08/27/06 to 10/15/06
Where to start?  Well although we had made an offer on a house as I mentioned
in my last page, the offer was much lower than the asking price, and still too much
in our opinion, so when the seller didn't accept our offer, we went back on the hunt
for the perfect house.  (The first one still hasn't sold, by the way...)  My
grandparents came up from Fredericksburg for Labor Day weekend and Brady's
World Famous Bar B Que Goat Cook-Off.  We knew we had to have the
bunkhouse ready for their arrival by Friday, Sept. 1st, but even though we worked
our butts off all week, we were still putting things together when they arrived.  They
moved in among our clutter and we had the place livable by that evening.  
Saturday afternoon we headed to Brady for the Goat Cook-Off (not telling Lips or
Rambo where we were going of course!)  We had high hopes for a fabulous
event, but the crafts were boring, the Bar B Que was typical (or so I'm told,) and
Grandpa was cranky about being pushed around in a wheelchair.  We begged
him to let us wait until the 2:00 goat parade where kids were supposed to bring
their goats dressed up in costume.  We waited two hours, and guess how many
participants there were in the goat parade.  Yup, just one.  At least it was one who
had gone all out.  The poor goat is even wearing lipstick!!    
On Sunday, Sept. 3rd, we were still working on the bunkhouse to make it more
livable for the grandfolks when Richard came across this little spider.  I don't think it
gave Granny and Grandpa the heebeejeebies like it does me.  
The Labor Day weekend was also a test to see if Granny & Grandpa could take
care of the goats and chickens.  They had offered to stay and babysit them while
Richard moved me and the RV up to Kansas City so I could start that horrible thing
people call W-O-R-K.  Granny absolutely loved doing the chores around the ranch,
and even made best friends with the chickens (and Mica) by feeding them scraps.  
So, on Wednesday, we left the ranch in their capable hands, hooked up the RV and
headed North.
I led the way in my Volvo, and Richard followed in the truck pulling the RV.  We
drove all day and got settled into the good ole' Stadium RV Park around 9:00.  
Thursday and Friday we hit the city hard looking for houses with yards the size we
would need for goats and chickens.  Saturday and Sunday our amazingly patient
realtor, Suzanne, drug us around and took us into at least 60 houses.  We were still
deciding on a few and so Richard stayed an extra day and we looked again
Monday night after my first day at work.  We decided on a house, made an offer,
and I sent Richard on the long drive back to Texas on Tuesday morning.  Wrangler
and I were lonely in the RV all by ourselves Tuesday night!  Granny and Grandpa
had loved the area so much, that Thursday while we were gone, they had gone into
town and bought a house!!  When Richard sent them home on Wednesday they
were going home to pack so they could move to within half an hour of the place we
were leaving.  Dang!!  What bad timing!
While Richard worked his tail off down in Texas getting things ready to move up
here, I worked mine off up here, first at coming to an agreement on the sale price of
the house we wanted, then at pushing through a closing in two weeks so Richard
could come back up.  Finally, after work on Sept. 28th, I bought the house.  Richard
had the topper on the truck, so he loaded up the chickens and turkeys in the back
that night.  Friday morning he loaded up the goats and Mica and Sam and headed
up to Kansas City.  He stopped in Oklahoma to buy Windy, a new girl goat.  He
arrived at our new house around 8:00, just before I got there after running to the RV
after work to get Wrangler.  After unloading three goats into the small fenced area
that came with the house, we turned to the cats.  Mica had turned crazy after 12
hours of travel, and now not only did she want to kill Wrangler, but she wanted to kill
her own son Sam too.  Wrangler and Sam had never gotten along before, but it was
because Wrangler was afraid of Sam's mom.  Now it was time for them to become
friends.  We locked Mica in the basement, and let Wrangler and Sam get
acquainted.  After all that, we were too tired to build a chicken coop, so the poor
chickens (and 2 turkeys) spent another night in the now very smelly truck.  Sleeping
in our new house, two playful boy cats running around, and my husband being home
was all too much excitement for me, so I was up very early at 4:00 AM.  I drug
Richard's tired butt out of bed and went out to build the coop.  See, it was extremely
important that we got it built before daybreak because chickens are very hard to
catch in the daylight, but when it's dark, they cannot see and therefore can be easily
handled.  We had to split out our 15 chickens from the 12 we had to get rid of (and
the 2 turkeys.)  The stupid city says we can only have 15 chickens and 2 goats.  
What do you suppose our brand new neighbor's thought when they heard the loud
"PING"ing of our post driver as we built our chicken pen at 4:00AM?
By 7:00 the pen was built and our chickens were in it.  There were still 12 chickens
and 2 turkeys in the truck and a stinky billy goat in the yard that was taking us over
our city-mandated maximum.  By 9:00 we had the poor stinky goat in the even
worse smelling truck with the 12 chickens and 2 turkeys and we were on the road.  
First stop was my old house in Raytown where proud new owner Greg has been
tending the flock we left for him back in Dec. of 04.  He was excited to get 5 new
hens.  Next we went all the way to Sedalia where Richard's friend TJ was so
unthrilled about getting chickens that he hadn't even built a pen.  (He has since
realized the fun-ness of chicken ownership, and is looking for more to add to his
flock.)  So, after building our second pen for the day, we unloaded 5 hens and 2
roosters and headed to Chilhowee with Rambo and the turkeys.  That was the
saddest stop of the day.  Rambo, who normally hates to ride in the truck and had
been in there all morning with stinky chickens was afraid to get out because of
Mark and Sandy's dozen or so dogs.  We finally hauled him out and put him in with
their cows, but the cows were afraid of him and ran away.  Then he came out and
was hiding behind me and rubbing on me and looking at me with sad, scared eyes
while the dogs sniffed, barked and growled at him.  Normally, he would always stay
just out of reach, but now he was practically climbing into my lap.  The cows finally
calmed down and we locked him up in there.  The turkeys were delighted however,
at being able to eat the undigested corn out of the cow manure and were the
happiest I've seen them, milling around with the cows and Rambo.  
Back at home, we had put the two girl goats in the goat cage together so they could
get acquainted.  Sunday morning we let them out to run in the fenced backyard.  
Then we went out to breakfast, and to the RV for another load of stuff and to
Wal-Mart.  When we got back, hours later, both goats were locked in the goat cage.
 After we had been home a few minutes our new neighbor from across the street
came over and explained that Windy had jumped the fence and was trying to follow
a jogger home.  The things these goats will do for some human affection!  What a
way to meet our new neighbors, by having her drag our stupid goat back into our
backyard and cage them up for us!  
So, after all that, here's where we are now.  Mica lives in the basement.  She is very
lonely, but I've tried introducing her to Wrangler and Sam and she still wants to kill
them.  She is scheduled to get spayed on Oct. 30th.  She is a wonderful loving cat,
and anyone who has a cat-free home would love her.  Although I normally think
de-clawing cats is mean and unnecessary, in this case it would be a good thing,
and I will add that to her chart for the 30th if anyone wants to claim her.  Otherwise,
Richard will take her back to TX to be a barn cat.  She will have to kill pack rats to
survive, but at least she won't be locked in a basement the rest of her life.
Sam and Wrangler have become best friends.  They tear through the house
play-fighting and stink up the litter box twice as fast now.  Awe, aren't they cute?  
Windy has to be tethered all day but Lips won't roam, even now that the original
fence is half down while we're getting a taller fence installed around the entire back
yard.  (The original one was short, and only around a small area.)  We kept three
roosters.  We only wanted to keep one, but we couldn't decide between gorgeous
Jane and gorgeous Grace.  Then Lorraine started crowing about 3 days before the
trip up here, and so we changed her name to Leroy and decided we couldn't get
rid of him either.  We also kept Lucy, Sue, Elaine, Bertha, Whiskers, Shirley,
Whitey, Jenny, Cleo, Ella, Sylvia and Glenda so we have at least one of each style
that we had before.  Egg production has dropped way off though, maybe from the
cold, maybe from the trip, or maybe because they are pissed that they went from a
nice fancy coop to the temporary little thing we threw together at 4:00 AM.  (Later
that day, after we dropped off the other animals, we added the truck topper to their
pen so they could sleep in there.  Not at all the luxury they were used to.)  Here is
the view of the back of our house.  As you can see, we've already trashed the place
up by parking our RV in the back.  You can also see our new goat Windy (tied to
the trailer) and the chickens locked up in their crappy pen.
We built the pen where we did to take advantage of an existing gate and the
chain link fence.  It's only fence-high though, so Richard has to crawl in there to
gather eggs.  Isn't he cute.  (Yes he grew his beard back.  That's what happens
when I let him out of my sight for three weeks!)
This cute picture of him in the coop reminded me of another cute picture of him...way
back in the days of our original Raytown flock.  Funny how now we've got bigger
chickens and a smaller pen.  At least his beard isn't that big now!
(What are my chances it won't be that big by Christmas?)
I know I've spent all the time talking about our animals and moving them in.  That's
cause they were the problems.  It didn't take us any time at all to get moved in.  After
all, we only had one piece of furniture--a bed that my mom gave us.  All our other
furniture is built into the RV.  The house we bought is very dated and needs painted
and the carpets pulled out and stuff like that, so we won't fill it with furniture too fast.  
Here it is from the front, our new humble abode.  We're working on buying the
woods to the left of the photo.  It's only an acre, but it has a dry creek running
through it, so Richard can build that bridge he's always wanted.
I've been out of the picture-taking habit for too long.  We found a snake skin in our
garage a week ago, but I didn't think to take a picture.  I found the snake under
some rocks in the yard yesterday, but I just poked him with a broken shovel handle
and sent him into hiding, then thought about my camera.  (I think it was just a plain
old black snake--no rattlers up here in Missouri.)  Today I saw my two beautiful
roosters sparring.  I just watched, not even thinking about my camera.  They were
all puffed up and gorgeous.  (They don't really do any damage to each other at this
point, just puffed up feathers and jumping is all, like a rooster dance.)  When I talk
about my two beautiful roosters, I mean Jane (Jay) and Grace (Gray.)  Leroy with
his feathered head is just plain funny-looking.  So that's my excuse for such few
pictures.  However, I have two more to include.  These are memorial photos.  First
we lost Cloe, the cutest of Mica's kittens.  She did what cats frequently do, and
climbed up into the engine of the truck.  We were very sad.  (Her sister is alive and
well, living at the neighbor's house in Texas.)    
Our next sad loss was our turkeys.  Although they were happy in with the cows over
in Chilhowee, MO, the dozen dogs living there saw only a big fat meal, and got to
the turkey's before Mark or Sandy even got home to see them and enjoy their funny
little noises and quirky ways.  Here they are, my two turkeys:
No, not
(Hee, hee.)
The other
turkey is in
right above
the one he
is holding.
So, I know I threatened to turn off the site, but I've been too busy to cancel it (or to
post new pages.)  Things are finally starting to settle down, so since I've had
several complaints about the lack of updates, if I still find enough excitement to put
on-line, I'll keep it going.