Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bears in hibernation, tortoises in their shells and winter

Bears hibernate in the short cold days of winter. Skunks only poke their heads out every few days to eat the cat food. Tortoises hide in their shells. There is only 6 hours between the end of morning goat chores and the beginning of evening chores. So I feel like a tortoise only poking my head out every few days to see the world. It is winter break between semesters and I can hardly bear to even look at a computer screen. Online teaching zaps all the high tech energies from this Luddite. So until Jan 9th, when we start to gear up for the spring semester, I will have little contact with the computer. I'm making soap - stocking up for the spring, cuddling in my warm reading chair (actually getting some books read - currently it is Hamlet's Blackberry by Wm Powers) and of course hauling gallons of water from the house to the goat pen throughn the icy and snow......

So MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR - I'll see you in 2012. The year of the end of the Mayan 5th great cycle, but more on that later.....

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I've been wondering about the term "bucolic". I first became aware of it when I read the book "The Bucolic Plague" - great book by the way.
So here is the definition:
bucolic [bjuːˈkɒlɪk]
adj also bucolical
1. of or characteristic of the countryside or country life; rustic
2. of or relating to shepherds; pastoral
1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) (sometimes plural) a pastoral poem, often in the form of a dialogue
2. a rustic; farmer or shepherd
[from Latin būcolicus, from Greek boukolikos, from boukolos cowherd, from bous ox]
bucolically adv

Now that I've actually looked up the word, I will now need to start using it on a regular basis.
So have a bucolic day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Soap gift certificates

You can now purchase gift certificates for my soap. Go to my Etsy site and look for this photo.

There are a variety of prices to choose from for the gift certificates.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Orange cinnamon and spicy gingerbread

Peppermint snowflakes and candy canes or anise bells

All soaps are available for purchase on my website

Order early for best select :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Spicy Gingerbread Soaps

Available next will be the spicy gingerbread men and houses, orange cinnamon poinsettas and swirls.

Buying Westfarm's Soap

To see the list of currently available soaps and knitted items you can go directly to my sale site on Etsy.

Chanukah/Hanukkah soaps!

New this year are soaps for Hanukkah. There is the Star of David and a dreidel. These are packaged in blue, white or silver gift bags.

Holiday Peppermint Soaps are ready!

My winter holiday soaps are ready for sale. Pictures here are the peppermint holly bars and snowflakes, eucalyptus pinecones and pine trees. Visit my website OR go directly to the sale site.

More soaps will be added to the list this weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When I'm old....

When I'm old I want to be like this sweet lady we met at the Taos Farmer's Market. She was telling us about this New Mexico squash. It is a native wild squash that has been domesticated. People like her have been saving the seeds and planting this squash for decades. You could tell from the way she talked, that she loved her squash - that sounds strange, but she radiated a wonderful feeling when talking about them. The price was based on the size of your dinner plate at home. If it was larger or smaller than your plate, the squash was a particular price. Nancy and I of course had to each buy one :)

So no, I don't plan on selling squash at a farmer's market when I'm old, but there was something magical in the way she talked about her squash. Guess I feel the same about my goats.

Molly the Milk Monster

Yes, Molly is almost 6 months old and yes, she still gets a bottle twice a day, but then the other kids her age are still nursing from their goat moms.

Yesterday Molly came out first thing, had her bottle and stayed in the barn to eat her hay breakfast (it was snowing and goat's hate snow). The cats hang out until I give them fresh milk. Well, I poured milk in the cat bowl and went back to milking then heard a funny noisy. Turned around and there was Molly standing on the hay bale drinking the cat milk out of the bowl! The cats were standing a little way off glaring fireworks at her. Wished I'd had my camera....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wilma the Welsummer hen

I think Wilma was one of my barn cats in a former life. I don't usually make pets out of chickens, but Wilma made herself a pet....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Knitted items

I've started listing my knitted items for sale. You can go directly to this Etsy website to purchase them (my westfarmgoats website is not caught up yet).

More available soon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Live Abundantly

I read this in Cappers magazine. It really reflects my philosophy of investing in humans.

"Live Abundantly" by Colleen Newquist

My son came out of a sandwich shop to where I waited in the car and handed me a few dollars in change from his purchase. He put the coins he said, in a box for the needy. I had to smile. He's been doing this-giving money to anyone who needs it - for as long as I can remember.

The first time he came home from school and said he'd given his money to a classmate for lunch, I was upset. But I quickly stopped myself. Wasn't that how I'd been brought up? If I needed money, as a child or as an adult, my dad would have his wallet out, no questions asked, regardless of his own financial situation. I'm so glad the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that holding on to money only makes me feel poor, mean and scared. Sharing what I've got-whether it's money, food or time- is freeing. Sharing is a show of confidence in the powers that be, a belief that we will alsways have what we need.

I'm lucky that I've never not had enough. And even luckier that I have a generous son to remind me.

(Colleen Newquist lives abundantly in Park Forest, IL. Find more of her writing and illustrations at

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wonderful yarns!

As always there are gorgeous yarns at the Taos Wool Festival, but in my new mode of simplicity I don't find myself wanting to buy ALL of them. I made very deliberate choices and only bought 4 skeins. These will be knitted into socks and sold through my website.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Taos Wool Festival

Went to the Taos Wool Festival with friend Nancy this weekend. It was a wonderful restful and restorative time for us, as well as being lots of fun.
We admired the Navajo Churro sheep. These are some of my favorite sheep. They have a double fleece - a course outer part and a softer inner coat, although the resulting yarn is usually more on the course side, better for outer garments and rugs. They come in all colors and some even have four horns.
The churro sheep are a well adpated to the SW. They originated from the sheep brought by the early Spanish explorers. They were almost wiped out in the mid 20th century when the government decided that the Navajo should be raising Merino sheep. Only problem with merinos is their soft wool tangles easily in the vegetation of the southwest and then don't do so well eating it either.
Luckily the churro didn't become totally extinct and has had a comeback in the last 30 years.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Knitted items

Handknit scarves and fingerless mitts will soon be available for purchase on my website.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My birthday party

Yes, I turned 50 a few weeks ago. Here are some pictures.

The early setup crew

The beer guys

The party

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Soaps for Autumn now available

Go to my website to order soap

Oatmeal & Honey

Vanilla Maple

Oatmeal & Honey

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Raw milk

It's about time they figured this out. We in the goat world have known this all along :)

U.S. government data says raw milk is safe and may be better than pasteurized milk from cows raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reroofing the chicken house

The old brown rolled roofing that we used to roof the new chicken coop two years ago ripped this summer. So had to go buy some shingles and reroof.

The job went quickly, even with a short rainstorm in the middle of the process, we finished in 4 hours. Couldn't have done it without help, thanks Nancy and Trish!!

I don't mind being up on the roof - in fact it is fun, but won't do it without others around.

DONE! Now the roof matches the rest of the barns!

We're having a barn painting party in September.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A visit with Sandra Dallas

The author of some wonderful historical fiction books, Sandra Dallas, visited the farm a couple weeks ago. The goats and I are featured in her blog.
I loved a couple of her books in particular - "The Diary of Mattie Spencer" and "Prayers for Sale"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A quote

This quote was on the front page of the Mountain Connection newspaper.
"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people." Thich Nhat Hanh

Love this!

The kids

Meet Yentl (brown) and her brother Peter

Lilac is as a very attentive mother, except she doesn't know what to do with Peter. She has always had single births in the past.

So guess who needs a bottle....

Of course you can always sneak in and grab some food while Mom Lori is milking Lilac's other side. Lilac has a ton of milk.

Yup, pretty much a helicopter mom....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Results of the name vote

After the voting here and on FB - the number one name is "Stella".

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Lilac successfully delivered twins while I was doing chores this evening. That's the last of the kids this year - WHEW! It's been a tough season. Pictures as soon as possible.
One male, one female - both have wattles like their dad, Hans.

Vote for a name

Here is the list of names to vote on for this little doeling. Please vote by Saturday at midnight.

List: Karen, Stella, Kira, Jasmine, Rosemary, Paisley, Canella, My Little GTO, Andromeda, Constellation, Star, Starburst, Baby Ruth, Snickers, Almond Joy, Nougat .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Lilac is due to kid tomorrow. No sign of labor yet, but will be checking on her throughout the night. She is HUGE - last two times she has had only one kid - I expect triplets this time. These are Hans' last kids ( he died of bloat in late June).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Naming contest

This little girl needs a name. Her mother, Milky Way just came here to live (I have her mother, Victoria). I'm running a naming contest. You have until Wed July 27th at midnight to make a suggestion, then we will vote.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baby pictures

Here is Maggie's doeling. Her name is Helen. As Claire said "she's a little miracle", which made me think about "The Miracle Worker" (the story of Helen Keller). So the name Helen just seems to fit. She started doing little goat bounces last evening.
Sorry the quality is poor - some setting on the camera has changed and its not focusing correctly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New kid!

Maggie had a little doeling born yesterday. She was due on Thursday, but I wasn't even exactly sure she was pregnant.
Maggie was doing lots of talking and hanging out in the barn when I was doing chores yesterday morning, so I figured she was in early stages of labor. I spent the morning working in the barn so I could check on her frequently. By 1:30 she was getting very insistant that I stay in the barn with her, so I decided to hang out there as she was beginning to have a discharge.
Arlo and Rosie thought it was great that I was sitting in the barn petting them. Arlo is Maggie's first son so he was slightly concerned about her as well.
Around 2:30 Maggie finally starting having laying-down contractions. Usually once this happens there are babies born within an hour. By 3:30 still nothing. I'm starting to get slightly concerned although she hasn't been working too hard at it. I call Claire, as she is the closest most available person, just in case I should need some help.
In the next 1/2 hour Maggie has 6 hard contractions, still not any feet or nose visible. I call Claire and she heads over.
By 5:00 I decide I better check what's going on inside. I reach in to find a couple little hooves and a nose - WHEW - the baby's in the correct position! But it is very tight inside so the kid is stuck. I grab the feet and start pulling as Maggie pushes. The feet and legs appear and then the nose, but it is so tight! I have to really work and pull - Poor Maggie - it hurts so much. But Claire is holding her head to help with calming and give resistance. I keep praying to get the kid out alive. There is a nose and a little moving tongue - finally the head pops out and there she is a LIVE kid!!! She is a cute little brown thing that is hungry immediately.

This is the second time Maggie has had a difficult birth (the first was Arlo and two siblings). She is hard to get bred - she was 4 years old when Arlo was born, but she is an excellent milker. She milked for three years. Therefore I've decided to milk her as long as possible this time and then retire her from breeding. At that point she will be 10 years old, will have given me Arlo and a nice daughter - that is enough. Maggie by the way was also a bottle baby. Isabelle, her mother, decided she could only handle one and gave Maggie to me.

I'll get pictures today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Baby chicks

The third batch of baby chicks arrived on Monday morning. Now that Denver is allowing people to own some backyard chicks, I've been selling month old pullets like crazy. Could probably sell all I have except then that would defeat my purpose of keeping more laying hens for more eggs to sell.
However, I'm considering ordering one more batch of chicks for August. So if you live in the area and have been considering backyard chickens and would be interested in 4 or 5 let me know ASAP so I can order them. This late in the season the variety of breeds is not as large, however I should be able to get 2 or 3 different heavy heritage breed, brown egg layers.

Solar and Lunar eclipses

In ancient times solar or lunar eclipses and full moons were thought to be times of great power. Now days most of us don't even think twice about them except emergency rooms often prepare for extra people and veternarians prepare for more animal emergencies.
We've been hit with a triple dose this month. If you weren't keeping track there was a partial solar eclipse on June 1, a full lunar eclipse AND full moon on June 15 and this week another solar eclipse on July 1st. Have things been a bit off for you lately? It's been bazaar around here particularly with the goats.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kids and kittens

Their names are Sapphire, Galena, Topaz and Ruby. They were born on April 24 and the mom, Midnight, brought them out from their nest under the tool box on Memorial Day weekend. There are two gray ones and two black ones, and I think a maleand a female of each color.