Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Today it snowed.  At the farm, it looked like we got about 3 inches and it was still falling when I left for work.  I hope it sticks around until after the single digit weather we are to have on Thursday.  Then Saturday the projected forecast is for it to be 51 degrees and raining.  Good old Indiana weather!

Now for some humor.....about 5:35 I made a trip to the restroom at work.  Upon completion of my toilet activity I reached for the toilet paper dispenser only to discover both sides of the dispenser to be empty.  I told myself not to panic, that someone would be in shortly to hand me some toilet paper.  So I sat and waited.  And waited.  When there is nothing left to do but sing, I did just that.  Still no one came in.  At 5:50, I remembered that there was a knitting class here at work tonight at 6:00 PM.  It just so happens that I have her number in my cell so I called her and asked her if she was coming to the Center tonight and if so, what time. I told her of my predicament.  She laughed!  But then said she was 5 minutes away and would bring toilet paper.

I have never been so glad to see anyone in all my life as I was to see her!  I would have had to wait until the Euchre players take a break at 6:30 before anyone would have come to the restroom and that would have been a very long wait!

I have combed the storage closet here at work and still can't find any toilet paper.  I have contacted my boss and he has thrown out suggestions where it might be, but I can only find glassware and cookware and past years' taxes, a Christmas tree and decorations and tons of what I classify as junk.  I certainly hope the night shift janitors know where it is or there could be trouble tomorrow!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Angora X Alpine aka Buttermilk

Last fall, the only billy around was my Angora billy goat.  I ended up with 4 does bred by him and some really nice Angora X Alpine kids, one of which was Buttermilk.

Today when she met me at the gate, I took a serious look at her very fluffy coat.  It is about 2.5 inches long and sticks straight out from her body in all directions.  It is also wavy.  But the interesting part is that she has a very fuzzy undercoat.  I can't wait to comb her in the spring and see if it is like cashmere.  She has lots of it!  So does Flopsy, so named because her ears don't droop or stand up but flop.

This winter I have no billy and there will be no kids in the Spring.  This could be my last breeding season.  Knees aren't holding up so well and it has become impossible to find help for on the farm.  I love kids!  There is nothing any cuter in the spring than curious kids!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Buttermilk and the Broom Handle

This fall has been a challenging one to say the least.  In the spring, Annie, an Alpine, gave birth to snow white twins, one of which I decided to keep and name Buttermilk.  I wasn't paying attention to the growth of the horns and before I knew it, it was too late to dehorn her.

At first there wasn't a problem, but as Buttermilk grew her desire to eat what was on the other side of the fence grew.  One evening when I arrived home from work, I could hear the frantic calls of a very upset goat in the pouring down rain.  I grabbed the flashlight and followed the sound getting soaked in the first few minutes of my quest.

Then the light hit the white goat, body on one side of the fence, head on the other.  She was stuck and could not figure out how to get out.  And she wasn't much help while I tried to get her out as she wanted to go through the fence instead of back out of it.  By then, my clothes were drenched and I was getting frustrated being wet and Buttermilk not cooperating.  Finally, something clicked in her brain and when I tilted her chin up with the points of her horns touching her back, she backed out and raced to the barn not even giving me a look over her shoulder as she scampered away.

Not too long after that episode.  She got her head stuck yet in another place in the fence.  I had read on Facebook of a guy attaching a sawed off broom handle to his goat's horns to deter her from sticking her head through the fence.  So I found my old useless wooden broom handle and took it to work where I sawed off the handle to half its size.  I bought a new roll of Duct tape and invited the grandkids to come and help hold the goat while I applied the handle.

Buttermilk did not like the handle strapped across the base of her horns.  She yelled.  She screamed.  She twisted and turned all the while trying to rid her head of the stick that would not be free.  Ah! All is well with the world I thought.

Then one morning this week as I stepped out on the porch, I heard it again - the plaintive wails of Buttermilk!  I stepped off the porch to get a better view of the barn and the animals.  There was a white goat (Buttermilk) flopping on the ground.  I rushed to the barn to see what the matter was.  Somehow, someway, Buttermilk managed to get her head through the fence with the broom handle still attached.  That really took some doing and I'm still not sure how she did it.  I grabbed her horns with one hand and raised her up so that I could work somewhere other than on the ground.  I worked hard getting the duct tape to release from its captive hold of the horns and the broomstick.  Finally, I managed to free her from the device that I'm sure she thought was a torture device.

Goats are peculiar in their behavior.  Mine now know that if they line up at the gate that separates them from the driveway and the barn, I will close the gate across the driveway and let them browse where the arena once was.  Inge follows me everywhere with the rest of the goats close behind in single file with the hopes that I will miraculously pull a grain bucket from my pockets.  It isn't gonna happen.

With the 9 goats I have, life is never boring or dull.  They certainly know how to keep my life interesting!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

What's Love Got to Do With It?

I feel  like I must post my feelings on love.  I see so many people getting married and almost as many people getting divorced.  Why?  What happened?  Not only were expectations not met, but they forgot what love is about.  Love is putting the needs of the other person before your own.  Love is making sure the other person is happy when sometimes you would rather have different results.  By putting your significant other first and treating them the way they deserve to be treated, a longevity factor goes up on the relationship.

Now I'm not expert.  In fact I have several marriages under my belt.  I let stars get in my eyes before evaluating the entire situation with his family each time.  I didn't watch how their dad's treated their mothers.  Big hint:  if your future father-in-law treats your future mother-in-law poorly, chances are you will be treated as she was treated.  RUN! Run as fast as you can in the other direction!  You will wind up miserable and wondering what you did wrong.

Watch for anger issues too.  If the person you think you would like to be married to flares up over little things while you are courting, what will it be like when you are married?  It will only get much worse.  I married a man who I suspected to have PTSD.  He also couldn't handle stress of any kind.  It got much worse with age.  He is still undiagnosed by the VA but a local doctor diagnosed him almost 10 years ago.  She wanted to know why the VA wasn't dealing with it.  Good question.  They have denied his claim when he tried to get help for it.

Anyway, I felt like I had to share this today for some reason.  I don't know why, but it has been gnawing at me since very early this morning.  I hope someone gains something from it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

It's a Boy!

Baby Alpaca #2 was born today after I left for work. 
He was still wobbly when I got to the barn at 8:45 PM but nursing well.  He is red, a standard color here at WindSong.  He will be sold as soon as he gets to be 6 months old.  He has very long kinky fiber today. He is also a big boy as he is bigger than the little girl born a week ago Saturday.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

It's hot here.  So hot that the grass in the pastures is now crunchy under my feet.  I don't like that feeling.  It is a feeling of feeding hay instead of pasture grass through the summer.  It is a feeling of high costs for the season of keeping my animals.  It is a feeling of unhappy sheep who prefer grass but don't like it crunchy.  It is a feeling of farmers dealing with crops that don't have enough moisture to produce a decent income.  It isn't a good feeling.

All my alpacas were shorn in May and I managed to recruit help to get half my flock of sheep shorn.  Where are my shearers?  I have been calling them since Christmas and no one, not one of them, has returned my calls.  Is this common for shearers not to return calls?  I always treated them well and even gave a $50 tip last year.  I guess I didn't molly coddle them enough.

I met someone and we dated briefly for about 6 months.  I really thought we were going places as he was so sweet and kind and I loved being romanced. He always made me feel like a little princess when we were together. Then one day he said he found someone else and no longer wanted to be involved with me romantically.  Yes, he broke my heart a month ago and I'm just now getting to where I can get through a day without crying over the loss.  He is everything I ever wanted in a man.  Unfortunately, I guess I wasn't enough for him. I still think he is an awesome man.  I must be patient.  The right one will come someday when I least expect him. 

Yesterday while shearing, I got a surprise but didn't know it until almost 10 last night.  I had the alpacas locked up so that as we were shearing sheep and turning them out, I wouldn't have to chase the alpacas from the shearing area.  I almost forgot to let them out last night.  It was after 9:30 when I remembered and went to the barn to let them out.  The light was waning and it was grey in the barn.  I opened one door to let them out of the area they were in then ran to the end of the barn to open the barn door for them.  Once they were all out of the barn I walked back to the other area to shut the door and there standing in the doorway was a little brown cria blinking her eyes.  So I picked her up and carried her outside, found her mother and sat her near her mom.  Mom was all concerned and made noises telling her about how sorry she was that she forgot her. 

Today that little girl is basking in the sun and suckling as nothing ever happened.  I'm glad she is well and she has a good mommy.  And so the summer goes.