Greetings all. Today is going to be a day of as little physical activity as possible. I didn't think I worked that hard yesterday, but working in the hot sun doing physical labor has finally caught up to me. I'm seeing one of those little motorized chairs in my mind's eye, LOL!
I guess I'll start with what I thought was a pretty funny story. My long time friend and neighbor up the road that is mentioned often here inherited two cats that were about 6 months old last fall. I've mentioned this, but there has been a new development. We took one in and had her spayed, thinking the other one was a male (I think you know where I'm going with this). We didn't actually pick him up at the time and look closely, but thought from a distance he looked like he was a he. Being on a very tight budget he didn't take him in to be neutered. A little over a couple weeks ago I walked up the road and saw "Buddy", and we talked about how much he was eating, cause he looked kind of fat. For some reason, it just didn't even occur to us. That is, until two weeks ago after the plant sale my neighbor mentioned to me why he was late arriving that morning. He said he let Buddy come in for awhile the evening before and thought he was pooping out his entrails. LOLOLOL! Sorry, but I'm laughing my face off right now. So, Buddy is actually a Buddette, and pooped out five kittens! It looks like I'm going to get another cat or two after all.
And then the plant sale I was so excited about didn't turn out like I thought. I forgot that when I did this so successfully years ago I lived on Camano Island, on the west coast of Washington State, and the grocery store I had it at actually had people who weren't broke as hell shopping there. I am now on the eastern side of the state, and the store we decided to have our sale at (the only one close to us at all), is nestled between two low income mobile home parks. Plus it was an exceptionally hot spring day and I had my grandson over for the weekend. He was bored in about an hour. We did both sell some plants, but not enough to make it worth the effort of loading it all up, setting up, and then taking most of it back home again. We did discover a few things though. People were most interested in tomato plants.
An interesting thing did happen there, though. Back in 2002 - 2003 I had a little store called "Spiritwind Astrology and Creative Art Center". I did readings and Reiki, and sold cool stuff like candles, incense, drums, gift type items, and even some arts and crafts on consignment. We also had a large room in the back and had weekly craft workshops. It was a beautiful little store that smelled heavenly. This all came about because a friend of mine at the time talked me and my husband into looking at the space to rent with her, and wanted me to be her business partner. My husband encouraged me, even though I wasn't sure about it at the time. So we remodeled the space and opened our doors in June of 2002. I did know that my business partner had mental health issues, but had no idea how much it really affected her daily life. I guess that is probably often the case, as those close to her did not reveal what I really should have known. Anyway, the relationship unraveled fairly quickly, in ways I won't go into. I was accused of having plotted and schemed to open the store and then take over, which was far from the case. The friendship ended on a very sour note. With my husband's help we kept the store open for a year before events took place that caused us to have to close it. I didn't really make any money, but did break even most months and had great gifts for people for years (not bad for a small town with 19 churches). It was actually a great learning experience where I met a lot of wonderful people. I have no regrets.
But, on this day at the plant sale you'll never guess who actually came up and became my only customer for the day. Yeah, I know. You guessed it. Anyway, she came right over to us and took off her sun glasses and announced who she was. I knew who she was. She then proceeded to tell me that before anything else she wanted to apologize for what happened and explained that she had had a recent diagnoses of being bi-polar and had been receiving various types of medications in their effort to figure out what worked for her. She apologized several times and seemed sincere. I accepted her apology and said she could help make it up to me by buying some plants, and so she did. My only sale of the day. And totally unexpected. Life is strange sometimes (okay, most of the time).
Since I had all these plants left over I decided to take them with me when I went to the Talking Circle last week, and low and behold, they were putting in a community garden that very day, so they found a good home after all. We will probably do a plant sale again next year, but come up with a better location, more variety, maybe some advertising, and now have a better idea of what people want. So in the end, it's all good.
Hay has been an ongoing challenge this year. We ended up having to buy a large bale, about a 1000 pounds, last month. It was first cutting and very unwieldy to work with and even just get off the truck. We went through it way too fast so had to look again. We found some small bales of first cutting and bought 24 bales of that. Unfortunately at least 2/3 of it has almost no leaf in it all all and is quite bleached out. Good for the horse, but the goats wouldn't probably eat it even if they were starving. So a couple days ago we made a long drive to get some 2nd cutting 100 pound bales of alfalfa even though they were kind of spendy. I can let them forage a lot and make it last until hay season begins this year, which should be happening soon.
I sold Coco's two hefty little boys just 4 days after placing the ad last week. Could have sold them sooner if I didn't care that they were going to be eaten. I know there is no guarantees, but I don't make them friendly, get them banded and dehorned, just to have them end up on someone's dinner plate. They were no light weights either. I could barely pick them up. The outstandingly awesome news there is even though Coco hadn't spend hardly any time on a milk stand I was able to milk her the day after they left and will probably get about a quart just milking her once a day. And she milks like a dream, with teats and udder just like her mother : ) I already have one of Arrows two doelings sold to someone next month, so that's exciting too. I'll be able to pay for their hay for a month with that.
I'm so pooped out today because we enlarged the older girls pen on both sides yesterday and had to tear down part of the fence and put it back up again. It wasn't that hard, but for some reason working in the hot sun cooks me these days, and leaves me feeling quite exhausted. I'm quite happy we got this done though, because my goal was to provide them with not only more room, but a larger area out of the sun in the late afternoon. We also loaded up Gladys, our friends goat that they were breeding to Bob, and took her home. Now we can move the other buck, Crispy, over with the other boys, and I'm down to 16 goats. Whew!
I'm sure I'm missing a few details from the last few weeks, but need to get going. I just looked outside to see what the commotion was and discovered our killer cat, Zoey, had caught a bird. It got away, but it's mother/mate (not sure which), is having a fit. I don't mind her catching mice, but I'd rather she didn't catch any birds. Damn!
It looks like it's going to be a hotter summer here than last year, and I'm already on my way to a dark tan this year. I have very fair skin and in previous years when I used to work inside a lot I would burn and barely tan at all. I know people have been hoodwinked into believing that the sun causes cancer, but I'm not sold on that idea at all. I don't use that sunscreen crap at all either, as it has been proven to cause cancer. I just limit my exposure for awhile at first, and then don't worry about it after that and get to where I don't even burn anymore. That's a good thing.
Oh, and one last thing I forgot to mention. My neighbor helped me dig up and prepare an area about 10 x 14 feet for a corn patch. We got a fence up and have already planted about 60 corn seedlings and hope to have it at least knee high by the Fourth of July. I'm stoked about having some fresh non GMO corn to eat! I also have about 2 dozen black oil sunflowers planted too. The bees love them (so do the birds), they'll create a bit of shade for the other plants, they are beautiful, and they are a great source of protein to add to the goats winter diet. All in all, a very productive last few weeks.
And now, I'm finally done catching up here. Time to get going for sure this time. Love to all...