Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Dream Property - Installment 1

You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

First, I really need to know some things about this plot of land! Do I get a choice as to the size (as in farmland with acreage? I am a COUNTRY gal thru and thru. A city plot the size of a garden wouldn't "be me" and I’d not be happy having to live there! I couldn't turn down a gift either so I’d have to turn it down or sell it if it's in town or even the suburbs.

I'm much more of a "functional" type than an "elaborate" (photo-mag-suitable) type. So I would HAVE to continue to be the country gal that I am. Will this be enough acreage to have the closest neighbors out of sight or at least out of hearing? That would also be a necessity and it would have to have enough acreage that I could build in the middle just in case any adjoining property was sold. I don’t want to go through having city folks buy next to me and build their million-dollar house next to my barn again! I also would want enough room that I could make this a working farm w/income.

Also, where is this dream property going to be located?

I would get a house up there ASAP. One dream and desire I’ve had for years and years is to have a house/barn combo. I have some folks I know who lived in one on her father’s place. It was huge as it was an arena in the center and back and their living quarters were in the front. They had an upstairs living room that looked out over the arena and the kitchen, dining, laundry area were on the first floor. I’d want to have a huge "wall of windows" opposite the arena as I really need to see outside. I really love a pretty view. Below their living quarters were a meeting room with a small kitchen area on one end. This would be easy to rent out on occasion! There were also a personal tack room, a storage room off the arena for arena equipment, a couple of tacking and grooming stalls, a wash room (for critter bathing/hosing or such), bathroom, and, a small storage room off the living quarter’s door.

Then, flanking both sides of the building are stalls and feed/hay storage. There were also a couple of tack rooms and grooming stalls for those who are using or renting stalls. The arena and stalls can be rented out.

I am at a place in life where my housing is best on a single level. So I’d have to decide what and how I would design it so my living was not requiring frequent stair climbing. Hubby wouldn’t be able to do the stairs at all. So I think there would need to be a bit of a different layout in some ways. So, it would be FUN to be able to redesign something like this that would accommodate our needs and the house/barn situation. Maybe it would just be such that there would be a sun room with a covered walkway that made it so one didn’t have to go outside in the winter to get to the barn/arena side. It could also include a patio area for good weather.

I sure hope those finances and the income generated can easily pay the property taxes on my dream property! I may be in serious trouble if it didn’t!

I have decided that this writing prompt is such that I need to make it a few installments. It would be way tooooo much for one post and for reading. So I’ll continue on go through my whole dream that this prompt turned into a massive writing!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a dream like this become do-able? What’s your dream if you were the recipeient of this writing prompt and financial security to pull it off? I’d like to challenge you to post on your blog what yours would be. Please include my blog link at the end of yours and share your link with me in the comments section here. Then I’ll make a list of your links to your dream property too. You can make your dream all 1 post or break it up like I’m doing. It will be fun to see who all participates and what your dream place would be.

Don’t forget to come back for the next installment. I need to plan for my goats, horse, poultry, and even the business end of this being my dream includes income and that means it is a business!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A "Teaser", A Quandry, And a Writing Prompt!

I have a post in progress.  I thought I was done, opened this writing doc, and then writing it has sparked a new line of thought! I do have a brain that really can get into the thought processes and at length!

I'm still having a HORRIBLE time with blogging here. I've written some posts and lost them before they would publish. It seems every time that happens, I'm out of time and have something I MUST get done so I'm out of time. That means I can't try to rewrite it and hope to salvage flowing thoughts that I just put down in writing. I also have problems with my short-term memory from a past accident w/a head injury. When losing my post happened to me last time, I was so bummed and frustrated that I decided to try blogging on wordpress and hope that it works better there. (That happened last week, to my post on SewWithAPurpose.) One major consideration I have, if I were to move, is...

I don't want to lose YOU, my loyal readers!

So I'm not sure what I want to do! I do know one thing though.... I MUST write my post in an email or notepad. Then I can copy and paste and if I lose it, at least I have a copy. And that is what I'm doing with my new post that I can't quit coming up with new ideas for!

It's GOOD, a bit of fun, a dream, and thought provoking post! It started as a writing prompt from word press. It won't work for my sewing blog over there, but is great for here. This is the prompt and you'll understand why I had a new line of thought: "You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?"  You can't plan a huge life change with a farm/homestead to be a fast "plan"! IF you like it and want to use it, please share the link to your blog in the comments section so I can come read yours and my followers can also come visit you too!

I hope to get it finished and posted no later than tomorrow so please check back!  I think this one has lots of potential fun and of interest to all of you loyal readers (who I greatly appreciate)!

So I'll see you SOON!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

 
Merry Christmas all and may your stars twinkle brightly!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Good For a HUGE Laugh!

Yesterday I had one of those farm occurances that you never expect to have happen. It was pretty funny and I so wanted to go get my camera, but the silly doe (goat) was panicking. so her well-being took precedence.

One of my Angora goats, Delila, got a 5 gallon Fortiflex, horse-watering bucket stuck on herself. It was tied and she was eating her grain but obviously broke the rope resulting in a HUGE goatie predicament of catastropic (in her opinion anyway) situation. Evidentially while I turned my back to continue feeding, disaster happened. Angoras typically keep their horns and my 2 girls DO have them. They aren't normally a problem with them though. They curve back and down so aren't in the way much and they try to avoid having them touched.

But, the not-to-bright Delila tried to jump thru the bail of the bucket. Yes, RIGHT, she got STUCK! BOY was she STUCK! She had both front legs thru it and it was sticking out to the side and probably not too comfy as she is full grown! I'm also sure she had some encouragement in this endeavor. I rushed over to rescue her as the herd queens were standing and staring at her. They were also probably laughing hysterically inside, knowing those 2! Plus it was Claire's feed bucket, not Delila's! Delila and her twin, Daisy, normally eat from a mineral bucket that is short, much wider and a bail too small to get thru. It's big enough for both to eat together which is their preference. And, the bail of this black bucket is not the shape of a goat's ribcage right behind her elbows! She was STUCK, but she was also being "pinched" a bit.

Have you ever tried to remove a full grown, panicking goat from a bucket? Well, let me tell you, it's NOT easy and it's NOT quick. It's also not something Delila wanted me to be a part of.

I finally had to get her out of the pen (easily done) so I could work on it without help. I think the queens were offering to blast her the rest of the way thru the bucket if I'd quit yapping at them and get out of THEIR way. BRATS. You're right, my girls are NOT all nice to each other. I have BULLIES in my barn! (Note that is b U lly, not b i lly, he's in the other a pen and referred to as a buck, not as a billy.) Any way, I digress and Delila has escaped the barn all together. And, of course, # 2 BULLY, Sugar, has jumped out of the pen to come help. After all, any goat with a huge black growth must need chased off the farm!

Eventually, I get Sugar bully (use to be Sugar baby) shut back in the barn and it's just Delila and I and the horrid bucket - in the rain. Fortunately, I did manage to get it moved back from her girth to her loin area. She STILL couldn't get out though and had it back on her side. I had to get the bail moved to better align with her anatomy which did help. But it meant the bucket needed to be worn with it up off her back like a camel. It was NOT going to come off the direction it get jumped into. The horns were going to be a massive issue, not to mention her shoulders and her CURLY locks. It was raining out pretty hard so by this time she had WET, CURLY locks that wanted to stick to and wrap around the bucket like burdocks on your socks, or sand burrs sticking to your bare skin. The deeper the better and NO help in any manner. Curls like this like to turn into knots when wet!

Digressing again, I've never washed fleece before. I've been afraid of doing it for fear of turning it into a major matt that can never be returned to curly locks. So, I was really taking note of the wet locks adhering to my fingers, the bail of the bucket, etc.

Delila informed me thru flinching and trying to get away from me that it wasn't too comfy for her and she was now blaming me for the whole escapade. She wanted distance and no part of my shenanigans. Did I ever tell you that she and twin Daisy came from a big "spread" in TX and were dam-raised as it typical for angoras? So if you know goats, you know that they aren't the lay-in-your-lap, adore-your-human types. I may as well be a predator at this point and the bucket is also one!

Finally, after some trips around the yard, her hunger helped and directed her to the round bales of hay where Summer (mare) was busy munching and observing the chaotic, frantic, light bulb with the dimmer on doe. As soon as she was in the corner with her mouth full, I was able to get my hands on that bucket again. THIS time, it turned around on her flank much easier so I was able to move it further to her rump and it became a huge tail. Maybe she thought it was a jockey and she had become a race goat. Actually, I know better. She is not a "thinker". She's a blind runner without a thought flitting thru her brain.

But, a few more attempts at sliding the offending bucket even further back were successful. The hard part was holding on to a horn, keeping my knee into her elbow and ribs and sliding an unwilling bucket further back and not pulling her curls out by the root.

It FINALLY worked. I got it off. BUT, Delila didn't know it was off and I had let go of her horn and removed my knee from her side.... AND OFF she went. Only, she didn't know the bucket was off so was still doing the bucket-bound-goat-dance and was still sure that it was going to eat her right up. And, being the "predator" I am, I took the offending predatory bucket and headed to the barn. It was still pouring buckets of rain upon my bare head and my sweat pants and jacket were now totally soaked and water was running into my rubber "mud" boots.

Fortunately, goats HATE the rain. That being, Delila came to her senses and decided being in the barn was her place to be and in she came, still bucking and dancing. When I returned her to her pen, she finally realized she was minus one bucket and still hungry. So she headed to her own bucket while skirting around the others of which she probably expected to be the next to grab and eat her. Her problem then was that Daisy had finished the grain that both would have shared and Delila had none! HER bucket was empty and it wasn't suppose to be as she'd not had her dinner!

I felt bad for her and gave her a bit while talking to her and making sure the queens kept their distance. That's not either as I seem to have Velcro on me and they have the other joining piece.

Eventually calmness resumed and chores were finished. I, however, continued to shake my head and periodically chuckle while muttering under my breath.

All those humorous phrases about not the brightest crayon in the box, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, not the shiniest tool in the shed, a sandwich short of a picnic, etc all fit my 2 curly haired Angora does. Are ALL Angoras like this? Is the whole breed dumber as a box of rocks? I so hope not!

Oh, I DID tie the bucket up higher so only the 2 bullies, er queens, can reach into the bottom to eat. Those 2 girls are taller and they really do believe that that bucket is THEIRS. So hopefully I have the bucket situation successfully resolved. These 4 girls don't usually use this pen but, what can I day? I've got Kernals, the ND buck, co-habiting with the ND does and Jewels and MaryJane who came home last week from their community service project. The queens and Angoras are all higher in the pecking order than the 2 younger ND's, Jewels (Alpine) and MaryJane (LaMancha/Saneen). So in order for breeding to go better, the other does had to switch pens as Kernals, Jewels and MaryJane can jump out of the other pen and could have been a breeding catastrophe. (Delila and Sugar bully are also jumpers.)

I betcha chores won't be that exciting for a while! I don't know if any of them could come up with a more hilarious, insane situation!
 
Did I tell you I now have 4 rabbits? Their cages are hung inside the pen where Delila, Daisy, Claire and sometimes Sugar are. I'm going to do some worm raising for chicken/turkey feed and composting. Maybe I'll be able to sell a few too! Those poor rabbits probably REALLY wonder about their new home. I'm sure they never thought they'd live amongst some CRAZY goats! I have them in that pen as my intent is to periodically (regularly) give them some free time in the pen so hawks don't get them nor other predators. They'll be able to have free run of the pen when the goats are out doors during the day. So they should be happy with the situation as they have daily comical entertainment!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Joke - I couldn't resist!

We all know by now that Hostess has decided to close rather than negiotiate a fair agreement that will benefit both parties. And, the jokes have started. This one gave me an outright laugh!

Hostess Bakery plants
will be shut down on Monday and will be split up. 
 
The Twinkies go to the State Department,
 
the Secret Service get all the HoHos,
 
the Generals get the Cupcakes and
 
all the Ding Dongs went to Congress.

 

We all know the employees are now without their Wonder bread and butter!  ANOTHER case of people now out of work before the holidays. I wish them the best.
 
I can't believe I don't have a pic of a twinkie! What a bummer. The ding dongs I have aren't the chocolate cupcakes.
 
I hope you all have a good chuckle from the joke, have no one who works for Hostess, and have a good day.  I think I need to put my free snow sign out by the road for the season!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Clothespins & Bag/Hanger

I am needing one of the clothespin jobby-do's for hanging on the clothesline. I do think it will need an extra pocket as I've lost too many of these with the clothes pins in them! I'm not stupid and thought there would be a trail of clothespins so I could retrieve the hanger. I had also smashed the hanger down some so it shouldn't blow away so easily, but, alas, they have just plain dissapeared. Weird! I think I'll make my own and then add a "zip strip" to it to keep it on the line! AND I'll put a small rock or couple of stones in the extra pocket! Maybe with enough zip strips and stones, I might be able to keep it under control.

I could also complain about the crappy, weak clothespins that sell these days, but I'll spare you. IF you happen to find any GOOD ones that will hold a pair a jeans or sweatshirt on the line without using 20 clothespins, please let me know! I gave up on my recent load of laundry and brought them in damp yesterday. I had to keep picking up shirts and all that were wind-ripped off the line inspite of an excess of clothespins. I had to pick up a bunch (BUNCH) of clothesping and put them back together tooooo many times. So I brought them in and hung what I could. Then I draped pants on the furniture to finish drying. The cats enjoyed the fresh laundry!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2012

 
 
I don't know where this photo came from, only that it's a military photo from years ago when our military had horses. So I thought it would be a great photo to share on Veterans' Day.
 
Today I got to meet a friend's hubby who just returned from Afghanistan. He's home on leave and returns to base just before Christmas. It was nice to be able to say "thank you" to one of our current "troops".
 
I hope our vetrans and current military have had a good Veteran's Day and "THANK YOU!" to all of them.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Silence

Further Thoughts

In the previous post, "It's About Time", I posted my opinion on the interruption of military funerals. I still feel the same way! I'm still glad they FINALLY, after too many years have gone by, got around to passing a law to stop the protests.

Two days ago, I sat at my mom's funeral and this law came to mind. I was appreciative that we didn't have to deal with anything disruptive and appreciated a quiet send off and celebration of her life. Again, I'm so glad that the law was passed and felt even more sympathy and compassion for the families who have had to experience such obnoxious and inconsiderate behavior of some who feel they have more rights then the "issue" they are protesting.

I am appalled that a church of all places would be the protestor when our ministers, preachors, priests, etc are part of a normal funeral process for their members, and yet would turn and protest another funeral so rudely. Why is that? Don't their congregations have anyone who have served and lost their life? I'm afraid to ask what they do when it is their own!

Anyway, I've pondered that and I guess I needed to put more in print regarding it.

I've had a very rough time over my mom's passing. It's brought back a flood of old issues and such from some dysfunctional family issues. It gave me a chance to see my father, who is well into the grasp of Alzheimers and didn't know me.  It also gave me a surprising reality of how far apart the lives of my 8 yr younger sister and I were raised and our memories of it. It's shockingly amazing how different we perceived things. When she got out of school she moved out of state to marry her husband. Then they moved from S. Ohio to NE Texas. My parents moved to Arkansas when my dad retired. So I've not had much contact with any of them and contact has been difficult because they (parents) hated talking on the phone. Reality can be strange at times, but when there is a great distance between family members, it can be a real eye-opener at a funeral! Plus it hit home even harder that I may not see my dad again and he wouldn't know me anyway. Ouch!

I'm back. And I'll try to get here to post more often!
It wouldn't be nice of me to send the photo and most recipe groups don't allow them either. So I'm including the link because you really DO want to see these cupcakes! The photo is amazing and so is the idea! They used choc ganache and fondant on the cupcakes. I found the photo on pinterest and that photo was easier to see than the full sized one here, but even so, AMAZING and awesome for ideas for the future! You could make the fondant flowers on a cake too. And, WE can made them. Cut a circle from fondant, make cuts for the petals and curl them up. Add a dot of ganache to glue 2 layers together and a dot for the flower center. You can eat your art work too!


 And yes, sometimes I am rather easily entertained! I check out Pinterest while eating supper. Off to pin the pic in my cakes and cupcakes file on Pinterest!

An Observation

Goooood Grief! 

Once AGAIN!

I made an observation worthy of posting about. In trying to hurry up and get here to blogger, my computer was dragging it's hard drive so badly I had to reboot.

Yes, I know what causes that too. My computer and I are getting older and I have the BAD habit of reading emails from RSS feeds that have lots of hot links that are MADE to be explored. So I open a few. Then my computer GROANS and down shifts to try to pull the load and ....then it happens.

I have forgotten what my observation was, even what it was about and now I can't blog about it. So, here I am, a couple hours later and I'm still kicking myself for not jotting one of my ever increasing notes-to-self. Of course then I lose them and can't remember what it was I had written so I wouldn't have a problem with forgetting it.

Instead, I get to wonder where I put it. After all, I JUST had it is my usual lament.

This time I didn't write it down. So, if I'm lucky, I will remember it. But, when I usually DO remember "it", it's when I'm in the barn up to my elbows in something, or the middle of the night and I then can't get back to sleep because I tell myself it's so important that I HAVE to remember it come morning.


It must be time to put a pad of paper and pen by my bed. For a while I solved that issue by jotting it down so I could stew about it in the day time instead of when I am wanting to just sleep.


I need me an Ambien butterfly, but I don't want the Ambien..... just the fluttery little secretary to wave it's magic wand over my head and let me go back to sleep.

After all, tomorrow I'll make a new observation that I'll probably forget too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Inspiration! Cupcakes at that!

It wouldn't be nice of me to send the photo as it's just not mine to share. So I'm including the link because you really DO want to see these cupcakes! The photo is amazing and so is the idea! They used chocolate ganache and fondant on the cupcakes. I found the photo on pinterest and that photo was easier to see than the full sized one here, but even so, AMAZING and awesome for ideas for the future! You could make the fondant flowers on a cake too. And, WE can all make them. Cut a circle from fondant, make cuts for the petals and curl them up. Add a dot of ganache to glue 2 layers together and a dot for the flower center. You can eat your art work too!


 And yes, sometimes I am rather easily entertained! I check out Pinterest while eating supper. Off to pin the pic in my cakes and cupcakes file on Pinterest!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google's new layout complaint!

Gosh I hate to sound negative, but I'm really hating this new layout. I have a cataract and this fine print not only is tiny, but the letters are soooo close together that I just can't read it! I don't need humgeous sized font, but I do need it to be larger than tiny specks of sand smushed together. I don't know how I'm going to manage this. I sure feel for those who have worse visual issues! This also has to be horribly hard for those using screen readers. I'm not sure how they'd manage being the whole thing reads to them and there are soooooo many buttons and all the dropdowns attached to them. :( I can drive and read a book, etc. I'm a long ways from getting cataract surgery too. I don't have a major issue and am a long ways from it being major!

So in the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to check and see if I have comments waiting for approval. I do moderate all comments to elinate the spam. I get that too so moderating is a good thing.

I'm also finding the google help to be totally worthless. I've wasted a LOT of hours clicking buttons to find out what they are and ending up in multiple places I don't want to go. So I have to just close the whole thing and start over.

The worse thing is that I am positive that this was all done by some department trying to save their jobs at google. If they make a mess like this in the name of it supposedly needing updating they can talk their way into being kept on. Then they have a mess and can keep their job in the name of having to fix all the issues, etc. Yahoo has recently done a similar "update" that is crappy but at least they listened to complaints and made it readable. Google hasn't.

I hope I get somewhere with trying to wade thru this mess instead of the wallering in the mess. Wish me luck! I also hate complaining about something that is FREE, but this I have to as I know it is affecting a lot of people! Off my tack box and back to banging my head on a brick wall!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MYO Mixes Tip

 
Do you have myo mixes instead of buying them? I've gotten back to making mine because of all the sugar and preservatives in the store-bought ones. Plus it's just plain cheaper and there's less processing and handling of food I buy. So, hopefully, there's less risk of contamination, etc.
 
I came up with a great way to make my bulk mixes such as bisquick, cakes, etc. These all need baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar/splenda, or such and making sure they are evenly mixed into the myo mix is now EASY!

Just start with a cup of flour in your large bowl or container and add those necessities. Then mix well. Then add a couple more cups of your flour and mix well again. Continue adding and mixing in your flour. They will be well incorporated by starting this way. Usually, many of us want to start with the large amount of flour first and then start adding the other items. But if we do it in reverse order, it's quick and well mixed so each batch used from it will be a good combination.

I think the reason we do this is because recipes usually start with the flour and then gradually add the other ingredients after the flour. So we literally have to "mix it" in reverse order!

Why didn't I think of this years ago? How many people already knew and do this and never told me?
 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Down-Sized Goat Herd

The last 5 goaties getting new zip codes are gone to their new homes. What a relief.
 
The 2 Nigerian Dwarf does (LadyBug & JuneBug) have gone to help get their doelings (Mosey & Maddy) settled in.
 
So I'm back down to 9 goats and it was definitely faster, easier and quieter doing chores last night with only 7 of the 9 here! I'm milking the 2 Alpines, Claire & Jewels. The 2 Angoras, Delia & Daisy (twins), are about ready for their September/Fall shearing. What HAIRBALLS they are. You can see their eyes, horns, ears and muzzle. Their hooves look like they have no legs attaching them to their bodies! The LaManchas are still the people-orientated love bugs and buddies that they've always been. Sugar never kidded and has an udder and wide belly. I don't know what to think about her. I sure hope she gets bred this year or I'll have to find her a pet home. And, as I mentioned, LadyBug and JuneBug are off on a goatie, working vacation.
 
And, there is Kernals, my ND buck who is busy with being in full rut and has turned back into a blubbering, stinky boy who wants to spend his time with the does and not in his pen. He's got a long wait though as he's not breeding the does until November. I don't want kids born in the winter. I don't want to milk in the winter. It's too cold here and the cold really makes my hands ache.
 
And my beautiful Patches, the buck who decided to demolish the pen, is gone. In a way I miss him and I really liked him, but he sure decided to be a snot. as soon has his twin, Wrapper, left. Wrapper was being destructive and would just bash and bash on the gate until he'd break out. That meant all the boys got out, Tom T Turkey and the geese. The geese are there temporarily while I'm working on their new pen. Anyway, Patches was bad enough, but when the girls started coming in heat he really changed and so did his attitude! The pen is one of the older (and heavy) chain link dog pens. The corners are secured with t-posts. He managed to rip 2 panels and the t-post up and off/out of the ground and everyone went their own direction! I really wanted to breed him to a couple does this year, but I wanted to deal with so much damage to repair even less. Then the price of hay has escalated and is hard to find; so that really tipped the balance to down-size as much as possible. I have still have the easy-going Kernals and he can easily cover the 8 does and would have been the buck to have the most does any way.  Kernals is from the same farm as Nipper was and has the same desire to be a buddy and just be easy to be with and have around. That is such a PRICELESS thing in a buck IMHO! I really liked his kids from this year too. So Kernals is staying!
 
All that being, my base herd is now down to 9. I've had time to enjoy trying out some other breeds and had some really nice kids who I bred. I'm still getting lots of positive comments on them which is sure a feel-good moment! I really have enjoyed it and is a LOT of work. It's also interesting that a goat is so much harder on equipment, the barn, fencing and my time, patience and stamina than horses! A goat at 80-90 # or less compared to a horse that is 1200# makes the work and repairs way out of balance!
 
Now, I need to get a new avatar pic in my profile. That cute Patches grew up and is moved out. I think the new owner is going to enjoy him. He has a different set up and he knows what I've had to deal with from both, Patches and Wrapper. Who gets to grace my profile now? It sure won't be a picture of me, so don't get excited there!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day

I hope you've all had time to spend with those closest to you!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Happened Again!

While doing some chores Thursday afternoon, I saw a fluffy tail shake and it was too big for a chipmunk or the small red squirrels we have around here. It was too small and plain colored for a coon and they shouldn't be out that early. So I go to take a closer look and up pops a blue-gray kitty cat. She hissed but didn't attempt to move away. I thought maybe she was there and couldn't get thru the fence so took a few more steps and she moved further to my right... And there they were - 2 little gray kittens peeking at me.

JUST what I need - someone's unspayed momma cat delivering me her litter of kittens. I guess she may be the critter that is at the back door around 10 pm at night that the dogs have a tizzy about and I can't see when I turn the yard light on. Every morning my cats' kibble and milk dishes are empty (outside the door). They shouldn't be empty because 2 or 3 of them come in at night so there are 1 or 2 still out. Plus Bobbi only goes out for a trip around the dog's yard and back in. The one never comes in and that's Barney, a previous stray who came to produce a litter and adopted us. (We paid an arm and a leg to spay her.). But this momma cat must figure she could bring the kids to the "goat farm" to get them lots of goat milk to supplement her milk. She's a really nice looking cat so she must have been coming for a snack frequently and decided it would be easier to haul the kittens here and save her self some work.

The problem is, she's unspayed so she'll soon be pg AGAIN and will keep bringing me litters of kittens! How many litters do they have a year? Three or four? Or MORE???? So, I'm trying to live trap her and she can go with her kittens to a cat resuce or what ever I can get worked out. I've stopped at neighors to see if anyone has a gray momma cat with kittens. They all say nope, not theirs. I suspect someone is telling me a story as this momma cat would have had a heck of a lot of work to carry kittens too far! A long-term solution is NEEDED, and quickly!

Anyway, I took a cat carrier out later (after those chores) to gather up the 2 kittens and bring them in. They are definitely 6 weeks old and maybe 8. They were active while being caught, but not wild acting. And then, 2 kittens quickly became 5! YIKES!

Then later, my hay guy brought me the last of the square bales of hay I'd paid for and while loading them into my trailer, I kept hearing a kitten crying. So, the 2 who became 5 became 6. Plus, they are very friendly and loving. They've definitely been frequently handled some and would purr right off with a little ear rubbing!

What am I suppose to do with someone else's 6 kittens and their lack of responsibility with their momma cat? I'm out of work and we just can't afford to neuter and spay someone else's 6 kittens! I got Bobbi, hubby's Manx, spayed 2 years ago and it was $115! I couldn't find a discount program to off set the expense but she was also OUR responsibility so I sucked it up and got her done.

Now what? I'm sure open to some ideas and suggestions! How many do you want? Can I withhold the goat milk they are loving and when they're dry mail them to you?

What I've thought of so far is:
* Contacting the cat rescue
* Keep trying to catch up with a couple more neighbors to ask if they have any idea who she/they belong too.
* Call the vet here in the village who is also a neighbor down the road.
* Call the county humane society.
* Call the County Animal Control as if someone might want the 6 kittens back! (I can hear you snickering, "Ya RIGHT" or "Fat chance of that", or some other thought that I've also been thinking.
* I've also wondered IF there is a possibility of using that website for fund raising to pay the vet bill if I can't find a placement for them or at least for the spay/neutering.

IF needed, I could feed them and give them their shots myself, but I can't keep them and pay the vet bill! It would run about $700 to get the kittens alone fixed! Bobbi was $115 two years ago so I can't expect it to be any cheaper! IF I could get this to work to either pay for the vet or pay the part a program doesn't pay, I could probably find a home for a couple who are fixed. I could keep a couple if there's a way to get them fixed.

Do you think that online fund raising for a cause would help with this? Seems there are a LOT of rescue people and all who might appreciate someone stemming the production of unnecessary kittens, doesn't it? Does anyone have the link for that online fund raising?

And, of course, kittens are always CUTE CUTE CUTE; even when there are 6 who could use a good home and a bit of snipping done!
A last resort would be to take them to animal control. But that is not one I really want to do with healthy, loveable kittens as they would put them down. I didn't have a problem with a feral cat that was killing my chickens going to AC as it was truly feral and was worse than a coon in my live trap!! With kittens, I'd rather have a do-able solution that doesn't include AC.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's about time!

This should have been done the first time that a military funeral was disrupted, IMHO! Our military and military families should never have this happen, and at the worst time.

"Westboro Baptist Church protesters will soon be severely limited in their ability to disrupt military funerals, after Congress passed a sweeping veterans bill this week that includes restrictions on such demonstrations.
According to "The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012," which is now headed to President Barack Obama's desk, demonstrators will no longer be allowed to picket military funerals two hours before or after a service. The bill also requires protestors to be at least 300 feet away from grieving family members."

You can read the full article here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/02/veterans-bill-military-funerals_n_1733080.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-nb%7Cdl29%7Csec3_lnk3%26pLid%3D187453

God bless our military and their families! They take care of us and it's about time we take care of them by affording them a peaceful ceremony."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bagasse!

I bet that title made you wonder! It did me!

I found this interesting and will be watching for these paper plates! I HATE having trash that won't compost and paper and stryafoam are my 2 worst. But it looks like we may now have a compostable alternative. I know I'd like to have the option. I don't use many paper plates just because of the environmental issues. I suspect you may have the same feeling. Hopefully we can spread the news or at least support the effort and keep them in the market!

* Disposable, compostable and biodegradable plates made from 100% bagasse - sugarcane fiber remaining after extraction of juice from the sugarcane. Sugarcane is not only a readily renewable resource, but the sugarcane fiber can be turned into products normally made from plastic or paper and avoids the pollution from normal burning of sugarcane pulp after juice extraction.

* These biodegradable plates are soak proof, have no plastic or wax lining applied to it and can be used for both hot and cold items. A far superior alternative to styrofoam and plastic as well as paper plates made from cutting down trees.

* Unbleached bagasse plates are also available - in natural light brown color. Bleaching is usually not necessary, is pollution causing and is mostly done using chlorine or chlorine compounds, which release dioxins.

* If you cannot find bagasse plates in your local stores you can purchase them online.
From www.gophercentral.com's Living Green

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's so hot....

...that when it hit 100* today, Mr. Tom T Turkey decided to play goose. He stood in the deep dish pan full of cool water and laid right down in it like the geese are doing with their bath tub! I saw them chase him out so found a short sided rubber tub and put it in the shade near him and filled it up. Typical turkey that he is, he didn't realize he could do the same in the round tub (which actually fit him better) and waited for another turn in the rectangular dish pan. I didn't have a camera but will keep an eye out and see if I can get a pic of him doing it again some time. Poor boy ....

I just don't know enough about turkeys and definitely about turkeys who live in normally hot summer temps. Tom has dropped or rubbed out almost all the feathers on his chest and underside. He still has them on the inside of his drumsticks but his chest looks weird being nekked!

Tomorrow we're to ONLY get to 88! It's going to feel wonderful! But we are desparate for some rain.

Friday, July 6, 2012

How hot is it?

It's so hot the sun is panting! It's so hot that we have set a heat record of 103. It's NEVER been that hot in this area in all the years they've recorded weather stats. We've hit 100 some years.... in August! We're in a drought! I've never lived in a drought! I've never heard of wells drying up from a drought here! This is the Great Lakes! Every day this week we've set a record that was last recorded in 1887, 1987 and 1918! It just doesn't get like that here! It's so hot and dry we aren't having a lot of humidity problems! Yuppers, I'm about to whine!

IF you normally buy hay that is grown and shipped from the Northern states, WATCH OUT! Not only is the corn drying up without getting it's growth, the hay fields are all dried up bad and possibly enough to have killed off a lot of the grasses. The alfalfa is gone from them. They may only get 1 cutting this year. I tell you, it's NOT good. We've had some rain go by us but we've not had any rain since back in May! We never had Spring rains this year and very little snow last Winter. It's BAD - VERY BAD.

And you still want to know how hot it REALLY is, right?

Well, my sweet goatie, Jewels, told me to feed her cocoa on the milk stand and she'd give me hot chocolate!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Surprise Surprise!

What a WONDERFUL surprise it is too!
Sugar Baby IS pg and IS going to kid! Sugar is a "red" LaMancha doe and a FF (first freshener). She's BEAUTIFUL, SWEET, a JUMPER :( , and exceptionally well-bred.

(Sorry if I've used this pic before. It was taken Aug 2011. Guess I better take some new ones!)
 
I was sure looking forward to her Mini Mancha kidlets and sooooo hoping for doelings! I expected her to kid back in April and then May and then gave up. She had a precocious udder and at first I expected she was bagging up. I was having trouble with her gate jumping and needed a good buddy for June Bug. June Bug has kidded with triplets and her first live birth. She was losing her kids in the pen with her twin and there was too much commotion there. So to keep June with her kids to get them all bonded and a functioning doe with her own kids to tend, she went to the horse trailer for peace and quiet. It is also small enough for the kids to not be lost. Dinky was only a pound when born and June was confused and stressed with 3. So this worked so I could work with her and make sure the kids were tended. But she wasn't contending well with her twin no longer velcroed to her from nose to the tip of her tail. So I gave her the 2 FF does (Sugar & Jewels) as she ranked higher than them in the herd and they weren't annoyed with the triplets. All was calm and cozy.

Then Jewels kidded and boy was that a shock. I hadn't expected her to kid that soon. She had to be moved back to the barn. Back to Sugar!

So that left Sugar with JuneBug and her triplets. They quickly settled down and life was calm. Sugar started to bag up (I thought!) Then she let "Dinky" nurse her a bit so she ended up very lopsided. :(

Then no progress. Then I "gave up" on her kidding this year! Yet wondered what the problem was, and kept wondering about her. I asked her and she didn't tell me anything other than she was ready to eat and she LOVES grain. So I kept thinking and staring at her. I knew she was running from the buck with her rear tucked and jumping gates, fence, etc to escape his attention. I kept track of her heat cycles and then when she wasn't coming in I started counting! I guess I missed a heat cycle and the buck didn't! I also moved her to the non milker pen of does and told her she was officially dieting as she was getting to be quite a piggy little chunk. (My fault and she IS pudgy. I have NO room to talk so 'nuff said.)

During all this pondering about the Sugar status, I had the thoughts of free-martin, hermaprodite, etc. kicking around in my brain. I also have spent considerable time researching the free-martin and hermies.

Free martins occur when and female and male offspring (cows and goats, I'm not sure if other species have them and which if they do. From my researching and info from very knowledgeable individuals and articles, the testostorone is too high for the female to correctly develop their female anatomy. They also don't grow the external look of the vulva and tip after birth. They stay smaller. They do have heat cycles but the anatomy isn't fully attached correctly in the various parts. The hermies can be checked internally for a small penis inside the vulva. But the hormones allow some growth of the vulvar area. Neither of these "fit" Sugar's status. She showed heat related and breeding related progress.

So I wondered if she just wasn't old enough and then the season was over. I've been disappointed. I even got to the point that I debated the cost of keeping her if she didn't settle and kid. I decided she'd get this Fall's chance and if she didn't kid next Spring I'd just have to decide then what I want to do. And I decided IF IF IF a perfect home opportunity occurred I could then place her. BUT, I LOVE this doe! She's just a SWEET HEART and so loveable. She's a huggy goat too. I can love on her all I want and she keeps saying she LIKES it and DESERVES it. She does think she's pretty darn special and I tell her she is. It would be hard to part with her. BUT, they need to be paying their way in some manner to be here. We can't afford expensive pets and I just can't do a full-time, forever house goat. The ND's and kids do fine and their time is limited and they are confined to the play yard/play pen. NOT enough room for a goat and I'm NOT doing hay in the house, not to mention the rate of a standard sized doe peeing! So I have pondered on....

But, now Sugar's truly bagging up nicely, but still somewhat lopsided. :( Now I guess I can get excited again other than I hope we get a break from the heat when she decides to come due. The heat would be just horrid for a laboring doe, and especially a chunky one. I do have ice packs in the freezer.... we do have super cold well water.... so we can work with it but it's still rough on an animal to labor and birth in the hottest summer weather.

But, I'm going to have Sugar-sweet kids! I sure hope she's going to give me twin doelings! I mean after all the mental "stress" of her breeding - now period.... I really am "owed" healthy, successfully kidded doelings! I had tooooo many bucklings again this year!

It's amazing how a mere goat can take one thru such "emotional" ups and downs! So, I've had to make a fast transition from up to down and giving up to back up!

My fingers are crossed! I'm envying Sugar's udder attachment - just beautitul so far. I'm wondering if I'll get my asked for and hoped for doelings, and of course I've now started trying to convince her that's what I'm owed. I'm concerned about her hefty stature and the heat..... Come on, Sugar Baby! Bless me with doelings and 2 or more!!!!
 
Cross your fingers with me for a successful kidding and twin/trip DOELINGS!  Gosh I'm excited and even more from all the thinking here to post some good news!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day!


I hope you all are having a nice 4th of July! We've been very busy all day and I've finally gotten a moment to stop in. I've had our military and freedoms in my thoughts all day. I GREATLY APPRECIATE all our military, past, present and future do/have done for all of us. I also GREATLY APPRECIATE the families and special persons in their lives who support them and sometimes have to care for them if they are injured or have any types of problems from having served. There's no way we can thank them all enough.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Birth Announcement!

Thomas T Turkey, and his lovely Tomasina T Turkey, formerly from Terre Verde Farm, are the proud parents of a couple brand new poults! My very first home raised poults!

Thom & Tomasina are Royal Palm Turkeys, which are a heritage breed.

Turkeys have NOT been an easy bird for me to raise. I tried years ago (before the internet) and treated them like chicks. I lost them all as the chicks went under cover and the poults just sat out in the rain and died. A few years ago I decided to try again as I kept seeing RP's on the net and then saw some in person. WOW, are they striking. I also have enjoyed watching the wild turkeys. When Terre Verde Farm had poults for sale I got half a dozen hatchlings (couple days old and extremely well cared for under Tammy's careful management). The first winter I lost 3 and had lost one earlier. So I ended up with 2 hens. I got another Tom from Tammy and they were doing pretty well as far as I could tell. Then I lost a hen over last winter. I've been so hoping that Thom and Tomasina could pull this off. They finally started trying to mate this spring but I never say them get the deed done. I just saw poor Thom taking a few awkward "spills" and then fluffing up to to improve his demeanor. So I thought I'd help and kept putting the eggs in my incubator and never had a single one hatch or develop! I thought they weren't fertile as I broke several open (phew)  and there wasn't any development at all.

So, when Tomasina went broody, the eggs were almost all in the incubator so I left her with the last 4. SHE was able to incubate and hatch them MUCH better than I did! So from now on, Tomasina will be hatching her own clutch of eggs and I'll probably have a lot better hatch rate!

I've seen 2 but don't know how many she has for sure. Tomorrow they will need to be released from her huge dog shipping crate that I've been locking her in to spare her the varmit attacks that have eliminated almost all of my chickens in the last couple weeks. I cherish my face and arms much more than I need to know how many she hatched. That can wait til tomorrow as there's nothing I can do to change what she does better than I do!

But, I'm ESTATIC! Maybe if I leave them to this flock expansion program it will happen.... next year!

And maybe I will go ahead and buy some Red Bourbon poults and get a slow start with them!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Acquisitions!

How's that for a subject line?
In the middle of all the coming and goings, I have a new doeling coming. Unfortunately she half and half and but she should be able to fill her milk bucket too!

She's by a LM buck and a Saanen doe. It was an oopsie breeding but the genetics from both are outstanding so for a home milker, she's DEFINITELY coming. She's a sister to my LM doe and I love this doe so hope the new will be a lot like her!

One of my goals for this year was to add a Saanen so I'm meeting half of a goal! I did give up on that for this year as I got the 2 Angora's so that was all I was going to do for adding to my base herd for this year.

Now I'm trying to think of a name for the new girl! I like their names to be distinctive because they do learn them. I like to have them different enough that they KNOW if I'm talking to them. I've got a list of potential names for her started but need to see what fits her.
 
It's sure fun to be bringing home a new doeling and even if she will be a grade! I do hope she'll be able to produce a good amount of milk because of losing Kendra's daily bucket full. Losing Kendra, I've been real short on milk and have had to buy milk for the house.

I bought a couple more stainless milk buckets when the feed store was closing so I can milk everyone into their own bucket. I have a big bucket already for the new girl so I hope she'll be able to do it justice! lol More on her when I get her home (soon)!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Farm Report for June 4th

Why am I still amazed every year that the barn gets sooooo much calmer and quieter when the kids start leaving? It was soooo much more peaceful to do chores last night and milk.


I finally made up my mind on which 2 bucks to keep out of the 3 and Wrapper left. The other 2 remaining boys better BEHAVE and not be destructive. I just don't have the energy or desire to deal with destruction. If they are going to be a buck, they MUST cooperate to be lead, and ESPECIALLY if they are going to ram the gate open and knock me down! If they are going to make things difficult for me, as much as I like them, I just can't do it. I guess I'm getting too old and I can tell you, getting up isn't getting any easier either. He was not mean at all, but not easy enough for me to manage with my health and disability.

Along with Wrapper leaving, Kendra's orphan bucklings left. They've not done really well without their momma. They were pretty cooperative even though with momma and being dam raised. When Kendra passed, I left her with them and her fav bud for the better part of the day. The 2 boys didn't take it well and even though just short of 2 months, turned "wild". I had to catch then and get them on a bottle for a couple weeks. One took to the bottle right off and would suck. The other only wanted to chew. But I did get milk in them and more in the willing-to-suck boy of course. The willing boy got to the point he'd come to me and take the bottle but he had to see the bottle to come or he didn't want any part of it. They will end up being 4H show wethers and I think they should do well. They are going to be pretty striking looking boys and stout.

 Also leaving was Boomer, Jewel's first kid and a buckling. Now I get the milk! I've been so waiting for this! I love this doe! She's also Kendra's daughter which has made Kendra's death easier to handle. I've been milking Jewel some and she's very easy to milk. She does squirm a bit but I think she'll quit soon. I hope her next lactation will up her production. Boomer was doing an excellent job milking her out so I hadn't gotten much from her so I'm not sure how much I'll end up getting from her. I sure hope she milks like her momma! She does have better udder attachment and that was the one thing I needed improved. The little rascal was getting so he could sneak out and get to the little doelings. I'm not sure what he was doing to escape but I kept trying to "shore things up" to prevent it and he was still finding a way!

Two ND's also left. JuneBug's buckling and LadyBug's white doeling left. I hope I made the right decision in letting Jitterbug go as he was a striking looking boy and a real sweetie. Had I kept him I'd have been back to 3 bucks. I don't need 3 bucks for 8 does!

So, 6 less to feed, and there are still 4 kids here, Sugar still to kid and a doeling I need to go pick up. Claire has her 2 bucklings who are spoken for and will leave when they are ready to wean. JuneBug and LadyBug still have a doeling they are nursing. I'd like to get a little more time on JuneBug's doeling. Her buckling was the largest of the triplets and I lost Dinky a couple weeks ago. Maddy is still a bit small so I want to give her a bit more growing time and to mature a bit more too. The two are going to the same home so Mosey can spend a couple more weeks with LadyBug.

Sugar, my adorable LaMancha doe, needs to get with the program. I thought she was due before this. She evedentially had a precocous udder. Now she's actually getting some bagging up done.

I'm getting an oopsie half sister to Sugar. The new doeling is half LaMancha (Sugar's sire) and half Sanaan. I had a goal for a Sanaan this year. Then I got the other twin doelings and decided it would have to wait. But I got offered this "La Sanaan" or "La Manaan" and quickly said yes! Now I need to go get her! I hope she has the same disposition as Sugar. What a love Sugar is. Oh, and I hope she doesn't have the need to scale tall walls that Sugar has!

So, it's sure a lot more quiet and calm to feed and milk! I'm all for it even though I LOVE the kids! Last Winter, my core herd was down to 9. This year it will consist of the 10 following:

Claire (aging Alpine)
Jewels (FF Alpine)
Sugar (LaMancha - FF if she gets to it)
LaMancha x Sanaan doeling to come
Deliah (Angora doeling)
Daisy (Angora doeling)

JuneBug (ND)
LadyBug (ND)

Kernals (ND buck)
Patches (ND buck)

That will keep me plenty busy with the goats over the winter.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I've Tried and I'm Trying Again!

I've been having some computer issues. I hope I've got the majority fixed. The fact my computer is over 5 is a problem. It's showing some "age issues" and instability. I hate to have ANOTHER computer repair but it's looking like it needs some hospitalization!

Please bear with me! I've lots to share and pics I can't seem to get resized as my Jasc program is also sick.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

All I need to know I learned from the Easter Bunny!

All I need to know I learned...
from the Easter Bunny!

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

There's no such thing as too much candy.

All work and no play can make you a basket case.

A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.

Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.

Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.

Some body parts should be floppy.

Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans.

Good things come in small, sugar coated packages.

The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.

To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.

The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

Happy Easter!

Temperature Converions - F vs C

I finally found a chart so I don't have to struggle thru a migraine to convert the temps! Now I can look at the formula I posted before and get this right.


°C................°F
100............212
90..............194
80..............176
70..............158
60..............140
50..............122
40..............104
37.............96.6
30................86
20................68
10................50
5................41
0................32
-5................23
-10...............14
-20................-4
-30..............-22
-40..............-40

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mohair!

Do any of you remember mohair yarn and wrapping a boyfriend's class ring with it so it would fit your finger and be all fluffly and soft?
 
We are now "manufacturing" mohair on the hoof! As of today, I'm the ESTATIC owner of 2 Angora does (yearlings). I am so excited and LUCKY!
 
They have had their Spring shearing but have some long curls on their undersides that need trimmed to have their whole coat the same length so I'm looking forward to have a handful of their soft locks. I'm not sure what I'll do with a small handful, but if nothing else I can start to learn about the feel of fiber! I should be able to shear them this Fall just before breeding season.
 
I'll try to get some pics tomorrow. They are twins and just adorable!

Monday, April 2, 2012

There is Mayhem, Mischief & Madness in My Barn

When we got home the night before last, I put some Mayhem, Mischief & Madness in my horse trailer for the night. When I showed up yesterday morning I found my trailer had an alarm system and the system said I was probably stealing the trailer. Then yesterday I got them moved to the run-in stall on the back of the barn. Now today I have an alarm system in the barn and it was declared I was trying to steal the barn.

So I put some corn and rabbit pellets in the feed bucket and said I'd be back in a while.

When I return, I'll take my camera. Then I can show you what is causing the ruckus!

Oh, and the goats are NOT impressed!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fahrenheit to Centigrade Conversions

I need a bit of help! Yes, I could look this up and figure it out myself, but I'm in a major hurry and just don't have time. I wanted to use it but... maybe I need to put it off.

For the centigrade, is it a fraction of five ninths so it would be 5/9 without the spaces? so -32 x 5/9?

And for the fahrenheit is it the actual centigrade number x 9/5 and +32?

Or are they using calculator symbols so the / actually means divide?


Fahrenheit to Centigrade Conversions:

Centigrade = (Fahrenheit -32) X 5 / 9
Fahrenheit= (Centigrade X 9 /5) + 32


I should have been a scientist! Thanks for any help you might be able to offer!

Have a good weekend!