Sunday, July 31, 2011

Passing It On

Every summer when I was a child I picked berries with my grandmother and made freezer jam. When I got older my sisters and sister-in-law would gather at Grandma Ding's to make jam. My grandma's first name was Belle and she married a man named Dingman so Grandma Ding it was.
When my nephew, the great great grandson of Grandma Ding, was visiting I decided he should have the experience of picking berries and making jam so we took a little trip to one of my favorite farms.

We picked enough raspberries for several batches of jam and a pie.

He was a great picker....not such a good jam maker.

He was bored and went to play with the dog.

Come back! Someone needs to stir this jam!

The recipe for freezer jam.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Farm Hand

My nephew is here for a visit. I had forgotten how nice it is to have a boy with a lot of energy around. He has really helped at the farm. Each goat has been groomed at least twice whether they wanted it or not.

The babies have had some leash training.

Whether they wanted it or not.

Pepper Ann had the good fortune to be his favorite.

She has just about had all her hair groomed off.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home Again

Pepe is home from his extended vacation. He has been gone for many months and has grown into quite a handsome fellow.

The Tiny Giant

This is Cora Belle's boy. He is a big fat baby. Originally named Lucky he is now known as "The Tiny Giant". When people come to the farm they say, "Where's The Tiny Giant?" They have to ask because he blends in with the big goats.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What is a Friend?

A friend is someone who will come to your farm with shovel in hand when the resident grave digger is out of town and helps you bury a goat. A good friend is someone who comes to your farm with shovel in hand when the resident grave digger is out of town and helps you bury a goat and also brings you a mocha.
Thanks goatfarmer.


We lost our little Notty last night. When I went down to feed last night I could tell something was up. He was doing a lot of standing in the corner and panting heavily. I gave him a dose of Banamine for the pain and a drench of ammonium chloride in case of stones. He was wet around his boy parts so I knew something was getting out. Doped up on Banamine he settled down and was looking comfortable when I went to bed with every intention of calling the vet this morning. But this morning when I went to check he was dead. I have no idea what happened.
Notty was only 2 years old and was starting to fill out into a beautiful boy. I was just looking at him and thinking, Wow, he's turned out to be a nice looking buck. He came to me wild as a hawk and left this world as tame as a kitten.
He will be missed.

The girls visiting the bucks just a couple days ago.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Around the Farm

We have been busy around the farm after our road trip to visit our kids in CA. Cora Belle is on milk test and was milking numbers in the Top Ten in the nation for Nigerians. Her numbers have dropped a bit because I didn't want anyone to have to come milk her twice a day while we were gone so just left her huge kid on her. Worked well but her production went down about a pound and a half. I am trying to get it back up but we shall see.....there is always next year.

Two doelings have gone to their new home and I must say, you meet the nicest people selling goats. A darling family came and took Opal and Blossom home to live at a Montessori school with a wether and a Baby Doll sheep. The children were so gentle and kind I knew Opal and Blossom would be cherished pets.

We have one more doeling, Pepper Ann, to sell that is very correct and has a great pedigree but is not very flashy so is getting overlooked. That's ok, she will go to fair this year if I don't sell her and I have learned that the right person will come along for her too...the right person can always be ME.

I am keeping Bliss. She is a funny little girl that gets into a lot of mischief. She is the only goat I own, and the smallest, that jumps between pastures and goes where she wants, much to her mother's distress. Her pedigree is awesome on both sides and she is just beautiful.

Lucky is also staying here. There isn't anything I don't like about him....except that he is huge. I am worried about that but since his mom is a champion and milking top ten numbers I am going to hang on to him and see if he doesn't slow down...ha ha ha.

I have been making lots of cheese and sharing with my friends and family. Chevre, haloumi, and cajeta (goat milk caramel) are frequently on the menu. Talk about sweet candy milk, that cajeta on ice cream and then sprinkled with some walnuts is perfection.
I am also in mourning for my sweet little produce stand at the end of the road. Apparently it was just too expensive to get insurance and permits to run the humble farm stand. This really irks me since most of the proceeds went to feed the homeless in Tacoma. It also make my quest for eating locally a little bit more of a challenge. For years I bought all my produce there in the summer. It seemed like no matter how much I took up to the counter it was always $8.00. I would go away with bags of produce for $8.00. I miss you Bea's Flowers.

We have been splitting and stacking wood. Oh how I hate to work on firewood. It use to be so homesteady to chop our own wood and heat with a woodstove but now it's a chore I dread. I looked up today from stacking wood and said, "I'm not doing this when I'm 75 you know"
Stay tuned for 23 more years and see if I'm still stackin' wood.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Little Faith

Last night was a hard night for our family. Right before I went to bed my son called and told me their beloved little dog Faith was missing. When visiting her parents, my daughter in law brings the dogs to play in the yard. Last night when she went to leave she discovered the back gate open and Faith was gone.
I tried to reassure my son that they would find her. She is microchipped and has a collar and tags. Plus she is friendly so probably wouldn't be scared to approach people.
Faith is a family member. When I told my son he couldn't take his dog to college he went out and got another. I thought it was a horrible idea. I was so wrong. She went everywhere with him. She fit under the seat of the plane and has flown more than I have. She is the best dog in the world.

When he met his wife and fell in love she fell in love with Faith too. Faith is their first baby.
So last night they frantically searched the very busy streets of Bakersfield for their darling girl while I lay helpless a thousand miles away in my bed, sick to my stomach, and prayed for my little granddog, alone and scared in the city.
My prayer was very specific.....Dear God, Please let a kind lady find Faith.
My son would call with updates and I would try to encourage him but I was so worried about the traffic....and the heat.
Dear God, Please let a kind lady find Faith.
I tossed and turned knowing there would be no sleep for me. I prayed again for a kind lady and a peace all of a sudden came over me and I heard God say to me that he had this taken care of and I didn't need to worry anymore. I enjoyed that peace for a few minutes and then I went back to worrying again. It is hard for me to give up control.
Meanwhile on a busy street in Bakersfield, a small dog was dodging traffic. Barely missed by one car, another slams on its brakes and a lady throws her door open. With a big leap of faith that little dog jumped in that "kind lady's" car and got herself a phone call home.
Thank you God for that kind lady that saved a little dog named Faith.

And people, please have a tag on your dog, it's their phone call home. Microchips are important but a tag makes it all so much easier. Most everyone has a cell phone so they can make a quick call and the pet is on the way home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Field of Goats

Saturday the Key Peninsula Goat Club held their first goat field day on the field at the Longbranch Improvement Center. Filbert came with his pack of goodies and was quickly taken over by a group of enthusiastic children. I barely saw him the rest of the day.

He hiked.

He posed. Who wethered this guy???

He gave out treats.

He was admired.

And then he rested.

Solomon also enjoyed some attention.

As did Tangy of Herron Hill.

I think it is safe to say "A good time was had by all"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bald Pigs

There must be a lot of bald pigs out there, or pigs that are losing their hair. It is one of my most popular posts according to the stats. Lots of people googling "pot bellied pigs losing hair" out there so knowing a little more from experience than I did back then I will tell you what I know.
Pot Bellied pigs shed out their coat every year. They are also flaky and scaly most times of the year. When I got the girls I was told to oil them. I tried. They hate it and run screaming. I brush them occasionally when they will let me. I have asked a lot of people what to do about their scales but haven't gotten a good solution. The last lady said that their wasn't anything I could do so I learned to ignore it and when the girls came by for a pet I'd give them a good scratch and peel off a few scales-ewwwww. The one thing that I found that does help is leaving them out in the pasture in the rain. It moistens their skin and cleans them off. They are from Vietnam-lots of rain.

This is what they look like now.

They have had mange on one occasion which is evident around their feet. They get small bumps and red skin. I wormed them orally 9 days apart with injectable Ivermectin and it took care of that.
While losing their hair the pigs will be itchy and scratch themselves on anything that will sit still. After awhile all that old hair will be gone and a new growth will become apparent causing them to resemble a giant kiwi. I like that stage.

This is just plain ugly.....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Seeing Pink

As some of you might know the men in my family are big into racing. In our case it is and always has been motocross. Our niece and her family are big into it too. She happens to work at a very nice track in the hills of the Central Coast in California. On our recent trip to California to see our kids we took a side trip so the guys could ride with Tami and her family at the very nice track.
It was a weekday so the track was quiet with only a few trucks around and only a handful of riders going around the track. As my son came off the track he informed me that Carey Hart was there.

"What! If he's here then that means Pink is here somewhere."

"We give Pink her space while she's here supporting her husband," my niece said in a way that told me she was use to seeing celebrities.

"I'm not giving her her space. I love Pink. I'm going to go find her".

Now I'm a huge Pink fan. In fact, every day after work, I get in my car and turn the key and "Raise Your Glass" is on the radio so I sing it at the top of my lungs all the way home. I have a short commute.
Just that morning I had read the People article and saw the beautiful baby pictures of new baby, Willow.
I was not going to give Pink her space. Besides the dogs needed to be walked and it wasn't against the law for me to walk them over by their truck was it?
So I walked a little closer to the truck parked in the shade but didn't see anyone. I thought it might be odd to just hang out so started back when all of a sudden I saw a head in the truck. The head had short hair but it didn't look blond so I walked away. I did want to see Pink but I didn't want to go tap on the window. I was trying to give her some space. I walked the dogs back not wanting to go against the management (my niece).
After a while I crawled into our truck and took my little power nap. When I crawled out of the truck, my family informed me that Pink was indeed there....but was now gone. Apparently, the guy that runs the track went over to talk to Carey and there she was,breast feeding.

"Why didn't you get me up?" I wailed.

"Because we give Pink her space when she's here."

So if you are out there Pink and google your name and this comes up, even though I deeply regret it, I gave you your space. Enjoy your new baby.

picture taken from the internet courtesy of People Magazine and Baby as Art- which I must say takes beautiful photos.