Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Puggie Puppies!

I had to take my car to the mechanic today.  After a nice lunch with Mark and our younger son David, I spent the afternoon riding with Mark on his giant Snap-On Tools truck as he went from auto shop to auto shop, selling tools to car mechanics.  One of the mechanics showed me his 9-week old miniature Pug puppies.  They'll grow to be about 5-6 pounds.  Ohhh how darling!  They crawled all over me and when I left, my shirt dirtied with tiny pawprints and the sweet smell of puppy kisses lingering on my skin.  It was a humid and roasting hot day, that's why I'm so red faced and curly haired.

Photo taken with my brand new, bought today, iPhone 4.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Raw Cow's Milk

A local middle school teacher named Ann has a small Apopka farm and sells free-range eggs and raw cow's milk. My 23 year old milk drinking maniac son and I drove over to see what's what and we were pleased to walk out into the pasture to meet Clover, and Paris - who is ready to calf at any moment.  Paris is not being milked so near to delivery.  We got to watch Clover being milked (with a machine) and she produced 4.5 gallons of Jersey Juice.  These two Jerseys are sweet pets that will live out their lives on the farm, even after they are no longer productive.

Most people who drink raw milk are "foodies" and are particular about what the cows get to eat, where the live and how much "cow time" they get.  Ann's Jerseys eat a soy free diet of grain and grass and free choice hay. Florida's soil is worthless for sustaining a milk cow; we don't have real soil, it's sand, and dairy cows would starve to death on just Florida grass. Ann has a friend who is allergic to soy and could not drink any milk (grocery or otherwise) until Ann found a soy free cow food, because soy is one of those things that does pass through the cow and end up in milk.

Ann also has a small herd of about a dozen Dexters, small black cows, and she has one butchered occasionally, which I am curious to try out.  She names the Dexters too, but they have "reality names" like T-Bone, Burger, and Stew.  Ann has a variety of chickens that scratch what they want, wander in the fields, and enjoy the sunshine.  When she gets a bully rooster, he becomes dinner, as it should be. She sells big brown eggs with strong healthy shells.

I just drank a glass of delicious custard yellow milk.  It tastes similar to Gustafson's Farm milk from the store, but it is creamier than whole milk.  The cream seperates, so you have to give it a shake before pouring.  I can use a turkey baster and take some of the top cream for my coffee.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Florida Fruiting Flora

I have several thriving plants on my front porch: a topsy turvey tomato, hanging upside down from it's stem and always begging for the roots to be watered (more than a normal tomato would!), three tomato plants in 5-gallon buckets, a fast-growing fig tree, a healthy and thick datil pepper plant, and one sorry excuse for a Japanese plum.  How is it that all the other plants are so excellent and the one I want most to survive is floundering?  Hmmmm...  I so love the way a JP looks when it's grown to be a big tree, heavily laden with golden fruit.   Maybe it hates it's pot!  Today I will transplant to a better container, prettier than the mustard yellow 5-gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom.  I'll get a pot that offers the beauty that this poor plants leaves need to survivie!  Everyone else just gets water!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Unjustified Beach Fears

Oh what a nice week at Cocoa Beach with my family!  David and Audrey, Robert and Vanessa, my cousin Julie, and of course, Mark.  We go this amazing new blender, 600 watts of ice-crushing power, and we made some yummy foofy drinks.  The sun was bright and shiney, the skies were clear and blue, the fish were biting and Julie and I caught sheephead in the intercoastal.  The evenings were fun-filled with Apples to Apples games, guitars, and poolside entertainment.

I have one fear, one stupid stupid unjustified fear.  I am not afraid of sharks, heights, muggers, snakes or being left alone on a deserted island.  I do not fear death.  I am, however, completely terrified of stepping on a crab in the shallow water at the beach. A really big dog with teeth bared and hair up doesn't frighten me as much as the prospect of a crab under my feet.  What is wrong with me?!

I enjoyed the swimming pool and took nice long walks on the beach.

Sharing my fear with my dog, in miniature.  Fiddler crab was actually bait, which I don't mind handling at all. Juliet, however, was completely traumatized when the crab latched on to her whiskers!  She may need psychological care now.