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We live in that peculiar area just beyond the suburbs but not quite in the country. The property is a little under ten acres with a truly enormous what-might-have-been Victorian-house but is really a family-home-designed-and-built-in-stages-by-generations-of-some-talented-and-some-not-so-talented-carpenters that has an old-fashioned sunporch with walls of windows and not a single door that hangs plumb.

We have a re-combined family with ten children, from sixteen-year-old twins to two-year-old twins. We also have five dogs, a dozen cats, three sheep, and four goats. Today. The number fluctuates. (The animals, not the children.)

First fluctuation this year was a vagrant hen that wandered into the barn and hatched off chicks. We haven't located the rooster that aided and abetted.

Second undate, we added seven ewes and eight does, all pregnant, in January, because we now have pasture for them. After a particularly successful lambing and kidding season, we now have thirty-six goats and twenty-two sheep. The home does have gone to visit a handsome and virile buck for fall kids.

Ain't Mother Nature grand?

We've come into possession of four mules, Reuben, Levi, Judah, and Molly. Molly's smaller than the others, maybe a Quarterhorse cross, and getting on in years, but she's mothered them and she was part of the deal. We'll use her to carry children and pull the cart. Reuben's a big-striding bay and very strong; he does the heavy lifting for the crew. Judah's as big as Reuben and has a public job snaking power and phone lines through rough terrain; if he could put on his harness, he wouldn't need humans to do the job. Levi is a flea-bit gray, his body's as big as the others', but his legs are shorter. All three of the big mules plow, but he does the plowing among plants; if a hooved animal can tiptoe, he does.

The two young dogs have gone to a new home. A friend of ours has been in love with them since they were puppies and he now has a house large enough to fit them. Coop and Bogie started their first night in their new home on Icelandic sheep pelt rugs in the hall and finished it on a king-sized bed.

I live in: United States

My zone is: z6 TN

My favorite forum 1 is Garden Junk.

My favorite forum 2 is Farm Life.

First registered on January 05, 2005 .