Friday, April 30, 2010

Do you think three are too many?

Well, I couldn't stand the sight of Reggie lording it over Pete on the one new wooden spool I brought home last week so, on Tuesday, I went back to my new friend, Gary, at the Verizon transfer station and picked up the two remaining spools there.

First, though, they had to remove some leftover cabling off of one. The man on the right is Gary. I don't know the man on the left but he seemed to have heard about me. He asked me whether I had brought cookies again:

Hating to disappoint and rather embarrassed, I told him that this time I had only brought a cashew bar and a cream soda for Gary, but that I'd be sure to remember him "the next time". Fortunately for me, he was still willing to help load the spool into my truck:

Both boys couldn't have been happier that Jim and I had hoisted yet more interesting items into their run and exchanged a look of goat glee:

Reggie, of course, instigated the head butting to clarify spool ownership:

...but now that there are three spools, this conversation became unimportant and focus quickly shifted to asking me why I wasn't giving them any carrot coins:

"Seriously, mom, why aren't you?":

They've become quite good at the silent stare-down, too:

By the way, are you noticing Pete's beard? It has taken on a definite Fu Manchu appearance, wouldn't you say?:

When it became clear that no carrot coins were immediately forthcoming, the activity changed to spool jumping:

Fun for a bit, but Pete soon decided a snack was more interesting and went back into the goat house:

...leaving Reggie, again, alone and happy on top of a new spool:

These boys now have so many climbing options, their little run is looking, well, little. I see a goat run expansion project (GREP) moving to the top of my spring to-do list. Don't tell my husband - he gets nervous when I start talking about new fencing. :-)

Thank you for the many suggestions I received recommending that I cover the holes on the tops of the spools for goat-safety-sake. I will be doing this a.s.a.p., as well as attaching some of our roofing shingles to the tops to give the boys some traction. I did this for their old platform and walkway and it works great. It is so wet here in the winter and spring, all the surfaces tend to quickly become mossy and slick as ice.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hey, I was looking for that...

I really never thought I'd see it again. I certainly never thought I'd find it here:

I lost this about three days ago. After a long day outside, I came inside to find I only had one of these still in my ear:

Phew, a matched set again:

I really love my hoop earrings.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lusting after wooden spools

I have been obsessed with finding wooden spools for a while now. Not the small ones, though. I want the big kind.

Like these:

I have been on a quest to find giant wooden spools for my goat boys, Pete and Reggie, for almost as long as the goat boys have lived with me. I have seen so many cute pictures of goats climbing, jumping and wrestling on these spools, but I've had a very difficult time finding one of our own.

About a week ago, driving home, I passed by a neighbor's house about a mile away and saw this:

Can't see it? How about now?:

Not being the shy sort, I stopped and left a note on their (locked and chained - this is the country, after all) gate inquiring about their spool. I left my number and hoped they would call. A few days later, they did. The very nice man recommended that I try hardware stores (done - no luck), the electric company (done - they never called back), oh and the Verizon transfer station a couple of towns over.

That was definitely worth a try. I drove there the next day, inquired within and, while they didn't have any at the time, "Gary" told me he would keep his eye open and give me a call.

Riiiiiiight. I'd heard that before.

True to his word, though, about five days ago, Gary (my new best friend) called and said "come and get 'em".

As I drove by, I could see them. They looked perfect:

Ahhhhh...just what I've been looking for:

Gary couldn't have done a better job - they're the perfect size for Nigerian Dwarf goats:

They fit perfectly into the back of my truck. My car smelled like fresh wood all the way home:

Only one of these spools will be staying on Critter Farm. The other spool is promised to a friend who is tickled pink she scored a spool so easily. (chuckle)

The boys loved it from the first moment they saw it and knew exactly what it was meant for:

They have definitely outgrown their first climbing platform, an old dog house with no roof that has been tilted on its side. Frankly, that thing is on its last leg, and will probably collapse soon:

See Pete on the spool? This is a rarity:

Reggie is quite the bully and he constantly "fights" Pete over who gets to be on top:

Reggie, nine times out of ten, wins the coveted position:

...leaving Pete to wander dejectedly off to the stupid balance beam (what used to be the "cool" toy):

I definitely need to call my new pal, Gary, and get another spool.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A peaceful Sunday

I have had so much going on since April began, I can hardly clear my head. I fall into bed exhausted each night and wake up wondering which or whose plate I'm dropping. Today, though, was a day without off-the-farm commitments or any type of schedule. It was a much needed, slower day.

Can you guess what I did?

I spent all day outside with my animals. They are my healing, my salve, my rejuvenation. They are the very thing to bring a smile to my lips and contentment to my heart. Of course, I took a few pictures of my babies while I was out there with them....

There was grazing going on:

...and grooming:

Peering for bugs:

...and wondering what I was doing:

Finding the tastiest spots of spring's new growth is an all-consuming pastime:

Until "mama" was spotted and my goat boys came running:

I hope that you, too, had a chance to take a deep breath this weekend.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My friend from Illinois drove to my house this weekend

I have a friend named Marcee. She writes a blog called Fancyin' the Farm Life. Two years ago, we became friends through our blogs and, after a whirlwind courtship, we became friends who fly back and forth to see each other. Well, mostly she flies back and forth. I flew to her once. In my defense, though, I live on property and have a lot of animals - it's just not that easy to leave for extended periods of time. Anyway, anyway...I'm getting off track.

So, when I say "my friend from Illinois drove to my house this weekend", this is a really monumental thing. At the beginning of this month, she and her family left Illinois and moved to Washington state. Where we were once over two thousand miles apart, we are now a little more than two hundred miles apart. This is the kind of move that suddenly makes travelling to each other's houses in cars rather than airplanes completely possible. And this is what happened this weekend.

Roxy, my farm pup, was the first to greet her as she got out of her car. It was, shall we say, an extremely warm greeting:

And don't think for a moment that all of us on Critter Farm didn't go out of our way to show Marcee a really good time.

Kai was kind enough to eat treats out of Marcee's hand:

Pete and Reggie, my goat boys, wasted no time in muddying up Marcee's pants:

Pete thought Marcee smelled a little bit like carrots, his favorite treat, and stuck particularly close:

The weather even smiled while she was here, allowing the two of us to sit in the sun and brush the shedding winter hair out of the goats' coats:

We pondered briefly whether we could use this to knit a sweater or stuff a pillow:

We went to my nephew's birthday party and enjoyed "The Reptile Man":

This was a really big snake:

We shared our rhubarb wine made with rhubarb from our garden:

Don't let her face fool you - she LOVED it:

We went to our local track and watched really noisy cars drive in circles:

It was funny, but she didn't seem to mind standing in the pasture with the llamas one bit. Here she is letting Dolly llama eat the special hay seed from the bottom of the bucket:

The chickens were so thrilled to see her, they raced out of their run:

Or maybe they were just thrilled to get out into the pasture:

It was the perfect weekend to take everything out of the chicken coop and give it a good scrubbing:

The coop needed a thorough spring cleaning:

As Marcee rolled load after load of chicken shavings down the hill, she received extensive moral support from the Critter Farm crew:

She's a natural at this farm stuff, don't you think?

The weekend went by really fast and, suddenly, it was time for her to head back home. At this point, Roxy totally thought she was going home with her:

Now I get to refer to my friend from Illinois as my friend from Washington. And we can drive to each other's houses.