Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Xtreme Mom-Over

Just a quick post to let the two of who who are still reading (*waves*) know that I'm not dead!

Seriously, I am super busy at work, toilet training Bulk (who is doing fab BTW), and minding the Brood and the farm and my new tractor! (Eeee!)


And now for your snarky pleasure, a rant:

Fiver is close to 4 months old. He has been sleeping through the night for a month ( 9pm to 5am or so). He eats like a champ and is in size 4 disposable nappies and 6-9 month old clothes.

ALL THE FRICKEN' TIME I get the questions about whether he is eating solid food.

Well, no he isn't.

What you do with your baby is your business. Don't try to make me feel small because I choose to wait to feed solids until my babe is 6 months.

Number one, they don't NEED solids until they are 6 months. SOOOOOO many women introduce solids WAY early as a form of one-upmanship ("My Ayvah Grayse was eating cereal at 6 weeks!") or as a bizarre "aww-poor-baby-she's-huuuuuuuungry! Look at how she stares when I eat!" lack of parenting control thing. Of course she stares intently at you when you eat. You are the center of her universe, the most fascinating thing in her world. She's NOT hungry, she would be just as focused if you were picking your nose.

Also, there are several studies out there that suggest that introducing solids too early encourages food allergies. I'm not for a second saying that this si absolutely true, but I don't know for sure, and I'm not willing to do something unnecessary that may cause my babies to have an allergic reaction.

I am a firm believer that a baby needs ONLY breastmilk or formula until 6 months or so. I
see no reason to rush my kids into eating - or anything for that matter. So, NO, he's not eating solids yet.


Rant #2:

Via a column called Flying Solo by Jan Warner and Jan Collins which appeared in my local newspaper, The State:

Question: My husband and I have been separated now for nearly a year, and while we have our differences, we do agree on one thing: our two sons, ages 14 and 16 and both living with me, for the most part, are not motivated to do much of anything other than send text messages (between them, we are being charged for more than 9,000 text messages in each of the past four months), talk on their cellphones, and play video games. Even though my husband and I both work because of our economic situations, we have been involved at school and with our children’s homework as much as we have been able, but nothing seems to be working. Both boys test as being intelligent, but their grades are borderline, their hygiene and table manners are atrocious, and we have run out of ideas. We are sure there are no drugs involved. We saw recently that children were become addicted to video games, and wonder if this is the problem.

IMHO, the response dropped the ball. (I have ordered the book they mention. I'll let you know my opinion after I read it.) Their advice should have been more specific.

I swear I want to go into business as a parenting consultant in the manner of Extreme Makover.

Not that I feel like I'm some faboo parent or anything, but I DO have the chutzpah to frickin' put my foot down. All I'd need is one day - 12 hours - to slap some sense into a family.

I mean GREAT GRAVY! What the eff is wrong with the mother in this column? Is she insane? Born without a spine? Just stupid? SHE is in control of this situation! SHE is the one responsible for this situation! SHE is the parent. SHE has the ability to end this problem!

If she were a guest on my new Xtreme Mom-Over telly show here's what I'd do*:

Bringing with me two alarum clocks and a huge box of black 33 gallon plastic bin-liners, I'd arrive on a day when both boys were gone and head straight to their rooms. EVERY. THING. IN. THEIR. ROOMS. save their clothes, bedlinens, books, bedside lamp, and non-electronic toys goes into a trashbag. All video games. All electronic toys. All appliances and devices (microwaves, espresso makers, televisions, dvd players, mini-fridges, computers, etc).

An alarum clock would be placed on the dresser across the room from the bed (so that one has to get out of bed to turn it off).

When the wee cherubs arrive back home all cell phones, ipods, blackberries, pagers, etc will be relinquished and placed into a trashbag.

Later the mom and I will go through all bags and donate items deemed unnecessary. The remainder go into the attic where they cannot be reached by the children.

The boys would then be given a list of the new rules:

1) One meal will be eaten as a family, at the table, with real dishes. You will appear on time for this meal, with your hands washed, and behave like humans while eating. Otherwise you will go straight to your room, where you will remain until the next mealtime. If this means your food goes into the slop bucket, then so be it.

2) Alarum clocks will be set for a decent time. You will get up, wash yourselves properly, dress yourselves appropriately and appear on time for breakfast/leaving the house.

3) All homework will be done as soon as you arrive home from school and get a snack. Mom will NOT correct homework, but will be available to help if asked. NOTHING else will happen the remainder of the day (no telly, no meals) until your homework is completed.

4) You will NOT leave the house, go on dates, go to the mall, go to the movies, etc. You will go to school. You will go to the shops with Mom if necessary.

5) No television will be watched solo. Telly will only be viewed in the family room by the entire family and only after homework has been done. (I would prefer that telly be eliminated entirely but I know that not many women would be able to bear that.)

(Naturally, there will be no computer time, no ipods, no video games, etc. Stuff in the attic stays in the attic. Whine all you want, quietly, in your rooms)

After two weeks, if the boy's school participation/performance improved markedly (we would co-ordinate closely with the teachers to judge this), they got out of bed in the morning, washed themselves, sat at the table like humans, etc, then Mom could consider allowing them v. brief telly time, restricted computer time, severely limited video game time.

(IMHO, all of these things should be limited for any child. NO child should be allowed to sit in front of a telly, computer, or video game for more than an hour at a stretch.)

I don't know if one can really become addicted to video games (for example) but if one were to lock up a hard-core smoker and only allow him 2 butts a day, I know two things: 1) he would NOT DIE, and 2) he would bloody well appreciate and take care of those two cigarettes!

Obviously, these measures are just as the Xtreme Mom-Over 'show' suggests: extreme. I don't think that everyone should run her household like a dictator (just like a parent). I'm also not anti-telly, anti-video game, anti-whatever-electronic-device. I just feel that these things should be controlled. By the *ahem* parents.


*My one condition for being a guest family on Xtreme Mom-Over is this: the parent(s) must tell their kids two weeks in advance that if they don't straighten up that they will be on the show. The kids should be given a clear list of requested improvements and given a chance to do so before being featured on the show.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:56 pm   3 comments

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A touching tale of trucks, trailers, and tractors

(See, Mrs Chili? Alliteration! Fair English wrangling maven, me!)

So, yeah ... this rightfully belongs on the Farm Blog, but this aspect of me life has absorbed me the past several days so I thought I should put it here.

I've farmed since 1987. I was born in town, but thanks to my parents, I got my first horse in high school *koff*early 80s*koff* and my first goat and chickens in 1986.

It's been my dream to own 1) gobs of land, and 2) a tractor.

I mean, you can't call yourself a farmer until you own a big honkin' John Deere, right? Right?! One big enough to pull a house down.

Well, boys and girls, tractors are expensive.

But I have decided that the time is nigh to own one - not just for the 'hey-I'm-a-real-farmer-now' factor, but because we need one. Seriously. We also need the trailer.
So, to that end, I went by a trailer place today and spoke to a bloke. $1800 for a new trailer. $900 for a used one.

I don't effin' think so.

I was coming back through Newberry and i decided, just for giggles, to stop by the actual tractor dealership. hey, it wouldn't hurt to ask, right?

The salesman (hate salesmen. They're all like car salesmen or realtors, aren't they?) tried to 'get me into' a brand new Kubota:
(12k+ NOT happening.) Then he tried to foist off an old Massey Fruguson with wheelwells taller than my head. (7k - Uhm ... no. Way more tractor than I need, anyway):
I gave him my card and said "call me when you get something used in that you think I'll like."

'Suddenly' he remembered an old Ford he had out back.

Well, it is a sweet little venerable 8N (probably rolled off the assembly line the same year I did)with brand new tyres and just enough heft to move around the 1200lb round bales of hay we use. (The one he has isn't nearly this pretty, but is still sturdy. Look at that sexy grille! OK, it's a bit younger, too, but you get the gist):

We looked at the used trailers he had and , after I rejected the first one - it had been fishtailed by some moron and was crooked as a cat's arse - he promised to find me a good one.

So I'm looking at the tractor, trailer, a scrape blade, and a hay spike, for about half of the price of that Massey Ferguson.


Poor Evil Genius Husband has been walking around all day with his 'Oh, crap' look on his face, poor lamb.

And now, the bad news.

Our Farm Truck is a late 80s Ford F150 (the obligatory blue f150 apparently required to farm in newberry county, lol). I had been meaning to take it by our garage to get new tyres and a check-up.

Well, it has two problems: the back petrol tank is unusuable (truck runs for about a mile then shuts off when you're on the back tank) and it has been making these ominous clicking noises from the rear-end.

I was pretty sure of the rear-end problem - my universal joint. Sure enough, my mechanic rang me today and confirmed it. My total repairs/maintenance was running over $600. Crap.

So the bloke rings me back later and tells me that my back tank fuel pump is shot. New fuel pump and install will run me (brace yourself) $275.

I told him that I'd just use the front tank, thank you.

Jeez, between the truck, the new fence, and the tractor, I am seriously dropping a huge wodge of cash. *sigh!*

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:53 pm   2 comments

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cool Snake Farm

If ya wanna know why I haven't blogged, it's 'cause I've had An Interesting Day!

How interesting, you ask?

Interesting enough to get TWO farm blog posts out of me! Two!

(WARNING: if you don't like snakes or tractors, please don't click!)

Morning post.

Afternoon post.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:46 pm   1 comments

So, yeah ... snakes.

I've been out working on the turkey pen all day and clearing the area where I'm putting the horse* barn**.

I went in to check my email and popped back out to put up the gate on the cage before Evil Genius Husband had to go get the comics. As I'm passing by the pigeon pen guess what i saw?

Snake #2! A bit bigger, a bit longer, and definitely not happy about being caught.

He also had a big wide head. Handsome fellow!

No problem. Two days. Two snakes. It happens.

So I dropped him in a pillowcase (after showing him to the babies - who loved it) and toted him back up to the shed to await relocation. I stepped into my shop, part of which is the interior of the pigeon pen (where they roost and nest), and I damned near stepped on another snake!

I kid you not.

This bloke was at least a foot or so longer than #2 and v. v. unhappy about being nabbed. I had the bagged snake in one hand (hadn't tied the pillowcase yet!) and the big honker by the tail with the other. I tried dropping #3 into an empty 33 gallon trashcan. He just reached right up and slithered out.

Finally I tried holding #2's bag closed with my knee and grabbing #3 behind the head. He was bloody quick to disagree with my proposal:

Finally I just walked back down to the house and in the back door holding #3 by the tail (with my arm all the way over my head - he was that long) and yelling for another pillowcase.

Here's EGH, professional snake bagger:

So how was your day?


* It's a maddening wee pony.
** It's a wee shed for a maddening wee pony.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:16 pm   6 comments

Speaking of snakes ...

I found this wee lady (?) coiled up in a nest box in my hen house:

Isn't she lovely? Alas, we were forced to relocate her (we take them to a huge, uninhabited tract of land down the road) since she was clearly small enough to get in through chicken wire.

I had noticed my eggs going missing for a few days but wasn't thinking about it when I reached in to check the nest. I touched her right on the top of her head and she flinched and startled the crap outta me, LOL.


In other news, I spoke with my fence bloke about coming up and getting the side fence done. This one will go below the pasture and will complete the 'total surround' that I'm looking for. When it's done, all the animal pens will be within a perimetre fence. (Ohh, that sounds like a real isolationist compound, eh? I'm not a Libertarian fer nuthin', ROTFL! Now to go stock up on bottled water and ammo ...)

Anyway, I'll need 2 rolls of field fencing, and I think 3 gates, which will run me about $400. (Not counting what I have to pay the bloke to actually put up the fence!)


Ahh, well, I can take it off my taxes.


Speaking of money, my latest obsession is aquiring a trailer. I've finally figured out what I'm going to do!

I originally wanted a 12-16 foot flatbed to haul hay and junk on. Every time I come across something like lumber or tin or really big rabbit cages, I'm dead in the water because I can't haul them (usually). Ditto for hay.

When my hay guy ran out this year, I was forced to buy locally and go get one bale at a time (These are the big 4x5 foot round bales. They weigh about 1200lbs.) on the back of the truck. If I had a heavy duty trailer, I could get two. If I had a long heavy duty trailer I could get three.

With petrol as high as it is now, this one-bale-at-a-time crap is for the birds!

So, I got to thinking: I need a tractor. I've been working very hard in my stores to that end. I'm hoping to be able to get one by the holidays.

If I get a tractor, I'll need a trailer to haul it on.

*Lightbulb goes on*

IF I play my cards right and get the right trailer, I'll be able to haul my tractor, a car, junk, OR hay!

So that's my latest obsession. Find. Perfect. Trailer!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:44 am   1 comments

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Do you like ... photographs?

I read quite a few blogs of folks who take cool pictures. Some of them are more prolific like Dutch and Linda and some slightly less so like Anna and Sharpie and Sherry and Zach & Brie's Mom. My goal is to carry my camera everywhere and take pics of, like, everything in my life (and inflict them on you lot, of course, Bwahahahahahah!) In short, I want to be Bossy.

To this end, I actually remembered to take the camera out when we got the new pool:

And in the glorious tradition begun in the last post (oh, who am I kidding? The only thing I've heretofore been ardent in photographing - not counting the babies, of course - is FOOD), and inspired by Bossy's quest to clean out everything in her fridge and pantry, I give you a meal made up entirely of starches!

Yes, that's some microwavable chicken fried rice I found in the freezer (it tasted like arse, but the babes loved it).
The orange stuff is that nasty box mac and cheese - you know the kind with the radioactive orange dye powder 'cheese' and those pathetic macaroni noodles? *gag* I purchased it for EGH to fix when I was in the hospital having THCTD. He freakin' loves mac and cheese of any stripe.
BTW, THCTD is now four years old. Four years. Old. Mac and cheese. Old.
Here is Boy and Bulk looking dubiously into the pot of Radioactive Mac:
(Incidentally, all the babes scarfed it like it was candy and EGH polished off the rest. Did I say *GAG*?)
There was some good food that did not get culled from the cupboard or freezer. I made a pan of cornbread:
And there was some protein, too. My babies loves them some boiled eggs:
(Yes, she's naked. She had just spilt something down her shirt. Give me a break!)

Speaking of eggs, there's a new post up on the farm blog if you've a mind to look. WARNING: if you don't care for snakes, you might reconsider clicking (Michele, I'm looking at you).
PS: Bonus points for anyone who gets the reference in the title.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:21 pm   8 comments

Storm clouds, snakes, and eggs

I think we might finally get some rain today!

Tropical storm Barry is sprinkling on Florida as we speak so maybe we'll get some of that up here. I hope so, I need hay!

My garden would sure appreciate it as well:

And here's a little souvenir we found in the rafters of the shed:

Just for comparison purposes, Boy is 42 inches tall. I have actually seen the fine fellow whose discarded attire this is (a Chicken Snake, properly called a Black Rat Snake). A VERY interesting story. I'll tell it to you sometime soon.

Apologies to any of you herpephobes (is that the correct term?), or old-timey country folks, but I don't kill snakes. I freakin' hate rats and mice. Loathe 'em. Anything that eats them is my bestest buddy! Since this bloke is too big to get in my pens and eat my biddies, then he gets to be a permanent fixture.

Speaking of dibs, my eggs in the incubator hatched! I was convinced that they had been damaged by that temp spike, but a few made it through. I got over half hatched and in the brooder. I'll get you pics later.

Chicks are so cute. I seriously need to make some shirts for us poultry lovers. I have a whole section devoted to rural living but most of it is goat stuff (with some pro dumpster diving items as well, natch!) If you're a chicken fancier, what would YOU wear on a T-shirt?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:32 pm   1 comments