March 27, 2015

Friday Follow-Up

 
This week:

 -- With all the rain we've had the grass is really growing and turning green. I let the "girls" out to nose around in the front yard the other morning while I got the milking area ready and the feed dished up. They enjoyed a few bites of green stuff.



-- Yes, Firefly looks pretty thin in that picture. She was so huge before kidding and now she's hollowed out. She's getting extra grain and alfalfa pellets on the milkstand to help her regain her girlish figure. She tends to be thin while she's milking though, she "puts her feed in the milk pail".



-- Remember that blue plum tree that has never bloomed nor produced fruit? Guess what happened this week: it's blooming! I'm so hoping that this eight-year-old tree might finally have some plums on it. It didn't bloom as abundantly as the other two varieties, but it has a decent number of flowers, more than when I took this picture two days ago.

-- The goats' pen has a low spot right in front of the gate, and it was really soupy-muddy after all of our rain lately. In fact it was so deep that I made a set of six stepping stones using two bricks each, so that I could get across the puddle lake without getting wet. The goats have learned how to use the stepping stones too! They were upset that they couldn't get close to the gate because of the mud; now they stand on the bricks.

-- We had hail, heavy rain, high winds, and thunder and lightning on Wednesday night but the tornadoes stayed away. We're thankful for that, and are praying for those who were affected.



-- This week's posts were Spring and Goat Kids - The Boys. On Monday I'll introduce you to the girls.

 
 Have a great week!


~~~~~

My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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March 25, 2015

Goat Kids - the Boys

Our 2015 goat kids have arrived at long last: two bucks and three does. So far I only have managed to get decent pictures of the boys, so I guess I'll show you the boys today and the girls on Monday.

Ziva was due on March 12, and kidded on March 14. Her single buckling is appropriately named Pi.  (Did you know that 3/14 is "pi day"? π has the mathematical value of 3.14.) Last year Ziva, who was then 5 years old, also had a single buckling. Both were sired by my buck Phantom, and both were brown roan with frosted ears. Last year's kid had a white splash on one side; Pi doesn't. At two days old, Pi weighed almost ten pounds.

 

Last year: I didn't have a kidding history with Ziva last year, and I didn't know what day she'd been bred. I knew the date I bought her and brought her home, so I had a "no earlier than" date, but nothing more definite than that. I have no idea if she kidded on, before, or after her due date last year. All I know is that she surprised me when she finally kidded; there really weren't many signs that kidding was imminent.



This year Ziva kidded two days after her due date (day 152), and her udder was full that morning. It wasn't tight, but it was noticeably fuller than it had been.


Firefly was due on March 19 and kidded three days early on March 16 (day 147). Last year: Even as a first freshener, Firefly's udder was formed at least four weeks before she finally kidded and her tailhead was loose for most of that time.


This year, her kids dropped in position almost two weeks before her due date, and from the rear she really didn't even look pregnant anymore. On Monday the 16th her udder filled even fuller and her tail ligaments disappeared - I'd thought they were mushy before but the difference when she finally gave birth was astounding. I think this was the fastest and easiest birth I've ever witnessed. She had a set of buck/doe twins in less than ten minutes.

 

The buck is chocolate brown with a white belt, frosted ears, and white spots on his legs and tail; he's quite striking. The doe is a bit lighter brown, with self-colored ears. I love self-colored ears.

But... I'll show you the girl next time, along with Phoenix's twin girls...


This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


~~~~~

My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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March 24, 2015

A Slice of My Life



Sunrise and sunset are prettier with a few clouds in the sky
to reflect the colors of the sun. Each day's sunset is different.
Some are pink and orange, others are golden, still others are red and
purple and turquoise. Without the clouds, the colors wouldn't be visible.
Life is like that too, without a few clouds we wouldn't be able
to appreciate the beauty in our lives. Rejoice in the clouds.

~~~~~

My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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March 23, 2015

Spring

Spring has arrived abruptly, suddenly. It isn't that unusual in Oklahoma; the weather bounces back and forth from winter to spring a few times before the seasons sort of fall into place. As soon as the plum trees bloomed, it seemed as though spring had arrived, at least as far as the plants are concerned.

The grass is turning green. The horses' pasture has tiny clover leaves. I can see a faint green tint to the trees on the ridge. Yellow daffodils are blooming down the road.


 

I found the first dandelion blooms this weekend. They always remind me of the two years we lived in Greece, when the local folk would forage for dandelion greens in the empty fields. The leaves are a nutritious addition to salads.

The wild onions are growing, and the local churches have had their annual "egg and wild onion breakfasts".

Oklahomans are beginning to hunt for morel mushrooms. We've had plenty of rain, and the weather has warmed up. When the redbud trees bloom, it's time to go morel hunting. I've never found one, but I wouldn't eat one anyway. Wild mushrooms are something that I won't take a chance on.


The yarrow is coming up.





I've found some mullein growing already too; I went looking for some last week. I have three spots where mullein grows. I checked the closest, then the next spot, but only found a few dried up leaves from last year. The tall dead stalks are landmarks in the field, guiding me to the patches. I searched the third patch, the farthest away from the house, and finally found a small green plant in the shelter of a tree trunk.



As I tore off a few of the leaves I realized there were three plants. I dug up the middle-sized one and planted it nearer the house so that hopefully I won't have to trek such a long distance the next time I need some leaves or flowers. So far it looks like it is happy in its new home.

The wild sand plums are blooming. I usually pick sand plums at a thicket down the road, but it looks as though the owners of the property are going to redo their fenceline and will probably remove all the brush and plants in the process. Fortunately I spotted a new patch of the white flowers out near our pond, so it looks like I'll have a new thicket of my own.

Yes, spring is here. We have the threat of severe weather this week with a possible tornado. I need to sweep out the storm shelter and get ready for tornado season, just in case.


This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


~~~~~

My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
Facebook | Pinterest | Bloglovin | Subscribe via email

March 22, 2015

Silver Sunday and Being Thankful

I am thankful to the Lord, my God, for:

- sunshine
- daffodils and the first wildflowers of spring
- longer days
- keeping in touch
- finding an old photo album, and memories
Silver Sunday
 
Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Psalm 71:18 NIV


~~~~~
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