Anticipation…….

While I anxiously await the final outcome of the goat giveaway (we’ll be informed by October 1) I have been trying to stay busy so as to avoid my head exploding from the tension.

I’ve been knitting away like mad (read – not doing any cleaning) on a cardigan for Neve – it’s getting close to completion and I will post pictures of it soon.  I’ve also been spending quality time with the chickens and interrogating them as to the whereabouts of all the eggs they are supposed to be laying for me.  So far they’ve had no comment other than “More treats please”.  Only Clementine has a valid excuse for not handing over the goods, as HE started crowing the other morning and has barely stopped since.  He is a lovely roo, I have to say.

09.28.09c

We’ll be putting them in a much larger pen and coop soon (as soon as the boss tells me I can, that is) and adding some females to keep them happy.  Three hens per roo is not enough to keep them from going a bit crazy (I know……human males wish they were so lucky, right?) and if I don’t add more girls chances are they’ll start fighting and picking each others feathers and they’ll wear out the girls I already have.  Stressed and worn out hens equals less egg production, and since I am having enough issues in that department……  But anyway I told Emily she should start reading them tasty chicken recipes as bedtime stories and smack her lips a bit.  Maybe that’ll put the scare into them.

In slightly more insane news – we bought a bus.  A Bus.  A big old ancient greyhound bus.  Why???  We’re crazy.  Haven’t you been paying attention?

09.20.09a

Actually we’d been researching rv’s for awhile and found this, which had been converted as a touring bus for a bluegrass band.  Neat, huh?  It needs a good amount of cleaning and I am going to insist on a new bathroom (I’m a girl.  I have 3 girls.  My sister, who lives with us 75% of the time, is a girl.  Get the picture?).    There’s the big storage area underneath it that Emily has declared “Perfect for Pippa the dog!”.  Poor Pippa.  No, we will not actually put her in there!

09.20.09b

But it’s got these nice first – class style seats up front with nice big windows to look out.

09.28.09b

The driver’s area is pretty much identical to what I got used to as a transit driver (except that this is a manual transmission and manual steering – Oh boy….)

09.28.09a

And it has a kitchenette area with sink, fridge and stove.  That couch on the left will probably get replaced with a dinette bench.  There are six bunks behind the curtain there, and in the back is the bathroom, a sitting area and a closet.  We’ll be camping in style from now on.  Good thing I know how to drive a bus.

Just a few hours to Go…

Let me say that this goat contest is no longer about just me, or even me and the kids. So many people have become involved in helping us – our friends, family and community have been an amazing source of support. There are so many people pulling for us right now that should we win, these will not my just our goats – they will be everyone’s goats. I have already promised visitation rights to all of my most fervent supporters!
I’ll be biting my nails as this contest winds down today (I’m neck and neck with 2 other entrants) and hoping we end it in the top three in order to advance to the final round. I just wanted to say that even if we don’t win, we still really do win with all of the love and support we’ve received.
But I really hope we do win!!!!!!!!!!!

Goat Votes!

It’s that time!  My essay is submitted and voting is open until midnight Friday (EST).  SO, hop on over to:

Goat Giveaway

and click on my name (Amy Karasz) to vote! (one vote per household). While you’re there check out some of the other entries – the competition is fierce, and I would not feel bad losing to any of them.
While we wait here for our first eggs to be laid by our chickens we will also be awaiting the goat vote results (*bites nails!*).

And check back here soon for the latest crazy adventure in our ongoing saga: The Great Bus Purchase.

Got Apples?

The weather has warmed back up again this week but I’ve been trying to convince myself it hasn’t by spending more time outside and walking to the bus stop with Veronica every day (it’s roughly a mile from her house and back, and she’s just a bit down from me). It was in the mid 80’s today but I still toughed it out. It’s September, darn it! But the morning glories are happy anyway:
09.14.09b

These are volunteers that have spread all the way around the front porch, and I love it.    The same day I was out admiring these pretties I was trying to work out a placement for the sections of wire fencing we have so that I can let the chickens free range in a wider area without worrying too much about dogs and other large predators getting at them, or them wandering out into the road.  Turns out I had other things to worry about, from above.  As I was measuring the sections I had Roo out with me exploring a bit in the garden and eating up the tomatoes that had fallen off the vines.

09.14.09c

I saw this big shadow go overhead and I looked up and saw a large hawk flying overhead.  I paused for a moment and went back to work.  ThenI saw the shadow again.  And again.  And again, starting to circle over me and Roo.  Back into the safety of the tractor went Roo, and I gave up on my plans for a larger pen.  Hawks eat chickens,  I don’t have any netting I can easily put over the top of it,  and it would be a big pain anyway.  Darn hawks.  And speaking of Roos, I am bit worried about Clementine the hen.  Or rather, Clementine who just might actually be a late blooming Roo.

09.14.09a

I won’t know for sure until there’s an egg or crowing, but it’s looking mighty suspicious over here.

Saturday was Paul’s birthday and we celebrated by taking the kids (and my momand Maddie) apple picking.  Unfortunately the Galas, my second favorite (Braeburns are best!) were mostly picked out so we were left with either Golden Delicious or Jonagold.

09.14.09d

It ended up being perfect weather for us – slightly overcast and dry with a nice breeze.  We didn’t feel like we had heat stroke like we did last time we went.

09.14.09e

Oona was happy as long as she had a hand to hold and an apple to munch on.

09.14.09 j

Neve was the taste – tester.  We were prepared for her to get whiny and want to go home pretty quickly, but since the weather was so nice she lasted the whole outing without a complaint.  That could be a new record for Neve.

09.14.09f

I think Maddie had a lot of fun.  We had to use a picker to get the apples high up, though we did attempt piggy-backing a few times.

09.14.09g

Mom was wondering what on earth they were going to do with so many apples.

09.14.09h

Yummy little apples.  The only time Oona cried was when she fell; and she didn’t cry because she was hurt, but because she got dirty.

09.14.09i

Golden Delicious.  Not quite golden.

09.14.09k

As we were lugging our bags back up the mountain hill, Captain Obvious Emily said, “I think the only reasont hese bags are so heavy is because they’re full of huge apples!”.  Um, yeah.  I will say, though, that I carried my two bags plus Neve’s bag and they were HEAV-Y.  I was huffing and puffing pretty bad (Paul thought it was funny) by the time we got back up to have our apples weighed.  I also had Paul snag some cider donuts.  I had meant to go over to their wine section and get some of their peach sangria mix, but it was getting late, I was tired, and I had a seriously HEAVY load of apples to pay for.  Oona was getting tired so I bought her an apple slushy, Neve fed her a few gummy worms and we drove home.

09.14.09l

Oona fell asleep on the couch watching Scooby with her sisters not long after.  I can tell you my arms were sore the next day.  And no wonder!

09.14.09o

That is HALF of them.  I carried ALL of them back to the van.  Final count?  6o lbs.  SIXTY!!!  I have a LOT of work to do.  I already have made the first apple pie of the season:

09.14.09m

09.14.09n

Plus a big batch of roasted applesauce (slow roast the apples in the oven in some butter before mashing/pureeing), and I don’t think it’s made a dent in our apple reserves.  I see many apple filled days ahead of me.  And canning.  A serious amount of canning.

And now, a little pie story.

Sunday night around 9pm I was cleaning up the kitchen and turning everything off for the night.  Paul had taken Oona up to bed and Emily had long since said her good-nights.  Neve came creeping down the stairs and asked for a slice of pie before bed.  I told her no, since it was past her bedtime.  She began her usual whining abd complaining but I cut her off and said she could have apple pie for breakfast before school.  Her eyes lit up.  “Really?” she said.  “We can have pie for breakfast??”.  I replied in the affirmative and she ran excitedly up the stairs exclaiming “Yes!!  Emily! Guess what??  Mama said we can have PIE for breakfast!!!  Hooray!!!!”

Flash forward to the following morning.  I get up and make a cup of coffee and slice out a piece of pie for Neve while Emily puts her boots on to take care of the chickens.  I put the pie, with a small dollop of whipped cream, on the table for her and call her down to eat.

Blurry – eyed and grumpy she sits at the table, looks at her plate and yells, “I don’t want PIE!!!” and shoves it away.  The cat ended up eating it.

09.14.09p

Shameless Begging

Well, not really.  Just passing along some info for a good cause.

My friend Amber and her dog are doing a Pet – walk to raise funds for the Dutchess County (New York) SPCA.  It’s a good cause (I’m all about the animals, yo), and I am posting the link here to pass on the word.

Word.

Click Here to see a sweet pic of her dog, Lodi, or to get more info.

Back later to our regularly scheduled crazy.