Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Monday!

Here's to never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever getting so old again.

The Waterboys - Sweet Thing (by Van Morrison)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some More Photos From The Farm


So I finally remembered to take my camera outside with me yesterday and snap some picture of the animals. I didn't get everyone but I figured some is better than none at this point.

So, first up are some updated pictures of some of the babies.

Here is Magnolia, Prophet and Oleander (left to right) with a little bit of Gyra's head in the very far left.


And here is Magnolia by herself in mid-chomp on a leaf.


She is getting big and lanky. And bossy.

Here is Oleander, striking a pose.


She is pretty much the same size now as Maggie and Prophet even though she is two weeks younger. I guess having the oven to yourself makes for a little more growing room (Nancy, take note).

I also figured I would introduce you to the bigger guys.

This fellow is Faja or, Red Hot Faja as he is know in the registration books. He is our boer buck and he is just over a year old.


Pretty impressive, huh? Yes those horns are big and yes, he knows how to use them. I always have to be on my guard with this guy. He isn't particularly agressive but he sometimes gets silly when we go in to feed them. I don't think he quite understands that cracking skulls is not everyone's idea of a good time.

Today when I went to feed him, he started getting a little bit pushy. Usually he'll stop on his own but sometimes I have to grab him and get his head on the ground. After a while he'll say "Uncle" so then I know it's ok to let him go. Then he acts like nothing ever happened.

Here is our angora buck, Titan. He came with that name.


He's about half the size of Faja and probably about a third of the weight. Fortunately, he is all about the food and doesn't bother to play games at all.

I am going to have to shear him soon. That ought to be fun.

And last but not least, I have an update picture of Fen.


What a good looking dog!

I tired to get pictures of the other babies but they were having none of it. I also tried to get some pictures of the horses but I made the mistake of taking the camera with me at feeding time so all I got were pictures of close-up noses.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So Many Things to Write About, So Little...

...I don't know. Desire?

No, that's not it. I want to write a blog post. It's just...


I feel like I am spinning my wheels because I can't seem to get anything accomplished. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

And it's tax time.


But enough of that.

So, my sister is famous! How about that? Ain't she somethin'? All featured in the newspaper and all...

And she mentioned me. Woot!

But most of you probably know that already since I think most of you read her blog as well. But if you don't, you should. Do it.

Let's see... What else?

Oh, I spent a lovely day at the main campus of Penn State University with my sister-in-law. We were attending - get this - an all day workshop on small ruminants. That would be sheep and goats for the non-ruminant-familiar folks.

And, I have to say, I learned quite a bit. I was a little scared going because I am, after all, a greenhorn in the goat business. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were folks who were even dumber than me! I mean ... um ...

Really though, it was not only good to find out how much I didn't know, but it was nice to find out that I did know some stuff after all.

The conference was organized by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, of which I am a proud member. The conference was actually several days long and consisted of many, many workshops. Unfortunately, finances dictated that I could only attend the one day. But! Next year I am hoping to go for a couple of days. They have workshops on everything from beekeeping to methane digesters to cooking bio-diesel to growing your own veggies. So many things! So, next year I am there!

And speaking of goats, they are all doing fine and dandy. The little ones are getting really big now. I keep meaning to get some more pictures and post them (because I know you are all just about dying to see them) but I keep forgetting. Maybe tomorrow.

And speaking of Penn State University, I have a bit of a call to action if you are interested. I got an email today that informed me that the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit located at PSU's main campus is one of 11 research labs slated to be closed due to federal budget reductions. I am going to quote the email here ...

... This facility does research that benefits all the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States., such as improving grazing practices for dairy cows, and reducing pollution into Chesapeake Bay. Their work is practical in nature; they work not only in the lab, but right with farmers in the field. In the last 10 years, they've received many awards for their scientific work and published over 600 scientific papers.

The lab's goals include.... (1) Identifying grazing management strategies that optimize the utilization of mixed-species pastures and reduce input costs for pasture-based producers. (2) Developing profitable farm production systems that reduce nutrient losses to ground and surface waters and gaseous emissions to the atmosphere. (3) Determining optimal management and environmental benefits of bioenergy cropping systems to reduce production costs and increase yields.

So if any of that means anything to you, send a note to your Representatives and Senators and say "Hey! No!" Because it affects you. Or someone you know.

And speaking more of goats and school and stuff, I am taking an on-line course about raising goats.

No. Really. I am.

What a world we live in.

In other exciting news...

My dear little babygirl was accepted to Arcadia University. With a nice academic scholarship to boot. Woo hoo! She so takes after me.


But really, we are at least ten kinds of proud.

What else, what else...

I suppose you are all eagerly waiting to find out how the meditation is working for me.

Me too.

When I get around to doing it again I'll let you all know.

Hopefully my meditation will lead me to enlightenment on what to do about my cats.

I have spent like $250 on cats at the vet in the past two weeks. One cat has swollen feet. Swollen feet! At first I only noticed it was one foot and I thought it would be something easy like extracting a nail out of his toe or something, but no. No, this cat has some sort of auto-immune disease that causes his feet to swell. So now he's on steroids.

I'm hoping the Yankees will pick him up in the next draft.

And the other cat is in kidney failure. This cat is probably the most personable of all the cats even though he is pure evil. So now I have to feed him special cat-with-kidney-failure food which is probably going to cost more than the food we eat.


What are ya gonna do?

Although, I am hoping to get a copy of Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. It's supposed to have some homeopathic ways to help with the kidney thing.

I'm sorry it's a whole lot of jibber-jabber with no rhyme or reason. I can't seem to stick to one coherent thought for more that 2 minutes these days. My brain is like "Goats! Horses! Real estate! Taxes! FAFSA! Dogs! Cat medicine! The other cat medicine! Hay! Groceries! Pay the bills! AHHHHHHHHH!"

So I'm going to call it a post and go do my goat homework.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Halloooooo Out There!

Hi there. Long time, no post - I know.

I know I haven't updated in a little while.

Not a whole lot new but I'll just fill you in a few little items.

My seestor gave me the book eat, pray, love for Christmas. I have finally started reading it and I am very happy to say I like it a lot. (Thanks, sis!) I'm not going to get into the whole gist of the book here but I will say it is a great read. Although, if you are easily influenced, be careful.

I've always had a bit of interest in meditation but never really gave it a try. In the one section of this book, the author is in an ashram in Inda learning Yogic meditation. I became so inspiried by this (easily influence? moi?) that I decided now was the time to start.

Now, a large part of this section of the book deals with the author's difficulties with meditation so I didn't really pin my hopes on a transcendental experience right of the bat. I just wanted to try it.

So, I sat myself on a little pillow (to ease my perpetually sore tailbone) on the living room floor, closed my eyes, and tried to relax.



Here is the little dialogue that went on im my head.

Maybe I should chant something. A mantra perhaps...

But they're usually Sanskrit and, let's face it, you have a very limited knowledge. You don't even know how to pronounce any of it for sure.

Ok, well...maybe I can just think it in my head and not say it out loud?...

Um...NO. Because if you say it in your head you still have to know how to say it.

Oh. You're right. Well then...I'll just make up my own and say it in my head.

Fine. Whatever.

So, I sat there and tried to think of a mantra.

... chunk-a, chunk-a ...

Then I thought that I could go get the book and look to see what mantra the author used and just figure it out to the best of my ability.

... chunk-a, chunk-a ...

Then I thought, no, don't get up now. I have to learn how to just sit still if this is going to work.

... chunk-a, chunk-a ...

Ok, quiet now. Relax...

... chunk-a, chunk-a ...


... chunk-a, chunk-a ...

Just let the mind slip into calmness... a mantra will come to you...

... chunk-a, chunk-a ...

Sigh. Ok. Fine. My mantra will be "chunk-a, chunk-a" but I'm not going to say it out loud.

So, inspired by the crunching of the coal furnace, I set about meditating, concentrating on chunk-a, chunk-a.

To my surprise, I sat there for a good 20 minutes. Until the dog started scratching at the door. And the train started drumming its way up through the valley.

Alright, I admit, it's nothing compared to meditating pros but I was pretty pleased with myself. I decided that day that I was going to get up early every morning and meditate for a little while.

And that's the last time I meditated.

But! I still intend to do this. As soon as I can get myself up early enough.

And as soon as spring comes.

Because it's cold. Really cold. And the thought of sitting still without being directly attached to a space heater or electric blanket does not sit well with me right now.

I had to heat my lunch up twice today. Once before I started eating it and then again half way through.

Out of curiosity, I decided to check the thermometer. The thermometer in my kitchen is a make-shift cooking thermometer that came from Godknowswhere. It only goes down to 50. The little arrow was below that, buried in the bottom.

Ok, so not 50. The ice on the inside of my windows could have told me that.

There is only one other thermometer in my house and it's in my bedroom.

Should I? Shouldn't I?

I had to know. It would be like going through some kind of testing and never knowing the results.

I went into my bedroom and looked at the little thermometer.


Thirty two de-freaking-grees!

That would mean that the warmest place in my house is inside the refrigerator.

Ok. I'm exaggerating. Inside the furnace would be the warmest place with the refrigerator coming in second.

And to think that I said to my hubby last night - last night after we went out in the dark to attach walls to the bottom of the goat feeder because all the big goats were pushing this one small (not baby, just smallest adult) goat out of the shelter because they are all bastards and the only place she had to go was under the feeder so we decided to close it in so she's out of the wind, and so we froze our fingers and toes off doing this in the whipping wind and 5 degree weather - "It's not too bad. The worst of winter is over."


I'm just kidding. I truly believe the worst of winter is over. Even with this minor cold snap. The sun is shining today, all the animals (including the ostracized goat) are fine and spry, and the temperatures are supposed to start slowly climbing back up. All is right with the world.

So, hang in there everyone who is at their wit's end with winter. We're almost there!

Edited to add...

I forgot! God smiled down his love upon our family this weekend, and that love was in the form of meat loaf.

I'm not a huge fan of meat loaf but we had defrosted some ground meat (in order to make room for ALL THAT BEEF) and my hubby made meat loaf.

If you are a meat loaf fan, I highly suggest you try the recipe found the the Joy Of Cooking cookbook - the one with bacon. The recipe not the book. You know what I mean.