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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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kids, kids and more kids

This year's crop of kids is growing by leaps and bounds. They're 3 weeks old this weekend and they're about 3 times as big. Cuteness, cuteness and more cuteness. We had 6 kids from 3 does, and another 2 does due sometime in June. The secret in life is to find something that brings you joy. When I look out the window in the morning and see them all jumping, bouncing around, and climbing on everything, it starts my day with a chuckle. They run and run and run, just because they're happy to be alive.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012


"Look everyone - it's the lunch wagon!"
I tried in vain to get a decent picture of Talon for his "for sale" ad. He was standing by the fence and every attempt at getting him to look up failed. I clucked, chucked, kissed, and whistled. Nothing. Nada. Then, just as I was about to give up my husband drove down the driveway with a trailer full of hay. Now that got the attention of "glutton gut"! So now he's listed on several horse sale sites with a video as well. Anyone want to buy a horse? Click here to see Talon's ad.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weird Egg

Occasionally the chickens will lay an egg without a shell, just a membrane. Feels really weird, sort of like old jello that's dried out a bit on the surface. But what I found in a nest box was 2 shell-less eggs connected with a hollow tube/cord. If you lightly squeeze one egg you can see fluid passing back and forth through the cord to the other. Have any of you ever seen anything like this?
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Skunked... The Sequel

My Great Pyrenees are livestock guardians. Which means they live with the goats and chickens and have free run of the fenced pastures and woods where the goats graze. Which also means they're usually very dirty. After Remi got skunked last week she rolled in the grass and dirt trying desperately to get rid of the stench. I used a skunk deodorizer which took care of most of the smell but I couldn't get all the dirt out of her thick undercoat. So I sent her to the groomers for a good bath. $60 later and we need sunglasses to look at her. She just shines! A Great Pyrenees, at least a clean one, is a beautiful sight to behold! I wonder what she'll choose to roll in to get rid of the fresh-clean-dog-just-back-from-the-groomers smell.
"Mom says I smell good but I've got to find a manure pile to roll in so I can get rid of the shampoo smell."
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Thursday, August 16, 2012


In the wee hours of this morning I was awakened by the distinct odor of Pepe Le Pew who obviously decided our broiler chickens were worth braving barking dogs. The tally for the night went thus: 2 dogs (1 Great Pyrenees, 1 English Shepherd) skunked, all chickens safe, yard very stinky as they apparently had their standoff right outside my back door. Remi, the Pyr, got the worst of it, as I think she got a direct hit right on her chest. Of course, I couldn't find my big bottle of Nature's Miracle Skunk Deodorizer that I've had on hand for years in anticipation of just this scenario. So I had to wait for the feed store to open, and by that time I had 2 clients this morning so everything had to wait till a bit later. Meanwhile I put the dogs in a fenced area by themselves so the smell would be somewhat contained. I got the English Shepherd pretty de-smelled, but I think the Great Pyrenees is going to need professional help. Waiting for a call back from the dog groomer and praying she has an opening soon.
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