Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Internet is for Cat Photos

I think Dave thinks I spend too much time on Facebook trolling for cat media. I don’t know if he realizes how much time I spend taking photos of our own cats. Since I am not done with part two of my descent into meat eating, may I placate you with some cat photos? If you follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook, you have probably seen these. Some are heavily edited to make my house seem cleaner than it is. Some are untouched, letting it all hang out.

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This is my first time using the WordPress app. If I successfully manage to upload this, I’ll be shocked. That is also to say, I have no control over the format of these photos.

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Teaser

I’m working on some things but to keep you interested, here is a taste of what’s coming up:

Can you guess who this belongs to? If you were party to this adventure (that’s you kids) don’t give it away!

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Morning In the Mouth of Madness

I’ve been sick. I don’t have that horror flu that makes you like you’re a character in that movie, “In the Mouth of Madness“, I only had a cold but it has sucked away my energy. This morning I was intending to sleep in. First I woke up to the dog yelping excitedly. I looked out the bedroom and saw the goat at the french doors. I decided to ignore it, (goats do weird things) yelled at the dog and went back to sleep. Then I woke up to the dog barking her big girl bark. I looked out my door and saw our neighbor’s sister standing in the front yard. I shuffled to the front door (maybe now I looked like a character from In the Mouth of Madness) and she apologized saying she was driving by and saw the goat on the front steps eating a 25 lb bag of carrots. Well of course. This stuff only happens when I’m trying to sleep in. I thanked her for chasing off the goat and took the now 20 lb bag of carrots in the house. I was about to go back to bed when I remembered I forgot the phone meeting I have every Friday at 9am. Oops. I’ll have to call my boss in a while and grovel but decide to call my work partner first and see what happened. We were chatting about my upcoming trip to 19 degree weather when the handy-guy pulls up. I forgot he was going to sand the drywall today. Why not, I was done resting anyway. I was just helping him tape up the plastic that will hopefully keep the drywall dust from infiltrating every part of our life when the UPS freight truck pulls up. Now I know, there is no chance of going back to sleep. The UPS guys was dropping off 1300 lbs of fencing materials which will be our new pasture soon. I had to move the cars so he could turn around in the driveway. I finally retreated to my room to rest. As I write, the dog and I are hiding the bedroom. She’s here because she’s scared of the orbital sander, I’m here because I hate the drywall dust. I suppose I should just give it up and go work in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Here’s hoping you have a peaceful day.

The Haps

I’ve been absent. Again. You should expect this by now. I’ve really missed writing and taking photos of Redemption Farms. Hopefully I’ll have some more time in the next year. As I write, I have my first (and hopefully last cold of the year. The good news is, I rarely get sick. The bad news is, when I do, I do it right. If things get rambling, we’ll chalk it up to meds and not blame the editor (since I edit my own work, the editor is also on meds.) Since I haven’t posted anything at all in the last…I don’t know…long time, I think we should catch up to speed. Here’s what you have missed in the last year:

We are living in the house full-time. Do not take this to mean that the house is anywhere near complete but we won’t be getting a call from CPS regarding the way we are keeping the children. We were camped out in one bedroom until recently. Now Dave and I have the smaller room and all three kids share the big bedroom. This is the first time that they have had actual beds with actual mattresses since Dave and I moved in together six years ago. My old house didn’t have room for beds, so on the weekends they were with us they camped on couches and air mattresses. They have been troopers through this whole process. Lesser children would have complained but not our kids. They have been actively involved in making decisions about the rooms, house, animals, pretty much anything they can weigh in on. The overall feeling is things are getting better and we may survive this remodel, after all.

This being our first holiday in this house and our first holiday in any house larger than 900 square feet, we hosted a holiday party in the house, with about 15 people. Everyone fit comfortably and no one fell through any holes in the floor. We had a beer tasting featuring the winter selections from the Eureka Ditch Brewing Company. (Full disclosure: that just means Dad sent me some of his homebrew for Christmas and I shared with everyone, tasting style but it was damn fine beer.)

There’s a lot of drywall going in. The dust has invaded our life and dried out my hands. It’s making me crazy. (Stop right there if you were going to say something about me already being crazy. When crazy is the status quo, more crazy become the new crazy. Kind of like navy is the new black.) Anyway, I can’t handle dry cuticles. I’m also a lip balm addict. There I said it. I’m also not interested in an intervention or seeking treatment. Speaking of, where’s my carmex…

Our meat bunny operation is in full swing. One of these days I will get around to posting pictures of the rabbit tractor which almost caused a divorce. We will call it: the episode in which the irresistible force (Marsha) and the immovable object (Dave) have creative differences. I will say this. I there is ever a tornado, I am heading to the rabbit tractor. We just had a litter of bunnies. They are so cute I could die. It almost makes me want to keep them all. Almost. Chaos wants to eat them all. She found one which had died and ate the whole thing before we could catch her. There was not one scrap left. I thought for sure she wouldn’t eat all the bones and fur but she did. It makes me wonder if wolves eat the whole thing, too. I’ll have to check that out.

The chickens have sustained devastating losses due to predation. We are down to six hens. The culprit is a bobcat. I know this because I saw him. He also tried to get to the bunnies but there were safely locked away in their Ft. Knox box.

We learned how to slaughter our roosters. I have a graphic post written about it, I just have to edit some photos. Yes. Photos. You should know where your food comes from. I found it easier than I thought I would, you know, being vegetarian and all. I plucked and gutted and was convinced it’s much less time consuming to be a herbivore. It certainly needs less clean-up.

The goats are pregnant. How does this happen, you wonder? You see…when a mommy goat and a daddy goat love each other very much…oh you mean how did I let this happen? We have new neighbors with a billy goat. Our hussy girls broke out of their area, then taunted the male until he broke out of his own fence. I was out of town and when I got home, I found all three in the pen together. They were wearing bell bottoms, smoking pot and lecturing us about free love. As all adults know, love is never free. Now they are paying the price with their growing itchy bellies and ravenous appetites. This weekend, we will be building them a predator safe enclosure in which they will rear their young. I’m so nervous. I wasn’t ready for kids. (Get it? Kids? No? Never mind.)

It was a banner year for tomatoes. I didn’t start seedlings because of the impending move so I bought 10 plants from Love Apple Farms plant sale. I planted late and still managed a very good harvest. In fact, I took the last of the fruit off the vines two weeks ago, only because it was starting to frost over at night. I have a tomato variety review coming soon. Maybe. You know how I’ve been lately. Maybe I won’t get to posting it until next year.

Due to lack of time, I canned nothing this year. I’m so sad and I don’t know how I will survive without my 100 lbs of tomatoes processed as crushed tomatoes. The kids were eternally grateful that they didn’t have to help, again.

Happy New Year! We went to Napa last night, to a party at the Westin. Being responsible adults, we planned to leave the car in valet for the evening, bring our flats and walk the half mile to Sarah’s house. After dancing until 2am in my heels, I discovered I forgot my flats. I tried to limp in heels for a while but couldn’t do it. I took off my shoes to find that the sidewalk was bone achingly cold. Fearing I might sustain a hypothermia related injury, Dave so kindly took off his socks and gave them to me. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see me strolling down the streets of Napa in my almost knee-high, men’s Christmas socks. What does this have to do with the ranch? Not a damn thing but it is a funny story and we do have lives away from the ranch, occasionally.

I almost forgot! Our trusty ranch truck (aka the Camry) died. I have replaced it with a Subaru Outback. Go ahead. Make your jokes but know this, I can fit three sheep in the Outback. I’m looking for a good Aussie name for her. Maybe Uluru, since my last name was (kind of still is) Ayers. If you don’t know what this means, please go to Wiki it. Then come back and tell me how clever I am.

I found a source for raw cow’s milk and have started making cheese. I just made my first batch of Monterey Jack cheese and I can hardly wait the two months to try it. I’m not sure if we’re going to try to milk our goats. Maybe just once. Just to torture ourselves. And then I will make feta. Or goat milk cheddar. Or…OK, maybe we will have to milk them twice.

The laundry room is almost done. We have to put the bead board back on the walls and frame the broom/water heater closet but that’s not much. It should only take us, oh I don’t know, maybe 9 or 10 months to get to that? I’m avoiding picking a color for the laundry room. I have option paralysis. I also know that once it’s painted, we will never move the washer and dryer and bad ass sink again to repaint. If I choose a color, It will have to be right. I’ve never said this before but I’m thinking white. Oh wait, it’s also the mud room. White isn’t going to make a bit of sense. Alright, I’m thinking mud color.

We are ready to start building the second pasture. This means we will be renting a skid steer so there’s potential for more photos for girls on tractors. If you don’t know what this means, you can see it here. It is to this day my most read blog post. Maybe this time I’ll find another girl to drive.

That’s all I can remember. My brain is in antihistamine overload. Hopefully I will have some time to post again in the not too distant future. Until then: Happy planting!

WAIT!! I forgot to mention I want to host a seed swap and sow, cocktail party, February 9 at 2pm. If you are reading this, you are invited. The more seeds to swap, the better. Your invitation is coming. RSVP. I hate to run out of snacks.

How Did You Find This Blog?

In the last week the following search terms led people to this blog:

#1 subway tile chair rail– makes sense, due to the subway tile we are using in the front bathroom.

#2 warm gray grout– Again, the front bathroom is a decorating win.

#3 floppy eared goat– Fin and Clarice both appreciate your fandom.

#4 half life arg– I have no clue what this means and even less of a clue why this blog comes up under that search but if you are still reading, welcome! I hope this is what you were looking for.

2011 in Review

I love the fun blog facts that WordPress prepares every year. This year, blog readership went up, relative to how many posts I wrote. Thanks for sharing in the trials and tribulations of raising animals we don’t know anything about, building a house we should have moved into last year and trying to figure out how to feed our family safe, ethically raised food. May your coming year be filled with new fangled toilets, composting worms and all the things that bring YOU joy!

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

So Sweet!

I recently figured out how to get all 800 photos off of my phone and into my computer. Amongst the photos, I found this sweet shot of Moo brushing Summit. Moo was getting a lesson on the proper brushes to use for various grooming tasks. This brush is the softest of soft face brushes, made with baby fine goat hair. From the looks of it, Summit approves.