Sunday, August 30, 2015

Puppy Love!!

I could spend most of my time staring at sleeping puppies right now!  They wiggle, yawn, smack their little lips, and make the cutest noises.  Everyone is starting to open their eyes and pup #1 is trying to stand and walk.  Littlest boy, Grey Wind, opened his eyes first.  Fifi Jo, needs extra care. Girls; Lady, Nymeria, and Riptide are the biggest.  Ghost is the only pup that seems to be staying pure white.  White, Nymeria, is starting to get the coolest cream colored spots.  Sweet, little Cass is the most mellow baby.  This has been such a fun adventure so far!  I'm looking forward to see what our next milestones will bring.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wrestling Goats

Dauntless, the unicorn goat.

My goats have horns, and I'm beginning to find that this can be an issue.  The breeder I bought most of my herd from didn't burn horns because she thought it was cruel.  I agree, but I may be heading in that direction in the future.  I don't mind the horns, I've gotten a few good whacks from a horn or two, but they make good back scratchers and give a little-added protection from my young guard dogs.  After losing two buck sales to the fact that my goats have horns, it's time to have them removed.  

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to band everyone's horns today.  Goats do not like to feel trapped, and do not like to have their horns tugged.  Mix that together and it's a recipe for disaster.  Well not really, I successfully banded horns with only minor bumps and bruises.  My goats currently hate me.  A few of them let out such blood-curdling screams that I truly believe that my neighbors probably think we're having cabrito for dinner, um no.  Now I wait and wait and wait and hopefully within the next few months I will have dehorned goats.  Wish me luck!!

Double Trouble, Growing Up Too Fast

John and Phe are now 7 weeks old.  They are getting fat, sassy and oh so sweet.  I can't believe it's almost time for John to move over to San Quentin, my buck pen.  This is going to be a difficult transition for the poor little buck.  He's very attached to his sister.  They have been an absolute joy to watch grow up!

Hazy Skies

I went to bed with a stuffy nose and a mild sore throat.  I woke up to an even worse sore throat.  It felt like someone stuck a sword through my mouth.  Thank you, Game of Thrones for that incredible image that is now burned in my mind FOREVER.  Needless to say, I feel crappy!  I look out my window to the east and a smokey haze obscures my mountain view.  I look to the west where there are blue skies, not the usual clear cerulean, though.

My heart and prayers go out to the people out west affected by the massive amounts of wildfires.  I can't even imagine what they're going through.  Colorado has been plagued by its share of massive fires in past years.  This year we've been blessed with copious amounts if rain.  I'm a realist, though, I know that the spigot could be turned off at any moment and the land will dry up in an instant.  I will continue to pray for the firefighters and families out west, that these fires will soon be extinguished, and the rebuilding can begin.   

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Different Kind of Childhood

I grew up in suburbia, enjoyed trips to the mall, went on weekend getaways, and was lucky enough to visit Europe.  My kids have had a very different upbringing.  We live on the side of a mountain where deer and elk sightings are a daily occurrence.  We've had poultry plundered by fox and our trash can plundered by bear.   Most of us here find trips to the mall an annoyance with too many people.  I think my kids prefer the quieter, slower way of life.  Don't get me wrong, we do fun things.  Colorado offers a wealth of activities from skiing to concerts to amusement parks.  Unfortunately, overnight getaways are a challenge and out of state visits next to impossible.  

Despite the lack of travel, my children have gotten to do things I never did as a child.  Together, we've watched chicks hatch, baby goats born, and seen puppies only minutes old.  We've learned about life and death and how nature can be cruel.  The kids have raised a piglet, chicks, poults, ducklings, kittens, puppies, lambs, and goat kids.  We've bottle-fed baby animals and had baby goats living in the house.  The kids know where their food comes from.  They dig worms in the manure pile and build forts from downed trees in the forest.  I'm slightly jealous of the things they do.  It's a unique childhood filled with fun. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

The $11 Duck Pen

With our unusually rainy summer projects have not been getting done in a timely manner.  Trust me, you do not want to go outside when it storms in the mountains!  

The ducks have needed a pen of their own for some time now and they've finally got it.  All the new pen cost me was about $7 for the cement for the new posts and $4 for hardware.  Everything else, I scavenged from the piles I have around the yard.  

The ducks are thrilled with "Ducktopia."  They're laying better and staying quieter.  The chickens are happy to have a drier pen too.  All in a good weekend's work!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Of Love and Loss

Pup #7.
Pearl with pup #1.

Wow, what a day!!!  It's definitely been a roller coaster and I'm exhausted.  On my calendar for this very day, it reads "Pearl due."  Well, Pearl did have pups.  Twelve total, but only seven have survived.  I gave mouth to mouth to three to see if I could save them to no avail.  The other two we knew right away that they were gone.  I'm so thankful for the seven survivors, five girls and two boys!  All sweet, wriggly, and beautiful.  It has been a day of ups and downs.  The life of a farmer is never easy.

Back to School Blues

I swear the kids got out of school yesterday, yet here I sit on the eve of the first day of school wondering, where did our summer go?  I loved the lazy mornings, driving less, hikes, starting to get projects done both in and out of the house.  I was starting to feel "in control" of things, and now things are slowly starting to spin out of control again, at least in my mind.  

This will be an interesting year.  A year of firsts and lasts.  I have a senior this year and as excited as I am to see him grow and thrive, the "lasts" of this year are making me melancholy.  This will be an awesome year for all four of my kiddos.  I've watched them all grow as little people over the summer.  Though I won't miss the bickering and beating amongst them, I will miss the quiet times together, exploring and learning.

I need to get out of my head and embrace this new chapter in our lives.  I need to give up control and accomplish what I can on a daily basis.  The kids are ready to go back to school, even if there mama isn't.  Wish us luck!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Return of Little Lion Dog

Sunny, aka Little Lion Dog, has returned to his post after a nice vacation with his sister.  He spent most of July in our dog run with his sister, Charlie.  Though fun, it's now time to get back to work.  Sunny has returned to his post as goat guard in my big pasture, really it's maybe only an acre.  I've moved our dogloo into the pasture, so Sunny has shelter.  He returns to the dog run long enough to eat a meal and allow me to milk.  Peace and safety has returned to the ranch.