Cast of Characters
And I do mean characters!
Here’s a card from 2010 that I have had on here all that time:
Pictured top left to right: Baby (African Grey), The Cave Geek, The Farmer, Rural Writer, Keira the llama, and Neffie the Maremma Sheep Dog
Middle: Cinnamon the goat, and Toby the Farm Collie
Bottom: Spot the Cat, our 3 Shetland sheep retired ewes (Valrhona, Coconut & Papaya), and a bunch of chickens, guineas & peacocks!
But my! How things have changed in the years since! Half the creatures shown above are no longer with us. We’ve become an old age home for those that are left, including ourselves!!
2017: Updated Info About . . .
Those Living in the house here on the farm:
The Farmer: Patriarch of the clan. Retired from one long-time job as a construction estimator (roads, paving, subdivision streets sort of thing, NOT houses). Went back to work as a consultant weekdays, while still farming on weekends.
Update… he is now semi-retired from consulting work, going in 3 days a week. Not sure how long that is going to last either.
Rural Writer: Keeper of the farm and home, writer and photo buff. Has to work in short spurts due to chronic pain (thoracic neuralgia) and fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue….
Update… Well, some things are pretty much the same.
Cave Geek: Youngest Son, presently living in the basement, and known computer nerd (thus Cave Geek). Working at Domino’s Pizza, keeper of Wargamer Haven.
Update… About the same for the Cave Geek as well!
Baby: African Grey Parrot, female. With the brains of a 5-year old and the emotions of a 2-year old, she keeps life interesting! Loves to tell you “Bye-bye, see ya later” as you go out the door.
Update… Sadly, Baby developed seizures. The avian vet wasn’t sure what was causing them, and gave her medication, but one day she had a really bad seizure and just didn’t recover. I still miss her and it’s been 3 or 4 years!
The Rest of The Farm Critters:
Cat, Spot: male. Died of old age. We ended up with a new cat a couple years ago when Tasha cornered a feral kitten in the back pasture. The new cat is also male, and named Sheldon. He is an excellent mouser, which is a good thing in the feed rooms on a farm.
Chickens – Presently we have one rooster… and he was supposed to be a she. 🙁 I ordered 4 Auracana hens and got 3 hens and 1 rooster. Bummer.
I also have an older mixed hen that has been her for a few years now, and a couple of Red Star hens. Then last year, besides the above Auracanas, I ordered 4 Black Australorps, some Buff Orpingtons, and a couple of Light Brahma hens. However, there are some hens sitting on nests right now, so we may end up with more chickens than I want (which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t got that stray rooster, alas!).
Dog, Neffie: A sweet dog that lived a long life, and now gone. I didn’t think I would replace her since we no longer have lambs and goat kids for a dog to protect. It didn’t take long to discover what we DO have are fowl creatures, and with no LGD, the foxes totally decimated our flocks.
So we ended up with Tasha, our big girl with a big voice. At her last vet visit she weighed 112# so good size for a Maremma Sheepdog. She is an EXCELLENT guard dog, and a sweet companion when she chooses to be. She keeps all the farm critters safe, and even keeps the pup in line.
Dog, Toby: Our American Farm Collie. Sadly, he too is no longer with us. He lived a long life for a dog, but I still miss him greatly. He was such a GREAT dog.
We have a year old English Shepherd now, also male, named Scamp. I suspect he’ll be the last pup we get, as trying to train a dog is getting a bit beyond my energy levels! There were many times this past year I’ve wondered if I was going to survive the training process!
Goat: We no longer have any goats. She lived a very long life, but this past year got to where she couldn’t get around and finally had to let her go.
Guineas Galore: The count varies, but we have around a dozen guinea fowl running around on the farm! This batch we have now are French Guineas, and supposed to be a little heavier than the regular breed. I can’t really tell that much difference, but don’t have any left of the “normal” breed to use as comparison.
Llama – Keira: Llama, female. Sweetness itself except when she’s pregnant. Nice black wool which is now shot through with gray. She’s 15 years old, so also getting up there.
Peafowl: A fox made away with some of our peafowl, and we finally decided to sell what was left rather than try to build up our little flock again.
Sheep: Valrhona: Shetland Sheep, ewe. Musket (light brown) fleece. The only ewe we have left, and one of the few we’ve had with horns.
Turkeys: The turkey count varies. At present we have 3 Wild Turkey toms, 1 wild turkey hen, 2 white hens, and a Bourbon Red mix hen.