We’re Baaaaaaack!


Losing Cook Dollar Barn was one of the worst experiences we have lived through. It wasn’t just a store; it was an important social hub for the Pajari Girls, and our little town, too. Every day, the list of people and things we miss gets longer. And when people told us that there must be something even better around the corner, we KNEW they were lying.

Now, we are headed back. Back in “A Barn, if not “The Barn”.

So here’s the scoop: barring zoning, insurance or licensing issues, Her Highness The Queen of Poo (Lois) is hoping to open the Peterson family homestead as a petting farm/ event location this summer! Can we get a whoop whoop??

farm barnherd, pony, llama, goat, sheep

farm, barn, cat  

great pyrenees, dog, boy, farm

walli, corgi, dog,

goat, farm, pajari girls

alpaca, farm, pajari girls

pony, farm, horse. girl guinea hens, fowl, poultry bunny, rabbit, zip, hens, chickens, farm, eggs Flemish Giant, rabbit, bunny donkey, the farm, pajari girls

Frost


Here in northern MN, bitching about the weather and the 9-month-long winter is a sport, a hobby, a point of pride, and a way of life. It wasn’t really working for me, though. I have found that hating things I have no control over hurts me a lot more than the thing I am hating. It doesn’t mean I long for -40F in July–I just try to spend less energy on stuff I can’t change and more energy on the stuff I CAN. So I’m trying to hate it less. Prozac also helps. And a tanning bed. But I digress.

These are my favorite shots (so far) of frost this winter. They are of hoar frost on the Norway Pines and a couple windows in my house, taken on two different days. This lovely wiki article explains the different types of frost. “Hoar” -yes, pronounced just like “whore”…haha.- comes from an Old English word meaning “looks old”. I can hear the Spawn yelling “Nerd Alert!!” already. Whatever.

The window pics were taken during our week-long Get Inked with the Pajari Girls Tattoo Party when it was -30F and colder. (We felt sorry for the Texan tattoo artist who had never been Up North, but he seemed to man up pretty well. Still working on THAT post.)

The outside pics were taken on a much warmer day.

As usual, if you found this post amusing, helpful, disturbing , inspiring, or not a total waste of your time, please Like, Share, Comment or Pin this shit stuff. If you are raising your hand ‘cuz you fell behind, click the button to Follow Via E-mail. Then you won’t miss anything. These things let me know what you think is worth reading/writing about. Thanks!! Loveyabye.

Liebster Award


Liebster Award

“The Liebster Award is given to up-and-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  The word ” Liebster” comes from the German language and can mean the sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, most beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Thank you Heather, of Ramblings of a Hedge Witch, for the nomination! 🙂 The toughest part was figuring out how many followers each blog had. There were a few that I couldn’t find any stats on, so I hoped and included them anyway.

Cliff’s Notes on how it works: I answer 11 questions, share 11 random facts about myself, nominate 11 bloggers, and write 11 questions for them to answer. (Full rules at the end.)

The questions I was supposed to answer:

1) Why did you start writing a blog?

Mary Conger told me to. Bossy Big Sister seconded. Motion carried.

2) What is your favorite work of fiction?

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

3) How would you describe your personal philosophy/spiritual path?

Seeking balance.

4) What has impressed you lately?

The snow llama. (http://pajarigirls.com/2012/12/16/weekly-photo-challenge-delicate/)

5) What has depressed you lately?

The Sandy Hook tragedy.

6) What advice would you give your younger self if you could go back in time ten years?

Can I make a joke about getting a defense lawyer instead of a divorce lawyer?

7) What are your vices?

Smoking, cussing, being late.

8) What would you like to achieve in 2013?

I want to be Employee of the Year at Cook Dollar Barn. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. But will my sister acquiesce?? Nooooo.

9) Describe your personal style.

In public? Jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts.

10)  What is your favorite city?

Philly 🙂

11) Name something that always makes you smile.

Playing ball with Walli; Corgi butts drive me nuts. That is funny stuff.

Questions for my nominees:

1.) Does YOUR sister pick on you, too? Nagging and such?

2.) When was the last time you shoveled poo?

3.) What would be the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?

4.) How YOU doin’? (It’s just not the same without an up-nod and a bad Sopranos accent.)

5.) What do you want to be when you grow up?

6.) If you could live anywhere on earth (and take whomever you wanted along), where would it be?

7.) What do you admire most about yourself?

8.) What would you most like to change about yourself?

9.) What are you waiting for?

10.) Why did you start blogging?

11.) What is the most-watched movie/DVD in your collection?

11 things you might not know about me:

1.) I hate this part.

2.) I know how to harness and drive a team of horses.

3.) I have been a mom since I got pregnant at 16.

4.) I always wanted to be a truck driver/ heavy equipment operator.

5.) I can play 3 instruments, though not well: piano, trumpet, and guitar.

6.) The activity that makes me happiest is gardening.

7.) The first deer I shot was a 12-point buck. Really pissed off the Chicago boys lol.

8.) I have Rheumatoid Arthritis…I spent 18 months in a wheelchair and give myself a shot in the stomach twice a week to keep that from happening again. (There also a million other things I need to do to stay upright, but that is the one that seems to freak people out the most.

9.) We Pajari Girls speak in movie shorthand–if you haven’t seen The Boondock Saints, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Practical Magic, and The Big Lebowski, you will totally miss what the hell we are talking about most of the time.

10.) I had the WORST taste in men. Mr. Wonderful endured a committee of friends and family members, as well as a 3 page application, a note from his doctor, and a background check. It was worth it. (PS I did the same for him, under orders from my bossy sister, aka Head of the Committee. )

11.) I am always out of the running for Parent of the Year by mid-January. (See #3.)

And the nominees are (in no specific order):

Quite Contrary

Hammer Like a Girl

Verbatim Gibberish

Everyday Gurus

Trophy Daughter

Catherine Holm

Rice River Ramblings

whiskeytangofoxtrot

momuverse

Blaise Lucey

Superkat Wins

Here are the RULES –

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure you notify the blogger that you nominated them!)
  • You write 11 NEW questions directed toward YOUR nominees.
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your own blog.

You paste the award picture into your blog, Google it or steal mine.

Goodbye Mr. Stinky Droolface


We said our final goodbyes to Stinky on Friday, when it became apparent that the cancer was hurting too much for the pain meds, and he started throwing up. There are so many things I want to say about this gentle giant, but for once I’m pretty much speechless. Here’s to the world’s biggest lapdog, Mr. Stinky Droolface, aka: Harley the Mastiffosaurus Wrecks.

The following is a WordPress Gallery, which is a fancy, foofy name for a slideshow. Click on any image to start.

Here is Part One and Part Two of Stinky’s Story, if you missed them.

Here’s a video I took a few weeks ago.

Mr. Stinky Droolface Part 2


If you’re raising your hand (because you fell behind,) here’s Part One.

mastiff, corgi, oak
This IS his happy face. And Gus’ frustrated-to-be-juuuust-out-of-reach face.

Long story short, Mr. Stinky Droolface seemed to be in good spirits today around lunchtime. Got him to eat, and he still insists the water bucket outside tastes much better. He isn’t using his right hind foot much, but he made the rounds, checking on Little Bit the pony, Jai the Ginormous White Slobbering Dog, and finally settling himself in a sunbeam near GusGus.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems Stinky’s telling the puppies important dog things. I hope so. Like reminding the Herd that the ruminants belongs IN the fence, unless they are on a leash like Little Bit.

There are so many great pics of all the creatures of The Funny Farm, I decided to try a slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mr. Stinky Droolface


“Stinky’s getting to be a Grampa Dog,” my sister pointed out two years ago when gray started showing in his muzzle and he started limping like me on rainy days.

Impossible. In my head he is still a puppy. He’s 180 lbs of drooling, woofing, farting Mastiffosaurus Wrecks, so it’s not his size… I guess it’s because my son is still a boy, at 10 years old. They have grown up together, and I think that’s why it’s so hard for me to accept that his life is very nearly over.

baby and mastiff puppy
My sister Lois refereeing Stinky and Danny Boy
Mastiff
UNCLE!! He took my ball again!!!

Over the last few weeks, his knee had begun to swell, so Lois took him to the vet. It’s cancer, it’s growing very fast, and he is too old and arthritic for amputation to be an option. We are treating him for pain and inflammation, but the bones can’t take much more. Very soon, he’ll have to be put down.

I keep telling myself that dying is a part of living. That 8-10 years is the life expectancy of a large breed dog.  This still sucks. So I reviewed the 5 Stages of Grief Model.

I believe Kübler-Ross is right; grieving is a process. It’s normal to be angry, try to “bargain” loss away, get depressed and/or accept it. Sometimes all in the same day. These stages don’t happen in order, one time each, and then go away.

I always thought denial was such a terrible thing. Then a few years ago someone very wise explained that denial is actually a very useful coping mechanism. It gives our minds and hearts a little time to catch up to reality. While part of me is saying, “No no no no nope. Not today. Forget it. NO storm. E-I-E-I-NO,” etc. another part of me is slowly accepting life on life’s terms. And one of those terms is that nothing lives forever.

Sometimes, people use this as a reason to not have pets (or relationships..been there!). And I can see why it’s tempting. Losing a pet is painful. Every time we lose an animal, part of me says, “Eff this; never again.” But that doesn’t last long. (Anger, lol 😉 ) The benefits of unconditional love far outweigh the inevitable pain of loss. Every time.

So I guess now it’s real. I’m gonna go rub his belly and let him slobber on my face and WOOF at my big purple hat because it scares him when we wear different clothes.

mastiff

Weekly Photo Challenge: BIG


Great Pyrenees
Jai is a BIG lapdog.

The Weekly Photo Challenge asked that we write about what “Big” means to us. I chose one of my sister’s dogs, Jai. He lives at  The Funny Farm  and is a rescued Great Pyrenees PUPPY (14 months, 120 lbs).  Jai is short for Ginormous, White, Slobbering Dog. Think puppy brain in a pony-sized body….He digs BIG holes, runs BIG laps, needs BIG toys, and cleaning up after him is a BIG job.  :/

herd, goat, llamas, sheep, pony, great pyrenees, dog
Jai meets his herd.

Great Pyrs are bred to protect livestock.  Lois is hoping he will help keep farm creatures IN the fence, and deer, coyotes and wolves OUT of the fence. These dogs are mostly nocturnal , gentle with children, and love to roam their territory. They are working dogs, but Jai takes naps, too. He’s just a baby.

working dog, great pyrenees, couch
He takes up most of the couch, and likes to snuggle in bed, too.
great pyrenees puppy, The Funny Farm, Cook, MN
Ginormous bone, purchased in the hopes of saving furniture.

Jai, Great Pyrenees puppy

Jai, Great Pyr puppy
Normal dogs play with sticks; my sister’s dogs eat trees.

Mastiff, great pyrenees, corgi, walli pajari-williams

Mr. Stinky Droolface, the Old English/Bull Mastiff Grampa dog of the farm is actually bigger than Jai. Stinky weighs about 180 lbs, but at 10 years old is slowing down considerably. When he was a puppy we called him the Mastiffosaurus Wrecks. At one point my physical therapist recommended I stop visiting my sister until he outgrew the puppy stage. He kept knocking me over by accident.

Of course Walli the Corgi refuses to be left out. She’s 6 months older than Jai, and one-tenth his size. And come to think of it, ten times the attitude. Size is relative.

Mastiff, Great Pyreness, Corgi playing

Walli Pajari-Williams goes to work every day with her mom, Lois, at Cook Dollar Barn , while Jai, Stinky, and GusGus take care of the Funny Farm.

What breed do you think Lois needs next? What’s your favorite?

For more details on these breeds, visit the links below.

Great Pyrenees

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Mastiff

POO!


Don’t be scared…it’s only fertilizer.

So my sister and I were sitting by the bonfire tonight, talking about all the by-products we use from The Funny Farm (now Cook’s Country Connection), and naturally the talk turned to poo.  Her critters produce a LOT of it. And since we are both avid gardeners, this is a good thing. The trouble is, all poo is not created equal. Thus, I decided to share an overview of the poo we fertilize with, and why. (Please note: NPK is the amount of Nitrogen, Phosporus, and Potassium in fertilizer. Most synthetic fertilizer is 20, 10,5. However, we prefer the organic, homegrown type that comes from all the critters. It takes a bigger volume of fertilizer, but it’s worth it. And free. And we have to something with all that poo!)

  • Horse/Donkey Poo: Little Bit, Itchy, Squirt, Toby and Jack eat a LOT. Horses are less-efficient at digesting than other farm animals, so they poo a lot, too. Cleaning up after them often requires a front-end loader and a strong back. That’s why I usually just supervise. Horse and donkey poo is “hot”, meaning it’s high in nitrogen and can burn plants if not aged or composted. (The average NPK for horses is .7, .30, .60.) Also, weeds can be an issue with horse poo, since a lot of the seeds pass right on through. However, every equine on the place is an eating machine, so there are large quantities of horse poo available.
Lois with (clockwise from bottom left) Itchy, Little Bit, and Squirt
  • Rabbit Poo: Zip the bunny was easy to litterbox train–unfortunately he had a tendency to chew on things he shouldn’t. Like wiring. Therefore, his accomodations were upgraded to an indoor-outdoor hutch with a wrap-around porch. Bunnies usually poo in the corner farthest from their food, so collecting rabbit poo is easy. The average NPK is 2.4, 1.4, .6. Bunny poo is already pelletized, so it’s convenient, too! And it’s safe to put directly around plants, like llama beans…no need to compost first. Luckily, Lois brought home another bunny today from our friend Diane 🙂
  • Worm Poo: I love composting! Two summers ago, our high school math/science teacher, Mrs. Ann Bidle, had a worm bin as part of a class project. When the project was over, she gave me the worms and bin 🙂 Most people know that earthworms are excellent for the garden. They aerate the soil, break down organic matter, and add vital good bacteria that helps plants grow bigger faster. I spread the castings from my worm bins around two of my apple trees this spring, and they are literally weighed down to the ground with pie apples. My lilacs love castings, too. I also add excess worms to my regular compost bins and piles to get things moving faster. If you want more info on vermiculture, check out this blog: http://www.redwormcomposting.com/getting-started/. Average NPK varies greatly depending on what worms are fed.
  • Llama Beans & Alpaca Poo: Talk about the perfect organic fertilizer! It’s compact, has very little smell, releases nutrients slowly, can be added directly to the garden, is easy to collect (they tend to go in a few central locations), and face it- Jill, Belle, Madelyn and Maddox are just plain fun to be around. The underbites and humming alone are priceless.

    Madelyn, one of the newest additions to the Funny Farm.
Lois and Jade sniffing noses with Bella Llama

Check out this Nicotiana I started from seed and transplanted to the flower bed that had llama beans. It’s easily twice the size of the others I started and placed elsewhere. The average NPK for llamas is 1.5, .2, 1.1.

WITH llama beans…

  • Dog/Cat Poo:   Unfortunately, dog and cat poo are NOT good for much. Never use pet waste in gardens or compost. (Assuming you have normal pets ie: cat, dog, rodent, etc.) If you know something we don’t, please let us know. The big dogs alone weigh close to 300 pounds, so you can just imagine the sheer volume of poo they produce.

Cats do reduce the amount of mouse poo on the farm, however. Which is good. Nobody wants mouse poo in their feed.

As you can see, using poo for fertilizer is not only good gardening…it’s a way of life on The Funny Farm. Any questions? Ask Lois…she is FULL of poo In fact, she’s the Queen of Poo. True story! Google it and see!!

What’s your favorite poo for gardening?

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