Sunday, April 29, 2018

What on earth IS this thing?

Last week as I was splitting firewood, I glanced down at the ground and saw a revolting creature.

It was about an inch and a quarter in length, and as you can see, had a big oversized head which "pulsated" in a manner reminiscent of a miniature Star Trek monster -- you know, one of those predators from Planet Zortog or whatever.

You can see its mandibles which open and shut in a suitably fearsome manner, making me glad I was a zillion times bigger.

I haven't the faintest clue what this thing is. Anyone have any ideas?

Friday, April 27, 2018

Little opportunist

As you well know, our cow Amy has been nursing two calves (as well as providing us with an odd quart of milk a couple times a week). Little orphaned Anna is doing fine and everyone's settling into a routine.

As a reward for Amy's patience as well as to supplement her nutrition, we purchased a couple bags of COB (corn-oats-barley) with molasses.

Needless to say, Amy thinks this is a spiffy idea.

But she's not the only one who likes COB. This morning I noticed a little opportunist enjoying the bounty.

Granted, at the moment the bags of COB are just leaning against the porch, so I can't blame the chipmunk for taking advantage of the opportunity.

But yeah, time to put the COB out of reach.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Update on Little Orphaned Anna

Many readers have asked how things are going with little orphaned Anna, whose mother Polly died last Sunday. If there is a shortage of photos with this blog post, it's because things have been somewhat of a rodeo around here and taking pictures was not a priority.

Anna was born on March 2. This puts her at about seven weeks old, far too young to lose her mama -- or her mama's milk.

Therefore our priority was to get Anna to take a bottle. We mixed up calf milk replacer (formula) and heated it to the right temperature, and poured it into a calf bottle.

Then we got Anna into a small pen, put a rope around her neck, pushed her against the wall (which takes the "fight" out of a cow), and tried to get her to drink.

We tried and tried and tried. We massaged her jaw and throat; we held the bottle at different angles; we squeezed milk into her mouth (not enough to choke her, of course). It wasn't that Anna was necessarily fighting us; it's just that she wouldn't drink, no matter how long the nipple was in her mouth. After ten or fifteen minutes' of trying, we would get maybe -- maybe -- two or three ounces down her. We tried this five or six times throughout the day, same results.

Okay, time to rethink.

Anna wasn't alone in the corral. We also had Amy (Matilda's adult calf) and Amy's little unnamed bull calf in there as well. Our last hope was Amy.

Monday night we separated Amy from the two calves, which were tucked into a small pen. This added an additional noise level to our farm. Now it wasn't just Anna bawling; it was also Amy's calf, indignant at being separated from his mama; and Amy herself set up a lot of bellowing. Suffice it to say no one got a good night's sleep.

Yesterday morning Don got up early and we got Amy into the squeeze chute and tried, for the first time, to milk her. Considering she was agitated and annoyed at being separated from her calf and stressed from being in the unfamiliar squeeze chute, she did splendidly. I milked out just a little over a quart, not bad for a first-time milking.

We returned Amy to the barn, released her calf to her, strained the fresh warm milk, and poured it into the bottle. Then once again we tried to get Anna to nurse.

"Come on, little baby, this isn't formula, this is fresh milk," we told her, but she would have none of it.

Frustrated, we released her out of the pen -- and she dove, literally dove, for Amy's udder. She began nursing like there was no tomorrow.

Now lest you think this option hadn't occurred to us earlier, we should point out that Amy hasn't been overly kind to little orphaned Anna. She tends to shove the little brat away whenever she notices her. Therefore we coudn't depend on Amy's uncomplaining cooperation when it came to letting Anna nurse.

But we discovered something yesterday -- when Amy's own calf is nursing, she doesn't really care if there's an extra calf back there. And Anna, canny lass that she is, always positions herself in the very back, as far away from Amy's line of sight as possible.

So we devised a new strategy, and so far it seems to be working. At night we separate the calves (this morning all was quiet in the barn until 5:45 am and I slept like a rock). In the morning I milk Amy. Then I lead her back into the barn, release the calves, and hold Amy's lead rope so she'll stand still, so as to allow both calves to take as much milk as they want and need.

Then we release Amy out of the corral to join her herd-mates and graze on the very small amount of fresh grass that's finally starting to grow. The calves stay in the corral, where they have food, water, shade, and shelter.

(Amy's unnamed bull calf on the left, Anna on the right.)

Once or twice during the day, we go get Amy and return her to the corral, where the calves attack her avidly, then we put her back outside.

In the evening, we fetch Amy again, and let the calves nurse on her while holding her lead rope.

Then we let her loose in the corral with the calves, where everyone settles in with their dinner. Just before dark, we put the calves into the small pen for the night.

So far so good.

Despite her occasional aggression -- more like annoyance -- toward Anna, dear Amy has been an absolute trooper. It's asking a lot of her -- nursing two calves as well as being milked in the morning for us, but her body and milk production will adjust.

Nonetheless we're going to start graining Amy, something we haven't done for any of our cows in years. We'll also watch her health -- if she gets too skinny, we'll stop the morning milking and just let her nurse the two calves.

This schedule will severely restrict our movements away from home for the next few months, but needs must when the devil drives. We're just so -- SO! -- grateful Amy was in the wings, ready to rescue little orphaned Anna from the loss of her dear mother.

Such is life on a farm.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Little orphaned Anna

We lost Polly, our Jersey cow, yesterday afternoon.

Her death was completely unexpected. After looking so ill last week, she seemed completely recovered after receiving antibiotics. She was eating, chewing her cud, nursing her calf.

And then boom, she was down, dead before we knew it. Don removed her halter. After all, she won't be needing it anymore.

A kind neighbor brought his backhoe and dug her grave.

But unlike when Matilda died – taking her unborn calf with her – Polly leaves behind little Anna, less than two months old and far from being weaned. And Polly was my last trained milker.

However Amy (Matilda’s daughter) offers hope. She’s not trained to milk, but she’s lead-trained. She’s also – like Matilda – something of a “universal donor.” So yesterday afternoon we experimentally led Amy into the squeeze chute and I got some milk from her udder without a problem. By “some,” I mean a single squirt from all four teats. Since she’s actively nursing her own little calf, it's not like she’s walking around with a full bag waiting for me to milk her. For that to happen, we need to separate her from her calf at night. But at least she wasn’t fighting me trying to milk her. Amy has a sweet, gentle disposition, just like her mama did.

The squeeze chute was missing a bottom (the boards were rotted when we got it)... Don cut two sheets of OSB and we slid those into position.

We ended up putting Amy, Amy's calf, and little orphaned Anna into the corral together.

We had hopes Anna would willingly nurse off of Amy, but the grieving baby doesn’t seem inclined to do so, even though she's undoubtedly hungry. Instead, so far she has spent the entire evening and night lowing pitifully for her mother. It's heartbreaking.

We always keep calf milk replacer on hand, so today we’ll bottle-feed Anna. She’s not going to take that indignity lying down, so it will be a bit of a rodeo until she understands what we’re trying to do, but at her young age there’s no possible way she can get sufficient nutrition from solid foods.

We’ll also start separating Amy from the two calves at night, and I’ll milk her in the mornings, with all the milk going to Anna (fresh milk is always better than milk replacement).

In the meantime, we’re all mourning Polly’s loss. Matilda and Polly, our two beloved Jerseys. Sometime farm life isn’t much fun.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day!

What shall I do on this Earth Day?

For all you cretins out there, today is Earth Day, the day everyone pretends to be green and virtuous and love their “Mother.”

Earth Day is now touted as the “world’s largest environmental movement” and is often characterized by mass gatherings of people who expended untold amounts of carbon to travel to Washington D.C. and protest the carbon footprints of everyone else (usually followed by photos of the amount of trash left in their wake).

Alternately, for those unwilling or unable to go to mass protests against environmental pollution, supporters can engage in something called “iActivism” in which they can tweet or post their disgust at pollution on social media, using their mass-produced electronics and the Internet Al Gore created. These tweets, of course, will make people think they’re actually doing something useful as they take pictures of themselves holding pieces of paper with “#hastagactivism” written on it.

Meanwhile protesters/supporters will laud the continued legalization of marijuana while condemning wheat or vegetable farmers, since apparently it’s “greener” to grow pot than to grow food. It’s the old “Leonardo DiCaprio has huge yachts, jets, and homes, and Al Gore has villas without solar panels. Where do they get off telling us what to do?” problem.

Yet apparently we, the Lewis family, are the hypocrites because we don’t support Earth Day twaddle. This, despite the fact that we don’t commute, don’t use disposables, have almost zero garbage output, never use our clothes dryer, have no personal electronics (except computers and one “dumb” phone), shop second-hand stores, heat with wood, keep our electricity usage between $30 and $50 every month (LED lights!), and otherwise subscribe to nearly every recommendation the environmentalists make.

But as “green” as these accomplishments may be, activists probably won’t approve. The difference, of course, is we support green living – not the green agenda. The green agenda is nothing more than a watermelon: green packaging around a red center. It’s socialism, prettily wrapped up in 100 percent recycled wrapping paper, with a communist bow on top and backed up by governmental force. Open that green package, and the gory red insides spill out: the blood of hundreds of millions people who have died from collectivist régimes in the last century.

Somehow it’s become unacceptable to live green lifestyle without having a suitably militant red attitude.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, we’ll celebrate Earth Day by going about our ordinary lives: Feeding the livestock, planting peas and potatoes, gathering eggs, and living the life God intended for us. I can think of no finer celebration.

Planned Parenthood's latest sick idea

Here's my WND column for this weekend entitled "Planned Parenthood's latest sick idea."

For those unable to access the WND website, the text of the column is below.

Planned Parenthood’s Latest Sick Idea

As you’ve probably heard by now, in late March a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Pennsylvania sent out a revolting tweet: “We need a Disney princess who's had an abortion.” (Not just an abortion; apparently America is also ready for a Disney princess who is pro-choice, an undocumented immigrant, a union worker, and transgender.)

Undoubtedly realizing they’d crossed the line, the abortion provider deleted the tweet soon after – but not before igniting a firestorm of protest. Planned Parenthood Keystone head Melissa Reed confirmed her group sent (then deleted) the tweet, stating their attempt to “challenge stigma and champion stories that too often don't get told.” (Then why did you remove the tweet?)

In that same statement, Reed defended her branch’s efforts to mix politics and meme culture. “Planned Parenthood believes that pop culture … has a critical role to play in educating the public and sparking meaningful conversations around sexual and reproductive health issues and policies, including abortion,” she said. “We also know that emotionally authentic portrayals of these experiences are still extremely rare – and that’s part of a much bigger lack of honest depictions of certain people’s lives and communities.”

Whoa. Educating people about “sexual and reproductive health issues” – that’s asking a lot of Disney. (That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Disney took the idea seriously. Sadly, this venerable organization has long since abandoned the wholesome family-friendly content on which it was built.)

Reed also said, “Emotionally authentic portrayals of these experiences are still extremely rare.” Putting aside the appropriateness of pushing abortion on little girls, what does she consider “emotionally authentic” portrayals? Women weeping in anguish for the life they’ve extinguished? Women fighting breast cancer later in life resulting from their choice to abort?

And let’s see – if a Disney princess had an abortion, was she married or just sleeping around? Was she too stupid to know about birth control? Was she so weak she was incapable of keeping her knees together?

For generations, Disney provided role models for little girls with its princesses who overcame adversity with good cheer, hard work, sweet dispositions, and strong personalities. They’re not known for coming to the silver screen steeped in regret about their personal lives. There are no thoughts of, “Gee, I wish I hadn’t slept with Prince Charming on the first date. But at least Planned Parenthood was available to come to my rescue and kill my baby so I can continue to wear pretty dresses without losing my figure.”

How long has it been since Reed and her cohorts have come up for air in the real world? How long has it been since they’ve poked their heads out of their cauldron of sex and murder to understand most Americans – particularly little girls in the 3 to 10 year age demographic – aren’t interested in sexual promiscuity?

Now let’s look at what a princess used to be, shall we? In a monarchy, a princess was the daughter of a king. Her genetics helped ensure the continuation of the monarchy, whether or not she was in direct line to the throne. Princesses were often negotiation tools whose marriages were used to cement alliances. Believe me, princesses didn’t sleep around (at least, not openly). In the medieval world in which monarchs ruled supreme, the purity of a princess’s sexual life was of utmost importance, far more so than for princes.

So why celebrate a princess who had an abortion?

Of course, Disney princesses aren’t without their critics. Rebecca Hains, associate professor of advertising and media studies at Salem State University, said in a Washington Post column, “The Disney Princess brand suggests that a girl’s most valuable asset is her beauty, which encourages an unhealthy preoccupation with physical appearance. The brand also implies that girls should be sweet and submissive, and should expect a man to come to their rescue in an act of love at first sight. Although newer characters like Elsa, Anna, Merida and Rapunzel behave in ways that correct these ideas, as a whole, the brand remains out of step with modern ideas about raising girls.”

It appears Hains is correct – “modern” ideas of raising girls encourages them to “empower” themselves by ignoring what’s between their ears to focus on what’s between their legs. This is why Planned Parenthood sees everything through the lens of murder and sexual promiscuity, even to the point of how little girls should view mythical heroines.

There’s only one reason to urge Disney to create a princess who’s had an abortion: to normalize murder. Feminists are astoundingly hostile about applauding old-fashioned role models for little girls. Ironically, they push the notion that women should be little more than sexual toys. No wonder Planned Parenthood’s services are so “necessary” to empower women when their promiscuity inevitably results in pregnancy.

Feminists don’t like to admit it, but most little girls are not born as feminists. They’re born as little girls. They like pretty things – princesses, dolls, sparkly unicorns, whatever – at least until they’re marinated in a feminist mindset long enough to reprogram their young impressionable brains in a direction contrary to their biological instincts.

But this whole “let’s applaud women who have had an abortion” attitude proves how much the definition of “hero” has changed over the last few decades. We used to look up to people whose virtues and strengths were admirable. But now Planned Parenthood wants Disney to bring down standards for little girls by showing them what they can aspire to someday. You too can sleep around, get pregnant, kill your baby, rip the parts from your body, and still be able to wear pretty dresses and crowns!

In 2016, Planned Parenthood murdered 328,348 babies in the womb. During the same period, their contraception and cancer screening/prevention services declined. I guess “educating the public and sparking meaningful conversations around sexual and reproductive health issues” doesn't pay as well as killing the innocent.

Sick sick sick. Twisted twisted twisted.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would never condemn a woman for having an abortion. No one knows what personal reasons called for such a measure, and those reasons could be anything from frivolous to desperate. It’s a rare woman who doesn’t regret to some degree her actions, though the regret may not happen for years.

But the organizations providing abortions are something else. They don’t just provide a (cough) service; they actively encourage abortions, cultivate abortions, seek out abortions. They are evil, evil to their core.

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, wrote, “We need a Disney princess who uses her royal authority to defund you stupid a**holes.”

Now that’s a sentiment I can get behind.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Update on Polly

So many people have offered prayers, consolation, and advice concerning our sick Jersey cow Polly -- thank you all! I'm happy to report she seems much better.

She still had me worried yesterday afternoon. I stepped out into the woods and watched her -- she was nibbling the still-short grass, which was a good sign -- but she was still hunching and passing bloody urine on a frequent basis. (Don't be alarmed by how bony she looks -- that's just a "Jersey" thing.)

Last evening when Don went to feed, all the other animals bellied up to the feed boxes -- except Polly. At least, at first. After a few minutes and some calling from us, she made her way under the awning and, to our delight, began eating. (That's her calf Anna with her.)

This morning I went to feed the animals, and saw only four cows with their heads in the feed boxes. Four cows, not five. My heart sank a little -- where was Polly? But to my delight, she was right there with the rest of them, eating vigorously, at the far end where I didn't see her at first.

A couple hours later, I hooked her up to the lead rope and put her into the squeeze chute again. This time Don administered the antibiotic shots, and a very fine job he did of it too. After that, I backed Polly out and returned her to the herd. Her eyes are clear and the swelling in her jaw is down, and her urine looks much more normal.

We'll finish out the bottle of antibiotics on her tomorrow and keep an eye on her, but it looks like the crisis is over. She seems well on the road to recovery, thanks to the awesome power of modern medicine.

And reader support.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Polly is sick

Polly, our remaining purebred Jersey cow, is sick.

Yesterday morning when I went to feed the critters, I noticed Polly wasn't among them. I found her in an adjacent pen, looking miserable. Though she was facing away from me, something seemed unusual about her head.

I entered the pen and was horrified to find her face entirely puffed up, her eyes like slits and her jaw with a huge soft bulge. I ran into the house and placed calls to every large-animal vet in the region, only to find none available.

Meanwhile a man stopped by to visit some neighbors. Luis has something of a local reputation as a "horse whisperer" -- he's magic with equines -- and as it turns out, he's highly experienced with cattle as well. He looked at Polly and said she had a large infection, and recommended we get an antibiotic called LA 200.

We ran a string around Polly's midsection, a method for estimating weight in cattle. By this determination, we guessed she weighs 927 lbs.

I went into town and purchased the antibiotic. Luis promised to come out this morning to show us the best way to administer it.

This morning Polly's swollen face looked better, but she kept hunching over and passing bloody urine. Not good.

At least she's on her feet. A cow off her feet is very seriously ill indeed. But she's off her food, lethargic, and often just stands slumped.

Luis arrived this morning, and I walked Polly into the squeeze chute. LA-200 supposedly stings going in, and I didn't want anyone (bovine or human) getting hurt in the process.

Based on Polly's weight and the recommended dosage, Luis filled the syringe...

...then he injected her intramuscularly in three different places (apparently the medicine is best administered spread around).

Polly jerked a bit, but she's lethargic and didn't fight. I backed her out of the chute without a problem and returned her to the corral.

We'll give her the next few shots ourselves, repeating the dosage for the next couple of days. According to LA-200 information, she should show "marked improvement" in the next 24 to 48 hours.

I don't want to lose Polly so soon after losing Matilda. We'll be watching her like a hawk.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

That streak of gray

So yesterday I was in a thrift store in the city, purchasing a replacement coat for the one I have with a broken zipper. I brought the garment up to the register, and the nice lady asked me if I was 55 or older. "Actually, I'm exactly 55," I said. "Why?"

"Because you get a 20 percent senior discount," she replied, punching the keys on the cash register.


I suppose it was inevitable, but honestly, that's the first time I've been "rewarded" for being a "senior." I put "senior" in quotes because I sure don't feel like one. But I guess that long streak of gray in my otherwise brown hair is a giveaway. I wasn't sure whether to be flattered or insulted.

But if there's one thing I've learned from my dear mother, it's to age gracefully. Mom never dyed her hair or fought the wrinkles. I guess now it's my turn to do the same.

But still. Ouch.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Now gardening is racist

Here's my WND column from the weekend, entitled "Now gardening is racist."

For those unable to access the website, here's the text.

Now Gardening is Racist

In yet another example of liberal lunacy, some environmentalists are slamming gardeners and wildlife biologists for being racist.

Breitbart notes, “A consultant for New Scientist magazine, Fred Pearce argues that foreign flora and fauna are being ‘demonised’ unfairly while the problematic species which are native to Britain are given a free pass. … Pearce decried the language used to describe ‘invasive species’ as ‘very xenophobic,’ stating it ‘suggests that anything foreign is bad. ‘It is terrifyingly similar to the language which can be used about immigrants invading the country,’ added the environmentalist, who claims scientists are more likely to present species as dangerous if they are foreign in his book ‘The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation.’ …‘True environmentalists … should be applauding the aliens.’”

Pearce isn’t the first to equate gardening with racism. “In 2014,” continued Breitbart, “academic Ben Pitcher claimed that people who enjoy talking about gardening are closet racists who use the hobby as a covert way to promote white identity” and claimed using terms like “invasive” and “non-native” showed gardeners’ opposition to migrants and is “saturated with racial meanings.”

Okay fine. You wanna equate gardening with racism? Then let’s do it – and see where it goes.

I have spent the last ten years cultivating a huge vegetable and fruit garden through sheer hard work. And make no mistake – it’s work. I put many, many hours each summer into cultivating strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, apples, grapes, plums, cherries, watermelon, cantaloupe, hazelnuts, walnuts, corn, green beans, dried beans (several types), peas, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, sage, oregano, basil, horseradish, cayenne peppers, garlic, parsley, rosemary, spearmint, seed poppies, and thyme.

All these food plants (with the exception of the trees) are in raised beds. I’m quite proud of my garden. It’s the first thing we show visitors.

Of course, weeds grow in any garden, which I diligently work to remove. In small amounts, most weeds don’t damage vegetables. Gardens can take a small amount of “weed pressure,” as it’s called, without damaging the primary crop. It’s only when weeds overgrow a bed that the crop suffers.

Sometimes I even find a volunteer vegetable plant in the “wrong” place, growing from the previous year’s seed. This kind of diversity is always welcome. Even though the volunteer is not where it’s “supposed” to be, it still contributes to the garden and produces a useful result.

Learning to garden has been something of an uphill battle for me, and I’ve made many mistakes. One year I naïvely mulched many beds with old hay, thinking I was doing the right thing. But old hay often contains foreign (to my garden) seeds, and to my horror I found I had inadvertently introduced a bunch of invasive weeds. One particularly pernicious specimen was a type of aggressive grass that sends out root runners and spreads vegetatively. Left alone, it soon dominates a bed, forming dense mats, crowding out everything else, and causing the vegetables to either grow thin or die.

Uprooting this grass is delicate and difficult. Unless every little bit of root is carefully dug up and removed, it snaps and regrows new plants from the snapped pieces. For years I’ve fought this grass and slowly I’m winning. But it’s still a fight. And that doesn’t count other weeds that invade my garden which, given the opportunity, would take over. It’s a constant battle.

Am I racist? Are my actions or my language “promoting white identity”? Of course not. I’m simply describing my gardening challenges as we strive for food self-sufficiency on our farm. If you interpret it any other way – now listen to this very, very carefully – that’s your racism showing, not mine.

Now let’s look beyond gardening. Let’s look at nature. I have a background in wildlife biology, and invasive species putting pressure on native plants and animals is a huge issue among biologists. Take Australia, for example. Here’s a continent that had been geographically isolated from the outside world for a long, long time. It contains perhaps the finest examples of unique, not-found-anywhere-else flora and fauna on the planet. But as soon as invasive species were introduced – either deliberately or by accident – they spread and flourished and out-competed the native plants and animals, sometimes to the point of extinction. The only sane way to keep this from happening everywhere is to limit the introduction of species that spread easily.

Because, you see, not all alien species become aggressive invaders. Some plants and animals assimilate beautifully and would never dream of taking over. Australia is in no danger of being taken over by non-native chickens, for example, even though chickens are everywhere.

It’s those plants and animals which don’t assimilate – which, instead, take over a garden or an ecosystem in an aggressive and destructive fashion, causing populations to become threatened or go extinct – that are the problem.

Now consider the words of historian Bill Federer:
After the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Communist labor organizers, community organizers, agitators, and agent provocateurs infiltrated other countries, including the United States. They utilized the tactic of psychological projection or “blame-shifting,” in which the attacker blames the victim.

Sigmund Freud wrote in "Case Histories II" (PFL 9, p. 132) of “psychological projection” where humans resort to the defensive mechanism of denying in themselves the existence of unpleasant behavior while attributing that exact behavior to others. A rude person constantly accuses others of being rude.

Marx is attributed with the phrase "Accuse the victim of what you do" or “Accuse your opponent of what you are guilty of.” If you are lying, accuse your opponent it. If you are racist, accuse your opponent it. If you are sexually immoral, accuse your opponent it. If you are engaging in voter fraud, accuse your opponent it. If you are disseminating "fake news", accuse your opponent of spreading it. If you are receiving millions from globalist and Hollywood elites, accuse your opponent of being controlled by the rich.
I will continue the fight to defend my garden from invasive species so it can flourish and provide us with food. I presume Australia will attempt to do the same, to save its native species of plants and animals from extinction.

All you liberals out there can interpret this as you will.

As for Pearce and Pitcher, they can take their racism and false accusations – and shove it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

It's the little things in life

Almost exactly two years ago, Don built me a little shelving unit to store gallon jugs of bulk staples: oatmeal, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, tea, pasta, raisins, etc.

I was making some oatmeal-raisin cookies for the neighborhood potluck last week. As I always do, I pulled the necessary jugs of ingredients from this shelving unit and placed them on the table until needed.

And it occurred to me how much I took for granted this extremely useful piece of furniture. What a blessing to have a woodworking husband who can make such needed items.

This inspired me to look around the house and realize that everything -- with the exception of a sofa and loveseat we bought new in 2004 -- is either a second-hand purchase or handmade by my talented husband. The result is eclectic and unpolished -- and yet it somehow represents us very well.

After all, we're kind of eclectic and unpolished too.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Winter isn't done with us yet

Typical for spring, we're alternating between nice warmish days of sunshine, and days of rain and/or wind. This morning we woke up to howling wind and snow. Wheee.

The flakes were flying sideways.

The vehicle was getting plastered. If I'd waited an hour longer to take these photos, the vehicle would have been even more plastered.

We have a stack of wooden pallets leaning against a barn pole. They got plastered too.

Our brave stand of daffodils, pushing up, also got plastered, poor dears.

The neighbors across the way were simply obliterated.

And now -- a few hours later -- everything's gone and we even have periods of weak sunshine (though the wind is still blowing). If you don't like the weather, wait five hours. Or something like that.