Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fashionistas and boys

If there is one thing my girls love around here, aside from food, it's fashion. 

Brina likes to always be up to date on the current fashions, even in the barnyard. I can hardly keep up with the packages she gets in the mail. She's forever ordering new things. 

Flavious doesn't get it, he knows nothing about fashion 

Look at this beauty, made for modeling

 honestly what other goat can model this well? 

I know, I'm adorable... 

it's not easy being this beautiful, you know....

there will always be those girls who are jealous and talk behind your back. 

It is a beautiful cool fall day here, and everyone is in good spirits and looking their best of course. You never know who you might meet or have to show off to. 

Meanwhile, I'm cleaning. Or trying to. It's so nice outside, it's hard to force myself to work inside, but it looks like a bomb went off in here, and not one full of confetti or glitter either.

Yesterday we left the farm and drove two hours away to pick up this:...

A yet un named 1 1/2 year old Pygmy buck. He has no name, the other people never named him. I have three names floating around, and I'm considering which one fits the best. He has never been handled, he's very nervous, but also very sweet. He is not aggressive with us. He is polled, and probably weighs about 35-40 pounds. He's a little guy. But don't tell him.

We brought him home and put him in a pen in the barn so he could calm down. I got him to eat grain out of my hand, but this morning he wasn't sure he wanted to do that again. I think last night he temporarily lost control of his emotions and manliness while seeking affection from me, some strange red haired woman who captured him, threw him in the truck and then brought him to this place which has two giant white wolves running around it. Then there is the man. The big man who lifted him in and out of the truck, with such ease. He must be very strong to have lifted up a goat so big and masculine. 

 I pet him for a while but he was scared the entire time. He's used to just being loose and not touched. Or spoken to by the looks of it.

I'm not sure he'll ever be as sweet and cuddly as my kids, however I know he'll calm down. All my goats are super tame, so that will rub off on him, and once he settles in with his new family, he'll be more happy and less... paranoid. He's not really sure what's happened to him or what we are planning on doing with him yet. 

He kinda acts like he's watched one two many horror movies and is thinking the worst. 

Today, I put my one group of goats, the neutered boys, Buckwheat my Saanen buck and also Biscuit, the one doe Buckwheat will be breeding this year, in Izzie the three toed cows pasture. She was overjoyed to have goats back. She was being super bossy at first, but Buckwheat gave her a run for her money, and she knocked it off. After a summer living on the big horse pasture with just Jackson, she did miss the goats. She's so used to being around them. So she's very happy today. 

Buckwheat managed to get a bunch of burrs in his beard when I put him in a pasture that I haven't used recently yesterday. His beautiful big beard is just full of burrs right now. He really couldn't care less, but it's breaking my heart. I love that beard.

I let the new guy out in the barn for a while today - I am not about to let him outside in the barnyard even yet because I'll never catch him to put him inside at night. He's also afraid of Max & Flavious because he's never been around dogs - so I want to break him in slowly and not give him a heart attack. Or give myself one. He's pretty full of himself, thinks he's God's gift to goats and what not. 

We'll see how long that lasts when he meets the others. 

Lewis the ram lamb is growing up. He's sweet as can be and polled, which is interesting. Hopefully I'll find just the right home for him, he's such a sweetheart.

Poor Henrietta the Hermaphrodite is running about thinking she's in rut. But she's quite enjoying herself and thinks she's quite the big goat.

Everyone else thinks she's a mental case though. 

Melvin, my little boy from Bea this spring is so handsome. I'd love to keep him as a buck since he's got great qualities and he's also gentle as can be like his daddy, but obviously he's related to my crew, and considering I already have FIVE wethers, we don't need another one of those. 

The ducks are spending the day soaking up the sun. 

And the turkeys are wondering how they ended up in a place with animals so weird, they are the normal ones around here.

In other news.... 

The dogs are clean. They had a full spa day, and could be featured in an herbal essences commercial their fur is so soft. 

We are infested with raccoon's. They ate my decorative corn on the porch. They are sleeping in my ATV at night. They are stealing from us constantly and trying to break into the house when we are not looking. 

And now back to crying. Oh, I mean cleaning.

Will share more about the Giant Puffball later - as in, how to cook it! They are delish, honestly. I wouldn't lie to you. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The tale of the Giant Puffball

Once upon a time there was a Giant Puffball... and we found it. 

Then we picked it... 

Brought it home... 

Cut it open... 

Fried it up... 

And ate it. 

It was delicious. 

And we all lived happily ever after.

The end. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home with the family

We got home about 9 PM last night. We were not going to drive in our driveway in the dark - as I said before... but we did anyway. We wanted to get home so badly, and we were so close. We managed to get the 5th wheel in without wrecking anything, other than our nerves, and man did it feel good to be done driving and to be home again. 

I was going to wait until this morning to go to the barn - but of course that didn't happen. First I went to see Max & Flavious, the Pyrenees. They both knew it was me right away, even in the dark. We had a big snuggle and I walked (who am I kidding, I ran) up to the barn. 

When I opened the door and turned the light on and called to everyone, Lambie pie the blind ram answered me right away as he always does, and then I heard Brina (my bottle baby from the spring) start crying, but that was all. 

I said hello to my oldest girl, Bucket first, whom I was so happy to see looking happy and healthy after her bout with bottle jaw in the late spring.

Then there was my baby. Sammy Sannen. He wouldn't even look at me or bother getting up. 

I went in his pen and crouched down, asked him if he was even going to bother saying hello to me and reached out my hand for him to smell. He smelled it and then looked away. I sat there for a minute, and he got up, stretched, and started stomping his foot at me, letting me know he was royally annoyed with me. 

I pulled his head up against my chest and cuddled him, and he let me calmly. Then I got up and went to say hello to everyone else and give them kisses. Brina came running out of her pen and started looking for milk on me right away - I was surprised. I asked Jim if she was still doing that looking for milk, and he said, no. Apparently she remembered mama and thought maybe I'd give her milk again. 

After I said hello to everyone else, I went back towards Sammy's pen. When I got there he was standing with his head pressed tightly against his gate. I opened it, and he pressed his head against me, and we had a long, long, snuggle. He's still ticked I left him, but the showering him in snuggles is helping him forgive me. I missed that boy so much. And he knows it. 

Everyone is just fine. Jim did an excellent job of taking care of everyone and everything. 

I stayed up and washed our sheets so we could crawl into our bed freshly made and clean. It felt good. 
I fell asleep watching the Sumac trees blowing outside our bedroom window, so happy to be back in this place. 

This morning I went over to see Jackson and Izzie who I didn't see last night. Jackson is in a real snuggly mood. He's a very moody little man, sometimes he's the sweetest thing on earth and sometimes, he just wants to bite you in the butt. 

Buckwheat is starting rut. He's got that lovely musky stinky goat thing going on, but it's just starting. He's always quite lovey dovey, but he's even more lovey now and wants to give and receive constant affection. When he's not looking for love, he stares off into space. Goats are so weird when they are hormonal. I wish I could get inside their brains just to see what's going on in there during this time of year. Then again, humans are weird when they are hormonal too. 

Basswood was pretty shocked to see me in the barn last night and he wasn't sure what to do about it, but this morning, he was very friendly and outgoing. I guess he realized he wasn't dreaming, and it really was me in the barn late at night. He was back to usual goofy self. 

Lambie is doing very well. He wanted lots of loving, which is about normal. He's such a big baby. He may be a big ram now but he's still that tiny baby lamb who wouldn't go to sleep at night unless I let him sleep on my tummy in the arm chair by the fire first. And yes, sang to him. 

Biscuit is looking lovely. 

It is so much fun to be able to snuggle with everyone again. I missed them so much. 

Brina says, cuddle me!

Max time

Flavious wants a kiss too 

Brina pushing her way back into the middle of everything

Max wanting a tummy rub

my big boys

My baby, Sammy (and baby Brina)

Flavious & Brina 


Brie, Sammy and Bucket

Horace is almost white! 

The boys, Norman and Douglas are so, so, happy to be home. Especially Douglas. 

It's been a lovely day full of sunshine, snuggles, and pumpkins. 

For now I'm heading out in the bush to visit my favorite trees and creeks and then I'll return to the house to start a chicken pot pie for dinner, and pumpkin donuts for desert. 

Then on to more snuggling.

P.S. Norman thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Almost home

I think this is the longest I've went without updating the blog! Sorry for the delay in my posting. Since my last post, we have driven long days, had late nights, and it was rather... exhausting. We had rainy weather pretty much the entire way. It's been following us.

Since getting to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan again - I've had the worst Internet connection in history. We've had days of rain, with heavy winds blowing the rain sideways. I just hope this weather does not follow us home. The weather is better in Tok right now - than it is here. I'm not kidding. 

We leave for home tomorrow, but we'll take two days to get there because we have to stop in the morning and get our truck looked at again. We've had a trailer brake control fault since leaving Tok. We've had brakes on the 5th wheel, but it has been messing with the brakes and making the 5th wheel brake at unexpected and inconvenient times. It seems like a wiring problem, so hopefully they will be able to fix that fairly easily. 

We also don't want to get home at midnight, in the dark. We have over a mile through the winding forest to get this 5th wheel in our lane, and we'd like to do that in the light of day! 

We so look forward to being home, to seeing the animals, and to having a roaring fire in the wood stove. After days of that miserable damp cold, the worst kind, I cannot wait to curl up next to a hot fire. After I have kissed every single one of my goats, and critters. 

So we'll be back to regular programming here very shortly, folks. Thanks for your patience. Please send sunshine! 

P.S. Norman wants you to know he's just turned SIX years old too!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Alaska Highway in Fall


We left Tok around noon on Monday. We got out of town a little later than we had wanted, but we got on the road and that's the important thing. It's always hard to say goodbye. While we were packing up, it started to snow, just lightly and they were big fluffy flakes. It was a beautiful morning and a perfect farewell. 


It was overcast as we left town... and then closer to the border we ran into... 




The border crossing at Beaver Creek (Yukon), which is usually quite fast, was a little slower. Fish & Game had a secondary check point set up to check for people taking fish and game out of Alaska for commercial purposes without a license - which is a very good thing. A lot of people do this apparently and it's harmful in several ways. The agents were all really nice guys, and we were glad to see them there checking people.


We had a gorgeous afternoon for driving. We drove slow because the scenery was breathtaking. The mountains were clear and snow covered, and we really could not have asked for a better afternoon to drive through Kluane National Park. 














I've never seen these mountains with any snow, so it was a completely new experience for me, and I loved every minute. It doesn't get much better than getting to see the changing of the seasons in such a dramatic way... the yellow leaves of fall on the trees, and the fresh snows on the mountains and in some places, down lower.

We got to Otter Falls around 9 PM, which is 20 miles East of Haines Junction, and spent the night. They have a nice, reliable campground there.


By the time we got set up and camped, the dogs were ready for the break from driving, just as much as we were. I tossed together some chili pasta for dinner and read a bit, before we all curled up in bed and fell asleep.


That night, I woke up in serious pain. This past Saturday, the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck, swelled up out of the clear blue. At first I wasn't really worried about it, but by Sunday they had swelled up so much it was really becoming very painful and I could not move my neck. We went into the clinic in Tok and I got checked out. The PA there couldn't tell what was wrong other than the fact I had a lot of swelling. Because we were going down the Alcan, and into no where land after Whitehorse they gave me some penicillin to take if things got really bad, because there are no hospitals nearby for a good stretch of the road.

I had been taking anti-inflammatory meds religiously and that was helping to keep the pain at bay, but Monday it was horrible, my inner ear was killing me and my neck swelled up so bad, even my face on the left side swelled up. It was a little shocking to wake up to. So needless to say, I took pain pills, and put a boiling hot cloth on my neck. I finally got some rest, but Tuesday morning I woke up and started taking the penicillin.

While I was putting things away in the 5th wheel, Kevin came and asked me if we had room for two people in the truck with us. At first I wasn't sure, but we rearranged things to make room. A couple we had seen the night before at the campground, in the office, had broken down and were waiting for a tow since the night before. Since they lived in Whitehorse, and we were going that way anyway, it wasn't out of our way at all and they really wanted to get home, understandably.

So once again, we left a little later, but we were able to help them get home and comfortable. Around 5 PM we made it to our favorite campground in the Yukon, a Government run campground which is in the woods next to a big creek. We camp there almost every year and we have made lots of fun memories there.


We camped earlier than usual so we could relax, and have a fire. Kevin built a big fire and grilled steaks and I fried up a huge pan of onions. Kevin enjoyed a drink, while I had tea. It was cool outside and I wanted nothing more than a hard apple cider by the fire, but since I'm on penicillin, I had to made due with lemon tea.

After dinner, I made a couple of new friends. The Jays tried to rob us a few times at camp... They tried to take my camera, the dog leads, and one of our sticks. So I thought I'd be nice, even though they did try to steal from us, and offered them a little bite to eat, at least to distract them from our other things...


Which they happily accepted.






This morning, we got out of camp early, for once. It rained most of the day and there wasn't much to see. But finally we did see some Buffalo. That was about it though - it was a very quiet day.




I loved that there was a Raven sitting on the one guys back. There was actually one traveler who stopped his truck and got out of it, and walked over to the buffalo to take pictures. Not smart. We drove on, but hopefully the Buffalo were not in the mood to trample people today.

As we got into the Toad River Valley, things started looking more like fall and less like early winter.



At Stone Mountain, our trailer brakes started giving us trouble. It was even worse at Steamboat mountain which has a huge grade. We think it's a wiring problem, but we are not sure, so we'll have to work on it in the morning before we head out.

Tonight we are in Fort Nelson British Columbia. It's warmed up a lot, it's about 50 degrees Fahrenheit here, unlike the much cooler temperatures we've had the past two nights. 

Since we have WiFi tonight I was able to check some emails... Apparently one of my ducks got attacked by a raccoon at the farm, but Max, my eldest Great Pyrenees killed the raccoon (thankfully.) However, the duck is injured... it's hopeful he'll recover, but we are not yet sure.

We are going to try and get an early night so tomorrow we can maybe get some laundry done and the trailer brakes fixed before we leave camp. Hopefully we'll make it about 400 miles tomorrow. 
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