Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Planning the Garden

Not much stuff really going on here. All the babies, goats and horse, are doing fine. Jumping around and just enjoying life.  The weather has been just blah. Cloudy, rainy, and a little chilly.  Once again, nothing much to talk about. 

I am starting to figure out what I want in the garden this year. I think we have enough green beans to last us a while so, probably no beans to grow this year. Tomatoes, yes, we will be growing tomatoes. Corn too! We didn't get much of either one last year. Let me rephrase that, we didn't get ANY last year. The drought was not our friend. The deer weren't either. This year we have a plan to fence in the garden and if we have another drought, we have plans on ways to haul water to the garden.  Now we just need to figure out what we want to plant. 

I'm wanting something different. So far we have tomatoes and corn planned. I also want zucchini and maybe some butternut squash. But what else? Hmmmmmm.........Any ideas?  Just remember I have a picky husband when it comes to trying different veggies. 

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, planner.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cats, Horses, Seeds

As I write this I have a cat sitting on my shoulder.  How come no one told me about cats liking to imitate parrots?  I have to admit, I'm kinda attached to this cat. I never thought of myself as a cat person but, I really think I am. Now, don't get me wrong, I like my dogs, but I REALLY like my cat. He doesn't have to follow me around the house all day.  He doesn't have to beg to go outside to use the bathroom. (Although if his litter box is too dirty he does kind of complain. And if I don't clean it out, he goes in the ashes that we keep in a pan by the stove to be taken outside.) He actually sleeps most of the time. But, when he isn't asleep, he plays HARD.

It's nothing unusual to hear what sounds like a car shifting gears in our house. It's just the cat running from one place to the other.  I think he thinks that if he makes those sounds he can go faster. And since we have a concrete floor, all of his spinning of his "back wheels" wears down his back claws. Which is good because he likes to use them when we are playing.

Another thing I like about this cat is his ability to not have the same schedule. You don't know what he will be doing from one minute to the next or where he will be sleeping. So not like our dogs! One night he will sleep by me.(On top of the blankets.) One night he will sleep by Hubby. Some nights he won't even sleep by either one of us. He will just sleep in the window sill. But what's so nice is he DOES sleep at night.

Well, I didn't really want this to turn into a cat post. lol. I was really going to tell you about our new foal.  I still haven't gotten close to him. Yep, you read right. We now think it's a HIM. Oh, he will be fixed. I don't want a stud horse around here. That's what caused him to begin with. lol. We still not sure if we are going to keep him or not. More than likely not. If we get a new horse around here I would want a draft horse. Not a big one, more like a Fjord or a haflinger. Something short that I could ride if I wanted to. But it will be something that can pull a cart or a plow. You never know when the tractor doesn't work. lol.  No, I always thought I would want a horse that could pull a cart or buggy. Nothing fancy at all! I want, what some people would call, an old plug horse.  If I ride it, it's going to be at a walk. My body is not made for speed. lol.
I'm also thinking of starting some seeds here pretty soon. Not really sure where I'm going to put them though. When you live in a basement, you don't get a whole lot of sunshine coming in. I could put them upstairs in the upper part of the house, but I wonder if it would get to cold for them.  It doesn't freeze up there, but I don't know if it gets warm enough either. We will see.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, cat lover, draft horse wanter, and soon to be seed starter.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Gift and Baby Goat Names

Valentine's Day is know for it's many gifts. Some people get chocolates. Some people get roses. What does my husband get for me? CHICKENS!!!!!!!!!

                                                     19 hens to go with my three roosters.

My speckled Sussex that I had just weren't doing what I wanted them too. They were laying a bit, but they were laying medium sized eggs. I want LARGE eggs. My customers, who buy my eggs, what large eggs. So the speckled's had to go. They were given to me from a friend. Pretty, but not what I was wanting.

 Now that Valentine's Day is over, I'm back to focusing on the little cuties bouncing around the goat yard. I want to officially introduce to you Cinder and Ella.

Isn't that the cutest names? Someone suggested I call them that and it seemed just perfect! Here is Cinder getting some air.

                                                    Here is Ella playing King of the Rock.

                                                  Momma Dottie taking care of her babies.

                                                            I still see you Cinder!

So until next time, Small Farm Girl, chicken and baby goat watcher.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Ramble

The weather is so nice today! Although a little windy, I'll take that if we can keep the 60 degrees. I'm starting to get a little antsy about wanting warmer weather. These warm days are just teasing me. This weekend they are talking about it being back down in the 20's for highs. Brrrrr! I'm glad the new babies were born last week while it was warm. See, Mother Nature knows what she's doing. 

This past weekend we went and trimmed goat hooves at our friends house. I came away smelling like a buck goat. If you haven't smelled a stinky buck, you are lucky. I don't know which is worse, skunk or buck. They run a close race in my opinion. Lucky me, I got to ride the whole 45 mins back home trying to hold my breath. I hope I didn't make our new truck stink. LOL.

Speaking of stinking, you sure can tell Spring is just around the corner. Every night I have been woke up with the smell of skunk. I figure I have one living around here somewhere. They are doing their spring courting. Although this morning Jack was the one smelling like a skunk. Peeeeeeeeeewwwww!!! Nothing like a skunk smelling dog that loves to rub up against you. 

Tonight when Hubby comes home from work, we are going to a friends house and pick up some chickens. No fancy ones, just something that lays eggs. After Jack killed some of my other hens, I think the ones that are left are on strike. lol. I'm getting one egg a day. That's if I'm lucky! Hopefully these new ones will lay something. I don't want to buy those white things at the store that they try to pass off as eggs. Yuck! But, I'm getting desperate! 

Well, I need to go out and check on all of the babies.(That's code for playing with them. :o)  )

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, baby checker.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

As If Goat Cuteness Wasn't Enough!

As if the baby goats weren't enough cuteness around here. Look what we found at the feeder today! Looks like Momma sneaked in a baby on us. hehehe. Sorry the pictures are so dark. They were taken from my cell phone. Plus, Momma wouldn't let us get close to it yet. We think it's a girl though. Not real sure.

We knew she was probably pregnant because our neighbors stud horse got into our field last year. But we were hoping that she wasn't.(Notice the mud? Yep, homesteading. :)  )

You have to admit though, it's a cute little bugger.

 So until next time,

 Small Farm Girl, DON'T DRINK THE WATER!!!!!! :o)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

They Are Here!!!!!!!!!

                                                                   Get ready!......

                                                                   Be prepared!......

                                                           .Cuteness OVERLOAD!!!!!!!!!!!

They were born yesterday morning. 4:00 am to be exact. Both are doelings! Yay!!!!!!! I at first thought that the little black one had a broken leg. But, it turned out to be a selenium deficiency. I gave them all selenium gel and all seems fine. In fact, today they are jumping around like they have been using their legs for years. They're just like popcorn. Now, all we need is some names. Any suggestions?

Small Farm Girl, overcome by cuteness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Homesteading,To Me

I few days back I asked a question on this blog. What is your definition of homesteading?  I wanted to know what people thought. My first stop was at the dictionary, Google version. lol.

Homestead- any dwelling with its land and buildings where a family makes its home.

Then I looked up Homesteading.....

Homesteading-an act or instance of establishing a homestead.

It seems straight forward. So why do I have a problem calling myself a homesteader? I almost laugh when I do!  To me homesteading is living off the land. Working from sun up to sun down. Sweating and bleeding on the "homestead."  Swinging large bales of hay up into the hayloft while I wear a flannel shirt tied at the waist, a straw hat  and worn blue jeans. Don't forget the piece of hay that is sticking out from my mouth as I chew on the end.  Homesteading, to me, is also being in the garden in a flowing sun dress with a cute little sun hat as I gather the tomatoes and peppers in my apron. Hanging clothes on the line because I don't like using the dryer and they come out all light and fluffy with not one spot on them.  Homesteading, to me, is making homemade bread everyday to feed to the family with pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and apple pie. All of which came from me canning and preserving food from the garden in beautiful Mason jars.  Don't forget milking the Jersey cow as it stands still and munches on it's hay. And then, going in and making cheese and butter from the fresh milk. Homesteading, to me, is going to gather the eggs and the chickens coming over to see if I have anything for them to eat. The coop is clean and sparkling. The chickens are of all different shapes and colors. The rooster sits on a wood fence post and crows for all to hear.  Homesteading, to me, is butchering your own animals and giving thanks to them for giving their lives so that you can have substance for your body.  It's part of their life cycle. Homesteading, to me, is white wooden fences, white washed barns with horses sticking their heads out of the top halves of doors and whinnying when I come near. Not because they are hungry, but because they want me to pet them. Homesteading, to me, is flowers on the front porch that I have groomed to look and smell wonderful that way when I set there in the afternoons, I can sip my sweet tea in bliss. This is what my idea of homesteading is.

Now for my REALITY.

I live in a half finished house. We actually live in the basement. We have no insulation in the top half so we are lucky to get the temperature in here above 60. To stay warm I wear t-shirts with sweat shirts over them. Sometimes more than one, okay, sometimes more than two days in a row.  I get up late. There I said it. In the winter I just can not get out of bed. I see no reason to. I don't want to go outside in the dark. My animals are still sleeping. Why would I wake them up just so they can be fed? Let them sleep! I don't throw bales of straw up into hay lofts. Heck, we don't even have a hay loft. We have round bales of hay that Hubby moves with the tractor. He wont even let me drive the tractor with a bale of straw on it because he's afraid that I'll kill myself. LOL!  I do have 8 square bales of straw in an out building that I use for animal bedding. I transport it with my four wheeler. It's easier that way. I do put the clothes on the line. But, it's mostly miss matched bedding, t-shirts with holes in them, and some horrible looking underwear. Yes, I do put it out there for the world to see.  I'm not fond of putting my clothes out on the line because I usually end up with a bee stuck somewhere in an article of clothing. Or, it will look like birds were having target practice as they were flying over.  It does keep the electric bill down some and it helps keep the house cooler though if I do put clothes on the line. So if it's not TOO windy, I'll do it. I do make homemade bread on occasion. It's just faster and easier to buy it. Maybe down the road when I do actually get a routine I'll make it more. And, maybe try some different recipes. I do garden. Not in a pretty sun dress. It's usually in some miss matched clothing that is covered in sweat and dirt. My garden, it usually ends up looking like a weed patch instead of those Home and Garden pictures. Some years I have been known to not have much productivity from the weed patch. Then I'll go to the Amish and buy some veggies so that I can can some. I would like to can different varieties of veggies, but Hubby doesn't like a variety of veggies. Tomatoes and potatoes are his staples. He doesn't like peppers. I'm trying to gradually get him to like more. It's not going very good though. Our potatoes get eaten by the Colorado beetle EVERY YEAR. So I usually go down to the local small grocery store and buy a bag of red potatoes for $8 for 50 lbs. That's right folks $8 for 50 lbs. of RED potatoes. I can't buy seed potatoes that cheap. I don't have a milk cow. They poop on you when they get milked. lol. I have a milk goat. She is a handful. I also milk outside because I don't have a place inside to milk. I have milked in the rain. It's not fun. Hannah, my goat, isn't to fond of it either. I have never made cheese, but I would like to learn to this summer. I have made butter, but it tasted like goat, so I threw it out. I do have chickens that give me eggs. They are different breeds and different colors. Some of that color is mud from their old coop. They do run to me when I go up to their coop. But, it's because they are psycho and they want to attack the person holding the feed. Ask Hubby, he has had a few scuffles with the rooster. You know, the rooster that is suppose to sit on the fence post an crow for everyone to hear. Remember me saying I sleep late? Well, enough said. We do butcher some of our own meat. Rabbits, chickens, a deer or two. But, I don't thank them for giving up their bodies for my nourishment.  Heck no! Usually they have tried to bite me or peck me or eaten my crops in the garden, so it's more of a revenge thing.  And yes, revenge does taste good.  And the part about the white wooden fence?  Well, we have barbed wire. Yes we do. It's cheaper and easier to put up. Plus if some drunk decided to take a joy ride down these back roads and would happen to go through our fence? Well, it's just easier to fix.  The white wash barn fantasy is just that, a fantasy. We have a few out buildings that I use for the goats, rabbits and chickens. The barn that you see on my header is our hay barn. There is no room for stalls. There is a lean to on the side for the cows and horses to get in out of the rain. It's muddy right now though. I do get to pet my horse every once in a while, but it usually is because she wants a snack. I do give her snacks every so often. That's just so she will come to me if she is not too far out in the field. Oh, and sitting on the front porch surrounded by flowers and drinking sweet tea? Well, we don't even have a front porch, yet. Oh, and to top it all off...... I like to eat out.  Oh the HORROR!!!!!! That's right folks. I do.

So you see, I've come to the conclusion that homesteading means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Let's support one another in the "Community of Homesteading."  What might me homesteading to one, may not be the definition of homesteading to another. So let's just embrace the simple definition of homesteading........ To make your house a home.

So until next time.

Small Farm Girl, homesteader.

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Truck

As I write this, I'm still waiting on goat babies...still. That's okay with me since it's still cold out.

Friday me and Hubby took our buck to his new home for the next couple of months. He will be visiting with some new ladies in waiting. I'm sure he will be a happy feller for a while. :)  After we caught him(which is easy with fainters. Just startle them and they stiffen up and can't run. hehehehe), we got him into the stock trailer all ready for his small trip. I went to start the truck and it wouldn't start. It sounded like the battery was dead. With this cold snap, it was possible.  Hubby, being a very good mechanic got some kind of fancy tool out that told him the battery was fine. Hmmmmmm. Must be the starter. He got under the truck done something to the starter and told me to try starting the truck. It started just fine! It's nice to have a handy husband!

Well, we started on our way to our friends farm. As we were going up a hill on the way there, the truck started sputtering. It was a wonder that we even made it to the top of the hill. We did make it to the top, but it spit and sputtered all the way to our friends house where we dropped off our buck. Then it done it all the way back home. That was not good. Hubby knew that it wouldn't be long before things started going wrong on the truck. It had way over 200 thousand miles on it. For a gas truck, that's getting up there. It was getting where we were putting more money in it than what it was worth. So what did we do? We had to go and buy us another truck.

Now don't get excited. We are not wealthy enough to just go an buy a new truck, far from it. We found us an older truck that we could afford. We didn't want to go in debt, but we also didn't want to be without a dependable truck. So we compromised. We found a very nicely priced truck that was way under retail value. We also found a bank that would give us a great rate. It was meant to be. I got the word this morning that it was a go. We have to go and pick it up tonight.

I'm not telling you this story because I'm bragging about getting a new truck. I'm telling you because  no matter what you do, sometimes it's better to just bite the bullet and spend the money. I hate the idea that we now have another payment. Although it's not a very big payment, it's still a payment. But, I know for sure that it's a dependable truck. I would rather have the peace of mind knowing that we wont be stranded out somewhere waiting on a part so Hubby can fix the truck. Yes, he could have fixed it but, it would have cost us as much to fix it in the long run then what the new truck costs us now. Sometimes you just have to weigh the difference. And on the bright side.... I got a new truck!!!! hehehe  Pictures to come.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, truck owner.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Warm Bed, Oh How I Love Thee.

Still. No. Baby. Goats.  I actually think that's okay. I'm hoping momma waits until it's a little warmer. More like this coming week. It's suppose to be in the 40's and 50's. Bring it on!!!!!! I still get up twice a night and go out and check on her to see if everything is alright. It's got to the point now where the goats don't even come over to the fence to see if I have brought them anything to eat. Now it's more like,"Oh, it's just you again."

Like last night, I went out around 4:30 after getting to bed at 1:00. I craw out of my VERY warm bed, put on my VERY cold pants and house coat, and get bundled up to go outside to the VERY cold night air. Did I mention that it was VERY COLD! I pull on Hubby's Muck Boots(by the way, they are my favorite boots in the world!!!! I didn't even have socks on and my feet stayed toasty.) and headed out to check on the goats.

I take small baby steps down the hill so that I don't fall and break something. There ain't no way Hubby would wake up from a dead sleep even if I was to shoot a cannon through the side of the house. The man sleeps like the dead. (Trust me, I've checked on him to make sure that he wasn't dead a few times.) I make it to the goat pen in one piece, although it was a cold piece, it was one piece. I shown my handy, dandy flashlight around to check on everyone. All was fine. They kind of looked at me like,"Quit shining that thing in my eyes, Crazy Woman!"  No respect.

I finally make it back into the house after dodging a 150 lbs St. Bernard pup that thinks I'm out there just to play with him. That's hard to do folks! Just don't make eye contact. I give him some fresh water and a bit of feed  just because I'm nice that way, and go back inside.  I put some wood in the stove so that it doesn't go out before morning, go to the bathroom, and then get all excited because I'm about ready to get back into an electric blanket warmed bed. I take off my house slippers and my house coat and sit on the side of the bed. I sigh, because I know just how wonderful this is going to feel on my frozen body. I move the cat, lift up the blankets and then swing my feet in under the covers. Aaaahhhhhhhhh. Bliss. I arrange all the blankets just right, can't have any of them longer than the others. I know OCD, I just can't stand it when one blanket isn't as long as the other. Then I bring them up to my ears and snuggle down into the most wonderful feeling ever!

I'm just about to doze off when I hear this little whine coming from the bedroom doorway. Skeeter has to go outside. AUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I toss back the wonder blanket and get back on my now VERY cold house coat and my VERY cold slippers and follow her to the door. She just HAS to go out!  I open the door and she looks at me like,"Do I really have to go out there?" I shove her out the door with my foot.

She piddles around out there for a few minutes and does her deeds. She goes and looks to see if there is any food left in Jack's feed bowl. Finally she comes back in. All this time I'm shivering by the door just wanting to go back to sleep. Finally! I go back to bed, move the cat, make sure the covers haven't moved, and then I snuggle down into them again.

And them I feel it. The cat jumps back on the bed, walks up my legs, gets up to my shoulders, and decides that's where he going to sleep. So he starts needing my back. Now I don't really mind this, but when it goes on for at least ten minutes! Give it up all ready cat!!!! Finally it lays down to go to sleep. That's when I realize........... I have to go to the bathroom AGAIN.........

I finally DID get to sleep some last night. But, I can tell you, I didn't want to get up this morning.

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, bed lover.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Just Rambling

Well, it's day two of the "No TV" experiment. So far, it's no problem. I thought it would be harder. I guess I didn't really want to watch what I was watching. LOL! As of right now, I'm kind of liking it. I'm getting a lot more done. Plus my mind is not being filled with crap. Well, anymore crap than is already there.

Still no goat babies. I thought for sure she would have them last night since it was down to 15 and blowing snow. Very COLD!!!! But then again, tonight is suppose to be down to 9. But, no wind. We will see. Still hoping for a miscalculation of birth date. Hoping for next weekend when its warmer.

Speaking of goats, we are going to sell our buck. It's time for new blood in the herd. I'm hoping to get some more does and a buck from a farm in southern Indiana. I've talked to them a few time about coming and looking and possibly buying. But, a 4 hour drive is a long haul when you are pulling a trailer and your truck only gets 9 miles per gallon.  Ya, that would be an expensive "look see". Maybe in the spring we will go for a "joy ride". lol.

Speaking of spring, I'm really getting spring fever! BAD!!!! I know I shouldn't wish my life away but, I'm really getting tired of this cold. I wish spring would hurry up!  This year the wind has been horrible too! Remind me of how much I wanted it to get warmer when I'm complaining how hot it is this summer. hehehehe

As you can see I'm just rambling on and on. I told you I was going to write more. I just didn't say I was going to have anything to write about. lol.

Actually I'm sitting here wondering about what kind of bread I'm gonna make to go with the day old veggie soup that I made yesterday. I love left over soup. It always tastes better!!!  Have you ever tried to make bread? I use to be afraid to try it. I know, it's not like it's gonna kill me or anything. I just don't like to fail at things.  But guess what? It turned out pretty good! Who would have thunk it?  But as Hubby said, " Any homemade bread is good homemade bread." I don't really think I agree with him. I've heard about the bricks that some people have pulled out of their ovens before. Oh well, if it ever turns out like that, the birds will like it.

Well, that's all that I've got for today,

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, rambler.