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Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo and other Writerly stuff

First off, YAY! I made it through the whole month of NaBloWriMo and blogged every day of October, aren't I cool?! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I sometimes did.

Second off, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I am participating again this year, I'm hopelessmoo over there, add me as your buddy if you choose.
But I am doing things different this time, and avoiding all the pressures of trying to do a whole novel in one month by simply FINISHING last years novel. You all remember that book deadline countdown over there, at the right hand top of the sidebar? Yeah, that is counting down for this book, which I started many years ago on bits of paper in my pocket, and then a notebook in my pocket, and then I started putting it down on a legal pad, and that's when Joy found it and took it upon herself to motivate me and gave me the deadline.

And lastly, a few things I learned from reading that I can (hopefully) apply to my own writing:

1) Know what kind of character your character is. Good guys tend to be good, bad guys are bad. I was reading The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan, and straightaway the main character has a thought that stuck with me:  
 "He might not remember Piper, or even who he was, but he knew he hated mean kids."
2) Actually, that is it, I can't quite remember what else I had to say on the topic. I got distracted watching the movie Hot Fuzz on comedy central. It is freaking HILARIOUS!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Miscellaneous Weekends - Horses

 
This is my horse Matilda. She was a cantankerous old thing when I got her, and she was really old when she continued on her way. I used to ride her around bareback, I even tried to run away on her once, but my brother talked me out of it because it was deer hunting season and he said we'd get shot for sure.
She lived with the goats, I don't think she minded them at all, in fact they were probably good company.


I would like to share a favorite poem now by Roque Dalton (1953-1975) titled:


My Horse

I owned a horse
more beautiful and nimble than the light.

Stamping, he was like a wave of blood.
A tiny storm with eyes.
An untamed mountain on perfectly molded legs.

My horse was born dead one day
and the shock on my face put the winds to flight...

(translated from Spanish by Hardie St. Martin)

I know it's kind of a depressing poem about lost dreams and whatnot, but I like it, keeps things in perspective a bit, don't you think?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fantastic Facts Friday - Cats

Did you know that if you Google 'cat facts' you will get over 12 million hits?

Cats are capable of up to one hundred different meow variations(TRUE! Cat Facts)

Calico cats are almost exclusively female, except in rare cases where the male has a gene configuration of XXY. (TRUE! The color gene is located on the X chromosome, which provides females with two opportunities to show color)
and those are your facts for the day since I got distracted learning about genetic abnormalities.(Remember to highlight after each fact to see if it is true or not and for a link to more facts.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Storytime Thursday - Cats

Today's story is another 'Picture Story', where I will post a line of pictures, and just sort of caption them to give a general idea of what's going on. I hope you enjoy it!

The Cat Army
This is my cat army, or maybe it's a horde. They could conquer a small country, but for now are content with a small Wisconsin farm, battling with the pigeons. 
Every good army needs a command team.
And a future generation of fighters.
Rest is good...
but staying alert is important.

Lookouts are posted everywhere...
Camouflaged down low...
sitting up high...







Somewhere in between...
Napping is mandatory...

as is grooming.
Climbing is fun and helps with balance.
Be suspicious of everything...
except when it is tasty milk...
then everyone digs in!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Artwork Wednesday - Cats

So I haven't really done much with cats, just two paintings that I don't like, and therefore will not be sharing, and so I don't really know what to do for today. I guess I am just going to put up another picture of a cat and pretend that it is artwork, even though I'm not even sure that I took it.

It's Peter, by the way.
And also, I should mention that I had this set aside TO paint at some point, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today's Tuesdays - Cats

Isn't Gizzy cute, all cuddled up with her sock?

But watch out, she is EVIL!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reminscing Monday - Cats

Ed wants something...
If you were thinking that I've had a lot of pets over the years, you only have half the picture.You are missing the feline section.

Since I don't have pictures of (all of) our early cats, you will have to suffice with knowing their names;

For the olden day cats, there was: Fluffernutter (big maincoon, bobtail looking thing), April (the bendy cat), Puffy (long haired Siamese),

Snowshoes
For the slightly less olden day cats there was: Ed,   Snowshoes, Peter, Pumpkin, Button, Zipper, Tito, Tyro,

And the still even slightly less olden days cats: Frodo, Alan, Addy, Summers Dream,Greta,

And finally the assorted barn cats that had names; Cali, Sunny, Sammi, Taily,
Snowshoes, Peter, Zipper
Some of our cats were really special and went to a cat show in Wausau, the Household pet show, held annually in October. I showed my cat Zipper, who lost a leg in a hay-cutting accident. He did remarkably well due to his sweet disposition and bright outtake on life despite his missing appendage.


So that is all for today, unless you would like me to dig up MORE photos of cats.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Miscellaneous Weekends - Scarecow

I know, I know, I already did cows, a whole week of them in fact, but this one is special; he's in disguise!

Apparently a radio station is doing a pet costume contest and my sister told me to enter, so I thought about it for a second and came up with a costume for my little buddy, Jake the calf. Isn't he fun?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Miscellaneous Weekends - Rabbits

Say hello to Dexter, the bunny currently residing in my garage.



He came home with my sister in the spring and ended up staying at my house when she took her dog back with her. He is a pretty good bunny, keeps his mess to a minimum. He seems to like his new cage we got him, more hopping room, and likes the mountain dew box.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fantastic Facts Friday - Dogs

Facts about dogs:(remember to highlight behind the fact to see if it is true and a source)

Fact one: Some breeds of dogs have feathers. (TRUE! The long hair along the bottom of the tail is known as the feathers.)

Fact two: Dog size varies greatly depending on breed, ranging from a few inches tall, to three feet tall.(TRUE! The Irish Wolfhound can reach a height of three feet tall at the withers)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Storytime Thursday - Dogs

This is the story of how our family kidnapped a dog.

There are six kids in my family, and when we lived in Randolph, NY we spent a lot of our summer days playing down at the pond out in the cow pasture. The boys built boats and  rafts out of bots of Styrofoam and sticks, the girls went swimming and we all tried our hands at fishing for the little sunfish. I suppose six kids all playing makes a lot of noise, and would attract the attention of a fun loving dog anywhere.

We were a bit startled when this big scary looking dog came bouncing over the hill, wagging her tail like a crazy thing carrying a squeaky celery toy, but she was nice and didn't bite anyone. She may or may not have followed is home the first day, but she eventually became a bit of a fixture at our house, where Mom would say something to the effect of ' oh look, that big Bertha dog is back'. Every time she was at our house, her owner would stop by on his way home from work in the evening and call her over, load her into the back of his truck and take her home.

We knew her name was Abby, of course, since her owners were our neighbors. I remember one sunny afternoon when we were all out for a walk with our fair lambs, and Bertha was with us, when we met up the the neighbors taking their new baby for a walk in the stroller. We stopped for a chat, they joked how everyone was out taking their baby's for a walk in the sun, and then scolded Abby for bothering the nice people. Little did they know...

Mom always said she felt bad for doing it, but Dad claims that he DID go talk to them before we left. You see, Dad was afraid that the people who owned the farm where we lived, and were moving away from, wouldn't be too kind to a dog just randomly stopping by and would shoot her, so when we loaded up the U-hauls and suburban, we piled all the dogs into the truck and drove off to our new home with a stolen dog.

Her name officially became Bertha with her vet visits, and registration tags, and then she even became a show dog when Joy started working with her for the 4-H dog project. She just became part of our family when her family had a new baby and didn't have as much time to spend with her. She even brought Mr. Celery man with her when we moved.

Bertha was a pretty special old dog.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today's Tuesdays - Dogs

Max
I don't have any dogs at the moment, but Mom does. She has a standard poodle and two corgi's. She is training them to track and goes once a week to the State park Hartman's Creek with a group of other dog enthusiasts to lay trails and work their dogs. Also living at her house is my sister's dog Garret, also a standard poodle. I don't feel like looking for pictures of all of them.

Nugget
But I do have pictures of the dogs I see everyday at work, Max and Nugget.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reminiscing Mondays - Dogs

Scruffy

There has never been a time that I can remember when my family hasn't had dogs. The first one that I can remember was an old black dog name  Poochy. I don't suppose I knew him long, he was gone by the time I was five or so, as far as I recall.

My first dog was Scruffy. He ran away with a couple of other dogs, including a beagle, when he was still a puppy. It made me sad. That is about all I recall on that. oh, and my family made fun of me for naming my dog Scruffy (come on, I was six!).

Charlie-Ann
The next oldest dog we had was Charlie-Ann, she was really tiny when we got her as a puppy. No one was really sure what kind of dog she was, possibly a whippet cross, but she lived a long time and made the big move to Wisconsin with us. She is the only dog I knew that actually got to have a middle name.


Bertha and Ed

Joe Joe

Then along came Bertha. She didn't really belong to us, but she loved us anyways and came with us when we moved. But that is a story for another day (Thursday).











Joe Joe was my last dog, and my all-time favorite. Mom brought him home one day and said to me 'clean up the puke in the back of the suburban and he is yours'. So I did, and he became MY dog. He really didn't like car rides as a puppy, and got car sick a lot, something that was forcefully corrected when we made the big move from New York to Wisconsin, a 15 hour car ride. After that he loved to go for rides.

Joe Joe's favorite toy was a sock balled up and stuffed into another sock, his favorite activity was rough-housing, and his favorite color was green. He loved fireworks. He would chase after them barking his head off while Bertha hid her head and cried. Joe Joe had his own little cave underneath mom and dads bed, and kept all of his tin cans stashed under there for later enjoyment.

He died a few of years ago on July 5th, right after his favorite holiday. It broke my heart.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Miscellaneous Weekends - Fish

Joy tells me I should be doing a post about fish, one fish in particular, but I will get to him in a moment.
I had some fish once. My very OWN fish that I bought. They were betas and they were very pretty. They didn't last very long though, so that was the end of my owning of fish.

After all of her children left the house( for marriages and college), my mother got goldfish. For a while they didn't last very long, dying off every few months, but then she got a couple of fish for cheaper than the pet store at Walmart, and lo, they lasted a long time! One even lasted for a couple of years, getting so big that he needed his own tank! But that isn't the fish we are here to talk about.

Bubba is. I assume Joy won him at a fair or carnival, that's where most of the goldfish in my life have  come from. In her own words, " Bubba was a well traveled fish, going across the state of Wisconsin more times than any fish has any business doing!" . He lived in a pickle jar, you know, the really big ones full of really big pickles. That's pretty much all that I know about his story.

And so, I leave you with a drawing of a fish. I suspect I was working on drawing shadows, and that this started out with the rock in the bottom corner. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Miscellaneous Weekends- The Husband Animal

Okay, so I messed up and posted the stuff I had scheduled for this weekend already. It wasn't my fault really, Joy came over and was telling me all the stuff I had missed, so in my haste to make sure my chickens were included, I crammed them in the first weekend, reducing the sheep to one post, and losing a whole weekend of critters.

So now I have a lack of beasts, but considering the fact that he is incredibly furry most of the time, my husband will have to stand in for the misplaced poultry.

In many ways, my dearly beloved is very much like a wild animal, and in other instances, like a tame house pet. For example: he is at one with nature (notice how he fishes in the photos below) spending more time out-doors than in, but he is potty trained.

Like the lovable squirrel, he likes to hoard food, and stocks up whenever he is at the store. (for example, at this moment there are five gallons of milk in the refrigerator, one of which he bought tonight[last night, whatever] despite the four gallons already there.)

Like the majestic lion, he is reluctant to get wet while fishing (do lions fish?).



On the other hand, we have the lovable house cat who likes to be petted, and purrs when his beard is scratched.

Like a cuddly puppy, he tends to drool in his sleep. (Just yesterday we had a conversation [that I won't go into the beginning of] that ended with "bah, that don't matter, it matches the drool on the pillow!"[Disgusting:Yes, and it wasn't even his pillow.])

Despite his more beast like qualities, he is still man, and therefor obsessed with fire, very much like his primitive ancestors (which he vehemently denies[though I doubt he knows the word vehemently] existed.). 

Remind me to do a post on all of the conversation I've had with him sometime. They are downright bizarre.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fantastic Facts Fridays - Cows

Facts (maybe!) about cows. To see the source and answers highlight next to each 'fact'.

Fact: Today's farmers can milk a hundred cows an hour or more compared to only six before the advent of milking machines. (TRUE : Kid's Corner)

Fact: Holstein cows are the oldest breed and were developed in the Swiss Alps.  (FALSE! Brown Swiss are the oldest breed and are still raised there.
Fact: A cows Rumen can hold as much feed as a large garbage can. (TRUE! You'll have to take my word for it, since that is something I learned at college and can't be bothered to find a link supporting it.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today's Tuesday's --Cows

These are my current cows. Aubyn and Agent. I bought Aubyn from the farm that I used to work at when they sold out this spring and got a bull calf from her. I was mildly disappointed that I didn't get a heifer calf, but my boss has said that he would like to keep him around for breeding purposes, and that is fine by me. 

The reason I bought this cow in particular was because she is the daughter of my all-time favorite cow , Blinky. She had some sort of eye disorder, but she was a dear, sweet cow when I knew her.  Besides being  her daughter, the cow I bought had a puffy leg from the excitement of getting ready to sell, and went for a lot less than she was worth, so I got a really good deal on her. Plus she is awesome.

So there you go, three generations on one blog post.

Moo.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reminiscing Monday - Cows

The first cow I ever claimed as my own was a Holstein named Rebbecca. I was only four when she was born , but I remember her because my twin got a calf at the same time, and we told them apart by their noses. Her calf had a pink nose and mine was black.

Linkenstien or Starback, I can't be sure which one this is
This morning I started this post and decided that I would try to see if I could get into the Holstein Association records and find her registration info. It didn't take much after I got onto the website to find the animal search function, and a quick (actually it was slow) search of the family prefix, I found Rebbecca. But what I didn't expect to find was that she wasn't mine, she was dad's. My first cow registered was someone called Link, who I am fairly certain was my calf Linkenstein ( what can I say, I was six when I named her!), who had an open-book shaped marking on her forehead. How disappointed was I! She was the only animal on there registered to me other than my two current animals. I guess the other ones were taken off of the family account when they were sold before we left NY.
Bridget and Midget at NE WI High Protein Show

Eventually I got over having Holsteins and moved on to Brown Swiss. They are so much prettier.

I guess that is all I have for today.