Monday, November 30, 2009

Cold house

Its aproximately 53 deg in my house. I am thankful for coffee, wool, fire and oh fine my husband is warm too... It is cold because we dont turn the heat on! Do you know that people used to survive at night while sleeping in a cold house? I believe it was better for them. We dont get sick often, its quite rare as a matter of fact. But this winter we are seeing that there is not a greater chance of sickness in a cold house. We dont have colds, coughs, sore throats, anything! In the morning, Frank or I start a fire in our large fireplace. We usually get some breakfast going which heats things up. We are up before dawn mostly, so the sun seems so warm when it comes up. Oh and I keep moving! That keeps me warm. We all wear wool, and we all work a lot. A whole lot...
No we are not cheap, we can pay for our gas bill. But this is an experiment. Can our fireplace heat our house to comfortable during the day? So far yes. Our house is about 65-68 deg within an hr or so. We are reading the Laura Ingalls books and having fun finding out what we can do that they did.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Landing extension

This is called a redneck work station. It has a bench in the back that you can cut on, its the broken tail gate. We load up all the things we need from the shop into this little truck and then travel to the area needing work. I also use it to feed hay to my bucks, so you can see the hay in the truck. I took down too much this am, and just left it for 2nd chore time. We backed the truck into the garage at noon today and tore out part of the landing to add on.

Frank is taking off the railing, we were pretty careful as it could be reused. The carpet wasnt glue down thankfully, but the dust reminded me of how much I truly hate carpet. Give me a broom and mop any day!

Prying off the last bit, the paint on this landing is thick! Frank had to chisel some of it off of a 45 deg cut in order to put the next mitered piece against it flush. As with all things we have worked with recently, there are unlevel things that we have to add to/use. So the landing/wall/floor were not exact due to settling, but it wasnt too bad.

This was the beginning, see what I mean about level? It looks so off! Of course its slightly off at one side because it needed its 4x4. In this case, 4x4s were two 2x4s.

Chiseling to make the miter flush. We have a nice miter saw we purchased for my birthday, and we have our old smaller one that is on the back of the truck. Mitered cuts make projects stronger and better looking.

Um, I uploaded 2 pictures of the truck and I cant seem to delete pictures from my blog very well. I can if I post and then go to edit, but I am not in edit so you know...

So here it is, our new landing. The freezer fits right next to it, we didnt have to adjust its placement. We moved it for work area ease, but it will slide right back. Now we have a space to take off our boots. We are making, nearly done, a bench seat that 4 pr of boots can fit under, and will hang a rack of hooks for our coats and hats.

Same landing, way better view. Nice how he can hold his drills AND me right? I know its a wierd hat, I have had it for 7 years now and its my favorite winter hat. As usual we have on plenty of wool so no coats but it is cold enough for the hats! This is a sweet picture, and I had to post it.

Tomorrow I will have pictures of our new chicken hooch, and any other projects I have missed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


These pictures were taken on the north side of our property. In this first picture, I am standing outside of the north barn taking the picture over the fence. The left side shows the stone milk shed. I was taking a picture of not just the notebook on a stump, but the surrounding area. How odd it seems, for a lonely notebook to be blowing in the when having been forgotten for play. Nathalie was designing something here, using the stump as her desk and she gave it up for a flying leaf. She followed the leaf, and didnt come back for the notebook that waited anxiously for her pen.

This was taken from inside the north barn. The fencing over the windows cast an odd look over the scene. It looks free and wild and trapped all at once. We have a lot of fallen limbs and trees here, stumps leftover from cutting down dead trees or trees that are no longer wanted. Trees are rare here, and the ones that stand have withstood enough storms that they look well beat. We clean up this area, then it comes a storm and we have a new lonely look in the corners and edges.
I love Kansas and her wind. I love the non ordinary things that appear if only you watch, a notebook waiting in the wind.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Frank and I were building the chicken coop, the kids were in and out. Helping some, handing tools, playing chickens. I thought he was lovely, I know I cant use that word. I love the fit of his jeans, I made these and the shirt. The pants above his boots on one side looks so accidental. He is relaxed, it is cold and a bit of rain. Tools clutter the entire barn, makeshift tables and bins of grain line the walls. He took a break for a moment and leaned in this doorway, lucky me I had a camera! Someday I will look back at this picture, and hope I captured all of them that was there for me. Hope to have held them and loved them, and stopped work long enough to see them. Hope that my heart doesnt hurt from them leaving me someday. Because I gave them enough, and had enough of them. This is a mothers prayer. Someday I will have nothing but my work, here they are giving me a chance to live, I hope to take enough of that chance.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Oh how I need to update! I havent blogged since my husband got home. Let me just say this, when I have my husband, children, goats, property, I could care less about the world around me. Internet, TV, anything electronic, other people, pretty much become obselete. When he is gone, I am very grateful for internet as it connects us.

I am putting on some photos of some of the stuff we have done over the past few days, we have been working since Frank got home Oct 5th. We visited family for a couple of wks, other than that we have been here going through projects.

This gate has the inside latch shown, and two outside hooks. If you are in, its hard for someone to unlock the side you locked. But if someone locks you in, you cant get out. This is the gate for the north barn and yard. We built a chicken room into this barn and are going to build kidding stalls, while we worked in here the kids had to find a way in and out without letting goats in. So they devised this latch pull with hay twine and a stick. Its very easy to unlock just by pulling and their little hands can re-lock from outside.

The feed barn from above, I am standing on hay bales to take the picture. The hay room (the one I am in) has 4ft high walls we built and 2 swinging, hinged doors. The room holds hay and grain so the goats dont have access to it. The room the goats are in has their feeder, grain bowls and clips, salt block and minerals. This barn is closed at night and they are locked into the sleep yard.

Just a good picture... They could see me in the hay room and they were hopeful about some grain. In the back is pepsi, then Arizona and Autumn side by side (white saanens), next is Junebug, the brown nub and then you can see the rears of Scout and Nona.

This is our new puppy, well we bought her in September. She wouldnt stand up proper for a photo, she kept sneaking up to the camera. She laid down here bc I said no and her heart was hurt! She is half anatolian shepherd and half great pyrenees. She is a LGD, livestock guard dog. Bred and born in a goat barn, she lived there until we bought her at 8 wks old. She loves goats and already herds them. Her name is Darling Monster.\

Her collar is new and she is attempting to take it off, she doesnt like it at all. She is outside of the feed barn here, at the climbing stumps.

Another feed barn picture, this is the local goat haunt on cold or rainy days. The goats also come in here if we do, to see what we have for them. If its nothing they will wander off again after awhile, they like to eat the trees and hay in the back pasture.

This is herb storage, I have a new batch ready to mix. I keep the herbs in a cooler and give out a couple tablespoons per wk per goat and we stay worm free. The cooler is hard to break into, and its waterproof. The herbs are too expensive to lose.

This is the hay room, we will refill it with 2 more tons on monday. We can fill this room quite a bit, and the overflow can go in the south barn front room. It is used for hay, straw and for any tack items. I dont think its called tack bc it isnt horses, but I cant be sure. Furthermore, I dont care either way. Its tack to me, stuff I use for goats like leads, extra collars etc.

This is how Frank set up my mineral feeder. We have used blocks, and we have used loose. The loose works best, and they do not waste it. However I dont want it wet so he put the fence piece in the barn on the wall. Its very tight, you cant pull the feeder off without pulling the fence piece forward a bit so they dont knock it down. I grain the boys in the same type of feeder as I dont want to go in and hook them up to leads as I do for the does. These rubber buckets on the wall are for their grain, they dont rip or break when the goats pull at them or step on them. The leads keep everyone hooked up so I can be sure of grain and herb quantities and also I get a chance to clean up.

This is scout, our little nubian. We are not sure why she doesnt grow well but she absolutely doesnt. She is tiny compared to Autumn who is many months younger, and Jezz (to the right of scout) is quite a bit bigger as well and she is younger also. This is disturbing...

Lila, our new goat. She is Autumn's dam, but we bought her later. Oh she is Ottos damn also as Autumn and Otto are siblings...She is registered as they are, and her owner needed a quick home for her. She has founder, excess hoof growth that can be painful, but we are fixing that. Weekly hoof trimmings will make this better, as long as we keep at it and pay attention. She was a great milker and is bred to our new buck Ynot! She will be giving us pretty white baby(ies) in 5 months.
This is her daughter, Autumn, who is in heat just today. I havent noticed her being in heat prior but our new buck has taught us a lot about heat. Goats are not always obvious about it, I thought they would be. Our new buck caused all of our does to act differently in heat, which was comforting! We have to weigh Autumn this evening and if she is 80 pounds, we will put her in with him. Autumn is a lovely saanen goat, I hope she grows as large as her mother.

Our new grain storage system, we bought the food grade 55 gal barrels for 20 each from a man in Topeka. We had to clean them, and they are obviously not new. But they seal well, and they keep moisture and pests out of the grain. We are able to store months worth of grain now. The boys can have grain right by their pen in this barrel because the girls cannot get into it. The chicken grain is in one, right by their coop. Its a simple way to not go to the store weekly, which I hate to do. We were storing extra feed in the shop, but we need the shop space so here it is!

Okay thats it for now. I have a lot more updating and a lot more pictures. I wont blog as much now that Frank is home, as I was blogging for him all last yr.