Sunday, July 1, 2012

Better late than Never!

Wow, its been almost a year since I posted last.  That is not good!  Life has been busy and just got away from me.  To have a bit of a recap of what happened last year:  My oldest son, Cody, had surgery the end of August to have a device called a Vagal Nerve Stimulator, installed in his chest, just under the skin to help control his seizures.  It does really help but he has ended up with chronic ear infections which seems to set the seizures off, up to 6 a day.

My sister had her 'official' wedding ceremony in September and I got to meet her husband, Alex for the first time, albeit, very briefly.  Max, our youngest, was the ring bearer.  I don't think my sister knew what she was doing when she picked him :).  He made it halfway down the aisle before he spiked the pillow and headed the other way as fast as he could!

We had a big family get together for Thanksgiving, and one of my nephews, nicknamed Thypoid Joseph, managed to get everyone sick again.  This time with the stomach flu.  UGHH!  Things just went downhill from there.  I normally get a cold once or twice a year, but this year, I was pretty much sick non-stop from Thanksgiving through the end of April.  I had the stomach flu, the flu, bronchitis and pneumonia.  Trying to deal with that, the farm, the kids and everything else in my life was nigh on impossible.  I have been busy the past 2 months now trying to get caught up on all my chores.

My husband ended up being unable to work for about 4 months due to some bad back problems.  He went back to work in January but his back will never be what it once was.  So now I have to do all the heavy lifting in the family, such as garbage and hay :(   But despite having no money this Christmas, I have to say, it was probably the best one in a very long.  It was nice to take things back to the basics and concentrate on making gifts instead of on the dollar value.

The good news though, we had a great New Year's Eve.  I went out to the barn and discovered that two of our does, Annabelle and Silver Belle, had kidded without telling us.  Silver Belle had two beautiful does; one a dark brown with black cape (just like her sire) and the other is a beautiful chamois with black cape.

Annabelle had polled triplets; 2 bucklings and a doeling that looked just like their sire.  The doeling wasn't in good shape and was rejected the next day by her mom.  I couldn't get her to take the bottle but Silver Belle was willing to nurse her as long as I was near by.  I kept the little girl with her brothers and checked on her often. About a week later, just when she was starting to put on weight, I went out one morning to discover the little doeling was dead.  Since she had been fine before I went to bed, I suspect that Annabelle laid on her and killed her.

Then 3 weeks later, Mary Elizabeth kidded with a nice looking little buckling.  I was disappointed that there was only one kid but I think she had a partial miscarriage about halfway through her gestation.

On May 1st, our Nubian doe kidded with 1 silver earred  doeling that I named Daisy Mae.  She is our 1st mini Nubian.

I tried selling the 3 bucklings but only one sold, Mary Elizabeth's, as a wether.  I wethered one of the other bucklings and kept his brother intact.  I would still like to sell them though as I have too many male goats running around.

Earlier this month, I went and looked at a little buckling over at Red Roof Farm and put a deposit down on him so we will be adding another buck to our herd soon.  He is out of  Camanna ZH Lilac Haze and Coast Wind BWC Chip.  I am hoping he will bring some nice attributes to our breeding program and plan to use him to breed our junior doelings later this fall and maybe one of the older does.  I will go pick him up after he is weaned towards the end of July.

My mother and I spent Memorial weekend getting my garden rototilled and partially planted - Yeah!  I wasn't sure we would even have a garden this year thanks to the weather.  But when the sun finally came out, we put in some serious sweat equity and got it done.

I planted corn, bush and pole beans, edamane, broccoli, cabbage, green and white cauliflower, celery, swiss chard, peas, turnips, basil, parsley, kohlrabi, leaf and head lettuce, sage, oregano, cucumber, tomato, cilantro, chives, 75 new strawberry plants, and about 200 red and yellow onions (no joke!).

I still need to plant some hot pepper and eggplant seedlings I have in the house and the Jerusalem artichokes that are left over from last year.  Then weed the raspberries and transplant some of the runners to a new part of the garden and we should be pretty well done.  

I am giving some serious thought to changing my garden layout next year.  I am thinking about taking half of the garden next year and just turning it into a berry garden.  That would make a lot less work (I think) for me in the spring.  I already have 4+ rows of strawberries and 2 rows of raspberries on one side.  I think I might dig up my 2 surviving blueberry plants and put them in the garden and buy 1 or 2 more and also plant some grape vines to run along the fence.  My female kiwi plant died but the male is still doing good so I need to buy one more to get fruit.  

For other news, I recently became a Training Leader for Avon so have been busy working with my clients and trying to build a team (anyone interested in joining my team?).  It has been a lot of fun and its a great way to meet different people in the community.  I also took a cheese making class at Quail Run Creamery that was very interesting.  I am suffering a bad case of  farm envy after touring their facilities.  Some day, when Avon makes me rich and famous, I will buy some goats from them.

With things looking up, for now, I am just going to concentrate on getting caught up on my chores (next up, cleaning the chicken coops and goats stalls - yuck!) and trying to having some summer fun with the boys.  I also need to work out a breeding schedule for the goats and to get ready for the 3 litters of rabbits due next week.

Until next time, which will hopefully only be in a week or two, have a great 4th of July!