Thursday, September 22, 2022

Time For Autumn!

Look what we got!  Over 1 inch of rain in 24 hours. What a treat it was and we benefited from lower temperatures  created by a late summer heat wave. My garden went nuts. As you may know for us to get rain from June to October is not considered normal. But I had just about a month earlier put in the front runners of my Fall/Winter garden. The broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage thought they went to heaven. The tomatoes knew they had gone to the arctic circle and were none too happy about the highs in the 50's and low 60's. With lows in the high 40's and low 50's had them calling room service for an extra blanket.

  I milked Nutmeg until her big boys weaned and with all the summer activities and the one woman show around the farm I let it go . She is 9 years old and wasn't producing as much so I simply dried her off at that point. Not before I got in several cheeses and some soap made. This coming November I am hoping to catch Little Trouble and daughter Willa in heat and will breed them to Sundance Kid aka Buddy. Both he and Longfellow just came into rut and not as strong as past years. Longfellow will be 14 in the Spring and Buddy will be 12. I am pleased but surprised the Longfellow is still with us. I am hoping for a couple of doe kids. 

Presenting my new arrangement for Autumn. The vase is my mother - in - laws and I always loved it. I think she would approve. 

This photo was taken on the first day of the Oak fire here in Mariposa county. It is from my front porch. I am always amazed at the beauty in fire as well as the destruction. I have been through  the last fifteen years almost as many major wildfires. How I have been so fortunate to never have had to evacuate nor lost anything or anyone to them I don't know. However this year the fires were sat on just as quickly as they began. This fire burned almost 20,000 acres and destroyed over 100 homes. 

The last of a tradition. The fellow on the left is my son and the young lady on his right is his youngest daughter. You may have seen her in another post as she spent a lot of time with me during the pandemic. The two girls (her older sister) their Dad and Aunt (my daughter) all have letter jackets from the same high school. Dad for basketball and tennis Valley Champions that year! His sister for band.Daughter #2 for Cheer and  her sister for Cheer.

The Dude is two years old and still find this knucklehead sleeping in the strangest positions in the oddest places. 

Everyone who has hung in with me over the last many years knows these two. The little one is Callie who is now 10 years old and much larger. Her buddy behind her is Sherman who adored her then and as recently as this September. Sherman was a crowd favorite he was a clown and a people Pyrenees. Sherman was one half of a bonded pair who kept watch on their goats and more. Sherman always made me laugh each and every day. Sadly he crossed the bridge a month ago and left a hole as big as Texas in my heart. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

It Is A Garden Finally 🎉

 After too many reruns of winter and two days of spring then two days of summer. Finally we have a rhythmic pattern that agrees with the plants and me . Welcome to a photo tour if the 2022  garden at Walnetto Farm. 

Forgive the poor editing . Still putting post together with iPhone and Chromebook neither wants to communicate with the other. Also  Bush beans, strawberries, tomatoes , cucumbers , eggplant and more!

Monday, April 4, 2022

Two Weeks Old


The first kids in three years and the first born 
on the new homestead. They 
are both vigorous young bucks. Born first day 
of Spring at mid morning.After a week of mid 
night checks.  They are sired by Longfellow my handsome home grown buck who appraised excellent by ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) as a three year old 
and retained that placement to now as a 13 year old. 

Have yet to decide what to do with them. I may keep them intact or castrate one and keep the other as a buck. The difficult part of having well bred genetic’s is it makes those decisions more difficult. Longfellow really stamps his offspring with his traits and excellent temperament.

No names yet as I am calling them Thing One and Thing Two. Dam Nutmeg is also a lovely doe and at 9 years has held up well. Looking forward to milk , cheese and soap. 

First fermentation in years. Sauerkraut from a very small cabbage. But has turned out well and I will make a point of  adding cabbage to the new raised bed. 

Emily grand girl  #3 gifted me with the chicken planter at Christmas. I took advantage and added a Spider plant cutting from Jessica who is a great friend and pretty much family.

Have spent some time on trying to perfect 
my sourdough. It is coming along. 

We have had mild Spring weather mixed with some cooler days with rain. The photo below
Is looking down the drive with the shop to the left.
Love the rainbow no filters used. 

From the front porch with the street beyond. 
Again no filters just nature showing off how beautiful the central Sierra Nevada range can be.  

Trust you enjoy the catch up. Again I will pop in when there is news and life permits. Have a wonderfilled day!

Monday, February 21, 2022


                        Sometimes photos give a false image because how the mind sees it. 
                          Yarrow at first glance has an awfully long tail? Enlarge the photo and
                               take a better look. But between the length of her tail and she is holding 
                        her paws very close together it may appear longer than it really is.

Trouble is a sweet doe and on first look because the large appearance
 of her head and that she is standing with her left shoulder to the 
back opps! Where is the rest of her left side?

Dude is exactly what he appears to be. A ginger cat chilling at the cats favorite 
gopher hunting grounds. He is maybe not as close to the hay covered by tarps 
as you would think.

Say "hello" to Nutmeg . Nutty is a nine year old doe  She appears larger on 
her right side than her left. Opps again. She is larger on the left as she 
is facing us . Our mind tends to want us to believe that it is right , right? 
Or maybe it is our right? 

Having your right side almost as large as your left gives us the illusion
that her rumen may be larger than normal. Should we be worrying about 
her since she is fussing over it and licking. MMMMM could be a sign of pain
and bloat???!

Well now that is better or is it? If a goat indeed carries her rumen on 
her left what could possibly be going on to make her look symmetrical??

 This is Mama Cat. She is both Dude and Esmeralda's mother. 
Mama cat as you can see is a very limited view of life under the 
milk stand. She is reminding us that things aren't always how
we see them or interpret it. Mama says think outside of the box.
Could a rumen full of frothy bloat push so hard that the other 
organs are being moved into the the right? Not likely because 
if it was we would have a doe in a world of hurt  and most likely
a down doe also. The more likely cause is a happy ending. The rumen
is more pronounced because, drum roll please. Walnetto Farm is delighted to 
invite you to join us mid March for the first kids to be born on the 
new homestead.  And thanks for wadding through my extreme goofy kid 
announcement. 💗

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Last Week Of July Was A Weird One Maybe We Are In A New Normal?

The week was pretty good up to Tuesday when it got way too busy . Something every day until today and I was just feeling "ADR" as Dr. D my long time mobile goat and what ever else you got vet would say. For those who are scratching their head that would be "ain't doing right." I kept plugging away as the weather would be fairly decent mid nineties with lows in the high sixties. 

In addition to the once a day leave home for how ever long it took to get it done. Little stuff like picking up the repaired stock trailer to hoisting Sherman into the truck for a visit to the vet. Tuesday night at about 5:00 PM PDT an alert was issued for high winds, potential flooding and thunder storms for 48 hours. I had known I had a large hole in the hay tarp and figuring we don't get wet weather of any kind in the summer I back burner that nasty, dusty chore as far out as I could. Hay  Hey it is hot dealing even with tarps with  holes. So as I watched the thunder heads gather I am balancing on ladder in the wind trying to make the proper adjustments between gust and then applying the new bandaid tarp around the largest holes. All the time for hour and one half thinking stinking thoughts not of gratitude to the NOAA for not sending an alert out earlier. Finally got everything done and back in house while adjusting my cranky attitude and switching my intent to gratitude that even if it doesn't materialize that I won't be up at two in the morning climbing around in the dark because it sneaked up on us.

So how did that work? Dry. Even with another weather alert issued again we never got a drop . It apparently decided it liked the high country better and stayed in place with the bulk of it in Yosemite Park and elevations above that. 

Once in awhile good intentions and plans do come together. This is one of those. Ya'll have listened to me whine and wiggle about jump starting my weaving. Getting back to that part of my life enabled me to go to a place that detoxed me. That took me on vacation without leaving home. Kind of like those middle of the night kidding's in the barn. I got started and stopped on the restart. Or sometimes I just had to vocalize it I guess to not let myself forget that once upon a time this fiber life fed a place in me through spinning, weaving , knitting and dying fiber that everything else in my life no matter how cathartic to my soul didn't touch. I finally decided to accomplish that goal was to buy myself a present. I bought a 36 inch rigid heddle Ashford floor loom. Technically a table loom but I purchased the floor stand so I could be more comfortable when seated in front of hit. So with this goal now in sight I found the best fiber with glitter and bling to jump start the project. The best part of this project is there was none. I just sat and spun daily until I had a pound of two ply  yarn done and figured that the project would revile itself in my minds eye eventually. 


I will happily share the project now but not the recipient as I don't want the cat out of the bag. On the loom is a scarf/shawl . It will be when finished approximately 55 inches long and 14 inches wide. In addition a twisted fringe in the warp yarn will be added to each end. Which will add about 7 inches to the length on  each end.


Let us cover as much territory as we can in this post. After all one never knows when I will become derailed by something that sparkles. Isn't he/she lovely? This is the year of the tomato worm apparently. I had none, nada , no last year. This year they are becoming plentiful. Bless their little squishy hearts. But I have to admit they are lovely. That is what the chickens said as I toss them over the fence to them. 

Ah chickens that is the word. Another reveal in my world. My friend and I are going partners in the very first batch of meat birds on Walnetto Farm ever. Now the reason for that is I always knew someone who raised their own meat birds and would be happy to sell off extras to friends. So I couldn't see the logic in adding one more chore to my list. But I have bottomed out at the new location. Lots of folks doing it but not sharing. So my friend Jessica who I have known since she was two and her hubby are going in halves with me both in labor and $$. We will get 25 Cornish Boilers on October 14th and the grow is on. We will not be processing yet. Since this was a last minute act of insanity we choose to go with a processor who is available to us at decent rate and drop off in the morning pick up the next day. If all goes well we should be set up for processing the next batch in the Spring.

There are a couple of other potential items not quite to the reveal stage. I feel it best to QT these items just in case something changes in plans. So that gives you something to look forward to in the Fall. 

Cracker Jack and the pullets

Miss. Kitty and the Gopher


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Nothing Stays The Same But Change


I often think about people who say "I haven't changed I am the same as always." My silent thought is "well then you must be dead or stagnant for life produces change . " With that said more change here at Walnetto Farm in July. 

If you saw my last published post with the backhoe visit you know that I had some ground work done. Part of my reasoning was to take a prepared action for one of my mostly aging herd of LaMancha dairy goats passing. I now confess I knew that time was coming on us faster with each passing day. 

On Monday last Walnetto Farm 2 Cute 2 Be Bad or as I called her KC when she returned to me from the 4H'er who had both bought and named her as a kid took her leave from the farm.  She was ten  years old but she had taken a turn last Fall for the worst. And nothing I could toss out to her was going to change the outcome of her  journey.  I have a few photos of her but they are a filed way back in Google land and I haven't got my skills up to speed yet on the Chromebook to find them. She was a large correct pure white doe with a lovely udder. She had a even disposition and was never pushy or mean to her herd mates.


Some of you may remember Tubby Tabby shown above with her partner in barn cat antics Snowy River. Both Tubs and Snowy were stray kittens brought in at the SPCA where I worked as a vet tech during cat/kitten season. They found a home with me and made the move from the Golden Westside of Fresno county to Mendocino county , Shasta county where Snowy passed on and Tabs made the trip to the new homestead in Mariposa county marking her fourth barn to run in her 16 years. Tabs was a herpes kitten as so many street kittens are and with age her episodes became more intense and more frequent. The last intense heat event we had last weekend came on a collision course with her most trying event. She took her leave on Monday also and has earned a place in front of her favorite tree where she always laid out her lines of tolerance to any new recruits that were added to the barn patrol since we moved to the cabin. Let me add Tabs always ran a tight ship and brooked no nonsense from any of the new crew but seemed to have a soft spot for the Dude. 



The barn is now in the capable paws of Mama Cat and Essi her daughter and Dude's sister . They are joined during the day by the Dude and our newest recruit Miss. Kitty . All of my cats over the last 20 years have all been stray turn ins either to the shelter or to a rescue . I find it interesting that I have caught all of the current barn patrol resting on Tab's grave by her tree at one point or the other in the last week. And when I gave Sherman and Yarrow and opportunity to see her before she was laid on a bed of Pyr hair and straw her favorite mattress that lined her red cow mineral container that doubled as a bed for her when empty. Yarrow kept sniffing her and Sherman went manly on me with a quick sniff , a quizzical look in my eyes and walked away. 

For the most part I entertain the livestock and working dogs and cats as valued employees. But like employees tend to do they become family. They deserve respect and gratitude for the services they provide us and the companionship they give us. Some leave larger paw or hoof prints in out hearts but they are always shown kindness , gratitude and are part of the family. They will be missed.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Here Is One I Bet You Didn't Know.


What does this large hole in the ground have to do with ants? Also what do ants have to do with not having water for almost 24 hours? Anyone? 

As macabre as this may sound it really was a case of preparing for the worse. Ever since I moved here  in the back of my mind was the thought of what would I do if one of my small herd were to die ? If I had no one to help me how would I possibly hand dig a hole large enough for an adult doe or worse yet one of the two bucks? Geoffrey was a stickler for doing things what he considered old fashioned. I considered it just pretty much stupid as we had now "modern " tractors, backhoes, etc. However for the most part he did all the work and if that was his choice who was I to tell him come into the 20/21 century mister? 

Therefore my concern with what could become a big , stinky issue was pretty much justified. It was always in the back of my mind and finally I found a fellow with a backhoe about twenty minutes from me to come over and for an extremely reasonable amount dig a hole large enough to accommodate multiple deceased when using the bottom up method . Used very successfully in many places looking to accommodate everyone in rapidly becoming crowded cemeteries . 

Engine started the earth rumbled and the digging began. That is until on about the third bite the bucket snagged what appeared to be a DIY waterline. Confirmed by a loud sound of moving water which indicated a strong potential for the pipe breaking several feet up the line. All of that because no water was visible in the area below us. I began to sing "gotta love multi owned old houses that no previous owner made note of what they did." Now the race was on to the front yard (my house has three meters for electric in place this one was in front. It services the pump and the shop.) to shut off the water main and the electric to the pump. Beginning to see the light? The tall lady in the back hollers "but what about the ants?" 

Ahh yes the ants. When Bob opened the breaker box to shut off the breaker we encountered ants. Yes it is summer and yes I have ants but no I have never checked my breaker boxes for ants before. I ran for my spray bottle of Bac Out. Yes it is disinfectant as I had no ant spray handy and if you look closely note the word disinfectant has the root word ant in it.  I am only joking I know that is not really the root of the problem. HaHa!

So ants abated and water line capped off project was finished and we proceeded to turn back on the water and of course flip the switch. I checked the hose closest to the pump as I leave nothing to chance. Good  thing I did no water. I checked several more and determined no water anywhere. SIGH. Bob couldn't get the breaker to stay on nor could he get it to come loose of its attachment to the box. I thanked both Bob and his lovely wife Tammy who had run down earlier to bring him the cap and gluing compound for the broken line. Decided to call my electrician leaving a message for him to call me asap in the AM. 

Lance called me at 6:30 prompt and after a short conversation at his urging I called my pump guy because logic dictates that if it was more than just the breaker and included something going wrong in the process of trying to right this caused an issue with the electrical workings of the pump they could address that also. Not to mention but I will because my electrician is a super guy he had his entire crew committed to a job at the other end of the county. He would come if the pump guy couldn't but not until after his full day work. What a guy!

On close examination there were even more ants in the box when Beau got here than were there the night before . He hit it with serious ant spray and gave me a detailed lesson on how and why ants have caused more than one electrical issue . I am well educated , the ants are ding dong dead and gone, the pump is fine and I can take care of and wrangle this issue if and when this ever happens again. 

I am also happy to report that currently all goats are still standing and Bob very generously offered to come by if one should met their maker and bring the backhoe to cover them up. Of course leaving an appropriate amount of social distancing for the next victim deceased.