Kid Update

So the kids are still growing. It seems now that they are slowing down on that though. I haven’t noticed them bigger lately. Just fatter and fluffier. They are getting their winter coats in. It’s been cold here (for us). We’ve been getting down in the 30’s and 40’s at night. Again, for us in Southern Arizona, that is cold. We usually only get a couple weeks this cold so this whole month so far has been cold. It’s got me looking forward to warmer weather. Anyhow, the girls are getting their winter coats in so they look fluffy which I adore. It just makes them more cute.

Honeysuckle Kid Update

Their personalities are getting stronger. Honeysuckle is still the more reserved of the two. Diamond does not want to stay where she is put. She is always getting in with the older ones. It’s not too much of an issue right now, but in a few more months it will be because my buck is in the pen she gets into. I really don’t her getting bred too soon. I wait until they are around 2 before putting them through that for the first time.

Diamond Kid Update

So over the next few months we will be working on the fence to try to ensure she can’t get in the other pen by the time she starts going into heat. She is such a trouble maker though so I’m not sure how that is going to go. We shall see.

I’ll be back next month with another update.

Have a great day!

Renee

Tucson Water Company – Update

You may remember our issue with Tucson Water from a couple weeks ago.  Well we finally got it resolved and our water is back on. However, it was a hard won fight. I talked to so many people at the water company and couldn’t get anywhere. The way it finally ended was my daughter going into the office to talk to someone.

At first they told her that they couldn’t do anything because we had to call their tampering line. My daughter explained that we had been doing that every day for the last 2 weeks and no one ever called back so she finally decided to try to help.

Even though on the voicemail I left my number, the number the lady said they called was not the number I left. Mind you, I even left my husbands number and my daughter’s number telling them the number on the account was not active any longer in the message. But they never tried calling any of the numbers left in the voicemail.

So the lady at the office was finally able to get the fine paid and the water started again. It took 2 weeks of trying to do it the way they wanted it done to come to the conclusion that they didn’t want it to work that way because they wouldn’t call back. The only way we were able to get it taken care of was by physically going to the office and making a fuss about it there.

Have a great day!

Renee

Kid Update

So the girls are 3 months old now and still going strong. We’ve had our ups and downs but they are great. Their personalities are coming out so well now. Diamond is the outgoing one while Honeysuckle seems to hang back to make sure all is good before she’ll come interact with others. Honeysuckle likes to weight the situation before making a move. It’s the cutest thing because you can tell she is trying to decide if she wants in on the action or not.

Diamond

Diamond is the more outgoing one and loves to get into trouble. Just today she got out of her pen and got into a fenced area where we are growing their food. She was having a ball eating all that she could. Thankfully she is still small so she couldn’t eat the whole field but she sure gave it a go today.

Honeysuckle stays in her pen like she is supposed to. That or she just hasn’t figured out how to get out of it yet. I’m not sure which. But they are both growing like weeds and living their best life. Or as best as we can give them any how. I think it’s been decided (by my daughter Kira) that we will be keeping them. She doesn’t want to give up Honeysuckle because she bottle fed her from birth and has been there since the very day they started life.

Diamond

 

So we will continue to watch them grow and thrive. We will continue to give them the best care that we can. We will continue to play with them and feed them their snacks that they so love. We will continue to watch over them until they are adults and can run with their momma and the other does.

Have a great day!

Renee

Sand Casting

This is something Aarron has been working on for a while now. He still doesn’t have it down perfect but he is getting there. It’s a fairly long and drawn out process that takes about 4 hours from start to finish. Sadly most of it has to be done in order because he has found out that if he make the sand cast early, it usually falls in before the aluminum is ready to pour.

Aluminum for Sand Casting

The first thing he does is get a good hot fire going so that he can melt the aluminum down to liquid again. After he gets it close to liquid, he starts getting the mold ready. He made a couple wood frames to hold the sand for the mold.

Mold for Sand Casting

 

The sand that he uses has been mixed with bentonite clay to make it more sticky so it will hold the shape better.

Sand for Sand Casting

Once he has the mold ready, he said that he uses a powder or something to make sure the newly made piece will come out easy. Once the aluminum is ready he will pour it into the mold and let it cool. So far, he hasn’t made a perfect piece yet, but he is getting close. He keeps tweaking how he does this until finally he will get a perfect piece. The best part so far has been the picture below.

Sand casted item

As you can see, it’s not quite right yet, but he is getting there. If anyone has any suggestions on what he could do to get closer it would be greatly appreciated. I know that he is getting frustrated with the results of this sometimes.

Have a great day!

Renee

Tucson Water Company

I am going to rant in this post because right now I am so angry and I don’t know what to do. Yesterday, Tucson Water came and put a lock on our water line so we have no water.  This is now the second day with no water. At the meter (not my house, but at the meter) they left a notice to call the tampering line and schedule someone to come out. So I call this number and it a voicemail box, no human at all. They say they will call back within 24 hours. It is now 27 hours since my call yesterday and I haven’t heard a thing! So now for the back story.

Water bill
This is October’s water bill due 10/10

 

Water bill
Break down of charges on Water bill due 10/10

We had an overdue balance of 202.29 and a balance of 79.54 bringing the entire balance to 281.83. (This is from my Oct. bill that is due 10/10, today mind you in 10/7). They shut the water off last week just before we were able to pay the bill. We paid the bill in full all 281.83. Aarron turned the water back on because we have a 3 yr old and animals here. We didn’t think anything else about it because they got their money. My account had a $0 balance. Yesterday, they put a pad lock on the water meter and left a notice in the water meter to call the tampering line. And that brings us back to today where I still have not heard anything from anyone. So I go to check my account again and it’s showing $100.48 due. They have charged me for a full month of service and a $55.52 lock service charge! This is the first time we have EVER had an issue with the Tucson Water, but oh what an issue it is!

New bill
Break down of what I now owe.

So here we are 2 days without water and I have no idea what to do about it because I can’t get anyone to even talk to me or call me back or anything. Any ideas at this point would be greatly appreciated because this girl is at her wits end. Things have been so hard since Covid hit and it just keeps getting better and better. I have tried to keep off the blog because well privacy and all, but I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am ready to just walk away, but this property is the only thing I have of my Dad other than memories and I really don’t want to lose but I think that is what is going to happen.

I have to put my animals up for sale because I have no water for them and I don’t know how to fix it. I have a small herd of 2 papered bucks and 3 does and 2 female kids that I want to get $1500 for but I’m not even sure that will happen. I feel like I am going to have to give them away because I can’t properly care for them right now until I can get the water settled. I feel so defeated right now.

Renee

Baby Update

So the kids are almost 3 months now and they are growing fast. I love getting to see their personalities come out and watching them play.

I have decided that we are going to keep them both to add to our herd once they are big enough. Because of this decision we did not de horn them as the rest of our girls all came to me with horns. I have to give them a fighting chance right? Diamond seems to be the more outgoing of the two and Honeysuckle is more reserved.

I thought that Diamond was all white, but she is actually turning out to more of cream color which is so pretty. Of course if you see her just right, she looks dirty not cream colored. Honeysuckle is white with cream/brown markings around her ears/eyes. They are both going to be beautiful. I can’t wait to see what colors they will produce later on.

 

In a couple years they will be bred to Rocky who is brown with some white markings. I am hoping for some darker babies from them because of Rocky’s coloring. I was debating about breeding Rocky with the older girls this year, but I went with Huckleberry instead so next years kids will likely be mostly white as well.

 

Watching them grow is so much fun. I love to see their personalities develop over the first months and then watch them grow in size the rest of the year. I am glad that I bottle raised them because they are so much more friendly than our last years girls were. I will post another update at some point next month to continue to let you see them grow.

Have a great day!

Renee

Baby Update

The baby goats are just over a month old now. I figured I should do an update to let people know how they are doing and how well they are growing. First off, let me say they are the most friendly goats I think I have ever had, although right now they still are only coming to me for bottles.

Their horns are starting to come in now. We were going to dehorn them but decided not to as my other ladies all have their horns. This way, when we go to integrate them, they will have a better chance against the others. They are on 2 bottles a day now. We just moved them down a few days ago and they are not happy about it. Although they have started to eat hay and they are drinking water, so it was time to take them down.

Honeysuckle has quite the personality. She is very outgoing and loves attention. Diamond on the other hand is a little more reserved. She come to me but so far she runs from everyone else. Including my daughter who is helping me to feed them. She will only come with a bottle. They are both very vocal though. Every time someone opens a door they sound off.

They are growing fast and doing well so far. We are still not sure if they will be staying or not but I would like to keep them as I don’t have any of my girls babies as of yet. The decision will need to be made soon though.

Have a great day!

Renee

New Babies on the Farm

On the 5th of July, our goat Desi had 2 kids. I am so excited to introduce them to you! I love having babies on the farm because it reminds us that life is renewable in the form of the new babies born every year. Of course this also reminds us that death is a part of life as well because without life, there would be no death. However, when the new babies are born, we focus on the new life to try to make sure they get the best start to life.

This is Diamond and Honeysuckle. They are so very sweet already and very eager to take the bottle. It took them a little bit to get there but finally they are there. They both have very different personalities as well. Diamond is a little reserved (except when you have her bottle) and Honeysuckle is more outgoing and rambunctious.

Yet when Kira comes around Honeysuckle just wants to be held and snuggled with. It’s the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Diamond is all white with a brown spot on her side and a black spot on her tail. She gets the black from momma and the white from both momma and daddy. I’m not sure who carries the brown though but it showed up on both of these babies.

Honeysuckle has brown that goes around her head to cover her eyes as well but otherwise is white. Her momma is black and white while dad is purely white so I’m not sure which one carries the brown gene, but apparently one of them does.

 

 

 

They spent the first week of life in my house because it was so very hot this year. They were having trouble with the heat. They are now full time outside though. I can’t wait to see how these girls are gonna grow.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

Outdoor Lamp

Ok, first off I have to say that I love my husband to death. It was so dark in between our houses (we stay in a travel trailer out front of the main house that my daughter stays in) that I get a bit scared of stepping on something when I go between the two houses after dark. When I talk about stepping on something, I mean something like a rattle snake or a tarantula. Talk about traumatizing. I don’t want to go through that. I enough issues without adding to them. So what has he done to make me love him so much?

He made a light to go in between the two houses that I can see without a flash light (since I can never find one when I need one!). Apparently he’s been collecting the stuff to do this for a couple months now, but it didn’t cost him anything but time.

Yes, I know it’s not the prettiest thing, but I have been telling him for years, that I need functional, not pretty. I don’t care how something looks as long as it works when it’s supposed to work.

And this one does!

He used an axle for the post, a tire for the base (lord knows we have a lot of them laying around here), a globe from another light fixture that no longer worked, a daylight sensor and an extension cord for power. So this light only comes on once the sun goes down and it shuts off when the sun comes up in the morning.

 

Just proof that what many would consider junk can be brought back to life with a new use.

I would love to see what you have used that others would call junk to make something useful. Leave a comment and let me know what you are doing.

Have a great day!

Renee

Ways to Make Money on the Farm

So one of the things I got asked quite often is how do you make money on your farm or your homestead. There’s actually several ways that this can be done. The most common is by selling your surplus this could be eggs animals or produce out of your garden.

The other way as by using what your animals provide you to make other items such as soap moisturizer Cheese and other Dairy items. These are probably the most common ways to make money on your farm.The next ideas are to get creative. You can make all kinds of stuff out of most peoples trash. If you know how to weld you can use any scrap metal and make different things towel holders paper towel holders toilet paper holders magazine racks you can come up with so many different things that you can make out of scrap metal.

If you can crochet you can do blankets or scarves or hats or beanies or dolls any number of things that can be done with yarn. Or if you’d like woodworking you could do something with that you could make signs you could make wreaths to hang on the door.

 

There are really so many different ways that you could make money on your farm. A little hard work and a lot of creativity can bring quite a bit of money in.  Still it may not be enough to live on but it can be a big help in the long run.

 

Have a great day!

Renee

Pork Jerky from Home Raised Pork

So when you are providing your own food you have to have ways to preserve them it. One way to do this is through dehydration. With dehydration you’re using low heat to remove all the moisture from whatever food item you have placed in your dehydrator.

 

Aaron was able to find a recipe for a sweet and spicy pork jerky that’s done in the dehydrator. I don’t know where he got the recipe from so if it’s yours let me know so I can give you credit for it. Because he cannot remember where it came from may have been online may have been our neighbors. But it’s very simple and you probably have most of the stuff in your house already.

 

To make the marinade, in a sauce pan you’re going to put:

1 Pork tenderloin – sliced

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce,

1/3 cup soy sauce,

1/4 cup brown sugar,

2 tablespoons of chili paste,

3 cloves of garlic crushed,

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper corns (it said to use hole but I used crushed anyways and it worked just fine.)

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

and one lime juiced.

 

Once you have everything in a saucepan you’re gonna bring it up to a simmer and cook it for about 5 or 10 minutes or until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Then you’re gonna remove it from heat and let it cool completely. Place the pork, in I used a Ziploc bag, and pour the marinade over the Pork. Then pop it in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, place the pork pieces in the your dehydrator at 160. The recipe said for about 4 hours, but with my dehydrator it took closer to 8 hours to get it the right dryness for our tastes so I would start checking it around the 4 hour mark.

The recipe says it’s sweet and spicy, but I think it turned out to be more of a teriyaki flavor. However, it was really good.  The flavor was just right and it’s not spicy at all in my opinion. The finished product is pictured below.

To store it, place it in an air tight container and it will last for a long time. Several months at least. If it lasts that long. I finished ours around 7pm and by morning there wasn’t anything left. 

Have a great day!

Renee

Summer Babies

So we’ve had issues having babies in the winter time so we changed our breeding to later in the year so that we have spring or summer babies instead of winter.

This year it appears that we have two pregnant goats and a pregnant cow. We are so excited about the new babies that should be arriving in the next couple of months. And can’t wait for them to get here.

When we were having babies in the winter we kept losing them because it was too cold. I don’t have room in my house to bring life stock inside so they had to stay outside and the only heat source I have for them are the heat lamps. I am not willing to risk of fire so we don’t use those other than for the baby chicks.

So the only other option was to start having the babies later in the year. So this July everyone is due. And I can’t wait to see all the babies that will be here on the farm.

 

Have a great day!

 

Renee

Outdoor Kitchen

So, we have decided on the next project here and I have to say that I am so very excited because I have wanted this for a long time now. I am finally going to get my outdoor kitchen! Aarron has started putting stuff together so that we can get moving on this project next (once he finishes the car he is working on now).

The area needs a lot of work, but it shouldn’t take too long because it is such a small area. The kitchen will be two sides of the area. The side behind where the above photo was taken and to right of where the photo above was taken. The kitchen will be against the fence lines in that area. The middle area will have a dinning area. Basically a table and chairs that we can use to eat at in the summer time.

One stove and the sink will be on this side of the area so that they are easy to get to and easy to use. This will likely be our camp stove that is wrought iron so it will weather very well. The sink is going to be a bathroom sink to start with simply because right now, that is what we have.

 

 

However, the back part of this little yard is going to be my favorite part. I am having a pond put in. I say that I will be paying someone to dig the hole, but that will be Aarron. We have everything I believe that we need to put the pond in and get it up and running. There will a rock waterfall on one end and fish. We’re thinking tilapia, but not really sure yet so that is a work in progress at the moment.

I can’t wait to update you with the progress on this as it comes together. I hope you will like it just as much as I do. I would love to know if there is something in this area that I may be missing. Leave a comment below and let me know if you can think of anything.

Have a great day!

Renee

Processing the pig

This weekend the main job on the table was the processing of a pig. We do this with our neighbor and provide him half a pig for helping with the processing. This tends to work well for both of us so it’s how we do things here.

 

I’m not going into the butchering of the actual pig because I can imagine some squeamish people out there, so I will only be going into the actual processing of the meat. In this way I can keep this more about the process and not where it came from. I do have to say thought that I love knowing what is going into my food. I get to control what the pigs eat and how they are cared for. I try my hardest to give them the best life I am to able to give them before there time comes to go into the freezer.

Once the meat comes into the house, this is what it looks like. Aarron and the neighbor debone the whole thing so I don’t have to deal with any bones. It’s strictly meat and fat. So the first thing that needs to be done is separating all the different sections so that we can trim them down and bag them to go in the freezer. We have to decide what we are going to use each cut for before it goes into the freezer so that we know what needs to happen next.

This was a fairly small pig so there isn’t a lot but for the size of him, it’s really not a bad amount of meat. Of course a couple of these bags in the door are fat so I will process those down and can them later when I have more time. I also still need to wrap all of these in freezer paper to help protect them since I ran out of the vacuum sealer bags about a quarter of the way though this.

But this is all fresh meat that tastes so much better than anything you can get from the store. I was recommend trying to find someone near you that sells fresh meat. You will never want to buy anything from the store again. This I promise you.

Have a great day!

Renee