Monday, January 28, 2008

Almost Time

It is getting to be the time of year for baby goats to be born. I think it will still be a month or so before most of our goats have babies but we have one that must have got bred a lot sooner because she is about to burst like a blood engorged tick. She is our smallest goat. We call her Crazy Goat because she is kind of wild and we can not catch her very easily. She has really cool coloring as well. Another funny thing about her is she climbs to the very top of the brush piles to eat instead of eating from the ground level like the rest of the goats.

Here is a pic of her last summer on top of a brush pile that was probably 6-7 feet tall.

Anyway, the main reason I am putting up this post about our probable first babies is for my work. Last year when I had a goat about to have babies I thought it would be fun to have a pool at work and let everyone put a dollar in and guess a date that they think she would have the babies and whoever guessed right won the money. It was a lot of fun. So, I thought I would do it again this year and start an annual tradition. Tomorrow is the official start of the pool so I thought I would post a pic so everyone at work could get a good look at her and make their best guess as to what day they think she will have babies. Here is the best pic we could get of her (she doesn't let us get very close to her) that shows how pregnant she is. Just to give you an idea of how big she is now, look at her legs and how far apart they are and that is about how wide she is normally. She looks like a big goat balloon.

For all of you who I don't work with, feel free to start your own pool at your work to try and guess the date of birth.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

Have I mentioned that I am getting tired of winter. It has been very cold the past couple weeks and we had a little ice storm earlier in the week. It was 10 times worse out here that it was in Fayetteville. We could not even make it down our dirt road hill on Tuesday evening and had to walk home (about a mile). I felt a little like the old people who walked uphill both ways in 7 feet of snow to school. That is the first time we have not been able to make it down our road. We still have ice in some places on the farm. Because of the constant cold weather, our ponds have been frozen over for a while. This means that every day I have to go and chop through the ice with the sledge hammer so the cow, goats, and chickens can have water to drink. That gets old real fast. I want to come up with some kind of solar powered heating thing that I can keep in the edge of the pond to keep it melted a little when it is frozen. It is starting to get pretty thick, I am not sure what thickness it needs for ice skating but if anyone wants to try it, come on over. It is supposed to warm up this weekend so hopefully it will melt some. Here is a pic of me (in my stylish winter farm work clothes) with a chunk of ice I chopped out to show all of you how thick it is. I strategically placed my hand next to the ice as a comparison.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Book Report

I thought I would let you all know that I finished my first book of the year. For those of you who don't know, one of my New Year's resolutions was to read more. You can read about my new resolution here. Anyway, I decided to start my new era of reading with the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I read another of his books, The Martian Chronicles in high school and really enjoyed it. I felt this book would be very appropriate for the first book in my return to reading. The book is set in the future when books have been banned and anyone found to have them is put in jail and the books are burned along with the house they are found in. The story follows a fireman (a person who burns the books) and his journey from burning books to having an awakening that books are not evil and ultimately turns against the system. He becomes a criminal because he starts reading books, his home is burned and he has to flee the city and go into hiding to survive. The story is very relevant today, even more so than when it was written I think. The main reason people in the book don't care about not being able to read is that television is all people care about for entertainment and social interactions. Ray Bradbury stated that the book is a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which ultimately leads to ignorance. (now you see why it was so appropriate for my first book) People in the book have stopped interacting with other people except on tv. Families don't sit around and talk and bond, instead they just watch tv while at home. No one discusses ideas or issues anymore.

Does all of this sound somewhat familiar. It seems like people today are always watching tv while at home and not interacting with their families and friends. Even meal times takes place around the tv or with the tv on. Children can not play or entertain themselves without a tv, dvd, or a video game going. One thing I found very interesting in the book was that when people weren't at home and were out in public, everyone wore ear "shells" that played music, commentary, or news. These kept people from having to interact with others. When I read this I thought of ipods and how everyone has them now. Ipods are one of my pet peeves when some people always have them on when they are out in public, whether shopping, eating, or anything else. It drives me crazy. I think all of these things are a major problem these days and I want to try and change it at least with my family and friends. I am as guilty as the next person but it is never too late to change and do something about it. This is part of the reason I have started reading. So, I encourage all of you to interact more with others. Invite neighbors or friends over for dinner and after dinner instead of watching tv, just sit around in talk or play a board game. Turn off the tv once in a while in the evening and interact and play with your family. Go outside and enjoy nature. Invest in people.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dead of Winter

I think it is officially the dead of winter. It is cold and there is nothing green outside. I get kind of bored and depressed around this time every year. I like winter pretty good I guess but it just gets old after a while. I can't wait until spring comes and everything turns green again and it is warm so I can do more things outside. I especially can't wait to start gardening again and seeing all the vegetables and flowers grow. For all of you out there that are like me, I thought I would post some pictures from last year's garden to help cheer you up and give you something to look forward to in this dreary time of year.

Here is the overall picture, it will be bigger this year.

green beans


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Project Complete

For the past week or so, I have been working on a pretty big project that I am very happy to have completed. Our house does not have a lot of extra storage areas like big closets or an attic and we needed some extra storage space. There is a big enclosed room down in the shop/carport and I use most of this room to store all my tools and to work on all my little projects. I decided to divide off a small portion of this area to make into a storage room for all of our stuff we don't use very much but still want to keep. Things like Christmas decorations, camping gear, fishing gear, canning stuff, paraphernalia from the past, and other such things. The small storage room I built was approximately 5'x12'. I have never really added a room or built walls by myself before, I have just helped my father do it, so this was my first solo project of this type. I also decided while I was working on the shop to do some rewiring in the shop and add a light to my new room. Overall, the room turned out pretty good. It is not perfect but it will totally fulfill it's purpose. I am so happy to have it complete because I am a big fan of organization and this will help to get all that extra stuff organized and in a place all it's own instead of spread around in different places where we found extra space.

Here is me working on putting up a wall

Here is one end of the new room

Here is the other end, one door goes to the outside and the other one goes into the main part of the shop.

I also thought I would let you know that I am getting rid of the Video of the Day section that has been in the side column of the blog. From now on, if I come across a really good video I want to share, I will just add it to my main post.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year, New Kitty

Hello 2008, I am anxious to see what you have planned for us. I am not usually much on making resolutions. I do have ideas of things I want to do in the new year, but I guess that is what a resolution is. Most of mine have to do with getting certain things done on the farm, sticking to a new budget, saving more money, trying to be more friendly and stuff like that. My most interesting one that I thought I would share is that I am going to try to read more. I have not been much of a reader since graduating from college. I figure I need to start reading again so my brain does not turn to mush by the time I am 30. It's just that I enjoy movies so much more and would rather spend my time watching them. I thought my goal should be conservative and attainable so I am going to try to start by reading one book a month. If any of you have suggestions for a good book for me to read, leave a comment and let me know. You better make it a good one though, because you don't want to be the one that makes a suggestion of one that turns out not to be good to me and causes me to quit reading again and therefore turns my brain to mush. (And to all of my Christian friends and family, please don't suggest the Bible. I realize it is a good book and I should read it more but that is not the suggestion I am looking for).

We have a new addition to the farm. We got a new kitty. My parents' cat had kittens a while back so while we were there for Christmas we got one and brought it back. We have not had very good luck keeping two cats around. One of our original cats Spot has stuck around and we like her very much. We have had 3 other cats as our second cat that have either left or died. I hope this one sticks around, she is very nice and cute and is even getting along with the other animals pretty well. We named her Hello.