Friday, February 26, 2010
I got the chance to visit a small farmer in Mountain View, MO. He raises goats for milk and meat. He also has chickens, turkey and ducks for their eggs. He gave me a tour of the goats and poultry tucked in for the night. I never knew you could bed down turkey, ducks, geese and chickens together. They were so happy, healthy and warm in the barn. And the goats were fat and munching on dry clover. These were very happy farm animals. I even got to pick up a baby goat, aka, kid. So warm and fat in the middle, very soft fur. Momma goat was not too happy I picked up her kid, however. Momma goats are very alert to their kids activities; more so than some human mothers.
This week I taught a "beginners" quilt class for all levels at our local Summersville Community Center. We are making a simple two border nine patch to donate to the Quilts for Kids project. This organization has the free patterns on-line. Some of the students brought quilts they created in the past such as the handkerchief butterfly quilt. There is a lot of talent out here in the Ozarks. And we will be making larger quilts for our first ever fall quilt show this year.
This morning I got up to feed my skunk scented dogs and saw a shape on the grassy hill. It was a DOA frozen female squirrel. It was mortally wounded on the neck and died trying to get away from some predator. It was frozen solid on the ground. My dogs did not want to play with the squirrel-cicle; so I placed it back into the woods for more hungrier predators. The nights are a busy time for the creatures of the woods. Ah, frozen nature in the the Ozarks.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Here is a photo of Rose our bunny in harness and leash. She is taking a walk in the forest enjoying the twigs and leaves. Rose is a Rex bunny also known as a velvet bunny. We keep her in a harness so she does not attack the other animals in the forest.
Rose is cute but she's a lethal woodland creature.
Yes, we have been Skunked out here in the Ozarks. It was only a matter of time with two dogs, woods and wildlife. I left the dogs free after dinner and they went after what they thought was our barn cat, Annie who is black and white. There was a yip and I ran after the dogs with a flashlight and spotted three pair of eyes running right at me. Hickory, Osa and a huge black and white skunk. I had no idea skunks could run so fast.
The dogs and the skunk ran around the house and I ran inside. The skunk ran around the house spraying both dogs, the fireplace and the entire outside of our house. It was a lethal attack. Were were all stunned as the stink enveloped us. Both dogs were whining outside and frozen with a new fear of skunks. The smell came inside the house via the chimney and we experienced the awful skunk scent. The skunk went back into the woods happy as ever. My dogs are not happy tonight. We hope they learned a lesson to leave the skunks alone.
I don't like skunks very much after all this.
We own two bunny rabbits that are our indoor pets. Sometimes it is a good idea to take them outside for exercise. Here you can see my husband taking Rose for a run through the property. Clearly Rose is in charge and taking A. for a fast jog. This is why having a harness is a good idea. No husbands were harmed in this photo shoot.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
One of the neat things about the Ozarks is all the things you can learn from the people here. Our neighbor, Nancy, showed me how to grind organic wheat and bake bread. She uses a vintage Magic Mill that is very loud, but got the wheat ground instantly. It made a fine warm grind that made into a splendid bread. I finally was able to find my own mill after a year of hunting. It is also vintage but is in good working order. My mill is also loud, but grinds fast. Now we can grind more wheat and bake more bread at one time. Once you have had chemical free organic wheat and fresh spring fed water to make bread, you will never want to eat store bought bread again.
Tonight the dogs were barking up a storm. Those "none shall pass" type of barks.
So my husband and I called back the dogs and used a flashlight that turns night into day. On the hill was a curled up ball of grey. We walked up and it was a huge possum, playing possum. We went back inside and got the camera and sleeping ugly was still there, blinking and breathing. We took some shots and left our visitor alone for the evening. I am glad it stayed "asleep"; possums have huge fangs. I don't want to tangle with one in the dark. That possum was waiting for us to feed the barn cat. We were running late on that.
After an hour the possum was long gone and the barn cat was happily eating her late supper. I paned the flashlight into the dark while the cat ate and saw a stray cat. I called my husband outside and a second stray jumped out. Apparently, we are feeding half the Ozarks outside our door. They know when feeding time is and they form a line on our deck. We are careful not to leave food outside, but word has gotten out.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
We got the chance to drive down to the river in Van Buren, MO after our dentist appointments. The river is blue! There is no trash in the water and you can see the fish! I did not think rivers were this pretty anymore. Missouri works hard keeping its rivers and lands picked up. No wonder so many people canoe and enjoy the waters here. We are looking forward to warmer weather so we can go floating and canoeing.
On the cold mornings we light up the pellet stove. It warms the upstairs part of the house and we turn off the central heater. This is Daisy's favorite place to be in the vellux blanket in the rocker by the fire. Our cats have a very pampered life here in the Ozarks.
We sat and watched the DVD Food, Inc. I thought it was going to be a "Peta" type of show, it is not.
It is scary to find out how the food industry is controlling our government, our health and our future . This movie is a real eye opener about how modern farming and the food companies control our freedoms as Americans. I highly recommend everyone watch this movie and talk to your families about what is happening to America. Then talk to your state representatives.
The most entertaining part was Polyface Farms of VA. They put farming the land into perspective for organic farmers. I hope to be as respectful of my animals and land as they are.
Monday, February 15, 2010
One day my husband and I were eating at a greasy spoon in Fredricksburg, Texas. On the wall was a neat folk print of a hen. I asked the owner about it but they had no idea. So I looked again and saw that it was a print signed by Anna Pugh . I kept that name written down for 10 years. Then I finally got a book of all her prints. Such happy and unique farm life paintings. Brilliant colors can be seen in her works. Her prints will make you smile and enjoy the simple life.
I have been fighting and finally gave into my cold. My head has been in a fishbowl for a week. Plugged up ears, nose and sore throat. I have had no energy and have slept more than a bear. And medicine just delays the cold.I did get to the dentist and church thanks to my husband. I am now trying to get back into the land of the living. I miss smell and taste and hearing. I will be so happy when my ears clear up. So I posted the 2 photos of a clear river in Van Buren, MO. It was partially frozen but clear to see the fluid bottom, like my head felt this week.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
How to keep warm in the Ozarks? Burn wood in the wood stove in the house. Now the hard part, chopping the wood, drying the wood, hauling the wood; then getting it all into the house for burning. This last part is the hardest. The car can only get so close to the house, then you gotta sled it. That plastic sled has been the best tool I ever bought. To the wood stove!
Monday, February 8, 2010
We got a break here in the Ozarks and then the snow came again. Snow fell from all directions and plastered the forest in white. Snow is caking over all the plants, trees and grasses. We have a winter wonderland in February.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
I will be teaching a quilting class at our local Community Center. One of the students did not own a sewing machine. Another student offered her machine if someone could fix it. My husband is pretty good at fixing machines. After opening this Singer 834 we found a broken bobbin case. Luckily, they still have these for sale at most Singer sewing centers. The new bobbin case should be in soon and this machine will be ready for a new quilter.