Jun. 16th, 2017

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Oh yes, you can hear her doing a mix of parroting and adapting. She was an early talker. I do know that can be a combo of genetics and circumstance, though– my older sister’s firstborn was a super-late talker, to the point that they’d made an appointment with a specialist because they were worried he might be developmentally delayed or that they were missing some physical impairment or other, and then he started talking, and in multi-word phrases right off the bat too– clearly, the apparatus was there, and he was developing just fine, he just somehow didn’t feel the need to put it together. And then mother-in-law casually mentioned that the baby’s dad had talked super late too and had been fine, which, why she hadn’t mentioned that before I don’t know, but– 

I mean, it’s different from kid to kid, regardless of how they’re spoken to– but an early talker combined with a lot of company from adults who use sophisticated speech… 

It’s funny though, Farmbaby speaks just about as clearly as her cousin, who is two years older than she is. Five-year-old cousin just has unclear little-kid speech, not notably severely impaired or anything, just blurry little-kid stuff with word-substitution mistakes and things. Farmbaby has been a precocious talker ever since she first started. Add in that she’s tall and long for her age, she’s often mistaken for much older than she is, which can be a problem because she’s pretty much otherwise dead-on typical for three, especially in issues of emotional fortitude and such.

Her teachers, at the fancy Montessori pre-k she attends, believe that she’s definitely way ahead, in her brain, of what her body’s capable of, and is always kind of frustrated at not being physically or emotionally capable of keeping up with what her mind wants. 

I sort of feel like Niece is the same way; she gets mad when people can’t understand what she’s saying, but she’s also gotten really good at repeating herself and saying things in alternate ways, and just attempting to sheer-force-of-personality her way out of misunderstandings, which is alternately adorable and terrifying.

Ohhh yes, she’s definitely a tiny asshole, on purpose. 

The only thing that makes up for the greater deliberateness and precision of her assholery is that she genuinely is more emotionally stable. She has tantrums a little, but she can be reasoned with a lot more, and is a whole lot better at understanding delayed gratification and conditional statements.

I managed to force my way into being in her good graces again, today. I realized that if she ever had the option of her mother, she’d scream for her, but if we were too busy and also not anywhere her mother was, she’d chill. So we did activities all morning, all over the damn place in the car and on foot and so on, and meanwhile, Sister caught up on all her planting and weeding. Late this afternoon, when her regular Thursday afternoon playmate was watching her, Sister and I transplanted out the last few flats of things destined for the flower garden, and I was having problems getting the plants out of the flats. Sister laughed. “That’s because they’re actually at the right stage for planting out, not way overgrown,” she explained. “You’re used to only handling really rootbound transplants. This is what happens when we’re actually caught up on planting.” 

I was much slower than her at transplanting, but later when we were putting cookies onto cookie sheets to bake I felt like I redeemed myself; i’m less invested in eating raw cookie dough so I outpaced her pretty convincingly. 
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It’s gotta be related to how all Serious Literature, especially if it is to be inflicted upon children, has to have Pointlessly Tragic Endings, because apparently any kind of plot fucking resolving is just pointless fluff and couldn’t possibly have any deep significance? 

It’s just– what gets me is how totally devoid of self-reflection it always is! It’s similar in reflex to the social construct of the “dad joke”, only way less benign. (And some “dad jokes”, let me tell you, are anything but benign.) (I was raised in a house full of mom jokes, by the way, and my cultural knowledge was all based in moms being the tellers of terrible jokes and purveyors of awful puns. My dad liked jokes sometimes, sure, but it was Mom who’d keep a party moving, and who’d super super embarrass the entire carload of kids with bad fake song versions of whatever was going on. My god, my mother was one giant black hole of embarrassment my entire childhood, I can’t imagine how that’s not universal?) (ANYHOO)

Humor is an exercise in power. Good humor punches up, gets us to rethink things, gives strength through poking holes in the unassailable. The pointless shock-value humor that is so weirdly over-valued by so many needlessly-empowered segments of our society is absolutely all about punching down in every possible way. 

Making jokes about eating pets is gross and mean. 

Making jokes about eating food animals, though. It’s just. Stupid? Pointless? I don’t know. It’s not a perspective most people have, I think– not many people raise and sell animals for meat, so you don’t see it from this point of view often. And it’s so weird, and just– I’m serious, it’s just like this person’s entire ass is showing and they have no real idea, because they’ve never thought for one fucking second about their weird horrible urges. And my God, it is so illustrative, and not of anything good. 

If you like shocking things solely for their shock value and don’t really get any kind of deeper meaning from them, can’t understand any of the underlying reasons, can’t even really understand why something is shocking… I mean, they’re powerful because they make you feel something, but if you only want the superficial boring surface shit without any of the actual underpinning emotional stuff that is what makes it actually work, you’re not… really… I mean, you’re just not paying any attention, and it’s obvious? 

I don’t mean to like, condemn non-intellectuals, it’s just– people who outright refuse to think about shit and then hurt other people with that shit, it’s disgusting. You don’t need to be educated or smart or even particularly observant to notice that, you just have to admit that other people’s feelings exist. Maybe that’s what’s so gross about it.

It’s like. The three-year-old already understands about other people’s feelings more than your average edgelord. How embarrassing for you, to not have a preschooler’s grasp of how social interactions work.
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A post shared by Bridget Kelly (@bomberqueen17) on Jun 16, 2017 at 6:40am PDT

HUGE freight train going by when we were getting grit for the chickens. (at Hoosac Valley Farmers Exchange)
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roasting chicken for tonight’s dinner and this month’s soup, thinking about @bomberqueen17, as you do

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LOLLLLL I’m glad I’m the chicken guts expert. here’s the thing about livers! Cut for discussion of viscera!

Livers have several lobes, they’re soft things that are usually in two kinda approximate blobby sections. There’s a pointed end and a rounded end, and the rounded end has kind of a flap. I think there’s some reason for surface area or whatever.

This is, and I only have vague common knowledge of this, I think how liver transplants work– you can just slice one of those lobes clean off, and take a part of it, and the donor’s liver will regenerate just fine, and the cut off piece, if the transplant “takes”, will grow and regenerate itself pretty well in the recipient’s body. You just gotta get ‘em all patched in, and I can’t imagine how.

Organs are really soft. But livers hold together a little bit. Many of a chicken’s organs, I just plain have never seen, because they dissolve from the pressure when you yank them out. I couldn’t tell you what a pancreas looks like. And like, the intestines have a ton of dead ends, but I couldn’t tell you why or where they actually go inside the chicken. Some of the shit I just think of as “intestine bit” is probably other organs. Who knows. There’s also this weird little liver-colored organ, spherical in shape, that we always find detached from everything, and we can’t guess what the hell it is, but we’ve never like, Googled it or whatever because we don’t think of it except when we’re all poking at one and saying “now what is that thing?”

Livers, though– they’re attached very firmly in at least two places. One is to the gallbladder, and it is a pain in the fucking ass to get the gallbladder off, because if you cut it, it explodes violently green liquid everywhere, and if you pinch it off instead of cutting it, you might succeed but then you might explode violently green liquid everywhere, and I’ve had this shit in my hair and on my face and through three layers of my shirts and– anyway, they’re a pain. 

The other end is attached to the heart, somehow, I don’t know how or why, but often you wind up with both in your hand, and they’re stuck together.

And sometimes the liver comes apart rather than detaching from either of those attachment points. Those attachments are stronger than the thing’s structural integrity.

So sometimes the livers I save are in like three pieces. Usually if they’re any more dissolved than that, I don’t bother saving them, but that’s because we sell livers by the pound instead of with their chickens, so we’re under no obligation to have one liver per carcass. 
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I did another Facebook album of photos from the farm, on the farm facebook page. This time, i figured, since I’d done a recent one of the chicken processing, I should do one about the rest of the time the chickens live on the farm. There’s no industry standard certification for “pasture-raised” the way there is for “organic” or “free range” (and those don’t mean what you probably think), so– there are voluntary labels, but they don’t necessarily mean anything legal. 

So, for ease of explanation, I just did a little photo album– because Farmbaby wanted to go along anyway, and they were moving the egg hens (a once-every-five-days-or-so chore), and it was a beautiful day, and I had my camera– actually showing what the pasture enclosures look like and how they get moved, for the egg and meat chickens.

I posted the video, on Instagram, of what it looks like when you let the egg hens out after moving them, which was entertaining. But here’s the still photos accompanying it, which tell you the story:

Morning Chores: Moving Pastured Poultry, on Laughing Earth’s facebook.

And if that doesn’t work, here’s my favorite photo: 
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FINALLY stitched my favorite oscar quote.

Oh, @bomberqueen17…

This is fantastic. 
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hm. i broke my 79-day streak on duolingo by accident.

i think I’ll stop using the program, it has done me as much good as it’s going to. It neither satisfies as a game– why did it downgrade my fluency to 24% when I completed the tree with a run of perfect-score lessons?– nor actually does much of a job as a teacher of a language– not once did it ever show me a full verb conjugation or explain why an answer was correct or incorrect, or give me any background. And apparently there used to be a translation section on the website, but it’s gone now, so… 

There’s not really much more benefit for me to derive from it, but it was a good fidget for… 79 days or whatever, however long that was. 

If I actually want to get any Spanish back, I’ll have to get more serious about it, read a longer work and devote some real thought to it. But it was almost as fun as it was frustrating, so I’ll give it three out of five stars for that.
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I have had a really icky cold for about four days now and I’m to the point where I’m just trying to work the worst of the mucous out. I think I’m done having fevers etc. But my chest tickles brutally on the inside.

I’m steeping a tea of thyme, hyssop, and lemon balm with honey, but I think it’s the copious amount of gin I’m going to add to it that’s going to do the trick.



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