LJR Enterprises

Our homestead, Our links

Month: January, 2007

Moving Ford Fly Over

by Scott Smith

I monitor MITechNews.com. Why? Why! It is often as funny as John Stewart when they report on Michigan’s efforts to fix an economy that was broken before Ford pardoned Nixon.

I’m not saying MITechNews writes funny, just their beat delivers the funny. Today they slipped away from their usual material to report that an Air Force lieutenant colonel is trying to find the producer of this video posted on YouTube.

From the article, this unnamed officer (nice reporting by the way) gushed about the video: In the past few days, almost half of the Air Force has seen the video and have been deeply moved by it.

This now explains why we are having so many troubles in Iraq. We only have 3,000 members of the Air Force. According to YouTube stats, the video has had about 1,500 views. Tip of the hat for more fine reporting. I probably shouldn’t completely blame MITechNews for the reporting, since their source is a Grand Rapids, Michigan TV station — then again, whatya doin’ trusting TV reporters?

The killer is this direct quote from the unnamed officer:

“What you just did, is beyond words. It’s inspired everyone in the military, everyone who is fighting, both in Iraq and those here. A person who would do that is patriotic, maybe more patriotic than me. It shows what we’re fighting for and it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Have you seen this cliched piece of crap yet? Moving? Please. The producer’s soundtrack is Taps played on a horn. The camera angles and wipes are all standard — I do like that the birds flying at a lower altitude look as if they can ram the jets. Troops are inspired by this?

Final reporting rant: Who cares? Where’s the man bites dog? This was a month ago.

Sorry Butt No More

by Scott Smith

I’m pretty sure this is one of what we lovingly referred to as “The Sorry Butt Sisters.” There were two hens that we got from the man up the road that were missing all of their tail feathers when they came to live with us. They were pretty pathetic, but now look at her… gorgeous AND laying eggs!

Our “Farm” Dogs

by Scott Smith

They say you have to give a Border Collie a job… this is Meg’s idea of helping make the bed.
The red headed boy decides to help too…
Oh, who needs a made bed?


by Scott Smith

It’s been suggested that I start a weekly update of our honey situation. Well, here’s this week’s…


How does it disappear so quickly, you ask? One spoon at a time, my friend. One spoon at a time.

(click the picture to see the last honey posting)

Spring Chicks

by Scott Smith

It’s the right time of year for putting in our orders for spring chicks. I’m hoping to add two new breeds to our flock this year – the Cuckoo Marans and the Buckeye. I want the Marans for their deep, chocolate colored eggs and the Buckeyes because they are the only American chicken developed completely by a woman (maybe the only chicken). Feminist chickens!

Here is an example of a Buckeye rooster (Walter the Buckeye Boy) I found on flickr. Isn’t he beautiful against that purple background?


Annie’s Project

by Scott Smith

My friend, Barb, sent me a link to Annie’s Project which is a great program started by Ruth Fleck Hambleton (an Iowa State University Extension officer) and named for her mother Annette (Kohlhagen) Fleck. It’s designed to empower women who find themselves in farming through choice, marriage (which is also a choice, Annie set out to marry a farmer, after all), or inheritance… Whatever circumstances might land a woman in the position of farmer, this is the program designed to help her compete on equal footing in a male dominated profession.

The syllabus includes such topics as risk management, crop insurance, business planning, human resources & time management, and retirement & estate planning. Purdue, my alma mater, is offering several sessions throughout Indiana, but no one has picked up the ball in Michigan so far.


On a side note, one of the sessions will be held in Rensselaer at Drexel Hall (also known as the Indian Normal School). It’s nice to know that the building has been completed and is being put to good use. It was empty when we moved to Rensselaer and still being renovated when we left for Michigan.

Food Dance

by Scott Smith

This evening, after an outing to the book store, we splurged and ate at Food Dance, my favorite Kalamazoo restaurant (like I’ve eaten at so many). We started with a delicious crab cake, Scott had the Mac & Cheese with Otto’s Chicken and I had the Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon. The mac & cheese definitely had some gruyère in the mix and my salmon was delicious with the ginger lemon rice that came with it (and the purple carrots were a nice side as well!)After an appetizer, soup, foccacia bread and an entree there was no room for dessert, but I would love to take the Chocolate Decadence class.
I may have to order some purple dragon carrot seeds for my garden this year!

Tag, you’re it…

by Scott Smith

Here you go Barb. My five things that I’ve never blogged about myself á la Erin McKean over at A Dress a Day…

1. When I was in 5th grade I got to go to Chicago and be on the Bozo Circus Show. I was the kid who said, “good morning and welcome to Bozo’s Circus.” After the umpteenth take I’m pretty sure they were sorry they pulled me out of the crowd. I was a little camera shy to say the least. Bob “Bozo” Bell, for me, is the one, the only Bozo the Clown, now and forever.

2. My paternal grandfather was an avid genealogist. He discovered that one of our distant relatives was one of George Washington’s drummer boys during the American Revolution. Now, if you have ever seen Revolution (1985) with Al Pacino, you probably have a greater appreciation than others for what kind of brush with greatness this might have been.

3. My Great Aunt Virginia is the genealogist on my mother’s side of the family. She traced us back to Robert the Bruce. You know, the guy who sold out Mel Gibson in Braveheart (1995).

Okay, genealogy is getting boring…

4. My children never watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Well, I let my daughter watch it once and then spent weeks fighting her new found fear of the bath tub drain. He explained that there was no reason to be afraid of the bath tub drain – you can’t fit down that little hole. It had never occurred to her before that moment that there might be a reason to be afraid during bath time (obviously he was trying to cover something up!). I remember loving Mr. Rogers and watching it frequently as a child which could explain all of the anxieties I suffered from.

5. I didn’t go up in the Eiffel Tower when I was in France because I’m terrified of heights… I blame Mr. Rogers.


by Scott Smith


This is how much pure, unadulterated, local honey 14 dozen eggs will buy you around here. An entire gallon of golden goodness. I have never tasted better honey than the honey in this jar. I think it may be, in part, because of how satisfying I find the act of bartering. I love getting honey for eggs or a luxurious bar of handmade soap for an unloved bottle of essential oil. Things just seem to hold some extra feeling of value when, instead of giving an item some abstract concept of value, you give some thing of concrete value and in return you get something of concrete value. It’s just more satisfying than going to the super market and running the bank card through the reader.

Hardest Working Chicken in Show Business

by Scott Smith


Another record breaker. I’m not sure the picture does the egg (or the chicken) justice. It’s a REALLY big egg.