Friday, February 27, 2009

sick baby

What do you do if your baby goat is bloated in the morning and doesnt want her breakfast? Well, carry all the things back to the house that you need to take in. Then go back out in the freezing cold and snow to carry your bloated baby to the house... while she struggles to get down.

Then you give her baking soda and oil, and of course herbal digestive formula after talking to 2 local goat herders and 2 friends online who are happy to help you research this problem. Then you massage her belly and feel a sense of elation when this begins to work! She farts... yes, it stinks. And yet still, a good feeling due to the fact that your baby is IN TROUBLE AND HURTING and this is helping her poor tiny belly.

She is bloated here, not a great picture and this isnt as bad as she was at first. She is now smelly and farting quite a bit! After an hr of giving these meds every 10 min and massaging her belly, she is looking a lot better. Poor girl... she wants to hang right under the desk and be loved. Both kids have been very loving with her, extra loving. And she is a spoiled baby as it is!
My poor thing... The boys are in the barn together so they are not lonely but when I put scout into the bathroom here with some old towels on the floor, she cried loudly and constantly so we are just watching for potty. I mean the cat poos on the floor ALL THE TIME and I like the goat better than her!
No, I have no intent to regularly have goats in the house. But goats can die of bloating, if the bloat becomes too big then the lungs can collapse and the heart can stop from pressure. I dont want this to happen to her, it will break my heart to think she was hurt and scared and I didnt notice so she will stay in here today.

She is so pretty, and sweet, and spoiled and wonderful.. Why did she get sick? Because we added in powdered goat formula bc we dont have enough goats milk. I didnt know to add this slowly, which is my fault. My friend Kendra researched this for me this morning and found that some babies die from it. I will need to stop using it, the boys reacted fine to it, and so will cont putting a bit in the boys milk to help spread it out but they dont seem remotely bothered by it.
On another note, I am now sorry for not getting my finger stitched yesterday. It isnt healing well because of continued use. I cant milk without it and that made it separate again. It is separate of the bone which is gross... I am sorry I didnt go to the hosp now, but wont be in a few days. Slippery elm will thatch it and become part of it by tomorrow I hope and then it will heal.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

what did we do?

Guest bloggers: Hi daddy we miss you and we love you. We cannot wait to see you in may! Love, Tad and Nathalie
Okay, now me. Tad and Nathalie talking with the girls while I glued myself together. I shut my finger in the shop door and it cut down through the skin and subcutaneous tissue to the bone... was gross and I dont have a medical ick factor. I taped myself back together and we went to work!

The saw I can use best, miter saw or to some, chop saw. I used this to cut pieces from the ripped 2x4 and attached them to the larger piece of 2x4 I had x 3.

Now my metal bottle holder has a bracket, bracket may not be right word but it seems right.

Another angle. The smaller pieces need to be screwed to the wall at appropriate height. I should have drilled holes in the wood and the wall but didnt and thus my pieces split... oh well they will hold for now. Will have to move them up pretty soon, babies grow fast.

As usual, scouts butt is in someones face but they all seem okay with the new arrangment. The problem with bottle feeding is this, I dont want to go out late at night and I dont want to get up at 4 am! So right now I go down to do chores alone, the kids would but they are asleep and I do like my alone time. So now I can fill bottles and then clean out stall, gather eggs, feed and water everyone while they eat. Then I can pull out bottles and rinse on the table in front barn room that I cleaned out. I will leave a bottle of soap down there and can carry a tea kettle with hot water and just wash them up in a clean bucket. Better than bringing them back and forth.

All 5 of my kids. The kids helped me with these contraptions. I am sad my wood pieces split but on the phone with frank, I learned how to do better. I will remove the back pieces of wood, nail on new ones and then drill holes first and use smaller screws. The screws were too large.

This is my rigged windbreak. I am cheap and didnt want to buy a new piece of plyboard so I used the long piece I found in the shop, and the small pc in the barn. You can see the heat lamp hanging, this is plugged in at last feeding (6 pm aprox) so they gravitate towards it at night. I can see their little nest in the corner under the heat lamp, they sleep close together and make a little curved out straw nest just like the big goats do!
This is an old cabinet door that I used to anchor the top of my windbreak to the wall thus giving a 3rd side. It wasnt sturdy enough without.
Inside corner, you cant just screw 2 old pieces of plyboard together so I first screwed the 2 scraps of 2x4 to the small piece of plyboard and then the larger one could be screwed to the 2x4s. Not a long term solution but I am just worried about the wind blowing in through the one doorway and 2 windows covered by chicken wire. The sunshine is nice but the wind is not.
They sleep in here, are shut it at last feeding but at 6 am after feeding they get to play freely in the fenced in safe but very large yard that is just theirs. The kids have so far spent at least 4 + hrs in there with them, and then climb the fence and play with the big goats. They ride their bikes down there and use Nathalies rigged swing. Our goats have tons of attention which is good for them.
Okay Tad is no photographer... This lock has stopped working, it is bent for one and for two was hard to fasten without wiggling which was frustrating if you are 6, 8 or 30 (frank). So, I installed a new lock! This one they can fasten from INSIDE the inner barn room past this door. Before they were unable so once in, couldnt shut themselves and babies in from coming through front room thus into the hay room and then possibly out into the big goat yard which we dont want yet.

Okay, new lock. This one is higher and they can reach out from inside and fasten in once they go in. Also, takes NO jiggling. It took some work though, if you look close, to the left of the hook screw (um, I know thats not what its called) I attached it first a bit futher to the left but it didnt work so had to move it. I drilled a hole with bit smaller than the screw going in the hole and then used a paint can opener in the ring to turn it once it got too hard to hand turn. You can see this at the top of the door, I think that is for opening paint cans though I end up using a butter knife most of the time!
Nathalie used a rope hanging from a tree branch and used a knot daddy taught her (a knot I havent been taught or I was singing, or looking at the ceiling while he was instructing... I find this to have happened often!) to a stick and now they have a swing. She asked tad to saw off the ends and added a please, twice.
Tad swinging her, he is more than likely going to fix it for her with only a reminding or 2 from her. Okay fine nagging. Its his own fault, he lets her be that way!
Lastly, this is a 2 part door. Top part no longer locks but when it wasnt broken, kids cant reach it. Then the lower door opens by reaching inside and its locked by a hook similar to these I have put on. Since the kids cant get it, I made an outside lock on both top and bottom that they can reach. Once inside, they can close themselves in using the inside hook they cant reach from the outside. Now this will only fail if one child goes in, locks in and runs off the other direction and now child 2 is stuck! Or can yell, or can climb fence on other side. This will prevent the door from being left open, or from child holding it shut while another runs for me. I know 2 acres isnt a long walk, but 19 times a day gets long!
This is the front room of this barn. The 2 locks on the door top and bottom lead into this room, and the room you see straight ahead had the broken lock now fixed. This room also houses 2 bales of brom hay, a type of hay good for goats. Ours eat it pretty well though they prefer alfalfa (much more expensive and they dont need exclusivly). Nona and Pepsi used to break in here but I put 2 pcs plyboard over the injured barn wall so they no longer can. With the new locks, they are really out of luck!
This long table was covered in junk left by previous owners. I sorted it from usable to trash and stacked the usable (hooks, nails, many small useful metal and plastic bits) onto small shelves and cleaned the table top. This is where I will clean and make bottles before hanging them.
So there is our day! We did school, chatted with daddy, washed dishes, hung laundry, made some phonecalls, tad pulled a tooth and then we did all this barn work and had quite a good time doing it! I am so glad to have my helpful children and the wagon my grandad made. Works great to haul drills, nails, hammer, bottles filled, cleaner, water bucket etc.
Oh, and while my work and knowledge may be primitive, I am grateful to my husband for always teaching the 3 of us how to do things so I am not helpless!

current events

Tad doing math, the table is still messy but he went right to doing it after chores this am and only missed one problem so I am not complaining!

Nathalie drilling herself on our flashcards. She has yet to beat tad. I hold up the current cards that we are using (additiona and subtraction facts through the 8 family) and each child tries to answer first. If someone answers wrong, it goes to my pile otherwise whoever says the answer first gets it. He always wins but she doesnt mind. She just works harder on her own time. She did wrap ups this am while still in her daddy shirt (she sleeps in franks t shirts, only, regardless of the fact that I made her 3 nice sets of pjs THAT SHE PICKED PATTERNS AND FABRIC FOR). She did 8,9 and 10 all the way through plus 12. A good freind with higschoolers gave us thousands of dollars worth of nice homeschool supplies, hands on and manipulatives as well as curriculum all for free. The wrap ups were part of it and we have loved them!\

Caprine supply is a place in Kansas City that sells supplies for goat herders. Anything you can imagine! We bought a disbudding iron from them monday and got it tuesday, I ordered these yest and got them today. The babies cannot be weaned until 11 wks at earliest and they are almost 4 wks old now. Its getting tough to hold the bottles unless all 3 of us go down and I want to go down early am. They moved to the barn 2 nights ago, will blog on that after I take pics of their new area. I made them a windbreak and hung a heat lamp as it gets cold at night. The bag is milk replacer, better for them, and cheaper, than buying cows milk, buttermilk and condensed which has to be mixed to replace goats milk. My goats only give 5 qts a day between the 2, not enough for 3 growing baby goats. So these bottles can be attached and I will just take down a tea kettle of boiling water and keep a bottle of soap down there in the front barn and a clean pail so I can wash bottles down there and not have to carry them up. The tea kettle is easy to take down.

So yesterday I called outside and said, lets go to town I need to run some errands. We had to feed babies first so I expected to be able to leave in a few min. Well I HAD said yes to the dirt and water... It was warm! So here we are, covered literally head to toe. Nathalies shirt is completely ruined but the camo and brown pants came out well. I wasnt angry, its not a big deal at all to me esp out here. They had such a great time! I am glad I have multiple bathrooms. They de-nuded on the back porch (nathalie averted her eyes for him-new issues for him as he is "grown") and he went right into shower and I had to carry her bc he was in shower right near back door. I carried her into my shower. It took 3 shampoos per and ended up with me needing a shower and they each took the shower wand down and cleaned the mud from shower walls!

They had a fabulous time and I will let them do this anytime, but maybe next time they could wash off a bit more at the pump and no hand drawn on cream colored shirts for Nathalie!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

heard just now

"Hi scout! I saw you this morning in the kitchen!" Nathalie speaking to scout just out the front door as she goes out to play. Scout followed me into the kitchen this morning and Nathalie was sitting at the table eating. Scout just walked in talking in her loud way letting me know the bottle I was holding and refilling was empty far sooner than appropriate!

I understand why children went to school in the winter months only years ago. It is harder for us to get school done with the weather is pretty. Its cold today but sunny and still so it doesnt seem very cold. Its the kind of day that makes you want to get started gardening and spring cleaning! Only my spring cleaning will include 3 barns, a milk shed and a feed shed... Oh, and a house. I think we should get rid of things, such as household items, and then they wont need "cleaning" next yr!

Monday, February 23, 2009

New shirt

If you could zoom in, you would see that the white "pattern" peices are actually an old shirt cut up. This has been my favorite shirt for most of my adult life. It has turquoise stain on it from being washed with a highlighter, and was missing some fabric at this point. It was pretty holey...

I cut it up to create this. Same pattern, has the darts in front, sleeves are hemmed with open section. I didnt hem the bottom as I know this fabric will roll up over the hem and the serge looks fine. The fabric is made from recycled pop bottles!

I did a continous lap in the front, basically I cut the shirt front out on a fold and then cut it straight down the fold which can be scary if you dont know HOW to do a cont lap. The first time I did one was frustrating. It makes the front seamless so you dont see the cut. The snaps are applied with a snap press. Nathalie loved shirts like this when she was little, I would wear them and she would fasten and unfasten me while sitting on my lap.

Shirt looks nicer on, but I cant say much for the wearer! I look a bit worn currently... However I AM tired of having no clothes, and much of the clothes I do have are full of holes. I have been wearing Franks shirts since he left. He would buy clothes for me, or send me to buy clothes. He has been the one who picked out most of what I had and loved but I HATE shopping.
It has taken me several years of sewing to be good enough to make adult clothes that are worth wearing. This last summer was the first time I made a lot of clothes for myself and now this winter I have needed to.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Whats in my pockets: Wire cutters, razor knife, 2 broken zip ties, a cloth paper towel, pencil, pr of scissors, some hay, lint, 2 reciepts, 6 $ in ones, and if this counts, goat slobber on it.

When I last brushed my hair: its been over 2 wks and I cant remember.

When I last put on clean jeans: ummm....

What I am hearing right now: A baby goat in the garage bleating in anger (she is loud!) bc we havent let her be in the house this evening. Oh and my son gulping his drink in a very un-mannerly way.

What am I doing after this: reading to my children, playing a signing game with them, showering and then sewing.

Most important thing I have done today: about to do it, the kids love reading time, and talking to Frank on the phone.

Yuckiest thing I did today: nothing here grosses me out, but some of you out there may have called today pretty nasty when you consider how much poo and slobber I encountered... What would gross me out? Um, garbage disposals. I dont actually use it while Frank is gone because it isnt worth fixing. I had to do that in Sc. Not worth the use of it.

The most interesting thing I did today: other than watch tad pretend to choke to death which wasnt all that funny, I talked to an old friend whom I lost track of years ago. Oh, and talking to Frank. He is oh so interesting!

Oh, and I got peed on by a goat. That wasnt interesting, just an expected event if you leave your foot in the wrong spot for long.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Evening activities

I took this picture in the dark, not a great picture but there was no light on at all. I used the night function on the camera. The kids played chess and dominoes for an hr last night, and made tickets and money for their "show." I also took pictures of them sleeping, but they are getting to old for me to post those and them not be embarrassed. They read my blog often and I do not want them to suffer embarrassment today or later.

Traffic games set up for a real rush hour. Another game that kept them busy last night.

And lastly, the serger cones. They are divided by color in various containers. The red cowgirl hat is my personal favorite though its clear we need more green by the size of the green container. That container is the starry top of a astronomy toy.

The big round basket was purchased in Africa by my aunt who worked and lived there in 3 dif countries. Cameroun, Niger and Liberia. The kids use this basket for many functions, right now it is usually a home for the serger cones, unless they are in castle or color sort form.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So this is our entertainment, feeding baby goats and playing with serger cones. The sewing store had their once a yr sale on serger cones. These are 1.99-2.79 each and half off for memorial day weekend yearly. Other things on sale as well and also there is a 10 % off entire purchase coupon! We saved a lot of money. The serger cones make very good castles.

The babies still live in the garage, they are starting to climb out of their enclosure. They have to start eating hay and alfalfa before they can move out and they are not too keen on this!

Serger cone house with babies in it, these are their webkinz.

This is about half of our serger cones and Tad says, "Well we dont have enough. We do need some more, but we bought all the store had. Wasnt there another store we could have gone too? Anyways, you CANT have too many serger cones. "

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


These are ask me why books, we use them for history, science and geography. There are 12 of them, but Nathalie "bought" some and took them home to read to her children. Tad is the storeowner so is reading to his assistant, whom you see leaving. Yes, Evil is the assistant. Tad reads these all of the time now and has learned more facts than many public educated kids ever get a chance to learn just from these 12 books.

Nathalies new favorite outfit is obvious I believe from recent photos. However, she spices it up. Its often different colored knee socks!

This is Chiva, its hard to get a good picture of him. He wont pose, like scout and isnt as bouncy as Vlad. This is Nathalie's goat.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Goats (again) and fences

This is Vlad running with Nathalie, the babies already give the kids a run for their money!

Close up, I love how all feet are off the ground and ears are ready to take him flying! I think I can, I think I can...

Poor Pepsi, she cant wait to see the babies and loves to spend time with them. I wish I could let just her out, but I think Nona will then behave quite badly.

Not sure if Vlad's intent is to head butt scout here, but she is fast out of the way and no contact was made.

Now Scout going for Chiva and Vlad getting ready for the water in ears head shake.

And here, shaking the ears again. What do you guess is in there to shake out other than their Brains?

Our fence rigging. These are not in order though I meant them to be. Our big red gate that you can see had too much space under, next to and in between! We are putting the babies in a room that exits onto this closed yard, they are too little to be with big goats who are not their mama, when they do not have a mama to cling too. I fear nona will be rough with them.

It was quite cold out, the 3 of us pulled an extra cattle panel out of the barn storage room, and zip tied it across the gate and between the feed barn and chicken barn. But there was space under still bc of a large railroad tie we tried to move, but it has been there a long time and Tad and I were not strong enough to move it. So the cattle panel had to go OVER it, thus making a whole new space and they can go through the cattle panel squares. So now are down to chicken wire which was spread over this (not fun!) and then cut out around rr tie to make sure no spaces.

A finished picture, well almost finished. I have to reinforce right end a bit, right as you are looking at it. I dont intend to cut the chicken wire roll, its just zip tied to the cattle panel. When we are done with it, I will cut the strips and then roll it back up. When frank is home, I want the red gate gone and fence posts sunk, cattle panel cut and put in proper across there with a smaller gate entrance like the girls have. This isnt the entrance into the main 2 acre goat yard, this is just a smaller yard within. We dont need the big gate here.

I couldnt have dont this without Tad, he was a huge help. Nathalie took pictures and tried to distract nona who was a huge pain most of the process.
This is about the furthest she went from me. For a large part of the time her head was over my shoulder, her body leaning against me, her eating my hair in large quantity and 5 min later having the gall to chew her cud over my shoulder, me knowing that was MY hair. She really loves to be next to me, and she has purposely ignored me this wk due to arrival of babies. She thinks she is punishing me.
Example of Pain In The Butt Nona, hardworking Tad, freezing mommy and photographer Nathalie (also cold but refusing to go up to the house alone and miss anything and happy to run commentary on what daddy would do were he me, or were he here and how much better at it he would be-than me-and how she would enjoy his company and on and on...)
Again, Nona in the way, in a moment here though I wont show, Nathalie took leave of absence for awhile. She took pictures of goat and chicken poo, pictures of stray cats, Pepsis back left hoof, the ground, more goat poop, some straw and several pictures of the back end of me that WERE NOT NICE and all of this (apparently) accidentle photo-ing while she sucked her thumb of the other hand.
Here Nona again. PAIN IN THE BOTTOM! Tad is holding the fence bc the chicken wire kept rolling back in itself and it isnt actually fun to roll out, esp with large goat in the way. Biting you, okay fine nibbling on you.
Nona distracted? Oh no. She doesnt bother walking off to see what Pepsi is eating. She assumes she can simply bully it away from her later.
So there is our fencing experience, and our semi warm day outside with the goats. Frank said he wants more pictures, maybe the reading posts I have put up have been un-interesting to him. Nathalie is right, he is better at this and I know its rigged but its temporary. We will now have to enter this yard through barn front room, and then barn back room. Not hard or anything, but the gate entrance is useful and I want one long term. This just until babies are slightly larger.
Nona ISNT as sweet as she looks.