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Farm Life

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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:35 pm

I guess it’s time to get back in the saddle and write some more. As usual, my mind is pulled all over the place, and writing strangely helps me focus. So, what’s going on with farm life. Well, the little mini Lamancha doe that has been visiting Raven just went home this last weekend. We’re pretty sure she’s knocked up, but you never know for sure. She looked very sad to be leaving, and Raven didn’t look happy either. In fact, within less than an hour after they left he managed to fly out (it’s almost that!). We just left him out overnight, because I knew we couldn’t keep him in there without fixing his escape route. We had put a barrier behind the shelter so he couldn’t get up there and then jump over the fence, but he had managed to knock part of it off and we hadn’t repaired it. We fixed that the next day and thankfully no more escapes. The day after that we went and got Crispy, one of the other two bucks we have, and brought him home so Raven won’t be alone. And while out Raven did get in the one pen I still have a couple of does I wasn’t planning to breed this year in. I hope he didn’t knock anymore up. I’m trying to reduce numbers, not add!

Speaking of which, the woman that took Jinjer and Miracle is having second thoughts about keeping Jinjer. I guess she’s not warming up to her and acts like she hates it there. It can take a while to win a goat over, and I’ve learned there’s a lot more going on upstairs in that little head of theirs than you might think. We know she was really upset that her one kid, the buckling, was left behind. The lady has agreed to give it a little more time, and I basically said that I would take her back. I told her I can’t give her half the money she gave me for both girls (and one kid each) back, but I could give her something. It’s bad enough I took goats I really couldn’t afford to feed back for free last fall, but it’s another thing entirely to buy my own goats back at full price! I gave her a really good deal to begin with. We’ll see what happens.

Then I got the guys that wanted Bambi and her kid, Lucky, due to come back weekend after next. It’s hard for me to let go, so I’m kinda hoping the time goes by fast. If I was younger and wanted to expand my operation here I would keep her as she’s cute as a button, very feisty yet little, friendly, and likely wouldn’t have a kidding problem next time around. But, I need to stick to the plan. As it is I’m thinking about selling Crispy so he can continue making babies for someone else, and getting a mini Lamancha buckling. As far as milk production and ease of milking, the mini Lamancha wins over Nigerian Dwarf’s, hands down. They are considerably smaller than their full blood counterparts, but still produce very creamy good tasting milk, which is great for cheese making. I still want to learn how to make different kinds of cheese and quit buying it completely. I know processed cheese is as bad or worse than store bought pasteurized cows milk is to consume, but I love cheese and don’t want to give it up. And I did price some goats milk cheese at a natural foods market a while back. It was enough to make my eyeballs bug out, like, ouch!


It’s the next day now and I am curled up in a blanket determined to write some more. I don’t want to keep the fire going because I’m just tired of feeding it constantly and don’t want to go chop more wood. I also don’t want to have the propane heater running constantly and want to keep the generator off for awhile to save money on gas. So it’s hunker down time. The truth is I’m kinda bored out of my mind. I know I sound ungrateful, but that’s not quite true. I’m just feeling some resistance welling up in my self over a lot of things, and I am giving myself time to process it. Life IS good out here, but the way our world, our society, or so called culture, is designed just plain irritates me sometimes. And the truth is the truth. It’s better to look inside dead on, rather than continue to deflect those emotions, thoughts, and feelings, and that especially goes for those that cause discomfort.

You see, for me, sometimes it is still a struggle to find that balance, that place of equilibrium, between what I would like to see “out there”, and what I “do” see out there. I know we are each adding to the overall collective unfolding, but being somewhat empathically inclined, I also “feel” the arrogance and demeaning perspective our would be controllers have for the bulk of humanity. Quite frankly, it sickens me. And, because I do care about all life here, it’s hard to turn off the screams my inside wants to make about all the suffering, harm, and injustice being done sometimes.

It’s not even so much what I see out there, in the world outside my little boring haven, my little paradise I am blessed to occupy. But then, I see potential, I see how all the piles of poop and waste hay I have can actually change the entire nature of my surroundings over time. Nothing will be wasted here. And all of it will be done as a labor of love.

But the world out there is another story. The one good thing I see is there are many many circles of beauty, love, and respect for nature being formed, and beginning to overlap one another. An appreciation for the simple life (yet, not really simple at all!). What really is getting to me, though, is the lack of honor, the lack of compassion, the lack of truth the outer reality displays in such stark abundance. Yes, there are many who are doing the opposite, but for those whose self righteousness overshadows even a glimmer of the bigger picture, and who happen to be most abundantly in charge of steering earth ship humanity, it starts to look like an unclimbable mountain.

But I know that, too, is a lie. The trick for me always is to acknowledge the emotions that well up in me from time to time, yet not run with them. Instead, the trick is to alchemize them into fuel for even greater resolve, self responsibility, and action. No time to cry over how things should be, could be. And no time to complain how unfair it all is. In order to make a difference two things have become evident to me. One, is to not ask what’s in it for me, but be willing to go full bore and give 150%, knowing this is what it will take. And I know many who do just that. We’ve planted our feet in the ground, drawn the line is the sand, however you want to say it. Because so many are terrified to buck the system, stand out or apart, say no because your conscience tells you to even if it means going against the flow (like salmon going upstream to spawn), we must lead by example. That is number two. You can’t change people by beating them with a stick (building a big wall, taking away guns from honest people while the criminals still have theirs, force everyone, even against their will to inject what they view as poison into their bodies in the name of protecting them, and so on).

Some how our would be controllers have seriously overstepped their bounds, and have actually been doing so for some long time. It’s just that lately it’s been coming home to roost, it’s happening to us, and not someone else. It’s happening here, not somewhere else. We’ve actually all been on the reservation for some time. And I guess part of the reason I struggle with this is I’ve seen it coming, slowly, drip by drip, for a very long time. And I struggle sometimes with the enormity of it all, and how well the masses have been hypnotized into compliance. And I wonder, why am I different? Why do I notice what the majority chooses not to see? It really would be simpler in many ways if I could just go back to sleep. Unfortunately, I have been awake to some things not commonly seen my entire life. I know no other way. It’s how I’m wired.

I had someone recently say something about me and another friend of mine, how we appear so confident in “our knowing”, and I have to say that it is because of a small group of like minded people that I have been sharing insights, and empathic readings of the field, and comparing notes with for some long time now, that I have gained a sense of confidence that just a few short years ago I did not have. That’s the other thing. We can build on that inner confidence by reaching out, by making those connections, by making the effort to overcome that programmed tendency to not be real, to find all kinds of reasons not to take action that helps bring people together, to stay connected. (And it is hard for me sometimes because of where I live!)

I can remember many years ago my grandparents and others would ask how you’re doing, and say things like “let us know if you need anything”. It was all just fake. They didn’t really want to know how we were doing, and they would not be there for you if you needed help of any kind. This is often how it is. We get programmed not to reach out, not to say how we are really doing, etc. because most people really don’t want to know. I have truly been blessed to get to know a few truly authentic people, and we have each made the effort to stay connected, even when sometimes it would be easier not to. And I plan to do more reaching out, making the effort to connect with like minded people.

And it’s more important than ever now, especially since they began to realize what was happening with social media and all, and now are clamping down and making many of these platforms revert to crap. I see we will have to evolve beyond this. So, at the end of the story is me, realizing more than ever, I don’t have time to sit on the fence, feel sorry for myself (or even bored, LOL). I must continue to take the discomfort, sometimes the outright rage I feel, and transmute it, transform it, make it work for me rather than against. One good thing to remember, is we are not powerless. No matter how much it may look that way sometimes, each one of us is a powerhouse. It just takes finding the key to unlock it within yourself. We CAN move mountains!

Here’s a fun farm link:

https://www.yesmagazine.org/comic-why-y ... m-20170726?
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:38 pm

I’m trying to move out of a strange funk I am in. After a long winter of snow removal, wood chopping, and water hauling, it’s now going to be a whole other set of chores that, while different, are not any easier. Once I get going it will be fine, it’s just that initial kick in the butt I need to give myself. Now we can see everything that needs to be cleaned up. The mud is finally drying up. I didn’t write much about it because, really, mud is mud. Not much to say about it I haven’t already said before. It makes me groan, and it’s one of my least favorite times of the year. I’m going to get rocks to put on the driveway and bad spots on the access road, even if I have to haul them in a wagon full at a time. I really don’t want to do this again.

So, the neighbors have a blue healer they got last fall as a puppy that is now grown up. I think it’s a female (haven’t got close enough to tell for sure) and she is really pretty. They don’t have a fence up and now that she’s older they pretty much just seem to let her run. She’s bored and curious, so she comes over to check all the animals out during the day when our dogs are in their fenced area. She generally just watches them, sometimes getting excited and running home barking like crazy. And sometimes she just barks because that’s just what she does. It’s a very high pitched hysterical sounding bark. You can tell she wants a job to do.

Usually, Ranger is not kind to stray dogs as he sees them as a threat. I’ve noticed him and Misha don’t seem to be overly concerned about her, but on the rare occasion when he’s been out during the day he has chased her back to her own property, with her barking like she’s already been hurt (but hasn’t been). I haven’t noticed her over here since the last time he did that. It’s spring time, so lately Ranger has been reluctant to come into the fenced area in the morning, but we have to get back in the routine. Just two days ago I saw a stray brown male pit bull from I have no idea where in our driveway. He wasn’t doing anything, and didn’t seem to be interested in chasing the goats. More like just checking us out. But, I really don’t want to see what would happen had Ranger been out. Probably would not be a good scene.

Coco has still not had her kids yet, and since I’m not sure when she got pregnant I’ll just have to keep a good eye on her to look for signs of impending birth. Bambi and her little boy, Lucky, should be going to their new home this weekend, and I can switch everyone around then. It’s funny how they get so routine oriented and don’t like change. But, it’s time to start separating the kids overnight, and then I can start milking Firefly too. It’s been a challenge milking Ballerina. She is so smart and independent that I am going to put hobbles on her this morning to see if that helps keep her from putting her foot in the milk bucket. I’ve not been impressed. When she cooperates she’s a dream to milk, but otherwise it’s not been fun at all, and at the slightest provocation she starts jumping around like a tap dancer with someone shooting at their feet. We’ll see how that goes (the hobbles).

The ground has finally thawed out and we were able to bury our cat, Nicky, this last weekend. I’m pretty sure I mentioned she passed a couple months ago. The diabetes finally did her in. She has a spot right next to Simba. I felt her pretty strongly for a few weeks after she passed, but not so much any more. Death is always such a weird thing, as I really don’t believe in it. In other words, I see it more as a transition. And I think that those we have loved (and sometimes even those we have hated - beware of the ties that bind) are just a thought away. They never really leave us. There are times when I wish some of the many who have moved on could just come for a short visit in the physical, maybe share a cup of coffee and a laugh or two. It can be hard on those of us left behind. Being physical we miss being able to touch, hug, and even just be able to look into the eyes of our loved ones. I guess today I’m feeling many who are missed.

We got the three boys banded this last weekend too. My friend came over and did it for me, which was nice. Even though I feel bad for them as I know it’s very uncomfortable, especially that first day, it does in the long run give them a better chance at a good life. Males, especially unbanded bucks that aren’t friendly, generally end up at auctions to be sold for meat. Fortunately all three boys this year are very friendly and the two that aren’t sold yet should move pretty fast when they are ready.

I’ve mentioned Raven’s escape antics several times before, and, I’m going to mention it again. Because, he managed to fly over the fence, AGAIN!!! He amazes me, in a good, yet not good, way. We’ve watched him as he sizes the situation up, and figures out where and how he’s going to do it. I had to take another piece of fencing to put up where the shelter is sort of close to the fence, so it’s now about 9 feet high. Even with the wood we put up behind the shelter to block his escape route wasn’t enough! I’m actually a little worried about the kids he’s going to father. Like, I hope they all don’t inherit his ability to jump. I’ve never had a goat like him before, and really, one is enough!

His and Ballerina’s daughter, even though she almost froze to death, is very sharp, I can tell already. I’ve seen her pushing around the little bottle baby boys. Her ears did freeze pretty good, and one side has actually broken off at the end. The other side is going to do the same. She is one goat I will never forget. Much like Simba did all those years ago, she was a big reminder on the preciousness and, really, miracle of life. We could have just assumed she was a goner, and if we hadn’t given it our all, she would have been. It’s like she remembers, too, as she is super friendly and feisty, yet sweet. Little Miss Vida.

I’ve managed to keep to the subject at hand this time, farm life. I’m going to veer off just a bit though, and share a bit about where my husband works. It’s kind of an interesting story, and actually down the road may have an impact on our daily life here. He works as a maintenance supervisor at a local hotel, and has for over four years now. It just recently sold. The new owner came in, who my husband still hasn’t met as he doesn’t live here locally, and talked about doing a lot of remodeling. Then they figured out that the general manager that had been there for the last three years was stealing pretty much anything and everything she thought she could get away with. So they fired her. And she has been on the get even bandwagon ever since. It’s really quite terrible, the lengths she has went to. Besides taking everything she could cart out when they let her go, she has continued to cause trouble going on two months now, to the point where if they don’t do something about it, my husband may be out of a job. They didn’t want to spend the money on an attorney. And, we’re not sure, but apparently a lot of bills weren’t paid, and still aren’t being paid, when they took over.

She has called all the big sports groups that generally filled the hotel this time of year, and now they have all went somewhere else. She also kept messing with the system they use to basically run the hotel so they had to get all the passwords changed. My husband can’t get someone in to fix the boiler for hot water in the hotel because they all know they may not get paid in a timely fashion, or at all. And now they don’t have internet except at the front desk due to non payment of bills. Needless to say, that is not helping the situation with the already sparse number of guests that are there. There is a whole lot more to the story, but I’ll leave it at that.

From my point of view, at least if he ends up out of a job he will be able to draw unemployment for awhile, which wouldn’t actually hurt my feelings at all. I would love to have him home more. We work really well together, and I think we could, if he had the time, actually begin to derive an income right here. His knees are giving him more and more trouble, and with the hotel being three stories with no elevator, I don’t see the situation improving. And every time I talk about getting a job outside the home he shoots it down. But if I have to work alone out here to do all the things I would like so as to start making an income here, it will take a very long time. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Even getting the sailboat ready to sell is going to require quite a bit of time (and some money), and is not something I can do myself.

And now it’s time for me to get busy. I’m hoping I can motivate myself to get out there and start gathering up the branches and other forest debris for a burn pile. And then start working on cleaning pens. And then start getting the garden areas ready. It all seems so big, right now. I know most of it’s in my head, and once I get started it isn’t nearly as bad as it seems. Right now, it feels about like climbing Mt. Everest, LOL. At least I know where the problems really lies. Kind of hard to kick your own butt, but I gotta do it! Wish me luck.
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:58 pm

So, here I am again trying to figure out a way to make shoveling shit sound interesting! I actually only did a little of the shoveling myself over the last few days. My neighbor, bless his heart, came over and did the mountain in one pen yesterday. He’s tall and makes it look easy as he slings it over the fence. And more rain is coming, so what’s left will even be more heavy than before. It’s weird, the uneaten hay that accumulates acts like a big sponge. The goats hate walking in it, and I don’t blame them. If I even tried to do it all without help I’d be crippled for some time, and don’t want to do that to myself.

Fortunately since I’ve managed to downsize it will be much more manageable. I moved Coco into the barn as she is getting pretty round and heavy looking as she walks. Should be soon now. And she is much happier being in the barn with Ballerina. They really do hate being alone. I tried putting her in a larger clean pen I sectioned off, but she looked miserable and didn’t even want to eat her hay.

I’m trying to get ready for the little buckling I will be bringing home in about 3 weeks. I did get a little mini Lamancha that I can breed to the bigger girls, but won’t bring him home until he’s old enough to wean. Instead of keeping the two wethers I have, I’m thinking I will borrow one from a friend to keep with him so he’s not alone. That way I can sell the two little boys I have together hopefully, and just give the one I borrow back when my little guy is older and big enough to keep with the big boys. I should be getting Bob back in a few weeks too, then I can put Crispy up for sale. Kind of hate to do it since he’s such a nice boy, and did father some good looking kids, but I’ve got to stay practical and let him make some kids for someone else. Three bucks is enough!

As I keep adjusting everyone here in the next few weeks, I will also start separating the kids so I can milk moms in the morning before reuniting their kids with them. The hardest part about any of it is the change in their routine and the first few days until they get used to it. I did put Firefly over with the rest of the other girls, along with her three kids, and she is hogging the food and pushing everyone around. I might have to divide that pen again, so that the rest don’t have to stand around watching her go back and forth between the two feeders eating all the good stuff, then leaving mostly stems for the others to eat. Goats will be goats.

I do actually enjoy being outside a lot lately. I’ve got to spend some time just hanging out with them, which is one of my favorite things to do. They are so funny to watch, and it’s good to give them some freedom to run around, come as they please for their neck scratches and lovin, and get to rummage around for something to eat. I just wish they didn’t eat the bark off the trees. I’m going to put some protection around probably my favorite tree that’s also huge and would cause some serious damage if it ever did come down. She feels like a grandmother tree, and I admit I’m kind of partial to her. Our cell phone reception kind of sucks out here, in part due to all the trees. It’s frustrating on the one hand, when I need to make calls, but I’m actually grateful on the other hand that they do block some of the harmful effects. I have no plans on cutting down all our trees, that’s for sure!

It does seem that certain things are somewhat recurring events in our life. It’s been almost exactly a year since our smaller generator got stolen when we took it in to be replaced under warranty. That single thing made last summer a very broke summer, with many things on our list not getting done due to the extremely high cost to run the other generator. And now, the one we finally bought early last fall has a piece that has broken on it. It’s totally fixable and it is still covered under the manufacturers warranty, but we are still waiting for that piece to arrive. Now the bigger generator has started making a funny noise too!

We had finally gained on things enough to plan on purchasing an inverter this next pay period, but now who knows what’s going to happen. In addition to all this our second car is still sitting with the tire off since last fall. We have just had to replace all four tires and brakes on our main vehicle, along with a front end alignment (needed probably because of all the massive pot holes appearing from spring thaw). And now my husband has noticed a funny bounce in the back end again! He is not a happy camper. I’m sure he feels like with every step forward we take two steps back. I just chalk it up to life happening. Frustrating, yes, but I guess I tend to immediately move into gratitude, and taking stalk of all that is good, right, and smooth. I harbor no expectations anymore for everything always going as we would hope. It’s a bumpy ride here, this life on earth in the physical. And I realize I really do have so much to be grateful for, in the ways that really do matter most.

Speaking of things to be grateful for, I got to work on my front garden area yesterday, and it was very gratifying to see all the perennial herbs coming back to life. Even with as cold as it got, everything seems eager to grow again. I’m seriously taking stalk of what worked and what didn’t last year. I only want to grow what I really want to eat, and can appropriately store this year. I had no idea that the squash I grew was going to do so well, and ending up with a couple dozen 15-20 pound buttercup squash that I had no where to store was not very helpful. They were so big that one would have fed us for over a week eating it every night. Once you cut it open it doesn’t keep very well either. With no freezer, except the small one above the refrigerator, it was kind of a waste, although the deer kind of enjoyed it.

One of our big goals this year is to finish the well house (which unfortunately didn’t happen last year) and add onto the side a small area to store produce. If properly insulated and kept just above freezing, I should have a lot better success at actually getting to eat food from the garden through the winter. Got a lot of work ahead of me. I’m feeling motivated though, and I’ve learned a lot about what foods to store and how much. With all the flooding going on back in some of our nations agricultural heartland, I’m figuring food prices are going to keep going up. Plus I’d much rather eat what I grow anyway. And I learned not to store food for an emergency anymore, unless it’s food I already eat all the time. If it’s food you would only eat in an emergency, then when that emergency doesn’t actually happen, it just doesn’t ever get eaten and eventually has to be thrown out. Overall I’ve transitioned to mostly bulk unprocessed foods as my primary diet, and as much produce as possible. I’m also buying more and more organic, although I’m finding out now that even that label can’t always be trusted. Even more reason to grow more food.

I’ve probably left a few things out. But, with all this talk of food I’m getting hungry. It supposed to rain all day later, so I also need to get out and feed everyone, so will probably sign off for now. It’s a simple life out here in many ways, with much that is repetitive. But it brings much peace as I can just turn off the technology that keeps me informed of what’s going on “out there”, and just appreciate what nature has to offer. You know, she just never lets me down.
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:37 pm

I’m sitting here contemplating what it will be like when I go out to feed and milk this morning. I just separated moms from kids for the first time last night, and I’m expecting to hear a chorus of cries when I head out the door. Last night went far easier than I thought it would, with kids already being suckers for grain. As cute and adorable as they all are, it was starting to make me crazy having them swarm me when I would go to the hay barn to feed everyone.

I now have just the four purebred Nigerians in the one biggest pen, but seriously need to clean the huge mound of poop/hay that has accumulated in front of the feeder all winter. Danae’s two 8 month old kids, Uma and Karuna, can jump right up on the feeder and get out. I have no idea how they actually get back in, but they are a serious pain in the butt to push away when trying to grab sections of hay at feeding time. They aren’t that big, but they are stout, solid, and stronger than they look, and downright pushy.

I got the other two pens looking great, though, and have Firefly with her three kids on the one side, and Coco, Ballerina, her daughter, and little Silver that I’m still bottle feeding on the other side. That way Firefly can’t keep eating all the hay and pushing everyone around like she does. And by the end of the week I’m going to put Silver, and two of Firefly’s kids up for sale. Then I can figure out what I’m going to do when I bring the new little buckling home in a week and a half. I’ll also be putting Crispy up for sale too, just as soon as Bob is ready to come home. I gotta stick to the program.

Since I am a person who still struggles some with self discipline, raising goats has taught me a lot, and given me ample opportunities to work on it. Fewer goats gives me more time and energy to pay attention to everyone, and keep up with everything without feeling so much stress. So some discomfort in letting go, leads to much greater enjoyment in the long run. And so far I’ve done well in attracting pretty good people to my ads.

Now that I figured out how to use the hobbles correctly, I’ve found that they actually work great. I found out that you have to put them on above the knee joint or they don’t work, which is why when I tried them on Bambi a couple months ago it was such an epic fail. I saw a picture that showed them on down by their ankles, but they definitely won’t work that way. And when you do put them on it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve closed the mechanism on the stanchion to keep their neck in place when giving them grain. Also, to remember to take the hobbles off before releasing them afterwards. I’ve forgotten to do both, and, while memorable and slightly entertaining, not something I want to repeat. Oh yeah, and make sure when you put them on not to catch their teat up in them, LOL. It is simple, but you do have to pay attention, which can be hard when you’re still half asleep.

I’m going to take a break now, and come back to finish this later. I usually don’t mind making them wait a bit, but want to let the kids out to be with their moms again. Beings how this is their first night separated I don’t want to prolong their anxiety. I am excited to finally start getting enough milk for us, instead just a little left over after feeding the bottle baby. I’ll be back.

Wow, that went really smooth this morning. I’m kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop now, LOL. Here in a few weeks, whenever Coco finally kids, I’ll be milking three. I’m hoping my hands can handle it. So glad I moved them around, because now the milkers are all right by the big barn and milk stanchion. Easy out, easy back in, and not fighting off a bunch of other goats that want out too. At least most of the time. Unexpected glitches do occur, as well as faulty memory issues on occasion. And the kids actually ran over and started eating hay instead acting like they were starving for mom’s milk, which rather surprised me. They grow up so fast!
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:45 pm

Okay, I guess I’m going to break this up into smaller posts, since it’s repeatedly logging me out.

Continued...

I was supposed to be getting back either two doelings from the folks I sold Jinjer and Miracle to here in about a week, or maybe getting Jinjer back with kids. She messaged me that she wished she had make me take the two I wanted to keep when they first took them home, because she was having a hard time choosing, or letting any of them go. She decided to keep Jinjer but couldn’t pay the price I wanted for the other two, so I made her a deal she couldn’t refuse. I let her have both of them for what I could have sold one of them for. It’s not now, or ever been, about the money. Yes, it’s nice to pay for their hay and make a little, but going to good homes where I feel reasonably sure they will be taken care of is even more important. My heart feels good about it, and thankfully my husband is on the same page with me when it comes to this kind of thing.

Onto the gardening scene, chores are definitely picking up speed in a hurry. I’m expanding the area where we grew corn last year, with my neighbors help. Took the biggest ear of corn I had dried from last year and took all the kernels off. I then put them in a plastic rectangular tray and covered them in water for two days. Then I covered them with about and inch and a half of soil. They sprouted in less than three days, so pretty quick. My neighbor brought his rototiller over and mixed in some of the more aged poop/hay from last year. I’ve changed gears a bit from last year. I’m probably going to buy more plants instead of starting so many from seed. The little greenhouse needs to be moved and recovered. It’s right by our bedroom window and the cats (of which we have three now) all jump up there to let us know they want in, and will just keep tearing it up unless I move it, and may still do it even then.

It turns out being the young, curious, energetic bunch they are, that all the buildings are fair game, even the hay barn which is only covered by a double layer of tarps. They totally trashed the tarps on it this last winter/early spring. I haven’t quite figured out what to do yet, to keep them from doing it again, so will probably wait until fall to recover it with new ones. By then, maybe I can figure something out. They catch mice out there all day and all night long, though, so I’m really happy to have them around. They all have great personalities, too, so add to the overall ambiance and entertainment value of Farm Life.

My neighbor and I went to a local garden club meeting I found out about that is at the grange just three miles down the road from us. They gather once a month from March through October I think. Great group of people. I bought a couple of tomato plants and finally got to meet the delightful woman who lives at the end of our road. This year is going to be focused solely on what will likely grow well and we actually eat a lot of (and making sure we can preserve it!) The woman I met who brought her goat down to breed with Raven is going to trade me some of her special rare seed collection of veggies for some perennial herb starts and raspberry bushes I have more than enough of. It’s great to be well on my way to some wonderful relationships with like minded people. Turns out that her and her husband have a lot in common with us, so excited to get to know them better.
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:46 pm

And finally....

One of the things I work with on a fairly regular basis is my greatly fluctuating energy levels. My husband and I, as I’ve mentioned before, are very project/mission oriented people. So, on those days when my husbands knees are bothering him a lot, or my energy level is really low, for whatever reason, it’s hard to just let go and go with the flow. The answer is not always the same. Sometimes it is a good idea to push through it, and get things done anyway. But its almost never an emergency, and we’ve both found that sometimes just taking the day off is the answer. We’re human beings first, not human doings. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. Sometimes, it really is okay to just stop and smell the roses, or play with the goaties, or sit and just listen to some good music.

On the other hand, sometimes our energy levels being exceptionally low and general feeling of being not quite right is coming from someplace else. It’s not my first conclusion, but especially when it lasts for more than a day and after comparing notes with my husband find that one or the other of us has had really weird dreams with particular people that love to project their angst about life not being what they want towards us, then we start to consider it. And especially after I do energy/clearing work and find that both of us suddenly feel better, then I know I’m on the right track. That’s one of the reasons I don’t allow myself to engage in seriously bashing anyone, even in my mind, for more than just the initial reaction phase. Our thoughts, mental images, and especially highly charged negative emotions can and absolutely do affect others. It’s a real thing, and I’ve had it confirmed more times than I can count. I truly wish more people understood this. The “bad guy” actors on the world scene, and especially those who drive the narrative from behind the curtain, certainly understand this. Anyway, enough on the sidetrack. Still, I think it’s important to put this out there.

I’m planning on digging up the walnut tree and have a large pot to put it in until I can find the right spot and make sure gophers can’t get to it. If I don’t, it won’t make it through the year. We finally got the piece to fix our smaller generator, but before it arrived the motor blew up on the bigger one. What a deal. So, the money that was going to get the inverter for the solar system is going to have to wait, yet again. The water pump decided to flake out too. Why stuff like this happens all at once, I do not know. But we’re not in nearly as rough of a spot as we were a year ago, and won’t be going all summer using the big generator. And my husband was able to use another water pump we already had to replace the one that wore out. So I am grateful, for oh so many things.

One last thing I forgot to mention before is what we discovered about the peat moss we use for the composting toilet. Last year we had a big nest of ants move in, which was kind of creepy. Plus, it absorbs moisture through the winter months and freezes in a big solid rock hard mass, which definitely has not been fun. So what I figured out works is to fill up individual smaller bags that you can seal shut. Then the ants won’t get in there, and during the winter you can just pull out an individual bag full to put in there after cleaning the toilet out. It might be a little more hassle at first, but saves a lot of headache later. And cleaning the composting toilet in the winter is probably one of our least favorite things to do.

I rambled on for quite a while today, and think I’ve finally run out of words. Guess it’s time to get to work.
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu May 02, 2019 4:08 pm

It’s going to be hard to keep things focused on farm life as I write today. I have a great deal on my mind, and though somewhat related, is not really about farm life directly. I have been a student, and teacher, of astrological concepts for around 25 years, and have used it successfully to anticipate how energies are likely to play out in my life. Sometimes there is a convergence of powerful energies in a persons chart, one you don’t want to ignore. I have such a convergence coming up early next year. One that will be factored into the decisions I make in the now.

To give you an example of how this might work, I used it to successfully anticipate some inheritance money I was expecting to receive back in 2001-2002. I knew I had planned to give some to my kids, so figured something along those lines should show up in all our charts, and it did. So I was able to pinpoint the time period in which we would most likely receive it with success. I was also able to anticipate that three years into my relationship with my husband, in 2003, that events would occur that would test us sorely. I talked about it for three years, trying to prepare my husband for what I knew was likely coming down the pike for us. And it did come to pass. My foreknowledge helped us greatly to deal with outer happenings that we had no control over.

I will be looking more deeply into the possible ways this energy might express itself, and plan accordingly. You see, as an older couple, we make plans for our future without often much consideration for what we will do if things change dramatically. Health is not a given or sure thing, nor are many other things such as income sources and so on. I read a paper recently that talked about what actually happened in several natural disasters that have occurred in the last 20 years where the power grid went down for extended periods of time, and how that affected people’s lives. It wasn’t pretty. You can’t live your life as if an emergency is waiting to happen any minute. At the same time it’s a good idea to listen to that inner voice that we often ignore at our peril.

If you think about what is happening on the world stage, it’s not hard to see that things are getting more unstable, and unpredictable all the time. Next year is an election year here in the US, and with the philosophical differences growing exponentially amongst people, it’s not hard to anticipate it’s going to be a wild ride for us all, with some being affected more than others. Saturn will be catching up to Pluto in early January, and by March, Mars and Jupiter will be right in there too, all in Capricorn. Those are some heavy hitters, is all I can say. So, I guess we’ll have to see what happens. For some, it’s likely to have quite an impact.

And how does this affect farm life? Well, I’m already thinking about how I can reduce outer demands on my time and energy. It’s not really a good time for expansion, as Capricorn is much more about conservation, limitation, added responsibility, and both patience and perseverance at the same time. Some of the plans I had for expanding garden areas will be put on the shelf for now, and it’s a really good thing I’ve made the move to downsize the number of goats I have to care for. I have a lot to do building up the soil in the gardening areas we already have, and we did expand the area for corn a little bit. And I can give myself permission to not crack the whip on myself to get the whole 5 acres of forest all cleaned up from debris this year. It’s not an emergency. I do want to spend time fixing our access road a bit, and haul rocks from down the road up here to fill in where it’s the worst. That’s a good Capricornian endeavor.

Basically I want to shore things up. Making winter more easy to navigate by getting the water lines down to the big barn, getting the well house insulated, and bringing in a larger propane tank instead of filling five gallons tanks every few days are priorities. Getting at least a couple ton of hay in this fall is also high on the list, as well as buying a couple more batteries for the solar system. We should finally be able to get the inverter for it this month too. I’m getting ready to do at least a three day lemon cleansing fast here soon too. Every year we get sinus infections in the spring, and I start feeling like I’m dragging myself around. I love food, so it takes a bit of misery before I can muster up the self discipline to do it. But it really does work wonders, and I need my energy to return, at least a little bit.

Okay, so now I got that all off my chest! We will be picking up our new buckling here in a few days. And I have three of this years kids up for sale. I should be getting Bob back soon, so then I can put Crispy up for sale. He’s such a nice boy, and fathers really nice kids, but I have to stay practical about this. I’m even toying with the idea of selling Coco, although I don’t want to at all. We’ll see how it goes. She’s a great milker and it’s better to let her go now when people are buying, than wait until winter and get into a situation where I have to let some go and no one is buying. Hard choices sometimes.

Two days ago I went down to milk and feed everyone. I have the kids in the big barn overnight and generally haven’t been peaking in there when I first go down anymore, because it just gets them even more excited than they already are. Vida, Ballerina’s little girl, is a cryer. I mean, she sounds like a human baby crying, and it’s loud and sounds like she’s in pain or something. After realizing that’s just what she does, I got pretty good at ignoring it until I’m ready to let them out. On this particular morning, the crying was really loud I noticed. But, I just went about my business. It’s so much easier to milk moms before I let the kids out since they will try to nurse while I’m milking. I was quite surprised when I opened the door to find that it wasn’t Vida after all, it was Jewel stuck between the metal slots on the feeder we have attached to the wall. First time I’ve had that happen! And poor little Jewel must have been there for awhile. The front half of her body was dangling, while her back end was totally stuck. I pulled her out of there and she couldn’t even stand up for a while. Poor baby! She finally got her legs back after me massaging them for a good while, and within an hour was just fine. But I think I’d best not ignore it next time the crying seems louder than usual.

I’m making mozzarella cheese today. With getting over a half gallon a day it looks like I might even be able to quit buying cheese from the store. That makes me happy. Seems there were other things I wanted to write about, but I’m getting hungry, and I’m sure they all are too, so will quit for now. Hope whoever reads this, and wherever you are, you find something to be grateful for, and something that brings you joy. Love to all
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue May 14, 2019 4:29 pm

I know I’m overdue to catch up here, and even now don’t have the time but can at least start it. It’s been a busy couple weeks! Okay, I started, LOL. I’ll be back...

Another day has gone by and I’m finally going to try and finish what I started here. It’s been a wild almost two weeks, mainly because I’m trying to get all the garden areas weeded, readied, and planted, as well as selling goats. The approximately 100 corn seedlings are almost all up and visible now. The walnut tree is making a comeback since we dug it up and put it in a large pot in a more accessible and protected area. And I expanded another small area where I’ve planted a couple tomatoes, lettuce, and some garlic so far. Digging up brush out here is no small thing. Even though the soil is mostly clay and rock that has crumbled into small particles and dust, there is some incredibly tenacious and tough weeds, many of which are medicinal, and brush with extensive and deep root systems. It quite amazes me.

I just about impaled myself on a low hanging branch on a pine tree right where I was working the soil a few days ago. I had broke a number of them off, but this one was too large and I didn’t want to go get the saw to remove it. I was getting tired towards the end of the day and, whammo, it got me! Fortunately I have a hard head, even though it bled a lot and left a nice big owie on top of my head. Gardening can be dangerous business. For me anyway.

Since the beginning of March I have sold 17 goats, which is quite shocking to me. I word my ads different than most people and feel pretty good about everyone I’ve sold to. I did turn down one offer on May 3rd, where they were willing to pay not only full price, but extra for me to accept a check. They wanted to UPS it to me, then have some stranger come pick them up after it cleared. They wouldn’t answer my questions, and it seemed like there was some urgency. I did not get a good feeling about it at all. I’m fairly certain they were going to use these three little kids (goats), two boys and a girl, for part of their observance of Ramadan as a sacrifice (scheduled for May 6th this year). I’m all for religious freedom, but do not appreciate people who will not be honest, and I definitely do not support ritual sacrifice to any god(s). To me, it’s all very archaic and I can’t wait until we (if ever the time comes) collectively outgrow and evolve past these kinds of behaviors and beliefs. It’s not for me to judge people who eat goats, but at least buy from people who don’t mind selling them for that purpose. My ad was pretty clear about them NOT being for meat.

Then just last night a very nice family came by with their two children and put money down on the three mentioned above, and they will be going to their new home tomorrow. I made them a deal, as I don’t mind doing that for folks who are getting them as an addition to their family and to give their kids a taste of farm life. I let their daughter feed the little guy who still gets a bottle a couple times a day, and that pretty much synched the deal. He is a cutie pie.

I picked up the little buckling last week too, and he’s getting more comfortable. Taking him away from his home, siblings, and mother was quite traumatizing, and he’s had some cold symptoms (sneezing, coughing). No diarrhea, though, or other signs of discomfort, but keeping a good eye on him. I will go out of my way to sell goats in pairs, and related, too, if possible. Little ones can be more vulnerable than they appear. He is very sweet natured, and he makes a sound kind of like a frog croaking when he bahhhhs.

Bob, the buck that was on vacation making babies somewhere else, came home, and so I put Crispy up for sale. He sold on the third day of the ad. Some young folks who don’t actually live that far away came and bought him. I knew he would sell quick, but didn’t think it would happen quite that fast.

And Coco is still just getting bigger and bigger. She hasn’t uddered up yet, so no clue when she’s going to pop. I’m not fond of the waiting game. I’m very happy that rather than my numbers overflowing, they are actually going down. It’s a relief. I love goats, as is so very obvious, but I feel so much more comfortable about managing what we have and being able to do a good job without feeling constant anxiety, so it’s worth it. All part of my learning to be able to let go when I need to. Those attachments we form can become most binding if we’re not careful, to the point where it’s not even healthy or good anymore.

I had a great Mother’s Day. My husband and I went out with my daughter and son-in-law to see Avengers: The Endgame, and then went to eat at the Flying Goat. My daughter got me a hoodie with their logo, and the pizza was quite good. I heard from both my sons that day too, which is always nice. I don’t even really celebrate most holidays anymore, and even when I do it’s all about good food, friends and family, and just enjoying time spent with people I enjoy being around. It’s those memories we create, and time spent that really matters in the end. Chances to extend ourselves with genuine affection, and build on our sense of connectedness, are opportunities I relish. It’s people that matter, not things. Well, and goats matter too.

Speaking of goats, I did try making the cheese by myself and unfortunately my hands just can’t handle it. I’m working on a deal with a friend to provide the milk, enough for both of us, so she can make the cheese after I show her how to do it. It’s not hard, but kneading all the whey out is a challenge for me. Mine turned out kind of greenish/yellowish, which means I didn’t get enough of it out. I was quite disappointed. I will try it one more time by myself, and break down and microwave it for 30 seconds to warm it back up and see if that helps in getting the whey all out. I don’t use the microwave at all, myself, so it goes against the grain for me. But it would still probably be healthier and better than commercial store bought cheese.

My hands were doing fine with milking two goats this year, unless I use them a lot for something else, like weeding and so on. I kind of just bite the bullet and go for it anyway, even though I suffer for days afterwards with them swelling up, tingling, and aching. The CBD oil helps, but I should be taking about twice as much as I can actually afford to to get the full benefit. I’m just grateful it does help, or I wouldn’t even be able to do what I am doing now.

The following is a fairly current picture of little Miss Vida, with her ears finally matching one another. She’s a spunky little thing, for having been so close to death when she was born. A total loudmouth, too! She must remember what we did for her, because even though she’s not bottle fed, she is very friendly, and comes running to us as if she is. She’s a keeper. And for totally sentimental reasons, too! What can I say, I’m a softy and I don’t even try to hide it. It’s weird that it actually takes courage in our world today, to wear your heart on your sleeve, and admit such strong emotions about everything, to admit you care, and care deeply about life. Even the idea of sacrifice has taken on a new meaning from its original intent. Still, I am forever the optimist that more will awaken, and realize how we’ve been duped into this whole Darwinian mindset of might makes right, and that survival of the fittest (which actually means dominating and heartless) is some kind of worthy belief system.

Image

Yes, I am a dreamer, but thankfully I know I’m not the only one. And maybe more will join us. We may never achieve some state of never ending peace and perfection (where the whole world lives as one). I’m not sure that’s even really something to aspire to. But we can move into a greater state of balance, and that starts first within ourselves, and at least try to tip the scale back towards a reality with more honor and respect for life. As long as I am breathing I think it’s worth the effort.
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue May 28, 2019 9:39 pm

I’m sitting here thinking about what has transpired in the last couple weeks since I wrote and posted here. What to include, what to leave out. Don’t want to make it so boring it’s painful for even me to read, yet don’t want to write a book in one go either. Big sigh.

Still no babies from Coco. It’s driving me nuts. And I’m still shaking my head over little Miss Karuna being pregnant. She can’t be more than 2, maybe two and half months pregnant, so it’s shocking to me that she already is developing an udder. This isn’t often the case. I’m just hoping and praying everything goes okay for her, as I would never have chose to breed her so early.

And Raven has even gotten out a couple times since then, although I don’t think he’s been able to knock anyone up. Once, he managed to push hard enough and enough times to break the wire that was attached to a fence post by one of the gates. We fixed that, then he even managed to jump the over 6 foot plus fence that was sagging just a wee bit in one spot. Never, ever, have I had a goat like him. I’ve heard stories from others, like my sister in-law trying to give me their fence jumper a couple years ago. I declined that one! He is an outstanding looking goat, though, and has already produced some very nice kids, so I’ll tough it out with him. At least he keeps me on my toes and gives me something to write about.

We built the roof over the little side area attached to the big barn so the new little boy, I’ve renamed Ronin, and the wether I’m going to borrow have a decent place to be with some shade in the heat of the day. His original name was Isaac, but I don’t want a goat named after a story in the Bible about sacrifice, of the human kind. And we cleaned the stall out that is attached to it too, so it’s pretty much ready to go. The little guy is doing good, even though he still has gas that can peel paint. Like, seriously!

My husband is itching to get the wood to start building the 5 x 12 addition onto the well house for food storage in the winter. I’m excited about it too. Even if I don’t grow it all myself it would be nice to get a good deal on some bulk items for less here from local farmers and orchards. The whole issue has been storing it. And we got the inverter finally which is all hooked up and working great since this last weekend. My husband took all the batteries out and checked them to make sure they didn’t need water and were charging up like they should be. And this time he bought a pure sine wave inverter, rather than a modified one, for just a bit more money. It does seem to be working better than the old one, and we got a two year warranty on it. Even if we couldn’t get fuel for the generators, we can generally get at least 6-8 hours with full power, with the exception of using the coffee maker, the microwave, and the toaster, and then through the night running the heater and 12 volt lights on just the batteries without the inverter on. Our plan is to try to get at least two or three more batteries before winter, to store more when the solar is charging. So nice to once again have the option.

I just took a shower, which may not be a big deal for most, but we’ve been having some trouble with the propane water heater igniting, and I’m not fond of cold showers. I’m am grateful for such things as warm water showers, and in my world not something to be taken for granted. In fact, that is one of the things I love about my life here, despite the seeming hardships at times. I don’t want to let the infection of our times get such a hold on me, as it has on so many others. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to get used to conveniences and comfort, but I do think you can get too much of it to the point where you don’t deal well with adversity. I don’t know if you’ve ever been around someone who panics over every little thing, like a snow storm, the power being out, their car breaking down, a health problem, a late paycheck, and so on, but I’ve seen grown adults behave like two year olds, and it’s not pretty.

In fact, my husband and I have had conversations about what we might do under various conditions should they occur. If there was a natural disaster, or some other event that cause societal breakdown, there are people we would contact, and definitely some others we would avoid. Some might have to be knocked out and locked in a closet, LOL. My husband has crawled through jungle with malaria, so he’s no shrinking violet, that’s for sure. In fact, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather be with.

The other thing, though, I like about being rather hardy, and having a good survival, solution oriented mindset, is it keeps you humble, and close to the earth. I feel things out here that some city folks who have been out here find frightening. For the life of me I don’t understand that.

So winding down I guess I forgot to mention the garden. I didn’t get everything I wanted done this year but made some definite headway. Areas have been extended, little gates and fencing up to keep goats out. A lot of things are spreading out in the front where we have mostly perennial herbs and raspberries planted, so I don’t have to weed as much. I did plant the asparagus roots I got, but they haven’t come up yet. The potatoes I ended up planting in an extra large tire I already had, with a second one to add when they all start growing, to increase yield. Building soil is an ongoing endeavor. I’m heading out here shortly to throw some grass seed around, and then water it well. We bought a 10 x 10 gazebo with sides and one screened wall. Now I’m on the look out for a good inexpensive used picnic table too.

I mainly bought the gazebo so I can start doing some farmers markets if I want to, but no harm in getting some use out of it now. Now we have a place to enjoy the view outside in comfort. A lot of bumble bees around, but not as many honey bees as I would like to see yet this year. And the raspberries are coming on, so have to keep them watered up. Corn is a couple inches tall, which isn’t bad after some colder weather we had last week. Even one of my tomatoes appears to have taken a hit with the cold, but it’s all kicking into higher gear now that we’re getting some pretty warm days. I will say that the heat of the sun, when directly in it, feels a great deal hotter than it used to at the same temperature. Everyone I talk to has noticed this. Things they are a changing, even if we’re not getting s straight story from those who claim to be in the know.

Okay, I’m off to water, and then go get more hay when my better half gets home. Maybe another time I’ll talk about the weird night we had last week when my husband intuitively made our dogs stay in the fenced area we have for them rather than letting them out overnight as usual. We were up all night with two pit bulls, one younger female in heat, and an older male I had seen once before, circling around our goats, and lunging at our dogs through the fence. I don’t know that they were necessarily mean dogs, as early just before sunrise we saw them hanging out with the horse, and she didn’t seem to be bothered, and we didn’t see them trying to get to the goats. But with the female in heat, it would have been a terrible dog fight, for sure, if our dogs had been out. We ran them off once, but they kept coming back. We found out the next morning that my friend who had been trying for a year and a half finally got a judgement against the couple who wouldn’t move off her property. The husband had filmed us while we were there with her to see the condition of the property, and then assaulted both my husband and I. We had won the court case against him for assault, but as anyone who reads here regularly knows, it didn’t seem to do my friend any good at all. It took a year and a half! So they were definitely sending out some bad vibes. Think I’m nuts if you want, but there was some bad joojoo afoot that night, the kind that makes your hair stand up. So happy my husband has learned to follow those unexplained urges he gets about things! Okay, so I told the story anyway. Now I’m really going...
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:49 pm

I have a lot of writing to do. Things I’ve started, and haven’t finished, things I have yet to start. It’s been hard to sit still and focus lately. I thought for sure by now I would be writing about Coco’s birthing, but alas, she still hasn’t popped them out yet. Sometimes I am just so wrong. She’ll probably have them when I least expect it. It’s funny to watch her personality change. She looks almost identical to her mother, Firefly, but always used to be the timid one. Even the Nigerian Dwarves were pushing her around. No one is pushing her around now, not even her bossy mother. And she’s not as skittish as usual, and let’s us pet her a bit, instead of bolting at the first sign of you reaching your hand out. She’s always jumped right up on the milking stand for grain, though, and let me milk her without a problem. I toyed with the idea of selling her, too, along with her kids when they are born, in my continual quest to reduce numbers, but can’t do it. She’s easy to milk, and is a great producer, and plus I just plain like her a lot. Oh well.

The only reason I considered it is because of my fear of having trouble getting hay again this year, and the fact that little Miss Karuna ended up getting knocked up by Raven unexpectedly. She’ll be birthing sometime later this summer and I’ll probably have to keep her and her kids through the winter since goats aren’t really a hot item in the fall. And I really wanted to keep Karuna anyway, so then I’ll be back up to more than I planned. At least she’s little, and her kids won’t eat as much. That’s if all goes well. I’ll be keeping a hawks eye on her. I’m thinking about getting another roll of fencing to add to the boys pen this fall, to make double sure Raven can’t get out. I don’t want anymore unplanned pregnancies.

I did go and get a wether to be with our little buckling, Ronin, a couple days ago. Ronin was looking quite sad when I separated him from the other two doelings so I figured I’d better go get him a companion. He was starting to act like a buck, and I definitely don’t need anymore kids having kids. My friend let me bring home Romeo, the adorable little guy I sold her a couple years ago. He’s actually just about the same size as Ronin, even though he is two years old. He’s been in with bigger goats, though, so for now he can hold his own. If there was ever a wether I wanted to keep, it was him. Yup, I’m the crazy goat lady.....

I was going to post a picture of the corn which is growing by leaps and bounds, but need to finish weeding it first. They’re growing fast too, unfortunately. Nice to be able to go out and make a salad from what’s growing in the garden. And soon I’ll be able to make a strawberry rhubarb pie from our own garden too! I love strawberries, but they are one of the most highly sprayed in commercial growing operations. And organic strawberries are kind of out of my budget. Same thing with blueberries, although I’m not growing any of those. I might try again, even though the bush I used to have didn’t make it through the winter a couple years ago. The goji berry is doing great, though, and so are the grape vines, and blackberry bush. Blackberries prefer a wetter environment, but seems to do okay as long as I keep it watered up good. I also have it slightly shaded by a small scrub willow bush I left growing in the garden.

I do keep blabbing on about gardening, though, in hopes to encourage everyone who is able to try their hand at growing even just a little of their own food. With all the current hands in the pie when it comes to weather control, it’s a good idea to take matters into our own hands to make sure we can all eat. It seems the days of leaving our food production primarily in the hands of big commercial farms, and certain areas where conditions used to be just right, is coming to be a thing of the past. With all the flooding, tornados, and regularly scheduled fires happening every year now (which they try to keep blaming average everyday citizens for - let’s just pile on the guilt) it’s getting predictably unpredictable almost every where. Even at the next local gardener’s meeting I plan to attend, the topic is about how to be successful and adapt to changing conditions.

We did go to my oldest son’s graduation ceremony at the correctional facility he is currently in a few days ago. I was able to bring his older son with us, who is almost 12. My son worked very hard to get his degree, taking on math classes that would have given me nightmares. He was also one of two student speakers, giving about a 5-6 minute speech about how this experience has changed his life. I managed to not cry this time, even though his son teared up. He is at an age where it is very hard for him to find words to explain to others where his dad is, that don’t make him feel ashamed, uncomfortable, and embarrassed. His dad making the best of it, and trying to come out ahead from his experience despite appearances certainly helps his son deal with it all better, from an emotional standpoint anyway. He is such a sensitive boy. It was, once again, very nice to see the dedication of those teachers and others who are involved in making this program a success. They are truly interested in reducing the numbers who are released from becoming lifetime fixtures there. As it should be. And the cake, even though it totally blew my attempt to eat only healthy food all to heck, was as delicious as last year.

I could keep going, as there is always more that comes to mind as I start to wind down here, but I do need to get going outside. Now if I can just finish some of the other writing projects I have planned and I’m working on, that would be great. It’s kind of disappointing sometimes that there are only just a handful, sometimes more, mostly less, that even post here on our little forum. I keep going because I like to write, and this gives me a place to do it where I can be myself without the need to censor myself all the time. Knowing what I know about so many things that just won’t fit back in the box they came out of makes it challenging sometimes to communicate with others. There are many things I know nothing about, and I’m sure there are many who feel the same, for different reasons. But I came into this world with a bit different view than most. I felt incredibly alienated from pretty much everyone in my childhood, so it’s nice to at least have a handful of people in my life now that I can be myself with. But I often do wonder why on so many of the forums I’ve seen, people only want to share things that come from others, rather than share who they really are, what they think, how they feel. To me, it’s always been about who an individual is at the heart level, rather than needing everyone to be like me. But so much fear abounds. I’d like to see that change, so I keep plugging away. I may be boring, repetitive, maybe even occasionally funny, but I try to always be real, whether anyone agrees with me or not. We can opt out of the herd mentality they have tried to get us all to conform to. I know I’ve been a lot happier since I’ve given myself permission to do so. Every person has a story to tell. Until next time...
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com


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