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New Fencing for the Goats

It’s finally getting cooler here in Southern Arizona so there is a lot going on outside now. Most of our garden has been harvested. The colder crops are planted and we finally got to upgrade the fencing in the back yard for the goats.

A few months ago, a neighbor posted on Facebook about a pen in their yard that needed to go away. They said they would give it away if the person came to take it down and tow it away. So Aarron did. We had no clue what we were getting at the time, but holy cow! What a find! It was 4 ft rebar fencing! The luck on this was up there. So Aarron pulled the pen down and brought it home. There was also a shelter in the pen that he brought home too. We really scored on this find.

For the last several years, the fencing for the back yard was made of pallets. It held amazing for the 2 or 3 years that it was there with very little fixing on that part of the fence. I really didn’t think that pallets would work very well as a fence for goats so I was pleasantly surprised on that one.

We got enough fencing to replace the pallets that had been part of the goats pens and to replace the chain link that is the rest of the buck pen. I can’t wait to get it completed. I can see the goats from my front porch now too which is really nice. I can also the pigs that are further back in the yard which is something I have never been able to do since we got the animals. I am so happy with the way this fence is turning out.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Kids on the Farm

Oh my gosh, the kids are growing so fast. It’s hard to believe they are almost 2 months old now. It seems to me that they are growing faster than our last girls though. These two are getting pretty big pretty quick which has really surprised me.

I absolutely adore these two. They are up for sale, but if they don’t sell soon I may change my mind on this. They are so adorable and I’m sure they are driving their mommy nuts at this point. She can’t go anywhere without them or they start to scream when she isn’t right next to them. The family dynamic is fun to watch though.

One of the girls is all white (Snowball) and the other has two cream spots on her head and one on her chest (Buttercup). I thought I was going to lose them both when they were first born because it was so hot. I found one (Snowball) laying on her side barely breathing. Buttercup was up and alert but struggling to breath a little, I believe from the heat. It was 109 on the day they were born.

I brought them in the house to cool them down. I finally got some colostrum into them about an hour later. Buttercup did not want a bottle. She wanted mamma from the beginning. I was hoping that Mamma would take them back when it cooled down at the end of the day. I am so thankful that she did. However, these two are a little skittish around people because they have been dam raised from the beginning.

They are getting better around people but it is slow going. They love to play and jump which is so adorable to watch. We have a couple tables in their yard that they like to play “kind of hill” on. The energy these two have is amazing.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Garden Progress

The garden this year has been a bust. It has been so hot and we are under such severe drought conditions that the water needed couldn’t be justified so we had to let it go. We have had a few successes though. But they have been minimal. I think the only part of self-sufficient that we have going right now is the animals.

Yup, that is the garden. The big, green, supple garden we had last year is all brown now.

Although the rain we have had recently has put a little green back in there, but I still don’t think it will be enough to do any good as far as the drought is concerned. Even though this has been the wettest July on record for the past 70ish years ( I think that is the number), it still won’t be enough to get us out of these drought conditions.

The back area behind the house is looking good though. We have tobacco, tomatoes, sunflowers, and a pumpkin back there. I think there are even a couple bean plants. This area is growing great and doesn’t take much water because the sun isn’t on most of the day so the ground stays a little wetter than other areas in the yard.

We also have one watermelon and a squash plant that are doing amazing. This was surprising because they are in full sun all day long. So the fact that they are still growing amazes me every day. Talk about fighters! They are not giving up.

 

 

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What’s Going On Right Now

These last few months have been pretty rough and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. Our dryer quit so I am back to drying outside, which I don’t mind, but everyone else in the house does. They want the dryer so my first paycheck may be getting a new dryer. Personally I think this is a waste of money, except for right now. We are in our monsoon season and we are actually getting one this year. The yard is a mess and flooding all over the place. I feel so bad for the animals because they are all covered with mud right now.

Aarron is working on trying to divert the water to other areas that are unused and put in a catchment system so that we can use the water in the garden. We are not sure how well this will work, but he is going to try anyway.

Yes, that is my back yard where all the animals are at. It is a muddy mess and has quite a bit of standing water right now. We still have another month for our monsoon season and if it continues like this we won’t be able to even get out of here. We normally have four different ways out and right now we only have one. If that road floods we won’t be able to get out at all.

Kira is finally getting her car fixed. She is excited about this because she is starting work soon too. Next week to be exact. So for her to have her car going would be a blessing.

I hope things are going well for all of you and hopefully they will get better here soon too.

Have a great day!

Renee

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New Work Space

I’m really excited about my new space! I started working this week and I will be working from home. However, I needed somewhere to do the farm paperwork as well. The desk in the main house was ok, but everyone else we always putting everything there because it is a flat surface. I needed somewhere quite for working from home with no distractions, and let me tell you, the main house is nothing but distractions. So we moved me into our little house with a nice desk and chair to have my own little work haven.

 

I went to pick up my computer for work last week and over the weekend, hubby got everything set up for me and ready to go.

I really like this desk because it’s pretty basic. A couple spots for my folders. I place for my laptop and the work computer. So, it’s all set up now and I have started work this week. I am so looking forward to having a little extra money coming in now that I’m working again. This will also allow hubby, Aarron to focus on the house and yard as well and not have to worry about taking side jobs that take him away from the property.

I still have to bring out my folders for my animal and farm paperwork, but this is basically what it looks like now with the addition of my laptop in the blank space there. I have to say that it is really nice to have somewhere to go when I need to work that is quite and clean. I don’t have move all kinds of stuff out of the way to be able to get to what I need.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Aarron is Making a Fan

So, neither of us have been working for a while now and the fan motor on the AC went out. This is the worst possible time for this to happen as we are in the middle of summer and hitting 100 or more most days. So, Aarron went into creative mode. First he took the swamp cooler off the barn and put that on top of the AC to keep the air moving well and cooling the house. Then he started building.

He put this fan together in a few days. The hardest part was finding a cooler motor that would work to spin the fan. He used parts and metal that we have had here on the farm for a while so this cost us nothing to build. He did all from stuff we had around the house and in the yard. My barn will get it’s cooler back!

Once he got it on the AC though, it only worked for about 5 minutes. It does not like to be facing down. So while the idea was great and it does work, it just doesn’t work for what he made it for. He ended up using the ventilation fan that was on the barn and it works perfectly for now until we can get the motor here and get it on the AC.

So while this doesn’t work for what he originally wanted it to, it does work great as a fan. You just plug it in where ever you happen to need it at and it works great. I love how this man can just make things out of what we have here already. You have no idea how much money he has saved us in being able to do this.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

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New Kids on the Homestead

The kids have finally come! Desi was actually due on June 27th by my calculations, but true to doe form, she held them hostage for another 2 weeks. They were actually born on July 13th. Desi gave no clue to us that she would be kidding soon.

Of course she always seems to do things different from what is normal of does. She has no tells that she is in heat. She loves the milk stand, and she is a wonderful momma. The kids were born in the early afternoon and it was about 110 degrees outside. When I heard them, they were both in distress because of the heat.

I thought for sure we were going to lose snow ball (the all white one). She was not good. Just laying on the ground breathing hard. The other was breathing hard but was at least standing near momma. I did not think Snow Ball was going to make it. We took them in the  house to cool them off and try to get some colostrum into them. Desi was outside screaming like we were killing her. I’ve not had a doe be so dramatic about taking her kids away.

After it cooled down, we took them back to her. I thought sure she would do like my other and not take them back, but she took them without a thought. She immediately starting licking them and tending to them. I am so thankful that she took them back. Now they are doing amazing but she can’t feed them completely as one side of her udder has a double teat and the kids can’t get it into their mouths. So I think I will have to supplement with a couple bottles a day but so far they are doing amazing. I can’t wait to watch them grow.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Progress on the Barn Build

I am getting more and more excited by the day! The barn is coming along nicely and will hopefully be done soon. Or at least the stalls will be done soon. However, Aarron has a few more ideas on what he wants to do with the barn, but I will wait to name them until they begin to happen.

So one stall is complete and the other 2 are very close. He still plans to put some tin on the outside wall and add insulation to make it a bit cooler in here.  He is sectioning the doors that they will open in sections rather than as one large door. This will allow us to open the top parts of the door so that there will be air flow all the time.

The door isn’t complete yet, but it’s getting there. I am so thankful to have a husband that is so handy with just about any type of tool and can make what he needs if he doesn’t already have it.

There are 2 separators that still need to go in between the stalls, but it’s definitely getting closer and I can’t wait. If you would like to see the progress you can click this link for the first post, and this link for the second post.

The back of the barn is part of the fence to the back yard. There will be doors there too so that we can take the girls in and out without having to go around to the gate on the other side of the barn. I am so excited about this build and look forward to seeing how it turns out.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Setting up the Meat Birds

Holy Cow! Meat birds eat a lot! We didn’t have any luck the last time we tried meat birds, so I wasn’t sure they were going to last more than a few days here, however, they did and they are growing quickly. Of course I knew they would but it’s still surprising at how quick they actually do grow.

This will be their new shelter to grow in. We were having to fill their water about 20 times a day because it’s a small container for chicks and there are 20 of these babies. So I guess that shouldn’t have surprised me but it did. This will give them more room to grow and more room to move around. It also gives us more room for a bigger water and food bowl.

It is so nice to see them will more room, they were getting a bit cramped in the brooder. The last step will be to another pen that is about twice the size of this one where they continue the grow out until they are ready to process. We are going to do them a little early because it seems that if we try to wait to lose too many of them because of the heat and because of how quickly they grow.

I will try to keep updating on how they are doing and how they are growing but with everything else going on right now around here I’m not sure if I will remember or not. Have you grown meat birds? I would love to hear how well it worked or didn’t work for you. Leave a comment below and let me know.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Beginning of the Barn

I am so excited right now! The building of the inside of the barn has begun! I know that it’s going to take a while to get done because it is so very hot here right now, but just the fact that it has been started has me so excited.

Aarron managed to trade to get some of the materials we needed to begin getting the barn set up and now that we have it, it’s going to take a bit to get it done. In the summer, I have to basically stay in the house because I do not do well in the heat at all. So Aarron will do most, if not all, of this build by himself. Just the fact that we now have the materials is a big boost.

 

The plan is to create 3 stalls to start with for the 3 does we have on one side of the barn. The other side of the barn will have the milk stand and a refrigerator to hold the milk. We will plumb in a sink later but we do have water to the barn already. There will be doors on both sides of the barn. The top part of the doors will open separate from the bottom of the doors on both sides to help ventilate in the summer time. There is also a ventilation fan that can be run to get some of the heat out in the day time, however, the only time they will be in here is at night.

I so can’t wait to have this done, but I know that I will have to be patient and wait.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Meat Birds

So, I got a call from my daughter the other day telling me that TSC had chicks for .25 each! Now, I have just recently lowered my bird count from over 100 birds to just 12 birds. I did this because we were just going through way too much food and it was costing us more than we were making from the eggs we sell so I had to do something.

The guy that was helping her, then told her they are meat birds. I explained to her that meat birds do not live for very long. I told her that once they get big, they will start to die if we don’t process them for the freezer. She said she knew this. So I told her she could get a few if she was willing to learn how to process them.

What she did not tell me is that there were 21 meat birds and she was going to buy all of them! So we now have 21 meat birds that will need to be processed in several weeks. All I can say at this point is that I am glad Aarron will help doing this because that is a lot of birds to have to try to process on his own.

I guess we may be selling some processed chickens soon to help recoup the cost of the food. Thankfully they don’t live long enough to really make a dent in the food budget for the birds.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

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Aarron Made Me A Display Ladder

I have always wanted one of those display ladders for blankets. I have a couple blankets that I would love to display in the living room. Mostly blankets that I have made but a few that were made by someone else. I have never had a place to display them so they sit in the closet collecting dust.

Aarron made one for me! I will be able to display a few of my blankets now. He said it was really pretty easy to do. The thing that took the longest time was allowing the sunflower stalks to dry out completely. So the making of this ladder actually started at the end of our garden season last year. Around August last year the sunflowers were ready to harvest. Once we cut the flowers off, Aarron cut down the stalks too.

Once all the stalks were cut down, he laid them all out with a weight on them to straighten them out. Once they dried like that for a short time, he was able to gather them all up and tie them in a bundle together so they could finish drying. Finally last week he was able to pull them out and put them together for me. We are going to see if there is a market for them in the area because they really are so easy to make. He used twine to tie them together at the points they meet.

It came out really nice considering this is the first time even trying this. And I can’t wait to get them in my living room to show off both the ladders and my blankets.

Have you done something like this? How well did they work for you? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Have a great day!

Renee

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TV Mount is finally up!

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We got this TV Mount a couple months ago but things have been so crazy that it has just sat in the bedroom waiting it’s turn to be put up. Hubby finally was able to get to it. This means the shelf at the bottom of the bed no longer has to pulled out to hold the TV. This means that I can finally walk around to my side of the bed without having to bend down around said shelf.

It attaches to the wall and puts the television out of my way! I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to see this going up yesterday. It seems that everything else was more important (animals and garden and such, so yeah more important).  But I am so thankful that the time for this project finally showed up.

The really nice thing about this TV mount is that you can also lean the tv up or down depending on how you need it for viewing. It is so nice to be able to move the tv to where we need it rather than us having to move to the television. I can’t tell how great it was to lay down and watch a movie last night with this being on the wall now.

It also moves in toward the wall and out away from the wall. So now I just have to remember to duck my head a little if the television is still out from watching a movie. No more ducking under the shelf though so I definitely call this a win.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Garden Progress

So, it has been brutally hot so far this year. I’m talking 110 and above most days so the garden hasn’t done very well this year. I haven’t managed to get any of my herbs growing so far.

The hydroponic system hasn’t started growing yet, but it’s only been a few days since planting these so I’m not worried about it just yet. We are hoping this will help us this year with all the heat but it remains to be seen just yet.

The peonies are doing fairly well so far. We had to move them again because the cats killed a few of them so they are inside the shaded area now as well with most everything else.

The lettuce and cabbage seem to be doing good since Aarron moved them. They haven’t died yet at least so there is still hope. The carrots are beginning to grow again so maybe we will get some this year that are bigger than fingerlings.

The sunflowers and tomatoes in the back are doing alright. We have no fruit growing yet so hopefully we will get some this year. Tomatoes seem to be pretty hard to do here as they usually freeze just before they are ripe. Although last year I did get a few green tomatoes for my fried green tomatoes. That was amazing since I hadn’t had them in quite a long time.

So considering the heat this year, I guess the garden is doing alright so far, but I just hope that we can keep them going until the monsoon season when it tends to cool things down a little bit.

Have a great day!

Renee