Authentic Compassion

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sunshine for a while!

The orange/maroon blooms are the same lily shown on 5/27/07 posting about all the rain - amazing what some sun can do for flowering plants. Next picture is the sweet ruffled flower of an apricot colored daylily.

It is over under some oak trees - needs a little coddling but as you can see it is worth it! Two blooms just opened today - they were a gift a year or so ago on Easter - lovely trumpet shape set off by the container of ivy they are currently sharing. The waterlily blooms quickly given sunshine and warmer water - it is in the upper 70's already.

During lunch break I had a few minutes to take and download some "sunny shots". Plants and animals both respond to the warmth. Today we let the goats out in our front drive. Most are gorging on the tall grasses while some were lazing under a clump of oaks and scratching lots of spots created by biting insects after all this rain.

Here is a comparison view- the picture with goats is today - no goats is 5/27 - lots of rain! The topic is done - no more chatting about the rain or end of rain ----until the next 6 or 7 inch rain occurs!

Bless y'all - it is a good thing to be on Buhlaland today.
Updating on inaugural post - Norman is being a good mother - but already wearying of nursing her overeager Boudreaux - he acts like a starving boy when going for mom's meal on the hoof. She tends to just keep strolling along. She isn't rejecting him but she knows he is already able to eat grasses,grain and weeds - he is not totally dependent on her for nutrition. The little dark goat with one white foot (behind Norman) is Blackie's wether - surely tempted to let him stay when we take the wethers to market next week. She (Blackie) seems more content and sure of her place in the herd with offspring of her own (last year she had a stillbirth). I know I tend to ascribe human feelings to the goats based on observing them - up close and personal - for a few years. Most does seem to be stronger and happier with blood relatives around them - maybe it's the familiar smell. I make no claims of knowledge about goat mental states definitely not the Goat Whisperer of Texas.
I was mentioning Blackie (yes she is the solid black doe - somedays we aren't inspired when naming goats ) she is pictured in our front parking spot. You can also see the recently named Violet (white body - brown head with long ears) just in front of Blackie. We've had a month with 21 days of rain - Thank you Lord - the babies are ready to enjoy the drier weather. Another goat posting -there will be fewer when we slow down as the babies are bigger and we aren't changing the composition of our critter herd every few days.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rocky, Mikey and a Smile Break

The goat with no horns in this picture is Rocky - future breeding buck. His family is Mikey - the larger goat next to him. Rocky and Mikey were both bottle fed. Goats will occasionally reject a new born by refusing to allow them to nurse - we don't often know why. Rocky was a puny little fellow but persistent. He tried every "mama possibility" in the pen . After watching the sad attempts and increasing weakness of the little guy -we stepped in and began the bottle feeding process (not a decision to be made lightly - it requires at least a 2 month commitment and we usually wean a little over 3 months). Mikey's mother was only able to nurse one baby although she gave birth to 3. When you bottle feed - the kids seem to develop a bond as if they were biological siblings. Now- almost 5 months later we have a real odd couple. Rocky is smaller, not as aggressive, hornless, but to Mikey - he is family. Rocky always makes me smile - he runs to us - ears looking like airplane wings and making funny chuckling noises. Not far away will be Mikey -bleating like a small donkey - nosing around for a hidden bottle - he has not taken well to being weaned! Anyhow - those are the goat boys who give joy most of the time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day is NOT just about picnics

Memorial Day is about memories of loved ones who answered the call to serve their country. The black and white picture is my father , Robert L. Porter, receiving commendation service bars in 1963 at his retirement ceremony at Walker A.F.B. in Nex Mexico. He served in the United States Air Force for over 23 years and was proud to be part of the defenses of America.
Growing up in the military made us very aware of the value of freedom and the price. Strange how in church yesterday there are so few people who stand up to be honored when the pastor asks who served in active duty military. My husband, Skip, served his country during the Vietnam era and knows the cost as do so many of our generation. Our neighbors son, Zack, is going into the reserves this fall. Our dear friend, Joe, is serving now on a compassionate mission in Central America. Thom Porter, a cousin, is a military chaplain. We have so many loved ones who have answered the call and a few who made the ultimate sacrifice. My Dad's brother died in WWII in the Pacific. The generation of our parents was the one who seemed to truly "get it" about loving others more than self.
We sang "America The Beautiful" yesterday - I love the lyric "O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife. Who more than self the country loved And mercy more than life! " Loving something more than yourself is the hallmark of those who serve - whether military or in any role of putting others above oneself. My Dad - Bob Porter - served his God, his country and his family. Thanks Daddy. For all those still serving - Thank YOU for understanding that the cost must be paid - sooner or later there is a price to pay for freedom. God Bless America, our President and all those who serve.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rainy Day

Since Friday - an amazing 4 inches of rain by 7 this morning. It is late in the afternoon now - and the sun has broken through the clouds in a big way. But this morning - the hostas looked like swimming pools for frogs (sorry didn't catch any in the act). While all this rain will result in beautiful flowers soon - the downpours have beaten down some plants and torn up the blossoms on others. Our driveway became a mud track with streams of water cutting into the sides and running across in front of our house.

Always surprised at how much damage heavy rainstorms can do - but we didn't have hail or high winds so the damage is all going to be repaired by regrowth or tractor! Just outside our breakfast nook windows - we have a tiny pond which is home to a rapidly overgrowing lily - in the lower center of the picture you can see the ripples from drops of rain still falling this morning. Normally we have several of the big pink blooms at one time.

So much for the rain updates! Today was also the Sunday to honor graduates at our church - normally kind of a "yawn" for people who don't have kids in that age group. What a pleasant surprise to have a good message and praise music! The J Walkers praise band did a good job - it was wonderful to have young men singing sincerely "blessed be the name of the Lord" and using their musical talents. The high school youth pastor did a "tag team"sermon with one of the graduating seniors. Their topic was the apostle Peter's frequent very public failures yet he was the rock upon which the church was built. They brought up the concept of raising children not to keep them totally risk free and aimed for worldly success. At some point parents have to release their children. Seemed remarkably timely message (besides the tie in to graduation) since several national news outlets did stories this week about parents in the "helicopter generation" - hovering over the lives of their children. Raise a child up in the way he should go - the path might not be smooth or level but with a solid foundation a person has roots and wings.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Introducing our wonderful barn cat - Moe. He is a tuxedo domestic longhair,a lover not a fighter. The Moester found us while we were building our house and were actually living in our barn. I'd seen Moe at a gas station with convenience store a couple of miles from our place. When he rubbed up against my pants leg I patted his head, got in my car and drove off thinking "what a sweet cat - too bad he is living at such a nasty place. " (Not being tacky -I'd stopped there out of curiosity ,the business was closed a few months later apparently due to being so poorly maintained even the most desperate gasoline customers didn't want to stop.) Within 36 hours of that encounter, we had a cat living in our wood pile making friends with our other pets. (A possibility that the lonely black and white cat memorized and searched out our license tags popped into my overactive imagination). Moe was persistent, we were resistant and he was eventually triumphant. When we made closer contact with Moe we discovered a large, poorly healing wound hidden under all that hair. Adding him to our family required taking him to the vet for a check up, repair and "tutoring". More about tutoring another time. Condensing 7 years - Moe decided he never wanted to roam and has been a wonderful rodent/snake terminator. I realized that this picture had an odd perspective after downloading that day's photos from the digital camera. I was looking at dear Moe who was close to the camera and honestly didn't notice the goats in the background.
Thinking today on perspective -both in picture taking and life. Below is a picture of our buck born last week(who is now being called Boudreaux). He seemed so proud of climbing to the top of what in relation to his size seemed to be a mountain. Struggling up the steep side - stopping to mouth a tasty tidbit here and there - taking a few "joy leaps" on the way. Once atop - he bleated several times as if to say "Hey Ma - look at me - I'm King of the mountain". From his perspective that was a mountain - not a compost pile from recently cleaning out the goat shelter! While writing today - I remembered an old story about a little boy who'd been praying for a pony for his birthday. He walked into his grandfather's barn and saw a huge mound of horse manure. Little fellow grabbed a shovel and began to dig for all he was worth. His grandfather asked him what he was doing. Our positive thinking young man cried out - "with all this horse manure - there HAS to be a pony in here somewhere". Yep - I need to look for more ponies and not focus on the manure sometimes obscuring the view.
Please click on In the Fish Tank link under places worth a click. The author gave gave some different perspectives on what we plan versus what happens with his post from Tuesday May 22.
Bless you and keep a shovel handy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Morning

Good Monday Morning to you! We had a little rain last night so the moisture droplets may be raindrops rather than dew - I love the spent blossoms (spikey, feathery looking things on the end of long stems) contrasting with the purple star blooms.

Yesterday's lunch was pleasant - getting to know a new family and visiting with friends we have known for a while. Didn't make rolls - decided on a beer batter bread - good flavor with the pot roast and roasted chicken. Everyone seemed to enjoy the no milk/ no soy experiments - in particular the apple crisp and chocolate cake. Freshly grated nutmeg makes anything with apples taste so much better.

Busy week ahead - thankful that we have some real estate closings occurring and are going to take our '07 wethers to market in the next few days. The goats are getting big and it is more than time to be back to our smaller herd of mostly does and Rocky the buck-to-be (he isn't very big yet - he was a bottle baby and had lots of setbacks). Probably a late birthing season next year - Rocky won't be up to his new job until late in the fall at best.

Garden is doing OK - we need to till up the area where we had potatoes and broccoli - warm weather vegetables need to fill in now. Tomato plants are doing well although I never did get cages or stakes in place to hold them up. I try to make gardening "easy" and some things work better than others. Last year the garden was overrun with weeds due to no mulch and invasion of bermuda grass.
The odd appearing "mulch" is cut up grain sacks - had to supplement feed the goats so much this winter we had an oversupply of feed sacks! Keeps the weeds down well and definitely lowers the evaporation of moisture. A minor form of recycling?

Busy week - time to get after the real estate part of our lives. Nothing is easy however grateful working in our own business and trust that we can help people by doing what we do well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blooming where you are planted

In the nature of full disclosure - I took this rose picture in a previous blooming season. We have a small garden just outside our breakfast room windows - there are several varieties of daylilies, columbines, the clematis from a few posts ago and roses. The roses are my favorites - they bloomed early this year and are now cut back, fertilized and awaiting the next round of blooming. My dad was an Air Force officer and most air bases we were stationed had Peace roses. His particular part of the Air Force was SAC (Strategic Air Command) and their motto was "peace is our profession". I have good memories of these fragrant showy blooms. I seem to be in a "remembering" mood this morning - the next picture is of a cactus plant my mom's "baby" sister, Aunt Dorothy, gave to us a few years ago. She had dug up a cactus near her home at Lake Whitney and potted it - each year it blooms heavily with neon pink blooms. The yellow blooms with red centers appear on some cactus in our back pastures - this year very few made it to the blossom stage
since in "bud" they are evidently deliciously appealing to our goats! Enough of the blooming reminiscing - it is too overcast today to take pictures so this will be a short posting. Will amend it later today when I'm not on the laptop - trying to post some recipes here but the laptop refuses to cooperate ( I know I know -GIGO!).
Bless you today - blooming where you are planted is a good thing - you have roots that can nourish and the flowers make you appealing.

Does and others

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. Proverbs 15:17

We are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow after church (that would be lunch in other parts of the USA). The menu is challening my culinary inventiveness- there are food sensitivies/preferences involved. Mentioning that is not a complaint - I love the challenge . Currently looks like we'll be having beef pot roast with carrots/potatoes, baked chicken, salad, fruit platter, wheat rolls, apple crisp and an eggfree/milkfree chocolate cake. So there'll be more than vegetables but also fellowship with absolutely NO hatred. To segue to the goats is too complicated so here is the tale of how we started keeping goats:
When you live on even a little acreage in Texas you definitely want to maintain the ag property tax exemption. At least the tax savings was our line of thought when beginning our goat enterprise! fter being given a buck and a wether 4 years ago, we purchased does with some kids and began to fence. The fencing and much of the physical/engineering work falls to my multitalented spouse. I do maternity duty and make runs to the feed store or veterinary supply. A goat herd justifies the agricultural exemption even though definitely not a money maker most years. 2007 has brought a glut of animals on the market - so we are in a holding pattern to schedule selling this year's wethers. We are keeping does born this year. Right now I am still having fun naming the does. In case there are ever people actually reading this blog and you are new to goat terminology a quick dictionary: in a group of goats, male goats are bucks and female goats are does while their babies are kids. My favorite (lame) joke is that goatkeepers are the only people society won't condemn for selling their kids! Anyway - neutered male goats are wethers. Enough classroom - three '07 doe kids need names. First choice of naming rights go to our new friend, Ellie.

This lovely little gal pictured to the right (now officially named Violet) is a twin born in January - her mother's name is Crybaby, she has older half sisters, Hannah and Bananna and is very long legged for her age. She loves to eat tree leaves while standing on her hind legs like her mom. The next candidate (Now known as Montana - rhyming with Bananna and Hannah as well as honoring the TV show)is a granddaughter of CryBaby. CryBaby's identical twin does from 2005 are Bananna and Hannah - this '07 little doe was born to Hannah . She is white with long black ears like her mom and grandmother.

Last but definitely NOT least is Nubiana's little doe (Ta DA! Drum roll please for the lovely and feisty ELLIE )- a fraternal twin born about 7 weeks ago. She is a pretty dark brown color with white - I especially love the big white blaze down her face. Her brother is white with light caramel markings. She is very feisty - never backing down from the older/larger kids and staying very close to her male twin. Unlike her mother - she will have horns - the hornless trait doesn't breed true.
Below is Nubiana - with a bit of plant hanging hanging out of her mouth. She is naturally without horns - we do not dehorn our goats. Nubie is the mother of Norman (shown in previous post). This is the little buck (named Boudreaux - our Cajun attitude little fella - let the good times roll!)born two days ago having a meal with his mom, Norman, protecting him from my camera! Norman is definitely a sweet gal. Her kid from 2006 is a doe named YoYo - which makes Norman "YoYo's Ma" - an affectionate homage to the great cellist!
Today's post is longer than most will be - I'm at the real estate office and it has been very slow today. My hard working husband did mowing around the house and weed trimming around our office. He came across a couple of copperheads - this is a bad year for snakes and we are cautious when the grasses get high. :::shudder::::: one of the goats - Bananna, apparently was snake bitten recently - poor gal had a very swollen head but slowly is recovering. It is always an adventure here - some adventures have happy endings! See y'all later.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Inaugural posting! What a strange day to pick to do this - a Thursday in May - only reason I could find to post is that I had a need to accomplish at least ONE thing today! Our lives are busy - my husband has been setting fence and gate posts to finish fencing in our drive and very front area. One of our favorite goats, Norman, just had a very difficult birth of a healthy little buck. Norman's name is another story for another day - but here is our favorite "head shot" of her.