Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"The Night Before Christmas" (farm version)

The Night Before Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the farm, not a creature was stirring not even in the barn.

The buckets were hung on the nails with care in hopes that St. Nickolas soon would be there.

The kids were nestled all snug in the straw, while visions of banana peels danced in their heads

Molly in her kerchief and Arlo in his cap had just settled down for a Winter Solstice nap. When out in the corral there arouse such a clatter, Arlo sprang from the straw to see what was the matter.

Away to the window he flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The full moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below.

When, what to his wondering eyes should appear, but Papa’s red sleigh and eight tiny goat deer. “Hey, everyone, it’s the relatives from the north!”. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, he knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid that chickens his coursers they came. And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixon, On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the coop, to the top of the barn! Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all”!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, so up to the rooftop the coursers they flew with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too.

And then in a twinkling, Arlo heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As he drew in his head and was turning around, down off the roof St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Carhartts, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all covered with hay.

A bundle of treats he had flung on his back, and he looked like a delivery man bringing in the milk.

His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The sprig of wheat he held tight in his teeth, and the fragrance of pine needles encircled him like a wreath.

He had a broad face and little round belly that shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, right jolly old elf, and Arlo laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the buckets, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, but the wall he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But Arlo heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fresh straw

A clean barn, freshly painted and sweet smelling straw. What more could a goat (or girl) ask for?

New member of the family

As many of you know our old yellow lab, Cap, passed away almost two years ago. We finally have a new "baby" that will eventually be Vernon's bird hunting partner.
Meet Ollie. He was born September 14 and arrived at our house mid November. It's been a job "puppy proofing" the house. It is like having a very agile toddler with extremely sharp teeth! (I've raised several puppies in the past, but it has been a long time......)

 He's learning about computers.
 He's learning that you don't drag Mattie around like a rag doll!
And I'm not sure where we will put the Christmas tree - even though the living room is blocked off. So far Mattie has been able to get into the living room and have it as her sanctuary. However, I'm pretty sure Ollie will be able to follow her very soon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Getting ready for winter

We've been enjoying the nice fall weather while rushing to get everything ready for winter. Our first taste of winter came on Friday Oct 4 with 3 inches of snow and a very cold frosty day. The new barn hadn't been totally winterized yet and was a bit drafty. The sudden cold caught as off guard and realized how much still needed to be done. The hose was frozen and I hadn't plugged in the water heaters. Many of the goats came down with a cold - been treating them with essential oils and they are much better now. Had not received the winter supply of hay yet either. That supply started showing up on last Tuesday. The new "Garage in a Box" shed are now full. Three hundred bales each (that's about 15 tons). Still need about 3-400 more before we are totally stocked for the winter.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Barn is painted!

And so is are the new chicken houses and so is the goat.
Thanks to Laura and Claire for helping me get this done. We finished just two days before we had a week of record setting rain.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Molly and I

Molly and I spent Saturday at the Humphrey Museum and Memorial Park in Evergreen. They were having their annual Hay Day event. Since Molly was a bottle baby, I'm her mom and she loves to spend time just with me. She loads easily in the car and walks on a leash. We walked the grounds talking to visitors about the benefits of dairy goats. We climbed the stairs to talk to the volunteers passing out cookies (Molly wasn't allowed a cookie - she ate pine needles instead). We rode in the hay wagon and listened to the Original Cow-Boy Band from Idaho Springs. It was a great time!

The younger goats in the background are the two that I donated to the museum a couple months ago. Betsy and Apricot are doing very well and are well tended by the museum director and staff..

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Barn totally enclosed!

Still need to cut out one window. Interior dividing half walls missing. Need to add rubber stall mats to the floor and of course some paint would be good.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

And it has a roof!

 Tom and Tad have made this project much easier on me.
 We got the roof on and tar papered yesterday. Still need to shingle.
 It will be nice to move some of the does out of these metal huts! The two horned girls who don't play nice with other goats will have their own stalls. Mini Mel will be with her daughters Firefly and Junebug. Brigette will have her personal stall next to them. There will be a sturdy half wall between with walk through gates. This is in the lower lowest level. The two upper levels will be connected for all the does and kids that currently live in Arlo's Pad.
Hope to enclose the walls and hang doors on Monday.

Goat inspection tour

So far the new barn meets the requirements.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Busy summer

Been working outside instead of on the computer most of the summer. Trying to get the new goat barn built so one of the others can be turned into a real milking parlor. Since we live on a hillside, building is always a challenge. The optical illusion of what is straight is amazing - yes we are using a level. Here's how the barn is progressing.

Hoping to have it liveable by the end of next week.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Our two lilac bushes bloomed heavier this year than it has in ages. I guess the spring moisture came at just the right time. I actually took these pictures before they were in full bloom. Now they are starting to fade.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Recent kid photos

I've been a bit busy.... sorry haven't posted lately. Will try to catch up with all the news soon.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Laundry day

This is what it looks like after mud season when the little goat coats are removed.

Circle of Life

Many of you know that my oldest goat Audrey has been going blind for the past year. In the last 6 weeks her legs have about given out on her, however her appetite has been normal. She has been very patient with her grandkids this year as they climbed all over her (both are bucks).

She ate and drank normally Monday morning, but by evening she was dying. The sounds of goat death cries are unforgettable. It is not the shriek of agony that happens with bloat, more like a mournful cry.
I've wondered why she had been hanging on so long.
Now I know. She passed her spirit to Sunflower's little doe who was born about 4:00pm. Audrey had picked this little doe and was waiting for her to be born.
Audrey's spirit was already gone when I was with her last night, her body just had to quit. She passed later in the night.
This is the end of an era. She is the last of the goats that lived on my farm in Southeast Colorado (I've been gone from there 14 years). Audrey has left a strong lineage: Shannon, her daughter, has four daughters: Nellie, Belle, Montana and Carolina. Belle has a daughter Barbie (they both live at my friend Claire's house). Two of Audrey's other daughters (Lilac and Rose) died of bloat a couple years ago. However Lilac's daughter, Yentl, is now a mom. Also living at Claire's house are two other granddaughters: Lucy (Rose's daughter) and Carmen (with her two new kids). Carmen's mother, Chaco (Belle's sister), was killed by a bear a couple years ago.

The new little Audrey is actually part of the Oberhasli lineage, unrelated to the elder Audrey. Couldn't get a great photo of the little one yet, but here are a couple.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Open Barn

Had a very successful Open Barn yesterday. The weather was just perfect. Thanks to everyone who attended!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More kid photos

During the snow storm on Wednesday five more kids were born. Iceni had triplets, as she always does.
 Meet Lemongrass, Ginger and their brother.

This is Kate. She and her brother were born about 3 hours after the triplets. Their mother Helen did just fine. She waited until I went in the house for a 45 minute break, then had them without any assistance. As a first time mom she is doing very well.

Shannon is due on Tuesday, but hope she has them this weekend. There is another storm predicted for Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rosie had twins

Rosie had twins on Thursday afternoon. A buck and a little doe named Rosemary.

This week Helen and Iceni are due.