Notes from the Edge


Day Five. No water.

From the Things Can Always Get Worse files:

Temperatures are expected to dip into the teens this week. The water has now been turned off at the old farmhouse to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Dinner: None.


Yesterday, we went to an absolutely fascinating luncheon and seminar in Charleston put on by the Farm Service Agency and hosted by the Islamic Center. The event was an effort to put together local small farmers with the area ethnic markets for goat and sheep. (If you’re interested, look up the Farm Service Agency near you to find out more.) Of course, I don’t even have any sheep at all yet, nor do I have any goats I would put on the market, so it was more of an exploratory outing. Our goats and chickens are pretty much like pets at this point, and I certainly wouldn’t ever change that status for any of my existing animals. But, as a small farmer, it’s something to consider in the future as we have to make money somehow….. If we ever keep any animals with that in mind, they won’t be named. Unless they’re named Dinner….

But what was so great to me about this event was simply learning about the ethnic communities and about their food. There was a lot of food there! The luncheon was provided by the Islamic Center and the food included things I can’t remember how to spell other than hummus, and there was also goat and sheep meat. Of course I’ve had lamb many times before. My mother cooked lamb every Easter. But it was the first time I’ve ever tasted goat meat. I don’t know what to say it tasted like other than it tasted like goat. (It doesn’t taste like chicken!) I liked it. I tried not to think about Clover.

I had three children with me because we’d just come from an orthodontist appointment–two of mine (15 and the Princess) and my cousin’s son. I take the three of them to the orthodontist in Charleston once a month. (Let me say a big hello here to the nice ladies at Dr. Christopher Taylor’s office who read my blog!) My two surprised me by digging in at the luncheon and eating everything they could get their hands on, with full knowledge that they were eating goat meat!

And then, Princess was Princess…. We had been fortunate enough to unknowingly sit down at a table across from a rabbi and a Muslim religious leader. (I don’t know what you call Muslim religious leaders, so bear with me.) Considering the world today and the politics and wars…. It was fascinating to watch these two men, a rabbi and a Muslim, clearly friends, discussing religion and comparing their food practices (being the topic of the day, they were discussing Kosher practices vs. Muslim rules). We sat there listening, since we were across the table, and, well, because their conversation was fascinating and just the two of them together was fascinating, and finally the Princess said to the rabbi, “Are you Jewish?” (She was wondering about his hat.)

The rabbi told her, “Yes.”

Princess: “I’ve never met a Jewish person before!”

The rabbi asked her where she was from. (Mars???) I explained we were from a very small town, and then she realized the other man was a Muslim. She’s never met a Muslim before! More excitement!

Children are so open and curious, and they seemed quite entertained by her in return. The rabbi said, “Well, if I’m the only Jewish person you’ve ever met, you’re going to think they are all wonderful!”

I told him he’d better behave if he was going to represent millions of Jews, and the same to the Muslim leader beside him. Of course, they were both very gracious people (and they totally behaved). It was a really lovely day and a neat experience for my little Martians.

And that’s what the world needs–more Muslims, Jews, and Christians sitting down at the same table together, sharing food and talking about ways to benefit each other, don’t you think?

You may have noticed that I’ve enabled gravatars on my blog comments. It’s a way to add a little more of your own personality to your comments. There’s a little chicken in place of your own gravatar now. You can upload your own photo for your personal gravatar here then it will appear automatically with your comments (and will also work on the forum). You can use any photo in your computer’s files and there is no need to resize the photo–the gravatar site will do it for you. It’s free, easy, and fun, so go for it!

I have no water. Did I tell you that already?

Clover: “You may call me Your Majesty. You may call me Mistress of the Universe. You may even call me She Who Eats Cookies. But you may not call me Dinner!


  1. BeachGirl says:

    I believe the Muslim gentleman is known as a Mullah if he is a leader. I could be wrong about that though.

  2. Patty says:

    Wow, your life is never boring is it? Here’s hoping somehow you get water back soon. Sounds like the kids and you had a great educational experience.

    Oh you have new emoticons! I must say I miss the whip LOL. :chicken: <— is that Spartacus? lol (aww the rofl one is gone too!) :hissyfit: Ok, I’m done playing. :cowsleep:

  3. Sheila Z says:

    Do you have to have the line from the pump to the house dug up and a new line installed?

    I bet the kids ate because they know meals without water are not easy, so dig in where you can!

    I feel for you, hope the problem is fixed soon.

  4. Patricia Herman says:

    I hope your water line gets fixed soon. Definitely a hardship for you and your family. Prayers sent.

  5. Bee says:

    I bet they thought Princess was wonderful because she said what she was thinking right out loud, and didn’t whisper it behind her hand.

    Hope your water is fixed soon. And, thank Goodness, Clover will never be dinner!

  6. Carolyn A. says:

    I’m with Clover, she’s too ornery to be called ‘dinner’. ๐Ÿ™‚ xxoo

  7. Kris7 says:

    Never underestimate the power of sharing a meal with someone (i.e. breaking bread).

    It is such a simple act. That’s probably why we don’t do it so much anymore…because it’s too simple, there must be a catch. Ugh.

    The kids will probably remember that meal their whole lives.

    I’m closing my eyes and wishing, wishing, wishing water your way.

    Working hard at

  8. CindyP says:

    Sending prayers your way for water!!

    Your dinner experience — I always find it a fascination when in company of people that practice other cultures (I’ve never had a bad experience). All you hear in the news is the bad of these cultures…..yes I do wish we could have more discussions of how each culture could help each other, rather than be the demise of each other. I am glad your children had a very positive experience.

    We know Clover will never be dinner, she still has a name, right?!?! (nah)

  9. gretchen says:

    You just reminded me why we moved to the south from WV. Our house in WV was an old little counry house and the pipes would freeze. We had water issues many winters. I do miss the snow though.

  10. Pam says:

    I’ve met Jews and Muslims before, yet I’d be fascinated too by the discussion at lunch. What a wonderful opportunity for you and the children!

  11. Mental P Mama says:

    Clover better come live with me. I’ll keep her from the dinner table;) I so hope you get your water back today.

  12. wkf says:

    What is wrong with your water????? Do you at least know and they are coming to fix it today??? I think I’d be acting out pretty badly by now. Maybe a fruitless temper tantrum is in order….
    yes I know what fruitless implies, but you might feel better.


  13. MARY says:

    :happybutterfly: That sounds like a really nice afternoon, as well as a great experience for all. Living and growing up so close to Wash. D.C. I take it for granted that not everyone has met people from ALL over the world. Sounds like Princess needs to come visit!!!!! Was the inauguration brought up? That’s all everybody is talking about here. I will be far from D.C. that day!! LOL! Send Princess up for a little culture shock!! :purpleflower:

  14. Granny Sue says:

    Call Dusty Beegle, Suzanne. He’ll get it going in no time, I’m sure.

    The luncheon sounds like fun. With the mess between Gaza and Israel right now, I can imagine the conversation could have been very interesting. I wonder when the world will figure out that war doesn’t solve anything, it just creates more problems. It probably won’t happen in our lifetimes, sadly.

    I remember when my youngest son was with me in Charleston in a restaurant ful of black men. He was in awe. Until that moment I hadn’t realized how sheltered he was in Jackson County. When I told a black friend about it she said, you’ve got to get that boy out more! She was right.

  15. Robin G. says:

    Ah, kids. Kudos for not slinking under the table and dying of embarrassment, which would most definitely have been my reaction.

  16. Beth Brown says:

    Until I adopted goats, I never realized that people ate them!

    It sounds like you had a lovely experience yesterday – hope you soon have water!

  17. Debbie in PA says:

    Wow, your life is certainly a full one!

    The luncheon sounded fascinating-even though I have no animals and no intent of raising them, it sounded interesting and what a bonus to break bread with such interesting people.

    The water situation…..I’ll keep praying, since that’s about all I can offer. Thank goodness you have family and friends in the area.

  18. Fannie M Wiggins says:

    We never had animals when my children were growing up BUT we did have TV. After watching Bambi, my daughter refused to eat venison. I never tried to fool her. When I cooked venison, she got chicken in some form. I guess you have to decide for yourself what you will or won’t eat. Hope you get water back today. Have a great dau and :hug: to all.

  19. Abiga says:

    Still hoping and praying your water problem gets solved. Nice story today too! Blessings. Now I am going to see if the avatar comes up of our barn since I couldn’t find one of me.

  20. shirley says:

    I read your blog every morning and I enjoy it immensely.I really hate that you have no water.I’m puzzled as to why the water was shut off in the old farmhouse because the weather here in WV is rather mild right now. ๐Ÿ˜• The bad stuff is supposed to hit us about Thursday when the temps are going down to the teens or below.I’m saying a prayer for you. :heart: Also testing my gravatar. :help:

  21. Kari says:

    The luncheon sounded awesome – and also what a fantastic experience for Princess.

    I’m sorry to hear about it being day 5 with no water! When I was in my early teens, our well was struck by lightning and we had no water for three days which is nothing in comparison. Our neighbors ran a garden hose from their house to ours so we didn’t have to lug water. (We had rain-barrels so we used that for flushing the toilets.) We didn’t live in a very rural area, so it was pretty easy to do so.

    I’m thinking of you! I hope your water woes clear up soon!

  22. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Shirley, I thought it was a bit soon to turn off the water as I don’t think it would freeze today but Georgia, who is in charge of the farmhouse, sometimes worries a bit overmuch about these things. She’s just worried about protecting the old farmhouse. When you’re dealing with an older person, sometimes you just have to accept these things!

    • shirley says:

      Suzanne, thank you for replying to my comment.You are a wonderful person and the respect you show to your aunt Georgia is commendable, indeed.I’m not sure I could be that understanding.God bless you.

  23. becki says:

    Are Islamic religious leaders Imans?

    Our daughter met our town’s rabbi several years ago. It was nearly Hanukkah, and he gave her a small bag of chocolate coins (she was about 9). She thought this was cool(hey, it was chocolate!) She then read about Judaism, and discovered that Saturday was their sabbath, and combining meat and cheese was something they didn’t do.

    Imagine her surprise a few weeks ago when we ran into him at Home Depot. Our explanation to her is, that after the Hurricane God understands that EVERYONE goes to HD on Saturdays.

  24. Treasia/TruckersWife says:

    Here’s hoping your water gets fixed really really soon. I would be one more biotch right now without it this long. :yes:

  25. SuzieQ says:

    What an awful time to be without water…hope it gets back on really soon..

  26. Christine says:

    Oh dear. The fact that you have any sense of humor left at all is a testament to your character. I just thought of something…how are you getting water to all the animals? That can’t be any fun either?

  27. Madeline says:

    OH SUZANNE! I have a bookshelf full of VEGETARIAN cookbooks for you. With Clover’s milk and the eggs from your coop and some beans and rice and grains you would NEVER HAVE TO EAT YOUR GOATS OR CHICKENS OR SHEEP!!! I know you won’t anyway!Hugs from Arizona.

  28. IowaCowgirl says:

    How is the H2O problem? I’ve dealt with this too and know how obnoxious it is.

    At the moment in Iowa it is 5 below zero, but no wind and lots of sun. Tonight through Thursday will be a different story though. My cows are getting extra rations and the horses and calves and bulls all can get inside.

    Thinking of your water and pipes……. :pawprint:

  29. Leah says:

    I’m glad you had a good time at the luncheon/seminar and got to meet some interesting people. I know it’s a drag not having any water, hope you at least have some bottled water for important things like morning coffee, etc. Give She who ezts cookies, a cookie from me! :duck:

  30. Kim W says:

    What a great day! I’m sure the gentlemen were happy to explain things to Princess. I worked for a Jewish dept store for several years, years ago, and we live in a heavily Old Order German Baptist (like the Amish) area. I have found that they would rather you ask questions rather than stare or unwittingly offend. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, anyway. :shocked:

    Blessings from Ohio…

  31. Amanda says:

    Hope you get your water back soon! Your welcome to come to my house if you need to!

  32. Amy says:

    Still no water? Yikes!

    How are the animals doing with the water shortage?

  33. Estella says:

    Sure hope you get water soon!

  34. Brandy says:

    Hoping for your water to be restored soon!

  35. jean says:

    When do you think you’ll be getting water? I can’t imagine a week with out showers, toilet flushing, tea, drinking water etc. I had hoped once you moved into the new farmhouse you would be all updated and modern, wishful thinking on my part?

  36. Susan says:

    I hope you have running water soon! :hug:

  37. LisaAJB says:

    You are certainly welcome to sit down for dinner at my house any time you like (esp. when your water is out). I must warn you however, I’ve already burnt something tonight and all I’ve done is defrost the meet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. catslady says:

    Are you melting snow for water? Hope you get some soon!!!
    I’m afraid I’d become a vegetarian before I could eat something I knew. Both my sister and nephew are vegetarians but I’m too lazy to come up with enough things to cook!

  39. Gail says:

    The seminar was a great experience for you and the kids. I didn’t know you were considering raising goats for meat, so when I read that you sat down across from a Muslim and a Jew I was saying…”NO,
    NO!NO! These men want to eat Clover and her babies! LOL!

    Gee, I sure do hope you get the water situation fixed soon. I know you are stressed out. I’d be climbing the walls. On the flip side you do have heat. It could be worse. You could have water, but no heat. Go to GEORGIA”S and get some comfort food…how’s about cracker candy for starters?

  40. Christy O says:

    We had goat for the first time today too. It was a bit grissly but overall pretty good.

  41. Lola-Dawn says:

    A number of years ago, I taught English classes for immigrant health care workers. For the first few weeks, each immigrant group sat in their own little area and wouldn’t interact with other groups in the classes. Finally, I organized a potluck lunch, then encouraged each “group” to talk about the dishes they brought, their favourite foods and special holiday foods. It was the BEST ice breaker ever, and classes proceeded much better once everyone discovered how much they all had in common. That’s food … the lowest common demoninator of humans!

    Oh, and don’t Clover, but I like goat meat. Haven’t had any in ages. We were just careful not to name and make pets out of critters who were destined for the freezer … other than meat rabbits … they were always called “Stewball” or something food-related … as kids got too upset. Do you think that’s why my youngest is a vegetarian???

  42. Sky says:

    The Rabbi was a friend of mine, Rabbi Urecki. The Muslim was most likely the Imam. Several years ago, I had a weekly lunchen in Charleston with another Rabbi (who’s no longer here) and a Palestinian (who is). Talk about FUN! I called it “The Arab-Jew-Hillbilly Summit”. Things often got serious, but then got funny almost as fast.

    Shame on you for not inviting me, as I live within a mile or two from there. :hissyfit:

  43. Pony Girl says:

    So sorry to hear about your water issue! NOT fun!
    I liked your Princess and food and Jewish and Muslim story. Being a teacher, I totally get the out of the mouth of babes syndrome.
    I have never eaten lamb…well, maybe once, in some greek food. I don’t think I could try goat. I am not a big meat eater anyway, and something about it just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe because my sister has 4 pet goats, I don’t know?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. TSannie/annbb says:

    What a lovely story! The four of you are an example to all of us. What a great thing for your Princess to have been a part of.

  45. Jodie says:

    Wow! All kinds of funny little icons now. I have never raised a food animal. Once I asked a co-worker how it works with 4H and all. She said they didn’t name the future food animals. I can accept that. I never told my Dad that he shot Bambi’s father either. I think I had venison before I ever saw Bambi. I didn’t have a problem with it as long as he didn’t bring home dead deer photos or the actual deer. I’m a woose what can I say. :hole:

  46. Terry Scott says:

    There was an article in the Daily Mail about the seminar. It had a picture of your daughter sitting at a table. Your back may have also been in the picture.

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