“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coming of Winter

Today we have our first snow in the forecast and I have heard an occasional sound of sleet or hail. But then the sun comes back out. Mia (Mama Mia) knew this morning that she wanted to come into the house. No dummy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No. 3 Nittany Lions Top No. 10 Buckeyes, 13-6

No. 3 Nittany Lions Top No. 10 Buckeyes, 13-6

The win moves Penn State to 9-0 overall, and 5-0 in the Big Ten.
Oct. 25, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Pat Devlin came off the bench for injured starting quarterback Daryll Clark in the fourth quarter, leading two scoring drives and sneaking in for the go-ahead touchdown to give No. 3 Penn State a 13-6 victory over No. 10 Ohio State on Saturday night.
The win put the Nittany Lions (9-0, 5-0) in command in the Big Ten and severely crimped the chances of the Buckeyes (7-2, 4-1) grabbing an unprecedented third consecutive outright league title and a piece of their fourth conference championship in a row.
Penn State solidified its position as a national championship contender and also erased the ugly memories of an 0-7 mark in Columbus since joining the Big Ten in 1993.
Defenses controlled most of the game before an Ohio Stadium-record crowd of 105,711.
Ohio State had the ball and a three-point lead when Terrelle Pryor fumbled, defensive back Mark Rubin using his left hand to knock the ball away as the freshman quarterback carried on a third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. Penn State linebacker Navorro Bowman fell on the loose ball at the Buckeyes 38 after players scrambled to recover.
Immediately, the Nittany Lions were at a disadvantage as Clark remained on the sideline. He was meeting with team doctors.
In stepped Devlin, who had seen action in seven games but had only been on the field for 45 plays.
He promptly led the way on a seven-play, 38-yard drive that took 4:13 and ended with his touchdown giving Penn State a 10-6 lead.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Synchronized Sunbathing

Today was another cool start and a warm afternoon. The goats were taking a nap in the dirt late this afternoon and I noticed how they formed a pattern. Synchronized goats.

I hope these warm days continue for a while. Its good for the soul, and for the goat food!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Goats for Meat

I get a lot of questions about goat meat and its nutritional value and how to cook it. The article in the October 15, 2008 New York Times below, is a brief summary from several points of view.

Layla in the barn

It was pointed out to me that according to this article, I am a boutique farmer. That is the product I am going for, the natural milk fed and grass raised animal, but there may those older animals coming down the road too.

With Goat, a Rancher Breaks Away From the Herd
Braised Goat Shoulder Rubbed With Spanish Spices

Sunday, October 19, 2008

From the Penn State Football page

Joe Pa limped out to greet the Michigan coach.

Pregame Blue Band performance where the twirler dropped her baton and the drum major fell on his flip! People worried about a bad omen.

The students "White Out", and waiting for the team to come out.

The new electronic banners.

The old school colors. Imagine?
The white shakers going wild.
The Fans hoping for more wins to the National Title.
Nittany Lions Go to 8-0 With 46-17 Thumping of Michigan
Penn State Holds Wolverines to 87 Yards Over Last 43 Minutes
Oct. 18, 2008
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Third-ranked Penn State delivered a tremendous final three quarters after a slow start en route to a 46-17 thumping of Michigan before a raucous Homecoming crowd of 110,017.
The Nittany Lions improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten to set-up a showdown for first place in the conference standings with No. 12/11 Ohio State next Saturday in Columbus. Penn State is 8-0 for the 10th time under Coach Joe Paterno and off to its best start since the 1999 squad began 9-0.
The fourth-largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history saw the Wolverines take leads of 10-0 and 17-7 before the Nittany Lions came storming back. After Michigan took a 17-7 lead with 13:13 left in the second quarter, the swarming Penn State defense allowed only 87 yards the remainder of the game for a total of 291.
Sophomore tailback Evan Royster cracked 100 yards before halftime and finished with a career-best 174 yards on just 18 carries, for a superlative 9.7 average, and one touchdown. Royster made one of the game's momentum-changing plays when he broke away from several would-be tacklers for a 44-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to draw the Lions within 10-7.
Junior quarterback Daryll Clark was 18 of 31 for 171 yards, with a three-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Norwood with :23 left in the half to make it 17-14. Clark also ran for 45 yards and two one-yard touchdowns in the second half, as the Nittany Lions ran off 39 consecutive points to end the game
Senior Deon Butler had a huge effort with a season-high eight receptions, second-highest in his career, for 105 yards, good for his fourth career 100-yard game. Norwood had four catches for 28 yards and freshman tailback Stephfon Green took a pass from Pat Devlin 80 yards in the fourth quarter to close the scoring. Green also gained 28 rushing yards.
Penn State again achieved tremendous offensive balance, throwing for 251 and rushing for 231 for a total of 482. The Lions gained 401 yards over the final three quarters.
Michigan gained 185 yards in the first quarter and added 19 yards early in the second for 204 total and a 17-7 lead. But, from that point, the nationally ranked Penn State defense was relentless. The Nittany Lions recorded a season-high 13 tackles for loss, with three sacks (one resulting a safety), forced two fumbles (recovering one) and partially blocked a punt.
Sophomore linebacker Navorro Bowman tied his career-high with 11 tackles, with one TFL, earning his fourth double figure tackle game of the season. Senior LB Tyrell Sales made 10 stops, senior CB Tony Davis had a career-high eight hits with a TFL and true freshman LB Michael Mauti had a season-high seven stops, with a TFL, a forced fumble.
Defensive tackle Jared Odrick made a career-best six stops, with 2.5 TFL and a huge sack in the end zone with 4:39 left in the third quarter to give Penn State a 19-17 lead. Junior linebacker Josh Hull made five hits with 1.5 TFL and sophomore DE Aaron Maybin made four stops with 2.0 TFL, a sack and a forced fumble.
The Wolverines took their first possession 86 yards in 14 plays for a 7-0 lead. Running back Brandon Minor scored on a five-yard run with 6:51 left in the first quarter.
On Penn State's second possession, quarterback Daryll Clark was hit by Michigan's John Thompson and fumbled, with the Wolverines recovering at their own 45. K.C. Lopata connected on a 27-yard field goal to give the visitors a 10-0 lead.
A 43-yard kickoff return by Chaz Powell gave the Lions the ball at their own 48. On second down, Evan Royster was hit near the line of scrimmage, but bounced off several would-be tacklers and zipped up the middle for a 44-yard score, the longest run of his career. Kevin Kelly's extra point made it 10-7 with 2:57 left in the opening period.
On the ensuing kickoff, freshman linebacker Michael Mauti forced Sam McGuffie to fumble, but the Wolverines recovered. Michigan drove 78 yards, with Minor scoring on a one-yard run to make it 17-7 early in the second quarter.
Penn State drove to the Michigan 27, but Kevin Kelly's 45-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright.
Late in half, the Nittany Lions drove 74 yards in nine plays to draw within a field goal. A 14-yard run by Royster pushed him above 100 yards for the fifth time this season. On third and goal, Clark drilled a four-yard pass to Jordan Norwood just over the goal line with :23 left in the half to make it 17-14. The score was Penn State's seventh of the season in the final 2:00 of the first half this season (4 FG, 3 TD).
A sack by Maurice Evans ended Michigan's next possession. The Nittany Lions took over and Kevin Kelly tied the game at 17-17 on a 42-yard field with 6:46 left in the third.
On Michigan's next possession, the Wolverines were deep in their own territory. On third down, Jared Odrick sacked quarterback Nick Sheridan in the end zone to give the Nittany Lions their first lead at 19-17. The safety was Penn State's first since Dan Connor earned a sack in the end zone against Illinois in 2006.
The Nittany Lions took possession at the 50 and quickly extended its lead. Clark finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to make it 26-17 with 3:04 left in the third quarter. For the season, Penn State has out-scored the opposition, 87-13, in the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter, freshman linebacker Nate Stupar partially blocked a punt and the Lions took over at the Michigan 37. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kelly connected on a 32-yard field to make it 29-17 and become the Big Ten career kick scoring leader. He finished the game with 376 points, surpassing Minnesota's Dan Nystrom and Iowa's Nate Kaeding with 367 points.
On Michigan's next possession, Maybin sacked quarterback Steven Threet and forced a fumble that DT Abe Koroma pounced on at the UM 19. After a 15-yard completion from Clark to Norwood, Clark scored from one yard out to make it 36-17 with 12:13 to play.
Kelly connected on a 20-yard field goal and Pat Devlin connected with tailback Green on an 80-yard TD pass to close the scoring.
Penn State visits No. 12/11 Ohio State on Saturday for an 8:00 p.m. clash. The Buckeyes defeated Michigan State, 45-7, today The contest is an ABC national telecast and will air on the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Penn State 7-0, Beat Michigan!!!

Getting ready to hit the Happy Valley Road.

Homecoming has lots of festivities and I have the pleasure of participating again this year.

Nittany Lion Football Homecoming Pep Rally Set for Friday Night on Old Main Lawn
Nittany Lions Host Michigan Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in 89th Homecoming Clash
Oct. 14, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coach Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lion football team are scheduled to appear at Friday's Homecoming pep rally on Old Main lawn.
The pep rally and Homecoming king and queen coronation will begin immediately following the Homecoming parade, at approximately 9 p.m. The Penn State Blue Band, the cheerleaders and the Nittany Lion also will participate.
The parade begins at 6 p.m. near the intersection of Curtin and Porter Roads, and will travel west on Curtin Road, south on Bigler Road, west on Pollock Road, south on Shortlidge Road and west on College Avenue before turning north onto Burrowes Road and concluding near Rec Hall.
On Saturday, Michigan will provide the opposition for Penn State's 89th Homecoming game. The sold out clash will kickoff at 4:30 p.m. and air on ESPN, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics. The Nittany Lions have an impressive 63-20-5 record in front of the alumni audience, winning 37 of 42 Homecoming tilts under Paterno.
The pep rally is one of several events taking place Friday in conjunction with Homecoming. Following the pep rally, the Guard the Lion Shrine will begin at the shrine, near Rec Hall. For more information on Homecoming activities, go to: http://homecoming.psu.edu.
Three Penn State teams will compete at home on Friday. The men's and women's cross country teams host the Penn State National at 10 a.m. at the Penn State Golf Courses. At 4:00 p.m., the women's soccer team hosts Minnesota at Jeffrey Field. And at 8 p.m, the No. 1 ranked and undefeated (18-0) Nittany Lion women's volleyball team will entertain No. 22 Michigan in Rec Hall.
On Saturday, the volleyball team hosts Ohio State at 8:30 p.m. in Rec Hall, while on Sunday, the women's soccer team hosts Iowa at 12:00 p.m.
Also on Friday, the Big Ten Network's Friday Night Tailgate Show will originate from outside the Bryce Jordan Center, near Curtin Road. The show will begin at 8:30 p.m. and air Friday at 11:30 p.m. and several times Saturday morning on the Big Ten Network, which is available in approximately 70 million homes nationwide.

The Nittany Lion football team is 7-0 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten play and ranked No. 3 in the polls.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Today was filled with love at the farm.

The goats - all girls remember - are obviously in heat. Lets just say I know from their activities that four of them are ready to breed. It was like an orgy out there at times. I need to get that buck here within 17-18 days for the next cycle. It was a full moon yesterday too.

Meanwhile the kitten is walking up to Jock, rubbing against him and purring - totally bugging the heck out of him. The embarrassment! Soon I can see them snoozing together. At least they are getting along.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hens - Enough New Animals for One Week

Jock was beside himself waiting to get at the hens. The barking was so frantic that I thought something had happened to him. Feathers all over the car.

I got a couple extra for a friend who got them for his sons to learn from. They are waiting for day old chicks this week but wanted eggs sooner. These look healthy and are 20 weeks old on Thursday, so when is their birthday?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Layla Joins the Herd

Since last Sunday, we have been trying to get everyone(goat wise) to get to know each other very slowly. We let Layla in the main part of the barn a couple times a day or more to sniff around when everyone was out. The first day she was limping with no apparent injury. I was hoping it was just a pulled muscle from the ride standing all the way from Maryland. Then we let her look around when everyone was in their stalls without actually making contact. We are concerned about her getting butted in the belly as she is due in possibly seven or eight weeks. Also she has horns and we weren't sure how those would be used on her part.

Vinegar (front) has been bawling with Layla around. She doesn't like the competition.
Wednesday night we let the two yearlings out with her in the barn for just a couple minutes and that went well. Yesterday Dave was home so we decided to set up a small area outside the barn for Smiles to browse. She didn't eat a thing but seemed to be OK and so we finally went to do other things around the place.

Zola has been keeping the newcomer in check
Within a half hour, just as we had someone arrive here, we saw her trotting across the field to the other goats. I know she saw them from her field and I guess she couldn't wait for our slow process. She followed me along the fence to get in with them and she has been there since.

Hanging out...making friends.
Dave supervised the socialization, and she has already worked her way up to number two in the pecking order.
Zola, hackles up, working in a little butting.

Only Zola is bigger and tougher, but does not seem to be too tough on her. Its mainly head butting, and from what I saw, not the worst.
Layla is the one looking the other direction while everyone else is munching away.

She is not a big browser/grazer yet. She doesn't seem to know that she has to work for her lunch!! I think when the hay disappears from the stall, she will figure it out. She will have her own stall a while longer until we feel she is adjusted to our place and system. That might be one more day as there haven't been any problems today.
Layla is off to the side of the gang. I think this is our Fall color peak starting.

But for three nights and two mornings, she followed the girls to and from the barn, no fences anywhere. Its official...she has joined the herd.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barn Cats

Our new three month old kitten - yet to be named. Yin Yang comes to mind because her markings are flip-flopped on her face, shoulders and legs.

This is her Mom who was found on Monday or Tuesday at my vet. They took her in, spayed her and gave her all her shots. Then her kitten was found the next day by a client. I had just called back about some other kittens for the barn, and they told me about these two. I wanted two females and these, they thought, were a family. I called back and said OK, sight unseen. I was pleasantly surprised that they both are so sweet and seem happy in the barn. The vet also gave me a wormer pill for both and they gobbled that up with canned food in a flash.

I hope these gals don't think canned food is the norm. I just want them to like the barn and then enjoy chasing mice for moist food. Mom was already around the wood pile and they both have cased out the hay. I decided the upper barn was the only way to keep the chickens away from their food and I do hear the mice above the potting shed room. The mice have already stashed some seeds in some old work gloves. Hopefully these gals will put an end to that. We kept the dog away from the upper barn so that they can find all the good hiding places and eat and drink and get cozy without looking over their shoulder.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lil Smiles/Layla

September 5, 2008 in Maryland

Lil Smiles arrived on Sunday after a long ride, mostly on her feet, from Maryland. She is bred and due either the end of November or the second week of December.
As usual I went to the African baby name sites and tried to translate Lil Smiles. What I came up with was Layla that means 'dark beauty" which I think fits her dark face. It rolls of my tongue better and who doesn't like the Eric Clapton song.
This site tells a bit about the story that Layla was based on, so I learned something.
October 6 in her nest in the barn.
I have been trying to get her comfortable in the barn and with us by opening her stall and letting her sniff around as I clean the other stalls. The chickens took her by surprise, especially when Oprah wandered into her stall to scratch for food. She has gotten over the dog and he has become bored with her after the first minute of curiosity. She has calmed down a lot and when she gets nervous, finds security by trotting back to her stall and standing in her favorite corner.
We were concerned yesterday when she was limping and holding her left front foot up. I took a look at her hoof and felt along her leg but could see nothing and got no reaction. I am hoping it is an injury from the ride and is simple as a pulled muscle. Today it is better but still being favored.
The last concern is that she has not been eating much, but I hope that is a result of a traumatic couple of days and leaving 30 of her best friends back in Maryland.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Clematis Candida

This is the sole second season bloom of the Lanuginosa Candida clematis. The June blossoms are huge and plentiful. The Fall usually presents us with a handful. This is it. But it is large as my stretched out hand and pure white as always. I think it is the most beautiful white clematis.