Tuesday, April 28, 2009


We worked at the farm again Saturday. Uureka, daughter of grand old UUD, who recently went to slaughter, delivered her first kid that morning. A single, a beautiful light brown buckling who looks like his father, Monarch. I was happy-the first Monarch kid on the farm in two years. Hope he's a keeper.

At the end of the workday, I got into a heated dispute with Mr. Boss about my pay. Short again. He told me to speak with Boss, but I was too hot (pissed). I left, swearing to myself this time I was really quitting.

The next morning I sent a short email, to which Boss replied that it was an error that would be corrected. Humph. But she also said that Lois had dropped a set of quadruplets. Oh, she knows how to get us. We went back today and said naught about the "misunderstanding". Still, the atmosphere between us felt a little tense. P wasn't in a very friendly mood, either. By the time we headed to the big bucks I was feeling a little out of sorts. Boss had the bucks out for their walk, and R greeted us in a chatty mood, which was quite pleasant.

Willow then discovered the spring pool by the drive was full of tadpoles-she had been checking out the frog eggs late last week. We were thrilled.

Then we combed Homer and Duke in the beating sun-in the 80's (!!!!!!) today. Thankfully, we ran out of time quickly, and we had another day under our belts. As long as we get properly compensated for it...

On the way home, Willow spotted a pair of golden eagles less than a half mile from home. One went directly over the car and we had an excellent view. No doubt, golden eagles. Willow was in awe.

On the home front, I did Cricket's hooves Sunday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

New additions

Since two more does delivered and a new Fjord filly had arrived at the farm during our absence this week, I set the alarm early so we wouldn't miss the morning turnout and all the new additions. :)

We admired Lilymore's triplets-two grey and one black with white star, like his mother. The grey girl has a pink nose and exceptionally lite coloring and is quite beautiful.

Nive, who has kept everyone on pins and needles waiting for her to deliver,finally had a handsome set of twins, again, one grey, and one black. Lilymore is quite skittish, so we lavished attention on Nive and told her what beautiful babies she had.

Then the filly. P had the day off, so Boss said I could halter Maya and the new girl, but not to try and lead both in.

Finally a chance to be with the equines!

I slid the halters over my shoulder and Willow and I made our way out to the horses, who were out in the field. Both were easy to approach-I fed Maya chunks of crusty french bread-her treat, and easily slipped her halter over her head.

P had already told me over the phone that the filly wasn't familiar with bread, and I expected Maya to be jealous, especially over a treat, so instead I rewarded the filly with pets and quiet compliments before I slipped her halter over her nose.

I flipped the strap over the back of her head and was in the process of buckling it when Maya made a lunge with ears laid back and teeth bared. The filly jumped away, and I let go and got out of the way. The halter didn't drop though, since I nearly had it on, and I was much relieved that the filly let me reposition it and buckle it.

I took hold of Maya's halter and led her back to the barn with The filly following. Willow wanted to take the filly, but I directed her to stay well back since I didn't know if Maya might let fly with her back feet, although she is almost too fat to make that a possibility.

Then we were back in the front of the barn, and I asked Boss what should I do with the horses? Boss seemed much surprised, and the boys and she dropped everything, and the five of us went down back, with me still having a firm hold on Maya's halter. I was brooking no nonsense from her.

Boss said that the day before had been some trouble, and she thought that the horses were learning the new routine...I think Maya needs a firm hand and attention. I was glad I was able to help. :P

Then we went on to combing. Liselotte, Coretta, Bonnie, Emerson, Lincoln...on to the big bucks and the snakes (see treeocean.blogspot.com). There we combed the new guy, Cairn, and Chris, and Homer.

Later we went visiting, and spent several more hours outdoors in the glorious sun. Ouch, I feel a burn coming on.... :P

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Anaken, Obiwan, and Derek had their hooves trimmed yesterday. Obiwan is having some trouble with his toe tips.

Still combing, but everyone appears to be about finished except for Obiwan. Nic might have some more fiber on his body, but it is not releasing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another farm vid

I learned that there is a part two to the visitor's videos of the farm. This one starts out rather sleepy, focusing on the two Norwegian Fjord mares, Selma and Maya. Maya is the one having a drink.

One of the Great Pyrenees, Luke, is also in this part.

Things quickly turn exciting in the second half of this less than two minute video. I was holding my sides laughing. I have to deal with it several times of day during the course of a work day, but it was sooo funny watching it happen from a (safe) distance.


(cut and paste in your URL bar if not linking)


Phew! Been working hard the last few days trying to take advantage of the good weather.

Worked the last two days at the farm:

Bonnie has finally started to shed great gobs. Coretta just needed a clean up. Both does have new kids, so it gave Willow and I a chance to hang out with them while we were combing their Moms.

Coretta's black doeling is definitely my favorite. She has blue eyes, and I couldn't resist nestling her in my arms twice yesterday. She returned the affection by standing on her back legs and imitating my combing motions by pawing me with one of her tiny hooves. Willow got a great kick out of it.

Bonnie's little buck was the star of the show today. He is also black, with a white star,white front feet, a spot on his chin, and one on the tip of his tail. Very blocky little buck. Bonnie is quite possessive of him.

Sugreca dropped a set of twin bucks yesterday. One grey, one black, both with white stars. They have been sleeping while we were in the stall, and their Mom is quite skittish, so we haven't played with them yet.

On the home front, I was working on the raspberry patch yesterday, and my arms are still stinging. This afternoon we dug out three goat houses-quite deep in bedding from the winter. The goats all had to take turns trying to help. The saplings were great helpers. I had one tense moment with them when Willow started digging a giant pile I didn't want to start yet, and the Firebird kept leaving the backup barrow in the way. But, I got over it after a break and the kids kept digging and hauling.

Then the tire fell off one of the wheelbarrows, and while I was searching for a replacement nut, the Firebird mucked out the end of the big house. We still have the back half of the big house, the lean to, and more out in the pen to clean up, but after three hours all of us were done in.

Buds are just starting to come on the maples. We are so happy spring is here, although it means so much yard work! I am grateful my piriformis syndrome seems to be finally cured and I can do these big jobs without collapsing in agony. The kids are a lot bigger this year, and very hard workers. Wow. The Firebird must have hauled and dumped twenty wheelbarrows today, and the Willow dug like a little woodchuck.

Now three days of rain, and then maybe 70's for Saturday! Can't wait for then when we will do some planting in the garden!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Farm video

It was brought to my attention that the farm is on you tube.


The goats at the main farm out in the pasture with Boss and some visitors. I'm not in it.

The kids and I had fun picking out the goats-Carlos sticks his nose in the camera, Boss pats Huge Jackson's back while talking about wethers; the vid closes with Jackson doing the funny curled lip thing at the lady visiting.

Easy to imagine little Willow combing giant Jackson-

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Beautiful weather this week. 62 and sunny and 72 in the house feels like a greenhouse!
The kids are asking if the ice is out in the pond, can we go swimming?? (NO!) LOL.

We have been working on the garden-yesterday we turned over three beds. Today we cleaned out the chicken coop and the goose shelter. We gave our neighbor the four beautiful white roosters. They were fighting too much and the kids want to keep the old barred rock and his son for roosters.

Poor Loosey the Goose loved those white roosters! He was courting them! So I am going to have to get goslings if I can't find him a goose friend soon!

A friend went to Johnny's selected seed today and dropped off some stuff for us. I told him just get extra and we will split the order. Some of the packets we were splitting by hand-who needs 30 zuccinni or summer squash plants?

We combed again at the farm today. Four of us were on wethers this am. I took on Emerson-the jackpot. He just dumps all of his at once. Two huge bags full and he still has more. He was much better this year-and he has gotten sooooo fat! He was new to the farm last spring and skin and bones and jumpy. He was so glad I was combing him today! Awwww>

Can't wait to get the peas and lettuce and spinach in-but I think I will wait for the new moon, another week. It seems if I plant before that the weather is lousy. I might plant a little this weekend and again in a week and compare how they do.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


The swallows are back at S's farm where we get hay. He said they were back on Friday, the day our Phoebe returned. S and I both heard Loons that day too. What a couple of kids we are-we yacked away about stuff for a good half hour.

Willow spotted the Golden Eagles today over at Prescott. Four of them. As she said, "Goldens" one of the boys replied, "naw, those are just hawks," to which I replied, "no.Those are Golden Eagles."

We whistled to no avail, although the Willow insists that they circled before they drifted out of sight. I figure that while they might not be able to distinguish the difference between a boy holding a manure rake vs. a high powered rifle, they still know a teenaged boy when they see one.

That location seems to be out of their normal range, although I have sited them the next town down. On the way home, I spied a small engine plane flying low over the mountains where I suspect they have been nesting. Has the eagle specialist with ME Fish and Wildlife finally followed up on my tip and been flying over their standard range? That might cause them to wander.

Combing cashmere-still happening. I set Willow right up with old poptart Jackson-just since he is still shedding and loves the attention. They make a cute team. One doe we combed today filled her small bag, and then I placed it in a 5 gallon bucket, since Willow took her over while I wailed away on poor Clarke's matts. I looked over and the doe's cashmere was overflowing the bucket. Phew.

At the big bucks, Willow worked on Chris, just 'cos she loves him and he is still shedding. R seemed surprised at how much Willow combed off in him short time. I was working on Mauro, who has that bit of an evil streak. He stands nice as can be and then moves like lightning and tries to "get you". He didn't get me today, and occasionally I scratched his cheek and rubbed his horns to bring him around. I still kept out of reach, and, thankfully, I think he is finished producing cashmere for this year. :P

Boss is picking up a 2 year old buck on Friday, and Willow and I were quite excited. The rest of the crew grumbled .

Willow and I have agreed to work the opening day of the Farmer's Market for Boss, who will be going to an Agricultural Fair. The day also happens to fall on the annual huge garage sale/library book sale next to the Farmer's Market, so that should be quite the event. Willow and I are already planning what to wear. Or, at least, I should say, she is planning on what I will wear. She definitely has the better fashion sense.

I told Boss I was planning on going with a dress, and she said that we ought to look like farmers. I said it would be a country dress, and then asked if I should just wear work clothes, if that would be better for business. She said to wear whatever I wanted.

Damn retired Psychiatrists. LOL.

Saturday, April 11, 2009



Friday, April 10, 2009


Well, it's been a busy day! Should I add that it started off with more regurgitated cat food on the stairs on my way to coffee? Jingle has just got to stop eating mice-they are obviously not agreeing with her.

Busy at the farm. Ironically, my border photo of the farm shows Pablo in the fore-Boss took him for combing herself, as she is separating his fiber white from coloured. Fine with me-I tend to comb all over and am rather careless about separating, besides, I had my hands full.

Nasrim again, and I had Willow on Carlos, the caramel wether second near in the photo. Willow raved about how sweet he was, and then wandered off to admire the babies. Still only five romping about. Bonnie tried to get Boss when Boss climbed into her pen to wash her hooves after yesterday's trim-once Bonnie realized Boss had no interest in her baby (Willow's favorite), she settled down.

So, I moved over to take over Carlos, and managed to tease out a bit of cashmere clumped on his neck. Barbaranna, one of my favorite does, third back in the pic, was waiting for Boss to do her hooves, keeping us company in the box stall.

When she went, I released Carlos, and moved on to Clarke, a big fat white wether with long guard hair. Willow has nicknamed him, "The Cornmaster". He is reknown for breaking into the grain room and nearly stuffing himself into a coma.

His rear is totally matted dreadlocks, and I have been working him for two days trying to get the cashmere off his neck and midline, and alternating slickers full of guard hair off the mats. Still not done.

Then we moved onto the buckling hill with P, and she took on Rue, and I took on Bibbles. Yeah, we have missed the sun; by 10am it is picking up strength and two days of it is giving my face a bit of a glow.

Then I met the crew over at the big bucks, and took on Mauro. I set Willow up with Zeuss, after trying to help the boys find a short in the electric fence. Boss hadn't asked me to look, and since I was there to comb I left them to it .

Chriss started giving Boss a hard time while she was working on Zeuss's hooves, so I collared him and was bringing him through the fence while Willow had taken on Mauro. Then something happened. I missed it, but it involved Willow getting dumped off the five gallon bucket she was sitting on. I am not sure if he tried to butt her or just jumped and bumped her off. I think she was covering for him,(since I couldn't get a clear story) but thankfully she was unhurt except for her pride.

Boss took over combing Chrissie, and I sent Willow off to the farm pond to check out the croaking frogs. I was still on Mauro. Once or twice I cleaned my slicker and reached over and swiped gobs of cashmere off of Chrissie's neck when he had his head back showing Boss where to comb with his horns. It was funny watching him pause in mid scratch while I swiped his neck. He was in Nirvana. LOL.

Then the hounds next door discovered Willow at the pond, and startled her, so back she rushed through the swamp, filling her boots with water. TG it was time to call it a day.

Back home I spread some well rotted manure on the "lawn". We played some soccer with Peko in the driveway, and it was easy to see what happened to the lawn last fall. In no time the drive was churned up into loose dirt. When I have the drive fixed, I think I will just have them dump a load of gravel at the end and throw Peko's ball on top. It will be spread out in no time.

We took the goats for a walk in the woods. They were astonished when I dropped the gate and stepped back. They rushed out and started gobbling all the little bits on the ground, and then moved on to toppling small firs, and finally started walking and nibbling only the select bits. Once we reached the marsh, they bolted back up the hill to the goose grain, much to the chagrin of the goose, who latched onto Moonie, honking and flapping.

Then the goats moved on to the grain sludge the Firebird has been dumping out of the goose water all winter, and that was enough for me. I put the goats back in.

A huge pizza and half gallon of ice cream for dinner-I took beer instead of the ice cream-hey, it's Friday, what the heck...

I type this praying for rain to move in before morning-Boss wants us back tomorrow if the weather is good, but I want the weekend off. The weather looks great for all next week, so there will be plenty of time for combing then. Still, if the sun rises in the morning, I may go for some more combing. C'mon rain. (did I really say that????)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

goat talk

We wormed all our goats yesterday morning. I was not sure what they weighed, so I took the scale out and pre-weighed the Firebird and myself, expecting that we would pick up the goat and then subtract our weights. We started with skittish little Anna, the youngest, who had never been wormed. Of course her eyelids were bright red, indicating that she was not anemic, but I was going to worm them all anyhow.

Anna's response to people is to play passive. She curled up on the ground and glued herself there. The Firebird couldn't budge her. Talk about dead weight! I managed to get her in my arms, and then couldn't get to standing, so I had the Firebird help me lift her. She weighed 65 pounds!

Then Derek was on the small house roof, so I scooped him up, he being the next smallest, and he weighed nearly a hundred. Combined with my weight of currently 137,
(my Doc would be dancing with glee), we nearly topped the scale, so I stopped weighing goats and started guesstimating. Phew, got that job done!

Today we worked at the farm. The day did not start well at home, beginning with cat vomit on my favorite rug (I refer to these as omens of a "cat puke day") and sure enough, things were helter skelter at the farm. We ended up on the buckling hill for two hours combing the little guys. The first ones were easy enough-then I had saved Jacolby for last.

The other time I combed him, he yelled so hard I had to release him. So of course today he started in yelling. I started singing to him..."Mr. Pitiful". This caused him to increase the tempo of his screaming. Maybe he was just trying to drown me out. Finally he settled down enough to comb quietly. Phew, my arms arm aching, and I already agreed to comb the big bucks tomorrow. Ha. I think I am ready for a nap.... :P

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fishing, tree climbing, and ice out?

Open water fishing began April first. We thought today there might be just enough open water to give it a go. Here is Willow, the determined, but disappointed, fisherwoman.

I managed to catch a tree (bobber dangling in middle of photo). Where is that tree-trimmer when you need him?

I turned over casting to the saplings, who managed much better, only snagging the ice floes a few times.

The Firebird managed a few excellent casts on his own, until he (wisely) gave up fishing, and retreated to his more preferred pastime, tree-climbing. Note the snowboots and t-shirt, while Willow is huddled in a snowcoat. ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Busy day!

Finally some sun again! So it made a good day for the farm!

Boss had Linnea and Bonnie in mind-neither one suitable for Willow, so I headed over to the wether pen and picked out Jackson, Lincoln, and Jasper as possibles for her. I brought Jackson right over, and Willow just loves him. He is a giant, and the joke at the farm is that he was raised on poptarts-he came back to the farm from another household. He was raised with rowdy kids (poptarts) and is very gentle for Willow.

I took on Linnea, very cautiously. She nearly broke my kneecap last year, so today I kept my distance, but actually, she was very good. She only tried to get me once. I got two big bags of fiber off her, and Willow combed a ton off Jackson, too. Then I brought the other two wethers over, but Willow said Lincoln wasn't releasing, and she didn't want to deal with Jasper's long guard hair, so she chose to hang with the new babies.

That's right, the babies have started arriving at the farm! Last week Coretta dropped a set of twins, both does, and Bonnie had a single buck. Then Dancer had twins, one of each, two days later.

I released Lincoln and cleaned Jasper up, and then moved on to Bonnie. I opened the pen after I chained Bonnie. She wasn't releasing much fiber, and then her buckling darted out of the stall and she started flipping out, so I released her. Dancer's babies were napping, and since she was the only goat not out in the field, I collared her and cleaned her up. She kept trying to get me, so I had to hold a horn in one hand and comb with the other.

In the meantime, Coretta and Bonnie had moved out of the barn, and Willow was hanging with them and the three kids. Bonnie has her hooves full with that little buck!!! He was romping with the little doelings, and Bonnie was having a fit!!! He would run and she would go after him with buggy eyes. Then Corretta's black kid was trying to nurse and Bonnie butted her because she thought it was her little black buck!

Finally we went to Prescott and I combed Duke. He was being very jumpy-finally I had one of the weekend boys hold him, and Boss worked on his neck while I wailed away with the slicker.

I found some pussywillows in full bloom as we were leaving, and they joined the vase of forced forsythia on the kitchen table when we finally arrived home.

I have been looking for at least one more goose for our lonesome gander. I found a couple of female pilgrim geese down in New York, but the price and the shipping is steep. We could get eight goslings for a better price from Metzer. Hmmmm-I don't really want a big flock of geese, so Lucifer might have to content himself with the chickens for company for awhile....