Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter 2012

The herd checking out the snow 1-16-12

Well -- have  you noticed that it snowed out?  I took notice a few days ago and was surprised that white wet stuff covered the ground and made everything wet and cold.  Though my daughters put on pretty dresses and took thier shoes off and took pictures in this stuff.  I am not sure if it was to see how long they could go before they got frost bite.  The photo's turned out great! 
This snow thing causes so much work for us farmers.  We end up having to haul alot of water buckets to the goats and cow.  You have to use the tractor to move hay around.  And then there is the temperature.... cold.
We seem to just go with the flow and keep moving on.
My trip to Africa is almost here... I am going to the Pikes Place Market with David Sat. morning.  I will work the market with him and then we will meet up with Jodi and head to the airport.  It will be a long day for sure.  My flight leaves at 11:45pm and we wont be in Kigali until the 23 of January. 
We have a lay over in Ethiopia and then onto Rwanda. 

Tue's Snow 10 inches on deck railing 1-16-12

The milk parlor and barn this morning 25 inches 1-18-12
the deck railing this monring and in the background you can see the corner of our fence 1-18-12

Marcus checking us out from behind the barn 1-18-12

My patio furniture - table and chairs 1-18-12
Well the snow this morning was so .... I don't know.  I was hoping the weather man was wrong as usual.  But to no avail we ended up with 25 inches of snow.  David had to get the tractor out before we could even go to the barn.  The power was off since 3:30am and when Ali woke me up at 5:00 am to see the snow I was shocked.  But the reason she woke me was even funnier... She had Jonny inside last night (one of our cats), well he wanted outside and she opened her bedroom window and put him on the window sill and sent him on his way only to have him disappear into the snow.  She jumped out the window to save her cat and thats when she found out how much snow we had.  The cat spent the rest of the morning inside.  Well once I was a wake and saw the snow I couldnt go back to sleep.  So out onto the couch I went and watched the snow fall.  I woke the girls up at 8am and we still didn't have any power.  So David moved the BBQ closer to the back door and we heated the baby goats milk and the girls took it out and fed some cold babies - thier heat lamps were off.  We started melting some snow so we could start milking the goats by hand.  Just as we were heading to the barn the power came on... Ya!  I cleaned the parlor and milked the goats.  I was done at about 10:30am.  Our adopted grandparents had gone and got pizza the day before so they could come up and have pizza with us before I leave for Africa.  David cleaned the driveway up by going up and down it about 3 times so they could get thier truck up the driveway.  They came about 11:45 for pizza.  It sure did taste good too.  David went out and made trailes around the farm so we could get to the places we needed to.  It sure looks funny too.  He also had to scrape the snow off the chicken house so the roof wouldn't break.
Now the funny goats are the nigerians... the snow is deeper than thier backs.  Ali made a trail for them to be able to get to the hay feeder and I wish I had the picture she took of them on her phone.  So funny.  Knight our llama had about 18 inches of snow on his back.  He seemed alright today though. 
I layed down about 2pm and took a nap.  Got up at 3 and packaged cheese for David to take to Olympia tomorrow.  He printed out the invoices.  I think everyone knows what thier jobs are while I am gone.  Mark and Teneka (I may not of spelled her name right) are making the chevre for me and packaging the cheese and labeling for David.  Mark made the last batch of Chevre by himself with me in the background.  I had to hang it cause it snowed and no one could get up our driveway yesterday.  Today we all were snowed in .... hopefully tomorrow afternoon he can come up and take the cheese down and package some cheese for David for Sat.'s market.  I feel confident that Mark and Teneka can handle the task. 
I will Skype David while in Africa... and possibly email when in town.  I won't be adding anything to the blog until I get home ..... so no one panic after Friday evening....I will blog each day with pictures when I am back... this will take 3 weeks... so patience will be in order.  Especially for me if something cool happens.
Well thats my up date for today.  Stay warm and dry and enjoy the beauty of the season.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Intern bites the dust!

Our newest intern wanted to make cheese right off the bat, like I am going to turn over my machine to just anyone....NOT!  He left mad cause after observing him for about 1 week we thought better than to turn him loose with my business.  He was nice - just thought he knew more and could do more than I was ready to let him.  Anyway the stress level here at the farm has dropped alot. 
This summer I had a couple who makes soap come and spend many days at the farm and helped me make cheese and package and lable too.  They are who we chose to make cheese while I am gone to Africa.  He bought two kids from me and is going off to Calf. to start a dairy... Only problem is he doesn't want to clean and do the grunt work that is all part of the farm thing.... Goood Luck Timmy.
Well I took 21 kids off to the auction in Chehalis to be sold.... Got the reciept in the mail today and I owe the auction $37.  I paid someone to buy all those kids.  Man oh man I am mad.  I will not ever again take any kids there again... And I will telll everyone about the rip off place.
I also thought it would be a no big deal to go get my last two shots.... not so.... and its going to cost me $350 to have two shots...  I am so disappointed.  So after I pay for my shots I have about $100 to spend in Africa instead of $500.  Please pray God will send me some more money to take.
We just had two goats kid in the last few days.  We have a few more goats to have babies and then we are done.
Taneka and Mark made the batch of cheese that is hanging now.  We will hopefully take it down tomorrow or Wed.  We are going to package abunch of resturant orders tomorrow.  We also are having a tour, a guy come buy 2 kids, and my accountant is coming too.
It will be crazy tomorrow.
Today though was sit back and relax.... I think after all the drama of Tim we were all exhausted with trying to understand a person thats not easy to understand.
Anyway have a great day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bucks off to the Auction

We got up to frozen ground this morning... no fog.  The girls and I had to do all the chores cause Tim and David headed to Seattle to deliver cheese and sell at Pikes Place.
We only have one mom with twin bucks still in a pen.  So feeding extra goats is pretty easy.  We have turned the boar mom and her twin bucks loose in the top so they can go out and run and eat grass.  We are milking about 35 does now.  I was sure glad to be done milking this morning.  Bottle feeding was long and the only thing that kept us going was that tonight we will be 21 kids less.  After milking I ran the babies to the auction.  I am making cheese tomorrow after milking.  Ya!  It should be a good batch since I am not using 8 gallons a day to feed the kids.  We are going to start the older kids on the Lambar bucket with 10 nipples on it.  That cuts feeding them down to about 10 min for 10 kids.  So much faster.  I still have about 10 does to sell  But I have a guy coming tonight to buy two and then tomorrow another person is buying 2 and then Sunday I have a 12 year old that has saved her money up for two does.  That leaves me a few left and I have another lady coming to buy some for her sons birthday gift. 
So that should just about do it.  We have about 10 does left to kid.... but that could be a month off. 
I am going to dump milk into the bulk tank tonight after milking cause I don't have to save any for kids. 
Two friends who have helped before make cheese are coming over to make cheese with me.  They will be making cheese while I am gone.  That should keep my husband happy and supplied with cheese. 
Last night a friend and her two boys and husband came and helped feed the baby goats.  We took pictures of him in the pen with the baby goats while they were attacking him.  He loved it.  It was so cute.  He kept sneaking out of the house to go hang with the big kids so he could feed the goats.  What a trooper. 
I stayed up from 8:00pm to 10:30 pm packaging cheese and labeling it for David to do market today.  I didn't know he was going to stay and do market... Hope he does well.  We are behind on some bills and need to make money.
I have saved almost all the money from the sales of kids for my Africa trip... I hid it!  I did have to pay a bill of 150 yesterday though with it.. God will supply what I need.
Well I am going out to clean the pasturizer so tomorrow I am ready to make cheese.  The cheese cloth was washed yesterday and is ready, the 10 buckets are washed and ready... Now to make it.  I have to order bags tomorrow and pray they get here soon.  I have a big order for Friday.  So the wows of a farmer.....$$$$.
Have a Great Day

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What a Lovely Day

I have to say it is a good feeling to work with your hands, to be outside and smelling fresh air.  My job lets me have all these benifits.  I think farmers stay healthier than city folks, because of our lifestyle.  We don't need entertained - we are to tired.  We don't need fancy food - cause usually when foods on the table we just eat it.  And we don't need fancy cars - goats, hay and grain mess it up.  Cothes are usually two kinds - farm and town, neither is to fancy cause we don't have the energy or time to care.
But in all farm life is good.
As I am out milking this morning I am thinking about the last 10 years that we have been here at Blue Rose Dairy.  The changes we have gone through, the different situations we have had to over come.  the number of goats we have had and then not.  How our children have grown up and flew the coop.  And where are we going next? 
The things that stick out the most with me is the smell of the morning air, early morning.  The thousands of beautiful sunrises and sets we have seen - because we are always outside during them.  The weather changes we  have endured.  Rain, Rain, Snow, Sleat, Frozen rain, frozen ground.  Its always changing.  I think God does this to keep us on our toes.... and making us ready to change in a moment if need be.  From getting up and putting on warm gear, ear muffs and gloves and stripping everything off before the morning chores are done.
We have met  some great people at the markets we have sold our cheese at.  And we have met some real stinkers.  We have had opportunites open up for our farm and other ones close.  My husband is a real salesmen and loves the challenge of a good chef.  He loves to visit and share our story with eveyone.  Sometimes I think alittle to much - but that is David.
This farm has been a blessing to more people than we can count.  We have opened our doors to everyone and anyone.  We have always said if you want a place to stay your welcome --- but you will have to work on the farm.  God has taken care of us through thick and thin and He still is.
We are almost done with kidding season already and the cheesemaking part starts again.  The weather is clean and clear and we look forward to meeting more people and sharing our love of goats and cheese with anyone who will listen.
I hope you have a wonderful day.... The Sun is shinning and the sky is blue and my farm is smiling.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Busy Busy at Blue Rose Dairy

Yesterday we went out to the barn to triplest - all boys, and a set of twins.  We had two more does kid during the day.  We are milking 26 does and have picked out only 6 does kids for milk replacers.  We have a huge amount of buck kids that are going to the auction on Friday.  I need to make cheese and they are between me and pastuizer.
Tim is back from his weekend in Seattle spending time with friends.  He has been doing the watering and is helping feed kids - 40 of them - bottles.  He finds things to do around the farm when we all go our own directions.  Hope he is learning what he will need to take care of his 3 kids he is buying.
Danyel and Ali will be gone all day today- until chores at 4:30.  I have to make a big dinner tonight cause I think we will be having extra kids today.
I want to go and get the processing plant set up and cleaned.  I need to package some feta for my mom in Arizona.  She has been selling it down there.  I have to package cheese for resturants on Friday of this week. 
I am hoping to be able to make a batch of cheese on Sat.  We should have alot less kids to feed so I should be able to save a bunch of cheese.  I got about 7 gallons today and so I put 5 in the cooler and will add to that each day.  Hoping for a 30 gallon batch but we will see.
Its windy out today and they said we were suppose to get some more rain. 
Well I am thinking about Africa, since I have only a few weeks to go.  I just hope the farm holds up while I am gone.  Taneka and Mark are coming over to make cheese for me.  That will help alot.  They have helped me in the past.  So they are very familier with my processing plant.  Maybe Tim can watch and learn but they will be the cheese makers while I am gone.   
Well I will add more later.