About Old West's Farms & the Animals

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter is upon us ...

I sure do wish we could get a handle on this "global warming" before we all freeze to death.

It is COLD ~

We installed heating lamps in the girls and boys pens, and blanketed the horses. It dipped down
to four degrees this past week with the feels like temp at minus 2.

I blanket the horses when it gets below 15. I know there are several schools of thought with
regards to blanketing, but this is what I do.

I have yet to breed the goats ~ Just hasn't seemed like enough hours in the day :(
However, if I don't get them bred soon, I will have to wait because I do not want babies
hitting the ground in the heat of summer.

Nothing real exciting going on here so I will bid you farewell, Merry Christmas, and leave you with some awesome words by the late great CS Lewis:

I believe in God like I believe in the sun, not because I can see it, but because of it all things are seen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breeding Season ~ Summer beds

Fall, I  LOVE  LOVE  LOVE  fall !!  Above is my brother and sister in my backyard.

October is a busy month on the farm, of course I am still recovering from my "girl" surgery, none-the-less the work must continue.

It's breeding season for the goats, so all my 'kids' are running around jacked up on their hormones.  I have chosen to give the girls a few extra months off.  I will breed them in late December.

Thanks to the cooler weather it is time to fix things that have been broken over the summer, chop up downed trees, and rehabilitate the soil from the summer garden.
Did you square foot garden this year ??  Loved it ... If you have a large area for gardening or small, square foot gardening saves LOTS of time.
Test your garden soil to figure out exactly what it needs and give it to it... Till it up and leave it until next year.

Have you noticed how old time traditions are making a come back? Canning, knitting, gardening, home-schooling, root cellars, bread making, etc...  Don't you find this interesting ??  I personally believe it stems from Americans waking up to the fact that our government is imposing itself on our freedoms and the uncertainty of our declining economy. Is that an oxymoron 'American's waking up'? 

Anyhoo, before I get on a political rant I will bid you all farewell and pray that you have a Spirit filled day !!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goats ... Boy my Buck is Stinky !!

If you are considering purchasing some goats for either your families dairy or meat needs, keep in mind that intact male bucks - STINK ... They pee on themselves - so yes they really stink !!  So when you are building their pen, I say 'their' because he will need a companion, put them down wind and fairly far away from your house. Not so far that it is a huge inconvenience, but far enough so on these beautiful windy days you are still able to sit out on your porch.

Disbud your goats, neuter your inferior boys, and take really good care of your girls, and they will reward you with more than you can dream of.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The workout ...

My very fit friend Shawna text me yesterday and invited me to go work out with our other friend Nicole and her group. Nicole is a personal trainer/fitness guru !! She has a group of ladies over every Friday for an intense group workout. In a momentary lapse of judgement - one stupid, ridiculous, idiotic word I text Shawna back "sure". That was mistake 1 ... I will list mistakes numerically so you can follow, because they are quiet numerous.

I wake to the sound of glorious rain...yank the covers over my head and snuggle further into my pillow.
Mistake 2 - I got out of bed to get ready for the workout -
Mistake 3 - Ate a piece of toast with some peanut butter and honey on it - didn't seem like a mistake at the time, but you'll see...I text Shawna to make sure we were still working out because of the rain - Shawna says "heck yeah the rain should be out of here by 9"
Mistake 4, believing Nashville weather-people ... they are NEVER right.
As I am driving to Clarksville in the mini monsoon I think 'maybe it will be called off and Shawna and I can just go grab some coffee' yummm...doesn't that sound nice :)

We get to Nicole's house/gym and there are 14 ladies there to work out. All varying degrees of sizes, shapes, and athletic ability. I'm feeling OK right now ... that feeling would not last !!
As Nicole begins to demonstrate what we will be doing today I kept looking around wondering if everyone else thought she was insane... all the other women appeared calm so I thought ... hahaha we are getting punked - someone would jump out and say hahahaha just kidding. But no one ever came - Ashton Kutcher was no where to be found and I began to get worried.
She describes the first thing we will be doing .. HA ... She says in a very confident voice, "we will be running 400 meters holding the 25 lb weigh plate over our head - arms straight up ... WHOOOOOA sista - WHATCHU TALKIN BOUT WILLIS -  Clearly Nicole had been eating too much Flax Seed and it had gone to her brain - because ... WHAT ?? Again, no one seemed to be thinking that she was stark raving mad - BUT ME... Clearly I'm the only one in the whole place that had NOT takin leave of their senses. I mean - NOBODY seemed shocked by this. I'm going to run in the rain - holding a metal 25lb plate over my head - and RUN - WHY would anybody do this? sigh ... Needless to say Mistake ... what number am I on ... Mistake 5 was when I grabbed the weight and headed out the door into the rain. I got about 100 feet down the road and the weight clunked on my head, I dropped down to a walk cradling the weight to my bosom, picked back up to a jog, shoe came untied, and I can no longer see the girl I left the building with - she was dusting me. I finish the 1/4 mile, now my poor team is way behind... Did I mention we were all broken up into teams - my poor team - those poor girls... We never made up for my dismal time on the run. That put us behind for the rest of the workout. Anyhoo...OUCH !! I had to move my arm, I won't make that mistake again. Good grief. OK, this is getting way too long for me to go into every torturous activity Nicole dreamed up for us, but after the third one I was outside in the rain puking in her bushes. After the 5 torture test, puking in bushes continued - it was really the one thing I excelled at that morning.

I called my sister when Shawna and I were leaving and told her I just got finished working out and she says " oh I bet you feel good" what is she MAD - clearly she didn't realize what I had just went through I said "NO I don't feel good !! I feel cold, clammy, soaked to the bone, and puked on my shirt" she said "well you'll feel better later" FYI ... I won't feel better for like a week - then I need to deal with the humiliation of sucking so badly... No ... I really won't feel better... Everything  is crying out in pain... and a Snickers Bar would be really really good right now.

So the next time I see a woman with a body of steel, instead of envying her I will have to high five her because the work they do to get that body is tremendous. They are athletes in every sense of the word.

So have I inspired you - go get on the treadmill or something - you'll feel good !! Really you will !!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Job Seeker: 40 Something Hormonal Woman

How's that for a resume heading?? It's time for me to get ultra-serious about finding a job. I don't watch Alli near as much as I use to and my Mom can fend for herself during the day. As good as I have gotten with regards to saving money, this family needs more income.

Ahhh the days of 6 figures are long gone, and I really don't even desire to make that much money again. I just want to find honest work, with an honest company. 

I have dreamed of living off our land, raising goats, chickens and maybe a few cows. But I think I will try to work for the next 8-10 years with hopes of paying down/off the house.
I am ready to work again ~ I am ready to go back full time ~ God willing, He will allow me to find something good for our family.

Labor day weekend coming up... Tilling the summer garden, and fixing some fencing is on the to-do-list ...

Have a Spirit filled day

Monday, August 23, 2010

Do you smell that?? Smells like Fall to me :)

On this first morning in the 60's poor little Scarlett had to go to get dis-budded. (Burn her little horns off) But she is now back home with her momma and recovering nicely. My goal will be to have a polled (naturally has no horns) buck and a few polled does and that will hopefully limit the amount of trips to the vet for this awful procedure.

I am eyeballing some baby chicks ... I know I know, Dan has said No several times, but I think maybe I can get him to change his mind. With all this salmonella running around in eggs, I so want my OWN EGGS.
On a scale of 1-10 how bad would it be to get a fewww little chickens without ummmmmm telling Dan? I think it would be a couple weeks before he discover them :O...

Probably not the best idea I've ever had, but a good one none the less ....

Fresh eggs ...

I'm the laugh stock of all homesteading websites not having any chickens...It's really unAmerican.

On another note, my grand-baby Alli is walking now, and she LOVES playing on the piano. She is truly just the cutest baby on earth :) See for yourself:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You said what ??

Sometimes in the quiet morning hours after the goats have been watered and fed, the dogs have been fed, and finally I am able to sit with my coffee and my bible, God whacks me on the back of the head and says ... You did what ?? You said what ?? You thought what ??

I set my bible down, close my eyes and allow God to rebuke actions, thought, and words I had not repented for, nor did I feel I needed to repent of.

I am NOT in control ~ I am not more righteous than ANY other ~ For all have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Who am I to look down my nose at someone else. I am probably the worst of these. I am SO flawed. Sometimes I think flawed to my core.

When am I going to learn ??

God's grace and mercy allows me to fall face first into a pile of crap, and He will eventually lift me out, wash me clean, and hopefully show me the error of my ways. Ahhh the errors ~ why are they so numerous.

I am human ~ but I so desire to be more Christ like... Why is this so difficult for me ??

What I am so thankful for and feel truly blessed is that I hear God, I hear His words to me, I feel His love and His correction. THAT my friends is a relationship...that is what HE desires.

I find this blog is less and less about homesteading and more and more about the daily musings of my life.  I will try to stay on task more in the future.

** On the homestead front, hawks have been circling my goat pen. I fear they have their hearts set on a tasty "Scarlett" morsel. I have fended them off by shooting into the ground to scare them off, but the down side to that is it scares every other animal on my property. Once it cools down, Aramis will be outside more and he will not even let them circle the property.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wheelin and Dealin and APPLES !!

I needed laundry detergent ( oh this is going to be such an exciting post ) so I scoured the ads looking for the bestest deals. I found a BOGOF at CVS. Sometimes these deals aren't the best, you just have to know what you would normally pay for the detergent. "Side Note" I was "making" my own detergent for pennies on the load but I find myself needing stronger stuff through the summer months.

Anyway, so I see that the razors are 8.97 with a 4.00 cash back reward so that would make the razor and blades 4.97... Which is a great deal if I didn't have enough razors to shave a small African villiage from previous great buys. So I say, NO I won't do it. However, I need the detergent AND I have a 5.00 off coupon for the razor, making the razor ... say it together, FREE. So when I get there I go up with my razor and 2 bottles of detergent and the lady says, OHHH I have an even better deal and runs and gets me a large can of shaving gel. She says "we you buy the razor you get the gel for free". The Gel is normally 3.97. Woohoo !!  So now I must ring that stuff up seperate from the detergent because I will use my 4 dollar cash back rewards on the detergent. Razor/blades and Gel ring up I owe 5 bucks ~ I get 4 bucks back. I put my detergent up 2 large bottles for 7.87 and use a 1 dollar off coupon with my 4 bucks rewards, and pay the lady like 4 bucks. So for a little less than 9 dollars I got a Schick razor with extra blades, large can of Schick Gel, and 2 large liquid detergents... NOT BAD considering just the razor would have cost me that much alone. So, stack your coupons and use your reward bucks wisely.

As for my apples...Yippee !! I have never picked an apple right off the tree and eaten it !! YUMMY ~ Now it is the first year they have produced, so I think they will be even sweeter next year, and I didn't spray as much as I should have so they have some spots, but all in all - they are YUMM-O !! I planted a yellow and red delicious 2 years ago and now have fruit... It's a beautiful thing.

I have fought with the bloody peach trees since moving here. Every year they get that brown rot stuff. I am seriously thinking of chopping them down and starting a new. If I don't spray MAJOR chemicals on them every 7 days the desease gets out of control and I get a tree full of nasty deseased fruit.  I think maybe starting over with desease free trees might be the best idea.

This year I will be planting pear trees and some more blueberry bushes.

Until later... God willing ... Think about doing a random act of kindness for a stranger OR just a strange person ;-P

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Got Goats ... Some Info for you !!

After the loss of baby Kate, I have done a lot of research on what may have caused her neurological disorder and her blindness. It could have been a fluke, it happens. But I have read and studied how reputable goat breeders feed their goats.

As for my breeding does, I will begin giving BoSe Selenium shots twice a year as well as copper boluses . I will also be sprinkling their grain with some loose minerals that contains copper and selenium in it.

For us, and for you if you intend on having a buck, we SHOULD HAVE had a separate buck pen and grazing area set up for our boys. Note, if you are considering getting a buck ~ build a pen for him and his companion ahead of time that is FAR away from your girls. I have seen some people that build tiny little pens for their bucks. For me, I recognize he IS my herd and I must take good care of him. Give your buck good quality hay, very little if any pelleted food, and make sure he has clean water, minerals and baking soda.

I still don't know if I will be vaccinating. I don't plan on showing at this time, and I have not purchased a goat outside my original herd, so I just don't know how necessary it would be. Still under consideration.

Thats all for now ~ Hope this helps make your caprine happy and healthy !!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Black Week ~ Not day ... WEEK

Let me just hit the highlights:

Baby goat Kate didn't make it :(
Car broke down :(
Dryer broke :(
Storm came through knocking down a huge tree that in turn took out the power pole that in turn fell into our shared water house = NO WATER for 3 families !!

- We tried to fix goat - best attempts failed
- Dan got parts for dryer and car; worked in 100 degrees all day on his day off - poor thing his best attempts failed
- and NO water now - sigh

I am sure there is a life lesson to be learned in all these trials this week, but honestly ... not feelin like learning anything right now !!  Yes I know people have had a much worse week than I have ... doesn't mean I should not want to go underwater and stay for a while. CRAP !! What water ?? The creek is even too low for me to drown myself in. There's the horse trough...but I may need that water to flush toilets. Errrr Foiled Again !!

I'm not going to ask WHY God, it annoys me when people do that. He doesn't owe me any explanations and quiet frankly this seems more like the work from the devil himself. Loser...

MY God can do anything !! And I am really hoping MY God allows me to have water some time today.

So as not to leave the blog on a down note... wait ...give me a minute and I will come up with something good and positive to say.... ummmmmm... mmmmmmmm.... yeah, I got nuttin !!  Bygones !!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Romans 8:28

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

I understand this verse, I believe in this verse, I have faith that in the most horrible of circumstance, God will keep His promise to us. Two children were essentially orphaned today ~ God is good ~ I know He is ... Even in this ~ He is good !! The lessons to be learned in this situation are numerous. How we treat people, do we have any regrets for how we treated this man? Will we treat the next odd person better ?? Will it really matter if they show up for every pot-luck?? We should feel blessed to be able to provide a meal for them. But we don't feel that way. Do we? We are like "dude, you don't even belong to this Sunday school class. Or if you're going to crash at least you could have brought something." How will we treat our brother or sister in Christ ??  Lessons to be learned... Maybe that's the good? Maybe it will make "the body" more compassionate, more sincere, more ... Christ like.  I am changed by this experience. I will not sit here and say I loved him, or even particularly liked him, but I should have. I should have loved him. But I didn't. I didn't really...anything. Regrets, lessons learned...NOT to be repeated.

"My precious and Holy Father in heaven, FORGIVE ME. Forgive me for not outwardly and inwardly loving my brother in Christ. I judge, I criticize, I pick and choose ~ but thankfully YOU did not.  You gave Your precious life for selfish, self-centered, people like me. I pray the Holy Spirit will rise up strong in me so that I never treat anyone as if I loved them any less than my favorite of friends. Please Lord let me be a tiny bit of the good that comes out of this loss. Father PLEASE wrap your arms of love and protection around Chucky and Hannah Lord give them parents that love them as their father did, keep them safe in the palm of your hand.  Forgive me Lord. "  

" Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions, wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." Psalm 51:1-2

Friday, July 30, 2010

Annie had her babies - Whew !!

The wretched, I mean blessed event has happened.  Annie Oakley had two beautiful blue eyed doelings. The birth was...ugh... It was so intense ~ Her water broke, but then she wouldn't push ~ I called the vet she said if she hadn't delivered in 10 minutes I needed to get her and all the goop that was coming out of her nether-region in the car and get her up there. It was of course 5:20 and they closed at 5:30 but would wait for me. So the vet talks me through an "exploration" of said nether-region. "I feel hooves, but not head" of course worse case scenario's go through my mind, her head is folded back and all will die. I did not think that she would be coming out back feet first. So Anne is pushing pushing and screaming, and I was crying and praying. The feet are out, but then Annie decides she has had enough of it all and was not going to be pushing any more. I am telling her to push, " please push Annie " and finally she gets half the baby out. As soon as the next contraction comes, I help pull the baby out. By this time Nancy is there to help me, and thank God because I was one ball of nerves and did not have enough hands to do all that needed done.
I barely get her dried off and another baby comes flying out. Wow !! 2 babies... I began cleaning off the 2nd baby and remember I must soak the umbilical cords in iodine. Sigh, my clothes are soaked with sweat, I'm kneeling in goat poo, blood and other goat bodily gunk. Boy am I a catch !!

Before too long I realize the 2nd doeling is acting weird, I got both of them to nurse, while Nancy clicked photos for me.  We both suspected the 2nd doeling was blind.  A trip to the vet this morning confirmed our baby girl is in fact blind. I was so worried the vet would try to convince me to put her down, but she said " I had a blind goat for 6 years, she'll adapt "  I was so happy to hear that because I did not want to put her down.

I don't know if this goat breeding thing is for me... I am a bleeding heart and just don't know how many more insane births I can go through. Sigh ... I know the 2nd go around are easier on them and ME...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And then...there were 14

Recently, I was asked to chaperon a church outing to a water park. GASP :O Clearly my "mean" lady reputation has NOT proceeded me !!  I will have to work on that ~ Anyway, with a song in her voice
4th and 5th she says with a huge smile on her face.

Firstly, WHY oh WHY is she asking ME ~ 4th and 5th graders ~ nappy little crumb crunchers ~ WHY ?
Well apparently, my mouth was hung open like a fish on a mantle, but Amanda was undeterred " Me and Shawna will be going".  That was a low blow, she knows I love spending time with Shawna, "Oh, OK you really should have started with the positives first" I told her.

So yesterday I show up with my packed lunch, hair in pig-tail braids, and my beach bag. I am so ready for the little terrors, bring em' on.  I left my firearm in my trunk just in case my PMS flared up, but all and all I'm ready !!

Shawna drives in an happily trots over with a "travel goodie bag" for me and Amanda. Baked breads, Lolly-pops, candy, etc... I bet you are thinking "nobody can be that sweet", YES, she really is and her baking is to die for. So we are off with 14 children.  I am riding in the church van with Amanda and all the boys. Other than the occasional gas, the boys were...quite well behaved.  I especially liked when we would go over bridges, the game was they would all hold their breath. QUIET ~ I really liked that part. So if we would go over a part of the interstate that had guard rails and could possibly be confused as a bridge I would yell, "bridge coming up time to hold your breath". I almost had them convinced in holding their breath from one bridge to another but Amanda said they may pass out. Humph, like that was a bad thing.

Shockingly, there were a lot of yes mams, no mams, evidence of sharing, and random acts of kindness.
Well these kids are pretty good I thought. We settle into our chairs and begin chatting while the kids run off to play. Soon, we get suckered into going on some rides and wading in the lazyy river and to my surprise, it was really really fun. It was a good day all around.
When it is time to leave we can't find 2 boys. I say to Amanda, "we have 12 out of 14, that would be like a 90% success rate, an A really, that is a pretty darn good return on our initial total. Lets go, they'll turn up." Amanda just looked at me and said, "Ummm, no... It doesn't really work that way with people's children"  Whateverrrr ~ I still say we could have gotten away with it.  The little minions were finally herded up and we were on our way home.

I must say...It was a really good day all around ~ so the next time you are asked to serve ... SERVE !!

Side farm note: Annie is acting nervous and anxious today - hopefully tonight !!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting old ...

If someone had told me that getting old would suck THIS bad, I would have... Well I don't exactly know what I would have done, but it would have been something different.  Takin more vitamins, wore more sunscreen, something... Now I just want to take a nap ~ but I don't nap ... So !!  AND what is with the change in my usual sunny disposition?  I woke up this morning thinking of new ways to sharpen my claws. Good grief... I'm pretty sure I need medical intervention at this point.  I'm only 43, well almost 44 and I'm not holding up as well as I thought I would be.

Maybe it was the 25 years of martial arts, or the massive crashes I have taken on my horse, or the epic car crashes I've been in ~ whatever it is ... it sucks !! Everything hurts ~ I even have an ear-ache today !! Who over the age of 4 gets ear-aches ??

So enough about me; HEY, I heard that ... well it's my blog, who else is it going to be about ~ BITE ME !!

On to farm events:

It's TOO HOT to be out there milking Miss Kiddy.  Yes, Dan predicted that I wouldn't milk her, but he thought it would be because I would get tired of doing it twice a day ~ HA he was wrong, I never even started it !!  I have decided to wait and milk Annie.  A, Annie loves me and would be much easier to milk. B. When it is time to milk her it will be late September, much cooler and C, because that's the way I want it to be :-P ...

OK, so I am anxiously awaiting the birth of Annie's kid. She is SO big, I really hope it's just one healthy DOE. Nobody wants another stinky boy around here, I mean Buck !! Speaking of bucks, I hope MY buck aka husband finishes the buck pen for the boys this weekend.  If not, everyone should fear for his safety.  Why don't I get out there and do it, because it's way too hot and that's MEN'S work.
Oh yes, if there can be women's work, there can totally be men's work.

Are you feelin my mood yet ??

And for what ?? AN APPLE ~ When I get to heaven I will be smacking a knot on Eve's head; It wasn't even chocolate or something completely irresistible ... like .... mmmmm, German chocolate cake, molten lava cake, carrot cake, Shawna's amazing cupcakes... NO it was for an apple ... seriously ??

I'm sorry, I digressed there a bit.

Gardening front ~ Wow ... Cilantro, Basil and Parsley have gone crazy.  Corn is looking good, we have MONSTER cucumbers, and the tomato plants are rockin !!  All and all, good year.

That's all for now ~ by the way, if you don't subscribe to www.southernsavers.com you are missing out on AMAZING deals.

Oh, my Emory board is sitting right here ... mmmm ... OUCH, they are already pretty sharp ... Hey, where's Momma, haven't seen her all morning :-P

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My New Roomate ~ Mommy is here !!

The long awaited day has arrived, the construction is done, and Mom has arrived.

My sister Dede drove her up last week and thankfully stayed for 8 days helping to arrange,
arrange...well EVERYTHING !! Dede does nothing half way ~ I still feel the whip marks on my
back - we worked from sun up to sun down getting all Mom's things put away, pictures hung, knick knacks arranged just so. Whew ... tired ...

We just dropped De off at the airport and Mom and I are sitting across the table not knowing what to do without the drill sargent here.

On the farm front, Annie is SO big. Her due date is July 28th, poor little girl looks so big I hope she only has one baby in there ... I don't want my sweet heart struggling with 2 on her first go around. When she was being born I had to "help" Miss Kiddy deliver...eweeee  I hope Annie proves to be a good kidder !!
We will be building a goat pen this coming weekend to make room for the babies !! So exciting !!

So here begins a new chapter in our lives ... Stay tuned !!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spring is here ??

AHHH... The fresh brisk morning is GLORIOUS ~ Thank you Lord for giving us such a beautiful morning.

Spring ... did not happen this year ~ but today, June 30th it feels like spring and I'm grateful !!

I took the morning off from unpacking and working in general.
I made the perfect cup of coffee, grabbed a book, and sat outside under a tree.

I am pet-sitting a friend of ours 12 year old Beagle mix Abbey. SHE is an escape artist.
3 times I have had to jump up because I didn't hear the sound of her little tags clanking and
knew immediately she had slipped under the fence.  For 12, she is quiet nimble.
7:15am I am calling my neighbor saying "I've lost my charge, and I think she is heading down
the hill, get out of bed and head her off at the pass." Of course, Nancy is more than willing to
help.  Thankfully, my SCREAMING alerted Miss Abbey to my distress and she decided to
trot back up the hill to the sound of my bellows.

Bad Dog, Bad Dog, Bad Dog ... You are so going to time out ~
Abbey was quiet offended at my tone. I could tell by the little snarky look on her face.

Sadly, she escaped twice more even with the barriers I had put in place. 
She got banished to the house for the morning much to her HOWLING dismay.

My morning of leisure continued.

By 10am I am feeling a bit guilty for lounging.

By 11 I'm feeling OK about it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WoW it's HOT ~ Like ... Africa HOT !!

Maintaining a farm is HARD work and as much as I would like it to ... it doesn't come to a screeching halt with the feels like temp is over 100 ... ugh

Did you know a seat belt can make a darn good branding iron - OUCH - man that thing was hot !!

Anyway, back to the maintenance of the farm.
The to do list is lengthy:
- Build Buck Pen and run 
- Muck stalls - Flies are bad this year, but I have a great fly spray recipe (see below)
- Strip wicked cool 100 year old french doors my contractor scored for me for   FREE ~ Yes Free ~ (this activity may wait until my sister Dede gets up here)
- Finish unpacking Mom's boxes
  (yippee, indoor activity ... this will probably be the one I do today )
- Mow yard ...  ugh ... I will stop the list here - I'm tired !!

So as I mentioned before, the flies seem to be especially bad this year. Maybe it's because I have 6 goats as opposed to 4. Who knows, but I know this "natural" recipe helps.  I spray it around the barn, and try to spray those quick little Caprines, but they are fast and when they spot the fly spray bottle and act as if it is a 357 magnum.

I try to reason with them telling them "stay still, this will help" do they listen ... No ... Just a kid !!

Fly Repellent Recipe:
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup Avon Skin So Soft (Bath oil)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon eucalyptus oil

* I have also been adding some of the juice from my chopped garlic jar ... just for good measure.

To be honest with the two of you that are probably reading this "MOM, you better be reading this"

I just don't feel like being witty today.

I know ~ it's hard to believe... but so many of my friends are going through some horrible times !! I know God will use all these illnesses and deaths to make more disciples for His Kingdom !! It's just sad ...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Goats and Udders and Teats OH MY !!

What a beautiful start to the Lord's day ~
I can feel it's going to be a good day.

I noticed yesterday Miss Kiddies udder looked odd. One side was much more full than the other side. I searched for hours last night as to the potential cause for this and came up with people saying take her immediately to the vet, and others saying, milk her and she should be good.

So this morning when I get to church I ask a friend who lives on a farm if she or her hubby knows anything about goats. She begins to tell me a horror story about getting 2 two-month old babies that got stomped to death by her donkey.  Sigh ... Sniff ... NOT HELPING ~ but then she remembered a lady who's husband does have goats so she walked me down to her Sunday School class.

Most people would feel strange about walking up to a perfect stranger and asking them about udders and teats.  Not me ... It needed to be ask, inquiring minds needed to know.

She says, I don't know a thing about them, let me call my husband. So she calls her husband and puts him on the phone with me. I began to give him my most knowledgeable voice, saying I think she may be having some suspensory ligament issues ( I read that last night ) and he busts in on my biology dissertation with "just milk that tit a couple times and it should be fine. If you milk her and it looks like cottage cheese, you need to give her a shot for mastitis. OK..." I said " ummm...OK ~ well, to be honest with you, I've never actually milked my goat." There was a brief moment of silence and then he said " Well it ain't hard just grab the tit, squeeze, don't strip and you'll be fine. Call me if you need anything else, I'd be might happy to help ya." "OK, thank you"

After the phone call I wish I had that conversation outside of church.  I get that most of the country folk call a TEAT the other word, but my delicate senses were assaulted.

As would be Miss Kiddies teat later I feared.

Poor Miss Kiddy had no idea by days end I would go where no one had gone before.

So Dan and I arm ourselves with the needed supplies and went after the unsuspecting little caprineDan caught her and put her on the table and I began to do what I had watched on YouTube at least 4 times.

NOTHIN ~ Not a drop ...

I kept telling Dan I just had to find my rhythm. He would say "let me try" ~ NO~ I'm goat girl ... I will do it... Have you watched the YouTube video's on the proper milking procedure of a Nigerian Dwarf Goat?
No, I didn't think so ... but after 5 minutes I was ready to let him try.

We switched positions and I began to oversee his work "Don't strip it, you will mess up the teat" Don't...

"Is that Milk" ??  " Yes honey " WHAT ??

"Oh...ummm, it must have been clogged and I got it unclogged for you. 
Humph...  Great Job Honey"


So after he got her warmed up, I jumped in and we milked away ~ just gotta find that rhythm.
Milk looked great, "udder" went down, all is well !!

So for you my caprine lovin sista ~ I found the BEST pictures that show proper confirmation for Nigerians.  I know you don't have any now, but if you know anyone this is a great link.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dichotomy ??

The morning started with people coming to install carpet in my Mom's suite. I put all my vicious beasts up and run out to open the gate for him. As he is pulling his van through the gate I notice an Obama/Biden bumper sticker on the bumper. Sigh... It is NOT OK for a van, car, or little child to be on my property with such a stupid display. On the other hand, I can't really afford to offend him and us still have everything done by Monday. So...I take the high road... I DO...

So 5 minutes later I say to him ... oh be quiet, I didn't say I would stay on the high road !!  Like I was saying before YOUR thoughts derailed me, I say to him " I hope no one sees your van in my drive-way, it may ruin my reputation". He replies "huh"? I say "you know, your bumper sticker", he says "oh yeah, well they both sucked so I went with the lesser evil". It was my turn to say "huh" but only mentally, because I actually agree with that statement, sort of.  Neither one was presidential material, however one of them was just slightly above compost material, but whatever.  So I just said, "yeah I didn't like McCain that much either, but what can we do." and I stopped there ~ I DID ...


I saw his hat ... It reads " I LOVE JESUS" ~ I was like ... this dude is TWISTED, as in sister ~ I will admit at times I can be hypocritical, however I TRY not to ANNOUNCE it to the whole world. Granted, Cumberland Furnace people will probably not get it, nor care but this man came to the wrong house this mornin !! So... I tried, the LORD knows I tried to walk away and not say anything.  BUT, the Lord created me with this innate ability to stir the pot, sometimes eloquently, more often...not so much.  Things just come out of my mouth before the filter in my brain and the filter on my mouth have a chance to stop them. As was the case in this situation.

"I like your hat...it sort of makes up for that horrible bumper sticker. But I'm just curious..." and so it went. 

No he wasn't done with the carpet, yes I should have let him finish before I said anything, no he couldn't understand when I tried to explain the dichotomy between the two items...and I most certainly should have NEVER used the word dichotomy - I think he thought I cussed at him. He just looked at me and announced "ummm I'm gonna go to lunch now". Whatever coward...run away like a little girl ~ God forbid you actually try to defend the idiocy of a Jesus loving "liberal" voting for a - Muslim, Pro-choice, advocate of late term abortion candidate.  Whateverrrr ....

He came back ??  I was SHOCKED ... Happy, but shocked none-the-less.

I wonder what the rest of the day will bring.

Fair Warning ...

If someone shows up with a Nancy Pelosi, or Global Warming sticker on their car ~ ALL BETS ARE OFF.

Blessings to you and yours today !!

btw, the other day when I went shopping at Publix ~ I spent 42.00 and saved 28.00 in coupons and store savings ... tahehe

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The New Dog ~ Gurrrr

What a beautiful morning ~
I wake up, strrrretch, say good-morning to the Lord, do a little jig and start my day.

Here on the homestead, the animals eat first. Because Miss Kiddies babies are too small to go out into the big pasture, I must bring MK branches and other types of forage because, well because GOATS DON'T Eat Everything.  It's a Myth.  Like sitting too close to the TV will give you cross eyes. Total myth - By the way, what a crock - sitting too close to the TV will make your eyes cross; How many of you parents are still feeding that line to YOUR unsuspecting children >-/ Stop it ... Any hoo, MY goats are picky eaters. They are not happy with the hay I purchased for them, so they will sulk, YES sulk until I go cut them some tree limbs. And heaven forbid I bring them the same variety of tree limbs. Think of it as a little goat buffet, they want to be able to go down the fence line eating a myriad of items. SO, they get their morning grain, hay and buffet. Then the pups are fed - then and only then am I able to eat. Let me back up so you can appreciate the full value of this event.

Once upon a time not so long ago I let some people in need of unloading a dog bring by their 1.5 yo German Shepherd/St.Bernard mix over for a play date with Aramis. I told them if the dog is aggressive towards the goats, or Aramis didn't like him I would not be able to keep him. So the dog springs from the car and comes running over to me. THEN, he jumps on me. Standing on his hind legs he is taller than I am.  I immediately push him off me and they say, 'yeah, he really hasn't been trained much'. So I ask, 'by not much, what exactly do you mean. I mean he knows how to sit, right?'  They both kind of shook their heads no- not really.
So after him visiting for a while I told the people, I will keep him for the weekend and see how he does. Be prepared to come get him on Monday if its not working out. He seemed kind of too interested in the goats so I was a bit concerned at that point. They agreed and left the beast in my care.  Within an hour the dog was trying to jump the 5' goat fence to get at my goats.  I emailed the couple the VERY NEXT DAY and told them, this is not going to work he is charging at my goats, trying to scale the fence, etc... No response. I called them on Monday, the phone number had been changed. I emailed again telling them to come get their dog... NO RESPONSE ... SUCKA !!  That is the grizzley tale of how JoJo aka Cujo came to live with us.  Now onto my breakfast drama, again ... here is some background information for you.  STOP rolling your eyes at me, I am trying to give you all the details ~ I told you to only read this blog if you had NOTHING better to do, now sit back, be quiet and read ... JOYFULLY... I'm not feeling the joy right now!!   so anyway ...

I am so excited because yesterday I got to shop at ... PUBLIX !!  For those of you that take for granted Publix, don't; It was so awesome to have such a variety of great stuff to choose from. Dan and I are strolling through the expensive cheese section, when all of a sudden I let out a little yelp of excitement. Dan thought I spotted another buy one get one free deal - but it was even BETTER than that. CUBAN BREAD ~ I snatched up the loaf and cradled it lovingly in my arms. I haven't seen Cuban bread ANYWHERE in Tennessee. For some reason Dan kept walking past me as if he didn't know me; like that was going to deter my excitement.  I just yelled across a couple produce sections "Dan, look !!! Cuban bread !!"
He kept walking ... whatever !!  I know he was just as excited about it as I was, he just hides it better.  He's Cuban for gosh sakes, he should be more excited to see a part of his heritage...right ?? 

So, back to ...it's time for me to eat.

I cut a portion of the coveted Cuban bread and decide I want to make a breakfast Cuban just like I got back in Florida.  So I cracked a couple eggs into the skillet, warmed the bread, and melted a small piece of provolone cheese on it. I then removed my perfectly cooked eggs from pan and slid them onto my now pressed, hot, cheesy bread. I added a piece of turkey, and VOILA ~ a masterpiece !!  I grabbed some orange juice and headed into the family room to watch the morning news whilst enjoying my bounty. I set my samey on the arm of the chair, turned around and set my OJ on the coffee table, remove my lap-top from my chair and turn back just in time to catch JoJo snatch my creation off the plate. GASP-SHRIEK-REACT

Now at the ripe old age of 40 something, I have come to believe that I just don't move as fast as I used to...that is, until my Breakfast Cuban hits the floor. The 5 second rule is totally in play - heck I'd do 10 or 20 seconds for this sandwich even with the potential of dog drool.  JoJo hears my scream and drops the sandwich only managing to get a bit out of it. I picked my sandwich up as one would if they found a wounded bird and began "dusting" it off ~ once most of the dog hair was removed I set the sandwich down and turned my attention to the wretched BEAST. I began yelling at him, all the usual stuff "BAD DOG-BAD DOG-NO-NO-NO"and fortunately for him the only thing within my grasp was an old limp slipper. So he got yelled at and spanked with a slipper for that bite. I bet he thinks it was worth it!!  Lets hope he got the message. I don't like spanking my dogs, but he has needed a little more 'encouragement' to behave. Sigh... I sat down, pulled the lever to extract the foot rest and began to enjoy my breakfast. IT WAS SO GOOD ~

Now for those of you smugly sitting there saying 'poor Jojo' ~ BITE ME !!  You too probably have ill behaved dog that needs a good thrashing with a slipper. NONE of my other dogs would have dared removed MY FOOD, from MY PLATE. They are much too schooled for that.

So this begins my day ... I still know it will be a good one !! 

Blessings to you all !!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Square Foot Garden

I am so happy to report that my square foot garden is coming along nicely. The absolute BEST part is NO WEED PULLING. I planted the squares about 3 weeks ago ~ mostly seeds except for the tomato and pepper plants. As you can see in the pictures the lettuce, spinach, cilantro, basil, parsley & leeks are all coming up !! SO happy that I will not have to be forced to sell a kidney on the black market to have fresh herbs & peppers this season.

The secret to square foot gardening is soil-less mixture and screening the bottom of your box.
Typically, most SFG are 4 x 4. We used 2 x 6's to make our boxes - I chose NOT to use pressure treated lumber because I didn't want the chemicals seeping into my vegetables. I realize the boxes won't last as long but I think the trade off is worth it. So to make the boxes cut 4 four foot sections of lumber, screw or nail them together. Line the bottom of box with weed screen, and staple in place.
I only stapled my finger once, see if you can do better. Actually, if you do more than one, as my daddy always said "if you're gonna be stupid, you better be tough".

For the soil-less mixture: 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost.  If you don't make/create your own compost, I read to try to use a variety of poop. A little cow, a little chicken, a little horse, a little goat, etc. Think of a 15 bean soup, but not.  OK now mix your 1/3's together and fill boxes to top.  It is best to till the area of grass b4 you set your box. Now run string to section out your bed ( see pics ). You are now ready to plant !!

Try Square foot gardening if you are tired of wining and dining your big over-grown garden, whispering sweet nothings into to their little leaves, and getting NOTHING but weeds and bugs for all your wooing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


You know, sometimes things just happen. You don't mean for them to, but...they just do.

My pastor always says "confession is good for the your soul, but bad for your reputation".

Before I confess, I must set the stage a bit. It was Memorial Day weekend and for some reason I thought Walmart would be sufficiently staffed. That was my FIRST mistake. I just needed a few items. NEEDED being the operative word. Second mistake, taking my hubby. Before long the 'few' things turned into quite a few things. So as we made our way to the check out lanes they are WOW backed up. Dan and I perused the items in our cart and unanimously thought 'we have less than 20 items'. Ummmm...that was my third mistake...

As we began to put the items on the counter, it was like a clown car, items kept coming out of our cart. I began to feel horrible guilty and could feel the eyes of the patrons behind me boring holes into me. I believe they were mentally counting each item as it was scanned, just knowing we were over. As they secretly counted, I could sense they were growing more and more smug. I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks with each item I placed on the counter. I had a fleeting thought of scurrying away and leave Dan to face the wrath alone. But I stood by my man. OK, fine, I would have left him standing there but I had the coupons. I just kept saying, I am NOT one of THOSE people. As 'Lila' the 80 year old cashier finally scanned my last item ... first can I ask you why they put sweet little 80 yo ladies in the express lane ~ there was nothing 'express' about her. Anyway, I digress.
I anxiously awaited my receipt to see if I met the 20 item requirement for the lane. GASP !! I was that person ~ I was humiliated. I gave a sheepish smile to the customers behind me and mumbled "I guess I went over by a few". My confession was met with ram rod straight backs, and evil stares.

28 ...

I had 28 items in the 20 item lane ... I am truly sorry for my transgression.

So as not to leave this post on a negative note, I saved 8.25 in coupons :-) !!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I LOVE Reading ~ so why not Blog about it !!

I have been educating myself with regards to blogging and they all seem to make one point very clear, 'make sure you include activities you are passionate about' ~ Well I LoVe to read and I am always looking for new authors and books to enjoy.

While life here on the farm is getting very busy, I still like to find time to unwind at the end of the day ~ and now that Jack Bauer has retired, and that guy beat Crystal on Idol, and Mike won Biggest Loser ... my nights are pretty free.

So, I will read and rate ~ and hopefully you will read and give me tips on great books to read. OK ... yay ... Oh; by the way, my reading is ECLETIC. I read biographies, Christian fiction, political books, and some carefully chosen regular fiction. Did I mention I LoVe to read :-)

By far one of my favorite books was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
I have read almost ALL of Nora Roberts’s books, and stopped reading J.R Ward because of her vulgar language. I am currently reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan...AMAZING !! ( Thank you sista Susan )

I read my bible...almost daily! When people say 'nobody wrote a book on how to live this life, so I just do the best I can' ... I believe, they're wrong, the Bible is our HOW TO book.

Goat girl reports ...

I'm not sure I like that name "goat girl" but Dan thinks it's cute.

So the babies 'Calamity Jane & Belle Starr' are doing well, but Miss Kiddie definitely has her favorite ... Belle I watched her knock Jane around a couple times and when Jane went to nurse, MK bit her on the back. I was getting so mad at her and I kept thinking of Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. Well I can't just let her treat CJ like that so I put a lead on her ( which she hates-tahehe ) and made her stand there while CJ nursed. CJ seems spunky and healthy so I'm sure she is feeding it just bugs me seeing how MK clearly prefers BS over poor little Jane. I almost always support the under-dog !!

Next ...for all of you that are nervous about trimming the goats hooves, don't be; it was really quite easy. I watched a couple youtube video's, this one was one of the best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhiME8wedZU&feature=related
Dan held Marshal (my buck) and I trimmed away. I had procrastinated because I just
knew it would be a nightmare ~ it wasn't ... so get out there and trim those cute tiny little hooves. I REALLY need to get building that staunch stand. It just looks so barbaric with their little heads being trapped in between those slats - but ... it's how things work, so ... MAYBE I'll try to come up with a more comfortable stand.
YEAH ~ I don't care that it's been done this way for a hundred years, maybe I can be the first to come up with a cute non-neck squeezing stand. ;-)

Our next project will be to section off some land Marshal and his brother Doc AWAY from the does. With milking starting in 2 months I keep reading if the buck is too close the milk will taste "bucky" ~ speaking of Bucky, I loved him on American Idol.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My first ever Blog

Okay, so this is kinda weird because I am going to give you a brief history of the current family situation ~ and for some reason I find that a bit odd talking about myself, because ... well I'm just not sure my life is that exciting. But rest assured, things ALWAYS get interesting around here
so here we go:
I live with my amazing husband of 15 years. We currently have 4 dogs, 6 goats, and 2 horses. We have one daughter who has blessed us with a beautiful grand-daughter ( my little Alli-bug )
I know you are thinking 'she must have forgot to mention her chickens because ALL real homesteaders have chickens' ummm not us, not yet, but they're coming - I just have to convince my husband they are not dirty, ugly, desease carrying, fowls - his words not mine. Well, they are fowls, but you get my drift. Like I said, we are a work in progress.

We are new to the whole homesteading thing, but are learning via trial and errors. We purchased goats because, well all the homesteading sites told us to. We couldn't be more happy with our Nigerian Dwarf Goats. We will be attempting the milking process in just 8 short weeks. I am a bit freaked out about it, but I really want to give it a go. We started with a buck, his brother (a wether now and still mad about that) and a doe. My doe, Miss Kiddy has kidded twice now, the first time I ummm had to help ~ eeekkkkkk ~ Ok, so it wasn't as bad as I thought, and it had to be done. I dry heaved through much of the process, but was rewarded with the cutest little doe Annie Oakley. Miss Kiddy just blessed us with 2 more does just the other day - cutest things ever AND BONUS I didn't have to help !!

I finally got the garden planted ( you don't want to know why we are so late ) anyway, I am trying my hand at a few square foot garden beds. So far, I am really happy with not having to pull weeds in that area. I will keep you up to date with the progress of said garden.

I have 3 insane sisters - loving - will do anything for you - but none-the-less CRAZY and one brother (sshhhh he's the oldest) I am the baby of the family and I believe the MOST SANE. OK - enough with the background stuff, lets get to some farming/homesteading topics.