Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy Fall!!!

That is all.

Have a Blessed evening

Sunday, October 2, 2016


How's it going?
Well that's the question I've been getting a lot since we sold the animals.
Tickety boo.
That's usually my answer.
I miss the goats a lot...a lot.
I miss not having fresh milk at any given time.
Store bought milk..well....bites.
And I'm always running to the store to buy some.
It's weird how you take for granted what you have until it's gone.
I honestly didn't think we drank all that much milk.
Boy was I wrong.
I don't even drink it, I just use it for baking (which I now have time to do) and for my cereal.
But it still goes faster than I expected.

I actually enrolled in the Master Gardener's Course at Dalhousie University
and got my email that it starts tomorrow! Ack!


Since my body still thinks it has to get up at the crack of dawn, I'm going to let it think that.
And that's what I'm going to be doing for an hour every morning...studying.
I never thought I'd hear myself say that.

We are slowly getting into a new routine with no animals other than chickens, dogs and cats.
It's weird going outside and hearing....birds chirp.
The roosters don't even crow all that much anymore.
It's so quiet...some days I love it. Some days I don't .
I still putter around the property wondering what I have to do.
Oh yes! That's right.
I have laundry to do. And lots of it!
That didn't stop....ever.

I'm gearing up to make my famous apple butter for the upcoming craft sales. 

Fire and Ice Hydrangea

I went to our local apple orchard and bought 6 bushels of apples.
I'll be busy soon.
I'm also busy making soap, soap and more soap.
I had time to decorate for fall this year.
I like it.
We have a helper coming next week.
Her job will be taking down the fencing.
The helpers we had the last 2.5 weeks brought in all our firewood.
That was awesome!
Well that's all for now
Have a Blessed Evening

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Another Chapter

I never thought I'd see the day that I would post this.

I'm not even sure how to begin.

I've been thinking about this for the last year or so.  
But I was avoiding it.

I sold all the goats.
There I said it.
There's been rumours in the community going around as to why I sold all the goats.
Some people are even saying I've got cancer.
Put all your minds at ease. 
I don't have cancer.

What I do have is I'm exhausted.
Mentally, physically and emotionally.

I thought I could do this homesteading thing while working a fulltime job off the farm.
Well I have come to the realization that I can't.
I admit it...
I cannot.
There I said it.

Like I tell people when they ask why?
I'd get up at 5am and go till 10:30-11pm 
and I still didn't even have everything that needed done, done.
A few people told me in the last few days that they have no idea how I ever did it.

I was constantly worried about the health of the goats, paying for the goats, if something happened to one of us, who would milk the goats? 
Like all farmers know, leaving the farm for even just a weekend involves a lot of planning.
The first thing being...who's going to come and take care of the livestock.
It's relatively easy to find someone to come and take care of a dog, cat or even the chickens.
But when it involves dairy animals that need to be milked twice a day, everyday, whether you want to or not. It's almost impossible. Especially if you don't live in a farming community like we do. Whether you're sick or not (like the time I had H1N1 and one of the goats didn't like Dave so I had to drag myself to milk her anyway), whether there's 5 feet of snow, hurricane force winds, etc...
They still need to be milked twice a day.
And then you have to deal with people that are not always honest.  
And that's what broke the proverbial goat's (camel, whatever) back.

Like I said, I had been thinking about selling the goats for a year or so when I sold a goat to someone. To make a long story short, he says she was sick and almost dead when she got there. We say she was fine when she left here. He wanted his money back. (the goat is still alive btw) or he was going to slander our name everywhere. This wouldn't bother me too much because everyone knows we have quality livestock.  Like my vet said, this was cyber bullying. Blackmail whatever you want to call it.
It was the end.

So I talked it over with Dave and we decided to give a fellow farmer a call to see if she wanted to buy all the goats. Every last one.  I gave her a good deal because I knew they were going to an awesome place. She had bought goats from me before, so she knew our goats. This is also the place my goats went to "goat camp" a few summers ago.

I told Dave, if she says yes. Then it's meant to be. If she had declined, then I'm not sure if I would have tried selling them to someone else or kept them. 
But she said "YES!" 
So the goats are gone.
Did I cry when they left...no.
But I cried after they left. I couldn't even talk about it for a few days.
I knew I had made the right decision for the goats and me, but it was still hard.
I'm tearing up as I write this. I still have a hard time looking at goat pictures.
I miss their little faces, their personalities, but I don't miss anything else.

Will I ever go back to goats? Don't know.
Maybe, maybe not.  But for the next 3 years, no.
I'm not selling any of my equipment for now....

I'm still going to make soap. Because that was one of the biggest questions people were asking me.
I have enough milk in the freezer for a long, long time of soap making. And when I run out I have my sources that will supply me with milk. And no, it's not where the goats went. We are still going to be homesteading, just not with goats. More with gardening, preserving our food etc..

So from this day forth this blog will be more of a gardening theme. A travel theme.
Since I'll have time to travel...not exotic places. But just down the road. 
I'm also going to take my Master Gardener's course with Dalhousie University this winter.
I'm also going to take care of my health. Exercise, eat right and try not to stress too much...ya right.
I'm going to take care of my family more, go to church more, camp more, bake more, blog more, be able to visit my friends more...relax more.

We still have the chickens since the way they're set up they can take care of themselves for a few days. And I've got plenty of people that can come and pick up the eggs if need be.

So it's really not the end.  It's just another chapter in my life.

So sorry if I've rambled on too much, but now you know...
the rest of the story.

Have a Blessed Day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Last year, right before Christmas, Emilie crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
We were all devastated, but unfortunately Dachshunds are prone to IVDD and even though Simonne had pulled through with this condition 2 years ago, Emilie did not.

R.I.P. Emilie

Not long after Emilie left us, Simonne's former owner contacted us saying that the Doxie we had been looking at since he got her was going to be retired early. 
Would we want her?

Oh my goodness!!
Simonne was lonely without a partner in crime so we decided to adopt 


We had to wait and see how her latest pregnancy turned out first.
She was being retired early because she kept having pregnancy issues.
Her first litter only produced one puppy and this one looked like no puppies.

So she ended with no puppies.  The breeder is not a puppy mill. He's a very reputable breeder, he treats his dogs like his own children and when he sees one of his mommas has issues
 he doesn't breed them anymore.

So the weekend of April 2nd, Dave hopped in with a truck driver buddy of his (he brought Simonne to us) and went to Quebec to pick up Grenouille.

She's only 3.5 years old, so she still has a lot of living to do for a retiree!
She's a sweetie and at first she was very shy with us.
But that lasted all of a week or so.
She took to Simonne right away and Simonne took to her.

Grenouille is a dapple miniature Dachshund
I mean look at that face!
How can you resist that!

Where there's one, there's the other.

I brought Grenouille to the vet last week and they asked me if they got along                          especially with the large age gap. (Simonne is 11).

What do you think?

And with a name like Grenouille
she needed to come here. 
It was meant to be.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It seemed like a good idea...

You know when you think of something and it seems like a good idea at the time....
Well since the rat poison episode a few months ago
we've resorted to those nasty sticky traps.
But our rat and mice problem seems to have disappeared.
Though we still had a jumbo, super dooper, Princess Auto,
stick to anything sticky trap set in the barn.

I noticed that someone had biffed said trap outside by the barn door.
It was full of hay and dirt, so I figured it wasn't too sticky anymore.

So I left it there since I was busy. 
I figured that I would get rid of it the next day.

Well time has a way of flying by 
and yesterday it was still there.

And one of our chickens had walked in it.

There it was walking around with this huge trap stuck to it's foot.
Well really it was squawking around with the sticky trap stuck to it's foot.
I thought to myself, "If I could just get close enough...."

I don't think I need to elaborate.
But I will anyway.
Why I thought if I got close enough to the sticky trap to step on it 
and then I could catch the chicken, was a good idea...
I'll never know.

And that's what I did.

It was easy enough to sneak up on the chicken
and WHAM! I slammed my foot on the trap!

I still didn't clue in to what I had done.

I grabbed the chicken and set it free.

My Croc on the other hand

It just won't come off.
I broke the larger part off but this part is still there.

But you know what the funny part is? No what I just said wasn't the funny part.
I actually, for a split second, contemplated putting my other foot
 on the other part of the trap to pry off my first foot.  Just for a split second.  
Ok, well long enough to lift up my foot and...think about what I was
about to do.


Well I thought it was a good idea.

Have a Blessed Evening

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gotta getta goat...maybe.

The other day, a fellow goat person and I were talking about how people don't realize what it is to have goats.  They think it's like having a dog or a cat.
We were so frustrated about it that I told her, "I think it's time I write a post on my blog about this."

So here goes.
I know I'm probably going to offend someone.
But you know what?! I really don't care.
If it means someone's feelings or a goat's well being then guess where my priorities lie....

goat yoga

First of all.
Before you get a goat read, read,read.
I cannot stress this enough.Talk to other people that have goats.
Then read some more! Research...that's another word for read.
I researched about goats for over a year before I got a goat.
And I still ran into things I had no clue about.

Simple things like what they can and cannot eat. Some regular household veggies will kill your goat.

Visit other goat people to see how they've got things set up. What works and what doesn't.

IF  you are not prepared to spend money on vet bills (and some years it can be a lot!)
Don't get a goat!  Yes I know some things can be done with home remedies and you can talk to other goat people about what they think it is...but the bottom line is,
it doesn't matter how well you take care of your goats, they're bound to get sick and only a good goat vet can help you.

So that means look for a vet that knows goats before you get a goat. Not all large animal vets are good or know goats.  Some of us have learned that the hard way. I've been lucky.
My vet has always been available, but I've heard horror stories from other goat people.
Develop a good relationship with your vet. Our vet is awesome, he trusts us to administer meds without him there and we trust him (and his daughter who's now also a goat vet).

Not even sure that's a word...oh well
Never, ever tie a goat!!! NEVER!!!!!
I cannot stress this enough.
Get it?!

A goat that is tied is at risk of being attacked by predators...and I'm not talking wolves, coyotes
           and such..just the neighbourhood dog that got loose can kill or severely maim or                                              hurt your goat...(vet bills)
                          They're houdinis. They can twist themselves enough that they                                                            will either get away or hang themselves. The best thing is to invest in good fencing, electric, wire etc...you'll know soon enough if it's good enough to hold your goats.

Numero 4!

Goats are pack animals.  Don't get just a goat, get two.


Goats are NOT lawnmowers.  They're like deer, they're browsers.  They like things high off the ground.  Sure in the spring when the lush, green grass is first out, they love to chow down on it. But they prefer the leaves off the highest branch on the tree, the bark off the tree or your rose bushes.


If you go in the barn and it looks like your goat is dying, foaming at the mouth, convulsions or anything like that...don't call your goat friend or someone you know that has a goat.
For the love of all that's holy
He or she will tell you what to do and if it's like around here, he knows who has goats and if they might have what you need in meds if you don't.  At least till he can get to you.
Nine times out of 10 your goat go to person will not have the knowledge to help you. They might want to, but can't, which will make them feel really, really bad.
It's not that we don't like helping our fellow goat person, but like I've said before, we haven't gone to vet school for 7 years. We know some stuff, but what might look like the same thing that happened to my goat, might be something completely different that's happening to yours even though it looks the same.

And lastly...for now

Research what type of goat is right for you...again, research another word for read.
I'm not talking Lamancha, Alpine, Nubian...
I'm talking milking goat, meat goat, fiber goat etc...
If you like going away overnight or just not into getting up an hour earlier in the morning don't get a milking goat. Well really don't get a goat. Just kidding.
 It's just that some goat breeds are more time consuming than others.
Like milking goats for example.
If you're not prepared to milk every day, twice a day...even if you've got a fever of 104 and you're nose is running like a leaky faucet, or there's enough snow on the ground to make the Iditarod champion sleds dogs turn and run...don't get a milking goat!!
If you want more of a pet, look into the miniature breeds.
If there's no way you can eat what you raise, don't get a meat goat.
Ya'll get what I'm saying?!

So I hope that I didn't scare or offend anyone.
I know this list is not complete by any stretch of the imagination but
it's a start. Goat keeping is fun and rewarding..but it's also stressful and can get expensive.

Have a Blessed Day.

Springtime on the Farm

Every year the government puts on Open Farm Day.

We've participated in it twice so far.

But it's in the fall which is all fine and dandy if you're a farm
that raises fruits and vegetables.

But when you raise animals the best time is in the spring when all the baby animals are still around!!

So I decided to put together our very own 
Spring Time on the Farm!

At first I had it planned for end of April.
But the weather was not cooperating and Azelle still was fighting mastitis.
She wasn't feeling up to par, so the last thing I wanted was for her to be disturbed by strangers.

So I planned for mid May.
It was a bit chilly, but there were no flies!

I had a soap making demo and a milking demo. And we talked
to people on how to homestead even if you have a full time job.

The milking demo, people were encouraged to try their hand at it.

We had samples of goats milk, goat's milk fudge and cheese!
There was goat and bunny shaped cookies for the kids!

I sold some soap and we accepted donations for Fort MacMurray.

I think everyone had a great time.

In a matter of 4 hours over 100 people came to our little farm!!!
And parking wasn't too much of an issue like I had originally feared.

My mom manned the soap and food table (next year we need two people for that)

Dave showed people around, as did I,
And my friend Susan was the official keeper of the 4 legged kids!

She said it was the easiest job she ever had.
Walk around with a baby goat on a leash.

Chester in all his glory! Dave changed Christian's name to Chester because his face
 looks like a court jester. So Chester the Jester.

Stuart enjoying one of many peanuts

A little lady milking Caith and doing an excellent job at it!
She even fed the pigs!

By the end of the day we were all pooped!
Especially the little ones.

It was a lot of work, so I'm still thinking if I should make another one next year.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Have a Blessed Day!