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!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Free for You from Farm Tails!


Last week while in Florida, I saw one of Buttercup's sisters and fell instantly in love.  Oh my heavens, I had to have her but she belonged to someone else who loved her very much.  Besides, we flew down, so it was impossible to bring her back to the farm.  I asked the two ladies who were chatting nearby about her owner and they had no clue whom she belonged to but did know where I could find one of her sisters which really surprised me`. I left the parking lot while she just stood there tied to a post.  I had to find her other family members and did later on in the day..  They are truly all beautiful, but her coloring was sheer perfection.  I only wanted her twin.

Kritter Keeper loves mysteries so here is one for you to unravel if you want to win this $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE from WHITE FLOWER FARM. ...Most of my readers love flowers and vegetables, so I thought you all would enjoy this gift...especially since you can customize it yourself and get what you want.  My hints are described below as are the details of how to win this freebie!  Yay!  Have fun!

Buttercup can be fast like Blue but only if you tell her as she is very obedient.  She is like Bridget who is a calico and she has several colors. If you run your hand over one part of her, you will feel some bumps. They are pretty to look at too.  You can dress part of her with something floral and nice.  She doesn't mind being prissy!  After a lot of research, I finally found Buttercup for sale in Lexington, Kentucky of all places. She was the only one left with her coloring.  I was so happy and felt very lucky!

She is three gaited, like Blue, with a walk, trot and a canter though I wouldn't describe her way of going like that at all. Nugget being such a good boy just laid down beside her and smiled.  Limp (little button buck) circled her and looked a little apprehensive but the two geese didn't seem afraid at all.  I was told to monitor her air capacity each week which was news for me. She is quite the hog, and needs more than most.  Oh, and they also told me she really should not be outside when it is rainingCan you guess yet?  
White Flower Farm

The first reader who solves this cute little mystery will receive a gift certificate from the well known White Flower Farm. The following are the rules....

1.  This freebie is for identified followers only that link back to their blog.
2.  To be eligible, a comment with your guess must be submitted however, if you think you erred, then feel free to leave another guess before Sunday at 5 pm. 
3.  If you are a new follower, i would love for you to identify your follower name in your comment  Kritter Keeper likes to meet all of her followers and most likely will follow you back.
4.  The answer will be posted after 5 pm on Sunday with a photo along with the name of the winner and a link to their blog.
5.  There will be only one winner.
6.  All comments regarding a guess will be hidden until Sunday at 5 pm then published in order they were received.
7. The winner must check back on Sunday and then provide Farm Tails thru an email his/her mailing address.  If no address is given within 24 hours, the second person who correctly commented will be awarded the gift certificate.

Kritter Keeper will blog about Buttercup Sunday evening so everyone can see how cute she is.  Thanks for playing this new little game with me...I thought it would be fun to celebrate our warmer weather with this fun freebie. Happy Spring!