Friday, May 23, 2014


I would really appreciate someone following me around with a vuvuzela and blowing it wildly anytime I accomplish anything. It would make life oh so much more exciting!

Anyway, goals! Since drunk me decided to blab about my weight loss goals to my boyfriend (see my other blog). I figured I might as well share with you all my gardening and farming goals for this year. Something about transparency and accountability go hand in hand with accomplishment, right?

I want to be able to can enough tomatoes, pickles, and preserve enough potatoes that I don’t have to buy any all winter. Because well, I'm cheap and  I don't like eating pesticides or BPA. Plus, I always played "pioneer" when I was little and I am a little curious to see how hard it would have been to survive only on what I could produce. I'm just ramping up to it. SLOWLY! I’m not sure how it will work out with the potatoes yet, but here is to hoping!

I also want to make several more batches of jelly and herbal preserves. The house I just bought has a crab apple, apple, and apricot tree; in addition to the apple, peach, and pear trees up at my grandpa’s place. So canned and frozen fruit, jams, and jellies should abound! Provided I don’t kill myself mowing all the danged grass. I am so glad that I am going to have a bigger kitchen to work with!

Granted before I can play with that shiny big kitchen I have to gut the bathroom, add a second bath, rip up carpet and refinish floors, and repaint; but by God when I get all that done I will be up to my eyeballs in jelly!

Well, after I still manage to fix fence, get hay put up with Cap, and try to clean and repair the barn and grainery. Oh, and help dad clean out and sort all the stuff in my grandpa's sheds and greenhouse. But after that!

Or it will be next year and I can start my grand plans all over again. Whichever comes first, right? There is always tomorrow!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The USDA wants to buy...submachine guns?!?!?

From the WTF came to my attention today that the USDA (department of Agriculture) has put out a request for quote on...firearms?!?! What in the heck? Why does the USDA need submachine guns?

I mean, yes, rootworm is bad this year, but submachine guns? Seriously?

Death to crop pests!
Who wants to guess that these are NOT for a war on GMOs?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And the lion shall lay down with the lamb.

Or the murderous cat shall lay down with the bunny. Same thing.

I think I am in the twilight zone. I have seen this cat jump straight up in the air four feet in order to nab a bird as it flew by. She is also HELL on baby bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, and probably calves too. Who knows? 

I honestly don't know how many times she has killed, but I do know that she is one heck of a hunter. And that her claws belong on a freaking velociraptor. Seriously, she must sharpen them on razor wire or something. It is instant blood when she decides to purr and knead your leg.

I am not sure what her end game is with Mr. Whiskers, but I wouldn't trust her if I were him. Maybe her grooming is just tenderizing him? Lulling him into a false sense of security? Some weird sadistic prank where she befriends the friend of her victims? Or maybe it is repentance for all the bunny lives she has taken? Has she flipped over a new leaf? Is she in kitty counseling? 

The world may never know!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Have you ever been eye stalked by a cow?

You know those people at the gym that stare at you while you exercise? That make you feel judged, and badly about yourself? The ones that make that internal voice go, “Oh crap. I’m not working hard enough. Fast enough. I must look horrible in this spandex shirt!” Yep.
Meet the mother of those people. A cow.

You're not even able to work fast enough to keep me fed. Amateur.

Let me set the stage for you. A few weeks back I posted about my abusive relationship with the cows and I mentioned that I had spent several hours cleaning the barn. This is a set of before and after photos of the lovely project.

Something doesn't look quite right.
And no, it isn't the fact that the stalls are full of 30 years worth of junk!

Step one complete! Note the height change!
Also note that this is about when I realized that my radio was on AM.
And that was why I couldn't listen to anything other than radio Disney...
I was dedicated dammit. I also know the words to "Let it go."

Let it go, let it go. I'm not cleaning this anymore!
Let it go, let it goooo! Almost ready to close up the doors.
I don't care. What the cows say.
Let them moo onnnn!...The hay never bothered me anyway!

You see that wonderfully compressed timber? And the one with the hole in it? Yeah. That was what prompted my cow-stalking gym time. The dang barn was falling down. It is always something! 

And yes, I have an entire barnyard version of the song. Go ahead. Judge all ya'll want. When Disney comes knocking on my door you'll see! ;)

Stop being a weatherman.

I saw this photo on Facebook last Friday, and all I can do is heartily agree. I feel like my life has been a non-stop whirlwind lately.  I have always enjoyed being busy. It is one of the reasons I love living on a farm. I don’t know what to do with myself when there isn’t some chore or project to work on. I’m not big on relaxing with television or movies (to the point that I am pretty sure it drove my college roommate crazy because I couldn’t sit through a show without leaving to do dishes or something else productive). Tis the season for that to shine I suppose. Spring is always a time of growth and rapid change. There is always a flurry of activity that leads into the growing season. This year’s has just been even crazier than usual.

My grandpa passed away in February leaving me with a bunch of outbuildings to clean and rehab, in addition to a LOT more grass to mow, and a ton of exciting (but overwhelming) opportunities. In addition to that, I bought a house. Because, hey, why not compound that overwhelming amount of yard, with another two acre yard. Go big or go home, right?

Right. Check. Got that. Did that. Own the t-shirt. Damn near started a business printing the t-shirt because I just can’t say no to adding more things to my plate. AHHH! Stress is exhilarating!!! Until it isn’t.

Halfway through getting my garden in last week I about had a meltdown. I had already smushed my hand between the rather large lawn mower and a tree – leading me to believe that prayer must work because the accident really should have removed fingers or at least broken something. My guardian angel has got some overtime coming her way! Anyway, in addition to pain priming myself for a crying spree; I had let myself become obsessed with my to do list. Anyone who lives on a farm, no matter how big or small, should realize one thing about farms and to do lists. Farms make NEVER ENDING to do lists.

Seriously, something is always coming up. There is always a garden to weed, or a fence to fix, a barn to repair, livestock to check, plants to water, grass to cut, invasive plants to kill… I think you get the idea. You will never accomplish everything on the list. Plain and simple. You have to do what you can, when you can, and try to not drive yourself insane by impulse buying ten bags of organic potatoes that were on sale for $1.99/ five pounds and trying to process them during planting season. It does not end well.
Though I have found that I can process ten pounds of potatoes over my hour long lunch break, and that Captain America has some awesome potato chopping skills. Yay date night! (Despite this, I still have 10 pounds to go. WHOO!)

Anyway, to summarize: I was trying to mow well over fifteen acres of yard, plant my entire garden, process 50 pounds of potatoes, figure out how to remodel a bathroom, stress about moving things around up at grandpa’s so that the massive fixing spree can happen, and stay on top of my regular chores in the three hours of daylight that I had after work. In three days. Because it was going to start raining Thursday and not stop until this week. Plus, I have plans virtually every weekend. On a side note volunteering at the food pantry in St. Louis Saturday was incredibly rewarding, though a bit disturbing. Who on earth donates opened products (Mm, half used quinoa! Not sketchy at all!) and cans that expired in 1999? Really guys?

I like to call last week my extreme exhaustion challenge. It makes it seem much happier that way. In the midst of it, my mom gave me some very good advice: “Stop spending your life trying to be a weatherman and predicting when the storm will hit. You’re obsessing with when the rain is going to come rather than enjoying the sunshine!” I would like to say that I immediately stopping stressing/crying/working myself sick and really got that statement, but it took me a few days. I was very good about enjoying the little things with grandpa when he was alive. I stopped and admired the clouds and the sunshine with him, but since he has gone I have been (maybe distracting myself from grief?) overwhelming myself with responsibilities, trying desperately to maintain and do things the way he would have wanted. It is the same with the neighbor’s house I purchased, I want to care for it the way Evelyn and Ralph always did.

I want to honor their memory with my actions, but at some point I have to admit that I am just one person and I can’t take care of things the way that three people were able to. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter that the grass isn’t immaculate, because it is just going to grow again. And the land is mine to care for now, not theirs. I need to be a good steward, but by God if I want to rearrange the buildings that are falling down on themselves and have to be rebuilt anyway to suit my goals I should. I shouldn’t make myself crazy over it.

What is the point in having everything to take care of if I can’t stop and enjoy it? If I don’t get in the habit now, I will make a habit of not enjoying it that will be very hard to break. I will always have too much to finish; and this making everything a priority bit that I have been doing lately is only serving to make me insane, and make nothing a priority.

So, here is to better prioritizing, and not making myself sick with guilt when I want a damned pedicure. Ha!