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Frankly speaking….. summertime.. living is EASY?

Well, I promised a post after nationals was done, and so here it is.  Summer is coming and the livin is supposed to get easy.  Wench promised that after May was over she’d be around some, take it easy and rest a bit, but….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO now she’s made plans to drive to New York twice in one month!  There is this issue with dental work needing to be done, which will require two appointments.  Not one to let any grass grow under her feet (she doesn’t know what she’s missing, grass is pretty tasty) she is offering rabbit transports along her route, and delivering a rooster to family.  The Clemens family has a thing for chickens (thus, whenever there is a family get together the conversation ALWAYS reverts to chickens in one form or another) and so, they have been known to do an in-family chicken swap type thing like you’d see at a tractor supply.  Now that builder and wench are 800 miles from home, the chickens get to travel too. This guy is going to go live with the Doctors Hodson, and will have a pampered life if he behaves, and if not, well, who knows:

052He is a polish rooster, who looks pretty cool, but, does not fit in with builders breeding schedule of pure bred black australops which hopefully will be available next spring from the farm.  Since something wiped out our entire flock of egg layers, we are putting lots of stock into these 18 young pullets to start our egg business off in July.

So, Wench and Aunt June went to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber (2nd year) and set up their tent in the beautiful northern Virginia sunshine.

115by the next day, it was drizziling; by 1 PM it was pouring, and by 3 PM they had closed down the show (note Aunt June’s purple raincoat).  Sales were good in spite of the weather, so they will be going back next year, but, things learned at this show include:   (1) a larger, more sturdy tent is needed (and has been acquired); (2) feet for the grids would be a good thing (it’s on builders list to do); (3) festival vending is HARD WORK (they need the exercise).  Not to be discouraged, the worker bees (wench and aunt j) packed up the wet things and drove about an hour, checked into a hotel, had a couple of drinks and a nice dinner, and were good as new.

The following weekend, Angora Nationals took place in Ohio.  Lucy and Ethel (wench and june) were on the road again, and caravanned to Ohio with Deb McCormick and the Heart Felt Hares.  A good time was had by all, especially Ultana, who escaped from her locked cage and went ‘walkin after midnight’ just like the old song.  No significant wins for the Mountain Top, but hey, we took the colored senior doe class last year, and so you can’t expect to win all the time, right?  Speaking of last year, Julianna is bred again, so HOPEFULLY we’ll get an heir this time.

Next weekend, the traveling road show is going to Raleigh, NC to participate in the Got to Be NC food and wine festival, as a part of the rabbit exhibit (not food, just fancy) and to try to sell the shirt off my back.  The weekend after that, it’s the Middle Tennesse Fiber Festival.

When shearing was done this spring, wench discovered that our little Carmella was apparently expecting.  This was a surprise because she didn’t LOOK knocked up, just a little bit tubby, and considering the grain she eats, not unusual. WELL, we knew that Greta was ready when she was acting rather blatty and out of sorts, so wench kept her inside that day.  Soon, she brought forth the cutest little blue and white doe kid with blue eyes.  Carmella was out with the flock.  About an hour later, wench looked out the window and say Carmella with something standing underneath her.  VIOLA! a little red baby girl.  These two are so close in age and size, they could almost be twins… so their names are RUBY and SAPPHIRE:

Welcome to the world little girls —

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There are rumors going around that Geronimo may have found a new job.   sigh.  I always hate to lose them, but Willis is poised to take over so I guess it is inevitable.  He did pretty good with these two cuties, so…. we’ll see for next year.

094Willis being poised.

Well, that’s about all the news from the mountain top.  Thanks for reading Frankly speaking!

110freshly shorn frankie!

Frankly speaking………………….for Pete’s sake, stop the insanity!!!

For my many devoted fans, I must address the craziness currently being spewed all over the internet – it is a timely message with so many events going on this weekend – the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival – (I don’t get it, why don’t they call it the GOAT festival, hello?) Angora Nationals in Ohio – the other angoras, bunny types, not goats, and of course May Day, also known as the Irish Beltaine, Fire Festival – and wench and builders anniversary….. anyway, it has come to my attention that there is a group of crazies putting out that shearing is inhumane.

Well, let me tell ya….. get your facts from the SOURCE.  Me. Frankie the Goat.  The Authority.  I have fleece, people don’t.  Does getting a haircut hurt people?  NOOOOOO, well it’s the same thing for us.  Twice a year, it is necessary and good for us to get sheared.  We like being naked and it’s like having a entire new flerd to play with – because we look so totally different!

Each of us has a different fleece.  My fleece is (of course) particularly fine and shiney because I’m so awesome, but like Willis’ fleece is so dense it weighs about twice what mine does, even though he is about 1/4 my size.  a real midget.

I let wench know when it’s time.  I jump up on the shearing stand and wait.  Sometimes it takes them a day or so to get to me, like they have anything else to do, but, when I say SHEAR they say YES SIR.  hahahah.  I know exactly what to do and am a very good boy.  I stretch out my neck and bow my head, all those things to make it go smoothly.  Some of the youngins jump around and act crazy which can lead to cuts or scrapes, although builder is pretty good with the clippers and wench holds us so we aren’t scared.

Wench and builder aren’t as young as they used to be, so they shear about 4 goats a day which is all they can handle. but eventually they git r’ done.  (did I just say that, oi vey!)

In any event….. lots of news to report, but it’ll have to wait – gotta get wench out the door for angora nationals.  I promise… pictures next week of new babies!

Frankly speaking…..who’s fooling whom?

Good morning and Happy first day of the month!  April fools day is a great day for several reasons – the best of which is Spring has pretty much arrived here in North Carolina – oh, we may have a chilly day here and there – we had a couple of 30 degree nights recently, but, for the most part – this is it, winter is over!  Soon our coats will come off (spring shearing) and the grass will green up and grow, all that happy stuff.  I’m looking forward to it.

Spring also brings the show season for the bunnies.  As I previously reported, Bronwen went to Hickory in January and took a Best in Show.  This year, wench took some rabbits down to the Dalton, GA show – Mutiara went and did very well.  She is one of our more elderly does, being almost 5 years old, but still lovely in her show coat:

Clems Mutiara

Clems Mutiara

She  didn’t want to go to more shows this season; she is already granded, so while it’s fun to travel once in a while, the grueling road show of the spring season is better left to the younger buns, so Mutiara will stay home and keep the rest of the buns in line while the youngsters go to the shows.  At Greensboro, here’s a photo of Windchaser’s Daisy, who earned her first “leg” toward her grand championship there.  In this shot, she is chatting with her neighbor, Windchaser’s Peppermint Patty. (owned by Aunt June)  Seems the girls discovered they both were born at Windchaser Angoras!  what a small world.  This weekend, Patty’s brother Schroeder will be coming to live here.

Hey, do you know Melanie and Joe?  YOU DO? I do too!  wow - what a small world!

Hey, do you know Melanie and Joe? YOU DO? I do too! wow – what a small world!

Next up, Shelby, NC for the Gaston County Triple show.  This is just a day trip.  Here, DJ’s Toblerone will get a try at the Satin Angora table, see if he’s ready for Nationals.  The pointed satin does, Tolinka and Sparkle are arguing about who will go to this show – with all these breeds to show, choices have to be made – so two french, two satins and two giants are all the spaces available.  Well, in addition to the American Chins for Shelby.

After that, Powhatan’s Festival of Fiber near Richmond will be April 25th, but no bunnies are going to that.  Angora Nationals are in Ohio on May 1st, then Got to be NC festival on May 15 through 17; then Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival at the end of May.   phew!  I don’t expect to see too much of wench in May.

These Satin Angoras may be for sale at Middle Tennessee.  Two are already spoken for, and of course wench will decide who stays here, we’re thinking a chin will need to stay:

Clems Razzle-Dazzle had a litter of 7 agoutis.  Dad was a chestnut buck who now lives in Grassy Creek, NC.  These guys were his parting shot!

Clems Razzle-Dazzle had a litter of 7 agoutis. Dad was a chestnut buck who now lives in Grassy Creek, NC. These guys were his parting shot!

Probably around mid-May there will be 11 angoras bred.  This will take most of the adults out of the show lineup for fall.  It may be that bucks are the only ones getting shown for the fall season.  We are REALLY hoping Julianna decides to have some babies.

But ENOUGH about rabbits.  Lets talk serious here – GOATS are so much more important.  We said so long to an old friend this month – Faith – went to live with Tim and Joyce down on Route 18.  She was a little confused, and I’m sure she didn’t understand, but it is for her own good, even though we miss her terribly (she could be cranky) there will be no more babies for Faithy.  She has a big pasture now and two boyfriends who can do no harm (they’re fixed), and wench can catch a glimpse of her whenever she goes to Sparta.

Faith getting a ride to her new home.  WE MISS YOU

Faith getting a ride to her new home. WE MISS YOU

Here are some random snapshots of the flerd for your enjoyment:

Hurry up with the grain, will ya wench?  Its hard to get good help.

Hurry up with the grain, will ya wench? Its hard to get good help.

and of course, the baby shots:

Hope with Neptune and Hera

Hope with Neptune and Hera

Still sleepy

Still sleepy

Beautiful Carmella

Beautiful Carmella

me and my bud, Geronimo

me and my bud, Geronimo

These photos are only the random shots taken by wench throughout the month.  We have a nice collection done by the staff phtographer (Dan of Forty6 Photography) but AS USUAL, wench is technically-challenged and can’t figure out how to get them onto this page.  sigh.  One of these days she might figure it out.  Until then, you’ll have to be satisfied with my regular beautiful face, because let’s face it … there is no bad picture of frankie.

SWAK!

SWAK!

Frankly speaking…………………..lion or lamb… you decide

peek a boo!

Mother nature has a warped sense of humor.  We retired to North Carolina because the weather was more suitable to goats – or at least that’s what they promised… and we have been cooped up in the barn for more than two days at a time this winter due to cold or snow or wet or just yuk.  ENOUGH.  I’m glad I don’t live in Boston, but still.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain.  We have our hay delivered and clean water and grain twice a day.  Now, if we can get mother nature trained as well as we’ve trained that wench…

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Willis is a happy boy

Geronimo enjoying his full hay rack

Geronimo enjoying his full hay rack

In other news, all the babies are doing well.  Neptune and Hera are slow growing, but then Hope, their momma, is really  working hard to raise them right.

hey, gimme a boost ma!

hey, gimme a boost ma!

This is the last set of babies for Hope… she is retiring this year, and will join her kids Pinky and Gary up in Pennsylvania to live her life out in luxury.  Faith will be moving down the road to this really cool place that has goats on the roof of the shed.  She met her new parents, Tim and Joyce, the other day and really likes them, so let’s hope she likes her new brothers, too.  There are two other goats there, both wethers, so she can be the queen.

Moondancer

Moondancer

peek a boo!

peek a boo!

We were glad to see Sarah and the kids over the weekend, it’s always such a treat when they visit…

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Amelia really loves us, and even loves the baby chicks – who, by the way, were living in the people barn due to the cold, but now are in the garage, getting ready to transition into the chicken coop probably the first part of May…

052

Wench is getting ready to go to Dalton, GA for a big rabbit show.  This will be Daisy’s debut show and Mutiara’s last show.  The weather (again) has not been too cooperative for growing angora coats, so Mutiara has the prettiest coat up there.  She will be the french ambassador, with Daisy representing the giants and Sparkle the Satin angoras.  Apollo is going as the only Satin satin, and then there is the trio of American Chins:  Zelda, Hey Jude and Lady Madonna.  Wench will get opinions on Jude and Madonna, and see if they stay in the show string or if they retire early.  Funny thing with those American Chins…. they develop slowly, so a not so great junior could be a spectacular intermediate or senior.  Just look at Zelda… she was about first off the table at convention and now she’s doing just fine.

Looks like today’s weather will keep us in the barn again today.  I know that wench has some torture in store for us – I saw the hoof trimmers out the other day.  always something.

Well, that’s the report !  Three months in a row, and I’m in the first week of the month!! who says you can’t teach an old goat new tricks?  social media? piece of cake!  thanks for reading Frankly speaking…. til next time

SWAK!

SWAK!

Frankly speaking…….a rose by any other name

Hi everyone!  Well, here it is the first of the month and AS PROMISED, a new post.  New Years resolutions being what they are (a joke) and all, I can handle it!  Let’s see….. what happened since last time?  Oh, we have babies!

Mae’s babies, Jupiter and Venus are growing like weeds, out with the flerd every day and fitting in.  Little Venus has a set of lungs, let me tellya, and hollers for her grain just like the rest of us.

Venus and Jupiter

Hope’s babies, Neptune and Hera, are very frisky.  They went outside yesterday for the entire day for the first time and were pooped when they came back in, but they’ve started nibbling on grain, too.

Neptune and Hera

Neptune and Hera

Gracie’s baby, Moondance, is the newest addition.  He was waiting for wench to get back from Virginia before he made his debut.  He’s doing well and Gracie is a good momma.

January 2015 153

Wench was in Virginia visiting with Aunt Patty and Uncle Gary and family, and then visited with Melanie and Joe Hultman, where she brought home the newest addition to the farm (well, the second newest, if you count goats and rabbits in the same census.  I usually don’t, just because).  Windchaser’s Daisy is a giant angora doe and she is fitting right in!

January 2015 144

where am I?

where am I?

Giant angoras produce a giant amount of wool, which comes in three different ways, which was explained to me by wench one day, but I was hardly paying attention and falling asleep (she does this to me a LOT)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAanyway.  So, Daisy (the bunny) had a name (which is Daisy) when she came here.  Daisy is a fine name, but we already have a Daisy.  She is a sheep.

Daisy on the right Nigel on the left (clowns to the left of me, jokers on the right... here I am, you know the rest) Nigel kinda looks like a clown, eh?

Daisy on the right
Nigel on the left
(clowns to the left of me, jokers on the right… here I am, you know the rest) Nigel kinda looks like a clown, eh?

so, now we will have to differentiate between Daisy the BUNNY and Daisy the SHEEP.  Owell.  She better never bring home a rabbit named Frank. That’s all I know.

So, that’s what’s been happening around here this month.  Oh, yeah, Clems Bronwen took BEST IN SHOW at the Hickory New Year’s Show.  She was quite full of herself.  She sent her two daughters, Mikimoto and Barouque to Mocksville to that show, and Mikimoto got her 3rd leg, so she can retire now.

Mikimoto on the left, Baroque on the right

Mikimoto on the left, Baroque on the right

Bronwen and Julianna are going to PaSRBA next weekend, with Sparkle and Flash, the pointed satin angoras, and Miranda and Zelda, the American Chins.  Good thing for Gracie and Moondance their big day was this week, or wench would have had to stay home.

That’s all the news so far – I’ll see you again on the first of March!  till then – thanks for reading Frankly Speaking!

hey mom, how about a ride?

hey mom, how about a ride?

Frankly speaking ….. it’s a new year …. new leaf?

So, I know I’ve made excuses before – about my lack of communication on a regular basis, so I’ll make no excuses this time.  Let’s just say that I’ve been a slacker and call it a day.  It is 2015 and I’m turning over a new leaf.  I will try to report more regularly, if I can get wench to settle down and take direction from me (she’s a tad difficult in that department).

Since my last report, which seems 100 years ago, I can say there has been some news… let’s see….. oh, yeah, wench went to Texas to the 2014 ARBA National convention.  Our team did ok.  The boys, Manoah and Mr. Red were both disqualified because their nerves got to them and they lost weight on the trip, so, lesson learned:  only take the tubby rabbits on a long road trip.  By the time you get there, their weight should be perfect.  Not so much for wench.  Even though she’s tubby to start with, she doesn’t lose an ounce.

Clems Tolinka took 2nd place in the White Satin Angora doe class, and Clems Ember took 2nd place in the Colored Senior buck class.   Ember is a nice buck.  His dad is Smokey Lonesome, previously of this farm, but his mom is unpedigreed.  She is pure-bred french angora, but the paperwork never made its way here, so, his lineage is in question.  It’s ok, we love him anyway.

At the New Years rabbit show, Clems Bronwen took Best in Show, so wench was pretty happy with that.  IMG_0521  We have to work so hard to make that wench happy.  gawd. we should get extra grain for that.

On the goat front, last year’s kids have all gone to new homes, except Willis, who will stay on and become herd sire next year.  Geronimo will soon be looking for a new job I fear.  Valentine and Brooks left this week.

Brooks

Brooks

Valentine

Carmella continues to grow and be beautiful and is fitting in just great with the flerd.

Carmella

In other bunny news, Julianna was bred (again) and on day 35 – way overdue – wench found her to be in labor.  She took Julianna to the house and deposited her in the bathtub with nest box available.

Julianna

Julianna will go to the vet this morning to make sure her one baby is all there is (he didn’t make it) and perhaps she’ll do some more shows this winter and try again in the spring. sigh. always sad when we lose one.

We lost a goat baby this winter, too.  Faith brought forth Mars, and then she didn’t have any milk.  He lived two days before anyone figured out that Faith is over the whole motherhood thing.  She will be retiring this year and may be going to live in Pennsylvania with her neice and nephew, Gary and Pinky.  She can still make fleece but shouldn’t be making babies anymore.

On a happier note, my sister Mae had twins.  Cutie patooties Venus and Jupiter:

Venus and Jupiter

On the Smidge front, she continues to grow (two cans of fancy feast DAILY plus 8 to 10 oz of kitten chow and all the mice you can eat) and terrorize the barn.  She thinks the dog’s tail is her personal cat toy

IMG_0507 and she sneaks around outside and is just generally a bundle of energy!  She makes me tired the way she plays all day.

what's going on in there?

what’s going on in there?

We, on the other hand, are happy to sun bathe and eat most of the day, growing fleece and hanging out.

a flerd at rest tends to stay at rest

a flerd at rest tends to stay at rest

but of course, you DO have to investigate in case a tourist is about and they have cookies

IMG_0496

So anywho,  I promise to try to do better.  I’d like get an intern around here – someone to do the social media and keep me in touch with the outside world – sometimes I feel like a cloistered monk – and wench gets busy and won’t take dictation when I get the creative juice flowing (a trick I understand she used to pull all the time with that other Frank).  ahhh.  a goat can only do so much.

I digress – in any event – have a great start to your new year, and be looking for a post from me at least once a month… and thanks for reading Frankly speaking!

Frankly speaking……………………good news, bad news

Just a quick note, I’m very busy these days getting ready to send Wench and the team to Texas.  They are going to Fort Worth on Wednesday to attend the 91st Annual American Rabbit Breeders Convention.

On the show team this year….. Mr. Red, a red satin buck who has been busy munching his frosted mini wheats and is now up to weight.  Clems Manoah, sr. American Chinchilla buck, also doing the mini wheat things – it is a well known fact around here that the MALEs have a hard time maintaining their weight (this goes for the people as well as the animals) and the females have the opposite problem.  Clems Miranda was going to go to convention (she is an American Chin junior doe) but she topped the scales at 10 lb. (1 lb over the max for a junior) so she’s staying home and another junior is going in her place.  We are sending three select American Chin does for sale there.

On the angora front, OS Kastanje is attending, a senior copper Satin Angora doe, who is looking just lovely.  Clems Tolinka, a pointed white sr. satin angora doe is also going.  On the french side, it’s a toss up.  Either Clems Ember (who is entered) is going if his coat doesn’t fall off, or Avillons’s Casse Noir will take his place if Ember’s coat blows in the next day or so.  Both of these boys are sons of Smokey Lonesome.

So, anyway, good news/bad news department.  Wench went to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair yesterday.  She attended most of the goat show.  They have a wether class.  Guess who might be going to SAFF next year?  oi vey.  Just give me the ribbon.  You know I’ve already won.

untitled shoot-041-2

I am a legend in my own mind. Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking.  I’ll post pictures and a big update after wench gets back with her report.

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