Saturday, October 10, 2009


Petunia was the first pig on the ranch.  She has given us many many  piglets over the years, but is retired to roam the place at will.
The freedom she enjoys didn't start out to be that way.  She was supposed to stay within a fenced area bordered on one side by a canal.  On the other side of the canal are fields planted in corn.  She used to be content just lounging at the waters edge, mud bathing, rooting and snoozing in the sun.  However,  a few weeks ago the dogs let me know she was wandering around out in the yard by our house.  Also, she was spotted out in the the corn field and would disappear for days! 
Since we are leasing the lower fields to the Clarks, I've been trying to keep the goats and Petunia from getting out there.  So far the goats have cooperated.  I reworked the fencing and was confident the problem was solved.  But, then I saw her wading and swimming across the canal!  There's nothing  I can do about that one, short of confining her in a smaller pen away from the canal.  I won't do that now though.  It would be like putting her in jail! 

So, she's joined the ranks of the free range chickens.    I make sure she gets fed extra grain and old veggies from our garden.  She comes to me when I call her, answering with various melodious grunts.   In the late afternoon when she shows up, I entice her with some kind of food item, but don't actually let her eat it. 
She follows me to the double wood gates that lead to the goat yard and barn where she sleeps at night.  I open the gates, toss in the food, give her a nudge and a pat on her rump and she waddles in.

MY zucchinii.....NO, MY zucchini....Petunia wins.

Because of her size (5-600 lbs) she is capable of doing some serious damage if she wanted to.  She's pretty easy going though.  I just need to remember to unload the sacks of grain out of my car right away, as she has quite the sniffer!

(Notice her teeth marks on my car's bumper......hey, is she smiling??)

Thursday, September 3, 2009


What can I say about our chickens..........I love them. They entertain me......all 50 or so of them.
They free range and are supplemented with grain. We are rewarded with the best eggs........gathering from the nesting boxes, or going on a never ending Easter Egg hunt!
Some hens lay eggs and don't care about sitting on them. Other hens will sit on a nest no matter whose eggs are there, pecking at whatever tries to bother her! We usually have a variety of chicken age groups year around.
I am as protective of the new chicks as the mother hens are. Rowdy, Flop, Jack and Shadow have learned to keep their distance when encountering a hen with chicks..........either by my reminder, or by the hen puffing up and doing her little "get away from my babies or I will peck out your eyes" dance!

I have lost some and saved some from the various dangers on the farm.
Even though there is constant water available in the chicken yard area, they like to drink from the goat and horse water tubs as well. If the tubs aren't completely full, the chicks sometimes fall in and drown. Responding to their loud peeps of distress I've scooped up more that one little wet fluff ball.....shivering, holding it in the sun to warm it up, then returning it to it's mom. I devised a couple of "rescue ladders" made from chicken wire that I've hung on the inside of the goat water tubs. That way the animals can still drink and hopefully if a chick falls in, it will have a better chance of survival. So far, so good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


You know those infomercials for the latest 'does everything with ease' handy dandy chopper/slicer/shredder ........the ones that have the overly clumsy, dramatic actor or actress.........tired of getting their poor fingers nicked and cut on the old fashioned graters?
Well, I could be a star in one of those commercials for real!
My left thumb has been healing now for a couple of weeks. That's not the worst. I sliced my RIGHT thumb in the exact same place while grating cheese the other night!
I used to have a small electric grater/chopper but it broke quite awhile ago, so I went back to the old reliable (but very dangerous) manual grater. Guess it's time to start shopping for something different.....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Update from a few months ago.........

Wow, how time flys! Yes, I'm still having fun ;o)
We are making a little progress on the farm.........slowly but surely.
The garden is producing wonderfully.
I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about irrigation, wheel lines, hand lines, pumps, etc. I've evolved from "WHAT?! I need to do WHAT?!" to O.K., that's done. Now, what needs to be done next. I guess that's a good thing, but it sure can be tiring sometimes!
Greg continues to hang in there........going to doctor appointments, trying to manage his pain and depression. The acupuncture treatments have not helped him, so the next step is another surgery.......a neurectomy to reposition his superficial radial nerve in his left arm. That will cause some numbness along that pathway, but hopefully will give him some relief and he can start feeling better!
Well, that's about it for now. Time to get out and get the critters fed :o)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I have been enjoying other peoples blogs for awhile now and finally, after some encouragement I have decided to start one of my own.
Like anything new, it's a little awkward getting it set up and figured out, but I think it will be fun!
I started doing this before the sun even dimly lit the horizon, but as often happens around here I was interrupted by the needs of our dogs.
I took the house dogs out so they could do their morning 'business', wanting them to hurry so I could get back to the computer.
The roosters started sounding off, because you know we all have to be informed that the sun is about to make its daily appearance.
The chickens began to cluck and I long as I'm out here I might as well feed them. So, I did. By then the dogs were done doing what they did. As I was bringing them back into the house I heard the goats.....and they sounded like they were farther away than in the goat yard. Hmmm.....better go check. They were all out in the cornfield. I sent Flop to GET THE GOATS, but I forgot about Shadow being the 9 month old Chesapeake playful pup that she is. Every time Flop got the goats gathered and headed towards me, Shadow gleefully romped in front of them and they froze. This was going on WAY out through the marsh and down the field..........out of my controlling voice range. So, I had to take a little walk and get Shadow to stay with me so Flop could do her job.........which she did.
As long as I was out there I might as well get the horses fed too. So I did.
Now it is 9:45. I hear my husband stirring..........and so my day has begun..........