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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