Monday, October 29, 2012

Siamese Twins?

Who'd a thunk that two apples could become one? 
We found this abnormality when picking our apples.
Conjoined apple twins? 
Two apples, two cores, one stem.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ceili Mor

It was a dark and stormy night.
The fog was thick; the rain was pouring.
The winds were whipping, and the evening was frigid.
I can't think of a better time to warm up with some Irish dancing.
We even had a Loch Ness sighting. ;)

The pianist is Hobbes, and the fiddler was Calvin. Just in case you were wondering. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Midnight Roundup

Photo courtesy of Becker Productions
The sky was clear and calm, the stars were shimmering, an almost full moon hung in the sky, and a crisp, autumn chill was in the air reminding us that winter is just around the corner. The forecaster said that it was supposed to be pouring rain and windy, but that weather front was no where to be seen. It was just the sort of night that you can get wrapped up in a fleece blanket in front of the fireplace with a knitting project and a cup of tea and be in a state of perfect bliss, except for the thought of getting up and getting into your bed which is chilly since you haven't put on the flannel sheets yet. Oh well.

The movie credits started to roll; everyone headed to bed. The house was silent; you could hear the humming of the fish tank filter on the other end of the house. RING! RING! That's enough to get you to bolt upright with wide eyes. Something's wrong. Dad answered the disturber of the peace.
Hello? Yes, it is. 
The peeping Tom in me listened to every word trying to catch a hint of what is being discussed.
Well, I'll round up the posse, and we'll be right over. 
Gulp. Everyone's in their doorways now.
"Who was it?" "What's going on?"
"The sheriff. The cows are out." Is that a metaphorical term or an actual dilemma that needs to be addressed now?  "Get changed; we need to get over to the neighbor's." Excuse me for a moment while I try to bring my heart rate down from the initial adrenaline rush of the phone ringing.
We quickly changed into our grubbies, threw on our boots, tossed on our coats, and headed to the truck. "Did you get the flashlights?"
"Do we need grain buckets?"
"Don't forget the halters."
We sat in the truck and waited for Mom, "I couldn't find my boots..." (In her defense, our mud room is in a state of chaos since the washing machine went belly up)
"Did you see any cows in the pasture when you were doing the chores?"
"I saw two cows."
"What color were they?"
"Solid brown."
:facepalm: "Those are the other neighbor's cows..."
"How long have they been out?"
"Since about 3 this afternoon."
"There's only one halter..."
"Watch for cows." How often do you hear that?
"I see lights."
"There's the police car."
"That's a good sign."
"Oh, look. There they are..."
Two meat cows standing in the middle of the neighbor's lawn, munching away like they hadn't done anything wrong. The family was all out to witness the sight, the sheriff was there to do his thing, and there was me. With a halter in my hands. Those cows were on to me. Mom kept the one busy with the grain bucket so I could try to slip the halter on. My hands were shaking from the cold. Bam. Done. Phew! One cow down, one to go. We tied her off to the truck to be taken back to her pasture. While they were slowly herding her back home, I was left with the whipper-snapper of a 'wild' beef cow. Me versus the cow. He won. I can't keep a tidy line by myself. He wanted to stampede down the steep hill. Who was I to argue with a cow that big? By all means, I'm not going to stand in your way. At this point, I really wanted a horse and lasso (not that I would know how to use them, but that's beside the point. An ATV would've been nice too.)
The rest of the crew came back.
"Where's the halter?"
So Jake ran back to get the halter while the rest of stood around 'supervising' the renegade bovine. With the halter in hand and flashlights beaming, we, as a group, headed down the uneven terrain. The cow's all the way at the bottom? Wait, is that a trail into the woods? Oh, please no. Well, Nathan got the cow to start coming up the hill; the runaway started trotting along the pasture fence. If only we could make a part of the fence disappear temporarily; this job would be so much easier.

Oh. My. Word.
"Did you see that?!" Nathan shouted.
The cow had slipped through the supposedly electric fence via slightly farther apart wires. I'm starting to believe that cows could jump over the moon as the old nursery rhyme states.
"Why couldn't he have done that earlier?"
"I think we found our escape route."
"Where do we put the cows for tonight? Will they get out again?"
"We can stick them in the upper pasture."
"You young'ins go herd the cows in the upper pasture. We'll take the truck back." Can I take a ride in the truck?
So up the hill we tromped, uttering things about how tasty those cows are going to be and maybe a butcher call is closer than originally anticipated. Oh look. They're at the feeder munching away like nothing happened. I think that their halos were on fire. :cough: We stowed those two into their new pasture and secured the gate behind us. The gate to get out of the pasture was so well locked that we had to hop the gate (in all our muddy glory).
"Are we sure that the fence is working?"
We tested the fence. Nothing. Drats. We inspected the red snapper box. Still nothing. Double drats. You could grab onto that fence with a death grip and still not get shocked.

An hour. The whole ordeal only took an hour. It could have taken us all night. It could have been a deluge for Noah's second flood. We had the light of a full moon. There wasn't even a wisp of a breeze. Nothing died (the dog that tried defending his territory, well, that's a vet bill...). Of all late night calls to get (from a sheriff!), I guess that a summoning to a midnight roundup is pretty minor. All things considered.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

40 Years?!

Mom was skimming through a 'barnyard in your backyard' sort of book. Why she was looking at the chapter on geese, I know not. Then, out of the blue, she said, "Did you know that geese can live about 40 years?" Oh, you should have heard the groans that erupted. Forget whatever was on the TV, we all had the sudden epiphany that we'd be stuck with the ornery couple for the next several decades. Emily lit up, of course. Dad commented on how they would move out with her, even if she's in an apartment.

I mentioned the factoid on facebook. The reactions? "Ohhhhhhhh SNAP." "I've heard that geese are tasty." The comments kept rolling in. One of my friends even temporarily changed his profile picture to a large white goose. I guess I made his day with that tidbit.

PS - Whatever happened to the offspring units? We posted them on Craigslist. The first person to respond to the ad was someone who was wanting geese for his pond. Sweet. Please, take them all! But no, we still have Father and Mother Goose cruising the yard. My sister got a pretty penny for those goslings too. She's thinking that she has the makings of a small business here. I told her that she should start paying for feed since the geese are obviously staying around for a while. ;)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Orange Smoothie

Hands down, I love orange smoothies. I think the last time I had one was back in January when we would order oranges in bulk since they're in season. I don't know who it was, but someone had a hankering for some of the creamy goodness, so they pulled out some frozen oj to thaw. Mom then proceeded to attempt to make the smoothie, but couldn't finish since she had to skiddaddle out the door. Who was available to make the treat? Yours truly. ^_^

The following recipe is inspired by this and this.

Gather up:
- 1 8-oz can of orange juice
- 1 can of coconut milk
- Liquid stevia - half a dropper ful
- Orange extract - just a couple drops
- vanilla extract (I used a lid-full - about 1/2 tsp?)
- 1/2 cup Milk
- Lots of ice cubes
- Nutmeg (I used whole spices and grated it on top)

Put the orange juice, coconut milk, stevia, the extracts, and milk into a vitamix (or a very hefty blender). Once thoroughly blended, put in enough ice to come to about 2 inches below the brim of the blender (any more and things will get rather explosive, believe me, I know). Blend, blend, blend! After it's been completely grounded into something that resembles a smoothie with no ice chunks, pour into a glass and add just a smidgen of nutmeg on top. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I just had to share these last few pictures with you. 
I really don't want to know what you've been eating...

Pretty girl

She strikes a pose with the greatest of ease. 

Goat Noses

Can I play with the goats? Please? I promise to play nice...

The little princess

And Lizzy had to get in on the action too. As usual.

Poultry Products

Well, we're down to the laying hens, the turkeys and the little pullets. Chores are done in mere minutes now. ;) 
One of these things doesn't belong with the others. 

Strut your stuff

I think she wants out. 

What is that circular thing in our run? I think it's looking at us.

Hello, handsome. You look big and tasty. 

Di Uve Da Vino

I heard it from the grape vine...

Fine, I'll stop it with the puns.

Dad's grapes have ripened. 

And no, these aren't the wine grapes that are going in the South field - those are still the stuff of dreams. 

Until then though, we shall be enjoying fresh table grapes day in and day out! :D Yummy!

Cat Nap(s)

When you walk into the garage, you will usually be greeted by a bunch of sleepy cats.

"Again, I say, what were you thinking when you woke me up in the middle of my nap."

Cat? In the glove box? 

I guess that the gloves will come pre-warmed...

You'd think that she never had a soft spot in her life. She doesn't budge much now that there's a deflated pillow out there. 
PS - This is post #200! :D How to celebrate?