Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Trip to the Garage

Hi it's Celia again.

Yesterday we had to take our car to the garage. It needed inspected. We usually take our cars to the garage in Conestoga, but when we bought the Toyota last summer, Mom decided to have the dealer do the maintenance and inspections. So when it was time to go, she asked me if I wanted to come along.

"Nah. It's a garage. Why would I want to go?" I answered.
 "It's not just a garage, it's more like a spa for cars," she told me.
"Nah. No thanks."
Then my brother, John, spoke up. "It really is kinda cool, Celia," he said. "I'm gonna go."
Well, if John thought it was cool then it must be. He wouldn't say something just to get me to go somewhere.

So off we went. And it WAS cool! We drove our car right inside this huge building.
"Wow! Where are we?" I asked.
"This is the garage," Mom answered.
"But it's cleaner than our house!"
I don't think Mom liked that I noticed.

Next, Mom talked to the garage man. He gave her a beeper/buzzer thing like you get at Olive Garden, and off we went to wait in this giant lounge. Mom asked if I wanted to play on an Ipad.
"Uh, yeah, but I don't have one."
"I'll get you one."
And she walked over and got an Ipad from the reception lady. Impressive.

"How about a hot chocolate?" Mom asked me.
Well now I think Mom was starting to show off. She led me to a Seattle's Best coffee machine and got me a FREE hot chocolate. And she even let me buy a snack from the snack machine. Then we sat at a little table in this cafe and waited for our car to be done.

What Mom didn't know was that we were sitting in a "Quiet Zone" where you weren't supposed to use your cell phone. And don't you know her good friend Mrs. Malanchuk called, and Mom started talking to her. Loudly. Mom's from New Jersey, so her default volume is loud.

Me laughing because Mom got shushed.
As she was talking, the lady who gave us the Ipad came over and shushed her. I mean really shushed her, like the librarian does. So Mom moved to the "Noise Zone" or whatever the area was called where HGTV was playing on the flat screen. Just as she was finishing her conversation, our beeper/buzzer went off. We were done! I have to admit, Mom was right. It was kinda fun.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trouble with dogs (and a guest blogger!)

Hi, it's Celia again!

Today I am letting my mom write the blog post, because yesterday she had some trouble here on the micro farm. I was at the stable with Molly, so mom had to handle it by herself. Good thing she can stay calm during an emergency! I'll let her tell you all about it. 

Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. Celia has a pet sitting business, and when we watch dogs we treat them like they are our very own. And sometimes dogs wander onto our property, and I just shoo them away. That doesn't bother me. But I can't stand when loose dogs run around on our property and chase our animals (or me!).

One time a pit bull cornered me on my front porch, growling and barking at me every time I tried to go down the steps. I was so scared I called 911. The cop came and told me he recognized the dog, and they had received other complaints about it. He told me he would warn the owners. A couple of months later the dog returned and started chasing chickens, and tried to get into the rabbits' pen. I wasn't scared anymore. I was angry. A couple of well placed bb's to the dog's backside and he hasn't been back on our property since. (By the way, the law does allow property owners to shoot animals that threaten livestock.)

Yesterday, my son, John, came running into the house yelling about a dog chasing the goats. I went outside to see a dog chasing Brie, our most skittish goat. Her collar and lead had broken, so I knew she had pulled hard to get away from the dog. She ran to me when I came out of the house. The dog was still chasing her, but got distracted by a hen that ran by. The dog started chasing the hen, and I started chasing the dog, screaming as I went. My throat is still sore! The hen dove under a rose bush, which probably saved it's life, because the dog only managed to tear its tail feathers out. I reached the dog and was ready to grab it when another hen ran by. The dog got it's second wind, and chased that hen around. It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't going to catch that dog, so I decided to stop running and call the dog. I started speaking kindly to it, and it approached me. As soon as it was in reach I grabbed it and dragged it by it's collar up to the goat yard, threw it in, and locked the gate. Now I had time to think, and check the animals. Brie was a mess. She was running around, bleating. But she didn't appear hurt. Her new collar and lead were broken. Babybel (the pregnant goat) had also broken her lead. Mali and the babies seemed fine. I decided to call the cops, because not only did I want to find the owner, but I wanted Celia to be compensated for the collar and leads. It was only about $50 worth of damage, but that's a lot to a twelve year old. Plus, I wanted there to be a police report in case it turned out the goats were seriously hurt.

The good thing is the Conestoga police are really a great bunch of guys. They are extremely helpful. So I filed my police report and asked the officer if it was illegal for me to hold the dog as a hostage until the owner paid for the damage. He said although it was illegal for me to keep the dog for ransom, he would hold it at the police station until the owner was found, and then tell the owner to pay me. In God's providence while we were talking, someone very slowly drove by my house, obviously looking for something. The cop went and talked to him, brought him back to claim his dog, and then told him to pay me for the damage! Which he did.

It didn't occur to me that it was probably stupid and dangerous to grab a strange dog by its collar and throw it in a goat yard. The dog could have been vicious, and I could have been seriously hurt. I'm grateful that he turned out to be a friendly dog that just liked to chase animals.

Thanks, Mom! I hope I am home the next time you have to call the cops. It's so exciting.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Update: Brie (and good-bye to Jack and Blue)

Hi, it's Celia again!

Today I will update you on Brie. She is one of the goats I originally bought two years ago, along with Mali. When we first got her she was extremely shy, and wouldn't let me touch her. Now she is very friendly, and I can pet her and handle her with few problems.

Last year Brie gave birth to Jack and Blue, two bucks. We kept them for the mating season, but when that was over, well, their job was done. There's no sense in keeping a buck once mating season is over. All they do is eat. So we sold Jack and Blue a month or so ago.

This year Brie's babies were stillborn. They were born about one month too early. Mom went out on a Sunday morning to feed the goats, and Brie was in the goat shed bleating and licking something on the ground. Mom knew something was wrong, and when she went into the shed she saw two little dead babies. She came in the house, changed into work clothes (she had already dressed for church), and woke me up. She told me what happened and told me I needed to come out and help. That's the thing about Mom. She doesn't think I should be shielded from the hard parts of farming. So we went outside and after letting Brie be with the babies for a little while longer we put them deep in the woods for the animals to eat. Mom says it's the great circle of life.

Here are some pictures of Brie.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Mirco Farm in Pictures (8)

Hi it's Celia again.

Here is last week in pictures.

I taught our cat to jump

John nearly broke his skull.

Violets blooming.
Lettuce growing under a chicken guard.

Me and Molly on a trail ride.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Update: Mali (and Cooper and Taz)

Hi, it's Celia again!

In my last post I gave you an update on Babybel. Today, it's Mali's turn. Mali was one of the first goats I bought. She is Babybel's mom. And in March she gave birth to two babies, Cooper and Taz. I name all my goats after cheeses. Cooper, a little buckling, is named after Cooper Sharp, a type of American Cheese. Taz is a doeling. Her name is short for Tasmania Highland Chevre Log, a goat's milk cheese from Australia. But enough talk about food. It's making me hungry.

Cooper and Taz were born during one of the coldest winters I can remember. We decided to move them and Mali to a warmer spot. The big goat shed is just too cold for newborns, plus, our bucks (Blue and Jack) were out there, and we didn't know if they would harm the babies. So Mom and I built a pen under our front porch and put a heat lamp in it to keep the babies warm.We cut the sleeves off of one of my wool sweaters that I didn't use (I think wool sweaters are itchy) and put them on the babies.
Cooper and Taz under the heat lamp

Here are some pictures of Cooper and Taz minutes after they were born.They look just like their mom and sister!

Cooper with his sweater on

 And here are some pictures of them now.

Taz loves to climb on me!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Update: Babybel

Hi, it's Celia again!

Now that I'm back to writing my blog I thought I would give you an update on some of my animals. First up is my goat Babybel. She was born last year here on the farm to Mali. She is a little over a year old, and she only has one horn due to a botched dehorning job. It didn't hurt her, but she looks kind of funny. She is the sweetest little goat, and  I THINK SHE'S PREGNANT! I say "think" because I didn't actually see her get bred, but she was with two bucks during mating season, so we'll see. For the kind of goats I have mating season is from August through December. Does are pregnant for 5 months, so if my math is right (and it may not be since I stink at math) she should give birth by the end of May if she was bred. Her belly is getting bigger, and I think she's developing an udder. Here are some pictures of her.

Doesn't she look a little plump?

Here she is enjoying some violets. This is a good shot of her mono-horn.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I'm Back!! Woo hoo!

Hi, everyone!

After a very long break (my mom told me to use the word hiatus, but I'm not sure I like that word. "Hi" "Ate" "Us". Who is Hi, and why is he eating us?) I am back to writing my blog. And very happy!

I took a break from the blog because I am home schooled, and at the beginning of this school year my mom put me in this writing class which was fun (because my good friend Lily was in it--you can see us goofing off in the picture) but the it was very, very hard.

 We had to learn things like verbals, and diagramming sentences, and the difference between a clause and a phrase. My mom said it was good for me, but I don't think so. One day I was studying so hard that I actually heard a "pop" inside my head and saw stars. Anyway, now that the class and the school year are over (no snow days for home schoolers!) mom said I can just write my blog. She said she'll count the blog as my writing class for seventh grade. She went on and on about there being a "gray area" in the home school law for middle school, but I wasn't really paying attention to her. Anyway, this writing class was difficult. Not the writing part--I love to write--but the grammar part. And I spent hours everyday working on it. Mom told me to focus on the class, and not do the blog. So that's why I haven't written in months! The grammar thing was even hard for mom. She knows a lot, but apparently she doesn't know the difference between a participial phrase and an infinitive phrase. So all of my questions kept her busy, too. I asked her, if she went all her life without knowing the difference between a gerund and a participle, and she's still able to function, then why did I have to know it?  She didn't have a good answer.

Well, anyway. I have a lot to tell you. Here on the farm there have been births and deaths. Good news and bad. I'll try to remember everything that's happened and write about it. I might be short on pictures, but I'll try to remember all the details for you.

Aaah. It's good to be back.