It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Not Like...

What makes people do what they do? My girls are often very perplexing, even for me, a fellow female, eclectic, energetic person. Its not like they don't have enough outlets, things to do, chores to perform and animals to keep. In case you've forgotten or are new to this blog let me remind you all the things my girls do for fun and work.


It's Not Like They Don't Have Opportunity For Fun

These two go camping, fishing, hiking. Even in their own yard there are canoe rides and exploring beaver dams,

And taking visitors (especially visiting sisters) out for horse back rides.
They even, on occasion, get out and do exciting things like attend local rodeos.
It's Not Like They Don't Have a Lot of Work to Do.

Scooping out ram pens with big equipment, or pitching out stalls by hand, or mucking out various pens and cages. Hauling the manure to the compost areas or directly to the gardens. Tilling up the gardens as well as planning, planting, weeding, watering and harvesting.
Helping dad with shearing customers, hauling wood, or delivering livestock for neighbors.
Working our farm's display at the fair for five grueling days, setting up, decorating, talking to the public for thirteen hours a day, then tearing down and coming home. Where there is both the travel trailer and stock trailer to unpack and clean not to mention that once home there are always homemaking things like cleaning, cooking, baking, sewing, rug making, flower arranging....
It's Not Like They Don't Have Enough Animals In Their Lives
Litters of kittens that need to be watched, hauled around in pockets and stories made up for.

Like the occasional puppy litter to take care of, whelped, weighed, fed, cleaned up, vaccinated, charted, marketed, sold.

Not to mention , training and working their grown dogs and the pups they are training to sell as started young dogs and the pups they're keeping.

Like the squab that they watch over or they attempt to hand raise.

Or the quail,

Or the adult doves

Or the chicks,

Or the ducks,

Or the turkeys that have to be turned out and pastured everyday then brought in every night, and the turkey eggs that need to be artificially hatched and brooded each spring.

Like the two new horses that they bought this summer.

That they use to herd the sheep out to the back forty.

You'd think the sheep alone would be enough to keep them occupied and entertained what with lambing, shearing, processing wool, spinning, rug making, deciding with Dad who are the replacement lambs and who are the locker lambs.

And then really most people would be satisfied with the entertainment and chores that just one family/guard dog would be.

But no, these girls have all of this in their lives and then they still have to keep....

A pet mouse!


I'm no economists but this is what I see.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, this is another civic-ally bent post.

But I am learning a ton during this campaign. More than I have in years from other campaigns.This one is important,more than the last four or five (okay, at least to me), and it is heated, as you know unless your an ostrich. But I tell you, it may be uncomfortable to hear scorching ads against your candidate or you may even cringe if your fellow is saying something rather nasty about their opponent. But I think it is sideways thinking to be angry that elections are angry and wish they were like elections of yesteryear. Elections were never nice. Only one president ran uncontested. And for contests it is not their nature to be nice. But you most certainly have the right to not listen, so feel free to slip out the back door no one will mind. I hope you come on back tomorrow night, I'll have something cute, silly and sweet about the girls and the farm I'm sure, it is a beautiful time of the year and they are fun to watch and figure out. But for now I am exercising my freedom, freedom to blog about current politics as I see it.

The freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the freedom of political expression must be exercised and must be exercised in complete freedom even when our conscience is seared because these are essential, that citizens remain informed and able to vote in their personal interests. Not that you swallow what is said but that it causes you to challenge the information and you check it out and then you come to know, to understand.

If we had sweeter-than-candy disposition in our political race no one would challenge the nice sweet things they hear. That is then when they could say anything and instead of lying about their opponent and themselves they would just lie about themselves, fudge on their applications. Please don't rely on any particular piece of media to not slant it. Newspapers came into being precisely because the persons writing it and printing it had a bent, a perspective, a cause that they wanted everyone else to hold. The reader's job, the hearers challenge is to
listen and to check it out.

That is the tradition that this blog is written under. I write because I have a bent; in family life, in what I believe should be sitting on our dinner tables, in the way I believe children should be raised, marriage should be entered into, God should be thought of.

For me this election from the very beginning has prompted strong feelings toward the candidates, unlike any other election. I find it fascinating that from the very beginning of the primary season I did not like the man who has become the pick of my old party. The man who was the pick of the party that I have in the past had a great deal of trouble with, is the guy I said that I would love to vote for if he could only win the nomination (if you'll remember he wasn't looking likely at the beginning).

There has been a lot of talk about how charismatic and smooth Obama is, granted there has also been poo that has hit the old political fan about the fellow who appears to be ahead. But how come, in a time when the current administration's approval rating is so low, can't the fellow from the Opposing side not garner much more than a couple of points over the man from the current administration's party? Anyone with a decent anything to offerin the past, when the incumbent has such a lousy showing in poll, is usually in landslide mode, so why isn't he this time?

You got me! I don't get it, because I think he should have a lot less, but then we are sucked in by a pretty face and a nice suit. But he is an empty one. He is a puppet. He was hired years ago by Kellman as a puppet, a puppet with the perfect qualification they needed, he read the same handbook they did and he had particular credentials that Kellman was lacking and could never get and from what I have read that appears to come from Kellman's very own mouth. (1) I think people see that he is a puppet, more than most politicos are, and that bothers people. They can not really grab hold of who he really is and not because he is so eclectic and diverse. But because he is being used and he is asking for us to be used.

I wish that my old party would not have chosen him but... I think if you really looked closely at what the truth is you will see that there is much to question about him. There is much of it that is factually based and much that you are not really hearing any of even on that station that is unbiased, unspun. I am finding myself addicted to checking things out. But this isn't really what I'm going to vent about today (tonight) this morning. But please on those other things, read what he says, read who his friends and supporters are and what they stand for and what they say about America, you.

But for now what is on my mind was a completely obvious statement at the beginning of last week and no one really seems to be stopping and taking a look at what McCain said which is correct and what Obama is spouting in opposition to that statement which is wrong and things like this continue to show that Obama is the wrong choice for America.

And remember what I said at the top of this post, "I'm no economists but this is what I see." so this will be a common only slightly educated persons view.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary the definition of fundamental is:

1a. Having to do with the foundation; the elemental; basic.
b Major; central; key

2 Having to do with the origin; generative; primary.

Ahh. There we go, that's what I thought.

Comes from fundus meaning bottom.

So what would be our economic fundamentals?

Well they aren't what Barak Obama says they are when he attacked McCain for saying that American economic fundamentals are strong:

"What's more fundamental than the ability to find a job that
can pay the bills and that can raise a family?

"What's more
fundamental than knowing your life savings are secure ... and that you'll have a
roof over your head at the end of the day?

"It's the same
philosophy we've had for the last eight years -- one that says we should give
more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to
everyone else."

McCain was later to respond to his opponents attack with :

"Our workers are the most innovative, the hardest working,
the best skilled, most productive, most competitive in the world. My opponents
may disagree, but those fundamentals of America are strong."

Thank you John McCain. Thank you for standing by the principles of this county whose flag I fly out in front of my house daily. Thank you for reaffirming for me what we all know, that even though we may tweak with and try new things, both sides, and somethings succeed and somethings don't, the bottom line, the fundus of America if you will, is that we have a very strong economy, one that is based on ingenuity, enterprise, determination and competition.

The beginning key is competition. Competition pushes people, and for the most part cooperation comes in as we cooperate to compete. Pursuit of our own needs and wants, cooperating in opportunistic situations.

This is a fundamental that is strong.

It is strong because it works, it may not appeal to your Christian sensibilities or your humanistic tree hugging sensibilities but as far as economy goes it is strong because it works. It is based on human nature which existed before Adam Smith told about the invisible hand and it will go on forever.

Now sometimes competition can be problematic for the competitors (humans don't make good parasites often they accidentally kill the host, like the CEOs of Mae and Mac) as well as those caught in the cross hairs and that is why there are regulations. Because in America we live by the Constitution and its preamble states that:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

And those regulations come from a government that is:

"of the people, by the people, and for the people."

This fundamental is strong and this is the fundamental that will get all of us through this crisis.

The first fundamental, competition, has worked all along, it worked before Adam Smith described it when he talked of the invisible hand, and it will work long after. The second fundamental, regulations, have worked when balanced with competition, when controlled by the people through their voice and their representation, which is what we actually fought the revolutionary war over, not the size of tax necessarily, but the lack of representation, when being taxed, in the governing body.

These are the fundamentals that McCain knows, understands and encourages. Obama doesn't think of these as fundamentals, he does not even cite those things that are the policies that are built up from the fundamentals, that are tweaked and changed and worked with in each generation since the marriage of the two fundamentals, married by a nation built and grown toward maturity on the Constitution.

Obama cites the symptoms of current policies as fundamentals. This shows a complete lack of understanding. You can not confuse fundamentals, with current practices and policies, nor with symptoms that come from poor policies. The word policy comes from ap├│deixis which means a showing or setting forth. Policy is built up from the foundation, you can change the look of the house without touching the foundation. But the foundation is what keeps your house from falling. The lumber, the stuff you put on the foundation to make the "showing" of a house can not become the foundation. You would be absolutely silly to try and put the symptoms of the building down as the foundation, that goes beyond ridiculous

To not acknowledge that there are problems with the economy would be absurd and that is not what McCain said. He reassured us that we have good, strong, proven foundations in our economy. He acknowledges that the showing or setting forth needs to be re-worked. But there is no reason to get out the jack hammer and tear apart our foundation. Our foundation is solid.

And I personally would rather vote for a person who has a strong grasp that our foundation is solid, that Americans have a solid strong foundation based on human nature and what drives it and what protects the people.

I also have more trust, more confidence in a person who steps up to the plate, dives into the pool, (what ever metaphor you care to use) puts aside his pursuit of his own wants and needs and attends to the very type of service to his country he is competing to hold office to do.

I can't hire a man to come and prune, spray, water fertilizer my trees if he keeps confusing the fruit - that hangs from the branches, falls to the ground, the fruit that goes through the cider press, and grows back next year - for the actual tree itself. I wouldn't say he was ready to be my arborist. Obama isn't ready, nor do I think he will be ready and this is one of the reasons why.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Getting Fleeced

Or not, seems to be the subject of the day around here. The plan was to skirt and wash fleeces today ands we are getting it done.

This fleece, off of one of Dirt's sheering customer's sheep, is spread out on the tarp for skirting and evaluation by the girls. Skirting involves taking the worst of the fleece off, the stuff that has so much dung in it that it won't come clean it is also the wool that is often britchy, flat and without character this one is headed to the insulation pile. I will be using all the nasty and not worth washing fleeces as insulation in a box made to store my fuchsias and geraniums.

There are some good ones in the pile. It is just a matter of going through them. And that means we won't be going into town or playing around till maybe Thursday if we're lucky.

This is what comes from not installing a hot water heater in the Laundry House, Dirt. We all refused to haul hot water to the washing machine in the driveway that we are using to wash the fleeces. That means that Dirt hooked the hose up to the hot water heater in the dining room closet.

This is the rack where the fleeces will dry after they are washed and rinsed. The frame has hardware mesh on it.

You can make all the red neck cracks you want, we've heard them all and probably invented half of them ourselves, self evaluation can lead to humor. Even though we do this in the broken washer. the water can not agitate or all the wool will felt and that is only a good thing once it is clean and ready to be felted

Here is the hose that comes from the house that fills the wash tub that holds the dirty fleece that soaks un-agitated in hot water.

And Dawn dish soap.

See you back here when we get some done. Or the world comes to an end, oh wait then you wouldn't be hearing from me then either.

A Chat Around the Table

Much of this was poorly worded last night as I posted it. I have tried to fix it but who knows if it reads any better. I think all I did was just add a whole lot more circle dancing. And above all remember my caveat, "I'm no expert" and I am in no position to teach anyone about any thing, except of course my children.

The dinner is cleared, the house noise is quieting down, it is a good time to just sit around and chat. There's still some wine left, it didn't all spill, there's a cold one in the fridge or there is always a pitcher of water on the side board. I sat on Dirt's motorcycle for most of the day today so I'm going to go grab a cushion from the living room.

What's on the table tonight is the subject of prayer and it started from Alan Knox's Scripture... As We Live It #21 (Please go there, it really is a thought provoking blog, but if you'd rather stay here for the discussion without having to run around here is what he wrote:

Here is the twenty-first installment of "Scripture... As We Live It":Pray (without ceasing) very often occasionally in church and at meals. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 re-mix)

The words in parenthesis are the ones that are struck through which for some reason unknown to me didn't follow me over here from there. Strike through is not a skill I have bothered to acquire because, though it's a cute tool, I can't figure out fast enough how to do it. Alan, in his blog posts, every so often likes to strike a line through a correct portion of scripture and replace it with how we appear to read it gaged by our actions. It's very clever and usually elicits a response from me, but then what doesn't, (gotta use those 3 x 20,000 words somewhere)

My comment was:

"That whole praying over the meal thing - which I recognize we are called to do, just can't remember the verse, in 1 Cor. I think, any who - it drives me when the blessing for the meal becomes the prayer for the time we spend together, thanksgiving for the nice day and the cool things we did...Just thinking...

So lets talk about mealtime prayer and what I meant by my comment and what I see in scripture on the subject of praying at the meal which I realize is not the original intent of the post that I responded to.

The scripture that I was referring to is:

1Tim 4:3-5 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. NIV


forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. NKJ

I came across this verse when looking for scripture for the Sheet Diet (yes, I'll get back there soon) And it shocked me because even though I certainly must have read over this verse a gazillion times, okay, but at least three or four times in a studying manner, I obviously have never really read it. But when I read it this time what I saw, besides further evidence that all things can be eaten and not feared, was, for me, scriptural basis for praying over our meals. Now some one might look at that passage and see that it says by the word of God and prayer the food is consecrated. And some may feel that then if we think that this verse is scriptural justification for something most of us see or saw as just tradition, then we need to not only pray over the meal but read the Bible before the meal also.

I would say that the first part, the consecration by the word of God, has already happened. We acknowledge it by our prayer of thanksgiving for the gift he has given us of a bounty beyond the Law. The word of God has said that any animal four footed, bird or reptile is clean and we ought to not consider it unclean any longer. We haven't been half way consecrating our meals to God all these years we have been doing what we are supposed to do, we just didn't realize we were supposed to, or at least this here person writing this here post did not know that there was scriptural prompting to do so.

I am glad I am free from the Law and I am glad that when I come in from working in the garden about three hours past when I should have and grab a quick bite to eat and forget to pray, I am glad I have not just eaten something that it not clean or spoiled. I am glad I am covered by God's grace and mercy and that I can quickly repent and listen to the Holy Spirit better next time.

There are too many instances in scripture of praying, giving thanks for the meal, when the bread is broken, for this to be an isolated instance and therefore suspect. I was once told that we, Christians, don't build doctrine over something just mentioned once in scripture. I don't know if "I can't form doctrine" effects paying attention to it in other regards, remember I'm not a scholar so I don't know how all that works and what the difference between doctrine and what we do is. But I'm sure I'll get to know what it all means soon. But then again there are plenty of scriptural instances of praying thanksgiving over a meal. What are the instances that I am speaking of? Romans 14:6; 1Cor 10:30; Mk 8:6; Lk 9:16; 24:30; Acts 27:35
And that was from just a quick search. But now I am done chasing my tail all around that and I rest myself at the knowledge that I feel called to pray thanksgiving over a meal although I don't think any thing bad will happen or that I will be haul of to the stake if I mess up and forget to pray over lunch, or dinner or breakfast for that matter.

So what about my original gripe?

I think whether or not we pray all day, we should pray specifically for the meal, thanking Christ for coming to earth to free us from the Law, Sin and Death. We should thank God for a way for our bodies to sustain themselves. We should ask God to fill us grace and mercy for those who do not have the same understanding about God's bounty hat we hold. For we would wish for them to be graceful with us on a spot of lacking we posses.

But mostly that we should not use meal time as the catch all for lost communication though out the day. Maybe if we have forgotten to pray and give thanksgiving all day then we should do so before we come to the table. Maybe it would train us out of not praying without ceasing. But I wouldn't for the life of me call someone out while they were praying about every little thing during the day as my steak grew cold, but then I'm not really hungry right now as I right this. So don't hold me to my present stellar attitude.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We Interupt This...

...season of politics for another season and some autumnal posts.

Yesterday, one heck of a bright day, all my girls and my two grandboys and I went for a walk out to the back woods for a visit to the beaver dams.

Steph and Kai were being Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis. Thomas Jefferson was teaching Lewis (Kai) about science and collection of specimens. When Stephanie explained to this to Kai, Michelle broke out in song:

The Scientific Method to the tune of "Dixie"
Oh, what do you think a scientist does
To solve a problem found because
Many scientists are scientists
'Cause they're great problem solvers
There is a systematic way
They go about 'most every day
It's methodical and it's logical
The scientific method
A way to solve a problem, a way, a way
The scientific method is a way to solve a problem
A way, a way, a way to solve a problem
A way, a way, a way to solve a problem
It may not seem important to you
But the first thing that they always do
Is state the problem or ask a question
So, they know just what they're after
Then they review everything involved
that might help get the problem solved
By reading, researching
And gathering information...

Author: Doug Eldon

Crazy homeschooled girl. But on we march into the deep woods 'till we get here to the beaver dams. Boy the water is sure low this year, but positively it will be flowing strong again soon.

In January and February of most years the grass covered log you see here is mostly submerged until all we see is a thin line of grass tops.

What a view. These old snags in the beaver pond are full of birds. In the spring when nesting season starts, we paddle the canoe around in the pond and watch the birds clean out the nest holes in the trees. Beavers aren't the only ones that are industrious.

But beavers sure are one of the most amazingly industrious of animals. It cracks me up how fast they patch up the holes I break in their dam in late winter, they get way too carried away and our entire pasture is threatened to be under water. I try not to make too big of holes, just big enough to let out some excess water and over night they will have the gap filled back in and a note tacked to the tree,

So there!

p.s. we do not have to fill an environmental impact statement thank you very much. Check it out, we are the environment, you are just human.

Darn, another college indoctrinated little pip squeak!

We got back home safely but not unscathed, Kai found what he thought was a trail and brave Lanny said, "Go for it Kai, let's see where it will take us."

I'll have you know I came out with the biggest owie.

On the way back home Steph and Kai picked up their plaster casts of some raccoon foot prints in the mud.

Bye girls! Bye Kai and Aksel!

Today however was all about the apple. And relaxing, kinda.

This old cider press is our landlord's. It was his father's and so of course it is hand cranked.

Bet tosses apples down to her dad as one of Dale's little workers comes over to get in the fun. the fun of work. Dale is taking a nap so where else do you go when you're a little boy, but the fun house next door.

A partially filled wheelbarrow fills one of the drums with chopped apples and then the drum is slid forward to the press. And the juice begins to flow.

And the bees are first in line, before the squeeze really gets the flow going.

But then the flow increases and the bees find it hard to hang on. What delicious tawny juice.

Foamy luscious autumnal nectar.

Every last drop is squeezed out. And then it heads over to the containers and the straining funnel.

The funnel screens out little chunks that go through and the bees that got washed into the collection bucket.
Need some yummy mind broadening cider?
Bring your empty containers and stiff constitution because we drink this, freeze this and put some up as wine, but we don't pasteurize. We like our all enzymes and yeasts intact, so we even take in a few bugs along the way.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Turning Into A....

Political nutjob, junky, freakazoid. All I can think of is politics. Dirt didn't have to leave as soon as he ususal does this morning so I watched Good Morning America this morning, not a ususal thing, but what did I see another not usual thing; President Clinton defending John McCain.

Just now, I saw Neil Cavuto (this is a delayed post) interview Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, and she whole heartedly endorses McCain (guess she has for a week or so, I may be excited by the news but it isn't always new).

Now, I can hear some cranky Republicans saying that it is just the rats jumping ship. Maybe or maybe not. I realize that I'm not nearly the big rat they are but I have left the Democrat ship. Then again I do not have as much at stake. In fact all my friends are thrilled that I have come over to their side (of course I would like to remind them that I am not really a Republican just not a Democrat at the moment). But both Clinton and de Rothschild have much to loose and she especially because Clinton just supported McCain in his move for foregoing the debate not overtly supporting him in the election. She has wholesale gone over to the McCain camp and is helping the campaign. She is toast in the democratic world.

So what these two folks, among others, are doing is major and I hope some fence sitters from the deomocrat side are listening. Clinton's move could be strictly political for his wife but I'm not sure what the bonus is for Rothschild, who said in her interview that she has only ever voted Democrat.

Just thinking, all day long, just thinking. Sick sick puppy that I am, just thinking about presidents, past present and future, just thinking all day long.........

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We Won, We Won

Hey I hate to brag, really I do, but when you get as little opportunity as myself, you seize every bragging moment possible and because the only other person that reads this blog that I was competing against also won, I can jump up and down here and say "I won, I won, no wait, we won, we won." and not be offensively in any one's face.

What did you win Lanny?

So glad you asked.

We, the girls and I, won the herdsmanship award at the Animals of the World barn for creativity in our display.

What did the other person win?

Oh, the other person, Kathy, won the herdsman ship award for cleanliness which she really is. Three other people won also one for public interaction, one for education, and one for over all.

Bet worked hard making our concept become a reality.

Along with these beautiful fall swags, she made a feather garland out of the turkey's under feathers that are as soft as marabou.

It takes a lot of stuff to keep turkeys in and make the place look good.

We had a great idea of putting some of my evergreen trees on the inside of the turkey pen. I knew that any flowers or tender broad leafs would be pecked to death but who knew the turkeys would peck on the conifers.

Once the red posts were up and strapped to each corner and one on each side, Bet got to work on the netting. It keeps the turkeys in because, yes, Virginia they have wings and they fly.

With the netting up, the conifers and the cattail bucket in the pens, it was time to put the big birds in. Speaking of Big Bird, his feathers are all white turkey feathers dyed bright yellow.

Here they are, well at least the first three any way.

The final touches went up and I came up with an incredibly funny, funny poster. The theme of the Puyallup Fair was "Epic Fun." The fair appreciates when we do things to express the theme. I racked my brain for some American Epics (turkeys are original from the Americas).

Well for some reason my brain was stuck on The Last of the Mohican's, but when I finnaly remembered the author that clinched it. My poster is like a advertisement for a new book. It shows a book titled The Last of the Moturkeys, by James Feathermore Cooper. Ha Ha Ha it couldn't get any funnier than that (with the theme and the turkeys what do you expect?)

But then when visitor after visitor had to be told, "No, they aren't moturkeys. It was a play on words." Some got it, some didn't, oh well.

Our front table looked nice, Rebecca wrapped it up very nicely in our gold material and Bet's swags. It was a nice place to sit and greet fair goers. It was however the scene of the unpleasantness I wrote of in Come On, You Didn't Just Say That! but that was only a moment in time and we quickly recovered. It is hard sometimes dealing with the public, it is nearly impossible to just walk away. If my Christianity allowed me to be rude, the fair would certainly frown on it

The turkeys seemed to have enjoyed the fair, I think the cattails and the trees helped, and Bet played a radio in their barn for about two weeks before the fair. The were certainly ready for the chaos and noise of the fair, they listened to Rush Limbaugh, so nothing excited them after that.

So that was the fair. All five days of it, from about seven o'clock to ten p.m. and eleven p.m. on the weekends. I'm glad to be home but I already have plans for next year's design and Drew, the barn manager, is having us bring our Valley Quail next year and hopefully we will have our Large Black Pigs. I'm excited for next year!