Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New camera and farmer's markets.

I found a camera. A Canon Rebel. I do not know how to use it though. Good grief, I'll have to take photography classes again! So bear with me as I learn how to take a picture.

Today was the official grand opening of the Main St. farmer's market. I took my 3 lambs with me. They were a huge hit with everyone who came by. And they got lots and lots of clover to eat! But oh goodness, were they 3 tired little girls by the end of market. First trip to the city and I think they were ready to get back to their farm. And this Saturday is the opening of the Brainerd market. They'll be going to that one as well. It's so good to be going back to the farmer's markets again. And I have actual produce to sell! Although I will have to replant green beans, squash, zucchini and sunflowers. I should know not to plant these things in April by now. All the rain we got a few nights ago washed so much away.

I will be back in a few days when things settle down here. I hope you all have a great week and weekend too!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Camera shopping

I dropped my camera right in the little pool I had just filled up for the sheep and alpacas today. Right after taking some really good pictures of them all on their new green grass in the yard next door. I'm so upset with myself for doing that.So I'll be looking for a new camera tomorrow or Tuesday.

This evening, right before feeding the bottle lambs, a car came up the driveway. It was a couple who had bought a buck several years ago. They had seen my CL ad about the sheep and wanted to come see them. Diane just fell in love with Clack, one of the quads. He came right up to her and loved all over her. She just melted. Even picked him up and he almost fell asleep on her shoulder. So she wants him and Cora. I'll castrate him in a few weeks. I noticed his brother, Click, is probably not going to stay truly black but I think Clack will. Click has some cream color underneath the black now. Clack is all black, all the way through and so is Cameron, the other black lamb.  I told her there's no telling what they'll look like in a few months. So I have 4 lambs spoken for. I'll be keeping the 3 bottle lambs. So that leaves 10 lambs. And 6 ewes. Possibly 7. I think I could sell Fiona in a heartbeat if someone wanted her. She's the instigator of the flock. She jumps a fence and they all follow her.

I got the new 4' welded wire fence put up this morning for the sheep yard next door. I need to take the 3' fence I took down and put it over the barbed wire fence the sheep like to go through out into the field they aren't supposed to be in. Then take the electric net fence and put down the middle of the big South pasture. Then they can go out there soon. It is greening up. And with rain in the forecast for the next few days, it should start to grow good.

I got to take a nap this afternoon! I love Sunday afternoon naps. I hope you all had a good restful Sunday.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Through the eyes of strangers.

   I always wonder what people think when they ride by my farm. When I'm out in the pastures with the sheep, I see people ride by. Some are looking straight ahead. Some turn their heads and look around. Once, there was a family who went all the way home to change clothes and come back to see the lambs. I've had people stop and get out to take pictures.

There's lots of bike riders that come out here too.  Most of them ride with their heads down, never looking around. I just want to holler at them to look up, see the beauty all around them! It is beautiful out here. I was out in the big pasture with the sheep and lambs not too long ago and actually heard someone say "Look, there's sheep. And there's a lady out there with them." That was strange.

We get a lot of tourists now, because of the Mt. Cove restaurant. It's 5 miles south of us. There is also a huge barn where there are weddings and big events. That's when we get traffic. So many cars and trucks zooming past for hours.

We are right on the road, so it's all out there for people to see. I do have my farm sign with things I have for sale. And people do stop and come in.

So this evening, right when I was finishing up the lambs bottle feedings, a white SUV drove up the driveway. And I am filthy, of course! I'd been working on taking down the old fence to put up a taller fence for the sheep so they can go in the little house yard soon. So all these people climb out and come over to me. And they're all saying how beautiful my little farm is and how long have we lived here and on and on. They were looking all over and seeing all the animals. There were 2 couples, I guess in the 60's, from Atlanta, on their way home after a day of hiking at The Pocket just over the ridge. They saw my sign and decided to stop and see if I had eggs.

They wanted to see the goats, so I took them back there. Showed them all the kids. They just went on and on about them, how cute and sweet and soft they were. Took all kinds of pictures. Bought some eggs and said they'd be back when they were up this way again.

This just made me think about this farming life and how other people see it.After this morning, when the sheep are screaming at me to hurry up with their feed and the bottle lambs are wanting their bottles. Right now! And seeing Leelah, one of my first ewes, laying down, straight legged, like she's in labor, with a glazed over look in her eyes. I knew something was wrong with her. I checked her gums and they were pale. So I ran to get some wormer and a shot of B complex. Had to chase her all over again and got mad and cried because all I wanted to do was help her, stupid ewe.

Then the chickens are all over the yard and gardens, scratching up everything I've planted and mulch all over. I really hate chickens right now. This time of year  is really bad for me. So I have sold 21 of them to my friends up the road, but they can't get them til they get some things done in their coop. A few more days, then there will just be the black hens and Black Bart, the rooster. I'll clip wings or just keep them in the coop and run til fall.

Then yesterday, I took 4 kids to get them disbudded. One of the bucks was not sounding good this morning, so had to deal with him. Then little Jewel's head looked really bad. Her horns were small, so Kendra got a little more head burned. Had to spray her head a few more times.

I know people don't see all this when they ride by. They don't see the sick or hurting animals. Or the messed up fences. Or the crappy gates that are wired together. They just might see 5 seconds of this farm. Not enough time to actually SEE it. Sometimes I just want to leave and never come back. Or sell every animal here. It's not easy sometimes. It's noisy. It stinks. The flies are awful. It's hot! It's freezing!

But then I look at this place with the eyes of strangers. And see the beauty. And the sweet adorable sheep and goats and chickens, all over the yard and pastures. And I get to eat the eggs. And the lamb burger or sausage or chops. And drink the milk from the goats that I just milked this morning and eat the cheese. And wash my hands with soap I've made from milk and herbs I've grown myself. And go out to the garden and pick dinner. And feed lots of people who buy my produce or eggs or meat at markets. I get to DO THIS! And I feel sorry for those city folks who ride by and get to see my farm for 5 seconds and go on up the road.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A walk through Mrs. T's yard today...

I stopped at Mrs. T's this afternoon, on the way home. And I had my camera with me. So I walked through her yard and took pictures. I do this every year. It seems to get more and more beautiful. Most of the azaleas are over 60 years old. My favorite is the bright red ones. But they're all so pretty. You can look out any window in her house and see something in bloom right now. I love her yard. So many paths to wander down and around. And a cute little fish pond, just full of gold fish too.

Y'all can go walk around too. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bee hives are done!

Finally got the bee hives painted and they are finished! Ready for bees now. What do y'all think? Is it too much? Will the bees get all confused with too much going on? Or will they even care? I don't know.

I've noticed a lot of people name their hives. So I need some suggestions for hive names. The small hive will go out back at the top of the hill in the goat pasture. The bigger hive will be in the South garden. Somewhere out there. I'll paint the names at the top.

I still am not sure which way the entrance should be facing. I'm thinking South, but that might be too hot? Which way do all you bee keepers face your hives? Or does it matter? The hive I had last year faced East.

Friday, April 18, 2014

All kinds of kinds...

Sometimes I have so much to do, I don't know where to start. I have a list and I know what needs to be done. Like my Trooper has had farmer's market stuff in it for a few weeks now. I have markets on Wed. and Sat. so I just leave the tables and canopy and baskets in there. But it needs to be cleaned out. I won't be going to market tomorrow or next Wed. so it will be cleaned out. The 30th is the Spring-a-ma-jig at Main St. market and I get to bring my 3 bottle lambs! And probably Mirabelle too. I've been going with lots of eggs and dandelion greens and flowers and chives. But I only sold 1 dozen eggs the other day and only 3 on Sat. Everyone has eggs and has had them all winter, so people already have their people they get eggs from. But last year, I sold every one I brought. I always sell the greens and flowers and chives, but that's little money and now that it's gone back to 2 hours, it costs $15 and that hurts! So I think I'll wait til I have collards and kale and radishes and lettuce to bring.

The other day, I had let Mirabelle out in the back yard. Went to get her back in and couldn't find her. She was hangin' with her boys. And they were so gentle with her too. I was so afraid they'd kick her on the head and kill her but nothing happened. She's out back now with her brothers and cousins playing.

I don't know if ALL the ants in the world have been at my house since last fall, but I think they were. I am SO SICK of seeing ants in my kitchen and bathroom. I have tried everything I can think of, including sprinkling cinnamon all over. So I got these any traps and I thought they were not going to work because for a few days, I never saw an ant near them. Then whamo, there were millions of ants in the little containers. For a few days. Now I think they are either all dead or left. I HATE ANTS!

And just a pretty shot of green for all of you who might still have that awful white stuff hanging on. Y'all have a great weekend! I'm off to work!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I'm a great grandma!!

 My daughter's dog Daisy had 9 puppies yesterday. Jason had to take her to the vet for a C-section early and brought her home later that afternoon with 9 puppies. 5 girls and 4 boys. She's a bit sore and overwhelmed, but doing pretty good for her first litter. And they're all so cute! She's a Boxer and a Shepherd got to her. But the pups all look like they have that cute Boxer nose. Adorable! And she's the best little momma ever. Constantly licking and cleaning.

I love this. She's such a good dog. And has always been so gentle and nice to everyone. These puppies will be good dogs.

Anyone need a cute adorable little puppy soon?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Around and about the farm

 It's been crazy here lately. SO much to do and not enough ME to do it all! And now another bottle baby. I had to take her to the market with me Saturday. Everyone loved her. She followed me all over the place. I had some other things to do before going back home. Like stopping to check on my very pregnant grand dog Daisy. She got to meet Mirabelle too. She's such a sweet dog.

This is the goat playground. A pile of big rocks. There has been a whole lot of baby goats playing right here over the years. Little Mirabelle got to play too.

                       All 10 apple trees are in full bloom. And now it might freeze tonight. Crazy weather!

We finally got all the hive boxes put together and the old ones cleaned up. Put all new frames in them. I've painted them all too but will show that in another post when they are finished. They look so pretty. Hope the bees like their new homes!

                   We had 2 of the grand kids for the weekend. This is Chloe, feeding Mirabelle a bottle.

And I had no idea alpacas liked to get wet. There's a hole in this hose and when I was filling up the water buckets, I saw them doing this. Sugar just laid right down on the water, silly boy! I turned the hose on them and they loved it!

It's Tuesday. My day with mom. And it's rainy and so cold out. I hope you all have a nice warm Tuesday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Little Miracle

 Tuesday evening, Zeeboo had triplets. Just like I thought she would. I wasn't here to help though. When I got home, she had the 2 boys all dried and fed. But there was another baby. When I found her, I thought she was dead. She hadn't even been cleaned off and it was nearly dried. I picked her up and she was breathing. So I put her up to Zeeboo's udder and she got a few good swallows of colostrum in.

I grabbed Zeeboo and took her into the back stall then went to get the kids. She wouldn't have anything to do with the poor little doe kid. Just the 2 boys. So I went ahead and took her inside. I milked Zeeboo and got about a good quart of colostrum and got a bottle to try to feed the little baby. She would hardly even try by then. I tried to tube her but couldn't get the tube down far enough and it looked like it was hurting her. So I used a syringe to get milk in her.

I really didn't know if she'd make it or not. She was leaning to the right really bad and could not stand at all. I was at the point last night when I just asked God to let the poor baby die. I guess that's why Zeeboo didn't do anything with her, something was wrong and she knew it.

But then something happened and the little girl got up and stood on her own! Without leaning! And took a whole little bottle of milk! All at once too. Then she stood on her own for awhile. We were all so happy for her. And relieved too. It was just a little more than I could take at this point. Like I had so much to do and I needed to care for a handicapped goat too?

This is when I took her back out yesterday morning, to see what would happen. It was so sad.

                                                        Here's her 2 brothers. So cute!

                            This is last night when we saw her standing. Kansas was so happy for her.

                                                  So today, I've had her outside several times.

She went to see her brothers and mom. Zeeboo almost bit her one time so I knew she didn't want her.

              Then she went out to meet the lambs. Look at the size of Carabella next to her! Like a giant.

      Then she met Misha. He was so interested in her. And was so nice too. He's just a big teddy bear!

                                                         He was such a nice big guy.

And here is little Mirabelle, getting some sun. It's a beautiful day here today. Great day to be outside soaking up all that warmth.

I am so glad she's going to be ok. I was really worried. I had said I was going to take her to a vet today. But guess I won't have to now. I think the little gal is going to be fine. And she weighs 4 1/2 pounds today.

Forgot to say that this is John Henry's 3rd set of triplets this year! My friends up the road used him on their 2 does and one of them had triplets but 1 was still born. Then another friend brought her doe here and she called a few weeks ago to tell me Trudy had triplet doe kids. They are all doing great! And then Zeeboo. Also had a call today from a friend who has goats and has used John Henry before but not this last time. But one of her does just had triplets.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Zarah had twin does!!!!

Look what I found this morning! Zarah finally had her kids. And they are both little does! I just new the tan one would be a buck, but it's not. They were born probably about a half hour before I got out there. They were all cleaned off but a little damp. Both nursing and look really good. And so cute. I put them all in the back stall so I could give her some warm molasses water and feed. It's supposed to rain later again so I'll leave them in awhile.

I found these pictures from last year and wanted to show how much they look like her new kids. The little black one is a doe and looks just like her mother. The tan one is the buck and looked just like John Henry. He's the dad of the new ones too. Almost identical kids this year.

                                                  So yay, 3 does had 5 girls and just 1 boy!

Now just waiting on Zeeboo. Look at this fat girl! I am liking the looks of her udder and teats. I think she'll be an easy milker.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Still waiting...

Oh my goodness, these 2 goats will not have their kids! What is wrong with them? Zarah, in the 1st picture, has a very full tight udder but still hasn't had kids.

Zeeboo, the black doe in the back, is huge and waddles all over. But still nothing going on with her either. And it'll be a week since Sandy had hers. It's just crazy.

It started raining this evening and is supposed to rain til Tuesday around noon. I betcha these 2 goats will kid sometime in all this rain. I just betcha. It's just like a goat to wait til the most crappy weather possible to have kids.

I have no idea what little Woody is doing, so don't ask! It looks bad anyway.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

All is well!

                                           Jewel finally got the hang of it! I am so glad she did.

                                (I didn't realize this was such a bad picture when enlarged. Sorry.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Goat kids and farm visitors

 How does life get so busy all of a sudden? I hardly did anything all winter. Now, it's like every day, there is something that needs to be done or somewhere to go. Or animals being born. Or markets to go to. Things to get planted. It just goes on and on and on lately.

But today, I stayed home. I told my husband I am not going anywhere. I had bought 3 big bunches of onions and a 9 pack of cabbage that I was going to plant and that was about it for me. Well, besides the house needs cleaning SO BAD! And all the farm chores. And lamb feedings. And farm visitors.

And now I seem to have another bottle baby. I noticed this little cutie of Sandy's yesterday, looking rather small and wonky looking. They were all outside yesterday afternoon and this little gal just didn't look right to me. So I scooped her up and brought her inside. I gave her some Vitamin E oil and a bottle of milk wixed with colostrum. She sucked it down! She was SO hungry. And SO tiny. She was born first and her sister is way bigger than her. I figured out that Sandy's teats are just too big for her to get in her mouth. So she hadn't been nursing. And I had been too busy to notice. So I gave her another small bottle after market, then again at 11 pm. And already today, 2 bottles. And now she thinks she belongs to me.

She is so adorable. Yesterday, when I picked her up, I called her my little jewel. So that her name now. Jewel. I am hoping that if I keep her with Sandy and her sister and the others, that when she gets a bit bigger, she'll be able to nurse from Sandy. Will that happen though? Has anyone had success with this? I don't know.

A few days ago, I started driving up to my friend's farm to milk their 2 does. I am getting up early to go milk them first. Their kids are about 6 weeks old now. And need to be sold as soon as possible. So I have gotten a half gallon both days. I did keep most of the first milk for me. It's the first goat milk I've had since Penelope dried up. And it was SO GOOD! Other than that, these lambs and Jewel get ALL the milk.

I sure wish Zarah and Zeeboo would have their kids and get this over with already! Zeeboo is huge! I am thinking she's going to have triplets. Wouldn't surprise me at all. John Henry has already had 2 sets of triplets from this breeding.Not my goats though.

This is Jewel's sister. Yesterday, I picked my grand daughter Kansas up to help me at market. We were talking about cute goat names and she said she likes the name Aslan, that it sounds magical to her. It does, doesn't it? So this little girl's name is Aslan now. I think that is from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? And it was the lion's name? But I like it for her anyway.

Here are Penelope's kids, all stretched out. They've had a busy morning. I think Emmy Lou is going to be naturally hornless, like her momma! But Woody's horn buds are already showing.

This is one of the little girls that came to the farm to see all the animals. She wanted to gather the eggs. She did such a great job getting them all one by one and placing them ever so gently in the basket. Cameron wanted to help her! She got to help feed Jewel her bottle too. Such a fun time on the farm! These are some people I met at the market. I love it! I had a really good time at market Wed. Met lots of people. I love this market in Chattanooga. Such fun people that come shopping there. Can't wait to start bringing produce soon.

My sister Heidi has been in surgery today. The moved her to another hospital and are doing this surgery to try to get her lungs working better. My mom and Heidi's middle daughter, who lives in S. Ga. are going to leave Sat. morning to go be with Heidi for a week. I am so glad mom's going. Heidi has a long recovery ahead of her. And I would want my mom there with me. I know Heidi will be happy to see her.

And Tiny went to the wound care doc this morning. It's infected. AGAIN. More antibiotics. I'm beginning to wonder if this ankle will ever heal. Ugh.

 Hubby went back to town to get tires for my car. I went to drive down the drive way this morning and the back right tire was so flat. So we need new ones anyway. Gotta get dinner fixed now. Y'all have a great evening!