Broken Down Truck and Milk Running Out of Our Ears!

Literally.  This time of year with fresh does and bottle feeding kids, I feel like I have milk running out of every part of me!  I spill it, get it spit on me, sneezed on me, etc.  You’d think I’d get tired of so much milk.

But I don’t.  I still feel depressed when I don’t have a jar of ice cold milk in the fridge waiting for me.

I know I should drink more water, but it’s not nearly as tasty as cold goats milk.

It’s funny some days…like today…in some ways we can feel so richly blessed.  The goats are milking like crazy…I have milk waiting to be pasteurized for babies all over the kitchen.  (We use only raw for human use…sounds weird, I know).  The chickens are laying eggs in all different colors, green, bluish green, light brown, dark brown, and everything in between.  Green grass is coming up all over the place, trees are budding, the house is getting slowly renovated, we’ve got gravel in the driveway instead of mud, baby goats are running around all over the place….but our truck broke down and so we are down to just one vehicle.

On the brighter side, I think I may have fixed it, or at least allowed it to spontaneously fix itself.

Sometimes they do that.

I’m going to have to go out and see if it will run properly.  In any case, moving that hay pile by wheelbarrow load just aint cutting it.

But the truck won’t go over about 20 miles an hour.

That’s all I need.

Maybe it’s just feeling sick from where I broke off the bottom part of the bumper the other day by getting it stuck over top of a hay pile.  Backing up over the hay seemed like a good idea at the time.  But I went from having one wheel stuck in the mud to having the whole truck stuck on top of a pile of wet hay.

I ended up pulling enough hay out from under the truck to be able to continue backing down the hill.  But my effort to save time cost me the rest of the day and a bumper guard.

I fixed it fairly decently with some zip ties, but then CG went ahead and just pulled the thing off.  Once plastic is broke, it’s just broke.  Aint no fixing it.

I think that’s what gave it a sick transmission.  I gave it a holistic treatment of parking it on level ground instead of the hill I had it parked on for 3 days.

I think it will work now.

If not, it’ll be broke down in the pasture or the front yard, and not on the side of the road.

And I’ve got a tray of wheat grass ready to juice.  Don’t know if it’ll do anything for the truck,  but maybe if I drink it it will give me the energy to push that wheelbarrow up and down the hill.

Nope, I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

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The Front Of Our House Is Getting A Facelift!

"old house gets new face"
Right before we started working on the house. Of course, this time of year we have baby goats helping us do everything!
"front of old farmhouse gets new board and batten siding"
We're putting up 8 inch pine boards that will have batten strips too. You can see one of them painted dark. The stain we bought is darker than we wanted, but since we can't return it, we'll just have to see if it fades!

We’ve been waiting a long time to start our remodel.  So many other things took precedence.  We were hoping to be able to get them all up yesterday, but there is a lot of cutting to do for around the windows and doorway, so that slowed things down a lot.  It’s going to be such a huge improvement over the painted OSB that we had.  The roof and the shingles on the rest of the house will have to be painted too, but that’s will be somewhere off down the road.

And the cement porch has to be re-cemented.  We did patch some holes which is an improvement. Little by little it’s coming around.

We’re looking for ideas for the columns.  The brick seems out of place with the board siding and we’d like to cover them with something.  Any ideas are welcomed.  The rest of the house will have asbestos shingles, which we’ve decided to paint and replace the lost and broken ones, so the columns need to match those too.

On the goat front, here’s a picture of our keeper doeling out of Jetaime.  I think her facial features look like Uma Thurman. What do you think?  (Maybe you need to see her up close to appreciate the likeness!)

"little doe looks like Uma Thurman"

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Textbook Goat Kidding With Pictures

"alpine dairy goat kidding"
Miley going into later stage of labor. She kidded about 45 minutes after this first photo. She is at day 153. Normal goat gestation is 150 days.
"goat kidding"
Resting between contractions.
"goat kidding"
Sometimes it helps to sit like a dog!
"goat kidding"
The goo that comes before the bubble.
"goat kidding"
Here it is! The bubble! Kidding won't be long now! If you look close you can see a little foot inside the bubble.
"goat kidding"
Here you can see two little feet and a nose. This is exactly the presentation we all hope for.
"goat having a kid"
Here he comes! Usually I break the sack and wipe his nose before they get to this stage...but in this case, trying to take pictures, I didn't have time.
"Goat having kids"
Here is the first kid. They are born onto clean feedsacks as it helps greatly with clean up and they stay cleaner that way.
"baby goats"
Here they are! The brown and white is the first kid born. He's a buck. The black and white is a girl.

It’s so wonderful when births go so well.  So far this year all the kids were perfectly presented and did not require any assistance at all.

It is a great day for having babies too.  It’s warm, sunny and nice outside.

I guess now I have to get back to work laying down old hay over the grass seed I planted in the pasture.  Surprisingly CG is still letting me use his truck after I got it stuck on a pile of wet hay and broke the plastic guard off the bumper.  I tied it back on with a ziptie but he still says we got to pull it the rest of the way off.

Good thing was that I managed to get the truck unstuck all by myself.  Now if I could just learn how to chop off a rooster head, I’d be all set.

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Japan’s Crisis

It could be our crisis at any moment.

Instead of sitting here by the fire watching baby goats sleep, and knowing that everyone I love is safe and fed and warm, I could be homeless, living under a box in freezing weather.  Hungry, despondant, mangled, alone, and breathing air heavy with radiation.

With one disaster heaping on top of another, an advanced country, much like our own, is facing horrors that our developed nations have not seen in years.  And this one could be worse.  There are more nuclear plants involved this time.  It’s not just one.

I wonder now what happened to all the nuclear protesters?  I remember them from years ago, concerned about disasters that authorities scoffed at.

No one is scoffing now.

Did we forget we even generate electricity with nuclear power?

I forgot.

It’s not something I ever think about.

I benefit from it.  We all do.  It’s hard to complain about something that makes our lives better.

But better at what cost?

How many people would gladly do with less electric convenience if it meant that their children would not be born with defects?  If it meant the food they ate would not be contaminated?  If it meant their LIFE!?

I have no answers or solutions, but knowing that our country could be thrown into the same peril as Japan is in right now is sobering.  And I don’t drink.

My heart goes out to all the people in Japan whose lives have been devestated by this disaster. Anyone of them could be me, or people I know.  They are somebody’s children.  We are all somebody’s children and are all able to hurt.

I would ask that everyone who is able to pray, to pray for the families, the children, the parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends that live in Japan and are going through the worst hardships that any of them have ever known.

Pray for the survivors still not found, trapped in rubble, the sick, the hurt, the dying.  The dead.  Pray for nuclear reactors to cool, for waters to recede, for disease not to begin, for food deliveries, for medical supplies, clean water, blankets and warm places to stay.   Pray for babies in wombs, whose mothers may be exposed to radiation.  Pray for elderly, the infirm.  Pray for peace for their country, and generosity from ours.

And pray for the animals too.  We often forget about them in the wake of such disaster, but they are suffering too.

And then go out and enjoy your day.  Marvel at the clean sky, the neat yard, the house you live in, however meager it is.  At as least it’s still standing.  And as of right now, we are not breathing nuclear radiation.

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This Fickle Thing We Call Spring

Yesterday, wow, what a warm, bright and beautiful day!

Today, we’re back to winter temps…I realized that when I stepped outside in my bathrobe, thinking I’d hurry and put the horses blankets away for a while.  The temperature was so cold I had to don real clothes, coat, hat and even some gloves.

I’m waiting on babies.  My daughter was due yesterday, and so was our Miley.  Miley doesn’t even have any sort of udder yet, although she’s loose and goosey in all the right places.

I’ve got enough milk now to make cream, but I sheared the moisture guard off the separator and had to order a new one.  They promised it would be here early this week.  Had planned to make ice cream to celebrate all this warm weather!

At least we’ve got eggs, but I doubt that egg cream would be very tasty.  So, I won’t try it.

I planted some grass in the yard yesterday and need to get the rest of the rye grass over-seeded on the pasture.  I got a little bag of crimson clover too I’m hoping will come up and make good goat grazing.  I didn’t buy a lot of it.  I hate planting clover in horse pastures because it makes them slobber so much.

I also have strawberries waiting to go in the ground, jewel weed seeds, marion berries and about 1000 more seeds and plants that would just love to get their roots in some warm ground.  Luckily, we’ve got all the manure any garden could handle, and lately we’ve had enough rain to float an Ark.

Now, if the ground would just dry up a little and the rain would stop for about a week, we’d be all set!

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New Babies and More!

Spring is finally arriving and not a moment too soon!  So far Mikey and Jetaime have kidded and Miley is due today.

Mikey kidded on day 151 with twin bucks on Feb. 11th.  (goats normal/average gestation is 150 days).

Jetaime kidded March 11th (day 152)  with two handsome bucks and a beautiful doe kid.  Jetaime’s kids are out of one of Alicia’s young bucks from last year, named Aristotle.  The two boys look exactly like their daddy, but CG says the little girl looks like a quilt with all her mixed up white, black and brown patches.

Miley is due today and is doing some pawing and making noise, but with absolutely zero udder I’m doubting she’ll kid today.

All kids and mama’s are doing great.  This is Jetaime’s third kidding and first set of triplets.  I cannot believe how much she is milking already.  That first day she gave a gallon of colostrum!  Day two she gave over 9 pounds of second day colostrum!  (A gallon of milk weighs approx. 8 pounds).  This mornings milking she gave over 5 pounds!  This is not normal for our goats…who are all great milkers.  It normally takes them a couple of weeks to get up to this amount of milk.  We’re doing milk testing this year and I can’t wait to see how Jetaime comes out.

Anyway, other than my excitement about Jetaime’s  beautiful  kids and how much she’s milking, we’ve also been doing a lot of work around here.

We’ve purchased the boards we are going to use for the siding on the front of the house.  (Right now it’s sided with OSB painted white!).  They are currently stacked to dry a little before we nail them up.  We got a small can of stain to try but it’s not quite the shade we were looking for, so I guess we’ll have to go back to Lowes to try something else.

We’ve got ALL the chickens and the two guineas in a pen.  Their house is an old, old corn crib/hog barn and we put a covered run around it.  We made it 8 feet tall and found that they could fly over that, even with their wings clipped, so we had to cover it.  But now we are getting fresh eggs everyday and no more chicken poop on the front porch!  But the best thing about it is that we can now plant grass without them eating every single seed.

Well, that’s about it for this post.  Here are a couple of pictures of our kids.  The First two bucks are now wethers and will be going to their home on a horse farm in just a few days.  Jetaime’s two bucks are for sale, and being out of both Jetaime, and Alicia’s son they should be fantastic herd sires, putting excellent udders and milking ability on their doe kids.

"Alpine dairy goat kid"
This is "Thing 1", (Mikey's kid) flying through the air. (needs a name badly)
"Alpine dairy goat buck kid"
"Thing 2". (Mikey's kid)
"Alpine dairy goat buck kids"
Jetaime's bucks...just a couple of hours old.
"Alpine Dairy Doe"
Jetaime's doe kid, Jilli-Anne, just a couple hours old.
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Back Home Again…to regular old wordpress!

Good morning!  As many of you know, I recently moved my blog over to a private hosting company so that I could do more cool and fancy things with it.  It’s been about 2 months now, and even though I transferred my entire blog, it never would work exactly  right.  I found out that when people tried to go to the new blog, another blog, that wasn’t mine came up.

Having a wordpress blog hosted with a private hosting company has a lot of benefits, but they are negated if you are not pretty darn computer savvy.  I lack computer savvy big time.  There is very little help available either from wordpress or from my private host when issues come up.   Neither wants to get involved with the problems that arise and so that leaves a person pretty much on their own.

So….long story short, I’m reviving the old blog.  I was still getting lots of visitors every day….the new blog got very, very few.  I’m glad you all stuck around!

My next post will be all about what’s been going on around this place!

See you then!

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