Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Step off Canero (Latin for Cow)

Did you KNOW that a bull (or steer for that matter) can smell when you are ovulating and try to mount you? It's a good thing I am always on my guard to ensure Caramel doesn't lick my head. I'll let him lick my hand or arm, but not my face- absolutely not. That's where I draw the line. I have this animal spit phobia. Yesterday, dude starts to move his head toward me while I'm pulling up his stake right next to him and I step back (to avoid a cow lick) just in time to see Mr. Cow isn't trying to lick me, he's raised up on his back legs. Um. No.

So, I ask Cory what the deal is- the cow has no "hormonal storage areas" remaining, I say. Cory says it doesn't matter, they try it anyway. This is a problem for two reasons. #1: Buttercup is a petite little thing and she can't have Caramel on her when they can finally dwell in the same pasture (if that ever happens- right now they still can't stop assaulting each other in other ways). #2: Caramel is going to get a LOT bigger. I can't be having a 1000 lb. steer coming after me. Huh-uh. There is a term called animal husbandry that means the practice of raising and breeding livestock. I always thought that was a weird vocabulary combination to choose- why animal husbandry? What about wifery or couplery? Now it all makes sense, though, because, at least in our household, I've decided it means that when the animals get too big or dangerous, your husband's going to have to do all the work. Somebody call Webster so he can add definition number two.

These are little things you don't think about ahead of time because you just don't know. Our plan was for the ducks to go to the creek and dig it out, eat the bugs, and make that their home area. While they were growing, though, we had them in the field with the cows. We didn't know that the ducks would think Caramel is their mama. If he moos, they quack back. "MMMOOOOOO!!! QUACK quack quack!" is sort of the system they have set up. It turns out the ducks don't want to be far from their mama at all- they want to hang out in the field burrowing little holes in it all the time instead of the creek. Great.

The gardening thing isn't exactly going as planned either. We've got nice looking basil and corn growing, but something keeps eating the bean leaves. The carrots seem to be doing well from what we can see of them. Many of the other things either got scratched up by the chickens or choked out by the weeds before we knew they were weeds. Maybe some of it just never germinated, I don't know. After a snake showed up in the lower garden last week, I lost a little zeal for tending to it. The basil appears to be ready to harvest so I need to figure out how to dry it. It's on my to do list. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. You can't learn unless you get started.... this being our first go at everything, I think we're doing all right.

The wild blueberry bushes that are strewn down the ravine have started to fruit so the boys and I went picking last week. We didn't even plant or tend to the things and got a harvest from them- very nice. We had picked a few blackberries earlier in the month too but I know now that those bushes need to be better tended to- the drought and heat got to them. By next year I am going to have them cleaned up and plan to keep them watered. It was still fun picking what we did. There is no other smell that reminds me so much of being a kid than blackberries. In Pennsylvania they are along almost all the country roads in the Hollow. Have I mentioned it's only by God's protection none of us ever got bitten by a snake when we were kids? Looking back, it's really amazing. In case I never sent a shout out to my guardian angel, props to my angel. You are wildly under-recognized, my friend.

It looks like I will be finishing up Sam's floor today. I only have a few more rows to go. The rest of my time I have been using to prepare for the coming school year- we are starting early. I guess I am a glutton for punishment or, more than likely, an idealism zealot, because I am sticking with my classical trivium baseline for their education. That means we are going to start getting our feet wet with Latin this year- alphabet, phonograms, pronunciation, vocabulary, and some phrase memorization- no grammar- not yet. I found an awesome site:


You can go to it and see any verse of the bible in Latin. It looks like Latin is beautiful. The Bluedorns, in their incredible book, Teaching the Trivium (no darn underline feature in this Blogger site!), said that 80% of the vocabulary of the Romance languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian,etc.) is Latin... "It is like having a ticket to Europe or to South America with an 80% reduction in price." Wow. The Bluedorns taught their kids Greek, Latin, and Hebrew; used original sources to study history and literature; and basically wrote an astounding how-to for teaching in the classical model from a biblical perspective. They show clearly how the three components of the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) weren't begun in Greek and Roman culture at all, but in the very word of God...called knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Amazing stuff. If I were ever to kidnap anyone, it would be the Bluedorns. Oh, and they have a Jersey cow.


  1. Teaching the Trivium is my 'how to bible'

  2. Love this post, the Bluedorns, landme72, and you.