Monday, June 30, 2014

A Monday overload...

It has rained every day now for over a month.It probably hasn't quite that much, but it sure feels like it. I think the fact it rains several times in one day makes it feel that way. The ground is saturated. I am worn out walking in the garden. No need to wear boots because the mud would just make it harder to walk. I just go barefoot.  But I am still tired. My garden is a mess right now. I get a few squash and zucchini at a time. I've been getting hot and sweet banana peppers. A few tomatoes. Some beans. But the weeds! They are taking over. I would love to just mow it all down, but I can't get a mower in there.

But it sure makes some pretty pictures. I love the foggy mist on the mountains and in the valley. So mystical.

This is my view of Pigeon Mt. across the road, with a horse thrown in.

The corn fields across the road to the South. I'm afraid my bees are over there, bringing back pollen from the corn. I hope it doesn't kill them. I see them coming in with their legs loaded with pollen. I do see them on the sunflowers too.And the Sourwood is blooming here.

I love my sheep and alpacas. This pasture is finally growing. And pretty fast. I'll have to mow. 14 sheep cannot keep it down. I've already mowed the other pasture.

Some of my zinnias. My favorite flower.

And of course, lots of sunflowers too. Some are volunteer. Some are seeds from the feed I buy for my goats and chickens. I planted 2 rows and they are all blooming now. So beautiful.

Bees on the front porch. I think I need to add another box. But it's been so cloudy and rainy. I've heard and read to not mess with bees on cloudy nasty days. Well, that's all we've had lately.

One of our Maple trees is dying. Lots of this on the trunk and limbs.

These were taken a little later and with my shorter lens.

I got an email from the lady who's getting Zee and Penelope. She was coming Tuesday afternoon, but now will have to wait a few more days. That's fine. Penelope is giving so much milk, I'm giving the cats and dogs a lot of it. My fridge is FULL. And I just don't have the heart to make cheese. I should freeze some for soap. Just thought of that.

I've been taking things over to the studio. Almost moved in. It's looking so good and I love staying over there. It's so quiet. Until the creature under the house growls. I don't really know what it is. But when the dogs come over, they sniff around the opening and make the creature mad. It needs to leave.

And I am washing a fleece of white wool right now. I need to make more dryer balls for market. I have sold all the ones I've made and need more. And I need more soap. But need oils. And Eo's. So lots to do around here.

I hope you all are having a good week so far.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tom and Pete just left.

Tom and Pete just left this afternoon. In the rain. In the back of the truck in a dog crate. They were going away from the rain though. I hope they dry them off when they get them home.

So only Penelope and Zeeboo are left. I was hoping they would get the boys this weekend, so I can see if Zee will have milk. They are supposed to be going to Alabama later Tuesday.

Then I shall be goatless.

I was talking to a lady at the farmer's market earlier today. She was saying how goats keep snakes away. They actually will kill them. So I really need to keep it cut down back there. I do not want snakes to be coming around. I'll wait a week or so, then put the sheep back there.

And it's already rained 3 times today.


I was painting some wooden frames yesterday, for my studio,  and found this little fella. I kept trying to get it to jump off, but he kept going around the frame. He finally did jump off, right onto my shirt. But he's just fine. Wasn't expecting that. He kept getting greener.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cats and goat milk

Just a few more days of this scene here. Soshe, the gray cat,  used to be the only cat that would come in for milk. And the dogs always stand at the ends of the stanchions and I'd squirt milk for them. But the past several days, most all of the cats come in. I have 6 cats. So I got this pie plate so they could all get in. These cats are all so old. They don't do a whole lot anymore. They are still ornery though. Gilbert, who's not in this picture, swatted Sybil, who was trying to come in for milk. She's not in this picture either, because she left after that. And I couldn't find Andy.

Zeeboo is still puffy some. I'm giving her Red Cell still, but no more worm meds. She's going with Penelope next Tuesday. I hope she's better by then. I'm milking Penelope twice a day and her milk is finally getting better. We can actually drink it now! I'll have to find milk somewhere after next week. This will be strange for awhile. But I think I will be fine.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mmmnnnnn...Zucchini bread!

It's that time of year again. Lots of zucchini! But I'm not getting a whole lot at once. Just a few at a time. So I made zucchini bread last night to take to market today. Years ago, when I did have tons of zucchini, and was giving it away like crazy, one of my neighbors had enough! She gave me this recipe and told me to make bread! So I did. And have been ever since. It's the best recipe and the only one I use for this bread. I also use it for other breads too. Just change the fruit or veggie. And I use fresh grated nutmeg. I think that's what makes it so good. Well, my chicken eggs too. And I make my own vanilla, from vodka and organic beans.

I hope this sells at the Main St. market this afternoon. Because there's not much going on in the garden right now. I did get one ugly ripe tomato the other day. I finally peeled it this morning and we both got a slice for breakfast. And it was SO good and juice and tasted like a tomato should taste. Now I can't wait for the rest of the,. And no, I am very selfish with our tomatoes and don't like to share them. So probably won't be many at the market. I am also waiting on slow green beans and okra. The cucumbers will be another month or so. And butternut squash a few months away too. But that's ok. I'll be making soap and salves.

I am moving things over to the little house studio. Went shopping yesterday and got some rugs and kitchen stuff. A new coffee pot too. Would love to have a nice tea kettle, but they are expensive.

And the dryer we got the other day is not working. We did plug it in and it worked, but we didn't have a good clamp to get the hose on with, so had to wait to hook it up. We did that yesterday and now it won't work. So might have to take it back. And my husband stepped in sheep poop and got it all over my nice new painted floor! I'll have to have something wet to wipe nasty shoes on at the door.

So it's slowly coming together over there. I want to start making soap next week. Oh, I got a huge stainless steel wire shelf from Home Depot on sale for just $75! It's 4' wide with 6 shelves and is about 6' tall. We have it in the kitchen and will use it for soap drying racks. It's perfect!

And hopefully, after next Tuesday, Outback Farm will be goat-less!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A VERY long Monday here.

I think today was the longest day of the year. It just went on forever for me. So much to do and I did very little.

First thing, woke up at 6 this morning. I had to go down to the camp where my youngest grand daughter is for the week, and help with breakfast. I fist milked Penelope. Then went next door and put another coat of paint on the floor.

I made some pink kraut, in honor of a friend who has breast cancer and had surgery today. I added beets to it. It was so good, I had to make myself stop to get enough in the jar. I did get the bathroom cleaned today. And washed a few loads of towels and sheets and hung them outside to dry. Just when they were dry enough, it started to rain, so got them in in time.

That little bird that built that huge nest in my laundry room, has 4 of the smallest little tiny eggs now! And every time I have to go out there, I'll talk to her and let her know it's just me. Sometimes she stays put, sometimes she flies out. I can't wait to see the little tiny bird babies. I hope I can get a picture of them.

The other day, I was at some friends house. They had made these screens to put on the ends of their little hoop houses to keep the chickens out when they opened the ends for air. They were not using them and they were just leaned up against the wall in the driveway. I just thought they'd make great wool drying racks, so asked if I could borrow them. They let me! So now I have to wash some wool. I'll put them in the sun after I wash them off. I have a washer and dryer now in the studio. Just have to get clamps for the dryer hose tomorrow.

I just painted the rest of the floor yesterday afternoon. Then this morning put another coat on. So it is finished! I can start moving in tomorrow afternoon! I am so excited! I can make soap and salve and jelly and wool dryer balles and needle felt and make earrings... all kinds of cool stuff will happen over there soon. Plus knitting, crocheting, sewing, spinning.... oh, the things that will be created! And I hope to have some artists painting and drawing too.  And classes. And workshops. It will be so fun.

I still have Zeeboo and her 2 buck kids and Penelope til the end of the month. Miking Penelope twice a day. Zeeboo's looking better and better every day. I had an email from the lady who got Piper and Emmy Lou, who is also getting Zee and Penelope. She had to take Piper to the vet today. He said she had a slight case of pneumonia and was wormy. I am so upset. She'd been giving Piper a bottle a few times a day. I had been giving her less and less evry day, trying to wean her. I was down to about a half bottle in the morning. She is smaller than all the others, because shes a triplet and she nearly died and she was bottle fed. I always said bottle babies are puny and small, that's why I never wanted to pull kids and bottle feed. So I hope she'll be ok. She still wants the does. But I've been a little depressed about this today.

Anyway, tomorrow is my day with my mom. I'll stop and get my oldest grand daughter, Chloe, and take her with us. I want to find some things for her to do. She needs to be busy. Art classes or volunteer somewhere. She's 15, she needs to be busy.

I hope everyone is well and having a great summer so far.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Zeeboo is going with Penelope! I could not be happier right now! Just awesome, is all I can think of. God is so good!!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Only one left...

 All the goats ( except Zeeboo) and kids are sold!

So far, Zarah and her 2 doe kids, are in Cartersville.

Emmy Lou and Piper are in Bridgeport, AL.

Jewel and Aslan just went to Fall Creek Falls, Tn.

The family that came last night to see Tom and Pete, called today and said they do want them. They just need to make all the fencing and shelters safe for them. Their son fell in love with them both! I love that. So they will come get them in a few weeks.

Sandy and Woody will be picked up tomorrow afternoon, to go live on Sand Mt. with a friend.

And today, the lady who got Emmy Lou and Piper, called and wants Penelope! But can't get her for a few weeks, but will send a check. That's fine. More milk for us til then.

I am very happy with where all the goats are and will be. It just all worked out. And I thank God for answering my prayer SO fast!

So that just leaves Zeeboo. And her milk will be good to drink in a few weeks. I'll milk her every day and keep the boys off her. I hope her milk supply will build back up now that she's well.

I am very happy with how this all turned out. I think I've realized for a few years now, that I've needed to do this. It was becoming more of a chore I just didn't want to do any more. And I was more or less neglecting the goats. I fed them and milked them. And made sure they were all ok. But as far as spending time with them, I just didn't want to. And that affects animals.

So this is what I need to do for right now. Who knows what the future holds. I know something needs to be back there, keeping the grass and weeds down. I do not want it to become overgrown and snaky that close to the house.

I can let the sheep back there, after I make sure the electric fence it HOT! Otherwise, they go right through it. And I cannot have that happen.

Or I could start a pig farm?

Or have a cow?

Or maybe a POA pony? Hmmm....

So anyway, here is Zeeboo. This is her udder after a few weeks after freshening. Lots of good milk and great teats. And very good on the stanchion. No trouble at all. She'd be good for first time milkers. I think the 2nd pic was before kids.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Selling goats...

This morning, I got fecal samples from Sandy and Zeeboo, to take to the vet. I was getting frustrated because Zeeboo still has the puffiness. Then a few days ago, Sandy had runny poop. I gave her Pepto and she is over that. But she is hardly eating, her milk has gone way down. I have put the kids up and milked her either in the morning or night. So, she is full of worms. Like a lot. But she doesn't look at all like Zeeboo. No symptoms of bottle jaw.  Zeeboo's fecal only showed a few worms. So I will not give her any more worm meds. So gave Sandy a good dose of Cydectin, per vet orders. A friend is wanting to buy Sandy and Penelope's buck Woody. So I called her and explained what's going on. She talked to her husband and they still want them! They'll come Saturday to get them. I had put an ad on CL for all the kids, and had a call this morning from Alabama. They came and decided on little Piper and Emmy Lou. So I do believe they will have a good life on an Alabama farm. It was a little sad to see Piper go. But now I won't have to use a barricade for the gate any more!

I've had a few emails for Sandy's doe kids, so maybe someone will come get them. That will leave me with just Penelope, Zeeboo and her 2 buck kids. If I can sell those kids, I might could put the does in with the sheep and move them around with them. Til they are sold too. I just really need a break from the goats. As much as I love goat milk and all, it's just come to the point where I need a break from goats. And the pasture needs a break too, to grow back up.

This is Sandy and her doe kids, Jewel and Aslan.

All the doe kids and Sandy, with Pete chasing them. The 2 girls on the right were just sold.

My little Piper. I will miss her the most, I think. She was my little bottle baby for awhile. She is so sweet.

Now I just need to get Zeeboo better. She'll be dried up soon. And she was such a good milk goat too.  Makes me mad, these horrible worms.

I have put 2 coats of paint on most of the floor in the little house. I am STILL scraping that glue off the middle where the seams were. UGH! It's SO hard to do too. This might take a month to get it all off. And it's only about 100 out there. I am drenched with sweat in just a few minutes. But it is going to look so good when it ever gets finished. I have so much to do still. I bought a cute little old rocker and table and a lamp almost the same color as the walls. I like to go sit over there and watch the paint dry.

I hope you all have a great week end. And stay cool!

Geeze, don't know what happened to this pic. It looked like it wasn't going to show up, then when I was looking at the blog, there it was! It's huge. Anyway, this is Penelope and her kids, Woody, the buck next to her, and Emmy Lou, who just left today. And there's Zeeboo and  her kids.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Walls, floors, flowers and garden...

So here is the finished wall. That took 2 days to get done. It's not perfect, but it's up. I took the baseboard from the back corner, where a washer and dryer will be, and used it for the front. Then put a piece of 1x4 in the back. No one will see it. When I get the washer-dryer in, I'll just hang either a piece of PVC or galvanized pipe and hang a shower curtain on it to hide them. I think I'll look for some beads to hang across the kitchen too. Me and mom are going out today, so I think I'll look at Target for rugs and shower curtains and all that cute stuff. They always have a good selection and nice colors too.

So this is the floor color. What do you think? it's called Sandy Trail. Just a neutral color. I think it'll do. I put one coat on yesterday and another today, just right here and in the washer area, and used a whole gallon. I guess I will go through 4 gallons when it's all done.

Went out this morning and took pictures of my day lillies and gardens. The first pic is of the lillies in my front border. It's full of them. And English Ivy. It's taking over here. At least it's easy to pull up.

This middle row of dirt was planted with Butternut squash. Then we had all that deluge of rain and it's just a river right there. When I was out mowing yesterday, I saw about 12 of the seeds had sprouted at the end of the row. So I'll just replant at the top. Every single cucumber seed sprouted, so I'll have plenty of them.

I don't know if getting this little house going and all the work I've been doing over there, has affected me in other areas of the farm. I've not been working in the garden, except to pick things for market. The weeds are all over everything. I have this really fast growing viney weed that's everywhere. It's east to pull up when the soil is wet. I did plant some Calendula next to the tomatoes to the right. And 2 whole flats of them. They'll go in all the empty spots out here.

And I have decided to sell all the goats. I just need a break from them. Of all the animals, they make me the most upset. I think that's the word to use. I can't seem to get Zee over this worm problem. And it really is getting bad. She is the only one affected. But she is not getting over it. Every morning, her head and jaw and neck is swollen. I give her more wormer. More Red Cell. More B Complex. More kale. And she's still not better. She's just drying up too. And now Sandy has runny poop. I only had Pepto so gave her some last night. Didn't even milk her after being away from her kids all day. Seems like she's drying up too. Only one that's ok is Penelope, but she looks like she's starving. But she's still got both her kids on her too. I have a friend who wants Sandy and Penelope's buck Woody. But now, with her not doing too well, I don't know if she'll want her.

So, I really want to concentrate more on the sheep and wool. And bees. I just hope and pray the goats get well so I can sell them. Or give them away. That pasture out back needs a break too. It's had goats out there for 10 years now.

SO off to town now and shopping with my mom! Always a good day when I spend it with her. Oh, and my sister is going to be moving here probably the end of summer!!!!! We are all so excited about this. She had just applied for a position at UTC, in Chattanooga, last night. So we are praying she gets that job. It would be perfect!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Progress, a little bit at a time...

My husband and I have been working over at the little house this weekend. We went to Home Depot Friday and got some 2x4's and plywood, a new light fixture for the bathroom and the electrical thingy that turns lights off and on, and another fixture for the kitchen. It has a really old cool fixture I wanted to keep but I broke the glass. So I found another one that will work but it needs some rigging.

These pictures aren't in the order I wanted. So  here's the kitchen floor, almost ready to paint. I was going to leave the linoleum in there and just clean it up, but noticed a few holes right by the stove. And it stunk over in this corner, where the fridge was. So up it came. And, along the wall, they used glue. As well as the seams in the big room. So I have been scraping and scraping and scraping, the floors, for days now. I finally got the kitchen done. And wanted to paint the floor in there, but the sink has been stopped up for so long. I poured a whole big bottle of Draino in but it didn't do a thing. My husband kept asking if I had plunged it. No, I haven't. SO he did that awhile ago, and there it went! It's all fixed now! So in the morning, I'll go paint the kitchen floor! And hang some shelves and paint my soap drying racks. I have got to start making soap.

I put down those peel and stick tiles in the bath room last week. I did a crappy job around the toilet in back. I was getting a bit frustrated with it. And I used all the tiles from the box and needed just ONE more to finish behind the door. So I got a few more of them while at Home Depot and finished that little job. I need one of those toilet rugs now to hide the mess around it. And some caulking and the bathroom will be done! Of course it needs a trash can and mirror and a few other little things, like a towel holder.

The man, actually reading directions for the light fixture in the bathroom! Men do read directions, I have proof! He also needed to sit down and rest a few minutes. That's all he gets when he's working with me.


And the finished light! I love it. Except here, the wall looks brown. It's not brown.  It used to be. But the paint color is called White Pistachio, a very pale green. I love this color. Can you see that nail poking out of the wall just under the left light? It will not come out. And I didn't want a big huge gaping hole in the wall. So it will be staying right there. Hopefully a mirror will cover it up. Because it is not in the center.

And here is where we messed up yesterday. Don't feel sorry for him now. He had knee pads on and he can do this better than I can. Anyway, we were building the frame for the little 4x8 wall to hide a washer and dryer, when I get them.  I don't know if you can see the mistake already here or not. Those of you who have ever made a wall will see it. The board his left hand is on is in the wrong place. It's supposed to be on TOP of the other board, not INSIDE the other board. We didn't catch this really big mistake until we laid the plywood down to nail it on. And it was too big! Then we realized what we had done. And we were both hot and sweaty and tired. So we left it. Real fast like. And went back to the house to take showers because we had a wedding to go to. I felt like an idiot. Well, it was really HIS fault, because he knew how to do it. We did it right when we were measuring on the wall.

Anyway, we went back this afternoon and took the frame apart and made sure we did it right this time! And we did. And it's up and nailed and already primed and ready to be painted Turquoise Twist tomorrow. This is the wall I want to hang all those old pictures that were in the house when we bought it. Oh, and don't buy 2x4's at Home Depot. They were only 93" long. Not a true 8' 2x4, like we wanted. Ace sells true 8' boards, for just .70 more. So we wasted a few boards in this little project.


 And here's some bad dogs in my little house. They will NOT be coming in when it's all finished. NO dog hair in THIS house! There's enough in the big house to make dog wigs for bald dogs. They both need to be shaved.

I feel like we made progress this weekend over there. I hope to get all my soap making things over there this next week and be making soap. I have sold almost all my soap and need more fast. My dryer balls are a huge hit and I'm selling a lot. So I really need to get over there and get busy.

It's supposed to be in the 90's here all week. HOT! And it's really been nice so far. I may just have to put that little window AC in over there. I don't want my soap to melt, right?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Honey moon

Last night, I went out to see if it was out. We've had so much rain and the sky is always cloudy. But there was a nice break and here it is. It was beautiful. It did look honey colored.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Busy makin' stuff here at the farm...

Hello! Been a few days. It's been pretty busy around here for me lately. With farmer's markets, goats, making jellies and dryer balls. And painting the little house and trying to get it finished. I did get the bathroom painted and put down the sticky backed tiles. It looks horrible, because I am a really bad cutter. So I will have to put some rugs down and hope no one looks too close. I love the wall color though. White Pistachio. Really nice cool color. So I will get the floor paint I bought a few weeks ago colored and paint the rest of the floors. Then start movin' in! I sure could use the room over there.

So last week, I noticed Zeeboo's puffy jaw. Darn those barber pole worms. I hate when I see this. So I socked the wormers to her. I tried Cydectin and Ivermec, alternating them for a few days. Red Cell, B Compex, lots of good green kales. Then Sunday, after waiting 3 days with no worm meds, I gave her more Ivermec. By Sunday night, her whole head was swollen. So I brought out the big guns, Dectomax. I didn't want to have to use this because there's a 32 day milk withdrawal time. And I'm milking her. And she has the best milk right now. But, to save her and kill those darn worms, I had to use it. It's really the only thing that will kill the worms. So she got some. And she looks MUCH better. I'll continue milking her but throw the milk out or give it to Piper, the bottle kid. Then maybe after 20 days, try it.

I made some elderberry flower jelly. It's so good and pretty too. Hope it sells at market today. The flowers are just now starting to open, so I have plenty of time to make more for awhile.

Also tried my hand at wool dryer balls. It's so fun to see how they turn out after they're dried. I hope they sell as well. I can add a few drops of EO for a nice scent. They are supposed to help cut down dryer time, wrinkles and static. And last at least 5 years or more. I have 6 more in the dryer now, made with some brown wool and black alpaca. I need panty hose now!

This is the Outback hive. They seem to be doing good. Still have a few empty frames. I have been moving the empties to the middle gradually. Wondering if I should add another box yet? The weather has been so crazy the past several weeks here. Cold, rainy, wet, then hot. Poor bees.

And this is a new venture. Dandelion salve, Sure feels good on dry hard working hands. And is supposed to help with sore muscles and achy joints. But I am just loving the soft hands now.

I planted to flats with calendula flower seeds. Most are popping up! I bought 4 from Crabtree farm a few months ago and they are blooming. But not enough to do anything with yet. I want to make calendula salve and use some flowers to dye wool with. I should have plenty, the way it looks so far.

The garden is being over taken by weeds! With all this rain, they are loving it. Also have seen squash and zucchine out there. Should have some green beans soon too. And all the cucumber seeds I planted last week are all up! The butternut squash though, pretty sure it's all been washed away by the stream in the middle of the garden where they were planted. The bottom of the garden should be a paradise soon though, with all the different seeds that have been washed down there.

Going to Main St market this afternoon. I love this market. But it's hot there! The sun is behind my booth and so most of my canopy is worthless. So I am bringing a shower curtain and some rope today and putting it up at the back. So maybe I'll have some shade for my booth.