Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We got hit with a serious blizzard today that was packing winds gusting to 50 mph and 10+ inches of snow.

We kept the animals in for most of the day but the Commander let them out later in the afternoon so they could stretch their legs. The snow doesn't seem to bother Azalea much.

Lara and Zoe seem more bothered by my taking their picture than by the snow.

I don't normally feed the sheep outside when it is snowing but they didn't really seem too hungry while their food bowl was inside. I read somewhere that sheep have two homes - the place where they sleep and a place where they rest during the day. The book recommended keeping their feed area separate from both resting areas.

More Azalea wearing her "Winter" coat.

Lara blocking the ramp inside...look how wide she is!

The snow didn't seem to bother the giraffe....ops, this is one of the pictures I took in Florida during my trip to Disney.

A shot of the rams totally covered in snow, they actually seemed to enjoy themselves outside during the blizzard.

Of course eating is always job one!

The chickens were tucked away nice and warm until the noon feeding, when I opened the door the guineas started flying around and a few escaped. This meant that the coop needed to remain open so they could get back in. I am really surprised that Leopold went outside due to his frost bite and all.

I built a wind screen under the coop to keep it dry for days like these, it allows the chickens a dry place to escape the guineas and a place for me to put their scratch.

There is always one in every crowd that has to show off how tough they are.

Molly loved playing in the snow, although I discovered later that her lack of height created problems in the house. Seems she collected a lot of little snow balls on her fur and dropped them all over the house and on the furniture to melt.....

Sara would live outside in the snow or with the goats if I let her. Note the huge piece of wood that she wants to play fetch with, she is totally ridiculous.

The goats would never go outside in the snow, in fact when I opened their door to feed them Chip jumped up on the igloo to avoid the cold draft that washed in along the floor. The other day snow melt was dripping off from their roof in front of their goat door to the yard and they refused to go outside because water may have dripped on them. Goats are spoiled drama queens!

Friday, February 24, 2012


I have a few stuffed animals on the dresser in the guest room in the basement. They help give the room a "country" flavor, I love how soft and furry they are.

Lately I have been finding a few of the stuffed animals in peculiar places. How in the world did this stuffed bear that is a bit larger than the cats get halfway up the stairs?

Here I find the bear on the floor in my bedroom, how in the world did it get from the basement to the second floor? Ghosts? Is the toy possessed?

This is creepy, notice how the bear is sticking its leg through the cat door!

How in the world did this thing get ON my bed!

Oh My Goodness, now it has clawed its way through the cat door! Why is it that no one has EVER seen this thing moving around? One would think that with all the dogs running around this place that a wondering furry bear would be caught and chewed up.

OK, something has to be going on around here as not only is the bear on the floor in my room but the rooster has made the journey from the basement as well.....Either this place has ghosts or.....

.... Chai is lugging a stuffed bear that is larger than her up the stairs, through the cat door and up a second flight of stairs in secret past the dogs and without any humans seeing her....

... Maybe Mocha is in on this prank as well. I hope its them, otherwise we have ghosts!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Walkabout the Homestead

When we moved here an old blue shed stood on the site where the new goat shed now rests. The property has 10 acres all of which were heavily wooded.

This shot is taken from the current end of the fence line toward the goat shed. The land between here and the goats is low and wet normally until August. The Commander ran this fence line as his last project before winter so he could start again in the spring on dry land.

Same spot but looking 90 degrees to the East looking at the sheep barn. The ground is higher by the sheep barn. This is what it looked like prior to the sheep barn going up, thick, thick woods!

A shot across an old drainage ditch toward the sheep barn, this really looks different.

The drainage ditch. We would like to clear this up and then build a bridge across it, that would look wonderful.

The Commander has a lot of brush to clear this year, too bad he wore out his chipper.

You can barely see the sheep barn through all the saplings.

The only trees the Commander doesn't cut down are the birch. We have some huge old birch trees mingled in amongst the forest and they are just majestic.

I love how they look, especially when they stand alone.

The Commander calls this "Kissing Rock" (I swear I have no idea why). The rock is huge, I guess it shows how much Molly has grown. Every time we go past the rock Molly jumps up and poses, I wonder if she wants a kiss? The plan is to have a path cut to the rock this year (to make it easier to get to?).

The woods are really thick so it is easier to do some cutting while snow is on the ground to avoid the ticks and mosquitoes.

A shot from the fence line behind the sheep barn. This was thick forest last year, the Commander has a lot of cleaning up to do this spring and summer.

Brush piled up all along the fence, too bad the chipper is dead. The hope is that there will be more snow next year to allow for controlled burning. Can you see Sara and Molly?  Note the ram shed in the distance.

The Commander left many of the larger trees to prevent eagle attacks on the sheep, goats, and chickens. The shade will not help the pasture but the leaves are good to eat in the fall.

The ram shed from the back fence line.

One of the ram pasture areas, a lot of work to do here as well.

All the trees were cut down by the Commander using his chainsaw(s), the saplings and branches were at first chipped into mulch and once that broke burn piles were set up. Homestead from Scratch is more than just a name, it is the journey.

Headed back now and a view from the other side of the drainage ditch. The sheep barn is off to the right.

Same spot as above but turned toward the house.  Note the goat barn in the distance, all the sapling nubs may be able to be broken off this spring to make the pasture look better.

The Commander rolled this fencing into the goat area and up to the fence. We are going to muscle this over the fence and take it back to the end of the fence line (as seen in the first picture) before the spring melt sets in, otherwise the ground will be too wet to traverse.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Frostbite - Bad!

This has been a very mild winter but since the guineas outnumber the chickens they own the coop when it does get cold. That means the chickens spend a lot of time on the perches exposed to the weather.

Last year Leopold spent most of the cold days inside the coop, but since he was on the losing end of a fight with the guinea boys he has been outside with the girls.

When the fight with the guineas was finished Leopold was covered in blood, his comb was bleeding and heavily pecked. A lot of the blood trickled down onto the flap thingies hanging from his cheeks, I think this was the cause of his horrible frostbite.

Last year he had a few black specks on his comb but this is horrible. I don't know if this can kill him or what, I just hope it stays warm. The frostbite he had last year healed up just fine but it was nowhere near this bad, I can only hope at this point.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Growing Up

Molly is growing up fast, unfortunately she learned to use the stairs the other day. She now "helps" me pick up anything that is left on the floor or is dangling within her reach.

She is a bundle of energy and is a good match for Sara, the two of them exhaust each other as only these kind of dogs can. When Molly first got here she would pant so hard and heavy while sleeping that the Commander thought we needed to take her to the vet. Turns out it was just her growing, growing so fast that her body would shake!

The Mocha and Chai are the big losers in all this as they no longer have anywhere to go to avoid "playing" with Molly.

At night Molly is put into her crate to sleep but whenever she gets tired she runs upstairs and lays on my bed.....when did she learn that?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter Haiku's

Shells echo coldly
The future cradled in frost
Spring gives life a home

Springs buds cruelly met
Hoar frost crystals icy grasp
Green leaves held at bay

Clouds missing skies clear
Winters cold chains the white mist
The Sun will free all