Praising God for hearing our prayers! And thanks to all of you who said a prayer for him! He has been homed & will have new does to breed. Still praying for his and the other goats protection because a neighbor's dog killed one. I doubt the dogs will be much of a danger now that Buddy Bill is there because of his horns...he could definitely put a hurtin' on some dogs! But just the same, we are praying for their safety!
The Goat Lady also came by today and bought another 5 nannie goats and 4 babies! That means from the first sale of goats from the herd of 33, we now have sold a total of 21 goats leaving us a smaller herd of 12. We may still sell some more, but at this point we are resting with the 12 and see how things are going.
We banded one billy today & that leaves us with one intact male & one wethers, the rest are does & baby females. Whew!!! The goats keep us busy! But we are learning every day! The next big "to-do" on my list is to build a better playgroud for them. Below I am posting a few pics I found on pinterest that I plan to incorporate the ideas from into one good-sized playground.
We sold our 9 adult billy goats at the beginning of February, only because there we too many males for the herd. It made me sad, because they were so much like pets rather than livestock. I grieved them going. This is the part of animal husbandry that I am not sure I'll ever adjust to. I simply get too attached to each individual.
But none have affected me like letting go of our original, the very first billy we ever had. He was named "Hammer" when he was a wee babe, by his original owners because he would run around his stall hitting the walls with his horns & they said it sounded like someone was hammering. When we bought him we chose to rename him "Buddy Bill". He's such a handsome fellow. Big blue eyes and all. Well, we decided after the does gave birth to 9 more babies, we needed to downgrade to only one active male. So we chose to keep Goatsie, our baby we bottle fed. Buddy Bill was sold to a Goat Lady named Rachel, and is out in the pasture at present. She has plans to sell him to a man who wanted some males to start a herd to clean out his pasture land. So far, she has not reached him with the news that she has Buddy Bill, so in turn, Buddy Bill's future is uncertain. It just grieves my heart. Please say a prayer that the man gets in touch in the next couple of days.... or someone who wants such a good male goat. We both love that old billy goat! He would eat out of our hands & he was always so happy here. It hurt to have to downsize.
We plan on selling some of our does & some of the babies just to get the herd down some for our particular land situation. And we also, meantime plan on banding the male babies to make wethers, so we can keep the herd to the size we want. Meantime, Denny is felling trees & making an area where he can keep Goatsie & a couple wethers separated from the does. With 9 intact males it was impossible to keep them apart from the females & we went from 3 does & a male, to a herd of 33. It took a few years for that kind of growth, but we were learning along the way. Below is a of Buddy Bill recently. All our goats are so pretty...but Buddy Bill is quite handsome! I sure do miss the ol' boy!
We had a great time with our local Agricultural Extension Office covering a "Correct way of Pruning" class last week!
We are excited to get out the clippers and go to work on these fruit trees, vines, & decorative plantings like roses & crepe-myrtles!
It has been a long time since we attended a class on pruning, so long in fact, that we thought it best to sit in on one again. Wonderful people were there.
The host home where the class was held had also some great points on structures for vines. Our grapevine structures are cedar & they were put in close to 17 yrs ago. They need to be replaced, so the photos included of structures are just to remind me of some well thought out ways they did their's. Hope you enjoy the slideshow!
I just came across this poem Denny wrote to me in 2012 ~ it was a Valentines Day Poem. Too sweet to not share :)
Our journey has seemed almost endless o'er mountain & tor,
And we've searched thru dusty tomes of forgotten lore.
Once we looked for the Philosopher's Stone,
and then deeply, very deeply, into the unknown.
And then we finally found,
a knowledge so profound,
The true mystery of our Lord.
For years all things were pointing toward.
We finally made with the past, a rift,
When we accepted His most generous gift.
It settled deeply into our heart,
And gave to us a brand new start.
For we are now a New Creation,
And our lives are rebuilt on a new foundation.
For we see a new light that will sweep the Nation,
And we've heard the Word to be fulfilled without hesitation:
"Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
here on Earth as it is in Heaven.
PRAISE GOD FOR A HUSBAND BORN TO CHRIST!
THANK YOU LORD!
Not a video of our goats, but one a friend sent to us for giggles. It sure does represent ours well though! Enjoy!
This is not the name of the video, but we would call it "Why we Left the Left, Part 2". We both love Bill Whittle. We hope you will enjoy his brilliance in describing what's happening around us daily.
This is a Garden Angel Denny made for me a couple years ago...I wanted to share this one because it is some of our Farm Art. He always keeps my heart aglow with his artwork!
We were both Liberals at one point in our lives (frankly I am ashamed to admit). This fellow explains our own feelings, even better than we could. We left the LEFT and are now on the very conservative end of the RIGHT, and THANKFUL to GOD that we saw the light!
Ever feel confused by what's happening in the world & wonder what the actual TRUTH is?
This goes far in explaining. Enjoy!
Well, today we made another visit to the vet. We do way more Dr. visits for our animals than we ever do for ourselves..... Can anybody else relate? Lol.
This visit was taking the little goat that had a c-section a few weeks ago due to the baby being too big to deliver, yep, no joke, this baby was HUGE.... back to see the vet. She had stitches & apparently had pulled one side out, causing a flap of skin to emerge. It didn't look bad, just this flap of outer skin that had been sewn in. Then she started licking it...the next time I looked, she had chewed the skin loose. It was hanging by a slight piece of skin & she had worked a hole loose in the inner part. This had us worried, so since our local vet does not handle goats it meant an hour long drive to one that does. I highly recommend them: Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital of Stanly County.
The vet said it was not too bad...she cleaned her up & gave us a wash to use on the hole, which she explained was actually a good thing, because it would cause any possible infection to drain. She also trimmed her hooves which in human-speak translates to the little momma having a manicure & pedicure. That is only a good thing, right?
Then off to the pet store in hopes of finding a "soft" cone to go over her head to prevent her licking the wound, and there-by making it take longer to heal. OK... but unfortunately, no luck.
So now I'll try online to see what I can find.
Please say a prayer for the little goat that she heals quickly so she can go back to the herd. We have had to house her in the small greenhouse built onto the main house to keep her from males in rut & females who can play hard like all goats do.
While in town looking at the pet store we decided to grab a bite at one of our favorite home-style restaurants. That made the day easier... grabbed a to go meal for us & went home.
I'm thinking it's going to be an early bedtime for us both tonight!
Well this is certainly an interesting way to compost! (and plant tomatoes)
I've known the song for awhile, but only today saw the video. So very timely for our world! ~ Alison
My little bottle-fed goat turned two years old today!! I didn't know it until I was editing pictures & realized he had been born on 2/1/2015. I wish a had a good picture of him now...maybe tomorrow. But this is what he looked like when he sat on my lap & took his bottle. He is so sweet! Happy Birthday Goatsie!
This is the latest member of our family. The Princess kitty! She was my brother's cat we took on when he moved into assisted living. We love cats, but would not consider getting one because of the chickens...chickens are just big birds to cats & therefore prey. But fortunately, my brother had been in an apartment & she had never been outside, so she gets along quite nicely, and no bother to the chickens, being an indoor cat. Here is her picture... you can see she is indeed quite the Princess!
We have been off the art show circuit for some time now. We stopped doing shows in 2013 because the economy was not supporting our efforts. BUT, it dovetailed in an extraordinary way to many things. For one, we were eligible to draw social security, having reached retirement age. We found it better to stop all the crazy travel & focus on the farm & stay close to home. Of course retirement only translates into working harder than ever. But that is our nature, so no complaints.
On a more sobering level, that time also dovetailed with my brother, a Marine Veteran, needing to go into assisted living. So we both cleaned & closed out his apartment, and found him a place near the Veterans Hospital where he could have a good quality of life. It was intense, and quite exhausting. This also coincided with my mother in her retirement home needing the emotional support of her daughter nearby. So I was very thankful that we were not traveling like we had been, and thankful for training in Stephen's Ministry, and thankful for the peace of the country farm, and most of all thankful God saw fit to give me a wonderful hubby who helped me so much through all of it. We shortly had to close Mom's apartment & move her into assisted living. She passed a few months later, on March 4, 2015. It was a period of grief and exhaustion, which was intense & takes time. That time was largely spent going through so much emotional balancing as we went through her belongings and put our home together with so many family pieces, some going back to grandparents. It was very internal, intense, and emotional going through those treasures which held so many memories.
Oh, and then I decided to pursue something I'd delayed for decades: my father had been a Mecklenburg County Police Officer and died on New Years Eve, 1960 of a massive coronary while at work. So we visited CMPD one day & talked with them. They agreed to honor my father by putting his name on the Memorial Statue for fallen officers in downtown Charlotte. They also hung his photograph in a room dedicated to fallen officers. It was a time of my heart swollen with love & memories of my parents, now gone. A sad time, but a soul-enriching time, as Denny gave me the support & room to sit with those tender memories.
So many changes. So many deep waters to cross. Thankfully we had come into relationship with Jesus Christ in 2010-2011. It made so much difference in our lives, and I'm sure we would not have made it if not for Him. He never lets go, He holds us close and guides and protects us, even when we wander like the tribes of Israel in the desert for 40 yrs. It seems that humanity requires periods of reflection to understand the depth of our need for God. I am so thankful that although the passage was not easy during these times, God saw fit to surround me with support and the downtime to process it all.
But back to now..... we decided a priority focus needed to be on the FARM, which needed a lot of TLC due to our doing so much traveling for the previous decade. For starts, we legally named the farm "Rolling Hills Hermitage" because we live in the beautiful rolling hills of the Piedmont of North Carolina, and we could both pass for hermits, thus the name. We still raise a small flock of chickens, and honey bees, and have added Nigerian Dwarf Goats to the mix. Along with our raised bed garden, we also plant 2 different fields; grow fig, apple, pear and plum trees; have both bunching grapes as well as muscadine & scuppernong grapes; blackberries - both wild and thornless, strawberries, and blueberries. And if that wasn't enough, we built a small greenhouse onto the side of the main house and then put in two hoop house style greenhouses.
We are still "Artrageousfolk", the copper-enamel folk art can still be made, and Denny has done a couple small shows in NC. We also have branched into succulents and plan to incorporate the art with planters of succulents for sale. Our hope is to work close to home at Farmer's Markets, and some small art shows in NC. If you want to check out his art just visit the old website: http://www.artrageousfolk.com I plan to keep that site up, so check the art images there. (I am saving myself the extra work of having to load all those images here).
Needless to say this is a lot of doing for a couple of "retired" people, but we gotta do something, right? Lol. We do have fun, anyway.... I finally found a brief space of to time to create the new website. Hopefully we can share the goings on with friends as we progress. If you have read this far you ARE a real friend! Lol Please do check back & stay in touch!