Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Lottie is about six and a half weeks old now, and more active and squirrely than ever.
Her diet is still mainly goat milk, but she's starting solids. She holds her almond or cheerio and gnaws at it, but mostly, her food turns into crumbs that get spread around the floor instead of the inside of the squirrel.
She's sharing a crepe with Becky this morning. She likes the preserves on top of it the best.
I think that by using preserves as a bribe, we can force her to stay friends with us after she returns to the wild.
When we got her, Lottie would eat, potty, then immediately nap. Now she eats and plays and plays some more. She can use the bathroom by herself now (in the beginning you have to rub their tummy, like with a kitten.) She uses humans as playgrounds, running in and out of our clothing and clinging to our backs as we walk around the house. The only trees she knows have blue jean bark on the trunk.
Caring for her is easier, since I don't get up over night to feed her. At first, she ate 3 cc's every couple hours with a feeding overnight. Now she eats at least 7 cc's at a time and can go much longer between feedings.

Too Much Soccer

It's 10 a.m. Do you know where your 5th grader is?

The big girls took over Katie's morning chores when it became apparent that she's unable to function today after a long evening of soccer and play.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Splotch and Babe

Danny and I had planned to buy Katie some piglets for future pork when we realized that we would still have the farm for a few more months. Then we found that there were no piglets to be had for love or money anywhere near us.
But a local friend knew some guy who knew some guy.... and we got a phone call saying two piglets were available for us.
We wanted to sneak them home and place them carefully in the wildly overgrown garden, then hand Katie a basket and tell her to fetch some tomatoes and peppers.
Can you imagine the terror of being in six foot tall grass and hearing the sounds of squealing creatures inside the fence with you? Bwahaha.
But she was up at the ungodly hour that we needed to go get them, so we just took her along.
I'm sure other opportunities will arise during her childhood in which we can cause lasting emotional damage by playing terrifying practical jokes on her.
The piggies names are Splotch and Babe. They're both castrated boys.
The last time we had pigs, Fern, the female, made us uncomfortable with her excessive intelligence. So this time we're hoping for guilt free pork.

The Squirrel Chronicles

Last Sunday evening after church, a yellow cat walking near the playground heard the same squeaking sounds that were intriguing the children. It turned out to be a baby squirrel, and the kitty grabbed it. Becky rushed the kitty and hapless baby rodent, and in his fright, the kitty quickly dropped the squirming, squealing squirrel baby.
Since it was close to dark, we brought the baby home with us.
Becky promptly hopped online and found out all the ins and outs of squirrel parenthood.
She found out that the squirrel is a girl, and had no cat injuries.
We've been feeding the 4 week old infant goat milk throughout the day and night, and she's thriving.
After her feeding and a quick potty time, she curls into the tightest little knot you can imagine. She falls right asleep in my hand after her overnight feeding.
Next week she should open her eyes and start to get even more fun for us. At 12 weeks, we have to start teaching her about her true home, the wild. Adult squirrels don't make safe pets, but they adapt well to their outdoor habitat.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Go, Go, Freedom Rangers!

After buying some boneless breast of chicken at Sam's Club, then bringing it home to repackage and freeze, I decided to grow our own broilers. The store-bought chicken was so gross that I'm not sure if we can even eat it. It was mushy and stuck to my hands, disintegrating when I handled it. It's odorless, so I assume it's safe to eat, but when we cooked the first batch in the crock pot for chicken enchiladas, it was rubbery and, well, just plain weird.
We don't love the unnatural growth of the hybrid broilers, and we don't want to eat normal breeds since we're so used to some serious meat on a carcass, so we chose Freedom Rangers; a heritage broiler breed with the best of both worlds.
They also happen to be named like Super Heroes.
They came this morning and were all alive and peppy.
Much to our dismay, we're smitten with them!