Making Hay While The Sun Shines III

I went back to the hayfield with my camera to prove that vultures love freshly cut hay.

Vultures looking for casualties from baling.

Vultures looking for casualties from baling.

It’s hard to tell how big the bales are, so here is a comparison – our Polaris Ranger and a bale.

size of bales

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My Elementary School Teachers Were Too (not two or to) Good

My parents sacrificed much to send my sister and I to a private Catholic girls’ school when we were growing up.  This is what it looks like.  In the intervening years, it has changed a lot – no more cloistered nuns, it’s coed, and it has become a lot more exclusive than it was back 50 something years ago.

The school my sister and I attended from kindergarten through 10th Grade.

The school my sister and I attended from kindergarten through 10th Grade.

Our teachers were strict and serious about teaching. We diagrammed sentences, had spelling tests all the time (my downfall), and we were taught Latin from 7th Grade on.

The rules of Grammar were drilled into our pretty little heads every single day.  Papers in every subject were graded as much on proper grammar, punctuation, penmanship, and spelling as on content.

As a result, when I read blog posts, facebook updates, even Tweets, I get a little sick to my stomach because of the poor grammar and usage that is everywhere!

My God, Mother Earhart would have a fit over the misuse of Less and Fewer alone!

And it’s not just your every day person who makes these errors.  Writers, good writers, don’t seem to understand proper grammar.

It grates (not greats) on my nerves.

(And then there was penmanship.  Boy, did I suck at penmanship. Someone got the great idea that we should all learn Chancery Script rather than the more common Palmer Method of hand writing. That is another post.)

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Making Hay While The Sun Shines II

The next step is baling.  The baler pretty much eats up the hay that is in rows on the ground and births a bale.
birth of a bale

Pretty nifty process.

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Making Hay While The Sun Shines

The hay was mowed two days ago.  Today, Rodney came with my favorite farm implement, the hay rake.  He rakes it into rows so the baler can easily bale the hay.  This year, because haying is about two months behind due to weather, those rows of hay are very thick.  I hope we get a lot of bales.  Rodney keeps 2/3 of them as payment for the baling, I get 1/3 for our goats for the winter.

I love the design of the hay rake. It's so simple, yet so effective.

I love the design of the hay rake. It’s so simple, yet so effective.

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Growing Older

Funny, I don’t feel like I’m 62.  In my mind, I’m still in my thirties. I am in much better physical shape than my mom was at this age, that’s for sure.

Some parts don’t age as well as others, though. I had healthy teeth for years.  I didn’t get my first cavity until I was in my mid-twenties.

In recent years, my teeth have been more than annoying.  Because I was born with out my eye teeth, I wore a partial denture from the time I was about 14 years old on.

That partial ended up screwing up my teeth – so I had to have the 4 teeth surrounding those two spaces pulled a year ago, and get a 6 tooth partial.  It looks nice, but, damn.

And then last week, a crown that was put in about 25 years ago after a root canal came out.  Seems the tooth under the crown decayed enough that it went bad.

So I get to get that tooth pulled today.

Fortunately, it’s not a tooth that is visible when I smile, but I’m not a fan of having a tooth pulled.

I could have an implant, but we have no dental insurance, and it would cost over $2000.  We don’t have that amount handy.  There are much more important things we need money for.  :)

Anyway, I hope they come up with something so that younger people don’t have to go through this stuff as they age.  It sucks.

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Sometimes, being a goat farmer is no fun at all

First of all, I’m a big wuss.  I chose to raise colored angora goats because you raise them for their mohair.  Twice a year, shear it off, hopefully have some nice enough to sell to handspinners, and wash and felt or spin the rest.

You don’t have to kill a fiber animal to make money.  That’s what I want.

However, sometimes they get sick. Sometimes, the goat you think is the toughest and meanest (but with the prettiest fleece), suddenly becomes ill and dies.

Usually, it is because there are too many goats on too small a property. They eat the grass down to the ground, and are exposed to more parasites than if they are browsing in the woods and pastures as mine normally do.

We have a small pasture that was completely overcome with weeds.  And I mean BIG weeds.  Weeds that were up to 12 feet high.  I could not see through them, they were so thick.

I decided to keep the goats in that pasture until they ate all the weeds.  They did a darn good job, but I think I maybe left them in a day or two too long.

Two days after I let them back out for their basically free-range browsing, Maisie came down sick.  She was horribly anemic – the sign of parasites that have overcome a goat’s system.  It could be Coccidia or Barberpole worms, or lung worms – any number of nasty parasites that are always in the background, but seldom take over the goat’s entire system.

It was really too late.  I gave her all the stuff you are supposed to, but she was too weak, too sick.

So Maisie died early this afternoon.

And that’s why having livestock can be heartbreaking.

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Silly Farm video

I was playing with my IPod Touch video app when I was out with the critters this morning. I truly thought I was making a normal video, but when I played it back, it turns out I took a time lapse video.  It’s kind of funny.

I am giving it to John so he can add an appropriate soundtrack.

Starring Sven the Polydactyl Cat, Carly Fiorina, the cute little doeling, and Willow the cutest doeling.

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Oh geeze, someday I’ll get the hang of writing daily again

carly with her tongue out

And of course, this is not Willow, this is Carly Fiorina. Bottle baby because her mother is a lazy girl!

In the meantime, here are some goat photos. I sheared sweet Willow yesterday. She looks super itty bitty now.

cassie and willow

Cassie on the left, Miss Willow on the right – after shearing.

more goats

Lindo, Barbara, Bella looking at the camera – Raj is looking away.

willow sheared two

And this is Willow, just after I sheared her yesterday. I love this little goat so much!

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Goodness, I have been neglecting my blog

Sorry.  We had a baby goat born a couple of weeks ago.  Her name is Carly Fiorina. Her mother is not feeding her, so I am.

That means I’m spending a lot of time with the little doeling.

Oh, my.   I need photos of Miss Carly.

I’ll be back

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Ta-ta-ta-ta TAPAS!

Beth Donovan:

Another recipe on my non-recipe blog. I really like this idea. If you like food, follow http://foodfellowshipandwine.com.

Originally posted on Food Fellowship and Wine:

Quick ‘n easy Hummus and flatbread: Minimal effort maximal results.

It’s Saturday afternoon. You have wine, you have guests, you have a lazy streak and can’t make yourself cook up a 5-course meal. WHAT TO DO?! Then you remember the other night at the bar where you gorged yourself on finger food and dips. AHA! But doesn’t that take a lot of time and effort? NO! Well not with this recipe at least. For die-hard hummus and flatbread lovers, this might seem a cheat. No, there isn’t tahini in the hummus, yes, that is potato bake in the flatbread. But at least it’s a quick, easy and most importantly, a tasty cheat. After all, after nine glasses of vino, who really cares whether you will land a job in a Michelin-star Meze bar?

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