Thursday, May 7, 2009


My ever present companions. I have few pictures of them. They are usually so close underfoot it is hard to get a picture.Or they are running so fast all you get is a blur.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thunder Chickens

When we first bought the farm 6 years ago, my husband brought home 2 puppies.Were they cute! They are litter mates,brother and sister. We named them Molly and Manney. They are cattle dogs,Blue Heelers . I had little experience with large dogs, much less cattle dogs.All my dogs were small indoor dogs ,including Mindy a Jack Russell Terror/ier whom we still have. I got to work and did my research, which was not encouraging."Slow Maturing ,aggressive,energetic,hard to work with" YIKES! He had brought home the "Franken dogs".How could such sweet faces be so terrible? Then we found out the guy gave them away because they were inbred, that's another story.

The first year I came to know what was meant by "energetic and hard to work with". These dogs love to run. When we would go to the cow pasture for a walk they would chase each other and their faces would light up as they ran full speed (they have been clocked at 30mph) .Tongue flapping,drooling,tail flying ecstasy.Oh the joy, and then Manny would plow Molly under at full speed. They did listen when I called them to come, and took joy in going into their crate at night, anything to please me.The energy is why they are hard to work with.They loved to run straight at me.Getting plowed down by two 40 pound fur balls at 30mph is no fun.I had my feet knocked out from under me too many times. I kept waiting for them to grow out of the playful puppy stage.(here is where the slow to mature part comes in)They finally slowed down a bit at 4 years old.They did quit knocking me over when I started carrying a big stick for them to run into.I have yet to see them be aggressive towards a human, but kitty cats watch out!

I also found out they are very loyal ,loving dogs ,but not in the lick your face ,rub my belly,pandering sort of way. They have bonded with me, but they are not part of my family , I am a part of their pack. They like to be close at all times, touching me if possible,if not touching, they place themselves between me and the world. If I walk they are on my heels .If I am in the house they are outside the room I am in.I can look out a window and they are there.Go figure? They like their ears rubbed and will thank you by gnawing on you the same way they gnaw fleas.They don't mind to chase a stick but driving herds is what they love. They beg for the opportunity to put the horses up.They sneak and do it sometimes when they shouldn't.
The biggest problem is they think they should drive everything away from me. If you work with that its okay, but if you are trying to catch the horses ,you had better remember to put the dogs up.

They are 6 years old now and still love to run ,in small spurts, mostly they just lay near me. They are not protective ,but highly suspicious of strangers,and look protective. I wouldn't test it. Molly bit me one day trying to "help",( and I use that term loosely) ,me put a goats head back through the fence. They have jaws like vice grips. I wouldn't want one to bite me intending to do harm.They love all children. In fact that is the only time you will see them lick and wag their tails.
They are independent,burly, fierce looking dogs, until Tim yells at them, or worse yet it thunders.You know an hour before a storm gets here because they will hide up under me.They will knock you over to get behind me.Molly ,bless her soul, has even tried to jump her 60lb butt into my arms.That is why we call them "Thunder Chickens".

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Confessions of an Egocentric Schizophrenic

All of my life I have been caught in between 2 different worlds. My mother was raised in rural Wyoming on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. My dad was the son of a well to do Lumber Baron in Wisconsin. My dad always wanted a son, but he got 2 girls instead . My sister and I were raised in the South with parents not from the South. All of you southerners know what this means. I was a tomboy ,but not good at sports ,I liked boys,but was not attractive ,I liked girl stuff ,makeup,clothes,going to the mall, but I could never quite be giggly and cute.I could go on ,but you get the picture. I never quite fit in anywhere.

When I was young my grandmother would try to get me to sit still and act like a lady,be polite, and wear a dress. Now how can you stand on your head in a dress and be polite and lady like ?? I was sent to ballet to learn grace and restraint. I found a note after my mom died that was written by my ballet instructor.She said I needed to learn to control my exuberance and have better concentration.I probably would have been medicated in school today.I had a poem written about me that was basically about a square peg in a round hole. At that age though I was not concerned about acceptance.

We moved to an Upper Middle Class neighborhood when I was a teenager. I struggled here as well. I enjoyed my girl friends, we went skating and to the mall ,but I liked to fish ,hike in the woods ,and climb trees as well. I tried to fit in but I was tall and lanky and not very girlish. I tried sports but coordination was not my strong point. I did well in swimming but quit when a friend told me it would make my shoulders big.I just couldn't find my niche.I did well in school but not excellent (that goes back to my problem concentrating).

I still struggle. My upbringing was you were nobody if you weren't somebody. "Somebody" being measured by what you had. A nice house in a good neighborhood,nice cars,good clothes(name brand),etc. I communicate and socialize with these people , all in all , I feel more comfortable with them. I also socialize with and belong to the "nobodies". Which is basically everyone else in the world.

My "nobody" half is the happiest. I enjoy being outside and digging in the dirt. I don't mind living in the tiny trailer with a leaky roof as long as I can get outside.I love my animals and my countrified husband.I like being able to do for myself. I like drinking beer with my friends..Then my "somebody" side asserts itself and I feel ashamed of my living conditions. My high school friends would be appalled at living in a trailer (My sister is). I should go further in debt and have a nice house,white collar husband, drink wine and lay by the pool. Either life I would be missing the other.

Hope I didn't offend with the "Nobody" label but since I am egocentric it really doesn't matter since its all about me anyway.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rain and Planting

We managed to finally get the corn in the ground along with the melons and winter squash.I helped my granddaughter learn the step 5 (she has short legs) drop three method of planting the melons and squash.She did a good job, talking non-stop while she planted.We are going to plant the tomato plants and pepper plants today.We need to come up with some sort of trellis system for the tomato plants.We bought them at Lowe's. YIKES! Expensive. I will be starting my own next year!Then it will be weeding and watering.

We had a nice rain last night to water in the new seeds. It should really make the seedlings that are up jump out. It looks like the grass grew an inch overnight. Probably the weeds too.

We finally got a check yesterday. Yahoo! I can pay the bills and then try to budget for a month. I still am not really good at that. I ,unfortunately ,am not very list oriented. I make lists and then never pick them up again . I am a seat of the pants kind of gal. This doesn't work well when trying to budget money for feed,food,fuel,and supplies for a month. We came up about a week short last month.I need to come up with a system but it is hard. The checks are never the same from flock to flock, or month to month, and there is no predicting how well or bad the chickens will do.Any suggestions?? Most of the expenses are fixed ,except the power bill which depends on the weather. I think they should teach budgeting in school. The only thing I learned about money growing up was how to con my daddy out of it.I was pretty good at that.Then of course I was good at spending it too.