Monday, November 16, 2015

My Heart Breaks For Paris

Over the years I have been blessed to visit Paris many times.  People have said that the French are arrogant and aloof.  That has never been my experience.  All Parisians I've met have been warm and inviting and happy that I appreciate their city so very much. 

My heart breaks for Paris and its people in the wake of these horrible attacks. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Blast From The Past: Chasing a Pig

Before we started raising and breeding our Idaho Pastured Pigs, we would get a few piglets each spring to raise until fall.  Here is a story of a spring adventure from a couple of years ago.....

We got this year's batch of four piglets on Monday.  I've been too exhausted to write about our harrowing day!

We dropped the first piglet in the pen.  It hit the fence... and kept on going!  It ran into the forest behind our house and so began a three and a half hour pig chase.  

We put up a push-in fence along the road and herded the pig into it in an attempt to slow it down so we could jump on the pig and catch it.  It hit the fence turned sideways and ran around it.  After that, it knew that fence was there and wouldn't go in that direction.

We found that piglets never tire out.  My husband, four children, and I chased that pig until we could hardly move and it never got tired!  It would lay down for a second while we all tried to herd it, but then up and away it went.  We tried hiding and catching the pig as it ran past.  We tried closing in on it in a circle.  It's much easier for a little pig to slide through the forest than a big vertical human!  

After hour number two we started thinking, "roast suckling pig."

Finally, in an opening in the forest, we made a "C" shaped fence enclosure and doubled the fencing.  The children herded the pig into the enclosure.  It ran in at top speed!  The piglet hit the back end of the enclosure, got hung up for a second, frantically backed out and turned sideways, hit that fence, and my husband jumped on it and grabbed its legs!  It screamed bloody murder.  Oh my, did we cheer and dance!  

Now, we've put the piglets in a high, solid board enclosed area for a few days until they calm down.  As they get accustomed to their new home they'll gradually get a little more freedom.

The lessons never stop coming!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

  This is how my Halloween decorations looked ......

.... before the blustery winds blew some of them the way of Dorothy's house.  

Don't be alarmed if you find a headstone tucked into your bushes somewhere!

Halloween is Here
by Debbie

It's time for Halloween,
A day for trick or treat,
When the kids dress up in costume,
And walk proudly down the street.

They ring alot of door bells,
And collect alot of candy too,
And if they happen to see a ghost,
They will be greated with a boo.

Pumpkins light up the windows,
And decorations adorn the front yard,
So be careful when you come in,
Because the skeleton will be on guard.

So go have alot of fun,
And don't have any fear,
Because it will soon be over,
And you'll have to wait till next year.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Autumn Blows Away

We've had lots of rain and windy weather the past couple of days and that generally blows the leaves off the trees and sends us into that dead time between autumn and winter when the trees are bare and the snow hasn't fallen yet.  Luckily, I was able to get a few late autumn photos.  

I don't think there is anything better than seeing autumn from the back of a horse!

And there are always the beautiful country road shots.  

Now we turn our minds towards winter....

In Autumn
by Winifred C. Marshall

They're coming down in showers,
The leaves all gold and red;
They're covering the little flowers,
And tucking them in bed
They've spread a fairy carpet
All up and down the street;
And when we skip along to school,
they rustle 'neath our feet

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An Abundance Of Horsey Riches

You know horses are like potato chips and you can't have just one!

I started with Lady.  My little white Arabian-esque girl.

Then added Sassy and Bandit.  My mustang and paint.

And now we've added Ever (with a name change to "Willow" because it suits her so much more) to the crew!

Willow got to participate in her first "horsey beauty shop" day this past weekend.  She was terribly nervous at first, but calmed down and enjoyed the attention.  

Lady got a very special mane treatment.  

Horse yawn.  She's bored.  This took a long time to finish!

Doesn't it look lovely?  Our exchange student, Jaque, did the majority of the work.  I just finished the bottom row.

I think Flower must sense the cold weather coming.  I caught her "making her bed".

We've opened the fence between Flower and Tigger for breeding.  Funny thing...  Tigger will NOT cross the invisible line of the opened fence.  Flower has no problem walking back and forth, but he is frightened to death of it!

Fall is definitely in the air here.  There's been ice on the water buckets!

* Update.  Flower went into heat and that was motivation enough for Tigger to cross the invisible fence line.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Autumn Odds and Ends

I had to go out to the Ulysses, Pennsylvania area yesterday for a cross country track meet and while I was there I decided I would pick up the dog carrier I had accidentally left at an Amish homestead.  

To explain, about two weeks ago, after asking around, I found an Amish family that butchers chickens.  I brought them 24 chickens I had raised.  The $3 a bird butchering fee was worth every single penny!  

Yesterday's drive through the countryside was absolutely lovely.  I wish I had taken more photos!

I think I may have to start carrying a better camera.  Although my phone takes nice pictures, these photos just don't really capture how lovely it was. 

I've seen paintings and photos of corn shocks, but had never seen them in real life.  The sheep grazing in the background give the photo a nicely bucolic feel. 

A real working windmill.  I think I have windmill envy!

I posted the picture below on my Facebook page with the quotation: "You never know what manner of 'wild' critters you'll find wandering around here". 

The other morning I looked out the window and couldn't grasp what my eyes were seeing.  Two cows were sleeping in the field next to my house!  

I called around and found out that the word "wild" in the quote above should not have quote marks around it.  These two cows have been on the lam for over a month and are truly wild!

The two cows disappeared back into the forest and I don't know if they've yet been captured.


Monday, October 19, 2015

First Hard Frost of 2015: Brrrr!

It's been coming and now here it is. 

We fired up the wood stove last night and it makes the downstairs nice and cozy.  But I'm just not ready yet for winter's icy grip. 

Oh so lovely.  But if I count on my fingers: October, November, December, January, February, March, April... maybe May, I count 7 to 8 months of cold weather.  There's something wrong here!