Around the Homestead

A warm weekend in November…

We are having unbelievable weather here in Kansas for November.  You wouldn’t even know Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  I love Thanksgiving and can’t wait to see my family and eat lots of good food.  My family doesn’t get together as often as it used to, so it’s nice to get to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins.

We spent Friday tearing down old fencing around the garden and in our lots.  Randy cut down three hideous cedar trees, wish I had pictures, it looks so much better.  The space is now used to house my tomato cages.  A much better use of space than cedar trees!  We also took our little kitten, Spooky, to the vet.  He got into our sheep’s protein tub a few days ago, got out with sticky feet, and to make a long storey short hasn’t been feeling well since.  So, the understanding was I would bring him in and leave him over night.  Well, when Randy and I got there to drop him off we were informed he would need to stay until Monday because our vet was going out of town over the weekend.  The vet also mentioned a few of the test he would be running on Spooky, two of which are expensive tests, not to mention the boarding fees for four days, and anything else they felt like tacking on.  So, we left Spooky not feeling very comfortable about the situation.  By the time I got home and started thinking about him being cooped up there all weekend I decided I wanted to go get him and Randy agreed.  I called them to let them know I would be coming to pick him up and was told he had not been examined yet, so that was fine.  By the time I got there (a 15 minute drive) they had managed to rack up nearly a $100 bill for the little guy.  Included in this bill was de-wormer which if they had checked their records they would have noticed Spooky had been wormed not even a week prior.  He’s 10 weeks old, so my guess is that’s not really good on his system, right?  Also included was a charge for a fecal test in which they couldn’t get a sample from him yet charged the fee anyway.  Nice, huh?   In the meantime I had already scheduled Spooky an appointment with our large animal (sheep) vet.  I was, of course, given the third degree by the vet’s wife (who works there) about how they would really like to keep Spooky, and he’s clearly sick and needs some medical attention.  Basically how I was making a bad decision, and they just wanted me to know it.  So, I took Spooky to our other vet (along with a fecal sample I had obtained myself)  feeling very comfortable I had made the right choice by not stressing his system more by making him stay in a strange place any longer than I felt necessary.  The other was able to run one test, declare it bacterial (probably from a gummed up intestinal tract due to the sheep protein), and prescribed Amoxicillin which we already had on hand.  Probably about 20 minutes and we were out of there with Spooky in tow.  We are doing back flips just yet, but we do feel like he is getting better and will hopefully make a full recovery.  I think if he could talk he would have agreed with our decision.  LOL     I just got the impression the first vet was more concerned about making a profit than making my animal comfortable and finding out what was wrong with him as quickly as possible.  We will still use this vet for our dogs for the fact that we feel he IS a wonderful vet and since animals are our life we want the local vets to be on our side so if there is an emergency they will help us out after hours if needed.

Spooky on the way to the vet.  His time in the carrier was short lived because he meowed the whole time.  So, as unsafe as it is to not have your pet in a crate while in the vehicle, I held him the majority of the ride.

Friday evening we had dinner with my parents (for their anniversary), brother, and grandma at a fun little restaurant in a teeny tiny town near where we live.  The food was amazing, and we had a great time hanging out together.

Saturday, we rented a skid steer and scraped our lots to prepare for winter.  I intended for all the manure to go on my garden, but there was a communication error I’m afraid.  I was down helping my dad load up sheep to take to the sale and then inside cooking, baking, and cleaning and by the time I made it outside I noticed all the manure had been piled up out in our pasture.  So sad, but we have another pile I’m hoping will get moved and spread across the garden in the next week or two so it will have time to decompose through the winter.  The problem with that is instead of a skid steer rolling across the garden compacting the soil there will now be a giant tractor and speed mover rolling back and forth across the garden compacting the soil.  So much for a no-till garden this year, at least it will be fertilized well hopefully.

Sunday, we just kind of took it easy.  There was still plenty to do, but we just weren’t really up for it.  We had a minor catastrophe unloading the skid steer when we got it on Saturday.  It nearly fell through the trailer, so we had to borrow the trailer from the lumber yard where we rented the skid steer.  So, after much running back and forth the skid steer was returned and all was well.

Monday is my day to cook and prepare food for the week.  I finally worked on my scrapbook and began organizing and cleaning my craft area.  Both are way overdue.

Hopefully there will be an “after” picture of a clean craft area.  I’m not there yet.  LOL

My days off are also my days to spend time with the animals and work on training.  Our Australian Cattledog is a far cry from perfect and needs lots of attention and discipline.  So, at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm we play Frisbee and throughout the day we work on her incessant barking and her need to herd me around the house.  Little by little she is getting better.  She is a five year old dog and finally starting to calm down.  We’ve tried her as a herding dog and that theory that it’s instinct and “bred into them” is not always the case.  At three years old, if she ever had those instincts, they were long gone.  Our mutt makes a better herding dog than our herding dog, but we love them both the same anyway.

 Here is Ash after a mean game of frisbee.  Notice all the toys?  We are going to attempt to train her to put them back in her toy box.  Wish us luck.  She’s so smart, I really think she’s capable with a little work.

I managed to make the NT Ketchup and Coconut Chicken soup.  We haven’t tried the ketchup yet, but the soup was really good.. Randy and I both like it a lot, and I will be making it again soon.  It was so easy.  I’ll post it tomorrow hopefully.

Tonight is Salmon Chowder.  The potatoes are already peeled and everything is ready to be thrown in a pot.  Quick and easy dinner tonight.  I also have some homemade bologna in the process.  I will post this too if it is edible.  Sweet potato pie and Green Tomato Pie recipes will be up soon as well.  

Have a wonderful day!

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