Thursday, June 30, 2011

Morgan's Wonderland

San Antonio, Texas has the NEATEST idea of an amusement park which is for folks with special needs. A father orchestrated it for his special needs daughter and others as there wasn't anything at other parks she could participate in due to her wheelchair.

What an concept he came up with and then was able to put together with donations, volunteers, etc.! The swings have compartments that the wheelchairs are rolled into and stablized/secured. The merry-go-round is also wheelchair accessible and has it's places for them to be secure and for family to sit alongside of their special needs person. It's remarkable.... genius!

There was a brief segment on the Nate Berkus show showing a short video. I was astounded that they've had visitors from 47 states and over 100,000 people! I'm IMPRESSED!

It was definitely time for this and he sure deserves one of the "Father Of The Year" awards for the work to develop it! I'm impressed and what a lucky girl to have this dad!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weeding Season

That's such a non-descript title, isn't it? Well, I've done more weedingj. I am weeding in the garden to, but that's most likely not of great interest so not worthy of posting, nor worthy of your time to read!

This weeding was from the goat barn and not the garden! Yesterday 3 more goaties left. About a month before 3 bucklings left.

My weeding at this point now has my core herd of goats back down to 9 and below my goal of 12-15! I've not been this low for some time! I was up into the 30's with kids only a year or so ago. Kidding season is always a big number explosion due to multiple births. This year we didn't go over 30 due to loss of 7 kids!

I now have the following goaties who I REALLY REALLY like and plan on keeping for some time:

Claire - Alpine doe
Kendra - Alpine doe
Jewels - Alpine doeling/Kendra's daughter
Sugar - LaMancha doeling (pictured above but she's sure grown lots!)
LadyBug - ND (Nigerian Dwarf)
JuneBug - ND

As to the bucklings, 2 would be adequate but I couldn't decide amongst the boys initially. I decided I'd keep the bucklings I had and would weed them out as they grew. One left and now I need to see what these 3 mature into and produce come 2012. At this point, the line-up consists of 3 boys I REALLY REALLY like and enjoy:

Kernals - ND buckling (unrelated to all the other ND's)
Patches - ND buckling/LadyBug's son
Wrapper - ND buckling/LadyBug's son

After the 2012 kidding season, I'm planning on keeping a couple of the kids for a while. I'd like to keep a couple doelings and I'll have 3 Alpine does to choose a buckling from. I've not made a lot of decisions yet for the LaMancha breedings.

I'll be breeding Mini Alpines and Mini LaManchas. I'll need a buckling who is 50% first generation mini and then the following year 2nd generation mini @ 75%. The Alpines will be easier as I have 3 does and more breeding possibilities. The LaManchas I'll have to make more decisions on as I need the % of the LaMancha bloodlines but I also need to keep the gopher ears a priority. The first generation kids will most likely have elf ears and I'll then need to have a buck who can give the elf ears (meaning he'll have to have them!) Hopefully I'll be able to trade kids to get a gopher-eared Mini Mancha buckling.

I now hope that I have the weeding I needed to do done until 2012 kidding is done! Wish me luck and success!

In the meantime, it was sooooo nicely quiet and relaxing to go do milking last night with only 6 does/doelings in the barn! The boys are now in the outside pen. They did some talking and I visited with them a bit too. Kendra and Claire are the only milkers now and it was fast and easy as they both get on the stand get to business. AKA, stand there quietly and let me work! It was also very easy to go out and get the girls out today for some browsing and sunshine.

Now I need to get Waddles and Munchie, LaMancha bucklings, banded and off to their new home. I'm behind on getting them moved! They are out with the ND boys and have been behaving very nicely. They are not escape artists either so that helps!

I'm also studying and debating as to which buckling will be bred with which doe. Kernals will have "the Bugs". I'm now debating the other 4 does with the other 2 bucklings.

Does this all make for I've done the weeding needed and now I'm looking at planting season?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

National Chocolate Pudding Day

Today (June 26th) is National Chocolate Pudding Day. And that makes it a VERY good day IMHO! As important as chocolate pudding is in my food priorities, wouldn't you think I'd have a photo or graphic of it? But, no, not yet!

Yes, I have a purpose for that nice pitcher full of fresh goat milk! I wanted to make some pudding today and now I know what I'll be making! I think I'll "dress it up" with some whipped cream and either shaved chocolate or chocolate chips. A few mashed strawberries folded into the cream would be a nice treat too.

What better dessert for a sunny Sunday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Today is the first day of Summer! Summer is my favorite month, followed closely by Spring. Everything is green and lush. (Being the yard tractor is "down", it's TOO LUSH!) There are, of course, pros and cons of every season so there are things I don't enjoy about summer too.... such as mosquitoes and the few super hot days that zap me physically. But over all, Summer is my favorite.

The 2nd major thing about Summer is I can wish my cherished mare a happy 11th birthday. Where did the time go? I still remember her birth and early foalhood! Summer is my equine soul mate. I'm so very lucky to have her and even after 11 years, I'm still in awe over having a buttermilk buckskin! And to think I bred her, raised her, and am so deeply attached to her. She's quite attached to me and ALWAYS comes to see me, talks softly, and really seems to enjoy being with me. It's sometimes hard to put emotions on some animals, but with her I almost have to say I think the feeling is mutual. Happy Birthday, Summer. I hope you have many many more!

I hope all of you who kindly read my blog have a wonderful Summer also.

This That and the Other Things

Wrapper is doing great. He went back to the barn yesterday because he decided to demolish the house, jump the kid pen, and pee in my desk chair. His leg is healing but I'm still concerned over the outcome but I can't keep him still - he's a goat and a frisky young one! Nature will have to do it's job the best it can as this boy is another who dances and jives to the song, "Don't Fence Me In", amongst others. He has the music in his little heart and believes his hooves were made for dancing to his own drummer. I have to let him dance while TRYING to keep him safe.

In the last couple of weeks, I've had the horrible experience of predators desicating my chicken flock. What a shock to go out the first of it and find 6 hens slaughtered. I've trapped a possum and a coon. Yesterday was the first day in 2 weeks I've not lost at least one hen. I have suspected that I might have a momma coon bringing her ravenous, growing offspring to teach them the fine art of picking off my chickens for a free dinner! Then last night there was another possum at the back door in the cat food. Someone PLEASE find that sign out to the woods offering free chicken dinners! Losing over 25 hens is devastating to me! Yes, I need to do more fencing and work. I've also decided that I should get another live trap. One can't keep up! It's either there are several varmits at once or a lul and none at all. Sadly, it's getting easy to dispatch varmits.

And that is just a touch of the work needing dealt with here on the homestead!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

I hope the Fathers are having a wonderful Father's Day and enjoying some family time where possible!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Wow, that seems like such a milestone of some sort, doesn't it? That huge number is the reader count here on my blog. Just think.... 20,000 readings of my blog and it will happen shortly! I have all of you to thank for it and I do!

Thank you! And especially, thank you to my followers who show up regularly to see what's up in my little corner of this vast world!

Update on Wrapper: He's doing great. The swelling has gone down considerably and his injuries are itchy. We replaced the splint on his leg twice yesterday as he was DETERMINED to rip it off to chew on the itchy spots.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We had to go to town Monday to pick up prescriptions, a few groceries and the usual.

I found the goatie kids a new little tykes toy for clambering all over. It's like a toy box (probably was one) but no lid ($1.99). They'll be able to crawl in it or on it. They tend to like places to crawl into for a snooze. We're getting quite a playground going in the big stall in the barn! I also found a short but very sturdy table for $1.99. I want to see if I can find a piece of rubber (old car mats?) to gorilla glue on top as it's pretty slick. I want to glue some around the edges too so the corners are less dangerous. I'll use my dremel to take a bit of the sharpness out of the corners too. I don't want a bruised udder or such from someone clowning .... goating around. The design of the legs is "all stability" and they are a good-sized, heavy weight material (metal/steel) that won't tip or such.

I found the mark down section at the Meijers garden center and, OH MY, I was sunk! I bought a bunch more tomato plants CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! I also got quite a selection of pepper plants that I didn't have. Then I found packages of asparagus and strawberries even CHEAPER! I've not seen them near that price for YEARS!

I was really really hoping to find a few more rhubarb plants, but no luck there.

I LOVE to look at all the yard toys in the garden centers. Have you seen this year's watering cans that are pigs and roosters? They are a dark metal and so cute! They are also still there on the garden center shelves though. I just "drooled" a little with a smile on my face while "examining" them workmanship and design. CUTE!!

I'm going to have a new asparagus and strawberry bed! I'm estic! My old ones had seen better days and had been so aged they couldn't revitalize themselves. They were also too far from the house and the wildlife did too much damage. The strawberry shoots had reverted to the tiny little bits of a berry and loaded with tons of seeds. Next year we'll have fresh, new plants producing! The asparagus will need an extra year though.

I better be doing a whole lot of tomato canning late summer! And I'll have green tomatoes to "spare"! I discovered green tomato pie that is remarkably like apple. I also had never heard of freezing some green tomato slices for later frying or roasting. Roasted green tomatoes are good too!

I'm behind on my gardening and now I need to get myself back in gear! I have my work cut out for me! It's raining right now though, so I get to take a break and share with you!

I also bought a heavy-duty, outdoor electric cord at WalMart (pricy). Upon getting home, hubby noticed it is NOT grounded! I read all the front of the package how it's useful for all the outdoor needs, including electric tools like trimmers and such. But, WHY IN THE WORLD isn't it grounded? I actually wonder if it's a legal requirement (all the UL "mumble-jumble" that they be. What ever, I'm returning it. I don't want to fry myself or the horses or goats on the stock tank, etc.

All in all, it was a good trip but TIRING! And I found gas 20 cents a gallon cheaper then here our little rural village!

Bring on the strawberries!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise!

I got up this morning to 3 new chicks! They were expected to hatch the 7th. Then we had a power failure AND I found the incubator up to 105 one day when it was super hot out. I didn't expect to have a hatch and yet like I posted before, I didn't want to be the cause of death of any chicks who might just survive!

I don't see any pipped, but maybe another couple might hatch after all?

Yes, a NICE surprise! I needed one! ;)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm in Conflict

with the weather! I so hate Winter and was so glad to see the end of it, but I didn't expect to have July and August in the Spring, and in May and early June. PHEW, and I'm not doing to well with it physically, either. I'm in the upper midwest and not use to this early and excessive heat.

I don't know about you all, but I'm VERY concerned over what our Summer temps are going to be! It's MIGHTY darn hot sitting so close to a hot goat to milk as it is now!

I hope you all are taking pecautions to stay safe as this seems to be nationwide!

I need to go buy feed and am concerned about over heating to unload it! With the price of gas, I don't want to buy it and not get it unloaded due to the extra weight being a gas guzzling weight to haul around!

Me? I'm about to go out and buy an air conditioner! I've been looking at them online and Lowe's has one that looks to be helpful! In the meantime I'm off to get more ice, a wet towel (cold) and am considering hugging a frozen beef brisket while it thaws!

(Wrapper is doing well. Hubby's finally in here so it's about time to rewrap his leg so I can check on it. He's snoozing in front of "his" fan after a snack of fresh leaves and some grass I picked him. He's going to be more spoiled than his momma at this rate!)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My First Aid Kit & An Update

I have a great first aid kit in a bucket. I acquired a red, square bucket several years ago and it became my first aid kit. I'd love a 2nd one as my supplies have increased over time. I may have to consider a red tote, but a bucket with a snap on lid is easier to carry around and stays MUCH cleaner inside. If it tips, the lid stays on. It also makes a handy seat in moments of need too.

I use to leave it in my van that pulled the horse trailer so I had it on the road, and yet it was available at home when needed. Now it's here in the house and still easily accessible in times of need. It has been a great item to have on hand! I recommend that everyone start some sort of a kit. Make sure it's visible to your children and other adults who may be sent to grab it in an emergency. If you use a white one, get some RED tape or a red sharpie or paint and make 4 large first aid crosses so it's highly visible as "the kit" in a hurry or "panic". It can be a life saver and also a stress relief for humans when you have it handy and supplied.

Most of your supplies can start with the basics and gradually work up to what you are able to use and do in an emergency situation and for daily care of serious injuries. As you develop confidence and more abilities, keep adding to it so it's always supplied with anything you might need.

With Wrapper's broken leg, a realization that I hadn't thought of is that I need to get some better splint materials put in my big animal first aid bucket for goat kids of the small variety (ND's). It's also time to get a few more rolls of vet wrap and more padding materials that are goat-sized. Most of what is in my bucket are horse supplies!

Weight-wise, in Wrapper's situation, flat plastic might be a better splint option. I'll have to keep my eyes open at the stores and make a trip through the hardware store. Maybe they have some balsa wood that would be flat, narrow strips that might be strong enough for an ND kid and yet light-weight to not add to the body's stress or the injury's ability to heal quickly. I thought of kids' school type rulers, but I don't want a plastic that will shatter, chip and leave sharp edges for cuts. I need the bottom to be something that that can be aligned and sit flat and stable on the floor/ground for stability and safety. The top needs to be something that won't puncture or cause problems in the belly and pelvic area when laying down, getting up, and moving around. Comfort is a large concern so the animal is able to be still and rest the injury for successful healing.

Depending on the animals you have, baby diapers can be great for bandaging horse hooves as well as duct tape to help make the bandage water proof and more durable. Feminine hygene products can be pretty handy for some types of wound padding. They also are non-stick so won't adhere so badly to the wound. The plastic backing is handy to help keep fluids from soaking into contact with a wound too! Mud, rain, dew, and pee can sure be detrimental to a wound. So with animals, there's more to consider than just keeping a wound clean from debris and pests. Vet wrap is great, but duct tape is more water resistant.

Some things can be found reasonably priced at WalMart and such. Most of the best are going to be found at vet supply places or the larger human medical supply places. Supplying a kit is something to keep an eye out while shopping to get the best deals and to find products in a size for the animals you'll be using them on.

A first aid kit is really something every homestead, farm, ranch should have if they have livestock. I highly recommend you start one, even if the first thing you have is an empty bucket you get the red crosses on and pick up a pair (or 2) of scissors and roll of duct tape at the dollar store! I bet you already have some supplies on hand. If you don't have a designated container, they might be spread out which leaves you pondering if you have all you need for tending to a treatment. It can also leave you running back and forth to grab what you didn't think of. Plus, you can add designated scissors (2 pair - general type and kitchen type), etc which are where they belong and don't need washed, etc.

You really should take that first couple steps and then add to your kit as you can.

Update on Wrapper: He's doing great today. He's still needing a bit of pain relief as he's periodically (when it wears off), doing a bit of teeth grinding if he's up following me around. He's found he can lay and scratch his horn/ear area on his head with his good leg. I'm doing the scratching for the broken leg. He comes to me to have it scratched now instead of trying to figure out how to get some relief. I'm pleased with his progress. I just wish he didn't have to relieve himself when he's followed me to the kitchen! I need to get my hay bag (canvas with a access hole on the side) and hang it on the door handle. He is making quite a mess with the hay I brought him as it catches on the splint and gets drug and dispersed widely. He could lay and eat from it by hanging it on the door.

Emergency First Aid Applied!

My goats did GREAT for a long time with NO vet bills, nothing major that I couldn't handle, etc. Now this year seems to be my "BAD luck year"! Why? Geez, I need to end this stroke-of-BAD-luck and get back on the even keel of homesteading! When will it end? It won't be soon enough! I'm seriously and closely looking at my management!

Yesterday we went for a picnic/BBQ at hubby's best friend's as he's (the friend) going back in for more surgery Tuesday. It's major (kidney and bladder) and he's having some trouble dealing with it. (Prayers for Gaylord would be appreciated!)

When we got home I saw my little buddy/buckling, Wrapper, outside of the barn and 3-legged. I immediately drove out to see what was up. It's not good. He's got a broken hind leg that was flopping. The good news is the bones didn't penetrate the skin so there's no major infection risk. Wrapper is a ND so not very big. Finding splint materials for a little guy isn't easy. Once I was looking I realized that not only is size a consideration, but so is WEIGHT for a little guy when I want the leg imobilized and the muscles to not have to go into major weight-lifting mode. I want the leg to be "quiet", still and rest.

The good news about leg breaks with goats is that they seem to heal better from them then a lot of species and these youngsters tend to heal quickly. Also, I UNFORTUNATELY, have too much experience with goats with breaks and bad injuries to their legs! That experience gives me confidence that this may heal well and his life be spared, but it also leaves me with some cringing internally after LadyBug, his momma, was so badly injured last year and ended up losing part of her hind leg.

Why is it also the same hind leg? Is it a right-handed vs left-handed type of thing? So I'll have to tuck that aside until I'm talking to a vet (which may be REAL SOON)!

Am I going to be destined to be the crippled goat ranch?

Anyway, Wrapper is here in the house and seems to actually be enjoying it! He is my velcro buddy outside and likes nothing better to be in my lap and helping me with milking, trotting along with me as I do chores, etc. It's a part of him that reminds me immensely of Nipper, his sire, who I lost late Winter/early Spring. Unfortunately, Wrapper is also a jumper/climber like Nipper was. They have/had the same view in life! A gate is simply a way to keep their girls confined so they know just where they are and can return to them to make sure things are fine! I suspect that Wrapper decided it was time to find me as I was half an hour late showing up to the barn with his supper bottle of milk. I have a chain link gate in the door of the barn to help keep escapes in, roaming dogs and such out, etc. I suspect the climbing of the gate wasn't successful this time. I'd been telling Wrapper I was going to dip his feet in cement to keep him grounded. Now it's too late!

Hubby helped hold Wrapper while I splinted him up and did a closer exam of his little body and all legs. I gave him a shot of bananmine and thiamine before going after splinting materials so it could kick in and make him more comfy during the procedure, if possible. He was also grinding his teeth which is a sign of significant pain in a goat and should be dealt with. He's now splinted and has a pretty blue vet wrap bandage. He also appears to have a broken rib but is not showing any signs of shock or anything indicating it punctured anything. It's just a good-sized, hard lump on his side, low and close to the belly/chest area that is painful to the touch and uncomfortable to lay on. I'm watching that very closely and his behaviors. Wrapper was a very good boy in laying on his side, being held down and getting splinted.

The game-plan is to give a daily banamine and thiamine shot for today and go from there for pain. He's staying in the house so I can monitor him, keep him relatively quiet and still, and avoid jostling from the other goats which could cause increased damage. Then tomorrow morning (or sooner if he shows any problems) I'll carefully unwrap some of the bandaging so I can check the status and then I'll call the vet and get him in if needed. I've seen steady progress so far so it's telling me I'm on the right track. He's even chewing his cud at the moment and laying quietly beside me, contented. I know from too much experience (unfortunately gained) that the vets (and human docs) do the same (but have xray machines in some cases) do the same as casting is done after the swelling is down. Wrapper did have swelling so we are at the splint and imobilize point and in a 2-day wait-n-see situation with this particular break. This game-plan is also a moment-by-moment type plan that allows for immediate change if there is need or I feel out-of-my-abilities.

A medical background and 40 YEARS adult, homesteading experience with a former vet who use to encourage me to do-it-myself mentoring has proven a tremendous education. Then there is all the human experience that I have unfortunately garnered from my severe accident in 1993 and hubby's issues. Then there are the raising 3 daughters on a farm and with horses too!

So, I do feel in control at this point in time and hope & pray it stays that way! Wrapper, my precious little buddy who I ADORE, is stable, and I have the vet's phone number, emergency call # and pager #.

Prayers for a successful healing are greatly appreciated!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Lesson Learned

I made a BIG mistake with my computer! Actually, make that 2 BIG mistakes! One would have been bad enough, but the domino effect was at play. Cause and effect!

I thought I'd give you all a heads up and hope you don't do what I was doing! You know the cute little symbols at the top of the numbers? Do NOT use them in the beginning of the title of your documents so that the computer (windows) sorts them all nicely with the symbols, followed by numbers, and then followed by letters in a nice neat order. I was using the ~ for my most frequently used documents.

I'm also one of those who doesn't back up files as often as I probably should. I use to do it monthly like I really should. But I get busy and it takes some time to do and I put it off. I've been a bad procastinator! And it bit me in the fanny, or is that finger tips being it's the computer?

My computer had slowed down and sometimes was just plain dragging it's little memory "feet" badly. It's not a new computer any more. They age far too fast. They get fragmented bits in there and and get to the point they are looking for the proverbial computer "needle" in the "haystack" of a memory system. It was having a few "teenage" rebellious moments when there was an offer of a free mechanic program for 30 days, followed by a $4.99 monthly fee. I decided to take them up on the free 30 days. I didn't have time to do a major backup and to tell you the truth, I didn't even think about it. DUMB moment and DUMB impulses! Shame on me!

That mechanic program wiped out the docs with the ~ and I couldn't find anywhere to restore them. It didn't have any undo. I just let it do it's thing automatically instead of picking and choosing. I wouldn't have dreamt that my documents (VALUABLE) documents would have been wiped out so wouldn't have known to say no anyway! (PSA - But now you do!) I searched and searched. I searched the trash, the "recent changes" file, etc to no avail. They were GONE! So were some photos that came with the symbols as the first character. Those were most all downloads though so not so valuable.

I've lost my doc that had all the goat kiddings and dates, the doc with the registered names I was working on for this year's kids, and soooo so much more. My farm notes are gone! Some things are just inconveneient to have lost, like the list of seeds to buy for gardening and plants. Some of this was goals I was working towards, not just a list of seeds. All those notes were the crucial part of that. I lost my list of often used phone numbers and notes that go with them, addresses in some cases, etc. I also had some docs with resource links and links to google. I hate having lost that! One of the docs that affects me most here with blogging is my list of ideas to use for posting, some fun expressions I've run across, seasonal ideas, quotes, etc. That is another MAJOR loss. I'm still realizing what all I've lost!

I've lost the list of foods that I like to eat and cook with that have the glycemic index for both of us being diabetic. I had questions to ask the dietician the next time I see her, etc. This was just a convenience and organizational doc, but still of value. I had some medical directions that the doc gave me for tending to hubby (post stroke), etc. I lost the doc of all our prescriptions that was quite detailed with dates filled, refills left, dosages, notes, etc. That was extensive for hubby and pretty important for when he's hospitalized. He does count his own pills out into his daily plastic organizer but the bottles are tossed. This doc helped me keep tabs without him being constantly reminded, etc. It also helped me in calling for refills.

I had a LOT of organizational and reminder type docs that wiped out. I had them because I have short term memory issues from a bad accident in 1993. I've learned to adapt by keeping notes.

What a lesson to learn from. This happened a few weeks ago and I'm still realizing what a mess I've created! I do have backup discs that are labeled, but they aren't current enough! They won't have the last couple of months of "my life" that was on the computer.
Like we all know, a loss like this takes more recovery time than the time it would have taken to do the backups.... IF only I HAD thought to back up before running a new program!

So this is the end of my PSA (public service announcement) and telling the "world" of my errors! Just remember, those programs that clean up bits and pieces of unused programs, broken files, etc will wipe out anything with a symbol as the first key stroke to a document or file name! Don't do what I did!