Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Goat Girl

When I was 11 years old I begged my mom for a baby goat. As you might guess she did get me one and then enrolled me in 4H. Along with my record books I got a copy of a book called Dairy Goats-Breeding/ Feeding / Management. I read that book front to back. I spent many a night flopped on my bed reading about feed, minerals, hoof rot, kidding, and ADGA scorecards.
I have no idea what happened to that book and wouldn't have even thought about it if I hadn't seen a copy on ebay while hunting for something else.
I had to have it to put in my barn so I bid and battled back and forth a few dollars here and there and won a chunk of my childhood.
It came the other day. I opened it up and started reading the old familiar typed pages. I turned a page and caught my breath. It was the closest I have ever had to a deja vu experience. I had been there before. I wasn't 52 with tired feet, I was 12 years old pouring over a book about my favorite subject. In that split second I could feel my bedroom in the house I grew up in. I know it sounds crazy but remember I"ve been cooped up with a broken hyperactive husband for the last 6 weeks. It was bound to happen.
Here is the manuel I learned how to farm goats with.

It has informative drawings
    \The milking stand I wished my dad built for me.


This one is just as disturbing today as it was then.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flippin' Pigs

One of Keith's chores is doing the pig flip so I can trim their hooves. With Keith out of commission and with the hooves needing trimming I took a couple of friends up on their offer to come help.  I'd do the flipping and Molly would do the trimming. Molly trains horses, she can handle a couple of short-legged  pigs.
I had never been the pig flipper so I was a little nervous. They are heavier than I thought and there is really nothing to hang on to. The idea is to come up behind them, grab their front legs and then gently lay them back in your lap.

It is a chore I spend more time thinking about than it  actually takes to do. I think when you see it you will understand.


We tend to draw a bit of attention when flippin pigs.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Say Grace

   Almost 11 years ago, I came out of the bathroom at a local dog show in which I was competing in obedience with my sheltie, Miles, and there was the most beautiful dog I'd ever seen. His name was Paris. I told the woman on the other end of the leash I wanted a dog that looked just like him. She told me she had a litter of puppies and gave me her card. I tried not to call her. According to Keith we didn't need another dog...especially another hairy barky Sheltie. I didn't listen to him and before he knew it I was going to look at that litter of puppies. I had my choice between two females. I chose the smaller girl with the two black ears. The other puppy went on to be a champion and was sold to someone in Korea for $50,000.  The story of my life.

That is how Wynstone's Say Grace came to live with us. She was adorable and wormed her way into Keith's heart in spite of all that hair. Everyone loved Grace and Grace loved everyone. People would say something like "Oh she really likes me" as she was up on them licking their neck. I wouldn't have the heart to tell them she did that to everyone. Grace had a whole list of people that suggested she come live with them "if anything happens to you".

Bought as an obedience dog, she made it quite clear she didn't really care for that obedience thing. She was known to just leave...and no amount of positive reinforcements brought her back.

Right in the middle of Keith's big accident, Grace started to cough. When I had a chance I took her to see the vet. I was worried because our vet of 28 years had retired and sold his practice to a couple of new vets but I was very pleased to meet Dr. Josh. He was compassionate and practical. He had to deliver the bad news that Grace had cancer and her body as filling with fluid. She had very compromised lung function. He talked about some options but we both agreed no good would come of it. I brought her home and she lasted 9 days. She was spoiled those 9 days and got one more walk to the farm.
I was having a hard time with the big decision.
Grace was still eating, drinking, running, and barking, she just couldn't breath.  I took her back and saw the other very compassionate, practical partner, Dr.
Dean. He helped me make the big decision. Grace was suffering. I had to let her go but I tell you this, Grace knew what was happening. I told the vet that she knew what was going on and he said

"I know she knows"

Grace never gave anyone a moment of grief. She was, and I know it is said a lot but this time it is true,  the best dog.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

15 minutes of fame

Here is a clip that includes a couple of my goats.

Rooster Valley Farm School          

My New Favorite Show

Since Doc Martin is not on right now I was happy to discover a new Britsh show to like.  Call the Midwife is a show worth watching. I'm telling everyone about it. I even have a PBS app on my iPad to watch in the bedroom so Keith doesn't have to listen to women giving birth.