Saturday, December 28, 2013


Every few years we have to update our bull, this is the last year we can have Big Bull because his daughters, who spent last summer with Louie, will be with the cow herd this year.

Louie is slated to be the main herd sire now, a position he's confident he can fulfill after spending the summer with a harem of his own.

So today we went to our local 'Bulls R Us', Carlson Cattle Company and bought a dandy baby bull, meet 9100.

After a small mishap, Bruce backed the trailer up to the load out gate, Mark, our vet and owner of 'Bull R Us', is running the gate. Before we could ask, "Do you need some help?", Mark had 9100 loaded.

Back home Bruce successfully backs the trailer up and alley with no mishaps and opens the gate for baby bull.

Baby Bull is very confident in his manhood, first stop is to introduce himself to Big Bull.
"Are you my daddy?"
"No, son."

Next he zero's in on one of the cows.
"Are you my mommy?"
"No, son."

Then he promptly smells her behind, well, he is a bull after all.
I'm sure glad men have better manners.

After circling through the cows, baby bull decided to take on the round bale feeder.

After he decided he wasn't going to move it, he spied the future cows.
"Hello, future cows! Wait till next summer, I'll have a surprise for you!"
He seems to like older women and is back to bugging the brown cow.

Then he meets Louie, have you noticed baby bull does not know about personal space?
"Hello, Louie."
"Don't get any big ideas, son."

A few hours later I went back to the farm to see how things were going and found all three bulls bedded down together.

It looks like baby bull has the hang of things.
Two sisters, one blonde and one brunette, inherit the family
ranch. Unfortunately, after just a few years, they are in financial trouble. In order to keep the bank from re-possessing the ranch they need to purchase a bull from*a stockyard in a far-away town so that they can breed their own stock. They only have $600 left.

Upon leaving, the brunette tells her sister, "When I get there, if I decide to buy the bull, I'll contact you to drive out after me and haul it home."

The brunette arrives at the stockyard, inspects the bull, and decides she wants to buy it. The man tells her that he will sell it for $599, no less. After paying him, she drives to the nearest town to send her sister a telegram to tell her the news.

She walks into the telegraph office, and says, "I want to send a telegram to my sister telling her that I've bought a bull for our ranch. I need her to hitch the trailer to our pickup truck and drive out here so we can haul it home."

The telegraph operator explains that he'll be glad to help her, then adds, "It's just 99 cents a word." Well, after paying for the bull, the brunette only has $1 left. She realizes that she'll only be able to send her sister one word. After a few minutes of thinking, she nods and says, "I want you to send her the word "comfortable."
The operator shakes his head. "How is she ever going to know that you want her to hitch the trailer to your pickup truck and drive out here to haul that bull back to your ranch if you send her just the word "comfortable?"

The brunette explains, "My sister's blonde. The word's big. She'll read it very slowly...


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

The time is drawing near, this most holy day of the year, when we remember the first gift of Christmas, a baby in a manger. As a child, my eyes were on the gifts under the tree, wondering if that special one would be there under the cheery Christmas wrap and ribbons.

As an adult my focus is not on the value of the gifts but on the love that went into them.

My sister, Rosanne, has spent a lot of time over several years scrapbooking the 12 Days of Christmas ornaments for all her siblings, finishing this year. What treasures of the heart they are. My favorite, a picture of me with my first horse, Pokey, embellished with stamps she had saved from previous Christmas cards of Zoe and Sadie with baby, Mollie.


Our 91 yr old church organist, Bernice, still makes her special pickles for the chosen ones because she knows how much we love them. You can tell who gets the gift packages by the look of delight on their faces as they peer inside.

We had supper with our friends, Swains, last night and daughter, Lisa had a Christmas stocking stuffed  with goodies for us and all our animals, from the kale for the chickens, to cat treats and toys, dog treats, and apples for the horses.

A special gift from our Sunday school children, who put on the story of that first Christmas morning so long ago, complete with a live Baby Jesus, who, in real life, was Lily in a red velvet dress.

The gift of time spent with family gets more precious all the time, I'm blessed with two great families and lots of friends who are family.

The gift that came back to us on Sunday night at our small church's traditional caroling party with food afterwards. I made a kettle of soup but Barb put her heart and soul into not only chili, but everything you could think of to go with it, a big basket of hot chocolate mix with 2 kinds of marshmallows, a large tray of goodies and all the bowls, napkins and spoons to eat and she does it with a smile and kind spirit. We had a very small crowd show up, it was a cold night and I was thinking, "Why do we even bother?" Then we were at the nursing home where Bruce's Aunt Vera lives, suffering the effects of a severe stroke that left her paralyzed  and not very communicative. Seeing her mouthing the words of those old, familiar carols, along with us, made me realize, 'This is why we bother.'

But the best gift I ever received is my loving husband, Bruce, who is kind and patient.

 He takes the time every day, sometimes several times, to acknowledge his faithful dog, Mollie as she expresses her sheer delight at seeing him. This is the most important part of her day and he doesn't disappoint her.

I hope your Christmas is tail-wagging great and spent with people you love.

Friday, December 20, 2013


My sister, Rosanne, came bearing gifts Wednesday, 1/4 dozen farm, fresh eggs, delivered special for me!!

I finally had to break down last week and buy some 'sweatshop' eggs from the grocery store. How boring!
How many remember the Seinfeld episode where Kramer boycotts 'sweatshop' eggs and buys his own chicken....only to discover it is a rooster. He is a fighting rooster at that, so Kramer names it Little Jerry Seinfeld and promptly puts him in training and George gets the bad end of the fight.
Back to the eggs, this is what I usually see when I open a carton of home grown eggs.
BEAUTIFUL!! Green, blue, brown, white, large, and small, the one front and center is an over achiever, I couldn't even close the carton.
I repeat, BORING!!
How do people eat these things??
I always enjoy sharing the bounty of my hens with family and friends and Rosanne was a frequent giftee. I had people ask me if I sold eggs but I didn't want to get into that, washing, candling, grading, who needs the stress?
Even though I have been stingy with the eggs that were dwindling in the last couple of months, as my hens all go through their molt, I figured the three new pullets would be picking up the slack before the eggs ended.
I was wrong.
Everyday I have a talk with my girls....
"Girls, did anyone lay an egg today?"
All I get is "BWAACK!!"
I have no idea what that means but so far there are no eggs.
I even dreamed last night I got three eggs, is that weird or what??
So getting these lovely little jewels made my day!!
But a dilemma now ensues, how to use them? They must be treasured, not beaten into a batter but they deserve to be the main dish.
A hamburger topped with a fried egg?
Egg in a nest?
Egg McMuffin on a homemade bun?
Hard boiled with Cookies seasoning?
Hot hard boiled with mayo on fresh bread?
Right now they are squirreled away in the back of the fridge, out of Bruce's sight, I fear he would not appreciate them as I do.
And I must abide by one of the Commandments, "Thou shalt not covet thy sister's hens."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit around here, well almost.....

It's only a week away from the day that the jolly fat man treats those who have been extra special good this past year. The animals don their best holiday head gear to show their spirit.

Chet is looking quite dapper.

Chantilly, making fun of Lady's headgear......

"Oh, you didn't tell me I had to wear one of these dumb things also."

Mollie is convinced she has been really, Really good and has high hopes for a stuffed stocking Christmas morning.

But right now a nap would feel good, barking from 2 - 4 AM tends to wear a dog out.

Zoe is contemplating revising the list she sent to Santa, she's thinking a subscription to the Mouse of the Month club would be fun.

And then there is Clyde.....

"I'm not wearing no freaking Santa hat, you never know who's head it's been on!!"

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas baking.....for my chickens

While most kitchens are alive with fragrant aroma of Christmas cookies, pies, breads and other yummy baked goods, I decided to fix my chickens a treat, Knockoff Flock Block. Say that real fast and it sounds like something naughty. Flock Block is a commercial brand of chickie goodies, held together with molasses and other binding ingredients. I could go buy one at Bomgaars but it's more fun to save some money.

Mix some cracked corn, the by-product of the corn stove screenings, their layer feed, oats, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, wheat flour, raisins, unsalted chopped peanuts, some dog kibble and meal worms, if you happen to have any in the house. I did not. It's the perfect time to get rid of old chips, crackers or buggy stuff out of your cupboard. To bind it together takes eggs, since the shell is good for the chickens, just smash the entire egg and beat, molasses and coconut oil, I used bacon grease. Mix it all up, put it in a pan and bake for about 30 minutes. You can't believe how good it smells, I had a hard time not snacking on it.

I cut it into large squares and put one in a suet feeder and hung it in the covered scratch yard. The chickens were scared of it and ran into the coop.
Guess that's why they are called chickens.
They are also curious so it wasn't long before they had to come out and see just what it was. Gabby Gertie was the first one to try it.
It wasn't long before others were lined up for some flock block.
I also made them a suet block, using a lot of the same dry ingredients, I spread it out in a waxed paper lined Clementine box. Then poured bacon grease over the top and mixed it well. (I save my bacon grease all year long just to make suet cakes for the birds and chickens in the winter.
Stick it out in the garage to harden, cut into sections and they go into a dog bowl.
The chickens aren't bashful, they love suet.
It doesn't last long, yeesch! Bacon grease??

I guess they don't have to worry about cholesterol.
You can find the official recipes on Pinterest.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

All dogs go to Heaven

Sadie crossed that rainbow bridge today and was greeted on the other side by her cousins, Chloe and Buster who preceded her earlier this year and all those good dogs who went before them. Life was not good anymore, she had more problems than an enlarged heart and she is finally at peace after a tough week.

We once had a guest minister who, during the children's sermon, told them that their pets don't go to heaven because they have no soul. I told him on the way out that he may believe that but he had no business telling others, especially children, that they won't see their pets in heaven. If that is true, I don't want to go either. All you have to do is look into your dog's eyes and you will see deep into their soul.

Mollie and Bruiser were hovering around Sadie as she went gently into the night and I buried her in the McGregor garden. In the spring I will plant a rose bush, that was the only thing I could plant and not have my big dogs destroy it. Kind of retaliation.

I love this quote from Chicken Soup for the Cat and Dog Lover's Soul, it is so true....

"The final cause of dogs having such short in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?"   Sir Walter Scott

Thanks everyone for their kind words and well wishes.

Mollie is sleeping well tonight on Sadie's heated bed pad.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Something I would do different with a new puppy.

After the loss of their dear Buster, Tom and Carol have a darling puppy, Tinkerbelle. AHHHHH.....

But I do not envy their puppy potty training in Minneapolis in the winter, this morning was -16, YIKES!!
This is little bitty baby Mollie at 6 weeks, her first face off with a cat bigger than her.
If I knew then, what I know now, I would have started grooming her right then.
Because one day she would weigh 75# and run through the grove after who knows what, and come back covered in sticktights.
When I try to clean her up, she turns into Crazy Dog!
Mollie snaps, snarls and tries to grab the brush and the hair that is coming out.

I have to pin her to the ground to comb her, it must be a sight to see us wrestling in the grass.
After the battle, I have my beautiful dog back.....
....until the next time Mollie hears things go bump in the grove and she's off, to protect her turf.