Sunday, August 25, 2013

It's a NYSHA day

On this beautiful day in the neighborhood, we took a tour of the Farmer's Museum and Fenimore Art Museum, both a part of the New York State Historical Association where we are members. 

The golf course is between the 2 museums. This photo is for Brian (hope you're feeling better!).

The Farmer's Museum is usually a great place to learn about raising pigs and chickens and goats and such, although today there were not the usual number of helpful employees.

The 2 employees we did find however, were very helpful. The Husband's cousin, young Emma, was dressed in period costume and working in the farm kitchen and the print shop for the day.

We also saw Karen, from Swamp Hill Farm where we got Lucille, Helen, and Jack, our goats. The Husband was discussing with Karen the possible future breeding of Lucille and Helen with one of her bucks. He is a farm animal addict, with no cure in sight!

Wants some cows too, doesn't he...

The final photo is of the porch brackets that I should have designed for our house. I am still disappointed in the ones that I copied from our wooden screen door that was transplanted from the NJ house. The design might be OK, but they need to be more substantial, like these. Maybe some day I will get around to replacing, or reworking the ones that are there. This will be my inspiration.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bloody Woody or Vincent van Dogh

It was a typical Woody Wednesday, where I take both dogs up for a run at Don on the Hill's. The WoodMan has been very much improved as far as staying with me while I am walking with Sophie on the leash. As soon as I sit down with Don to have a beer however, he takes off into the woods, while Sophie just hangs out with us enjoying the view and begging for cookies.

Woody came back once before covered in blood, and it turned out to be the tiniest little cut on his ear. Yesterday, he came back covered in blood with the tiniest little cut on his ear, but it would not stop bleeding. He bled all over himself, Don, Don's house, Sophie, me, the car... I kept putting pressure on the end of his ear, and he would shake his head as soon as I let go, and then we'd start all over again.

I put Sophie in the house and hosed down my big red dog, but soon realized pressure was not stopping the gushing ear, so I called the local vet, Pam Lea (not Woody's vet, mind you) and she was kind enough to take us in even though it was after hours and she was still busy with other patients.

She sedated him, wrapped him up tight, unsedated him and sent us home. Thank you Pam! He was very well behaved about not picking at the bandages, but I couldn't stand seeing him look so pathetic so I just took them off a few minutes ago. He started bleeding a bit again, but it stopped pretty quickly.

It was The Husband's idea to create the "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog". Poor Woody was already horrified that I wanted to take his photo (can you tell?)...good thing he doesn't know everybody can see him as Vincent van Dogh with the bandaged ear.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Visitors from NJ welcomed by the howling hound

We had our yearly August visit from some family members in NJ, sadly minus The Husband's mother, brother, and his wife. Brian is hopefully recovering soon from a painful sciatica attack. We miss you all and hope you're feeling better, Brian!

Sarah, Brian's daughter, did make the trip with Jason and Claire and Ella. The girls are old enough to not find us as amusing as previous years, when they stayed with us for a few days, but at least they had time to visit with us and the goats, chickens, chicks and ducks. Sarah took these goat photos with her iPhone. The phone didn't work so well out here in the sticks, but the pictures it takes are amazing! Of course it helps that she is an amazing photographer.

Woody and Sophie happily welcomed their girlfriends from last year, but Woody decided that it was his job to bark almost the entire time they were here in the house. I guess that's his idea of a party. Hard to believe we have had him a full year already! We had gotten him just a few days before the NJ visit last year. He was much better behaved for that party...I guess he didn't know he could get away with being so bad...

It's also been a year that I have been working at the Freeman's Journal/Hometown Oneonta newspaper. I design ads for them 3 days a week. The pay is not great (really not great!) but it's steady work and good people and it helps to pay those darn bills. I didn't realize how difficult it would be owning 2 homes. We are planning to put the house back on the market next summer. Losing the rental income will hurt, but losing the high taxes and crazy new fees imposed on landlords in Palmyra will definitely make up for it.

Now we just have to hope that someone can love our NJ house as much as we did.

Anybody wanna buy a house?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The final four chicks and five and three ducks

Well, probably not the last chicks we'll ever get, but these are the four out of five remaining chicks that we bought about a month ago. They were difficult to capture and close up for the night, which is how we lost one of them to some unknown predator. And they are difficult to capture on film as well, which is why I didn't get any pictures of them until today. These are the best of 32 photos. The boys and girls (we don't know what they are yet) don't stay in one place long enough to be seen.

They are still what I call peepers—meaning they still have that adorable chick peep rather than clucks or cock-a-doodle-doos. I hope to determine sometime soon if there is more than one rooster, because the lady who sold them to us said should would replace any extra roos with hens. So far they all look the same to me.

We finally have a verdict on the ducks—they are not Cayugas, not even a Cayuga cross, they are plain old mallards. But these plain old mallards are still really beautiful and fun to watch as they claim their right to be first in the pool (water buckets). Unlike the chicks, these ducks are sporting their adult feathers and I can see we have 5 males and 3 females. The males not only have those pretty green heads, but their tail feathers have little black curls that identify them as males.

And because they are now almost fully adults, well let's just say those 3 little girls are being very much bothered by the 5 big boys. We have seen them fly, just a bit, so I'm hoping that 1 or 2 of the drakes will find the creek and take a fancy to a little neighbor girl. In a perfect world...maybe...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I feel perfectly awful

That would be Mr. Roo speaking...not me. Since he was attacked by the mystery critter over a month ago, he has good days and bad. Above was a bad day...face plant on the driveway with the girls all gathered around.

He is recovering, but very slowly. Although he can hold up his head much better than before, as his feathers are coming back in, they are looking pretty ratty...poor guy...

Otherwise things are going pretty well here at Lester's Flat. After an unusually rainy start to summer, followed by an unusually hot and humid couple of weeks, we are now having almost perfect weather.

I have not had a chance to photograph the latest additions to "the farm". We bought 5 new chicks from a local farmer. The rooster was a Black Australorp, the hen that hatched them was a Speckled Sussex, and a few other hens must have snuck their eggs in there because one looks like half Golden Laced Wyandotte, and another is all blue/black like the roo.

We kept the chicks locked up for a few days, but after a week or so started letting them roam. One Tuesday when I was working late, the 5 of them just would not let The Husband capture them and put them back in their crate for the night. By the time I got home at 10:30, 4 of them were huddled on the front porch steps and the 5th was nowhere to be found. I had searched everywhere and was just giving up and coming in the house when I saw them. They were eager to be captured after losing their little companion probably minutes before that.

They have been free-ranging ever since, and are now much better about getting tucked in at night. Very cute to watch them playing with the ducks—although the ducks don't think they're very cute at all. Mostly they chase the little ones away if they get too close to their water buckets and food.