Getting A Head Start On Kidding Preparations! Yippi!

Boy it’s COLD outside!

Is winter almost over yet?

Okay, time to stop complaining.

CG decided we should work outside today on one of the goat houses we’ve been refurbishing.  Some days I feel like we have so many things that need doing, it’s easier just to go shopping.  He doesn’t really share my sentiment on that….luckily.

This particular structure was originally made out of 100% recycled items such as rotted railroad ties, scraps of tin,crumbling 2×4’s, dirt, two feet of cow poop, cedar limbs, and chicken feathers.

We left certain things in place, such as the cedar limbs, the scraps of tin on the roof, and the chicken feathers.  Oh, and two 4×4 corner posts that were miraculously only slightly rotted.

We spent the majority of the day today working on it, but I’m thinking it might have went just a wee bit quicker if CG hadn’t cut the cord to the power saw in half while cutting a board,  but then again, that’s only speculation on my part.

The good news is, that after a brief stay in the “Power Tools Hospital” here in front of the living room sofa, it’s nearly as good as new and works just like it should.

It’ll be nice having this new shed for kidding does in. We’re trying a new kid rearing method combining bottle feeding with dam raising…I’ll be doing the feeding, moma goat will be doing the initial kid rearing.  We’ve actually done this twice before and it worked really well, but it happened by accident, through mishap, but this time it will be planned.

I’m so excited that we are almost done with this shed.  It’s completely usable and cozy as it is, it just needs a door and a little roof work.

Preparation….they say it saves a person from insanity.



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Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish all my faithful readers (all 4 of you LOL) a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!  While it’s often easier to focus on what we want, or even need, it’s important for our sanity to take moments here and there to be thankful for all we already have.  And most of us have A LOT!

Some things I’m thankful for:

God, for giving me this wonderful life and everything I have in it.

My family, my children and my parents for always being there for me and being a great family.

CG…the most wonderful man in the universe, well, besides my Dad of course.

Malachai,  our goat guardian dog whom is still alive this morning after I dreamed he got stabbed in the back by a man at a gas station last night.  CG was there but took off in a space ship and my Mom came and picked me up in a van with dually wheels and she hit a curb and flattened one of the tires, but we kept going, luckily because the traffic in Seattle was murderous!  I finally got a vet to come see Malachai and I put him in a purple plastic bowl and the vet x-rayed his spine and I think he was okay.  But he didn’t have any hair anymore.

Onyx, the labrador who has had  more lives than any cat I know.

All the wonderful horses and goats I’ve been blessed to share my life with.  I love them all and each one has brought something special to my life.

The cute little house we live in…a diamond in the rough to be sure, but it’s ours, and when we’re done polishing it, it will be sparkly and beautiful.  (Or at least liveable).  Nope, CG’s working on it, it will be sparkly and beautiful.

CG who has spent hours and hours cutting wood with a broken chainsaw so I would not have to be cold.

All my wonderful trimming clients who’ve given me enough business so that I did not have to go back to work in a factory after I was fired from my potato chip making job.  THANK YOU!

DGI ( for teaching me not only how to successfully raise goats but also how to make soap…I found a craft I love doing which puts all that great goats milk to good use,  makes the house smell good, and has made me hay money and new friends too!

And of course there is more, but farm duty calls.

ps.  CG texted me a picture of himself flying around town in that spaceship…it was one of those pictures like you get at an amusement park coming down the waterslide ramp….anyway, I was going to post it here but it’s disappeared from my phone! ……   Okay,  maybe I won’t eat  chocolate covered goat cheese before bed anymore….

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Lisa In The Full Moonlight

Okay, so I couldn’t get a picture of the moon, but believe me, it was FULL!"Lisa in the moonlight"

Alicia, (aka My Lisa) is in the background, standing under the full moon.  She’s quite lovely, isn’t she?  Atticus is in the foreground, and has been doing his duty for Lisa, under the full moon, for 24 whole hours.  I had planned to leave her in with Atticus until she took, as they are quite fond of one another, but she’s our herd queen and she said she was ready to come out, and queens always get what they want.

Served on a silver platter.

Or in this case,  in a plastic feed tub.

We’re hoping that this time she’ll take.  It’s the 9th heat she’s had this season and the 6th time she’s been bred, never under a full moon until now….we’ll see  what effect a night sky and a beautiful full moon have on her fertility.  Of course, we want girls too….three of them please.

Jet Kat Jada, (aka Jada) also got bred today to a fancy buck down the road named Bold Type.  We hope to be swimming in does and milk this spring.

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Tis The Season

Christmas in the post-War United States
Image via Wikipedia

Bet you thought this was going to be a post about Christmas, didn’t you?

Well, that’s a good subject too, but the season I was referring too is BIG BELLY SEASON!

Not mine, although it might well qualify.  The bellies I’m thinking about are GOAT bellies.  (And a grand baby belly too!)

Big bellies are popping out and knocking me down…the girls forget how wide they are and when they start knocking me down with their bellies….I know they are expecting.  Don’t need a  pregnancy test to tell me that!

Both Michael and Jetaime are HUGE!  Michael had four babies last year.  She did great and they were all very good sized.  Jetaime is even bigger than Michael and is due a whole month later.

Wish I had an xray machine to see what she’s got in there.  Kinda scary.

Alicia has moved in with our buck until she’s bred.  So far she’s coming into heat about every 6 or 7 days and hasn’t taken yet, even with a shot the vet gave us, (administered incorrectly by me, but hey, I tried.)

Well, time to watch football and crochet.  Can’t believe I just said that…watch football……


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The Best Way To Take Down A Dead Tree Limb

First of all, decide on the limb you want to take down and discuss the reasons and why’s and how best to go about it.

Take the chainsaw apart.

Go to the store and buy chainsaw parts.

Leave the farm and spend the whole day working on a kitchen floor.

Come home tired and ready for bed.

Notice all the leaves and limbs in the road on your way home.

When you pull up in the driveway, you’ll notice that the majority of work has already been done for you!

Just add a few cinder blocks in case that tiny stick holding up the whole thing breaks, and heave it off!

Job done.

Rain and More Rain

Well, it was bound to happen.

It’s raining.

I’m tired of it already.

We didn’t even have any grass seeds down.

The chickens insist on roosting where they always roost, even though they get rained on. Even though they have several small houses where they eat and sleep during the day.  They refuse to use them at night.

But at dawns first light the whole pack is standing on the front porch, preening their wet feathers and complaining about what a hard night they had.

A few weeks ago I put them all inside an electric mesh fence made especially for chickens. It had two sheds inside with plenty of stuff to roost on.

The next morning all the chickens were back on my front porch.

I’ve had “the talk” with them several times but they refused to listen.

You know “the talk”, the one where I threaten to put them in a stew pot if they don’t do such and such?

No effect at all.

But, here’s something cool.  My daughter Shannon has decided she’d like to join me in the soap making and marketing business! We’ll be able to double the effort and be in twice as many places with lots more soap and we’re working on several new projects.  She has a lot more ideas than I have and still has most of her brain cells in working order….lots of mine are all worn out, and missing important data.

We haven’t gotten very far with the new online ordering catolog yet, but the good news is that we have lots of soap!

Here’s a picture of the latest. Sandalwood/Patchouli"Patchouli and sandalwood goats milk soap"

Another Goat Escape! Plus, New Labels!

This morning CG awoke to the dogs barking, which is nothing new.  We didn’t really pay any attention to them.  However, when I looked out the front door, I noticed the buck pen seemed strangely empty.  Two bucks and a huge white dog in a small yard are hard to miss.

I looked a little closer and still didn’t see anything and then threw on my slippers and went outside.  Nobody home.

I did, however see Malachai lying in the yard chewing on a big furry deer leg.

We don’t hunt.

And he was IN the pen when we went to bed.

The boys were not hard to find.  They were right where I expected.  In the  doe pen.

Alicia, as normal, was in heat, and I watched Atticus do his duty at least one time.

Darn, I thought she got pregnant last week!

Well, maybe she’ll take this time.  I only had to worry about the young buck breeding her for about a second. Nope, she wasn’t going to let that little wipper-snapper anywhere near her, and neither was big daddy Atticus! Whewww!

So, we got everybody back where they belonged pretty uneventfully.  I didn’t even have to handle the bucks as about the time we saw where they were, the girl goats  saw us and ran to us through the knocked-down fence for protection from those big smelly bucks and everyone went into the buck pen when I opened the gate and then I just led the girls back out.  I shook some grain and they came running down to their shed.  CG fixed the fence back up and went off to work.

I got to stay home and work today, mostly doing labels for all these soaps I’ve made recently.  I got most of them done.  Tomorrow I’m taking all of them, plus all the curing soaps to the market.  I’ll label the ones that are done curing on Friday and start soaping again next week.

Here’s a picture of one of the dead sea salt labels.  These soaps are softer and more fragile than a regular soap and come with a little care label on the back, but they sure are nice to use.  They are very smooth too, unlike all the rest of the dead sea bars I make which are very hard and contain unmelted dead sea salts.  The harder bars last longer, so I chose that method of crafting them. "dead sea salt soaps""dead sea salt soap with goats milk"Oh, I think I forgot to mention that it was Malachai that let the bucks out!  He’s figured out how to jump on the gate just right and rattle the hook until it comes loose.  I normally let him out to be with us during the day…I guess he got impatient this morning.

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Mr. Frosty Has Been Visiting!

With all the sunshine and warm temperatures we’ve been having, I keep forgetting it’s actually fall….and already November!

The last few mornings it’s been hard to forget what time of year it is though as we’ve woken up to a world of white, with our cars covered, the grass covered and an ice layer on the water troughs.  Not to mention the cold morning temps. in the house!  Brrr!

We’ve figured out how to at least keep the coals alive all night so that in the morning, when we add wood, they light right back up.  But the air is still pretty cold in the back of the house all the time, even with ceiling fans and other fans pushing the hot air back.  I think it’s all just going around in circles in the living room.

The horses and goats are all puffy and fluffy with their warm winter coats in full bloom.  They really enjoy this colder weather with fewer flies and lower humidity.

Onyx got a new door on his house.  CG bought a piece of rubber matting to put up, just under the overhang, but he decided to start out with a terry cloth towel, just to make sure Onyx would go in and out.  Of course, he does.  He goes in, kicks out all of his hay, and then sleeps all day….right after he raids the neighbors yard for sardine cans, brains in a can, pickled beets, leg bones as big as he is, (he’s a labrador) jaw bones, grease-filled coffee cans, paper bags with leftover chicken bones and tobacco spittle…and the list goes on.

Onyx has always been a hit with the neighbors wherever we’ve lived.  They don’t have to wonder what to do with party leftovers, old refridgerator scraps, smelly garbage, etc.  They just set it outside and within minutes, their whole pile of trash will be safely in our yard!  And when he’s done eating it, he throws the whole mess back up.  I won’t tell you what he does after that.  But believe me, it’s gross.

Toodles for Monday!

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Soap, signs, and curing pics

Apple Blackberry. YUM!

"swirled goats milk soap in the mold"

Frosty Pines…this will be part of my Christmas/Winter set up at the market.

"frosty pines swirled goats milk soap"

Dead Sea Salt soaps in the dehydrator.  These two are lavender and aloe vera.  I’ve also got spearmint and a citrus blend curing."dead sea salt soaps in lavender and aloe vera"

These are our NEW 1oz travel-sized bars.  "1 ounce travel sized goats milk soap bars"

Our Market Signs"shantara acres farm market sign""shantara acres farm price sign"

See us at the Lynchburg Community Market this Friday from 9-2 and Saturday from 8ish until 2pm.

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