Thursday, November 29, 2012

Saving Sophie

Yesterday, I saw a post on FB asking if anyone would give their life for their dog. Apparently there was a father, mother and son who all drowned trying to save their dog that was struggling in the ocean in California. They all drowned while the daughter watched. And the dog got out fine. So sad.

As I read all the responses to that question, I really didn't know what my answer was. At first, I thought, no way would I risk my own life for any of my animals. I have a husband and kids and grand kids whom I love very much. I don't think I'd want to put them through that. But I just have no idea what I would do if I were ever put in a position to have to save one of my dogs.

So this morning, while giving hay to my goats, I saw Stella, my youngest dog, over in the side yard. There is a small dug out place that holds water all the time. I call it my little pond. I looked closer at what Stella was after and saw Sophie in the water trying to get out. Sophie is 15 years old and her back legs don't work so good.I have no idea how she got in the water or why she was in the water. I think Stella was trying to help her out. And it was about 30 degrees last night so that water was cold. I have no idea even how long she had been in the water either.

I had to run back to the house to get to the yard and to the pond. All I had to do was reach down and grab her. I got her out and went to get a towel to dry her off. Poor little thing was sopping wet and cold. But I thought how awful it was watching Sophie struggling to get out and falling back in. I could not have watched and done nothing. Although I didn't have to risk my life for Sophie then, I think I would have if she had been in the middle of a lake or bigger pond. It was hard to see.

I have to say that Stella really saved Sophie.

So what would you do?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This and that

 Looks like it's been awhile since I posted anything here. I have been getting ready for the Holiday Market in Chattanooga. I was thinking I had the 1st 2 weekends of Dec. I'm glad I checked the emails again because I found out, after calling to confirm, that I have the 2nd and 3rd weekends. I am relieved because I was really stressing about not having enough to take. I have been working like crazy on the jars and vases and candle holders. Even went to a few thrift stores again yesterday to get more vases to do.

I had already made a whole lot of soap. And I have been crocheting wash clothes and dish clothes like a mad woman. I thought I could just whip up a few hundred jars in a few weeks. I am such a "wait til the last minute" type person but this is something I have learned a lesson from. I should have been doing this all summer. I have 4 big totes already full and have another 2 to fill up. And I can make more after the first market. I hope to have special orders to fill during the week after.

So this is one of the hanging candle holders I have made. I have all colors and different beads. They are so pretty at night with the light shining through. I have an old window frame I'm going to use to hang them all at the market.

I am also making lots of Christmas jars. I loved that book and have been thinking about making a jar for us to put spare change in throughout the year to give to a needy family. But the jar we do use for that  seems to be helping this needy family. One year I am going to do this. Really. So I have several of these jars in different sizes and colors.

Anyway, been really busy trying to get these things done so I can breath and relax a little. That will not happen. But the sound of that sounds good. And I still don' have a camera yet. When I do, I will take lots of pictures of all the jars.

And we had a problem with the wood stove last week. Way too much smoke when we'd open the door to put wood in. Plus smoke puffing out of the pipe and the doors every few seconds. It was awful. So had to let the fire go out and check it out. The pipes were full of creosote build up. Really bad. So then had to get more pipe and chisel out a lot of the bricks in the  back of the chimney to get the pipe to go farther up. Then broke the elbow. Then we gave up. By then we were all tired of fooling with it. Then hubby had to leave. He'll be back this weekend and we will get it fixed then. Thank goodness the days are warm right now.

I am down to milking just Sandy right now. Abby decided she didn't want to be milked any more so dried herself up last month. Sandy had gone down to between 2-3 cups a day fora awhile. Then the last 2 nights has given a full half gallon! Good girl. I have one more Friday for a half gallon milk customer, then all the milk will be for us again, til Spring. I sure do love my goat milk and miss it so much when they are dry. I am just hoping all 4 does are pregnant now. This is my Sandy. I love this goat to pieces, but she sure is a Nubian. Man, she is the most neurotic goat ever!

Monday, November 19, 2012

They got one!

This year I have noticed a lot of squishy places in the soil, along the driveway and in some other places. It's really hard to walk on it, like quick sand. Lots and lots of tunnels being dug around here. It had to be a vole or mole or something small. I have not noticed them out in the garden yet, but getting close.

So this morning, I saw a little dead thing on the grass. Looks like a mole. And looks like it's been dead a few days. I think it could be Stella that got it. She's been digging lots of holes where the tunnels are. Good dog! Or it could have been Sophie, who is a Rat Terrier, and they like to catch things like that. But she's 15 years old and doesn't do much anymore. So I think it must have been Stella.

One down, a few hundred to go. Get busy, Stella!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cooking on a wood stove

Earlier this evening, I put a big pot of pinto beans on the wood stove to cook. They are already about halfway done. I am loving this wood stove so much already. I am wondering if I can bake potatoes in the ash pan? Or maybe even a roast on top. I guess I could use the wood stove just like a regular stove. This could be a real electricity saver for us.

How about some ideas and advice on cooking on a wood stove from all you out there who have done this. What all have you cooked or even baked on yours?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Moving mountains

Tonight, my grand daughter was talking about mountains and mentioned the Bible verse where Jesus said if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move a mountain. I told her that I think He didn't mean that literally, but used it to symbolize our mountains that we have to climb every day. Like people have huge debt, or a horrible job they hate going to, or medical problems. These are mountains we have to either go around or through or over. But if we have the faith of a little tiny mustard seed, we can move these mountains and get them out of our way.

I have SO much to do to get ready for the holiday market in just a few weeks that I am overwhelmed right now. Just thinking about all that I still have to do is making me freak out. And the more I freak out, the less I am doing. I have been doing some every day now, but when I see how much I have left to do, oh my goodness! But it will get done. I know it will.  I have to have faith. Then I can move this huge mountain out of my way and get on with it!

Down to just 4

I have finished butchering all the Freedom Ranger meat birds. And I sold all my "un-laying" laying pullets except the 4 Red Stars and the Americana rooster, who will be going to a new home soon. So just 4 hens now. The least amount of chickens I have ever had. There are 2 of the RS that have been laying a beautiful dark brown egg every day now for the past 2 1/2 months. And they are ALL the same age. So they are all gone except these 4.

I was talking to a guy the other day who has a lot of Nubian goats, that if the animals on my farm aren't producing something, like meat, eggs, wool, milk, they have to go. I don't have the room or money to keep a farm animal that's not giving back. I have had Abby, my Lamancha doe, for about 8 years now. She'll be 12 in Feb. She just dried herself up last week. I went from a pint to nothing in a day. She should be bred again, but after this, I won't be breeding her again. The last 2 years, it's taken a few months to get to where we could drink her milk. I guess that happens with age? SO I was telling this guy that I'll need to find a goat retirement farm for her to live out the rest of her days. He said he keeps all his animals til they die. He said he wouldn't want to live on my farm.

But really. What do y'all do with older, non-producing animals on your farms? I don't think I could butcher Abby. I have had her too long for that. Or my ewes. And I will not take any of them to a sale barn at this age. That would be animal cruelty for sure. I might be able to butcher for dog food maybe. If I had to. If there were no other options. But he said he would let her live there the rest of her life. So I said I would bring her next year about this time if she's still living. And I'll come visit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It hurts bad

So this morning, I stepped on a nail. I came in when I was done with chores and soaked it in Epsom salts for at least a half hour. Then I was on my feet the rest of the day. And now it's huge. And throbbing. I am soaking it again. I have to go out and do it all over again  in a few minutes before dark. But the ball of my foot feels like an actual ball now. I hate getting hurt. Why do things like this hurt so much? Why am I such a whiney baby? OUCH! I don't think I can get shoes on anyway. Wah wah wah.

Yeah, farming is dangerous.

I am always getting cut on wire or scraped on fencing. Or hit with a hammer. Or stepped on by sheep or goats. Or even rammed by rams. Clawed by chickens. Scratched by cats. I can just walk by a wild rose or blackberry bush and I am dripping blood. Or in the very short goat barn, I am constantly hitting my head. I am surprised I haven't knocked myself out yet. Or broken a leg or arm. Or sprained an ankle. Just little things like this is dangerous to me. Like just this morning I stepped on a nail putting the ewes back out in the pasture. I am soaking my foot right now in Epsom salt water. I almost cut my thumb off almost 2 years ago cutting up meat for dog food and had to get stitches. They made me get a tetanus shot, thank goodness. I didn't really want it, but am glad I got it now. Farming is dangerous!

There was a guy last spring not too far from me, that was baling hay and his baler messed up. He didn't turn the tractor off and had his arm up in the baler and it sucked his arm up and he almost went in too. He was very fortunate and he lived. But his arm is all mangled and he won't be able to use it much. God sure protects us when we do unwise things. This guy has 2 young children and a wife to take care of.

So every day, I am glad I haven't broken or sprained anything. I can't afford to hire someone to do what I have to do here every day. I need to be more careful.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Yep. 85 degrees in this house right now. I am sweating. I have windows open. This wood stove will be great when it's down below 20. But right now? It's too hot. But I am so glad we got it though.  It even heats upstairs really good too. So it will pay for itself this winter for sure.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It so hot in here...

the dogs won't even come in! We got the wood stove all hooked up and started a fire this evening. It was so smoky in here and upstairs, we had to open all the windows. It's nice and toasty in here now. I sure hope we have a nice cold winter. Well, not too cold. But I'll be ready!

And we got the wood shed semi finished. I need to get some tarp for the back and put up some tin on the sides. It's 4x12 and about 6' tall. We have 3 pallets for the floor. It's wide enough to get 2 rows stacked at least 6' high. Me and my grand daughter got about half of it loaded with wood already. When I get a camera, I'll take a picture of it. I am right proud of us for all we got done today here.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I better go get some wood in. It's going to be in the 50's the rest of the week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This morning I butchered the last 12 Freedom Ranger chickens!!!! I am so glad that's done. And they are ALL sold too. I also put an ad on Craig's list last night for my laying hens that aren't laying. I had a guy call this morning about them. He came out this afternoon with his oldest daughter and they bought 4 Barred Rock hens and Russell Crowe the rooster. So it's a little quieter here now. The Americana roo has not crowed yet. Maybe he will now that Russell is gone.

So I took all the fence and fence posts down and cleaned up the lot where the FR were. Buried all the guts and burned the feathers in a big brush pile. I am going to use the fence to divide the front pasture for the sheep. I think I'll have enough fence to do that. I have plenty of fence posts.

And I need another milk goat! Abby, my older LaMancha doe, is drying herself up. She has nothing. So I am just milking Sandy, my Nubian. I have 2 other young does that are pregnant, but will not freshen til about the middle of February. I have never bred goats this early before. I hope we don't have a blizzard about then. So if anyone close by has a milk goat in milk right now, please let me know.

We bought a brand new Wonderlux wood stove a few days ago. Had to have it delivered. Plus had to have a piece of metal special made for the front of the fireplace. My husband was just trying to get the pipe to go into the back of the stove and has decided we will have to have an adapter for the back of the wood stove. So yet another day before we can use the stove.

We also bought lumber and tin roofing to build a wood shed to keep all that wood dry. I guess we will be doing that tomorrow since husband has to leave Monday morning. Sometimes our weekends are nonstop busy.

I hope you all are having a great weekend and enjoying this beautiful fall so far.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just thinkin'.

I try to see the humor in everything. Even when someone I love gets hurt, I laugh. Not mean laughing, and I hate they get hurt, but it is kinda funny sometimes.  I guess it runs in my family, but we have a dry sense of humor too. My brother and my nephew are the same way.

So when I saw that the people of Colorado had spoken and they now have legalized recreational marijuana, I thought about maybe moving out there and starting a marijuana and hemp farm. Some people don't think it's funny or a good thing at all. But some people see how this could be a boost to the economy and to farmers. Hemp is a plant that can be used for several different things. One being great clothes. Another being food. It's great fiber. I could see this being a good business. And I think the picture of a city in Colorado shrouded in what looks like a fog, and the caption says something like the people of Colorado have spoken and are very happy about the law passing for legalized pot, I think that's funny.

But when I saw a picture on FB yesterday of Obama standing at an open door holding an eagle with a caption that said "Knock knock. Who's there. America." I just did not see the humor at all. America? Really?? I just thought that was scary. Maybe half of America saw the humor in it, but the other half? I would love to hear their opinion.

So here we go, another 4 years. Are we all ready? I have no idea what's going to happen. Or if it will change very much in 4 years. I really didn't see too much change in the last 4 years. Not for the better, anyway. So he says he has 4 more years, lets see what he will do with it this time.

In the meantime, lets all try to see the humor in our world. There is a lot if we just look and not take things too seriously. I'm sure St. Francis saw humor in God's creatures.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


My little camera is dead. For a long time now I was not able to look back at the pictures I had just taken. Then a few weeks ago the bottom that held the batteries in broke and fell off. I had black electrical tape holding the batteries in after that and it worked fine. Then last night I dropped it on the pavement and the top part where I turn it on was raised up. It still turned on and I took a few pictures. Well, then I dropped the darn thing again and that was all the poor thing could take. It's dead now for sure.

So I need a new camera. I would love to hear all the good things about the cameras you all use so I can start looking for another one. I love taking pictures and already feel lost without mine. So any help would be great! Thanks.