Sunday, May 29, 2011

About My Floors

For some reason tonight I had a bit of ambition and beyond wanting the kitchen to be clean and ready to start cooking in tomorrow, I also wanted the floors to be clean.  I don't clean my floors very often and while I was sweeping I was having a conversation with myself.  Please tell me you do this too, I need to know I'm not totally bonkers!  Partly is OK, totally is not, haha.

The conversation was about why I've stopped cleaning my floor on a regular basis.  Many excuses entered my mind-but the one that resonated was that it simply wasn't a good investment.  The time it stays clean isn't really worth the time spent cleaning.  Sure, I could clean it tonight and enjoy it for about half an hour, then we'd be off to bed and before noon tomorrow my son would have tracked in enough dirt to make anyone think it hadn't been cleaned for weeks.  If it's going to look as though it hasn't been cleaned for weeks, why should I clean it any more frequently?  I was comfortable with this excuse and proceeded to go ahead and sweep the bathroom floor too.

Not even 5 minutes passed and Tony took our son in to brush his teeth.  I warned them I had just cleaned the floors.  Tony carefully took Goober Gus's boots off and dumped the dirt outside, leaving Gus to take his socks off.  You would not believe the dirt that gets into his socks!  FIVE MINUTES, and I wasn't even in the bathroom to enjoy the clean floor!  Five minutes.  The return on investment just isn't worth it to me, and that was my thought when I had visions of it still being clean in the morning...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Busy Week

Last week started off with more than usual going on for a Monday.  First, I needed to attend a meeting that started at 8AM.  For some of you that may not seem like such a big deal, but around here, my son isn't even usually out of bed until about 8 or 830.  I don't usually make plans to leave the house before 10.  Knowing it was coming I didn't separate the twins from Cream, so I wouldn't have to milk that morning, that helped!

Next, it was my first day as a drop coordinator for the monthly Azure Standard order.  There's no set time for delivery, just whenever the truck driver calls to say he's almost here.

Did I mention I was watching 3 goats for signs of labor?  Yes, one that I thought would be about 10 days later filled her udder Sunday night.  No other signs though, so thought there might still be another day or two.  Nope.  Got home from picking up co-op order and Goober Gus went out to see animals and informed me we had a new baby goat.  I stopped what I was doing in the kitchen to go check and this one was still wet and being cleaned. 

Azure boxes opened and waiting to be put away.  Dishwasher needing to be emptied.  Counter tops to clear.

We stayed out to see if she'd have more and she did.  Two boys.

Once the after birth was delivered we moved on to a few other tasks, but then Baby Boy 1 started crying and couldn't get up.  Turns out he was having convulsions and died the next day.  Baby Boy 2 was originally named Blackjack, but we changed that a couple of days later.

The night that the buckling died, Gus and I were enjoying pizza and a movie.  Did I mention Tony was on a business trip during this time?  Leave it to the goats!  We heard a squealing sound and turned to see that one of the cats had brought in its recent catch, still alive and struggling to get away.  It was a baby wild rabbit and we thought it hadn't been mortally wounded, so tried to keep it.  Turns out there was a puncture wound near the heart and he died in my hand.  Two deaths in one day was almost too much for me!

Wednesday, I felt like I had sufficiently recovered from the events of the week so far to tackle the kitchen.  Of course I made it into a bigger task, simply because to do it right, I needed to change some things.  Like the shelf that hangs on the wall, collecting odds and ends.  I've been wanting to change it into something visually appealing and functional, so I took everything off, asked Tony to reinforce the hangers, and put labeled quart jars of bulk herbs on the shelves.  The small shelves on the sides need attention-perhaps a pretty wooden box to hold recipe cards and small flower arrangement?
By the time I had accomplished this, it was mid afternoon (I did get the counters cleared and dishes done too) and I was ready for a treat.  I was planning to take Gus to get an ice cream sandwich (organic of course) and something to drink.  Before we could leave I heard a goat moaning.  Again?  Already?  The next one wasn't due until the 23rd and it was just the 18th.  Sure enough, Annie, who is so huge we thought she was having triplets at least, if not quadruplets, was pushing out her first kid.  We grabbed the camera and sat down to watch.  I couldn't get close enough to tell if it was a girl or boy, but within 30 minutes another one was born.  Guess what happened then?  It started drizzling on us!  This is the desert, we don't usually get spring rains.  It was even cool enough that we went in to put long pants and jackets on!  Back out we went, waiting for #3.  Waiting and waiting.  For the afterbirth.  Yep, she only had 2, but they were big kids.  Turns out we had a boy and girl, so we decided to name them Jack and Jill (and that's why Blackjack needed a new name).  They are so closely marked that until the next day, I couldn't tell them apart!  Jack has longer white spots on his hindquarters, and Jill just has a little white dot.  Now she has a collar on so we can tell more easily.

The picture doesn't adequately show how huge she was.  She looked like a barrel on twigs.  The morning she gave birth it took all she had to get up on the milk stand.  No, I wasn't milking, but giving her treats and checking for signs of labor.

Do you see how similarly they are marked?  They were both still damp with birth fluid and in the excitement I didn't see the longer white stripe on Jack.

We need to take more pictures of them-ideally be out when they are playing and get video.  Tony missed the Wednesday births too because he's got a nightly music job 90 minutes away.

We've been working in the yard, garden and searching for duck eggs.  They're hiding them from us.  Did I ever mention a friend gave us her 3 Indian Runner ducks and 7 hens?

I've been working on this post for a few days now.  It's Thursday and these events all took place last week.  Something kept me busy Thursday & Friday, but I can't remember.  Oh yes.  I finished working on house cleaning and then my step daughters came for a visit on Friday.  Saturday morning we hit up the yard sales and continued looking for property to buy.  Saturday night we had tickets to a Styx concert and finally got to relax a bit.  I think I needed it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Twin Boys!

I sat down to start this post and upload photos about 3PM yesterday.  The bucklings were born about 1215 and 1245, and we had spent a couple of hours watching them.  A mom I know from the park was coming by to bring her kids to see the babies and she pulled up right after I typed the title of this post.  The boys were more interested in running around playing than looking at the goats, so they were off having fun while she and I talked.  Then I noticed that Baby Boy 1 was making a strange cry and laying on the ground.  I went into the pen to help him stand up, but he couldn't.  I felt around for injuries, but nothing specific seemed to be wrong.  She left so I could tend to the baby and I warmed some milk and tried feeding him.  He couldn't suckle, though I had watched him do so earlier, knowing he was getting milk because Peaches' udder was noticably smaller on the side he was drinking from.  Called the vet, just to see if I was overlooking something obvious.  He suggested Karo syrup and maybe a B complex injection.  I have honey and kombucha.  Tony said the kombucha would have a high rate of B vitamins.  I had to use a straw like a dropper to even get liquid into him, and them smeared a bit of honey on the roof of his mouth.  He would complain with a cry, and try to roll over, but couldn't get up.

We had small group last night and I really didn't expect him to be alive when we got home.  He was.  I gave him more milk, kombucha and honey and prayed again.  Goober Gus and I went to bed after that (Tony is out of town).  I told God that if the goat's survival was dependant on me getting up to feed him thru the night, He'd need to wake me with enough energy to do it.  I didn't wake up until 4AM and went to check, he was still alive.  Peaches had moved him to a warmer part of the shelter and surrounded him with straw.  I didn't give any more milk until I got up at 7 though.  He was losing muscle tone, I could tell that.

I called the woman that cares for our animals when we go away and she came over to see him.  While waiting for her arrival I continued to hold the little guy (his mouth and ears were cool, knew that wasn't good) and squeeze a few drops of milk in his mouth on a regular basis.  Don't think I've ever been happier to have an animal pee on me!  I had already realized earlier that the whole time we were in the pen after birth I never saw either do their "dooty".  My friend arrived shorty after and I showed her the video I took of his attempts to get up and she recognized it as convulsions.  Suddenly it made more sense.  I kept wracking my brain to figure out what happened to cause this first born, healthy, suckling goat that had been walking around, trying to run just moments before to not even be able to stand.  Now I knew.  Then I cried.  One baby goat, not even 24 hours old.  Not much monetary value in the world, but still a marvelous creation of God with life that always has value beyond any dollar measure.

Tuesday mornings are our park date, so we went ahead to play.  Goober Gus needed to know that he was more important to me than the goat, and that I'd make the time to take him to play even with the sadness at home.  We got home shortly after noon and Baby Boy 1 had passed.  We wrapped him in an old pecan bag and took him out of the pen.  Gus wanted to say goodbye and give him flowers.  He decided the marigold he had picked out on Mother's Day (that he's very attached to and has been watering on his own) should be part of the goodbye process.  Sweet boy.  I did manage to get some good pictures during the couple of hours he was healthy.

Mama Peaches with Baby Boy 1 looking for a teat while Baby Boy 2 is waiting to be licked some more.

Baby Boy 2.  No matter where I put clean straw for birthing, they choose another spot.

Baby Boy 1

Aw ma, don't do that here!

Baby Boy 2 finding a teat.

Mama and the twins.

Baby Boy 2.  We think he'll be called Blackjack.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


For the first time in our short stint as chicken farmers we have 2 baby chicks, hatched today!  They are tiny but already doing everything they see mom doing.  She scratches, they peck.  Sometimes she scratches and they get caught up in the debris she's scratching in.  We discovered them about an hour and a half ago, and they can't be more than about 3 hours old at that time.  The broody hen is a golden laced wyandotte and the rooster is a white banty (I really ought to verify his breed-he's small and has feathers on his legs) and the two babies are both black with a little white on their bellies.  There are still eggs in the nest, will any of those hatch in the next 24 hours?