Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

So it is finally here.  The last son is graduating.  The nest is emptying….

I pride myself on being this tough old broad that is hard and realistic or at least I think I thought I was.  Then this happens.

Don’t get me wrong it was hard when the last two completed school and moved on to their futures.  But this is the last one, there will be no one to wake up 47 times to ensure timeliness, there will be no more dirty dishes or socks in the mostly unlikely of places. No more permission slips to sign in my last minute dash to work. No more lunch money.

I have been a bag of emotions today.  I felt like I have been fired from a start up business that I had birthed and grown into a fantastic, thriving successful thing.  I felt unemployed, my job is no longer necessary.  I will be kept on as an adviser but I am not  in charge of it.  I had contemplated selling the goats because why not.  I was rethinking every life decision I have made.

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Youngest and his girl

 

As I was explaining  the jangle of shit that was going through my heart and head to my husband, the goat guy shows up.  “Hey, I have a proposition for you….”

I have two new goat kids coming Tuesday.  They are bottle babies.  They will need nurturing and I won’t have to wake them or find their socks but something wants me to keep doing what I am doing, so I will.  Even if it is with tears in my eyes.

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Family Traditions

It all started innocently enough, the middle son brought home a leprechaun chain from nursery school.  It was carefully crafted by small hands. There were green shamrock leaf shaped pieces of construction paper strung onto a green yarn with snippets of straws in between each leaf.  The idea was that you hung it somewhere and the leprechauns would climb it.  We, of course, hung it.  The boys went to bed and I pondered…what the hell is a leprechaun going to do after climbing the chain?

As the boys woke and came down the stairs into the kitchen they saw what a leprechaun would do.  He would overturn chairs and pee in your milk making it green. Youngest son had a big problem with drinking milk that someone had whizzed in.  That was the first year.

The boys then learned that if you trap a leprechaun you would reap the reward of all his gold.  So the quest to build a better leprechaun trap was on. With their involvement becoming more and more the scenarios for the morning had to become more imaginative. I crafted feet out of polymer clay to leave foot prints in the many different medias they left to find where he went to hide his pot of gold.  I left the tiniest of notes from Ian McMarty regaling his narrow escapes and chiding them that they would never get his gold. And the milk was always  peed in and turned green.  Youngest son still had issues with it.

Then time came and stole away the young boys who would trap for leprechauns and refuse to drink whizzed in milk.  The leprechaun chain is in a box upstairs with the kindergarten cookbooks, the class pictures and lovingly misspelled love letters to me.

I awoke around  3 this morning to make the usual call of nature and when I came down the stairs into the kitchen…I stopped and I smiled…the place was trashed.  Every chair was overturned, the fruit bowl was upside down and the fruit was everywhere.  Drawers and cupboard doors were wide open.  While I was sleeping a leprechaun was among us and he even took a whiz in the milk.

I love green milk!

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Today’s morning was to be devoted to getting the middle son back to college.  Orono is a little less than a two hour drive from our house.  FH dropped youngest son off at work at seven a.m. Then came back home to load the car for the trip.  FH, myself and middle son left home, car loaded with clean laundry, groceries, a box of bonsai plants, and another filled with kumbucha, kefir and other fermented wonders.

Our road was a bit slick.  It is tree lined so the sun has limited opportunity to melt any snow or ice.  The icy ruts were throwing the car around but we are used to that.  We proceeded to the Interstate.  The Interstate that was a bit more slick.  The speed was reduced from 65 to 45; not that anyone seemed to be paying any mind to that.  The sun was out, temps were almost in the 40’s, surely the ice was melted.  Yeah, no.  FH, mind you he drove milk tanker during the Ice Storm of ’98 when no one else was on the roads, was cursing and creeping along.  The road was covered with black ice.   We saw three or four cars off in the median at various intervals.  There was one 20 mile stretch that was so ice rutted that it made our road seem like dry hot top.  Remember this is the Interstate.  I have honestly never seen it like that.  We finally made it and dropped the boy off with all of this stuff and promptly headed South.  On the way back, we saw four semi trucks in the ditches laying on their sides.  Two of them were heading in the opposite direction.  There were two others that were off the road but still upright.  We made it home just in time to pick up the youngest from work.

We decided to clean out the goats and chickens in the sun and warmth.  FH took the chicken house to clean. Youngest and I worked on the goat pen.  He had to deal with Miss Olive our Nubian bitch in charge.  She does not really like anyone other than me and FH.  She gets all up in the youngest’s face and challenges him. She will rear up and grunt at him.  I laugh.  Youngest swears.  Olive continues to torment.  We pitch dirty bedding.

Much to Olive’s chagrin the girls were cleaned out and their dirty hay was thrown to the pigs.  Sorry that I am not a camera toter, so I could have snapped a few pictures, because those pigs were in Nirvana.  They were rooting and laying in that dirty hay like they were digging for gold.  They would lay down, stretch all out and just wiggle and snort.

Since we had the pens all cleaned out I decided to rearrange the milking area in the barn.  I like to rearrange things, a lot.

So one boy is back to school, the animals are all cleaned out, the milking area is rearranged and everyone is happy.  FH is especially happy.  If I rearrange the barn things then he does not have to turn the light on in the bedroom to make sure the bed is where it was when he awoke.

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  Well, 2013 is gone.  I could get all reminiscent and that sort of stuff, but that is not my style.  I am going to relive this past year in lessons learned.

     1. Never underestimate the jumping ability of a horny goat.

     2. Trust your gut.

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     3. Milking a first time freshening doe is a sport in and of itself.

     4. Potatoes do grow in hay, so do snakes.

     5. Birth is amazing, death sucks…unless it is potato bug or Japanese beetle then reverse it.

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     6. Tomato horn worms “glow” under a black light.

     7.  Old tractors always need new parts.

     8. Never plant your squash in a garden that slopes to the goat pasture.

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     9. Pigs do not see well in the dark and will follow a flashlight beam.

    10. Without my family’s help and support none of this would be possible.

May all your lessons in the next year be good.

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And since I have not posted words in a long time here a few pictures to show you around, maybe make you smile.  Our farm in pictures:

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Please do not use these photos without permission, they are the property of the photographer and Butting Heads Farm. Thank you very much!

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Ins and Outs

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The past few weeks have been craazzzy.  Middle son graduated high school and youngest middle school.  One out of high school and the other in.  In four years we can plan on doing this again.

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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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