Saturday, December 27, 2008

First Hay Purchase, Strike One

Well, went through the bale of hay that Hugh gave me when I picked up the goats.. So headed to the feed store.. What they had was less then spectacular.. Sort of green on the inside but rather yellow on the outside.. Didn't smell sweet like really fresh hay.. But didn't smell really rank either.. Didn't look moldy or excessively dusty so I guess it's ok.. The girls ate it fine but I think wasted most of the first flake..

Then we decided to check a tack store that is only a couple minutes away from us.. (The feed store is a good half an hour drive..) They had a tractor trailer with its doors open and the bales inside it looked nice and green.. So we went inside and bought a bale.. It was the same price as the bales at the feed store.. When we got outside the girl said the hay we bought (coastal) was around the back.. So apparently the hay we were looking at was something else and probably more expensive.. Turns out the coastal hay they had was brown, not even yellow, and a smaller bale then the one we got from the feed store.. It doesn't smell rank, but I'm sure if I open it, it's going to be dusty as all get out.. I figure I'll just use it for bedding in their shelter or something..

I hope this is just because of the time of the season.. Hugh always makes sure to get decent hay for his goats and I want to do the same.. Besides the fact that bad hay can really mess a goat up.. The bale he gave me was nice and green and sweet smelling.. That's what I'm looking for.. Hopefully I'll have better luck next time..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

He Won!

Well, he got layed off on a Friday, took his work shirts back Monday, got called Monday afternoon about some positions their parent company had, got an email Tuesday from the parent company wanting him to come in to fill out an application, did that Wednesday, took it back Thursday, and got a call Friday saying he starts orientation on the 29th.. So we will not be selling our house and all projects will be resuming after the first of the year..

As for projects, the veggie garden is growing but not quite like I'd hoped.. Knitting is going slowly at the moment because with him being home we've been play a lot of World of Warcraft.. Goats are doing well.. Everybody's poo is normal and they're eating away.. Slowly getting them used to eating alfalfa pellets.. I'd like to get them to a half a scoop of grain and a half of alfalfa pellets.. Almost there.. Prima will eat anything so she was the first to dig into them.. Need to do some repairs on the fence but luckily isn't just the part going from their pen to their yard.. Fed them some oak branches which they absolutely devoured.. Found out from Pam that those can be toxic and cause liver damage if fed too much.. So I'll have to find something else to feed them as treats.. They'll have plenty to eat in the spring when the willow trees in their yard sprout leaves again.. I'm also thinking of getting a bag of black oil sunflower seeds and plant a whole bunch of them.. They're supposed to be really good for a lot of livestock.. But in moderation because they are high in fat..

Oh, and our border collie mix dog had puppies.. We've had her for 2 years and she's never been pregnant.. I'd finally figured she'd been fixed before we got her.. Apparently not.. Something else to get done after the first of the year.. The puppies are about 3 weeks old now and starting to open their eyes and climb out of the dog house.. I'm thinking of putting the dog house in the goat yard.. I brought Dixie in there and she pretty much ignored the goats.. She might make a decent livestock guardian after all.. But I need to observe her some more first.. I can't have chickens around her though because she'll kill them.. I'd like to get a shock collar and train her to leave them alone.. Yes, I know they're kinda cruel, but I've heard of people having great results with training their dogs to leave livestock alone.. I don't know how else to get it through her thick head that chickens are not brought here for her personal snacking.. Besides, those shock collars are expensive..

Anyway, it's really late here and I need to get some sleep.. Yes, I know I tend to do most of my entries late at nite.. But its one of the few times that I have time to think.. lol

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All Projects On Hold

Hubby got layed off his job yesterday.. I don't really know what will happen from here.. Hopefully he'll be able to find a really fantastic job really fast.. Doubt it though.. Hopefully he at least finds something soon.. I should probably look for something too.. Whoever finds a full time job first wins?

My father inlaw said if it comes down to it we could sell the house.. Yes, he does have the authority to say that since they bought out our mortgage.. Bad idea in my opinion since our mortgage is essentially paid for, even though we do need to start paying them back some day.. But if we sell the house then we'd have to rent something and we were barely making ends meet with what he WAS making.. The trucking company has an unemployment package waiting for him, at least, when he goes to take in his work shirts.. And if things pick up they'll hire him back.. But that's an if we can't wait for..

Of course, if it does come down to selling the house, then the farm idea is over.. I'll have to take the goats back, of course.. I'm not going to be able to get the rabbits like planned, even though the breeder never gave me a call last month like she was supposed to, to let me know they'd been born.. The incubator certainly isn't going to be built..

Ironically, we're keeping in good humor.. Some shock and depression at first.. And probably not the last of it.. But we're keeping each other laughing, and that's a very good thing.. Kind of like laughing in the face of adversity..

I guess the only projects that will keep going right now are the knitting/crocheting and the veggie garden.. I have all the supplies I need for now with the knitting/crocheting.. And I've got seeds and soil for the veggie garden.. All I need else for that is sun and water.. Got several things sprouting in the veggies.. Hopefully he'll have a job before its time to harvest them.. Unemployment has a job assistance things I believe to help you get a job.. Hopefully he'll be able to get something that way at least.. Hopefully..

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ok, So Learning to Knit Isn't THAT Easy..

But its not hard either..

Ok, so I put a post on the local freecycle that I was looking for knitting and crocheting supplies.. A lady responded saying she had some yarn.. I think ok, couple of skeins or something.. THIS is what she gave me..
buttload of yarn

I am absolutely blown away.. It is going to take me forever to use all of that.. And I love the colors even though some of them don't come through in the pic that well.. Apparently the lady crochets baby booties and sells them on ebay.. I'll pimp her link here since she was so absolutely generous with the yarn.. And I'm sure that's just probably her "extra".. And she said they just moved and haven't unpacked everything so she may have MORE!
Baby Bear Boutique
Really cute booties and blankets..

So after I pick up the big garbage bag of yarn, I head to the local Joann's.. I wasn't sure what size needles I should start with so I bought some assortment packages.. The knitting needles are sizes 6, 7, and 8.. The crochet hooks are D-K.. I also got a couple yarn needles and a cablestitch holder..
knitting and crochet supplies
All needles and hooks are the metal ones since that's what the assortments came in..

And here is my first knitting attempt! (That yarn is actually yellow, not white..)
first knitting attempt
Not perfect, but I'm getting the hang of it.. I got the cast on pretty quickly.. Had a little trouble getting the first couple knit stitches but I'm doing better.. A note to anybody learning to knit, don't be stingy with that working yarn or you'll end up with really tight stitches and won't be able to work with them when you come back around to the first stitch again..

So far I've only done the cast on and the knit stitch.. Going to keep on with the knit stitch until I'm sure I've got it down good and then I'll try the purl stitch.. My hands are a little sore from trying to hold the needles and everything.. But my hands are a little stiff anyway from when I was a dog groomer..

I can't decide if I'm going to go to bed now or if I'm going to try some more stitches.. I think sleep is going to win out..

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ooooohhhh!!!! Now I REALLY Want to Knit.....

And crochet.. This site listed below has some really neat knitted and crochet toy patterns.. I want to make them so badly.. They're so adorable! My plan would be to make them throughout the year and then give them to a church or something at the end of the year for kids without toys.. Of course, the first couple I make will get claimed by my own kids..
P.S. - Oops, forgot to include the link.. = )
Really Neat Toy Patterns

They're Home!!!

I finally brought my girls home today! They are settling in well and are loving their new home.. I ended up bringing them home in my little hatchback.. Had to make two trips.. First Velvet and Prima, then Blue Bell with a bale of hay..

This is Blue Bell, the nubian/mini-alpine cross.. She's almost 3 yrs and a sweetheart..
Blue Bell

Velvet, american nubian.. Almost 2yrs.. I love her markings around her legs and underbelly along with her overall color..

Prima, american nubian.. Almost 2 yrs.. She's the only one that has already freshened.. She had a beautiful single buckling last year.. This isn't the best pic of her since I was trying to take it before she moved..

Hanging out in their shelter..
Prima, Velvet, Blue Bell

Staring out at all the green to chew on..
Prima, Velvet, Blue Bell

Going for a stroll..
Velvet, Prima, Blue Bell

Meeting the locals..
Meeting the locals

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Getting Crafty

Well, I've been bitten again by the craft bug.. Before the craft was cross stitch.. But a little while ago somebody posted a pic of the sweaters they had made for their goat kids.. I was hooked! = )

Somebody on another site posted the link to .. A very nice site with videos on how to knit.. Now I'm very eager to do that too.. It looks so easy.. I've already got SO many ideas.. But since I'd have to buy supplies for those first, I am doing something else while I wait for the time and money to go to the craft store.. I'd gotten a latch rug kit a while ago and for some reason only hardly started it and then stopped.. So I'm doing the latch rug for now to satisfy the crafting itch..

This is what it's going to look like..
bunny latch rug

This is what I have so far.. What I'd done before with just a little more of the blue done..
bunny latch rug

While doing the rug, it was nice and sunny outside so I turned off the ceiling fan light and opened some windows.. When I took the blanket off the window in the living room (yes, I have a toddler blanket covering my window) this is what I saw..
juvenile cooper's hawk
It's a beautiful Cooper's hawk.. (I looked it up..) It was sitting on the post eating a little mouse or something it had caught.. The kids and I watched it until it finished its meal and flew off.. I also got a video of it but it's kind of shaky because I was leaning over the tv while we watched it..

Friday, December 5, 2008


Ok, now the goat shelter is really done! Shavings, food buckets, water bucket, makeshift hay rack.. Going to make a mineral feeder out of an old milk jug.. But the hardest part of that will be figuring out where to put it and how to attach it..
goat shelter shavings

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kinder goats

If you'd like to know more about kinder goats go to Here is a good page to start with..


Ok, now for the goats post.. I'd always had a passing interest with goats.. I mean, they're animals.. Of course I'm going to be interested.. My interest took on a new life when I realized I could do the mini farm thing.. I then started researching breeds and found the kinders which are a meat and milk breed.. There's the multipurpose thing I love so much..

Of course, I didn't have $300 for a really nice doe.. The kinder website suggests maybe leasing or borrowing a doe.. So on a whim I put on a local goat forum that I was looking to exchange the use of a doe for some farm work.. I'd never worked on a farm but figured this would be the perfect way to get some hands on experience which is the way I learn the best.. A lady about a half an hour responded saying she didn't have a doe I could use but she'd pay me for my work.. Good enough.. That would help pay some of the bills around here..

After a couple of weeks working there they offered me Blue Bell.. (Click on the pic for a bigger image..) Bluebell She's half mini-nubian and half purebred nubian.. Wouldn't work for my kinder herd but would be a good start on providing milk for the family.. Only thing was that she'd never been bred before so they didn't know how well she'd milk.. But her mom had milked well and her dad had excellent milkers in his background so she should provide us with plenty of milk..

As the months went on and the economy got worse, they informed me that they could no longer pay me but offered me two american nubian does instead in exchange for my work.. Primadonna Prima and Blue VelvetVelvet.. I was of course delighted.. Not only something to start my kinder herd with but my own does.. The only problem was that the two does are CAE positive and I really want to start my kinder herd without that.. So all three does have been bred to a couple of their spotted bucks that I'd admired.. And the two bucks are sweethearts so that's always a big plus.. Blue Bell was bred to Leprechaun and the other two were bred to Patrick.. Patrick and Leprechaun were born on St. Patrick's Day.. = )

So anyway, I'm going to have nubian babies to start with.. I'll bottle raise them on CAE free or pasturized or even cow's milk from the store.. Then I'll pick a couple of the nicest doelings out of Prima's and Velvet's babies (hopefully with spots) and sell or butcher the rest.. If I get a really really excellent buckling I might keep him too.. But that's a slim chance I'll get something that outstanding.. But Prima and Velvet are beautiful girls and the spotted bucks are awesome purebreds.. So you never know..

After the doelings I pick are big enough to breed, I'll find a nice pygmy buck (or two) to bring home.. Then the kinders start! The first 4 generations will be registered as a merit, which is recognizing them as the start of your kinder herd.. Then the fifth generation is actually registered as kinders.. I'll have to registered the kinders as mixed or experimental with the ADGA since they don't recognize kinders as an actual breed yet..

Anyway, after I worked off my girls, I worked there for another month and they paid me so I could get the fencing and stuff done.. Now everything is done and ready and we just need to get them home.. I plan on renting a Uhaul cargo van.. But of course money is stalling that.. Bills have to be paid first.. For now the fenced in goat yard is being used as an occasional dog run..

Here is what I started with for the goat shelter and yard.. pre goat shelter Yes, very overgrown and used as a junk pile.. It took a lot of work to get that all cleaned up.. We just never had much use for it before except for the junk.. Of course, now that it is cleaned off the kids have been playing basketball and such on it.. If I'd known they would do that I would have cleaned it off long ago..

And here's a shot of the back yard after we moved in here.. The black willows didn't grow in until later.. We didn't plant them.. They just appeared on their own.. backyard 2005

And here is the goat shelter and fenced area now.. goat shelter goat fencing 1

But anyway(again), I guess that's it for now on the goats.. I was hoping to have pics of them in their new home by now.. But we'll get there eventually.. Even if I have to bring them home in my little Ford Festiva hatchback.. Can you just imagine three full grown does in a little hatchback? You wouldn't believe what I've transported in that car before.. The biggest thing would probably be a couch.. We've had some trouble with her, but for the most part she just keeps on going.. Much to be said about the little economy cars that are built to just be run to death..