Sunday, January 30, 2011

I need a hobby.

Just one hobby. My problem is I want to do so much. My "bucket list " is now into Volume 8. I start one hobby and then decide I want to do another and another. First it was decorative painting. Then birdhouses out of gourds, then skydiving, (I can dream people) then photography (which I still love and play with) and now I'm goofing around with soaps, late at night when  I should be sleeping.

My newest venture started out looking like regurgitated pea soup.

I was sure this would be another fine batch for the home only supply. But as soap can do when heat and lye are involved, it morphed into this...

Now isn't that interesting ? A softer green and the little globs of whatever it was are going away. So I cut it into bars and 7 days after that I am rewarded with this...

Ingredients: Organic cows milk, organic coconut oil, lye, palm oil, olive oil, Tuberose essential oil and purple coloring
Isn't that cool ? Like dessert sand, or moon dust or residue from the nearby hazardous waste processing plant. I love it !  And the stuff actually lathers up very nicely and took on the the right amount of the Tuberose scent I added. So I named it after Elpheba. You don't know Elpheba ? You probably are not familiar with the Gilikinese either are you ? Read much ?  Elpheba or "Elphie" as I lovingly refer to her as, is the Wicked Witch of the West. In the book Wicked her side of the Oz story is finally told. An extremely hard to put down book. (Thank you Raven). Elpheba is hard on the outside but has a very sweet center. Just like my soap. Buy some now ($4.50 a bar S&H included) before the Jikinoph police call and make me stop using her name.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2 + 2 = 10

The new math. Never easy for me. Now it is just impossible. Two weeks ago we had four calves to bottle feed and no new deliveries expected. Good news in that it meant not so much time spent outside with calves. Bad news because in order to sell beef you must have steers to butcher. And steers my friend come from ? Yes, Carnac The Magnificient. you are correct . The answer is "What are calves ?"

An example of a calf.

So a trip to the calf store was needed. A couple of phone calls and an email or two and Keith was on his way to northern Illinois. There we found Krista Lidell and her organic dairy and some gorgeous Holstein calves. They were healthy and happy where they were, but still Keith convinced them to "go south" for the winter. Three hours later he and the new group were settled in on the balmy acres of South Pork Ranch. Everyone knows Central Illinois is much warmer than Northern Illinois. Sometimes by as much as 3 degrees.

Caring for 10 calves instead of 4 is not all that different. Except for 6 additional bottles, and enough additional straw for six hutches, and we needed 6 new collars as ours were pretty torn up and then a few more hooks to connect the collars to the 6 new lengths of chains to attach the 6 new calves to their hutches. And then 6 new pages of calf records to record where these little critters came from and how old they were and of course MORE PAPERWORK to prove they were indeed organic and Keith just didn't pick them up at Big R's Mid Winter Parking Lot Sale. And oh yeah, since they were all bull calves that meant 6 castration dates. (And you thought  blind dates were bad.) What did I forget ? Yes ! 6 ear tags to be inserted so all calves could be tracked through our massive farm.

Example of more than one calf
Yeah. Six more calves is really no big deal at all.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In a lather about rectums

January continues and so does our farm planning. We're no where near a ten year plan or a five year plan, in fact coming up with a one year plan is getting difficult. Especially since technically it will only be an 11 month plan, that is IF we finish up the plan before end of month.

Life keeps getting in the way.

The problem of today..the prolapsed rectum. Oh, don't be so sensitive. Farm blogs can't be about sunsets and soap making all the time. Well, its not my fault you haven't finished your breakfast. Get up earlier.

The rectum in hand, so to speak, belongs to one of our our smaller Red Wattle feeder pigs. A runt from the beginning. As soon as we noticed it, we tried to gently reduce it (Keith found the best angle and had the best results) and we separated the piglet from the others it was running with. Then I did some web research and talked to another pig farmer friend. Prognosis is poor and I expect we'll be euthanizing said piglet soon. To avoid future occurrences we'll follow some of the suggestions of the more experienced  pig farmers.

Seems the problem is often genetic and culling that gene from the herd (over time) is the best remedy. In the meantime prolapsed rectums can be avoided by providing large amounts of water, hay, good bedding and room to stretch out. Pigs are groupies though. They like to be with each other and in the winter have been known to lay on each other thus increasing abdominal pressure and adding to the problem.

So we looked at our largest group of pigs.

Looks cozy and spacious. Room for both the bacon and the eggs. But if you pan that eye of yours to the left

You can see how the hogs like to snuggle. Outside of this barn is lots of pasture and room to run but when it is cold pigs will lie together for warmth and debauchery.  So today, after Keith takes yet another hog to the locker, we'll talk about how to move which hogs where and when. Yesterday we tried to warn them of the upcoming moves

But when there is milk in their feeder, attention span is short.  So come on you fellow pig farmers out there. Tell us how you deal with the prolapse issue. How often do you see it , what do you do about it and how do you avoid it ? And thanks again to Walter Jeffries who covered the topic so much better , which I swear I did not know until I was researching this here blog and THEN looked at his blog to find he had blogged about said rectums several days earlier . That's my story and I am sticking to it. Your honor Sir.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Take the High Road and I'll Take a Nap

Me last summer. The heat always gets to me. I prefer the cold.
Really, I'm serious. I just want to nap. Phones off, drapes pulled, blanket over my head. Not a long nap. Just that brief kind to reset all your buttons, reconnect the loose synapses, readjust the worn down connections. Just a little snooze that lasts oh, say...three or four weeks. After that I'm sure I'll be fine.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Story of M

We love our customers. No one has better customers than we do. No one.

Yesterday was a busy day. Many customers came to the farm store.  Some had called ahead (not required unless you are getting milk for the first time) some were just drop- bys. Then "M" called. A tragic accident had just occurred in her home, in Chicago. Her beloved dog had knocked over her bottle of farm fresh raw milk. All that goodness now coating her floor. There was a bit of panic in her voice. "May I drive down and get more ?"

Of course.

So late evening as dark descended "M" made the TWO HOUR trek to our farm and replensihed her milk supply. Then she stopped at the store and picked up some meat. Keith gave her directions home and off she went down the dark and lonely country road.

A few minutes latter, a phone call. "M" was stuck in a ditch. She had gotten disoriented by the snow covered road thinking the ditch to her right was another lane ! Poor Dorothy we thought, she's not in Kansas anymore. We hopped in the truck, tow rope in hand and found her about a mile from our farm.

She was so embarrassed and apologetic. Keith hooked up the rope and I pulled her vehicle with the truck while Keith pushed. She was out in no time. Directions and encouragement were given again. Off she went. Eager, I am sure, to return to the safety in numbers she was accustomed to in the big city.

Thanks "M" for loving our milk soooo much you would drive 4 hours to get more. YOU are the customer of the month. A prize ? Yes, she does deserve a prize. What shall it be ? Ideas ?

"M" in disguise. She is our hero

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time for a long soak

Many years ago when I was a young, innocent, blushing bride, oh wait, that wasn't me. Anyway, many years ago when I had been married to Keith just a few months, he told me the biggest lie of all time. He said, and I quote, "Don't worry, things always quiet down in the winter." Funny guy. Hee-lair-e-us. Life on the farm never "quiets down" but it does shift focus from one season to the next.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs this month, we are in full planning mode. Except that we are continually interrupted by farm life itself which makes the planning part laborious. So on occasion when the timing is right and son Jason is free to do chores (he works full time for another farmer because THIS farmer can't yet afford to hire him full time but one day...) the husband and I take off for some R and R. Sometimes all we can spare is a few hours. We'll leave after morning chores, go out for lunch, visit a few antique stores, and then arrive back at the ranch in time for evening chores.

The time away may be short but it helps.

The best trips are the ones where we actually get to stay away overnight, Again its rare and depends solely on the relief milkers schedule , but when it happens we are so very appreciative. Giddy in fact. But until that opportunity comes again I'll just have to be content with a long soak in our claw foot tub upstairs. Once I clean it out. I told you, housekeeping has been on the bottom of my list lately.

A little piece of heaven at The Burren Perfumery, County Clare , Ireland

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hillbilly Transportation

This is my Gator. Minus the wheels, and the engine and a seat and a few other accessories. Don't get me wrong. Keith and I are far from Amish, (hmmm "Far from Amish " another  great name for a band) but our equipment list is on the small side or I should say the very used side. We have two tractors. I call them the Big Tractor and The Kubota. We do not have any of those 3 or 4 wheeled devices that are great for smaller chores so we invented this modern marvel, the Milk Mobile. Fairly simply to operate which works well since the operator herself is fairly simple. One loads the milk bottles into a crate to avoid  tippage, then positions herself in front of the purple plastic and then PULLS towards the area of desire. PUSHING is possible but impractical since the sleds back end is knee high to a raccoon. (Yes raccoons have knees, could you try focusing ?!?)

The sled was rescued by Keith years ago on a drive by dumpster road trip. Annoyed once again, I ignored the additional inventory until the first snow following its acquisition. Seems the designer of said sled knew of what he was molding. The dang thing slid well through the snow even with a very full load of calf bottles. Certainly much easier than this Midlife Farmwife dragging her rusty red wagon through the drifts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bone Marrow Soap

This soap making learning curve has tuned into more of a Tilt-O-Whirl ride with one of the really scary carnies at the control. You know the one I mean. Tattoos on each finger that spell out "wicked boy", Elvis hair from the Valium- crushed into- his- peanut- butter- sandwich days and of course the carnie would be wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt but Floyd would be spelled "Floid" because the T-shirt was made by a friend of his. Yeah that is what my newest batch of soap looks like.

I tried the PVC pipe trick to make round bars. That part went OK.

Why thank you. I love the table too. Son Jason made it for me
for Christmas last year
 It seats about 30 as long as folks don't mind lap sitters.

 It was the coloring past that went AWOL. My intent was swirls. Instead I got this,

Can anyone tell me the number for 911 ?
Charming huh ? Like The bruised leg of a gangster that has been at the bottom of Lake Michigan for 3 months. It was suppossed to look beautiful and elegant like this  (Oh I love those Beekman boys)

So the hardest part of this deal to price it ? Or better yet what shall I name this batch of soap. "Ecchymotic Essence ?" or "Purple Repugnance ?" And shall I cut it across the grain or with the vein ? I've said it before and I'll say it again...(in a deep crop sharers voice) "No-body knows the trouble I've seen, nobody knows the sorrrrrowwww. " Yeah, I hear ya, maybe I shouldn't have left that great paying night job.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Working in the PNU

That would be Pig Neonatal Unit, the PNU. A specialized care unit for premature piglets who due to no fault of their own end up out in the cold. I blame myself and Keith blames himself and the pigs have moved on to other things

Our Red Wattle Lacey was showing a little udder. Keith suggested we move her into our maternity pasture. It was late Thursday night , we'd been gone all day in Chicago and evening chores still had to be done. I told him I was sure she'd be fine until morning. I was wrong. She farrowed and the next am Keith found 4 dead babies and one barely alive all alone. He mother outside the hutch reading the recent "Agri-News" issue, seemingly no longer involved with her babes. Keith scooped up the last survivor and brought her inside.

As a rule, our farm motto is "live and let die" meaning that animals that do not make it past day one or two are usually meant to die. They are weak or malformed and saving them is generally not best. But, we are humans and piglets are sooooo cute. So in she came , and she was named by granddaughter Allana. Big mistake. "Princess" started to grow on us.

She was cold, so she got a warm bath, umbilical care and some eyes drops. (From the bath, I accidentally got some water in her eyes)

After that we fed her first with a syringe and then by evening she was doing so well she was drinking from a baby bottle. Within 12 hours of birth she was scooting well across the kitchen floor and climbing out her basket. We mover her highness to a bigger both. Her last feeding was at midnight. When I woke the next morning she had taken a turn for the worse. I suspected some internal injuries due to a cut on her side that may have come from being stepped on.

I prepared the family for the worse, and the grand kids said goodbye. Well Allana said goodbye. Wes, age 3 wanted to know if he could have more pudding. Hey ! We all deal with grief in our way. Soon after, the little swine passed on. Allana asked many questions about what would happen to her body and we talked a little about decomposing and going back to the land via our compost pile. She asked if we could lay the piglet out on top of my short bookcase. I asked  why,  thinking she just wasn't ready to say goodbye yet. Her answer..."I want to see the body fall apart "

Hmmm. Future Coroner maybe ?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sunday Night Fever

Sometimes you just gotta dance...

Ham Lake
 Especially when stress and snow levels are high and young ones can't be outside as much. Interpretive dance is our favorite here on South Pork Ranch. No rules being the best rules at least for a little while.

Pretty impressive since neither of them have any idea who John Travolta is

Its sad how as a child dancing whenever the mood hits you comes so naturally and then over time we begin to feel self conscious, shy, embarrassed and  the urge to dance just disappears.

Break dancing is not just native to the city you know
Dance a little. Dance some more. You'll feel better. But you might want to turn some music on first. It looks a bit less psycho that way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Death by Paperwork

I have a dream. I live on a farm with my mate. We grow things, some animals, some vegetables, some fruits. We harvest and freeze or can them. We eat them. We write none of it down except maybe some info WE want like which breeds grew best and which carrots tasted most like carrots. We keep one little book each year and it is a beautiful book with a hand painted cover and paper made by fairies. We fax, copy, scan, file, attach...nothing.

But I am sure I would still blog.

The simple life. I yearn for it but yet I continue to make our life more complicated by adding new projects, products and procedures. There is this paper monster inside of me who loves to make posters, newsletters, signage. A monster who loves to play around with blog settings and designs, word perfect documents and organic files. But beneath all that is this smaller creature who is gaining strength who wants LESS. Less stuff, less paperwork, less documentation, less filing, less computer, less phone.

Take for example the sale of our meat. Ideally you would come to my store, pick out a steak you liked. I'd say, "That will be $7.  You pay me. Or you trade me a pasture raised chicken for it. I say THANK YOU

The reality is, you come to my store, you pick out a steak. I weigh it and charge you according to my price list. Then I write it all down on a sales slip. You get a copy and I keep the original. After you leave I carry the sales slip and the $ into the house. I pull up Quicken and log in the sales (date, type of product sold, amount paid and type of payment) as well as the number of the check you paid with. The sales slip then goes into a large 3 ring binder in alphabetical order. Double documentation because I do not trust computers. After one year I take all those slips put of the binder and file them because one day someone might complain about the meat and I feel the need for a strong and long paper trail. I blame heath care. I was in that system so long and risk and liability are two words I grew up with.

I really do hate those two words. I would rather structure my life around these two words, Trust and Dependability.

Piglet on outside of sled. "This hay had better be good"
Piglet inside the sled " Oh it is, these farmers are the most dependable and trustworthy ones I have ever worked with . By the way have you seen Baconnella lately ? She's been missing a few days." 

So farm planning day 11. Must simplify farm processes and develop customer trust through a dependable farm practices. Sounds like a mission statement to me. See ? I can't quit.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Finally, after a week of playing around with blog design and colors, font size and type, gadgets and gidgets, I believe I am satisfied (for now) with the final results. My hardest struggle was with the picture behind my blog title. (Scroll up) I played with several farm pictures I'd taken of our own place, our own critters but none of them felt exactly right. Then tonight when I came home from Springfield and I started making dinner for my own farmhand I noticed this old cookbook on my counter.

My mother-in-law Lois gave it to me and I loved it the minute I saw it.  How could I not ? The farm wife on the cover looks just like me ! That softly curling brown hair, her tender smile, that diminutive waist. The way she rings that bell with so much power causing men and boys to RUN to her. And how about that bow on her apron.? Pure perfection. She is one all together glamorous  farm wife. Yup. Dairy Barbie. That's me.

Is the picture copyrighted you ask ? I'm looking into that right now. The cookbook was published in 1945. Not sure if they even had laws back then. Certainly not laws about what a individual could and could not eat. I mean most of the recipes in it call for REAL BUTTER and RAW MILK, can you imagine ?!?! (Like this chick ever ate real butter. Much more likely she was smearing it all over her face to keep it wrinkle-free  while  she paid her neighbor Fat Georgia to do all the cooking 'cause anyone with half a brain in their head knows skinny farmwifes couldn't make an edible biscuit if their perfect little life wrapped up in the perfect little apron depended on it.) Did I just write that out loud ?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chilling out in Springfield

You know what they say, "All work and no play"  made Jack Nicholson a very rich man. I just re-read my last two blogs and they were heavy, man. So no farm planning tonight. I spent the day in more workshops and seminars at the Illinois Speciality Crop, Agritourism and Organic Conference. Good stuff ! Especially liked the one on Social Networking. Found several more ways to let you good folks know what is going on at South Pork Ranch. Places like and 

I also enjoyed the conferences dress code. In my 25 yrs as an RN I have attended many workshops but folks there were on the uptight side. Lots of suits, fake alligator briefcases and Rush Limbaugh ties. The scene down here is slightly more relaxed. Carhart jackets and Eddie Bauer sweaters, backbacks instead of leather totes and cell phones instead of cell phones. Some things don't change. Well, maybe they do. Many folks carrying SMART phones or maybe it just seemed that way since that is high on my wish list right now. Just think. I could Tweet while feeding sows, post my Facebook Status while bedding calves. And if I could just find a way to swing a Kindle as well, I could snuggle up in my chair in the horse barn to finish reading Wicked.

Ah the possibilities.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Buying over Spilled Milk

Continuing on with our farm plan for 2011, I must also continue to review the good and bad of 2010. Keep in mind, planning is being done from afar. Due to the wonders of my laptop I am writing this from my hotel room in Springfield. I am attending the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference, (AKA I-SAG) and after spending the day learning about farmers markets, (turns out they are markets composed mostly of farmers...who knew ?) I am all settled into my semi-deluxe $50 a night room. The completely deluxe $55 a night rooms were already grabbed up by the Mary Todd Lincoln Impersonators Convention.

Energized for an evening of work with my bag of Pepperidge Farm Cookies (Milano Double Chocolate of course) and a big bottle of Vitamin Water concocted by some guy named Glaceau, I am once again WRITING about our farm work while husband Keith is DOING the farm work. I have been gifted with 3 days off the farm and I am grateful. Keith has been gifted with three days sans me and he was downright giddy when I left him. Well , underneath the fake sad face he was giddy.

So lets start with the dairy, the backbone of our farm. It was our initila  venture back in 1995. For the first decade of the dairys existence we sold milk to Foremost and struggled to stay in the black.We stayed afloat with my nursing career income. What we lost in money we gained back in experience, the security of having at least one parent home full time and in education on how to market our beef products. Our dairys bottom line further improved when we began selling to more raw milk customers. Since April of 2010 our average monthly raw milk sales were $1500. Our milk sells for $4 a gallon and so math wizards,  that means we sell  375 gallons of milk each month to raw milk loving customers. I should know. I did the math three times. Before April 2010 we averaged $200/month or only 50 gallons a month sold directly to consumers who came to the farm with their own container.

This is without any written advertising. No print ads in the paper, no flyers in local businesses, no mention of raw milk on our business cards. Our attorney tells us Twitter, Facebook and my blog do not count as advertising since they are all free to use and considered personal. Imagine how raw milk sales could improve if we could only advertise. Any unsold milk is fed to our hogs in a cultured form full of healthy antibodies. In addition we have virtually no competition in the raw milk business. Of the few dairies around us, none of them are selling raw milk as they all sell to Foremost as we used to and are forbidden by the company to do so.

There are a handful of dairies in the Chicago area who sell raw milk but we don't consider that real competition as there are so many more customers looking for raw milk than there are dairies willing to sell it.

One of our calves listening very closely to our on site "Cow Whisperer"

So what are our raw milk related problems ? They are:

 1. Price. We need to raise ours as organic feed is escalating due to the increase in conventional feed
This will be good if we don't go too high, we don't want to lose customers. But if we keep it too
low our expenses will exceed our costs. In business terms that would be...bad.

2. Availability. Our hog business continues to grow. If we are advertising "milk fed pork" then they better be MILK FED. So we must be careful not to oversell our raw milk to people customers and possibly have too little milk for our porcine population.

  3. Herd size.  This issue refers to number 2 above in regards to milk production and in regards to
 pasture availability. We only have 50 acres total to work with. We own 10 we rent 40.  If we increase the hogs, we'll need more milk, which will require more cows which will need more pasture. Can we rent more from our landlord ?  How will that cost fit into our budget ? And if so how long until that land is ready for organic certification ? And who do you think will do THAT paperwork ?   Hmmmmmmm.?

So those are our primary dairy related issues. By no means is this an all inclusive list but it does hit the major issues. Our problem list grows longer each day, but I promise our opportunity list will be longer. if I ever get finished with the problem list.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A year in review

OK quick, who can find the mistake on our business card?  Got it ? Yup. The word horomone should be HORmone. See what happens when the proofreader is also the secretary and the relief calf feeder, and the laundress and the chicken egg collector and the cook and the bookkeeper ? Mistakes happen. Just one more thing to put in our 2010 yearbook.

No, I'm not going to attempt to review our entire farms operation in one blog, but I thought I would start tonight and continue through the week. Keith and I have so very much to review such as what worked, what didn't, WHO worked, who didn't. We need to rip apart the finances (ouch !) and decide where else expense reductions can be made  and which areas must we pour some more money into and then decide where that money will come from. We need a one year plan, a five year plan and a ten year plan. We do not need a 15 year plan because in 10 years and one day I will be reclining in my leather club chair in front of my roaring peat fire in my little cottage on the Cliffs of Moher. Really, it could happen. Those derelict cottages clinging to the side of the cliffs are already half price this year.

So before we can plan we need to review. These are the primary profit centers of South Pork Ranch, and I use the word "profit" quite loosely.

     Certified Organic Dairy which provides
               Raw Milk for sales to
                      direct customers who come to the farm to get milk
               Organic Beef from steers and cull cows for sales to
                     direct customers by the quarter, half and whole
               Grocery stores by the piece

     Certified Organic Pastured Pork which provides
               Organic Pork for sales to:
                      Direct customers by the half and whole
                      Grocery stores by the piece
                      Restaurants by the half and the whole

     On site Farm Store which provides
              Organic beef and pork by the piece to the consumer
                      who drives to our farm.
              Honey in the bottle from our own hives
              Homemade soap.
              Organic corn meal and wheat flour produced by a farmer friend
              T-shirts with our farms' logo.

That concludes the profit part of our farm. Or at least those areas with the largest potential for profit. Tomorrow I will spend time on Quicken looking at those areas of most activity. I am sure meat sales will rise to the top, yes even higher than the cream on our organic milk, but in order to plan for this next year I will need to know which meat (beef or pork) and then which cuts were most popular.

Ground beef or Italian Sausage ? Pig feet or beef stew meat ? Meat by the piece or by the carcass. Bacon ? Of course. We can never keep enough bacon around. Last night I saw a couple of our customers out in the hog pasture with Kinsu knives just waiting for a "sudden death."  Like those pansy handed, Nike wearing, ranch house dwellers would even know how to cut slab bacon out of a pork belly. Get real. Well maybe Mike Manahan  could do it but not you other city slickers.

So I have work to do. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sappy New Year

'I had planned to blog today about our farm,  "A year in review," but the events of the day left me with no desire to do something so serious. Instead, I met my daughter at the halfway point between our two homes, juggled three grandkids from one vehicle to another and brought them home with me. There we cream man.

Husband Keiths' complicated recipe goes like this: raw cream from this mornings milking, sugar, vanilla and a Kitchen Aide  ice cream bowl that attaches to my Kitchen Aide mixer. The raw cream is skimmed off the top of a five gallon bucket of raw milk. "Raw" is the key ingredient in this recipe. Since the milk is neither pasteurized or homogonized  it is known as raw and we believe, much healthier. All those good antibodies swimming around boosting our immune systems. Yum.  The rich taste, the thick texture, Dairy Queen becomes Dairy Jester when compared. The whole ice cream making process takes about 30 minutes including the time it takes for 3 yr old Wesley to taste the "ooger." (He has a hard time with the letter S" )

Then the girls set the supper table with 6 bowls (Uncle Jason dining with us tonight) while this Yaya whipped up some chocolate syrup. Then the fun, and the mess, began.

Allana grins her approval of her first supper of the New Year

Nicole agrees.
Wesley and Papa confirm the raw icecream whether mixed with chocolate
or taken directly off the beater makes for a great supper.


Oh yeah, blog background # 5. Tomorrow the final decision. Maybe.

Rocky Mountain High

So, blog background #4. Makes me feel wet and cold, like one of the survivors in the movie "Alive".  So probably won't keep this one either. But it will do long enough to tell everyone Happy New Year. May this one bring peace to those who never ask for it but have truly earned it.