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Farm Fresh Blog
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
I simply MUST share this with you! Although I'm rarely able to keep up with Facebook, I saw this on Paige's Facebook page (yes, the Border Collie has a FB page, and yes, I follow it.) and was captivated. I think this just may be the up-and-coming technology for lost pets.
You know those funny looking squares we're starting to see everywhere? I call them Aztec bar codes. Well, anyone with a smart phone can scan those rascals with their phone and it'll take them to a link. Someone thought of putting those Aztec bar code thingees on your dog!
Yessiree! You buy the tag, which is cheap, like $12.95 and then I got a $10 discount for "liking" them on Facebook. Then I got another $5 coupon for voting for my favorite video. (Paige of course, but her friend the bulldog was a close second!)
Anyway, you buy the tag, and they send it in like 4 days. Then you register the tag online with PetHub. You can put all sorts of information about your dog AND include the dog's picture. This is important if your dog looks like Briar!
"What's wrong with the way I look?!!"
I don't have a smart phone, but just about everyone else under the age of 35 does. Sure enough, I registered my dogs online and had Fergus, my buddy at work, scan Briar's tag with his phone. I IMMEDIATELY got an email alert on my phone to notify me that someone had scanned Briar's tag AND Fergus was able to type an email message into the website which was sent to me within seconds. It read, "Is this Sexy Beast yours?"
What cool technology!!! Even though my dogs are microchipped, I still got these PetHub tags for them. AND ANOTHER THING! They even have a capability where you can get a GPS location of where the dog was when the tag was scanned! How cool is that? You have to pay extra for that. I didn't get that feature, because I have so many tags to buy. And besides, anyone who finds Briar would be HAPPY to return her to me after she had barked all night, jumped on them with muddy paws, and got in their garbage!
Check out Paige's video. They are in a video contest for a PetHub commercial. It's adorable!
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Susan in Texas sent the most delightful story that I simply had to share with you!
I noted your rock story.
I too have a rock.
It is red and looks like a liver. ok a big liver.
In 1888 when my grandmother was 2, her dad decided to move them from Indian Territory in northern Oklahoma, to live in North Texas.
They packed up their two wagons, and with 2 other families trekked as far as the Red River. There, her 12 year old brother became ill. (my grandmother later became a nurse and thought it was appendicitis from her mother's story of it) In any case, after 3 days he died.
They buried him on the banks of the Red River, probably just north of the Sherman/Denison now. They piled river rocks on the grave.
My great-grandmother took this as a sign from God that their family was not meant to cross the river into Texas. At her insistence, they started back north.. a few miles away, she realized she had no memorial of her boy. So my great-grandfather unhitched one of the mules and rode back and brought The Rock from the Red River with him.
That's the story of my rock.
I grew up an Air Force brat.. that rock has been to: The Red River - Freedom OK - Waukomis OK -- Weatherford TX -- New Mexico -- Amarillo TX -- Tachikawa Japan -- Denver CO -- Atwater CA -- Limestone Maine -- Sherman TX -- and come full circle (almost) to Enid OK - and now here in Houston TX
Susan in Houston
Friday, 24 February 2012
Some things in life are a given:
* Dogs will barf on the bed.
* Goats will get out.
* Sheep will . . .
. . . fill in the blank after you read this.
Other Half worked all night. He got in bed at 7:30 am. I try to minimize the noise around the house when he's sleeping. Unfortunately dogs still bark, cows still bellow and sheep still . . .
Anyway, Other Half had been asleep about two hours when I heard the plaintive sound of Roanie calling her baby. I ignored this for a while. Babies wander off and blow their mammas off all the time. BUT . . . the hollering continued. Then I heard the answering call of her baby. It juuuust didn't sound right. In fact, it sounded WRONG. So I whooshed through the screen door to find Roanie standing in the yard, staring at me.
"HEY! You with the thumbs! I need some help!"
"Roanie, did you misplace your baby?" I asked as I started walking around the yard looking for the adventurous waif.
Then I saw Briar. Her face said it all.
"I didn't do A THING!"
Okay then. I rounded the corner of Other Half's work truck, fearful of what I would find. And here's what I saw . . .
Yep, Roanie's baby was stuck like chuck . . . in a truck. (forgive me)
I'm guessing she got on her knees to crawl under the truck to graze. When she stood up, her fat little self got stuck. Seriously stuck. Like I couldn't budge her little tubby ass stuck.
I tried pulling. I tried pushing. I tried folding her legs under her so she'd drop down out of the crack. Nope. Nada. Nada Nada Enchilada. Stuck.
So I got a camera. And a drink.
And people wonder why I haven't kicked my caffiene habit yet! Those people DONT HAVE SHEEP!
Anyway, after I photographed the scene, and put some more thought into it, I decided that this was certainly a two-person job. Yep. . . Other Half had been asleep for two hours. He had worked for 12 hours.
It wasn't pretty. (There was lots of cussing. And threats of butchering.)
But he eventually got out of bed and went to examine the situation. Yeah . . . she was still stuck. There was more cussing. He finally stomped over to the flat-bed trailer and returned with a heavy-duty jack.
THIS . . .
. . . soon led to this!
(And people wonder why I'm still drinking. I'll be keeping Starbucks in business as long as I have sheep and goats.)
So now can you fill in the blank!
* Sheep will . . . . get STUCK!
And even though she's a girl, I'm naming this lamb "Chuck."
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Remember Bully the Blind Bull?
We shot him up on antibiotics and gave him a month. If Bully did not show a marked improvement within the month it would take the antibiotics to get out of his system, we would have to butcher him. Life on a ranch is simply too dangerous with a blind bull. Today was Bully's due date with the butcher.
We've watched him closely. He was separated and placed in a board arena with a "Seeing Eye Cow" and we saw a bit of improvement. He could navigate the arena and was gaining weight again. Last week we turned the girls back in with him. He did fine navigating them. Today he proved to us that he could see a little. We turned them loose in an area with a pond. I worried that Bully would fall in the pond and drown, but he did fine. I'm not sure how much he can see, but part of his vision appears to have returned. Most of the blue is gone, but you can still tell that some is there. The important thing is that he can see us and can navigate the pasture again. The infection appears to have gone. The rest of the herd is fine.
So we made the decision to keep a bull calf from this year's crop (just in case), and cancel Bully's appointment with the butcher. For now, this fella has dodged the bullet.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Some have more value than others . . .
Note how the sun bounces off it. Feel the smooth, cool surface. The dip in the middle. See the beauty of it?
You don't see the value in this?
"But . . . but . . . it's a just a rock."
Ahhh . . . but it's not! This rock has something more precious than a monetary value. This rock has history.
I brought this rock to the new ranch this weekend and proudly set it by the door step. It looked like so many other rocks on the ranch, Other Half just had to say,
"Tell me again, why THIS rock is so important."
So I told him what I'm telling you:
"This rock has been in my family for years. It's travelled across the country. I brought it from North Carolina. When I was a child, this rock sat under the water spigot at my home. I still remember setting my dirty toes on the smooth surface and turning the spigot with tiny fingers to clean the dirt off my bare feet.
A generation before that, this rock served as the stepping stone at the door of my mother's playhouse when she was a little girl. It was found in the Pamlico River of Eastern North Carolina, thought to be a ballast from a ship. Ships were weighted down with these rocks, which were then dumped when they entered the shallow waters of the river. This area was frequented by pirates and the ballasts are commonly believed to come from those pirate ships. This area was reportedly the stomping ground of Blackbeard. This rock has HISTORY!"
And so, more precious than diamonds and pearls, this stone has continued its journey from the shores of Eastern North Carolina to the rocky hillside of North Texas. When I finally build my little cabin, my "Girasole", my place in the sun, this rock will serve as the stepping stone at the doorway.
And who knows, perhaps it will continue its journey, handed down through generations, a silent observer to the history of our family . . .
through others . . .
. . . who see great value in rocks.
Monday, 06 February 2012
In this corner, we have Al. Weighing in at . . . too damned much . . .
Al is a registered White Dorper ram. He is 5 - 6 years old and in his prime.
In this corner, we have Briar. Weighing in at about 80 lbs . . .
Briar is a Big White Dog, and all hair. She is beginning her third season and entering her prime.
Briar is taller than Al. Al outweighs Briar considerably. Briar, however, is smarter than Al.
"Don't get excited. That's not sayin' much."
Yesterday the sheep were near the front gate as we were driving the truck out. Other Half was opening the gate, and in his own little world, oblivious to the drama playing out in my rear-view mirror.
Al saw the open gate leading to the open highway and decided, as sheep are wont to do, that it would be a good idea to explore the "other" side of the gate, so he began walking quickly toward the highway. Briar, who has gotten in trouble for exiting this gate in the past, blocked the ram and politely told him,
"Off limits for sheep."
Al puffed up at the dog. Suddenly Briar didn't seem as big in my mirror.
"Who says?" the ram demanded.
Briar puffed up. Hmmm. . . Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Briar blocked him again and growled,
The ram then tried to bull (ram) his way around the dog. I noted that Other Half was reading mail and thus not privy to this conversation. The Border Collies were in the house. It was up to Briar to avert this disaster.
If Briar lost this battle, the ram would be on the open highway and things would have gotten hairy.
"Hairy" is my middle name!"
"Oh, gag me . . ."
Friday, 03 February 2012
Exploring new places is fun, but it's even more fun when you can experience them through the eyes of a child. Suddenly, even the mundane becomes new and exciting.
For instance, who would have thought throwing out deer corn was so much fun?
Lilah & Grandpa
Climbing sand dunes on the beach . . .
becomes the most entertaining activity of the hour.
Hunting for fossils with dad is much more interesting than matching shapes on a piece of paper.
And let's not forget our favorite sport!
Looking under rocks!
Lilah shares a love of this activity with her Comrade-in-arms.
Needless to say, since this is rattlesnake country, this sport will be taken off the line-up of activities for 2012.
Sidenote: This was Dillon's first time for free play with children. While the Border Collies are leery of small humans, Dillon has decided that he very much enjoys their company. Tiny humans are slot machines for dispensing cookies and he's all over that idea.
Wednesday, 01 February 2012
Get this song in your head: http://youtu.be/CNQXQKflJNA
Since I don't spend too much time inside the walls of a church, I don't think I'd ever heard it until I watched the movie Secretariat. They play this song as that horse is freightraining down the backstretch, carrying all the hopes and dreams of so many people with him. It is probably the most uplifting music I've ever heard. You just can't sit still while you're listening - the music carries you away.
Now, that said, (LISTEN to it, trust me!) this was the song playing in my head Sunday morning at 7:22 am as I was walking my dogs on my new ranch.
The sun wasn't up yet. Everyone else was still asleep. It was 28 degrees. I donned a heavy coat, put on my beloved doghair headband and fingerless gloves, and stepped out into Heaven.
The bog was frozen. While playing 'grab-ass', Dillon and Trace crashed through the ice and startled birds bedded down in the rushes. As they winged off, Dillon stopped, mesmorized. Trace completely missed it. (Genes again)
We came to the first creek crossing. The boys raced through the icy water. I had on rubber boots, so I plowed through. Lily, however, wasn't so sure she wanted to get wet when it was 28 degrees outside. She stood on the bank and examined the situation.
I called her and to her credit, she gave me the sweetest look - no worries, no anxiety, just total trust.
And then she plowed right in.
Because I hadn't filed a flight plan and no one knew where we were, I left my frappuccino on the other side so The Family would know that yes, she WAS crazy enough to cross the creek before breakfast. Hey, things happen! Be prepared. Carry a gun and a cell phone, and leave a trail of bread crumbs. Or frappuccino bottles. Whichever is more convenient. (but be sure to pick them up on your way back!)
And so, with everyone safely on the other side, we continued our frosty walk, and THAT'S when the first notes of the song, "Oh, Happy Day" started in my head.
"Oh, happy day!"