Time Flies. Excuse the long post.

ImageImageImageImageExHow time flies. 4 more weeks of being pregnant left and that isn’t even for sure because baby Cora is on the smaller side. That’s okay, though, the doctor said she is just meant to be little; either way, I now have to do weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests to make sure she doesn’t need to come early. If she does, we are screwed. We have pretty much NO baby stuff. We have a crib that one of the docs I work with  gave me, and an old handmade cradle that was used when I was a newborn. We have a couple more hand-me-downs, like a swing and a bouncy seat, and some a couple outfits. My husband and I were just talking about how screwed we would be if I went in to labor right now, especially considering my baby showers are tomorrow and next week. But my coworkers surprised me with a shower on lunch today. I now am the proud owner of a diaper bag (stocked with diapers and wipes!) , breastfeeding bottles, some childrens books, baby bath stuff, TWO baby tubs, and a few more outfits, onesies, and some other miscellaneous items. Phew.  Feeling a little relieved.

But we have an interesting couple of months ahead of us. Assuming I deliver on my due date, October 2nd, I will be home with the baby for a month, until Brendon gets laid off (November 1st ish. Maybe. Depends on business). Then I will be home for another month, and Brendon will be laid off until March, so he will be able to take care of baby when I go back to work for maternity leave. However, that is 4 months without his income (which isn’t much but still helps when you have to catch up back taxes before April). With a baby.  And then come March when he goes back to work we will have to worry about day care. Oh boy. I’m sure that will be fun. I am sure Brendon and I will be eating a lot of fried egg/peanut butter/ mayonnaise sandwiches in the meantime. At least our chickens have finally started laying eggs, so we won’t have to pay for those if we can keep them laying through the winter. Yes I get WIC, and I’m sure that when Brendon gets laid off we will get food stamps, but if I am the only one working, apparently I make too much money to get anything worthwhile. $77.00 worth of food stamps. Luckily between Brendon and I we can make that stretch almost a month if we have to.

It will be rough, but I am not complaining. I know what a blessing it will be to finally have this child in our lives. That bundle of joy and unconditional love. Believe me I know its not all rainbows and butterflies and hugs and kisses, but this is a joy that I cannot wait to have in my life. Our little girl.

Another thing is, we are very lucky to have very low maintenance animals. Our 7 goats take good care of themselves. We found someone who is selling their hay for $1 a sq. bale and has 150 bales, just because it is a little “weedy”. If you look closely in the next picture, you will see that Birdie, the scruffy Nubian/toggenburg doe, is looking awful pregnant. If she is pregnant, that means it is Sire’s kid, so it will be a beautiful alpine mix, and probably due around beginning to mid November (right in the middle of my maternity leave!) And she is known for throwing twins, so who knows? I was worried about Barley (the white one) for a bit there, because her coat was looking rough. I wondered if she had some sort of mineral deficiency. That didn’t seem to make sense because everybody else was doing fine, the pasture is the super fertile, never-been-farmed type, with freshwater creeks and ponds fed from free-flowing wells, and they use their mineral block very well.  And then I thought she was looking skinnier. So I went out to check on her, and she had just been going through a growth spurt. Which probably makes sense since she is a little over a year old and was on the smaller side for a Saanen/Alpine mix.  She is definitely a few inches taller than before, and I guess is just looking more “mature” if that is the term. After a couple weeks of the rough looking coat, it’s coming back to life, so we will see. If there isn’t much more improvement, I will be investing in some Replamin gel.

All the other does are doing fine. Onyx has a big girl tooth growing in. Paisley is shoved right up Birdie (her mother)’s patootie as usual but I think Birdie is getting sick of it. And our new buck, Billy (as in Idol—not goat) still thinks he has died and gone to heaven with all of these females around. He did learn a very important lesson the other day though with my mother’s horse. Moral of the story? Horses do not play. Especially the same way goats do. We were standing outside watching the animals frolic and be merry and grazing, the horse among them, and Billy wanted to play. So he put his head down and started walking towards the horse.  The horse wasn’t playing. She turned around so quick and bucked her back legs and that goat flew. We heard the thunk and he flew through the fence, poor guy. He was a good sport about it, he limped for about 5 minutes, then went on with his day. I have noticed since then that if he must walk past the horse, he gives her a very wide berth and runs past as fast as he can.  It humbled him up. But the horse still chooses to graze with the goats, so it can’t be too bad.

Let me clarify this one point—I do not like this horse. I think she is snotty and cannot be trusted. And I am ecstatic that my mother is trying to sell her due to the cost of hay. ($300 Appaloosa mare, anyone?)

Rabbits are doing good. We spent a good week fretting over Fiver (Our buck), because my 70th cousin twice removed wanted to borrow him to breed his does. My cousin is a good guy and all, but he is old, and getting Alzheimer’s, and has at times forgotten to feed/water his rabbits. But fiver was returned to us after a week, and appeared unscathed. Phew again. So we bred Mama (The checkered mutt shown in the picture), and rebred Misty (the brown sweetheart). I say sweetheart now, but this is her second and last chance. Her last “litter” turned out to be one dead, deformed kit. If this pregnancy doesn’t work out, I’m afraid she will be stew meat and slippers and she will be replaced. I love my rabbits, and she might like a good ear rubbing, but if I am going to breed meat rabbits, they need to produce. So her and Mama are due next Wednesday the 12th, and Thursday the 13th. Maddie, my 3-4 month old white Flemish giant, is eating like a horse. I give her a cup and a half of food each morning, then when I get home, she still has some left, but is begging at the cage wall. So I pick all of her greens, and she eats every last bit. And she still begs! So I get more greens for her. Just never seems like I can feed her enough.  And she will be bred come December assuming she reaches appropriate size, and then the schedule will start. I have it all scheduled out next year so that we will have 3 breeding does and will be having a litter born, nursing, and weaned each month. Sounds rough, but if you were to look at the table I drew up it actually gives the does quite a bit of break-time.

As stated before, the chickens started laying! We are averaging between 2-5 eggs per day, with 21 hens. Not a lot I know, but 14 of those hens are 4 years old and the other 7 are 6 months old. It’s a start!  Funny story though. Our chickens are a little strange and refuse to nest in their boxes, but the ones that are laying all choose to lay in the exact same corner. They just… take turns I guess. Yesterday, my DH pulled out two eggs from the corner, accidently dropped one, and got the dirtiest look from all the hens watching. They all went quiet, glared at him and started moving in. So we walk away and go sit under our apple tree. We set the remaining egg down next to us and are just chatting as usual. Next thing I know, I hear a click click next to me and one of the hens is trying to steal the egg back! (We have an australorp hen we know as The Chicken Who Celebrates Diversity, because it was the only chicken that would ever go hang out with birds of different sorts. Like turkeys, guineas, or ducks. It is the single brave, friendly chicken.) She is using her mouth to roll it, and pushing at it with her feet, to move it towards this dip in the ground and sit on it. So I grab the egg and hand it back to Brendon, and he puts it in his shirt pocket. Sure enough the chicken starts to circle him and is still trying to get at that egg. At this point, we just went inside.

I love our animals. They are probably the highlight of my days. One thing is for sure—we don’t need cable.

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480991_10150911445553263_271291849_n.jpg image by smcnutt1483380_10150911445348263_893660172_n.jpg image by smcnutt1

Left: Onyx, Right: Sire and Barley

Left: Birdie, Right: Fern

Billy (Idol) chasing Fern

Paisley, Birdie’s daughter

I know you are probably disappointed with my short posts, but I will make it short again. Unfortunately, we lost Sire to pneumonia. But the next day somebody traded us a billy goat in exchange for two drakes and the two guineas. And they drove 3 hours to us to do it because this goat was just “destroying” their yard. As you can see by the pics of him chasing Fern, he isn’t missing much. Here are also some pictures of the last litter of bunnies. They are all with new homes now. This picture was at 1 week old. Next two litters are due September 12th.

 

Another update since the last post, we made a deal with my mom and paid to fence in 10 of her acres, including her cows and horse, as long as we could keep our goats out there. They had to downsize to three strands, but after one weekend of a lot of fencing and refencing, we had them set.

Also, I am now about 35 weeks pregnant. Time flies, huh?

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Whats been going on….. Life on the farm…

 I’m going to restart this blog, as so many things have changed since I last wrote. My husband and I have moved into that little two-bedroom house on 1 acre in Manton, Michigan. My great grandfather, who lived in the next house over, owned twenty acres and on the corner of the block rented out two trailers and a house that he had built. Since he died approximately three years ago, his house has been sitting there rotting, and the rental properties have been too. Accumulating back-taxes that my Great Grandma who lives out of town  just can’t afford. So my husband and I took over the corner acre, including the little house and a trailer(which we have torn down now,) and my mother took over my Great Grandpa’s house and the other 19 acres, so we pretty much have free reign.

Anyway, I am twenty years old, I am 28 weeks pregnant, working full time, and on top of all that, we are starting a small hobby farm.  Why, you ask? To enjoy the farm life and to be just a little bit more self-sustainable. We aren’t looking to make a profit, just to keep the animals afloat, and put a little extra food in our fridge. With my mom’s permission we fenced in about a half acre in her field and we own 6 goats.  Sire (Purebred Alpine Buck), Onyx (Pure Alpine Doe), Barley (Alpine/Saanen Doe), Fern (Nubian Doe), Birdie (Nubian/Toggenburg Doe),  and Paisley (Nubian/Toggenburg/Birdie’s daughter.) We did have Paisley’s brother, but he was a whether, and not to sound mean but a whether wasn’t really useful to us except to end up in our freezer. So far every doe except Onyx has been through a heat cycle, and Sire has had his time with them, so we are hoping this December we will have a surplus of goat kids running around.

We have 3 breeding rabbits.  Mama (a wild rabbit crossed with Californian), Fiver (Checkered, Californian mix buck), and Misty (Flemish Giant, Rex, and Californian Doe). Mama just gave birth to her first litter on Sunday morning, litter size ten, 2 stillborn, one died, 7 alive and doing well. She was bred with a New Zealand/Californian that we later traded for Misty.   Misty was just bred a little over a week ago and should be due around August 8th with Fiver’s litter.

We also have 7 chickens, 2 guineas, and 7 ducks. We started with 9 chickens, 4 ducks, and two turkeys, but wild cats got at two turkeys and two chickens. Then my mom gave up on keeping birds after owls got hers, so she gave us three ducks. We later got the guineas because we needed the watchdogs. We started the ducks as babies in March, and come to find out they are all turning into males! Every single one of them is getting the curly tail feathers and green heads. Even the ones that aren’t supposed to have any color at all! So I posted on craigslist that I needed to trade a male for a female, and I got one bite. So I traded a rouen male for a female

I’m going to warn you, I’m just getting back into this blogging thing, so my posts might seem a little scatterbrained right now. But I hope to start blogging a little more regularly, and I hope to maybe get a little better at it and maybe some regular readers. Btw, if you are reading this, and you happen to be from the northern Michigan area and are interested in some good meat/pet breed bunnies, let me know, they will be for sale for 10 dollars a piece. There will be pictures up soon.

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About me.

About me:

1. I’m 20 years old since November.

2. I got married on the 4th of July. 2011

3. I newly discovered myself to be an african violet enthusiast.

4. I have 2 dogs (just had to get rid of the third due to a dominance issue in the house. 😦   )

5. I have seven goats (Billy Idol, Onyx, Barley, Jack Fern, Birdie, and Paisley,) four rabbits(Mama, Fiver, Misty, and Maddie), twenty-one chickens, two ducks,  and two adopted barn kitties from Brendon’s brother.

6. I love feel good movies. Especially disney ones. I am a huge not-so-closeted fan of Camp Rock. 1 & 2.

7. I frequently dance/sing/act like a lunatic around the house while getting stuff done.

8. My name is Shayanna and I would like to think I am a pretty cool person. You can be the judge of that. Read my blog.

 

Updated on 8/29/2012

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despite it all, things work out

Optimism. Its a great thing. These past two weeks I’ve been telling myself that things are gonna work out. And guess what? They did. My mother is on board with letting the house go on the condition that I pretend to be her and deal with all the bank stuff. My gma is on board with letting us take the little house she has up north. We found a woodstove for under $500. Fencing will cost less than $200. The house up north has been sitting for a while, and I guess a pipe burst under the house. So that will be our first project that we are going to try to tackle two weeks from now. At least it is accessable.  The dogs will probably love not having annoying neighbor dogs yipping and always trying to snap at their ankles through the fence. BTW, here is a picure of my dogs. 

Taz is on the left, Cail on the right. Taz is a lab/pit mix who just turned 1 year this month, Cail is a lab/beagle who just turned 2 years old this January.

This is Taz at the end of last summer. I think it looks like he is posing for senior pics.

Cail trying to sneak up on Taz.

This just about describes his outlook on life.

You can’t tell I love my dogs, can you?

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Gonna share a bit about my life right now.

Last year, my mom was going to foreclose our house. It was time for me to move out so me, just getting my tax return back, and my boyfriend decided that  we would just take it over. Take over payments and get a mortgage of our own if we could ever afford it. So we took over. Started making payments, and made it our home. We got married in July. We fixed many little things in this house. The broken door. The broken dryer (we replaced it.) We cleaned up the backyard. Fought with the neighbor over land she thought belonged to her. I redid the garden. More recently we discovered the sink was a nightmare. We replaced the pipes,  faucet and board underneath it. Also fixed the garbage disposal. Maybe board is the wrong term. Compost is more like it. It was so rotten, that bugs were living in it. Not silverfish, moths, spiders, or any of the common household insects. Nope. Bugs. Centipedes, Millipedes, etc. It was crawling. So we scooped out the compost, and replaced everything but the basin itself.  Now every 2 years we have to call roto-rooter.  Much more recently now, after the sink was fixed, we fixed the dishwasher. For the past 8 years of living in this house, I was told the dishwasher doesn’t work. It didn’t drain. The problem? There was something clogging up the drainage hose. As you can see, there is problem after problem that never got fixed. The bathroom faucet must be shut off a certain way every time or else it drips.

Which brings me to the final, and worst problem of them all. Our living room ceiling has always had a crack in it. My mother was told it was because of the angle of the ceiling, too much paint, and settling of the house etc. So we ignored it. A crack formed in another wall. We thought nothing of it. Now as my husband and I were looking to sell the house this past winter, and I was looking at these cracks trying to think of a way to cover them up. I notice cracks in the dining room. Not just cracks. The paint had a bubbled look to it. More settling? I wasn’t convinced. But I ignored it. This past saturday we were cleaning the house and I see a fly. I kill it. My husband sees one. He kills it. He kills another one. Where are all of these flies coming from?! So we bring the recycling back outside, hoping that’s all it was. But as I look up, I can see in the light, all of these bugs swarming. IN OUR HOUSE!. Just as I say “Oh. My. God.” My husband tells me to come look at what he is  looking at. and out of the crack in the wall is pouring termites. The winged breeding termites. Hundreds of them.

We did the test where you stick knife or something in the wood and see how soft it is and its like butter. That’s what the bubbling paint was. And now that we look we can see little tiny surface holes all over the walls.

Our decision is this. We cannot afford to pay for this house any more.

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5 weeks pregnant….

5 weeks pregnant. It doesn’t seem like much, and maybe it isn’t, but its the beginning of something. I have something to look forward to in the future. (Not that I didn’t have anything before, but now….) Now I have that something. A child in my life. Heartburn all day long. Gotta pee more often than not. Random smells making me queezy. Cravings. It may be early, but I am feeling it.  I am not complaining, because this is what I have been praying for. I am just sharing. What I will complain about though, is the dreams.

I sleep with my eyes open. Always have, always will. They are kind of squinty when I am sleeping, so they don’t dry out, but they are open. So I see shadows in the night and I think this has always caused me to have very VIVID dreams. I always remember my dreams. Sometimes this is pretty cool, but other times it is annoying. Like if its a bad dream, which happens a lot. I have tried getting a mask, yet somehow, every time, I rip it off in the middle of the night and throw it across the room. I don’t do this consciously, but it is the only explanation I can think of as to why it is all the way over in the closet. If I have been dealing with this my entire life, why am I complaining now, do you ask? Because its been worse. For the past 2 weeks I have been uncomfortable–even with the body pillow–, hot, and having all sorts of crazy people dreams….. URGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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