Saturday, September 8, 2018

Back to Black

Our Kenmore Elite from Sears has been a problem from day one 3 years ago. So after many months of research, showrooms and calls we ordered our Maytag from Lowes 2.5 hours away. Drove out, picked it up and got busy. Pulled out the old one and installed the new one ourselves.

Cotton doing inventory.

Having a meeting.

Happily working Maytag in black. Never will get stainless steel appliance ever again. Stainless is hard to keep nice looking. Black does not show dirt. As our dishwasher is the most used appliance next to the clothes washer on our farm simplicity and durability is a must. And this Maytag is quieter than our Kenmore. We make all our meals from scratch and the kitchen gets used a lot.

Roasted Strawberry Rolls

I make most of our meals from scratch. While I make many protein, veggie and meat meals making sweets are rare. With only two of us it is a waste. But I needed to make a large quantity for a potluck. After trying out this recipe ,I was happy with the results. I had to test my yeast to make sure it was still viable being the fridge.

The yeast lives! 

Rolled, punched and ready to rise.

These are 2015 frozen strawberries picked/grown by the Amish locally. Ready to be used and very fresh thanks to vac-u-seal.

After roasting the berries in the over I cook them down.

The messy part is rolling them with the berry mix. Here they are rising again before baking.

Very tasty and fresh rolls better than you can believe. Store bought never comes close to this treat. Worth the time, cleanup and effort to make these.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Springfield's Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium

It is about $27 per person to go to this aquarium. But it is big and has lots to see. It does have boring parts whole halls of famous game fishermen and women and their gear, photos and awards, yawn. If you do not sport fish you will not care to see these 3 halls of stuff. But the animals are very cool. Tons of tanks and staff and things to see and do.

They do prattle on about Johnny Morris and all he has done for Bass pro and this Aquarium. I got lectured to from some docent Dr. Bob guy gushing about who Johnny Morris is and all does (he is still alive). Never met the man and never will. I do not care for Bass Pro. Fancy overpriced stuff will not make me fish and shoot better. Can't worship some guy, just wanted to see the beauty of the underwater world he had built. And it is.

It is handicapped accessible through out the place. Elevator and escalator and scooters if you need them. Plenty of bathrooms and eating cafes. It is still under construction but tons to see. Go during the week, hardly any kids and not crowded at all.

Very knowledgeable staff (marine and conservationist biologist) to answer the millions of questions I had about the filtration, tanks and waste management. There are birds, gators, snakes and fish. No labels on most of the small cages nor static displays and the computer pads are slow to refresh the info. Some of the gofer holes for kids were dirty inside but are padded well for cool things to do.

Love the benches and watching the jellyfish.

At the end of the tour you can go and feed and pet the stingray real minnows for $3 a tiny ketchup sample size. But it is fun to do. This was only the aquarium part we saw. There is a whole other part filled with stuffed animals and taxidermy stuff that we did not buy an extra ticket to. We only wanted to see the tanks. We did get to see beaver, bear and birds. There are live penguins but they are in the stuffed animals part of this exhibit. It is pricey but is much better than the aquarium in New Orleans. And after you can go and walk around the Bass Pro if you want to. We got there at 1 and walked at slow speed and left at 4:15. Lots to see, sit, photo opts and things to do. Could have spent all day feeding the stingrays.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Duckling Desertion

About a 26 days ago my Khaki Campbell hen went rouge and hatched out in the tall pasture. She returned with three ducklings in tow. On Saturday she left them out in the pasture and headed for the drakes. The ducklings were wandering around, no mama and no protection. With all the predators we have there were sitting ducks. I threw my hat over them and took them indoors. I had built two brooder boxes long ago out of clear storage bins with hen wire screen lids. I picked up one and it shattered in my hand as plastic degrades over time. The other one is compromised and held together with wire and tape. But it will do for now. It is time to build new ones. Finances and time were factors in neglecting this upgrading task. I had sold off my drakes last year to have a smaller feed bill. This year we got new Indian Runner drakes and a Welsh Harlequin. They got the job done and now we have fertile eggs and ducklings on the farm again.
I did not understand why the mama duck abandoned her ducklings.These were small and thin for their age. One died yesterday in the brooder even with food, heat and water. The other two are eating and drinking and doing very well. Last night a foster banty chicken hen hatched from an abandoned duckling clutch a single duckling. My larger breed chicken do not like ducklings in their nest boxes and will kill them as history has shown me. So the hatchling is now also in the brooder box with the two wild ones. It will be interesting to see the how these turn out as adults. There is a demand for duck eggs these days. My husband enjoys the ducks and I like the clean pond and the eggs. Ducks are also hardier to have on the farm than chickens.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Call of the Land

Here is a short film about the younger generation getting into small farming. Finding their roots in the land. It is called "The Call of the Land". It shows why we live on a small farm and raise our own poultry, flowers and vegetables. It is a dirty life, long hours and lots of learning. But it is never dull, you get eggs and tomatoes and you get to be outside most of the year. I love this life and am so happy to be able to hear horse, chickens, rooster, ducks, deer, cows and leaves on trees.

New Duck Day

Last week I got a text message from our local vet clinic. Could I take an orphan duck? Seems a person hatched several ducks and raised them to 8 months of age. But then mice were seen in the barn where the hog feed was stored. Poison was put down and all the ducks died except one. She was lonely and constantly looking for her flock. I have the only duck farm around our small town.
So I got my pet carrier and met the owner and one angry female mix breed duck.

She was put in a cage in the coop for observation. After quarantine she was released in the coop at night with the flock. She chose to run with the younger Indian Runners and male Welsh Harlequin. She is not all that friendly but she stays with her flock and returns to the coop at night. She has 2 ponds to swim in and all the duck companionship in the world. She will grow old here protected by two German shepherds.

Frosty watching the ducks and the bubbles.

Ducks headed out to the big pond before sunset.

1900 the Movie

I love this movie and here is why. The Legend of 1900 is about a boy who can play the piano on a ship and he never gets off the ship. He never changes, he only plays the piano.
Life is all about change. My family moved around a lot growing up. I always wanted to just stop and enjoy a place for a little while. And learn how to play music.
As an adult I got my wish. I stopped moving around settled down and learned to play- everything I wanted.
I learned how to read some music, translate songs from different instruments and languages and play. Since I learned later in life, I regret not having the chance to learn. But I love to play now. If it has strings I will play it.This movie is set during the ragtime era and Ennio Morricone shines as the composer of this soundtrack.  Ennio is such a gifted composer. He makes the movie come alive.
This movie is simple, beautiful and so pretty to listen to. Worth the watch.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Making Squash

While my real pumpkin patch this year failed in the drought my fabric ones are about to be harvested.

I have been sewing up and stuffing these for a fall potluck.

I used old shirts, scraps and sweaters I pick up at the thrifts store. I bought old pillows for the stuffing.

The stems are from my real pumpkins and roots harvest last year. The leaves are from the dollar store.

Hoardering Fugitives

I titled this post about "Hoardering Fugitives" as it is what I do with my stuff. It comes into my sewing room, is washed then put where it needs to go or is used accordingly and quickly. Unless I am working on a project then it piles up fast. But then gets put away and organized after a project is done. 

But this week has been a Hoarder type of week for someone that I know.  Stacks of empty food boxes, recycling piled up, dirty dishes stacked up, cans mountains piled in a corner and the owner does not see it. We recently had to put a friend into the nursing home. He was no longer bathing and no longer paying his bills. He was getting lost while driving and was neglecting himself. He has no relatives nor family so we dove into his world. I dug around until I could find his bills and finances with the help of another friend. Bills and finances were sent to an assigned POA. The clean up was undertaken by a volunteer family. We are grateful no pets were owned. It takes a village to organize and clean up just one hoarder. Since we have so many good volunteers he will be set up for the rest of his life in the nursing home. Finances are set up to pay for his care, his stuff has been paired down to the basics and his remaining assets will be sold to pay for his care. The hardest part is disconnecting cable and phone. Oh how the cable and phone companies want all kinds of documents to verify if a person can't pay. A doctors note, really? We live 3 hours away from any city doctors office. I would just let it go unpaid except that it was set up for automatic deductions from his bank account. I am here to tell you the cable company and the phone company will give you the run around about disconnecting for any reason. They do not care about the person/reason just that the account stay open. Luckily since I am not the POA I passed the bills to them.

When someone gets put into the nursing home, their pets are not allowed. Those pets become collateral damage and part of the equation when the owner is out of the picture. If family/neighbor won't take them, the shelter is full guess what happens to that animal?   Some let the animal "go free". Which is why we have so many stray cats and dogs even out here in the Ozarks. Farm and livestock even gets "set free" since the city family do not know what else to do. This is how we got 23 chickens on our farm over the year. "Set free" poultry found our farm even though we don't know who owned these to begin with. We are surrounded by only cattle farms. Stay cows, dogs, chickens, cats and the like always seem to find our farm. We sold off the wandering chickens. But in the city and suburbs what happens to their pets? It is not a pretty thing. Have a plan for anyone you know who has pets and is ill or getting that way. Share that plan with family, friends and neighbors. 

Hoarding is a mental disorder and it can't be cured. Their brain is just not working the way you see & smell in their home. And you can't fix them by cleaning up their place. This causes them stress and anger. Best to have a plan in place if they ever get sick or have to move. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Sting Stang Stung

Before all hell broke loose, all hell broke loose anyway starting last Saturday.
After a very hot muggy day my husband waited until dusk to mow the tall grass near our shop on the hill. Some baby bunnies spooked and ran under the mower. My husband stopped ran to the house to get me. I dropped everything to run up the hill and see what we could do. Two buns were DOA and I set them aside and kept looking for the nest. I found the third bun unharmed nearby. It was very scared but I put an open metal cage around the located nest so mama bunny could return to tend her baby at night. After the all clear, my husband mowed far away from the orchard to give the rabbits peace.

This is the 2016 lawn nugget I saved from my dogs mouth. He had been released                                            back into the wild long ago.

As the sun set I was putting up the poultry when I see my husband running down to the house again. Pale sweaty and anxious and yelling. I can still hear the mower and do not understand why he is not on it. Out of breath he says hornets got him bad. He is in pain and the mower is still running, but is parked. So into the house we go to see his stings. Neck, belly, shoulder and feet all got hit. I found tiny thorns in the center or each swelling. He said oh that is a thorn bush I hit. But the pain would not stop. So I took the "thorn" to my microscope and it is a venom filled stinger from hornets. Underground hornets. He has several stuck in and around his body. I removed them with tweezers and tape and sent him to the showers. Two days later and the pain stopped but the swellings all bruised up. I found a flattened hornet in his shoe while cleaning up afterward. It was very small the size of a quarter.

This has been a very angry hornet time of the year this month. Several others we know got stung this past weekend around here as well. One of the challenges of living with nature.

In Real Al-zhe-time!

These are our farming neighbors and our very good friends.  They have helped us with several farm problems over the years. Stuck trucks, broken tractor, torn fences, round bales of hay, poachers, predators, fallen trees, hunting and wildlife care. They have raised kids, dogs, cats and cattle for the last 10 years here. But that is now over because of his wife's brain. She is in her sixth year of finding out what is wrong and it is the big A, Alzheimer's. Caused by a thyroid medication she took for 20 years. She got a new doctor and he took her off that medicine but the damage was done.
They are going to sell the farm and build a new house in the next town next to a nursing home and closer to their children. Her husband has worked all his life and just retired to farm full time and travel with his wife. But that has changed. He will have to take care of her and keep her safe from her own mind. She does not sleep, forgets who he is and that she is married. She wanders but has forgotten how to drive, thankfully. She has forgotten how to cook and is afraid of water. 
So they came over and told us the news after they came back from the big city doctor.
We already knew she had it but now it is official. We have gone through this with several people we know. We know the stages and the final act. But his wife is one of the happy ones. She had a happy childhood and is a happy "new child" again in her mind.
We gave them one of our favorite movies"50 First Dates". It is a funny movie about a woman who forgets the present when she wakes up. So her family tries to come up with a solution. It is sad and funny like this disease. And like this movie our neighbor has many friends and family that will care for them both.

Note: My neighbors visit and the death of another friends son all happened on the same day. I do not understand why yet. But at least I am well versed on how to deal with it all. I think living out here in the Ozarks on our farm teaches you how to deal with many life or death things at once.

Portrait of Ozark Cancer

Look at this photo and what do you see?

On the left is an orphan at 17 in the middle is his grandmother 70's, retired RN and on the right her son aged 53.
Both of this young mans parents died of cancer in their 30's mom from breast the dad- not sure. The son on the right died of liver cancer Tuesday Aug 28th 2018. The grandmother in the middle took care of all three victims of cancer herself.
Recently Hospice was used for her son (53) along with multiple sign ups for various cancer drug trials. He was not a candidate for any cancer trials- because his is a male. Most cancer trials are looking for females only.
Hospice provided a hospice nurse, morphine pills and equipment needs for the son's comfort to die at home. He wanted to die at home in his single mothers care. His mom in her late 70's, bathed him, changed him, fed him, clothed him, cleaned his bedding 2x's a day, moved him, dealt with insurance and doctor visits, drove him to appointments, ran the horse farm, went to her own physical therapy 40 min away three times a week and she slept about maybe 3 hours a day. 
The hospice nurse failed to notice he was not getting enough fluids. The hospice nurse is also a farmer and her daughter is getting married and her mind was a bit distracted at the last visit of the evenings. Dry mouth and throat means you can't swallow pills. A sponge on a stick is what you give fluids with. We gave him watermelon juice, grape juice and water anything he wanted on a sponge stick. Liquid morphine was provided. He was on an oxygen machine for the last stages. The cancer ate him from the inside. His fat, muscle, brain, ligaments were all gone in short order. He was dry skin and bones but no bed sores, no diaper rash, and no odor. He was very taken care of by his mother. Hospice at least in our area does not have any IV fluids. They do not have any bags nor needles. They have a hands off policy about this part of end care. There are many reasons why they don't but you can google that. In the end the cancer eats the person and takes all it can. The body can't live without food and water and the cancer wins. Hospice at least provides a pain free death. It takes about three days to die after they start to go. On the last day he asked me for french fries. I got in my truck and found hot french fries locally made in our small town. He ate two fries and gave me a thumbs up. The next morning at 1 a.m. I got the call from his mom, he died. He was washed, dressed and tied up in a clean sheet by his mom. She called our local funeral home to come and pick him up when they can. Her house is a log cabin with no air conditioning. He is to be cremated and his ashes spread over the farm. Just like his other brother, her 2nd son, the father of the young man in the photo was 9 years ago. Her sons have never got to live past 54. He did smoke, was a truck driver and drank a lot of coffee and ate truck stop fare. Holistic herbs were attempted but he refused to give up smoking and he refused to change his diet. His mother is angry to have to have a lost both of her sons to cancer. She gave birth to them and then watched them die as adults. But she sucked it up pulled up her panties and got it done. She adopted her grandson and raised him, works as a nurse on weekends, still raises horses and life goes on. She told me when it is her time to go this is how she wants to die in her cabin and in my care. I am to spread her ashes over her Ozark farm.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

no cagas donde comes

Do not shit where you eat  is my rant for the day.
I have learned living in the city and now on a farm what it means to take care of our earth. Monsanto is a team player an agent of destruction of our soil and our bodies. Roundup causes cancer, end of story. I am happy the courts flushed out all the hidden lies and false science they tried to bury. But the real problem is that Monsanto funds the Agricultural colleges and indoctrinates the next generation of gullible farmers that science knows better than nature/God.

I will take weeds and bugs over having cancer any day. Nature was built to feed people and the other creatures. Trying to make science that feeds more and poisons the ground is just stupid. And now children have cancer, animals have cancer and the sea, air and ground are polluted for the next generation. At some point we need to let that sink in that we have poisoned the earth. It goes down from here if we do not stop. Nature can restore itself with time. But not if we keep draining resources in the name of science and feeding the greed of others. So do something today. Do not buy that weed killer and share the wisdom about taking the time to pull a weed instead of spraying it. Lets all spread a little less cancer on the planet we all live on.