheesh. Could I BE any less decisive?

I thought Dedene's "Chablis" was fun and wonderfully wine related for the light colored buck kid and would go well with Nebbiolo. Sally suggested TomTom and Bongo based on the video with the kid-lets playing on the overturned feed tub because they made so much noise, it sounded like drumming. How clever is she? The Divine Ms. K suggested Carbon Copy ... way cute since the doe kid is black and Spot is black.

Since so few played, I wanted to say thanks and encourage those who had fun ideas and suggestions! Maybe I'll get more players for the second set of kids?

Here's the deal - submit names for the new babies - Rosie's babies - to the comments section and this weekend, Furry Husband and I will decide which we liked best. Submit your entry by the time I check my blog on Sunday morning.... so around 9ish mountain time? You can submit more than once and we want you to have fun with anything that pops into your heads. Submit, submit, submit! Winner(s) get a free 6oz bottle o' goat milk lotion. Simple. Easy. Fun.

Ready? Get set.... NAME!

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I read the most disturbing newspaper article. Not disturbing like a murder or a war or a shooting... those things are disturbing on a much different level!

The article I read was about BED BUGS! (insert a dark but musical dun, dun, dunnnnnnn )

Evidently bed bugs are on the rise and more and more people are discovering their houses and furniture infested. People are picking them up when they travel... they are in hotels both in the U.S. and abroad. NICE homes and NICE hotels! It's not just the unclean, dirty roach motels anymore.

Bed bugs are hitching rides in luggage and can be in clothes... anyone who buys clothes or furniture second hand (hello? I LOVE thrifting and consignment shops) is at risk of bringing home bed bugs.

There is little that can be done once you have them. You have to get rid of your furniture and bedding... well this article said you could put everything outside for a couple weeks at extreme hot or cold temperatures and the bed bugs would die or disappear.

My mouth was open in complete abject horror while I read this article. I began feeling imaginary bugs crawling on my skin and in my hair. Ack! I 'm scratching my scalp now with the heebie jeebies of typing this up! Furry Husband laughs and laughs at me.

As if I don't have enough to obsess and worry about when I travel....

I saw some show over 10 yrs ago that revealed what happens when people don't think they are being watched? There were hidden cameras planted in different situations. One situation showed hotel cleaners straightening up a hotel room. There was a shot showing one of them putting a guest's toothbrush down their pants and scrubbing their ass crack with it!

I ALWAYS hide my toothbrush when I travel and I put the "do not disturb" sign out so they keep out of my room.

Shrug - it's also environmentally friendly that they don't have to wash the sheets and towels until I leave so I use that excuse publicly if anyone asks. I don't have to reveal what a freak I am about being terrified of my toothbrush or any other personal effect being defiled by hotel staff.

And now I will be checking bedding for bed bugs.... I will be scouring the sheets and blankets. Since bed bugs feed the most at 4am, you can bet I'll be waking up looking for the feasting little beasties!

You've been warned. Be on the look out for bed bugs. I would post a picture of bed bugs and tell you the warning signs, but it would quite literally send me over the edge this morning. You will have to Google that topic on your own.



Monday, April 20, 2009

Winners and Funny Mrs. Kravitz

Happy MONDAY! (is there ever really such a thing?) I tell you, getting up with the alarm clock on Mondays is so hard for me!!

The following people should let me know what scents they'd like to try:
Sally of Sally and Harry
The Divine Ms. K
Dedene (I'll need your address too, e-mail me - it's in my profile)

I didn't have very many players (choking back a sob) so I'm not sure if I should try again for Rosie's babies? Is anyone game? I think my little blog is too small for a contest! S'allright, it's all good. (sniff)

Now for the funny story. Do you remember Mrs. Kravitz our lovable and wacky neighbor with the binoculars? She really does watch us and then call us to tell us what she sees us doing. It's hilarious. She had a heart of gold and would help anyone out in a pickle. We love her even tho' she watches us with binoculars. Heck, we all have our quirks right?

I don't know if I told you, but I'm also Mrs. Kravitz's goat.

They used to put goats in with high strung race horses to keep them calm. That is where the term "got your goat" came from actually. Someone would steal the race horse's goat, the race horse was a nervous mess without the goat and it would lose the race. Anyway, I am Mrs. Kravitz's goat.

So Mrs. Kravitz calls me yesterday and she is on the verge of tears. She was wrapping one of her horse's legs with polo wraps and the horse brought it's knee up and WHAM - got Mrs. Kravitz right in the kisser. I've had this happen and it hurts like a mofo. I talked to a vet once who was telling me it happened to him when a horse was coming out of anesthesia and he said it about knocked him clean out so yeah, it's painful!

But that is not why she was on the verge of tears.

She told me that she had a really, really important meeting on Saturday - as in 6 days away. There would be cameras and big, important mucky mucks and now she was going to be all bruised and look awful for this meeting!

I told her, she has a week to heal, maybe Misty (the horse) didn't hit her as hard as she thinks and she'll look fine by Saturday.

I think she actually wailed at this point. She told me I didn't understand and by Saturday she'll be all yellow from the bruising! She's had ice on it for 2 hrs and half of her face is completely swollen.

I told her that her face won't still be swollen by Saturday and if it's still bruised on Friday to let me know. I'll call around and find a make-up artist somewhere and we'll get the discoloration covered.

"NO! I don't want to look like Glamor Shots in pancake make-up!"

It won't be like that - I don't mean a full on make-up thing. I mean just to cover your bruising.

"NO! You are going to make me look like Tammy Faye Baker!!" (throw in another sob)

No, no, no. There won't be any heavy make-up. It's only to cover the bruise. I promise! I told her I knew a woman who was an extra on a movie set and she had a tattoo. The movie did not allow tattoos so the make up artist covered it - it was her normal skin color and it looked like she didn't have a tattoo. It was only to cover the tattoo - it wasn't heavy pancake, Glamour Shots, Tammy Faye Baker anything - only to cover the discoloration.

(sniff) "Really? (long pause) I love you so much for this!"

and now I have to get off the computer and on the phone to find a make-up artist. Gulp. There HAS to be one in the city of Ft. Collins right?? Right??? Please let there be a make-up artist in this town....

No one and I mean NO one wants ME to try and cover up any bruising. Then Mrs. Kravitz really will look awful! Wish me luck, I want to be a good goat to my lovable neighbor!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The SUN!

New baby #1 - the buck kid. Today is his 4th day and he is so glad to be out in the sun stretching his legs and springing about!
New goat kid #2... awwww, she's tinkling! How cute is that? (Thanks Furry Husband for that picture!) Such a pretty doe kid.


Thought this was cute - since the sun is shining today, we opened windows. First Itty Bitty Opal Kitty jumped up to watch the birds at the feeders outside, then Mojo and finally Robinella Buzzer-bomb....

Some of our chickens. We have 7 but think 2 are roosters... there are 2 that are bigger then the others, they have bigger combs and Furry Husband caught them giving each other the whale eye in a stand-off for a few seconds just like in the old timey Warner Bros. cartoons.
I'm holding out that maybe they are just amazon hens... we won't keep two roos. We'll take one back to the feedstore where they will sell him to someone wanting a rooster.

Furry Husband built this "chicken tractor"... the idea being it's small enough to be mobile so you can move it all around and let the chicks scratch and dig and fertilize all over vs. one spot. Course sometimes we let them out to roam, eat bugs and other general chickie things too.
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Chickens can be a bit hard on anything you WANT to be there... they raid gardens and eat grass seed and dig up mulch around plants or trees scattering it to kingdom come. It's nice to have a pen to keep them contained.
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When we had chickens before? We had them all out in our yard to scratch and peck and eat bugs. One of our cats caught a mouse... let it go and before the mouse could run away, one of our hens came swooping in and swallowed the mouse whole!! Tho' she ran around with the mouse's hind legs and tail sticking out of her beak for a while while the other hens chased her trying to steal away the prized snack. Gross.
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They are complete little carnivores. I could definitely see the connection scientists say is evident between dinosaurs and birds after that. Don't ever drop dead of a heart attack in a chicken pen...
Split Pea Soup is enjoying the sunshine too!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The New Little Darlings...


All together now.... AWWWWWW! Bottle feeding and trying to take video with the camera is not so easy... Isn't the doe kid pretty? The black with white eyebrows and legs - stunning dah-ling, just stunning.


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FOUR pages of Saturday morning comics (boy do I love Saturday mornings) and a cup o' the sweet black elixir of life are waiting for me in the kitchen. You should see my hair this morning with all the humidity... I have Frankenstein head... big and square. I'd post a pix but I don't want to ruin anyone's day. Gotta go! Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm a DOCTOR Jim, not a meteorologist!



The big spring storm is here and settled in over CO. They say 8 inches today... another radio station said 4 FEET! No one seems to know how much precipitation or in what form it will arrive. Each news station gives different forecasts and each radio station's predictions are vastly different. I only caught the tail end of the one predicting 4 feet of snow, so they might have been talking about the mountains. I hope so.


So far there is no wind... just slushy snow. That heavy snow that covers EVERYTHING and doesn't budge. At least there is no wind and I'm thanking the stars for that. Keep your fingers crossed for NO WIND!


We bedded down the goat houses last night with extra straw. I go into the quonest hut and I scatter the straw... all the goats rush in to see what I'm doing... they all like to taste the straw - munch, munch, munch... and nibble on my hat. It's hard to spread it around with a couple 180 lb goats milling around! The straw is dusty too... so much so that by the time I come inside and blow my nose, all my boogers are black. But everyone is cozy and warm in their houses no matter how much snow we get.


The horses all stand in their lean-to's looking at the weather with gloomy faces. We give them extra grass hay to keep them warm - the more they eat and digest, the more their bodies generate heat to keep them toasty. I look at the horses gloomily because all this wet means no riding... I brought all my tack indoors tho' and I will be productive this weekend - cleaning and oiling all the leather.



The dogs go out and within 2 nanoseconds, they are scratching the door wanting back IN to the warm house. The one hard-core outside kitty we have grudgingly comes indoors and jumps up to the top shelf of our clothes closet... pulling down a lot of shirt on hangers as she does it too. You know when Split Pea Soup is in the house... all your clothes are on the floor of the closet! She occasionally clamors by the door, meowing desperately "It's IMPERATIVE I go outside!", but the snow and cold and wet drive her back in... back to the shelf in the closet and all the clothes I just hung back up on their hangers are thrown to the floor again.



Furry Husband finished up the chicken coop and the chicks are feathered out but still peep like the little fluffy yeller' babies they once were. Chickens is stoo-pid. They haven't figured out where to roost at night yet and they huddle in a pile in the cold and wet. We have to go in and put them IN their house. Like in Happy Gilmore... "Go to your hooome! Are you too good for your HOOOME?!" They usually figure it out after a week or so...



I haven't taken pictures of the new babies yet... we get all bundled up for the weather and it's rainy and slooshy and snowing and I forget the camera... I'll get them soon I promise!!



It will be a good weekend to dig into my final Twilight book! Yes. I got sucked in. I read the first two and they were good, entertaining, easy reads but I wasn't sold as a die hard fan. Our neighbor, Mrs. Kravitz, loaned me her copy of the third one and BAM - I was hooked. The third one was the BEST one in my opinion!! Now I'm on the fourth and final book.... already something very exciting and crazy is happening and I'm dying to know the outcome!!



I really love vampires. I had this big infatuation with them when I was a kid. I was checking out all the books in the school library about vampires and vampire folklore. Couldn't get enough of them.



My first SERIOUS crush? The kind where you want to burst into tears because you just LIKE the guy so much and you have all those hormones running rampid in your system and you have no earthly idea what to do with all that feeling and emotion??


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George Hamilton.



How hilarious is that?! It was during my "I love vampires" phase and I saw this show on t.v. called, "Love at First Bite". It aired in 1979 so I was only 9 yrs old??? That doesn't seem right... regardless, George Hamilton was cast as a vampire/male lead. My little heart overflowed with love and hormones for him.
Have you stopped laughing yet?



Don't worry - my crush eventually ended when I heard the song, "Jesse's Girl" and I moved on to Rick Springfield, probably a more "normal" focus for a 12 -13 yr old crush. Besides, I never found pictures of George Hamilton in Teen Beat or Tiger Beat magazines to feed the crush.


Tho - right now I have a mad crush on Ray Wise from the t.v. show The Reaper... HILARIOUS show by the way. I find I have another big crush on this older, really tan guy again? What is up with that?! Just what exactly is wrong with me? Sigh, lookit him, my eyes are all soft and moony looking at this picture ..... be still my beating heart. (and yes, I can still hear you laughing)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rosie had her babies!

What a good goatie she is! We came out to feed and do chores this morning and voila! Two little angels were waiting for us. We think Rosie must've had them around 4am. We knew she was awful close and we kept checking her last night. She evidently didn't have any trouble and we didn't hear any screaming so she was quiet about it. Rosie's mother, Chocolate, on the other hand? Hooo boy. She is a screamer... an alarmist goat if there ever was one.

Rosie wanted NOTHING to do with her kids. I can imagine her thinking, "OW - that hurt!! Hmph! Those things are nuthin' but trouble and I want nuthin' to do with 'em!" Her attitude is good for me because I don't have to feel like the big, bad, carnivore ripping babies away from their mama's. (Many dairy goat farms bottle raise their babies for different reasons, other farms keep the does and kids together. Neither is wrong - just different ways o' doin' it.)

Rosie was curled up her in her little dogloo house while the babies were left in the bigger quonset hut where she must've had them, damp and squallerin' for food. We weighed them, dipped their navels in iodine, put them in the straw filled stock tank in our heated bunk house.

Furry Husband brought Rosie her warm water mixed with molasses and I milked her. Sorta tricky with fresh teats smaller than my pinkie fingers! She milked out 4lbs of colostrum which we heat treated and bottle fed to the babies.

She had a doe and a buck - cute little buggers. They are strong and healthy and don't seem to be very offended their mama didn't want anything to do with them. Rosie seems happy to be done with the whole event and was happily eating her alfalfa hay along with her yummy molasses water.

I'll take pictures tonight for you! I didn't have time this morning. They are Adorable with a capital A.

A big spring storm is rolling in and we are expecting a deluge of rain and/or snow today through Saturday. It is gonna be a muddy, muddy mess at our place... the new babies will have to wait for better weather before we let them out to play. Right now, their job is to eat, sleep and grow stronger to play when the nice weather rolls around.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Melted

I think I scared Furry Husband with my rant yesterday! He told me I sounded so angry... well it IS really gross. And it's much easier to let it all out over the internet... I didn't snap at her in the bathroom or anything and none of my co-workers knew I was so grossed out or annoyed. shrug.

Poor Furry Husband. He doesn't understand. He pees standing up.


I stopped at Target the other day to get some dog chews. They have really good prices on rawhide - better than the feed stores - and our dogs need to chew, chew, chew. While I was there, all the Easter candy was 50% off. I bought a bunch of it to send to my Mom-in-Law.

We called her on Easter and she was down in the dumps. She is in her 80's and was thinking back to days when family was around, children and adults, egg hunts, big dinners and now she is alone. She goes to church followed by lunch and a spirited game of dominoes with her friends, but she comes home to an empty house. I can empathize with her. If she were closer, we'd have her over and have a nice dinner, color eggs etc., but she is in IL and we are here in CO. I know she isn't missing Easter "candy" per se but it lets her know we are thinking of her.

Only I left the candy in my car yesterday, I got busy and I forgot to mail it. Temperatures reached 70 degrees and I think my little hollow chocolate bunnies, chicks and lambs are melted into blobs! I brought them inside today so I can evaluate...

Maybe if they are little molten chocolate lumps, I will feed them to my co-workers. I did get a polka-dotted stuffed bunny holding a carrot shaped bag full of jelly beans which was impervious to my hot car. I'll still have something to send, maybe not the booty I originally intended. It's the thought that counts right?


Oh! Tomorrow is Rosie's due date. Last night she was leaping on top of the quonset hut houses and happily chewing her cud and digging into the alfalfa. She seemed pretty unconcerned this morning too. Poor thing has no idea what is coming! It's her first kidding... Maybe she'll have them tonight? Maybe she'll wait til the weekend? We are watching her closely.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Booker's Warning...

Itty Bitty Opal Kitty has a napkin problem. If we leave them out, she must destroy... shred...rip... tear...Mojo's tube is out. He's eating on his own and looking good. Trying to hump Itty Bitty Opal Kitty a lot... so he must be FEELING good. Maybe once his hair grows back in, he'll get lucky and they can have spayed/neutered cat "relations".

Milking goat #1 - Spot
Milking goat #2 - Chocolate Chaud (why does she have the bat signal on her side?)
Split Pea Soup gets fresh goat milk every day....
Poor little burn heads...

Whatever you do... don't forget to feed the dogs.... don't never, ever, forget to feed them dogs...

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