1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What does this intricate knot hold up? A Hammock perhaps?

  2. Cindi Johnson says:

    Clotheslines ~ I love them! I insisted on having one when the kids were small ~ my solar dryer. A curious thing happened one day while I was hanging out the laundry. A wonderfully nice neighbor came over to chat and was led to the backyard where I was hanging out some shirts, jeans and towels. When she came over to chat with me I pulled a t-shirt out of the basket to hang and she suddenly blushed. I’m not certain what it was she was blushing at, there were no unmentionables on the line (yet). Maybe her imagination jumped ahead? At any rate, it still makes me laugh that clotheslines and laundry out in the fresh air for all to see is so unfamiliar that it can make a person blush.

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What’s an auroch?

Is it a bird? … a plane? …

No, it’s a cow.


If we could trace the ancestry of my Miss Daisy far, far back, we would find a link to something called an auroch—the foremother of the modern-day cow. Wild aurochs were large, lean cattle who roamed the plains of Europe, Asia, and Africa by the millions. Auroch remains have been found that are thought to be 2 million years old.


Photo by Prof saxx via Wikimedia Commons

Aurochs were still plentiful in the time of the Roman Empire, but aggressive hunting resulted in near extinction by the 13th century, when only nobles, and later royals, were allowed to hunt them, and poaching was punishable by death. The last known cow died in 1627 in Poland.

Efforts are now underway to “breed back” the species using modern DNA technology. A European breeding program has resulted in hundreds of second- and third-generation crossbreed cattle that resemble the auroch, and scientists hope to find a way to take DNA from the bones of aurochs in museums and recreate a modern-day clone.


Photo from The National Museum of Denmark via Wikimedia Commons. An auroch dating to 7500 BC, one of two well-preserved aurochs skeletons found in Denmark. The circles indicate where the animal was wounded by arrows.

What’s next … a domesticated T Rex??! Fetch, Dino!

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is fascinating. Was this species have certain qualities that are missing today in the line? Other than interest, are there hopes of re-establishing some sort of specific traits ?

    • MaryJane says:

      Given half the world’s wildlife has become extinct in the last 40 years, merely bringing them back might be the goal. Not sure about traits, etc.

  2. I read about this Auroch breeding project in ” Modern Farmer”. Not sure if I like the idea of cloning an extinct cow. Back breeding to get the ” look” is ok, but not the actual DNA. Sounds cool but actually it’s scary.

  3. Deborah McKissic says:

    Your Miss Daisy is surely a beauty, MaryJane. I was looking through some seed catalogs the other day…getting a jump on spring, ha ha…and the seed savers catalog ( mentioned how they have a herd a white park cattle..these are an ancient breed, and they are very majestic..white..with long horns…some call them the “ancient white park cattle” there are breeders that now have enough in their herds that they sell them…hmm…I could just picture one in my back acreage…and the borough here to complain…so, alas…but the DNA thing..that boggles my mind sometimes and sometimes I think it is not such a great thing…nothing is as good as the original..and if it is gone..I think God had a bigger plan..we all date back to something..some ancestory, so, tracing our roots is interesting..but, reproducing them in a lab…hmm….

  4. Karlyne says:

    I’m afraid I have serious reservations about “bringing back” anything by means of DNA cloning. Humans have such a bad habit of jumping feet first into, especially, scientific endeavors without knowing what the outcome is going to be that this makes me nervous!

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Mad Libs

Do you remember Mad Libs?

First published in 1958, this cleverly kooky word game soon became a household name, and kids of all ages are still crazy about it today. In case you’ve somehow been left out of the Lib loop, Wikipedia’s official definition for the game reads, “Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story, before reading the often comical or nonsensical story aloud. The game is frequently played as a party game or as a pastime.”

Knowing my love of word play, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to see that I’ve made up my own farm-themed “phrasal template” (an ag lib?) for you. It takes at least two people to play, so consider it a good excuse to gather up a friend (or three) for a little midday silliness.

To Play:

  • Print my “Ag” Lib story, below, or cut and paste it into a Word document.
  • Read the story silently, pausing to ask the other player(s) to provide words to fill in the blanks, according to the parts of speech in parentheses.
  • Jot their words in the blanks.
  • When all blanks are full, read the story aloud to the other player(s), and get ready to giggle.
  • Just remember: the goofier the word choices, the more laughs you’ll share when you read the finished story.

MaryJane’s “Ag” Lib:
Good Morning, Farm!


One _______________ (adjective describing the weather) autumn day, Farmer Jane woke up and gasped, “_______________ (Interjection)! I’m late for milking _______________ (name, female)!”

She _______________ (verb, past tense) out of bed and yawned _______________ (adverb) as she pulled on her favorite pair of _______________ (adjective) rubber boots and a _______________ (type of fabric) hat. Out the door she _______________ (verb, past tense).

On her way to the big _______________ (adjective, color) barn, Farmer Jane passed the _______________ (adjective describing sound) chicken coop. “Alright, girls,” she called to her _______________ (adjective) hens, opening their gate. “Out you go!”


She tossed the hens a few pieces of _______________ (noun, type of food) from her pocket and continued on her way.

Jane had hardly passed the coop when she was _______________ (adverb) stopped in her tracks by her big, _______________ (adjective) farm dog, _______________ (name, masculine). He’d come _______________ (verb ending in -ing) frantically out of the pasture and now skidded to a halt in front of Jane.


He held up his paw and whined _______________ (adverb). She lifted the dog’s paw and looked underneath.

“_______________ (Interjection)!” Jane exclaimed.

There was a _______________ (adjective describing size) _______________ (noun, object) stuck right between the poor pup’s toes! Since Jane couldn’t grab the _______________ (same noun, object) with her bare fingers, she had to _______________ (verb, present tense) to the tool shed and fetch the _______________ (noun, type of tool). “This should do the trick!”

Farmer Jane told the dog to roll over, and he stayed perfectly _______________ (adjective) as she yanked the pesky problem from his fur.

Stuffing the _______________ (same type of tool) into her pocket, Jane _______________ (verb, past tense) on toward the barn. Her tummy was _______________ (verb describing sound, ending in -ing), but there was no time to eat. She would fix herself a big platter of _______________ (noun, type of food) after milking.

Jane _______________ (verb, past tense) _______________ (adverb) into the barn without watching where she was going and landed … _______________ (interjection)! … in the middle of a fresh pie. And it was NOT the pumpkin variety, if you know what I mean.

“Oh, _______________ (same female name as in the first line of the story),” Jane sighed.

The gentle Jersey turned her head, glowering at Jane as if to say, “You’re late!”


Farmer Jane pulled her boot _______________ (adverb) from the _______________ (adjective) pile and and nodded at the cow.

“Okay,” she said _______________ (adverb). “I guess I deserved that.”

Without further ado, Jane sat down on her _______________ (noun, object) beside _______________ (same female name as in the first line of the story) and got to work.

The End!

If you completed your silly story in a Word document, I would LOVE it if you’d copy it in the comments below (I only ask that you keep it kid-friendly, my dears).

  1. April says:

    I’m doing this at our next farmgirl meeting! This should be a riot! 🙂 Thanks for the fun mad lib!!!

  2. Pingback: old-fashioned mad lib | Raising Jane Journal

  3. Jayne Kozal says:

    This is nice. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Myra Stayl says:

    It was so fun for my kids to do and kept them busy for hours!

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