Full Speed

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The first month we had Jessica, she hid in a stand of trees on the far side of the pasture.  We had to bring her gallons of water every day and eventually were able to convince her to eat sweet feed from a bucket.  Now, if she’s not waiting by the gate in the morning for her breakfast, she comes running when she sees her bucket.  It’s a little unsettling having something that large run at you.  I’m used to being charged by bottlefed lambs, not cows!

Who Me?

Filling the hay ring with hay has kept our cow Jessica from getting inside again.  It hasn’t, however, stopped the goats.  Don’t they have guilty looks on their little faces?   The sheep are saying ‘move your fat ass, Hermione’.

Fail

Christmas this year for my parents and daughters included a Cafepress calendar made from Missing Willow Farm photos, one per month.  Come on…aren’t they awesome?  They arrived in plenty of time to assure they make it to their destinations by Christmas, and they did.  Unfortunately, Cafepress sent this year’s photos with last year’s calendar.  Epic fail!  I’ve received replacements and will get them in the mail asap.

They Grow Up So Fast

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Hatched just six weeks ago, our Buckeye chickens are finally big enough to join our other chickens.  They had been hanging out in a chicken tractor in the big barn.  Our little barn is divided in half; storage on the left, Chicken Land on the right.  Our layers weren’t very happy about the invasion.  They make a huge fuss, taunting the interlopers, then in about a week everyone will be one big happy flock.  The biggest bully is our tiny bantam chicken, Nugget.  She can’t weigh a pound yet was in everyone’s face showing them who’s the boss.  The pecking order in our barn puts the tiny one with the big attitude on top.

Visions of Sugarplums (and mice)

Claire’s home, the gate’s locked, there are cinnamon rolls in the oven and red rooster (cranberry orange vodka slushies) in the freezer.  Merry Christmas from Bindi, Jenna, Milos, FiFi, Jessica, Hermione and the goats, Beatrice and the sheep, Nugget and the chickens, Brian and me!

Not An Optical Illusion

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It’s what we originally thought when we went out to feed the gang this morning but on further inspection we realized Jessica managed to get herself inside the hay ring.  No amount of bribery or cajoling would get her out of there so Brian had to disassemble it.  We assume she squeezed all 500 pounds through one of the openings after seeing the goats in there.   What a brat!

Grassfed Beef

Jessica’s very happy to take some grass from the other side of the fence, even when it’s offered by hand.  All cattle farmers hand feed their cows, right?

Peppermint Bark and Dogfood Omelets

Thanks so much for the good wishes for Jenna’s recovery.  She stares longingly in the direction of the pasture when we take her outside but it’s going to be a while before we let her go.  At least not until her stitches come out.  I’ve been giving her lots of dog treats and cooked eggs.  Brian fussed at me for spoiling her so I started adding dog food to her omelets.  :-)

Since it’s close to Christmas, I thought I’d share something you could whip up for last minute gifts or just for snacking.  Peppermint bark is the holiday staple of Williams-Sonoma.  They sell it for $27 and are currently out of stock.  For about $4 you can make your own.  It takes just four ingredients: a bag of white chocolate chips, a bag of dark or milk chocolate chips, 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract and 4 broken candy canes (smack them with a rolling pin).   I line a 10 inch pie pan with plastic wrap (makes it really easy to remove) and start with my dark chocolate chips.  They go into a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after every ‘zap’ until completely melted.  The melted chocolate gets spread on top of the plastic wrap.  Go find something to do for about 45 minutes while the chocolate hardens.  Once it’s set, move on to the white chocolate chips.  Zap them in the microwave the same way you did the dark chocolate.  Once melted, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract.  Spread on top of the dark chocolate and sprinkle on the broken candy canes.  Allow it to harden then cut into chunks.   You know you want some.

Our Good Girl

Jenna started limping a few days after Thanksgiving, she refused to put any weight on one of her hind legs.  Her vet took x-rays and found a tumor on her knee.  He set us up with a canine oncologist in NC, here she is waiting for the doctor to arrive to check her out.  Her biopsy came back as a rare and slow spreading form of bone cancer.   She said there was no evidence it had spread and that she would be much more comfortable without the leg and has a good prognosis.  Her surgery was yesterday and she’s home this morning.  I think she’s taking it much better than I am.  I made her scrambled eggs for breakfast, those chickens better keep cranking them out because I am so very going to spoil her during her recovery.

Who Wants a Biscuit?

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One of our guardian dogs sits very nicely and is laser focused when there is a dog biscuit (or 2) to be dolled out.  One not so much.

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