Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Happy Birthday, Jesus.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

And it looks like a cold one this morning.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Raining

We're in for several days of stormy weather. But that doesn't stop the LGDs from doing their duty, that being guarding their charges from 4 legged critters that might want to dine at the American Way Cafe. A tree doesn't provide that much shelter from the storm, but I guess it'll have to do. (BTW, for those unfamiliar with LGDs, that stands for Livestock Guardian Dog. And yes, even though she seems to be sound asleep she's still on duty. Any disturbance in the force would bring her to her feet ready to do battle.)
And where, you might ask, are the goats that this faithful dog is guarding? Hiding in the barn of course!
"Ewww, it's wet. We don't do wet."
Might I make a suggestion to the dog? Perhaps it would be better to sleep in the barn with the goats where it's dry. Just sayin'.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn Splendor

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Pasture Mates

We originally got Kirby, the mini donkey (aka Barack), as a pasture mate for Talon, the horse. But the goats adopted him as their Goat God. So the next plan was to get everyone to be friends. Until today every time Talon would see the goats in his pasture he'd chase them back to the barn. We went on a short overnight trip yesterday and when we came back today Talon was on the goat's side of the fence. I really have no idea how he got in there, but there they were, all grazing peacefully together. Maybe I just should have left them alone to work it out but I was always afraid he'd run over them. So here's to new friends and pasture mates.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Hotel Canoe

I would think there would be more comfortable places than the dry end of a wet canoe to check in to take a nap. Just sayin'.
"Do you mind? I'm trying to take a nap here."

"Huh? What? Who's clicking the camera?"

"What's that? There's water in the other end of this thing? Well, I'm sure it'll come in handy if I get thirsty."
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

New "Government Math" Diet

For those who understood using "government math" to get our new tractor free, I don't see why that same principle wouldn't work for dieting. If I eat a salad for lunch, saving 400 calories from what I could have had, that means that the 2 donuts I had for breakfast only netted 100 calories. Then if I have carrot sticks for snack, another salad for supper, I would save another 600 calories or so. If I apply that to an 800 calorie banana split that I want for dessert, then it would only be 200 calories. That means I've only had 300 calories so far for the day, meaning I can pig out on chips while watching TV without having to worry. Hey, works for me!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Free Tractor (aka Government Economics)

Our old tractor was getting, well, old. So we started looking at new tractors last summer but decided to wait due to not being able to afford a new one just then. This year I've figured out how to use the same economic principles the U.S. government uses to get a free tractor. Actually the old tractor broke down so we had to get a new one, but free ones are even better.
Basically, it works like this. If you want a $60,000 tractor but end up choosing a $30,000 tractor, the $30,000 savings is applied making the final cost $0. Then the dealer gave us $10,200 trade in value on the old one. The backhoe was about $10,000 so that means they owe us $200.

The only problem with this plan is that the finance company doesn't understand all this. I tried to tell them about how it works for the government but they're just not getting with the program. Can you imagine they're actually demanding that I make monthly payments? I'll have to start working on how I can explain about my plan to put that new roof on for free next year!
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Remote Control Cattle Roundup

Every once in a while someone, somewhere, comes up with an innovative idea. This one just might have possibilities. This person is either incredibly ingenious, or has to much time on their hands. Either way, there's said to be a fine line between genius and insanity. You decide.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Goat God

Houston, we have a problem.... Our intention was to have BK be a companion to the horse, when he gets a little older and bigger - BK that is, not the horse. But you know what they say about best laid plans! The goats have fallen in love with "their" donkey. They're never very far from him, toddling after him like love sick puppies.
So far, the goats have only gone out to graze if I've been with them. After all, they're only babies themselves, and as such, are fairly timid about being out in the big, wide world without adult supervision. Enter BK, the Goat God. If he goes out to graze, they go. If he comes into the barn they scamper right along behind. 
(There is a donkey in this picture. Guess it's sort of like those hidden pictures.)
If BK lays down for a siesta, well then, it must be goat siesta time as well. I've heard that mini donkeys are like potato chips - no one can have just one.
Oh no, don't tell me we're going to have to get another one to keep the goats from screaming that their "God" is in another pasture!
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Monday, August 29, 2011

He's Here!

Meet BK, that handsome redhead in the back. I'll bet you can sense a story coming about the name, and you're right! DH wants to name him Barack but I refuse to let him insult that poor donkey's intelligence. My daughter, granddaughter and I want to name him Kirby, after a favorite character in a movie. So his name is Barack Kirby, or BK because I refuse to call him Barack. Anyway, BK, aka Kirby, is a 5 month old miniature donkey, who will eventually be a pasture mate to the horse. Right now, he's hanging out with 3 goat kids and 2 Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs until he grows a little bigger. Making new friends is always fun.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pin The Name On The Donkey

DH has always wanted a mini donkey and I just found a baby, pictured in front, that doesn't cost an arm, leg, and 2nd mortgage. Most of the ones I've seen are as much or more than a full-sized horse! As a baby he'll get used to the LGDs as part of his herd and, hopefully, accept them when he's grown. After all, I don't want the donkey to stomp the dogs, or the goats, or the chickens! When he gets a little bigger he'll actually be pastured with the horse as a companion. We're looking for name suggestions. He'll look very much like his mama when he grows up. DH suggested Barack, but I don't want to insult the little guy's intelligence. (I apologize to my liberal friends, but I just couldn't resist.)
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Coming to a Farm Near You

The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed a rule to reclassify all farm equipment as commercial vehicles. This proposed change would mean that anyone operating any piece of motorized farm equipment would have to have a CDL (commercial driver's licence), with all the resultant schooling, expensive licensing and insurance, and record keeping that those who drive 18 wheelers have. It would also mean that farm workers, from the farmer's 14 yr old kid who helps with baling hay, to the elderly farmer who no longer drives on public roads, could no longer operate farm equipment, even on their own property. Now just to be fair, the DOT is holding public hearings on this matter until today, August 1. But in my experience this really means they're going to do what they want but want to give the impression that they're listening to input from affected parties. However, just last week, a DOT opinion piece closed with this statement:

"Everyone in this Administration - from President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary LaHood on down - is committed to the long-term success of America's agricultural industry. In many ways, agriculture is the backbone of our economy - feeding hundreds of millions of Americans and billions more around the world. As the largest user of freight transportation in the nation, the agricultural industry is also one of USDOT's most important constituents. We hope that this comment period is the start of a new and productive relationship. We may not ultimately agree on every issue, but we will always listen - and do our best to help America's farmers succeed."

If this is helping farmers to succeed I'd hate to see what damage they could do if they were actually TRYING to hurt us. It is up to not only every farmer, from those with backyard gardens to those who make it their livelihood, as well as everyone who eats, to oppose this. If you think this doesn't affect you because you don't own any farm equipment, wait till the increase in costs is reflected in the increase in prices at the grocery store. To make a comment to the DOT, visit Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket site. Or you can fax your comments to 1-202-493-2251. To read more about this proposed legislation see

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Missing Child

Law enforcement has asked that this photo be shared everywhere. Celina Cass, age 11, is missing from her home in W. Stewardstown, NH, since Monday, 7/25/11, at 9pm. She is described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing about 95 pounds, with hazel eyes and waste-length brown hair. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt, a pink pullover, blue shorts and shoes. If you have ANY information at all that you feel is relevant to her disappearance or whereabouts please contact New Hampshire State Police at 603-846-3333.

Post Script: 8/1/11 - After a massive search effort by local authorities, volunteers from various places and organizations, State police from several states, Fish and Game, Border Patrol, the FBI and the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, divers discovered Celina's body this morning in the Connecticut River about 1/2 mile north of her home. Please pray for comfort for the family, friends and community that are devastated by this horrible act, and that whoever is responsible is quickly brought to justice.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Birthday Bouquet

My birthday bouquet from my sweet hubby. He even remembered that I love yellow flowers. On the note card he said he's taking my out to my favorite restaurant Saturday night. YUM! BTW, just in case you're wondering why he told me that on the card rather than in person, it's because he's gone for work from Monday through Friday. He retires at the end of this year so we'll be able to talk face to face every day rather than over the phone and email.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Some Days Are Just Like That....

Not a great way to start the day. Just sayin'. 

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Sunday, July 17, 2011


In the grand scheme of things, the two things I'm thankful for this morning may seem trivial to the general populace. But you fellow homesteaders, as well as dog owners, will totally relate, I'm sure. 

The first thing I'm thankful for is dogs who convinced the skunk that was heading toward the meat chickens, to change direction. They further convinced the skunk that a late night chicken dinner wasn't in its best interest. This is not an open-all-night KFC drive-thru, or in this case, walk-thru. After all, that's why we have dogs - 2 Great Pyrenees livestock guardians, and 2 English Shepherds who provide backup as needed.

I can picture the whole episode - poor skunk is out for a late night stroll, meandering across the lower pasture, and smells chickens. Oh, yummy chickens. Live chickens. Juicy chickens. Young, tender, 4 week old chickens. And in it's vast experience it realizes that these chickens are concentrated in one area - a chicken pen! What luck. To have all those live, juicy, tender, young chickens in a cage, on the ground no less, just waiting for a beautiful skunk, such as itself, to pop open a corner of the chicken wire, slip inside, and have a captive audience so to speak. Then, out of nowhere these huge white beasts come crashing up to the fence, barking and snarling, bent on eating said skunk for their late night snack. And what's even worse, there are 2 rust colored beasts right behind them, obviously with the same vicious intentions. Now really, what's a poor defenseless skunk to do? These snarling, viscous beasts can, without a doubt, run faster than the skunk, are much larger, and definitely have bigger teeth. The poor skunk has no choice, turn and spray in the direction of the beasts. 

Which brings me to the second thing on my thankful list. A fence that kept the dogs away from the skunk while it was making that very wise decision to seek dinner elsewhere. The dogs obviously intercepted the skunk while it was still a suitable distance from the fence and weren't close enough to get sprayed. While my yard was very stinky for a while, it was definitely preferable to having to bathe 4 dogs in tomato juice. You might say that the skunk got skunked!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Farewell, Old Friend

"Every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." ~~Author Unknown~~
I've had a very busy life. Every since I was a pup I've had lots of work to do.
I've learned lots of lots of things to take care of my family.

There were children to keep warm.....
The whole yard to patrol.....

Friends to make......
Dinner to catch.....
Dinner to eat.....
Smiles to capture.....
Children to keep clean.

Under my watchful care children flourished, a family was kept safe, and a home was filled with my love.

Indy - (Gunmettle's Independence Day) 5/4/98-7/13/11.
You will be loved and remembered forever. Well done, faithful friend.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Taking Time

It's amazing how life gets away from you. One day melts into the next and before you know it time passes you by. Sometimes life passes in a headlong rush to no where. I've often heard the expression "Take time to smell the roses." I don't know about flowers, but I did notice this beautiful butterfly specimen just sitting on my work bench. He had died there with perfect wings spread open, a picture of beauty to remind me to take time to appreciate the small things in life.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Window Garden

A few months ago I decided to see what would grow in the winter months in my south facing windows. I also decided to try hydroponic gardening rather than take up room with soil containers. I completely automated the system since I was leaving for a week for vacation. The nutrient solution pumps in the top, drains out the bottom and is on a timer to come on for 15 minutes, 3 times a day. The growing medium is 4 parts perlite, 1 part peat. As you can see, I came home to a jungle! I'm really amazed at the growth from hydroponics using just natural light in the windows. I didn't take a picture of the strawberries but they're looking just as good and are starting to blossom. And I've been eating snow peas for weeks now.
Beet greens growing in a window box.
Buttercrunch lettuce in a 20 oz. plastic Dixie drink cup.
Summer Squash - note the blossom on the left. If you look closely you'll see loads of buds.
Cherry tomato in a 1 gallon bucket. Buds are starting to appear. 
Kale and Swiss Chard. The cabbage on the left looks like it just might form a head.
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