February 20, 2019

I can’t wait for Spring!!!!  How many of you feel this way?? So, I know that it’s officially Spring next month but that doesn’t mean we all have Spring like weather just yet. It’s still just feels like such a step in the right direction, am I right?

What does Spring mean to you? For me, it means new life. New life is so exciting to me. I love to get my seeds going and get back in to gardening mode. There is nothing better than fresh food on my family’s plate. I’ve got babies on the homestead this year! New projects have also been discussed to help us progress in the future. It also feels really good coming into the new season with good health and an outlook for peace and happiness.

Gardening!! I LOVE growing food. This is so exciting to me. So exciting, in fact, that I have a wish list worth $250 with my favorite seed company. If you have an idea of what seeds cost, that is a lot of seeds. I am taking donations, ha ha. I will be opening up some more areas on the property to plant in. My goal is to have quite a bit more canned than last year. Last year was a sad season but I see things looking up. It might be nice to sell some excess as well but that’s just in the “it’s a nice thought” stage. I was also thinking to set up a small box on a pole outside my driveway for a seed swap. I’ve seen the book swap boxes but never a seed box. I know a lot of people garden out my way so it might be fun. What new thing are you going to try to grow this year?

Within the next couple weeks we will have baby goats on the property! 4 out of 5 of our does are/were pregnant. Let me explain the are/were. Not everything is always unicorns and rainbows. We unfortunately had a doe go into labor early due to a twisted uterus. Vet says it’s from rambunctious babies. She seemed to be in a really light labor for about 24 hours and nothing was happening. Took her into the vet and she needed a C-section and they let us watch. That was amazing to watch. So, they pulled out 3 live babies and they slowly faded away after some time. They were either too early or they had been breathing in the fluid too long. It was really unfortunate and sad. They were beautiful babies. On the upside, we did save the mama and she is being spoiled and doing well. Per the Vet we should be able to breed her again with no complications. I’ve got 3 more girls in the home stretch. In addition to baby goats we do have a Rooster so we are hoping some of our girls will go broody and we will have home hatched baby chicks. There are some thoughts to add some animals but we are undecided.

Share some of what you are doing in the new upcoming season.

Everyday may not be good, but there is good in everyday – unknown

 

November 30, 2018

Just thought I would pop in here and give a little update on whats been going on with the ranch and life.

It has been snowing quite a bit here since the beginning of October. I notice more snow than last year which I am totally ok with because moisture has been a bit low in this last year. We are toasty inside and when bundled up properly it’s not too bad outside. I finally crocheted myself a beanie that doesn’t look like a bell. It even has a hole in the top for my mop of hair. Three things I must keep warm to endure the cold, feet, hands, and ears.

Bubba was unleashed on the girls in October and I just put him back in his own pen this morning. All good things must come to an end. I’m hoping all are pregnant and I will have lots of baby goat pics for you all in the Spring. Bubba has a guy friend that is snipped (whether). His name is Nibbles and he was so excited to have Bubba back with him even though Bubba doesn’t want to share anything with him. I can now catch a break with all his smashing. He broke a wall down in the girls pen and every morning and evening flipped their hay feeder over and sometimes into two pieces and pushed it around. Bubba is so naughty but he will do anything you want for some sweet feed.

Oh yes and today is my sister’s and my dog Blue’s birthday. He is two and I will not mention her age, he he. He is no longer alone in the house now, which is something he isn’t always happy about. We adopted a barn kitten from one of the feed stores for free and his name is Clark Kent (he is quite the jumper, not that he always makes it). Then one of our neighbors was going to have to surrender her two full-grown cats so we took them in. Their names are John Wayne and Ninja. Blue can’t understand why they don’t want to play with him ha ha. I often wake to find all 4 of them on my bed.

The chickens are doing their thing with a little fewer eggs because it’s cold but that’s ok because I can’t keep up with eating them. The ducks are all good and have stopped laying completely. I can say I don’t miss the snakes in the duck coop. Thinking of getting some turkeys in the Spring and am thinking about a pig as well.

Our neighbors moved and they gave us an old construction site trailer that will work perfectly for us as an outbuilding/shed. It fits really well on our property and will free up some space for us in the house/basement. Needs some vinyl siding and a green roof and will match the house perfectly.

I am kind of sad without my garden. I really like to grow stuff. It would be really great to get a greenhouse up next season, one can only hope.

My health is doing really great and I seem to be making positive strides in my recovery. I feel really good and strong. I have lost some weight which is ok for me and I have really minimal side effects from the treatment. I just saw my Radiation Oncologist last week and he said as far as he is concerned I am disease free and he thinks I will be just fine. He only wants to see me every 6 months now instead of 3 and they let me remove my chemo port. I still see my other Oncologist every three months to be sure we stay on top of everything. Onward and upward and even if not, I am going to try to always live my best life.

 

August 11, 2018

So naughty Bubba struck again this morning! He didn’t break the boards I put up inside his enclosure so I won that battle but this morning he started a war. He was head butting away at that side wall and popped the nails right out of the main post, dang it! Three hours later and two 1/2″ x 6″ lag bolts later, I feel like I’m in the lead again. #winning, #maybe.

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I finally have some zucchini’s growing so very soon here you will see many posts about what to do with the zucchini coming out of my ears. I also have a bunch of cilantro that I think I can pick in about a week. My love really enjoys his cilantro. I have others things growing like Swiss Chard, Basil, Tomatoes, Corn, Onions, Scallions, Herbs, Cucumbers, Potatoes but they aren’t ready to harvest anytime soon. I set up an area for raspberries/blackberries and planted one Blackberry plant. I thought it died but it now has a bunch of new leaves and is growing up from the roots as well, success. The real success will be if it comes back after the winter.

I think one of my newer chickens laid an egg today. I found an egg 1/3 the size of a normal egg. They are right at that time to start laying. Back to figuring out what to do with extra eggs. How do you sell eggs to an area where everyone has chickens? I do have duck eggs and I don’t think everyone has those so maybe.  Two of those newer hens have decided they will only sleep in the “attic” area above the chicken coop. I guess they are high enough that there won’t be any predators and they do get to the food first in the morning. The only problems I see with it is they will lay eggs up there and they literally look like they are throwing themselves to the ground every morning with they come down. Our coop is 4 feet off the ground and they are above it. The area above the coop is probably 5-6 feet tall from the coop door. That makes them hopping down 10 or more feet every morning. They are goofy.

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Yesterday I canned the salted vanilla cantaloupe jelly. This one is very interesting. By interesting I mean I have a love/hate relationship with it. It was pretty easy to can and set up pretty good. It is definitely not something that you want to eat on toast because I tested that out. It is, for sure, salty. Not so salty you don’t want to eat it, well some people may not want to eat it. I picture it better used on meat like pork or chicken. I think I would really like it that way. I feel that it falls into the realm of pepper jelly. Who thought of this weirdness and what the heck do I eat with it. At least that is how I have always felt about pepper jelly.

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I think the next item I will be canning is salsa. We love salsa and fresh is best.

Of to bed now, got some important things done today and I am turning into quite the Bob the Builder. Ta ta for now……

The greater the storm the brighter your rainbow” – Unknown 

August 9, 2018

Waiting all day today for the refrigerator repair man. A brief story as to why, we bought a fridge when we moved here and this is now the 5th time we have had to have service. The Fridge freezes up and cannot move the cold air every couple of months. This last time they changed the mother board. Low and behold two months later, same thing. If we have one more failure after this one they replace the fridge with a new one. Yay!  Due to the fact that we live so far out it takes them at least 2.5 weeks to get here :(.

What am I doing to pass the time, you ask? Why I am making salted vanilla cantaloupe jam. I have never heard of this before and it sounds great. Though the proof will be in the pudding once it’s done. I will share on whether that was worth it tomorrow. The other new thing I am trying is preserved lemons. We really love them in Persian food so I am trying my hand at it. It’s super easy. Cram a bunch of lemons in a jar with a lot of salt and lemon juice. Please don’t take this as a recipe, there are a lot of articles and YouTube videos on it so check it out there. My Mother was visiting and we were canning a few things. So far I have: strawberry jam, tomato sauce, peaches, 2 kinds of peach syrup, roasted red peppers, and cherry sauce. So the “cherry sauce” was supposed to be Cherry Jam but it didn’t set. It still tastes great and is good over waffles or pancakes. I’m crossing my fingers this cantaloupe jam sets.

Bubba the goat broke one of the plywood boards I screwed into the inside wall of his enclosure. He just loves to ram his head into it over and over. It’s kind of my fault, as I set the last piece in with a gap between the boards. This time there are new boards and all butted up. He is still ramming away at it but cannot break it……at least for now. Bubba is also coming around as far as getting comfortable. He is now letting me give him some scratches on his face and neck and he calls out to you when he sees you outside. The calling/grunting may just be for food but I will take it for now. He will soon find out how much we like to spoil the animals.

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Live life like someone left the gate open!” Unknown

August 8, 2018

I love waking up to a thunderstorm in the morning.  It’s still dark in the room when the sun is usually blaring in saying “Wake Up!”. The rumbling of the thunder is soothing and the pitter-patter of the rain is so…….grunting? In comes the sounds of  Bubba the goat head butting his enclosure and yelling for food. What a buzz kill. That guy definitely lets you know when he is ready to start the day. The world surely revolves around him ha ha. He is quite a presence.

I was checking on the National Day Calendar to see what random national day(s) it is today. I’m not going through the list of today but I will address a couple. First, National Happiness Happens Day. I am inherently a pretty positive person with a few of “those” days mixed in between. I just find life to be more enjoyable trying to take the high road and 99% of the time seeing the glass half full. There is always someone worse off then you and sometimes that is hard to remember when you are complaining about something. I can truly say, even though I had bad days with a Cancer diagnoses and enduring treatment, I still tried to pep-talk myself into remaining positive.  I was able to get to a point where I knew I needed to accept what could be and just live life. For the most part I accept it and I do get the occasional negative thoughts that creep into my head but I suppose that is normal. I truly believe that this type of thinking really helped me get through and feel so great on the other side. Alright, onto the super ridiculous national day but one I can relate to. Are you ready for it……”National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”. Who the heck came up with this? I’ll tell you, someone who had Zucchini coming out of their ears, that’s who. I’m not quite there yet but I do have some small ones just starting so I know I will be there soon. If I had more neighbors their porches would have all been blessed with Zucchini (multiple times).

The new school year is creeping up on me as in next week. My son is now a Junior this year. I think most Moms feel like this goes so fast. Notice I didn’t say way too fast, at least for me. My son has never been a fan of school and each year is pulling teeth to get all the credits together. I learned years ago to accept what he is good at and what he isn’t. I am not using good in a way that he is bad at it or can’t handle it but that it just isn’t his thing. The most important to me is that he receive his diploma and he can get onto the greatness that he will make of himself no matter what kind of grades he has received. Not all minds work the same and we don’t all fit into the same mold. For the last few years my son has been attending online school from home. This year he wants to try out our local school. So the school is the smallest school district in all the state. I attended the Open House BBQ last Sunday. It was home-made food, Ice cream, and a man with some guitars playing and singing good music. You could give him requests from this paper on the table that had all the songs he played. I kid you not, I requested, Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi, and Devo’s Whip It. They were really good. My son was thoroughly embarrassed by my enthusiasm but that might have been on purpose, hee hee. As of Sunday they had 23 kids enrolled K-12. I think there is a hand full of high schoolers. There is one long hallway that had 8-10 rooms and the old school full size lockers. They are the Longhorns. They provide all of the school supplies and school lunch is free. The school lunch is also made fresh everyday. If you know my son, you know that this very small cozy environment may be just what he needs whether he likes it or not. Oh and also they only go to school Monday thru Thursday. Their days are a little longer so they get 3 day weekends. That sounds pretty awesome to me.

I probably should wrap this up and get on with it but I wanted to leave you all with a though provoking questions that I would like you to share in light of Happiness Happens Day. What happiness or positive thoughts have you experienced from a bad situation? I realize there could be some truly just bad experiences that nothing good can come of but let’s try to turn our thoughts around. Staying positive can really change your life and can help others even if you aren’t meaning it to.

August 5, 2018

Alright, everyone, I finally found a Buck for my girls. For those that don’t know that is a male goat. I found out that we have a breed of goat other than what we thought they were. There will be those that know better than me that will laugh but that is OK. We were told they were Nubians and I would always see a Nubian and look at pictures and wonder what’s wrong with ours because they don’t look the same. A true Nubian makes mine look short and fat. So we don’t have Nubians, we have Boer goats. Now my goats look very much like the pictures of these ones and I have confirmed with others. Was a little harder to find a Boer buck but we did it. It was a smashing deal too. He is a big stocky boy of about 3 years. We have decided to name him Bubba because he looks like a Bubba.

The first morning he was here we caught him head butting the inside of his little building which has metal sides. That stuff bends easily so we had to quickly attach some plywood to the inside walls. He really, really, really, wants at those girls. This month begins the time they come into heat but we don’t want to breed them until October.  Waiting until then gives us a better chance to get past the winter with babies. They can easily get too cold.

I am now working on getting them all ready for breeding.  Grooming and worming stuff. The woman who delivered him said my girls looked really healthy and she wouldn’t be surprised if I had multiple sets of twins. Oh lord help me.

Here are some pics of the big boy, enjoy!

July 15, 2018

11:50 am

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It’s finally raining. This has been the driest spring/summer since I have been out here. It has presented some challenges with gardening and bugs. I was going to head into one of the towns but I think I will wait. I live on a dirt road and I take dirt roads into town. They can get quite muddy if there is enough moisture. Not that big of a deal but I have to cross a one lane bridge to my home and you go down hill to get to it. I have slid down the hill in my truck towards the bridge and not exactly straight at the bridge so I don’t mess around with that anymore. It’s a simple concrete bridge with no railing/siding, literally, just a 2-4 inch lip. They recently decided to gravel the hill so that is exciting for me.

I was tending to the animals this morning and I went into the goats pen to pull out the dog kennel I had for the new baby goat to sleep in. The goats have destroyed it. They like flipped it over and were jumping up and down on it, well, that’s what I imagine based on the damage. I had no forethought that they could/would do this to the kennel.

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Yesterday, I made a new bottle of laundry detergent. I thought I would try out the whole homemade laundry detergent thing. I used a shredded 14 oz bar of Zote soap and one cup of Washing Soda. I did not put in the cup of Borax because I learned that it can be hard on the clothes. If I find that it is not as effective without the Borax I will add it in next time. So one bar of Zote is .97 and the box of Washing Soda is $4-6 depending on where you live. One bar and one cup of Washing Soda makes a 5 gallon bucket of soap and that is still concentrated. I then fill up one gallon bottle with half of the soap mixture and half water. It will take me a while to go through this and so cheap. So far I have not seen anything strange with the clothing. If you are very stuck on a laundry smell for the clothes you will have to add fragrance as it really has zero smell out of the dryer. I have yet to purchase them but I am going to order some wool dryer balls. Would make my own but I don’t have sheep yet.

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, my hot pepper plants are coming up. I didn’t think they made it. I’m not exactly sure what they all are. I planted one type of cayenne peppers and one pack was a pepper mix. It’s actually kind of exciting not knowing. I also have about 12 pumpkin plants growing and still 6-7 watermelons for now. I will be planting potatoes today if I can get out between rains. At least the ground will be easy to work with.

7:12 pm

When there was a break in the rain I ran out to plant one row of potatoes. I really wanted to pick up some organic potatoes to plant and thought, I may run out of time to do that. I had a bag and a half of potatoes in the house that were sprouted quite well. I figured I would just plant those because I eat them so they can’t be that bad. Silly me. I think I have mentioned before that I find tons of glass and bits of things in the dirt. Below is a pick of all that I found digging one trench for potatoes.

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It is so crazy, I don’t know what people were doing here before. I once found a big coin in the dirt and I ran in the house like I had found some super old half or whole dollar. We cleaned it up and it was bent pretty bad.  It was a dinosaur coin ha ha ha. I suppose it was still a treasure.

“The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places” – Roald Dahl

July 12, 2018

10:15am

Upon feeding the animals I noticed that the  baby was eating hay with the girls and was not being pushed out. That’s a step in the right direction. I still had to move her away when the sweet feed came out because that is the favorite amongst the girls. I am trying to grow some White Dutch Clover in the chickens pen. I built a small square frame and attached some chicken wire over the top. The frame was set on the area that I threw down the seed. If you have had chickens, you know, they will scratch the ground bare. The idea is that  they can peck at what grows high enough without losing the plant and roots. I learned about this on YouTube. So far nothing is growing but that could be that it just hasn’t been long enough. I didn’t hear any wind last night but this morning my bucket was blown across the yard and all the contents spilled out. That’s always fun to clean up in the morning.

The moment you have all been waiting for…………the Sluggo Plus………..didn’t really work. I know, huge let down. The plants I uncovered where chewed. This is going to drive me crazy until I figure it out. Maybe I just have to protect all the new plants until they get big enough that chew damage doesn’t affect them. Back to the research I go. Am I being punished for something?!

11:37am

From some of the gardening research I have done this morning, it looks like I’m just going to have to do a few things at one time. Here is what I am thinking for now. Nothing bothered my plants when I had the red solo cups or clear bottles around or over the top of them. I just uncovered a zucchini plant that is about 6 inches tall now. I noticed a small amount of chewing on it this morning but still thriving. My current plan will be to put down the Sluggo Plus, spray the Neem oil once a week, and keep the new plants protected with cups or bottles until they are more mature. This is like raising a child…..just kidding, that is much harder.  So, please, everyone, send me your soda bottles, plastic cups, water/milk jugs so I can have plenty for the garden. Awesome part is I can just bag it all up and use it again next year.

12:18pm

I am ordering a new pressure tank for our well system. The tank we have is rusted and decrepit. It does not work anymore and it is causing our well pump to cycle on constantly which is no bueno for the pump. Costs about $900 to replace the pump if it goes out. Our whole system is really outdated and needs to be redone. The new tank will really help but My Love gets the joy of installing a modern pressure tank onto an antiquated system. It’s the kind of piping that you just know will break once you touch it. Luckily there isn’t much plumbing in the house and it is all really in one corner. Our control box which sends the signals of my demand for water broke one day. I was using the sink and the water just slowly dropped down to nothing. It was like a robot whose battery slowly went out until it was dead. I had to call a well repair specialist out which isn’t that easy. Most everyone has wells out here and in surrounding towns so the few companies that service them are very busy. It was a pricey repair because of this. We don’t want to deal with that again. There are animals here that need water. I can drink bottled water and get through a few days but they cannot.

2:37pm

So much cleaning and mopping today. The only carpet in my house is on the stairs and in the two rooms upstairs. The rest is mopping. It’s just in the low 90’s so it’s not so bad to move around a bunch. I should say it is 84 in my house. I know that sounds kinda hot but it isn’t so bad. We might get some thunderstorms today and that would be nice. I won’t have to turn on the soaker hoses and break out the watering can. Awesome thing about living in the middle of nothing is you can turn up the music as loud as you want. You can also dance badly while cleaning and no one is looking. I’m working on the pile at the bottom of the stairs, you know what I’m talking about. I really like to make things out of my feed bags and I’m hoping to get enough house work done to work on that for a while. I have made tote bags and a plastic bag holder.  It’s pretty cool stuff and I’m not just throwing a bunch of trash away.

Onto a completely, off topic, random thought, have you all heard the newish Charmin commercials? They are so funny and genius because I cannot forget them and sing them in my head. It’s also seriously right up my ally humor wise (I’m mentally like 12 years old). One song says “My hiney’s so Charmin shiny” and the other says “I’ve got a Charmin booty smile”……..amazing.

7:40pm

So my neighbor came over from across the street and we chatted for a while. We were standing inside the goat pen and the goats were chewing on my pants and picking my pockets. They are little thieves. They will steal your cell phone right out of your pocket. The neighbors dog came over as well so she and Blue got to play awhile. There is a metal pipe on the other side of the goat pen and Blue is obsessed with it. He runs back and forth from end to end so much so that there is a dirt path running along the pipe. He also barks in it and it echos. Every time I look, there is nothing inside. Anyways, I think the other dog wanted to play not watch Blue run end to end around an old pipe.

Time for me to get down with some dinner, goodnight everyone.

 

“An arrow can only be released by first pulling it back. When life pulls you back, it simply means you’re launching into something amazing” – Unknown

 

July 11, 2018

I’m going to try out a different format. So far I have blogged at the end of the actual day I just experienced or blogged the next day about the day before. I get a little mixed up with the tenses this way. So for today I will be blogging throughout the day and I will note the time. Everything in life is a learning experience.

1:30pm

Reviewed the garden this morning and I think I see some very small sprouts coming up in the section I planted a bunch of herbs. It could just be my infatuation with the garden because I look at everything super close and stare at it for a while convincing myself that something is happening. If you were to walk by my garden you would wonder who that strange woman was staring at the dirt. I also speak to my garden. After all living creatures were fed, including myself, I headed out to plant another section of my garden. I have wood chip mulch that I pick up for free from one of the city’s mulch yards in town.  It’s a free loader day too so I just pull up and they dump it into the back of my truck. Unfortunately I have to unload and spread it myself. So the first area I mulched was the garden and when I plant I have to pull it all back to get to dirt. I have to keep the wood chip back until the plants have sprouted enough then move it back in place. So I did that, weeded, and planted some seeds. I have seen some conflicting information about some lettuce varieties that are heat tolerant. I am going to give it a try otherwise I won’t really know the answer. I planted, Black Seeded Simpson, Mizuna, and Buttercrunch. I will let you know if it works. It is 96 degrees right now so I could only get through one section before coming in.  I will be picking up mulch again in about a week and that will go into my front garden bed which is mostly flowers and horseradish. The weeds are a force to be reckoned with so I am hoping it will help to put in a heavy mulch. I know it will help with moisture.

2:45pm

Yay! My bug deterrent has arrived, thanks Amazon. It’s called Sluggo Plus and is for organic gardening. I really hope this isn’t one of those things that works for everyone else and not me. You know what I’m talking about.  My Love also ordered this cast iron tea pot which we have been wanting for the stove. I love to cook with cast iron it’s just so darn heavy. Anyways, we need to look a little closer at the items I guess. This pot is for steaming/humidifying only. I guess you set it next to a heat source and you cannot use it for consumption because of chemicals on the surface. This makes me question whether I would really want to be breathing in the steam from it as well, hhhhmmmm. At any rate, this pot is going back where it came from. Right now I am looking around my house at what I want to clean, and I don’t want to clean anything but I will. Just put Blue’s flea medicine on and he hates it. It’s a liquid that you apply to the center of the back so he can’t reach it and it soaks in I guess. We have to make sure he does not come in contact with wild rodent fleas.

6:19pm

Does anyone remember that movie Anne of Green Gables? There is a series remake on Netflix that I love so I watched a little bit of that. I did eventually make it back out to the garden to turn on the soaker hoses. Time to use the Sluggo Plus! That is the organic bug deterrent I am trying now. I uncovered and sprinkled around some test plants so we will see what awaits me in the morning. Crossing my whole body that it works. I also went ahead and planted some wax beans along my fence row where my sugar snap peas lived an excruciatingly short life. Sometimes I think people don’t believe me when I share what happens to me, the stories are kind of wild. Now that I have prepped you for a fantastical tale here goes….I was moving along minding my business, pushing beans into the ground and lo and behold I noticed a shutter in the dirt. My assumption was there was a big beetle under the dirt because I have seen them many times. I wanted it to move so I could plant my bean so I poked at the dirt a bit. To my surprise, and this could be a nightmare for some, a frog rockets out of the ground with geyser like strength at my face! I would like to clarify that it did not hit my face but I jumped back and flung beans all over the ground. Can you imagine, have you ever heard of such a thing?  I will definitely be more cautious when poking at things in the ground.

On a happier note I have more pumpkin plants up and about 6 watermelon plants up. I find the little things to be extremely exciting. What I am not excited about is my dog went over the berm and was sampling old duck eggs. This is not his first rodeo with this nor mine. I do not think he will be sleeping with me tonight. Have you ever been around a dog that ate an old egg? It is the most putrid smell that exits his body at the rate of every two minutes.  It definitely feels like a punishment from God.

I recently wrote of the goats leaving large piles of hay to go and steal the babies very small pile and realized that was a metaphor for life. I don’t often get this deep so it was surprising to me and why I am sharing. Doesn’t it seem sometimes that the people/entities that have the most want your little bit? Something for you all to ponder when trying to shut your brains down for sleep tonight. You’re welcome.

 

“You have to be odd to be number one” – Dr. Seuss

July 10, 2018

So today was a typical day for me with some special surprises mixed in. I bet you can’t wait……..

Every morning I wake up (duh) and I throw on some shoes and clothes depending on what I’m wearing. If you live in a hot area with no A/C you wear pretty much whatever gets you through the night. I have, luckily, been having some pretty breezy nights so it makes for better sleeping. So back to the morning. Blue and I go outside to feed the animals and let them loose from their coops. Blue actually just pees/poops and looks for rabbits to chase. I always prep the birds first because they are kept in coops away from their food and water and want out asap. Every other day or so I empty and refill the duck’s pool because they will not get in it unless it is clear water. Yes, I have diva ducks. One of the girls believes she needs to hatch eggs and mostly sits in the coop on everyone’s eggs. I have to note there is no male duck due to the fox apocalypse last year. We have since moved the ducks to a safer place and all is well. The fox will do well not to show his face around here again. The ducks are closest to the back door so they are first, then I go to the chicken coop, throw food on the ground, refill water, and let them out. The minute I lift the door they come shooting out like a rocket and super clumsily I might add.  It looks like the coop threw up chickens. If I can keep myself from looking at the garden at this point I head to the goat pen. They are already out so it’s easier to do them last. I check their water and I throw some flicks of hay over the fence to them. Hay bales have sectioning to them. A flick is one of those sections that pulls away. They are usually 2-4 inches thick and very compact depending on the hay you purchase. Ours is compact and it is Alfalfa. After that I head to the tack room to get them their morning scoop of sweet feed. They go bonkers for this. Now that I have the baby in there, I have to go further by separating some hay and sweet feed out for her. The big girls don’t want to share food. Sometimes I even have to stand between her and the big girls to make sure she gets enough to eat. They will literally leave a large flick of hay to go eat her tiny hand full. Can you say greedy? Blue and I eat after all of this.

Once my morning chores are done and I sit to eat some breakfast, I catch up on my YouTube subscriptions. They are mostly about farming, gardening, and livestock. I get a lot of tips and tricks from there. I do follow some Cancer vloggers. A couple have passed away which is sad but also inspirational to see them live their lives to the fullest in the face of diversity. It make you really think about the silly things we complain about everyday.

The daily view of the garden. I live for waking up and seeing new growth in my garden. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. What seeds sprouted, what has new leaves, is anything blooming, and in my case, what has been eaten. Today my new bug deterrent is coming so I am hoping to strike out the “what has been eaten” part of that series. Just to titillate your senses, I currently have the following plants out of the ground: swiss chard, basil, cucumbers, corn, white onions, scallions, zucchini, flowers, and some tomatoes. Everything is very small but at least is growing. OH, I almost forgot, I also planted pumpkins and watermelons up on my berm, they have a lot of room there and out-of-the-way. Today I watered up there and I have about 6 pumpkin plants out of the ground. I should be seeing watermelon sprouts anytime now. I also want to put some cantaloupe up there as well. I turn my soaker hoses on about 4-5pm when the sun isn’t beating down. I am also awaiting some sunflowers that I planted near the front of the property. Everything has to be strategic due to the high winds and storms we can get.

Today I ran a grocery store errand to pick up some random groceries and items for Blue’s food. We make his food. He has a hard time gaining weight so we were told to add Flaxseed Oil to his food which is more fat.  Hopefully this will help him out. We have had him to the vet and he is very healthy just a skinny guy I guess. Probably has something to do with all the rabbit chasing. Blue also had his bath today which he despises with a passion. I came home from the store, emptied the car, put food away, and noticed something odd about the ducks. Usually when all three of them our outside of the coop (remember one thinks she is hatching eggs) something is up. By up I mean there is a snake in the duck coop. This has happened several times now. They want to eat the eggs and their coop is closer to the ground. They have only ever been Bull snakes which are not poisonous but they will still bite you. I was thrown head first into this problem when I was the first to see it and no one was here to help me. Sorry if this makes anyone sad but I had to dispatch the snake with my son’s pellet rifle. The darn things won’t run away if you try to scare them off. The hunger is more important to them. Anyways, I look in the coop, praying I am wrong.  There was a super fat/long Bull snake. It was the biggest I have seen so far. I will spare you the details but he was dispatched after a struggle to get to him for about 45 minutes. After that I have to pull them out and get rid of the body. As I am walking around to move this snake out and get rid of it, I see another snake tail hanging out the back door of the coop. Not 2 minutes since I pulled out the first one. I had a total brain fart for a minute. My instant thought was, did it break in half? Don’t be silly you only used a pellet gun. Once I exited my brain fog, I realized another snake had just slithered right in. Thankfully a smaller one that also did not want to leave.  I had to handle that one as well then clean out the coop to start fresh again. I thought later about where that second snake may have been and was it just stalking me the whole time? If you want to give yourself a shudder think about that!

In the end of the day, I do the same thing with the animals just in reverse. Of course I have different projects thrown in during the day and you will be sure to hear about them. I have a crazy picture of a snake eating an egg but I decided not to post because some of you are deathly afraid of snakes and I would like you to come back and visit my blog ha ha. Message me if you want to see it…

“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools”     – Napoleon Bonaparte