Monday, February 25, 2013

Guns & Roses or Roses & Magazines

Aren't they pretty?...Papa Bear is a man after my heart!  He braved the weather to go out and pick up more cough syrup as we have managed to drink it all in the last few weeks.  I even made some homemade stuff that wasn't working this time.  When he got back home with the cough syrup he also had a dozen roses and 3 more magazines along with a box of hollow points for my 380 Bodyguard.    You may as well hit the gun store if you have to go to the pharmacy huh and then you better get some roses because you spent so much time at the gun store?...just kidding...I was happy with the extra magazines!

It began raining here Friday morning and has only let up briefly a time or two.  According to our rain gauges we are already over 11 inches.  

Most of our property is high and dry but getting here is not.  The private road we are on is 3/4 of a mile from the main road.  By Friday afternoon the water had already started pooling up and running.  

 Here the small creek just below our property is already starting to wash over the road.  Our property begins just at the top of this small hill.

The road has gotten much worse since Friday but we couldn't get out and take pictures today.  Brownie Girl, our last remaining doe to kid this year decided today was the day.  This is one of the does I did not want to breed this time but our Nubian buck busted through the fence and got to her.  Last year she had one big kid and this year was the same.  It is much better if they carry twins or triplets.  The babies are not so big.

After almost an hour of pushing she finally got one hoof and a leg out.  I had to go in and find the other leg.  It was in the right position, they were just so long.  I felt the head, everything was where it was supposed to be, the baby was just big.  At this point there was no need to call the vet.  She would not have made it here through the flood in time.  I took hold of both legs and when she pushed I would pull.  She was screaming at this time and exhausted.  I have never had a doe to just fall with her tongue hanging out but she did.  I thought I was going to lose her and the kid. 

Brownie gave one more feeble push and I was able to get the baby out.

I moved the baby in front of Mama and she got up on her feet and went to work cleaning and getting acquainted.  Animals are amazing aren't they?

Mom and baby are doing fine.  It's another boy......

I am so glad this kidding season is over...Papa Bear and I need a full nights sleep!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Free and Cheap Kindle Books

I found this great website Pam's Pride Recommendations.

Pam's Pride list Kindle books on a daily basis that are free or very inexpensive.  The books will be of interest to homesteaders, preppers and do-it-yourselfer's.  The free books do not stay free long so download the ones of interest to you as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Arrival....

...No not another "kid".

We are still waiting for our last pregnant doe to kid.  I did not get her breeding date wrote down,  just her month.  She is due sometimes in February.  She's gotten rather large but still doesn't look bagged up as much as she has in the past.  We are expecting severe thunderstorms and flash flood warnings for the next several days so I am just about 99% sure it will be during one of these days!

We have wanted another Nubian buck and I had just about given up finding one in our area and had not even checked Craig's list in months.  This past weekend I decided to look again and lo and behold there was a young buck listed.  With crossed fingers and toes I emailed to inquire if the young buck was available.  I received a very nice email back from Lynette, the Nubians owner, telling me all about him and best of all he is still available!

After exchanging several emails we decided Tuesday would be a good day for Papa Bear and I to go and fetch our new boy.  I still did not have a transporter for small livestock.  I've been searching for one of those too.  I had just about decided to take the Marines van and secure him in the back behind the bench seat but Lynette warned me he had been in rut and was very fragrant.  I was not sure if Freebreeze would get the scent out of the van.   I had a dental appointment Monday so I checked several places on my way back home to see if I could find a transported but with no luck.

When I got back home Monday afternoon Papa Bear said let's build one and we did.  Here it is after it's use.  Papa Bear set it up on a pallet for now until we can fit it in the pole barn as it is not pressure treated wood.  I guess I could paint it.  We loaded it into the back of the truck early Tuesday morning to go fetch our new boy.  It was almost a two hour drive.  We met Lynette and all of her other critters.  She has two new kids, chickens, turkeys and bees!  Lynette is a wonderful lady, I wished we lived closer.  I would be harassing her everyday to teach me to quilt.  Lynette also writes a blog Invited to the Kings table .  Check it out when you get the chance.

Meet Rudy...He is hamming it up for the girls who are out browsing today.  We take turns letting the boys and girls out to browse the woods.  The girls have gotten two days in a row out until Rudy gets used to everyone.

One of the little Boer/Nubian does was teasing the bucks unmercifully.  I told her "not yet" she should be a good breeding weight this fall.

Rudy has fit in with the rest of the gang just fine.  That's Max and Freckles with him.  I think they are about 6 months old.

We had a really good laugh bringing Rudy home.  We stopped at a convenience store for coffee and while we were inside I could here Rudy voicing his opinion for being left alone in the back of the truck.  Everyone who was inside the store was running out of the store and then I heard someone say...It's just a goat.  Seems like everyone thought someone was out in the parking lot yelling "help".  One lady said she didn't know if she should go outside to "help" or stay inside where it was safe!  Too funny!

Other happenings this week on the homestead is our first attempt at making our own bee hives.  With the price of wood going up and the cost to ship such heavy items, Papa Bear and I decided to try it.   I will continue to order the frames and foundation for now.  Here is a telescoping top all put together and ready for the tin top.

I got three of them completed except for painting.  Papa Bear cut them out and I put them together.  I think they look as good if not better than some I have ordered.

Papa Bear has a stack of the telescoping tops and the inner boards ready for me to put together.  We will work on the bottom boards next and then the brood boxes and honey supers.

I got two more swarm traps hung on each end of the pond.  That makes a total of six.  I don't think I should hang anymore until I get more hives built...just in case I get lucky.

 Papa Bear just brought in the mail...Look what I won from Jacked Up Glock Mom's blog Tales from the Clothesline

They are too pretty to write in...I may frame them or you are going to have to  be very special to get one of these cards.  They are beautiful.  Thanks so much Glock Mom!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

#8 and #9 have arrived! warning birth pictures

If you read my last post you know my doe lost her mucus plug and I was sure I would be helping to deliver babies at any time.  See that white bucket on the monitor?  That is where I sat until my butt was numb with cold.  Papa bear had set up the barn camera so we could hear the does when they were in labor.  They all get very loud and verbal.  Of course the doe who was showing signs of beginning labor got in the far corner of the birthing stall out of the cameras eye.  I finally came inside the house around midnight and while I was inside all I could hear was her pawing and shuffling over the monitor.

I awoke about 4am and pulled jeans and sweatshirt over my pj's and went to the barn.  I thought I may have slept too hard and not heard her.  Fat chance of that as the Marine knew I was in the livingroom on the sofa and called me every 10 minutes or so.  My doe was still just making a deeper and deeper hay nest.  No signs of hard labor yet.

I came inside made coffee.  At 5:30 I gave the Marine the last of his prednisone medication and at 6:00 gave him his morning meds, tube feeding and a breathing treatment.  At 6:45 I grabbed a blanket and was going to lay down for a few minutes when my doe started bleating...very loud.  Sleep is not to be.

By the time I got back to the barn I could already see a hoof and a nose.  She's pushing really hard.  In the past I have had to go inside of her and turn babies so I knew one of the babies legs was probably bent backwards and I needed to straighten it.  Before I could get my glove on and the KY jelly on my hand and arm she pushed again and the baby came out bent leg and all.  # 8 is a large male.  He is black and white and has wattles (we call them goat jewelry) He is a very strong boy. I helped Mama clean him up and before he is even dry good he is on his feet and nursing.  I knew Mama wasn't through.  In the past she has had 2, 4 and 5 at one time.  

Sure enough...she laid back down and I barely had time to put a feed sack under her.  It looked like # 9 just shot out of her.  

We use empty feed-sacks when the doe is birthing to catch most of the birthing goo.  This keeps the baby cleaner and I can just fold the bag up and take it from the barn so the doe doesn't try to eat it all.  It is their natural instinct to do this.

 I give Mama some assistance by cleaning the face and mouth  to make sure the baby is breathing good.

#9 is a female and a little smaller than her brother.  Mom is a Boer mix and the sire is a full blooded Nubian.  Was glad to see another female.  Mama has passed this round of afterbirth.  I haven't heard any more noise in the barn.  I am going to check on them in a few minutes.  I'll post again if there are any surprises out there!

We have one more doe who should kid at anytime.  I hope she waits a day or two.  Papa Bear has gone to the hayfield about an hour away for a load of hay.  The weatherman said there may be freezing rain mixed with snow flurries on the Alabama Florida state line.  We are about 45 miles away from Alabama.  It's windy and very cold now.  Crazy...It was 70 degrees here yesterday.

If all is well in the barn...I am going to take a nap! 


Friday, February 15, 2013

Anyone awake?

I'm so sleepy....One of my two pregnant does lost her mucus plug about an hour ago.  She is up and down, pawing and nesting.  She is the doe who has had a difficult labor in the past. It's cold in the barn.  I have been up since 5AM.  Why didn't she do this earlier when it was bright, sunny and 70 degrees?  It's going to be a long night.

Swarm Traps

Papa Bear and I completed six swarm traps today and got two of them hung. I dunked both ends of a Q-tip in lemongrass oil and tossed it into the hole in the bottom of my trap.

I had searched the internet for different ideas on making swarm traps and decided this was something I could do by myself if I had to but Papa Bear helped me and it made the work go faster.  The ones we made cost less than $6.00 each to make. 

 I ordered this one.  With shipping cost and the lure I paid almost $30.00 for this one.  Big difference! Same principle.

A case of 25 fiber pots from the Greenhouse Megastore was $60.99 including shipping and I will make 12 traps.  Surely I can catch at least one swarm with these put up around the homestead.  I am so paranoid my bees are going to swarm and I want to be the one who catches them!  Before we got our first hive I would see several swarms a year go overhead so maybe I will get lucky!

One can of Great Stuff to seal the the holes on the pots was $4.99.  This is a one time use can so make sure you are prepared to seal all the holes once you start using it.  Oh and the can warns you to use gloves.  Better make sure you do that.  I had a glove on one hand and needed it on both.  I am still wearing a small layer of pulp on my left hand!  You will also need some wood screws.  1 1/2 to 1 5/8 works great. We already had some on hand so I didn't purchase any new but you'll need about 4 per pot.  The directions I found also used long cable ties for the hanger but since I have a million miles of baling twine, I just took 3 and braided them to use for a hanger.

 Use the Great Stuff to seal all four holes on one pot which will be your top and  three holes on another pot which will be your bottom.  Here are mine all ready for the next step.

 We took turns spaying a light coat of polyurethane paint on the outside of each one to make them last a little longer.

 Drill two holes in the top of the pot for your hanger.  This is the pot where all four drainage holes are filled.

Run the hanger through the holes 
Since I used braided twine I tied a knot in the top.  I can untie this and adjust it if necessary. 


 Join the top with a bottom pot (you should have one hole that is not sealed in the bottom) Use wood screws spaced evenly around the pots.

 Six waiting to be hung!  I am so excited to see if these work!  More bees, more hives, more honey!

Yesterday, Papa Bear made me a robber screen for my little nuc.  I don't know if he felt sorry for me or the bees.

I had got up before daylight before the bees started flying.  I was still suffering from the virus from hell but I still managed to stuff the entrance with dead grass.

 Once it warmed up I felt sorry that all my little bees were trapped inside so I took a little queen cage and cut the back out of it and duct taped it to the entrance hole.  That's when Papa Bear read Pioneer Preppie's advise and made me a screen.  They are my heroes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oh Crap...Probably screwed up

My one remaining beehive is still a mess in my book so today I just did what I wanted to do.  If it works it works..if not, another lesson learned.

I put a honey super on the brood box a few weeks ago because my brood box looked to be honey bound.  It had very little capped brood and only saw a few eggs.  There was not much room at all for the queen to lay any eggs if she had wanted too.  I took their sugar water away so they would eat some of the stored honey to give the queen more room.

To begin with I had a queen excluder between the brood and super.  After doing much reading, I decided to remove it.  Today when I checked the hive I thought I saw eggs in the super, later when I went back I couldn't find any.  I also found what I am almost 99% sure is a queen cell on one of the frames in the brood box, it was not capped and I could see the larva.

I just took a nuc box and put the frame with what I think is a queen cell on it and other capped brood.  I also put a frame of honey and 3 empty frames to make a total of five in the nuc. I shook a couple of frames of bees into the nuc. I put 2 empty frames in the brood box to replace the ones I took out.  I added another honey super and a queen excluder this time. I then closed everything up.

I am not worried about the main hive as there are lots of bees and lots of honey in it.  I'm worried about the little nuc.  Don't know if I put enough bees in there to keep them warm on our cool nights.  Worried that it may not be a queen cell and I did not see any eggs for the workers to make a queen.  Worried that the bees will desert the little nuc and go back to the main hive.  Our bee club suggest moving nucs 2 1/2 miles away for a couple of week, other folks don't so I am not going to. Jut plain old worried if I did the right thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gun Show

A Gun show was held at the local fairgrounds last weekend.  Papa Bear and I were both sick so did not get to attend.  Our neighbor went.  He emailed pictures and called a couple of times to let us know what was going on.  Neighbor said it was one of the largest attended show he had ever seen.  He estimated about 20,000 and that is a lot for our area.  One had to wait in line to pay for entrance and then wait in line for some time to get in.   He said it was crazy.  Saw prices like 40 cal Glock for $2200.00.  Some AK's selling for $1200.00.  Here are a few photo's of some pistols and their prices he took and sent to me.  By the end of the day most guns and ammo were sold out.

Price tag of $489.00.   Same gun that Papa Bear bought for me last year for around $300.00 except mine was not two-toned

Monday, February 11, 2013


I never got around to posting any pictures of the boys in their Indian Bonnets I made them for Christmas.  The feathers were saved when we dry plucked our Thanksgiving Turkey.

I made some horns from felt and sewed them to the side of the headband on this one.

Great nephew did not know he was getting one.  He thought he had only been modeling for sizing for the one I made grandson.  It was fun making these and giving them as handmade gifts.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Busy Week

After not having no sickness in the past few months, I finally caught some creeping crud/flu/cold/bronchitis/something unknown to man.  I have felt like crap all week.  I did get to spend a couple of days in bed with soup, tea and all the reruns one cares to watch on TV.  I think I was a very nice person for sharing my woes with Papa Bear as he now has it.

Things do not stop on the homestead even when you feel like crap and you think you can't make it another step to go feed and make sure everyone has water and hay.  Of course this is the week for the does to start kidding. 

Our doe Tassie had triplets.  All 3 of them males.  Our Nubian buck sired all of the kids being born this month.  These 3 are the "Crane" boys.  FrasierNiles and Marty.

 Two days later Lacie gave birth to Reba and Daphne. Yea!  two girls. They are 3/4 Nubian!

 Later that same day Sugar gave birth to Hulk and Spiderman.  Full blooded Nubian and both of them male.  I was sure hoping for girls.

Several months ago I hired my niece for the Marines assistant so Papa Bear and I could get some much needed work doneNiece home schools her two children here at the same time.  A win-win for all of us.  This week great nephew has been taking his school work into the barn to be with the other "kids".

 This gives a whole new meaning to the "dog" ate my homework!

 Due to our unseasonably warm winter, everything has bloomed earlier than usual.  

Almost everyone of the blooms on this Camila bush has a little bee butt sticking out of it.

They fly back to the hive loaded with pollen.

The week before I got sick I did manage to get another hive almost finished along with a few honey supers and two nucs.  I painted everything with a pretty blue paint I found at Lowes on the goof shelf.  You can pick up $40.00 exterior paint for only $10.00 on the goof shelf.  I bought some pale green and pink as well.  My hives are going to look like rainbow sherbert!  What bees would not want to live in these?

 Our winter garden has done great.  Just look at these beautiful cabbages we are harvesting.  I have almost 2 gallons of sauerkraut in the making.

Most of the turnips weigh over 6 pounds.

We also had a great carrot harvest.  Mom and niece help scrape and slice and I canned 14 quart jars of carrots to use in soups, stews and casseroles.

Papa Bear bought grandson his first rifle.  A little 22 Crickett.  He got to hold it for a few minutes but he has to bring his discipline grade up in school before he gets to learn to shoot.  He makes very good grades but tends to be the class clown or so his teacher says.

Here is a pic of my "cowboy"  Papa Bear.  I need to find him a sheriff badge to pin on that vest!

That's all the news for now.  I am waiting on 2 more does to kid.  One is acting a little strange today so today may be the day.

Have a great week everyone!     

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