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Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas on the Farm

Better late than never...  Thought I'd share some of my Christmas preparations and sights with you.

While digging through some boxes in the basement, I found these old poinsettia and holly sprigs.  Since this grapevine tree gets so much weather, I figured they'd be durable enough to dress it up for Christmas.


This love-seat rocker faces the drive, so I decided hanging the wreath on it would brighten this corner of the porch.

We have decided that this tree we planted last year will be our official outdoor Christmas tree.  It's a bit bigger than the one I had lights on before, so new lights are on the list for next year.
Of course, Sadie always has to supervise Mr J's projects, but she's not alone today.

Even the shrubs are dressed up for the holidays!
I love my fiber-optic tree... no ornaments.  I just plug it in and enjoy the colors.  And I can see the outdoor tree through the window.

Mr J's lodge has an annual Christmas party with Santa.  Grands #1 and #2 are too old for this kind of stuff, but #3 and #4 love it!
And they still love camping out in the living room!

The older girls love exploring the woods.  I think they made the mistake of letting Sadie lead the way and came out in a big mess of hedge apple trees... OUCH!

...and no gate!  Luckily Mr J keeps a wide path cut all along the fences.

Even though we didn't have a white Christmas, the days following were spotted with snow showers.  Here's one we drove into taking the grands home.  I took this because it drives Mr J crazy when I pull out the camera in the car!

I agree with Dorothy... There's no place like home.  I love our driveway at night.  I'm always looking for the deer in the headlights.

The snow seems to be getting deeper as we get closer to the creek.  I can tell we're getting close to the house...
I can see the little Christmas tree.  And since we've no place to go...
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another Day on the Farm

I've posted lots of egg pictures recently, but I couldn't resist posting a couple more...

Remember the really HUGE egg?  Well, here is its opposite:

I've seen eggs smaller than this in a robin's nest, but from a chicken?  I'll have to take a picture of it frying to show you later...

Maggie has been doing something strange lately, so I called the vet and arranged a farm call.  Yes, some doctors do still make house calls! 

This is Dr. Brett, Mr J and one very dirty Maggie Mae.  Luckily Dr. Brett had good news for me.  She has a skin fungus (a very simple remedy) and she has old-timer's...   Yes, she's just old and having a few problems that just come with the age.  (eightyish in people years)

Maggie has lost a few teeth, and it is more difficult for her to chew her food.  The strange habit she has developed is just a symptom of her food not being chewed well enough, and getting stuck in her throat.  It is time to make a major change to her diet.  She'll no longer be tossed flakes of hay while corralled with the other horses.  I'll chop grass hay for her.  She will also get soaked alfalfa cubes and more senior feed, perhaps in a mash.  Plus it's time to up the calories to add fat for winter.

Horses, just like people, have different nutritional needs as they age.  It's a bit more work, but it means better health, and perhaps a longer life.  Maggie is definitely worth it!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween... You Poor Doggies!

I guess I understand why dogs don't get excited about Halloween...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Foul Humor

What is the difference between
Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
For bird flu you need tweetment
and for swine flu you need oinkment.

OK, if that didn't make you smile... dance along with this bird: CLICK HERE

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Day with Horses

Aside from it being a life-long dream of mine, there is another reason I so want to be a published author... I own horses. Horses cost money. Authors make money. If I have to work to afford the horses, I'd rather it be doing something I love for a change. I worked all my life at jobs I disliked, or even hated, because they paid well. Now, it would be great if I became a best-selling author and could afford the finest things in life; but all I really need is just enough money to keep my three horses. How much is that, you asked?

Well, if this cartoon where reversed...
it would come close.

I don't know of any horse owner that hasn't laughed at this cartoon, but then said, "Yeah, ain't that the truth!" I shared in a past blog about some of the expenses involved in horse ownership. Today was one of those regularly-scheduled, get-out-the-checkbook days. The farrier came to visit.

It was time for the horses to have their hooves trimmed. Buddy has had some trouble with his feet requiring a little extra attention for awhile. Last summer we had to put shoes on his front feet. I prefer my horses to be barefoot, but sometimes shoes are a necessity. When we had two horses trimmed and shoes on just Buddy's front feet, the bill was $85. Once they improved enough to drop the shoes, it only cost us $60 for the trim. But while we were working on his problem, we scheduled the appointments closer together than the average trim. Today it had been seven weeks since the last trim. Buddy's hooves look pretty good! I'm thrilled that we can wait eight weeks for the next trim, especially since now there are three horses. (That's $90, if you're keeping track.)

So if you're dreaming of owning your very own horse, add this to your info file for future reference. Lots of horse owners board their horses, so they don't have to think about the price of hay or grain; it's included in the board. But guess what? Trims are not. Vet bills are not. Supplements are not. There's just no way around it... Open your wallets wide!

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.

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!

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!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My 100th Goat, er,.. I mean post!

Actually, this is my 231st post, if you count all 3 blogs... but who's counting?

I've been meaning to post some pics of the goats for a while now. This morning I saw a cute goat photo on another blog, and it prompted me to grab the camera before the rain came. As usual, the goats were not very cooperative for the camera. They are sweet and loving, but they never stand still for photos!

When I uploaded the pics, I noticed this was my 100th post. So I decided to add a couple of extra photos to the post...

Below is an aerial photo of our farm, taken for county records in 2003. I labeled it so you would have a reference now when you read about the front pasture, etc. The property lines are marked in yellow. We own 2 tracts; one mostly open field, the other woods. The small area in the lower right labeled 'leased' is what I call the side pasture. We lease it for $1 a year. It's a little hard to see, but the red 'X' marks where our house now stands. The V drive now circles around, and in the center of it is the round pen. We built the barn first, then the house. We moved in on Hubby's birthday in December of 2003.

This is the way our farm will look some day... The photo was taken last fall. I embellished it just a tad. The pine trees on the right are much smaller and the front garden isn't finished yet. I erased all the parked stuff and greened up the front lawn. I had to finish 'building' the hen house, as Hubby didn't even have it under roof for this pic. Do you like the added touch of the white 'horse' fence? OK, maybe I'm dreaming there. It will probably remain the white electric rope that stands there now.

So there. My 100th post featured the entire farm. I thought that was appropriate. Now on to my intended post.

Introducing my other herd... the goats. Elvis has left the building, but he's now in my pasture. He had that name when we acquired him. He is much older than the others. Notice the nice beard.
Next is our only girl, Nanny. Real goat people think it's a sin to name a girl goat Nanny. Oh well. She's a real sweetie. Funny thing is, she also has a beard! The other two boys are the same age and they don't! Must be the water...
Mr. Universe... We call him Oreo. When he was a baby he had a big 'O' on his belly. Now it's grown into a 'C'. He has curly hair, and in the summer when it gets its reddish tint, he it absolutely gorgeous! He is also the leader of the herd, and the most brave.
Last, but certainly not least, is Derby. I call him my lover boy. He doesn't know when to stop eating, so he's a little chubby. He loves kisses and affection. Definitely my favorite! I named him Derby because of his white markings. When he was a baby, it looked like he was wearing an English saddle. Now that he's full grown, you'll just have to use your imagination.

We had two other goats that passed away last year. Biscuit was the runt of the litter, and silly Willie was the comic. It broke my heart when Willie died. He had the most comical personality. I miss how he made me laugh.

Our goats are Nubians, a large dairy breed. We don't breed Nanny, so we don't have milk. They work on keeping the woods cleared out, and have well earned their keep! They follow us whenever we take walks through the woods, and come running when I call them. They are not the smartest creatures God put on this earth, but they are certainly among the sweetest!