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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Things Kids Say

Nice goat.
Nice tractor.
Nice play house!
I don't like the outdoors. Too cold!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Egg Oddity

Every once in a while we will go to the nest to gather the eggs, and there will be a mess of a broken egg. I think a lot of the time it is because we get an egg like this. The shell is soft - like a water balloon. You can push it in and change its shape, its so soft.
I ended up giving this back to the hens the next morning. It was going to be too messy to open, so I let the hens enjoy it. They are such cannibals.


Friday, March 25, 2011


Hail Aftermath

I don't know how we were so lucky, but the only dimples, pocks, divots or dents were in the lawn. Many close neighbors had all their cars damaged. It appears the hail was larger and denser here than where I was stuck in Latrobe. At least all our homes seem safe. Fifteen, twenty miles away, folks lost everything - but no lives were lost, as far as I've heard.

The youngest two bucklings also were quite traumatized after the storm. They were huddled in the corner of the stall yesterday morning and I had to carry them out to the field. I'm guessing they were slow running to shelter and got hurt, but its just a guess. If cars are dented, I'm certain they could be bruised.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Archie and Cleopatra

He is such a dear little goat.
Cleo gives Archie a smooch.
This is as far as they've gotten for the past two mornings. A couple more days and I think they will be ready for the great outdoors. We are dipping into the teens tonight and tomorrow, so Archie was introduced to the light in the warming barrel. Mm mm! He likes it. Snug as a bug!

Hailstorm Hits -Tornado Nearby

You know how life can get busy, and you never make it to the end of your list that day? Yesterday that was a good thing I think. Had I got going further down the road, I would have been in Greensburg, and it appears that is where the most damage was done by this funnel cloud and the weather with it. I read that 30 homes are destroyed and many more heavily damaged. I only made it to the grocery store in Latrobe, and as I was gathering my list and bags, someone started throwing bricks at my car. No. Not really, but that's what I really thought. The first few hail balls were huge and had a lot of snow around them. By the time I gathered my wits, and turned on my camera, they were coming down faster and a bit smaller.

I made it into the store and got my groceries and then when I wanted to leave, there was a crowd at the door. The sky was BLACK at 5:45pm. It doesn't get dark until 7:30pm these days. No one was moving in or out. Half an hour later, after dinner at the salad bar, I made a run for the car and drove home. Debris of all kind was all over the roads. I have never seen as much water ponding my neighborhood streets. It couldn't drain fast enough. My worry all the way home was the sheds, the goats, and the barn, but as you see, the barn is standing, with golf balls all over the corral. Or is it baseballs? Or are these eggs? Two hours after the storm had passed, the hail balls were still in my lawn. There were still many there at 8pm to show Dave after he arrived from the airport.
At about a 6:30pm arrival at Pittsburgh International, Dave said he saw something he had never seen before. Every flight on the screens was flashing Delayed.
In order to get off the plane, another one waiting to depart had to back out. Most gates had planes sharing an area as delays were causing all sorts of problems. He was lucky to arrive safely.You can see how the hail has an ice nucleus and then more layers around it.
All the sheds and goats were fine, although the two young bucklings would NOT come out of the new shed. Zola came back and forth trying to get them to follow. I finally had to hand carry them to the gate and we got them home.

I have to say a thank you to my kind neighbor Jeff, who drove his severely hailstorm dented car to the barn to make sure all was well in the fields. Apparently he had visions of me pummeled to death, trying to rescue the goats!! I can just imagine that is what the goat kids were dreaming of last night as they tried to sleep.

And today - sleet!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Twenty Two - Archie

No sooner did Neo announce Cleopatra's pregnancy and we have a new buckling. He is a teeny guy but perfect. By the time I opened the stall to this miniature surprise, he was clean, nursing on both sides and walking very tall. The surprise is because Cleo only started to really show an udder, and not much of one, last week. I actually had a due date for her for last Friday, but we kept saying - no way.Nature fooled us again!
Good job Cleo - and Neo!
P.S. And to explain the title, Archie is his name and we are up to 22 goats now. Our most so far.

Happy Birthday Harold Betters!

Westmoreland Museum of American Art has an event on the third Thursday every month from September through June. The Westmoreland Jazz Society meets for a jazz performance, and it is an all pro event every time. Last week it was Uncle Harold and his Quartet, and he is always SRO.
Harold doing his Ray Charles!
He is Uncle Harold because his niece, Carol, works with my husband and that's how it always goes. "Hey! Uncle Harold is performing at the (museum, vineyard). Want to come?". "OK."On this particular night there were several additional guests to celebrate Harold's 83rd birthday (today).Harold has performed with Louis Armstrong who described his sound as "rich and honest." Other musicians he has worked with include Al Hirt, Slide Hampton, Ramsey Lewis, and Urbie Green. The Harold Betters Quartet toured with Ray Charles and appeared with comedian, Dick Gregory, at New York's Apollo Theater. He has guested on several television shows including "The Tonight Show," "Merv Griffin," and "Mike Douglas," as well as on local TV programs in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Recognized by the Playboy Jazz Poll as one of the best trombonists in the country, and as "Mr. Versatility" by Downbeat Magazine, he has also been named "Man of the Year in Music" by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.
More of Harold's Bio from the museum link. http://www.wmuseumaa.org/museum/getjazzevent.cfm?ID=42Westmoreland Jazz Society link.
Happy Birthday Uncle Harold!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week End Update

Neo would like to mention that he is the handsome father to all these lovely Boer goat kids, AND that there are more to come. Cleopatra is pregnant for sure, and today she looked like some serious body changes were happening. Naturally she had no interest in having her picture taken, and all my attempts were not worthy of publishing. Andouille is still enjoying mother's milk but I realize that he is getting closer to three months old. That means - weaning- Oh NO!

VIDEO BELOW: Here he is this morning, nursing heartily. He's half as big as his mother soon.

Aidan is not far behind either, but I hope we can wait to do a few of the kids all at once. The crying can be miserable. This week-end, Zola's ten day old boys have been fence training. Then, this afternoon, they got to join the rest of the nursery herd for a couple groups of visitors. They blended right in and are almost as big as the month old twin does. Tomorrow we'll try and get them all out together. That will get us down to three herds and by next week-end, the goal is to unite them with the other does. That should have us ready for some organized rotational grazing as the spring growth and warmer weather starts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fun In The Sun

It was a great spring day, and Jock and I took a long slow walk around the fields and woods this morning.We came out on Kristin's Trail, and as you can see, things are still brown and dead looking.
Things are a lot more lively down by the barn. The newest twins are outside for the third day.
This means there are four herds going into separate fields right now. After fence training this week-end, these little dudes will join the rest of the "nursery" herd.
These bucklings are doing so well, and I am trying to decide if I am keeping one as a commercial buck.
Tempting.Today I managed to get the crocuses in focus, although the breeze had to play around while I zoomed in.
It IS Spring.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Feet Meet The Barn Animals

Cute little morning video of the newest twin bucklings starting to get around the barn. They meet Snickers, much to Zola's disapproval, and a chicken or two.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Night Night Time In the Barn

Its as if there are two worlds in the nursery stall. The one above hay rack level , ...and off the floor, where there is lots of food......and water. And then there is the transition, starting with the pair of youngest kids, folding on the floor, and then the pile on...under the hay rack.
Night! Night!