Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weary, Hot & Miserable in Noodle..

This drought is an awful, despicable thing. This is one of the worst droughts Texas has ever seen in a CENTURY and in my neck of the woods there is no end or relief in sight.

The grass fires that rampaged through the state wouldn’t have been so bad, if only they had been followed by rain.

Here’s a picture of the grass fire on the back of our property we had earlier in the year:


This one burned a lil more than ½ of our property…hubby and I stood outside of the goat pen with fire extinguishers and hoses until the fire department arrived....The fire stopped a mere 10ft from the goat pen... Thankfully nothing of importance was lost. Volunteer fire fighters put out our blaze and were quite efficient. Do support those volunteer boys when you can, with all the fires we've had across the state those boys have been run ragged!

I traveled to other areas a few hours east of us in the state and they at least had green vegetation and a bit of rainfall (in fact when I went that direction to get Tonka it was raining).

Here the rainfall we received was nothing more than a cruel joke…a spatter here and there, barely wetting the topsoil. OR, we got a nice run of tornados and hail, both of which brought very little rain. Only once this year have we actually had a puddle of water on the ground…that puddle was quickly soaked up in mere hours.

All the vegetation is dead or dying.. I planted a nice, huge plot of Rye, Rape Grass & Clovers for the goats……they came up well & were thriving, but the continued absence of water caused the wilting that rapidly led to death. Past few days we’ve had temps ranging from 102° to 111°! After the sun has gone down it gradually creeps down to 100°...Sad that the 90° nights actually seem cool.

Poor goats are hot and miserable, milk production is on a rollercoaster thanks to the heat and most days everyone is drooping.

Since our days have been well over 100° degrees, the kids get cabin fever as they aren’t the sort to be happily cooped up inside. So to help everyone the kids and I have been foraging.

We get up early while it’s still cool enough to be outside….. milk, feed & refill water troughs & buckets.

Then we grab a wheel barrow, some shears & set out to find yummies for the goats.

Mostly tree clippings, and whatever green grass we can find on our walks. The kids have a blast, they take turns pushing the wheel barrow, pointing out what they think looks yummy and the goats benefit too. So far we’ve been able to gather one wheel barrow full every morning & the goats LOVE it.


Sabrina & Lilly enjoying tree clippings. Look how big Lilly is! She's only 4 months old!


The girls. Sabrina up front, Lilly in the center, Tootsie & Keys (mini Alpines on right)


Bleuberry scattered the pile.

You would think it odd that an activity that sounds like a chore would be so fun for the kids, but they have a blast. They help out quite a bit, and eagerly too, and when I take over they hunt up lizards and whatever else catches their eye.


The baby boys & their goodies. Tonka (Lamancha) up front & Houston (mini Alpine buck) next to him.


Houston the mini Alpine buck, Sam my Alpine boy in the background..he was camera shy.


My handsome earless wonder Tonka, I simply adore this boy.

We do this until about 10:30 or 11:00, then we play “Water Hose War“, which is basically me shooting them with the sprayer, or them trying to limbo under the water, or my favorite.. making them run laps while I see how many times I can shoot them.. Then they get to play outside until they are damp dry, and by that time it’s time for lunch and they can settle in to weather the hottest part of the day indoors.

I see no end to the drought this year, but hopefully next summer Mother Nature will be a little more generous with that rainfall!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mutant Wasp Blamed for the Near Death of a Blogger..

Of course I have no scientific evidence the wasp was a mutant….And yes, that Blogger who almost met an untimely end was me.

Okay, “near death” might be a slight over exaggeration, but it was one heck of a mess!

As mentioned in this post, we have a wasp problem. I’ve been stung 4 times in the past 3 weeks. I’m not allergic. It hurts, swells a bit, goes away. I don’t even need to take Benadryl.

Yesterday though was a whole different can of worms. One of those demonic yellow jackets stung me on my middle finger. *For the record I was not even bothering it or it’s stupid nest of devil spawn, I was simply turning off the water and was senselessly attacked*

It hurt worse than any sting thus far and it BLED!! I’m not talking about a lil' dot of blood…It was a steady dripping of blood…at least 8 drops before it slowed to an ooz. Since when do insect stings cause BLEEDING??? Strange & seriously painful.

That’s not all though…this brutal, unprovoked attack led to BONE PAIN. Starting from the sting and shooting all the way down into my hand the bone HURTS….the same kind of bone pain I had when I fractured my finger. It’s intense and bewildering as I just can’t explain how a sting from a wasp caused it. The bone pain lasted for an entire 12 hours before it started to ease and it still hurts to close my hand.

Anywho…I whined for sympathy on FB about it…then talked a big talk about my planned revenge on the wasp. I mentioned cans of wasp spray & discussed my desire to hunt down that particular wasp, remove his wings and legs one by one & feed him to the chickens. Yes, I was THAT mad over the whole stupid thing!!!!

This morning I set out to fulfill that promise & went hunting nest in the vicinity of where the attack occurred. Armed with a sore hand & a can of wasp spray.

Found the nest about 15ft from where I was stung.. Attached to a board laying on the ground close by the fence…It’s a good sized nest.


I flip the board, readied my spray can to spray…

And not a damn thing happens…My sore hand struggles to push the button on the spray can, the wasp are ANGRY…….several wasp come to the attack before I finally get my injured hand to squeeze the button and hit the nest.

Got some, killed their precious eggs, but not before the ones who left the nest first came after me.

I try to run.......only to trip on my stupid flip flops…..

I fall and in the process bite my tongue so freaking hard I have a mouth full of blood… and manage to get stung twice on the back, once on the neck and once on my scalp!!!!

Stupid, demonic, evil, cursed wasp!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This time, I take Benadryl, the stings hurt, but thankfully they don’t seem to be of the mutant, bleeding, bone pain causing sort I got on my finger yesterday.

They may have stung me…….I shall give them props for getting a total of 5 hits on me, 6 if you want to count the bit tongue. But in the end, I won…….. I got the nest!!

After coming inside to tend to my battle wounds and change into boots I arm myself again & hunt up more nest.

I’m feeling kind of like a Noodle Mob Boss….you hurt me, I kill your family you devilish wasp!!!!! Though I shall have to work on my evil laugh and Italian accent a bit…

Total for today: 5 large nest soaked, dead & gone, and morbidly each nest down gave me such immense pleasure.


Pictures of a few of my kills from today..


Twisted, yes I know, but you would completely understand if you lost most use of your right hand simply because a vengeful, hateful wasp attacked you without just cause.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Clever Kids Create Unique Entertainment

It’s been hot, insanely dry, miserable…and did I mention HOT?? The kids have a bit of cabin fever to say the least and have been coming up with creative ways to entertain themselves.

They have been bugging us for a pool…..We had one shortly after moving here, lost it when a tornado ripped through Noodle. Bought another one last summer and the wasp plague came. If we didn’t cover the pool there would literally be dead wasp piled inches high on the surface of the water. When we did cover it, we couldn’t swim in it because the moment the cover came off the wasp were swarming…. Ditched the pool. Loved the idea of relief on a hot summer day, but the reality of trying to keep up with it & not be covered in wasp stings was just too much.

We plan on getting another one, hopefully by next summer, but Jerimiah is going to build a screened enclosure for it before we try again.

However, when kid’s wanna swim, they wanna swim!

The result is in the pictures below:


Goats…similar to cats, are NOT fond of uncontained, dangerous water. I’m a wretched person if I soak the ground around the trough and they have to get their feet the slightest bit wet. So you can imagine what they thought of all this nonsense! Humans, IN the water trough….how odd……even worse….they splashed water EVERYWHERE!! And the noise…Oh My…the racket & squeals of delight these drenched lil’ humans made was of cosmic proportions….

Tootsie, Keys, & Lilly promptly moved as far away as possible and stayed there watching this carrying on with wary eyes. Bleuberry, bless her heart is the low man on the totem pole in this herd & prefers the company of humans to goats…So she braved the strangeness in order to be close to her lil people. Took a few drinks, tolerated being splashed & watched the whole fiasco with great interest. She even placed her hoof on the rim of the trough a few times as if she was considering joining them, but would always jerk it away shortly after…



Sabrina, being the herd queen did get herself off her throne to come investigate…..After all it would be unseemly for the lowest ranked herd member to be apart of this and not her. She was hilarious! She stared at the kids…got a drink…stared some more and promptly set about to correct the wrongness of the situation by cleaning Shayla. She would lick her, sniff and lick some more then stand by seeming pleased with the results….Until Shayla dipped under the water once again, then Sabrina was right back to cleaning her crazy human kid.



Odd bit of fun to say the least, but I give my kiddos props for being able to easily find interesting ways to ease their boredom.

Oh and since I mentioned Bleuberry in this post I thought I’d post some promised pictures of her. She was a slight mess when she arrived, but good feeding, proper minerals & a round of copper bolus have set her back on the right track. She is by far the dumbest goat I have ever encountered, but so insanely sweet all flaws are forgiven. She is LOUD, which is so not typical for my Alpines, so I always tell her she needs to be quiet or someone is going to think a Nubian is lurking on these grounds. I can never capture it in the pictures because she is by far the biggest goofball and is very much a “Velcro Goat“, but she is so leggy & at times even elegant when she doesn’t think your looking. She’ll be bred to Sam in the fall for Spring 2012 kids and I can not wait!