Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learn to Farm

I had an idea the other day. We often have people tell us that they would like to learn some of the stuff we do on the farm such as taking care of animals, gardening, etc. It gave me the idea that when we have stuff that people might be interested in helping with, we should plan on doing those things on Saturdays and invite people to come out and help/learn if they want. This isn't a situation that we are saying we need help to do these things (although extra help is always nice). We just thought we would open it up so if people had interest in what we are doing they can come check it out. So, this weekend will be our first "Learn to Farm" Saturday. This Saturday, we are planning on doing goat care. We are going to check all the goats to see if their hooves need to be trimmed, check to see if they need to be wormed and worm if needed, and castrate the baby goats that need to be castrated. Sounds like fun doesn't it. If this sounds like something you might be interested in checking out, send us an email or leave a comment and I will let you know what time. Who knows we might even let you stay for dinner. If it rains all day Saturday, we will do it a different day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Reality of Farm Life

Farm life isn't always good times. Sometimes unhappy things happen. This evening one of those things happened. A baby goat died. I am not sure why it died, it was very unexpected. Yesterday it was doing great and today when I got home from work, it was mostly dead. I tried to save it but I don't think it was anything I could have helped. I don't think it was sick. The only thing Margo and I can think of that might have happened is that it got butted really hard by one of the bigger goats or it got stepped on or kicked accidentally by the cow. The reason we think that might have been what happened is because it could not stand up or control it's body but it still looked healthy, it's eyes looked fine and it's ears were still perky and moving around. It would not nurse or swallow when I tried to force feed it. It seemed to me like it was a brain injury, spinal injury, or other major internal injury. I guess we will never know for sure. I don't always make a big deal out of a baby goat dieing since that kind of thing tends to happen but this was a special baby goat, and that is the extra bad news. This baby goat was everyone's favorite. It was the baby goat we referred to as Yoda, the brown one with the ears that stuck straight up. We are very sad, we really liked him. We had even talked about wanting to keep him even though he was a boy and we only keep girls. But, that's life on the farm.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Cabinet

Sorry it has been so long since the last post. Not a lot of exciting stuff has been going on around here. We have still been trying to get the place cleaned up from Mr. Ice Storm. I will have a few posts to make this week though so be sure and check back. One thing I started working on before the ice storm that got interrupted was I was building a new cabinet for the house and more specifically the dining area of the house. Those of you who have been here know that we have one big open room that is the entry, living room, piano room, kitchen, and dining room all in one. One thing we wish we had more of is kitchen cabinets/storage. I built a cabinet for the kitchen a while back that matched our kitchen cabinets to help with this. This new cabinet was the next piece to help solve that issue. I finally got time this past week to finish it up and I was able to debut it for our Valentine's Party at our house on Friday night. I built it with oak so it should be pretty solid. I tried to stain it close to the same color as our table and chairs, barstools and behind the couch table. They are all a dark walnut/cappuccino color. This proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be because those things are all built out of different woods (even thought they are all basically the same color). The table and chairs are out of parawood, which is a type of wood I really like but isn't readily available around here in lumber form, the barstools are pine and the couch table is mostly veneer. I am going to pause here in talking about the new cabinet to talk about parawood since I am sure lots of you don't know about it or have never heard of it. Parawood comes from the rubber tree which is the tree they extract sap from that makes natural rubber. After many years of harvesting the sap for rubber, the trees get old and stop producing very much sap and so they are useless for their primary purpose. Someone discovered that this wood of the old rubber trees is great for making furniture. It has a dense grain (comparable hardness to maple), minimal shrinkage, attractive color and acceptance of different finishes. I am a big fan of it and wish I could get it to build furniture. Now, back to the cabinet. I could not find a stain that would match the color of the other furniture so I had to use 3 different colors of stain layered to get close to the right color: first coat of dark walnut, next was red mahogany, and then dark oak. It is not an exact match but it is close. I think this might be my best piece of furniture I have built to date. The design I came up with worked out well, it came together really well and it looks good without very many mistakes. I think it is definitely something that we will hang on to for a long time. I enjoy designing and making furniture. Maybe one of these days I will get some more and better tools to be able to make all kinds of furniture. Since this post is getting long, I will get to the pictures.

Here it is.

Side view

Open View- it holds lots of stuff which is what we needed

As you can see I made the top part of it a 6 bottle wine rack, I like that part the best.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Electricity

Finally, on day eight after Ice Storm 2009 we came home to electricity. It was a very welcome sight. We have really enjoyed staying with friends this past week but it is nice to move back into our house. It got really tiring going back and forth everyday and not being in our own bed. I wanted to say thanks again to everyone who let us stay at your house and fed us meals. And to everyone who offered help to us. I wanted to give a special shout out to Adam and Sarah who we stayed with most of the time and who let us store our freezer and refrigerator stuff at their house. It is really awesome how great everyone was in offering to help us out, I think we have some of the most awesome friends in the world.

Here is a great old music video for all of you to watch in celebration of us getting our power back.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Chainsaw Massacre

We still don't have power. The power company said they hope to have 90% of the customers back with power by the end of the week. I hope I am in the 90%. I want to give a special thanks again to everyone that has helped us out and let us stay with you and cooked us meals. I also want to give an extra special thanks to everyone who came to the farm and helped us out on Saturday cleaning up limbs and trees. We had five people besides us helping out. We got a lot of stuff cleaned up, it would have taken Margo and I like three weeks to get done what we did on Saturday. I cut up trees for five hours straight while everyone else stacked brush. We also have been going around helping other people get their trees cut up and yards cleaned. I am so sore from sawing up trees, that is all I have been doing the past 3 days but there is so much more to do. I have never seen so many trees and limbs down.

Here we are out on the farm cleaning up on Saturday.