Monday, August 29, 2011

Checking In

Irene has come and gone. We had 3 inches of rain and lots and lots of wind. Tree limbs down everywhere but the only thing damaged from them were a couple of empty cages and Tramp's doghouse. Poor Tramp had a tree limb go right through the roof of his house and doesn't even have homeowners insurance. LOL That's okay though as he has another doghouse right next door that is empty to move into. The ground is covered in leaves and acorns. Can hardly see the ground but I look at it as that is that many less to fall this fall. The tree limbs that fell were oak and they were loaded with acorns so am thinking it might be a nice cold winter since mother nature is giving the squirrels extra food to store. Another thing I noticed was Irene was blowing everything around and bending the trees in all directions but the squirrels nests didn't move at all. Not a single one fell from the trees or even looked touched at all. Maybe we should learn how to build a house from the squirrels. But most of the limbs have been cut up and stacked for winter firewood. The green leaves and acorns we fed to the goats and pigs. They were in heaven. I still have lots of raking and cleaning up to do but it will get done in time to start raking fall leaves I am sure. All the animals did really well during the storm. There was a big limb fell on the teen chickens house. I am sure it scared them but didn't hurt the house or them. I forgot to take the ferns hanging across the front of the house down and two of them got blown down but are fine and ready to hang back up. The weatherman says there are two more storms out there. Jose and I forgot the other one. It was a tongue twister name. Jose is suppose to turn east out to sea but the other one we have to watch. All the hurricanes that were really big and did the most damage in NC came in September so will keep the emergency supplies packed and be hurricane ready till November.While I was home entertaining Irene all my classmates were celebrating our 40th class reunion. I have loved seeing all the photos and reading all the fun they had. Some went down sliding rock (we use to do that when we were 40 years younger) and there is a video. Will try to post it later. The water at sliding rock stays 32 degrees year round and takes your breath away when you hit the water at the bottom of sliding rock. I hope they do this at our next reunion so I can join in! Anyways just letting you know Irene said goodnight with little problems and to remind you to count those blessings!!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Twas a few hours before Irene
When all through the homestead
Not a critter was stirring
Cause they all were in bed!

The bunnies were nestled all snug in the hay
While the kids were laying beside momma goats begging to play.

The chickens were roosting all safe and dry
And Baby, the turkey was dreaming of pie!

The geese in their nest were watching it rain.
While the ducks wondered if they could go swimming
If they raised enough cane.

Tinker and Bella were both standing guard
While praying the wind wouldn't start blowing too hard.

The feed pans and buckets were all put away
Until Irene hopefully passed the next day.

The oil lamps, flashlights, and batteries are near
so if the power goes out we have nothing to fear.

Now Irene as you come to North Carolina at dawn
Hidden Haven will be fine
And will be sending you right along.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquakes,Hurricanes, and Baby Turkey

Sitting at the computer desk earlier today and felt my chair move a little. Looked down to see what Rusty was doing as I thought he was pushing on it. No Rusty and was puzzled until I found out later there was a earthquake in DC and people were feeling it as far away as NY and SC. Guess NC felt it too as am sure that's what I felt. Have been watching Hurricane Irene and trying to get things picked up and put away from outside. Right now we are expected to get tropical storm winds and rain from it but they keep changing where it is coming to land so don't know if I need to gather and store water for the animals and make sure their shelters are dried in and secure. What the heck are you going to do Irene??? Tessa, the Bourbon Red turkey and Sister Jr. are sitting on turkey eggs. Sister Jr. hatched one out during the severe thunderstorm we had 2 nights ago. Tessa went over to Sister Jr's nest and stole the baby. She kept it in her nest for a few hours and then took it out of the nest and was teaching it how to peck, etc on the ground. I didn't want Tessa to let her other eggs get cold so I took the little one and have it here in the house under a heat lamp. Rusty is enjoying playing momma turkey and Tessa is sitting back on her eggs. Am hoping she and Sister Jr will hatch a few more turkeys so this one won't be an only child. William is in Lexington, NC helping his son in law with a roof job for a few days. He usually does the milking while I feed and water the animals. This morning I got up extra early and fed all the animals and then got things ready to milk. Buttons, Precious, Hayley,and Blackie were all waiting outside the milk stall. Each time I opened the gate one would walk in while the one in would hop off the milk stanchion and walk out. Was very easy, pleasant chore. Enjoyed talking to each goat while I milked her and listen the sound of milk hitting the pail. Didn't realize how much I missed milking. Think when William gets back will trade off occasionally so I can milk a couple days a week.  I am also enjoying having the farm to myself for a little bit. I can take my time in the mornings and not worry about breakfast until lunchtime if I want. Spend time playing with the bunnies as I clean their cages, rubbing heads and petting backs as I give out goat treats. Rubbing bellies as Tinker and Bella lay on their back and look at me with those big puppy dog eyes. Even spent extra time in each chicken pen making sure each one was healthy. Some of the hens like to be petted though most don't but they at least let me close enough to check them for mites, etc. As much as I miss having William help with morning chores before he heads to work I am loving the slower pace and having more interaction with my animal family.     I won  2 jars of home canned goods from Valerie. She posted pics from around her garden and though I didn't get them all right I did pretty good. Thank you Val! I love, love, love the carrot relish!!  Tried to post pics but blogger isn't letting me at the moment. Just another blessed day on the homestead...... Don't forget to count your blessings.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


How great are his signs! And how mighty are his wonders..... Daniel 4:3

This morning I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to get dressed to go out and feed and water the animals. I  just wanted to snuggle under the covers (loving these cool nights and mornings) and go back to sleep. But guilt took over and I crawled out of bed, dressed, and started my day. And to think I wanted to miss all of this and stay in bed!

A cheery good morning from Casper.

Petro and Mini Me waiting for their grain

Henny Penny sitting patiently waiting on her eggs to hatch.

Andy showing off for the girls next door.

The 3 Amigos demanding their breakfast. 

One of Barbara Bush's daughters asking nicely for a treat.

Precious telling me enough with the camera. Where is the feed bucket!

And Precious showing me what she really thinks of my picture taking.

Getting to hear Baby the turkey scold me until I let her drink from the water hose.

Watching Bella take her guard duty so seriously.

And watching Tinker getting ready to talk Bella into playing a game of chase.
I may get lazy sometimes and even wish that things were easier.But all I have to do is stop, stand still and let God show me the many blessings he has for me each day. Thank you  Lord for my wonderful, simple life.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What?? I Can't Hear You

Yeah, it is noisy around the homestead right now. The bucklings are now living in their own pen and are voicing their opinion on the matter.... LOUDLY. Not to be outdone the momma goats are standing at the fence crying for their babies. These little fellas are weaned so there is no reason for them to cry for their mommy. They are also big enough now that they are starting to notice the does. This causes them to do the mating thing of peeing on their face and rubbing that into their body so they smell "attractive" to the female. Believe me they stink! And rutting season has just started. Andy our main buck is keeping the little ones in tow so hopefully things will quieten down in a couple days and we can hear ourselves think.

We had a wonderful rainstorm last night! We got almost 2 inches of rain and cooler weather. It was only in the 80's today and the nights are suppose to be in the low 60's for the next few days. I can just feel fall around the corner. Looking forward to getting the long sleeves and sweaters out. Picked the last of the tomatoes today. The gardens are done. The rains came too late to help them. The herb garden is still doing well and I have lots to cut and dehydrate still.

William has a summer cold and I have a sinus infection so we both have not been up to par. Having to force ourselves to get chores done. I still have the extra goats. Thought they would be gone by now and hate that I had to leave a nasty message to make sure they are gone by the 31st. If not I will accept they belong to me and will sell them to make up for the money spent on grain, hay, vaccines, meds, and care. I will not be taking in anymore pregnant goats. I will go to where the goats are and help deliver if needed but not bring anymore here to the homestead. The momma pig and piglets are still here. The guy that wanted them all and called several times and even had me send photos no longer answers his phone or emails. I don't understand why its so hard if you change your mind to let someone know instead of just ignoring them. We will keep the piglets until they are weaned and sell them. We have a waiting list and will see how that works out. The momma pig will be butchered this fall with Pork Chop and Dottie. That will get us out of the pig business thank goodness!

Have started working on Family Christmas Weekend. It takes a lot of work to get the treasure hunt bigger and better than the year before. Hopefully all the family will make it and have a blast.

Am reading a couple of good books when I can stay awake to read. Also working on some handstitched work for gifts. Will try to surprise myself and get them finished this year. I am still having problems leaving comments. I get a message saying I am not approved to read the blog even though I just read it and was trying to leave a comment. I can't see any of my follow lists nor find a way to follow new blogs I find. Am unhappy with blogger at the moment but at least its free. This post sound like a whinny post but its not meant to be. Each day has things that go wrong and lots of things that go wonderfully. I choose to count my blessings on the good things and learn from the bad ones and just enjoy each day. Life is a blessing that I am very happy to have! Don't forget to count those blessings.... even the small ones.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hidden Haven Prison

Yep Hidden Haven has a prison. I worked there most of the day. We had to build a prison for our bad chickens. There are some chickens that no matter how good you feed and treat them will escape. They will always go to your flower beds, veggie gardens and scratch all the mulch away from the plants. They will get on the porch and leave a nice smelly present that you have to scrub like crazy to get up. So we built a prison that is escape proof. John Henry is the prison guard. He is the very first rooster we got years ago so has some age and experience on him. He is a kind but firm guard with the ladies.
Besides bread and water the lady prisoners get grain, veggie, and fruit treats.
They have roosting poles around the prison yard as well as nice straw bedding and laying boxes. They are serving life though and will never get parole. We tried paroling a few, clipping their wings, and putting them in a regular pen. They beat us out of the pen and went straight back to scratching where they shouldn't be so no more parole. We even have a warden living at the prison with his family.

Mr and Mrs. Rose Comb and their 4 children. They may be very small chickens but they run the prison with iron feet. Mr. Rose Comb will give the lady prisoners a firm talking to if John Henry has his wings busy elsewhere. We also have a juvenile wing at the prison. Yep, some of the young chicks think it is fun to escape and run around all day teasing the dogs and cat.
Mr. Frizzie is the guard in that wing. He doesn't take any silliness from any of those chicks. The good thing is the young ones get pardoned when they start acting like a adult. They get to go live back with the civilized chickens and hopefully will never have to go back to Hidden Haven Prison again.
There is also a nursery at the prison. John Henry does take liberties with some of the ladies and they end up with babies. The babies stay with them for a week and then are moved to the nursery till they are big enough to go into a regular pen near the civilized chickens.

Today I was the grounds keeper. I turned all the yards over so they would have fresh clean dirt to scratch around in. I bleached their water bowls, cleaned and filled their food bowls, and gave everyone watermelon and cantaloupe for afternoon snack. Also made sure each pen had fresh grit to snack on. Working at the prison was hot and sweaty work but got to listen the lady prisoners chatting while they snacked. Got to talk to Mr and Mrs. Rose Comb about moving their children out on their own. Got to check out the young prisoners and see if any were ready for parole and got to enjoy playing with the babies in the nursery. Yep, I actually had a fun day at prison today.  Hope your day was filled with blessings!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August.. A Little Closer to Fall

Come on fall! Bring some wonderfully chilly, sweater weather my way. August should be the last of our very hot and humid days but as strange as the weather has been September could be even hotter. Am keeping an eye on Emily to see if she is going to come close enough to NC to bring much needed rain.

Still have Grandson H for another week. Since his brother is visiting his other grandparents we ask to keep Harvey another week so his parents could have some no kid time before the rush of school starting. He is up bright and early having juice and toast with Pop Pop before heading out to care for the animals. He helps for a few minutes until the wagon or his toy lawnmower catch his attention. He is playing so hard he is asking me for a shower and bed early in the evening.

Susie Q had 6 baby piglets!  We have her and her babies sold so they will be leaving in a few days. Dottie and Pork Chop will be going to be butchered as soon as cool weather hits. That will leave us with zero pigs and make me very happy. Now if most of the goats go as planned I will be very very happy!

Still getting tomatoes and peppers from the gardens. Everything else is gone but counting on a fall garden doing well this year. Herb garden is doing great. Have dehydrated all the dill and most of the parsley. The other herbs are needing cut and dried this week. Will have plenty of herbs this winter at least.

Thank you Juanita, Betsy, and Jenny for the birthday cards to William. He was very surprised and had a smile on his face most of the day. To my new friend Gina, I love your blog but am unable to leave comments because of the word thing. Same thing on SciFiChicks blog. She is having a awesome give away but I can't leave comments to take part. Each time I try on these two blogs it takes me to sign in on google over and over again.  I am reading blogs early morning and late evenings and will leave a few comments each day. If I don't leave one on yours hang on I will another day. I have way too many blogs I love to read but just can't bring myself to cut any out. And to my friend Connie, I love your comments when you stop by and anytime you and your husband are this way please do stop by in person! Now its off to give these animals some fresh cold water and of course a snack or two. The temp on the back porch in the shade says 102F.

Add Denise of Mountain Quilter to the list of not being able to leave a comment. Geez what has happened to blogger and what has happened to the follower list?