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.