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Sorry about Hoss...

Have you seen "Natural History of the Chicken"? It's an older PBS thing, they aired it here a few months ago. OMG, so funny, a little scary, and beautiful. One of the two best things I saw this year (the other being the new Star Trek movie).

oooh, food, so right... we only grow a few vegetables, but generally eat real food. Not as real as growing our own chickens, but at least it's really chicken (more or less, there's that whole issue about industrial chicken farming...) and not some weird processed thing in a box from the non refrigerated section.

Here's what I used to tell my students about what humans should eat. Look at your teeth. You mostly have teeth adapted for grinding (grains) and incising (biting fruits/veggies), and a few for tearing meat.


So sorry about your pets. But awesome on the home-grown food!


I'm so sorry about losing Hoss.

Becky in VT

Sorry about the losses, they always hurt. But the tiny chickens are awfully cute! We have 11 running around our place right now and I have NO IDEA how the mama keeps track of them all...

I'm reading Omnivore's Dilemma right now, and I agree with the whole "edible things so far removed you can't call them food, and calling them edible is questionable" state of affairs. The most processed thing I buy at the grocery store these days is pasta sauce (well, and pasta) - and that's only because of the complete failure of my tomato plants.


So sorry that your year has been a bit on the crappy side. Hopefully that will change and soon.

I love the new blends and really love the local aspect of your meals.

We just found out we *can* have chickens since I've legally made enough money off our "farm" this year. Whoot!

Now to convince the husband to build a coop like R.I.G.H.T. NOW! *lol*

Terry M

I enjoy reading your blog and am very sorry for your recent losses....however I want to applaud you and this post. Am sending you a big AMEN, SISTER about people not knowing where their food comes from and being so far removed from the process it's scary. Give yourself a big pat on the back as you are raising your daughter in a wonderful environment and teaching her some pretty special life skills.

I think we would all be better off if we lived a bit closer to the land....


Sorry you're experiencing so much of that end of the cycle of life.

I shudder to think what could be done to bacon to make it not need refrigeration. Michael Pollan has made me grateful to live in a rural area where there's plenty of real food.


oh my - not Hoss too. so many dear companions gone in such a short time. It must truly be overwhelming. I'm sending you many sympathy hugs of understanding.

and non-refrigerated "bacon".... omgosh. (shudder, shudder) Makes me wonder what it would do to someone's intestines that actually dares to eat the darn gunk. And people wonder why they get so sick. (shudders once more)

ccr in MA

I'm so sorry about Hoss. It certainly seems you've had more than your share recently.

Well done on the chicks and the food, and pretty, pretty fiber!


That bacon is beyond creepy. I've seen it just sitting in the grocery store in a cardboard freestanding display. Ick. I do believe in being as much a locavore as you can and I do it myself. I have plans this coming spring to put in a proper garden in my yard. I will have the time this spring for the first time in 15 years. The loss of your pups and kitty are so hard to bear. Don't try to minimize the pain to us. We know, too. And, Sophie the Ewe is right. No mutton shall pass my lips;-P


So sorry about Hoss and all the rest.

I've raised chickens (and even butchered them myself once), and still garden and choose real food at the grocery, so I agree with your rant 100%.

And I vote for finishing the stole for the wedding, since there is a deadline to spur you on.


RIP Hoss.

(And Sophie has the right of it, I think.)


Hoss looks like he was a big sweet lug of a dog.
Rant on; when you're right you're right.
Maude is such a good mommy!

Andrea (noricum)

Farewell Hoss! May there be many green fields and warm fireplaces up there in the sky!

I *love* Maude!

Shelf bacon. Ewwwww! (Of course, bacon is a response to preserving meat back in the days before refrigeration...)

Your meal is wonderful! I love the crazed, flowered plate too! :)


So sick, and so fat.

Thanks for the condolences. We're actually moving ahead feeling kind of
positive; there is a lot less stress when you are not constantly feeling sad
for a sick dog. And the floors are staying so clean!

I'm sure we'll have more housepets someday. But not now!

On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 10:44 AM, wrote:


I'm so sorry about the latest loss: I would suggest that the only way to cope is to get some new young animals but you seem to be doing that already.

And I think you should finish the stole for the wedding you're going to in October. That's what I'm doing, and it's nearer than you think.


My cousin put me onto Animal Vegetable Miracle when it came out and I loved the wholeness of it; I always feel I'm getting more of that narrative when I read your blog :^)

and yes. Shelf Bacon. errrrrgggggh.

I adore both Equinox and Solitude to the point where I keep staring when I should get on with my day, and I am terribly sorry to hear about Hoss. Surely you've reached the end of these sad losses now??? Your family has certainly earned more than a few bucketloads of good to make up for the bad!


Poor Hoss.... More hugs for silly Milo!

That Solitude colorway is gorgeous - almost enough to tempt me to spin again, but.. not quite!

Yes - bacon on the shelf is just creepy. And really - how hard is it to fry bacon????


You have wonderful animal companions and they all look like they are having the time of their lives there. My condolences on your recent losses--I liked reading about them too.


There's nothing more satisfying than food you've provided for yourself. Just knowing where our food comes from, and what's involved in its production, makes it taste better. (Even though it really *does* taste better than anything that ever came out of a box...)
Hugs for your losses. We all know the pain.


Again , sorry to hear about your losses. Pets just don't live long enough. David Suzuki says that wat you eat is your choice but you should know where and how it was grown before you make that choice. It should be a concious choice . It's your blog , you can make any point you like while we oggle fiber :)


I'm so very sorry about all the losses. The critters do leave all too soon.

I'm with you on the food thing - it should be FOOD. Not chemical/processed (perportedly non-toxic) calories.


I couldn't agree with you more, it is scary as hell to see what is sold and accepted as "food". It amuses me in a sad way that so many people think meat is gross until it is cooked and on a plate. And the satisfaction in eating something you've been involved in raising/fishing/growing/picking is priceless, but I know not everyone has that opportunity. I wish it was easier to find information about where groceries are coming from, and that small scale, local products were easier available.


Sitting here full of panzanella for breakfast all the ingredients of which came either from my garden or the local farmers' market and saying "Amen" to your rant. What we eat makes us what we are: that bacon on the shelf makes me fear for how stuck in their ways my fellow humans are. Keep on growing!



The plate wasn't crazed when I got it for my wedding 15 years ago, but then
neither was I. :-)

On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 1:54 PM, wrote:


My heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your dog. I still miss Hero (a once in a lifetime type companion) and Dadiva. Hugs

donna lee

I was grocery shopping today and for some reason was very aware of what was going into the cart. Nothing very processed (I can't handle the salt content) and all food that has to be cooked, not just heated up. The woman in front of me had so many prepared foods that I wondered if she used her stove at all. I'm far from perfect but I try. I still laugh when I remember my kids going to someone's house when they were little and coming home to ask me, "Mom, did you know soup comes in a can".


So sorry to hear about Hoss.
You had mentioned that he was ailing, but I harbored this hope that he'd hold on awhile longer.



I would like to spin some of that fiber myself. I'm determined to make
thrummed mittens with handspun this year. But when?

On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 4:35 PM, wrote:


Thanks, Diane,

I have studiously avoided any controversial topics on my blog; I don't want
to challenge anyone. But the intensity of life and death around here,
combined with the quality of the food we have been producing, is just a big
deal to me, especially in the face of room-temperature "bacon." I can't only
take so much! :-)


On Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 11:52 PM, wrote:


Ha! My daughter is 10 and only recently found out (at my SIL's) that there
is such a thing as Chef Boyardee ravioli in a can!

My stepson (living in OK) mentioned that he spent too much on groceries at
Walmart but that he wouldn't have to shop for at least 3 weeks. I said, "I
take it there wasn't anything green in your cart, like fresh veggies?" He
said, "No way. If it doesn't come in a can, box or freezer pack, it doesn't
come into my house."

Ah, youth. Sigh.


On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 7:41 PM, wrote:


I'm so sorry Jessie. May he rest in peace.

The new fiber batts are beautiful. They may have to come and live at my house. ;-)

Pom Pom

Sophie is beautiful! Good for you - growing and raising dinner! The meal almost jumps off the page - YUM!


End-of-Life with pets ain't easy, there are so many. But, when the initial grief passes, I know I have given them the very Best Life possible. We recently lost DS's 22lb cat to a bobcat, but now have the joy of his doppelganger - a 16.5lb stray from the Rutland Shelter.



How are you coming on the last things you bought? You promised pictures...

On Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 2:56 PM, wrote:


I was just at the shelter (not "shopping"!) and I would love to adopt
another cat, an adult. But right now we're just fine with one evil feline
and NO dogs.

The floors stay so clean!

Thanks for the condolences. We're running out of pets so things should get

And we need to get together some time!


On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 5:25 AM, wrote:


I have so missed your updates. I finally moved to Ohio last weekend and got my internet / email going. I see you've had a roller coaster of a summer - births, deaths, birthdays, lots of beautiful fiber, etc. Take care and I'm glad to be back in touch!


I'm so jealous of your space to grow your own food. That plate looks mighty tasty! We are buying produce from a farm share this year and it's been really great.

Madame Purl

I'm so very sorry. I seem to be on the same path with you. I've lost 2 cats out the blue to cancer this year and I have a 13-year-old dog that is in kidney failure. I have two more cats that seem to be losing weight - one is a blind 18-year-old. I'm hoping to just get through this year with no more losses. It's so hard when they are such a part of your life.

(formerly) no-blog-rachel

So sorry about Hoss. It's been tough for you guys - I hope life balances out and gives you some absolutely fab things to help cheer you up.

The fiber is gorgeous! Especially October and Equinox.


So sorry about Hoss... :o(

I was responsible for raising the turkeys on our farm - and picking out the one that would be Thanksgiving dinner. I know where my food comes from. I also bought a package of pre-cooked bacon for this week while we are camping because it's easier than trying to fry bacon in a popup. It's not supposed to be refrigerated. It's in the fridge. The farm girl in me just can't handle pork that doesn't need to be cold...


It's a blessing and a curse; I haven't been in the overgrown mess in a week.
I bet my tomatoes are rotten by now!

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 6:12 PM, wrote:


It has been hard, but now that some time has passed I'm feeling a bit of
relief. It was getting depressing with the old dog and cat being so sick all
the time. It's at least nice now to be able to walk into a dark room and not
be worried about what you might step in!

I am sorry for your losses, too. It's inevitable, but it doesn't make it any


On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 11:54 PM, wrote:



I'm hoping we're coming out of a dark period on many fronts; my husband's
work is picking up again, it seems, so maybe that's true. I miss the animals
but on the other hand I'm amazed at how clean the floors are staying!

On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 9:52 PM, wrote:

Debbie(purlypig on Rav)

RIP Hoss.

And Amen Sister!! to your rant. I get called Wilma Flintstone around here because I don't even own a microwave. Our butcher is so awesome, he doesn't use MSG or nitrates and his bacon is divine. Forge on and keep ranting.


So sorry for the loss of your pets...it's like losing best friends.

I'm with you on the food. On April 27, I went on a campaign to outsmart my dr. and his demand that I take statins. Since then I've lost 33.3 pounds (that .3 is important!) and my total cholesterol is 180...without statins.

The biggest change in our diet?....No processed foods.

When you set the intention, the rest comes pretty naturally. I won't say easily...but it is do-able.

(Sorry if this comment sounds like some kind of advert.)

Ruth-Ann R.

Hi Jessie! I am finally, finally after months catching up on my favorite blogs....I am sending you my hugs for your recent loss of the pooch. You amaze me with your farming and I can't tell you enough as to how much I appreciate your blog. Amen to the "rant". We should question everything!

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