Sunday, December 30, 2012


A little belligerent negativity goes a long, or shall I say deep, way towards a desired outcome.  We've had about 15 inches of snow in the last several days, which has exceeded all expectation for a white Christmas (see previous post).  As such, I am taking a physical holiday off tomorrow, before my body gives out completely from shoveling snow.

This occasion has also reminded me how very off-track my attempt at omnipotence can become.  I am not admitting to being wrong (no, never).  However, 8 out of 10 times I am nearly never right.  This is why I don't gamble and feel lucky to have not had the opportunity to make bad decisions, when it REALLY mattered.  Thus, my reluctance to be decisive at all.  My husband is similarly afflicted, which makes life most dull and cumbersome when trying to move forward on projects, including home renovation.  In the end, I wield the major cutting utensils and take "full" responsibility while we do a dance over which part of the "new house" needs to be cut out.  But, that's another story.

Looking back, I am old enough to remember the television advertisements for computers in the '80s.  As I recall, it was a public service announcement with cartoon characters promising an easier way to file important documents, for dad, and store recipes, for mom.  Let's not lament nor belabor the implied sexism.  At an especially dumb early age, I recall thinking, "What a waste of time, why would anyone bother to use a computer when they could just write it all down on paper and put it in a file cabinet?".  Let's just say, it was a good thing I didn't have an investment portfolio.

So in retrospect, I really wish it hadn't snowed so damn much and maybe if I hadn't said (posted) anything it wouldn't hurt so bad.  But I am in no way superstitious!  Fingers crossed Mother Nature will go easy on me from here on out.       

Friday, December 21, 2012

No SNOW for you-know-what

So, we are celebrating the Winter Solstice!  Yeah!! Whoo-hoo (insert backflips here, b/c 20+ years ago, I could do them)!!  Days are getting longer from now on, which means 3:30 pm sunsets will be in our past for another year.  However, we are only a few days from Christmas and still have no snow.  Oh, and we live in VERMONT!!  Officially, I am not complaining because at $45 per snow plow, who really does lament the lack of white stuff.  But, think of my children and their innate desire to eat fresh snow, sled in our driveway and skate on frozen ponds!!

We nearly reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit today, as well, which means the big storm blanketing the northeast is rain.  It is predicted to become cooler over the weekend, resulting in snow, but the forecasters are off by 5-10 negative degrees, on average and by my estimation.  More complaining, I know.

On the bright side, I have post holes to dig this season and another freezing day will mean breaking/thawing ice out of my animal's water buckets.  I'm sure this will come back to bite me, but as a not-so-wise man once said, "bring it on!"  Screw you Old Man Winter, I have other plans...that have been delayed or otherwise postponed under better judgement and following the principles of nature, which apparently do not apply in this age of Global Warming.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2013 Nigerian Dwarf Kidding

 We are making preparations for our 5th kidding season!  With seven expecting Nigerian Dwarf does, 2013 will be our largest and most diverse group of kid goats, with outstanding genetics including progenitors from Old Mountain Farm, Rosasharn, PromidedLand, Sugar Moon, Dragonfly, and Twin Creeks!  We will have a fairly even mixture of first, second and third fresheners.  Based on previous seasons and reasonable expectations, I expect to have 16 bundles of joy bouncing around in the barn. 

Milking time has been temporarily suspended for our girls as their bellies grow and bodies miraculously adjust to the gift that is pregnancy.  They will receive an extra copper bolus, shot of selenium/vit-E, and an annual booster vaccination for CD&T, within the next several months.

March will usher in another three weeks of lost sleep over nighttime pregnancy checks, birthing participation, and hand-scrubbing goo out of all my good linens.  It will be a great month of hard labor and much love.  May will bring a work reprieve and sadness as we see our babies to new homes.  Summer-time is filled with milking and cheesemaking, fall breeding and finally a winter rest.  Which is where we are now.  It's a wonderful cycle that I am eager to repeat.
Join me and many others in raising these curious, intelligent companions, who support your homestead dairy.  Our kids are weaned from unpasteurized Nigerian milk (CAE-free herd) at 8 weeks and eating hay/grain supplemented by kelp and minerals.  They are also disbudded (no horns), vaccinated against CD&T (Rabies is optional), and castrated (for wethers).  Does and bucklings are tattooed for registration purposes.  I demonstrate hoof trimming and vaccinations (subcutaneous injections) to new goat owners and offer full support after kids go home.    

photo courtesy M. Mesler
If you are interested in reserving a kid(s) in 2013, please send me an email  We accept verbal reservations until all of our kids are born.  After which, a deposit is required to hold a kid until weaning age.  We offer a breeding service, at reduced rates and optional boarding for doe kid customers!  I will also demonstrate milking and cheesemaking to customers, when the time comes.

For now, though, I will enjoy my break along with the hard cheeses and frozen chevre that I've been fortunate to set aside for our winter meals.  Happy Solstice!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New View

We are moving to a greener sun-filled small acreage with a view and better schools for our children.  I haven't bothered sharing pictures of the house because it's filled with mold, rotten foundation, windows and walls that need replacing.  It is also half our current living space.  Aside from that, we love it.  I've said it before and will repeat once more, I'd rather live in a shit-box with a view than be restricted by taxes, shade or soil.  We spend so much of our time out-of-doors that occupying and heating a large space becomes silly and ecologically ill-founded.  This property has excellent potential for gardening and solar power, meanwhile our savings will go to purchasing a boat for fishing Lake Champlain.  My winter down-time will be put to good use scrubbing mold, replacing wood, learning drywall basics, building a NEW goat house, and planning an orchard and garden.  I keep telling myself that I can do anything I put my mind to and this project home will be what we make of it for better or worse. 

Meanwhile, the view from a short bicycle ride to the local winery and town beach have me swimming in dreams of retirement.  If I can put homegrown food on the table each night, we could do this earlier than anticipated.

YOU can expect new posts addressing gardening in shade/sand compared to sun/clay, as well as keeping meat critters (rabbit vs chicken) and miniature dairy goats in small suburban locations.