Our First Kid 2017

ladies in waiting

We have been waiting for a month for our first babies to drop. Finally, we got a girl from Roxanne. She was so huge I expected twins. Hours later no new developments. The baby girl was up and bouncing within twenty minutes. The energy of these tiny new life forms is amazing! Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!

Pumpkin Pumpkin arrived 6-20

Finally, Pumpkin settled down for a nap and I finally could get some baby pictures! She is going to be a uniquely colored goat I think. A few times she came over to see if my leg would give milk and followed me around. The best time to bond with a baby is right at birth. Hopefully this little girl will be a pocket goat like her mother.

We brought Mom and baby into the lean-to where I can control the flies. I was hoping for May babies when the flies are not so daunting. I sprayed the walls down while the baby tried to find breakfast. I wish there was a way to kill every fly on the farm. It is always an endless battle of fly sprays and traps. The flies can actually lay eggs on my new baby and then potentially cause problems. Getting her clean was a top priority. Towels!

With the babies coming, it is time for the buck, Boomer, to be moved from the herd and begin his summer work as a weed eater. If I leave him in there his scent will get into the milk and the cheese. That is a strong taste. Oh, milk, lots of milking ahead and lots of time consumed making cheese. Forgot about that part after being out of milk for six months. My schedule just filled up along with the freezer!

It is early morning and time to go check the herd. We will be putting up another charger to electrify the fence and hopefully keep the coyotes out, or the bobcat or the fox.  I am not sure what carried off all my chickens, but, I have not caught it yet and the dogs were barking last night. Kind of worrisome to a Farmer Mom.

Farmstead Distractions

Antique Rose

So never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles. Matthew 6:34

The morning started with picture taking. A nice quiet morning. I planned on an all day attack on the rental unit repairs. To keep the distractions to a minimum I called my neighbor to see if she needed any help getting from her bed to her wheelchair today. She had help on the way. Then I drove up to my adopted niece’s place to find she was in need of a screw for her lawn mower handle which she was struggling with. Returning with screw, distraction averted, I headed for the unit.

lastbedroom The last bedroom coming along.

bathrThe bathroom getting walled in.

While my brother picked up building debris I slapped up the first piece of drywall in the bathroom and started cutting the hole for the vanity mirror. We put a false wall in to accommodate the plumbing. Adding real 2×4 next to the 1/2″ wall boards made it so we could put drywall up and now the walls do not move around. How these old trailers did not collapse en-route to their destinations I am amazed!

About the time I really get started to beat the heat of the soon-to-be ninety degree/sixty percent humidity day, my daughter comes in carrying this little surprise explaining it has to be Silver’s. Silver’s babies are already over a week old. Distraction Number One.

babt surprise Buck bunny gives birth?

Going to the barn my daughter and youngest brother in their limited manner, explain where they found the rabbit and that Silver Lady is running loose. A quick examination of the “buck” pen explains everything. Well, the rabbit I was planning on having for Sunday dinner just extended “his” life. I have been growing this extra male bunny big enough for a rarely enjoyed delicacy. Unfortunately the real buck killed the other four babies, but, my daughter’s pet python was not fussy. Waste not want not on this farm.

We raise all our live babies and sell them. After trying to figure out where to put the buck rabbit, we thought we fixed the cage to now harbor the new unexpected arrival. Hopefully the little feller makes it.

Back to the rental unit and making holes in the dry wall, so I thought. I was stopped by the hubby who he told me my brother had locked the place. Hmm. Great. The key hunt was on.

Unlocked and ready for work I just marked out the hole when the hubby asked for a hand to fix the stater on the four-wheeler. I have not been able to use it for almost two years. I was threatening to take it to the dealer and pay four-hundred dollars for the labor, so, the hubby set aside his distractions to get it fixed. Off to the garage we went, and the days heat was already messing with my asthma.

While the hubby searched for tools I happened to look up and see something strange against the ceiling and the cement wall. Yet, another distraction procured this four-foot-three-inch skin from the top of the shelving unit. Two more of three-foot length skins were curled up along a gap in the ceiling. Great, now we have snakes in the garage. Fantastic!

snakeskin4-3in Four-foot skin!

This is how come I never get to finish a project. Sitting back at the house trying to cool off; my daughter again appears with the baby. She and my younger brother were trying to find a board to replace the emergency cardboard I had slapped in the cage bottom. She explained the baby had fallen through the grid and gotten stuck. I examined it, curled it up in my hand. It tried to nurse on my palm.

This poor little critter. Already it had fallen out of the cage and crawled five feet. We think Silver Lady had heard its cries and literally yanked her feeder out of the way, pushed herself through the opening, to set on the baby, which is why I think it survived. My brother, coming in to feed the bunnies disturbed her and he nearly stepped on the baby, which is why they thought it was Silvers. If the poor thing makes it we are naming it Miracle.

While the hubby now took a hand in fixing the pen for our new arrival, I sat and watched westerns; keeping it warm against my own body. At this point nurse Lass heard the baby. She was ready to

15lassbabysitter15 Nurse Lass is on duty with all babies.

lick her new charge. She really wanted the baby! Whining and staring at me like she does when I have a steak on the plate. She even did some worrisome “woofs”; like I had a puppy that might be hers!

Just a few weeks ago, a newborn bunny baby had unfortunately found its way out of the nest and through a gap in the wire flooring we had missed. I brought the baby in the house hoping to warm it, but, it was already too late. While I went out to fix the pen, Lass took the baby out of the towel on the counter and curled up with it, trying to bring it back with her own body heat. This is just an amazing example of the Labrador’s strong maternal instinct!

Determined to get the drywall cut I again made for the rental unit, but stopped when I saw my daughter coming back from the barn. Again- the newborn baby was back. It had fallen out of the nest! Going to the barn I saw where the side boards were pushed out just enough to cause the problem. Putting Miracle back in with Momma bunny, Sunday- the big rabbit’s new name, I stayed put while my daughter ran to find a board, screws and a drill. After averting yet another near death experience I decided to check in on last weeks arrivals. Silver Lady weighs in over twenty-pounds. Her babies are sweet and gentle- and cute!

silver  babybunnysilvers  babybunnysilversallwhite

Out of pure spite toward whatever whimsical power that constantly distracts my time, I went down to the rental and I put a hole in the drywall for the window and the vanity. It was hot and humid, but, by George, that wall was up!

Now, to bag up the 12 quarts of dog food veggies I boiled and  eat my dinner. Guess it is Ramen noodles tonight and venison tips for Sunday’s dinner. Not exactly what I had planned, but, that’s farmsteading…

Discovered “Where Writer’s Win”

Treasure Chest

“Treasure is hard work built up over time.”

I just discovered an informative website named, Where Writers Win. I am listening to the webinar, How to Build Your Author Platform with Online Marketing and Social Media. To check it out click here for a link.

The video is a consolidation of a lot of stuff I have read before. If you can not guess, my time is very limited. I was up at 5AM this morning because I could not sleep after having a stressful day involving my adopted niece and a new lawyer to restart a custody battle for her son.

My adopted nephew is eight years old and a very sensitive child who does not handle stress well. The new lawyer was so moved by this five-year long battle and the sight of my nephew curled in an unresponsive ball, she actually cut her retainer fee in half so we could get the battle started. The father has access to people with a lot of money and it is a long sad story which has been shredding my niece’s sanity one fiber at a time.

Anyways, I decided to rekindle my search for a way to kick-start the sales of my books and help fund some of the battle  about to get underway. This video has a lot of advice; which over the years I have been slowly putting to use, as time allows. If you have visited my website you can see it did not happen overnight.

I try to update something on my website at least once a month to encourage the “web-crawlers” to find me. Yes, that does sound creepy, “web-crawlers.”

Besides my books, I write articles which hold interest to me, such as poison ivy cures, for example, or identifying the spider crawling up my arm for another. Got to love farming.

I also have this blog, which I try to add something to once a week for the same reason. Be sure to add links to your website pages and other media.

I do not own a cell phone- you heard right- I do not own a cell phone because it is expensive and I would drive myself nuts trying to find it under the tractor tires, mounds of hay, in cow stomachs or swimming in the ponds. How many of those technological gadgets I would destroy would dwindle my wallet a few hundred bucks a month. Money better spent trying to build a business and help my niece- then I might be able to afford to lock one up in a desk and never let it leave the office.

Twitter, because I do not have a cell phone is not a platform I can follow easily. Pinterest I do like. It is fun.  I pin stuff from my website to my categories which helps people find me. You can find just about anything on it, including healing herbs and recipes.

Linked-in I found too professional for my laid back country bumpkin style. Facebook I enjoy. I just learned how to link this blog over to it. Being a shy person, it is hard for me to “toot my own horn” in front of my family and friends. I guess I do not want them to think I am showing off or something; you know what I mean? However, you get immediate feedback, which is nice.

Good Reads. Now there is something I am going to check out. Be right back. Well, signed up. It is a place where you can put your favorite books on a virtual shelf and your friends can see which books are your favorites. You can even rate the books. If you have favorite quotes you can find them and have them stashed in one place. That is neat.

 

“Treasure is hard work built up over time.”  Just made that one up on the fly. I’m sure someone has said this somewhere before. Well apparently not on the internet because I just looked, so guess it’s mine! LOL

Pond Repair leads to Naming The Pond

THE FROG POND

pond work2
Covering the Pipe

A very necessary work began four days ago. Our top pond, as we once upon a time called it, was blown out. The amount of dirt needed to fix the pond actually started piling up when I widened an entry road to our field two years ago. The necessity of this pond has proven itself time and again when flash flood waters roared in from the rolling hills. I can not call these mountains in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. I grew up in Tioga County with cliff sides that made cars look like match box toys below my feet.

Though just hills, there is water that rushes down unencumbered. If left unchecked I fear my mother’s home would be wiped out. If Mom-ma is not happy than you know no one is going to be happy. Wet, soggy Mommy is not a good thing, so off to play with the backhoe I go! My favorite toy on the whole farm, next to the horses of course.

 

wild flower Daisy found a log home.

bullfrog   “The Frog Pond” is now my frog loving Mom’s favorite place on the whole farm. She has a big collection of frog stuff. I think a gazebo somewhere would be a great idea. Mom can come and watch her “froggies.”

bullfrog tadpoles  Tad Poles of the bull frog are huge! About five inches in length!

Okay, day five of this idea begins. The first day started with setting the opening of the pipe with layers of mud and stone. Nothing like playing in the mud and having an adult excuse! Remember when we used to do this and called it fun! If I could only bottle youthful vigor and save it for old age days like this. Pond mud is really thick and does not want to be moved. It is kind of like trying to get your tongue of a frozen flag pole- by the way never do that.

Day two was removing the old pipe while the water table was so low no water was flowing. We packed in clay dirt, tamped it with our feet and a tamping bar, then back-filled the top of the dam. The third day found me playing in the ditches to get enough dirt to put the second pipe in. If you are building a pond make sure both of your pipes are the same size. Do not do a “Walter” and put a smaller sized plastic pipe inside a larger sized metal pipe or your pond will blow out. The water will push the other pipe clean out and go all the way around it. Your dirt will go down river.

Second Pipe

The right way is the best way. So, day four saw us filling the big hole in the “dike” with a lot of dirt. About six truck loads. We connected the second plastic pipe in case of rain. We did not attach it by removing the tar seal on the new pipe. We will do that just before we are ready to bury the joint. I plan to gorilla glue, silicone and duct tape those bad boys together. I never want to redo this again.

Day five- back to the ditches for more dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Some more Ibuprofen for overworked joints, liniment for sore muscles and a beer. Really, a couple of Red’s Apple Ales and an overstuffed chair at 9PM. My tail feathers are dragging. So this is why the guys dig chairs. Ug!

froggie33

I wonder if Mom will name the frogs? This one could be “Handy.”

frog11 Peeper?

froggie22 John Deere?

(Top Picture: Hubby on the tractor with my two brothers waiting for the dirt to level itself. That was a joke guys…)