Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31/21 - Last Day of October!!

It is the last day of October. I can hardly believe it! This month has gone by so incredibly fast. Between grandparents visiting, campaign work for the upcoming election, lots of ranch work and many other things, we have stayed very busy here on Liberty Ranch.

I have enjoyed blogging every day. . . for the most part. I hope I wasn't too boring!

Last night was a beautiful, calm night. My one grandma went back to California yesterday afternoon, and the other set of grandparents that were here left this morning. We had a bonfire last night - it wasn't too cold out and there was no wind. It was very nice. We sat around and talked, watched my little brother and cousin try to warm rice on a paper plate over the fire (you can guess how well that worked), watched the sun go down and the moon rise. We are very blessed to have each other.

Today it's fairly warm out. There is no wind and the sun is out. Some are doing work, some are doing school, some are cleaning, some are butchering hogs. Just normal random activities that go on at Liberty Ranch.

Remember that doe I posted about below, the black and white one that we just got with the 2 kids? Well, today I took her babies away from her. They are in a crate underneath the staircase, sleeping away. Tonight I plan on milking her and offering the kids a bottle. That way, they will be bottle babies and we will get the does milk!

Speaking of milk, it's Fall, which means the doe's milk production always goes down. I always hear the cry for "more milk" in the winter, since everyone is spoiled with fresh milk and milk products all Spring and Summer. Then suddenly, there isn't as much and everyone cries like babies (just kidding, they don't really). But you get the idea. So, every winter we don't dry up all the does. We keep a few milking, so we will get a little bit of fresh milk at least. Right now we have 14 does in milk... I think. We have been drying so many up it's hard to keep track.

In fact, we have had a doe in milk every-single-day since January 25th, 2007. So that's over 5 1/2 years of milking a goat every single day!

So anyway, back to the winter milk thing. This doe that I pulled the babies off of to turn into bottle babies - hopefully we can keep her in milk all winter until the does start freshening the end of January! God has perfect timing in letting us get this new doe that just kidded! Pretty cool!

October has been a great month. The weather has been good and lots of good stuff has gone on. I am thankful for it all! As usual, I plan to keep on blogging, just not every single day.

This weekend some of my family and I are headed to Nashville, TN for Music City Liberty Fest. It should be a great time and if you are in the area, try to be there!

Oh, also! We have been working on this song and dance for a few months now. We finally filmed it and I put the music video together yesterday. Please watch and share!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31/21 - New Doe

The newest doe on the ranch and her 2 babies, a buck and doe. She is very friendly and has a beautiful udder (meaning... lots of milk, Lord willing!).

Some new baby ducks have been hatching the past few days as well.

I gotta go. Have a good day y'all!


Monday, October 29, 2012

31/21 - The "R" Word?

My sister Qadoshyah wrote a blog post about the controversial "R" word. She stated exactly my thoughts, so I thought I would share!

Being in the special needs community for almost 8 years now, I am fully aware of all the 'Politically Correct' lingo that should be used. You know, you say "a child with Down syndrome", not a "Down syndrome child." And there are also certain words which just are not supposed to be said, the word "retard" being at the top of the list.

It took some getting used to for me, because my family has never been very "politically correct" :).

Over the years I've seen the issues that come up when certain popular individuals use the "R" word, when someone who has a child with DS has a friend say this word in a conversation, or when it's use is discussed on a forum. I've never said much about it, because I think a lot of people will have a problem with my view on it.

Last week though, Ann Coulter called President Obama a "retard" on Twitter. There has been a ton of outrage over her use of the "R" word. So, I feel it's time that I say something. I fully expect people to disagree with me, but I'm completely fine with that.

First and foremost, the First Amendment to the Constitution gives us, as Americans, freedom of speech. We should all have the freedom to use whatever words we want to. If someone is offended by a word, then apologize. But it should not be turned into this national campaign to "ban" the use of certain words. That's simply against the first amendment.

When people go on "campaigns" to stop the use of a word, promote "gay rights", advocate for "women's rights", etc, it becomes something that is part of the problem that our nation is in - people thinking that government is the answer.

Besides the above reasons as to why the "R" word should not be an issue, let's look at a little more technical things.

What is the definition of the word "retard"? According to Merriam-Websters it is:
to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

When I think of this word, I think of it's true meaning. Just like the medical books will use it for "retarded growth" (slow growth) or "mental retardation" (slow mental development).

 I wonder if people who have children with Down syndrome get so upset about the use of this word, because they don't want to accept the fact that their child with Down syndrome does learn at a slower level? Or often times do grow/mature at a slower rate? I know full well that my brother, O, learns at a much slower pace than his twin sister who does not have DS. Is there something bad about that? No, not at all. 

Another way people explain this word is that it refers to individuals with a lower I.Q. This again brings me to the point above. If my brother has a lower I.Q., does it matter? No, it doesn't. Just because someone may have a lower I.Q. does not mean they are stupid.

I've often heard that if someone says the word "retard," they are insulting your child or loved one with DS because they are calling them "stupid" or "worthless." You know what, I don't think so. I don't view my brother with DS as "stupid" or "worthless," so I don't even equate that to him. Just because someone uses this word that has been used in correlation with special needs in a way other than the proper use, does not mean they are "putting down" someone with special needs.

Not that I am defending Ann Coulter here at all, but I think she brought up an interesting point when she was discussing this on the Piers Morgan show. I have no problem with the word "retard" being used with the definition above. Languages do change though, so *if* the word does not mean the above definition (I'm not saying it does), and society has changed it to meaning "loser", then let go of the word. It's not applying to your child. It's being applied to something totally different!

There's been a few times over the years that I or my family have encountered someone using the "R" word in their conversation with us. What do we do with it? Do we get all angry or tweaked out about it? No, we use it as a chance to educate them. We make it a light thing, because I don't want them to feel bad for using the word around me, because it doesn't offend me. We tell them it does offend a lot of people. And we also tell them the actual meaning of the word (slow) and how it's not really that bad of a thing.

Do I go around saying the word all the time? No, because I know it causes great offense in the special needs community.

My brother is not stupid. He's a smart little guy, even though he may have a lower I.Q. (could care less about I.Q. tests though) or learn things at a slower rate.

Bottom line though, I think people need to be less sensitive. It's simply a word.  When people read into the motives as to why an individual would use a certain word (to hurt the special needs community), it gets us into all sorts of problems.

Let the word go. Don't let it offend you. Educate people. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

31/21 - Cold Fall Night

It's a cold, calm Fall night here in Oklahoma.

I am thankful for healthy animals, a goofy big brother, a little brother who makes "fog" with his ATV, a warm house and too many other things to list. God is good.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

31/21 - Busy day

Well, it's 9pm and I haven't done my post for the day! It's been a busy day. Got up early, did chores and then headed out for a local auction. We ended up filling 3 trucks with various tools, house and farm equipment. It was a fun day, but days are always fun spent with your favorite people, right?

Here's a few various pictures from the day.


Friday, October 26, 2012

31/21 - Random Thoughts & Facts

It's October 26th, 2012.

Today is the 300th day in the year because it was a leap year.

Thanksgiving is one month away. Time flies.

The year 2013 is only 2 months away. It seems like it was just New Years.

It's very chilly outside today.

I think I need to either go bake something or start a fire to warm up the house.

Or maybe go clean the barn stalls. That would warm me up.

The morning ranch chores are all done.

The animal's tummies are full and the does are milked out.

It looks like we'll be having coyote for dinner.

Below are a few random black and white photos for you.

Hope you all enjoy this chilly Fall day.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

31/21 - Campaign Calling...

It's a beautiful Fall day here in Northeastern Oklahoma. I got up, got feeding and milking done. Now I am sitting here doing campaign calls for Markwayne Mullin for Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District in my sweatpants while drinking coffee because I am tired today and am not feeling very talkative. I guess that's what I get for going to bed really late!

Anyway, hope you all have a good day and....

Remember to vote in the upcoming days!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31/21 - Breeding Season is almost over!

The goat breeding season is finally slowing down here on the ranch. We should be kidding out about 40 dairy does starting in mid-January. We have under 10 does left to breed, hoping that no one else comes back into heat. Should make for a very busy winter and spring - but it's a great kind of busy!

I'm always looking forward to kidding season. But then about half way through it, I'm looking forward to it being over with because I am always so tired! It's all good though. I just lack sleep for a few months during the year, and play catch up the rest of the time... because there is nothing to do after all the kids are born, right? Just kidding. There are lots of does to milk, and cheese and butter to make, on top of the regular chores!

Anyway, I have to get to work!

See ya!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31/21 - Fall in NE Oklahoma

The other day my brother got a Guernsey heifer calf from the local sale barn. She is very nice and not something you'd expect to find at a small sale barn! Sometimes you can find some great animals at unlikely places though. 

Every spring and especially fall, this section of the road is so pretty and I always want to stop and take a few photos. Never seems to happen. Well, yesterday we were on our way to go out to eat with all my visiting grandparents, and we stopped and snapped a few photos! Such a beautiful section of Oklahoma that we live in! This is on the way to our place.

Hope you all have a great day enjoying this beautiful Fall weather!


Monday, October 22, 2012

31/21 - Buddy Walk Photos!

The 2012 DSAT Buddy Walk was a success, and I had a good time hanging out with my family. I also took over 300 pictures with the Nikon camera. So, here's a bit of the pictures taken yesterday.

My mom and one of the mascots,

some of my family,

a lady singing the National Anthem - she had a great voice!

Some of the DSAT Buddies. They are all individuals with DS that are over 16.

This year our team name was O's Freedom Fighters,

Me and my friend, Hannah,

The walk was much better this year. We walked on the road. There were so many people! The DSAT Buddy Walk is the 6th biggest in the nation out of 250 nationwide Buddy Walks!

My weird friends biting their medals,

My sister, Qadoshyah, being a weirdo as usual and dancing around to some slow music.

 A place with music? We can't miss a time to line dance!

O getting a pony ride,

Yo riding a pony,

Erin, one of the main organizers of the DSAT Buddy Walk. She does a great job, it takes so much work to put an event this big together.

Mama Young and Mama Fish,

 They even had monkey cages! Just kidding. Since the Young family (Tahlequah's Sign Shop) did all the banners and signs, we helped take them down as well.

Jojo taking some signs down... what a goofball.

O playing a game,

Another one of Q dancing,