Thursday, July 30, 2009


We have a broad selection of goats. Here is Anakin, a two year old Alpine wether. We bought him at the auction-the runt of a lot of about twenty alpine baby bucklings. And I mean the runt. He was half as big as any of the other babies. He is still tiny.`To this day he is a bit neurotic about food, dashing from fresh hay pile to hay pile, grabbing mouthfuls.

Unlike this guy, Nicholas. He is the same age as Anakin and gets the same amount of grain, a pint of caprine challenger or sweet goat once a day in addition to browse and hay. He is a cashmere producer, bred for fiber and meat. Nic bellies up to the biggest hay pile and eats.And eats. And eats.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

White Kitty

A couple months after we started putting food out for feral black kitty, white kitty started showing up. I knew a little about white kitty. My near neighbor had called me up last fall about him showing up on her doorstep. She asked me if he was mine and then asked if I wanted him. Another foundling. I don't think she took him in as she is up to more than she can feed. So he's a big neighborhood tomcat bum, quite friendly.

When I first saw he had blue eyes, I thought he was most likely deaf. I keep testing him and he responds in such ways I think he can hear. So that's cool, since I thought all white blue eyed cats were deaf.I think it is 70% - that is off the top of my head from research a few weeks ago.

meet "White Kitty"

(I suggested we shorten it to, "witty")

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Peko

Peko the dog has been with us a year today. We adopted him from the shelter and they said he was about two, so we estimate he is three years old now. He's a lot of fun.

I worked a few hours at the farm this am. P is taking on all the workload with every morning and evening chores, so I offered to come in as an extra today to help everyone get out early. B and I did well, finishing by 11. He was happy since he was going to a concert tonight and wanted to get ready. He already had changed his crew cut to a green mohawk. LOL. I took him for a country guy, but the name of the band was mud something (hey, that sounds country) but with the green hair it must have been punk-ish.

Of course it poured rain-I was soaked before I got to the barn after feeding my own goats. I expressed some milk from Lilymore and Sugreca again-P and B had some trouble yesterday. I should ask Tonia about this drying up...for myself my does have weaned their own and I never had to deal with it. My doe that had a buck had a twin sister that I left with Mom so it wasn't just yanking triplets away...I do keep chanting, "sage oil" (see simple life blog in sidebar) but I don't have any...

Also, the owners are away, so I wouldn't want to start treating their goats without permission...I figure if I can get some milk out it should help the pressure-just not enough to make them produce more. The Boss wanted us to milk them a little through weaning, but I leave them pretty full...

You'd think I would know what to do having breast fed three of my own....LOL real kids, that is.

Lilymore had been holding a foot up for three days-I had yesterday off-so I put the copper something Boss just started using between her clews since the hooves looked ok. Tonia, I did tell Boss before she left about the oregano oil and will remind her when she returns.

Poor goat has lost her voice yelling for her babies, too...I hope the extra attention I gave her today helped. :(

My own goats are needing attention. Daph was acting a bit weird today, although she was eating, wasn't lame, and had normal poops...maybe it was just the rain, I think we are all sick of it!!!!!!

We have a Bermuda high moving in for next week-muggy and eighties, and Willow yelled, "swimming!" when she heard. I have had a woodstove going most of the summer so far just to burn off the damp-"The summer that wasn't," is what the weathermen are calling it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Monday was hell day at the farm. It was so bad it rolled into Tuesday, and looks to be picking up steam for the rest of the week.

Seven of the baby goats at the farm have been involved in a study. For a couple weeks, at graining time, we have been segregating 7 out of 20+ kids from their mothers and feeding them an herbal supplement with their grain. Starting Monday, we had to segregate three bucklings not in the study elsewhere for weaning. In the midst of all this gathering and separating, the lady with the study showed up for fecal samples. Individualized, personalized samples from each of the kids, who screamed bloody murder for each sample rectally collected. Yeah, you get the picture.

I could not get out of the main barn quick enough. Each doe gets various amounts of grain according to however many kids they have, if they have any. Trying to think and dash from stall to stall with the correct feeders and grain for approximately 6 does in each of three stalls, plus a few in their own stalls, all mixed, dry, singles, twins, triplets, no, weaning...all in the midst of screaming baby goats.

Well, the day didn't end there, six of the older bucklings were getting weaned and had to be carried up the hill while they screamed and their mothers bawled after them at the gate.

The day was starting to heat up too, I was drenched in sweat and gasping for breath after the first buckling. Finally we left to do the bucks, the Boss leading, and all of a muffler fell off. Well, the exhaust pipe broke and the muffler was hanging. I quickly pulled over and dashed back to the main barn, about 1/4 of a mile, and grabbed some wire out of the fence bag. I crawled under the car and wired the muffler up to the frame, and roared off after Boss.

Both Prescott and Nash buck pens were a disaster. Imagine sweeping up 3 billion M & Ms that smell like buck piss. Yeah.

And there aren't even any green ones, well that could be a blessing...

Once home I thought I would try and patch the exhaust again, and I did get it wired up and reconnected with a combination of a fruit cocktail can, some aluminum flashing, a sunkist orange soda can, and some electric fence wire, but it was LOUD. No way I could do Willow's b-day run to town with that.

I called my mechanic and explained the problem, and he said to bring it in at 9:30 am. I was totally confident that we would be one our way to lunch and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by noon. Well, we were there five hours. Between waiting for the part, and then having some electrical trouble with the coolant fan not kicking on...overheating this time of year would be a death sentence for that heap.

We finally agreed- after replacing a relay and repairing some chafed through wires that were discovered up by the power steering hose -to wire it so the fan would run all the time.

We had to change plans and catch a late showing and have dinner afterwards. The kids loved the movie, I was really disappointed. I had just re-read the book, and they left a lot out, and put a few scenes in that were totally not in the book, I guess to bridge the gaps in the movie. The movie was still two and a half hours long, so I suppose they had to leave some stuff out but in a couple places they changed stuff that altered the characters by reducing them...

I have to make sure I don't read a book before a movie again.

Today the Boss' left for Sweden, there was a lot of hard work for just P and I. She was a help to have with the bucks, good thing since we were running late and could make up some time. I had to express some milk out of two does that are weaning. I am new to that, and found the goat stepping into the dog dish I was supposed to be putting the milk into, and then I soaked my legs with squirts of milk...(after Monday's heat I was wearing shorts today)

Then when we were at Prescott, we were standing in the high grass with the six young bucks that we had just let out, and I felt something and looked down and one of the bucks was urinating and I was getting sprayed all over my legs. I had to go for moist towelettes after that. I told P I was going to have the nicest legs in Maine between the goat milk and the buck piss...

Willow is still celebrating her birthday, she said Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Willow

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Portrait Day

Worked at the farm this am sans Willow. Coretta's Girl was getting shipped with another doeling to Colorado.

So I worked the farm, came home, took the kids and dog for a swim, and came home and did some portraits.



I call this one, "Sour Raspberry" She didn't like it, but the chickens at her feet did.


Friday, July 17, 2009

You've stepped in it

Doesn't Miss Rubes look comfortable? Move over Ruby...!

Well, been a week. Cleaned a set of tack for Maya, fitted the bridle, and then couldn't get the bigger girth over her fat gut. I might try switching saddle pads and see if that helps.

Did the Jenny Nash bucks with B. The bucks have taken to going wayyyy down in the woods while we clean. Quite a hike to bring them in.

Did laundry. Got skunked(no fish) Mackeral fishing along with everyone else on the Breakwater, according to passerby reports. Lost a four dollar lure. Had Peko drag me backwards off my ass onto the granite trying to hold him off..a beagle? And then a German Shepard, and a Cairn Terrier....He is going to get banned for his non- existent doggie manners the next trip.

We saw some sort of sea duck flock fishing, so we moved over to cast near there. One giant cast from the Firebird, and we waited to see the splash of the lure, and slpposh! Right next to the closest duck, at least 75 yards away.maybe not that much, but far..The bird jumped and flapped and it, and the rest, quickly swam away throwing furtive glances over their shoulders expecting another sploosh...TG he didn't snag the bird, but it was quick a freak thing.

Then I broke my cobbled together pole by slamming it in the hatch. Two trips, two poles now...

Today I went to the dump. See slug photo on other blog. Stopped at the grocery store, and Willow spied something on the floor in the checkout Aisle. I drew the attention of the cashier and said, "maybe it is chocolate," and then in response to the disgusted expression on the face of the nice lady in front of me, "well, or something less desirable...."

NOt just leaving it there, I go on to add, "well, I thought it was peppermint pattie, it smells rather minty over here, and then Willow, "no it isn't, I see YELLOW<"

Which promptly causes a small gag reflex from the lovely lady in line ahead of us, "please excuse her,"I said, *giggling uncontrollably,* "she is quite graphic, it's the artist in her,"

The manager, coming around the corner with a handful of towels, "you've stepped in it,!" and yes, I had, and it was definitely not a minty odor that ensued when she proceeded to smear it at my feet with a handful of papertowels...Yes, I stepped in something at the checkout that either fell out of a diaper or a pantleg.

How do you top that? Well, it was in the eighties today!!! Yah! So I spent the afternoon in the garden, tying the tomatoes, hilling the squash and zuccini, weeding, weeding, weeding. I had the brilliant idea to plant moneywort in my paths years ago, and it decides it likes the logs edging the beds better, and hey, look, beds! So it needs constant attention to keep it from taking over the world. IT is blooming now, though, pretty little yellow star shaped flowers.

The second brilliant idea was to hedge one path with peppermint, oh I see you experienced herbologists are laughing yourselves sick, knowing what a rampant spreader mint can be. Still, I whacked the hedge into shape again and threw the cuttings all over the outdoor chicken pen-Phew, did that help?

I found a bunch of worms working in the garden, so I took the kids fishing late afternoon. Phoenix stuck his brand new lure in the weeds before I had Willow's hook baited, then Willow caught one of her "Feastie friends" the tiny sunfish, which I released unharmed after he flopped back onto the beach at our feet before flipping back and away.

The Firebird came back with boogie board and swim trunks, the better to retrieve the lure out of the pickerel weed, and ended up swimming while Willow tried, unsuccessfully, to fish at the dam. The Firebird had the best idea. (swim)

Had a moment of panic that the fridge wasn't working but it's fine and has ice cream and freeze pops and extra milk and juice and ice cubes. The electric meter was read yesterday, so it should be fairly simple to see how much more electricity we use.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lots going on

Been working a lot at the farm. R found another job, and the owners are leaving for Sweden next week for two weeks. I agreed to work the bucks tomorrow, and clean some riding tack.

A few weeks ago I had proposed working the fat older mare to help condition her and also have an excuse to teach Willow to ride. Initial inspection showed me the tack was in desperate need of attention, so I did get the saddlepads and girths to the laundramat, but didn't reassemble the saddles since they need a good cleaning and oiling and a close inspection for rot and cracks.

So hopefully I will have time to do that in the am. I used to clean 7 saddles and bridles at a local stable once a week as a teen for a free lesson (we were called shiners), but these will require more time- since it is not just a touch-up.

Just got off the phone with Boss and she also asked if I could be a contact person while she is away for folks that want to see the goats and/or fiber in the cottage. So that's a cool responsibility, as long as I can mange the finicky lock on the cottage!

Phew. Can't believe it is the middle of July. Haven't done nearly enough around here!

We did get a new to us fridge yesterday. P's Mom had a small camp fridge=at least twice the size of our last one, a dorm style fridge. It has an interior freezer, and I just put an ice cube tray in there/ Wow ice! And enough room in the fridge for all kinds of more stuff like a jug of water and produce. Willow shined it all up and now the rest of the kitchen looks shabby! So that gives you an idea if an old camp fridge can brighten my kitchen! Hehe. Good thing I bought that cheap gallon of white paint this week!

Now if they weather would dry up and I could buy some time... :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Goats and a Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm is putting it mildly. I finished the dishes around 10 pm last night just as the Firebird came down for a drink of water and a chat. I saw light flashing in the low cloud cover which has been persisting all week. First I thought it was heat lightning, and then I thought it was reflection from far away fireworks. I could even hear a distant, "Boom, boom."

Around 11 we realized it was an encroaching storm, as I tried in vain to watch the 11 pm news while the digital signal cut out with every flash. Occasionally the anchorwoman's face would freeze and we would laugh at her, then the screen would go blank. Making sense of it was useless, so I decided to go to bed.

The Firebird was directed to stay on the couch, since his second floor bedroom is right inside the drop for the powerline. Well, a few minutes later the house was shaking with the thunder crashes, and then we had a hit. You know, when the lightning and thunder strike at the same time. Crap.

I roused Willow from a deep sleep and put her down on the smaller couch and put my blankets on the floor. No sleeping at that point, though. Finally around 1am I decided it was safe for the kids to go back to bed, with the storm still raging to the east of us. I had farm and friends in mind, as I knew they were getting clobbered.

I looked out and saw the brooder light was off in the chicken coop, even though we (amazingly) still had power. I knew then the electric fence had taken a direct hit. Both extension cords are on the same GFI outlet, so I booted up and went outside and re-set the outlet. The light came on in the coop, but the charger stayed silent. Uh-oh.

Praying it was just the fuses, I tore apart the tool area twice looking for fuses so I wouldn't have to do it in the am. We had farm duty on the morning roster. Finally at 2 am after going over everywhere twice, including under the fridge (can you say, "ewwwww....?") I gave up. I did find 5 packs of sparklers for the fourth of July, though.

I knew the goats would respect the fence-most likely-for at least the morning, so we headed to the farm. I ran some errands afterwards and replaced the fried fuses and did get the charger going without having to replace it, and I did thank God. :)

I took a bunch of pix at the farm. Willow has been heartbroken: her favorite doeling is going to Colorado soon...She has cried several times over it, so I thought I would get their pic today.

Here is Lois, who yells incessantly in the morning until she gets her grain. I asked Boss if hay might help, and the result was Lois yelling with her mouth stuffed full, which did give Boss and I a good laugh.

Here is Emerson, a wether:

Jackson foreground, Jasper to the right, Bonnie behind, and shy Sandhja in the rear.

Here is Francis and Uureka's little first place buckling:

And one more of Willow with her faves: Coretta's little doe on the left, Bonnie's little buck on the right: