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Farm Fresh Blog
Tuesday, November 29 2011
also titled . . .
When Briar Bit Daddy And Oli Bit Mommy
or perhaps . . .
When You Are In The Wrong Place
At The Wrong Time.
This is not what you want to see coming at you in the dark.
Who knew she bites?
Last night Other Half, (who was supposed to be in bed asleep), put on his coat and went outside to meet the rancher next door. While they were enjoying some guy time over the back fence, sharing a cell phone photo of a 13 point deer that had been hit by a car, (why else would you climb out from underneath an electric blanket?) they happen to startle a pack of dogs who were not expecting the sight of two men lounging by their fence.
The neighbor had his Black Mouth Cur Dogs with him. Fortunately for them, they were on the other side of the fence with their owner. Unfortunately for Other Half (apparently!) he was not.
Who knew Briar could outrun Blue Heeler? Or . . . perhaps she didn't outrun Blue Heeler, perhaps his sniffer is just better than hers. Nevertheless, the fact remains that a pack of dogs, HIS OWN DOGS, descended upon Other Half in the dark and SOMEONE . . . (Briar) . . . bit him in the leg!
There was much cussing (Other Half) and giggling. (that was me)
She didn't break the skin. I assured him that it was a case of mistaken identity and she pulled her punch when she realized it was him. He was not amused. (I was highly amused!) Who knew Briar would actually bite a human? Briar LOVES humans - apparently strange humans at the back fence don't count.
So there it was, Briar and I were in the dog house. (because I giggled) Then the sun rolled up this morning and the tables were turned.
While Other Half was getting ready for work, I was shuffling dogs in and out for potty breaks. Oli, the Current Police Dog, is a most primitive creature, very much like a velociraptor in Jurassic Park.
She must be monitored closely lest she find a way to get through the fence and cause havoc with small hooved creatures.
So after Oli took her break, I brought her back in the house. Oli brought a rather large stick with her. Because she hopped onto my bed, with my NEW BEDSPREAD, and settled down to chew her stick, I decided to take it away from her. This necessitated a trade. Oli is always happy to barter. So I grabbed up one of Dillon's fluffy toys and said,
"Here Oli, wanna trade for this?"
She did. She very much wanted to trade a muddy stick for a fluffy toy that could be eviscerated. So she let go of the stick and snatched the toy. Unfortunately I was still holding the toy.
Her back molar crunched down on the fingernail bed of my left index finger. (Thank GOD it was my left hand!) Someone started screaming. (that was me!) Other Half almost cut his throat while shaving.
"Oli bit me!"
Other Half probably wanted to cut his throat when he heard that.
Fortunately the skin was barely broken. It was the equivalent of having someone slam a hammer (claw end first) onto your fingernail. I continued to squeal and bounce around the bedroom. Oli dropped the toy and raced into her kennel. Other Half came to examine the damage. (and proclaim that I was a weenie) I had to coax Oli out of her kennel to reassure her that accidents happen and we were okay. (which is MORE than HE did when MY dog bit HIM!)
"Dogs bite HUMANS???" Why would you bite a HUMAN?"
Despite the fact that my finger still hurts like the Dickens, Oli and I are okay. Other Half is still pissed at Briar.
Men are such wusses.
Saturday, November 26 2011
This dog is a bit of a puzzle.
We were told that her mother was a Komondor and her father was a Great Pyrenees. While there is clearly a Great Pyrenees in there somewhere,
whatever else is in Briar's genes is open for debate.
Perhaps a Komondor,
with a dash of clown . . .
There has been much serious discussion on the subject.
Today I received a phone call from Briar's vet. He wanted to take a blood sample from my Big White Dog and send it off for a free DNA test to finally have something more than speculation. (not that it really matters but inquiring minds want to know!) Since we are all curious and the test is free, we decided to draw the blood up . . .
I got off the phone and walked outside to fetch up my Big White Dog. The vet was on his way, and she was covered in cow poop. (Unscheduled Midnight Romp in the pasture) A date with a water hose was necessary to make her presentable to even the most tolerant of farm vets.
An hour later and Briar's "who's ya daddy?" test was in the mailbox. Anyone want to take bets on what turns up?
"Sugar and spice and everything nice!"
Thursday, November 24 2011
While some retailers hide the fact they are opening on Thanksgiving Day by calling it "Midnight on Black Friday," others proudly battle for the right to loudly proclaim they will be opening Thanksgiving Day. All this is to separate the consumer from his almighty dollar. And as if it were real news, the press carries this madness on every channel. They glorify the family that camps outside the department store, more than the family that sits at home with an empty chair on Thanksgiving Day, a chair that belongs to a soldier.
This morning the national news carried the story of a woman who camped on the sidewalk with her children - her 15 minutes of fame. What is she teaching? Is saving a few dollars on a television set more important than teaching her kids to thank God for the ability to even buy a television set? Is saving money on presents more important than thanking God for the friends and family who will receive these presents?
It's not about the shopping, it's about saying "thank you," about holding one day out, one holy day, to survey your little kingdom, to take stock of your life, and to thank the Good Lord for the things He's given you.
"Wow! We've got a lot to be thankful for."
"Yep. We sure do."
Tuesday, November 22 2011
It became painfully obvious this week that a farm runs on routine. Upset the delicate applecart of Routine, and you have one helluva mess. While it may appear faster to cut corners, short some chore here or there, with plans to make up for it later, it never works. It will, in fact, blow up in your face, for a farm is like a giant baby - it thrives on routine. It wants everything done EXACTLY the SAME way everything is normally done - no exceptions. Any variation sets you up for a giant temper tantrum.
Routine on a farm is built around the temperament and idiosyncracies of each individual animal or group of animals. One must take into account multiple personalities. For instance:
You MUST put Musket the Cowpony in the barn first.
Feed him to get him out of the way. Failure to do so sets up a chain reaction that raises everyone's blood pressure. If Musket is not in the barn, he will follow you to feed the sheep and try to squeeze his Queen Mary size ass into the pen behind you, thus intimidating the dairy goats enough that they will not follow you back through the pasture to be milked.
When feeding the horses in the arena, you MUST feed Scout the Mustang Paint first. Failure to do so results in a wreck because he will simply wade in like John Wayne and take Montoya's meal anyway. Feed them over the fence so Scout will not run Montoya on top of you. If you feel the need to feed Montoya a little extra because you feel sorry for him, Scout will thank you because as soon as he finishes his meal, he will run Montoya out of his, thus any extra will just go to Scout anyway. You must keep these two horses away from all cows, sheep, and goats at meal time. They are both determined eaters who will eat their meals, and anyone else's.
If you choose to skip the step of putting Musket the cowpony in the barn (thus having to wait for him to finish eating) and opt to feed him in a bucket in the pasture, the dairy goats will run to Musket's bucket for grain, rather than continuing onward toward their milking spots in the back yard.
Sheep must be fed before you release dairy goats. If they are not happily munching something, they will notice that goats are moving through an open gate and race after them. That kind of chaos can only be sorted out by a Border Collie.
You must have the goats locked up BEFORE you feed the house cows. Failure to do so means the goats will run to the fence opposite the cow feeders and attempt to squeeze their scrawny necks through the bars and eat grain which an 800 lb bovine is also eating. See the problem? A goat's motto is "No guts, no grain!" A cow's motto is "My grain, your guts - on the ground."
With the exception of THE Border Collie (Lily), the dogs must be locked in kennels before the goats will stand to be milked. Failure to do so results in a chocolate lab puppy climbing into a milk bucket - aka "chocolate milk."
Goats also do not like to stand quietly while Trace stares at them like a serial killer. Put Dexter the Serial Killer up.
IF you follow the rules, the animals will happily wait their turn, confident that the gears of the great Routine Machine are grinding in their direction. If, however, because you are sick, you decide to depart from the routine, prepare yourself for one land mine after another as the Routine Machine blows a gasket. And when you lose your temper because the dairy goats just freight-trained over you in a mad dash through the gate to get to someone else's grain, and you throw a bucket of grain at their disappearing asses, it is a good idea to have a Border Collie to head them off and clean up your mess.
I'm just sayin'.
Monday, November 21 2011
"The grass is not greener on the other side.
The grass is greener where we water it."
Catching up: A respiratory bug has hit and we've spent the week coughing, sneezing, blowing noses and hacking up lungs. Unfortunately we were short-staffed at work, so I wasn't able to take off, thus I'm sure to have infected half of the city by now.
The down side to both of us being sick is that no one wants to do the chores. The up side to both of us being sick is that we can get it over faster and be done with it.
Bonus: a certain chocolate lab puppy has the amazing ability to stay in the bed for long hours, much like a hot water bottle, and keep two human adults warm.
"Just one of my many talents."
Tuesday, November 15 2011
A few days ago Other Half and I were getting him ready to go to work. While he gets dressed, I take the dogs on a morning walk and drink frappuccino. (Yes, I know. I'm drinking again.) Because the main gate opens onto a highway, I try to put most of the dogs up before he leaves so we don't have to worry about dogs getting out.
On this particular morning I had finished the walk and everyone was in the house except Lily. And as often happens any time before 11 AM, Other Half was in a particularly grumpy mood. (Can you say "Bitchy Bear? Sure. Sure you can.)
Anyway, while His Grumpiness was getting loaded into the truck, I was tossing a stick for The Perfect Dog. Lily was happily returning said stick. Unfortunately, a certain Red & White Border Collie was NOT happy that he was not involved in the game which he could see from my office window. That's when Mr. Bitchy Bear growled at me.
"Quit throwing that stick before Trace breaks the window out."
So I did. And so Lily bounced up to Daddy with her stick.
And he threw it . . .
. . . and Trace broke the entire window out.
"Aaaahhhh. . . ma bad."
For a moment, time stopped. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was "Thank God I didn't throw that stick!"
Trace was a bit shaken, but otherwise was okay with his close call. No vet was needed, just an entire three foot window to be replaced. Other Half was beside himself with anger. His face turned red. I thought his head would explode. (and all before 11 o'clock.) I took this opportunity to point out the obvious.
"I'm so glad you threw that stick."
Now this world is made up of Tiggers and Eeyores. I choose to be a Tigger. For instance, yes, the dog broke out a window, BUT he was not hurt, AND it happened while we were home so no one else was hurt climbing through broken glass. So in reality, it was really a GOOD thing - we were blessed! (That's how Tiggers think!)
That kind of thinking really pisses off the Eeyores of this world.
Fortunately despite the fact that he was a Bitchy Bear that morning, Other Half is also a Tigger. . . so I am still alive to tell the tale.
"And me too!"
Thursday, November 10 2011
Other Half returns home last night bearing coffee. I decide to put it in a little-used bottom cabinet which contains old dish towels and burned oven mitts. Slide open drawer. Fat mouse runs along the drawer ridge and disappears in back of drawer. Scream and commence the Mouse Dance. (modified version of the Rat Dance) As I jump up and down, point and scream, Other Half (who has been law man for 30 years) also begins to scream and jump in place. I yell for my Contract Killer - aka Lily the Border Collie, who is fearsome confused by all the excitement.
I clarify to Other Half that the suspect is a mouse, not a snake, (he was certain I had found a snake) and point Contract Killer toward drawer. She begins her search for Trespassing Rodent but has no luck. Stewart Little the Mouse has crawled out of the drawer and into the back cabinet. I slowly open drawer above the bottom drawer.
A tiny mouse stares up at me. I scream. Contract killer cannot get to mouse before Stewart Little's Little Friend scampers off. Other Half shouts at me to cease shrieking when I am surprised by a rodent because "it scares the crap out of him."
I am beside myself. Two mice in less than two minutes! Contract Killer and I now begin a diligent search for mice in the kitchen. As I slowly open cabinet doors, she scans the contents like a Raptor, searching for her prey.
Other Half finds this vastly amusing. (I am still amused that he screamed like a girl while I was doing the Mouse Dance. Yes, I know, I was screaming too, but I have boobs, therefore I can scream when I see a mouse and get away with it.)
Our systematic search of the kitchen is fruitless. We clean out the cabinets and Other Half baits mouse traps with peanut butter. I inform him that the cats at my For Sale House are coming here! NOW! (They are still living in the barn at the other house until it sells. It's under contract now. Keep your fingers crossed.) Other Half informs me that he does NOT want house cats. They are dirty. They come with litter boxes. He does not like cats in the house. I remind him that I don't like RODENTS in the house. He continues to set mouse traps. I state that I will NOT set mouse traps, nor will I empty mouse traps of deceased rodents - that is NOT in my job description.
I prefer to hire contract killers for such work. (cats and Border Collies work nicely)
Other Half informs me that I am over-reacting to the idea of mice in the kitchen. After all, it's just a little mouse. They've probably been crawling all through the cabinets and we haven't died yet. I am not amused.
The next morning I check his traps. Two are empty of peanut butter and there is a fat blond mouse in the third one. Other Half is beside himself with happiness. I am grossed out. The dogs and I go outside for a walk and a morning frappuccino. (Yes, I'm drinking again. Wouldn't you be?)
I return from the walk to find Other Half standing in the kitchen re-setting traps with peanut butter. My gaze happens to land on the kitchen sink. There is a stiff dead blond mouse splayed out in a trap on my kitchen sink. I begin screaming and shouting at him. He fails to grasp the problem. (MEN!) At this point I am ready to have an apoplectic fit. I order him to remove said mouse from my sink and disinfect the entire sink and counter. He agrees but argues, "it's just a mouse."
Am I alone in this? Am I a voice crying out in the wilderness? Does anyone else have a problem with a freakin' mouse on the kitchen sink??!!!
And what really scares me is this:
If I had not SEEN the Rigor Mortis Rat (okay, it was a mouse) on the sink, would he even have bothered to clean it?!!! EEEWWW!!!!
Yep, he thinks this is funny. Wait till he comes home to find that I have purchased a ferret. (just kiddin') I will name it Rikki Tiki Tavi. (I know. He was a mongoose. Hey! That would work too!)
"The only good mouse is a dead mouse!"
Wednesday, November 09 2011
There is a reason why this dog is Top Paw around here.
She doesn't have the raw talent of this dog:
She isn't as fearless around cows as this dog:
But she is more versatile than any dog we have because she listens . . .
Lily closing the gate
. . . . and she tries to figure out exactly what we are trying to do and how she can help.
Got mice? If so, you need a murderin' Border Collie!
Clearly with a little encouragement, a Border Collie can become as handy for rodent control as a Rat Terrier. (I'll spare you the crime scene photos of the victim. Other Half was astounded that I took them. What can I say? I'm a crime scene investigator. I take pictures of dead people . . . and dead mice.)
Talented pup probably isn't getting his fair share of moving livestock simply because it's so much easier just to have Top Hand do it.
"Which is soooo grossly UNFAIR!"
What can I say? I'm lazy.
Heaven help me if I ever lose my Top Paw.
Lily even did her civic duty last night and went out in thunderstorm with me to vote. She barked at the thunder and laughed at the lightning. (While at home, Ice got scared and peed on my bed . . . . but I still love her anyway.)
Note: I've fallen behind in my email this week, so bear with me! My virus protection ran out and I simply refused to re-new online (because then the pirates get your credit card number and happily re-new you against your will later. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. Anyway, I insisted upon buying a hard copy of the software instead, and didn't get that installed until last night. THUS . . . my email stacked up! I promise I haven't been ignoring you!
Sunday, November 06 2011
Oh! My! Gosh!!!
I completely lost track of my week!
Friday Clover and I were supposed to post the winners from the Land Of Milk & Honey drawing!
(but then . . . you knew that!)
Forgive me, the week got away from me, it was busy at the office, and I forgot. And because of that, and the fact that I just love you all, everyone who entered will receive a bar of Clover's Love Spell soap. It may take me a few weeks to get them all out because Other Half just arranged a deal to carry our soap in a wonderful Western Wear store and they're gearing up for the Christmas rush. But nevertheless, I WILL have your soap to you before Christmas!
And now to the big winners . . .
Susan B. and Terri's Pal "COME ON DOWN!"
You are the two big winners of The Soap Is Right!
Send me your snail mail addresses and I'll fire off a package of soap for each of you!
I'll be looking for addresses from everyone who entered. Y'all start looking for a package from Texas!
Friday, November 04 2011
Yesterday Dillon was a victim of Family Violence.
I know! Who could attack this little face?
But someone did. They sliced his nose - and it bled - and it bled - and it bled some more.
On the surface it appeared we had our suspect. After all, she had blood on her face.
But we should never hop to snap conclusions. For instance, rather than assaulting her best friend, it is possible that a certain Livestock Guardian Dog was actually "helping" our victim.
"Oh please, my Queen, forgive him. He knows not what he does!"
And it's also possible that our suspect got blood on her face as she raced to comfort our victim.
"Don't do that again, Little Buddy. You know Ice hates you."
And it's also possible that our complainant is a bit thick-headed.
"Look at this Awesome Cool Bottle! Who wants to play with this Awesome Cool Bottle? You? Do YOU want to play with the Awesome Cool Bottle?"
"Please die now."
Go away, you Filthy Beast!"
"Bummer. What a downer."
(Our complainant wanders off in search of other people to bother.)
"YOU! You want to play with my Awesome Cool Bottle!"
And thus we see how a case of Aggravated Assault/Family Violence "could" also be considered Self-Defense. But most of all we see that just because someone is hurt, and someone else is covered in blood - one cannot jump to hasty conclusions.
Disclaimer: Plastic bottles are dangerous. Puppies shouldn't be left alone with one. Dillon is only allowed to carry it around, he isn't allowed to chew it.
Wednesday, November 02 2011
You, dear readers, have given me so much that it's time for me to give back.
Who wants soap?!!
Not only am "I" having bunches of fun soapmaking, but my friends are enjoying my new farming adventure too. Soap is flying out of here so fast that I need to take a few days off of my "real" job to make some more! People like it. And that's why I want to give you some.
I'll be giving away two baskets of soap. All you have to do is hit "post a comment" (at the bottom of the page) and tell me 1) what is your favorite farm blog 2) what is your favorite CSI blog, and 3) who's your favorite farm character. That's it. Just pick your favorites, hit "post a comment", and give me some feedback. I'll have Clover the Milk Goat select 2 lucky readers and we'll ship you some soap!
Clover will select her winners Friday, Nov. 4 at noon.
"Pick me! Pick me!!!"