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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sentry Post

Jock, my constant companion, goose, fox and deer chaser, and early warning system.
Jock was almost two years old when we adopted him. He had had a couple homes before ours and had always been an outdoor dog. From what we know, he was trained to herd, but seems he didn't make the grade for competing. He also was with a large group of Border Collies at his last home and got picked on by everyone, and finally fought back and injured the breeding stud. That was that. He was sequestered to his own lonely spot. We took a lot of chances taking him in to our house, as he was not house trained, but that he learned fairly well, even at his age.
We did a lot of leash training and house training, one room at a time. I don't know how long we had Jock before he knew we had more than two rooms, and then - lo and behold- an upstairs. Those steps were a challenge coming down at first, because he tried them sooo fast!
Then finally trying to let him run outside was a wonder to see, but another challenge. He was so fast, and even with a shock collar, he could be out of range before you knew it. With the leash, we trained him to where the boundaries are, and for the most part he knows it well. Its a matter of reminding him once in a while. When I go to get the mail, he has to remain at the fence line of the main yard, so he usually waits by the flag.

Snickers has now been trained by Jock to wait by the flag for me too.
No flat kitties on the road with Jock in charge.
Its a sight to see, and all done with Snickers' need to be like Jock.
And him not necessarily to crazy about that!

Its hard to say if Snickers got the message, but no harm done!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nursery Update

We went with an African name for our African Boer doeling. The Swahili name Aziza means precious, and she is.
The Aziza are a beneficent fairy race from Africa, specifically Dahomey. Living in the forest, they provide good magic for hunters. They also give both practical and spiritual knowledge to people. Aziza is also an Arabic name that is the female form of Aziz. (esteemed, precious, beloved).

From Wikipedia - Aziza means near to God. She was born Sunday morning at 11 and weighed in at 9 1/2 pounds.
Speckles has been a very attentive, albeit, nervous mom. She does not like the dog in sight right now, and has charged him a few times. He has been generally wise enough to wait in a down position outside the barn door or far from the fences.
Cookie showing his dance steps.
The bucklings are doing well too, and all the kids were sharing the shade in the shed today. These and the coming kids all share the same sire, so they are related.

The little guys are already chewing on grass with mom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We're Expanding the Nursery

This morning we ate breakfast outside in the gorgeous sun. I asked Dave if in his wildest dreams he ever thought he'd have goats on his front lawn, as that is where they are today for the second day of dandelion clean up.
Perhaps an hour later, I thought that I was hearing a goat tussle, so I went to break it up. Speckles was out there with a doe at her side. She was yelling her head off and looking for lunch. We had almost given up on Speckles because she looked so UN-pregnant and was due on the 21st.
In your wildest dreams, did you ever think that you'd have goats being born on your front lawn?

Friday, April 24, 2009

9 Pound Bucks- Cookie and Grant

Seems there's always a slow one.
When I went out to look at the twins in their first half hour yesterday, Cookie (the paint with chocolate pants) was already on his knees nursing.
Grant needed a little intervention! He kept going to the wrong pair of legs, nudging anything and everything but an udder. The more you try and push them in the right direction, the harder they fight going the opposite way (Boy does this sound like child rearing!). So after giving it a few tries, we left him to his own devices overnight.
This morning it was the same story with a hungrier cry. I had a plan. I milked just a small amount into a cup, no simple task with Zola! - and then using a small syringe, pushed some of the warm milk into Grant's clenched lips. Honest to goodness! You would have though the first amount was poison until he swallowed it. Then, all of a sudden, he got it, but the result was, he came to me and nudged my leg. Dang! He know where that milk came from. ME!!
Well I was not going to have a bottle baby, but I gave him the rest of the milk first. He gobbled it up and now was crying for more. I got him to fold his knees and stuck his yelling face next to a teat and all of a sudden -he hung on.

Mom encouraged him and he kept going with a few fits and starts.
My work is done!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Zola Has Twins

I just was running around the yard leaping and yelling, "We have babies!"
Good thing no one was looking.
Here are the first pictures and a video.

As you can see she waited for a fine sunny day.

Good for her and us so we can take great pictures.

SOOOO lovely to see fresh babies!


From Earth Day on Ligonier Living's blog

I wanted to duplicate this here yesterday, but time got in the way.
For my Canton friends whose kids shared their school years with mine, I wanted to get this on here. It made me think of you all! Love Ya!
I have celebrated this day since 1970 and I guess its one of my favorite quiet celebrations. The day got sort of forgotten in the '80's and '90's, but I found ways to pass on the seed by planting seeds. I volunteered teaching my daughter's grade school classes about composting with egg shells and coffee grounds and recycling containers to plant in.
The best part was the garden of marigolds we planted at the school entrance that was there to meet them when they came back in the Fall.

Happy Earth Day!

P.S. --- and I want and Earth Day baby goat!

Udderly Ready

The Three Kidkateers leading the herd
The December twins, Neo and Trini, and Snickers, really think they are related

I admit to some disappointment that we didn't get Earth Day kids.
We have two goats with due dates on either side of April 22 and they look so ripe. But nature and babies have their own schedule.
Last night I checked in on the goats before I went to bed and Zola looked done in. She has been so slow walking back and forth to the field, for about two weeks.

Her udder looks enormous now, especially in the past few days. She had trouble last time around when she had Uno. Her udder and teats became hot and hard so that she didn't want anyone touching her, including her kid.
Now they are both waiting to kid, with Uno due May 1st.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Its Almost Over

Just a pretty hello on a windy, back to winter kind of day. I think I cursed us by writing the word summer yesterday, so I found this picture from just a couple of days ago. Remember the sun? I've been generally absent from the blog and reading and quilting, for what little I do in that category. I've been doing my volunteer stuff that I can't do half way and then found out I've done too much. Can you believe it? I though I'd read all those instructions, printed all the forms, gotten my ducks in a row.

Its a grant for the trail project in Ligonier and its going to be a great thing if we get the money for the feasibility study. I hate to even type that word anymore!! The due date is Wednesday and I've done more than enough. Just waiting for maps from another person who is helping out and is having trouble with his part.
So we are waiting for kids. The due dates start TOMORROW! Zola and Uno are lumbering around looking quite uncomfortable.
I have a name for a buck if he gives me a hard time. Grant. Not like Ulysses. Like what I've been working on for a month, year, whatever. I emailed my blogging bud and proofreader Diane about the name and then mentioned - and then Grant gets castrated.
I got the old ROFL (Mom- and others- that means Rolling On the Floor Laughing) back in an email. My answer was that she gets to hold him!

Snickers wrestling Mia. They are always at it.

Feeling a bit cranky are we???

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fish Season On the Pond

Fishing season opened here yesterday with all the fishing fanatics camping and enjoying their campfires all along the Gorge, rivers and streams - wherever they will fit.
It was a fine day to be outside and get yard work done, but from my old fishing days as a kid on the Conestoga Creek in Lancaster, PA, today, cloudy and drizzly as the day went on, would have been better for fishing.
The fish have been coming up in the pond and I got a few pictures of the hungrier, braver ones that look for bread crusts.
These are the blue gills. The striped bass are bigger and shyer. You have to watch for them under the schools of blue gill. Usually too deep for me to get a good picture.
And the newts are around.
Anyway, I took some photos of the pond the other afternoon.
They almost remind me of beach pictures with the yellow hay looking like beach grass.

And the deep blue of the sky reflecting in the pond.

Feels like summer in the air.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Some creative egg art from one of your emails.
We hope all of you are having a glorious day. Ours is a beautiful sunny one.

More egg art.

The Cantor at 9:30 AM Mass at St. Vincent's made my Easter, as did John the musical director with his piano and organ music.

I hope your Easter is special.

The Easter gifts from our hens.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Good Dirt

This is when brown is a beautiful color.
It was a bit muddy on one end of the field, but the garden is tilled and manure spread.
The aged manure that was about three months old or older, got carried to the garden with the loader and turned in twice. The dirt looks good.
I hope we are remedying some of the clay.
We also rebuilt some of the raised beds and filled them with the dirt that was under the manure. They are going to be wonderful.
And the cold frame is repaired and ready for plants. With snow in the forecast again I may be using it a while.
I'm ready to dig.