Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Flooded Barn, and a Flood of Love

I've recently gone through something completely unexpected that's caused me to see how being prepared in an emergency is a real need, even for those who don't think they live in an area where there is danger.  We've never had a real flood, never had a tornado, no hurricanes...but this  spring we have had our own personal flood!  We had a record snow fall this month.  I mean a record month of snow, not a record April.  It REALLY snowed!  Our land is quite low, and our barn is actually lower than the surrounding land.  We're on a slope of the Sawtooth Mountains along the western edge of Lake Superior.  All the snow that melts on the ridge comes down to the lake. The spring thaw has really messed up the barn because of how much snow we had this month. There were 6 inches of water in it a few days ago. We had to pump it out and dig trenches to drain the water away.  I was up working on the mess almost all night that night.   All the goats are living on pallets with plywood over them to keep them off the damp floors. Thankfully, the water level seems to be going down now. In a day or two, we'll be able to muck out all the stalls and get the girls and kids into some clean and completely dry living quarters.  That will be such a job!  I'm trying not to really think about what a big job that's going to be, or how much work it has already been. Thank God it's working out! I was pretty upset and worried for a few days! All the mom's and babies continue to thrive in spite of the upset. :)
It is now clear that I need to think about what to do in the case of something like this occurring again, or a forest fire which we do occasionally have very near us.
I'm very thankful to our good friends, who came to help put pallets down and cover them with the plywood pieces.  You helped immeasurably, both the goats and my peace of mind! :)  You are a true blessing to us!  You were a flood of loving care just when we needed it the most.  I hope we can bless you as much as you have us. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Return Of Word Verification

I really feel so sorry to do this to anyone who'd like to leave a legit comment here, but the word verification is back.  We'll see if that helps with the spam comments!  I have been wading through some amazing numbers of nonsense comments lately.  Some of them things I'd rather not have to see!  I do apologize.  With that little announcement out of the way, I'll leave you with a cute kid pic.  I think he was telling us all about the cat, whom he'd just discovered.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Things I've been making I

I've been wanting to share a few of the things I've been making this winter in a post, but as I haven't got the time to get all the photos together on one computer, and make a longer post, I'm going to post some short and sweet ones for a while.

Hattie's crocheted wool sweater with deer antler buttons.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Meet Twist, Latte and "Butcher"

Okay, I know, I've been goats...again.  It becomes an addiction of sorts, I think.  Right now, I own 13 goats.  My husband never would have thought that possible.  Three years ago, the plan was to purchase two does.  Two.  Yeah.

I went to Hibbing for three more goats on Tuesday, and we've been getting to know each other for a few days now.  Time for you all to meet her too!  So meet Twist, her daughter Latte, and her son, who is "affectionately" titled "Butcher".  My 8 year old came up with that name so we would all remember his destiny, and not fall in love.  That should work...yeah.

French's Dream Twisted Sister

Latte, near my knee, and little boy behind her.

Cute babies!
These Nubian babies, almost 2 weeks old, are the same weight right now as my nearly 6 week old Nigerians are.  However, they are a whole different animal.  They're amazingly long and lean right now, as is their mom.  I hope to get a bit of weight on all of them soon.  I trimmed up Twist's hooves this morning, and she was really good about it.  However, she's not so good about having her udder touched.  We're going to have to be working on that, as I plan to begin separating her kids from her overnight and milk her in the mornings soon.  I hope she will be a good milker for us.  Her mother is a great milk maker, with great milk stand manners.  So far, Twist seems to be very good at holding her milk back for her kids, and they keep her udder pretty empty.

That's what I've been up to lately!  That, and slogging through about 18 inches of new snow.  The drifts on the way to the barn are above my knees now.  It's been a perfect winter these last two weeks.  Too bad it didn't do this in December or January! :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Catching Up...Again!

Anyone whos read this blog regularly know I've had trouble with both cameras and computers for a long while now.  I'm a very visual person, and not overly great with words, so I really rely on photos to round out my posts.  This has all stalled my blogging for a while now.  My camera has occasionally worked, and I've got some photos I've taken with the plan to blog about those things.  Unfortunately, the computers not working well has caused a serious backlog on posting.  Usually when the camera and computer cooperated at the same time, I had to take advantage of it to add something to my FB business page or my goat blog, as I wanted to sell some kids and advertise my herd.  I thought I'd share some of those collected photos with quick comments here, and we'll be caught up with some of what's gone on last fall and over winter.

My green bean crop was lousy lousy last summer.  When Mama Pea heard about it, she generously gave me the last of hers. :)
Thanks bunches, Mama Pea!  We enjoyed a lot of canned beans and dilly beans.

First batch out of the canner.

On the other hand , the tomatoes kept me really busy, both those ripened on the vine, and these which I'd stored in paper bags and ripened later in the fall.  This was October.  I still have a lot of frozen chopped tomatoes to use. :)

Canned more venison late fall.

Ate some lovely bacon wrapped venison tenderloin for Thanksgiving.

I thought I'd get farther into winter than this, but again the computer problems interfere.  Apparently, those photos are stored on another computer.  LOL!  It's been a bit crazy.  I'll have to leave that for another day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Panzy's Kidding

I said the next post would be about Panzy's traumatic labor and delivery.  I just didn't day it would be four plus weeks after the fact!  lol!
Panzy was in early labor on March 9th when I went out to do morning chores.  She was "talking" to her unborn babies, and looking at her belly.  I kept a close eye on her all day, and around 4:00 is seemed like she should be getting down to business, but she wasn't really pushing at all.  I decided I'd better try to see what was going on, as things just didn't seem "normal" (whatever that is).  At first I didn't feel anything at all, so I waited another 15 minutes, got on the phone with a breeder friend to discuss it, and then tried again.  By that time, there were parts presenting, but either not the same baby, or baby was sideways and presenting a front and back leg.  Not sure which.  I didn't know what to do, so I called my local vet, who is strictly a dog and cat gal.  Fortunately, she did a stint with cows and hogs as a young vet, so she's had a bit of experience. She agreed to try to help Panzy.  By now, the first bag had broken but no baby was following.  We put Panzy in a sled to get her to the van, and loaded her on a tarp with straw on it in the back.  Drove 20+ miles to the vet in a snow storm.
The sweetest part of this is that my daughter had met a gal, Alisa, who wants to learn about goats as part of her goal to have a goat farm one day.  She came to see her first goat birth just when we were going to the van, so she jumped in and went to the vet with us.  It was great having company, and an extra helper with us.  My Hattie girl came too.
We got Panzy out of the van and she walked into the vet's office.  The first baby, little K** in honor of the vet, was born breech with help within minutes.  Things were looking up!  Unfortunately, that was the end of the good news for a while.  The big hold up and tangle in the womb was caused by a large dead doeling.  That kid would NOT come out.  It took about an hour and a half to get it out, and then in pieces.  One front leg had to be removed at the shoulder to get it to fit.  There were actually lots of loud cheers when the kid finally came out, even though she was dead.  It was a rough, rough kidding for poor Panzy, but the whole time she just wanted her baby, called to her, licked her and tried to get her to nurse.  So sweet!
After we had everything all cleaned up, and loaded Panzy and new doeling back into the van, I got it stuck on the road.  Right in the middle of the road, not the ditch!  Couldn't go forward, backward, or anything!  Thankfully, a nice guy with a plow on his truck came by pretty quickly and helped us out. :) We got home around 9:30.
Panzy is still somewhat recovering from her ordeal.  She went through three courses of different antibiotics to fight the uterine and possibly urinary tract infection she got as a result of her ordeal.  There have been some scary moments since then, but I think she's getting better now.  Her doeling is growing fast, and I LOVE her!  I decided to keep her because I'm still nervous about Panzy's condition, and a bit concerned about breeding her in the fall.

Starlight kidded the next evening quite easily.  She had a breech tail first that needed a bit of help, then a full breech, and last a normal nose and toes.  I was never so happy to see the successful kidding and the end of a kidding season!  The best part was that Alisa had just come to get her car, and managed to be there for Starlight's whole labor and delivery, and helped a lot!  It was great that it worked out so nicely for her. :)

Please see my North Forest Farm Nigerians blog to be introduced to the newest members of our farm, who aren't Nigerian Dwarves!  I am really very excited though a little nervous about how everyone will get along.  Praying for peace and safety among all the critters here on the farm. :)

I couldn't resist a sneak peek at what will be joining us here on the farm!  There's a clue as to the breed if you look closely! :)  You can see more on my latest blog post at North Forest Farm.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How Cupcake Said Goodbye

Sweet Cupcake

Cupcake had been unwell for the last couple months of her pregnancy.  Not so unwell as to be really ill, just unwell enough to cause me to wonder.  To wonder if I'd made a mistake in breeding her.  To wonder how she would handle labor and nursing kids again.  To think that I wouldn't breed her again.  Her heart just seemed to work harder than it should.  She seemed to breathe faster than she should.  Her feet hurt.  She's never had the best feet, and they seemed to be too weak to support her when she was so large.
Cupcake got really, really larger as her due date approached.  Her breathing got faster.  It was hard to watch her like that.  As her labor seemed to be starting, she seemed to work harder to breathe.  She was restless, unable to lay down all day.  It seemed her chest was congested, and she couldn't breathe when she laid down.  She began to choke/cough.  At midnight, she finally laid down, rasping out her breaths, quick and shallow.  At 2:00 AM, she began to choke up clear fluid, and lots of it.  It was awful.  She passed away at 8:00 AM.  The vet believes that she had a weak heart, and passed away from congestive heart failure.
I spent so much time second guessing how I'd handles everything, from breeding her to how I fed her.  It was a hard thing to go through.  I spent a lot of time praying for peace, and trying not to be anxious about the next two kiddings coming up...
Next time, I'll share about Panzy and Starlight's kiddings.  Thankfully, the stories get happier as they go. :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The babies are here!

Please CLICK to see posts about what's been going on for the last week and a half here at North Forest Farm!

It's been a crazy, sad, amazing, tiring, exciting, and joyful ride!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Waiting For Goat Kids Can Be Funny

Today marks day one of waiting for the goats to kid.  Cupcake is due first, and today is day 143.  We have the baby monitor hooked up now, and it's pretty interesting having the barn sounds inside.  When you're half asleep, you can come to some strange conclusions about what's going on.  :)  Early this morning I thought the chickens had gotten out and made their way to the house.  Dan got up around that time to look for "the crazy toy we had that sounds like a rooster".  I'm going to have to get a human kid to go to the barn and bleat like a doe in labor so I can tell where to set the volume. ;)
I think Cupcake will go a little while yet.  I can still feel tail ligaments and her udder isn't very full yet.  She's looking hollow though, so it shouldn't be too long.

Cupcake a few days ago.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Counting Blessings #239-261

 239) SNOW! :)
240) sun shining on snow, glittering like billions of icy diamonds
241) recovery and good health
242) Sunday rest
243) family and home
244) grandparents
245) seed catalogs
246) animals to care for that get me out of the house; I'm always glad I did!
247) making snow angels
248) the smell of fresh baked bread
249) wool yarn
250) sheep that grow wool
251) woodstoves
252) good books
253) aphghans
254) board games
255) children
256) hot cocoa
257) popcorn
258) butter
259) soup (I'm really NOT hungry :)
260) sweaters
261) Steger Mukluks

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What's Going On

I am still alive, thankfully!  My family has spent this month surviving the influenza.  It was truly awful, and I'm glad it's over.
I have been busy making lots of stuff, most of which isn't quite ready for pictures yet.  Here's one though!


I've been crocheting mittens, among other things.

I wish I had time for a proper post right now, but instead, I'm going to link to my farm blog, so you can read about what's taking up some of my time right now.  I'm going to take the luxury or reading your blogs over a nice cup of coffee tomorrow, and hopefully even write a Counting Blessings post! :)