Monday, January 28, 2008

A new boy!

We got a new brother for Roscoe. His name is George, and he is another adorable miniature schnauzer. We weren't really planning on finding another dog, but I happened to see him when I was perusing Craigslist today, and instantly fell in love. He's very low key, so he is a good balance for Roscoe. He even looks a little bit like Fritz, which is kind of nice.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekend report

Well, the coyotes decided not to show up once the guns appeared on the scene. So we were unsuccessful in our coyote hunting expedition this weekend. Dad gave us a shotgun, though, so now at least we can shoot it up in the air to make some noise and scare them off if they come back.
We did get the rest of the fence up yesterday, so that will be great for the sheep and goats. Now they can be out in the pasture all day even while we're at work. ML and Aaron also put up the tin on the north side of the barn, which was a big job. It will be great to be able to have the barn enclosed so that we can use it as our workshop/storage shed, and this was the first step toward that end.
Watching Family Guy right now and having a hard time concentrating on writing this..what a great show...

Friday, January 25, 2008

New pics

Here's an updated pic of Miss Molly Wobbles--she's now 4 months old, and still quite cute. Also, a pic of Aaron and Roscoe from today. Note that Aaron is wearing a hat in the house because it continues to be freezing (both outside and inside)!


So, here we are in the middle of the afternoon and there are two coyotes hanging out in broad daylight in the pasture. Crazy! And not the good kind of crazy. We ran outside and screamed our heads off at them to scare them and they just looked back at us without moving. Uggh. And of course, our hippie idealism has prevented us from owning a gun to shoot at them. We finally got them to leave after a bit more yelling and arm waving. ML is coming over tomorrow with his fancy gun to do some coyote hunting, which should be interesting.

New look

Okay, so after receiving some comments from LL on the lack of functionality of our previous "blog," I have now upgraded to this one. Now you can post comments and whatever, I guess. I have to admit it does look cooler now. So, here it is...enjoy.

Organizing and Musings about "stuff"

January 22, 2008
It is freezing, and has been since Friday. Ughh. I have no idea how we survived in Michigan for two years. I guess we just spent so much time studying in grad school that we never went outside. We've made it all winter so far without turning on the heater in the house. We have a wood burning stove in the living room, and it puts out a lot of heat. The only problem is you have to keep the fire going, because once it goes out, it is not only hard to get it started again, but it takes forever to heat the house again. There's no real reason that we have this aversion to turning on the heater--it's really just a weird game we decided to try this winter, to see if we could make it all winter without it. Well, that and the fact that we had a big fight with our propane delivery company a few months ago because they came out to our house and repossessed our tank one day while we were at work. Needless to say, it was their mistake and some kind of a "filing error." We fired them and haven't taken the time to find a new company yet.
This weekend I spent a lot of time organizing all of our crap. Thrilling, I know. But it was too cold to be outside, so I figured it would be nice to finally finish unpacking all of our stuff from our move over a year ago that we had just stuffed into closets and forgotten about. So now we have organized closets. Yea.
Speaking of "stuff" is really amazing how much junk we accumulate. I mean, I try to be really conscious of limiting the material possessions that we collect, and try to buy only the "need to have" stuff instead of the "nice to have" stuff. But still, it really is incredible how we have this mindset ingrained in most of us in American culture that we covet just about everything that is bigger and "better." I have to constantly recenter myself in this regard.
I talked with my friend Chris about these ideas a couple of months ago, and she had some absolutely incredible stories about what she personally is doing to fight overconsumption in her own life. She made a committment to purchase nothing new (except food and essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.) for one year. Everything, from clothes, to furniture, to household items were purchased used, recycled, or simply not purchased at all. I think it is really inspiring and I doubt that I could do what she is doing. I have made some changes, though. For one, I buy all of my clothes from resale shops or from places that are committed to fair trade, like Fair Indigo.

Planting, Planting, and more Planting

January 14, 2008
We are wiped out! We spent all weekend working outside--planting all of those trees all over the place and also fencing part of the pasture with field fence. It was a crazy amount of effort, but I think it will pay off in the end. It will be great to let the sheep and goats graze all day and then just put them in their pens at night. It will certainly save us some $ because we won't have to feed them as much. As for the trees, we fenced them off so that the animals can't reach them and eat them while they're so tiny. Sometimes I wish I could see into the future to see what the farm will look like 10 years from now when all of the trees are big, but alas, no such luck.
This week we're hoping to get the majority of our seeds started indoors so that they'll be ready to transplant in March. Aaron is building a neat plant stand that looks kind of like a book shelf with lights that we're going to use to get the seeds started. We'll put the step-by-step instructions on how to build it on our projects page this week.

Neat website

January 10, 2008
We found this great website that helps you choose which presidential candidate you should support. It gives a list of 25 issues which you choose to "support, oppose or unknown" and then rank the weight of each issue (key, important or minimal). The site then compares your stances on these issues with 13 presidential candidates and gives you a score. It's a really neat way to get an idea of where each candidate stands without relying on soundbites or media spins. Try it out:
BTW, the stray horses are finally gone. The Johnson County sherrif deputies showed up again and this time they successfully loaded them into a trailer and took them away. Granted, it took 3 hours and involved me standing out in the road holding a horse in my pajamas while we waited for the trailer to arrive, but at least they're gone. It's always an adventure here in Venus! :)

Trees and Random Horses

January 7, 2008
Aaron is always doing these presentations in for nurses that work in rural hospitals around the state of Texas. Today he did one about ethics in nursing practice at a hospital in west Texas, and on the way home he stopped at this nursery (think "trees") that we had heard good things about. Apparently they were super nice and really helpful and gave lots of advice about what trees will work in our area and everything. Anyway, he pulled up in the driveway this evening and literally had fifty trees stuffed in the civic. I am not kidding! So now we have our work cut out for us planting 50 trees by this weekend. Here's what he got: pecan, pomegranate, peach, blackberries, and even grapes. I guess technically the blackberries and grapes are vines, not trees, but whatever.
On a separate note, you know you live in the country when you have stray horses hanging around your house instead of stray dogs. These three horses showed up on Friday and have been hanging out in front of our house ever since. The genius sheriff's department deputies came out to look at them on Sunday and basically said that it wasn't their problem. Our tax dollars at work. So we finally found a neighbor down the street whose son is a real cowboy--one who rides in rodeos and stuff--who is going to come and "rope" the horses and take them to his pasture. What strange new world in which I live!


January 6, 2008
We finally got a tractor!!! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to both of us. I never thought in a million years that I would be excited about buying a 60 year old tractor, but it's true, I am genuinely excited. Funny what living in the country for a year will do to your priorities. Simplify, simplify....

Sugar Bowl

January 2, 2008
We just got back from New Orleans where we watched Hawaii get crushed by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Uggh. We are exhausted. I feel like I played in the game myself! It was a great trip, though. New Orleans is such a fun town, though only healthy in very small doses, in our experience. :)