Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Closer Still

I found this silver plate flatware set on Craigslist.  Bought it, cleaned the tarnish off; it's good as new and has a new home in the barn.

Stocked the linen cabinet with white towels from Costco - hotel pack. :)

I've been shopping for mirrors for the bathroom, but realized that I had these in storage.

The shower is tiled.  I decided to keep it super simple - 6x8 white ceramic on the walls, pebbles on the floor with brown grout to match the stained concrete.  I put a window film on the window so our guests won't be giving us a peep show.

I finally decided on a color for the peninsula.  I tried pink, but didn't like it.  Then I painted the whole thing orange; liked the color, but it blended in too much with the floor and the butcher block.  OK, so...blue.  That's what I envisioned all along anyway.  I know I've got blue everywhere, but I just couldn't get the blue out of my head and nothing else would do.  Tom cut the legs down and put them on today.  I think I should paint that white toe kick brown to match the floor, but that's a project for a rainy day.  That yellow step stool was a flea market find.  Every time I see one of those I'm reminded of visiting Aunt Imogean when I was a little girl.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Finally, I feel like I can breathe again, like I've been swimming up, up, up from deep under water and my face finally broke the surface.

The apartment is on the verge of being completed.  Tom and I have done just about all that we can do on it.  The tile guy is working on the shower now and the granite guys have the granite and are working on it.  Hopefully, it will be installed some time this week.  Anything left to do is small and cosmetic and I can work on it at my leisure.

I've planted everything in the garden that needs to be planted to date and have my plan all worked out on where everything else needs to be planted and on what days according to the almanac.  I've got the greenhouse in order and my flower seeds have begun to sprout.

We're back to routine and I like routine.  Tom is working on chipping the tree branches that we had trimmed this winter so that we can mulch the garden.

I started milking Daisy goat this morning.  She has been a stinker about getting on the milking stand, so I've been working with her this past week.  I thought she was going to kick and thrash and make my life miserable when I started milking, but she didn't.  What a huge relief.  I only got half a quart for two reasons (1) I didn't separate her from her kid for the night like I usually do when I start milking, and (2) she started getting antsy before I got the second side emptied and I didn't want to push my luck.  I probably could have gotten a whole quart if I had persisted and who knows how much if her kid hadn't been nursing through the night.

I can't start milking Hyacinth yet because her udder is still hard.  I'd probably only get a few ounces out of her and it's just not worth the hassle until her udder softens up.

I have a request of my friends and neighbors who read this blog...if you buy any bedding plants from your local nurseries, please save your trays and plastic pots for me.  I have many more flower seeds to get started, but not enough pots.  I would appreciate it so much!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Gardening Plan

Since my gardening success has gone downhill each year, I decided to change things up a bit this year.  First of all, I'm planting on the Farmer's Almanac schedule.  I've been told that it really makes a difference.  Unfortunately, I got started too late to get some of my own seeds started and will have to buy things like tomatoes and pepper plants again this year, but next year since my greenhouse is up, I hope to be able to start my own veggie seeds early and have them ready to go in the ground when it's time.  I'm using the Farmer's Almanac website for dates.  You can just plug in your zip code and the site will come up with the suggested planting dates for your area. 


I'm also starting a four year crop rotation plan.  I'll already was rotating crops pretty much by accident just because I was so haphazard, but now I actually have a plan.  I found a website for crop rotation, too, and have made my plan according to that.


So, I have a few things in the ground.

And a few things in the greenhouse.  These are all flowers.  The big pots hold cannas that I had Tom dig up and I divided them.  I'll give most of these away or maybe I can sell some.  I have a lot more to plant but am running out of pots.

This is crazy chicken.  She started out a couple of weeks ago acting crazy and running around really fast.  Since then, she refuses to come in with the other chickens and she hangs out in and around the barn most of the time. Usually, she'll show up at the coop around dark and we'll let her in, but on the nights that we don't see her out there, she gets left out all night.  I suppose she'll be dinner for a coyote one of these days, but I'm not going to spend my time chasing a crazy chicken around.

Tom finished the repairs on the pie safe linen cabinet for the bathroom.  He put the new screen in and built shelves for it.

I covered the shelves with fabric and it's ready for new fluffy white towels.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stylin' Onesies

Aunt Meagan made these fat-tie-from-the-seventies onesies for her nephew, Farmer Liam.  Won't he be stylin' while we milk the goats?

Spring Is Almost Here

A huge thank you to my sister-in-law, Tina, for sending me these daffodil bulbs.  What a welcomed sight at the end of winter.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Plumbing White Knight

So, the plumber finally came back today to address our issues.  He was looking under the sink, hemming and hawing, and he and Tom were discussing which was the better way to rip into the wall to move the drain pipes and the plumber was saying he didn't know where to cut the holes because he wasn't the one who put the pipes in and he didn't know which way they ran.

I stuck  my nose in (because I was mad) and said, "Why isn't the original plumber here doing this?"  The plumber said he didn't know and his assistant, who I think might have taken some sort of communication course in which he learned to repeat back to you what you just said..you know, so you feel like you've been heard and understood, said, "So, you'd feel more comfortable if the original plumber were here doing this?"  And I said, "Yes, I would feel more comfortable if the original plumber were here doing this."

They went out to their van and made a phone call, then came back and said, "Larry (the original plumber) will be out here in a little while."

When Larry arrived and took a look, he said, "I don't know what they were talking about, this will work just fine!"

Larry and his assistant hooked everything up, determined the cause of the leaking valves and fixed them, and we all lived happily ever after.

This is the drain pipe that caused me much distress...all for nothing.  And that cutout is Tom's handiwork.  Is it any wonder that I didn't want him cutting into the wall?  I know things like this that won't be seen don't really matter, but it is my nature, as much as I fight it, to want things to be perfect.  It's a wonder that I don't have ulcers, because this world is anything but perfect.

Here is the vanity, completed.  The faucet handle that the other plumber said was manufactured wrong and leaked and he couldn't fix it, was fixed by Tom.  I guess the new faucet in route to us might come in handy some day for parts.

Here is the toilet that arrived late, but is now installed and working.  The shower is scheduled to be tiled at the end of next week.  Let's keep our fingers crossed because I'm having a mini-family reunion in two weeks and I think my guests will appreciate being able to take a shower.

The green room has two sets of bunk beds.  We're picking up the last mattress tomorrow, so my guests will at least will have a place to sleep.  It was Tom's idea to arrange the beds this way.  The way I planned just wasn't working and this is much, much better.  It allows for plenty of floor space in the middle.  One has to watch one's head while climbing up the ladder, though.  The fan is dangerously close.  I was going to paint the beds black, but I'm running out of steam.  They look OK the way they are.

The blue room has a queen bed.  There won't be any rugs for a while, so everyone bring socks or house shoes because those concrete floors are cold.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Plumbing Setbacks. Grrr.

Way back when we had the apartment plumbed, the plumbers orginally put the bathroom sink plumbing in the wrong place.  Well, generally in the right place, but because of the way the vanity is made, the drain pipes were installed too low so they came back and raised them.  By then, we had the vanity so they were able to measure it to make sure they put the pipes in the right place.

The plumber was scheduled to come on Monday to hook up the toilet, the bathroom sinks, put in the valves under the kitchen sink, and install the shower pan (rubber liner), but called to tell us he was sick and would send some other plumber on Tuesday.  Other plumber came around 10:00 in the morning, left at 11:30 for lunch, came back at 1:00 and worked till about 3:30.

As he was leaving, he informed me that he could not install the bathroom sink drains because the pipes that come out of the wall are too high.  I said, "That can't be right.  The plumber had the vanity there and measured it to make sure everything would fit."  He insisted and the guy with him (who was the helper when the pipes were moved the first time) claimed that they installed them to OUR specs.  Uh, no.  The plumber measured it himself and the plumber installed the pipes to HIS specs.  So, it appears that the only fix to this is to pull the vanity out, saw holes in my newly installed, caulked, and painted bead board and through the dry wall so that the pipes can be lowered.  Yay.  I get to have gaping holes in the wall that will be seen through the back of the vanity.  And who knows what else.  Possibly remove the bead board altogether and then replace it?  I feel like crying.

And who will pay for this mistake?

In addition, everything the plumber installed yesterday leaks.  This morning, there was a puddle of water standing in each vanity cabinet and in the kitchen cabinet.

In addition to that, one of the lavatory faucet handles had a manufacturer's defect (or so says the plumber, but I'm wondering what he knows).  I called them yesterday and they said they would ship me a whole new faucet today.  At least one thing is going our way.

Oh, and the toilet that was supposed to arrive on Monday via Federal Express did not arrive until yesterday evening, so it did not get installed.  FedEx refunded our shipping charges for that.


Is it difficult to pull a roman shade up without making it into a wad of fabric at the top of the window?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

New Babies

Hyacinth had twins, a boy and a girl (finally!) on Saturday afternoon.  The boy was significantly smaller than the girl.  He died yesterday morning.

It was cold Saturday, so I had left the goats in the barn.  I was glad of that because Hyacinth at least didn't have them out in the pasture in the cold.  They were born healthy and I made sure both of them were nursing.  By Sunday, though, the littlest one was suffering.

I could tell he wasn't getting enough to eat, but I wasn't sure why other than while watching them, I could see that the larger girl would shove him out of the way, much like the case of her first twins, Cosmos and Rose.  So that night I removed the girl to let the boy nurse as long as he wanted, then I went to bed, resolved to milk Hyacinth in the morning and bottle feed the little one.

When I got out there Monday morning, he was sprawled out and cold.  I thought he was dead, but when I picked him up, he roused and cried.  I got Meagan to hold him to keep him warm while I went to milk Hyacinth.  Her udder was as hard as a basketball and I only got a couple of squirts of milk out of her.  So I quickly got Daisy out and milked her.  I got a bottle ready and tried to feed the baby.  He swallowed a little bit after much effort, but he never did warm up and after about 15 minutes he slowly passed away.

I went back to read about what I did for Hyacinth's udder last year because I had completely forgotten that it was congested last year as well.  If I had remembered that, I would have started the bottle feeding right away because she obviously doesn't produce enough milk to feed two until after her udder softens up.

So, out of seven babies born this year, three have died.  That's not a very good track record.  I only have two Nubians to sell this year, but at least one of them is a girl.

Every one of Hyacinth's kids have been the spitting image of Billy.

Soda Jerk Humor

Tom and I went to eat at the Soda Jerk for dinner last night.  It's a little vintage diner on the square in a nearby town.  The owner bought old authentic furnishings and serves typical soda fountain food - burgers, fries, milkshakes, etc.  Not very good food and worst fries every, but we were in a hurry and the place we went to first was closed.

Anyway, there was a vintage metal sign on the wall that we got a kick out of.  It said:

Drink Coffee
Do stupid things faster
with more energy

Friday, March 04, 2011

Goats and Greenhouse

I thought for sure that Hyacinth was in labor on Tuesday.  She laid on the ground sprawled out like this and moaning.  I thought I was going to get to witness the birth, so I watched and waited.  After about 20 minutes, she got up and mosied on out to graze. 

Daisy has finally gotten into the groove of our goat walk to and from the barn each day.  Up until now, I had to coax, herd, push and shove, and use the baby as bait to get her to walk with us.  Today, she came out of the stall willingly and walked along with us without hesitation.

We're missing Pansy on the goat walk this year.  I decided that she should stay in the pasture full time.  It's so difficult to clean up the stalls each day when there are so many goats in the barn.  So, unless we have really bad weather when babies are born, I plan to bring just the Nubians into the barn.  The downside to that is that Pansy's kids are very skittish and not used to being handled.

Tom finished the greenhouse.  The frame was given to us, we used the old dining room doors for the entry, and the front and back walls were made using some old siding we took off of the house during the remodel.  We butted it up against the garden shed, so that I can walk directly from one to the other, but I'm wondering if that was such a good idea because of the heat.  I guess I'll find out this summer.

I laid the black landscaping cloth, finishing it up yesterday except for a spot right in front of the door that needs to be scraped down.  We had those three mats that we used to use so that our office chairs would roll on the carpet.  I thought they might be useful to protect the landscaping cloth from tears.  I don't know if that is a concern or not, but I guess it can't hurt.  I hope to get some seeds started soon, although it's almost warm enough to go ahead and plant them in the ground now.

Flea Market Cottage Things

I went to the flea market yesterday and found these quilts for the cottage apartment.  One queen and two twin size.

Also, got some pillowcases.  Meagan and I found the motherload of old linens.  I hope to go back next month to get more old linens - maybe some old chenille bedspreads.

We have all the furniture in the cottage and bought mattresses for all the beds.  I'm very excited about how it looks.  It almost makes me want to live there myself!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Goat Troubles and Back to Farming

So, I think Daisy, the one who had triplets, might not have expelled all of the afterbirth.  She is still seeping lots of icky goo and blood.  It's normal for goats to have a bloody discharge for a couple of weeks after the birth of their kids, so I'm used to that.  But Daisy's is different and yesterday it started to stink.   In my mind, stink means infection.

So I called the vet today to ask him about it.  Our vet is great, by the way, he is always happy to give advice over the phone and tries to accommodate my silly notions about animals and their feelings.

As a side note, yesterday I took Buttercup's baby to the vet to get castrated.  It was the worst day of his life, I'm sure, and it might take him a while to trust me again since I'm the one who took him away from his mother (they both screamed bloody murder) and delivered him to that horrible place to be tortured.  Anyway, when I went to pick him up, I was reminded of what a brutal place the large animal clinic is.  As my luck would have it (and it has happened before), someone had a whole truckload of cows there being branded, and their horns cut off, pulled out, or whatever it is they do...it is truly ghastly.  So while I was waiting for someone to take a break and go get my little goat for me, I had to witness all of that and was nearly in tears and sick to my stomach.

Soo, I knew I did not want to take Daisy there.  When the vet suggested I bring her in so he could flush out her womb with an antibiotic wash, I told him that I really had hoped to avoid bringing her in because she is kind of a nervous goat and it would be too traumatic for her.  Without hesitation and without derision, he suggested another way to treat her...a shot of antibiotics that I could give myself and if I would come by the clinic and pick it up, he would show me what to do.

So, that's what I did.  And he was great and he gave me a pep talk, "You can do it!" because I was a bit hesitant having never given an animal a shot before.  And, I did do it and it was a piece of cake.  The hardest part was getting Daisy on the milking stand.  She's not trained to get up there like the other goats are (I'm working on that), so I had to put her front feet up then push and shove and lift her hind end up there.  Turns out it wasn't even necessary because she didn't even flinch.

If the antibiotic doesn't work, I will have to bite the bullet and take her to the clinic, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

On another note, her kid is slowly learning to nurse by himself.  He thinks I am the source of the food since I have been "helping" by holding the teat so that he could get it in his mouth.  Because of that, whenever he sees me, he runs to me expecting milk and he tries to suck on my fingers.  Just today he has been able to get the teat in his mouth without help, but I don't know if he is nursing in between the times that I'm there to see to it.

So, we have a bit of good news mixed in with the bad.

I laid the landscaping cloth on the floor of the greenhouse today, so it is ready for me to get some plants started.  I'll probably get started on that on Monday since we have guests coming this weekend and I am so behind on my house cleaning.  Also, had our teenage handyman come help me spread mulch on the flower beds.  It looks so nice, but I know the chickens are going to get in there and toss it all around and make a mess and I'm going to be mad.