Monday, November 23, 2015

Meet the Bucks

You know, if I recall correctly, I believe I swore up and down that we'd never keep a buck here at Krazo Acres.  For several years we took our girls on dates to other buck-owning farms for their date, a small amount of cash or a couple of homegrown frozen chickens exchanged hands and that was that.

The first buck was pawned off on us by a friend who no longer needed him for breeding purposes.   We kept Pan, the Nigerian Dwarf buck for about two years and used him on all our dairy gals.  He was a total shitface and there were times I had to wrestle his piss-stained and rank tub of muscle and hair down to the ground just to let him know who the boss was.  I may have eventually proven that I, in fact, was the boss....but it was definitely not a "win" for me as rolling on the ground with a buck goat is nothing more than total olfactory torture.  I sold him to the first person who agreed to come get him and give me four bags of corn.  Smell ya later, dickhead!

We were buck-less for a year I think, then I decided that we needed to have goat MEAT on the farm.  So I got Lily and Herman, our first Boer goats.  We kept Herman intact to use for breeding.  He is a prick as well.  Not nearly as much of a jerk as Pan was, but unfortunately there is no way that I would be able to take Herman down.  The first breeding year I was able to get in to the buck pen to bring the does to him, but it's no longer safe to do so.  Now I will bring the does in the pen & Paul will be right behind me brandishing a pitch fork or a long section of metal pipe.  Herman has one last fling here and then I'm putting him on the sale page and shipping his sorry butt outt'a here.

Studly Do Right was purchased as a bottle baby to be Herman's replacement.  He is much nicer, even friendly and I'm assuming that is because he was babied by us.  He wants to be around you and not try to knock your skull in or rear up to you.   Although during breeding season I don't scratch or pet him unless it's with a stick.  The fact that he doesn't have the huge set of horns like Herman is also a major bonus.

Moe-lassas is our newest buckling.  He and Moo-latte were out of a Nubian / Boer doe and Herman so I'm guessing the black heads came from their Nubian lineage.  He isn't the biggest buckling we've had, but I'm really a sucker for the black heads now so I'm going to give him a shot at breeding this year.  If he's shooting blanks or becomes a jerk, he's off to the sale barn as well.

So now I find myself with not one, not two, but THREE stinky piss-faced bucks.

Annette & Pyewacket have already been bred to Herman and Dilly, MamaGoat, Lily and Daisy have been bred to Studly.  We tried giving Moe-lassas a shot with Maypop, but he seemed to be more motivated than functional.  Unfortunately she's no longer in heat so we'll have to give it another go-round in two weeks.  Moe will get one last shot and then Studly will get his chance.

Pickles is still holding out on us.  We tried getting her in with Herman but no connection was made.  She's going to end up as sausage if she doesn't get bred this year.

So it looks like we're going to have a late kidding season next Spring beginning in the middle of March and dragging out into the end of April.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Dating, I mean, Mating Game!

Good evening all, and welcome to the Dating - I mean - Mating Game.

It's been a wonderful Summer here at Krazo Acres and all the goat ladies have been working on their best hay-bellies and practicing their tail flagging flirting with each other, all in anticipation of the fall breeding season.

So let's meet the Does for the 2015 Breeding Season, shall we?

Pickles, the Screaming Goat
Pickles was the first Boer here on our farm so she tends to think she's something special.  She likes to scream, wedge herself under the barn and scratch herself on the chain link fence.  She says she's looking for a gentleman buck; one that will share his grain ration with her before he jumps her.  Let's all give Pickles a warm welcome!

Lily was the second Boer doe on our farm and she's quite the naughty little goat.  She's not afraid to try new or Taboo things in the breeding pen and if truth be know, she and her brother, Herman, shagged up the first season.  And she said she'd do it again in a heartbeat....although she requested more spanking and wanted to be tied to the fence.  Which Buck will be willing to get it on with this little pervert?!
(LOUD applause from the buck pen, and lots of snorting)

Dilly is Pickles first offspring, and although she's already had time in with Studly Do'Right, she wasn't having any of him.  Dilly is a self-proclaimed stubborn prude and says "I ain't gonn'a let just any piss-faced buck from this farm poke me up the wah-hoo".  She says that she is holding out for a more refined and Registered Boer Buck with a good pedigree.
(Booo's and hisses from the Buck Pen.  Little does the prissy bitch know that I'm going to lock her in with the smelliest buck this year.)

Annette is up next.  She's a Dairy mix and normally goes for the Nigerian guys.  But since she's getting on up there in years she said she wants something different to spice up her breeding life.  Some Boer Buck Booty, perhaps?  Annette is not the romancing kind'a gal and isn't looking for a long-term relationship.  A minute & a half stand is perfectly acceptable for her.  Don't be expecting her to leave her number on the nightstand guys; she's already over your sorry ass before she even gets in the breeding pen with you.
Let's give it up for Annette!  (crickets chirping in the distance)

MamaGoat is also a Dairy mix and she will be looking over the three Boer bucks carefully.  She's never been with a Boer before and is feeling a little anxious.  During our interview, she inched closer to me and quietly whispered, "Is it true what they say about Boer's, uhm, you know?"  I said that I had only heard rumors and suggested that she ask Lily.  MamaGoat trotted over to Lily and whispered in her ear.  Lily whispered back.  Then MamaGoat's eyes widened and she ran back to me.  "Yeah!  I'll take a Boer this year.  Maybe two.  Or all three.  Can I do all three???"
(Excited applause.  From MamaGoat)

Clover is Lily's first offspring and is looking to keep the Boer blood line going but not at the price of more inbreeding (so Herman's off the list)  She likes being scratched on the shoulders and having her ears nibbled.  Although she's not as adventurous as her dam (and wants to distance herself from her incestuous conception), Clover is willing to look into a non-traditional colored Buck.  And Moe-lassas just might fit that bill.  How do you like your coffee, Clover?
Black; like my bucks.
(Whoops & frantic applause from one particular section of the buck pen)

Pyewacket is Annette's mixed-Dairy offspring and she seems to share her mother's general disinterest in romancing.  She enjoys spending time by Herman's fence line, but has admitted to me that it is only because the persimmon tree is there.  When I asked her who the lucky bucky is going to be this Fall, she just rolled her eyes at me and said that it's all about the persimmons.  "Which ever dope of a buck gets me the most persimmons can do me.  You gott'a think about yourself these days.  And if some moron of a buck wants to spend all his energy keeping me in a persimmon-eating lifestyle just so he can get some doe action once a year, well, that's just fine with me."
(No applause but lots of commotion claiming rights over the few persimmon trees in the yard)

Let's give all our Doe contestants a big round of applause!

In our next episode we'll interview the Lucky Bucks - Herman, Studly Do'Right and Moe-lassas.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's time

Time for me to get off my sloth-butt and write a freaking blog post.

It also just so happens to be the first time I went out this morning and really needed a long sleeved shirt.

So I don my favorite'est cat t-shirt, pull on my flannel (and pants, of course.  Although it wouldn't be the first, nor last time, I exited the house sans pants), grab my cup of vanilla chi tea and wander out to the barnyard so I can revel in the beauty that is Fall in The Ozarks.
Ahhh!  Cup of tea, cool & crisp weather, beautiful
fall colors, the wonderfu....BAAAAAhhha!!  Baaaaa!
Baaahhhaaa.  BAAHHAAaaaaa....
No more than sixteen seconds into my trying-to-relax-and-enjoy-the-moment, I hear the distressing call of a goat.  Forfukssakes.  Can't I just enjoy a freaking cup of hot tea you stupid pecker heads?!?

I run to the goat pen (who am I kidding, I don't run) and look around.  I count goat heads.  I don't see any blood or downed goats or missing goat body parts.  I move around the barn and hear the pathetic cry of a goat again.  I go back around the barn to see who's making the noise and everybody just stares at me....not making noise.

So I just stand there.  And they all just stand there, staring at me, probably wondering if they are going to get a treat, get kicked or get yelled at.  Then I finally hear the pathetic noise again.

It's Annette.  Who is in heat.  There is absolutely no questioning Annette's cycle.  She signals her willingness to be accosted by a smellier-than-all-hell buck goat by tail flagging and vocalizing her wanting by a horribly pathetic and lamenting kind of goat moaning.  And although I will readily complain about the pitiful sounds of Annette looking for some goat booty, it does make it a practically 100% sure sign that she is ready to breed.  There's no need to take temperatures, look at goat behinds for days on end or analyse the consistency of goat "goo".  She just grunts and moans.  All.  Day.  Sometimes for two days straight.
Yes.  We all hear you.
Shut UP already.
I will soon be removing my cute kitty shirt and favorite flannel, dig some "barn chore" clothes out of the dirty clothes hamper, and convince Paul that he has to be PimpDaddy with me later this morning.  I'm still not entirely sure which buck I'll have her bred to, although I've already made up my mind that it's going to be one of the Boers.  So who's the lucky guy?

Studly, Herman or Moe-lasses, the little black-headed buckling?  I was thinking that it would be neat to get more black heads in the herd, but Annette's mixed-lineage probably wouldn't guarantee anything anyhow.  Not to mention that we'd have to rig up some cinder blocks for Moe-lasses because of his shorter-than-required stature.  So it's either Studly or Herman.

Annette's been pacing the fence line by Herman, so I may just let her choose.  Because if you're going to get violated by a crusty-piss-faced beast with a pecker that looks like a garter snake that got run over by a lawnmower, you might as well get to choose which one.....right?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I haven't a legitimate excuse

Other than that I'm a sloth.

I teased you all with a soap giveaway, then fell off the face of the blogosphere.

I've been spending too much time arguing over stupid political memes on the time-sucking horror that is Facebook and neglected the one computer related project that I actually enjoy....this blog!  But because of my apathy, a few more people got in the proverbial hat for the giveaway, so I guess that wasn't all that bad.

So without further ado, here is the winning name for a homemade bar of soap:

Just kidding.

It's Denise!


Mike Yukon!

Figured I'd have to pick an additional winner to make up for my pathetic excuses for being so tardy.

Send me your mailing address and your choice of scent (Orange Spice, Sandalwood, Almond or Lilac) to CarolynRenee at centurytel dot net and I'll get your soap to you in a hopefully-more-timely manner than I did the drawing.

Just don't hold your breath.


Because you'd die before you got the soap.  Actually you'd be dead before I even put the soap in the mail.  So just go on with your life and hope that you get some soap in the mail before Spring.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Movin' and Cleanin'

The Creepy Meats and Barred Rocks are two weeks and three days old today.  And the Meats are far surpassing the Barred Rocks in size and stature:

Time to move them to separate pens, not only because the Meaties are taking up a lot of the space, but because they tend to crowd out the other chicks at the feeders.  Rhiannon helped me transfer the Meaties out from the little pen into the larger pen and they'll stay in there for another two weeks or until I get the chicken tractor up to snuff again.  Then I'll give the larger pen a good cleaning and put the Barred Rock pullets in there until they're ready to join the rest of the flock.

In theory, once the Barred Rocks start laying, the Rhode Island Reds, which I am none too fond of lately, will be crated up and put on the sale page.

The Creepy Meats are supposed to be ready in as little as eight weeks, but since we accidentally got males and females I tend to think we'll be keeping on the females for another two weeks or more.  And if we get to the eight week point and the males aren't huge, we'll keep feeding them as well.  Last season I was so fixated on getting the birds in the freezer at exactly eight weeks that we butchered them before they were our ideal size.  A few of them even weighed under four pounds.  That's not going to fly with a family that absolutely love-love-loves roast chicken supper with leftovers for chicken salad sandwiches the next day.

Since I was cleaning out the chicken pens I figured I may as well work on the other areas of the barn.  Lots of dust, chicken feathers, spider webs, spilt grain, mouse turds and mud wasps.  There was flying dirt & empty feed sacks being hurled out the doors.  Goats crowding around the doors in hopes that something GOOD would come flying out.  They did manage to get a few nibbles of leftover grain in the not-quite-empty feed sacks and quite the ruckus was made when a new one was tossed out.
Clover looks on and laughs.
Chop Suey isn't the brightest goat in the pen.
The chicken coop side of the barn still needs cleaning as does the goat loafing area.  There's lots of accumulated wasted hay and goat turds that need to be shoveled out of there and put into the garden beds but it's just so dusty that I'm kind of waiting for a rain to make it not so horrible on my asthma.  Even a dust mask can only do so much.  I'm thinking that it would be a wise move to invest in a  respirator so I put one on my Amazon "to buy" list.

Don't forget; if you haven't already done so, click on this post if you want a chance to win some homemade lard soap :)  You have until Sunday night!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fragrant Fall

I love the clean, crisp scent of fresh pine shavings.  We put the shavings in the pen for the Creepy Meat chicks and their substantially smaller Barred Rock brood-mates.  They are only a week and four days old today so it still smells like the shavings and not chicken poop.  I suspect in just a few weeks that I will be unable to smell the pine over the chicken poop.

If I recall correctly, last year I was cleaning out the pen every other day....and it probably could have used a cleaning EVERY day.  I don't plan on keeping them in the pen as long as I did last time, mainly because of the amount of labor involved in keeping the bedding relatively chicken-crap-free.

Once they're feathered out, I plan on putting the Creepy Meats out in the chain link kennel and then moving them into the fenced garden to pick at any greenery left after all the tomatoes and peppers are finished producing.  The drawback to putting them out in the kennel & garden is the fact that they will be vulnerable to raccoon and opossum attacks.  We've been lucky so far as in Charlie seems to be keeping most of the night time chicken murderers away from the hen house, but something has taken two older hens and three youngsters that refused to go into the coop at night.  I'm not sure if it is worth the risk putting them outside or not.  Nothing is worse than going out in the morning to a pen full of dead chickens.

There's another scent that has taken hold in the back section of the goat yard.  The gawd awful scent of a buck goat.  Herman is STANK-y.  Studly smells, but not nearly as bad.  Apparently he hasn't quite got his goat-mojo on, although Herman does have a few more years experience under his belt.

After being around the buck pen, it was enough to make me break the promise I made to myself not to indulge in ANYthing Pumpkin Spice'ish until the actual Autumnal Equinox.  I caved in and took a shower and used the fancy Pumpkin Spice bar of soap my Mom bought me a few weeks ago in order to erase all olfactory memories of the stanky-ass male goats.

Speaking of smelly stuff, I have some GOOD smelly stuff for my blogging buddies.  That is, if I still have any bloggers following me.  I've been a bad blogger as of late and haven't been reading yours or keeping up with mine.  So in an attempt to buy your loyalty back, I'm going to do a giveaway for some of the soaps Paul and I made a while back.

These soaps were made from all that pork fat we finally processed into lard a few months ago.  Normally I make our soaps using vegetable oils, but since we have lard coming out of our ears, I thought it would be a good idea to try using lard for the soap.  Well, and because I'm cheap.  The lard was "free"; the vegetable oils I'd have to buy.  We made the soap the first week of July, so they are ready to use.  We've been using them for weeks now and haven't burned our faces off, so don't worry, they're plenty cured!  I will say that the all-lard soap turned out much harder than the vegetable based soaps and they do not lather nearly as much.  I think I'll add some coconut oil in the next batch.

Anyways, these lard-based soaps are scented with sandalwood, lilac, orange and almond fragrance oils (as opposed to essential oils), so they're not ALL natural, but hey, it's free soap, right?!

So if you're still reading my blog and wanting some homemade lard soap, just leave a comment here.

And here's the "Fine Print" for the contest:

Contest open to U.S. Residents only.

One entry per person, UNLESS you say something nice about cats.  Then you get two.  Entries.  Not cats.

Winning name(s) will be chosen by a scientifically credible procedure to ensure a purely random winner or winners (i.e. I put all your names on little scraps of paper, throw them in a kitchen bowl and have Rhiannon close her eyes and pick one out).

Contest ends on 9/27/15 at Midnight, or sometime around then.  Because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want.
Cat(s) not included.
Good luck & smell ya later!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Zombie Fish

Last year - or was it the year before - we finally put in a stock tank for the ever-increasing number of goats we have to provide water for.  It stayed relatively clean for a while and when the water level got low, I scrubbed it out & refilled it.  But the Sub-Tropical weather we had recently had been making the chore of cleaning it out more difficult.  Not to mention the fact that there have been mosquito larva and some sort of other weird swimmy bugs frequenting the tank.  Instead of trying to scoop out the larva / swimmy bugs / algae or dump the entire contents of the tank out, I thought I'd try something I've heard from other livestock owners that wouldn't cause me quite so much trouble.

Rhiannon has a fish tank in her bedroom.  We bought it, along with five tiny feeder goldfish about 2 1/2 years ago.  And since then the tank-to-fish ratio has shrunk.  The fish have grown into something one might actually consider filleting and frying up in a pan.  After consulting with Rhiannon about her feelings for the goldfish, we decided that we'd put two of the larger fish into the stock tank.

I topped off the tank with some fresh water and we unceremoniously dumped the fish into the tank and watched them swim around in their new home.  The goats came up to see what we were doing, not so much interested in the bright orange creatures now inhabiting their watering hole, but fixated on the simple fact that we were carrying a bucket.  Because in the mind of a goat, buckets can mean only one thing; grain.  They were disappointed.  

Come actual goat feeding time later in the day, we checked on the status of the fish.  I'd say "fishes" but as you all know, "fish" is the plural of "fish".  Except there was no "plural" to speak of.  It was just "fish" in ONE fish.  How the hell did I lose a fish in just two hours?  Of course, the different scenarios flooded my brain.

Did a heron find our newly-stocked buffet so quickly?  Would a raccoon be out at this time of the day?  Could our bird-brained chickens actually figure out how to catch one?  Did the goats slurp one up???  I looked around to see if there was a dead goat on the ground, asphyxiated by a pet fish stuck in her esophagus.  I was trying to think of anything else that could have caused a fish to be missing, but the bawling from the all-still-living herd of "We're STARVING to death" goats did not allow for much more quiet contemplation.  So Rhiannon and I clipped and fed everyone and then that's when I heard Rhiannon say "I found Bulgie!" (he has a bulging eye, hence the name).  Apparently he was in the grass about three feet from the stock tank and managed to get out of the tank - either by his own volition or "assisted" by some other animal....we'll never know.

Rhiannon put him back in the tank....where he dropped to the a dead fish.  We waited a minute, then I told her to scoop him back out and throw him to the chickens.  Which were totally uninterested in.  So we went back to goat feeding chores and when everyone was unclipped, I went back to fish carcass to throw it into the compost heap.  I picked it up and was about to fling it over into the garden when it's gills moved.  Shit!  This thing had been out of the water twice now, the first time for nobody knows how long and the second time for about five minutes.  So I shove it back in the water & "swim" it back & forth to get some oxygen through it's gills.  It didn't seem like there was much progress, but it was progress.  So for about ten minutes I swam that stupid goldfish in the stock tank and it eventually flipped it's fins & tail a little, then eventually swam out of my hand under it's own power.  

It's been four days since the Resurrection of Bulgie and I'm happy to say that he's still alive and clearing the tank of algae and bugs.  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

They're Heeeeeeerrrrre!

Finally.  After waiting on the edge of my not-so-comfortable computer chair and refreshing the USPS Tracking screen every thirty-five seconds, the chicks have arrived!

Granted, it took two days for them to travel the 117 miles from the hatchery to my local post office.  Last year they got here in less than 24 hours after being shoved into their little cardboard box, but for whatever reason, this year the chicks traveled from one post office to another then to another....then to our post office.....for a total of just over 600 miles.  And you wonder why the post office is going broke.  But what do I know about the logistics of sending millions of pieces of mail cross-country.  Nothing.  But still.  I'm just glad that they didn't end up going all the way to LaGuardia before getting to their final destination.

Since I've swapped roles with Paul (me now being the nine-to-fiver and he being the farm grunt), he and Rhiannon picked up the chicks at the post office.  This is the first time I have not been there for the chick-picking-up.  I actually felt a bit left out.  But the feeling went away when I got home and all the chicks were alive and already in their pen, peeping and pecking and pooping as baby chicks are wont to do.  Rhiannon is, at this exact moment, out there playing Momma to her "chickies".  I can attest to the hardiness of the chicks as she picks them up and puts them down and pets them and kisses them no fewer than a hundred times.

I ordered twenty-five Cornish Cross Creepy Meats, ten Barred Rocks and ten Black Sex Links.  I swore I ordered all MALE Creepy Meats, but the invoice said unsexed.  Which is disappointing, regardless of who made the mistake (probably me) because the males do get much larger.  And we do love a big o'l roasting bird.  I guess we'll just keep the females around longer until they're more Yummy-Sized.

The temperatures, of course, have dropped since the chicks arrived and we're having to run two heat lamps in the pen.   Last night we got down to 60 degrees, but tonight we're dipping down to 48 degrees.  I may have to put them in the garage.

Although it may be a bit cool for the chicks, the humans and goat are really enjoying this Fall'ish weather.  It's nice not to sweat yourself out of a t-shirt three times a day.  And having a hot cup of tea doesn't seem so strange now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Laboring Day

So.  Did you all enjoy your "Day off"?  You know.  Labor Day.  When (some) people don't have to go to work.  When (some) people go to the lake and picnics or just sit home and laze about all day.

Silly humans.  You know that rarely happens.  Even if you're not "working", you're probably cooking a feast or packing a picnic or doing something or other requiring laborious tasks so you can enjoy that "Day Off".  Seems we got it all backwards, hugh?
Well, we were up with the rest of you on Labor Day.  Paul was brush hogging the entire "long weekend", and Rhiannon and I busied ourselves with school work, barn chores and house chores.  But at least we were able to stick around the homestead.
Don, the FFA Boer goat we brought back home, is doing much better now.  He's still really skinny, but his bottle jaw is gone, his eyes are much clearer and he seems to be more active.  We had him in a quarantine pen but finally moved him back in with the rest of the herd a few days ago.  Of course, he's getting butted and pushed around, but he's holding his own and learning who to avoid and who he can snuggle up to.  Rhiannon has been loving on him something extra, but it does make me kind'a sad.  Rhiannon knows that he's a butcher animal, and I remind her of that on an almost daily basis, but why, why, WHY are the nicest goats the ones we're going to eat?!?  Is it just the Universe punishing me for being a carnivore?  Oh, you're going to kill that goat??  Well then, let's make sure he's the cutest / nicest one then so you feel like complete shit when you put a bullet in his head.  Oh, and this goat over here, the one you've spent countless hours with, trying to get her to be tame & gentle so you can milk her?  Let's give her a total piss-on-you attitude.
Rhiannon says she loves her goats, but she also
says that she really, REALLY loves BBQ goat ribs.
We also cleaned out the smaller pen this weekend and got it ready.  Ready for what, you ask?  For CHICKS, of course!  I placed an order (late, imagine that) for some Creepy Meats and some replacement layers.  A year & a half ago I bought 20 (or so) Rhode Island Reds to replace our dwindling layer flock and I haven't been very happy with them.  They are noticeably smaller than my Barred Rocks as are their eggs.  And the fact that one, or more, of them are eating eggs is ticking me off.  So in my order of chicks, I got ten more Barred Rocks and ten Black Australorps, two of my favorites & IMO, best of the brown egg layers.

The chicks should be here any day now and even after ten years of chicken-raising, I still get excited when they arrive.  Eight weeks from now when I'm cleaning out chicken crap every single day, the tune will change, but until then I will enjoy the little shitting machines balls of fluff.  And post picture after picture of cute chick antics.

Friday, September 4, 2015

There is a Time & Place for Everything

Dear Fall Freaks and Northern Nutjobs,

It is the fourth day of September.  I know you are all excited about kicking Summer's bikini clad butt out the door and dragging Fall in by it's auburn hair, but it is not yet time for Pumpkin Spice.

Don't get me wrong. I love Pumpkins.  I love spices.  I love Pumpkin Spice.  I love Fall and the weather changing and the beautiful fall colors and fall smells.

But if I'm still eating watermelon & drinking sweet tea and sweating my ass off in the 90+ degree heat, the last thing I want is to be inundated with is Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING.

So, please.  Can we at least wait until the Autumnal Equinox until we stock the store shelves and plaster the interwebs with everything from Pumpkin & Cream Flavored coffees to Pumpkin Spice hemorrhoidal creams?


Swampass In Arkansas

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Homemade Liver'ish Sausage'ish Braunschweiger'ish Stuff

Not sure why they call liver sausage, liver SAUSAGE.  To me, sausage is ground meat & fat & spices that you form into a patty and fry up in the cast iron skillet with eggs in the morning, or stuffed into the cleaned intestines of the animal you just used to make that sausage.

I'm not exactly sure where I acquired my taste for liver.  Maybe in a past life I was a successful bison hunter and got to sink my teeth into the fresh, still hot liver as my prize for making the killing shot.  Maybe my body is severely lacking in B-12 thusly causing my cravings.  Or maybe I'm just itching to get a bout of gout.  Regardless of the real reasons, I really do love livers.

As Ohio Farmgirl knows well, one of the benefits of raising your own Creepy Meats is the feast you have before you feast on a roast or fried chicken.  After a hard day of butchering chickens, you are left with a bowl (or six) of fresh chicken livers.  Batter & fry those puppies up and you've got yourself a well-deserved reward after all that back-breaking work of chicken plucking & eviscerating.  Or, if you're feeling fancy, you can make a pate out of those livers.  But, but....Pate is made from GOOSE liver, you say?  Well, sure it is.  But that's not going to stop me from making it from the livers I have sitting in a bowl of ice water on my counter top.

We've recently begun butchering our own hogs here on the homestead.  And like any animal (well, except for a sea cucumber or something), you're going to get yourself liver along with all that other meat.  Do you know how big the liver is of a 320 pound hog?  Me neither.  But it's a shitton bigger than a chicken liver I tell ya.  The first hog liver we cut up for Charlie.  And it pained me to see the Giant Sloppy Dog (GSD) get to eat it and not me.  So the second one I sliced up, battered and fried and served for supper.  Unfortunately it seems that I am the only liver-lover here.  Rhiannon will eat it with the bribe of ice cream for dessert.  Paul will choke it down and then remind me how he does not like liver.

The last pork liver was sliced up and shoved in the back of the freezer earlier this year and was recently brought out on accident by my husband thinking it was some sort of roast.  We need to be more diligent when labeling frozen packages.  Anyways, he called me at work and asked me if he could give it to the GSD.  I squealed "No!", and even though he said he wouldn't, I dreaded coming home to see the dog's food dish heaped up with the liver.  So I made a compromise; the GSD could get half of the liver and I would get the other half.

When thinking about how I was going to prepare the liver for myself (as it was already made known to me that Paul was NOT going to be eating liver with me) I though that I could try to make liver sausage.  I love that stuff.  Well, I love it enough to buy it once in a while and have a sandwich, but not really knowing how or what went into that little plastic wrapped tube of "liver sausage" it doesn't make it to our refrigerator more than every few years.  So I started looking up liver sausage recipes online.  Almost every single one of them required the majority of the ingredients to be pork meat, not so much liver.  And I'm sure it would be yummy, but I was hoping to get something akin to the wonderful chicken liver pate I made before.  So I did what I normally do.  I winged it.

Basically I took my Hillbilly Pat-Hay recipe and substituted the pork liver for the chicken livers.  And used six times as much of everything.  I told you a hog liver is a shitton bigger than a chicken liver...and I didn't even use half of the liver from the hog.

So.  How did I do it?  Well, here's the recipe I used:

3 lbs. pork liver, sliced & soaked (and soaked & drained & soaked & drained & soaked....)
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping tsp. rubbed sage
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. marjoram
2 bay leaves (mine were old so that's why I used two)
4+ cups water
2 sticks butter at room temperature

Bring all (except butter) to a boil for 10 minutes, skimming the foamy stuff off.  Drain and pick out bay leaves.  Put small amounts into your food processor or blender and small chunks of butter & blend away until smooth.  Keep putting the liver/onions/garlic and butter into the processor until it's all smooth.

I don't have a food processor so I used the blender.  I'd have to say that having a food processor would have made it easier and probably made the paste a lot smoother, but I got what I got and that's what I used.

If you're a proper cook, you'd put the paste into a ramekin, but I don't have one.  So I put it into glass dishes (because, again, I don't have ramekins. I got old, rectangular glass dishes with lids.  Deal with it.) and shoved it in the refrigerator.  And then I had to wait because you're supposed to let it cool in for like six hours.  So I watied it out.  For like four hours.  Ok, ok.  I waited two hours.  It was still torture.

I opened the smaller dish and slathered the livergoodness over a cracker. And it was good. Was it $80 a pound foie gras good?  Well, seeing as I've never had "real" pate, I couldn't tell you.

What I can tell you is that it wasn't nearly as smooth as the chicken liver pate, but in all honesty, I wasn't aiming for that, but a Braunschweiger'ish / Liver sauage'ish recipe.  So in that regards, I think it went well.  I was thinking about actually following the recipes for liver sausage, the ones that call for actual chunks of meat, but since Paul doesn't like liver sausage anyhow it would be a waste of pork chops; I think this is the best way to use the livers from now on.  We don't get much lunch meat here unless we slice it up ourselves, so it will be a nice addition to the Homemade Sandwich Fixin's.

Even Rhiannon had some on a cracker and ate it without making faces...and then asked for another "cat food cracker".  Which is a truthfully accurate description.  I'm certain she tells her friends that her family eats Catfood Casserole and smears cat food on crackers for snacks.  The file the DCFS has on us must be pretty thick at this point.

So.  Is this liver sausage?
And this braunschweiger?
Goose liver pate? Chicken liver pate?  Raccoon liver pate???
Cat food?  Makes you wonder now, doesn't it???
I'm going to freeze a chunk of it and see how it defrosts.  If it defrosts well, I'll definitely make this again.  The Giant Sloppy Dog will just have to lick his chops and watch me eat all that hog liver by myself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tiny wildlife buddies

Several weeks ago, my daughter was digging around the goat / chicken yard with a stout stick as she is wont to do.  She usually digs up grubs or bugs or some other type of chicken "snackies" and feeds them to the biddies.

During on of her digging adventures, she was poking around a dead tree stump and found six tiny, leathery eggs:

Being the daughter of mine that she is, she wanted to keep them (instead of giving them to the chickens) and try to hatch "them" out......whatever "them" might be.

I was thinking it was some sort of small snake, so we put it in the terrarium with some of the rotted log material they were in, spritzed it with some water and waited.  Our wait didn't last very long because after about a week, I opened the lid to find a surprise.  Not snakes, but these incredibly adorable skinks:

I was giddy with joy.  I didn't even think about them being anything other than snake eggs which is pretty silly since our homestead is crawling with skinks & lizards.

We kept them in the terrarium and fed them small insects, but I'm not totally sure if the skinks actually ate them or their food managed to crawl out of the enclosure or just up and died somewhere in the peat moss and gravel.  Since I never saw one of the skinks eat anything, we released them after a few days into a moist area next to the house hoping that they'd fair better in the wild than in the terrarium.  I saw a tiny skink a few days after we released them so I'll just pretend it was one of our hatchlings and they didn't get eaten by the chickens or the cats.

We also have two other cute nighttime visitors, except these guys aren't reptiles, but amphibians:

Toad Buddy has been hanging out under our front porch since last year.  I make sure to keep the lights on next to the garage at night (where he hangs out) in order to draw his meals into closer range. The leopard frog is a more recent visitor; he (she??) too hangs out by the garage door lights.

Rhiannon and I look forward to seeing our little amphibian buddies each night.  Do you have any wild buddies that hang out at your place?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rethinking & Repurposing

The roosters are long gone.  Nettie is gone, but missed.  The Nigerian kids are gone, but not so much missed.

I'm kind of embracing this purging of the livestock.  And I've been thinking about the fates of some of the other goats.

Annette is a great mother.  She puts out a lot of milk & loves her kids.  But unfortunately, for whatever reason we have yet to determine, her milk has always been off-tasting.  I've checked for everything; mastitis, worms, strange feed, etc.  And what really drives me bonkers, and what no one seems to know the reasoning for, is that I cannot for the life of me get her milk to set a decent curd.  I've ruined batch after batch after batch of cheese before I finally started separating the different goat's milk and testing which batch was the problem.  It was Annette's.

So with me in "Purge Mode" lately, I was thinking about taking Annette to the sale barn.  And then I felt guilty.  No doubt, this feeling of guilt is what ruins the bottom line of countless farms.  So if I couldn't (yet) bring myself to truck her off to the sale barn, what was I going to do with her?  I could breed her to a dairy buck and hope her kids don't have the same genetic predisposition to having off-flavored milk, but that's a gamble I don't want to take.  But what if I didn't want her or her offspring to provide us with milk?  She's a heavy milker and fattens up her kids just fine and apparently the kids aren't as picky about the taste of the milk as we are.  So if she can't provide us with milk, then she can provide us with meat.

I've decided to have her bred to one of our Boer bucks this Fall.  She'll be able to fatten up her half-
Boer kids on all that milk and we'll either butcher the kids for our freezer, or if they're up to snuff, keep the females for breeding stock.  Problem solved!

Then I got to thinking about the other dairy gals.  And how much milk we really use / need.  Right now I'm only milking MamaGoat and that is plenty for us.  I no longer bother selling the milk.  It did help pay for the goat feed / hay, but it was a bother having people come down here to pick up their milk.  That, and Paul kept tossing caltrops into the driveway to discourage people from coming here (he was never really keen on the customer relations aspect of selling goat milk).

So I think that I'll be breeding all the does - Boers AND dairy - to the Boer bucks this year.  I'll still get milk from MamaGoat for our use and her kid will end up in the freezer after s/he's fattened up.  Same with Annette and Pyewacket's kid(s).  That is, if we even still have Pyewacket for breeding season.

She was supposed to be a family milker, but I'm not very impressed with her udder.  I mean, I guess it looks nice for a first freshener, but it's just, well, "eh".
Pyewacket, August of 2015
I guess I've been spoiled by Nettie's ginormous udder.  I put Pyewacket on the FB goat sale page for $150 (which I thought was a steal for a first freshener, in milk nonetheless) and only got one bite....and she asked if she could have her for $100.  Uhm, no.  So I'm going to pull her off the page on Monday.  I'll breed her this fall to a Boer and sell her next Spring when the market is better.

I suppose I have to get over trying to breed a great milker from our own motley crew of a herd and just bite the bullet and get a purebred Saanen when we need another main milker.  It will probably end up costing us less in the long run, as well as less time and aggravation.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Shipping them off

Did I tell you how much more peaceful it was once Paul butchered all those extra roosters?  I could actually go outside during the day an not be audibly assaulted by the crowing wars of testosterone-pumped poultry.  I could hear crickets.  It was wonderful.

But there was still the issue of the baby goats.  Even though the Boer kids have been shipped off the 4-H barn for the summer, we were still up to sixteen goats and the basically useless Nigerian mix kids were still hanging out here, drinking too much milk from their mothers, eating too many leaves off our fruit trees, and of late, one of them got on top of the car.  That was the final straw.  Paul butchered one of the wethers, but there were still two wethers and two doelings left.  I couldn't for the life of me sell even the doelings.

The goat market had basically bottomed out recently and there was no way we (meaning Paul) were going to drive them an hour and a half away to the sale barn, mess around with paperwork, unload them, then drive another hour and a half home for beans.  So I put them up for sale again in the local FB sale page for cheap and a guy came and got them the next day.  A guy who was going to take them right to the sale barn that night.  But I didn't care.  I hope he made some money.  I was just glad that they were gone.  Yes, we could have butchered them and put them in the freezer, but even that would have entailed more work (for Paul, that is).  Their chances for survival were better at the sale barn than they were here so I suppose I feel a little bit better about it.
So now the goat yard is a much more peaceful, and much less crowded place to be.  That is until the end of September when we'll be getting back the four Boer kids....and bring us back up to sixteen goats again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Goodbye Nettie

Our first goat, Nettie, has passed on to the great green pasture in the sky.

Not long after I wrote the last “Hole” post, I went to do a goat check and she was lying down.  I couldn’t tempt her to get up so I brought her a drink & some fresh weeds.  When we went back out later to do evening barn chores, she hadn’t moved.

Everyone was clipped to their respective feeding station and was fed.  Nettie didn’t budge so I brought her a big ol’ bowl of grain and sun flower seeds and a bucket of cool water.  During her downhill slide, she never lost her appetite.  But now her appetite was going to do her in.  A goat that eats and drinks but doesn’t get up to move around is going to bloat.  And bloat is a horrible way to go.
After several attempts to try get to get Nettie up of her own volition, I admitted to myself that this was the end.

We kept the other goats clipped so she could eat her meal in peace.  Paul, Rhiannon and I spent some time with her, talking to her, petting her, feeding her vanilla wafers.  I know that her body was pretty much beyond saving, but the thing that was so sad is that SHE was still there.  You could see it in her eyes.  She was mentally aware; her gaze followed us around but her body was unable to do so.
She was buried behind our house along with an offering of dock, plantain and wildflowers.  Her daughter, Annette, is still with us, but she isn’t much consolation (sorry Annette, truth hurts).   I will always remember my first goat, Nettie.  Bringing her home in the back seat of the car (yelling the entire way, of course), being there for her (and my) first kidding and being there for her final moments on this earth.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Hole

Paul dug a hole with the tractor a few days ago.  And when I spy the excavated dirt next to it, I get teary eyed.

That hole was dug with one purpose in mind.  Not to plant a tree.  Not for another garden.

We’re still not quite sure how long that hole will just be a hole.  It may rain and fill up with water.  It may get filled in again from six unruly goat kids jumping on the pile of dirt next to it.  But there is one thing that is certain.  Regardless if the hole stays a hole, or if we have to dig it out again, in the very near future it will contain the earthly remains of my first goat.

Nettie is not doing well.   Over a year and a half ago she sustained a life threatening injury to her udder and never really recuperated from it.  The average life span of a diary goat is said to be 10 – 12 years and she’ll be eleven years old this winter.  I’m sure the trauma from that incident took its toll and the heat of late is not kind to old, injured goats.

Really, I’ve been preparing myself for this for a while now.  No matter how much special feed we give her or how many vitamins or “extras” she gets, Nettie hasn’t been able to put on any weight.  Her coat isn’t shiny anymore (yes, I’ve wormed her & done fecals), she doesn’t move like she did even just a year ago.  She lays down most of the time, either under the barn or under a shade tree. 

So I’m planning her last days / moments with us.  Barring making her ill, she’ll be getting whatever kind of yummy weeds she likes.  She’ll be getting vanilla wafers.  Extra cool water during the heat of the day.  Lots scratches on the head and pats on the shoulders.  She has given us fine kids and years worth of healthy milk and when I can best tell it is time for us to end her suffering, she will be surrounded by those that loved her.

Yes.  I kind'a love my goat.  I know I bitch on & on about what a PITA they are (and believe me, they are), but sometimes livestock become more than just meat or milk or eggs or fiber.  Nettie was a great milker, an awesome mother (and Auntie) and has a wonderful, patient personality.  I wish I could say that for any other of my herd, but it just ain't so.  Apparently a goat like her doesn't come around often; either that or I have a horrible breeding program.

I'm off to do a post-afternoon, pre-feeding barn chore check.  And I'm going to gather a bunch of dock and plantain for Nettie because I know it's two of her favorite weeds.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Glutton for punishment? Yep.

Stubborn?  Double-yep.

I know I said that I wasn't going to bother saving any of the half eaten, half rotted peaches.  I know that if I started trying to salvage any good parts, I would spend the entire time swearing about the bug/squirrels/blue jays (yes, blue jays are now hated by me) and asking myself exactly why it is that I was wasting my time doing so.

But damnitalltohell, I wanted some peach jam!!!

So Paul and I spent gawdknows how long in the kitchen blanching, peeling skins, cutting out bad parts and trying to salvage the tiniest bit of perfect peach flesh.  Then I put them in the freezer.  Then I did the same another day.  And again this afternoon.  And will probably do it once more before all of the peaches are gone; either salvaged and frozen by me, stuffed into some hole in a dead tree by the squirrels, turned to mush by the bugs, or pecked at by the blue jays.

So far we've managed to get twenty or so cups worth of edible peach flesh....and probably four hundred and sixty-three pounds of peels, pits, and bug, squirrel & blue jay eaten bits that went to the only mildly interested chickens.  Freaking ingrates.

Once every last peach if frozen, and I hopefully haven't forgotten about them, I'll  make a weekend of defrosting them, cooking 'em into jam and canning them for the pantry shelves.

I was also hoping to get some tomatoes on the pantry shelves as well, but for all the darned tomato plants Paul put in the ground, we're just not getting very many.  First it was too soggy, now it's too hot for pollination.  The majority of the plants are Roma and a handful of slicing tomatoes in there for fresh eating, but we've only had a half dozen or so fresh ones to eat and not more than eight quarts of tomato puree (in the freezer, along with the peaches, waiting to be canned).

There are wax beans ready to be picked, but there really aren't enough for me to consider canning them.  We'll eat those fresh and if I get a bean-canning-bug up my butt, I'll go to the farmer's market and see if I can get a good deal on a bushel of green beans.

There are still cucumbers crammed in every available spot in the fridge, awaiting, well, something.  I refuse to can another jar of pickles.  Last count there were twenty-five pints of various pickled cucumbers; dill, sweet & sour, sweet & spicy, bread & butter...and that's not even counting the six or more quart jars in the fridge that I made refrigerator pickles out of.  I mean, seriously.  How many freaking pickles can anybody eat?  I'm putting in only two cucumber plants next year as I doubt we'll be through these by next summer anyhow.

The red & green Bell peppers aren't doing too hot either.  We got four or five stuffing-sized ones, but the rest are pretty sad looking.  The banana peppers, however, are going gangbusters.  Too bad I don't care much for them, they just don't seem to have much flavor to them.  Wonder what I can do with them?

Still no squash.  Wait, I stand corrected.  We harvested ONE yellow straight neck squash before the lone surviving plant died.  But it's not like we canned squash anyhow.  Squash and green beans are on the list for the Fall garden and hopefully they'll do better than the Spring garden.

Paul just started harvesting the jalapeno peppers today and  I'm going to try making Cowboy Candy out of them when we get enough. Basically it's a candied jalapeno pepper recipe.  I might even venture to try one if they aren't too spicy.  The recipe showed a little slice of candied pepper on a cracker with cream cheese and I have to admit that it did look tasty.

And now I'm hungry.  And I've got a craving for a PB & J sandwich.  Which I will have to eat with either grape, blackberry or apple cider jelly.  Because I still don't have any peach jam.

Ugh.  And now I realized that I don't have any bread.

Guess I know what I'm going to be making.

What have YOU been canning this weekend???

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

One less horned goat

I've paid for my mistakes in bringing horned goats into our herd.  Nettie almost died from a horn related injury to her udder a year & a half ago.  I've also been dealt blows with those horns, and although probably unintentional, they still hurt like hell and left nasty bruises.  And even though I've told Rhiannon that she is not allowed to go near the horned goats, they don't listen, especially when they suspect you may have something yummy to eat.

I've sold two of the horned goats that I acquired in the last year or so, but still had Lily & Herman the Boers, and MamaGoat, the Mini-Saanen that just so happens to now be my heaviest milker.  She also happened to be the meanest little shit because she had horns...and knew how to use them, even on the bigger goats.

I was at my wit's end earlier in the kidding season.  I saw MamaGoat toss other kids across the yard with those damned horns.  I saw her ambush other goats and gouge them in the side, seemingly "just because".  And her horns weren't the ones that rolled back behind her head.  Oh no.  They were straight and pointy (although they had been previously "tipped") and you'd better mind your eyeballs or there was the distinct possibility that she'd end up popping one of them out if you bent over to her and she spooked.

But darn it.  She was my best milker.  And apparently I'm heartless and selfish and cruel.  Because I didn't butcher her or sell her to a horned herd owner; she's still on the homestead.  What I did was, according to some, a horrible, horrible thing.  I banded her horns.

I've always said that I wanted this blog to be truthful, no matter how embarrassing or ignorant or stupid my actions (the ones that I tell you about, that is) may be.  Because I honestly believe that everything is a learning opportunity.  Some of those lessons are best learned personally, other best learned by other people's mistakes (say for example, swimming in shark infested waters wearing a meat necklace).   So that is why I will open my blog to the shaming or finger pointing or angry comments that may ensue after this is posted.  And although I am always open and willing to hear other's opinions or experiences, I will not tolerate the unoriginal comments like "You're a meanie" or "You're a murderer" kinda stuff.  Because you know what?  It's my blog.  It's my life.  And if you don't like what I'm doing you can simply unsubscribe and go look at funny cat pictures.

Heck, let's all look at funny cat pictures, no matter what you think of my blog.  Because cats are awesome.

Anyways.  Back to the banding.

I've read other blogs and livestock threads where people have used bands in order to remove the horns off their goats.  I've mulled it over.  I've agonized over it.  I've gone back & forth and finally just said, "Screw it" and I had Paul help me band MamaGoat's horns.

Basically, it went like this;

During feeding time when everyone is clipped to the fence at their respective feeding stations, I held MamaGoat's head firmly while Paul used a file to make a groove in MamaGoat's horns as close to her skull as was possible.  It only took a few well-placed and firm passes and a nice, bloodless groove was made into the horn.  Paul then used the elastrator to slip on a castrating band and fit it into the groove.  Same thing with the other side.

About four weeks later, Paul came into the house and told me that MamaGoat's horn was hanging.  We both went back out there and snipped some sort of connective tissue off to release the horn.  There was blood, and it looked pretty bad, but only because she's white and a small stream had dripped down her face.  She was more freaked out by the hanging horn than anything. We put some blood stop powder on it and life went on.  She kept to herself for the next day or so, but she was eating grain and hay as normal.

A week and a half later, I went out in the morning to milk her and she didn't come running as usual.  I hand a hankering that she lost her other horn and I was correct.  She was under the barn, some fresh blood on her skull, and now totally hornless.  She felt well enough that I was able to tempt her from underneath the barn with some fresh greenery, she hopped up on the milk stanchion, I milked her, and life went on.

She is no longer the meanie she once was.  And as of yet, I have not seen any distressing signs from the banding.  Not saying that something might happen in the future.  Not saying that this wasn't a traumatic event for her.  Not even saying that this is what everyone should do if you don't want horns on your goat herd.

But it's what I did and it seems to have worked.  I don't have to worry about Rhiannon getting her eye gouged out, I don't have to worry about MamaGoat getting her horns stuck in the cattle panel fence and I don't have to worry about baby goats being gored to death by a little goat with a big (horned) attitude.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I give up. Finished. No more.

I will no longer waste a minute more of my time on the peach trees.

This is the third year we've had any significant fruit on the peach trees.  And this is the third year that I've spent hours of time trying to salvage a pittance of edible fruit from those trees.  I don't think we've had more than a half-dozen peaches that didn't have a worm in them or been chewed on by the local tree rats.

The squirrels and the Plum Curculio have won.  Since I could now care less about the finality of the Peach War (as it is hopelessly lost), I shall focus on the final battle.  Yes, I know, a lesson in futility.  But it gives me some satisfaction that I am able to plink the damned tree rodents much easier now that their movements are dramatically slowed by the weight of the peach in their mouth.  Unfortunately they are flea-ridden so I won't be making any Squirrel Enchiladas, but at least Charlie's dog food will be supplemented with some extra fresh protein.

The only way to possibly win next years Peach War would to spray the crap out of the trees and start a planned parenthood clinic for squirrels.  To get rid of the plum curculio problem, we'd have to spray like seventy-five times over the duration of the growing season with chemicals that I cannot pronounce nor really want to have our family ingesting.  To get rid of the squirrels I'd have to start shooting them every day starting in February....and still not be rid of them completely.  I can only eat so much squirrel pot pie, and Paul doesn't even really like squirrel anyhow.

What to do.  What to do?  I've contemplated just digging them up and pretending that we didn't waste six years of time & care on them.  I thought about just pretending that these peaches are livestock feed instead of delicious, juicy fruits for our family and cry when I think about how good my peach jam could have tasted.  But no matter what we do, we will not be replacing them with more peaches unless we can find one that is more resilient to the darned bugs.  

We've come to the same conclusion about the apple trees.  Since it's all but an impossibility to remove all the cedar trees from a mile radius of our homestead, getting rid of the cedar apple rust that plagues them every single year is also impossible.  So we are going to cull the Golden and Fuji trees and keep the Arkansas Blacks since they haven't had a single spot of cedar apple rust on them.  The Golden & Fuji trees have lost almost all of their leaves to the rust and have yet to give us a single apple.  The Arkansas Black trees produced fruit last year and a few the year before.

The pear tress are holding their own and don't seem to need much care other than pruning, although we did lose two of them last year & the year before to fire blight (the fun never ends, does it???).  And Paul just planted four Mulberry trees so we'll have some fruit on the homestead in the years to come (assuming, of course, that there isn't a freaky explosion of silk moths in the area). 

I'm going to have to be more diligent on selecting fruit trees from now on.  When we first started our little orchard, I went bonkers and ordered just about any fruit that sounded yummy not bothering to find out how disease / pest resistant they were.  And now I'm paying the price for it.

Too bad we don't have any hogs to give all these crappy peaches to.  I wouldn't mind trying a peach-infused pork chop or slab of bacon.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cucurbitaceae Conumdrum

While most people are posting pictures of their massive bounty of zucchini, I, alas, have not a single one.

Paul had planted a shitton (yes, that's a technical term) of summer squash seeds over a month ago and maybe one of them germinated.  And even that one is struggling to hold it's own.  I think it had two flowers; both male, of course.

So we reseeded with a few more and they aren't doing very well either.  I suppose I can say the excessive rainfall has put a damper on their growth, or it could be that even my mere presence is making things want to die.

The older plants in the tires were doing well until just a few days ago.  This morning I went out and saw the evidence of the evil Squash Vine Borer.  I did some surgery on two of the main vines and removed the bastards and I'm hoping that the vine will recover.  We'll see.

But even though our squash harvest is going to be squat this year, the cucumber harvest has been excellent.  Apparently the cucumber plants don't mind the recent deluge and whatever bug that normally would eat cucumbers hasn't found them yet so they are growing like crazy.  We have to go out and pick them every day or we'll end up with cucumbers the size of a Volkswagen.  It's amazing how quickly they grow:
Cucumber on 7/10/15 at 8:05 am
Same cucumber on 7/10/15 at 8:19 am
So to say that we've got cucumbers coming out of our ears wouldn't be that much of a stretch.  I've got sweet & sour cucumbers in the fridge and had a bowl for breakfast:

Cucumbers that Paul canned & transformed into Dill and Bread & Butter pickles:

Cucumbers in the sink:

And even in my purse:

Because you all carry produce in your purse all the time, right?  You never know when you're going to get a hankering for a crisp, refreshing, homegrown cucumber!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Adult Homemade Baked Goods

Well, because I haven't posted in a while.

And since it's past all the kiddo's bed times.

And because it seemed to amuse just about everyone on the Facebook, I figured I'd share it with my blogging buddies.

Aaaaaaaaannnnnd.......I have penis bread.

If that doesn't get a rise out of you, I don't know what will.