Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Who needs a GameBoy...

when you have a dirty white horse?

"D" after a game of Tic-Tac-Toe
My hubby and youngest son decided to play a game on his horse during feeding time.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Soup's on

It's wavering here between invigorating spring and blustery winter.  Our menu is wavering along with it ~ grilled goodness one night and warm you up soup the next.  Chicken tortilla soup is one of our standby winter meals.  My family loves it and it's super easy to make.

Start with 12 cups of water and 9 chicken boullion cubes then add one store bought rotisserie chicken.  Boil this for 30 minutes making the broth flavorful.  Remove chicken.  While chicken is cooling, add 1/2 of a chopped onion and 2 stalks of chopped celery to the pot.  Also add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa and 1 cup of instant rice.  Debone chicken and add back to pot.  Simmer for another 30 minutes.  Serve with crushed tortilla chips, grated cheddar, sour cream, chopped cilantro or all of the above.  Soup's on!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Goats getting to know the farm

learning who to chase

finding places to play

and new things to smell

getting some love

making new friends on the farm

linking up with other farm friends

Central Vac

I think it's time for another farmhouse feature. 

This is my favorite for sure ~ a Beam central vacuum!  A central vac is installed during construction but can also be retro-fitted in existing homes.  The motor and canister are usually located in the garage.  Since we have a detached garage ours is in our mechanical closet on the back of our house.  We empty the canister about once a month by twisting off the bottom of the unit and dumping it in the trash.  No bags needed.  Having it located outside keeps fine dust particles from circulating through the motor and back into the house.  Neat!

The main unit is attached to tubes that run through the walls of the house to receptacles.  We have 3 plug-in locations in our home. 

The hose unit attaches like this.  Easy!  Just like plugging in a lamp.

Here is the hose unit.  It hangs in our bedroom closet for easy access.  We chose an extra long hose instead of adding more receptacles.  The vacuum is very lightweight and can be adjusted to a comfortable height for the person using it. It also has a "sock" to keep from scratching up furniture.

Since we have all concrete and wood floors, we mostly use the flat floor attachment with suction only.  It does a great job of picking up dog hair and dirt that we all track in.

It's also great on the stairs.  Not too heavy.

You can attach the carpet unit for rugs

or use the on board attachments for furniture or blinds.

And one more feature that is great ~ an under cabinet dustpan that immediately sucks up anything near it.  Simply hit the switch with your foot and sweep kitchen crumbs away. 

Only I wish I had put this in the mudroom instead of the kitchen because we have more mess there.

Since finishing out the rec room, we are planning to add another motor unit.  It will hang in the garage to clean the rec room floor and to vacuum out the vehicles.  Neither of those things get done very often now. 

But the farmhouse gets a quick vacuuming everyday. Gotta go do that now!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vet calls

I'm not complaining, I'm just saying...
Having animals is not always fun or easy.  It has been one of those weeks on our farm that has made us wonder,
 "What on earth are we doing?" 

It started with Sammie getting "fixed".  Our want-to-be teenage vet, whom we have started calling Dr. Jake,  watched the surgery.

Sammie out cold during surgery!

He was kind enough to text me photos of it.  This is the only one that I will post.  Trust me, you don't want to see the rest, unless your a vet or want to be one!  I'm trying to figure out how to get all the photos off my phone!
She also had a nasty double ear infection when she went in.  This, of course, cost more than the surgery.

The older goat girls took turns scaring us too.  First with a cough and then with... um... not normal poo.  We called our breeder both times. Take her temperature where?  I guess you don't do that under the armpit?  Off to the pharmacy to buy a rectal thermometer.  I mean, who still uses those?  Treated the cough with Benadryl.  She slept well and felt better in the morning.  As for the poo... it passed.  It always does, I guess.

Next, we realized the pigs aren't putting on weight the way they should so after a discussion with the vet we bought new feed and dewormer.  You don't even want to know what came out of those bad boys after the dewormer!  Hubby said he doesn't know if he can eat pork anymore.

Notice the left paw all bandaged on our limp-a-long!
Sunday night, Scout, our oldest golden, decided to run underneath one of the horses while Wayne was lunging her on a long lead!  Stupid old man!  I don't know what got into him.  He must have gotten stepped on because one of the pads on a front paw was nearly ripped off!  So, back to the vet.  Another surgery.  No picture texts this time, thank goodness!

And then this morning, Bobbie, my horse, refused her oats.  You should have seen the panic in my eyes. Normally she is such a pig!  So, out to the pasture we went to take a look at her.  Not that we know what to look for.  We were afraid she was colicky since she had a past history of that, although not since she came here.  Upon further examination, she looked more depressed then she did in pain.  So another phone call.  This time to our horse trainer who said she might be out of sorts since the pecking order was mixed up with the little colt coming.  Red, one of the geldings, is now Alpha and she seems to be have been demoted from first all the way down to last.  And, I might add, is not happy about it.  Still, to refuse food?  I watched her all morning, praying a lot.  She seems fine now, maybe still a bit dejected.  At this time we're not going to make any calls to the vet.  I don't think he needs any more of our money or time this month.  He's gonna think he needs to call and check in on us everyday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Two boys napping in the pasture

This was just too cute this afternoon!  Jared and Cowboy were resting together in the pasture.

That boy loves his horse.

That horse loves his boy.

All I have to say is "Awww".

It's still alive, and blooming!

Houseplants and I have never gotten along.  I can grow beautiful flowers and lushious berries and wonderful vegetables outside but my green thumb gets checked at the mudroom door.  I don't know why.  I have killed every plant that has ever entered the house. Really!

Having said this, I was given a very special plant at Christmas.  My dad brought me an African Violet started from his mother's African violets.  These family plants have been growing for over fifty years.  Now one was brave (or foolish ) enough to enter my front door! 

Alas, it is still green!  And not only that, it's blooming beautifully!

Maybe it's because I keep pleading with it not to keel over.  Maybe there is hope for my indoor green thumb after all.  Maybe it's having it's last hoorah before it dies. We will have to wait and see.  Still, I'm hopeful.  And it's so pretty!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cowboy came home

Today in the eyes of Cowboy:

"Where am I?"

"Look at me walking so nicely wearing a halter."

"This seems like a fun place."

"It's nice to meet you."

"You're little like me.  Are you my boy?"

 "When we both get bigger we are going to have adventures together."

"I'm not sure about those other horses yet."

 "But I sure like this pasture!"

"It looks like home to me."

Overalls with pink trim

I have officially embraced the farm girl life...
I purchased a pair of insulated overalls and I'm excited about it!
They are Wall's brand made of duck cloth in the color chamois and insulated for winter warmth and come from Fort Worth, Texas (another great cow town).
(The last spells of cold weather convinced me these needed to be incorporated into my wardrobe.)
The best part is that they are trimmed in pink, my favorite color.  Sweet!
The worst part is they do nothing to improve my figure.  Darn!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Doors wide open

What a glorious Sunday!  It's sunny and sixty-six degrees outside.  We have our doors wide open to bring in the fresh air.  You would never guess that we had blizzard conditions a little over a week ago.  If you look closely you can still see the snow at the edge of our pasture.  

Around here people say, "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour or so."  That's Oklahoma for you. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dairy does!

The new animals at the Rockin' S-Squared Farm are...
Registered Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

two sweet 10 day old does

and two yearling does that will be ready to breed in a few months
We traveled 5 hours round trip today to pick up these little beauties.  They came from Dill's Little Goat Farm where they have excellent dairy lines.  As we loaded them up, I  felt blessed to start out with such great goats.  These are some of the animals that I have always wanted to have for drinking milk and making cheese or soap.  I know ~ you may be scrunching up your nose at the thought of drinking goat's milk as if  I just asked you to eat brussel sprouts or something!  But really, Nigerian Dwarf milk is some of the creamiest and sweetest milk I have ever tasted.  My hubby says it tastes like melted snow ice cream.  I don't know about that but I know it's great.  And I know there is a demand for it with all the lactose intolerant people around.

So, off we go on our dairy goat journey.  Our first stop was my brother's house on the way home so my darling niece, Addison, could feed a baby goat it's bottle.  It was a priceless moment!  Two little beauties sitting on the tailgate of the truck.
Finally at home, the boys got to meet the goat girls.  The older ones walked nicely on the leash around the yard while the little ones bounded on the grass for the first time.  They had never been out of the barn (because of the bad weather lately) so it was an adventure. 

 So, I introduce to you, Mocha and Latte.


and Hazelnut

Aren't they pretty?  I can't wait for these girls to have babies.

Our boys were enamored.
The silver spots on their little heads are from the disbudding (removing the future horns).  They will heal soon.

 There has been lots of cuddling going on tonight.

 And bottle feeding too.  We'll be doing lots of that for a while!

So the winner of our guessing game is Patrice at Everyday Ruralty!  She was the very first one to comment and she guessed goat girl for milking.  Just multiply that by 4. Good job, Patrice! Thanks everyone for playing, it was fun.  We'll have to do it again soon!


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