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Friday, March 9, 2018

A Dairy Entry

I need to be posting more dairy stuff.  Here goes...

It is March.  And March frequently means high winds.  We have had two bouts of high winds here, both of which ended in dead trees across the same fence.

The first time a neighbor stopped in and told me we had two cows out up the road.  We went up there and sure enough, farther down the road between the bull/heifer field and the dry cow field there was a tree across the fence.  Why only TWO of the 18 of them got out we will never know but will be ever grateful for.  We got them back into their field and Gary got the fence fixed.

Then 2-3 days ago it happened AGAIN, except Gary happened to be up there and caught it BEFORE any animals escaped.  You can see them gathering at the fence on the left.



Here they are inspecting his repair job.  They are quick to spot anything new and take advantage to go exploring.

While I was up there I snapped a shot of the Wally twins.  They are never far from each other.  And they are both pains in the butt.  Number 207 is pushier than her sister 206, but they are both ornery.


Thankful: Hubby being on the spot and finding the downed tree before any animals got out. 

What happened yesterday...

Yesterday; March 8, 2018, I went into the hospital and had my gallbladder removed.  It was not fun; but it could have been worse.

A wonderful lady Jane, from church, who is also my neighbor down the road, drove me in, stayed with me and drove me back home.  It went so fast that Gary wasn't even done with chores yet before I was home.  I was scheduled for about 7:30 and was at home before 11 AM. 

They gave me pictures, but I will spare you and not scan and post them.  LOL

I have 4 holes in my abdomen and am rather sore, but generic Percocet is a wonderful thing so I am doing OK.  Gary is having to do all of my graining chores for the next week or two though.  I feel bad about that; but at least there is only one bottle calf for him to worry about.

The odd thing about the whole ordeal is that I wasn't too awfully anxious about it, except for one thing.  The whole anesthetic deal.  Coming out of it they say you don't remember much and could do weird things.  Having to deal with my mom and her memory loss due to dementia, the loss of memory idea really bothered me.  It wasn't too awful bad though, I remember a few things, even the nurse giving me my instructions (though I didn't remember them all) and I remember most of the ride home; especially when Jane had to pull over to help me after I puked.  LOL  They gave me several puke bags, so we were prepared.  Jane has been through a surgery or two, so she knew what would happen.  The nausea is due to the anesthetic as well.

I didn't eat anything yesterday; just a few sips of broth and lots of water.  I tried some cherry gelatin, but that promptly came up.  I KNEW gelatin was of the devil, hahaha!

There were two other notable things yesterday; one was quite reassuring, one was amusing.

Before the surgery in the waiting area the surgeon, Brent Bartgis, came in to meet me and yak a bit.  Then before he left he told us he was going to pray before surgery and did we want him to leave the room or stay and pray.  Jane and I told him of course we wanted him to stay and pray, so he laid hand on my shoulder and prayed.  Jane and I were pleasantly surprised.

Second thing.  Also before surgery the anesthetist (I guess is the right word) came in to meet me and ask questions and give advice.  Said not eat anything but clear liquids, Popsicles or jello, the rest of the day.  Said he told everyone; "Fries will fly."   Haha.  I wish I could call him and tell him that jello will fly too.  But I think that's just my anti-gelatin problem. 

Thankful: The Lord provided a man of the Faith to perform my surgery, a friend to be there with me though it when my husband couldn't, the determination to recover quickly. 



Friday, February 16, 2018

Another Red Heifer

Sometimes things happen that make me say; "This is totally God."  Others may call it coincidence, but I believe that coincidences are Spiritually influenced. 

In 2005 we got a little red heifer; which I blogged about after the fact: Genetic Hiccup. 
She was born before I started this blog, so I didn't get her in here at birth.  But here's Rosie's picture:





Here is Rosie with her red calf, which was a bull I believe, I can't even remember.  Either it was a bull or it turned black eventually.  I strongly believe it was a heifer that turned black.


A bit before Rosie calved we had this red heifer calf come along:



 However you can see the black markings on her nose and around her eyes.  I wish she'd stayed like this but she eventually, over the course of 7-8 months, turned a solid black with just a red tinge in her ears and on her udder.   

Rosie herself died of some mysterious malady a few years ago; back when Ellen was only 5 or 6.  Ellen was extremely upset over this and cried and cried.  She kept asking for another red cow.  Over time she calmed down a bit about it; but still occasionally mentions getting another red cow. 

I told her we couldn't afford to just up and buy a red calf or cow, it would just have to happen again.  And I didn't want to tell her the odds. 

But looky what DID happen just 3 or so days ago:
Aw!  She doesn't have any black on her; the calf doesn't that is.  So I am hoping and praying that this is our little miracle red heifer calf for Ellen.  I will get up close pics of her soon.

I know God still answers prayers with little miracles like this.  And for that I am thankful!






Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fish Tales

My mom was born in 1929 in Blackshear, Georgia.  Her family moved to S. California back in the mid-30s in search of work.

When she was in her late teens or early 20s, I am not sure and she probably doesn't remember either, she got a job at a fish cannery down there.  Yeah, she worked in Cannery Row.

She can still tell tales of being called in the wee hours of the AM to go to work at the cannery because a fishing boat had come in to port.  She remembers about the gutters and the packers and how they had to put the fish into cans and send them on down the line.

She was a packer, I believe.

She remembers the stink of the fish.    Not even dementia can take that memory away.  Haha

When I was growing up on the coast of Northern California; Humboldt County I distinctly remember that even though we were on the coast where fresh fish was readily available, it was rare that we had it.  My mom's memories of the stink of fish in the cannery overpowered any reason to actually prepare the stuff for her family.  And I can remember quite clearly the only instances we actually had fish.

In the summers, from when I can first remember things up until I was maybe 8-ish, my uncles would come up to visit us.  Then they and my dad would suit up in hip-waders and take a surf-fishing net and head to the beach.  They would look so remarkably like the man in this random photo that I got off the 'net through Google, that it gives me a bit of a turn to look at it.  (This looks so amazingly like a spot there on the Humboldt Coast that I am going to have to go back and research this photo.  It was captioned; "Grandpa and fishing net")

Anyway.  If they had a good day fishing we would have buckets and buckets of small silver fish to process.  I can remember all of us taking a hand in beheading and gutting these weensy fish.  Then my mom would heat up the grease and coat and fry them.  I remember, even as a kid, they were the BEST.  We would freeze bags and bags of them to enjoy later.

I also remember that occasionally someone would give us a salmon.  Mom would usually bake it.  Those were yummy, too.  Except there was one time that someone gave us a salmon that had been upriver for too long or something because it tasted EXACTLY like a mouthful of mud would taste.  GROSS.  Mom would eat the salmon, but I don't think she ever enjoyed it much. 

And we ate breaded fish sticks from the store.  We had these quite often and I think that was because a fish stick from a cardboard box is so far removed from the real thing it barely has any smell let alone any resemblance to an actual fish.  My mom could stomach them.  Ha

We also, for some obscure reason seeing as how she didn't like canned fish, had a lot of canned tuna.  I did not grow up on peanut butter and jelly; I grew up on tuna fish sandwiches (w/ real mayo and dill pickles and lettuce) and chocolate milk made with the powder from a can.

There was one time; ONE time only, when we were given a couple of fresh crab.  My mom had NO CLUE how to prepare them or what to do with them.  I remember vaguely they were boiled in an enormous pot she drug out of the back of the cupboard and then we tried to eat them.  As I recall we had little idea which parts of the crab to eat and what I tasted was so disgusting I have never had it again.  

And that was the extent of my experience at home with fish.  I have VERY VERY VERY VERY rarely even cooked the stuff at all in my adult life.  With the obvious exception of tuna fish burgers....from a can of course.

Now Gary?  Gary loves fish!  He and his family used to go fishing here on the Niangua quite frequently; mostly every week in good weather.  They ate various sorts of fish all the time. 

And now from time to time we are given fish from neighbors and friends.  The first time we were given fresh fish I had no clue how to fix them.  I recall I ended up serving breaded half-raw fish to my husband.  He was a good sport about it; he usually always is, and told me how to actually make sure they are done.  LOL

So when a friend this past summer gave us fish we had a fish fry.  That time my sister-in-law fried it up.  But  we still have some in the freezer.  So Gary had been pestering me to thaw it out and cook it.  So I finally did here a couple of days ago.





This actually is spoon bill; given to us by a different friend than gave us the fish fry fish. 

I used almond flour and seasonings for this spoon bill, fried it up just right and it was DEE-LISH.  Even Ellen liked it.  We didn't have much leftover. 

(Thankful for: Generous friends, free food, something different for supper)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Faerie Spring in Winter

The Faerie Spring is an enchanting place to visit in the spring; flowers, laughing water, fresh green leaves whispering in the wind, cheery birds...you get the picture.

But the past couple of years since I discovered it, I have wondered what the Faerie Spring is like in the winter.

This past week Bella and I took a long walk to find out.  I had piles of laundry to do, but I took one look into those brown eyes and went to get her lead. 

We trekked on down there. It was well below freezing, maybe in the mid- to lower-20s.  But interestingly enough at the head of the spring the water was yet flowing freely.  The leftover leaves of fall clogged the flow, and the mossy rocks were a determined green; so it was still a wee bit enchanted.


We went further down, finding evidence of how life is hard in the wild.  This fellow didn't make it to see another year.


As we went on we saw white ahead.  Random patches of ice.


Then long stretches of ice, leading off into the distance.

Instead of water swishing on by them, each rock, each leaf, was hugged in an icy grip.


The mini water falls stood still, the Faerie song quieted; suspended in chilly silence. 


Further down the spring, the waters springing from below ground carved a stream through the ice; a living spring within the dead one. 


Bella would trot and frisk around but would occasionally pause, puzzled, and gaze into the treetops, looking for her frenemies the squirrels.  She never could find any and she was quite frustrated at their lack of adventure to come out where she could see and chase them.

,

There was plenty of deer sign though; here is a shot of a pointy deer track in the leaves.  It is hard to see down inside of it, but it is there. 


Perhaps, given the time and chance, we will visit the Faerie Spring during a deep snow.  That would be interesting too.