Saturday, December 22, 2007

How do you say goodbye to an old friend?



Ditka isn't just any old friend... he was my first dog. Well... the first dog I had for more than 6 months, and he'll be the first dog I really have to say goodbye to. He's part of our big pet family, and the littlest member, as shown above.



He was always my friend. I taught him bad habits, like getting up on the furniture and letting him sleep on the bed. He has a touch of stiffness in his hips and hasn't been jumping on the furniture much in the last year or so. But we bring him up sometimes so he can snuggle on the bed. This is a picture of him trying to take a nap in our new house, this year.

Before we had a pasture to let him run around in, we used to take them all to the dog park. Ditka would play and play until his little paws got cold, and then he'd give me that look, and I'd know the only way to get him home was to carry him. That's the only time Ditka has ever really shown discomfort... when his paws get too cold for the ice and snow. He still cross country skies with us, and still does his crazy little spastic running in circles game when he gets all excited outside. So why on earth would I have to say goodbye to my little fuzzy friend?


He was so happy this summer on our new farm. This is picture of him after he had taken a dip in the pond. We know he has had liver problems for several years... and I kept waiting for something. For him to whimper when we petted him. For him to slow down, or get stiff, or start crying in the night. Some kind of sign that I knew the liver disease had gotten to be too much.

And today, I still don't have those signs. Or am I ignoring them because I don't know how to say goodbye? (things get graphic and clinical here folks, so ignore if you don't want the dirty details)

2 weeks ago, we noticed blood in his urine. Not a lot, just a few drops. I took him to the vet. A urine sample didn't point out anything specific, like an infection or stones, so we put him on an antibiotic just to see. No temperature. Nothing else that was obvious something was wrong.
I went back today, because there is still blood in his urine. And he pees in the house all the time. Anyone who knows my little man knows he isn't one to want to go in the house. Now he does it more than once a day, right in front of us. So we went back to the vet. My rule with him right now is that I won't cut him open. He's 15. That's 105 to us. The vet suggested an ultrasound, which she could do right away. I'm ok with a shaved belly. So that's what we did. It couldn't have shown me anything worse. He has a 3 centimeter long tumor in his liver, and his liver is enlarged. His bladder has more tumor in it right now than there is bladder. One of his kidneys is almost disintegrated, and kidney tissue is also present in his urine. Sounds like he'd be bedridden. I know I would be. But aside from the peeing in the house, nothing has changed. He still runs around. He's still eating. He still plays with us. I know he's broken. But he doesn't seem to be in pain. S0 how do I say goodbye? How do I know when it's time?



This is Ditka when he was only 2. I was a junior in college, and we got in trouble for having him in our apartment. OOPS! Back then, he was "My Pretty Brown Eyes" and "Fuzzy Face". His eyes have long since clouded over with glaucoma. His hearing is limited. He's now "My Old Man" and "Baby D." In the morning, when he doesn't wake up with the rest of the pack, I will sit and watch and wait to see if he's breathing. He always is, he's just a slow breather. I don't wake him. He's an old dog. I always hoped he'd die quietly in his sleep. So, really, how do you say goodbye to an old friend?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I love it when a plan comes together

I was going to label this post "BIG NEWS" because that's what it is to us. Until I realized most of my friends might think I was announcing that I was expecting. Nope. The only one in our family that is expecting is Laverne... next month, baby lambs, I am so excited.

So I changed the label, because this old A-team quote works here too. Let me tell you the dramatic version, because it's no fun to just get to the point!

As most of you know, our chickens started laying eggs. I swear in a matter of days, it went from one or two eggs a day to 2 DOZEN. Yeah, we put up some make-shift nesting boxes, and the girls went nuts!

So in November a few things happened. We had more eggs than we could eat and more than our friends were buying from us. I also finally got around to planting my tulip bulbs, and found a bed of carrots that were hanging out in the cold soil. Dang. They tasted GOOD. So Larry and I spent a weekend harvesting carrots and planting bulbs in the same bed. We had more carrots than we could handle, too! Being wiped out from a weekend's worth of work, we decided to have dinner at the Wayside Inn, our favorite Berthoud restaurant. We thought, just because we liked the owners and love the restaurant we would give him a dozen eggs and a bag of carrots so he could check them out, and as a thank you for serving good, organic food in Berthoud.

We got busy, again, as usual... and never really followed up. I guess it didn't matter! Jeremy (the chef and co-owner) called us this week and asked us how many eggs we had available, how much we would charge... and Larry and I both just lit up like a Christmas tree!! We met with them last night and talked more about the farm and what we can produce.

As Joel Salatin said in his book, chefs LOVE pasture raised chicken eggs. The consistency is better, the flavor is better, the yolks are gorgeous and they cook and taste better. Jeremy agreed. We will now be taking him eggs EVERY week! Next month, we'll be ordering 50 more chickens (plus my "fun" chickens) so that we can replace all of his in-shell egg needs! We also talked about what produce he would want from our greenhouse, so we took a list of herbs, fruits and veggies that he wants us to grow in the house that he will buy from us! We have a restaurant for a customer! Jeremy even said he'd take cut flowers for displays around the restaurant. Can you believe it?

This is really it, folks! We are a real farm, we have a real name, we have a real, large customer. And I know that if I fill my greenhouse with tomatoes and cucumbers, I won't have to eat them every day in case they go bad. Jeremy wants everything we can get to him! This is so exciting!

So, folks, if you're in northern Colorado, check out the Wayside Inn, in Berthoud - they'll be cooking our home grown, natural food. If you aren't in the area, but come visit us in Colorado ever - we'll be sure to take you into town to eat at our favorite restaurant!

Larry says:


The really cool thing is Jeremy's Menu has on the bottom "We support our local farmers and the idea that food should come from your neighbor. We buy from local farmers in season to bring you the freshest food we can." The guy really means it. Jeremy and I are on the same page so much its not even funny. We agree the government is owned by corporations that make laws for their own enrichment (USDA/FDA). We agree that the current model of food raising is not only unsustainable but a sin. Literally sacrilegious. God made the Earth and we are just screwing it up as fast as we can. That is a sin. OK, well I don't know if J-Dawg thinks it is a sin, but he agrees with me it is evil... close enough.

By the way, we get lots of crap from people about moving to "The Sticks". Longmont is the nearest city and people in Boulder refer to it as "Long-Tucky". (Not everyone in Boulder is a pretentious ass but the few that are sure make up for the others by being loud and obnoxious) Well I like Berthoud a lot. Do I wish I lived close to my job? OF COURSE! Its kinda hard to be a believer in peak oil and drive 30 minutes to work. What is my point? While we were in the Wayside Inn waiting to meet with Jeremy, we got Caroled. No kidding. Old School style Christmas Caroled. 10 or so folks came in and sang Silent Night to the bar area. I sang along and even got thanked for being the "requisite deep voice in this corner". I say, "Man, I love this town. You wouldn't get Caroled 45 miles to the South." (Which would be where Denver starts. Deb (Jeremy's Co-owner and girlfriend) and I said at exactly the same time, "You might get mugged!" I'm no Jimmy Stewart but man..... I REALLY REALLY like the people in my town.



Kristin again: I have to admit, I've never ever been Christmas Caroled before. But I have to say, growing up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, I was tempted to lean over and ask the singers if they knew any Chanukah songs. I guess I can pull up Adam Sandler on my iTunes if I want some of those... It was still very nice and quaint. I'll take rural hospitality and fresh food from the farm over big city lights and excitement, and feeling invisible, any day.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snowy Snowy Snowy - Snow Snow Snow

Ah! How Stimpy loved the snow. And so do I, for the most part. It's been snowing all week. People have told me for over a YEAR now that it doens't snow that much on the front range. Well, you could have fooled me! It feels like Michigan here - lots of snow, slushy streets, very cold temperatures. Boy am I glad I have wool sweaters and warm boots!

So in the spirit of this winter snow, and things that make me feel like "home," I've noticed several other things in Colorado that are quite like Michigan...

  • First of all, I moved from Berkley, Michigan, to Berthoud, Colorado.
  • I moved from Bacon Street to Bothun Rd.
  • Berkley and Clawson, Michigan, are two of the only places in Michigan that have a drive-up A&W. Guess what? So does BERTHOUD!
  • Berthoud is a small town located between to bigger, well-known towns of Longmont and Loveland. Berkley was nestled between Royal Oak and Southfield.
  • Berthoud has a small downtown with: a cool pizza place with crazy pizza's(John Dough's), 1 great bar with a ton of beers (Clymers), one fancy restaurant (The Wayside Inn) with great food, and a sort of yucky little grocery store. BERKLEY was home to Amici's Pizza, The Berkley Front (for all the beers you could ever want!) and that nice new restaurant that took the place of the Bear's Den, and a sort of yucky little grocery store.
Interesting how I seemed to drift to something familiar in our new home out here. But I traded in my tall Oak and Maple trees for a view of the mountains. And right now, when they are covered in snow - they couldn't be more beautiful!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stop Puppy Mills

Just stopping in to share a link with you that I got from the Humane Society of the United States today. I already knew this, I already knew that puppy mills were bad, but in case you don't know, check this out:

http://www.stoppuppymills.org/video.html

Larry and I are raising pasture-raised, free range chickens for a reason. Large scale production chicken houses lock chickens in small cages, where they are prone to illness, disease, and injury. Injured birds are not cared for, and often die and are left in those cages. Those birds never get to go outside and forage for grass and bugs they way they nature wants them to.

The same goes for puppy mills. Please don't ever buy an animal from a pet store. You don't know the conditions in which they were born. Just like the large scale chicken "factories", puppy mills treat animals like machines. They lock them in cages, never to see the light of day, never cleaning up their cages, and forcing them to breed. They don't care if they get sick or injured. Then they take the cute little puppies to the store to make a quick buck.

We have never gotten an animal from a puppy mill. Only Grish was purchased from a breeder. The rest of our pets are rescues. We rescued them directly from an owner, from the Humane Society, or from a breed rescue. I am all about giving dogs a home - but when you buy a puppy mill puppy, you are supporting an INDUSTRY, a factory. Should your dog come from a factory? Heck, Larry and I don't even think your Thanksgiving turkey should come from a factory. So should a pet you have for 10-18 years come from a factory? No. Rescue an animal first - from a shelter, or rescue society. Get it spayed or neutered. Talk with your wallet. Don't give puppy mills money - then they can't stay in business. If we are all aware, we can all take action, and puppy mills will close.

Just my 2 cents.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Skijoring - Farm Style



It snowed all day yesterday (and people keep telling me it doesn't snow that much in Colorado... feels like Michigan to me!) So here are our adventures in the snow!


Grish says, "Can we go play now? Please? There's SNOW! PLEASE?"


Goliath has a favorite toy. It's Ditka. Ditka doens't want to be Goliath's toy. Good thing he still has some speed to escape when he needs to.


Laverne and Shirley were happy to get outside today with the sun shining. Yesterday they weren't thrilled with the cloudy skies and unending snow. One of them is pregnant. Can you tell which one? I'll give you a hint - it's the ROUND ONE! That's Laverne... she should have her lamb(s) in January!


This is what happens after skijoring. All the dogs collapse and sleep for hours.

Now, skijoring takes an extra twist on the farm. We've done it before - hooked up Athena and Hobbes to harnesses and gone skijoring. Today, we also hooked up the bicycle trailer (yes, we have a trailer for our bikes...it's for grocery shopping!) We took the trailer out to Eric's pasture and picked up a bale of hay to bring home for the sheep. They'll be happy! Athena and Hobbes weren't impressed with a heavy trailer!!


video

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Stash

So, this is my last week at MOI. And it's not the first time I have left a job, and leaving is never easy. I have met some of the greatest people in my life through different career opportunities. And in leaving, you sometimes find out what you should have known all along - how much impact you have at your job. Obviously, I made some sort of impression on the friends I have worked with since I moved to Colorado.

Every company has its culture. At Detroit Diesel, we had "bagel" files and top ten lists. At Applied Process, we had Dr. Kathy's comfort food. At Alcoa we had the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus come for visits. At MOI - we have pot luck lunches! And we have some creative and yummy cooks. They hosted a pot luck in my honor since it was my last week. Prior to the pot luck, several people asked me what my favorite food was. Favorite? I like it all!! I froze and responded "Macaroni and Cheese!" When I got that weird look like I must be joking, I said, "OK, then Ice Cream!"

Well, we had a little of both. Some mac n cheese for the pot luck, as well as ice cream with my three favorite Cold Stone toppings: white chocolate chips, caramel and whipped cream. Fabulous.

But the best of all was my going away gift. As a consolation that I might not have any potlucks at my next job , they gave me a can of microwavable EasyMac. And then, to tide me over, presumably all winter... everyone chipped in and brought me a box of macaroni and cheese! If they are trying to guilt me into staying, it's almost working!

All kidding aside, the mac n cheese stash almost made me cry. I will miss working with all of my MOI friends, but as I have done in the past... I keep my old friends and get to go off and make a bunch of new ones. It's another chapter in the adventure. And this time... there's mac n cheese involved! Yummy for me!

Friday, November 30, 2007

To Tree or Not to Tree

That is the question.

Now, it's not a question of live versus fake Xmas trees... it's a question of putting one up at all. I have a fake tree. Yes, I know, it's made of plastic and one day it may end up in a land fill. But Larry and I are opposed to supporting an industry that kills trees. I'd MUCH rather buy a live tree every year and plant it in my yard. I did that. We have a tree that is roughly as old as our marriage. It was in a pot on my porch in Michigan. I brought it to Colorado and planted it in the yard in our new house. Hurray. But I digress...

The question is whether I put up my fake tree or not. I remember a day - before Ally-cat, before Hobbser-bear... when there was Ditka and I and a little house in Berkley with barely any furniture... a year when I had 2 trees. One filled with all the cheesy ornaments I bought in college, and a few from my childhood. And the other was a tribute to my Greatgram, who crocheted beautiful snowflakes. Ah. Those were the days. Or should I say, that was one year.

The next year, I had another dog, and a roommate, and more furniture and only room for one tree. And Hobbes still managed to knock it over.

We didn't put up a tree last year because the POS rental house we lived in was too small for us. Besides, the tree was buried in the garage. I only managed to squeak out one little xmas decoration and I put up no lights.

Now that we have our own home again, and I am finding spaces for lights and snowmen... I keep looking for a place to put a tree. But there are 4 wagging tails in the house, sometimes 6. There is a dog who shall remain nameless (Hobbes) who likes to pull down glass balls from the tree, bring them to me and go CRUNCH on them. There is also a cat. Cats like cords, and sparkly things.

And we have rooms full of furniture. I won't put a tree by the front window, that's just begging tails to knock everything off, or even knock the whole thing over. We have a relatively empty spare room... but no one hangs out there. Who wants a tree where you can't see it? I thought of putting it near the fireplace. Larry said BAH HUMBUG! Larry wants to cram it into a corner by the dining room table. Sigh. I don't even know what kind of ornaments I have anymore. HECK, they travelled 1200 miles and sat in boxes for 2 years now, I don't even know which ones aren't BROKEN! I'd love to put one up and see what silly things I have... like my Chewbacca ornament, and my Seuss ornaments... and that laundry pin reindeer we all made in the first grade, and old shrinky dinks... I want to put one up just to see what it will look like. Maybe I can barricade it behind the dining table so the dog tails can't wreck it. So I am still debating... Do I cram one up somewhere just to have one? Just to tempt fate that when Larry brings the GP pups into the house that they won't wreak havoc on it? That the cat won't climb it? That Hobbes won't meticulously pull every ornament off the lower branches, and bring them to me to play fetch? To tree or not to tree...

Monday, November 26, 2007

I hope I found my home

OK, that's really nebulous, but what I mean to say is that I am starting a new job in 2 weeks. I gave my notice this morning, so it's back to the whirlwind again. I know, I have done this before... it's 2 weeks of trying to wrap up loose ends, make a clean finish, say goodbye to all the people I will miss, and then building new relationships at a new company - and that takes months. But at the same time, it is exciting. And I really do hope this time I found my home. The product is something I think is way cool. The company values match my own, the people I have met are very cool. And I get to wear jeans to work. And one of the owner's brings in her Bernese Mountain Dog to work. Yeah. That's what I am talking about!

The company is EarthRoamer - www.earthroamer.com if you want to see the products they build. Hopefully this is the place where my restless soul can set up shop for a long time. No sales, no travelling, no fancy clothes. They are building a new building in Lafayette, so it will allow Larry and I to continue carpooling to work together - which saves us $$ and cuts down on the use of fuel. I've actually gotten quite used to it. We might even, egads, get to meet for lunch every now and then!

Last year, my best Christmas Present was a buyer for my house in Berkley. This year, it's going to be a fresh start - at a company where they have made it clear that they already appreciate the skills I can bring. And I won't be making anything for the military, ever again.

Things are really starting to tie together. We have our farm, with chickens and sheep and dogs and a big garden. Now I will be starting at a new company that makes a product I think is cool. All the pieces are coming together out here in Colorado. So.... is it time to go skiing now?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November Update - Turkey Day

For most people I know, Turkey Day is just a reference to the Thanksgiving Holiday. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, turkey day on Long Shadow Farm was the day our turkeys became thanksgiving feasts for several people in the area. We had happy buyers come today to buy their fresh, all natural, thanksgiving turkeys from us. Imagine that! They weighed less than we thought, at about 20 pounds each, with the Turkey King weighing in at 27. With the biggest birds falling prey to coyotes, who knows how much the real Turkey King would have weighed. The Rooster King also bid adieu today. I think I got a video of him crowing, as it is a sound I will miss. But, he will be coq al vin for us tomorrow night, which is better than the hens suffering months and years of his amorous torment. The hens are laying about 6 eggs a day for us right now. I have pictures of our first eggs, which are surprisingly large for first eggs, but our morning omelets are FANTASTIC! Enjoy the pictures!

As a size reference for how big our pups are (about 6 months right now) I thought I would get Hobbes in the picture. He is in the picture. He's laying on my lap in front of Goliath. Aptly named, as he almost blocks Hobbes out entirely. And he's no where near done growing. These pups even make ME look like a little hobbit.


This is the Turkey King. And his buddy, in the background, the Rooster King. They were fun to have around, and they are food for someone now. It was a long day getting them ready for "market", but it was their destiny. A couple people today thanked us for making their holidays extra special for them! That was sweet of them. I hope they enjoy the natural birds as much as we do.


This is our big rooster. I kept one of his pretty green tail feathers. I didn't want him to go. But he really was gettig rough with the hens, so Larry decided he needed to be dinner. This was my reminder that these are not pets. Sigh. So we said goodbye to our pretty rooster. Au Revoir, fella!


Silly turkeys, they have to try out anything in case it might be tasty food. This is 3 female turkeys getting a taste of Larry's bike. One even pecked the car today.


Schroediger, who had NOTHING to do with bird catching today, says it sounded exhausting and took a nap in our honor.


Grish would have liked to help out, but he also took a nap, instead.


Atlas says "Are you done yet? Can we play now?"


These are our first eggs! They are so yummy! We can't believe it, but fresh eggs from pastured birds taste SO much better than the ones at the grocery store!


One of our girls is laying some mighty big eggs! Look at that sucker!



OK, this is an awful video(as in, poor quality)... but I captured it more for the sounds than anything. What we have here are turkeys hanging out with me. They are making regular turkey sounds, which are far from the "gobble gobble" sound we all think they make. They HAVE gobbled, but more often they peep like this. In the beginning, you can also hear our rooster give out a good crow. They don't just do it in the morning. He did it ALL DAY long. I will miss him. The blue faced turkey is our ONE tom. He's curious about me, so I took some extra film of him. Enjoy the turkey sounds! I can't wait until spring when we get to do it all again!


video

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Official

According to the State of Colorado, we are now a registered business, with a trademarked name! WAHOO!

We are

"Long Shadow Farm"

Now, let's get to business....oh boy, filing taxes is going to be FUN this year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

October was a blur

But what a fun blur it was. I'll soon be posting pics of my adventures, as well as updated pictures of puppies who are growing faster than I thought possible. They are just too cute for words!

I had a great few weeks - came home for 2 MSU football games, which were fun, no matter the outcome. Really, truly, you gotta know I love Tailgating! I went to the SWE National Conference and saw a lot of great friends from all around the US, as well as my good friends from SWE Detroit. I got to hold lots of babies - teeny new babies, not so new babies, and play with toddlers of all ages. And even hang out with my friends who have yet unborn little ones. And I got to hang out for a night with the ladies on the town, and make a complete idiot of myself fueled by cosmos and chocolatinis. I had breakfast at some of my favorite breakfast joints, ate Buddy's pizza, middle eastern food (twice even) and even drove by my old house.

So thanks to everyone for putting up with me, keeping me company, welcoming me into your homes, letting me crash in your spare rooms, listening to my ridiculous stories about chickens, sheep, turkeys and very large puppies, and providing me with enough hugs to get through the holidays. It's good to be home again, now I have a house to clean!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

In celebration of my favorite holiday... here is a picture from my costume at work today... a little blurry, but you'll know who it is. Probably the most ironic costume *I* could ever wear.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October Update

Saturday was SO much fun! Christine and I took Cole to the pumpkin patch and the petting zoo. I was so excited for the petting zoo. Now, I did get to pet a llama, which was REALLY cool. But then I realized.... that anything else they had at the zoo... I already had at home! And if I wanted to visit goats that didn't want me to pet them, I could just go next door! It was still fun.
I thought I would also give a puppy update. Those little rascals can climb almost any fence. They are no longer the little scaredy cats we brought home in July. Here is a picture of them shortly after we brought them home. They weighed about 20 pounds in this picture

And here is a picture I took yesterday. The little boogers are probably over 50 pounds now. They eat SOOO much food! But at least their fur grew back in OK, and their fur is amazing at sloughing off dirts and weeds and stuff. It's just those darn pickers they keep getting into! PUPPIES!
Saturday was great fun... until the sun rolled down. In came a HUGE windstorm, and this morning, I was awoken to hail. I wished I could have crawled into bed, but shortly after taking this photo, I noticed a turkey where he didn't belong. In the brutal wind of last night, 6 of our turkeys got blown out OVER the electric chicken fence. I saw some this morning and went to round them up. They aren't hard to round up, since they follow me where ever I go. But the real tragedy is that I didn't check on these guys during the night. I swear the turkeys are about 20 pounds themselves. I didn't think THEY would blow away. But they did. I found 4 this morning, and got them back to safety. I found what was left of the other two. There are some coyotes in the area with full bellies today, that's for sure. Larry says this is part of life on the farm. But I had a moment today... that even though I love the animals, even those rascally pups (who I had to chase, again, through barbed wire fencing) sometimes there is just too much death. All the broilers are gone. We lose a red hen about every 3rd day to some predator that can get through the electric fence. And now 2 turkeys became something's dinner. I found the carcass of one, and disposed of it. The other, I just found several piles of feathers in our neighbor's field, as well as blood. I know he struggled. And I'm sad I couldn't or didn't prevent it. Larry says that's what happens in the wild. But wild turkeys sleep in trees! Well, maybe not in last night's wind, but it made me sad nonetheless. So anyhow, the snow melted once the afternoon sun hit it, but just to be safe, I kept the sheep and the pups indoors for a bit this morning, in case those coyotes decided they wanted something bigger for lunch today.
Halloween is right around the corner. And our black cat, Schroediger, agreed with me today - that it was too cold to go outside, so he thought he should stay in and snuggle with a good, warm blanket.

Inside the House

OK OK, people keep asking for pictures of the house. I have been hesitant to take indoor pictures because, even though we swore we'd get organized after we unpacked all the boxes, that just hasn't happened. Random cords stashed here, CDs laying about there, blankets just about everywhere... it's a mess. BUT, I gave up waiting to have a clean house to take pictures so here are some.

We have a split level house, so this is the family room down half a flight of steps. These are our new leather couches, and Grish says he doesn't care if there's dog hair on the floor, he'll sleep there anyway. You can just barely see the dining room table in the bottom of the picture. Without an actual formal dining room, we sort of stashed a table by the stairs and made one for ourselves.

This is the kitchen. It's big. And it's white. And someday we'll do something about that, but right now, we are living with it. And yes, I did the dishes today. I hate having dishes in the sink.
This is the living room, AKA the music room. The violin case is sitting on the piano bench. The guitars and my amps are underneath the front window. There is a lot of metal string in that room. Guitars and violins can't possible be under that much pressure, but I've been told that piano strings, all combined, are under 20 TONS of pressure. This, my friends, is why pianos are heavy. Not because of all the metal strings, but because of the large wooden board that has to be able to withstand all that pressure. And Larry harasses me about being particular about my piano. It's doing a lot of work, 24/7 to keep all those strings in line!
These two pictures are specifically for my friend Karen. This is the curio cabinet we bought from Margaret. It is now home to Larry's Japanese tea sets, as well as some chops sticks Amy and Sherri brought home for me on their trips to the island. As well as some paper figures that Yumi brought back on her recent trip home.

This is the antique dresser we also bought from Margaret. I like it. I don't yet know what to do with it, but it resides in the second spare bedroom upstairs. Which is also known as the blue room. Also known as the dog room (the only pictures in that room are of dogs) Also known as the room where we store our luggage.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Halloween Flashback

This is my tribute to Halloweens' past, when each year revolved around the big party I threw at my house. May those parties and their memories RIP.


Halloween 2005 - ARGH the sunken pirate ship!
Halloween 2004 - Super Heros
Halloween 2003 - Clue
Halloween 2002 - Party in Hell
Halloween 2001 - The wedding of Frankenstein
Halloween 2000 - A medieval nightmare
Halloween 1999 - the Mad Scientist's Lab

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tough Turkeys, Pregnant Sheep, Growing Pups

Just some new photos from my morning out on the pasture. The guy below is our one red rooster. Seeing as the reds are egg layers, this one was a surprise. But out of 50 hens, we only had one mistaken rooster. He crows in the morning sometimes. I really like him, he's got pretty green feathers in his tail. The problem will be when the girls start to lay, we will have to separate him. To me, that means putting him in the barn, or maybe in the fence with the sheep. To Larry, that means going in the stew pot. :(


When we move the chicken fence, we have to mow the fenceline, or the electric fence will fry the grass. We used the mower today, also to pull the chicken house to its new spot. We let the mower sit for a minute, and the chickens and turkeys swarmed it. They have to check out anything new in case it's food. Silly birds!
They'll eat anything. The turkeys especially love my wedding ring and peck at it all the time. They haven't figured it out yet.
Here are two Toms having a little discussion over who's tougher. We figured out who the turkey king is. It's the one with no poop on his tail. It's hard to tell from this picture, but their gobbles are turning really red, and their faces are turning PURPLE! But they look like turkeys now, don't they!
This is a female turkey. Just checking me out.
I turned around to head to the barn to get more chicken feed... and I turned around and found that all the turkeys were following me. Silly birds, indeed!
Here are the sheep. Laverne is doing yoga to scratch her ear. You can't tell from this picture, but we believe Laverne is pregnant. Shirley might be, too. We have no way of really knowing. But Laverne is a big girl. We think it might be twins . These sheep can have 1 to 3 lambs at a time, so who knows! We'll see in winter what comes out!Hi Atlas! No, the chicken food isn't for you, either!

Here are the boys having a moment. They are trying to plan what to do next... chase horses, chase chickens, chase turkeys, eat chicken food, play with Athena... so much fun to be had as a puppy!

Let's go get HOBBES!

Now that the puppies are almost the same size as him, Hobbes is willing to play with them. They had a good romp this morning and chased each other, rolled about in the pasture and wrestled until they were all so tired, they just collapsed.