Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Moo" said the cow with an exclamation!!!

My family was driving down to Wausau the other day and saw this bovine with markings so perfect it looked as if someone painted an exclamation on it's side. !

And earlier today they found this dead bat pictured below.

Check out the chompers on this little dude!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What month is this?

We had a couple 90 degree days some weeks ago and that seems but a distant memory. This has been one of the coolest July's on record with just about every day and night being below average temperatures. Tonight the low is supposed to be 47 degrees. Gardening is a challenge under these conditions to say the least. It seems more like September here.

But, at least we haven't seen any frost,,,,,,,yet. That reminds me. An older gentleman we know in Rhinelander told me once of the last time he ever gardened. I don't recall what year he said it was but, it was some time ago. It was a July and he had a garden in the back yard. Well, he heard the frost warnings aired on the evening news so he ran out to the garden to see if it was too late to cover his crops and he slipped on some ice and fell down. Needless to say his garden was a complete loss. That was the last time he ever gardened. Seems unimaginable that a person could fall down on the ice in the middle of July. But, that's life in the Northwoods.

Today we opened our farm stand for the season.

We took our old horse drawn sleigh out of retirement and we're using it to display the vegetables and produce.
Got lots of positive comments on the rustic appearance.

Between us and our other growing partner we had small potatoes, onions, pea's, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, garlic and home made bread and strawberry preserves.

Today was our best opening day. It usually takes a couple days or so for people to really start coming in once we put the signs out. This time it was just a matter of minutes before they started pulling in. I figure since we do things slowly that maybe they were anticipating it already. For instance last week we brought out the canopy stands. Then earlier in the week we pulled up the sleigh. Then we put the two canopy stands over the sleigh. Then this morning we put on the canopies. People look at our place when they go whizzing by on the highway. When ever something is different they take note.

A couple weeks ago we canceled the CSA for this year, mostly because of Kelli's sister getting ill. Between that and the different weather we've been having and not knowing how to deal with that, we figured it would be best to bow out. It was too stressful. Too many uncertainties. However we went against the golden rule of Community Supported Agriculture and refunded everyone. Usually CSA's are nonrefundable. But, due to the circumstances and the fact that we hadn't yet had even one pick up for the shareholders it was best to refund them. It was only fair. They can still shop at the road side stand if they want.
Kelli's sister Doreen is doing better now. The doctors didn't think she was going to make it. She had three separate health issues going at once. Her heart, diabetes and a cyst that had turned septic and become gangrene. It was very much touch and go for a while, quite a few days actually. She is now recovering in a nursing home. She is 39 years old. But, now her biggest concern is her finances. We saw some of the bills. Just part of it was in the tens of thousands of dollars. We're pretty sure all said and done it will be in the hundreds of thousands. A half million dollar debt wouldn't be surprising.
Their brother is organizing a big yard sale to help raise money for her debts and just to pay the normal bills. Doreen rents a house with their mom. They share the living expenses. But, even the best of yard sales would only bring in enough to maybe chip off the very tip of the iceberg.
This is a big reminder to us how messed up our health care system is. I'm not an advocate for the government to try and fix it but, something needs to be done. Too bad the health care industry as a whole didn't sit down and try to fix it themselves before the government takes them over too!
Well, I need to wrap up this post. Just checked the temperature for Rhinelander and it is currently 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
Until Next Time

Friday, July 10, 2009

Close call with an airplane

The above pictures are of an airplane that almost skidded over the edge of a mountain in Alaska. It happens that the pilot and owner of the plane, a young man, is my cousins, cousin. However, I've never met him and he wouldn't know me from Adam. My Mom was talking to one of my cousins today and she told her about the incident. Did an internet search and found this article about it through the Anchorage Daily News.

This is the second member of the family to find notoriety. But, apparently he wishes this incident was not so well known. His sister was once featured in Country Magazine about ten year ago or so in the "Country Kids" section. It showed her holding a huge fish that she had caught that was nearly as big as her. It was a salmon if I recall.

Anyway I'm glad it all ended well and he even was able to recover the plane.

On a side note, I want to say "Happy Birthday" to my Mom. Today is her birthday.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Food, Inc

Here's a trailer for a movie called Food, Inc. I saw it over at William and Jaime Cross' blog. Looks like a really good film.

I was looking online to see if I could obtain a video but, it looks as though it is still being shown in selected theaters.

Here's a link to the official movie website.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Some info on the origins of NAIS and where it's headed

Here's an article by Lynn Stuter posted on News With Views talking about some of the history of NAIS and the players who were instrumental in bringing it about. Just click on the link for the article.

The article concludes with this:

When Rhonda Perry of Howard County, Missouri testified at the USDA listening session, representing herself as a small livestock producer and 5600 families of the Missouri Rural Crises Center, the points she made are salient:
1. NAIS is a solution in search of a problem;
2. the problems NAIS is intended to address come from the processing plants, imported meat, and large industrial livestock operations that are wreaking havoc in rural areas, none of which is the fault of the small producer;
3. it is these very operations that the government is supplementing, in one way or another, with taxpayer money while ignoring the problems inherent with the operations; yet it is the small producer who the USDA is trying to saddle with this costly program;
4. while NAIS cannot track the bad product from the processing plant to the consumer, which is what needs to be done, NAIS wants to track the product from the processing plant back to the producer when what happens at the processing plant it is not the fault of the producers.
Her testimony was right on the mark and makes it very apparent that NAIS is not about animal health, consumer health, international markets, traceability or terrorism, NAIS is about money, power and control, all intended to put the small producer out of business.
(emphasis mine)

Here's Rhonda Perry speaking against NAIS.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day

Just another very brief post to let you know we're still here.
Hope everyone has a good and safe 4th of July.