Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What's happening?!

What's going on since the goats left?

Lots!
I know I said that I'd post more, well I guess that went out the door.
Sorry.

I started my Master Gardeners course and that has been taking most of my spare time.
I thank God everyday I didn't start this course when I still had the goats.
It's very time consuming.
They expect you to spend 3-4 hours a week on the course.
Well for someone that hasn't used their brain in a long time
(well in that capacity anyway) I've had to study 2 hours a day 6 days a week!!
I still get up at the crack of dawn. That's when I do my best studying.
It's a lot of work and I'm using a lot of brain power...
but I LOVE it!!!
I did my first exam on Monday and made 90%!
I'm now working on my first assignment and studying plant anatomy and 
coniferous trees.
I need to know 100 botanical plant names by the time I'm done.
So far I've done annuals, perennials and deciduous trees.
I think I'll have a few issues with identifying coniferous trees. 
Unless they have a tag on them in the forest, they all look like spruce, pines or cedars to me.

This is how I study my Latin plant names. The old fashioned way.

Last Saturday was the Christmas on the Sissiboo craft show.
We did awesome!! Almost sold out of apple butter and I had made
A LOT of apple butter. Phew.

My table at the craft show.
One of our new scents this year.

Then since we no longer have any goats....
we hopped on the ferry to Saint John New Brunswick and stayed overnight.
Just for the heck of it!
Jamie and his girlfriend came with us also.
I know...Jamie has a girlfriend.
I'm getting old.
She's pretty and super nice.
She's quiet, which compliments Jamie's...
how shall we say this...exuberant personality.
Yes. That's a good word. 

Here we are on the ferry! 
On the ferry Dave was wearing his Christian firefighter tee shirt.
A couple approached him saying how they liked it.
Come to find out they were going home from a conference at a church in Yarmouth.
We talked the entire ferry ride to New Brunswick.
It's nice meeting fellow Christians.

We had just gotten home from the ferry on Sunday morning when Jamie and I decided to go to the penny sale to support the Clare Feral Friends.
We had fun and actually won a few prizes.



Monday night I had a meeting with three students from the local university.
The university has started a new program for their business students.
They pair them up with local small business owners to help them with their businesses.
So I got chosen for my soap business!
How cool is that!
They are so nice and look genuinely excited to help me. I got a girl and two guys.
The girl is from Fredericton NB, but her grandparents are actually local. We know them well.
Small world.
The two guys are from Morocco and Congo.
This could be interesting to see what ideas all three have.

So needless to say I haven't let grass grow under my feet since the last time we talked.
Have a Blessed Evening.
Lisa



Tuesday, October 4, 2016




Happy Fall!!!


That is all.


Have a Blessed evening
Lisa

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Goats...A.D.

Hmmm..
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!

Hibiscus.


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.
Strange.
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
Lisa

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.
Lisa

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!!
Yes!!!
Simonne was lonely without a partner in crime so we decided to adopt 

Grenouille!




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!
Lisa

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
is
not
so
lucky.





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.

Sigh....

Well I thought it was a good idea.

Have a Blessed Evening
Lisa

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.

Secondly...
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).

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

Five

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.

Six!

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
CALL THE VET!
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.