☆ May 13, 2016
It’s been a while since I shared an artist whose work I love. This painting, by Diana Tremaine, was inspired by Charlie. I’m obsessed with it.
You can see Diana’s portfolio site HERE. Her style is just so good.
☆ May 10, 2016
My Kickstarter ended Friday and was funded at over 200%! HUGE love and thanks for sharing and supporting my Kickstarter, Star Brand Beef, and the revolution against feedlots and factory farms. The Kickstarter has been a catalyst for a lot of discussion and thought, which is powerful – sometimes uncomfortable, always good. There is much more to share, but right now I’m off to Thermopolis (quite possibly the best town name ever, after Shreve, Ohio) for speech therapy (this voice is still a work in progress) and a soak in the hot springs….
☆ May 3, 2016
I’m sitting on the kitchen floor, writing this on the blank back page of the phone book. I have a calf in my kitchen, and I’ve spent the majority of the weekend on the kitchen floor, myself. I’ve lost count of how many calves I’ve rescued or bottle fed or warmed back to life with towels and a warm fire, but each time, it feels like the most special responsibility.
This calf was born Saturday morning, a twin, and his mother only accepted one calf (which is normal). Mike delivered the calf to me, saying “I know you’re so busy but can you take care of this?” And I was like, “Forget work! Forget email! Forget my Kickstarter! Give me that baby!” And I spent the weekend on the kitchen floor, first drying off the baby with towels, then warming some of my frozen stash of Daisy’s colostrum to bottle-feed him every few hours, then brushing him with a horse brush, then…. I don’t even know. It’s easy to just be with a baby.
I put Chloe on babysitting duty when I managed to tear myself away and retreat to my office. Chloe is slightly smaller than the calf and absolutely in love with him. She licks his face when he is awake and sleeps beside him when he sleeps. I feel it’s important he’s not left completely alone the first few days. This week, he’ll move into the front yard, and later he’ll join the rest of the cows – but I will keep bottle-feeding him.
Yesterday, Mike and were talking about how we wish he could be a kitchen calf forever, and possible names, and he mentioned Sid. Which I loooove. This is Sid. His eyes are iridescent gray.
Totally and completely related: Animal Cruelty Is The Price We Pay For Cheap Meat. If you eat meat, please read this. If you’re vegan and don’t understand why I started Star Brand Beef, please read this. My animals are deeply loved and I care for them with devotion. My mission in life is to give them a stress-free life. To make sure they are able to roam free on pasture and stay healthy on their natural diet of grass and hay. Star Brand Beef is the antithesis of factory-farmed meat. Pay a little bit more, eat a little bit less, and make a HUGE difference in the lives of the animals and the industry at large. Customers create change.
Mike was at the brewery and ran into a man who runs a feedlot in a neighboring town. This man was furious about the “all natural grass fat” trend. He said it was affecting his business. When Mike told me this I jumped for joy. Because I am no longer the only one around here doing what I’m doing. There are now a number of other local ranchers building their own niche businesses and keeping their cattle from going to feedlots. The fact that this kind of change is happening in my rural Wyoming county, to the extent that the local (albeit small) feedlot is feeling the effect? This is THRILLING.
HERE is my Star Brand Beef delivery route. Get yourself a chest freezer. Order the best, in bulk. Trust me, you’ll never go back to grocery store meat.
My Kickstarter ends Friday! If you would like any of the rewards – the postcard pack, the silk cowboy scarf, the Wyoming care package, a hand-painted skull – BACK THE KICKSTARTER! I will not, repeat, will not have these items in my Shop after the Kickstarter! Or, if you’d like to adopt a cow, you can do that through my Kickstarter, too. Sid is a perfect example. He will never be Star Brand Beef because milk replacer (baby formula for calves) is not organic. He will never be sold into The System because I just can’t do that. He will be among our Special Project cattle. As I state in my Kickstarter: They each take on valuable roles within the herd. This isn’t a “cost efficient” way to run a ranch (because it’s part animal sanctuary), but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
☆ April 26, 2016
1) I was out saying hello to the horses and by the time I got to Kota, he was lying down. So I tentatively lowered myself onto his back, not knowing if he’d let me sit on him like the cows do, and he was happy to have me there. I braided his mane and rubbed his neck, and then – then! – he lay all the way down – head flung back with his cheek in the dirt – and fell asleep. With me sitting on top of him for the first time. Why are animals able to trust us so much more completely than we trust eachother?
2) Latest obsession: peppermint honey. This does not taste like peppermint candy – it’s almost savory. It is rich and deep and very hard to describe, but the difference between this honey and wildflower honey is like the difference between caramel and granulated sugar. It is divine.
3) Latest reefer fantasy: a VW bus-truck with a reefer box in the back. There are many reasons why this can never happen, primarily a) not enough room, b) even if there were enough room, the rear axle couldn’t handle the weight, c) even if the rear axle could handle the weight, vintage VW buses are way outside my budget. But wouldn’t it be the cutest?
4) Without fail, every time I garden, I draw blood. I do not understand this. Vespa-ing cross country? Cuddling a coyote? Riding a bull? Chopping wood drunk? Nary a scratch. But gardening leaves me bleeding on a daily basis.
5) Hibiscus sun tea: one scant handful of dried hibiscus flowers + one gallon jar of H2O + one sunny day. Store this hot pink elixir in the fridge and guzzle after sweaty, bloody gardening sessions. Sweeten with simple syrup if the tea is too tart for your taste. So much better than Monsanto juice (aka pop, aka soda).
☆ April 19, 2016
I enjoyed re-reading these posts, some dating back to 2012, and thought you might, too. This one is my favorite – and even though it’s four years old, I vividly remember writing it, and it still holds true.« go back — KEEP LOOKING »