Monthly Archives: April 2012

4/26

I haven’t been able to write much. We have been having power issues. We can’t keep the freezer on, we just aren’t making enough power. I am not sure what needs to happen here but we are not getting power all day and have only been able to turn the freezer on for a few hours each day. It sucks. We need to figure something out.

The goats are doing alright. We ended up trying out five. We are returning two today. 27 is a great milker. I am really happy that I choose her. She is still a little skittish but I think she will come around. A very sad thing happened with her baby. She had two, a billy and a doe. We were very happy with the billy because well we need a playmate for Billy Bob. Two days ago Natalie and I were out trying to fix a hole in the fence, the goats got out twice. She asked me how many babies we should have. I told her seven and we counted and counted and only came up with six. She said that she thought so because didn’t this look like a baby goat? I looked and sure enough it was a baby goat buried into the ground with only the butt poking up. I was really upset. After looking we saw that it was the billy. That was even more disturbing. We still don’t know what really happened. Joan was over planting trees and she unburied him, brave brave Joan. He was completely head down. Not a mark on him otherwise. What the hell does that? Anyway, I know it is totally making goats have human emotions but yeah the doe seems kinda sad since then. I am not sure if she is looking for her baby or what, but she stays near all the kids now. It makes me really sad. She always seemed so proud of her little billy.

The other goats are doing well though, this was our second morning putting the babies in a separate pen at night and milking in the morning. We started doing this one to start milking and two to hopefully give the babies a little more protection. We also moved them closer and set up electric fence. I was, no I am, still really upset that something got a goat. It is wrong but it really makes me want to find the thing that did that to the poor and well, be slightly violent. Anyway though, we milked yesterday, just Natalie and I. It was an interesting time. Yeah. Interesting. We did it though. I did feel like my hands were going to fall off after milking for an hour. We got a little less than a half gallon milking three goats. Most of it was from 27. Today I went to wake Natalie up and Layla ended up getting up also. As they were both getting dressed Gwendy shot up in the air and screamed “We are all getting up at the same time!!!!” So everyone came out to milk with me. I have to say that Gwendy is an amazing goat lady. They all love her. The babies are skittish but they all go up to her and love her. 27 goes up to Gwendy. So I told her that her job was to pet and love and make them all happy, which she did. Not that I want Gwendy to wake up at six in the morning, but maybe it would do some good. We will see. We got probably a half gallon and a quarter. And it only took 45 minutes this time. I figure they will all get way better. I am kinda sad, one of the goats we are thinking of returning is a great milker, but she has bad abscess. We are a little concerned about the health of these goats. I don’t know though. She is great though. I really love milking, even when my hands feel like they are going to fall off. I have to admit that I love milking more when I do it by myself. I loved that quiet time. Maybe the girls will get to the point where I don’t need much help. Already they are getting on the milking stand easier. Though of course the milk stand is broken, so maybe once it isn’t it will also be easier for me to do it by myself.

Now, the OTHER baby goats are doing really well too. They were put under electric fence a week ago. I am really happy that we no longer have escaped goats just wandering in the tent now. That was a pain. I mean they always stayed close, but damn it sucked to turn around and see another goat in the tent. They all of a sudden seem much bigger. I am not sure why this is, but they do. They are all still as friendly though. It is such a difference to go from milking and hanging with the older goats to playing with these babies. I hope our older girls get friendly soon. Almost forgot, Jack brought home a spool for them last night. One of those big spools that wires are wrapped on. They haven’t started playing with it yet, but I am looking forward to goat antics.

The chickens are doing well too. WE ARE GETTING EGGS!!!!! Yea!!!! They are still mob grazing our garden space. I’m proud of these guys. They are great. Our baby chicks are surprising me. On a warm day I tried not having a lamp on them at all, and they were fine. So we tried a warm night. I want to say that it has been over a week and they haven’t had any light on them. They seem so big and happy too! A few days ago on a warmer not so windy day I put them outside and they did great. So now they go outside every day. We are still bringing them in at night but I am wondering if soon we won’t have to. I am really amazed at these guys. The youngest are less than a month old, so really they shouldn’t be able to withstand these temperatures. They are though. Proud baby chick mommy I am 🙂

What else? Oh Trees!!! Jack ordered 1500 trees. Yes, he is crazy. Remember me saying crazy somehow works for us though? I am hoping that this works too. I might get around to writing all the trees we have, but there are a lot. A whole lot. Joan has been hired on to plant trees. I will still be amazed if they all get done, but well, maybe they will. I can hope.

I really shouldn’t go almost two weeks without writing. We also had a coyote scare about a week ago. This also boils my blood. I woke up to them mumbling really close by. Then I heard one yelp(did it touch the electric fence?). Then I heard them all yowling and running away. I went out there armed with just my flashlight and I was pissed enough that I was ready to rip out throats. It I had found one, well I don’t know what. I am not sure if one got hurt because I kept hearing one crying. It was definitely left behind though. I heard it crying off and on for about an hour and then the coyotes came back and it sounded like that one left with them. It was a night of not much sleep. I was ready at any time to go out there and defend my babies. We also had an incident last night. I woke up to Huck barking, can I say how proud I am that he still is taking his job seriously? I asked Jack to check it out because his night vision is better than mine. He said that something ran off, it was between our tent and the entrance. This morning while I was milking Huck went out and about and was peeing all by the entrance. He took it seriously. Whatever it was though was not scared of Huck and made no noise itself.

I think I am going to end it here. There were lots of other things that happened, but I will just try better to keep up with this.

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Growth

This happens, right? It is funny but I always look at it as kids grow, they change, they come into themselves. I see it every day. They are changing. They are growing up so much. They are making jokes that are funny, by the way this is a big thing, no more are the jokes of “How many legs does a dog have? FOUR!!!!! LOL!!!!” Seriously. They are understanding OUR jokes. Natalie’s sarcasm and wit is something to be reckoned with. Of course, I have no idea where she may have learned that. Oh the joys of parenting are many. It is one that I totally love seeing and one reason why I am glad I have the ability to homeschool. To see these changes, to see these aha moments of I get it now.

But this isn’t about the kids. Nope, just had to mention all that. I have some real big issues about a lot of things. Really, I am a pretty messed up kid. That is alright, I have come to accept that. I mean, once you hit a certain age, you don’t grow, you don’t change, right? Well, maybe that isn’t so. Okay I know it isn’t so. Some of my issues are things that I really wish I didn’t have an issue with. When faced with them though I find myself trembling inside and unable to stop the scream, okay it is more like a shriek, that comes out. I’m terrified. These two issues are BUGS and FIRE.

Really, these are bad things. Oddly, spiders do not count. These little eight legged things eat the monster bugs. The enemy of your enemy is your friend. We have an understanding, if spiders have moved into the bedroom or the kitchen they get moved. They are welcome everywhere else. Okay, now that we live in a tent those rules are relaxed some. Anyway, bugs. Wow, last year when we got here whenever I got a tick I totally freaked. There was no calming me. By the way, really hard to get a tick off of someone who is jumping around and freaking out. I wouldn’t know personally, but by the exasperated looks of my children and Jack I am guessing it is so. Then as summer went on, I could pick an unattached tick off of anywhere below my chest, if it was above total freak out still happened. Then even if it was attached I could take it off. Part of this came from having to take them off of Jack. The girls took care of most of them, but I got the ticks that were on sensitive bits. I really didn’t like that. I lived though. I could take a tick off. I didn’t die. It was an amazing thing. Still, for the most part if there was a tick one of the other four people in my family took care of it. Yes, even Gwendy can detach ticks and kill them efficiently.

So this year we moved back to the land of ticks. Okay, there are more than just ticks here but I am pretty sure that ticks outnumber anything else over here. I have found myself grown in a way. I can now pull off even an attached tick anywhere. Really, anywhere. I can do it. I no longer have to have someone else check my hair, though it is still nice. I can do this. It is an amazing thing. I still cannot kill them. I have issues killing pretty much anything. It sucks, maybe it will be another issue that I find becoming less of an issue. We will see. But still. It was pretty amazing to be laying in bed one night, find a tick on myself and calmly pull it off. I handed it to Jack and asked him to kill it and he looked at me and made a small joke about having to kill my ticks. I mentioned to him that this time last year I would have been screaming and hopping in bed telling him that there was a tick on me somewhere and to KILL IT!!!! He nodded and admitted that I have come a long way. Old people can change. I’m proof

My other issue fire well, it is also getting better. I have been burned a few times. My experience with fire has never really been positive. I always joke that I was burned as a witch in a past life. I really wonder if it is true, it certainly feels that way. This has been a slower one for me. When we lived in Washington we had a gas stove. I had issues. I could light it, but it totally freaked me out. I grew to love my gas stove though and I wouldn’t willing cook on anything else now. Of course, I could not light it if the power went out. I just couldn’t. Too much. I could light candles, with like those super long lighter thingies. Yeah, I could do that, it was far enough away. So I had limits on my handling of fire. They were getting better also. Still, the site or even thought of a bonfire filled me with terror, seriously, terror.

We moved here last year and it become freeze or figure out how to light a fire and be warm. So I did it. I never handled the fire like Jack. I could not and would not move logs around while there was a fire in it, holy crap no. There was also, if you want to read or do anything past sunset, you must light a lamp. Again, we had those long lighter thingies and this wasn’t so hard. It was hard for me though to let my children have a lamp to read by. Seriously, maybe my kids were also burned at the stake in a past life. I have always felt totally freaked by the kids being around fire. I realize that this isn’t how most people feel. Still, it is there. There was also that if I wanted to cook, I had to light the stove. We had no pilot light, so there was fire and a decent amount of it involved. Freaked me out.

Fast forward to this year, again there was warmth needed. I built fires and not only built fires but kept fires going, which involves sticking your hand into the fire box where there is fire to add more wood. See the growth? A big change this year was that our nifty lighters died. Jack thought that they were too expensive, he got matches. I have never lit a match, They freak me out. I mean seriously you move it across something and fire just happens? And it is a wooden stick that could take fire all the way down to your hand? Really? I thought he was freakin insane and totally pissed at him. It was wrong. He was working. I had no other option but to light these things, or freeze. Hell no was I going to let my children take on this danger. So I did it. Oh it was totally freaky for me for a long while. When I frantically went to blow out the match half the time I would blow out the lamp also. I got better though. Am getting better. I am no longer so worried that I will spontaneously burst into flames just because I am near fire. I have come a long way. 🙂

So, this might be a boring post for you and if it is, I am sorry. Really. It means a lot to me though to see myself getting better at things that I just thought were a part of me. A part that I wanted to change but couldn’t see a way to. It does make sense that if you put yourself in a position where you have no other option other than to change or be miserable that you change. People can change. I do wish that the miserableness didn’t have to be a part of it. It would be nice if you could say, hell, I don’t want to be _______ anymore and then just do it. Le Sigh. Still, it is better then nothing, right? So here is to positive change, growth and becoming a better person!

4/14 Interesting times

Life is interesting. Cats are even more so. No matter how much Jack wants to say that Esme is not a kitten, she totally is. I refuse to believe that she has that little mental capability so my only other explanation is that she is young and has yet to learn. She has enjoyed being in the tent since the day we got here. She has gone out for walks with us. Probably the cutest was when she walked all the way down to the creek with us.It was warm that day and she was more prancing ahead of us enjoying the run. Her little pink tongue panting. It was cute. She was so excited. She looked like a little panther. So, she has enjoyed going outside. For the most part she stays pretty close and I hope she continues to do so. I liked it the first few weeks that she only went out when we went out. But this past week she has been going out in the morning. She isn’t gone long but she comes back almost soaking wet. By the way, we still have a litter box. We needed one while we were in Memphis and we found last year that after about a month the cats only use it when they don’t want to go outside. I am fine with this really. Esme has been following me out and watching me pee. Kali used to do this except she used to pee with me. There is nothing like going outside to pee and end up peeing with a cat. They do look at me funny though when I don’t cover it us. Must be a lack in my education. Anyway, I was very proud of Esme a few days ago when I saw her pee and poop outside. I praised her. Very happy that our cat litter buying might decrease a good bit. But as I sat here this morning, I hear cat litter being scratched around. And then it sounded like the entire contents of the box was being dumped. I look up and Esme is trying to jump out and she is shaking her paws and obviously upset over something. She just came back in and was wet from belly down. And THEN she went into the litter box. We now have litter covering our floor. She was covered in it. Litter doesn’t come off wet cat very well. The best part is that now she wants to cuddle. I love my cat, really I do. She also almost ended up in the pond yesterday. I was not there. I was curious if she would get in, she doesn’t seem as bothered by being wet as other cats I know. She did go down with Jack and the girls yesterday though. She was chasing a moth and almost went in. It is very muddy down there. Very muddy. Like I sink to my knees muddy. I can’t imagine her being happy about being that muddy, so I am glad she didn’t go in.

Since I am writing about animals, I might as well give a quick update. Oreo is doing alright. He doesn’t seem to be as upset about being here this time. I am not sure if he has spent any real time under a sleeping bag. Though I do not see him go outside very often. He stays mostly inside, sleeping. Obviously, two mice have been caught since we have been here, so someone is doing work. But for the most part Oreo is Oreo. Just a little less scared this time.

Huck. You know it is funny, I read the notes I kept last year and I am pretty much going to write the same thing. Huck sleeps, mostly outside, sometimes inside. Poor Huck. We did see him running with the goats yesterday. We moved their pen and they were out freely running. We aren’t sure if Huck was trying to herd them, it is possible since he only went running if they were not together. It was cute, really cute. I am still surprised that Huck is still going. When he is sleeping I find myself just watching to make sure his chest moves. Kali’s death was really hard on me because it was so sudden. Huck still seems to be mostly happy though. Just slowed down a lot. It almost seems like I have had two dogs. I still remember the Huck that I could never get any weight on because he was so active. The Huck that would run and run and play and jump. Now Huck is old man Huck, he has put on a lot of weight, added in some gray hair and slowed down to the point that a five second romp makes him lay down. I’m glad though that he still seems as happy, just tired. He has had a good life.

We still do not have internet. According to what the company told us we should have had it a week ago. I am upset, we use it a lot for schooling. I also feel lost without being able to check the weather. It sucks, a lot. Yesterday was very bad. I slept wrong or maybe it was the below freezing temperatures, or maybe it was both. I woke up in such pain I thought I just wanted to lay in bed all day. Unfortunately, it hurt to lay down also. I felt like the hunchback. Then our propane ran out. I couldn’t get it hooked up. It was one of those days where you feel helpless. Totally helpless. Jack ended up coming home early. He helped out a lot. I really wish he didn’t have to work, but I am not sure we can get around that right now.

We did go and look at goats yesterday. Yes, this is a crazy thing, but really us being crazy seems to work. Haven’t you noticed that? They aren’t the breeds we want, but then, oh well, right? We are looking so we can milk them and feed our goats currently. Maybe have a little bit of milk for ourselves also. Really, we might have to change our land use plan. Goats may be my favorite animal. They are so intelligent and cute and loveable. Yes, again, if you haven’t figured out I am crazy, you know so now. I just wish there were wool goats. I don’t think I want angora, I want more wool. So we did talk to the guy and should be picking up two goats today. I am not thrilled with them, but they are temporary goats. I am going to laugh my ass off if in two years I look back at this and find that we still have these goats and they are my favorites.

This is probably going to be kind of all over since this is a few days and I haven’t been able to post this. Live with it. I am trying to stick with actually writing about what is happening. Jack’s parents came to visit. They did find a place that they liked, they might be putting in an offer. It was really nice having them here. It is nice to be able to talk to people, not agree with everything but still be alright with it. All good. We had our tent warming party last Friday. It was a really nice party and it really did warm our tent. It was great. Though Jack did ask me to wait awhile before we have another party. I think he forgot that Layla is going to have a birthday in a little over a month.

Life is kind of slowing down. We are out of the house in Memphis. Yea!!! Homeschooling is starting to smooth out. I do love my children. I have to share this one. They were drawing pictures of food chains. Leave it to my kids to include humie. They started with the sun, rain, then plants, then a rabbit eating plants, then a human eating rabbits, then the human pooping then putting it back on the plants. Since they brought that up we talked about closing the nutrient gap and it was great. I didn’t mention it before, the lesson just mentioned everything ending with the meat eater, but I love my kids and how they thought of how it doesn’t end with the meat eater, at least not if the meat eater is either an animal that poops in the woods or a human who composts their waste. Really, if you aren’t you should look into it. I believe the Humanure Handbook is free online. Go read it, this post will still be here when you get back.

It amazes me that the wind isn’t bothering me as much this year, though of course we have had pretty mild winds so far. Of course, I write that and it picks up 🙂 We have had some cold days, some really cold nights. We are looking at like five days of rain coming at us too starting tonight. Not looking forward to that. Though I am sure the ground could use it. I am feeling much better about everything this year. I think a lot of it comes from not having all the tension that was here last year. It was a scary time for me and I felt pretty shut down. I feel so different this year, it feels much lighter, almost like when we were visiting. Though in some ways last year was easier because Jack was here. It is harder to get everything done when he is gone. Homeschooling and homesteading with one person for a decent portion of the day is harder. I am getting a routine down though and I think it will be okay in a little while. We did have an incident today though. Before we left Memphis we used our 55 gallon drums to haul water here, filling up our 275 gallon tank. Well, last night we got it filled to about 270 gallons. This morning Jack drove off and left the hose in the tank. It siphoned out, all but 50 gallons. So now we are not sitting on much water at all. very sad. We did talk to Bobbie though yesterday and she told us any time we wanted we could come get water, so we might be doing that a whole lot sooner than we thought. I feel like this is slightly my fault as Jack was going to take the car today and as he was leaving I asked him to take the truck and pick up some straw for the goats and chickens. So he wasn’t thinking of having the hose and water going. Still, it was a huge shock to go get water and find that we only had 50 gallons.

So we did get three goats. Though I am pretty sure we are going to swap one of them. I am not happy with how she is milking out. They are sweet though. We are getting a little bit of milk. We have only named one, she is pregnant and HUGE, not in the pregnant way, she is a stocky goat and tall. We have named her Ella Kate, look it up. She was a true giant who lived really close to where we are now. We figured it would be a cool name for her. I am looking forward to seeing her kids. Maybe just maybe she will be a keeper.

So I am going to post this and let it go, since I have internets. It has been interesting. And lots of fun. It is coming together, feeling much smoother. Weird to think that life is getting smoother as we add in all these animals.

Oh, and I did wake up to vomited mouse again. Not happy Esme!!!

4/2, waking up to vomited mouse and other fun stuff

So, the chick dieing mystery was solved. We had over half die the past 3 days. It was horrible. Horrible. We could not figure out what was going on. We have raised chicks before, why was this time so different? Well, Jack called today, it turns out that they were actually hatched on Monday, maybe even Sunday and they weren’t shipped until Tuesday and they didn’t get here until Friday. In other words we got 5 day old chicks. No wonder they were dieing. So they are sending out a complete replacement next week. Hopefully this goes better this time. Hopefully we don’t get older chicks. Sigh

So we also disbudded the goats last night. When I say “we” I mean Penn came over and helped Jack. I fed them milk afterwards. Penn is so amazing. Okay Laura is too. We couldn’t ask for better neighbors. After he heard that we were having issues with our chicks and I wanted to get some yolks into them but we were out of eggs he brought over eggs for us. Well, Laura, Penn and Georgia came over to bring us some. He also ran us over his carbon monoxide detector to see if that was the issue. We are using oil lamps as our brooder heat. It is actually working better than I would have thought. But we had a level of like 1 or 2 parts per million, so that is not what the issue was. Of course we found out today. It was a relief to me to find out that it wasn’t our doing.

Jack also hooked up our new power system. Wow, my hand blender works on it. Really, we have power. It seems so big compared to the tiny thing we had before. That is also how we go the disbudding iron to work, it wouldn’t have on our old system. Hopefully it all works good when we get the freezer down here. We got a good bit done this weekend in Memphis. I would still have liked to get more done, but oh well, right? We have a week, well less than a week to get everything done and moved out.

We took pictures of a house for Jack’s mom and Phil. They like it a lot. So much so that they might be coming down this coming weekend to check out a few things. Which is really exciting. It would be nice to see them again and even nicer if they were able to come live here. So very exciting news there.

So what else has happened. Oh yeah. Since we have been having such chick issues, I have been sleeping very lightly and checking on them a lot during the night. Well last night I woke up and went to check on them and they way back to bed my toe brushed up against something wet. I tried to see what it was with a light but couldn’t tell. Woke up this morning and found out it was a vomited mouse. That is a great way to wake up by the way. Uggg. I almost vomited cleaning it up. I am not sure who left it for me but I told both cats that they are vomit outside away from pathways. Period. I can handle a hairball every so often, I do not ever want to see vomited mouse again.

We are doing damage control from the weekend today. I am not sure if we will get to homeschool. We did a lot of moving down here but didn’t unpack anything. I have unpacked most stuff, but now I have a sink full of dishes. The girls are trying to get their “room” in order. I did spend some time reading about the beginning of our adventure last year. It is interesting to look back on it. To see me trying to figure out if this is the place for us. I’m glad we stuck it out. Really glad. It was rough. Funny to think that in some ways we started out camping this year so much better off and in other ways we are still lacking some of the things I was very much so missing our first weeks here, a wash station and a clothes line. But it doesn’t bother me as much this time. Oh and internet.

Internet, when are they going to come and hook us up? When? Hopefully by the end of this week. Next week we won’t have the option to go to the house in memphis and check stuff. Sigh again.

Exile! Okay not really

Sometimes when I think back on where we have gone in the past two years it doesn’t seem real. Not what we have been through, that sounds way too negative. It hasn’t been negative. Sure there were many times I got over-dramatic, that is who I am. I think I just need to do that every so often, ya know? To make sure that the sky isn’t falling. Anyway, so six months of residency. I am starting to think that going through six months of residency is really important. It definitely makes you think. So then we had our membership forum. Can I say that that is frightening for me? You have to realize that the way I am, well, I don’t do well in a place where other people are looking at me and trying to decide if they want me to be a part of their thing. I was so terrified. Of course Jack was all, how could they not want me? I love him and this is yet another place where we balance each other. No matter how outgoing I try to be, try to force myself to be, deep down I am still scared. Our membership forum was so great though. It really was. I am not sure if it was everyone getting that I was walking on eggshells, or what. But it was over in minutes and we were members. How great, right? It really helped me.

And then started our exile. Okay, it was so not exile. That is my attempt at humor. The problem with falling in love with a community like red Earth is that there is nothing. To be honest that is probably why I fell in love. That also means though that there isn’t anything to stay in over the winter. It wasn’t great for us financially. We would have been better off staying with Jack’s parents over the winter. We very nearly did. It seemed like a great thing, but then when it came to job and such we weren’t too sure. So we settled in Memphis for the six months of not tentable weather. We packed up the tent. I almost cried. Really, that tent had seen us through 60 mph winds, hail, torrential rain and insane heat. And that is just talking the weather. We have moved a lot since we have been married, and we were only there for six months, but it was a hard thing.

We moved into a small, 750 square foot house with Joan another recent member to Red Earth. Think about this for a little bit. Three adults, three kids, two dogs and two cats. Not to mention that I have some severe privacy issues. Oddly, I didn’t think about this. Joan and all of us had gotten along really great for the past six months. This was a way to save money and have support throughout the winter. It was really hard for me though. I found myself having to really think things through and talk to someone who I hadn’t opened up to all the way before. It was hard, but I grew up, put big girl panties on a few times and talked about my feelings. AHHH!!!! I didn’t die either. Hopefully I can stay this grown up.

We also all searched for jobs. Okay, that was the plan. But then I decided that Jack homeschooling doesn’t work that well. Joan found an awesome job at Main Street, a really cool restaurant. Jack went looking around for a few things and finally was called back to the local hospital. He had put in an application for a maintenance position, part time. Well, when they called him back they didn’t want him for that. They decided that with his experience he was much better suited for an assistant manager position for the maintenance department. Since that was a lot more money, he decided to take it. We don’t know how long that he will work there but so far it has been a great thing. Not the job, I think he could take or leave the job. He has met really great people who have hooked us up many times. We have been able to get pallets, cardboard boxes, great for covering space to garden in, people who had old things that they no longer wanted

BUT WE DID!!!! Not to mention just getting to know some of the locals and gaining more respect from them. very few people look upon the communities as great things. Jack has actually been able to tell these people that what they think goes on over here is not really what goes on. Well, you can imagine to yourself the rumors that can get started. So all in all getting that job was and is really helpful.

I spent most of the winter homeschooling. Working pretty hard with the girls. Plus all the fun things that people don’t realize happens, cooking, dishes, cooking, dishes. More dishes. More cooking. It would be great if they could go more than 4 hours without eating, but they can’t.

We also decided that we would get some things started. We ordered 31 baby chicks, some died, some are Joan’s as of four months later this is what we have. Three barred rock pullets, five black langshans, only one rooster will survive, 6 dominques, only one rooster will survive, four rhode island reds, 1 easter eggers roo and 1 easter egger pullet. No one is laying just yet though. But that is also something that I spent my days on.

We also went to auctions, tried to get down to Red Earth at least once a week. We had a crazy insane warm winter. It was so weird. There were many times that we thought we could have spent whole weeks here. But we didn’t. We did planning and put together our land use plan. I will try to get that on here eventually. Jack is amazing with his ability to put things down like that. Oh and our land use plan was approved, which was another hard thing for me which just goes to show that I just need to chill. Really chill.

We also went to three conferences this year. Small Farm Today, which I didn’t enjoy that much this year. There were only a few seminars that I was really happy to see. I am really excited to mulch with wool:) We also went to the Great Plains Vegetable Gorwers Conference. I was actually really happy with this one. Jack however wasn’t. I learned a lot and met really cool people. It was a lot of fun. We also went to Missouri Organics. I was mostly happy with this one, Jack again wasn’t. I had a really hard time with a few things with this one. One, there was way too much religion. yes, I know I live in the midwest and I know that there are many christian farmers. However there were many things where most of the talk was about god. I have issues with this, seriously. Admittedly, my religion plays a HUGE part in my idea of farming. However, I try to be really respectful of others and their beliefs. I think this comes from being a minority though. The majority never seems to get that not everyone shares their views. The other problem I had was it seems that the organizers tried too hard to limit talkers on what they could talk about. Really. Last year when we went it was like one great reunion. Talks went over time, sometimes depending on the crowd they totally changed what was talked about. But it was great because it was really targeted to what people wanted to learn about. This time people have moderators to make sure no one went over time and stuck to their topic. It sucked. There was on talk where you could tell the guy knew so much but kept saying, sorry, that isn’t my topic back to that… It SUCKED. Oh well, though right? We aren’t sure what if any conferences we will be going to next year.

Then we decided that even though we had talked about not moving back until APril 1, the weather was so wonderful we were going to do so earlier. Joan was all for this also. Jack and I put together a small tool shed, worked out where we were going to put the tent and slowly started moving things back. We set the tent up on 16th of March. It was our second attempt the first one being too windy. Amazingly, we got it up with just Jack, Chad and myself. I was amazed at least. We started on the floor. A big difference from last year. Last year we put the floor in AFTER we had moved in. This year we did it as right as we could given the slope of the land. We moved things down over the next week. The weather was beautiful. I know this is only our second spring here but it is much earlier than last year. Last year we are pretty sure we didn’t start seeing green buds on trees until late April. We were seeing buds mid-March. Really amazing. The grass started greening up and we saw some really warm days. We spent our first night in the tent on March 22. Currently as I write this we have been in the tent for just over a week. It has been great.

Oh poop! I forgot. We also got baby goats! I found someone who was selling Lamanchas!!! I was so excited. We got three lamancha does, one lamancha buck, and two alpine does. We did lose our one lamancha doe, she was sick, in fact given to us for nearly nothing. We tried to nurse her back to health a few times but lost her this week. We didn’t even have her for three weeks yet. It was really hard on Gwendy, it was her favorite doe. We are figuring they were all born on or around March 1, so they are about a month old now. It is hard to believe, we will have had them for three weeks tomorrow. They bring a lot of joy into our lives.

We also got 48 day old chicks today, March 30. Eight of them are Joan’s, but the rest are ours. So much fun!! They are peeping away right now. Today has felt like a very busy day. We are still working on getting out of the house in Memphis. It is hard with goats and chickens and kids. But we are getting there. We also have no internet just yet. It may still be another week or so. That sucks, but also in some ways it is nice. I do miss not being able to look at the weather. I need to be able to look at the weather. We have a lot of things that need to get done and in some ways it seems overwhelming, in others super exciting. We did host our first potluck last night. I was so happy. I have missed hosting things and am really glad that everyone seems to be cool with me hosting. Oh and we did have Gwendy’s birthday party last week. It was a dance party, so there was music, cupcakes, popcorn, chips and dancing with baby goats!!! I have never seen the goats more exhausted as when they were after everyone left. It was great. Gwendy had a blast. I can’t believe she is five now. It seems so old and yet it makes me just want to pick her up and hold her like a baby. That is life though, isn’t it? I feel like I am mostly caught up now.

I hope to write in this at least once a week. There is enough going on. I can truly say right now farm antics. Life is great. I can hear the goats baaaing, the rooster crowing, the chicks cheeping and the girls are off exploring. At night I can see the milky way, hear the coyotes and owls, pick ticks off myself and loved ones. Does life get better? 🙂