Monday, February 27, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The good is we have a new little doeling named Lil Vicki. She is named after our neighbor Vickie who always kept an eye on the goats and dogs. She would call me if the dogs got out or anyone was misbehaving in the goat pen. She loved sitting on her porch and watching the geese, baby pigs, and goats. Am going to miss Vickie.

The bad is we lost a buckling and Olivia had to have emergency C section and hysterectomy yesterday. She and Lil Vicki are residing on my diningroom floor until she is well enough to go back out to the pen.

The ugly is poor Olivia's side where she was shaved and has lots of staples. She had a rough night last night even with pain shot. Around 4AM I gave her a herbal drink of  Fever Few,White Willow, Valerian, St Johns Wort, Stevia, and Licorice mint. After about 20 minutes she settled down and rested for a couple of hours. I spent the night in the diningroom too. I have become her security blanket of sorts. As long as I am in sight she is okay. When I leave the room or out of her sight Olivia starts crying and moving about. Lil Vicki is walking around getting into everything. Has managed the wood floors without slipping and sliding very well. She is nursing Olivia a little and am supplementing with bottle.

All in all though we have a nice Vet bill we are blessed to have Olivia alive and recovering. The Vet didn't think she would make it through the night and was very surprised and happy this morning to hear how she is doing. Through rough and stressful times there is always a blessing in there somewhere.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What's Been Going On Around the Homestead.

Time sure seems to get away from me. So many posts have been written in my mind but just didn't make it here. Have been busy planting seeds and already have a few sprouting. William plans on getting my greenhouse set up in the next couple of days so I can move all the seed trays out of the diningroom. I am so excited about my herb garden this year! Last year I moved it closer to the house and didn't have as many herbs as I wanted but what I had did really great. This year I have been taking a online herbal class as well as reading herb blogs and learning so much. I won a give away from one herb blogger that I will be sharing about tomorrow since I seem to have misplaced my camera at the moment. I have ordered LOTS of herb seeds and have seed trays sitting everywhere waiting on them to sprout and grow. Some grow in the wild but since I don't seem to find time to go out in the wild to gather I ordered seeds for the herb garden. I am anxious to make herbal tinctures,balms, oils,salves, and teas. Am learning herbal usage instead of over the counter drugs and liking that a lot. Some of the herbs seeds I have started are: Lambs Quarters, Amole (soap plant), Licorice Mint, Black Cohosh, Cumin, Evening Primrose, Feverfew, Horehound, Hyssop, Milk Thistle (yeah I know everyone else has this everywhere),Mountain Mint, Mullein, Solidago (goldenrod), Savory, Self Heal, Shungiku, Skullcap, Vervain, Valerian, Yarrow, Wormwood, Yerba Mansa, Red Clover, Goji Berry, Hawthorn, and even trying to grow blueberry bushes from seeds! As much as I love winter I am looking forward to spring and setting out my herb plants. That is if they all sprout and grow for me. With having the greenhouse I will be able to have some fresh herbs all next winter. Also have seedlings for the veggie garden sprouting in trays. Going to be a good growing year, I just feel it in my bones.

Grandson and daughter are doing really well. Thank you for your prayers. My step daughters husband will be starting radiation and chemo treatments soon. He has colon cancer and they are going to do treatments before surgery and then again after. He is only 25 years old and the shock of this has really hit him hard. Please keep him in your prayers. My neighbor (Ms. Fran's daughter) is on a ventilator in ICU. She was having trouble breathing and before the ambulance got there (they made a mistake and came to our house first) she stopped breathing. They had to shock and do CPR to bring her back but it was too long without oxygen. She has been declared brain dead. Her husband and daughters are having a very hard time with this. I ask you to please say a prayer for them as they deal with closure and letting her go. My elderly friend Gerda just came home from the hospital. She had pneumonia.

 In the middle of praying, worrying, and helping where we could with family and friends we lost our first goat ever because of a hard delivery. She had been bred too young before we purchased her. The past owner wasn't sure if she was bred or not but that her buck had gotten in with her doelings. The buckling was way to big for this young doe to deliver and William had to work to get the head thru the cervix. The buckling was born dead and sweet Sissy died from the stress and shock. I gave her pain meds, antibiotic, electrolytes, and kept her covered and warm but she died with her head in my lap. This left William and I heartbroken and in tears. Seems we have cried enough tears in the past week to fill a lake. We didn't know Sissy was even pregnant until the night before I saw her udder fill up with milk. The next day when I was doing butt checks on the pregnant goats that I know are ready to kid she was standing there with tiny feet sticking out. She wasn't crying or anything. We worked over 2 hours trying to save her and the buckling but it wasn't meant to be. It was very humbling as we have always been able to pull our goats through a rough delivery. 

So that is whats been going on around the homestead that has kept me from blogging all the posts I wrote in my mind. Sometimes life just seems to bite you in the butt. The blessing is there is always so many good things happening each day to help ease the pain of the bad. You just have to look forward to all the blessings waiting for you around the corner.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Times Like These

Make me want to just find all the animals good homes and give up homesteading. This past weekend a neighbor came by to ask us to check her sheep. She had a pregnant ewe down and didn't know what to do. We went over and I knew right away it was ketosis. The babies inside of her had taken all her nutrition and she was skin and bones. We pumped her with everything we had that would help and even got some color back into her gums and eyes. Sunday morning she went into labor but was too weak to push. I had to go in and get the baby. It was a very big headed ram. Its lungs were full of fluid and though we worked 20 minutes suctioning and doing CPR it didn't take a breath. We could feel another baby moving but when I went back in I could not find the baby at all. We gave her antibiotics, along with electrolytes,probiotics, warm molasses water, etc to try to keep her going till Monday morning and the Vets office opened. My neighbor just didn't have the money ask for emergency weekend calls. Little Momma hung on. She was resting while I sat by her when the neighbor brought me a sandwich. Little Momma opened her eyes, raised her head, and looked right at my sandwich. I broke off some of the toasted bread and she actually snatched it out of my hand. She ended up eating all the toast from the sandwich and drank half my mountain dew. I was so happy to see her alert and eating. I gave her a bowl of warm oatmeal and more warm water. The temps were in the 20's and wind chill was 12F at night. We closed her stall, hung a heat lamp,, and a heater. It was nice and warm but not too warm. We all took turns being with her so she wouldn't be along. I came home to feed and check on our animals and when I got back William said her body temp had dropped and she wasn't responding. I sat down and rubbed her back and talked to her. Promised her more mountain dew and toast if she would just take her meds and drink some warm molasses water. Got those in her and she perked back up. Sat with her and sang to her, prayed for her, and just racked my brain on what I else I could do. Finally Monday got here and we got her to the Vet ASAP. The first Vet finally found the second baby upside down hung underneath the pelvic bone. It took 2 Vets over 30 minutes to get the baby out. Her jaw was hung on the pelvic bone. Of course she was dead. I had held Little Mommas head and talked to her while all this was going on. She didn't cry out. Just looked in my eyes the whole time. She got pain meds, more antibiotics, IV fluids there and some for us to give her at home with pain meds. They told us to keep giving the antibiotics I had given her before we took her. To keep giving her the electrolyte paste, Vitamin B, probiotic, and warm molasses water and to keep her warm. We took her back to her stall , got her settled and we came home for a little while to get chores done. I went back once during the day to give meds and water. Neighbor had been doing every 2 hours like she was suppose to. Little Momma raised her head and put it in my lap. I sat with her awhile and talked to her. Shared some mountain dew with her and promised I would be back to say good night. Little Momma looked into my eyes and made a little crying noise. Felt like she didn't want me to go. I should have stayed. Instead I rushed home to feed our animals. Little Momma took her last breath right before I got to her stall. I have cried like a baby and she wasn't even mine. I felt like I let her down. I think if we had lent the neighbor money for weekend emergency visit she might have lived. The Vet had told us that she probably wouldn't make it. That we had done all the right things and that if they had been there the second baby would still have been stuck under the pelvic bone and they would have still had a hard time getting it out. I know all these things but I still see those eyes looking right into mine. I still see her raising her head even though she was weak to lay it in my lap. She trusted me and I let her down. Having animals means that there will be times like this. That we have to handle illness and deaths. Even though times like this make me think about walking away from it all I know I won't. Though I am sure I will make lots of mistakes, second guess myself, and even let another animal down that trust I will keep giving my love and care because they are a part of me. But I will never ever forget those trusting eyes looking into mine. Little Momma will always be in my heart and mind.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We Have a Name

Spartacus "Sparky" and Sassafras "Sassy"seem to be happy to have a name and seem to like their nicknames. Momma Precious seems to be happy with the names too. Am sure there will be lots of adventures to write about with these two so stayed tuned.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Meet Falcor.
He is a 8 month old (or will be the 10th) Great Pyrenees. A young couple with 2 little girls put him up for adoption. We had several phone conversations over 2 days before we decided to visit Falcor and his family. Of course the minute I saw him I was in love. He gave me lots of kisses and seemed to really like William and I. We made the decision to make him part of the family and he came home with us. He has been a house dog until now. We did keep him inside at night for a few days but he would go to the door and cry. When we took him out he went straight to the goat pen where the girls were and want in. Bella, Tinker, and Hillary were very happy to have a guy to play with. Tinker and Falcor hit it off great. They both are young and have lots of energy so run and play all the time.
Bella and Falcor seem to enjoy just relaxing and talking to each other.
Hillary has been busy guarding the baby goats but when she is on break she and Falcor play. The goats have accepted Falcor as part of the herd and he just loves the baby goats. He has fit right into our family as if he has always been here. Each time I go out to feed or check on the animals I am greeted with 4 big smiles.

Falcor loves being outside with the girls and will come inside for a few minutes and let me spoil him with treats before he is at the door begging to go back out. He almost always has a smile on his face and seems very happy. He always seems to know when I have milk bone crunchies in my pocket. After having a couple he licks his lips and waits to see if I will give him another.
We got Falcor to not only be a part of our family but to breed Bella and Tinker. We would like for each of them to have a liter of puppies. Hopefully being a mommy will take away the desire to get out of the pen and wander the neighborhood. What we didn't know was that Tinker and Falcor would decide after 3 days of playing and running they would skip right to being in a relationship. The deed was done (several times) and Tinker should be pregnant.
In April we should have puppies! Tinker seems to be very happy about that idea.

Welcome to the family Falcor and congratulations to you and Tinker!

As for Precious and her babies. They are doing great. This is the longest any animal has gone without a name around here. I just can't decide what seems to suit the twins. I am going to think on it tonight and see if I can have them named by tomorrow.

Menu Monday

Yes, I know its Tuesday but as usual I am a day late and a dollar short. I tell ya this warm winter weather has worn me out! Too many things to do outside leaves me too tired to blog when I finally come in. Anyhoooo am taking my breakfast break to post this weeks menus and will try like heck to post later photos of Precious and babies (still haven't named them yet) and also photos and story of our new addition. What I would give for a nice cold winter storm about now.

Cheese omlet, hashbrowns made with white and sweet potatoes, garlic, onion
 and whole wheat toast

peanutbutter and banana sandwich on raisin bread...yum yum!

Spaghetti with homemade sauce I canned last summer
Spinach salad with some of the carrots,radishes,peppers I purchased this month
Garlic cheese bread

breakfast: bowl of oatmeal, raisin bread toast
lunch: will probably skip so I can get some chores done outside
supper:William out of town so eating leftovers.


breakfast: pancakes, eggs, sausage
lunch: peanut butter and banana sandwich on raisin bread
supper: Salmon Patties, mashed potatoes, collared greens, dinner rolls


breakfast: biscuits,gravy,eggs,sausage
lunch: leftovers from previous nights suppers
supper: Stuffed meatloaf, rice, toss salad, peas


Breakfast: egg,ham,and cheese sandwich on whole wheat toast
lunch:veggie soup, grilled cheese sandwich
supper: baked pork chops, brown rice, green beans, rolls


breakfast: eggs,sausage,hashbrowns,whole wheat toast
lunch: leftovers
supper: hotdogs,home fries, cole slaw


breakfast: biscuits.gravy,eggs, sausage
lunch: ham and cheese sandwich
supper: barbecue chicken, roasted garlic potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls

That's the menu for this week if no monkey wrench is thrown into to plans. You never know what the day will bring around here. Of to work outside in this 60F degree winter weather. Have a blessed day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Greenhouse For My Herbs

I was given a greenhouse! William is building a greenhouse which will be used for plants for the vegetable gardens. The greenhouse given to me will be used for all the new herb plants for my herb garden. I am so excited! A neighbor stopped by to ask if we would go look at her pregnant ewe that is sick. After checking her out, treating and vaccinating her she seems to be on the road to recovery. Purchased the supplements  for neighbor to give ewe and showed her how. Also have and will continue to go check on ewe each day. Neighbor was so happy we helped  that she ask me if I wanted the greenhouse. Of course I said yes! She only used it a few weeks before going back and getting a much larger one. This one is 10x20 and is perfect for herb plants I have started to grow in until its time to plant in the herb garden. I can also use it next winter. I had been trying to wait patiently for William to finish building his greenhouse and knew I would have a small space for my herbs as he has over a 1000 tomato seedlings he is growing. He sells tomato and pepper plants every spring. Now we each can have our own greenhouse. What a blessing!

While treating the ewe we moved her from where she was laying into a shelter. I was walking backwards in front of the ewe while William and neighbor were walking on each side. Of course we all forgot about the big tub of water in the pen. And of course I fell backwards right into it. It was a early chilly morning so I got a nice cold bath to start my day. It was about an hour in wet clothes before I could come back home, have a hot shower and dry clothes. Hope I don't get a cold from it but if I do it was worth it.

Thank you for the prayers and thoughts for Megan and grandson. Things are still stressful but there is a light at the end of the tunnel peeking at them. Please continue your prayers and if you will add my stepdaughters husband to your prayers. He just found out he has cancer. He has a large mass on the left side of his large intestine. It is going to be a rough road for him and his family.

Precious and the twins are doing wonderful. The little doeling is already a handful. She slips underneath the gate of the stall and explores while Precious is having a fit because she can't get the doeling to come back where she belongs. When she is in the stall with momma and brother she hides behind the water bucket or underneath the hay where momma can't see her. Precious will cry and call her but little one will just lay still and not answer. I have to go out and get her so Precious can see she is okay. I have a baby monitor so can hear when Precious is upset which means little one is up to mischief. Have more photos of them that I will post tomorrow. Just too lazy tired tonight. I also have photos of our new addition to the homestead. Think you will be surprised we got it. I was at first as we talked about it for 2 days before deciding it was the right thing to do. Am glad we did as it fits in perfectly and I am already in love.

Was asked about menus and know I have been slack in posting but so much has been going on the past few days with family and homestead. Think it will be easier for me and you if I just post a weeks menu each Monday. I can also post recipes at the bottom of menu posts. Thank you for being interested and asking. I will also be posting a  list of the new herbs seeding I have in case anyone nearby might want some. Hope you are counting those blessings. I know though all that has happened this past week God has truly overflowed my cup with blessings.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's Twins!

Precious had twins at 1PM today. Easy labor and delivery and all 3 are doing fine. The brown one is a buckling and the white with black feet and eyebrows is a doeling. Within 30 minutes they were up nursing and checking things out. No names yet as I was up all night keeping check on her and my mind is numb at the moment.

Simple Day on the Homestead

I am linking up with Our Simple Farm Simple Living Wednesdays and with Pretty,Happy, Funny, Real over at Like Mother Like Daughter
 Precious is in early labor. She has dilated about 3 with a discharge and her udder is so huge she can't walk without having her hind legs spread way out. I had her in the new maternity pen but just came in from moving her to a closed stall with lights and the birthing kit. This will be her second kidding. Last year she didn't know what was happening to her and just dropped on the ground screaming. I ran out to find her terrified and the kid having a hard time getting out. I had to reach in and move Little D around. It took Precious several minutes after Little D was born to realize what happened and that she had a kid. She ended up being an awesome mom. This time around I think she knows what is going on and though she is nervous think she will do lots better with this delivery. So I am just waiting by the baby monitor between trips out to check on her. Not sure if she will kid tonight or tomorrow but will make sure I am ready if needed or at least there to take pictures!
Today was a good downsizing day. We sold 8 ducks, 6 roosters, and a goat. The guy that bought them is also coming back to buy 2 pigs. That only leaves us with 4 baby pigs to sell and we will be out of the pig business!! So happy about that.  Sold 4 rabbits the other day and 7 roosters a couple days before that. Slowly getting things downsized and it feels good. Finally have 1 rooster for each pen of hens. No more fighting roosters. No more mad hens having to run from so many roosters. And no more hearing over 30 roosters crowing at 4:30 every morning!

Also did the monthly grocery shopping today and ended up spending $155.15. Prices sure have gone up since last month. I try to stay at $150 or less. I didn't even need to purchase meats this month as I have plenty left from the sales I got last month. Since the goats are dry we are having to buy milk and with the Farmers Market closed I am buying some fresh veggies though I have lots canned and in the freezers. Since we don't have goats milk right now I have been buying Nestles instant hot chocolate. I like hot chocolate made with milk but don't want to use too much store bought milk as its so expensive. After making the hot chocolate with hot water I add flavored creamer. Right now I am using French caramel. I buy the big canister of hot chocolate (makes 39 cups) for $4.58 and the powdered creamer is $2.38. The hot chocolate lasts me a month and the creamer about a month and a half. The rest of my grocery list was mostly staples with a few "treats".
25lb sugar
1 gallon of vegetable oil
5lb cornmeal
2 lb butter
4 lb pinto beans
5 gallons orange juice
4 oz vanilla
12 bars of soap
box of laundry detergent (usually make own but this was a good sale)
bottle of bathroom cleaner
gallon of maple syrup (a purchase that lasts us about 7 months)
5 lbs of american sliced cheese
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1 gallon of milk (will go back to purchase more as we need it. Like it as fresh as possible)
4- 2 liter sodas ( a treat as was on sale for 84 cents each and these will last us a couple months)
8 cans of catfood (whiskers had plenty of cans left from last month)
8 cans of dogfood (Rusty had cans left from last month)
Box of Cheerios ( love cereal for bedtime snack)
Bag of Fritos ( a treat)
Head of cabbage
Bell Peppers
1 package of steaks ( on sale and couldn't pass up)
5 lbs brown rice
5 lbs white rice
1 lb coffee beans
1 box of onion soup mix ( use it when I make hamburgers)
1 box of tomato/ herb bouillon

I buy in large containers when I can so it will last longer. I buy a couple of things extra each month to stock for emergencies. We try to keep enough supplies to last us 6 months if something were to happen. My grocery list didn't contain eggs as we have plenty of fresh ones here on the homestead. It didn't contain bread as we get a excellent deal at the bread store. Much cheaper than I can bake it though I still bake biscuits, cornbread and sometimes sourdough bread. I cook from scratch most of the time. By making sure to keep full pantry, and things frozen and canned from the garden as well as buying extra meats and things when on sale really help keep our food bill down. The only thing we will have to purchase from the grocery store the rest of the month will be milk. I will cook at least 2 meals a day and will try to remember to share my menus each day. I tried this before but got busy on the homestead and didn't follow through. Several have ask me to post menus so they can see how I spend what I do and have filling meals each day. I promise to try harder this time.
Breakfast was egg and bacon sandwich on whole wheat toast with juice and hot chocolate
Lunch was leftover salad
Supper was buffet at Western Sizzlin ($16.92 for the both of us. We try to treat ourselves once a month to a meal out)
(Funny  as in funny that this should have been finished days ago!)
The greenhouse should be ready soon. I have so many new herb seeds to get started. Am excited about this years herb garden. My nettles, oregano, lemon balm, and pineapple sage is already coming up. I cut some of my rosemary and lavender yesterday and have it drying in the dehydrator. We are enlarging our vegetable gardens this year so am planning on what will be planted in these. I enjoy canning,dehydrating, and freezing things and want this years gardens to keep me busy doing these things.
 One of my daughters and a grandchild are going through some stressful things at the moment. If you would, please keep them in your prayers. Have a blessed night and don't forget to count those blessings!