About Me

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Fayette Co, KY, United States
I am a country girl stuck in the city, for the time-being. I enjoy the country way of life, and practice that in my home as best I can by canning and preserving foods, cooking and baking from scratch, crocheting, living vicariously thru the many blogs I follow about country life. I enjoy learning about raising livestock, and glean from my past employment and personal experiences of working with animals to fuel some of my postings. I have 5 cats, who keep my life interesting. And I am also an amateur poet. Thanks for stopping by and checking out this Farmer-gal who is caught in town, for now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shavuot: A Poem - giving of first fruits and the Torah

I wrote this poem in 2005, to commemorate the Jewish Holiday of Shavuot which occurs 50 days after Passover. The first day of Shavuot was yesterday. It is a 2-day holiday. I practiced Judaism for 10 yrs after converting in 1995, but am now a Christian (again) after having been raised Catholic. On Shavuot, Jews would bring their first harvested fruits as a sacrifice to God to the Temple in Jerusalem. When their fruits were first growing, they would tie a string to the first fruits on the trees and plants so that they could bring those for their sacrifice. Shavuot also celebrates the giving of the Torah, or the first 5 books of the Bible, known as the Books of Moses, that were given on Mt Sinai. In the Jewish faith, it is believed that every Jew, past, present, and future was present at the giving of the Torah at Mt Sinai. After wandering in the desert for 40 yrs they came to the Jordan River to cross to the Promised Land, and Joshua read the 5 Books of Moses to the people before crossing the river. You can also read about a modern-day celebration of Shavuot on a farm at the website/blog of Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz here Ten Apple Farm I hope you enjoy this poem. It was fun to write, and reading it again takes me back to those times of learning about Judaism, and tying me to my Christian roots.

Deuteronomy 5:3-4 It was not with our fathers that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, the living, every one of us who is here today. Face to face the Lord spoke to you on the mountain out of fire.

after the song I Remember You . . . by Rabbi Joe Black and Deuteronomy 5

The Sages and Rabbis said
every Jew, alive, dead,
and yet to be,
stood at Mt. Sinai.
All Jewish souls were present there.

I remember you . . .
standing at the base
of that mountain,
covered in soot
from the heat of the fire
and smoky cloud.

We stood side by side
cowering from the shofar blast,
covering our eyes and ears.
He gave us laws and rules to live by
through the hand of Moses,
a covenant with us
not Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob,
our fathers.

We’ve gone our separate ways,
you look so foreign to me
and I know you think me strange.
But we are bound
by what happened that day
when God spoke face to face.

After forty years of wandering
we hear these words again
on the steppes of Moab,
at the Jordan, near Jericho.
There is a moment of surprise,
of recognition, and awe,
as we remember
how we stood together
at the foot of that mountain
so long ago.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig

Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig (GOS) came from the Vale of Berkeley in England - also known as Gloucestershire. They were raised on small farms and fed dairy by-products such as whey, and fed on "drop fruits" in orchards. Making them known as "cottage pigs" or "orchard pigs". They are considered to be the oldest breed of spotted pigs.

They are a hearty breed, and can withstand harsh weather and adverse conditions. With the industrialization of agriculture after WWII, the GOS began to decline. Farmers were less interested in self-sufficient grazing breeds than they were in breeds easily kept indoors.

Gloucestershire Old Spots are said to be good foragers or grazers. This is not surprising considering the type of feeding practiced in the original home of the breed during its early development. The sows of the breed are known for large litters and high milk production. Large litter production and milk production have been characteristics sought by practical producers everywhere.

These days the GOS is making a comeback in the US. In fact, I think I've found some GOS farmers near me in KY. They're being bred to lose their spots, so they are more white than in the past. The GOS is being pasture raised, bringing back its natural trait for foraging.

I was assisted with this post by information obtained from the following websites

I worked for 9 years at the University of KY Swine Research Unit - 1991 to 2000. I had to quit that job because it was a confinement system, and I just couldn't bring myself to work with pigs under those conditions any longer. If I were to raise a few pigs on my farm, when I get it, I believe I will pick the Gloucestershire Old Spots pig. To me, they are beautiful. And pigs are wonderful to work with, unless, of course, you try to make them go where they don't want to go - they tend to be a bit stubborn, and can wield their weight around pretty easily. I speak from experience here! LOL

I hope you've enjoyed this post on the GOS - maybe it's something you haven't seen before, and I hope it's peaked your interest. Take care all. And have a good week.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sheep and Goat Day at Kathy's Musings

The photos in this posting are from the following websites - except for the photos of the 3 books.

This is one goat beard that would make even Watson over at Goat Philosophy 101 green with envy.You can check out Watson's beard at April-confoolcius

Here is the first book I read about goats by Margaret Hathaway, and photos by Karl Schatz. I read it a year or two ago, and just revisited it last month. They spend a year and 40,000 miles traveling the US in search of the best goat cheese, and investigating goat farms, ranches, and events to see if they will follow their dream of raising goats. Margaret and Karl's website and blog can be found here: Ten Apple Farm and if you want to follow Margaret and Karl on Facebook, you can do that here Ten Apple Farm on Facebook During the month of May if you "Like" their page, you have a chance of winning some giveaways.

Here is Margaret and Karl's second book chronicling their first few years of raising Alpine dairy goats in Maine. I won this book while listening to The Sheep and Goat Radio Hour I think I was the only one listening and submitted my name by email to win a copy of the book. I mean, who else is going to spend time listening to an online radio show on a Thursday at noon about sheep and goat fencing? I ask you!? The radio show is hosted by Ray Bowman who heads up the KY Sheep and Goat Development Office in Frankfort KY.

I just got a kick out of this photo - those woolly heads and faces -- too much! LOL

Here is a book in the same vein as Margaret and Karl's Living with Goats book. The "Living with" books are in a series published by The Lyons Press. The author here is Chuck Wooster, and photos are taken by Geoff Hansen. I enjoyed this book because it goes into more detail than many basic books, is very practical, but also it is not too technical or "scary" for those of use who want to raise sheep.

Well, this is it for the Sheep and Goat Day at Kathy's Musings. Now I'm going to have to hunt on the Internet for more pix, I'm using up all of the ones I've found so far. Take care all.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hooked on Crochet . . . or . . . Obsessed with Dishcloths . . . you decide

I've been crocheting for about a year, and have yet to get out of the beginning stages of doing dishcloths. The other day I went a little hog-wild, and got carried away. Here are some of the results.

I used a single-crochet stitch on most of them . . .

and on some I used a half-double crochet stitch.

I use 100% cotton yarn, in multi-color cuz I like the brightness and variety. The one problem I'm finding is that when I give these away, the folks I give them to think they're pot-holders. I guess they can be used as double-duty.

I think the Goatmother over on Goat Philosophy 101 (Marigold's Mama) has perfected the Granny Square, which is my next feat, I hope. She even does some great "clothing" for her pup Cabra. Much to Cabra's chagrin. I'm not sure my furrbabies would go for clothing, but I have thought of doing little sweaters for them. Now where DID I put that measuring tape . . . more projects to come.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

On a previous post I wrote 2 quotes that are my favorites of late. I neglected to give credit where credit is due. I got the quotes from the blog Goat Philosophy 101 featuring Marigold the Great - the wonderful peanut eating goat, and her Goatmother, Maryann. Thanks Marigold and Goatmother!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day all you Mamas - it's now after midnight in Central KY.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Doppelganger - a poem to share

The word doppelganger comes from German folklore. There were legends and stories that say each person has a ghost-like doppelganger, which is an exact copy of the person. In the legends, doppelgangers are usually invisible. Sometimes, they make themselves seen, and that is a sign of bad luck. Luckily, those are just legends! Usually when people say doppelganger today, it just means a coincidental look-alike. http://www.whyzz.com/

Doppelganger - written Fall 2004

She is my muse,
my double goer,
for my eyes only,
My alter ego,
she is the me who loses
gets me to write what's on her mind.
My brash, unabashed other self.

At times I stray
from her watchful presence
to create alone.
Then with malicious mischief
she comes up from behind
and maligns my being.
I return to her
ready again for the absorption
of her wisdom.

I am forever the prodigal,
she, the Doppelganger.

I Can Dream . . . Can't I?

I was hunting today online for some great farm animal pix and came up with a few.

These are from the following websites:


Yes, before I knew better, I thought that pigs' tails had to be curled by humans! DUH!!!! Yes, I was born in town.

Rooster and Goat

This turned out a little blurry cuz I tried to enlarge it a bit. It's a goat with a rooster on its back. Killing two birds (goats) with one stone in this pic.

Twin lambs
I can still dream . . . . and dream . . . . can't I?

If I dream it (the farm) it will come.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A couple of my favorite quotes as of late

This sheep photo is from the following website: www.imageafter.com/images.php

"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time." Calvin and Hobbes.

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted, but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known." Garrison Keillor

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wildflowers in a Mason Jar - John Denver

These photos are from the following website: http://www.freeherbpictures.com/

I was thinking of the John Denver song today, "Wildflowers in a Mason Jar." Couldn't find any pix with flowers in mason jars to download, so these will have to suffice.

The lyrics to the song are as follows:

January back in '55 we road a Greyhound bus through the Georgia midnight
Grandpa was sleepin', and the winter sky was clear
We hit a bump and his head jerked back a little and he mumble somethin'
He woke up smilin' but his eyes were filled with tears.
He said:

I dreamed I was back on the farm
Twenty years have passed boy but the memory still warms me
Wildflowers in a mason jar.

He told me those old stories 'bout that one-room cabin in Kentucky
The smell of rain, and the warm earth in his hands
He slowly turned and stared outside his face was mirrored in the window
And his reflection flew across the moonlit land.

And he dreamed he was back on the farm
Tilts his head and listens to the early sound of the mornin'
Wildflowers in a mason jar.

An old man and an eight-year old boy rollin' down that midnight highway
Kentucky memories on a winter Georgia night
I started driftin' off and Grandpa tucked his coat around me
I think I tried to smile as I slowly closed my eyes

And I dreamed I was with him on the farm
Grandpa I can hear the evenin' wind out in the tall corn
Wildflowers in a mason jar
And the bus rolled through the night.
I hope you enjoyed today's post - it brings back memories for me.