Jul 21, 2010

Big Bad Mouse?

When I was here at the farm last month, I hung my laundry out to dry on the line when the weather cooperated. The first time I tried, I discovered a lone wasp making a home in the clothes pin bag. I gently shooed it out, but then I had to keep a close eye out because it buzzed around looking for its home after I evicted it. I felt bad, but I needed the clothes pins and the wasp needed to find a more natural environment to start housekeeping, so I felt justified in thinking I'd done it a favor. It hadn't gotten too far along in building either.

Maggie Dog thought the little piece of hive smelled delicious and probably would have munched it down in one bite if I had let her.

"Please can I eat it? Oh please??"

Jul 19, 2010

Adventures in Fresh Milk

My folks left for Cape Cod and a much needed vacay off the old farmstead yesterday. So, I'm holding down the fort with the help of my Aunt Sue. On Saturday, I went with my da to the farm over in Carroll county where they have a small share in a dairy herd, to pick up their fresh milk. Rich, tasty stuff. I had fresh cream in my tea yesterday morning.

These are weaned calves having their lunch, the mom cows were out in high pasture.

My madre does wonderful things with fresh, whole milk. Like making cheese!

We had homemade pizza with shiitakes, sundried tomatoes, homemade pesto and mozzarella Saturday night. My da's pizza had ground buffalo too. She left me with a nice sized block of paneer, so tonight I decided to try my hand at making paneer masala. As usual, I had to tinker with it a bit. I didn't have any tomatoes and I didn't want to bust open a half gallon can of chopped, so I used two small cans of tomato paste and added water and extra cream to get the right consistency. I used Once Again brand cashew butter and I would recommend using ground cloves. I also used some healthy olive oil instead of clarified butter. Don't forget to take out the bay leaf! My Aunt Sue can't have rice, so we ate it over whole wheat pasta. Pretty good. The paneer crumbled up, not as solid as what you get at a restaurant. But it was homemade, nutritious and delish!

Later on Saturday evening, I was out in the paddock filling the water trough and had to dash inside for my camera when I saw the clouds over the house catch the sunset. Gorgeous!

Jul 15, 2010

At Grassy Treeland Farm

Last month, I went to dinner with my folks and my aunts Sue and Jackie at the home of Annie and Russell Taub. They live on a nearby farm, where they raise ducks and chickens, and keep a hoop house and garden. They are the couple that adopted Schmoo, the dog Shaun and I rescued in Columbus. (They call her Sheila.)

Sheila Schmoo face. I think she has Cardigan Welsh Corgi in her.

She has lots and lots of room to run around with their other dog, Murray.

My dad and Annie's rooster, duking it out.

Some other faces on Annie and Russ's farm.

It's Arthur Jones Cat! Annie adopted him from my mom. Heh heh, Arthur always wanted to be a house cat. He wasn't allowed inside while living at my folks' farm because he'd bully my mom's elderly indoor cat, Kafka.

Their deck was shady and peaceful. And their bird feeders attract a wide variety.

Dinner was delicious, the weather was wonderful, and it was an enjoyable visit.

King Kong

Romeo wanted to go to the park two weekends ago, when I was still in Colorado. But it was rainy and humid. AND the World Cup Final game was on. We were both a little restless, but I distracted him with treats in his kong.

Jul 14, 2010

Bunny Bathhouse

Here is Sadie trying to take a bath in peace. Sorry for the angle. As you can see, she shot me some long disapproving stares for invading her privacy. Then she washed her face and went into what Shaun calls "loaf mode".

Jul 13, 2010

Synthetic women?

I'm fascinated with anthropology. We humans are a strange, complicated bunch. Check out this Nat Geo Taboo vid, part of an episode entitled Strange Love. To each, his or her own, but I feel sad for these individuals and I have to admit, a little weirded out. The reasons they give for preferring synthetic dolls over live women are the same reasons a lot of other people give for preferring live partners: intimacy, shared interests, etc. Of course we all have times where we need solitude as well, but finding that balance is one of the rewarding aspects of a healthy intimate relationship, isn't it? What is missing in their culture and lives that makes them avoid commitments to live people? Could this really be a way of dealing with a form of Asperger's syndrome? Are they simply unaware of the joys of interacting with other individuals? Apparently, this lifestyle works for them or so they say. What do you think?

If you get a chance, check out the rest of this Taboo episode here.

Jul 12, 2010

Horses in My Dreams

I can't wait to get back to Ohio! I leave Friday for the farm. I'm going to spend all my time in the barn, on horseback, and cutting a riding trail in the woods. ^-^ It'll be a chance to help out my folks and also enjoy some much needed solitude.

I was listening to PJ Harvey earlier, hence the blog title. I went through some soundtrack albums too, while I was cleaning my desk this afternoon. Here:

Tom Burlinson is so darn cute.

What hopelessly romantic girl doesn't love the story Wuthering Heights? Thank you, Ms. Bronte! This version with Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes is wonderfully done.

Jul 10, 2010

Look Around You

"Change your heart. Look around you. Change your heart, it will astound you." Any Beck fans out there?

In the middle of chaos, there are tiny stories being told. There are tiny lives being saved. There are some good human people saving them. Learn about them here.

Jul 8, 2010

Was Once My Home

Last month on the 14th while I was still staying with the folks in Ohio, I had some errands to run in town. I decided to take a couple hours to get out and wander, so I scooped up my SX10 and off I went.

This was the first house we lived at in Ohio, when we moved from Pikeville, Kentucky when I was just five. When we lived in it, the bottom half of the house was painted chocolate brown.

Since Mount Union bought the house, it has been used as some kind of campus office/s. There used to be a small garage behind the house, with a small workshop attached, where my da kept his metal working tools. Now it is small car lot. Shame.

My brother, sister and I played here just behind the house. There's always been this little path back behind the houses, it's how all the neighborhood children used to get around, on foot or bike.

Across the street is Mount Union College's campus. I used to see it every morning from these windows.

Just down the street on campus is the college's performing arts building, where we had piano lessons and recitals as kids.

Down the street the other way is Parkway Elementary, where I walked to and from school from kindergarten through second grade. It's hardly changed from the outside.

The town library has hardly changed at all in all the years I've known it. Several of the same librarians that checked out my books when I had no front teeth and a pixie cut are still there today.

We used to walk our dogs to this little grassy spot on the west side of the block, three doors down from the old house. They've put up landscaped flowers and a sentimentally overdone lawn chair. I stopped there for a few minutes to meditate. Then I drove home to Bowman Road.

Jul 7, 2010

Today's Musical Selection


Snacking Lagomorph, Jealous Canine

The wee Dee, looking smug. And some alfalfa crumbs.

Romeo Dog, looking jealous & annoyed, and ready for his Milkbone cookie.

Jul 6, 2010

A Full Rich Day

Father's Day, June 20th. We (my da, my ma, my Aunt Jackie, and I) went over to Wooster for a Father's Day dinner with some family friends that evening last month here. It had been a busy, get up and go day on the farm. I rode some horses and gave them each a bath. Jackie had fun breaking in the new tiller.

My parental units. Cute, eh?

My da's profile.

Family and friends and food.

I had a grilled chicken with avocado sammich on divine homemade multigrain bread, with homemade chips. I was pretty full, but couldn't resist trying the Bananas Foster. Num num!

Peaceful dusk from my bedroom window. In the lane of tall pines on the east side of the house, the wind made sounds like the sea in sand. And from the pond nearby, came the bullfrogs' deep, slow, bass voices.

My mother's familiar, Elfine (elf-EEN) knows what pillows are for and has no qualms about stealing mine.

Good night!

Sweet dreams, Elfie!