August 25, 2009

All Things Goat

If you click on the blog title it should take you to All Things Goat.
All Things Goat is a new online magazine with news, photos, recipes,and feature stories about meat, fiber, and dairy goats.
"The target audience for the web site is people who are knowledgeable about goats and those just becoming interested in goats. While also showing those who have never thought of goats how our caprine friends improve the quality of life for many worldwide.
All Things Goat was created by Naimhe Jeanne and Martha Ann, both who believe in the humane treatment of goats from birth through death, regardless of whether they are a pet or raised for milk, meat or fiber."

August 18, 2009

A Shepherdess' Wedding Dress

Is this dress not just absolutely beautiful!
Click on the blog title and it should take you to the full story or it can be found at

August 17, 2009

What’s One More

Can’t tell you why we do it, though I know I could not live with myself if I said no and refused to help a needy, mistreated and possibly abused animal.

So we adopted another one, no, not a goat, a dog.

He is a Papillon or Butterfly dog. 3 yrs. old, weighs in at a whopping 4 lbs. They said his name is Maximillion, but I call him Dinky Dog.

The little guy was not in too good of shape when he arrived. His coat was in mats, his teeth were dirty, hair had twisted down around his gums causing an infection and extremely bad breath. To say the least the little guy was suffering.
We shaved him down, cleaned him up and did a bit of doggie dental work. The vet looked him over(I love our vet, for a rescue they do the initial exam free for us), gave him an antibiotic for the infection and diagnosed him with HTS. That is Hanging Tongue Syndrome (I am with you on this one, I’d never heard of it either) which seems to be common in some small breeds. His tongue hangs out all of the time due to his having a malformation of the lower jaw. The lower jaw is half the size it should be. He can’t completely pull his tongue in his mouth. Looks as if he is perpetually panting and he drools, a lot. He will go in for neutering when all health issues are cleared.
To my surprise Dinky gets along well with all others in the household. Not sure if it is due to his size (so small) that they feel he is of no threat or they honestly like him. Now that he is feeling better he has a healthy appetite and is a playful, happy dog. He zips around, in, out and under the furniture. He loves to be held (almost fits in one hand) and cuddled.
Oh I know and totally agree that you can have too much of a good thing, at times I do believe I am totally out of my ever lovin’ mind. We now have 4 housedogs. Dinky makes the 3rd small dog we have rescued/adopted. Buster Brown (Lhasa Apso) & Claire (Shih Tzu) are the other two rescues. The 4th housedog is Benjamin my 14 yr. old Shih Tzu.
I am hoping this is it.

August 15, 2009

Alone Time, Peachicks and Polled Goats

This weekend and the early part of next week I will be home alone. Woo Hoo! Oh, the peace and quiet and I have so many things I can, want and would like to accomplish without interruption.

To Do List:
Paint milk stand
Paint shearing stand
Card washed fleeces
Wash and card more fleece
Work on a few craft projects
I might even watch an old movie (I just love them) and veg on the couch one evening if things go smoothly.

The better half is working over the weekend and on his way to Wyoming, another big Woo Hoo! A long trip with many paid miles. Things are looking up.

Dear Son is leaving on a 3 day road trip to meet up with his friends from TN. He is still experiencing a bit of culture shock in moving from the big city to the boonies. A weekend away will do him good and brighten his spirits.

You might remember I mentioned we had a few new peachicks hatch earlier in the spring. I have been hesitant to talk much about them. Many do not survive, never sure any will. Our peafowl are free range, never caged or penned and they roam our 15 acres. At nesting time the hens hide their eggs and the chicks from us. When the hens do bring up the chicks for me to feed, they are a bit older, larger and normally those are the only ones who have survived. Sad we lose some, we just have to look at it as survival of the fittest.
This year 3 chicks were brought up to the barnyard. To my surprise we have a new color in the birds. Well, different color I should say. A Cameo also known as Silver Dun is not a new color in peafowl, though new to us. It is a gene mutation of Indigo Blues. Not sure if the Cameo is male or female. It is just lovely, a cream color with brown markings. I think I actually prefer the Cameo to the whites we had.

Ever had a naturally polled goat? We haven’t, but we do now. Another recent discovery and surprise to us is that Violet’s (who is a horned goat) triplets are all polled. Not a horn tip or nubbin in sight. There are little smooth bumps under the skin where the horns should be but they are not coming through. The better half was so impressed he is now keeping Wisteria as well as Brownie. The polled factor had to come from the buck that my friend bred Violet to. All the goats in Violets pedigree from our farm were horned. I don’t have much information on the buck that she used so I am just assuming it from his side.

Wanted to take a moment to say welcome to and thank my new followers and readers for visiting. Also to say thank you to Tina from A Blip on the Radar and Nancy A Shepherd's Voice... for trying my Blueberry Orange bread recipe and mentioning us/it on their blogs.

If you have time and want to see a blog full of complete cuteness, stop by and visit Rose at Rose's Life on the Farm scroll down to the baby bunnies and the most adorable baby goats I have seen in a very long time. And I can tell you I have seen some adorable baby goats in my time :-)

August 14, 2009

A Spinning Song

I know I am probably behind the times... I only learned this tidbit of info a couple of years ago…did you know that Pop Goes the Weasel is a spinning song?

I have been looking for replacement bobbins, reading a bit more on spinning and types of wheels lately when I ran across this info again and thought I would share.

The wool after it was spun had to be put into skeins. This involved wrapping it on a large spinning type wheel called a weasel. The weasel was used for measuring yards of yarn. It would pop every time it passed one yard. Children would help their mothers wind wool around and around the tool, counting the pops.

All around the cobbler's bench

The monkey chased the weasel

the monkey thought 'twas all in fun.

Pop! goes the weasel!

I've no time to wait, and sigh,

No patience to wait 'til bye and bye.

So kiss me quick, I'm off--good bye!

Pop! goes the weasel!

A penny for a spool of thread,

A penny for a needle--

That's the way the money goes.

Pop! goes the weasel!

You may try to sew and sew,

and never make something regal.

So roll it up and let it go.

Pop! goes the weasel!

All around the cobbler's bench

The monkey chased the weasel

the monkey thought 'twas all in fun.

Pop! goes the weasel!

August 12, 2009

Skirting and Washing Fleece

Since the skirting table is complete I have been anxious to break it in and skirt some fleece. Have been waiting for a quiet, home alone, evening to tackle skirting and washing fleeces. For me it’s best to have no distractions. Trust me, distractions can lead to many mistakes such as setting the washer on agitate not spin. Agitating the raw fleece can result in felting the entire fleece.
Dear Son had an employee’s meeting to attend, then was spending some quality one on one time and dinner out with my parents so I took advantage of the quiet time!

Back when we sheared the last two of the sheep (Aberdeen and Kelly) I had quickly skirted their fleeces and tucked them away in bags. While pulling out the bags I ran across another fleece a friend had given me a while back. I thought I would compare my skirting ability to the skirted fleece of my friend. I guess "quick" is the key word in the first sentence above…Aberdeen’s fleece still had long bits and pieces of hay, a couple of heavily soiled tags and I even found cockleburs. My friends skirted fleece barely had any bits and pieces of any VM. This tells me I need to do 2 things - pay more attention to details and will need to re-skirt all fleeces I have stashed away.

I washed Aberdeen’s (moorit brown) and Duckie’s (black) fleeces after skirting them.
The first wash and rinse water was dirty on both fleeces, but oh my goodness, Aberdeen’s was absolutely filthy compared to Duckie’s fleece. Besides being super VM collectors I guess our sheep get much dirtier here at our farm too.

I found that the skirting table also makes an excellent drying rack.

This is Aberdeens fleece after being washed. The colors are a bit off since I am using no flash and in the house. Looks more red here in the photo but it is lovely shades of brown.

And Duckie's beautiful black fleece drying on the skirting table.

I also tried a new technique in washing the fleece. Previously I had washed smaller sections of the fleece, placing the sections in sweater/lingerie bags. This time I placed the entire fleece in the washer, no bags. It worked well for me. Seemingly getting them cleaner quicker with less soaks and rinses. I am not sure this technique will work on the Angora fleece, but it works well on the Shetland.

August 9, 2009

Pig Mowers, Skirting Table and Donkey Kisses

We have had a few visitors to the farm lately. First Murphy came to know... of Murphy's Law. The tractor decided to choke up and quit, the lawn mower not long after gave it up too. The weed eater decided to not spit out string, then it decided it didn't want to even release the spool head.
My back can't take using pruning shears to cut every blade of grass around here so I decided to let the pigs out. Yep, 4 legged mowers should do the trick. I moved the Angora bucks from their pen, opened a gateway from the pig pen and let them have it.
With the rains we have had, grass and weeds still growing, what I hadn't managed to get mown in the last couple of weeks is now about knee high. I do believe the pigs will do a fine job. Should have all mown in about a week :-)
If you didn't know, pigs love the green stuff. Fresh green is best, but they will also eat hay, grass cuttings, etc. In the olden days some used pigs to till their fields.
We let the pigs run around our gardens in the spring and root it up. Makes tilling easier.

Sister also came to visit for a week. We worked on a few craft projects. Finishing the skirting table was on the top of my to do list. The photos don't really show the details but it is finished.

Sister being the artsy one of us added the finishing touches to the table. Little sheep on the sides with little blades of green grass by their feet.
She brought some photos I thought I would share,
taken during some of her past visits to the farm.

My great niece and Eeyore our donkey, goat guardian

And a not so lovely photo of me, milking. Sister loved this photo due to being able to see the milk flowing from the udder. This photo is actually about a year old. I remember doing this, just not her taking the photo. This was when I was breaking Isabella to the milk stand. See how high my left arm is...I am blocking her back leg from kicking or stepping in the milk bucket with my wrist. Where her leg would go, my arm followed.