Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kid Goats In The Cold

If you get tired of seeing kid goat pictures, let me know...I'll stop posting them. You cannot see the little grin on my face as you ask, are you kidding?

A few days ago it was gorgeous, nearly 60 degrees, a couple of kid goats running around and sleeping outdoors. Beautiful site to see! Early yesterday morning brought the storms, a lot of kids born, activity like mad, dampness, but all ended up being well. This morning brought the cold air.

I slept better than I have been sleeping, but woke several times wondering how warm the barn actually was. The barn is normally 12-15 degrees warmer than the outside, even with some doors open. I bundled up and went down before daybreak this morning to feed the 2 bottle boys, and was overjoyed to see kids romping around. Most of the kids were yelling at their mothers, FEED ME, and many were playing kid on the hill with the upside down plastic koi pond that a friend provided for play. My lack of sleep didn't help the kids, but none the less, I was glad to see everyone happy and healthy.

Once they finished romping, they slept for about an hour. The monitor went silent. Cozy and warm.

I am on the tired side. Since this is a weekend day I plan to play the day by ear. I will work on a soap project at some point, in-between I will be napping and listening. We are about mid way through the boer kiddings now. Chandra, the first dairy girl to freshen this season, is uddered up fairly well, but still holding onto her ligaments to a degree. I have her parked near the monitor in case she decides to go fast on me.

Have a good Saturday!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Busy Day In The Goat Barn

Each kidding season is different, but it seems when there are a plephora of does heavy with kids there is normally at least one day when they let loose at once. Today has been one of those days!

I keep two white boards in the barn. One contains my normal feeding rations, just in case someone should have to take over. The second board is where I draw up a chart that lists the births. One thing extremely important when birthing in numbers is to keep the kidding board up to date.

I just woke from a restoring power nap a short bit ago. The first thing I realized is that the kidding board is not quite up to snuff today. It was perfect at 10:00 A.M., not so perfect from that time forward. Are you giggling with me?

We had to take 2 kids away to bottle feed this morning. From time to time something goes awry. We had strong storms roll through in the early morning hours. One of the does gave birth. She kept up with her twin doeling, but seemed to not realize the buckling was hers. Another first time mother today, Sarah, is oblivious that she gave birth, even though I assisted the birth (the only one so far this year). As soon as I pulled the kid, she wanted our human attention. She was a bottle baby herself years ago. When a dam wants to ignore a kid(s) I try all sorts of tricks, from taking a drop of colostrum and rubbing it on the kid's mouth (so the doe can smell herself on the kid), to trying to graft a kid to a different dam. Sometimes, due to the urgency of getting the first colostrum into the kid, you have to give in to the bottle. has been an eventful day. And it just might remain that way!

This morning I packed up soap for shipments. The funny thing is, each time I was almost ready to print shipping labels, something in the barn broke loose. As soon as Bob heard Sarah's straining on the intercom, for example, we threw on boots and coats. Sarah is a special doe to the both of us.

I finally got my clothes changed, teeth brushed, hair brushed, and made it to town to get a few necessities, and a stop at the post office (since I missed the mail run this morning). on a farm. And yes, I still love it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Loving On Those Goat Kids

For those of you that have heard this before, you are about to hear it again, I did not sleep last night, not hardly a wink. No, barn activity did not keep me awake, I enjoyed the quiet and couldn't sleep after the first few hours. Hilarious!

We had a few goat kids born around 8:00 yesterday evening. This is Sunday's 4th kidding. I could see Sunday gearing up as soon as the other does started kidding a few days ago. Good for Sunday, she had a buck and a doe and she is elated. The new buckling runs after her so quickly that he flops over, he is all legs just yet. We like Sunday for various reasons, she is a large boer goat, but we especially love her voice, she bellows with a loud, "Mooowwwww!!!" Her new buckling has a set of lungs too. I like loud lungs, it usually translates to a kid born healthy.

When I fed about an hour ago I did a head count. I kept coming up with one newborn kid missing. I spent a good 20 minutes looking, counting. The kid appeared finally, but I never did figure out where she had been. I did find a tiny gap in the fence. A farmer quickly learns to keep all sorts of materials on hand such as baling wire and pieces of leftover lumber. Needless to say, nobody will be escaping from that gap again any time soon.

I enjoy picking up newborn kids, watching their stubborn little faces, hearing them (sometimes) squawk at the human that picks them up. By golly, they have a mission, and I disturb that well thought out plan. They have playing time mapped out!

After arriving back up to the house (and yes, my back and legs hurt from the many treks down the hill this week), I went out to the shop and cut the soap that I batched yesterday. I love the subtle blue and red marbling in the soap on the left!

The rest of my day is going to be intense office work and listening to the monitor. I have plenty enough to do right here. I am too tired to do anything else, so the focus will be on that!

I hear the frogs on the pond this morning, always a grand sound to hear. They have their own spring announcement to make! They remind me of tiny birds in the early spring. They do not sound like bullfrogs this early in the season. The pair of geese are back this morning as well. I heard the honking of their arrival while I was working in the barn.

I love farm life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Newborn Goat Kids

It is difficult to get good pics of newborn goat kids.

We are up to 4 kids now, the latest born a bit after 8:00 yesterday evening.

This is our favorite buckling so far this season. He and his twin brother were sleeping outside this morning, beginning to hop at 2 days old.

Newborn kids at this age get pretty active. Hilarious when they first start hopping. They leap without letting go of the ground, and then begins the tiny bunny hops, and at a blink of an eye, so it seems, they pick up a lot of speed!

The twin brother...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

March 2009 Brown Bag Goat Milk Soap Special

In today's economy do you brown bag your lunch? I do!

Well, come on over and enjoy a brown bag special with me, but keep one thing in mind when you sit in the sunshine and enjoy your brown bag special, the condiments and wrappers are not included, what you will be receiving with your order is assorted goat milk soaps, 5 total!

Today I begin my March 2009 Goat Milk Soap Brown Bag Special (scroll to the bottom of The Goat Milk Soap Store to order).

Yes, the soap is shipped in a brown bag, with an Annie's Goat Hill receipt attached (listed with the soaps of my choice). You will receive 5 soaps, approximately 3.5 ounces each, for 15.00, with a flat rate 5.00 shipping fee (shipped in a box via USPS), continental U.S. customers only, 20.00 total order.

Memories of lunch on the park bench, in the sunshine, 80 degrees, puts a smile on the face!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Goat Kidding Has Officially Started

No, that many girls did not break lose and have kids today, but one did. She had a pair of bucklings.

This is a picture from a few years ago. It was a cold morning (notice the snow on the ground to the far right). Some of the kids were huddled inside the door of the barn, in the early morning sunlight. They sure were fat little kids!

I promise to try to avoid zombiehood. If I say something weird, write something odd, just let me know. I sometimes go with a total lack of sleep when kidding season starts.

We are running very late this year with the meat goats. The earliest they could have started was 12/9/08! We knew they were pregnant, but because we field bred (did not breed individually), we did not have exact due dates.

Just a farm announcement. :)

Relaxing Lavender Goat Milk Soap and Lotion

Some days we just need to relax and restore.

Today I have been working on the website, rewording, reworking and retagging. I have felt a tad bit frazzled lately. But today is a "get back to grass roots" day, at my own pace.

On these types of days it sometimes calls for doing something a bit extra for ourselves, which made me think about lavender.

Did you know that lavender has been used as long as history has been recorded as a soothing herb, one that might help with relaxation? It has also been used as an antiseptic, and as an essential oil to help the skin heal from certain conditions such as insect bites and mild burns.

The color lavender, I feel, is also relaxing. As a child, I belonged to a number of groups, such as Girl Scouts, and always loved the projects that we created in Vacation Bible school, the bowling league, and a few others, and whenever I was asked to put something together it normally ended up being lavender in color. My grandmother lived in a large older home, with a master bedroom painted in lavender. Oh, how I loved to spend time in that room, especially with that huge bay window.

I recently received handwritten cards from Alix of Casa Hice, and Anne-Marie of Soap and The Finer Things in Life (along with a special gift pac that I still need to tell you about). Beautiful lavender cards!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Sundays, the first day of the week, the day to restore the mind, heart and soul...


If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end

in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end on certainties.

-Francis Bacon

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

O Lord Almighty,

blessed is the man who trusts in you.

-Psalm 84, 11-12

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Geese Are Back

Each spring a pair of geese arrives at our pond. We like to think they are the same pair, and they likely are. Geese choose a mate for life.

I tried to get a pic of "our" geese for you this morning. With the overcast, and early morning light, and the distance down the hill, couldn't get a good focus. So, for now, you got a canned pic.

We always enjoy the sounds of the geese, and even more so, totally love seeing their goslings hatch. The fluffy little yellow things, wobbling around, watching mom and dad teach them all about life. They are amazing beings!

This morning the pond is once more iced over, and we have snow on the radar about one hour away (which means satellite might be down later today). Seeing the geese walk on that ice makes me think they arrived a bit early this year. I would imagine they will leave again, but we will see them back.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Premios Dardo Award

Alix of Casa Hice presented me with the Premios Dardo Award.

You know me, I'll bend the rules ever so slightly. And I also have an inquiring mind.

Did you know a Dardo was a fancy, 2 seated sports car built 40-something years ago? Yes, that is right. I do not think the car is related to this award, though.

This award is a fun one, one that tells our friends and readers more about ourselves. I love reading these sorts of questionnaires.

The award comes with 12 or so questions. If you receive the award from me, you should replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add a new question of your own.

The questions passed on to me:

1) What are you wearing right now? Levi jeans (my uniform), a gray/black/red trimmed sweatshirt, New Balance (backless tennis shoes, slides?), and a red hoodie.

2) What is your biggest fear? I have a great dislike of snakes and worms, anything that crawls and slithers on the ground.

3) What was your worst subject in school? Social Studies was so boring!

4) Who is the last person you hugged? I'll change this one to, who did you hug last? Tyra my female boxer. She was doing something extremely cute, and made me give her a huge hug! Boxer dogs are constant companions.

5) What websites do you visit when you go online? They are usually business related sites.

6) What was the last item that you bought? I never buy clothes. I love good Levi jeans, about the only thing I spend big money on (for myself). I wear them for years. The more worn, the more I love them. While waiting for the new glasses to be made a few days ago I hopped over to the sales racks. I bought this crazy top that I have now coined as my "painters smock." It is light gray with teal and black markings, almost like someone took a fat paintbrush and painted these big wild flowers. It looks like it has been dipped in black paint along the hem and sleeves. It is not me. I am very conservative! I'll wear the thing with a smile on my face, fun!

7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Friends, I love being home. When I was in the corporate mode I lived for vacations. If a vacation started on Friday, for example, we would be in route that Friday, I would leave work early, in the middle of the day, lickity split! Now, I would just rather be on the farm, tucked away. I cannot explain it, it just is what it is for now. If I had to chose a destination, it would be a state in the western part of the United States, somewhere I had never been. Somewhere remote probably.

8) If you woke up tomorrow and were the opposite sex what is the first thing you would do and why? I do not know! I like being a woman. You should see me sitting here and snickering, laughing at myself because I cannot come up with an answer to this one! I keep thinking, where can men go that women cannot? What can they do that we cannot? I am drawing a blank!

9) Has a celebrity's hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle? Yes and no. The Farrah Faucett craze, many moons ago, left a bunch of us youngsters with trying to do the big feathered bangs.

10) What is your most embarrassing moment? Lost a slip while waiting for the walk light to change on a busy city street corner during morning rush hour.

11) What was the last movie you watched? O Brother, Where Art Thou?, one of my favorite movies! I am not a George Clooney fan, but something about that movie, the entire show, just draws me in each time I see it. It never grows old on me.

12) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments, or interruptions, what would you do? I would try to do nothing at all. Try is the key word...try! Nothing is difficult for me to do because I like activity.

13) If you were to win the Powerball, what would you do with the money (besides invest it)? I would buy some commercial real estate and start up a sister company. I would love to put some people to work, give them good paying jobs. We just lost 8,000 (and soon 9,000) jobs in our area recently. I would also buy a larger farm. The farm would include my goats, but also dairy cows, with a huge dairy barn. This is based on the thought that I could afford help. :)

14) In your opinion, who is the most significant person in history and why? I need a raincheck on this one...I'll be back on it.

15) If you had a choice of places to live, where would it be? I would live somewhere more flexible with milk sales.

Now...I need to pass this award on to a few people...and I'll start with 9!

Kathy Spot On Cedar Pond

Amy I Love Nubians, Make Mine Mini

Jennifer Goats In The Garden

Corrie Lomond Soap

Peggy Hidden Brook Farm

Chris Johnson Family Farm

Bethany Drowsy Waters

Elaine Blog Briallen

Sue SoapyChica

Have fun!

Not took 3 hours for me to get this posted (last night and this morning). My signal has not been very strong with the satellite these past few days! Dealing with the electronics...I am hoping to catch up on reading and commenting today! :)

The Red Day

Today was the day to take something red and healthy...and make it into something warm, inviting...and not so healthy...

Fresh Apple Cake

1C vegetable oil

2 C sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 C flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 C peeled, diced apples

1/2 C nuts, optional

Cream the first 4 ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda,

and the salt. Add apples and the nuts.

Bake at 350%, 45-50 minutes, in a greased/floured pan.

The house was a bit chilly today, and I had apples (which is my favorite health food) on hand. Was a good day to bake. Took the chill out of the air and made for a wonderful warm scent throughout the house. By the way, if the apples are lacking in tartness, I add a bit of lemon juice to the apples before adding them to the batter. This recipe makes a very thick batter. I had to use my hands to spread it out in the baking pan.

By the way, I have not removed the red covers from the exercise bicycle yet today, nor have I used the red weights, but I will before I climb into bed tonight!

And speaking of red, Alix of Casa Hice, recently mentioned strolling through the gift shop at Cracker Barrel. My hubby surprised me with an item from that store a few years back. One of my favorites...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Goat Milk Soap Day #2 - Colors Galore


I am so tired...drop dead tired.

First, the pic of the 3 soaps that you got to see still in their molds yesterday. How about those colors? Not just grandma's goat milk soap any longer! Time for change...time for spring...lift up your chin for feels-like-something-new soap!

Before I tell you why I am tired, I have some catching up to do, some comments to respond to, blogs to read, so please do not think you are on hold, I'll get there. The energy will return.

I did not sleep well last night. We got hot, threw open the window, it was snowing outside, so I have no idea why the stuffiness...but it happened. Then I heard the coyotes a couple of times. Wide eyed, but I knew Caleb (the LGD) would do his job when/if needed.

Yesterday I reported that I have met all but 3 of my business goals for the year. My personal goals are not doing as well. Today I woke up thinking I would target the most important goal. The goal is to clear off the exercise bike, and begin using it for its intended purpose, which includes putting the the small dumbells/weights back to work. Instead, we headed to the big city to get new peepers for me, a much, much overdue need.

Here is a pic of the famous (and dusty) exercise bike. It holds a throw blanket, my purse, a heating pad, the dumbells (small red ones on the seat), another throw blanket, and who knows what else. You can tell, it has not been in use for a while. I will get some sleep tonight, and tomorrow I will report to you that the exercise bike has gained a few more miles! Okay!

Here is the beast...

The story about my new peepers has been 5 years. My glasses had seen their better days. I have 4 pairs of reading glasses, yes, 4 that I have been wearing for various reasons (driving, reading, television and computer screen). In fact, I have one pair on now because it is perfect for the computer screen. Today I discovered that my prescription has finally reached the 50 year old woman level! I now have less frame styles to chose from. I am not happy about it (but thank goodness I am not vain). I had these small rectangle (but rounded) frames chosen today, nope, not enough room for my prescription. Sad...sad...sad...but there is a reason for everything, and tonight, lo and behold, I can see again (a blessing). I can read the aspirin bottle, I can see the dirt on the floor, and I feel like I got brand new peepers today! I did.

I am tried from the trip to the city, and I am tired from the rush today, and also from not sleeping last night. I'll catch back up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Goat Milk Soap With Color

On this windy and slightly balmy day in Ohio, I decided to work with pigments.

The first soap is scented with a blend that includes sandalwood. I love the mysterious, swirled look to the soap. Right now, though, with a sense of humor, it could pass for ketchup and mustard. Umm...pass the hot dogs, please?

No, it is not plum pudding, but it sure could be a good replica! You might be surprised at cutting tomorrow. It is not what it looks like at the moment. :)

I really did not need to take a pic of this one. It is two toned soap, no swirls. Should be a fun violet and white bar, a spring flowery type of soap.

Join me tomorrow at cutting? The camera will be in tow!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Artisan Goat Milk Soap

Today I drew a blank...just what to write about?

My inquiring mind began to think about the term artisan. Many of us have a general idea of what the definition of artisan is, but mainly speaking for myself, really did not know how to term it. An artisan is a person that is a skilled manual worker, a craftsperson, practicing a trade or handicraft. The handicraft items produced by the craftsperson can be either functional or decorative.

I believe we can call soap, such as my lemon berry goat milk soap, artisan soap. No doubt!

We can also call craft wares such as cheese by Jama at Prosperine Goat Hill, weaving by Kathy at Spot On Cedar Pond, knitting by my friend Annie at Knit4dolls (please visit her brand new blog and leave a comment), and many others as artisan.

I am glad we have the opportunity to craft what we feel creative at doing! Just the thoughts of the blessing of our abilities can push the winter doldrems out, and bring forward a renewed sense of...marching forward to make soap, cheese, knitting, and weaving!

By the way...I have all but 3 of my business goals crossed off the to-do list for the year of 2009. The remaining goals are long term. Just as with my "renewed sense," I hope you are marching forward too! The thoughts of spring helps too! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lilac Goat Milk Lotion Day Accompanied By Memories

After running chores this morning, and checking on Annie's Goat Hill products placed in a shop in the next town south of us, I decided to dive into lotion making for the day.

The vanilla goat milk lotion came first. Smelled warm and clean. Then the Sweet Pea type was next. I love that scent! Today was a "spring" scent type of day. Then I decided the next batch would be a lightly scented lilac goat milk lotion. I can still smell it. It will be with me all day. And it smells wonderful!

My grandmother did not wear heavy perfume. But now she is on my mind. Aromatherapy? My grandmother had "treasures." From the beginning of my memory, I have always loved soap, scents, bubble bath, you name it, and grandma's house was not short of anything in that realm.

She loved to sew as well. And that is what I am really writing about today. Her sewing machine and table were handed down to me. I rummaged through the drawers a bit ago, just like I did when I was a child.

I first stumbled across her aprons. I distinctly remember her wearing the three in the first photo. Aren't they great? They need a good ironing. And then I need to find a special place to show them off some day.

Then I looked through her tiny boxes and jars of things that she could not bear to throw away. In the marshmallow creme jar was pins, old buttons, snaps, and even bra straps that grandma would cut off before she discarded the undergarments. You can see the singe marks on some of these items (on the lid of the jar above). Grandma and grandpa's house burned down to the ground once. She salvaged things, bless her heart, and now they are treasures to me (and probably only me). Everything filled with memories.

There is an old Singer box, filled with attachments for a machine that no longer exists. Sort of ironic that I can not throw it away either. A Sucrets box as well. Vintage compared to what we see on the store shelves these days.

Then there are the pin and knife boxes. Filled with other tiny things that grandma could not part with. Perhaps some day she would have used those things when she stitched up a new project. Amazing what she kept. I can open each treasure box and find they smell like "her" things. They smell good. Wonderful.

Memories are treasures!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday's Musings

A friend gave this beautiful framed gift to me a couple of years ago. What a perfect prayer. Simple, and so open-hearted.

Had a great afternoon with friends. I have really enjoyed this weekend. Did a bunch of nothing, yet really did accomplish a lot of things good for the soul.

Now...for the next Sunday item. This knob appeared in my yard yesterday, apparently blown up here by the 74 MPH wind gusts during our recent storm. Does it look familiar to you? I think it is beautiful, and I will find a place in my garden for it, perhaps on a wooden gate or door? It might be old, but could be newer and just weather worn. It is crafted from some sort of metal, what you cannot see is the floral pattern. Apparently it is weather worn. I like it. Are you surprised? I am not! :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reflections Of Love

Valentine's Day...a day made by man...a day that reflects the love that is unique to a human being. So blessed we are to have the ability to love.

I love so many different things, but what is most important are the people that I love. I love my husband, my friends, my sister, my family, and my neighbors. I love other things such as my farm, but "things" are very much secondary. I love my role in life, the things that I have the ability to do, and I love knowing that I have the blessings that enable me to do them.

I met my husband, Bob, in 2001. I never frequented chat rooms but decided to step into one that afternoon. I did not need a date, and I was not looking for one! There he sat, even though he was not a chat room fan either. We chatted briefly. He asked me a few things, so innocent, such as, "Do you like pick up trucks?" What sort of question was that? But it was far from some of the indecent questions that a person might get, it was genuine. I went about my busy life and one quiet afternoon about a month later I ran across Bob again. The genuine person came through as it did the first time we chatted. I asked him if he would like to meet for coffee. I thought he needed a new friend, sounded lonely, and I knew that it wouldn't hurt for me to have another buddy. The next day we stepped out of our vehicles in the parking lot at a local Shoney's restaurant (at the same time), like two peas in a pod. There were sparks, yes, but it was more like an old friend emerged. We sat up talking all night, never slept a wink, never shut up. Three weeks later, and many calls and visits later, it was obvious to me that the friend that I asked out to coffee was honest, genuine, and obviously someone that was looking out for my best interests. I treasured him. My oldest son said to me one day, "Moommmm...he is SO country!" You betcha'! And so??? Long story short, we married 8 months later. He is my best friend. Oh, there are moments when I feel like taking the frying pan to his head, but he is precious to me. We are both goofs, neither of us like a mushy sort of love, and the sense of humor from both of us is wacky, to say the least, but it was meant to be, and I (again) feel very blessed.

Whatever and whomever you love today, I hope you can embrace today, Happy Valentine's Day!

Testing Apologies


I am doing some testing this morning with my PDA. Cannot use the normal blogger route, but can blog post via email. I have one more test to make (with a pic attached), and hopefully, I can stop posting and deleting soon!

If you follow the blog, sorry for any problems this posting and deleting might have caused for you this morning.

Thanks, Mary

Friday, February 13, 2009

Aleecia Says Goat Soap And Lotion

Aleecia says, "Mom, some day I will make you milk!" Aleecia is one of my does born during the blizzard last year. Her dam is Cammille. Camille is spotted, but in a reverse sort of way. She is tan with some slightly darker rings and spots.

Today was a soap and lotion day. I felt creative today, tried some different soap combinations. Cutting will be interesting tomorrow.

The sun is wonderful! I am sure you can see that in the pic. It isn't exactly warm, but it feels like spring is definitely on the way! I received some more seed catalogs in the mail. I need to hideaway with them. I just may order some chicks this year.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Annie's Goat Hill Email Address

Here is the other side the rainbow (from the post earlier today).

Annie's Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps is adopting a new email address. This will allow me to get email on my mobile phone. If you have the AGH email address bookmarked somewhere, you will want to change it to . The transition from the old address will take several months. I will not be cancelling the old address until then, and after notices in several locations.

In Between Wednesday's Storms...

A beautiful rainbow shot in between storms yesterday.

And a time where Tyra was able to run outside for a bit as well.

I also thought the remaining ice on the pond was interesting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Goat Milk Soap On The Curing Rack

Today was a day away from the shop and office that included running chores.

I did get new bars of soap on the curing rack after lunch. I always like to see the curing area fill back up. I am happy so far with the chunkier bars!

Storms are going to roll in. The wind was strong enough earlier that Bob had to turn the truck sideways so I could get the cab door shut.

Took a photo a short bit ago of the slowly darkening skies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Annie's Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps Newsletter Typo

Huh...did you say a typo?????

Yep, I said a typo.

When you snooze, you lose.

For those that received their first newsletter today. Did you enjoy that it was from Annie's Gaot Hill? Uh-huh...we raise gaots here. They are not quite like goats. A new species.

You know, I corrected that error several times. But, unfortunately, I guess I didn't save my corrections.

Did you smile, get a laugh? I hope so!

Today's shop soaps were lavender and honeysuckle. The curing rack is beginning to fill again. Spring anticipation! And if you want some special scents for spring yourself, let me know.

The husband, whom now says, "I am an employee that works for bologna sandwiches," adjusted my cutter today. We have had shrinkage lately that I am not fond of. Bigger bars, shrinkage that means less soaps going to the Y discounted category in the Soap Store.

Speaking of Y discounted soaps, I am moving some lavender and honey oatmeal bars to the discounted section today. These are great bars of soap, averaging 3.5 ounces a bar.

Rainy day here...more to come.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Back To Making Goat Milk Soap Today

Had a busy day today!

The weather was beautiful, perfect. Started the day out with some fog. When the sun started coming over the ridge this morning, the fog turned orange and pink. It was fantastic.

I wish this photo had turned out better! I filled this mint green hutch today in a local shop. It really turned out great. You cannot see the raffia, special tags and other things that added the special touch to the packages. I tell the shops I will design the packaging to fit their store, however, I love it when I have a placement (like today's) where I feel my design fits in like a charm.

This computer was on the fritz for most of the day today. I got it back online a 1/2 hour ago.

And I got back to soap production today. I am in the inventory process, restocking. Today was honey oatmeal and unscented goat milk soap.

The lotion shelves in my own shop are now empty. Lotion making is on the agenda for later this week. If you want to order lotion, however, please do so. I can have it ready in time for any shipment.

I feel good tonight. No back pain at all, so I am definitely on the mend. I have been active enough today to ward off stiffness.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Goats On The Hill

They are all M.I.A. today, hiding. Obviously not missing in action to them, just enjoying the sun as much as they can. The dairy girls (and a few boers) are on the other side the hill. One occasionally pops her head up. ice or snow on the ground! What you cannot see in this photo is mud. Get further down the hill, towards the barn, and the 2" of standing water from yesterday is now mucky mud.

But I am glad...and I am happy. The average temperature in our part of Ohio is 40 degrees this time of year.

Didn't sleep well last night. The coyotes are strong out here in February. I could hear them darting back and forth. Sounded surreal because they were moving fast. Probably was more like a scattering of them. Caleb, the LGD (livestock guard dog), that barks at everything, and most nothing, didn't bark at all. I kept imagining him being the one under attack. The mind plays funny tricks on a person at 2:00 in the morning.

Anyhow...I hope you enjoy your Sunday too. We are off to visit friends for a few hours. I didn't work much today (not on a Sunday). I priced and labeled gift sets for the shop.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tree Of Happiness Award

Sheepishly I say, I have only said this just a few times this week (a few too many), I am way behind in blogging, commenting, and especially behind in posting this award!

Joanna of Boonedocks Wilcox gave a Tree of Happiness Award to me. Joanna has a wonderful blog, filled with great animal stories, especially cute Sweet Pea! Last but not least, Joanna is a friend that I appreciate, and yes, she makes me happy!

The recipient of this award should list 6 things that make themselves happy.

You know, silly or not, this award even makes me happy because I love to talk about happiness!

To top 6 things that make me happy in life are:

My faith. My faith carries me through so many times in life. It picks me up when I am sad. It revives me when I am tired. It gives me the wisdom to do many things that are right, the first time. It gives me patience. My faith has helped me through troubling and trying times. And when I am happy, I do not forget, I know exactly why I am happy!

My husband. My best friend. He is one special person that has looked out for my best interests. Until I met him, I did not know what that was all about. Now, do not take that sadly, it is definitely a very positive thing. It was like peeling back the layers of an onion, my own wrappings, working through things that I did not know existed. Once I realized this person was subtly helping me through life, and he guided me to do it by myself, which was a very good learning experience, I blossomed. It makes me so happy that I could cry. Now, don't you agree, that is pretty darn happy?!

My friends. I have adopted a very common word in my latter years, genuine. I absolutely love genuine people. They make life complete. They make me happy. They make everyone happy! I am one of those people that everyone looks to for a smile. The problem is, when I don't smile, or when I am quiet, I catch it from everyone. I am watched like a hawk from my best friends, down to the casual friends at the corner convenience store. So, my common response to the much-loved pressure is, "Who holds my chin up when I am not up to holding yours? Hmmm...that is a big job!" I get reminded, "We do." That is love, that is true happiness...that is a genuine friend. Thank you.

My animals. When I was a child I drew farm animals. When I went to the zoo I walked behind everyone that I accompanied. The petting area was my spot to hide in. When I visited family farms as a young child I would run around in the barns, the cow pastures, even the pig pens. Yep, I did. They were not muddy, thankfully! I remember my grandmother riding in the back seat of a car with me on a muggy summer day once. She exclaimed, "Whooo-eeee, roll those windows down! This child stinks!" Ha ha ha! I didn't recognize my love for animals until I had a few of my own to tend to. I am blessed, very happy.

What number am I on now? Ah-hah...I need to tell you what #5 is.

My work. I am doing what makes me happy. Crafting soap, putting products on the store shelf, being creative, running my own business. I have no idea what drives me, but I can say I am happy. I am elated. Very seldom do I slump. And when I slump, something comes along (the light bulb goes back on) and I am driven that much more. I truly believe that each and every person that has a desire to do something in life, something creative, should do it. Give it a whirl! Do not let anyone stop you. Finances may hold you back today, but find a way to do it as soon as possible, and do not let any good intended well-wishers stand in your way! And guess what? Work is NOT work when you are happy doing what you are doing!

My age. I am happy to be 50 years old. I realize now that I hold a lot of wisdom, but more importantly, I am wise enough to know there is always room for growth, with much more to learn. Bring it on! This is a wonderful age. The best is yet to come.

There are a lot of things and people in my life that make me happy (my sister, my farm, books, gardening, music, primitive furniture/crafts), too much to list!

Now...I am going to give this award to 6 blogs written by people that bring me happiness! I like this award, may the branches of the tree reach out and bring more happiness forward. :)

Thank you for your smiles...

Amy I (Heart) Nubians, Make Mine Mini

Alix Casa Hice

Corrie Lomond Soap

Heidi Soapaholics Anonymous

Kathy Spot On Cedar Pond

Jennifer Goats In The Garden

Soap Shop Activities

Good Morning!

Yesterday was a busy day. We visited handfuls of shops, some with pretty interesting soap.

One $15.00 bar of soap really fascinated me. The shop manager told me that she tried the soap herself. She said you have to have a wide place to set the oblong-rounded soap or you constantly have it dropping to the tub floor. We had a good giggle over that discussion!

I can honestly say this, none of the big brand soaps that I picked up during my excursion matched up to my rustic goat milk soaps. They do not smell as good, and most importantly, they are definitely not the silky soaps that Annie's Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps are. I am not Crabtree & Evelyn, no doubt, but their goat milk soap holds no candle to mine!

In this economy, many of the local shops (in a 5 county area) are leery of adding products to their line. They are having difficulty selling what they have on hand. The walk-in customers, holding onto every penny, are extra concentrated with caution in our rural area. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but our area has been suffering from a lack of jobs (as the overall U.S. is), but we are also gradually losing 10,000 jobs out of one location. The story appeared on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago. I also wrote my own article on the topic in December.

I refuse to succumb to the economy, I am too happy to let that even begin to etch the surface. For all of us, no matter what our jobs are (mine is a soap and bath product maker, goat keeper), we will be on the upswing again, and when it happens, if we are smart enough to keep our feet on the ground, the roller coaster car is going to sweep us back up up first, right on front, and carry us to the top of the hill in front of those that missed the car the first time!

Today, after I go and visit the Country Home Crafts shop, in Hillsboro, Ohio, where I am gratefully moving products into this week, I will begin filling the curing racks in my own shop again. And the buzz in my head says, you may see a change in my own shop in the very new future. An exciting change!

I have a lot of blog reading and commenting to catch up on! I haven't forgotten...just swamped, and still nursing a very achy back.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Goat Milk Soap Gift Packages

A little sneak peek of gift packages going out to some Ohio shops tomorrow. Sets will be available on the website soon as well.

Despite the slow start to the morning, I accomplished quite a bit today.

I fumbled with some behind-the-scenes website problems, but did get things up and rolling again just in time for lunch break.

Then I headed out to the shop and got the packages ready for delivery tomorrow. Thank goodness the sidewalk between the house and the shop was ice free today, despite the 2 degree wind chill all afternoon. Such a warm single digit! :)

No signs of immediate labor tonight in the goat barn. Way to go girls!! Good job!!

Heading to the kitchen now to get pancakes on the griddle. Seems like a Log Cabin sort of day. Have a great evening!

Goat Milk Soap and Lotion Shop News

Good Morning!

For those of you that have kindly been asking how I am recovering from the fall, I had a very bad night. Woke up to a lot of pain around 3:30. Wish this pain would stop. It is better, but it seems to be moving, which tells me I am healing. It will take time. I am always a trooper, always, but this has been tough! Today I am suffering from very blurry eyes. I just realized it is the Motrin. I need to back off of it for a while. Drats.

I discovered a problem with the website this morning. Google had quit crawling. I spent a couple of hours fixing the issues this morning. I am certainly not an expert at the wearing of the website responsibility hat, but I have made great strides! Yeah!

Bob has been stamping soap boxes with the logo this morning. After lunch we are boxing up gift sets of soap, lotion, and bath salts. These are for delivery to a number of Ohio gift shops tomorrow.

Soap making will be back on the agenda for Friday. If you have any special requests, you can shoot them my way.

Newsletters are to go out next week, final deadline by 2/16/09.

We received just a dusting of snow last night. Local people received anywhere from 6.5 to 10" of the newest white covering within a very quick 3-4 hours last night. We were blessed with none of that!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Goat Milk Soap, Lotion and Back Pain

We can be full speed ahead one moment, and at a dead halt the next. And that occurs at a blink of an eye.

Yesterday I was heading to the store, the first time I drove my own truck in weeks. We could not get beyond the ice on the doors on my truck! As I gleefully went down the concrete steps next to the garage, what I thought was water ended up being black ice. Up in the air I went, and down I was slammed, with a concrete step edge hitting in the middle of my back right hip.

I will not go into a lot of detail, but this isn't the most fun I have ever had. I normally laugh when I fall down and "go boom," as my dear husband says, but this time I cried and remembered the cell phone in my pocket. I called for help as I rolled myself up off of the ground. I went straight to bed.

I have a store placement to prepare for this week. I will be bottling lotion and I need to get more soap on the curing rack. It will all get done. Bob cannot make soap, but he can help me package up, feed animals, and take me to the locations that I also need to visit this week. Driving is out. We both have 4x4 pick up trucks, mine is taller, and just getting in and out is very "Slow Mo" right now.

So...nope, no whining here, I will get it done, in time. At least I can sit in a chair for a short while today. My blog posts and reponses may be a little less in volume for a few days. Send me an email if you need anything. Take care!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lemonade Stand Award

I received a Lemonade Stand award from Hidden Brook Farm. I am honored! I love The Hidden Brook Farm blog. We share many interests, and even better, she is a wonderful friend!

I have not yet completely followed through the steps yet for the Butterfly Award that I recently received from Alix of Casa Hice.

Because I treasure all blogs, and read such a variety, some that I follow annonymously, some I have book marked without following, etc..., it is extremely difficult for me to select 10 blogs to award, much less 20.

I look upon this as a very positive situation to be in, to be honest. I love all of your blogs!

So, I am going to select one blog to receive the Lemonade Stand award, and I plan to give the remaining 9 awards throughout the year.

Sweet Cottage Dreams, please accept a Lemonade Stand award from Annie's Goat Hill! Congratulations! I love your blog, and I love your crafty work!

The Lemonade Stand award rules are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate 10 blogs that show gratitude or great attitude or both

3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post

4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog

5. Share the love and link this post to the person whom you received your award from


Boxer Dogs

You might be asking, what is it?

I do not know if she has always done this, but I saw it happen for the first time several days ago. Tyra, my oldest boxer, takes a few morsels of her morning kibble out of her bowl and carries it to the laundry room floor. She plants her feet in front of the bits of kibble, and pretends to pounce around it, as if she were playing with a bug, teasing.

This morning I looked across the room and saw a smiley face. I know, it is not unlike the faces seen in the clouds, or in growth patterns in a tree, images that just look like something else, but none the less, her kibble was smiling this morning. It certainly made me smile!

Tyra is 6 years old, turning gray in the face, a big solid girl, one that likes to play, and sounds vicious when she does, but she would never hurt a soul. We rescued her when she was 9 months old. She has had 2 litters of pups for us, 10 pups each. She is now retired.

Here is our faithful friend...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday Super Bowl party... just two middle aged people putting
more winter pounds on in the middle section. Touchdown!! :)

This is about the only frozen meal we will eat. And somehow we like it too much!

About myself and father was in the Army. We travelled a lot. We were stationed in Indianapolis, IN, more frequently than anywhere else. So, I claim myself as a Hoosier girl.

After living in Indianapolis for most of my adult life, I became a Colts fan. I loved to go to the NFL games! I would go to work the next day with hardly any voice at all. It got to be very expensive, though. I either sat in the nosebleed section or I had tickets from work.

The best tickets were the pair that were given to me by a co-worker for a Christmas Eve game. We lost, I didn't care. I missed part of a family get-together because I revelled in sitting 4 rows above the home bench. I was in heaven.

The days of the NFL are way behind me. Oh yeah...but I strongly remember sitting behind the goal posts in the RCA dome, as the Steelers slap cheated the Colts to death. Sorry...that slipped out.

And which team actually grabbed my attention 20-something years ago? The San Francisco 49-ers! Yeppers! They were awesome!

The Cardinals and the Steelers, wow, I would have never dreamed that one up! We will not be watching the Super Bowl in our household. May your team win. :)

And may my waistline expand a bit more. I have cookies in the oven...again. I lost 12 pounds when kidding season fired up last year. Perhaps I will do it again! That's it...I am storing up energy for that event!