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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dairy News

What has been going on here the past month or so?

Well...While I was out of town we got a new heifer calf. We got another one this past weekend. That will keep my in bottle calves for the next couple of months at least. The hay situation here isn't looking good; it has been too wet and our regular hay guy hadn't been able to cut it until late. Then when he did finally cut it the rain poured on it and we don't figure that he was able to get it very dry. We are figuring to have poor quality hay this winter.

Hubby, not content to rest on his laurels since his retirement from driving the school bus last October, has been busy with other things. His backhoe/rock hauling business is doing pretty well. It'll do better once the ground dries out. In the past month he has also got his ham radio license, though they haven't issued him his call letters yet. Plus he has been working on getting his certificate to work on water well pumps. For these last two he has had to go take tests. I read some of the questions they asked for the ham radio license and figured "better him than me" I couldn't make heads or tails out of some of the things they asked. I probably wouldn't know diddly about the stuff they asked on the pump test either, though he said it was open book most of the way.

I have been busy gardening mostly. While I was gone for two weeks the grass really took over the garden and it is long tiring work to eliminate it.

Well, the baby is fussy. More later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good News for Dairy Farners

I can't resist posting about this.

In the June edition of Hoard's Dairyman, the National Dairy Farm Magazine, there is a little blurb about the benefits of manure in the Farm Flashes section.

Here is the basic gist of it:


The bacteria in manure is preventing lung cancer in dairy farmers. In a study of 1,561 Italian dairy farmers they were 5 times less likely to get lung cancer than their local counterparts, as reported in the Journal of Indoor and Built Environment.

Active dairy farmers breathe in a lot of dust and when working around their cattle that dust includes dried manure along with the bacteria that grow in it. The endotoxins in the bacteria build up immunity in the body which in turn reduces the risk of developing lung cancer, reported researchers from the University of Padua in Italy. The greater number of cows, the greater the protection for the herd owner. Dairy manure even helped dairy farmers who smoked; they were less often diagnosed with lung cancer than other other smokers.


If you wish to reduce your chances of developing lung cancer, whether you smoke or not, just mail me a donation (I will leave it to your perspicacity to determine the amount) and a few bucks to cover the cost of postage and I will send you a quart ziplock freezer bag of dried cow puckey you can pulverize and sniff off and on all day.


Monday, June 23, 2008

West Coast Journey...part final: Salting Cows and Sweet Retaliation

In my previous post I promised a word or two about my niece's boyfriend. Really it has nothing to do with the journey much, just a passing thing, however I cannot resist the urge to illustrate the fact that it's a very bad idea to offend a blogger, however insignificant the blog. The word, especially written, is much mightier than the sword.

Anyway, back to the boyfriend. I will call him K for Kook. (hahaha) He is really a very nice guy, they have only been going out a few months and her parents (my brother and sis in law) really like him. He comes into the house, makes himself to home, talks with them, plays games with them and otherwise makes himself a part of the family. He's 19, has his own car, holds down a good, steady job and, last but certainly not least, treats my niece with respect. They get along great. She likes visiting his family as well, by the way.

That said.

There was one point when K came in the front door while I was in the kitchen, and I heard him ask; "Are those weird people still here?" Uh-huh. Then of course, knowing that we were, he came into the kitchen and said the lame, bonehead's usual excuse; "Just kidding." Yeah, right. "Just kidding" has got to be the most overused, insincere and trite phrase ever invented for backpedaling once you have stated what you really do think and believe, but are too much of a wuss to own up to. If you are thinking something rude about someone and have the kahunas to open up your mouth and say it out loud in that person's hearing, at least have the grace to own up to it and let the other person have a go at saying what his opinion is of you. Don't weenie out of it by trotting out, "Just kidding."

Now you understand what I was saying about sweet retaliation, but are probably wondering where salting cows comes in. Go back up and read paragraph number 2 again. I was telling this to hubby and saying something along the lines of how my sister in law told me these things when I was speaking to her of the situation. "Ah-ha!" My husband says; "He's salting the cow to get the calf." Yet another country saying. When you have your cows out on the range and want to get their calves you put salt out by (or maybe in) the corrals to get them to come in off the range. We would perhaps say of K: "He's buttering up the mother to get the daughter." No, hubby says he's salting the cow to get the calf. I just laughed and laughed. I hope my sister-in-law isn't insulted by that saying, but I guess it goes along the lines of when Moe (from Five Ballerinas Named Moe) said she liked the saying "getting the wrong sow by the ear" even though it could be insulting if used in an office full of women who have different phone lines they answer.

What a hoot.

I will get back to blogging about dairy matters in coming days, as I am given a chance to get on the computer. The storms and lightning have been hitting when I want to get on the computer. It's most annoying.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

West Coast trip, part 3; Graduation Interminable

(Disclaimer: Please do not think, while you are reading this, that I am not impressed with the students or school about which I am blogging, it's just that when one has a squirming 15 month old in hand one's patience gets a tad thin early on in the game.)

The whole point of this West Coast trip was my niece's high school graduation in Portland. Let me tell you how that went.

She went to Portland Christian High and was one of 73 who graduated on 1 June 2008. The ceremony was held in a large church in Vancouver, Washington. Her boyfriend (more on him in a later post..hehehee) was gracious enough to save us seats and, thank God, it was a pew in the very back of the auditorium.

They started the ceremony, the graduates paraded in. A couple of faculty had to speak, a student had to speak. Then an international student who was graduating had to speak. (The school has an excellent international program.) Then they had to honor ALL the international graduates. Then they had to honor all the international graduates' parents. Then the band had to play its number and then one of the students had to play her harp. Then they had to acknowledge every student who had earned some kind of honor during the course of their school career; drama (my niece was honored in this category), athletics, attendance, languages, speech and so forth and so on. Some students received multiple honors, their accomplishments were quite impressive.

It was at this point in the ceremony that I lost track of things because after 2 days of not having had a BM it was at this auspicious moment, during the whole reason for this West Coast trip as I stated earlier, that Ellen decided it was time to fill her diaper. She had been restless all along anyway, but now we had to get up and leave (I was grateful for the back row pew at that time). So there I was wandering around the halls looking for a place to change her. It took a while but I found the place. Apparently I wasn't the only one with a restless child; there were quite a few youngsters out in the halls. After I had changed her I stayed out in the hall with the others and watched the ceremony through the windows. Thankfully I missed most of the blessing thing. One of the faculty (I dunno if it was the principal or not) had to say a prayer for each student individually and assign them a word that described their personality. My niece was "counselor," a term her parents were somewhat at a loss to understand as applied to her, but anyway. This whole thing was a nice touch, no doubt, but it is amazing how long it takes to bless 73 students individually.

After the blessing they showed a "video" of all the baby pictures and the graduation pictures of each of the 73 students. Then there was another speech, I think, after which the choir had to get up and sing a couple songs and THEN they finally had the passing out of the diplomas.

Two hours and 10 minutes later graduation was over. Yea! I am terribly proud of my niece and all of her accomplishments. She has had quite a few hurdles in her life and has overcome them to do really well for herself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

West Coast Journey part two...A Lap Full!

Everyone generally asks how Ellen did on the plane. She did very well, much better than I had worried about. She sucked her thumb during take-off and then she'd go to sleep. A couple of times she was asleep before we even left the ground.

On the very first flight, from Missouri to Denver, I was very nervous about what to do with her, so I had packed a bunch of things for her to eat and do. Inside the airport she was still wide awake (even after a 3:00 AM awakening and an hour ride to the airport) so she played around a bit. Then, as we were sitting waiting to board, she decided to take a break and sit in my lap. About 30 seconds later I felt this warm and wet sensation on my leg. *sigh* Yes, a minute or so before they call for us to board she wets on my leg. It wasn't TOO terribly bad so I just wrapped her in my coat and figured I fix it in Denver.

On this first flight she stayed awake for the first half hour or so because she was hungry. Well, to make a long story not take applesauce as a snack for your baby. It's just not a good idea when she is a lap passenger, you will likely end up wearing much of it.

After she had eaten more manageable fare she finally fell asleep, at which point she drooled on my front.

So, in the first hour or so of my journey from the Mid-West to the West Coast I was peed on, applesauced on and spit on. A rather auspicious beginning.

In Denver I fixed the wet clothes situation (though by then they were dried). I had brought extra for the both of us in case something like that were to happen.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

West Coast Journey, part one..of Airlines and Gimpers

(Haven't had a chance to get on-line in the past couple of days; Thurs Ellen had her 15 mo check-up and Fri it was stormy all day.)

The West Coast vacation/trip started off with a bang. On Thurs May 22 I called to confirm my flight from MO to CA on 24 May. I was told by the airline that there was no record of my having a flight on that date and furthermore the flight I was scheduled for no longer existed! I was told to call Expedia-the web company I booked it through. OK. I called Expedia and "Ramon" helped me out. In Feb I had originally booked a round trip from MO to CA, then I called a couple weeks later and tried to make it a round trip from MO to CA on 24 May to OR on 31 May and back to MO on 7 June. However, the United Airlines dude who had helped me had cancelled the first leg of the trip from MO to CA on 24 May, so I was booked from CA to OR on 31 May and from Or to MO on 7 June. Great.

To make a long story short (literally) ONE HOUR AND 47 MINUTES after I called Expedia to try and straighten the whole mess out I ended up having to buy a whole new ticket from United Airlines to get from Missouri to CA on 24 May! I had to muddle my way through to the United supervisor and managed to get the ticket for $296, instead of the extra $1,000 they told me I would have to spend.

By the end of the hour and forty seven minutes Ramon from Expedia and I were great friends; both of us having spent most of the time on hold by United Airlines. Ramon worked for Expedia, in the Philippines. He said there were 500 employees there and it was one of the most sought after jobs in the area. (No wonder our economy is going down the tubes here in the US) He said he's a law student and had been fortunate enough to have parents well-off enough to send him to fairly prestigious schools to learn English, which he spoke really well. Somewhere around the hour mark I thanked him for his help and he advised me that it was no problem; he was a gimper he said...always ready to go the extra mile for his customers. If I had been in any condition to be amused at the time I would have laughed. It just seemed so incongruous with my problem.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back on the Dairy!

It's good to be back home...Dorothy had it right in the end: "There's no place like home." Even if it is hot and humid. But actually it's cooled down quite a bit here, so that is nice.

My traveling stories are still in the gel stage, but I will try and get them recorded as soon as possible. As a teaser though, here is a picture of Ellen at the beach. The whole time I was on the West Coast, both in CA and in OR, the weather was somewhat disagreeable, but I managed to find a fairly tolerable day and take Ellen to the beach while we were in CA. She loved the sand, look at her hands. In the background, through the fog, you can see what is called, "Trinidad Head," a large outcropping of rock that resembles a gigantic whale. That is where the lighthouse and fog horn are located. I grew up hearing the fog horn blatting on foggy nights. We were quite a few miles from it, but you can hear it for a LONG, LONG ways away.

Anyway, for now, I have changed my blog header picture, I think this one looks better with the trees leafed out.
Well, I have a garden to attend to, not to mention a house to clean. Back to you later.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Post From Portland

Here I am once again in the great North West. It is cool and cloudy here; I wish I could take this weather home with me. I have a couple of great stories to tell you, however, I want to wait until I get home so I can think and tell them properly; good stories have to gel a while until they come out right.

In the meantime my niece has officially graduated. The ceremony yesterday (yes, on a Sunday afternoon-held at a church) was quite the to-do, but more on that later as well. Now begins real life; I remember those days. I am glad they are over. When hubby and I were discussing this one day not long ago I said I wouldn't want to go back and be in high school again; he thought it might be fun. Hmmmm...