Tag Archives: family

Looking Back part 2

Looking Back part 2

After a few months of being farmers and getting the llama experience, we or shall I say, me…decided it was time to add to our family of animals. You know us women, we all want a horse! It is every little girls dream to have a horse, white and powerful who eats carrots out of your hand and tramples deadly snakes to save your life! My dream horse was named Snowfire from a TV show back in the mid 1960s. So of course I wanted a white and majestic horse! I got on the internet one night after causally mentioning to Chad about “horses, farm, lots of fun, how about it”. Before he could answer, I already had 4 sheets printed out of who had horses and where within 500 miles! I narrowed it down to 10 miles and found a cute little place in the country called, Knapp Mini Horses. We visited Lisa and her prize horses. She had every size, shape and color! I saw my white horse off in the distance and bee lined to her. She wasn’t a ‘real’ horse, her head came just past my waist and she had a little grey mixed in. Also, her name was Sparky, there was and is a reason for that! I nuzzled her nose and made up my mind that Sparky was going to be mine! Now we needed another horse because according to the internet, they do better in pairs. We found laci off by herself eating, which is what she does best and allot, all the time, non-stop. She is brown with a golden mane and best of all…she is with foal! Two horses for the price of one! Laci reminds me a wal mart greeter so I thought she would be great with little kids while they pet her as she stands there eating. We went into dickering mode with the seller and agreed on a price. Of course I was a few hundred dollars short. Lisa offered to let us put them on ‘lay-a-way’. So, for two months, I paid on my horsy-lay-away and got our barn ready for the new family members. I had a talk with the llamas assuring them that the new horses were not as important as they are and that mommy will always love them the most! They heard me without listening, blinking as they stared into space as my Charlie brown teacher voice went over and around them. Soon the day came when my little girl dream became a reality! Lisa Knapp dropped off my horses and gave us a small booklet on, yes that’s right, the ‘do’s and don’ts for mini horses’! Like before, I scanned it, under lined the important stuff and handed it to Chad who once again frowned at me as he slowly shook his weary head. We introduced the animals and both llamas ran out of the barn into the pasture as the horses bee lined it to the fresh hay. Yep, it was going to work out nice! We had 2 llamas and 2 mini horses with a foal on the way! The four were easy to take care of and gave us hours of entertainment and enjoyment! Well, I was anyway. Chad now had barn duties that he didn’t count on, like mucking the barn, feeding animals in 20 below blizzards and chasing horses back into their side of the field or off the road after they knocked down the fence. What could be better? Maybe a goat? Or three dozen chickens? Why not add a few bunnies? And of course one has to have a barn kitty or three to keep out riff raff

Goats and the Vet!!

Ahhhh, the goats. They are very smart and know Mike the Hoof Man’s truck and they recognize Dr Smith’s oversized, gleaming white 4 x 4. We can have fifty truck’s, cars and vans drive up our long driveway and they will glance up, snort, then keep on eating. BUT…as soon as Mike or Larry drive up, they do their little goat dance and jump, running towards anything that will hide them! When Doc Larry pulled up, they high tailed it to the back of the barn, trying to squirm under a bush. Two full grown goats trying to squeeze themselves under a bush! They laid perfectly still, barely breathing, thinking they had accomplished the perfect get-a-way! Doc decided to tackle them first since the other animals were already galloping themselves into a frenzy at the very sight of him. So we causally walked towards them, pretending we couldn’t see them. Doc on one side, me on the other, getting ready for a grab and pull! Oh but my mountain goat is smarter than she looks! She BAAAAA’D long and loud and pushed herself out from under that low laying bush, practically rolling poor Dillon down the slope that the bush grows atop on! Come to think of it, I believe she did that on purpose! Pushing defenseless Dillon towards the Doctor as a sacrifice, giving her time to find a new spot to hide in! Unfortunately, both goats managed to get away and ran into the barn where we found them crouched behind the chicken coop with only a tail sticking out! So it begins…Doc on one side, me on the other, two shaking goats in the middle. He grabbed Dillon first by the collar and pulled him out giving him two shots as Sierra BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA’d longer and louder than I have ever heard her do before! Doc then grabbed her and gave her the first shot which made her jump high into the air trying to twist her body out of his grasp! Doc held on with superman strength and gave her another shot which made her glare at ME standing there. They both ran out of the barn, back to the bush warning the rest of the frightened animals to hide.. The horses and Dunkay spilt up thinking we couldn’t catch them if they were in the four corners of the pasture. This is where Kyle came in to help us make sure that Sparky got her exercise in for the year!!. Sheesh!!

Oh…and later on today, I will tell about the girl Llamas and Stormy in the back pasture and how we chased them….Stormy was a bad boy! Poor Dr Smith…I think every time he pulls up into our driveway, he makes the sign of the Cross and says a desperate prayer…it’s the Addie farm again.

Mystery at Addie Acres!

Our horses are not only sneaky, but mysterious! Some how Sparky and the Tank got into the middle pen where all the hay is stacked up with out opening a gate! Two already plump horses gorging themselves sick and both gates are closed and locked. The fence is up so they didn’t push it down and it is too high for stubby mini horses to jump over ( I think I would faint if I saw the Tank jump!). So how did they get in there??!! Dunkay was on the outside looking in, his mouth watering and feeling left out! All he could do was stand there while his tummy growled as the two over weight horses feasted on the forbidden food!  Also, the goats can get into any place at anytime and they too were watching ding and dong eat. Another head scratching mystery at Addie Acres!

Super Farmer VS Mr Possum or 4!

yep, Super Farmer and his possums! He sets out traps and catches hens, eggs, various small animals and lots of air! He plotted and schemed! Setting up the sneaky trap under hay bales, behind piles of lumber, on top of the kitty condo, next to a rubber tire (where we found 3 dead bunnies that the possums killed), on top of the straw, behind boxes….you name it he hid the cage there! He caught chickens, bunnies, an egg and lots of teasing from his loving wife! He stalked those possums all winter! He tells the tale of when he walked in the barn one night and caught daddy Poss munching away on their favorite meal…’Meow Mix’ on top of the feline gym! ‘Mr P’ looked up at Super Farmer, blinked a couple of times and purposely fell backwards like he had a heart attack and just died. Chad cashed him yelling out the ‘war cry’ all the way to the wood pile but he got away! That’s when the serious battle began…Super Farmer VS the possum family!! The animals won all winter as the humans grew more frustrated and set up wire traps all over the barn, garage and yard! Then he brought out the big guns….CANNED CAT FOOD! Chad drew a map of the barn trying to figure out where a family of dangerous and out witting possums could hide and what their next move would be! He had canned cat food everywhere, we were buying it by the case! Unfortunately, chickens LOVE turkey giblets as much as possums do! Super Farmer would set a cage with greasy delicious food, put it next to the wood pile only to trap a hen or rooster! The possums ate the chicken food, cat kibbles, goat grain, an occasional bunny, hay and lots of farm fresh eggs! They had access to clean water and got to play a good game of hide and seek with the humans! They loved their cozy home and refused to leave….heck, I think they invited granny, gramps and every cousin within a 10 mile radius to share their warm nesting place complete with flowing non
stop cat food! Chad kept up the brave battle and is now winning! So far in the last month, we have caught 3 possums and 1 sort of died. That’s 4 that out lasted us this winter! We will win!
Super Farmer intelligent human! Possum…he dumb animal!

Special K cereal and 4 cats with 1 hen

Well, it is spring! Why? Because I had my first bowl of cereal on my swing with Chick Chick and FOUR cats! Yep, it was relaxing to fight off a chicken and starving kitties who swiped at the hen, who in turn pecked back at furry faces. The gang then pushed each other away from me along with a few loud meeeeoooowwww’s and a SQUAWK! I ate as fast as I could throwing some Special K flakes in the middle of the squabble so they would leave me alone, which by the way, didn’t work. They turned into sharks circling the milky morsels  then pouncing upon it in a pile of fur and feathers! After the attack, they all looked up at me with squinted eyes demanding in their silence for more….not a few flakes, but the whole bowl! I retreated as fast as I could back to the house with my breakfast held high above my head as the herd of cats ran after me. One kitty ran in front trying to get me to stop as the other 3 sprinted to the back door where they stood like soldiers guarding the entrance, nobody in, nobody out! Chick Chick waited by the swing hoping I would come back and reward her for being good. The cats won. I gave up my cereal and placed it on the porch. It was completely gone within 4.5 seconds. I grudgingly went back to my swing and sat with Chick Chick who was not interested in me anymore now that the food was gone.  She jumped down and strutted away looking for early bugs. The kitties relished in their victory and cuddled in the warm sun, paws and tails wrapped around each other, glancing at me with a satisfied look of ‘yep, we rule, you drool’.

Goat Chasing Bunnies!!

Just when I thought I’ve seen it all, my animals surprise me with something else to shake my head at. I was in my office working when I looked out the window to see what the naughty’s were up to. Seemed normal, not much going on in below 0 weather.  I had left the barn door open just enough to let them go outside in case they needed a break from each other.  I saw two bunnies run out as fast as they could, following close behind was our goat Sierra. She chased those bunnies with her head bent low an inch or three behind a bunny butt all the way to the trees! She then walked back to the barn satisfied that her personal pile of hay was safe from un-wanted dinner guest!

The Sliding Donkey

We have a small hill by the garage that faces the barn and the animals like to eat the grass up there.  Well it’s been snowing allot making the pasture very icy.  The horse and donkey droppings have now become hard rocks that stick up like tiny mountains hiding under the snow to trip me.  Any who….Dunkay was pawing for grass under the crusty blanket on the slanted side of the hill, ignoring me since I didn’t have any grain in my hands. I yelled out to him, “Dunkay, what ya doing up there” he turned and looked at me, he  then proceeded to come down so he could greet me, his favorite human.  Because of the ice, he started to lose his footing, sliding towards me with his legs doing the cartoon act, you know where you all you see is a circle of legs going around and around but they aren’t moving?  I’m  standing there watching him slide towards me, no traction under his hooves that are pumping thinking a hundred thoughts per second like, “oh no, do I run?  Do I try to stop him? Will he knock me down if I can’t move away fast enough? Is he going break a leg? Is he going to die? Am I going to die? Where’s Chad when you need him?!” I spread my legs a bit, bend down a little and put my arms out, sorta like a baseball catcher, only in pink, hoping to catch a 300 pound donkey. What am I nuts? I come to my senses within seconds and step aside and let him slide past me. After he got his footing, he looked at me with a grin on his face! I believe he actually enjoyed himself!

Jasper the Escaping Goat!!

Well since I’ve been writing about goats, I will tell about the 2cnd goat we got…for free. Jasper! You would think that after Billy, red flags would be easy to recognize. Well they’re not!  Jasper came to us approx. 3 months after Billy went to live at his new butting playground. Jasper had been raised by an elderly lady who kept him in the house for the first year of his life. He was treated like a child and he excepted nothing less from Addie Acres when he joined our family.  Jasper took over Billy’s old pen. It was the perfect goat area!  It had a cozy 2 room shelter with a thick straw bed, a special wood ‘goat pole’ that we put up so he could scratch his horns and take care of any itch he may have. It had a large private pasture for running, playing and to lounge around in the sun with a small dirt hole for a body rub. Jasper had a couple of good points right from the start. He was already fixed and even thou he liked to play, he wasn’t a ‘butting’ goat. He would push around colorful beach balls, muzzle our hand for a massage and he had an unusual talent… escaping from any pen no matter where it was or how strong the structure! Billy the goat would butt us to play and Jasper the goat would escape so he could trot up to the house looking for his human family. He would spend un-noticed hours searching for a tasty bush he wasn‘t allowed to eat.  We reinforced the fence, replacing most of it with horse fencing, plus we pounded in a few heavy duty posts to prevent him from pushing a wall down.  Goats are famous for finding a weak spot in the fence or locating a hole as small as a guinea pig that they can hook their horns into until it is big enough to squeeze through. If he could get his head through an opening, his whole body would follow without effort! Jasper would work on his pen everyday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! There were many times when would I find him standing on the porch next to my white wicker furniture staring with dancing eyes, tail wagging!  He was patiently waiting for me to come out to feed him and play. We had folks knocking day and night to inform us that our escapee was out enjoying exotic flowers. We caught him standing on his hind legs, front hooves on the window sill, looking in the family room trying to find life inside the house! Jasper was too friendly! He didn’t want to be alone and he didn’t enjoy living outside like an animal! I really liked Jasper, he was cute as a button and loved his humans! But he refused to be caged and enjoyed his freedom too much. It finally got to the point that we needed to find him a real farm with farmers who knew how to keep a Houdini inside the barn.  So after a few short months we gave Jasper to a young lady who fell in love with him. She was active in 4H, and excited to show him off at the fair.  We told her about his escape adventures, not holding any information back.  Lucky for us, this teenage girl was raised on a large farm, experienced in taking care of goats. She was willing to take Jasper the escaping goat and teach him proper farm manners. When the day came to say goodbye, I was sad.  I gave him a hug and help load him into her trailer. I watched my silly goat ride down the gravel driveway, his furry behind sticking out, tail wagging as the dusty white cloud enveloped them.  I was disappointed that once again we were goat free, yet relived that I didn’t have to chase him down 5 days a week, worrying he might be struck by a car. Our ‘goat less ness’ lasted for about 8 months. Our next 2 FREE goats came from the Michigan City petting zoo. Their Care Taker promised that they wouldn’t try to escape, reassuring us that because they were hand raised at the zoo, they didn’t have that natural instinct to butt, they did however, enjoy circling around people for grain and vanilla wafers. Welcome Dillon and Sierra…the staring goats!

Starting The Farm

When Chad and I started our little farm almost 5 years ago, we were as green as green gets! Chad did have a few years growing up on a farm when he was a boy. My dad was born and raised on 48 acres raising dairy cows in Kansas. Every summer my folks would pack up us kids and we would spend 14 fun filled hours in a car driving to KS to visit relatives and get some farm experience! Well, even thou my father hated farm life, it must have rubbed off on me because as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of having horses and other critters! Unfortunately, life does a detour forcing your dreams to take a back seat until the time is right. My time came when the Lord opened a door for us to live on a llama farm that was already well established in Laporte. Our first 2 Llamas were given to us by dear friends, I had our horses, Laci & Sparky on ‘lay-away’ until I could pay them off (yes you really can put a horse on lay-away!). Chad and I started this adventure together even thou some family members objected. We both felt like it was God’s will for us to start our own little farm, making it a blessing for young family’s with little ones. Our herd has grown from 2 llamas and 2 horses up to 4 llamas, 1 alpaca, a donkey, 2 goats, our original horses, various chickens, 3 quackers and too many barn kitties, not to mention the escaped bunnies who are now helping the wild rabbit population go from basic brown to funny spots and droopy ears! We talk quite a bit about how different things could have been for us when the kids were growing up if we had the farm 14 years ago with all of Gods creatures, big and small a few feet away. I am so blessed to be here and I try not to take what God has given us for granted. I’m looking forward to sharing all this with many grandchildren. We hope to be the fun grandparent’s that are considered cool and have the ‘must-go-to’ place in the eyes of a child! A home where the next generation will always be safe, happy and drama free! We both desire that the days with Baba and G-pa, imprint sweet memories in the hearts of all our grandkids for years to come!