Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My shape is round, Green eggs

I joke all the time. I'm in shape, my shape just happens to be round. It's really not that funny. Nothing is more pathetic than watching a fat girl try and jog. A short, fat, girl. A short, fat, girl in cowboy boots, huffing and puffing up and down the driveway. Up and down the driveway, because nothing is more pathetic to watch, and I don't want to subject everyone driving on the road to the sight. And my driveway is pretty long.

I'm not hugely heavy. Not morbidly obese. The is just more of me than I wish there to be. HA HA, I rhyme. I have gained weight though, especially this summer. It isn't healthy. I don't feel good, or feel good about myself. My joints hurt more and more often. The tendinitis in my elbow has been kicking my ass. I get tired easier. I can't do as much outside Work, and I've gotten weaker.

 I'm about 20 pounds overweight. My pants don't fit right. My boobs are ginormous and don't fit in my cute bras. Why do they only make cute bras in sizes for people with no boobs? What, big girls don't want to feel sexy too? They're going to be nekkid and under the covers with the lights out before they let their man come out of the bathroom? Big bras come in beige, white, and black. BORING! I want hawt pink, and turquoise. Something with lace. Pretty purple polka dots...

Two years ago with surgery after surgery, I wasn't eating as much. I was outside more. I looked pretty darned good. I didn't ride this summer. I sat around more eating crap. Large amounts of processed foods, and high sugar items make me hurt all over. I still eat them. Damn Dairy Queen for having a restaurant just up the road from my work. I drive past it all the time on the way to the thrift store looking for that great gadget or bargain I just can't live without. Damn me for not having any shred of will power enough to keep driving on by instead of pulling into parking lot and tying on the feed bag.

I started jogging. Actually it's more like a fast walk with a shuffling bounce. It starts out as jog. I don't get very far before it turns into a shuffling bounce. I'm doing it though is the thing. It's only been three times now in a week. It's about 275 ft down my driveway and a bit longer than that up the dirt road to Dave's pasture out back. Walk a little to catch my breath, and then jog back up to the house. I looked it up on Google maps. I have to do that 10 times to be a mile. I'm roaring and heaving to catch my breath at the end. My legs feel like jello, but dammit it, I'm sick of looking like I do. The only way to fix it, is to do something about it.

My short term goal is to jog down to Dave's and then back to the house without stopping. Longer term is to make it the whole mile. I want to work out in the pasture moving irrigation pipe without getting winded. I want to go galloping across the desert and not want to stop before the horse does.  I want to feel good, and feel good about myself. Baby steps.

What if I ended up somewhere, or in a situation where I had to travel a pretty fair distance? Work is 30 miles from home. Most people think they can walk about a mile in about 10 minutes. Sure. A mile. A single mile. After about 5 miles the average couch potato is looking for a place to sit and rest. They've been walking for about an hour and a half or so, their feet are killing them, their legs are tired. After they've sat their feet are a little swollen, and hurt three times as much after they get up and start walking again. It isn't going to take 30 hours to walk 30 miles. It's going to take three days, being reasonably out of shape. It's time to fix  my out of shape.

Bottom right and second from the right in the next row up
I make people laugh by getting excited about little things around the farm. I got to watch a chicken lay an egg the other day. I watched one of the Easter Eggers lay her first egg. I know it was her first because I've seen her going in and out of the condo the last few days like, "I know I'm supposed to be doing something in here. I feel like I should be in here. I just don't know why yet." I've peeked in on her settled down in a nest box, only to get up and walk out.

 I cracked the lid on the box the other day, sat down on a bucket and she obliged by pointed her feathered butt at me and popping out the first green egg I've seen from one of my hens. It was a little teeny green pullet egg. I was all excited. I brought it in and showed it off to Scott and Connie. I think they were more excited for me being excited, than they really were about the egg. Oh they sure thought it was nifty that we got our first green egg, but I was silly excited about it. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Major fruit score, canning everything in site

Connie and I started canning everything we could get our hands on the last week or two. I took a few of the chicken carcasses I had in the freezer from when I parted out the chickens we processed, and threw them in my giant stock pot. We let them simmer on the stove top for over 20 hours. Really we should have waited till it was cold enough to simmer them on the wood stove and not use the electricity, but what the heck. I think canned 7 quarts. Four with meat bits we picked off the bones, and three just stock. It smelled so good in my house for two days straight. 

Next was the green beans. Green beans coming out of my ears from the garden. I've never eaten so many green beans in my life. They taste so much more amazing than the crap you get out of a tin can from the grocery store. 7 quarts, 9 pints, and however much I put up in the freezer. I still want to do dilly beans, and battered fried green beans. 

The corn in was begging to be picked, canned, and eaten right off the cob, so last Sunday was a picking, shucking, canning, giant mess on my floor, making day. I think I pulled like 40+ odd ears of corn out of the garden. There is still a bunch out there that wasn't quite ready yet. We de-husked and cut corn all day. Some of the bigger, prettier ears went either whole, or cut in half into the vacuum sealer and the freezer. Some of the cut kernels did too. 

Connie showed me this wonderful trick to cutting off the kernels. Place a small bowl upside down in a very large bowl. The smaller bowl is your base for setting the corn on. I was shooting corn half way across the living room trying to slice down the cob on a cutting board. The dogs loved it. I don't think Scott was as amused. We canned two runs of 7 quarts, and two runs of 7 pints. It wasn't until almost all the way through that Connie found how to make creamed corn by scraping the cobs with a spoon to get all the juiced and bits of kernel still left on the cob. We got two lots of 4 cups in the freezer from that. 

Yesterday we went to a friend's house that had two apple trees and a pear tree to go fruit picking. We took two rubber made type totes with us and my handy dandy hillbilly fruit picker. I didn't take a pic of mine, but it looks pretty much like this. 
It worked great. Got all the apples I couldn't reach since pretty much everything a normal height person can reach is about two feet out of my reach. We got a red variety and a green. I ate one of the greens while we were picking. YummiE. Tart and sweet at the same time. I'm looking forward to lots of apple sauce, and pies. I want to try canning the pears. 

On the way home we drove up and down the streets of the neighborhoods. First off, I just like checking out other people's stuff. Secondly, I was having a serious case of fruit tree envy. All these people with trees full of fruit in their yard, and most of it was just falling to the ground to rot. Here I am with no fruit trees on my property and they are just feeding the flies and the yellow jackets. What a waste. I drove past a house with three peach trees so loaded with fruit the branches had fallen over to the ground. Peaches all over the ground. So I stopped and screwed up my courage to go bang on the door and ask if they minded us picking their peaches. 

No one was home. Go  figure. I'd driven by that house prolly twenty times just itching to stop, and never did. Screw it. I grabbed a plastic bag out of the truck and Connie and I started snatching peaches as fast as we could. Really, what are they gonna say? Give them back? There were hundreds of peaches rotting on the ground. 

We did the same thing at another house with trees full of plums and plums all over the ground. I did knock, but no one was home. This time they pulled up while we were picking plums in their front yard. I about had a heart attack. Out of this truck is two high school kids, so I walked up and started babbling, "HI! Do you mind if we pick you plums? There were just so many rotting on the ground we thought we'd grab some and cart them off before they made more of a mess in your grass." See, I was doing a public service. Those poor boys looked dumbfounded before the older one just kinda shrugged and said, "Sure, I don't care. We weren't going to do anything with them." Connie and I busted out laughing after they went in the house. What a bunch of crazy ladies we are. Here's they haul though. Both totes are full of apples on the bottom, and plums and peaches on top. 

Yesterday was plum day. I found a recipe for plum jam at  We made 12 pints. Tonight I peeled and canned peaches from a recipe I found at cityboyhens. 5 pints of canned peaches. We still have a lot more plums and peaches to process. I'm outta lids though. Plenty of jars left, I just have to wait till Monday to be able to get more lids. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Storms and Muletape

There has finally been some rain here in the desert. A couple of rain/thunder cells have moved through helping with the fires up north, and making for some lovely light shows in the evenings. Gooding is usually in some sort of black hole that makes all the rain clouds skitter away around us to the north and east. Rain coming from the west hits Glens Ferry and sputters out to nothing. I got a couple of nice pictures of the clouds coming in, a few lightning bolts, and the rainbow after wards.


I've been working on a new blog. It's for my sister to showcase her tack she makes. 

She hand dyes, hand ties all the tack. It's amazing work. I kinda want one, but I can't afford them. lol. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Having livestock means hard choices.

Having livestock means having to make hard choices, they are entrusted into our care. We keep them for food, we keep them for protection, we keep them for companions. Eventually we are going to have to make a decision about them for end of life. 

We decide when it's time to be butchered, when it's time to move on to someone elses care, when it's time to put them out of their misery, or end suffering. This last week I had to make a terribly hard choice, that many people would not agree with. I had to find somewhere else for Apache, my blind gelding. He was finally completely blind. He may have been able to see some shadows far away, but he was blind. 

He was doing fairly well out in the pasture by himself. As long as he didn't have any contact with the other horses, he didn't loose his mind. If we tried to take Ben past him, or off the property, he paced, he whinnied, he tried to plunge around and not move at the same time. It was very sad to watch. I tried putting him out front with the cows. He paced so much he made the front pasture a bog. 

I put him in the dry lot and fed him hay, but when the winds came, and we get hellacious winds here in Idaho, he freaked out trying to find shelter from the blowing sand. Trying to walk up to him and catch him to put him in the round pen was almost dangerous. He didn't want to listen to pay attention to where I was standing to avoid running me over. 

In the round pen he couldn't hear Dave's horses out back and worried himself into a frenzy trying alllll day and night long to find a way out of the pen. He was loosing weight no matter how much I fed him. He banged into the water barrel, tripped over it, scabbed up his shins. 

Last week the calves figured out the fence wasn't hot down in the one corner. My steer broke out 4 times in one afternoon, even with adding a third hot wire. We had to move all three of them up into the round pen until I can pay to have someone come out and drill through the lava rock just under the soil, and make a new fence corner. The round pen is a good 60 round, but there just wasn't enough room for two- 13 month old steer, one 4 month old steer, and one blind horse. 

I put Apache out on the short pasture and in trying to find his way to Ben, he bumped the wire fence pretty hard. It wasn't hot, but it was enough to knock some of the wire out of the insulators and bring the top of the fence down.  He got tangled up in it. He managed to get free, but what if he didn't? What if I hadn't been home?

So I called Steve. He's the horse trader I got Ben from. I didn't want to have to take him to the sale. It would have been a terrifying nightmare for him to try and run him through the sale. I didn't want to think about him in a feed lot getting ready to be on a truck bound for Canada when he can't see. I don't have the money to euth him and have him hauled off. 

Steve agreed on coming out to take a look and see what my options were. I know what he is. I know the horses he buys sometimes end up at the sale and on a truck with the kill buyer. He doesn't try and hide it. He's a horse trader and everyone knows it. 

Steve and his wife came out with their truck and trailer. I got Apache haltered and he got some hands on with him. He agreed with me that he wasn't dangerous. He stopped when Steve intentionally stopped in front of him and didn't say Whoa. Apache just backed off a few steps. I said to him i was being a realist, that I knew he might end up on the kill buyer truck. He told his wife she had a new horse to ride. See what they could do. He told me he'd put Apache down if things didn't work. He wouldn't ship him. I believe him. 

I cried, I haltered him and led him to the truck. He loaded very cautiously, but jumped up without freaking. I cried some more when they pulled out of the driveway. It was terrible, but it was something that needed to be done before I came home and found him bled out from impaling himself of a tee post. 

Bucket and Jar Score, Canning Green Beans

We camped out in the yard last night, Scott and I. Threw up the tent, had a fire and everything. We really don't have the extra cash right now to go anywhere, or the extra time. Last night was a great night for throwing up the tent in the yard though. It wasn't too cool with the cloud cover. There was clouds and lighting in the distance we could watch through the door of the tent. The new fire pit The Boy dug for us made for a great campfire. We blew up the air mattress, brought out the blankets and pillows from our bed. It was even better than camping since when I wanted a midnight snack I could raid our fridge.

The only downside is we pitched it right next to the round pen. The steers are in the round pen right now since the fence is down. Whoever said cows are stupid never met my steers. Out of three Jersey steers, My steer from last year, not Andrea's steer, has figured out that the irrigation water doesn't make it all the the way down to the front corner of the pasture. That means nothing grows in the corner.Why the hell the cows want to be out in the corner in the first place, since there isn't any grass growing is beyond be. The ground is all sand so there isn't any conductivity from the fence to the ground, which equals no zap. So now the fence is torn apart, the cows are in the round pen, and come daylight, they were mooooing in my ear. The roosters were crowing behind me in the trees. It was kind of a noisy morning. Wouldn't have traded it for anything.

Connie got us a hell of a score the other day. I asked her to ask at the grocery store what they were going to do with their frosting buckets. They gave her all 6!!. They have lids with gaskets so they are airtight. The buckets are 3-1/2 gallon buckets. WOOT!!! I already have one filled with rice, and one three quarters of the way filled with pinto beans. Flour is next. I'm going to keep going back and asking for more. They are food grade and perfect for home storage.

Scott's friend Pat was going through the storage in his garage and came across a bunch of old jars that belonged to his mother. He asked if I would be interested in them. Heck yeah I would. There were boxes and boxes of them. Scott and Pat loaded them all up and brought them to my garage. I did one whole load in the dishwasher and there are still boxes out there. 

And last for today is the green beans. I've had green beans coming out my hiney. The stringless beans we've been eating as fast as I can pick them. I have two small batches out in the freezer. I planted two rows Kentucky Wonder Bean. They were supposed to be a pole type bean, but we never put up a trellis for them. They just grew wild all over the place like a chaotic version of the green bush beans. We started picking them last night. I have mounds and mounds of Wonder Beans.   

We shelled out some of the beans out of the biggest pods.

And then from THIS SITE, The Canning Granny, I love her site, we canned beans. Seven Quarts, and Nine pints. 


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