Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Yesterday’s storm rode in on epic winds, the kind where a cow flying past the window might be a shock, but not a surprise. The snow fell horizontally the better part of the afternoon. While we didn’t get that much in terms of accumulation, the 25+mph velocity put us in near whiteout conditions.

Like heck I was going to drive in that. I kept Oakley home instead of taking him to daycare. We amused ourselves with social media, turkey treats in puzzles, and a couple of episodes of “The Tudors.”

It’s still extremely windy today. I don’t think we’ll see flying cows. The average Holstein such as the beauty in the above picture weighs in at just under 1300 pounds. It takes a lot for one to get airborne.

On a stroll, perhaps. One windy morning during the first late winter-early spring after our move from the suburbs to the soybean field, Hubby and I sat eating our bagels for breakfast. We heard moo-ing somewhere outside, but couldn’t tell where it came from because of the wind. Not anything out of the ordinary, really, with several neighbors keeping cows. Suddenly Orion sprang to his feet and went on point.

The pretty black and white cow sauntered through the back yard, looking around, her face knit into puzzlement.

“Mooo? MOOO?” she called, unsure of where she was. She kept walking through our field, then the neighbors’, heading northward towards one of the main roads.

Hubby and I both watched, teeth frozen midbite into our bagels. Orion held his point, but shook.

He knew what to do per his hunters’ training from his previous owner. Hubby and I had never run into information what to do in the event of a strolling bovine in the various magazines we’d read during planning and construction. My impulse was to use Orion’s tie out line as a leash and lead her home.

All 1300+/- pounds of her.

Maybe not. I grabbed the phone book and called the nearest dairy farmer and the county farm bureau and left messages asking if anyone had lost a cow and giving her last known location.

No one returned my calls. If I listened to my messages and someone sounding that crazed had left one, I doubt that I’d return it, either.

My hope is that she stayed safe after her queenly walkabout. Did she return to her milking station and report to the girls on the outside world? Did she run off with a handsome bull? Or keep running until–

We won’t think about that last possibility. I’ll just keep the image of her enjoying her freedom as she traversed the fields, air redolent with the scents of new green growth, heading towards her true north.



It’s not awful temp-wise.  I hope that we can get to the park today. Oakley and I are both going a tad mental.

Saturday was very clear, but didn’t make it out of the teens. Sunday began with a knife-like cold wind that brought snow, not much more than a couple of inches, just enough to crud up the road. Today is still in expected range for February, but very damp and foggy with glazing on the back steps. We scatter ice melt. We tread carefully.

Very carefully.

Oakley has a suspect left hip. On cold mornings, he limps, especially when he takes the first few steps from the upstairs carpet to the steps to the wood floor to the kitchen tile. It might be early  onset arthritis.  It might hip dysplasia, a congenital malformation of the joint where the socket isn’t as deep as it should be, leaving the ball portion at the end of the femur to slide around.  He gets treats with glucosamine and an enzyme based anti-inflammatory that I get down him courtesy of a generous blob of spray cheese. The protocol wouldn’t change much with a definitive diagnosis provided by x-rays, so at this point in time, that’s how we treat it.

I have soreness in my left hip, too. Not a joint problem, though. Some years ago, Orion had wound his tie out line around the antenna. He woofed to let me know he was in need of assistance. I stepped out the back door and onto a step coated in perfectly clear ice. My feet flew into the air, and I fell backwards.

By some act of good fortune and grace, the edge of the step missed my vertebrae. I did give the top of my left hip bone a good smack, however. I was able to stand up, get Orion unwound and inside, then limped through the rest of the day. I didn’t bother to get x-rays, so I don’t know if I gave myself a bone bruise or a hairline fracture. All I know is that weather like this makes me uncomfortable, too.

So we sit on the sofa, alternate ice packs and heating pads, counting the days until the warm temps return on a consistent basis. It’s been a better winter, but we still bless it as it approaches the door.

Not Quite Live From Dixville Notch

It’s cold today with an insistent north wind blowing the dry sharp snow around. Not as marrow-chilling as it was last year, but more typical midwinter temperatures coupled with wind chills low enough to preclude walking. We made a quick run into the yard so Oakley could complete a personal errand, but otherwise, we will content ourselves inside. He’s played with a puzzle toy loaded with tiny bites of freeze-dried turkey. Now he’s napping next to me on the sofa.

While Oakley jogs in his sleep, I’ve kept a half-eye on today’s primary results from New Hampshire, just enough to be informed, not enough to compromise my sanity that’s still recovering from the meanness of the Hillary/Gloria/Madeleine crew over the weekend. Just after midnight, Dixville Notch’s nine voters completed their civic duty, giving the nod to John Kasich and Bernie Sanders. Now we wait and see how the rest of the state votes.

Dixville Notch is located twenty miles south of the Canadian border high in the White Mountains. It has a total population of 12, and a 100% voter turnout, all nine of them. They hold the elections at The Balsams, a grand resort hotel originally opened just after the Civil War. Currently, it’s closed to the general public while renovations and reinventions go on, but it lets in the voters in the name of tradition. One of the rooms serves as a dedicated polling place with a booth for each of the voters. Within a half hour, the votes get tallied and results are announced. The results have predicted the national nominee for the Republicans with a fair degree of accuracy since the midnight voting began in the ’40’s.

So we wait. Oakley dreams of going to day care tomorrow and playing chase with his friends. We dream of warmer days ahead when we can take long walks in soft sunlight.

Even though I may not be snoring and waving my hands and feet, I dream of having a candidate that I actually want to vote for, not just to keep someone who doesn’t have a clue out of office.







The Crash of Falling Idols

So this is how it ends.

Of all the things to say and all the people in the world to say them, Gloria Steinem said that younger women were supporting Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton because they wanted to meet boys. Look here.

I had to read it several times before I could wrap my brain around not just what was said, but who had said it. Gloria. My role model and inspiration in grad school, for causes that I supported, for writing. She who had been at the forefront of getting society at large to remember that women think with the brains in their heads said that.

That young women would vote for Bernie to meet boys. That somehow all that estrogen clouded their thinking. Excuse me, Gloria, but isn’t that the kind of attitude that comes from the ’60’s and extend backwards through the millennia? That you fought so hard to change?

My head blew up. Figuratively. But my heart did break. A little. It hurt to have a statement that sounded like a line from a high school clique leader come out of someone I’d held in high regard.

Even thirty years ago, I would not have been a HRC supporter. God She knows I want a woman president in my lifetime. However, I do not want someone who contributes to the ongoing dynamics of Wall Street, voted in favor of an illegal war, and is cozy with Monsanto. She isn’t offering anything really different than the old boys network.

That is why I’m supporting Bernie. He’s been the first candidate who’s given me hope since I voted for Mondale/Ferraro in my first presidential election ( my 18th birthday fell on the wrong side of registering to vote in the previous one).

Of course I want to help women. Of course I want to see society progress. But in this election cycle, I like Bernie a lot better. Bernie’s views and ideas are what we need right now. If needs must, I’ll vote for HRC, but only because the Republicans make my skin crawl.

I did my research. I did my thinking with the brain in my head. And that is why I #feelthebern this year.