Monday, January 7, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

I finally got it. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It was on my Christmas list but didn't make it under the tree. So I went down to my favorite bookstore and as I walked in the lady said "What can we find for you?" I turned to my right and there it was waiting for me. A single copy sitting on a table by itself. I picked it up and said "This, I'll have this." I also bought a copy of The Poisonwood Bible for my son's girlfriend. She is a reader. And this is one of my favorite books. While I was there I bought a book for my husband. He is a big reader but he reads magazines. Motorcycle magazines being his favorite but he also likes bird dog magazines and the occasional car magazine but never a novel. The last book he read was The Life and Time of Lou Alcindor. If that doesn't date us. So I picked up a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance hoping to lure him in by the title. I saw a small flash of pain cross his eyes as I pulled it out of the bag. There was a slight bit of doubt in the way he thanked me. We shall see.
Also for Christmas, my son bought me The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz. This book has a beautiful cover and I do judge a book by it's cover. From my mom a copy of Jan Karon's new book. I have lots of reading and knitting so bring on the bad weather.

I needed something to trim the pigs feet. The horse nippers were just not working. Although sharp enough, were very awkward. Speed is important in the art of pig manicures. The trimmers for the goats' feet are not strong enough for the pigs. I was on the lookout for a pig, llama, goat trimming tool. We were walking through Sears the other day and they had bins of dollar stuff and I found the most wonderful pair of tin snips that are just the right size and they feel wonderful. And the best part........they were 6 dollars. I tried them out on the goats and the hooves cut like butter. I haven't tried them on the pigs yet because that is an event we had, not too long ago, and I'll wait until we need to again. Believe me, I can wait. So can the neighbors.

Another favorite thing is my new cast iron skillet from Cabela's. It is perfection in a skillet. Heavy, tall sides and best of was 15 dollars. After my son and his girlfriend, the biology researchers, talked about aluminum and Alzheimer research I decided to go cast iron. Now there is no going back. I can't wait to get back to Cabela's to see what else they have in cast iron. Did I mention it was only 15 dollars!

My son gave me a darling bag for my Chihuahua. Solomon, my Chi boy, came to live here in October when his first family had a baby and didn't want him anymore. He would have been a great dog for them to keep as he loves everyone and everything. He is not the shivering, scared toy you normally see. I have seen him with babies and children and he loves them too. But their loss has been our gain. We take him everywhere with us. I always said I wanted a "Paris Hilton" dog so my son bought me a purse to put him in. How thoughtful. Definitely one of my favorite things.

Knowing how much I love my dogs, his girlfriend sent two pictures of our shelties to an artist and she painted ornaments that look just like Miles and Grace. How thoughtful is that! They are perfect. Here is a picture of them.

It was such a perfect holiday I hate to let it go but I watched this morning as my son, his girlfriend and little dog Faith drove out the driveway and back to their life in sunny southern California. I said a little prayer for their safe return and headed back into the house to take the tree down for another year.


Danni said...

Two days ago I ordered "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" from! I tried to reserve it first at our local library, but I was 357th in line to receive it!! That seemed a bit extreme, so I broke down and bought it. :-) I haven't read any Barbara Kingsolver in a while. I loved "The Bean Trees" and "Pigs in Heaven", and was so looking forward to "The Poisonwood Bible" but I absolutely *could not* get into it. Haven't read her since. But I'm ready to give her another try, what with all the raves I've heard about this latest book!

It sounds like you had a wonderful time this holiday. Cool about the hoof trimmers - I may be coming to you for guidance in the future! :-)

I think you should post a picture of Solomon in his new bag!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Those are the cutest ornaments. I love to receive special gifts like that. When my 2 boys were very small a friend of my husband sent plates from overseas made from a picture of each boy for a Christmas gift. I still have the plates sitting on top of the piano and my boys are men now. (I still think of them as my little boys though)

goatgirl said...

It was funny. In the bookstore one lady said she couldn't get into it either the other said she couldn't put it down. You must read Prodigal Summer by Kingsolver. It has goats. I loved it.

farm mama said...

You are in for an eye-opening experience when you read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". My daughter talked me into reading it and it literally changed my buying and eating habits. It's not easy to buy and eat locally, but it has made me willing to make the effort and spend a few extra dollars. I can't wait until my daughter's family farm gets to producing so I can spend my dollars with her (and I know first hand how the food is produced - I can even pet some of the producers!!)
I have been using cast iron for years and wouldn't be without it. All my kids know that I'm fussing about washing it - it is the one thing I would rather clean myself.

Marigold said...

Dear Goatgirl, Not that I am interested in the least, but the goatmother wonders if you could post a picture of the tin snips gone hoof trimmer? I have to admit, though, that anything that would help her to get it over with faster might be a good thing.

goatgirl said...

Farm mama, Could you tell me how to properly wash my cast iron skillet?

goatgirl said...

Marigold, Yes I will post a picture. I bought them at the Sears in Tacoma. I tell you, it cuts hooves like butter!
Did I mention they were 6 dollars!!

farm mama said...

Never put your cast iron in a dishwasher or allow to soak. If I have cooked bacon or anything that just leaves grease and no residue, I just wipe it out with a paper towel. If you have to wash it, scrub it good with hot, soapy water, scrub with comet or a brillo pad if necessary, and then immediately dry it and heat it until all signs of moisture are gone, then coat it with lard or vegetable shortning (or I sometime use bacon grease) Never use vegetable oil - it makes it sticky. I usually put it on the stove burner, let it get good and hot, then turn the burner off, leaving the skillet on the burner (remove if hot enough to smoke!). The alternative is to put it in a warm oven if you happen to have had the oven on. The idea is to let it build up a good slick greasy coating on the inside, therefore don't scrub more than necessary. I got my skillets from a friend who had had them for years, and the older they are, the better. She told me that if they got really crusty on the outside, to build a good, hot fire and put them in the center of it, then keep it going for a few hours. Then you need to start the seasoning process all over again - I haven't actually done that, and I've been using my skillets for 20 years.

goatgirl said...

Thanks farm mama, That's exactly what I needed to know. I was using veg. oil so I'll get something else. Thanks

deconstructingVenus said...

O so many things to say! You'll love Animal Vegetable Miracle. Wonderful wonderful. I fall into the category of "LOVED LOVED LOVED" the Poisonwood Bible. Its one of my favorite books, but a lot of people just didn't get it. How odd. :) I am totally going to get some tin snippers now!!! I have the orange handled hoof trimmers that everyone recommends, but they barely cut through my Nubian's hooves. Does great with the smaller Angoras, though. Have you told the story of trimming the piggies? It sounds familiar, but if you haven't I want to know all.

goatgirl said...

I couldn't put "The Poisonwood Bible" down but I know lots of people that just couldn't get into it. For some reason it really spoke to me.
Anyway, I read the first few pages of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and she had me when she said that they were leaving their town in one of it's uglier moments...a cheap ending a romance when your partner has really bad bed hair. I love her writing.

I have touched briefly on the pig trim but will write about it in full in the future.