Sunday, March 30, 2008

RE: The Heatherless Chickens

They are pretty ugly, aren't they? They are called Turken's, but I think the official breed name is Hungarian Naked Necks. They are all little boys, included at no charge to keep a small order of little girls warm. I guess having "heatherless" necks makes them easy to tell apart from the girls. I'm thinking it also means a clear "target" once they reach 8-10 pounds.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Little Red Hen

I spend all day very busy, feeding the children, cleaning the house and washing the clothes. (Well, OK, maybe not so much with the cleaning and laundry but I feed the children at least ONE square meal every day.) When I ask for help cooking, "Not I" say the little pigs kids. When I ask for help with the cleaning, "Not I" say the little pigs kids. When I ask for help with the laundry, "Not I" say the little pigs kids. So when I said, "Who wants to help me go pick up my latest Freecycle find?", all the little pigs except one said "Not I", and frankly, the one who "WOULD WIKE TO GO HEWP" hasn't been the greatest traveling partner lately. The worst part is, the kid will not ease up off my back. She tells me that my precious Freecycle finds are "UGwy 'cause 'dem don't hab HEATHERS on dem necks!" I dunno. I guess she kinda has a point.

Blogging 006

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It Has to Be Said...

Taxi Dad, I think your tractor's $exy. Especially when it's parked at my house. It told me it likes living here and saving me from copious amounts of physical labor. I give it the attention it needs and the challenge it craves. I'm sorry, I know it hurts being Dear John'ed by your John Deere.

Blogging 001

And really, who would want to dig this:
Blogging 002

with this:
Blogging 003

when you can dig it with the help of a big, strong, tractor?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Little Known Nursery Songs

We've been known to sing a rousing rendition of "All Around the Merry Go Bush" in this house, but when the "AB Song" goes haywire, you might want to pay attention. I had to drop D off at the airport today, so I ditched two children and J came with me and D for a little traffic filled adventure. On the way back, J's Cheeto's made a repeat appearance. It wasn't pretty. Good news though, she was just car sick, not sick-sick. And apparently, she was also inspired by the great orange globs of goo, for I heard the following being cheerfully sung from the back seat: "Now I know my ABC's, I can't hold my puke on me!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ahhhh, Spring Break

And I'm working on a new project. You can see it here. I have always had a testimony of food storage. My testimony of food storage was formed long before I had the added benefit of hearing revelation from a modern day prophet. My testimony of food storage began each year as we drove our cattle to summer pasture so that our hayfields could grow to their full capacity; as I watched the grasses grow taller and taller, as I restricted my travels across our ranch so as not to trample the growing crop, and as I labored in the fields with my family, and other families in the valley, so that we could harvest the hay and make it available to our cattle all winter long. My testimony of food storage began as I pushed heaping shopping carts behind my mother and grandmother during our "stocking up" trips that took place 100 miles from our ranch; as I helped butcher the steer that was to become the little white packages that filled our freezer each year, and as I listened to my dad groan about the bill that came every September when they came to fill our 1000 gallon propane tank. I say I began with these things, because in the early 1980's, our valley was hit with monumental snowfall. That was the year that cemented my testimony of food storage.

That year the snow began early and piled up fast. Soon, we were not able to take hay to the cattle with our tractors. My grandfather went out and removed the hood off an old car, turned the smooth side down, and lashed the makeshift sled to the back of our ancient snowmobile. We couldn't carry many bales at one time this way, so feeding time took up the better part of each day. I thought we had it pretty tough, and then I went to spend the night at my friend Heather's house.

Each day we watched Heather and her brothers ride up to the bus stop with their mom on a sled behind a snowmobile. It looked like a grand adventure to start each day with a ride behind a snowmobile! So after school one day, I got to bundle into the sled with the other children and we started the trek to their home. They only lived about 2 miles from the highway, but their ranch did not have the benefit of the valley's protection. The windswept plain offered no protection from the driving snow, and the snow drifted all the way to the roofs of the barns and houses. Walk ways had been cleared but making your way from the house to the barn required snowshoes if wind blew in the trampled paths. The herd at Heather's house was much larger than ours, and to my delight, four large, black draft horses were employed to drag a huge sled out to the field to feed the cattle each morning; until I found out how that huge sled had to be loaded: one pitchfork (!!!) full at a time.

The ranch house was warm and snug, and it was at Heather's house that I tasted my first bite of homemade wheat bread. It tasted strange and not at all good to my white bread palette. Not even the homemade jam helped it go down. Good thing there was stew that night, because the next morning, there were buckwheat pancakes, and for lunch, wheat biscuits with gravy. By the time it was time to load my overnight bag onto the snowmobile sled and meet my mother at the highway, I was cold, hungry and tireder than I'd ever been before in my young life. I didn't know it then, but I learned a valuable lesson about food storage that day. Store what you eat. It wasn't until years later I first heard the expression to "Store what you eat, eat what you store." And I have to admit that my idea of food storage is much evolved from what I learned as a young girl snowed into a ranch on Wyoming. Even though I've left the ranch, I'm more passionate than ever about food storage. I'd love to get to the point that I don't visit the grocery store on a weekly basis, not only because I don't NEED to but because I won't WANT to. For me growing up, self-reliance was a way of life and I'd like my kids to experience that.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Summing It Up

I found an interesting concept today over at Smith Magazine. They claim that legend tells of Hemingway being asked to write a story in six words. His response was "For Sale, baby shoes, never worn." So they've asked people to sum up their lives in six words. I planned on thinking on this over the week, but it came to me much faster than I ever anticipated. My submission? "I failed to plan and lived". And I'm not having second thoughts about it either. It totally fits. So what about you? Sum up YOUR life in six words and leave me some comment love.