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Ian Was Right. Don’t Make Me Say it Again.

Trust me, I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.

Last year, our homestead garden was entirely my responsibility. While I relied on Ian to run the over-sized tiller to turn up the thick clay we were pretending was good garden soil, the planning, planting and maintenance of the space was completely up to me.

And it was a disaster.

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A Passel of Puppies!

It’s not everyday you get an email this exciting.

Unbeknownst to me, Sr. Kathy had been losing sleep for days over the fate of a friendly dog that had chosen a rather undesirable spot to give birth to her puppies; right beneath the floor of a nearby home. The puppies may have been cute, but their constant cries kept the family awake, so Kathy was commissioned with finding them a new (temporary) home.

Hence her email requesting my services as a puppy foster parent. Is it any surprise that I immediately said yes? And then asked Ian what he thought. Oops. In my defense, he once brought a pig home after barely discussing it with me so I think we’re even.

And with that barrier cleared, I accepted responsibility for six new dogs for the next four weeks.

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Our First Pig Slaughter

Well, we did it.

For those of you that harbored doubts about our ability to actually butcher our first pig, you can put those thoughts to rest.

This past weekend Ian, with the help of our pastor and professional butcher nephew along with a crew of middle school girls, humanely slaughtered Mr. Cris P. Bacon. After hours of effort we now have a full freezer of the freshest pork possible.

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Wendell and Aldo and the Peculiar Case of the Bags of Organs

Something sinister is afoot on the mountain these days… or at least something smelly.

Wendell and Aldo are true Appalachian dogs, meaning we let them have the run of the land and romp where they please. Unfortunately, sometimes that means they get into mischief.

Or rather, mischief finds them.

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Pets vs. Livestock: The Paradoxes of Farm Animal Ownership

For the past few weeks on our property we’ve had a chicken with a phlegmy, body-wracking cough and a chronically limping dog.

Poor Wendell has been on three different vet visits and undergone multiple x-rays of his stiff leg. Some were taken while he was unconscious from heavy-duty (and costly) anesthetics, all to see if he was a candidate for an eye-wateringly expensive reconstructive surgery to remove cartilage from his shoulder.

The chicken? She’s in the compost pile.

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