Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why Buy The Cow.......

The old saying was "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" It was a warning to tender young things about the destruction of pre-marital sex. After all, it is common knowledge that a man has to be tricked into marriage.. right?

But now, I wonder. Having survived a fair few of life's difficult bits and having read a number of farming books lately, I ponder. How do you know when it pays to keep a bull? Typically, a woman will choose to give birth anywhere from 0-4 times in her lifetime. If a farmer were to make this decision, it would be easy. It would be financial suicide to keep a bull for that amount of reproduction services. Bulls come with so many extra problems. As they can't always get along with others they typically require special fencing and shelter needs. (mancave) Diet is to be considered as they consume a larger quantity of food, then there is the health care as well.
It has to be considered that far too many bulls have destructive tendencies when it comes to breaking down fences and getting into another farms cows. So how well will the neighbors take this new bull of yours?

Anyway, it was a thought that I had today. I also wondered if we fed our daughters statistical data on man keeping instead of tales of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty if they would find themselves happier or at least more content in their efforts with "husband"-ry. Hmmm, how interesting.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Well, it's spring.... I think. It's looking like spring again and if we don't get another snowstorm to shake my enthusiasm, then I guess it really will be spring.

With spring, my thoughts turn to , you guessed it! FENCING!!!! What I wouldn't give right now to have a good man with a chainsaw!! We would be cutting fence posts out of the hedge trees like crazy! I think that owning and being able to run a chain saw should just be considered part of the definition of a "good man".

Mac never considered chain saw prowess to be a real man virtue, at least, not from what I can tell. That's too bad. But that's life isn't it? I also have a can opener that doesn't open cans most of the time. Yet for some reason I hang on to the darn thing thinking some day it will start working and fulfill it's calling. In the mean time I crank away and get an inch of the can top open. Then eventually another inch and then another. Then I pry the damn thing open with a butter knife and tell myself that some day I am going to slice my wrist open on the bent up jagged lid.

Oh well. I will probably continue to use.....(edit) TRY to use, the can opener. I'll probably hang onto Mac as well. But how I wish some nice fella would show up and volunteer to cut posts for me. Wouldn't that be something?!!

I'm glad it's spring.


It Was Disturbing

Typically the news makes me angry. Too much is reported for an emotional response. Too much is done to distract from the real issues, but last night was disturbing... on several levels.

The story was about whistle blowers, particularly whistle blowers on Iowa farms. One individual went in and got a job on a "farm" in order to get video footage to file charges of animal torture for ASPCA. The legal side of this is that it is now illegal to do such a thing. Somehow it is now a breach of "ethics" to report such conduct. In Iowa it is also a felony.... now. Actually torturing the animal is only a misdemeanor.

That's disturbing.

The news story was accompanied by the video footage of chicks getting pulled out of boxes. Healthy, beautiful chicks that were getting chucked into an auger device and ground for animal feed. Personally, I have to wonder what sick mind came up with this brilliant idea .... words escape me.

That's disturbing.

Animal feed? What animal on a farm would be needing to be fed ground up chicks? Chickens and pigs are pretty much omnivores but do they feed this to other farm animals as well? I have no doubt that ruminant grazers could possibly be getting it too. After all, in England much of what perpetuated mad cow disease was taking the dead animals to be processed and having it go right back into cattle feed and contaminating the cattle that fed upon it. This practice more then likely isn't healthy for the animal on the receiving end. Keep in mind that after that animal is fed it will be raised out and slaughtered for human consumption. Poor health for the slaughtered creature can equal poor health for the human that is then next in line.

That's disturbing.

Let's consider the farm. I do not for a minute believe that this is a practice typically used by your run of the mill farmer. They might have money for a hired man but don't think that they have so much money to hire gals for chick grinding duty. While no farms were specifically named in the news story and considering the facility shown in the video, I have to believe that this was either an exceptionally large farm or corporate farm. Corporate farms and family farms are two different creatures. The legislation that was passed to protect "Iowa farms" from such video taping won't protect a real farm... it'll protect corporations. And I find another big business let off the hook of being a responsible entity very, very disturbing.


P. S. Buy local from a grower you can trust and who will let you see and experience their farm. Eat safe.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law states that if there is anything bad that can possibly happen.... it will.

I was thinking about that in the middle of the night last night. I have been getting crazy about being sent back to Iowa City for Mac's follow up Dr. appointments. One problem has been that the Ia. City Dr.s never give us ANY information. All we hear is either "This is serious" or "You look wonderful!" This is not of any great use to me. It isn't medical data. It never tells me where we are in the journey. Is the GVH almost gone? Is it still problematic. Is there any indication of the GVH affecting organs? I don't know. They apparently don't want me to know.

A letter from Dr. Hiatt indicated that Mac might continue to be stuck with Iowa City for YEARS!!! This just causes me rage. I can't deal with being kept in the dark and guessing how our lives will continue for only God knows how long. What little Dr. Hiatt has said made me think that Iowa City pulled GVH overall fatality numbers and scared him. Dr, Hiatt running scared has made me angrier that I have obviously had information with held.

I will be turning to Murphy's Law for guidance. I will plan for the very worst that could possibly happen. I will plan every bit of detail on how I can possibly hold on to my home, my dreams, being close to my grand kids .... surviving.

I just have to get over being pissed off first.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Healing Thoughts

Last week spring was put on hold for awhile as we marked time through another snow storm. The snow is gone again and the earth feels slightly springy under foot. But right under the spring lies the frozen earth... waiting.... pensive.... like me.

I can't wait to feel the healing properties of the earth again. The warm soil. I want to feel the strength and the calm that comes from handling the ground. There is hope that comes with the greening of the new season. With putting seeds in the ground.

Today my mind has been full of less then happy scenarios for the future. Time for something better. Time to dream dreams of dark soil, red tomatoes, green grass and blue skies.

Things have to get better then this.


Where The Hell Is Andy Hardy?!

The Andy Hardy films with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were pretty much crap, but there is something about the concept that I admire. They were problem solvers. Something goes wrong or the town is in need and you could count on Andy Hardy to shout out to his cohorts, " Let's put on a show!!" Every body would join in, "What a great idea!" A stage would be made of something scrounged up by the "kids" and a suitable backdrop would be created. There would be singing and dancing, money would be raised and yet another wacky crisis would be averted.

I have stated before that I am not big on the positive attitude thing. Life takes more then an attitude. You have to put some legs under whatever "positive" work you are trying to achieve. It's easier to get those legs if you have a few Andy Hardys in your life.

I don't have an Andy Hardy. I have people who stand around and say stuff like, "What do you want to do that for?".... "Don't you think you have other stuff to worry about now?"...."I wouldn't want to be responsible for that"

Yesterday, we saw Mac's Dr. This was his regular oncologist. He doesn't want to be responsible for Mac as he still has GVH. However the Iowa City Dr. does nothing to treat the GVH. We simply continue and wait and see how he looks next month... and next month... and next month... and next month.

It is a new year and the next visit to Iowa City will cause us to have to meet a deductible again. That's a thousand .... a thousand that we don't have. Then there is the gas to get there and back. That's another eighty bucks which we also don't have.

I don't need another dumb ass to tell me this is just the way it is and there is nothing we can do about it. I need an Andy Hardy to ride shotgun for me. I need to find a way to change this.


Where the Hell is Andy Hardy?