February 28, 2009

Spring Has Not Sprung

See ... crazy weather I tell ya, a day ago or so was 70 degrees. This morning we are in the midst of a snow storm with a high in the 20's. Could be up to 5 inches of snow.

The view from the porch this morning, when snow first started.
The big guy heading out to open a path up the access drive so the neighbors can drive in and out. The neighbors don't have 4 wheel drive so they are fearful of being the first to drive in and out.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

February 27, 2009

A Warm, Lazy Afternoon with Attitudes

Yesterday was 70 degrees, overcast and a bit of wind. Before the rain and storms came in I thought I would spend some one on one time with a few of the critters. I miss spending time with them. Guess they were mad at me for abandoning them while I was under the weather.

Angus is not interested in having his photo taken. He also wanted nothing to do with me which is very unusual. The boys normally rush the gate to get their pets and find out what mom may have for them.

From left to right Kirby, Kelly(black) and Aberdeen - more interested in their hay than being photographed. Didn't lift their heads to even look my way.

Our 5 yr. old pet Pygmy wether Manolito Montoya aka Monte, he is a little ham. He knows if he stands still for the pic, a cookie follows.

Barb, our one and only dehorned goat(she was a show goat at her previous home) and totally earless La Mancha. She was napping, definitely didn't appreciate being disturbed. She also wanted nothing to do with mom.

Isabella (Barb's 2 yr. old daughter) a La Mancha Saanen cross.
What? Just give me a cookie!
The marks on her nose are from where the hay feeder rubs the hair off their noses.

Sarah Beth our Saanen
Not even she cared to get up and be photographed

What do you want Mom I'm resting?
Barb, Isabella and Sarah Beth are my dairy girls. Barb and Isabella are bred at this time. Due in June. Sarah Beth will be 9 this year. I am giving her a year off from kidding. Sarah Beth also is my top producer. At peak she gives 2 gallons a day. Right now she is giving a gallon a day. She will be bred again in September 09.

Cookie our 9 yr. old Alpine
Hun? What? Someone said cookie!

Cookie is one of our very first goats, actually the 3rd to come to the farm. She was a rescue. She is an hermaphrodite. We are training her to pack.

Below is Camel. She is an Alpine Boer cross. She was an accidental breeding. She takes after her father an Alpine, who was a jumper. She is the only one who can jump on the top of the hay feeder.

Come on Mom, I'm really comfy!
OK, OK I am getting down.

Hope everyone has a great day.

February 26, 2009

Premios Dardo Award

Jennifer at Goats in the Garden kindly bestowed me this award. If you haven't visited her blog you really should. Jennifer is a real sweety and a top goat guru in my book. She also writes an interesting and enjoyable blog.

The Premios Dardo Award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

Here are the instructions that came with the award:
STEP 1: Respond and rework. Answer the following questions on my blog, replacing one question that I dislike with a question of my own invention.
STEP 2: Add one more question of my own.
STEP 3: Tag eight other bloggers.
OK, here goes...
1) What is your favorite day of the week?
I would say Sunday, a day of rest. At our farm, we only do the necessities as far as work and enjoy the remainder of the blessed day.
2) What is your biggest fear?
Losing my son.
3) What was your worst subject in school?
That would be Algebra.
4) Who did you hug last?
The Sundance Kid (our black Angora buck). He always gets a morning hug after feeding.
5) What websites do you visit when you go online?
A few blogs (see blog list to side), a couple of goat groups & bulletin boards, a couple of craft shopping sites.
6) What was the last item that you bought?
A new muffler for the tractor.
7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Clicking the heels of her ruby red slippers…she says... there is no place like home. I really don't like to travel.
8) If you woke up tomorrow and were the opposite sex what is the first thing you would do and why?
Probably die of shock. LOL
9) Has a celebrity's hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle?
Can’t say that any have… oh wait… Farrah Faucet’s hairstyle was the have to have style when I was younger.
10) What was the last movie you watched?
Mama Mia!
12) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments, or interruptions, what would you do?
I am really not quite sure, it has been 8 years since I have had such an opportunity. (Well, other than when I was physically sick and unable to get out of bed.) I would probably spend the day with my parents doing whatever they wanted to do.
13) If you were to win the Powerball , what would you do with the money (besides invest it)?
Oh this I have thought about before...
First I would pay off all our debt, our family members debt and a couple of dear friends debt.
I would make sure they had whatever they needed to improve their quality of life.
I would set up our retirement funds and plans. Pay for our funerals.
I’d set up a trust fund, so my son would want for nothing when I am gone.
I’d pay for all the younger ones in the family college education and go back to school myself.
I would pay for and send my parents on a cruise also let them choose the vacation of their lifetime send them wherever they wanted to go.
Jim could quit his job and do what he has always wanted to do…be a pig farmer. He could also buy those cows he has always wanted.
I would buy the property next to us, buy or build homes for and move my son, sister and parents out here (if they would move here).
I would buy a new barn, tractor, a few select pieces of farm equipment (for cutting & baling hay, mowing) and Jim a new truck. (All these things Jim has been wanting for many years).
I would buy and have a storm shelter installed.
I would buy solar panels and a windmill. (I would love to go completely "green" and be off the grid).
I would like to have an area on the farm for a goat rescue facility.

14) When was the last time you laughed, really laughed out loud?
Yesterday, we try to find humor in our daily lives. They say laughter is the best medicine.
15) If you had a choice of places to live, where would it be?
If there is such a place that never has snow, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes… basically no type of severe weather and the average daily high temp is roughly 70 degrees, low in the 50’s I am so there.

16) If you could have lunch with any one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
For me it would have been Australian Naturalist and TV personality Steve Irwin. Wouldn’t that have been a fun day!

According to the rules and keeping with said rules of this award...I need to pass this award on to 8 wonderful people with great blogs.
So I am passing on to
So guys if you feel so inclined to accept, grab the award and play it forward.
Oh for those who may have noticed yes question #11 was missing :)

February 10, 2009

Getting Started - For Cat

I was much like you in the beginning, wanting to research and read all I could get my hands on. "Well began is half done" as the old saying goes. :-) Good for you!

Will you only be wanting fiber goats for your knitting or are you considering dairy goats, pets, show goats?

Start small and stick to your guns. It is very easy to become obsessed with goats and very easy to allow your herd to get out of hand. Trust me, been there, done that, not going to do it again.

Here are a few books that you might find helpful...

Diseases of the Goat by John G. Matthews
Goat Farming by Alan Mowlem
Goat Health Handbook by Dr. Thomas Thedford, DVM
Goat Husbandry by David MacKenzie, Ruth Goodwin
Goat Medicine by Mary C. Smith, DVM and David M. Sherman, DVM (good health resource book)
Goats Produce Too, The Udder Real Thing Volume II by Mary Jane Toth ( good goat milk recipes)
Natural Goat Care by Pat Colby (good holistic care book)
Raising Meat Goats for Profit, by Gail Bowman
Raising Milk Goats Successfully by Gail Luttmann
Raising Milk Goats the Modern Way by Jerry Belanger
Sheep and Goat Medicine by D. G. Pugh (good health resource book)
Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats
The Angora Goat, Its History, Management and Diseases by Stephanie Mitcham Sexton and Allison Mitcham
The Goatkeeper's Veterinary Book by Peter Dunn, B. V. Sc.
The Pygmy Goat in America by Alice Hall
The Pygmy Goat Pet Owners Manual by Sandra Daigle
Your Goats by Gail Damerow for ages 9 and up

A good website to start reading on goats is Fias Co Farm http://fiascofarm.com/goats/

If you have the opportunity, try to visit a few goat farms in your area, go to a couple goat shows, fiber festivals and such.

February 4, 2009

A Trip to the ER and The Tree of Happiness

What does a trip to the ER and the Tree of Happiness have in common? Nothing other than the better half being a part of both.
This past weekend was his weekend home off the road. The guys (the better half, his brother and nephew) had plans of doing a bit of mechanical work on the tractor and farm pickup. Sunday afternoon the better half comes limping in the house after spending most of the day in the shop. After de-greasing and changing into his sweats he retreated to his recliner. Once down in the recliner he found himself totally unable to move and experiencing extreme lower back pain. Imagine if you can, a 6 ft., 330 something lb. man in excruciating pain totally unable to lift himself out of a recliner. Add to that vision a 5 ft. 140 something lb. woman trying to heft him up and out of the chair. Not a pretty picture, eh? Well big boy’s brother (a paramedic at that, thank goodness) came back to the farm, to the rescue.
Seems the idgets had changed truck beds from one of the trucks to another. Dah… pick up truck beds are heavy…big boy must have zigged when he should have zagged and probably didn’t use proper lifting techniques…thus ending up hurting something.
When the pain is so bad that big boy swears (oh trust me, he can swear, he was a sailor), tears are in his eyes, his body shakes from the pain … it is time for a doctor. You know being a Sunday the family doctor would not be in so it was the ER. 6 hours of the ER. From what I understand 6 hours is a short stay, guess we were lucky.
After a shot in the rear of Demerol and a couple pills (most likely muscle relaxers) big boy was one pain free happy camper. I know he was feeling no pain because he asked what was for dinner. Yep, food not his back was on his mind.
How do you think he got to be 330 something lbs? His love of food and being a truck driver. Not much exercise and just sitting behind the semi steering wheel you know. Any hoo, seems he pulled a muscle in his lower back. Thankfully it was nothing severe. After a night and full day Monday of bed rest, a bit of medication he is back on the road. He actually stated his back feels best when he is sitting in the up right position behind the steering wheel as compared to lying flat out in bed.
The better half is and has been a problem child health wise. The family doc says he is morbidly obese; he is diabetic, has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His weight is killing him. His health problems all stem from being overweight. Yes, I have a problem with this. Yes, I have talked til I am blue in the face, harped, nagged and pushed. He does not listen.
I only have control of his diet while he is home off the road. I prepare meals considering all factors, no sugar, no salt and low cholesterol. Yes, it can be done.
He is home roughly 6 days a month, so my attempt at controlling his food intake is seemingly all for not. He will tell you he has no will-power and out on the road with no one attempting to control his eating habits, he eats what he wishes.
The point of my rambling here is we have now begun a journey that I will share with you as it unfolds. The better half will be having what they call Lapband Surgery. He, according to the doctor is a very qualified candidate for the surgery.
Step 1 - is consult with the family physician. This appointment will be scheduled within the next 4 weeks. Stay tuned.

The Tree of Happiness Award

A big heartfelt thank you to Joanna at BooneDocksWilcox for awarding me the Tree of Happiness Award. It does my heart good and sincerely makes me happy to know that someone enjoys reading my ramblings.

The Tree of Happiness asks you to list six things that make you happy, here are mine…

1. My son, he is the love of my life, my pride and joy.
2. My better half. He offers much encouragement, support, makes me laugh and loves my cooking. (Regardless of his trips to the ER.)
3. My family, Mom, Dad, sister, brother and their families. They make me laugh, feel much loved and are wonderful people.
4. My four legged family on our little farm. Happiness is being owned by goats and sheep. :-)
5. Cooking. Can't explain it, it just makes me happy.
6. Our blogging community. I have met some quite interesting, creative, special people through blogging. Reading about their day to day, ins and outs, ups and downs of life and sharing mine has brought much enjoyment to life.

I happily pass this on to (please don't feel obliged to play along, but if it makes you happy feel free to pass it on).
Diana's Cottage
Musings from Fairlight Farm
The FoxDog Farm Blog
City Mouse/Country House
Antiquity Oaks
Life on a Colorado Farm