Sunday, November 14, 2010

My life is so varied; always has been. Lately, I've been splitting my time between school (Kutztown University), work (where I teach), home, farm, and occasional short road trips.  I don't get many chances for those, unfortunately.

Kutztown provides lots of inspiration for teaching.  They have a student exhibit of recycled works on display right now...coincidentally, exactly when I'm teaching that unit in school.  I'm enjoying their over-the-top solutions:

Plastic Goblet Light Fixture

Old Sock Milk Jugs (polymerized)

Plastic Cutlery Pterodactyl
 Of course, nearly every day includes both teaching and the farm.  While I choose not to blog about my classroom because of professional considerations, the farm is fair game, and infinitely interesting.

We've been battling pinkeye this last week.  My poor little doe Faith went out to be bred, and may have carried it home with her.  While she's unaffected, 4 of our older does came down with the affliction, and had to be separated from the herd.  I've been giving injections, applying ointment, and hand milking those girls all week.  Poor things!  Our two senior citizens, Dolly and Jazzy have been hit the hardest. There is improvement, though.  And we've finished the course of antibiotics, so only time will tell.

These girls weren't affected. Neither were their appetites!

 I take a walk in the woods on days that are challenging at work; I need these solitary times to decompress.  They feed my soul.  On one such occasion, I found this gooey, frostbitten mass that must have been some sort of mushroom.  The fallen tree had several of them; I'll research them and get back to you.  This has been my mycology moon.
An Interesting Fungus
*UPDATE: An Old "Orange Jelly"
 Turkey tails, the ubiquitous little fungi that devour our fallen wood, are everywhere.  Apparently, they're prized by certain cultures for their curative properties.  Who knew?  I'll be trying some turkey tail tea this winter.
Turkey Tails
 Piggy tails are a different story entirely.

It's Rough Being a Pig
 Last weekend, my friend El and I visited the farm together so she could see our newborn calf.  One of the volunteers had forgotten to shut the gate between the cow field and the pig run, and chaos ensued. I have never seen cows band together like a street gang and attack before; usually they just mill around, benignly grazing and mooing.  These cows were pissed!  They attacked those poor pigs enmasse.  You've never seen fat pink buttocks running away more frantically. I'm ashamed to say that I can't stop laughing about the visual memories it brings up: think "West Side Story" (the Jets and the Sharks). Those poor piggies! Thankfully, the vet and his assistant were on site, checking out the goats, and between the 4 of us, we were able to break up the rumble.  The piggies had to take a long nap that afternoon.

Meanwhile, back in the goat pen, our calf  Pumpkin is having an identity crisis.

Pumpkin, Behind the Goats
Hide and Seek

Am I a Goat? 

I'm so Confused!!!!!
 He does kick his heels up and rip around the corral.  The goats don't quite know what to make of him, but they treat him kindly. Baby Huey.

Then there's home.  When I'm not reading, grading, or writing, I still love my kitchen, especially now that Peter has finished the new counter and back splash.  I'm bringing in the last herbs.  Hobie helped with the peppermint.

Is that Cat Nip?
 Today will be spent at home, or taking a much needed walk in the park, depending on my mood and timing.  We all need a little unstructured time, and I'm so happy to have some today!  Photos to follow!

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