Rob Fetters Barn Concert

They say you should never meet your heroes. You get older and jaded and assume that you were young and easily impressed. You’re older now and have life all figured out. Then you get the chance, and you assume you’re going to be disappointed. They couldn’t be that cool; but you realize you were dead wrong. Your hero is somehow even better than you imagined. So talented, just like you remember, but also smart, funny, and kind.

You hero is somehow even better than you imagined.

As a bit of background, most of you know that Al was, long ago, a musician in a Cincinnati band called Clabbergirl. One of his bands’ musical idols – or, as he would tell it, one of the most famous, influential and well respected musicians of the last 30 years – was Rob Fetters, the guitarist/vocalist for a variety of bands including The Raisins, The Bears, psychodots, and of course, his solo work. Clabbergirl was such a huge fan of Rob and his bands that they organized a tribute concert for them in the late 1990’s, with nearly every other local band of note showing up to also pay tribute. Rob has made consistently excellent music and influenced generations of musicians.

Rob still makes clever, catchy, hook driven pop/rock music. He no longer does club tours or plays big venues. Instead, he plays intimate, live shows, interspaced with stories from his career and the business, in private homes for small groups.

We were lucky enough to have Rob stop by on his way from Cincinnati to Vancouver, BC. We shared a wonderful evening with him performing in our cozy barn for a small group of friends and family, with our animals looking on.

He still has the magic.

Winter Snowstorms

The Seattle area usually gets a few days of snow each year, especially at slightly higher elevations. This year, we have had 2 weeks in a row of particularly heavy snows, with the added benefit of reasonably comfortable temperatures and even some blue sky. Until yesterday.

The only real hassle is keeping fresh water supplied to all of the animals, as it quickly freezes. We moved one of the large horse troughs close to the barn and bought an immersion heater, so the horses and goats seem happy. We just need to keep bringing warm water out for the hens and kitties.

We’re now sitting at 26″ of snow.

New Foster Horses

Welcome Cruiser and Bailey!

These regal old horse-friends join us from our old neighbors at Sammamish Animal Sanctuary. Cruiser is well over 30, and Bailey in her late 20s, and super sweet tempered. They’ll have a little visit with us at Half Full Farm while their pasture recovers.

New Baby Foster Goats

There is a wonderful organization in our area – the Puget Sound Goat Rescue. In addition to rescuing goats from local slaughterhouses and taking in dozens of dairy & breeder cull babies every year, Puget Sound Goat Rescue takes in goats whose owners are no longer able to care for them, as well as goats found wandering as strays. They are led by the inspiring and wonderful Barbara, and 100% of donations go directly to animal care.

In their own words:

Puget Sound Goat Rescue is a 100% volunteer run, 501 (c)(3) registered charity. Each year, we rescue goats from a variety of situations where they are unwanted, mistreated, neglected or abused. The goats are cared for at the rescue until they are ready to be adopted to permanent, loving homes. Since its inception in 2001 we have rescued over 1,900 goats, averaging 200 per year in the last few years.

Our three grown goat boys – Statler, Waldorf & Beauregard – were adopted from PSGR in 2016, and we continue to volunteer and donate. Last year we fostered two baby Nubians (Beeker & Bunsen) for several months until they were adopted by their forever family, and so we were anxious to adopt more this season.

Traci made a rescue run last month for FIVE delightful little day-old Saanens, but they were too little come home with us.

But just in time for Easter, we drove down to PSGR and picked up Patrick and Hermie, 5-week old Nubians. They are still young enough to require bottle feedings 2-3 times per day, and they are lethally cute.

Goats make wonderful additions to your farm and family. If you are in the Greater Seattle area and are interested, please feel free to contact us or Puget Sound Goat Rescue directly for more information. If you don’t have the facilities or time to adopt or foster, then there are lots of other ways to support and get involved.


Nothing and nobody compares to a rescue dog…possibly to any dog, but especially to a rescue dog.  Atticus is now almost eight (or so we surmise), and has been with us for the past seven years.  We found Atticus, like our prior dog Maizy, on,  Coincidentally, Atticus shares many characteristics of Maizy:  he was emaciated and had dry skin when we got him, he loves food and is an absolutely Houdini when it comes to making food disappear from the counters, he loves his barn-mates, and (unlike Maizy) he can run like the wind.  Words–at least my words-can’t do Atticus justice.  Anyone who has ever had a dog or loved a dog knows what I mean.


Reading many books and attending Beekeeping 101 and 201 from Tilth seem to have prepared us (Al) quite well for keeping bees.   Al suits up to tend to the bees, and Atticus and I take the pictures (we go “suitless,” but for reasons evident from the below, Atticus has requested a suit for next season).  We started with two queens  (one Carniolan and one Italian) and two containers of 10,000 bees each.  (Thanks, Mom, for picking those “mystery packages” up for us, no questions asked).

 The bees arrive in a buzzing box.  They must be transferred to the hive, then the Queen carefully inserted.  We put a marshmallow in the Queen’s temporary capsule, locking her in for a few days (as the bees gradually eat away) for protection and adjustment to the hive.

We had one hive (Paddington) die out, but only after, or in conjunction with, a swarm.  We managed to capture the swarm and start a new hive (Yogi), which made it through the summer, and still seems to be doing just fine (although we didn’t extract any honey from it).  The other hive (Pooh) has been thriving since day one, and even as winter is wrapping up, it seems to be alive.

In upcoming weeks, Al may provide some insight on the challenges and intricacies of keeping bees, along with product recommendations.  For now, here’s a few photos of what, so far has been, a pretty successful first year of keeping bees.

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