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Working On The Pasture Gates

July 17, 2019

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Sunday morning as DH & I were driving away to attend church we saw Sweetie, Sissie & Jolly out of the pasture toward an unmowed area.  Rather than panicking, stopping the car to chase them, we slowed down & they immediately ran back through the pedestrian gate to make their way to the feed bowls up top.  (I had spent an hour with them earlier to be sure they had access to feed.)

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Sissie is always interested in my straw hat when I am down on the ground.

Using chickenwire to secure the gate has been the best choice for the front pasture gates, so why not use it on the middle pasture.

The other goats came to investigate after the bottle-babies ran to me from the feed bowls.    Lots of goats, 2 big dogs & me!

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Sniffing my hat…

The pedestrian gate was simple & quick too secure.  The central gate to the middle pasture is 16 feet wide…it took a bit longer to secure.  Before the babies followed me I opened the gate to bush-hog the threshold which was very overgrown: blackberry canes that grab my shirt, Poplar trees that planted themselves, grasses, weeds…

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Yes, the headband is inside out to minimize the marks left on my face when the work is done.

The babies discovered where I was & came running.  The other goats – nope.  They were ready for a nap in the shade.

My friend, Pam, Read more…

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Friday Egg Letter!

July 13, 2019

Happy Friday afternoon!  Happy as long as the air conditioner continues to work!

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GG & Barb sharing a bowl of feed.

Gotta love hazy, hot & humid July!

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Sweetie Pie

Who needs eggs this week?  There are plenty for everyone!
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Little Jumper, white with the black ear & knees decided not to join the bottle-three at their feed bowl.

FARM NEWS
The tractor is working like it did when it was new – hurrah!  DH has been bush-hogging the overgrown pastures leaving me with time to can my homemade salsa.
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Joy & T. Joy would not cooperate for a selfie.

I pick over a dozen nectarines from our little tree – they taste like sugar!
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Dot & T. Dot didn’t exactly cooperate for a selfie but she is a sweetheart of the nanny goat!

The hens are inhaling oystershell calcium and someone continues to lay eggs with collapsing shells.  So, I just bought another 50 lb bag hoping ‘she’ will eat all ‘she’ needs.
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Jolly has a gorgeous coat! Heidi Nanny’s babies have “dots”…except Jumper.

Little billies up top are getting accustomed to hearing me and seeing me and not running into the shelter every time I stick my head out the door.  Mr April is more skittish than Jake but I am spending time sitting inside the fence with them while they are eating to get to know them.
Pasture goats are fine, though I did notice lice on Sweetie and Sissie, therefore all the goats (I could get ahold of) have been treated with a powder made from chrysanthemums.  DH has bush-hogged the central pasture where I am planning to move them once I worm them next week.  Always something to do.  Fun and games on the farm!
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The other goats help themselves to the bottle-babies’ feed bowl once I leave the pasture. So the girls came up to drink water & nibble through the fence.

Israel: The Sea of Galilee

July 11, 2019

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The Sea of Galilee, you have heard about it if you grew up in Sunday School & church!  It’s where Jesus walked on water, where He calmed the storm, where the disciples fished before following The Christ…on & on there are stories about this body of water.

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Our captain flew the colors of Israel & the US, starting our voyage by playing our National Anthem.

It is the largest fresh water lake in Israel & the primary source of drinking & irrigation water, that is until the desalination facility construction is completed this autumn.  The lake is still full of fish!  We had St. Peter’s Fish for lunch after our boat ride across the to a museum where a fishing boat dating from the time of Christ was discovered & recovered from the sea, now on display in a museum, Galilee’s Miracle Center, The Ancient Galilee Boat.

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Our friends George & Sarie.

Pastor Black brought the Word of God to us.  Then the dancing started!  We danced with the crew to Hava Nagila!  Sitting quietly talking to DH, the captain of the boat took my hands to start the “conga line” as he led me singing around the boat!  DH was protesting, “I don’t dance!” but it didn’t matter – he was dragged from his seat to join the dance by our tour mates.

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The weather was perfect – temperature moderate, clear blue skies, smooth water.

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Our destination, Capernaum followed by the Mount of Beatitudes.  It was a busy day!

 

Friday’s Egg Letter

July 6, 2019

Happy Fifth of July! How amazing is our God to found a nation based on freedom, liberty. Just like our life in Christ – “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” Praise His Name!
Who needs eggs? I have plenty for everyone! (Don’t you love the sunshiney months? The hens do!)

FARM NEWS:
Yesterday was a big day: the 4th of July and moving day for the little billies! Read all about it here: Bucks Are Up Top!
Next week I will get busy finding a Fainting Goat stud billy to “rent” when I decide approximately when I want kids arriving. Late December or early January would be perfect for timing the market – Easter dinner, but wintertime kidding is a pain for me having to be close and possibly bottle in the dark cold.

The hens are happy birds, eating, drinking lots of water, digging holes to take dust baths everywhere.

Blackberries are still making and the Brown Thrushes nest has fluffy little baby birds now. Rabbits are decimating some of the blackberries and all of the sweet potatoes that I replanted just a week ago. DH’s tomatoes and peppers are OK for now.

Our Nectarine tree is covered with gorgeous colored fruit that are still hard as a rock.

Let me know if you want eggs on Sunday!

Bucks Are Up Top!

July 5, 2019

You may call it Independence Day, but I call it Move The Baby Bucks Day!

DH & I had finished our morning chores so I asked if he would help me load the little billy goats from the front pasture.  (Aren’t you glad you are out of town, Pam!)  All I had to do was catch them, haul them out of the pasture, have DH put a leash around them in case I lost my grip, haul them across the very wet grass, up the concrete steps DH built, lift them into the pick-up back seat, drive them up top, unload them, turn on the electric fence.  Easy.

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Since these two little bucks have never been handled by me, not so easy.  I had to be calm & move slowly, talking to the goats, petting Joy & Dot, hugging the bottled three.  All of a sudden I was behind Heidi Nanny with Mr April eating on the other side of his mama.  I grabbed his back leg & held on!  He screamed & fainted & screamed some more.  Sheesh but he’s heavy!  Loaded him without incident.

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Aren’t they adorable!

Drove up top to the goat pen near the house where I had spent a couple of hours this morning setting the portable electric fence, I opened the back door, grabbed the fussing Mr April & stepped over the fence which DH lowered for me.  When I let him go he started to run then realized he had no idea where to go.  I turned the fences on, stepped back over the fence & then off we go to catch Jake Buck.

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Feeding GG Nanny raisins distracted the little kids.  Not Joy & Dot who wanted their faces in the raisin box!  Jake busied himself eating until…I grabbed his back leg & started walking to the gate.  I even managed to get the lid on the raisins before I left the pasture.    He was a bit easier to get to the truck, maybe because DH choose to carry him with me switching to hold a front leg.  In the process of climbing the steps I popped DH in the head with my elbow when I almost lost my balance.  So sorry.

Jake Buck immediately lay down in the truck & was a tad easier to unload.  

One more time to the front pasture for a partial bag of feed, a feed bowl, another petting of the pasture goats & lock the gate.

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Look at their gorgeous markings!

I sang to the bucks after I gave them bowls of feed but kept my distance.  The fence is low enough for them to jump over it so I didn’t want to scare them anymore.

They seem to have settled.  They have eaten some of the feed & were resting in the shelter when I stepped out to check on them after an hour.

They will adjust.  They are 3 months old, weaned & able to impregnate females.  (The most important reason why they were moved!)  They will be butchered at the end of this  month, but in the meantime, getting some individual attention from me.

NOTE:  There are always injuries of some sort when moving farm critters.  For me this time both bucks threw their heads back when I was holding them to step over the fence.  Mr April scrapped my chest with his horns.  Jake caught me in the face, on the arm & shoulder with his horns.  Just scrapes with bruising expected.  No biggie.

Israel: Mt. Carmel, Jezreel Valley, Nazareth Village

July 3, 2019

The Our first full day visiting Israel, after visiting Caesarea Maritima, we boarded our purple bus & road to Mount Carmel.  Beautiful landscapes on the way were eclipsed by the view from the mountain.

Mt Carmel looking down the Jezreel Valley

The Jezreel Valley – the Breadbasket of Israel!  Everywhere you look there are fruit tree groves, gardens, date palm groves, water-catchments…

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Green.  Lush.

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If you are not sure you’ve heard of this valley, it is also known as the plain of Megiddo, where the battle of Armageddon will take place.

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Our next stop was Nazareth Village, but we stopped by a Tell on our way.  Excavations are underway which means climb up then climb some more then climb down then walk…  So glad we had our best walking shoes on!

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I let DH get ahead of me so I could take a better photo.  (Note he is using his ski pole walking stick.)  Then I had to hurry down so I could catch up with him.  We were headed into a deep, still-holding-water cistern.  

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Can you see Nazareth?  It is across the valley on the top of the hill.  Back to the purple bus for the drive.  

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All signs, traffic signs, museum signs, holy site signs were written in Hebrew, Arabic & English!  

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Beautiful musuem.  I like the mica used in stained glass windows.

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The group ahead of us was from Sweden.

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Virginia Wine Country

July 2, 2019

Our last day touring Virginia Wine Country started at the grocery store in our hotel’s parking lot.  Have you ever been to Wegman’s?  We had not, but, oh my goodness!

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An impressive wine selection, like so impressive I had to drag DH away! Organic fruits, veggies, & everything they could present promoted & advertised right out front.  I like this store!

Cheeses.  Meats.  Gluten-free breads & crackers.  Oh yeah, we have lunch.

Off we go!  Having absolutely no idea where I am driving, I listen to the directions from my iPhone & start driving.

Fabbioli Cellars.  Turn off the main hiway to drive on a gravel road past farms, under large trees.  Our hostess was originally from Memphis!  Not only wine but ciders, fruited wines, pears grown inside bottles.  Too cool & delicious!  The red wines were a bit…unimpressive…but DH has high hopes so he joined the wine club.

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We listed #3 son as the club partner with us so he & DIL can visit regularly for free tastings.

Boxwood Estate Winery.  After missing the bypass, we drove through Leesburg & Middlesburg, the most adorable towns!  They remind me of New England towns – old brick, old stone buildings built right on the street.  Gorgeous!  The Winery?  I’m getting there.  Boxwood is off the beaten trail, a large property.  It was quiet.  Not as many barrels in the “cave” because last year’s harvest was not good.  This year there has been enough rain so there are lots of grapes on the vines.  They do not ship to Tennessee.  What a shame – the wines were really good.

Chrysalis Vineyards.  Off the beaten path again, a nice drive avoiding deer, it was a hot afternoon!  Nice wines.  Their Viognier was excellent!  We drank it with our lunch!

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50 West Winery & Vineyard.  Across the road from Chrysalis was our last winery of the day & of our trip.  We walk inside & are greeted by, “Long time, no see!”  The young man who served us yesterday at Sunset Hills Vineyards works at both wineries, owned by the same family.   All Virginia wines, all grapes grown in Virginia.  I like that!  Nice wines, friendly folks & I made a new friend – a Rodan + Fields Consultant who was there!  She will be at our Convention in Nashville in September!

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