Monday, November 24, 2008

Goats, Goats, and MORE GOATS!!!

Time for more goat pictures!

This is Mad Max. He will be the father of the kids out of Gloria, Lucy, and Matilda this year. He is a Toggenburg. Toggenburgs are a swiss breed of dairy goats that are identified by their very distinct gray coats with white accents.

This is Mikey. He is Max's friend and pen mate. He is also a Toggenburg. Both of these boys will be going to a new home in December where they will become pets.

Here are the lovely Lucy and Matilda. Lucy is the brown one and Matilda is the gray one. They are both very nice goats and will be having kids for the first time this spring.
I can't wait to have goat babies!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pictures of Mexico!

Here is one of the largest cenotes in Mexico. When the meteor struck in the Gulf of Mexico that killed the dinosaurs, it fractured the layers of limestone that make up the land that Mexico sits on. The result was that Mexico has no over-land rivers. All of the water flows just under the ground and pools up in sinkholes and caves all over the place. This cenote is a large sinkhole where tourists can go down to the water and even swim if they want to.

After visiting the cenote, we all went to Chichen Itza. It is one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World". When the Mayan civilization was at its peak, Chichen Itza was a great temple where worship of the various gods took place.

Here is the ballcourt where the Mayans would play to the death with their enemies. There were no wars in their culture. If one group had a beef to pick with another group they would challenge them to a game of ball. The losers would be sacrificed to the gods after the game was over. The game was played with a rubber ball and the players had to hit the ball with their hips or elbows into the hoop on top of the wall. The ballcourt at Chichen Itza is the largest of all Mayan ballcourts.

Here is a statue of a jaguar. Jaguars are sacred to the Mayans.

Here is a face that was on the corner of one of the buildings at Chichen Itza.

At the end of our stay in Mexico this year, we went to Xcaret. It is a Mexican theme park. There was an aquarium with sea turtles, dolphins, and manatees. There was an orchid farm. Tom and I swam through the underground caves. There was also a Mayan village. The picture is of some graves from the graveyard in the Mayan village. The graves were very ornate and each one told a story about the person buried there. At night there was a show in this huge outdoor amphitheater. The show was about the history of Mexico starting with the Mayans and ending with the Spanish colonization. The second half of the show was different dancing and songs from the different regions of Mexico. It was very cool!!

Here is the view from our room this year at the El Dorado Royale. It was very nice!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I made a deal with myself when I started this blog to not be one of those loser bloggers who doesn't stay consistant with writing new posts. Well, that deal has gone out the window and then some. Oh well...
So here's the update: Winter is coming. There has been one big snow storm about two weeks ago with 12" of snow. All that snow melted by the time I got back from Mexico (yearly week-long vacation to the Riviera Maya -- will post pictures in a few minutes). It was nice and warmer when Tom and I returned from the tropics. Now it has started to snow again. We got one inch yesterday and the roads are getting sloppy. The roads aren't frozen but the snow and water on top of them is. Thank goodness for 4 wheel drive. I have been fighting ice off of the animals' water buckets in the mornings because it has been below freezing at night.

The cows are now both in the same pasture. I put Herman in with Ethel a few months ago. Ethel was not pleased at first but now she won't go anywhere without him. He will be sad when she leaves for the freezer in December. We are planning to keep Herman until next year if he continues to be a good boy. Tom is building the cows a nice shed for them to get out of the snow. He wants to use it for firewood if there aren't cows in it. It will be hard for me to not fill it up with goats before he can get firewood in it.

The goats are well. Breeding season has started. Three of the does came into heat this week. The bucks have been busy chasing them around. Only problem is that both bucks are still pretty short. They are growing, but I didn't realize that their particular breed grows slowly. Oh well, where there's a will, there's a way. I am not going to make my traditional mistake of thinking that the goats are not bred. Every year I wind up with a surprise because I get to thinking that this goat or that goat is not pregnant and is just fat. So this year, I am going to assume everyone is pregnant! I have one more goat to breed and I will be taking her to a farm to be with a buck of her breed. She is a Nubian (floppy-earred goat) and my bucks are Toggenburgs (straight-earred). Mixing the ears makes a pretty ugly combination so the Nubian will be going to a farm that has a Nubian buck. I have to remind myself to call the farm to make a blind date for my doe.

I now have lots and lots of chickens. I hatched three earlier in the year by letting two hens set on some eggs. The mean hen that always pecked me when I checked the eggs made a good mom and hatched the three chicks. The nice hen that never pecked me ate her chicks when they hatched! I raised the chicks in the garage and kept one of them. The other two were roosters and went to a person who needed a new rooster. I then put some eggs in the incubator. I put in 14 eggs. I candled them and 7 were fertile. Out of the 7, I had three hatched. The power went out a few days before they were supposed to hatched and killed the other four eggs. It's not good to have the temperature change right before they hatch. I raised those chicks in the garage as well. I just moved them out of the garage to the barnyard the other day. Now my existing flock, before I started hatching any chicks, was about eight hens and one rooster. My rooster died and so did some hens (it happens). Then a lady at work gave me what she said was going to be "half a dozen or so chickens". Well, that "half dozen" turned out to be 10 hens and one rooster! So now I am up to 22 chickens in my tiny hen house. I am hoping to give some away before it snows too much and they are all stuck inside together for 5 months.

Tom is doing well. He is busy as always. He has lots to do for people before it snows bigtime. He has been cutting trees like crazy.

All is well here!