Category Archives: Happenin's on the Farm

Moo, Baa, Maa and Oink

For the next few days, I’ll be surrounded by all the sounds that make up a farm.  No, I have not moved out to our barn but I am camped out at the 4-H, 2010 EXPO where the kids show and sale their animals that they have been raising for the last several months.

The last few days have been hectic as the children sheared their animals, got poster boards ready and packed to come to EXPO.  

It’s amazing how much wool a lamb carries around.  It’s at least 2″ thick.

There’s all kinds of interesting ways to do a job, right?  🙂

Wesley’s pig, Bacon.

Justus – looking forward to the day when he can raise an animal.

Wesley

Zachary & Serenity’s lambs saying “Hi” through the fence.

I thought this lamb looked so cute.  It had its eyes closed, resting, while it chewed its cud.

Today the lambs are showing.  The kids show them twice, once for confirmation and the second time for showmanship.  Fun, fun, fun!  I’ll update tomorrow (hopefully) on how the kids placed.

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The Farm Has Grown

Our little farm is growing!  We have now added 3 more goats – Boer meat goats.  This breed is originally from South Africa.  I’m planning to start a little business venture selling the kids.  At first I want to keep my does and sell only the bucks until we have all the does we need.  Since the goats are free ranging on all the brush that’s around us feed costs are very minimal.  At evening time they come back to their pen where they are rewarded with some grain.  We then lock them up for the night to help keep them safe from predators (i.e. mountain lions & coyotes).

My husband built me a great pen using hog panels.  I am so thankful to him!  It’s more than big enough for the 15 goats we currently have and if we want to add on later, we still have plenty of room to expand. 🙂  We still have a few more pens (kidding pens) to build but that will come a little later.

Here is my new Boer buck.  He’s very gentle – good thing, with horns like that!

My 2 Boer does.

Establishing who’s in charge…

Notice the nice big pen in the background

“Kidding around” – A brother and sister.

I have a lot to learn but I’ve got my handy goat reference book and of course, I can ask my boys some things since they’ve been the ones caring for the goats till this time.

Now, instead of smelling like a skunk, I’ll have that nice barnyard aroma.  Things are only getting better and better around here.  Hee, hee. 🙂

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Do I Smell Something? – Skunk Update

My husband walks into the post office and the lady asks him, “Did you get sprayed by a skunk?” (Whoa!  Excuse me??  Did you just say what I think you said?)

Our room still has the faint odor of skunk so our clothes are probably absorbing that. Aghhh!  When we opened our laptop computer case yesterday the smell was strong.  Thankfully the weather has been very nice outside so we’re able to open the windows during the day.  I don’t know of any other solutions.

I’m just imagining when all 8 of us go to church and trudge down the aisle what it will be like. 🙂  We’re blissfully walking to our seats and unbeknownst to us a little black odor is following behind.  This episode with the skunk could get very memorable, not to mention downright embarrassing!

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A Skunk by Any Other Name is Still a Skunk!

Settling down into my nice comfy bed, getting ready for a restful night, I heard the dog start barking.   I figured there probably was a skunk nearby since they seem to be in plentiful supply around here.

The barking continued for a while but then the bark changed slightly – making me think our dog must be really close to the animal.  It was.  Not only was she close to the wild animal, the animal was close to ME!  Probably only 5-10′ away because by now it was AT OUR HOUSE by my bedroom!!  Then it not only was at our house but UNDER our house.   The skunk broke through a screened vent we have that vents our basement crawl-space. How do we know this?  The evidence was found this morning.  A bent up vent laying on the ground.

After plunging through our vent, the skunk sprayed!! I have NEVER smelled such an abominable odor in my life.  I have smelled plenty of skunks but nothing like this.  It was the regular skunk smell but it also smelled like a mixture of tar or something burning.  Absolutely horrible.

Things were so bad I buried my face in my husband’s armpit – something I do not generally practice, as you might understand.  Not that he  smells bad but that’s just not my normal pattern – to snuggle up to his armpit. 😉  It worked very nicely – for a while – but then I needed some cool air.  Next I decided to rub some essential oil on my face.  That wasn’t as effective.   I wandered in the hallway which was the worst place of all because there was no place for the smell to dissipate, only to find Zachary stumbling out of his room with a paint mask that had side respirators on and all his bedding.  About that time the smell overcame me and I started gagging.  Every time I would quit gagging and would take in more fresh(?) 🙂 air, I’d start gagging again.  Ironically, the only clear air I could find was outside.

Serenity’s room didn’t smell too bad so that’s where Russell and I landed for the night.  Zachary slept in the walleyball court and Wesley in his closet.  When Wesley went in there with his blankets, he asked Seth if he wanted to sleep in there, too.  Seth said, “No, I’ll be fine,” but in just a few short minutes the closet door opened and in came Seth. 🙂

A search is currently being made to ascertain whether the skunk went out when the dog left or if it decided to take up residence under our house! In the meantime we’re still trying to air out our bedroom and hall.  🙂


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The Birth of Baby Kids – Goat kids, I Mean

Last night when all was cold and overcast, 3 goat kids were born.

There was one kid that found its legs rather quickly.

Sometimes you get worried thinking the kids might be weak since they just lay there.  The mother seemed unconcerned, not licking them or giving them any milk.

I suppose this doe had other things on her mind though.  She was still trying to deliver the placenta.  Since I have only arrived at a birth after the babies are born and the placenta is nowhere to be seen, I wasn’t sure if this was normal or not.  But I found out last night it is how it’s supposed to be.

While Sugar, the momma doe, was busy with other things the second doe finally got to his feet.  Isn’t he cute?

The third kid just lay there for probably an hour.

Brother and sister…

I did learn that the momma doe paid more attention to the ones who got on their feet and would lick them and smell them while ignoring the ones who lay in the straw.

Sugar also commenced eating her placenta – a perfectly normal procedure of goats.

Finally Sugar found her 3rd kid and started to lick him and give him some attention.  Over an hour had passed.

A piglet was also added to our farm last night.  He wasn’t born here but was brought here.  Wesley’s raising him for his 4-H project.  He’ll sell him in April at the 4-H auction.

I had to go see what the other farm animals thought of the new arrivals.  This one was very curious of the flash on my camera.

The hens and the roosters were trying to sleep through the whole thing and the dogs were frolicing about while…

Sugar loved on her babies.

That was last night.  This morning Serenity found this…

All is well in their little world, safe and secure with their momma.


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Domestic Pursuits

Homemaking can be as varied as you want it to be.

                                                    Honey Oatmeal Soap

                                                  Fresh Whole Wheat Bread

I was feeling like quite the domesticated wife yesterday. 🙂

Warning:  If your name is Chloe, Grace or Martha – read no further!!!

Shhhh.  Don’t tell them but I’m giving these Honey Oatmeal bars of soap as a gift to them at Christmas.  A partial list of  ingredients are honey, oatmeal, beeswax & buttermilk.  I may have to put a warning label on the soap saying, “Do not eat.” 🙂

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These Strange American Traditions

About 8 years ago a couple moved here to Arizona from Democratic Republic of the Congo/South Africa.  He (Abel) was from Democratic Republic of the Congo and she (Hattie) was from South Africa.  The morning after they were married they left South Africa.  They came so that Abel could attend an aeronautical university and finally after this many years he has completed his course of study and was given his diploma on Saturday!

Abel’s sister and brother-in-law travelled from Congo to the U.S. to be here.  Now they will be visiting a few different states for the next couple of months.  She was 14 when she married this man and he was 26.  Can you believe it? 

 My good friend, Hattie (his wife).

 My friend has only seen her mother once since she married and that was when we travelled to South Africa with them 3 years ago.  Abel & Hattie had two children at the time.   She has since had two more children that her family have not seen.  She was unable to see her father while in South Africa since he had to be away on urgent business.  This lady is amazing to me – always cheerful even though she misses her homeland and family SO MUCH!

We had a luncheon at our house after the graduation and then at about 5:00 we went to a rented hall where our church had a holiday supper.  There was a special cake made for Abel.  Russell gave a congratulations speech to Abel and then asked him to step up and give a speech.  After the graduate gave his speech, Russell announced that Abel would now cut the cake.  Abel asked where the knife was and Russell (in jest) said, “Oh, you just karate chop it.”  He had no sooner said that then Abel got in karate stance and yelled “Ai-yiii” and hit the cake with a resounding chop splitting it in two!  

Okay, well maybe he didn’t hit it with a resounding chop (how does a cake resound anyways? 🙂 ) and he didn’t go into a karate stance but he did think it was part of our tradition and effectively split the cake in two with his hand!!

Check out that hand.  Red Velvet cake hanging all over.  Kinda makes him look bloody.  Ugh. 

Lesson to be learned.  Always be sure of what you say.  You just never know when it might be taken literally!

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