Monday, September 28, 2009

Biodiesel Factory

Jason, in his quest to be more like Willie Nelson, is going to start making biodiesel. Willie runs his tour bus on biodiesel, if you didn't know. Anywho, the project is in its beginning stages. He will have to wait until spring when it is warmer to get it going. I know nothing about the biodiesel creation process. I just know that it requires used cooking oil, heat, and these impressive giant barrels (look to the right).
Our main family ride is a diesel F350 with a crew cab. Jason wants to drive for free. He has been looking at diesel mercedes from the 80's for me. I'm not going to comment about that.....but, yes he is serious.
Coming soon: Dammit Farms brand Biodiesel.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh, Danny Boy

Dan drives me insane on a daily basis. He steals food from the kitchen counter, he howls at random things outside, and wakes up babies. He steals my spot on the couch, and refuses to move. The dog is a total food-obsessed turd, but he's a sweet turd, and we love him. Sometimes my frustration with him overwhelms me, and I forget what an important role he plays in our family.

He loves the kids wholeheartedly. I am convinced that he would take a bullet for them. They are HIS babies they give him food whether they are witting or not. Anyone who gives Dan food is a friend for life. I take comfort in Dan's presence, since I am ALONE in the middle of nowhere much of the time. Few people want to mess with a 100+ pound dog who is REALLY loud and intimidating. Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that he is a giant ball of mushy love.

Dan has reinforced his importance the past couple nights. Coyotes have bee coming too close to our property for comfort. They make a pretty big racket to announce their presence. It's an unnerving cackling noise that they make. Considering we keep goats, and chickens, which are both tasty coyote snacks the coyotes pose a threat to us. Fortunately, the coyotes want nothing to do with Dan. We let the dogs out, they howl for a few minutes, the coyotes go away, the dogs come back in. Dan and I were enjoying a granola bar at two a.m. this morning when I heard the coyotes. Dan's ears perked up. "You wanna go get 'em, Dan?" I let him out the door and within a few seconds the coyotes were booking it across our neighbor's wheat field. I rewarded Dan with some of my granola bar. I do love that stupid dog.
Coyotes beware!

Monday, September 21, 2009

100th Post!

This is my 100th post. I would have reached this mark sooner, but my husband made me delete the posts that did not make him look favorable. I hate censorship. Anyway, I have NOTHING clever to say today, no bird obituaries to post, no baby shenanigans to document. Sooo.....I'm just going to post a little video I shot of me feeding the goats. Sorry if it makes you dizzy. It's not easy holding a camera while be bombarded by four knucklehead goats.
Yes, I feed the animals in my pajamas. No comments about that are necessary :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Today's Fridge Adventure

I give up. I swear that I watch my kids. This happened in a matter of a couple minutes. I was trying to put away laundy. I'm off to give my children a bath.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Have You Seen This Turkey? (Edited!)

The one in front is Mallory....I think.
Mallory is missing! I haven't seen her since yesterday morning. She is my crazy turkey who follows us around. It's really obvious that she is not present. I don't know what happened to her. I suspect she ventured toward the creek yesterday. The air has been cooler, and more predators are on the prowl this time of year. Here is my list of suspects: a bobcat (most likely), coyotes, a raccoon, a stray dog, a snake, a hawk. I hate nature some days. Nature is a vicious, old bitch.
I'm really heartbroken. Barrett loved her too. I would often find him sitting in the yard petting her. I hope that she will return, but it's not likely. I have never had a bird leave for this long and come back. An absence almost always means the worst.
Nevermind! That crazy bird showed up in the yard for supper. Where she has been? I have no clue. False alarm! Mallory is still here, and still crazy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Terrific Twos

If I stay positive about Barrett's status as a two year old, then it will seem better, right?

Here is a brief description of his latest antics:
  • I can no longer take a "normal" picture of him. He contorts his face into this silly "wink/blink" expression every time he sees the camera. He thinks he is funny. Well, he is funny, but I would really like a normal picture of my cute son.
  • I sat down to enjoy a Klondike bar the other day. I hadn't eaten one in at least ten years. I was thoroughly enjoying it, when Barrett discovered me. He demanded a bite, and I gave in. He then yanked the frozen goodness from my hands and wandered off. Barrett will steal from his mama for a Klondike bar.
  • He found one of his father's sharpies (bad daddy for leaving it out). Within about two minutes he had drawn all over the couch, the laptop and one of the dogs.
  • While I was cooking dinner one evening, I was SURE he was watching "Cars" in the living room. Nope. He snuck into my room and had discovered my makeup bag. He smeared his entire face with lipstick, and made sure to paint the sheets while he was at it.
  • I went to the bathroom on Saturday evening (I know. I know...stupid me!) I came out to find my kids making drawings in a mountain of baking soda on the floor in front of the fridge. This was the second baking soda incident within a month. I had been taping the fridge closed, but I had become lax in my refrigerator security detail. Both Gunther and Barrett were covered. I did my best to document the event. (see pics)
  • The keys to the lawn mower are missing. Barrett is our prime suspect, but his lips are sealed. We may never know the fate of the keys.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Bit of a Rant

I have been thinking a lot about Jaycee Lee Dugard, and her eighteen year hiatus from her family. As a mother, this is extremely horrifying. I look at my sons and wonder what sports they will play, or what kind of girl they will take to the prom. To have all of that time taken from me and from them by a sick piece of crap is about the worst thing I could imagine. The fact that her kidnapper had previously served time, but was freed and able to commit this evil crime, is absolutely depressing.

Jails and prisons are clogged with those convicted of drug related charges. It's easy to get a drug conviction, the evidence is a tangible object. District attorneys, and police do not have to do much work. It's difficult for a judge or jury to deny that that X amount of substance A was found on the defendant's vehicle, home, person, etc. It is my personal belief that many drug offenders would be better off in a rehab environment than in prison. Most western nations have a state run rehabilitation program, but the U.S. doesn't. Addiction is an illness that can be cured. Perhaps if there were a few less addicts in the jail/prison system then we would have more room for child rapists to stay....uh...for FOREVER.

Sex offenders, on the other hand, have not proven to be "rehabilitated". They offend, and offend, and offend. Getting a conviction for a sex offender is much more difficult. It's the victim's word against the defendant's, it's not concrete, and people lie. I have some personal experience with this. I was raped when I was eighteen by a friend of a friend. I went to the police. Even though we had DNA evidence that linked this person to me, and this individual had been previously convicted of a similar violent attack, it would be near impossible to get a conviction. The detectives and the district attorney were very blunt about the fact that I had a snowball's chance in hell of getting him put behind bars. I did what many victims do when faced with the facts, and I dropped the charges. My point is that if someone IS convicted of a sex crime then they probably had a cash of evidence against them and deserve to sit in jail.

I know that the legal system will not likely change any time real soon, but I do hope that this Dugard case shines some light on how flawed our legal system can be. It's sad, but I have little, if any faith in it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Cat and Kittens

The kittens are beginning to venture out from their home. Their mama has moved them from the goat house to a shed which contains a bunch of extra barn tin and junk. I am not so happy about the new location. I put some towels down in the little area where the mama is keeping them, so that they at least have a soft place to lay. The kittens look really good, and healthy. I handle them every day. Barrett is very fond of them too. He cries when it's time to put them back.
Lisa, their mother, becomes a bit concerned over me handling her babies. She's not so sure of me. She will come up and cry at me when it is time for me to feed her, but she is quick to hiss if I offer my hand to sniff. I doubt I will ever pet her.

Lisa is a bit skinny, but we are working on that.

This is the one and only girl, and the only kitten I have named. Meet Jessica.

This is the blond kitten. My mother may take him, or his orange brother, so I haven't named either of them. Jessica will stay on Dammit Farms.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dog Sitting

Numbered ListWe watched my mother in law's dog for a night this weekend. Rhoadie is an old friend of Dan and Jules, so they generally enjoy their visits. We hadn't watched Rhoadie in some time, and I had forgotten what a neurotic mess he can be. He followed me EVERYWHERE for the time he was here. I said:"Rhoadie go lay down!" about ninety times in a twenty four hour period. Rhoadie has a history of murdering birds, so we wanted to keep him from the poultry. Jason thought the best solution was to tie him to Jules, so he wouldn't get into trouble. Jules was thoroughly pissed off, but I was amused. They couldn't agree on which way to go, so they went nowhere.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Go Ahead. Throw Rocks

I have a confession to make. I break a cultural taboo on a daily basis. I still nurse my twenty sixth month old child. My initial goal was to nurse for six months, then twelve months, but it just seemed the easiest thing to do was to keep going after that. It seemed really cruel to say "Happy first birthday! No more ninny for you." Also, any parent that has weaned a child from a bottle, or breast, or pacifier will tell you that it doesn't happen without tears. I have avoided weaning mainly because that is how Barrett goes to sleep, and I get little sleep as it is. Further interrupting my six hours of fractured sleep seems a bit crazy. Barrett only really nurses at nap and bed time, so it's not like it's an all-day event.

I had not intention to "extended nurse", and I don't know why I didn't. Everything that I read says that it is a good thing. It improves IQ and social skills, and it also ensures that a picky toddler is still getting SOME nutrition. I think the reason that I didn't consider it was because I fell into the American culture's general view that nursing past twelve months=icky. Even now it is something that I don't usually bring up unless someone asks, like I should feel ashamed or something. The international average for breastfeeding is a little over age three, so I'm normal on an international level. Here in the U.S., where few women manage to nurse past six months, I am a FREAK.

I shave my armpits. I wear makeup when I can. I don't make my own granola. I eat non-organic, processed foods (see I Want Candy post). I'm a pretty normal American mama. I nurse my two year old, and it's fine.

I will add that I plan to begin weaning Barrett after Christmas. He will be two and a half at that time, and I'm hoping that he will be "ready". I looked into child-led weaning and it seems that kids wean themselves as late as age seven! I personally can't keep up with this for that ...uh...yeah, I will wean him by age three AT THE LATEST.