Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Duck, duck, cat

So Allen decided we needed ducks. :/  I agreed (he wore me down) to the purchase of four.  He brought home six. This is how we have a farm full of animals after agreeing to just start a garden.
Left to right this is Thanksgiving Turkey (Turk), Sadie, Christmas Duck (Chris), and Miss Kay.  Uncle Si is under the pile somewhere. 
And this is little Mia, who's keeping the chicks company. We had to separate Toby from the other chicks as he/she was being picked on very literally.  And Houdini can't be contained, so that one comes and goes at will anyway.  
The stare down.  It didn't end well. 
Walker Kitty fell in a bucket of water.  Walker Kitty was not amused.  (But we were! Her face was hilarious!)  :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chicken pedicure

The goat pedicure went over so well (with Lizzy), that she decided the chickens were next (against their will)!  And they do look fabulous (and quite odd)! Accessorizing chickens on the RVstead.  It just might catch on.
Matt helped as the receptionist (aka chicken wrangler). 
And now that these "insignificants" are so fashionable, Lizzy named them Chelsea, Brittany, Courtney, and Fabulous.  
So this answers the age-old question: can you paint a chicken's toenails? Sure you can!  Should you paint them?  No idea on that one. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Goat pedi, escaped bunny, clever cat, fried squirrel

Lily got a pedicure today, on the trampoline to keep the dirt away.  She's wearing Entice Blue. It's all the rage in the goat yard.  :)  
Gypsy figured out how to escape today. Maybe she learned from Houdini the chick? 
She didn't go far though, just waited on Matt to take her back. 
So Josh decided to keep Toast company while Matt put Gypsy in a more secure cage. 
Tonight Matt said, Um Mom, Walker Kitty's opening the door.   We shooed her away, but she kept climbing, so of course I took pictures.  She figured out that latch pretty easily.
We had some yummy fried then baked squirrel tonight!   It called for a rack inside a shallow pan.  Since we have neither, I had to be creative.  I used canning jar lids and tin foil with holes.  It worked out fine. 
The squirrel was super tender with a crispy coating, just right!  Yeah, pretty much like chicken. 

Fullness, not busyness

This conversation happened yet again today (similar ones happen often)...
Lady: You're homeschoolers? Well there's this group and that activity and this event.
Me: Yep, but we like to keep it simple & just enjoy life without the busy.
Lady: But you have goats? They can show them and learn about care & breeds & get ribbons.
Me: Yep, but we like just having goats.

Why must people try to busy-up everyone else? We prefer slow & boring.  We want to learn about goats (or chickens or rabbits or gardening or whatever) simply because we need to know things.  We don't feel the need to prove to anyone that we've learned properly.  We don't need ribbons to show that we've done so.  And we certainly don't want to busy-up our lives by complicating what we're already doing for fun! 
My RVing friend Stephanie said "Busyness has never equated with fullness" and I love that! Our life is very full, but very, very not busy.  But so often people try to offer suggestions to help us stay busy.  There are lots of good opportunities and they can be educational, beneficial, and fun, but are they really opportunities if they simply keep us busy?  Not here.  We've chosen to keep life full by not keeping it busy.  Sometimes I start to wonder, maybe we should consider, but then I see pictures like this one...
These are the moments I know we don't need 4-H or scouts or Homeschool Goat Care 101 or a curriculum or a documentary... sometimes you simply need a goat.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New bunnies, rotten cat, Houdini

We have two new bunnies!  We're not sure on names yet, but the one on the right seems to be Toast (because of her cinnamon color).  The other one has pretty blue eyes with rings around them and looks like she's wearing brown pants.  Right now we're mostly calling her Gypsy.  We're hoping these two are better bunny mamas than our current ones. 
We put Marcus Luttrell in with these two since he/she is ready to be weaned.  This one's growing quickly!  
Allen and Matt built some cages, which don't appear to be a hit with our prisoners. 
We put the littlest chicks out in the chicken tractor now that they're big enough, although one little one keeps escaping.  We call him Houdini.  He just plops in and out of the cage at will.  The cat particularly enjoys that game.  He doesn't wander too far though, just pokes around for bugs until he gets lonely, then scurries back to his buddies inside.
Does it look like the cat gave Jack a chicken wing to keep him distracted while she plays?? 
She was caught with her hand in the cookie jar! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cat, bunnies, chicken, garden

Josh has a fluffy new seat for his 4-wheeler.
I found Marcus Luttrell asleep under Demon Bunny's ear. It looks sweet, but don't be fooled. That bunny will eat your face! She'll be going to freezer camp soon. She'll be happier there! 
We harvested one of our potato barrels today.  
We didn't get the hoped-for 100 pounds of potatoes.  
We got this many.  I think we planted more than this!  No idea what went wrong. Our plants grew like crazy and looked very healthy.  Maybe there will be more in the tires, but we're pretty sad about this! 
One of the next campers going off to freezer camp, but isn't he pretty?!  I just love their tail feathers and how they shine in the light.  I can never get a good photo of them though.  
We did a little training with the cucumbers and melons, which were growing all over the garden.  Allen put up a cattle panel and I untangled the viney mess and attempted to get control.  We'll see if they survive it, but at least now we can walk through the garden and tell where the cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupes are. 
The tomatoes are growing, slowly but surely. 
The cucumbers haven't stopped growing!  
And our lone "ear" of corn.  The corn didn't survive the great deer attack where they knocked down a corner of the deer fence and ate the leaves off all the stalks.  We'll get our revenge as soon as deer season opens... 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sleepy cat, hungry goats

The kids said they couldn't feed the goats, because the cat was asleep in their trough. Sure enough, sound asleep despite the chickens running under and all around. 
That Jiffy Puff (white, bottom right) is just odd!  
But it's okay. If the goats are hungry, they can just eat their cedar posts. :/ 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Canning, yes in an RV

We've been learning about and doing a lot of canning this summer.  Yes, the RV kitchen is plenty big enough (although I definitely may run the kids out politely ask the kids to go outside). Allen and the kids picked a ton of blackberries all over the mountain.  I lost count somewhere around 60 gallons I think.  So we have a LOT of blackberry jam and jelly, but we saved some in the freezer for pies later on too.  We also tried watermelon jelly, fruit roll-ups in the dehydrator, then popsicles with the leftover juice. And peach butter, jelly, and cobbler.  And cucumber jelly, which is so weird, but super good on ham.  It's been quite a learning process, and mostly yummy!
I mainly used the induction burner, but used the propane one to keep the canner water hot sometimes. It was a small enough operation where I could switch pots back and forth on that one burner. We now have a stove outside that I can use, and I will, once it's not 100° outside.  The idea was to keep the heat out of the RV, but I kinda prefer the air conditioning of the RV to the ridiculously hot heat outside. 
Allen did some juicing for me with a juicer he found at a thrift store, which made things much easier!  He recruited Lizzy to help, who in turn recruited her friend to help.  :)  It's mainly needed to keep the chickens away.
Easy storage in the RV for 100 jars of jelly? Yeah, we haven't tackled that one yet. We just have jelly everywhere. That's a problem for another day. I don't know if they'll last long enough for it to matter anyway!