Wednesday, July 18, 2018

I Love A Rainy Day

Yesterday morning we were greeted by two wonderful things.
This fellow....


and drizzly rain.


After weeks of dry, with the ground starting to feel like cement...
a little rain was just what we needed.
I used the indoors time to do a little attic clean-up.
I have to tell you a little secret.
I save tissue paper.
Yes, I iron it and re-use it.
And so, yesterday I ironed about 50 sheets of used tissue paper and
re-organized my gift wrapping supplies.
Crazy, right?

Noontime brought the mail carrier to the door with a surprise package.


I entered and won a contest on Farm Made's website 


for this picnic hamper


stuffed with Farm Made goodies.


goats milk lotion, soap, bath balls, and washcloths.
What a great surprise!


It's been a very long time since I have won anything,
so I was super excited to receive an email telling me that the picnic basket was being sent to me.

I can hardly wait to pack a picnic in this sweet ole' hamper
and head out to some remote spot on the farm for an old fashioned picnic!

******

Our poor birds are all on lock-down in their yards...
no free ranging for ducks, hens, or turkeys for a while.


Mr. Fox has been very busy shopping for his dinner amongst my birds of late.
(I know this by the occasional mass of feathers left behind by some unlucky gal.)
And until he learns that this restaurant is closed to his business,
the girls will have to remain in their own safe yards.


We have seen more foxes this year than ever before.
I suppose it's a good year not only for tomatoes and cucumbers,
but also for foxes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

An Explosion

It's hot and humid right now...


which makes for the perfect weather for a garden explosion!


Tomatoes have started ripening; and with almost 40 plants,


we should be enjoying tomatoes over the next 3 months.


It's been the perfect summer for the garden.


I have more cucumbers than I can use.


This was just what was ready yesterday.


Squash and peppers are also abundant.


 With almost 100 blueberry bushes that have finally reached a mature size,
we have enough blueberries for a village!
Next year we may have to open our blueberry field for a pick-your-own day.
We picked 20 pounds of blueberries yesterday and there were still many more left on the bushes.
(Needless to say, the freezer is full of blueberries!)
What to do with so many blueberries and zucchini?


Make blueberry zucchini muffins! (recipe here)
They are delicious... and I substituted one of the cups of flour with whole wheat...
and used coconut oil for the vegetable oil.


I also made this recipe of blueberry bars.


And my recipe of blueberry buckle.


All of this went into the freezer for later consumption.

With regular watering, we have been able to keep our flower gardens blooming.


Showers are predicted for today.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Last winter we lost the electricity to our upper goat pens and chicken pens.
We ran extension cords above the ground to get through the winter.
Now we are in the process of having new electrical lines laid to these areas.
It's never too soon to start planning for the next season...
and electricity is a necessity during the winter!


Last week I mentioned that I am a little worried about my goat, Ash.
She's still hanging in there and seems in no distress.


It's funny, though, she keeps herself separate from the rest of the herd.
There's really nothing we can do for her but allow her the peace she seeks.

I saw this online last night and wanted to share it with you.
A thought for today....


Monday, July 16, 2018

Road Trip

The "worry list" has shrunk considerably.
By Friday morning, Red's stomach upset had passed and he was
eating and pooping normally.
Donnie's sore fetlock was recovered and he returned to the herd...
not without a fair amount of drama, however.


Scarlet proceeded to re-initiate him into the herd by kicking the snot out of him.
Luckily, he was once again able to run to escape her taunting.


The thing about Donnie is...
he would never kick her back...
he's too much of a gentleman.
He's a very peaceful, gentle horse.
His sister... not so much.


I was so relieved that everyone had returned to normal,
because this weekend was our annual sojourn to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay...
to visit our friends.


And this year...


WE TOOK THE DOGS!!!!


With Oakley's passing, taking the dogs away with us became a possibility.
You see, Oakley had a fear of the car and once arriving at the farm,
he never left.
He was happier that way.
Luckily, vet care is already here on the farm... thanks to Dr. Becky.

So, Friday we packed our three canine kids into the back seat of the truck and
drove 3 hours to the Bay for a perfectly wonderful get-away weekend.
All three of them travelled beautifully.


We learned that Chester likes to swim.
Motivated by a game of fetch, he leaped into the water and proceeded to swim
as if he had done it all of his life.


Sam took his first boat ride.
And Annie played lots of games of fetch... but not in the water.


Human activities included biking and boating and kayaking,
visiting a micro brewery 


(that was also an alpaca...


and goat farm)...


We visited a beautiful winery that looks over the north end of the Bay...


We played games, ate great food, and laughed ourselves silly.
While picking cucumbers from their garden, I stepped on a ground hornet's nest
and received about six or seven stings (one through my shorts onto my butt.)
(And let me tell you... they hurt like crazy!)


I had a rare chance encounter with three river otters yesterday morning,
while out for a solitary kayak trip.


(Sadly, my photos are not great, as I took my good camera, but forgot a memory card.)



In all the years that our friends have been at the Bay, they have only once seen an otter.
These three were very wary of me and snorted their displeasure with my presence.

It is amazing how much can be packed into one weekend.
And now I'll need the rest of the week to recover!
It was great fun... and a great get-away,
but it's always great to come home to my friends.


Friday, July 13, 2018

The Last Bit of News

It's Friday (again...can you believe it?),
and here is your last bit of news from the farm for the week.

You might remember me mentioning my worry list yesterday.
Well, by the end of the day I had one more thing to add to it.
Red.


Red stopped eating yesterday afternoon and I suspected that he had a touch of colic.

Dr. Becky made a house call (oh, how we appreciate the fact that she is here on the farm!)
and felt that his bowel sounds were a bit spasmodic.


His temperature was normal.
So, she gave him a dose of Bantamine (a non-steroidal that works well for GI symptoms)
and put him on stall rest until he poops... just to make sure everything was working well.
If not, he would need a tube passed.

And so, much to his chagrin, we closed him in a stall for a couple hours.

Hopefully he will get through this little upset quickly.


The rest of the herd is doing just fine.
Donnie seems to be healed, however, we are keeping him separate through the weekend.
The rest of the horses have not been back out on pasture either.
I know that if the rest left and went to pasture, Donnie would spend the time upset,
running back and forth along the fence.
So... to keep him quiet, the rest have to stay quiet as well.
Bummer.
Indeed.

Jack and I drove to State College, PA yesterday for their annual ArtsFest...
where I found this perfect garden plaque.


Perfect, yes?

We also stopped at one of my favorite places... Tates Farm.


This is the most adorable farm stand that sells jams and jellies and fruit shrubs,
as well as plants and gift items.


They also have a few cats that provide photo opportunities.


The weather continues to be delightful, 
and by early evening as shade settles across most of the farm,
the pigs and sheep happily head back out to the front pasture.
This is one of the most idyllic scenes here on the farm... sheep happily grazing.


Remember last week when I discovered that we have a rooster amongst our young hens.


Well.... there are more... maybe two more.
This reddish chicken...


and this one, too...
(a Lakenvelder, I believe)


The one that I am sure about is a speckled Sussex, 
I believe (please correct me if I am wrong.)


The larger combs are highly suspicious.
And, we've heard the juvenile version of a "cock-a-doodle-doo" from more than one source.
Oh my....
Anyone in need of a rooster?  or three?

Have a wonderful weekend.
Hopefully my worry list will diminish by Monday.
Regardless, we'll be back to share the weekend's adventures with you.

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