Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Horrific Goat Cruelty Must Stop

Hello you lovers of goats and haters of goat cruelty.

I rarely expose you to horrific things that need to stop but I ran across this and had to post it.

Be forewarned the video on the page you are being sent to compares to the 'Hostel' series of movies. Mutilation and lack of humanity forced a post about it.

It is here, on the PETA site. Steel yourself before watching.

We need trained personnel, there is no argument there. But we cannot continue with these training procedures reinforcing how barbaric the human really is. It's wrong and will stop.

PETA sends you to a page with a sample letter. Send it. Get your friends to send it. This must stop.

I thank you and the goats thank you,

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Like us on Facebook

Hello all of you years ahead in the social networking scene!

We have finally opened the Facebook page. I am in charge of it so it'll be clunking along until I really get the hang of it.

Click here to go there. I'm pretty sure that will take you there...

So far the posts here are there. Some day in the very nearest of futures I'll be posting some more stuff over there, and will continue to post stuffs here as well.

Head over there and LIKE us!

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bee removal

Hello all you bee lovers out there!

I rescued a small colony of bees from a water meter box today and put them in one of my extra hives. From the size of the comb they had not been there for very long. Definitely a secondary swarm from a large colony, or a swarm from a small colony to begin with. They were calm considering the circumstances. They were small too which leads me to believe they have more European genes than Africanized genes so hopefully they will stay calm for a bit, but even if they don't living and aggressive is good too. I did not spot the queen specifically but they were more than happy to stay in the box while I was finishing up scooping them out of the meter box so hopefully she is there too. Here's the pics:

The cover, you can see a worker emerging to gather food and I also saw a few bringing pollen back as well. Before opening I knew they had comb. So this wasn't a swarm, they were already moving in.

The small bit of comb they had built already on the underside of the cover. That's about one fulls day's worth considering they have been pinned down due to rains here the past few days that was pretty good. They were bringing in some nice bright orange pollen from wildflowers already.

 Inside the meter box. This is what remained in the hole after I've already shaken the other half of them into the hive:

 Closer. No queen in there!:

 Once in the hive they stuck around one of the corners, hopefully around the queen:

 Is this thing on? (Me wondering if the camera is working...)

It took me about half an hour to open it, get them into the hive and close up. Not bad. Now hopefully they will live! I'll have to feed them for a bit to get them off to a good start. Tonight I'll douse them again with sugar water. Tomorrow I'll give them a feeder with sugar water, and two days later I'll let them out. They have bits of comb to get them started and if they like the box, maybe they will stay and join the apiary.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kidding Season 2013 wrap-up

Hello all of you who like cute pictures of goats!

This is the wrap-up post for kidding season this year. Although it happened back in April we were super busy with house stuff, soap making, woodworking and everything else that happens around here. Sorry for the delay but here it is for all those who wished to know how it went.

It began with Sassafrass. This is our spotted goat who we are very pleased with as a goat and a mother. She had 2 kids, one male and one female. Without any help from us, and 2 days early. Sassafrass is also polled, meaning she genetically has no horns so typically her offspring will also have no horns. This has been true in the past but this year her male had horns and her female did not. This was a first for us and since we did not expect it we did not disbud him in time and he now carries horns. We do not keep males so this is not a real problem, it's just funny it turned out that way. Anyway his name is Brick since one day Emiloo picked him up and said "he's as heavy as a brick!", and that's how he was named. The female we call Dahlia after the flower. We had discussed different names but there aren't that many flowers that are black and it evolved into Black Dahlia since she is all black except for some accents. She is not spotted like her mom, bummer, but we will keep her just the same. The boy however is spotted like crazy so that should up his price a bit because peeps are crazy for spotted goats lately. Here's their pictures:




Next up is Peach. She had 2 boys, but one was stillborn. Actually we didn't think she was pregnant at all, but the day came and there they were. The surviving boy was small, and in the first few days seemed like he had some breathing troubles, but after a week they cleared up and he is now a handful. We named him Pi, because that will make his registration papers read "Peaches Pi". Get it? I'm sure that you do. He has red and white markings and is coming along just fine. Here the pics:



Next up is Plum. Plum, as well as Peach, was one of our first full blood goats. Her countenance appears on our logos on Facebook, and our soaps, and anything else we make in the future probably. She is indeed a pretty goat, but not a good mommy. She has never been a real good mommy. If you go back and read previous years you will see what I'm talking about. Her typical behavior is to have the kids, clean them up, let them suckle and then she rejects one in favor of the other. Or like the year before last she will pick one and kick two to the curb and refuse to feed them. This is how we end up with 'bottle babies' and have to feed little goats from a bottle. This year was really no different other than I sat with them for those first few hours to make sure she was accepting both. Well she did it again. She had 2 kids, one boy and one girl. And for some reason she chose the boy as the goat she was going to take care of and started butting the girl away anytime she wanted to feed. We held her to let the girl feed but that was the only time she would let her eat. I'm a tad miffed at this behavior and how consistent it is. Anyway we started supplementing the girl with bottles and whenever possible we would hold Plum so she could get it directly from mommy. After a few days we noticed that she would only let the girl eat when the boy was eating, of course the boy could eat anytime he wanted to. Since it did not appear as though she was getting enough milk I began bottle feeding a few days after she was born. Sigh. If plum weren't so pretty and had such good looking goats we would get rid of her, but alas she is a good milker and a good breeder so there it is.

The kids themselves are healthy and all but the boy has a defect. He has a wicked overbite which we are hoping he will grow into and not cause any feeding issues. So far it has not caused any and he already eats grass and hay like a champ. However, I am not sure we would be comfortable selling him as a breeder because of the potential to pass on the defect. I told him the other day we were probably going to eat him, he didn't seem to care. Because of his upper lip we call him Baron Overbite (riffing on The Venture Brothers 'Baron Underbite'.) He is mostly black with white spots. The girl we have named Daisy because of her personality. She is always happy to see us, most likely because we mean 'food' to her, but it's more than that. She is cute and bubbly and to take a line from 'You've Got Mail' "Daisies are the happiest flowers" or something like that. So that's how we named her. And onto the pics:


Baron Overbite:

Daisy, and Plum (She, Daisy, was also in the video post before this one):

 And last but certainly not least is Lily. Originally she is Plums daughter, and turned out really nice. I also think she was the one Plum took care of, or if memory serves me she was an only child. Anyway she had 2, a boy and a girl. The boy is red and white, and the girl is black with a white flash circling her torso. They are both in great shape, and we are pleased with Lily as a mommy.  She is a decent milker as well so all around that is a really good goat. The boy was named Browner because he was more brown that Pi, and in a group of small, new goats sometimes that's how you get your name and since he is a boy we weren't tethered to naming him a flower or plant name. Her name is Day Lily, after her mom. Here's the pics:


Browner: Oops I have no pictures of Browner yet but really he is browner than Pi...

Day Lily:

Well that's it. 7 Kids total, 3 girls, 4 boys. We did not breed Iris and Fern as we did not want that much milk this year, and to give Fern a year off after last years 'fistival of horror'. We will breed those two next year probably, we'll see. We also did not breed the yearlings from last year, or the year before because we need a new buck and everyone else is related to the one we have now.

As per usual we will keep the girls and sell the boys. After weaning we will be awash in milk and Emiloo will be making cheeses again. I have no time for such things and will continue building on the house.

More posts coming up soon, why not sign up to follow the posts as they occur? What a grand idea!

That's all folks!
Thanks for stopping by, take care!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cuteness with Daisy the goat

Hello all of you who would like to be able to read posts regularly!

Well it has indeed been a bit of time since my last post. We have been working on many projects including woodworking, soapmaking, house building, and goat topics.

To make it up to you I'm posting a video of one of our goats.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS I'll make those other posts soon...I promise.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pretty wooden things

Hello all you who like pretty wooden things!

Well I have been at it again. The lathe and I have become close buds and we have been working on stuff in the evenings after house building. The stuff you are going to see is varied and shows how much I really like turning wood on the lathe. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did making them.

Here goes somethin':

This first is a revisit to the Glulam beam turning projects. The first I call Tulip (I need a picture from a lower angle for the name to make sense) which is approximately 8" across and 4" tall and here it is:

This second one is also a Glulam and I call it Dog Bowl cuz it looks like a dog bowl which is also approximately 8 in across and 4" tall:

And another in the Bowl from a board series made from Aromatic Cedar which is small at 5" across and 3" tall. Perhaps I should call it Cereal Bowl:

And a new area I am experimenting with is Wine bottle stoppers. These are made from Walnut and Maple laminated together and then turned. The Finish is a Lacquer buffed until it shines. You can't see it in the pics but if you turn these in front of your eyes you can see the luminescence of the grains in the woods.

And so far my Piece De Resistance. A piece of Black Walnut turned into a hollow form. It has tons of color and grain variation as well as some Worm eaten areas and rotted pith. It turned out to be very amazing to me, a real home run. It was finished by soaking it in Mineral Oil for 4 days. I haven't done anything else to it and am not sure I'm going to, I kind of like the matte finish it has. It stands 8" tall and 5" across at the widest point. Here are three shots showing all sides of it.

Well that's all for now. I still have 6 other things in the finishing process and will post them as I finish them. Again I do plan to sell stuff like this in the future so I need some input. Do they have artistic value? Do they suck? Would you buy them all? Let me know by leaving a comment!! Please.

Well thanks for stopping by, I should have some more house pictures soon as I finished the soffit vents on the back of the house and will move onto the eave soffits tomorrow with Emiloo holding the ladder. :)

See you soon, take care!

PS I might also ask you to "Follow" this blog so I can see who is watching regularly. Thanks again!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Music for the woodworker

Hey all you who like music!

As you might know I am a woodworker whenever I can be and I like good mood lifting music. One of my favorite woodworkers to take queues from is Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals. One of his latest Youtube videos shows how to make a plywood picture frame which by itself turned out really nice. He has been showing off his video editing skills lately and this last video has a sound track I just love. The singer is a girl named Amelia June and it was produced by Loveshadow. It has been added to my favorite listening list.

You can check the song at the CCmixter website HERE. And woodworkers can watch Steve's video with the song HERE.

Enjoy, I hope you like it!
Thanks for stopping by!

PS Oops, I forgot to mention that this song was originally written and conceived by Trifonic, and they in allowing others to re-mix this song using the original acappella voice and drum tracks resulted in the above mix which rules. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A little bigger box

Hello all you fans who enjoy house posts!

Well it has been busy again around here. Emiloo had a bunch of vacation accumulated that she was going to lose if she didn't take it so she took most of last week off and we worked on the house a bit (some vacation!)

The steps we accomplished were:
Finished the rough-in of all 2nd story windows and door. Finished sheathing of the 2nd floor. Applied house wrap to the 2nd floor. That doesn't sound like much but most of it was high upon a ladder 20 ft off the ground so that alone was pretty hairy. Oh, and I no longer have to hammer cap nails, hurray for my finger tips.

Without further adieu here are some pics of where the house stands:

East side and back:
 Back and west side:
 West side and Emiloo:

Today I am working on the soffit vents that help ventilate the roof deck. Yesterday I hot-glued screen on the backs of the vents because I thought the holes were a bit big and would allow bugs to get in there. 40 ft of vents later I have no finger prints on a couple of my fingers-that hot glue is HOT by the way... Anyway the soffit vents connect all the way to the peak of the roof and help cool the roof in summer, and clear out humidity in the winter. I also need to do the soffits under the eaves on the side of the house, but those are not vented so that should be easier except for the 20ft off the ground on a ladder thing again.

After that we are ready for the foam boards, then the windows, and door go in, and finally the final board and batten covering to officially 'dry' us in. Then we can go inside and start on that! I can't wait.

That's the plan, think good airy thoughts for us!

Take care, thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bowl and boxes

Hello all you fans of wood art!

Well I finished some little projects and am finishing others until the weather starts cooperating.

The first is a glue-lam, or Strata Beam bowl. We have a Strata beam that we aren't going to use and as it turns out makes good material for a turned bowl. I applied 3 coats of sanding sealer to it sanding between coats and then applied 4 coats of Wipe-On polyurethane as well to make it shiny. It has a foot although you can't see it and is approximately 8" wide and 5" tall. It came out rather well considering it is a bunch of pine flakes all smooshed together with glue.

The second and third are cedar boxes. They are small but they were good for learning box making technique. They are indeed round but are still called 'boxes' in the turning world. The first is about 3" wide and 4" tall and the second is about 3" wide and 3" tall. I really like how the grain runs on these. They came from cedar branches destined to be burned in the huge burn pile out in the front pasture. Both of these were soaked in Mineral oil for 2 days. Then the first one had a lacquer finish applied to it very much like French Polish. The second was left alone with no other finish. I might put some Polyurethane on both, we'll see how the surfaces look in a couple of weeks.

And a second:

Not good for much of anything except small stuff, perhaps matches or small keepsakes, or catching dust. I have a request to make a shorter, wider one for rings so I'll prolly do one of those.

Other than this I have the segmented bowl turned up and is waiting to finished. I still haven't decided what I'll put on it. I have a bunch of pictures while it was being made so I'll post them all at once. Then I have another Oak bowl that turned out really well and it too is receiving finish layers of Lacquer and will be posted soon as well.

That's all for now although I have some bottle stopper bottoms coming and will be making some of those as well for all you wine drinkers. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by, take care!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Goat 4 Sale - best commercial ever

Hello all you who want to purchase a goat without knowing what they eat persons!

We did not watch the superbowl but Emiloo ran across this commercial which is awesome and is totally correct. Do NOT get your goats hooked on corn chips of any kind otherwise they will turn on you. I know this because I realized my goats can spot a Fritos bag from 100 yards after giving them some treats just once.

Go here to watch the best goat commercial ever.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mushroom goodness

Hello all of you who like representations of fungi!

So I was reading the interwebs the other day and another woodworker had a little youtube about making mushrooms on the lathe and it looked fun, so I made some too. I might be thinking about making some of these smaller, shorter actually with stouter stems, as refrigerator magnets, stay tuned.

Another angle:

These have already begun to do their job and collect dust! It is super dusty here so that's a big job. :) And my little camera needs practice focusing better...

I just kind of let them become whatever shape they want while I'm roughing them in. I am amazed how thin I can get the stem before it snaps (yep that happened.) The wood is cedar, or juniper actually from out here off the wood pile. Since we have plenty of this growing around here it will be a natural for these in the future. I am also working up a plan for 'magic mushrooms' which hold your paper clips magically on the cap. This is from this current issue of Wood magazine, but the one they made is more a squat disc than a mushroom shape. I think the marketing writes itself if the shape is a mushroom though. We'll see. And I'll post them once I make them too.

I have a bunch of stuff going on in the background and will post once I have something finished. I have also started my first segmented bowl, which is many many pieces glued up into a shape, then turned on the lathe and finished. Typically they are vase, or bowl shape. Again I'll post once I have it done, or mostly done.

Take care, and thanks for stopping by!

PS I have the bowl from the last post turned, but I am still rubbing finishes onto it so that will be up soon too. See ya!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Hello all of you desk jockeys wishing you had someplace to put your pens!

This post is of a project that is for Emiloo for her desk at work, a simple pen holder.

It is rings of aromatic cedar and regular cedar (I do have a bunch of that don't I?). These were all drilled out with 4" hole saws, stacked and glued, then turned smooth on the lathe. It is also finished with tung oil, then buffed with steel wool and more coats of tung oil. The inside has some polyurethane which is having a hard time drying out but it will probably be ok. Holding it in your hand it kind of sparkles, this is from the tung oil seeping into the grain and I really like the look of it. It would look good on any desk I think, and keep the moths away too!

That's all for now! Thanks again for stopping by!