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For the latest ramblings on our life, check back here often.

We will try to post at least once a week.

 

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Step-by-Step

Posted by Angie on October 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

In our (slow) march to become self-sufficient, we have (finally) installed the water solar panels (that's why we were digging and filling in ditches around here awhile back [see July 19th post]! We will now have water heated by the sun rather than using grid power. One significant step closer to our dream of hippie-dom (well, our version of hippies...we still plan to enjoy our daily bathing and shaving, a good ol' hamburger once in awhile, Netflix, etc., etc.). How exciting! Here are the solar panels:

We decided to put them at the back of the property, behind the chicken coop, rather than on the roof for several reasons:

  1. We have plenty of space.
  2. We really didn't want to drill holes into our roof to secure them down (with the rain and hurricanes occuring around here).
  3. When we build our chicken run (because even though we love that the girls free-range, they are TEARING UP my garden and yard and they shit everywhere [and it's all I can do to keep Daisy and Duke from eating it--which, by the way, Duke is now weighing in at a stout 52 pounds and Daisy is a svelte 47]), the panels will provide the girls/hens some shade.

 

The panels are passive which means that water (literally) flows through little channels within the panel that is heated by the sun (because they're black and black absorbs heat. Yes, Jeff Foxworthy, I AM smarter than a 5th grader). We are still researching ways we can use the sun to power the house (i.e. the A/C, the microwave, lights, you know, the important stuff...). Like I stated before, this is "our" version of hippie-dom...it may not be yours, but whatever.

 

Speaking of the hens...OMG, they are still SO CUTE. We can't go anywhere without them following us around. Yesterday, one of them followed me into the house (yes, it was Pinky Tuscadero [see August 17th post]). I wasn't really paying any attention and she just snuck right on in. And while I do love them (and I love collecting fresh eggs...amazingly, we usually get 10 every day. We have some happy girls), I don't want them in my house; I do draw the line somewhere.

 

What I especially love about the hens is that they don't judge me on the "fabulous" footwear I wear around the homestead. I think I mentioned before that we have special shoes (that we keep in a bin right outside by the backdoor) that we wear in the chicken coop and duck den that are not to be worn--ever--in the house. My super seductive rubber boots (see December 29th, 2012 post) that I bought from Walmart (don't judge me) a while back are in this bin as well as these sexy babies:

And, yes, you are correct...those are Crocs...and they are not even real Crocs...even better, they are the imitation kind. I found them on a clearance rack in the boys' department (yep, at Walmart) for 3 bucks (even my $14 boots can't beat that). And if you look at the picture of my titillating slip-on sandals, the girls even love my shoes.

 

I mean those hens are the best...they feed me, they love me, and they don't judge me.

RIP Frak 2013-2013

Posted by Angie on September 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (1)

I have some really sad news to report from Ginger Goat Farm. One night last week, one of our ducks, Frak, met his untimely death. A bobcat (or what we assume was a bobcat) ripped off Frak's head. Yes, it was as gruesome as it sounds. As a courtesy, I will NOT post any photos of the carnage (but I will repost a few of his baby pictures here...sigh):

  

Anyway, to make a long story, short (and not too disturbing), the morning after the crime, Billy went out to check on the ducks (like we do every morning). As he walked closer, he noticed only one duck. After he got a little closer to the duck den, he saw Frik literally shaking from fright in one corner and a clump of feathers and blood splattered on the side of their townhouse. Frak's body was still in the duck den--minus his head (and most of his neck)--with blood everywhere. The side of the cage was pretty bowed out from where (again, we assume) Frak stuck his head out and was (probably) "telling" the bobcat who was "boss" around here (between Frik and Frak--Frak was definitely the alpha male). Well, the bobcat didn't want to hear any of Frak's nonsense and ripped (and probably ate) his head right off. Unfortunately (or quite possibly, fortunately), his head is still nowhere to be found.

 

As you can imagine, poor Frik was wandering around in a catatonic state. He just witnessed the extremely graphic murder of his brother. So for some company, we decided to let him free range with the chicken posse that morning (rather than making him stay in the "House of Horrors"). Remember when I explained that we had to keep the ducks and the chickens separated because the ducks (primarily Frak) kept picking on the hens (see August 29th post)? Well, let me tell you, Frik was the calmest duck I have ever seen. He just wandered around the yard with the chicken posse like he was another hen...he was practically nuzzling (rather than mounting) them.

 

So after Billy gave Frak a proper memorial (threw some feathers in the pond and turned on the fountain), we decided now is the time to find Frik the long overdue promise of "a fine looking woman" (see July 11th post [Looking for duck love in all the wrong places]). After a few phone calls, we found Frik a mate--Fran.

 

Cute name, huh? Well, let me explain to you why her name is Fran (and it's not because it sounds cute [Frik and Fran], although it does). Fran has the loudest, most nasal-y sounding quack you have ever heard. If Fran was a person, she would sound (and probably look) like this:

 

Remember her? If not, click HERE. Her quack almost exactly sounds like that laugh. Honest.

 

We are not exactly sure if Frik is happier with Fran than with Frak. When Frak was around, Frik was constantly battling Frak being the alpha male (if you know what I mean, wink wink). And now with Fran, he almost seems like one of those old guys you see at a department store with their equally old wives. You've seen them, those old guys walking behind their constantly chattering wives, not listening to a word, just shaking their heads up and down and once in a while they say, "Yes, dear."

 

That's Frik's life now. He went from swinging bachelor (with a pretty mean roommate [see April 23rd post]) to a settled-down family man. Is that a good or bad thing? I don't know.

 

All I do know is that things are A LOT calmer around here and that I am grateful that Billy was the one who found Frak.

Let sleeping birds lie

Posted by Angie on September 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Rainy day out here at the homestead (and do we need it!). In typical Florida fashion, the rain comes in bursts, not a solid, steady one. So, it's a bit funny to watch the chicken posse dodge in and out of their coup to avoid getting wet. During the last outburst, a couple of the hens missed out on the group run back to the coup and had to wait it out on the front porch:

They don't seem too worried. I think in my next life I want to come back as a hen (but definitely as one of OUR hens...not one from Tyson Chicken Farms or something like that).

 

Outside tasks will have to wait today.

Popeye the Sailorman

Posted by Angie on September 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

More good news from Ginger Goat Farm. Last week we bought an adjacent lot; increasing the the size of our homestead another acre and a half. It's a gorgeous parcel of land...about 2/3rds of it is cleared plus a small creek runs through, bordering a cypress grove. Although the land looks exactly the same from before we bought it, we look at it differently knowing that it is now a part of Ginger Goat Farm. We are so excited, one more lot and we qualify for agricultural zoning.

 

 

In fact, the day after we bought it, we took Big Blue (our tractor [check out our Photo Gallery, Big Blue-Up Close and Personal]) out to bushhog along the perimeter (as best we could) of the property. It was exhilarating...until I was bit by a deerfly on my lower left arm (at least we think it was a deerfly). It really didn't hurt, at first, but later that evening...OH MY GOD!!! As much as I bitch and moan about the fire ants around here, it PALES to a deerfly (or whatever) bite. (In fact, I painted this sign on some scrap wood and hung it out by the chicken coop:)

  

(Personally, I don't understand why people wear flip flops to a farm...not only are there fire ants, but the ducks with their foot fetish along with the piles of poo we have around here...ick...I want to have my feet securely covered, but that's me...)

 

Later that same evening, I looked like Popeye the Sailorman (toot toot)...at least on my left side.

It was miserable. I tried to "tough it out"...at first...but it was just too much for me. I HATE HATE HATE to take Benadryl because it knocks me out for the whole day (and I have things to do), but there is just a point where you have to relinquish the fight and just do what you have to do and sleep it off.

Foot fetish

Posted by Angie on August 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Excellent news! Frik and Frak are now all about the pond....finally.

However, we still cannot trust them to be around the chicken posse (see June 24th post). So, to solve that little problem, we let the chickens and the ducks out in "shifts" (chickens in the morning, ducks in the late afternoon). It works out pretty smoothly, but herding both groups in can be a little time-consuming and is not all that easy of a task. Unfortunately, Daisy hasn't developed into the little herder that we thought she would become (see June 12th post). In fact, it seems she has taken Duke's lead and would rather just lie around and watch the hens (and "throwdown" with the ducks [see August 8th post], but she's really lost interest in that, too). I guess, it's better than her trying to kill them.

 

Because our hens are SO passive, we really can't herd them...they just sit and squat whenever Billy or I step near them:

However, their sitting and squatting makes it next to impossible to herd them back home. All we end up doing is poking them in the rear with a herding stick while they hunker down, begging for us to pick them up and pet them. We almost feel cruel when we do it so, we carry each one back to the coop. *Our girls aren't spoiled or anything (insert sarcastic tone here)?* It could be worse, right? They are sweet, though.

 

The ducks, on the other hand, are PO'd that:

  1. The hens put them in the "Friend Zone" (see July 11th post),
  2. There STILL aren't any "fine looking ladies" waddling around here, and (probably the biggest offender),
  3. We moved their "Bachelor Pad" to another zip code within Ginger Goat Farm (away from the hens, closer to the pond).

 

Herding Frik and Frak back home in the evening is nothing like herding the hens back to their home. They are independent little buggers and want nothing to do with a herding stick (and nothing to do with being picked up by Billy and/or me). We had to get creative to corral them back home every evening. One little weakness we know about both of these guys is that they have a serious foot fetish. For reals. They cannot get enough of feet, specifically women's feet with painted toenails (Frak especially loves red polish). So (I hate to admit this), every evening, I have to go down to the pond and entice Frik and Frak out of the pond by flashing my bare feet.

 

I almost feel cheap...but it works.

Pinky Tuscadero

Posted by Angie on August 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (1)

Months ago, when Billy and I brought the baby chickens to the homestead, he made me PROMISE not to name any of the chickens. If you are a regular reader of our ramblings over the past (almost) year (crazy, isn't it?), I have a strange habit of naming most (if not all) of the animals (domesticated as well as native) around here. We have Special Fred (the catfish), Frik and Frak (the ducks), The Crane Family (the redheaded crane posse), and, of course, Daisy and Duke, but they don't really count because they're puppies. His reasoning for me to not name the animals is because if I name them, I personify them and get all "weird" about them. It's a very complicated subject and I prefer to not delve into it here and now.


Anyway, unfortunately, one of the hens has a total "girl crush" on me...Pinky Tuscadero (and I have a total girl crush on her, too. I can't help it, she is SO sweet). She follows me all around the yard, squats next to my feet--begging to be picked up and petted, and sings to me. I just love her. Look at her; isn't she a sweetheart?


We named her Pinky Tuscadero because, about a month ago, I was painting a pole in the chicken house (a pole to hold up the waterer and feeder, not a stripper pole....they're not those kind of girls) hot pink (why not?) and I accidently splattered a few drops on one of the hens. It's not a lot of pink paint, just a few drips on her left shoulder; it's kind of cute, actually. Anyway, it is enough paint that allows us to distinguish her from the rest of the girls.


If you have ever heard of or watched Happy Days, you know that Pinky Tuscadero was one of Fonzie's girlfriends. Happy Days, as well as I Love Lucy and Brady Bunch reruns were my "babysitter" when I was a little kid after school and on rainy summer afternoons. Don't judge me, I was a little kid and I flipping LOVED those shows (Now, not so much...about a month ago, I became all nostalgic [for some reason] and attempted to watch them on Netflix. You know what? Other than I Love Lucy, they're all pretty much awful. Who says that TV shows were better "back in the day" then now? Go try to watch an episode of H.R. Pufnstuf...you will want to stab sharp objects into your eyes and ears. It is THAT bad.).


So, I feel sort of bad because I kind of backpedaled on one of my promises to Billy...I can't keep falling in love with these animals...regardless of how cute they are.

March of the Ants

Posted by Angie on August 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Do you know what this is:

IT is a fire ant and they are the bain of our existence at Ginger Goat Farm. Go ahead and Google "Fire Ant Bite Images." I DARE you...no I double-dog dare you. And, if you're feeling a little daring, go ahead and Google "Fire Ant Bite Puppy Images." I'll be right here when you get back...

 

Now that you looked...they are both disgusting and disturbing, aren't they? Fire ants are the most contemptable creatures on the planet. Plus, those little mo-fo's aren't even native to this area. The little SOBs hopped on a ship from Argentina about 80 years ago and have no intention of ever going back. If you have 4 1/2 minutes to spare, check out this trailer of a documentary starring these little $%%#s (CLICK HERE).

 

I hate them...I really, REALLY hate them.

 

Do you want to know WHY I hate them so much?:

If it it looks like it hurts, it's because it does. Dang-it. I thought I was being REALLY careful when I was herding the chickens this morning! You almost can't be careful enough out here. Like I have expressed before...we are so happy living here and wouldn't change one thing (except, of course, these stupid bugs). I guess we have to consider them one of the hazards of living out here. It's crazy that these little buggers are so destructive (and PAINFUL).

 

Anyway, it's just not the actual bite that hurts, it also torments you (and itches) FOR DAYS. One bite is bad enough, but when you get 4 or more....they will just about drive you crazy. If you never have had the experience (good fortune) of being bitten by one (or many) of these little scuzzballs...let me help you out. Imagine innocently walking around your yard (or walking on the sidewalk, sitting on a chair, etc.), minding your own business...then, all of a sudden--out of nowhere--it feels like someone is injecting a hypodermic needle (if you're "lucky," it's just one hypodermic needle) filled with hot pepper sauce directly into your foot/leg/arm...wherever...it doesn't matter.

 

It burns like crazy for awhile and you put baking soda (or whatever other "remedy" is out there) on it to try to alleviate the pain. But let's face it, nothing really works. So, you sort of just "suck it up," take a Benadryl (or drink a cocktail, or two), and sleep it off for a few hours.

 

When you finally wake up, you TRY not to scratch it....and you're really good about not touching it...for about a day. Then at about 3 o'clock in the morning that next night, you feel like you are going to lose your everloving mind if you don't scratch the shit out of that bite (or most usually, bites). So, you scratch and scratch and scratch because you realize, it really doesn't matter.

 

You are left with a welt (or welts) for about a week (regardless if you pop the blister or not). Then, when it FINALLY goes away....you get bit again!

 

Daisy: Undercover Duck Agent (Duke: Uninterested Bystander)

Posted by Angie on August 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Life at the farm is as expected in Florida during the (nearly) mid-August weather--again proving my theory that H+P=B/F (see July 11th, "Deep Thoughts While Shoveling Poo" post for full explanation of my H+P=B/F theorem). And my theory is especially true when it comes to the ducks, more specifically the duck shit. Holy Mother-of-God, gnats and flies SWARM around those juicy piles of poo (again, see July 11th post [paragraph 4] for full details on duck poo, a 180 from my duckLING poo assessment [see March 27th post]).

 

It is amazing that Frik and Frak remain as white as the driven snow while wallowing in their filthy stank. Their cage (oops, I mean their bachelor pad [see April 23rd post]) is beyond ripe...it's vile. Regardless of how many times or how thoroughly we clean it (and we do, EVERY day), it is still just dreadful.

 

Many people ask us why we still keep Frik and Frak around (or when we are having them for dinner...and when I mean dinner, I don't mean inviting them in for pizza). I don't know, as much as they piss me off (pooping on my sidewalks, harassing the hens, pecking (incessantly) on my front door, following me around then running away when I want to pick them up, etc., etc.), the two of them still have a tender spot in our hearts. I cannot even begin to explain why, but they do.

 

Daisy also has a tender spot for them in her heart (or maybe she just considers them to be playmates, as Duke tires of her quite easily anymore).

Awhile back, I was concerned that Frik and Frak would gang up on (Crazy) Daisy and goose the shit out of (or kill) her because they were bigger than her. Well, now that she is bigger than the ducks (Daisy is tipping scales at right around 40 pounds, Duke, 43-ish pounds), I thought that she might tear them up (I wasn't so worried about Duke (Hefner [see June 12th post] as he is more interested licking himself [see July 8th post] or napping).

 

I know it may not be the most responsible "pet-parent" thing to do--letting Daisy and Frik and Frak have their version of the WWE throwdown in our backyard--but seriously, it's kind of fun to watch (so don't report us to PETA or anything). Anyway, the ducks are having just as much fun as Daisy (plus they're working out some of their "frustration" of not having any "fine-looking ladies" living around here [see July 11th, "Looking for Duck Love in all the Wrong Places" post]). Unfortunately, we have not found a suitable match for the boys (well, we found a pair of sisters, but it wasn't a love connection for Frak; he can be quite picky).

 

So, our evening entertainment around here (after we corral the hen posse back home) is letting the ducks and dogs out and watching them (well, really watching Daisy and the ducks--Duke typically is licking himself or napping) tossle back and forth.

 

That makes it official....we're country people.

People Pox

Posted by Angie on July 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Today we have a grand total of EIGHT eggs!!!! Can you believe it?!? And three of them were double-yolkers (see July 25th post). The hen posse appears to be happy and healthy even though we are pretty sure we have a mild case of fowl pox running among our flock (or brood). We had never heard of it (and no one ever told us about it).

 

So, after a MINOR freakout ("OMG, am I not keeping their cage clean?", "Am I a bad chickie-parent?", "Holy Jesus, we've been eating their eggs! Are we going to die?"), we discovered after A LOT of research (you know, on the Internet machine) it doesn't seem like fowl pox is all that bad (damn mosquitos). It's more of a nuisance than anything else. No one is going to die from it (unless they are tiny little chickie babies or old). However, their egg laying might be hindered for a bit (but we did get eight eggs today).

 

I guess fowl pox is like a "reverse" chicken pox (we get the chicken pox; they get fowl pox--honestly, we should call it "people pox"). Our poor little ladies will have some black spots on their combs, but they will fall off (ick) and be okay in a couple of weeks (plus, they will develop an immunity to never catch it again). I guess if they were going to catch it, this was the best time for them to get it (sort of like this South Park episode).

 

Who knew?

Six of one, half dozen of the other...

Posted by Angie on July 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)
Today, the ladies (the chicken posse) laid 6 eggs! An all time record here at the farm. For the past few weeks (for however long they have been laying eggs), we have been getting 1, 2, sometimes 3 (one time, 4) eggs per day, but today...6...and 2 of them are double-yolkers (one egg that has 2 yolks inside; sort of like twins). We usually know when one of our ladies is squeezing one of those out; she squawks a little louder and a little longer. Ouch. Our little ladies sure have grown up...and are we going to be eating some eggs around here.

A fine line between a hug and swat on the butt

Posted by Angie on July 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Do you ever have one of those days that you wonder, "How can I love my dogs (or kids or husband or ferret or whatever pertains to you) yet, at the same time, want to beat the ever lovin' snot (something my grandma used to say to me when I did something to piss her off) out of them"?   Well, I am having one of those days.

 

Earlier, I spent the majority of my day filling in a very long, fairly deep ditch that we previously dug last week (we fitted water pipes and electric conduit out to the chicken/duck complex). Believe me, it was NOT an easy task--moving dirt BACK to where it was in the first place in the sweltering heat (I had to before the sky opened up to our regularly scheduled mid-afternoon storm). I was sort of meditating (like when I shovel poo [see July 11th post])--working up a really good sweat from a somewhat decent workout...and I walk in the house to this:

Nice, huh?

 

Not.

 

I hold them both equally responsible. 

 

And yesterday, I was just bragging to my mom how good they are.

 

I spoke too soon.

 

Arrgh.

Puppy post-op *UPDATE*

Posted by Angie on July 17, 2013 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (1)

If you have been wondering how the puppies are doing after their surgeries last week (see July 8th post), both are doing quite well. In fact, much better than we anticipated. It is all we can do to keep Crazy Daisy and Duke Hefner from rough housing all over the place. They seem even more into "play" fighting than they did before their surgeries. Nevertheless, I caught a moment of silence between the two:

We haven't seen too much of them sleeping--right next to each other--and not one of them antagonizing the other one. Sort of cute, huh?

 

Duke is now weighing in at around 40 pounds and Daisy around 36. We have heard various opinions of their final adult weights to be anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds; however, a doggy expert we know assured us that she sees them ending up weighing around the mid-50s. We like her assessment so, we are sticking with it.

 

Also, over the weekend, we found a few of their puppy teeth on the floor. So, if you are a dog person, you will appreciate this picture (and if you're not, it will disgust you):

Neither of us had ever adopted puppies this young so, we had never seen puppy teeth (I put them next to a nickel to demonstrate how tiny they are). They were just on the floor. I guess puppy teeth just fall out--whenever, wherever. It's a little weird, but considering all of the other weird crap (and when I write crap, I mean metaphorically and literally  [see July 11th post]) we find around outside, a few puppy baby teeth are NOTHING!

Lookin' for (duck) love in all the wrong places...

Posted by Angie on July 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (2)

As you already know (if you are a regular reader of our ramblings), our ducks, Frik and Frak, are males. Well, let me tell you, the two of them have grown up to be quite handsome and eligible young men (or drakes, if you want to be all technical). The two of them share a decked out bachelor pad (see April 24th post) and live a carefree life, but like any bachelor, Frik and Frak are ready to meet some ladies (the chicken posse have put both of them in the dreaded "friend zone").


So, yesterday, after much pleading from both of them (mostly Frik) to get some "fine-looking women" (his words) to come on over and live at the homestead with them, I put out an ad for them in Craigslist (click here to check it out). They also wanted me to put the word out here, too. So, here's a recent picture of them:

So, if you know of any "fine-looking (duck) women" between the ages of 3-18 months (both are fine with older women) that:


like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

If they're not into yoga and have half a brain.

If they like romantic waddles along the (pond) shore...


...then do we have a perfect match. Seriously, if you know of any female ducks that would be willing to share the rest of their lives with these two really nice guys, sight unseen, PLEASE let us know. ASAP!

Deep Thoughts While Shoveling Poo

Posted by Angie on July 11, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

This morning, while I was out scooping up poo and hosing down the floor and walls of the chicken house and duck den, my mind started to wander. When you are doing these types of tasks (you know, the REALLY messy ones), it really is a good time to allow yourself to contemplate stuff...you know, like the difference between being dirty and not being clean.

 

Living out on a farm, you REALLY have to get used to being dirty...like ALL of the time. And I don't mean the, "I just woke up and I feel unfresh. I think I'll go take a shower." I mean the, "I just washed this shirt (or took a shower) and I now have mud all over me. Damnit." There is a difference between being dirty and not being clean. So, I've made peace with the fact that I might be dirty, but I am DEFINITELY clean....if that makes any sense.

 

Anyway, after awhile, my dirty-versus-clean thoughts turned to our choice to live the "simple life." You know, it's really not all that simple. Now, don't get me wrong, neither one of us regret our decision to move out here, but the simple life does NOT translate as an easy life--by any means. It's kinda hard...(and we are no where near where we plan to be [We are transitioning our city-to country-life in phases.]).  

 

Take, for instance, cleaning the duck den. We have only two ducks, but they poop anywhere and everywhere (maybe because they are both bachelors???? [see June 24th post]). It's slimy and stinky and mushy, especially in the sweltering July heat of South-central Florida. Nevertheless, you gotta clean it up....thoroughly and often. It doesn't matter if you clean it up at 5 AM or 5 PM, it's July and it's Florida...so, naturally, it's hot and it's buggy....therefore, it is very unpleasant. But, you gotta do what you gotta do~so, you slather on equal amounts of bug spray and sunscreen; grab a flat-edged shovel, rake, wheelbarrow, and rubber boots; and get to to work.

 

So, I'm out there...shoveling and thinking, shoveling and thinking...wondering:

 

"What is the meaning of life?"

"What is my purpose?"

"What do I want to do?"

"Who do I want to be?"

 

I become all metaphysical--you know, thinking all deep thoughts and stuff--and become totally entranced in my own thoughts.

 

Then, all of a sudden, a duck comes up behind me and gooses me right on my ass (well, not really my ass, that part of my back that peeks  between my shorts and wife-beater [Yes, I proudly wore a wife-beater. Don't judge me.]). It hurt, too. Frik (or Frak) snapped me right back into reality. My metaphysical trance turned into thoughts of:

 

"I am getting eaten up by these damn skeeters (mosquitos) and no-see-ums (ceratopogonidae)."

"God, I'm hungry."

"What can I make for lunch?"

"What am I going to make for dinner?"

 

and then my killer, final thought...

"I think some of that overspray just got in my mouth. Ick! There's duck poo in my mouth."

 

So, that ended that task pretty quickly.

 

Anyway, cleaning up after farm animals is a NEVER ENDING task (I use task instead of chore because chore sounds too negative). I am not kidding, you could spend all morning cleaning, spit-shining, rearranging, etc., etc., and by the next day, you wouldn't even be able to tell. HOWEVER, go for a few days and NOT clean up...you can totally tell, trust me.

 

I guess clean on a farm is more of an olfactory perception rather than a visual one. To put it bluntly, we live among a lot of various animal excreta around here--A LOT of it. And, as I mentioned before, it's Florida and it's July, therefore, a simple mathmatical equation is always proven true:

 

HEAT + POOP =  BUGS / FUNK (or H+P=B/F)

 

So, what am I going do? Live on a bug-infested, funky-smelling farm? I think not. So, I will slather on equal amounts of bug spray and sunscreen; grab a flat-edged shovel, rake, wheelbarrow, and rubber boots; and get to to work.

Puppy Parents of the Year (Not!)

Posted by Angie on July 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Tough day out here at Ginger Goat Farm....well, at least for Daisy and Duke. Today was neuter/spay day for the Dynamic Duo. Poor babies, especially for Daisy--girl puppies have it especially rough. Over the next five days, Daisy has to take a series of two sets of pills (strong ones at that) for her pain and inflammation. She also has to take an antibiotic (which, I think, I've taken before). Duke, on the other hand, has three days' worth of chewable (i.e. flavored) "treat" pain meds. I guess if you think about it, her surgery was MUCH more invasive and intense.


Understandably, the two of them have been just lying/sleeping around the house, at least today (and probably for the next day or two). However, after they start to feel better (and not tripping out on their pain meds), it should be VERY interesting for us to keep these two from NOT jumping, playing, getting wet (with the pond AND the pool), and NOT licking their own (or their sibling's) stitched up private areas....for TWO WEEKS!!!!! Are you kidding me?!?!


In fact, it took Duke less than two hours after we came home to start his favorite pasttime (you know...what boy dogs do...). So, we called the vet to possibly get one of those "head cone" things to deter him from his "hobby"; however, she recommended just putting some panties on him to get him to stop (yes, you read that right....panties). So, not to be all inappropriate and weird, here's a picture Duke wearing a pair of panties (with a hole cut out in the back for his tail):

Yeah, I know, it's just not right that I shared this picture, is it? I know, I know, I am a terrible person. It was all I could do not to just break down and get a bad case of the giggles after I put them on him, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Poor little guy...he's really sensitive, too (he is the lover between the two [see June 12th post]).

Huevos rancheros

Posted by Angie on July 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I want to share with you our 3 eggs from the past 2 days:

Delicious!

 

Another day, another egg

Posted by Angie on July 2, 2013 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday wasn't a fluke (see previous post), we got another egg this morning; however, it wasn't in the nesting box. Just like yesterday, one of the hens (we can definitely call them hens now, YAY) jumped up on top of the hay box and laid her little egg there.

 

I have to go to the feed store today and buy layer feed and oyster shells...no more chick starter !

Great Big *little* News

Posted by Angie on July 2, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Every morning, we have a ritual that we do around here which includes letting the chickens and ducks (or as we like to call them, "duckens" or "chucks" because Frik and Frak think they are chickens) free range around the yard. Anyway, this afternoon, when Billy went back out to "herd" the chickens and duckens/chucks back into their coop, he found 2 little surprises in the garden shed (one on the dirt floor, and the other where we store the hay):

Aren't they cute? Our first eggs. We are so excited (to eat them for breakfast tomorrow [for a REALLY small fried egg sandwich])! The eggs are a little sooner than we expected as our chickens are approximately 17 weeks old. We really didn't anticipate any eggs for another 3 weeks or so, but, whatever...we have eggs! Which also means we MIGHT NOT have any roosters! Wouldn't that be flipping awesome?


And, you want to hear something really weird? We JUST put the nesting boxes in the chicken coop YESTERDAY! For reals. Check it out:

Billy designed and built it himself. It has 7 nesting boxes (ergonomically-designed for ultimate comfort and style), removable floors and walls (for ease of cleaning [thank you, Billy)], and a slanted roof that can be lifted (again, thank you Billy). We have WAY more boxes than we really need right now, but we are looking to add to our chicken brood (as) soon (as we figure out what we are doing). Talk about serendipitous timing, right?


Hopefully, it won't take too long for the chickens to figure out what the nesting boxes are for because it could be like an Easter Egg Hunt around here for a while (except no Easter Bunny or chocolate eggs or those dippy little plastic eggs filled with jelly beans).

The Crane Family, recurring Guest Stars

Posted by Angie on June 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

A torrid summertime day here at the homestead. The type of day a person wakes up before 5 AM to do what needs to be done to escape the wicked Florida heat that arrives at...let's say...8 AM! And, along with the heat, let's not forget the bugs. Oh, the fantastic exotic bugs with bites that swell up and itch (we have found baking soda works pretty good on them).


Anyway, while we were inside hydrating (the new term for drinking water), we heard the all-too-familiar "cawkings" of the Cranes wandering around, foraging for bugs. While the Crane Family no longer considers the homestead their home anymore, we are starting to be a regular stop on their rounds. Don't they look like a well-adjusted modern family?

For some reason, when they were walking up towards me, this song came into my head **CLICK HERE**. I have no idea why. Maybe it was the way they were walking or something, but it made me giggle.


The babies are cute, aren't they? They're no longer gingers--more of a strawberry-blonde--with just a hint of greyish feathers peeking through the baby fuzz.


It looks like Momma and Poppa have gotten through the "danger zone." The twins are much bigger than their deceased older sibling (see April 3rd post). So, unless something crazy happens...we have a mini-flock of cranes living parttime at Ginger Goat Farm.

Pond puppies

Posted by Angie on June 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

After MONTHS of deliberating back and forth on the gender of our ducks--Frik and Frak, we have (sadly) concluded that they are boys. BOTH have that distinctive drake feather, a low raspy *kinda* quack, and while they aren't really aggressive, both of them really like to follow closely and nibble (kiss/makeout) on us...except when we go to the pond. Weird, isn't it? Have you ever heard of ducks that avoid ponds? We hadn't, either.

 

Billy thinks that they need some "action" (aka some women). The good thing is that Frik and Frak have shown absolutely no aggression towards the chickens (and the jury is STILL out on the guy-to-girl chicken posse ratio). However, we do know when the hens start laying eggs, the roosters (if we have any) could turn into little monsters and we fear Frik and Frak could do the same. Only time will tell...

 

Even though Frik and Frak won't go in the pond, it sure doesn't stop Daisy and Duke. The Dynamic Duo are really starting to LOVE the pond, especially Duke (he's the one in front):

Duke has a real aptitude for the water; he's more duck-like than our damn ducks. Ever since the sheep-herding experience (see June 12th post), we were a little "concerned" of where his talents lie (because it sure wasn't herding). He absolutely LOVES swimming; Daisy, not so much. She only gets in the water to agitate Duke.

 

Maybe with Daisy's herding ability and Duke's swimming skills, we can get those damn ducks in the pond before summer ends!!!!!!


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