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The path not taken…

Apparently, I take it.  Also, I walk like a duck in muck boots.

prints

 

 

The Darkest before the Dawn.

This has been one incredibly long winter.  I do not know how much more I can take.  I’m losing my mind.

Today, it is in the 40s.  Normally, I’d be grumbling about how cold it is but today?  After this winter?  I hauled my hibernating butt outside and enjoyed the heck of it!  The garden still looks like a frozen wasteland but I have a pretty good imagination.

grapes

Those are the pitiful grapes I planted late last fall.  A friend called me one day and told me that Lowe’s had some grapes and other small fruits clearanced out.  I went down and checked it out.  Sure, enough, there were various berries and over a dozen grapes left.  Turns out that the fruit was supposed to be delivered somewhere much further south so the big wigs said to clearance the heck out of them and move them out.  Between that and my military vet discount, I was able to snag them all for under $2 each.  Bam.  For that sort of price, I’m not terribly picky.

For my own future reference, here’s the variety:

grapetag

 

Oh, garden.  You poor, poor garden.  Spring is coming, I promise.

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2014 Hannibal Polar Plunge

It’s nearly that time again.  Hannibal will hold their Polar Plunge this weekend to benefit Missouri’s Special Olympics.  If you’d like to donate in our team’s name, go to this link:  Terripin Farms.

Click on any/all of the names at the bottom and then follow the instructions to donate under that name.  You can donate to as many different names as you wish, in any amount.  All money goes to the Missouri Special Olympics, not us.  We just get to do stupid crap like jumping into the icy Mississippi River!

This year, it will be at the marina/dock in downtown Hannibal beginning at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, February 22nd.  Even if you can’t donate, please come on down and help cheer us on.  All of you in the stands, screaming at us, helps get our adrenalin up when the moment of truth arrives.  Fight or flight?  Oh, baby, flight is the natural reaction — flight straight to some hot chocolate and a good heater.  But, oh, no.  We go ahead and jump in.  It ain’t pretty.

This year, we have changed our team name from Team Speedkin to Terripin Farms.  We have Brad & Jessica Whiston joining us so we changed the name to that of their farm.  (They grow the best produce around!)  Besides those two, look for yours truly, Charlie, and Duke.  Steve, Cody, and Isaac all wussed out this year.

Ya hear me, you guys?  Wusses!  :-D

See ya Saturday afternoon!

Here’s a news article to wet your sadistic whistles:  Hannibal Polar Plunge on WGEM

Happy 5th, Josie!

josie1

Can you believe how big she is??  Good gravy.  The baby of the family turned five yesterday.  That’s just… wow.  Happy birthday, you gorgeous, crazy, strong, funny girl!

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She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes…

Did ya miss me?

2013 had some rough spots.  There was some burning of tail feathers, some amount of too many irons in the fire, and some questionable sanity & stress levels.  During the last few months of the year, we decided to pare things down to bare minimum & lay low for a while.  Re-prioritize.  Our own little reset button.  And it worked.  Things are a bit more sane now.  Whew.

So the goats are all gone, which you probably guessed by my last posts on here last year.  That’s certainly a relief.  Goats are a lot of work, especially when we don’t live in an area that’s naturally healthy for goats.  Too much upkeep and worrying.  I like goats but I don’t like them enough to have to fret over them that much.  You all know how lazy I am.  Bottom line?  Goats = stress (for me).  Bzzt.  Gone.

We are still considering a milk cow and a couple of young’ins for beef.  It may or may not happen.

Another change we’ve made it getting rid of poultry for meat.  We are now concentrating on egg production, just using the culls for making stocks.  We just don’t care for chicken meat that much but we use bone broth like crazy.  We are still playing with turkeys, however.  We loves us some gobble!

Other than that?  I, personally, am refocusing on what I truly and forevermore am crazy about:  gardening.  I’ve never stopped gardening but other things have distracted me along the way, diverting & dividing my attention and energy.  Now that we’ve thinned things down around here, I can get back to it, full speed ahead.  I am stupidly excited this year to renew my landrace projects AND get the greenhouse built.  We poured concrete for it last fall and are beginning the framing this week.  More on both coming soon.  You can bet there will be pics!

 

Milk Stand and Hay Feeder for sale

To follow up on my “Goats for Sale” post, here are the photos of the milk stand and hay feeder.  They are for sale, $75 each.  Steve designed and built them both.  They’re very sturdy and have been kept out of the the weather.

Milk stand:

This is 60″ front to back, 67″ floor to tippy-top of the head closure slats, 31″ wide (side-to-side), and 21″ from floor to deck.  The head closure slats are held closed with two long galvanized bolts.  Feed is held in a bucket which is, in turn, held by a wired ring.  Personally, we liked that better than the usual “tray” feeder because we could take it out and clean it easily.  If you prefer a tray style, you could add one quite easily.  We used this stand for everything from small Kinders to large Saanens.  It’s extra wide because I preferred to sit along side the goats on the deck with my legs up while milking, as opposed to using a stool beside the stand.

milkstand1

Opened

milkstand2

Closed.

milkstand3

Hay feeder:  SOLD!

The hay feeder has a catch-tray underneath the slotted holder.  This eliminates a lot of waste, what would otherwise end up on the floor to be soiled.  Each side has a “step” for the goats.  This stepping-up keeps the goats from a lot of their usual dragging out of piles of hay to the ground to picked through.  The step also allows even the young kids to reach the hay.  (The smaller kids all seem to really enjoy the little hidey-hole underneath the feeder.)  This measure 15″ from floor to step, 28″ from floor to catch tray, 55″ from floor to very top of hay rack, and 48.5″ wide at the widest part (the tray).

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hayfeeder2

hayfeeder3

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Goats for sale

For those who don’t already know, we’re selling off all of our goats.  I’m posting their pics & descriptions here so that I can just point interested parties here.  I will cut deals for folks who buy several!

(I thought it would be a good idea to put each on a leash and lead them into the yard so I could get good solo pics of each.  But, duh, the goats went nutso for the weeds so most of the following pics are munching-in-action shots.)

ShowTime

ShowTime

This is ShowTime.  She is a full, registered Kinder doe, born March 16, 2012.  We bred her last fall and she easily kidded this spring to a single doeling.  Unfortunately, her doeling had a birth defect and died within a few hours.  She is trained to the milkstand and has a very sweet personality.  She was disbudded before we purchased her but she has two little blunt nubs.  $200

Gidget

Gidget

This is Gidget, a full registered Kinder doe, born April 23, 2012.  Last fall, we decided to let her mature a bit more so she has not yet been bred.  She takes a little while to warm up to you but she is very tame & nice.  She was disbudded before we purchased her and has one little blunt nub.  $200

Susie

Susie

This is Susie, a full but unregistered Kinder doe, of unknown age but probably 4-5 years old.  She threw quads this spring and is a fantastic mom.  Her teats are uneven but she milks out very easily.  She’s trained to the milkstand and has a quirky personality.  She is shown with her two remaining bucklings, Snowman and Brownzai, both full Kinders, born May 8th, 2013, father was a full registered Kinder.  Susie and her bucklings are all disbudded.  Susie – $75; bucklings – $50 each.

Maisy

Maisy

This is Maisy, a full but unregistered Kinder doe, daughter of Susie, born December 2010.  She had twins this spring (her second freshening) and is a great mom.  She is trained to the milkstand.  Shown with her are her buckling and doeling, born June 1, 2012, father was a full registered Kinder.  None of the three are disbudded.  Maisy – $75; doeling – $50; buckling – $25.

 

Missy

Missy

This is Missy, a full but unregistered Kinder doe, daughter of Susie, born in December 2011.  She kidded for the first time this summer to twins and is a good mom.  She is not yet trained to the  milkstand but should prove to be easy.  (She did not kid until July and, due to life, I just never started milking her.)  Shown also is her remaining doeling, born July 9, 2013, father a full registered Kinder.  Neither are disbudded.  Missy – $75; doeling – $50.

Cotton

Cotton

This is Cotton, a full but unregistered Saanen, of unknown age.  She had twin doelings this winter and is a wonderful mother.  She is trained to the milkstand and is a treat to milk.  This girl is the sweetest goat I have ever known!  $125

Plunge

Plunge

This is Plunge, a half Saanen and half Alpine doeling, born January 26, 2013 to Cotton.  $75

Polar

Polar

This is Polar, twin to Plunge above, half Saanen and half Alpine, doeling born January 26, 2013 to Cotton.  This girl had a bad habit of rubbing her face on every stupid thing she could find when she was younger.  I’ve shown her with her face turned to us so that you can see she has a few bald spots on her face from it.  Thankfully, she’s over her crazy face rubbing habit now.  $50

Patrick

Patrick

And last but not least, Patrick, a full registered Kinder wether, born March 17, 2013.  As you can tell from his coloring in the photo, he is in need of copper.  Until very recently, he was kept in a different pen from the rest to keep a buck company, so he didn’t get bolused when we did the rest.  $25

We also have a hay feeder and a milkstand for sale.  $75 each.  My husband built these and they are very sturdy!  Forgot to take pics so will add them in later.

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t everyone let their kids play with syringes?

Back in the day when I actually had to work for a living, we’d pass the boring times in the ER (yes, there really are boring times in the ER but I suppose everything is relative) by filling Toomey syringes with KY jelly and squirting the crap out of each other.   (Those of you who know me and my maturity level well will not be surprised.)

Not wanting to pay for a gazillion dollars’ worth of KY, nor explain its many uses to the kids, I sent them out with Toomeys and a bucket of water.  Clean up was much easier than it used to be in the ER!

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Peachy.

Some local friends gave us four baby peach trees the other day.  I got them planted, mulched, and caged promptly.  Here’s hoping they do well (and I don’t manage to kill them)!

peach

Before much longer, the entire side yard will be an orchard and I can’t wait!

The cucumbers I planted a couple of weeks back mostly rotted since we had Noah’s flood #2 directly after that.  I replanted them yesterday, along with 100′ of summer squash — a mixture of Black Beauty, Grey, and Yellow Crookneck.

The strawberries are still coming in nicely and the raspberries have just begun to ripen.  The young fruit trees in the side and front yards have a goodly amount of fruit on them for how young they are.  Some have just turned two years old and others are only one year old so we won’t be overrun with anything.  Still, it’ll be nice to get a small sampling from most.  Fruit trees are most definitely not instant gratification.

raspberry

The tomatoes are finally starting to take off, no thanks to all of the gloomy weather we’ve had this spring.  The furthest row out, however, has had a rough start and I’ve had to replace several a couple of times.  The birds just love that row because they can swoop in and cause all sorts of death & dismemberment!  I finally got the strings up on Tomato Henge in hopes of slowing them down — and it seems to be working for the most part.

The pepper are sulking.  It’s just been too roller coaster-y a spring for them and I don’t hold out much hope for good production.  Yet, there’s always hope…  The lettuces are even growing slowly.  I’ve never seen lettuce grow so slowly!!  Beans still haven’t been planted as I’m still waiting on Steve to get my bean trellis back up.  He’s done about half of it and will get to the rest this week some time.

The bees?  The bees are doing well!  I’m so excited about the bees this year!  That split I did about a month ago has done really well — both halves.  The packages are coming along as they should.  The nuc I bought from Bernie last month is doing great.  I also caught two swarms a few weeks ago.  One died out, as it was just some left-behind straggling rejects, I assume left behind when the main colony took off to find new quarters.  They were in a bee tree that was knocked over & split during some pasture clean up and had been rained on — downpoured on — a few days.  We brought them home anyway with no hopes of them making it so we were not disappointed when I found them all dead as a doornail a few days later.  The second swarm was from a construction site, landed in a precarious spot that was not at all fun to get.  I was pretty sure I got the queen but things were crazy so maybe not.  Last I checked on them (a few days ago), they were still there!  I took a tip from a friend and put a frame of brood (from another hive) in with them to entice them to stay.  It seems to have worked so yay for that!  There is not a huge quantity of bees, though, so it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll make it.  I plan on getting in the hives again in a couple of days.  In the meantime, I’ve been building more frames because the five  good, strong hives are mostly into their third boxes now.  And still no sign of mites on any of them!  I know just looking isn’t a surefire way to get mite numbers but I pay very close attention to the drone brood that gets ripped open and have seen nary a one.  (I’ve always seen them easily that way before.)  Another major boost in my beekeeping confidence is my greatly improved ability to spot queens.  I don’t mark my queens so they’re not terribly easy to find at times.

I’m getting rambly again, aren’t I?  I’m back on the paleo/primal bandwagon and the caffeine/carb/sugar withdrawal is making my brain turn to jelly.  Really dumb, unfocused jelly.

I’m a culinary genius!

Fried pork loin, seasoned, torn into pieces

1/4 Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

Avocado, diced

1/2 Cucumber, quartered & sliced

“thumb” of smoked Gouda cheese, diced

Toss it all in a bowl with a few twists of freshly ground black pepper, freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon, a few splashes of red wine vinegar, and a couple glugs of olive oil.

(No pictures because I wolfed it down way, way too quickly.)

 

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