Saturday, October 8, 2016


 I have been wanting to write this post for SO LONG!!!!!!!!!  The reason I've waited for over a month was to make sure the newest member of the family was going to survive infancy.....  meet Jack!

Watch this video, you HAVE to watch it.  Don't worry it's short.

Isn't he precious??  Video was August 30th, only four days after finding him.

On the morning of August 26 we heard a huge crash and went outside to find that a dead tree had finally fallen.  This tree had been dying for years, the limbs all dropped off, then the top fell out, but the trunk always held on.  Finally after years it came crashing down (on a perfectly calm day with no wind lol).  Jackal (my dog) was acting fascinated with something...

When hubby went to investigate he found Jackal licking a baby squirrel!!!!!  He had fur, but his eyes weren't even open yet. The above pictures were taken on August 30th.  Jackal was protecting him from the cats who were closing in.  We gathered up the baby squirrel and plopped him in a box full of blankets.  The most important thing was to get him warmed up.  We weren't sure how old he was, but going by the fur and his teeth we guessed around a month.  It can be hard to raise squirrels, which is why I waited to post.  I was trying not to get attached at first.  That's hard though when he's so cute!

We named him Jack after the squirrel my dad had when he was a kid.  I know, we now have a Jackal and a Jack, but it works okay.  :)

The above picture was taken August 29th, the day after we found him.  The reason the picture is red is because we had him under a heat lamp.  We had to keep him warm, feed him Esbilac puppy formula five times a day and make sure to stimulate him to go potty.  So obviously it was very overwhelming!  My mom was helping, but I was still going home everyday for lunch to feed him.

Watch this video of me feeding Jack his formula.  This was after we moved up to a 3cc syringe.  We started with a 1cc syringe.

Isn't he adorable.  It was so fun watching him grow and learn to do things.  The first day he started gripping the syringe with his adorable little paws like in the video, was so awesome!

His eyes opened on August 28th, shortly after we found him, so we knew he was approximately four weeks old.  We have given him an estimated birth date of July 31st.

This was his first time sitting up!!!!!

Eventually he started sitting up.  It was so cute!  Watching him learn to sit up and to hold food in his hands...... I just can't even describe it.  I'll start talking about weaning and outdoor forays in another post.  For now I'll leave a pictures of his first time outside...


It has been a whirlwind of a month and caring for Jack has been all consuming, but it is so worth it because he is awesome.  Trust me there will be LOTS more updates on this guy.  :D

Saturday, October 1, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge - Book Scrabble - August and September

I have been slacking on blogging!  I don't remember what order I read these in or what month, so I'm combining the last two months together.  I hope I didn't forget any...  The descriptions are going to be brief because I read some of these so long ago I don't even remember that much about them.  I also don't know if I have these in the correct order, but that doesn't really matter.  I need to do better about writing each book down when I finish them.  Also I'm back posting these because I have a lot of catching up to do and I don't know when I'll have time to sit down and do it again.... There are some really exciting posts coming up!!  Not just books anymore hehe.  Let's get to it.

It's been a while so you may not remember, but I read book one in July.  I read the other two books at the beginning of August.  I really liked this trilogy.  It was different from the usual fantasy trilogy.  It had a lot of things in it that were unique (as far as from what I've read anyway).  I really liked the characters.  They weren't perfect or without flaws.  It's been so long since I've read them that I don't remember a lot of the details or the ending really, but I remember being satisfied with it.  I'm pretty sure everything was resolved.

This book was creepy and weird, but I really liked it!  It was so bizarre!  I LOVED the dog in the book and the rest of the characters were good too hehe.  It is definitely one that will creep you out... well it did me anyway.

This one was totally a waste of time.  It was supposed to be a sequel to A Feral Darkness, which I enjoyed, but it's actually an extremely short (thank goodness) waste of time with no point at all.

This one is a prequel to the other Oxford mysteries by H.Y. Hanna.  I really enjoyed it because it shared some back story.  It was shorter than the others, but still long enough that it didn't feel like a Reader's Digest or anything.  I normally don't like short stories, but I liked this one.

I read this one for a V book.  It was another odd one.  It really kind of reminded me of Twilight if I'm honest....  I guess that theme has just been done to death.  It was okay.

I read this one because I needed a Y book.  It is DEFINITELY a young adult book.  I HATED her mother and was pretty much bored with everything else.  The ending was also... unresolved.

This one was... odd.  Certain parts of it seemed childish, but the ending was unexpected and a lot of suspense.  I wouldn't call it one of my favorites, but it wasn't a waste of time either lol.

It took me a bit to get into this book, but once I did I was really enjoying it.... and then it got all weird.  It was still a good book though.  The first and second half just seemed so different from each other.  It's been a while since I read it, so now I can't remember exactly why I felt that way.

This book was strange... and sad.  I'd have to go back and skim through it to remember why I felt that way, but I did.  It ended well, that I remember.  It was sad though.

I actually started reading this one because I liked the cover lol.  I really liked this book!  It was different and interesting.  The ending was great.  It was another young adult book in first person, present tense which I normally don't like, but the author made it work for this one.  The main character's voice is unique and fun.

Anyway, sorry for the brief descriptions.  Here are the points for the books.  I'm not giving Hair of the Dog any points because it could hardly be called a book.

Red Palace by Sarah Dalton - 1
Black Crown  Sarah Dalton - 3
Verity by Claire Farrell - 4
The Wandering Tree by Daniel Wimberley - 4
In Between by Jenny B Jones - 1
A Feral Darkness by Doranna Durgin - 4
Hair of the Dog by Doranna Durgin - 0
Young Annabelle by Sarah Tork - 4
All Butter Short Dead by H.Y. Hanna - 1
White Lies by Jeremy Bates - 4
O Pioneers! by Willa Sibert Cather - 1

Total points for the two months: 27

So here are the books I've read so far...

A - Awakening You by Jessica Sorensen/All Butter Short Dead by H.Y. Hanna/

B - The Bell House by Lori Titus/Black Crown by Sarah Dalton/

C - Chasing The Wind by Hannah Hooton/Conash: Dead Son by TC Southwell


E - Zombie Fallout 3: The End/Zombie Fallout 4: The End Has Come and Gone

F - A Feral Darkness by Doranna Durgin

G - God Touched by TC Southwell

H - 

I - Ishtar's Blade by Lisa Blackwood/Inspiring You by Jessica Sorensen/Invisible Assassin by TC Southwell/In Between by Jenny B Jones

J - The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling/Journey's End by Renee Ryan

K - Keeping The Peace by Hannah Hooton

L - Louisiana Longshot by Jana Deleon/Lord Protector by TC Southwell

M - Master of the Dance by TC Southwell

N - November's Past by A.E. Howe

O - O Pioneers! by Willa Sibert Cather

P - Zombie Fallout 2: A Plague Upon Your Family

Q - Quietus by David Sellars/The Queen's Blade by TC Southwell

R - Raveling You by Jessica Sorensen/Relentless by Dean Koontz/Red Palace by Sarah Dalton/

S - A Scone To Die For by H.Y. Hanna/Spellbound by Kodilynn Calhoun/The story of Awkward by R.K. Ryals/Sacrifice by TC Southwell/Sacred Knight of the Veil by TC Southwell

T - Tea with Milk and Murder by H.Y. Hanna/Two Down, Bun To Go by HY Hanna/Till Death do us Tart by H.Y. Hanna

U - Unraveling You by Jessica Sorensen

V - Verity by Clair Farrell/

W - White Hart by Sarah Dalton/The Wandering Tree by Daniel Wimberley/White Lies by Jeremy Bates/


Y - Young Annabelle by Sarah Tork/

Z - Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo

So I need D, H and X before the end of the year.  I read an X book, but it goes in October so it will be in the next post.  For those just joining me, the goal for this year's reading challenge was to read a book for each letter of the alphabet.  It's harder than you'd think!  I never realized it would be so hard to find Y books....  So that's all for now.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Introducing Crockett!

In the truck on the way home!  We crossed several state lines to get this boy.

 First a quick lesson for the less than goat savvy people.  Our does are Boer crosses.  Our new buck Crocket is a Myotonic Goat (Tennessee Fainting Goat, Tennessee Meat Goat (TM), etc, they have many names).  When you cross a Myotonic with a Boer you get the TexMaster (TM).  The Myotonic is well known for being a heavily muscled breed.  When breed to a Boer, you get a bigger framed, faster growing, heavily muscled goat.  Myotonics have a hereditary condition called myotonia congenita which causes the muscles to stiffen briefly when the animal is startled and can cause them to fall over, hence why they are called fainting goats.  They don't really faint though.  They are conscious the whole time and it is painless.  Well, I tried to keep it brief.  Just introducing you to the breed if you are unfamiliar.

This is an example (not mine) of a TexMaster (TM).  See how muscled they are?  
They look like they are on steroids, but it's all natural.

So we had been considering a Myotonic herd sire to cross with our Boers to make a really nice meat goat (because that's what the market likes in our area).  Most of the Texmasters and Boers in our area are actually showing or breeding animals.  I don't think many people actually eat them.  It's just not common in the States it doesn't seem like.  They make really nice, docile show animals for the 4H kids though.  Anyway I'm rambling.

We went looking for a Myotonic buckling because a purebred is expensive around here, but during our searching we came across Crockett for a third of the price!  He is six years old and registered.  He has a show history that spans several states.  He's sired a lot of really nice offspring that are winning in the show ring.  He comes from foundation lines of his breed.  The reason he was so cheap is because he was injured at one time, so one leg is crooked and he has arthritis in both front legs.  If you look closely in the above picture you can see how calloused his knees are.  The arthritis doesn't prevent him from breeding, but it does lower his value.

 You can see how tall he is here.  Hubby is almost 5'10".

I  don't care about his ugly, damaged knees.  He has amazing lineage and is a really nice quality, proven sire.  The only thing I was terrified of is that he might have Caprine Encephalitis Arthritis (CAE) which causes arthritis symptoms and is contagious to other goats through blood, milk and apparently breeding too.  It can eventually cause paralysis.  So we kept him quarantined the last three weeks and we did blood tests on him.  The tests for CAE, Brucellosis, Johne's and Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) all came back negative!!!!!!!  Yay!!!!

Here is the interesting thing about the blood tests...... I drew the blood!!!!!!!!!  The only time I've ever stuck a needle into anything was when I gave a dog a rabies vaccine once.  I've never drawn blood although I have seen it done when I worked at the vet and I've obviously had my own blood drawn by nurses.  So I wanted hubby to draw it because I'm squeamish, but I wasn't strong enough to hold Crockett still, so I had to do it.... I watched several videos on YouTube, then went outside to try it.  Hubby held him still, with his head tilted back.  I started feeling his neck with my fingers and was appalled to feel how thick his fur was and how many neck wrinkles he has... it was going to be a lot more difficult that all those short haired, young goats I saw in the videos.  I almost chickened out.

I was so scared I was nauseous.  I didn't have any clippers to shave him so I found the groove in his neck and pressed my fingers against it.  Then I started tapping with my other fingers above that until I felt the vein bounce.  Then I stuck the needle in at an angle and he actually cried!!!!  I almost let go of the syringe.  I was freaking out!  I sucked it up and pulled back on the plunger.... lo and behold I hit the vein on my very first try!!!!!!!!!  I filled the syringe, pulled it out and held pressure on his needle poke.  Then I cleaned it with alcohol and put the blood in a red top tube in the fridge so we could mail it off.  I can't believe I actually did it and I did it on my first try!  Now I feel like maybe I should have pursued the whole vet career thing lol.  I'm still too squeamish for it though I think. I'm proud of myself for doing it though.  :D

So now that he has been quarantined and tested, he gets to make babies!  Yay!  I've so missed having goats and especially baby goats.  I can't wait!  Isn't he gorgeous??  He has marbled eyes.  They are half brown and half blue.  He's going to have such cute babies.  I'm not going to want to sell any of them hehe.

 Sorry for exposing him, but this shows how muscled his thighs are.  
That's what the breed is known for.  Other breeds lack muscling in that area.

 Doing the flehmen just like the horses do.

 So cute!

 Here you can see how his eyes are marbled.

I have been DYING to share this news, but I wanted to wait until his test results came back in case we had to return him.  I have been sooooo excited all day that he came back negative on everything.  I'm so happy.  I'll share more about him, more pictures and more about the breed soon.