Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lots of Goings-On.

I've got to edit a bunch of photos before I can put some on here as well as list some on Etsy. I've gotten some new livestock, and Joe has started to pull herself up to stand for long periods of time. Summer is here and we've been really busy. I promise to write later including pictures about my recent adventures. I'm heading outside and probably won't be back to a computer until dark--oh how I love summertime.

Stay tuned--I've got some GREAT stories to update you with, but it's too nice to stay inside any longer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

After a Visit to my Hometown.

I went up to my hometown to visit my folks two weeks ago and came home with the remaining four of my grandfather's peafowl. He decided it'd be better for me to take them home and turn them out than for them to be kept in their cage at his farm any longer. He's got Fox Terriers and they just would love to get ahold of the birds and so he's always keeping them locked up. So I agreed I'd take them home. Also while I was there Joe decided to take to standing against the couch all by herself. She is really getting the hang of standing now. I say in a couple of weeks she'll be walking.
The Pied Peacock
The Peahen

The Pied Peacock again.
Joe being a big girl.
These peacocks were raised by me a couple of years ago--I originally bought 10--five whites, two pieds, and three blues as day-old chicks at Dinky's. Quite a few died after the trip to Grandpa's--a couple got out and were eaten by the dogs, a couple got sick, etc--and all that were left were four birds to reach adulthood. One pied male, one blue male, one 'blue' female, and a white male. My dad and I caught them and stuffed them into a cage (no easy feat) and they were placed in the back of my truck for the long haul home. I got complemented on them by four different people by the time I made it back to Worthington. I placed them in the outdoor portion of the coop to let them have a few days to settle before I would turn them loose.
Fast forward a couple of days and I opened the coop doors so they could venture outside--nobody budged. I eventually had to forcibly make them go outside and they proceeded to fly to four different trees on the property. They called to one another the rest of the afternoon--which let me tell you is quite a fuss, but they seemed to calm down that night. The next couple of days they stayed close and did great, but on day three they just started heading for the road and walked single-file to the west. I know they are still in the general vicinity, but as far as them staying on our property--I think it's a lost cause. Oh well--it's a better life for them than being stuck in a small pen all day, right?
Oh, and if anyone asks you about peacocks roaming Western Greene County--you know nothing about it, okay? Ha. Just another day in the life of me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Good Fences.

I wish I liked my neighbor across the road, but that's never going to happen. I went upstairs to get Joe up from her nap and heard a dog barking--not one of our dogs--so I peak out the window and the neighbor's dog is in our pasture carrying on about something in the grass. Almost all of my poultry are able to go as they please around the farm, so I figured I better go check it out.

I went out there and found that she was barking and nipping at one of our barn cats. I yell at her to get home, and chase her to the road. Our neighbor is mowing his yard and ignoring me while I frantically jump and wave trying to get his attention. I'm getting madder by the minute. Finally he stops and I tell him what his dog was doing.

"Well, did you make her come back home?" He asks like it wasn't a big deal that (a) she was on my property and (b) she was trying to tear up my cat.

"Yes, but you realize that I've got my poultry running loose now too, so she really needs to NOT be on my property." I say a bit shocked that he's unapologetic that he has a roaming dog.

"Well she wouldn't leave the property unless she was chasing a squirrel or rabbit--I guess a cat or chicken is probably the same to her, huh? Well you realize that the coyotes and foxes will be after your chickens too."

"I take care of the coyotes." I said without a smile and with a very serious tone. "Plus, I put them up at night, so I don't have to worry about much besides your dog."

"Well if you need to buy some rock salt for your shot gun, that's okay. Do what you have to do." He says and he goes back to mowing.


I would expect him to shoot any of our dogs if they were attacking one of his animals on his property. It would be our fault for not keeping them on our side of the road--it's not my responsibility to control his dogs. I have my own animals to control without having to add his to my list.

I guess it annoys me more because I just finally am rid of my husband's dog that he had since before we met who always attacked and ate any of my animals she could get ahold of. A couple of months ago she started looking at my daughter the way that she used to look at the chickens, and since she was an older dog we just put her to sleep at the vet's office instead of taking a chance with her hurting Joelee. She wasn't a pleasant creature--and I waited five years with my chickens penned up tight and no goats--now I have the ability to have the animals loose and happy and here comes this little obnoxious terrier mutt from across the road bothering my stuff. Not cool.

So my request for today is that if you have some extra spending money and you're a nice person--please go and buy the farm across the road from me so that I can have a neighbor I can tolerate. Otherwise I'm going to start building a huge stone wall around my property so that I don't have to even glance over and see the idiot.

I feel that I should add that this isn't my first run in with this man or his dog. She comes over to poo in our yard often and has been behind our house barking at my chickens when they were in the coop (and our house is quite a ways back from the road). He tries to be a farmer and boasts about his cattle, but he has all of fifteen acres and about forty head of pitiful cattle that are constantly bawling because they are hungry. Farmer John he isn't. Just a wannabe--but you try to be nice to him and he gets all 'holier than thou' and tells you he knows it all. Anybody in this county you mention his name around will give you a knowing look--believe me, my feelings are justified.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lots of Excitement--and all before noon.

So I went and bought two dairy does yesterday. One is a two-year-old registered LaMancha who is very sweet, and the other is a yearling Alpine that I've got a registration application for. Last night I put them in our old dog kennel at the barn with the plans of covering some gates in our pasture to make it goat-safe this morning. I also had a hen and four chicks dropped off at my doorstep yesterday morning, so I made a spot for them to be happy all day yesterday and then placed them in the coop last night so they could get out this morning with my other chickens. Morning comes and I take Joe over to my mother-in-law's house across the drive so I could work on fence. I let the turkeys out in the chicken lot so they could get in the coop for the bugs as I went to the barn--we had a few barn cats dropped off this week and I watched as one was stalking my big Brahma hens--I'll give her credit for trying, but that's a bit too large a game for her. Anyway, I covered the two spots I knew for sure the goats would get out, led them to the pasture and turned them loose. No problems--they went to browsing and were content.
The hen with chicks was attempting to get her chicks to jump over the little ledge to get out of the chicken coop and they weren't going for it, so I helped her get them all outside--I'm not exactly sure they will get back in okay--I might put them in with the turkeys, (that's my usual chick pen). The turkeys were doing fine staying inside of the yard, so I decided it would be safe to go get Joe and bring her home so she could nurse and probably take a nap. Just as I started to nurse Joe, both does go running past the French doors because they'd escaped from the pasture. Poor kid, I yanked her off, set her on the floor, covered myself up, and headed out to catch them. No biggie--they are tame, so I went out to see where they got out. Sure enough the big doe had squeezed through a hole that the dogs use to get to the pasture. I covered it with the water bucket, but I knew she'd squeeze under the gate next. Needless to say my mother-in-law just took them back down to the pen until I could work on the extra escape routes later, and I went back in to feed my hungry daughter.
She went to sleep and I carried her upstairs to take her nap. I made myself some breakfast (it was 10:30 at least by this time), and sat down to do some work. All at once I could hear turkeys chirping--it was coming from Joe's baby monitor. I knew they weren't upstairs, but the window up there was open, so apparently the sound was carrying on the wind. I decided I better go outside and investigate because they shouldn't be on that side of the house.
Outside in the chicken yard are two of my five turkeys...great, where are the other three? I call for them, but don't figure they can hear me for the wind. They aren't down at the barn, so I call out again and hear a reply. They'd been out in our east pasture--where the goats were supposed to be. They started running for me apparently they'd gotten a bit lost and were happy I came to their rescue. I penned them back up, sighed, and asked myself why I like having livestock. They keep me on my toes that's for sure. Just another day.
This is the LaMancha--they are an earless breed. My poor husband thought I was kidding when I warned him that she didn't have ears.
This is the Alpine doe--she's not as friendly as the other one, but I can catch her and such, and that's all that matters to me.

So other than being escapees the goats are doing good. I'm looking forward to the cheeses I'll be attempting to make next spring with their milk, and all the calves and piglets I'll raise on them too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Semi-Good Cook Wanting More.

This is my kitchen--for what it's worth--it's under construction (as you can see by the unfinished drywall), but I use it every day. I make a lot of simple recipes for my family--meatloaf, casseroles, roasts, etc--but I want to branch out. I want to make souffles, breads, cheeses, and multi-course meals. I'm talking good, home-cooked, from scratch meals. I do pretty good as it is, but I want to do MORE. Bring stuff in from the garden for supper every night, instead of just some days. I (on more than one occasion) have had to run to the coop for eggs while I'm cooking because I'm out of them in the fridge--that's a good feeling. To know that I won't have to run to the store for something because it's being produced on my own property.

I read a lot of food-blogs. They all have amazing looking recipes that I print out all hopeful-like and then I go back to making 'safe' recipes. That's mostly because of my picky husband. I've made a vow to myself though--he's not going to like it--but I'm going to start making them. Even if it just amounts to a new recipe every week or so--it'd still be wonderful.

And...(this is a big 'someday-way-down-the-road' and) I want to have big shin-digs here where all the food catering them comes from the property. I'd show off the house (because it would finally be finished), and we'd have a nice outdoor theme maybe with a movie projected on the barn or a bonfire to sit around.

At any rate--my kitchen is going to get a lot more use coming its way--I'll be sure to post any recipes I try--and even some I'd really like to try--and let you know how all that works out.

Scary Wind.

So two weeks ago, I honestly thought a tornado was coming--which is what probably led to my dream that I posted about earlier--we had very high winds and our neighbor actually had a tree take off his porch and hit his house. We just had lots of limbs down, and a tree in our south pasture caught the brunt of the wind and the limbs on the right side of the photo went down. Fast forward to last Saturday and another storm--poor tree lost the limbs on the left side of the photo--kind of hate to see what happens next--it's the only tree in that pasture. It's just a third of the tree that it used to be, but I'd like to see it stay standing just the same.

Custom Orders.

I wanted everybody to know that if you are ever looking for photographs of certain subject matter--whether it be barns, livestock, roads, etc.--you can ask me and I'll do my best to search out compositions that fit the bill. I'd love to do some series work that way. Also if there are any prints that you'd like to order and don't want to go through Etsy, I'm always able to do direct orders. Just email me and let me know what you need--put Custom Order or something identifying in the subject line and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

After the Storm.

On Saturday night I was apparently dreaming about a tornado heading to our area. I woke up to a loud thunderclap and then rolling thunder directly afterward. Needless to say I thought it was a tornado and I jumped out of bed, ready to grab my daughter and run downstairs. I was yelling, "Train!" (meaning it sounded like a train, meaning tornado, but my husband had no idea what I was screaming about). He grabbed me and jerked me back onto the bed and held me trying to get me to calm down. He was probably figuring I was still dreaming or something. This all happened in a matter of seconds, and although it surely isn't as funny to read as it is to look back on--it was quite an interesting episode. Needless to say it was just a thunderstorm and everything is fine and dandy. I'm still rather impressed by my husband's quick actions, and my daughter's deep sleeping skills. She didn't even move a muscle through the whole ordeal. Sigh, at least I know if there ever is a need to jump to my daughter's rescue I'll be ready.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Going Short.

On Friday I decided to chop off all my hair--shorter than I've ever had it cut. Pretty much a boy cut, but I like the way it turned out. Something different--that's what I was wanting. I've always played it safe with my hair, and decided to be adventurous and just choose a gutsy hairstyle and go with it. The poor girl at the salon that had to cut my hair wasn't very confident and it was all I could do to make her believe me that I wanted it short. She actually didn't cut it as short as I wanted, but I really do like it. I'll post pictures soon.

My reasoning behind the 'boy cut' is that Joe had taken to tugging on my hair, and I was always tying back anyway, so I just said the heck with it and--ta-dah--I now have a lot less hair. A sad realization though--I've got lots of grey hair. When it was long I never noticed, but I looked at my part last night in the mirror and was astonished by the number of white strands that were before me. Sigh, I'm only 24, but alas I feel old.

Until Next Time,