Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Well milking's done, about 12 cps this morning. Icy is lagging in the milking department but it's not her fault. Milking is not something that one just picks up, ok well maybe one can just pick it up but there is definitely a learning curve. Toss that learning curve, a newbie goat milker and really big teats together in a barn and it's not pretty. Note for would-be goat milkers, make sure you get one with small teats. Ok so anyways. The kids all lined up eating. My new cell phone doesn't take as good of pics as the last one. So most the pics are blurry till I figure out how to make things stand still.  

Ya see what I mean? Blurry. The little white one is La Blanca and the larger one is Buttercup. Buttercup is Georgia's, she's 4 weeks old. La Blanca is one of Icy's and just turned a week old Tuesday.

Elizabeth. She loves helping her momma. She also loves the fact that she has four playmates who drink from bottles too. A gathering of bobba's. But she's taken advantage of the fact I have to feed four goats at once and stole La Blanca's bottle. Sneaky huh? 

Yea you guessed it. I forgot again to take a pic of the milk stand. But hey baby goats are much more entertaining. 

Habit, time and discipline?

Every time I sit down into my chair it crosses my mind I should write another blog. My life is busily passing me by and I'm not being very entertaining. So this morning 5:23AM I took a look at my blog and of course I have to chuckle because the last blog says Thursday again? and yet here it is almost Thursday again. This year is just zooming past. I mean you pretty much say that about every year but it's almost like I can count the weeks instead of the days. For the most part the only real schedule I have going is the milking which now gets done at about 6AM and 8PM; before the kids get up in the morning and after the kids go to bed at night. The only down side to that schedule is I tend to stay up later in the evening which doesn't help my sleep any (not that I'm sleeping very well lately anyways).

So yesterday morning Icy (the goat who just had 3 kids last week) didn't want to get up. For livestock that's hardly ever a good sign and I'll tell you what it pretty well scared the heck out of me. I had visions of packing my 8yr olds pink single shot .22 down to the barn and wondering how I was going to pack all of her 150-200lbs of flesh out of there. She's a big goat. But I don't tend to panic, at least not on the outside. So I milked Georgia and came back up, to do a little investigative research on Icy's condition. It didn't take long to find an answer, by 6:30 I was waking up my aunt and asking her for help. Long story short Icy is back on her feet again. My initial thought was low calcium levels but I'm thinking her foot fell asleep. Ever have that happen? Anyways.

I have a milk stand at last. I keep meaning to take a picture of it. I will do that this morning. My brother made it for me. Nice guy. Hey if you're single, he is too. Anyways.

Oh heck, look the sky is getting light. It's 5:33 right now. Wow it's really getting light. Ugh I gotta go milk.

I will be back to finish this. With a couple of pictures.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday again already?

It's amazing how fast a week goes by when your main objective is to milk two goats and to feed four goat babies and to take care of two kids and to keep laundry clean and dishes clean and the house picked up and... well you get the point. But I forgot to mention feeding the other animals and collecting eggs... oh wait.. shoot that's what I forgot to do today. I knew I forgot something! Ah well.

And the garden.

This morning started at 4:45AM. I think I mentioned once something about getting up at 4:45 but that was a fluke and it didn't happen again because I didn't have any sane reason to be up that early when I couldn't even do anything for another two hours. Well. Now-a-days 4:45 leaves me enough time to hit the snooze button twice, get up, go pee, put on jeans and boots, pour a cup of coffee, put an entry into my diary (yes I keep a diary, I call it "Farm Fresh Diary" [catchy huh?]), collect my buckets and be out of the house at 5:30AM, then I fight traffic all the way to the barn (traffic happens to be my "springing aussie" [she's Australian shepherd and springer spaniel mix given to my oldest daughter for Christmas, by the guy I was dating at the time, who's really smart but really needs more attention. Which I just don't have!]).

So yea, from then on it's all up hill till now which is the time I should be headed to bed, actually past my bedtime but I decided to have a night cap and let the kids stay up a little later. My oldest has been soooo helpful that I don't know how else to reward her, besides letting her steal a marshmellow from the cupboard and letting her stay up 30 minutes later to watch Sponge Bob. I can't afford anything else.

Oh I took pics... let me find them.

 Don't pay attention to the look on her face it's just my cell phone camera taking the picture about two seconds after I hit the button. So the image is about 2 seconds later than what I was hoping to take. Anyways. My awesome 8yr old helped me take all the kids (goat kids) and her sister out to play in the back yard which is currently being turned into a giant garden. She's got La Blanca in her lap, she's one of Icy's triplets and I think the other one with the nose cut off is Latte (she's latte because latte's have lots of milk in them and dairy goats do too).
This is Daisey. She's the smallest of the triplets. She has the same coloring as Latte and their momma Icy. All alpines if you're wondering. La Blanca in the previous pic is missing the saddle on her back.
There's a shot of Latte. This is their first time out on the grass and I think after the initial weirdness wore off they really liked it. Buttercup (the first kid, now two weeks) is really.. um.. frolicsome. Is that a word?
See I caught her in mid frolic. I know it just looks like some evil half goat blurry blob but that's her twisting and bucking in mid air. Nuts huh? She likes to jump off of my back if I'm sitting on the ground long enough for her to do it. Just takes a flying leap. Ok so that pic is a little weird but if you'd seen it you'd have understood.
Ok so I just got tired of goat pictures. I found this fuzzy thing when I was watering the goats. I'm sure it's going to turn into a moth because of how pretty it is. All the ugly ones turn into butterflies. So far anyways that's what I've gathered from the ones I've seen and googled. Hey it makes sense.
See like that one. It turns into a butterfly. Though at the moment I can't remember what kind. My brain is too tired to think but I know that's no moth there.
And the yogurt. It was so beautiful I had to take a picture. I love yogurt. They're sitting on the egg incubator that I incubated them in. That's one handy piece of equipment.

Ok I think I've covered just about everything interesting.

Good night!

Oh yea. I have a date on Saturday...  same guy as last Saturday. Wish me luck! I can't imagine anyone normal wanting anything to do with a mom who milks goats, runs a farm and makes yogurt in an egg incubator but who knows. There are other weird people out there besides me. Lucky dog me!

Ok now I'm going to bed!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Radical might be too radical of a word..

Thanks to one of the bloggers I follow I got the interesting pleasure of reading an article from the Oregonian, it describes a radical homemaker . Now I don't really see what's so radical about it, it's history brought back. Someone once pointed that out to me when I explained how I lived and my "business" of selling garden shares and farm goodies, "it's not a new idea or concept it's just outdated" outdated like bell bottom pants and spandex for daily wear. But it's an outdated that has made it's come back in my house. Farming for a living. Not just a single crop or animal but the whole shebang. That's what I'm working towards. The whole shebang (wrapped up in 2.18 acres).

Thinking of shebangs, Icy (the dairy doe that just gave me 3 kids) kept me milking this morning till my alarm went off telling me it was time to get the kids up and the baby goats fed. 30 minutes milking and she'd given me over half a gallon of colostrum. During the last 15 minutes of milking I was telling Icy (yes I talk to my goats) that I should have brought down a deck of cards or a board game to help pass the time. Boy it sure gets boring when all you have to do for 30+ minutes is talk to a goat. I need a big screen down there so I can watch the morning news while I'm milking. Hey people knit while watching TV, I should be able to milk and watch at the same time. I think I'll take the radio down with me, at least that way I can milk to the beat of whatever song is playing.

Having four baby goats in the laundry room has made for some interesting. Today I opened up the dryer to put clothes in and Buttercup (my now two week old kid from Georgia [the first dairy doe]), jumped in. I had to laugh but she dragged hay in with her which meant I had to wipe it clean. Some of the things that never even cross your mind until you see it, goat in the dryer is one of those things. I had to go buy a bottle of soda today to make another bottle for the goats. I have a total of three soda bottles in my house now. But buying a bottle of soda was cheaper than buying a bottle for goats. Sad huh?

Did I mention I got an incubator in the mail Monday? I did. It's cool! Michelle and I put 3 eggs in it. The only eggs we could find that hadn't already been put in the fridge. I marked them just in case we add more and I have a running calender so I won't forget when to stop turning them. I figure we can practice hatching eggs so when the geese and turkeys get older we can keep a couple and won't have the added expense of buying more next year. Geese and turkeys are not cheap. I got heritage turkeys, though I just ordered the surplus so I won't know which kind I'm getting until they get here. The geese are African Geese. They look like they'd make a good Christmas dinner. They won't be in the mail till May 12th.

Oh yea. Yogurt. Did I tell you I made some awesome yogurt? I did. It's the most popular thing in my fridge. And it's been the most popular thing on our menu (well up till I made buttermilk pancakes with REAL buttermilk [YUM!]) so I'm making more. I know this is probably something I shouldn't admit to but I'm using the egg incubator to incubate my yogurt. The eggs are way over on one side and the yogurt is way over on the other side (in five pint jars). No cross contamination just lots of incubating. I'll figure something else out I'm sure but for now the egg incubator is about the most reliable thing I have and no guessing what the temperature is.

Well I better get dinner on the stove. I'm not going to be able to stop Icy mid squirt tonight so I have to give myself plenty of time to get her empty. Tonight will tell me what time I have to start going down to the barn in the mornings. I think my mornings are about to get even earlier. I've been practicing taking a nap with the 2yr old so it'll come in handy. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One plus one sometimes equals 6...

So as you recall I got a couple of dairy goats a couple of months ago. One had a single kid about two weeks ago well this morning my second doe gave it to me. Three of them! Triplets. Wow. It's been a heckuva busy morning.

Not only did I get to wrangle three new kids but I got to capture two escaped alpacas. All before the sun came up. Though the kids came between milking and taking my oldest to school. I went down to the barn to milk this morning with a strong suspicion that Icy (my second and seasoned dairy pro) was going to have her kids today. So after I took care of morning chores and the milk I went back down to the barn real quick before getting my kids up. She'd had one but I couldn't stick around long because I had to come back up to the house and get the kids up and dressed. I took the kids down with me as soon as they were dressed to check on Icy again and she'd had another kid. While we were down there she started presenting a 3rd but by then it was getting late and I had to get the kids breakfast and my oldest off to school.

Just when it'd be nice to have a wife. Oh wait I am the wife, I need a DH, or an SO or a BF but no an SOB. Anywho.

Three kids later. I have to go back down and make sure Icy doesn't surprise me with another. She really was huge. Her udder was to. I'm going to have to milk her again in a bit to get more colostrum for the kids. Three kids are going to drink a lot of milk. I hope Icy is up for the challenge. I haven't taken a look to see if I have stew's or butter's yet though. I'm afraid to look. I'll probably end up with all stews.

Well I better get back at it. I'm exhausted. My mornings just got earlier. I'll have to give myself an extra 30 minutes at least to get both girls milked in the morning. Fun!

Oh by the way the milk is great. No more moo milk for this house. The yogurt I made the other day is great too. I'm going to make more!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday the day of rest...

Sunday feels like the end of the week. To me it resembles a day off. Unless it requires me for it's life and health I don't do it which means I feed/water all the animals and kids, go to church and now the added chore of milking the goat (only one has given birth).

I don't do dishes (well I have to wash the milk pails, jars and strainer), I don't do laundry (except for the rags used in the barn with the goats), I don't pick up toys (except those dragged down to the barn by my 2yr old during evening milking) and I sleep in (I hit the snooze button 3 times instead of 2).

Sunday is a day I look forward to. Sunday is a day I wish most to have someone around. Someone to share a wonderful super or day lounging by a creek fishing or eating lunch out after church. Someone to whistle when I strip out of my thigh highs, garter belt and heels to put on my jeans and socks and boots... *sigh*

He hasn't asked me out again yet. Yet. I haven't even check eHarmony in over a week. I swear I'm completely hopeless. I need a little icon with rolling eyes, that's me right now, rolling my eyes at my own pathetic self. Blah.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Buttercup (temporarily a house kid) reminded me that goats like to climb, jump, bounce around and be higher up than the ground. I knew all these things before but until a goat jumps into your chair with you at 3days old you just really don't take it to heart. So now Buttercups favorite place to be in next to me in my chair or on the sofa with the kids or trying her darnedest to jump onto the foot stool which is taller than the chair. She's hardly content on the floor especially if someone is higher than she is.
Have you ever seen a 2yr old child and a 3day old kid argue over who gets to sit by momma? This morning I did. My chair is a big comfy chair but it really doesn't have enough room for my big butt, Buttercup and Elizabeth. And boy if you don't know stubborn try to explain it that to two kids (er um a kid and a child, yea). Isn't Elizabeth cut in her Sunday dress? Especially with the determined look to get to sit next to her momma. Yea she's ready to take the kid on.
Buttercup seems to be about as determined as Elizabeth though and didn't humor her attempt to join us in the chair.
Yes. I was laughing. But like two little kids they found some common ground. See to the right of the picture on the arm of the chair is the TV remote control. Who do you think will see it first?
Too bad Buttercup doesn't have hands, she would have really made Elizabeth mad by snagging the remote, instead she just knocked it off the chair.
And Elizabeth was happy once again. Who wouldn't be with momma's remote? Buttercup didn't cry too long about it though. She still had my chair and decided to help me on the computer.
Time to finish supper and eat. Yum!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Housewife turned milk maid... sounds kinky doesn't it?

Have I ever told you how much I love my bed? Or maybe it's how much I love to sleep. This morning my alarm went off at 5:15. I'm pretty sure I only hit the snooze button twice but it's already 5:48 and I've only poured myself a cup of coffee and fed Buttercup. She almost has the bottle thing down, I think by tonight she'll be a pro which is good because tonight we have a babysitter coming. (I have a date) The downside for me is reinforcing that Buttercup gets no more than 6oz. It's so tempting just to let her eat as much as she wants but yea, can't hardly do that. Humans need the stomach of a goat, that'd teach us.

My hands are sore this morning but I don't think it's all just the milking. I have arthritis in my knees (I know, too young, right?), well that's what the doc who did my knee surgery called it when I was 17. Anyhow, I've been getting the funky feeling I might have it a little in my hands. But than I read somewhere that building up muscle in arthritic joints is good for them. So walking downhill to the barn half a million times everyday just to walk back uphill to the house a million times a day and milking twice a day (eight times if you count each teat when the other goat has her kids) should be good for both my knees and my hands. I guess we'll find out.

I probably shouldn't jinx myself but I have a date. Finally. Someone from eHarmony. Bout time. Like I said I shouldn't jinx myself. Considering I had to ask (oh so sheepishly) if we could start our date early in the afternoon so I could be back in time to milk my goat (I'm sure he's heard that request before. Right!). It sounds like the worse brush off ever. Doesn't it? Um excuse me, I really like you but I have to milk my goat. As if dating couldn't get any easier. Right? 6pm rolls around and I turn into a pumpkin or um a milk maid. Ha! Oh the humor (or horror). Cracks me up really. (a long romp in the hay and 5am rolls around, whoops! gotta milk my goat! be right back. hold that thought!) Ok I better quite before I go back to bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep till noon. I should get one of those little milk maid costumes. Ooo that could be fun! hehe Just kidding!

Ok I better drink my coffee and get my bucket together and plug in the barn. Daylight is almost here!

Friday, April 9, 2010

tired hands...

She's way too cute. Buttercup is finally learning that bottle means food. Not an easy task to teach a baby goat that rubber teats are as good as the real ones. Same stuff comes out of it and since I ended up milking momma goat three times today it was the same temperature too. This morning Georgia (the new momma goat) was blocked up on the right side so I went down again this afternoon, worried it might turn into mastitis, and tried again. No luck but I got another 6oz out of the left side again which the Buttercup needed anyways. This evening I went down and finally got the right side working (scrubbed her down real good with a warm rag first) and I both sides (about 12oz). Buttercup only got 4oz though because the last thing I want is a sick kid. She'll get another feeding before I go down to the barn in the morning. That'll help me pass some time before it gets light enough to walk down there.

My hands are sore (i wonder why). At least I was smart enough to use both to even out the soreness. At least I think that was smart but since they're both sore I hope I don't have to grip anything real soon. The caps on my beer bottle is a pry off which means no gripping to twist. Yay! I was reading on the homesteadingtoday forum that hand cramps are unavoidable in the first week or so. I guess it's a good thing only one goat kidded and not both. Boy I might be in trouble. Let's just hope Icy (the other goat) doesn't have her kids till my hands are over the newbie stage of milking.

Ok. I gotta put the children to bed, tuck Buttercup into a box so she doesn't get into trouble while we're all sleeping, grab a beer then head to bed with a netflix movie. Oh no I'm going to take my netflix box with me. :D I got one of those boxes that you can watch netflix on your tv. It's the neatest invention since.. um.. I don't know.

Anyways. Off to bed. Cross your fingers Icy won't have her babies till next week.

The trick to getting up early...

Have a good reason! Yup this morning I jumped outta bed eager to get the day started (actually I jumped out of bed after I hit the snooze button once, only once). Of course it's dark until about 6:05 which means I spent a long time contemplating how I could get my day started earlier. Then the light bulb came on. *grin* My barn isn't hooked up to electricity but the previous owner had wired it up for a generator and last summer I had the plug in for the generator swapped for an extension cord which runs up the side of the pasture. It takes a second extension cord to reach the garage so I plugged 'er in. Of course by the time I had all that done it was light out, but it made it nice and bright in the barn for my first lesson in milking.

I left the kid with it's momma last night so I wasn't expecting too much this morning but I got a whole 6oz. I know not much to be excited about but it was 6 more ounces than I was expecting to get. I would have got more but I only took a little jelly jar with me expecting not to get anything. Smart huh? She filled it up pretty quick. By the time I got back up to the house for another jar and back down again she'd had enough of that activity so I brought the kid up with me so the momma will be ready for later. The children and the new kid made friends this morning. Now she's napping in the kitchen.

So yea, the trick to getting an early start: find something appealing enough to get up for :D Who'd thunk it?

Now to build a milk stand. Yea I know, shoulda done it 3 weeks ago. I sat in the straw this morning to milk. I didn't even have to tie the momma up though she just stood still patiently till I got up. Nice of her huh? But she's way too low to the ground. I don't think I'll get a whole pail and my hand under her. This morning I held a small jelly jar in one hand and milked with the other. Which is why it was so nice of her to stand still for me. Not much room for error. Oh and since she's never been milked before I'd say that says a lot for her. I did good with my dairy goat shopping :D Yea I'm bragging cause it turned out so well. Of course it could just be beginners luck. I'll take it though, whatever it is.

Now to keep myself from going down there to milk too soon. Patience is not my forte.

The sun is out again today so I think I'll spade some more of my garden and see if I can get a couple more squares planted. Sunshine and dirt make me hungry. It's nuts my mind is thinking salad and tomatoes and squash and pickles and I'm drooling just thinking about all of it and it's just dirt and sunshine out there. Nuts! But than I get hungry just thinking about buying weaner pigs to finish and put in the freezer. Bad huh? My mind is geared on good food I guess.

Well I better get at it. I think the laundry is ready for the dryer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Goats and sunshine!

As you can see we now have goats. Or at least a baby goat. She is the first of hopefully not more than 3. By 3 I mean out of both my pregnant goats. I had nightmares of my two goats turning into ten. But I'm pretty sure she's the only one from her momma. Her momma is Georgia (bought with that name) while we were waiting to see if this little cutie was a boy or a girl we discussed what would happen in either scenario. If it's a girl she'd be the future of our little dairy farm which would make her butter and if it was a boy she'd be the future of our freezer meat and would be stew. Lucky Butter she's a girl. Officially she'll be Georgia's Buttercup but we'll just call her Butter for short. Time to go take another look and see how momma and baby is doing.

no goats, no sun...

April is really not... being... nice? Springy? Something. Yesterday of course the sun was out. I was gone all day yesterday. From the time I dropped my oldest off at school till the time I picked her up 2hrs after class was out from her choir practice. The only thing I really have to show for yesterday is my wallet is about $600 lighter because my truck needed brakes and the 4wd switch thingymajig fixed. Oh and new underwear from Victoria Secrets. *giggles* Does anyone else just love their tables of panties? 2 or 3 times a year I go in search of... it's a guilty pleasure. They're all so perky and pretty and some sexy and daring. I can be someone different 5 times over for only $25. Not bad. They say what you wear under your clothes does more for you than the clothes themselves. Try it. Anyways.

So yea I spent half the day at the mall waiting for my aunt to get a perm and spent the other half of the day waiting for my car to get done. I got home in time to start dinner and go pick up my daughter, and discover that the ups guy had left a package on my garbage can. I guess the dog was too intimidating for him to leave it on the porch. So he left it on my garbage can. I'm glad I noticed it or it might have ended up in the back of the garbage truck. :D

So yea, yesterday was sunny. Today it's already been sprinkling all morning. I miss that good weather we were having. April needs to shape up and start acting a little helpful. I gotta get my salad planted.

And no baby goats. I'm starting to think that one might not even be pregnant, she sure hasn't changed in size at all. The other one is increasingly getting bigger. The dairy stuff is spose to be here on the 13th so I guess it's ok if they wait another week.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Has it been a whole week already?

It's amazing how time just flies by. Right now I'm waiting for my lasagna to get done so I can chop up some lettuce and make a yummy salad with the feta cheese I bought today. I caved completely. I'm a HUGE fan of all things cheese (I can't wait till my goat's start milking... mmmmmm cheese). The cheese craving is what prompted the lasagna, that and I just didn't have any inspiration for anything else. But who doesn't just love lasagna? Especially home made.

So as you can guess no baby goats yet. But my milk pails are in the mail and should be here by Friday. What luck huh? I know I should have got them like 3 weeks ago but I couldn't find any stainless steel pails that didn't make me want to milk into quart jars instead. Stainless steel is... not cheap. I'm not cheap either but WOW. So yea, it took awhile to find some. But I did it and now they're coming. Maybe they'll get here before the baby goats. Wouldn't that be handy?

Oh and I have a rootbeer kit coming. I've been brewing beer for the last 3 or 4 years and have been tempted to try rootbeer. I personally love the stuff but like all things sugar it tends to stick to my tummy. Not my thighs, not my hips but my tummy. I actually wouldn't mind more hips but I'm not real happy with my tummy. So I've been putting off the rootbeer thing, but figured it would be a good time to try it since I've got more customers this year. I can see what the general audience thinks. Should be fun!

It's still too wet to do anything around here. Maybe, just maybe if it doesn't rain tomorrow than I can put some salad makings in my garden. I love fresh salad. Love it. Almost as much as cheese. Actually as much as cheese because cheese goes so good on it.

There's my timer. Gotta run!