Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tropical Tidings

Late Friday evening, a Chinook wind brought snow flurries. Not enough to merit making snow angels, but enough to put me in the most jolly mood. 

The winds have been howling at 20 mph from night, through the day.  My phone informed that by noon, it had gone from feeling like 13'F in the morning to 32'F.  Balmy!
I think I went through half a tube of Chapstick today.  But, what a day! 
My phone never rang, nor did I call out; just me, the dogs and the horses.
Nary a moment stuck indoors.  I think my next house may be a yurt. Who needs a fancy house when you can have a barn? 
The only wrinkle in my day:  an unknown assailant tried to scalp my favorite horse.
There's a horse in the herd who needs muzzling. 
No riding him for a good while, wound the length of my hand.
Tonight's low 24' F, absolutely frigid with the wind chill. I've no curiosity to see what frost bite can do to raw flesh, hence the Mr. Bean bandage. And it's still on-- we may have to clip it off!
Home from work means you take off your jacket and put it back on.
I don't like a warm house. Except in the Summer, then it can get in the mid 80's.  The closer it is to outdoor temps, the less struggle it is for my body to adapt to working outside.  Or am I plain weird?
I was planning to eat supper by the fireplace, then do my taxes.

The Dogs had other plans.
I'm somewhere in the scrum.
In lieu of tax prep, Cole has lured me to our down filled nest.

I've been engrossed with Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle".  A Lithuanian immigrant family  beset by calamity after tragedy after tragedy.  They work as slaves for the slaughter houses and starve and freeze at night.  No happy ending, I'm sure, but still I read on.  Highly recommended! Really.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jeepers Creepers

Jeepers Creepers, where did you get those peepers, Pete?  Mr. Magoo?

Pete, the short one who's driving, shouldn't be driving anymore.  His vision is beginning to play tricks on him.
For months now, he's refused to go potty before bed time, unless I follow him with a flash light.  Not an annoyance, unless it's below freezing. 
Last week, he decided the laminated floor was out to get him and he's refuse to go from his couch to the front door.  No amount of coaxing, praise, even a Hansel and Gretel trail of cut up steak could sway him.  Lights off, on, night lights. Nada.  Monsieur refused to budge. 
Until tonight:
Carpet pad remnant stretches from the back door on.  Pity it's not red, my house can use some glam.
Encouraged that he could be reprogrammed, I then fitted him with Cole's harness and a head lantern.
I sense he disapproves of my invention...
Oh, wait... first tentative steps.

And he's off!  Way off.  And going and going...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I'm Very Busy Procrastinating

Dear Diary, I have a list a mile long of chores to do on my day off today.  Unfortunately, this is what greeted me this morning as I was heading out the door:
I can wait to work in the garden. Cole's not interested in chasing squirrels at the moment.  Maybe later.

Later, I'll chase down my horses to pull their blankets and de-pooping.  Yes, the horses like to lay in their own manure.
The dogs make exceptionally good paperweights. 

Anyway, I'm almost done procrastinating. 
Almost.  Today I will day dream about a 1920's picture my stepdad sent me:
Motorcycle chariots.  I want one.  I even have an assortment of headgear too.
Too space cadet.
Too Monty Pythonesque.
We're ready. Where are our iron horses?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Say cheez

On Tuesday, epicureanism arrived to the backwoods of Alabama.  My dearest friend from Canada sent me a box of raw, unpasteurized, award winning artisan cheese.  It made it through customs, somehow.
These pictures are for my uncle.  Mononcle Jean, avoid drooling on your keyboard...

Frechette makes Boursin look like Cheez Whiz.

Zacharie cloutier, missing a huge chunk!

Laliberte soft cheese.

Bleu d'Elizabeth, a blue to make you blue lovers weep.

My favorite among favorites:  Louis D'or.  
I can never go back to regular cheese.  Thank you, Anne-Marie, for the incredible gift!

For all of you back home, she suggests going to the Fromagerie du Presbytere's annual cheese festival in Sainte-Elizabeth-de-Warwick, usually in July.  Should you go...send me some more Louis D'or!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hog Wild

Disclaimer:  viewer discretion advised. PG-13.

Three long months I have been longing to go deer hunting.  Not for lack of invitation to a premiere, expansive hunting tract, but for lack of time.  
Sunday 5:30 AM, I'm giddy.  Barely a wink the night before from all the anticipation and last minute work hemmed up by 5 AM, I'm punch drunk by the time Joe picks me up.  An hour later, I'm in the middle of nowhere = Heaven.
The climb up to the top of the ladder stand proves challenging.  I'd pulled a Super Grover move the day before by falling from the barn roof thanks to an expired ladder. Plus, Sunday's 15 MPH winds did nothing to ease my angst.
The tree stand is a double.
Example from catalog-- except our retaining straps were skinnier.
Joe has thousands of hours of deer hunting logged under his belt.  He's as nonchalant as Cesar, the Dog Whisperer, is in a room of pit bulls.  I, on the other hand, was taught how to deer hunt by my former father-in-law.  Viet Nam vet, explosives expert, a little twerked...  We would be in silent mode the moment we disembarked from the truck.  He didn't believe in tree stands.  He'd pick an embankment or a log for us to hunker down behind and Lord forbid you had to cough or pee, he'd kill you.  
Sunday, I thought we might be smited each time my companion whispered to me.  First habits die hard.
In spite of good advice, I'd under dressed and as one of us is getting over the flu and I'm beginning mine, we pulled the plug before noon, no viable deer on the radar.  On the way back to the truck, I spotted a herd of wild boars.  Venison vs. pork.  Who cares?
Joe was badgered into going back to his truck for a rifle.
He's very obliging and a dang good shot.
He brings home the bacon and lands the largest boar of the pack.  I'd firmly requested a 90 pound sow, but beggars, without guns, can't be picky.  
My host suggests the +200 pound pig is too heavy to haul to the road.  
Never get between me and groceries.
I try to pull it by myself through the mud.  Joe gets his golf cart, in an attempt to load the boar from the mud flats.  Negatory.  We end up sculpting Playdoh Fun Factory mud out of the wheels.  
Save the cart or the pig? Both.  Trading places, I let Joe push the cart, using the boar as counter weight, I keep driving and don't look back.  One must uphold one's priorities.
Cole inspects it and agrees with Joe:  you should have left it.  
Wild hogs are European introductions, they destroy their habitats, uproot trees, eat all my beautiful amphibians, erode the land-- a non indigenous scourge.  Tasty...unless old and male.
 My freezer is getting bare,so standards are lowered.
I skin my pig and BBQ a chunk to test for boar taint. No ketchup, no salt, acceptable. I offer a round to the dogs. Seconds are refused.  Uh oh, what do they know that I don't?
Dining al fresco with the donor.
Never say die.  I will brine and try other methods to moderate the taste of the two hormones (sketole and adrostenone) that accumulate in older boar's bodies.  
Cole:  "Tic Tacs, dude."
The head will hopefully be going to a taxidermist.  I need a huge boar head staring back when I'm falling asleep. Mandatory.
Back to the land of the Normal.  Winter is finally upon us.  The horses, therefore, play dress-up! Stay warm, wherever you are.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


This is my posse.
We're laying down the law.

              Be scared, very scared if you try poaching on our lands.
Don't be caught in our crossfire.

When Lieutenant Tommy isn't sleeping on the job, he's the keenest tracker in these parts.

Deputy Chance patrols the perimeter.

Deputy Seth on the trail of a miscreant. 

The only way to cope with hard work is to seek out moments of levity.  None found? Quit sniveling and create your own. Dang it!

Sheriff in these parts, Jamie