Archive for March, 2011

Oh, Yeah, Food Prices Are Going WAAAY Up!

I went to the feed store Saturday and purchased the same amount of feed that I get every week. It cost me $20 more than it did last week. DAMN. Next week, it may will be even higher. I didn’t get anything fancy. I got the least expensive (poorest quality, unfortunately) laying pellets, corn, and scratch feed. “So what?” you may say. “What does some rural woman complaining about feed costs for her methane-producing, Gaia-destroying livestock mean to me?”

Well, anything that has to be transported, from building materials to carrots, is going to become way more expensive when fuel prices jump. *sigh* Anything that requires grain inputs to be transported in and then transported to market (eggs, milk, meat, etc.) is going to be more expensive when it hits the grocery store first from increased price inputs at the farm and then again from transportation costs to the processing facility and then to market.

It isn’t too late to put in a garden. If you have room, I’d advise it. If you don’t have room, maybe you have a friend or elderly neighbor that could use help in theirs in exchange for some fresh produce.

Don’t be intimidated by all the gardening ads you see in magazines and television. You don’t need a plow. You don’t even need a rototiller. You can be really low tech and just use a shovel. Hell, you can use the Ruth Stout permanent mulch method (which my grandmother used until the week she died) and just layer a straw or leaf mulch on the ground and plant through it. When weeds start coming up, put on another layer of mulch. You can container garden. You can raised bed garden. You can hydroponic garden! There are a lot of creative gardens out there if you just Google it. You can freeze, can, or dehydrate your excess, if any, for storage, or donate them to a family that needs help if you prefer.

The folks on fixed and low incomes are really hurting, y’all. There are people out there right now that are having to decide between food, shelter, transportation costs, and medicine, deciding which one(s) they can no longer afford. Some of them may be in your family and too proud to mention it.

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Curling Iron Blues

I purchased a curling iron (yes, I really did) in order to experiment with hair styles for my new hair. The last time I’d gotten a curling iron was long ago when the kids were tiny and and they’ve (curling irons) changed. There are all sorts of options now!

It would probably be quicker for me to randomly superglue locks of brightly-colored sheep wool to my head. Maybe I should do a video. (Checking YouTube to see if it has been done already.) Holy SHIT! Wool dreads is (are?) an actual industry?! Where the hell have I been? I need to dye some wool and experiment.

Ahem. Back to the subject. I looked at curling irons with ceramic barrels and multiple barrels but, in the end, I said “screw it, I’m goin’ for cheap” and got the plain ol’ steel barrel model. Then I read the instructions. “DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING”. WTF? I could only WISH that I could multitask that well. “Curling iron is hot while in use. Do not touch eyes and skin with hot iron.” Yep, I’ll refrain from trying to curl my eyelashes with that sucker.

Ah, well, the yard needs cleaning of all the debris that Puppy has found, chewed, and strewn in the past week, plus the live oaks have decided to ditch all their leaves in preparation for the new leaves of spring. Burning my eyeballs with the curling iron will just have to wait for when I’m sleeping while curling my hair.

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More Baggy Eyes Coming Up

Earlier this week, I checked a ewe throughout the night that I suspected was about to lamb. I checked her every three hours throughout the night, then checked her as soon as I got up in the morning and again before I left. No lamb. When I got home from work, I immediately went to the barn to find a cold, stiff lamb and a ewe calling and calling to it.

It was a fine lamb–a huge single that felt like it weighed 20 lbs. It was easily the size of the two-week-old lambs. She’d probably been exhausted and was slow getting up to clean the lamb who was cleaned and dried everywhere except over his nose, where the placenta was covering the mouth and nostrils. Dang, dang, dang. THIS ain’t payin’ the feed bills!

Last night, a young ewe didn’t want to come out of the pasture and when she did, she started calling all the lambs racing up and down the pasture alley to the barn. Hmmmmmm. She was carrying her tail funny, slightly elevated. Hmmmmmm. She didn’t want any dinner. Unh huh. Somebody’s in the early stages of labor. I checked her again at 10:30, again at 12:30, again at 2:30, and again at 6 a.m. Nothin’. I checked again when it was time to leave. No ewe.

I found her and her new lamb in a pasture that had head-high dry grass that pretty much exactly matched the shade of her wool. Momma sheep was attentive and loving, the little one was vigorous and trying to find where the milk was, so I left feeling all happy about this outcome.

The ewes all came up to eat tonight, so I was looking forward to a night’s uninterrupted sleep. Then I went out for my 10:00 p.m. sheep check and found a young Rambouillet ewe (who will be a first time mother) following the new lamb around and calling to it. CRAP! She’s VERY skittish. On the good side, tomorrow’s Saturday.

I need to buy some new eye makeup. Something that I can use to draw eyeballs on my eyelids so that it looks like I’m awake would be good.

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Now I’ve Got Sassy Hair.

I went in to my former sister-in-law’s salon to get a haircut. She took my glasses as I leaned back into the shampoo basin and asked “What in the WORLD did you do to your nose?”

*sigh* I explained that I did not do anything to my nose. My poor nose was just an innocent bystander.

“You’ve really GOT to get another job!

I mentioned that I was considering it because every year the kids were going to be stronger and faster while I’d be older and slower. It may be time to hang up the boxing gloves (so to speak). I would need a hair style that would look good with absolutely no care whatsoever but that I could dress up if I needed to for an interview.

“Okay. So how much care are we talking about here? Do you blow dry your hair?”

“Yeah, I hang my head out the window in the morning on my way to work and blow dry it then.”

I don’t think she understand that when I said “no care”, I meant that shampoo was about the extent of my morning hair care system.

She cut my hair, then told me my hair was “sassy”. “Sassy”??? What does THAT mean? She asked my next door neighbor in the adjoining chair if she liked my cut.

“Ohmygawd! It’s SOOOOO sassy!”

Somehow I don’t think “sassy” means the same thing as competent and deserving of a large salary and expense account. Oooooh, ooooooh, and a new 4WD company truck and gas credit card! For that, I’d probably have to use the blow dryer AND the curling iron.

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