Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tree trimmers - a blesing and a curse....

 See those thick lush woods?  Yeah...gorgeous to look at BUT when it is over head and all tangled in the power lines coming in to your house and across your driveway THAT is a SCARY sight!  I have been heckling the light company to come cut that crap for almost 2 years now!  And yes, it is THEIR job as it is on THEIR side of the pole - like for real, in the lines out over the street...um no, not my responsibility.  I pay them WAY too much $$$ to be risking getting electrocuted messing with all that and it was BAD overhead!  So I wake up LAST WEEK on Monday to a constant whirring whining noise...hmmm...I figure since they have been doing a TON of work on the ranch behind us that they are up to something down there and go on with my day...YES that whining whistling whirring noise is driving me nuts, but it ends pretty early in the afternoon and on with my business I go right?

So, Tuesday arrives with more of the same horrid obnoxious noise only closer. At this point I figure it HAS to be something on that ranch and I try to tune it out and move along ya know?

Wednesday gets here and LOW AND BEHOLD!  IT'S THE TREE TRIMMERS THE LIGHT COMPANY HAS BEEN PROMISING WOULD ARRIVE!!!!! Not just for me, but for EVERYONE - they sent a letter MONTHS ago now that they would be out and about clearing lines and NOW they are at my house, literally in front of my driveway!  I dance a little jig of joy, realize I should be dressed better with strangers about, and I get all bold and go ask them if they are gonna handle the stuff over the driveway, pointing it out to the man in charge and he says yes (keep in mind I was sweet as pie the whole time, offered beverages and such even) and then I go on with my day....until the noise stops...and they are gone....and NOTHING got done around the service lines into my place which was PROMISED in the letter they had sent months ago....hmmmm...oh well, they aren't done yet I figure.

Thursday I awake bright and early - cheered by the thought of FINALLY seeing a little daylight over the drive way and having those lines cleared.  Um yeah, no....NO ONE comes down here though I can hear them working just a short ways up...okay...now I am STILL super sweet and go out and ask if they need anything to get started, walk the NEW supervisor who was not there the day before down to show him and FINALLY at noon they pop up!

See that little bit of yellow out past my truck there?  Oh yeah - they pulled all sorts of stuff down in the driveway to get this handled!  Then...they stopped...FOR LUNCH PICNIC STYLE IN MY FREAKING DRIVEWAY!!!! Okay...so I can handle that - it is pretty shady there and it looks SUPER pretty right now all green and bright...cool deal....Mind you I am stalking their every move from inside the house - praying they don't drop a limb on a goat as the bucks are over there - and keeping in eye on the pig so he stays out of the way and such....tedious long day....

 Then, lunch over, they leave.  I go on with my day...the NEXT DAY I realize a few things:
1) They are gone - like gone gone, not around at all on the road here gone
2) They left me a TON of crap and limbs all over in stacks - no really look:

3) And HERE is where I get SUPER pissed - THEY CLEANED UP EVERY OTHER CRUMB, STICK, STEM, AND FALLEN LEAF ALL UP AND DOWN THE ROAD BUT DID NOT TAKE MINE?????? WTF?????? SUPER MAD!  But ya know.....at least it's done now right?

So...James was home this weekend (Mr Farmer has been gone all week and had to leave again this week for work) and he mowed and helped me haul all that to the burn pile. Sadly I ran out of pile before I ran out of limbs, I need to get the Smoke Signal lit again and then add the rest....shaking my head....But like I said....
At least I can see daylight over the driveway now and NOTHING is touching those power lines!  Gotta be happy about small miracles, even if they come wrapped in more work for me :P

Monday, April 29, 2013

Any day now!!!!!

They don't look ALL that big in that pic - but it sure was a pretty day yesterday :) But yes, as you can see by the title ANY day now baby goats will be here!!!! I am SOOOO excited!  I have 2 saanen does, one bred for nubian cross kids and one bred for straight saanen kid due the 4th of May.  And to be honest, saanens TEND to kid a few days past "day 150"...so most likely it will be any day next week.  BUT...goats CAN kid from day 145-155 so we are now on baby watch officially! I of course am in a state of "almost ready but not really" - I still have some things I need to prep. My "kidding kit" is all ready pretty much together, moms to be are all set with everything THEY need (like cdt booster a month ago and so on) though I do still need to shave udders (clippers died though) and I do still need to shuffle them to the "maternity ward" and all...

Heck, it doesn't SOUND like I am ready does it?  But, I mostly am - after a few kiddings you stay in a state of perpetual readiness I think, like a midwife on call.  Tomorrow I will get everything finalized and prepped.  I just don't want to go getting all excited and have them drag it out until day 155 with me sitting here waiting and all you know?

 Took this pic a week or so ago at the end of the day - That's Pomegranate and she is not even the widest of the 2!

 One of the "baby daddy" photos - CriscoKid, my puffy gentle marshmallow goat :)
 Pomegranate was trying to nap while I was taking her "big belly pictures" - she was less then pleased with my interruption of her "me time"

And Lucy's belly!  She has REALLY gotten pretty big the last week or so!  She gave me twins last year and only looked half as large, so I am really hoping for twins again this year - twin does would be my preference of course :P

So....I'm nervously anticipating kids any day now and all excited and a-flutter already! I have absolutely been scatter brained like CRAZY the last few weeks since I realized we were coming up on kidding again.  You know, that moment when it REALLY hits you that soon you will be crazy busy with your hands full and no time for anything else? The moment when you have a mild heart attack?  Yup...that was me like April 8th and I haven't really stopped moving since then!

Stay tuned for updates on the expectant mothers :)

April please come back!

No really - WHERE did April go????  I just realized how crazy the last 15 days have been!  Oh my sweet good grief!

Taught a soap class and a goat class, went with a friend to pick up new goats (6 + hour round trip), had to baby sit the tree trimmers the light company sent out last week...still keeping an eye out for them to return....helped a friend with an emergency of the goat kind, helped another friend with her car problems, spent DAYS making new soap and NOW I am awaiting the arrival of baby goats who are due to be born practically any minute!  AHHHHH!!!!!  Where do I start????

I think I begin by turning back the clock...hands of time work with me here....okay...so soap class/goat class day:  It was a BLAST!  Met 2 new great awesome people, had fun, shared tips, tricks, and techniques, and I can't wait to see what they can create on their own :)  SOOOO excited to be doing classes again like I used to do once upon a time before we moved....

Then.....the ride to Hutto = new kids on the block.  No, really :)  New baby GOAT kids are here on our little dirt road!  Meet Hannah (the dark haired beauty) and Nugget (the blue eyed charmer).  Both are mini-nubian doelings and I can not wait for them to grow up to see what they can produce! SOOOO excited and met another great most awesome lady that day as well!

Then the next day had an emergency with another breeder who needed help - that was an all day thing...but it came out well...and then I was WHOOPED for a few days LOL.  I suppose I should post separately for other things huh?  Don't want anyone else as confused as I myself have been these last few weeks - April has been a crazy doozy!

Monday, April 15, 2013

I left my motivation at the market...

The flea market that is!  Had another really nice weekend out there and today I am feeling it! UGH :(

I got up, I fed stuff, I went back to bed.  I got up, I answered the emails I was behind on, I went back to bed. Now I am up again - it's way too late to run the errands I need to get taken care of desperately - maybe I should go back to bed huh?

I swear, the only thing that is a bummer about farming is the lack of days off!  You always have to feed everything, and check water and what not....even if you don't want to or don't feel like it. 

I guess a half way lazy day is better than a full blown working hard all day kinda day after a long weekend right?  Maybe tomorrow I will get something done in the garden and get some pictures up for ya'll :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2 outta 3 ain't bad....

It seems I am having a "2 outta 3" kind of week.  First, I am driving on 2 out of 3 new tires because Mr Farmhand thought he was being clever hiding one on the spare....THEN I got 2 out of 3 goat pens all mucked out and cleaned for the spring time today - which is a whole other post to come....THEN I got 2 out of 3 pictures taken well when I was doing the girls "pregnancy photos" today...oh well, I will be okay with 2 out of 3.  Like, for example, if I get 3 kids when the goats pop next month and 2 out of 3 are girls, I will be happy :) 

What?  When the goats pop?  What's all that about you ask??? Well, my saanen does Pomegranate and Lucy are due May 4th to kid!!! Oh yes, SOOOO excited!  Lucy is bred to Starmaker for cross babies (part nubian) and Pom is bred to Crisco for all saanen kids!  I am REALLY hoping for one girl AT LEAST from each as they both gave me BOYS last year!

First, Pomegranate:
From the side it's not too bad huh?  Now look at a birds eye view of that gut!
Yup, she is one wide load!  Got good fetal movement and udder building going on and I am getting excited! Then, we have Lucy, my Lu Goose, my sweet girl (who is actually a mega bitch when she is bred!)
Of course she has perfected the art of laying on the side where the babies are at - but she's still pretty big!
With a face that sweet you would never guess in a million years she has been out there tossing the nubians around for weeks now!  She won't let any other goats get near me - so jealous!  She was like that last year too...it's always a good sign she is bred when she gets SUPER mean since she is normally very laid back! Also, see that dirt on her shoulder?  She was helping me clean the pen today by knocking stuff like my rake over - what a peach right?  But I love her Sooooo much!

So yes, excitement is starting to build, babies are on the way!  Just a few short weeks and they will be here!  Usually I have names all picked out by now, but I have fallen behind :(  I've been so busy making and naming SOAP that I haven't gotten to goat names yet! Hmmmm....it's a "D" year - AGDA thing, I'll explain later when I remember haha! Anyways, I name kids using the year  is for ADGA...so "D" names...someone toss a few my way!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

3 Tires and One Lucky Possum!

So, last night I made 2 batches of soap...got the first one done and put it to bed in the freezer (it's a soap thing) and as I was making the 2nd batch I got to wondering:  Hmmm...Mr Farmhand said he bought TWO tires last week...we bought ONE before that....Now I should see THREE new tires but I can only account for TWO!  Wait a minute...Well, I was already making soap and couldn't wander off from it, so I figured I would go walk the truck when I went out to put this loaf of soap to bed in the freezer as well...

So...I finish my soap and back out to the freezer I go.  I stick it in there, and as I come walking out headed for the truck what to my wondering eyes does appear????  A TINY BABY POSSUM!  And not alone - oh no - there are four, yes FOUR, of my barn cats surrounding it!  Now, had he been "playing possum" or at least dead looking, I would have left the cats to it.  But this little fella - who seriously fits in the palm of my hand - was FIGHTING to live!  Okay, I'm mean, I'm hard core, I'm brutal about the facts of life and such.  But when I see such a tiny thing holding off four cats which are WAY bigger than it is, well...I get all soft.  Peter the Possum was fighting to live so I intervened!

I scooped him up by his tail, paused for a moment because I had JUST FOUND the third tire! Then I imprisoned him in a bucket, safe away from the cats, while I looked around. Nope, no mama possum to be seen...not nearby at least.  What to do eh?

Well, I called the neighbor who knew what to do and walked him down there to her...Lucky little fella made it through the night and is on his way to doing well, drinking goat milk and sleeping in a mitten!  He will be turned over to the proper rescue type people from what I understand...I know, possums are technically a nuisance of sorts.  But he wanted to live, so he was saved!

And that missing tire - Mr Farmhand had it put on the spare and it is under the truck!  Seems he is forcing my hand into buying two more brand new ones...but seriously, the new tires are LONG over due!  Now to have a day to get outta this house and run some real errands further than Trinity!  What a lucky Possum though!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Goat People = My Favorite kind!

Got a call from another goat herder tonight - one I had never really talked to before besides online - and spent THREE HOURS on the phone!  No really - three hours chatting herds, and goats and gardens and fodder and everything with a total stranger!

Goat people really are my favorite people - better than horse people even! It's crazy the stuff you can pick up from one phone call.  There's so much to share and learn and I just love them!

Add another "friend" to the list - someone to call when you can't figure things out (because goats are like that...sometimes not even the best vet has the answers, but ask another goat person).  Someone to call when you're looking for just the right goat...just someone else to call :)

I love my goat people and that is all I have to say tonight!

Friday, April 5, 2013

To market, to market...AGAIN :)

Well, Mr Farmhand made it home FINALLY, didn't do exactly what I asked, but danggit all I will take what I can get!

I'm all ready for another day at the market tomorrow - another loooonnnngggg busy weekend, but April itself is a long busy month.  Kind of excited though.  I need a little action after a fairly uneventful February, and relatively productive January and March.  So, I guess April is Action month on the farm :)

Also...we are t minus 4 weeks and counting on more baby goats arriving!  I am SUPER excited about THAT!  Hoping for a doe kid (or 2) to retain for us!

Alas...off to bed...most likely won't be hearing from this farmer for a few days :P

Financial challenges...so to speak...

Part of the problem with living way out in the boonies is the distance to everything - and when I say everything I mean E V E R Y T H I N G!!!!!  It's almost 20 miles, ONE WAY, to the nearest gas station for the crying out loud!!!  (So, if you ever come to visit, be sure you have enough gas to get back to town at least!)

Yes, I know, I choose this right?  And, in general, I like it this way.  I am a bit of a hermit deep down inside...no, seriously.  I like to be left alone just as much as I enjoy the company of others.  Living way out far means, for the most part, I am left alone and I am free to seek out other humans when I wish to.  It also means some days, sometimes, I am stuck doing a TON of driving!

So, how does this relate to financial challenges?  Well, let me tell you...With my husband - who we shall call "Mr. Farmhand" from now - with his job (which pays the real bills by the way) we have been trying SINCE AUGUST to get direct deposit in place!  Considering the nearest bank is just as far as the nearest gas station, and also considering that they mail his checks out every 2 weeks (thus sending me running to the post office box), it seemed logical right???  However, working for a LARGE, FAMOUS, WELL KNOWN company has somehow made them INCOMPETENT and INCAPABLE of getting said direct deposit in place with our current banking set up....and thus leading to many a wasted Friday driving around to collect the money and such...LOTS of hours and gas spent on this...

Well, not even ten days ago now, Mr Farmhand went into the credit union - the one his company sponsors/endorses/HAS ON SITE at his job (which is out in Houston by the way - Mr Farmhand drives a lot for work!) and he opened an account with them and set up the direct deposit and was told "Oh, don't worry, it won't kick in until a payday after your debit card arrives"....Cool beans.  That meant one more pay day driving around, BUT hopefully they would finally get the direct deposit set up for us!  YAY!  Money to spend at my finger tips instead of driving right?  Every house wife's dream!  Um, yeah, not so much...

SO, this morning, for kicks and giggles as it were, I double checked the new bank account.  Guess what - no really, bet you already know, but guess........YES!  Direct deposit hit the bank and NO CARD IS IN MY HAND TO SPEND THAT MONEY WITH!!!!!  Oh, and guess what else???  Mr Farmhand STAYED HOME TODAY because he is sick!!!!  Now, I want you to think on this one for a minute....why am I ranty and raving this morning?  Because:

  1. It seems like a bit of a monopoly and a touch of a forced hand of sorts that they never could get it right with our bank, but got it perfect with their own...hmmm....I need to look VERY closely at that fee schedule again.  Can you say "I owe my soul to the company store?"  Oh yeah, feels just like that old song...
  2. We don't have a debit card yet and don't carry checks (which more than likely wouldn't be here anyways yet either) so without going down and withdrawing the funds in person how are we to spend this money???
  3. MR FARMHAND IS AT HOME!!!  80 miles away FROM THE NEAREST BANK BRANCH!!!!  So, if we want any money for the weekend AND the card has not arrived by like 1p.m. in the mail, MR FARMHAND is stuck trooping ALL THE WAY TO HOUSTON ANYWAYS today!!
  4. Oh yeah, did I mention the nearest bank branch is located ON COMPANY PROPERTY???  You need to be an employee with a security card to get in the gates and to the bank!  All of my end of things had to be handled with photocopies and over the phone - which I find 100% completely ridiculous!  ANYONE could have taken a copy of my stuff down there - but I was ready for a little convenience!!  What a sucker I was right???  There's NOTHING convenient about a bank I can't get to!!!
So yes, today, I am financially frustrated!  I have money I can't spend, bills I need to pay, and I feel like I have to mount a major expedition to go get it and save it from these crazy people!  UGH!!!!

Sometimes, the price of living where you love is the loss of convenience huh?  Oh well...I'm gonna go out, saddle up, and ride for a while.  Then I'll roll Mr Farmhand out of his sick bed and off to the city...gotta do what you gotta do right?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

For real? FOR REAL I say????

No, really....this:
At 6a.m. I was awoken - rudely - by the non-stop ringing of the house phone.  For real??? NO ONE calls me at 6a.m. - they KNOW I JUST went to bed!!!!  So...I stumble tot he phone and it would be my husband, stuck, on the side of the road with a flat tire...and the spare is flat too (actually it's BEEN flat out in front of our shed for a few months now - I KNOW, I need to fix it right?)

The whole reason he took the truck is because the fuel pump is going out on our jeep - we just need to make it to the weekend when he has a day off to fix the damn thing!  So, anyways, he took the truck today and didn't even make it out of the county!

So...off I go to rescue him.  Being early in the day and knowing my sleep schedule was all thrown off, when came home, I fed everything and I took a nap.  UNTIL 2p.m.!!!  OH NO!  The day is gone I tell you!  At least he had located the best deal on a new tire by then.  We actually need all 4 new tires (5 if you count the spare) but pay day being literally ONE DAY AWAY...we got one today.  It took 3 hours of my evening to go get the tire mounted and get it all switched on the truck and limp on home.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder how I ever get anything done when things like this happen and throw my whole day into a spin like that! I had planned to make 2 batches of soap today, and get the goats all caught up on whatever they needed for the month of April.  Nope, didn't happen.

Oh well...at least now I am one tire closer to having all of them new again huh? Have to keep the farm truck running - you need a truck on a farm!  Also, this means my new soap cutter I want will be put off for a while...but that's okay too.  It was a want, not a need, and tires are a need for sure!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Always growing 'round here....

Well...kinda...actually, mostly it's the trash and the weeds that grow lol :)  But hey, that's better than nothing right! 

So, I promised "post smoke signal pics" didn't I?  Here they are...though somehow I have already managed to build it back up with a few bags of trash again!
There's gonna be limbs a plenty too shortly, have a whole tree actually that needs to be cut up and burnt...it's coming, little by little....

And then, there's my mustard greens.  What hasn't been stepped on, driven over, and otherwise smooshed or attacked by bugs seems to be doing pretty well:
Might get enough for 1 or 2 pots of mustard greens before it's all said and done.  That makes me smile!

So now, I head into the soap room.  Ever determined to get prepared for another Saturday at the market!  Got all my hausfrau stuff done for the day too!  Dinners cooking, laundry is doing it's thing, dishes have been conquered.  It's a nice feeling...so away I go to soap...stay tuned for the more farmer tid bits of, well, farmer stuff :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It's a Small World, After All...

So...I promised this story, didn't I?  Why the "goat world" is a small world and people really should be on their best behavior...part 1.  Ok, see, what had happened was..................

As we all know (if you read along) I went to the market this weekend.  Ended up doing both days and pretty good bit of sales too!  Nice, encouraging, spirit lifting - MOSTLY.  However, I bumped into someone that ran me hot livid mad on Saturday.

Now, without naming names and such here's the deal.  I sold a goat to lady whom is now a friend of sorts.  No one I know very well, but well enough.  Seems SHE had bought some goats from a woman who A) sold her sick goats and B) sold one with what appears to be FORGED PAPERS!!!  OMG!!!  Alert, watch out, watch you backs right???  Crazy sheisters are out there, they abound these days. There's way more to the story than all that, it actually touched my life in a few ways.  But to keep it simple, that's all for now.  So...then months later I am at the flea market and over wanders another "vendor" to check out my wares...

This little skeezy thing - no really, skeezy - proceeds to tell me her aunt has goats and is starting to make soap.  Oh joy :(  Not only have I had to listen to her "white trash stories of glory" all morning already (no really, total piece of work - talking non-stop about how much money they make and blah blah blah - just trashy all around), but now she wants to be my friend...and then it hits me!  The aunts name, location, and ownership of goats all match the lady who sells sick goat with forged papers!  So, to clarify, I ask for a last name...yup...same one :(

I had a really hard time staying civil at that point - I am, after all, NOT the "goat police" right?  PLUS I am stuck in one spot, don't need to make a scene, DO need to sell my soaps quietly...so I just kinda blow her off...ignore her...and fight the temptation to trip her each time she struts past me.  

Let's just say this.  The goat world is a very small one.  Sure, a million people may own goats, but somehow some way we are all linked together at some point! Paths cross, names become known, and be careful because your reputation proceeds you.  Don't do shady things, be fair, and be kind.  Just saying...you never know who else knows what you have been up to...

Building Smoke Signals...

I swear - I build smoke signals, not burn piles!  I mean, I really am trying to burn stuff.  I don't MEAN to send an SOS to the whole county!  But nope, see it?  The worlds most amazing smoke signal!

Meet Marjory the Trash Heap - an eclectic collection of garbage, what not, and limbs and such.  GIANT I tell you!  Then you add me, and tiny little blow torch thing and a jug of lighter fluid and you get the first picture - a smoldering mess with a tiny flame that goes and goes and goes.  Smoking and smoking and slowly, SLOWLY burning for daaaaayyyyysss!

Yes sir, trash disposal here in the boonies is not my specialty at all...but at least it's a little smaller pile now :)  Haven't gotten a picture of it yet...but I will...just trust me when I say it took DAYS to burn down to nothing finally!

If anyone says they see an SOS coming from my corner of the county, it's best to ignore it most likely.  It's just my trash trying to ignite.