Friday, July 30, 2010

The Lucky Ducks

Their luck is holding....they got an above the ground swimming pool.

note to son-yes, there's still five but only four show in the picture. Looks like we might have 4 hens and 1 drake. Good thing because duck eggs are going for $5 a dozen around here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Eagles In My Yard

In response to a few questions, I will tell you about the eagle in the picture in the previous post. The photo was taken in my yard. It involved walking a few feet and pointing my camera in the tree. They are that close. When we first moved on this small bay we saw a few eagles now and then, in fact, on our first morning in this house I got up early, put my son in a backpack, and walked along the beach. An eagle flew over my head and I couldn't believe it. I had never seen an eagle before. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I rushed up the hill to tell sleeping Hubby what I'd just seen.
I don't wake Hubby anymore when I see an eagle. They are everywhere, having made a full recovery in their numbers. In fact we have eagles in our yard all the time now. We hear their cries all day long and the sound of that 6 foot wingspan coming toward you is something to behold. It thrills our guests but we have become a bit ho-hum about them. At times there can be 25 plus eagles flying around.
Their main and preferred diet is salmon but have been known to catch a small animal....about the size of a Chihuahua. That poses a problem for Solomon and his caregivers. He can't go out into the yard unattended. This year has been a bit unusual in the fact that we are seeing evidence of the eagles catching small game. A neighbor reported a sighting of someone's pet rabbit flying across the bay. I believe it is usually the young immature birds but can't be sure. A while back an eagle was feeding on a possom at the farm and dropped it somewhere. I could smell it but didn't come across it until I found Pickles gleefully rolling in it. The dog was smiling! The possom was as big as she is and I got a good laugh imagining her going home smelling like a dead possom.
Call it karma...I call it revenge.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Cows?

You've heard the advertisement about happy cows in California, well I am not convinced. After our recent road trip and many hours observing the dairy cows along 99 between Bakersfield and Stockton I would like to say,
The thermometer read 106 and there were cows standing around in small dirty pens with no shade whatsoever. Ok some of the pens had a little shade but not enough for the many cows packed into that pen so a group would be huddled together trying to create what shade they could with their bodies. At least I think that's what they were doing. Farm after farm I didn't see one happy dairy cow. It broke my heart. Maybe cows don't need shade...maybe there is something I don't know about cows. Maybe cows like to live in their own waste and stink with not a blade of grass to munch on. Maybe they like the hot sun beating down on their black backs. I don't know but I do know it made me uncomfortable that thousands of people pass by these farms every day and most don't even care.

That is where your milk comes from.

Cora Belle gave tons of sweet fresh clean milk this year and while we aren't huge milk drinkers we do like an occasional bowl of cereal and a glass with a sweet treat.
My suburb raised hubby was well on board with the drinking of goat's milk when all of a sudden he stopped. Puzzled I asked him why. Well apparently he had watched a news story about someone getting sick on raw goat's milk and it grossed him out a bit...we've all been there. I, being the diplomatic person that I am, told him that was stupid. I told him that people get sick on pasteurized cow's milk but it's not newsworthy so you don't hear about it. I told him he would die if he knew where his Costco milk came from. He agreed but still couldn't get over it so I gave up and dried Cora Belle off so I could travel a bit this summer and not get anyone that knows how to milk to milk her.

So as we drove home last week and passed farm after farm of cows in these kind of conditions, we remarked on the poor cows standing in the heat. We didn't see one dairy farm where the cows were out on pasture like the ads on television.
While passing a particularly bad farm I pointed to it and said,
"I would like to take this opportunity to point out to you that THIS is where your milk comes from."

His reply- "When does Alice wean her kids so we can start drinking goat's milk again?"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bottle Baby

Alice needs a little help. One of her little girls is not getting enough milk. It was apparent that all was not well when I came home from my trip and the first born and smallest doe was looking a bit lethargic and dehydrated. I decided to offer her a bottle. I love to have a baby around to bottle feed anyway so I hoped she would cooperate. Now my experience with babies that have been on their mothers has been that they don't want to accept a bottle right away. They usually struggle against you until they figure out that good things come out of that bottle. It can sometimes take more than one try.
Not this little girl.
I picked her up and put her in my lap and stuck the bottle in her mouth. She gave a half cry of protest and then started sucking as if her life depended on it.
It did.
Within one day she was noticeably better. She is much more active, and with a full belly, much more independent. While the other two stick fairly close to Alice, this little doe wanders the field until she remembers that she has a family and comes screaming and looking for them. When she sees them she stops short and acts like she knew they were there all the time.

She's a sweet little goat and will be even sweeter because she's now a bottle baby.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Wedding

One day when my son was about 4 years old we were walking down the road, with several dogs in tow, and he asked me how he would know who to marry. Excited to start this talk early, I told him he should marry a girl that was moral, honest and loved to laugh. I'm sure I went on and on and said way too much, which is usually my way.
He listened very carefully and then turned his sweet face to me and said,
"And she HAS to love dogs."
I agreed that would be a very important trait as well.
From that moment on I thought about the girl that he would marry. Would he find that dog loving moral honest laughing girl?
Yes he did....and she is beautiful.

On July 17th we celebrated the wedding of my boy and his girl. It was perfect. I have never seen my boy so happy. It was a weekend filled with fun, food, family and friends. Not only did my son marry the perfect girl he married into a wonderful family and now my only child has two little brothers and in laws that adore him.
And we have a sweet, moral, honest daughter.....who happens to love dogs.

She didn't bat an eye when I told her my son's dowry was 5 ducks and a goat.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

California Here I Come

We are off to California to celebrate the wedding of my boy and his girl. It will be a fun filled week of activities including my first manicure. The poor gal that gets to work on these farmer hands. I have been busy planning the rehearsal dinner and will post pictures of the decorations when I get back. It turned out pretty cute but I want it to be a surprise for the happy couple. My only worry is getting the wax lips to California without melting. That's all I'm going to say about that.
So off we go. I'll be back in a week.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

For My Little Friends In Texas

Dear K & A,
Charlie and Chelsea are doing well. They are starting to settle in and not thump their foot and fly up the ramp as much when they see a pig. They are enjoying their dandelion greens and sweet orchard grass. Charlie continues to be very fact so friendly Chelsea doesn't have to be. He is happy to help her out by being the first in line for a pat or a delicious salad of greens.

Hope you have a happy summer and don't worry about your bunnies. They are having a great summer.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Poor Sport

That's me, a poor sport. I have been working with Notty on showing in hopes of showing him at the buck show this weekend. He was doing really well with his standing and walking. I gave him his required shave job and hauled him down to the buck show to show him off.
The show was to start at 7 pm but we got there early to get Notty and Filbert settled in. Filbert came along to keep Notty company and get a tune up on his goat ambassador skills. He was a professional as always.

Notty was a very good boy and after seeing the competition I felt pretty good about my little guy.
Then the night wore on. The show was going at a snail's pace. At ten o'clock we still aren't in the ring yet and Notty started getting very antsy. By the time we walk into the ring, at a time when every good little goat is in bed, Notty had had it. He wouldn't lead. He spun in the air. When I tried to set up his legs he collapsed in a heap...just like any overly tired one year old.
He got seventh out of seven. I couldn't believe it since my only wish was that I didn't get last.
And I got last.....or I should say Notty got last.

He doesn't look like a last to me.

I didn't stay for the two other rings. I was a poor sport and went home. But now I know I can do that.
Every once in a while you can just go home.