Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012!!!

I was hoping you would suck less than 2011. And in most ways you really didn't come through for me. But there were more silver linings on the suckitude this year than last, so there is that. :-)

But you know what? Things are starting to smooth out. Yeah, I had to sell off some things and livestock I didn't want to sell in order to keep things going at the farm, and I have a lot less time to do farming and creating because I have "a job to pay for my real job" now but... dude, I have a JOB! And it is a job that I actually LIKE. With people I like! And so does Tsu! Neither one pays very well, but they do pay. That is more than a lot of people can say these days.

I mean, we are broke. Pay check to pay check. But we are finally at a point where we can make it to the next pay check which hasn't always been the case.

So, here is hoping that 2013 continues the upward trend.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Driving a goat.... seriously?

Yes, this seems like an odd idea in this day and age but in the past goats were used for driving, packing, and pulling by folks who couldn't afford a horse. Or by rich kids. So, you could get milk, meat, landscaping and gardening AND a draft animal. Isn't that something?


Well, the idea when I decided to keep my first goat kid was that he would be trained to drive. He was just so stinking adorable I just had to find an excuse not to eat him.


So i handled him a lot, took him for a lot of walks, and from 7 to about 12 months of age i worked at teaching him the basics.


yeah.... that was just to get him used to the feel of a harness on him. *chuckle*

Around that time my life went sideways and he got relegated to being a buck companion and pasture ornament. He is now a week away from being 2 years old and is such a handsome fella!


Today I tried on my mini horse surcingle and a goat halter and took him out to see if he remembered anything.  he was a bit goofy but he seemed to remember everything he learned over a year ago. Now I just need to rig up a breast collar and traces and find a decent sled, hehehehe!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Best laid plans of mice and men....

Yeah, the agenda didn't pan out so well. The scarf took longer to finish up, the weather didn't cooperate, and blahblahblah....

I hate it when that happens, hehe.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Today's agenda...

Clean up from yesterday's agenda. Finish this scarf. Start on the hat I promised to make in hopes of finishing it before Christmas. Trim goat hooves and take pictures of their hoo-hahs so my goatie friends can look at them and give me guesses as to whether or not they are expecting. Get the wind knots out of Grubby Butt's mane and give him nose kisses. Take some non-inappropriate pictures of the animals to post here. Avoid the news. Watch White Christmas and give my annual thanks for the wonder that is Danny Kaye. Possibly then get distracted by my Danny Kaye adoration and watch The Court Jester (OMG, I LOVE THAT MOVIE! "Get it? Got it! GOOD!" "The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon, the vessel with the pestle is the brew that is true!!") Pick up some 'Tater salad for tomorrow's office party. Possibly nap.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Sorry for my abrupt departure in the last post. The guys had been out hunting during our black powder hunting season and they got a nice big doe for our freezer.

I figured since it has been a while I would post some pictures, the make up of some of the farm has changed and I am far too lazy too go back and see what I have and haven't posted about. So.

Brego, the fat hairball is still a fat hairball.


*happy sigh* I love this horse so much.


Oh, look, I'm a grandma, this is Demetri:

"I find this pumpkin concerning."


In the Link costum I knit for him before he was born, lol.


With his mom on Halloween.



Duck, duck, duck....


the chicks that hatched this summer, it is obvious now which are roos. They will likely be soup before spring.

young roos chicken

Though I may give the one who looks like his daddy a reprieve. Jewels is so pretty, especially now that his moult is over.

Jewels chicken

The handsome red roo will likely not see the end of the year before he lands in a pot. He is a very sweet kind gentle roo, we just have more roo than we need so.... stew pot.

red roo and moulting hens chicken

Look how big and handsome the first kid born here has turned out! Chickory is almost 2 now. I wish I had more time to work him, I really want to get him driving well.

Chickory goat

Stoli and Kahlua, my mini nubians.

stoli kahlua goat

Rosie and Woodruff. Rosie is mine, Woodruff is the goat i am trading for Stoli, he just needs to head home.

Woodruff goat

Buckthorn and Ivy, Buckthorn is my meat mix buck. All my bucks are young this year and small. Buckthorn is roughly 1/2 Boer, 1/4 Kiko and 1/4 Nubian. Maybe more Nubian and less kiko, his mom looks a LOT more nubian than anything else.

ivy buckthorn goat

and Sage and Nutmeg.

sage nutmeg goat

I wasn't able to breed Sage for a fall kid because I had no buck at that point. So I have NO fresh does. *sob* and probably won't have any kidding until April. *sob*

OK, that should be it for now.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Did I move, somehow, without noticing? Some place where winters are wet and muddy? It just seems hard to reconcile the winters of my youth with..... this. I remember deer hunting seasons where the woods were covered in snow and tracking the rare "wounded but not downed" deer was quick and simple thanks to the snow. But now? It's like December has dressed up as March or April for a strange costume party.

Not that I will complain, though. Because to be honest I don't miss those winters one bit. But (there is always a but, and this is a big one) this area was designed, much to my chagrin, to need these winters for our ecosystem to thrive. The flora and fauna here developed to function with a lengthy snowy cold spell. There are bugs who are kept in check by the cold, and plants who only grow and germinate properly if they go through a harsh winter. As much as it pains me to say it.....

We need winter.

But I won't complain.

I have been largely absent here this last year because, quite frankly, we have been trudging through a big patch of rough. The rough patch is gradually smoothing out but it still has it's major sorrows and struggles. Like the fact that if I want to keep the house warm all winter a few things need to happen: I need to inherit large sums of money. I need someone to give the gift of propane for Christmas. I need a second job (oh, did I ever post about having a job here? Shame on me, it's been so long.) I need hay prices to drop. I need the winter to be mild so what propane we do have will last.

Any one or two of those things in combination would help.

Oh, sorry, have to run, the men folk just got us some meat for the freezer! I'll write more later!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Busy busy busy.....

It seems I just haven't the time to keep up with everything I used to do. Having a "real" job in addition to my farming can do that. I'll have to bring this up to day and make a point to make some posts now and then soon. A lot has happened in the last year, that is for certain.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The week got away from me....

It's been busy! Good busy, that is. I got a part time job (YAYYYY!!!!) and getting ready to start that monday has me running around a little franticly. I got to have my finger prints taken on a digital fingerprint machine. Hehehe.

So, as promise, just a little late, the new coop in progress, lol, the Chateau de Poulets:


We need to lower it and level it before I can get started turning it into the chicken castle.


The cab-over part will be enclosed to be a brooder, nest boxes will go along the left, roosts along the right. The area under the cab over will be partial enclosed and extend into the expanded goat pen and serve as a goat shelter. Two birds, one stone and all that. 

I am doing my part to hillbilly this place UP!!!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


It's getting close to my bed time and we are still trying to get the new coop squared away. Too dark for pictures, bwahahaha.... it's going to make the place look even more redneck-hillbilly-hick than it already does.

Nightshade and his twin daughters left for their new home today, Now I have room to move goats around and get my spring pen cleaning done.

OK, neighbour is back to help finish this job up (he was the one who found us this awesome "coop", love having a scrap man for a neighbour, hehe!). I'll try and get pictures tomorrow, y'all are gonna get a kick out of this one....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finally got a picture showing Tigerlily's topline.

Finally got a picture showing Tigerlily's topline.



I can't WAIT to see how this girl turns out!! I don't like a REALLY level hip, but I also don't like a really steep hip (most of my does are pretty steep hipped), I think she has just the right angle.

I don't generally care for LaMancha ears, but I think she is cute. Maybe I am getting used to them? lol.


These two ladies should be going to their new home saturday.


Kahlua's udder went from droopy saggy to this over night:


I have a follow up interview on thursday from one of my job possibilities. I would assume that is a good sign. This job will require me to get a chauffeurs license and drive a big van. That scares the daylights out of me. But if it is meant to be I will just have to deal!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Goat juggling....

I need more goat stalls. hehe.I had to juggle the goats around again to get the ones that need to be in a certain stall or pen where they belong.

No pictures today, but maybe later. I was going to get pictures of Nutmeg's udder to show how it has developed but my pitiful camera decided to drain the batteries after only about 12 pictures.

Kahlua has a full udder. She is the last of my does that is due. I was thinking she was due more like early June but.... Now I am thinking it may be a good deal sooner. So Ivy and Tigerlily needed to move out of the kidding stall and she needed to move in. I put her in there with my Psychoti-goat, Rosie. Ugh, that girl is going to exhaust my patience. But that is a whole other drama. *grin*

Anyway, I'd been keeping Sage and Nightshade together until he goes to his new home in hopes of a fall freshening again but she doesn't seem to be cooperating, so he went back out with Chickory until his new owners come and get him and the twin doelings. That should be around the 12th of may.

I'll try and get more pictures soon.

 Still job hunting. If I don't get something soon I am going to list Nutmeg for sale so i can buy hay. I'd REALLLY rather not do that, but she is nicely bred, has a lovely udder and is currently in milk so she is worth the most.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Good weather for ducks.

It rained. Most of the day yesterday, it rained. Thundered and lighteninged as well. It was a long day and chores were pretty miserable. But it flooded the yard which made the ducks very very happy.



They have been acting like they won the duck lottery. They were fighting over small frogs and crawdads this morning.

So... I had to move the two kids that I am selling... because Brego has allowed them to eat most of his forelock off. It used to be as long as his mane. He leans his head against the front of the stall and just lets them munch away. *facepalm*


And... new picture of Tigerlily. I'm still trying to get a good picture her that shows how nice of a topline she has. She is super flat and level, but every time I try to get a picture she either dips her head and looks low in the chine or steps funny and looks steep in the hip. Stinker.


Nutmeg is giving me the stink eye!!!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The little things.

It's been a wild ride. I feel like every blog post starts with an apology for not updating more often. :-)

I am a grandma. Demetri Isaac was born on April 20th. The ducks look all grown up already. I have three goats in milk and my last kid from Parsley on the ground. She is lovely and elf earred but too friendly to  get a decent picture, hehe. I've had multiple job interviews, but no offers. Signed up to volunteer at a nearby senior care facility (which reminds me, I need to call about my background check, finger printing, and TB test. They were going to call Monday about getting those done and I haven't heard anything yet.) I have sold three goats (Nightshade the fainting buck and his twins from my Togg) and will be replacing the buck with a lovely boer cross buck.

So... Pictures. :-)

Brand new baby, only an hour or so old, with his daddy... my son-in-law, Josh. 


He looks suspicious in this one.


Buckthorn, future herd sire. His daddy is an absolute tank of a Boer buck, mom is a kiko/Nubian cross.



Tigerlily, Toggenberg/LaMancha cross doeling born 4/17



The twins and Nightshade go to their new home as soon as we can coordinate pick up.



Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, DUCK (no goose).


They have a makeshift pond in the front yard.


Gratuitous Brego, filthy-dirty edition:


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No one told me...

I was prepared for them to be noisy, I was prepared for them to be messy. what I was NOT prepared for was for them to grow so darn fast!!



They are growing MUCH faster than the chicks.


Monday, March 12, 2012

An open letter to the weird guy on my bus in 1986.

Dear socially inept, odd smelling, greasy haired, slouching guy with a lazy eye, odd speech syntax and perpetually grease smeared glasses who was a senior when I was a sophomore and who arbitrarily got assigned to sit by me on the bus in 1986,

Today I drove past your bus stop and for the first time in over a decade I thought of you. And I realized that I owe you an immense amount of thanks. Most people found you way too creepy to socialize with, even if they could get past the smell and sticky look of your spectacles. If we hadn't been assigned to share a seat I am pretty sure that I'd have never found a reason to have a conversation with you. But there we were, the second and third people on the bus with a 45 minute bus ride to fill with idle chatter.

Now, I am not sure you noticed but at the time i was not interested in your conversations. I smiled and nodded because I kind of felt sorry for you and while you were "Unique" and smelled like cabbage, pigeon droppings and sour fruit you were also very very nice.

Nice enough to loan me your favorite three books to read because I wasn't confident enough to tell you that I had absolutely NO desire to ready your weird sci-fi fantasy trilogy. And since I couldn't refuse to take the books I also felt obligated to read them. And imagine my surprise when i discovered I really liked them!

Now, I'd read The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia, so it wasn't like i'd never read anything of the fantasy genre, but it wasn't until I read those books you loaned me that I really discovered.... I have an inner nerd.

So, my arbitrarily assigned bus seat partner, thank you for loaning me your copies of the first trilogy of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. I read them again, and discovered there were three more at the time. So I read them, too. As well as a lot of other stuff in the genre. And now I know there more that have been written since I read them last.

I know sooner or later I'd have found my way here on my own, but still, thanks. I've spent a lot of hours with my nose in a book thanks to you.


Monday, March 5, 2012


So, after making the duck post I went out to do chores and between getting Tiff off to school (this is my last week of doing that, ever. *freak out moment*) and chore time... Nutmeg had her kids.

Daddy is my mini fainter, mama is a registered Toggenburg. The babies are TINY. Much tinier than I am used to. But I finally got multiples, lol. Two girls. I have no use for them in my breeding/milking/meat plans so i will offer them for sale at pet prices when they are old enough to wean.

One of the babies is much bigger, more coordinated, more active than the other. The smaller one seems to be developmentally 3 to 5 days behind the other, but is alert and has a good strong suckling reflex. She'll catch up, once she gets her feet under her.

I've been thawing out some of the colostrum I saved from Sage and I give her an ounce or so of that and then help her to her feet and steady her while she nurses. She was knuckling over at first but i finally getting her feet up the way they belong.






Chick days at Tractor Supply. I figured since we already had some chicks in the kitchen I would snag Tsu two ducklings to tide him over until I could hatch some myself. he is always so "suppor-tolarent" of my farming thing that I am inclined to indulge the one thing he has wanted since this all started: ducks.

So... He wants Indian Runner ducks. I describe these as "Bowling Pins with Bills". Keeping in mind that a lot of our farming/pet choices are made by asking ourselves "what will benefit the farm and also make us laugh until we pee our pants?" the choice of Runner ducks is obvious.


They come in a variety of colours from solid white to black with an iridescent green sheen. According to the Indian Runner Duck Association (yes, that is real, I didn't make it up. *grin*):

Indian Runners are a very special breed of domestic duck. When they were imported into Europe they attracted attention because of their tall, upright bodies and their incredible reputation for egg-laying. They had been found in the East Indies, from where they get their present name, but were referred to as ‘Penguin Ducks’ by Dutch explorers and some of the early importers.

And according to Wikipedia:

Indian Runners are an unusual breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddling, they run. The females usually lay about 150 – 200 eggs a year or more, depending whether they are from exhibition or utility strains. They were found on the Indonesian Islands of Lombok, Java and Bali where they were 'walked' to market and sold as egg-layers or for meat. These ducks do not fly and only rarely form nests and incubate their own eggs. They run or walk, often dropping their eggs wherever they happen to be. Duck-breeders need to house their birds over night or be extremely vigilant in picking up the eggs to prevent them from being taken by other animals. Keeping the birds in sheds until well after dawn is reportedly the best solution.
The ducks vary in weight between 1.4 and 2.3 kg (3-5 lbs). Their height (from crown to tail tip) ranges from 50 cm (20 inches) in small females to about 76 cm (30 inches) in the taller males. The eggs are often greenish-white in color, but these too vary.
Indian Runners love foraging. They also like swimming in ponds and streams, but they are likely to be preoccupied in running around grassy meadows looking for worms, slugs, even catching flies.

The eggs and foraging for bugs (they are a very active duck, and are fantastic at bug hunting, as all ducks are) are the "farm" reason for having them. Laughter is the real reason, though.

This is what they could look like when they are grown:

Now ours are just hatchery ducks from Tractor Supply, So they won't be super high quality and super "upright", but we don't need that anyway. They were marked down because they had been there a week already and the new shipment comes in today. I figured they would just have some Pekins and planned to get two to make the Mister happy.... Pekin ducks are the standard white duck most folks are used to seeing.


So.... I almost "squeeee"ed out loud when I heard they had Runner ducks. We ended up with two Pekins and four Runners for what I had planned to spend on just the two Pekins. They are rooming temporarily with the chicks I hatched.



No clue what colour they will be, one has a darker bill than the others, and at least three of the runners seem to have pattern starting to show on their foreheads.