Sockless Sunday On Meatless Monday

Smoky

Smoky. What a handsome pair of socks he would’ve made

Don’t ask me why this is, but ranch and farm families often have a yard full of dogs, and then one or more inside the house, too. We just can’t get enough dogs.

For years, we McGriffiths kept chihuahuas in the house. The most recent was the late Smoky, pictured above. Smoky had an unfortunate encounter on a gravelled road with a pickup. But he was cute, wasn’t he? Gramps and I really miss him. As I shall soon illustrate, however, the McGriffiths lean heavily toward practicality rather than sentimentality.

When Son #1 was about seven-years-old, we had a chihuahua named Cookie. She was a great little dog, but unfortunately she was elderly and developed some health issues. Her days were numbered.

One night, my three little sons said their prayers then I sent them to bed. I then collapsed into my chair in the living room of our old farm-house to read a book. Son #1 was in my range of vision as he climbed the ladder to his bunk bed with Cookie tucked under his arm.

“Hey, Mom,” he called into the living room, “if Cookie dies we could skin her out and make me some socks.”

The McGriffiths were way ahead on the repurposing movement.

Cookie eventually disappeared. Animals often go off by themselves to die, particularly if they don’t want to end up as socks. But the point is, even at age seven, Son #1 had a practical view of death. As a farm kid, he’d been acquainted with birth, life, and death all his life.

whiteface cow

Growing up on a farm in Colorado, I had been acquainted with the same things, but when I was twelve-years-old I fell in love with the cow pictured above, named…wait for it…White Face. (The guernsey in the background was the family milk cow, Tiny.)

One day, my dad announced the butcher man would be out to the place to, well…butcher…White Face. I immediately devoted the full force of my twelve-year-old angst to saving White Face’s life.

I bawled. I begged. I was sent to my room pouting. I drew bad sketches of the cow. I wrote her name, White Face, over and over in my sketchbook. In big cursive and little cursive. With curl-i-cues and without. IN CAPITAL LETTERS. and small letters. I launched into a hunger strike.

And you know what? My dad refused to be held hostage by my twelve-year-old emotions. For some crazy reason, he was more concerned with filling his kids’ bellies the best way he could than with appeasing me. (I didn’t have a cell phone, either. Nor a tv. I had to read books. Imagine.)

If my dad had given into my demands I might’ve mailed in my donation to some animal rights group and fine-tuned my emotional manipulation skills. Instead, the next morning he made a strong recommendation for me to adjust my attitude to his satisfaction…which I promptly did. Outwardly. But inside, I was still sketching furiously and continuing my hunger strike.

That, however, only lasted until suppertime when the smell of White Face  frying in the pan overcame me.

I know. I feel so guilty. So, to make up for it–while I can’t go along with the Meatless Monday Crusade since I love meat–I want to start my own crusade:

Sockless Sunday.

Please join me in saving chihuahua pelts everywhere.

Until next time, God bless all y’all.

Power To The Green People In Southwest Oklahoma

Wind Tower

Contrary to what some in today’s media would have everyone believe, farmers and ranchers are not out to destroy the planet. We are the original earth people. Why? Because we make our living from…well, the earth, and we’d be the first ones to go down if we crashed the planet.

From time to time, Gramps and I might feel some annoyance with militant animal rights groups who make the difficult job of feeding the world even harder for livestock producers, but we’re actually very green out here in southwestern Oklahoma, living as we do in the midst of a wind farm.

The Rocky Ridge Wind Project has 93 turbines spread across about 18,000 acres, and it produces enough power for about 40,000 homes, harnessing our biggest resource out here–the wind.

However, like most concerned green people, I’m worried about the number of birds those massive wind turbine blades strike down. Our granddaughter, Blondie, and I sat out to investigate one day last week.

I am presently unmounted since I wrecked my horse–or he wrecked me, more accurately–but Gramps rides a Cat, so we hopped on it.

K On Four Wheeler

We visited several turbines and found no dead birds–not even love birds which was what Gramps was most worried about–but we scared up several large flocks of blackbirds, took note of happy meadowlark pairs, and even spotted a hawk cruising around. (On a sad, but related, note–there was a pile of scattered feathers in the yard of our house where a cat or dog had feasted in the past.)

These turbines are about 300' tall.

These turbines are about 300′ tall.

For those of you who wonder about the sound these turbines makes, I’ve included a short video.

The closest turbines to our house are a mile-and-a-half away, so I don’t mind them too much. The sun flashing off the blades as they turn is slightly hypnotic and they generate some badly needed revenue in our rural counties. The part I dislike most is the blinking red lights on top of the towers at night. Very distracting.

In conclusion, Blondie and I discovered Southwest Oklahoma birds are not dumb enough to let wind turbine blades cut them down, but they often cannot outsmart cats.

But What Do Y’all Think?

  • Would you like to live in a wind farm project?
  • Do blinking red lights distract you when you’re looking at the stars? (And…um…have you ever mistaken them for the mother ship’s landing lights? Just curious, because the other night–I mean… Oh, well. Never mind.)
  • Are all birds dumb, or just the…er…endangered ones?

Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy The Punches Family doin’ Steppin’ On the Clouds. (These kids are great. )

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just like ’em.

More Posts

More Cowboy Poetry and Growing Vegetables For Slaughter In Southwest Oklahoma

Hook Me Up With One O’ Them Veggie Burgers For Meatless Monday