Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Animal Cruelty

The warm weather is over for us. I brought Bootstrap back to the barn and put him in a cage with lots of straw. He just was not strong enough to deal with the cruelty of the rest of the chickens. I put him back in the goat/chicken shed and they ran him out, got him down and were trying to kill him when I rescued him. It wasn't only the roosters that attacked him but also the hens.

If you listen to those who say that humans are the only animal that kills for sport or that humans are more cruel than any other species, you can pretty well bet that they have not had much animal experience.

Dogs, Coyotes, Wolves and big Cats with go into a pen with animals that have no way of escape and kill everything there and not eat anything. The excuse that they are given is that they are teaching their young to kill, but that doesn't hold true when it is just one dog, coyote or wolf.

I have heard of a pen full of pigs being killed by a pack of adult dogs with nothing being eaten. The same thing happened to several Alpacas that I read about and I know of goats being attacked and severely injured by well fed neighborhood dogs.

Chickens have no compassion, they simply eliminate the weakest among them. A hen will peck another hen's chicks to death for no good reason.

Goats will injure each other with or without horns. Many does miscarry after being butted hard by another doe. A doe with newborn kids can be horribly vicious to another doe's newborn kids even injuring or killing them.

Horses are brutal to each other. We had a mare who was close to foaling kick another mare's newborn foal as hard as she could, the poor little guy went rolling head over heels but somehow was not injured. I even saw a friend's mare kick her own young foal after biting it several times, she kicked her so hard that it was a miracle that she didn't have broken bones, just because she tried to eat some grain with her mother.

If you are still not convinced that animals can be cruel, just watch your kitty cat with a mouse, bird, chipmunk, baby rabbit or squirrel. They love to torture before the kill.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Catching Some Rays

The sun is shining, it is warm and beautiful. A perfect time to put Bootstrap out to get some sunshine. However, he escaped his cage and was viciously attacked by the hens and other roosters. He has always been able to hold his own and was second in command, second only to my huge Barred Rock Rooster, Rocky. He was hiding and cowering under my little red wagon, I picked him up and put him back in his cage and patched the hole.

He still isn't 100%, I think that he has some problems with his feet, they were pretty frozen when we found him. I sat here at the computer with him in my lap and massaged his feet until they loosened up some. His comb is nearly all black and he is still pretty weak.

I also put Cooter in the dog kennel for the day, so that I could put Calico and Paris in the goat lot for some sun.

Calico and Paris both enjoyed the sunshine. Angel enjoyed the sunshine as well but Abby is staying in the chicken/goat shed for some unknown reason.

And finally, the horses... I think that I counted 16 horses DOWN in this one pasture, the sad part is that we have four other pastures. Don't even ask how many we have.

And for no reason at all, here is a picture of Rocky and a few of his choice hens.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Peanut Butter Fudge

One of our gifts for Christmas from my Husband's Aunt was a homemade recipe book that is just adorable. As I pulled out the recipes to look at them I was pleasantly surprised to find the recipe for Uncle Jimmy's peanut butter fudge.

I had my DH pick up the items that I needed to make the fudge from the store on his way home from work yesterday. We went to Prayer Service last night and the plan was to make the fudge when we got home.

After the wonderful warm weather that we have had for the last few days, I knew that all good things have to come to an end. There was a nasty storm in the making when we got home. I had measured out all of my ingredients and had the 5 cups of sugar with evaporated milk and butter cooking on the stove when the cold front started sweeping through our area. The wind was horrible, along with the hard driving rain.

My mixture was just about to come to a boil when without warning the electricity went out. My stove is electric and I hoped against hope that it was just a temporary problem but it wasn't. My DH held the flashlight while I quickly removed the pan from the hot burner and started covering up all of the ingredients that were already opened and measured out for the fudge, I covered the pan with a plate

I started lighting candles and since the storm outside didn't show any signs of letting up, we both put on our Energizer Headlights, propped ourselves up with pillows on the bed and read our Jeffrey Shaara books. He is now reading "The Last Full Measure" and I am reading "Gods and Generals". Those headlights are just perfect for reading whether you have electricity or not. The lights came back on sometime during the early morning hours. I remember him asking me, Who turned on the light?

I finished the fudge this morning before Sunday School and got to taste it when we came home and I just keep going back to taste it again and again. My DH said it was a little grainy but he keeps going back to taste it again and again too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Bootstrap, my feather footed banty rooster, is slowly improving. He slept on his feet last night for the first time since we found him nearly frozen. He is still in the house and will stay in the house until I am convinced that he can take care of himself outside. I am not sure what happened to him but he did show signs of leg mites and lice, that had most assuredly drained him plus his beak was frozen shut.

He is talking to me now when I go into the room, which is another sign that he is improving. We have taken care of his mite and lice problem, so he is starting to gain some weight and get his strength back.

The reason that I didn't notice that he was having a problem was because he stays in the goat/chicken shed all of the time with the little D'Uccles during the cold months. The rest of the crew are always out and about, so I can spot a problem with them but the D'Uccles and Bootstrap are always nestled in the straw of the nests or on the roosts. With his fluffy feather cover, I just could not see that he had lost so much weight and his foot feathers hid the leg mite damage.

Christmas Break

For some reason my hens decided to take an egg laying break on Christmas day. It was a beautiful day with lots of sun and not terribly cold, so there is no other explanation than they just wanted to take a Holiday. One hen did go ahead and do her duty, so it wasn't a totally eggless day, she must not belong to the Union.

All was back to normal yesterday and it turned out to be a 6 egg day. They had better give me at least 5 eggs per day for as much grain as they are eating. I put out what I think is a large amount of Chicken feed, cracked corn and black oil sunflower seeds plus some goat's milk occasionally and they have it all cleaned up in no time. I usually fill their feeders three time per day during the winter months.

It was such a strange day yesterday, rainy, foggy and warm. I spent a lot of time outside last evening without a coat or sweater. I even tried getting some pictures when it was almost dark. My camera has a night time setting on it that I had never used, so I snapped a few pictures of my DH putting out big round bales of hay in the muddy field in the fog.

I love the way the fog creeps into our lower pasture and fills the valley. Sometimes the fog even stands up in tall columns and looks pretty spooky. Now that I know how to take pictures in the dark, I might be able to actually get some pictures of the phantom columns. It was really a lot darker than it looks in these pictures.

Friday, December 26, 2008


This Christmas was nearly perfect, my Sister-in-law made and gave us her delicious fruitcake. I know that Christmas Fruitcake is usually a joke but hers is just wonderful and I had been thinking about it before Christmas, wondering if she would make it. She hadn't made it for us for many years. My DH and I are already arguing over it but he is working today and I am here all alone with it.

The only reason that Christmas wasn't completely perfect was because I didn't get any electronic gadgets this year. I always enjoy Christmas night when it is all over and I get to figure out how my new gadgets work. Any kind of gadget will do, radio, computer, printer, clock or even kitchen gadgets. But I didn't need any new gadgets this year except a computer and that is something that I have to pick out for myself.

I did get a new antenna for my Police Scanner, so I need to reprogram the scanner because I am sure that I can pick up a lot more stuff with it that I couldn't get without an outside antenna. I only listen to it during the winter months and during storms. You can find out road conditions with a scanner that you can't get with a regular radio.

My luck being what it is though, our local Police Department just announced that they are getting a new radio system that can't be monitored with scanners.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Have Returned

It has been nearly a week since my last post, I have gone though a very stressful time, it was called Christmas. We had Christmas early here to give our kids the freedom to keep other family obligations. Christmas should be enjoyable and I did have a good time after everyone arrived, it was the preparation that was stressful.

Having a two year old Granddaughter is just the best, that age is so much fun. The older kids were fun too but after they reach a certain age they tend to be a easily disappointed. Our oldest Grandson wanted expensive gifts this year, Nike Shocks, a Carhartt jacket and a Bible. He really liked them but there were no toys to play with. I remember that age and the disappointment, like something important is missing.

We had our Christmas on Monday evening, then yesterday I just relaxed and didn't spend much time on the computer. We went to town last night after the icy roads cleared up. We ended up at Wal-mart and the famous last words of my DH were; "Just go ahead, look around and I will find you." I wanted to set up a meeting spot but he thought that he wouldn't have a hard time locating me. Needless to say, we both spent hours looking for each other.

We met people that we both knew and they tried to help us out by telling us where they had last seen the other person but that didn't help much. We would run into the same people later and get directions from them again but to no avail. I finally just sat down on a bench in the middle of the store and waited. My feet and back were killing me from the miles that I had walked. He finally wondered by and sat down with me. I suppose if you lived a boring life and liked treasure hunts, you could make it into a healthy pursuit with lots of exercise.

After the 10 mile marathon, we went to McDonald's for an Eggnog Shake, my favorite. Of course, they didn't have them, for the last three weeks every time we have gone there they have told us that their machine was broken. Last night they told us that they had run out and wouldn't be getting anymore in, I was devastated. For the record, the McDonald's in Bedford, Indiana is poorly managed.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, it was very cold here over the weekend and with my Christmas preparations, my dear, sweet Husband took care of all of my animals while I stayed warm and comfortable inside the house.

He fought frozen water tanks and frozen hoses and on Monday morning he brought me a frozen Rooster. Poor Bootstrap was just about dead. He was weak and could hardly support his own head. I sat down and held him for awhile, pried his frozen beak open and rubbed his stiff legs and feet.

Because of his fluffy, new feathers, I couldn't tell that he had lost a lot of weight. He had been acting strange for awhile but he was molting and I thought that was his problem. I wormed and deloused him because he had some leg mites, I also coated his legs with vasoline and made him a straw bed with food and water in our back room. His comb turned blackish purple, but he is eating and drinking and slowly regaining his strength.

My one egg day was just that, one egg for one day. The next day I got five eggs and have gotten 4 to 5 eggs every day since then. The weather has been all over the place, freezing cold, warm and sunny, ice storms, snow flurries, strong winds and right now as I am typing this, I hear thunder and it is suppose to get up to near 60 degrees after an ice covered day yesterday.

Now that my Christmas stress is completely relieved (it feels so good), I will be blogging again. This blog is one year old, I started it on Christmas day last year, it has had over 10,000 views according to my hit counter and those are not page reloads.

I never dreamed that people would find my life interesting in the least, I have never understood this whole social networking business, like My Space or Facebook but I guess it has it's purpose. I know people who have nearly abandoned television altogether for My Space and connecting with their friends. All of their spare time is spent there. I do enjoy reading other people's blogs and finding that there are actually other people out there who live the same sorta life that I live.

** Happy Birthday, Jackie!! **

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A One Egg Day

There have been colder days than today, there have been nastier days than today. We have consistently received at least five eggs everyday since the cold weather has arrived. Something changed today, only one lonely egg.

The good news is that the shortest day of the year, Sunday, December 21st is about to arrive and then the days will start getting longer. I always love to get on the other side of that short day. I love cold weather and snow but I don't care for the long nights.

Angel and I both saw an unusual sight today. I was walking back to the barn from feeding Cooter. I had already fed the Chickens in a couple of different places, there was a group pecking at their feed right in front of our horse trailer as we passed.

All of the sudden from up on the hill above the barn, something came swooping down upon us heading right for that group of chickens. I stopped and at first glance thought it was a hawk, it had the same coloring. Angel was a few yards behind me and she froze in place, looking up, high over her head. I was stunned and relieved when I realized what it was, it was one of my little banty hens in a hurry to get to the feed before it was all gone.

I have never seen a chicken fly that high, she had her wings stretched out and glided in for a perfect landing, right in the middle of the feeding frenzied large hens who make her life pretty difficult. Those hens scattered in all directions, they thought the sky was falling. I am almost certain that she was playing big, bad, bird of prey. It was very affective but the moment of panic didn't last long and the big hens ran her off again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


While catching up on some of the blogs that I read this morning, I was inspired by Chris' post and determination at Johnson Family Farm. He is really putting himself to the test and making a public declaration to be held accountable. Hopefully he will keep us all informed about how he is doing while breaking his 1 1/2 pack cigarette and 20 can diet coke per day addictions.

I don't smoke or drink diet coke but think of the money that I could save if I quit eating so much!! I could actually kill three birds with one stone, lose weight, be healthier and save money.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Headlight Review

I got all of my feeding and milking done last night well before dark, I had looked forward to coming back into the warm house to thaw out. My DH had to run to town to pick up some corn for my chickens and some prime rib that has been processed into dog food for my dogs or at least that is what I think they make it out of, it may be veal, leg of lamb or New York Strip.

He took too long shopping while in town and it got dark, so he called me and asked me to feed his horses for him. Not a problem or so I thought, but because of the recent 59 degree weather and rain showers, then the drastic drop of temperatures into the low teens, things were not as easy as I had anticipated.

First the side door of the barn was frozen shut. I had to leave the feed buckets full of grain beside the door and went out the front sliding door, came around and put my shoulder into shoving the door open.

I managed to feed the stallion without any problems. Then I came to the second metal gate that leads to the lot where the 2 yr. old, yearling and weanlings get fed. The chain on that gate was frozen to the gate, this slowed me down and was a little hard to get opened. I had to put the buckets down and try to get the chain loose while holding the flashlight.

With this accomplished, I went over to set the bunk feeder up on it's feet because my DH always leaves it on it's side so that water won't collect in it. Of course, it was frozen to the ground and it was a struggle for me to break it loose and set it up.

Next came the third metal gate where the younglings come into the feed lot, the chain on it was frozen too, this one wasn't as bad as the other one, but still aggravating.

I finally arrived at the fourth metal gate that lets the younglings into the lot that contains the feed lot. Is this perfectly clear? Anyway they were waiting impatiently at this gate to be let in for their grain. They were huffing, puffing and pushing, but the problem here was a busted metal gate that was tied together with a doubled piece of rope in a fancy knot.

Now this knot had been rained upon then frozen solid, I tried and tried, but it is very difficult to untie a fancy frozen knot with cold ungloved hands while trying to hold a metal flashlight in your mouth. I finally realized that it wasn't going to happen. My face and fingers were nearly frostbitten, so I started for the house to get some pliers and a screwdriver to pry the fancy knot loose.

As I arrived at the house I remembered the one thing that I had asked for for Christmas, a Headlight! You know, one of those lights that miners and coon hunters wear on their heads.

I knew it was in the big Christmas box of gifts waiting to be wrapped. So I tore into the box, found my lonely Christmas gift and started the long process of getting it out of the impossible packaging. I ripped and cut my way in with a steak knife, put the batteries in it and strapped in on my head.

Oh, my! I love this thing, it is an Energizer, Trailfinder Series, 1 Watt, LED Headlight. We got it at Walmart, so it was made in China but it has a Lifetime Guarantee. The button switch on top is a little small and hard to use but it has three different light settings and it tilts to aim where you need it. The main spotlight setting is really bright and lights up a wide area.

I took my pliers and screwdriver and managed to work the fancy knot loose, got the gate open and the horses were saved from starvation, all because of this really handy little headlight. I don't know how long it will last or how fast that it will go through batteries but my DH had to try it out when he got home and he wants one of his own.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In a Fog

Not only is this the most stressful time of year but it is also the time of year that I chose to get sick. Stuffy, foggy, watery eyes, runny nose, headache, can't sleep and grumpy. I woke up like this yesterday morning, then was fine during the day but as soon as night approached it all came back. I went to bed at 8:30 after taking two NyQuil Sinus liquicaps, slept well until around 1:00 am, then tossed and turned, couldn't breath. I am hoping it will pass when the sun comes up.

I would like to be down and depressed, everyone I know has high speed internet, they tell me all the things that they can do online. I continue to sit here in this seat, click on a link and wait and wait and wait. I have no control over that though, nothing that we can afford comes to our area, nothing comes to our area period. Our only option is Satellite and it is too pricey and too unreliable.

I also need a new computer, this one is on it's last legs. I need a new camera, we need to sell horses (our constant money drain), my DH needs a permanent job, we need a house. I need some socks.

We were reading a local article online the other night about a 6 yr. old girl who told someone that she didn't believe in Santa Claus because he had never brought her anything for Christmas. Of course, the person that she told this to went out and bought her a bunch of stuff. We laughed about it because my 5 yr. old Granddaughter had recently told me the very same thing. My Son commented that Santa had never brought him anything either. I said that in all of my 50 years, Santa Claus had never brought me anything, people sure are gullible

Then there were my plans of milking Calico all winter and having Paris kid in the spring, then start milking her after her babies are weaned and breed Calico to kid in the fall.

A perfect plan, except that Calico is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. She got out of her barn stall, somehow got out of the barn and lured Cooter through his electric fence. I found them together happily eating what was left of my little pine tree in the yard.

Like I said, I would like to be down and depressed but I am reading "The Last Full Measure" by Jeff Shaara and reading about what those men went through during the Civil War makes it a little hard to feel sorry for yourself.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Faith Restored

Shopping online was made just for me. I hate to shop and even shopping online is not my favorite pastime. I would much rather read a good book. But online shopping has definitely made my life easier. Sometimes I try to imagine what life must have been like before the internet, it must have been a dark and difficult time.

Consider this, I am 50 years old and am only half kidding. I really do have a hard time remembering what it was like. Think about the kids of today who have a hard time understanding that our generation was actually able to live without cell phones.

I didn't mean to get side tracked with this train of thought. I was really going to blog about having my faith restored in an eBayer.

I purchased a Christmas present on eBay and when it arrived it was not even close to the way it was described. It was suppose to be NWT (new with tags) and not only did it not have tags but it was dirty, scratched and definitely used, parts of it were even missing.

I shot off a message to the seller about my disappointment and started proceedings against the seller through Paypal. I didn't hear anything back for a couple of days and then got a reply that said that they had sold the item for a friend and would refund my money if I would return the item.

I didn't want to get caught paying for return postage, lose my money plus the item, so I sent another message that I wanted the return postage paid before I returned the item. Not only did they send the return postage but they also refunded all of my money. I will return the item tomorrow.

I have had some bad dealings through eBay a couple of times both as a Seller and a Buyer and there are times that you begin to think that everyone out there is a swindler.

I bought some Avon on eBay once and I have to say this made me madder than buying something then never receiving it. The Avon came and it was the wrong item, I sent a message to the Seller in New Orleans that they had sent the wrong item. They said to return it and they would send what I had actually bought. The right stuff finally showed up but they did not refund my return shipping. When I ask about it, they sent me a message that said that the tubes that I had returned were half empty and that they would not reimburse me. I wonder if they survived Katrina.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Confused

Others that I know who have goats know exactly when their does are in heat. I have always had trouble with this. It seems that my does do not show obvious signs. I turned Cooter in with five does last winter and when spring rolled around I only had three does who looked bred, the other two were questionable. Two of the does had twins and the other was carrying triplets when I lost her and all three babies.

The other two does never produced any kids and I never seen them show signs of heat. I also never seen Cooter breed any of them. After the babies were all born and I was ready to put their mothers back into the goat lot, I took Cooter to the pen up the hill. Then tied him out every day to eat grass and weeds.

One day in October, Collette who was always a trouble maker and tried to be the herd Queen started acting submissive and quiet. She also showed an interest in going to visit Cooter, so we took her and she stood quietly while he bred her. I sold her not long afterward and also sold Cinder as a doe in milk. I was milking Calico at the time so I kept her in the barn stall and put Cooter back in with Paris.

So, this is where we are today, Paris looks bred but I have been fooled before. On Saturday, she had a long string of goo and so I thought that she must have gotten out sometime this summer while I had Cooter tied out eating grass and went to visit him.

When I seen the goo, I assumed that she was getting ready to kid, so I put her in the barn stall with Calico. She doesn't have any sign of an udder but that is not too unusual. On Sunday morning she had blood all over her tail. But she didn't act strange other than she was crying continually and wanting to go back to Cooter.

Yesterday she had more fresh blood and today she doesn't seem to have any new blood. I have asked the powers that be if this could be a heat cycle and have gotten conflicting reports, some think that she is getting ready to kid in the next few weeks and some think that it is just a weird heat. She has quit crying now and acts fine, her temperature has been normal through all of this, so I am just stumped and don't know what to expect.

If you have wondered why I haven't been blogging lately this is part of the reason, along with a new Grandson, who is just too handsome. Also there have been Christmas programs to go to and the usual fun things to do around the farm this time of year, like breaking ice and carrying water. I have also been trying to do some Christmas shopping and catching up on my rope halter orders.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

He's Here!

My three Granddaughters got to welcome their new little baby brother to the world Friday afternoon at 2:30, he weighed in at 7 lbs. and not quite 2 oz. He was 19 in. long and has a full head of dark brown hair.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Google My Life

I guess that I am totally dependent on Google to run my life. I use igoogle for my home page, gmail for my e-mail, Google Reader for my favorite blogs, website articles and my blog comments. Google is my only search engine. Google maps and driving directions help us find our way, Blogger and Blogspot for my blog. I use Google bookmarks. I did use the Google desktop search for finding things on my computer before my hard drive got so bloated that I needed to get rid of some of the excess fat, I also use Picasa2.

I get a little frustrated when I lose something around the house. I sometimes want to sit down and type in the item in a Google search to find out where it is. Then I sadly remember that Google doesn't have my house categorized and indexed, or at least I don't think that they do. Google does know too much about me, it serves me ads about horses, chickens, goats, children, vet supplies, farming, pets, internet technology and electronic gadgets.

It is really pretty scary, they will probably come up with a chip to install in our brains soon to help our memories and give us access to a huge knowledge database. They will have us in a category and index us along with all of our thoughts. We will no longer be human but walking, talking googlebots.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Here it is the end of another day and I still don't have my Christmas shopping done. I received my first Christmas card today and it caused me great anxiety. This year has flown by with each month passing by faster then the previous one.

The days are so short that I barely get my morning feeding done and it is time to do my evening feeding before it gets dark. I am always so rushed that I feel like I have forgotten something important.

We did get some small projects completed today. My DH shoveled out the goat/chicken shed and fixed me an area inside to feed the "stay in the shed" chickens, so the goats can't get to it. My Mille Fleur D'Uccles are the only ones who cannot tolerate the cold weather and spend their winter days on the roosts.

I got six eggs today but only three yesterday, the hens didn't like the rainy, snowy day that we had yesterday. The Sun inspired them today, it inspired me too.