October 25, 2012

Around The Homestead

All the little things since my last update.

Around the house...

Fall maintenance chores, specifically cleaning out the woodstove chimneys. We bought a chimney brush and extensions at Lowes.

Dan cleaning out the wood heatstove chimney

One of these days we'll finish putting up
& painting the alcove trim.

Probably because our stove has a catalytic combustor, the chimney really wasn't that bad.

Wood cookstove needed one more 12 inch section of chimney pipe.

The wood cookstove chimney is now 12 inches taller.

When we found our wood cookstove on craigslist, the selling price included everything: stove pipe, chimney pipe, caps, collars, etc. Because we have taller ceilings and a taller attic than the folks we bought it from, the pipe came up one foot short. To get a good draft, the chimney needs to be two feet above the peak of the roof. If it isn't, back puffing results, which is the problem we were having. This is where some of the smoke puffs back out into the room when the firebox door is opened. Happily I found the chimney section we needed locally. I'm very happy to have this problem fixed.

Kitchen Dining Nook. I mentioned that I hoped to have the dining nook completed by the time we had autumn's first fire in the cookstove. We didn't quite make it, but at least the table is done....

Having only one leg makes it very easy to clean under.

The chairs are not, because Dan had trouble with the paint sprayer. In the end, I stripped the chairs to repaint them by hand. The stripping is finished, so all I need is a nice day to do the painting. I still need to paint the baseboard too.

Back Porch. Before we got the chairs for the kitchen, one of the things we considered was a short bench. In fact, we found a whole corner booth dining set on craigslist. It turned out to be in terrible condition, having been left out in all kinds of weather. We got the whole 4-piece set for $20, but the bench proved not to be usable in the kitchen. Instead I painted it with a good outdoor paint and set it on the back porch.

My back porch

I love it! It fits perfectly next to the door and doesn't block Riley's kitty entrance. It's wonderful for putting on or taking off outside shoes, or just sitting there to enjoy a cup of coffee. I also hung a clock and thermometer on the wall above; both are very handy when working outside.

Around the barnyard....

Chicken Little...

Chicken Little at 3 months old

... has been growing some rather roosterish tail feathers. Oh well.

Lily, my newest Nubian, decided that Surprise is going to be her best friend whether Surprise likes it or not. Lily sticks to Surprise like glue, which Surprise wasn't too happy about at first. She butted Lily to deter her, but Lily did not give up.

Lily and Surprise

Her persistence is paying off.

And Ziggy?

Ziggy

Ziggy went into heat the other day. She was at the fence, flirting with...

Elvis, the Hunk

I put the nix on that. Because she's a miniature breed and he's a fast growing standard breed, I do not want to risk her having kids too big to deliver. So I put her in with Gruffy. Was she ever mad! She took about three running charges and rammed him with everything she had. He was so ecstatic he didn't care.

Gruffy my Pygmy buck.
A face only a mother could love?

Later I saw them lying together, chewing their cuds, as though they were the best of buds. But when it came time for milking, she couldn't get out of there fast enough. I'm hoping her hormones will help this romance out, but in the end, her preferences may be the difference between kids next spring, or no kids. Time will tell.

I reckon that's it for tidbits and updates. :)

Around The Homestead © October 2012 by 

21 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Laughing at the description of the goats, but your improvements are great! Love the bench on the back porch.

Bec - Farmers Wife said...

Love the pictures, you have acheived alot.

Heres hoping you hear to pitter patter of tiny hooves in the near future. Fingers crossed.

Sue said...

It's hard to argue with love. Here's hoping that Gruffy was able to woo her. I'm hoping the Boar buck my goat girls got to visit was successful too.

I was up on my roof just a week or so ago myself, cleaning out the chimney pipe. Not my favorite job, since I'm not good with heights, but it needed doing before I could light the first fire of the season. Strange that I've had 2 birds down the pipe since then (normally only get 1 every 2-3 years).

Every thing is looking good!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Goodness, you have been busy! Let's hope hormones trump having a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love around.

Stephanie said...

The house is looking beautiful! You both have done such a great job :) Thanks for sharing what is going on.

Benita said...

Poor Gruffy. He loves the ladies but they don't love him in return. That look on his face makes me think he doesn't see it that way. He thinks he's God's gift to does and cannot understand what their problem is since they don't seem to feel the same way.

I love your bench by your back door. Handy for removing muddy boots.

Have you had any hard frosts yet?

Nina said...

I think poor Gruffy's looks are underrated. He's actually quite adorable as far as bucks go! There sure are a lot of autumn chores that come up. A nice long, mild autumn like yours would give more time to get them done! Yay for clean chimneys...

Leigh said...

Mary Ann, thanks! The bench is one of those lovely unplanned bonuses.

Bec, thank you! I'm considering doing pregnancy testing this year, just to know if I need to prepare. Nigerian Dwarfs are aseasonal breeders, so there's always another chance for Ziggy and Gruffy.

Sue, so true about the physics of attraction. Odd about the birds in your chimney pipe. I've assumed they can't get through the caps on ours. Maybe we should double check!

Jacqueline, never a dull moment. :)

Stephanie, thanks! Patience pays off in the end. :)

Benita, I agree, he's clueless! He and Elvis can get into it over the ladies though, so I have to take care about that. :)

No frosts yet. Our average 1st is around Oct. 16, but except for a few chilly mornings in the low 40s, it's been very mild so far. I'm glad too, because I don't have all my sweet potatoes harvested yet.

Nina, he's adorable from a human perspective! Both Surprise and Ziggy have preferred Elvis so far. I know Nessie would have been cooperative. When she went into heat she stood at the fence with her rear end right up to it, for two whole days. (Gruffy could do nothing more than go nuts on the other side).

Peaceful said...

Oh I love the shade of blue your house is. The bench hiding the cat door is perfect!
I have to agree that Elvis is quite a looker- I feel sorry for Gruffy, my what a beating.
Take care

Tombstone Livestock said...

Love the bench and the porch, bench is such a good fit.

sista said...

Your nook looks so inviting. I may have to come over for coffee. I'll bring the coffee cake. LOL! Isn't it funny how goats will fall in "love" with one buck and not another. My Elsie did that when I took her to Pat's for breeding. She wanted the buck that Pat had chosen for Dolly. Go figure.

bspinner said...

You've worked so hard and have so much to show for it. The house and animals are great. Looks like your getting all snuggled in for the winter. So fun about the goats. I love it!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Your little dining nook is so inviting. Now I'm anxious to see the chairs in place. I'm with "Sista" . . . I'll bring muffins!

And what a great find on craigslist even though the bench on the porch is all you could salvage, it's a perfect as well as functional addition.

Susan said...

I really love that little bench and your back porch. What a lovely spot for a cup of coffee! And that picture of Lily and Surprise is just wonderful - so much is said in those two sets of ears....

Kids and Canning Jars said...

I am so glad you mention the chimney sweep. We were just discussing the need to clean our two chimney's. Love the update. Good to see what you are up to.
Melissa

DFW said...

You've accomplished so much, congratulations! It all looks great & I agree that the bench fits & looks great where it is!

Leigh said...

Peaceful, good to hear from you. I admit I feel sorry for Gruffy too. Good thing goats don't think like humans. :)

TL. thanks!

Sista, you're welcome too! Goats are always a hoot. Partly because they are so opinionated!

Barb, I'll be so glad when the rest of the house is updated to match. :)

Janice, thanks. We'll have to have a kitchen warming party when it's finally finished!

Susan, I love it too. We still have the table, a longer matching bench, and a backless bench. They're on the front porch and I'd like to do the same with them.

Melissa, good to hear from you! I was so glad to find the chimney brush. I've read about other methods, but this turned out to be pretty easy.

DFW, thanks!

Meg said...

Looks like you've been very busy. I really like your new bench! It looks perfect there.

Poor Ziggy... Well, you know how the song goes, "If you can't be with the one you love..."

Renee Nefe said...

Can't blame Ziggy really. Who wants McGruff when you could have a hunka hunka burnin love? LOL!

I hope that she does decide to love the one she's with for you.

I'm wondering if those Kinder goats are all artificially bread?

Leigh said...

Meg, busy is right! The bench though is the perfect place to relax. :)

Renee, I can't blame her either, not really. But he's her only hope of having kids next spring.

Most folks manage to get Kinders, except us apparently. One gal said her Pygmy buck will come and "ask" for a bale of straw to reach his lady love. He knows the drill!

Julie the dreamer said...

I'm showing these great pictures to my husband...I so want a goat...I do I do I do..(I have a hen named Lily)