Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

From all of us ~ to all of you ... we hope your holiday is filled with the blessings of Jesus' birth.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The California Misconception

      Several years ago I went to North Carolina. While I was there I met several people who were just in awe of the fact that I was from California. Time and time again I was asked if I went to the beach every day and if I saw movie stars all the time? After I explained that I lived nearly three hours from the beach and ten from Hollywood a visible change took place and you could see the disbelief on the faces of the natives. The wheels of thought actually shuddering. Then they would ask if it was sunny year round where I lived and if it was like being at the beach? Again I dispelled the California misconception. I was thinking about this today when I woke for the second day in a row to 12 degree weather but considering it was minus 5 degrees in Missoula, Montana, (where most of my family lives) I guess you could say it was balmy here ... OK not really, but how can you complain about 12 degrees when you realize it is all relative.


Within an hour of pouring hot water into this water trough there was an inch of ice on top of it again. It is quite handy for the goats who want to nibble the dry leaves though.


It is hard to see in this photo but the bucket of water is frozen ~ and it is inside the barn! So much for providing a warm place for the goats to sleep at night. I can only hope they all put aside their differences and cuddle.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pita Chips

You can make your own pita chips fairly easily. Not only are they delicious but they take very little time and the variations are nearly limitless*.
 
Ingredients: 
 
One package (or more) of pita bread
Oil* of your choice ~ typically we use Olive Oil
Salt
 
Preheat your oven to 375.  Then start preparing the pita bred.
First cut the pita bred or pocket in half as if you were planning on stuffing it.
 
 
Then cut again in wedges like you were cutting a pizza.

 
Each pocket should result in a total of eight wedges.
 

 Split the individual wedges in half and lay them on an un-greased baking sheet.

 
Coat each triangle with a light dab of oil and sprinkle with a tiny amount of salt (optional).
 

Bake at 375 for about eight minutes until golden brown. Enjoy! 


* You can use any type of oil or none at all. Sunflower oil adds a wonderful nutty flavor. My personal favorites are basil infused olive oil and the oil that sun dried tomatoes are packed in. The possibilities are endless. You can also use a milder oil, like canola and then instead of sprinkling with salt you can sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. It probably goes without saying but if you make your own pita bread these would even be more delicious! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

 
From all of us, especially Lenny, who will never be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner. He is one of the family and we love him.


Thank you Lord for all you provide for us. We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My New Duds!

Oh my gosh, look at me! I am beyond handsome now! Some of you might not know this, but I won the T-Shirt that Crumpet and the Goat Farmer, of Herron Hill Dairy, were giving away. Thank you Goat Farmer and Crumpet for my new duds! 
 
The fit is perfect!
 
Now everywhere I go and everyone I meet will know that "Crumpet is the Most Famous Goat in the World!"

 
The T-shirt is the same color as I am so that makes it a wonderful color. Thank you Goat Farmer. I know you were worried about the color but, as it turns out, it is the the perfect color for me and my shepherdess is quite partial to brown, even the drabbest of varieties.


 Family, friends, and acquaintances, if you want a T-Shirt to tell the world about Crumpet being The Most Famous Goat in the World or you want a T-shirt just because they are awesome, you can order one from the Goat Farmer right here:  http://www.herronhilldairy.com/goats/the-crumpet-project
 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Rain Finally Came

 
Moldy's magic of whispering to the wind has not helped here, in California, and the rains have been absent much longer than normal. Perhaps we should have invited Moldy to come visit us for a while. Instead we whined about droughts and La Ninas. So when the rain finally came, earlier this week, the new babies were quite perplexed and didn't understand why water was falling from the sky, but they suffered through wearing coats and made up clever ways to pass the time indoors. Perhaps Moldy can come hang out with them sometime in the future and maybe Crumpet can tag along to visit PG.
 

To keep up with the happenings of Moldy and Crumpet don't forget to visit them here: http://goatcentral.blogspot.com/

 
"I'ma take your grandpa's style."
 



"Look, Z, I can fly!"


 

"Does this coat make me look fat?"
 

 

Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 Show Season

 
      Our 2013 show season has officially come to a conclusion. It was a great year for our junior does. We are a fairly new herd so we did not have any senior does with our herd name, except Aubergine. Aubergine has moved to Mini-Ridge Top http://www.miniridgetop.com/index.html  along with her dam, Penstemon. She will most likely be in the show ring in 2014. She is stunning.
      All in all our juniors brought home ~ 15 First place wins, 7 Reserve Grand Champion wins, and 6 Grand Champion wins and that was with only 9 doelings. Yeah! Of course as all goat enthusiasts know the true test will come when these doelings freshen. I hope they will do as well, then.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Crumpet, the most famous goat in the world"

     It goes without saying that Crumpet IS the most famous goat in the world. I'd give my left ... wait a minute I guess that won't work I'm a wether. OK I'd give Cyclone's left ... wait a minute that won't work either because he'd probably kill me before I was able to get close enough and the shepherdess loves all the bucks so much that she will never even consider for a moment removing any parts from any of them. OK I got it, I would crawl a mile on broken glass just to lick the exhaust pipe of the truck that delivers her hay to Herron Hill Dairy. http://www.herronhilldairy.com/goats/the-crumpet-project 
 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winter is on the Way

     Every year at this time the Shepherd and Shepherdess start buzzing around the farm like bumble bees and it is the signal that winter is officially on the way. Although, the fact that it is still eighty degrees every day makes me wonder if they are starting their buzzing a bit too early this year.
 
     They stack huge piles of wood. This year the Shepard did it all by himself because the Shepherdess had some lame excuse like needing to be at her job or something.
 
     They winterise all the pipes with delicious foam treats for us, except this year they built a big house that covers up the delicious foam treats. I don't know what they were thinking.
 
     They build new houses for all the new poultry that gets added throughout the year. Again, I don't know what they are thinking. Don't we have enough poultry already?


Don't be fooled by this cute little guy ~ notice his crouch and wings down? He is assuming the "get any closer and I kill you stance".


     This year they even built three new little barns. One for the quarantine area so if a new goat comes to live at our farm it will be able to stay nice and dry for the month it has to be in lock down.



     Another one was for the turkeys. There are only two of them so it seems like the barn might be too big but maybe turkeys like a lot of room or something.
 
Handsome Linny posing for the camera or maybe showing off to the hen who has taken a liking to his new house.


     The last one was for the extra pasture. The extra pasture is where the bucks with "king" complexes have to live when they decide they don't want to share the buck pasture with any other bucks. So it is kind of like solitary confinement. I wonder if bad goats will have to go there for a time out if no bucks are suffering from the "king" complex?


Hottie enjoying the extra pasture as all the bucks are behaving themselves right now. Hottie is a good girl and she is not in time out, she is just hanging out. 


    
     This year they built us a new feeder too. If you follow along with all the happenings here you may remember how our feeders have progressed over the past two years.

     First there was the feeder for the babies the Shepherd cleverly made out of fencing and a grain bucket. The babies destroyed this one but it did last the winter.



     After the fencing and grain bucket feeder came this new and improved feeder. The Shepherd decided he needed to make a feeder that was much more sturdy because the babies are so destructive. So, he came up with this one. It is very sturdy but for some reason it is adult goat proof.


 
This year the Shepherd made a feeder just for the adults. It can hold two whole bales of hay! It also has sides that fold up to keep the sun and rain off our backs and to keep the hay dry. Wait a minute ... does that mean we don't get to hang out in the barn all day when it rains?

 

     I can only imagine what they will build next year.
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Our 2013 Fall Babies

Between the sale of several does and other does not being bred, our 2013 Fall Kidding Schedule ended up with only one doe due to freshen, Serengeti. She had two beautiful babies on October 2nd. She was bred to DesertNanny BR Storm Warning. Storm has moved to Washington and is now owned by Minter Bay Dairy Goats and Herron Hill Dairy.
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Congratulations to Red Rupee!

Utterly Blessed Red Rupee won Reserve Grand Champion at the Washington State Fair this past weekend. There were 43 juniors entered and the judge was Ed Cavanaugh.
 
Congratulations to Wendy of Minter Bay Dairy Goats and Mary of Herron Hill Dairy
 (co-owners of "the Rupester").

To hear about The Rupester (aka Roopster) please see the wondeful Blogs of Minter Bay Dairy ~ "Beyond the Sidewalks: http://lifebeyondthesidewalks.blogspot.com/ 
and the Blog of Herron Hill Dairy ~ "This Goat's Life by Baby Belle" http://lifebeyondthesidewalks.blogspot.com/.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Snake Charmer

On a recent visit to the creek we found this beautiful Gopher Snake.
 

The snake was trying to figure out how to get to the nest of Swallows under the bridge.

 

The snake made it about six feet off the ground before it had to turn around.



Note the Swallow nest just above Kyrstyn's head.


It was a beauty.

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great Trenching Project

     A couple weeks ago, when the temperature in our little town reached 114, we had no water.  There is nothing like living in triple digits with an abundance of livestock and no water for three days to help you learn not to take your water supply for granted. We are blessed to live in this country and have plumbing. I'm sure we will take it for granted again but for now we are very aware of how fortunate we are.
     We soon discovered that the problem was due to some type of wiring failure. This was good news as it meant that we did not have to replace our well pump or dig a new well. However, it also meant that we needed to replace the wiring as locating the actual failed wire was going to be nearly impossible.
     Originally we had decided to hire a professional to dig the trench from our well to the electrical box in the garage. But, they must have been overwhelmed with other projects because they never showed up on the appointed day and never returned our calls. I will say the company we were waiting on came highly recommended so perhaps there was some type of communication breakdown there. We set out to fix the problem by ourselves. Well, really John did all the work and had all the know how. I just kind of fetched things like Gatorade and shovels.
     I don't know how many feet the trench was from end to end but close to 400' I think.
 
The trench through the pasture. Trenching in a straight line is much harder than it seems.
 
John trenched on both sides of the fence and then we hand dug under the fence.

Another view of the trench through the pasture. It may not look like it is very far from one end to the other but our "240' fish tape" was too short and we had to cut the conduit at one point so we could pull the wire through but then only one wire emerged and we had to start all over again. It was a long day.
 
Setting the conduit into the trench to make sure it was going to be OK with a couple curves. The trench is 18" deep but this photo makes it look much more shallow.
 
Measure twice and cut once. Well, we measured and measured and measured and still had way more wire than needed but we wanted to make sure not to short ourselves. The prospect of pulling the wire through the conduit a third time was enough to cause us to be overly cautious.
 
The section from the pasture fence across the drive was was easier and much shorter so the "fish tape" worked without any problems.
 
John was very clever at making the big curve we needed around the side of the garage to get to the electrical box.
 
Once the trench was complete under the fencing; the conduit came in from both sides. One pipe across the pasture and one across the driveway. By separating the pipe at this point and placing a Christy box around the conduit and wires you create an access point for future problems and hopefully future fixes.
 
 
A closer look at the individual conduit pipes coming into the future Christy box site.
 
 
The far end of the trench, way out by the well pump, with a support 2 x 4. Although it looks a bit like a grave marker, the 2 x 4 is just protecting the conduit until the future well house is built.
 
Soon we will build a well house that will protect the electrical supply for the well and keep the goats safe too. At the moment the fencing you see in the background has been secured around the whole site.
 
Although it looks a bit like a disaster in this photo the wires have been cut to the right length and the conduit is now buried. Soon we will build a house around this area too.
 
I neglected to take a photo of the area before the Christy box was put into place and the trench closed back in but this gives you an idea at what it looks like now. Notice the full bucket of water! Oh it is so nice to be able to give the animals fresh water.
 
The trench is all filled in but still visible. I will place some large boulders along the trenched area to mark it for future access or avoidance.
 
The trenched area across the driveway is barely visible now, gravel does wonders at hiding holes. This area is a very straight shot from the corner of the garage to the Christy box so it will not need any markers for future access.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Last Baby of Spring


     This is Aubergine's little girl, Ghiradelli. She is our last baby born during our "Spring Kidding Schedule."  She was born on June 13th. The summer solstice had not happened yet so, I guess she can still be considered a spring kid.
     The unfortunate thing about her being born so late in the season and the fact that she was a single birth is that she has no one her age or size to hang out with or to live with in the barn. So at the moment she is a house goat. She is mostly litter box trained so I guess it is OK for her to be a house goat for the time being. However, soon we will have to teach her how to be a barn goat. At this point I'm not sure she understands that she is a goat as she seems perfectly happy to run and play with the dogs and cats and makes a game of jumping on them as often as possible. Needless to say the dogs and cats are less than thrilled with this behavior.
     Although she looks black and white in this photo she is actually dark chocolate in color.