Thursday, November 18, 2010

And The Story Continues...

You may remember the story about the fire that happened at the farm where I just bought 3 new goats. If not, refresh your memory here

I was thinking that this family is trying to rebuild their business as well as their lives and lost quite a few goats in the fire. So I contacted them to see if they wanted to buy some of my goats, since I had purchased 5 of my does from their farm (the 3 new ones and 2 others that are currently milking). So I whipped off an email to them. I got a call 1st thing the next morning. Whether you believe in God, or a higher power, or just the alignment of the stars, you have to admit this is just way beyond mere coincidence. Personally, I'm going with God! They want all 7 of my does.

Ok, so now I've got goosebumps just thinking about all the "coincidences" that had to be orchestrated to bring this all about. Originally I was looking to buy just 2 new does and I wanted ones that were of breeding age. I called this lady because I had gotten goats there before and were pleased with them. I sent her a check for 2 of the 3 she had available, then called her back a week later to say I'd take the 3rd one, and I didn't know why at the time. I had decided to sell 2 of my other goats and the woman who had wanted to buy them never sent me a deposit and now I can't get in touch with her to ask if she still wants them. Then I was supposed to pick the new ones up at the end of October but for some reason, which rarely happens in my profession as a massage therapist, all of my appointments on a certain day rescheduled, leaving me with an unexpected, rare, and unplanned day off. So all things considered I have 7 does available that will help this family get back in the cheese business. And to add to that, my email went to her spam folder. She said she never checks there but for some reason found herself in there that night.

Somehow, knowing that I'm helping God help this family eases the heartache of parting with these loud, obnoxious, opinionated creatures that have totally enchanted my heart. And I know they'll be well cared for and totally loved in their new (well, old for some of them) home. I'm not sure exactly when they'll be leaving as the family has to make room in their replacement barn for 7 more. But in the meantime I get to continue to enjoy their company, and, of course, that yummy milk!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

A Page Turns, A Chapter Ends, But The Book Isn't Finished

Things change, sometimes with dizzying speed. Life throws you a curve, you duck, and find yourself headed in the opposite direction. So it is with me these days. After much painful thought, and many, many shed tears, it is with great sadness that I announce the end of my small homestead farm.

One of the problems with small homesteading, as I'm sure those of you who have animals can relate to, is the serious lack of freedom to get away. And it's very expensive to hire someone to "farm-sit" while you're away - like $60 a day expensive. The cost of care and feeding alone is expensive, let alone adding that kind of expense to the equation. Both people have to be totally committed to the lifestyle of self-sufficiency to make it work, willing to give up travel freedom to spend long hours of drudgery for little monetary reward. To those of us who are farmers in our core being, it's a labor of love. I had grand plans to have a small commercial kitchen finished and inspected by next spring and begin a cheese making endeavor as a retirement business. But, as the saying goes, life is what happens while you're making other plans.

But have no fear, farming is in my blood, in my DNA, and I'm hardwired to it, it's part of who I am. So, like a duck is drawn to water, I may yet resurface in the distant, or not too distant, future with another homestead, obnoxious goats and all! When the time is right. But for now the tears fall with each contact I make to sell my very loved animals. And whoever buys them better be prepared to have a very lonely ex-farmer visit.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat?

I guess Mother Nature didn't think the treat was good enough so we awoke to this Halloween trick. (P.S. -This reminds me that I need to change the date on my camera. Today is the 31st.)
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Chicken Murderers

Jim is the tall guy in the center.
My husband Jim and 5 other people from our NH Small and Beginning Farmers group processed 50 broiler chickens for the family that had the farm fire last week (click here for that story), coming from as far as 3 hours away. They fondly referred to themselves as "The Chicken Murderers". Since there was no water or electricity at the burned out farm, the chickens were taken to a nearby farm and processed there. 

There are several mobile processing units throughout NH which consist of all the necessary slaughter equipment, cones/scalder/plucker etc., in a small trailer. Members of the group can rent it for a nominal fee, but my guess is that this time was a freebie. The one for that area arrived about 9:30 AM. The stars of the show, the chickens, arrived in a horse trailer around 10. It took a little bit to get the initial equipment set up and water starting to heat. At this time of year, COLD well water requires a LOT longer to heat. While the water heated, the equipment was set up to everyone's liking for the day and everyone visited. There were some great discussions on LGDs (livestock guardian dogs), farm processes, and products. Finally, at 2:30 everything was ready to begin the "dirty deed".

Chicken drying/packaging rack.
Things went very smoothly. Everyone picked out the tasks where they felt comfortable, learning from each other and picking up various "tricks of the trade" in chicken processing. One person brought along his neat chicken drying rack. This is very simple to make - a 2x6 board as long as you need it, sufficient number of short sections (a foot or so) of PVC pipe fastened vertically to the sides and there you go! Bags slip easily over the chickens for packaging. You can bet we'll be making one!

The dispatching/scalding/plucking steps went so smoothly that the eviscerators couldn't keep up. Luckily there were sufficient chill tanks and the weather was cool. By 5:00 the processing was done and clean up began. By 6:00 the equipment was clean, repacked in the trailer and everyone left for their long drives home. Very productive day indeed - 50 chickens were all packed in ice and awaiting pickup by the owner.

Every day we hear in the media about the horrible things happening in the world, but most people are just good folk. Farmers and homesteaders are some of the most helping, caring and compassionate folks I know, always willing to help a neighbor in need. I'm proud to be numbered among them.

BTW, if anyone would like to donate to help this family, just follow this link. Even if you aren't close enough to donate needed items, you can always send a paypal donation to their email address (listed at the link).
Photos courtesy of Lisa Richards
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Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Thankful for Small Things

I had bought 3 new Saanen does and was due to pick them up the end of October. For some unknown reason I had an unexpected day off last Tuesday so I called the lady I was buying them from Monday afternoon and asked if I could pick them up the next day. We made the arrangements for her to expect me between noon and 1:00. I drove down there with a friend and no one was there. We waited, and waited, went out to lunch, then waited some more. Given that it's a 7 hour round trip we decided that waiting was more practical than coming home without them and having to go back at the end of October as originally planned. After all, we figured they'd have to be home sometime to do the evening milking.

About 3:45 they showed up in a big van with all their kids they'd picked up from school. The lady forgot I was coming! In her defense, they had a new foster child arrive a bit unexpectedly Monday night so I'm sure things were crazy trying to get the new kid registered in school etc. Anyway, we get the goats and leave, arriving home way past dark. I'm glad my friend was with me because I get very sleepy when I drive, especially when the sun starts to go down.

Now here's the part where I'm really thankful and reminded that God is mindful of even the small things in our lives. Yesterday the farm where I got the goats had a fire that leveled their barn and damaged the house. (Click here for the full story.) Most of the goats, all of their sheep and chickens died. My goats, since they're young and not milking yet, were in a part of the barn that they definitely wouldn't have survived. This morning I gave those 3 new does a big hug and some extra grain as I'm reminded that God was mindful of them as well.

Please join me in prayers of comfort and support for the family that lost their home and business. And take a look at your life and tell me what you're most thankful for, even the small things.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Nice Ride!

It's a beautiful, sunny day here in northern NH. One of those breezy fall days when you can smell the apples that have dropped on the ground, feel the crisp coolness creeping into the air and bask in the warmth of the autumn sun. A great day for a buggy ride. Talon thought so too. Until.....

We were out about a mile and passing a dairy farm. One of the cows had escaped her pasture and was wandering about in the middle of the road. Talon screeched to a halt, ears and eyes on the road monster up ahead that was surely going to sprout wings and fangs, fly over to him and consume him in one gulp, then pick it's teeth with his bones! I got out of the cart and tried to lead him past the cow. I tried to calm him and told him I'd protect him, there was nothing to worry about, it was only a silly old cow. No deal. He wasn't buying it. He was convinced that monster would consume us both! So we turned around. It took a while to get him settled down to the point I could get back in the cart and head for home. We do need to work on the cow issues but that's best saved for a day when he's not hooked up to the buggy.

BTW, if you're wondering why there's no picture of the cow - well, I was kind of busy. Sorry. There are times when living to see another day is more important than taking a picture.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

The New Girls

"We know when we arrived a few days ago we were very frightened. And we do realize we weren't much better yesterday, preferring to hide in the corner. But this morning we're feeling much better about things in general, and we're ready to make friends with our new family and especially you, our new Mom who feeds us. And by the way, can you tell us what time breakfast is served because this feeder seems to be quite empty? We sort of got hungry in the middle of the night and, well, we kind of ate everything there was. Some hay would be nice, and maybe a little grain if you could manage it. And then after breakfast, we think we might be ready to join the others we've been seeing on the other side of the fence."
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Getting Ready for Winter

Fall is a busy time of year. Winter will make its appearance right on schedule, sometimes ahead of schedule, ready or not. The remains of the garden have been harvested with the plant stocks pulled and fed to the pigs. The rest of the hay has been gathered and looks like giant marshmallows lining the driveway. Sort of makes me think about roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire on a chilly night. Now it's on to putting the broiler chickens, ducks and meat goats in the freezer, yard cleaning and organizing, putting all the tractor implements in their proper places, and tightening up the barn. We'll begin moving the pig fence over a bit at a time so they'll be at their winter area by the time the ground freezes (you can't change fencing after a hard freeze since you can't push in fence posts). The last thing on the agenda will be putting the snow blade on the tractor. I never got around to putting my summer tires on the truck so instead of fighting the rush at the tire store to have my tires changed over, I'm way ahead of winter driving preparations.

We're installing a wood fired hot air furnace this year. The furnace and chimney materials were delivered today. Jim will need to pour a cement base for it, install the chimney, and put in ductwork. We wanted to get all the materials purchased by year's end however, to take advantage of the tax credit. And with any luck we'll even have it operational by the end of the year. Central heating, with a thermostat.... what a concept! Although I really enjoy my wood stove and will still run it when I want some extra warmth, or just the wonderful smell from it, we'll be able to heat the finished areas of the basement with ducts installed down there. Due to the amazing (and sometimes inconvenient) concept of heat rising we've had to have gas heaters to heat the downstairs rooms. It'll be nice to have them part of the whole heating system.

I'll be ordering sleigh runners for the horse buggy so we can enjoy sleigh rides. Talon will have to get used to bells on his harness. You can't have a sleigh ride without sleigh bells, now can you? That just wouldn't be right. I don't think he'll mind, he seems to take most everything in stride. Except fly spraying - he's convinced that sprayer is evil. Fortunately there are no bugs in the winter so he'll have a reprieve. We'll continue the spray battle next summer.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sponsor A Cheese, Save A Dairy!

I'm sharing this very important information via The Never Done Farm. Let's all stand together to protect our consumer rights to choose our own food.

One of our members over at the Homesteading Today forums is currently under attack for selling raw milk cheese. Now mind you they have been doing so for 30 years, have never had a case of illness from their cheese and have a substantial client base that is happy with their product. Here is a news article on their story. You can follow their saga on their blog here. One of the members over at HT came up with the idea to "Sponsor a Cheese" to help out Morningland Dairy and to help show that people are willing to stand up for our family farms. Here is her idea:

Sponsor A Cheese, Save A Dairy!
I'll assume most of us are aware of the assault against Morningland Dairy that began back in August, and has resulted in anti-raw milk pencil pushers (and toadies of corporate dairy concerns) demanding that the dairy destroy all their cheese in stock (SIX MONTHS WORTH OF PRODUCT!) -- despite the fact that all FDA testing done at the dairy proved that there is absolutely NO contamination of their healthy food.

So... I had an idea. Here's what I am going to do, and if you'd like to do the same, I certainly encourage you to join the Un-Cheese Party!

Here's the low down:
If Morningland can't sell the cheese because the Missouri Milk Board and the FDA are against wholesome food, they may well lose their family business of THIRTY YEARS. (And through all those years they are able to boast the NO ONE has EVER been made ill by their cheese!)

I'm not going to let that happen if I can help it.

I'm going to "sponsor" a few pounds of that embargoed cheese. I invite anyone else who is interested to join me in our


There are 50,000 pounds of cheese slated for destruction. This is not counting the cheese destroyed due to the recall.

Here's how to SPONSOR A CHEESE:

The average price per pound is $5. You can paypal a donation to

Or, you can send your sponsorship checks or money orders directly to the dairy. Just let them know what the money is for, and a note of encouragement would certainly be appreciated.

Morningland Dairy
6248 County Road 2980
Mountain View, MO 65548

Now, folks, this is a PARTY, so INVITE YOUR FRIENDS, your neighbors, your mere acquaintances to join us!

Plaster the message on other boards you frequent, put it on your Facebook Status, make a YouTube video and hey! maybe it'll go viral!

We have to stand together as raw milk consumers and producers, or we WILL see the day where we can't even grow food for our own consumption!

(see the thread, "Another threat against raw milk" [at sample letters to write to your politicians to make an even bigger impact.)

Let's get Morningland back on its feet-

We'll be sponsoring some cheese, how about you? If we, as small farmers and consumers, don't stand firmly together, it isn't just Morningland Dairy that looses, we ALL do! Below are some links that you may well find interesting and informative. The government, FDA, CDC, DHHS and others, have no business tellling you what you can consume and what you can't, but if SB510 passes that is exactly what will happen. Please call your Senators and let them know what you think and ask that they vote "NO" to SB510. There are proposals to ask for an amendment but IMHO this bill needs to be killed completely. I've even called our Governor asking that "if" this bill passes that they block it with state law. Remember it's your freedom of choice that is at stake and all because of the GREED and CONTROL of Big Industry!

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Farewell to Melvin

Melvin's baby picture.
We had a bear climb into the pig pasture to see if there were any leftovers on the ground, which there usually are. After all, we're talking about pigs here. They don't exactly have the best table manners. The bear came in after dark when everyone was sleeping. Now imagine you're a pig, sound asleep, dreaming of the slop fairy. You hear a noise and think "Wow, there's really is a slop fairy, and I actually hear her." You open a sleepy eye expecting to actually discover her, only to see a bear just a few feet from you. You can imagine the ruckus that ensued. Squealing piglets (and I use that term loosely because they're about 100 pounds now, but still only about 3 months old) running everywhere, mama pig attacking the bear, dogs barking, human mama (that'd be me) running from the house, spotlight in hand, screaming at the top of her lungs, did I mention the barking, and charging, dogs? At this point your sympathies have to be with the poor bear. All he (or she) was doing was trying to quietly scoff a few leftover morsels, the bear equivalent of raiding the refrigerator at midnight. Before making a getaway over the perimeter fence, the bear struck out with one paw and swatted the closest pig which happened to be Melvin, the only spotted pig in the litter, who went sailing through the air, landing on a pile of brush. After everyone calmed down a bit I was able to assess the injuries to Melvin. There wasn't a mark on him but you could tell he was injured. We took him to the barn for the night but in the morning it was determined he must have internal injuries so Melvin was given a one-way ticket to freezer camp. Farewell Melvin. May you rest eternally in slop heaven.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Talon's Graduation

Grandson Nate in the driver's seat!
Talon graduated from driving school today. He even got a diploma! Our trainer did a fantastic, super-duper job. Now it's time to enjoy all he's learned - and we've even got some beautiful fall weather left. I'm going to have to search out sleigh runners for the cart for this winter. Oh, the adventures we're going to have!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sheep Wrangling

I went to a friend's house to help worm her sheep. Problem is, my friend doesn't have a catch pen, which, by the way, is next on my list of things to help her with. Yes, sheep are dumb, arguably the dumbest creatures on earth. But for all their stupidity they sure can run fast if they sense danger. Let's see - stranger in the pasture who's intent on catching them, could be to eat them? That smells like danger. The first sheep wasn't too hard to catch as it was raised as a bottle baby. But it was all downhill from there. You can only trick them for so long before they finally decide "No way am I going to let this strange person with that dangerous looking drench gun anywhere near me! I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid!" The last sheep to be wormed was a very large, hairy beast with a definite attitude. She decided after watching me with the first sheep that it was infinitely safer to be on the other side of the pasture from wherever I was. If I was at one corner, she was at the other. Where ever I moved, she moved opposite. Finally I got a bucket of grain and threw some down at my feet. Ahhh, the stomach of a sheep wins over their common sense every time. As the other sheep, who had forgiven me by this time, gathered around stuffing their faces, this big girl came closer and closer, all the while watching me. I just stood there gently dropping grain on the ground, not daring to move. She edged closer, closer, closer... until she was right at my feet, pushing her greedy nose into the middle of the flock to get her share. When the time was right I sprang into action. Simultaneously dropping the grain bucket and launching myself into the air, I grabbed the fleece at her neck with both hands. The awesome speed with which I landed on her back took her by surprise. It also spooked the rest of the flock who frantically ran in every direction. She zigged, then zagged, then took off at a dead run for what seemed like 3 miles, then suddenly collapsed in a heap. When the dust cleared I was still attached and laying on top of her. Did I mention she was a very large sheep? It was like doing a 5 point restraint on a Shetland pony! My friend, who I think was selling tickets to the event and her daughter was selling popcorn, ran over with a looped rope, slipped it over her neck, and said "OK, I've got her, you can get off now." Yeah, right. I'm 62 years old. I have an iffy back, a bum knee and 40 lbs too much in the middle. I just wrestled a bucking bronco and now I'm laying on top of a hairy mountain. Sure, I'll get right on that. I did finally get upright, although I'm sure it wasn't graceful. We got the sheep up, wormed her and took the rope off her neck. What did she do next? She just stood there looking up at me. "Hey lady, that was kind of fun. Can we have another go round?"
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

8/28 Restoring Honor Rally

The media initially reported that there were over a thousand people who attended the rally. If you look at the picture I'd say that was an understatement! They did later keep upping their estimates but I'm not sure they even came close to how many people were there. The reflecting pool area holds 200,000 people. Another field holds between 250,000 to 300,000 people. Those were full, as were the areas behind the memorial and people were filling up across the street and filling in around the Washington Monument. My husband, his son with wife and daughter, another grandson, my daughter and her 2 children with her uncle and aunt, are all in that crowd somewhere, looking like ants at a family reunion picnic. In DH's very eloquent words "It's AWESOME!" I can't wait to see all the pictures he took and hear about it in more detail, but in the meantime I got this picture from Glenn Beck's website. For those who want to watch a great video about this incredible event click on this C-SPAN link.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010


I'm without a camera for 2 weeks. DH left Monday for work as usual, bringing both my camera and my video recorder with him, which is not usual. He's traveling to DC this weekend for the 8/28 Restoring Honor Rally. He'll be back at work Monday but won't be home till next weekend. The only method of taking a picture for these 2 weeks would be my cell phone. Being extremely technologically challenged, I have no idea how to get a picture into my computer from the cell. Even my computer savvy grandson says he has no idea. He's the person I always turn to for seemingly simple things such as programming the DVD player or learning to work the new cordless phone with additional wireless handsets, intercom, 2 gazillion number speed dial, remote message retrieval, and so many other features I'll die of old age before I figure them all out. When he tells me he hasn't got a clue how to get a picture from the cell into the computer I know I'm in big trouble. Now in his defense, he doesn't have a cell phone because they don't work out here in the boonies. Since he doesn't use one he has virtually no experience with them. Ahhh, the progress of country life. So if any one knows anything about that, please, please, please impart that knowledge to me. Not that anything that crucially interesting would happen that I'd miss a once-in-a-lifetime photo, but you just never know.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bored Kids

Ahh, the dog days of summer. Those hot August days at the end of the summer when kids are bored and create interesting and fun ways to try to kill themselves, or at least injure and maim. And this isn't the first time that Nathanael, my grandson, and his friends Roger and Michael have used their heads, literally, to wreck havoc on a poor grandmother's nerves. (Click here for the ceiling demolition story, or here for the car wreck story.) Do boys ever grow up? Only if they live long enough!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Sheep Withdrawal

It's been a bit of a rough week. I've been a little tired and stressed, with an underlying, low-level headache just behind the eyes. You know the kind - not really bad, but bad enough that you're aware of it and just enough to make you edgy and irritable. I went into the feed store today and the owner, Doug, addressed me with the usual greeting, "Hi there. How're you doing today?" I commented that I'd been out of sorts all week. He replied, "See, I knew you'd miss those sheep. I've heard about 'sheep withdrawal' but I've never actually seen a case of it. I'll bet this is it!" Somehow the laughter instantly made my headache go away. Today I'm grateful for good natured store owners with a sense of humor.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No More Sheep!

"See, I told you they wanted to eat us!"

I sold the last of the sheep yesterday. We got the animals as a way to manage the land. The goats clear out the brush and kill the smaller trees by stripping the bark off. The pigs dig up all but the largest stumps. The sheep kept the new pastures mowed. Last year I got a horse which eats the same vegetation as the sheep. Since we don't have enough pasture for both, I had to make a choice between the horse and the sheep. Let's see - you can't ride a sheep or harness it up to a buggy and take the grandkids out for an afternoon drive. On the other hand you can't eat a horse (well, I suppose you could but most people, including me, wouldn't). Hmmm..... the horse is eminently more fun, so.... bye bye sheepies.

"Who us? Cute? You betcha!"
Some say I'm a masochist for keeping goats over sheep. Personally, I prefer goat personalities. Sheep are afraid of everything. Even though I feed them every day and give them yummy treats, they act like today is the day I'm going to eat them. It must be tough to live life in constant fear of being the main course. The goats on the other hand, are inquisitive, mischievous, bold, and stubborn, getting themselves in trouble more often than not. Sort of like me I guess. Plus, I don't think you can get much cuter than goat kids. And you can't get much more fun than a horse.

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Monday, August 16, 2010


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it really was my fault. 

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you  earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. 

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. 

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. He took a further beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. 

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim. 

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. 

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Friday, August 13, 2010


I found this just over the border into Vermont. I think the painters need to attend the nearby school for spelling lessons. Now this brings a question to mind - when you misspell a word on the road do you use black-out to correct it? Apparently this road crew didn't have any so they just painted over it, probably hoping no one would notice.
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Sunday, August 8, 2010


Ahhh, the sweet smell of success. Talon has been in training for about 2 1/2 months to learn to drive (no, not as in driving a car, as in pulling a cart). His training has been a bit slower than expected because he is so "sensitive" (click here for that story). But a few days ago he was not only hitched up to the cart, the trainer got in and drove him. I heard him mutter under his breath, "Well, it's about time you stop fooling around and actually get in that thing! I can't believe you thought I was serious with all the protesting I've done about other stuff." Like fly spray. "That feels like a million bugs landing on me." And plastic bags. "Hey, those things can eat you, you know!" And trying to hide behind the trainer when he was put in a paddock with other horses. "They threatened me over the fence and made faces at me." And putting the bit in his mouth for the first time. "Yeah? You try having that thing in your mouth, then we'll talk. You could have at least put some sugar on it." But being hitched up to the cart has been no problem. "Hey, that's what I was born and bred to do. All that other stuff is just beneath me! I mean, really, I didn't see why I had to learn about a lunge line. Couldn't we have just cut to the chase and started with the cart?"
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Grandson's Eagle Scout Project

Click to enlarge so you can read it:

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Farm Hands

Mornings are full of chores, as any homesteader knows. Feeding, watering, cleaning pens, collecting and washing eggs, milking... and the list goes on. It's always nice to have willing farm hands to give assistance. 17 year old grandson is off to feed the pigs with English Shepherds Roxie and Jack giving a hand. When he gets to the feeding area the dogs will keep the pigs at a distance until the feed is dumped into the bucket. It's no fun being knocked over by hungry hogs. And they'll also keep the buck at a safe distance while traveling through "his" pasture. During milking time the dogs will stand guard to be sure each goat proceeds in an orderly fashion from her holding pen to the milk stand and back. Once, a goat decided to try to make a break for the other side of the barn. Roxie said "not on my watch!" and quickly convinced her that she should never again try to deviate from the usual routine. After feeding time the dogs can clear the barn of all animals in 20 seconds flat. "I said out! NOW!" The dogs haven't mastered the art of collecting eggs though. It seems they like to sample them rather than put them in the egg basket. But they do make sure no chickens escape to unapproved areas. Good help is really hard to find, and worth their weight in.... dog food.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July 27, 1948 - A Very Important Date in History

July 27, 1948 - a very, very important day in history. Although there don't seem to be many events associated with this day in 1948, there are a few notable births: 

1) Peggy Fleming (Olympic Hall of Famer: gold medalist: figure skater [1968]; Ice Follies, Holiday on Ice, ABC sports commentator; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer). 

2) Betty Thomas (Emmy Award-winning director: For Peter’s Sake [1992-1993], Dream On [1992-1993], actress: Hill Street Blues [1984-1985]; The Seventh Sign, When Your Lover Leaves, Troop Beverly Hills).

3) ME!!!!!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

3 Bean Salad

The garden is making a comeback after it suffered "death by goat" over the July 4th weekend. (Click here for a refresher on that story.) The squash and cucumbers have loads of blossoms, beans and peas are coming along nicely, the replanted broccoli and cauliflower are starting to look like I just might get something before frost, the tomatoes which weren't actually eaten but got trampled by hooves that were frantically trying to exit the garden ahead of the barking and snarling English Shepherds ("You don't belong in Mom's garden! Get out NOW! Do you hear me? I said, NOW!"), have loads of blossoms and tomatoes about the size of small plums. Now, promise you won't laugh. This is the first of the vegies to be picked - 3 green beans. I guess that means I can literally have a "3 bean salad" for lunch!

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Enter to win a Trekker 72-hour kit

Over at A Homesteading Neophyte you can enter to win a Trekker 72 hour kit from Emergency Essentials. You can also pledge to blog for 24 hours straight to raise money to help the Downed Bikers Association. It's for a good cause so take a click over there and check it out. The contest ends 7/31 at midnight.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Talon Looks "Official"

Talon's harness got delivered this week. Now he looks "official". After a slow start because he was so "sensitive", he's now actually ground driving. I'm visiting tomorrow and bringing his cart with me. Maybe he'll be ready for it in another week. I'm so looking forward to learning how to drive myself. Now doesn't he look like he's an old pro at this driving thing? Blinders on, reins up over his rump and everything. I'm so impressed!
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Now That Gets My Goat!

Why is it that on a farm that has goats, most of the things that really get your goat actually involve goats? Anyone who doesn't have goats just can't even begin to appreciate the way they seem to outsmart you almost constantly.

Saturday they broke into my garden. I heard the dogs barking like crazy and went out on the deck to see what all the brouhaha was about. There, in the garden where there should have been peas, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, and such, were the goats. The only things they didn't eat were the tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini and radishes. I made a trip to the farm store this morning to see if, by some miracle, they had any plants left. Well it seems that if you wait long enough everything is just about free. I got an entire flat of veges for $5! Pumpkin plants were free and now that I have less in my garden I actually have room for some. I just spent one of the hottest days of the summer replanting the garden. I'm not sure if there's time for everything to mature before frost, which is usually about the 1st week in September, but if we have a very warm summer, and if I fertilize like crazy, and if I can keep the goats out of there......

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

You Might Be A Redneck If......

Now where's my camera when I need it?!!! Obviously not with me, or you would have been able to see this for yourself. I was in town today to do some errands and happened to drive down the street where all the parade floats awaited the start of the 4th of July parade. There were the usual patriotic floats, the fire department engines, the school king and queen, the high school band, and the local boy scout troop. All the usual floats and groups you'd expect. But the float that really caught my eye, and I have no idea what company or organization it represented, had some folks dressed in denim coveralls, a few guys with guitars and an outhouse on the back. It had only the lower 1/2 of the walls and inside, I swear I'm not making this up, was a guy sitting there reading what looked like an old Sears catalog! I can only hope he wasn't going to throw Tootsie Rolls at the crowd! Yup, you might be a redneck if you ride in the outhouse of a parade float, no matter that it's in northern NH.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Caution: Don't Do This With Your Head!

I really wonder if these boys will ever make it to adulthood without killing themselves. This is just one more example of why parents pray for the safety of their children every day. Grandson Nate is demolishing his bedroom ceiling so we can replace it. His friend Roger was visiting and decided to help him. I really think using a hammer would be ever so much more effective - and safer. Perhaps we need a warning label on the ceiling "Caution: Don't demolish ceiling with your head!"

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