Friday, September 30, 2011

This n That

For those that have asked, Petro (the buckling) is doing wonderfully. His eyesight is back to normal. He is eating, drinking, getting into as much trouble as possible so can safely say he is over the poisoning. Baby (turkey that thinks she is a dog) still has a little sniffle. She is back to eating, chasing chickens, drinking from the garden hose and all her other strange habits. I still have the heat lamp on for her and had to go out in the rain storm today to make sure she was in out of the rain (she was). I am still giving her antibiotics but no longer have to wipe her runny nose. I was asked if she was going to be Thanksgiving dinner.... NO. Well she might be invited to Thanksgiving dinner but only as a guest. Fred and Tessa our bourbon red turkey are not going to be eaten either. I am a big softy and just can't eat my animal family. Except Porkchop and Dotty. Those pigs were raised to be put in the freezer so I didn't get attached. At the moment I have a bunny that has a hurt back and a chick with a deformed leg that most people would just put down that I am caring for. If they have the desire to live then I feel the need to help as much as I can. Tiny Tim hatched from her shell not able to stand because her foot was turned up against her thigh. We tried making a brace, taping, etc but she wouldn't let anything stay on and peck and fight till she got it off. And except for hopping around on one foot she is a normal little chicken. She has her own pen and scolds me when I go out to feed until I feed her. She loves attention. Honey Bunny hurt her back somehow and could barely move her hind legs for a couple of days. Moved her to a smaller cage with nice soft bedding and lots of treats and she is now almost back to her normal self. A few more days and she will go back to her regular cage. Sometimes no matter how hard you try a member of your animal family dies. But then there are the times when both you and the animal seem to do just the right thing and they live. Those times are what gets you through all the other. I am very blessed. Don't forget to count your blessings... even those little ones!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thanks To Facebook

My bed was late getting made. My laundry was late getting folded. My dishes were late getting done. My floors were late getting swept and mopped. All my normal morning indoor chores were put on hold for just a little while. Thanks to facebook I was able to message with my grandson Q. He is home with a viral infection. He can't talk above a whisper but he could type. We  caught up on each others news and football. We talked about family and the farm. It wasn't a deep discussion, but it was a chance to just "talk" without interruptions or in a rush to be somewhere. Just Q and I chatting like we use to do in the little cabin. Sure miss having grands around to talk and laugh with in person. But thank you facebook for giving me a way to stay in touch with my grands. Makes me feel like I am still a part of their lives. Get well soon BBF Q!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bring It On Mother Nature!

Stove and chimney cleaned and ready. Wood is cut, split, and stacked. All that cold, icy, windy, snowy weather that you have kept from me for years bring it.... I am so ready for you! I know its wishful thinking but I sure would love to have a cold, snowy winter this year without having to move north to get it. Hopefully it will at least be cold enough to keep a fire in the stove and the kettle hot for tea.

Had a rough couple of days with Petro. Actually thought he wouldn't make it through one night but he is well and back to mischief. We have made a pet out of him and let him follow us around while we work outside. While splitting wood the other day he played around the stacks of wood and nibbled on fallen leaves. He also found a dogwood branch that had fallen and ate some dogwood berries before we could get to him . Got most of them out of his mouth and thought he would be okay. The next morning when I went out to feed I found him hiding behind a tree weak and blind. We put him in a dog kennel on the back porch and I started doctoring him. Made a mixture of: 1 pint of water, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp. of baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp. molasses, 1 TBS epsom salts. Gave him a couple ounces every hour and inbetween gave him warm sugar water to drink to help flush the poison out. That night he got really bad and couldn't even stand. I brought him into the house and made a bed on the living room floor and stayed with him all night. He was calm as long as someone was with him. The next morning after more of the concoction and warm sugar water he was standing and passing gas. Really, really, bad and loud gas for a long time. The rest of that day he ate a little hay drank more warm sugar water. (He wouldn't drink pedilyte however you spell it that I usually give goats that need nourishment but can't eat )  By that evening he was seeing just a little bit and walking around the back porch. The next morning he was crying for his bottle and following me everywhere leaving little pellet trails and peeing everywhere. He is now back in the pen and acting like nothing was ever wrong. He gave me a few more gray hairs and now has to be watched like a hawk when he is out of his pen but back to his mischief making and being spoiled. The photo above is a couple months old as he is now 3 months old and lots bigger. I couldn't find a recent one in my files.

Now I am doctoring Baby (the turkey that thinks she is a dog). She didn't get in out of the rain the other night and now has the sniffles. She now has a heat lamp and a warm place to sleep where the other turkeys can't bother her. I went out today to clean her nose (nostrils on her beak) and found somehow she had gotten them full of dirt and even small pieces of feathers. Took me about 10 minutes to clean her nose. She was running around eating everything in sight after that so guess she was happy she could breathe better. When I went out right before dark to check on her she held her head up while I checked and wiped her nose. She is such a spoiled thing!

As always, its never boring around the homestead. Don't forget to count your blessings! Even the tiny ones.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Q Learns a Lesson

As I have bragged before my grandson Q plays football.( number 28)

He is even a captain of MMS Panthers.

He lives and breathes football. He is so into football that he has been letting his school work slide a little. My daughter Megan told Q that if he didn't catch up his school work and stop getting into trouble from not having his homework she was going to go spend the day with him at school. Q laughed it off thinking his mom would never do anything like that. Megan let it go for a week and he still hadn't caught up on all his school work. Being the mom that she is she took the day off work (she works in a very busy doctors office so it wasn't easy) and went to school. She went by the office to let them know what she would be doing and then opened the door of Q's first class. She told the teacher she was Q's mom and was there to hang out with him all day. From what I was told Q was wanting the floor to open and swallow him up. After class he told his mom to go home but she told him he was there for the day. She went to every class.  Guess you know Q got all his work caught up and has been doing his homework every evening with no more problems. Teachers, Coaches, and Megan are happy. Q is just making sure she doesn't have reason to embarrass him like that again. He now knows when mom says something she means it. I just love it! Megan was my wild child growing up. The one that challenged me the most and I just love that she is now dealing with things from a mom's point of view (and doing a great job I might add). Wild Child, I am very proud of you. You rock!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Little Squirrelly Around Here

Yesterday I was carrying some things into the house and pushed the screen door to the back porch to stay open. Of course I forgot to close it. Later I went out on the back porch to get something and scared a squirrel that was stealing sunflower seeds from the bag I had opened to fill birdfeeders. Well Mr. Squirrel just couldn't run back out the open screen door. No, he had to run into the house! He ran all around the kitchen knocking things off counters with Rusty all excited right behind him barking. He then ran down the hall into the guest room where he decided to hide behind a speaker.

I tried, really I did to get him to come out  from behind there and go back outside. He wouldn't budge. So I left him there until William got home a couple hours later. I closed all the doors to other rooms and left the back door open. William moved the speaker and shooed him out of the room. Mr. Squirrel ran down the hall past the open back door to freedom and straight between my feet. I screamed like a girl while jumping up on the counter out of the way. William was busy laughing but thank goodness Rusty came to the rescue and went over to sniff Mr. Squirrel and scared him out the door. He still didn't go out the open screen door but hid under the parakeet cage.
Finally after having a crazy lady take a picture of him he ran out the screen door, up on the banister and straight up the oak tree. He didn't stop until he was several trees away. I have a feeling he won't be trying to steal anymore of my sunflower seeds. Or at least for a long while. Like I always say.. it's never boring around the homestead! Don't forget to count those blessings... even the squirrelly ones.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall Preview

Mother Nature has given us a little preview of what her fall is going to be like. This weekend has been wonderful! Rainy and chilly Friday and Friday night. Today was a little rainy this morning but windy and chilly the rest of the day. Not quite cool enough for a fire but cool enough to light the oil lamps and enjoy cups of hot chocolate and hot tea in the evening while reading the many books that have waited all summer for me to pick up. Tonight as I sit here with oil lamps burning in each room there is a sense of peace settled over the homestead. The goats are all snuggled down in their straw bedding. The chickens are snuggled together on their roosting poles. The turkey are having happy dreams. The rabbits are sleeping peacefully in their beds. The ducks and geese are quietly walking around their pens. The pigs are snoring as Bella and Tinker lay quietly while guarding the homestead. Everyone and everything at Hidden Haven have enjoyed this preview and look forward to welcoming fall with open arms when it arrives to stay.  Don't forget to count your blessings!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Buttons, Hayley, Blackie, Precious, Gerda, and Little D are very happy (and so am I). The last 19 goats I have been taking care of since December have gone to a new home!! My girls have their home back and seem to be very relaxed and content. Feeding this afternoon was fantastic! No shoving,stepping on feet, head butting or any other bad manner act. The girls each went to their own feeder and took their time savoring each bite. Usually its like going into a boxing ring trying to feed grain. Did I tell you the girls and I are very happy??? As for the boys pen, Andy and Petro have it all to themselves. Trouble, Cotton, Cotton Jr, Oreo, Thor, and Mini Me went with the others to their new home. After tomorrow when Susie and her piglets go to their new home things will be back to a nice, happy, normal around here. Feedings will be easier and quicker and my sweeties can get lots more loving. Poor Bella and Tinker aren't sure what happened to all the goats they have been guarding but seem very happy to have Hillary and Snowball gone. Those two always rammed Bella and Tinker when they weren't looking. Knocking the breath out of them. Yep, things are happy and content around the homestead. Now if we could just do something about those dang acorns! Don't forget to count those blessings... no matter how small.

A Lot To Say About Nothing

Been kinda a slow day around the homestead. After morning feeding I went ahead and cleaned the ducks and geese swimming pools and refilled them. Bonnie and Clyde (the geese) took a nap while I did theirs but both duck pens were so excited they were splashing and bathing before their pools were even half full. They were so funny to watch. I raked the bucks pen and gave them fresh bedding. Just like most boys, they could care less on having a clean place to sleep and play. They were busy sniffing the girls on the other side of the fence. I cleaned out the rabbit cages and raked the poop and put it on the mulch pile. Tomorrow I will rake all the chicken pens and give them fresh straw in the laying boxes. All the animals seem to be enjoying the little bit of cooler weather we have been having. Bet they are really going to get frisky Friday when we don't get out of the 60's all day! Fall is right around the corner. I can smell it coming! I got some more of the fall outdoor decorations up today. Didn't realize I had so many. Am hoping to finish painting the kitchen ceiling tomorrow and start painting the dining room this weekend. As I have gotten older my arms give out faster and I don't seem to get as much done in a day. I worked a little on putting the herb garden to bed for the winter. I still have a few more to cut and dry. This years herb garden was great. It's my little get away garden. I can just go sit in the glider and enjoy the sights and smells, read a book, day dream, or just enjoy a glass of tea while watching the hummingbirds fly about. I already have plans for adding more herbs next year. We have been working on the wood piles. Time to get firewood cut and split for winter. Daddy always said firewood warms you twice. Once when you cut and stack and then again when you burn it. I am looking forward to a nice cold winter so I can keep that woodstove going. Love keeping the tea kettle singing on the top so I can always have hot water for a nice cuppa tea. Oh cold weather I am so ready to welcome you!  Right now it is the beginning of hard hat season here on the homestead. With all our oak trees the acorns are starting to fall. We have a canopy of oaks over most of the property so that is alot of acorns. When we are doing outside chores and hear each other say ouch or *^# we know they just got hit with a acorn. LOL The pigs and goats will be standing still and all of a sudden jump and run. You know they just got hit with an acorn. Same with the chickens, geese, and ducks. They jump, squawk, and run. Those little acorns carry a mighty big pain when they hit.Along with those acorns come the leaves. Raking leaves is a never ending chore around here. It never gets completely done until its time to start again. But I don't mind cause it means cold weather is near. The homestead is all settled down for the night. The only sounds are the crickets and the call of a hoot owl . Love the peaceful feeling of knowing the animals are all safely tucked in for the night and the house is all quiet. I can actually hear myself think and that is scary! Time to count my blessings instead of sheep! Have a good night and don't forget to count your blessings!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandson Q!

Happy 14th Q!!! Wish I could have been there for your pool party but know you had a awesome time. It is hard to believe you are 14 years old. Seems like only yesterday you were to small to open the back door here to go outside to play. Remember all the sticks you collected and put in the bike shed? You didn't want me to throw them away because they were your horses, guns, and other important things at the time. I love that I got to be the one to teach you how to ride a bike. I love that I got to help make some of your childhood memories as you have made many memories for me to cherish. I miss our curling up on the couch under blankets watching old VHS movies and eating candy corn. I miss cheering at your ballgames and being there to see you score a touchdown or stop one with a tackle. I am so proud you are one of the team captains for MMS Panthers this year. I was so happy you called to tell me about your first game winning 44 to 14. Even enjoyed laughing with you over your pants falling down while you kept running for a first down. You are a true football player! I am so proud of all the things you have overcame and accomplished in the past years. You are no longer the little boy that didn't want me throwing anything away because it was all your memories I would be getting rid of. You have grown into a handsome, young, kind, and caring young man with lots of wonderful memories behind those beautiful blue eyes. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life and for sharing some of the highlights by your phone calls. Love you Q and you will always be my BBF. (Best Bud Forever)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday was the day from hell. Everything that could go wrong did and on top of that we had heavy rain off and on along with tornado warnings till 9PM. William left Monday night taking the grandsons back home and to work with his son in law again for a few days. I woke up at 5am but it was still too dark for morning chores so checked out blogs and facebook. Went out at 6:30 and it was still dark (come on time change) but could see enough to start feeding. While feeding Tramp and Kuma a dumb confused rooster flew into Polly's pen from his roosting spot instead of into his pen.He didn't roost in the house but on the fence and got confused which way to go I guess. Anyway before I could get to him Polly was trying to have rooster for breakfast. She is the dog someone set out on us a couple years ago. She is also the one that will kill a cat or chicken in an instant. Didn't want to turn her into the animal shelter as they would put her down. She is a beautiful yellow lab around 3 years old that loves everyone especially children and is real gentle. I have tried listing her on Craigs List and asking around but no one wants a cat/chicken killing dog. Think I am going to have to go ahead and call the animal shelter. Anyhooo after getting the dead rooster out of her pen I went on to feed Tinker and Bella to find that Andy had made a hole in the double fences separating him and the bucklings from the does. He was in with the girls having him a high old time. I pulled him off of BJ and took him back to his pen, made a temporary fix on the fences and went to feed the goats. While feeding them I found that one of the ducks had gotten out of their pen (must have flew out as the fence and gate were fine) and Tinker and Bella had chased and wore her out. Had to wash the dirt off her and put her back in her pen. In the middle of that it started pouring the rain. Everyone knows that goats don't like rain and they won't eat wet grain so I had to scrape all the wet grain out of their feed pans and give it to the pigs. I went to feed the chickens and found the rat snake that has been living in the feed room sleeping in my chicken feed bucket. That really woke me up! Got the chickens and rabbits fed and was heading to milk the goats when I heard crying. Gerda (Buttons little doeling) had gotten her head caught in the fence trying to eat the ducks food. Had to get her unstuck with her mom breathing down my neck. Went to the milking room only to find that one of the goats has diarrhea and had spent the night on the milk stanchion making a mess. Cleaned her up, gave her some meds and cleaned up the milk stanchion.  Buttons and Precious gave very little milk thanks to being chased and pestered by Andy. Hayley refused to come in the milk room at all. I decided to go ahead and water all the animals and then milk her. The expensive no kink hose we bought kinked on me 3 times while watering and I had to keep stopping and tracking down the kink. Finally caught Hayley for milking and she gave very little milk. Gave the goats a little more grain before it started raining again. Made sure they had plenty of hay, brought the milk in and went to fix the fence. Of course it had to start thundering, lighting, and pouring the rain while I repaired the fence. Of course fixing the fence made Andy mad and he took it out on Petro by ramming his side and knocking him down. Had to separate them. By the time I got back inside for my breakfast it was almost lunchtime and William made the mistake of calling me. Boy did he get an ear full! But today the sun is shining, all the animals are where they are suppose to be and being good. No snakes or broken fences. The girls gave plenty of milk this morning with no problems. I actually got to eat breakfast before 9AM. The no kink hose still kinks and makes me mutter a few choice words under my breath but all in all its a blessed day and I am going to enjoy every minute! Don't forget to count your blessings... no matter how small.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Just Another Day

The goats are thanking Irene for all the fresh green leaves and acorns. Life around the homestead has been mostly cleaning up from Irene and letting the animals entertain me. They communicate so well its scary. William was gone for a few days this week helping his son in law again. I got to milk the goats while he was gone. Buttons gives about a gallon of milk and my hands get so tired I have to stop for a minute now and again to rest them. Buttons likes that as it means she gets more time to eat grain. Precious is still letting Little D sneak a little nursing in so isn't giving a lot of milk. Got to figure out how to separate the two of them. We bred Blackie a couple months ago but she has decided its time to dry her off.  For the past couple weeks we were only getting about 2 cups of milk from her and Monday only a couple drops so stopped milking her. She still comes in the milk stall and hops up on the milk stanchion to eat grain. If you try to feel her udder she will stop eating and give you a mean look while telling you in goat language her udder is off limits. Its funny as she was one of our easiest milking goats. Haley always wants to be the last one milked so she can finish off whatever grain is left. No matter how hard you try to get her into the milk stall she will not come until she is the last one to be milked. Then she is standing outside the gate waiting her turn and walks right in when you open the gate. I have enjoyed having the few days by myself and doing all the chores. Its peaceful and stressful at the same time( if you have farm animals you understand what I mean). I am close to my burnout point though. Every year I get to a point where I am burnt out taking care of the homestead and the animals. I don't ever miss a morning or evening feed so it starts building up inside me and I just want to be able to have a break. Am trying to figure out a way to take a weekend and head to the mountains. Need to see the girls and their families as its been forever it seems since I last saw them. Hopefully that will work out. But I know the burnt out will pass as it always does and the animals will make me see how blessed I am to have them to care for.
William did bring home grandson H and grandson W for the holiday weekend. H has played outside all day and fell asleep  in a chair a few minutes ago while talking to me. W is playing video games at a neighborhood friends house. They don't get to see each other often so spend as much time together as they can. William is napping on the sofa so things are kinda quiet around here. Well, pretty quiet except for the peeping of the baby turkey. It is still in a box in the diningroom under a heatlamp. Tessa and Sister Jr haven't hatched anymore eggs but I thought I heard pecking in a couple of them today. This one I call Pigpen as it is the messiest little thing. It stands in its water dish and kicks water out with its foot like a game. When the dish is empty it starts peeping louder and louder until you clean and fill the dish again. This goes on all day. At night it won't go to sleep until you cover it with a small soft cloth. Doesn't matter that it takes naps all day in its food dish or under the heat light. Come night time it wants to be covered up. It's a crazy life around here but I love it!