Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Friday, September 23, 2011

The first day of Autumn

       I have mixed emotions about this day...I love fall and all that comes with it but I love summer too and hate to say goodbye. However, like it or not, the seasons change and I will embrace each one as they come my way.  Today, being the first day of fall  is one of the most beautiful times of year around here. West Virginia has 180 native hardwoods and they all turn a different color. We vary from the palest yellow to the deepest red to the fiery oranges and some even turn pink. I love them all but my favorite is the orange. The beginning of fall signals that feeling inside me to stay outside as long as I can. Knowing that snowy, cold days are ahead, days that are spent inside by the fire, I feel like I have to savour these warm sunny days. There is nothing better than a hike on the hill these days. I take the whole herd with me and they enjoy crunching the fallen leaves like Lays potato chips. I usually sit down on a fallen log and let the goats mingle around me. Sometimes I even doze off with the warm sunshine falling on me and when I wake up, I usually have a few of my four legged friends asleep beside me. They know what's ahead and they know also to cherish these warm fall days.
        We still have had so much rain that we haven't been able to dig potatoes yet. I hope they are alright, still buried deep in the garden. The garden is just about done now. We will turn the goats in to it in a week or so and let them clean it up. Boy, do they love that! The baby goats are doing great and growing fast. The piggies are growing too. They are up to 4 ounces a feeding now and they savour every drop of their goat milk. We will be castrating them next week...not looking forward to that, but it must be done. We are going to be doing our fall shearing tomorrow on the Angora goats. I need to be washing fleeces on these warm sunny days, instead of napping in the woods but I can't help myself.
       Well, I better get going. I have bread rising and I am going to pick up the knitting needles today...I hope you are enjoying your first fall day too....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall is in the air

      I know it has been awhile since I have written but in my defense, I warned you all that blogging for me should be a winter sport. I have canned and canned till the jars are all full. The pantry looks like it should this time of year. The only thing left to can is potatoes and we haven't been able to get them out of the ground due to all the rain we have been having. The leaves are just starting to turn and the high for today is 60, so fall feels like it is here. I had to close the windows for the first time in ages this morning.
      Since I have posted last, we have had 6 baby goats born. I had put one of the bucks in in April just to see if any of the girls would come in. Three does did and now we will have winter milk. Two of the Nubians freshened and one of the Angoras had twin does, our first "nugoras". They are adorable and so soft and sweet. Arwin, freshened on the eve of September 11th with 2 does and a buck, so in honor of that day, the buck is named Patriot and the does are Liberty and Justice, may we never forget.....
        Last Saturday, we went to Grantsville, Maryland to order our apples for apple butter from an Amish friend. While we were there, Emilee wanted to go to the livestock auction. This is never an good idea for us because we always come home with something. Emilee bid on a beautiful spotted Mini Lop bunny and got him. Then they brought in a box of two, fit in your hand tiny, baby pigs. So, of course, we came home with them also. They were only a day old so I have been bottle feeding them around the clock, along with 6 baby goats. We named them Grunt and Squeak. They are so cute and have so much personality. They already roll over for you to scratch their bellies. The new hens have started laying and we are enjoying lots of little pullets eggs. We have been getting some beautiful blue eggs from our new Americauna girls.
        We are getting ready for Apple Butter day on Oct 1st. I hope it is a good weather day. The Friday before will be spent making the apple sauce and we will start the fire that evening and then the apple sauce will go on the fire early Saturday morning. We usually try to have it on by 5 am and it is usually getting dark as we can it up. So if you are in the area, please stop by and help stir. I will be making a huge pot of vegetable soup and pepperoni rolls to munch on all day. If you stick around until canning time, we clean the pot with chunks of homemade bread, sopping up the left over apple butter. I can taste it already... Everyone is welcome, as long as you help stir :).  
       Well, it's a cool rainy day today so I am going to start a pot of chili. Have a wonderful day everyone.