Friday, January 27, 2012

I...I...I Gotta Go!

I thought I'd sit down and catch up on a few of my favorite blogs, but it turns out I gotta get out of here. Because I just witnessed something that I shudder to describe. It can't be described. Shouldn't be described. SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN. EVER. (Mom, stop reading now.)

Sometimes farm life is just way too...farmy.  I'm about to subject you to the dark underbelly of farm living that most self-respecting women won't discuss. Won't even whisper about. I'm going to blow the doors wide open on this secret shame that women are supposed to be genetically hardwired to keep quiet.

See, our old swiss cheese Adobe farm home is right next to a (now dormant) alfalfa field, then surrounded by high desert and pasture and grazing land around that, with homes and corrals here and there. If you don't know already, swiss cheese + fields + wide open spaces = mice.

Mike has been on a quest of late to kill all the mice that have taken up residence since the fall. We haven't had mice around here since the first year we moved in; but this year, we've got 'em. And we are working hard to get rid of them.

Mike's tried a few different methods  to get rid of the critters. We've considered poison, but we'd hate to have the poisoned mice run outside and get eaten by one of our cats (although, if the cats were doing their job a little better, we might not have this issue, but that's another topic altogether.) Right now we're down to just good old fashioned traps. You know the kind? Put down the cheese or peanut butter, then SNAP

This morning, Mike reported he caught/killed six mice last night. Six. I didn't want to know there were six mice around here. There aren't enough Clorox wipes in the world for the kind of obsessive disinfecting I'm fantasizing about. But, that's not the end of the story.

Guess what, Mikey? One of your contraptions caught one more little fiend this morning. Then, Ben the Kitten found the trap. (Little late to the game there, Benny.) And nothing good has come from that development. No, no, nothing good at all. And I am absolutely not getting close enough to intervene.

So, I'm leaving the house till he's done with his barbaric adventure.

I'm going outside to build a moat around the house to keep any more of the whiskered fellers from finding their way in.

Ew. Ew. Ew.Ew. Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.Ew.

(By the way, lest you think those other bright, shiny apple-cheeked farm bloggers don't have anything so icky happen in their little farming adventures, think again. They do. I'm sure of it. They must. Mustn't they? Please?)

Love from the farm,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thwarted Plans...And That's OK!

(WARNING: There are a startling number of parentheses in this post. I'm not sure where they all came from, but they appear to have hijacked this entry. I hope you'll make it through OK. T-Dub)

Today, I was going to A) sleep in, then B) can up a bunch of chicken and beef I bought on sale this week, then C) go into the office and write a few articles for Wednesday's paper.

That was the plan.

I did Part A.

Then I jumped into Mike's truck, ran to town, grabbed the family a dozen donuts and myself two sodas (one for now, one for the fridge) through the drive-thru at our local donut shop, and got back home without anyone finding out I left home in my jammies. (Except the drive-thru girl, and I think she'll keep it between us.)

All set to start on Part B of today's plan, I went to the refrigerator only to find no chicken. Not a single breast. What happened to my chicken? Then I remembered...I'd put the chicken in the freezer because I didn't want to chance it beginning to get even a little "off" before the weekend. I bought it from a grocer I don't usually buy meat from and I just didn't want to chance it being anywhere near on its way out, you know?


As much as I was looking forward to putting up the jars of meat for the year (we're down to our last pint of canned chicken), I admit it didn't take me long to decide to use the time I'd planned to work on Part B of today's agenda another way.

I hopped back into bed with my favorite Christmas present.

OK, technically, it's Mike's Christmas present, but it is one of my favorites.

I caught up on updates from a few of my favorite blogs on the magical glowing Kindle.

And, now, I'm going to again crawl back into bed next to my slumbering husband (he worked from 6p last night and got home after 7a today) and do a little in-depth studying of a subject I feel the need to master:

Nothing like snuggling up next to your sweetheart on a blustery winter's day, and learning the fine art of letting things rot. So excited! (And by the way, I'm not kidding when I say blustery. I've been watching leaves swirling outside our front picture window the whole time I've been writing this. I love swirling leaves.)

Where was I? Oh, I was excited. Very excited...I can't wait to become a master composter.

(See the little glimpses of bedding surrounding the Kindle and book? That's my VERY favorite Christmas present this year...a beautiful quilt made by my Aunt Carol for Mike and me. I LOVE it! Not only because it is exquisitely crafted -- I'm fairly certain she won a ribbon at the county fair for this, this fall; I'll have to check -- but it's made with love and care, which she imparts in all of her handmade creation. She is such a lovely lady...I adore her. Thanks again, Aunt Carol. It makes me happy everytime I look at it. Every single time. So happy, in fact, for the first time in our 15 years of married life, Mike and I make our bed every day. And, I'm sure that makes my Mom happy, too. And Mike's mom. Our messy bedroom is pretty much legendary. Aunt Carol had no idea how many lives she would touch with this quilt.)


Before I go back to bed with my Diet Pepsi from Donuts Plus (there's an oxymoron), let me leave you with a shot of this little sweetie.

Macy was bringing in firewood and picked this little guy up and brought him in to say hi.

Hi, little rooster boy, who hatched in our home a few weeks ago. Glad to see you! Do you remember this place? Smell familiar? No? That's because you and your aromatic sibs aren't living in here anymore. Still, we love you dearly and are glad to see you growing like a little weed. (Note the lovely natural color variation in Macy's hair. Remember those days, ladies? The days of free color highlights? Those were the days.)

OK, we've covered a lot of territory this morning. I'm going to leave you now and go crack my book open for the very first time.

Don't even get me started on how much I like to crack open a new, never-opened-before book.  Or snuggle next to a sleeping husband. Much as I like Mike's Kindle, I'm a bonafide non-virtual book girl, through and through.

I'll get to Part C of the plan a little later on. Part B was going to take hours. No sense abandoning the plan altogether.

Love from the farm,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Birds Fly South For A Reason

Turns out there's a darn good reason geese and ducks fly south for the winter.

Here's Bruno.

Bruno's our grey goose. We're pretty sure Bruno is a girl, but I have yet to look up her skirt so I can't be sure. I'm just that expert of a poultry owner.

Now, here's Doris. Doris is our duck. You've met her before. Remember? We named her for her pillbox hat? Because Doris Day often wore a pillbox hat during the era of pillbox hats?

We've loved having Doris and Bruno around the farm. They're a hoot. Can't get enough of them. Truly.

They're also prolific poopers, these girls. And, as you know, I can't handle the poo. I can't handle their particular brand of poo, specifically. Great gobs everywhere you look or step.  It's something to behold.

In recent weeks, we moved Bruno, Doris and their feathered chicken friends to the chicken yard down by the barn and we were blissfully free of poo for a space of time. As we visited Bruno and Doris in the chicken yard and the weeks passed, though, we noticed the fine-feathered girls looking a little bedraggled and distressed.

They weren't happy campers. They were restless. They were in a dither. They were constantly wringing their hands. They just seemed...verklempt. We couldn't figure out what the problem was.

Then, Mike nailed it: the ladies missed their little pool under the trees up by the house. It was their favorite - these swimming fowl NEED to preen and splash and dive and swim. They need to be clean. It's very important to their sense of vanity and self-esteem. These ladies need to feel presentable.

Since we've been having a lot of mild winter days, after getting off to a very snowy start this season, the hose finally thawed, and so today, Mike filled up the girls' pool and brought them up from the chicken yard for a dip. Oh, how the ladies exulted in their nice, clean pool.

They dove and ducked and swam and rooted around in their feathered bellies. They plucked and nudged every nook and cranny; they kept tossing water over their backs and craning their necks in impossible contortions to scrub every last inch of their fancy feathered selves. (Like how I'm pretending that "selves" is a word? Did you catch that?) This took a good half hour. I finally lost interest and went back in the house. I'm not sure how long they actually stayed in the pool.

I remarked to Mike that I was a little concerned that Bruno might not dry off in time for the below freezing nighttime temperatures. Should we run and pick up a new heat lamp for them tonight? Doris was looking nice and waterproof; I wasn't as worried about her. But Bruno, she was looking a little slick and drippy.

"Nah, she'll be fine," said Mike.

"Yeah, she'll be OK," said friend Emily, who was watching the bathing spectacle with us.

Ummm, Em? Mikey? Just so you know, it's freezing out and I got me two wet, incredibly confused bird ladies in the spare, rarely used bathroom that is presently thickly covered with newspapers on every surface.

Did you hear me?? I have a wet GOOSE and DUCK in the bathroom! Anybody watch Friends? Anything sound familiar???

Did I mention the ladies are a little stressed by their surroundings. You know what stress leads to, don't you? Extreme stress? Mmmm hmmmm....stomach aches. And can you imagine what a goose and a duck with a stomach ache can do? Can you imagine the colossal poop fest that I'm studiously avoiding until tomorrow when I can let them back outside? I can't bring myself to dwell on it.

Instead, I am searching my soul and my faltering memory, trying to pin down the dastardly deeds I committed in my earlier years that have put me on the receiving end of this cosmically karmic farmy freak show.

Love from the farm,