Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White and BLUE!

Happy Independence Day!  Here's hoping you had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Look at Blue!  He is such a patient pony for his crazy mama....what a good boy!  All is well at the farm and we are busy with gardening, mowing, and planting.  Blue and I are getting ready for a little show soon which keeps me busy getting him in show shape, and fine tuning our communication with eachother.  The doggies and kitties are well, but some stray dogs have recently been chasing my fawns which anger me to no end.  I need to blog more but there is still so much to do outside and aside from cleaning our home and completing some graphic design projects, it is difficult to keep me in.  :-)  Take care bloggie buddies and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father and Flowers

Hello dear bloggers, it certainly has been awhile...I sure hope you are enjoying your Father's Day celebrations.  It is not a great day for me, Dad is gone now as most of you know...since 2008.  He is gone  forever as I knew him....But his spirit lives on through me; his love of flowers and nature has passed to most of his children with me having a bit more than my siblings.  His thumb was much greener than mine but hopefully with time, my efforts will improve.

Spring was rainy, the month of May was a grey misty blur as each day wore on, the sun decided to shine elsewhere leaving our area saturated, flooded and sloppy wet.  The ponies could not be turned out, our  entrance area flooded, the pond developed a sink hole draining lot of the water and it was dangerous to mow the wet muddy hills.  The green grass was very happy as it almost looked like a jungle on our farm.  I must not complain though, we have been fortunate to still have our home unlike so many who suffered from those evil tornadoes.  Bless those poor souls who had to endure such misery.

Thankfully as May moved on, the rains ceased their daily torment and June allowed us to get out in our gardens.  The huge Man Garden has just been plowed and planted.  The good husband and his brother planted their usual corn, cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes but decided to cut back so I planted some pumpkins and blueberry bushes.


My nostalgia for both my grandmothers has come forth with a fever as I planted some hollyhocks that were six foot tall!  They are biennials so I won't see them next year and hopefully my little hollyhocks from last year will come back.  I have added some more phlox as it seems to love the back garden and grew many babies this year.  I have also added evening of primrose and delphiniums in a new little shaded bed, though the larkspur despises me and refused to enjoy the special soil and shade I provided for it, so forget that species.  It is too hot here and they prefer a different area.  My foxgloves love the front yard and hated the back yard as the brick radiated too much heat.  I remember Dad saying he used to trap bees in the blooms by squeezing the ends.  Poor bees, thankfully he released the bloom and allowed the poor things to escape.  Silly Dad, he was a demon when he was a kid! :)

Speaking of demons, as I was photographing my blue hydrangeas, Cricket, the mean lean killing machine, lived up to his reputation much to my chagrine!  He was enjoying following his 'Grammie' around while I snapped the pics but when I approached the new little flower bed, he disappeared.  I didn't think much of it until I heard the loud clicking of a Flicker.  That darned cat was up  in the hawthorn bushes and raided the nest capturing a helpless new born bird baby.  I heard its little screams of pain as my head was in the branches trying to find Cricket who was way up top!  My screams pierced the quiet morning as I attempted to get the bird from his huge fangs but he ran away into a wooded area full of poision ivy.  I ventured in only to see him gobble the entire baby within seconds.  By the way, poison ivy attacked me with a vengeance a few weeks ago, so badly that I had to go in and get a shot.  My lower arm swelled days afterwards so I thought I had better get some professional help.  The shot eliminated the swelling but not the itching.

The deer have all delivered except Peanut who if you remember had her little Autumn in September.  I am shocked that Brownie already gave birth.  I knew they all would be early this year as they went into heat in the beginning of October and the boys were crazy in rutt.  So far, they have not introduced me to their babies yet.  Bossy does hide her baby in the brush while she eats corn.   I can hear his thin little calls.  There for awhile I did not see Bossy or Brownie which worried me but just a few days ago they graced me with their beautiful presense and now come back more frequently.  Shy Girl has trusted me and hidden her baby close to the barn.

There is still so much more to do on the farm to catch up from months of wet weather.  I look forward to July when all of my flowers will be in full bloom and the pumpkins begin to grow.  Happy Father's Day to you dear Dad.  I miss you tremendously but somehow feel comforted when I am tending to all of the flowers.  And to you bloggy buddies, thanks for your patience and keeping Farm Tails on your favorites list.  I truly appreciate that and have popped in from time to time to read your posts.  Have a happy day! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

My British Babe!

Jessie was very excited to celebrate the marriage of William and Catherine now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Wasn't Princess Catherine amazing?  After seeing all of the hats, Jessie wanted one of her own.  How could I deny her?
Look how demure she looks! :-)

Jessie! Be careful, you'll tear your pretty white ties!
Don't worry Blue, you will have a hat of your own soon....
Jessie couldn't wait till Mama ended this silliness so she could roll in the mud and graze.
Daddy Cat, stop looking at the pretty hat with such disdain!  Do you want one?
I guess getting up that early has taken it's! I originally purchased hats for them to wear on Derby Day and will make Big Bad Blue one of his own so you will have to visit next Saturday to see it.  Ohhhh yea, he is going to wear a hat whether he likes it or not...all horses must celebrate Derby Day!  Blue you can do it!
(Linking up with Verde Farm on Farm Friend Friday)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Hey ladies, this post is for you!  Not the usual farm post but nonetheless it is worth reading.  Please remember these views are strictly mine.  With this post, I hope to give information to those who are unaware or to give more info to those who might have heard of thermography but have yet to try it. It is not my intention to upset anyone who is a practioner in the traditional medical workforce, I just feel that this testing is worth my time.

Today I received breast thermography.  No, it is not a mammogram or anything like it which is why I prefer this method for the time being.  Breast thermography is a clinical diagnostic procedure which uses highly specialized infra red cameras to measure the heat coming from the body, in this case, the breast.  Alternative med docs will most likely be able to administer this type of testing for you.  It takes several years for a cancerous growth to become a real danger beginning with the inflamed cells and finally reaching the tumor stage.  Studies are pointing with more frequency that inflammation is the precursor to cancers and all sorts of diseases.  Regarding breast issues, once you find a lump, your stage may be advanced or it could be nothing at all.  If your thermographic reading detects inflammation, then you have a chance to seek a more detailed examine thru mammography or ultrasound before the lump has developed to a size that is easy to detect.  I prefer ultrasound, though the standard medical rule is get a mammogram, receive a nice dose of radiation and if the results are positive then go get an ultrasound. 

I prefer to avoid the painful compression, the numerous false positives that so many of my friends have received, the emotional roller coaster, the incomplete results for those with dense tissue and fibroids, etc, and go right to the ultrasound.  However, since they are more expensive perhaps that is the reason the insurance companies require the mammogram first?  Maybe because medical community makes more money with all of the testing?  I am not sure...but I do know a nurse practitioner who works for an oncologist who privately told me that the ultrasound does a better job at cancer detection.  If I could afford the ultrasound or if the insurance company would agree to pay with no mammogram then I would alternate both ultrasound and thermography every couple of years just to be sure.  Okay back to thermography.

Breast thermography is cheap compared to mammography and ultrasound.  I paid $150 out of pocket since insurance companies will not pay for such procedures.  It is not painful.  No tissue is compressed.  No radiation is received.  This will be my third such procedure and my results will be compared with the past two.  The video link below offers an excellent view of the entire procedure and the explanations are superior.

For those of you who are interested, I linked several articles for further reading.  The last link is from the LA Times, about the FDA threatening a medical doctor to stop making claims about thermography.  Just this week the article was reported....Now how many times has the FDA disappointed us?  Hmmmm, first they tell us a drug is safe then five years later after the human population have been their test monkeys, they determine that the drug is no longer safe and causing all sorts of problems....thanks FDA, there are times when I do not trust you.  I rather be safe than sorry.  If thermography has the ability to give me a head's up before anything has a chance to grow into a tumor or can be manually discovered, then I am all for it. 

CBS NEWS Breast Thermography...See Exactly How it Works

YALE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE....Inflammation long been associated with the development of ABSTRACT and click on articles on RIGHT COLUMN for further info.



FDA SCOLDS DOCTOR,0,4080491.story

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Toad Talk on Earth Day

It was pouring the rain when we drove home Friday evening and the Kritter Keeper tradition during rainy  nights is to harp on the good husband to slow down while driving down the lane.  For a half a mile, the patient man tries his best to heed the firm warnings, hearing over and over...  "Oh there is one! Watch the puddle! Slow down, what's your rush?" etc.   We always see numerous dead toads and frogs on the dark highway, at least we can avoid killing these poor little creatures on our own land, right?
Several years ago before the house was finished, I was blessed to see and hear the one and only Toadfest held on the farm.    The frogs were singing in the middle of an April sunny day which I thought was highly unusual!  I remember that Mom and Dad were visiting.  I took my camera and was astonished at what I saw....a city of toads!  Some were in the water, some were sunbathing, and MOST were, well, I think you get the drift after seeing my pics.  Little ones on big ones, some with blue bubbles blowing from their necks ( I am sure there is a technical term for that body part, but what the heck....) and couples chatting it up while others sang joyfully.  Dad said they were oblivious to my presence as they were in such a breeding frenzy.  After the bad husband widened the pond and cleared the edges, there was never a Toadfest celebrated again and anytime I get near the water's edge, one can hear the "plop plop" of frightened frogs or toads escaping the tall two legged monster.

I was shocked to see Toad love again in early April of this year when Red showed herself one very late evening. She and a friend decided that underneath the bright light near the end doors would be the perfect place and did not mind my intrusions.  For over a year now she has taken residence in and around barn and wintered between the hay stacks and outside wall.  One warm January day she ventured out but was very slow to move around and react so I found a dead bug for her to munch on, put them both bug back in her winter resting place and tucked her in with lots of hay.  I know, I know....some would think I am crazy, but my name is not Kritter Keeper for nothing! :-)
The rain held steady as I walked down to the barn to feed.  A large toad waited and watched near the garden wall close to the steps while another was in the middle of the driveway...huh? Didn't we just drive up only seconds ago?  I bent over to be sure it wasn't injured and this is what I saw.

My heart sank, my mind exploded with questions as I studied this poor mother toad watching her dead baby that only minutes ago was learning how to wait for a tasty bug.   The bad husband ran over the baby of course unbeknownst to him but it still left me with a deep sadness.  I have never seen this before.  The mother refused to move and I reached out to pet her and she did nothing.  Toads always move a little if you pet them, an eye might move, the body will adjust to the strange feeling, etc. Nothing...she did nothing.  I quickly left hoping she would be okay after I returned from the night feeding.  She was still there after 20 minutes or so.  I touched the baby to see if it was still living but how could it, with the entrails completely displayed?  The little tiny hand beside its mother's was so heart wrenching!  I picked them up and put them both in the wet grass out of harm's way.  She didn't need to deal with curious dogs and probably wouldn't move out of the way had a large paw accidentally find her brown body.

A toad may be small and insignificant to some but on Earth Day and every day for me, all creatures great and small are equally important.  I found this poem and thought it would be an excellent read to celebrate Earth Day.

Song of All Mother...
I am the Mother Earth and you are a child to me.
Discover who you are and seek divinity
Rocks and stones, clay and peat - all strats are a part of me.
Jewels and crystals, gems and gold are hidden in the heart of me.
Herbs and flowers, trees and shrubs, these are growing green on me.
Mosses, fungi, lichens, vines, all of these are seen on me.
Horses, cattle, pigs and deer, bears and lions roam on me.
Snakes and spiders, rats and slugs, all creatures have their home on me.
Bubbling brooks and silent springs, living rivers flow on me.
Pools and puddles, lakes and seas, salty oceans grow on me.
Tiny tiddlers, mighty whales, sacred salmon leap for me.
Sharks and squid and crabs and krill fill the waters deep for me.
Wrens and larks and crows and terns fill my skies with darting flight.
Hawks and eagles, bats and owls catch their prey by day and night.
Creeping worms and flying fox, teeming ants fulfill theirs lives,
In tune with me, in Nature's Way, as honey bees enrich my hives.
Only humans rob their kin, despoil the land, pollute the seas,
Kill for fun, destroy the woods, float poisoned vapors on the breeze.
I shall live for I can heal, even if you humans die,
But you can learn, as children should, to grow in peace
Beneath the sky....

Marion Green

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meet Buttercup!

A big warm thank you with a virtual hug for all of you who took the time to guess my cute little mystery and for all of my new blog buddies.  Kudos to you Lisa for trying so hard and giving it your all, but my first commenter who offered a guess had  the closest answer therefore she will be sent the $25 gift certificate from White Flower Farm. Congrats MAURA from Lilac Lane Cottage!  My heart sank when I read your comment only because you almost got it right away and I thought my clues were too simple....but, they proved extremely elusive and nobody else came close though Woodswoman was on the right track just as I knew she would be!...Here's hoping my dear bloggy buddies exercised patience and didn't scroll all the way down to see Buttercup (I would have zoomed down as fast as possible!  lol)....
This is her prissy part, such cute little designs!
Her seat is bumpy and very pretty...I know, I know...that was a hard clue!
She requires 40-65 psi of AIR!! I put 65 in my truck tires!
She has three speeds which makes navigating those hills easier...and she is made of steel, so rain is a no-no!
Ta Daaaaa!  Isn't she adorable? 
 I was lucky to find this darling little photo that had one of Buttercup's 'relatives' in it...didn't you wonder why that photo was chosen?  Everyone assumed it was an animal. Kritter Keeper delighted in throwing you off by comparing Buttercup to animals, like Bridget's coloring and Blue's gaits....tee hee! :)

She is very fun to ride and I want to take her everywhere, but WV is a bit hilly. She will be so much fun at horse shows if I can get her in the back of the truck without scratching her....hmmm. 
Nugget, you like her don't you?
Little Limp, don't be frightened! You are braver than your elders I must admit.  All of the Long Tails disappeared into the woods.
Here I come Mr. and Mrs. Geese! Will you be scared of Buttercup?
Good geese!  What brave fowl you are!
Look Jessie and Blue, look what Mama has!  Jessie briefly left her beloved grass but Blue wanted to check Buttercup out after a few minutes of staring at her.
Blue, don't you dare kick her!  It was very windy! He snorted and trotted off getting a little too close for comfort so off we went back down the lane.
When I went to name her at the bike shop I had no clue people named these bikes, as I love to name things and always earlier customer named her bike 'Annabelle' which I thought was sooo cute!  But I wanted something original and we all began throwing out names. The man waiting on me came up with Buttercup and I knew right away that was it.  Look how pretty she looks in front of "The Old House"!  Hmmmm, I think "The Old House' would look awfully good with a cute picket fence...what do you think?  Time to get away from this computer and ride BUTTERCUP! Thank you again, and thank you to all of my new bloggy buddies who joined Farm Tails!