Tag Archives: Goats

Catching up-Again!

It’s been awhile since I have posted and I apologize but truly I have been busy!

Spent a week in North Pole with my dear sissy which was a lot of fun but odd for me to be away from  my kids for so long. I can say having the freedom to not “Mom” reminded me of how much I cherish my family. Sissy and I did have fun being two  girls with no one to answer to. If we wanted hot fudge sundaes we ate them!  I did get to go see Santa’s village, hug a moose and get groped by a polar bear!The return trip was eventful. Murphy’s Law says if your in a no cell service area you will need cell service and I did! I broke down in a construction area and sat by the side of the road almost 6 hours until the tow truck arrived. It was not boring though by any means! The construction workers were so thoughtful and kept the coffee flowing and treats abounded. I finally had to tell them to stop or I would need a second tow truck to haul me out of there. My sissy is a magician with a phone. She managed to find someone in the town I was towed to who could get to the dodge dealership before they closed for the weekend, get my part AND had a garage and tools available so I could fix my truck. 20 minutes after the tow truck dropped me off I had the injector line changed and was scrubbing the diesel off my hands. I paid the guys for the part and the use of the garage and tools and was once again happily on my way.

Upon arriving home I was greeted by all of my 2 and 4 legged kids with much gusto. 10 minutes home and my dear goat who must of been crossing her legs for a week began to beller. She then presented me with twin buckling kids. Timing is everything! 2 days later another girl gave me twin doelings. 6 more girls-or maybe it’s 7? To go and kidding season will be done.

Did I mention that the night before my 12 hour drive I butchered half a moose? Several days prior friends of ours recieved a call from the troopers that there was an injured moose dispatched near them, they asked for dear hubbies help in retrieving it and offered to share. Hubby came home with the back end of a very large cow. I skinned and washed it then seared it to kill any bacteria on it and hubby and I hung it up. After wrapping in burlap and wetting it down (evaporation cools very quickly) we hung it to age. The weather was warm but we had a few rain showers that came through and then the wind would blow and it kept the meat at 40 degrees even though it was 60 outside. Close to 200 pounds of meat to feed the family and the steaks are so awesome. I worried that I had rushed the butchering but the meat is very tender so no worries. Busy busy busy summer! Planting the greenhouses is keeping me really busy. With not having soil available I must create my own. Plenty of sand, clay, moss and fertilizer from the critters all hauled to the planter boxes, mixed together and ta da! Soil! It sounds easy until you haul it all by hand-over a ton so far and still more to do but the rewards will be great when we are eating fresh salads, tomatoes and various pickles produced by our own hands.

Well I think we are caught up now so I’ll wish you a blessed day and get mine started. As is my norm I’ll leave you with random pics of life in the Alaska Bush-God Bless you all!

train going by while i waited on side of road for tow truck
tractor boat launch at Anchor Point Beach
modeling new coat from auntie
​What does a turkey chick look like when it’s hatching?

Mom cape time again!

There are days when I feel like super woman, well alright maybe not superwoman perhaps super mom. Thank heavens my apron quickly converts to my MOM cape for emergencies like today. While fixing breakfast (yes I’m a redneck so we “fix” breakfast) I hear a goat holler. Now for those of you who have never been around goats they are much like kids. You can just tell when a normal blabber or bleat in this case is not just a “I want attention” but instead is more like a “I’ve got myself in big trouble please come quick”. So back to the goat hollering, I just knew this was a hurry up situation and began following the cries for help. Sure enough Bandit had thought it would be a great idea to steal from the piggy dish by sticking her head through a 4 inch gap in the boards. Well now this may not have been an issue except for a couple crucial things she didn’t account for. First off her horn spread is 6 inches, secondly there are 5 pigs in the pen she chose who haven’t yet tasted goat but are willing to eat everything placed in their dishes including a goat head attached to a much alive goat. The only thing that stopped them was their curiosity at the loud bellering going on. Now mind you I’m still in my pajamas, I pulled on my work boots quickly before running outside but other than that I was not prepared to be in a pig pen full of muck. With a quick swish of the mom cape I got in the pig pen which of course made said piggies curious as to why I was in there fiddling with a goats head and now it was I-not the goat who was bellering. Yep, I was in over my head and needed help so I started hollering for dear hubby, hollering at the pigs to get their snouts out of my ears and hair and hollering because they thought it was the perfect time to jump, splash and play with mom. Once dear hubby got there he was worried about saving me from the pigs but as I quickly explained, well alright screeched-he understood they were just curious and playing not attacking me so back to the black goat who was once again bellering at the top of her lungs to be freed. I grabbed her nose and horns and started twisting when I finally had her lined up to exit I told him to pull and she was free. She was a bit scraped up but no serious injuries and we were both covered head to toe with pig muck. Wiping off as best as I could with the “mom cape” I then washed up a bit in an icy water hole before going in and taking the wonderful pig aroma with me. Of course dear son wakes up just as I’m coming in the door and asks why I smell like a wet goat covered in pig poop-of course I replied “new beauty regime” discussion over! 

Once cleaned up and breakfast finished-homemade cake donuts take awhile-I decided that due to the recent events coupled with the fact I had little sleep because my dear hubby was trying to call in every bear, moose and wolf in his sleep by imitating a logger with a chainsaw-yes he snores that loudly-I was well prepared to take the day off and crawl back in bed. Right! Best laid plans! I then remembered I had the cow tongue chilling that I cooked day before and I needed to peel and grind, a turkey that was in the smoker awaiting it’s cooking to finish,beef bones to simmer ( the tongue and bones were given to me when a friend butchered a cow) and a list 2 arm lengths long of things that needed done like pig food to cook, kids school work and pens to inspect, clean etc. 

by 1 p.m. I had finished with the dishes, splitting wood as I was running low (yes there’s wood in the shed but that’s for rainy days) hubby and kids just returned from cutting straw for all the pens so were all hungry. A quick sandwich of cows tongue made all happy, turkey was in the oven, bones simmering, now it was time to turn my attention to the critter pens while running back and forth to the cabin to keep the fire stoked and watch so the turkey nor the pig food cooking would burn. I do believe I ran just short of a 5k by this time.

4 p.m. Coffee break time! As I sneak in to have a quick cup in the quiet I almost made it to the door when my dog starts whining. Mr. Tom T.Turkey has her cornered and is once again trying to woo her. I save her from the amorous turkey by picking him up as he calls out his love gobbles while she makes a bee line to the cabin. Thinking of her making a bee line reminded me I needed to check my bee hives and in my tired state I almost opened them up without my gear on. There’s buzzing in the boxes so I let them be and hopefully will have a few minutes tomorrow to get them some food to carry them through until the thaw.

Back to my coffee break! By this time I’m on a mission! As I head back to the cabin the twin goat babies are crying for momma who has left them to go graze while they were napping and now we’re up and hungry. Not wanting an eagle or bear to hear the commotion I scoop up one under each arm and drag them back to the cabin and plop them down with Missy the wonder dog who begins giving them a tongue bath which makes them quite happy as she is their second momma, I cut myself a cup of coffee-by this time it was almost that strong from sitting on the stove perking away while I chased critters and my own tail around and realized third sip in that supper needed fixing. 

By 8 p.m. Supper done, another batch of pig food done for morning, dishes washed and it’s time to call it a day. Yep, just another quiet day on Two Moose Farm!

I’ll leave you with a few random pics as is my norm and a a prayer to God to provide for your every need. God Bless All 

    
    
    
 

Long winded post-beware!!!!!

So much going on these days I will warn you in advance, this will be a long winded post and yes I will be elaborating!

First of all we have new babies!!!! Yay!!!!!! I was beginning to think the goats were taking lessons from our freeloading chickens! I am proud to announce the arrival of our first babies though, a set of twin boys from Bubbles. The names I cannot say as the kids (two legged ones) took charge of that and it seems to change hourly. The birth was uneventful and quite rapid. Bubbles came into the yard and was acting strange so I had Cati put her in the pen, 30 minutes later Caleb announced that we had twins. They are quite cute one has floppy ears and the other kind of looks like a donkey and bellers a lot. Still they are very cute and as the rest of the family ooohs and awwws over their cuteness I’m daydreaming of barbque goat. Cruel and sadistic you say? Well first off I’m not dreaming about those two….yet, but the two little nincompoops who decided that coming into the cabin at 2 a.m to steal the pig food and wake me up on a night I was actually sleeping no less AND they left the door open! Yes goats are opportunists and someone must of not closed the door tightly on a late night potty run, Frankie and Klondike (the gruesome two some) seen an opportunity.  I guess it’s my own fault as I heard a crash as the lid to the pig food hit the floor but I was finally sleeping and chalked it up to someone knocking things over in the dark. Little did I know it was the two goats from hell. Yep, goat is definitely on the menu! 

   

 Papa Fred is experiencing some health issues right now, nothing catastrophic but will be having minor surgery on Thursday. Two weeks ago he started having bladder issues and they put in a Cath now they are replacing that with a permanent one above his pubic bone that can be changed out every month or so. Much easier than traditional Caths and I’m curious as to whether we need a surgeon or a plumber. Hmmmm I will have to ask the urologist if he ever wanted to be a plumber. Okay that was a random thought…even for me!

As you know we butchered my boar hog a couple weeks ago. I tried to get video, charged the camera and everything but Murphy’s law kicked in “If it can go wrong it will” and the video didn’t come out and by the time I realized there was a problem the battery was dead. I have been busy making sausages-lots of sausage! Boudin which is a favorite of my kids, it’s a Cajun sausage made with ground pork, liver, veggies and rice then spiced up and put in casings. I also made breakfast sausage, spicy links and sweet Italian sausage.  

 That was a huge hog! While I was busy butchering hubby took the old subway oven we were given and made a smoker for me. I just finished up smokin 150 pounds of pork. The hams were so big I cut them into 3 pieces. One piece weighed 31 pounds! Dear hubby did get upset I forgot to save back side pork but after he tasted the bacon he got over that quick!    

      
  The weather is still spring like and I expect that old man winter slept through and forgot us again. It’s just cold enough to be icy but it feels like we will be melting off early again this year. That’s okay I’m ready for a change! It’s been an easy winter temp wise but Lordy I’m tired of the rain and ice

  
Many plans for big events have had to be put off because of the medical issues with Papa Fred and the weather…oh I hate keeping secrets but hopefully soon we get back on track and I can share the news! I really am horrible at this secret keeping stuff-note: don’t Ever tell me a good secret-like a surprise gift for someone or a pending birth-I’m the worlds worst at keeping those kind of secrets! I get so excited they have a tendency to just pop out of my mouth! 

We celebrated Papa Freds 73 birthday yesterday and like the ground hog he didn’t see his shadow so spring must be on its way! I made his favorite meal of smoked pork chops and yes they were from our pig and tasted wonderful with the birch smoke.  

 He also had a jalapeño bacon cheesecake. This is the second time I have made this and finally as I was creating I wrote down the ingredients.  

    

 

   
 
Crust 1-1/2 c walnuts finely chopped1/4 c sugar

1/4 c melted butter

1/4 c flour
Filling 3- 8 oz packages cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla flavoring
Topping 4 strips bacon cooked then crumbled

Prepare crust by mixing the ingredients then oil sides of  8 or 9 inch spring form pan put the crust in and roll pan to lightly coat sides before  pressing into pan (the bottom of a canning jar works great for this!) bake 10 minutes at 350

To prepare filling soften cream cheese and mix in sugar then eggs 1 at a time until well blended ( it will have lumps but that’s okay, add vanilla and stir well. Pour into crust then sprinkle edges with bacon crumbles and put jelly in a ring on top (you can also just spoon dollups of jelly over the top.

Bake at 350 about an hour. It’s done when the center is no longer jiggly if you shake the pan. This recipe can be doubled and put in a 9×13 inch cake pan too. The men love it and it’s a favorite of my kids too!

Well now the roosters are crowing and it’s time for another pot of coffee so I will leave you all for now. May your day be blessed with sunny skies and happy thoughts. 

Goat love songs and cat food crunching

It’s been a rough start to the year for sure with all the flooding we are experiencing in the area. Sleep has been a rarity as we spend most nights going from one animal pen to the next clearing drainage ditches, removing fallen trees and dealing with the ongoing torrential rains and winds that have plagued us this winter. Finally a night that I can actually get some sleep!  Yay!!! Happy dance!!!! Well, it was a nice thought. Here I sit it is almost 4 a.m. And I have had a grand total of 1 hour and 15 minutes sleep. No it wasn’t the rain, the skies are clear and stars shining brightly. No, it wasn’t flooding as the waters have somewhat subsided and no it wasn’t even dear hubby snoring that has kept me awake. In a word-goats. Goats! Those sweet faced lovable, obnoxious, bellering, sneak in the cabin goats! Apparently someone told them I may actually get to close my eyes tonight and they had a meeting to decide who would take which shift in order to cover the entire night of being obnoxious. 

It began about 10 p.m. One of my yearling darlings came into heat. Up the steps she would run to escape the billies-down she would go bellering. Then the boys started their waaa waaaa waaaing which for those of you not in the loop that sound is what boy goats make to not only annoy me but it’s a love song of sorts sang to the pretty little girlie goats. They must of been off key as she definitely wasn’t interested. Now you would think that after they finally quit singing that things would calm down and I could catch a few minutes of sleep-ha! Hope y’all didn’t put money on that bet for I was in bed-again-for a grand total of 17 minutes. Whoever went to the outhouse last didn’t get the door latched, Frankie seen an opportunity and quietly let himself in. Such a courteous goat is he that he made sure to close the door so the other goats couldn’t get in and began munching and crunching away at the cat food. I was just getting up to reprimand one of the kids for making such a racket crunching cereal (no they don’t do that really but my mind is not quite right at the moment due to lack of sleep) when I see Frankie and of course I asked him just what he thought he was doing in the house and eating the cat food. Before you even think it yes my sentences are going on forever but hey, zombie moms are entitled to do that. Frankie of course looks up at me as if it’s just a common everyday occurrence to be standing inside eating cat food. I will admit I told him to wipe his mouth he had crumbs on his chin before the irrational side of me crept out and began screeching like a banshee and grabbing the broom. Of course getting him out the door took a bit of doing since the other critters outside heard MY bellering and had to come look in the window to see what was happening. Finally I get the goat gone, cat food cleaned up and I realize that through all that commotion, screeching, thumping,bellering and hollering…..not a soul woke up. Hmmm, well guess it’s time to get the coffee going, dig out the mom cape and start my day.  I’ll get the coffee on as soon as I get this chicken out who just jumped into my lap. It looks like it’s gonna be one of those days.

God Bless you all and keep smiling!

It’s been a great year

Christmas is just around the corner and soon after we will begin a New Year. It’s hard to believe that 2015 has flown by so quickly. We started the year off with a new birth on Two Moose, this year we may just see that again as our goat girls are getting quite round. 

The months flew by in a blur of new life springing forth, gardening, building, hunting and fishing. With the expansion of our animals came lots of building projects.

  The children grew so much I sometimes felt they had done so overnight. Gone is the baby faced years and they have all turned into young adults with ideas, inspirations and dreams of their own. It saddens this momma to see the birds preparing to fly from the nest but warms my heart to know that with the coming years they will gain enough knowledge to be well equipped to move into the world if they decide that’s their course. 

2015 showed an old dog (dear hubby) he could indeed learn new tricks. What began as a friend needing a deck hand has turned into a new career. My dear husband who had only heard stories from me about the ocean having a life and personality of its own finally experienced it and now feels her beaconing call. I watch his face as he looks out over the inlet at high tide and see the longing he feels to return to her once again.

For me 2015 was the turning point where I could see how far we had come. I am living where I want, how I want and for the first time in my life I am at peace. There is no place like home. From the first little green sprig in spring to the latest snowfall and every day in between I find something daily to rejoice over. Our little farm is growing despite the set backs living in the wild can bring, my children are happy, healthy and learning more than anyone could ever imagine and my dear hubby is experiencing things he never dreamt he would. Yes life is blessed and I expect 2016 to be just as exciting.

As I sit here with the fire crackling, the aroma of coffee in the air, looking out the window to the light of a sliver of the moon reflecting on the pristine snow blanketed land I see the future. Our future. Where someday my grandchildren may sit in this same exact spot and wonder if granny was right-is this truly good next year country. Of course not all will see or feel the pull this land has on my heart but perhaps one will feel it as I do. 

Once again it’s time to make the rounds to check on our critters so I will leave you with random pictures of our life here on Two Moose. May your day be blessed.

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

Holiday season is upon us

It’s that time of year again when thoughts of big family dinners, shopping and Christmas music is blaring at every turn. Of course we are sheltered from the commercializations of the holidays and our thoughts turn to things like butchering turkeys. That is what has been on the agenda for a week now yet the weather has given them a bit of a reprieve. Tomorrow-well today actually as it is after midnight, we will butcher the remaining birds and they will be on the menu for Thanksgiving dinner. Sadly we lost many this year to both predators and the flooding we experienced but with a bigger flock next year and proven broody mommas (both or birds hatched chicks this year) we expect that we will see a better year in 2016. For those of you wanting to know how the processing is done I will post after and hopefully dear hubby or one of the kids can get pics. Don’t worry if your squeamish I will warn in the title so you don’t have to see if you don’t want to. 

   
It’s 1:30 a.m. And I find myself wide awake after my nightly jaunt around the place checking critters. It’s become a difficult task with half frozen ground and I find myself either skating on the ice or sinking in the mud but as I slip, slither and slosh through the elements I am being rewarded with stars in the sky, a bit of the Aurora showing a hazy green and the wind whispering a mournful tune through the trees. 

The time is getting closer for some of the goats to begin kidding and I am sure now that Charlotte the pig absorbed her second litter of piglets so no guess as to when she will finally farrow. This off weather has been difficult for both the animals and us humans. Trying to keep the water away and from warm to cold to warm again has messed with their bodies natural coping abilities. This cycle will pass but it leaves devastation behind that isn’t as obvious to those who aren’t living it. Just a challenge though that time will overcome. 

It seems we now have two goats that think indoors is better than out. Our little wether Klondike (who is destined for freezer camp)fell in a water hole yesterday and luckily the kids were close enough to save him. By the time Caleb carried him to the cabin he was very chilled, weak (the goat) and showing signs of hypothermia. Getting him inside, dried off and warm again he soon was back to being an obnoxious little goat who now is standing at my door bellering. He doesn’t miss his momma he misses being spoiled. Of course the country kitchen cure all has wetted his appetite for sweet treats. For those of you who don’t know what that is, the country kitchen cure all was a milk replacer concocted of carnation canned milk, corn syrup if you had it or any other sweetener like honey or maple syrup. A bit of salt and some water to dilute it and you could nourish both 2 legged and 4 legged critters back to health. To this day I still use it.im sure there are those who would dispute it’s use but there are many an old timer that was raised on that mixture. 

   
I’m praying the weatherman is correct in his forecast. Only time will tell of course but it looks like we may see a solid freeze in the coming week. Would sure help with getting around out here-and getting in. With all the breakdowns we are waiting on parts so we can have a wheeler that is in working order. Our good friends Dan and Robin saved the day by loaning us a wheeler as papa Freds is now in need of new cv joints (this place is brutal on them)and our wheelers are waiting for parts to arrive. One of them still in the swamp until it is solid enough to drag it home and see what is wrong. We aren’t quite at total self sufficiency but we get closer each year and praying 2016 will be the year we accomplish it. If we truly had to we could survive without many things but our desire is not to just survive but to thrive in our little world.

Who else is already garden fantasizing? I know I cannot be the only one! With a full growing season under my belt I now have the confidence to get out and grow! Yes it was a lot of trial and error but it proved what worked and what didn’t!  Yes I can grow tomatoes and tomatillos here! While we didn’t grow enough to get us through until next season we did have enough to can and enjoy our bounty-next year will be better yet. 

Back to the holidays. I’ve quite a delimma. Last year the girls and I overcame our limited space by creating a construction paper Christmas tree and hanging it on the wall-this year the wall is covered with shelves. I will need to be really creative to figure out where we will put a tree this year. To those who think a tree is trivial I must explain that because our income is so limited, gifts for the kids are not something we have the luxury of buying so I do what I can and start new traditions so they have fond memories of when we celebrate the birth of our savior. Priorities. It’s all about what truly matters.

Well the wind is really whipping and the cabin is beginning to feel the chill so I must go stoke the fire and think of a nap as I have a big day ahead. I pray your all warm and dry, safe from the storms that life can toss at us and Thankful for the blessings that you have. Until next time…..

The Runaways

Today was a hectic day for sure. Taking advantage of the beautiful sunny day I decided to deep clean some pens-starting with the meat chickens. Due to the mud and water all of the young critters have been confined to close quarters to prevent any more drownings. Yes, the water has gotten that bad. Closed in animals equals lots of shoveling. Just as I had completed the meat chicken pen cleaning (and wrangled all the little escapees) my phone rang. Dear hubby was calling from the trail where he and the kids were working to drain some of the standing water (some spots were over 3 foot deep),placing logs over areas that had turned to soup and replaced logs that had completely washed away. Back to the reason for his call-it went something like this: Your pigs are almost to the swamp (our description of where the timber ends) call them home. Click. Hmmm, someone was clearly upset. I went out to the trees and began hollering and calling….nothing. Not a squeal or grunt to be heard. By the way have you ever noticed how “Ours” becomes “Yours” when children or critters are being difficult? Still no answer or site of the wandering pigs I call dear hubby back and he tells me they are heading back-apparently it isn’t a good thing when you fight to place a log in deep mud and a pig roots it out while your retrieving another log. Thinking the pigs have gotten sidetracked by some tasty morsel-or more likely taking a nap I am diverted to another call for help. I can hear a goat screaming like it’s been caught by the devil himself so off I head in the direction of the distress call. Two hours of hiking through willows, over and under fallen trees and through tall grass hiding said fallen trees I locate the screamer. Next to the creek, completely fine except she had gotten separated from the herd. Really?  That is all I could think of at the moment to say to her. Now all her screaming was like calling every predator in the country out and I reach down to get some reassurance that I will be okay and guess what I did not have on my belt. Yep! In my haste I forgot to get my pistol. I had purposely left it in the cabin while cleaning the pens because this acidic slop is no good on gun metal. So I find myself in the middle of the banquet table and not a weapon on me. Thank heavens the Bears, wolves and coyotes were taking the time to enjoy the sunshine and not hunting idiots or I would have been dinner and the screaming goat dessert. Of course Doris the screaming goat got a severe reprimand and my yelling had caused the rest of the herd to come to investigate.

Hiking back to the cabin to resume my pen cleaning (nine goats following) I came upon a nice patch of cranberries. Of course I didn’t have a thing to put them in but there were so many! I couldn’t leave them just sitting there so I filled my shirt front and once again headed for home. Now for normal people this would have been a great reward for the effort of saving a little lost goat-NORMAL being the key word. Well if your as graceful as I am this is just one more of those incidents better left in the woods but of course I have to share it. Now mind you I already said it was a beautiful sunny day and I was outside working. That means I was wearing a tshirt-an almost white tshirt. When you couple an almost white tshirt full of extremely juicy red cranberries with a woman who has two left feet it’s pretty much a disaster waiting to happen. Yes, you guessed it-I tripped over an unseen log and try as I might not to lose the berries or break any crucial bones I land arm protecting berries mind you, on a soft but very large moss hump. It looked like I had been eviserated. Dripping red down one arm and all over the front of me my berries were now cranberry sauce and had anyone come up on such a site they would have thought I’d escaped being mauled. No harm no foul I continued onward to home, threw the “bloody” shirt in the burn barrel and only after I lit the trash did I think “wow that would of been a cool costume for one of the kids for Halloween”!

By now it is after 3 and I’m still not finished with my chores for the morning. I finished what I could of the pens, fed the ever starving meat birds again and was just getting the stove going again to heat up a cup of coffee when I look at the clock and see its 5:30. Wow where did my day go? More importantly where is my family?  They had run into town to check the mail since they were already out by the truck and I got yet another phone call. This time it was one of the kids asking if the pigs had come home. Well, no……. 2 minutes later the phone rings again and I hear-found your pigs they are at the truck. Apparently they were wanting to go to town!

By the time dear hubby, the 3 kids and 2 wandering pigs pulled into the yard it was right at dark. Time for the evening chores to hurriedly get done and then back to the cabin where my cold cup of coffee sat there right where I had forgotten it. Supper wasn’t on the table until after 9 and it was a thrown together pot of chicken and dumplings from a jar of my home canned chicken.

As I write this it’s 2 a.m. and I have just made the rounds checking critters who are all sleeping snug and dry in their pens. 

It’s a crazy, hectic and sometimes frustrating life here on Two Moose farm but as I climb the ladder to kiss each forehead of my sleeping children I thank God for his blessings he has bestowed upon our family. Now time for a quick nap before I have to start another day. 

    
 

Crazy days of summer

Hi all, I apologize for the delay in posting but summer is such a busy time!

Lots of new baby critters including 10 little piggies. A broody hen who will literally kill anyone or thing that goes near her best-2broidy turkey hens that hide in the woods (found one!) and lots of work to be accomplished like hating. 

I’ve been butchering chickens for weeks now and ending this batch this coming week with more to arrive at months end-whew it’s work!

Not much time for a thorough post but will share some pics and promise details later when I have time. Praying God blesses you with plenty of work to keep you from being idle and bountiful energy to complete your tasks!

   
    
    
    
 

Chicks!!!!!

Oh happy day!  Last night the hubby brought me chicks a friend has hatched out for me and I’m so excited!  Now before ya all go worrying, no I didn’t lose my others (well not all of them) I just wanted/needed more chickens and turkeys. Yes, I am that crazy chicken lady. Thank you Robin for adding 7 more baby chicks (these are Aracaunas I believe) and 4 more turkey poults (Royal Palms I think) to my menagerie. Once again the homemade non electric brooder will be my night light-as if I need one when it gets dark at midnight and light again around 4 a.m. Robin and her hubby Dan had fun hatching them and gave me updates regularly on their progress both during incubation and hatching. They referred to the eggs as their “kids” and doted over them. I called Robin Friday and got her on her cell in town shopping and jokingly said to her “Aren’t you close to being due? What’s a woman so close to labor doing out running around” Robin had a comeback for me though as she said no labor pains yet and had to prepare. She got me giggling Sunday though when she informed me she had to do a c-section on one egg as the chick was wearing down but yay!!!! She saved it. Yes folks I have awesome friends! 

 I just had to share this with you as I had a couple friends post to my Facebook page. Kristine and Wendy thanks for the giggles! 

 The weekend was busy as usual and my dear hubby literally ran his legs off. Saturday he had to hike in to take the kids to shooting sports. Our trail is still too wet to support the weight of adults, the wheelers and supplies (never do we make a trip in without bringing something) so the kids drive and we walk. Sunday he made 2 trips in and out! For those of you who don’t know that’s 15 miles of hiking!  He was pretty excited though when he went to retrieve one of my “deals” and loaded not 1 but 2 wheelers that need a bit of work onto the trailer. There was much excitement in his voice when he called and anticipation for the time they are running and we have extra transportation and work horses for logging. I will post pics when he gets them running and out here. His next errand he ran for me was picking up the hay I got for a song! He got there and was surprised that the cheap hay I committed to over the phone for 5.00 a bale was great Timothy hay. Mind you hay around here sells for around 25.00 a bale for good hay. He also met a new friend with many of the same interests AND who also has twin girls our Twins’ age! I’m telling you folks God is so good! He provided for yet another need.

My weekend was spent working on projects around the farm but did take time to make some butter after I separated the cream and some mozzerella cheese. It didn’t turn out perfect but it’s edible. One thing I am discovering is everything I know about cheese making is based on cows milk. I have to tweek my recipes as Goats milk is very different. It requires less rennet and now if I could just remember that BEFORE I add it perhaps I will get back to making awesome cheese instead of just so so cheese.  

   Two of our wethers went to new homes on Saturday and I will admit I do miss them. Every baby has its idiosyncrasies and little Blake definitely had his. The kids called it the invisible leash. You could get that little stinker to follow you anywhere by scratching his chin. They have found a new home now where they will be spoiled pets with a couples grandkids to play with.  

   The plant starts are doing well and I really must get them in the ground soon but am a bit anxious about the potential for frost. It’s been so warm I wonder if it will last. I guess I will just have to do it and pray that it stays warm. 

       Cami is starting to take interest in the goats more and is learning to milk. For those of you who have never milked it’s easier said than done. Milking requires the use of muscles that don’t normally get used and builds up forearm strength. It’s tiring until you get those muscles used to it and even though I enjoy it I will admit having 2 more sets of hands is a blessing. Cati has become a skilled miller already and can even milk my one doe who is a hard milker.  

 Much was accomplished last week with getting the farrowing pen done and having a happy pig and I hope this week we can be as industrious as last. 

I know I’ve said for months I would have a website soon with farm products for sale so by weeks end I will announce it. Our first offerings will be Birch syrup, Barley pancake mix, goat milk hot cocoa mix, lip balm and goat milk soap. I will also be running a contest so stayed tuned!

Well folks once again it’s been my pleasure to share our lives with you but duty calls. The roosters are crowing, everyone wants fed and there are many other projects to be completed. May your hands stay busy, your heart be happy and may God grace and bless you.  

         

Homestead Happenings

its not yet 4 a.m. but I’m awake and listening to the pitter patter of raindrops hitting the roof. I really should be sleeping considering I was awake until midnight but the body has a mind of its own. 

It has been a busy couple of days here on Two Moose farm with butchering a couple chickens, building a farrowing pen and feeling helpless when a neighbor needed helped. Let’s start there as that is a sad event I want to share. 

I have friends I have never met except online both near and far. We interact via Facebook and they become very dear to me. One such friend just happens to live just a few miles out from where we are and are also homesteading. 

Ann has a couple goats she purchased a few months ago and they are very young. No one told her the little doeling was bred but they suspected based on her appearance. After she went into labor it was a few hours into it they knew she was in trouble. Ann called me and I could hear the distress in her voice. I know she and her husband love their animals as I do mine and felt immediately the kindred spirit us homesteaders feel for each other. Having experienced difficult births with many different animals including goats I attempted to give a shortened version via phone on how to assist the birth. Sadly the kid goat didn’t make it but I am happy to say the momma did. Yes, we all understand it is part of being a homesteader/farmer yet that is no comfort when it’s one of your animals that is in pain or you have lost. I felt helpless and wanted so badly to reach through the phone to give her a hug and let her know I truly understood the pain she was going through. Homesteading is a wonderful life but it has its bad days too. 

Needing to get my mind on other things I started on my farrowing pen. Charlotte missed the due date I expected so I figure that she will be due in about 2.5 more weeks and I want to give her a bit of luxury. I know it sounds silly but she is my baby even if she weighs well over 300 pounds. Using scrap lumber, some slabs and a few trees we thinned out we managed to get about 90 percent done before it was time to get supper on the table. The cloudy skies had me nervous so we covered it with a tarp that will keep it dry until I can shingle it. Charlotte moved across the yard with relative ease into her new “birthing suite” and seems quite happy with her new place. 

       The 2 chickens we finally butchered were very large-scratch that they were huge!  They were Cornish cross meat birds I acquired in an assortment of chicks back in February and has grown to mammoth size. I slow roasted them all day packed with herbs to season and they turned out amazing. Cooking a bird this way does not produce a very pretty roasted chicken but does produce tender, juicy and flavor filled meat. Try it sometime. Pull skin away from the muscle and poke herbs (fresh or dried) in between the skin and muscle. Put a couple cups of water or broth in the pan with the bird, rub some olive oil on it and cover. Slow roast 4-5 hours and I promise you will love it. By the way my herbs of choice were Rosemary, savory and sage but you can use whatever sounds good and I have even sliced lemons or apples and inserted them.  

        Dear Hubby was working at the saw mill today and first thing he calls and tells the kids to send me over. I get there and he points out some bear tracks right in the sawdust pile. After getting a few pics and inspecting more closely it appears to be the tracks of a momma bear and cub or Cubs. They rolled around in the sawdust and left prints and bits of fur so looks like a black bear.  

   As many of you know we feed our pigs a diet heavy in organic barley. I finally got some pics of hubby tending the fire under the bathtub in which we cook it in 50 pounds at a time.  

   That same evening was so beautiful out we spent the evening out doors drinking coffee and visiting with Papa until almost midnight. 

 Well the sun is up and coffee is done so I will bid you all farewell until the next time. Have a very blessed day and make every moment a memory.