Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I finished my third 60-day Bikram yoga challenge tonight!

more weird eggs

This one is a perfect oval - like a giant Tic Tac

This one has a really pointy end

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Boss Dogs


My new dogs, Max and Cozy.  They are both pit bull / border collie mixes, and not related, though they look like brother and sister.  Adopted from a no-kill shelter in Missaukee County, Michigan.

Friday, February 24, 2012

sky study #58

Sunrise over the East pasture Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rabbit with spinach

Blackie chowing on oats and spinach.  She's so glossy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

meet the barn cats

My friend Beverly helped a stray cat and her kitten last December who were living in a pile of junk near her job.  She began feeding them and succeeded in live-trapping them.  She asked if I needed some barn cats, and since the death of cat assassin #1 (Pucci), the answer was yes.  She had them both fixed, and brought Mama (in the front) and Mali (with the white nose) to the farm on Sunday.  The chicken and rabbit area had to be sealed up very well with chicken wire, as I'm not sure they wouldn't see them as prey.  Mama is very wild, but Mali seems a little more approachable.  Barn cats are a natural part of the animal family on a farm and will earn their keep as mousers in the barns. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Go Stags

The Kingsley High School Bowling team were having a bake sale at a local grocery store, so I asked the kids what they thought was the tastiest item on the table.  They all agreed it was these "mystery" bars.  They have M&Ms in them, and taste kind of like lemon cake.  I told the kids I though they looked gross, but bought them anyway.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Building of Boss Mouse, Part 13: Foiled!

The cheese room passed its electrical, plumbing and framing inspections, so we were able to start putting up more insulation this past week.  I love the look of this foil sided stuff - Boss Mouse is looking like a NASA space station this week.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Eggs on my yoga mats on the dryer

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Building of Boss Mouse, Part 12: Stirred, not shaken

A part of almost all cheese making recipes includes stirring the cheese curd, or heating and stirring it simultaneously, for an hour or more.  Manually done, this can be the most tedious part of the cheese making process.  I have spent many an hour slowly stirring cheese curd by hand, but thanks to my Dad's mechanical talent, Boss Mouse will have a mobile mechanical stirrer.  He crafted it from several parts, welded the stainless steel himself and gave it an adjustable speed motor.  Here it is sitting on top of the cheese kettle with its architect looking on.  

I can't thank my Dad enough for the role he has played in building the cheese room and cave, attending to the details, chasing the contractors and being so involved in the project - I love you Dad!

Goodnight, pretty girl

Red died during the night on Monday - I left her cuddled up with Whitey as I closed up the chicken coop the night before, and found her gone the next morning, down in a trough where they normally lay eggs.  She died peacefully and looked as if she was sleeping.  I carried her way out in the West pasture and buried her under a tree.  She seemed perfectly healthy - I have no idea why she died.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Winter Microbrew Festival

The Winter Microbrew Festival was held this past weekend - it was a cold day, but people bundled up and came out to party at the sold out event

I saw this guy at last year's festival - in the same hat

I thought this would be stupid, but it was SO fun

To make the Silent Disco more Fellini-esque, some of the pipe and drum band members, who were performing at the festival, were bustin' a move - definitely the best dressed people on the (snow packed) dance floor.  That's haze from the smoke machine - for real.

Micro-micro-brewing:  these guys had a single drink cooler with two taps, an expensive sign and really good beer!  The Brainless Over Peaches was my favorite beer of the day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Champis is a bunny who lives on a farm in Sweden and herds sheep.  I can't stop watching this video - do you think I could teach Bunny Lee & Blackie to do this?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

the Jheri curl of yore

More advice, for the gents, from my Victorian fashion book, on the style of facial hair:

"Men wore their hair moderately long, usually parted on the side, and curled forward in front of the ears.  From 1852 onward they greased it with Rowland's macassar oil, hence the need for antimacassars on the backs of chairs.  A moustache and whiskers, and even a thin fringe beard under the chin were not uncommon, but practically no beards were to be seen on the chin."

And there was this picture too, which I love:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

bridal babeage + bridal carnage

Megan came over for dinner the other night - she brought her wedding dress and we played dress-up - she looked beautiful and it was so much fun

A few days later she rolled her car while braking on an icy road to avoid a squirrel - she walked away from the wreck, but check out that road rash - get well soon, Megan!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three Meadowlarks

Awesome hand-lettered potato bag from local Meadowlark Farm

Meadowlark Lemon, Harlem Globetrotters

Their namesake - the Western Meadowlark

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let me go a chicken in the sun

From left: Whitey, Silver, Red (taking a dirt bath) Goldie, Red
The unseasonably warm February temperatures have everything melting at the farm, so the hens enjoyed a free-ranging weekend.  Whitey update:  she is much better, healing up and acting normal, thank goodness.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

sky study #57

Two views of sunset last night over the West pasture - February 4, 2012


Asparagus Gruyère quiche on whole wheat crust

Friday, February 3, 2012

Goodbye, handsome

Burgess Meredith as The Penguin - from Batman, 1966
It's difficult to understand the behavior and social nature of farm animals.  Last night I came home to find my hen Whitey very badly beaten up and covered in blood.  I took her in the house, cleaned her up and returned her to the coop.  The bully was Penguin.  Whitey has long been the alpha hen, best egg layer and all-around popular gal - she never harms the other hens, and they never harm her.  Which is probably why Penguin, as he is maturing and wanting to dominate the flock, wanted to take her out.  I called my chicken farmer friend Mark who advised me to quarantine Whitey until she heals, because Penguin would likely kill her and if he didn't, the other hens would.  So early this morning I did several things:  moved Whitey in to convalesce with Nurse Blackie and Nurse Bunny Lee, blocked off the door that leads into the rabbit area, captured Penguin and returned him from whence he came - down the road to Mark's chicken farm.  Mark told me he had an Amish customer who was looking for a rooster, so he will have a new home.  I loved Penguin, but can't have him killing my ladies.  Situations like these make me think deeply about the ethics of keeping domestic animals at all, it's un-naturalness, and how best to care for them and understand their ways. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's true

Love the animals,
Love the plants,
Love everything.
If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.
Once you perceive it, you will begin to
comprehend it better every day.
And you will come to love the
whole world with an all-embracing love.
- Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

gloves of beaver

Victorian gloves printed with map of London

I've been reading a book about Victorian and Edwardian Fashion - here is some advice from 1839 on what types of gloves 'a gentleman of fashion ought to use':

"In the morning to drive to the hunt: gloves of reindeer.  At the hunt, to follow a fox:  gloves of shammy.  To return to London, gloves of beaver.  To go later for a walk to Hyde Park or escort a lady to pay her visits or to offer her your hand in descending from a carriage: coloured kid gloves, braided.  To go to a dinner party:  yellow dog's skin gloves.  In the evening for a ball or rout:  gloves of white lamb's skin embroidered with silk."