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Goodbye 2016

Well it’s New Years Eve and 2016 is about to come to a close.  We made it through the our third Christmas on the old homestead and are ready to push boldly into the new year. 

The goats are still in the celebration spirit, so I think I will leave the lights up in the goat house a while longer.

We sold the soap we made from our goats milk at the pharmacy, and sold over 120 bars in just the month of December.

Snuggly Duckling Farm Etsy shop has some available too.
As for me I have been dealing with cluster headaches for 3 weeks now.  I was first diagnosed with these pain-in-the-arse headaches in 1996, and each fall I usually suffer with them for a few days.  This year though, I have been having 3-4 headaches a day since December 8, and as of this writing they are still going.  I haven’t had an episode like this since 2011, an episode that also lasted several weeks during a Christmas trip to Disney world.  I’ve been trying various alternative therapies because the conventional one, verapamil, a calcium channel blocker, makes me feel so bad between headaches.  The headaches come on and leave quickly usually lasting for 30 minutes to 2 hours (not a long time) but the pain behind my right eye makes me sure that it will pop out sooner or later.   The ones during the day I can usually catch early and take imitrex before they get rolling; it’s the ones that happen in the middle of the night that are the biggest issue.  Not only do they hurt, they have been disrupting my sleep, and sleep deprivation is not a good look for me.  I’ve been trying a vitamin cocktail with oxygen which seems to put a dent in them, but hopefully the new year will bring relief.

A cold wind of winter has been blowing all night here and keeping the pond in a frozen state.

Headaches be damned, I spent the morning doing my best Paul Bunyan impression and got my firewood pile back to a nice level.


With the light of the day shining through our window, I will say goodbye to 2016 and wait for 2017 to show me how great it is going to be.

D.

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A special occasion 

This past weekend brought a couple of special events to our little piece of Planet Earth.

The first one: our goat Caro discovered she is a goat.

All of a sudden Caro started showing us her Alpine heritage.  She found that she could jump up and balance on the 2×4 that is the top of the barrier between the two stalls of our goat barn. It’s a pretty impressive little trick, also very annoying.

To rectify the situation I put up an old window we had as a deterrent, and it seems to have done the job for now.


The other event we had the honor of witnessing was the first annual Cartersville, Virginia Christmas tree lighting.  The “coffee club” that meets at the general store each morning decided that our little community needed an event to bring everyone together.  On a piece of land next to the bank was placed a donated tree and at precisely 6pm, Spanky, the unofficial mayor of Cartersville, said a few words and the switch was thrown. The 200 or so people who were there sang a few Christmas carols, and the lights from the tree allowed you to see and meet your neighbors. It was truly an event that made this move-to-the-country experiment feel like a great idea.

And Santa Claus even made appearance.

To my new found community, Merry Christmas.

D.

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Keeping it green

Even as a cold fall wind blows the leaves to the ground this Saturday, I still find myself with green to be found.  My wife loves to have plants growing in the house, for the most part on a shelf I put up in our south facing kitchen window.



There are a few plants in other parts of the house too, including some air plants on various window sills.


And a lemon tree in the bathroom.


Be sure to visit our new Etsy shop to check out some if the soaps we’ve been making from our goats milk. Snuggly Duckling Farm Etsy shop

D.

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It is to be expected

Time marches on here at Snuggly Duckling Farm.  Fall is knocking the leaves off the trees and the mornings are getting colder and colder.

No, a rabbit didn’t explode but it did get a hair cut.  And no, a chicken didn’t explode under this hawk but it sure looks like it may have.

We had opened the chicken run to a part of the yard the chickens don’t get to visit too often, and when we looked out the window we saw an unwanted visitor and one less chicken.  We feel bad for the chicken but at the same time the hawk is just being a hawk, and he has to eat too.  I decided to put up a pergola in the run to give a little more cover. I think I turned out pretty good.

And here are a couple mushroom pictures just because I like them.

Have a good one.

D.

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‘Tis the Season

Fall has definitely arrived here at Snuggly Duckling Farm.  How can I be so sure, you ask?  Is it the shorter days? Is it the changing color of the leaves? Is it the sound of migrating geese?   It is a big “No” to all those.  The way in which I can tell fall is here is that I put on a sweater today.

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With fall here it also means it was time to get the goats freshened for next years milk production.  This was our first time going through the breeding process, and for my suburban brain, it is a bit of an odd thing to be a part of.  Caro, our Alpine/Toggenburg mix, we took to spend a week with a buck at Bad Moon Rizn farm, where we had got her from.  So that one was pretty easy, but for Vivi and Sidda, our Nubians,  it was suggested that we bring the buck to them.  So, meet Theo, our girls knight in shining armour.

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Although he definitely does not smell like royalty at all.  I had heard that bucks stink, with all the peeing on themselves and sticking their face in the urine of the female, but holy moly he is one pungent fellow.  I picked him up in the same mini van that I had transported my goats in, but it was suggested that I but up a barrier.  I did that, but a pallet didn’t stand a chance against that smell.

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He will be staying with us for a little while, and I have to get use to having him around.  He is, of course, much larger and much more powerful than our girls, and makes a lot more sounds which at this point is the aspect that is most nerve-wracking.

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Besides the fun of Theo coming to visit, we also have had the excitement of a broken lawn tractor.  I’ve talked about how frequently things seem to breakdown around here, and how I’ve had to learn lots of new repairs, but this one was beyond my new learning.  So on Tuesday, a local garage came and picked it up.  For now we will just have to deal with the sight of leaves gracing the vistas.

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Enjoy the fall, folks, and we will check back in later. D.

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Fall day off

I woke up on this Friday off to a drizzly morning which meant I wasn’t going to be mowing the lawn as was planned.  So what’s a boy to do on a cloudy day with intermittent rain? Go fishing in his pond, of course.


And sometimes you get a little lucky.

When I returned to shore, the ducks had made their way out into the open.  Only problem is I only count nine ducks.  The last time I counted there were ten.  We knew when we decided to let our ducks roam free around the pond and property that we may lose a few, but it is surprising when one just disappears.

River spent the day doing what River does best, sleeping on the porch swing.


Have a great day world.

D

Knit life

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The goings on

Well life continues here on the Snuggly Ducking homestead.  In the last few weeks we worked on pulling out the summer vegetables, only leaving a nice basil plant for some future pesto.

We tried to bring the goats over and let them munch away before we pulled everything out, but all they wanted to eat were the blueberry bushes. So instead we tried tying them to a couple trees at a different part of the yard and kept an eye on them.


I’ve started the process of chopping firewood for the coming winter.


There’s a lot more to go I know, but this is the one chore out of all of them that always makes my body feel old. The aches and pains make standing at a pharmacy counter the next day an ibuprofen-filled one.

River the cat continues to be a great help with all the chores.


I’ll leave you today internet peeps with a tee shirt I created which can be bought on tee-spring at Homestead-life

Have a great week.

D.

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Summer days

We’ve made it into the scorching days of midsummer, and things have been good here on the homestead.  Our veggies haven’t done as well this year as last, but we did get our first-ever okra, including this big boy…

…w got turned into a fried movie-watching tasty delight.

The ducks continue to just drop eggs wherever they are passing through.

We have a chicken that has gone broody, only problem is she is very bad at it.  She keeps switching the box she wants to sit in.  So the other day we started to try and break her broodiness with a nice cold bath, while the bunnies dug a hole to China behind my back.

We did get enough out of the garden for my wife to put together a nice welcome home basket for our neighbor.

One thing I have learned to love about living in the country is how in times of plenty people love to share their bounty.  This bag of cucumbers was a gift from a regular pharmacy customer.

Living out a ways means that the miles can rack up on the vehicle quite quickly, so I’ve started changing my own oil.

And lastly for today I found a new friend the other day, sunning himself on the studio stairs.


D.