Welcome to my side of the fence. . .

Welcome to my side of the fence. . . Here you will
enjoy some good laughs, maybe some frustrations,
and hopefully (if I'm a good enough writer), a few tears.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pedicure Day!

I would love to say that Nina and I had our toenails serviced, lol, with a relaxing pedicure at the local salon, but alas, I am not referring to our toenails today. Of course, I am referring to Star and Arabella's feet!

Had my first go-round with clipping goat hooves. I actually didn't have to "clip" so much as dremel their nails! I am so proud of my girls because I was as slow as snails and they were so patient with me. Thank you to my wonderful hubby who was also just as patient while he cradled them!

I wanted to provide a picture, but my girls wouldn't keep their feet still to take the pic!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dandelion Lemonade

Dandelion Lemonade
I made this refreshing lemonade out of sheer curiosity and I have to say, it's pretty good!
To make it, pay your children a nickel for each dandelion and violet picked. This will cost you about ten dollars! Be sure your checkbook is on hand, unless the kids take debit, lol! Now wash your dandelions and violets in cool water.

Next, slice two or three lemons. We are only making a half gallon, so I used two. I may play around with it and use three next time.
Fill a clean, half gallon jar (I used a pickle jar) halfway with your picked dandelions and violets. My kids picked in abundance and we had a little more than half. I couldn't waste picked dandelions and violets, so I used everything! Place your lemon slices in the jar and then fill your jar up with water. Screw the cap on and set the jar out outside, in the sun. I know that's hard around Washington to have the bright yellow light, hence my lemonade sat out for two days, trying to soak up the hit-and-miss-rays!
After the lemonade has sat out for a few hours, or all day preferably, bring it in and drain your liquids and chunks through a cheesecloth or muslin. Squeeze out the dandelions, violets, and lemon slices. I'd show you a picture of me doing that, but I was so excited to be making the lemonade, I forgot to take pictures at this point! Add to your clean lemonade as much honey as you want to sweeten it up! Pour over ice and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gone Broody.

This is Ponytail, our broody hen. She has made a rather large clutch of what started with eleven, but now ten, eggs. She is diligent, faithful, and rather aggressive about her eggs. I got this picture here of her when we cleaned out the coop last weekend and she wouldn't (like a good mama) get off her eggs, so we just picked up the nesting box with her in it and set the entire thing down while we cleaned! She's been on her eggs for quite awhile; I made the mistake of not writing down when she laid her last egg to make her clutch, starting the 21 day incubation period. We've never let our "Ladies" go this far, so we are relatively naive about what is in store for Ponytail's, and her chicks, future. Honestly, we don't expect all to hatch, and we do expect a chick or two to die after hatching. We are expecting the worse, hoping for the best--a motto we've been adopting lately. I hope to see ALL ten chickies running around sometime next week!


The girls say "Hello!" They have been rascally girls this last week or so. . . few days ago, I caught Star in the chicken coop, eating the chicken feed. This morning, I caught Arabella this time, butt hanging out of the chicken coop, while
she went to town on the chicken feed! As cute as they were, I couldn't let them eat the chicken feed because they'll get bloat and I'll end up with two dead baby girl goats. So I marched myself out to the chicken coop, pulled down the chicken's hanging feeder and marched the feeder back to the garage--where goats can't get to it! This was much to Star's dismay because she was pushing at
my legs to get to the chicken feeder and bleating at me to stop taking it away! If I saw what I saw correctly, I do believe I witnessed a goat's temper-tantrum!
Likewise, I finally put an end to the girl's sleeping in the hay feeder. Scott and I threw together a keyhole feeder with three holes in it. In that goes the alfalfa. Well, my girls think that on top of the alfalfa goes their sleepy bodies at night! It was really cute and I allowed it for awhile, but honestly, alfalfa is expensive and they were not eating what they slept on, so. . . I scooted the alfalfa to the left side of the feeder so it is available out on "keyhole" and in the remainder of the box, I stuffed two pails and an unused feeding trough; they can't climb thru! Now my only problem is getting the chickens to stop laying eggs on the alfalfa side, lol!

Chicken Tamer.

Dominic really has the gentle touch of an animal tamer. He just puts the animals at ease and his favorite are the chickens. He'll sneak up on one the chickens and faster than you can say "Cockadoodle-doo", he's swiped that chicken up in his arms and it's fast asleep against his chest. What's his secret? He says, to look them in the eye when you are getting ready to pick them up. In these pictures, he's got his favorite hen, Road Runner.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Feeding Time!

So feeding time is a fun time. . . the girls are such opposites when feeding. Star (the chocolate brown doeling) is a gentle eater, taking her time and eating A LOT, whereas, Arabella is a super-fast eater that sucks down her food quicker than you can say, "Are you finished?" and she's hard on the bottle/nipple. She yanks it around, pulls at it, pushes it. . . I was telling Scott that thank God she's not feeding from a real momma cause the momma would have some sore teats! I talk to my doelings while they eat. Oddly enough, Star is like a human baby and likes to make eye contact while she eats. Both my girls love to be talked to. They really thrive on positive reinforcement. One would think that's weird when they are "just animals". Goes to show, that a kind word goes a long ways on any living creature!
On the top picture, do you see the line down the backs of the doelings? That's actually hair that has risen up (like a cat) because they are excited about feeding. Arabella's gets really excited I guess because a lot of of her hair stands up, and high at that! Star is more laid-back so her hair isn't as pronounced. (She knows her food isn't going anywhere, unlike Arabella who thinks her food is going to instantly disappear, thus she must drink it fast before it does!) Regardless, I thought it was pretty cool. . . another way that one can see that animals, in their own way, have emotions, too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aww, it's struck again!

Poor Arabella is having another bout of coccidiosis. So we are going another round of Sulmet 12.5% and goat drench. I guess, from what Melissa was explaining, until she outgrows it, this could be her typical way. And until she builds her immunity, she will just face coccis every now and again.

I was writing Melissa some "goat talk" and I thought I'd share with you what I told her:

Yeah, she's still acting normal, thank goodness. I haven't changed their diet, except that they are taking to the alfalfa a little more. I can hear them grinding their back teeth now when they eat the alfalfa, which I read that it's a good sign and they are right on development. I show them the grain, but they are not eating it, nor am I expecting them to. They are at two bottles a day. Star (Jingle's daughter) is a beast and finishes off what Arabella doesn't finish, so I'd say that Star actually eats 42-44 oz a day, whereas Arabella (Dreamer's daughter) eats 36-38 oz total a day. Star has definitely grown--significantly--and Arabella has grown, but not like Star. I have a gut feeling that when they freshen, Star is gonna be a breeze and Arabella will be my experience developer, lol!

I absolutely love the girls. . . I call Star my gentle giant because she is so big and such a cuddlebug, but she's more careful about pushing her way around--she doesn't. Arabella has definitely come out of her shell; she likes to be pet a different way than Star and she loves to be talked to. She's more aggressive when feeding and more aggressive when climbing. She thinks she can push Star around, but because of Star's laid-back personality, I think Star's just letting Arabella have her way. It's hilarious because Arabella will come up on Star and try to butt Star, but Star being so much bigger, just stands there undisturbed and unperturbed, lol! But Star will return fire and Arabella gets shoved clear across the yard! They are so much fun.

I can't wait til June 16th! My first goat expo! I hope to see you there! What can I expect at a goat expo? I am imagining a bunch of booths that are trying to sell their products?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nina's Birthday. . .

Nina's birthday was celebrated twice--the night before when we had our cousin's over and the day of, when we went to our friend's house. Thank you Michelle for a wonderful birthday celebration that you provided for Nina!
The night before her birthday, Aunt Ayla surprised Nina with a present. . . a riding helmet! Nina is getting interested in horses and when she visits Aunt Ayla this summer, she will need that helmet to ride Ayla's horse, Steel. We also surprised Nina with a Birthday Trifle and sang Happy Birthday! The next day, I made one of her favorite breakfast foods, bread pudding, and we sadly saw family off, as they headed back to California. After that, we had Ellie come over and hang out (who brought Nina flowers and balloons) and then we went to Michelle's, where Emma hand-decorated the house with birthday pizzaz (spelling???). There, she opened the present from Mom and Dad--a cell phone! Boy was she one happy camper! She also enjoyed opening her card from Michelle, Robert, and Emma which has a coupon good for one shopping trip! We had Nina's favorite dinner, spaghetti, and my favorite cake: Michelle's Death by Chocolate. Lol, it was an awesome day! I loved how Nina kept saying she felt loved and spoiled!
Lucky girl, it doesn't end there: we are celebrating her birthday one more time in May when she has a sleepover and potluck. We couldn't do a party on her milestone birthday because it was Easter weekend. And the next weekend is Dominic's birthday, then the next weekend is Nina's dance production, Cinderella (Emma's in it, too!). . . we are so booked each weekend until May 11th. So May 11th, Nina is having another birthday bash. I think that works out great because she still doesn't know that mom and dad okay-ed a room swap with her and Dominic and we have to get that ready for her sleepover!
Oh, the life of a teenager!


Having Joe over for three weeks was a god-send. He was such a blessing! We wouldn't have been ready for the goats if he didn't show up; he lifted the load off from Scott's shoulders tremendously! I now have a fence up, huge garden area dug, and a semi-organized garage.
Then Ayla and Jake came the last week Joe was here. What a blast! I think Ayla and I laughed so hard the entire time, we nearly peed our pants every ten minutes! She got me re-hooked on Snickerdoodle coffee's, too, dang it! Jake was a sweetheart with Dominic and now all Dominic talks about is Uncle Jake.
We did a road trip on the Thursday before they left (Saturday) to Seattle and Whidbey Island. We were also going to hit the Tulip Festival, but even tho the Festival was on, the tulips were not yet in bloom. So we went to Pike Place Market in Seattle and bought a daffodil and tulip bouquet instead. We made Joe take his pic with Rachel the Pig and try on some hats at the hat store.
I have so many pics that I cannot possible post them all, but I do have the few here that I thought were coolest and representing us all.
When they left I was very sad (I couldn't let go of Ayla when we hugged goodbye) and it took me a couple days to readjust to a seemingly empty house. I think today I am finally okay with them being gone. But I can't wait til the next visit!

Resurrection Day (Easter)

Boy, was Easter a beautiful day! Scott and I did the math and the last time we had a sunny day for Easter was when
Nina was a year old--twelve years ago! We took to the idea like no other and spent the entire day outside. Scott and I soaked up the sun while the kids hunted down two dozen eggs. . . some decorated and some plastic with a dollar's worth of quarters in each of them. We actually complained at about 60 degrees and voiced that it was getting too hot, lol!
If it hadn't been the day of rememberance of the Resurrection of Christ, I would have broke out the tiller and tilled my garden that Joe dug up for me.
We ended the day with a yummy roast and went to bed early.
I reflected a lot on what I was thankful for because Christ paid the price for my sin. I remembered that the entire bible would be worthless if He hadn't did what he said He would do. And I am thankful that I do not have to fear death because my life really starts when my last breath is exhaled.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Star and Arabella are doing really well. Arabella's poopies seem to be back to normal and they are both lively, energetic doelings. So all is well that ends well with coccidiosis. Lol.

What I am really enjoying are the night feedings. That's when Scott comes out with me and we decompress the day while watching the doelings scarf down their meals. Then we let the girls climb all over us (up our backs) and we talk about their futures. . .you'd think we just had a human baby!

The weather has been hit and miss, but on the nicer days, or moments, I go out and walk the yard with the girls so they can learn to forage. Melissa had told me that if you don't teach them to forage then they learn to wait on being fed--for food to be brought to them, instead of them looking for food. So we are working on that. They are great little foragers (is that a word?) and love to eat the roots/dirt of the grass clumps we threw in from digging up the garden. (Lol, I said "we" like I did any of the work. . . I should say Joe and Scott!) I read that they will eat a little dirt and that it's good for them because it builds up the immune system to bacteria. Since I have seen them eating dirt, I will just believe what I read and hope for the best, lol!

On the bigger picture, our little red house has been sheltering more than just the immediate family of four. . . my brother Joe has been staying with us for over two weeks now and this last Sunday, my sister Ayla and brother-in-law Jake are here for Spring break. So it's been a busy homestead. Scott will be taking off from work to spend some time with the family tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. We hope to go to Seattle, Whidbye Island, and some other places. We'll see; the weather has turned rainy and will be raining the remainder of their stay. All three guests will be leaving this Saturday, on Nina's birthday.