Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear Madonna

I was at your show last night in Vancouver. This is the first time you've ever played in Vancouver, which was so super exciting for people in our city who have been amongst your biggest fans since we were children. Apparently, you weren't as excited as we were. For you failed to mention the long overdue visit. Or acknowledge us at all really, except for yelling "vancouver rocks" once or twice.

The following are some of my criticisms of your performance last night:
(and, don't get me wrong, I had a great time with great friends and waaaay too much alcohol and I mostly danced all night long.)

1. The show was to begin at 7:30 pm. That's what our tickets said. You showed up just before 9:45 pm or so. This wouldn't be so bad, except that you provided us with no opening act or entertainment of any sort during this waiting period. There wasn't even music playing for us. Nothing.
2. Quite frankly, your voice sucked. I know the sound system at BC Place is amongst the worst in the world. (and they better do something about that before the 2010 Olympics or the whole world will know that it's the worst in the world.) But, really, your voice sucked. There were songs where you saved yourself by only singing every 7th or 8th word and, thankfully, the pre-recordings and digitalizing disguised this really well.
3. There are two things that everyone waits for, expects and LOVES at a concert (I'll talk about the second one in a minute). One of them are those moments when the performer stops performing for a minute or two, and actually, really and truly SPEAKS to the audience. It is what makes the live experience so special. It's what you kinda live for at a concert. We can watch you on a screen or a video or a DVD anytime. Hearing you actually speak to us, for us to see how real you are, for us to be worthy enough of your time....would have been nice.
4. Along the same lines.... You've never been to our city before. Ever. This is unbelievable. And your Vancouver fans were desperate for you- your concert sold out of our HUGEST venue in 3 minutes flat. Only the Rolling Stones require this venue. But, you didn't acknowledge it. You didn't say, "wow - it's great to finally be here in Vancouver with you!!" or "Fuck, it's been too long, Vancouver!" Nothing.
5. Did you really need so many costume changes? You were gone about 6 times for the length of an entire pre-recorded song. I found myself bored during these intervals.
6. And, finally, my biggest beef: the ENCORE. or lack thereof, I guess. I had read online prior to the show here that you were doing no encore on this tour. The least you could do, though, is to thank your fans for coming, tell them to drive home safely and tell us (lie to us even!!) that's it been a pleasure to be here.... SOMETHING. something. You needed to say something to us. And not just leave us standing clapping, whistling and yelling for 15 minutes before the house lights came back up and we realized that you really weren't coming back. You didn't say goodbye, You left us hanging. You didn't thank us for 25 years of service!
Better than that, even, do the encore. Would it kill you? To come back out, live, without pre-recorded crap even, and do one big hit to make your fans happy? It's a pretty simple thing to do to make 40000 people happy. Come out for one more fucking song.

Yeah, you disappointed me.

My favourite part, by far, was that steamy kiss with the female dancer that you had. Feel free to add more of that to your show. And, I liked your rocker version of Borderline - that was pretty cool. And, of course, Like a Prayer was fun.

But, really. I think we deserved more respect. I know I lost a little for you last night.






Friday, October 24, 2008

I feel GREAT.

I've had a few people ask me about the cleanse and how it's working for me. Also.. whether I'd recommend it or not.

I'd recommend it. It changes you. The weight loss, as of week one, isn't grand, but it's enough. I lost 2.4 lbs and plan on losing more than that in week two.
It is more about how you feel, for sure. We all feel GREAT (certainly better than good, even better than great). I have this feeling in my belly of calmness and serenity; an 'all is good in the world' type feeling, even when things clearly aren't all good in the world. The cravings are gone. Our appetites are super low, and the 12 days teaches you about a better way of eating, so that you aren't likely to return to the same habits before.

The release of toxins and the pooping is different for everyone. I haven't had one bout of stomach cramping, for example, while others have. For me, the pooping has been completely manageable. I've had moments of cold-like symptoms that mysteriously pass a half hour later. I also am getting headaches from time to time.
One of the things that is consistent amongst the group of us doing the cleanse is that we all started our periods early. I was 4 days early, and the other girls were more than that (even up to a week early!).
I'm on Day 9 and I feel GREAT.

p.s. the Wild Rose D-tox Cleanse is a Canadian product, but is available online.

Pure Sweetness




Everytime I walk by this family of Mother Clucker and her 9 babies, I melt. and swoon. And run to grab my camera. There is nothing I want to photograph more these days than this amazing mother.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I need to hire a hunter

I am about to sit down to eat a salad - my second today. This salad is special, though. Not because it is made with organic spring mix lettuce, which it is. Or because it is sprinkled with raw pumpkin seeds and raw sunflower seeds, which it is. Not because it contains some sweet grape tomatoes, which it does. Or because it is (lightly) doused in my favourite salad dressing in the whole wide world (Annie's Naturals Goddess Dressing), which it is. These are my normal things.

It is special because it is topped with warm ground moose meat.

Yes, you heard me correctly, moose meat.
I would have never in a million years imagined that I would be eating my organic salad with moose meat.
(and, really, all I can think about is how much grief Thelma is going to give me about this one!)

But, holy crap. IT IS SO FUCKING GOOD.

Some guy at work gave it to B.Rube and he wanted me to cook it up and make a macaroni and cheese dish with it. When I opened the package, I could see it contained little to no fat whatsoever. As it was cooking in the frying pan, I went online to find out more about moose meat, and learned that moose meat (and elk) contains almost no fat at all, and has a sweet taste similar to beef, but better. Moose meat contains less fat than chicken. And, if you're a dieter or healthy carnivore, you know the importance of a chicken breast! I was shocked to learn what I did.
And I tried it once it was done.
Delicious!

Who decided to go with the cows? That's what I want to know. Moose meat just ain't that easy to find.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cuz I know how much you love the poop talk!

I think that S.Rube will be eating well for a while again. For as least as long as her memory will serve her.
She spent over 8 horrendous hours last night trying to poop. This involved sitting on the toilet rocking, shaking, sweating, moaning, crying and shrieking once or more an hour. We tried two suppositories, which didn't help. We tried a nice warm bath. We tried drinking water. And going for a walk. We tried stomach massage. And pumping her legs.

She promised, in her pain, that she would eat differently and drink more water.
This wasn't an isolated incident for us. She seems to form hard baseball-like fecal matter, with no real likely way out.

Finally, at 2:30 this morning, she pooped.
But only after the aid of my siliconed finger.
Ugh.
By that time, desperate to stop my sweet baby's pain (which had long before become my own), I was prepared to dig to fucking China to get that thing out. Fortunately, I didn't have to.
At times, I likened our experience to me helping her deliver a baby. The noises coming from her were identical, as was the content of her words: 'Get it out' 'NOW' 'It's stuck.' 'It hurts.' 'GET IT OUT'. The only thing missing was that she wasn't swearing at me or telling me to rot in hell.

I sure hope THAT experience isn't just me and S.Rube in a bathroom crouched over a toilet and ready with my lubed-up finger.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cleanse Update

I am on Day 5 of the cleanse, and it really doesn't feel like much. I poop in the morning like I usually do. I take a bunch of pills before breakfast and again before dinner. I've been eating all naturally, with the NO flour, dairy or sugar thing. But, I've been using a fair bit of butter (which is allowed) and having my big bowl of popcorn at night (which is allowed) and using my favourite salad dressing (which is allowed and contains all the right natural ingredients for the cleanse) but also contains quite a bit of fat. I've also been eating a lot of almonds (fat) and avocados (fat).
I think I'm down a pound or two since the start. We're doing a weigh-in on Wednesday, so I'll let you know the results.

I'll be the girl who gains weight on the cleanse, because of the addition of FAT in my diet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

C.C. and her Sheep Peeps


I know you all have been wondering about C.C. this week.

She is amazing. Better than amazing. AMAZING.
She loves it here and she loves her sheep peeps. They aren't quite sure how much to love her yet, but they have definitely accepted that she isn't leaving anytime soon. Other than the occasional headbutt or hard knock up against a tree stump like this morning, they are doing just fine. Working out some differences. But, otherwise, doing just fine.

You'll be happy to hear that she is only locked in her kennel at night right now and while we're out. (which isn't very often). She starts to yap and whine a bit at about 7:30 every morning, because she wants out, usually to take a poop. But, other than that, she is content.
She gets playful with her peeps once in a while and tries to engage them in puppy play (to which they want no part). She resorts to chasing her own tail and attacking the giant dirty mole hills scattered throughout the field.
After she has expended some energy, she often just finds a spot on the edge of the pasture and sits straight up, very noble-y, and you just know that she's watching over her domain.









I took these pics this morning. If you look hard in the middle on the right side, you'll see C.C. lying by the pond.


Friday, October 17, 2008

My Toxic Contribution to the Depleting Ozone Layer....

...sounds something like this.


PPPPPFFFFFFFTTTTT.

PPPPPLLLBBBBBBBBB

The poor Rube family is having to put up with me. I'm stinkier than the old bloody white dog in the house. (He's a 11+ year old American Bulldog with digestive issues. Need I say more? ) I've started a cleanse called the Wild Rose D-Tox and am on Day 2 of 12. Fortunately, the gas seems to have subsided now that the pooping has started. It was just like a sneak peek (or should I say 'sniff'?) of what was about to come.

If you google Wild Rose D-tox, there's tons of stuff out there about it. Or check out the Wild Rose website (this one is the 12-day detox diet).

I'm liking it cuz I can still eat. That last Lemonade Diet that I did, I had to starve myself. Although I'd give anything to be able to put a bit of maple syrup in my lemon water right about now.
I find that I'm really craving sugars - something that we're NOT allowed to eat. Any form of sugar even - no maple syrup, no cane sugar, no Splenda, no Stevia even, I think. The sweeter tropical fruits aren't allowed either. So, I'm getting it from the odd apple or pear, which is nothing compared to the dark chocolate chips that are in the cupboard.
We are allowed to have a coffee or two, but only black. Yesterday I avoided coffee in the morning completely, cuz a coffee without sweetener (usually hazelnut creamer) just ain't worth drinking. This morning, however, I was desperate enough for a taste other than water and herbal tea that I actually did drink a half cup of black coffee and kinda enjoyed it.

Just be glad that I'm not describing my 'expulsions' to you in great detail, or, better yet, taking a picture.
Well...

Not yet anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've chosen a Conservative, much like my Dad

Okay, so I know I'm not the only Canadian out there to be more interested in the US election than our own. I know I'm not the only one who watched the US vice-presidential debate, but failed to see our own English-language debate. I know I'm not the only one to know Sarah Palin's name (and even the name of her Down Syndrome son), but just learned Elizabeth May's name right now as I am writing this blog.

Going back to the topic of the language debates.... I love how we make the politicians perform in a language that isn't their own and then proceed to trash the French-speakers for not being able to speak English and the English-speakers for not being able to speak French. Leaders from around the world speak all different languages, right? So, it really shouldn't matter, right?
Well then, you haven't heard Stephane Dion. Although I guess he speaks better than Jean Chretien. That's really not saying much, is it? I just went to Stephane Dion's Facebook page and it's funny to see the comments that people are putting up on his wall. Here's the last commenter:
GO DION!!!
dude, if you lose i'll be so sad :(
you're a very good looking man even if you're old!!!


Okay, let's talk about that for a moment. Let's take a look at what the candidates look like.


Who do you vote for, if you were basing your vote on looks alone?
I actually think that Candidate #1 is the most appealing, bald or not. But, I may be influenced by knowledge of his politics, which are also quite appealing.
#2's eyes are too small for his head (think: weasel). I can hear #3's slaughtered English just looking at him. and #4. Well, she has a nice smile. And looks really really out of place in that line-up.
B.Rube tried to convince me the other night that we aren't "NDP-type people". I clarified for him that perhaps HE wasn't NDP-type people, but that at 39, I was set in my political ways.
Too bad I live in the Conservative/Alliance bible belt and my vote just doesn't matter.

EDITED TO ADD: Magnolia's boyfriend, Gilles......


He does have nice eyes and even worse bastardized French than his neighbour Stephane.
He looks too much like Clay Aiken to me. ick.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I asked S.Rube on the way home from our first Thanksgiving dinner tonight whether her and her dad went out shopping today for a gift for me before they went to the auction.
She said, "Yes, but we're not allowed to tell you."
I said, "Oh, c'mon, you can tell me. I'm your mom. and the gift is for me."
She said, "No, mom. I'm not allowed to tell you."
I said, "I'm going to get it tomorrow anyway and then I'll know. What's the difference?"
She said, "Tomorrow is the day after today. That's the difference. You can't know now."
(fuck, when did this kid learn to reason this way?)
I said, "Look, if you don't tell me what you bought me, I'm never ever giving you chocolate chips again." (those are her favourites)

WHAT?? Are you kidding me? No, I didn't. You actually believed that I would say that? Of course I didn't say that. That would be mean and horrible and terribly damaging to the little Rube.
I just thought it.

and then I said, "Wow, S.Rube, that's very impressive. You keep a secret really well. You should be proud of yourself. I'm proud of you for staying true to your word with your dad. He'd be proud too. That's a hard thing to do. Good for you!"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mother Clucker

Okay, so there's more to life than just C.C. In fact, the Rube Farm has been full of life this week.
Lisa and Betty's litters of bunnies are absolutely thriving - they both have 7 each.
We have moved the chicks into their 'next-step housing'. They are in that ugly and gawky adolescent stage. If they could grow pimples and swear at their parents, I'm sure they would.



And, most importantly, we had 9 more baby chicks born yesterday - naturally and 'in the wild', with us almost completely removed. We had a brown laying hen go broody a couple of months ago; she started gathering her own eggs, and set up a nest in amongst the weeds and blackberries. She then laid about a dozen eggs over a couple of weeks. And then she set.
and set. and set and set. For about 21 days to be exact. We heard peeping under her yesterday and then she left the nest and went for a walk. With 8 babies in tow!! 8 wonderful and fluffy little yellow babies. I checked the nest and found one wet cold almost-motionless little chick, who had been left behind to die. I picked it up and put it under the heat lamp for the next 12 hours, where it warmed and dried up. We tucked it under Mother Clucker last night as she slept. She woke up this morning with 9 babies under her instead of 8, and doesn't have a clue.
We have provided chick grower and water nearby, so they can start eating, but otherwise, they are on their own.



C.C.'s Training Begins



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

She's Here!

Oh, it was a tough job, but someone had to do it. I held her for the entire way home. And snuggled her. And even kissed her, despite the fleas. I love puppy breath. What can I say? I'm totally guilty. She put her head on my shoulder, for crying out loud. It was hard friggin' work. The hardest.


She's as sweet as a big fuckin' batch of candy floss!
And, she loves me. Oh yeah, she loves me.
Well, she did love me.
Until I abandoned her to the cold dark lonely unfamiliar kennel.


(She's going to be just fine. And so am I.)

EDITED TO ADD: I should clarify that her full name is actually "Carolina Cargo Flower Dress Hawk". S.Rube's very first suggestion (insistence) of a name was "Flower Dress" which we vetoed. I thought. Apparently B.Rube compromised and allowed "Flower Dress" as her middle name. I told the Rubes tonight that I would be sticking with C.C. But, they are calling her "C.C. Flower Dress" or just simply "Flower Dress". I cringe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Glimpse into Saturday Night

I spent 5 hours making chore charts for the girls last Saturday night. I had the idea that I wanted to start some sort of schedule of responsibilities and I went online in search of ideas.

The result of my process is this....





Our Carolina Cargo arrives tomorrow

C.C. arrives tomorrow! Wow. I'm excited and scared. The fear is just based in the knowledge that things are about to change around here. But, mostly, I'm getting more and more excited to meet her.
We have a 4 hour drive to pick her up and then a 4 hour drive home. And B.Rube's just told me that the kennel isn't going to fit in the back of the car and that we'll have to take the truck; with the kennel stashed in the back and the puppy on my lap. Oh Damn. The puppy on my lap.
A 4-hour drive with that incredible fluffy little bundle of love snuggled up on my lap.

And then..... out to her kennel alone in the cold rainy night.
No wonder I'm scared.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ma-Ma's Good Libations!






OMG!
I LOVE ME MY MA-MAs!!!!!!!!!!!

What more can I say? drunk and disorderly.
I just fell into the door and it slammed shut. I'm glad there's no kids here. They're at Gramps and Ali's place.
I was out with my Ma-Mas tonight. I love them. I know i'm a little drunk right now, but I really do love them.


But, you know what? They consider me a 'big mouth'. They had to choose the 'big mouth' at their table and it was almost unanimous that I was it, except for lovely Ma-Ma Donna who thought that Ma-Ma Jill was. Me??? A big mouth??

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Today's Rube Sex

It's been an unbelievable day on Google. The number of hits for "rube sex" is at an all-time high of 14!

Here's the geographic breakdown of the dirty buggers:
Turkey - 5
Italy - 2
Egypt - 2
Saudi Arabia - 2
Romania -1
Finland - 1
Morocco - 1

Forget about the Economical Crisis,

I need to talk about the Laundry Crisis. It is out of control. And no amount of roundtable discussion or summits are going to help.

I am caught in a vicious cycle right now. I don't do laundry for days and when I finally get to it, I have 9 loads. For the following three days, I do a couple of loads a day, but, as you are all aware, laundry accumulates even as you're doing it. And living on the farm (and because B.Rube can only wear everything once and must wear three layers of shirts at a time) accumulates A LOT of laundry. By the time I finally get through it by about the 4th day, I never want to see laundry again. So, I avoid it for days. And when I finally get to it, I have 9 loads. For the following three days, I do a couple of loads a day..... vicious cycle.

A bail-out is the only possible solution.

And I know just the person!

In Search of Life....

In an attempt to remember why I am living on the farm and caring for the animals (and, in particular, the rabbits), I went in search of LIFE today.

The logical place to go was Lisa.
If you recall, we moved Lisa to a private area to have this litter, because her last litter ended catastrophically.
Here's her new temporary pad. I think this will be our maternity ward for all future baby-killing mothers.
Private enough for her, do you think? She's basically living in a big plastic box.



Oh, there's a peek of Lisa now.



And, closer up.
You might think that she's on guard of her babies, but really she's just looking for a piece of lettuce. She gets a leaf or two a day right now while nursing, but just until the kits leave the nest and start to hop around. A leaf of lettuce could be deadly for a young rabbit. So, she's got to enjoy it while she can. And enjoy it she does!
You can see the nesting box in there - that's the wooden thing with the shit in it. Rather than using the box, Lisa had her babies in the very back corner behind the nesting box. So, we can't remove the box now, because it is holding the babies in.



I haven't really gotten a look at them either. I could see a bit of white, but had no idea how many there were and what they looked like. I reached in with my camera for this first shot.
Sooooo sweet.



I adjusted the zoom and captured this.
Oh My. Aren't they so freakin' cute??? I can see 7. It looks like their eyes are just now in the process of opening. That makes them about 9 or 10 days old. It'll be another week to 10 days before they start hopping around and looking for real food.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Bad Day on the Farm

Yesterday sucked.

I first noticed that there was a bunny at the front of Betty's nesting box that was no longer moving. So, I pulled on the gloves and delicately reached it to remove it. Except there wasn't just one. There were 5. All dead.
There is still fur moving in the back of the box, so evidently she moved the nest, but left these 5 behind, where, exposed, they didn't make it.

Then, as I moved along to the rabbit hutch area, I noticed that one of the grey rabbits, Josie, had her babies. All over the cage and not in the nesting box I provided. I shuddered, thinking about the job I had in front of me. They were all dead. Or so I thought. As I reached in to start cleaning up, I realized that some of them weren't dead yet. It killed me. I broke. And bawled.
There were 10 babies in there. B.Rube had to come in and finish this job for me. I crumbled.

All of our efforts to prepare them for their babies failed. I think that the nesting box wasn't big enough. Or maybe because it was Josie's first litter, she didn't know what to do. I am baffled by their lack of instinctual parenting skills. Josie didn't pull out her fur and build a nest either.
Nor did she appear troubled, upset or confused by the babies strewn about the cage or the fact that B.Rube was removing them. Oblivious.
I'm totally expecting the worst from Jewel at some point today or tomorrow. How do you prepare to find a cage full of partly dead baby bunnies?
Remind me again why I am doing this?

Ahhhh, but the bad day didn't end there. As I carried on to take care of the chickens, ducks and guinea hens, I could see a dead guinea hen behind the chicken run. A headless guinea hen. A sure sign of a mink or weasel. They remove the heads and suck the blood from the artery in the neck (in case you haven't read my mink rants before).
We set up a live trap with the body of the guinea hen inside it in the hopes that the mink would return, but it hasn't yet. You know that we won't sit tight until that mink is gone, though, right? You've heard my warnings to the minks before.

This morning is shaping up to be a better day.

EDITED TO ADD: We did lose a chicken that next day. From unknown, but natural causes. We still haven't caught anything in our trap, but the mink hasn't returned to take another bird either.
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