Thursday, November 27, 2008

my letter to the President elect

We live in rural Missouri. Any alternative form of transportation besides a gas guzzling car is impossible. Roads are narrow and won't safely accommodate bikes or scooters. Many people would use their bikes or purchase scooters for a large percentage of their transportation needs if the roads were safer.

An infrastructure upgrade of wider roads with room for slower bikes and scooters could alter our energy needs at a rudimentary level. This could be accomplished in stages starting with heaviest used roads and infiltrate into the core of rural America. Accomplishing this would be a massive undertaking of men and machines that could not be outsourced to other countries. In contrast to technological infrastructure upgrades, the training necessary to accomplish this goal is nominal. Although, the widening could be coupled with broadband transmission lines and meet multiple goals.

I see this as an advancement toward the concept of roads in Europe where bicycles are the norm. It likely would be embraced by most of the population for the plethora of benefits that accompany this infrastructure upgrade. The roads would be generally safer for cars and standard vehicles. Farm equipment could have room to move freely from location to location without traffic congestion. Mostly, kids would be safer on our roads riding their bikes while learning to be energy conscious Americans.

Karl O'Melay

we'll see if this goes anywhere....

any comments and critiques are welcome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


toly has pneumonia. we are getting around to go to the distant medical facility for some high powered antibiotic. allegedly very painful. he had x-rays and they called last night with the confirmation and pressed the urgency that we need to head in for the shots first thing this morning. three daily consecutive shots--happy thanksgiving little man:(

tabitha is also sick...

rome has been sick and will be checked by the doctor today--arrgh...

tristan is relatively unscathed and kassi is fighting the good fight along with me.

after much reading and discussion on the subject i have developed a theory. autism might be an attempt at an evolutionary leap. given the fact that einstein, tesla among others were/are/alleged autistic lead me to this hypothesis. given the fact that we have compassionately disabled standard evolutionary measures God/mother-nature/the-creator has ferreted out another path. only time will tell?

or toly might just be a totoro;) thanks phoebe

Saturday, November 22, 2008

bovine centric?

our world is going to change. toly's issues have sent us on an elimination diet. the first thing we are going to remove is milk. we have actually dabbled in eliminating other things with no results. milk has been the big hold out. we have been in denial. sheez, we have two milking cows right now. tabitha stopped milking the cows and left them with the calves to keep their milk supply up. we have also decided to sell nimue. yes we love her but rory is a vastly superior cow and we really only can afford one. having a milk cow is huge money suck.

so the idea is to rid the house of milk products and the whole family will go on a milk-fast. it can't be done halfway since the interchange of food cannot reasonably be monitored and segregated. i will buy cream for my coffee--i'm a cheater i admit it. within the eight weeks of milk-fast we'll sell nimue and really focus on isolating any variables that we might have control over. things like blood sugar, reflux, and gluten are on our hit-list. not milking will give the entire farm a break and extra time to focus on toly. other benefits will come from having extra time. i have actually been reading from the printed word--imagine that, books. tabitha will likely start knitting again--that leans toward a winter activity anyway. the kids home schooling has ramped up. tristan is on a real schedule and has been pumping out daily copy work. his writing has improved dramatically.

after this eight weeks, if toly cannot have milk we'll sell rory after jocelyn is naturally weaned. we'll keep jocelyn and raise her as a dairy cow. that will buy us two years and afford us another chance at a milk cow. by that time tristan and kassi will be of a greater helping age. toly will be steeped in his milk free diet. i might have the milk barn finished. regardless, we plan to redouble our efforts toward gardening and sustainability. this last years gardening failure is a festering thorn in my side. having the milk barn finished will make the whole process easier. more of our foundation in place will make everyone's life easier. we have been over our heads for so long that everyone needs a break.

we'll still raise broiler chickens. we'll likely try farrowing pigs in a year or so. laying chickens will continue to be a staple around here. their new chicken coop will arrive sooner rather later. so, i'm not removing the cows from the "pile of omelay's banner" yet but, things are changing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

a little rough

first we are being encroached upon. one offender is our neighbor with whom there is no love-loss. he is our closest neighbor and is the most obnoxious. tabith calls him two stroke man. he has a two stroke engine for every menial yard task. they are constantly running--there are never more than a nights worth of leaves on his yard on any given day. last year he took issue with our chickens and made several death threats in their direction. after several months worth of spilled milk under the bridge the feudal fires quelled.

then the other day big-digs were moving dirt around and making a pad or something. then this appeared.

a single wide trailer--my favorite. it over looks our backyard. we were frightened that he was carving out a little nook for his daughter and her certified pervert of a husband. we did a little calling around and found out that he has sold the back portion of his property to a different neighbor whom also happens to be of verifiable questionable character.

anyway we are planning a series of plantings of some sort of screen evergreen trees, giant bamboo and privet. the other concern is what they plan to do with their septic and lateral lines. there doesn't appear to be enough room to properly dispose of the waste water. the ravine that runs onto our property will likely be the recipient of their liquid refuse. we are making all the proper calls and inquires. maybe we can put the kibosh on this encroacher.

then tabitha took toly to the doctor and he told her he believes toly to fall within the autistic spectrum. we are still in shock and disbelief. although if it were true it would answer a ton of questions.

on a lighter note we did get the kids a set of bunk beds. they love them they are like having a jungle gym in the house. we'll see if they actually sleep there. imagine tabitha and i sleeping in the same bed without a pile of omelays on top of us.

i did contract the cold that the rest of the family had and now have recovered. the weather is finally wintry and very cold. i have the wood stove cranked up and the house is nice and cozy. i sold that extra wood that i had to a neighbor. she was extremely interested in my root cellar construction. she got a great deal, almost a cord of seasoned wood for fifty dollars.

henry is doing great. he is the best dog i have ever had. such a pleasant creature to be around. he looks after the farm and we feel secure with him doing so. those stupid pullets still aren't laying yet. arrgh

Sunday, November 09, 2008

fall photos

henry running to see me.

such a good dog.

i plan to put steel on the roof of this storage shed.

this is the steel. the stack just to the right.

the chickens are stalking me.

hungry eyes

zelda has grown quite a bit hasn't she?

milk waste chubbs them right up.

nimue enjoying her new feeder.

munch munch time for lunch

juat a nap in the sun

busy chickens

romneya will fall to his doom if left on the bed.

we've decided that all toly needs is a boomerang to be the feral child from mad max.

we've been buffing up on our post-apocalyptic movies since the world was going to hell in a hand basket.

Friday, November 07, 2008


fall is here. there are heaps of leaves in the yard. i plan to borrow a leaf blower and burn as many as possible in the garden--maybe tomorrow. we don't own a leaf blower because i'd only use it every few years. this year i need to scorched-earth the garden. then i'll plant some winter wheat-rye as a cover crop.

tabitha and the kids have contracted some evil illness from visiting the doctor. isn't the doctor supposed to make you better not make you sick? they just went in to check if any of them might have any small issues. now they are all sick. sheez

i'm barely holding my own from the evil that has descended on our little abode. i hope the astragalas tincture holds until i can replenish.

the weather has turned cold. i have a cozy fire in the wood stove. i have the better part of cord of wood that is extra and won't store easily until next year. i might try to sell some of it. i was thinking i'd have my *hillbilly-hot-tub working by now and would need the extra wood to heat it.

our stupid pullets still aren't laying yet. i think they are about two weeks overdue. they look really healthy. they eat fairly well. we let them free-range and feed them a few scoops for whole corn each day. they also get every undigested kernel of grain from the cows manure. i just don't get it. maybe they are holding out for a new chicken coop? well i've got news for them they'd better not hold their breath too long. there is a culling scheduled fairly soon. i might have to make a few examples.

luna has been gone for a few days now and things are still off kilter. henry needs a little extra attention. i'm sure he misses her.

the cows are doing fine. nimue is playing the role of nurse cow and feeding both phoenix and jocelyn. tabitha has resigned to only milk rory for now. she tried to milk nimue the other week and it was a miserable failure. rory is such a superior cow to milk that it only highlights the difficulty with nimue.

the pigs are growing like crazy on the surplus whey and milk. they have pig feed in front of them at all times and have only eaten 75 pounds. they are really large easily forty pounds each maybe as much as sixty. they are getting friendlier but not enough to measure them yet.

we are seriously considering farrowing hogs in the near future. there is a small market for weaned pig. i'm sure we could raise some for sale too. all this means that i'll be doing a bit more fencing this winter.

the bees are cozied in for the winter. the next warm day i have to do a final visit before the real cold sets in.

tabitha was taking a nap so toly and i walked the property line and sprayed the perimeter trees with purple paint--no hunting. for them.

* hillbilly-hot-tub is an old cast iron bath tub with a fire built under it. i love a good soak under the stars.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

goodbye luna

luna died yesterday, i'm sad. she was a great dog and i'll miss her.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

camp obama

we were one of 40,000 people to see future president obama yesterday.

the long line was grueling.

we did a drive by 1:00pm and saw the line and decided that we'd better get in line.

they didn't start letting us in until 6:30pm

barack obama didn't get there until 9:45pm.

it was amazing. we felt like we had to take the kids. if people knew in advance that they could see martin luther king or jfk they would have jumped at the chance. our kids can forever say that they were there, part of history.

the kids were exceptionally behaved considering the long long wait. we really felt like were part of something bigger than us all. everyone was hopeful, positive and energized. what a wonderful experience.

******** UPDATED ***********
tabitha was on the local news while we were in line--twice. the local springfield paper also has a photo of her
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