Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sad, Sad Garden

I am becoming disillusioned with Texas organic gardening guru, Howard Garrett. I've been planting according to the schedule in his book and hardly anything has sprouted at all. The only things that are growing well are the onion, asparagus and cabbage plants. I think the main problem is that it is just too cold still. The other problem is that stupid hairy vetch. I can't get rid of it and it's choking out the tomato plants and the squash seeds that I planted.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chicken Palace

It's almost done. For the floor, I used some of the saltillo tile that we had saved when we took it out of the house. I just need to cut some pieces for around the edges and the floor will be done. Tom had to go out of town, so when he gets back, we'll put metal siding on the roof and walls. Then it will be ready for chickens!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bummed? No...Mad

To register our Nubian dairy goats it is recommended that we choose a herd name. When naming a goat to be registered, the herd name comes first. If you don't have a herd name, then they simpy put "The" in front of the name. I didn't want everything to be "The", so I applied for a herd name. The application has space for three choices. My choices were "Silver Dollar", "Pearly Gate", and our last name. I only put our last name because I didn't dream that the other two would be taken, I couldn't think of anything else, and I knew that our last name would be entirely unique so nobody else would have applied for it.

Well, I got the paperwork back today and the herd name is our last name - my last choice. Now I'm feeling extremely bummed...even to the point of anger. Not sure why I'm feeling angry. I really didn't want our name to be the herd name. I'm thinking about calling the association and challenging the notion that the other names were already taken - especially Pearly Gate. I mean, why would anyone name their herd "Pearly Gate"? Besides me, that is.

I spent the day in Dallas looking at fabric for curtains for all these windows in the house. That is exhausting. I also ran a bunch of other errands. I didn't buy the fabric, but I brought a bunch of samples home. Nearly all of them could work, so I just have to decide which of them I want to use. Or maybe I want to get more samples. I always feel like I have to look at every piece of fabric within 100 miles of me or I might miss the one fabulous fabric that I NEED. Heh. Actually, I didn't see any fabric that I would call fabulous. Maybe that's the problem. If I don't love it, it's hard to make a decision.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Chicken Coop

At the end of the day of chicken coop building, Tom's drill and power saw batteries ran out. He so wanted to finish cutting this one board so he could install the door, but the only handsaw he could find was this little bitty saw from Paden's childhood tool kit. Tom used it and after much effort, he finally got the lumber cut. By then, it was so late in the day that we didn't get the door installed after all.
It rained today so we took this opportunity to go to Dallas and check on the repair progress of our other house. It's almost completed and the new carpet should go in next week. If the weather is good for the rest of this week, we hope to finish the chicken coop.

Chicken Coop

We started building our chicken coop. Tom calls it the chicken palace because he thinks I want it too big and fancy. I wanted at least 10x10 and he wanted something like 6x8. Tom found these old telephone poles laying around on our property and since they were the right height, we used them as the corner posts. We got that done on Saturday. Then I convinced Tom to take a break and not work on it Sunday afternoon. On Monday we got more of the frame up and put a window in. Then we went and bought a storm door for it.

Morning Trek

This is usually what our morning looks like. The neighbors horses are intrigued by the kids.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mountain Climbing

The new kids like to play King of the Hill on the haystack. When the moms and kids get to the pasture, they all fight over the stack of rocks and knock each other off.


The boys worked out their differences pretty quick and now hang out in the pasture together.


Billy is hilarious with those ears. He stands them up straight when he prepares to bash heads. Hyacinth does it, too, when she bashes heads with Pansy and Rose and Cosmos do it with their tiny ears. I haven't seen Pansy or her babies stand their ears up yet.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Who Da' Man?!

We moved Henry out of the barn to the small pasture with Billy to see how they'd get along. Billy tried to prove his manliness with his customary head butting. Henry was unimpressed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Trees

We've planted the fruit trees in the circle of the driveway. The plums have already put on leaves. I also made a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation and received eleven free "trees" (more like twigs) for my efforts. Hey, they were free. I've planted them all, but they are all still just bare twigs. See if you can find the tree in the picture. Heh.


At least one brave azalea survived my neglect. I wish I had time for landscaping, but there are too many other things to tend to. I see so many plants at the stores that I want to get, but there are no places prepared to put them - just weedy grass in the yard right now.

Mission Accomplished!

We moved Henry (oldest donkey baby) to the barn yesterday. I ended up walking him on a lead rope from the front pasture to the barn. He was a little hesitant, but didn't give me much trouble...until we got to the barn. He did NOT want to go in. At that point, Tom came to help me. He ended up dragging Henry, who was sitting back on his haunches with his front feet braced out in front of him. Fortunately, he couldn't get any traction on the concrete so he slid most of the way. When we got to the stall door, he really made a fuss, although not as much of a fuss as I imagine Kip will make. Tom pulled and I pushed and we got him in the stall.

After that, he has been very calm. Because my neighbor told me so (she has weaned many baby horses), I expected a royal fit of kicking and rearing and flinging. She told me not to go in the stall with him for a couple of days because I'd get hurt. Pshaw. Henry has been a sweetheart and I've gone in the stall several times already. He mostly stands in the corner, scared I think, but he'll come up to me for a treat and a pat and he's eating fine. His mom has been making a racket out in the pasture calling for him though.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Midnight Babies

Our neighbor was out checking on her horses late last night and heard baby goats crying. She went to check and Pansy had had her babies in the shed. She called us and we went out to get them since the weather forecast was stormy and cold.

So in the middle of the night, we (with our neighbor's help) lead Pansy and Billy and carried the babies to the barn. Pansy is not used to the lead rope, so I started out by dragging her, then our neighbor took over and even carried her part of the way. Pansy probably weighs about 50-60 pounds. Surprisingly, she did not struggle while being carried. Our neighbor is a woman, which begs the question, "Just who is the Pansy here?"

Pansy seems to be a better mother than Hyacinth was in the beginning. She had the babies all cleaned up and doesn't kick them away when they try to nurse. The babies are two boys (I think). The white one is really showing his boer roots. I don't know where that little fawn one got his coloring. It would be interesting to know their bloodline. They sure don't have much of their sire in them.

Having all the goats in the barn, as well as the pouring rain, is putting a crimp in my donkey weaning plans. I don't have an empty stall now, so the only way I'd have room for a donkey is if I put Pansy in with Hyacinth, which would probably be OK, but if we don't get a break in the rain, I won't be going out there trying to get Henry in the barn.

Monday, March 09, 2009


My neighbor suggested that I borrow her horse trailer to move the donkeys when it's time to wean (in two days). Of course, they won't go in it, so I'm not exactly sure how it will help. Neighbor brought the trailer over and parked it in the donkey pasture. The idea is to feed them in it so that they be comfortable with it, then on the designated day, they'll go in to eat and I'll just close the door behind them. Easy peasy!


The trailer wasn't moved in until last night. Today was the first day I tried putting their food in it. They wouldn't go in - at least not while I was watching. If the food is gone tomorrow, I'll know that they snuck in during the night. In any event, two days is not enough time to condition them to the trailer.

I think the best plan is to get Henry and Kip into separate stalls in the barn and let them pitch their I-want-mommy fits in a safe, enclosed environment that I have easy access to.

There are multiple problems with this plan. I'm mulling over solutions. In the meantime, still trying to get the halter on Kip.

Tom is still dealing with water heater fall-out. The new heater was installed today. We have very good insurance. State Farm has always done right by us. Of course, it helps to have an agent that is a member of the church. We've been told that they will pay for the replacement of all the damaged carpet rather than just having it cleaned. Since the carpet was installed in huge pieces (like our whole master bedroom and bath was installed as one whole piece rather than cutting it at the doorway), we will be getting a great deal of new carpet. And since the water heater guys really dirtied up the stairway carpet, the insurance company will pay for new carpet there, too. Of course, we have a deductible, but we might actually break even or better because we were going to have to have the carpet cleaned anyway.

So, even though this event is terribly inconvenient, we might be better off for it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

When It Rains...

I was thinking as I was writing the To Do List entry that things are going too good and I shouldn't be writing that. I was too smug. Well, I wasn't really smug because I was aware that something must always go bad as soon as things are going good. Was I right?

First, the Dodge truck broke down as Tom was driving it in town towing a trailer. Something to do with the fuel system. Thankfully, he was close to the Dodge dealership and could leave it there for repair. Big money.

Then, last night the realtor called Tom. The house was being shown to a prospective buyer and there was water dripping from the ceiling of the master bedroom. For those not familiar with our previous home, there are no pipes above the master bedroom. There is only another bedroom above it and above that - the attic, which contains the hot water heater.

Tom had to rush to the house an hour and a half away to check things out. The hot water heater has come to the end of it's lifespan. Hot water heaters do not die alone. They like to take part of the house with them. The water has leaked through the ceiling on the second floor, soaking a large area of ceiling, wall, and carpet; down into the first floor, soaking more ceiling, wall, and carpet. Tom soaked up as much as he could with every towel in the house and turned all of the water off.

He went back today to pull up the carpet and take out the carpet pad. Tomorrow he has to go back to deal with the new water heater installer, the insurance company, the carpet company, the dry wall repairer and whatever else needs to be dealt with. Big money.

Tom went out to load up the Dodge for tomorrow trip back. The truck is dead.

On another note, Wednesday is a full moon. I never knew anything about full moons and never have paid attention to them. Who knew we had a full moon every month? I think. Anyway, those in the know recommend weaning equines during a full moon. It's time to wean Kip and Henry. Wednesday is the scheduled day. I'm not sure how we're going to accomplish the separation, but we're going to give it our best shot.

Friday, March 06, 2009

This Tree

I love this tree. It stands all alone in the middle of a neighbor's pasture (except for that dumb cow that wouldn't move) and has that funky twist in it's trunk.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

To Do List

I've about had it with this excessively windy weather. It is very unpleasant, but warm today, so I could at least do a few things outside.

I'm a list person. I like to keep a to do list going all the time because some days, when I'm trying to decide what to do, I can't remember anything that needs to get done. I also like to write it on a nice clean piece of paper. A to do list on the computer just doesn't satisfy. When we had the hired guys working on the house, I kept a list for them so they could check off what they had done and wouldn't always have to ask me, "What next?"

On our to do list right now is:

Build chicken coop
Build garden shed
Weed/fertilize hay field
Finish baseboards
Paint bathroom vanity (in progress)
Build shell of barn apartment
Organize garage
Install new front door (which should arrive any day now)
Shop for drapery fabric
Mulch garden
Make tomato soup
Finish goat fencing pastures
Halter work on donkeys
Paint powder room ceiling (in progress)

I also try to prioritize the list partially. Some of the things aren't urgent and can be worked on any time, but our priority now is to build the chicken coop and my garden shed. The garden shed is partially built, since we're just going to enclose one of the loafing sheds and put shelves in it. Oh, and I'm going to use some of the saltillo tiles taken out of the house as a floor in the shed. I'm very excited about this garden shed. I think we might even reuse a couple of the windows and a door that we took out of the house when we remodeled.

I add to the list as things come up and it feels so very good to be able to cross a project off the list. This evening Tom and I are going to Lowes and I hope to find some organizational tools to use in the garage.

On another note, it has become quite easy to move Hyacinth and the kids to and from the barn/pasture. We stroll out in the morning and they graze along the way. It doesn't take much coaxing to get them to the pasture and the kids run right in the gate like they know where to go. Then in the evening, I can hardly walk fast enough to keep up with them on the way back to the barn. Seems that once they know the routine, they're happy enough to go along with it. There is no more flopping on the ground and pouting and it is an enjoyable quiet time for me in the morning. It will be interesting to see if Pansy is as agreeable to the routine as Hyacinth is.

Rose seems completely recovered and her head is finally healing. She's still quite a bit smaller than Cosmos, but she doesn't let him push her out of the way while nursing anymore. In fact, she even pushes him away sometimes.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bossy Goat

A goat-raising friend said that he mixes diatomaceous earth with his goat mineral as a de-wormer for his goats. I've been chemically de-worming mine so far, which involves syringes and/or eye-droppers and more medicine on me that in the goat's mouth.

I did a little research on the internet, and it seems that there are other people who use diatomaceous earth for that purpose. Now, I don't know if my goats have worms or ever had worms and I don't really intend to try to find out. But I have read that goats have worms and that they must be de-wormed regularly or they could die a slow death - especially mothers of newborns. So I've been dutifully de-worming.

Tom and I decided to give the d-earth a try and I bought some little buckets to screw onto the walls of their sheds and stalls in which to serve the mineral/d-earth concoction. I quickly installed one in the empty stall after moving Hyacinth and kids to the pasture. Then I went to install one in Billy's loafing shed. What a project.

I barely made it across the field to the shed without Billy knocking me over. He is getting so aggressive. Not mean, just pushy and trying to assert his dominance. When I finally got to the shed and tried to install the bucket, Billy had his nose stuck in everthing and was climbing all over me. He's probably about 100 lbs. now and it's no small thing to have a 100 lb. goat pushing, shoving, and jumping all over you.

So I trooped back across the field, having to hold onto Billy's ears to keep him from ramming me, to get my rope out of the golfcart. I tied Billy to the fence and let him wrestle with the rope while I went back and finished my task. Should have done that in the first place. Good lesson learned.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Wind Shields

This is the new golf cart cover that Tom found. It so happens that it also fits on his tractor, so he got two. It really helps keep us warm while we're driving around.