Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Precocious



A lot has happened over the weekend and past few days so I am going to take it one post at a time. The most amazing thing is.......I have goat milk.
Wait..What?

How?

When?

Hugh?

Well, let me tell you, I was just as shocked as you are.

Yesterday, while feeding the animals I was sitting there watching them, enjoying the quiet morning. I noticed May was rubbing her udder on a stump. Wait..what? Udder? When did her udder fill up? That's what I was thinking anyway. I asked my daughter to come look at her because I have been known over the past year to imagine certain changes in the animals and have been way off. So, I needed her to verify that, indeed, her udder had filled and she developed a bag. Lexy said, "Whoah, when did she get so big?"
This is May's bag with milk.
Here is Ellie's just to give you a comparison.

I came in and started researching why a goat would fill her bag for no reason. May did not just kid. May is not pregnant. (Even if she was, the milk does not come in until the last 4-5 weeks of pregnancy and it is not possible for her to be that far along) I e-mailed my dairy goat friends who were stumped. I e-mailed my Vet friend who suggested maybe she was having a pseudopregnancy. Then, another person suggested that she was precocious. After reading this article http://fiascofarm.com/goats/udder.htm#precocious I thought it may be a real possibility.

I ruled out mastitis, she is not having any signs of illness and is acting normally. Well, she has been a lot sweeter lately. Maybe the extra oxytocin?

I showed May's bag to my husband last night and he thought it looked full but was not sure what was going on. He tried to get some milk out but May was not having it.

Fast forward to this morning. I was feeding the animals again and I noticed that May was sucking on her own teats. Oooookay. I thought that was really strange. Then I saw creamy white milk coming from May's mouth and teats. Oh my goodness.
I researched her milk issue again and found several other people who have had precious goats. Some of them let the goat dry up and some of them milk them. The one's that have decided to milk them have yielded a great supply of milk. I have not found any articles or information suggesting that milking her would be harmful or put her at risk sooooo.......

I have been waiting 7 months for milk. Two of my goats were supposed to be bred when I bought them and it turned out they were not. I have been dreaming about goat milk for cheese, soap, and to meet our dairy needs. So, yes, I milked her this morning.

My daughter was a giant help. She held and patted May while I tried my hand at milking. I have never milked anything in my life. I had to watch several videos and do a good bit of reading before I went out there. It took me a few minutes to figure it out but I did it! She gave me just over a cup of milk. I know that sounds like a tiny bit but for her first time it is pretty good! Some people only get a few tablespoons the first time so I feel lucky. She should start giving more each day. My plan is to keep milking her until she is freshened up.

I have not tried the milk yet. It is chilling in the fridge. It was thick and creamy and bright white. Not watery at all.

I really do think this is a blessing. I am so very thankful.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why I love my mornings.

video

Do you hear that?

It is peace. Quiet. Simple. Entertaining.

This makes everything worth while.

I. Love. My. Life.

I apologize for the quality. My camera is slowly dying. If anyone has an extra Nikon D-80 lying around, I would give it a nice home. Lots of love, cuddles and constant attention. Promise.

Oh, and May, the goat at the end has no manners what-so-ever. I'm thinking goat charm school. She is a bully, is pushy and steals the chickens bedding. But, I love her anyway.
Back to your normally scheduled programming.





I need to stay away from anything with water in it. Apparently, I am a curse to pipes and am wonderful at breaking them. I'm sure you'll remember my recent water fiasco in the homeschool room. Click here for story

Well, yesterday I broke the main water pipe that runs to our house. Months and months back when we our tree guys were cutting down trees in the orchard, they dropped a tree on our water line, creating a huge geyser shooting up to the sun. Lee had to dig the pipes up and spend the rest of the day fixing it.



Fast forward to yesterday. I was watering the fruit trees in the orchard. To do this, I have to drag a hose from one place on the property to another. We are working on irrigation on the property, so this is what we have to do until that is done. Anyway, I watered everything, unhooked the hoses, put the hose on the four wheeler and started to drive off.

A geyser, smaller than the last one, burst up into the sky like a beautiful fountain. Apparently, the looped end of the hose wrapped around the spigot and cracked the main pipe.

I said a whole lot of words I shouldn't and later paid a few dollars to the swear jar. Again, I found myself speeding to the end of the road to turn off the main water. This time, I actually turned it off.

Then, I went to call my husband to tell him what I did. Only, the phone was dead. Great. So, I had to go stand in the driveway to try to get a cell phone signal. To get a signal, I have to walk around in circles with the phone pointed to the sky, at an angle, and pray. Then, when I finally get one it is at an angle that would qualify me to be a contortionist. Neck outstretched, head tilted, right arm twisted and pointed up, waist bent and leaning to the left with my right leg pointing due north. I have to hold that position and don't dare move lest I lose the 1/2 bar that actually shows up on the little screen.

When I finally get to talk to him, he is sweet and reassuring and tells me "Don't worry about it, no big deal." What a good man. I love my husband. He is more patient with me than I deserve.

We did go without water all day. I stunk worse than all 4 pigs combined. Lee got home as quick as he could to fix my mistake but he had a busy day and could not get away for a while. We managed with bottled water and ice cubes. Let me tell you something, you don't know true happiness until you have taken a bath with a bottle of Dasani and a washcloth. Pure heaven.








Thursday, June 25, 2009

A prayer.

Lord,

Please save me from my stupid self.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There is too much testosterone in the barn...

17 Days until..................................................
B-Day. And that is not Birthday folks......

The awwwwwwww moment of the day.

video




Your lump of sugar for the day. Can they be any sweeter? Oh. My. Heck.

I love these little guys.

Do you think they know the fate that awaits them? 10 more weeks until they are fixed. No more babies 'round here!!




I'm exhausted.

It's the good kind of tired though. The kind of exhausted you get after visiting with wonderful friends and doing all kinds of fun things like talking for hours on the front porch.



Going to a peaceful park on a picnic and having the ducks stalk you.











Visiting the Zoo.












































All around goofiness.

(Sorry Kenz, had to do it)


Reliving History.

The Rosa Parks Museum was so neat. Very up to date technology. There was a time machine with a robot driver. Lots of screens that made learning about Rosa Parks and the events that led up to it exciting and memorable.
















My favorite thing was sitting on the porch talking. Catching up and visiting. Looking at flowers and plants. My visitor was my good friend who was also my neighbor in Alaska. We use to sit around on our front porches talking. We would walk around our flower gardens and share what we had growing. She taught me a lot about flowers, and life, and filling my bucket. She is the kind of person that lifts you up and brightens the day. That is exactly what she did while she was here. She and her children were a blast to hang around. I can't wait until next time.



Saturday, June 20, 2009

A tease.....

I apologize.  I have been so, so, so, so, busy. I will explain more later after I have had a chance to breathe.  This week has been a lot of fun.  A wonderful friend came to visit.  We had a great time. We wore ourselves out.  I am so thankful for the special people in our life. 

Meanwhile, here are some pictures to give you a hint as to what our family has been up to...........


I actually put a picture of me up on here.  This is a rare thing.  I am NOT photogenic and I promise not to scare you too much.



Guess what we got??And how many???
What could this be???
Awww, they opened their eyes.  So precious.Just, awesome.  

Okay, one more pic. that has me in it.  That is it for the year.  Promise.  




Soon, when my energy returns and caffeine kicks in, I'll explain it all. 


Friday, June 12, 2009

Various Updates.....


Keri is a stinker.  She was all set up in the barn nice and comfy with her babies.  She keeps moving them around.  I went to check on them and could not find them anywhere. One kitty is having a problem with her foot and I need to get her checked out.  I had a small panic attack, imagining Keri moving the babies to the woods and getting eaten  by coyotes.  Or, abandoning them and slowly starving to death.  Aren't I just a bowl of sunshine and optimism?  


Then, I saw her but not her babies.  She seemed unconcerned that she was not with them.  I stuck around for a long time, trying to see if she would lead me to them but she just sat down and sneered at me.  

Finally, this morning while I was feeding the goats and chickens, I found them.  She had moved them under a pallet of hay.  Well covered and protected.  Good Mommy kitty.  She is not a failure after all. 



The divas are growing big and healthy.  I  have 5 roosters.  There is too much testosterone in the barn.  This little guy is going to be the first one in the roasting pan.  He is just plain mean.  He pecks at my hands when I am feeding him or at my feet when I walk in the coop.  I *know* he is protecting his hens, but he is making my blood boil.  Mean little ingrate...


Second batch of...... Rhode Island Reds?

My baby chicks are about a week old now.  I can not shake the feeling that the feed store messed up my order.  These do not look like Rhode Island Reds to me.  They look like Golden Comets or something else.  These are so much lighter in color at the same age as my other ones.  What do you think??

First batch of RIR..

What is left of my Americana chicks are doing really well.  They are getting big and growing their true feathers.  Soon, I can put them in the barn with the rest of the flock.  I will have to put up a protective  "door" in the corner of the coop so they can escape from the bigger ones if they need to.  The pecking order will be re-established a few times, so I need to make the transition as smooth as I can.  

Don't even think about it Kujo.


I stacked 3 billion pieces of wood and found 1 slug, 2 walking sticks, 50 spiders, several beetles and some unknown flying insect that attacked my lips.  I felt violated.  I can still feel its legs on my lips.  
   Shudder.......

My flower garden is pretty sparse this year, as I have focused mainly on my vegetable garden and fruit orchard.  I did plant some of my favorites just to make us feel more at home. There have been certain flowers I plant year after year.  They give me the warm fuzzies.

 Above is Delphinium.  This reminds me of my home in Alaska.  I had a 6 ft delphinium.  It was beautiful.  I do not think this will grow as tall here, as they like the cold.  I am happy to have it anyway. This is my 6ft beauty in Alaska.  I hope the new people are enjoying my hard work and pretty flowers.  

Hibiscus is something I have never grown before.  I really like this plant.  You can train it into a tree or a topiary or just let it get bushy.  They are so pretty and put new blooms out every day.

I love these Wave Petunias.  They cascade down my front porch stairs.

This is another new one for me, Confederate Jasmine.  It is really pretty but is not as fragrant as the yellow jasmine.  I don't know the name of this one.  The commissary sells flowers and plants and sometimes does not put the name of the plant on the pot.  Kind of annoying, but they sell them at a fraction of the price of the box stores or nurseries.  So, I'm okay with that.  I'll figure it out.


Lee is just the most thoughtful and talented person.  He made me this planter out of a stump for me.  With his chain saw.  He even cut a diamond shape in the middle.  He is the next Ghiberti.

Zinnias.

The veggie garden looks pretty full from here.  All it needs is a scarecrow.
 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Make her stop.


Growing that is.  

My "baby" had her 12 th Birthday yesterday.  12.  

Do you know what that means?  I have 1 more year until she is a teenager.  ONE.

Help me.

Just kidding.  Kind of.  

I have treasured watching her grow from a 4 pound 5 oz. little monkey to a 85 pound pre-teen who steals my clothes.  

She has been a blessing from the day she was born.  She has the most caring and gentle spirit. She is smart, funny, empathetic and has the most beautiful soul.  She touches my heart and makes me so proud.  I am a better person because of her.

That does  not stop me from teasing her relentlessly.  I bought her this T-shirt and told her it was all we could get her for her birthday.  I wrapped it in newspaper and made a cheesy home-made card to go with it.  
Hee, hee, hee.  It has a picture of a little girl hitting a little boy over the head with a club.  Then it says; "Caution, Prone to mood swings."  Hilarious.  I really had her going for a minute. 

Her big present is going to see Miley Cyrus in concert in October.  I made her go on a hunt to gather post-it notes spread out all over the house.  Each note had one word on it and she had to piece all the words back together to find out what her present was.  This tortured her immensely but entertained us greatly.

Her favorite present had to be the photo above.  We made it into a large poster for her to put in her room.  This is her very good friend M.  They are soul mates.  They should be sisters.  I am still trying to convince M's mom to move on our land with us and start a commune.  We just love them.

Happy Birthday, Pumpkin.