Today may be the last day of our oppressive heat wave. I certainly hope so. It would be nice to be able to get something done again!

We did sell the donkeys—to a couple in Charleston. I was sorry to see them go—they were so sweet—but really, unless we could’ve come up with a job for them, there was no point in having any extra animals to eat the pasture down.

The pigs are living back in the woods in the shade, where they can root around in the cool earth. We’re not really feeding them much—just a couple of buckets of milk and scraps every few days. They’re finding what they need in the pasture and in the ground. As it cools off, I’ll be thinking of ways to move them closer to the house and confine them just a bit more. I’d like to keep an eye on Dixie, who I hope is bred, and begin a final fattening of Bill so we can eat him this fall.

Pearl developed a bit of mastitis in one of her quarters, so we haven’t been getting milk for the last week or so. We’ve been turning her in with Maeby, and it’s all cleared up now, so starting today we’re back in the milk. It’s worth keeping a calf on a cow, just for a mastitis cure!

The sheep are fat and healthy—who knows why! I can’t imagine that this weather is very comfortable for them!

Split is a sweetheart. She’s a little bored with our lack of outside activity, but she’s hanging in there, giving just the occasional long sigh or groan to express her boredom. The pups are wonderful. Ben is huge—he already weighs as much as Split!

I’ve been canning tomatoes—a delightful activity this time of year! There’s really nothing else that I want to put up, except maybe applesauce later. I was going to make peach chutney, but I’m the only one who eats it, and I don’t eat very much of it! We really don’t preserve a lot of stuff—none of us likes canned vegetables except for tomatoes and applesauce. We don’t eat jams or jellies. There are a few kinds of pickles we enjoy, though we still don’t eat very many of them. I could eat lactic pickles every day, but they don’t really preserve well—the ones I made last week are in the fridge, and I hope to make more in the next day or two.

I notice that we tend to like vegetables that are in season, as opposed to summer veggies that we preserve and store. Fortunately this year the winter squash have done amazingly well, so we’ll be eating those all winter. And I like that this year the cows will milk straight on through winter—at least Pearl will—so I can make cheese and butter all winter instead of frantically trying to make enough in the fall to last until spring!

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Back in January I decided that I would post at least 12 times per month on my blog—pictures, poems, real posts—whatever. And I’ve done it! It was good for me, too, to have even that tiny little bit of discipline. But this may be the month I don’t make it. My excuses are many—it’s too hot to function, we’ve had tons of company, we’ve been out of town several times. I guess excuses are easy to find! So we’ll see. Maybe I’ll rally.

I think we may sell the three donkeys. We had great plans for them, which unfortunately involved DH making a cart, and I don’t know when he’ll ever have time for that. So if anybody needs a very cute family of three miniature donkeys, drop me a line!

My nephew is staying with us this week, and he was the one that found the new baby—just before she was fully born! He says this is his first brand new baby ever.

Wendy and her new baby.

We had such a fun day today! We’ve noticed that since Bernard has become a teenager, it’s gotten to be pretty rare for all four of us to go do things together. We spend a lot of time together at home, but whenever an outing is proposed, somebody (often me!) decides to take it as an opportunity to have the house to themselves. And yet, somehow, today we all drove all over creation together.

We started out by contacting some folks trying to sell some geese on Craigslist. As you may remember, Siegfried has been very lonely since the fox ate his girlfriend, and lately he’s been making us all miserable. He’s very noisy, and has started sneaking up behind people to grab their legs, so he’s been banished to the garden, poor lonely guy. So anyway, I called these folks and the woman told me her husband had just loaded all the geese up and taken them to the livestock auction. She gave me general directions to the sale barn—at least an hour and a half away—and we piled in the car and took off. It was so much fun! This was a  little teeny barn on some guy’s farm, a real live auctioneer, and a fascinating cast of characters. DH did the bidding, and instead of one goose, we ended up with two geese and another gander, for $13.50 each!

So we put the three huge birds in a box in the back seat of the Subaru—where they were very quiet and well-behaved—and took off for Tennessee, stopping to refuel at Taco Bell and Dairy Queen (we know how to party).

We’ve been buying hay from this guy in Tennessee all winter, and had admired his adorable little donkeys. Well, it turns out he wants to sell them—cheap! $150 for the pair!—and so we went to look at them. We fell in love. They are so sweet and affectionate, and—maybe the best part—experienced sheep guardians. So I think we’ll be going to get them next week.

Then we rushed home so DH and Bernard could get ready to go watch a roller derby match in Asheville. Bernard is now skating in the junior league (her skating name is Psycho Sis), and really enjoys going to watch the big girls skate.

ED and I are planning to enjoy  a lazy dinner and a movie. As soon as chores are done, that is.