Archive for March, 2011

I Buy My Brooms From This Guy

And they’re really great. It has been about 10 years since my last purchase, so it may be time to head up to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival again.

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Paco for President!

Our esteemed friend Paco of Paco Enterprises has decided to make a run on the Presidency of the United States. We’re behind you every step of the way, Paco! Your campaign slogan of pistol whipping foreign potentates touches my heart. THAT is what a real ‘murican would do!

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My Deepest Sympathies to Japan

Yesterday morning was much the same as all other mornings. The alarm went off, I slept through it for about 15 minutes then groggily and grumpily attained some semblance of sentience and abused the alarm for doing the job that I had set it to do which was dragging my less than happy butt outta bed.

I switched on the television to check the weather for our field trip while running around looking for the clothes, shoes, keys, etc. that I put in plain sight the evening before but am somehow unable to see in the morning. The phrase “8.9 on the Richter scale” penetrated the fog. Holy SHIT. That would be freakin’ devastating no matter WHERE it happened.

I returned to the television set and heard that there were 32 dead reported in Japan. Oh, no. I knew the death and injury toll was going to be much, much higher.

When I got home, I watched some of the news reports that I had missed during the day. I feel for the people trapped in the cities whose families may have perished. I watched in helpless anguish as boats, vehicles, houses, and debris were swept far inland into farmers’ fields.

We have the potential–no, the certainty–for the same damage when the Cascadia subduction zone rips loose. Are our western states as prepared with stringent earthquake building codes as Japan? Would coastal survivors of a potential 9.0 earthquake have the presence of mind to immediately head for (much) higher ground to escape the 80 to 100 foot tidal wave that big earthquakes along this zone generate? Would they be able to do this to save their own lives leaving behind family members, friends, and neighbors trapped in debris who would surely perish?

Japan, who has extensive experience with tsunamis, looks to have lost a staggering amount of people to the waves, not the huge earthquake(s).

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Guess I Don’t Watch Enough Sci-Fi Channel

I walked into the house this evening to a movie that SwampMan had on. It featured snarling, bestial humanoid creatures.

“What are those, Reavers? Or Democrat union flunkies in Wisconsin?”

He looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. Maybe I have, how would I be able to tell? In an exaggeratedly patient voice which one uses to a person that is being deliberately obtuse, he said “No, those are ZOMBIES. I cannot BELIEVE that you couldn’t tell the difference.”

Well. At least I could tell they weren’t werewolves. And how do you tell Democrat union stooges from Zombies, anyway? Oh, snap. Of COURSE. Zombies eat brains. Those other people’s brains have been eaten.

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Maybe I Should Tell SwampMan Where ALL the Critters Are, Just in Case

I mentioned to a coworker about SwampMan askin’ me if my feeding was done last night, then settling down with his crossword puzzle while I did my chores. She was astounded.

“Why in the world didn’t he help you?”

“Well, they aren’t his. Plus, he doesn’t know what to feed them or how many there are, or even what I have.”

“What would happen if, God forbid, you got killed on your way to or from work? What would happen to them?”

Well, probably the same thing that would happen to them if he KNEW where they were. Something tells me that if SwampMan were busy making arrangements to dispose of my mortal remains, feeding chickens isn’t going to be high on his to do list. Daughter would know to come free and/or sell off my critters in that event.

But, just in case, I told SwampMan where my injured possum is. She’s in a chicken quarantine pen with some water and cat food. He rolled his eyes at me. I don’t think saving injured possums is high on his list of things to do, either.

It shouldn’t be high on mine, either, but I found her in the yard, dragging a back leg and unable to climb the fence. Her teeth were bared in a defiant snarl but her eyes looked hopefully into mine. I scooped her up and put her in a safe place (a pen), and gave her canned cat food, dry dog food, and water. I don’t think puppy had anything to do with her injury because, well, she was alive. The wind had been blowing vigorously, and I think she was blown out of a tree.

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Red Roosters Are Gonna be Sleepin’ With the Fishes This Weekend

I worked later than I had planned tonight and got home just in advance of a storm system. Lightning was already flashing and the sounds of distant thunder rolling in as a few preliminary drops of rain fell. The wind was kicking up. Instead of going into the house, I grabbed feed buckets and started fillin’ ‘em up.

SwampMan drove up from work and asked if I were done feeding yet.

“Nope. Just got home. Why?”

“Wanted to see if you wanted to go out and eat tonight.”

“Hold that thought. I’ll be going as fast as I can.”

SwampMan sighed and turned off the engine. He settled back to wait with a crossword puzzle. He knew my quick feeding would be about an hour.

I ran around to the back where I had a hen and nine chicks, a hen and one chick, and a sick hen in three separate pens. I started dumping in the feed when WHAM! I got spurred in the leg by a red rooster. I was jumping around on one leg saying really bad words that we do NOT allow in the classroom (because we only use nice words in the classroom to our friends and teachers) while I was simultaneously trying to brain a rooster with a chunk of concrete. The lil’ bastard got away.

I hopped out and showed SwampMan my blood-stained shoe and sock. AAAAARGH! That’s when I first noticed that the little bastard had put holes in my blue Dockers! Screw the holes in the leg, the Dockers thing is SERIOUS. This was an old pair of Dockers, the kind where the waist sits at the actual waist, not the ass. I don’t know why it is, but I do NOT want to wear a pair of pants to work that could give me a case of plumber’s butt when I bend over, not to mention that low-rise pants don’t even look that good on the young and extremely skinny, of which I am neither.

SwampMan asked where the dead (rooster) body was, and I had to admit that I’d missed him. I ain’t as fast as I once was, particularly on just one leg. I’d planned to shoot his ass out the tree (the rooster’s ass, not SwampMan’s!) with the .410 tonight because I know where he roosts but, considering the Docker damage, I might just wring his neck personally.

I finished feeding just as the rain started coming down like it really meant it. We arrived a little ahead of the rain at our favorite wing place and went inside only to find out that we’d gotten there on karaoke night. The speakers were blaring out country music at a filling-vibrating decibel level. We turned around to walk out but the rain was pouring down in the parking lot. We decided that maybe we could bear it after all, although SwampMan grumbled that he was liable to walk out at any time and glared at a bunch of teenagers until they left. That cheered him up enough for him to stay until our meal arrived.

Surprisingly (to me), the first people singing weren’t the young people but older folks. Some dang good Hank Williams songs were done. SwampMan drug me out when somebody started singing Bill Anderson because he claimed that there was only so much additional abuse that he could put up with during the day, and listening to Bill Anderson tunes was waaaaay beyond the line.

I came home to an underwater yard and driveway. I reckon the guilty red rooster (and all the red roosters that resemble him) will make it to the weekend after all.

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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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