Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attack of the killer chicken!

One would think that chickens are a fairly inocuous creature. Alas, not so, as you can see by the bite mark on my hand. Yes, that's what a chicken bite mark looks like. Aside from feeling pretty silly in relating this story, here goes.

My chicken coop has the nest boxes extending from the back. It's made so they fit into an opening in the barn wall to be able to retrieve eggs from the comfort of the barn. No more going out in blustery weather to collect eggs. There's also a small door through which I place food and water. Ingenuous idea if I do say so myself.

Oh yes, back to the bite. The back of the nest boxes has a hinged door to close them off so the chickens can't get into the barn from their coop. When I open the nest box door any chickens roosting in the nests are usually facing away from me with their heads pointing toward the open area of the coop. It's a simple matter of reaching under the chicken from behind and taking the egg.

This morning one was facing toward the back of the door which means she was facing me when I opened the door. Without thinking I reached for the egg which was under her beak. Now I'm sure you know where I'm heading with this so I won't need to embarrass myself further by going into detail. I won the ensueing battle but not without receiving the battle scars to prove it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Goat Rock"

We recently added a young full-blood Boer buck to our goat herd. His name - Cassonova, of course! The farm where we bought him has a fantastic rock ledge and we took this picture of "goat rock". The rock continues to the right out of the camera range. Every nook and cranny had a goat in it just soaking up the rays. Makes me wish I was a goat!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are.

Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 AM but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it's not so bad, there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. This will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing.

I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk's head and don't move, and it ain't shooting back at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable like and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got at this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6' and 130 pounds and he's 6'8' and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Funnies

Why they didn't make it to the Olympics!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rainbow Bridge

"What we call 'death' is the operation of life." --Brigham Young

I once heard a story told that in a beautiful blue lagoon on a clear day, a fine sailing ship spreads its brilliant white canvas in a fresh morning breeze and sails out to the open sea. We watch her glide away magnificently through the deep blue and gradually see her grow smaller and smaller as she nears the horizon. Finally, where the sea and sky meet, she slips silently from sight; and someone near me says, "There, she is gone!"

Gone where? Gone from sight - that is all. She is still as large in mast and hull and sail, still just as able to bear her load. And we can be sure that, just as we say, "There, she is gone!" on another shore someone says, "There, she comes!"

I believe that when we die we will be reunited with people we love on the other side. And I certainly hope that animals we love are also there waiting for us. Here's to all those wonderful pets that have brought us so much joy who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Farm life has a certain rhythm. Daily chores to do, goals to accomplish, animals to feed, family to care for. It seems the list is never ending. Included in this rhythm is the very basis of life itself - birth of babies and older animals who die. I can remember this same rhythm from the time I was a child on my grandmother's farm. It seems no one had to ever explain the "birds and the bees" to me, they just seemed a part of life. Just like birth and death were a part of life. We tend to think of birth as a good thing and death as a bad thing. But I've learned they are both part of life. As sad as death makes us it's not always a bad thing.

One of our first ewes, Isabelle, who has been with us for a while, died. All of our animals are pets and she was one of my favorite ewes. Her last lamb was Lambchops who was born this past February. Isabelle had a way of looking straight into your eyes and seeing into your innermost thoughts. She will be greatly missed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And Now, H-e-e-e-re's Roxy!

Roxy, our 3 month old English Shepherd pup, had her vet appointment today and all was well. She stole everyone's heart. We weren't there more than a few minutes when she began to take charge. Being a normal vet's office there were various animals in crates and on their owner's laps or sitting on the floor next to their owners. A mini fox terrier who was on her mom's lap decided to jump to the floor. Roxy barked at it and it immediately jumped back to the safety of mom's lap. I suppose this reinforced what came next. Every time a dog jumped down or moved more than a few inches away from it's owner Roxy would bark at it until it returned to the place it started out. She even tried to make a human return a cat cage to where she thought it should be. I finally held her muzzle in my hand for a few seconds and told her "enough". To my amazement she stopped her organizational OCD and just sat there watching everyone's comings and goings for the rest of the time!