You know, back in the day, chickens ran all over the farm, pooping everywhere they went, demolishing flower beds with all their constant digging and scratching. They roosted over every gate on the farm, making opening them a “must wear gloves” experience.
They ran out in the road, they chased the neighbors as they walked by for exercise…oh wait, that was the two dogs and the baby goat chasing the walkers….
Well, anyway, remember when roosters would run after people, pecking at their pants legs, and begging to be either fed or picked up and carried around?
What about the hens that laid eggs in big piles, hidden from human view until one of them decided to get broody and set on about 40 of them?
Remember chicken poop on your nice church shoes and in your hair when you walked under one of their tree roosts?
Oh, well maybe you don’t remember. Maybe you don’t remember, because maybe not EVERYBODY raised chickens like that….not even “back in the day.” Probably at least some people had chicken coops, or pens, or tiny wire cages where the hens could sit and eat and drink and poop out eggs all day.
Well, anyway, chickens around here are being raised the “old fashioned” way because someone has been either too busy or too lazy to put up the electric net fencing correctly to confine the little peckers.
That someone, of course, would be me. I decided I’d use their net to train the baby goats to electric mesh fencing, and it worked GREAT! I didn’t want to use regular goat mesh fence for the smaller kids because the holes are just the right size to tempt little goats to try and put their heads through, and possibly become entangled in the electric fencing. The chicken fence has very small holes, too small for baby goat heads to become trapped in them.
The chicken fence worked great, but now we’re really, really eager to put it to it’s proper “chicken use”. The kids are graduating to “big goat” fencing very soon…if it works out. They do have a healthy respect for the mesh and Ciara has been my “guinea goat” the last few days, coming down with me to milk. I leave her on the outside of the fence, with the dog, and so far, she has not touched the fence or tried to go through it, so I’m thinking the others will behave similarly.
Ciara is 3 months old now and at 40 pounds is still the smallest goat on the property. She has the biggest personality though! I wish I could housetrain her.
I can’t housetrain my pet chickens either. I tried that once, for about a day. It’s not possible. So, they all have to stay outside, being raised the old fashioned way, although not for long, we’re about to get a little more “high tech” around here!
Well, I figured out that my memory card is bad…which is why it would not upload or transfer pictures. I’m using a smaller memory card, which works great, but only holds 16 pictures, AND it only works in my old camera. But, I was able to get some shots today and got them uploaded and wanted to share them since I had not posted pictures for so long. Hope you enjoy them.
A few days ago I came across this article written by Dr. Dyer and wanted to post it here because I felt it really helped me personally to relate to some of the ideas he has. Sometimes I’ll read what he says and think “that sounds great”, but it won’t work for me in this situation or that situation. This way of thinking gives me a way to apply his teachings when things just don’t seem to make sense. When people in this world think we need to be angry at the government, or this group of people, or that group of people are going to take away our rights, or someone wronged me or someone I love. It’s hard to not blow up about things sometimes, but looking at the bigger picture, it does seem that slowly chipping away at the stone eventually does break things down and changes them, forever. And I can relate to that.
By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Grow strong by going with the flow.
“Nothing in the world is softer and weaker than water. But for attacking the hard, the unyielding, nothing can surpass it. There is nothing like it.”
In researching, studying, and putting into practice the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching, I’ve been struck by the many references Lao-tzu makes to water in its various forms: the sea, rain, fog, mist, snow, and rivers and streams. The esteemed master seemed to find his spiritual strength in all of nature, but he must have had a special reverence for water and how it functions in all of our lives. Be like water seems to be repeated throughout the Tao Te Ching. This element is closer to being Tao-like than anything else in this world, so it is a perfectly suitable symbol for teaching about the Great Way.
Water is as mysterious to us as the Tao is. When you reach into the river and try to squeeze it tight, you end up losing it all. Water is elusive until you cease grasping and let your hand relax and be one with it—paradoxically, you get it by letting go. Lao-tzu advises emulating this element in all of its undecipherable and mysterious ways, even if it seems contrary to what your intellect and conditioning are telling you.
Lao-tzu reiterates three themes that derive from the true characteristics of water:
Overcome the unyielding parts of your life by yielding! Hard and rigid are overcome by the relentless application of gentle things, such as water’s soft flow or steady drip. So be persistently gentle and willing to surrender, and watch the resistance of the harsh and implacable wear away.For years, one of my family members who insisted on damaging herself and her relationships by ingesting intoxicating substances has been met by my loving but firm response. Slowly, over time, her hardness began to wear away in the face of the steady drip, drip, drip of gentle but resolute kindness, acceptance, and love. It can be discouraging at times, but as Lao-tzu points out in this verse, we must act just like water and use a soft approach, “for attacking the hard, the unyielding, nothing can surpass it.”
Water appears to be something you could easily overpower. However, it’s so flexible that once you push it out of the way, it will find its own level below all strong things and patiently enter where nothing solid can block its resting place. Put up barricades, erect levees, and make everything waterproof; yet with enough passage of time, the flexible quality of water will triumph. “The weak overcomes the strong” is a powerful message for you. Remember to stay flexible, willing to lower yourself in humility and appear weak, but knowing that you’re in harmony with the Tao. Lao-tzu urges you to be like the master who remains “serene in the midst of sorrow,” and evil will not be able to enter your heart.
Water is so soft that it can’t be harmed, damaged, or destroyed—it simply returns to its Source to be used over and over again. Boil it until it disappears, and its vapors enter the atmosphere, ultimately to return. Drink it, and it returns after nourishing your body. Pollute it, and it will return after enough passage of time to become purified nourishment again. This is all accomplished because of the element’s mutable softness.When you stay soft and surpass the hard, you too will be indestructible. There’s nothing softer than water under heaven, and yet there’s nothing that can surpass it for overcoming the hard. There’s so much wisdom to be found in this analogy: Stay in your soft mode. Hang back when you’re about to show how hard you can be. Try patience rather than attempting to rigidly control. Trust your innately gentle self.
Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. Wayne holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John’s University in New York. Visit: www.DrWayneDyer.com
Aha! Finally a day with no rain…maybe? I’ve got clothes that need to get hung out..we still haven’t gotten the plug for the dryer wired yet. The dirty clothes pile was getting higher and higher. I can hang a few things around the house…about one wash load full, and thats about all we have room for.
Clothes do smell fresher when hung outside, but then there are the bugs that like to hide in the seams and folds, only to crawl on your skin soon as you put the line-dried thing on!
Clothes dryers don’t harbor bugs, so I’m all for them. Plus, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining outside or not, we can have dry clothes. Ah, it’s the small things in life, isn’t it?
Still, I guess I’m using less electricity and whatever by drying the clothes in the sun. So I guess I’m green that way.
I’m working on some re-fencing today. I don’t know how that’s going to go. The horses are all for it, but the goats hate being moved, even if it’s to a better place!
Their enclosure right now includes a pasture and wooded area but also a lounging area under a group of cedar trees that just won’t dry out with all this rain…so I’m going to re-fence around the area and add sand to the new shelter/lounging area if I can find any around here. I can get it in bags, but the cost is ridiculous. I need about 10 pick up truck loads.
And a better back than the one I have for unloading it all!
Yesterday was a GREAT market day! People were lined up at the door way before the market opened, due in part at least because there was also a 5k run later on in the morning. Soap sales were brisk and I even sold several of the shea butters! Whoo hoo. After all that work it took to create them!
I ran out of a few soaps, which I have more stock of here at home, except for the pepermint/eucalyptus. I have no more bars of that and have to get that one soaped ASAP!
I was truely tickled when I heard some of the comments market visitors were making about the soap and lotions scents…”divine” and “wonderful” were two that I remember.
CG and I watched the new film by Dr. Dyer called “The Shift” last night, and afterwards went out to dinner. It was a rainy, stormy evening. I remember thinking about some of the things Dr. Dyer said in his film about creating a life with meaning, instead of purely financial success, and I realized that even though I am creating a product to sell, what better way to affect a persons life than by giving them a GREAT shower experience? A good experience that will hopefully make them feel better all day.
I know it’s not much, but I feel so much better creating bars of soap for people than I did making potato chips for them!
Anyway, I just thought I’d share that. It was kind of an interesting revelation to me.
I also got a new book by Ellie Winslow intitled “Marketing Your Farm Products And How to Thrive Beyond the Sidewalks.” It comes highly recommended by other small farm entrepenuers like me, and I’ve been wanting to buy it for a long time. Even though I just started reading it I can see that it’s an excellent investment. Ellie also has a great site that can be seen at http://beyondthesidewalk.com.
Ellie has written many useful books, even one about making money with your goats. She is very knowledgeable about goats and I know that first hand because she is a regular contributor over at the Dairy Goat Info Site.
Other than that, CG and I have a new soap product we are working on. It’s still in the planning and design stages right now, but we should have one available soon. Right now it’s still top secret, but as soon as we know we can reproduce it sucessfully we’ll let you in on the surprise.
In an effort to make this a more interactive, entertaining and informative blog, it’s been suggested to me that I solicit guest posts.
So, if you enjoy writing and have a story to tell, send it to me via email and I’ll post it here! (firstname.lastname@example.org) If you have a blog, and would like to repost one of your stories/adventures, that’s fine too.
So, what kind of story am I looking for? Wellll, I’m not completely sure, but for next week I think I’d like to post stories of farm life from when you were a child. A funny farm happening, an adventure you had, how grandpa used to do things, etc. Actually, they don’t necessarily have to be about farm life, but simply something from the past days.
The stories should be about 200-600 words give or take. No cussing, etc. Pictures would be great if you have them. No biggy if you don’t.
If you’d like to be a regular guest author, let me know and I’ll set you up as that.
Now, there isn’t any payment, but your cute stories will make it to Facebook, Twitter, a few social media sites, etc.
If nobody sends me any stories, I’ guess you’ll just have to listen to mine!