Thursday, January 29, 2009

Three hours of Ice What a Nightmare

Hey, here's a good idea. Let's start out a day early. I mean the weather here in Ohio is total shit, so let's get this show on the road and head south.

Hmmm, I don't know the roads here are still really bad. Maybe if we don't leave too early it will work.

Really we want to get going. Let's leave, say, six a.m.

No I don't want to leave that early.

Fine pout pout.

Seven a.m. ........... Are you awake? Get up it's late. I thought we were leaving early.

I never said we were leaving early. Get out of my room. I'm not ten years old any more.

Nine a.m. car is packed. Everyone last potty breaks.

Did anyone forget anything?

Did you unplug the TV?

Nine-twenty a.m. in car sliding down road.

Nine-thirty back at garage, forgot to put out garbage.

Ten-thirty sitting in traffic 10 miles from house.

We should hit the Ohio River in one hour and ten minutes on an OK traffic day. Today it took us 3 hours and 40 minutes. A fun 3 hours on what I can only describe as a nightmare of living life on the edge and not the fun edge like a roller coaster where you know you're going to be alive at the end of the ride. This was a white knuckle, please I don't want to shit my pants and die here on I-75 with all these other idiots who didn't know any better than to stay home where it is safe and warm. Oh my god look at that semi off in the gully jack knifed and crumpled. I really don't want to die here in Ohio on I-75.

I did find moments to look at how pretty the trees were all covered with ice and snow.

Then in Kentucky the roads got better and for the first 3 hours it looked like something right out of Dr. Zhivago. The trees were so covered they were bending. Sort of magical destruction. I wish I could have taken a picture.

So, night one in a hotel in Tennessee. The magical ice is gone but it is still cold. I find myself looking for animals. I would throw myself on anything furry right now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I need to touch fur!

This time of the year for the last 5 years I go to Ohio and drive my parents to Florida. They stay down south for 2 months where it is warm and then at the end of March I fly back and do it all in reverse.

I love spending time with my parents but I miss all the fur babies back home.

I miss Kirby and Hoover the most. But I miss all the barnyard antics too. How many eggs were there? Is Cleo dealing with the snow? Are the goats behaving? Is there any rooster fighting going on?

Has Beaker said anything funny? Is Kirby tearing the house apart? Has Hoover caught any elves?

I managed to get to Ohio before the big storm. I must say this is the prettiest Ohio has ever looked. But I wish I could see how much snow we got in New York.

The car ride down to Florida is always a bit challenging. I don't think we kids were as demanding on long car rides. We are all very happy to get to our destination. And I will say that the mood in the car starts to improve as the temperature starts to warm up outside.

This year I have a new ally. My Garmin GPS who's name is Nigel. I love Nigel and he will be such a help finding hotels and restaurants.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's wrong Cranky Butt?

Today Beaker called out "What's wrong Cranky Butt?" She just cracks me up. I have long since stopped editing my speech around the house out of fear that Beaker will repeat it. I talk to all the animals out loud every day and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they started talking back. Usually when Beaker spouts out something new I have to stop and try to figure out when I said it (since Beaker only mimics me for some odd reason). But I knew right away that I have been calling Kirby "Cranky Butt" since the grass has been covered with snow and she has been stuck in the house.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ha! I got rid of the line!

So I totally revamped the look of the blog. That line was making me crazy. (Much like a little pig is making me crazy!)

I'm still playing. Gotta figure out how to make the clouds fill the header.

Thankfully there's a lot of winter left.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why is there a line down the middle of my blog?

I don't know when it happened but all of a sudden there is a line down the middle of my blog. I tinkered with the layout and it was all good. If anyone knows how to fix it let me know 'cause it is driving me crazy.

Br-r-r-r-r-r it is freaking cold

I love winter and snow so for me to say it is cold you know it must be VERY cold. Hoover seems to be able to handle it although he isn't spending as much time outside as usual. He does get out and let off some steam, so to speak.

Kirby is another story. She is going stir crazy. She is cranky and bored. She has torn up her bedding and torn a piece off of probably the only nice piece of furniture we have. Treats seem to be the only thing that calm her down but I don't want to let her get fat just to keep her happy. In a perfect "Kirby world" there would be an indoor grassy area where she could graze and root around to her little heart's content. But for now I'm just trying to stay one step ahead of her.

Six month summary

So life got a bit crazy and the first thing to be put aside was the blog. How does one put six months into a single post? I'm guessing not very well but here goes.

Hoover is doing very well. You would never guess that there was ever anything wrong with him. The month of June was a nightmare simply because the vet's orders were to keep Hoover as quiet and still as possible. The electrodes on his heart needed time for scar tissue to form. This was the key for the pacemaker to be successful. The problem was Hoover felt great. He was back to normal as far as he was concerned and normal meant running and jumping, exactly the things he wasn't supposed to be doing. Keeping him quiet for four weeks was one of the hardest things ever. After his check-up when the doctor said he could stop being quiet and go back to being Hoover he ran like a wild animal. I think he thought we were just punishing him for four weeks and once he was set free he wasn't going to stop running. Amazingly he didn't run away. He is very hard to get to come in the house now. I think he is afraid we're going to lock him up again.

I hatched batch after batch of chickens and guinea hens. I suppose I went a bit to far. My biggest problem is that I have too many roosters. The first batch of roosters I actually have in the freezer right now. It was quite a shock to me to learn I had it in me to do that. In all honesty I didn't do the actual killing but I did the plucking and disemboweling. Friends of mine just down the road had raised a fair number of chickens for themselves and to sell. When you hear all the things about how our food is raised and what they feed to meat animals it really makes sense to raise your own if you can. So I brought my roosters to their house and in return for processing my boys I helped them process theirs. They had a great quality scalder and plucker which really made things quick. I was prepared to back out if I couldn't handle it but it was very humane and very clean. I have a feeling it was much cleaner than at a major processing plant. I know it was more humane. I do not know if I have it in me to do the actual killing. I have 13 roosters right now who are a little small but getting to be very problematic (the hens have strong feelings about this).

The garden was great. A record crop of blueberries that were so delicious. The very first plums from one of the trees we planted. I can't currently remember the name of the plums, but they were small and, like the blueberries, delicious. I have great hopes for them this year. There were more peaches than ever and each tree ripened at a different time (so rare when these things go as planned). They're the kind of peaches you have to eat outside or leaning over a sink because they're so juicy.

The apples trees were loaded. We made more cider then ever and like every year I thought it was the best ever. I really miss the apples. They're not the best keepers so when they're done it is sad and waiting for the next year is hard. But with the cider frozen that can be enjoyed and is just as good as when it was fresh pressed.

Kirby had large chunks of pasture to roam. It seems that no matter how much room we gave her she had to dig it up. I guess that is what pigs were born to do. She is a very well behaved little pig. Each morning I would put on her harness and leash and walk her out to her area. Some veggies or grains were used to keep her moving. Given her choice Kirby would take all day to get to the pasture eating every dandelion along the way and digging up the world (and the nice parts of the lawn). During a long rainy period when she didn't want to go out she refused to potty. She held her urine for over 48 hours and developed a bladder infection. It was very bad and the vet had to come and give her a shot and then we did a round of oral anti-biotics. From this I learned how to make a piggy potty. Kirby will do anything for food so no matter how hard it rained after that I would stand out in the rain with her favorite thing and after she emptied the tank she would get the food. It was shocking sometimes how much she had in the old tank. I'm guessing close to a half gallon. She can really kill some grass.