Saturday, December 31, 2011

More kids...Date Changes for Africa.....

I just went out to the barn and another doe had a kid.  Now all our pens are full again....
We are starting chores at 4:30 - bottle feeding first cause we have so many kids to feed tonight.
The girls are going to a dance for the new year and I am taking the girls to Longview then takeing the grandkids up to Clatskanie... think I will just stay up at my daughters till the girls are  ready to come home cause it will be quieter and that way I can save money on gas.
My chevre is about ready to come down but we cant deliver it till Tue as the restuants are not open. 
It is cold out and the wind is a little nippy. 
The does milked pretty good this morning.  This evening we should get a good milking too.
Have a Happy New Year.
We are milking 17 does, have 32 does that have kidded. 
My flight for Africa isn't leaving till the 21 now as one of the flights was cancelled.  I will be back in Washington Feb. 15.....Cant wait to see the World!

Friday, December 30, 2011

More Babies _ Does Milking now

We went out to the barn this morning to find 3 more babies born.  I cleaned the milk parlor for the third time this year.  Its a good feeling to be out in the milk parlor again.  The day has a purpose and we are back on a schedual.  We milked 10 does this morning... we got more milk than we needed for feeding kids this morning.  We had 14 kids to bottle feed.  All but 5 ate.  Two of the kids are ones we are keeping and Danyel warned them this morning if they didn't eat this evening  mom was going to tube them.  Hopefully that scares them enough they eat thier bottles.
My two grandchildren are here for a few days.  Kiara and Nick, I think they enjoy themselves. 
Today I will go check on the Chevre in the processing plant....David is holding his breath so he can go deliver his cheese to the restuarnts.  We haven't been able to go to Pikes Place because we have no chevre to sell.  Maybe this next week.
Well Ethiopia cancelled one of our flights.  So we are leaving on the 20th instead of the 18th and I will stay a little longer - not sure on the return date.  I also found out the airport in Ethiopia is small -- that makes me feel so much better.
More up dates later.
Have a Great Day

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

x tra post on kids

We had 6 does kid today, triplets, twins, and single, In all 11 kids.  We have mom's doubled up in pens.  its pretty crazy in our barn right now.  Ali had to make a graphic chart for me to lable so we knew where everyone was and who had what for kids. Our totals are 35 kids - 19 bucks and 16 does.  We have picked out 4 does and 1 buck for replacer animals so far.  I need to pick 20 replacer does for our milk line in 2 years.  So I have a ways to go before I have all my girls picked out.  In the mean time we have people coming and buying our kids.  Trying to get 20 kids does for a lady in Spokane too.  Well will have more to post tomorrow.

The Stork at our Farm is very busy

We went out to the barn to find two does had babies.  Then three more have kidded and its only 2pm.  Tomorrow we are pulling kids off of 8 does and will start milking them.  We are running out of we are out of pens.  No problems kidding which is great.  Although I have to say that my goats look very healthy. 
I made Chevre last night and hung it this morning.  Its a slow daining chevre - which isn't going to make my husband very happy cause he has orders on Thur and Fri to Resturants.  They will just have to wait. 
David is stressing out cause we are broke financially and the money isn't coming in fast enough.  I know God will handle it and so I keep working as if everything is great.  I have faith in the unseen and the promise of my Daddy.
Anyway things are hopping around here.  Ali has got a pell grant for her college in Vancouver Wa.  She wants to be a airline steward.  So she may be moving in a month or so... after I get back from Africa.
I have been to busy to even think about Africa. 
A couple came and bought two kids this morning.  So my Africa fund is now $100.  Thats a start.
Well I think I will go eat some lunch.  As I am home alone. 
David took Ali Driving.  Danyel is heading to town and Tim just told me he is heading to town too. 
All the sounds I hear are coming from the washing machine and the dish washer.
I will check on the goats in a few hours, it didn't look like anyone else was going to kid today...... but  you never know.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Triplets this morning

One of our toggenburg moms had triplets today. Our new intern got to watch two being born.  We had two bucks and a doe.  Dark Chocolate color on all three.  Its cold out today and we are expecting  to have at least one more doe kid today. 
We are staying close to home today and in the house as much as possible.   I am making a batch of cheese from milk we got from Lucky Hook Farm in Moses Lake, WA.  We got about 45 gallons or so.  I am on the cooling down side of pasturizing.  Hoping this cheese hangs great and I can have cheese for Friday deliveries.  We will see how it goes.
I have also gotton sick from The Children coming over on Christmas Eve.  My ears ache and my throat is sore and my nose is running down my throat.  Ick!  I want to sleep.  I'v taken 10 garlic pills and I am drinking cool water.
Well I will let you go get something accomplished today.  Have a great day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Babies, Babies and More

We had twins tonight.  The sannen doe, Sheila, sprained her leg somehow during kidding.  She was fine when we checked on her, then we go up after dinner to find she is lame on her front leg and is cleaning up white twin kids.  We used a towel around her chest and helped her into a pen with a heat lamp for the kids.  We will check on her through the night to see that she doesn't fall on the kids. 
We sold our first set of kids today.  They were a Christmas gift from a husband to his wife.  They were so in love with the kids.  They also had two children and they thought they were pretty neat too.
We were going to go to the Casino for dinner tonight but Shiela had other plans for us.
So I warmed up some ham, baked potatoe and some sweet carrots,  homemade rolls and served a green salad.  It filled us up and now we can just relax for the rest of the evening, other than going up and checking on Shiela.
We have had 15 kids so far.  Only got about 50 more does to go.
We won't start milking them until we have 8 does with babies and then we have to wait 3 days after the 8th doe has her babies before we start the whole milking process again.  So we have 7 does right now.
One of the best things ever is right now we have no TV cause I didn't pay the Direct TV Bill.  I had to make choices and decided to catch up with the bill in a few more weeks.  But its so quiet here and everyone finds differnt things to do.... like read, play sudko, draw and play the wii game.  We have watch movies we have had for years and have never seen them.  Its a wonderful day for MOM!
I am thinking more about Africa.... packing and getting things ready. I will go get my perscription filled tomorrow for the Malaria and I also have to order a phone for $80 to use over there. 
I am borrowing my daughters carry on bag on wheels for all my clothes and such and then the other two big suitcases are filling up with stuff to give away.  My  mom is even getting into the show by sending some matchbox cars she bought.  I am still in shock that I am actually going.  This is just crazy.  Can't wait to see what God had in store for me.
Our new Intern Tim will be here tomorrow.  We are buying 50 gallons of milk from Lucky Hook farm in Moses Lake. Tim will be picking it up on his way to Winlock Washington.  I need to make chevre for the restuants by Friday.  Hope the ph is right so it all hangs great.  Tim is going to get to help me make the first batch of cheese.  I am hoping I can teach him how to make the cheese while I am in Africa and package it up for David.  That will take a huge load off my mind while I am gone.
I will go out tomorrow and get things ready for the milk and cheese making in the processing plant.
Well I am going to let you go.  Have a very Blessed Evening and remember to stop and Smell the Roses.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kidding Season is Here and Africa Here I Come

Merry Christmas, Christ is the Reason for the Season.  Our Family and Farm want to wish you all a Blessed Christmas

Yes, I am going to Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya!  I have the ticket in hand.  Now all the real packing will start..  I can take two 50# suitcases and my carry on bag.  The two big suitcases will be full of stuff to give away.  All my stuff will be in the carry on bag.  Travel light- coming home the bags will be full of stuff for family and friends and some dresses I bought for me.
Jode Garbe, DVM, JD
Managing Director
Rwanda Wildlife Sanctuary
& Science Education Center

Jode is who will be traveling with me to Rwanda.  I am so glad too, cause I am terrified about the airports.  Missing a plane or getting lost has always been my big fear.  Coming home I will travel alone and that is when I will need all your prayers.
Wow, a women from Winlock, Wash is really going to Africa to help the people.  Now the strange thing is no church is sponsering me, no grange, or any big business. 

Kathleen Harrison, PhD
Founding Director, HARAMBEE,
This group is paying most of the airfare.  Blue Rose Dairy is picking up the tab for Visa's and extra's while there.
Please check out these websites and help them if you can.  They dont get big grants from big corporations.  They do get them from small companies.  There is no staffing or overhead so all the money goes to the people to help the people.  These two ladies have a big heart and truely are gifted.
Anyway I will keep a jounal while I am there and then post them daily when I get back.  I will also post pictures.

As for kidding Season.... yes it is here.  We started two days ago.  We have 4 moms and 8 kids on the ground and everyone is doing fine.  One doe had triplets so we are bottle feeding suppliment (colostrum to them).  We milk another doe and feed the colostrum to the triplets .  We have heat lamps on each pen right now.  David has 9 heat lamp set ups ready for the kids.  My oldest doe Mary (13 years old) had one buck kid.  We will keep him for a replacer buck.  One lamanch doe had twin does, we will keep one or both of them.  I have to save 20 doe kids this year for replacer does in 2 years.  Then we have lots of people wanting kids this year so these little guys should go fast.  I have one lady coming on Christmas Day to pick up a pair of does.  We havent had any problems birthing.  One of our large Sannen does had two large bucks.  They are strong and big. 
Chores in the morning take about 1/2 hour longer just to go pet the kids.   We are looking at close to 60 does kidding this season.  We are just hoping they are all done by the time I leave for Africa. 

So preperation for Christmas Eve is on.... made fudge, peanut brittle, walnut roca last night I was up till 12 midnight.  Danyel and Katie made the cookie dough and Danyel finished baking the cookies yesterday.  Today I will make potatoe soup, double batch of home made rolls, a large green salad and dressing.  Our adopted grandparnets brought us a big plate of assorted cookies she made - this will add a nice touch to our table too.  Everyone will be showing up about 5pm.  Since Christmas is going to be pretty lean - we are playing a christmas gift exchange game for the adults and then the kids will open gifts from all of us.  Ali and I will be cleaning house and doing the prep work for the gathering here tonight.  I will have Christmas music blarring all day.  Its warm outside right now and its not raining.  Only two adult children will be coming - Our oldest is having horse problems in Montana and so they won't be coming.  But #2 and #3, #8 #9 will be here.  Well better get Ali up so we can start chores - so we can clean and bake in the house.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kidding season has begun

We have two does in labor.  Danyel checked on them at 8pm and nothing yet.  We will check again about 10pm.
I went to Olympia today and David and Ali went to Seattle, Pikes Place Market.  This weekend was pretty good - which is really needed since we are behind on our truck payment, liability insurance.  We are not doing Christmas as I will take the extra $ and buy gifts in Africa.... which is still up in the air... again.  I no longer get excited until I am holding the tickets in my hand.  So what will be will be.  If the tickets don't come through before Christmas we will give out gift certificates or cash to everyone to go get something they want after Christmas.  I hope I can go since I don't look forward to such a non present day.
I guess the its family getting together that counts not the gifts.  Anyway its sad to think we wont be doing very much for the family.
Oh well, cry as I will - God knows best.
I am going to go buy some supplies to make candy and cookies tomorrow.  We are having potatoe soup and rolls for Christmas Eve dinner.
Well have a good evening and I will keep you posted on kidding.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Cold is here!

The weather is very cold... I know because I have a pile of ice next to the water buckets from breaking the ice and scooping it onto the ground. (Actually the girls do this).  I grained the does this morning and checked to see how close we are to kidding.. maybe a week to go.  I sure hope so cause I am almost out of cheese and cheese makes money and pays the bills. 
I will package cheese tomorrow morning and then run to Longview (45 miles) and pick up my 2 year old granddaughter.  She will be here for 3 days.  I may have to run our adopted grandma to the Dr. on Thur. - Tacoma.  The girls will watch Samantha for the day.  Have two cheese deliveries to restuants in Olympia on Thur, David will deliver them.  Then Market on Friday at Pikes Place. 
Daniel, our visitor, got a job at the Pikes Place Market so he will be moving to Seattle.  We have our first foster daughter living here right now too.  So our house is full again.
Christmas is just going by the wayside I think.  Africa is taking presidence and so I have no extra energy.  I will make the Christmas Eve Soup and Rolls and the the sugar cookies to frost.  But gifts will be small if I get to it. 
We will be waiting to see about the tickets to Africa till the last minute.
Well enjoy the cool weather and stay warm but most of all remember that family is the best gift we can give each other.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Babies Soon

It was frozen out this morning.  The water buckets were frozen and so the hammer and warm water are in action.  Things are moving slow around here, but they are moving.  We have 9 pens ready with heat lamps for kids and we have been spreading the word that babies are for sale for $25 dollars for 3 day old kids. 
Farmers Markets are almost done for 2011 and that means drying up of money... oh well.
My trip to Africa is again at an iffy stage.... the one group only gave me $1300 and my round trip ticket is almost $1800.  So if God wants me to go he will have the rest of the money here for the ticket.  Waiting for the money transfere to be able to actually purchase the ticket.  So maybe God has another plan that I don't know about.  I am not worried cause if I am suppose to go I will go.
Though this could put a crimp in our Christmas Plans as we have told everyone that I would bring them something home for Christmas gifts from Africa.... But I guess if I don't go David and I are going shopping on the night before Christmas....ICK!
All our goats are looking really healthy and that makes me excited.  last year a month before they were due about 20 goats aborted and then died with in the week of kidding.  It was awful.  So far so good this year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rwanda here comes Rhonda?

Well I thought all was good to go for the trip to Africa, but alas no.  The one organization only sent $1300 for my airline ticket and the ticket is $1790.  There is no way we can come up with the extra money.... so we will watch and see what will God do.  December isn't a good time on the farm... money is always tight and there is little if any income.  When the babies are born that usually gives us alittle to help get by till April when markets start again.  David just called me and said non of our big restaurants ordered cheese for next week... they have no Christmas parties coming up.  So all we have are a few markets to do and that is that.  We thought since our money was pretty tight this year I would take some of the money from the sale of the kids to Africa and buy everyone gifts there... it would help the income of the people in Africa and our budget too.  So if I don't go we have to figure out how we will do Christmas.  Isn't this the way it always goes?  I am faithful God will do something great so that I can brag on Him about the trip.
We went to Longview 45 miles away to walk through the Journey of Bethlehem - it was great.  We were cold but the church did a great job.  Got home and I packaged the one order for David and he packed up the car for market.
Today we grained all the goats, and grandma and grandpa brought donuts for breakfast at 9am.  Now I have to go out and package cheese for the farmers market this weekend.  Sales for Nov. and Dec. are down quite a bit and so the aniticapated money we thought we would make and have is pretty nill.
On top our car insurance is almost $500 a month.... because they go off your credit score.  OUCH!   Being a farmer you feast or famine.... everyone who is a farmer knows that and you would think the insurance people would too.  Oh well such is life.
We have four adult children living here right now. Daniel lives in Seattle but wanted to watch kids being born and help around the farm.  Which he has done a great job helping David.  Then we have one of our first foster daughters staying here for  awhile, she is finishing highschool and helping with the farm work too.  Then there is Danyel and Ali here too.  Talk about a shocker feeding three people to 6 people.  Good thing we got that beef in the freezer and some goat too.
Well thats enough about that stuff.
Goats are looking ripe for kidding soon.  Some are much closer than others.  Hopefully in the next few weeks we have kids on the ground and maybe I can make some cheese before I head to Africa.
Have a great weekend....Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rwanda I am almost there!

Well I got my hepitis shot and have a doctors appt on Tue to get my malaria tablets.  My passport is ready and the tickets are almost bought.  How exciting!  I have colored calenders to take to teach the ladies to make beads and then the soccor balls and shorts and socks for the kids.  I will try and get childrens clothes gathered and shoes to take too.  My two suitcases will be full of things to give away.  And we decided I would buy Christmas gifts in Africa for everyone.  Now I am really excited. 
Our goats are looking pretty ready to have babies in about 10 days or so.  Hopefully all the kids will be delivered before I leave on the 18th of January.  I am so excited  What  an opportunity of a lifetime.  Did I mention I am excited?  David went to Tacoma Farmers Market on Proctor today and froze.  I went to Olympia and froze.  We both did fairly well at market.  I had to package some more marinated feta and some more Grande' Rosa too.  Well I am ready for  a warm bath and then a good book.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Preparations for the Trip to Africa

Well I reserved my airline tickets to Rwanda today... It has been 4 years planning and working twords this event.  I will be helping a goat dairy start up and a processing plant start.  I will be teaching 150 women to care for goats and make cheese.  It is so exciting.  I have calanders to take over, soccor balls and clothes, and childrens shoes and clothes.  If you want to make any donations  you can contact me through my web page and we will figure out how to pick up your stuff. 
I am still not in the believing mode of this yet.  I have to go get my hepatis shot tomorrow, already have my pass port and I have to get the malaria perscription.  I need to get my phone worked out for international travel too.... so much to do.
We will start kidding in about two weeks and that should be done before I leave on January 18 thru Feb 10. 
Above all else please keep me in your prayers through this trip... its scary and fun at the same time.
I want to blog while I am gone so we will see what can be done about that too.  Well got to go mail a letter so I need to go.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Winter is Here

Well winter is here.  We turned our clocks back on Sat. night.  We are down to milking only four does and we are graining 2# of grain, 1 TBSP of my mixture (sea kelp, soy bean meal, alfalfa meal, copper, dolomite lime, linseed meal, yeast) and 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar. 
We are trimming hooves and checking for health. 
David has cleaned all four pens on top for kidding pens and we have  5 more to go.  We still have to buy heat lamp bulbs and get those all set up. 
We will be kidding in about 5 weeks.  This is the earliest we have kidded.  I am excited to see how this goes. 
We still havent turned Marus (our Anatolian Male pup) out with the goats as he still wants  to play - he is 2 1/2 years old.  Got to get that worked on.  Bernie is now 10 years old and showing his age.  Cloe is digging tunnels in the barn... so I am always filling in these huge tunnels.  She must think we are going to have a very cold winter.  I hope not.
I am working the winter market in Olympia - Sat. and Sun.  I love decorating the tables.  Danyel will be doing the markets on the days we need help through December.   David is doing Pikes Place on Fridays an Sundays.  We will do the Tacoma _ Proctor market until Dec 17th so David is doing that one too.
I think this week I can do one more batch of Chevre (20 gallons).
We had our big Thanksgiving Dinner Oct. 15.  I cooked 30# of Turkey, made 15# of mashed potatoes and about 5 boxes of dressing.  We had 22 different pies this  year.  And we had 33 people over for dinner.  It was great.  We also did birthdays.
Ali has been in Texas since June and is coming home soon.  That will make chores easier.  Cant wait.  Though chores right now are not so hard.  Haying probably is the hardest.  We have been turning off our waters facets off every night, so things don't freeze. 
We got our Nigerian Buck this last week.  His name is Sugar Daddy and his freind Buddy.  So we should have nigerian babies in April.
David has been working on housing facilites for all the goats in pens.  So everyone will be dry and warm during the winter.
I am planning on going to Africa the 18 of Jan. this next year.  I will go to Rwanda and help get the processing plant and milk parlor set up.  And teach 150 women how to take care of goats and milk them and make cheese and yogurt.  It will be a busy three weeks. 
I can't believe I am really going for sure this time.... we have been working on it for 4 years.  Wow!! I am going to Africa.
I have to make a picture book of what I am teaching these women... so I am hard at work gathering pictures and putting it together.
Have a Great day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My thougts about farming

I find with the choices I make they are generally made around finances. Our goats always have access to a good grade of hay all year long. As we are a dairy. They can also go out and in to the barn and 13 acres all year long. We pay about 150 a week on hay and about 500+ on grain and alfalfa pellets a week. We have about 85 goats right now.  We try and keep the loose minerals available all year long but when money is tight they must fend for themselves. We put minerals around the farm... several spots in the barn and in the extra pens we have if there are goats in them they usually have minerals. Baking soda is also placed around our farm. We also have water buckets all around our barn - about 20. These are changed and filled twice a day. We spread manure during the summer. We try and clean our barn to the ground twice a year... though I have to admit a few times it only got done once a year. We use shavings to rebed our barn. We trim hooves all the time.... my hand doesn't last longer than three goats and so I try and stay on top of the hooves daily. We have never checked for CAE. We will never check for CAE. My goats seem to be thriving very well as they are. We also don't give shots _ not sure they have really helped anyway and they cost money. My goats don't have hard udders thought they do get cracky knees. We feed dolomite lime to help replace calcium and potassium back into thier systems. We use MSN on the girls that seem to have a harder time getting started in the morning. We are a grade A dairy and creamery. My goats are my livelyhood and thus to have product I must keep them healthy and do what I can afford and can handle to keep our farm running. We have had about 5 post-mortem done over 10 years.... and not one of them came back with a diagnosis of what was the problem. In fact after one of our big bucks died and the report came back with no results my husband looked at the vet and said," Then give me my goat back alive."
I know first hand doing a dairy is a hard life... no vacations and a lot of hard work. Our farm is paying our way through life... not so well but we survive. And we are always looking for ways to imporve and to cut back on costs so we can be sustainable. We loose goats sometimes often and other times not.... but I am always sympathetic with farmers and our life style. We try and do what is good and right for our farm and animals. Not because I am green, but because it works for us and seems to help our farm.
I think anyone that wants to start a dairy should go voluntieer at one with an open mind... Then go to the feed store and add up all the costs. You should talk to a local vet to see if he or she fits what your looking for. Then I think you should live one year on about $50 a week for the things you need to live on _ food, clothes, gas, vacations. Oh thats right there will never be a vacation as long as you own the dairy. Nor do you ever get to sleep in again. And if you hire people you will want to be able to keep them working cause they rely on you for thier $. I don't want to discourage anyone from doing a dairy but it wasnt as romantic as I thought it would be and our children havent been on a family vacation in 10 years. We have had college students come and voluntier here as I take time our of my schedual to teach them what I know. We have had neighbors help us with chores and birthing. Our friends have to come to the farm to see us as we can't be gone for more than a few hours each day. Granted I love our farm and our life.... and someday I'd like to relax....someday.
I am very passionate about our farm and encourge people to come out and see how we do things. I feel like since I have lived it - I am somewhat an expert on our farm operations. We have met so many people that have come and toured our farm, or that we have talked to at the farmers markets. I also teach cheese classes in our area, which people get to then tour our farm.
I think Farmers are a special breed of people. They hardly ever think of themselves and are very giving and generous people. They pride themselves in hard work and little complaining. They don't spend money on non essensals and seem to make farm work look easy. Farmers are Great People and if you have a chance to meet one.... Thank him or her for all the hard work they do......for you.
ok I am done with my soap box....

Friday, September 30, 2011

Canning and Car problems

Well I canned 18 quarts of tomatoe sauce.  My car died at Staples.  Possibly needs a new starter.  David went to Seattle to work Pikes Place Market and deliver cheese to the restuants today.  I milked the does this morning and then had to try and give the big dogs some antibiotics due to ear infection.  My daughter got fired from her job at the Credit Union where she has worked for 9 years.  So now she can be home with her kids and possibly draw unemployment and sue the crap out of the credit union.  They fired her with lies. 
So alls well here at the dairy today.  I have been planning the pie attack for our Thanksgiving dinner.  So far there are about 20 diffent pies I am making.  Well my daughter, Heather, is going to try and come up one day and help make pies.  And our adopted grandma is going to help make some too. 
We are doing the Steilcoom Apple Squeeze Festival this Sunday and I am praying we sell lots of cheese and make lots of money to pay to get my car fixed and to pay a few of our bills.  The markets havent been paying the bills very well. It would be nice to have a really good one.  Anyway it is all in Gods hands.
Got to go do chores will write more about our Thanksgiving Dinner and the preperation process to make it all come together - inbetween milking, cheese making, a cheese class, and packaging cheese.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well its wet and wild at the dairy today.  I am canning beans, so far about 42 quarts.  I have one more box to can before this next weekend. 
I am going to make some chevre this evening.  And I will try and package some cheese for the farmers markets this week. 
The septic is working great.  My old stove is wonderful and Danyel will not be riding the train anytime soon to Seattle.  Alls well here.
David fixed a new gate to the meat goat pen... its easier to open and shut.  He also got the houses set up for the goats to have shelter. 
I also sent off some marinated feta to Florida this morning too.  Its pretty exciting when I get an order from our web page.
My nigerian dwarf that I am milking is dropping off fast, I am getting about 1 cup.  I am going to move her to everyother day milking for a bout a week then stop milking her.  I will be getting a buck here this month so I can get those 6 nigerian dwarf does bred.  Thier milk will be a very nice addition to my chevre.
Danyels pet rat died this weekend.  He was a good pet.  But I have one more to go -Ali's and then the basement will be ratless.... one less critter to clean up after.
Well have a great day and remember the rain brings green in Washington.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trip to Mt. St. Helens and septic cleaned

Well so far so good today.  The septic tank will be drained to day around noon.  I ran over and got some milk from Rocky Run Farm.  I will make cheese this afternoon when I get home from a motorcycle ride up to Windy Ridge on Mt. St. Helens.  I feed the goats and watered this morning and Danyel milked.  I also checked on my feta draining and will work it this afternoon too. 
I am going to enjoy the rest of the sunshine and have a relaxing afternoon.  You all do the same thing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bad things come in Three's

Well yesterday was quite the day.  Danyel and I got up at 6am to do chores.  She milked and I did the watering and graining.  Danyel came up from the basement and said there was water in front of her bedroom door.  I asked is it coming from the bathroom and she said she didn't think so but it was to much water for the dogs to have made.  I told her to get some towels and put them over it and I would check later.  We left to go to the train station - Danyel was taking the train to Seattle to see Taylor her boyfriend for the day.  Alls good.  I ran to the farmstore to get some grain as we ran out and had to short the girls in the morning of thier grain.  Its 12:30 and I am home.  I looked at the peaches and pears and thought canning those today were in order.  But I figured I could do that while the milk was pasturizing to  make the Grande Rosa.  So I go out and get the pasturizer going then head back in to can the fruit.  Went downstairs to get some more jars and thought about the water...... Lordy!  I opened the bathroom door and there was standing water on the floor and in the shower.  So I thought that maybe the shower had dripped and the drain was plugged ... so I got the plunger and proceeded to  use it.... yikes water comes shooting up and over flowing more and now its going fast out the bathroom door.  So I put the plungger back onto the drain to try and slow that flow down.  Ran up stairs and grabbed all the towels to put down to block the flow from spreading all over the floor.  So I get that sort of under control and head back upstairs to wash jars and start canning.  Phone rings, its a good friend who had told me she was coming over for a visit on Sunday - I forgot.  I said great see you soon.  No big deal I can do all these things at one time ---- right*  Then the phone rings again and I have some local people that want to come for a tour at 1pm, I said sure.  So the friend shows up about 12:15 and visited while I cut up my peaches and got them into the jar.  I put the teapot on the stove to warm water up, but realizing the water in the canner wasn't to hot I just dumped the water from the teapot into the canner and put the teapot back onto the burner ( I didnt realize but I hadn't turned the burner off).  Then the tour came and we all went outside to do the tour.  I checked on the pastuizer to see where I was and then we went to the milk parlor to get my friend some milk for her dog that has arthritis and the milk seems to help.  Then she left and I went on with the tour.  I thought I should go check the canner but then decided it would be alright.  OK, I came back to the house to get spoons for sampling to find the teapot had cooked and the plastic had melted ontot he stove and there was black smoke everywhere.  I opened the window's and doors and turned the fans back on.  I played it off with the people for the tour as not a big deal.  The breaker had flipped so that was good.  After the people left I assessed the damage.... Good by stove I had fried something.  It wouldnt turn on.  Ok no big deal we have an old stove in the barn we will clean up and bring in.  Its about 3:35 now and David should be home in about 1/2 hour.  I didn't tell him anything until he came into the house.  He went down stairs and checked the basement and called our plumber.  Then came upstairs to check out the stove.  Yup I killed it.  So he started getting it pulled out from the wall and then he went and got the old stove out.  I started chores its 5pm.  I thought about Danyel and she should be getting ready to board the train for home and would be here to do the feeding and watering this evening about 7pm.  I was cleaning the parlor when David came out and said Danyel missed the train.  And it was the last one for the day to get back home.  She was going to stay with a friend down in Seattle.  But now I would  have to do all the chores.  Ya!  So I did.  I also had to take down the chevre I had hanging too.  During this time David and the Plumber guy are out trying to find the top to the septic tank... to no avail... now its dark and they decide to tackle it this afternoon.  David did some of the chores this morning and I milked and did the rest.  He is heading to Seattle for a special resturant order delivery and to pick up Danyel.
I cant use water or flush the toilet in the house.  We are going to have to have the septic pumped out.  Oh joy.  $$$$$ its always about Money.
I am going to start a batch of feta today and clean out the bulk tank.  Just to let you know the light at the end of the tunnel is a bike ride to Mt. St. Helens tomorrow on the motorcycle.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cheese festival at Madison Market

Well  yesterday I went to Seattle to Madison Market and did a demo with like 9 other cheese makers or reps. from thier farms.  It was pretty fun.  It was busy so time flew by.  I demo'ed my chevre.  I made a chevre fondue and a balsamic vinegar and honey reduction with dates in it for another and then the garlic and dill chevre.  These were served with crackers and bread.  I used  2 quarts of fondue and it was all gone by 3pm.  It is really good.  I took a regualar fondue and substitued my chevre for the cheese they called for.  It was so tasty.
So yesterday was quite crazy in the morning.  I got up at 5 to clean the parlor and the girls, Danyel and Katie (her friend) got up at 5:30 to load the goats and to feed and water.  I started milking as soon as they had the girls penned.  Danyel had the Olympia market to go to and David went to Proctor in Tacoma.  So the girls got thier car loaded and animals taken care of and they came out and relieved me a t 6:30 so I could get dressed and load my car up for my trip to Seattle.  I left at 7am and the girls were done milking at 6:50am.  They came in and got dressed and left at 7:30 for Olympia.  I got home about 6:30 pm and went out and cleaned the milk parlor and then started my chores.  David got home a little before me and Danyel just a little before David.  I knew if I sat down I would be asleep.  So I hurried and got my chores done.  I might add I was alittle ticked - no one was helping.  David was counting the money and doing the books.... Danyel had a friend over and was talking....So when I got done - after I vented a little _ I went to the neighbors to have a glass of wine and get away from the farm.  I came home about 10pm and went to bed.
Today Danyle milked the morning cause she is taking the train to Seattle to hang with her boyfriend who is going to college up there.  She will be home tonight about 7:30 and will feed and water the goats.  I will milk the girls.
I have to get two batches of cheese made today.  I have 45 gallons of milking pasturizing for my Grande Rosa batch and then I will drain the bulk tank and make feta this evening.  I also have peaches to can today and pears and also try and get some strawberry jam made.  The house will be quiet so I should be able to work hard today.  Then tomorrow I am going on a motorcycle ride up to Windy Ridge on Mt. St.. Helens with John our adoped grandpa. 
Well got to go get Danyel off on the train and then run and get some grain for milking tonight then back to the cheese making, canning and of course dishes washed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Today we are changing our front room around. We found a good deal on a new older couch and a recliner. So we moved the old couch outside and I shampooed the carpet. The new furniture will be here this afternoon.
I have found some rennet... right in my back yard - Seattle. The cheese connection. They are actually bringing it to me on thier way out of town. A gallon! Ya! so they are going to tour and taste my cheese too. Then I have some people coming from Shelton for a tour today too.
I am planning on making some Chevre today and then tomorrow make some more feta.
I did all the milking yesterday as Danyel went and spent the day with her boyfriend and his family. David was at the farmers market.
It was quiet here and I didn't do a whole lot. Just caught up on some of my house cleaning.
I have cancelled the Sept. 17th cheese class - due to my over booking events. I will be in Seattle at the Madison Market for a Cheese Festival. David and Danyel will be at farmers markets.
Our Nigerian goats are slimming down and starting to look like they are suppose to. Scarlet is the one I am still milking. She doesnt have to be led anymore she knows they way to the stanchion by her self. Knight the llama is being a good boy and is gentle. I am still scared of him though.
Our dogs are all doing well too.
I thought labor day was a day off, but it seems we are working more than usual. Such is farm life. David is out scraping our driveway and smoothing things over. It looks good but is really dusty and noisy.
I milked the goats this morning and then came in and visited with Danyel about yesterday. She had a good time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Cool Day in Aug.

Well all the teats of my does are much much better. Its great they healed so fast. There are still a few with sores but nothing really bad. And they are not kicking at me while milking and stripping them. David built the llama house yesterday, so he has a place to get out of the rain.
The coyotes have been yelling alot behind out property.. I bet Bernie, Cloe and Marcus are just waiting for one to make a mistake and cross the line.
I taught a great cheese class yesterday. Had 6 people in the class.
Danyel went to swing dance last night so she milked in the am and I milked in the pm. It worked out great.
We went to Olympia on Monday to do the cell phone thing. David lost his cell phone so we went to try and get a new one or replace his or something. That didn't happen but Danyel got her up grade for her phone. She loves her new phone its much nicer, better camera and smaller.
I have lost 10 pounds now. But I have to say I really want some fattening food right now. Smells are killing me. I just have to remember the weight loss. I grab another cup of tea, or coffee and say No.
I am heading out to hang my chevre to drain and to start a batch of cheese today. Then I will clean out the bulk tank and clean the parlor _ Danyel milks tonight. David is getting ready to head to Stielacoom for the market.
I do enjoy the cool weather its easier to work in the processing plant.
Have a Great Day.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Monday

Well here we are again... Monday. Will we ever run out of Mondays? Got up at 6:30am and went out and cleaned the milk parlor and milked the goats. When I get back in I started working on the 50# of carrots David brought home from the market, I have about 1/3 left to can. But before I can start canning, David needs to run to Olympia to get a new phone. He lost his... don't ask! Anyway 5 hours later we are home again. I have a cheese class to do tomorrow and things to do. So I started the carrots, went out and turned and salted the Grande' Rosa and now am typing.
I have to make my chevre and yogurt tonight for class and get the lunch stuff ready. As well as clean the house and get that all pretty for company.
I really should make some chevre tonight too, but will think on that. I need to get my fresh feta into the marinate and vacuum seal that so that we can have some for markets this next week.
On a good note I have lost 9 pounds so far on my diet. And I am not hungry. But I do notice when I get up set or mad I want to grab something and eat it...NO - NO - NO!
The goats teats are looking so much better. Been spritzing them down with T-Tree Oil and colidal silver and putting bag balm on them too. Cant wait to get past this one. The milk production has been down due to me not wanting to squeeze to hard. This morning things were back on track and they milked their little hearts out for mama.
Well I should go do something productive so I can go to bed tonight at a decent hour.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another trip on the motorcylce

Well we sure have had another week of good weather. Which my goats survived quite nicely. I did a really dumb thing this week. I had a container of Iodine in the milk parlor and so when I ran out of my teat dip, I just filled full stength with this iodine.... OUCH! my does have sores on thier teats_ we only did it 3 times before we saw what was happening. But now we have to bag balm, tea tree oil them and use colidal silver mixture on them.. poor babies.
Needless to say Danyel is running to the farmstore to get the right iodine for our girls. I sure hope thier teats heal quickly it makes me cringe each time I have to squeeze them.
I made 3 batches of cheese this week. 2 chevre and 1 grande rosa. Fred came and took the whey from the grande rosa batch to feed to his pigs. Markets have been pretty good this week too. We sold about 50 pounds of chevre to restuarants too.
Danyel milked this morning and I did the feeding and watering, I also cleaned the milk parlor.
I got my new scale and printer.... oh happy day. Its so nice to weigh and it does all the work. David programed in our weight prices and there you go. We just have to get the customer use to the change.... you know they don't like change.
David bought me 50 pounds of carrots to can this week. I canned 20 qts so far and 2 pints. I still have two boxes left to can.
But today I am going for another motorcycle ride to Mt. Rainier..... should be about 5 or 6 hour ride. Hope my behind holds out.
I have lost 7 pounds so far and feel great. I am not hungery which is a big thing to me.... most of the time its habit to pick up something to munch on.
Danyel is going on her first official date with Taylor, new and great boyfriend. They are headng to Red Lobster all dressed up formal. Her in her gold gown and him in his 3 piece suit. How cute. I have to be home before they leave at 4 today so I can take pictures.
Well got to get my helmet and get my leather coat and get ready to leave. You all have a great day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Hot day

I was up at 6am, went out and cleaned cheese cloth and got them in the wash and then cleaned the parlor and milked the goats. One of our girls has diahrea, so we medicated her and put her in a pen with only hay. Hope she feels better tonight.
Danyel and Kiara watered and grained the goats this morning. David and Nick went to the Olympia Farmers Market. The two grandchildren are going home this evening. Its been nice havng them on and off this summer. I think they had fun here on the farm.
I have to package cheese today.... lots and I am going to do it this morning before it gets to hot out. I also have a tour today at 11am. I am going to hang the chevre I made yesterday.
The dogs are refusing to take thier medician now so we figured they now when thier bodies have had enough so we didn't give them thier medician this morning.
My parents are bringing thier dog over today so they can go to Seattle.
Well I am going to grab a cup of coffee and head out to the processing plant.
Sure hope my new scale comes today.....Please Please Please.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our 20th Anniversary

Well I was up at 6am and I headed out to clean the milk parlor. Checked on my Feta too. Milked the goats this morning. Everything is going fine. My new scale didn't come yesterday... fingers are crossed it comes today. I ran to town and picked up my new food for my diet. Going to try the one my daughter did and lost weight. I will let you know the progress as I go through this little trip. My granddaughter and grandson are still here. Nick went with Papa to the farmers market today and Kiara is hanging with Taylor and Danyel today. I want to make some chevre today and package up some cheese for farmers market tomorrow. Got about 19 restruant orders Ihave to fill too... We have the fans on everywhere its hot out... not complaining but just making a note.
We have had Bernie and Marcus on anti biotics for about a week for thier hot spots. They are both doing much better. Got to have those boys working to keep my goats safe.
David and I went to Olympia for our 20th Anniversary dinner. We went to Aqua Via - they serve out goat cheese. We had this fondue made with our chevre that was to die for. David and I could of ate two or three bowls of that. After dinner we went up by the capital and walked on a trail down to the lake. It was very nice and beautiful too. Then we went to the casino and blew $40 on the slots - but had a good time doing it. Then home at 11:30pm. I puttered around till midnight.
the kids did the chores and even milked the nigerian dwarf doe for me. Thanks guys.
Well I best get moving or I'll fall asleep.
Have a great day

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Sprang Ahead!

Yesterday I was watching the yellow leaves fall. I think we are early for the leaves... but our weather has been alittle off too. All my does are bred already, we should kid the last few weeks of December. Thats the earliest we have ever had kids here. So if you want kids mark those weeks on your calander.
I have cleaned the milk parlor and checked on my cheeses in the processing plant. The chevre is ready to come down from hanging and the feta is looking pretty nice and will be salted after milking this morning.
Today David and I will have been married 20 years. He made reservations at Bud Bay in Olympia. Looking forward to dinner. The kids are doing all the chores tonight and we are leaving about 6pm for Olympia.
I have also started my new diet...HCG. My eldest daughter tryed it and lost weight. So I will try anything once. So the next two days I can eat what ever I want and the third day I am on a strict diet for 40 days. Which will get me off before my birthday/Thanksgiving - in Oct.
Also my new scale is coming today and it has a printer with it... cant wait!!!!
David got the llama house up last night - so Knight wouldn't get wet. It didn't rain much if any here. Its warm outside and over cast... but I like it.
Well I will keep you posted about the new events tomorrow.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Late Summer in Washington

Good Morning. We have been busy around here. I'll go back to Friday. My daughter dropped off 3 of my grandchildren, one being a 2 year old, 8 year old and 13 year old. They were off to Wilby Island for thier 8th Anniversary weekend. So Danyel and Kiara went to the Farmers Market in Olympia. The two boys played basketball and the games on the Wii and I chased around the baby. I had to wait for her nap to be able to go out and package cheese for restuants and for the Sat. markets. She takes about 2 hour naps so that gave me some good work time in the processing plant. She took another nap in the afternoon which helped me too. When David got home I handed her over to him to chase around, while I finished in the plant. Then we ordered Pizza and everyone ate and then it was bath time... the kids had fun on the farm --- how do I know that - cauz everyone was dirty!)
Danyel came home around 7pm cause she had to go see her boyfriend in Tenino. We really like him and am glad she is dating someone that meets our standards. The last guy didn't meet any of our standards except that he was a guy. Anyway she milked and I did my chores and cleaned up the processing plant...
Sat. was very interesting, David and Nick (grandson, 13) went to Proctor Farmers Market and Kiara and Danyel went to Olympia. Well I had to milk and I was hoping the baby would sleep until I got done....NOT! she was up at 6:00am. So Kiara and Danyel had to babysit her while I started milking. When they left at 7:30 they brought her out to me. She didn't like hanging with me and the goats so I had her 8 year old brother watch her while he watered his buckets. They walked around the yard, played ball and drew chalk on the carport. Finally I was done. I came in and made breakfast and played with the baby. Then it was nap time and I headed out to the processing plant again to get some restuant orders done for Sunday market. When she got up from her nap at noon. We got ready to head out to Castle Rock where my son was picking them u to take them to his house until Sunday. Where another grandson was having his 8th birthday party. I headed back home and had the whole house to myself. I packaged some more cheese.
David did pretty good in Tacoma at the market. He also dropped off the cheese at the new Co-op in Tacoma. Danyel and Kiara had a full day, they went to Tenino for a BBQ with her boyfriend and then he drove them home and they all did chores and then they left to go back to Tenino. I think she was out pretty late cause I went to bed at 11pm.
I ordered my new scale - it has a printer with it. My labeling just got easier. It should be here on Tue this week... I am so excited.
I also had got a free cash register at a garage sale last year and I just never had time to go on line and look it up. I needed the insturctions to program it.. Well I did that on Sat. too and guess what the whole book is on line. I am starting the programing of it. It will be very nice to have this at Olympia Farmers Market and also to use it at Pikes Place. Its a really nice one too.
Sunday everyone left again for markets. So I made Chevre and cleaned up the house and did dishes. Its crazy how messy the house got.
We are having a BBQ at 5:30pm. Heather and Jamie and the two younger grandchildren will be back. Danyel and her boyfriend, and grandparents Neer (my parents). David fired up the BBQ and we had hamburgers. I took Heather and Jamie's car through the car wash for an anniversery gift and put gas in thier gas tank too. Everyone stayed until dark.
I am off to bed at 11pm.
This morning I got up at 6am and went out and cleaned the milk parlor and cleaned the bulk tank. I am making feta today. I have no plans to go anywhere today. I want to package up some of my extra chevre for the freezer, and make some more marenated feta with my last batch of feta today too.
Well I better let you go... as I need to go check the temperature of the milk pasturizing.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Aug.18, 11

Good Morning.... We slept in till 7am what a treat for me. I got up and labled some resturant cheese for David to take to market this morning. I went out and cleaned the parlor. Danyel and Kiara went out and loaded my does for me, they also fed and watered the animals. When we got into the house we changed clothes and went to eat breakfast. Danyel and I decided we should go out to breakfast once a week just for a treat. So we went into Winlock for breakfast. It was very good. When we got home the girls got thier make up on and are now heading to the SW Washington Fair for the day of some fun. Me, I will be packaging cheese and making some chevre and I will try and get a batch of feta made this evening. I have to package up some restuant orders and then farmers market cheese. All is quiet here now except for the big tractor on the burm moving dirt and rock at the rock quarry next door.
Well off to work I go before I want to take a nap. Have a great day!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Computer Crash

I am back. Our computer crashed... have you ever had that happen? Well this was our first time in 20 years. Oh my Gosh!( We lost 10 years of pictures, all my last 20 years of graphic designs. As well as some of our favorite programs. Since this has happened we now have one open computer for everyone to use on line and my office computer which only goes on line when I tell it too.
This last week has been crazy as usual. I have 14 resturant orders which came to about 100# of cheese going out. As usual the farmers market cheese which is about 230 pieces of cheese to lable and weigh and package. Now this week I already have 7 restuant orders to fill, and the farmers market cheeses to do as well as 2 back to back cheese classes. I did the first cheese class yesterday and it was a birthday class special booking. It was a lot of fun. I think the ladies enjoyed thier selves. The weather was great.
Today is my next class, so yesteday I have clean up after the class - no help- everyone is running in 10 directions trying to get things done. I stacked the dirty dishes and pans and picked up the front room. I had to package cheese for the Wed. farmers market is Stielcoom and a resturant order for 30# of chevre to be picked up too. The garlic and dill chevre and the Grande' Rosa still needed labeled and weighed. And so what do David and I do but go to the 5:30pm. I have milking to do when we get home. Oh, yes and I had to go pick up some extra milk at another dairy on our way home from the fair and clean her bulk tank. We walked around the fair and enjoyed our selves.. This is a new thing that we don't have kids with us or to pick up or to plan around. We ate dinner and David bought me a new clip for my hair that is all hand crafted... its beautiful. We visited with goat friends and saw some sheep friends too. There were less cows at the fair. I didn't see any llama's. All in all it was a nice 3 hour evening with David. Danyel and Kiara, our granddaughter, went swing dancing in Olympia and wont be home till late ( around 2:30am) We left the fair at 8:30pm and got our extra things done and then onto cleaning the parlor, its 9:30pm now, and set it up to milk. Unload the milk in the 5 gallon buckets and dump it into the bulk tank. David and I loaded up the milkers. I started milking and David fed the dogs and loaded his truck up for market, labeled about 50 pieces of cheese and washed clothes. The whole time I am out milking I am thinking about getting things ready for the cheese class today.... I got done milking at 11:15pm. I went to bed. David stayed up and finished his projects... he doesn't go to be till 2am anyway so it gave hime something to do.
This moring that alarm went off at 5:30 and I put it on snooze. Got up at 5:50am. I have washed the dishes in the kitchen, cleaned the counters off. Cleaned off the table and arranged chairs for the class. I have cleaned the milk parlor and set it up for Danyel to milk this morning and my granddaughter to do the watering. David will hay when he gets up and grain the goats and feed the dogs. I am going in to put together my cheese class books, and organize my counter to make my class go smoothly. I have to vaccum yet and get dressed, and wake up the girls. Milking wont start this morning until almost 9am because of how late we were last night and its suppose to get hot today so we wouldn't milk ( I wont milk until it starts to cool down about 8:30pm) till later anyway.
Well I better get moving and finish my prep stuff and have a cup of coffee to get me motivated. Talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wow! My computer crashed

Our computer died... we had to have BNS come and redo the computers. Its crazy how much stuff you keep on your computer. All my graphics and our business stuff. They so far saved the business stuff. But all the designes I'v done for the past 10 years are missing.
Its been a crazy few days around here. Jodi, the lady that is founder of Rwanda NOW , was here overnight with her mom. We had a couple meetings with people about our trip to Africa. Its pretty exciting to think it really might happen this year. My parents came and put a screend door thing up that hooks together with magnets. We had a tour too. I also made cheese.
The computer guy was here from 8am - 4pm yesterday and then he was here today for about 2 hours. David went and got grain today. I am making chevre today, I salted the feta this morning. I don't have to package cheese today but will tomorrow. Danyel and Kiara milked the goats this morning and then this evening the girls will go swing dancing in Olympia so I will have to milk tonight.
Well I will let you go and enjoy you slow relaxing day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The day after the Busy Day

Well this morning I got up at about 6am and went and layed down on the couch and fell asleep till 7am. Wow that is sleeping in. Went out and cleaned the milk parlor and at 7:30 came in and woke Danyel up to come help with chores. Got done milking at about 9am and I told Danyel lets go out for breakfast. We went to Napavine and had breakfast at the Wild Turkey... it was sure good. Then we ran to the Farm Store in Chehalis and got some udder wash and some acid for the milk parlor. We also go some herbal fly spray for the llama and some yard spray to kill the fleas in the yard...Look our "Bugs Life". I can see all those bugs running for thier life as we spray this stuff all around our yard. I bought some stuff to spray on the driveway too to kill weeds. Just got inspired I guess today.
We stopped at a few gargae sales and the first one hit a jackpot... I got 4 new jumpers and a few shirts for David. Danyel found books and piano music. The next one was nice and we got a few things but nothing supper great. Then we came home and looked at our treasures. Danyel ran to Castle Rock to pick up Kiara, my granddaughter, for a few days.
I had the girls cut a new trail to the meat goats pens and then we took a panel out and made thier pen bigger.
The llama hasn't spit at me, though its taking alittle time to not be afraid when he lays his ears back. I guess he is just listening to thing- not mad. The nigerians are doing well and I am milking the doe by hand till we figure out what is the matter with the portable milker. She is standing pretty still for me and Danyel only has to help a little now. The two kids are so cute... we are selling them. So if you know of anyone interested they are $100 each. They are just 2 months old on Tue the 9th.
I am making Chevre today - 52 gallons.
Jodi and her mom will be her around 7pm or later tonight. She is the lady that I am working with going to Africa.
Tomorrow is going to be busy too.. lots of people coming and going.
I am making Chicken enchilada's for dinner tonight. I don't have to milk, just clean the parlor and grain and water every one. So its a pretty easy day.
David didn't do so well at the Market in Olympia today.
Well I will let you go and fill you in on tomorrow = tomorrow. Have a Great Day

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cheese Class Today

Ok your not going to believe all I have done yesterday and this morning getting ready for this class. As I said yesterday the girl I hire to milk the goats and help with the cheese class was busy and couldn't come.... SO,
I was up at 5:30 am and started milking at 7am.
I got a call at 8:30am from Colvin Ranch and he wanted to come get some whey... well I was going to make feta so that would be fine. I explained it takes about 5 hours for me to make it and get to the whey... he said fine I will be there around 3pm. Great.
Then another call wanted to come get some milk for soap making at 3:30 - 4pm, no problem.
Danyel and David were at farmers markets all day - until about 4pm.
Well I milked the goats and fed the baby goats. I then came in had a muffin and went out to clean the pasturizer and get cheese started. I had the pasturizer going by 10am and that was going to work out great. I washed dishes in the processing plant. Then I headed into the house to start cleaning it. Cleared off the kitchen table - thats our desk for market, as well as catch all. Then I vaccumed and moved my sewing stuff to the spare bedroom. I looked at the carpet and thought I wonder if I have enough time to shampoo.... sure so I went at that project. Then I swept the kitchen area and hallways and mopped that area. Back out to the processing plant to check on temp. I had about 30 min left before pastuizing starts so I got out the chevre and started packaging cheese, I did 70 pieces of chevre. Put it in the refrigerator and the pasturizing was done and now I was onto cooling it down thats about 45 min. So back into the house to eat some lunch - a nice big salad. Watched some Avitar (movie). Its time to go check the pasturizer again... only alittle more cool down so I got the work area cleaned up and got the culture ready to put into the milk. 1pm the culture was in and now wait an hour... thought I should go out and clean the parlor so milking would be ready since things were getting alittle tight. Back into the house to clean the bathroom. Time to add the rennet to the milk and wait one more hour. Went back into the house to work on the kitchen, dishes put away and washed - counters all clean and it looks nice. Now its 3pm and up drives Fred from Colvin Farms. My cheese is just about ready to be cut and so we get to visit till the whey is ready. He visited for awhile and I gave him the tour of the farm. Up drives the people to buy milk for soap, so I stopped visiting with Fred and went and pulled 3 gallons of milk. I visited with them for a few minutes. Now I am back down draining the whey for Fred. He took 5 - 5 gallon buckets of whey home. Danyel is pulling in from Market and a its time to go get the Nigerian Dwarf to milk and feed the two kids. Then helped round up the goats and started milking. The whole time I am milking I am running over the things I need to get done tonight for my class. While I was milking Danyel was weighing and labeling the chevre I had packaged this morning. After milking I cleaned the milk parlor and set it all up for tomorrow morning. When I get into the house at 8:30pm I go to the printer and print off the fronts of my cheese book I give out during the class. Then I put the 15 books together and drag out all my cheesebook, cataloges and articles wrote about cheese. Make sure the pencils are all sharpened. I made chevre and yogurt and got them going and cooked the filling for the chicken broccoli braid I was making for lunch. I set the tables and chairs up. Got all my lunch stuff out, cups, plates, plastic silverware, all the coffee and tea stuff. David went out and watered and hayed everyone, and got his stuff ready for market. Its 11pm bedtime.
Got up at 5:00am and mixed up my yogurt and then put it into small containers for class, and hthen put them in the refrigerator. Danyel got up at 5:30am. Out to round the goats up we go. David left at 6am for market. I am on line at 6am to milk the goats. Danyel grains all of them and feeds the kids. After milking I am in the house putting the lunch braid together and covering it and putting it into the refrigerator (made double batch). Then I cut up some of our cheese for the class sampling. I ran the vaccum cleaner over the frontroom floor. Took a shower and washed my hair. Got the coffee and tea on. And my first person to arrive was at 9am. Class starts at 10am - 2pm. Anyway they all got here 10 people eager to learn how to make cheese. Class went great... it was another great class.
Now I am sitting down. I have a tour at 4pm today. So I think I will go laydown on the couch - set my phone alarm and take a nap.
Have a great day. I still have feta to cut and salt and clean the milk parlor and maybe make some chevre tonight. Which means cleaning buckets to put my chevre in over night.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting ready for the Cheese class tomorrow

I am sure glad the temp. outside isnt really hot. Actually its perfect. I got up at 5am this morning to label and weigh cheese for Danyel's market. I packaged cheese and labeled last night but got to tired so I just got up early this morning. I milked the goats this morning too. I bottle fed the two Nigerian dwarf kids and then onto making Feta today. I am pasturizing it right now. I am going to use the new rennet I got so cross your fingers it works and I didn't get ripped off on e-bay. Anyway I used a little in my chevre the other day and it turned out. I have a guy coming today to get some of my whey from this batch of cheese, to feed his pigs. I vaccumed and sampooed my front room carpet while waiting on the cheese. I have a cheese class of 15 tomorrow morning. That parts alright, the delima is that I also have to milk the goats in the morning and get my class ready.... lets see what time to get up.... why go to bed? The girl that usually comes to help is babysitting tomorrow so I am on my own. I will prepare most of the stuff today and this evening make my chevre for demo, and my yogurt. I want to start milking at 6am and should be done by 8am. David and Danyel will have to do all the rest of the chores before they go to market tomorrow morning. I am sure it will all work out its just stressing about the schedual. Well I will let you go so I can go sweep and mop my floors while the cheese is still in the pasturize mode. have a great day....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Animals

We got 6 does, and 2 kids and a llama.... Nigerian Dwarfs. They are cute and a little over weight. They were free from a lady in Shelton who needed a home for them due to some health problems. The only reservation I had was the Llama, his name is Knight. He isn't to bad... I am still scared he will spit. But I bet over time I will be alright with him. He kind of looks majestic sitting out in the field of little goats.
I am milking one of the does. And we are bottle feeding the two kids which are just 2 months old as of I think the 7th of Aug. I bought the portable milk machine from them and she gave me thier milk stantion. The milking machine worked fine un until yesterday evening.. so I had to milk those little teats by hand with a jumping doe. Danyel helped hold her so I could milk her to feed the kids. She will get better as time goes on.
David picked up 3 more resturants this last month, so I had to make a chart to be able to keep track of who gets what on what day... I think I have 12 resturants going now.
We have had tours alot lately too. A bunch from the article in the Tacoma paper.
Sat. is my next cheese class and I am full and over alittle... Should be a good class.
I am starting to be in the processsing plant alot, I cant find animal rennet anywhere. I bought some off e-bay. Only to get it and its clear. Never have seen that before. I made a batch of chevre on my stove top to see if I got took. The chevre turned out so I tried it on a 52 gallon batch of chevre and so far it looks like its doing the job.
I have to take Danyel into a Dr. appt. today at 4pm so I think I will go and clean the parlor now before we leave so when we get home I can jump into packaging cheese for tomorrow. That way I will be labeling while Big Brother is on tonight.
Have a Great day. I will try and get pictures up of the new girls and kids soon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We took david out to dinner at|The casino then david spent $10 on the slots and he won $101 back. What a birthday present!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Re:|The nigerian dwarfs are doing great. I will put pictures up tomorrow
Nigerian Dwarf Goats|Yes they are almost here in Winlock at the Blue Rose Dairy. We are waiting for them - 6 does. And a llama

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A cheese work day

I have packaged 5 restaurant orders already, all the plain feta for the weekend. And now I need to hang my chevre and I am making a batch of Grande Rosa. A tour should show up any time to visit the farm. I milked the goats this morning too. Will post more this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Evening at Work

I just cleaned the milk parlor and Danyel is milking tonight... Ya! Justin is out helping her and babysitting her I think. I am heading out to the processing plant to cut up some grande rosa for a restaurant and some for the market tomorrow. I also have to package marinated feta and lemon and honey chevre. I am only going to do what needs to be done tonight. I have 7 orders for this weekend... for restaurants. So tomorrow I will be busy packaging. Got my chevre made today so I will hang it tomorrow morning. I have a tour tomorrow too. Justin did all the watering tonight and even carried a bag of grain into the milk parlor. What a great Grandchild he is.
David got hay today and also hooked up the brush hog onto the tractor. He is going to teach Justin how to mow the field. Justin can't wait. He is 10 and all farm boy.

Thousand trails campground

We took the grandkids up to see grandparents Riders yesterday. They were at Thousand Trails in Centraila. The weather was kind of cool under the trees, but the pool area was warm, still no sun though. The kids spent most of thier time splashing, squirting and jumping into the water. As for the older ones we all sat around the pool watching and chatting. It was a nice break from the farm. I milked in the morning and evening and we had Girl Scout Garbage for dinner - something I learned to make when I was a leader...It was very good. Made Justin take a spitz bath as his leg. The boys have been sleeping in the tent for the last week. Sure makes the house quiet. The granddaughters slept in the house due to Danyels fall. They were happy about that anyway.
My bucks are going crazy... so many girls to pick from in the herd. We will have early babies next year. Thats good cause the resturants want thier cheese...
Markets this weekend were pretty good. Thats nice since we were feeding more mouths than normal. God always has a way. Well I am making cheese today - Chevre- 52 gallons. Its quick and easy to make. We are still having problems with getting Animal Rennet though. So I use mine very sparingly... if that is possible. I will go on ebay today and order another pint while I wait for our usual supplier to get my gallon. This has never happened before so its really strange to be in such a spot. Well have a great day... all is well at the dairy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The day after

Danyel dr visit was pretty simple, he gave her a muscle relaxer and said she wrenched her shoulder. That was a good report. She is feeling better and moving the arm a little more.
Today the four grandsons went to the farmers market with Papa. He had a record day selling but the boys wore him out. The girls and I relaxed until about 10am - after doing chores and milking the goats. Then we went to the store to pick up Danyels meds. - they didn't have them so we ran some more erronds and went to the dr's office and they said they would send it over again and it should be there when we get there. So we drove back to the store and they still didn't have the perscription... so Danyel told them we would get them tomorrow. We went to some garage sales on the way home and found some treasures. Shawn, my son and his girlfriend came this evening to pick up two of the six grandkids. Its way to hot to do chores yet so I think I will start dinner and feed everyone before we do chores.
Right now the two youngest grandsons are playing basketball with Papa and the three older ones are playing the Wii. And Nana is resting.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Danyel to the Dr.

David is taking Danyel to the Dr. right now to make sure something isnt broken. She did the market today and said it hurt pretty bad most of the day even being on asprin. I am heading out to clean the milk parlor and load my girls up... the grandkids will all help.. ya for the extra hands today. I took the boys and Katline to the steam train ride today and I think they had a good time... I had to drop them off and have Katline babysit the boys so I could run to Olympia and pick up the girls after market. Then had to run Katie home for her sisters Birthday party and back home - where I am now.

BBQ/ Cheese Class

Well the morning started off pretty busy. I was up at 5:30am and headed out to clean the milk parlor. One of Danyel's friends spent the night and so she did the milking for me. I had to label some cheese for Danyel to go to market and then get ready for the cheese class. I had my booklets to still put together and the house needed vaccumed, mopped and swept. Then the table and chairs put out for the class. I made lunch, Chicken Broccoli Braid. The was cooking the chicken arranging and mixing the ingredents together so that I could put it in the oven at 11:30 so we could eat on time. I had to wash dishes in the processing plant from packaging and making cheese the day before. Oh did I mention 3 of my grandsons from 14 - 7 were here too. I told them to play games down stairs and stay hid during my cheese class. Those boys were amazing they were quiet and we never heard or saw them the whole 4 hours...
The class went great, there was 10 people in the class and they all enjoyed themselves. The cheese all worked and the luch was wonderful. We took the tour of the farm and everyone was on thier way by 2pm. Then I started with Katies help to clean up the house again _ to get ready for the BBQ at 6pm. I made potatoe salad (10# of potatoes - 1 dozen eggs - 1large walla walla onion - and about 8 dill pickles). I had to unthaw the 4 pounds of hamburger and make patties. Katie was working right beside me most of the afternoon. Amazing we were ready when family started showing up. David and Danyel were at markets all day. So when David got home he was the BBQ man. I ran over and cleaned the milk parlor so the kids could milk, feed and water the goats. Boy I was so tired. Then it happened after milking was done..... Danyel fell off the manuer mountain and hit her head and hurt her shoulder.... One of the grandsons came running over and said Danyel fell and hurt herself and can't get up.. well visions of -not suger plums- danced in my head... I start yelling should I call 911 but David said no and helped Danyel up and thus we put ice on her, checked her back out and arms - nothing was broke. But she says it really hurts and so she has her arm in a sling and taking some asprin. After this mis hap, the two girls helped or actaully did the rest of the labeling and weighing of the about 80 pieces of cheese for market today. David loaded the car up for Danyel and did his own too. And then I went to bed and the girls did too. We put the boys in a tent outside...
This moring Danyel said she couldn't drive cause it hurt to much to turn her head. Its was 5:30am. Plan B... we went into action the girls all got up and we got right onto the chores, I cleaned the parlor and the girls loaded the goats and fed the rest of them. The boys got up at 6:45 and did t he watering. I finished milking the does at 7:25am and then I told the boys to eat breakfast and stay in the house so I could run the 3 of the 4 girls to Olympia to sell cheese today. Danyel is there supervising and Kiara and Katie are selling cheese and taking care of Danyel. I am now back home and Katline did a fine job of babysitting while I was gone. Now my plans for the rest of the day is to take the 5 grandchildren for a ride on the steam train in Chehalis at 1pm today. I will go and pick up the girls in Olympia as close to 3 as I can. Then back home to unload, inventory and then onto chores. I will be doing chores tonight....Danyel is kind of out of it.... I will have to do all the milking until she feels better. It looks like I might have to do Fri. and Sat. Olympia Market next week too.....
Well that is the exciting evening and morning at Blue Rose Dairy

Friday, July 22, 2011

3 of 3
tired but still moving
2 of 3
this morning and with the class. Now family is coming over for a BBQ this evening. 6 grandchildren are spending the night. I am
1 of 3
The cheese class went great. The cheese turned out and the lunch was a hit too. Katie our neighbour, came and helped with milking

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The end of the Day

Well I packaged about 150 pieces of cheese today. I just got done cleaning the parlor so Danyel can milk tonight. I bought a frozen lazana for dinner , its in now heating up. Green salad, ranch cressing and some mixed veg. and some french bread. Yum! The three grandsons did the watering and I will go do the graining of the few goats we have that don't get milked. We also have a White Irish Dexter calf she is 8 months old... she isn't white her name is Ebony - she pulled all the black from the ears and hooves of the mom and dad. I will milk her and make butter and use the cream. She is just for our use. Well I need to go finish my processing plant clean up and then I will lable and weigh the cheese while watching TV tonight. I have to also put my cheese class books together. I have 12 people coming tomorrow morning at 10am - 2pm for the cheese making class.
Just testing my new phone posts|

Starting A New.....

Hello to all, I want to start a new and start posting here rather than on facebook. You know when you get a really icky taste in your mouth and its totally awful???? I just had the experiance with facebook and I think the blog is much more fun and safer.
I am heading out to the processing plant to hang some chevre today. I have to first clean my cheese cloth and throw them in the washing machine... then hang the cheese. I didn't get done making it till about 11:30 pm last night so I have no big hurry to get it hung this morning.
I cleaned the bulk tank yesterday too. I have made 3 batches of cheese this week. 2 chevre and one feta.
Speaking of feta I need to drain it and resalt it today and then put it into the buckets into the cooler for 5 days.
I have a bunch of packaging to do today too. And then I will label and and weigh it tonight.
We are in the Olympia Farmers Market 4 days this year and we will sell all the way until Dec. 24.
We are also up at Pikes Place too, only on Fridays. Tomorrow David is just going to Seattle to deliver cheese and then come home. We are also at the Tacoma Proctor Market and the Steilicoom Market. We have picked up a bunch of resturants this season too.
We are milking about 40 does and have about 89 goats this year. We had a really bad winter sort or Spring. We bought about 20 goats from Spokane area and lost all but 5 from something that is passed like HIV from one goat to another and it effects the birthing - aborted babies and then the doe dies... Nasty stuff. So we are way down in goats... but it was Gods way to help take our herd down to a number that I can manage by myself - mostly.
Both of our last of 9 daugthers graduated this June, one stayed home to help with the farm the other flew off to Texas to go to school and help her sister by babysitting thier 1 year old, my grandson.
I am planning on going to Africa in January to help get the ball rolling on a dairy and processing plant in Rwanda. it should be fun and I already know lots of work. Don't know the time frame yet of how long I will be over there.
Well I think that is enough up date for now.... plenty more to add later.