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.