April 18, 2011 - Moving Donkeys
The donkey whisperer: When moving a pair of donkeys, you only actually need to move one. The girl. The boy will be self-moving if you move the girl. First, you have to get the boy to let go of the girl. Jack: “Don’t leave me, my beloved!” But she left him. And he followed. Down...
April 17, 2011 - Evidence
Despite the cold, and the rain, and the general dreariness many days, I do believe it is— SPRING! West Virginia is the land of waterfalls, big and small, and we have numerous small waterfalls on our farm with our hillsides. West Virginia, or at least parts of it, is also the land of old oil/gas...
April 16, 2011 - A Gander at the Goslings
Yesterday, we got a call from the post office that our new babies had arrived. I drove right down to the little post office in the little town to pick them up. If you have babies shipped through the mail, it’s a good idea to call the post office in advance, tell them what you’re...
April 2, 2011 - Me and Glory Bee
We have a relationship, Glory Bee and I. She’s being groomed to be a milk cow. A house cow. A maker of milk and butter and cheese. We didn’t get off to a very good start when I failed to get her haltered and under control right off the bat. No problem. We have lots...
March 25, 2011 - The Sound of Night in Appalachia
Just pretend you’re in a rocking chair on the porch.
March 14, 2011 - The Crooked Little Hen Explains
“This,” the Crooked Little Hen said to the speckled chicken, “is the good stuff.” “And you can’t have it!” And then she chased her all the way down the porch steps because the Crooked Little Hen only shares with dogs.
January 28, 2011 - A Mother, After All
Maybe she was just feeling especially young the day she had her baby. Maybe she wasn’t ready. Maybe she was scared. Whatever it was, after over a week of holding Sprite down to nurse her baby against her will, for the last few days– She has been nursing her baby voluntarily!!! Sprite: “I am a...
January 27, 2011 - The Cow Schedule
The milking schedule here goes like this: My day: In the evening of Glory Bee’s day, at dinnertime I take Beulah Petunia out and put her back in BP-land. Or, actually, she takes herself. I have the gate open to BP-land and she goes straight there to her dinner in the milk stand. I milk...
January 21, 2011 - As the Goat House Turns
Outside the goat house, donkeys sit down with chickens while goats nap with a giant calf. Inside the goat house, there is a whirlwind of activity. Bouncing babies…. ….and quarreling mamas. If fighting with each other isn’t enough, the mamas are in a constant battle of wits and wills with the babies, too. The kids...
January 14, 2011 - Fully Carbonated
If you missed my CITR newsletter insider preview yesterday (what? are you not on the newsletter? find out how to subscribe), our newest bottle cap has a name! He’s Dr. Pepper. He’s just a little doctor. Like Doogie Howser! And here’s the bouncing baby video:
January 10, 2011 - Nutmeg Has a Baby!
Yesterday afternoon, I took Nutmeg a treat and asked her to hurry up because I was planning to make cheese and I was afraid I’d get started with a pot of cheese and then she’d have her baby. Just as soon as whenever I started the pot of cheese. Nutmeg said she’d think about it,...
November 15, 2010 - Morning, with Angry Cows
I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a dinosaur outside. Then I realized it was BP. By daylight, Glory Bee was bawling along with her. I was about scared to go out and milk BP! But no way am I taking Glory Bee out of the goat yard. I’m tired...
October 24, 2010 - Under Lock and Key
Several people asked about the rope and the halter (with chains). Halters have chains where the lead can be attached, and the chains cinch up around their jaw, helping to keep them from getting out of the halter when you’re leading them. We used a rope on her to capture her in the first place!...
September 25, 2010 - And They’re Out!
I’m letting the babies out in the yard now during the day (as of yesterday). They need the exercise and space to dance around. And dance, they do. Mr. Pibb, inspecting rival bucklings. There’s been a lot of head-butting as the pecking order must be re-established with new goats in the mix. Not that these...
September 24, 2010 - Why the Ducks Love Beulah Petunia
Beulah Petunia drinks 20-30 gallons of water a day. There is no creek for her now that we’ve moved her up closer to the house, though there are springs on the hillside that create pools of water throughout most of the year. It’s incredibly dry right now, though, so that doesn’t help. We have a...
September 17, 2010 - Oh, Baby
Oh, me. Oh, my. Oh, seriously! My heart, be still! Look at the milk mouth! Glory Bee, nursing on BP, the video! I can hardly stand it.
September 14, 2010 - Baby Cow, The Movie
Just when I was ready to put a crown on BP’s head, I looked again and thought what we have here is a boy. Which brings to mind names like Darn It, Auction Block, and Homemade Hamburger Helper. (Okay, that last one is a mouthful and this calf is too cute to eat.) Beulah Petunia:...
August 25, 2010 - An Afternoon on the Farm
Dog days on the farm…… I’ve been (finally) learning how to use iMovie on my laptop (which I’ve had for a year!). Transferring video to another computer with the old program I used to make movies was difficult, which is why I haven’t posted any videos in months. With farm babies here, I got motivated,...
August 23, 2010 - Goat BABIES!!!!
I love these babies. I refuse to believe that they will ever change and start sticking their tongues out and spitting and grunting and acting like KISS rock stars. I feel sorry for goat babes that are singletons. The average goat delivery is twins. A delivery of triplets is cause for celebration. Quadruplets….. That is...
March 16, 2010 - She’s Still Got It
Jack’s supervising. Or something. I love the evenings. I go down to the meadow and hold the babies while the sheep get their feed. The mamas forget they have babies when feed is involved. I snuggle the babies and keep them out of the fray. I tell them I will give them a bottle and...
December 29, 2009 - Listen to a Mountain Dulcimer
When I posted that one of our Thanksgiving guests brought a traditional Appalachian mountain dulcimer and played it for us, several people asked if they could hear it. The day after Christmas, we went to a holiday get-together at their house and I talked her into a little impromptu performance for you. The dulcimer player...
November 26, 2009 - I Am Thankful for You
Today, I want to thank you all so much for all of your support. The best readers in the world are right here. I love you guys! Eat, drink, and be merry today! Especially pie. Eat a LOT of pie. (I know I will.) To add to your holiday spirit, I have a little farm...
November 5, 2009 - The Peaceable Kingdom
Queen Clover with her royal court. Animals are a daily wonder to observe. Someone mentioned my farm being like a peaceable kingdom yesterday in the comments, and that is so true in many ways, even while there is some competition at times amongst them. There is head-butting between the goats. Some stomping from the donkeys....
November 3, 2009 - It’s Not Just a Road, It’s an Adventure
The road to our farm is a rock-based road, which is something in between a dirt road and a gravel road. Comparing it to a gravel road is really bragging, though, since there’s not much rock put down on it. It’s rife with potholes big enough to hide bears, creeks running across it and down...
August 25, 2009 - Morning at the Chicken House
One of my favorite things to do these days is to let the chickens (and ducks) out of the chicken house in the morning. They surge from the house with unparalleled exuberance. It’s a new day! They’re just happy to be alive! They burst into the warm dewy morning, eager to flap their wings and...
July 15, 2009 - Spice the Wonder Cat
She might look adorable. She might even look downright innocent. But this is a wily coyote and the smartest cat I’ve ever had. She will work at anything she wants to do until she accomplishes it. And once she accomplishes it, she does it over and over and over….. Recently, I’ve been coming back to...
June 23, 2009 - Feeding Baby Birds
Saturday afternoon, Morgan strolled down to the river with a friend. An hour later, they came back with four wild baby birds. Then Morgan said, “Good luck with that!” and she went to camp for a week. Okay, she didn’t leave for camp till the next morning, but the rest of it is true. She...