Nashville Puppy Whirlwind

On Thursday I left the chaos of the household behind to drive 10 hours to Nashville with Susie and Jenny and two giant puppies.

The puppies were from the pairing of two of Susie’s Livestock Guard Dogs and were born this past December.  At ten weeks old, these two are HUGE.

Because they are a fairly rare breed (Maremma) there is no shortage of farms looking for them.  Susie’s friend Cindy in Texas was thrilled to take in both puppies, and proposed meeting us halfway between here and her farm.  That turned out to be Nashville.

Our bestest friend Jenny came along to help with puppy transport and we were off to Music City!

It’s a ten hour drive from here to Nashville but those sweet little pups gave us no trouble.

We met Cindy at the hotel along with friends Mary and Karen and the pups were handed over.  I think they were a little shocked at just how big these 10 week old “babies” are.

The next morning we had an excellent recommendation from the hotel staff for a great breakfast spot – The Pancake Pantry. We ate the best pancakes of our lives, and trust me, we know from pancakes.

After we ate we decided to check out some of the little shops nearby before heading back to the hotel.  We wandered into A Thousand Faces, a cute little shop right next door.  None of us had been to Nashville before, and this was shaping up to be an incredible trip.

They certainly did not fail to deliver a plethora of neat stuff!

From there the day got better and better.  At one point we found a small pub and had coffee and tea and the waiter refused to allow us to pay.  This was after we’d spent almost two hours in another shop talking to the owners about all manner of things.

The people in Nashville have to be some of the friendliest people anywhere.  I don’t know why this surprised me so much, but I can tell you it is true.

I think perhaps our favorite part of our entire stay, however, may have been breakfast the next morning, before we left to head home.  Some of the locals had told us to check out The Pfunky Griddle.  Nashvillians know how to eat!  This great little restaurant has griddles in the center of every table, and when you order what you want it is brought to your table in raw form so that you can cook it yourself. Sounds crazy, no?  But, we ordered omelets and french toast and it was AMAZING.

(Um, this pic was taken with my ipod, but you get the idea!)

We cracked our own eggs and added our own toppings and griddled it up!

We were all three very sorry to leave Music City.  I promise we’ll be back.  My only regret is not taking more pictures.  Susan had some really great ones – check out her blog post about our trip!

This Weekend in Pictures – Nashville Edition

Hoof Trimming Day

Emily is our guest photographer today for an exciting round of de-worming and hoof trimming!

Okay, maybe not so much.

The only excitement is the hilarity Emily finds in the difficulty I have wrestling the goats onto their backs.  They. Don’t. Like. It.  They fight it very, very hard.  At one point I was fully sitting on Finn’s butt, trying to get him onto the ground, but he wouldn’t give in.  Thank goodness he’s relatively light, because I finally had to pick him up and set him down.

Anyhow, de-worming and hoof trimming are things that get done fairly regularly with livestock like these.  Goats naturally carry a parasite – load in their guts that does them no harm.  Only when it builds up to an overload does it become a problem.  For this reason, goat – keepers worm fairly often.

I tend to not de-worm on a rigid schedule; I don’t have a huge number of animals and I’d rather the parasites not build up a resistance to the meds.  Since I have so few and I am around them so often I can keep a good eye on them and judge their “load” size by the colors of their gums or the insides of their eyelids.  If these are a nice, dark pink I don’t worm them.  If they get to be a pale pink, or worse, greyish color, this could mean they are becoming anemic from an overload of parasite.

Today I gave them meds for two reasons. One, it’s been a couple of months and I figure with the warm weather returning it was a good time; and two – I am going to move them into a new pasture soon.  (More news on that to come).

Once meds were given we got to work on hooves.

Hooves get trimmed whenever they start looking too long, or when you worm if you’re doing that on a regular schedule.  If you let them grow they’ll cause foot problems for your animals, so they’re super important to maintain.

Fortunately goat hooves are very easy to trim.  They do tend to get full of dirt and poo and nastiness.

Frodo decided to chew on my boot while I was working on his brother.

Jerry was humming and concerned for his boys.

Milkshakes only let me do her front hooves today.  I didn’t feel like wrestling her back down, so I’ll get the back ones later.

Otherwise, we’re all spiffied up and good to go!


Drive Thru Sweater



This sweater seemed to never, ever want to end.

They were going to have to bury me with it one day, needles still firmly stuck in the unending yoke.

I persevered, however, and Oona is thrilled.  The buttons are not on in the pictures (I couldn’t wait, since the light was right for pictures)and the ends are not woven in, but you get the idea.

This sweater has taken up so much of my life lately that now that it is done I almost don’t know what to do with myself.



Friday Knitting

We’ve gotten much of the work we needed to get done this week for school completed already (just some math and reading to do later) so I am taking some time to spend on knitting.  I’ve got a case of that “Finishup-itis” that seems to be going around the Knitting Blogosphere of late and I am trying to get Oona’s Drive Thru cardigan done.  I’ve got the body and one sleeve finished.  The second sleeve has been cast – on and then there’s just the yoke and finishing, so I am feeling like I am in the home stretch.

I also cast on some super yummy Juniper Moon Farm Worsted Weight in a colorway I cannot remember (Aegean Sea?  Storm Cloud?  Dunno) using Brooklyn Tweed’s Guernsey Wrap pattern.  It is going to to be AMAZING.  The pattern is gorgeous and the color of this wool is just perfect.

The knitting has been a balm for my mind and soul as we deal with a lot of things around here, both good and bad.  There’s much going on, and there will be a few changes in the coming weeks.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see how that unfolds.

I also should admit I’ve become rather obsessed with the King Arthur Flour website.  I want to try every recipe and order all of the neat gadgets and ingredients that look oh – so – fun to bake with.  I haven’t given in to the impulse much, but I did do something that made sense.  I bought a 25 lb.bag of flour and a bucket for it.  This winds up being way cheaper than buying the 5 lb. bags at the grocery store like I’ve been doing, since I go through so much of it.  I  am also thinking about ordering up some of their gluten – free fare, since so many of my friends are living gluten – free these days.

That’s a big – ass bag o’ flour!

I wonder how long it will last in this house???

Owl Pellets!

Hey there, remember me??? The one who used to be great at posting all the time and now…..well, not so much.

Call it “Exhausted Brain Syndrome”.  It’s hard to be witty and funny and think of things to say when the kids have been giving you a hard time all day and all you want to do is drink a bottle of wine before bed but you can’t because you’re the responsible adult here so you have to act like it and OMG.

Okay.  Now that that’s out of my system let’s move on, shall we?

We’ve been chugging right along with our school work, though I will admit it’s not been easy.  Neve seems to be unable to really focus most of the time.  I’m not sure if it is just the age, or the fact that it’s me she’s working with, or if she really has an inability to maintain any attention long enough to  do her work.  In any case she requires a lot of patience and time in getting her lessons done.  Unless it is something she is truly interested in.

Like say, dissecting owl pellets.

Owl pellets, believe it or not, are easy to come by and dirt cheap to purchase for classroom use.  Basically, after an owl eats its meal, the indigestible  bones and fur and bits get vomited back up in the form of “pellets”.  We can then pull these pellets apart and see what the owl has eaten.

We found many rodent skulls and bones in our pellets.  I was hoping maybe we’d find small bird bits as well, but o such luck.

Neve was shrieking with each new discovery, almost as though it were Christmas morning.

Emily was completely disgusted and wanted no part of it; she dissected hers as quickly as possible and then showered and disinfected herself.

Neve asked if she could keep the skulls.

She also wants me to order a bunch more pellets.

If only she’s be this interested in all of her school work!