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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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Toes

In honor of our birthdays my 17 year old granddaughter, whose birthday was last month, and  I had a pedicure. So nice to be pampered and get pretty toes. Then I came home and put on my muck boots to work in the barn. Ahhhhhh.... such is the life!
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Goat Fashion Accessories

Babydoll models the latest in goat fashion accessories. I'm not sure who the designer is but I am sure that all the goats will want one this season. And I'm also sure that by carrying her lunch pail she'll always be ready for dinner no matter what time of day.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012


The work crew showed up this week to begin digging the new well which is part of the geothermal heating system we're having installed. Not complaining, but what they did to my lawn!!!! My grandson asked me this morning how long it took me to grow the grass that beautiful. Oh well, replanting is well worth having plenty of heat this winter that doesn't involve hauling in wood.
And of course every work crew needs supervisors, who double as dairy goats in their other lives. Every project on this farm is well supervised by them, and sometimes they even insist on helping.
"Hey, you're destroying the lawn? MOM! Is that allowed?"
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Best Laid Plans

Plan for Friday - give Talon, the horse, a bath and grooming to get him all prettied up for the 2 day riding clinic in VT Saturday and Sunday, also do some more trailer loading practice. Actual day - trailer him 1 1/2 hours away so vet can stitch up his face after he impaled himself on the horse trailer and slashed open the side of his jaw. He loaded beautifully earlier this week so I wanted to do more practice yesterday. He freaked! I remained relatively calm till I saw his face gushing blood, then I freaked! A very good friend came over with her big stock trailer (picture barn on wheels), assured me it wasn't that bad and he wasn't going to bleed to death, drove us to the vets and waited several hours with me till the vet could fit him in for emergency surgery to sedate him and stitch him up. I'm sure my friend had plans of her own on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

Now to estimate the cost - The weekend clinic was $150, then figure the cost of a 4 hour round trip both days, snacks on the road and lunch at a restaurant. The vet bill was $252.68 to be exact and a 3 hour round trip, no snacks. According to my calculations the clinic plan would have been more expensive, but also more fun. Talon won't be able to wear a halter or bridle for at least a month until his face heals as the gash is right where the bridle sits just above his mouth. But when it does heal we need more trailer practice! 
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Are You My Mother?

Remi, our female Great Pyrenees LGD (livestock guardian dog) has really taken a protective role with Babydoll, our goat kid with the broken leg (click here if you've forgotten that story). She began by protecting her from the other goats who go into a feeding frenzy at milking time (cue theme song from Jaws). Remi would sit in the corner of the barn with Baby behind her and growl if any of the others got too close to "her" injured kid. Since Baby's cast can't get wet she stays in the barn and doesn't go out to graze with the others. Remi stayed behind to keep her company. As the days have passed Remi and Baby have formed a friendship and a close bond. I often see Baby curled up, nesting in Remi's soft white fur. Last night it was a little chilly here in northern New Hampshire. But Baby was quite warm and cozy curled up with her new best friend.
These Pyrs never cease to amaze me. Whether they're protecting eggs (see story here), or keeping kids warm, or treeing bears (yes, they do that too) they're ever watchful, vigilant and protective. It's nice to know my farm is in capable hands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Chicken's Choice

No one else ever has a chicken on them, but Brandy usually has one. Maybe she's extra comfortable, perhaps she's the only one who doesn't mind, maybe it's because while all the others are out stuffing their faces Brandy prefers to be at the barn at every opportunity, or maybe she has an itchy back and sees the benefit of a free back scratch. Whatever the reason, Brandy seems to be the chicken's choice for roosts.
"Anyone else want a ride? I've got another itchy spot on my shoulders."
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fat Pig!

Actually, 3 fat pigs. 3 VERY fat pigs! No, I'm not insulting anyone, nor am I giving a new twist to the 3 Little Pigs story. We actually have 3 morbidly obese pigs. Here's the story: 

DH loves pigs. It's his favorite farm animal. I hate pigs and I'm actually afraid of them. I can handle a buck in rut with no problem. After all, he's a vegetarian and he's only being territorial about his does in heat. (City folk might refer to them as a billy goat and nannies, that is, before I inform them of the proper terms. But I digress.) The buck just wants to be sure no one steals his precious does from him. Knowing this, he's easy to deal with. He can be bought, after all. If I want to borrow a doe all it requires is some grain and, typical guy, he's then thinking about his stomach and doesn't even notice that he's missing a few of his beautiful ladies. But a pig is an omnivore which means it eats just about anything, meat included. An 800 pound sow that might look at me as lunch is a potential problem. We've had pigs in the past and if it weren't for my 2 English Shepherds watching my back I just might have been the main course several times. Pigs don't like me either, but I'll save that story for another time. Let's just say the feeling is mutual.

The last pig to claim residency here was the aforementioned 800 pound sow who pushed me from behind and knocked me over. Needless to say the dogs weren't approving of her treatment of me and chased her off with much barking, snarling and gnashing of teeth. The dogs did the snarling etc., the sow just ran for it after the first well placed bite to her hind legs. Surprisingly the dogs didn't leave a mark on her. We know this because we inspected her hide very closely after she was hanging from the tractor bucket a few days later (AFTER she was slaughtered of course). I have a motto on this farm - be nice or be tasty.

So we've been pigless for a few years. DH has been talking about getting pigs again. Knowing my fear of them he decided on a smaller, more docile breed called a Guinea Hog. The males get 300 pounds tops, the females somewhere in the 200 to 250 range. While he was looking for someone who sold this breed, an online friend offered to sell me her adult boar and 2 sows for very reasonable money. She thought the sows might be pregnant based on timing from their last litter. We agreed to buy them and picked them up last Saturday.

Here's what a Guinea Hog is SUPPOSED to look like:
Kind of a smallish chubby bear kind of thing. Not too big, short legs, definitely not as threatening as the usual big commercial pig. I was expecting to see something like that.

HOLY COW, or in this case HOLY FAT PIGS! One of the things my husband learned about this breed is that they're easy keepers and it's easy to overfeed them. Overfeed them? These hogs have gluttony down to an art form! Here's what the hogs we got look like:
Bottom line (if you'll forgive the pun) is that I think there are at least 3 someones on this farm that are on a diet! I'll let you know how it goes.
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Poor Baby!

Poor Baby - we brought home a new goat on Saturday - Baby Doll, a 5 week old Snubian (cross of a Saanen and a Nubian). Poor thing broke her leg yesterday. She was racing off the stairs and got her leg caught. She kept going, her leg didn't. Needless to say she's had a rough weekend - she left her home and many friends her age for a new home with only 1 friend (we only have 1 other baby goat), then broke her leg on Sunday. But all is not lost. She got plenty of cuddles on the couch with daddy and even got to sleep in the house in a dog crate next to my bed. Went to the vet this morning to have her checked out. He was impressed at the "cast" I put on her leg. She has to keep the soft cast on for 4 weeks and not get it wet. Yeah, right!
AAAHH, the life of a "house goat"!
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gabe, The Mother Hen!

Gabriel, our 120 lb Great Pyrenees LGD, has always liked the chickens, and particularly the chicks. We've often found him laying in the brooder area with chicks climbing all over him. When he thinks they're cold he'll push them under the heat light. When we have dead chickens we throw them out to the dogs and Remi, our other LGD, will eat hers straight off but Gabe carries his around for days protecting it from further harm. We're never sure whether he actually eats it or just finally has to abandon it to come in for food. But what we found yesterday just topped it all off. Gabe was laying in the corner of the barn and refused to move. DH finally got his big butt to push over and what we discovered made us speechless. There was Gabe laying on a nest of several eggs the chickens had secretly laid in the corner behind the wheelbarrow! 
Good grief, don't let him into the chicken coop. He could never fit into one of the nest boxes!!!!
Gabe: "Hey, they took away my eggs. I loved those eggs. Not fair!"
Remi: "Did someone say eggs? Eggs are yummy! Is it snack time?"
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Thursday, April 12, 2012


They say that things happen in threes. In this case, it's a good thing - as a matter of fact it's fantastic! Triplets aren't unusual for a Nubian goat, but these are all females. IF I was trying to build up my herd this would be a big bonus, but I was actually hoping for twins - one female to keep and one male that we could wether (neuter) to keep as a companion for a buck we're getting this spring. So on to plan B - we'll keep one of the doelings, sell the other 2, buy the buck and a wether along with him. It's going to be a hard choice as to which one to keep though. Help me out here. Which one should I keep?

Sophie - very sweet
Marshmallow - looks like she has marshmallow on her ears.
Brownie - love the socks.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Everything Starts Somewhere

In the overall scheme of things a new desk might not be the biggest news item for our family. But since I'm the one that handles all the family's paperwork, it's a really big deal to me. I've gotten along for years using just about anything with a flat surface for a desk - from the dining room table to putting a roll out tray inside a book cabinet. Desks are, after all, expensive, and if I can make do with something just as efficient I'm all for letting one's creativity go wild. But recently I've begun to feel cramped and disorganized by the piece of particle board over a file cabinet next to a cabinet where the printer, paper and incidentals are kept. As you can see, the setup is cramped and cluttered.
So off to the furniture store I go. My, I never dreamed there were so many kinds of desks! Flattops, rolltops, large ones big enough for an office suite of the most esteemed CEO, and ones small enough for a small child's bedroom. Styles, materials, finishes and colors galore. The store copied several color catalog pages of desks so I could bring them home and live with the pictures for a few days. Sort of like bringing home paint chips and taping them to the wall to see if one grows on you. After a day or two of measuring and imagining, I finally decided on this one. Of course, now the dining/living room which also serves as my home office will have to be repainted. Can't put a new desk against old paint. And then, with that room repainted, the adjoining room will start to look like it needs a fresh look....

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Saturday, January 7, 2012


The first week of the New Year is gone, and so are my New Year's resolutions. I've heard it said that New Year's resolutions are a to-do list for the first week of January. I don't think mine made it even that far.

Like many people, the first thing on my list was that I resolved to eat healthier. I gave up trying to lose weight years ago so I figured that if I just resolved to eat healthier, the weight would take care of itself. That lasted about 4 hours until someone offered me a cookie. That led to another, and another, well, you get the picture. Before long I was stuffing my face, looking like a human version of Cookie Monster, only not blue. 2nd on the list was to get at least 15 minutes exercise every morning. Here in the frozen north of NH it's very icy this time of year so the safest way to walk is on a treadmill. I haven't even resurrected it from under the piles of stuff where it has remained buried since I got it last year. It has been of some use this past year, however, because the handles make a convenient place to hang the plastic bags for recycles. Number 3 was to bring my 2011 accounting up to date. The week is over and I'm not even 1/4 way through. Which brings us to the 4th thing on my list - to be better organized. Now where did I put that list?

What about you? What are some of your resolutions, and are you being successful?

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