UPDATES

Life whether its normal life, dysfunctional life, salt life, lake life or farm life, can sure be busy. It’s been to long of a hiatus for nothing more than normal life and farm life combined. We have had company, and full weekends compounded with daily chores and life with kids (the human kind), and boom suddenly it’s nearing the end of 2017 and I sit here thinking where did the year go?

So just to keep everyone on the same page, I had lots of names for the next blog, but we are going to simply call it UPDATES!

Here’s what has been happening on the farm. Friedrich has returned from his, well goat visitation, he came home happy and ready to continue his billy goat ways. Within a few days of being home, he made his presence very known, all of the girls clearly knew he had returned. Along with Friedrich we had a little sweet goat named Heidi come for a visit, and I have never seen goats so hospitable to a “stranger”! They immediately were excited about her visit and everyone seemed to get along perfectly, but since she was really here to visit Friedrich, her visit was short lived and the VonTrapp’s were saying “So LONG FAREWELL” to Ms. Heidi.

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We have been getting lots and lots of questions about our pregnant horse “AJ” and Ms. Shawnee our chocolate donkey. Unfortunately we have experienced a lot of loss on the farm, and both pregnancies were somehow aborted at some point. So AJ and Shawnee are no longer pregnant, and we will not be having any foals in the near future. We don’t really know why, and we wish the outcome would have been different as we were so looking forward to the new additions. But both AJ and Shawnee are doing great and are healthy and happy so that’s the silver lining.

And finally I can say it I have been waiting and waiting to say these words, the greatest movie quote said in my best southern accent, “I gotta go, we got cows!” My farm wish has come true. We finally have cattle. For those that know me, and have been here to the farm, know how much I LOVE COWS! I have them everywhere, I collect fun ones, I have pictures of cows, and even a cow head in my kitchen. It was always a surprise for people to hear of all the animals we do have, that we didn’t have a cow. Now I love all cows, Jersey, Belted Galloway, Angus, Dexter, but my favorite looking cow of course is the classic black and white (shocker) Holstein, and as badly as I would still love one of them, we ended up getting three Angus, two girls and a boy.

 

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*side note, if you are in the market for a cow, I do not recommended looking at a fair for one, or allowing one at the fair to try to coerce you into buying it. Found the cutest little Jersey cow at the local agriculture fair in our town, it happened to be from the “Biltmore” line of cattle, when I asked about how much they were I was answered with a short 15. I knew it wasn’t $15 so I said, “OH $1,500” which I received the reply, “NO $15,000!” I can’t even imagine, better be golden milk for $15,000.

For those who have not spent time with cows, they are a blast, especially young ones, they run, they jump (which I guess is where the nursery rhyme came from), they love playing with Chandler, they are friends to the horses and the goats, and they have the cutest noses ever. And although we have not assessed their skills on the tennis court, we had a feeling the two very athletic girls might have some skills. Introducing Venus, Serena and Bull!

 

Everybody Does IT!

Certain subjects can produce reactions in different types of people, like women, somehow when a group of women get together childbirth stories, or talks about hormones, at some point seems to come up. Some women have horrific stories of labor and delivery; others talk about hot flashes and menopause. Young or old, it’s a subject that somehow bonds the masses. Men though talk about much different topics, sports, beer, cars, how they got a particular scar,  hunting, or grilling. Kids both boys and girls, between the ages of about 4-8 seem to get an absolute kick out of talking about poop, their own, their siblings, an animal, it’s a topic that often embarrasses the mothers and cracks up the fathers. It’s such a fun topic for children that there is even books about it. Imagine a child’s reaction in this age group to the farm, where we have lots of well POOP!

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It never fails whenever anyone comes to the farm, within moments we can tell how the visit is going to go. If they immediately start high-stepping through the pasture like they are walking on hot coals, we know that they haven’t spent much time around horses, or the like. I always laugh when we have kids come to the farm, and we hear oh my are those your…. Before they can even say horses, either giggling or eeewww it’s pooping follows it.

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This is probably the point you all are like really? Is she really blogging about poop? The short answer I guess is yes.

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You see like with everything else here, there was a learning curve. We honestly didn’t know how to handle or what to do with it all. It’s something after the age of 8 stops becoming amusing, and there is no manure for dummies books out there. So we had to learn on the fly (literally). This is where things started to get really really interesting. After several months, of waiting for it to break down, moving it around, and using it as fertilizer we realized this was not working, there was WAY to much of it. So we decided to build an area where we moved it all, we got some composting worms, and allowed them to do their thing. Then came some discussions with people asking us if we were going to sell it? Sell it? Are you kidding me, who would? Wait people actually pay for poop? This made me laugh. So my husband the Craigslist King, decided he was going to check  out the market for manure sales. Well I grew impatient and wanted the stuff gone, so we opted to put an ad up for free manure. And I’m sure you all know what happened next.

The phone calls started coming through, and Jody and I both became 7 years old again, every single time the phone would ring and we would hear someone say, “we are calling about the manure you have on Craigslist” (insert obnoxious laughter).

'I'm collecting manure for my strawberries.' 'I always put cream and sugar on mine.'

Suddenly the pile started to dwindle, we had people come in trucks, we had people bring trailers, we had a woman in a mini van drive an hour to load her van full for her potato farm. I now know more about manure than I ever dreamed possible, and it started as one of the few things here I gave little to no thought. What I thought the animals did with everything I researched feeding them is completely beyond me. But just like anything else in life, the more you are around something and the more you do something the more you learn, the more it becomes second nature. You can choose to embrace it (let’s hope not literally), or fight it. If only we were as smart as a guy I just recently read about named Brett Reinford, who converted manure from his cattle into electricity, he went from spending $2,500 a month on electricity for his farm to absolutely nothing, that is amazing.

Since we don’t live on a Suessical Farm where everyone’s a pony that eats rainbows and poops butterflies, we will continue to have a plan for poop, because what goes in certainly does come out.

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