Friday, March 25, 2011

Random pics from this week!

We have Amazon blue-eyed doe (back), who is so young she hasn't learned to bottle feed paired with mini-me (front), the kick-ass little lady who is inspiring me with her strength. I can't believe the size difference, which is so hard to capture with a camera. I could spend all day out there with them, but I have my own kids who need attention.

We've made our first batch of cheese! It's a white mold-ripened aged (3 weeks) cheese, comparable to camembert, called St-Maure. It's ready to go in our cheese cave, ie. dorm fridge with daily flipping for three weeks. Then I'll wrap it in some special paper and keep it in the fridge until sampling day. I'm not a patient person, so this will test my resolve not to eat it immediately.

Milking four does twice a day is taking up all my free time, but they are the best ladies I could ask for. No bad behavior on the stand to report from the first fresheners...there's just one that needs help to get on the milking stand, then she's like a statue to be milked. I'm so glad it is Friday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



Constance was a little behind our schedule, but knew what she was doing Sunday afternoon when she delivered two bucks and a very little doe unassisted. We have Conrad, Copper and Contrary.



As if that wasn't fun enough, Trillium had a blue-eyed tricolor doe in the middle of the following night. She's as big as the older kids, beautiful and very strong-willed. She will also be retained. We've named her Tripoli.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stow Away

I love my car. Before finishing my doctoral degree, I purchased a new manual gear silver Volkswagon Turbodiesel Gulf. I drove it right off the dealer lot fully aware of the immediate depreciation and still completely ecstatic with my first major purchase. It goes further than 50 miles on one gallon of diesel. What's not to love about that? My rationale was that the debt I assumed would push me whole-heartedly into the next phase of my career. Ahem. It is paid off now, but the lien was longer lived than my postdoctoral position. It is a wonderful car that I plan to drive for at least another decade or three. Of course, if I didn't intend to keep my car forever then I might take better care of it. The back seats lay flat and the hatchback allows me to move just about anything. I've hauled garbage to the landfill, furniture, lumber, roofing, fencing, goats for breeding, live sheep to slaughter, hay and grain. Beyond that my toddler does the most amount of damage to the interior. There is a persistent six inch layer of toys, empty food wrappers, crafts from storytime at the library, and other miscelaneous kiddy crap.

So, today before heading out to the pediatrician's office for a baby checkup, we discovered that a mouse has been living in my beloved car. My daughter began to climb into her seat until she noticed that the padding had been chewed in a most identifiable way. Apparently, her car seat was full of tasty crumbs and Mr. Mouse had relieved himself quite severely and frequently all over it. Upon closer observation, he had done this throughout my entire car, discovering empty donut bags at regular intervals. For a phase of my toddler's development a bakery donut bribe was the only way I could do the grocery shopping without losing my mind. So after my daughter's immunizations, I enjoyed a beautiful day of sunshine and 60 degree weather by cleaning my car and setting a mouse trap baited with peanut butter within its trunk.

I suspect this stow away caught his ride on the recyclables that I drove to the landfill last Saturday, giving him a week to do his damage unoticed. We really should get out more!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Before 7am

I rowed on the crew team for one semester of college. "Rowed" as in row, row, row your boat...not on a bicycle, which is what may first come to mind. Out of a boat of 8 rowers, I was the 7th best. This was fun, not because I excelled at it but, because it was an organized form of self-punishment and I love to beat myself up. Who doesn't, really? We would get up at 4:30am for training, which involved various forms of torture including, but not limited to, jogging 5 miles to the lake for time "on the water", running stairs in a 10 story building, or rowing 50,000 meters on an ergometer. After practice, at 7:30am, I attended an organic chemistry lecture with another one hundred students. Our lecture hall had a balcony, that I would slip into on days when I was late. I remember struggling not to sleep through class. The best part of being on the crew team for me was not the physical fitness nor the camaraderie. It was the self-granted smugness that I carried around campus. My confidence benefitted the most. I now had an excuse to roll into class covered in cooled sweat, stinking and dirty in whatever I had worn to practice that morning. Any second glance from someone not impressed with my disposition got a look from me that said, "I accomplished more before 4am than you've done all day." This was actually a crew motto. In retrospect, it was a terrible assumption to make but one that motivated the physical punishment we endured, none-the-less.

Today feels like one of those days. I awoke several times in the night to check on a pregnant doe, so getting up at 5:30am to feed the kids their bottles, milk two goats, and feed/water everyone else was not a problem. There is no reason to do this so early except that I feel better knowing my children are still asleep when I'm outside for very long. My 3-yr old surprised me by getting up 6am. This means trouble later when she's tired, cranky and unwilling to take a nap. So after chores, I filtered the milk and cleaned the bottles and pail. Then I started boiling the sap my husband collected last night and made granola with my daughter for our breakfast. Checked on the baby, changed a yucky diaper and nursed her. This was all before 7am, which was when I used to get out of bed. So I'm sitting here in my grubbiness, self-confidence soaring despite my isolation, waiting for that goat to get on with the birthing at hand so that I can take a shower.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New kiddos!

Ostara gave us a doe and buck at about noon today. They were still a bit damp and wobbly here, a few hours following their birth. This is the little girl, we have yet to name.

And this is her very BIG brother. He has already outsized Cordial's boys who arrived five days ago.

A kiss from Mom...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boy Crazy!

Cordial easily delivered three strapping bucks yesterday. She had them at about noon exactly on her due date during a brief warm spell of 50 degree F temps. What a great doe! She's been an excellent mother, being very attentive to her babies and willing to share them with us.

Here they are in their birth order. We've tentatively named the first born and by far the biggest of three, Charlie. This guy was butting at my hand at less than a day old.
The second boy, is Chester. He looks alot like his big brother, but with lighter coloring on his head and shoulders. He's very sweet.
The smallest brother is even lighter in color and has a beautiful star of white on his head. We've named him Chance.