And just like that…..

Summer came to an end. I  did not get all of the things done I wanted to do. My main excuse is that it was too darned hot.

The garden this summer was mostly weeds, though it started out well enough. Now I am finally getting some tomatoes and I have harvested a few ounces of goji berries. I have also been able to take a few carrots and beets and the sunflowers have been doing well. I harvested a few of the heads this week and the goats seem to like them as a treat if I don’t  have peanuts available. But there have been NO squash of any type, the onions failed in both garden areas and what was shaded by the taller weeds quickly bolted or dried out or went to seed (dill, peas, cilantro, lettuce) with the heat. Now that it has started to cool down though the peppers have started to sprout. Maybe I will get some small peppers before everything freezes this year. I have been able to save some peas and beans as seed for next year, I will put aside some sunflower seeds as well. Everything else will have to be bought new in the spring.

Smoky Poky
It seems like this whole summer we have been living in the smoke from every major fire that has been burning . Most days the smoke and haze is so thick it obscures the view of the city to the south. You can smell it, and even when you can’t smell it you can feel it in your eyes and lungs. That along with the heat makes working outdoors very tiring and uncomfortable. I think I now have a small understanding of what it must have been like for the residents of Moscow last year. The few times it has rained this summer we have had clear air to breath for a day or maybe two and then back to the smoke. The sunrises and sunsets have been pretty in an apocalyptic kind of way. The flies have been pretty bad this year as well. I have not found a good solution for getting rid of them. Fly traps fill up and it makes very little difference as to the number of flies that bother the goats while I try to milk.

The Buck(ling) stopped here (again).
I think I mentioned in a previous post that we bought a Nigerian Dwarf buckling from our local pet and feed store. We brought him home on the 25th of August and I had him set up in a pen we borrowed from the neighbors. He had a shelter, water, some hay to eat. Being the big spender that I am I then took my wife out to dinner for her birthday using a gift certificate she had received from her boss. When we got home a couple of hours later the  buckling was gone. We walked around calling his name and bleating for him when we heard an answering bleat  from  the buck pen.

The little bugger had climbed out of his pen, and walked through the fence of the buck pen. The two bigger boys were standing there with him and they were all just munching weeds. Every once in a while the big boys would lower their heads as if to butt heads with him, but I think when they had their heads down they lost sight of the little fella. I had to go in and “rescue” him and put him back in his own pen. I found an older 20 ft. tie out and hooked him up so now he can’t wander very far. Buck-O cried when I took Rascal out of the pen, I think he felt like he had lost another son, and Rascal seemed to think that being a buck, the buck pen was where he belonged.

IMG_20121223_132750I was able to re-roof the well house. the old roofing had lasted about 10 years and was slowly peeling off when the wind blew hard. We have had some higher winds this year. I decided to use metal roofing like the material we used on the garage/goat shelter. I think it will last a bit longer than asphalt roll roofing. The only difficult thing was making the door hinge so I did not have to lift the now much heavier door. I got everything set up, but didn’t figure on the wind blowing the cap back and bending it. As you can see I opted for a high tech solution.

Crying over spilled milk.

Well maybe stolen milk. I can’t seem to get the new girls weaned. I have tried separating the moms, and I even bought some nose rings like they use on cattle, only sized for goats/sheep. separating the moms only works for the evening milking. At the morning milking I can tell that the moms have been feeding their babies. there is no reason for it, the little ones have been eating hay and grain just fine for a while now. The nose rings looked like they were working at first, but the girls soon figured out how to flip them out of the way so they didn’t bother  mama while they were nursing. Then Skeeter managed to push the ring all the way through her nose. They aren’t supposed to be pierced, the rings just clamp on. I hope she heals fully.





Celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Yarrr!

This year for TLAPD I tried to  create my own personal “Jolly Roger” and here it is in all it’s glory!:

I looked up pirate flags so I could have a pattern to go by and this wikipedia page had a lot of  information including the origin of the term Jolly Roger. My skull of course is Rocky Stoneface and the crossed hay knives  just seemed appropriate.

This update has taken way too long to write. I started it back in July and it is now nearly Christmas. I will try to do better. Perhaps a year end summary is in order?



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