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Archive for February, 2009

Being Still

I’m not sure what the title of this poem by J. Danson Smith is, but I read it today in Streams in the Desert and thought it was poignant. Today’s entry was paired with an excerpt from Isaiah 52:12, which says, “For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”   I kept reading, and came upon Isaiah 55:2, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”

It is a constant battle to trust God. I’m constantly looking forward to try to figure out what is next. That’s not necessarily bad, but when I begin to worry about it… that’s when I’m overstepping my bounds. I can’t charge forward and fix it for fear that if I’m not there now, it’ll never turn out right; I can’t ignore it so long that I end up having to rush forward in unprepared haste. I must acknowledge that He is in control, that “‘…My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

So why do I worry? Why do I busy myself alternately with such concerns and such frivolity that I am eating that “which does not satisfy”. Am I eating what is good? Am I delighting in the abundance that He has supplied, here and now? I’ll not go with haste… but He says that I will go. It’s not my responsibility to know exactly what happens next. It’s my responsibility to listen for the cadence of His movements, and to move forward in His timing.

Sit still, my children! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days — these waiting days — as ill!
The One who loves you best, who plans your way,
Has not forgotten your great need today!
And, if He waits, it’s sure He waits to prove
To you, His tender child, His heart’s deep love.

Sit still, my children! Just sit calmly still!
You greatly long to know your dear Lord’s will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay–
Persuade yourself in simple faith to rest
That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.

Sit still, my children! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way has opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad your heart, and then how swift your feet,
Your inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days not counted then too long.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service coudl you for Him fill?
It’s hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
It’s hard, it’s true! But then — He gives you grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.

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A confusing title, I know. But I’ve been referring to Roxanne as a camel lately. She looked like a camel with horizontal humps. Seriously. She was that big. We’ve been keeping her locked in my bathroom under the theory that we would then know when and where she would have her kittens. Well, yesterday she was crying her fool head off about being cooped up, so we let her out to spend some time with us when we were home in the evening. Last night as I’m trying to fall asleep, she won’t. Shut. Up. So I let her out. Of course.

Yeah.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

This morning my mother comes in and wakes me up with an “I need your help, there’s kittens!” She had decided to have them in the bottom of my parents’ closet. -.- Sheer amusement, right? She had only had two by that point. Well, now there are eight. No wonder she looked like a horizontal camel! Unfortunately one is much smaller than the others, and has had no inclination to nurse, as well as very low energy. Your traditional “runt”. So, we’ll see how he does. But. I know they’re a little young, but it looks like we’ve got three females and five males.

Note: unless you have a strange fascination for color genetics (like I do), skip to the end. That’s where the pictures are. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The following is just me rambling about theoretical color genetics.

Which… well, I’m not quite sure how that happened. Because she’s a calico, and I’m a genetics freak. Well, how many males and females she had has nothing to do with my mild obsession with color genetics. It simply means that I’m confused. See, she’s a calico. Calico coloring – well, tortoiseshell coloring, if you want to be technical – is caused by the “red” gene. The red gene is based off of the “X” genome. You know, as in “XX = female”, “XY = male”? So let’s say red would be X*. A tortoiseshell cat is two of the red chromosones together. X*X*. A red female is one red gene with one regular female chromosome. X*X. A red male is one red gene with a male chromosome. X*Y. (Non-red female, XX, and non-red male, XY, of course.) Which is why you never see males with that coloring. It’s just not possible. Or rather, when it does happene, they’re invariably infertile.

So, she’s a calico. Which, from what I know of genetics, means that no matter with chromosome she passes on to her young – the one they inherit from her will be X*. So they have to be a red-based color. All that jazz.

So the tomcat we’ve been seeing around is orange. I’m thinking, if that’s who bred her… all of the males will have to be red-based. All of the females will be calicos, because they’ll inherit the X* chromosone from their father. When I saw six darkly-colored kittens earlier today, and two red-based kittens, I thought to myself, “Okay, two males, six females.” And then they started to dry. And I realized that only one of the dark kittens is actually a tortoiseshell. The other five are… are… aliens? I haven’t the slightest idea of what they are. But they have to have inherited the X* chromosome from Roxanne. So whatever they are… the gene is dominant over red. And it’s masking it. And I haven’t the slightest idea of what that would be, because the only color genetics I’m familiar with in the world of the domestic cat are red, and … I suppose it would be the dilution gene? The one that dilutes black to blue, and red to cream? Yeah, that one. And I know that “tabby pattern” is dominant over “self-colored”.

So maybe they’re tabbies, and tabbies just look really weird and not remotely tabby-like when they’re newborn. *shrug* Guess I’ll find out! Oh, but the thing is… it’s a little hard to tell at this age – at least for me, since I’m used to puppies and kits (rabbits and rats) – but it looks like we have three females and five males. As in, the five oddly-colored ones are males. The tortoiseshell and both reds are females. Which means she had to have been bred by more than one male.. because poppa had to be a red to get a tortoiseshell baby. And poppa had to be a non-red to get red females out of a tortoiseshell. Promiscuous one, our little Roxanne.

Anyway. If there’s anyone out there who has as obscure of a fascination with color genetics as I do (don’t even get me started on horses, rabbits, or rats, wherein my knowledge is more in-depth) – please enlighten me as to what in the world these colors could be. For those of you who don’t care about that sort of thing but have for some reason stuck with my rambling about color genetics instead of just skipping to the end for the pictures… well, you’re just weird. But here are the pictures.

Momma in the box.

Momma in the box.

Lotsa kittens.

Lotsa kittens.

One of the obscurely-colored ones.

One of the obscurely-colored ones.

One of the reds.

One of the reds.

The tortoiseshell.

The tortoiseshell.

Pyro. Because it looks like a white flame on his face. Or something. I don't know, my mind is weird. Just ask me sometime what his -full- name is. Title and all!

Pyro. Because it looks like a white flame on his face. Or something. I don't know, my mind is weird. Just ask me sometime what his -full- name is. Y'know, if this lil' guy doesn't get adopted, and sticks around to be a barn cat... I won't have any complaints. 😉

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Ambition

The next time that I purpose to do something incredibly ambitious, would someone please put me in a strait jacket instead?

Costich

On the bright side, our two percentage Boer does Em and Costich – who are known more commonly as “Red” and “Sister” because my mother can never recall what I named them – finally had their feet trimmed. When we purchased them, their feet were extremely overgrown, premuch to a state of neglect. We let it slide, though, because the previous owner had an advanced stage of cancer and hadn’t even been able to go to the barn to see his two goats in quite a long time, and was having his son give them feed.

But we got them home. And we knew they needed to be trimmed. And we knew we needed trimmers. And we knew we needed to look up trimming.

I finally got around to researching the trimming process, as well as purchasing the trimmers. Then on Thursday when no one else was home… I got ambitious.

I’m pretty sure they both outweigh me. Solidly. Does anyone know roundabout what a two and a half year old Boer doe weighs in at? I’m pretty sure it’s more than me. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have horns. That’s 2-0 right there.

But I do have opposable thumbs. Which they quite clearly lack. Score one for the human race.

I thought I would try this nifty strategy where I pick up a foot and use the rest of my weight to pin the
victim goat against the side of the barn. It didn’t work so well. Apparently they have a lower center of gravity and greater forward motion than I do. Who knew?

Em

So finally I got Em to the middle of the pen, reached under and grabbed the legs on the far side, and… dropped her where she stood. And sat on her. She was displeased, but I accomplished a lot more than I had been.

I bickered with her sister for about five minutes before I decided that I was being stupid. So I grabbed her, sat on her, and trimmed her feet in no time at all. She was far more cooperative than Em. She didn’t flail. 😛

When all was said and done, eight feet were trimmed. And one human was very tired. And running far behind schedule. I had wanted to be to work by 9:30. It was 10:15 when I came inside.

The final score? You decide.

Em and Costich

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I find the correlation of tax dollars –> subsidies –> HFCS –> consumers to be interesting. Basically, the government is taking our money and sinking it into investing it into a system that increases farmer reliance on the government itself  [gee, that’s handy]. In turn, because we’re producing so much of it, we’ve got to get rid of it somehow. Let’s stuff it into all sorts of places that it has no business to be. Of course, the Corn Refiners’ Association lauds the concept of eating it “in moderation”. But we stick it in everything, because we’ve got so much of it. You can’t eat it in moderation if you’re consuming a typical American diet! So, then we turn around and face lots of healthcare issues that could have been prevented by healthy diet. What do these healthcare issues entail? Greater strain on the healthcare system. Greater cost for the healthcare system. Which means… guess what? The government gets to skife up even more tax dollars to try to fix.

I do love our government. 😉

On a less serious note, we have this spoof of the pro-HFCS ads that the Corn Refiners Association has been throwing out there. One commenter aptly called them passive-aggressive, and I have to say that I agree. They try to label anyone with a bent against HFCS as an uninformed sheep. If being a sheep means that you want to eat something that actually bears some form of resemblance to its natural created form… then by all means, call me a sheep.

And, since they can tell you all of the nitty-gritty nutritional and biological effects in much more detail (and accuracy) than I ever could, I point the skeptics toward an article put out by the Weston A. Price Foundation entitled The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Oh, and then there’s that recent study that they’ve published that shows how they’ve found mercury in HFCS-sweetened food products. Yep. When they tested certain samples, they found mercury in things like Campbell’s Tomato Soup, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, and Heinz Ketchup. I don’t know about you, but these are some of things that we actually… have used. Of course, the CRA is attempting to discredit the study by saying that it is “outdated” and that manufacturers have been using mercury-free HFCS methods for years now. Oh really? Then why is a study conducted in the later part of 2008 finding mercury in foods using HFCS? Why is it even on the shelves? Why are we marketing these items to the population that is most at-risk for mercury damage, mainly – children. I’m really rather curious.

I should really quit ranting before I get into my dislike for AgriBusiness (forget the “culture” in agriculture, folks – we’ve thrown culture out the window like yesterday’s news), the FDA (yeah, their campaign against raw milk with the claim that pasteurization is the only way to safety, is just so incredibly endearing), and our power-hungry federal government… oh, wait. I just came dangerously close to it, didn’t I?

Time to get back to being the responsible in-line young adult and go read my college textbooks.

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