Friday, April 29, 2011


It's 52* out and SUNNY! The grass is GREEN and growing. The tree leaf buds are swelling my and lilacs have a tinge of green to them! I picked a few daffodils and brought them in. THIS is Spring! I LOVE IT!

I'm getting some things done outside today! Yesterday I had to take hubby to the dr, pick up prescriptions, get a couple groceries, etc.

We made our regular trip to GoodWill too of course! I found a JUICER! It's a cheaper one as it's one of the dark blue with speckles on it type like the water bath canners, but it's a jucier and they are expensive new. This looks to be practically new. Unfortunately the booklet is not with it, but I belong to a couple canning groups. I'll try to find a few blog articles with photos too. I found a couple neat cookbooks too! Sometimes I get too excited over such little things!

The laundry on the line is dry too. I love to hang my laundry out to dry. I miss that over the Winter. I'm thankful I don't have rules telling me I can't do this!

Back to work. It's time to fill some milk bottles and get the disbudding done! Everyone gets a bottle to help comfort them through the drama.

Patches is now able to be done too! He's able to jump for joy and cause havoc. Hubby is calling him a guppy - goat + puppy. He flies across the living room and into hubby's lap now. He's traveling in leaps and bounds. It's time to see if he can be incorporated in with the rest of the kids again. There aren't any goats in the isle of the barn now so IF needed, I can pull the 2 biggest boys out so that it's more of a fair situatio to all who are left between size and being disbudded. Hopefully that will work or I'll adjust the situation and find what does!

I'm working on getting the pics of Patches and Lady's trip to the vet done for a post.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

National Pigs in a Blanket Day

Interesting! This year Easter falls on National Pigs in a Blanket Day, April 24th! I'm far from up to par today so my first thought was why would they do that but it's because Easter doesn't fall on the same Sunday every year!

So, after your Easter dinner, you need to whip out your hot dogs and have a pig in a blanket for supper or a late-night snack and celebrate!

And while you're at it, have a WONDERFUL Easter! Feel free to take a copy of either graphic!

Saturday, April 23, 2011



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Friday, April 22, 2011

How to Put a Damper on Easter and Earth Day 2011

Here's exactly what all those Peeps, bunnies and eggs will cost you calorie-wise.

1. Peeps. A few of these fluffy, sugar-filled treats can add up quickly. Go through a row of four bunnies and you're at 130 calories. Peeps are fat-free but do weigh in heavy on the carb count--each little rabbit has 8 grams of sugar alone, adding up to 32 grams in a serving of four.

2. Jelly Beans. These can be your worst foe or your best friend in the Easter basket, depending on how many you eat. Each individual bean is pretty low in calorie count, with usually around 5 or 6 calories, but munching through a handful or worse, an entire bagful, of Jelly Bellys adds up quickly. The recommended 35-bean serving comes in at 140 calories from 37 grams of sugar. To avoid jelly-bean overdose, it's probably best to grab a handful and then keep the Easter basket out of reach.

3. Cadbury Chocolate Eggs. These eggs may look tiny, b ut their calorie count is anything but. A handful of 12 eggs comes with 190 calories and 8 grams of fat. You might want to skip over these high-cal eggs if you come across them on the hunt.

4. Cadbury Creme Egg. It's possibly the quintessential Easter treat, but most people won't be surprised to find out that the creamy egg packs in the calories. The 1.2-ounce egg comes with 150 calories, 5 grams of fat and 25 grams of carbs. If you're looking for an excuse to indulge, there is a slight silver lining: the tasty milk chocolate comes with 40mg of calcium, which is about 5 percent of the recommended daily value.

5. Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. This egg slightly edges out its creme-filled rival in the unhealthy Easter-egg competition. All three varieties of the Reese's egg--milk chocolate, fudge and white chocolate--have a calorie count of 180. The fat content weighs in around 10 grams, double that of the Cadbury Creme Egg, with the white-chocolate egg the worst, a t 11 grams. Stick to the traditional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, which, though it lacks the festive Easter element, has nearly half the calories of its egg-shaped relatives.

6. Lindt Chocolate Carrots. In a sea of eggs and bunnies, chocolate carrots are one of the more unusual Easter candy options--Lindt only started offering them seven years ago. Sadly, they have little nutritional value in common with their vegetable counterparts: a box of four carrot-shaped chocolates has 210 calories.

7. Hershey's Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg. This might come as the biggest surprise: one hollow Hershey's egg (4.65 ounces) has more than three times as many calories as the Cadbury Creme Egg. The shell alone has 570 calories. Start munching on the four Hershey's kisses included inside and you're up to a whooping 660 calories and 41 grams of fat. This may be one of the few Easter offerings that makes a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg look like health food.

8. Large Chocolate Bunny. Not surprisingly, the bunny reigns as king when it comes to Easter calories. But the calorie count may still raise a few eyebrows: the average seven-ounce rabbit clocks an impressive 1,050 calories. Smaller bunnies are better--rabbits of the one-ounce variety only rack up 140 calories.

Ruins the whole holiday, doesn't it? After all, what does one expect in their Easter basket? ALL of the above! So what do we do now? Maybe we should go back to celebrating the real meaning of Easter, huh????? That and eat some good Easter eggs. It keeps the chickens working and it makes for good family time and family memories for our kids!

That being, I hope you'll all have a very nice Good Friday, Easter, Earth Day and weekend.

Grace is coming home tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing her. I'm looking forward to seeing how she and Summer react and if they settle immediately into their old relationship or if they have to develop a new one. I guess Grace went from being the low pony on the pecking order to the top of the herd! Summer was the top here. I hope they don't have to fight it out as I don't really have a way to keep them separate any more and we're to have storms all weekend. The only shelter from the storm is a single run in stall in the back of the barn. I don't know how Grace handles storms any more. We had the horrid storm about 4 years ago where I lost a few horses in the lightening strikes hitting the flooded pastures. They survived but got a jolt leaving them with a fear of water touching their hooves.

I have more work to do on one of my newer compost bins. I'm not really doing anything new for Earth Day, but rather contining on with things I do that are good for the earth and my environment. It's also good for how my little part of the world extends beyond my little spot and into the larger area beyond myself. I do now have a shorter term compost bin and a longer term compost bin. I've never done that before. In a few years I'll see how that has worked. I've not heard of doing it either so it's a completely new experiment.

Have a good weekend! I may post but don't expect you all will be around to read it! ;)

Disclaimer: I don't know where that came from. I got it as a joke in a group of graphics, humor, etc. So it's as if it's free game and I hope not a copy right infringement. If so, I'll delete it from my group if one can prove to me it's theirs and I'm not looking for a fight to see the proof!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


...was one of those days that left a lot to be desired! It started out to getting up, looking out and what did I see.... SNOW! LOTS of snow. I wasn't expecting snow. I was expecting GREEN! GREEN GRASS! It's SPRING. I'm still TIRED of Winter and COLD. Cold comes with snow. YUCK! Unfortunately that set my mind frame. And another quick thought was I hoped the babies in the barn weren't too cold. It was sure cold in the house! Anyway, time to feed the kids and dogs and the cats and I needed coffee! Like in the Winter, my coffee didn't stay hot!

Yesterday was an "action packed day". I had lots of things on my "list of to do's". Too many things. Just regular, every day type things.

I had to go to town and get feed. When I got home to unload they'd not included the beet pulp I'd paid for. I'll have to go back and get that. I REALLY miss having had the mill here that closed. I miss them greatly and I miss the couple who had it greatly too. They were very special people.

I had to finish dealing with taxes as I diddled around til the last minute and KNEW BETTER of course.

I'm heat treating milk for all 11 kids and that's a lot of keeping a close eye on the milk! They're now drinking more than I'm milking so I'm always just behind on that and wish I had milk ahead. I'm buying milk and at the price I'm hating it so not buying but 4 gallons at a time.

With a few days of HEAVY rain before the snow, it's been slick clay and muddy. I was NOT a happy clucker when I slipped and fell on my fanny in the chicken pen and got my hands in it too last night! I'm always happy to know there was NO CAMERA there so at least I don't end up on utube with a million viewers laughing at my mishaps and antics. I just have to know that the poultry are laughing their feathers off. YUCK! The best part of the whole thing was I had just sat the egg basket down so I could try to get the eggs in the dog crate that is there for the turkeys so no eggs were harmed. But the eggs are sure dirty from all the dirty birdy feet! The bedding is dry!

And, the does weren't too happy with me either. They complained about my cold hands on their delicate anatomy parts they wanted to keep warm! Becca (bratty yearling Alpine) had been a jerk (before I put her on my nice new milk stand) was beating the tar out of June Bug (ND) with her trapped in a corner with no escape. She managed to kick the milk bucket out of my hand with almost all 3 quarts of milk dumped.

And, unfortunately, today is very much like yesterday. Geeezzz! I want the REAL Spring back! The happy-go-luck type one!

Monday, April 18, 2011

She's Coming Home!

I don't have pics of her I have resized to post! I'll have to take new ones when she gets here! Anyway, YES, she's coming home! I didn't expect it, but when I let her go, I prepared for it just in case. She left on a life time lease that said if they couldn't keep her they had to return her. They are HONEST people and kept their word and honored the lease! That hasn't happened very many times at all in my horse related life! Sadly, I could count the number of times it has on my fingers! Unfortunately, Grace had been injured so I was concerned that she'd end up at slaughter. She has the ability and genetics to be an outstanding broodmare and has proven it with a gorgeous filly. When I first got the call I immediately thought of a new placement for her that I could send her too but I'd have to give her up permanently for it. Then more I've thought of it the more I wonder if I can afford to keep her now. I've really missed her and I know Summer has missed her even more. They are paternal sisters and have always been together. So now I've decided to keep her here over the Summer while there's plenty of pasture, enjoy some time with her and see how it goes. I would also loose the ability to have another foal from her if things change financially for me in a couple years. I'd really love to breed her again if the horse industry and my situation improve. But, for now I'll get to enjoy her company some more and that's a blessing I hadn't expected but I'm excited over! I just wish that Jodi hadn't had the unforeseen situation crop up in her life. (If you want to send prayers for her I'm sure she'd appreciate it immensely!) I'm not going to make a welcome home banner but I sure bet Summer will be screaming one when that trailer pulls in!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Incubating News

The 3 little mixed breed hatchlings are doing great. All 3 are getting around well and strong and vibrant chicks. With my luck they will all 3 be roosters! Just what I need!

I cleaned the one incubator and have some chicken and the turkey eggs in it. The chicken eggs take 21 days and the turkey 28 days til hatch.

In a week I'll set the turkey eggs I continue to collect in the other incubator and continue to do that weekly. I got 6 turkey eggs last week to hatch and I can put 48 eggs in the incubators. Being the Bantam eggs are small I can add a few more than 48. That allows me to put the 6 turkey and 6+ chicken eggs in each week and I'll have chicks that can help the poults with eating and drinking and such and not be so old they want to peck on them. I've not seen Thomas T Turkey mating with the hens. I do see the hens submissively laying down next to him but he continues to strut, display and vibrate his feathers making his strumming music while his head turns red and his wattles red and blue. He's got the foreplay part down but I don't know if he's getting the business part finished. Maybe he needs to take note of the roosters who don't know the meaning of foreplay and are all business and professional stalkers!

I also have the money now to order the parts for the other incubator that had it's wafer croak. That will help immensely being I have to quit hatching earlier this year so the chicks and poults have more time to mature before winter.

It took too long for Winter to end and now Spring seems to be flying!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Incubating and Turkey Eggs!

My turkey hens have started laying! I think I've gotten about 6 eggs now. Yesterday they both laid. These are going in the incubator either tomorrow or the next day. I need to empty all the unhatched eggs out and clean them out.

I've had a BAD hatch. I've gotten 3 chicks from the 2 full incubators! I don't know why. The 3 have clean legs and 2 are black with greenish legs. The yellow has pink legs but a muffy type face. All 3 eggs were brown. All 3 eggs were marked as being from the outdoor pen. That pen had the Americaunas and the black sex-links as far as hens. The roos where mostly mixed breed and a few were cochins. Two of the mixed breed were white with some orange and dark brown feathers. I suspect the 2 black chicks are from the sex-links and the yellow from a white roo.

None being Cochin make me wonder if there was a fertility problem with the Cochins. Another thought is maybe the eggs got too cold outside before I got them collected. Or maybe the house was too cold at times for the storage before they were put in the incubator. The incubators were both running very steady and holding their temps very well. I never missed turning. All 3 chicks hatched later than the 21 days.

Now to clean the incubators out and get them loaded again. I'll be putting the turkey eggs in one of them! I'm debating the best way to do it. Do I put them all in one and no chicken eggs and then add more turkey eggs weekly as I collect and save them? Or do I load one and then when I have enough load the other? My thought is if I load one with chicken eggs and put the turkey eggs in the other and add more turkey eggs weekly, I can hatch the turkey eggs in the other incubator after that one finishes it's hatch of chicken eggs. Chicken eggs hatch in 21 days and turkeys in 28. That would allow me to keep adding turkey eggs weekly and might be the they way to hatch more of them.

I sure hope the turkey eggs are fertile and hatchable!

I would also still like to trade someone some of my Royal Palm eggs for some Bourbon Red eggs.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Farm Doings Update

Some days I'm not sure what to use for a title for my post! Today is one of those days as I just have an update and hate to use "busy" incessantly!

Weather wise, they said we were to get to 54* today. It hasn't happened. It's cloudy and got to 47*. That still is nice coming out of Winter and it's still a good temp for having outside catching up and Spring clean up to do. Yesterday it rained ALL day and hard for a significant part of it. Tomorrow is suppose to be T-storms and 51*.

The incubators are on lockdown. Today the humidity was pretty low so I hope that doesn't mess it up. I may have to help stuck, dried out hatching chicks and it's not a good thing to open the incubator during lockdown! One egg pipped a tiny spot a few days ago and has done nothing since. Tomorrow should be the big day! I'm about ready. I need to put the brooder up but everything is all together and I can do it tomorrow as there's not sense running the 250W bulb until it's needed. I'll put newspaper in the bottom and a piece of the vinyl/plastic shelf liner in and that's fast. I can fill the water with hot water. I guess the big thing is to bring the bag of eed in. The van is still near the back door so I can do that.

The kids are doing great. I've a few that really stand out that I like. I like their dispositions too. I have also finally named everyone a barn name. The Alpine doeling I'm keeping is Jewels. She is a broken chamoisse cou clair with wattles. I LOVE wattles. Chamoisse is a pretty brown. The cou clair pattern is dark in the back end and cream to tan in the front with lots of black on the legs, face, head, and underside. The broken means she has some white on her. Hers is a small paint-type marking under her belly that narrowly extends up onto her sides a bit where the cream and black meet. Bandit is her sire and his kids ended up with this broken white spot. He didn't have one but his dam, Spirit has a LOT of white for her broken paint-type marking. Buster, another Alpine, has had digestive issues from the start. He was almost dead when I found him and limp. His mouth was cold inside too. We did get him revived and he's one very well, except the digestive tract. He's finally improving but not over it. I wish he'd get over it because it would be nicer to handle him without a messy bum.

Pictured above is Macey's boy, Beagle. He was born the morning Macey and the others were picked up and moved out. My first sight of him struck me how much he looked like a beagle so I dubbed him that for the brief time he was here. The pics I took didn't turn out very well but they are what I have! He would have made a wonderful stuffed toy. He was one of those who had that type of a look and let you snuggle him like one! I sure wish he'd been a doeling. I'd have asked to keep him/her.

The 2 LaMancha boys have moved to the barn. They seem to be very happy frolicing in the big double pen. I moved most of the chickens to the outside pen so they only have a couple along with a couple bantams.

Unfortunately, a coon made an unnecessary and UNWANTED visit and got 2 of my mottled bantam trio (roo & hen). I was just sick to find them dead yesterday morning. I have the live trap set and baited. We're going to town tomorrow so I'm seriously contemplating picking up another one. They aren't cheap and yet the chickens I bought weren't either and I get no return if I have no eggs from them after buying them. :( So I think another trap will pay for itself over time. Last night I caught the remaining bantams (8) and put them in the travel cage (a ferret cage) and brought them in the house for the night. My trailer is full of hay now. I expected them to smell but didn't notice it until I went to give them some left-over soup this am so they had a snack and a wet one at that. They seemed very content. They'll have to come in again tonight as I didn't catch the coon last night either and it now knows there are chicken nuggets "available" for the snatching. I saw this coon up here at the house the night he got the pair of bantams. He was cleaning up the cat food I put out daily for the cats as the Barney, the barn cat needs food too. With another trap I can have one here by the house and another out to the barn and between both, hopefully get predators before they can get too many chickens.

I bought a used crockpot at GoodWill for heat treating the milk for the kids and CAE prevention. It's sure making it easier. I just need a bigger milk supply for all these babies! Being I brought the 5 home, I'm using more milk than my does who kidded can supply fast enough! Becca and Kendra have finally come into full milk so it's helping. It's not helpful though when Becca gets a foot in the bucket and kicks it over. I do keep another bucket handy so I can pour milk into it as I'm milking with the FF's (first fresheners). She managed to spill milk 2 x this morning so I lost over a pint. Normally that pint wouldn't be so crucial, but it is right now. This morning was the first her milk is fully in and was the first that I was able to empty her udder. We have a problem! It's a significant problem too. Even though I pulled her kid immediately, she has VERY TINY TINY teats. Skinny little teats the size of my pinky finger's first 2 joints! Her udder is small and up tight to her attachment area, the eustascheon. It's small but very nice.... it's just as if the oxytocin didn't last long enough in her system during kidding to help her teats finish filling out. I have a "handful" with simply my thumb and forefinger so I just can't even get ahold of anything hardly at all! I've never experienced this before. My 2 ND does have the same size udders but NICE sized teats that I can get hold of to milk and milk out easily. Becca will need to "fix this" for her 2nd kidding! This milking season will be a long one with milking her. Their udder has "memory" ability so I HAVE TO milk her as long as possible and get ALL the milk every time! If I don't she might get a milk memory that is too short. I'm going to look for a "contraption" tomorrow to make a milking aid with a top that works similar to a spray bottle and has tubing attached to a syringe. I'm going to need it to milk her for long. The good news about milking Becca as an FF is she is being VERY GOOD on the stand. She really doesn't move around much at all which is WONDERFUL! No bucking or theatrics! She seems to only be reacting if my milking makes an uncomfortable move. I'm very impressed with her milking attitude. Thank goodness she has a good one as I'd very be able to hang on to her itsy-bitsy teats!

I'm LOVING the new milkstand. I couldn't use it last night due to the pouring down rain but did in the AM as it was a fine mist. This am was wonderful to have it! In fact, it was BETTER than WONDERFUL! The height is a bit for the does with their full udders, but it's perfect for me to sit down on and stand up from. I put a cart that I have that is short behind it and they hop on the cart and onto the milkstand fine. I'm going to make a box for them to use that is just a couple inches higher than the cart and it will be PERFECT.

It's time to get bottles filled. The milk is finally processed and the kids are hungry! I hope you enjoyed the update!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Beagle!

Yes, you read that right! Went out to milk this am and the guy was coming this afternoon to get the 2 pg does and buck he called asking for.

Giving the 2 Boer does their breakfast and there, laying by Mo'Nique is a little BEAGLE! Macey kidded twins last year as an FF and this year she had a singleton (who was cuddled with Auntie Mo, not momma!). With his long droopy ears, size, shade of brown and SPOTS, he looked like a beagle. Did you get the HE? ANOTHER buckling! Yes, I got a couple quick pics but I need to crop and resize them.

This is the 4th doe who is NOT an FF who has had twins every year who had a singleton this year. What's with that? Young buck? That rascal (Bandit) was ALMOST 7 months when he bashed in the barn and had his way with the does in heat!

The guy also wanted the 2 Lady Bug (ND) daughters from last year. Domino, bad girl, is pg and due soon. She's bagged up and swelling in the rear so she shouldn't be long. He's very experienced in kidding out does so will do fine with a doe kidding at a young age. He'll be taking the other 2 bucklings that I don't want to keep as soon as they are weaning age. I am bottle feeding them right now.

So that leaves me with every one sold that I need to sell for the year plus a couple I hadn't expected to sell and yet had no big reason to keep. I also have an awesome load of hay and a new milk stand. My trailer is full of hay and there's about 15 bales in the barn - BEAUTIFUL hay. I never lifted a bale!

There are also some teens that know how to work and use a bit of muscle in farm related jobs. The 2 boys that came along to work and help out were AWESOME young men. I bet their folks are really proud of them. Not a lot of teens want to do farm labor so it's really nice to see a few that know how to work and are responsible. The guy who bought my goats had the guys along to unload the hay.

My kid count for the year:
June Bug aborted the quads - 3 bucklings and a doeling.
The rest kidded out 7 bucklings & 1 doeling. That is just plain WRONG! NOT FAIR at all!

I am now at the point with the goats that I had decided I was going to need to get to in order to concentrate more on the mini Alpines and now mini Manchas. I have my standard Alpine does and the La Mancha doeling and an Alpine doeling for producing the first generation of the minis and for the milk production I need. I want to have milk and all the goodies from it such as yogurt, cheese, etc. I also have the bucks that I can breed with the standard-sized does to. Then I can "cross over" to the other bloodlines so I should have well bred and vigorous successive generations without using one so heavily that I can't breed out or at least improve upon what I need to. I also still have Lady Bug and June Bug who are ND's and I'm really attached too. Go figure... I have 4 ND bucks and 2 ND does! I'm not going to be keeping 4 ND bucks but at this point I don't know which of Lady Bug's boys I'll most want to keep. Wrapper will be larger than Patches at maturity as they are now. I'm very pleased with my herd now.

I'm very happy how this all turned out between kidding and sales - just not that many bucklings!!

Now I can work on comparing improvements needed in the does and strengths in the bucklings as they develop. I can then make breeding plans for Fall. It may seen a long ways off, but it takes time to figure it all out being the bucklings are young and 2 of the doelings are too. I know what 3 of the standard sized Alpines produce and what Lady Bug produced from last year.

It's been a BUSY day. All the poultry have been moved to their "Summer digs" too. I was able to give away 9 unneeded roosters today and boy am I glad about that. All the chickens from the barn are now outside except 2 hens that I couldn't catch yet. The turkeys are also in the outside pen. The Bantams have been in the trailer since I got them and they are now in the big double stall area in the barn. They were very content in the trailer but they are sure happy in the barn too.

I am worn out.... plum tuckered out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Number 300! Number 22! Number 11!

This is my 300th post! I thank you all for following along and reading what I have written and about what is going on in my life on the homestead. I really enjoy writing the blog. I wish I could keep up with photos better. I keep taking them but getting them cropped and shrunk takes time and my PSP has some hang up and crashes a lot. :( I usually have to reboot. But, I do thank you all for being here!

I'm back up to number 22 for my goat herd and there are 11 kids in the house here doing CAE prevention and getting their temps regulated so they can survive outside without problems. It's still cold and damp out. We had snow this morning and thunder storms this afternoon.

I've had a couple more does kid and have 3 more to go. This has been my worst kidding season ever and some of that is because Bandit bashed in the barn and got in with the does too early in the season. This is the first I've ever had a goat abort and the first I've ever lost any kids in the cold. I have to remember that I also saved a buckling who was almost gone from the cold. We're still dealing with digestive issues with him but he's finally improving.

It's a lOT of work to milk and keep the colostrum, 2nd day colostrum/milk and milk separate and heat treat all for CAE prevention. I'm getting it done, but it's very time consuming. I'm down to 3 nipples also so there's been a lot of washing of them and feeding in an order that keeps things organized and flowing.

I also have 2 mini Aussies who have been a god-send. They truly do help. Alot of what they do is simply cleaning kids, slurping up slopped and dribbled milk, keeping kids company and helping get them where they need to be if they escape. The corgis aren't so helpful. However today Molly, who is OLD, practically blind and in rough shape helped clean and dry 2 kids. I watch them close due to the umbilicil stumps being long and fresh, but they don't mess with them. I find that amazing! Of course then the kids have bonded to the dogs and I and they nudge the dogs looking for food. The 2 mini Aussies take it in stride. Every now and then I'll see Cooper looking at me with kids butting him looking for food and he'll have a look as if to say "SAVE ME"!

Back to work. I have the last of today's milk heating up and need to wash a few more dishes of milk handling equipment so I can get it strained and pressed through the strainer so it won't clog the nipples. I have to make another barn check too. The corgi's need out of the crates for a while and potty breaks. And I have wet piddle papers all over the place to be tended too!

I'm exhausted!