Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
We had kids throughout the weekend, 8 total. The milk is coming in good and strong now. I believe I have 5 dairy girls yet to kid.
Tomorrow I will post a few more pics of the tractor. I like the front end the best, the old grill area. This will be a long project, one that will probably take a couple of years to complete.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
If we are not waiting, we are being surprised, as we are today. Of course, I enjoy all of this, especially when I feel refreshed and not terribly tired. But even when I am that tired, I feel honored to be involved in such a wonderful event despite the fatique.
This year I bred the dairy girls to a boer buck. I keep my farm within certain numbers, approximately 30-35 boers, and the same number of dairy does. I love the hardiness of the nubian/boer cross, and I did not want to produce more dairy kids this year.
Many dairy farmers bottle feed their kids (calve, kid and lamb). That is my choosing. It was difficult at first, but now I appreciate knowing I am the one milking the udder, knowing the condition of each udder, knowing how much milk we are producing, and knowing that the milk is being pastuerized and is not passing along anything harmful to the dairy kids. It is a lot of work, and some day I may change my mind. For now, I still hold the dream of a large milking barn, a commercial operation, with udders that produce some mighty fine milk. And I will still make goat milk soap because that is my passion!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I received an application today for a local Artisan Folk Fair. Photos of products, a photo of (me) the artisan making the product, and a completed application must be sent (to be presented to a jury panel) for approval. If I do participate in the fair, I will be wearing period costume clothing at my booth. That brings me to one thought, what type of clothing to wear? Would it be a pioneer type of outfit? The letter stated "country" attire would also be appropriate. What to wear, what to wear?
I also got word of a local farmer's market firing up each Wednesday evening from 3-7 PM. They are looking for crafters and produce producers. Could also be a fun time for a soaper.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
On this gorgeous Saturday, I thought it would be nice to share with you a (not yet) 24 hour old boer cross doeling born to us yesterday from Cammille. Spots galore!
I am here on the farm pretty much every day, and sometimes a break is good (like yesterday's road trip). But today, the good feeling is to be on the farm doing the things that I feel I need to do to organize a bit. It makes me happy. I am far from being where I want to be, I need an entire crew to be at that perfect state. But the most perfect place to be is where the heart is, and that is shear happiness.
I hope you are having a bright Saturday too!
Friday, March 20, 2009
I am brimming with joy and thankfulness.
I am thankful for life itself. Life throws some very hard balls at us. Such as, my husband not getting the job he interviewed for several times (he found out today). My sister called with a piece of disappointing news as well. And life gets difficult with so much work. But I asked for the life that I have, and I love the life that I have. And so I take the responsibilities and I run with them. I strongly believe people make a lot of the lives that they have so very unhappy because they fail to recognize the good things that surround them! Life is beautiful in itself.
My husband asked me to join him on an electrical inspection today. It meant travelling for over an hour, south and east of us. I took a pic as we drove down the highway. It was an absolutely gorgeous day!
Before I let her out of her stall, I talked to Cammille this morning (a beautiful spotted nubian doe, dam to the spotted doeling in Tuesday's post). I used to call Cammille "Snake Eyes" when she was young because she would get an ornery look in her eyes and head butt every doeling that surrounded her, meaner than a snake! As I had my little conversation with Cammille earlier today, I asked her, "Can you give me a beautiful spotted boer cross doeling with your snake eyes?" She gave me exactly that! Such a bundle of joy.
I might have a long evening. Annie is heading into labor as I write this. I love it when life progresses. Today she did something surprising. After a number of years to her name, and 3 sets of twins under her own belt, she attempted to steal a bottle full of milk from me. Yes, I had to retrieve it. She definitely reverted back! When I got the bottle back, she turned around and nipped the bottle kid that I was feeding on the rear end! I am still giggling over that one! Nobody was hurt.
I try to remember the funny things that we have happen around here. I guess I should take notes. I could write books!
I still have not started the soap project that I discussed a few days back, but I'll get there. My plans just get better as I sit on them!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
As I have been saying, and I am far from being an expert, I think we will see our economy on an upswing. I developed the attitude to not worry. Why worry? Worry does not change a thing. Well, let's back into that, worry does change our happiness. It does change our demeanor. But worry does not change the circumstances that led to the problem. And, as I have been saying, I encourage everyone to be creative, if you feel you want to be, start that Etsy store, fire up a website, promote your hand-crafted products in a farmer's market, or start a small business. You will be in the train car on the down side and you will be in the front car on the swing back up. For about a week the "experts" have been reporting that the economy is strengthening. I am not worried. I do hope people begin to rebuild their lives, however (those that have lost jobs and homes). But whatever it brings, be happy, do not worry.
On this bright and beautiful day it is good to see the animals outside, enjoying the sun. Occasionally stopping to munch, as Aleecia is in this photo. But more often I see the girls kicking up their heels and playing chase across their lot. Carefree worry-less animals!
And on this bright and beautiful spring day I am announcing a package on the way to Florida, destination Casa Hice. A random pick of commenters on this blog resulted in pulling Alix's name from the hat. Thank you, Alix. Her package consists of one of her favorite scents, a lilac based soap, and a lilac goat milk lotion, very fitting for spring. I see my lilac bushes are budding out green today, and I cannot wait to smell their scent in a month or so! I agree with Alix, a very nice scent.
Thank you everyone!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Occasionally I share something fun that I furnish or decorate with. I found this one at a Goodwill store a year ago. When the attendant told me I could have the chest for $25.00, I quickly loaded it onto the back of my pick up truck! Someone prior to me inadvertently painted the chest. What you are looking at, in the darker areas, is painted leather, hand nailed so neatly to the chest when it was crafted. Such a shame. I cannot see removing paint from leather. But I do not care. I saw value, not so much monetary. There are other places on the chest that someone prior painted yellow and silver (on some of the wood slats across the top), again, I do not care, it is a treasure to me! I love the thing! Inside is wonderful silky-cottony fabric lining, in excellent condition. Makes me smile! It appears to be either an old passenger train chest (tiny wheels up inside the base), or an old steamer chest, and I even saw one on a Western movie, being unloaded from a stagecoach (I doubt that mine is that old). I love these types of items. Some have a history that we know of, and some, as this one, was used without knowing the history, not known by who or when, but I can use my imagination vividly and see it!
I posted yesterday that I thought Annie was in labor, false alarm. She ate much better today. I need to go check on her again. She appears uncomfortable, probably just big with kids. Today is day 145. I am less concerned, but still very watchful.
I worked in the shop today! I whipped out a batch of lavender/plum colored soap with a scent that smells fresh. It felt good to be working with soap again, very good!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This is a photo of Annie. It was taken 4 months ago. If she looks large in the pic, she is very large now!
Today is day 144 of Annie's gestation. She normally kids around day 149-151. The earliest a doe should kid is day 145.
This morning Annie did not eat in her normal full-fledged herd queen fashion (she resides with the dairy herd). She ate a little grain, ate a little hay, and then went off by herself. She looked sunken in, as if her unborn kids had moved. I checked her ligaments, yes, they are gone. Her body is preparing for birth.
So, instead of visiting with friends, we smiled and stayed home. It was actually a very nice day. Beautiful, sunny, relaxing, just as a Sunday should be. So, it was a blessing in disguise. There are lots of those blessings when we watch for them! As far as our friends are concerned, we will make it another afternoon this week, perhaps have some lunch together then.
As far as Annie is concerned, we are still waiting. A doe in waiting...!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
We visit friends each Sunday afternoon. When I called yesterday morning they invited us out to a later dinner, instead of the Sunday afternoon visit. They said, "You guys need a break, you have been hitting the (kidding) hard on the farm now for over a week." I hesitated at first. Wondered how I would fit a trip away in. But, common sense told me it would be good for us. It was.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
For those that said they want to come back for more kid goat pics, here are a few for you today.
Apparently one of my nubian bucks (Emery) visited the boer pen last fall. One day last week we had 3 kids born that look much like their sire. This doeling is a beauty! To the right is Sarah. Sarah was a bottle kid, born on a -5 degree morning. She was very spoiled, gave birth last week, and was interested in us, not her newborn. We are having to bottle raise her buckling.
Today they had fun on the stumps that my husband dumped into the lot a few weeks ago.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Today seems to be a good day.
So far I have moved 4 kids to the barn. Graduation day we call it. Sometimes we have bottle kids in the house. Kids nearly frozen from very cold weather births, some too weak to nurse on their dams. Always a wonderful day to see the kids healthy, strong, moving into their warm new barn suite. A refreshing site!
My husband is heading to a job interview today. Also refreshing. After a year of unemployment, and oodles of job applications and resumes, he has received 2 calls for interviews this week alone. If you believe in prayer or positive thinking, we can use it!
If I weren't so tired, and I might do it anyhow, I might work on more soap today. Refreshing soap like the peppermint goat milk soap pictured in this post. I love that soap! I had a customer that had problems with infected skin, and swore the soap helped her to heal, and her doctor sided with the soap. Now, I cannot tell you that my soap is medicinal, but the use of essential oils goes back a long way!
What is most refreshing today is the bright sunshine, the spring-like strong breezes, and to see the kids outside having the ball of their life!
I hope you are having a good day too!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
At times we are faced with unexpected challenges. Today's challenge is a good example.
One of my saanan does, Chandra, and I rode in the bed of the pick up truck last March, 55 MPH all the way, in an emergency attempt to rescue her badly tangled twins. Surgery was not required, and one of the twins was saved. All of us felt it would be a one-time occurance, never would Chandra have that same kidding problem again. However, once again today, we made an emergency run to the vet's office, this time it resulted in a C-section. Two huge bucklings and a very sore Chandra. And a Chandra that is now going to be retired.
Early this morning, as I realized that I could not fix the problem the doe was having, I calmly accepted that I had done my best. I then waited for good things to unfold. I put my mind in the right position to march forward and handle whatever was being dealt to me. This is the wisdom that I referred in my last post, this is the happiness in life that I referred to in another post. It is up to us how we advance in life, how much happiness we allow ourselves. It truly is.
At the vet's office I wanted to take names and phone numbers. There was a woman, probably in her mid 60's, that wanted to watch the C-section. I smiled as Dr. Junk, not the one performing surgery, asked the non-medical person if she wanted to watch the surgery through the glass. Dr. Junk smiled at me at one point, winked, and said, "Onwards and upwards." Yes, sir, you betcha'!
There was another women in the office with her "terrible 2's" boxer. I have 3. She and I talked about the economy, and how much we are learning, and how it really can be a positive thing (my post 2 days ago). We talked about Annie's Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps, and the getting down to sustaining ourselves.
No, it was not a good thing that poor Chandra had suffered, but it was good to know that there are people in the world that are human, good genuine people. People that did not care that I smelled like the barn floor, nor that I had blood and dried birthing fluids on my jeans, nor that I had on my most raggedy barn coat (that has to see the dumpster this spring), nor my mud packed muck boots.
We all make the best of things, and that is how we allow ourselves to be, and that is how we are successful in our own lives.
Remember to look for the good things in life, they are there!
By the way, the kid in the photo is one of my bottle kids this year. The middle-aged men across the road get together once a week to play old classic rock. They shake the ground. After we did our bottle feeding a few evenings ago, Bob scooped up one of the kids and took him to visit with the band. I heard the music stop. Bob said the cameras and laughter came out. The kid came back zipped up inside of the work overhauls, and I had to snap the adorable photo as his head came out!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
My mind and eyes keep wandering out the office window. It is a bright sunny day, but with a single digit wind chill of 7 degrees. Very warm out there! I am happy to report that the kids in the barn are fine, in fact, some are romping outdoors. I like to give them a choice after they are a few days old. Similar to human kids, playing outdoors seem to make for healthier kids.
So, with the glimpse of the bright blue sky occasionally on my mind, I also rummaged through some of the recent seed and garden catalogs received in the mail. The beautiful photographs, and listing of seeds just makes me long to begin digging in the soil. This spring I hope to begin a garden with a corner dedicated to herbs only. I love to cook, and I love to can, but I also love dried herbs in soap. I want at least 1/4 of the garden to be dedicated to future soap. I would absolutely love to make infusions, and to dabble in essential oils. But the latter would be a very costly venture, and I think I will stay away from that thought for now. Never hurts to dream!
The catalogs that I show in the picture (above) are from Country Corners Greenhouse and Garden Store, Gardener's Supply Company, and the Sand Hill Preservation Center. The magazine on the bottom left, turned sideways, with a "Think Spring" message and photograph, is from a company called Andy H Weaver. It is an Amish catalog. The Amish used to own our house. I still receive their mail. The catalogs intrigue me. And the gloves I have bought from Mr. Weaver's company, oh my, they are white nylon, but are the best work gloves I have ever worn! So very warm. Stick them in the washing machine in a lingerie bag, along with the rest of the wash load. They wash and dry to a perfection for years!
The photograph below (sorry for the quality) are items sold in the Amish magazine, all from the state of Ohio. Imagine a gasoline powered wringer type washer machine! I actually own a wringer washer, I am going to plant flowers in it this spring. I bought it at a farm auction a few months back.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
As hard as I try, I always end up with a few kids in the house. We have had gorgeous weather, but now the wind chill has turned dangerous. With my does giving birth with so much ease, practically no signs of labor beforehand, no sounds while kidding, I am doing double watch duty.
I have four kids in the house at this point.
They do not wear diapers all of the time. Luckily, as expensive as diapers are these days, I found a package in the linen closet from last year.
Often times the baby goats, if needed, will move into one or several of our large dog crates until the wind chill climbs back up into a safety zone.
The first two kids are in the house because they were a part of triplets born (not the same dam). With the cold and wind, and does that seemed overwhelmed, I ended up rescuing one each. The last two were born at 5:00 this morning and never dried off well enough to ward off the cold. I worked on all four to bring their body temperature back up. Two were "iffy," but all are happy and healthy right now!
I have been busy this Sunday, and still trying to sneak in a nap. We just had two more born within the hour. I helped the mommas dry the kids. I am hoping they gain their own body temperature quick enough so I do not need to remove them from the barn.
I give a lot of credit to my husband, Bob, for being right there, helping as he can.
Our kid goat hotel until Wednesday (when the barn temperatures should be safe again):