Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Beezus and Ramona

This is Beezus and Ramona.
They were born last year.  Their mom's were yearlings who should not have gotten bred.
I became their Mom.  The one with the bottle.  That was like 8 months ago.
They haven't forgotten.
They still think I am their Mom.  Everyday when I come home from school they are waiting for me.
Perhaps they are suffering from separation anxiety.



Ramona with a piece of wool in her mouth after she plucked it off of Abby's back because that's what goats like to do to sheep.

Beezus drives me crazy.  She makes me laugh.  She follows me everywhere. She has no clue that I am not goat and she is not a human.  All that matters is that she and I are stuck together like glue.

I tried for the longest time not to name them.  When I give them a name then it means I end up keeping them. 
 So,  what did I do?
I named them after two of my favorite story book characters growing up.......Beezus and Ramona.
I don't remember how many times I read Beverly Cleary's books when I was in grade school.
But it was a lot of times.
I guess I passed that tradition on to my own "kids".

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gardening Hope

Sunday the temperatures broke 40!
It was like a heat wave!

The garden is still covered in snow and I know its better to have a gradual snow melt than melting too fast.  The temps this week will be in the 40's and low 50's.  I promise to be patient......

.....but its hard.  When its sunny and 40ish outside, inside the greenhouse its so warm reaching into the high 50' it felt like 60 degrees inside! 

I tempted myself with some new seeds when I was at the feed store this past weekend.  I am thinking the lettuce will be going in within a week or so.  The "Nest Egg Gourd" seeds I thought would be something fun to plant this year!

Its been a long winter and as I watch the snow gradually melt away,  I am planning out new ideas for the garden.  Its hard not to want to rush things but I know I have to be patient. 
 Patience is not one of my best attributes.....but I am working on it:)
I should probably read all my gardening and seed magazines I got in the mail last month.
Probably should go buy more seeds too.....maybe some new garden pots....definitely buy new garden gloves........oh, and definitely buy new garden boots;) 
Goodness, so much to buy......better get that list going!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Old Timers on the Farm

February 2015 in Northeast Ohio set all kinds of records.
The average temperature was 23.....the coldest since 1875.
A nice little survival fact I can now claim...."I lived through the winter of 2015."
Living through a cold month like that, especially with 9 days of sub zero temps was not without stress.  I constantly worried about the farm animals.  The sheep I knew would be fine but the goats.....

Goats are not big fans of sub zero temps.  Actually for my goats I think 50 is getting too cold for them;)  There were 2 goats that I was truly worried about and I gave them extras all grain and they got their own heat bulb all February. 

Cubbie, pictured on the right above, will be 15 years old in April.  He is the love of my life and the very first farm animal I bought.  He is truly amazing and I love him to pieces.  His best buddy JD passed away this Fall. Cubby and JD were the same age and I worried how Cubbie would handle being without JD. 

Cubbie and Briggs, pictured below, buddied up with no problems. Briggs is 11 years old and knows that Cubbie is in charge.

He is trying to look like a tough goat in this picture but he is pathetically laid back��

They are both Nigerian Dwarf wethers and are the healthiest animals I have ever had!

They have become best buddies and truly kept each other warm all winter.  It warms my heart to know these 2 old timers 
have each other and even though they butt heads over a few pieces of grain, in the end they stick together☺

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Winter Time Bird Friends

Its come to the point this winter that I am looking for ways to entertain myself in the house.
I can't do anything with the greenhouse.  The ground is frozen solid with at least 8 or more inches of snow on it.  The dogs and cats are just driving me and themselves crazy.  And though my house could be seriously better organized and I could really probably do more cleaning, its just not appealing to me.
So, I watch birds from inside the house.

I have numerous bird feeders around the yard and of course I feed the premium feed with the black oil sunflower in it and the safflower. I also have a couple of suet feeders for the woodpeckers.  

This guy frequents my front yard feeder a lot.  I believe he is a red-bellied woodpecker.  Though if anyone reading knows different, please let me know!

He is very entertaining to watch.......

.......but he is a quick one and I take a ton of pictures just to get a few good ones!

Of course, how can on not love the morning doves?!  

They are so peaceful and serene to watch.
And they make a great clean-up crew for all the seed knocked out of the feeder too.

Of course, a feeder would not be complete without a bunch of house sparrows! 

I caught this morning dove checking out her opportunity to hop down to the feeder below.

I believe this little guy to be a titmouse?

I was taking these pictures from my bedroom window using a zoom lens....I was pretty impressed with myself cuz these little sparrows can be fast little guys when they see the slightest movement.

Wondering if my little bird friends are thinking what I am thinking, 
"Will this winter ever end?"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Playing Find the Squirrel

It was another brutally cold morning....windchill was kicking in at -16.  ( I didn't have school again.  So The average high is suppose to be 40 degrees on this of this writing it is 5 degrees....I don't think its going to make it to 40 might get to 30 by Saturday....fingers and paws crossed.
So Dixie and Meesha have a lot of energy and sometimes it gets really bottled up when they are stuck in the house on these Arctic days.  When I opened the back door today my blue merle girls went flying out like dogs gone wild. With nothing better to do I grabbed my camera to take some pics of the girls. As luck would have it and much to the girls delight, the resident squirrel was out too!

Yep, he was at the bird feeder in this tree.....

......Dixie says, "No,  the squirrel is in the other maple tree."

......Meesha says, "No, he is in this tree."

Dixie says, "Are you sure cuz I think he is in this tree."

Meesha, " Nope, I am positive he is up here in this tree."

" Yep, I see him now!!"

And with a little luck the zoom on the camera wasn't frozen and I saw the squirrel too!
Either he is really cold or scared shit less!

Dixie, "Oh, yeah I see him now!" 

Meesha, " You think he is going to come down and play Dixie?"
Dixie, " Maybe, maybe not....probably not right now....maybe later. He knows we got him treed."

"Okay, then can we go inside now cuz I am getting tired of playing squirrel and its pretty cold out here!" 

Smart Meesha;)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Who Isn't Complaining about the Snow & Cold?

To say that this past week's snow and cold has been brutal is, in my opinion, an understatement.
The school district that I work for was closed on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday due to the snow and insane Arctic temperatures that invaded Northeast Ohio.  
On Friday morning my Weatherbug app so kindly pointed out that it was -20 degrees.....that was the actual temperature.  The windchill was -28.  Come again?????
Weather records were being shattered all over the state of Ohio. In 47 years of existence I have never personally felt those temperatures before and since the dogs were not volunteering to feed the barn animals on Friday morning, I knew I had to woman-up and go outside. 
With long johns and shorts on under my coveralls, a turtleneck and flannel shirt on, Carhartt coat, wool socks, boots, 3 pair of mittens, hat, and a scarf wrapped around my face, I bravely opened the door and ventured out into the Arctic Blast.
Of course, I couldn't move really fast cuz I was bundled up like an Oompa Loompa and if I fell down I knew I would be screwed and would never be able to get back up and since the wimpy dogs and cats were still inside and even if they were outside they won't be able to lick my face because they wouldn't be able to find it under all the layers and if they did find my face and licked it then I might get frost bite on my face and........well you get the jest that I am a snow and cold complainer.

However, on that brutal Arctic Blast morning "who isn't complaining about the snow & cold?..... sheep.  
I took 2 pictures that morning just for evidence that I really did go outside.  Amazingly the sun was out and the sky was blue and there sat my sheep, wondering why I was dressed like an Oompa Loompa.  I could hear their snide remarks and chuckles as I began feeding them.

Fast forward to today, and this Saturday morning there was a mini blizzard going on, though it was not nearly as cold and I was able to snap some pictures of the non-complainers without my fingers falling off due to frost bite.

"Chelsea"......she lives to be covered in snow.

"Bethel"........the mouth on the farm.

"Fairlee" go-with-the flow girl who obviously likes eating snow.

"Ethan" biggest buddy....he is on the right....
that's Chelsea on the left, probably stating why this should be the year of the sheep. 

"Betsy"......the matriarch of the sheep 10 years old, I am convinced she still hates me.

"Autumn"......grain girl crazy.

"Danby"......believes he should live on the other side of the fence. 

"Putney".....a youngster who believes life is all about eating and eating more.

"Abby"......big mouth, grain pig, gate dasher extraordinaire. 

"Nieves"........goof ball, scaredy cat alpaca.
("nieves" means snow in Spanish)

This is just a small line-up of who isn't complaining about the snow and cold.
I give them credit.  They embrace the snow and cold.  They suck it up and never complain. 
However, me and my Oompa Loompa self are done with winter.
Winter can not leave fast enough.  Snowmen are not cute anymore.  I packed their smiling little faces up and put them in the attic.
I do have to admit though, the Year of the Sheep has definitely come in strong:) 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

215 Reasons Why I Haven't Blogged

So the last time I posted I was talking about Halloween 4 months ago....pretty pathetic.
But in all honesty  I have 215 reasons why I haven't blogged.
Its not that I don't want to......I just can't find the time nor can I stay awake long enough at night to even write something let alone take some pictures.......I think I said that backwards?
So what are my 215 reasons for not blogging?

Yes, that is the number of students I am reasonable for teaching everyday.
That would be 215 9th grade World History students.
That breaks down to an average of 38 students per class.
Am I complaining?
Yes. Yes I am complaining.
Because it is ridiculous. 
 And included in those numbers are 25 students on IEP's.
I am the only history teacher in the 9th grade, all other core subjects have 2 teachers.
Guess history doesn't reflection on the state of the US today and teenagers
....yes, I am being sarcastic. 

The politics of education and the over testing of students has honestly taken away the passion I use to have for teaching. There is a lot more I could say about it but I will refrain from it.   I think 215 students for one teacher speaks volumes.  
Everyday I think more and more about how much I want to be at home and make something more of the small farm I have. 

It is the year of the sheep and in the Chinese Zodiac I am a sheep.
I look to this year to give me hope...maybe a sign....a direction.
I once heard these words in a movie: "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."
Teaching has been my comfort zone for 22 years..........sometimes change is good.