| || Written by:
Mary-Kay Eastman |
My family and I have been living on a small ranch on the outskirts of El Paso, TX for many years. The ranch belonged to my great uncle who tried raising a number of different sorts of animals. His latest experiment was with ostriches. He had started with cattle, had progressed to Tennessee Walker horses, then on to the ostriches. He had tossed the idea of llamas around upon occasion, but never had the chance to try them. Since neither one of my parents ever had the remotest desire to raise anything but my younger brother, my older sister and me, I believe that all my animal husbandry tendencies came from my great uncle.
We have tried diligently to continue my great uncle’s tradition of raising an interesting array of animals, and so far, our eclectic collection of animals includes two peacocks, two Muscovy ducks, two dogs, at least a dozen cats, several assorted chickens, an ancient white mule, three horses, and a hive of bees. My oldest daughter is considering adding a lamb to the fold, however, she is meeting with stiff resistance from her brothers who are the designated keepers of the barn. More animals means more work for them and they are quick to point that out to her whenever she brings up the topic of new animals. You can imagine that it can be pretty interesting at our house.
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. My mother tells me that I used to write stories for her all the time when I could only scribble with crayons, but I don’t remember it. I do know, however, that I have journals that extend back to that time with scribbles gradually turning into crude writing, then into volumes of text when I reached my teen years. My mother has kept every one for me. It never occurred to me to do anything else. I tried going into journalism, but changed to English Literature, with a minor in biology. If this seems like a rather odd combination, you can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I have never done anything in a conventional fashion. Fortunately my husband of nearly twenty years finds this interesting and tells me frequently that his life would have been very dull without me.