Friday, February 29, 2008

Stalking and More

We have gone from getting 4 or 5 eggs a day down to one. My little flock is free ranging farther and farther away from home and I don't know where they are hiding their eggs. We hunted everywhere we could think to look this evening and couldn't find anything. So I guess I will have to get up with the Chickens in the morning and stealthily follow their every move until I crack this case.

I finally got my home permanent last night, it took me from 10:00 until midnight to curl it myself with my husband curling the ones on the lower back of my head. I had asked him to help me and being the wonderful man that he is, he reluctantly agreed. He did end up going to bed before I got it all curled and so, I had to wake him up to add the curling solution and the neutralizer to my head. He did a great job but I hadn't had a perm since I was a kid and I had forgotten how toxic the fumes are or they are much worse than they used to be. Anyway he did complain bitterly about the smell and I thought that I wasn't going to survive, I just couldn't breath and my eyes and throat were on fire, plus I got a small burn on my forehead. Today I look suspiciously, like a male lion.

I talked to a friend today who had sold some horses on contract two months ago. The payments weren't made so she went to pick them up and they were starved, one of them died when she got it home and she couldn't even find one of them, so she assumed that it had already died. This is sad when so many people had hay in their barns this winter and held onto it in order to get as much out of it as possible. Tomorrow they are cleaning out their barns and auctioning it off at the Springville Feeder Auction. Too late for some horses in the area. My husband had said all along that there was plenty of hay out there, it was just panic, too much talk and then greed that caused all of the problems this winter.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring Fever

I can't wait until Saturday, not wishing my life away but Saturday will be March 1st and February will officially be over! February is always the hardest month on us, it is usually in February that we get tired of feeding and our hay supply starts getting short and we think that we will never see green grass again. March gives us hope. The new babies start arriving in March, the weather starts warming up and the winds start drying up the mud.

We have a logistics problem this year. Two mares and two goats are due in March and we have an injured horse stuck in our foaling/kidding stall. We didn't breed back many of our mares last year because of the horse crisis that is going on in this country. Fortunately, the one that is injured is the first one due to foal, so she gets priority in the stall, we can't turn her out anyway. She does present a problem for our two does that are due to kid in March.

Our first kids should be due around March 19th. We have decided to move our dog kennel inside the barn for one of the does and the other one will probably have to kid in the horse trailer.

Our other mare is not due until the end of March, so hopefully the injured mare will be well enough to be turned out with her new baby by then.

Today is the last day that we have to give Morning a penicillin shot, she has had one everyday since she was injured, she hates them. She still has to be twitched to wrap her leg. We give her an opportunity to go without the twitch each time we start, but she refuses to let us take the wrapping off untwitched. Twitches are sometimes necessary things, ours is just a soft rope and not a chain, but she is totally submissive with it on.

On another subject, just to wrap up loose ends. Maude did pass away last week, she had stopped eating and I knew that it was just a matter of time. It is true that broiler or cornish chickens rarely live to see their 1st birthday. I guess that is where the term "not a spring chicken anymore" comes from, because in the fall of your spring chicken's life they start going down hill rapidly.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


My oldest, unmarried Granddaughter is 4 years old. She is extremely smart by anyone's standards and not just by mine or her Grandfather's. She has already decided what she is going to be when she grows up; a ballerina, a doctor, a figure skater and a Mommy. This changes from time to time, so I may have left something out. She has pretty much given up the desire to be a Princess and doesn't want to just be beautiful or just be smart, she wants to be both and is accomplishing this right now.

Her Mother recently taught her how to dial both sets of Grandparents and 911 on the phone, in case of emergency. They were all at my house the other day when my telephone rang and I answered it. This little voice started talking to me, asking me who I was and then saying some other things that I couldn't quite make out. I thought that it was a wrong number and I was being nice, I asked who she was wanting to talk to and who she was.

We had talked for a couple of minutes and I kept thinking that it sounded just like my Granddaughter but she and her sisters were all playing in my bedroom and living room, it couldn't be her. Then when I ask her who she was again, she gave me the name of my other daughter-in-law, her Mother got a strange look on her face and jumped up out of her chair and went into our bedroom.

My Granddaughter was hiding on the other side of my bed, on the floor, using her Mother's cell phone. I heard her Mother's voice coming through the receiver of my phone and the little girl that I was talking to started giggling and I finally figured out what was going on.

Early the next morning my telephone rang and I answered it. It was my Granddaughter and she had lots to talk about, she is never at a loss for words. I asked if her Mother knew that she had called me and she said that her Mother was right there in the same room with her. Her Mother does sometimes let her call me but I was suspicious this time.

She told me that her sisters were still asleep and at times her voice would get very soft, like she didn't want someone to hear her. Finally after about 15 minutes of listening to her fill me in about all of the exciting things going on in her tiny world. She suddenly said goodbye and quit talking. I asked her why she was saying goodbye and she whispered that she didn't have to say goodbye right now but that she might have to say goodbye at anytime. So, I ask her again if her Mother knew that she was on the phone and she again said. yes.

Then I could hear their dogs and her Mommy letting the dogs out and I heard her Mom ask who she was talking to. Then her Mom was on the Phone asking how long she had been talking to me. I told her about 17 minutes, she was relieved that she hadn't called me at 6:00 in the morning. She also told me that she had been hiding under the dining room table the whole time and that she had taken the phone off of it's charger on the kitchen counter.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Up, up and away!

Floating a New Idea For Going Wireless, Parachute Included -

Maybe there is hope for me yet! A company called Space Data Corp. is sending balloons into the air to provide internet service to truckers and oil companies in the south.

The balloons are filled with hydrogen instead of helium because it is cheaper. They carry an electronic device that is the equivalent of a mini cell tower that is encased in styrofoam. The lifespan of the balloons is 24 hours before they burst and the mini cell tower drifts back to earth via a tiny parachute.

Space Data says a single balloon can do the work of 40 cell towers, by covering thousands of square miles below. With about 36% of rural Americans without high speed Internet connections (that would be me), this might be a cheaper alternative to satellite dishes, which can be unreliable and very expensive.

Space Data hires rural farmers, usually dairy farmers because of their strict milking schedules to launch their balloons daily, paying them $50 per launch. They also pay 20 people with GPS to retrieve the electronic devices after they fall back to Earth, they are paid $100 per device.

I would gladly launch a balloon everyday for a high speed internet connection.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I don't know when this day went bad, just a typical Monday I suppose. Those first little minor annoyances weren't that noticeable. Like when my husband was throwing a load of dirty clothes into the washer and tried to throw my holey long underwear away. I protested loudly that they were still serviceable enough to keep me warm and I couldn't afford new ones anyway.

Then my husband set down at the table to pay bills, we were scampering around trying to shuffle money from place to place in order to write checks. His bank account is empty because of hay, feed, horse training and gas and mine is empty because of hay, feed, horse training and gas. We are hoping to be able to sell the three geldings that we have had trained this Winter in the Spring. They have all turned out very well, we also took two fillies to the trainer this Winter, one is not for sale and the other isn't ready to be sold yet. We just hope that this training isn't another losing proposition.

I had planned to give myself a home perm today. I went to Walmart last night and bought everything that I needed. I told my daughter-in-law not to bring the kids over today because I was going to have the house all stinky, my husband wasn't working, so I thought it would be a good time since he could help me out if I got in trouble.

Then my other daughter-in-law called and said that she was sick and wanted to know if we would pick up our Grandson from school and keep him for a few days. Oh well, no big deal, I could wait on the perm.

We ran out of spiced tea, which makes my husband real testy when he has a cough, so I was in the process of making more, when I realized that the frozen orange juice that I had just gotten out of the freezer wasn't frozen. We have been noticing soft ice cream for a few weeks but this was a pretty drastic change. Did I mention that we are broke? I don't think a new refrigerator is in the budget.

While I pondered these things, my husband went to the school to pick up the Grandson. When they returned, they continued to pick up speed instead of slowing down while applying the brakes coming down our long, steep, ice covered driveway. So the truck with the brand new battery that we had to buy for it last night at Walmart, plowed into the back of our other vehicle causing quite a bit of damage to both. I picked up as much of the broken plastic and paint chips as I could, so the chickens wouldn't eat them.

We just laughed this evening when the rain started and we noticed the puddle in the living room getting bigger and bigger. We both continued to laugh as we folded our holey towels and holey wash cloths and wondered if we would ever be able to throw them away, along with my holey long underwear. Tomorrow is Tuesday, I hope.

Work at Home

Sorry, that I didn't blog yesterday, but I had something more important to do, I went to Sunday School, watched my Grandson sled all afternoon, then went back to Church in the evening. Enough excuses, now back to my thoughts for today.

Why do so many people want to work at home? Because they want to stay home plus be able to earn some money. Simple concept, makes sense and something that most everyone desires, get rich at home. This makes the work at home scams very successful and very sad, especially for those Moms who want to stay at home with their precious babies or children. This is just a perfect situation to me, I love stay at home Moms.

The problem is that there just aren't that many Work at Home jobs that are legitimate, if someone has to advertise for people to do work for them at home, then you might as well figure that it is a scheme to take advantage of you. There are so many people out there that are looking for these jobs that no one should ever have to advertise unless they are just scammers. So please don't fall for this stuff. I have a free classified site that gets these type of ads listed everyday. I delete them as soon as possible but I am always amazed at the number of hits these ads get. Here is a sample of one that I deleted this morning.

Join one of the best Advertising Company of India. We pay you for your hard work. 100% Payment Assurance. Its a copy-paste work. Unlimited Monthly income. For more details E-mail or call us.

What the above ad consists of is spamming classified sites like mine or posting ads to sites that allow comments. So, in other words they turn you into a spammer which gets you kicked off of your ISP, so that you don't have internet service anymore and guess what? They can't pay you, since they can no longer reach you through e-mail but then, they never intended to pay you anyway.

They actually get suckers to fall for this stuff all of the time. It isn't important to keep you hooked, it is only important to get you hooked for a short time, they go for quantity of suckers, not quality.

There are other scams that sell you useless products to assemble for resale, you purchase this junk, then get stuck with items that won't sell, they have already made their profit when you paid them.

Be smart, don't fall for scams, remember if it sounds to good to be true, then it is! You aren't going to win any lotteries through emails and you aren't going to be able to help any oppressed people get large amounts of money out of their country.

We once received a $20,000 cashier's check for a $1000 horse that we had for sale. We knew that it was a fake check but we wanted to make them pay the postage to send it anyway. With this scam, some US banks would cash these checks, then you were asked to send some of the money to a shipper who wasn't really a shipper but was the actual scammer. Then after you had sent the money you would hear back from the bank that the check was not real and you would have to repay the bank. This scam doesn't work well anymore because the US banks are wise to it now.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hoosier Horse Fair

Event: The Hoosier Horse Fair & Expo 30th Anniversary
Dates: April 4-6, 2008
Location: The Indiana State Fairgrounds, located at the intersection of East 38th Street and Fall Creek Parkway in Indianapolis.

We have only had the opportunity to attend this event twice because the dates always fall during foaling and kidding time. But both of the times that we have gone it has been well worth the money and trip. This is where we first got acquainted with the makers of CRS Gold DFM Equine Probiotics and first tried this wonderful product.

The Real World

Brownfield Network: Third equine shelter about to be licensed under Illinois mandate

Can this be true? A woman who has dedicated her whole life to rescuing and helping horses and educating people about horses, is saying that every state needs a slaughterhouse. This woman must live in the real world and not in fantasy land, I believe she called it an "idealistic dream".

Friday, February 22, 2008

LGD is an OCD

At first I thought that Angel was a pack rat but now I am leaning more towards my Livestock Guardian Dog or LGD, having an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, which would make her an Obsessive Compulsive Dog which also would be an OCD. Are you following me here?

I wondered why all of our feed pans and dishes where all ending up in the same spot, right outside of the goat lot. I thought my husband was doing it and it was beginning to annoy me. I would feed my chickens in a big rubber feed pan under the horse trailer, so that it was out of the weather and then he would come along and spread the chicken feed out on the ground and put the feed pan in the pile with the others.

Then I began noticing that there were other things in the pile as well, aluminum cans, an oil funnel and a feed sack. Finally my brain kicked in and I asked my husband if this was his pile, to which he answered, "no".

My poor dog isn't collecting, she is organizing, putting her world in order. She also likes to keep all of the chickens in the goat/chicken/OCD shed, she can guard them better if they aren't doing this free ranging thing. She was trying to put them back in the shed after they had left it, by herding them but there were too many of them and they don't herd well.

She decided that it would be easier to keep them in the shed, so she lays in the only doorway in the mornings and lets no one pass, the only problem is that she has to take potty breaks and chickens aren't as stupid as you may think, they make a break for it as soon as the door clears. Once they escape, it is so hard to get them gathered back up and nicely put away. So she tries harder the next morning.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Skinny Horses

When I seen the Vet the other day, I asked him about the number of skinny horses that he was seeing. He had told us earlier that he thought that it would really get bad this year because of the hay situation. But he said that he hadn't seen any that were real bad and that things hadn't gotten as bad as he had thought that they would. Hardly any calls for neglect or abuse and the ones that he checked out were just a little on the thin side but not starved nor neglected. But then he said that he hardly ever sees real skinny horses until March and April.

So, I explained from experience why this happens. Starting in March and carrying on into April our own horses start losing weight. The reason that they do this is because the new grass starts coming on and they get a taste of it, then nothing else satisfies. You can continue to feed hay or have free choice hay out for them but they won't eat it because the grass is just so much better and they are bored with hay by this time anyway. The new grass doesn't have much nutrition and is sparse, so they start to fall off in weight.

The Police start getting a lot of calls for horses and cattle being out, because they start pushing on their fences to reach that grass that is growing thick and untouched on the other side, it is greener too, by the way.

Life's Not Fair

When I taught school the kids all loved to say, "That's not fair!", to which I would reply, "Life's not fair, so get over it!". Life certainly is proving me right at the moment. Our old bachelor neighbor was here this afternoon and he told me that he was getting really tired of this cold weather for some reason and I told him that usually happens in February. He asked me if he would get over it in March and I told him that he would, especially towards the end of March.

He also told my husband that he sounded just like his calves that he is doctoring for pneumonia. This is true, my husband seems to get pneumonia if he catches a cold. I am not complaining, well, maybe I am a little bit but I feel so bad when he is so sick and he still has to go out in the below 20º weather to feed and water. I try to help as much as I can but I am not much help.

Add to this that we have a psycho horse that has to have her back leg re-bandaged everyday and I am feeling like life isn't fair. For one thing she is without question the hardest horse that we have to handle and the injury is on a hind foot and it is difficult to wrap. She also has to have a shot everyday. She has to be kept up in a stall, so that means a stall that needs cleaning everyday. I can shovel a little manure but my back prevents me from doing much of it and there is no way that I can wrap her leg, for one thing she wouldn't let me and for another I couldn't stand in that position. So, with my husband being so sick, this is something that we didn't need right now.

The weather is another thing that we don't need right now. It is 6º at the moment and the wind chills are awful. We are suppose to get sleet and snow for the next few days and that may stop me from being able to help out at all. I hurt myself the last time that we had ice. I just feel guilty when I can't do my share of the work.

Enough whining around, Spring will be here before we know it, this cold weather can't last forever. The March winds will dry up all of the mud, the grass will start growing and the horses won't have to be fed as much. Morning's leg will start healing, the dressing won't have to be changed as often and the shots won't have to be given after Feb. 28th.

I just ran out and watched the Lunar Eclipse, I almost missed it because I didn't know it was happening tonight and since this is tomorrow's blog that I am writing now, if you didn't hear about it, you missed it too.

Think Spring!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Bad Day

It all started out warm and comfy, snuggled under the blankets, sleeping like a baby, then the door burst open and my out-of-breath husband says, "You are going to have to come and help me, we have a severely injured horse." Well this isn't unusual because I get awakened by this tone of voice regularly but it is usually announcing that we have a foal on the way or horses out.

It was still dark when I stumbled out of bed and went to the junk room where bandages, vet wrap and other medical supplies are kept, however the room had been recently rearranged by our youngest son trying to run an extension cord. So, it took me awhile to move a few boxes in order to find the things that were needed.

I usually get up slowly and in stages in the morning because of my back, I drag myself out of bed and make it to my computer chair and take a few pills to deaden the pain, then I sit there until I can stand upright and can actually walk. There was no time for that this morning, so I wasn't standing or walking upright.

Somehow, as it turns out the electric fence had been unplugged and something had broken a fence wire and drug it into the broodmare lot where the pregnant mares are awaiting their due dates. It could have been a deer, they tend to tear down most of our electric fences. The mares have to be kept in a dry lot or as it is now, a muddy lot, so that they have no access to fescue grass or hay. Fescue causes all kinds of foaling problems and since fescue is everywhere, the only answer is to put them in a lot with no grass and feed them only grain and hay without any fescue in it.

Morning is my beautiful black registered Tennessee Walker mare and she was the one who got the wire wrapped around her hind ankle. It is a very nasty injury, we brought her into the barn to look it over and she was unable to flex her foot forward, so we knew she had a damaged tendon, the cut was to the bone and all the way across the front of the leg and partially around the side and down. We wrapped a disposable diaper around the leg and then wrapped it tightly with vet wrap.

Morning is due to foal on March 12th, so we called the Vet and had him come down at his convenience, since we knew that he would not be able to do much with it. We have been through these types of injuries before. But we still wanted his opinion.

My husband had left for work and I was waiting for the Vet, when I heard our Stallion talking to the remaining three pregnant mares, who are just across the fence from him. There was a bit of squealing, so I went to check and he was in the lot with them. In the darkness my husband had thought that the wire had come from the other side of the pen, since fence was down on that side, but it was also down on the stallion side. So, I had to walk out there on the frozen, uneven mud to make sure there was not anymore wire in that lot and to see if anyone else had gotten injured.

I wrapped up the downed wire as best I could and made sure that the mares could not get out on either side and left the Stallion in with them because there was also wire on the ground on his side of the fence that I didn't want to deal with because I had a splitting headache.

In the mean time, my little Angel (the dog), had seen her chance to slip in the barn and grab some good stuff to chew on, so I had to chase her down and scold her. Then I fed the goats, chickens, dogs and cat and watered everything.

I finally made it back into the house to make me some coffee but then I heard the Vet coming down our driveway, so I bundled back up. Did I mention that it was 19º with a wind chill of -40º? Well, that is what it felt like!

Morning is a very nervous horse, who only likes my husband even though she is technically mine, her heart belongs to him. She does not like strangers at all and she really thought the Vet was stranger than most. The Vet said that anytime a tendon is damaged like her's is, it makes them panicky because they no longer have control of the foot or leg. But I told him that she was born panicky and this was just typical "Morning" behavior.

She had stood fairly quiet while my husband had wrapped her leg but she just knew that this man with the knife in his hand was going to amputate. He finally got the wrap off, but only because he is very good at what he does and has had a lot of practice with stupid horses.

Then he did horrible things to her poor leg, like rub the bone and pull the extensor tendon out to show me that it had been completely severed. He also said that she had grooved the bone in two places. He said that she would probably heal back alright, and that the injury was high up enough that she wasn't in much danger of getting infection in the ankle joint.

We have had these types of injuries before and they seem to heal up with just scarring to remind you that it ever even happened. It is the cuts on the back of the legs that usually make a horse lame for life.

So, then the Vet and I discussed and solved all of the world's problems before he attempted to rewrap her leg, we were doing pretty well with her until the horse-eating chickens came into the barn, then we had to regroup and try again, we finally got it wrapped. Then he gave me my instructions of changing the wrap daily and penicillin for 10 days, we had already given her a tetanus anti-toxin before he came.

After the Vet left I went back into the house to make me some coffee, but before I did, I looked out the window and seen that one of my goats was out of her pen. So, I bundled up again and made several failed attempts at getting her back into the pen. I won't go into how I finally accomplished it but I was ready for a rest when I was done.

I had just gotten back in the house and had taken off my several layers of warm clothing, when I started hearing a strange sound. I couldn't quite figure out what it was and then I thought that I had better go outside to check it out. As soon as I opened the door I knew I was in trouble because I had heard that sound before. I ran back in the house and bundled up as fast as I could and ran for my husband's persuader stick.

The two stallions had gotten together, there was still an electric fence between them but I was beginning to suspect that it wasn't on since they were both leaning on it to get at each other, but even if it was on, they wouldn't have cared at this point.

I have had this happen to me once before with two stallions when I was home alone, it was impossible for me to separate them by myself and they both ended up a bloody mess and one had a broken jaw before help arrived. We did get them separated but they never did decide who was King.

With that earlier incident in my mind, I just could not let them get through that fence now. I tried to catch the older stud that had been in with the pregnant mares earlier but he would not have it, all I could do was run them from one corner to the other corner and back again, over and over.

Finally, the older stud stopped and came to me and let me halter him and lead him back to the gate that held the mares. I looked at the fence that he had come through and it was still up, so he had to of just walked carefully through it because it wasn't on.

By this time, I was exhausted and so was he, he waited patiently while I tried to get the stupid gate open but the snaps that held the gate closed were frozen. I fumbled with them and banged on them for a long time, then tried to think of another way to get him back where he needed to be. Finally one of the snaps broke loose and I got the gate open.

By this time the sun had just barely thawed the top of the mud, so that it was still frozen hard but slippery. I was so thankful that he is such a good boy and so easy to handle because it took me a long time to walk him across that treacherous lot and back to his pen. After I made it through yet another gate, I walked him along his fence line fixing the wire as we went.

When we made it to his water trough, it was frozen and he started licking around on it, I started pushing on the ice to see if I could find a weak place that I might be able to break it, then just as easy as can be, he put a front foot through the ice and started drinking. I guess he didn't need my help after all.

I went back to the house to make me some coffee, then I thought that I had better take him some hay, so I grabbed a flake and went through the little gate that goes into the broodmare lot, I walked once more across that uneven, frozen and slippery broodmare lot to his fence and threw the hay over.

When I turned around, I saw that one of the mares who could barely walk on the frozen ground had made it to the little open gate and was now free as a bird. Boy, was I mad this time, she knew better than that! All horses can smell an open gate, I think that I need to get a grant and study this phenomenon. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to get her back in the lot. After she was safely back in place and the gate was securely fastened, I went to the house to make me some coffee.

That was when I noticed that the same goat that had gotten out earlier was out again, reminding me to go check to see why the fence didn't seem to be working. After using the same technique that I had used earlier to get the goat put back up. I walked up the hill to the fence charger and sure enough, it was not plugged in. No one knows how the charger got unplugged but it sure caused a lot of problems.

Everything seemed fine at this point and I thought that it might be safe to go inside, take off most of my layers of clothing and fix me some coffee and that is what I did, all except the coffee part, instead I just laid down on the bed and went to sleep. I did make some coffee when I woke up at about 2:00 in the afternoon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hay for Sale

Many farmers horded hay this past season because of the drought. Instead of selling out of the field they hired help to store square bales in their barns that have gone unused for many years, because they feed big round bales to their own animals and usually sell square bales in the field.

They thought that they could sell their square bales out of their barns all winter and people would pay a premium, especially horse owners. Instead, most of the horse owners faced too many obstacles to paying high prices for hay. Horse values dropped, hay was hard to find and too expensive, the economy got worse and some lost jobs. So, many horse owners have sold their horses for whatever they could get, breeders stopped breeding and thinned their herds by selling, giving away or euthanizing.

Now Spring is just around the corner and barns are still full of hay, not many people want to buy last year's hay. Much of the hay that was put up last summer was poor quality because every spare weed lot was baled. It looks like some farmers may have cut off their noses to spite their face, as horse owners are smarter now. We have all learned our lessons, get rid of all of the hay burners that are no longer useful. Feed only good quality hay, and feed it smartly, eliminate as much waste as possible, use hay alternatives and shop around, your loyalty to your hay supplier didn't mean anything to him during a rough year, so why be loyal to one supplier?

I believe hay will be plentiful this year and will be for sale in the field again and at pre-drought prices. Grain prices will come down as the demand drops, we fed a lot of grain this winter to supplement the quality and amount of hay that we had, I am sure that we were not the only ones who did this.

Most horse owners will not be caught in the same situation that we found ourselves in this past fall and winter. People who own a few extra acres that can be divided off and not used as pasture, will do their own hay instead of having to depend on others. It has been easier and just as cost affective to buy hay instead of putting up your own, but that may have changed now.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Midwest Mustang Challenge

We went to Mark Burnette's today and got to see him work with Mustang Sally. She is as cute as can be. She is small and proud, a little feisty because she has finally started eating her grain. She let me pet her, Mark said that she has been a little shy with strangers, so he was pleased that she let me touch her face.

She carries herself very well under saddle and is riding nicely. She had an audience today to show off for.

The Mustang Challenge idea is just a stroke of genius in my opinion, it works out great for everyone involved and gives these horses some value.

Mustang Sally

Midwest Mustang Challenge

Mark Burnette


Mustang Sally

She drops her head and keeps it low whenever he stops her, she stands very still and waits patiently for her next assignment.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Goat Milk Facial Cleanser

I got this recipe and it was suppose to be a goat milk skin cleanser but I found it to be great for other things too.

It is simple to make and is very affective. It can be used as a facial cleanser, a facial tightening mask or as a milk bath.

This was taken from Home Beauty book. It says " For clean healthy skin, goat's milk is an instant beautifier both inside and out. It is rich in protein, natural fat, and acids, all of which help clean and detoxify your complexion, thus leaving it soft and smooth."


1/2 cup water

1/4 cup of goat's milk

2 tablespoons of baking soda

1 egg white

Yields 6 oz.


Mix all ingredients until well blended. Pour into a clean container.

To use:

Stir before each use. Pour small amount of cleansing milk onto a clean wet washcloth and gently massage into your face and neck. Rinse well with warn water and pat dry.
Refrigerate any left over cleanser.

This is the way that I use it: It has to be kept refrigerated, so that means that it is cold when you use it unless you want to let the small portion that you will be using set out until it comes to room temperature. Don't attempt to warm it in the microwave because the egg white will cook very quickly.

I shake the container thoroughly before pouring out a small amount and let it set for awhile before use. When I am ready to use it, I stir it again and then dip a cotton ball in it to apply it to my face and throat, then I rinse it off with warm water.

I have oily skin and so my favorite way to use it is the mask method. I wash my face with another cleanser, then apply it with a cotton ball and leave it on until it is dry and my skin is tight, then I rinse it off with warm water.

My face is always very soft after using this mixture. So I also use it as a milk bath, after stirring the mixture, I just pour the full container in my bath water.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Goodbye, Ethel

Maude is the giant cornish cross hen that was attacked by a possum and then by a Bobcat, she sustained some serious injuries from the Bobcat attack but it was Ethel that I found dead this morning.

I knew that they usually don't live more than one year because they tend to overeat themselves into an early grave, if they are not butchered and eaten. I was just surprised when I seen one of them dead and it wasn't Maude.

Ethel was still warm when I found her so I decided to get some butchering experience. No sense in her going to waste when I have two dogs and cat to feed.

I didn't think that I could do it, I thought that is would turn my stomach but it wasn't hard at all. I just skinned her in areas that I wanted the meat from, the breast and legs. It was really no different than skinning, cutting up or deboning a store bought chicken.

She had a lot of good meat on her and my dogs and cat got a fresh, raw, show dog meal today. I know a lady that shows dogs and she keeps chickens just for her dogs, they get fresh chicken meat everyday.

Chloe, my house dog, left a piece of breast meat unguarded for just an instant and one of the Rhodie hens got away with it. She grabbed it and ran, one of the Barred Rock hens chased her down and took it away from her and disappeared, so I don't know who ended up with it but it is a dog eat dog world around here. Chloe is still upset, she may have to have therapy.

eBay Strike

I received this email this morning and support it, everyone should stay away from eBay for all of next week in protest, February 18th through February 25th. This new system is just ridiculous, it would be a good time for someone else to start a auction website.

I'm not sure if everyone is aware of this, but Ebay is making drastic changes for people who sell and buy on Ebay. If one looks at it from the surface, the changes don't seem too bad. But if you look a little deeper, they're really very scary.

Many sellers and buyers are going to be having a strike on February 18th through February 25 that includes no buying, no listing, no selling, no auctions on those days. If possible, if you are an Ebay buyer and seller, I would really appreciate it if you could honor those dates, for nothing else, then on MY behalf because the changes have the possibility to really hurt me as a seller.

Right now, the Ebay marketing machine is billing these changes as "fee reductions" and that is what the media initially reported because they way the changes were announced were quite deceptive. But, for those of you who aren't really super active on Ebay and are wondering what all the changes entail, a summary of them follows.

First, they are reducing the listing fee by 5 cents and making Gallery free. On the surface this looks great and this is how they are marketing the change - as a "fee reduction". However, if you read the fine print you'll find that they are slyly raising Final Value Fees (The fee the seller pays when the item sells at auction) by as much as 33% to 66% for some sellers. The percentage of increase differs by seller because all sellers sell items with different values and the Final Value Fee is based on the dollar amount of the item. So we save a nickel to list an item, but pay 33% more after the auction is over. This first part of the changes, while quite disgusting, IS bearable.

Second, they are removing the ability for sellers to leave feedback for buyers. Now, Ebay has always been successful on the basis of both buyer and seller being able to rate each other based on the success of a single transaction. They are removing this for sellers. This is very scary for the seller population because as sellers, we already are held hostage by what we call "Feedback Extortionist Buyers". These are the buyers that buy something in an auction and then send an email that says "You send me the item free or I will leave you a negative and ruin your Ebay reputation!". While people like this are quite few and far between, they do exist. I've got over 792 transactions and I've come across 4 difficult buyers who no matter what I couldn't please them. I managed to scrape by without a negative because they were booted from Ebay, but the point of the matter is that while most buyers are wonderful, these psycho types of buyers DO exist. Now with this new feedback system, ONE rogue buyer (and even my selling competition) could ruin my reputation very easily. Even if I provided a 100% perfect transaction and the item was received the very same day and all was perfect with the world, that one person could ruin me if they wanted to. All they would need to do is buy 5 or 10 items from me and leave five feedbacks separately - because each and every negative will count against the seller. This would mean the end of my store and my business on Ebay over one rogue buyer. Why? Read the next section.

Third, as if one and two weren't bad enough, if a seller has below a 95% satisfaction rating on Ebay, Ebay will not display your auctions in the search engine. For example, if I sell 20 items one month and 1 of them has a neutral or negative left for it by a buyer (deserved or not), I can no longer list auctions on Ebay and have them be seen in the search engine. Yes, thats right. I can list, Ebay will take my money, but all of my auctions will be on page 857 of the listing and never be seen by any buyers. So once I get one negative, it is virtually impossible to recover from that by selling additional items becuase non of my items will be seen to be purchased by another buyer later. Its a no win situation for a seller.

Fourth, as if all of this wasn't the most horrific thing you've ever heard, they're making changes to Pay Pal - which is the method most people use to accept payment over Ebay. From now on, if you have less than 100 feedback and you sell an item Pay Pal will not give you your money for 21 (TWENTY ONE DAYS!). Yes, you read that right. Say, Susie sells a 50 dollar item and the buyer pays through Pay Pal. Susie is then forced to ship the item FREE without any payment. After 21 days has passed, THEN Pay Pal will forward Susie her money. This folks is just horrible. Do you know anywhere else on the planet where you can demand that someone selling you an item give you the item FREE and ship it to you FREE while you hold on to your money for 21 entire days? I sure don't. On top of this "under 100 feedback" thing, again if I have less than a 95% rating or get one negative or get one neutral - again - Pay Pal will hold my money for 21 days. Imagine how must interest Pay Pal and Ebay will accumulate on billions of dollars being held in 21 day incriments - yet another disguesting way for them to squeeze MORE money out of the system.

Fifth, they instituted "Seller Rewards". Essentially, if you meet certain criteria as a seller you can earn 15% credit on your account. The catch is that you have to sell 1,000 dollars or more on your account every month and have to have a 4.8 rating on all your "stars". I feel that these guidelines are impossible to reach and that they were designed to be impossible to reach on purpose so that Ebay, yet again, would not have to actually pay out the discounts. To give you an example of how hard these are to reach, out of Ebay's top 500 Powersellers (These people are the creme of the crop on Ebay and make lilke $100,000 a month on Ebay)...anyway out of tje top 500 of them, only SEVEN qualify for the 15% discount. SEVEN.

And finally, when all these changes were announced, the Ebay sellers went ballistic. The response from Ebay management? We were told that our complaints and anger and frustration and tears were - and I quote - "NOISE!". Yes, we are nothing but "noise" to the Ebay management, yet they are making million dollar salaries off of us.

I know I am so mad, myself. I have 100% positive feedback and I've completed almost 800 transactions. I'm not a bad seller and I bend over backwards to make a buyer happy. I have a very good record. But ALL THAT HARD WORK and ONE rogue person could ruin it for me. Or even someone who competes against me can very easily get a new nick, by stuff from me, leave negs - and take my listings right out the search engine!!). It's not fair at all. Not to mention, if somehow I do screw up or get a rogue buyer, Pay Pal won't even let me have my money for 21 days. When you do this type of work full time, that is a terrifying thought.

So I'm here to beg you guys, if possible, and even if you don't understand all the ins and outs of Ebay and what a seller has to go through to sell on Ebay - PLEASE RESPECT THE STRIKE we are organizing. Please! Please don't buy or sell on Ebay from Feb 18th through Feb 25th. Please tell your friends and family members to do the same. We know that not everyone can respect it - some people make ends meet by selling on Ebay. But for those of you who can, us sellers would very much appreciate it if you could respect the strike on those days.

Also - if you are an Ebay seller - and you are angry like the rest of us, CNN and FORBES is quite interested in how we feel. Quite a few people, including myself have flocked to CNN MONEY to get their attention. So far, the comments and anger and speaking out are actually working - the media is starting to pay attention and Ebay has stepped up their marketing tactics. We feel that they're getting a little worried over all the outrage.

Here is a link to the CNN MONEY site where you can leave a comment along side other sellers if you wish: Leave a comment here!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Egg Shells

We save all of our egg shells to be recycled. When we use an egg the shells gets tossed in a bowl and left out on the kitchen counter to dry. After a couple of days of drying, I crush them with my hands into a big mortar and pestle for grinding.

Mortar and Pestle

Then I put the ground egg shells out for my chickens to eat, they love them. It puts the calcium and grit that they need right back into their bodies to make their next eggs.

The trick is to make sure that they don't look like egg shells to them, so that they don't eat their own eggs or another hen's eggs. Birds love eggs as well as egg shells and when they start eating eggs it is hard to make them stop.

When babysitting our neighbor's parrot, I feed her boiled eggs and she loved them. I haven't done it but I'll bet my chickens would love boiled eggs as well.

Chickens love protein and will eat meat, worms and insects are their favorite food of choice, they prefer these delicacies over corn and seeds.

I noticed the other day, one of my Barred Rock hens running for her life past the bedroom window. So I went to see what was chasing her, it was the other hens and the rooster. The funniest thing you ever saw was this hen running all over the place with a dead mouse in her beak with all of the other chickens in hot pursuit. One of them finally grabbed it and a tug-of-war began until the other hen won the battle and ran for the hills. She found a good hiding place and enjoyed her trophy. I tried to get some pictures of the chase but they were too fast for me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

LGD Puppy Love

I know people love pups, so do I. There is nothing cuter than a puppy. But my Livestock Guardian Dog, Angel, is just about to drive us crazy. I have talked to other LGD owners and they have had the same problem that I am having with my Great Pyrenees pup.

She is a kleptomaniac, a pack rat, a thief and a part-time chewer. She is making off with everything that she can carry in her mouth. My husband changed the brakes on the car and we ran to town to get something, when we came home the brake pads and some of his tools were gone. At first we thought someone must have stolen them, we couldn't figure out why anyone would have taken the pads except as a joke, but then we started finding everything in the goat lot.

If I put a cover on the swimming pool filter, she takes it off and carries it away. She doesn't necessarily chew everything up, she just carries it off to her area.

My husband was really upset the other night because he laid his hoof pick down for just a minute and it disappeared. Water hose ends, sprayers, cardboard boxes, feed and water dishes, sticks, ropes, she just steals whatever she finds. So far, she is just stealing our stuff and not the neighbor's stuff.

We can never catch her in the act and we cannot even catch her with the goods. She will be sleeping somewhere with the stolen items yards and yards away from her. I didn't know how to discipline her or stop her.

So I consulted an expert on a message board that I frequent, she raises and trains Great Pyrs. She had already recommended a BB gun to keep her in the goat lot since the electric fence doesn't affect her because of her thick winter coat. But then she said that these dogs are smart and you can usually correct them with just a couple of scoldings.

Sure enough, if we find stuff in the lot, we scold her and she never bothers that item again. Of course, sometimes it is already ruined and chewed up, unless it is hard rubber or metal.

The problem lies in figuring out what item she will steal next in the dark of night and telling her, "NO", before the crime is committed.

Keeping her in the lot is the real answer but that isn't easy either. The Crossman Pumpmaster BB Rifle is very nice and my husband has hit her with a BB a couple of times and she has yelped but for some reason I just can't hit her. I find it hard to pump up and can only pump 3 to 4 times, he does 7 and I think it is more accurate at 7, the limit is 10.

We only shoot her if she is not looking at us, to make sure we don't hit an eye. It hasn't taken her long to tune in to the sound of that gun being pumped, so she is usually running for the hills by the time we pull the trigger anyway.

So, it isn't that I don't think puppies are adorable, I just wish that this one would grow up. My husband keeps telling me that she needs to grow up and my LGD friends keep telling me to bear with her because she will eventually get past this stage.

She also barks a lot but I knew before I got her that was a characteristic of a Great Pyrenees, that is all a part of the guarding and protecting, which makes sense because most predators and not going to go into a pen with a barking dog, she sure doesn't sound like a puppy, she was born with an adult voice.

Goat Milk Soap Recipe

I haven't tried this goat milk soap recipe because I don't have all of the ingredients yet, I need to find the lye.

3/4 cup Lard
3/4 cup all vegetable shortening
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup frozen goat milk
1/4 cup lye

Makes one 1 lb. about 6 bars.

Melt all of the oils together then cool to room temp. Break your frozen goat milk into small pieces with a hammer and place in 4 cup glass measuring bowl or cup. Using goggles and long, heavy rubber gloves, slowly sprinkle the lye onto the frozen milk pieces while stirring constantly with a stainless steel spoon. Using frozen is very important in order for the lye not to burn the milk.

Stir until all the milk is melted and all the lye is dissolved. Then slowly pour the milk/lye mixture into the oils. Continue stirring with a stick blender until the oil and milk are completely blended and starts to thicken like thin pudding. With a blender this should take about 3-5 min. At this point (called trace) you can add 1/2 oz. of skin approved fragrance by hand, not blender.

Then pour into prepared molds that have been coated with vaseline. Cover with plastic wrap and place on a level undisturbed surface, then cover all with towels or blankets. Soap can be unmolded in 24 hours, cut or shave if needed. Place bars on rack with plenty of air circulation to cure, soap can be used in two weeks but will be soft and not last as long as soap that has been cured for 3-4 weeks. Longer cured soap will also lather better.

Mustang Update

I talked to Mark Burnette, who is training the mustang for the Midwest Mustang Challenge, and he tells me that Mustang Sally is doing very well. He is still having some problems catching her but she is improving.

The thing that he is most excited about is that she seems to be loving their sessions and she enjoys learning new things, also she is retaining what she learns.

I hope to get down there with my camera and get some pictures of her to post here, if the weather ever gets nice.

The weather has been a problem for Mark as well, he has a roof on his large arena but not any walls. The high winds and blowing rains that we have had turned his nice sandy riding area into quicksand and then the cold temps hit which made the wet sand like uneven concrete.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ice Again

And yet again the weather psychics get it wrong, we were prepared for 8 inches of snow and we got just enough ice to make walking impossible. They tell me that the roads weren't too bad, I wouldn't know because I never go anywhere. But my personal experience with my driveway in walk mode was exciting to say the least.

I slid downhill while standing perfectly still. It took me several minutes to get to the goat/chicken shed. I had to go because no one had water or feed, but I risked my life doing it. I did fall and did some crawling to keep from falling.

Then my husband came home and walked confidently to the shed with additional water and didn't even slip. What really made me mad was that he kept saying that it wasn't that slick, while I was crying. He does this neat trick where he steps down hard on his heels and that breaks through the ice. I can't do that, I have tried. It's not that I don't have the weight to do it but I guess I don't have the strength.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Christmas Present

It finally arrived, I bought some Amber on Nov. 16th, 2007, in plenty of time for Christmas. I used a Buy-It-Now button from a seller from Lithuania that had a very good feedback score with lots of sales. If you remember from a previous post, my Husband told me that I was nuts to buy something from Lithuania. Around a week later the seller contacted me to let me know that it had shipped. So, I waited and waited.

I finally contacted the seller right before Christmas and he told me that it can sometimes take as much as a month to arrive in the U.S., I should get it in a few days. Christmas came and went and no package from Lithuania. He finally gave me a registered mail number and told me to check at my local Post Office. The Postmaster told me she would check the number and call me back, which she did within a few minutes, it had not come through their office.

Sometime in January I opened an "Item not received" dispute at eBay. All this did was cause the seller and I to communicate which we were already doing. I would complain and he would tell me to be patient, back and forth.

I kept checking the reg. # at and it always said the same thing "Origin Post is Preparing Shipment LITHUANIA 12/05/07, We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece." Finally around the first of February the website no longer had information on my number because it's online time limit had expired, I had to email them and ask that the tracking information be reinstated and they did but it still said the same thing.

I next told the seller that I wanted my money refunded and he said that he wouldn't do that unless the package had been lost in the mail or was returned to him. So, he could not do anything about this until Feb. 28th. Which was conveniently long past the 90 day cutoff time for me to leave him negative feedback or report him to eBay. This was the last straw, I knew what he was trying to pull. So, I told him that if he didn't refund my money that day, I would report him and leave a negative.

It must have really scared him because he just ignored me and of course, I didn't do what I said, I just kept waiting. Then I received a notice from eBay this morning that my 90 day limit for the dispute was about to expire. It said that if I didn't file a complaint with them, the dispute would be closed and the seller would not be disciplined. I knew I had to do something right away and then the mail came and the beat-up package was here. Of course, Christmas was long gone.

The moral of this story is: Don't buy Christmas presents from Lithuania or expect your package in one month. I am still waiting for a billfold that I ordered from Lakeside Collections, they must be waiting on it to arrive from Lithuania.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Back...

After a few beautiful Spring-like days, Winter has come back with a vengeance. My chickens were all convinced it was Spring and gave me five eggs yesterday. Then today, it is only 16º and the temperature is suppose to keep dropping. It is also very windy, so it feels much colder.

I did get one egg this morning, I may get two more but I am not holding my breath. I don't know how old my three Rhodies are but most of my Barred Rocks are young. The Rhodies are very good layers, if I get three eggs today it will be from them. They are very faithful about laying even in bad weather but from what I hear they usually don't go broody even in the Spring.

I keep getting one large, deformed egg from one of my newer hens everyday. After researching this, I have found out that eggs get larger as hens mature, older hens also tend to sometimes lay deformed eggs. So, I am not sure which one is laying these eggs but it is interesting to see the weird shape each day.

I didn't blog yesterday and didn't even realize it until this morning. I was busy answering comments to Friday's blog, so, it slipped my mind. Sorry, Punky, is your headache better?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Horse Meat

The American Horse has become India's Sacred Cow, for horse slaughter opponents this is their religion. They are religious fanatics pushing their beliefs off on all of us. This is such a hypocritical group, they scream about horses, while eating hamburgers. But this is typical of these people, they probably don't know where beef, pork, chicken or fish come from. They probably think that it comes from the grocery store.

I have not eaten horsemeat to my knowledge but I have sampled many other types of exotic meats. I will usually eat anything that does not eat me first. It is my understanding that years ago, horse-meat was served here in the US as beef and in hamburger to give the hamburger more flavor.

I found the article listed below interesting, this man has eaten Carne Di Cavallo and Cheval in both Italy and Canada, and says that it is slightly sweeter than beef, lower in fat and higher in protein, both satisfying and healthy.

The article also says that England has no laws against horse meat but is prejudice against it. Prejudice is the key word here, why are there so many horse rescues in this country and no cattle rescues or hog rescues?

Go ahead. Take a bite - National Post

Don't judge me by today's blog unless you have read my other blog about horse slaughter. I do not want to see horses mistreated in any way, but neither do I want their value to be so low that people can just let them die without worrying about how much money they are loosing or because they can't sell them anyway.

I have been getting emails applauding my stand on horse slaughter because it is obvious that the answer to the overcrowded horse rescues that we are reading about everyday, is U.S. regulated, humane packing plants. The Humane Society kills dogs and cats everyday but doesn't want horses killed, this is the height of hypocrisy.

They say they want us to put our unwanted horses down humanely, I guess that means with a lethal injection. Do we really want to introduce all of that toxic meat into our soil and landfills? This is just so ridiculous to me when the meat is useful to other living creatures.

The animal rights people, the Humane Society, Politicians and Celebrities have succeeded in destroying the Horse industry by turning the Horse into a liability instead of an asset. Horses are the ones that suffer when they have no value.

I have read many articles about this subject and have seen the comments left by people who just love horses, many of whom have never even owned one. The professional animal rights people say that all of the articles about rescues refusing horses because they are full and horses starving on farms where people can't sell them and can't afford to feed them, stories about horses being dumped on public land to fend for themselves, is just propaganda.

Well, it is true, they are suffering. You don't have to go far to find someone desperate for hay in our area and if they can find it, they can't afford it. There are articles everyday in papers all over the U.S. about struggling rescues, starving horses and horses dumped on federal land. So I guess the news media is all a part of a big conspiracy to make this look like it isn't working, but the truth is it just isn't working.

We need to reopen the packing plants without any stigma attached. Animal rights people, the Inhumane Society, Politicians and Celebrities need to mind their own business, quit trying to make their religion the nation's religion, and quit putting this enormous burden on horse rescues and horse owners. Horses have done just fine without their help for many years, they are not an endangered species.

If you think that this will end with horses, you are mistaken, we are just a step away from becoming a nation of vegans.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Free Range Eggs

Since my brother-in-law called this morning and was telling us how much he is paying for eggs from Chicken owners, and not Factory produced eggs from the grocery stores. I thought that I would encourage chicken owners everywhere to unite.

Organic is in!! People are paying way more for organically grown foods and dairy products. Organically produced eggs are selling to intelligent people who are concerned for their health and well being and that of their families for at least $10 per dozen and sometimes more. The cost to produce organic foods, eggs and dairy is very high.

However, the health conscious person who also wants a bargain are buying free-range eggs at a minimum of $5.00 per dozen. Free range eggs come from free ranging chickens, who scratch out their existence from a wide area environment.

The eggs that I produce are from chickens that find their own food for the most part but do get a little grain each day, so they cannot be considered organic because their grain is not organically grown.

The difference in Factory produced eggs and home grown eggs is dramatic, they are richer, tastier and do not contain the chemicals that factory produced eggs contain, plus they come from happy hens who aren't kept in cages.

Home grown egg producers need to stick together and maintain a price that reflects the value of their product. Just because you are getting too many eggs doesn't mean that you should practically give them away. If you are giving them away to family and friends, that is one thing but consider raising your prices when marketing them to others. They can buy cheap eggs at the store and that is what they will be getting, watered down eggs full of chemicals.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


After last year's drought, I thought that we would never see our lower pasture flooded again. So it was with great joy that I walked along the flood waters of Indian Creek again this morning. This past summer you could walk across Indian Creek without getting your feet wet and that is the first time that I can ever remember that happening.

Mille Fleur d'uccle Rooster

Mille Fleur d'uccle Rooster
The great thing about Indian Creek is that she goes back into her banks very quickly. I took these pictures this morning and by early afternoon the water was all back where it should be.

Deadly Pet Food

3 companies indicted in pet food case - Yahoo! News

China is not only trying to kill our children with lead based paint on toys, but they tried to kill our pets as well. Outrageous!

Goat Milk Lotion

Yes, I know that I didn't blog yesterday but I had already started this one when the storms came through and I had to shut off my computer. Then we lost our electricity, so I never finished it or got it posted. The following is yesterday's blog.

I have a lot of goat's milk in my freezer that I need to get rid of before my goats come fresh again. So I have decided to make lotion, cleanser and soap. I started my new adventure today.

I purchased most of the ingredients that I needed from that great Chinese distributor, Walmart, except for the Beeswax and Goat's Milk. I bought a Stick Blender that was made in China, they only had one choice available, so it got pitched in the old cart pretty quickly without much thought. They had Coconut Oil that is a dietary supplement that was actually manufactured in Florida. They had Spring Valley Vitamin E Oil for the skin that was manufactured in California. They also had some Aloe Vera Gel that wasn't exactly what my recipe called for because it wasn't 100% Aloe Vera, it was an Aloe Vera Gel for sunburn, but I didn't think it would hurt anything because it is for the skin and it was manufactured in Florida.

Here is the recipe:

1/8 tsp. borax
1/4 cup cold goat's milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp. beeswax
1/2 cup Aloe Vera gel
1 tsp. Vitamin E oil

Heat borax and milk in microwave to boiling. Melt coconut oil and beeswax together in microwave but remove when oil gets hot and beeswax is not completely melted, the hot oil will melt the beeswax with a little time and stirring. Slowly add this to the borax/milk mixture using a stick blender. Add Vitamin E oil and cool to room temperature. Next add Aloe Vera to the cooled lotion and blend one final time.

I had to buy the beeswax on eBay.

We found this recipe to be way too greasy, but it may be because I used the wrong type of Aloe Vera Gel. This would make a great massage oil though.

I plan to order some pure Aloe Vera and try this recipe again because it is so easy. The hardest part was shaving the beeswax

Monday, February 4, 2008


My husband and I sorta made a commitment not to ever complain about mud again after the terrible drought that we had last Summer and Fall. It is like a New Year's Resolution or a diet, it is one thing to say it but quite another to abide by it.

I really got stuck in the mud tonight with one foot and I didn't know what I was going to do, my back is so bad that I just could not pull myself free and my husband was in the house. I finally wiggled it back and forth until it lost it's suction and I pulled it free.

My dear husband got stuck in the mud as well but he managed to fall also. When he came back to the house, he handed me that handy, not so dandy anymore, Black and Decker rechargeable spotlight that was totally covered in mud to clean up.

I have to give him credit, even though it is taking him so much longer to feed on this treacherous ground, he isn't complaining. There is more rain on the way for the next several days. Our prayers have been answered and the drought is over. Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mustang Sally | Times Mail

This article appeared in our local newspaper about a friend of ours. He has entered the Midwest Mustang Challenge and has drawn a 4 yr. old Mustang mare named Sally to train, he picked her up in Illinois on January 12th. She will be spending the next couple of months with Mark Burnette in Williams, Indiana.

She is not very big, just a large pony really that has not been handled, as he says in the article, “This is a horse that’s never been touched really, and within 20 minutes (of unloading her) I was petting her on the shoulder. I thought she’d be nuts. She’s very well behaved, she’s never tried to kick me.”

Mark will have Sally for around 100 days and will then take her to Wisconsin, where he will be competing with 60 other amateur trainers and their newly trained Mustangs.

They will be competing for a share of the $12,000 in prize money, then their horses will be auctioned off to the public. At last year's auction some of the trained Mustangs brought thousands of dollars, as compared to the usual $125 adoption fees.

Rumor has it that Sally has already put Mark on the ground but that is nothing new for him, he has been thrown before by much bigger horses.

Good luck, Mark, we are rooting for you!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

If a groundhog surfaced here today, he would have most assuredly seen his shadow, so I guess we get some more winter. After our big winter storm warning yesterday, I believe he is better at predicting than those getting paid to do so.

Our deer did return this evening, just like clockwork, so I guess our offspring didn't traumatize them too badly.

I had a wonderful day, I went out this morning and the ground was still frozen and covered with ice. My back is so bad that I am terrified of falling, I did slip several times but never went down. My animals had to be taken care of and I was the only person here to do it, so I had to suck it up and be brave.

I went back out at about 1:00 and didn't even need a coat, all the ice was gone and muddy soup had taken it's place, like I say, you gotta love Indiana weather. I did some more slipping around and checked for eggs.

My Great Pyrenees, Angel was running all around me, in a playful mood, trying to knock me down, wallowing in the mud and when I went into the goat/chicken shed, she gleefully followed me in. That's when I started being splattered all over with a mixture of liquid mud and manure as she wagged her big furry tail, it was just like a big, wet dish rag being slung around.

Spots appeared all over my glasses and clothing as well as my neck and face. Then of course, she just couldn't help but put her big, mud soaked paws all over me.

When I got back to the house I was a sight and I didn't smell very good either but that is good, because as long as you have a good sense of smell they say that you don't have Alzheimer's. Losing one's sense of smell is one of the first symptoms, this is reassuring to me since I can't smell my billy goat anymore, at least I can still smell manure.

Friday, February 1, 2008

FireFox ~ Timed Out

If you are using the Firefox browser like I am, you may be getting a lot of "The connection has timed out, the server at (website name) is taking too long to respond" messages and have to click the "Try Again" button. I was getting these all of the time and especially on a forum that I visit regularly.

I googled the problem and came up with many different opinions on what was causing this, but this is the solution that I tried and it worked:

1. Open your Firefox browser
2. In the location bar at the very top of your browser, type "about:config" (without quotation marks)
3. A large list will appear, scroll down to find: network.dns.disableIPv6
4. Right click on above item
5. Choose: toggle (this should change the setting to: true)
6. Close your browser and then reopen it, your problem should be fixed, it worked for me.

Bobcat Tracks?

Update on Maude the fat hen: She is still with us and seems to be doing well. She has now survived both an Opossum and Bobcat attack.

Here are the pictures of the tracks that I found in the mud the next morning, I had walked all around in the pen the night before, trying to catch the chickens, so both the chickens and myself ruined most of the tracks and there were some tracks that had chicken prints on top of them. It was very sloppy and muddy that night, but it did freeze later on after I emptied the pen.

Bobcat Toe Tracks
Several clawless toe tracks

Bobcat Track
Heal at the top and toes at the bottom, only 4 toes are actually visible here.

Other reasons that we feel this was a Bobcat is because of the speed at which it got into the dog kennel and out of it. I was in the house, my dog started barking, I heard the chain link rattle, then the chickens started screaming and I was out there very quickly without even taking the time to put on a coat. We really don't feel that a coon or coyote could have scaled that fence that quickly.

Also the size of the puncture wounds and the damage that was done to the hen in that span of time and the reaction of our horses, who were very spooked, they see coyotes, foxes and possums all the time.


Is it Wal-Mart or Walmart? Anyway, we had to go there yesterday, kicking and screaming all the way. But there was this big winter storm warning and we had to go there to get the essentials to make it through weeks of isolation and being stranded with no electricity. We got a toaster, a stick blender, a Crossman 760 Pumpmaster BB Gun, 6000 BB's, bread and Little Debbie's snack cakes.

I got the BB Gun because my eldest son said that we got him one just like it when he was very young and it lasted him his whole childhood, until his little brother blow it up. So he got his son one for Christmas and I went yesterday before the big storm and got me one.

We needed a new toaster because our ancient Toastmaster toaster had died. We looked over their selection, the features and prices, then manufacturer names: Toastmaster, GE, Hamilton Beach, Black and Decker. The one that we picked and put in our shopping cart was a Black and Decker, then we looked on the box and it said that it was made in China. So we put it back on the shelf and chose another and it too was made in China. We went on to the next one and you guessed it, every toaster that Walmart had on it's selves were made in China. So we held our noses and bought the Chinese Black and Decker toaster. They must have taller bread in China because we can hardly reach the toast when it pops up.

I remember the good old days when Wal-Mart used to sell items made in the USA and was proud to do it. I also remember the days when Wal-Mart used to have plenty of cashiers and no waiting. I think that our local store has like 26 check-out lanes and at peak times they have 5 of them open, the rest of the time they keep 2 open.

Of course that winter storm that was suppose to dump 6 inches of Snow and Ice on us never materialized. I think this is a conspiracy of the Government or Walmart to get people to run to the stores and buy Milk and Bread. This is a clever way for Walmart to make even more money or the Government to stimulate the economy. I wonder how much of a kickback the weather forecasters get?