Tuesday, May 31

The Plague

Sunrise This Morning
(Those are my calf hutches..or CalfTel's as they are called)

You know what it means when it's already light at 5:45 am?
When you start sweating as soon as you walk out the door?
When the sun is RED as it comes up?

It means it's gonna be hot today.

The heat isn't so bad..it's the jeans-sticking-to-your-butt humidity that gets me.
I get old-man-saggy-tractor-butt.
That's yucky.
I went to the grocery store like that yesterday..and by golly dared anyone to look for more than a second, because by the time I made it to the store I was OVER the day.

Yesterday was fairly 'normal' though...some breeding, some treating, some retained placenta pleasantries..oh and taught my twin heifer to stand and drink a bottle.  Victory!

The thing that put me ova the top was the plague of cicadas, or locusts, or devil bugs as I call them...(they came OUT OF THE GROUND people...helloooooo).
I am about tired of people saying "oh, well I haven't even heard them..are they bad?" or "we don't have them here..what do they look like?"..sigh.

They are big, have red eyes, scream and have a kamikaze flight pattern.

I feed my dairy cows in the afternoons and something about the equipment (tractor, loader) must attract these demonic creatures because they are on me like white on rice.
Pre-plague: 1 hour and 15 minutes feeding time.
Current:  2 hours feeding time.
It takes me an extra 45 minutes to feed.  This 45 minutes is spent strategically driving the loader so that I can dodge the death-bombs as they come at me as well as swatting them OFF OF ME.
I.Can't.Stand.Bugs. (Even the small ones). Ew. Step on it.

I have had them in my hair, on my eye and mouth.  I have got to learn to keep my mouth closed when I concentrate.

I don't know what YOU did to cause the gates of the underworld to open up and turn these loose..but take.it.back.

My dogs can only eat so many.

Monday, May 30

Just My Luck

Did you read my blog yesterday?  Remember how I said my new baby heifer was too weak to stand? 
No?  Well, read it cuz I did.

Anyway, as it turns out she was a twin.  Yep.  I saw her twin when I was walking down to my mom's house to tell my brother, Mercy, about the new calves since he would be feeding that evening for me.  (His name is not Mercy I just call him that.  Maybe I'll explain that later..when I talk about my blind dog or something).

Yeah, so, walking beside the dry cow lot and I saw a white lump in the field...I didn't have to channel Nancy Drew to figure this one out.  Sigh...back-of-throat axasperated-noise...Twin...Yay.  Ask ANY dairyman what they think of twins and they will all give you the same answer.  They don't like 'em. 

Lemme break it down for ya:
Boy+Girl= Girl cannot reproduce(called freemartin)...This.Is.My.Luck.  Every time.  Like having a chocolate cake and not being able to eat it...bad analogy..but what's a female to me if she can't reproduce?
Girl+Girl=  MONEY.  But this never happens to me.

Before you get all riled up I will grant that some people like my dad will swear up and down that a freemartin is not always a freemartin and you shouldn't assume so....What.Eva. 

Apparently the cow had one calf..the boy..beside the fence, then got thirsty and went to get a drink..after her refreshment she took the notion to lay down right.there and have baby number two..the girl. 

Funny how they do that.  I once had a cow have 3 calves in a 24-hour period.
Two boys and a girl. 
Why does fate tease me so?

I know right?  Did it ever occur to me to check and see if there was another in there?  No Yes.  I just hadn't gotten around to it..that's all. 

Here are my current cuties:
The boy
 The girl (I couldn't resist showing you here knock-knees!)
 And the two of them...already acting like brother and sister.

I love 'em.
Useful or not I love 'em.
Stubborn as snot..I still love 'em.

I find at least one 4-leaf clover every.day.  No joke. 
So I didn't luck out on the whole twin thing this time around but maybe I really am lucky!?
I get to do what makes my heart content each and every day..that's pretty lucky.

At least I think it is:)

Sunday, May 29

Taking the Day Off

Yes those are two Peacocks fighting.

And yes, this place is a 3-ring circus.

I don't know much about the Peacock psyche but I'm guessing that since the dominant male was killed yesterday(don't be too sad he was mean), they are "deciding" who will rule the harem.

But, like I said I'm not a Peacockologist.  Or Peaologist.  Or..real.smart.

But guess what?  I'm taking the day off.  That's right..Day.Off.

Since I am currently writing this from work, I need to explain my definition of "day off".

Day Off:  Arriving at work at the normal time, fixing things that need to be fixed, feeding calves, treating cows, and "duct-taping" things so they will hopefully hold together after I leave..which will probably be around 10 am.

I know right?  Control.Freak.
Das me.

Had I taken a full don't-even-show-up day off I would not have been here to tube-feed my very new baby who, when she was born, did not have the strength to stand up and nurse on her own. 

Das me.

But I'm excited about what will happen after I leave...LAKE!!!  Woohoo!!!  All I wanna do is lay in the sun.  Period.  I have been so tired every day this entire week and my feet hurt..and wahhh. 

So, if you love me..or just don't want to read my complaints..say a little prayer that today won't be a 3D day(that's Death, Disease and Disaster) and I will be able to relax.  Chuck would appreciate it.

Das me.

Saturday, May 28

Little Honduran Boy

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am nothing more than a glorified Honduran around here.  Actually I often feel like I work for them. (sigh).

I guess that's the up-side to not being willing able to speak or comprehend English..they always have the upper hand.

I know what you are thinking and the answer is NO!  I will NOT take my free time and spend it learning Spanish!  Take that! Ha!  Besides it never fails, when there is something I need to tell them and cannot show them I run and get my English-Spanish dictionary, look up the "correct" word, practice saying it a couple times, and then "present" it to them.  And do you know what happens EVERY TIME?  They have no idea what I am saying.  Yep.  I can even show them the word in the dictionary and they still look at me like I am from another planet.  Uggggghhhhhh.

So then I, the glorified Honduran, do it myself.  Which is exactly what they want.  I'm onto them. 

I can remember taking Spanish in high school and college...I mean I did most of the time show up to that class.  Heh.  However, I simply don't often need to order chicken fajitas with cheese...at work.

Sometimes when they are telling me something I act like I cannot understand them as well..but as long as I can pick two or three words out of their rambling I can solve the mystery. When they think I can't understand,  for some reason, they speed up a little and start using their hands a.lot.  This scares me. 

But you know what I have noticed?  They don't yell the words because they know that I am not deaf, I'm just not real smart.  When non-Spanish speaking people try to communicate with the Hondurans they YELL, thinking that if they are louder the noise will seep into their Honduran-brains and suddenly they will comprehend English.  I have witnessed this production and it even embarrasses me.

The Yeller: "DEW YEW KNOW WHERE RAY-CHAL  IS-A?"  (FYI by yelling everything the redneck-southern accent tends to become more obvious).
My poor Honduran:  Blinks.

Felt sorry for them for a second there didn't ya?  Yeah well don't.  They have this figured out.  They tell me they aren't working tomorrow?  They won't work tomorrow because, lets face it, I can't.argue.  I have gotten really good at making those exasperated noises in the back of my throat though.  That's something. 

Chuck even knows how it works around here.  He caught on pretty quick...it all became clear after the first time they screwed up and he had to talk me off the "ledge".  Trust me, he can tell when happiness starts getting a few things together for an overnight-trip...he get reeeaaalll quiet.

Last winter I was on the phone with him while he was driving by here looking for me.  I was walking straight toward him..plain as day..and he still said he couldn't find me.  Granted I was Carhartt head-to-toe..I looked like a walking brown-blob...all you can see in the winter is my face.

Me:  "I'm right HEE-YAR walking toward YEW!!"
Chuck:  "Oh..is that you?  I thought it was a little Honduran boy."

Everyone's a comedian.

Wednesday, May 25

Million Dollar Skeet

Malinda, Del and baby Jackson are all in town and I got to cook for them last night!  You don't understand, if I have something to cook at the end of the day I will look forward to it the.entire.day.

I'm sick like that.

So I decided to make them my special lasagna with homemade bolognese sauce and lots of bechamel(KEY ingredient).  I also made some herb bread sticks which did not rise and thus became herb...crackers.  For dessert we had tiramisu which Chuck said had "whipped cream" in it and I about came unglued...ha..UUUMMMMM NO it's custard ThankYouVeryMuch, and my grandmothers chocolate pie.

SO GOOD and I don't care if it is 90 degrees outside today I.Will.Run.

Anyway, about the whole looking forward to cooking thing...it's true.  I worked my butt off all day Monday so that I could come home and make chicken pasta with veggies, blueberry-pear muffins, tiramisu and chocolate pie..all of which took me until 10 pm. 

My only downfall is that when I cook that late in the evening I start eating a little bit of EVERYTHING I am cooking.

Chuck thinks I'm crazy..and he is 100% correct.

I tell him all the time that I can't wait to go home and bake and he "oh really"'s and "that's nice"'s me when I know he is actually looking at the laptop in his car.  I'mOntoYou.  And when I talk about how much I would love to have a restaurant one day(which I already have an imaginary name and par-menu for) he unabashedly kills the dream by saying things like "and where do you plan on getting this money?", "wow the dairy business must be lucrative" and my personal favorite "BAHA!".  Thanks honey.

I envision my dreams like million-dollar skeet and he is the only one with a gun...AK-47 at that. 

Blowin' them out of the sky.

Me: "Hey I was thinking this would be a great place for a restaurant!"
Chuck: KA-BOOM!
Me:  "It could actually work!  What do you think?"

Welcome to my world.

I know he is just trying to "keep it real" by not letting me get my hopes up and I do appreciate that..but you have to have dreams right?!  He really is good to me though, and he puts up with my mop-bucket tomato plants which says alot because you know there have to be other oddities lurking about.

I will keep dreaming, cooking and driving Chuck crazy..oh and I want to leave you with this...

Yesterday I was feeding one of my groups of cows and I was backing the mixing-wagon out of the barn..which you absolutely cannot see around..and when I began to turn the corner...

This is what I saw...

Oh my gosh I love them so much!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 23

Pulling Calves and Baking Rolls...It's What I Do

It's almost 7am and I am already sweaty(sigh)...this should be a good day.

But for real I can handle the heat..it's the cold that gets me.

I arrived at work this morning at my normal 5:50-time and headed to feed calves..I WishWishWish you could see what I go through every.single.morning. with my blind dog.  There are not enough sighs and mental eyerolls to describe it.  But I'll save that for another time. 

On my way to the babies I noticed that I had not one, but two cows calving..this is nothing new happens daily..HOWEVER, one of them was doing waaaayyy more talking(mooing) than pushing.  Problem.

Seeing as she is a 6-year old, who is no stranger to the birthing process, I decided to continue feeding babies and keep my eye on her.

6:20...still NO baby..she wants to stand around and moo.  Ugh.  Nevermind that there are two feet sticking out plain as day..she would rather tell everyone about her trials and tribulations.

It's not like she is a first-time mother here..the calf can't possibly be that big because I bred her...if she would just LAY DOWN she could give birth to a Mini Cooper for goodness sakes.

So I rolled up my sleeves, got her in the barn, grabbed my puller and pulled the baby girl(hoooray!) out. 

5 minutes. Done. 

There are few things I could do that would make me feel more accomplished that when I pull a calf and look at their goooey little faces and watch their eyes kinda roll around when they blink.  This is also the point when I thank the Good Lord that humans don't have to lick their children off.

Whew!  Now that's a relief!

Oh..but before I head back out to check on the other momma calving I just want to share a couple of things...

My nephew Jackson was dedicated at church yesterday!!!  Aren't they such a beautiful family!

And I have found a new recipe site for ideas..well it's new to me anyway..www.kingarthurflour.com..SO many good ideas like these yeast rolls that I made on Saturday!

I changed it a bit(story of my life) and mixed half a can of Dulce de Leche combined with a little sweetened condensed milk, coconut extract and cornstarch..cooked that until it thickened..poured the mixture over the unbaked rolls..baked them and sprinkled sea salt on top. 

Doesn't that just make you sigh?  Sweet.Yeast.Rolls.  Heaven!

I combined the other half of the Dulce de Leche with a package of cream cheese and melted cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips last night, and used it as the frosting for my buttermilk brownies.


Okay I gotta go check on my newborns:).

Friday, May 20

Shake It Like...A Bag of Ice Cream?

I did it!!
I made ice cream...without an ice cream maker!!  Wooohooo!

Just so you know, I will NEVER do it again without one.Period.ExclamationPoint.Period.

Yes, Sunny Anderson from the Food Network, anyone can make ice cream even without an ice cream maker...
Doesn't mean you should.

And I already know what you're thinking..NO I didn't use milk from my cows(sigh)..gotta make a living here people..I used, buttermilk(mmmmm tangy) and cut up peaches which I pureed with coconut cream..as well as a few other ingredients.

The reason that you should never do this without mechanical help is all in the process.  You have to put the ice cream concoction in a plastic bag and then put that into a container filled with ice and salt....

Then you shake...

and shake...

and sweat shake..

..while you think about Sunny's smiling face saying "the creaminess depends on how much you shake!!"...

and you grind your teeth while you shake..

Finally I decided..after 20 minutes and a lot of sweat..that mine was as creamy as I could ever want and put it in two containers in the freezer.

The product was actually delicious!!

Chuck enjoyed the half.spoonful.he.ate.
Don't even go there, mmmk?

I have already looked up Cuisinart ice cream makers--I really want the red one--and have been dreaming up new recipes!

Gonna take some to the cookout tomorrow night and see if anyone without bias taste buds likes it too!  I may even take a picture as proof!

Thursday, May 19

Don't Call Me a 'Ride-Along'

Or 'skinny', for that matter.

I can't stand being called skinny.  Ally McBeal was skinny.  I'm fit or lean or athletic..but NOT skinny.  I work..skinny people don't carry calves on their shoulders folks.  It's true.

As for ride-along...I even curl my lip when I say it..I say that with about as much disdain as I harbor for processed meat.  Ew.  I.Do.Not.Buy.Processed.Meat.  (I don't buy bread either but that's for an entirely different reason having to do with rate of consumption and shelf-life). 

I have had a few opportunities where I have been able to ride...alongside Chuck while he is supervising a shift.  Unfortunately the majority of those shifts have been graveyard and I don't get into the car until 9pm and generally flake out around 12 or, if I'm feeling like an overachiever, 1am.  Party.Animal.

Each time I get to do this I am considered a ride-along..ew.  Like I'm some sort of wannabe!  The nerve.  Don't they know I'm a partner?  A co-supervisor?  Pssshhhh

It's pretty cool though, I have to admit.  One time we ran "emergency traffic"..lights and sirens and EVERYTHING!  Plus we drove Real.RealFast and had to dodge the jackwagons who evidently have brain-burps when they see flashing lights.

I guess I was sort of overwhelmed at all that was going on, and was unable to say.anything.  I did, however, notice that he kept hitting his horn...while the lights and sirens where doing their thing...and I was so bewildered....

 Does he realize his horn is NOT blowing?
Does he really think people can hear that OVER the sirens?
Someone should tell him because he looks silly!

After the emergency was over, and I regained my ability to speak, I asked him about it and he told me that the horn changes the siren tone..oohhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

Well that makes perfect sense...partner..hehehe.

Wednesday, May 18

My Ghetto Garden

I want to start out by giving a shout to all my fans..the 5 of you who keep reading my blog.  It warms my heart to know that when you are in desperate need of something to do you turn to me.

I also want to take this moment to tell you how a-mazing dinner was last night!  Yes, I did make it but last nights was exceptional because I did not use one.single.recipe.  Ha!  Rosemary pork tenderloin(rosemary from my OWN garden thank you), mashed potatoes(flavored with Gruyere, garlic and rosemary), asparagus(with toasted sesame oil), cornbread..oh and I made a Dijon-mushroom sauce to go with. 

But by far the best part was the cherry-peach crisp with vanilla ice cream=Heaven.

Chucks dad, Saigon, seemed to enjoy it was well...he and Chuck both share a love for food-testing.  And I am thankful for that.

Saigon comes over, eats and we talk about my garden while Chuck makes fun of my new found plant love.

I don't think I have ever talked about my garden before.  That is my 'ghetto garden'.  I'm pretty tickled with it really.  Apartment-living is not always conducive to gardening..what with space and light requirements but I make it work.

I decided to plant an herb garden because I was tired of paying $1.99 for 3 sprigs of Rosemary..I mean come.on.  So I bought the herbs I use most often..plus mint because it seemed necessary..and voila!!

That's it bottom left..with flowers for color:)
I decided I had better tell Chuck and after making fun of me for hours he gave me his full support!  Woohoo!

So...after that I somehow ended up acquiring 7 heirloom tomato plants..those that you see on the right in the picture.  I didn't bother telling Chuck because I knew he would already make fun of  love the idea!  Tomato plants need a lot of soil..(don't EVER go into a garden center and tell them you need a bag of "dirt"..bad baaaaad idea. It is "soil" and they think very highly of it)..and all I had was a single pot that Holly used to live in.  Ummmm about Holly..she was a Christmas Cactus that I got Chuck one time when he was sick(because everyone knows a Christmas Cactus brings the joy).  Anyway, Holly contracted some sort of life-ending disease that had to do with dehydration..don't ask..the medical terminology is tremendous. 

I digress.

So ONE tomato plant had a home...I looked around and being that I am creative I grabbed Chuck's mop-bucket.  Really?  I once cleaned the floor with a (single) Clorox wipe.  Do we need a bucket?  Besides I was fulfilling its bucket-dream of providing life!  Right!? 

I didn't bother telling Chuck because I set them on the table DIRECTLY IN FRONT of the patio door, so that when the blinds were open we could enjoy the view of the garden...I did not, however, take into account that he is possibly the most oblivious person on.the.planet.

Me: "Hey honey did you open those blinds today?"
Chuck: "Yeah I was letting some light in...why?"
Me:  "Oh(pause, pause, pause) nothing.Nevermind."
Then he saw it...
Chuck:  "You used my mop bucket??  How am I going to mop the floor??"


The next day...

It was Hello-Kitty'd.

Monday, May 16

I'm a "3rd Year" Herdswoman:)

Happy Monday!!  Monday shmonday I say. 
The only way I know it's Monday is because my english-speaking Honduran doesn't work Sunday and returns today.  I can now communicate.

But today is different..today is the beginning of a small happy-dance celebration.

This week marks my 3rd year anniversary as "Herdswoman", "Woman of the Herd", "Mother of the Bovine", "Dairy Queen", "Blanca Diablo"...that last one I hear most often..

Anyway I am pretty excited to have made it this long and still have my wits about me.  Maybe I'll get a fancy pen to wear on my lapel on pants-suit-Tuesday.

OK maybe I meant "wit". 

But really I don't need anything.  I know they appreciate me..I mean how could they not? By "they" I mean my animals.  Maybe..just maybe..its I who am truly appreciative of them.

Here I am gettin all sappy..

I discovered yesterday that I have over 700 pictures on my phone!  They go all the way back to when I began transforming my herd...You may not be surprised considering the amount of them I share on facebook but I was! 

I LOVE what I do.  No joke it's the hardest thing I have ever tackled..but also the most rewarding.  It is still very much a mans.world. in case you were wondering..and probably will be until the Muck Boot company makes pink chore-boots.  Oh PleasePleasePlease!  But I plug-along daily trying to win with the cards I'm dealt...calf-puller in hand.  (I mean really?? Have you seen me? This can only pull so much on its own.)

This is a tribute to my herd.  The ladies who put up with my BIG ideas and small arms(that last one is to their advantage really).

Though they don't do much talking they have taught me many things in the past 3 years..

Relationships are full of give and take.  Sometimes unlikely friendships occur and you play off of each other.
(that's a cat getting licked on the head btw)

Being top-dog is not all its cracked up to be...you learn by sitting back and listening.

No one likes a sour-puss..be approachable! Smile and make people wonder what's going on!

Creativity is a must.  At times beating the heat is necessary...

but NEVER take it for granted!

That morning sunshine is the best feeling in the world..and the early bird gets the worm,

however rest time is equally important!

A problem can seem impossible to solve

but things always work out in the end.

Bad things can happen to those who are defenseless..

and it seems like you need a superhero to save you!

Then, like a miracle, your knight in shining armour comes to save the day!

Don't EVER forget where you came from...

being different is GOOD!!

Because no matter where you came from or what you look like NO ONE loves you more than momma.

Even if you do stupid things...

after the smoke clears remember..

tomorrow is a NEW day!!  Full of possibilities!

Saturday, May 14

I'm So Pretty

I really don't expect much out of my day.  If nothing dies, blows up or overheats then I consider that a victory. 

Small victories are what I am made of.  After all you can't have everything...right?

Chuck and I don't live in the illusion that we are rocket scientists.  I do something dumb?  I fix it Realfast.  He does something dumb?  I brush it off and don't make a big deal about it...but I sure don't forget.  Those things I stick in my back pocket in times of need.  Like when I locked my keys in my truck...really?  Are you sure you wanna spar with me big boy???  Mr. "are all white horses deaf?".  That's what I thought.

We lovingly call these "pretty moments".  I had one Thursday night...and I am gonna confess it.

Yesterday was Caden's 10th birthday(yay!) so I made him brownies and wanted to make it more 'special' by creating a banner to hang in his room.  So I drug out all the construction paper, ribbon, scissors and glue sticks...made him a sign and decided to hang it over his bed.  Just so you know I am a creative force.  I come up with some fan-freakin-tastic ideas but when it comes to the follow-through I tend to lose interest and just try to get it done.

That being said, I finished the banner and hung it over his bed just as Chuck was walking in.  "Loook!" I said with wide eyes like I just wrote my name for the first time.  Him "Happy Birthday Caden..aww that's nice!"  We both stood there for a hot-minute looking at the masterpiece...

Then I noticed it (DOT DOT DOT)

The banner said "Birthday Happy Caden"....Ok now read it again cuz you probably did the same thing we did and put it in correct order without thinking...

Yeah and the moment I noticed it was far too late..I couldn't shoo him out RealFast and fix it...so instead my face turned stop-light red and I shrugged and said "well, you can't have everything".



Tuesday, May 10

Montessori School

I am a thinker.  I think..and ponder..and stew..all.day.long.  You have a problem?  Tell me and I will think about it for you.

That being said you would assume I would have already figured out how I ended up in the lucrative industry in which I am enslaved.  Ok. Not enslaved.  I really do love what I do.  I love that I can literally roll out of bed and end up at work without looking in the mirror ONCE.  I love that I don't have to talk to anyone at work if I don't wanna..ha!  Jealous yet?  Well I also frequently have poo on my neck or worse...my hair!

It was Chuck, surprisingly, who "enlightened" me.

I remember telling him about how I used to help feed baby calves with my babysitter when I was little.  He asked me what Malinda was doing while I was feeding and I told him that she was attending Montessori school.  His reply was "Ohhhhhh".    Light-bulb-just-came-on kinda "oh"'s.

Now every time I tell him about some less-than glamorous aspect of my daily routine I get a "you shoulda gone to Montessori school then you coulda been a doctor like your sister". 

Thanks mom and dad.

Maybe I'm not book-smart OK?  Maybe I'm just street-smart.  Kinda like like being not real smart but imaginary smart.  Because we all know how much there is to learn on the mean-streets of Greenback.

Malinda recently received a HUGE award and I of course told Chuck about it (bragged is more accurate).   I bet you will neva guess what he said..."Well if your parents had only loved you enough to send you to Montessori school then maybe you could receive an award"...DOT DOT DOT.

Needless to say our kids WILL attend Montessori school if he has anything to say about it. 

I see nothing wrong with the way I grew up.  I mean I ROCKED a jean skirt and carried my blankey and woh-woh(toy dog) while carrying calf bottles.  A BORN multi-tasker if you ask me.

Monday, May 9

Satisfaction Guaranteed

I don't know that I could possibly have a more satisfying job.  At the end of each day I am so tired, smelly and OVER it that I can't help but pass out at night.  If I get into bed and actually have to think about sleeping..something is wrong.

There are a couple of things on my mind this morning.  The first of which is the new baby that graced us with its(I haven't checked gender) presence in the wee hours of the morning. I LOVE LOVE LOVE coming to work and looking across the road at my mommas-to-be and seeing a mini version of them running around, healthy as can be. 

There are, however, those other mornings which I also must deal with.  You know the ones.  They make you say "really?" out loud.  Those mornings consist of anything from a cow walking around with a calf sticking halfway out, "missing" babies and mamacita.

Mamacita is super-mom.  When she is in my dry cow lot..close to calving..anything that hits the ground is HERS. And she will fight you for it.  She is a big ol' 7-year old Holstein baby thief.  That's right.  Thievin hussy.  I have seen her claim Jersey calves, go stand between a momma and her baby and call a newborn from across the field..trying to woo it with her mommaish ways. I'm onto her trickery. 

This was not her baby and I am hoping to relocate the pair before mamacita discovers the addition.  She isn't due til June..and I justcan'twait.

One disadvantage to having my dry cow lot next to the road is that I am forced to meet new jackwagons.  Never fails..if I am going to have a calf it WILL be born next to the road and someone-who obviously knows more than me-WILL stop and tell me about it.  LikeIcan'tSEE!

Jackwagon: "Hey I was just gonna let you know that you have a baby COW in this field."
Me: (sigh, mental eyeroll, sigh) "Ok thanks." (Short, sweet, and NICE).
Jackwagon:  "Are you gonna do something about it?"
Me:  (pause..sigh..obvious eyeroll)  "Well seeing as this has never happened before..what do YOU think I should DO?"
Then they roll their window up and drive off.
I don't like meeting new people.

OK now to the second thing on my mind...I make some MEAN muffins and I wanna share the recipe.  This is an adaptation(lots of trying and failing) of basically every muffin recipe I have ever read.  Oh! And they are HEALTHY!  That got you. 

I like bread and if I can make a "healthier" version..that is edible..I like sharing it.  (If you don't like it then you probably made it wrong...kidding..but I don't wanna hear about it.) 

A Healthier Muffin

Dry Ingredients:
1 3/4 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour (I used King Arthur..same benefits as whole wheat flour just a different type of wheat).
2 Tsp  Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar(you can use any type of sugar..I like Turbinado because it has not undergone the extensive refining process like granulated).
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ginger(you can grate fresh or use dried..I used dried).
Pinch of Seal Salt
Pinch of Ground Cloves

Wet Ingredients:
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Skim Milk (can use whole, Buttermilk, Goats milk..doesn't matta).
1/4 Cup Oil (I used vegetable oil).
8 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt

Chop(1/4 inch) basically ANY kind of seasonal fruit and add to muffins!  I used 1 Peach  but you can use strawberries, mango, apple, nectarines, cherries..anything!  But try not to add more than 1 cup chopped.
I also added a handful of dried cranberries and pecan pieces(try raisins, dried blueberries...etc..)
Shredded coconut(optional)

Oven to 350 degrees.
Grease(or line) a 12-cup muffin tin.
Mix together dry ingredients and make a well in center.
Mix together wet ingredients(in separate bowl, silly).
Add the wet to the dry and mix..JUST until the dry ingredients are moistened!!
DO NOT over mix!! LUMPS are OK!
Fold in fruit and nuts.
Fill muffin cups(should be enough for 12 on.the.money.).
Top with shredded coconut if you want..I think it adds a lil somethin somethin.
Bake on center rack in oven for 15 minutes.(Check at 12 and continue cooking until toothpick inserted comes out dry-ish..not bone-dry.)
Cool in pan for a couple minutes then put on wire rack to cool completely.

I manage to eat on mine for about a week by putting them in a storage bag in the refrigerator.  I leave the bag open so that they are less likely to mold as fast.

I think I remember everything I did correctly...soemtimes things slip my mind..

Sunday, May 8

The Heat(aka my Mom)

Today we celebrate Mother's Day and in honor of this day I would like to post some "Mom moments in history".

When Malinda and I were younger mom would come and tuck us in and kiss us goodnight then we would yell "I LOVE YOU" as she turned the light off in the hall.  Malinda (who was always a bit faster on the draw than me) would usually say it last.  This is not acceptable.  What if when mom went to bed the last thing she could remember for the day was Malinda's little voice telling her she loved her??  She wouldn't even remember the chubby little sidekick to her intelligent daughter Malinda!  So I would always scream "ILOVEYOUTHEBESTINTHEWHOLEWIDEWORLD!!"..because NO ONE could love her more.  (I have recently added ".com" to the end in hopes of keeping up with the times.)

She had timing down.pat.  It's not that I was necessarily more trouble than Malinda...I just wasn't quite as stealthy.  Somehow Mom would always discover the "thing" I had done and catch me while I was in the bathtub...coincidence? Ithinknot.  Pudgy wet leg+mom's hand=YEEOWCH. 

She goes by "The Heat".  No kidding you see her in public and she will answer to it.  Not because she has an affinity for police work but because she could level a city with a.look.  I have seen grown people cry after encountering her stare.  If you see it you know your in trouble and should leave town.Immediately.  The best way to describe the way it makes you feel is if you add up EVERYTHING you have EVER done wrong and mix it with an elephant on your chest..the you will know how I felt the ONE time I forgot her birthday.  Let.Me.Tell.You about guilt.  Now it's a month-long celebration.  Actually, it's in September..is it too early to start?

She is highly allergic to everything.  She could drive by poison ivy and have a rash in her mouth the next day.  She once got stung on the forehead by a bee and jumped in the car without saying a word...mind you there were 3 kids diving into open doors and hanging out windows because she neglected to tell anyone.  The next day I walked in the house and she was standing with her back to me and I started telling her something..she turned halfway and I kept talking she then turned all the way facing me and awwwwwww..no joke..it was like two-face on Batman.  Half of her face was chubby from the bee sting.

There are so many more famous "Mom moments in history" but I have to hop off here and treat my sick cows.

I love you mom.

Saturday, May 7

Mental Eyeroll

You would think that arriving at work by 6am and leaving around 6pm, 6 days/week (on Sunday I leave at 830pm), I would be prepared for what could possible happen (go wrong) the next day.  You would be so wrong.  The cards are stacked against me.  I work with cattle, temperamental machinery and (sigh) Hondurans.  The cows just mess with me, the equipment has a death wish and the Hondurans DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH.  Notice I did not use the word 'can't'..they simply don't try. 

 Anyway, I finished feeding calves this morning (which I truly enjoy because they are always happy to see me) and sat down in the office to check my email.  Let me just say that I try not to be around the dairy barn during milking time because my workers will ask me possibly the dumbest questions and if I am not there to solve the mystery then they will figure it out..or call me.  I HATE it when they call.  This means that something has gone terribly wrong OR they can't figure out why the lights in the tank room won't work..yeah that happened.  I arrived at work that morning (at 4am) to find that the light switch was off (mental eyeroll).  Today Victor(the name he chooses to go by) came into the office, stood there, yelled "HOLA", then proceeded to say a wholebunchofstuff realfast.  From the 5-minute conversation (during which I spoke with my eyes) I got the we are out of oxytocin(look it up).  Being that I get this from my vet and he is in Madisonville, I tell Victor "ok". He stands there smiling, nodding.  I say "ok".  He motions for me to follow.  (sigh, mental eyeroll, sigh).  I say "I'll get SOME"...yeah I kinda yelled that last word because everyone knows if you SAY IT REAL LOUD AND SLOW THEY WILL UNDERSTAND.  He leaves.  Then I remembered that we were close to being out of dish soap yesterday..super. Can't wait for THAT conversation.

Friday, May 6

Feline Brothel

Let me start out by saying I DO NOT have a kitten in my office in a dog kennel.  Ok maybe I do.  Tiny and black, currently meowing her head off...driving me crazy.  I'll give some background information as to why exactly this has happened to me.  There must be a billboard or ad in the paper that reads: "don't like your pet? then take it to the local dairy farm! they LOVE stray animals". 

We go through a 50 pound bag of cat food PER WEEK.  Ridiculous! Sometimes special trips are made just to get cat food!  I got my birthday gift a month after my birthday this year..but heaven forbid these cats get hungry.  I can literally NOT step out of my office(this term is used rather loosely) door if they have not been fed in the last 2 hours.  And what happens if I run out of food?  I will exit via the side door that goes through a number of gates and obstacles because I'm afraid they might eat ME.  You should hear the noises they make.  It must ALWAYS be breeding season.  They don't know the meaning of shame..if your pickin up what I'm puttin down.(dot dot dot).

Throughout the day yesterday I would hear a kitten somewhere outside meowing and kept telling myself to "just ignore it".  Well I can't.  I have a blind dog and one that is follicly(made that word up) challenged.  I might as well have "sucker" on my forehead.  We finally crossed paths and I proceeded to pick it up and place it in front of random cats that I knew had kittens and then runawayrealfast. NOT working.  The mothers would look, smell, encirlce and eventually walk away as if they couldn't figure out exactly what that thing was.  Hookers. All of them.  I did this for a good hour and nothin.  Then I spotted her.  The 3-legged cat.  I can remember watching her carry her entire litter UP a flight of stairs.  Trust me when I saw this I stopped what I was doing and watched in awe because she was "such a good mom"...not.so.much.

So here I sit.  Contemplating how I will get this critter to eat, and what time the Co-op opens to I can pawn her off on someone there.  I'm a giver.

Thursday, May 5

He got Hello Kitty'd

Some people have a certain "thing" for super heroes, some for race car drivers, some even for political figures..my "thing" is Hello Kitty.  I dunno why.  I think it stems from a crayon box I had in elementary school.  She is cute, has attitude, LOVES pink and is a cat..what's not to adore?  Anyway, Chuck..poor Chuck..found out about this when we started dating and he bought me Hello Kitty lip gloss to go in my Easter basket(I know what your thinking).  I believe I let out some sort of squeal upon finding it and it has been ON ever since.  I'm talkin HK everwhur.  I have sheets of HK stickers..which means Chuck has to bring  his A-game at all times.  You never know where she will be..his IPod at the gym, , inside his wallet, the butt of his gun..yeah THAT happened.  I like to imagine Chuck drawing his Hello Kitty out of the holster and taking a bad guy down.  Sadly he always finds her before he gets to work.  I found this tape last night at Target(thebeststoreever) and couldn't NOT buy it.  Who knows when you will need fashionable tape..if only Chuck had a tool belt..Anyway, I noticed that the label was coming off of Chuck's medicine bottle...and water bottle...and maybe a few other things..and decided to help him out by taping them.  SO good to him.  Thus far he has found the medicine bottle repair job...I can't wait til he goes to the gym..