A family farm

Monday, February 28, 2011

This Weekend

This past weekend I pretty much spring-cleaned my kitchen and dining area. The living room still looked ok from my cleaning out the snow-related decor from before. In the morning as I did chores I had to take the dogs out back for a walk because I saw an eagle and wanted to see if I could get a better view. It flew away. There was a large flock of turkeys gobbling to the east of me. I couldn't see them, but I could really hear them. It must be interesting being a wild animal roaming about. We had friends over and played cards Saturday evening as it snowed. Yes, I said snowed. Bleh! Sunday morning on the way to church, in the field near Greg's house, there was a very large flock of turkeys. And I saw another eagle over by the dump. The birds were really enjoying the feeders today. The flicker is back as with the other woodpeckers (red-headed and hairy). Titmouses and nuthatches like the sunflower seeds as do the blue jays! It gets rather colorful out there. I'm going to put out an orange this Saturday. I put together my 4-tier greenhouse as well. It should do the job just fine. I have it set up in our dining area by the slider for now. Sometime this week there will be filled flats. I don't intend to try to do that on Saturday or Sunday. There is too much to do with the HOME & GARDEN SHOW!!!! ALEX!!! and the PROGRESSIVE DINNER at church.

Tami's knee has been swollen and bothering her. This morning, however, I watched her run around and try to keep up better with her brother. They are sure violent when it comes to feeding time with mama Lily. No wonder the kids have been trying hay! I wouldn't want to take that shoving either! Feeding times are getting a bit short. In just another week, they should all be back in the other pen to go outside with all the other goats. I just want Tami's knee to heal a little more and for the weather to improve!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tami & Bruce

Oh, Tami, at work, is pleased as punch we named the little girl goat after her. So Tami and Bruce it is, Lily's twin babies!

Hello from the land of snow!

We still have quite a bit of snow on the ground by our house! It was nice and sunny this morning with traffic on 96 going very slow because of the morning sunshine! Chris did chores for me this morning because we were expecting Kellie's school to be closed (which it wasn't) and therefore, I was running behind. It's getting easier and easier to get in and out of our driveway with all the ruts we've made going in and out. Last night, on my way from Coopersville to home, I made the mistake of taking Blackmer. It hadn't been plowed from the start of the storm on Sunday. It was hideous and really worked my arms as I tried to pick a rut through the snow.

With any luck and perseverance, I should be able to get my truck mid-April. I really hope so!

Unfortunately, we're supposed to be getting more snow in the next 7 days. Bleh. But it should get to 40 degrees on Thursday! Spring is coming! I just don't believe it yet. I have too much I'm looking forward to! (ie: NEW TRUCK!!!!!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wonderful Weekend!

First of all, we had some of the most wonderful springlike weather this past weekend! (well, until Sunday afternoon, that is). I was out and about Saturday getting my eyes checked (had the pupils dilated this time ... what a treat!). I purchased my seeds and obtained a 4-tier greenhouse from Menards for $20! That's $10 off! We all went out to eat as a family at Culver's and sure goofed off. We all went to Goodwill, and I was finally able to find myself a pair of jeans. Kellie got sunglasses and Alex got a suit jacket and khakis. Chris and Alex picked up hay and straw while Kellie and I dropped birthday cards off at my parents' house. We had a quick dinner and all piled in the vehicle to go see True Grit for a second time (Alex's first). That's the first movie I went to the theatre to see a second time in a long time!

Sunday afternoon it snowed ferociously again! We got about 9 inches overall. At one point there were 10 doves lining the backyard fence.

This morning when I went to do chores (too cold for Juneau to meet me at the back door), Bruce, the little buckling, was jumping all around all over the place! How adorable!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lily's Babies

Yesterday when I arrived home from work, I went straight out to the barn ... expecting still very fat goats. Chris was in the barn asking me if I had received his message and telling me that Lily had her babies! She had twins! Last year, she had one that got stuck and died, and this year she had twins! I was a little concerned for the little doe, however. She was walking around on her back toes/knuckles and wouldn't straighten them. She also didn't show much sign in suckling. We FINALLY left them alone to have dinner and watch some tv, and at around 10:30pm, we went back out to the barn and the little silver doe was standing on straightened legs and went after her brother to try to suckle. They are so funny about it! Both of them looked for teats on Lily's chest. Eventually, the little buck got himself in the right place, and then the little grey doe tried and tried and tried to find a teat. I was getting a little concerned, but encouraged that she was at least trying! Finally, big brother got out of the way, and she was able to take a turn. It's funny, but they both have to suckle from the same teat. I don't know if they realize that there are two of them! This morning all three goats, mom and kids, were doing really well! Now, if Lucy would just go and get done cooking her kids and give birth! That would be great! We're expecting twins from her as well. If she delivers in the next couple of days we can keep them if they are girls. They won't be Freddie's kids.

Lily Had Her Babies!

Yes, I said babies! She had a little boy (the brown one) and a little girl (the grey one). All are doing well!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happenings on Decker's Acres

Raggets invaded the backyard yesterday morning looking for a bit of green grass to eat. Chris saw them first thing in the morning. Of course he let the dogs out, and they scattered. It has been rather warm lately, and at least half of the snow is gone. It has been wonderful! Today it is about 51 degrees.

This morning I went out to the barn and found Lily with her udder stretched to its limits! Hopefully she'll be giving birth soon. She is stretched to her little limits. Lucy is still fat, too, but by the looks of things she has longer to go.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Preparing for Gardening Season

Did you know that gardening season starts in March and doesn't end until Christmas? I was just reading up about brussel sprouts and rethinking just which garden I was going to plant them in (I decided that Garden 2, for the squash, pumpkins, pickles and cucumbers would be best), and learned that you can continue to harvest right on into December. It's the same thing for Kale. I suppose I'm just going to have to find that out for myself. A couple of years ago, I planted Kale and it grew quite large and was very beautiful. I harvested it before the first frost, not knowing that I had even a couple of months to harvest it and couldn't get it all snipped and cleaned and par-boiled to freeze until most of it had really started to wilt and die and smell bad. It was pretty pathetic. Right after that I found out that I could have left it in the garden until after the snow flew, although January's temperatures would have just frozen the great green stuff to bits. Now, since brussel sprouts are planted so late in the spring, I can get them in among my squash and pumpkins. Brussel sprouts take up quite a bit of room. I'm really looking forward to giving them a shot! They are one of my most favorite vegetables. Carrots are great, too - and garden carrots are absolutely the best!

Now, about that little greenhouse I was thinking of building instead of waiting for a free shed to dismantle and reconstruct: I'm going to not build it. It really is too small. I have my eyes on the shed variety and there is someone with one that I like that I saw as I was cruising the countryside one day. Perhaps I'll have to stop by and see how it was constructed. I may just have to build the frames and floor myself without having the benefit of picking up a free shed. We'll see. First I'll get the 4-tier greenhouse and plant that on my deck until I'm able to get the deck stained.

Also, the doggone goats are still very pregnant. Or their just extremely fat and faking it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

I'm slowly allowing spring fever to take hold and settle in. It doesn't help me keep the fever reined in with weather in the 40's. Tomorrow it is supposed to get up to 50 degrees! I know we'll probably get more snow, but for now, I'm a little bit excited. I'm trying real hard to not get carried away. Last night I made some progress with my calendar and wrote down what gets planted on what dates on the calendar. I still have to get that into my phone. Today, in the GRIT magazine from 2008 that my in-laws gave to me, I found the instructions on how to make a small greenhouse. It is exactly what I'm looking for! I am so excited. Unfortunately, the instructions in the magazine didn't include the beginning which told how to make the floor and foundation. I used my computer savvy and looked up the May/June 2008 issue of GRIT online, and lo, and behold, I found it and was able to print out the article! I'm so excited about this I could just about jump for joy! My previous plan was to refurbish a shed, taking off the siding and replacing it with 2 glass panels (and more as I found them) from an old sliding glass door. I do believe I'll use those panels for this greenhouse so it's not all greenhouse plastic. I also read up on sunflowers and I think I'll try to plant a large clump of them. I read another article on tomatoes that included a section on getting the seeds from the tomato plants ready to plant the following spring. All in all, it was a rather productive 1/2-hour lunch.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Walk with the Dogs - Saturday

The snow was knee-deep in the field yet, but that didn't stop Harley from bounding like a deer through the white stuff! Kayleigh stayed pretty much in my tracks. Luke walked in Kellie's tracks, but would often walk in Harley's as well.

Goats, especially Brian, love bagels!

Friday, we were all in the barn checking out Lucy, who wasn't getting up to greet us. We thought maybe, just maybe, she was going into labor. Then I gave her a little bit more hay, and she was up. Chris was giving Brian some pieces of bagels. That goat was practically crawling over the pen to get them! His favorite flavors are: Multi-grain and Asiago Cheese!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Had a Snow Day Yesterday!

I had a snow day yesterday. I couldn't make it to work. Chris had to go. I did spend most of my morning helping my brother out who got stuck half off my driveway and into the swamp with his plow truck! Not a hard thing to do in my yard. I'm so glad he helps us out!

Lucy and Lily are still very pregnant! it is so hard to wait for them to give birth!