Wednesday, October 31, 2007

everybody scream . . . everybody SCREAM

We're taking the boys trick-or-treating tonight. Grant is a pirate, Emmett is a skeleton, and Ike is a chicken. We have refused to comply with the Trunk-or-Treat directive, so we'll be driving along the highway courting disaster, and then if we have time we'll run over to Bear River and hit the houses of like-minded people. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If you're going to be eating that much candy, you'd darn well better work for it. And where's the fun in wandering up and down the halls of the church and getting candy dumped into your sack? It's not dark, it's not cold, it's not spooky. It's like on Christmas when parents find themselves forcing their children to stop enjoying the present that was just opened and move on to opening the next one. Don't be grateful for what you have! Let's shower you with garbage until you don't know the value of anything! We joke about that, but our blossoming awareness of how ridiculous we sounded, coupled with my increasing annoyance with how destructive our wild boys are, compounded with my desire to dispose of broken junk in a vain attempt to declutter our house, has resulted in far fewer toys in specific, and presents in general, being given on Christmas.

Finola is outside just yelling her head off. She's got to be in heat, because she has been going MAAA MAAA MAAA MAAA MAAA since yesterday afternoon. She's insane. Well, she's just going to have to wait until next time, because we can't be worrying about moving a buck in right now. We're busy getting candy! Kitty wants some candy!

We bought two matching fussy old lady chairs from the DI for our living room. I'm afraid I may have skewed my decorating scheme a little over to the "too much old used stuff" side, but I hate buying new things when the old ones have so much more personality. I think once I get a brown-toned rug and some brown-toned pillows for the chairs (which are blue), it might start to look a little more put-together and less regurgitated. I definitely need more modern touches, to add some straight lines here and there. I'm trying to find a pair of lamps that are modern, but not too minimalist and corner-y. One of my favorite new magazines is Domino, partly because it has fun representations of higgledy-piggledy decorating styles, and partly because it makes me laugh about how much stupid people will spend on stupid things. I wonder at what point it becomes unremarkable to spend upwards of $2000 each on a pair of sconces to flank the $1700 mirror in your hallway. Or $200 on half a cup of "hair repair serum." Hee.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

mistress progress

I heard on the news the other night that Proctor and Gamble is building a ginormous manufacturing plant in the tiny town where I grew up. John saw an interview a news station did with the man who sold P & G the land--he's in my parents' ward--and said you could tell that he felt conflicted about it. It's almost impossible to make a living as a farmer anymore, unless you're part of a huge conglomerate. So every day more of the arable land disappears, and more houses are built on it, and towns turn into cities, and cities turn into bigger cities, and the pollution gets worse, and people become more and more unfamiliar with the necessary ingredients to sustain life. Because? You can't eat asphalt and plate glass windows.

Of course, I love my wireless internet and my SUV and the salary my husband earns as a product manager, and I enjoy the rising property values in a growing area, and I like people being able to make a living at a job other than farming, because it is some crappy way to spend your life if you don't love it. It would be nice if people didn't build their houses on the farmland, though. And if the people who don't like gardening or farming could try to buy their goods from the people who do--the little guys, like my neighbors.

We had a cold snap last night, so the hose was frozen this morning when I went out to do chores. I got the no-freeze water bucket out of the garage and plugged it in for the goats. For being such picky animals that refused to eat anything but the leaves of our really nice hay, they sure do love the nasty yellow stuff we're left with now. It's the same thing when I change the straw in their huts. As soon as I wheel the straw bale in and start spreading it around, they go nuts and start putting it away like they haven't eaten all day. Finally! Something completely devoid of nutritive value!

Next month is breeding time, and we have a date all set up for them. The buck is going to come stay with us for a little while, and we'll try to make sure we see him breed all of the girls. Then we'll wait until everything goes crazy in the spring and they all kid within a couple of weeks of each other. I'm so excited to be done drinking soy milk. Our baby is a barfer, so I'm on the no-dairy diet now, also known as the Joy Removal Diet. But once the goats freshen in the spring, I'll at least be able to have decent milk on my cereal. The only cereal that tastes good with soy milk is Kashi, and in a pinch, Raisin Bran. I love chocolate soy milk, as do my children, but I don't like feeding it to them when I can avoid it.

We've decided to let the chickens run free all the time now, and just shut the gate at night so's they don't get et by skunks. The rooster has gotten mean enough that we can't get in to do anything without a big stick, so it just makes it easier on all of us if he's allowed to be Lord of the Manor out in the yard and keep the hens safe from all dangers perceived and actual. Plus that way they can eat more greens and do a better job of keeping the bugs at bay, which will make their eggs have nice orange yolks. I remember the first time I cracked open a real egg and how remarkable the color of the yolk was. Lemon bars made with real eggs are CRAZY. They don't even look like themselves.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I have seen the future . . . and it is unreliable

Yesterday I asked John if we could please buy a wagon and a team of horses. It seems that our technology wishes to shake off the chains of servitude, and it has all gone kerplooey. Because everyone loves lists, here is a list of things that have either gone on the fritz or completely failed in the recent past:

Charlie Tuna (our family car)
the Subaru (multiple times)
the DVD player
the wireless internet
the phone
the microwave

Frust. I'm closer to a technophile than a technophobe, but I am irritated when things don't work properly. Because my life is so hard, right?

On the brighter side, we have had gorgeous weather the past couple of days, and I can spend more time outside doing yard work. I bought a saw from Smith and Edwards so I can start my horrible hack job of pruning the lilacs. They are crazygonuts, and I've been unable to make much headway using my bypass loppers. I think that a good pruning would really help to rejuvenate them for next spring. The manure pile continues to mock me, but I have gotten three nice big piles of it dumped into the garden spot. I'm sure our neighbors are very thankful. Although, when I was talking to Orvil in church the other day I told him that I had been putting manure over in the garden, and he asked if I had a good source for manure. I was like, "Umm, yeah. Right behind my house? The goats?" I told him that we had tons, if he wants any. It comes in handy pellet form! Of course, it's not really in pellet form by the time we get to it, because it's all been mashed and mixed with urine (yum!) and hay.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

dogs . . . sigh

We're trying to decide whether or not to get a dog. I don't really want one, because I'm sure to get attitude from those crazy shelter workers who get all up in your face because you don't want the dog to actually sleep in your bed. But I look at it this way: Dogs are not hairy people. They need to work and earn their living, just like the rest of us. I would like a dog that could play with my kids; guard our family, property and livestock; and bring the goats in. I don't want a dog living in my house, because: hair, smell, and not bonding with the animals. I think I might be okay (I don't even know myself anymore) with letting the dog sleep in a crate in the laundry area at night, but then he's not outside making sure no funny business is going on. Grant claims he wants a dog, but you obviously can't trust a child who thinks he wants a pet, which is another reason I want a multipurpose dog. Then when the dog isn't fun for the kids anymore he'll still have jobs to do, and we can avoid the ick of having to take a perfectly good animal to the pound.

So, any ideas? From what I can gather from These Internets, a Stabyhoun would be a great all-purpose dog, but they are crazy hard to get here. And I'm sure that you have to sign in blood some contract that says you won't use the Stabyhoun for the purpose for which it was bred, which is to be a good all-around farm dog for poor farmers who can't afford more than one dog. Nope, only frisbee catching for this dog. No herding or guarding activities allowed!

Are all shelter people this way? Because all the people I've talked to have given the distinct impression that they would rather the dog stay in the cage in the kennel for months on end than be a working dog that lives in the backyard and runs around in the pasture with our goats. This is why people go to Kmart and get the free puppies out of the box, because they don't get a hefty serving of judgment to go along with it.