Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It has been a crazy year since I last posted.  I started that new job I was so excited about and I absolutely hated it.  Luckily, I left my previous job on good terms and he took me back.  I've been back since September.  Another reason he took me back was because 3 of the other employees he had working for him were also stealing from him.  They all got fired and he had me come back because he knows he can trust me.

 We had a really, really rough winter.  We had more snow this year than we have had in many years. It was also colder than usual.  Normally we have many days in the upper 30's and 40's.  This year we so many days in the 20's it was unreal.   We almost had another house fire due to a faulty furnace that was only 1 year old. Thank goodness we were home when it happened.  We got a completely new system, but our electric bills were WAY too high.  We are still paying them off.  We are getting wood cut for this year.   I want our woodlot too look like we will never run out.  Even the horses were struggling.  We had all the hay they could eat, but they were also looking for more so they started eating the bark off trees.  All those trees are going to be cut down.  The positives are that most of the trees they tried to eat were smallish so they will dry quickly and cutting them down will give the horses more room to move.

My grandfather went into a nursing home in December after a neighbor found him unconscious on the floor. He spent 5 days in the hospital then went to the nursing home.  We lost him March 19.  He was 97 years, 9 mos and 22 days.  I miss him terribly.  There's so much I still wanted to ask him, but the last couple of years, he wasn't always clear headed.  We are still battling with his daughter over the estate.  I have never seen someone so greedy.

We went to Puerto Rico for Christmas!  Wow was that a blast!  I cannot wait to go back.  I have been putting money back each week in hopes of saving for another trip.  We have actually considered moving there when Lliam is out of high school.  What a great place.  We stayed in San Juan, but are planning to stay in another town next time to get a more Puerto Rican experience.

We got into goats this year.  The first one we bought was only a few days old.  I bought him the day after Grandpa died. Sort of animal therapy, I guess.  He's an  Anglo-Nubian cross who is just as sweet as sweet can be.  I adore him. We kept him the house for several weeks until it was warm enough at night to put him in the barn.  We also bought Lizzie the same day.  She is a Nubian and was 10 months old.
We bought another goat a couple weeks later, but she was just as mean as mean could be. She was a Lamancha with no ears.  She was all white and ugly so we called her Ugly Betty. After she hurt the baby goat, we traded her for a different goat.
The goat we got was ill when we received her, but with some love, attention and help from my farmgirl friends, she's on the mend.  We named her Moonpie because she is brown in the front and the back and white in the middle.  She is a Lamancha with the tiny little ears.  She is just as sweet as sugar and gets along well with the other two.  She was giving milk when we got her, but we decided to let her dry up so her body can focus on getting healthy.  We will breed her later on so we can have more goats next year.  Loving goats!  

Lliam participated in his first school sport this year.  He was on the track and field team - shot put.  He did pretty well for his first competitive sport.  We have an award banquet next week.  

We started putting in the garden on Mother's Day.  So far we have planted tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, onions, garlic, bell peppers, cabbage and corn.  We are going to plant beans, cucumbers, squash, beets, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi, watermelons, muskmelons and whatever else I can find room for.  Our goal is put up, dry and preserve as much as the harvest as possible to make our grocery bill as low as possible.   I have way more seeds than I have room for, as usual.  I also have a ton of flower seeds to plant too because I want a cut flower garden.  Good lord, what was I thinking!

We are even going to put in a plot of Einkorn wheat to make bread and such.  We bought a grinder and have ground some wheat into flour that we have used for gravy, breading and binder.  So far it doesn't seem like it has bothered my stomach at all.

I have some strawberry plants, but I don't think they are going to amount to much this year.  I think I need to move them to another location.  I have some left over wood I can make a new raised bed from - putting that on the "To Do" list.

We tore down the old gourd arbor that had, at one time, been a swing set.  It was reconstructed into a goat shed.  Third time recycle - not bad.  Saved a bundle of money too by not having to buy the 6x6's.  We are searching for something to use as siding next.  Super cheap or free is the goal.  We'll see what happens.

We have some new neighbors, but they aren't super friendly.  They barely wave when we see them.  I don't know.  We are going to have a party in July and invite them.  Maybe they will see that we aren't psycho like the neighbor north of them said we were.  His reason for not liking us is because I used to work for the Indiana State Police.  His son died of a drug overdose and he blames the cops - hence his hatred for me.  I haven't worked for them for over 4 years.  He still drives through our yard on occasion. Some people are just jerks I guess.

Teaka Golden Girl is heading to the breeders this week.  We are hoping to have a small litter of English Shepherd puppies to start with.  If you are interested in having a great dog - let me know!