Sunday, December 30, 2007

If I Had a Pony

Steve and Carolyn, our neighbors and co-conspirators in most things ridiculous or dangerous, brought their granddaughter down to visit MisFit Farm’s newest addition. As documented in the attached video, both Janda and the horse did well, notwithstanding Janda’s sincere disappointment that we would not allow her to ride him.

I was all for plopping her on his back, instructing her to hold on tight and seeing what would happen, but apparently that type of empiricism is discouraged in parenting these days.

So we all had to be contented with petting him, and petting him, and petting him some more. He did try to offer a small concession by rolling around a little, but it wasn’t anything compared to the fun he had when allowed to roam free at his home of origin.

The goats were initially horrified. They ran like crazy when we brought him into the pasture and barn. Well, all except the two fainter boys, who took to this new outsider like a myopic third-grader takes to the new kid in class, especially when the new kid outweighs the class bully by a good 100 pounds.

The dogs are fascinated but too stupid to understand that the traditional dog salutation will likely result in traumatic brain injury when he responds to a friendly, inquisitive butt-sniffing with a kick to the head. We have allowed the dogs to come into the pasture, but are closely supervising all canine/equine interactions.

We are still considering naming options. I like the name Bill, and I think K. is fond of Frodo. Neither of us is so committed to our chosen name that we would melt into a puddle of despair, should the preferred name not be selected. Which probably means his name is Frodo. Why I don’t learn to quit resisting is something I will never understand.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

All I Want for Christmas. . .

So, the Hallmark “2007 Pony for Christmas” ornament looks like this:

The pony K received for Christmas in 2007, amazingly, looks like this:

Well, actually, he isn’t a “pony.” He is a fully grown miniature horse. We don’t have an exact measurement on him, but I estimate him at about five hands tall. As we noted to a friend earlier, he is smaller than a “real” Dane, but larger than a “faux” Dane. Realistically, he is about the height of a Laborador Retriever, but with about 100 extra pounds.

To answer the question everyone seems to have: no, he doesn’t bite. At least not yet. Give us a week.

So far, here is what he DOES do: Wear a halter. Walk on a lead. Allow his hooves to be handled. Romp in the snow.
Engage in a concerted butt-scratching.Receive copious pettings. Try to tolerate being brushed. Dispense nuzzles. Eat hay, sweet feed, and his first-ever apple nugget treats.

His name? Well, we are working on that one.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Ho Ho Holidays from MisFit Farm

It snowed yesterday. It was a snow like I remember from my childhood, an unrelenting, dumping, blowing snow that piled on rooftops and drifted into banks. I shoveled the front deck and steps at about 8:00 yesterday evening, and woke to another inch and a dusting this morning. Most communities didn’t even send out snowplows until well after dark. We awoke this morning to find their handiwork evidenced in a 3-foot high pile spanning the end of our drive.

Among the many good fortunes routinely visited upon us are these most recent blessings: safe travels in adverse weather; plenty of Dane-blankets to keep us warm; and, continuous power and light through the storms.

So, for all the well-wishers out there who have sent messages of concern about the bad weather, here is videographic proof that all is well with the krewe here at MisFit Farm.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I may go down in the annals of snobbery for this one, but I couldn’t resist.

On a weekly basis, we receive, gratis, a circular from a local grocer. On a weekly basis, I perfunctorily flip through the circular admiring the pre-processed food products offered by the local grocer.

I laughed out loud at this one and immediately reached for the digital camera.

On our next vacation, we are making arrangements to visit the sea where we will find catfish and pre-breaded, processed fish sticks. But first, I must research what type of bait is used to catch these yummy breaded fish portions.

It is hard to see, but at the fold, the IGA has combined the best of all possible worlds into the seafood delicacy of breaded catfish nuggets. I just can't get enough of those fresh seafood catfish nuggets.

Oh and by the way, gigantic, stocking-hat-wearing penguins are indigenous to the sea where these wonderful products all reside.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Be-deviled by Eggs

K thinks I am obsessed with eggs. The jubilation that accompanied the first two has been repeated, time and again, as production has increased and we have come to the place where we are collecting between 3 – 6 eggs every day. At an average rate of 4 eggs a day, we accumulate a dozen roughly every three days. I cook an egg breakfast for the dogs every Saturday, which uses generally six eggs, resulting in a weekly egg credit of 22. That’s almost two dozen. Using a Monday – Sunday week, that is usually a full two dozen by the time I hop into my car and head off to work each Monday.

Jubilation is slowing being replaced by the discomfort associated with bounties undeserved and product without any available outlet.

Not one to believe in wasting anything, I have been researching egg recipes. This great guy I work with has told me stories about his mother, who keeps chickens, and her miraculous feats of egg-incorporation. As a creative, articulate, socially responsible retiree, she seemed to be an incredible woman before; as the number of full and filling egg cartons begins to populate our fridge, her stature is ever mounting in my mind. I am seriously considering offering to pay for self-publication if she will compile a cookbook for all-egg recipes.

I made a pound cake this evening. K watched in awe as I dumped sugar into a bowl of softened butter and beat it to a fluffy consistency. I am not inclined to bake. I ascribe to the notion that carbohydrates are a zero-sum game. I choose mine wisely, mostly in a liquid form. She asked at some point, “what inspired you to try to make a pound cake?” I think it was my response that has touched off concern. The pound cake I made was from a recipe procured from the American Egg Association Website, Plantation Pound Cake. It contains lemon, which K’s mom loves. So my response was, “I thought I would give it a try to see if it might be something your mom was into." I tried to add under my breath, "And it uses 4 eggs.”

At the time, she was peering over my shoulder, scrutinizing the other recipes I had copied from the Website. “Oasis Eggs? Cabbage? Green onions?” she queried. My response, “Well, it looked interesting. It also has crabmeat and uses six eggs.”

She doesn’t think I noticed, but I saw the look of chagrin and concern.

Monday, December 03, 2007

More Holiday Observations

I don’t get out much. K, she works “in the community,” so her exposure to people, contemporary developments, retail, and other things, is greater than mine. I have an office job, where I spend the great amount of my time in close proximity to my desk, which accounts for a great amount of my life, at least 40 hours a week, usually more. While I do the family grocery shopping, I attack that process with the same aggression and surgical precision I apply to most all other things in my life. I don’t browse – I map out the layout of the store, organize my list accordingly, and do not deviate. I don’t window shop – I use the Internet, precisely because I can do it whenever I want, or at my desk, if necessary. I read about “real life.” I hear about it on NPR. I listen to its music. However, I choose not to interact with it very much.

So imagine my surprise, or alternatively, my consternation, at being plopped down into the middle of a local Best Buy store Sunday afternoon. Where I discovered the real-life fun of virtual guitar playing, known commonly as Guitar Hero ©. Rock on!

Aside from the fact that I had to wait patiently in line for the under 13 crowd to relinquish their grimy hold on the guitar at one of the playstations to the rear of the store, I have to admit that I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

And it wasn’t just the time spent with guitar in hand.

As I walked into the store past the computer section, I noticed one of the game centers, where there were two young men with long, frizzy hair and flannel shirts commandeering the guitar/drum/karaoke station. These guys were at the station when I arrived, held court in it the entirety of my visit, and were still firmly ensconced when I left the store. These guys were a riot – grunge circa 1992, likely owners of every single album Pearl Jam ever put out (with strong opinions on what the “true” greatest hits should have been), lifesize posters of Cobain adorning their bedrooms, with the last car in Topeka, Kansas to use regular gasoline parked in the Best Buy lot. These guys air-riffed, drummed and wailed their hearts out, as if the rest of the population: Best Buy, 50,000 were not sharing their space. I tried to organize people to stand on the other side of the machine and jump up and down with their hands in the “I love you” formation, crowd-swim, or hold up lighters, but the real Topeka is just as boring as I remembered it.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Holiday Gift Idea

Because we are shameless promoters of all things we perceive as good in this world, we bring to you this evening a wonderful holiday gift idea: The 18-month Great Dane Rescue of the Ozark calendar.

It is hard to believe, but we have nearly used up the last 18-month calendar purchased from the GDRO, which means that it has been over a year and a half since we fell down the “Dane hole.” I cannot think of a more delightful way to mark time.

Should any of you find yourselves wondering, “How in the world will I cover that very large hole in my wall/door/ceiling (perhaps a hole caused by the intrusion of a small plane or a cannonball)?” Or, “How can I ensure that on the first day of every month, I get to flip over a page and go, aaaawwwww?” Or, “How can I complete all my holiday shopping from the comfort of my own home?” The GDRO calendar is just the ticket. The calendar is large enough that people who drive Shriner cars home have replaced entire garage doors with it. With a full 18-months’ Dane delights, it has the added feature of offering insulation when displayed on an exterior wall.

Ours arrived in the mail yesterday; it offers a variety of delightful, laugh-out-loud photos, tearful moments, and plenty of “aaaawwwww’s.” This year’s calendar features MisFit Farm’s resident mayhem-maker, Azure; the archetypical alpha-dog, Apollo; the consummate camera-pleaser, Nadia; the sire of a goodly number of the Danes bred in SW Missouri, Chief, along with a few others who left this mortal coil to wait for the rest of us at what is referred to by those more inclined toward Hallmark-described events as “the rainbow bridge.”

We highly recommend the GDRO calendar for holiday giving, because while not everyone has Danes, everyone does have days. Or, you could always give the REAL gift that keeps giving and ADOPT A GREAT DANE - GDRO has plenty of lovable babies in need of loving homes.