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Last Week’s Egg Letter 10/10/19

October 16, 2019

It is Thursday afternoon. I have finished my farm work and “Work” work…oh how I love my “Work” work!
Anyway, I thought I would holler at y’all now because I have a number of appointments and interviews tomorrow… I love my life! I love my farm! I love my not-farm business!

Eggs are for Sale! Who needs eggs to be delivered on Sunday at church?

Walter & Sweetie sneaked some feed from inside the pasture.


Walter and Sweetie trying to get feed from the wrong side of the fence.

FARM NEWS
The rain last weekend, the overcast days of late, the lower temperatures – praise the Lord God Almighty! He has given us relief! He alone made all things and He alone has rained His mercy upon us! (We almost didn’t come to church last Sunday, so enthralled with the falling rain, the smell, the sound…)

The sort-of tarp covering DH and I hung for the goats on Saturday was full of water and half-fallen-down when I went to the pasture this morning. The goats looked no worse for wear. Fat, sassy, some wanting to be petted… They all love feed, though they no longer receive it regularly.
DH is researching the best shelters (smallish) that we can put into the central pasture when we – take a deep breath – move the younger nannies to the front pasture again. Time for my cardio again! Pam? Pam? Where are you, my goat-herding friend?

Does & their kids.


Heidi, Dot, GG, Jumper, Barb and Joy – too cool for school.

The hens are great! They are being fed Scratch again now that the temp has dropped. While filling my Scratch bucket, one of the young pullets flew up to stand on my wrist. Silly bird. She stayed there while I walked out of the coop until I dropped my arm and scattered Scratch for everyone!

The big dogs were bathed last weekend ahead of the cold front. They immediately rolled in the grass and Dixon, bad dog, scratched up mulch to roll in! Not longer White Great Pyrenees. They are filthy, cocklebur-encrusted, spoiled rotten farm dogs!


Walter has the most beautiful coat! Looking forward to seeing his offspring!

Let me know if you want farm fresh eggs!
T

Tammi Hollis

RODAN+FIELDS Independent Consultant
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Just Goats

October 15, 2019

Hi. It’s Tuesday & I am traveling this week with Dear Husband to Jacksonville, FL. Sweet Emily is caring for farm critters, so I’m off the farm for the first time in over a month.

I don’t really have anything to say, just thought you might like to see some new goat photos.

Shy Walter is getting a bit friendlier.

Walter & Sweetie sneaked some feed from inside the pasture.

Does & their kids.

The backside of GG & the front of her kid, 6 month-old Barb.

Heidi with harlequin, 6 month-old Jumper.

Dot & Walter were sparring over a feed bowl.

You feel happier now, don’t you! Have a wonderful day!

Long Days

October 1, 2019

The day after the herd relocation, DH & I left the farm at 4am to fly to DC. We had planned to spend the weekend with our son, James & his wife, Alison… We landed early at DCA, Reagan National Airport, walked to luggage retrieval when DH’s phone went crazy. Mama Jane, DH’s mom, had fallen & was transported to the emergency room. Then, nothing is broken so MJ is being transported back to Morning Pointe Assisted Living. Good!
DH talked to her on the phone, as did Sister-in-law. She said she was fine, just tired.
15 minutes later – 15 MINUTES LATER! Morning Pointe called. They had just stepped into her apartment to check on her, found her on the floor, unresponsive with her left leg curl up under her body. She was breathing.
Ambulance called. SIL called. The boys called. The airline called – our reservation changed. Can’t fly out till tomorrow morning, very early. Our hotel reservation was changed to a single night’s stay. Dinner with James & Alison.
Very early Saturday morning we arrived at DCA, SIL was starting her road trip from
Kansas City to Columbia, Tn. Everything & everybody in motion.
Mama Jane’s left hip was broken in 2 places. She was “obtunded,” confused with slurred speech due to a probable sub-dural brain hemorrhage. (She had a serious bump on her head!) She had developed a severe heart murmur that did not exist 3 weeks ago when I took her to her internist! Her breathing was very labored. Her dementia continued…she kept asking me, with severely slurred speech when she wakened from time to time, if DH had retrieved her lightbulbs from Arkansas. Poor little thing.
After consultation with the orthopedic surgeon, we knew she was not a surgical candidate. Enter Compassus Hospice. Quick evaluation, yep, she qualifies, yep, she qualifies for one of the in-hospital hospice rooms because she was too weak to move to any other facility.

It has been a long number of days. I stopped counting really quickly because it really did not matter what day of the month, day of the week. My job was to: take care of DH, love MJ, help Barb and cousin Lisa, take care of JD once he arrived.

But this evening was different. MJ is in Heaven, praise the Lord God. Barb came to a late dinner (Southern for ‘lunch’), joined us at the assisted living facility to claim MJ’s things she wanted: the quilt Aunt Joy made for MJ just before Aunt Joy passed away last year, her own folding chair & the hiking sticks she had provided MJ back in the day. We insisted she take & use MJ’s quad cane!
She wanted nothing else of what was present.

DH, JD & I have had a quiet afternoon, just winding down from all the chaos of the previous 2 days.

Time to lock up the chicken coop. Walking out toward the barn with Mason on my left side wanting to be petted, I turn my head and stop – I smell MJ!
MJ’s scent is on my face from when I gave her empty earth-suit one last kiss when we arrived at the hospital this morning just after her spirit left to meet Jesus. I can smell her in my face.

This is my first time to stop. I have been so focused on DH, Mama Jane, JD, Barb & Lisa that I have not taken the time to …breathe… to take an accounting of my own feelings.

Stubborn woman! The red head (not when I knew her) whose red hair was no lie. So difficult in so very many circumstances. But. (My favorite Bible phrase is ‘but God’)
Jane Cook Hollis was a survivor! She was tough as nails and uncompromising when it mattered. She was responsible for herself and did not need anyone! Until…
She adored Papa John. She really did. However, she never fully gave her heart away until the birth of a precious baby girl she named ‘Barbre’ after her best friend & roommate in nursing school, Geneva Barbre (Aunt Ginny) who married MJ’s childhood friend, George Harrell (Uncle George.)
Barbre changed MJ’s life. Suddenly it wasn’t all about her anymore. This tiny baby girl needed her. Jane was responsible for another human being.
Next came a little boy. Precocious! Considered hyperactive, though I think folks were accustomed to quiet, compliant children & DH did not fit that description! (And still does not!)

From a 3 year-old whose young daddy died from a ruptured appendix, her mother an indigent young woman left with 2 young children to support in 1930’s southeast Missouri, to a strong-willed, intelligent girl who loved to read, to a nursing student in Memphis at the a University of Tennessee… To a young woman who met a WW2 veteran and fell in love…

Jane had an amazing life. She was the Head Nurse of the tuberculosis ward at the Kennedy Hospital, never having contracted TB. (See Psalm 91 – the Lord gave it to her in answer to prayers about whether she should be the permanent, not rotating nurse in that unit.) She adored 4 grandsons and 1 great-grandson.
She read poetry, wrote poetry, recited poetry until the end of her life!

DH and JD are upstairs. I just needed to sit down for a few moments of quiet by myself.

The past 18 months MJ has been living with or near us. She has been my first priority, making sure she had her groceries (apples, raisins, pecans, pimento cheese, GF crackers, etc.), that she had everything she needed, including some one to talk to, to complain to… to me, to the doctor…about me…

She has been a challenge. Yessiree bobtail! But she most of all has been a blessing to me.

Barbre said that when we had a get-together near Labor Day, MJ came into our house mad as a wet hen. She told B, “I do love Tammi, but I don’t like her at all right now!” I had given her a bath against her will before I brought her to our farm. She was not happy, but, excuse me, what could she do? I am a whole lot stronger than she & just as stubborn! So I ‘spit bathed’ her, changed her clothes & then brought her home. She was furious with me. But that’s OK. She was clean & in clean clothes to see her daughter.

Some people ask why I work out with a trainer & lift weights! It is to be able to wrestle goats & Jane!

Well, my MJ wrestling days are over. She is in Heaven, at peace, with no pain, no tears. She was greeted by her Savior Jesus, Papa John, my folks (if Daddy is off the golf course), Aunt Joy & our grand-baby Ada.

Time to wash my face & return to DH & JD upstairs.
.
God is good. All the time.

Jane Cook Hollis

Separating The Herd part 4

September 30, 2019

I dropped DH at the house then began ‘up top’ chores.  They didn’t take long.

Mason & Dixon jumped back into the pick-up & I headed down the back way to check on Walter & the nannies.  I let the pups out of the truck & kept them out of the pasture so I could walk in quietly.  

Walter was eating & trying to play with Dot. GG & Joy followed me toward the feed.  The little girls continued to talk & cry from the front pasture.

I added a touch more feed to all the bowls, petted the bottled-three, Joy & Dot, then walked back to the truck.  Time to clean up!  Sheesh!  I hadn’t noticed how filthy I was!  Thirsty, too!

Showered, dressed, laundry in the washer, drinking all the water I can hold, DH gives me his shopping list for the Maury County Co-op.  No worries.  I have to buy dog food.  Off I go.

Co-op – ✔️

Dry cleaners – oops, forgot to bring my dress.  🙃

Tallgrass Meat Company – buy something for Sunday after church.  Grass-fed, grass-finished sirloin roast.  Yum! Yum!  ✔️

I finally returned home with DH’s hose splitter which will provide water to both troughs off the main hose attached to the water faucet up at the swing.  I started packing for tomorrow’s trip.

DH returns from the pasture saying, “I cannot believe what I just saw.  I just can’t believe it!”  Well, of course I was curious.  

“I stepped out of the truck to attach the hose splitter.  The little girls were in the corner watching Walter but Jumper was standing beside the gate.  I walked to pick up the hose & Jumper jumped over the gate & is back in the central pasture with the big goats & Walter.  What are you going to do?  I have meetings starting in 5 minutes that go till 4pm.”

What am I going to do?  I will tell you what I did!  I had already cleaned up & dressed for the day.  I was still exhausted from the morning’s romp.  “Are you kidding me?”  I did not have the energy to chase another goat today.  “We will capture her after church & after we visit your mom on Sunday.”

I’m tired again just reading what I did!

Yes, I have one more Post on this…50D468A0-724B-402C-BFDD-967D8711E66D

Separating The Herd part 3

September 29, 2019

I am so glad I put my large water bottle in the pick-up before all the hilarity began!  I was hot, red-faced, tired & not finished yet!

It was time to capture Walter, load the extra water trough into the back of the truck, then deliver Walter to the central pasture.  

Walter was simple to capture – having kept him in the old, fenced garden area meant there would be no running around – good!  DH stepped in first which shocked Walter Buck.  He started to run but instead, his back legs went stiff.  Gotta love those Tennessee Fainting Goats!

I stepped in immediately, picked him up (he’s gained weight!) & loaded him into the back seat, where he had been twice before.  Sweet thing, no crying out, just calmly looked around then lay down.

Off we go, down our back hill to enter the central pasture from the east gate.  This way there would be no wrangling the little nannies out of the way of the truck once we were parked.  Heidi & Dot we’re still consoling Jumper with Barb crying for her mama.  GG & Joy were still hiding in the tall grass & weeds, not getting anywhere near the pick-up.  

We drove Walter near the feeding area & let him out.  He immediately heard the little nannies crying & took off toward the sound.  He has been lonely since coming to our farm, poor little thing.  We moved the truck through the gate & started setting up the new water trough, moving the existing water hose, adding feed to bowls, petting the bottled-three…  Constant motion all around us.

The dogs had joined us, having walked/run down behind the pick-up, & jumped inside while we were working.  Jolly baby nanny tried to follow the dogs so we had to start the engine (air-conditioner) & keep the doors closed.

I called Walter to come to the feed, he had not yet been fed, & he came on the run.  Good!  

Heidi & Dot came to eat, but not GG nor Joy…yet.  The little goats were curious, sniffing at him through the fence, ‘talking’ to him.  Walter did come over to sniff but was much more interested in the feed.  

Heidi & Dot took turns pushing Walter, trying to move him away from the bowls, but with little success.  Walter did not appreciate their forwardness & let them know by standing up on his back feet & butting them both!  Good man!

A good morning’s work.  Time to deliver DH up top to get started working his consulting job.  I needed to feed & water the hens, feed the dogs, get cleaned up, wash & fold laundry, run errands in Columbia, pack for our next-day trip to DC & be ready to leave for choir practice 45 minutes away in Nashville.  

Not finished yet…

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Dot & Walter saying, “Hello!”

Separating The Herd part 2

September 28, 2019

Let’s try this again…now that the goats have discovered my ulterior motive for approaching them…  

GG absolutely refused to come into the feeding area.  Refused!  Heidi & Dot moved up toward the middle of the central pasture fence to comfort Jumper, who had found her way there to be near Heidi Mama.  Dot was staying with her mama, Heidi, as well.  Joy decided to stay with GG.  That surprised me.  It’s not like they have ever been close, but Heidi can be aggressive so I guess Joy thought staying nearer to GG & to me was a better option.  Or so she thought…

I herded, ran, called, sang, ran some more…everything I could think of to get Barb little goat to the corner of the fence.  DH drove the pick-up into the central pasture with the dogs still in the cab – their favorite place as long as the air-conditioner is on full blast – to start “running” the goats.  The truck is faster than I am & with 2 of us working them, maybe we could accomplish this after all.  Maybe…

The truck would go high & I would go behind the goats pushing.  They are in the corner!  Then as I approach they make a break for it, running every whichaway!  Off we go again, me running with my arms spread wide, DH making fast turns in the truck.  The turns & acceleration & reversing & spins got so bad that the dogs had to be let out – they were getting carsick!  Poor things.

For 1 hour & 45 minutes this went on – me running full speed except when I realized I was in deep weeds, running downhill wondering where the gullies & holes & rocks were, then slowed to 3/4 speed…  I was red-faced exhausted.  The goats were exhausted.  They were panting, running more slowly, sometimes walking.  Joy goat would come to me to be petted.  I tried to encourage her away from the chase but she refused.

Finally, GG & Joy had Barb protected from me, up against the fence behind some trees.  They were in a wash area not easy for me to get through…they thought, so did I…until…

Introducing the newest Middle Linebacker in the state of Tennessee – ME!

I couldn’t let them rest because I was at the end of my energy & would be unlikely to finish this chore today if I didn’t snag Barb right now.

Without stopping to think about the consequences, I sprang!  Through the trees, down the gully, over GG & Joy to grab Barb!  The big goats ran away, but I had Barb semi-secured under my body, which I realized was coiled up over the goat, wedged between the fence & the  trees.  DH parked the truck, got out shouting for me to hang on, he was coming.

Uneven ground is very difficult for DH to walk on since his back surgery 18 months go, so he didn’t come fast.  

He kneeled on Barb so I could stand & grab her back legs for the haul up out of the wash, around the trees, to the pick-up.  Whew!  DH did help me lift her into the truck backseat to deliver her to the central pasture.  Good grief!

Delivered to her new pasture, Barb slid out of the truck when Mason entered to get acquainted.   Then she took off running to Jumper.  GG & Joy stayed hidden in the tall grass until we humans & dogs left the pasture.

More to come…

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Sweetie, Sissie & Jolly watching all the fun from the cheap seats!

Separating The Herd

September 27, 2019

It’s time to separate the two Nanny 6-month-olds from their Doe Nanny Mamas because it is time to bring Walter Buck to meet the herd.

I had hoped to breed Walter with the big does, Heidi, GG, Joy & Dot, in October to have Kids born in March, 2020, but it appears my plans may be delayed by a few months…Walter has some growing to do.

The day has arrived!  The temperature is cooler.  The pick-up is loaded with an extra can to hold feed, 2 bags of feed & a farm gate we have never used.  A really big farm gate, 12 feet long!  Our plan is to lure the goats into the corner of the pasture where we feed them, “lock” them in with the gate that DH will be holding up so I can reach in to snag the little goats.  

Well, that didn’t work!

Goats, by their nature, are timid creatures.  Anything new or unusual in their environment will make them act standoffish, as though Heidi needed a reason to not come close.  Heidi nor GG would walk down to eat.  Joy & Dot – you bet they came & started devouring the feed!  I forgot to bring treats & raisins, so I could not encourage them to come closer.  

After DH moved the pick-up out of the goat’s line of sight, Heidi wandered down with Jumper baby.  Nibble, nibble, look around, glare at me – yep, that’s Heidi.  I sat on my feed bucket which I continually moved closer to the feed bowls until…

Tackle the goat!  From a sitting position I sprang toward Jumper with all the strength my legs could muster (this is why I do squats!) & wrestled the little goat to the ground.  I say “little,” to described at 30 lb. piece of solid muscle who has never been close enough for me to touch – She was doing her damnedest to escape.  I started yelling for DH to come quick & help me before I lost my grip.  Remember, he was with the pick-up in the front pasture with Mason, Dixon dogs & Sweetie, Sissie & Jolly baby goats.  Also, DH only has hearing in his right ear!  

There I was, rolling on the ground in the dirt, possibly poison ivy dirt, hanging on for dear life to a young goat who did not want to be held.  DH was there, grasping the goat’s front legs long enough for me to get on my feet & start dragging Jumper to the gate that separates the pastures.  Whew!  That was fun…  It only took about 15 minutes to snag Jumper.

The bottled-three were to busy nibbling feed to notice their cousin’s arrival.  Good!

Mason & Dixon noticed, came over to sniff Jumper, which sent her running away from them & them running toward her.  They thought this was a game.  After I finally got their attention, I admonished them & loaded them into the pick-up.  The last thing I need is for the goats to be more agitated than they already are.

More tomorrow…

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Sweetie has learned there is feed in the galvanized can. Whenever I open it she stand on the side sneaking nibbles!