Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mmmmm dirty laundry

Here is Panther finding a cozy spot in the sun which happened to be shining on the laundry basket.

The dawn dawned with fog. And more fog. Thick and grey and bright in my east window. I soooo wanted to get up and take some pix, but it was just too cozy in bed. The fog burned off by the time I got up, and I let the geese out while the coffee was brewing.

The goats started yelling-sunshine usually means an early feeding for them since I usually comb at the farm.. Tough luck, kids...

Well, we have been getting lots done in the garden.! Put in some early red potatoes, and finally planted the pumpkins. Also planted some green onion seed, basil, and bright lights swiss chard.

We were skunked at fishing all week. Yesterday Willow no sooner had her line in, a wicked thunderstorm broke and we fled home. Today, it started raining as soon as they got lines in, and then stopped raining, but still no bites. Just raining again now as I type.

Did some goat hooves earlier in the week: Cricket and Anakin. Everyone looks pretty good, but we have lots of rock for them to play on in the summer, and I think that help keep the hooves ground down.

Fiber Frolic coming up Saturday. Willow has soooo wanted to enter showmanship, but we would have to be there, with goats, all day. I told her I don't need a judge to tell me she knows goats. And the only cashmere we might enter for the goat show part would be Nic, and he's a wether anyhow, although it would be a tempting excuse to offer him for sale, lol. She had wanted to show Daph or Obiwan in showmanship. So the plan is to go mid-day to catch the goat show as watchers, eat some gyros from my friends stand, and maybe check out the used equipment.

Watch this space for photos. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I think we are finished combing cashmere at the farm. We worked today and Boss said she wanted to have the combing finished today because it was supposed to rain the next three days.

We finished off the little grey wether at the main barn, the last one of the main herd still shedding. Then Willow and I hustled up to the hill and worked on Jacolby and Ursula's boy. R came up and said we were needed to hold pelts for photos down by the cottage. We went down and took turns holding up pelts for photos.

Someone wants to buy some for costumes, so Boss was taking the photos to show what was available.

Then we went to the bucks, R weedwhacked while Willow and I cleaned and set up. I took a horn tip in the lip from Monarch while I was collaring him. It hurt but I didn't even get a fat lip. Darn, and I thought it was cheaper than collagen implants.

We combed and finished Homer, Hjalmar and Duke. Duke has the nicest fiber and has produced bags and bags this year. If I was starting a herd I would pick him as one of the herd sires, for sure.

Poor Willow filled her rubber boot with water while trying to lug the old water to dump in the ditch, and had to change into her clogs. Then she was combing Homer and started shrieking. Yep, her buddy Homer urinated a huge shower all over her. Homer got Boss last year, too. Glad it wasn't me. I had to swap combing slickers with Willow because she thought hers had pee on it.

We left without any fanfare. There are still a few bucks with some fiber-I guess someone else will get to them, or not, or perhaps we might do one more day next week if needed. Willow still wants to go back and visit.

On the home front, we planted tomatoes, zuccini, summer squash, all our flowers we bought, and morning glories. I planted pole beans and gourds. Willow tried to help with the latter, but the mozzies were so bad she ran back to the house. That was Saturday.

Today the morning glories are up, and I had the job of tying the strings to the telephone pole. That is a picky job I don't really care for, but it looks so pretty when they are blooming.

The mixed greens are nearly ready for early harvesting, and the peas are coming along too. I still need to get some potatoes in and plant pumpkins. I have been putting off the pumpkins since last year something ate all the seedlings. I blamed slugs, but it may have been turkeys.

Last night we had frost warnings and all I did was swear when I heard it. The tomatoes and morning glories looked fine, so I guess it missed us. Knocked the mozzies back a bit, anyhow, although they were attacking me this afternoon while I was stringing the morning glories.

I dropped a few trees in the goat pen this afternoon. First the chainsaw kept stalling out, but I finally got it going. Then I hung up a good sized oak and had to rope it down. The Firebird was keeping me company (I like to have him there to call the ambulance if I do something stupid) and he told me to just drop small trees after that.

Of course I saw a big fir later I wanted to drop, and nearly had it on Nic's head. I had to stop and have the Firebird run and get some hay to get the goats away so I could finished cutting it down.

That was about enough for me. I had some more I wanted to take out, but I could see a breeze riffling the tops of the larger trees, and I am too chicken to attempt that. Besides, I felt like I was already tempting fate with the way things were going.

I am jonesing for some fresh tobacco. The kind I smoke, Bali Shag, is having a power struggle trying to get re-listed as pipe tobacco to avoid the huge new tax. So all the stores are out of stock. I have been smoking all the bottoms of cans I had been saving for a rainy day, and boy is it stale! I may just have to take up smoking a pipe at this rate. Maybe it will keep the mosquitoes at bay...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Catch up

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week since my last post here.

The Farmer's market went well. We arrived bright and early at the farm Saturday morning after stopping by an abandoned farm to snap a few early lilacs.

Ok, sounds like stealing, but in reality it does help keep the bush from getting leggy and promotes more blooms for next year.

Mr. Boss promptly informed us that the swedish meatballs fell apart, but that couldn't be helped. And we needed to pick up the extension cord from Prescott. I brought a 100 footer of my own, but the cord still needed to be retrieved from the now abandoned Prescott Farm, so we loaded up and went on our way.

Mr. Boss headed to the local store to get some dreaded plastic forks and plates for the fragile "meatballs" since toothpicks would no longer cut it.

We stopped at Prescott and picked up the cord and grabbed some flowering quince to go with the lilacs.

We managed to set up the tent, table, plate warmer, etc, and then discovered we had no meat price list, so Mr. Boss and I had a bonding moment winging it on a piece of paper I had brought for sales tallies.

Surprisingly, we sold no fiber products, and although the meat was out of sight in a cooler, we sold out of ground chevon twice, thanks to the swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam, and my not letting any prospective customer getting past the table without offerring a free sample of meatballs. Then I had to explain they had fallen apart as I revealed them in the pot. :P

Everyone that tried them like them. Some folks couldn't be convinced to try goat. Their loss.

Mr. Boss came to check on us halfway, and went back for more ground Chevon, which is how we managed to sell out twice.

We had tons of compliments on the lilacs, which we had displayed by the tent leg. Apparently no one else's were in bloom yet. Someone demanded, "are these yours????" Ack...what was I supposed to do, admit I stole them, especially when I was there representing the farm??? I pride myself on honesty but that was a tough spot. Serves me right, I suppose.

We bought some heirloom tomatoes from the plant lady, and chatted up our neighbors, the goat cheese lady, the pie lady (well, the bread lady, but she was down to one pie for an hour before she sold that and got to leave early) and the egg/beef lady.

Then we tore down and hit the end of the garage sale, and grabbed some more junk for the collection- a nice pair of globe lights, some hockey skates that will fit the Firebird next winter, and enormous spice rack with all the 24 glass stoppered bottles all for $3.

The book sale had ben ravaged and unless I wanted paperbacks in fiction, (I have too many already, that should go to next year's sale) I was out of luck.

Then I just had to unload back at the farm. Ha! The stand up freezer keep shooting all the meat back at me-I was so glad to get it all in there and hit the road home.

We've combed two days this week. Today we combed just at the bucks after moving all the cashmere down to the cottage. Bags and bags. Willow had a lot of stories to go with helping pass them out of the subaru to me waiting in stocking feet on the cottage threshhold.

"This is what we got off Mary the day she peed on my glove, " "This is what I got off Nive the day she butted me," LOL.

Poor R split his head open earlier this week working on a car after work. He was there today with staples in his head-right in his hair. I tried to give him a break and Willow and I did most of the heavy work.

When we got back to the farm-I had to give R a ride back since Boss is away-Willow hung with all the baby goats while I stowed our day's combing. Twenty-plus beautiful little baby goats, plus all our favorite adults...yeah, I gave out a lot of pats and hugs too.

Then the Fjord filly, Estrella , came down out of the field with some more goats. I noticed this am that she had gunk caked between her front legs on her girth line, so I started picking it out. I think it was goat pellets. It was glued right up to her skin in places, and that is not good.

So I kept plucking tufts of baby fur and goat poop off her tummy while she licked salt and chewed on my back pocket. Then, lacking a curry comb or shedding blade, I grabbed a slicker out of the combing bucket and brushed many handfuls of baby fuzz off her.

I finally went into the tack room and rinsed my hands. to be met on my exit by Estrella's nibbling lips. She is getting really mouthy due to hand-fed treats (not from me I know better with horses). I took my wet hands on pulled her upper lip and chin and wouldn't let her bite me-she was so cute.

Then I realized I had to pick up the chain saw from my chainsaw guy ( I yanked the cord out last weekend) by 12, so we tore out of there, and ended up also going to the garden center for some tomato plants and pansies Willow wanted for the windowbox...LOL yeah, 9 sixpacks and 4 pots later we were out of there. Pansies, alyssum, tomatoes, nicotania, geranium, petunias, and a cleome! I couldn't find seed for two years, but this year I will save some...

Oh yeah, and we got a new goose. A Toulouse Gander. Poor Lou didn't know what to do. We have had the new guy in a large pen all week and let him out today, and he is following Lou everywhere. Lou had never seen another goose. They seem to be getting along. At least, I officially bought him today when they didn't get in a fight when they finally were set loose together.

I wanted a goose not a gander, but there ya go...

And, one of our roosters came home from the neighbor!! He was so happy!!! I guess I will fix a place for him with his own hen-if I give him back (I gave her four) he will just run right back over here, and I don't want him in my garden. I hope the rest don't come back!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Finally begged a day off from the farm to do some things around here.

Set a date for the saplings to have their year end testing to meet homeschooling requirements.

Trimmed some goat hooves-Anna, Moonshadow, Obiwan. Nothing too serious.

Obiwan is still shedding. I was looking up pygora goats and decided he is definitely an Angora cross with type B fiber. I think he has some dairy goat instead of pygmy, because he has adorable floppy ears. Anyhow, he took a quick slick and earned us several more handfuls of his long silky fiber.

Nicholas is still hanging onto the last of his cashmere. He hates to be combed and promptly butted me. Out of the eighty plus goats I work with he is right up there on the jerk list.

Did the laundry. Ugh. At least it is clean, dry, folded, and upstairs.

Went to the farm to talk to Boss about the Farmer's Market details. That took quite awhile, and was pretty much common sense. I think if she just left the stuff and a price list I would have been fine, except for the freezer tour where she told me what meat to take. Actually she had already told me that earlier in the week, this time I got to see it. Having been a cook for years it was self explanatory, really, but I didn't let on.

I think it was more to reassure herself she had told me everything, and I had Willow along who was listening to it all as well, so she could probably handle it herself. She might, if I need to slip off for a cig, and I will since it will be over four hours. LOL.

I did take some notes on people's names. although one was just referred to as "the bread Lady".

Mr Boss was obsessing over the extension cord still at Prescott. Mr. Boss' contribution is going to be a pot of meatballs for free samples that will go on a pot warmer, which needs to plug in. I guess I should have offerred to run to Prescott and get the cord, but I figured it is on the way to the market if I need it on Saturday.

I am actually looking forward to the meatballs...I figure I will put them front and center on the EIGHT FOOT table!!! I am obsessing about having enough stuff for the table-a few skeins of yarn, some roving-the meat cooler will be in the shade-some knitting directions and recipe pamphlets..

I insisted on taking some pelts- we get two, although at $100 each we probably won't sell any.

Still, there is that GIGANTIC garage/book/perennial plant sale going on across the street, so who knows? I hope we sell out of everything! You'd think it was my farm

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still combing

Tree50 9

Still combing cashmere at the farm. Mostly just cleanup-a few bucks still have major amounts of cashmere. By the time we get to the bucks, I don't have much more than a half hour to comb-so I don't get very far!

This is a pic of Mary and one of her twins. It had such a funny expression I had to take the pic, although there is a lot of glare off her shiny black coat.

Behind is the grey wether yearling. I combed him today and got quite a bit off him, and that was just his neck. So he still has quite a bit that will be releasing in another week or two.

Looks like we're still on for the farmer's market this weekend, selling goat meat and fiber. Hope the weather is good since I don't know how to put up the canopy. :D

Friday, May 8, 2009

Beach Day

We took a trip to the beach today. On the way we stopped to see if the alewives were running, and they weren't. Peko managed to leave a couple of prints in the fresh concrete the guys were patching in to restore the fish ladder. We missed the alewive run last year-we will have to make another trip in a week or two.

We were the ONLY people on the beach. Friday noon, 67F, and the gates were open. The maintenance crew was mowing the ball field, and I had a moment of panic that we would be be sent packing with the dog, but they ignored us.

I left the leash on Peko just in case-the first time I have let him run at the beach, and I think he had more fun than the kids. He showed them he could dig better holes, and spent quite a bit of time early on trying to drag them away from the water. Once or twice he accidentally got caught by a wave-he looks very upset in the one pic of him with his feet in the water.

Peko also spent some time trying to snatch seaweed from Willow-and then he would "kill it" by shaking it furiously.

I screwed up my lens cover and it stuck shut, but the pics I took in the meantime still came out through the open slit, so I cropped them. Then the ones I took in replacement, I managed to put a finger over the corner of every one.

On the way home, we passed these two bulls on the side of the road. They were enormous. I had to take their pix, too.

On the trip we had McD's and then hand scooped Giffords Ice Cream-Peko had a plain burger and a scoop of plain vanilla topped with a doggie biscuit.

Finally, back in our neck of the woods, we spotted four Golden Eagles hunting over some woods. Can't really see them in the pic, but we still had a golden day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tues May 5

I have been trying to get some things done around here the last few days.

Yesterday I worked in the lower goat pen-pasture would be a misnomer. There were some small trees down from last fall that I cut into managable lengths and tossed over the fence. The saplings were a big help and we started a brush pile further down over the fence.

The goats are currently blocked off that section-I am hoping grass will grow in the clearing-but I wanted to get all the slash picked up before that (hopefully) happens. We did see little bits of grass starting up through old hay piles.

The two sections were growing up after being cut off right before I bought the property. So the trees are only a few inches in diameter. The upper section needs a lot of work-still stuff on the ground I dropped last year, and many more to be dropped that the goats have girdled this spring. It's a lot of work.

Today we planted garlic. Most folks plant it in the fall, but I always forget and do it in the spring. Usually the tops die down by July and I get small bulbs, but still tasty. I always just use store bought bulbs to plant. The last few batches I bought for cooking I have noticed don't get green spikes, so I don't know if perhaps they have been treated not to sprout ?

So, I thought I would try something different this year. I bought a big grab bag of last years seeds and after we planted the garlic, I sowed asters and zinnias over the row. I might regret that. But I figure between the iffy germination on both, I should get something without using too much space. The annual flowers will mark the garlic row for digging in the fall. (If all works out as planned)

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Firebird CR

Today was a raptor day. This morning Willow spotted a golden eagle flying over the house. Then later we heard the call of a broad tailed hawk, and spotted a pair hunting right around the house. One would fly ahead, perch on a tree, and call, then the other flew up, and perched, still behind, and they tagged tandem out of sight through the woods.

We went fishing this afternoon, late. The Firebird went along and caught his first fish of the season, a small large mouthed bass. Now they are tied one each. Two folks had used boat trailers to put in bass boats, and in short time the first one came to put in.

We had a nice chat and learned their catch of the day was a 7 pound bass. The Firebird headed home after they left-Willow wanted to stay, but right away the second boat came in.

Younger guys, bigger boat, and they took more time then the first ones. The water in the cove was well murked up by then, so I convinced Willow we should head home and try again soon.

While the second boat trailer was backing up, Willow spotted a bald eagle flying down off the pond.

I am going to have to nick name her eagle-eye with all her sightings.

Trimmed Nicholas' hooves today and bug sprayed all the goats. Peko had a bath. It took three of us to drag him into the bathroom, but he is all soft and shiny now.

Friday, May 1, 2009



Worked a couple more days at the farm. Combed a lot of cashmere! Also worked on the fence down to Jenny Nash with R on Wednesday. What a mess after this winter! Lots of large limbs down, insulators busted, temporary stakes snapped-two places we had trees down and R had to run the chainsaw to cut them up.

Thurs in between combing at the main barn and the bucks, Willow and I headed back up to Nash and finished repairing the upper section of pasture fence. Now that part is ready for the big bucks. I hope they were moved today or tomorrow since I am so scared they will get run over at Prescott.

Boss lets them out every day for a "walk" and they want to be right along the edge of the highway. Cars don't frighten them. Everyday when we meet her there, they are right along the road.

On the home front, the lettuce is up after a light rain last night. We staked the peas, which aren't up, but some flowers I planted with them appear to be sprouting. Or, it could be weeds...

Oh yeah, the black flies are swarming. Will have to spray my goats tomorrow-they are hiding in their houses.

We ran some quick errands today-dump, bank, grocery store, hay...We chuckled to see the summer decorations up at the transfer station-a giant shrek sitting on an old chair and a scary black ceramic rat.

The grocery store was rather empty-flu phobia? In one aisle we heard coughing coming from the next aisle over, so we moved over to the meat. A woman came out of that aisle and stood very close to me, leaning over the meat, so I moved on. I am not afraid of people-but I had a feeling she was going to start hacking away.

We quickly picked up the rest of our purchases and I moved into the express aisle since the bagger at the other aisle was coughing. Sure enough, our checker started hacking away-you know how when you get a tickle in your throat and can't stop? Like that. She kept turning her head and coughing into her arm, but Willow and I stood there horrified. Geez.

S came out for a chat when we stopped for hay, and we admired the newly shorn sheep (they have 9 or ten)Willow knows all their names. I know one of their names. LOL. S and I talked about the flu bug, and he asked me why there was so much concern over this one, and I was glad to be able to answer that it was because this one appeared to be striking healthy adults. A typical flu usually strikes the young and elderly the hardest.

He is particularly secluded, but his wife is a schoolteacher, so he does get exposed to bugs through her. He and I are usually outside and maintain a polite distance from each other, so we don't put each other at risk even during our long chats.

Willow and I went fishing late this afternoon. The Firebird didn't want to go. Willow's first cast she caught a tiny pumpkinseed, which of course had managed to swallow the tiny hook. I left my needlenosed pliers at K's when trying to help with the quilled German Shepards awhile ago, so I need to get another pair.

I was quite happy that I managed to wiggle the hook a tad and it popped right out and the little fish swam away free.

Then, when I was rebaiting the hook, Willow tripped over the pole while re-enacting the big catch,and sunk the fishhook into my finger. I let out a howl and several words not fit for print.One phobia I will readily admit to is getting caught by a fishook. I bled a tiny bit and it stopped hurting after about 15 minutes.

But Willow didn't get another nibble. I think I scared all the fish away with my yell, or they could smell my blood on the hook. Now I know how a fish feels.