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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Idaho Moment

This is something you don't see every day. Thank goodness! Goats being herded down the highway in rural America. These goats are used to eat noxious weeds in our state. There are many herds similar to this one and apparently they earn their keep.

There are fat ones, skinny ones, and even some very young ones thrown into the mix. I thought this was worth sharing as I have only seen it one other time. They actually stopped highway traffic to move these goats to a new place and cars did not seem to faze them at all.

I promise to be back to a normal blogging cycle soon. I am suffering from end of the season blahs and trying to get ready for the holidays all at the same time. I suppose I could start sharing my snow pictures with you as that seems to be all there is to see right now. Hope you all have a wonderful Turkey day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trying to Live By This Creed


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

~Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

When I was a little kid my mom had this hanging in our one bathroom. I have grown up reading this poem and it has always spoken to me. Except the part about Taking Kindly to the Council of the Years. I do not subscribe calmly to that part. But the rest I like a lot. When life seems a little hectic or untethered, I go back to my mom's bathroom, yes she still has this hanging in front of the potty, and I read it a few times over. At different times, different parts of the poem jump out at me. 

I love this and really need to get one of my own. I probably won't hang it in my bathroom although it seems to touch many who frequent my mom's. Aww heck, maybe I will hang it in my bathroom. Think I can get the mean girl in my life to read it? She really, really, really needs to. Maybe I will leave it for her to find.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

All of The Sudden It's Winter

Winter has finally come to my neck of the woods and I can honestly tell you that Jack Frost is not high on my list of faves right now. Dang it, I forgot how cold winter is. I thought I was ready but maybe not quite yet. My raised bed garden is looking pretty sad right about now. Part of my heart sings about that and the other part is in a schizophrenic depression. It changes hour by hour.

The chickens weren't totally sure the first time they came out into the snow. Funny thing was I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the chickens. Silly us. We were all having a brain malfunction!

We added this little shelf and mini fridge to the chicken house this morning. We figured that with both of us working we would not always be available for egg dispersal. Now we have serve yourself. This also solves the problem of having too many dozen in the fridge inside the house. This will easily hold more than I care to stock. I thought I would let my daughter make a money can for the folks that want to pick up eggs this way.

This ought to work like a dream. There are actually some folks in my town who live rurally and have a full size refrigerator out by the highway. People are welcome to just help themselves. I have always wondered if everyone pays or if they get stiffed with any regularity. I haven't had the nerve to ask them yet. I figure this will be somewhat more controlled. Only those we want to know about it will.

And just for fun a cute picture of one of the boys! They are so darn sweet! We play with them every day and every day shows strides in what they learn. No buyer's remorse here~

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FOOD, Inc.

I pre-ordered this movie several months ago and finally got it in the mail. If you have not seen FOOD, Inc., you must. I have struggled all summer with raising my own meat to eat. We raised meat chickens in the spring and now again in the fall. The beef we eat comes off our place. And our pork is raised 30 miles away by a man who does a small amount every year. I still cried at the time of process and feel bad each time we eat it. I do know that what we are doing is the right thing for my family. Raising your own, in my experience, has not been a money saving experience. It costs more to feed animals well and to keep them healthy and happy. Our egg layers live in what has been coined the Chicken Taj Mahal. And as far as chickens go, I think they are happy as clams.

What I do know is this: If, as a country, we do not do something about the inhumane ways animals for food are raised and processed, we will be in bigger trouble than we already are. If school do not do something to make meals for children healthier, our kids will continue to gain weight and take on obesity oriented diseases. At what point did it become common place for an apple to cost more than a $.99 hamburger. Families are doing what they can to put food on their tables, the food industry is changing what that food is. There is a petition you can sign to change the food served in schools. Hungry For Change can be found here and is a great way to begin getting involved.

We have chosen to continue our adventure into homegrown and home raised. We will keep on doing our part at our level to have a healthier lifestyle. Those of you in cities also have options. You can join CSAs, which are Community Supported Agriculture options. You can chose to spend a little more at the grocer to buy healthier and fresher foods and leave behind some of the more convenient foods. Eventually this will cause the store buyers to stock healthier options and leave out the cruddier ones. They are only going to stock what people are purchasing. Frequenting farmer and growers markets are also a wonderful way to support the local farmer and to feed your family from local sources. So much food these days is grown in other countries. I am trying to go for a 100 mile radius. Simply keeping it within the USA is a noble approach too.

Maybe I sound like a raving maniac and maybe all of this sounds like an unreasonable attempt to take on a giant. But as a nation we took on the Tobacco industry and we won, to some degree. But it is heading in the right direction. It can be done, it just takes us caring about it at home.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Boys are Here!

Well, the newest additions to our little farm are here! The boys came yesterday and are all installed in their new (temporary) corral. They had an hour and a half trek from their old home to ours and they seem to have made the trip very well. Here they are still in the horse trailer, unsure of how happy they are to get out into the unknown.

We let them stay out in the yard for a while to acclimate to their new surroundings. It's probably colder here than where they were born so we have them in a temporary area until we can get them into the barn. The meat chickens are still in that area of the barn so the boys had to wait another week to get into their new digs. We are also going to change up the barnyard a bit to accommodate both donkeys and pygmy goats. They can't live together as the donkeys play rougher than goats do.

So far my nieces and our granddaughter have come to see them and seem to be pretty excited. We did not let them in with the donkeys yet but as time goes on we will introduce them and all should be great. No need to traumatize the poor boys anymore than they have already suffered. When they are comfortable with the new digs, we will let the kids touch them.  Until then, the boys get a reprieve!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My New Favorite

I have a brand new favorite in my life. Ok, so it's a brand new favorite in my 'kitchen life'. The chicken, goat or donkey life has nothing to do with this. Except on page 155. The chickens would most certainly take exception with page 155. I won't show it to them. They are on a need to know basis and they just don't need to know about fried chicken just yet.

I love cookbooks. This is utterly amazing even to me because I don't really like to cook. I cook but I just don't enjoy it. Maybe when I have a new and pretty kitchen I will like it again but for now that's on hold. But I love, love, love this fun cookbook. The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a gem as far as practicality goes. I like to know that what I cook will likely be eaten. I would even go as far as to say I would also like them to like it. Is that asking too much? Thank you, I didn't think so either.

Ree Drummond, the author is a great photographer and her writing is well worth reading. I know, who actually reads a cook book, right? Well I did. Start to finish and I smiled through almost all of it.The rest made me laugh out loud. My husband thinks I have officially gone around the bend. He may be right.

A friend directed me towards the Pioneer Woman blog earlier this year and I visit often. It's fun to read and great to look at too. Plus it motivates me to cook, yikes..... did I just say that out loud?

I am so going to try this sometime this weekend. It looks very doable. 

The Pioneer Woman also has a recipe site now called Tasty Kitchen and it is great. It's just starting up but I can see how this will absolutely explode over the next year. It's all that and a bucket of bees. (Bees are my other new favorite but don't tell my husband yet. He thinks it's just a phase I am going through.)

So if you haven't had the chance to check out The Pioneer Woman Blog or her new cookbook yet, I suggest you do. It is well worth the trip and Ree did not pay me to say that. In fact, I seriously doubt she knows I am writing this or will ever find out for that matter. She seems busy.

About This Blog

We started this blog in Feb. of 2009 to help us stay motivated and to track our progess in the garden. We live on 5 acres surrounded by Idaho farmland. We have wildlife galore and are attempting to attract more in the bird catagory. This is our journal. Welcome!


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