Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So..... what really goes on in that barn?

Over the summer months we've added a few new faces to our farm. Each one just as dysfunctional.... well maybe that's not the right word, how about "unique" - each one just as unique as we are :)  Penny and Sonny are our newest equine friends. Sonny, the mini pony is the result of The Baby batting her eye lashes at Daddy and clasping her hands together and saying sweetly "Daddy, pony pweeeeese" Sonny is a little foundered pony with curled up elf shoe hooves and can't be ridden by anyone other than the Baby but that's okay, she likes it that way. Penny is a beautiful little pony our kiddlings rode at horse camp this year. Penny is an "old lady" by horse standards and was being retired this year. We were happy to give her a great place to retire. Penny can be ridden by most of our kiddlings except for the oldest two - who prefer to ride the big horses anyway :)

Speaking of the big horses.... Badger, the Teenager's horse, has been enjoying his freedom throughout the summer. He loves to be trailered away to join his other horse friends at the stables for Drill practice and really enjoys getting to leave the pasture to go for rides down the road with his girl. Although he gets out often he seems to be quite jealous of the new ponies. Whenever they leave the pasture to take the kiddlings for rides, Badger runs along the fence, bucking and making all kinds of noise. He calls to the ponies and they call back to him. In general, being a distraction :) Fez on the other hand.... poor old guy... has been on "stall rest" for the past few weeks and has only been allowed to come out at night once the sun has gone down. Poor Fez has developed an allergy to Alsike Clover (Can you believe a horse can be allergic to clover?!?!) Well he got pretty sick for a while and has made a great recovery ... now all we have to do is keep him out of the clover! Our goats Lucy and Annie are doing well..... you remember Lucy don't you? The large meat goat who happens to think she's a horse. She's been Fez's companion since she was just little. Lucy has a birth defect and walks funny.... but it doesn't stop her from running around with the horses. Well Lucy seems to be having an identity crisis this summer since we got our little Nanny goat Annie. Lucy seems to realize she is somehow "the same species" as this new comer and is no longer as close to Fez as she used to be. She still rubs her head on the ponies and hugs Fez with her neck when they're out in the pasture together - but somehow she's beginning to understand that she is a goat and not a horse, and she spends her time following Annie around "looking after her." And Annie sure does need looking after these days....
Besides being pregnant (not sure when she's due?) Annie has a terrible habit of sticking her head through the fence to eat the grass that is "always greener on the other side of the fence." This wouldn't normally be a problem for her because even though she has horns, all she has to do is turn her head sideways and back up and he head fits through the fence without a problem....Unless.... she sticks her head through a hole that is right near a fence post! The holes are smaller here because they are nailed to the fence post. For some strange reason Annie seems to prefer to eat the grass nearest the fence posts hence she often gets her head caught in the fence and needs to be rescued. You can usually tell when Annie is in trouble because Lucy comes to the gate nearest the house and cries out "MAW! MAW? MAW!" and when you look out to see what she wants she starts running across the pasture toward the big goat butt sticking up in the air at the fence. Sometimes we can manuver Annie's head through the fence but not always... sometimes we have to get the wire snips and cut the fence to free her. She's not so bright.... she just keeps going back for more and needing to be rescued again and again.
Another new face around the farm is a young pigeon named "Pedro." The Teenager brought Pedro home from work with her one night. It seems he'd fallen from his nest and couldn't be put back in the nest. So he joined our odd little farm and has grown attached to this place.... maybe it's just the endless supply of food or the warm and dry garage he stays in, where he can come and go as he wishes. Or maybe it's the group of chickens he hangs out with everyday, or maybe he just enjoys being mothered by Henny, our "Queen Chicken" as the kids call her.  Pedro sleeps on top of the fridge in the garage and eats out of the seed bowls when he gets hungry. He walks along the front porch railing as Henny follows along beside him on the grass. Pedro often joins the chickens in the grass as they look for seed or bugs. He must be popular with the hens as they all come up to the house in the morning to see him and spend a good amount of time visiting him in the garage. We expect Pedro will stay around for a little while longer. Maybe even winter near here - but for now he is welcomed to hang out in the garage until he feels ready to spread his wings and head off on his own .... maybe he'll follow the hens back to the hen house one day and decide to bunk with them? Who knows.... at least I don't have to hand feed him any longer and coax him to drink. And I don't have to worry about bird poop in my hair or on my shoulders because that was his favourite place to hang out whenever he saw me :)   Thank God we keep the duck's wings clipped! I can't imagine having them flying toward my head to find a place to land.
Bunnies.... We have bunnies! If you're interested in owning one (or two, or three...) of these little darlings don't hesitate to contact me :) This will be the last litter of the season. Hurry before they're gone!  So..... what really goes on in that barn? Well, apparently a whole least that's what the poor woman who works in the pharmacy department at the Super Store thinks! This may be one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.... I was gathering the needed supplies for my "Kidding Kit" (the things I will need to have on hand for "the big moment" when our goat Annie decides to deliver her baby. The list called for the usual stuff; clean towels, iodine, rubber gloves, scissors, etc. but there was one thing I didn't have on hand and it was very necessary.... lubricant. Yup, you read that right. I guess sometimes baby goats don't come out the way they're supposed to and you have to help re-position them for birth (you know, move a leg here, tilt the head there...) well this act of "helping out" will require lubricant... and not just any old lube will do.... you can't grease her up with lard or use the tin can of bacon grease drippings. This sort of thing requires cleanliness and a "water based" product..... When plain old vaseline just won't work, you do what anyone would do.... go out to the Super Store and get what you need.
I hadn't given it much thought on the way there, but once I was scanning the aisles in the pharmacy department I began to think.... "How on earth was I going to explain this to the pharmacist without sounding weird??? Oh Excuse me Miss, can you tell me where I might find some lubricant for my goat?" Wow, that line wasn't going to go over so well.  I decided to keep my business to myself and search for the right product on my own. I found the right area (right next to the condoms and other "unmentionables") but I quickly realized this was not going to be as easy as I'd hoped. I made some amazing discoveries. My brains began to hurt. This was way too much information for me to take in all at once.... there were hundreds of little boxes labelled "personal lubricant" but they were so much more!!! Some were warming, some were cooling, some caused tingling (Oh Annie would NOT like that!) and some caused numbing, some were oil based and others were water based, some were even flavoured! (Oh dear God.... I can't put THAT on my goat! Not in the barn with other animals....hungry animals....) Strawberry, cherry, banana, chocolate ... .wait a minute, CHOCOLATE!?!?! Some of them, when combined, caused a weird chemical reaction that was sure to rock your world.... yes that's just what I need for my goat - something earth shattering to make the birth of her baby memorable! Give me a break - all I want is plain old water based lubricant! I must have looked overwhelmed or frazzled or both. A middle aged female pharmacist came up behind me and asked if I needed some help. "Ummm, yes, I think I do. I had no idea there were so many to choose from" I said sheepishly. "Well really it all depends on your own preference - what were you looking for?" she non chalantly questioned. "Well it's not for me, it's for my ..... (should I say it's for my, she'd never believe that) it's for my goat." Her face dropped and she stood staring at me for the longest time. "For your ....." she began. "For my goat" I stammered.  "She's expecting and I am trying to put together a kidding kit so I will bepreparedforthebigdaybutididnthaveanylubricantonhandsoihadtocomeheretolookforsomeandihadnoideathereweresomanykindsorthattheydidsomanythingsidontwantanythinghotorwarmingorcoolandtinglyireallyjustwanttofindsomeplainoldwaterbasedlubricantandbeonmyway... do you happen to carry a store brand?" The woman just stared at me and pointed to the bottom row. "Right there." She said. "Wow, that's just a small little bottle isn't it? You wouldn't happen to have anything a little bigger would you?" I asked amazed that they could charge so much money for so little product. "Sorry," she said, still staring at me like I had two heads, "This is the only size these products come in." "Okay then, I guess I'll just take one of them and see how it goes.... now this is just plain right? It isn't going to start snapping, crackling, or popping correct? Just plain old lube for the goat....." I queried. She shook her head yes without taking her eyes off me. "Okay thanks." I said with a nervous smile as I turned to go to the checkout. I stood infront of the cashier with my one lonely box of personal lubricant on the counter and a line up of shoppers behind me. The cashier, an older pleasant looking lady, picked up the box and scanned the barcode for the price. She looked at me with her eyebrows raised "Will that be all today?" she enquired. "Yes," I stammered "It's for my goat." As my face grew red and my head felt dizzy I silently prayed a quick prayer of thanks..... "Thank you Lord that I didn't send my husband out to pick this up..."

Here's a few funnies from Our House to Yours  * I was cleaning the pastures, scooping up the horse poop and dumping it into the wheelbarrow. Little Susan was following close behind watching me work. "That's Sonny's poop right Mama? It's SO small, awww, it's CUTE!" she squealed with delight.                                                                  * While feeding our orphaned baby pigeon "Pedro", Little Susan stood by observing the process intently. "We have to make sure the baby pigeon's CROTCH is full right Mama?" She confidently queried. (Crop)                                                                   * I came in to the house from working in the barn. I had been shovelling stall and was in need of a shower but before I could get there the Baby keenly observed "You stink crap, you stink crap Mommy." (Where in the world does she hear these things!?!?!)

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