Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All in the name of Science

Today 5 of our cows had the distinct pleasure of participating in an in depth study of the Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus. Whew! Exciting stuff, eh?! Well, the "ladies" did not think it was so exciting. Here we have one running around out in the field and she was not very motivated to go into the cattle chute.



Blood samples had to be taken to check for antibodies to the virus. Here you see one of my fabulous, yet incredibly cold hands holding one of the vials. I am moving into the realm of "real farming" here because I not only labeled the vials, but I also GOT COW BLOOD ON MY HANDS!






Dr. Dan ,our favorite vet, came out to do the dirty work.






Here Dr. Dan is contemplating his next move while this lady is contemplating her "exam". All I am going to say about the "exam" is that it involved an extremely long glove and A LOT of manure. Much to our surprise, Dr. Dan told us that one of our ladies is expecting! Obviously she has matured faster than the other cows...... The Deerslayer says he can't wait to be an uncle. I am thinking that I hope I won't be needing some of those long gloves.





After all of the lovliness of blood samples and exams, it was time for everyone to be free.






I am just thankful I didn't end up with manure all over me.




Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reflections on a summer past....

Now that we are firmly ensconced in fall, I think it is only fitting to reflect back on some of the more unique, yet important lessons learned this past summer.

1. Flip flops don't belong in the henhouse. I am quite sure that I don't need to go into details here...suffice it to say that it was a disgusting lesson learned.

2. Flip flops don't belong in the cow pasture. Okay, you would think I could figure that out, but I was just dashing out there to dump a bucket of feed. Who knew those meadow muffins were still moist. That crusty cover can be deceptive.

3. An inflatable lobster is not equipped to hold an average sized woman in the swimming pool. Enough said....

4. One squash plant in the garden will produce enough squash to feed a family of four....and then some.

5. A hobby farm will often produce more manure than anything other type of product.

6. A frog can live in a swimming pool, no matter what the chlorine level.

7. And last, but certainly not least, when your husband tells you that he has fixed the fence right before he leaves town, the cows will be hanging out in the yard as soon as that man hops on the airplane.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let's all gather round

Let us all gather round, join hands, and lift our voices while we sing a round of "Kumbyah". While at the gas station today I payed a mere $2.51 per gallon of gas. Celestial voices sang down upon me while I only had to hand over $50.00 to "the man". It 'twas nothing short of a miracle.


"the man" noun a person in smalltownland who pumps my gas AND cleans my windshield, all so I don't have to dirty my delicate, farmchicky hands.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Like a house on fire

You know living out here in the sticks can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I have no surprise visits....from anyone. Everyone tells me it takes too long to get to my house. The neighbors that I do have are certainly not in shouting distance. This can be a bad situation for the chiclets. On occasion they do get bored. It is at these times when they really bring out their creative sides to entertain themselves.


Here we have Mr. Jerry and his infant daughter Ava. Obviously, they are having a smoke situation in their house. Hopefully, help will arrive soon.




I see a lengthy ladder in place and little Ava looks like she might be headed toward safety. Or, if Mr. Jerry doesn't get his rear in gear, the kid is going to fall right out the window.



Ahhhh....help has arrived. Nothing like a few plastic firemen to save the day.




Toots and the Deerslayer had a great time setting up this scenario. And lest you think I have no parental control, the smoke was created by our very own nebulizer, used by the Toots. Also, not to worry....my vintage dollhouse survived the fire.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Farmchick's Foundling Home/Day Spa for Chickens

You know....sometimes us girls just have to get away from the guys.




And, girls y'all know the type of guy I am talking about right here...He struts around like he rules the roost.



Sometimes a girl just needs to get her hair did...


Maybe a few highlights here and there....


I provide this lavish existence for them and all I get is the tailfeather...


Friday, October 17, 2008

It's a staple around here


Pictured above are some lovely chocolate chip cookie bars. They have become a regular feature around our house. They are easy to make, the chiclets love them, and the ingredients are always on hand. I think we should get started on a batch.....
1 cup butter, softened (no margarine, it will give you gray hair)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 12-ounce package of chocolate chips
In a large bowl combine butter and both sugars. Beat until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour to this mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in your favorite, old 9x13 Pyrex baking dish, that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool completely and cut into bars.
All varieties of chips work well in this recipe as well as nuts. Dunking the cookie bar into a glass of milk is recommended.

Thoughtless Thursday...posted on Friday....just go with it


Monday, October 13, 2008

It's the end of an era


When I first moved to smalltownland one of my first objectives was to get a library card. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the local libary and there were two ladies at a table drinking iced tea and a couple of small dogs milling around. Not only did the facility provide media options, but obviously social options as well. When I went up to the counter to obtain a card I was told, "Oh, honey we know who you are! Just sign your name on the card!" Sign my name on the card? I had not signed my name on a library card in a very long time. But, I was game. And I soon came to love this new part of living in a small town. No longer did I have to worry about returning books on time....now I could keep them and read them twice if I wanted to. There were no computer records, etc... to keep up with all of the daily checkouts.
Once when I checked out a romance novel the librarian let me in on a little secret. It seemed that when one of the older ladies checked out a romance novel they would write on the card with pencil so they could erase their names when they returned the book. Heaven forbid that anyone in the town see that they had checked out a book with that kind of content. And, when they checked out any type of off color book, they looked at the card to see who had been reading that kind of smut! Small towns can be hard to live in....
So, imagine my horror when I was breezing through the library today and a lady behind the desk said, "Hey, Farmchick you haven't signed up for our NEW library cards". You have got to be kidding me.... just when I finally got used to doing it "old school". Just when I was getting the hang of this small town gig.
Now I am going to have to look under the chiclet's beds and clean out the back of my Durango. I am going to have to part with that Barbara Kingsolver book that I love so much. Now I can only read the book ONCE before I return it. Now, everything is computerized. Now, they will CHARGE me for overdue books. How did I ever live in the city?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That sweet tinkle in my glass


Once upon a time, about four years ago, Secret Agent Man and I bought a lovely, chic black refridgerator. When the terribly fine delivery men were finished installing it, we found the ice maker did not work properly. Secret Agent Man piped right up and said that he could sure fix it. Fast forward four years and there still was not a working ice maker in this house. Secret Agent Man really got a bee in his bonnet this weekend, because he fixed it! *insert heavenly choir* I have been listening to those ice cubes falling into their freezer bucket all day. It has given me a thrill beyond measure....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Excursion to Asheville...the final installment



If you have ever gone to Asheville and not visited the Biltmore Estate....then shame on you. It is a must see. We actually spent 1 1/2 days going throught the house, greenhouse, grounds, farm, and winery. There is not much else you can say about the place, except that it is gorgeous. The house and the grounds are kept in pristine condition. The history of the place was wonderful and Toots participated in a "treasure hunt" when we went through the house. She had a list of things to find in each room we went in....there were a lot of rooms.



The greenhouse was my favorite part. They had many unique plants, but also many common plants growing in simply beautiful ways. Many aquatic plants were growing in large, simple pots. They did have quite a few Orchids and the pink Jack-in-the-pulpit shown below.


We also walked out to the Bass Pond. We were out here after the tours had stopped, so it was quite peaceful. Tours stop around 5pm, but the grounds stay open until dusk. Many people were meandering around, enjoying the property. The Bass Pond is home to Bass, but also a family of geese. There were small bridges, a gazebo, and waterfall in the area.


The most important thing that happened during the day was evident when we got back to the hotel room. Toots had left "Lammie" down in the covers. The maid had rescued Lammie and made sure she was in full view when we entered the room.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Asheville part II, AKA hauling ourselves up Chimney Rock


Our second day in Asheville found us traveling behind a line-painting truck while on a switchback road up a steep mountain. We spent about 25 minutes following this truck before he could finally pull over and let traffic pass.



The morning time fog should be a lesson learned: stay in bed until noon, then proceed up the mountain. We arrived at Chimney Rock Park to climb the steep staircase up to the "chimney". Literally meaning a tall rock sticking out of the mountain.


Although this picture looks a little hazy, the view was clearer at the top.


Walnut Falls is also at the park. We hiked the trail that takes you to the bottom of the falls. There is a trail that takes you to the top of the falls, unfortunately it was closed.


I think the Deerslayer's favortie part was the wild grapes he found growing throughout the park. He snacked on them quite a bit.

Check out: http://www.chimneyrockpark.com for more info.

Excursion to Asheville, Part I

The chiclets go to a public school that operates on an alternative calendar. This means that each fall they receive a two week break from school. We take advantage of this and try to go to a different destination each fall. This year we chose Asheville, North Carolina. Hoping to see some fall foliage and The Biltmore Estate. I knew it was going to go well because when we checked into our hotel we had an aswesome bed,



washcloths folded into flowers,


Starbucks coffee in the room....my favorite,

and a fabulous view from our room.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Love is in the air


A cute groom intent on carrying his sidearm during the ceremony....


plus a beautiful bride, who doesn't mind his law enforcement fascination with weaponry...


mix in a pastor who cracks jokes during the ceremony....



and let's not forget our beloved Toots, the resident family party animal, dressed in her best Pucci print purple dress...



who had to be dragged off the dance floor to go home....all add up to a wonderful time. Congrats go out to Trooper and Blondie with best wishes for a long, happy life together.