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Farm Life Adventures

April 29, 2018

We have had so many connectivity issues in the past few months I have stoped trying to Post to this site. Sorry. Maybe I can even get a photo or two to upload…
Nope. Just words. No photos. I’ll try tomorrow. Enjoy the story…our farm life.

Farm Life Adventures: Sunday morning…
Up top animals fed, driving down the driveway to church.
Heidi is outside the pasture fences.
All the billies are at the first gate (nearest the house) baaing. She is also baaing.
Stop the vehicle. I get out and walk to the gate in my dress and heels. DH starts toward the house side of her to keep her within reach. She runs straight down the pasture.
DH walks back up to the vehicle, which ain’t easy for him, to close the gate to the portable fence where she escapes.
I walk straight down the pasture, inside the fence, to the pedestrian gate. Heavy dew last night, my legs and feet and shoes are soaking wet.
I get to the gate and open it outward, encouraging her to come toward me. The next thing I know a giant white fluff ball is running full speed toward me. Heidi goes stiff and turns the wrong way. As directed Masons sits – miracle! I walk house-side to get Heidi walking again, preferably toward the gate. When I take my position again near the gate to keep the babies from coming out Mason slaps me with his paw – he wants to be petted.
Heidi goes in. The baby billies do not get out. I walk back up the hill to the car to drive to church.
So glad I had a fresh handkerchief with which to dry my legs, feet and shoes.
Never a dull moment when one has farm critters…even on the Lord’s Day.

PS After church: after lunch I noticed that all the hens were walking around scratching in front of the house. Good news: puppies were sleeping.
This must be get out of the fence day at Arrow’s Keep Farm!

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She’s Gone.

August 16, 2017

Lucy Queen of Narnia, my Cairn Terrier, celebrated her 17th birthday at the end of July.
Lucy went to doggy heaven Monday, August 14th at 4:10pm.

It was time. She was unable to walk more than a couple of steps without having a hypoxic seizure. She could only eat a few bites at a time because of her weak heart.

I was ready to put her down the previous Friday – it had been a long week of seizures & no eating & her not letting me out of her sight. Even when I carried her to where I was working, the stress of being carried sent her into seizures.

DH was not ready. He wanted another weekend with our girl.

She did get to eat our homegrown raw carrots when DH made a salad. She did get to lick the bowl that he scrambled eggs in. But it was more & more evident that she was at the end.

She watched me with her big brown eyes, I imagine she was wondering why I couldn’t fix this problem. I’m Mom! I fix everything for everyone! If she had a cocklebur stuck on a paw, I removed it. When she needed to be fed or go out or be rescued from the wet cement of the house footings, I was there!
https://tdhollis.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/the-perils-of-wet-cement/

This time, I couldn’t fix her. I could have brushed her teeth more. I could have not fed her from my plate & kept her weight a bit lower. But what would that have accomplished? Giving her 17 1/2 or 18 years?

Her Aunt Carole & Aunt Jane came over Sunday to love on her & encourage me.

But it was time.

Monday afternoon I loaded Lu into my little Prius, placed her in her bed that she has ridden miles & miles & miles in (after having ridden many, many miles in my old Suburban) & she settled right down. The folks at Maury County Veternary Hospital were very kind to DH & me. The assistant, the vet were kind & gentle to her.

She received a sedative which made her wobbly, leaning against my arm then lying down. Then the “go to doggy heaven” shot. With her head resting on my arm she went right to sleep.

That evening, sitting upstairs in front of the nutbox – I don’t even know what was on, I kept looking to my left to check on her…but she wasn’t there. https://tdhollis.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/lucys-favorite-tv-show/
For the first time in 17 years, she wasn’t there.

She’s gone.

Exhausting Days of Summer

July 19, 2017

(Reminder: no color enhancement on any photos.)

Summer is exhausting even without the high-90s temperatures.

Can you see the weight of this morning’s haul? Over 19 pounds!

A typical day:
Awake between 4 – 5 AM.
Semi-recumbernt Bike for 20 – 30 minutes. Lift weights Monday & Wednesdays. (DH & I work out with our trainer on Fridays which is why we are strong enough to do the farm work.)
Let the hens out of the coop. Make sure they have feed, scratch & water.
Pick the 2 gardens & berry bramble weeding the garden as I go most days.
Feed the Pyre pups their raw chicken leg quarter.
Feed Moxie Kitty.
Feed Lucy.

Bread & Butter Pickles

Feed me. Quiet time with my Bible.
Process what has been picked in the garden which means right now washing & slicing cucumbers, washing/sterilizing jars to make pickles; washing tomatoes & jalapeños, washing/sterilizing jars to make salsa or canned tomatoes; either can berries in a light syrup which I have to make or throw them in a freezer bag; slice tomatoes or zucchini for the dehydrator.

My Homemade Salsa.

I try to drink my gallon of water throughout the day because if I don’t I will have horrible leg cramps! I mean HORRIBLE! I may grab something to eat around 2pm for the second & usually last meal of the day.
If Dear Husband is in town, dinner for him is prepared.
If he is not in town, I must feed his goldfish in the little fish pond.

Goats & Pyre Pups

I don’t take time to check on the goats until late afternoon. They get fed & talked to…still not wanting to be touched though Heidi & Peter will allow me to stroke their ears when they are eating.
The pups, Lu & Mox must be fed supper.
The hens may need water & more feed. Time to collect the eggs unless one silly orange-head Sex-Link has decided to lay late in the day, almost at roost time, like she has this week! Silly bird!
Check the dwarf fruit trees in pots; water if needed.
Make sure the garden sprinklers are set.
Come inside & take a shower.
Go upstairs to foam-roll my aching back & legs.
Go downstairs to sit on the deck with the pups until bedtime…which lately has been very late for me: 10pm!
Somewhere in there laundry (there are 3 loads currently on the dining room table not yet folded), grocery shopping (I did that this morning at 6am rather than my quiet time), paying the bills, cleaning the house (not often) & watering house plants comes in…somewhere.
Then start all over again in the morning.

That is Heidi standing on her mother Honey to reach the privet for a bite.

Atypical days also include weed-eating & push-mowing around the garden, moving the hen fence to give them fresh ground to scratch & explore, bush-hogging on the tractor the top of the hill, the front pasture (4 small goats don’t eat enough grass!) & the middle pasture. Soon I must build the new permanent garden beds for the strawberries, a new bed for blueberry bushes…I know I’m forgetting something…

A firm hand on the wheel of the tractor.

Anything added to a day, like choir practice or Bible study or meeting a friend for lunch means the work has to be done at a different time or on a different day (if that’s possible) or that it must be done earlier & faster. I think that’s why I’m exhausted – I’ve tried to do some things this season I don’t usually do & it has kept me running full tilt on & off the farm.

I love my farm life. I’m exhausted & lately a bit testy, but I love my life!

It’s late…almost 10pm & I haven’t had my shower or foam-rolled my back, but I did sit outside with the pups for a bit. Time to stop writing, get off the computer & get ready for bed. Tomorrow is an atypical busy day…

Not-So-Mute Monday: OOPS!

July 17, 2017

Fatigued from gardening, chickens and everything else that goes on here, I clicked “publish” rather than “Edit” on Saturday and published today’s photos of tomatoes.
Oh well.
How about a photo of Peter Goat eating a raisin? This is the first time he ate out of my hand with Mason sitting close by.

Now to get back to work!

Mute Monday: Tomatoes Everywhere!

July 15, 2017

Tomatoes = Salsa!

Mute Monday: Zucchini For Seed

July 3, 2017

The Goats Are Here Part 2

July 1, 2017

Bobby arrived with his son Sloane riding shotgun. Sloane wanted to make sure this was going to be a good place for the goats to live.

Tailgate on the trailer lowered, goats walked out, me holding onto puppy collars so the dogs wouldn’t scare the goats before they even got their hooves on the ground. Pups were definitely curious & the goats were wary, though they were around dogs at Bobby’s place.

Everywhere they walked Mason followed. Dixon was curious but not as much as Mason.

The goats were not quite comfortable being followed so they kept walking through the tall pasture grass. Bobby & Sloane left so I followed Mason following the goats. Mama Goat, Honey, doesn’t know me & wasn’t ready to allow me near her kid, Rain, so she kept walking. Mason & Dixon slowly walked the perimeter with me walking directly behind the goats guiding them to the smaller fenced area within the big pasture. Calmly the goats made their way inside, eating bites of grass as they went.

Now time to let everyone settle down & get to know each other. Mason stays right with the goats. Honey Goat keeps her eyes on me. Dixon decides to stand in the water trough while he gets a drink.

Getting down to work immediately the goats start eating grass, brush, blackberry bushes & my favorite, poison ivy! Exactly why I bought them!

The only problem so far, whenever the pups hear a stick break because a goat has stepped on it, they stand up, bark & move toward the goats. I guess they have learned in their 17 months of life that there may be trouble. Retraining to start immediately!

After Mason gets his drink out of the trough, time for the pups to join me in the pick-up & head back up to the top of the hill.. I don’t quite trust them yet with the goats alone. I want the goats to have some time to find the feed, salt & water without the pups pestering them.

Betcha puppies head back down as soon as they eat their treats!

Got to foam-roll my glutes/lats/quads & hang upside down – I love my inversion table. Stupid back spasm!
WooHoo! We have Tennessee Fainting Goats at Arrow’s Keep Farm!