Friday, March 20, 2015

I need a haircut...and other stuff

I work part-time for The Freeman's Journal/Hometown Oneonta newspapers as their graphic artist. They were taking photos of us in work the other day, and here is my pose.

I grew my hair this long because I thought I would donate it to Locks of Love, to make wigs for cancer survivors. But then I found that they won't take hair that is more than 5% grey. Sorry, I cannot meet those requirements. Guess I really do have to get my hair cut soon.

Just this week the editor of the paper attributed an article to me that I had very little to do with, other than sending him a link to use for information in an article he was writing. It was late. He had space on the editorial page. He printed the link verbatim and gave me the byline.

He should have given credit to One of my go-to sites for information about raising chickens. But hey! He also gave a "link" to my blog.

Credit for this photo: Ian Austin.

So if that's how you got here... Welcome!

Scroll down. The other posts are more interesting than this (I hope). This one is written after work, late in the evening, maybe had a glass of wine..or 2...

I saw this photo from the weather satellite for today, the first day of spring. Orange dot is where we are, still under snow cover, but it feels a whole lot like spring. Goats had their kids. Chickens are out wandering outside the coop (those famous chickens I love so much). Pigs are in the freezer (I know, that's so cruel.)

And here's one more kid photo, since the goats got bumped in the last post. Little girl in the center, other 2 are boys.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bumping the goats

I am moving the adorable goat kid photos down a notch to report some big news here:

The MonkeyCat who has been here since September just now had his first up close and personal meeting with the WoodMan. This has been building up for the past few weeks. Monk comes down the stairs and pesters Woody and then escapes either back up the stairs or through the cat door into the basement.

Woody has been getting better about not chasing the Monkey, but there's only so much a big hound boy can handle.

So today Monkey came closer than usual, and I decided to allow them to be together—with lots of "Be gentle" and "Be nice" talkin' to the WoodMan.

Although it looked like Woody was eating the little cat, the little cat was not complaining and kept coming back for more. In fact, this has been going on now for a good half hour. When Monkey has had enough, he runs off, but he just keeps coming back. His fur is soaking wet, especially around his neck, which is where the Woody likes to chew on him.

I am a little bit nervous to leave for work...or maybe I just don't want to miss all the antics.

Friday, March 6, 2015

We goat together

I couldn't get all 4 in one photo (not a good one anyway) so you will have to suffer through with these. Top photo is the only little girl in the middle, her brother with the one floppy ear to the right. They were born late Tuesday night.

Second photo is all 3 boys: the white one and the one in the back are Rosie's kids, born on Monday around noon.

They all came out to play today, even though the weather is still way too cold for March. They don't seem to care. We do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Signs of spring #3 and 4, and these little piggies went to market

Tuesday night I get home from work about 10 pm. Just get settled in when The Husband calls me from the goat shed—there's a third little kid out there. We both waited around to see if there was a #4, but it wasn't happening anytime soon that we could see. He went about an hour later and #4 is out there as well. (in the photo: little doeling in front milking off of mama, little buckling only 1 black foot showing behind mama)

So both mamas delivered 2 kids without any help from us.

Only 1 doeling, the darkest of the 3 brown ones, and 3 bucklings. Not good numbers for us, but any combination of adorable is a good thing!

Also today the piggies went to market. We are trying a new butcher, The Farmer's Place in New Berlin. Had a new transport person as well—Barb and her husband Rick. They loaded up the 2 pigs in about 10 minutes, a clear victory over every past effort, but then it took them another 15 minutes or so to back the truck and trailer out of the snowy driveway.

And our friend the bald eagle was flying over surveying the whole episode.

Spring is coming. It is.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Here are the first two signs of Spring!

I spoke too soon! Rosie, one of our kids from last year, just gave us 2 new babies. I think they are both bucklings, but not sure yet. Too excited to give them a good look—both them and me!

More pics to follow. Gotta head into work.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Still no sign of spring!

We still have over 2 feet of snow on the ground, still some overnight temps below 0°, still some heavy winds blowing the snow all around. When will it end?

Dunno, but it will. The chickens are laying eggs again—average about 5 per day—up from about 2 per week. And our Greek friends are making the trip up from the city again, fighting over the chicken eggs. "Don't sell them to anybody else. Save them for me!"

Sadly, we lost 7 of our 9 ducks to some unknown predator, probably a fox, but the 2 remaining are a male and female, so we have some hope that more are on the way...some day. (Although this particular female has never laid an egg that we know of...)

MonkeyCat and WoodMan are getting better at coexisting, but the Woody still gives chase every time he is awake enough to notice.

MonkeyCat still is carting things up from the basement to the second floor. He ran out of egg noodles (since I took them all away) and has moved on to the hot peppers that I had drying down there. Woody still eats whatever Monkey throws back down the stairs to the first floor, but he has discovered that the hot peppers are not quite as tasty as the noodles.

I have been busy working for the newspaper, and my dear friend Maryellen has been giving me a good bit of work as well. Small pic is a map I am doing for her (for Pilot Freight) that was particularly difficult. One can only fit so many cities in a state in 6 pt type... I'm just sayin'!

Not looking forward to tax time.

Never do.

Procrastinate as long as possible...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The groundhog was right

We are not seeing the end of winter anytime soon. I think we have close to 3 feet of snow on the ground, and it's still coming down. The big pic will give you a good idea of the amount of snow, especially in comparison to the photo up top with the big Lester. That one was from Thanksgiving Day. Now you can barely see the top of the black bench.

And the cold temperatures make it even worse. It's supposed to get up to a high of 0° tomorrow, high of -2° on Sunday. Low on Sunday night is expected to be -20°.

Inside it is nice and warm by the woodstove (75° right this minute) but the poor animals outside are not thrilled with the cold. The ducks somehow make the trek from the duckhouse through the snow all the way to the chicken coop every morning. I'm not sure why they need to go out there other than they enjoy the chicken company. This is maybe 100 feet through the deep snow, only about 20 feet down the cleared driveway.

And I know how difficult that trekking through the snow can be, as Woody likes to take me through it while I am walking him on the leash. He has to leap through it since it is up to his belly, and he pretty much just drags me along behind.

He is definitely still missing Sophie and so are we, but I am going to hold off on getting another dog, even with the temptations from our favorite animal rescue (Burlington County Animal Alliance in NJ). Lorraine has sent some heart-tugging, adorable, perfect pup photos which I am not even going to post here because they will just tug at my heart that much more... Let's just say that one of them looks like a 6MO Woody...

The WoodMan definitely still needs some one-on-one training. I want to be able to trust him off the leash before I get another dog, and winter is not a good time to practice that. Is spring coming anytime soon? Please?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Missing our Sophie!

I didn't want to bump Sophie, so I am reloading one of my favorite pics of her—resting after a prolonged romp with the Libby pup back in 2007 in NJ. She was a great one for putting that belly in the air for a good belly rub, and sometimes just to rub her back on the floor or the grass.

We are all missing her, especially the WoodMan. He keeps looking for her. He looks at the front door if I say her name. He went out to the garage (where he saw me put her in the car to take her away) the first time I took him out for a walk after she was gone. In fact, he did not even want to go for a walk, he stayed on the porch and refused to come with me until I dropped the leash and he ran to the garage door.

I took him into work on Friday thinking this is the most subdued he has ever been. He was mostly well behaved, and I think it was a nice distraction—for him and for me.

First pic is him in the office of The Freeman's Journal ( Second pic is him on the rug in the kitchen by the sink. This is the rug I had up in the bedroom upstairs, the rug that Sophie spent a good bit of time sleeping on. Not his usual hangout spot...maybe it still smells of Sophie Girl...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Striped bass and the mystery egg noodles

Chapter 1
The Husband found some remarkably fresh fish in upstate NY (unheard of unless you have an in with one of those crazy ice fisherman! You know who you are, Jack!).

We regularly buy vegetables from Heller's Farm in the Cooperstown Farm Market. The market continues through the winter, but the pickins are slim. Apparently Heller's has a large pond and has started raising striped bass.

This was my first attempt at cooking a whole fish, but we both agreed it turned out pretty well. I used a recipe they provided which involved coating the fish with a kind of pesto made from fresh mint, dried oregano, scallions, garlic and olive oil. We left out the mint partly because The Hub is not a fan, partly because it's not exactly fresh in Price Chopper.

Score the sides, rub in the pesto, and broil for 5 minutes (more like 7 minutes) each side. Served with mashed sweet potatoes and a spinach salad.

Chapter 2
Dried egg noodles started appearing as cat toys on the second floor, mostly in the middle of the night being noisily batted around by some silly kitten. I could not figure out where he was getting them.

I take them away, more appear.

I discovered a few days later that there was an extra bag of egg noodles in the basement. I am thinking the same silly kitten broke open the bag and must have been carrying them upstairs one at a time.

I added Chapter 2 just now because same silly kitten batted one of them down the stairs while I was writing this. The Hub took it away, so kitten went down in the basement and just brought up another one. He left it for a sleeping Sophie as a gift. She woke up a few minutes later and ate it—thank you very much!