December 2008 Archives

Damn.  Some critter got to Satchmo today and manged to kill him.  Of course, he was a little rooster - smaller than a standard rooster, but quite a lot bigger than my banty roosters.  Satchmo had class.  He stood out from the crowd.  He decided that an old ladder was the perfect roosting place for chickens, even if it was outside of the coop, so we had to build a covered chicken run around the ladder to keep him safe.

Satchmo was quite the ladies man.  The Americauna chicks hung out with him all the time, and actually fought over who got to roost with him at night.

Satchmo would come running to me every time I ventured outside.  Of course, he was probably hoping that he would get a special tidbit - and he often did.  
Anyway, I will miss him very much. And the next time I get a fancy chicken breed, I guess I will need to keep them inside the covered run. Sigh.


RestStop, now our oldest kitty, has been losing weight like crazy.  To be honest, I didn't pay as much attention to him as I should have because Little Girl was so old and needed a lot of attention before she passed away to kitty cat heaven.  

So I took him to the vet yesterday- not the regular, fine for annual immunizations and boarding vet, but the vet that costs more money and has a ton more experience with critters.  Dr. Teeter said his heart was fine, there were no obvious growths or tumors, and that RestStops' breathe indicated that he did NOT have a kidney problem.  Good.  So he took a couple of vials of blood from Resty and called a courier to have the blood overnighted to a lab in Chicago.

That was expensive!  It's a special lab, they test for everything, apparently.  I just got off the phone with the vet, and they believe that RestStop is diabetic.  His blood glucose was at 320 - way over normal! But to make sure, they need to have that lab run one more test.  They also found signs of a low-grade infection, so I'm giving him antibiotics until Friday, when we will get the final verdict.

Chances are, John and I will be treating Resty's diabetes with insulin injections and trying to keep his diet whatever it needs to be.  RestStop is about 15 years old, and hopefully, he will live for quite a long while yet.  


 


They want to start posting.  After seeing what happened at Three Dog Blog, I better give them logins so they don't decide to just hack into the blog themselves!
I put up (love that term, put up!) 5 pints of fresh pears this morning.  Made Apple Butter a couple of days before Christmas, and it is good.

I am going to try to make some homemade fettucini today, and homemade egg noodles - seems like a good way to use up some of the eggs that my lovely hens lay for me!

I bought a pasta roller and fettucinni cutter attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer.  Very heavy, stainless steel, I read the instructions, but I probably need to check out you tube or something to actually see someone using the attachments.  Don't want to mess up the pasta!  Apparently, I can also use it to make lasagna noodles with! 

My good friend, Robin, makes her own ricotto cheese with her goats' milk.  Between us, we should be able to make almost entirely home made lasagna when her goats start giving milk in the spring.

I think I might make a loaf of chocolate bread, too.  I meant to do that before Christmas, but as usual, I ran out of speed before we had to leave to go visit John's family.

Kiki, the blab

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Gunner, the wonder dog!

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Found this picture, thought I’d post it.


He is our great farm dog. He loves nothing better than to chase coyotes away.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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ya know, the funniest thing happened last week. I ran into a friend of John’s, Mike, and his wife, Gloria. Gloria is a lovely woman, and we get along well. She is, however, rather high maintenance, and is really a city woman. She was laughing about how she could never live on a farm like I do, and that the next think you know, I’ll be sewing my own clothes. And this was a mildly derisive, teasing thought of hers (ya know, like a hillbilly or something).

I looked at her, beautiful, fashion plate, lovely Gloria, and told her, “I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas”.

She nearly died!

LOLcat Christmas

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funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

I may have mentioned that I had bought a bunch of fruit from the Pleasant Ridge HS Future Farmers of America.  It was delivered a few days ago, and I have been searching for just the right recipes to preserve the goodness of the pears and apples.

Thanks to my good friend, Robin, I learned how to can at her house a couple of months ago.  I bought a BALL Home Canning Basics Kit . It came with all the required parts, which made it much easier to get the stuff together to do this.

I found a recipe for Spiced Carmel Pear Jam. I didn’t want the spice to overpower, so I only used some cinnamon with just a wee bit of nutmeg rather than the clove, allspice and lots more cinnamon and nutmeg than the recipe called for.

I put the jam in pretty little fancy 1/2 1/2 pint Jelly Jar

I had more jam than I had jars prepared, so I added some brandy to what was left, heated it, and served it over some french vanilla ice cream. It would have been a lot better over my home-made ice cream (which is more of a custard, with wonderful eggs), but all I had handy was store bought.

I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying learning about preserving foods, gardening and cooking. Yeah, I’ve cooked forever, but I’m just now starting to appreciate cooking something that takes the whole day to cook instead of fast, fast, fast!

#haiku and Twitter

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I know I'm often a bad speller, and I sometimes end a sentence with a preposition. But dammit, I know what a Haiku is, and it drives me absolutely over the edge when I see the "haiku" that many twitterites write.

There are 17 syllables total in Haiku - and they must be divided, logically, into 3 lines - first line - 5 syllables, second line - 7 syllables, third line - 5 syllables. 

Any one of those lines should be a thought.  Doesn't have to be a sentence, but it should be able to stand on its own.

Ya can't just divy up any old sentence into 3 and  call it Haiku.  It ain't!

So there.

It does make me wonder about the state of education in this country, though - do they teach people what a syllable is anymore? 

I know they don't diagram sentences anymore, too boring for the kids, I've heard.

I hereby appoint myself the official Haiku Czarina.  I will be checking the internet for false claims of Haiku, and I will be reporting on them here!!

I am furious about the government's sudden desire to use our money to bailout every entity from Wall Street giants to the car makers to the local and state governments who have squandered our resources via the crazy infrastructure boondoggle that Obama wants. 

I'm watching State, County and City governments all reaching for "their" piece of the pie that responsible Americans have worked so hard for. 

For example, Kansas City, Missouri, has been ignoring the crumbling water mains in that entire city for years.  Rather than spend the money to update, the city spends money on stupid stuff like rehabing $20,000 houses by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on those houses, to keep the inner city happy. Or by building the "Sprint Center" for a basketball or hockey team that never appeared, and which has put Kansas City in the hole for millions and millions of dollars that have to be paid on the bonds for that building.

Now, the city is asking Obama for the billion  plus dollars to fix the water system - so we all get to pay for their doing the wrong thing.

I am not asking for a bailout.  Why do I have to pay for the bad decisions of government - we are rewarding horrible city councils that we can't elect by bailing Kansas City, Missouri out for their selfishness.

Gad.

I just got my copy of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog yesterday. My, it is the most beautiful seed catalog I have ever seen!

Baker Creek has all kinds of rare and heirloom seeds (I guess that is a big d'uh), and I bought seeds from them last year.  Now, last year, I failed miserable with much of my gardening plans, but this year, I'm going to be much more efficient and successful.  Of course, it's not hard to be successful when the only previous attemps at gardening have been FAILURE - LOL! I like to buy from this seed company because they are closer and in the same growing  zone that we are in.  

I really want to grow some beans for freezing and drying.  Last year, I had an epic fail when it came to beans.  I think I ended up with one bean pod all summer long.

I will be completely relocating my growing things.  Last year, my garden was quite a ways from the house, and it was very easy to kinda forget about weeding, etc.  

In the Spring - the garden is going in on part of the field to the West of the house.  Close enough that I can drag a garden hose over there for watering if needed, and close enough that I will be able to see from our bedroom window that I need to get my ass out there to weed!!

I better make my picks for my seeds and order fast, before the best stuff is all gone!!

Friday Farm Report

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Obviously, I'm not doing so well at this daily farm report idea, but I'm trying!

Today - cold and bitter outside.  Only collected 7 eggs, all the hens seem a bit grumpy,  I should have made them some hot oatmeal!

Horses needed a couple of round bales in the horse pasture, so I finally figured out how to jump start the tractor (diesel does not care for cold!) and I moved the bales into the pasture.

Only lost one horse this time.

Daisy decided to run out the gate as I drove in and seeing as I was alone, there was not a lot I could do about it.  She had a happy gallop up and down the road, then she realized all the other horses were munching down on a new bale, so she joined the herd.

Willy, my sweet old horse, was tired of hanging around with the group, so I let him out to wander around.  Last time I checked, he was happy in the hay field to the west of the house.  We probably could have gotten another cutting from that field, the hay is pretty high.  By tomorrow afternoon, he will be ready to hang with the herd again.

Satchmo is back out with the flock.  He was really tired of being in the garage, even with Darling in there with him.  So I'll keep a eye on him and make sure he is safe each evening.  I don't think he is going to mess around with Buffy for awhile!

I bought a Ball water bath canning set.  Now, I am searching the web seaching for a recipe worthy of this beautiful fruit I got from the FFA!  

I think maybe applesauce or apple butter - not sure what to do with the pears.

I've also been thinking about where I should be putting stuff - like my kiln and wheel.  Originally, I thought that the barn would be good.  Only the barn is not heated, and putting in a space heater will be really expensive.  So, I have the garage, which is heated, or the part of the basement not being used by John's collection.

I'm leaning toward the garage - no stairs and closer to water and the bathroom!!

Right now, I'm cooking a chicken casserole with rotel tomatoes and tortillas and mushrooms and cheese. 

Need to go check on that now, really!!

You will find that I wrote an About page. 

If you have comments on it - leave them here, please.


You Better Watch Out!

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funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

My favorite little rooster, Satchmo, had a close call today yesterday.  Seemed he was stealiing some of Buffy's food.  That is a vey bad thing. Buffy roughed him up a bit and left him in the snow in the pasture.  I walked out to the pasture to feed Buffy, and I saw a black feathered chicken in the snow.

Damn.  I was afraid it was a dead chicken.

There was some movement of black feathers in the snow.  Buffy bounded over to bark at the bird.  I screamed at Buffy.  Buffy does not listen much.  It's her job - she decides what is dangerous to the goats.  Unfortunately, she is also a puppy, so she does not quite get the idea that chickens are her friends, even if they snitch some of her puppy chow.  She doesn't try to kill them, but until she is more mature, I'm a bit concerned, and I'm trying to keep all the chickens well away from the goat area.  Only the damn chickens love the goats.  Oh well. 

Back to my long-delayed story - I realized that the black feathers in the snow were Satchmo. 


I managed to get to him before Buffy decided to play fetch with him again, and poor Satchmo was soaking wet, cold and shivering.

I rushed (well, as fast as an overweight, 55 year old with arthritis in her knees can rush- LOL) him into the house. Yelled at poor John, who had just arrived home, to get some towels, and I filled the kitchen sink with very warm (but not hot!) water and plunked Satchmo into it.

I was able to wash off his feathers - a little blood from blood feathers that had been plucked from his head by rude big roosters, and a lot of mud and ice. Poor little guy was shivering. I wrapped him up in towels and held him close until he started to be a bit more responsive.

John set up one of those radiant space heaters in the garage, and we put Satchmo in a cage with lots of food and water. He ate a lot, then went to sleep.

So, today, I hope to build a larger cage for him - hopefully about 4x4x4 and I'll put hardware wire and chicken wire around it all, hopefully wheels on the bottom, and some nice roosts for him. He ended up living in the garage last winter, because all the other roosters picked on him, but this time, he is NOT getting the run of the garage - what a mess to clean up!

I think I'll put Darling, my little Seabright hen, in with him so he can have company.

I'll get pictures later.

Keep warm every one!

For many years, we have spent a lot of money on friends and relatives for Christmas gifts.  I know for a fact that some rather pricy gifts were never used, and that's okay.  Those were years when I was working and bringing in the "big bucks" and had no time at all for a thoughtful gift that came from our hearts.

So, this year, I'm baking and probably canning gifts for people.  I have made some nice bowls and such (they are all hopefully being fired as I write this), and I've made a couple of baskets.  I hope to fill these things with Christmas Cookies, breads, home-made egg noodles, and perhaps some apple butter or pear butter.  

The local Future Farmers of America came around selling fresh apples and pears as a fund raiser.  My fruit was just delivered by two of Rodney's kids.  (Rodney is my go-to farmer.  He cuts my hay and bales it for me.  If I have a question, he always helps, and his 8 children and his wife are just wonderful people).  So now, I really have to figure out what to make.

Robin gave me a great recipe for parmesan/garlic breadsticks, I'm trying that out right now.  Robin has also helped me to make some baskets. 

I need to make Whiskey Balls (a rather yummy no-bake cookie/candy laced with bourbon and cocoa), Spritz cookies, Almond cut out cookies, Key Lime cookies and pecan puffs.  

The weather is really cold and nasty, so I'm sure that I can get all this baking done and baked goods put away in the freezer.

Robin also taught me how to can fruit, I think I'll try either a hot cinnamon applesauce or apple butter in the pretty little decorative jars.  

I dunno. What do you think?  I figure if nothing else, if they hate it, at least the wild birds will get a treat LOL!
 

And I thought I'd check to see what's up at National Review Online.  Jay Nordlinger" impromptus today is good.  John and I had the pleasure of dining with Jay on the NR Post-Election Cruise, and he is a very intelligent, very nice man.  I think he is my favorite National Review Person (but don't tell Jonah Goldberg, he comes in second!).

I try to read Jay's column every day.  It is well worth it.  Do it.



Since the temp dropped from 56 degrees to 18 degrees on Sunday, it has continued to drop.  It's about 5 degrees and snowing this morning.

I have been fixing the chickens special hot breakfasts using oatmeal and whatever veggies are getting old each morning.  They love it.  I have been hauling water out to the two chicken dwellings of Argghhh! a few times a day, as I'm a little paranoid of those water heaters.

The goats and Buffy have a water bucket that is heated - but there is no element actually sitting in the water, so I feel much better about that.

The horses, well, I need to go out to the pond, or perhaps John can go out there and break the ice.  John likes to shoot holes in the ice, but I usually take a shovel or an axe and hit the ice until I can break it.  

Actually, I need to get Major and his brother, Andrew out here to do that ice breaking, seeing as I'm letting them keep 7 horses here for free.  Hmmm.  I am way too easy on those two!  OMG, they owe me a lot of work in exchange for free pasture!

When it is this cold, eggs will freeze if there is no hen sitting on them, so I have been checking every couple of hours for eggs. 

John and I have also decided that I need to build a large cage for Satchmo and the chick of his choice .  he is being hen pecked by the big chickens and roosters, and he looks awful - they are pulling out his blood feathers on his head, so I guess he will live in the garage this winter again - only this time, he WILL NOT GET THE RUN OF THE GARAGE!  What a mess to keep clean!  So, today, I'll start building and hopefully have something for him by the end of the day.  I'm thinking that I'll put my tiny little Seabright, Darling, in with him, as well as Puffball - Puffball is recovering from being nipped by Buffy.  I can't blame Buffy, Puffball was stealing her dogfood!

Damn, chickens will eat ANYTHING!!!!

Eggs Eggs Eggs

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What does organic mean? Organic means that chickens are raised without any antibiotics whatsoever on feed that was grown without any pesticides or non-organic fertilizer. It really has little to do with the treatment of the chickens, though the regs are changing somewhat.

There is an USDA Certified Organic label that can be used by farms that have paid the big bucks and waited 3 years to be certified "Organic" by the USDA. They figure it takes 3 years for any non-organic residue from previous use of pesticides to be leached out of the land. Last time I checked, earning that "Certified Organic" label cost from $400 to 1,000 a year.

Because I have such a very small business, I am exempt from going thru the certification process. The regs allow those of us who sell less than $5,000 a year of organic products to use the organic term. A good story about how all that works is here: http://www.allbusiness.com/food-beverage/food-beverage-regulation-policy/10063180-1.html.

Anyway, the only time I can say my eggs are totally organic would be in the summertime, when the birds fend for their own on the farm every day - they eat seeds, grasses, bugs, even frogs, toads, snakes (apparently a great delicacy among the chicken folk). I don't have to supplement them unless it looks like they are not getting enough - then I give them "Natural" scratch grains from Purina - which means it is all grain and fruit, no animal by-products. A lot of feeds have things like feathers ground up in them, and other lovely things. Not that there is anything wrong with feathers - they help to make a great compost, but as food, eh, I don't know.

This time of year, my birds still eat grass on the ground, hay from my own hayfields, and the Purina Natural scratch grains. They also get leftovers! They love leftover veggies, casseroles - just about anything, but I never feed them leftover chicken casserole!!! You can, but to me, that's just not right!

Some use the the term "all natural" for their chickens and/or eggs - that only means that they are on a vegetarian diet. Only chickens are NOT vegetarians, they are omniverous, like humans. I find that the more insects, worms, snakes, frogs, etc., that my chickens find, the more wonderful their eggs are.



Probably not on this blog, but on my old one, I'm sure I must have mentioned it.  I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to get Vista to allow me to update Windows - Microsoft, in all its "wisdom" does not allow you to download updates and then install them.  No, oh, no.  Heaven forbid someone with a pirated copy keep that copy up to date.  Meanwhile, at least thousands of people (from the description of this problem on many, many techie websites), with bonafide, licensed copies of Vista (the most awful OS ever - give me DOS 5.9) cannot protect our computers from all the damn security issues that Microsoft so wisely left in their programs.  

It is like a Catch 22.  I can't update windows, so I go to the Microsoft website, type in the error # 80080005 and there is no friecking information on that error, and to use Windows Update to correct it - ARGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.  So I start looking in the forums on Microsoft and other places, and I see all kinds of people trying desperately to correct the problem.  And no one has an answer.  NO. ONE.

Blech.  So, I am going to have to copy all my files to my external drives, and try to find all the numbers and codes I need to reinstall Vista - the software that Dell gave me for reinstallation does not appear to have a freaking repair option.  And I'm going to lose a ton of stuff, I'm sure of it. 

I have been struggling with this for a year now.  

I really hate VISTA!!

It is the time of year when people are baking - pies, breads, cakes and COOKIES!!!  Eggs are a vital ingredient for these great recipes.

I am selling fresh eggs for $4 a dozen.  And I mean fresh.  I collect eggs 3 times a day, and they are immediately placed safely in a recycled paper egg carton.  The Hens of Argghhh, have the run of the nearly 80 acre fram, and are not given any hormones or antibiotics.  These are pure, beautiful, yummy eggs.  

Did you know that most eggs you buy in the store are at least 3 to 4 weeks old?  Did you know that they come from factory egg farms, where the chickens never get to see the light of day are are feather to feather, forced to lay until their short life is over?

Shouldn't you consider paying a bit more for lovely eggs from local, happy hens?  My hens have names.  They know me.  They run to me when they see me because they know I'm there to protect them, feed them and make thier lives as happy as a chicken's life can be!

Make your baked goods the best they can be with fresh eggs from the Farm at Castle Argghhh!!!!

If you are interested, leave a comment, and I'll get with you asap.



I know, this is an old story, but a friend sent it to me this morning, and I just want to share it. 

Baby's Hug
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.


I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.


We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.


My husband and I exchanged looks,
'What do we do?'


Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'


Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'


Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.


My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.


We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.


I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'


Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.


He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'


I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'


I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'


If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.


This one is a keeper.


'It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are......'



Well, I am learning that fresh, wonderful eggs from happy free range chickens are not going to pay the bills.  We are almost at the point where it will pay the chickens' feed bills (LOL) and I'll still have plenty of eggs remaining for cooking, but I'm not going to be on the Forbes 500 anytime soon.

So, my friend, Robin, also a farmer of chickens, goats and vegetables, only with 4 children, 3 of them homeschooled, and I (ok, that was a run-on clause) are going to be selling our handcrafted baskets at the Farmer's Market come springtime, as well as my pottery and anything else we can figure out!!

Robin and I spent hours on Saturday, remembering how to build baskets - it's been awhile for both of us! - and we had a great time, but did not finish our baskets.  I think once we reacquaint our fingers and hands with the steps required to make baskets, we will be a lot faster, and once we have some nice baskets, we can talk to the Carnegie Art Center in Leavenworth about maybe teaching some basket weaving classes - and if we get enough students, we can each probably make maybe 60 or 70 dollars a week more than we do now - which is like nothing - LOL!!!

Also, Robin can make very quick quilts - if I get the sewing/embroidery machine from John for Christmas, we can make many quilty things to sell - I'm thinking maybe ETSY.com, or maybe EBAY.  Or maybe just on a page here on my blog.

And, KCSteve, please note - I will be using one of my baskets to collect eggs with so I will no longer drop the eggs!

I attended a wonderful conference at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics last Thursday.  I really love the Dole Institute, because people from the entire range of the political spectrum appear there at the same time without evil and rancor.

This particular event was a post-election summary with campaign managers and strategists for the major candidates in the primaries and then Obama and McCain in the General Election.  It was fascinating. 
I suggest that anyone with an interest in politics and how campaigns are run check out the
videos of the conference.

I have to thank the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics for inviting John and I to attend so many of their programs.  Bill Lacy, Jonathon Earle, Lawrence Bush, Alison Carter and the other wonderful people who keep this institute going are just the smartest, nicest people ever.  

If you ever have the opportunity to come to this area and there is something going on at the Dole, it is so worth making the trip! 


Wedensday Farm Report

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Buffy has a been a pain today.  There is one little bantam hen, Puffball, who steals Buffy’s food.  Buffy is rather tired of this, and is chasing Puffball everywhere she can.  I am so afraid she will end up accidentally killing a chicken or guinea.  She seems to think she can play with them like she does Gunner, Kiki or DC, or humongous barn cat!

Well - today, chickens - 15 eggs.  Guineas - 1 egg.  Ducks - 0.

Unfortunately, I collected the eggs without a basket to put them in, and I ended up dropping two.  Not the chickens’ fault!!

I went to Tractor Supply and bough one of these; for the goats and Buffy.

I should have checked Amazon first - they are cheaper there!!

Late Tuesday Farm Report

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Yesterday was kinda busy.  Chickens produced 14 eggs.  All other animals are alive and well.

My good friend Robin took me out to lunch at The Ten Penny in Leavenworth yesterday.  I had their fried oysters.  Gosh, darn, I love, love fried oysters!!!!

They we went over to the old Castle, which still has many, many items remaining in it.  I mean many!  Robin helped me to get through one work bench full of tools and stuff.  We separated the good stuff from the bad, and brought a fair amount back to the current Castle Argghhh!  

I also brought over at least 30 plastic model kits still in their boxes.  John needs to decide if he wants to keep all of them, or perhaps we can thin the ranks of the model kits ( I once counted nearly 300 different kits that John has not had time to build.)

I have been reading about other breeders of Angora Goats - and with the price of feed so high these days, many of them are decreasing their herds and not breeding this season.  Most of those folks do not have their own hay fields, like we do, so we are very lucky.  We don't have anywhere near the costs that other breeders have.  Well, I'm not sure we are a breeder yet!  I only have one doe that is likely breed. 

The plus side for me, though, is perhaps there will be less mohair on the market a year from now, and it will be more valuable.  Also, I plan on increasing our heard.  We have a lot of room here, and can easily handle 20 goats in the current pasture alone.  If I can earn some money, I'll put it into fencing and then I'll turn one of the old outbuildings into another goat barn and pasture, and I'll separate the bucks from the does.  

I am still looking for someone who spins who could test out some of the fleece from my angora goats.  Also, I'd like to find a dollmaker who would like to try out some of the mohair locks.  Please leave a comment if interested.

The idiot hens that refuse to leave the barn have created a toxic dump in a water bucket.  Honestly.  It stinks like rotten eggs.  Why?  Because at some point, a chicken thought it was a good idea to sit in the dry water bucket (hung at horse level, but not used because the horses have been in the pasture for months) and lay eggs, and then NOT TELL ME!!!

I went in a stall to get the water bucket (You can never have too many buckets on a farm!), to fill it with water that I could haul out to the chicken house and chicken coop.  As I approached the bucket, I was nearly overcome with the odor of what I thought must be propane gas!  You know, they add the smell of rotten eggs to it so that you know if you have a leak!

I was getting kinda concerned, but I looked down into the bucket, and there were about 40 smelly, frozen, rotten eggs in it.  

Now I know why I can't make any money on the dumb buggers!  Heck, I only want to break even!

So I gingerly carried the bucket of nasty stuff to the trash bin in the barn and threw the nasty frozen eggs in there.  I went about my business taking care of critters, then I went back into the barn and again, was nearly knocked over by the stench!  So, I put a lid on the trash bin.  And as it gets warmer today, I'll likely take the trash bin outside and put the contents into a barrel we use to burn trash with and burn it.

Odious, odorous chickens!

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy  and paste into a new post..Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? People wrap gifts?

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, but the cats still climb it!

3. When do you put up the tree? A week or two before Christmas

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the weekend after New Year’s.

5. Do you like eggnog? Eggnog. Yummmmm. And Christmas cookies.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I was spoiled. I can't think of a gift that was better than any of the gifts I received as a child. My parents would go to New York once a year for Dad's work, and Mom would go and spend days shopping at FAO Schwartz. My sister and I got the neatest gifts ever.
Everything from a really cool chemistry set (they don't sell them like that anymore!) to Steiff stuffed animals (oh, how I wish we had kept them in pristine shape instead of playing with them, I'd be rich! But, raggedy old stuffed animals, even Steiff, don't last forever.) Oh, and Blitzen, our dog, got him for Christmas!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband. He already has everything!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Our son, Andy and his fiancee' , Ashes. I lurves them!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, Several. I hope that I can find the best one in the basement of the old house somewhere, I have not seen it for a few years. I love nativity scenes!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither, however, I think I'm going to take a couple of my wintery photos and make them into Christmas cards and send them. Maybe. If I get around to it!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? No Comment. Some people should just give money. Shopping is not for everyone.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Miracle on 42nd Street (is that the right street?)


13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When I see something interesting. Usually on December 23rd

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? You can recycle Christmas Presents?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Bourbon Balls

16. Lights on the tree? Yes. Definitely yes.

17. Favorite Christmas song? LIttle Town of Bethlehem

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I would always rather be at home. But that seldom happens. SIgh.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yup.

20. Angel on the tree top or star? I think currently it is a star. But it has changed thru the years. I have to get the ornament box out.

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning with husband and his family. Whenever we can get with Andy and Ashes to open theirs.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People seem to think that you have to do everything, go to every party, buy gifts for everyone. Too many people in too big a hurry. I hate to shop anytime of the year, but right before Christmas it is horrible!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Lots of colored ornaments of all types. Especially the pretty old-fashioned glass ones. I love Santas. Used to have a collection.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? If I had Christmas, I would cook a lovely big rib roast, Yorkshire Pudding, a potato casserole that my Mom always made that was wondrous. Cloverleaf rolls, little cinnamon rolls. Spinach casserole. Green beans. Cookies for dessert with cold, cold milk.


25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Peace and quiet. Energy. Yeah, and a sewing machine, since I'm going to be a grandmother.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I don't know.

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? John!



Monday Farm Report

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V ery cold today.  I think we made it up to 31 degrees.  Right now, it is 22 degrees farenheit.  Cold.  

Today, I collected 14 chicken eggs and one guinea egg.  I wonder if the cold is lowering their desire to lay eggs?  Our weather is so crazy!  Tomorrow, it is supposed to be in the fifties. And then snow on Wedensday.

I bartered 6 dozen eggs for 50 pounds of double grain for the goats.  I tried some pelleted feed for them, and they really don't like it.  Not only that, but the chickens don't even want to eat it!  That's seriously bad, because chickens will eat just about anything!!

Had my pottery class this evening.  I glazed several pots and underglazed some and trimmed some.  I have to get some help getting my kiln from the old house to the new so I can start working on pottery outside of class!

I am tired.  It's time to get ready for bed.  I'll be up by 4:30 or 5 am.  Better try to get some beauty sleep, before it is too late!!

As you know, I have 5 Angora Goats.  3 white and 2 colored.  I am very new at this fiber stuff, but I want to be able to market it.

So, I would like to give two or three spinners a sample of my goats' mohair.  A rolag and some locks, and I would like you to let me know what you think of the quality, please.

This is mohair from their very first shearing, so it is not as long as normal.

Any takers?

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

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