Okay, not so depressed now.

Drugs seem to be helping.

So, as an update, we lost two of the three very sick goats that I wrote about in July. It’s been a rough 6 weeks or so.  I have spent a lot of time checking out every goat, to be sure that they show no signs of any parasite issues or of goat polio.

I’m also shearing like crazy.  In fact, next week, I am taking the entire week off work to concentrate on getting all sheared, and hopefully get fleeces washed and up for sale.

The kids from last spring have gorgeous fleeces.  I will take a photo of each before I shear them and then afterwards.  Those kids are for sale, and I think they will have great mohair now and in the future.

I, once again, endeavor to blog on a regular basis.  Thanks for bearing with me, I know I’m a mess!

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Depression is so darn annoying!

Yeah, I wrote there for a few days in a row – a couple of months ago!! Then I fell down into that hole again.

Climbing back up.  Working on recovering the house – vacuuming, dusting, all that fun stuff!

This week I am on vacation.  Our wonderful grandson is here for the week, just hanging out.  We had hoped to do some neat things like visit the Topeka Zoo – where a baby giraffe was just born – but the weather has been less than accommodating.  We still have a few days, though, so I have not given up hope.

I have some sick goat boys in sick bay.  Moses has a mild pneumonia, great nasty snot running out of his nose, it’s gross.  Blue had a problem with parasites, but he is recovering well, and a yearling buck, Boiyo, is really under the weather.  I’m guessing it is what John calls, Golio – Goat polio.  I’m treating him with B Complex and antibiotics and Red Cell.

I wake up in the middle of each night worried about them, but so far, they are all still with us, and even improving by small increments.

The hummingbirds are going through their nectar like crazy.  I have four feeders, and this week, I’m refilling them every other day! I sit out on the deck with them quite often, but they never want to sit on my finger or drink from a glass of nectar I offer them, and after seeing so many videos of hummingbird whisperers succeeding where I fail, I just make sure they have enough nectar.  I don’t think one will ever land on my finger or head.

We have had a very traumatic time with the new guineas.  The first batch, the ones I hatched in an incubator, were killed the first night I had them out in the new chicken coop.

John fixed it, and when I added 16 keets that I ordered online and lived their first few weeks in the house in a brooder,  we somehow lost another 10 birds.  😦  John fixed it again, we got special NiteGuard solar lights to keep predators away, and we have 6 guineas growing up and almost ready to be released.

That’s what has been going on

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Kid Care

Well, my 7 bottle baby kids are slowly being weaned off the bottle.  Today, I decided to feed one at a time, then put the kid on my grooming stand so I could trim nails and spray anti-bug stuff on them as well as check their FAMACHA scores.

FAMACHA is a check to be sure that your goats do not have too big of a load of internal parasites.  Here is a link with all the info on FAMACHA. Because we have had a very strange weather pattern here since they were born, I tend to treat for parasites if the score is in the middle.  All of them had a score in the middle, so I treated them all.

I’m amazed at how much they have grown in the past few weeks.  Their little hooves have grown like crazy, so they are learning that it is okay for someone to trim them now.  I give them a treat after each hoof gets trimmed.

Yes, they are spoiled.

The mohair on the 5 white kids is superb.  I need to get John to come out with me to take some photos, as I really should sell these kids.  I have an awful lot of goats, after all!!

Posted in Castle Argghhh Farm, Goats, Mohair | 2 Comments

Foxes at Ft. Leavenworth

From 1996 until 2007, our two horses, Willy and Petey, lived at the Ft. Leavenworth Stables.  I have so many stories of the people and horses and critters that lived in that area, in that era.

A lot of members of the Ft. Leavenworth Hunt Club (Fox Hunt, don’t you know) keep their horses at the stable there.  I was never a Hunt Club member, my riding skills are not in their league!  I did ride with them one time – I “hill-topped”.  And I found that Willy did not have the ability to stay behind the head hunt people – he wanted to race all the horses, even though we were not on the same level, and we were not jumping the obstacles – he just raced ahead, until I decided that my life was very dear to me, and I turned him around and we rode back to the barn.

I mention the Hunt Club, because I think it is really funny that a vixen and her kits lived behind the stable, in some underbrush, next to the outdoor arena there.  The arena was lit for night riding, and because I had a job, I often rode under the lights, pretty much by myself.

There was one night when I was just riding and jumping over very low and simple crosspoles in the arena.  It was a very warm and humid night, and my glasses were fogging up so much that I took them off and put them on top of an upright barrel so I could see where we were going.

A little later,  I saw three foxes watching Willy and me from the bushes near the arena.  It looked like a vixen and her two kits. Not long after, the two kits started following me as we rode around the ring, jumping over the low jumps right after I did.  It was magical.  The little foxes were having a grand time following my horse and I, and their mother came closer to the rail, watching them.

This went on for a good thirty minutes. I decided that Willy and I had had enough riding, so I slowed him to a walk, and walked him over to that barrel to retrieve my glasses.  One of the young foxes was two quick for me, though, and she jumped on the barrel, grabbed my glasses and started to run off with them.

She ran to the other end of the arena and stopped for a minute – digging. I yelled at her to drop my glasses!!  I got Willy over there as fast as I could, dismounted, and saw just one tip of one of the temples of my glasses sticking out of the sand.

The foxes ran off, and though I saw them many times after that, they never followed me into the riding arena again.

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On Habits

I did mention a week or so ago that I needed to give up some habits to be a more successful goat herder/ fiber artist.

I did delete from my Kindle one of the two games that suck me in for way longer than you can imagine.  That game is called, “Word Trip”.

Unfortunately, my husband, John, found it fun and is now playing it on his Kindle!

I deleted Spider Solitaire for a couple of days, but could not stand it, and now it is back.

However, I am getting up and going a bit earlier every day. I do wish someone would create an app that would limit my time to a game to maybe 10 minutes per day, and then not allow me to open it again until the next day.

I’d buy that app!

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The Wee Lost Kid Has Been Found

John found Cassie’s lost buckling this evening.  He was only about 4 feet from the fence, but the woods has a thick undergrowth, and I must have missed him four or five times.  He’s now back with his mama, filling his tummy.

I’m half tempted to name him, “Peter”, as he was a lost boy.  Or, perhaps, “George”, as he was so curious as to leave the pasture.

Anyway, the day is much better now.

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Is it Friday The 13th?

No, it’s not Friday the 13th, but it seems like it.  I woke up to find that something (likely a racoon) had pulled the hardware cloth off the chicken coop and my five keets were gone.  I did not see any signs of feathers, so there is a chance that maybe one or more escaped, but I don’t expect to see them again.

Then, as I fed my bottle babies, I watched the new kid from yesterday go through the fence and into the woods.  I searched and searched, and could not find him – but eventually, he’ll get hungry and call for his mama – then I should find him, I hope.

And then, I discovered a dead kid – born in the past day or so, he was beautiful.  He was on the wrong side of the fence, and his likely mama is a first timer so did not cry as mamas normally do. 😦

Damn.

So I stayed home from work – still have a sinus headache, and after these traumas, I’d be likely to not be a great employee today.

Sometimes farmlife is really difficult.  This is one of those days.

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Summer is supposed to be three weeks away.

We have been having temps in the 100s out here for over a week now.  It’s miserable. We need rain for the ponds, creeks, and hay.  We need cooler weather so I can get all my goats sheared.  I’ll be throwing away a lot of fleeces.

The good thing about the overly hot weather is that I was able to move my 5 keets from the house to their coop today – they are 3 weeks old, almost completely feathered out, and they were escaping their brooder quite often.

So, I got them out there, and they are just sitting there – they have a very nice coop with yard, but they have barely moved for 6 hours.

Hopefully, I will get a photo of them tomorrow doing more than hiding in the grass!

When we went out this evening to give the bottle babies their milk and to give the other goats grain and sunflower seeds, I noticed what appeared to be a baby goat at the far end of Willowheim. I was going to go in and get my walking stick, but sweet John hiked over there to pick up the wee thing and bring it to me for its first day medical treatment of a shot of bovi-sera and spraying the umbilical cord and checking its sex. (Thankfully, goats don’t get to decide what sex they identify with).

It’s a wee boy, he’s blue, and strong, but very shy.  We were not sure who his mama was in the dark – John thought maybe one doe, I thought another – ends up, Cassie is his mama – she finally took ownership of the poor lad and started nursing him.

I wish I did not have to work tomorrow – I took today off because of a massive sinus headache, and because of a need for a mental health day away from people – but I do need to go back and work tomorrow.

For all my friends who want photos.  I will try.  My telephoto lens is awkward, but my other lens is broken, and I need to replace it, so there you go.

 

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I’ve got to Change My Evil Ways.

While in a rather depressed state for the last several years, I developed some bad, evil habits.

If I am to succeed as a goat herder/ fiber artist, I have to change these habits.  I quit smoking 33 years ago, so I know I can change bad habits.  When I quit smoking, I changed my everyday habits that always included a cigarette – well, not all the things I did each day, but quite a few.

For example, I always had a cigarette with my coffee in the morning.  So I stopped making coffee – I had orange juice instead.

I loved having a cigarette with a beer, so I switched to wine – these little things worked, and I was able to stop my 20+ year habit by making new habits.

Now, I can have coffee or a beer and have no desire for a cigarette!

So, these are the habits I need to figure out substitute for now – 1. Taking two hours after I get up in the morning before I’m ready to shower and dress and make breakfast – this is such a huge waste of time!  What do I do, you ask? Well, mostly I play Spider Solitaire – on the hardest level, and a few other word games.

I suppose I could delete these games from my Kindle and see if I can get myself up and out of the house to feed goats and possibly shear one or two before I need to shower and get ready for work.  It is summer, there is plenty of light.

I think this is the first thing I’ll work on.   But, first, I’m going to go play my two games a bit before I delete them!

 

 

 

Posted in Goats, Things that make me crazy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Working in Retail on Holiday Weekends

What can I say.  The Memorial Day weekend is one of the biggest retail weekends of the year at Home Depot.  It’s a madhouse.  I’m working more hours that usual because of the many customers.

We have some great sales, and people wait until this weekend every year to buy a new barbeque or get charcoal and mostly, to buy plants – flowers, vegetables, herbs.

Whenever you get this busy, there are bound to be a few grumpy people who will complain that there are not enough employees to meet their needs.

That, of course, is a problem with retail – you can’t hire a bunch of people, train them and pay them for maybe 4 weekends in a year – We would be grossly overstaffed the rest of the time.  We do our best to assist customers as fast as we can, but it never fails that a few people come in on our busiest days with issues that need to be resolved, but that could have been done a month ago or so.

One very nice lady even asked why we were so busy yesterday, she couldn’t figure it out.

The weather is very hot and sunny this weekend, I’ll be really tired when I get off tonight at 9:00 PM after a full 8 + hour shift.

Heck, I’m tired starting off, after a long shift yesterday!

So enjoy the weekend, and do remember what Memorial Day is really about (remembering those lost in service to our country), and maybe even take time to visit one of the National Cemeteries.  We will be visiting John’s parents at the Leavenworth National Cemetery on Monday, after I get off work.

Posted in Things that make me crazy, Working in Retail | 3 Comments