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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rain

This is me sulking in the rain. We went up a mountain just before the deluge. Up a mountain is not the best place to go when it's wet. Believe me. As if a raincloud up in the sky were not unpleasant enough—now we have to climb up and stand in it? 

We did, however, see a lot of wildlife. Perhaps they could not smell me because I was so drenched? Deer, bear, birds. The bear didn't scare me a bit (though I think I scared him). The evilest thing on the whole ride, actually, was deceptively similar in appearance to a crooked twig. FarmWife didn't understand that it was really a petrified serpent about to be released from centuries of enchantment. She is lucky we got away in time. 

I forgave her for making me go out, and she thanked me heartily for my effort. We did not ride today, as all of my tack is still drying. (At least it's all synthetic. Thank you, Wintec!) 

Ears,
FenBar

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I can help you with that



Dear Whatcom County roadway maintenance department:

I couldn't help but notice the abundant foliage on the grassy shoulders of your scenic byroads. I can help you with that!

I'm Fenway Bartholomule—trail mule, celebrity blogger, and vegetation control expert.

All I ask is this: you get rid of the cars. I'll take care of the rest.

You can mail my paychecks to Bent Barrow Farm.

Ears to you,
FenBar

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fond farewells

First, farewell Two Punch. This lovely gray sire of thoroughbred racehorses was a character of charm and dignity, and he'll surely be missed. Farewell Weltmeyer—you were, and shall remain, a legend among Hanoverians. It's hard to imagine the breed without you.

On the subject of Two Punch, click here (but not until you're done reading Brays Of Our Lives!). Scroll down to the photo of his damsire, Grey Dawn II. HOLY GUACAMOLE THOSE ARE SOME UGLY HIND LEGS! Wow. I don't usually resort to shouting, but sometimes a mule needs to express himself strongly. Tell me, folks—is he run down from age and hard use or is he just straight up defective? I am having a really hard time even looking at those limbs. I hope he was comfortable standing on them.

On a lighter note, we've said farewell, or better yet bon voyage, to one of our own. He's safe and well (and not one bit dead) at his new home in Blaine, Washington. Let's all hope for the very best for Jasper Jules, who is going to share, with another goat, a barn and 14 acres of beautifully fenced brush and grass. They will be the proud pets of a family of seven, and will enjoy the daily affection of five animal-loving pre-teen and teenaged children. We have a heck of a contract written up and we hope it will ensure that we get him back should they ever want to part with him. FarmWife reports that his new home is lovely and that he shall, by all appearances, be very happy there.

On the subject of parting with an animal, FarmWife feels torn. There's something to be said for making a lifetime commitment to a pet, and there are certainly animals here (ME!) who have that 100%, forever promise. For those critters who don't quite fit in, though—what about them? A responsible owner wants to ensure their happiness, and it's easier to be certain of that when they're in one's own custody. One can't, however, spread oneself thin. We're all happier when we're not crowded.

When it comes down to it, there's this for you humans to contemplate: maybe you can't BE the best home for every animal that comes into your life, but maybe you can FIND the best home for every animal that comes into your life. From the horses she's sold to the goats she's bred to the dogs she's fostered (or adopted and failed with), FarmWife can say this: they've all ended up in the right place. She has never placed an animal in a home where it wasn't likely to be as happy as or happier than it was at Bent Barrow Farm.

Good luck, Jasper. Write home often.

FB





Monday, June 27, 2011

The things humans say, think, and do

A cleaner goat.

The things humans say, think, and do sometimes surprise me.

A few examples:

A) A group of motorcyclists, passing through FarmWife's target-shooting area, asked "are you putting that mule down?" Gun. Shooter. Tied Animal. A natural assumption, I guess. FarmWife assured them that no, she planned to shoot in the opposite direction.

B) On Sunday, the humans made a Tuesday appointment to show Jasper Jules to a potential adopter. Also on Sunday, the humans burned a brush pile in Jasper's paddock. And allowed him access to it. And were surprised when he wound up covered in gray soot on Monday morning. And spent Monday afternoon giving him a bath. He is now locked in the horse trailer (made possible by the cool and overcast skies—thanks, Washington State!) and clean as a whistle.

C) The humans wondered for a week whether it would be good or bad to reintegrate me and Missy with B.G. after the birth of her triplets. When they finally did, I was nothing but sweet. Grandma Missy, on the other hand, spent the first twenty minutes hurling her geriatric self at her daughter in a frustrated attempt at regaining supremacy. Why, I wonder, did the humans not see THIS coming? It's not as though Missy has ever taken anything lying down. (Luckily for B.G., Missy tires easily. The whole family is now napping at my feet.)

Maybe tomorrow the humans will make more sense. Today, though, I love them anyway.

FenBar


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Five things my mother in law taught me

1) Every meal is fancier with pretty napkins.

2) A great hostess always serves dessert.

3) One should never be ashamed to have dinner for breakfast.

4) Wildlife comes to those who wait.

5) Good guests help wash up.

Another good reason not to wear shoes

www.characterdesigns.com

Metal shoes on pavement? Sure, if you're walking.

I embarrassed myself a little today, I'll admit—I saw a pair of dragons (FarmWife says motorcycles—we have agreed to disagree). I was in the public roadway, and I saw dragons, and I embarrassed myself completely but I did NOT lose my footing. In my rubber boots and bare back hooves, I managed great acts of cowardice with the utmost poise.

I performed a lovely canter pirouette, proving that mules can TOO do dressage, and then I performed a fabulous 100 meter dash, proving that even the best of equines can bolt when startled. I managed these feats of athleticism with nary a misstep, and my balance and cadence was such that my rider suffered no physical harm (psychological damage, well . . . that's another matter).

FarmWife shamed me by thanking the polite dragon-riders for slowing their monsters and silencing their roars, and then she shamed me again by APOLOGIZING to THEM for MY BEHAVIOR! Can you believe it? They are the ones who should be apologizing. Scaring a poor innocent mule like that.

FarmWife says I'm wrong, and that there are certain things a mule must put up with.

Haarrrrumph.

FB

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oxymoronic




Here is darling Briony in her neon camouflage splints, enjoying a frolicsome romp 
around the verdant meadows of . . . WAIT A MINUTE! Back the truck up! 

(beep . . . beep . . . beep . . . beep . . .)*

Neon camo? NEON CAMO?  Let's break this down. 

Neon:

Camouflage:


I hate to call names, Mr. Vetwrap, but you, sir, are an oxymoron.

Yours in respectful disapproval,
Fenway Bartholomule






*This, for the confused among you, is the sound of a big rig in reverse.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

It ain't no thang

FarmWife took me on my first shooting adventure yesterday.

Revolver? Check.
Ammunition? Check.
Cross draw holster? Check.
His and hers earplugs? Check.
Packable rope halter? Check.
Cotton lead rope? Check.
First aid kit? Check.

Here was the thing FarmWife planned to do: she planned to ride me to a safe target shooting range in yonder hills. She planned to dismount, tie me safely by my rope halter and cotton lead rope (guaranteed to break before my neck does!), stuff all four of our ears with sound-dampening matter, walk twenty paces off, then load and discharge her .357. She then planned to turn about and examine me for signs of panicking, freaking out, maiming myself, jeopardizing life and limb, etcetera.

Here was the thing that actually happened: FarmWife rode me to a safe target shooting range in yonder hills. She dismounted, tied me safely to a VERY sappy tree (I'm covered in pine-scented goo!), stuffed all four of our ears with obnoxious fluff, walked twenty paces off, then loaded and discharged her .357. She turned to find me saying, "ho, hum." I could not have been cooler had I been a cucumber in the shade.

FarmWife, do not forget: I was once an elk huntin' mule. There is nothing scary about watching you plink with your little revolver. In fact, the only difference between this business and that is that I don't have to carry a corpse home at the end of THESE adventures. Oh, and there's the business of the earplugs. I don't believe I wore those before. They tickle, and I would have remembered them.

Fen

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Best. Week. Evar.

This week is going to be great!

Tomorrow, FarmWife and I get to go riding. (WooHoo!)
Thursday, FarmWife and I get to go riding. (WooHoo again!)
Also Thursday, FarmWife takes the goats to the vet. I get to be the one who stays home. (Double WooHoo!)
Friday . . . well, nothing spectacular is happening on Friday. Maybe a hoof trim.
Saturday, FarmWife and I get to go riding. (Woo . . . oh, you get the picture.)

Here's the thing about me—I like the trail. On the trail, we see scenic vistas, we surmount precipitous slopes, and we smell the fresh mountainside breezes. Sure, we run across the occasional satanic chicken or hellgoat, but it's worth it. If nothing else, it's worth it for the happiness I see in FarmWife's eyes when we're home again.

FenBar

Cute baby animals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNKnTA-wcI4



Briony Bluebell is getting around nicely on her splinted forelegs. Her contracted tendons are improving and she is SWEET! FarmWife had better watch it—I, Fenway Bartholomule, demand one cuddle for every hug she gives that little goat.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Here are the rules

The first rule is that the baby goats are not allowed out in the pasture with me, Uncle Fenway, until Briony Bluebell is out of splints and frolicking on all four. This is because the humans have the misguided perception that I might, in a moment of frustration or clumsiness, nudge her too firmly or step in her vicinity with my mighty hooves. They are wrong, and it is an unnecessary restriction, but in the meantime I get all the pasture grass to myself. So there.

The second rule is that Briony Bluebell is allowed in the house for her daily bandage changes. This is terribly unfair. I needed bandaging too, once, when my hock was swollen. They never once invited me to recline on the sofa during the application of gauze and vetwrap, and they never once invited me to try out my freshly wrapped legs on the slate tiles of the comfortable foyer.

The third rule is that whenever B.G. gets a raisin and almond treat, which she likes particularly well, I get a handful of grass. This is a rule I can live with, even though I like raisin and almond treats better than grass. I am a mule who knows how to compromise. They cannot say that I'm not.

FenBar


Raisin and almond treats for humans and other people (but never for dogs!)


1 cup almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
1.5 cups raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 cup raw sugar with 1 addtl. tsp. cinnamon


Grind nuts in food processor until chopped finely. Add spices and raisins and continue to chop in food processor. Pour into a bowl and mix with 1/4 cup honey. Roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Store in the refrigerator. These treats are good for goats, horses, and people but not for insulin-resistent or obese equines. 





Ministering to the sick

Clover, being an excellent nurse as well as a darned cute critter, has assigned herself the task of comforting poor baby R in her time of need. R has a severe ear ache and is sleeping on the couch with Clover under her arm, after having been closely attended by the chihuahua ever since the pain began. Clover, who makes a very good bed warmer, is enjoying the obligation.

D, meanwhile, can't get enough of the three baby goats that were born here on Friday. For the first time in recent memory, she's choosing outside time over movie watching, coloring, or sculpting with play-doh.
Are these my girls, or are these my girls?! Makes a mother proud.

M

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A story with sad bits and happy bits

Harriet
B
You remember Harriet and B, the housemules, don't you? They are not quite right as mules go (no hooves, poor tails, deformed faces and hips) but they are good, shiny animals. They have good taste in food (hay, not kibble) and generally meet with my approval.

Here was the thing that was worrisome about Harriet and B last year: they had no herd manners. They were not friends. They would have fought, and fought to the death, if they could have. They were Enemies with a capital E, and this was terrible news. Not only did it mean half the space, half the freedom, and half the FarmWife time for each housemule, but it meant no nose bonks or wither nibbles for the two of them. They were missing out.

Here's the very good news, though—this spring, the housemules made up. Here is the miraculous manner in which it happened:

Harriet, who has access to an outdoor yard through a little hole in the wall, made the fateful mistake of sleeping outdoors on a chilly spring night. Maybe it would be better said that FarmWife, underestimating the potential for low temperatures, made the fateful mistake of failing to lock the bunny in for the night.  In the morning, Harriet was hypothermic and injured. Her frostbitten hooves—er, paws—were the worst thing. She was not well.

TLC, medical attention, and warmth brought Harriet back to her lively self soon enough, but her paws were tender for several weeks. FarmWife, being the opportunistic woman that she is, used this time to subject Harriet to something awful—the tormenting presence of the smaller, weaker, more vulnerable B. Harriet, being too damaged to gallop, was unable to attack. The housemules struck a wary truce.

By the time Harriet was well, she had become so used to the presence of B that she even began to look forward to her visits. She began to greet the little one with nuzzles and licks.

They are good friends now. Harriet has healed 100%, FarmWife has learned not to trust a housemule to seek shelter from the cold,  and both housemules have a 24/7 friend. The two share a paddock in warm weather and a comfortable stall in cold.

The moral of this story? "To make enemies into friends, chill the bigger one until hypothermia sets in."

No, no. That doesn't sound right.

"If you want to change your herd dynamics, wait until your aggressor is ill and then take advantage of her weakened state."

Oh, that doesn't sound right either.

How about, "out of hardship arises friendship."

Ears,
FenBar

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drumroll . . . .

Introducing, in order of their appearance:

Burzum


Bowdoin (pronounced BO-din)


and Briony Bluebell.

Briony Bluebell has contracted tendons and will be under a vet's care—we expect this issue to resolve. Look for updates about her progress! In the meantime, she's active and happily able to nurse while kneeling.

Burzum has a floopy ear, probably as a result from being stuck in the same cramped uterus as his little sister.

Bowdoin, born in the middle, is just about perfect. Luckily, he's too much of a little gentleman to rub it in.

Mom and babies are doing well, and they all love me, Uncle Fenway, already.

Ears to you,
FenBar

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A heartfelt apology

Sorry always sounds better when it comes with a puppy, right?

I'm sorry it's been almost a month since I blogged here. It's been a busy month, full of birthdays and graduations and potlucks and muleback rides.

Forgive me, and please accept this photo of Zoe, a ten week-old corgi, with my daughter D.  M.H., thanks for the picture! K.C., thanks for bringing your puppy to my birthday shindig. Z. and D., thanks for keepin' it cute. Readers, thanks for your patience. I'll tell more stories soon.

M

Silly FarmWife

So . . . have you ever checked your facts and checked again? Have you ever been so very convinced that your facts were straight that you got everyone in a tizzy about your particularly important and correct conviction? Have you then discovered, to your humble and sheepish embarrassment, that your facts were actually WRONG?

Here's the deal: FarmWife thought that B.G. was bred on January 5th. She thought this despite not having written it down (flake! Flakey flakey flake!) and not having obtained a service memorandum from the buck owner at the time of service. She passed the next five months expecting June 4th kids, and passed the last week thinking that B.G. was dangerously overdue. She involved her family, her friends, her vets, and her mule in worrying and wringing our hooves over the concerning matter of B.G.'s prolonged pregnancy.

Yesterday, she even talked on the phone with the buck owner. "I think my doe was bred to Mr. X on Jan. 5th. Do you think my doe was bred to Mr. X on Jan. 5th?"     "Yes, I think your doe was bred to Mr. X on Jan. 5th."    FarmWife didn't think to say, "could you please open your record book and check," or "can I please pick up that service memorandum from you today so as to be sure?"

Well, folks, FarmWife has egg on her face today! Here's the deal—just before leaving for an ultrasound appointment with our caprine vet, FarmWife whipped out the checkbook. Lightbulb! FarmWife thought to scrutinize her checkbook register, which usually shows things like check number, amount paid, and . . . oh, date of payment. Things like that.

You guessed it . . . FarmWife paid for buck service on January the 17th in the Year of our Mule 2011.  150 days ago today, actually.

What does this mean? This means B.G. is right on time. You'll be calling me Uncle Fenway any day now.

FB

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Top view

This is B.G. at 161 days gestation.

Normal gestation is 150 days, give or take.

FarmWife is getting worried, and is hoping to talk to the vet again today about the possibility of inducing labor.

(Come on, B.G.—it's not too late for healthy kids, but almost!)


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bold and the Brayful: misbehavior and the art of predictability

Reprinted with permission from the Brayer, the magazine of the American Donkey and Mule Society.



I don't know if I have had a chance yet to tell you this: I am imperfect. Not by much, I assure you! I am perfectly handsome (albeit pearshaped) and perfectly mannerly, and I am perfectly strong and perfectly clever. I am not, however, perfectly unflappable.

I think I did tell you about the ruffed grouse incident, in which a terrible chicken-monster nearly gave me an aneurism by rattling unnervingly in the underbrush as I passed. I think I mentioned how there are terrible, giant tan goats in the woods (my FarmWife calls them "dear," but I find them awful). I have been known to spook.

The funny thing about all of this is that my FarmWife trusts me, and trusts me well. This is because I am predictable, and my misbehavior never comes as a surprise or out of the blue.

I have a bit of a footing problem—that is, when the footing changes, I watch my footsies. One never knows whether the road that we walked on yesterday has turned to quicksand overnight, or whether the black asphalt that was solid last week has turned to a viscous oil pit today. My footing problem has traveled with me from one home to the next . . . in fact, when FarmWife spoke with my old owner (from two homes ago) he told her this: "He was a real good mule, though he was always funny about stepping on something new." He also told her to feed me Snickers bars, and that I was the best and the strongest mule he knew.

FarmWife knows about my footing problem, but she still loves me. We have practiced walking over gravel, grass, cement, mud, and tarps. We have practiced walking over shadows, which the hardest and the most awful thing to do, but I do it for her. When she asks me to walk over a shadow onto a new sort of footing, I consider running away and living with the wild burros. I never do, though. I would miss the ear rubs.

I love going out on rides, and always meet FarmWife at the gate. She grooms and tacks me, giving special attention to my daily ear rub. I drop my head for the bridle, lift my hooves for the boots, and away we go.

Once FarmWife's aboard, she tucks her little chihuahua inside her vest and we proceed down Meredith Lane towards the wilderness. I spook at the end of the driveway for the transition from gravel to cement, and then I spook at the end of the lane for the transition from cement to asphalt. I snort at the Samish River bridge, which is flooded more than half the time, but I proceed in any case. I go through water well enough, though I find a stagnant puddle far more threatening than a rushing stream. If the water's moving, I groove right along.

In the final stage of our journey to the trailhead, I spook at the logging road and its transition from asphalt to gravel. FarmWife urges me on, and we're golden. The rest of the ride is, flawlessly and always, perfect.

Once we're on the trail, and whether or not it's a trail I know, I am a good, good mule. FarmWife lets down her doggy and we adventure: up hill, over dale, and wherever our hearts take us. We have fun, and when it's time to go home I skip the spooking. Gravel/asphalt/cement/gravel/home . . . I take it in stride. I'm predictable.

Ears to you,

Fenway Bartholomule

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lightbulb

I, Fenway Bartholomule, have just had the most splendiferous and amazing idea yet!

What do we have? We have:

A) A small farm, where little acreage means little gardening jobs.
B) A FarmWife with a big hankering to use draft power.
C) A lazy, bored, strong goat boy.
D) A mule with no desire whatsoever to pull anything at all.

News flash! FarmWife, thou must get thee a goat-sized plow. Jasper'll do the work more gladly than I, and I can carry you down the trail more ably than he. You will succeed in all endeavors. Joy and peace shall reign.

You're welcome.

FenBar

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Par-tay!

The humans had a party yesterday, and while B.G. failed to produce bouncing baby goats to entertain the guests, I'd say it was a success overall. There were cakes, salads, chips, beans, juices, beers, dips, and . . . . drumroll . . . . CARROTS! I accepted pats, scratches, appetizers, and complimentary statements from a number of the guests and I brayed (not once, but twice) for the assembled masses.

Thank you, friends, for visiting me at Bent Barrow Farm. Let's do it again!

FB

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm in charge


FarmWife has left me with a bunch of supplies like garbage bags, towels, delivery blankets, sterilized scissors, a bulb syringe, a veterinary thermometer, iodine, paper towels, a telephone, and the vet's phone number. I'm in charge while she's away today (but FarmHusband is here to serve as my assistant midwife if necessary). She says B.G., who was due on Monday but who doesn't look close, expects NOT to have her kids quite yet. There's no harm, however, in leaving a guy with all the necessities just in case.

Unfortunately, FarmWife forgot to open the door to the nursery for me . . . . but I can leap the gate in a single bound of the need arises. No birthing mother shall suffer needlessly so long as I, Fenway Bartholomule, am on the case!

Ears,
Fen


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sniff, sniff

http://eventingnation.com/home/2011/06/rembering-phantom-pursuit.html

I'm not crying, really. I just have something in my big brown eye.

Sniff.

Cinema

It's not uncommon for FarmWife's interest in mules and FarmHusband's interest in Clint Eastwood movies to intersect. In this clip, Clint's character Joe reminds the bad guys that a mule's opinion really does matter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mk_sUPtYjw

What's your favorite silver screen moment with an equine reference?

As for my favorite? I can't pick just one, but I'll get back to you after giving it some thought.

Ears,
Fen

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yay internet!

Blogger now has a new mobile device template—this means that you iHoof users are going to see a sleek, streamlined alternative every time you visit Brays of Our Lives. Yay internet!

If you're new to the World Wide Web, you might be wondering about these common acronyms that you see floating around cyberspace. I've prepared this handy guide to help you with some of the more common abbreviations:

LOL—Love Our Longears.
ROFL—Ride Our Friendly Longears.
OMG—Obedient Mule Geldings.
WTF—Wonderfully Tasty Feed.
BRB—Beautiful Rideable Brayers.
LMFAO—Lovely Mares, Foals And Others.
TTYL—Treats To Your Longears.
IMHO—Invincible Mules Have Overlordship.
GTG—Good Trusty Gelding.
NSFW—Never Stomp FarmWife.



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

These are the things

These are the things FarmWife could do next week: 


She could donate blood to the Red Cross.

She could mentor a child.

She could write a book.

She could dine out at any of a number of fine establishments.

She could learn to crochet.

She could make a hot-glued macaroni mural.

She could sharpen her scissors.

She could practice the piano.

She could walk a shelter dog.

She could file her toenails and apply polish.

She could join an acapella singing group.


This is the thing that FarmWife plans to do next week:


She plans to deworm me, Fenway Bartholomule.


FarmWife is not a bad person—she is a good person who sometimes makes bad choices. 

Ears,
Fen

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Me versus Cletus

For my Facebook friend Marolyn, who was asked to comment on my big butt and who gave this answer: "Get yourself an English saddle. Worked for Cletus. Makes you look manly and muscular."


Marolyn, there's chubby and then there's CHUBBY. I'm afraid I'm an all-caps kind of fatty. 


Thank you, however, for your kind suggestion! I'm an all-English, all the time mule (except that I do wear a bosal for most of my trail rides), and I wish more mules would try it. It's a very comfortable way to go! 


Ears to Cletus and ears to all our broad-in-the-beam buddies out there. 


FenBar

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The real tragedy

You know what the real tragedy here is, right?

The real tragedy is that I, Fenway Bartholomule, am too big for the hammock.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Whee!

A freshly mown field is a great place to stretch one's legs.


Ten reasons to envy me, Fenway Bartholomule

1) I am a) the most large, b) the most attractive, and c) the most important outdoor animal at Bent Barrow Farm. This also makes me the best.

2) I have corporate sponsors and a magazine column. No one else in the family can say that.

3) I am the cheapest member of the family to feed, with possible exception to the under 20 pound set (dog, cats, rabbits). I eat less than a goat. (Wait a minute . . . maybe this should inspire pity. I don't know.)

4) I get to run around naked all day and no one calls the police.

5) I am a living solar panel. I soak up sun like all get out, which would be a big bummer in Cali. but which does me good here in soggy Wickersham!

6) My stupendous bray is known for miles around. The only other people in Wickersham who can make this claim are the bald eagles, but even they are not as loud as me.

7) I am the velvetiest member of the family except for Harriet the rex, and she doesn't count because she's got beady red eyes and no proper tail.

8) I have a really cool collar with my name embroidered on it. No one else in the family can make this claim, though Clover has a really cool collar with her name riveted to it. Close second.

9) I take people's breath away on an almost daily basis. Who else can do that? Hardly anyone, except maybe Phillip Morris.

10) I am loved like nobody's business.




Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ten reasons to envy FarmWife

1) She knows exactly when her birthday is. This means she gets presents and cake on the exact same day each year, no matter what. As for me, I know I was born in Oct. 1994. At least I get my presents and cake within a couple weeks of my actual birthday, give or take. These days, I tend to celebrate on Oct. 23 (International Mole and Mule Day). 

2) She is the one who gets to ride on our trail rides. I am the one who gets to hike with a heavy parcel on my back. 

3) She has 24 hour access to the feed room, the hay bales, and the crisper drawer. 

4) She has two boots and two feet. I have two boots and four feet, which hardly seems fair. 

5) She gets to keep all my manure (she composts it, then puts it on her vegetables. This makes more vegetables, which I eat to make more poop). I don't get to keep any of it for more than a few days in a row, despite being a mule with excellent housekeeping skills. 

6) She lives with others of her species. I live with goats. 

7) She doesn't have to shed her itchy hairs twice every year. She just keeps the same ones all the time, with the exception of a dropped strand here or there. 

8) She fits in the car. It has upholstery, and a radio, and a little shelf where fruity bubblegum fits. I ride in a rusty trailer, standing up. 

9) Her bed has sheets, blankets, and fluffy pillows. My bed is made of sandy stuff. 

10) She can gaze upon me, Fenway Bartholomule. I, on the other hand, have to crane my neck all sorts of sideways to catch the slightest glimpse. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Slither for the roses

With spring comes everyone's favorite sporting event—and no, I'm not talking about the Kentucky Derby or Spring Training. That's right, folks, it's snail race time!


The best things about snail races?

1) Spectators can get up close and personal without risk of being trampled, kicked, gored, or struck by a flying projectile.

2) The competitors, thus occupied, take a break from eating our fragile young transplants.

3) There's no cheaper entertainment for a frugal family!


The worst things about snail races?

1) The picnic table ends up rather slimy.

2) The competitors often lose focus, and sometimes no one reaches the finish line.

3) All good things must end. These races usually result in the competitors being retired to the grassy expanse beneath the pear tree, though, so we've got that advantage over thoroughbred racing. No escargot for these champs!

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