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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Turkle

Long, long ago, back when I was still living my California life, my sister got me a turtle.  A red-eared slider.  This was by my request, by the way.  For some reason I have always been fascinated by turtles and I wanted one awfully bad.  I put it in an old aquarium and kept it for about a year.  Unfortunately I don't think I ever actually took a photo of it; for some bizarre reason.

In any case my dad started calling it the "Turkle."  This is because his mother, my Grandmother Davis, always called them "turkles."

In June of 2015 I caught the below photo of a red-eared slider, commonly called a pond turtle around here, laying her eggs in my green bean patch.  

Then this past spring I'd pretty much forgotten all about it.  Gary tilled the garden beds and imagine my surprise when I went to plant my beets and found this:

Isn't that the cutest thing?  A baby red-eared slider.  I was enchanted, so I kept it.  It wasn't until much later that evening, after the beets were planted, that it occurred to me that there might have been more than one of them out there.  I went out to check and sure enough there was a little oval-shaped hole where one had crawled out.  I never did find it, so I hope it found its way to the pond.  But the mortality rate is pretty high.

At any rate, ours needs must have a name.  Right?  Ellen went online and looked up the most popular turtle names.  She came up with "Pebbles."  But, as is our wont around here, we have given it a nickname.  I remembered what my Dad always called them, and "Turkle" is what we call it.  A Davis family tradition being passed on.

I strongly suspect this is a female, though it is hard to tell.  You are supposed to look at the plastron, the bottom of the shell.  If it's concave it's male, convex means a female.  I believe...

The Turkle has grown by leaps and bounds.  We probably won't be able to keep it very long, due to a proper housing shortage here.  You are supposed to keep them in a tank with 10 gallons of water per inch of shell length.  She is rapidly reaching 3 inches long now, and I only keep her in a tub with maybe 2-3 gallons of water.  At this point she is happy enough, but I am going to try and get a bigger tub and larger rocks for her to climb out on so she can sun herself.  When she gets TOO big, maybe in a year or two (females can reach 12-13 inches in length) I will let her go back to nature. 

Until then we will enjoy watching her little quirks. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Full Bull Story

This actually happened on Sept 1st.  I started this on Sept 2nd, but have had in draft since then.  LOL  In the intervening time I have forgotten quite a few details....maybe on purpose!  Haha

To begin with let me just say that  in the almost-13 years I have been on the dairy,  I have had minimal trouble with any of our bulls, and have only been in dangerous situations a couple of times.  All of those times were up the road in the heifer/bull pasture where we take the open heifers to be bred for the first time, and Gary was always with me.

 (Hi! I'm Ellen :P ) (Um, this is what happens when you walk away from your blog for a moment.)

Yesterday however I was on my own.

Last year I went into the heifer/bull without hesitation as the bull was quite docile, minded his manners, and stayed with his ladies.  We were in and out of the multiple times from Nov through Feb; feeding, getting calves and cows...etc.  He didn't make a moo about it.

All summer however I had been going in the side "keyhole" access gate that goes directly into the corral, instead of taking the 4-wheeler through the big gate into the pasture.

Then yesterday I had to catch him because unfortunately his number was up to be culled.  So I thought, erroneously, that it'd be easier to catch him by going inside the enclosure, so I could nip out the gate after I closed it behind them.

Didn't work.

Soon as I went in to the pasture he saw me and came after me, chased me around a bit, with me screaming.  AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Then I threw a bucket at him which distracted him a bit until I got to the corral.  Then I grabbed the bucket of feed, tossed that toward him (as well as I could with 30 lbs of feed in it) and got to the corral.

He displayed a bit, moaned and groaned at me a bit, but I chased him away from the bucket, got the feed, or what was left, into the bunks and got him caught.

It was rather hair-raising.  He wasn't actually attacking me, per se, he was just excited about getting his breakfast.  But when an animal weighing almost a ton gets excited and shows that excitement by butting at you or your 4-wheeler, things can get out of control.    He could easily have flipped the 4-wheeler.

At any rate.  He's hamburger now and I am still around, undamaged.  So all is well.

(Thankful: thankful that God is good!  I am still alive.  Life is good!)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Here I am again


I am trying to get back into the groove here of blogging.  But I am failing abominably at it.  Nothing for it but to get back up and write about anything that comes to mind.  Here's what's happening on the dairy now.

Last Saturday I started "The Whole30" plan.  It's not really a "diet" as you'd think a diet should be.  It's more of a lifestyle change really.

There are no calories to count.
No points to keep track of.
No portions to weigh.
Just lots and lots of whole, delicious foods to eat.

A friend asked if my food was boring.  No, not really.  I am, or was, a boring eater anyway.  Though I do like the varied spices in Indian foods, and try to imitate their cuisine when I can.  I am attempting to be a bit more creative with making my meals compliant to the program.  We are supposed to go easy on the fruit, but I am probably pushing that rule to the limit.   

Here's what the basic rules consist of:

For 30 days thou shalt not consume:

Wheat, in any form
Soy, in any form.
Legumes in any form, including green peas and peanuts or peanut butter
No dairy in any form
No sweeteners of any make or model in anything
No additives like MSG, modified corn starches...etc.  They have a list.
Nothing that has any of the above as an ingredient in any amount.

If you mess up; even a lick of a spoon or a stick of gum, you start all over.

Thou shalt consume:


Easy peasy!

You do this for 30 days.  Today is day 8 for me.  I feel pretty good.  I can honestly say I don't really have any cravings for sugar or sweets now.  Today I made a batch of apple butter.  I didn't even lick the spoon.  I let Ellen taste it, she said it was good, so I took her word for it.

What I do really miss, and this sort of surprises me, is gum.  Usually I have a piece after a meal, so it's more habit than anything else.

Several people have asked "Why?"


Until I started this program I would go to bed at night berating myself for my poor food choices during the day.  I would wake up determined to do better and then fall off the wagon again.  Since Ellen was about a year old I have gained so much weight and seem to have little energy.  And no matter how I tried I just couldn't break the sweet tooth habit. I would make small efforts that would last a day or even maybe a week, and then I'd give in to the cravings and start gaining weight again.  A never-ending cycle.

It was awful.

I had come to the realization that I needed to take a drastic step.  The old cliche about the definition of insanity has a grain of truth in it; you can't expect different results if you are doing the same stupid thing over and over and over and over.

So I took a drastic step.  I am glad I did.  I sleep better at night; not only because by body is no longer trying to come down off of a sugar high, but also because I no longer feel emotionally drained by mentally flogging myself for my poor food choices.  I wake up in the morning knowing that I can eat as much as I want of wholesome foods.

Knowing without a doubt what I can and cannot have to eat really made things easy.  And for me it's kind of a fun challenge to come up with menu items for ME that the fam will eat too.  Really it's not that difficult.  A chunk of meat, some peeled veggies, salt, pepper, garlic...another spice or two: chuck it in the crock pot.  Voila! 

Tomorrow I am going to make sweet potato chili.  We shall see how that will go over.


(Thankful.  I am thankful for that scripture: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.  Several people6 have commented that they couldn't live without cream in their coffee, or some such.  But I have a promise from God to sustain me.)

(Ellen added the number above, the one that's out of place.  See if you can find it!)