Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar eclipse

The eclipse was a big deal around here, even though we were too far north to get the full effect.

I am linking to this article (although there are several from the newspaper where I work) because my dear friend Tara took the photo, and because it is a better version of the same one I took with my iPhone. In both photos, ignore the big sun flare, and look for the little moon slice (hers to the right, mine underneath) which is actually a slice of the sun blotted out by the moon.

The next 2 photos were of Libby and me experimenting with a hole punched through a lunch container.

All the buzz around town.

It was mighty difficult not to look up while it was going on, but I am a believer in the media reports which warned not to look with bare eyes.

Let that be a lesson to you, POTUS. Not all media is fake. Seriously? You would risk your eyesight? I just don't know what to say about that...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cats, wildflowers, eggs

After much coaxing by Evie, the cat boys Willie and Monkey came out to meet her. This is a first for both of them, who always hide when visitors are here. They even came down on the stairs for a peek and a pet from Brian the next day. I don't imagine they will remember their bravery next time someone shows up, but it is a small bit of progress.

Where I walk the dogs across the street by the horse farm the wildflowers are coming in like crazy. It is near impossible to get a good pic with my iPhone when there is a dog on the leash. Another filly was born late yesterday according to Susan, but the little one hasn't come out to meet us just yet. Cyrus enjoys meeting the little ones nose-to-nose. Woody just barks at the strange creatures on the other side of the fence.

And, a final photo from the visiting photographer—2 of our fresh eggs for her breakfast. The composition is perfect, just like the eggs.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Up on the hill

I frequently take the boys up on the hill for a run at Don's house. He is far enough from the road and from our chickens that I don't have to worry about the dogs getting into trouble. Of course they still do...

Since B&E are still here on their visit from NJ, E&I went together today. Mr P&B (his brother) had my car so we had to try to fit the dogs in the too small back of the truck. Cyrus sat in Evie's lap for the short ride, Woody barked like he always does in the back.

Clouds made it not quite as hot, few raindrops here and there, but otherwise much fun was had by all. Until I realized that I lost the truck key out of the hole in my back pocket. Retraced my steps around Don's long trail through the woods/weeds, and found it on my second go-round. Duh! Don't put keys in holey pocket...lesson learned...

Bandit (Don's dog) on the left, Cyrus all black and hard to see on the right, Woody all white in the background waiting for me to let him in Don's house to lick the chicken-cooking bowl.

That's my boy!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Our favorite visiting photographer was here again!

A fisheyed Roger Ramjet and Johnny Cash
Thank you Sarah for taking these cool photos of the elusive goats, and the even more elusive Farmer Tim! We hope you had a little fun in your too-short visit to Lester's Flat!
The Man in Black
Farmer Tim

Rico and Jack (and Susan with no head)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Upstate visitors: family and famous

Our beautiful niece Claire was spotted photo-bombing Jeffrey Toobin. Well, actually, I used her to hide the fact that I was taking a photo of Mr. Toobin. Claire's mom Sarah, Sarah's dad Brian (The Husband's brother) and Brian's wife Eve were all up to visit from NJ. We had a lovely dinner at the Blue Mingo, otherwise known as the Spider Mingo from the last time Claire was there with her sister and was forced to sit on the deck, which had a large variety of spiders hanging from the ceiling. Claire was quite happy to be outside, under the umbrella, even though we had a bit of rain out there by the lake. No spiders. Just ducks.

Claire and Sarah headed back to NJ today, but B&E were lucky to join us at Fly Fest this afternoon, where we had the pleasure of seeing several performers, including Aztec Two Step, a group that everyone but Evie remembers from the 70s. Excellent performance.

Thanks go out to Bruce and Sue for putting on a great show every year! Hoping that this is the last Fly Fest at Cornfield Hall, but not the last Fly Fest!

Friday, July 28, 2017

The two best behaved dogs ever?

You would think looking at this photo from last year that I had 2 well behaved children. In reality, not so much.
Big hurt foot! Bandage not working too well...

The WoodMan, hound boy on the left, is now sporting a nice big scar on his right paw from a misadventure in the woods back in June. I have no clue what he got into (snapping turtle? trap? glass in the creek?) I just know that I heard him yelp and then bark at whatever it was before he came limping back home. I think I have finally fixed the fence in the back to keep him from escaping, only time will tell.

Big Roo with a couple of his lady friends
And just when he finally appears to be a good boy running loose up at Don's house, he comes up with a new game: bring back really smelly dead stuff after rolling in it. Or bring back not so smelly dead stuff and then eat it.

That's my boy.

Cyrus, big black dog on the right, has pretty much stopped his messing in the house after 2-and-a-half years with us. I say pretty much because there is still an occasional got-too-excited-about-something precious pee, but the one issue we can not seem to correct is the getting too excited about things. He still wakes me almost every morning when he sees a deer, or a groundhog, or a cute little bunny, or any other living creature within view of our many windows.

He hasn't killed any chickens lately, but only because he is limited to leash walking down here. Although we seem to be making progress with the "No chickens" command, I bet that if that leash wasn't on he would murder all of them.

That's my boy.

Not much to report on the rest of the "farm animals" other than that it is a relief to only have 9 goats, instead of 20, and that 26 chickens are no more trouble than just a few. One of the teenagers is definitely a rooster—just in the last few days working out his cock-a-doodle-doo—and one of the 2 chicks is probably a rooster as well. While 4 roosters is not the preferred number, as long as they can get along with Big Roo, they get to stay here at Lester's Flat.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Uncle Al

As I said in my last post, it is quite the coincidence that I found some NJ cousins up here on Canadarago Lake, just about 2 miles from our property in Schuyler Lake (former name of the same lake).

Diane, one of my cousins, gave me this large photo of the Keenan side of the family in 1951. Mary Keenan, on the right on the couch, is my Irish grandmother's sister. Her husband Hugh (standing, right) I think we used to call Uncle Huey, but that was so many years ago.

Far left is Uncle Al, who married one of Hugh's sisters, Ella, seated with the dog in her lap. This photo taken at their home in Orange, NJ. Are ya still with me? Here's the tricky part, the second coincidence. When my grandmother was in her 90s, she started dating Uncle Al. Ella had passed years before. He even proposed to her, although she turned him down. He was either an antiques dealer, or just a collector, and he gave her many gifts. She passed a few of them along to me. And there it is, over Al's shoulder, the framed needlepoint Grandma gave me a long time ago.

I can see that I have hung it incorrectly. Not sure if I will make it historically correct...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Truck Pull, Found Cousins, and Goat Friday part 2

Always fun to be invited to the Schuyler Lake Truck Pull. Great place to see neighbors, and even sometimes relatives. It takes weeks of preparation, lots of money and lots of hard work to prepare for this event, which benefits the Schuyler Lake Fire Department. At least we have finally seen some sunny weather, and a large crowd showed up to watch.

But seriously folks, what is the big draw? The noise started at 7 am, and they are still going strong out there at 3:30 pm. There are different classes to compete in, big trucks, not so big trucks, diesel, not diesel—ALL very noisy and spewing exhaust while they pull a weighted platform as far as possible. Just a good reason to sit around and chew the fat and wash it down with beer... I guess...

As for the relatives: Hub's Cousin Chris was at the last one we attended, didn't see him this time. And some of my cousins from NJ were there this morning before we showed up. We just found each other on facebook about a year ago when I saw a pic of Debbie on a paddle board on Canadarago Lake. there aren't 2 Canadarago Lakes in the world... What a coincidence!

Got to hang out with them lakeside yesterday. Nice to see them all again!

And finally:

Goat Friday - Chapter 2
In spite of flash flood warnings and lousy weather in general, Goat Lady Karen and I made the trip to Boonville to sell our goats. Karen did extremely well with navigating truck and trailer that she was not sure how to back up. Luckily we didn't have to.

First pic is Rika and Zena in the new barn with new friends (who you can't really see in the foreground). Second pic is a close-up of my girls looking confused as to what just happened. "Our whole world has just changed! Is this a good thing?"

Once they get over the shock of being taken from Lester's Flat, their kids, and the goats they know well, I think they will adjust well to their new life with Judy, the new Goat Lady, and the new goats they don't know well at all. Her barn is certainly more serious than ours, and eventually they will have a whole pasture full of weeds to tackle, as soon as she can finish the fencing.

Good luck, my good girls. We miss you!

And the ending of Goat Friday was a trip for little Roger to get banded. Hub had to make the trip without me, I didn't get back from Boonville in time... Darn!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Goat Friday

Chapter 1
The beginning of Goat Friday is going smoothly. We are selling 2 more goats, Joseph's Rika and Zena. That will leave us with 5 females and 4 males, and we will sell no more until next year.

The Husband and I just dropped off the girls at our friend Karen's house. She is the Goat Lady who sold us Lucille, Helen and Jack, our first goats. Rika and Zena will stay in her trailer until she loads the 11 goats she is selling to Judy, a woman who is starting a goat dairy in Boonville, NY.

We expect to leave around noon with all 13 towed in the trailer behind Karen's pick-up. Thankfully none will be making this 1-and-a-half hour trip in the back of the Kia, which is how they made their way to Karen's.

When we get back from Boonville, we will take Roger Ramjet to our other Goat Lady friend, June, to be castrated (poor guy!). Believe it or not, not an awful procedure, but I won't share the details. That is the only way we can keep him, and as I mentioned before, he is definitely a keeper!

The eagle was spotted on the way to Karen's, and on the way back when Hub took these photos. I am thinking this is a good omen for Goat Friday.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Johnny Cash and the goat drama

I don't expect The Husband will allow this pic of him to stay here for long, so I am distracting him with the title of a goat drama. Captain Greg took us on a wine cruise on Canadarago Lake last night. Absolutely perfect weather for an evening on the lake. Much fun was had by all.

As I mentioned in the last post we are selling off some goats to make room for more. We did sell His Royal Goatness, Sir David Bowie, on Saturday morning to a nice gentleman with a nice farm in Jefferson, NY.

No sooner did Bowie leave the premises in the back of a 1984 Toyota pick-up, than we were off to Norway, NY (just north of Poland) to pick up this little Alpine who has just a hint of Nubian in him. He doesn't quite have the "airplane ears" that our Nubian crosses have, but they certainly aren't normal goat ears!

It took a while to come up with a name for the new big man. We tested out Stanislaus, Martin, Bart...but Man in Black, Johnny Cash it is. He has started to settle in, less crying than the past few days, outside lying down with Roger and unnamed doeling when I came back from the PO today.

The drama has to do with the selling of the other goats. Bowie was easy. Beatrice and one doeling went to a great home in Mt Upton. Charlotte, who purchased them, sent a friend Adam to pick up the other 2 doelings the next day. All good.

The 5 bucklings were all going to Greek Joseph last week, but one of them escaped and somehow ended up in the barn across the busy road. ! Joseph went home to the city and called us to retrieve him, on a Tuesday when we were both at work. ! We did it only because we felt bad for the woman who owns the barn where little one was wreaking havoc. ! Her husband was out of town, she had pneumonia, and she was helping to birth some little lambs in addition to all of her other farm chores. ! (2 little ones just born in the last photo) Joseph was supposed to pick up errant boy on Saturday, but he's still here. 

More goat drama, more goats leaving, but not worth the telling...

When all is said and done we expect to have 9 goats: Lucille, Rosie, Blossom and Rita (the girls); Jack, Rico, Roger and Johnny Cash (the boys); and Joseph's little doeling who still needs a name. She will be the only remaining offspring of David Bowie so we can't give her up!