Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh! What a Morning!

This morning I had the oh-so-bright idea to move Mama Gabby and her three week old twins Gustav and Gerte to the milking does pen. As that is a smaller pen, it would also necessitate moving Patches over to the New Goat Palace, aka The Maternity Ward.
I thought..."Get a bucket of feed and easy-peasy, Gabby will follow me right over!"
How wrong I was!
Gabby was determined to NOT leave her pen. After 20 minutes of trying to tackle her and also trying to catch one of the twins to lure Gabby out, I realized I needed to change tactics.
O---kay. I'll bring Patches over to the Maternity Pen and then I'll grab Gabby and the twins.
Grabbing Patches was easy. I looped a piece of baling twine around her collar and led her to the Maternity Pen. As soon as she was in, she and Gabby and Champagne started a three way head-butting contest...with me in the middle trying to grab Gabby.
Several bruises later...I grabbed Gabby, looped the baling twine around her collar and led her over to the milking does pen. The twins, enthralled by the head butting contest they were watching had no intention of missing this quality entertainment to follow mama over to the new pen.
So, another 15 minutes trying to catch them! Mama Gabby baaa-ing her head off across the yard, Champagne and Patches in a battle and poor Nina and Lily confused at all of it.
Did I mention that Nina and Lily had escaped from the milking does pen and were cavorting around the yard?
So, I sorta gave up. I opened the Maternity Pen gate and chased ALL the goats out of there...Gustav, Gerte, Champagne and Patches.
The little ones were totally mama in sight and out in the big wide world for the first time. So they were dashing around the yard like the nimble footed speed demons they are, Nina and Lily were cavorting next to the boys pen, Wang started wailing at the does, Champagne and Patches resumed their royal rumble on top of the lumber on the basketball court and I was trying to herd everybody back to where they were supposed to be. It was starting to look hopeless! There was no way I was going to catch those wee kid goats!
But, Mama Gabby began to yell encouragement and soon they were both at the gate of the milking does pen, yelling back at their mama. I picked each up and put them in.
NOW, to handle everyone else!
Lily went back into the milking does pen rather quietly, and a bucket of sweet feed convinced Patches, Champagne and Nina that they wanted to be in the Maternity Pen.
Blogger is not letting me post pictures today, so you'll have to imagine the Keystone Cops like chase scene and then all the goats happy and content in their new pens.
I need a cup of tea and a nap!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

After-effects of Thanksgiving...

Well, I boiled down the turkey carcass and picked the bones clean.
So far, we have had turkey pot pie and turkey-and-rice soup.
I had a lot of soggy skin and some chunks of fat, plus the fat I skimmed off the broth that wouldn't be used in our upcoming, I gave it to the dogs.
An hour after the dogs feast:

Yeah, that turkey thing works on dogs, too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

You Got a What...?

So, the Darlin' Man has today off and decided to run down to the feed store and replenish our chicken scratch, sweet feed and dog food.
He comes home and his daughter runs in yelling "We have a surprise for you! A HUGE surprise!!!"
Now, I don't know about the Darlin' Man around your house, but mine has dreams. BIG dreams. Occasionally, he muses out loud about some of the past 6 months I have heard such things from him as:
"You think it would be hard to milk a giraffe?"
"I hear ostriches can bring a good profit."
"What do you think about raising yaks?"
"You know, we might be able to put a burro to good use here."
While outside I am smiling, inside I am:

So, I was not quite sure what to expect, especially as I headed out the door---and before I got to see the HUGE surprise, the Darlin' Man said "I got a really good deal on it!"
Remember Ugly Betty? The remarkable layer that has never laid an egg? Yeah...that was his last "good deal".

Anyway, he leads me over to the milking does pen where I am greeted by this:
 So my face was more like:

We have a GOOSE! It's a girl and was the last one the feed store had. They don't like feeding them through the winter, so they sell off all the farm critters they can as winter creeps in and will get new chicks, goslings, turkey poults, etc., in the Spring.

We have named her Heloise, but pronounced the French way---where the 'H' is basically silent.
Heloise is tall and elegant and very opinionated.
She does NOT like the dogs. She does NOT like the Darlin' Man. She does NOT like the goats. Putting her in with the chickens or peafowl seemed like a bad idea, so she is in with the milking does for the time being.
Pendar uses that pen as home base as well, but although he tried to court the peahen, getting cozy with Heloise seemed to be the last thing on his mind! Especially after she hissed at him and chased him across the pen!
Heloise is lovely:

In this picture, you can see Pendar's legs as he exits...stage left...
I am not quite sure what we are going to do with her...the Darlin' Man says he got her "as an experiment".
Apparently, the "experiment" is to see if we can handle geese.....we'll see!
Anybody have any advice? Should I expect any eggs with no gander around? What snacks do they like, along with their regular feed?

Late Night Blogging

Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I post a blog. Sometimes I stay up on purpose to blog as I have way much to do during the day!
So, tonight, it is a little bit of each!
Today, while the turkey was roasting, I went outside and took a few pictures..
First, the new, improved and finished Goat Palace!
You can kinda see the side door here.

Front door,, there is also a side door.

Mama Gabby and the kids there, with Auntie Champagne, all looking very pleased with their new cozy quarters.

"C'mon, kids, she has that darn camera out again!"

We are also putting up sides on the Peacock Palace, but only on three sides...we have two sides up now and you can see one of the wall panels behind them...quick pic while I was watering all the animals this morning.'s Ugly Betty!
She is starting to feather out some, thank goodness! Pendar the rooster thinks she is lovely, feathers or not.
The Darlin' Man has decided we will be building a second chicken coop for Pendar, and then we will split our flock of 20 (plus two roosters) into two smaller flocks of ten. Red, our psycho rooster, will be upset, but he'll get over it.
Now we are discussing our gardening efforts for next Spring, as this years garden failed horribly. We have decided to go with a Hoop House. A big one. We are getting some like minded friends together to build it after the bad weather passes...around late January, early February. (And before you envy me my earlier than thou Springs...remember we only had 6 inches of rain this year AND temps of over 100 for almost 3 months)
I have already sent out for seed catalogs from my favorite seed folks and have started dreaming of veggies overflowing my garden.
For those of you that have hoop do the plants pollinate? Is there someway to let bees and other insect pollinators in? Is that necessary?
Thanks in advance for any hoop house advice you can give me!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a good day!
Our turkey turned out beautiful. I made bread and cranberry sauce and stuffing from scratch. I cheated on the pies, as the fella knew I had way more to do than I had time for, so he picked up a couple of prepared pie crusts on the way home from work yesterday.  
Everyone was happy and stuffed after the meal.
Hope all of ya'll had a great day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Twins at Two Weeks

Gabby's twins are doing well! We named them Grete and Gustav. Both are growing by leaps and bounds...and leaping and bounding all over their mama and their Aunt Champagne (who shares the pen, awaiting her own kid).
Gustav and Gerte

"Mama, she's taking my picture again!"

"Oh, hi! Make sure to get my good side!"

Floppy ears!

The wee goats are a delight to watch. Mama Gabby is doing an outstanding job at keeping them well fed and clean and happy. We finished walling in the goat of that yet to come.
This afternoon we will be banding Gustav. I was going to start milking Gabby today, but she still has a bit of a discharge, so I'll wait another 3 to 5 days and see if it clears up. Besides, after banding today, Gustav will want his mama for comforting and will nurse more. I know a lot of y'all don't band, you cut, but my fella prefers to band.
In other news, my new grandson is doing great, although new mom and dad are suffering from a lack of sleep.
Considering this particular son of mine did not sleep through the night until he over two years old....well...I guess this is "Mama Payback", lol!
I don't know when I will get to visit my son and his wife and get to see my new grandson...wish I could do it RIGHT NOW, but everyone out there that has livestock knows the situation. The Darlin' Man is trying to arrange for some time off so he can take over the duties of milking, etc., but right now---as all the guys are coming home from Iraq---no one is getting time off. My Darlin' Man has duties that involve greeting each flight in, inspecting the items brought back with them (you'd be surprised at what some guys try to bring back as souvenirs!) and then  making sure each soldier gets to where they are supposed to go and receives their assignments. Not his normal duties, but with so many coming back stateside, he got assigned to this until the dust settles, so to speak.
So...for the next month or two two, he is going to be incredibly busy. With new goat babies coming, so am I!
I'll have to content myself with pictures of little Gideon for a bit, I guess.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


My Grandson!
Gideon Edward Moore
Born 11/18/11 at 6:58 am
6 pounds 4 ounces
19 inches long
@ Augusta Medical Center, Fishersville, Va

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Occupy What? Why?

The past week, I have watched a lot of online videos and streaming web cams about the Occupy Wall Street groups.
I wanted to understand why they are doing what they are doing and what they hope to accomplish.
First and foremost, they are pissed off that bankers and big corporations got bailouts, tax incentives, government subsidies, etc.
So am I. These have been going on for a very long time. Too long. It is just the most recent spate of bailouts that got attention.
The OWS people are also angry that unemployment is high, inflation is rampant and the future is not as bright as it used to be.
Okay, I am annoyed about that as well.
They say they are in the 99% that does not control the countries wealth.
Right there with you, guys!
Now we come to the parting of the ways....
They want a free college education and/or for their college loans to be forgiven and wiped off the books.
Look, it is not my fault that you CHOSE to take out $186,000 in college loans to get degree in Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies and now can't find a job. (Seriously, I know this young lady that did this. She is an upper middle class white girl that continually tells black women "I KNOW your struggles!" Yeah, she has been smacked more than once.)
If they would consider carefully what the rewards are (financial and career-wise) of their education path, maybe they would make more sensible decisions.
They want their educations, housing, utilities, etc to be free.
Have these people never heard of a *vested interest*?
A vested interest is when you have worked for, or invested in, or somehow put in some effort in order to reap rewards. You value whatever you have invested time/money/effort in MORE because of  the time/effort/money you invested.
If things are just given to you, they have less value and are usually treated that way. Look at government housing projects, for example.
Remember your dad screaming at you to turn out lights when you left the room? As teenagers, most of us thought "What the heck is Dad getting so upset about? It's just electricity!" Yeah...and Dad paid the bill, we didn't!
These people want the taxpayer to be Dad. To pay ALL their bills so they can have a lovely, carefree life where they are free to be creative and "find themselves".
Also, from looking on their web pages and online chats and such, they don't think anyone should be able to own property.
That's right, they want to do away with private property. They seem to feel that NO ONE has a right to own property. That ALL property belongs to EVERYONE.
Well, okay you people, try coming on MY property without my permission! Gonna get real bad real fast!

Look, I am one of the 99%.
I don't own any stocks or bonds. Not a trust fund baby (as some of them are!) and I work damn hard for anything and everything I get.
I never expect to get rich. The best I hope for is to have a little farm to raise my goats and chickens, maybe a cow and a pig or two someday. A garden to feed my family.
A porch to sit on to watch the sunset.
And to know I earned it all myself.
I don't understand them, and I doubt they would ever understand me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Report On Gabby the Goat

The day before yesterday, Gabby began frantically pawing the ground in her pen (the new goat palace) and bleating loudly. I went out to see her and once I was in the pen, she came up to me and leaned against me while I scratched her ears and rubbed her side. I could tell she was in labor and she just wanted some comfort.
I came back in the house and when The Girl came home from school, we heard Gabby give a particularly loud bleat, we ran out to discover she had delivered an adorable little buck. I had a towel with me, so I wiped off his wee face while his mama cleaned him up.
I  had suspected Gabby was carrying twins and as she cleaned up her new kid, I could see I was right, as the movement of the second kid was obvious. After about 15 minutes, she plopped back down and began delivering her second kid. A few pushes and a lovely fawn colored little doe was delivered! I wiped off her face as the wee thing was snorting and struggling to breathe.
Gabby got both her babies cleaned up, and within an hour, both were up and enthusiastically nursing.
I gave mama Gabby some warm water with molasses & salt (livestock Gatorade) mixed in to boost her energy and replace electrolytes.(Recipe: 2 quarts warm water, 1/2 cup molasses and 2 teaspoons salt, mix well)
I posted pictures (post below this one) and then the batteries on my camera died!
The Girl took some video and I am struggling to post that....just having a hard time uploading it to youtube, darnit.
So, video and more pics just as fast as I can get them up.
Babies and mama goat doing well. They have beautiful markings and are frisking around. Mama Gabby looks as pleased as can be with herself.
Baby goats are THE most adorable farm babies (just my opinion)!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tonight at Frippery Farm

New additions, born within the past boy, one girl!
Will post update tomorrow!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The New Goat Palace

The New Goat Palace is finished!
First, a few pictures:
As you can see, Gabby and Champagne are already comfortably settled. I know it looks a bit strange, the tall roof structure in the middle, but there is a method in our madness. The side panels for the little goat house in the middle are easily removable. They hang and are stabilized at the bottom.. We install them when cold weather hits.We hadn't installed them yet when I took these pics.
I moved Nina and Lily in with Patches in the milking doe pen so she wouldn't be lonely. When she gets closer to her due date, she'll be moved to the new goat palace.
The plan is that the new kids will (eventually) populate the new goat palace, the milking does will be in the milking does pen and the bucks and wethers will be in the main goat pen.
So THAT project is done. I'll take a pic after we have the panels up for cold weather.
On to cookie recipes.
Do you make Rice Krispie Treats? So do I! They are quick and easy.
But............kind of boring after a bit.
I follow the basic recipe and add my own twists.
Other things I add:
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Walnut pieces
Pecan pieces
M & M's (red and green or Christmas, pastel ones at Easter)
Slived almonds
A bit of cinnamon
Salted peanuts or mixed nuts
Drizzle chocolate on top
Some of my cajeta
Or I skip the Rice Krispies completely and use Chex Mix!
It is so easy to play with the basic recipe. The kids favorite is walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate pieces
My fav is pecans and some cajeta mixed in..Or salted peanuts and cajeta mixed in. Good stuff!
Use your imagination and go with what you like!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Morning Surprise!

I went out to feed the animals this morning and got a bit of a surprise.
See the wee pygmy goat in in the back there? That is my neighbor Franks wee goat. He has two, see?
 The charming doe with the lovely beard who is currently on MY side of the fence and the little buck on FRANKS side of the fence.
The doe came over to join my little herd by going under the fence here:
Wang has been mooning over the wee doe for weeks. She was pregnant when Frank got her and she kidded yesterday, however the tiny kid only lived about an hour. Sometime during the night, she managed to burrow under the fence. My little herd welcomed her and shared their hay and Wang and Geordi have been cuddling up to her.
Frank just left to go bury the kid and will be back later to retrieve the doe. We will be doing some fence work on both sides today.
Until then, his pygmy doe will be visiting with the herd here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Still Building...

Yes, we are still building the new goat pen here! The Darlin' Man is a stickler for doing things right, so ever board, every little bit of fencing, every screw has to be perfect! (Thank goodness he doesn't watch me sew, lol!)
He, his son, my son AND a friend have been working on it all week.
Problems have added to the time, of course.
We had a small sandstorm, it took longer for the concrete to cure than we thought it would, and we had to work around the Darlin' Man's work hours (as well as his friends) and his sons school hours a bit.
My son would have done more during the day....BUT the Darlin' Man wants to be here for every single bit of the build. So, the best my son or I can do during the day is clean up work on the build site.
We should get finished this evening. I hope!
This dang cold is still hanging on. I am doing much better (and many thanks to all y'all that have sent me get well wishes!). I think I am keeping Halls Menthol-lyptus cough drops in business! They seem to be the only thing that helps keep my head clear and stop the coughing. I am down to two or three cough drops a day. Much better than the 10 or 12 a day I was taking a couple weeks ago! I am totally out of my homemade disinfectant that I make, so I need to get some more lavender flowers when we go to the store. I swear, I think it works better than Lysol.
Ugly Betty has still not laid any eggs. She has a sweet personality, though. Pender is still mooning over her and courting her through the pen fencing. It is fun to watch his courtship.
We are about to enter the sandstorm season here. Saturday high winds are predicted, so I am doing the little things I have come to do to avoid the worst. First, I do laundry...all the laundry I can. I do not want it hanging on the line when the sand hits! Second, I vacuum and dust all I can. I know I will end up with sand and dust in the house, but you have to apply yourself to cleaning it up before, during and after to stay ahead of the worst!
I love the cooler weather we are having. I sleep better at night and feel more full of energy during the day. I am looking forward to the holidays. I am going to posting some cookie recipes in the next few days.I LOVE baking cookies! Makes the whole house smell wonderful!