Emma has been staying with us for a little over two weeks now and the two puppies are still going just like day one.
Our little brown fluff ball has become a brownish grey throw rug.
Noodles is about 10 months old now and becoming a very good boy.
Well fall is here on the homestead. I can tell that’s the case because as I sit here sipping my coffee, looking out the window I see a sea of leaves that need to be picked up.
We had over an inch of rain yesterday though, so yard work will have to wait a day or two as it is a mud pit out there in spots.
Noodles is at least looking like a homestead pooch at times.
My in-laws’ dog, Emma, came to stay for the weekend and Noodles loved it.
That was the one moment they stopped rough housing just long enough to get a photo together. All the others look like this.
Well I guess I should go cut some more fire wood. I see the lows will be in the 20s coming up. Have a great day world.
Well I guess you could say we chickened out. I can’t deny that we kind of did, but it just seemed easier this way. Let me back up and start at the beginning.
We have three lovely lady dairy goats; for us to continue to get milk they have to kid every year. Well this year our 3 ladies gave birth to six bouncing baby goats: 3 boys and 3 girls. Early on we had said we wanted to keep all the girls to eventually replace their mothers. We knew one of the mothers, Vivi, was getting up in age and was having a harder time each season with getting her milk flowing consistently, and we thought about not breeding her again. Instead we got a good offer to sell two of the girls to a guy who already has a herd and was looking to add to it, so we were confident they were going to a good home. So off they went and we had a little money to buy more feed, straw, and hay.
The boys had a different path planned for them. We knew we needed at least one of them to go live with their dad so he wouldn’t get bored and lonely being by himself. We castrated all three of them and left their horns on because the father, Sherlock, has horns and we wanted them to be able to defend themselves. But what to do with the other two goats?
We decided that we would wait until fall and harvest two of the wethers. It was the responsible thing to do. This decision was met with shock from many of our city friends and family. We had made the choice to come out to the country and learn more about where our food comes from and this was another step. We didn’t just want to collect pet animals. We talked to a neighbor about putting them down and dressing them when the time came, then we would do the rest. I know that may have been chickening out number one, but we knew we would have a very hard time putting them down. I knew I could do a chicken, and if an animal was sick or injured I knew I could muster what it would take, but this seemed different.
Well the fall arrived and what do you know? A friend of a friend is looking for some goats, any goats, to have as some sort of pets to live with her donkeys and horses. It was decision time. We made a compromise with ourselves, we would sell the goats to someone happy to have them but whatever money we got for them we would use to buy meat and stock the freezer.
So our planned freezer of goat meat became a freezer of assorted meat.
A hundred dollars seems to go pretty far. I don’t know how much meat we would have gotten off our little wethers, but this seems like a lot more than was on them.
Sure I know we took the easy way out this year, but I’m okay with it. Things happen for a reason. In years to come we may go through the same process, and it may end differently. But I feel this year, for this pile of meat, we sort of earned it. It’s like we grew a crop then bartered for what we needed. I know I’m pushing it with that analogy but I like it better than straight out saying we took the chicken exit on the roller coaster.
To all those out there that responsibly harvest their livestock, you have my respect. Millions of people go into the grocery store and pick up meat for dinner never knowing where it came from or what decisions were made in its life. Millions more people live with and harvest the animals that end up on their plates. The transition in knowledge between the two is where I currently find myself, no longer fully in the first but not completely ready step into the other.
I make bath bomb cupcakes using a slightly modified version of this recipe. I’m very happy with the results, and although the icing requires a bit of speed, it dries hard and packages and ships well.
I’ve iced the latest batch: peppermint candy!
Cutting a couple of soap loaves today.
The black one is a “fisherman’s” soap, scented with herbs and anise. I’m currently calling it Captain Ahab; pretty much it smells like licorice and revenge.
The second is my Three Magi soap, scented with frankincense and myrrh with a gold mica dusting. Smells catholic.
Waiting for soaps to cure is difficult for me. I cure my cold process soaps for at least a month before I package them, and during that time I stare at them a lot. And I smell them and worry that the scent is changing, that it’s getting stronger or weaker, that they looked prettier yesterday, that they are too soft or too hard or too dark or too light…
Good morning world. Just sitting here on Friday morning, sipping coffee, and waiting for hurricane Florence to bring the rain and wind. My storm prep is as done as it can be. My generator got a new fuel filter and although it is many years old, is running like butter. The chain saw has fresh gas and most importantly starts readily. A rear gutter downspout on the House has been….well let’s just call it fixed (sometimes you just have to make it work whatever it is).
Since I last wrote I finished the back stoop rebuild.
I also took Noodles to work with me last Saturday and found he has grown quite a bit. Here he is a several weeks ago.
And now last Saturday.
I hate to break it to him, but I think he may not fit the next time he comes to work.
I went grocery shopping for everyone before the storm arrives.
I leave you today with a photo I took this morning of our bitter melon vine which in this hot, humid weather looks great.
Stay safe to all of you in the path of Flo.
I know. It has been way too long since I last posted. I would say I am going to make a commitment to regular posts, but I know where that leads.
Summer is coming to an end and the homestead needs continuous work. Yesterday I started a project that I’ve been putting off for four years. Replacing the rotting back porch.
And like many project I found if I just start it it goes much more quickly than anticipate. I’ve only done the demolition so far and will have to go get the wood in a few days.
The cats are doing their best to do nothing.
And Noodles went to his first groomers appointment Friday. This is him on the at ride there.
He has up to 30 pounds and the vet thinks he has another 30-40 to go. When not being a pest (really just being a puppy) he is taking the cats lead most of the time.
He made one trip to work at the pharmacy and found his “spot,” not that he will be small enough to fit there for very little long.
Well time to go do some yard work. Exciting new to come though. Stay tuned.