Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fall Nearly Done

I guess I had better hurry, if I want to blog at least once this month.

The leaves fell from the trees too quickly this year with all of the rain that we had. But I am still enjoying the cooler days. My oldest Granddaughter and I spent nearly a whole day exploring our island and the Indian Creek creek bed.

We had tons of fun opening muscle shells, looking for pearls, watching the fish and a big old crawdad. We gathered odd rocks and looked at tracks in the sand, Indian Creek is a very sandy creek.

While we were on a gravel bar down in the bed of the creek, I pointed out to her how beautiful a creek is when you are on the same level with it. Looking upstream and downstream, as opposed to looking down on it from the bank is a much better view. I wish I had taken my camera but when I asked her, she didn't want to be bothered with posing and asked me not to take it.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are sneaking up on me as usual. Arranging dates to meet everyone's Holiday schedules is the hardest part. Finding money to buy gifts is another challenge this year. I normally have all of my shopping done way before now but couldn't get that accomplished this time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Be Warned

I have always hated spam but compared to what others have told me about how much they receive everyday, I figured we were pretty lucky. We use MailWasher Pro located at to filter, sort and preview our mail before downloading it. This has always worked well for us.

If an email is suspicious we can view is safely in MailWasher to determine its legitimacy, then download or delete it. We used to blacklist email addresses with it as well but spam email is mostly cloaked and there is no reason to penalize an innocent mail server.

As of October 19th we were receiving about 70 spam emails per day, that was normal for us. Then we listed a mare on Craigslist, we got several serious inquiries on her or at least they seemed serious.

Some of the inquiries were just: "Is the mare still available?". When we answered them back, "Yes, she is still available.", we never heard anything from them again.

The flood gates were opened. As of today, we are receiving about 300 spam emails per day and climbing. These inquiries are nothing more than a way to get you to respond and reveal your email address. It is then put on a spam list as a current and active email address.

We thought that if we used Craigslist again, we would just list a phone number and say that we will not respond to emails but my Son listed an item on there and actually got a spam phone call. It's a dangerous world out there...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poison Mushrooms

Yesterday I posted about hunting fall mushrooms, the reason that we got interested in hunting them was because of a mushroom incident that happened to our Pastor.

He recently took his little dog out for her morning walk in the yard when she grabbed up something white in her mouth in a playful way. He realized that it was a mushroom and yelled at her to drop it, she did drop it but I guess she didn't drop it quick enough, the damage was already done.

Within 15 minutes she was vomiting and then the bloody diarrhea began. He rushed her to the Vet. They immediately started an IV when he walked through the door with her, she was obviously dying.

They managed to save her life but she certainly would have died if he had not seen her pick the mushroom up and realized how serious the situation was. They later identified the mushroom on the Vet's computer. She was at the Vet's office for a week and doesn't seem to have any long term affects from her experience at this time.

The Vet was concerned that with the rainy weather that we have had this year, these mushrooms are in everyone's yard. He said that it is rare that pet owners actually see their pets eat or play with the mushroom or toadstool. Most of the time people don't know what makes their dogs sick or why they just get sick and die suddenly.

I am not a mushroom expert, so I won't try to educate anyone here on my blog but it would probably be a good idea to do a little mushroom research to familiarize yourself with some of the things that you commonly see in your area. There are some mushrooms that are only mildly toxic and others that are deadly.

As a matter of fact, one of the spring mushrooms that I have enjoyed from the time I was a child is mildly toxic. You would have to eat a lot of them to make you sick. But some of the summer and fall mushrooms that I have never thought about eating are said to be safe and delicious. I have tried eating giant puffballs that grow like pumpkins here in the fall but didn't think that they tasted all that great.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tough Kids

Country kids are so much fun. Our two Granddaughters, ages 5 and 6, were on fall break Thursday and Friday, they spent both nights with us. So they were here all day Friday and Saturday.

They entertained themselves by herding the chickens. They kept them in a tight little group, running and chasing them while screaming and giggling. Finally the sounds of shear joy brought Mamaw out of the house to see what they were up to. They got a stern warning about why they should never chase or otherwise annoy chickens. They took the lecture like they take most other lectures, with sly little smiles on their faces. Sometimes I have doubts that I am getting through, other times I know I'm not.

They enjoy simple pleasures when they are here. I was called upon to take them for walks on both Friday and Saturday. All of my Grandkids love for me to take them for walks for some reason. I think they like the sounds my lungs make after climbing steep slopes and crawling up mountainsides or maybe the different shades of color that my face turns.

It had rained most of the day on Friday, so the mud was just the right consistency to be super slick. They both had on black rubber boots with cleats but I had on my worn out Crocks which have no sign of the tread that used to grace their bottoms.

I managed somehow to stay upright, though it was difficult at times. Both of the girls nearly fell a couple of times with one of them finally getting the job done.

What they love to do on these walks is hunt mushrooms and arrowheads. We have done some study on fall mushrooms and while we haven't eaten any yet, we have found some. As for the arrowheads, we haven't found any complete or good ones for awhile but they still collect the chips and broken pieces. They also collect any rock that they think is beautiful.

On Saturday night after grilled chicken, baked potatoes and smores prepared on an open campfire, the two girls and I settled in around the fire for singing and scary stories. I had their baby brother bundled up in a warm blanket on my lap. He didn't last long, it was too dark and comfy, he was snoring within minutes.

The girls sang a few songs then took turns telling scary stories. I pointed out a ghost light in the woods but that didn't interest or scare them. Then I pointed out the fact that their Daddy would probably sneak around in the darkness and try to scare them but that didn't interest them either. He does that so much that it has lost it's affect.

While they were busy trying to outdo each other with their stories, the coyotes started singing nearby. Now this would have added to the general atmosphere of the evening for most young children but not my Granddaughters. I shushed them to listen and they listened for maybe 3 seconds and resumed their stories. Then another pack of coyotes started their howling on the other side of us, very close. I shushed the girls again, to which they deep sighed and immediately started back with the stories.

I gave up, I realized that these country girls just don't scare easily. They have heard coyotes before, so what's the big deal? They have been outside after dark before, so what's the big deal? Their little sister who will be 3 in December, is much more fun. She is terrified of Pirates and Chicken Poop.

The only thing that I have been able to scare these two older girls with is Gobblezilla, he is a giant Turkey who only comes around at Thanksgiving time. He rides on top of their car and is always waiting out there in the darkness ready to gobble them up.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ladybug Wars

After the first year of welcoming Ladybugs into our home as carriers of good luck, I found that this was just a myth. The following years have been all out war. I found that spraying my windows, outside and inside walls with Raid "Ant and Roach" spray was fairly effective. But last year only a few Ladybugs showed up on our doorstep in October, so I thought that I was either winning the war or their numbers were just dwindling.

I was wrong, as usual. This year they came back with a vengeance. They caught me totally unaware and unprepared. Their numbers have greatly increased and their immune systems are in top notch shape. Someone needs to be studying their immune systems instead of developing all of these wacky flu vaccines.

The first day of their return was in swarms of Biblical proportions. My Grandchildren were here and had planned to spend that beautiful, sunny, Autumn day in the great outdoors. They eventually gave up that dream and complained to me that the Ladybugs were being overly annoying to the point of aggression. I went out with them a few times and we had to stop at the door to scrape them off of one another's clothing before coming back into the house.

I jumped online with my speedy dial-up to see what to do since I had no Raid available. The article that I read suggested Lemon scented household cleaner, any would do. I tried it and it seemed to work as well as the Raid. But even Raid couldn't have kept them out in these numbers and with this determination.

When my DH got home from work on the second day of the attack. He had heard from others who were experiencing the same battles, that Lemon scented candles burning inside one's home could turn away these invaders. He also heard that Wasp and Hornet spray would kill them. I have never tried this but desperate people have desperate ways.

Of course, I had no Lemon scented candles but he had also heard that they don't like Blueberry candles. Believe it or not, I did happen to have one Blueberry scented candle in my candle drawer. With a feeling of this being our last great hope, I triumphantly lit the Blueberry candle in our only bedroom window which happens to be the weak point of our defense.

It really did a great job, I am not saying that it was 100% effective but it was about 89% effective and that is really good when dealing with Ladybugs. Next year I will be armed with both Lemon and Blueberry candles. I will also have Raid "Wasp and Hornet" spray on hand just in case things get ugly.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Secret Stash

We have been bad mouthing our hens for a few weeks. Some of them have been busy molting, that has been obvious. But the others had no excuse for not laying any eggs at all. We have gotten a couple of eggs every two or three days which was pretty bad for around 18 hens.

I was looking around the barn the other night, this was not the first time that I had looked for a hidden nest but this was the first time I found one. Underneath the big piece of cardboard that my DH uses to lay on under the truck when he changes the oil, I found their secret stash. This was on the same night that my DH was talking about getting rid of all of them and starting out fresh in the Spring.

It was a small but deep nest. The eggs at the very bottom were all broken. There were 18 unbroken eggs. The funny thing is that since I removed all of the eggs and cleaned the nest, they have not used that nest again. So we are back to getting one or two eggs every other day. I know that it is getting colder but we got eggs all during last winter.

I have slipped back into my non-blogging habit again, the truth is that I have been reading books. I bought several Tony Hillerman books last Christmas for my Step-Dad and for myself but hadn't read but a few of them. My Step-Dad gave me all of his when he was done with them.

I picked up one of them a few weeks ago and I have been obsessed ever since. I am on a reading marathon. It was really nice while I was sick to lay in bed and read but now that I am better, I can't get out of the habit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Great Blog Posts

I am really doing good, I have actually been posting to my blog for the last few days. I hope to keep it up but make no guarantees. Since I am still not feeling on top of the world, I have even taken a little time to read some other blogs that I try to follow.

Here are just two great posts that I have found:

Animal Cruelty

Think this can't happen in America?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blood and White Stuff In Eggs

This blog is in answer to my Daughter-in-law's question about the things that she found inside her Grandmother's farm fresh eggs.

A chalaza is a white threadlike structure in an egg which helps to keep the yolk in place inside the shell, like an anchor. Sometimes, there are two of these visible on opposite sides, other times only one is visible. Over time this rope can get twisted as the yolk moves around inside the shell, making it look thick and bumpy.

The chalaza is perfectly safe to eat, although it can be removed if you wish. The more visible the chalaza is, the fresher the egg. This is why they are not very noticeable in store bought eggs. If you are reading this post without ever getting eggs fresh from the farm, you probably don't even know what I am talking about because you have never seen one.

Blood Spots or Meat Spots that are sometimes found in eggs are caused by ruptured blood vessels during the formation of the egg.

Candling methods can reveal blood spots in eggs, if you wish to go to the trouble. However, as the egg ages the yolk takes up water from the albumen and dilutes the blood spot making it vanish, so blood spots actually indicate that the egg is super fresh. Again, this is the main reason that these meat spots, like the chalaza are not normally found in store bought eggs. Eggs with these spots are perfectly fine to eat or the spot can be removed with the tip of a knife.

Finding chalaza or meat spots in your eggs do not reflect the quality of the eggs. They only tell you that your eggs are fresh. The color of the yolks are the real test of quality. The lighter the yolk the less nutritional value.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

Wow! Two blogs in one day, can you tell that it is raining outside?

I was talking to my eldest Son this morning and he brought up this attack that we made on the Moon today. He is a pretty deep thinker and tends to be skeptical about most things. If you didn't hear or read about it, NASA crashed an empty rocket hull into the moon. Then followed it up with another crash of a probe loaded with cameras. The probe was suppose to send us pictures of the crashes, so that we could see if there was any ice anywhere.

My Son told me that he didn't really think that this was a fact finding mission. He believes that since we successfully landed on the moon in the 60's and didn't stay there for any length of time, that we were probably run off by the aliens who live there. He also believes that the powers that be figured out that those aliens were getting ready to attack us. This talk of finding water or ice was just a cover.

I listened to his theory, thought about it and came up with my own theory. I believe that he is probably right in his thinking but what hadn't occurred to him was that they brought one of those aliens back to Earth with them to study. This alien ended up escaping and becoming President of the United States.

This little stunt today was just another cover-up. They were destroying his long lost birth records so the truth will never get out, he won't risk losing his Presidency or his Nobel Peace Prize. I am not sure that you have to be an Earthling to win the Nobel Peace Prize but I do think that you have to be one to be the President of the U.S.

Ark Building

I know that I haven't blogged in quite awhile, which is what happens when you are so busy that you don't have time to turn around. I have been so busy building this ark, but the good news is that it is nearly ready. We are suppose to get a bunch more rain this morning and afternoon, so we will see if this thing will float.

I have had some type of flu-like thing again. I have had a really, really sore throat, fever, cough and pounding headache. I have been a good girl and have stayed home so that I do not spread the joy. But my Grandkids have all been here and I, of course, kissed them all good-bye each time they left. I felt terrible after they were gone and I realized what I had done. The truth be known, they probably gave it to me in the first place.

My two milk does have been moved into the barn stall, since they have completely quit respecting their goat lot boundaries. We asked a neighbor who was borrowing one of our electric fence chargers if we could have it back. Now we just have to get the thing hooked up on the goat lot. Our main fence charger is just running too many miles of fence to be effective.

I have lost two hens, one of my Rhode Island Reds to old age and one of my Silver Laced Wyandottes to our Grullo Stallion. The chickens always hang around where Badger is eating his grain. They like picking up the grain that he drops with his sloppy eating habits. He probably just accidentally stepped on the hen but since I wasn't there I don't know for sure what happened. She was just laying dead beside his feeder.

Other poultry news is that my hens have nearly quit laying. We are only getting one to two eggs every other day from 17 hens. This is pretty hard on us since milk and eggs are our main food source. My summer hatches are all D'Uccle bantams, who won't be laying at all this winter anyway even if they were mostly hens which they aren't. We do have some really fancy Mille Fleur D'Uccle Roosters for sale though.

My husband's sister called us up a few weeks ago, her neighbor had two bantam Cochin pullets to give away, sure, I would take them. When I got there to pick them up they were Frizzles, all the better. They were sweet and friendly but after a couple of days I noticed that my D'Uccle Cockerels were picking fights with them, then I noticed that the Frizzles were picking fights with the D'Uccles. Then my DH mentioned that my new pullets were trying to crow. Never take free pullets, chances are they aren't pullets at all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ridin' Ranger

We went riding on Monday, swallowed our pride and paid the $10 for a one day ride at Blackwell Horseman's Camp in the Hoosier National Forest, otherwise known as the Charles C. Deam Wilderness area. We have been riding there since we were kids and now we have to pay to use the trails, it just isn't right. I was riding there before it was even a horseman's camp.

I took Ranger and my DH took Darth, they both did well but Ranger was awesome. He doesn't shy from anything. He walks through horse swallowing mud holes and didn't even notice any of the horse eating stumps or fallen trees.

He doesn't scrape your knees against trees unless there is gravel in the trail, he hates gravel, we will have to shoe him for the next ride. Who puts gravel on horse trails anyway? The thing that really grates me is that we are paying for the stupid gravel with our $10 per day.

The thing that I really love about Ranger is he puts his nose to the ground and he doesn't stumble, he is super careful on rough and steep ground. Flies don't bother him either, even horse flies. I don't mean that he doesn't mind them (which he doesn't) but they don't like his color. They did land on the saddle and pad though. Darth got the bites but the flies really weren't that bad.

Darth had to go twice as far as Ranger went, because he kept having to turn around and come back down the trail to make sure we were still coming. Ranger is very slow and does not mind being left behind, there is not a buddy sour bone in his body. All in all he is a perfect horse, just needs to learn some neck reining and maybe to speed up his walk.


We only rode for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. I didn't get too sore but my back was demanding that I get off and walk awhile. We had ridden a few weeks ago down the road to check on some young horses that we are pasturing at a friend's place. I rode Leroy that day and my Husband rode Heath.

We were about halfway to our destination when the sky cut loose and engulfed us in a ferocious thunderstorm. We had heard the sound of distant thunder but we didn't think that it would find its way to us. All of the sudden there was lightening flashing all around us. The flashes were scary enough without the sound of the ground shaking thunder. We were all ducking.

When the rain came it was large stinging drops that were being blown horizontally. My DH tried to turn back but I talked him into going on in search of shelter. We finally found a barn with easy horse access. We rode into it and waited and waited for the rain to stop.

The hard rain on the tin roof made it hard to even talk, so we waited some more. I tried to clean the water off of my glasses but neither of us could find anything dry to wipe them with.

Here are some more pictures of poor Ranger after our little ride at Blackwell. We met some other riders on the trail, three ladies on cell phones (you get a strong cell phone signal in the Deam Wilderness), they called my horse fat. They didn't say that I had a nice looking horse or a pretty horse, they just said that I had a fat horse. Here are some pictures of my fat horse and his saddle sores after a three and a half hour trail ride.



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Exotic Feline Rescue

Our old mare with Cushings never got any better even with the Chaste Tree Berries. My DH spent many days cutting her long hair so that the hot days weren't so hard on her. But even with her hair cut she suffered in the heat. So we finally donated her to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, who provide a home for nearly 200 big cats. They were thrilled to get her at the time because they were having a drought in meat donations. They said that they would be here in a couple of hours.

When he came to get her, he said that after my Husband had called they had gotten some other calls. They feed 3000 lbs. of meat per day. Unfortunately we have several horses who are at the age that they will probably end up in the same place in the next few months or years. It isn't as bad as it sounds, the man was very skilled in putting our mare down and he did it on our own property, so the horse does not have the stress of being loaded and hauled to a strange place. We feel like this is the right answer for all involved.

Smells Good

I finally filled my largest pot full of pear bits. Notice that I didn't say that I got all of my pears peeled and cut up. I still have pears left to process but since my pot was full and my arms were aching I quit peeling.

I am currently sitting here waiting on the pears to cook down. That will happen at about 3:00 in the morning. Then I can start canning them. Having to do this overnight was my own fault. I kept putting it off until I ran out of time. I should have been in the house working on the pears this evening instead of cutting weeds out from under the electric fence. It is just that I can't resist being outside.

I lost my pear preserve recipe from last year and it was a great recipe. So I had to find a new one for these pears. It is suppose to be an old pear preserve recipe but I am thinking that it will be more like pear butter.

Since the recipe was pretty boring, I decided to spice it up. I added lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice. It smells heavenly and I keep having to go over and spoon some out for tasting.

Friday, September 11, 2009

2009 Hatchlings

I have ended up this hatching season with three hens who successfully incubated their eggs. The first standard sized hen hatched out nine bantam chicks only smashing one of them. Her eight remaining D'Uccle chicks are now nearly adult size and five of those eight are roosters, four of the five roosters are turning Mille Fleur. I am currently trying to find them new homes.

The other two hens were both D'Uccles, one hatched six chicks and the other hatched three. These chicks are all D'Uccles as well, but are still little balls of fluff, so I don't know if they are pullets or cockerels.

Egg production has dropped drastically in the last few weeks. When we were getting plenty of eggs, no one wanted to buy them, now we have a waiting list. I guess fresh farm eggs are getting harder to find because of the season. This is hard on our dogs who are use to getting a few eggs everyday.

I am glad to report no chicken losses other than one smashed chick. Having Great Pyrenees can cut your chicken losses as long as it isn't your Great Pyrenees who are killing your chickens. My older dog does chase them a little bit when she is feeling frisky and my cat does too, but neither has ever hurt one of them.

I am really impressed with my cat, Garfield, he kills birds, mice, chipmunks and rabbits but the little tiny chicks can walk right over his front paws and he only twitches. I have been afraid that he will snap one day, but so far so good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Better Than This

I come before you in all humbleness, begging for your forgiveness. I have been pretty low as of late. A few weeks ago I finally had something to look forward to. I was so deliriously happy because things were looking up for us. I should have known that it was just a trick to bring me crashing down. I know that I should never look forward to a better life here on earth. It is a trap that always captures me, then I feel stupid because I am better than this, I have always known that I can't be optimistic.

I hope that I have finally learned my lesson and will try to remain true to myself and will not set myself up for anymore falls. I have always been a pessimist and I should not have been so foolish as to think that the light at the end of the tunnel was anything other than a train. It was just that this time it was a sure thing! All of the worry and waiting was over. Then it all just exploded in our faces.

So here we are, back where we are most comfortable, in the land of despair. Fields full of mouths to feed with no hay in sight for the winter. At least we have milk, eggs, tomatoes and pears (Thank you, Diane!) to eat. The good news is that I will probably never get osteoporosis because I get tons of calcium.

My Mother always said that I was a happy-go-lucky child, she didn't know the dark secret that I kept so well hidden.

With this post I have left my "feeling sorry for myself" behind and am ready to tackle the next struggle, pounds and pounds of pears to process and can.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Horse Adoption

The comments on my last post about the theft of our pictures and the theft of the word Rescue, brought up another good point. That is the overuse and misuse of the word Adoption. Adoption is a "feel good" word and it should be, if you are adopting a child, but the adoption of animals is just plain silly.

If your adopted dog viciously attacks someone or some other animal, you will soon learn that you actually OWN that dog, he is yours and nobody else's, he belongs to you. Whether you bought him or adopted him it makes no difference.

Do words really have that much power? We no longer buy animals, we adopt them. We no longer sell animals, we re-home them. The money is the same whether you buy, sell, re-home or adopt. The only thing that is different is the terminology.

Using this thought, I will now reword and try to explain my previous post to you again.

There is a young woman in Texas who is a Novice. She was a minor but is now an adult. She supports herself in a career of extracting goods, services and donations from the trusting individuals who she comes in contact with.

She uses a free website provider to highlight the horses that she has never seen, in order to obtain donations to feed and care for horses that she does not own.

If you have come in contact with this woman, who's name is something like Cortney, and made donations to her horse rescue, then you can feel good about the fact that you have provided resources for the care and feeding of her imaginary animals.

If your plans to adopt one of them fell though. I am sure that she just decided that you were not a good match and could not provide a good home for them. However, your money will not be refunded because of the time and effort that she put into making that decision.

Please be warned, there are many people out there on the internet who will scam and otherwise defraud you, more than you can even imagine. Make sure that you are dealing with an established business when adopting any animal because the words "adoption" and "rescue" are terms that many unscrupulous people are using in order to sell their animals and make more money than they could by using the term "for sale".

**Update: Her website has finally been removed, she must have found a new way to scam people or is hopefully in jail.**

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fake Horse Rescue

We received a phone call letting us know that one of our riding horses is for sale on a rescue website in Texas. The owner of the "rescue" and website posts pictures of other people's horses along with the horse's actual information including price. She doesn't even bother to change their registered names. She takes deposits on horses that she doesn't have or own.

Our horse is for sale on our own website, she lifted his pictures and information to put on her site. The horse's name is Chips Ahoy Leroy and he has never been outside southern Indiana. The lady who called to inform us had the same thing happen to her and one of her horses.

This thief has bought horses from elderly people who could no longer care for them with a promise to pay which she never does. She has even sold shipped semen from her stallion advertising it as from some champion stallion or stallion with great bloodlines. No one catches on until it is time to register the foal then they find out that the DNA does not match the stallion that is named.

She has been reported to the local authorities, the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission and her web host, but no one has done anything with her. So the lady who called us just keeps an eye on her site and reports her activities to the people who's horses and pictures she uses.

This young lady also offers training and boarding using other people's pictures. I talked to a local detective and he laughed saying that she is going to be quite the gangster, but he did give me some tips on who to report her to. The good news is that her website is at one of those free website places and it doesn't show up in search engines.

So here is a word to the wise; Watermark your photos with your name or website name.

Here are some other tips; Don't buy horses or semen from just any website. Google the horse's name and make sure that the seller is an established ranch, breeder or rescue. Don't assume that just because the word "rescue" is used that it is really a rescue.

It has become quite stylish to call yourself a rescue and that is the reason some crooks are using the word as a sale's tactic for their horses, dogs and cats. I suppose we could call ourselves a rescue, as we have rescued several horses throughout the years and refuse to sell our horses at low prices or at auction.

We certainly could save ourselves some huge feed bills if we just sold them to stop the financial bleeding like most people are doing. But they are our responsibility and we will take care of them as long as we are able.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I was so excited last night! I was really late putting out my tomatoes this year and while everyone else was already reaping their harvest, I just had plants with tons of green tomatoes on them. I got my first ripe tomato last night and I gently carried it to the house, washed it off and grabbed the salt shaker.

My tomatoes are always better than anyone else's for some reason. They are very acidic and will make you get blisters in your mouth if you eat too many. Our neighbor has been giving us some tomatoes over the last few weeks and they are slightly sweet and do not have good tomato flavor. I think that he waters them too much.

My neighbor kept asking me if I had tomatoes yet and smirked about how many he was getting from his plants. I told him that was fine but I would still have ripe tomatoes for Christmas.

I really do have ripe tomatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I just cover my plants for the first few light frosts and then pick all of the green tomatoes off of my plants before the first hard freeze. Then I put the green tomatoes in a cardboard box and cover them with newspapers.

My neighbor will have already cut down his non-producing plants while we have plants loaded with tomatoes. This happens every year because he gets his plants out just as early as possible and I am lazy and procrastinate.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Already?

Where did the summer go? Where did the year go?? I can't believe that I have only blogged one time this month. I can't believe that it is already the 14th of August. Christmas is just around the corner. I am trying not to panic...

If you are young, enjoy your youth while you still have time because as you get older the faster time goes by. I was young once and it wasn't that long ago. Days used to have so much time in them. Weeks took forever to go by. A month was nearly an eternity. Not anymore, years are more like weeks used to be.

This summer has just flown by. School has already started or is getting ready to start. I have been spending some quality time with the Grandchildren and they are about to kill me. Seriously, swimming with Grandkids can be hazardous to your health when you are an old Granny. I am so sore tonight as I type this that I can barely move my head and the calf of my left leg is swollen and tender from horrible leg cramps.

The problem is when your oldest Grandson says that you can't dunk him, well, then you just have to prove to him that you are still in control and he isn't as big and tough as he thinks he is at 10 years old. He is big enough and tough enough for me to lean on while trying to walk to the house after I had dunked him several times and my leg cramped up when I tried to go up the ladder to get out of the pool.

I got the pool because I wanted my Grandkids to learn to swim, which is something that I never got to do when I was a kid. They are all doing pretty well, the oldest can swim like a fish and the next to the oldest is diving and swimming with her face under the water with water wings on.

The others still have a ways to go but the trick is to keep them in the water as much as possible. Our two year old Granddaughter is just sure that she can swim. She has no fear and tries to break free of your grasp. Her Mother, Papaw and I just do not have the courage to let her try it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Horses Killed For Meat?

Horses being killed in South Florida for their meat? -

If you haven't been following the above story online, it is terribly frightening. I don't think that it is getting much coverage. I have asked several horse people that I know and they haven't even heard about it. They are saying 19 horses have been slaughtered but they think that many more have been killed. Some people are just not reporting it because they don't want to be involved with the police or the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The articles are saying that horse meat is bringing $7 to $20 per pound on the black market and possibly even $40 per pound. The strange part of this story is that they aren't stealing the horses but are butchering them right in their own pastures or in their stalls. I read in another article where a lady went out to feed her horses and found nothing but the horse's carcass in the stall. How shocking would that be?

It is not illegal to kill and process your own horses for meat in Florida. So with horses selling at auction for $10 to $250 each or being offered for free, why would someone risk jail time to do this? They are also risking being shot by the horse owners. With all of the unwanted horses out there, it is a real shame that good, well loved horses are being slaughtered.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


If you have not read the previous post from yesterday, please scroll down or click here to read it first before reading this one.

I guess an explanation is in order. Angus has spent some 'off and on' time in the goat lot. The goats eat hay out of a barrel with holes cut in the side. When Angus was smaller his head fit in the holes and he ate their hay. Then one day he got his head in and couldn't get it out, he managed to tear the barrel off of its anchor in the goat shed.

My DH rescued him from his plight the first time, however, calves don't learn from their mistakes. Every time he gets close to that barrel now he gets stuck in it. The only way to get him out is to pull on the barrel at the same time that he pulls back.

On Tuesday morning when the picture was taken, he had been stuck for quite awhile and he had broken the goat lot's bottom strand of wire to get into the main horse pasture. Luckily the horses had not come down to water yet or they might still be running for the hills. Since I was home alone on Tuesday, it was my turn to rescue Angus and I had to fix the fence that he broke with a very sore thumb.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terrible Tuesday

What started out as just a normal miserable Monday, ran over into a terrible Tuesday. It was just one thing after another yesterday. First, I was sitting at the computer when I first woke up and I heard the sound of a Stallion outside of his designated area.

It is a distinct sound that only people who have more than one Stallion would recognize. A horrifying sound that makes your blood run cold because you know how much damage can be done in a very short time when one stallion gets directly across the fence from another stallion.

Stallions who live in the same town, state, country or even on the same planet hate each other with a passion and having to live on the same farm with each other is nearly unbearable. They dream about the day that they can get nose to nose to prove who is the master of the universe.

Jazz, our Appaloosa Stallion had figured out that his electric fence wasn't hot. He really doesn't care much if it is hot or not, he will still lean into it to get the greener grass on the other side. Some things are just worth it. When it pops him good it just makes him mad and he shakes his head and stomps his front feet at it as if he is going to whip it into submission.

So he accidentally leaned too far into it yesterday morning and low and behold he found himself outside his area without even breaking a wire. Once he was out, the green grass lost its appeal and all he wanted to do was kill Badger our AQHA Grullo Stallion. There was still another electric fence separating them but neither of them cared.

As soon as I heard the sound, I was out the door grabbing the first rope that I could get my hands on. The lot that Jazz had found his way into was uninhabited so the grass was tall and boy was it ever wet with dew. They were squealing, rearing, biting and bleeding and one strand of fence was already history.

I yelled at Jazz to stop it and he does listen and obey but then Badger would say something that he just couldn't ignore and they were back at it again. We ran back and forth, and back and forth. Finally, I threatened Jazz in such a way as to become a bigger threat than Badger. He could tell that I was really tired of running and I was soaked up to my knees in the wet grass.

So he stopped and started eating, pretending that he had done nothing wrong. Badger continued to badger him but he was focused on me and my anger at this point. He stood perfectly still while I put the rope around his neck and listened carefully to all of my lecturing.

That was just the start of the day, the whole day continued on like this, just little annoying problems like fences to fix and working out the glitches of the electric current.

In the evening when I was just starting to relax after a tough day, I stapled my thumb. It's true, I was reaching for the stapler and it shot me right in the thumb. I screamed at the very thought of it, ran into the kitchen without looking at it and held it out to my dear Husband, saying something like, "Get it out!". He got a good hold on it and pulled it out in a quick motion. It had gone all the way in to the bone. My thumb is still sore but it was at its worse about two hours after it happened, very painful, like a smashed thumbnail, throbbing.

I was happy when Monday ended but then Tuesday came...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I am proud to announce that Paypal has seen the light. I have criticized Paypal, GoDaddy and the USPS websites in some of my past blogs for the slowness of their sites for those of us who are still stuck in dial-up country.

Paypal has heard my cry and changed their ways. I can now visit their site and take care of my business without stroking out. It is a pleasure to go to Paypal now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now if GoDaddy and the US Postal Service would just follow their lead, redesign their sites and get rid of the caged, running squirrels in wheels who are now powering their servers. I would never have to worry about my blood pressure again.

Since I am sure that Paypal, GoDaddy and the USPS all follow my blog regularly, I expect that we will be seeing these much needed changes soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crotalus Horridus

Crotalus Horridus is just a great name for a snake, don't you think? My plight today took me to the main horse trough where the water hose was resting. I drug Rancid's dog house out of the kennel to hose it out because of all of the rain water that had somehow found its way into it. Rancid is also not very discrete about where he goes to the restroom or maybe he is too discrete, anyway there was manure in his dog house.

I walked to the hydrant to turn the water on then walked down the hill to the horse trough. I bent over, reached my hand down to grasp the hose to pull it up out of the trough, when I noticed this strange looking thing in the tall grass that my fingers were nearly touching. I did not immediately jerk my hand back, it just lingered there while I assessed the situation.

Whatever this thing was, the hose was resting on it. It was gray, spotted and muted in color. It's texture was very rough and that is what totally fooled me. I was convinced that it was a dry, weather worn root. But my spider sense was tingling (a little Spiderman lingo there). So I hesitated and pondered some more, bear in mind that my hand was still suspended there very near this root.

Somehow common sense prevailed and I realized that the pattern on this root was just a little too perfect. Also whatever it was that I was seeing was in a zigzag position and I could only see about 6 to 8 inches of it in the tall grass. This was very important information because if this was a snake then I didn't know which way it was facing, toward me or away from me.

I quickly withdrew my hand in one swift movement whilst stepping backwards rapidly. I was still reasoning with myself and I came up with the strange notion that if this was indeed a snake then it must surly be a dead snake. I could not possibly have come so close to picking up a live snake so close to my house. Looking back now, I realize that I was in complete denial.

Somehow I maintained my composure and picked up the hose at a different spot, far away from the dead snake. Then for some unknown reason, I sprayed the snake with the hose. I had by this time moved a little farther up the hill ready to bolt in any direction necessary.

Guess what? It wasn't dead and it was a snake but it was headed downhill, so this was good news. I watched from a distance as it made it's way under the horse's water tank. Judging from how the tall grass moved, I am guessing that it was at least 10 foot long. Rule of life #1; Snakes always appear larger than their actual size. So it was probably closer to 3 foot long.

My first thought was Rattlesnake, but I knew that no one would believe me. I didn't see a rattle but I was pretty far away at the time. So tonight I did some research on Indiana snake identification. I answered all of the questions on the website about color, pattern, texture, size and even the fact that it was frozen in a zigzag pattern, I clicked the "Search" button after I had finished. The first thing that it brought up was Crotalus Horridus or Timber Rattlesnake.

This was not the answer that I wanted. I was more looking for some harmless, non-venomous snake that only eats mice and is terrified of humans. The thing that worries me the most about all of this is that I have to go out there tomorrow to do all of my normal chores. The other thing that bothers me is that now I have to go to bed after looking at several pages of pictures of snakes with irritable expressions on their faces, Oh the dreams I will have...

Now of course you know that some little harmless corn snake barely bigger than a worm will start hanging out down by the horse trough, so that my Husband and the rest of the family can make fun of me, it's bound to happen!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gnawing Guilt

Awhile back I posted a teaser of all of the things that I intended to blog about in the near future. I did post a couple of them but have had this terrible guilt about not being true to my word and blogging about the other things on that list.

Here is that post:
Coming soon to this blog! Don't miss even one of these exciting posts.

* Updated Pictures of Calico and Paris (how many do you think they will have?)

* Husband brings home an Orange Harley Davidson (complete with photos)

* Bantam Hen Prolapses (and what I am doing about it)

* High Blood Pressure!? (Doctors are only practicing)

* Updated Photos of Sky

* Pictures of Calico's New Kids (hopefully arriving soon)

Here are the posts that will relieve me of all of my guilt:

1. I did post pictures of Calico and Paris before they kidded. So I can check this one off.

2. This one is a big one. My DH did bring home an orange Harley Davidson. All of my friends gasped and I wondered how long it would take our kids to call to get the details. They never did!! They just didn't really believe it because they know how their Dad is about money and they know how I am about motorcycles. My eldest Son did finally ask, "What is up with the Harley?" long after I had posted.

So here are the pictures for those who have waited with baited breath to find out whether my Husband has lost his mind or not.

When I mentioned to my neighbors that my Husband had bought an orange Harley, they both were disturbed but didn't lecture him. I had forgotten that she had told me about a dream that she had where my DH had a horrendous wreck on a motorcycle.

When the truth finally came out about the bike. She confessed to nearly dying with worry about the whole thing. This made me feel pretty bad beacuse I should have told them the truth sooner.

My neighbor is a bit eccentric and I hate that I worried her so. Yes, she does have lavender hair and an orange VW.

3. My Bantam hen who had the prolapse did not survive, that may have been the reason that I didn't post about it. I did learn a few things about prolapses though. If I ever have another one, I will clean it, cover it in Honey, put the hen in a clean environment, start her on antibiotics, then wait. I won't try pushing the prolapse back into place again.

4. My Doctor diagnosed me with hypertension on my last visit. I have never had high blood pressure before and they always comment on my great BP when I go in. I was a bit swollen that day and I am sure that with the stress of going to the Doctor in the first place, this was the reason that it was high. Well, it wasn't really even high 138 over 89 but this is high for me.

He slapped me on BP pills and wrote Hypertension on my chart. I took the pills for two days and got dizzy, so I quit taking them. I took my blood pressure for several days after that and it was never high again. I am still taking it occasionally and it remains low. As my Dear Husband likes to say, "Doctors are only practicing."

5. Here are more recent pictures of Sky:

6. I did post pictures of Calico's babies, so I can check that one off as well.

Now that this post is done all of my guilt is gone and I can hold my head up high again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Steady Rain

The rain started last night, slow and gentle. The perfect rain is not a downpour or a thunderstorm, it is a steady, gentle rain that last for hours. I had not watered my plants last night so the rain was very welcome.

This type of rain slowly soaks the ground with moisture and nourishment. It doesn't wash away loose seeds, plants, dirt or gravel, it doesn't cut ditches. This is the kind of rain that we cherish.

I woke up all through the night to hear the gentle rain and it made me happy. It means more grass for the thirty some odd horses that we have, not all are odd just most of them.

It also means more grass for my DH to mow. Mowing gives him something to do in his spare time. I would venture a guess of 47 acres of mowing in his down time, when he isn't working six days a week. Some of that mowing is with a push mower to keep himself healthy.

When I arose from my slumber this morning, I found that it was still raining. I waited for awhile before going out to bring the goats to the barn for milking. After looking at the radar on the internet, I decided that this sweet rain wasn't going to stop anytime soon and that my feet were wet from where the lovely rain was coming through the wall under my computer desk.

Upon venturing outside, I discovered that there was barely a dry spot inside the barn. My milkstand is standing in about two inches of beautiful rain water. Angus' stall is now a marsh area but he isn't there, he is outside enjoying the steady rain.

I have tried to stay positive throughout this post but after just hearing the weather forecast on the radio, I am beginning to have negative thoughts. There is more rain in our immediate future and the possibility of thunderstorms tonight. How could such a lovely summer rain become so annoying?

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Must Be An Alien

After reading the two following articles, I have decided that I am really an alien who somehow got stranded on this strange planet within the last few years.

This whole cow burping thing has me shaking my head and the thought that U.S. Citizens are taking this serious leaves me totally dumbfounded.

Greener diet reduces dairy cows' methane burps - Yahoo! News
(Don't tell anyone but goats and deer burp too)

The following is a quote from the second article about the Wild Horse Bill:
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that enacting the bill would cost up to $700 million.

Barrasso says the government shouldn't spend $700 million on wild horses while the nation is in debt.
Barrasso, Lummis oppose House's wild horse bill - KIFI - Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Jackson WY

I like wild horses and burros but $700 million dollars, when people are losing their jobs and homes? Anyone who would support something like this has not been affected by this present economy, has more money than they need and should be sharing their wealth with the needy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I have put it off because it was too hard to talk about. A week has now passed and my feelings aren't quite so raw. I first noticed that Cooter was acting a little off on Monday of last week. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew something was wrong. By Tuesday he was obviously in trouble.

He kept standing in the hot sun panting. I finally had to stake him out in the shade, so that he couldn't get to a sunny area. Then I noticed that when I went out to check on him that his right hind foot was always wrapped up in the rope. This just wasn't like him.

The second time I went to untangle his foot, I was bent over and starting to pick it up when someone hit me hard on the top of the head with a baseball bat. I studied the pretty stars in the darkness of my brain for just a moment, then picked myself up off of the ground.

I was shocked that Cooter would just butt me like that but after we observed him for awhile later we realized that he didn't butt me at all. He was spinning violently to the right at times and that was the reason that the rope kept wrapping around that right hind foot.

Since I wasn't sure what I was dealing with, I started pumping different things into him; Electrolytes, B-Complex, lots of Thiamine and Antibiotics. Then later; Probiotics, Vegetable Oil, Baking Soda, Nutri-Drench and finally two Enemas.

I stayed up with him that night until around 2:00. On Wednesday morning he was still in misery, so I made the decision to put him down. I was not going to put him through another hot day. At this point, I was certain, after talking to several goat people that he had a twisted gut. Something else had started the problem but after his falling and flopping around several times, the result was that he had twisted something.

He drank water all day and was urinating well but his bowels had stopped working. Even with the oil and enemas, he never even passed the enema water that I put into him.

Angel stayed by his side throughout the day and all night. She followed us as we took him to his final resting place and after the grave was covered, she sniffed the dirt and laid down beside it. As we were leaving I was afraid that she might stay there but after we arrived back at the house, I looked back and seen her come up over the hill.

I miss him. Even though I had made up my mind to sell him, it is still hard for me to deal with. I miss the way he cocked his head when he looked at you and the way he always had to rub on me. I even miss the way he smelled. I can still get a whiff of him from time to time when I am close to his favorite places.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Flight of the Bumblebee

Actually only a few make it to flight, most of them end up lying in wait on my bedroom floor.

In case you are a new reader I will recap our living arrangements. We are living in our barn until our ship comes in, at which time we hope to build a house.

We can't see the ocean, a river or a lake from here, so I don't know how the ship will get to us. I have a suspicion that the ship is not even coming but we still keep waiting for it.

We don't have drywall or any kind of ceiling in most of our humble home, it was suppose to come on that ship as well. But we do have insulation in the ceilings. For some reason, the bumblebees chose our bedroom ceiling insulation as a good, safe, nesting area.

We had a good working relationship with the bumblebees to start out with, we didn't bother them and they didn't bother us. It wasn't until the new babies started hatching out that the problems began. Newborn baby bumblebees are not that frightening, and can in fact be considered cute like most babies.

I discovered that little baby bumblebees can and will sting if you get under the covers and try to share a sleeping space with them. That sting is just a little annoying and the pain doesn't last all that long.

As time has gone on we have found that baby bumblebees grow into children then into teenagers rather quickly. In each stage of their lives we have also found that they struggle to survive in the frigid temperatures of our bedroom.

With our little window air conditioner cranked up to its highest or should I say, lowest setting, only the very strong and healthy young bumblebees can actually find and use their wings successfully.

The rest of them end up scattered around on the bedroom floor on their sides trying to right themselves. They do occasionally make it to the side of the bed and manage to crawl up onto the bed or at least under the covers. It is really nice, if when they make it under the covers that they then find and figure out how to use their wings. That way, the noise will alert you to their presence.

I would venture to guess that we have killed approximately 14 flying bumblebees recently inside our house. I would not even try to guess how many we have picked up and disposed of that were on the floor and bed. We are starting to see a decrease in numbers, so I would say that we are about to be done with it all.

I had considered us pretty fortunate that we had only had one stinging incident and when I went into the bedroom to turn the air conditioner up a little because the weather outside had cooled down so much. I felt a little foolhardy to be in that room with no shoes on. While I thought on these things a sharp pain shot through my big toe.

My DH and I spent some time discussing which was worse; a bumblebee sting or a hornet sting. He assured me that a hornet was much worse. He gave me no sympathy whatsoever. As if I should just forget it ever happened.

Then last night he got up several times after we had gone to bed. I warned him each time. Finally, this morning, I heard him say, "ouch!" and I knew what had happened. I was ready for him too. I told him it was nothing and that a hornet sting was much worse.

This has all brought about a scientific study. I was telling a neighbor about my Husband getting stung by the hornet the other day and she told me that she got stung once in her arthritic, swollen finger.

After the sting her finger never bothered her again and all of the swelling in it went away. Now my DH's toe that he just got stung on has given him fits throughout the years, we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sold 5 Goats Today

What a day! I was told that I probably wouldn't be able to sell any goats until this fall. Then I got several calls yesterday and someone showed up to look at Paris and her twins last night. He told me he was going to take them and sure enough he showed up today with a trailer. I think that they got a real good home.

Then a lady came who was interested in the other spotted buckling that is the twin brother to the one that I am keeping as a buck. She had told me over the phone that she wanted him and was coming after him today. Then when he started crying for his brother after she loaded him, I talked her into buying Calico's last buckling as a companion for him.

That takes care of all of the goats that I have for sale except for Cooter. But I believe someone will come along who has a hankering for a big, lovable, stink pot like him.

My new little lonely buckling has officially been named Rancid, even though he doesn't have any odor yet, I am confident his time will come.

This also means that I have two does who will have to be milked twice daily without any breaks for me. Calico's big buckling was not only keeping her drained but was nursing Collette as well. I have been having to put him in the dog kennel with the other two bucklings at night so that I could get some milk in the mornings.

Angel, my Great Pyrenees, is not a happy camper. When the man drove off with Paris in a crate on a small trailer, she was in hot pursuit. I had just come back into the house without even thinking about her. Then I got a call from Paris' new owner that Angel was still following them and that he was going to have to turn around and come back.

I went to the top of the hill to meet them and when Angel thought that he was bringing her goats home, she took the short cut across the field and went down over the hill. He turned back around and took off again and I came back down too.

Angel was waiting on me and wagging her tail, all happy that she had saved the day but kept looking up the hill, after awhile she went back up the hill to see what was keeping them. She went back up to check around three times. Even now, after several hours have passed she is still acting defeated.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Little Better

I am somewhat better, I was much better yesterday but went back to somewhat better today. I got outside and did a few things yesterday. I milked all three goats. Cleaned out the buckling's doghouse, gave the bucklings their bottles and then we had to reburn one of Calico's buckling's horns that we didn't do a great job on the first time around.

We also had to reburn both of the horns on the spotted buckling that I am keeping and one of the horns on his twin brother. Those horns were not our fault, they were done by someone else.

I milked Paris for the first time last night. She wasn't fond of the idea but I got through it. Her milk is like Collette's it is naturally homogenized, it had hardly any cream on it at all after sitting untouched in the refrigerator over night. But her milk is also like Collette's in the fact that it isn't as sweet tasting as Calico's.

I have decided to sell Paris and keep Collette, mainly because Paris' teats are just a little too small to hang onto when hand milking. My little milking gadget works great on her but when it comes time to strip her out, it isn't quite as easy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I first noticed the sore throat last Thursday, by Saturday I was very uncomfortable but was still able to function. On Sunday, I took to my bed with a low grade fever and the worst of all coughs. By Sunday night I was convinced that I was dying. My DH wouldn't let me have any extra blankets or shut the air conditioner off.

I awoke at 3:30am on Monday morning coughing so hard that I nearly turned wrong-side-out. During the day on Monday with the help of DayQuil I managed to milk the goats and walk around a little bit outside. As the day progressed my fever shot up again and I was down and out with the help of NyQuil.

I woke up this morning at around 5:00am in terrible respiratory distress. I could hardly breathe. I can no longer cough because of the pain that it causes me. I have never had anything that comes close to whatever this is, I am thinking that it is the Swine Flu. My wonderful Husband got out of bed so that he could be by my side when I drew my last breath.

Since I didn't die right away, he ended up running to Wal-Mart to get some more DayQuil, Mucinex, Sprite, Chicken Soup and Popsicles. I haven't felt like eating but the popsicles have been a blessing.

I think that my Husband might have enjoyed making me drink a full 8 oz. glass of water this morning a little too much. He wouldn't give me a Mucinex tablet until all of the water was gone.

He stood there like a stonewall with the glass in his hand, pushing the straw toward my lips. I hate drinking water and I think that iced tea or Sprite would have worked but he said that he was just following the directions.

As this day draws to a close, my fever is starting to climb again, nothing seems to stop it in the evenings and through the night. My Mother-In-Law called to check on me today and she told me that she goes to Church with a lady and her husband who have had the same symptoms. They say it took them both a good three weeks to fully recover and that was while being under a Doctor's care.

The man even busted his eardrum while coughing, I can believe that because my ears and eyes have both felt like they couldn't take anymore pressure. I really hate to pop an eyeball out while coughing. My ears and eye sockets are very sore but my chest and back muscles and my ribcage are just flat refusing to help me anymore.

Well, I will close for now, to get ready for the nightly battle with my DH over how many blankets I should have or the temperature setting on the air conditioner, he is really being a bully.


It was after dark when we went back out to punish the hornets for their evil deeds. If you don't think that they are evil take a close look at the picture above. Do you see the blazing skull?

They were still stirred up even after several hours and after dark. They were swarming around the nest, so my DH had to run in, splash the gas and pitch the burning match at it. Luckily he got ignition on the first throw. I am sure that some of them escaped with their lives but hopefully they will rebuild in a friendlier neighborhood.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Gate

An innocent looking gate you might say. That is what my poor Husband thought this afternoon. A gate that doesn't get much use until he decides to switch some horses around. He opens the gate and a few of the horses go through without any problems but two decide to be difficult.

Somehow, and I am not sure of the sequence of events, but he throws the gate back into the wide open position and something latches onto the top of his ring finger. With the other hand he grabs the offender and dislodges him. Then he notices that there seems to be a swarm of offenders all around him. He then removes himself from the area and looks back with curiosity. That is when he sees the hornet's nest.

He comes to the house and applies a paste of baking soda to the sting and tells me the story. I drag myself from my sick bed, grab my cane and camera and hobble out to the gate, staying at a safe distance. I tell him that he smashed the nest against the gate post and that is why they were so upset with him.

He says, "Yes, I can see that now." He also informs me that a hornet's sting is the worst. Bumble bees cannot hold a candle.

Both of our Sons were stung yesterday by Bumble bees, they thought that they were Wood Bees and the eldest Son accused us of lying to him about Wood Bees not stinging. Since I am sure that I would never lie to him, I am thinking that they have just misidentified the species.

Wood Bees are shiny and Bumble bees are hairy and from what I was told, they had a nest in the ground next to a stump or in the stump. Our youngest Son looked like a prize fighter with his swollen eye.

Anyway, back to the hornet's nest, my DH is planning on dousing the nest with gas tonight and lighting it. I did give him some benadryl and he is out in the hot sun on the tractor mowing one of the pastures. I didn't feel that this was a good idea but just try telling a man anything.

This nest was close to the ground, so that is suppose to mean a mild winter. But I just talked to a friend who said that all of the hornet's nests he has seen this year were up high.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Two for One

Two blogs in one day, can you beat that? Who knows I might make it three. I am sitting here feeling terrible. I have a sore throat, headache and cough. Whoever heard of a sore throat and cough in the middle of the hottest days of Summer.

If this happened during the winter months it wouldn't bother me so much but when it is 94 degrees in the shade, it isn't too fun. All I want is Banana Popsicles and I have totally run out.

Oh well, I guess I had better stop complaining, cowgirl up, get outside to clean up the milk stand, spray down the area for flies, milk the goat, prepare and give bottles to the bucklings, put Cooter up, feed and water.

Then I need to check and water my tomatoes, strawberries, cilantro, one little volunteer watermelon plant and three little flowers that are being taken over by weeds. We did have several sunflowers coming up that the Granddaughters planted but Angus took care of those, he ate them all.

Diarrhea in Goat Kids

OK, I am just going to have to admit it, Spring and Summer are just too busy for me to have the time to blog. I know that I blogged last Summer but this year has been crazy. I have too many irons in the fire.

After the worming, all of my goats have picked up weight and are looking good. I will be worming them all again tomorrow at 10 days after the first worming. I will not be tripling the dosage this time, just slightly over the regular horse dosage.

I had quite a time with my two little spotted Nubian bucklings, they were just weaned when I traded for them. Weaning should be a gradual thing. Kids shouldn't just be pulled off of the doe. They should be separated in gradually increasing time periods.

If they are just all of the sudden taken away from their mothers they don't get enough fluids to sustain them well, because they haven't learned to drink an adequate amount of water. So these two bucklings got diarrhea and started loosing weight, they got lethargic and didn't want to eat or drink.

I started drenching them with Nutri-Drench (For Beef Cattle because it is cheaper), Pepto-Bismol and Pedialyte. The drenching wasn't going too well because they fought me like wild cats. So I decided to teach them to take a bottle. This is very hard, if an animal has never seen a bottle before.

One of them finally decided that the Pedialyte was pretty good stuff so he started sucking it down. The other one would only chew on the nipple and wouldn't suck. It took him forever to empty the bottle by chewing. It has been so hot here and sitting out there for 30 minutes in the sun while he chewed, got old for both of us. Then yesterday after about 5 days of this, he started sucking and downed his bottle in no time.

I switched from the Pepto-Bismol to Slippery Elm Bark Powder after the first bottle of Pepto was gone in the first day and a half, they were getting a bottle every 3 - 4 hours. Their diarrhea was completely gone after the second day of the Slippery Elm Bark mixed with goat's milk, Pedialyte and a squirt of Nutri-Drench. I am down to just one bottle per day now that they are over the diarrhea. It is so hot that I think they still need the extra boost.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This morning was worming day for the goats. I milked Collette early this morning then wormed her, her milk tonight went to the dogs. I will go back to using her milk tomorrow evening. I don't worry much about getting the wormer in the milk that I drink since the wormer that I use is used to worm people in third world countries.

The wormer that I use is Jeffers Ivermectin 1.87% Paste Wormer for Horses it is currently only $2.59 per tube and made in the USA. You also can get free shipping if you order $60 worth of Vet supplies from them, which is easy to do because they have so much really neat stuff at reasonable prices (I love Jeffers!). I use this wormer for the horses, the goats and the dogs.

I dose it at three times the horse dosage for my goats, so if the goat weighs 100 lbs. then I treat it like a 300 lb. horse. I hit them again in two weeks with a second dose for any worms that have hatched out since the first worming and this seems to take care of all of my worm problems. It also takes care of lice and mites if they are a problem.

I have been hurrying to get this post done because I wanted to get it in before tomorrow, in trying to blog everyday. However it is time to say "Good-bye" because the thunder is rolling outside and it is getting louder which means it is getting closer. We are under a Tornado Watch for tonight, so I hope to post again tomorrow, Lord willing!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


First, I must confess that I have already messed up on my statement that I was going to blog everyday. I will try to do better but I am not promising anything.

Second, I must get this out of the way for those who thought that I would be talking about deer in this post. We did see two monster bucks with huge velvety antlers on our way home last night. They where standing picturesquely in a lush field of clover not far from our place as the crow flies. They were lovely. I longed for a camera.

Now, back to the subject of Bucks, as in Billy Goats. I still have not sold Collette but did trade her triplet doelings for three full blooded Nubian bucklings. I know that it doesn't make sense to trade doelings for bucklings but I just could not sell the doelings. Their color just was not right and they had not been disbudded (dehorned).

The bucklings that I traded for were all spotted and disbudded. Two of them are black and white spotted twins. The other was a roan, spotted and painted buckskin, I say "was" because I have already sold him.

It has been a tough decision and one that has broken my heart but I have decided to sell Cooter. He is just to big and strong for me to handle anymore. He isn't mean but because he is kept in a small area or tied up. He likes to kick up his heels when he gets a chance and when he gets a chance is when I lead him from one place to another.

When he walks on his hind feet he towers over me and that is fine. But when he hits the end of the rope at a dead run, I just can't get him stopped and he ends up dragging me until I yell at him.

So I thought that it might be nice to have a buck with no boer in him, Cooter is a Boer and Nubian cross. He is big and very muscled. One of these little Nubian bucks would fill the bill for me. They are full Nubian which would make them a little lighter framed.

I listed all of the bucks for sale but started leaning towards keeping the Buckskin and had pretty much made up my mind about him, he was the friendliest of the three. Well wouldn't you know, the first person to call and come to look wanted him. So now I have chosen the less wildly colored of the two left. I am not taking a chance this time and have removed the ads for him from the classified sites.

So without further ado, here is my new buck whom I have not named yet.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Back

I have finally caught up on most all of my rope halter orders. I currently only have two small orders to fill. This spring has been horribly busy for us and I hope things will slow down enough for us to catch our breath.

My fingers are really sore from working on the halters and the pinky on my left hand and the middle, ring and pinky on my right hand are all starting to curl under with arthritis. Keyboarding is getting difficult for me. I can't imagine not being able to blog anymore. Getting old just stinks and I would advise you younger folks out there not to try it.

Out of 18 eggs my hen managed to hatch nine chicks. All of the hatchlings were banties, most of them have feathered feet. When we broke open the unhatched eggs, the three other banty eggs had dead chicks in them but the six standard eggs were still yolks. None of the standards had been fertilized as I had suspected. I am going to have to get a different rooster if I ever hope to raise some standard chickens.

One of the chicks got smashed by its oversized Mother. The other eight are doing well. Mom steps on their little feet sometimes and they cry and pull but can't get away until she takes another step then the poor things go tumbling. They are great fun to watch, my DH says that in her exuberance to scratch up a meal that she inadvertently buries a few of them but they always manage to dig their way out.

I was tempted to take them away from their Mother, put them in a safe place and raise them myself. But after all of the work that she did and with her knowing how to take better care of chicks than I could ever know, I decided to let her do it herself. Even with these chicks being half the size of what her biological children would be, I still think she knows best.

I am going to do my best to get back to work and blog every day. This is the best way that I have found to keep a daily journal that I can refer back to when I fail to write important dates on my calendar.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I don't think that I have posted about my Rhode Island Red hen going broody. I know that I have complained about none of my hens feeling motherly this year, well one finally did. She is a big, old RIR and she decided to start a family around 21 days ago. Dingy me forgot to write down the date that she started setting. So I have been checking her nest everyday to see if there are any chicks. I thought that her time should be about up.

I set 6 large eggs and 12 banty eggs under her. I know that my banty eggs are fertilized but am not sure about the standard eggs. Rocky still isn't doing his job. Last night I checked and had one banty chick that was all hatched out, fluffy and cute. I haven't checked her today yet.

I am going to have to move her and the nest to a safer location because the nest is so high and the chicklets can fall out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where To Begin?

I know that I haven't posted in a long while. But we are fine, I have just had a few health problems, a death in the family, a lot of halter orders to finish and get shipped and too much to do around the farm. I had promised to blog on Sunday night before going to bed but all of my plans were foiled again.

We were getting ready to leave the house for several hours on Sunday evening and I asked my DH if he thought that I should put Paris in the barn stall while we were gone. She was in the goat shed and had not come out when I fed grain to the others. But we had changed feed and she didn't like it anyway so I thought that was the problem. My DH said that I should put her up but that he had looked at her and he was sure that she wouldn't be kidding anytime soon.

Sunday was her due date but after I evaluated her, I didn't think that she was ready either. Her udder was not full or tight and she was not dilated at all.

I went into the house to clean up and change my clothes and was ready to leave when I heard the water pump running, I asked the DH if he had left the water running outside and he said, yes, so I put my shoes on and went out to turn the hydrant off.

I opened the door and immediately heard the sound of a doe in labor. I could see her from the door and she was pushing hard. I turned around and said, "She is kidding!". He said,"You're kidding?" and I said, "NO, she is kidding!". He ran outside and I ran for towels.

Nothing happened, she was in terrible hard labor but nothing was happening. My DH asked me for gloves and I came in to get them, then came back in and changed into my dirty clothes again. When I got back outside, still no bubble. He tried to open her up to see inside and we could see the bubble but she just was not dilated enough.

We gave her as much time as possible without waiting too long and then he went back in to assist the bubble without breaking it. His hand made her contractions harder and that helped more than anything.

After the bubble was out, still no feet, so we waited awhile then he went back in and found the feet and started pulling. The nose came out with the feet, so we knew we were in the right position. He pulled and she screamed with each contraction.

I tried to push back on the skin to work the babies head out but I could feel the head and it was enormous, I was afraid that it was a single and it was just too big. After a lot of pulling and working her big head popped out and when it did her whole body came out too.

He handed the white with brown headed doeling to me and I slung her around a little bit and really didn't expect her to be alive but she was. We wiped her mouth and nose area. Mama didn't get up and so we put a towel down at her head and since it was a hot day and Paris is a first freshener, we let her clean the rest of her up.

We waited and waited and nothing else happened, we were sure that there was at least one more in there. Finally my DH put his hand in again to start more contractions and she popped out a very tiny, black with brown points buckling.

Paris cleaned him all up and still just laid there. The kidlings were wanting to nurse but she would not get up. My Husband finally helped her get to her feet and from there on everything has been perfect. She passed both of her afterbirths and I let her eat them. She is a very good mommy.

We learned a valuable lesson, goats usually give birth on their due date whether they look ready or not.

More later...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Too Much Milk

I was not expecting to have to be milking right now. But here I am having to milk two to three times a day. I am putting Collette's doelings in a separate pen at night then milking her in the morning before turning them back in with her during the day. Calico is producing way too much milk for her twin bucklings and I am having to relieve some of the pressure, they are also only nursing on one side.

Collette did really well with her first milking. I put the hobbles on her with no problem. When I put the syringe barrel on the first teat and she tried to kick, it lifted her whole back side up off of the milking stand and dropped her off of the table.

This was something that has always scared me because I was afraid that it might break a goat's neck if they were latched into the neck stantion or stanchion (however you spell it).

She fell off the milk stand on the opposite side of the table from where I was sitting. I jumped up and ran around the milking stand to find that she had already recovered herself and was eating her grain. She had her hobbled hind feet on the ground, her front feet up on the stand, her neck fastened in the stantion with her nose buried in the grain, typical goat.

I had to unhobble her, release her from the stantion, tug and pull until I got her nose out of the grain and then reload her onto the stand. From there the milking went very smoothly, she decided that kicking with a set of hobbles on was not a good idea. She learns very quickly.

Right now while I am typing this I am tasting Collette's milk for the first time. Her milk does not have nearly as much cream in it, as Calico's does. It is more homogenized and it tastes totally different. It is very good just tastes different. All goat's milk tastes different from goat to goat. You should always taste the milk of a freshened milk goat that you are thinking about buying.

I have been letting Calico run loose in the yard with her babies. She comes to the door and cries until I come out. She then runs and loads herself onto the milking stand and makes me milk her when her udder gets tight and heavy. She is producing enough milk for us, the dogs, the cat and her babies. I have been having to milk her twice a day but as the bucklings are getting bigger they are taking more and I am only having to milk her once per day, whether she likes it on not.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Did anyone else get frost last night? I happened to check the forecast before going to bed and it said 'patchy frost'. So I ran outside with blankets to cover our flowers and strawberries.

Sure enough, frost is everywhere this morning in our valley in southern Indiana.

My outside thermometer said that it was 31 degrees at 8:00 am. It is always colder here than anywhere else.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Our barn is just full of it, last night it was rain water, today it is sludge. It has been years since we have seen this much rain. Indian Creek has rerouted itself into our lower pasture and is still rising. The roaring sound of the creek, that is temporarily a river, is filling this valley.

Poor Calico and kids are on the only high spot in the stall. She isn't even wading the waters to go to her hay feeder. I was awake all night, it started with a glance at the weather radar when I knew something bad was going to hit us, there was no escape.

By the time that I got the computer shut down because I was starting to hear the thunder, it was here. There was no sleep after that. The lightening, thunder, hail and wind were really scary. I was just sure that we were going to get hit by a tornado any second. My DH just kept snoring, I talked to him anyway, he even answered.

I was expecting to find things blown all over the yard this morning and trees down but nothing seems out of place but our spring creek and Indian Creek. However, it does look like a jungle out there, the grass and weeds all grew several inches over night. The horses will have plenty to eat, they will all start getting obese again.

Poor Angus was outside in all of that mess, I don't know where he was but he didn't come into the barn before I had to close up everything. I had just closed the big sliding door to the barn, locked it and gone back to bed when I heard the cat hollering to be let in. So I went back out to let him in and he had already found another way. He looked like something that the cat had drug home. There was a lot of hail so I wasn't surprised to see him looking quite confused.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Calico Kidded

It turns out that Amy over at Twelve Acres was right on target with her guess of large twins for Calico, hopefully she is right on Paris as well. She didn't guess the sex or color of the babies though.

Calico went into labor at 9:00 last night. It seemed to take her forever compared to the way her mother always kidded. We missed Calico kidding last year, so I didn't know what to expect. She didn't seem to be in any distress at all and was quite calm and relaxed about the whole thing. By 9:30 she had the first big buckling, he is brownish with no spots. She took her sweet time cleaning him up.

After she was convinced that she couldn't do anymore to make the first kid any more comfortable, she started on having the second kid. He was a little larger than the first and a buckling also. I am not sure of his color, neither has spots like their daddy.

Since it was dark and they were still damp last night, I haven't gotten a good look at them or good pictures. This morning they are all curled up together in a tight little ball with hay on top of them where their mommy has been eating.

At first I thought that they were identical but the second one is darker than the first.