Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Week Beyond The Sidewalks

What a busy week it has been here beyond the sidewalks. It started on Sunday, because the week does start on Sunday, with the goatfarmer and the goatjudge coming over to draw blood for the annual CAE testing. Goatfarmer and goatgirl (me) did a good job of holding on to various parts of the goats while goatjudge did the skilled part of finding a vein in a tiny Nigerian neck. She is very skilled in this and it was much appreciated by the goatgirl who would have had to pay the vet to come take blood had it not been for the goatjudge.

I would have taken pictures but thought it rude to say, "Could you hold that position a moment longer so I can get a picture?"

So my camera stayed in it's case.

I did get a picture of the girls in their holding pen. Which is an ex-pen used for dogs. My lawnmower broke so I moved them around the yard while I waited for the goatprofessionals to get here.

We have also been working on a big project......well at least Hubby is.

We acquired half an acre from our neighbor and are in the process of incorporating it into our yard. Now this means the removal of some trees. 18 to be exact. Which is why it is Hubby's project. I am a tree hugger. I name trees. I can't be responsible for cutting trees. I am also a control freak and like to do things my way. But in my old age I have learned to let Hubby win a few. So this is his project. He wants more yard and more room to garden, which is a good thing. He tells me that it will look really bad before it looks really beautiful.
We are in the really bad stage.

I am trying not to look. I put on my blinders and walk into the house.

I did take a few pictures of the logger in the trees. Here he is in an old dead Alder. The only one I felt OK about cutting down.

I have also been busy working with Sunny. He has really taken to the clicker. It has helped us form a relationship. I am having fun with my little horse. Yesterday my friend came over to give me some ideas on things to train with the clicker. You trainers will be jealous to know that one of my best friends is a dog trainer extraordinaire. Her dogs have all the high level obedience titles like, OTCH and MACH's. And to you non-trainers that translates into a whole lot of work that the average trainer never achieves. She is also a gifted clicker trainer that always gives me good ideas. She had me teach Sunny to target, which means he touches his nose to a target stick and then eventually will follow a target stick. Sunny acted like he had done targeting before and touches his wonderful velvet nose on the target whenever I ask. We worked on heeling because I want him to heel like a dog. You should see our about turn. I promise a video when we get really good. He is backing on command and coming when called. For the first time this morning he whinnied when he saw me.

And to further your jealousy, my friend brought her tape measure to take measurements of Sunny's face for the new driving bridle she will fashion out of leather. Yes, my friend is a leather worker too. It is my job to find a mini driving bit.

Sunny still and always will have a bum rear end. There is lots of popping and crunching going on in those hips and knees. Every one of his joints in this back legs pops. For such a young guy it is a shame. But he will have a home with me, forever. He has been through at least 5 homes in 7 years. One place, where he was the longest, kept him in a dog kennel.

When I heard this, his peculiar habit of pacing around in a perfect figure 8 made sense. It is just about the size of a dog kennel and even though he is no longer in the kennel old habits die hard. He still paces.

Here is a picture of Sunny's track.
Slowly but surely we are forming a bond. He comes into my feed shed and I sit on a stool to groom him. When I bury my face in his neck he smells like a horse. He acts like a horse and I just can't get over how tiny he is. This is all the horse a person needs.

And he only eats about half a flake of hay a day.

I bred one of the does, Lexi, today so should have kids in March. This will be Lexi's first. She never appears to be in heat so when I took her to be bred in the past she never took. I just didn't want to leave her there at someone's house. Now with my own buck it is easier to get her to come in. So today was the day. A little sooner than I liked but didn't want to miss this opportunity.

Here she is today, before the big event. Little does she know.......

I finished a hat this week.
And I took many a photo...of my animals

And of fall leaves..........
A neighbor comes to visit....

And last but not least I have been tagged by Holly and Tami. Since I lost the paper that had the magic formula that Danni sent me to link my words the game will have to stop with me. I am suppose to tell you 6 quirky things about me. I don't know if I can come up with 6. I am about as normal (boring) as they come. The one sure to get picked for jury duty because there is nothing quirky about me. But I'll try.
Here goes...
1. I am not very social. Small talk can almost kill me. Parties send me running for the hills.
2. I like the cars parked right up to the garage in a neat line. Don't leave your car helter skelter in my drive.
3. I have worrying down to a science.
4. I am a homebody that would be happy not going anywhere for weeks.
5. I was, at one point, legally blind until the magic of Lasik surgery.
6. This goatgirl hates the taste of goat milk and goat cheese.
It always tastes like I'm licking my goats. That being said I probably haven't had the right goat's milk. It's been awhile since the last babies we have had around here were left on their moms and I don't milk a goat because it is next to impossible to find someone that will milk a goat for you if you want to go somewhere. I will try again with some new instructions in milk handling from the goatfarmer who has a licenced dairy.
Whew I did it. Thanks for thinking of me Holly and Tami!
The End.


Heidi said...

OH what a weekend you had!!! I like goats milk only if it is fresh the same day! and COLD! if it sits in the fridge for more than I day - it does taste like you licked the goat!! LOL

Pamela said...

I am so thrilled that Sonny is getting along with the clicker training. Sounds like he's settling in very well. I had no idea he had been moved around that much--goes a long way to explain his initial behavior.

And I love the image of the cat. Really great.

@JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

You've been very busy, Wendy! I would be exactly like you are about the trees coming down, although a gardening space will be very nice... it's the in between part that's painful!

I don't do parties either, and am quite happy hanging out at home. Maybe we could chat over the fence for our "social" time? I've definately got hermit tendencies!

Happy Monday!

Holly said...

Thank you for playing along! I love the quirks....I too am most comfortable at home. A long weekend away (4 days) has me fretting to get back to my comfort zone. I have NO desire for world travel. None.

I .am. jealous of the friend who is so accomplished. I just don't have the drive to do that anymore. I don't enjoy getting myself out to show in front of people so the chances of me getting a MACH or OTCH aren't good. But that's ok, my dogs are happy and healthy.

And as for you and Sunny...

GO GOATGIRL! You rock. You and I both knew that once he had a reason to learn to love you he would come right along. The clicker just pushes that envelope along so much faster. What are you using for treats?

sugarcreekstuff said...

Wow what a busy weekend. I love all the pics of the animals. That Sunny sure is a looker.
I made a few hats this weekend, mine are weird, yours looks a lot nicer. Do you sell them?
I am a big homebody too.

Danni said...

Seeing as how Danni reads your blog, if she were a true friend, she'd either resend that magic formula you lost - or - she would recognize that you didn't really ask for it and leave it at that.
(Done!) :-)

What an amazing information-filled post!! You've got a lot going on :-)

And... I've known for a while we have a lot in common, but your #6 cracks me up. I've never found anyone to say this but me. I wish, wish, wish I liked the taste of goat milk/goat cheese, but I just can't. To me, it tastes JUST like my old billy goat, Rodney, used to SMELL! blech.

Danni said...

One more thing: Sunny's figure 8 picture was amazing. Amazing and sad and it makes me so happy, again, that he's with you now.

Gone2theDawgs said...

Wow! What a great post! SO much information and great pics. I am so glad you came into Sunny's life! I knew you two would click (no pun intended!) :)

You will love having that extra land and it can be healthy to open up areas around's good for the wildlife too!

I can't wait to see Lexi's kids! AND the hat you made is beautiful! Such talent!

I'm a worrier too....all my friends call me "Mother Hen" when I start worrying....I don't care for goat milk but I DO like a good goat cheese!! :)

ChicagoGrrrl said...

im so happy you are making progress w sonny. it makes me ill to think about him in a dog kennel. people are freaks. that probably contributed alot to his health issues -- his muscles atrophying and probably harmful to his bones and joints. no exercise, no running. sickening. do you think the good diet and exercise will help him in the future? i dont know but i hope so.

Tracey said...

It warms my heart to know Sunny has a forever home with you and your are bonding! The figure 8 picture broke my heart :(
again, I am so glad Sunny is with you :)
The hat you made is so pretty!! I'm impressed.
#1, 2 and 4 are me too!!!
Wow, what a wonderful blessing Lasik surgery was for you!!
Love THE END picture!
Have a great week,

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a busy and wonderful blog post/week!

I loved all the photos, espcially the llama tails. And I'm amazed at that perfect figure sharply done, too. You must video tape that sometime.

I'm excited for next Spring to see Lexi's kids. I'm planning on breeding my mini-mancha, Latte next month. Don't want to breed too early here because Spring doesn't actually arrive here until June!

I'm a alot like you regarding the trees. My heart would be beating way too fast watching those beautiful healthy trees being sacrificed. :(


goatgirl said...

Heidi, That's what I've been told about goat's milk. It HAS to be cold. I will let you know if that is true when my does freshen. By the way, have you smelled his head for me lately?
Pamela, I was so inspired my your video of Maa-Maat that I thought I could teach Sunny a thing or two. It has been a lot of fun and I love to see animals learn.
Clare, I would love to chat over the fence with you. I do chat with your darling grandaughter everyday. You are one lucky grandma! I am really not anti-social and I do well in crowds I just like home best. And the cutting of the trees has been very painful for me. I am wrestling with it in my mind. I can't wait until their dead bodies are hauled away.
Holly, I don't have the desire to train at that level anymore either. I used to but now I don't like to get out and train, train,train. But I enjoy my friend's knowledge of training and just how her mind works to figure out a way to train something using positive reinforcement. Thanks for inspiring me to get out my old rusty clicker and try it on Sunny.
Sugarcreekstuff, I don't sell my hats. They are my random act of kindness. I make them and give them to my friends and relatives. They seem to take on the personality of the one I'm making them for. Thanks for the compliment. I bet your hats are great. I've seen your work.
farmgirl_dk, I think that figure 8 is amazing and sad too. Today it rained a lot of it was full of water. Sunny didn't quite know what to do so he stopped going round and round. Maybe winter will break him of his habit.
Mother Hen aka wrensong, Thanks for making me feel better about the trees and thanks for the compliment on my hat. They are really very easy. Start saving some wool and I'll teach you.
Amy Jo, I think exercise will help, at least I hope so.
Tracey, I think the figure 8 is sad too but kind of interesting how he chose to do that instead of just an oval. You have a great week too!
Lisa, I thought you might like those llama tails. Look how close those two will stand now. They will now eat in the same stall.
Yep the trees break my heart.
But here in Washington if you don't cut some trees down you live in the dark. Still make me sad, I'm only trying to justify it. I never thought about video taping Sunny doing his figure eight but I just might.

FoxMeadowsFarmgirl said...

What a great post! Sounds like a perfect weekend- busy, and at home! =) Living downtown in a city, I especially miss those weekends. My new city-friends don't really get it when I say that I miss my cows! ;)
I'm SO happy to hear about Sunny's progress! Its GREAT for him to have more to think about than perfecting his already perfect figure 8!
Also, in CZ its common to use goat's milk to make a very soft (you put it in a bowl and use a spoon) spreadable cheese, with herbs mixed in- its spread on fresh bread in the morning. Its LOVELY- perhaps I can find you a recipe in English, and you can see what you think. I am sure that freshness is key with goat's milk- but I love goat cheese!

Anonymous said...

Hi Goatgirl!
What a week you had.
Those trees are huge and I know what you mean about not looking. FarmMan had to clear some trees where the old mill pond is. I couldn't watch either.
Sunny is so cute as is his figure 8.
I am a homebody also and working on control freakness. lol..
Have a good week.

Unknown said...

Goat Milk Cheese....Goat Milk Yogurt. Sigh....there amongst my favorite things.

Loved the end shot. Cute overload.

Stephanie said...

Wow! I'm impressed. I didn't think Ruckus had it in him.

goatgirl said...

I didn't either goldilocks but he surprised us. He's the man!
Miss you guys!!!

@JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

I will be at Trunk or Treat at school on Friday. If you'd like to try to meet up, email me at:
farmersdaughter1230 at yahoo dot com

Hope to see you there!

Chanda said...

Your little Sunny is so adorable. Makes me want one of those, but I'm afraid what the big mares might do if they kicked such a small little being. Your goats all look fat, happy and sassy.
I enjoyed your 6 quirky meme quiz. Those are always so fun to read.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

ps....You've been Ghosted!!
Visit my blog to find out what happens next! :)


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the little Nigerian goats! How much goat milk to you guys get? Our Nigerien goat female just had a kid, and during the first week, she had lots and lots of excess milk for us... Now the little kid seems to be drinking it all, and we can tell by the rate she's been growing this last week. Any thoughts on whether or not we should still milk the goat?

Greetings from West Africa!

PS: Nigerien goats Esmeralda, Ilona & Allis say hi!

goatgirl said...

Foxmeadowfarmgirl, That would be great if you sent me a recipe that you like. I should have goat's milk in hmmmmm about 5 months. When you are home for a visit come see Sunny.

Shanda, I imagine that would be a problem with a mini in with big horses. You could fence off a small pasture for one though:) And yes my goats are FAT right now. The leaves are falling and they are gobbling them up. Thanks for stopping by.

Lisa, OK I'll do a ghost story....I just happen to have one.

Welcome Esther from West Africa! Wow don't you just love the internet? I think the little kid could share a bit of milk. Since she could be sharing with other kids. As long as her tummy is full I think it would be fine if you took a little. Especially as she starts eating hay. Thanks for stopping by. I'll check out your blog.

goatgirl said...

And Esmeralda, Ilona, and Allis,
Lexi, SemiSweet, Rowdy, Riot, Ruckus, Moly, Filbert and the lovely Cora Belle say hi back....and please send some heat. It is too cold for their Nigerian blood.

Country Girl said...

GREAT PICTURES! Reading about Sonny makes me want a horse.Enjoyed all your animal pictures and learning a little more about you.

Anonymous said...

We try our best to send heat world wide but it seems we're stuck with it! Not that the goats mind though :-) nor the barb horses who love to sunbathe at the warmest point of the day... crazy girls! My Scandinavian self only risks heatstroke should I follow their tune!

So Lexi will be expecting soon? Hurray for that! We recently sold off our goat male (that would be Allis' father, yes...) as he was too violent against poor Esmeralda - and a few days later, she popped out her kid! We did wait an entire year for things to happen though... At this point, we're thinking in lines of borrowing a male. I've been told they should have a two week period together and that the presence of the male with provoke a heat... Every heard about that? See, here in Niger, we get to hear lots of interesting things, some of them true and some of them... not so true! :-D

In any case, we send WARM greetings!
Esther & Co.

Victoria Cummings said...

Hi Goatgirl - I've come to you via Esther's blog. Your animals are great - especially the goats - I've always wanted some. Sunny is a sweet guy - You're going to have a great time with him. Ask your vet about some glucosamine/chondritin/ msm supplements - I don't know what the dosage would be for a mini. I use Equinyl, which has something that settles the horse's stomach - I had a friend who bred minis who was always concerned about their digestion because they can colic more easily than a big horse - and since I'm a worrier too, colic is my favorite wake up in the night and fear the worst fantasy. I'm working hard at staying in the moment and letting go. The clicker has done wonders for me too with my young horse, Siete. I'm all the way across the country in New England, but I'll be back to visit you here soon.

goatgirl said...

Hi Victoria, thanks for stopping by. I just ordered some Cosiquin for Sunny. my neighbor uses it on one of her horses and recommends it. I didn't realize that colic was a problem in minis.....darn something to worry about. Our last horse that we had for almost 20 years would colic frequently in her last years and we had to put her down during a very bad bout. I hope Sunny doesn't repeat it. But "the new me" isn't going to worry. Today he's fine and I'm living in the present. Wait a minute, I haven't gone out to feed yet....maybe he isn't....oh no...must go look.

goatgirl said...

Esther, in answer to your question, the lovely smell of the buck should bring the doe into season. So two or three weeks should do it.

Countrygirl, I say....get the kids a pony!! What's a big farm without a pony? And they do well with goats.

gafarmwoman, I am wishing about now that we had your sawmill! Since I sent you rain it has been dry here.

Stephanie said...

We miss you guys too! I came across something that you may be interested in. The AMAZING cookbook that you sent me contains a recipe for "Original Puyallup Fair Scones". Now you can have them all year long!

goatgirl said...

Now that is a recipe I have to have! Imagine, fair scones all year long.....mmmmmm. Thanks goldilocks.