29 July 2009

Hungry For Change?

PLEASE watch the clip at this site. PLEASE educate yourself about this subject. I can't think of anything more important for me to share via this blog than this information!

If folks in the US were actually aware of where our food comes from and what may be in it, we might not need to be debating expensive health care! (And it will remain expensive, whether the government "provides it" - via taxes - or it stays the way it is now.)

Did you know that the majority of diseases treated in the US - raising healthcare costs ever higher - are PREVENTABLE, simply by maintaining a healthy diet?

But, how healthy is YOUR food really?

Official Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change?

Shared via AddThis

10 July 2009

Everything I Need To Know, I Learned From My Dogs

I was reflecting today upon the many important life lessons I’ve learned from my dogs. Here is their advice to you:

“You’re never too old to have a second childhood. Take time to enjoy the finer things in life, like a polo match and a glass of Pimm’s! Keep up with the whippersnappers and they’ll keep you young. Maintain a merry disposition. Share your blessings with others. Don’t let disabilities or aging get you down.” ~ Valentine, age, “Decrepit! But don’t order my urn yet!”; Springer Spaniel.

“Play hard. Get as much exercise as possible. Have a good appetite. Drink lots of water. Enjoy fresh air. Take a walk. Get enough sleep. Healthy living can help overcome illness. Give hugs often. Never pass up the opportunity to take a road trip.” ~ Boris, age two or three; Husky/Cattledog/other mix.

“Be grateful for what you’ve received. Be friendly to everyone you meet. Be curious about life. Be sweet. Don’t be shy. Go with the flow and adversity will pass you by.” ~ Otter, age about two; Labrador Retriever/other mix.

“Remain mindful and focused at all times. Don’t become ensnared by the power struggles of others. Have a sense of humor. Be present and poised for action. Deflect conflict with the strength of your Chi. Don’t abuse your power. Meditate: Om Mani Dobie Hum. Fiber is good for the digestion.” ~ Emma, The Doggie Lama, age three (plus several hundred reincarnated lifetimes); enlightened Doberman Pinscher.

“Take a bite out of life! Be tenacious for what you want. Fake it ‘til you make it. Make a lot of noise if you believe you’re right. A little mischief will often be forgiven if you’re cute. Have enough spunk, and you can stand up to anyone. Be kind to the weak and small. It’s good to have a schedule and stick to it, especially where meals are concerned. Give kisses freely.” ~ Molly, age two; Tasmanian Devil/Wolverine/Karelian Bear Dog/Heinzer

And from all of them…

“A little dust and dirt never hurt anyone. Life is short, so get out there and live it! The things that matter most are right in front of you... take time to pay attention.”

09 July 2009

New Arrivals

There are surprise babies at Tuppinz Farm!

A bunch of "scrubbing bubbles" appeared in the poultry food line yesterday:

"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"

We have 18 new guinea keets!

When the guinea fowl go broody, they do it in secret. We never know if a hawk or fox has made off with one of them (we wouldn't mind too much as we love the wildlife also), or if they're not coming home to roost at night because they're on a nest. Apparently this time it was the latter. I think I spy another hen on a nest out in the sheep pasture... we'll keep an eye on her to see if another clutch hatches out.

Our tick population is well under control, and guinea fowl are amazingly loud, so perhaps if all of these grow up to adulthood, we'll fatten a few for the freezer.

Our chicken coop was also home to another hatch of babies - barn swallows:

The parents kept the coop insect-free while feeding their young, so have been quite welcome. Chef Jeff tells me he would give the babies a little pat on their heads each day. Don't they look like they're smiling? Having barn swallows grace our farm with their presence is something we look forward to each spring. They zoom around like tiny fighter jets all summer long, catching bugs on the fly. Beautiful birds. We always sigh and know it's springtime when we see them return.

This is my favorite hen, Pigeon Pie. She is a Quail Antwerp Belgian bantam.

When it's my turn to feed the poultry, she is first in line, and flies up onto my outstretched arm, or onto my head, or right into the feed scoop to fill her little beak and scatter food everywhere, creating a pile of chickens, ducks, guineas, and geese at my feet so that I can't take a step. Today, she thought I had something special for her in my egg basket, and flew up to take a peek. Sorry, Pidge, just my work gloves and camera in there...

Weather is perfect here today - sunny, not too hot, breezy. Baby kestrels are learning to fly and hunt. Dogs are napping. Sounds like a plan. Blogger just ate a complete post I had done with it's "autosave" feature (I hate that feature!) Perhaps they could nix that, and get the autopublish feature up and running again? Sigh.

06 July 2009

Holiday Weekend

It was a beautiful holiday weekend here in Wisconsin. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

The Golden Laced Wyandotte chicks were moved out to their netted pasture. They are about a month old now. They're loving the fresh air, sunlight, grass, and insects. Our broody Wyandotte hen hatched out nine adopted babies, so that little family was also put in the electric netting for "safekeeping".

In addition to moving the chickens around, Jeff and our Farmhand Extraordinaire, Dakota, got us caught up on goat vaccinations and hoof trimming, fencing, yardwork, hay moving, and a billion other tasks. Thanks for all the hard work, guys!

We had a great time at the Altoona fireworks with our friends, Dakota's family. Dakota's brother, Tanner, gave us a private fireworks show in his backyard afterwards. This is his stash. It was quite an impressive display!

We watched Tanner's fireworks from the comfort of our friends' new screen porch, which is the ultimate in summer comfort. What a great area to relax with friends! These guys are great hosts and it's always great to spend time with them.

That's Dakota there in the center of the photograph. We are going to miss him when he goes off to college this fall. Jeff says that Tanner will have a job here on the farm as soon as he is old enough. Two finer young men can't be found!

Knowing of our love for fishing, our friends generously invited us to access the Eau Claire River from their property. Chef Jeff and I had a lovely afternoon there yesterday. Though we didn't catch anything, we enjoyed being out in the woods and seeing the gorgeous scenery.

Afterwards, the Chef prepared the catfish he'd caught last week according to a recipe from this beautiful book, which also included recipes for homemade refried black beans and great guacamole. It was an outstanding meal, though we somehow got our hands on a jalapeño that must have been grown near a nuclear reactor because that thing was HOT - and this judgment from people who use habañero sauce on a regular basis!

We are so glad that Otter is acclimating to her new home. The other dogs love her... well, Molly tolerates Otter, but Molly's coming along (that's just her way - growl first, make friends later.)

Otter has Lyme disease so she's on antibiotics for a little while. She doesn't seem to have had toys or chews before; she's finally understanding that baked cow ears are a good thing:

When Otter was found she was suffering from heat exhaustion. We are so grateful to our wonderful vet for taking her in for us for treatment and boarding, despite her history being unknown. We intend to go to a town meeting to see how we may be able to change the policies and procedures of our township in order that stray animals may receive temporary housing and care in a more efficient manner; we are not served by the County shelter due to the lack of a financial agreement between them and our township. There has to be a better way, and we shudder to think what could happen if one of our own beloved dogs went missing.

So yes, now we are a five-dog family. I would think we were certifiably nuts, except that the entire vet staff said they hoped we'd keep Otter because they knew we'd be good parents. And Valentine is getting up there in years and has Cushing's, so, after all, we may be back to a four-dog family in the not-too-distant future anyway.

But if I had my wish, there would be a loving home for every dog... until there is, we will take in whomever the Creator sends us, sharing our blessings.

In crafting news, I am this close to finishing up my Drops blue alpaca lace shawl... just on the final rows. I started a Koigu "mindless" sock for traveling-to-fishing-holes knitting, and I hope to do some sewing this week before Saturday's MaryJane's Farmgirls meeting, where everyone will ask me if I've made any progress on my current stitching project (not yet, and it's already been three weeks since our last meeting!)

I've seen a cute sewing pattern made up on this blog, and I purchased a copy here. The construction looks super easy, and I think it will be a neat use for some of my Tanya Whelan/Free Spirit or 3 Sisters/Moda girly-girl, flower fabrics.

Have a wonderful day!

05 July 2009

Independence Day

Small town fireworks (Altoona, WI) on a beautiful summer night.

Grateful for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.