Thursday, May 31, 2012

Handles, do you ever think about them much? I don't all that often either....

It is funny when I was born no one would have said to my parents what is her handle?  I think that my parents may have thought the person who asked was crazy.  I would guess right now, in this day and age, most of you would know what a handle in that context is.  I think, but I am be wrong, it came into being as part of the CB culture.  If you are to young to know what a CB is, you should look it and eight tracks up, a good history lesson you might enjoy.  I would say that this interpretation of handle is much like, other words that have evolved in my life time.  Crack, boobs, bitching, weed, just to name a few, No, I am not old enough to have pre-exited crap. It is an interesting word process though but I don't want to digress that far off track. You should look up the root of crap it is an interesting word.

So I am now a handle, I choose one of my favorites, Nannie.  But what of handles, when did they come about, and not the name ones.  I am sure it was a revolutionary invention at it's inception.  Was it as big as the wheel, well, probably not but it is an important part of our lives even if we never even consider them as we go through our days.  How many handles to you touch or use in a day, ever think of it?  Well in my life in just a few minutes of thought there is the handle to flush, the handle you don't want to turn after you turned the one that brought you the water to wash you hands so you try to do it with out having to rewash.  There are the handles that turn on the tube, that is if you still get off your bum to do it and don't just click it, well that handle is now a push button so maybe it doesn't count after all. Is a knob a handle mmmm.  There is the handle that brings the water to make the coffee. The one to open the frig to get the milk and eggs.  The one on the pan to fry the eggs. The one to open the door to take you kids to school, after you opened the one that got you out of the house with out the dogs.  The one on the gate, and the list goes one.  Can we function without handles?  What a simple little thing they are but most of us can't imagine living with out them though we don't even think about them in our lives.  I wonder what was the first handle.  Was it the handle of a sword to keep the steel, well maybe not steel but the earlier metal that was our first sword, from cutting the hand that wheeled it?  Was it the one on a cart so that we could haul more weight and make our work more stream line.  I have no idea what the first handle was, maybe I will look it up, do you think that anyone keeps records of handles that way? 

I do know that sometime the lose of a handle can be a very disruptive thing.  My, new to me, car had a handle that didn't quite work when we got it and it eventually didn't work at all.  Poppie had to fix it as crawling in from the other side was a real hardship.  Funny to think of that as a hardship in the realm of this life.  It was and we were breaking the console going over it all the time.  He got a little help on how to fix it and eventually had to trade the back door parts for the front door parts so we could use it more.  We are still looking for the parts for our handle to get it all fixed up.  Do you ever miss handles in your life?  What would you do with out an important one that you have never even thought about before?  What if you couldn't get into a door, and your child was in distress on the other side, would it be important then?  What if that precious water was taken away because someone maliciously stole your faucet handle?  What if someone took your handle to something you needed to open, use, or push, so many possibilities there are.  What if they had to give it back?  Is stealing a handle like stealing a horse?  Well maybe not but then again maybe so. We have laws that protect us from horse thieves, as it could be a matter of life and death, water right laws are of similar importance in this state so maybe stealing your ability to access water is the same as steeling a horse, or it was at a time in our history.  We all have handles in our lives, are they important? Can you do without them?  Do you need them?  Ever consider the value of a handle maybe some are priceless and maybe some are just handles..... tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flea Market, Memorial day, My friend is a full deck, getting ready for school out and the farmers markets.

The flea market was fair this year we did pretty good at it and will be able to buy grain and or hay for the goats.  It poured rained on Sunday, I had to miss Church as Booboo was sick and we couldn't go so went down early to the flea market, to sit in the rain.  Funny how the flea market has turned into a way to trade goat milk soap for food to feed the goats.  It is nice that in many ways they are getting to a point where they do feed themselves, well almost.  We get a crop of babies, soap that sells pretty well, the best when people can hold it and smell.  I do have to figure out how to get it to sell consistently on the Internet.  We are changing packaging and the style of bars we make.  I have always liked the rustic cut bars, and probably always will.  Mokie likes the molded bars, but I find them less homemade looking.  We have decided to go with the best of both worlds, I got some molds that you cut so maybe it will appeal to the both of us and others as well.  We are trying to develop 5 to 10 standard all the time scent and exfoliated bars, with a different kind of special or one of a kind bars available as we have them, as a line.  I am making cheese this year for sale, in the past I made the cheese and just used to to make foccacia's or other baked goods, or home use.  We are going to sell the hard style cheeses this year. Soft or semi-soft still only for home use.  I made my first sale of the year at the flea market, a customer from last year, that bought soap again, asked if we would be this year and he was so excited that he could that he came back the next day for a pound of blue feta.  He emailed me later and said he loved it so much it won't age much, and can't wait for a wheel of blue to be aged so he can buy it.  Nice beginning I would say.  We didn't sell any babies really this year, I sold two and bought two does and the rest are all withers, except one buckling, so,  broke even.  The withers will all be meat and be butchered at the same time as the pigs.  I am studying chorezo and other sausage recipes. Casings or not? The possibilities are endless.  Going to can some so can't wait to fill up my pantry with all the meat supplies.

My dear friend turned 52 this last week end.  She is now playing with a full deck.  She heard this from a friend of ours and thought it was clever so shared the humor with you.  She has had a rough year and needs some much needed stress relief and some just plain simplicity in her life.  I took her to breakfast on Tuesday and we had a short time to just talk, we don't get to often enough so it was nice to just be and just be talking.

The girls are done with school on Friday I am so looking forward to it but it seems they are in need of it so much that they squabble all the time.  Poppie has decided that they are going to have a strict routine and chores that will have to be done before they get to play as they are growing up and need more serious time parameters.  I would love that but lets see if he helps with that or not.  I do know they will have to have clean rooms and their mom chores done to be out and about.  We will see how Poppies chores go or if he even remembers.

The farmers market starts on June 16 so hoping to get things read and in order for that.  We are going to make some artisan breads a little different than in years past, maybe a blue cheese walnut or a feta olive.  We will see how that goes.  Our pies will have to go up a bit as the fruit is more expensive than in the past and we use fresh or frozen homemade filling never canned.  It will be nice that they will have more thoughts of what they want to make this year.  We are trying to get the garden planted but it has poured rain so we are still trying to get it in.  It did freeze and Son had to cover so maybe it was good we didn't have it planted ours is larger and would have been impossible to cover.  Hope to get the green house planted this week so will have to go down to Grandpas for plants. 

I hear grumblings of the two Ladies in the other room, can you call them ladies if they are growling? ..... tomorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2012

New York State is asking should you be anonymous on line. What do you think right or wrong is it a right?

I watch KECI news most of the time and they have a weekly questions they put to the public for vote, I am usually pretty much in tune with the majority on the questions.  One recently was about having the right to not vaccinate your children.  I believe that, yes, you do have the right to not vaccinate but it is one of the occasion you should study and remember the deaths and problems that so many children suffered before we had vaccinations.  I vaccinate to make my kids safer, and the kids around them, but it is a choice as a parent we all get to make. 

Choice is a precious right we still have in our society.  So many in the world are still fighting to get to where, and what, we have enjoyed for our wholes lives and as long as America has stood.  Sadly every day we give up more rights under the cloak of not stepping on the rights of others.  I am not sure how having to give up the rights of the many for the few is fair in most situations but we are being run over at an alarming rate some times.  Funny in America we give up more each day as other countries are trying hard to get their rights honored.  I digress....

The new question KECI is asking is about being anonymous on the Internet.  It is a question New York State is asking now in their government.  I would think that technically it is one of those rights that the few are using to oppress the many.  It is the right of all to be anonymous but more and more it is being withdrawn, sometime a good thing and sometimes a bad thing.  Isn't the median of all situations that way?  I think all laws are written to try to help the most people it can, off each end of any curve people will fall.  Laws are like curves both ends will have people who are not happy and are not helped but penalized by the law.  You can not call in and be anonymous any more if you report a traffic violation  in Mineral county, if you do they won't respond so where is the right to be anonymous?  Isn't it a right to be anonymous? 

I think that it is a right, but is right?  I would say yes it can be.  How many people do you know that aren't strong enough to stand up but need to help or want to help do the right things, so yes it can be.  What about the those who want to help but don't want to get involved, still a right.  What about those who just want to reek havoc and want to cause problems?  Probably not right but is it their right?  Debatable, but yes, that it is their right but not right.  The anonymity that New York is currently speaking of is in regard to the Internet. 

Is it right to be anonymous on the Internet?  It is beyond a doubt a right, as far as rights go, but is it right?  I would think that with any thing else it is a matter of how it is used.  Is it right to give an opinion and want to be anonymous because you are not brave enough to voice your opinion out in the opinion, I would say yes.  You have the right.  I would also say it is abhorrent in alot of cases as well.  If you are being anonymous to bully other aren't you stepping on or crushing someone else's rights?  The anonymous can say things that maybe as a non virtual person they can't, if they have to sign their name to it some times they wouldn't or couldn't say.  This can be good, but it can be really bad, and be criminal, sometimes. Anonymity can make some people into something they aren't, and no one would recognise, or maybe it makes them into who they really are and the person they hide from the world.  It can be cruel, despicable, truly criminal and way out side of the realm of what is acceptable.  So should we be allowed to be anonymous?

I would say as an American, and in general, yes, we should be allowed to be anonymous.  On the Internet we should have the right to be anonymous as well, and you do have to remember the Internet is much more than the American person, so it gives many people that don't have that right, in their own country, a right they may not get to enjoy normally.  I have battled this problem personally on my blog, I do so love giving all a voice on my blog and I allowed anonymous comments for a long time but I was taken advantage of by a couple of criminal types that continually harassed me so I have gone to having to have my commenter's sign in to comment on my blog. It is so sad.  I would say that this is the rights of the few crushing the many in action.  I do think it is your right to comment anonymously but that right has been take away from you and me both, on my level of the internet, so what will the rest of the world decide on the Internet over all? .... tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thank you, one and all, past and present, living or gone on to glory, You made our lives the better for having served your/our country.

I am not sure I ever understood Memorial day as a child, on any level. It was a day that Daddy didn't have to work and we got to have a picnic or maybe a barbecue. Sometime we got to go camping and fishing. My grandfather and his brother served in the second world war but he died when I was 4 and half, and my great uncle lived a long ways away and we didn't see this often until I was in my teens. Even when they were alive they never spoke of or referred to the great war. They wanted no honoring so we weren't really aware of their service on a level that touched out lives.

Shortly after I meant Poppie his mother was very angry with me, she wanted me to go put stuff on graves at the cemetery. I was a lesser person in her eyes for many a year as I don't, and never have gone to my grand parents graves. I was to my grandmother Gladys's once after the funeral but it was so lonely and hollow there I have never returned. I was raised to believe that people are dust to dust and when they die their bodies are not them, it has gone back to the ground from hence they came. I feel no connection to the grave site. I was never taught that I should and biblically see no reason to now. I am sure to some, like my mother in law, this is heartless and uncaring. I don't celebrate the dead in the ground, I celebrate and honor, the loved ones living in eternity in heaven. I feel no draw to the grave site. I know that is not what most people feel but it is the way I was raised and have raised my kids.

I have, as an adult in my older years, come to honor the sacrifice of the so many that have given their lives to our country and our way of life. I don't understand the military, all the much on a personal level, but on a political and intellectual level I see the all that have given their all with new understand and respect. I have a son in law, that I don't know really at all, that is in the service. He has been in Iraq and Afghanistan and has served his county there. He deserves my respect for this service. I have a nephew that too has served, his ex-wife and mother of his child served as well. In my family, though the last few generation haven't served, I am sure as with my grandfather and great uncle many have served, I know their great grand father served in the Civil war so I am a product of service if not ever generation like so many families are.

I do honor the ones, and there are so many, in this generation serving in the longest war this country has ever endure. So many have served over and over again, so many have died but so many more are bringing home war injuries apparent or hidden. They will endure this, or more like, these last two wars the rest of their lives and it will effect the lives of their children all of their lives. How many of us never feel, or are even aware, of the all that so many people past and present have given for us to enjoy the rights we do in this country. How many of us burn the flags, grind it into the ground, picket and or spit on them when they return and not in just these last wars. I do remember the return of the troops from Vietnam, it was so sad and shameful. Wars have come and gone, the politics has been pro or con, but all men that fought did it for you and me, they believed we had the right to do as we please in this county, to worship where we would, to be all we can be, to vote and change things and they gave us the right not to vote if we choose, how many countries allow that? I don't pretend to know any thing about the sacrifice, and the heart, it takes too stand up and say "I want to volunteer to give my life for my fellow American and my country" and then follow through with their service and often their lives. I only know of Jesus's sacrifice for us, as I read it in my bible. Some how the sacrifices, on this day of all days, are surely in the same vain. Jesus gave his life for us, the children he loved and knew. The soldier gives his all for the so many he doesn't know, the future American lives and ideals of this country, today of all days we need to stand up and say thank you with out you I would be????? tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Neutrality is taking a side don't ever kid yourself otherwise. Stand up make a choice to be on the side of right.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. ~Bishop Desmond Tutu

Elie Wiesel: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented
Silence is something I have never done well.  I learned along time ago that a greased wheel gets oiled but never much go in for squeaking absurdly about, do know someone who is good at it though.  Our right to standing up and saying something is wrong is more my style, but seemingly is less effective, yet eventually standing up and saying we are in pain and being abused should be heard shouldn't it?  Tried to say it to the persons that are supposed to help us but if justice is blind does she really have to be deaf too?  I have resorted to you, sorry for that. I have a voice that needs to be heard and you be default are my captive audience. 

In the early 2000's I volunteered at the local helpline, and I am still a certified advocate for the state of Montana. One of the new laws, that had just come into being, was that if an officer was called to a domestic assault call someone, by law the aggressor, was to be arrested and go to jail.  Unfortunately the officers from all parts of the state were deciding to just arrest both parties and take them to jail,  they didn't have to investigate or do their jobs they just arrested both people and made the judge do the job they should have. Or worse not one got arrested.  Needless to say judges from all over the state were up in arms over this, it was not in compliance with the law and helped no one,  does ticketing or arrest the victim and the abuser equally ever make any sense?  Seems that old habits die hard and officers tend to fall into the old ways of doing things.  Just look at the fiasco going on at the University and in Zootown in general, sexual assaults being pushed under the rug, because of who the abusers are.  Is it right to over look the indiscretion's of the titans and allow them to abuse those who they can and want to? Is it easier to ticket everybody than to do your job and ticket the aggressor? Is it right to allow a small child and a woman to be assaulted, maybe even battered by definition, by some one much bigger and stronger than them and as long as "no one else witnessed it"  is it really ok?  Can you imagine that an investigation was ever made if the victims were never interviewed, just the abuser... do you really think they said "yes, yes that was me I did it"  No, the authorities said, "no case here, they told me they didn't do it, so I believed them"  Duh, my name is stupid.

I do thank you for the consideration it takes for my blog to be passed on so readily to the "authorities" not sure how else I could get their attention not knowing all of their emails myself.  The Sheriff did tell me that he regularly gets "emails" advising him of it's content.  Keeping him and his contour parts, the judge, county attorney and commissioners up to dated on my blogging must take up a good portion of time, a truly pathetic us of a mothers day.  Additional time must be wasted reading it and hanging on my every word hoping to see your antic or abuses mentioned, I just want to say thanks it is clear that we are harassed and I am glad that they are being made aware of these abuses.  I did promise the Sheriff I would never blog about the abuser again if we were left alone. Funny how those few days I didn't  have to blog about being attacked made her so nuts she had to do something so egregious and outrageous as making up a white trash dance, to share with the neighborhood, trespass so that her devil dog could take a crap on Mokies property, throw rocks, knock over a innocent woman, etc........  I do so like to see dancing of this caliber on the utube, in all its glory.  I did learn, from being illegally video taped regularly, that having one of your own, just in case, is a good way to protect yourself.  Nice little clip that.   Funny how every time someone stops by my house,  Sisters or Mokies, the cameras move around until they pin point our exact  location in our own yards.  Do some people really have so little life of their own that they have time to watch our every move? You can't imagine how many people are aghast to see it when it is pointed out for them to witness.  Documentation, documentation, documentation.  I am amazed that batting your eyes, wiggling your girls and maybe, I can't say for sure, but just maybe, a slight wardrobe malfunction, always seems to help when she says "but officer I didn't do that they are lying about me ........". 

Okay, I am sorry just sometimes I get overwhelmed with the shear danger and stress of living next to a crazy nut case that has nothing better to do with their life than to spend it peeking at us, calling any agency that has to take a reportOOP, that no one seems to feel should be enforced.  It could be said that if you want to break the law, across the board, come to Missoula County or  Mineral County, no one here cares really in either jurisdiction.... indifference, is it really a part of law enforcement?  ...... tomorrow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today I look at my 500th page, what should I write of?

I noticed yesterday that today would be mine 500th blog, I am not sure what to write of actually.  I, in all that time, have only missed blogging on two days but since I blogged more than once on numerous day I made up for it.  I have tried to be open and honest about my life, and I think in many ways I have succeed at that.  I don't think I have always been perfect, or in the best light, I have been at my worst on many days but hope that I have been at my best on others.  I have tried to share my frustrations, and there have been many, my joys, hopefully more than the frustrations because we do live a simple basic life and joy is more often here than not.  I have tried to just be in my blogging and that is at this point its basic reason for being. I really do try to write it for my kids and grand kids. I think as I look back on the different pages it may be three different blogs all rolled into one.  I had intended to write family recipes in it, when I began, and there are some in there, but as I have evolved it is not a major part of what I write.  I find that I have written many about my childhood and family, which could be sorted out and made into a memoir of sorts. I have written so many about the daily living of now, and that would be  about my little ones and grand kids lives.  I have written the anger ones, the contemplative and the reflective, which should be the ones that share my wisdom but not sure they are all the wisdom filled. I have my older kids childhoods to reminisce about yet, as I have tried to be more circumvent about their youth at this point, but since none of them really read my blog I am sure they don't care. I think they will find a time when they do want to read it which was the intent of my blog to beginning with.  My grandmother Gladys journaled daily for years and her children fought over who would get to have her diaries when she passed, I am hoping mine show at least a little of that when I pass on.  I think my blog will fill the same void in their lives as the diaries did in my aunts. 

I could on this day bore you with the on going abuse we suffer from our neighbor, do any of the agencies she turns us into on a weekly, daily or monthly bases have a false reporting department or do they even care.  Can't our lives be left alone or is hers so empty and pathetic that she only finds joy in trying to cause us pain.  But I have digressed and she isn't worth my thought or time, except to be aware of the danger she really does pose in our lives.  I find Mrs. Jethro's new antic flat out funny, the female Chaplain/Church lady is such a coward and boarders on false teaching and false doctrine that it is just funny, they both deserve each other, water that has flowed to it's own level, the sewer.  Enough about them and sad that they rated a place of any space in my blog but as they are a threat I have to keep reporting on them, as our local law enforcement department has it head up it's ass and is hoping to ignore them away.  I do thinking calling wolf will eventually bite them in the asses.  It did the little boy of fable.

I am so proud of my little Yogie,  we are trying to transition the goats to evening milking as we will be at the flea market this weekend so will not be able to milk twice a day.  Mokie had to work last night so asked if we could do four of the six goats.  Yogie was to do two, Booboo and I wore to do the other two.  Yogie milked goats like she was on fire, she milked three at our house,  didn't know you had to continue milking both spickets on the yearling, so she got kicked.  She then went over to Mokie's, she and Booboo milked the other goat, so she milked three and a half goats, two gallons of milk, two of the goats she had never milked before. Her little shoulders were sore when she finished.  Kudos to my baby, she is a superstar milker, she is a blessing since I am not a good milker just a good enough to get by until someone comes along to help, or they have to have big spickets so I can do any good at all. Booboo seeing how good her sister did is determined to step up her game as she is not a much better milker, at this point, than mom.  She was the better milker when they began.  Yogie has just worked harder at her craft.

Brother in Law had back surgery this week, it was 10 years and 4 days after Poppie had the same surgery by the same Doctor.  He is struggling to heal and is in our prayers daily.  We have been taking care of the Little after school so Sister can be at his side.  I know how important her being there is for him. 

I am not sure this is a great blog, or even if it should be, 500 is a milestone for me, in ways, but probably of no accord in the space of anything that is real in this life.  I mark it and go on .... tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The things kids do, we hope they out grow and all do it, even if their momma thinks her little darling would never do that.

Kid are a truly wonderful little packages that some people are blessed to receive in their lives.  Yes, each and everyone is a miracle from God.  I still don't, and never will, understand how some of the most compassionate people I knew, and don't know, who would never hurt a fly, would give anything to save a whale, a wolf, a forest or a anything but promote and advocate abortion.  Where are their minds, do they even know any children or why is it that after perpetrators of sex without thought get to murder children but wouldn't hurt a this or that?  I will never bring my mind around to it but have learned that all humans, from conception, have a choice to be saved once they reach the mental age of choice, so as all of the 53 million babies killed in the US since 1972 have already gone to their reward in heaven. Sadly due to a choice made for them, about them, a choice not made by that persons own parent, they only get to live in heaven.  Heaven being so much better maybe it was not a hardship in the end but it sure was a sin on this earth, and maybe just maybe it ate at the person, who did it, for all of time afterwards. I am sorry I got off track, didn't mean to, but I do find the death of any child so devastating and atrocious.  I am of the belief that if God blessed you with a child, for any reason and by any means, there is a purpose in your life or someones for that child.   I am done now.

Ever spend any time with a child?  I like how people who haven't say, they are the most innocent beings, which they are as they have no accountability for actions they are not yet aware are naughty, not that they didn't do it.  I love when people say they have to be taught to do things,  they don't lie, steal, abuse or be sneaky on their own.  Really?  The person or parent who thinks that isn't paying any attention to a little ones action, they are still having a fuzzy moment of their above normal conduct special little package.  Really just spend some time with the little beasties and you can watch them in action.  They will from the moment they can sit grab anything they want, they are the center of their world after all,  woe be it for the momma who never makes them share because they are expressing themselves.  She runs around getting all the children her little darling grabbed a toy from a different one as not to upset her little sweeties world.  She, or it could be dad maybe even the grands, just taught junior they can and do have to right to take anything they want from anyone they want.  Isn't the stealing.  So did it come to them by nature of nurture.  The taking probably from nature, the stealing from nurture.  How odd that that parent, a few years later says, I just can't understand who taught them to steal things, "they were playing with so and so kids last week I will bet they taught my little lovey to steal.  I know he didn't steal of his own accord."  yay right.   Ever ask a toddler if they took a cookie off the plate?  How about the remote could they have taken it, or maybe the cell?  They will assure you they didn't do it,  right, they don't want to give it back and Momma takes it if you say you have it.  'NO, I don't have that.'   Did they eat their veggies, "yes Momma I did"  so how is it you can see it under the rim of the bowl of the butter dish or behind the cereal box.  Out of sight is out of mind,  why do you think they like to play hide and go seek, you were gone and you came back.  Food goes away but doesn't come back if they can't see it.  Ever put two older infants together.  They pull hair, they pinch and prod each other, if an adult did that to you that would be abuse pure and simple.  They by nature will hurt anyone that lets them get ahold of them, not of intent but of selfish desires, if not shown it hurts other kids they will continue doing it and soon find it fun to see pain in others.  I know these are all innocent acts, of a baby or child, but really aren't they the seeds of the acts that could and do become unacceptable actions, if a parent isn't there to guide, teach or train them.  We parents do have a responsibility to help them become the kids and adults they should be.  No someone didn't teach your little one to do that, you did.

I find that with love most children out grow these things and become truly lovely preschoolers, tweens or teens but you have to stay with it and help them to learn how to respond to all the actions that come to them at the ages they come.  Do you really not teach the little guys that "yes, it does get big but that is private and you should keep that private for you, no you can't show it to your sister or Susie next door"   This and many other things will come along and as with the other things you encountered as they grew, and will encounter as they continue to grow, you need to address each in their own time and in context.  When they want to know where the puppy came from you have to listen to the question, are they asking about sex or is it that they only wanted to know that it came from the momma's belly.  Did they really ask how it got in there or did they just want to know how it got out.  Listen to your child, listening is one of the most wonderful senses we have, sadly so seldom used.

I find children do the darnedest things and with patience, love and appropriate discipline and guidance they can and do become wonderful adults.  I think it is sad when you see the ones that fell through the cracks.  It is normal, and a learning moment, when your three year old calls the puppy, he knows he is not to call over from the neighbors house and when momma catches him he says 'go home puppy' all innocent like.  That is a child's action, sadly the child that has no parenting, or maybe it is that they just don't grow up and become adults,  becomes the 38 year old that still calls the neighbors dog over to play in their yard and acts just like that three year old child that got caught doing it, when caught, and says 'go home puppy go home' still all innocent like.   Stealing and other childish actions that adults do are much the same, they never quite get that they are adults and they are not children, momma always let them do it. So why oh why should they have to be like other adults and conform to the laws of the land or maybe just society now?  Come on you know people that do all sorts of childish things, that as a child were childish as adults not so much....

Children are the most precious things we have in this life, all of us started as one, no, cloning has not gotten us past that yet.  We all start as unmolded lovely little sweeties, what we become is sometimes a crap shoot.  Did you have a parent the loved, you grounded you, put you in time out, spanked you or talked to you and really cared what your answers were?  If so you were among God's blessed, if not maybe you got a raw deal but that doesn't excuse your behavior and you don't get to say for the rest of your life it was some one elses fault, you are responsibly.   Sadly you didn't get a great childhood but you can make the choice to be a better person and maybe some day you can give to a special little person the love and joy that no one gave you, you can sort of get a redo and there is nothing more joyous than sharing a child's childhood.... tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long hard day, responsiblity won out and the right thing was done in the end.

Mokie, this one is for you.... Yesterday started in a whorl wind, we were out beginning to milk when Mokies dog got off  the chain.  The dog is usually pretty happy and mild when she is off but something was definitely not right, she seemed to have snapped she attacked my cat.  Mokie was trying to catch her as she made a pass threw the goat pen, does and withers were running everywhere as she tried to catch the peahens.  They each flew to the top of the tallest trees they could find, took most of the day for them to come down.  She had broken her collar and I finally caught her, we were trying to find a different collar to chain her up until Son or Poppie came home.  I told Mokie to try her on the choke chain and we thought the situation was settled.  We finished up the milking, Mokie was taking the kids home and I was carrying a bucket of grain to the weanling pen when Mokie began running and screaming toward her green house.  I watched in amazement as Bubbie wobbled and bumped along on her hip all willy nilly.  I put down my bucket to go see if I could help and find out what was the matter, she started screaming I thought Sadie, then maybe Minnie and I saw her drop the baby in Seconds lap and ran even faster.  I then saw that she was wrestling with the dog that had been off the chain and screaming.  The big dog ran away and she screamed can you catch her,  I went to catching her still not sure what had happened.  Mokie reached down and picked up my pregnant long haired Chichuaua, Muddles or MudPie as Mokie calls her,  her favorite of my dogs, the one she has been trying to convince to live with her.  She was bleeding and had a tear in her skin.  I took a collar off of one of the goats, caught the dog and chained her up.  Mokie was crying, kids were crying and it was chaos.  I walked over to see how bad the dog was hurt.  She in the end had a superficial tear in her groin, we think she is going to be ok, not sure about the puppies, at this point, but we will see.  I used bacteria buster on her, and we gave her some penicillin. She is very sore and has limited use of her back leg, She was tucked all into a soft warm blanket and the kids were feeding her hot dogs at Mokies.  I told her if she takes care of her she will bond and want to stay with her, a blessing maybe in the middle of such trauma. 

Mokie called Son, and then Shinny, the dog needed to be put down immediately.  Any dog that chases, harasses or kills animal in a neighborhood is a dead dog, it is the law.  Mokie did the right thing, though she loved her dog, it was the right and absolute thing to do.  Shinny kindly took her and did the right thing as none of us could leave to do it.  Boy was upset with his mom, much like his mom has been upset with me for 15 years ago when we had to put our old dog down. Her old age and withering away had brought her to incontinence and not being able to stand, we had to put her out of her misery but Mokie hadn't understood.  She may just a little bit more today.  Shinny and Son both talked to Boy he still didn't understand but accepted the dogs loss.  I told Mokie she needs to not get another puppy until I breed Mishka when she is older, a couple years and I can find a suitable stud, her puppy would be a much better option for our little farms.  Mokie is in agreement and Boy is looking forward to the future time.  There are rules of conduct in a neighborhood and when you can't assimilate to them or even obey the law you can alienate your neighbors and become an outcast of your own making.  Mokie understands the easy going compatibility we have with our neighbors, she stood up and did the right thing for the animals, the kids and the people we care about in our neighborhood.  That is why the law in Montana is so clear when there is a dog that is useless, and a danger to the neighborhood, to bad there are some people who chose to be criminals and harbor their mincing dog, well for the short term any way. A devil dog will eventually be out killing again and his time will come, patience is a wonderful things and we are patient neighbors, one and all, and all know the law says we can kill it if we catch it on our land. Funny how easy it will be especial when it gets away as it is being paraded back and forth on a leash so much as a challenge.  All are waiting and watching to finish the job I spoke to the Sheriff and he said we didn't even have to call the cops until the job was done and then they would deal with the body being retrieved.

I hope today is better, I have mailing to do, diaper covers, an upcycled outfit and an altered book frame.  Mokie and I are going to do the flea market this weekend.  I hope we don't get poured on and sell something if not we may just call it quits early and enjoy the Memorial day for a change, Memorial BBQ what a alien thought..... tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What is our purpose on this earth, If the Lord gives us each one what is mine? Do you know yours?

The Preacher had a stirring sermon, this Sunday.  He is not a fire and brimstone preacher, and he has spent the entire time I have gone to this church on one section of the bible in the first hour and the second hour on only a few different areas.  He is pretty thorough on his studying a subject.  We have studied the virtuous woman for most of that time.  Mo'ses and Joseph as well.  I have only got to go on Tuesdays once but it was a different area study.  I like that he is pretty close to the words of the bible as we study not a sermon built on a single versus and then off on a rant like some preachers can do.  He often says that he doesn't know the needs of all the members, or what they will take away from the sermon, that is for the Lord to give.  I like that thought, makes me think that God speaks to me on the subject I need to hear about.  The Sermon was about the purpose that the Lord had for Mo'ses life.  How he worked in him to makes great changes for the Hebrew people and lead them to the promised land if not into the promised land.  A very nice sermon.

Cubbie and Boy went with us to Church they had specific orders, from dad, that if they weren't nice and were naughty Poppie was to call on his cell phone, that Poppie never takes to Church but was in his pocket turned off just encase it was needed,  never came out they were very good.  They were so happy to be allowed to go with us.  They were both very shy and quite.  They are learning to love the Lord.

I found as I sat listening to the sermon, holding my little granddaughter in my lap, God talked to me about my purpose in life.  I had a teacher, the president of the local Mormon Church at the time, who told me I was smart enough to become anything I wanted and do anything I wanted but I would chose to be a mother and wife.  I am not sure I know what he meant at the time.  I was being pushed to want to go to college as a student but not sure I every really wanted to enough to go.  I would have liked the challenge of the learning but probably not the being away from my family or the loneliness of being without anyone I knew.  I am not an explorer, I am more of the woman in the covered wagon that kept the fire going and drove the team with a whole passel of kids.  Even then I knew I wasn't going to conquer the world.  The Preacher often speaks of training up a child, much different than teaching a child the way he tells it.  He speaks of training as a ingraining of character into our children, training them that something is right and other things are wrong.  He is not always that big on teaching them compromise and I have contemplated his thoughts.  I do believe on many levels his has the right of it, though I do differ on a few specifics.  I do want my children to be good with family values, the way I was taught by my parents.  I do think that alot of the things wrong in this country is due to parents not teaching, or maybe it is training, their children how to work, how to parent, how to be a member of a community or a church.  I do think that so many of our values are being cast aside, compromising our beliefs is eroding our society.  The allowing of others to change who you are so they can  promote their agenda is wrong and we should not be swayed but many of the things that come down the pike.  Family is important to me but for some reason our society is more and more for throwing it out.  Marriage is being attached.  I am for civil unions and I do believe that marriage is an institution, given to us by God for one woman and one man, is something that is right.  I do think all people have the right to the same protection under the law but I also don't believe in one man and 5 wives and God didn't either.  I digress, I am not wanting to discuss things I really don't care about, and civil unions is something that doesn't effect my life so I don't have a real thought on how it develops.  I do read my bible and know God set up marriage for a man and his wife.  I find the more I read the bible the more I see that God actually allowed people to do as they want in general,  it is only the people that are called, and accept, his calling that he speaks to.  How many times are complete nations, that didn't listen to his voice, completely destroyed in the Bible.  God wrote the bible and gave us the word, us meaning those who hear its calling and obey its command, those who believe that Jesus is the son of God and asked to be saved.  I don't think God dwells much on people or peoples that walk away or don't hear his calling, he loves all peoples but allows them to walk away to their doom.  In that light I don't think that God worries much about all the things people do in this life if they are not saved and following his word.

I got off track sorry,  I did mean to talk about what I thought God's purpose for me is, not a college grad, as I have said.  I would say I am fairly well self educated.  I have been many things in my life, a dispatcher, a manager, an emt, an executive director of my local help line, and many other things but I am not any of these.  I am an artist, a crafter, a farmer, a gardener, a cheese maker, and hopefully to be a spinner but still not my purpose in life, just part of the me that I have become with God's guidance on my path.  I remember my grandfather speaking, more than once, about my grandmother Gladys and my mother both getting a double helping of mothering from the Lord.  I wonder could it be that I have that too.  I wouldn't have guessed that my teacher all those years ago would have seen that in me. I do know that at the time I would have thought that was the last thing I would want to become having been doing alot of mothering for a long time at that time.   I guess maybe I have been in training to be a mother since I was 14 months.  I remember knowing how to change diapers for Sister when I was 3 and half years old, I was 3 and a half and had 4 younger siblings.  I was always a second mother to my siblings along the way, how could I not have been I am the oldest of 12.  I was trained to do all sorts of home crafts as I grew from a young age.  When I would know, or now know, how to do something people say' how do you know how to do that?' I asked 'how do you not know?'.  I was trained to be a mother, a wife and maybe that is the path God has wanted me on all along.  I have been a mother all my life in ways and now find I am a "Nannie" to many more, I don't actually know how not to be a mother, I guess I was trained to do what I was supposed to do.  They say if you are trained to do something in an emergency you always go back to your basic training, could it be I am basically a mother and wife to the core of who I am?  I know how to love children, I try to speak to them not down to them, I am not a push over I expect what they are capable of when they are capable of it.  Maybe just maybe I have spent my life on the path I was intended for all along and I just spent a long time trying to find me when I was already where I was supposed to be..... tomorrow. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cheddar wheel in the press, Cubbie and Boy all night, life is like sand in my hand.

It is said that sand is ever flowing, much like water, you can't hold it as it flows continuously on.  I think that God has given them both to us as examples of life.  You try to hold them steady, or crush them tight in your hand but they ever flow forward.  Life is something we can embrace and enjoy but we can't stop and hold it at anyone place.  We can try to make time stationary or keep it like it is but it ever flows forward going to new highs and new lows to the end of our days on this earth.  God wants us to experience the all of human life, we don't get to lock ourselves in a single place or time, we must go forward into our lives as it changes and ebbs to our death.  I think it is a masterful plan, not that anything God has ever done isn't, but how many of us would stay in a place of joy or a wonderful time and never advance, grow or evolve to the person we are to become.  It is said with age comes wisdom and knowledge.  It is so true the older we get the more we know, the more we have experienced and the more we can council the young in our lives.  They don't always listen, or want to hear what we have to say, sometimes because they haven't yet learned any of the knowledge or wisdom that they will acquire as they age. A circle, or cycle, that is never ending, when we are young we don't appreciate the person we will become or the aged that God has gifted us with.  We are a faulty creature we humans, we seem to make the same mistakes generationally into perpetuity backwards and forwards in time.

I made five gallons of milk into a nice large round of cheddar, white cheddar, I have a little bit of a reservation about making it yellow, though I have as it is what some people like.  This is my second ever cheddar, the first one had great flavor but it was pressed a little to heavy so was a bit dry, I have learned that goat cheese can be drier, so I am trying this year to press lighter and try to improve my end product. I am happy to be making cheese this year, didn't make alot last year as I got behind the eight ball and had to work at getting it done.  I also have a lot more milk this year so I have the right amount of milk to make a nice batch every other day, I just have to stay up with it.  I have made 7 batches already, feta, blue feta, mozzarella/ricotta, Swiss and now cheddar.  I hope they there ends up be come good ones in the batch.

Cubbie and Boy are over for the night, they got permission from their dad to come over and they go to Church with us.  They have both assured me they will be good at Church, we will see, if they are they will get to go with us more.  Son was sort of embarrassed by their antics at Church so hasn't gone back, if they end up being nice they may just get daddy to take them regularly which would be a blessing.  God will guide them along the path of where their budding faiths should go,  and maybe a little bit of Nannie's teaching them how to me nice when Momma isn't their to save them.  They are usually much better behaved then they are in public with me so we will see how good they do. Have a blessed Sunday and enjoy the Lord where ever you got to praise and fellowship with him.... tomorrow.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What little kids do, well maybe more like what kids from the country do.

I recently experienced one of those you couldn't make this up little kids events.  We had a baby turkey die due to a small child dropping it which was sad and I had made a mistake in allowing the children to see the babies without supervision.  We had thrown the little body in the trash and had thought nothing of it.  Sadly a lesson learned.  The next day the little ones were all playing out in the back yard and much to my amazement there one of the little girls was swinging with what appeared to be a toy.  I couldn't quite make out the toy she had so stepped forward to see what she had.  As I walked closer to her visions of rubber chickens registered in my mind.  You know the ones comedians used to use to slap people with on old variety hours.  There to my horror was the lovely little girl (I am protecting her future dignity by not telling you which of the little girls it was) swing away on the swing, in one hand she had a baby turkey by the neck.  It flopped to an from as she swung back and forth, its little neck seemed to have stretched out and it wobble about.  I asked her what she had, and where she got it, she smiled with delight "a baby turkey" and proudly held it up for me to see.  I aghast walked over and retrieved it from her.  All the while old comedy routines bounced around in my head, I walked away toward the trash hoping to keep my laughter of the lunacy of it to myself.  Mokie, who is much more irreverent than me, was laughing uncontrollably.  I told the little darling she need to go wash her hands as the baby turkey was dirt and she need to wash, and use soap, away she ran as happy as a clam.  We soon found out how the turkey had gotten out of the trash can, Boy admitted he had tipped it over and gotten it out so that the girls could see it and play with it.  Sadly a tragically true event, it still brings a naughty smile to my face, not because of the morbidness of a dead turkey, but because of the little lovely swinging away with an apparent rubber chicken in her hand singing with joy and laughter as she shared her day with her new friend.  Okay so you had to be there but kids do the darnedest things.

I remember fondly such events from my childhood, no, no dead turkeys but other outrageous things little ones can and do do.  I remember, one of my earliest memories, I was around 3 being in a strangers house, I was playing with a jack in the box, it intrigued me.  I also remember my mother coming to the door with a strange man apologizing for having to look in his home for her lost child.  Apparently I had snuck into his house while he was out and I had wondered away from ours, there I was happily playing with his jacking the box,  all around the vinegar jug the monkey chased the weasel, the weasel stopped to scratch his head pop goes the weasel....  Another day a while later, in a new home, my mom had had to clean out the freezer, it had stopped working in the summer time and all the meat was ruined.  She put it in the wheel barrow so she could take it out of the house then discard it.  It was out back when she had to go take care of the baby, Little brother.  My two older, younger brothers, and I took the wheel barrow over the rise in the field and decided to play cooks.  We made burgers, maybe a better name would be mud burgers as we did pat them up on the dirty ground.  We all ate a good portion of our burgers before we got bored and left the meat and the wheelbarrow there in the field.  I was so sick later and to this day can eat a steak that still moo's as long as it is warm but I like my burgers cooked no pink of any sort please.  A few weeks after this we were in the garden helping my mom weed the garden,  Sister was playing with the pitch fork, she was in the tomatoes as she liked to take a bite out of each and then pick another one.  She began screaming, there she stood one pitch fork tine in each foot clear threw to the ground.  The same summer my mom took us all out to see the  sheep, she told the boys to run over and pet them.  The ram saw them coming and must have perceived them as a threat he meant them half way across the field and flatten Red to the ground, knocked him out cold.  My mom was scared and shooed the ram away as she helped the boys up and out of the pasture, a week later the same ram killed a young ram by head butting him the same way, scared my mom even worse.  I went to school shortly there after that, in the fall, well kindredgarten, the nice lady across the field and the highway ran a small one for the neighborhood kids.  I remember having to walk across the highway and then go across the field to come home, it was quicker than the road.  I was walking across the field, but the barbwire fence scared me, so I decided that if I closed my eyes and ducked I could manage it without fear.  Well I came up too soon and slice my left eye lid open.  I went the rest of the way across the field sobbing, mom doctored it when I got home, no back then you didn't run them to the er.  I still have a big scar to this day.

We aged and moved to Idaho and a few years later we were playing in the barn, mom and her friends were tired of us tattling so they told us not to come back in the house for any reason.  Well, we had this rope in the barn and we were playing at swing in the barn, Red has braver than the rest of us and was standing in the rope swing away when he slipped,  he was hanging by his foot from the rope in the middle of the barn.  He couldn't reach the ground and couldn't get back up, none of us could help him down or up and he was turning blue.  I was volunteered to go for help, I wasn't looking forward to the in troubleness I would be in for being there telling again or for Red being hanging in the barn.  I walked in the house and my mom said I was so white and scared looking they knew something was wrong immediately.  I didn't get in trouble for telling but we all got in trouble for playing with a rope in the barn. We moved around again after that and eventually landing at upper Lynch creek in Plains,  we lived in the woods in a newly cut subdivision.  My mother was having a frustrating day, which happen alot with 8 kids and being pregnant.  She was upset with my brother, that was adopted and was adopted from us later by my aunt and uncle,  she told him to go jump in the creek, she wasn't serious and none of us were paying all that much attention to him.  He being 5 took her literally.  He came wondering into the house a while later wet from head to toe and blood running down his face from a big gash in his head.  The creek wasn't deep and he had jumped in head first.  Not long after that my brothers, Red of the barn rope incident was leading the way, they were climbing to the top of small bull pine trees and their weight would bend the tree over and they would swing toward earth much like a bungee jumper.  I was not playing only observing their antics but soon got bored and left.  The three boys continued to play at their game, well soon Silver left Little brother and Red to it.  A short while later here comes Little brother dragging Red toward the house, Red had actually hit the ground and was knocked out so Little Brother was dragging him home to mom.  Little Brother was scared to dead and crying he thought Red was dead.

Being the oldest I caught a lot of trouble for being the leader, not sure I lead all that much or all the time, but I got the blame.  I did finally learn to use that to my advantage as I aged and when I could.  I was in middle school or maybe early high school when my mom left the house saying that she would give me 5 dollar if  the kitchen was clean when she got home, an enormous amount of money.  I being a thinker knew she didn't say I had to actually do the work it just had to be done.  I told Sister that if she cleaned the kitchen I would give her a dollar.  Needless to say it was years before she figured out that she deserved more than the dollar she earned.  I am thinking maybe the turkey incident is minuscule in the broader scope of my life experience with children, and now you know why it is funny to me, because at no time were any children in any danger with the baby turkey,  I do wonder how in retrospect I survived my childhood or may how my mom survived all of our childhoods........ tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cinnamon gives up his coat for my spinning dreams, Nice visit with Lady, Piglets to deliver to Belle.

Cinnamon is a cashmere goat and he was in need of having his coat removed.  Mokie had been wanting to do the deed but we couldn't afford to buy the shears to do it, well over 200 dollars for a set.  We had decided we might just try to do it with scissors but I knew what might ruin the coat for spinning.  I got to thinking about this nice lady I meant at the spring fling that had mentioned that cashmere goat fleece had two textures.  If you shear it it lessons the quality of the fleece.  Cashmere's have a course and a soft textured hair.  She had said that if you pull the hair it is much better quality.  I told Mokie about the conversation I had had with the lady.  We decided we would try to pull his hair,  he has very long horns, he had been allowed to be a buck for sometime before some one had him neutered then gave him away.  We had Poppie help us hold him and tried to pull his fleece.  He was not happy about Poppie holding his horns.  He did not like two people pulling his hair.  I stopped pulling and just let Mokie do it, which seemed to calm him greatly.  Eventually we let Poppie stop holding his horns and I feed him peanut butter sandwiches.  He stood like a gentleman and we got a nice bag of fleece to card and spin.  We pulled it so there is very little vegetable matter to clean out.  I am hoping to get to practice with my drum carder with it as my first try. Mokie wants more cashmere goats,  they are actually a meat goat and we could breed them to Boer's......

I went to breakfast with Lady yesterday we had a nice much need visit.  It was nice to spend time together, we both have such busy lives with kids and grand kids we rarely get to visit.  We caught up, shared and sorrowed.  A cherished friendship to be sure.  Today I have to catch two piglets and drop them off at Belle's in the afternoon.  That will make us down to two of the little ones, one to stay and one to go soon.  I hope to get a little visit with Belle before I have to be home so Poppie can pick up kids from school.  The girls are going to go to spend the night, in a tent, with Drama Queen, Princess, Butterfly and Flower.  I am told when King gets home from work in the night he will swap Drama Queen out and she will get to go get some sleep in her bed.  Smart that, I can't imagine sleeping on the ground anymore, way to old for that. They should have a great time. 

I finished up the Swiss Cheese, it seems to be good can't wait to see what  it turns out like after it cures and ages.  I like to make mozzarella, feta and blue feta as they are pretty much immediate satisfaction cheeses, no waiting to see your results.  I am going to have to practice my patience skills with the hard aged cheese, 2 months to a year depending on the cheese.  It will be a good patience building endeavor.  I have learned to embrace practicing my patience the more I age, even as a Momma..... tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Clothes do they really make the person? Does age have an appropriate attire?

I am not and have never been a fashionista.  I think there is real inner part of me that is a girlie girl but I don't know that it the part that really cares what people think of how I dress.  I heard the other day on the Today show that if you are over 50 you shouldn't have long hair.  Who gets to decides that?  I wonder if all the ladies down through time, that have praised the Lord with their hair, know that.  Did the Amish, Mennonite, Wesleyan Methodist, and countless other religious ladies get the memo?  Do they care what the secular world thinks anyway?  I can't say that I really spend much thought on the clothes I wear, but then I usually am up to my knees is manure, or milking, or carrying a 50 lb bag  of grain so maybe the sweatshirts, sweats or jeans that I wear are probably appropriate attire after all. I am not sure that heels would help my goats give more milk, though Cubbie did try and bring them to me to wear to go milking yesterday, I asked her if the goats would like me to wear them and she said "yes Nannie they are pretty."   So if you come by and see me wearing such dreadful clothes should you really commit on how unfashionable I look, I probably will think that you are totally clueless to my life and smile on the inside at your stupidity.  I don't really have time to cater to your needs of how I should dress and know I don't have time to comment on you fashionable attire.  Do you think a person who would comment on what I am wearing may be a person so self involved that they want me to compliment them on my way to herding the goats?  Never thought of it that way until now that I am examining it.  I may not be a fashion forward person; and I may not live up to others standards of what I should wear. I don't really have time to put all that much importance into the superficiality of what I am wearing but I do know what is inappropriate for me to wear.

I think that I would find it more important to be appropriate in my dress than what others around me wear.  I have never felt the need to wear a bikini, even at 16 with a body others would have thought hot.  I am not saying there is no room in this world for bikini's because there are and there are many beautiful woman who wear them.  My Ladies wear bikini's appropriate for their age.  I am sure they will wear them, at their wanting when they are 16, I would think they will wear ones of some taste as they have been brought up in the Lord and know some restraint.  I am thinking of the overly voluminous ( I don't think it is voluminous when it muffins over) and way to old for that G-sting of floss up her rotund bum.  I think that may just count as inappropriate.  Or how about the guy in the speedo that can't see his feet over that old beer belly.  I would think both of those individuals would count as much more inappropriate in their fashion sense than my long hair and the old sweats in the barnyard.  I guess that would make me critical,  should I embarrass their fashion choice even if society would have said they should have thrown out that bikini and the speedo a number of years ago? No, I should just look the other way, literally it is way to eww to look at and I should not voice my opinion out of respect for my fellow man, no matter how miss placed their sense of fashion is.

I guess people who throw stones need to remember they live in a glass house.  I don't think that any of us have the right to say that isn't something they would have worn, we only get to decide what is appropriate for our lives, we need to be true to ourselves, and remember what you wear makes a statement of who you are. I would much rather be the old woman in a pair of sweats on an udder than the aging thirty or forty something with butt floss lost in a wide backside or under that overlapping muffin top.  Funny how both are considered inappropriate by the society but are they really?  Should muffin tops really say I should dress better and applaud me if I by chance should wear something they finds inappropriate enough to be correct in their eyes?  Life is too short to worry about the frivolity of old woman's clothes, should I really need to dress as a twenty something, which would be truly inappropriate to please the inappropriate?  NO, I am thinking not...... tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

People are like water we level out and go with the flow of life.

I have said before that I like to watch people and in the last few years I see less people, so watch less I suppose, but have had a life time of watching lots of people from different places and from different points of few.  As a child I watched, like any child, my parents, family and close friends.  I am not sure that I saw people out side of that, I truly believed as a small child, that anybody outside of that realm were cardboard and for some reason I was always trying to look behind them to see the corrugated back part of them.  I am not sure why I thought that but for some reason I could never quite get a view of their backside.  I don't really know when I stopped believing that.  I do know that all of my childhood was never ending movement, we began moving from one place to the next before I was even born.  I got to see people from one place to the next, lived in 6 states, went to 13 schools and lived in 42 houses before I was married.  I meant a lot of people in a lot of different circumstances and situations along the way.  I think that maybe that is why I became a people watcher.  As an adult I began to watch people in different more advanced ways, no more cardboard people, people had compassion, love, depth and lives of their own, that made them as whole and human as me.

One of the things that I do know about people is they are like water, they never stop aging, moving along in life or just flowing along.  People flow along for many different reasons.  We age all of our lives, we are from day one closer to death each day we live.  So birth might be called the first stage of death. Our bodies grow from conception to birth in a pattern that most bodies follow, yes, occasionally a body gets off track and is born abnormal or truly different.  Did you know that babies are not born with knee caps?  They don't even grow them until after they learn to crawl, see why it doesn't hurt them to crawl around on their knees but it kill us adults.  We are born perfect little humans, life happens our bodies deteriorate and then we die.  We don't rejuvenate and go on for ever, I suppose in that respect we are not like water but in so many others ways we are. 

Did you ever think about how people flow to or level out with the people they are the most like?  I can't say I have ever saw a Church lady who's best friend was a whore, yes, they minister to them but they don't take them home with them long term.  Do the ultra rich befriend the homeless?  The Jones surely aren't having tea with the people they consider lesser than themselves unless it is out of pity.  We do tend to level to our own groups.  Ever see a high powered CEO business woman at a quilting bee?  Like does find like.  So in that respect you can see a lot or know a lot about a person by the friends they keep.  Oh, you can be hoodwinked a little when some one moves in and has tried to change them selves and pretends to belong in one group but eventually, unless they have had a metamorphoses and have truly changed their lives, they will be rooted out and will eventually level out to the group they belong in.  God can make that change in peoples lives, the whore can become the Church lady and truly belong in that group.  The CEO can walk away from her powerful life for the love of a child or husband but those are the exceptions not the rule.  The Mississippi did actually run up stream for several hours after a major earth quakes in the 1800's, so water too can change it's path, and when it did run back down stream, after the earth quake, a whole town had changed sides of the river. The whore became the Church lady?  People can and do change but not by accident they have to want to be better people and work at being a changed person.  God can give a person the strength and ability to make great changes.

Ever see a couple married, or together, long term that didn't have the same values?  Really?  I have never.  They can seem different but long term relationships, unlike new relationships, don't survive to be long term relationships, if the two people involved are ethical, morally and compassionately different.  Yes, opposites can, and do, attract but unless down deep they are of like nature or can't become of like nature they don't survive.  The bible does say you can't yoke unequals together.  I am not sure that only refers to belief in God, I think it applies to most aspects of who we are.  The victim of a relationship eventually leaves, dies, or kills the abuser.  The rebel drug using alcoholic eventually loses the God fearing mate once there is no hope they can change their mate and they have to save themselves. 

People are like water, they flow to their own level in life, they are always flowing into or onto a new aspect of their lives, sometimes they get caught in a backwater but eventually they flow on to the rest of their life and on to eternity. ..... tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Peahens go sashaying about, Salamanders alive and well, Milk overflowing.

I picked up cat food for the Peahens, we opened up the coop as soon as we got home from the dentist.  Poppie said he was worried that they would leave and never come back.  I am pretty sure that the lovely manly boy peacocks will keep them near and close to home but I couldn't convince Poppie of it.  I sprinkled cat food all around the coop so they knew there was food to come back to.  They need the cat food on top of their grain for the protein and the Goats won't eat it, grain they do so sprinkling it around for the Peahens to return to is pointless.  We opened the coop and stood back to see what they would do.  They were tentative but wouldn't come out with us in eye site.  We decide to go around the build out of their sight where we could still see the Peacock who was strutting up a storm hoping to entice them out.  The other male was in his tree at Shiny and New Mamma's.  He called and called but didn't make an appearance.  The Peahens finally came out and let their suitor serenade them and dance for their enjoyment.  They didn't seem to be in a hurry to run away, much to Poppie's relief.  They eventually took up residence in the newly vacated market pig cabin,  last time we saw them they were fluffing dust and cleaning it of bugs.  I really didn't expect them to like the little cabin as theirs but the goats shouldn't be a problem there for them.  Too funny the idiosyncrasies of animals.

I read on line that the salamanders weren't all that fond of meal worms but they do like crushed dog food and since we have a lot of dog food, having 9 of the creatures, we tried it out.  They are alive and well living on crushed dog food.  Princess stopped by to asked the girls if any of them made it, she has a gecko, and was surprised to find all were alive and well to this point.  Funny how we are feeding the birds cat food, the cat shared but was leery of the giant bird eating it along side of him.  We are also feeding slimy amphibians dog food who would of thunk. 

I am now getting at least two gallons of milk, plus the two liter bottles the bum gets a day.  That is with out Lilly as her babies have escaped their pen and we can't seem to find where they get out to keep them for doing it.  She gives about 3/4 of a gallon a day herself, so we will have that to include once she either stops feeding them or we figure out how to keep them in their pen.  I am making cheddar today and probably a second blue feta.  I am hoping to get more mozzarella made for Son the last batch didn't quite stretch right, good taste but no stretch,  mozzarella is one of the easiest to make but hard to hit just right some times.  Since I am out of gallon jars and the frig is full of milk off I must go, hopefully we can get out to Belle's to pick up her old frig some time in the next few days, and Drama Queen has promised me more gallon jars..... tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I think people over think life, what can you really take with you when you go?

I often fall into contemplation as an older person, I suppose that would be pretty normal.  We have much more time to ourselves, well sometimes, we are quite often in more pain in our bodies so need to rest and can't always be on the go.  Whatever is your reason I would bet that you have more quiet thoughtful moments to think as you age, well maybe it would require turning off the tv or putting down that must read, but surely in moments you find yourself alone with your own thought.  I actually like me, on many levels, so try to talk to me regularly.  I must admit that it drives Poppie crazy when I do it out loud, he assumes I have to be mad, maybe in more than one way, to do it but not really I like talking to me out loud.  I told my Ladies a long time ago that they had permission to do it, sometimes the only one that can understand you is you and you should have a great talk with you.  Being a loud person on many levels I like to do it out loud so they should be allow to too.  Poppie thinks people will think we are crazy and it should be kept to a minim if we must do it.  I say who really cares if we want to talk to ourselves, he just shakes his head.  Anyway.  I like to talk to me, contemplate and pray.  All wonderful private alone time things.  I don't like alone time much if I can't do one of these things.

I think that I have been contemplating life in general, I did say I was old so I am allowed.  I think it is interesting to see what people find important in their lives.  I think as we age, in general, we look to family and close friends more and more.  I see the same in small children, family is their world, with a few close friends sprinkled in for good measure.  I am sure that was Gods intent for people in the beginning.  It maybe that that is the way most generation on earth have lived.  Really before the train or the car, did most people ever travel more than 5 to 20 miles from their birth place, no.  Yes, there were people who traveled way outside of their lives, they explored, they crusaded, they were sent to debtor prison on a new continent, they were captured as slaves or indentured themselves when they had lost all hope of quality of life in their lives but the majority of people stayed where God had put them.  I can't imagine that the millions of people who were in those lives had complicated lives like we do now.  The telegraph, tv and computer have further distorted those simple lives from one small hamlet or village into a one village world.  Really do you think the peasant tied to the farm in a fief thought of what some one might be doing in china, probably not, they were just worried about dinner and the on coming winter, how would they feed their kids?  Did the trapper in a cabin in the woods care that the African continent was being raped, that families were ripped apart and that the southern plantation would have need of new "stock" to harvest their cotton?  Did the woman in the soddy know that Aborigines were being enslaved in Australia as she lay under the trundle bed with her children hoping the passing native hunting group would not discover them?  Life in any of these time was all about home, family and surviving until tomorrow or next year.  When did this time or age end, not all that long ago, if it ever did. 

We live in a faster world, we can talk to people in Russia or they can read my daily blog but does that mean our personal existence isn't top of the list of things we must do?  Yes in some areas there is welfare or other social programs to help the poor but not everywhere.  Yes, even today people die everyday because they strave to death, or they didn't have enough to survive the winter, the heat wave or the flood.  Are we any less subject to the whims of nature than we were as hunters and gatherers?  Does a mansion on a hill mean we won't starve?  Really how many mansions are sitting in foreclosure with the people wondering where their dinner will come from, more than you think I would bet.  Life is never a sure thing, it is a test of who you are and the choices you make.  You can have abundance and lose it all, it has always been that way.  Flood or famine. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Does, Peahens, salamanders, Amish and a road trip or two.....Happy Moms day.

Happy Moms day to one and all.  One of the best things in my whole life is being a mom, it completes me in a way nothing else does.  I know I was supposed to be a whole person unto myself before I was a mom, well that is someones new math and why should I have to comply with your sense of whole.  I can't imagine a hundred years ago into all of our pre-generations that 13 to 18 years olds knew who they were, and the ones 20 plus who did were old maids so yes, being a whole person unto yourself before children is new math.  I am not saying that it makes you a better mother either way.  Having the privilege, and yes it has been a privilege to be both, one is not better than the other.  I was a young mother that grew up with my kids in many way.  I made mistakes and figured it out along the way.  I have great adult kids, yes they have their ups and downs, but who gives anyone the right to say they would have been better people had I been older, had more money or been stabler by other peoples standards?  I am getting to do it all over again, making  mistakes, much patienter, but less young spirited, less of many others things I suppose.  I have just tried to be the best mother I could be at the time for the child I was mothering.  I don't think that judgement of my mothering helps anyone, makes anyone else a better mother, I think being a good mother comes from within and you have to choose to be the best mother you can be every morning you awake.  So much for my soap box, climbing down, have a great Mothers day one and all mothers.

My morning yesterday started with Mokie in my bedroom wanting to leave, before I had my coffee, news without coffee is not the way to start the day.  We milked and were soon on the road to pick up the two little does, the trip was about 120 miles one way.  We arrived to choose my does, I picked out to lovely girls.  One looks a great deal like her grandmother, my beloved Rosie, now we have a second Rosie, I hope she is the girl her grandmamma was.  We picked out a second little girl, also Rosie's grandgirl.  She is a Black and Red head Boer, she is lovely in her own right, her name is Rapunzel.  Rosie is Yogies, and Rapunzel is Booboo, they will be their forever goats, sometime they have goats they don't get to keep but as these were bought for the herd they are here to stay.  On our return trip we stopped by the Amish store and picked up some groceries, it is about 80 miles from home so we don't get to go there all that often so take advantage of being close enough to go when we can.

We arrived home with our new ladies and groceries, when Mokie got a message from the man who had the Peahens, he was going to give us one.  She and Booboo, who had not gone with us to pick up the goats were to go get them.  This trip was about 90 miles one way,  I was to watch Cubbie and Bubbie who had had enough traveling, Yogie didn't want to go again either.  Mokie left and on the way down the driveway Cubbie joined her and Booboo.  She arrived at the peahen's home and spoke to them about our two boys, once they knew we had two boys they gave her a second peahen, so we were blessed to have a mate for both Prince and Duke.   Cubbie named one Tweetie, and we named the other Duchess.  We are so glad to have the new additions to our little flock, now with ladies to complete it. 

We were milking goats in the evening when Drama Queen, King and Princess came walking by, they talked as we milked.  Princess got to feed the bottle baby, and try her hand at milking.  During the course of the evening the kids discovered salamanders in the old pond, they ended up catching 6, Drama Queen and Princess got them a tank and set them up a salamander home, which is now setting by my tv in my living room.  We, needless to say, had a wonderful fruitful day at our house, I hope today is a slower paced day if not, maybe not so fulfilling in adding mouths to feed.  Poppie made two turkeys to take to Mothers day Potluck and tilled the garden in his spare time yesterday.  One is a smoked bird and one a traditionally stuffed bird,  it should be nice eating for one and all. Off to share a inspired morning partaking in Gods word and later partaking in the good food of a potluck.... tomorrow.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pigs to market, hopefully, busy day, two cheeses to make today.

First thing this morning we have miking to do, and then have to help Poppie load two pigs to go to the butcher.  I hope it doesn't take all morning to accomplish.  We have to open the doe pen and back the trailer to the pig pen.  I hope they just walk nicely into the trailer after grain but that is not usually the case.  I just hope they don't feel it is necessary to have a rodeo to be loaded.  Poppie has to plastic the corners of the greenhouse and finish tilling the garden then maybe we can get some of the early crops in the ground. 

I am hoping to get to make both the mozzarella and the blue feta done today.  Mokie picked up two different kinds of blue cheeses for cultures,  we just pick up the small remnant pieces at the good food store.  She picked up a Stilton and a Maytag raw cow blue so we will see how they work out.  I really liked the saga last time.  I can wait to see how the blue comes out. It will take about two weeks to cultures good and then I will cut and brine it like regular feta, I hadn't seen it done that way before sort of my little invention, but I am sure some one else does it as well. I am sort of looking forward to the first mozzarella of the year, I do so like when it stretches like taffy, it is actually a fun cheese to make.  I make some for pizza and then so brined into boccinchi balls, those are Son and the kids favorite.

Mokie spoke to some one about the possibility of get a peahen, it would be so nice for the boys to have a lady friend to be with.  I would like to get some eggs and eventually a few more peafowl.  I would then have some to sell for all the people who want them.  I can't imagine having a huge flock of them. I don't want more than a few they sure keep us aware of anything that is different in the neighborhood.  They don't like loud vehicles, people they don't recognize, bears, cougars, dogs or anything out of the ordinary.  I like having them as an alarm system, if they can be called a system.  The two little does that went to their new home are doing well, which is nice.  I notice two of the baby goats are out of their pen this morning, their mom is still not interested in them so that is good, will have to put them back in before we milk this morning.  The little doe tried to nurse and her momma told her no in no uncertain terms.  I hope to get something done today,  all the kids were good yesterday but for Boy, he told a few lies, tried to pass blame and then was mean to his mom, so hope his is better behaved today.  I hope you have a great day, sunshine here, God is truly smiling down on us.... tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kids today, cheese to make, the goats mowed the lawn, Mokie drives the Grand.

Mokie has to drive the Grand to the Zoo today for more eye appointments.  She is having or I should say has been going through having her eyes fixed through lasik eye surgery.  Today I will have the kids, or we with Poppie.  We will have Mokies, Second, Curious, Daddy's Boy and Fairy Princess.  They are used to being out side and loving it so hope it isn't to cold or rainy for them to spend some time outside.  I have cheese to make so hope to get that done but with the kiddos it might not happen until tomorrow.  If I make it today it will be mozzarella if I make it tomorrow it will be blue feta, so we will see which it is when I finish it up. 

I let my does out in the yard to do lawn work they quickly learned where they were allowed to be and where they were not allowed to be.  I am hoping to get the fencing done soon so I won't have to babysit them when they are out.  They were actually so glad to be out eating all the tall grass and weeds that they did end up acting like ladies, even the withers.  They walked over far enough that the weanlings could see them, the does went about their business without even noticing them, apparently glad to no longer be burden by them but the babies cried for their mommas the rest of the afternoon.  I am up to five does milking, two only once a day as they are being milked more for getting them into the habit and helping them not to get mastitis.  The other three are doing good and giving a good showing.  Mokie is milking two does of her own, I actually am not a good milker, I can do it but am slow and only really effective with the larger teated does.  Yogie is a real good milker, Booboo is a good milker, Mokie is a great milker.  I don't really have to be a good milker with them around.  Boy is trying and Cubbie is learning the concept, they both have the desire and we aren't going to dissuade them, they will eventually be as good as Booboo and Yogie, someday all will be as good as Mokie.

I have a tooth acting up, it is in the last stages of being able to be worried out but is in the throbbing stage so I am whining today, I think in a few days or a week it may no longer be an issue which will be a nice blessing when it comes.  Off to start my day, I hope I manage to survive.... tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Piggies thinning out more, two does go to forever homes, Foster brings his family.

I took two piggies out to their new home, Herbalist was so excited to have them.  She gave me two cool knitting books, they were new exciting copies of all sock patterns. I can't wait to delve into them.  I was telling her about something I had seen on one of her goats that needs a bit of medical administration so offered to go help her with it today so will be going out this morning to help assist her with her goaties.  She has a guest at her house that used to be a jeweler in Florida.  He and I had a nice long conversation about carving, scrimshaw, pen and ink.  He was a very nice older gentlemen, I might be showing him some of my work and taking some advise.  I don't often get to talk to someone who has carved ivory on a small scale like I get to sometimes so can't wait to have the input. 

Foster came to visit, I hadn't seen him since the mid nineties when he had just meant his current wife.  They came for a visit.  They have got three kids, one 12 and one both Yogie's and Booboo's ages.  They also have a foster daughter that is friends with Flower so that was a nice coincidence.  We had a nice visit, showed them all the animals.  Showed the kids how to milk goats, let them taste goats milk,  Foster, Mom and the two littlest kids liked it, the older two not so much.  They have just moved here and are care taking a 320 acre farm land area so had lots of room for a couple of goats to run.  They ended up taking two of the little does home for the kids.  I hope it is a good mix, there are some coyotes up in that area.  They are actually out near Herbalist and the Professor. It was a real nice visit and the kids, including Mokie were so excited to have them here.

I got a call from the Crazy Goat Lady from Polson and will be going up on Saturday to pick up my two little does.  She is so excited to have us come see her place.  She is soon to be moving to her dream property and building a little home of her own, she will have twenty acres to enjoy her animals and live at her own pace.  I get to pick out which ever does I want from her abundant crop which will be so much fun.  I can't wait to see them all, she described ones I can't wait to see.  Off to help our Herbalist then return to milk, hopefully by 11, kids coming then. Booboo and Boy are going on a field trip to Zootown today so busy day here.... tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ribs gets the whey, feta to cut this morning, 7 does twice a day with a Bubbie too fun.

Mokie and I milked goats for the first time without Poppie yesterday morning, we had three preschoolers and a Bubbie.  It was an interesting accomplishment and a bit of a juggling act so to speak.  Bubbie was content for the first little while, in her play gym, but soon felt she needed held in the middle of all the commotion.  I tried to put her in the swing with her bottle but no such luck.  It was a good thing that she didn't get really upset until the last two does.  Lilly was surprisingly much better without Poppie being there, we think his frustration is felt by her and helps to upset her.  We are no longer allowing him to be at the stanchion when she is being milked.  He can help catch her in the evenings, when he is home, but no being at the milking stanchion.  She was actually a lady last night, which is very nice as she is one of the goats that give the most milk.  She may just live up to being as good a milker as her mother was reported to be.  The Crazy Goat Lady from Polson left a message on my machine last night that the two little Rosie Girls are old enough to come home so will be making arrangement to go get them soon.  I can wait to see them, the grands of my Rosie.  I haven't named them yet but will be thinking of R names that will honor my old gal, she and Cleo were my first and will always have a special place in my heart and they will bless my memories.

I got a nice batch of feta yesterday, so around a total of 7 pounds aging.  The whey went to Ribs, and as Brut was lounging in the hut, just like a man, she slurped it almost all up before he knew she had it.  Bright girl that one.  lol.  She really needs it she had a bit of a sick and lost some weight but is now on the mind and regained her health.  I will finish cutting the feta this morning, into the rock salt then into brine.

I borrowed a front pack from Booboo to carry the Bubbie in so milking should go a little smoother this morning or maybe she will be napping and that would be an even better blessing.  I am excited about having all the milk to work with and cheeses to make up.  I can freeze the mozzarella for next winter, I can age the feta and make up some cheeses to wax, it is like Dr Seuss says the "thinks we can think"  have a great day and I hope you remember to think thinks in your life..... tomorrow.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Milking before Church, Flower turns 17, busy Sunday...

We had a tight morning getting all the goats milked and off to Church, it was snackfest Sunday so had to be there half an hour early.  The Little had a birthday so we sang to her and she enjoyed turning 8.  She was most impressed with her book that included her favorite versus.  Children obey your parents in the Lord.  She was also so excited that when asked to recite it she quickly found it in her new book and read it.  Too funny.  We came home from an inspiring day at church and feed animals.  We had to go to Flowers birthday in the afternoon.  She was excited to turn 17, she has turned out to be a nice young lady. She had a nice hot dog roast and smores were had by all.

We came home from the birthday party and milked goats again.  We had wormed all the babies and the non milking mothers earlier, we do have a few to worm in my pen yet, all Mokie's are done, as are the weanling's.  Poppie and I made a birthing nest and added it to Pinkie Pie's rabbit hutch, we hope she does well with her first kindle.  She seems to have been redecorating it, our decorations surely didn't meet her standards.  Mokie and I are going to try milking does this morning with Poppie gone, probably won't succeed with Lily but should be able to manage the rest.  I have cheese to make this morning,  will probably be making it several time a week.  We have to get out to Belle's and pick up the extra frig she gave me for eggs, milk and cheese.  I am hoping to make some hard cheeses again this year, didn't make any last year.  Feta again today but will make mozzarella later in the week and then blue feta after that.

I am hoping to get the kitchen cleaned and rearranged today, have to be in there making cheese anyway so will kill two birds with one stone.  The sun is shinning down, the Lord has sent us a beautiful day and I plan on enjoying it.... tomorrow.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Turkeys are gone from the bathroom, yay. A child's question.....

Poppie and I got the turkeys out of the girls bathroom, they are now in their nursery water tank in the second turkey coop.  The tank is a small stock tank that has never held water since we acquired it.  Poppie had thought he could fix it when we got it but no such luck, it has however been the nicest giant incubator for turkeys.  We raised last years crop in it and will finish this years crop in it.  Last year it was in my studio but not this year, it is in the little room adjacent to the turkey coop that housed goats.  We are planning on letting them out of the tank as soon as the turkeys are big enough.  They are already in their future home.  As soon as they get big enough we will set them free in it and then open it up the the turkey yard so the turkeys will be able to go into either coop.  Two more of the piglet has gone home, made several little boys happy to have their new piglets to play with and enjoy as they are raised.  We got two gallons plus of two twenty ounce bottles for Pansy yesterday.  It is a good start since most of the does being milked are first year fresheners.  We will eventually add four more does to that list.  Mokie does alot of the milking but Yogie helped with one of the older does last night. I hope to milk some, but Mokie is like a mother who doesn't have time to teach her child as it is easier to do it herself.   Lilly who is a second year, that refused to be milked last year, is allowing us to milk her.  I think she heard my threats is butcher her as she was so wild when we got her she is not sell able.  She is doing remarkable well, she is mean to other goats when her babies are in the pen but seems to have tamed down as they are no longer with her.  She has gotten a reprieve so we will see if she stays progressing or makes the stew pot.  She does throw wonderful babies so that is on her side as well.

The girls had a nice time with the grands.  They started on their way to the Zoo for the farmers market but Grandpa's truck lost three gears and they were stuck in the barrow pit.  No one stopped to help them and Grandpa doesn't have a cell phone so eventually he got the truck into fourth gear and drove home, all safe and sound.  When he arrived home his land line was not working so he had to call from some other phone to let us know so we could advise Son that he needed help.  I spent the early afternoon cleaning the small bathroom from the turkey leavings and there was a lot of them.  I got all the chips, droppings and mess up.  I do still have to do a sterile cleaning.  I can't take the light out as the incubator with eggs is still in there and I can't change the temperature of the room for fear of ruining the eggs, so the bathroom is cleaner but still and incubator,  baby steps, baby step.

I spent the better part of the last few days thinking about a comment that Butterfly made at church.  She is eighteen but due to circumstances when she was very young she will never be more than a fifth grade level.  She seems so mature sometimes then you realize you are talking to a younger person than she appears.  She asked at church last week "why would Jesus give up his life for people he didn't know, she wouldn't".  The preacher very calmly, in the middle of his lesson, stopped to try and answer her question.  I do so like the Preacher, he is so welcoming to children in a way I have never seen during church services, so refreshing.  It is one of the best parts of this church, the love of children unconditionally.  He took time to answer her question without concern for the lesson he was giving.  He told her that God/Jesus knew us before the earth was created.  He had created the heavens, the earth, the creatures, and all who live on earth.  He was like someone who made a special artistic creation.  If we make something we love it and are so proud of it we want to hold it and protect it.  God was and is no different he created all things and he created us.  He knew in advance of us and that he loved us as his creation and children.  He sent Jesus to earth to die for us, we were not unknown to him he knew us and loved us as part of his creation and as his children from the beginning of time.  God has the ability to see and know all even in future times.  He knows all and he knew and loved us always.  He didn't die for someone he didn't know and love, he died for his loved child.  I had never heard it said quite that way, or maybe I had and not listened or understood.  I too had had the idea that he had died for the unknown to come but he had not, he did for the loved children of his creation.... tomorrow.