Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Truths About Farming

Farm truth #1: There are tons of projects around the farm that need to be done in a farmer's spare time.

Take the barnyard, for example.

The lovely cows, during the lovely dog days of summer, love to wallow around in their own lovely muck in order to get out of the lovely heat and humidity.

The result is a not-so-lovely barnyard and a bunch of cows that can suffer from a not-so-lovely hoof condition called foot rot.

Farm truth #2: Farmers have no spare time to finish these projects.

That's right, I said it. Farmers have no spare time to do extra projects around the farm because they're too busy with:

1) their off-farm jobs
2) their kids
3) their civic duties, and
4) their daily farm work.

It's stressful, people.

And to prove it, just look at how stressed I am at my off-farm job!

Farm truth #3: No one cares to listen to you whine about not having any spare time to finish your farm projects.

No need to elaborate on this one.   

Farm truth #4:  If you whine loud enough, a few helpers may appear out of nowhere. 



Double yes!!

Farm truth #4: There are many people who are happy to congratulate you when you finally get around to finishing those farm projects.

Farm truth #5: Kids love to write their name in fresh cement.

Farm truth #6:  Farmers love getting a good project done.

The end.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scott Russell Sanders

"People who root themselves in places

are likelier to know and care for those places

than are people who root themselves in ideas.

When we cease to be migrants and become inhabitants,

we might begin to pay enough heed and respect to where we are.


By settling in, we have a chance of making a durable home for ourselves,

our fellow creatures,

and our descendants."

--Scott Russell Sanders

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Boys 1, Girls 1

Calf #2 was born this morning. It's a girl!!

She's been adorned with a very stylish #39 earring and officially welcomed to the clan.

Tally so far? Boys 1, Girls 1.


Friday, April 8, 2011

The Official Start of Spring

Most people don't tend to think of spring as a date on a calendar.  Sure, March 20th is the first official day of the season, but if it's a blustery, wintry March 20th does that really count?  And if it doesn't, what does? 

For example, I'm friends with many birdwatchers.  I can't count how many times I've heard them talk about their fist robin or red-winged blackbird of the season, exclaiming "Spring is here!". 

And what gardener doesn't joyously exclaim "Spring is here!" when they see the first daffodil, with its bright yellow petticoats, adorning the yard?

But on the farm?  On the farm nothing quite says "Spring is here!" like the first calf of the season.

In Irish Grove, Spring officially started on April 8, 2011.


  At 9:23 a.m. to be exact.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Litter-ally Disgusted

We live a half mile from the corner.

Just a half mile.  It's not far.  

The kids and I decided to take a walk down the road to get a little exercise and enjoy the sunny afternoon.

We brought along a garbage bag to pick up some litter.

Can you believe we filled a 30-gallon black plastic garbage bag to the very, bursting top BEFORE we got halfway back?

People are pigs.

No, nevermind.  I'd hate to insult pigs.

Some people are just nasty and disrespectful and lazy.  GRRR.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Hey, it's St. Patty's Day!  Luck o' the Irish to you!

I've gathered up a few Irish tidbits for your enjoyment.  The website I took them from--Ireland Fun Facts--calls them facts.  Not accusing anyone, of course, but the Irish have been known to embellish once in awhile, especially when telling a story.  And I'm simply too lazy to verify.  (Now there's the real truth of the matter!) 

Truth or not, they're fun to read through...and fun is one thing all Irish men and women can agree on.  Enjoy!

According to some historians, over 40% of all American presidents have had some Irish ancestry.

In olden days, a pig was often allowed to live in the house with the family on an Irish farm. He (or she) was commonly referred to as "the gentleman who pays the rent."

Saint Brendan is said to have discovered America 1,000 years before Columbus.

The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia, in County Galway.

The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 year lease on it's property, at a perpetual rate of 45 Irish pounds per year.

One traditional Irish cure for a hangover was to be buried up to the neck in moist river sand.

Historians believe St. Patrick’s real name was "Maewyn Succat.

The tune of the "Star Spangled Banner" was composed by the great blind harper Turlough O’Carolan, who died about 35 years before the American revolution.

Ireland is the world’s only country with a musical instrument for a national symbol: the harp.

An “An Fáinne” is a lapel pin, worn by some fluent Irish speakers to invite others to speak to them in the traditional language.

It’s not the custom in Ireland to wear green ties, hats or other green clothes on St. Patrick's Day. A sprig of shamrock in the coat lapel is the preferred display.

Now a few quotes from some famous Irishmen:

"The Irish do not want anyone to wish them well; they want everyone to wish their enemies ill."
- Harold Nicolson

"I had that stubborn streak, the Irish in me I guess."
- Gregory Peck

"Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity."
- Sean O'Casey

"Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher."
- Flannery O'Connor

"You know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer."
- Hal Roach

"Ireland, sir, for good or evil, is like no other place under heaven, and no man can touch its sod or breathe its air without becoming better or worse."
- George Bernard Shaw

And my personal favorite:

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
- Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish)

Finally, an Irish blessing or two...

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through

Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  And Happy Birthday, Laura!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mystery in the Hen House

Last night I walked out to the hen house aka milking barn (that sound you just heard is Grandpa turning in his grave, RIP) to collect the eggs. This is a nightly chore, very routine.

At the same time, I brought out the newly-cartoned-eggs from last night to put in the fridge for sale. I'm efficient like that.

Point is, I could see--even before I added the newest 2 dozen eggs to the fridge--that we had another 4 dozen there waiting for our customers. In other words, we had plenty of eggs in the fridge.

With my trusty egg basket in hand, I first closed the sliding barn door to keep out any and all chicken-eating-critters and then proceeded to the nests to collect the eggs. To where I found nothing.


Not an empty shell or two, not a few eggs hidden under the bedding, not one single egg.

What the....???

We've had egg problems in the past and usually the culprit is her:

Or her:

Or her:

Egg-eating chickens are extremely problematic because we're not able to hang in the barn all day keeping a watchful eye on the flock to see which one is the guilty party. It usually takes more than a week to find out which one is eating the eggs, severely cutting in to our egg supply, and it also usually doesn't end well for the poor hen.

*insert moment of silence here*

But usually an egg-eating-chicken will get full, she'll leave a few eggs behind, and the remaining eggs tell the story, as they're completely mucked up and covered in egg yolk/nest litter/stuck feathers.

Through the years, we've found a few other problematic animals in the hen house. These characters could very well develop taste for farm-fresh eggs, especially after a long, cold winter. And they can be problematic in more ways than one, as you'll quickly agree with me.

The culprits I'm talking about could be him:

Or her:

Other problematic animals exist as well, but are less-likely for obvious reasons.

I'm talking about her,
seeing as we don't have hyenas in Irish Grove.

Or him,
seeing as the time of year seems a bit wrong.

Which leads me to wonder if we might have a problem with another type of animal.

A two-legged.

Someone that looks suspiciously like her:

And yet I'm not convinced. If a two-legged were to steal eggs, wouldn't they just grab some out of the fridge? I can't imagine why they'd enter the barn to collect eggs when there were 4 dozen sitting in the fridge.

So we obviously have a problem. A head-scratcher. A real noggin-cracker. What we have here is a Mystery in the Hen House.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A View from Afar

Please enjoy the view from Panama!

Madelina showing off a Christmas present:

Bebo, Yami, Chelo and Dilsa dancing the night away:
The twins, Ashley and Darinel, enjoy their first ever visit to a swimming pool:

Ana and I grinding corn for bollos, a traditional Panamanian dish:

Elsa, filling corn husks with the bollo masa:

A lovely tarantula:

The kids, alligator 'hunting':

The lovely Panama landscape:

The lovely Panama landscape, i.e. mud, all over my boy:

Fun at the beach:

Armando in his Panama digs:

Ana, enjoying a laugh with her Aunts:

Marcel, being a goofball as usual:

Our nephews, Chelito and Joseph:

Yami and I, mixing up the tamale masa:

The view, when we returned: