Friday, April 30, 2010

Tennis anyone?

We tried our hand, or should I say racket, at tennis today. In the pictures we don't look half bad. In actuality, we managed to lob it back and forth three times in a row. Anyone vying for Wimbledon does not have to worry about us. Dancer really enjoyed it so I am sure we will improve over the summer.
Spark had a few good shots. We did get our fair share of exercise chasing after the ball.

One of our problems was that the court has standing puddles on it. If the ball went in the puddle then it was super heavy and it hardly bounced. We spent a lot of the time bouncing it up and down to get the water to spray off.

This is the church steeple across from the tennis courts. I love old church buildings with bell towers. The new modern design of churches doesn't do much for me.

After playing the kids played on the play ground a little bit. They had a bunch of big tires buried in the sand, this one was big enough that Spark could stand up in it. While we were playing tennis there were some older kids over there on bikes. The first thing we think when we older kids during the day is that they must be homeschool. I don't know that they were for sure as we were too far away to see who they were. For all I know there wasn't even any school today.

The kids really loved this thing. They were tethered to the ground so when the kids hung on to them they would whip around and around. Dancer talked about how she wants to go back and play on these some more too. They made a little obstacle course and timed who could complete different feats the fastest.

Look what the cat dragged in

Kacheekers brought this little mink up to the house this morning and he was so proud. The mink was little, which is good, we don't want it to grow up big and start dinning on our chickens.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

For the right price, everything is for sale

We have ads out to sell eleven of the goats. The calls have been coming in and we have had a few people come over to look at them. This wonderful, interesting couple came to look at the little bucks. We were standing out in the yard talking about the bucks and a couple of the rabbits raced by. They were amazed that the rabbits didn't run away. Nothing runs away from our house, even with encouragement. The man wanted to know if we had a brown female, which Spark thought he did but it was a male. The man went into the barn to look over the rest of the rabbits and picked out a spotted female. Then he saw Creamy, Sparks beloved rabbit. "Is he for sale?" he asked. "Yep," said Spark. What!!! Creamy who is his beloved rabbit who we had to keep even though we didn't need another male, who we have been feeding for two years, who we couldn't get rid of no matter what because Spark couldn't possibly live without him in his life. Then Spark, the smooth talker, said, "I want to sell him for $15 but the lowest I will take is $10." We have to do some work on his sales technique! The man said he would by Creamy for $15 and the female for $5. Sounded good to Spark. He had those rabbits in a box so fast I don't think they know how they got in there.

They had to write Spark a check and he ever so seriously spelled his name out for the lady. He brought the check right in and hung it on the fridge. We took it to the bank and he proudly presented it to the man and got his twenty dollar bill. This was major excitement for him this week.

End of the story, they left with two rabbits and no goats. At least Spark made a sale!

Spark's adventure walk

It is almost time for the fiddle heads to start popping up. We have had a little rain, a lot of warm temps and plenty of sunshine, the perfect elements for fiddle head growth. The ditch and wood where we pick them is about half a mile from our house. For half a mile, it is easier to walk then to get the car out, all get in it, drive over there, all get out and then do it in reverse to get back home.

Dancer and I get ready to go and we walk as far as the end of driveway when we realize that no one is behind us. We wait, and wait, and wait some more and finally Dad and Spark come out of the house. Spark goes into the garage to get his scooter. A large part of the way there is up hill, so if he takes his scooter he can coast a good portion of the trip home. It is a little wobbly because he left it behind the car once and, not checking for scooters before backing up since they don't belong there, I drove over it. Over the last year, he has learned to compensate for the wobbliness when riding it. Finally we get out on the main road, which we need to walk on for a little bit until we get to the side road, and a car is coming. Spark had a few misses this winter with cars in town by not paying attention to what is going on around him so he is on high alert for any traffic. He goes way to the edge of road and pulls his scooter over as a barrier between him and the road. The car makes a wide arc around us and we turn the corner safely.

The side road is tar but has had major patches put on it this last year. We make a game out of seeing who can walk the farthest on the patches without touching the actual tar. It is a fun game and makes the walk seem really fast.

We get to the wood and peer down into the ditch. We can see the fern tops from last year, but not any fiddle heads yet. Dad and Spark trek into the wood part to have a closer look and wander in a few hundred feet. Dancer and I wait on the road holding the bag in case they have any success. The wood is wet and squishy and, since I was wearing tennis shoes, I had no to desire to go down in there. Dancer took the time to get some tap dancing practice in, something she does anytime she is standing still. No fiddle heads to be seen, but Spark has manage to get himself caught up in a tree branch and can't get out. He is yelling and Dad is urging him to come out and guiding him on where to go so he can by this branch. He makes it back up to the road in one piece without any major scratches. His time in the wood was much more exciting than any of the rest of us.

With an empty bag we head back down the road playing our don't step on the tar game. As we get close to the corner, a milk truck comes out of the neighbor's drive and is almost at the corner at the same time as we are. Milk trucks are huge, semi sized, and loud as they are shifting, enough to make anyone a little nervous when you are on a narrow road. We are getting to the corner and there is plenty of time to get across where we won't have be any where near it when it rounds the corner. Spark just panics. He starts darting across the road sideways, throws his scooter in the middle of the road, and runs way down into the ditch. Not knowing where he was going to run to we start yelling for him to just go to the ditch. Dad picks up his scooter and we get to the other side well before the truck gets to the corner. The whole thing was too much for Spark, he starts crying and after the truck was gone we got him to come out of the ditch for hugs.

To make a cheery end to our walk Dad suggests that we walk down the gravel road that is next to our house and see how the creek is running through the culvert. On the way Dancer found a few corn cobs with corn still on them from last fall. I rubbed all the corn off and put it in my pocket to give someone as a treat when we got home.

The creek was running quite quickly through the culvert and Spark was throwing leaves, grass and stones in. I remembered the corn cobs and Dad dropped them in the other side of the culvert across the road and the kids and I watched for them to come out. Reminded me of Pooh and his friends playing "Pooh Sticks." Spark, instead of dreamily watching them come out the other side, started gathering stones and trying to bomb them. Even Dancer got into the excitement of bombing corn cobs. With all the bombs that we dropping from the sky, the cobs got stuck on the long grass reeds on the banks of the creek. To loosen the cobs, so they could continue their journey down the creek, they started throwing larger rocks to try and make waves so the cobs would be free of their entanglement. A well aimed rock would nudge a cob out a bit but one that landed in the wrong spot would edge it further into the reeds. They spent a lot of time with just three corn cobs and pile of stones.

As we were heading back we picked up Spark's scooter, which he had left in the ditch since gravel roads and scooter don't really mix. He saw a yellow flower in the swamp that he wanted to take a picture of for a water/wetlands project he is planning for 4-H. No cars passed us.
The end of his walk was him smoothly gliding onto the end of the driveway atop his scooter. And the best part, he went straight to the garage and put his scooter away instead of leaving it lay behind the car.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taking care of parents

My dad had surgery on Tuesday. Not a big deal except he is the caregiver of my mom who has dementia. He has to do almost everything because she has no short term memory or any memory of most things for the last 50+ years. When he told me he was having surgery he was going to let my mom sit in the waiting room while he was in surgery and then have her drive them home. He thought they could make it if he was sitting right next to her in the car. I didn't share his optimism in this plan so I went down to take them in, sit with her for the day and bring them back home.

Since my dad has to do all the cooking, Monday night I made them a salad, hot dish and some soup. Sounds easy but between everything else goes on around here on a normal day it took me most of the night.

Tuesday morning I was up at 4:30 a.m. and out the door by 4:40 so I could make it to their house in time to get them to the hospital by 7:00 without them having to worry that they would be late. It all went really well and I was so glad I was there to be with my mom.

From where we were sitting in a waiting room she could see the gift shop so she thought we were at a mall and she kept wanting to go out and see what other stores were there. When she asked where Dad was, I would tell her in surgery which made her think she should go see him. When I told her I didn't know where the operating rooms were she wanted to find them. It was a very hard morning for her and so I was very glad that I was there to keep her from wandering the hospital or worse, leaving the building. I also realize that she can't watch t.v., except quiz shows where they ask short questions, because she can't follow a story line or even a news report. She can't read a magazine because she can only remember the sentence she is reading.

It was nice to spend the day with her and I enjoyed it. Even though she was agitated, she can carry on a conversation if you don't mind repeating it every minute or two. She does have some long term memory, if she is asked things about her childhood she can talk for longer. We went out to breakfast, took a walk, did a little window shopping at a mall, when out to lunch, and had a snack in the cafeteria. It had been many many years since just her and I spent a day together, probably when I was in my early twenties. Of course, when I was young I worked full time then I had Dancer and worked full time which meant even less time to see Mom by myself. She did come to our house a couple times after Dancer was born and helped me with cleaning etc. but it's not the same when a baby needs to be taken care of. It has been about 12 years that she has had dementia and with the kids, I haven't spent any time with just her. She did stay with us for a few days one time when my Dad was in the hospital, but Spark was a baby, and of course, we were running back and forth to the hospital.

I had them back home a little after 7:00 p.m. and after I sat in a comfy chair, and relaxed a bit now that Mom was settled down, I left to pick up the kids. They were invited to stay at a friend's house when they heard that the kids would be home alone all day. They generously took Dancer to a choir concert and wouldn't be back to their house until 9:00. After chatting there for a while, we finished the drive home and pulled in about 10:00 p.m. Despite it being a long and stressful day, I am glad that I still have parents that need a helping hand.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bad brakes, Good breaks

Dad and Spark were in town today to get feed and get some breakfast. We picked up feed and left for home. At the first stop sign we came to the brake pedal sank to to floor boards and the truck barely stopped before the intersection--Bad Brakes.

We were a block and a half from the shop where we normally take our vehicles so we stopped there. They were able to fix it this afternoon and even had a car we could use for a couple of hours (they normally don't give out loaners)--Good breaks

We have had both vehicles in this last week so we asked if there is some payroll deduction plan we could sign up for, to save time and hassle. The owner laughed, I think he thought it sounded like a great idea!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fundraising, Blizzards, and shopping

Our 4-H group was able to do a fundraiser at a place where they shoot clay pigeons. We sold hot dogs, pop and water so it was super simple to work at. The place was about 45 minutes from our house. The kids and I set off for our 12-2 shift, when we are half way there and I realize we didn't bring the camera with. We try to take it with us most places we go because you never know when there is going to be a great photo op.

When we get to this place there is a big shooting show. Really cool, they shot lots of clay pigeons in different formations, golf balls, charcoal, full paint cans, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, cabbage, lettuce and spray cans of whipped cream. That wouldn't have been cool enough to wish we had the camera with but of course when they called for volunteers to throw the charcoal up Spark was chosen. He and six other kids started launching them into the air as fast as they could. He was also chosen to start one of the shooting demos. We will just have to remember his few minutes of fame in our memories.

After the fundraising we headed into town to the Dairy Queen. They had buy one Blizzard and get one for a quarter promo. We got two and split them between the three of us. Thankfully this promotion won't be on all summer or I think we would be as wide as we are tall. I just love Blizzards but since they are so expensive we splurge on them about once a year.

A Super Walmart was really close so we swung in there to do a little shopping. I say little because we only picked up a few necessities and groceries but the bill was still over $60. Everything sure adds up fast.

It is raining, which we are very thankful for, and gloomy so our motivation for the rest of the day has been low. We did only the chores that needed to be done and called it good. Now we are sitting down to big bowls of popcorn and watching "Hairspray."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa's birthdays

My mom and dad have birthdays that are three days apart. Grandma's is the 24th and Grandpa's is the 27th. This year they are 81 and 84 years old. We have other obligations tomorrow so we went down to their house today to bring gifts and visit. While we were there we had lunch and did a little cleaning for them. Grandma Shirley, Grandpa Bob with the kids and their dog Missy. Compared to our dog, Missy seems huge. She is goat sized! Speaking of big, I was surprised to see that Spark is almost as tall as Grandma Shirley!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dehorning goats

We have not dehorned our goats in the past, mostly because a dehorner is expensive considering it is only used once a year. Anyone here without horns was not born here and anyone with horns was. However, we have found that people buying goats want them dehorned. They have this idea that goats are crazed and dangerous if they have horns. The horns can look kind of intimidating. Our buck is super frindly and loving but his horns are HUGE, they are about six inches across at the base, and the spread from side to side is over two feet (you can look back in the blog to see a picture).
We have found the horns a handy way to get them to go where we want when they, the goats, don't want to go in that same direction. The horns sort of act like handle bars you can steer them with. All of our goats are quite docile, either because of the way we treat them as pets, or, we have just had the luck of the draw with goat personalities.
Since we are having trouble selling them with horns, this year we decided to dehorn them. Not having a dehorner ourselves, Dad asked a friend to come over and help. He came today and did all eight kids. It isn't a very nice process, the kids yell and it smells like burning hair. They recover quickly and in mere moments act as though nothing has happened.

Here is little Elenora after having her horns burned off. The kids aren't born with big horns, just little "buds" on their foreheads. The scabs will fall off in a couple of days and new hair will grow back to where it will look like nothing ever happened to them. It actually looks worse than it is in this picture, the bigger black areas look better soon.

There are some distinct advantages to have dehorned goats. They can't get their heads stuck in fences or feeders. They fight each other a little nicer, It must hurt more to smack foreheads together than bumping horns. They also don't use their horns as weapons and they aren't able to stab another goat which could cause infection. Goats are horrible at getting along with each other so they do fight, a lot. There is a pecking order and one of them is always jockeying to be in the first spot, the prima doe. The buck, if he is in with the does, takes the dominant spot but the does still fight for their spot in the hierarchy line. When Spark was little they would try to be dominant over him and we never let him be with the goats without one of us right by his side. Now that he is taller and stronger to where he can handle the goats with authority, they know that all of us are dominant over them. We, thankfully, only have one doe who uses her horns for fighting and we have never had anyone get stabbed and get an infection, although we know other goat owners who have.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dancer at homeschool baseball


I was yelling at her to look so I could take a picture during the game, this is her "MOM!" look.

She connected with the ball!

Made it to first!

Go Dancer Go!!!

Safe on third

Leaving third

Running for home

Spark's home run

It's a hit!!!

Running hard for first base

Coming into first

Leaving first base

Coming into home

Home run!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Service/repair men make me uneasy

We had a service man out to hook up satellite internet for us because we just can't stand the slow dial up internet anymore. I loved the price, $9.95 a month, but it just wasn't meeting our homeschool needs. He came and put the dish on the house and then needed to come inside to set up the computer program part. It took what seemed like forever and he was right in our dining room also known as where we do school. We did school in the living room but it still seemed weird to be conjugating verbs with a stranger listening to us. Lunch was also put off until after 2:00 p.m. because he was right at the kitchen counter and I felt too odd to go in there and make lunch.

He was barely out of the driveway when it quit working. Dad called him and he was going to try to find a new modem for us and come back. Meanwhile, Dad had to go to bed because he is working tonight. The service man comes back about 3:30, hooks up the new modem and it still doesn't work. He has no idea what could be wrong, but he being a patient, diligent man, he keeps replacing parts, wires, and tapping on the key board etc.

Dad has to get up at 5:45 for diner and it's now getting on to 5:25. I haven't started anything, because once again, I don't want to be cooking in the kitchen with him sitting at my kitchen counter. I also don't want him here after Dad has left for work and it is just me and the kids. That would make me really uncomfortable. I try very hard not to have people come and do work or buy animals when Dad is not home. Actually, I would probably feel the same way about a service woman, it's more just trying to go on as normal with someone else in the house. He was a very nice, polite man whom we had gotten to know over the last seven hours but that doesn't mean the kids and I want to be alone with him in our house. So I pray, "Please God, let this work so he can go home to his family and we can get on with dinner before Dad has to get up for work." I didn't hardly have the last word out when he announced that it was working! He was planning on his day being done about 1:00, and he was still at our house at almost 5:30, so he quickly said to call if we had anymore problems and was off. Good news, it is still working perfectly!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is she spoiled or can she really not do it

Little Elenora still is not nursing from her mother. In fact, she really isn't interested in nursing, she will half heartedly bump her mom's udder and walk away. When one of us goes in the barn she comes barreling over to get picked up and fed. We think she just likes eating from the bottle and all the perks that come with it. It means that she gets to come inside for her night time feedings, she gets held while eating and she gets her face wiped afterwards. She also doesn't mind if you want to hold her when she is sleeping. So now we wonder, can she really not nurse or have we just spoiled her?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dandelion coffee

What do you do when life gives you a garden and yard full of dandelions?

Make dandelion coffee.

Snoop out dandelions in your yard. If you don't have any dandelions, I am sure there are masses of people who will not mind if you dig up hoards of them out of their yards. Wash them off with the hose really, really well, no one wants to drink dirt.

Cut off the roots and lay them in a baking dish. Put in the oven at 200 until they are dry.

How long? If you plan on two hours and then go to town and forget they are still in the oven, when you get back they should be just about perfect. For a roasted flavor, turn the oven up to 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes after they are dry.

Grind them up like coffee beans. It looks a lot like teeny, tiny, wood shavings. Put about a 1/4 of a cup in the coffee maker and turn it on. We used a 1/4 of a cup because that is how much we had after the whole drying process. Pretty convenient wasn't it? Play around with the amount of "grounds" until you get a flavor you like.

The house smelled wonderful after the drying and the perking of the coffee. The taste was good, bitter like the leaves, but good. Put a shot of International Delight with Hershey's Chocolate Caramel in it and mmmmm, it's a winner. Only drawback is there isn't any caffeine for those of us who need it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Broccoli Salad

I love this salad and I never make it at home, but that is all changing now.

Broccoli Salad

2 bunches of broccoli

1 medium onion

1/2 cup Craisins

8 strips of bacon fried and crumbled

3/4 cup mayo

1 tbsp. vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

Mix mayo, sugar and vinegar. Chop broccoli and onion. Add bacon to broccoli and pour mayo mixture over the top and toss.

We are a little backwards

Our backyard is full of goats, chickens, ducks and even rabbits running around all of which I guess we do not find exciting. This afternoon a squirrel was in the backyard dining on corn and Spark yells out, "Come quick and look, there is a squirrel in the yard!" We all sprinted over to the window to look at it and if the camera hadn't been left out in the truck I would have taken a picture of it. A squirrel we do find exciting. In our defense, it is only the second time I have seen a squirrel at our house.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Something's burning

Our rooster, Wooton, has the most beautiful tail. Well, he had the most beautiful tail. We have a heat lamp in the barn, which we only have on when we are out there because the temps have been warm enough for the little goats. We use it for a little extra light at night so we can see better in the back stalls. Wooton was sitting by where it is hooked on to the top of a stall, probably warming himself up because it is a colder night and our chickens are such babies about the weather. We are going about getting chores done and Spark says he smells something burning. Then Dad says he smells something burning. A quick look around and they saw it was Wooton's tail feathers. I was just coming in the door with a bucket of water so if he had been on fire it would have been the perfect time for it to happen. Instead, they just sort of melted on the bulb and he didn't even know it. Dad shooed him off the end of the stall and we took note of the damage that had been done to his tail. He no longer has a beautiful tail, it looks more like a trimmed feather duster at best.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Water safety

Last October, when he was filling out his interest form for 4-H projects, Spark signed up for the safety area. All of the projects in 4-H are very open ended, topics and how the kids actually do the project have unlimited possibilities hampered only by their imagination. In the area of safety, any safety issue can be chosen from kitchen to chain saw or anywhere in between. Spark chose water safety, which he decided on after taking his swimming classes this winter where pool safety was a hot topic. At the third grade level it would be hard to have enough information for a whole poster, so we expanded it to include boat and lake safety as well. He was must have really been listening in class because he knew a lot of about pool safety as well as how to be safe in the water. He does listen even when it doesn't always look like it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Starting the garden

The kids and I put the start of a garden in today. Last year Dad made a garden close to the house and so I wanted to have that one for our garden and all the ones scattered about the property can be market gardens. I want the one up by the house so that it is easier to water and is close to run out and get something without having to go out past the barn to get it. What a wonderful plan I had. It has already gone by the wayside. Our first farmers' market is May 19th so if we are going to have anything besides baked goods and rhubarb we needed to get some seeds in the ground. Dad tilled the garden this past weekend and we had a glorious half inch of rain so this garden was the best choice for putting in a few things. We got three different radishes in, they will be for the market, 18 hills of potatoes, they will be for Spark's 4-H project and two rows of sunflowers, they will hopefully grow tall enough to give a little privacy from the road. I am hoping tomorrow morning to get a few rows of lettuce in before we need to leave for town.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hot Rock Art

The kids made hot rocks at 4-H project day and they are just so clever. There are kids in the club from 8th grade all the way down to preschoolers that come with their older siblings and all of them loved this project. The room was so quiet as they all made at least three of these rocks.
To make them, find some nice shaped rocks and give them a good bath. Lay the rocks out on a cookie sheet, heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake the rocks for 2 hours. When they are hot, and they will be very hot so use an oven mitt, set them on a piece of card board. Using crayons, draw on the rocks and the crayon will melt over the top of the rock. You can draw pictures or just let the colors run together. Here Dancer just pressed the crayon on the top of the rock and rock was hot enough that the crayon melted and ran down the sides. The next day, or when the rocks are totally and completely cool, buff the rocks with the soft cloth for a shiny finish. These probably will not hold up in the sun so we will be keeping them in the house.

Crochet dish rag

To teach Dancer how to crochet, I showed her how to make a simple dish rag. This is one is crocheted with vibrant red, white and blue cotton yarn. It is a simple chain 29 stitches. Double crochet in the third stitch from the hook and then double crochet every stitch after. End of row chain two, turn and double crochet in every stitch until it is square. It took Dancer about 10 minutes to learn the chain and double crochet stitch and she was off on her own.

Monday, April 12, 2010

We didn't know she was pregnant

I no longer believe that there are any hard and fast rules about goats and I will not believe, with 100 percent certainty, any information we think we know about goats.

Dancer and Spark, thank heavens, were outside when Klaus, our buck, started jumping on Veronica, the doe that we were pretty certain wasn't pregnant. Dancer got over there as the head was out and by the time I got out the baby was laying on the ground. Dancer quick got a scoop of grain to lure Klaus away from the baby and Veronica while I ran in the corral to get the baby. It was still in the birthing sac so I wiped the mouth and nose quick, plucked it up and brought it in the barn. Veronica was also interested in the grain and so it was a little tricky to get her in while keeping Klaus out. Once we got Veronica in she started licking the baby off, it hopped up in record time and nursed like a little champ. Dancer took this picture not long after it was in the barn so it is still wet and covered with goo. Dancer wanted to name a goat Rubyanna this year but we thought we were done kidding so the name would have to wait until next year. Not so, here is little Rubyanna!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Desdemona finishes with twins

Desdemona, who is a yearling, finished the kidding season with twins. She did not do so ungrammatically though. Just about dinner time, which seems to be the popular kidding time this year, I had a feeling I should go out and check her since it had been a few hours since any of us had been in the barn. I got there and she had a baby's head hanging out of the back of her. Goat babies need to come front feet first and then their heads. It's head was hanging out quite a ways and she had been pawing at the bedding so I don't know how long she had been like that. Assuming it was dead from the way it was drooping down, I tried to pull it out by the head but it was a no go. I was able to reach in, hook the shoulders and with a good pull it came out. As it lay on the hay I saw that it was starting to breathe. We wiped off it's face and as Desdemona started licking it it seemed to come to life. Desdemona, who wasn't very big, started pushing again and we assumed it would be the placenta. It is abnormal for a yearling to have twins their first year. A big surprise when I saw two little hooves and a nose. As she pushed more I could see that it's tongue was sticking out of the side of it's mouth. That is often a sign that the doe has been pushing a long time. Since this one looked like it had died as well I just pulled it out for her. That little one was completely in it's sack and when I broke the sac and wiped the mouth off just to be sure, it let out a little baa. Our excitement was short lived as they were barely able to lift their heads and weren't responding as they should have to the mother's licking. We worked with them for about 45 minutes and there wasn't much improvement, they weren't able to stand and often they just lay as if they were dead. It is just hanging in Dancer's hand

Desdemona is surprised by the camera flash. She had two little girls that we named Ellenora and Anastatia.

We needed to run Dancer to her 4-H Lock-In so we left them with the mother and expected the worse and hoped for the best when we returned. When we got back they were alive. Both of them were terribly small, they had no horn bumps and on one of them the hooves had not grown down over the end of their feet yet so our best guess is that they are premature.

Since there was no hope of them nursing, we milked the mother for the colostrum and brought them in the house to the recycle bin NICU. We worked and worked to get a little something in their stomachs. After a good hardy nap, one was able to stand and move a little bit but the tinier one was breathing really hard and couldn't stand. Another feeding and the bigger one was pretty good and the little one was able to stand. When we brought them out this morning they were both able to toddle a few steps but not nurse.

Tonight they are both able to get up and get around and eat from the bottle but not nurse from Desdemona, who is not happy that her babes are not in the barn with her, although we bring them out for visits. Hopefully in a couple of days they will be strong enough to go out with her and be nursing. I was so excited too that we hadn't had any goats living in the house this year.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Monkey Duffel Bag

Dancer is going to 4-H Lock-In tonight and made this lined duffel bag for the occasion. It is McCall's 3136. This went together very nicely for her, no adjustments need at all. It was her first zipper that she had put in and she did it perfect without any help! She is getting really good at sewing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This is unacceptable!!!

"This new housing assignment is totally unfair", complained Klaus the buck. "I mean look, I've fathered 6 kids so far this year, with more to come, and I'm kicked out of my comfy stall, forced to live out in the corral in some bachelors shelter without a soft spot to lay my head".

"I'm down with the male hanging out in a waiting room during the birth; bragging ,handing out cigars, accepting congratulations and shaking hands. But afterwards I should be able to live in the home or homes as the case may be. Am I not the king of my castle(s)?".

"I am not taking this laying down!!! As soon as I can bust out of this fence I'm calling the ASPCA", mumbled the disgruntled caprine through a mouthful of cud.

Klaus is actually living high on the hog this week. He has lots of room, all the hay he can eat and the company of all the pretty nanny goats that aren't kidding this spring. But then if you know goats, you know they are ALWAYS complaining about something.

Bounce, bounce, bounce

We are taking care of the neighbor's dog this week while they are lucky enough to be vacationing. One of the benefits of doing so is being able to bounce on their trampoline every day.

Millie is next with Joe

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Here's Charlie! Yesterday I was just getting ready to start dinner when Dancer looked out and said "I think Calliope is in labor." We run out there to see and there is a little goat laying on the ground with her looking over it. She had a daze expression on her face like, did that just come out of me?! We scooped it up and brought them both in to the barn because it was cold and windy. She started to lick it off and sort of understand that this was her baby. We didn't want to wipe it off to much because we wanted her to bond with it since she seemed so confused about it. Dancer kept her on task for about 45 minutes because she would keep going off to eat. We had to run to baseball, by the time we got back she had it up and dry but it didn't look like it had eaten. Dancer got it in position to nurse and he took right to it. This morning Calliope is still just standing by it but I think she is going to turn out to be a good first time mom.