My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Pix of Goaties and general thoughts

I'm a little behind in getting pictures up on the blog so here's a couple....

Here's one with Honey (doeling) and Hawk (wether) in their indoor pen. They feel quite at home here, even enjoying their board climbing ramp and hay-strewn floor. They are now used to walking on a leash; as soon as we get them down from the leash-hook, they know it's time to leave the pen to go outside (or inside from the outdoor pen). They keep jumping into their water bucket, hayrack and even the small food dish. Weird little goaties!

This second picture is one of the Kid playing with the goaties. He likes to squat and the goaties use him as a hill or big rock to climb. Honey was the first, but only because Hawk was busy eating at the time. He followed suit soon after, tho. Notice that we decided to use a milk crate as a hay rack in this pen. It's actually working out quite well! We still need to get a fence-ceiling on the pen but for now, there's that tarp covering part of the 6x10 pen. They have a water bucket out in the open so it can catch any rainwater.

What cuties! Wonder how they are gonna like the baby chicks? We GOTTA get the permanent outdoor pens built!

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Speaking of which .. the "handyman" came over yesterday to look at my plans for the pens and to work up an estimate. He lives in the neighborhood, has been in construction for years, and considers himself "country". And he's condescending to us "newcomers". He ticked me off when he was here ... talking about how we've done this wrong, or got the wrong supplies for this thing or could have found that thing cheaper in bulk at this place. We've been here 2 months! But still, catch more flies with honey!

I don't know if I want to use him for these projects. I don't like being degraded by anyone, and I certainly don't take it from anyone. Maybe Hubby and I can figure out how to do it. And if it isn't quite right, or doesn't look pretty, then we'll repair or fix it up as we go. I'm not gonna pay someone good money to cut me down.

Of course, I won't burn bridges. It's necessary to have someone nearby who can fix something on an emergency basis when Hubby isn't here. Guess when he calls or comes by to give the estimate, for the permanent goat and chicken pens, we'll "take it under advisement" and turn him down.

Meanwhile... we got most of the supplies yesterday for the raised beds for the garden (of which the gentleman did not approve!) and even a few things from a garage sale that we can use to construct the goat and chicken pens. By the time we got done with errands and such yesterday, Hubby had a headache and went to bed a little early so I (also with a headache) tended (ok, played) with the chicks. Not so stinky. Wonder if it was my pot roast that day?!?!

Ooooh, that didn't sound good.

Today, if it doesn't rain all day, we'll get the potato boxes planted and moved outdoors. Hopefully Hubby will get the vaccuum cleaner fixed and I'll nail together a few raised beds.

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Here's what I'm pondering ...

Do you ever wonder how farmers or just people in general managed to raise chickens and cows and goats and veggies without our modern conveniences? I love my new nail gun because it's so much better on my body. We have heat lamps and special plastic feeders and waterers for our baby chicks. The goats have special pellets to eat and we're strongly advised to change and clean the water regularly.

How did they do it? Five thousand years ago, Native Americans would plant corn, beans and squash/pumpkins together... did they use a hoe or just something to dig a hole where each seed would be planted? Did they wait until rain softened the earth?

Didn't most pioneer families have only a milk cow? If so, then how did they freshen her each year to keep her giving milk? It was a very long way to their nearest neighbor, hoping they had a steer that would impregnate their cow.

Even before then... 1, 2, 3-hundred or thousand years... there were no plastic antibacterial buckets for watering, and certainly no special pellets or feed. No incubators to hatch eggs, or heat lamps for brooders... it was all done by mama chickens, right? No garden hose or irrigation system to water the farm or garden or livestock. No internet to quick look up info on how to handle such and such. No County Extension Office to find out when the last frost is.

But on the other side .... no worries about chemicals or soil nutrient depletion. People raised knowing basic info about raising food and building things. No pollution or smog or irritating buzz from overhead electrical wires. No busy-ness from meaningless (it would seem to them) errands like dropping the kids from one social event or sport to another. Genuine friendship with people you see only sparingly. Good home cooking of what you grow. No plastic rings strangling ducks and no floating island of trash in the middle of the ocean. Minimal possessions because everything either had multi-uses or you just didn't need the little things we modern people can't seem to live without. You didn't alienate people with harsh words because that next snow storm or brush fire could mean death without his help. You took pride in what you built and did and cooked and accomplished but not too much because everyone you knew did the same.

I sometimes wish (yes, only in passing) that I could close my eyes and go back in time. Observe, ask questions, listen with all of my senses, and come back with the knowledge.

Sigh.

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On a different note, my Aunt Wilma is in the hospital under dire circumstances, and my Uncle Billy is unable to care for himself. I'm very concerned, but unable to fly back to visit or to lend support. Please send good healing thoughts to my family members during this difficult time.

Oh, and please plant a nut or fruit tree today.

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