Friday, January 27, 2012

The Battle

If you have a cat, you already can guess where this is going.

These are my clean clothes.

This is Wookie.

Wookie likes to sleep on my clean clothes.

 My clothes no longer are hairless.

I never have this problem with the dogs, goats, ducks, or chickens. Or even Lydia and Waldo, the other two cats in our family.

Just Wookie.

He believes he is a special snowflake.

I do, too.

That is why he is still living and still on my clean clothes.


Btw, I am cleaning out old knitting magazines that need a new home. If you are interested in them, just send me an email and I will pop them in the mail to you. Most of them are "Vogue Knitting" from around 2005-2009. There are also a few other titles as well. Just click on comments or email to let me know!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Barns, Quilts, and Morse Code

Among the many things on the "to do" list for the weekend, which keeps getting longer, is to hang this pretty thing! My darling SIL gave this to us; she had a friend paint it especially for Lazy Bee Farm! I love how the colours pop, don't you?? We are thinking it will hang on the end of the building designated "shop" which sits nearest the house and closest to the road. That way, everyone who drives past will be able to admire it! I am so excited! I have wanted one of these for a long time to adorn our farm! Thanks, Chris, for your generosity! We love it!

While I was snapping the barn quilt's portrait, I kept hearing Morse Code... dot dot dot dashdashdash dot dot.... I looked to see what it was and, lo and behold, it was a flycatcher enjoying a little nosh courtesy of the Maple. He didn't budge, even when I walked out into the yard to take his portrait. Perhaps he was a tad jealous of the barn quilt and wanted his picture taken, too!

The flycatcher was completely unexpected! We have lots of downy and pileated woodpeckers, but we have never seen one of these guys before. I am so excited. Guess there will be some special little treat out for him tomorrow!

What unexpected gift did you get today??

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Da Goats! with some wool thrown in

Feeding the goats is one of my favorite things to do. I love how the girls smell and how they "hum" when they talk. I let the gals out around 3:30 or 4 every day to roam the mountain behind the house. Because they are grazers, I don't really worry too much about what they might get into. If they were penned up, however, I would be very careful because they can't have laurels or a few other things as they are "poison" to them.

We start with getting their bowls ready with Goat Sweet Feed
which has about 16% protein. This helps keep the gals healthy and
producing a goodly milk supply. The blue bowls are for the Young
Does and the white bowls are for the Momma Does.

Next, we have to get the log ready. Every doe and buck is logged daily for how much
ration eaten, condition of hair, skin, eyes and gums.
When I first started with goats, I had a terrible parasite problem.
Now, however, because I try to be vigilant about their worming program
and check them every day, the problem has resolved.

Don't forget dessert! The gals get an animal cracker after dinner.
After all, we all have a sweet tooth, don't we?

On the way home, I met Alana (who is a super tatter -- look at her shop!)
and was fortunate enough to have her give me all her scraps from
shearing this year. It will be put on the hot beds I am building
in the greenhouse. The wool will compost over the season;
in the meantime, it will keep the beds warmer than usual and
help conserve water. Isn't it neat??

The duckies have come to inspect the wool. I think they
hope it is feeding time.

Guess what? It was! Because I am a lazy farmer, I am feeding the gals
where the last row of block go on the greenhouse. It is getting done.
This Weekend. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts. Since our
builder, after earning enough for a beach trip, didn't come back
to finish the job. So, I am letting the gals clear the turf so that the block will
be easier to lay. After all, I am a "lazy" farmer!

Thanks for dropping by today! What shall we do tomorrow? Whatever it is, make sure to bring your coveralls. You don't want to get too muddy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Feeding Time

Grab your boots! It is muddy, really, nasty, gooey muddy outside today, but we have chores to do and need to get on the ball! Ready??
First we feed the dogs and cats, and then we'll head to Mr. Hardy to feed him.
This is Gladys. She is one talking hen. She follows us all over the
yard because she knows that I carry cracked corn in my coverall pockets
to toss to the hens.  
This is Ollie. He is one rough rooster. The other roosters don't like him. At All.
They beat and peck on him and have even torn out his
beautiful tail feathers. His left leg was broken in the goat yard when he
was running from Petie, who was going to flog him. He is Gladys'
roaming buddy -- at least at feeding time.

It is a good thing we came out at 4 instead of 5 today! Mr. Hardy is
really hungry! We need shovel some of the ashes, stir the fire, and then
add some wood. There is a little paper trash to toss in first.
Do you want to do it? Watch your hair! I burned my bangs
off last week when the fire flared!

Look out! I hear the ducks running down the hill! They
have heard us out and know that the chickens have a little
cracked corn snack. They will fuss until we give them some, too.
Don't you love how they waddle? I do!

Ooops... Someone, or two, or three, is really annoyed.
They think we are late to turn them out to graze.
They are right. We still have to toss out the
cracked corn for the ducks and feed
the chickens before turning them out.
Otherwise, we will find goats in the henhouse! Again!

Here they come again! These guys never give up!

Be careful when you reach for Missie's eggs. She will peck
the tar out of you. I usually scoop her from behind and toss her out.
You might want to wear two pairs of gloves before you
grab her eggs.. Just sayin.....

Why don't you toss the gals the left over whole wheat couscous
left from supper last night? They will sure enjoy the
treat! How would you like to eat traditional laying pellets
day in and day out?? They don't either....

After we have turned the girls out, it's time to feed Hollie. She
won't quit hollaring until she eats. Besides, it makes it easier
to clean the loafing yard and stalls if she is eating... and
the goats are grazing the mountain.

Well.. this is the best part of farming. Poop. Tons and tons of poop.
I'll scoop. I hate to ask you to do it on your first visit
to the farm. Watch your step!

Well! Look what we found while we were cleaning the stalls!
It looks like some gals didn't like sharing the nesting boxes
with Missie! Take a peek around the stable. You might find more!

Don't suppose you have more feed in yoru pocket?

Thanks for dropping by today to help feed. We have a lot more to do, but you are looking tired and, well, I am starving! Remember your boots! It's nasty out there!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Day Musings --- The Hitch hiker

Living near the Appalachain Trail as we do, it is not unusual for me to pick up hikers and drive them to the local store for supplies. Usually, I am in my truck, so they just pile in the back, gear and all, and ride the three miles to Jerry's Store in Volney. And, usually, I am pretty glad for that.... weeks on the trail without a bath?? Well, you get the idea. I don't really worry about safety. I trust that I will always be protected and I listen to Him when He says, "Stop for this one."

So, it was surprising on Thursday to see a lone, small hiker several miles after Jerry's Store. It was bitter cold --- about 20-degrees -- raining and the wind was blowing. The hiker was staggering a little and it was getting near dark.

I pulled up beside the figure, rolled down the truck window and asked, "Where you headed?"

A small, well-lined face turned to me, smiled, and replied, "Danbury."

"Hop in; it is too cold for you to be out walking today."

She got in after tossing her gear on the truck's back seat.

"Thanks! I was getting a little tired and really wanted to get just a bit further."

 We introduced ourselves, shaking hands as we did. Hers were worn, wrinkled, well-used and a block of ice.

"How long you been walking?" I asked.

"Oh, about 21 months. I started in Wocester, MA, and have been all over the country since," she responded, unzipping her coat, obviously enjoying the truck's warmth.

She then began to tell me about her journey, talking as fast as one does when they have been alone for a while. Her words tumbled out, faster and faster, as we drove. She told how God has instructed her to travel the country in a certain manner, stopping to talk to anyone who would listen about the End Times and about her Savior.

"He told me to take no money, that I would be cared for," she said. "And I have. If a town doesn't want to hear, then I walk to the city limits, spit on the ground, and leave. Usually, though, people will listen."

We came to my turn off, which is in the middle of nowhere, about 15 miles from the next town. I kept driving and she kept talking about God, her faith, and her journey. She had been to the Deep South, Mid-West, and now was headed to the Atlantic Ocean. Her route was never planned more than  knowing a certain town she was to arrive in along the way.

"I just trust Him to tell me the next place," she confided.

When we arrived in Independence, I asked her if I could buy her dinner.

"Yes! I am getting rather hungry," she eagerly answered.

We turned into my favorite restaurant and went in. I explained to her that I couldn't stay because I had to get home to feed my goats and I was already an hour late. She ordered supper and I told her to order her a some tenderloin biscuits for breakfast as they would keep overnight. Before leaving, we paused for a quick prayer. I blessed her and asked for her continued safety.

As I drove home, I thought about how we are each called to do God's work in different ways. She is traveling the country and I teach. Yet, we both minister in our own way -- she through testimony and me through encouragement and, I hope, an example of living His truth. Either way, we are both doing His work where we are.

BTW, I know the dangers of picking up hitch hikers. I seldom let anyone in the vehicle -- they have to ride in the truck bed. And, I don't recommend picking up strangers!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Here's the Thing...

My sissie is going back to work starting Monday after taking a little over a year off from nursing to rest and restore. (I am not jealous.. I am not jealous... I am not... anyhow...) She has accepted a position in a large hospital working in the ER, a new thing for her, and she needed new uniforms. Mistakenly, she asked me to go with her.

Now, if you have ever seen my wardrobe, you know that I am NOT a shopping kind of gal. The fact that I have only have about four pair of pants -- black, brown, and jeans -- and about seven tops -- red, white, black, and purple -- should be the tip off that I would rather eat carp scales than shop... But, ask she did, and since I have never, in her 50 years of life, told her "no", I went.


She needed three uniforms and one pair of shoes. Now, if it had been me, I would have tried on tops and pants until I found what fit and call it a day. Not her.

"The blues don't match," she exclaimed after I carried her several pieces to try in the dressing room.

"What do you mean the blues don't match. Blue is blue," I replied.

"Nopers, Cissie, you are wrong! Can't you see that the blues are different between these tops and bottoms?" she held them out for me to see.

"Seriously? You can see that?" I responded. "Look. You are going to be working in the ER. No one is going to notice that your blues don't match," I countered.

"I will."

Two hours later we had the three uniforms. I still can't talk about the shoes....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Day Musings --- Beauty

Margaret Tarrant Post Card

Margaret Tarrant has been one of my favorite illustators for years. Her work is tender and soft, with light that makes me think of Turner. Her children are my especial delight -- along with her goats... of course. She has a way of capturing the innocent and the pure. It is the perfect world.

Have you ever found an artist that you drew inspiration from? Someone whose work made you realize that life could be different?

Many of us instantly think of Tasha Tudor. Her work and life were inspiring and made us think, for a minute or two, that we could live like that. We could find simple joy in the day-to-day. Life had possiblities when we considered her work. We saw beauty.

So much of life is spent missing the beauty around us. Crystal snowflakes slipping through the frigid air. The smell of a doe coming in to feed from the brisk air. The nuzzle of a little nose in the palm of one's hand as it looks for One More Cookie. The dusky smell of a narcissus as it blooms in the house, bringing in a touch of spring on a very cold winter day.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. Yet, we must have the eye to see. I once read that a way to keep one's mind sharp is to watch for one special colour as one walks or travels through a day. It is an interesting theory and one that is challenging and, frankly, rather fun.

This week, I challenge you to do one thing: create something beautiful in your life. It doesn't have to be a big thing -- for me this week it was purchasing a small $3 cluster of miniature tea roses (white with a green edge), breaking up the cluster into three little nosegays and placing them in unexpected places -- the bathroom, foyer, and kitchen counter.

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have a beautiful week!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Say it isn't so...

A rogue deer attacked the Goat Mobile. While usually a Forester would trump a deer, this time both were casualties.

Now the question becomes: another Forester or a new truck? Remember, I have a wonderful 1976 Ford, but the smell of a new one... well.... I think that covers it!

What do you think??

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Lord

Please help the computer teacher in my Mother's computer class. She needs all the patience and humor you can give her.

Lord, I am sure you remember the last time Mother tried this. She called me every Monday and Wednesday night after class. I knew it was her from the weeping on the other end.

"Mother? What is wrong?"


"Mother?? Tell me. What is wrong?"

"If I could remember how to turn the computer on, I bet the class would be easier!" she would wail and then hang up.

I'd call back, Lord, you remember, and talk with her about writing it all down so that she could remember it. And, Lord, you remember that she and I had this long talk about how it was important to keep trying to learn new things. And, remember??, we discussed how she wasn't too old to learn new things. You remember that, right?

Well, Lord, she has decided to try again. This is why I am talking with you. She just called. Laughing. Hysterically.

"Listen to this question!" she began. "What do you know how to do with email?"

She read a long list of things, including sending it, creating folders, and so forth.

"What did you answer?" I bravely asked.

"What is email?"

Lord, please keep this teacher in your special care. I think she is going to need it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Saturday the Mister and I went for a ride. This is unusual for us as we try to conserve gas and, frankly, our time is always so full we don't give ourselves this kind of treat. Would you like to come along??

This is Little Wilson Creek.
It runs into the New River.
Notice the ice still on the creek!
It has been so cold here that we still have ice
although the temperatures have risen to the 40s! 

Can you see the little house perched on the rocks?
We decided that the house was probably lived in the last time
this car ran. It is a late 1950s Plymouth.
It still has the interior, although it has been
home to a number of critters! 

This is the view from near Whitetop, VA.
It is easy to see why this is called "The Blue Ridge"
because of the blueness of the mountains.
To orient yourself, imagine you are standing in VA and looking
"down" toward NC. The New River runs through
the little "valley" in the center of the picture. 

We couldn't help ourselves with this one!
This part of the world has a lot of huge, smooth rocks.
Can you see how this one was chiseled out
to permit the road to come through?? Isn't it marvelous?

I hope you have enjoyed your little ride through the mountains today! Come back and visit again, won't you? 

First Day Musings -- Nearly Here

Quick update:

The semester starts officially tomorrow. I have a lot of reading to do!

The shawl has finally become a joy. Photos to come.

Cleaning the stable a little every day. Using the old hay to build raised beds in the greenhouse.

Cutting wood. 'Nuff said.

Cleaning house. Really 'nuff said!

Lots of pictures for this past week, but my camera is in the car and I am not. When I get back from filling the car with gas, I will post 'em for you.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Have you ever had a knitting project, or any project for that matter, that refuses to be done? You may remember the prayer shawl burning a few years ago.... It was a moment that I wasn't very proud of, yet I have to admit, it felt good to do.

I am nearly at that point with my current project.

Have you seen this book??

It is a marvelous book and I have enjoyed knitting shawls from it in the past. It is well written and the designs are fascinating! I have started the Ireland Folk Shawl and it is lovely.

The problem is: I can't count. I started the shawl a few years ago and quit because, frankly, I am not such a good knitter from charts. I learned to knit from written instructions and I have difficulty making the transition. Well, in a fit of clearing out UFOs this was on the top of the list. I love the shawl. Really. Love. It. So, out it came from time out and we started visiting each other every night.

I have ripped out more than I have knit. The pattern is a series of four rows of pattern in five sections. It isn't that difficult, really. It just seems that I can't keep my yarn over and knit two together straight. Finally, though, today, I have hit my stride. The body of the shawl requires five pattern repeats. Then, there is a knit lace border. I can't wait to start that as it is always my favorite part of any shawl pattern -- to knit on the lace edging!

What do you do when you get stumped by a pattern??

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Bet My New Year Was Most Rocking

Happy New Year to you all! Hope you are off to a wonderful, contentment filled 2012. And, that you don't believe a word the Mayans have to say about the world ending in 2012. After all, they are an extinct culture. You'd think they would have seen that coming... 

Anyhow, have to share with you my wonderfully exciting New Year's Eve. It was fabulous. It was like nothing I have experienced on any other New Year's Eve.

I spent the night at the emergency room hoping to either be given a miracle cure or a termination date for this crud that I have fought for ten days. While waiting for the doctor, I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with a mentally challenged man who not only pulled up his shirt to show me his scar from his open heart surgery, but shared with me how "beef stew just gives me the run-offs."

Now, before you think I am making fun of this nice man, I am not. His open frankness and his innocent faith were touching. He, as I started off, called to me: "Happy New Year, ma'am! I hope you get better and that God will bless you!" I returned the wishes. Let me say, that was the nicest send off that I've had in a very long time.

And, you know what? I think I will and that He will!

Last year Brenda inspired me to select a word to guide my year. I selected "Moderation" and I practiced it most of the year. So, I have decided to select a word for this year. I have considered: frugal, determined, doggedness, perseverance, and patient. Instead, I have chosen


I have so many things in my life that will benefit from practicing this word... and the world would benefit from more people using discernment. 

Are you going to select a word to guide you for this year?