17 December 2016

A Jelly Belly Christmas

Well, we just went through the first deep freeze of the year.  Now we're slowly climbing out.  Why it's a blistering 11ºF today!  And it's snowing again!

Seriously, I am actually pleased about this because it is December and - you know- snow for Christmas and all that.  My brother-in-law is coming here from California and my son is coming from South Carolina.  We need to make sure they get the full Maine experience while they are here.

Of course the last time they were both here and sledding was involved there was blood...

I'd better stock up on band-aids and gauze and tape!!

While we're waiting for them I've been baking like a crazy woman and packing some boxes to mail out to family and friends.  One tradition I started years ago was always giving my children Jelly Belly Jellybeans in/for their stockings.  Happily for me, JBjbs aren't as exclusive as they used to be and have become more affordable.  I was able to select some larger bags this year, settling on 40 flavors in an 8.25 oz. bag for my hubby, each of my kiddos and for my son-in-law.

However, yesterday when I picked up two of the bags I noticed something very odd.  Although the packaging was identical, one seemed to weigh considerably more than the other.  Ever the scientist I pulled out my trusty digital food scale and weighed them.

Here are the results.  Do you see what I saw?

Ayuh, looks like we got ourselves an unexpected Christmas blessing:  That first bag is pretty much double the weight it's supposed to be!  Thank you, Jelly Belly!

24 November 2016

A New Start

Well, I've been meaning to get back into blogging - so here I am.

I won't try to catch you up on the entire past year.  Suffice it to say:

- My girls are older and are both driving now
- The goats had LOTS of babies and we eventually sold them all.  So we went from 4 does to 12 goats and now we're back to 4.  And yes, we are in the midst of breeding season.
- We took another cross country camping road trip (5 weeks worth) to California and back and I got to ride a mule down into the Grand Canyon!  Boo-Ya!
- I'm on a hiatus from singing for a while because my voice is really giving me the blues.
- I still have brown hair (stop laughing)
- I am working on becoming stronger and more flexible even though I am old.

Today is Thanksgiving, but we celebrated yesterday with Grammy, GrammaJ and the Uncle.  It was a lovely day.  I love Thanksgiving!  I also love the day AFTER Thanksgiving because it is one of our 3 yearly "Pie-For-Breakfast" days.

Today I was a Hobbit and had TWO breakfasts.

Then I went outside and did tons of lifting and hauling and moving stuff to prep the goat pen and supplies for snow.  I burned so many calories that I'm just SURE I'll need at least one more piece of pie.  Heh-heh-heh.

Then back to lowish carb por moi.  Stronger and More flexible.  Remember?  Pie is not so helpful with moving toward those goals!

Actually, I have a cold and I'm uber tired right now.  So I'm resting up in preparation for shopping tomorrow.  No, not black Friday shopping.  Just regular Friday shopping which GrammaJ and I do every, you know, Friday.  Still, I know THEY will be out there, so I'll need a good night's sleep and lots of delicious coffee before I venture out.  Pray for me.  ;-)

06 August 2015

An Eventful Few Weeks

Well, life hasn't slowed down, but I have.

I had surgery a week ago and recovery is kicking my butt.  I know the doc told me it would take six weeks, but I was sure that, in my case, "six weeks" meant 4-5 days.

Silly Groovy!

Anyhoo, I figured I'd use some of this chill time to post on my blog.

It has been and continues to be a very (VERY) eventful time here at Groovy Gramma's Farm.  The biggest and most serious "event" was that we lost Grampy a few weeks ago.  He's been in ill health for years, but his death came rather suddenly and unexpectedly.  It was a bit of a shock, but we were glad he didn't suffer!!!  Life won't be the same without him.  Thankfully we do have the assurance of knowing he is no longer in pain and that every tear has been wiped away.  He loved the Lord and we are confident he is with His Savior.

We sold 2 of our beloved goaties a couple of weeks ago.  Electra and Davian have found new homes and now we are focused on the "productive" members of our herd.  The girlies have been working very hard preparing them all for our first dairy goat show this weekend.  Then we have another show next weekend.  We also have two 4-H displays to set up at the second fair.

It's making me CRAZY being so physically restricted at fair time.  However, my girlies are old pros and the BHE was able to get off work so he can take them to this weekend's fair.  It involves a 5:30am departure and a looooooooong day of showing.  I'm definitely not up to that yet!  I shall have to be content with having Grammy take me up there for an hour or two in the afternoon to sit in my lawn chair and get waited on like an invalid.

Hmmm.  I guess I'd better enjoy this pampering while I can!

In addition to all the recovering and 4-Hing, our son, Scout, will be arriving on Sunday for a 2 week visit.  We'll be seeing him and his 3 kiddos as much as time and energy will possibly permit.

We're also looking at a third fair over Labor Day weekend.  That one requires us to stay on the fairgrounds for the 4 day entirety of the fair.  Fun, but rather tiring!

The week after that we're taking off for a 2 week vacation.  I think I'd really rather stay at home.  The older I get the more of a homebody I am.  But the BHE has nomadic blood and gets pretty cranky and unhappy if we stay still too long.  And frankly, a happy hubby is tremendously important to me! So go we will.

Thus far we've done 2 coast to coast road trips and one crazy, but awesome January trek to Texas and back.  We always see all the national parks and sights and camp in our tent whenever possible.  This time it looks like we're heading south.  The girlies have never been to Florida.

Of course we're leaving just a couple of weeks after the official start of school.  That will be especially odd since I am co-teaching a High School biology class...

Hmmmm.  I'm tired just thinking about all of this.

It's time to pull back and enjoy the quiet of an evening with my girls; Maybe a game or maybe a movie.  Or maybe I'll just take a little nap and then have them bring me ice cream.

Gotta enjoy my convalescence!

24 June 2015

Ahhhhhhh, ain't them some pretty plants?  Of course they are!   However, if you are an astute nature lover, you (wisely) run screaming when you espy this particular beauty anywhere near you.

It's poison ivy.


I am particularly sensitive to the evils of this lovely bit of herbage.  Sadly there is (was) a HUGE patch of it right next to our goat pen.  It is a lush, stunning green patch of pure evil!  There are several trees and large tempting rocks right in the patch.  And did I mention that it is RIGHT next to the goat pen?

I did.

Do you know that goats love poison ivy and are not bothered by it in the least?  Did you further know that goats also love big rocks to jump on and tasty trees to munch on - even if they are in the middle of a deep, malevolent bed of poison ivy?  And did you know that sensitive goat owners can get poison ivy from touching said goats?

True story.

Girly-Girl was never bothered much, but Silly-head and I have gotten rashes several times from errant goats.  When we have our wits about us, we will catch those naughty caprines and give them baths before they go back in the pen - and then scrub ourselves like mad.  But oh what a nuisance...

So this year I went all out and declared DEATH TO POISON IVY!

I cannot and will not use poison on this patch. It is right next to the goat pen!  (But you, of course, already knew that.)  I can't take the chance of toxins blowing into the pen or of escapees wading into a field of death and eating their way to an early grave.

Folks have told me to just let the goats eat it down.  That would be a possibility if we had meat goats that we weren't handling much.  But we have dairy goats and we handle them and work with them pretty much twice a day every day.  The goats are not the solution.

In April, just after the snow finally melted, I got angry and determined.  I got the credit card.  I bought tons (figuratively) of black garden plastic. I bought thousands (figuratively) of little staples to hold that plastic down and I covered every square inch (literally) of that horrid, nasty, disgusting poison ivy patch.  It took me over 8 hours to get the plastic down.  It is overlapped in strategic ways.  It winds around the trees and rocks.  It kills, KILLS the poison ivy.  


Of course, even though I tried to be VERY careful, and even though I performed this feat of daring-do before the plants even came up I still got poison ivy.  And I got it pretty bad because when one is angry and determined one might be just a little too aggressive in pulling evil out BY THE ROOTS!


I've been through 2 rounds of steroids and still have some rashes and itching.  But it is SO worth it to look out and see a safe place for my furbabies to play!  And it looks so nice -especially after I spent another 6 hours digging out muck from the winter muck pile and hauling it over to thickly mulch over the plastic.

Now I go out at least once a week and survey the area because I know poison ivy and I know it will try to strike back.  I know it will send out shoots and try to spring up around the edges.  I was feeling pretty smug because there's been no sign of it.  Sadly the day before yesterday I found a new small patch about 6 feet out from the huge one I worked so hard.

Just so you know, it is gone now.  Smothered.  Because I am dangerous when I am angry and determined!!!!!!

Now I need to call my doctor about this itchy rash...

04 April 2015

From Season to Season

One of the things I love about living up Nawth is that we get to experience all four seasons (Five, if you count "mud season")

Sadly, we seem to be having a bit of trouble here moving on to spring this year.  Here're some pics from March 31.

Here's "Lake Caprine" in our goat pen.  This "lake" froze the night after these pics were taken and Annika, our VERY pregnant Nigerian Dwarf goat went belly up on the ice.  She looked like an odd, white, furry turtle waving her useless legs in the air.  Fortunately, she was not injured!

The little porch you see there is about 1/2 a flight of stairs high.  The snow pile is from all the snow that came down off our steep metal roof.

Oh Look!  There's actually a bud on the lilac tree...Of course, one of the goats ate it right after I took this photo.

Today is April 4.  It is Cookie's 8th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Cookie!  Oh look - we are celebrating by having more snow today!  Don't you feel special?


In other news, Ditza is 145 days of pregnant today.  According my very trustworthy sources, most LaManchas tend to kid around day 145.  I think Ditz is holding out for the middle of Easter dinner tomorrow, instead.

Annika dropped her last set of kids on Day 143.  She'll be at that mile marker on Monday.  

Electra got her "birthing clip" today.  She has quite long hair for a dairy goat, so there was a great deal of clipping to do.  She is skinny as a rail, ornery as....a goat, and has the weirdest looking little lopsided udder I've ever seen.  I can't feel any babies, but she does have the udder (sort of) and her personality has changed tremendously.  We should know within another week or so if she is actually pregnant or if she is playing an elaborate hoax on all of us.  

If she's NOT pregnant, then I'll be voting for her to move on to another home as a pet!  Here's a pic of her clip job and her sad, strange little udder.

I'm lacking a bit of sleep from repeated trips to the sliding glass doors on the porch in the middle of the night listening, listening for suspicious sounds of someone in labor in the goat shed.

These clowns are really keeping me on my toes!

Ok, I've been sitting here too long.  The sun is starting to come out from behind the clouds - HUZZAH! - and I need to go see if anyone is in labor!

15 February 2015

A Blizzard of Groovy Thoughts

I have written SO MANY blog posts in my head in the past 2 months.  Unfortunately, none of them made it through my fingers onto the keyboard.  Here's a shortened account of the blizzards of 2014-2015.

December was WAY crazy and stressful and wonderful.

I knew Scout was coming, so we were prepared for that.  But then GrammaJ felt like the Lord told her she needed to pay for plane tickets for Funsocksgirl, the J-Man, and Master Andrew to come visit us from NY.  She wanted to keep it as a surprise from the whole family, but she had to clue me in because she needed help.  There was an exciting but stressful flurry of making a money transfer, confirming tickets, borrowing a carseat, highchair, and pack-n-play AND a van to pick them all up at the airport -all without arousing any suspicions. I even had to pretend I was going to mail them their gifts, etc.  Then we had to design a ruse for going to the airport to pick them up which is an hour-and-a-half away.  'Twas very stressful and exhausting - but oh so worth it!  Not one person caught on!  It was so awesome to see each person's face when they finally saw the kids!

Master Andrew kept us all laughing.  He turned 3 while he was here and we had so much fun with him!  His great grands hadn't seen him since he was a wee baby, so the visit was extra special for them.

And I got have ALL FOUR of my kids together for a holiday - a very rare treat!

We packed SO much celebrating into the visit:  Andy's birthday, Grammy's birthday, Christmas, sledding, brother/sister dates, board games, card games, dominoes, oodles of food, visiting the grandfolks and daily visits to Scouts beautiful children in a distant town.

The J-Man, Funsocksgirl and Master Andrew arriving at the airport!

Scout and his girlies, Fireball and Cookie

Scout and his son, Ji-Ji


My four Kiddos:  Scout, Funsocksgirl, Girly-Girl, and Silly-Head

Once everyone left, we got about a week and a half of respite before the January blizzard arrived:  Grammy had a stroke.  Long story short, she is currently in her final stages of rehab and should be home in a couple more weeks.  God has mercifully allowed her to recover and the lasting effects of her stroke are limited to fatigue and a blood pressure that tends to drop.  We are very grateful that she is doing so well!  However, it has been a month and a half of hospital visits and worries over Grampy (Grammy is his caregiver) and phone calls and family pow-wows.  We were extremely thankful that the BHE's brother was able to fly out from California and stay here for most of January to help us all through the worst of the storm.

On a much different front, GrammaJ decided -after 8 years of no vehicle -to buy a car.  She bought it the day after Grammy had the stroke.  And, in her desperation to be free and independent, she bought too quickly and got shafted.  The car has been nothing but a nightmare.  I may share details later, but if I do now, my blood my boil over on the keyboard.  Instead, I'll just say that she needs a financial miracle because - oh mercy -the repairs that are needed!


In other news, all my whining about the goaties was totally unecessary.  God has, indeed, chosen to enlarge our herd; We are now CONFIDENT that all 3 does are pregnant!   HUZZAH!!!!!!!

I'm so thankful for a quiet day today.  Church was cancelled due to a projected blizzard.  (Note: said "blizzard" turned out to be a dud, which is good because we don't need any more snow!!!!)  So the BHE and the girls and I sang worship songs together and studied the Word and prayed together.  I knocked out a couple of sewing projects and did some crosswords.  It's been really nice.  And it's so quiet.

What a blessing after all the storms...

04 December 2014


Ah, flexibility.  The word of the month.

I've been s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d quite a bit the past 2-3 weeks - both literally and figuratively!

On the figurative side we've had plans changed and resorted to plans B and C on more occasions than I can now recall.  Car broken down.  Weather cancellations.  Schedule conflicts.  Weird electrical smells from the dishwasher. Toilet replacement (More on that in my next post!) and MORE.

Smile.  Keep your chin up.  Roll with the punches.

Semper Gumbi!

I've had 2 relatives get quite angry with me and they both "let me have it".  Some of what was said, I deserved.  Much of the rest were just painful, unnecessary reminders of how I failed in the past.  I even got lambasted for not being snuggly as a baby.

Yes, I'm serious.

The Lord has brought peace and forgiveness now, but WOW.

Semper Gumbi!

On the literal side, the girlies are in a play in April/May.  Girly-Girl will be dancing in said play and is supposed to be able to do the splits.  She currently cannot do them.  At all.  So Silly-Head and I agreed to work and exercise and stretch with her so we can ALL do the splits by the end of April.

Yes, I'm serious.

GroovyOLDlady is working on doing the splits.

I actually don't think it will that hard.  I am already MUCH more flexible than either of my teen daughters.  Of course, I did fall right on my head doing a stunt.   But we won't mention that here...

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

The last piece of flexibility comes from dealing with the goats.  It looks like Ditza's breeding took.  Huzzah!  Annika seems to have settled as well.  (Though I won't be surprised at all if she proves me wrong; She's good at that!)

It's Electra who's making me crazy.  She went to the buck BEFORE she was in heat and stayed with him constantly for several days.  She started flagging her tail and let him perform his bucky administrations a few days after she'd been there.  The breeder called and said she was bred but they were going to leave her and Mr. Man together longer because she was still flagging ("Flagging" is one of the classic ways a doe says she's ready to breed).  So she stayed there a few more days and we picked her up.

She was still flagging.

She's still flagging almost 3 weeks later.


Is she pregnant or is she in heat or is she just a nutcase?

Whichever it is, she's keeping me flexible.

Semper Gumbi!

11 November 2014

Love is in the Air

It is Fall on our Groovy little farm.  Late Fall.

The leaves have all come down except for a few stalwart holdouts on the Maple out in the front yard.  The grass is still green, but it's fading and we haven't needed to mow since September.

We've cleaned up the garden and planted the garlic.  We've mulched the strawberry bed and brought the garden hoses in so they don't freeze and crack at night.

We've filled in the low places in the goat pen so they won't swamp up on us next Spring when the snow melts.

And Love is in the air - Goaty love!  After 2 barren years, we have pulled out all the stops to make sure that each of our goaties finds true love and gives us children.  And milk.  Don't forget the MILK!

We don't own any bucks.  However charming they may be the rest of the year, bucks are stinky during the "love" season (aka "the rut").  Bucks pee on themselves (and on their owners if caution is not taken.)  Bucks make gross noises and act really, REALLY weird.  Bucks are hard on fences and hay racks and feed troughs.  Owning bucks would require us to build another pen and another shelter.  Owning bucks on our current piece of property would probably necessitate giving away alot of delicious goat milk cheese and goat milk fudge to stay in the good graces of our neighbors!

So, needless to say, there will no bucks on the Groovy farm anytime in the foreseeable future.

Thus, when our does appear to be "hankerin' for a man", we take them on brief dates to farms that DO have bucks.  So far, only one of those dates has ever resulted in kids.  I may have caught the girls too early or late in their cycle.  Or I may have called the breeder at the right time, but they wouldn't be home until the next day.  And then, when their next cycle (the goats' cycles, not the breeeders' cycles) came, I didn't recognize it and missed the chance to rebreed them.

This year we are taking no chances.  I charted their cycles.  I kinda thought Annika, our Nigerian Dwarf, might be in heat and I rushed her over to a local breeder who was  - oh thank the Lord - actually home and available.  Annie was, indeed ready for love.  But to clinch the deal she stayed with her handsome beau, Two-Faced, ALL day!  That was 2 weeks ago - and I think it may have worked.  I should know for sure within the week...

Here's Annika and I:

Our 2 LaManchas, Ditza and Electra, have to go much further away to a breeder; 45 minutes one way.  I thought Electra was in heat, drove her out there and...Fail.  The buck was VERY interested, but she was not.  NOT groovy!

So I formulated a plan to save us gas and save me stress.  I dropped Ditza off at their farm last week a few days before she was supposed to be in heat.  "Call me when she's bred." said I.  And then I just focused on other things.  I got the call (Huzzah!!!) and went this morning to pick her up and simultaneously drop Electra off.  I'm figuring that the small amount we pay for boarding is absolutely worth the decrease in my stress level!

Here's Girly-Girl and Ditza:

I didn't think Electra's heat was until this next weekend, but she's hard to read.  She was showing some possible signs when I did chores this morning before we left and I got an email this evening that she may be ready to party with one very handsome (if you look past the his pee drenched face) Mr. Man tomorrow!

Here's Silly-Head and Electra:

We have prayed earnestly for the Lord to increase out herd.  So please join us in praying for a healthy outpouring of baby does in the Spring!

I will keep you updated - probably ad nauseum - as I ruminate about my ruminants, but I'll add in cute photos so you won't get too bored.  ;-)

09 November 2014

Writing is Groovy!

Greetings to All My Internutty friends (ie.  all 3 of you that will read this post)!

'Tis I,  Groovy, back from the world of wordlessness.

As you may (or may not) know, our family took a loooooong trip from the East coast to the West coast and back again over the course of 4 weeks.  During that trip each of us faithfully kept a daily journal.  I was forced for day after day to write whole sentences, nay, paragraphs of prose for future generations to read.  And I had to make it interesting so they'd actually, you know, want to read it.

It got easier and easier as the month went on and, truth be told, I missed writing my daily missives once the trip was over.  I found myself thinking much differently than I did before the trip when my brain was still in FaceBook mode.  I now find my muse formulating BLOG posts and play scripts and story ideas instead of pithy one-liners.

Even so, it has taken another 5 weeks to actually get around to writing on my blog again.  First I had to go back and reminisce over old blog posts.  And I had to tear up and "Oooooo" and "Awwwww" over adorable photos of Girly-Girl and Silly-Head as wee little girls.  And I had to change up my blog design a bit.

But now I'm ready to write.  And write some more.  And write more often.

So keep your eyes open for new posts.  Oh, and invite your friends to stop by as well.

I'll be writing about daily life at the Groovy Farm with the Groovy family and, of course, the Groovy goats.  I'm sure you'll also get the rare privilege of reading some of the crazy (albeit groovy) topics I think about.

On the docket for future posts:

*  When I dust and vacuum my house, am I sweeping up the remains of some ancient civilization?

*  Why can't I keep pregnant goats in the kitchen?

*  It's just wrong for one woman to have menstrual cycles for over 40 years.  (Can I get an Amen?)

*  I am using my Jedi mind powers to convince the Best Hubby Ever that we need to add chickens to our farm.  (Wish me luck, my Jedi powers ain't what they used to be!)

*  What's the deal with those stupid fuzzy slipper socks that leave lint all over the floor and the bed and in shoes and on the couch and in the tub (wet lint, in that case) and on the carpet and in the basement and....oh heck, I think I even found some out in the goat pen.

*  Why, Why, Oh WHY is there no simple urine pregnancy test for goats?

*  Life with GrammaJ and the Folks...  (so many posts, so little time!)

And more!

So stay tuned, Groovy will be back soon with something groovy to say!

12 August 2014

It Was a Nightmare!

GrammaJ, bless her heart, is a bit given to hyperbole and exaggeration.  Back in the days when she lived several states away, she was known to call us frequently.  She'd dutifully wait for the answering machine because I screened my calls.  Then she'd say, "Groovy Lynn (She always uses my middle name)!  Can you pick up the phone, PLEASE!  It's an EMERGENCY!"

Naturally, if I was there to hear her plea, I'd rush to the phone.  Once in a very great while there was a matter of true import, but much more often her "emergencies" were more of the "What temperature should I bake this cake at if I use a square pan?" or "How do I clean a spot off of leather?" or "I'm trying to write out a wonderful recipe I made up: How do you spell zucchini?"

Needless to say, after a while I was a bit slower to respond to her "emergencies".  I would always call her back, but I didn't always rush to do it!

She is also noted for her strong opinions.  A person is not a mediocre hairstylist.  She is, instead, the "absolute worst hairstylist EVER".  That store manager is not just nice; "He's such a wonderful young man!  We've bonded!  I've adopted him as your brother!  He should be promoted to CEO of the company!"

And let's not get started about food...

She's a picky eater at the best of times.  Give her a cookie that is less than perfect to her tastebuds and you are instantly a "lousy cook".  A meal is not just so-so; It's either "wonderful!" or The "most horrible meal" she's ever had.  There's simply no in-between for GrammaJ.

And now there are the "Nightmares".  Any time GrammaJ has a tough time with something it's a "Nightmare".  If she was on hold to talk to the phone company, it was a nightmare.  If she spilled a glass of wine, then cleaning it up was a nightmare.  If a company sends her an incorrect bill, then the whole affair is a nightmare.

Are these things good?  Are they fun?  Are they right?  Nope.  But they're not nightmares.

Just yesterday, GrammaJ was in a really bad mood - very negative. So the girlies and I set about to cheer her up.  I'm happy to report that between yesterday and today she cheered up marvelously.  But before the change in mood came she got the opportunity to tell the people at the store just what she thought of my Honda Element.  "This car is a NIGHTMARE!  My daughter is so sorry she ever got it! The suicide doors are so awful they make you want to COMMIT suicide!  And it only seats 4 people!  And the seat is too high for me to climb into!  And they have have BRAKE PROBLEMS!  It's a NIGHTMARE!"

Now, we own 2 Honda Elements.  They are not my favorite cars.  We have had some brake problems and the suicide doors are a huge nuisance.  The cars only seat four with seat belts.  But both the cars run really well and they are quite roomy inside.  There's no carpet in them so they're great for transporting plants and goats.  They are, as the BHE likes to call them "practical vehicles".  They are not my preference for a family vehicle, but they both get the job done and they are, most decidedly, not nightmares.

The girlies and I got to talking about this last night and, as usual, talking turned to giggling as we considered what it would take for our car situation to actually be a nightmare.  First of all, my car would have to be parked between a motorhome and a big, ugly truck full of raccoons.

I would need to try to get my gigantic economy pack of 50 rolls of toilet paper into the backseat of the car even though I can only open the doors 4" because the truck and the motorhome (Which has a vicious barking dog inside) are parked so closely.  And the raccoons steal my hat.  And there's a tornado approaching rapidly.  And the static electricity in the car keeps shocking me.  AND I have to pee really badly and the only place to go is on the toilet in the back of the truck with all those raccoons that just turned into maniacal chattering monkeys that are sealing all the groceries in my cart.  And I have a parking ticket.  And some hoodlum runs off with my 50 pound box of chocolate while I'm pinned between the cars. And I'm standing there in my underwear.

Now THAT's a nightmare.

And the next time GrammaJ misuses the term, I may just fill her in.  ;-)