Monday, October 31, 2011

Still Standing.

This has always been my dad's tree.  I remember being told this when I was very, very young.  This lone pine near the edge of Route 27 looks exactly as it did nearly 50 years ago.

I have taken many pictures of it over the years.  It is a comfort to me knowing that it still stands straight and tall despite the storms it has endured.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Our soldiers - our U.S. soldiers - are coming home from Iraq!!!  And this makes lower case, non-bolded headlines?????  Are you kidding me???  Is this America???

Everyday I see newspaper headlines of pure crud.  This week there have been at least two online headlines of a local person getting arrested for their second and third DUIs.  They get more coverage than our soldiers (remember them? Our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers????) coming home from Iraq?

I wrote yesterday about nightmares of waking up in Wally-world.  This is far worse.  I've shared facebook posts about my favorite music artists, about fracking in Sharonville, about this and about that.  But does no one think it is Facebook worthy that our troops are COMING HOME FROM IRAQ?

Someone please inform me if I have missed something.  If this is not a reason to be celebrating.  For the past seven years I've lived in fear that my daughter - my baby girl- would be sent back to Iraq. 

What am I missing?  Our soldiers are returning home to America, the land that I love, God bless it all! 

How about a smile?  A pat on the back? A thank-God-they-are-coming-home? 

Really? Is this MY America??????

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I've written about it before. 

And I've returned a few times since.

But no more.

Walmart's latest campaign - Save Money. Live Better.


What is sad is that this company targets people like me.  And it works. 

But in the same voice, the company is targeting people like me while it destroys people like me.  The company - Walmart - is an enabler - dangling their slogan of living better.  That we need more 'stuff' to live better.  To be better.  To feel better.

In the meantime, Walmart seemingly is destroying the free market.  For human needs anyway.  Their guarantee is that no matter the cost they WILL undercut any competitor's price.  On anything. 

I have nightmares of waking up in a world in which everything is own/operated by Walmart.  I am terrified of needing hospital care but having to give-in to substandard care because WalHospital guarantees the lowest price.

I don't have a degree in Economics or Political Science or Business - but I do have degrees relating to humans as well as nearly 50 years experience of being a human.  I want to have valid choices.  I want to be able to make my own decision of cost vs quality and not being forced to subscribe to that.  I don't want more.  I want good.

I do believe in free enterprise and that people should have the choice between getting cheap goods for a little bit of money or investing in their country.  But it terrifies me that the choice is being made for me.  Everytime I buy something from a company that attempts to crush any mom and pop business, I am basically pounding another nail in a small business' coffin. 

Walmart has seen the last of me.   

Dang! I will do without before I give another cent to that company!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The sun did appear today at One Old Goat Farm.  I was very pleased to see that there were still a wealth of colors to enjoy after the week of gray.

A barn kitty hiding in the morning glories;
Not sure what these berries are but they are a brilliant purple and the stocks are fuscia;

one of our pumpkins that actually has been made into a jack o'lantern'

at last some wind to ring the chimes - I'm pretty sure that I won't be so happy for the winds after a few weeks of it;
Morning Glory grows like kudzu around here;

Leslie the Goat - she really smiles!
Sebastian watching the geese fly south (not really, he is looking north);

The chickens are happy to be able to stroll around without getting wet;
Chestnut the Rooster and his friend helping themselves to feed;

Skanky-kitty enjoying the sunshine;

The beautiful faces of the nasturtium.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


 I am a relatively laid back person.  It takes a lot - A LOT - to get me riled.  My family has only witnessed a handful of my truly outrageous meltdowns.  Probably the one that my older kids remember is the 'Great Chili Meltdown' that resulted in both kids not only 'enjoying' their chili but asking for more.  I was pregnant with my twin daughters at the time.

Today I headed home from work after a very productive day.  As usual, I was happy both with my workday and with the prospects of enjoying time with my kids.  At 5:13, I called home to find out that the bull, Lunchbox, had escaped.  Not only from the barn, but from the pasture.  This was not good.  My son and daughter were the only ones home.  And I had to pick up my other daughter from soccer at the other end of the valley. 

I arrived home and Lunchbox was still on the loose.  I grabbed a bucket filled with grain which any other day, he would turn cartwheels and rub my feet to have an extra bucket.  Not today.  Nothing doing.  He strutted across the neighbor's yard as if he owned the joint.  I repeated lured him over to his pasture and repeatedly he would get as far as the gate and then take off again.

I was hysterical.  How in the heck can I manhandle a 1000 pound bull?  A stubborn bull. A devil of a bull. 

How did I do it?  I called (in hysterics) my best buddy.  She couldn't understand me and she told me she would call her husband.  I calmed down a bit and explained the problem.  Within minutes, he called and said that he and his son were on their way down so that I was able to go and pick up my daughter.

I wasn't worried about Lunchbox doing more than eating the neighbor's peach trees because he is basically lazy and uninterested in anything other than eating.  But they are really good neighbors who put up with an awful lot from me and my animals and I don't want their trees ruined.

So, while I was gone, my best friend's son and husband came to the rescue.  With lassos.  And by the time I returned home from picking up my daughter, Lunchbox was safe and sound in the barn.  Well secured.  Because we are rednecks.
I do want to mention that during this whole ordeal, I did not swear.  Not even on the inside.  I prayed instead.  And let me tell you that prayer is way more productive.

But there is a definite reason why my farm is NOT One Old Cow Farm!!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


When I was a vocational rehabilitation counselor, many of the people with whom I worked wanted - as their vocational goal- to have some kind of position on the railroad.  I never understood this.  Trains were so yesterday, such a long manner of travel, and certainly did not fit into today's world.

But now, I have traveled on a train across our country.  Now, I understand.

On a train, you ride through America's backyard.  Unless you are traveling through an old town that was built around train travel, you don't get to see the 'presentable face' that is shown to the road when you are driving down the highway.  You ride through fields and woods and prairies and mountains.  It is amazing.

And yes, it is a long trip.  But if the journey is the reason, then a train is the way to go for me.  Being lulled to sleep by the chug-a-chug of the tracks, the gentle rocking of the travel, and the not-so-gentle lurching as the train changes tracks is the closest thing to being rocked to sleep as an adult can get. 

So no more planes for me. Not being a huge fan of flying - despite having a father who was a pilot - I've found the perfect mode of transportation for me.  Already I am planning to take my children to San Francisco on the train next fall - what an awesome way to experience the country! 

Just another step on slowing down my life a bit.  If you haven't done it, try it.  Train travel is an excellent way to become intimate with the country and with your self.  And the food isn't bad, either!

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...