Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter At The Farm: A Photo Essay

Winter at the farm is difficult. Travel to and from is more difficult. The work is more difficult. Most of all, it's more difficult on the animals. Their water freezes, their produce freezes, the size of their pasture gets smaller, they have to huddle for warmth.  But despite all of these inconveniences, there is really no place more beautiful than a frosty morning at Heartland: (click to biggify)
 Beautiful snowy fields at 12°.
Phil sees his breath when he crows!
Did you SEE that??!
Why it's cold enough for chickens to stick together and make one big chicken with two bodies and one head!

 Frances and Amy are thankful that we put hay out. Grazing through the snow is hard!

Gracie nestles down in a patch of sun to enjoy the morning. Pretty girl!

Mischievious Beatrice and Maxine dare you to put your tongue on the fence!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas in Maine

Had a wonderful Christmas in Maine. We had a couple of storms along with some adventures in power outages and alternate heating, but aside from the glitches, it was so nice to spend time with Mum, Grammie and many dear friends. Marilyn stopped by one day to visit. We had a spaghetti and meatball supper one night with Elinor, Gail, and John and went to Art and Reneva's open house on Christmas Eve.  Gail and John went to church with us afterward and I read a part of the Christmas story during the service. It was different this year; read part of the story and then sing a related Christmas carol.  Silent Night by candlelight at the end. It was beautiful.

Flying home was an adventure with the big storm that hit the East Coast the day after Christmas. Bangor was beautiful, LaGuardia was dicey, but Detroit was a disaster. I met up with Steve at the airport. He was coming from Christmas with his family in Boston.  Our flight got cancelled and we ended up getting a room overnight and booking a flight for the next day to Milwaukee and  then driving home to Madison. It was a long couple of days, but we traveled pretty well least neither of us was harmed... so it was all good! Thank goodness he was there with me. I would have hated to deal with all that alone.

Ben was glad to see me when I picked him up from the kennel. He was exhausted and so was I so a nap was the first order of business! Grammie sent him a hedgehog that made an odd honking noise... for about 5 minutes until he tore out its jugular. He hauls its carcass around everywhere, it's his new favorite thing. Sorry lady bug and Froggie!

Went to the barn last night and, despite the cold, it was so good to catch up with all of the feathered and fur babies again. The llamas are spending the night back in the barn again and let me pat them (after I bribed them with sweet feed), mini-pig princesses, Lola and Lucy, let me tuck them in beneath their warm blankets before I turned out the lights and went home. Even Maude the standoffish goat let me snuggle her. I like to think they missed me as much as I missed them.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got to spend it with family and friends.  Have a safe and happy new year!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Telling Yuletide Anecdote

Hmmm...I register that I have been under a fair amount of stress lately; what with the goings on at work, the food poisoning incident, the damaged shoulder, getting Christmas boxes out, and everything together so I can leave for a week etc., but I just had a very telling conversation with a couple of co-workers that brought home how it is truly affecting my state of mind.

I was expressing my woe at an annoying penchant that folks have of emailing me, 10 minutes after a meeting with them is supposed to start, to reschedule said meeting to a later time or another day entirely. As  many times as this has happened, I'm still not quick enough to catch on, so I loiter around the appointed meeting room for 15-20 minutes, waiting for the erstwhile person, before I think to check around to see where they are. Rude!  Rude! Rude! My coworkers' were having equally disrespectful annoyances hinder their day and so we were trading peeves.

Then one of the girls said, " There should be a club". 

I piped up, "Yeah! With nails in it!".

They both looked at me like I was a lunatic. They were talking about a club where we could have wine and chocolate, share our feeling and commiserate with each other. Very Kumbaya.

I, on the other hand, was ready to soundly thump people with a stick embedded with sharp and pointy objects. No discussion necessary.  Quick and efficient. With all I have on my plate, I don't have time to mess around.

I'm thinking I should maybe concentrate on enjoying the Christmas cheer a little more rather than getting so bogged down in the swale of details. Maybe some 'special eggnog' will help me de-stress.  If not, maybe there's a club.

PS-Not my drawing, although I'm flattered by the  folks who thought it was. It's a free clip art piece from the interwebs.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Navel Orange in a Bikini

When I first saw Donna Hornsby's 'Keenies' pattern I thought of this....and happened and I didn't get around to doing anything about it until today.  I was reminded again when The Diva asked us to use Keenie's in the challenge this week.  A little backstory...

When I was young, there was no computer, barely any TV (we lived in the wilds of Northern Maine where nothing much would come in except PBS out of Bangor and CBC out of Nova Scotia) and lots of quiet time. My friends and I would draw 'Guess What' pictures for each other. Often ones we had seen in the newspaper's weekend comic section.  They were REALLY STUPID but our pre-teen selves thought they were amazingly funny and scoured the paper and our imaginations for new ones to amaze and amuse each other.  Here are some fine examples:

Told ya. Not exactly rocket surgery but it was a way to pass some time.

So when I saw Keenees, I had a 'Guess What' flashback to one of my favorite ones:

This one was mildly R-rated for elementary school.  That's probably why we thought it was hilarious and why I remember it...along with some really great fart jokes.  Anyway...when I saw Keenees, the first thing I though was "OMGosh, those needs some tops.  Here is a quick and dirty (sic) version or my solution to the problem.
I think it's a complimentary/alternate design that could have it's moment, especially as the colder weather sets in and we dream of warmer climes.   Thanks for indulging my reminiscent ramblings and  letting me get Topz out of my head!

Monday, December 03, 2012


This week's Diva Challenge is to use "Keenees" pattern in a tangle. It's the round balls with the triangle inside at the bottom of the the tangle.  If I remember correctly, it was named because the triangles look like bikini underwear. *Blush* Anyway, here is my attempt,

I thank The Diva for this challenge. I really needed a 20 minute break from the work of the evening.  Keep 'em coming Diva! You rock!