Saturday, July 11, 2015


They're not mine. Only visiting for the summer to mow a pasture that the goats won't eat. It's a fallacy that goats will eat anything. They're actually rather picky, especially when it comes to grazing. They're browsers by nature but will graze grass if there's no trees to destroy. This particular pasture has what we call swamp grass, which has fairly sharp edges when it matures. Horses don't seem to care - "if it's green, it's keen" is their motto. They do make lovely ornaments, don't they?

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Thursday, April 23, 2015


Ah, spring is in the air. Grass is starting to turn green here in the north country, trees are budding, birds are singing, robins have been back for weeks searching the warming earth for worms, geese and ducks can be seen on the ponds and rivers. Spring rains give that wonderfully earthy smell to the air. Goats have kidded, new chicks are growing fast. Yes, spring is in the air. So what's up with what I woke up to this morning? OK, Mother Nature, this is not funny. I've long since tired of taking pictures of the beautiful snow. So enough already!

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

As Much Fun As A Puppy!

What's as much fun as a puppy? Vern is!

Vern's mama rejected him so he's come to live with us. I know, who could reject that face, right? Since he's only 2 weeks old, has no mama to protect him and keep him warm, he's a house goat till he gets bigger and the weather gets warmer. Meanwhile, he's making himself at home in the rooms with no rugs, making friends with the dogs, nibbling everything in sight, and being a kid (the goat kind). Yup, just as much fun as a puppy!

Vern is a Boer goat and will be next year's baby daddy. I know, hard to believe he'll be old enough to breed next fall. But they do grow up fast.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

The Shooting Tree

You've heard of The Giving Tree, well, we have a shooting tree - or at least had one. There's been one particular tree that everyone has stapled targets to for shooting practice. It made a nice gun range since it was a lone tree in a small field with nothing but woods behind it. Over the years it must have stopped thousands of bullets. But even a big tree has its limits. A wind storm came up and blew it over. Since this was the only tree to topple, I can only assume it wasn't a big wind, but just enough to finally do in a weakened trunk.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Becoming a Couch Potato

Remy's hair is sparse this year. We usually clip the Pyrs each spring and their hair begins to grow back within a few weeks. Remy was no exception in the past, with the exception being this year. After clipping her this past spring she just didn't grow the undercoat as quickly, or as thickly, as she needs for our northern winters. And she has several bald spots, a large one on each side, and a smaller one directly over her withers. After a VERY expensive vet visit to do skin tests, a complete blood panel, plus a thyroid test, it has been determined that she's in perfect health. The vet did suggest several supplements to help with her coat, but meanwhile she just doesn't have the protection from the cold. So she's a house dog for the winter. Although she's a bit bored and misses the excitement of patrolling the fence line and barking at every leaf that might be a threat, she has discovered there are a few amenities that make passing the long, cold winter inside bearable. One of her discoveries is the couch! Being a Pyr, she doesn't know how to take "no" for an answer so her humans just gave up and let her do her thing. Also, if she's going to be a house dog, she has to put up with being brushed regularly and going to the groomer. That also involves going for a ride, which is a pleasure she discovered long ago and thoroughly enjoys. Then there's the kitchen which is full of wonderful smells to investigate, and dishes to be prewashed before going into the dishwasher. All in all, she figures the house isn't such a bad place, and although there are drawbacks like being a bit bored, the perks make it all worthwhile. The problem is returning her to the outdoors after her hair grows back sufficiently. Wait, did I just see her with the trimmers making more bald spots?

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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Never Ending.....

We've all had The Song That Never Ends stuck in our heads, repeating over and over till we about go crazy. Then there's the movie about The Never Ending Story. Today was the day of The Never Ending Kitchen.

I awoke to a kitchen piled high with dishes from last night. I know, not exactly a good way to start a Monday morning, but it's better than spending my Sunday evening doing supper dishes. Sunday, after all, is supposed to be a day of rest. So here's how my Monday went: Clean kitchen by unpacking dishwasher and putting dirty dishes in it, wash pots and pans that wouldn't fit in dishwasher, clean counters and stove, straighten and organize - you know, all the little things that make up that task. Next, milk goats, collect eggs, do barn chores and then clean milk room - otherwise referred to as the barn kitchen. Get breakfast. Clean kitchen. Put dirty clothes in washer. Mix batch of cajeta and put on stove to simmer. (If you don't know what that is then you won't feel deprived that you don't have any. If you do know what that is, stop drooling.) Clean kitchen. Put wash in dryer. Get mid morning snack. Clean kitchen. Check email. Go for a walk with goats and dogs. Lunchtime. Clean kitchen. Fold laundry and put away. Cajeta is done early afternoon. Strain into jars and put in refrigerator. Clean kitchen. Make batch of ricotta cheese. Clean kitchen. Hubby is home from work so it's time to start preparing supper.....

Are you sensing a pattern here? Cleaning the kitchen is The Never Ending Chore! Some would suggest I should wait till everything is done and clean the kitchen once. I don't know about you, but I can't work in a cluttered mess so I'm compelled to clean between each task. And some days it seems like all I do is clean the kitchen. Well, at least I'm not barefoot and pregnant!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Great Year for the Garden

I love going out to my garden to get lunch, or breakfast in this case. We have an ever expanding garden and orchard to provide most of our own food. Besides all the usual veges including a beautiful asparagus bed, we have apple, pear and plum trees, (we did have a peach tree but that suffered death by goat last year when they organized a coordinated prison break!), raspberries, currants, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, elderberries, strawberries, and rhubarb. We get milk and meat from the goats, eggs and meat from the chickens and ducks, meat from pigs, veges and fruit from the gardens. The only thing we don't raise ourselves is beef but buy that locally from a friend who pasture raises Herefords. The animals are also our land management crew. As we've pushed back the woods to reclaim open pasture the goats clear brush and keep the land clear, pigs help loosen and dig up stumps. We did have sheep a while back but neither of us particularly likes lamb meat, and I don't do anything with the wool, so we decided that sheep are way too dumb to really enjoy other than being a source of amusement when they run into fences etc.

This has been a bumper crop year for everything. We've had a wonderful combination of heat and rainfall, which has served to make everything lush and productive. Since we have such a short growing season here in northern NH it's wonderful to have everything produce so much in such a short time. Now to can, freeze, dehydrate, juice, pickle, store, etc., it all.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On the Job!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fisher Attack

If you don't know what a fisher is - well, it's in the weasel family but more like a wolverine. Nasty creatures, big teeth! They really don't have any natural predators except for humans.... and my big white dawgs! In the wee hours of this morning, under cover of darkness, one of these viscous creatures decided it wanted to dine on a superb chicken dinner at the Davis cafe. We free range the broiler chickens on the lawn and they're just about ready to process. So I suppose the thought of a 7 or 8 lb. meaty bird was just what this fisher had in mind. We close the gate at the house end of the driveway and leave Gabriel, our big male Pyr, out in the yard for their protection. Libby, who is only 4 months old, was in the front pasture with the does (female goats) and Remi, our female, was in the lower pasture with the bucks (male goats). Libby was the first to raise the alarm as the fisher stealthed its way down the driveway. Gabe rushed to the gate yelling "YOU! SHALL! NOT! PASS!" Remi came flying around the back of the pond to join Gabe, or as close as she could get at that gate. We did not lose one bird! The fisher obviously decided we charge too much for a chicken dinner and went to a cheaper diner. Libby, even as young as she is, has the makings of a fabulous guardian. She's got a big dog bark already, and she doesn't tolerate any nonsense from the local wildlife. I heard both Remi and Gabriel telling her, "Well done, Grasshopper!" 
"Well done,Grasshopper!"
"OK, OK, you did good kid. Now go away!"

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Making Friends

It's been quite a while since I've posted. A lot has happened recently and I hardly know where to begin. 

Let's see - in February I had the 2nd surgery on my right foot to fuse the big toe joint that got crushed about 4 years ago when a 4x8 sheet of plywood fell on it from about 3' up. Ouch! Spent about 2 weeks on the couch with my foot up, then had a walking boot for 3 months. Meanwhile, all the grandkids moved out. Talon was sold to a vacation farm place in PA. Apparently city folk will actually pay to muck stalls and milk goats. Who knew? They also bought the saddle that I'd had made for him. The round pen was sold a few weeks ago, then last week the horse trailer was sold. A few weeks back someone came to buy 1 goat and ended up with 5 goats and 4 pigs. So - we're down 3 grandkids, 1 horse and saddle, 5 goats, 4 pigs, 1 horse trailer, 1 round pen and, oh yes, we sold our van today. Now I've got to list a treeless saddle and pad, and a few miscellaneous horsey type things, on Ebay. I'm also selling a few ADGA registered Nubian does if anyone's interested.

We did, however, buy an LGD puppy known as a Colorado Mountain Dog, which is kind of a cross of Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd. She's 8 weeks old and about the cutest thing this side of a baby panda. Introducing Libby, short for Liberty Bell: 

She's not old enough to be with the goats yet because she has to get over the jumping/biting stage and get big enough so she can fend off butting goat mamas. But she's sectioned off in a place where she can see them but can't get to them, or them to her. There's quite a bit of curiosity at the gate.

"Want to play? Oh, come on, I won't nip much!"
"Hey, what's going on in here?"
Gabriel has been the one to accept her first, allowing her to sleep with him and eat alongside. It's tough for a pup to become one of the pack. Remi, on the other hand, thinks she's about as annoying as a giant gnat! It's going to take a while before Remi gives her stamp of approval, but I'll bet they'll be playing before the end of the month.

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