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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The mothering instinct

Sasha and the chicks
I was recently talking farm animals with someone looking to get a goat or two.  As the conversation progressed, we touched on birds.  Tom told me about his dog, Sasha, who was present when some chicks started hatching.  She was so excited, that she had to be there for every one of them.  The result, of course, is that they imprinted on her.  The color match between dog and chicks is wonderful.  No wonder they called her "Mommy"!

The conversation reminded me of a terrier/shepherd cross I had many years ago. Jody wanted to mother everything that came along.  My son's hamster disappeared one day and we searched everywhere for it.  Finally, we just followed the dog--there is was, soaking wet from her washing it.  

We took in a stray cat and her kittens sometime after that.  After trying in vain to keep Jody away, I finally had to put a barrier to keep her from the kittens.  The decision wasn't made lightly; she loved those kittens, but when I heard her growling menacingly. Jody was curled up with them, threatening the mother cat, who was meowing loudly, pacing and wanting to feed her litter.  

The funniest mothering incident, though, was when Shawn got a  Saanen kid for a 4H project.  Jody following that kid around, trying to lick and comfort her.  Melanie, though, was having none of it.  After a few aborted attempts, Melanie promptly butted her in no uncertain terms.  Poor Jody!  I can see her face still!  The expression was so dumbfounded, so sad!

Dogs with a mothering instinct are gems, no doubt about it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Bible according to children

Received from a friend today, I doubt that a nun ever saw any of these papers, but they must have come from somewhere, and they're pretty funny.  They remind me of the old Art Linkletter show, Kids Say the Darndest Things.  I suspect that these are real answers by real children and collected by an unknown soul who just had to share them.

A Nun Grading Papers

Can you imagine the nun sitting at her desk grading these papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure!

Pay special attention to the wording and spelling. If you know the bible even a little, you'll find this hilarious! It comes from a catholic elementary school test.
Kids were asked questions about the old and new testaments. The following 25 statements about the bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected. Incorrect spelling has been left in.

1. In the first book of the bible, guinessis. God got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off.
2. Adam and eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was joan of ark. Noah built and ark and the animals came on in pears.
3. Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.
4. The jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic genitals.
5. Sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a jezebel like delilah.

6. Samson slayed the philistines with the axe of the apostles.

7. Moses led the jews to the red sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients
8. The egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, moses went up to mount cyanide to get the ten commandments.
9. The first commandments was when eve told adam to eat the apple.
10. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.
11. Moses died before he ever reached canada then joshua led the hebrews in the battle of geritol.
12. The greatest miricle in the bible is when joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
13. David was a hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. He fought the finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.
14. Solomon, one of davids sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
15. When mary heard she was the mother of jesus, she sang the magna carta.
16. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived they found jesus in the manager.
17. Jesus was born because mary had an immaculate contraption.
18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.
19. Jesus enunciated the golden rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained a man doth not live by sweat alone.
20. It was a miricle when jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.
21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.

22. The epistels were the wives of the apostles.
23. One of the oppossums was st. Matthew who was also a taximan.
24. St. Paul cavorted to christianity, he preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marraige.
25. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony

Monday, December 19, 2011

Life--a poem

I came across this poem by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse, and had to share it.  Lots of food for thought.

My Wage
I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.


I've been watching the whole "occupy" thing with some bemusement.  The Occupy movement has been the darling of Main Stream Media, the same MSM that vilified the Tea Party protests.  However, I didn't see the violence and lack of respect for property with the Tea Party protesters that I've seen with the Occupy protesters.  Certainly I never heard of any Tea Partiers relieving themselves in public as the now-famous photo of the protester defecating on a police car in Manhattan, nor have I heard of Tea Partiers leaving trash everywhere.

Do the Occupiers have some legitimate complaints?  You bet they do!  However, I believe the Occupy movement has been totally infiltrated by left wing socialist types, just as Whittaker Chambers outlined in Witness.  And by the way, I think Witness should be required reading for anyone interested in how the tenor of the country has changed in the last 80 years. The spotlight should not be on corporate dominance or Wall Street, but on government intervention in business and the economy. Without government's meddling, corporations would not even exist, since they are a creation of government (government charter). Without government's abdication of its right and duty to coin sound money, bankers could not transfer real wealth into their coffers by debasing the currency. Without government winks and nods, genetically modified products could not exist, for patents on life would not have been awarded and the marketplace would have quickly disposed of the products.  Without government subsidies and programs dating from the 1930's, which set out to diminish the number of farms in operation and bring agriculture under government control, Agribusiness could not and would not exist.

The Occupy movement does not have my support, and shouldn't have yours either, for it takes the focus off the federal government, the perpetrator of the atrocities, and puts it on the beneficiaries. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Some thngs just shouldn't be done...

...And one of them, I'm convinced, is transporting goats in cold weather.  Violet had a bit of a cough when she arrived, but nothing major.  Next night it was awful: racking, croupy, wet.  Aconitum 1M, then Herbiotic herbal remedy several times last night and again several times today.  She was improved today, cough still awful when it occurred, but not the racking cough that she had last night. 

I let her outside for about an hour or two late this afternoon, after locking up my other goats, who very much protested since they know there's another goat here and they want to meet her.  No fair!  How could I do that to them!

Violet stayed close to the barn, checking things out, following me around as I cleaned, filled hay racks, and water buckets.  I brought her in some fir boughs, but she wasn't interested in them--and even ignores apples and grain.  What kind of goat is this?  She did try out carrots and thought they were tasty, but only as long as I hand fed her.  The pieces I put in the feeder are still sitting there, waiting for her attention.  

Tonight when I went out for final check, she coughed several times in succession, but this time a dry cough.  So it appears she is better in the morning and worse at night.  I gave her a different homeopathic remedy.  It's a pretty cold night out there, and I found my head shaking as I marveled at the Father's incredible engineering that allows animals to stay warm in weather that sends me rushing to the warm house. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Arrival at last!

Woohoo! My new Sable doe arrived tonight. My son Shawn drove to Kennebunk to pick up Patina EZ Violet.
I snapped several photos of her examining her new digs. Sanuba was lovesick--at the buckrag munching stage--and bleating in another stall, and for a few minutes, at least, Violet knew she wasn't alone. I just wish I'd thought to take a picture of her dressed in her sweatshirt that kept her warm and comfy on her long ride. 
The photos are grainy, as they were taken in the barn at night, but I'll take more tomorrow.  I'm so glad this doe has finally arrived.  I'd hoped to have Dehlia to keep her company, but that was not to be, so she'll be a little lonely until her quarantine period has expired.  
She's a substantial doe, with good bone and size, larger than I anticipated, bigger than Leah, who is about the same age.  Tomorrow morning I'll take more time to get to know her.  Right now she needs to just settle in and feel safe.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Goat life

Beatrice was bred to my Sable buck on the 6th.  She's so different from Leah!  Leah screamed and hollered and left no one in peace.  Beatrice just gives plaintive, sad little bleats, as much as to say, "Oh, poor me! Woe is me!  I feel so baaaaaad."  Presented the buck rag, then off we went in the car again, Beatrice gamely standing for the entire 35 minute ride.  Was she a horse in another life, I wonder?  She doesn't seem  to think of lying down.

No matter.  She thought Ike (Patina M&M Eye Candy) was cute as can be, and he thought her divine.  I left her there overnight, picked her up in the morning and oh! my! she just reeked of buck!  The other does gathered 'round her when she entered the barn, and I'm sure they all had a nice chat.

Today's the 13th, and Leah hasn't presented any signs of heat, and I doubt that Beatrice will again, ether, but I'll be watching for them.  Now, Sanuba (aka Snub), on the other hand, is due for heat in a couple of days (my does did NOT synchronize this year!), but she won't get to meet Ike.  Instead, I'm measuring her milk to see when I can put her on one milking a day.  So far, she hasn't dropped to half of her peak level yet, so it's still twice a day.  I'm sure she doesn't mind, though:  she gets fed grain twice instead of once, not to mention the occasional apple or carrot.

Speaking of odd treats, Snub is the only one of my goats--ever--that doesn't like fir or pine boughs, or the occasional piece of bread.  She marches to the beat of a different drummer, probably one from the Nubian desert.  She's more aloof in other ways as well, and, while none of he goats like walking in the mud, Snub will wail about getting her feet dirty.  I've actually had to lead her through the barn and out a side door to get her to the pasture, because she just won't walk through the mucky stuff.  Thank goodness for frozen ground in the morning. She's able to trip out to pasture without mussing her dainty feet.  I chuckle, tongue in cheek, but Sanuba really is my most elegant doe, regal and calm.  Beatrice is the Queen.  Sanuba is the Empress.
The Empress and the Queen holding court

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Not turkey soup again!

A few days ago, I pulled the last of the turkey from the freezer and made turkey soup.  There's only so many times you can eat turkey soup without despairing, and even though we'd eaten it twice already by yesterday, I really didn't want to toss it all, or even feed it to the chickens. I considered that It just needed... um... something to zing it up.  But what?  I thought about it a while and though of Indian spices.  Hmmm.  Google search for "turkey soup spicy".  FOUND!  Turkey mulligatawney soup!  I found two different recipes, tweaked them both, and came up with my own.

Mulligatawny soup does not have carrots and celery in it.  My base was an already-made turkey soup with onions, carrots, and celery, but hey, I didn't know I was going to make muligatawny soup!  You know, it didn't hurt it at all.

To 2 quarts of soup, I added
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp  turmeric
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground mustard (I used yellow, but next time I'll try ground black mustard seeds and see if it makes any difference)
1/8 tsp chile powder
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp curry powder

And 1 tsp of my Secret Ingredient.  It was secret even to me, as I put it in a baby food jar a long time ago and I'm a bit fuzzy on what it is.  That is, I'm reasonably sure it's either asafoetida or garam masala.  The last time I opened asafoetida, it was overwhelming.  A pinch goes a long, long way.  It's one of those spices that must be used judiciously or it will ruin the dish.  Garam masala, on the other hand, can be used in quantity.  I added a teaspoonful and all was well.  At this point, I'm sure it was garam masala.  Perhaps I ought to say, I have no doubt it was not asafoetida.

I then added garlic powder and salt to taste, left the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, and then served it up for lunch.

It was delicious, definitely not your run-of-the-mill Thanksgiving-turkey-revisited soup.