Monthly Archives: October 2012

Was It Really All That Black?

No, it really wasn’t all that black.  The weather,  however,  sure added to the drama.

Buster Brown, the nasty billy-goat,  went bye-bye.  I think the only thing that is dark about that is  he was keeping our beloved Great Pyrenees company while she guards the chickens.   She may be suffering from loneliness a little bit but we plan to supply her with another playmate soon.  She like to lick the chickens to death if she doesn’t have anything else to think about.

The butchering of the turkey was pretty uneventful as well.

This is what you will be having for dinner.

This is what we’re having.  You wanna come for dinner?

  I hope my family doesn’t mind getting feathers stuck between their teeth as they chew the  stringy,  tough turkey.   She only weighed out at 7.8 lbs.  She’s been running around here for the past 5 months so we are pretty confident the meat wont be too succulent.

Pops and I decided that we will leave the meat chickens to the Amish for processing.  They can do 150 chickens an hour.  We did 1 turkey in the same time.

Ugly? yes.  But we know exactly where that turkey came from.  We know what it has eaten.  We know the kind of life it lived.  She was queen of the guineas.  She ruled.  Please  make an effort to know where your turkey came from.

ART SHOW

I am participating in an art show in a few weeks.  If you are in the area, please stop by. The opening reception should be a grand time.  Can you guess which painting on the invite is mine?

It would be the second one in from the left.   The tree.

Gathering Humility

Ferns in Christian art symbolize humility.  I like that.

I pray that your week is a good one.  I pray for healing for all those that need healing.  I pray for safety, courage and strength for our service men and women.

God bless,

Karen

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Black Friday

It’s here.

I am the queen of dread.  I am like George Costanza on Seinfeld.  George complains that he dreads all events no matter what they are.  Even dates with the hottest women.    That’s me.  There has to be a fear tied to it.  As I reflect on it, I guess it must be a fear of not being prepared or not being accepted.  Or I wont be able to handle my part of the responsibility.  I fatigue easily and I fear I will crash in the middle of it.  Where’s my bed?  Waaahh.     I am always glad when I am there.  It is just the leading up to it.  Do you ever feel that way?

I dread today.

We are taking Buster Brown, our intact buck, to the auction house. He is just a little more than we can bear.   Another one of those farmin’ things that are hard to do.  Pops stayed home today to help out with the Black Friday events.  The weather has contributed to the mood of the day.  Dark. Dreary. Rainy.  So, if you will, imagine two suburbanites hunched over a picnic table in the middle of nowhere. Dark. Wet. Rainy.  Most likely not clean.   Yelling at each other for not doing the right thing when in fact neither of the two know what the right thing is.  There you go.

We are going to butcher our turkey this afternoon.  Pops and I.  By ourselves.  We have never done anything of the sort.  In our lives.   We have planned the deed to take place at our campground which over the culvert and through the woods.

Campground

Far far away from any living creature on our farm.  We don’t want them to suspect they are next for goodness sakes.   We just hope the guineas don’t follow us since Miss turkey is their leader.   I have taken down You Tube instructions and think I have it down in my head.   Just take it easy and don’t get in a panic,  I tell myself.

On another note we had a fabulous salmon dish the other night that I’d like to share.  Good fall meal.

Fall Salmon Delight

Serves 2

Using the best found ingredients

1/4 c. whole almonds

3 T. butter

1/2 c. chopped apple

1/4 c. golden raisins

1 t. fresh thyme

1 t. fresh rosemary

1 T. fresh parsley

Zest of half orange

1 t. sea salt

1 t. pepper

2 t. olive oil

2 salmon filets

Toast almonds.  Add butter and cook until browned.

Add apples, and raisins.  Cook until raisins plump and add herbs and zest.

Season filets with salt,  pepper and oil  and bake in oven on 350 for 20 minutes.  Or grill.

Remove from pan and top with yummy topping.

Serve with your favorite fall veggies.

I will fill you in on the Black Friday results in my next post.  I’m not really that scared.  I think plunging my whole arm into a goat kinda desensitized me.

Have a super weekend.

God bless,

Karen

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Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Er….I mean dog.

Happiness is a warm dog.

We rescued a new dog this past week.  Stress.  We actually got her from a breeder but I say “rescue” because I did not like the way the dogs had to live there.  They lived in kennels.  Pretty large kennels.  Probably 8′ x 8′.  But this little girl has lived in one for almost 4 years.   They were very clean and pride themselves on breeding great tempered German Shepherds.  I just can’t get my head wrapped around the kennel thing.

Introducing Lubeck

She is  a super dog but she has many things to learn.  We have begun the transformation.  Over the years, I have learned that to train a dog properly you have to give up your life for about a month and just be there for all the rights and wrongs and poops and pees.  I installed a toilet squatting stool in her bathroom so she should be good to go.   And I moved my bedroll out side so I wouldn’t miss a thing.

Just kidding.

So, I go Monday to meet her and the farm is a riot. They had lamas, horses, donkeys, mules, pigs, chickens, donkeys and German Shepherds.  Just a few of each.  He asked me if I wanted to buy their baby lama.  “Eek”, I said.  I have never been up close to a lama. I know they spit and just hope that they weren’t going to spit on me.  He said, “Come on, let’s go take a look” .  We went in the fence and the mama lama wanted to smell my hair.  REALLY liked the smell of my shampoo.  Every time I moved she moved with me.  Lamas are large creatures.  Horse like.  She then got a little fanatic about my hair.  Excited.  AND THEN SHE TRIED TO MOUNT ME.  She was trying to climb on top of me.  Ok, let me ask you…Have you ever had an animal the size of a horse physically try to mount you?  Just wonderin’.    Scared the livin’ day lights out of me.  The guy had never seen such a thing.  I said, “Uh, I think I’ll go wait outside the fence, thank you”.   I coulda died.  There at the hobby farm.

After the visit to the big animal pasture, we turned our attention back to Lubeck.  They named her after a town in Germany.  After we square away all that she needs right now, we may consider renaming her.  I have been calling her Lubecka.  A little more feminine.

I have never adopted an adult dog before.  I knew this was going to come with some challenges.  Old habits.  Bad training.  Etc.  But I could not have been prepared for the next line….” Oh, and she just went into heat.  Just this morning.”  Never had a dog in heat.  What in the heck do you do with a dog in heat for goodness sakes?  Freaks me out.  I don’t want to attract strangers to our property.  3 weeks, she is in heat.  My vet wont spay her for a month.  That has added a whole new dimension to farm management this month.  I have twice called breeder man and said I am bringing her back. At least while she is in heat.  I have cancelled twice too.   He must think I am nuts.  He was nuts to send me away with her.  I was nuts to not listen to my feelings about how I felt about this whole thing.  Afraid he would yell at me or something if I chose not to take her.  I have a sick brain.

We will survive.  All in the name of ……what?…….who knows?  Who cares?

I took a photography lesson from a generous gentleman who offered a few free hours to help a hopeless situation.   Sometimes I take a good picture.  Most times I take horrible pictures.

Aside from the composition (which is a whole other story),  the colors in the left photo are amazing.  The light is too.  There is nothing good about the photo on right.  I have not a clue how I accomplished either one.  Probably a good idea for a lesson or two, eh?

Have a super Monday.  Thanks for checking in.  God is good to let all of us live in this beautiful place.

God bless,

Karen

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Poop Or Get Off The Pot

NOOOOOOO.    Don’t get off the pot.

STAY WITH ME HERE….this is serious business.  A little uncomfortable.  But please stay.  Don’t leave.

IBS( Irritable Bowel Syndrome), colitis, IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease), colon cancer, appendicitis, Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Gut Syndrome, hemorrhoids.  By now you have all heard of most of these chronic ailments and probably know people who suffer from one or more of these conditions.  They are becoming common household terms, like the common cold.

We think colds are the norm.  We have forever.  Flu is normal.  Its winter, so of course I’m going to get the flu.  High Blood Pressure.  We turn 45 and begin to take blood pressure medicine.  Don’t we all?  We have accepted that our bodies are poorly designed.  NO.  Our bodies were magnificently designed.  And don’t let anyone tell you differently.  If we choose to treat our bodies with care, then there should be no reason to get ill with chronic conditions.    I can tell you exactly what I have done to my body every time it gets ill.  I haven’t eaten right.  Or I haven’t maintained a proper activity level or I have not gotten enough rest.  If I chronically don’t eat right, exercise, or get enough rest then I will get a CHRONIC condition.

I got off track there a minute…. back to the wonderful design of our body.

There is a theory out there swirling around that the toilets that we Americans use are poorly designed,  that result in not allowing our magnificent bowels to be properly eliminated.  The theory says that we need to be in the squatting position in order for everything to be eliminated.  Like the cavemen.    Our toilet design is new relatively speaking.   If things are not properly eliminated, disease sets in.  I have not traveled to other parts of the world that offer  squatting toilets.  But they exist in many countries.  Countries that don’t suffer from many of the chronic illnesses that I listed above.

I’m going to stay real simple here.  Mainly because that is the extent that I understand. 

1. Stuff moves from small intestine  into the colon via the Ileocecal valve.  It continues upward into  the colon.   In the squatting position, the right thigh – pressing on the right side of the abdomen – squeezes the pouch-like cecum and force liquid waste upwards into the ascending colon and away from the appendix.  This does not occur if seated on a regular toilet seat.  And stuff gets left behind to rot and produce toxins.

2.  The colon also has a kink or bend where the sigmoid colon joins to the rectum.  In the squatting position, the left thigh – pressing on the left side of the abdomen – supports and lifts up the sigmoid colon. This raising of the sigmoid colon opens up the kink to allow waste to flow easily into the rectum.  This does not occur if seated on a regular toilet seat. Resulting in the same scenario in 1.

3. In the regular seated position exit out the rectum is choked  causing a person to have to strain to get the material to pass.  In the squatting position straining is not necessary since the channel is not choked. Again, material gets left behind and hemorhoids occur.

Okay? Do I have evidence of this?  It is my experience that it actually works.  I have always had elimination problems.   A year ago tonight I was rushed to the hospital with a ruptured appendix.  Hmm.  I wonder how I got that???  Darn near expired.   Since then I have religiously used a   “step stool” thing to prop my feet up on while on the toilet that mimics a squatting position.  A little embarrassing to say, but  life has never been so good.  When I used to read what a successful elimination should look like,  I used to think, “are you nuts?”   I have now joined the The Perfect Eliminator Club.  NEVER thought it was possible.  There ain’t nothing being left behind.

When I am not in my one bathroom that has the little feet propper upper thing, I use the little trash can in most bathrooms that are usually just the right height.  After a year of doing this I can tell you that when I am not able to prop my feet up,  the event is not very successful.

As my dad would always say, “Ya get da pitcha?

Try it.  Sure beats a chronic disease.

Now that I have shared something intimate about myself, would you like to share something intimate with us?

Have a super weekend.

God bless,

Karen

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Does it get better…?

Than this?

Yep.  It sure does….

There you go.. and you know what?  It even gets better…

and..

and

and college football…..

and 80 or so visitors….

and you got yerself one perfect fall weekend.

Thank you,  God,  for everything.

This is my 50th post which is mind boggling.

The blog people sent me this quote today:

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.  

I believe that wholeheartedly.

Have a super week!

God bless,

Karen

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Is Change Good?

I am reading a novel, Time and Again by Jack Finney, where a guy goes back into time to 1882.  I have always thought that would be the time I would like to live.  It is discussed in the book how from day-to-day things change so minutely that most often we  notice no change at all.    We are able to slide through our days without feeling the “ping” or “pang” of change.   But then when we look back over a year or two or ten, we can see that a building was erected or illness set in somewhere,  or a baby that wasn’t born a year ago is now 1.

The bigger the change the bigger the ping.  9/11 was the biggest change we have seen in our life thus far.  In one day, all of our lives changed and we could feel the pang throughout our bodies and souls.  Really physically.

Change is  SO painful for we folks.

Since we moved here to this paradise, change happens often and fast.  One day here.  Tomorrow gone.

Last week we had a dog named Simon and a goat named Ruthie.   Today,  we do not. (Yes, we had to put down our beloved Simon and Ruthie went to live with some wonderful people who needed a companion for their goat baby.)  Last week we had 6 guineas running around town.  Today,  we have one of them sitting on 7 eggs in the brush thinking they will hatch.  Not sure, but I think most birds lay on their eggs out in nature in the Spring.   Its only been 32 degrees in the morning this week.  I will be VERY surprised if these things hatch.

Can you see little miss guinea in there? Look closely.

In two weeks we anticipate Black Friday which the resident turkey and buck will take leave.  The two thorns in everyone’s side.  Ping. Pang.

Buster Brown going to auction soon.  Ping.

Turkey lady going to oven soon.  Pang.

Everyday we see a different landscape around here in terms of what is moving about on the farm and, of course, the “real” landscape in nature.  Way more noticeable than when we lived in the suburbs.  I am outside bearing witness  80 percent of the time as opposed to 20 percent of the time.

Today I feel it.  And I do feel it.  Every time something changes around here I feel this ping like sound or feeling, like  a  flip of a finger onto a metal disc inside my heart.

Pops said a couple of months ago, “Man, things move and change around here fast.  Nothing is ever the same.”  Moving baby chicks to new homes.  Moving goats to new stalls.  Letting certain animals go.   Farm management.

Every time I say we live on a “farm”,  I have to giggle.  That word should be reserved for those people who work harder than anyone I know.  Those people who suffered greatly this year because of the drought and whose livelihood will be greatly affected.  We are just pretending here.  I wonder what farm means in the dictionary.

farm |färm|
noun
an area of land and its buildings used for growing crops and rearing animals, typically under the control of one owner or manager.
• the main dwelling place on such a site; a farmhouse : a half-timbered farm.
• [with adj. ] a place for breeding a particular type of animal or producing a specified crop : a fish farm.
• [with adj. ] an establishment at which something is produced or processed : an energy farm.
verb

Ok, maybe I CAN  call it a farm.  We have a main dwelling on a such site.

Back to my thought…IS CHANGE GOOD?

Many people don’t want to be the victims of change.  They want the stability and quiet and status quo.    I like stability and quiet.  But can stability and quiet sometimes translate into being stagnant?   Are we challenging ourselves when we desire no change?  Are we growing?  CAN we grow without change?

I have grown a lot in the past couple of years with this  change that we have made.  But it has been hard and painful.  And I have learned a ton through the trial and error of this whole thing.  Walking into the unknown.  Willing to take a risk.   Somethings have worked and somethings haven’t.

I don’t want to walk out my door asking for my world to change in a dramatic way,  but I want to open my self up daily to new experiences that  somehow result in change/growth.  That change being  Karen growing in someway.    Learning.  Understanding.  Feeling emotions.  Pinging.  Panging.

The cause of change is not always good or pleasant.  LIke 9/11.  Or the death of a loved one.  But in all cases of change, we can learn and try to understand new things and it can ALWAYS bring us into a closer relationship with God.

I learned this AWESOME prayer a while ago……

Set Aside Prayer

Lord, help me to set aside what I think I know,

so that I may  open myself  to a new experience.

I  like that.  I have SO much to learn.  And really, those of us who think we know it all, will never experience change, right?

I like change.  Change is good.

A very joyful time of change.

God bless,

Karen

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Diagnosis: Nuts

Picasso,  Science and Charity, 1897.

One note… this was Picasso’s painting when he was 16 years old. And before I go on with the subject at hand (which is why I chose the above painting in the first place),  this next painting was when he was 15 years old.  He had nowhere else to go but …well…Picasso.

Picasso, First Communion, 1895

I was diagnosed with an ailment last week that has me a bit concerned.  It actually is a disorder, that if not treated it will continue to get worse and ultimately attack my total health, both mentally and physically,  they said.  The doctors  prescribed several different medicines that will make me healthy again.  The thing is, I don’t like, or I haven’t heard wonderful things about these particular meds.   But I did find a medicine that I think I like better.  It doesn’t do the things the ones prescribed do but I think if I take the ones I like, I will get along.    I called the dr. and told him that I found ones that I liked better.   He said ,  under any circumstances, they would not work.   I don’t buy it.   So, I think I’ll stick with my own treatment.

You are probably thinking at this point – “has she totally fallen off her tractor!”

I really wasn’t diagnosed with anything last week.   But wouldn’t you think I was bonkerly crazy if I had said that and meant it?

Ok….Let me reword the above statement.

I was diagnosed with an ailment last week that has me a bit concerned (anything chronic).  It actually is a disorder, that if not treated it will continue to get worse and ultimately attack my total health, both mentally and physically,  they said.  The doctors  prescribed the  foods that will make me healthy again.  The thing is, I don’t like, or I haven’t heard wonderful things about these foods (fresh veggies, protein, fruit and whole grains) that are good for me.  They are boring and don’t taste yummy.   But I DID find foods  that I think I like better (sugar, processed foods, colas).  My food wont  heal me like the ones prescribed will,  but I think if I take the ones I like, I will get along.    I called the dr. and told him that I found foods that I like better.  He said those,  under any circumstances,  they would not work.   I don’t buy it.    So, I think I’ll stick with my own treatment.  Which is called (for lack of a more effective word)  poison.

The cycle of chronic illness continues to go ’round and ’round.

Really?  Do we really sound and act that nuts?   It is our health for goodness sake.  It is our mind.  It is our body.  Let me take this one step further….It is our ONE mind.  It is our ONE body.

NUTS

I think we all have these nutty marbles rollin’ around in our heads.  Don’t you?

Can we, maybe,  try to think of our food as the medicine needed to stay far, far away from chemical manufactured medicine?   SOOOOOOOOOOOO many illnesses can be relieved and avoided if we would only take the best “medicine”.    Try thinking about it from another perspective and see if it has an impact.   It is hard,  HARD.  But with practice,  it can have huge benefits.

I seriously pray  that God will give me the wisdom to know better and give me the strength to resist temptation and give me the patience to do what it takes to eat properly.  For my health and those that are dear to me.

I hope that you don’t think this preachy….I am as guilty as the next guy.   It just is really serious business.  And I am really  concerned about my own health, my children’s and their children’s.  Our food, and therefore,  our health,  is in dire jeopardy.

God bless,

Karen

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