Sunday, June 22, 2008

Going to the Country

That's what my uncles would say when the family went to work in the garden at Mrs. Cole's place......

When I was a young child, my parents often told me that I was adopted. I guess this was to ensure that I was special in some way- believe me, this has its' own drawbacks. Later in life, when I found that my birth mother had been a farm girl it made great sense to me about why I had such a desire to be in the country, since my DNA was hardwired with the knowledge of how to deal with farm life- I instinctively 'knew' how to ride a horse and milk a cow. No one had to teach me these things.

One of my earliest memories was when we'd go to church on Sundays and then head out to Mrs. Cole's place near Warrior's Path Park. The whole family would go- even my mother's brothers and sister and Mamoo, my mother's mother.

We would take a lot of food with us and have a huge lunch at Mrs. Cole's farm, then the family would go to the garden and work there for the afternoon. I was very young, but I remember going to the hen house to look for eggs and getting my hand pecked by the hen and looking aound the other buildings. This was the very first time I had ever seen an outhouse. Mrs. Cole's house was the house of my childhood dreams- a white frame farm house with none of the modern conveniences, just what you'd expect from folks who lived a simple and blameless life, practiced 'right livelyhood' and lovingly fed their familes and friends.

Since I originally wrote this piece some years ago, my Uncle Bob has told me that Mr. Cole had a rolling store and would bring his produce into town each week. My mother's family would buy the fresh vegetables, butter and eggs, and also can the vegetables for winter use. Mr. Cole would also sell much of what he brought into town to the Golden Rule Grocery, which was one of those old neighborhood groceries that went the way of the world while I was an older child. So sad......

When Mr. Cole died, Uncle Bob says the produce was also gone, so I am pretty sure that's when our family began to help out Mrs. Cole. I remember the garden work very vividly, but I never remember my family getting their hands dirty! Yet, the freezer at Mamoo's was always full to the brim with the fresh produce from that garden.

The most vivid part of this memory for me was the day I got flogged by a rooster. It was then and there that I decided that becoming a farmer was what I would do when I grew up.

Mom and Dad were always puzzled to find pictures I had drawn of the digestive system of cows and the like- I remember them sitting me down to discuss how inappropriate it was for me to draw those pictures instead of seeing this as my calling to be a veterinarian or dairy person. Since I washed out in school and became an under-achiever, I became a dairy person instead of the vet that I could have been. It was years later as an adult that I found out that Pastor Sparks, who was originally from Parrotsville, TN (Salem Lutheran) and confirmed me into the Lutheran Church, had been raised on a dairy farm and grew up milking cows when he was boy.

In the present time, my goal is still very much the same as Mr. and Mrs. Cole- to feed my family and friends, to show them that that simple lifestyle and peace of the country is the best way to raise their children in an environment away from the unsafe cities full of toxic water, schools and people. I left the city and went to prepare a place for my cousins to come to so they can leave behind the false world of more money and instant credit, and go to a place where living deliberately is the greatest gift one can give one's children. I truly hope they see this, leave the city and buy land here to begin a life of fulfilled dreams- now that we have DSL, there is no reason not to come here and thrive, rather than just survive.

Come get your hands dirty and thrive in God's Garden.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Adventure Con

Last weekend we went to Adeventure Con in Knoxville. A good time was had by all, to be sure. this is me with Brain Harnois of Sci Fi channel's 'Ghost Hunters'- a really nice guy and we had a chance to chat some about ghost hunting.

There were many characters there in costume, including Slent Bob and a lot of other truly well made costumes.

I took this shot of Wonder Woman for the Rev. Elvis Drinkmo. Dude, this one's for you!
And this one is hubby and me- Browncoats to the very end.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Saanen doe udder pictures

For folks who want to see pics of the udders on the does for sale:

Helga- 2nd freshener

Gretel- 1st freshener
These does are twin sisters, both stand on strong feet and legs with good udder attachment fore and rear. Teats are not too big and not too small, and both does milk out easily. My bloodlines mature at about 4-5 yrs. old, so these ladies still have lots of growing to do to fill out their frames. My camera batteries went dead as I was shooting these, so I have to get more before the Nubian pictures will be put up.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mutant Goats, Space Quail and other oddities

It occurs to me that I have been remiss is introducing readers to the interesting menagerie that we have here at the farm this spring.

In April, we had some Guernsey goats born from Sassy, an 'SR' level doe who came from Stump Hollow. Pippa was the first one out- and she was so small, about 2 lbs., but she was up in about 2 minutes- and I noticed something very strange about her. She had only one eye and no tail!

She had a normal brother and another 'sibling' of indeterminate sex- this is what happens sometimes if you breed a polled goat to another polled goat. This other sibling had very strange body parts, but both little extra kids have left the farm.

Pippa does not run- she hops! She boinks around like a little bunny rabbit and for all her disability, she has more agility than many other baby goats have at her age. She will never be a big doe, and most likely she will not breed, but she is a pet and a good will ambassador for the Guernsey goats here- along with Wilbur and Bo, she'll get to go out and meet folks at fairs and displays.

Now here is something completely different- Guineas. The neighbors call them 'Space Quail' and that's just as good a name as any- those 'deely-bobbers' on their heads make them look like they want us to take them to our leader, which in itself is interesting since they say that to anyone who will listen- Rosie says that hers run around and periodically wonder how they got there in the first place and just where did they put their car keys!

If you want other weird fowl stories, here's one: We were sitting on the sofa last week and heard this strange 'GRONK!" noise outside- Dory got up and looked , but thought it was down the driveway. When I got outside, Dory was standing over behind the milk shed and said , 'Mom, there's peacocks in the woods!' Since she's been wanting a couple of male peacocks for their feathers, I'm thinking 'oh my gosh, the Universe has up-chucked and here's the results.'

She set out food to see if they would come out of the trees, but no. And the next morning, when Deb and Cavey were here, I heard them again and this time they were below the pen. There were three of them, two males and a female- obviously done in after a night of partying, and waiting for their limo to arrive- 'We thought this was a quality establishment....', or whatever their pea brains were thinking. they have not been seen since......

This is 'Wake-y Wake-y', our senior rooster- he sits in trees and yells 'Wake-y, wake-y' at 4 am most days, to which our Border Collie, Flora, 'woo-woo's' back at him for several minutes. she must think she is a chicken......she is 12 years old and well bred- her father in a TV star on Animal Planet- Breed All About It's Pete, owned by Stan Moore of Philadelphia, TN. Sometimes Wake-y Wake-y yells out 'Can you hear me?" and we all say 'YES!'

Here is Pip and one of the Space Quail hens- we noted very early on that Pip's tail has one small vertebrae like a Manx cat does, so her spine will not open up later on and she has control over her sphincter muscle.

Here are two FB Guernsey kids, Iris and Bo, who found a nice cool spot under the shed and just wanted their picture taken......

This is the largest Wolf Spider we have ever seen here on the farm! she decided that she needed to live in the house to have her babies, but we said 'absolutely not!' and promptly took her outside and far away from the house to release her.

And lastly, here is Ms. Sneaky Blacksnake, come to our hen house during brooding season. Dory was cleaning out the hen boxes last week and found her in there- with a nice large lump in her belly that looks about the size of three or four just hatched biddy chicks. I do not begrudge her a large meal, Mother Nature is not pretty sometimes, but she needed to go someplace else to live, so we took her off into the woods and set her free, a mile or so from the house as the crow flies. Doubtful she will be back this way anytime soon......

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


The goats have learned to speak 'LOLcat!', but humans seem to have a hard time translating goat-speak sometimes.....
The milkers come up to the shed to be milked and these are the looks I get when they just can't seem to wait their turn.....

Sorry these are so dark- the flash did not go off, but there are always more 'dirty goat looks'.........:-)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Remote Area Medical

LMU Vet expedition 08'-
This past weekend in Harrogate, TN the annual RAM expedition took place at Lincoln Memorial University. As the vision, dental and medical portions of the expedition took place at LMU's arena, the veterinary portion took place at the facilities where LMU holds its' veterinary technician certification program.
Having directed the Cosby, TN RAM vet expedition in 2005, I was anxious to take part in another RAM. In 2005, my job was in 'intake' where all the animals were checked in, and I wanted more experience in a different part of the process. I chose 'recovery' and I was not disappointed!
When I arrived at the facility at 5:30am, there were already 45 people already there with their animals! These hardy souls got up much earlier than I and were already checked in and had their numbers at the ready.

I had brought three rescue animals to be spayed and neutered, so I had the opportunity to see what the whole process RAM creates from start to finish.

When my number was called, I brought in the animals and watched as each one was weighed and measured to make sure the correct amount of anesthesia was given to each one. The technicians made name tags that went around each pet's neck for positive identification after the pet recovers from surgery and can go home.
The technicians also recorded each animals vital signs on the intake sheet each owner was required to fill out.

After the pet's anesthesia was given and the animal was given time to go under, the pet was then transferred to the prep area where their bellies were shaved for surgery.

Then, as a veterinarian became available, surgery began. The report was that the vets were averaging 8 minutes per animal for a spay, and 5 minutes for a neuter.

There were a total of seven veterinarians donating their time for free veterinary care to make sure they put a dent in the pet overpopulation. Many of the females I saw were already in estrus, so this made a big difference!

The care each pet received was impressive!

After surgery, technicians were at the ready with post-op meds for pain and infection, as well as vaccinations for distemper and rabies.

While the recovery area was the end of the line, it was never dull there either. It was gratifying to see each animal wake up and regain consciousness. some were frightened little babies, and some large dogs were dis-oriented, but not one animal was lost or misplaced!

I had to include this one!

We even got a visit from reporters from the Daily Mirror in UK, and several TV news teams out of Knoxville, TN.

Here are the folks who get this program going- Stan Brock and Jean Jolly. If they look tired, they ARE tired- it is hard work to keep RAM going to provide the care that is so needed both here and abroad.
I am beginning to see RAM as a very large family that I am very proud to be part of- and it looks like that there will be another expedition at Cosby in 2009, so I am looking forward to being of service once again for this very worthy charity.
Please consider making Remote Area Medical one of your favorites as well- go to and make a donation.