This is a long overdue update. So much has happened since my last farm update. This update is all about goats, goat births and kids.
We had four pregnant does this year. Olive and Whisper, our 2 year old does gave birth to their first kids. Whispers was first. Her delivery went extremely well. She had her kids in the middle of the day and our 8 year old daughter got to watch the whole thing. She delivered on a cold snow day in April. We named the kids Frostbite (buckling) and Whisper’s Snowfall (doeling).
I’m so thankful it went so smoothly because Olive’s delivery didn’t go so well. She delivered early in the morning a few days after Whisper. I wasn’t prepared for what to do when a baby goat gets stuck in the birth canal.Her first buckling came out fine but the second was either dead when it got the the birth canal or shortly after. We finally got him out after instruction from the breeder (over the phone) on how to get a kid with a head and one leg presenting.Olive had two huge bucks and the surviving buck we named Moose.
About 6 weeks later our other two does, Sweetheart and Bo Peep gave birth to their kids. Right after I breed these two I realized their due dates were the same time as the women’s retreat I planning on going to. Actually, I was heading up the retreat so it would have been really difficult if I had to cancel my trip. I had everyone praying for my goats and that they would wait till I returned home to kid. Well, God is good and cares about our wants. The day I returned from the retreat Bo Peep delivered her single buckling. It was a smooth delivery and she had a healthy kid. Though we did have to help the buckling out.
Sweetheart was the last doe to deliver (a few days later) and besides having to pull her large buckling out, all went well. Sweetheart had a buckling and a doeling. The buckling was so adventurous right out of the womb, we decided to call him Huckleberry Finn. Which means Bo Peep buckling had to be named Tom Sawyer. Sweethearts doeling we named Widow (Douglas), partly because she’s mostly black but also because of the Huck Finn theme.
All the kids and mamas are doing well. It’s been fun having the kids around. They are so much fun to watch. I’m now if full milking mode. I’m milking 4 does in the morning but as of now only 1 at night. But that will change soon. Eventually I’ll be milking all four morning and night. My forearms and hands are going to be so buff. You can just call me Popeye
We plan to keep Snowfall because her mom, Whisper, is the best milker here.Very easy to milk. Munchkin milks her for me on a semi-regular basis. I’m hoping her doeling is just as good of a milker. We will also be keeping Sweetheart’s doe. I like the idea of having two young does together. All the boys will be going to new homes.
Why so many does in milk, you ask? Well, our next adventure is in pig raising. We plan to feed our pigs goat milk. I’m told goat milk raised pigs make amazing pork.
Energy- everyone wants it but few have it. Let me tell you a little story about my energy level changing over the past few years. There was a time when I went to bed late, got up late and couldn’t make it past 2 pm without taking a nap. I struggled through the day, everyday. Always hoping that one day it would change. I became a coffee drinker. Loaded with lots of Carnation creamer, I had hoped my coffee would give me that extra boost I needed. It gave me a boost but only for a short time and the creamer made me gain weight. I resolved that gaining weight and decline in energy was just a part of getting older.
I can’t say for certain when the change took place but I began to look around and seeing my 30, 40 & 50 yr old friends developing heart conditions, disease and other serious health problems. It really scared me. Was this my fate? Should I just resolve that my health was going to decline and I was going to get fat?
The idea of not finishing my life well scared me so much that I decided to make some changes. I began researching and found that my diet was worse than I had previously thought. After all , I didn’t eat junk food ALL the time! The transformation took a couple of years but now I go to bed early, wake up early, drink a cup of tea (occasionally I’ll have a cup of coffee because I want it but not because I have to) and I have energy that usually carries me through the day. And if I need a nap, I take one. I changed my diet, get adequate amount of rest and sleep and get my exercise through my farm chores and horseback riding. It’s naturally induced sustainable energy. Its energy that doesn’t require caffeine to keep me going. I have more energy than I’ve had since I was a kid.
If it is your desire to find naturally induced energy then start now by beginning the process of resolve. Resolve in your mind that you don’t have to follow the American norm. You don’t have to develop health problems and gain weight. And if you already have, most health conditions can be reversed or at least improved by changing the way you care for yourself. And the weight can always be lost. The great thing about energy is, if you loose it somewhere along the way, you can always find it again. Most importantly don’t be hard on yourself. I have found it takes more energy to allow my thought patterns to tear me down than it does to remind myself of truth. So start by meditating on this truth: You are a loved creation of God. He has great plans for your life and wants what’s best for you.
It may take you years to wrap your mind around changing (like it did me). But the change is worth it, trust me
It’s confession time. I am horribly undisciplined. At least, I used to be. I guess now I would say I am a work in progress, but I used to resist certain disciplines like the plague. It’s not that I didn’t see the value in being self-disciplined. I understood that. It’s that I felt being too organized and structured would take away from creativity and my natural free-spirit personality. Well, I was wrong. From my own personal experience I have found practicing self-disciplined in all areas of my life is FREEING.
When I was a girl I was much like my youngest daughter. This blog is filled with photos of her adventurous spirit. She has the most vivid imagination and can entertain herself for hours with it. When I watch her, I’m watching from an adults perspective the child I used to be. I shared a little bit about my imagination in my journaling post. Imagination and creativity were my friends growing up. I remember that butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling when I knew I was going to get a long stretch of “imagination time”. I realize now, taking time for imagination was a welcomed discipline I was developing on my own.
I don’t see self-discipline as a plague anymore. I welcome it. Finally, after 21 years of marriage, 20 years of motherhood, 15 years of homeschooling and 3 years of homesteading I’m learning being disciplined is key to living a productive life. I know, it took my a long time to come to this realization but I’m hear now and I’m loving it.
I love the freedom I have to do things I never thought I would have time or energy to do. I love seeing goals accomplished faster and dreams seem more obtainable. Creativity and imagination are still my friends but discipline is my new best friend. Discipline has taught me that I can have the quiet time with my Heavenly Father, alone time with my husband (still working on this one ) and special mother and child talks and moments. Discipline has taught me how to improve my health through diet and exercise, which in turn gives me more energy. Keeping house is more consistent and homeschooling is more relaxing. This new friend has even shown me that creativity and imagination are welcome. In fact, there is more time for them in my life now.
I am learning that if I discipline myself to take time for imagination and creativity, they flow easier. It’s like my mind knows it’s coming and puts those creative and imaginative thoughts in the waiting room until discipline says it’s time for them to play. Oh, and do they play. Sometimes too much and discipline must step in and corral those thoughts until the next play date.
I am still in the work in progress stage. I still get a tight and nauseous stomach when I think about meal planning and budgeting. But, discipline keeps whispering to me, ” You will find freedom, if you trust me”. Then I read God’s word and find that I should indeed trust self- discipline because He gave it to me .
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
I’m a firm believer in journaling. Writing down your thoughts and reading them later is an essential part of growth. Journaling is an important part of my life. I enjoy keeping track of accomplishments and recording failures because it enables me to see growth in my life. I don’t even have to record things very often for it to be helpful. I think journaling should be something everyone should AT LEAST TRY.
I have several different journals that are updated on various occasions. I don’t actually write in these journals very often but, I am of the mindset that doing something is better than nothing. As long as you have something to look back and reflect on, you will likely benefit from journaling.
I started journaling when I was a child. Most of my journal entries resembled lists and notes back then. But, I also daydreamed a lot and would often write them in a diary. Dreaming is huge part of journaling , if you ask me. Like most children, I really enjoyed daydreaming. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I remember getting excited about going on long car rides. This gave me plenty of time to dream about horses. Especially, car rides along a countryside. The countryside is the absolute best place to be riding a beautiful grey stallion. So naturally, the horse lover that I am, I was eager to imagine myself riding a horse across the countryside. My imaginary horse was an excellent jumper too. Any obstacles in the way were no match for my trusty steed. But, I’m also a bit of a realist so if there were too many obstacles I would cease my riding daydream and start a new daydream that made more sense.
So, what does my walk down memory lane have to do with journaling anyway? Well, without imagination, dreams and a childlike spirit, journaling would be boring. I think people who feel recording their thoughts and dreams a waste of time have lost a part of themselves. Maybe it’s the part that grew up and has to pay bills and buy groceries. Or perhaps the dreams stopped because life got to busy. All the more reason time should be made for journaling, if you ask me.
Journaling comes in all shapes and sizes. We can record our thoughts in drawings, scrapbooking or in stories. And we don’t have to spend a lot of time with it either. I started a diary for my oldest daughter when she was a newborn. I tried to write in that thing often but it didn’t happen. At first the entries were days apart, then months and then years. It would have been really cool if I had kept up with the monthly entries but when you add two more kids and a whole host of other responsibilities, journaling gets put on the back burner. But guess what? I have eighteen years worth of journal entries all in one book. Though some entries are years apart, I still have them. I love reading those entries. I love looking back and seeing how I’ve grown from the child I once was and remembering the first’s of parenting. So, something really is better than nothing when there are years behind you. There are enough pressures in the world, lets not make the pressure of journaling often take value away from journaling sometimes.
I have a journal for just about every area of my life. The garden journal keeps track of what I am learning about gardening in my area. I keep track of what variety of vegetables and fruits that are worth growing. My garden journal has been extremely helpful to me. I think I have avoided repeat failures because I took the time to write down things that did and didn’t work. I also have a general homesteading journal. Lots of drawings of future barns and animal enclosures in the homesteading journal. I have several personal journals as well. There is really nothing like looking back and recognizing how God has worked in my life. God can truly do amazing things in a life that is open to growth.
My challenge is to those of you who have given up on or never tried journaling , to give it a try(again). The year 2013 could be the beginning of the wonders of self discovery. And, don’t forget to include dreams in your journal entries. Draw pictures and paste objects in them too. Just like you probably did when you were a child .