Sunday, July 28, 2013

Feeling My Age.....Sort Of...and Bed Wars

I don't physically feel that old.
Just some days I mentally feel old.
When I hear *my* music being called "golden oldies" or "classic rock", etc.
When I see reports on what kids are being taught in schools....and NOT being taught. (cursive, anyone?)
When I see furniture styles that I grew up with being called *retro* or *mid-century*. (ACK!)
When I realize that at least half the products I grew up knowing as *household names* no longer exist.
Just been a bad couple of weeks for feeling/realizing this.
I'll get over it....
Baby, our terrier mix, has been more and more insistent on telling us (and the Darlin' Man in particular) that the big bed is HERS, always has been HERS and always will be HERS and she is only (but generously) allowing us to share it.
Typical night here, Baby goes to bed when I do. Usually that is before the Darlin' Man goes to bed. (I get up before he does, so I usually turn in before he does)
Baby settles herself dead center on the bed.
Darlin' Man comes to bed....and then the trouble starts....
Baby, scoot over!
Low growl.
Baby, I mean it, move over!
Grumble, grumble, doggie sigh.
Get your paws outta my butt!
Much muttering in doggie talk and Baby rolls over.
Baby! Get down by my feet! You are drooling on my leg!
Uft...sigh...grumble...Baby rearranges herself and rumples up the sheets to her satisfaction.

Pause in the general grumbling from both parties for perhaps 20 minutes...the Darlin' Man starts to softly snore, then Baby stealthily belly crawls up the length of the bed and snuggles down between us.
The Darlin' Man rolls over in his sleep and goes to put an arm around me...Baby growls louder. Darlin' Man wakes up (a little) and begins to grumble.
Baby, you can't sleep there! Pillows are for PEOPLE! Now get off!
Outright SNARL.
That's it! Off the bed! Shoo! (Darlin' Man firmly grabs Baby and places her on the floor) Here's a pillow, now HUSH!
Quiet reigns and I drift off to sleep. Sometime in the wee hours, I am aware of Baby scrambling back on the bed.
We wake up in the morning with Baby sleeping soundly between us, half curled around the Darlin' Mans head. She looks triumphant.
Only picture of Baby I could find right off. Yes, she is little. But there's a lot of dog in that small package!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sure! Just Drop That Off Here!.....

Well, somebody dropped off a dog here.
Middle of the night. Put the little bugger on the front porch. I know they had to do this because we have a very heavy steel screen door and the dog on the porch was too small to have opened it!
Looks to be a 7 month old or so Chiweenie. (Chihuahua Dachshund mix) Male, is neutered. Totally healed up from the neutering (which is how I guess-timated his age)
Not micro-chipped, no ad of lost dog on Craigslist, nothing in paper and local Humane Society, SPCA and Animal Control have had no report of a lost dog with his description.
He is VERY friendly. Adorable bundle of fur and wagging tail and loves to snuggle.
I figured I could find him a home pretty quick.
And then..........
I showed him to the Darlin' Man.
"It's a CHIWEENIE " I swear, he squealed like a fifth grade girl!
Yes, dear, it is.
"I have always wanted a chiweenie!"


So, we have a new dog. (Keeping count? That makes FOUR!)
The Darlin' Man named the little stranger "Viktor". I don't know why, but it seems to suit him and in a couple days he was answering to it.
I'll post some pictures later.
Later...a pic of my youngest son and our new chiweenie..

 And the little guy, sound asleep....
One of my sons came to visit for about a week. He lives back east and is getting ready to go in the Army.
So...visiting relative means I do a lot of cooking...and...

Around here, that's entertainment!
I sold three of the turkeys, so our feed costs are going down a bit.
Now that laying season is over, I think I will try to sell a few other critters.
The geese.
Four of the ducks.
The rabbits.
We just need to downsize.
The Darlin' Mans retirement is getting closer and closer...November will be here before we know it!
The fewer animals we have to move, the fewer headaches!
The incubators we got...well, they are *still air* incubators.
Hatched a peacock chick, a gosling and a couple of turkey poults . The turkey poults died within a couple of hours, I sold the gosling and the peacock chick is doing great.
But we had to toss a LOT of eggs out. They went bad, just didn't hatch.
Anyone got any hints on how to use these type of incubators more successfully?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Style? What Style? Also...Repurposing on the Homestead...

Since we have ramped up our property search, I have also been browsing through various online furniture and decorating and home improvement sites.
Many have a little quiz thing so you can *identify your style*.
I think I am hopeless.
I seem to have a Modern, Rustic, Victorian style, with a touch of Baroque tossed in for good measure. Plus a "Shabby-Chic" edge. And throw in something Asian while you are at it.
I'd give one of those t.v. show decorators a heart attack!
I guess my style is *Eclectic*, for lack of a better term.
When we move we will be taking very little of the furniture we now have. The majority of it is worn out beyond hope of repair.
More than likely, I will be hitting thrift shops, Craigslist and yard sales to furnish our new home.
And making slipcovers. Lots and lots of slipcovers! I can ALWAYS find fabric I like!
The nice thing about having multiple slipcovers for your furniture is that you can switch around your style easily. Make sure you have different accent pillows to toss in the mix, and it's all good!
While I will be looking for sturdy furniture with *good bones*, as they say, we will NOT be skimping on appliances!
I have already picked out our refrigerator and freezer (two SEPARATE appliances) and the Darlin' Man has agreed to the two stoves we will be getting. One will be gas (probably propane) and the other will be a wood cook stove. Still arguing a bit over brands and styles. We have a few months yet, so we'll get that worked out, I'm sure, by the time we get up North.
While browsing web sites looking for furniture, I also wandered through some farm supply sites.
I realized that I have very little official "farm equipment".
For milking my goats, I have a dishpan and some hand towels (for cleaning udders before milking), some stainless steel mixing bowls (to milk into) and I use various deep pots to put the milk in after straining, depending on whether I am making cheese or cajeta.
For feeding, I have an old enamelware 1 quart bowl that I put the goat's treats in to munch as they are milked.
For the other critters, I have a mix of old Tupperware, a battered old roaster, several plastic ice cream containers and a Folgers coffee container. These are used for feeding and watering.
Rag-tag collection of farm implements, aren't they?
But they do the job and the majority of them were free...discards from neighbors.
The animals don't seem to mind, anyway!

Don't know if I'll put out too much money to buy *official* equipment. Maybe a few things after we a nice hay rack to feed hay to the goats.
But maybe I could build one out of stuff laying around...hmmmmmm...we'll have to see.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Break in the Weather and Dreams for the Future!

We had rain last night...blessed, blissful, cooling RAIN!
I finally got a semi-decent nights sleep, too. Nothing like the sound of rain on the roof and outside the window to lull you to sleep! Better than any sleeping pill out there, I bet.
Because of the rain, the temp dropped almost 20, that's a Good Thing!
With the Darlin' Mans retirement day getting closer and closer, my dreams of our future homestead are getting clearer and clearer.
We have made some decisions, among them, our future livestock purchases
Here are some of them:
Icelandic goats! Sturdy and great for any homestead in Northern climes. Great for milk, meat, wool and pelts! Beautiful, aren't they?

Milking Devon cattle. Milk, meat, oxen and hides. Perfect homestead cow! And so purty!

Now, the Darlin' Man wants a mule or two, but I want a horse or two. So, we are still stale-mated on that one!
Chickens...well, he is leaving that one up to me and I am still a bit indecisive.

We found out that we will have a bit more money than we thought to start up the homestead, but since we haven't gotten the money YET, I am still sorta hedging my bets.

Haven't picked our pig breed yet, though I am definitely leaning towards the Gloucester Old Spots.
How adorable are they!?!? Squeeeeeeeeee! Look like little piggy banks brought to life!
Also very lean, good breeders and good mothers.

Do I give *points* for the cuteness or attractiveness?
Yes...yes, I do.
I think if you like the way a certain breed of livestock looks, you are likely to take better care of it.
Probably why I don't want a mule.
Those suckers are ugly!