Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Summer 2016

Time to attempt to re-awaken the blog! I hadn't felt like blogging too much after we lost Ryan (plus we were so busy all summer), but I think it's time for a summer 2016 update - because oh so many updates!

We miss our Ryan boy like crazy around here. He had such a huge presence and he was the goof to the girls' serious. The first time we went to the river him, Abby and Zoey got all excited after swimming. The normal go-to activity had always been Abby beating up Ryan while Zoey danced around them with a toy in her mouth. Without Ryan, they had no idea what to do with themselves. They kind of tried to wrestle, then just...stood there looking confused. 

They've figured out how to play, now. Still isn't the same without our Ryry. Abby is feeling pretty good on her special kidney diet (it basically consists of cream of wheat, egg whites, some veggies if she'll eat them, and either lamb or pork). 

Shortly after losing Ryan, Erika's Tyler came to stay with us for a week. I'm so glad we got to have him on the farm this summer. He had such a good time. A few days ago, they had to let Tyler go, too. Two amazing boys gone this summer :(

Going back again to July, the baby goats grew up and went to their new homes! The little boy lives as a pet on an acreage iwith a goatling sister. The girls went to a farm to eventually be milk goats. After the babies left, I started milking Pippa (otherwise I think she may have burst!). She produced a ton of milk for such a little goat! I was getting a sandwich bag full every day. After a few weeks I went to once a day, then every other day, and now no more milking. We have a freezer full of goat milk that I've been giving to the dogs. They love it.

Those kids were so much fun - but also TROUBLE! They were pretty easy up until they started eating 'real' food about about 5 weeks. Before that, they'd escape (easily, through any square in the wire fencing) and just jump around and be cute. Once they started eating, though, they'd escape and try to get chicken grain, strawberry plants, etc etc. We thought Pippa was hard to contain - try tiny popcorn goats! Impossible.

But totally worth the trouble.

We had lots of friends come to visit and get used as a climbing gym.

We brought them to the vet to have them disbudded - we couldn't bring ourselves to do with without anaesthetic, which is the norm on farms.

Pippa was an excellent mom. She never minded us or the dogs near her babies, but she was always on alert and very protective of them. When they went to their new homes at 8 weeks, though, I guess she was done...she never even cried for them!

Nom, nom, nom maples!

In mid July, I shocked the sheep and chickens with this:

Introducing Juice! She is an awesome little cat. We set up the pump room for her with a bed, litter box (we kept her locked in for a few weeks so she'd get comfortable here and not run away when let out), food and water. After the first couple of weeks, we'd let her out during the day and then lock her in there at night. Then one night she pulled a crazy cat move and escaped through the roof somehow. We stopped locking her in at night (pointless!) and soon after that:

Juice decided that she wants to be an indoor/outdoor cat. I put a pet door in the back door so that Abby has constant outdoor access (kidney failure = has to pee a lot). Juice decided that a pet door suits her just fine, thank you very much. We actually don't see her indoors that much but I'm pretty sure she comes in around midnight and stays until early morning. She seems to sleep either in the living room in a little dog bed or in my sock basket... 

She is the friendliest little cat - super cuddly - but she's also an excellent rat hunter. For awhile we were finding a Juice kill every few days! Zoey really likes her and they've almost started cuddling together...Abby is not the biggest fan of cats but as long as Juice doesn't come near her bed she mostly ignores her.


Just chillin'

The pond looked lovely this summer!

At the beginning of August, we had an unplanned hatch... well, not quite unplanned. It was more that this duck started sitting on her eggs right when Ryan died and I didn't have the heart right then to take them away. So, about a month later:

Daddy drake:

The sad part about the duckling story is that the mama duck is extremely protective of her babies, to the point where it was almost impossible to get the other 2 female ducks to go into the coop at night. She would chase them around even if they were far away from her and her ducklings. I would keep them separated until dark, and then let the other ducks into the coop so they wouldn't get beaten up. A few nights ago, Victoria refused to come off the pond, probably because she didn't want to be anywhere near the mama duck. I had a bad feeling about predators, but after half an hour of trying to get her off the pond, we had to give up. In the morning, Victoria was gone - we found piles of bloody feathers all around the pond and coop. Poor poor Victoria. She was the best duck!

Nathan with his favourite ram lamb, Block Head.

We had a very productive garden this summer. Our tomatoes this year all came from seeds in the compost! Weed seeds in the compost are a pain when you don't heat it up enough - but tomato seeds were a bonus! So many tomatoes. And look at how many green gage plums (SO delicious) were on this tiny tree that we planted last year:

Partly so tiny because the sheep and goat got to it one day...

I think that's about it! Oh, except for this:

If you made it this far in the blog, you probably already know this news ;)

Our family will be expanding in a big way in mid December! We can't wait!!!