When I would ask my ex mother in law what she had been doing, she would say "Just a messin an a gommin". Ever heard that expression? Surprisingly gommin is in the Urban Dictionary. gommin - 1 definition - The activity of a gomer. It would be the absence of purpose in ones coming and going. Just messing around.
Gom and Gommin may have also originated with the Germans in the 1700's. Gomb and Gombed is old Hungarian for button and buttoned up. Gombed also meant getting the button in the wrong buttonhole, thus it was all gombed up. The ex’s family is of German descent so I am thinking that is a more accurate definition.
Any hoo the point of all this is that a messin an a gommin seems a fitting description of my little break from blogging. Things were definitely gombed up around the ole farmstead. Still are a tad bit, though beginning to see a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
Figure most of you know that the better half is a trucker. If he doesn’t drive there is no income. For the last month there has been little to no freight, which means little to no driving, which means little to no income. Which everyone knows what that means. Times have been a bit stressful and a bit of a struggle, though we are blessed in many ways. If we did not have the farm and were not semi self -sufficient things would and could have been so much, much worse.
With the better half home we were able to accomplish much more work about the farm. He repaired the tractor and got a bit of bush hogging done, did a bit of storm clean up, brought out the chain saw to cut downed trees, repaired some fence and helped his mother and sister put up electric fencing at their cabin in the woods. We started winterizing (seemingly right on time) the shelters and buttoning things up for the upcoming cold months. Still much to do, but content with the much that was done.
He even found down time to go fishing. Fishing was a 2-fer (2 in one) for him. He spent quality time doing something he loves and normally doesn’t have the time to do. Was with his brother and brought home a wonderful dinner and fish for the freezer. I have to say that the trout and catfish were delish!
Over the course of the last month we have had some oddities occur concerning the goats, not only with our goats but also other farm’s goats. Three (3) different goat owners called to discuss medical and health related goat issues. With each one of the farms reporting a loss of 3 or more goats to a sudden onset of an unknown illness. Breaks my heart to say we also lost 2 of our dairy goats, Isabella and Sunday Sunshine to what seems to be the same. Thankfully the better half was home to help during the crisis.
Another oddity that occurred was finding one of the Angora’s shed his fleece. I do not mean like a dog with little bits of hair falling but the whole fleece at one time. Actually I ended up rooing his fleece. I noticed he had a stray bit of fleece hanging off his back leg. I took a pair of scissors out to remove the stray bit. When I grasp the bit to cut, it came out by the handful. I had Dear Son hold him while I roo’d. The ends of the fleece (next to the body) looked much like the Shetland’s after the greasy rise occurred (grease and all) as if there was a break in the fleece like the sheep have. There were no visible reasons for the shed, no lice, skin ailments or health concerns. The underlying fleece is healthy, thick and in excellent condition. I am leaning towards it not being a health related issue.
So do Angora’s shed their fleece or is it normal?
In doing research on this there seems to be much discussion between Angora owners about this. Some maintain that the goats shed regularly others say no. Then there is the opinion that "Angoras will sometimes lose their hair from disease, a change of climate, a change of weather even, or a sudden change from a continued dry food to green food, etc. This may appear at any time of the year, regardless of the season."
It is the first time I have had an Angora shed. He is a younger goat, 2 years old, has been sheared twice yearly up to this point. The only change in his routine was in the boys being separated and penned away from the girls.
All the bottle babies have now gone to their new homes. With the sale of the babies we are back up on milk for the kitchen and it’s time to get back into the swing of making cheese, yogurt, etc. I made a big batch of vanilla goat milk pudding and a Crème Brulee Pie with the first gallon of extra milk. Sooo good!
I did say in my last blog that I would blog about the Celtic Festival this time. The festival was September 12th. My goodness it’s been over a month ago. We had a great and very enjoyable day out. The better half took a day off the road and Dear Son took the day off work to attend the festival with me. We met Tammy at the festival. Arriving about an hour later than we had planned. Yep, the professional driver took a wrong turn that put us about an hour late. It embarrassed me to no end. We were suppose to help Tammy set up her booth.
We set up a small table of our wares across from her booth. We were able to visit a bit on and off through out the day when there was a lull in the crowd. I took a bit of Llama and Angora fleece, an Angora pelt, peacock feathers and the remainder of my goat milk soap. The peacock feathers were a big hit with all ages and the soaps went quickly. The guys watched some games, walked the vending rows and ventured over to the Clan village. They also sampled all the food from the neeps and tatties to the Scottish Eggs and fish and chips. I splurged and had oatmeal shortbread cookies, a coowich (a highland beef sandwich kinda like a sloppy joe without the tomato sauce) and bought a very large bag of Kettle Corn to take home. Talked with many about fiber arts and crafts. Met some nice folks, visited with some we had met at previous festivals and petted all the animals attending the festival (my very favorite part ;-).
I know I seem very long-winded today don’t I. Guess I go too long between posts and have so much I want to share.
Yes there is more.
Saving the best for last. I am so happy to say that we will soon be adding 2 more Shetlands to our flock.
Selena is a Fawn Krunet ewe. I chose Selena for the reason many may not, she has not settled. I personally do not care if she ever breeds. At this point I am more interested in having an older ewe to lead our little flock and in her fleece than having babies. Isn’t she just lovely!
We met Jackdaw at the Celtic Festival. He is absolutely gorgeous! Totally adorable! Jim didn’t hesitate or even bat an eye saying yes to when Tammy mentioned selling him. I do believe the better half was so very impressed by the spotted ram! I can't begin to tell you how excited we are about the new additions.