Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gardening Excitement!

When we first moved to the "country", Ben wanted a garden. I said no way. The thought of getting my hands dirty was a foreign concept, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Two years later, here we are. Last year we did a bunch of tomatoes and peppers, a few watermelons, and a few cantaloupes. This year we're hoping to vary things a little more.

This is what we have to work with:

There is 8 boxes total, plus the strawberry box:
Please excuse the weeds...

And then we have this "bed" right in front of the house next to the door. I've determined that this will be my herb bed, after a year of compost and mulching. The rocks will ring it (hopefully), and the tulips or whatever the heck those are have a date with the shovel, come fall. The bed actually stretches almost double to the left. It's pretty big.


These bulbs, as well, have a date with the shovel. But their estimated time of departure is, well, this weekend. Invaders!!!!

And these little guys were hanging out right outside our garden fence:


Monday, March 22, 2010

My First Beauty

I love my girls. And I don't mean the goats (although I love them too).

These girls:

These beautiful, wonderful, amazing miracles.

These dirty-faced, muddy-kneed, hay-filled hair, grass-stained hands girls.

Morrigan will be 3 this year, in July. I'm amazed. Where did my little snookums go??

And now look at her!

I refuse to believe that picture A turned into picture B. I think that baby is still around here, hiding somewhere, while this alien almost-3-year-old took over. Yup. That must have been what happened.

We've had pretty times:

"Little stinker" times:

And odd times:

(Yes, that is baby Connie.)

It's been a wild ride. I'm both excited and afraid of what the future will bring!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Unwelcome (but beautiful) Visitor

After a nice errand-and-lunch trip, we were extremely surprised to come home to a very unexpected visitor.
Warning: The next few images, hidden behind the cut, may be graphic. Not like blood-and-guts graphic but perhaps slightly disturbing.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chickens, Chickens, Ba-Bawk!

Our chickens have to be the most amusing part of the homestead. If I happen to be in a bad mood, watching them always cheers me up. Especially during breakfast, because they're extremely violent (to each other) when it comes to food... and watching a bunch of chickens pecking each other and running each other around the pen is just... hilarious. Maybe I'll post a video of it.

So anyway, here is our "flock", as it were. We probably have about 20 left... We had run-ins with coyotes and a cat who was living in our barn. Good fencing got rid of the coyotes (or at least lessened the chances) and our dog Scout got rid of the cat.

This is probably our prettiest roo. You can't really see it in the pic, but he has black feathers mixed in with the white on his neck. He also has a matching hen.

We don't know what breeds these two are, but I'm betting they're from the Americana hen we had for a few weeks (before a coyote dragged her off). They look slightly Americana. The black and white one is a silver laced Wyandotte.


And two days ago we got the first eggs of spring, 2010.

This is our coop. Hubby built it 100% from material from a barn that had caved in. The frame and floor are the barn wood, the siding is the old aluminum or steel (can't remember) barn roof, and the nest boxes inside were 2nd hand from his dad. Personally, I think he did a fantastic job.

Most of the chickens we have now were actually hatched here. We had 3 hens go broody, and 27 chicks ended up hatching. We still have 2 of the broody hens (the wyandotte and the white/black one), so we're hoping to expand our flock naturally. Except I'm buying some of these from a local hatchery. Isn't she just Beautiful?
(Picture copyright and owned by, an EXCELLENT wyandotte reference site.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pregnant Goats

Meet Connie:


Connie is a 3/4 Nubian, 1/4 Alpine dairy goat. She's about a year old, and she was born right here at the Doran homestead.

This was Connie a year ago. Heart melting yet? Mine is. When Connie was born, I wasn't here, and her mom didn't take care of her properly. We lost her sister, Smudge, but after a lot of care and a few days inside, Connie pulled through.

Meet Connie's mom, Molly:

She's the one on the far right. She's a 1/2 Nubian 1/2 Alpine dairy goat. Maybe 3 years old, purchased last year.

And then there's Erica, who is the brown one. She's a full Nubian.

It's kidding time in goat world. Time for baby goats. We are 100% sure Connie and Molly are pregnant, and they are due anytime between now and April 20th. We are not hoping for a baby from Erica, though. If she is pregnant, she's carrying a tiny single. But she hasn't shown any signs at all that she is pregnant. Which stinks, because I really wanted Erica-babies. We'll try again next year.

My bet is that Molly will have triplets. Connie twins. I mean, look at these wide loads:

(Please excuse the lack of glamourous face shots... they were eating breakfast.)

This year, we have a nifty little tool to help us be there for the births. A friend ordered a live-action IP camera for his baby's nursery so his friends could see the baby, and it gave us the brillient idea of setting up one of those same cameras in our barn! The cam is on it's way and should be here in the next few days. We're going to set it up in the barn so that we know at a glance if any of the girls are in labor. It will also be hooked up to the interwebz, so our friends, blog-readers, or other interested people can watch. (Fair warning, though, goats are notorious about having 2am births.). It will also be recorded for later viewing.

I'm psyched.

Ummm... girls? You're doing it wrong. Just sayin'


Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Experiment

I have decided it is time to dust off this blog, give it a facelift, link it to twitter, and try again. The rest of my life has evened out, thanks to a diagnosis of bipolar and subsequent medicine stabilizers and some intensive therapy. I am now consistant in everything from chores to taking care of the animals. It's a very freeing thought to know that all along I wasn't just a spoiled, selfish, lazy person. I actually had a sickness. A sickness that seriously disrupted my life and my family.

Anyway, we're going to try again. But for now, I have animals to tend to and children to corral.