Friday, December 19, 2014

From The Land of Flying Flour...

Merry Christmas!
From all of you and yours!

Today's post is very brief.
I am up to my elbows in flour...baking like an army of Keebler elves...
cookies, cheese cake, yummy pecan sticky buns.
And when I am done baking, I must start the prep work for Sunday's family dinner.
We will have a house full of family for the next several days...
so I am getting everything ready today.

I will be back briefly tomorrow for our Walk On The Wild Side...
 I can hardly wait to see what the trail cams caught this week.

So, for now...have the very best holiday weekend.
And by next week, we will all know this little gal's pedigree.

In case you can't tell...
our little Annie is not a fan of playing dress-up.
I do believe that is a grimace on her face!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Little Christmas Cheer For You

With just four days left until our big family Christmas celebration
it is time to finish up all of the little holiday details.

Yesterday the animals finished picking their Christmas outfits. 
You might remember that Daphne and Chloe picked theirs last week.

It took no time for MaryAnn to find the perfect outfit...

And of course Ginger opted for the mistletoe!
Anyone ready to kiss a pig?

This elf hat fit Ollie's personality perfectly.

He had other ideas, however...

Ok, Ollie, you really like the red velvet top hat?

Oooooohhhh, I can see why.
You look quite dapper in that one!

What? You picked that one for Red?
Well, you go Red.

Moonbeam opted for reindeer antlers and asked if there were any way that we could paint 
his nose red.
Maybe Santa will add you to his team, Moony!

Even the goats got in on the fun.
O'Malley, who always goes for the under-stated...
picked this little red bow.

It seems that the bow is a favorite amongst the girls...
Star opted for the bow as well.

Ash was happy with this green hat and proceeded to use the hat as a horn...
chasing the other goats around with her head held down and the hat sticking out in front of her.

Perhaps tomorrow we can capture a video of the fainting goats...
too much Christmas cheer will certainly cause someone to faint!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pleasures of Recycling

A damp, gloomy, drizzly day this close to Christmas is definitely just what I needed!
And yesterday was just that.

Farm chores, taking recyclables to the recycling center, and picking up our weekly
pastured milk order from the local coffee shop
were my reasons for going outside.
The rest of my day was spent finishing up a knitting project that needs to be done for Christmas.
Weather like this prevents the guilt that would ordinarily accompany a day spent indoors

Excuse me, I've digressed.
While picking up our milk order, I also picked up about a dozen 5 gallon buckets of
kitchen scraps from our local café.
This is mutually beneficial to the café and to us.
We recycle their kitchen scraps into our compost pile, adding valuable nutrients that 
will eventually be recycled back into the earth.

I get excited about this process of recycling...
but not quite as excited as the chickens get when they see me dumping scraps.

About 20 chickens come running...
their little beaky heads leading their bodies down the muddy lane with such glee...
anticipating the yummiest of snacks to pick through.

The café owner refrigerates the scraps in the summertime so that they don't rot.
And in the winter, they sit outside in the cold.
So, even though they are scraps...they are quite edible for the chickens.
What the chickens eat becomes chicken manure which goes back to the earth;
and what they don't eat decomposes in the compost pile which also goes back to the earth
via the manure spreader as it rolls across our hay field.

It's a WIN-WIN-WIN!!
You see, everyone on the farm gets treats of one sort or another.
The equines love their peppermints.

The pigs love apples or carrots.

The goats...Ritz crackers... and only Ritz crackers.
The chickens...not picky, anything has the potential of reaching "treat" status.
The dogs...everyone else's manure (that's not my's theirs!)

Before I end, I wanted to share a photo that I found in the blog archives...
It's Ginger and MaryAnn when they first came to live at the farm
with our dear, dear Maddie (our newfie that passed last winter).
Can you believe how tiny the girls were?
Oh, how Maddie loved her piggies.

Oh, how I love a trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa....Please Bring Candycanes!

It seems that there is some sort of internet challenge associated with blog writing
way too often...
and usually it has to do with things way beyond my knowledge or control.
If you read my blog via Facebook, I apologize for it not loading yesterday.
Goodness knows is supposed to happen automatically.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that this situation fixes itself today.

For those of you who weighed in on Annie's breed...
Dr. Becky emailed me and said she got the results back yesterday.
Her comment was "Hahahahahahahahahahahahah!
Oh goodness does that ever whet my appetite!!
We'll know the answer this coming weekend.

We are in the midst of a string of gray winter days...
gray, damp, muddy...that about describes the out of doors right now.
I have finally been tackling Christmas cookie baking.

My trips out to see the animals are always the most important part of my day.
At this time of year, when we are all enjoying varied treats,
it only seems fair that I share some treats with my friends as well.

It doesn't take much to please Ginger and MaryAnn...

I had some peppermint sticks to share with the equines.
I thought I would try taking photos of them while I gave them treats.
I made the mistake of going into the dry-lot with them... which quickly became a mob scene!

Rather than risk my camera being slobbered,
I headed for the safety of the other side of the fence.
Being able to keep the horses and donkeys at arm's length is necessary if I am going to get any photos.
Here's how that went...

A picture is worth a thousand words.
The only word needed for the above photos is "YUMMY!!!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Errrr-er-er-er-errrrrrrrrrrrr!" crowed Milford, "There's a dog in the pasture...
everyone RUN!!!"

O'Malley: "That's just Annie, Milford...she's not a dog, she's a puppy."

Andy: "A puppy...yes...and a mildly annoying one at that!"

Missy:  "I think she just wants to play.  She's kind of cute... and she never barks at us."

Milford continued running around the goat houses...
sounding the alarm.

Jill stood up from where she had been resting in the pasture.
"I'll take care of this.  Leave that pesky puppy to me," she said.

Annie is approaching one year of age.
She has grown considerably since she first came to the farm.
Now, for the big question....
what combination of breeds is Annie?
We are having a family contest to guess her breeds as part of our Christmas celebration.
Each participant will give $5 with their entry.
Anyone who correctly guesses all of the breeds in her genetic test
(we sent a DNA sample for analysis)
will win the jackpot.
If no one guesses correctly, the prize money will be donated to the shelter from where she came.
what breeds do you think make up our sweet Annie?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Walk On The Wild Side....Week 11

There was a lot of traffic through the woods this week.
lots and lots of does.

I caught one young buck's image...

and the rest were does.

And some were very curious...


Oh, hello, there!

And naturally, no week is complete without scores of squirrel photos.
I think squirrels are just about the happiest of all animals,
as they hippity-hop and fly through the woods doing whatever it is that squirrels do all day!

There were single does and groups of does...
many of the photos were of a distance away, where they cross over this trail.
I am moving my camera closer to that crossing for next week.

I am not sure what the fox family has been up to,
but they were scarce (as in not seen) this week.

Of course our little possum, of whom I am sure we have hundreds,
always shows up in the photos.

No bear, no coyote, no bobcat, no raccoon...
slim-pickins this week.

However, the camera did seem to like the falling snow,

and even caught a little accumulation on this doe's shoulders...


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