Category Archives: Homesteading

Jolina’s Kids

We’ve been waiting since nearly the moment of conception for Jolina’s kids to be born. They finally arrived and what a story we have here. First, she was busy giving birth in the goat corral and the other nanny goats started head butting her. Jolina has never been accepted by the herd, probably because she is my husband’s favorite. 

If her stomach had allowed it, she would have been already outside the corral with Terry, but she hasn’t been able to do any acrobatics this last week. So my husband and son ran out to save the day. Jolina had a baby half-in, half-out, and scampered out of the corral as fast as her delicate state would let her. 

In short order, Joel and Nina (yes twins) arrived. Jolina had enough of that sort of stuff and ignored her kids for the next two hours. To be fair, she did have a fairly traumatic birth experience. That didn’t stop her from chowing down a good supply of alfalfa though. 

Papa Chivo, AKA my husband, finally held Jolina still so her kids could nurse. Twice more he went out and forced Jolina into submission. I told my husband that I thought Jolina was a dud when it came to motherhood. He was mortally offended. How dare I insult his favorite pet?

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Jolina doing what she does best–eat!

By morning, Jolina was responding to her kids’ cries. My husband tied her in the food corral (otherwise she’d eat everything in sight) and her kids figured out how to help themselves to the milk supply. 

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Nina looks just like her mother and Joel looks like Grandaddy Elvis.

Joel and Nina have certainly inherited their mother’s propensity for hollering and her circus tricks. Not 20 minutes after birth, one of the twins was inside the barrica (barrel) set up as a barrier to keep Red from bothering them, while the other was pushing it along. Another rescue was in order before they headed over Niagara Falls in that barrel.

They are good sized and healthy. The only issue we have is where to keep them. Terry had to be moved to the new garden area last night because his hysterical antics were making Jolina even worse. Fuzz is on the back porch. The Puppers are in the back yard. The corral has been divided for Lady and the goats. Red has his own stall. We just don’t have the space for more animals right now! Well, I guess we’ll do what we can.

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Walking the Dogs

Practicing social distancing means we don’t get out much. However, now that the chicken feather guy’s lady dog is no longer in heat, our doggie walks again encompass the entire block in La Yacata. 

Walking The Puppers and walking Terry are two completely different experiences. We can’t walk them together because George and Terry still haven’t made peace with each other. So two walks it is.

All of the dogs have learned to spell w-a-l-k. Their excitement when it is time is evident. Fred and George start racing around the back yard. Terry starts whining. 

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The Puppers get the first walk. Sometimes they are so excited they forget to wait for my son to clip the leash on. When everybody is hooked up, out we go. Fred clearly has the superior nose. Sniffing the air when the coyotes have been by, sniffing the corners for new pee messages, sniffing the grass as it starts to grow. He even sniffed out a 6-foot long snake the other day.

George is the point guard. He takes his guarding and pee spraying the parameter very seriously. Sometimes, he checks out what Fred is sniffing, decides if it is worthy or not, and then pees all over it. 

Occasionally, a happy white lady boxer dog is in La Yacata. More often than usual these days since everybody is tired of their own company and head to La Yacata to congregate clandestinely. White Lady Dog is so excited to see The Puppers. She bounds up and stands nose to nose. Everyone is completely still except for furious tail wagging. Then she bounds away. 

Every day, they look forward to the corner where sometimes they see Lady White Dog and her “come up and see me sometime boys” invitation. Fred whines, sniffing away for any trace of her while George scans the horizon. 

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Then we circle home and switch out the dogs. As soon as Terry sees the leash, he begins this high pitched barking that only ends once he’s at the front door, ready to go. He leaps out of the gate like some sort of racehorse. Sometimes, my son isn’t fast enough for him, so he grabs the leash and tries to walk himself.

He sprints as far as the leash allows him to go, which is pretty far because I bought him a longer leash recently. When he reaches the end, the abrupt stop jerks him and my son’s arm. This happens every single walk. 

As we head up the incline, Terry seems to believe he must pull my son up the road. Maybe he’s not satisfied with the speed. We used to think that maybe he was hot on the trail of something, but have learned that’s not true. There isn’t anything pressing ahead that he is interested in investigating. He just plows on ahead. 

Now the terrain in many areas of La Yacata means jogging isn’t an option. I told my son that if he had a pair of skates (and a level area) Terry would pull him along for miles. Not gonna happen here though.

So my son and Terry have a miserable walk, each fully convinced the other is misbehaving. My son, for going to slow, and Terry for trying to race ahead. Terry is oblivious to everything except George’s pee spots, which he makes his own. 

The dogs at the corner don’t bark at The Puppers when we pass. However, perhaps because Terry looks like some sort of wolf or coyote, they sound the alarm, which Terry ignores. 

The White Lady Dog came up to Terry the other day and I swear, Terry had that look a 10-year-old boy might have if a girl came up and gave him a kiss. EWWW! Cooties! 

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Soon enough, we arrived back home. Terry is still in command of the front area, while The Puppers have the back. My son must go through the back to reassure The Puppers. They’ve started this strange ritual where they just have it as if they are gladiators in training trying to impress the master when my son arrives after his walk with Terry. This free-for-all goes on until the moment my son goes into the house. Then it’s back to lounging under the trees in the shade, waiting for the afternoon walk.

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A Kitten in the Time of Quarantine

As I mentioned previously, Kitty has been gone for nearly a month now. I don’t know whether she ran away from home or died, but seeing how lazy she was, running away just seems like too much effort on her part, so RIP Kitty. I must have been moping around a bit because one day last week my husband surprised me with a kitten. 

The Borega guy, one of our neighbors, had a cat who had kittens. My husband picked the fuzzy grey boy kitten. Initially, I wasn’t so pleased with the fact that yet another macho has come to live with us. I mean, we’ve got about all the testosterone as I can take. There’s Red the horse, Stinky Chivo, the macho goat, Chivito, the little macho goat, a rooster, three male dogs, plus my husband and son. Add some social distancing on top of that, and I’m not sure what to do with myself. But the little guy has a winning personality, so I guess it will be alright. 

I suggested we name him COVID in honor of the current crisis, but my son vetoed that. Instead, Fuzz Lightyear was so christened. 

My husband, who up until now has expressed disdain for any and all cats we’ve ever had, has become Fuzz’s personal slave. He not only allows Fuzz INTO the house but ON the bed. They nap together as you can see from this picture. 

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Fuzz has quickly become a little tyrant. He knows exactly what he wants and meows furiously until his demands are met. Sometimes that’s more milk. Sometimes that’s more chin rubs. Sometimes that is a warm and cozy spot to sleep. He has his own setup on the back porch, two different sized shoeboxes for sleeping, a garrafon top for food, another for milk, and a litter box. While he’s ok out there for short stretches, he prefers to be inside. I expect my husband will have a cat door made before too long. 

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Demanding to be let in!

Fuzz is happy to play with balled up bits of paper, hit the tassel I’ve tied to my desk, or watch me finish that 1500 piece puzzle I’ve been working on since January. He enjoys snoozing on my lap while I write articles and chasing fingers for a morning game of pounce. He likes to head to the garden when I water the plants and bite my toes when I do Tai Chi. It’s nice to have a baby in the house again.

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