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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Eegaads!  The bows are still lurking under the kitchen table, used gift bags are stacked inside each other and packed away, and credit card bills have arrived like chickens coming home to roost.  It's time to pay the piper!

I spent the morning paying bills. Sigh . . .  some days I feel like this dog . . .

 "Where's my tail?"

"There's my tail!"

 "A-a-a-almost got it!"

"Nope. . .There it is!"

 "Woowh! I'm dizzy . . ."

"Was that VISA or MasterCard?"

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 29 December 2010

 

Check out these ears! 

 

Trace looks more like Dumbo the Flying Elephant than a Border Collie!

  Eeegaads!

I'm sure this really convinces the naysayers that Trace is NOT a Border Collie.  After all, Border Collies should look like this:

                                       Right?

Wrong!

I give you Exhibits A & B:

A Tale (Tail) of Two Puppies

 Ruby

Trace 

They are young Jedi Warriors . . . they are Border Collie!

While other breeds go for a walk, our young Jedi Warriors go for a stalk . . .

May the Force be with them!

 

 And after they stalk everything that moves in the pasture, they finally collapse . . . and the Universe takes a moment to recover.

Read more about the Liver-Coated Sneak-Stalking Sheepdog:

 

 

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sometimes Mom's new dog, Stone, looks over at our side of the fence.

  I can see his mind working . . .

Our side of the fence has sheep, and cows, and horses, and lots of other dogs.

I'll bet he wonders about life on this side of the fence.  But he always chooses . . .

 . . . his new mom!

 He seems . . .

. . .  pretty . . .                                           

                    . . . happy. . . 

 . . . with his choice!

 
Read about how Mom and Stone came together:

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:32 am   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 27 December 2010

There is something magical about little girls and horses.

My brother brought his family to the farm on Christmas Eve and once again, Ona proved that she is worth her (ample) weight in gold.  My nieces climbed aboard her broad back for pony rides. No one has been on Ona in months. No biggie.  This is Ona - The Golden Horse.  As long as Little Girls come bearing horse cookies, she will walk circles all day long.  She really is the perfect horse - so patient, so calm. Nothing much bothers Ona.

You can't put a price on a horse like this.

 . . . or smiles like this.

Ona is okay with walking large, patient circles, with anyone at the helm.

I didn't buy Ona for this.  I bought Ona to teach me how to drive.  And she is as calm and patient with big girls as she is with little girls. 

By the way . . .

. . . as far as we know . . .  

. . . . Ona has never been broke to ride.

(She is utterly clueless regarding leg aids. We believe she is just so calm that she doesn't mind passengers. Yep, a true Golden Girl. Nope, Ona is not for sale.)

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, 26 December 2010

"I didn't trade Trace the lamb for the pig ear. I like looking at my lamb. Mom says it's better than television."

"I like watchin' her play."

 "She runs . . . "

". . . and she bounces."

 "Trace likes watchin' her too, but I don't think it's the same. He says he'll trade me a pig ear, a Milk Bone, aaaand his stuffed chipmunk for her."

"No deal."

"Trace's chipmunk doesn't even have a tail!"

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 04:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, 25 December 2010

"Santa Paws came! I missed him! I missed him!"

We stayed up real late. We waited and we waited . . . and we watched. . .

. . . and we listened . . .

Oli promised that she wouldn't eat Santa Paws.

Cowboy promised he wouldn't chase the reindeer.

This is Trace's first Christmas, so he was real excited.

It's my first Christmas too! I was gonna stay up all night long . . .

. . . but I got sidetracked looking for Jesus and . . .

. . . and I fell asleep!

I missed him!  I missed him!  

But look what he left!

 . . . and this!

We got a new baby lamb!!!!

(Trace and I are still arguing over who gets the baby lamb . . . He said he'd trade me a pig ear for it.)

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 24 December 2010

 

"Mom says that Santa Paws is coming tonight!"

"I'm gonna stay up all night long to wait for him!"

Mom says this is a Holy Night cuz Baby Jesus was born tonight.  Mom says it's okay that they won't let me go to church b'cuz I already live in the most Holy of places . . .  . I live in a stable. If it was good enough for Baby Jesus, it's good enough for me!

 

"Mom says Jesus can see everything we do. Mom says Jesus sees us when I chase the cat.  And He sees us when Lily bites the barn boards. And He sees us when Trace poops in the house. And she said that Jesus tells Santa Paws if we've been bad or good." 

"I wonder where he sits so he can see all those things."

 

"Maybe he's in here."    

 "That would not be good."

"It's gonna be a long night."

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 06:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 23 December 2010

            "Here Trace!"

"Atta Boy!  Hop up here!"

(The Unsuspecting Victim)   

"Look what Daddy has for you!"

("Run, Trace, run!")

    "Now hold still, Little Buddy."

"You're kiddin', right?"     

"I'm fixin' to let him go! Get the picture now! Quick!" 

 

(Unlike bullriding, the sport of Santa Hat Photography rarely allows you 8 full seconds.)

"Here Lily!"

"Oh Come'on, Lil!  Be a sport! Come 'ere!"

 

 "Give us a smile for Santa!"

 

"Yeah, yeah . . . Fa la la la la, and all that crap . . ."

"Okay Lil, that's a take!"

 

"You realize that y'all need therapy, right?" 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 01:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 22 December 2010

As a crime scene investigator, I go into a lot of homes, and I have always said that you can learn a lot about people by looking at their bookshelf. But you can also learn a great deal about people by looking at their Christmas trees.  Some people have "theme" trees. Some have trees so ornate they compete with department stores. And some people, like us, have Christmas trees that serve as "Way Back Machines." 

Over the years you collect ornaments, some fancy, some plain, but each evokes a memory.  We have two trees.  Other Half likes a large tree in the living room, (where Cowboy is delighted to discover that he now has an indoor restroom!), and I like a rosemary tree on the kitchen table, (where my porcelain ornaments are safe from the dogs!)  Each tree has memories.  His family has a Christmas tree lot, and so his big tree always comes from that lot. It is decorated with old ornaments and treasures the kids made (up high, so Cowboy doesn't pee on them!)

The kitchen tree tends to be more animal-oriented. Go figure . . .

. . .  a little heavy on the horses!

 "The First Noel"

Some ornament hold more memories than others.  Years ago, I bought two Belgian Tervuren ornaments at a dog show.

Is this not cute or what!  

It was Kona's first Christmas and he climbed up onto the kitchen table to help himself to the Christmas tree. He mangled this ornament.  The little angel puppy hanging on the star no longer had ears, his halo was crooked, and his wings kept falling off.

 Instead of having a fit, I put it back on the tree and told myself that this ornament would always remind me of Kona's first Christmas.

He was such a clever little guy.

 And he grew to become a good working partner.  I had no idea he would only have eight Christmas trees.  Now I am so glad that I kept that silly broken ornament . . . for it will always remind me of Kona's first Christmas.

And now he is my angel with the crooked halo and the fallen wings . . . 

 What memories does your "Way Back Machine" take you back to?

Fleece Navidad, Everyone!

 

Ma Bad!
Well DUH! Yesterday I changed the "Comments" date from Dec to Jan, but failed to change the YEAR! Thus, I apologize to everyone who tried to post a comment yesterday and were told that comments were no longer being accepted! Thanks to everyone who caught the error and emailed me privately to let me know about it! I've corrected that! Ma BAD!
Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Last night we took the kids and the grandbaby on an adventure that would have made the Griswald's proud! Santa's Wonderland is an outdoor playground that boasts 2.5 million Christmas lights. None of us had ever been before, and it was well worth the trip! We took a horse-drawn carriage ride along our lighted journey.   

  A certain Someone was more impressed with the free bag of kettle corn than she was with the lights.

 

Sparky, our horse, followed the path of cars along the cascade of lights. 

 

And lest anyone forget . . .

 

After the tour Sparky got a well-needed drink.

 

(Note that Lilah has not let go of that bag of kettle corn!)

"Hang on!  That horse is lookin' at my kettle corn!"

After the tour, we went into Santa Town which had everything your little Christmas Heart could desire! They had a cool band that sang Country Christmas songs and hymns.  It was nice to see that in the age of political correctness, the entire theme park wished everyone a Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, and no one was shy about putting the religion back in a religious holiday!

And shopping!  There was lots of shopping!  (I want extra-credit for being an adult and buying a bar of goat milk soap instead of fudge!)

I resisted buying this.  It was hard though!

 They actually had REAL campfires where you could roast hotdogs and marshmallows!

The Lilah Bean's favorite part was still the kettle corn! Her daddy plopped her down in a bale of hay where she happily munched and watched the world around her.  (Note: "The Christmas Story" with Ralphie and the Red Rider BB Gun playing on a large screen in the background!) 

Yes, "God Bless Texas!"

It was a wonderful evening, perfect for building memories. Will she remember Sparky, her taxi cab horse? Probably not?  Will she remember her daddy putting Grandpa's cowboy hat on her head?  I doubt it?  Will she remember the beautifully done Nativity scene?  Certainly not!  What will she remember?

Kettle Corn!!!

Note: They also had a REALLY neat petting zoo with pony rides! Why do we have no pictures of The Lilah Bean at the petting zoo?  Because her daddy took one look at the cost per person and wisely announced that Grandpa had EVERY ONE of those pettable critters at our house and The Lilah Bean could wait until Christmas Eve where she could pet the animals for free.  (I did argue that we did not have a camel, but he pointed out that the camel was not part of the petting zoo. Touche')  The Lilah Bean was unconcerned about the Petting Zoo anyway.  She was still working on the kettle corn.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, 19 December 2010


There is a popular candy bar commercial on the air now that never fails to crack me up. Here's a quick re-cap for anyone without a television set: A guy is in the back seat of a car with Aretha Franklin. He accuses the Diva of being "a diva" when he's hungry and offers him a candy bar. Immediately Aretha Franklin becomes a man eating a candy bar. With some food, his buddy is no longer a Diva. That's when the camera pans to a grumpy Liza Minelli in the front seat. Moral of our commercial: people become grumpy divas when they're hungry.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLrsCnBvQFo

 

That said, Other Half and I went Christmas shopping today. And we were both hungry, thus, you had Liza Minelli and Aretha Franklin in the car together.  It wasn't pretty.

The Divas
Wake up in a good mood.  Swill down enough caffeine to wake up a dead mule. Discuss plans for the day. Note that we have a busy day planned and Other Half is piddling.  Suggest that perhaps our time would be better spent if we split up and he did his chores, and I did my chores.  Aretha Franklin vetos that.  Okay then.  Go feed sheep, horses, and young heifers.  Note that Ruffy, the Evil Red Miniature Horse does not come in for breakfast. 

Begin to really worry until Other Half points out that Ruffy is in the rye grass pasture where he DOES NOT BELONG! Other Half also points out that the heifers have also done the limbo through the fence and have also been dining at the Rye Grass Buffet. This is a disaster. They have reduced an entire pasture of rye grass to nothing. The grass is so short now that it looks like I've turned the sheep on it.  That's about when Liza Minelli entered the picture. Aretha Franklin assures Liza Minelli that since he is off work all next week, he could put up an electric fence to keep Evil Ruffy and The Evil Heifers from slithering into the winter groceries.  Liza Minelli is satisfied and soon Liza and Aretha Franklin are en route to Yuppy Land to shop for Christmas presents with every Homicidal-Soccer-Mom-Slurping-Starbucks-Coffee-Behind-The-Wheel-Of-A-Lexus-In-Three-Counties.  Since Aretha & Liza are Hungry-Divas-who-rarely-shop-at-any-place-other-than-The-Feedstore-and-Tractor-Supply, it was a bad combination.

First, Aretha & Liza have to drive the Toyota 4Runner because they don't want the Ford trucks stolen while In The City. Liza drives the 4Runner to work every day, but Aretha does not like to drive the 4Runner because it is small and not manly enough for a Diva like himself. Aretha has forgotten his gun and must borrow one from Liza.  He has forgotten both his gun and his holster, thus he must wear a very cold gun in the back of his pants.  Liza notes that even with his shirt tail out, it doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that Aretha Franklin has a gun in his pants.  Liza decides against pointing it out because it simply isn't worth the fight. So Aretha & Liza step into the parking lot of the First Store along their journey.

Both Divas are almost run down by Soccer Moms Slurping Starbucks. Surviving that, they step inside the Book Store to find that it is a Madhouse.  Liza has consumed so much coffee that she sends Aretha in search of a Border Collie Engagement Calendar while she rushes to the restroom.  Certainly her mood will improve with an empty bladder.  Don't bet on it!  Minutes later, Liza heads out in search of Aretha.  Finds Aretha in the calendar section deeping engaged in a calendar about Suicidal Bunnies.  (Do what?  WTF??)  It must be a Guy Thing because despite Aretha's repeated attempts to interest Liza in Suicidal Bunnies, Liza is only interested in Border Collies, sunflowers, and the Lavender Fields Of Provence. Aretha has no interest in these things. Liza looks at watch.  The Divas have been shopping for almost an hour and have only found things for themselves.  (But no Border Collie Engagement calendars!)  

Aretha points out that despite the fact that they are only at Place One of the Three Destinations they have planned for today, The Divas have piddled around so long that they no longer have time to go to Destinations Two & Three because he must return home to meet man who is supposed to buy one of the old farm trucks.  (Note: this man has stood us up three times already!) Liza points out that she cautioned Aretha about piddling BEFORE the Divas left the house this morning.  Aretha doesn't want to hear it.  Liza is hungry.  Liza is VERY HUNGRY!  Liza sees a box of Godiva Chocolates.  Liza wants.  Liza gets.  Liza throws credit card at cashier.  It is now 3:30 PM and The Divas have purchased only one Christmas present.

While walking to 4Runner, Liza & Aretha are almost run over by Soccer Moms in the parking lot. Once safely in vehicle, Liza pops out a knife and demands Godiva Chocolate.  Aretha informs her that she cannot eat chocolate because she has had no food and needs REAL food instead.  Liza demands chocolate. NOW!  Liza has a knife . . .  and a gun. Aretha gives Liza the chocolate.  Liza slices into box and pops a truffle in her mouth.  MMMMmmmm . . . Then Liza tells Aretha that the Godiva Chocolate cost $18.  Aretha screams. 

Aretha then does mental math and asks Liza if she knows how many Butterfingers could have been purchased for $18.  Liza pops another truffle in her mouth.

Fortified with chocolate, Liza finally notes that Aretha is becoming a Bitchy Bear. Since Liza is only one centimeter past Bitchy Bear herself, Liza announces that this vehicle will be going to the first Fast Food restaurant that The Divas pass.  But . . . first they must get out of a parking lot filled with Holiday Shoppers. 

Every exit is packed.  Aretha suggests going to an exit behind the stores.  Liza argues that no such exit exists and she refuses to get out of line to search for this Mythical Exit.  Aretha and Liza scream at each other.  Liza wins because she has the wheel.  As they inch along, Aretha smugly points out the Mythical Exit at the other end of the parking lot.  Liza points out that she is armed.

The Divas go through a Wendy's Drive-Thru. Eight dollars later and the firearms are put back up. The Divas have wasted an entire day, threatening each other and countless unwitting Holiday Shoppers and they have only purchased one present . . . and THAT is why the rest of the presents will be purchased from The Feed Store!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 06:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  9 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 17 December 2010

As eventually happens to every devoted parent, Blue Heeler's child has grown up and left the nest.  Despite the perceptions of John Q. Public, Trace is not a Springer Spaniel mix.  He is a Border Collie.  Every gene in his little squirming body screams

 "Young Jedi, You are Border Collie!"

So young Trace has aligned himself with Border Collie.  He follows Lily everywhere. To a Kindergarten-Border-Collie Lily has the cool life of a Jedi-Border-Collie. And it sings to his genes.

 So he follows her . . .

. . .  everywhere.

Is Ranger upset that Trace has grown up

and moved out of the nest?

Not really.

I think keeping up with The Crocodile Hunter was pretty exhausting work.

(I can certainly relate!)

"Where was that Trouble?"

Read:

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:40 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 16 December 2010

Other Half is not a big fan of this dog.  This is why . . .

When I went to bed last night this dog was clean. 

She was white and fluffy . . . and huggable!

 

Every morning she throws herself into what is left of the hay pile,  and she

rolls and plays and looks so cute . . .

 So this morning,

I picked up my camera to capture a Big White Fluffy Dog playing like a polar bear in nice clean hay.  But I forgot . . .

 

This is Briar we're talking about!

Briar, yes, the dog who cannot resist a muddy pond when the temperature rises about 65 degrees. So instead of cute polar bear pictures, you get shots of a muddy dog wallowing in hay that used to be clean.  I apologize for that now.

 

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:15 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Paula in Nevada sent me a link to a site that I simply MUST share with you!

It's a website called http://www.ranching-with-sheep.com/   with a fascinating partner blog at http://ranching-with-sheep.blogspot.com/ .  I just loved it!  The author, Arlette Seib, has a  style that is as stark, simple and beautiful as the Canadian prairie that she writes of.  An earthly spirituality emanates from many of her posts. 

In "Out Here The Air Has Eyes" you can literally "feel" the coyotes watching.  I'm still exploring the site, but you must take a moment to read, "Fixing the Past or Creating The Future?" and "When Old Friends Die."

When she wrote "The Ending Of A Life" I felt her pain and I was reminded of a black day last winter when I was forced to do the same thing . . . 

(Read: Tomorrow is Another Day   and  Ready for Tomorrow )

Please take a moment to look at her website and read her blog.  Your life will be richer for it.  I, for one, will never gripe about another Texas winter.

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:45 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Great White Beast spies an intruder . . .

"Prepare to be disassembled, Intruder!"

"Oh, good grief!  You're kidding, right? The sheep aren't even out here!"

 "NO! You are wolf! I am a wolf-killer!"

"But I'm poopin'!"

"Prepare to die, Wolf!"

"Tag!  You're it!"

 And thus continues the saga of Ralph & Sam, the wolf & the Sheepdog . . .  off-duty!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:01 am   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 13 December 2010

 

The sheep are lambing and so Briar has been pulled out of the pasture.  She is still a giant baby and I don't want any accidents with the lambs. 

She visits with them daily while I can supervise her and sleeps beside the fence at night. 

 

Briar has recently proven to me that she is quite the agile little critter (agile Big Critter?).  Do you see how high these stall doors are?

Did you know that a certain Big White Dog can climb these stall doors to get in with her sheep?  Very impressive.  I was inside the sheep pen and had left Briar locked in the barn. A few minutes later I turned to find her ambling through the sheep.  Whudathunkit?

 I'm now convinced that if coyotes climb into the pen with the sheep at night, then Briar is quite capable of climbing the fence to get inside and protect them.  Pretty darned good for a mutt dawg! See!  Blood will tell . . . I'm sold on these Big White Dogs now. 

Despite her appearance, underneath all that fluffy hair is a lean, mean, climbing machine!

Briar is a Great Pyrenees/Komondor cross.  That little brown & white dawg behind her is a Liver-coated Sneak-Stalking Sheepdog!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, 11 December 2010

This is for all the people who have an uncommon breed of dog, or a Border Collie that isn't black & white:

One of our Homicide Investigators saw a photo of Trace.

"That's my new puppy," I said.

He peeked at the camera phone. "Oh. It's a Springer."

"Actually, he's a Border Collie."

Pulling the photo closer to his face, he verified that Trace WAS a little brown and white dog. "Looks like a Springer cross," he said.

"Yeah, he does, but he's really a Border Collie. We drove all the way to Oklahoma to get him."

Then he gave me the polite, patient look that is usually reserved for little old ladies who have just been duped out of cash by the widow of a Nigerian prince on the internet.

Oh dear!  Poor Trace will forever be marked as a mutt because he isn't black & white.  It's okay.  I've had Belgian Tervuren for 20 years, so I'm used to it. The public thinks they're longhaired German Shepherds, or Afghan-Collie crosses.  We had family members who tired of trying to pronounce the breed name and simply called them "Albanian Lavernes."  So it stuck. 

Meet my first Albanian Laverne:

Perhaps I should come up with some clever herding dog breed name for Trace!  Maybe I can call him a:

. . .  Celtic Collie!


. . . .A Cheyenne Shepherd!

 

a Highlands Herding Dog!

Or what he is . . .

a Liver-Coated Sneak-stalking Sheepdog
 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  15 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 10 December 2010

CRASH through the work day! 

The weekend is NEAR!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 09 December 2010

If you have goats, you never run out of fence work to be done.

Over the years I've been systematically replacing sagging field fencing (which goats drag down by climbing on them) with cattle panels. (very $$$ project!)

But I told myself that in the end, I would have this farm completely fenced in cattle panels which will keep in sheep, goats, cattle and horses!  Unfortunately I didn't figure on having The Goat King.

Oh, he's a handsome rascal, isn't he?  But this is the Border Collie of horses!  (I know this because I've raised him since he was "knee high to a grasshopper!" ) Montoya is a 'thinking' horse.  Thinking horses are good because they don't tend to explode out from underneath you when you're riding them.  Thinking horses are bad because they tend to tear shit up to get the things they want. (pardon my French)

See this fence line?

 I didn't put those panels up like that!

 SOMEONE (someone BIG) is standing on my cattle panels and dragging them down so he can get behind them.  SOMEONE then walks all over the downed cattle panels, thus twisting and contorting them so badly that they can 'barely' be tacked back up again!

 I can understand this. Force of Nature. It happens.

But this also appears to be a Force Of Nature  . . .

. . . a very expensive Force Of Nature who needs to become intimate with hot wire!

 "Whut?  WHUT?!!"

Read more about The Goat King:

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 08 December 2010

Trespassers will be eaten!

Perhaps I need to post this photo on the front gate for foolhardy meter-readers who by-pass "WARNING - POLICE SERVICE DOG" signs.

Actually, Lily bit her tongue.

She continued to work as the blood steadily dripped.  (Poor kid)  It mixed with saliva, (Lily drools when she works sheep.) and in no time Lil looked like a "slavering beast!"  NO SHEEP WERE HARMED! (But Rasta now has a better understanding that she shouldn't attack Lily.) The dog looked so bad that I was afraid she had broken a tooth, but upon thorough examination, it seems that she had just bitten her tongue badly. It made me wince just to look at it, but it didn't slow the little dog down a bit.  What a trooper!

(Don't ask me why I name the sheep, but when I begin to recognize them as individuals, they seem to end up with names.  Rasta is so nasty that she certainly stands out enough to deserve a name.) 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 05:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 07 December 2010

Don't forget to say "I love you."  Don't get too busy for a hug. Take the time to share a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate (or a whole pan!) with a girlfriend.

We had our glorious Ladies Christmas Party on Saturday.  We laughed. We loved. And if only for a few hours, we were silly little girls again. 

Then Monday afternoon one of our girls had a seizure and died. She was so young. We are still in shock. But we are thankful for the good times we had together. It is so important to live and love each day as if it is your last.   Godspeed Kim, We love ya!

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:40 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 06 December 2010

Adorable, isn't he?

Smart, isn't she?

 

Makes ya wanna run right out and get a Border Collie, doesn't it?

But here's the Dark Side Of Border Collies:

My back yard looks like this . . .

and this . . .

. . . because a certain adorable little Border Collie puts every smidgeon of brain power into finding a way out of the yard and into . . .

 

. . . here . . . .

(Read: High Drive To Insanity )

And the boards in my horse barn look like this . . .

YES!  THIS! 

(No, a child with a chain saw did NOT do that!)

A certain obsessive compulsive Kung Fu Panda is overstimulated by the sight of horses between the boards.  Take the horse out of the stall and it completely diffuses her.  The horse MUST be on the OTHER SIDE of the boards for the obsession to take hold.  But make no mistake.  She is helpless before the power of her obsession. . . and she's damaging her teeth.

Soooo . . .

 

We installed a gate in front of the barn to keep out Border Collies!

Note: Yes, we KNOW the gate is upside down.  We had to install it upside down to keep The Crocodile Hunter from slithering underneath it!

Now I'm not saying they are not the most adorable, remarkable dogs in the world, but if you get a mind like this . . . be afraid . . . be very afraid.

For your life will never be the same again.

That said, I cannot imagine how we ever ran a farm without one!

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 06:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  7 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, 05 December 2010


The Christmas Party

Or . . .

In Which Pooh Bear Attempts To Be A Girl


Between my work schedule and and farm schedule, getting "Girl Time" is rare. Most of my girlfriends are also trying to juggle full-time jobs and farms, so we spend more time on the phone than face to face. But each December, we have a Christmas party where we all drop what we're doing, take time off of work, leave the husbands at home, toss some feed at the horses and the kids, put on a clean shirt and get together for "girl time."

Girl Time means you can shamelessly talk about horses, leopard-print underwear, and bling-bling and know you are with like-minded women.  In fact, since one of our members was lifeflighted off the beach after a bad fall from a horse and it was discovered that she was wearing leopard-print bra and panties, we have adopted leopard-prints as well as bright purple as our group colors.  (You don't get more girly-girly than THAT!) We are the "Red Hat Society" on horseback - a posse of purple and leopard!

So yesterday I took off work for my total immersion in "Girl Time."  The Girls always lay out one helluva spread. You won't go hungry at a Girl Party. The problem is that not only do I not cook worth a darn, I worked the night before so there was no guarantee that I'd even have time to cook before the party. Since the bakery in my little town makes awesome cake balls, I planned to swing by the bakery on my way to the party. (The best laid plans of mice and men . . .)

And thus began the adventures of the typical middle-aged premenapausal airhead . . .

Admire cute black holiday horse sweatshirt in mirror. Find matching earrings.  "Damn girl!  You look good!" Pack up purse to leave.  Crap! Go back in house to get White Elephant gift. Crap! Wrap White Elephant gift. Start out door again.  CRAP!  Forgot to unload shavings from back of truck.  Since a cold front is supposed to blow in, decide to unload shavings and spread in sheep stalls.  Manage to accomplish this without getting too dirty.  Amazing.  Decide it is hot.  Very hot.  Too hot for cute black holiday horse sweatshirt.  Damn. Go back in house.  Stare at closet.  Volumes of clothes. Nothing to wear.  Decide on black t-shirt that matches earrings.  Tug on shirt.  It is wrinkled.  Damn.  Decide that at least shirt is clean. With visions of leopard-printed bling-bling dancing in my head, I grab purse and climb into Monsta truck.

Pull into bakery.  It is closed.  Do WHAT??!!!  Uh oh!  Refuse to let Holiday Spirit be dampened. Head to Kroger's. Find chocolate-covered strawberries. (mmmmm . . . BETTER than cake balls!)  Buy outrageously expensive strawberries.  Decide that since it is now 1:45 PM and I have not eaten, I must buy something to eat NOW so I don't eat everything including the paper plate at the party.  (learned that little trick from Scarlett O'Hara)  Buy Spicy California rolls and some potato chips.  I never get to eat California Rolls at home because Other Half flips out and squeals "SUSHI!  How can you eat RAW fish!  GROOOSSS!"

So I get a package of Spicy California Rolls and feel all "urbane" at the idea of eating this yuppy food even though I am fully aware that a piece of fake crab and a hunk of avocado wrapped in a slab of rice is definitely NOT sushi. Decide that Other Half needs a bag of Peanut M&Ms. Rush through check-out line. Climb into Monsta truck. Carefully unpack Spicy California Rolls and place on center console. Tear open package of soy sauce. Pour onto rolls. Pop roll in mouth.  Savor sensation.  Have a Happy Fake Yuppy moment.  Follow roll with a potato chip.  Mmmm. . . perfect balance of salty.  Mmmm . . .

Notice time.  Damn!  Running late.  Plug address into Tom-Tom.  I have been here 4 times already and I STILL have to use the damned GPS.  Oh well, at least the address should still be in there. It's not.  Three tries later and still cannot find it. Damn!  Damn!  Damn!  Give in and call hostess.  AHHHH . . . wrong city.  (Have major Gray Hair Senior Moment) She understands.  She's been there too.

Find directions in Tom Tom.  Pop another roll in mouth and cruise through parking lot. Package of Spicy California Rolls falls into floorboard.  Lots of cussing. Put truck in park and look in floorboard.  Rice and fake crab everywhere.  More cussing.  Begin to pick up hunks of what use to be cute little wheels of rice, avocado, and fake crab and chunk them back into package.  They are covered in Border Collie hair.  Still very hungry.  Debate the idea of picking off the hair and eating them anyway.  Mentally calculate how much microscopic sheep poop and cow patties are on floorboard.  Dismiss the idea.  Stomach growls.  Decide that if the Donner Party could eat their companions, perhaps a few Border Collie hairs wouldn't be a problem.  Begin pulling off dog hair.  Find a Belgian Tervuren hair.  These are quite distinctive crinkly multi-colored hairs. My Belgian Tervuren died in June.  Decide this is Kona's "Hi Mom!" from the grave.  Smile and throw hair back in floorboard. (I have always said that I could never commit murder because anyone who suspected me would have the forensic team look for Belgian Tervuren hairs at the murder scene since I always manage to carry them everywhere I go.)  That dog never even rode in Monsta Truck and yet, here are his hairs in the floorboard.

So now my fingers are coated with sticky rice and spicy sauce. There is orange spicy sauce dribbled down the side of the center console and the floorboard.  Bits of rice and orange sauce are on my wrinkled black shirt, and the thighs of my blue jeans.  Yep . . . I'm ready to go to a Party!

Roll out of parking lot and drive down highway, listening to Tom-Tom and picking dog hairs off my food.  Decide that if I get stopped as a Drunk Driver for weaving on the highway then I will show Highway Patrol Officer my floorboard.  He will feel sorry that Other Half is stuck with such a DingBat and not give me a ticket.   OR . . . he will be so appalled at the idea that the abovementioned DingBat would actually pick doghairs off the food and eat it, that he will be afraid to loan me his pen to sign the ticket. (especially since my fingers are still coated in orange spicy sauce that is now drying and sticky.)

Decide that the rest of the rolls are too mangled, hairy, and disgusting for even the Donner Party to eat. Still hungry.  Work on potato chips.  Look longingly at Other Half's M&Ms.  Decide that since he never KNEW I BOUGHT the M&Ms, he wouldn't necessarily know that I'd opened and ate some of his M&Ms. Calculate length of arms and distance to reach M&M bag.  Since numbers don't add up, decide against M&Ms.

Am making good time down the highway until a little blue Honda Civic looms into view.  Almost run over it like a skateboard.  It is going 40 MPH in a 60 MPH zone. Roadway is now down to two-lane highway.  Cannot pass little Pokey Car.  Mentally picture that Little Pokey Driver is a Half-Blind Elderly Woman.  Envision driver as Teenager-On-Cell-Phone. Since that brings up "less than Christian" thoughts, opt to envision her as Little Old Lady instead. Do not wish to intimidate Half-Blind-Elderly-Woman by being so close she can read F.O.R.D. in her rear view mirror. Slow way down. Speed limit changes from 60 MPH to 50 MPH.  Half-Blind-Elderly-Woman changes from 40 MPH to 30 MPH. Still cannot pass her. Follow her down roadway for an agonizingly long time.  Note long line of cars in my rear-view mirror.  Note that since they cannot see around my Big Ass Monsta Truck, they are probably blaming me for the slow down. 

Little Old Lady FINALLY pulls into the grocery store, sparking the start of the Indianapolis 500, but by now the speed limit is 35 MPH.  Decide that despite the fact that I am now thirty minutes late for my Girly Party, a city cop would not be impressed if I tried to explain to him that I was speeding through his town because I had been stuck behind a Little Old Lady for the last seven miles and felt I was entitled to "split the difference" as far as the speed limit was concerned. (Cops can be such downers where that's concerned.)

Finally emerge into something resembling a decent speed limit when Tom-Tom announces that it's time to turn right.  Really?  I have been to this house numerous times and this does not look remotely familiar.  Consider arguing with the computer but look at the time and decide to follow directions instead.  A few minutes later we emerge into familiar territory.  I'm sure I heard a smirk in Tom's voice.

Roll up to a house with horses in the back yard and a front yard full of farm trucks. (40 of my favorite people!) I am now late, wearing a wrinkled shirt covered in spicy orange sauce and potato chip crumbs. Bits of rice are clinging to my blue jeans, and I have rice and fake crab in the tread of my cowgirl boots - "Let the Party Begin!" 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 02:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, 04 December 2010

While walking in the pasture last weekend, I stumbled upon this:

It begged for a tagline but I simply couldn't think of one.  So I posted this picture on my Facebook page and we've had so much fun trying to come up with a caption for this shot that I decided to see what your creative minds could come up with!

Whatdaya think?

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:04 am   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 03 December 2010

We have already established that I like high-drive, thinking dogs. Now on the surface, most people will step up and shout "Me too!"  BUT . . .  do you really?

For every cute and clever thing they do to amuse you, there are five not-so-cute dangerous things their brains also concoct. Take, for instance, our intrepid young Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. (Trace)

The Crocodile Hunter discovered sheep last week. Actually, that's wrong.  He had discovered them before, what he discovered last week is that he could GET TO the sheep.  No longer content to stay in the yard while I fed livestock, The Crocodile Hunter would race along the fence line until he found an impossibly small spot that he could slither his tiny ass through.  Thus, I would be mindlessly feeding sheep, annoyed that they were stepping all over my new Crocs, when suddenly I would get that feeling that I wasn't alone.  (Mostly because sheep would be magically moving in my direction.) Casting around for the source, I would find a pair of little blue eyes slithering sheep in my direction. EEEEKKKK!!!!  Not good!  Very, very NOT GOOD!

On the surface, you would assume that you could just throw his butt in a kennel until you were done feeding and then let him out after the excitement was over.  Right?  Wrong!  Steve Irwin makes his own excitement!  Immediately upon release from prison, Trace would begin running the fence line, looking for any spot he could slither his multi-jointed, snake-like self through.

So we commenced to fortifying the back yard like Fort Knox.

We tacked up cattle panels on top of the board fence which already contained hog fencing. Yes, it is the most Hillbilly Trash-looking arrangement you've ever seen.  (Thank God you don't live next door to us.) I keep telling myself that when he is older I can take the cattle panels down and re-use them somewhere else.

 I was amazed with how quickly he figured out that all he had to do was run to the end of the cattle panels and find another spot that had washed out where he could squirm through.  I soon ran out of cattle panels. What to do? What to do?  AHH HA!!!  Cinder blocks! (Yes it just keeps getting trashier and trashier!)  So we lined the rest of the fence with cinder blocks!

And then we tested it.  Turn out the sheep . . . . and wait.  Trace ran up and down every inch of that fence . . .  

. . . but he didn't get out!

 Don't feel sorry for him.  He's plotting.

(To read why we call Trace "The Crocodile Hunter": The Crocodile Hunter LIVES! )

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  9 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 02 December 2010

The Gate - Revisted

My mamma always told me, "Give the hardest job to the laziest person, and they'll find the easiest way to do it."

As we have already established, I'm a lazy person. That's why I have high-drive dogs. I like my dogs (minions) to make my life easier. Yes, I'm shamelessly lazy and give them all sorts of jobs to do! 

One of those jobs is closing the gate after the sheep come into the paddock. During the rains, the gateway is often muddy, (ewwww) and I developed the perfect solution to the problem: Get a slave (Border Collie) and ask them to walk through the mud and close the gate for you!

Lily absolutely LOVES to slam that gate closed, over and over and over again.  She grabs a lead rope which has been tied to the gate and pulls it shut. (If a lazy person puts a magnet on the gate, it'll stay shut!)  Now this is all well and good until a 35 lb Border Collie swings on the gate so much that the gate hinges break. (imagine that!)

Then the gate has to be LIFTED out of the mud and pulled shut. This particular lazy person has not yet figured out how to train a Border Collie to lift the gate and then pull it shut, thus, this particular lazy person has had to tromp out there herself and shut the damned gate.  (grrrrr)

BUT . . .this week Other Half fixed the hinges AND put a WHEEL on the gate.  Woo hoooo!  The wheel makes the gate roll through the mud quite nicely.  So Lily and I are back in bidness!

 

Lordy, Lordy, I do love a good dog!

Watch and learn, Little Dude, watch and learn!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 03:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email

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