People sometimes ask if our dog, Jet, is a Border Collie and we often reply that she is a “Mock Border Collie”, the people we bought her from were named Mock. Jet’s parents lived and work on a cattle ranch, they both looked true to the breed, but I think there may have been some hanky-panky going on with mom and a midnight visitor.

Even as a puppy Jet was  “off the charts” the vet suggested she be put on a diet. We had never heard that a three month old pup could be overweight. She also has some interesting mannerisms that are submissive and aggressive combined, obstinate, but wants to please. (In all of these I can relate to her, so maybe she is simply picking up on something else)

All of you who have helped feed the poultry on our farm have seen her tendencies and display of bird dog instincts. Although, her number one obsession is cats. She might be helping hold the goats back at the garden gate and her eyes begin to drift towards a kitten over by the water bucket. Will she follow her pursuit or stick with keeping back the persistent goats?

Jet is the most outgoing dog on our farm. When new visitors arrive she is the first to greet them, she won’t rest until each person has been acknowledged, sitting at their feet waiting for a pat on the head or a few kind words.

The General

One of the BIG boys here at Quillisascut.

The General staged a Coup d’etat and knocked Viceroy off his throne. He has the moves, the biggest set of horns ever and look at those invincible bangs, Stylin’. He drives the girls wild!

The General was super-sized when he was born late in February 2011.  Butterscotch is his Mom (Freckles his Grandmother). His Dad was a Boer X buck that was visiting the girls  that fall.  The General was the only kid that we could see any Boer like qualities.

This photo was taken in the summer, before, well, before he started dosing himself with perfume. (For those of you who have been here in the fall you will know what I am talking about)

Truthfully, I have not spent much time with him, I leave the bucks to themselves. It is helpful if they are respectful enough to keep their distance from humans, yet tame enough that we can get a hold of them if there is a need. Which means he is admired from a distance.

Does he remind you of someone?


The newest farm family member,  Mimi, the rescued barn kitten.
Boy has she quickly learned to take advantage of a good thing.

Rick found her meowing out behind the barn, tiny little thing, crying for attention, yet she clawed and hissed and spat at him when he went to pick her up. He held her very carefully, fed her some canned cat food, which she went after with gusto. As soon as she seemed full, Rick put her back where he found her. A little later we heard more meowing so we fed her more, oh and by this time she came up to us, no claws or hisses! We saw the Momma qitty behind the milking room- ah-ha introducing the kittens to where the humans will feed them. There were three more qittens out back! Good to know our little girl has family, although she was obviously the runt of the litter, being half the size of her brothers and sisters.

Next morning when we went out to milk, no runty qitten showed up at the dish. Rick started hunting around and found her half frozen, stiff, little moaning yowls, she couldn’t even move. So hard hearts that we are, we brought her in the house and put her by the fire where in a matter of hours she was up moving around. Our idea was to move her back to the barn as soon as she was back on her feet.

Guess what? She likes the house better then the barn and afirms she knows nothing about those other qittens we call her family. Now if we could only get her to start eating qitty crunchies instead of hamburger.
Maybe next week she will be ready to move back to the barn?

Fall and the Farm Virgin

The end of summer is the culmination of our warm weather projects. Here in the inland northwest it is a time of processing and storing foods for winter.  One of our projects is butchering the pigs, it is a big job that calls for helpful and skilled hands.

Late October, when the days grow cool, our close friends visit the farm to help us with the pigs. Animal harvest is a solemn anchor to the season, yet a time of celebrating another year with our friends who have been joining us in this fall ritual for fourteen years.

Ten years ago Chef Greg Johnson came along for the autumn pig butchery. Greg has generously shared his story with us. Lucky for us the weekend was also documented by Gary Moogk. Continue reading “Fall and the Farm Virgin”

What Came First?

Take a good look at the photo, and you will get an idea of where I am going with this chicken and egg story. Yes, that is a beautiful Muscovy duck sitting on her nest and yes that is a little chick peeking out from under mother ducks wing.

About a month ago when the weather was still cold and colder, this duck started to sit on a clutch of eggs. In the past we have noticed that when a duck sits on these late winter eggs that have been exposed to the cold, very few of the eggs hatch. So last month Rick decided to take the eggs away, but the duck didn’t want to give up. Continue reading “What Came First?”