Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Beginnings

Surprisingly I've been diligent, for the past couple of months, to get up at 3:45 in the morning to hurridly gulp down 15 minutes worth of coffee before heading out the door to feed the animals and milk the goats. I am totally chicken motivated, not wanting to be accosted by a barrage of obnoxious free range chickens coming down from their roosts at the break of day. My primary motivation to be up at this ungodly hour was to finish early while it was still cool enough to ride my horse rather than finishing at 11 when it's almost too hot to do anything outside. Now, though, it's primarily fear of chickens that gets me up and out.  After feeding the horses and throwing hay I've determined that it takes about 5 minutes apiece to milk the goats. I milk 13 every morning, and timing is everything. I have to be back in the house at 5:30 to rouse sleeping men and get them off to work and school. Once they leave I finish up throwing hay for three separate billy pens, throw feed for the chickens and clean and fill all water tubs.
Yesterday after chores I called a friend who came to pick up a weaned billy goat he had reserved months ago. He ended up leaving with 4 goats, but he said to me when I went out to greet him, "Ah, you have a new baby?"
That was news to me. Sure enough, not one,

but TWO new baby doelings were born yesterday morning. Darling.
Because he realized that the pen he brought to transport his goats home might not be large enough, and because he lived nearby and I had an errand to run, I offered to drive the largest goat to his farm in our truck - having totally forgotten that Bob had taken the truck to work leaving me with the car.
We went anyway.

I can't help but think that Jeff Foxworthy could have a ball with this shot!
We stayed and visited for a bit, watching the goats acclimate to their new surroundings, sipping a glass of homemade grape juice - very nice.

On our way back home I ran into my friend Mary and her husband at the park. They were taking their first test drive with their miniature donkey.

Mary has been working with her donkey for weeks training it to drive and now, here they were, having a blast!
Next stop - the feed store.

I'm concerned that the drought in the Midwest and the devastation to the corn crop is going to cause a substantial rise in the price of livestock feed. Right now the horse, chicken and cattle feed averages about $10. per bag. We use approximately 10 bags per week. Another reason to get busy clearing brush and planting grasses and grains!

Back home again to pop my goat milk soap out of the molds.

I can't tell you how exciting it is to be making soap! It's a lesson in patience, however, because now I have to wait 4 weeks for it to cure.

The rest of the day was just normal, everyday stuff: sweeping up dog hair, folding loads of laundry overflowing on the chair, making cheese, washing dishes...

Homestead Life is an adventure. Full of exciting, incredible experiences, and it can appear idealistic if I were to blog exclusively about the joys of farm life. But so that there's no misunderstanding, homestead life is hard work and filled with unpleasantries as well.
For example, along with the wonder and joy of newborn kids, this afternoon, because Mama Lion chose not to tidy up her children, with warm water and towel in hand I wiped the nasty butts and cleaned the caked on yuck off the babies. Then I buried an unearthed, decomposing unmentionable with a long tail that the dogs had discovered. GAG!
It's not always butterflies and roses!

1 comment:

  1. Marcy...
    You always make me smile but today I completely lost it reading about transporting the goat in your car. I love your blog and reading about your adventures. I live vicarously through you!