Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No more kisses for you, Missy!

Goat kisses are way better than doggy kisses, not nearly as messy.... unless the goat seeking your affections SNEEZES in your face!!!! GROSS!

Your lucky I love you Jazzy Poo.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I'm lacking material due to my mood lately. This blog was originally created to focus on the progress of the homestead. Which was suppose to be a celebration of a birth, a new chapter in our lives. I feel as of late it has been more or less a documentary of spiraling discontentment. And so forms the obstacles of Come By Chance. After any birth there is sure to be growing pains right? So until I am back to the normal me... Here's an idea for ya.

Make bread. If you don't have a recipe. Look here.

Bake it.

Once cooled cut it into pieces... if your like me, it may pain you to have to cut into your masterpiece.

Toss in Olive oil, lightly covering and then sprinkle on Garlic Salt.

Bake in the oven on 275 for 10 min or until golden brown.

The top on your salad. That is if they last while you are cutting your veggies.

 Yum... I'm hungry now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Herdsman

The little boy who looks after the goats...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ugh... Annoying Day.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Which tends to be pretty typical for the mornings after I pay bills. I had a list of things I needed to do. Most of which were things I would prefer not to be doing today. Example, I was told by a respected dairy goat breeder that I must treat for Coccidia on a regular basis. Frankly, I'm not big on unnecessary medications and I had Jaz tested right after I bought her in March. This breeder was insistent that this is what I should do. I began to question my animal husbandry and decided that maybe I ought to make a compromise and at least have the girls tested again. I took a fecal sample from both the girls. 

This was my first time... retrieving a fecal GA.ROSS! I truly believe that no one should ever have to start off their day with their hand inside the hind quarters of anything! PERIOD!

The morning proceeds, I had to get my sleepy daughter and my son in the truck to take Sis to school. That part was pretty uneventful besides the fact that my son must have paid bills last night too! Talking about waking up on the wrong side of the bed!  We dropped Sissy off at the school and then drove outside the ten mile radius to the vets. Another sure fire way to get my day off rough. I hate being in the car longer than 10 minutes. It annoys me.

 Anyways so at the vets I discretely whisper to the clerk that I have fecals. The clerk is obviously intrigued as she raises her eyebrow and cleverly replies, "o really". I discretely hand them over to her. Yeah, southerners are weird about fecals. We like to keep that stuff on the D.L. So I nod my head and am like  "how much". She's like "42". My head cocks left and right, then snaps back forward "HOW MUCH". "42", she says. Ok, I suddenly turn from the fecal pusher to huffer on the street corner jonesing for a free fecal. Prices have went up! My next thought, "Ill give you this gold watch." Seriously, I was shocked! When Jasmine had a fecal done by the vet back in March it was only $8. None of that matters now though. I grumpily paid it and sulked back to my truck with my all so very grumpy kid (my son but I'm sure the goats are grumpy too now).

Next on the "Don't want to do list", I had to go to Walmart. I hate Walmart. Its a smorgasbord of germs. Not to mention I usually get stuck walking behind someone that hasn't bathed since the early 60's. I continue to shop there because the price is right and I don't have to drive any where else to get the items on my list. So frankly I torture myself all in the names of cheap and convenience. I know what you are thinking... "I bet this lady would give way her own mother just to save a buck". No.Comment.

I pulled into the parking lot, taking in a as many deep breaths as I could before I had to hold my breath while sprinting through the store. I picked up a few essentials. But then I exhaled. I had already blew it!  Since I was there and hate traveling outside the ten mile radius (Did I say that already?), I decided I would kill two birds with one stone. I pulled out the Christmas list. Yeah yeah yeah, I know. But I like to be prepared. You never know when you might find something and then you can knock someone off the list, thus eventually not having to make a special trip outside the ten mile radius to do Christmas shopping. That's me, Mrs. Tightwad  Thrifty. So I put my life on the line as I dodge the blazing fires of Common cold, Swine Flu, Meningitis, E Coli, and Salmonella all in the name of Christmas.

I continued my lovely morning shopping at the Ole' Walmarts. If you live in the south Walmart is always pronounced with an S on the end of it. Walmarts, yeah so there you have it northerners, ya learned ya something new about the south today.

Ok back on track. Anyways I found a little light weight sweat jacket and some winter slippers for my daughter. I decided I would go a head and knock those items off the old xmas list. I went to check out and the cashier exclaims, "Already buying winter stuff"!?  I just wanted to yell at her, " YES, Don't you know poor people have to plan a head for Christmas"! Its always bothersome to me when cashiers comment on my purchases. Well, anytime they draw attention to my purchase I become... anxious. I mean think of all the embarrassing things on the counter that they could comment about. Heck, I'm even too embarrassed to list them!

See, I was scarred as young girl while making my first training bra purchase. I will never forget that dreaded day. I still wince thinking back to it. I was standing at the check out with my mother and my older brother. Luck would have it that there was a long line of people behind us as well. The cashier holds up my training bra and screams """PRICE CHECK"! I dropped my head and weighed the odds, "Maybe they would think it was for my brother". I  had my doubts, as my brother was grinning ear to ear and ribbing me with his elbow. I can still see his sparkly whites smiling back at me as my inner self was curling into a ball. ***WINCE***  My brother still gives me hell about it.

Ok, so maybe I shouldn't be so self conscious about the cashier commenting my stuff but I was traumatized as a child you see. She brought visions back of my training bra price check trauma for cryin' out loud.

After I left Walmart I felt better that I was able to knock off a few things from the x-mas shopping list, awe but yes sick at heart again as I was reminded that I just paid bills. Bills suck but at least they are ALL paid.
I was relieved to return home. I came into the house and did a quick review of the budget to make sure everything was still on track. (We are trying to pay our property off early. So far, we have two years left to go). Luckily the sweat jacket and slippers didn't damage our ultimate goal. It sounds funny but those impulsive purchases can really cause one to stumble. I am a sucker for spur of the moment spending so I constantly have to babysit myself. Its kind of like that 1991 sitcom Hermans Head. The people living in my head are trying to over throw the impulsive me. The impulsive me is a fighter though.

Anyways my crappy day finally comes to a close. As I crawl back into my bed I take note as to which side of the bed that I intend to roll out of tomorrow. I think as long as there is no impending fecals all should be good.


**** I wrote this post a few days ago and forgot to post it... Now I have an update for those who care :) ***
Jasmine and Jessica's... Labs came back wonderful. The vet called me personally and asked why I had decided to test them. She was concerned that there might have been an issue with one of the girls. I told her they seemed fine but I was encouraged to have them them on a regular Coccidia treatment plan. My vet then assured me that both of the girls test came back great. Jasmine is at a level one for Coccidia. Which is a great number as all goats carry the parasite in their bodies. She also told me that Jessica had such a low amount that it didn't reach the the qualifications to even put it on a scale. The vet also confirmed what many of the Caprine health books said.... Continual Coccidia out breaks are caused by poor sanitation. She did inform me that during times of stress when the immune system is struggling that one could also have a Coccidia out break. Its important to treat prior to times that an animal may be under stress (kidding, disbudding, tattooing, weaning and relocation).  So there you have it straight from the vets mouth AND minus $42 later; sanitation and stress. This place is fairly clean and... well these girls are FAR from stressed! :)

O and I almost forgot.... We now have head colds. Thanks to the smorgasbord of germs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Learning to Teach.

Sometimes being a parent is the hardest job in the world. The only true parental preparation is the on the job training. There are nights that I go to bed with tear filled eyes and pray that the almighty will help me get this parenting thing figure out.

As I become a more seasoned parent, I'm learning that I will never have it completely right.  (Although I do aspire not to mess them up too bad.)  I really think that there should be a Storey's Guide to Raising Children. No, that wont work as I have found that Storey doesn't have a universal animal rearing down to fool proof either, although very helpful. Perhaps thats why babies don't come with a manual.

 Anyways... I have learned that what works with one child will most definitely not work with the other. Trying to find each child's learning niche has remained a constant endeavor. My son who is quite different than my daughter who thoroughly loves to push her personal limits. My son enjoys his comfort zone. Both of these opposite personalities have their pluses. My son is easy going, very calm and plays well by himself. My daughter on the other hand is extremely active (at all times) and enjoys interaction with others.

Sissy is three years older than my son. We had more time to learn what works for her. Not to mention the three years of undivided attention that she received before she had a little brother. So figuring out my sons interest, his strengths and weaknesses and his passions has been slightly less obvious to us.

BUT  I finally found a way to teach him his colors!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To the Brave...

Only a brave soul would attempt this at home ALONE....

My mom is attempting to teach me how to make a quilt... That's called quilting, right!? Anyways so the first part of my lesson was to cut out these tiny hexagon shape thingies.  I have to say damn my kindergarten teacher for not teaching me how to use a pair of scissors! And my mamma's cursing you too! She will probably even use the big swear words once she finds out that I shaved the size of her templates down about a 1/4 of an inch on each side... Sorry Momma.

So then after I pissed and moaned about not knowing how to use the scissors, my momma, god love her, decided to teach me something else that might be a tad easier than using a set of scissors. *** Rolls Eyes*** Yeah you guessed it! She handed me a needle and thread. About 30 puncture wounds and a couple of Band aids later, we moved on to the next lesson. I had to line up the hexagons for them to fit together. Now I hate to be the one to point out the obvious but I did cut out some of the shapes, They ain't gunna to fit together MOMMA!

Anyways, my mom showed me the various steps to quilting and then she had to leave to take me dad to the doctors.... I begged her to take the stuff with her. "Really momma, you could work on this stuff out in the waiting room. Let them clean up the scrap material and frayed threads that fall on the floor, I wouldn't be alone with the quilt and we wouldn't have a mess to clean up later... WIN WIN, you see". She gave me a loving squeeze on the shoulder and abandon left me.

I do realize that this has been a great learning experience for me. I have an entire new appreciation for my mother. She is a saint, really! To have a daughter like myself.... well  lets just say she has earned her sainthood.  I envy quilters. (That's what people who quilt are called, right!?!?!?). Making a quilt from beginning to end is a LOT of work and the women that pieced these beautiful things together for their families for decades should receive a gold medal and maybe even a purple heart too! My final learning experience is, well obviously,  my kindergarten teacher really should have done a better job with me. ;)

So in the end, I worked on the sewing the hexagon shapes around a piece of paper for a few short minutes and then.... well, I decided I would just blog about it instead. *Snickers*

Friday, August 13, 2010

Signs of Hope

I woke to the alarm blaring out the loud  sounds of static. I wearily rolled over to view the time. My world still out of focus as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, "For heavens sakes, its the first week of school and Sissy's going to be late!" I jumped up and made a mad dash in order to get the youngsters ready and out the door.

I really must give myself more credit. We ended up at the school before the doors were unlocked. Instead of sitting on the asphalt play ground for another thirty minutes, I decided to kill some time with a calm drive through the country side. There is nothing quite like watching the morning sun creep over the countryside.  Tranquility radiates from the tree tops while the light sprinkles splendor over the dew cloaked grass.  The glimmering lights,  revealing to my little world, with the most pleasurable of sights.

As the children remained still, the subtle beauty in the morning set the mood for a quiet time of reflection. Perhaps, they were in their own state of meditation or maybe they had just fell back to sleep. Either way,  euphoria blew through the open windows. We were all in a state of peace on this most lovely morning.

But as I drove on, I saw signs around every corner, lurking in unfamiliar forms of both good and evil. Awe, how this  brewed a bubbling dose of thought. So I reflect....

"I would be lying if I said that the state of the world doesn't lay heavy on my mind. I fret over our once so blessed nation as well as the circumstance evolving all around of our beloved world. I would be lying if I said I didn't stay awake at nights while the days tragedies unfold in my head. From the scenes of litter tossed along the road sides, to women and children being sold into slavery, the violence that's plagues our streets, wars a million miles away, poverty that is creeping into the once middle class America, to the greed that has struck wall street, and lets not forget the natural disasters, tragedies of every kind.  I do lie awake at nights with worry as my companion."

But those thoughts shifted away as the Belted Galloway's in the midst of the green rolling pasture called out for my attention. I listened as  the birds sang a melody that only a simple heart could discern. Peace was again restored as my truck crept to a small quiet intersection (both in the real and symbolic). Four roads, all leading somewhere. Standing to my right, a modest store adorn with simple signs of innate beauty, radiating a hope for man kind.

"I think we might be alright. Yes, perhaps everything is going to be alright after all...."


 Faith in mankind is all the insurance this homesteader needs and his faithful light illuminates a path for the rest to follow... A pioneer to good will.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I would like to take a moment to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Hijeevey Marans for their first hatch!!!!


It was touch in go for a while. The nanny had to leave the nest in order to chase the first pip around. So I had to take the rest of the clutch to the incubator. I would have offered the clutch to Mrs. Purdy Marans but she couldn't be bothered with such silliness. After all Hijeevey likes Mrs. Purdy Marans at his side at all times, she just didn't have the time to raise babies.

So the nanny looked after the one, while I took care of the rest.

But I have to say....

I think Mrs. Purdy Marans has some serious explaining to do!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The weekend.

Friday, my nephew stayed the night with us. Its always nice to see him. We tend to have a lot of fun anytime family arrives. My little ones are always so excited to see their cousin and-I-mean,  REALLY EXCITED!  Although at times this place has strongly resembled a zoo, Friday night it felt more like a Ringling Brothers Circus.

 Lets just say that by having a third child in the house, I found all the confirmation  that I  needed in order to follow through with getting my tubes tied.  Hell not only do I just want them tied, I want them snipped burned and removed! Just Kidding.... sort of.

Ok shall we move on from female anatomy?

Sat really was the highlight of my weekend. Sat morning I woke up in a fit of cold sweats and a screaming headache. I had another nightmare. Therefore I was sure the headache was from grinding my teeth.

This nightmare was a whopper... absolutely horrible. Far worse than anything you could have ever imagined! I dreamed that I was outside and my neighbor came over to inform me that Jasmine and Jessica were loose. Then suddenly my attention was directed to a noise inside the house. I told him that I would be back out in a second to round them up. I don't know what I did when I went inside but I remember feeling like I was inside for a long time, and that getting the goats had slipped my mind. I returned back outside to see my neighbor carrying Jessica's lifeless body. She had drown in their swimming pool. I picked her up and cradled her small fragile soaking wet body in my arms. I began  rocking back and forth crying. The crazy thing was that Jasmine had drowned too but for some reason I thought she was going to be alright. That's a dream for ya!  I have to say that, on a positive note, I must like Jessica more than I thought! ;)

So after waking from my hellish nightmare, I popped a few Advil. And YES, I went down to the barn to check on my girls. They were just fine. Since I was already down there I decided to clean the barn and chicken coop. Frankly it was just an excuse to be around the animals because I still  had not shaken the uneasiness that my dream had left me.  I cleaned the barn, coop, all the feeders, water pails and  buckets. I walked back to the house satisfied that I had accomplished something. Except I still hadn't managed to shake the pounding in my head. Maybe the headache wasn't from grinding my teeth but from all the farmers cutting Hay?

So I then decided to take some Children's Benadryl. Ok, now before you start, I have a perfectly good reason for taking children's medicine. I'm allergic to almost all medicines except headache medicine and Benadryl... and because I am only 5'2 and weigh 120lbs (bout the size of some of the 5th graders at my daughters school), I take the Children's Benadryl. The Adults Benadryl will wipe me out for the day. Not to mention children's medicine just taste better!

So now that you know about my impending tubal ligation, freakish nightmares and allergies, lets move on...

My Best Friend "T" calls me Sat. afternoon. By the way, "T" is freakin' awesome! The best person in the world! Anyways, she is in the National Guard and she had drill coming up. So she had decided that she would allow her daughter to stay the night with her father since she had to be at drill so early that morning. Well, this was T's first time being away from her baby all night. She was a train wreck. I have to say I couldn't imagine having my baby away from me overnight. That had to be really tough on her. So of course  I gave her all the supportive guidance that any good friend would do... I suggested...

Just kidding... sort of.

T came over to take her mind off of the separation. We indulged in some southern entertainment...a bonfire and booze....BUT someone for got the fried foods!!!!

We use to have a wine night every other Wednesday but hadn't in a very long time. I didn't realize how much I missed our Wed. night tradition. Even before we were of age (to drink) we have always had some sort of  time set aside for a weekly girls night. But then life happens and ya throw the schedules of family into the mix... getting together starts to take a lot more effort.


The fire was crackling. Poppy's home brew was just swell. There was a chill in the evening air. Three Dog Night quietly playing in the background... The ambiance made for an easy laid back nostalgic evening, full of interesting discussion about the past present and future.

We have been friends for a long time. Thinking back, its kind funny how our conversations have evolved over the years. We went from gossiping about other girlfriends, to talking about boys, to having deep discussions about what we were going to be when we grew up, ya know, mapping out our future.

Now we talk about.... ?.... OK so maybe our conversations haven't evolved.. We still gossip discuss old friends, talk about love, and wonder what we are going to do when we grow up. ;) See, T and I just get each other. Not only is my BFFBFF that I can travel back in time with. Everyone needs a time traveling companion!

So anyways... Now where was I going with this? O yes! Shit! So sorry, the entire bonfire story completely derailed my purpose for this post!

Here at Come By Chance, we try to find the beauty and education within each an every experience through an optimistic approach! The beauty this weekend was in the love of friendship, both in human relationships and animal... The learning part was, "There is absolutely NO WARNING on the label of Childrens Benadryl about the effects of drinking alcohol while taking this medication"!? Yeah I know I couldn't believe it either!  So anyways, I don't really recommend doing that. Two glasses of wine began to feel like ten very quickly. And as far the optimism... Well, of course Sat night I slept like a baby!


note... I have no idea why my sentences are automatically breaking. My post doesn't look anything like this while I'm drafting. Any clues whats up with this? ERRR.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heres to Economic Recovery... Your new Incentive!

This came in the mail today...

 ALL I'm saying is...REALLY!?!? I cant believe this is the same country I grew up in.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Question for the Chicken People

I placed 5 Black Copper Marans eggs under our broody hen. I collected the eggs for 5 days and then put them under her at the same time. When I returned home from vacation I discovered one egg had already hatched but the others haven't yet and now the hen has left her nest in order to keep up with the new chick that's toting around. By my calculations the entire entire clutch shouldn't hatch for another week. I must have over looked the egg (that hatched) while I was collecting for just this one to have hatched this soon. Errr... I will eventually get this whole chicken thing down but right now, I need some advice. And NO I'm not getting a new hobby! :)

 Will it work by putting the eggs in the incubator after the hen has sat on them this long? When should I just cut my losses? Should I just leave the remaining eggs in the nesting box and see what happens? Has anyone else ever dealt with this before?

The last time the broody hen went broody the same thing happened. There were a few eggs that weren't ready by the time the others had hatched  and again she had to leave the nest to mother the others. About 4 days later I threw the eggs away...cracking one of them. There was an underdeveloped chick inside but it was still alive. Needless to say it died with in hours and I felt really bad.

What to do? What to do?

Anybody out there ready to give a green horn some advice? I might actually listen this time... I promise....maybe.

Seriously knowledge is power and I would like to be able to rectify the situation, so tell me what to do, if you can.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More than just a Trip.

This past weekend my family and I packed our bags and headed to the mountains. Although we had planned the trip a month in advance I wasn't sure if I even wanted to go until the night before. Its not that I don't like getting away. Its not that I don't like to experience new things either. I use to love to travel. Its just... its complicated.

I have yet to blog about my life just  before Come By Chance and it will take me a long time before I am ready to revisit that time in my life... but I will say this.... this past weekend I realized that the circle of healing is almost complete. I was anxious about going away for the weekend because in my life before... we traveled. Packing for the trip reminded much of the past. I didn't want to go to that place again but Lee and I both agreed that its good for the kids to get away, to see and experience things that they cant at home. But regardless the anxiety was still there. I remained somewhat anxious through out the trip.

 We took the kids to do all the fun kid things in Gatlinburg on Friday. They did the Build a Bear Workshop (Knoxville) ,  Ripleys Aquarium, Mirror Maze, went swimming, and ate every bit of junk food known to man.  I think they had fun but they continually asked when we were going to go see the "BIG MOUNTAINS". The mountains was what the kids really looked forward to. They enjoyed doing the other activities but as our priorities had changed I realized so had theirs. They didn't care about all the other plunder, all they cared about was hiking up the mountain, being around nature... existing among a real world.

I thought it would be such a disappointment for the little ones because  it poured rain off and on the only day that we allowed for the hike. But I was surprised that they were just as happy driving through the vast mountain sides enjoying the views of  amazing landscapes and wildlife from the truck window. There were a few times that the rain held out long enough  for us to get out of the vehicle and look around but for the most part our exploring was limited. They still had fun and that did my heart well.

I realized while weaving through the fog filled Smokey Mountains  that I was in a sacred place.  The kids finally conked out in the back seat while Lee and I quietly drove through the emblematic scenes of heaven. It was like a spiritual cleansing.

I realized that though the pain from the past still lingers in my head from time to time, we all have grown from our individual demons. Our priorities have changed, the things that should really matter now truly matters not only to my husband and myself but also to our children. I also recognize that no matter how much the past tries to cripple me, I will carry on as I am now aware that I can still move on when fear wants to keep me frozen in place.

Heaven has a way of calming a distressed spirit and that exactly what this place did.

It was more than just a trip...

Sunday, August 1, 2010


A Camera glich turned out a cool photo. I thought I would share the variations.


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