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Monday, August 17, 2009

Fair Weather Goats

I love the view from my bedroom... I have French doors that open to a balcony that looks out over the goat pasture and woods. I was watching the goats today as Oreo led the others out across the pasture and into the woods. Noticing the black clouds rolling in, I knew it wouldn't be long before they headed back to their house.

Sure enough, I glanced out only minutes later to watch them running like mad back towards their shelter. At first I thought something had scared them or 'Daddy' was home. Then I saw the spots on the deck wood. It had started raining.

I have to laugh at them. My horses love to stand out in the rain... Probably because the flies leave them alone and it's nice and cool. The goats don't seem to see those advantages. If it's too windy, they go inside! They will never stand out in the rain.

I remember the first snow fall we had after the we got the babies. They were born in the spring and had never seen the white stuff. That winter, they awoke one morning to find that someone had taken their pasture and replaced it with something strange.

We had six at the time. They all stood crammed together at the door analyzing the new thing. It took awhile, but finally one of them stuck their foot out to touch it. He jumped back! Wow! His foot went right through! It was cold too.

It probably took them three hours to finally trust the stuff enough to come out. Now they don't mind the snow once it's on the ground... Just don't let it drop on them!

A little side note... Every time I saw my blog's title picture, I felt guilty that my beloved Maggie wasn't in it. So today I spent a few minutes and made a new title pic with all three horses. It's not the greatest pose, but she can't feel jealous now.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Letting Maggie go free...

Remember that old saying... If you love something, set it free. Blah, blah, blah?

Our best and biggest pasture is in the front field... down the driveway, across the creek, up the hill to the gate. On a hot day, it's a long walk to make two or three trips with the horses. Lately, I have been taking Maggie and Buddy together. They walk nicely together. Hubby takes my stubborn mare.

We went out to bring them in last night, and I wondered aloud (again)... "You know, I think Maggie would just follow us back to the barn." I've said this before, but Hubby (being not as spontaneous, a.k.a. stupid as I) would always say, "It's not worth taking the chance." He's right... she could run the other way and be near the road, or take off through the neighbors fields. So I said, "I bet she would..."

Now the only thing worse than someone irresponsibly impulsive, is having the other person agree with them... Hubby says, "Why don't you try it?"

Hubby led Buddy out the gate. I followed with Nekoda and left the gate open behind me. "Kiss, kiss. Come on girl." I held my breath as Maggie came through the gate, crossed the drive to the grassy side, then turned and looked toward the road, then the open fields. Freedom. Then she turned back and followed me home to the barn. She's such a good horse.

They stayed in the paddock today. We decided to put them out for overnight since it's so hot. Dare I try going the other way with Maggie free to go as she pleased? I'm so glad she's back... She's such a good girl!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eggs, Heaven and Heirloom Quilts

Remember the two eggs Hubby found the other day in the big hen house? If not click here for the story. Since the chicks are all the same age, logic would say that all the hens will be laying very soon. Do the math... Never mind; I'll do it for you. Fifty new hens plus four older hens equals four and one-half dozen eggs a day! Of course, we'll be eating some of them, but even Hubby and his cholesterol club members can't eat that many!

We plan on donating some to our city's food pantry, and we'll sell the rest. Hubby says that will pay for the cost of having them. Yeah, right. Did I mention our hen house has vinyl flooring? Sure, we bought it from the remnant rack, but it wasn't cheap! We did use recycled wood for most of the house, and the shingles came from everyone's left overs. (The roof is patchwork.) We used free telephone poles for the foundation. The door and windows are all free recycled goods, but the siding is purchased, as well as the floor and roof joists.

On top of the building costs, you'd be surprised how much it cost to feed a bunch of birds! They need laying feed, scratch, grit, special things to put it all in. Don't forget the electricity for the heat lamps while they were young. Oh yeah, the fence... I think you get the point. Already we'd have to sell eggs for the rest of our lives to break even!

Just when you think I've covered the expenses... Now we need something to put all those eggs in. People don'[t want to carry them home in Wal-Mart bags. We only have about two-hundred saved, so last night I went online and researched egg cartons. They hatchery we bought the chicks from sell plain cartons for about 3.3 cents per carton cheaper than the printed ones from another supplier. (Would you believe eggcartons.com?) Hubby liked the printed ones. I don't blame him. They do look nice, don't they?
And for just a few bucks difference, why not. So I clicked on eight-hundred and went to my cart to settle it. At about $186 we could have a good supply of cartons. I enter my shipping information and click. Then comes the total... Add another $75 for shipping! OK, so Hubby's going to have to settle for the plain ones that are only 45 miles away! That is, if we can pick them up...

I knew somewhere there was a window to heaven, but I didn't expect it to be a double-hung. This was our sunset last night. Do you see the center bar of the sash?

I guess God wanted to keep out the flies and humidity.

With all the creative bloggers out there showing off their quilts (OK, just Grandma Nina), I thought I'd show off mine. Wish I could take credit for it. My daughter's grandparents made this. They passed away in the 1980's. I've had this in my cedar chest for awhile because it didn't really match my decor. I pulled it out because who cares! It's a work of art. This is it on my queen-sized bed...
It has a unique pattern. They were very serious quilters; they measured their stitches constantly to make sure they weren't spreading apart or cramming them too close. This is the border. (I know - duh!)
Noticed the stitched design in the white area? How about the heart? Here's a close-up... (You might have to enlarge to see the detail. I forgot to correct the exposure before uploading. Stupid camera!)
Every quilt they made was dated upon completion. This one is older than my daughter.
I am so thankful to have this to remember them by. It was such an important part of their lives. They sat together, side-by-side in front of the quilting rack for weeks upon weeks. When the quilt was finally finished, they would put the rack away for a while. Next thing you knew, it was back!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

They come and they go...

Ali is gone. School starts Tuesday, so Mommy wanted her home to get things ready. It seems strange without her here. It was really nice having someone so young around for a change. She had a fundraiser for her new soccer team to attend Saturday. Daddy came to pick her up at the same time that MIL arrived back home.

MIL had been in the nursing home for almost a month. By the time she left, she could lift herself out of her wheelchair! She could also take a couple of steps to get from the bed to the chair. She got home around lunch time Saturday. That evening, after dinner, FIL wheeled her back to their bedroom. Hubby heard her tell FIL, "You'll have to get me up. My legs aren't working tonight." Yes, all the effort spent in the nursing home to help her be more self-sufficient was gone less than six hours after she arrived back home.

If she doesn't use her legs, it's just a matter of time before she will lose the ability to stand on her own. Then, we'll right back to square one...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chick Update...

Some of you have been following the story of our baby chicks since day one. Well, actually it was day two. They ship them as day-old chicks. The hatchery is less than 50 miles from here, so they arrived at our post office the next morning. This picture was taken on April 9 when we first got them...

Hubby was pleasantly surprised today when he went to feed the chicks! He wasn't expecting this for another week or so...
You've come a long way, babies!

Friday, August 7, 2009

For fans of Weathervane...

In case you are missing Rae at Weathervane, she is experiencing some problems. Read my essay's post for more info, if you're interested.