Tough Morning – Thankful Thursday

This morning was really hard for me. My sister woke me up before she had to leave to take her kids to school and then head to work to let me know that one of our goats had died in the night.

One of the baby goats, the little bucklings that were born in August and were still small enough to pick up and hold.

We didn’t really know why he had died.

I went through my morning chores: laundry, dishes, checking on the animals and their waters. (Everything freezes over multiple times throughout the day because the temperature is always below the freezing point of water right now.)

I did all of this while crying, because I am a crier, but still able to work even when doing so.

I felt the need to call a friend who also has goats (and has kind of been our go-to person whenever we have goat issues that crop up.) She came right over and listened to me before checking on the only little goatling we have left. She let me know that in the cold weather, most goats’ digestive track slows incredibly fast and it’s very easy for them to become bloated and if they are headbutted (which is how goats play) and it hits them just wrong (which is a worry mostly for the smaller ones that aren’t quite 5 or 6 months old yet, which our two youngest goatlings turn 5 months around Christmas) they can rupture something and die. Being bloated also makes it harder for them to keep warm because it hurts to cuddle up with others if you are too bloated.

My friend was actually surprised that the smaller of the two goatlings had survived the last few nights with how small he is and how bloated he was.

“Those other buckling must really like this one, the only way he could have survived the last few nights was if he was cuddled up with them even when he didn’t want to be.” she told me.

I thought back on it and I did recall that Cowboy and Ventus (our next two youngest after the little ones, but they are closer to 7 months old) do like the little tri-colored goatling that survived.

My friend showed me how to hold the little goatling and pat at his stomach to help him burp out all of the gas that was keeping him bloated. She also showed me how to use a pinch of baking soda every couple of hours to help him to burp without me. (It works kind of like Alka-Seltzer for a goat.) She also told me that just a milliliter and a half of regular human yogurt can help to encourage the good bacteria that’s in his digestive track to start working more, helping him to digest his food better and not end up with all of that gas in him.

She’s also going to come back in a few hours and have a look at my little goatling to make sure he’s doing okay.

That was a really long way to come to, to find what I was grateful for today.

What I’m grateful for was my friend who was willing to come down and help me even when she didn’t know what was wrong. Because I was still crying too much to explain beyond the fact that we had lost a goat in the night. She made sure I was all right and then immediately checked my other goats (while showing me how to do so as well) to make sure they were okay and when she found one that needed care and attention she showed me how to do it and then stayed with me for a bit longer to make sure I not only knew how to do it, but that I wasn’t alone.

I am very blessed to have such a friend.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

So Much Milk… – Thankful Thursday

So, about two weeks ago, our car died.

We were in another valley, about an hour’s drive away from the farm, picking fruit from some nice people, when it just died. Middle of turning down a residential road and the stick made this funny clunking noise and then went into free fall. Luckily, we weren’t on a hill (anymore) and so the stick just swirled in place (even after we turned the car off.) Another driver pulled over and helped my sister push it over to the side of the road while I steered and then we called the insurance people and a tow truck.

All of the rental car places (that were still open, it was almost six o’clock in the evening) were sold out. They even called around to their other places and they were sold out too.

There was a dealership about a mile away from the transmission shop (which was closed by the time the tow truck (which actually came almost a full thirty minutes earlier than he initially thought he’d be able to do, so he was fine) was able to get our little car there, but the shop was fine with that and already had a thing set up for us to drop the keys and stuff, they did that all the time.) One of the guys at the dealership even came and picked us up from the transmission shop and drove us to the dealership.

(We’d called to make sure they were still open because we weren’t sure if they had moved from winter hours to summer hours yet as some of the other dealers in the area hadn’t and were closed. They had, though and were open.)

In short order (for us) we were able to get a truck (used, but big enough for what we needed it for and with enough room in the cab for the kids to fit). We were home at 11 o’clock at night.

We could have called for help. Several siblings and friends asked why we didn’t.

  1. We’d’ve still needed a car on Monday and no one would have been able to let us use their car on Monday.
  2. Our ride wouldn’t have been able to get home until 1 am because of travel times.
  3. We’ve been needing a truck for the last year and a half and figured that this was the Lord telling us that we might as well bite the bullet and get the truck we’d been saving up for any way.

Now, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with the title of the post, right? What does a truck and a broken down car (that’s still at the transmission shop, by the way) have to do with milk?

Our Mini Nubian doe has been giving us a lot of milk each day.

Almost a full gallon each and every day. On really good days, an actual gallon.

Our budget is a little (a lot) tight at the moment because we have a new truck payment (even used, it’s still another thing to pay on each month) and we still have to get the little car fixed because it’s more fuel efficient and my sister needs that car for work while we need the truck for the farm. Because we get so much milk from our goat, we don’t have to buy milk at the store every week anymore. We can make the milk into cheese and butter as well and I’m able to use it for baking and cooking.

There’s just one slight problem.

We’re not drinking it fast enough with how much we’ve been getting it.

Enter ice cube trays that our mom kept (for some reason) and we inherited (for other reasons). You can freeze the goat milk and while you can’t really defrost it and then drink it again, you can still bake and cook with defrosted goats milk.

So today, after a very long explanation, I am grateful for ice cube trays and all of the myriad ways I can use them.

(As well as everything else working out with the car and truck and the milk and such. You can be grateful for more than one thing at a time, can’t you?)

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (I will update the link when she’s able to put up this week’s post, although maybe not right away, because I have to do a lot of things today.)

Youth Conference – Thankful Thursday

Today I’m grateful that our ward didn’t leave for Youth Conference as early as I did as a teenager, otherwise we would have had to wake the kids up for their morning chores a lot earlier. (Mostly because I need two other people in order to milk our Nubian doe and until the kids come back on Saturday, it’s just me here. Julia will be able to help tomorrow morning, but not today because of work.)

So, I’m grateful for them leaving later in the morning so that I’m not stuck trying to find a way to milk Ebony by myself. (She doesn’t like to be milked…)

Check out the original Thankful Thursday.

Hay Fortress – Thankful Thursday

I am tired, sweaty and have slivers in my hands and arms (and clothes), but I am very grateful for the girls next door, because they helped me fortify the hay so that the goats won’t get into it when we have to let them in the backyard to pasture there (and keep the grass trimmed). Normally my sister’s kids would have helped me, but they’re still at school right now (remember, this post was written at least two months ago.)

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (Will update link when I have internet again.)

(This post was older than I realized…)

Pasture – Thankful Thursday

I am so glad that we have a fenced in backyard (mostly) from the front yard, because we can put the goats back there for an hour every day for pasture which helps to give them more nutrients and cuts our hay usage per day by half. Also, we don’t have to mow the lawn back there now!

I am also very tired right now.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday. (Will update link at some point.)

Just Another Day

Hardened hands

Dirt encrusted

Wet and too dry

Tired and cracked

Reaching gently out

Nudging one kid

Away from the teat

Time for another

To have their treat

Mother tries to move away

Too many kids

Lifting up her legs

Cracked and dirty hands push away

“Only two at a time

Don’t o’erwhelm her.”

Gentle, but tired

The voice rings out

Tired arms reach down

Hefting up mewling kids

Cuddle three of the small ones

Quiet them and watch

As Mother feeds the other two

Calmer now she’s not rushed

Just another day.

Mine! – One-Liner Wednesday

Those geese are extra hissy now that we’ve had to pull the does with newborns out of the pen and put them up in the playhouse with heat lamps (the nights are too cold for tiny goatlings) and they miss their does, because apparently the doe goats belong to the geese and no one else.

Really long run-on sentence there, but it’s been a long week that didn’t want to end.

Check out the original One-Liner Wednesday. (Will update link when able…whenever that will actually come, that is.)

Possessive Snobs – Almost One-Liner Wednesday

So I had to move Gabriel (our buck goat) from one pen to another and unfortunately that meant leading him through the does’ pen (someday, I will have nice little pens for everyone) and he decided to slip my grip (thrice) and try and have several…er…moments…with the does, but the geese (who are sharing the does’ pen because it’s the biggest pen and has enough room so that they can’t harass the ducks) didn’t like that at all, so they chased him off while pulling at his winter coat (they don’t do that to any of the kids or the does who they seem to adore even though the geese are still kind of snobbish to everyone else) because the does weren’t interested in Gabriel.

I think the geese were convinced that Gabe was trying to steal ‘their does.’

I was really trying to make this a One-Liner Wednesday post, but it felt like I was trying too hard with the whole run-on sentence that just felt really forced. So I’m going to call this one and Almost One-Liner Wednesday.

You should still check out the original One-Liner Wednesday though. (Will update link when able.)