Category Archives: my backyard

I Sorta Almost Died

I almost died this weekend. No joke.

If you ask my husband, he’ll tell ya that you can’t “almost” die. God either takes you, or he doesn’t. And since we weren’t tempting death, we just had a “lucky experience.” I think he’s in denial.

It was just your average Saturday around here. The kids were exhausted from the night before, so they were inside watching cartoons. The husband and I were out walking around…

The new baby goat was looking all cute, so we went over towards her, and we started chatting about this and that. An average summer storm was brewing out in the distance, you could feel the incoming cool breeze, but the clouds were still far off in the horizon, and thunder was not yet audible.

And then…

Have you ever taken a blanket out of the dryer, fleece blankets are the worst, you take it out, and it has so much static charge, it’s clinging to itself for dear life? Then you give it a good shake. The static pops and crackles as you disrupt it, raising your hairs, and charging the air around you…

THAT. The air crackled and popped, like someone was shaking out the largest fleece blanket ever, quickly followed by BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Insert in one of those milliseconds, bright lights, and my heart jumping all the way to Miami.

Death and I were feet away from becoming beasties.

Okay so maybe not feet away, I don’t actually know the exact spot the lightening hit. But from the ringing in my ears, the static in my hair, and my muscles that so did not want to relax, it was close enough, thank you very much. Scientifically, they say that sound happens within a 100 feet or less. Still too close.

As for the weather? After that strike we cautiously rushed inside (didn’t want to show mother nature any weakness of course), and saw nothing more, for ten minutes. Then, then it started to storm, and the nice weather man rushed on tv warning of deadly lightening. Thanks. Thanks a lot. *grumbles*

Moral of the story: You only almost get hit by lightening on sunny days. ūüėČ

True Story

It was a dark, damp, creepy morning.  Braving the elements I crept outside, giving my all, to make sure my faithful canines were well taken care of.  My Belgian Malinois on one side, my Australian Cattle dog on my other side.  Carefully we made our way down to their yards, cautiously keeping our eyes peeled for any sign of trouble.

Quickly it leapt from the shadows, some mysterious creature, with fangs a foot long, dripping with crimson.  I could tell it wanted my precious four-footed friends, and I was prepared to stop it.

I leapt towards it, as it snarled at me, grabbing it’s gnarly, slimy fur in my fingers. ¬†I pulled and pushed, as it slashed at me with its dagger like claws. ¬†I punched, and jabbed, as it fought back.

My canines faithfully snapped at the horrific creature, as it fought me with all its might. ¬†But I commanded them to stay back out of harm’s way. ¬†The creature pounced on top of me, crashing me to the ground, its rancid drool, hanging dangerously close to my face. ¬†I closed my eyes, preparing to deal it one last brutal blow. ¬†And with all my might I shoved my fist deep into it’s gut, sending the rabid creature screaming into the woods.

{I swear that’s what happened yesterday. ¬†Honest to gawd and such. ¬†That’s why my leg is all black and blue. ¬†That’s why I can’t move any muscle in my entire body. ¬†Honest. ¬†Because we all know my husband’s lovely dog is so well-trained that he would never run after a damn shadow and knock me into the air, to land square on my back. ¬† Ugh.}

The end.


I’m Cancelling Summer


I couldn’t be more excited. ¬†I’m cancelling summer! ¬†Yup, you read that right… I’m cancelling the whole dang thing!

Okay, so I’m not actually cancelling the season known as summer, that would be crazy talk, and it’s my favorite season. ¬†I’m cancelling MY summer, my demands, my expectations, my normal go-to plans.

I’m calling off the usual spring rush of starting seedlings, and buying new chicks. I’m calling off summer camp for the boy. ¬†I’m calling off the massive dreams of finally fixing up our yard. ¬†Done. ¬†Deleted. ¬†Ain’t gonna happen.

I’m letting the sunny days free fly around here. ¬†We’re gonna do, or we’re gonna do not. ¬†We’ll sip lemonade, and not worry about catching that dang bus for summer camp. ¬†We’ll roll in the grass, and practice our taekwando moves in the sprinkler.

I’m going to play in my garden, and flip the bird to the dang drought we’ve been predicted to have, once again. ¬†No buying seed, no buying plants. ¬†It’s a season to create pretty walkways, and fences, and dance with the kids.

We’ll doodle in notebooks, and color with chalk on the driveway. ¬†We’re gonna grill, and burn our tongues on marshmallows. ¬†That ugly coop, it will get finished someday, and when it does, we’re gonna paint murals in it, with finger paints… because we can.

I’m going to create. ¬†And I’m going to have that date with me, under that big shade tree, while I throw that stupid to-do list into the bonfire. ¬†Because I am cancelling summer.




The Bad Luck Ranch

In the circle of Homesteaders I follow online there’s the tradition of naming your homestead.¬† (FYI: homestead is a way of saying, hey I have a farm, but not a farm farm, and I like to make stuffs from scratch, preferably¬†with things that came from my not really a farm farm)¬† I’ve seen lots of cutesy names, sweet names, encouraging names, and none of them suit this place.¬†

Not that this land is cursed, or doomed, or that we’re out of our league.¬† It’s just one of those places where ANYTHING that can happen, will.

Like the time we went on vacation (for the fist time in years).¬† The second day we were gone dogs attacked the goat, breaking her leg (she’s all better now, thanks to lots of Cheetos¬†and momma time).¬† The fourth¬†day we were gone a semi pulled down the electric lines in front of our house, catching our lawn on fire.¬† This was all during a drought which killed my entire garden… also the same summer that we were infested with twelve-year cicadas that killed almost all of our mimosa trees.¬† (no the trees didn’t make yummy drinks despite their name, I tried)

Or there’s my venture into rasing chickens.¬† I waited years for chickens, because after all, chickens are cool and all the cool homesteaders have chickens (as does my hero, Ma Ingalls).¬† I looked and researched and planned like no tomorrow.¬† A family member built me a small coop (the wrong coop by the way, which is odd when I handed him exact blueprints of what I wanted), and I bought my chicks (which by the way were not the chicks I researched because the feed store lied about what they were getting in, and yes the kind of chicken is important, heaven forbid I get plain¬†eggs or plain-looking chickens because that would not be cool!), and then I was pregnant.¬† And things got fuzzy, and I found them all murdered in their coop and told the boy that they all flew home to their mom.¬†

That didn’t stop me.¬† The next spring I got four more, and they ran away twice, and caused me to climb trees while I was a wee bit under the influence of wine, while my son did disco lights with the flashlight… and they, despite my record all lived… and have destroyed every garden I have on the entire property… because my husband who doesn’t like chickens and who WON’T eat their eggs doesn’t want them to be pinned up.

And then I had to get more.¬† Because these things are like an addiction, and chicks are cute, and they had pretty new breeds at the feed store… and half of them died.¬† And never tell your son that you buried them under a pretty rock because chances are one will keep getting drug back from the neighbors field and left on your front lawn.¬† Not that I would know.¬† Because after all we buried them under that pretty rock, the one with the daisies next to them.

Somethings that happen here, that I couldn’t make up if I wanted to aren’t even our fault.¬† Like loose horses in the yard, screaming banshee cats at night, and the notorious¬†Moosen¬†Goosen which turned out to be a runaway peacock… because this stuff happens at normal homes…. right?

Don’t even get me started on the garden, and the rocks, and the snakes and the bugs, and the door to door religious salesmen… and oh my gawd when did bears show up this close to St.Louis!?¬† And did someone mention wild boars, because I’m just not really in the mood for wild boars and they were NOT on the spec sheet when we bought this house!

And it’s heaven and hell, all wrapped up into one smooshed marble cake with uneven icing, because you couldn’t make me enough cupcakes or coffee to get me to move… but some days there’s not enough beer to stay.

So you can find me, writing and wrangling snakes, slowly loosing my mind while cussing out chickens, with a to die for farmer’s tan, down at The Bad Luck Ranch… because ranch sounds so much cooler than a farm.¬† And I still do have all my horse tack somewhere around here…

Ps.¬† My email is possessed, and isn’t letting me reply to anything… I’ll get back to you after it starts to take my threats seriously!

The To-Do List

I try to keep my list simple, short, without guilt and such.¬† That’s the safest route with a teething, heading into the terrible twos, toddler, a six-year-old and a nest full of animals.¬† Shit is going to happen, plain and simple.

I’m still never prepared.

Like today’s list… Laundry, Dishes, Tend to the four-footed¬†and feathered minions, make bread, plant stuff.¬† And somehow come up with a blog post before the bebe woke up from her nap.

And of course you know what happens next, someone has to up and add to my list WITHOUT my permission.

Not on today’s list:

Chasing a Copper Head full-grown monster Snake out of the garden (the sucker was a whole two feet from me, gah!) with a GARDEN HOSE. 

Why can’t I ever remember to grab the camera before I grab a weapon?¬†

And why can’t I ever remember to bring a REAL weapon out there with me?

AND why doesn’t Martha have shows about gardening with weapons?

Pardon me, I have bread to finish and a gun to clean…

The Goat

I’m not sure I quite get it, 22 and counting request for a post on the goat.¬† TWENTY TWO separate people wanting a story on the thing that eats my weeds.

She (the goat, Sydney or Sidney or sidddddddddnnnnnnnnnneyyyyy) should have some exciting story I suppose, like some amazing adventure on how I went in Laura Croft (Tomb Raider) style into a bear den and rescued her from the jaws of a grizzly.¬† Or how I was out on a hike, broke my leg and she carried me to safety, and we’ve been soul mates ever since.¬† That’s usually how things happen around here, there’s always a story.¬† (real stories to boot)

This story goes like this…¬† We bought a foreclosed home out in the middle of an abandoned jungle.¬† The grass was taller than my then 3-year-old¬†son, the weeds taller than myself.¬† Copperhead snakes and moosen¬†goosen¬†were crawling out from every jungle clump and all we had was¬†a push mower… for 6 acres of jungle.¬† Although it was fun (yes I have issues) chasing down snakes with a mower, I knew one day I’d meet the wrong snake and hell I was tired of cutting down jungle.¬† So I turned to my husband and said, “I’m buying a goat.”¬† And since he had just slain an adult Copperhead on our driveway with a shovel he agreed.

And so I put an ad on Craigslist, and the next day I had myself a goat.  Exciting right?

The rest is history.¬† She loves me and I love her.¬† We often share Cheetos¬†and coffee while headbutting the kids. There’s not much more to say.¬† Unless you want goat facts?¬†

Here ya go:

  • Goats are from the same family as deer.¬† They have several stomachs and only one set of teeth.¬†
  • They don’t like being alone… unless your goat is Sidney and hates everything and everyone except for me, or if you bring her Cheetos.
  • Goat poop has no smell.¬† BONUS.¬† They put out instant¬†fertilizer in the form of rabbit turds.
  • Goats make awesome weather forecasters.
  • Goats will not eat everything.¬† They are very picky eaters and in a natural environment¬†they will not eat anything that has been soiled or that could be toxic.¬† (This does not include unnatural houseplants)¬†
  • They require very little vet upkeep.¬† Wormer, occasional tetanus vaccinations and hoof trims (unless you live on rocks like us, she’s never had her hoofs done in her entire life).
  • They’re fun and awesome and make you popular.¬† (well they are awesome)

And there you go.  A whole post about a goat. 


On Your Mark, Get Set, Drink!

The busy season is here, and it always, ALWAYS, sneaks up on me.

You’d think I’d be ready, with the planning, the seeds already growing, the research, the mad dashes of spring cleaning.¬† I should be ready.¬† Until the day spring actually arrives, or is it summer, or are we still in winter?¬† I have no friggen idea what season we’re in.¬† Forst in the morning, tornadoes in the afternoon and 80* temps in the evening… I’m not sure Mother Nature has a clue either.

Back to the point, I thought I was prepared, until I woke up this morning, stood outside and noticed everything went ahead and hurried without me.¬† Weeds are growing, the grass is thick and needs a mowing beyond the goat, the branches on the lawn have multiplied… wasn’t everything dead and brown last week?¬† Didn’t I just have a head start on ALL of THIS?!

And how do I always have MORE dishes sitting in the sink when I haven’t even been home?!

And didn’t I just finish all the laundry, yesterday?!

Whatever season this really is, it is the beginning of the infamous “Emily runs around in circles” season. Garden, Animals, regular lawn stuff, minions, blog (I have three *headoven*), book editing, reading, my list of 101 in 365, daily domestic stuff… and what can I possibly let go of?¬† What can¬†I throw to the wayside?

And did someone really just invite me to an “important” event via facebook, again?!

Thank gawd for coffee, and thank gawd for a six-year-old who is easily bribed to help out, and thank you app gawds for your .99 cent app games that are thrifty enough for me to bribe said six-year-old with.  Did I mention my gratitude for coffee yet?

But despite a calendar with no white space to be found, and the shaky “I’ve had too much coffee” hands, and everything else, I’d rather be busy than be in winter any longer.¬† Which I’m sure I just cursed the entire Midwest to a sudden blizzard of epic proportions.¬† I’m sorry.

So in a hopes to wrap this up, here’s my question of the day:

When will you be here to help?  And will you bring more coffee?  (or beer?  or vodka?)


And Then then Storm…

The suited man on the television is telling me that the temperature outside is 50*.¬† Today’s high will land us somewhere amongst the sixties.¬† It’s January, and I live in the midwest, where last week we were having lows of 16*.¬† This can only mean one thing.

Welcome back Tornado season!

I say that with mixed emotions.¬† My aunt and uncle almost lost their homes last Good Friday from a tornado, they just got to move back in last week.¬† Joplin Missouri is still trying to recover and regroup after all of the lives that were lost last year.¬† (go jump on youtube, there’s some terrifying videos from Joplin and Lambert Airport)¬†We still have trees snapped in half, holes in the ground where trees were uprooted, and siding to repair from where our utility box was ripped off of the wall.

Tornado season used to be fun.

Where I live is among Tornado Alley, a virtual highway for these devastating storms.¬† I’ve grown up with sirens blaring, trees snapping, and amazing views in the sky.¬† (If I can get my old laptop to boot back up, I’ll have to grab some pics for you, I have videos from last year, but my lovely dial-ups won’t let me upload them here)

I’m the kind that stands out in the middle of the storms, camera in hand, mesmerized by the whole thing.¬† It’s hard to walk away.

Things change though, when it’s not just you.¬† When there’s minions, and acres of unknown woods around you… it’s a wee bit intimidating.

But then again there’s just something about that charge that builds in the air, the stillness of the clouds, the green of the sky, the hot and the cold pulling at the tiny hairs of your skin, the quietness of it all, and then, then… the storm.

Here’s hoping, praying for a fun and SAFE storm season.


Baby it’s Cold Out There

Winter is here.  Big time here.  Like I should have been hibernating in a cave weeks ago here. 

Summer left all too quickly, just like my favorite chocolate in the Halloween Trick or Treat bag.  Gone.  Poof.  Vanished before I could properly enjoy it, leaving the desperate want of more.

I want more hours playing in my garden:

Organic Pest Control

I want more hours of toes in the water:


I want more hours of watching storms blow in:



And I want absolutely NONE of this:

Oh sure the sneaux¬†(aka snow) is absolutely beautiful.¬† Maybe even breathtaking, blanketing everything in a peaceful white.¬† But it’s cold, and messy, and not conducive to gardening in tank tops and flip-flops, and there’s no frolicking through the green fields of prairie grass and wildflowers with the goat…¬†


Dear Summer, I miss you greatly and my heart shall not heal until you come back to me.

*Chokes down more vitamin D*


For Sale: One Giveadamn, Slightly Used

I might have or might not have reached my hormonal breaking point, and no, we’re not talking babies again… I’m soooo over that thing… today.¬†

Let’s talk facts real quick (and no, not political points, relax) 1) “The Pill” has many side effects, one being “heightened anxiety” and “altered moods” and 2)Caffeine intensifies anxiety and altered moods.¬† Guess who has anxiety disorder, depression and a husband who brought home a big huge friggen¬†case of Dr.Pepper even though he KNEW it wasn’t allowed in our house anymore?!¬† In short I’m hopped up on pre-existing¬†anxiety and such with the bonus side effects of the pill and caffeine!¬† WOOT!¬†

AKA, I’m a mess lately.¬† And I’m pretty sure the Moose Goosen¬†is trying to kill me with teeny tiny kittens.¬† What?¬† You don’t believe me?¬† Then why else yesterday did I hear kitten meows out by the garden and even though I was evil and ignored them, later that night they were in my chicken coop!?¬† How in the hell did baby kittens (rather than adult kittens) get in a fenced chicken coop?!¬† Explain that one… MOOSEN¬†GOOSEN.

And I’m pretty sure the Moosen¬†Goosen¬†works for Obama and maybe Oprah too.¬† *whispers* Conspiracy!

So back to the point or lack there of… Um, yes my “giveadamn” and yes it’s one word.¬† Apparently I’ve boarded some train that rockets (trains/rockets, makes sense) back and forth between “oh my gosh they all hate me i¬†can’t do anything right why can’t i¬†just get one break just once some one pour me a bottle of wine right now”¬† and “F-off, where’s the rum”.¬† Which also includes the roller coaster of “I’m never going to finish one single book wahhhh” and “f-off, I’ll show ya all”.¬†

And I’m positive that this all has been fluffed and multiplied by the fact that I’ve been staying up late trying to get things done, which oddly I keep finding myself just sitting there, 3 hours post pass out time, scribbling on scrap paper which is uber productive.¬†

And yes, indeed, too and such, blogging also helps one get things done.  Right.



*googles Moosen Goosen trap*

Who wants a kitten?