Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Urgh! That Billy goat!

So, Dwight had to leave early this morning and the boys and I got to milk the goats.  We have 2 does now, Chewbacca (named because of her annoying yelling that resembles that Star Wars character, Chewy) and Skitso (our skiddish one), down from 14 last year.  Only having 2, you would think that we'd be able to handle things just fine.  However, we didn't account for the fact that Willy (the Billy goat) had gotten in with the does.  He's in the rut, you see, making it impossible for him to leave those does alone.  Well, he managed to bust through the separating fence and both does had acquired a new scent instantly.  Yeah!  Goat milking a la stench. :-)

So, Dwight's routine is to set the grain out, open the gate, and call to his "ladies."  They respond to his voice.  I am reminded of the verse in the Bible about "my sheep hear my voice, and they know me and they follow me."  Well, Dwight's goats know him all right.  As for me, I might as well be the butcher.  I can't get within 5 feet of them without them taking off.

I open the gate and call and Chewy runs out and loads up on the stanchion to be milked.  Good girl.  Burnell starts milking her while I and Orin have to go get Skitso because she won't come.  She and Willy are seemingly busy.  Orin manages to get her out while I get Willy in his pen.  However, she doesn't load up, but goes outside the Billy's pen and starts flagging.  He proceeds to BUST THROUGH THE FENCE!!  So, I now have two goats on the loose.  The four oldest boys and I start to strategically place ourselves so as to corner the two of them.  Normally, nearing grain usually entices them long enough to where you can grab a collar, however, they are on to us and spook if we even make a move towards them.

To make a long story short, Dwight ends up dropping by to help.  He shows up, walks directly up to Skitso and takes her by the collar.  Amazing!!  He had to be more aggressive with Willy, but got him back in his pen, too.  

We all end up smelling like a billy goat.  Urgh!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lovin' summer!!

A day at the pond!  YEAH! Since my most recent "drowning" dream, I have a renewed interest in swimming lessons.  Teaching the boys how to swim just HAST to happen!  We came back from Hawaii with 2 strong swimmers (Burnell and Orin). Chance and Ty were very comfortable in the water, but still not able to "swim".  Put little bodies in 75 degree water .... you get lots of splashes and fun.  Put little bodies in 60 degree water (I'm guessing here), you get ... what shall we say "inhibitions."  However, I've been quite surprised at their successes!!

The kayaks and paddle boats were left on the pond after Camp Dwight and so we've been taking advantage of them.  If you've never seen a 4-year-old in a cute little life-jacket learning to paddle, you are missing something adorable!  Chance was the first to attempt, and now he, Burnell, and Orin are champs.  Children catch on so quickly.

Then there's Ty!  Oh, my little Ty!  There is nothing timid about this little one.  He attacks the water with all his heart.  He started out our afternoon at the pond by being the first to get wet.  Then he started swimming (with his life-jacket on) back and forth in the shallow parts.  Each time, he'd go out just a little further until he was about 15' out.  Then, he began jumping off the end of the dock to me.  By the end, he was RUNNING down the dock and LEAPING off to me!!  Then, he barks, "Let me go!" and swims to the shore.  He's amazing!!

Liberty wowed us all today as well.  She started by just wading (with life-jacket on) in the shallow parts.  But, when everyone began jumping off the dock, she gathered up her courage and went to jump, too.  I think she changed her mind just at the last minute but her body was already falling forward, so in she went with a look of "what am I doing"!  She clung to me at first and then we began to work on swimming.  In just a little bit, she jumped off again and swam some more.  By the end of our time, she would swim to me from the shore and then (without touching me) turn around and swim back to shore!  You go girl!

Burnell practiced gaining more confidence in swimming without his life-jacket.  He can book all over the pond with his cute little doggie paddle.  I think he's interested in learning how to swim backwards, next.  I demonstrated the sidestroke, backstroke, breaststroke, and poorly attempted the butterfly.  Lots of fun!
Yesterday ... after my second nap (thank you, hero Dwight), I decided to make Manicotti.  I had made the day before, my first batch of Ricotta Cheese.  Inspired by my amazing sister-in-law, Carla, I used 1 gallon of fresh goat milk from our Nubian does.  It was GREAT!  And super simple, too. The Manicotti turned out fabulous with Naomi raving that it was the best she'd ever had.  Dwight, Carrie, Kent, Naomi, Liberty, boys, and I all partook.  Mmmmmmm..... We topped our dinner off with a superb, homemade fresh blueberry pie made by Delores Booher and Sarah Booher.  Ah!  Delectible perfection.

'Tis all for now.  Check out my new blog when you get a chance: NutritionEachDay.blogspot.com.  I'll be posting info on nutrition that comes my way.