Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Today I have something to blog about! This afternoon I got the opportunity to try out a Segway! The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have a fleet of 22 of them, and they brought a bunch of them in from the field for us to try.
I got a lesson from an officer, and then I was invited to climb aboard.
In a very short time I was able to balance, and my teacher spent some time talking about foot position, turning,
and other important tips, like how to stop!
We took a turn around the loading dock for practice....And then away I went!!!!!!!!!!!!How cool is this?I really got the hang of it. Seems that skiers have an easier time -- it's the same motion!
The Three Musketeers! My CAD Admin Andy, and Desktop Team Member Kelly.Kelly wasn't going to give it a go, but I said geez if I can do it, you can do it too!
Andy was the first one to jump on.I was the last one to get off.
I told them they'd have to kick me off, and they said, stay on as long as you like.
Here is a movie clip -- you may have to hit the play button twice to start it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting The Pasture Into Shape

Spring has sprung, we can see it in the Bradford Pear trees and Dogwoods starting to bloom.

Last week John worked on the power line pasture. He spent many afternoons conturing the land, turning lime into the soil, and spreading fescue and clover seed. This weekend we went out into the field with the tractor and plowed and sowed corn into a spiral. When that was done, John laid down a layer of fertilizer. This pasture is being prepared for summer grazing for the goats. We will be constructing simple structures and putting animals out there to chomp on corn and whatever else grows.
Poppy and JJ went to their new home on Saturday. We got our temporary pen out for Blossom (another little goat they had just picked up) and Poppy and JJ to camp out in while we got paperwork together. While we were sitting at the kitchen table we looked out and saw Poppy clear the top of the pen. She is a fiesty little girl, and she's going to give Scarlett a run for her money. We have some others that are for sale, if you want to take a look, check out www.papajohnsfarm.com -- see goats for sale. There are pictures to look at. They are not weaned yet, but we are down to making nine bottles for each feeding.
We've been watching Daisy with the babies to make sure she's not too rough on them. We actually got a remote trainer, similar to the anti-bark collar, to use if needed. We also want to train her not to chase chickens, because the chickens have a job to do -- we want them out in the yard. So since we are paying attention to her behavior, we noticed that she is actually herding and caring for the kid goats. She will head them towards the baby yard if she thinks they need herding. When she lays down in her dog shelter, they end up curling up on the ground around her. She licks their faces after they eat. We've seen kids climb on her, lean up against her, they are definitely not afraid of her.
Daisy has a special friend in Coco. If there are no people in the yard for her to follow, she hangs out with Daisy.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Papa Johns Coco

Meet Papa Johns Coco! She's the last of the spring babies on the farm. You can't tell by her picture, but she is a headstrong little doe. She'll keep up with you walking around the yard, and she does not seem to be afraid of Daisy. She was born March 8th, very conveniently choosing to make her appearance after the pizza had been ordered. Tim and Andy had to hop in the car and go after the pizza, AND pay for it. (Thanks Tim!) I actually got the chance to climb in and help Vivie. I cleaned Coco's nose and mouth before her head was all the way out. Gosh it was nice to see that little nose wiggling.

In a recent post I uploaded some pictures of Sasha and Toby cuddled up under a blanket. The weekend Coco was born, John got some awesome pictures of Daisy and Opie lounging around the yard. Opie is such an affectionate cat, to the point of obnoxiousness. I mean he will actually hook his paws around your neck, it's like a cat hug if such a thing exists. He seems to know that Daisy is extremely infatuated with him. She will follow him around, corner him, paw him, and pester him until he just gives up and lets her maul him. The worst it seems to be is a heavy paw, though we've seen her with his head in her mouth. If it gets to be too much he yowls at her and runs. There are plenty of spots she can't reach. Like hiding in the goat feeder.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good Morning Charlotte

A couple of weeks ago, I posted Charlotte's evening skyline, today here is the view as the sun comes up.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cats, Dogs, & Chicken Coop Remodeling

We heat our house with wood, and the woodstove keeps the family room quite nice. Everyone congregates there, including cats and dogs. On the couch there is an electric throw, mostly for
Toby's benefit, especially when he's just had a haircut in the winter. Toby loves the throw, and spends a lot of time circling until he's found just the right spot. Once comfy, he'll snooze for hours. This weekend he got caught snoozing with a buddy. I watched Sasha very slowly and carefully slide right in beside him under the blanket. It was clearly a sneaky act, because she was watching for a reaction. After she got settled I had to capture it on film. A little later on when they both woke up, don't they both look suprised?

On Sunday John and I did a little remodeling. I know some of you who were so impressed with the chicken tractor will be a bit disappointed. The wheels no longer roll. The functionality evolved so that we let them out in different fields at different times to do pest control. Being in a static location lets us control this better, so viola, the chicken highrise.