Archive for April, 2013

Tooomatoes

I am an impatient sort of person.  I also worry that if I wait to do something I will get sidetracked and forget what I was going to do prior to the new project.  I am not sure if that is my personality or perimenopause. Anyway a few weeks ago, oh maybe seven to be exact I decided that I should start my tomato seeds.  You know because in my mind garden season should already be under way, damn it.  It never entered my mind that we would still, although we usually do here in Maine, have night time temps that are still below freezing in the middle of April.  One would think that I just started gardening.  Nope, been doing it for over 30 years.  So the seeds were sown.  And they have been growing since.  If they keep growing the way they are they will be taller than my 5 foot stature by the time we transplant them. But at least, I did not forget to start them.

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Vacation?

This past week much had been accomplished.  It was vacation week.  Around here there are no vacations.  They are just an opportunity to get extra stuff done.

The pigs were moved into their outside digs.  James and Willy were moved to their summer pasture.  The new chicken house, oh wait, I have not told you about the new chicken house that FH built.  And when I say chicken house I mean chicken HOUSE.  It is 10 x 10 with a full pitched roof.  Oldest son offered to rent it.  FH put it on skids so we can haul it to different areas of the fields so the chickens can scratch and peck to their heart’s delight.  That was moved into the same field as the pigs and boys.  The “kidlets” are in the old chicken house.

The garden is harrowed and the onions are in.  Beets, lettuce and spinach will go in tomorrow.  The raspberry and strawberry garden is all uncovered and mulched between rows.

Lawns have been raked.  Well, for the most part.  We all hate/despise/abhor raking.  Therefore, it is a chore that is put off.  Flower gardens are raked and awaiting bark mulch.  Spring cleaning is not done yet, but it will rain someday and I will get to it then.

Oh, and Miss Olive has yet to kid.  I think she is real close but she may have other ideas.  Hopefully, she will get the job done before Monday.  I have to go back to work Monday.

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Off Guard

Ever had one of those situations where a dear friend contacts you and asks a favor or proposes a something something?  Your mind goes all, “No, freaking way!!”  but your heart is like, “Yeah, that would great.  I can do that.”   We all know a dear friend is a dear friend for a reason, they do not take advantage of you.  Therefore, when the call came in Thursday night from a very dear friend asking if I would be interested in hosting a camera club Saturday morning, my brain was screaming, “Are you out of your freaking mind….NNNNOOOOO!!!!” but of course my heart won with an, “Of course I would.”

The deal was four or five people from an area camera club would come and spend a few hours here at Butting Heads.  They would just need a general tour with the rules…close the door so the chickens do not get out, the pigs bite and Miss Olive is cranky…you know those kind of things and then they would be on their own.

They arrived a little after 10 this morning.  I went out to greet them.  Ken and Jim were quickly out of their car.  Followed by Karen, Lisa and Leah.  They were a great group… so there brain.  The tour was given and I went inside to label soap and such.

After a couple of hours of shooting pigs, goats, chickens, tractors and all the assorted what nots about our farm they came inside to meet the stars of the show, the kids.   Six crazy kids were cavorting about the mud room. Camera this and thats were adjusted for speed and lighting. Pee was cleaned up.  Laughter was shared.

Next time you are asked to do something unexpected by a dear friend let your heart decide.  Professional pics will be posted later, so double there brain, fun and pics.

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Three, two, one….

The countdown started a week ago  Saturday morning.  Over the monitor came the most horrendous sound one could imagine.  Fly out of bed, throw on clothes, grab a flashlight, run to the barn and there is a little slimy white kid slipping out of Junie B. Jones.  She was followed by a smaller brother and then a larger brother.  Triplets!  Butting Heads first birthing.  All went well.  Dot, Little Bill and Bob were brought inside to be bottle babies.

The kids are a hoot to watch run around.  Feeding them is no big deal.  Getting up once during the night is not terrible.  Sunday evening, 7:45 another horrendous scream.  Fern gives birth to a set of twins.  Bea and Lou, a couple of good sized kids.  Five kids all being bottle fed by me during non working hours.  FH takes care of the feedings during the day.  Seasonal work has allowed him to be the Goat Nanny.  Not a title he  finds humorous whatsoever.

boat and goat 030

Dot, Little Bill, Bob, Lou and Bea

Wednesday I get a call at work.  Not a horrendous scream but it looks like Amelia Bedelia is ready to go.  I sped home, well after the bus pulled over to let me pass and Officer Staples was out of sight.

We are new to this birthing thing.  But something did not seem right and sure enough we could see a fluff of fur instead of nose.  Shit, we were not planning on this.  But at least we had a full kidding kit and all the stuff we needed.  Not the goat knowledge/experience/whatever we needed.  FH worked on a farm for 14 years.  But these are Nigerian Dwarf goats not Holstein cows.  The opening does not seem large enough for his hand, but I had gone in and was lost.  I can admit that.  It is disappointing to me, as the self proclaimed farmer, but I was stressed/scared and lost as to what was what.  FH goes in.  First kid is moved into position and was a stillborn.  Second kid is only presenting with a hoof.  His head is pushed way down and can not make its way out.  FH assists again.  This guy was born breathing.  Next one was not.

3,2,1.

Stan the last kid was weak but he is up and about and doing surprisingly well.  Amelia is of course sore. But doing well.   When FH gave her her molasses and water cocktail, she was all like, “Seriously, you stick your hand in there and THEN you buy me a drink”……boat and goat 026

Stan, 4 hours old.

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