Friday, November 30, 2007

New cell phone

I have a new toy, a blackberry cell phone. I have not posted in a while since our home internet is slower than tar. I have internet on my phone though that is functional. The keyboard is built for the Littles. I can peck at it and get out a few things.

I will try to add pictures from work.

We just got back from visiting the Hansen's in Ohio. They have a full house, but there is a critical mass of kids and they spontaneously erupt into playing and don't take much entertaining. Nels and I talked office and national politics and I even enjoyed watching football over there.

Before that Aleah turned three. She isn't happy about it though. She has decided that three is "big" and she wants to stay "little" so she is still 2. Kinda like turning 29 again.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chicken killers

Public Enemy #1

Death toll: over 20 chickens.

We have caught three of them. Leila let one go at the Purdue farm. Our neighbor, Ed, shot the other two.

Picture from Wikipedia

Public Enemy #2

Death toll: 2 of my favorite chickens and 8 eggs.

This is a 'possum that we caught about a month ago and released in the Purdue forestry lands. I didn't take a picture of the one that I killed, but I thought about it as I carried it on the end of the pitchfork.

I just didn't realize I could kill something like that and that I would be proud of it.

I went into the chicken coup to shut them in for the night and when I turned on the light it was eating eggs out of the laying boxes. Opossums are almost cute until their teeth show, they are kinda like the little miner aliens on Galaxy Quest that way.

I grabbed a pipe that was leaned up against the door and waived it in the air. The possum turned around to eat another egg so I hit him with the pipe. It bared its teeth at me and started towards the roost where the chickens were. If it had run away I would have let it be, but now it was life or death. I hit it again and it hid behind a pallet in the corner. I grabbed another copper pipe that was cut at an angle with a sharper point and stabbed it. I held it down with the pipe and hit it with a shovel until it stopped moving. I thought it might be playing dead, so I ran got the pitchfork and stabbed it through.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Horses Don't Like Coyotes

Emily went riding yesterday on Princess, Trent's horse that she has riding lessons on. She rides like a pro, fluid and in control. She isn't great at side passing and gets nervous/scared about barrel racing, but that is understandable since Princess is a barrel racing champion horse and gets into it. She knows what to do when she sees those barrels and goes as fast as she can.

Yesterday, as Emily was taking her into a harvested corn field to the east of our house Princess got spooked and took off. I looked out the window and saw them galloping past and thought, "Wow, Emily has no fear. I would be panicking if the horse went that fast. How is she getting Princess to do that!" Then I realized that Emily was not in control and leaning back trying to get the horse to stop desperately. Princess ran at full bore past all of our barns and Emily turned her around and brought her back. All at a dead run. As they turned the corner out of the corn field and onto the road, Emily ducked a branch, lost her balance, and fell backwards off of the horse onto the gravel.

Her fall took minutes. But I was frozen too. Leila said her life flashed before her eyes.

Emily was crying and I picked her up and told her she had to get back on. She reluctantly climbed back up and rode back to the pasture. I managed to convince her that something had scared Princess and that it wasn't going to happen again. She made a few circles and was a little less shaky and panicky. Pretty scary for all of us. She hit her head and has a big goose egg and loosened her front teeth.

I went back to the field to see if there was something to frighten the horse. There were two coyotes right there hiding among the weeds. I am guessing that Princess doesn't like coyotes.