Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Have you seen the little piggies?

Piggies, round 2: Eydie, the gilt (female), and her smaller brother, Steve, the barrow (castrated male). It will be interesting to see if Steve outweighs Eydie after a few months of good eats. He was one of the runts of the litter.

The second pic is the beauty shot of Eydie. We picked them up on Sunday from the same guy who gave us Rick and Michelle. They were good healthy pigs the last time around, and we expect the same this time.

I will get better photos when they are finally allowed out of the new goat shed and into the sunlight. Until I get the goat shed painted, at least in the front that faces the pen, and until we finish putting up the rest of the fence, the goats have to stay in the old pig shed, and the little piggies get the whole huge goat shed to themselves. As they are still in shock from being taken from their Mama and siblings, they don't know what they are missing and are quite happy where they are.

Check it out large (click on the photos) they both have long red eyelashes/eyebrows! Very cute, although hard to see with all the hay in the way!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

One little tornado, too many tomatoes and just enough chickens

September weather has been just perfect. Except for a little tornado that swept through our little town, just skirting the far side of our property and taking down several trees, we've been having the warm sun and cool temperatures that make Fall so pretty up here. The leaves are just beginning to change color, which usually doesn't start until October.

The Husband's garden has been enjoying the perfect weather as well. Even though he has been battling the groundhogs for control, the garden still produced about 4 times as many tomatoes as the ones shown here, a large crop of sweet corn, plenty of pumpkins, squash, peppers... Thankfully the freezer full of pork is no longer full, so we have been making and freezing tomato sauce, tomato/corn salsa, gazpacho, and sometimes just peeled tomatoes when I get too lazy to do the rest of the work.

There are only 3 eggs left under the broody hen. She started with 5 or 6, then the other hens started laying eggs on top of hers, then they (or she) broke some of them... I had to close her up in a crate by herself to keep track of what is going on in there. I have no idea if the 3 remaining eggs are going to hatch, or if they are just rotten by now. If they do hatch, it should happen soon.

Either way, we still have 13 hens and the original Rotten Roo. You can see him proudly protecting his little women in the photo. Not sure what will happen when winter comes and they can no longer easily make their way from the coop back to the house. Lately all they do is sleep in the coop, but that is probably why there have not been any more Jack Russell attacks. Smart chickens are hiding as far away from the road as possible!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The view from above

On Sunday afternoon, The Husband and I took the WoodMan and Sophie to visit our nearest neighbor, Don on the Hill. His dog Bandit is the long-lost, long-haired twin of Woody. Being way up on the hill, we can let the dogs run free with no danger of them finding their way back to the busy road, or to the chickens down below. In the last photo, that's Don mowing a path to the creek (behind his house, the same creek that runs behind us). Bandit is leading the way back to see his visitors.

The Husband found himself settling in for a beer with the boys watching football, while I had a beer and all 3 pooches outside on a perfect Sunday afternoon with the best view of everything: Canadarago Lake, Panther Mountain, and the pretty little blue-grey house down below. If you click on the second photo to make it larger, you can just barely see our house, right in the middle, Charlie's barn to the left.

Don is a great neighbor, and we time our visits to the Post Office so that we can chat with Sherry the Postmistress as often as possible, but I must say it is a nice change to have my closest neighbors this far away. At the house in NJ, everyone was tucked in so close that you couldn't avoid the neighbors if you wanted to. For the 20 years that we lived there, all my neighbors were good ones, but times have changed. The latest addition to my quiet little street is really stirring things up, including venturing onto my property with his pruning shears and ruining my not-so-perfect landscaping. Even if we didn't still own the house, I would be horrified. I couldn't even bring myself to drive down that quiet little street when I was back there last week. I might have had to cry...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Jersey and the new job

This past weekend, I made a little trip back to the old homestead in NJ—truly the old homestead—the house where I grew up. I took the Wood Man with me to meet Little Sis, and OR Sis and her husband; and to visit with his foster mom, Dawn, and Lorraine from BCAA, the organization that rescued him from a shelter in VA.

Dawn had told me that he was a terrible passenger in the car, and she wasn't lying. He howls and barks, and jumps from one seat to another, including trying to sit in my lap while I am driving. With that in mind, and because there is also a new law in NJ that says dogs have to be restrained in the car, I loaded his crate into the back of the CR-V, and I am glad I did. He whined only for the first 2 minutes, and then settled down and slept for almost the entire 4.5-hour drive, up and back! Good boy, Wood Man!

He was also better behaved with Jersey Girl than he was with Sophie in the beginning. I think because Jersey doesn't give him as much sass as the Sopher, and also because they are the same age. The large photo is Jersey and Woody relaxing while Little Sis was at church on Sunday morning. (You can almost see her blue chow tongue in her smiley face!) The other is a close-up of Woody, with his favorite pose for the camera. Although the cats were happy that Woody was on vacation for the weekend, Sophie seemed happy to have him back.

The other big story on Action News is that I started working part-time for The Freeman's Journal, the weekly newspaper in Cooperstown. I've been there about 3 weeks, and I am still figuring out the mysteries of working on a PC after being a Mac girl for so many since the beginning of (computer) time. For all those people who told me PCs are faster than Macs, better than Macs, easier to use...I say you are all wrong.

I miss my Mac!!! but it's nice to have some cash flowing back into the old bank account. I'll suffer through the PC nightmare for the cash.