Saturday, March 29, 2014

Damn Goats!

As many of you know we have been having serious issues with our goats.  To the point where we are seriously considering selling them.  First it started off with moving up here on this mountain above Cuenca and eventually not having enough pasture.  So, we created more pasture with the hopes of moving them back and forth between pastures every two months or so.  Well, the wire that was sold to Mark as aluminum was not and has started to rust, which has created shorts in the wire.  Which means that the electric power running through the fence is weak and the goats have learned that.  Every two or three times a day they go through or hop the fence to head to greener pastures.  Our neighbor's pastures.  They don't eat as much as his cows do and don't do any of the damage that they do, but they are our neighbors and we want to be good neighbors.  So, they can't keep doing this.

The goats always come home after two hours or so, but the problem is that for some reason they have decided that it is fun to jump on and walk all over the roof.  The first time I thought it was funny to see goats go trip trapping across the roof, but its not funny anymore.  In Cuenca they cover the roofs or rooves (you can use both) with clay tiles.  And they break when goats walk all over them.  So, the goats have broken many many tiles on the roof.  We are beside ourselves.  This is a rental property.  Which led to us fencing ANOTHER area for them in a more lush and dense area of the forest with the hopes that they will be so satisfied with the food available that they will not try to get out.

So, on to another fence.  Thankfully, labor and fencing materials are cheap and we already had quite a bit of wire left.  The fence was finished on Wednesday with four strands of electric wire.  We moved the goats to the new area, and watched as they walked right through the fence.  After many minutes of serious frustration we just gave up and they followed us back home.  Talk about depressing. 

Next idea...what about filling in the four strands of electric with barbed wire?  We are just about to give in and get rid of the little bastards. 

Today the fence was finished.  AGAIN.  So we took them back to the new area.  AGAIN.  This time they seemed a little calmer.  The area was familiar to them.  When we first got there Mark started to walk away and Beauty threw herself at the fence, I guess thinking she could go through like she used to.  Well, she got quite a surprise this time.  She yelled and jumped back with quite a shock.  It was a joy to see.  Sorry, but it was.  As we worked on the fence tending to some certain spots they got down to business eating their butts off.  We drove the car by honking a few times.  We walked up and around the hill a couple of times out of sight, but they stayed put.  So far we haven't had any goats knocking on the door this evening.  I plan on going back to check on them in about 15 minutes.  Ohhhhh, I soooo hope this works!

The first time bringing the goats down.  Compared to what
they had in Ohio and their current pasture, this place is
perfect.  Goats are browsers.  They will eat grass, but
prefer weeds, leaves and bark.

What are you doing and where are you going?  Don't even
think about leaving us here because we will come after you!

J.J. (Joan Jett) throwing herself in with abandon.

There's J.J. again.  Lower right-hand corner.

They are very suspicious.

Alice and her wether, Sinjin, were the first to escape
and take off home. 

Mark and his sidekicks. 

Mark is so frustrated he can't even look at them.

Second time around.  Fixing spots in the fence.
They are still suspicious, but a lot more relaxed this time.

Beauty up in a tree.  Goats love this stuff.

Now Honey Badger is getting in some tree climbing.
Lower right-hand corner, in case you can't see her.

Fingers crossed this fence will hold.  I really want to keep
my goats!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Birthday Party at Planet Azul

It has been a very long time since my last post, but I'm going to work on that.  My son is on my computer a lot so that's probably a good excuse, but I've also been lazy. 

This past Friday we went to Planet Azul for another great birthday party.  Planet Azul is fairly cheap for a party, especially compared to the U.S.  The only complaint I have of this place is that the music is just awful.  I mean, really awful.  Here are some pictures of our day....

Now I know why I don't work on this stupid blog.  It will only enlarge and caption a few pictures and then it quits.  Urgh!  My OCD will not allow only a few pictures to be big and the others small.  It drives me crazy.

Sandy and Felix acting silly.

The Gang.

The Gang acting silly.

                                       Birthday cupcakes.  Yum!

                                              The three amigas. 

                                            The three amigos.

                                              Brother and sister.

                                                  Great friends.

We also moved into a new house on a mountain above the city.  It has a gorgeous view of Cuenca and a view behind us of a beautiful valley.  We have a small bit of land for our goats, but we need something bigger.  The house is gorgeous, furnished and perfect for us right now.  However, we are now at 10,000ft. and it is much colder up here than in Cuenca.  We moved in the last week of October and winter was still hanging on.  We froze our asses off.  I am not looking forward to August, but at least now we know what we are getting into and can stock up on firewood and propane heaters.  These are some random photos of a party we had at Christmas.  My family came to town for two weeks so we had a Christmas Party/Open House.  There are also some pictures of our goats.  For some reason I can't find any photos of the inside of the house.  They must be in my Facebook folders.

                                I'm sitting on a hill behind the house.

                               Brownie and Chamiza taking things in.
                               Neither one of the dogs belong to us, but
                               they hang out here.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mosaic at the Otorongo Stairs

When I found out that a group of artists and volunteers were going to spruce up the Otorongo stairs I was all over it!  Yesterday we headed over there in the afternoon and got to work.  The artists were very helpful in showing the kids how to first spray the wall with water, butter the wall with cement and then find the perfect piece for the perfect spot.  Here are the results of our efforts.  We were only able to complete a small portion of the mosaic in 2 1/2 hours, but we are heading back on Monday to help again.

It is a great feeling to know that we will always be able to walk by this mosaic and point out the sections that we helped to create.  The Franklin family is officially a piece of beautiful Cuenca.

The portion already completed.

The kids are getting a lesson.

Before picture of the other side.

Picking the perfect piece.

Gi loved smashing the tiles.

Learning how to butter the wall.

Tali buttering.

Our family completed the two dark blue sections
in front of Tali.  It took us almost three hours.

Wiping off the excess cement and cleaning the tiles.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

What a gorgeous Father's Day in Cuenca!  The weather couldn't be more beautiful. 

We had a very nice breakfast at Windhorse and then Mark wanted to take a drive into the Cajas.  We stopped at Laguna Toreador to take in the views.  It was nice and warm when the sun was out, but quite chilly when it hid behind a cloud. 

I had a nice chat with a woman from Quito who was waiting for her group to come back from their hike.  I was so happy with myself to be able to converse with her entirely in Spanish.


And here is a video of Patrick enjoying himself wherever he goes.  We thought he was going to get a splinter up his ass, but instead he burnt it.

I really hate my laugh.