Thursday, January 26, 2017

"How Great is Our God" - In Hebrew

I have a new favorite singer. Joshua Aaron is a Messianic Jewish singer who has such beautiful music. Below is his video of "How Great is Our God" in Hebrew. You will see him at the wailing wall and it's just so touching. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Goat Therapy

We have a little girl goat with leg problems. Many would put them down. We chose to give her a chance.

I took her to the vet to make sure there were no injuries. There weren't. We decided on a little vitamin shot and some physical therapy. Our small town vet was great.

Three to four times a day I perform exercises on her and then twice a day she gets a massage of her muscles.

Problem is, we had to go out of town to help my Mom.

No problem. Did I mention my Mom is a huge animal lover? We put the babies in a large dog kennel, seatbelted them into the truck, and off we went.

Did I mention they haven't been bottle fed yet?

I had a puppy bottle with a very long fat nipple that I started them on. It holds 2 oz and enabled me to work with them to accept a bottle. It was slow going but eventually they allowed me to put it in their mouth though they wouldn't open their mouths or ask for it. Once I got it in, they were eager to nurse.

They were worn out from their trip. you can see her back (black and brown goat) legs are out and his (brown and white goat) are bent. She has a hard time bending her back legs, thus the physical therapy. I have to bend and straighten her legs in a specific way.

Notice here she's curled up more typical. Her exercises are starting to work. She has a long way to go, but she has already come so far in 2 days.

New news:

1) Esau (the little boy - brown) has learned to jump like a champ. He never walks if he doesn't have to, but hops. It's so funny.

2) Both Esau and Esther have learned to use the big bottle. It's just a typical human baby bottle which is so much easier to feed them with and I think easier for them to nurse by the look of it.

3) Their intake is increasing nicely.

4) Esther has learned to walk with bending her legs a few steps everytime she's out. She has learned to stand to nurse. She has learned to scratch her nose with her back leg, though her balance is still working out on that one. And she just learned to hop some. She's not as good as Esau, but all of his legs work properly. Not bad to only be a day behind on jumping when your legs are so affected.

Friday, January 20, 2017

And Then We Were Done ...

This has been a crazy 13 days and an even crazier 48 hours. 13 days ago our first babies on the farm were born ... 2 days ago our little Jacob was born. Today our last pregnant goat started baying and pacing like mad. She had a lot of discharge. She would not stop crying out in that telling way. The problem is, I had to go to town and couldn't change my plans. I will admit to praying she wouldn't have her baby(ies) until I got home.

She was quite polite and waited. She is young, younger than I would have allowed to breed. This was her first pregnancy. I was really worried about her and, obviously, the baby(ies) since first pregnancies for livestock often have a stillborn.

She did wonderfully. She birthed those babies quickly, cleaned them up fast, and had them nursing before you could say "Bob's your uncle". They were nursing so well it took me a while to find out their gender. I didn't want to mess with them when they were doing what they should.

Finally I picked each of them up, checked them over, listened to their breathing, and did the flip and check to see what we had.

First up is our first born. We quickly learned we had a little girl. This picture is not great, but she is so colorful. She is black in the front with white on her head but she's brown in the back (like she's divided exactly in half) and then her underneath tummy is brown.

And her name? Esther. Yes, nice Biblical name. Our younger son came out of Sunday school this week asking if we had a girl could we name her Esther because he really liked that Bible story.

Second born is our little boy. We were hoping for all girls, but he's just so cute. He is mostly brown with spots all over him in random place that are white and black. His brown is much lighter and more orange/red tint than Esther's brown.

His name? Esau.

They both received names starting with E because their Mom's name starts with E (She's Evie). We do this with first generation as it allows us to know who the Mom is for each goat. Second generations will receive a different letter. 

Thankfully we are done for a while. All of our does have had their babies. We have no one else pregnant so we have months until we breed again and probably the end of the year before we have babies again. I am tired, so it will be a welcome break.

Thankfully these babies have a wonderful Mom. She cleaned them, cared for them immediately, and got them to nursing fast. She has been our best Mom so far, and, amazingly, she's a first time Mom.

Praising God that SonRise Acres is growing. All of our goats are now duplicated, and that's a beautiful blessing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Answer is ... To Be!

I posted yesterday how one of our newer goats appeared to be near birth. She was.

Introducing Jenny. She was born last night around 8:30pm. So far doe and kid are doing very well.

It was chilly, raining, and mama did NOT want to birth in the small birthing house we had. But, she stood up, nursed a little, and even tried her best to come over to us on her own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

To Be or Not to Be ...


Our newest goats came to our little farm pregnant. We were told they were just about 3 1/2 months along. I looked at them that day and thought that might not be right. But I figured time would tell.

Well, I am pretty sure time is telling. Our new 2 year old goat, Judah, is showing signs of labor. She is so restless, baying like mad, has bagged up (means her milk bag has filled and it's grown in size tremendously), and she is having discharge.

We might see our new little kids tonight, maybe in the next day or so. I will keep you updated.

Woke Up to This Song - What a Way to Open Your Eyes

There are no need for words. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Homemade Biscuits

I have another recipe to share with you. This time we are looking at breakfast foods. Let me start this off by saying I am from the south. I was born here, raised here, and am raising my family here. Being from the south means we like biscuits. We eat them with eggs, with breakfast meats, with butter, with jelly, with gravy. I think we could eat biscuits as a side to pancakes. The point is, we like biscuits.

I have been a bad southerner for a while now and used, gasp, canned biscuits. Life was crazy. It was canned biscuits or going without a shower. That was my life.

Then we realized my younger son couldn't eat canned biscuits so we did without.

But, things slowed down enough for me to entertain biscuit making again and I had forgotten how fast and easy it was. It makes me hold my head down in shame that I thought I didn't have time for this tasty deliciousness.

I went online in the search for the perfect biscuit recipe. I found it in Paula Deen. That girl knows biscuits. And yes, I make them in my cast iron skillet like a good southern girl knows to do.

Let me start with my two tweaks and then I will share the recipe.

1) I have to add nearly a full cup of milk instead of 3/4 like the recipe calls for. You will need to play with this and feel your dough to figure out what you need. It just makes it a bit softer and yummier once it's cooked if I add a bit more.

2) This is a secret I figured out, quite by accident. I was rolling out my dough and it wasn't quite right, so I folded it over itself and tried again. Nope, still not to my liking, so I folded it over itself and tried again. Well, what I ended up with was biscuits with beautiful layers. If you have seen the canned biscuits called Grands, this is what it reminds me of. So, now I pat out my dough as to cut, fold it back on itself and do it again, and I do this about 4 - 5 times. I end up with tall layered biscuits.

On to the recipe!!

Paula Deen's Biscuits

Enjoy ... y'all!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Chicken Noodle Soup in an Instant Pot!

I have an Instant Pot. I use it weekly. It's wonderful and has made cooking so much easier. Goodness, I can even cook from meat that has not been thawed on those days I look at 4pm on the clock and realize I forgot to defrost anything for supper. To say my Instant Pot has saved a meal more than once is an understatement.

But, somehow, I never thought of soup. Seriously, never. Well, until yesterday, that is. It was a cold, dreary, rainy day. It was a day that begged for soup. But, we weren't going to be home much since we had church and were going to spend time at my mother-in-law's home most of the afternoon.

I got home to frozen chicken and no idea what to do other than sandwiches. I was about to put a loaf of bread in the oven and the thought of warm yummy bread just sealed the deal.

I popped online to start my search and found a recipe that looked promising at Live Simply. I have never read her site before, but it looked promising. I pulled out my frozen chicken, cooked it in my Instant Pot (took 30 minutes from frozen) and off I went. Here's how I did it.

First I put my chicken, whole pieces, into the Instant Pot along with about 2 Cups of organic chicken broth.

I put the lid on, closed the pressure valve, and turned it on manual for 30 minutes.

Almost done!
Once it was completed, I did a quick release on the valve, pulled out the chicken, and poured the broth into a measuring cup to save for the recipe.

The best part is, if you have left over chicken that's already cooked, you cut 30 minutes of this recipe and take it down to about 10 minutes total (if you are including prep time).

Then I simply followed the recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup at Live Simply and, 10 minutes later, I had delicious, hot, fresh, very tasty soup for my family.

Oh, another neat thing ... I used the saute feature for the first time. I have never tried that before. Very cool, very easy, you should attempt it if you haven't yet.

Photo Credit

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hard Week

8 days ago we had 2 new baby goats born on our little farm.

4 days ago we noticed our little girl goat wasn't doing well with her mom.

3 days ago we pulled her inside to care for her 24/7.

1 day ago she passed away.

Photo Credit
She was just too sick and too weak to make it. We tried everything we could to save her and it just wasn't enough. This is one of the hard times on a farm, losing a life. It's not about the potential financial loss. That's not it at all. When you bring an animal into your home or separate it from it's mother/herd to care for it intensely, you grow attached to it. You are emotionally invested in it's livelihood. You are quietly rooting for it just a bit more than for the healthy animals that are out living as they should. And, when you have kids involved in that endeavor, oh, it's so much harder. Their little hearts break.

It's a lesson we all must learn, and we don't want to shelter our children from that. But, on the other hand, we wish we could. No one wants to see their child's heart hurt in such a way, not even for an animal.

So, we took the day off and spent time together as a family. We laughed more than we have in ages. We sang, talked, and just had a fun day. It was nice, even without the reason we chose to do it. We realized it was long overdue for our family.

Our other goats are doing well. Baby boy goat is thriving. He is a climbing little monkey. I am not sure he knows how to walk because he gallops everywhere he goes in sheer excitement. Ha ha.

Our two other does are growing bigger and closer to delivery each day. Our younger one is in the waddle stage, which is amusing to watch ... especially as a woman who has had babies herself and has been in that same waddle stage of pregnancy.

We went to a large farm store (we have nice ones 40 minutes from , but drove to this one to look around). I was able to find some seeds for this year's garden (though we won't be starting them yet). This spurred my excitement and I started garden planning. We will be moving our chicken coop to it's new location soon and that will be the area for my garden this year. We will be making it much bigger than the coop area, but I am betting my best produce will come from that coop location. It always does.

Take care of your families and yourself this week. Stop and see that little things going on around you. Laugh. Sing. Smile. It really is good food for the spirits.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Yummy in the Tummy - Recipe

I have been on the hunt for the perfect yeast roll for supper. Last night I found it. And, this morning, I share it with you. It's easy, delicious, soft, delicious, wonderful with butter, delicious, without butter, delicious, and one of my sons even had it with butter and a bit of garlic powder. Did I mention it's delicious?

Photo Credit
Quick Yeast Rolls Recipe

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Barn

We were sitting outside after the snow stopped and the sun came out just enjoying the day when our very pregnant doe started to act odd. She laid down in weird positions, was nervous, did NOT want to go to pasture, and just wasn't herself. I told my husband, "bet she's going to have those babies". He replied, "nah. she just has gas today." We have a running joke that she just had gas and wasn't pregnant because she's shown us so many signs of being ready that we honestly stopped watching.

He no sooner got that out than I looked over to see something happening. I hopped off my chair, got down low, and sure enough here came a sack. 

Let me stop here. If you have never seen a goat go into labor, it is a site to behold. They look like they are all but dying and it is so loud. No, loud is not even a good word for it. It is beyond loud. 

A minute later we saw hooves. Then about 45 seconds later we saw a nose. It wasn't long before we had a little head sticking out. We kept letting her work on her own naturally, staying close by in case she got into trouble. A few minutes later we had our first little kid. 

She surprised us with her second. She stopped cleaning baby up but was totally silent for his delivery. Yes, we had a little boy on our hands. 

We helped her clean them up a bit, let her do what she needed to deal with the umbilical cord and after birth, and then started to help her get her babies up and standing. Once they were up a little bit we moved them over to the udder. The little girl figured it out fast. She is a nursing machine. The little boy was having troubles, but we got that little tail wag which means he was getting mama milk.

She is such a good mama. She is calm and confident. She allows us to help her and to handle her babies. She's very attentive. Poor thing. We walked out late last night to check on them and she was passed smooth out! She didn't even hear us walk up. 

I would like to introduce to you, Macabee (boy) and Maggie (girl) born 1/7/17 at about 4:30pm. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow-where to Go

Snow hit yesterday morning very early. It snowed all day. This means our world has gone topsy turvy since we live in an area that very often doesn't get any snow in an entire year. It also means we have ticked off animals.
When the snow first started yesterday morning. 
I am keeping our does in their pens because they are so pregnant. I don't want them to get too cold or get hurt on the slick ground. Since our little male goat can't eat any grass right now due to it being covered, I have him in his pen and he seems quite content with that. This is when I am happy we took the extra time to make them large pens where they can mill around, structures for them to climb on, etc. They don't feel so cooped up when this type of weather hits.

Our chickens are rolling with it but are edgy. I have upped their feed and have given them some extra treats of fresh fruit, etc. That's about all you can do to appease a chicken. They are pretty simple animals.

Our little dog is content to hang out under his heat lamp as is our outside cat. Our cat only comes out to hunt and eat when we feed him. He's a bit whiny but that's par for the course with him. He doesn't like change at all.

Then there's our big dog. All 80lbs of him is happy. He's always happy. He gladly sits outside while it's snowing or raining (though he has a nice shelter to hide out in). He runs around in it like it's his favorite thing in the world. Of course he does this when it's sunny, partly cloudy, and I bet if I looked out of our storm cellar he would be out in any tornadoes that have passed by us. He's just a happy dog who doesn't care and doesn't seem to get cold or mind the wet.

All of this snow also means I am heading outside multiple times a day (yesterday I believe it was 5) to check on the animals. I am giving extra hay and alfalfa pellets to the goats. I use my pitchfork to chop up ice in the troughs of water so it's actually water instead of a Popsicle. I am still trying to woo our two new does and convince them to like me, so I am trying to spend a bit of time with them a few times a day to let them see all good things come from me. It's working, but it's cold work.

Pitchfork, snow, and my thick, ugly, but oh so very warm coveralls. 

Other than that, we are pretty much inside most of the day. That means my little humans (aka sons) are getting a little stir crazy. This morning we have already had a snowball fight and they hopped in our one vehicle that's 4wd and headed to Grandma's (less than a mile away) to feed her animals so she doesn't risk falling in this slick weather. It's good for them to get out to release some of that pent up energy but also to help another person who can't do everything they can do.

Have I mentioned how much I love where we live? Yes, even in the snow that makes it all a bit more tedious. I mean, hello, this is just our driveway on a yummy foggy morning.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Totes Ma Goats!

Not all of our most recent events have been scary and concerning. Some have been down right fun.

Case in point:

Meet Nigel. We got him when he was about 15 weeks old. He's a Nigerian Dwarf (mixed) and just sweet as honey. He loves to play with my sons more like a dog than a goat would. He has a great disposition and has been a wonderful addition to our farm.

After Nigel, we added a pregnant doe to our herd. This is Nellie. She is a 2 year old Nigerian Dwarf and is very pregnant. Like, I expect to walk outside after running in for just a quick minute and finding babies on the ground pregnant. 

She was not as quick to warm up to us. I believe she wasn't handled nearly as much as Nigel was before we got her. But, she has come around and is very friendly and lets me do what I need and even seeks us out when we are outside working. If what I have felt in my checking of her each day is correct, she should be having two kids for us soon. 

Our most recent her additions came just this past week. They are Judah and Evie. Judah (top picture) is a 2 year old pregnant doe. Evie (bottom picture) is a 10 month old pregnant doe. Both are Nigerian Dwarf. I am not fond of the idea that Evie's owner let her breed at such a young age, so we are hoping for the best for her pregnancy. We hope for the best for all pregnancies, but she's just quite young and smaller in stature. 

Judah and Evie's previous owner had nearly no contact with his goats. He pastured them and only dealt with any issues. So they are very stand-offish. I am working with them to try and warm them up to me. They have, thankfully, accepted Nigel and Nellie (though we don't allow them to be together yet due to pregnancies and Nigel's small size). But the huffing up at each other and such has stopped within the first 12 hours and they now lay next to each other on opposite sides of their nighttime pens. 

I am the only one who feeds and waters them right now. We want there to be one single face that brings them good things until they have warmed up to me. This will help them to see they can trust me and that I mean them no harm. 

If all goes very well with our goats, we will go from a herd of 4 to one of 10 within the next 8 or so weeks. Nellie should be our first to kid and that should be followed by both Evie and Judah as they were bred around the same time.

Photo Credit
When we first decided that we would raise goats, I was on board but not stoked about it. All of that has changed. I have found my niche. I love raising goats. It's only been a few months but I love it more each day. I find pleasure in even the small duties I must attend to each day for them. Cleaning out nighttime pens doesn't even seem like a chore because I enjoy the rewards of the goats.

Photo Credit

Life has changed on our little farm. We don't go as many places as we used to because we have animals to care for. We wake up and, even when it's cold or raining (or snowing like today), we head outside before we have eaten to care for animals. But my kids are loving it nearly as much as I am. We have our running goat jokes, we laugh about some of the things they do or some of the things we do thinking it was a good idea, and we are learning so much.

Are you interested in goats? Well, I have a few resources for you. There are websites, blogs, and even Facebook pages all dedicated to the care and raising of goats. Who knew?

Goat Wisdom

Goat Vet Corner

National Pygmy Goat Association

Backyard Herds

Thursday, January 5, 2017

And Just Like That, She Returns

Hello strangers! Long time, no blog.

It's been a crazy roller coaster around our home and blogging was the last thing I had the time for. I think once you read what we have been through and dealing with, you will agree. I also hope you will return to reading as I have a lot to share.

Photo Credit
Many moons ago ... OK, less dramatic. A few months ago our older son woke up feeling horrible. He was lethargic, had a high fever, and just felt horrible. I watched him for the day, hydrated him, and was getting worried. This didn't look like the flu or a cold. The next day we took him to an urgent care center. He wasn't sure what it was but suggested antibiotics. I am not one to jump on meds, but this looked very off and I agreed. Within 12 hours his temp went away and some of his energy returned. Yea doctor!

The next day he woke up telling us his vision wasn't right. He couldn't see right. We waited a bit thinking maybe he had some allergies or such as nothing else was bothering him. It not only didn't go away, it got worse. He told me he couldn't see me with one of his eyes, that he couldn't see anything. I packed him up and off to his pediatrician we went.

He told me he felt this was a freakish reaction to a mold he was allergic to (my son was allergic to this mold, pretty highly so) as this specific strain was very high right now and very prominent. He gave us some natural helps and sent us on our way. He told me to give it a solid week and call him back so we could regroup. A few days later, Friday, my son's vision was gone in that eye. I called our pediatrician and said I wanted to verify this was normal and expected. He told me we should see our optometrist immediately. I called his office, got an appointment for "as soon as you can get here".

We showed up and had the longest appointment of our lives that turned into a 10 hour ordeal. He looked at my son's eyes and said yes, his vision was nearly gone in his left eye. He did tests I have never seen before. He told us to go across the street to the hospital, he was calling orders over for a stat MRI and blood work. He wanted to make sure there wasn't a tumor pressing on his nerve or such and wanted to check for some specific infections.

The MRI was not stat. Sigh. It was marked stat, but the lovely woman at the hospital told me, in a not so polite voice, "stat doesn't mean you go first, it means you go after everyone else has their appointment but don't have to wait a week to get it". Ummm. Whatever, I was exhausted and worried at this point. We finally had the MRI and were called to the ER after our labs were pulled.

The ER doctor wanted to look at him and wanted more labs pulled. We finally left at 10pm wiped out.

We waited a few days for the labs (they were stat as well and were supposed to be back the next day, it took 7). During that time my son's eye got worse, severe pain began in his right eye. Our optometrist was done waiting and sent us to a pediatric opthamologist at the children's hospital. We drove down that day, had our appointment, and she told us this was well above her level of expertise and she was calling the Neuro Opthamologist in the larger children's hospital (the same hospital, just the main one) and we were to head over there immediately. OK, fine, off we go.

During our visit with the Neuro Opthamologist, the labs came back and our optometrist called with those results. Our son had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever AND Bartonella. All of this was taking his vision from him. We were also told, left untreated, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever could be fatal. We started on a month of antibiotics that day. We also had weekly appointments with this Neuro Opthamologist. I was so confused as we hadn't seen a tick on our son at all. But he told us often they do their thing and fall off and are never seen by the patient or his family.

We finished the month's worth of antibiotics with very little effect on our son's vision. We were supposed to see great things. So, our doctor took a chance and started him on steroids. It's a mixed bag with those. There can be issues and it's not proven that they do much for these issues, but we were trying so hard to get his vision back. Thankfully they started to work. His vision began to return. Not so thankfully, he had side effects pretty quickly and we had to pull them.

During all of this his immune system was shot as it had been attacked pretty aggressively by these two infections, then add in antibiotics and steroids and it was a wonder he didn't catch everything in sight. We had to work on boosting that up to help him not catch every winter cold that came before him.

It's been months since this all started and we are still dealing with it. Our son's vision is a lot better, but not where it was. We don't know if he will ever get it back fully. But, at this point, if it got no better we would be OK because it would simply mean a pair of glasses. That's a far cry from totally blind except some ability to see very bright light.

Since that turned into an novel, quite unexpectedly, I will leave you here. But look for my coming posts to see what ELSE has been happening in our home. I think it might make you smile.

Random Acts of Boyhood Copyright © 2012 Design by Ipietoon Blogger Template