Thursday, March 20, 2008


A Flash flood swept over our bottom pastures and hay fields on Wednesday. Here is the aftermath.
This fence has been flattened by the water and debris.

More destroyed fencing and debris to clean up.

Destroyed fencing and logs from the neighbor's pile.

If you have seen the news recently, you know that several central states have flooded over the last few days. There was a lot of damage in Arkansas. Our bottom pasture land flooded. One of our neighbors had cut down 100 cedar trees and had the logs stacked. Another neighbor had several round bales of hay sitting in his field. All of the trees and several bales were forced onto our land by the raging water. This part of our farm was under between 5 to 10 feet of water. All of the fences are destroyed and must be replaced. It is just a mess.

The is the Illinois Bayou. We own 4000 feet of frontage along it where our bottom hay fields are. The first row of trees and brush you see (not the three in the mid-ground) sit along the edge of an embankment. Twenty feet below is the normal water level of the river. As you can see, the river has completely filled it's "valley" and risen several feet above the level of dry land on the top of the embankment. This picture was taken AFTER the flood in the fields had receded. If we had been standing on this spot at the time of the flash flood we would have been killed. Happily, our house is on much higher ground at least 1/2 mile from the river. Our yard was a pond, but our house is fine and so are the barns. It will take us all summer to clean up that mess and repair the fencing. UGH!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We've Got an Eight Pack!

March 17th was ClaireAnna's 7th birthday! ( Post on that coming up!) It was also the day our first goat kids arrived! What a birthday present. Thacia had triplets! There are 2 does and 1 buck, all healthy and cute as can be. Here is mom and kids, about 30 minutes old. This is Daniel, 2 hours old. This is Ketzah. And here is Galilee.Thacia and Daniel trying to nurse and Ketzah trying to sleep. Galilee is behind there somewhere.Then, two days later, on the 19th, Ted and I got to the barn about 6:30 AM to find that Ashley had just given birth to our second set of triplets! The kids were still wet, but already standing up. I spent the next hour drying them thoroughly with a hand dryer since there was a cold breeze going through the barn and I didn't want them to get chilled. Then we helped them with their first nursing and dipped their navels with iodine. This batch is ALL GIRLS!

Second set of triplets.These are Misty, Cheetah, and Lola. Only ClaireAnna knows who is who.
Our third doe, Lily was also due, but since her bag was not big at all, we thought it would be a couple of weeks. However, when Kate's girlfriend, Bailee, came over after school to see the six pack around 3:30 PM, they found Lily in the goat pen with twins, already dry! We scooped up the kids and put them in a stall with mama. This batch is two bucks, Rusty and Turner. Unfortunately, Lily has decided that she doesn't like Turner and won't let him nurse. When a kid walks up to her, she stretches out her neck to get a smell of which kid it is. If it is Rusty, she lets him come closer. If it is Turner, she head butts him away. It is just the most pitiful thing and ClaireAnna is very upset with her goat. However, it is not too uncommon for this to happen and Lily may be doing it because she doesn't have very much milk. For now, we are forcing Lily to nurse Turner by tying her up. We are hoping that her milk will come in and she will accept him in a couple of days. If not, we will bottle feed him. Poor little guy!
This isn't a good picture lighting wise, but it shows Rusty nursing Lily and poor little Turner standing to the side dejected.

This is Thacia and Ashley with the six pack. (Lily and her boys are in another stall.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Only in Arkansas

What is wrong with this picture? Can you see it? Look closely....... Yup, its a recliner!
In the first picture, you can see a barbed wire fence. That fence separates our property from our neighbor's. He has had some brush bulldozed into a big pile that you can see on the right. He plans to burn it. About 2 weeks ago, he drove out to the brush pile and plopped down this recliner. I asked him about it and he says he is going to burn it. But there it the middle of his cow pasture.....only in Arkansas!

Winter Landscapes

It was just so pretty out there today with the snow and the creeks flowing, I had to go out and snap some pictures to share. This is my back yard......

Sledding Fun!

No School today! Just play'in in the snow. Last week, Kate and I were at Leonard's Ace Hardware and they had stacks of sleds for sale. We laughed! "Who on earth is going to buy those?" We have lived here for 4 years and there hasn't once been enough snow to use one of those things. Well, we sure wish we had one now! All we could find was an air mattress that we sprayed on the bottom with butter flavored Pam. It worked but it was kind of slow.

"I'm gonna do it. I've just gotta do it at least once!" she says. "Do what?", we ask.
"I've got to fall face down in the snow!" Oh, and she had to taste it, too.


I had a nightmare last night. I dreamed I moved back to Wisconsin and had to get up in the morning and do all my farm chores in a freezing cold blizzard. It was horrible!...........And then I looked out my window! WOW! It is the most snow we have every seen here, several inches at least. IT IS MARCH 3RD FOR GOODNESS SAKES! Uncle Gub usually has half his garden planted by now.
Of course the girls went nuts. Kate broke out the camera and documented the sight for us. ClaireAnna started talking right away about a snowman. We all bundled up ( we don't have snow clothes so a layer of stretch pants and then jeans was the best we could do) and went outside. chores. The barnyard animals were not quite sure what to think. Chimi, the Llama kicked up his heals and sprayed snow into the air as he ran back and forth. The ducks laid on their bellies and slid around like penguins. The goats simply won't come out from under their run-in and the pups are just loving it. We fed and watered everyone and then went home.
By 9:00 AM, March Man was born. He is the only real sized snowman ClaireAnna has ever built. She was so excited! Later we are going to try sledding on grain sacks, or cardboard boxes or something. We've got some awesome hills. Unfortunately, we sold all our sleds at a garage sale before we moved! Darn!
Ted made it to work in his 4-wheel drive pickup, but lots of people didn't. Remember, we don't have snow plows or salt trucks here. Ted called and told me that as he drove the overpass to I-40, he saw bumper to bumper cars in both directions as far as he could see at a dead stop. No one moving at all. I have no idea how that worked itself out. There is currently a semi stuck in Alcan's driveway blocking anything from coming in or out. People here just don't know how to drive in the snow. Every school is closed and most people just won't go out till most of this melts. Today's high is supposed to be 39 degrees. But tomorrow is going to be nearly 60! So hopefully, by tomorrow evening, my nightmare will be over! Crazy Arkansas weather!

ClaireAnna and March Man

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Strange Family Walk

Well, we went on a walk today, the whole family. ( All but Josh.) The strange part is who we took with us. We took the pups, the cats and the whole goat herd! It was quite the afternoon. It was the first time we have let the goats our of their pen. We weren't sure what would happen but they did follow us down the farm road and to a patch of brush, which they excitedly started nibbling on. We let them nibble for half an hour or so and then we walked back to the barnyard and put them up. Lot's of fun.

Here's the whole herd, exploring the hillside for the first time. They are so excited!

Two pregnant Boer does, nibbling on some greenery.
These are Leah and Abbigail, our two youngest kids.
This cow is not sure what to make of the new livestock sharing her pasture.

ClaireAnna leading a pup and following some goats back into the barnyard at the end of our walk.
As I was waiting for the goats to have their fill on the hillside, I turned around and took this shot of some of our horses grazing in their pasture. ( Seymore too!)

What a Difference a Month Makes!

Maybe I should have updated their pictures once a week, because now, one month after their last update, they don't look like the same Puppies! They are HUGE!

Bo and Jessi
The Pups have learned to walk on a leash and be tied. They have bonded well to the goats and live with them full time now. They eat a boat load of chow twice a day and are obviously growing rapidly. We are having a great time with them and have grown to love them very much.