Animals, Beauty, Farming, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

Changes: Down Here on the Farm

About a week ago, I made an executive decision:  Come this next Sunday, I’m sending almost all of my sheep to the auction. All that is, except: Dizzabel, the tiny lamb who entered my life last January when I discovered her, down the bottom of the field, in the snow, crying, at about 10PM when… Continue reading Changes: Down Here on the Farm

Farming, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

One Girl Went to Mow….

I’ve started mowing the fields.  Very late this year, due to a series of calamities and necessary service adjustments that put my essential vehicle in the tractor hospital for several months (“supply-chain issues”):  a leaky hydraulic hose, worn tires, and a–not-required, but I thought wise–thorough going-over at her coming-of-age twenty-first birthday anniversary. (I poured myself… Continue reading One Girl Went to Mow….

Animals, Love, Pets and Livestock

Happy Birthday, Xena!

She is, indeed, my Warrior Princess.  Eleven years old today.  And a survivor. She was born on June 17, 2011, and–as a Great Pyrenees puppy–somehow ended up living in an apartment in center-city Philadelphia PA.  God knows why.  Or how.  GPs are not–as a rule–high-energy dogs, and they can do quite well without an extensive… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Xena!

Animals, Farming, Friendship, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

No Matter What: Contrarian Pets, and the Owner Who Loves Them

As some of you know, I’m currently owned by two dogs: Xena, an elderly Great Pyrenees, and Odo, a puppy of the same breed. My last experience with a puppy was in 1986 (Wulfie, the Old English Sheepdog), and I’d forgotten how exhausting, challenging, charming, and occasionally hilarious, such a thing can be.  In the… Continue reading No Matter What: Contrarian Pets, and the Owner Who Loves Them

Animals, Farming, Life, Loss, Love, Pets and Livestock, Quote of the Day

Giving My Heart (Just Once More) For a Dog to Tear

Well, OK.  Einstein was wrong.  (I say this because I refuse to believe, just because I indulge this particular sort of repetitive behavior--always believing that, next time, when the end comes I'm going to weather the storm without incident--that I’m insane.  Obtuse, stubborn, and human, perhaps.  But not insane.) Shortly before Christmas, it fell to… Continue reading Giving My Heart (Just Once More) For a Dog to Tear

Animals, Ave Atque Vale, Loss, Love, Pets and Livestock

Ave Atque Vale: The Greatest Pyrenees

He was the biggest--in every sense of the word--dog who's ever owned me.  Big of size, big (well, reasonably big) of brain, big of spirit, but most of all, big of heart. Levi's long, and very good, run came to an end this morning.  He'd been having increasing trouble hauling his 150lb frame to its… Continue reading Ave Atque Vale: The Greatest Pyrenees

Animals, Farming, Pets and Livestock, Quote of the Day, Rural Living

From the Chicken House to the Cathedral

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral--Frank Lloyd Wright. I do like a man who has his priorities straight. Even if I’m not one of them. Frank Lloyd Wright was, while not exactly a Southwest Pennsylvanian, often claimed as one of ours on account of Fallingwater, a… Continue reading From the Chicken House to the Cathedral

Ave Atque Vale, Music, Pets and Livestock

Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine

Tom T. Hall died yesterday. While my contemporaries were listening to the addled, screeching, incoherent outpourings of the deranged, the dysfunctional, and the sex, drugs and rock-and-roll addicted contingent of my generation, I was here: https://youtu.be/pQAk-xYxvVo Don't like it?  I don't really think I want to know you.

Farming, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

Building a Small Grain Bin From Septic Tank Riser Sections

OK, before anybody make a scatalogical joke, I'm already reminded of this billboard: But, seriously.  Grain bins. What I need (and all I need) is a bin in which I can securely (that is racoon and mouse-proof-ly) store a few hundred pounds of sheep feed at a time.  Many years ago, I built a nice… Continue reading Building a Small Grain Bin From Septic Tank Riser Sections

Animals, Farming, Nature, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

Guilty Pleasures

They’re so funny.  And, in many ways, so very human. This is Oleg.  He’s tiny for his age (about six weeks), and his “sister” (Tatiana) who’s only a couple of days older, is almost twice his size.  I only named them this morning, upon the increasing certainty that the little fermentation vats that comprise their… Continue reading Guilty Pleasures