Which Would Be Easier For You: Cut Out Vanilla or Cut Out Gluten?

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I’ve heard conversations between people about how hard it would be not to eat foods containing gluten.  They just can’t stand the idea of not eating bread!  It would be SOOO hard!  They LOVE bread, they don’t know HOW they could stop eating it if they were told they had to.

For the past three-ish weeks, I haven’t eaten bread.  Or anything with gluten in it due to the blood food allergy test I underwent a few weeks ago.

As you know, I came into this “diet” of avoiding all foods my blood shows allergies to, including avoiding gluten, because I have felt so exhausted that I can hardly (and sometimes don’t) get out of bed all day.  But, when you feel so horrible, you’ll do anything to fix it and, actually, not eating gluten has not been too bad.  I feel the occasional pang for an oreo and find it incredibly odd that red licorice is made with wheat flour, but it’s not killing me.


Not eating gluten, almonds, kale, pineapple, eggs, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, green, black and red beans, and beef has not been hard at all.

But who knew VANILLA would be SO HARD?  I’m actually starting to hate the sight of the word “Vanilla”!!


If I didn’t love chocolate, avoiding vanilla would not be an issue and, as it turns out I’m not allergic to chocolate, YEAH!!!  But, VANILLA is in EVERY chocolate and every gluten, dairy and egg free cookie I can get my hot little hands on!


Therefore, nearly successfully preventing me from eating my favorite thing: chocolate.

I told you I could eat Nutella though, remember?  WRONG.  Bummer!!!  It doesn’t have vanilla in it, no siree, but it does have cow’s milk.  Mark that one off the list.

When given lemons, make lemonade, so the saying goes.  As applied to chocolate, it goes like this:  when given a bar of 100% cacao, melt it down and add sugar.  Vanilla free chocolate.

As for the first three weeks of being gluten, beef, almond, kale, pineapple, chicken egg, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, green, black and red bean AND vanilla free, to combat my fatigue, the jury’s still out.  I’ve also slightly decreased my antidepressant dose and have started hormone creams (all under the watch of the same doctor).  I felt pretty good on days 1-4, was 100% exhausted on days 5 and 6, had great energy days 7-15 and this afternoon (day 16) am pretty tired.  I’ll keep letting you know how things are going.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  If this were a cloud, the silver lining is that I’ve never gotten so much done as I did on days 7-15!  Amazing when you can stay awake all day how much gets accomplished!


Posted in Farm Life | 4 Comments

Showering with Sandpaper.

There are these things called shower gloves.  I learned of them four months ago and they received rave reviews from the woman who referred them to me.  They scrub off all the dead skin, gardening dirt and goat grime that accumulates on your unsuspecting, soap resisting skeleton sack.


Just the other day, they jumped out at me in the grocery store aisle.  Nearly made it right onto my hands.

$2.39 impulse purchase.

For me, the idea of having something that would REALLY clean my epidermis was attractive because I have found that even after I wash with really sudsy, deep cleaning goat milk soap, if I scratch my skin after showering, I sometimes end up with dirtish colored stuff under my fingernails.  Yuck.

Enter:  Shower Gloves.


I’ll attempt to paint a picture of the shower glove experience for you:

You stand under the cascading warm shower water, and melt into relaxation in your birthday suit.  You wash your hair and rinse.

Now that it’s time to wash your body, you don your shower gloves.

(Process this in your mind:  You are in the shower.  All wet.  You’re putting gloves on?  Your mind requires a reboot:  it thinks you must be mistaken and that you are actually going sledding.  Yet the gloves feel like sandpaper.  Reboot Again:  it now thinks you are a construction worker.  Naked.  In the shower.  Final Reboot:  yes, you are showering, with gloves on.)

You commence rubbing the bright blue, soapy sandpaper on your face, careful not to create rug burns.  Your legs and arms are tougher, you scrub them harder.  Dirt, grime, dead skin…THESE GLOVES TAKE NO PRISONERS.

You rinse off, get out of the shower and scratch.  Nothing under the fingernails.

The verdict:  They work.

But you’re still not sure if it’s wise to use sandpaper in the shower.  Just seems weird.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  According to my 7-year-old, weird is just a side effect of awesome.  I guess that makes shower gloves awesome?  Not sure about that yet.

P.P.S.  This is the uncut version of the same post that ran a couple of weeks ago on the IndyBlog.

Posted in Farm Life, gardening, goats, Soap and Lotion | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Summer Sale: Goat Milk Soap and Lotion!

We always have soap (and now lotion!) available at our farm for sale, but rarely do we offer it online.


Now is your chance to replenish your supply, and you will receive your order if you place it on or before Friday, August 22 at 5 pm.

CLICK HERE to see our soaps and lotion and place your order!


The Goat Cheese Lady and her soaps.

Posted in Farm Life, For Sale, goats, Soap and Lotion | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What Would You Do?

If someone said you couldn’t eat gluten, eggs, black beans, red beans, green beans, vanilla, almonds, mushrooms, pineapple, beef or kale, OR drink cow’s milk or beer, what would YOU do?

Really.  Think about that for a second.

Gluten (i.e. bread, pancakes, cookies, muffins, flour tortillas, cookies, cookies, cookies).

Eggs.  From chickens.

Beef.  It’s what’s for dinner.


Cow’s Milk.

Vanilla – it’s in ice cream, milk shakes, cookies, and even in chocolate chips!


Kale – the main ingredient in Kale Chips.

Beer.  Beer.  Beer.

What Would You Do?  Would you mourn your loss or would you celebrate the fact that you can still eat and drink all kinds of other things, including coffee, goat milk and chocolate?

That’s the question I was confronted with yesterday.  According to my doctor and after extensive blood tests, those are the things that, if I want to stop living a life on the roller coaster of  can’t-get-out-of-bed exhaustion, I have to stop eating.  Some for three months.  Some for one year.  Some forever.

And I celebrated!!!!!  I have figured out that because of this extreme, overpowering exhaustion, I lose one full month per year in days where I HAVE TO SLEEP.  When you lose as much time as that and feel as bad as I do on those days, you’ll do anything.  Including stop eating bread (yes, even my homemade bread), cookies and chocolate chips (because they contain vanilla).

I will no longer eat chicken eggs.  I’m allowed to eat duck eggs though, so I’ve already requested The Animal Whisperer get me some ducks.

I will not drink beer.  The good news here is, I hate beer.

I will stop eating chocolate chips with my coffee, and I have already determined that Nutella has no vanilla in it…so here comes afternoons with a spoonful of Nutella (instead of a handful of chocolate chips) with my coffee!

I can give up almonds.  That won’t be life changing.

I haven’t purposely drunk cow’s milk in years, giving it up shouldn’t be a problem, seeing that all things goat’s milk is our profession.

But the best news I found out yesterday, and what I was steeling myself against, is that I can still drink coffee and I can still drink goat’s milk and I can still eat (vanilla free) chocolate!!!

So I’m celebrating!  And crossing all of my fingers and toes that this will be a life changing, energy lifting and mood stabilizing endeavor!

Thanks for listening.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady






Posted in Bread Making, chickens, classes, Farm Life, goats, Milking | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Mad Dash To Keep The House From Flooding.

Yesterday evening during and after three flash flood warning calls from Rachael Plath, two brain wrenching emergency warning sirens from both of our cell phones and the near constant Manitou ‘Move To Higher Ground’ man voice and flood siren, torrential rains fell.

A hurricane must have made landfall somewhere in the near vicinity because in my life as a Colorado Springs native, I Do Not Believe I’ve ever seen as much and as hard and as dramatic sideways rain as I saw yesterday.  Had it been snow, it would have been a white out blizzard.

Our new gutters spouted water out of their overflowing ends from the 20 foot high roofline, causing the boys to glory in the: “Look Mom, Waterfalls!!!”…while I mentally proclaimed, water is supposed to go DOWN through the downspouts…not OVER and OUT the ends of the gutters.

We gaped in awe as the dry gully below us became a dangerously rushing Class 5 that carried with it an entire tree trunk.

And, thank you very much, in true Mom fashion, I used that as a teaching moment:  “DO NOT EVER go in a dry ravine Before, During or After rain.  YOU might get TAKEN OUT by a Huge Tree Trunk like that.  LOOK IN MY EYES: DID YOU HEAR ME????”  Aaah, yes, another one of my prime mom moments.

Just north of the house, the parking area rapidly filled with three to four inches of water.  Problem:  If the water continued to make its way around and behind the barrier logs and flow toward the house, the basement would likely be the recipient of that Garden of the Gods colored water.

As I began donning my rain gear, I saw The Animal Whisperer had beat me to it.  He was in full on water control mode, complete with ski pants, rain slicker and pick ax, tromping out to greet Noah and the Ark.

By the time I gathered tools and shouted at the children to PUT ON YOUR RAIN BOOTS! The Animal Whisperer had already drained at least half of the parking area with a series of rapidly dug miniature trenches AWAY from the house.

It became a whole family affair with the boys, The Animal Whisperer and me all on some sort of tool, eventually moving from the north swamp to the barn.  Thank Goodness The Barn Has A NEW Roof!!!  The animals were safe and semi-dry inside, but another lake had begun forming in the flats around the southwest corner of the barn.  Quick ditch digging began again, culminating with a group effort of laying one of those long, black, snakey drainage pipes from the downspout all the way out to the south 40.  There Ain’t No Rain Gonna Settle There No More.  Hmmmf.

And, so there.  We saved the basement from becoming a swimming pool, and we completed a barn drainage project that has needed to be done for some time.  And, when, may I ask is a better time to do it than in the crux of a crisis?

Man we work fast.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

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Anyone Know A Community Blogger?

I do!

Check out the new, expanded IndyBlog today!


We just might see each other there.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Bread Making, Cheese Making, chickens, classes, Farm Life, funny stories, gardening, gifts, goats, Milking, Opinion, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Such A Bounty Of Wild Grasses!!

One walk through the Garden of the Gods and you’ll see what I’m talking about.


It may seem, to the unenlightened, that I am just plain weird to thrill over the return of waist high prairie grasses, but if you’re me, you long for the days of Little House On The Prairie, when Pa could touch the grasses while sitting on his horse.


When the grasses were not over-grazed or ripped out to plant wheat during the Dust Bowl days.


It is the first time in my life in Colorado Springs (i.e. since birth)  that I have seen such a tapestry of seed heavy grasses.


There are grasses with fluffy seed heads, blockish seed heads, twisty seed heads, pokey seed heads and regular seed heads.  I’m sure they all have names, but unfortunately I don’t know them.  If you do, please share!

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  And the grasses are just the icing on the cake…the wildflowers in the Garden of the Gods have been incredible this year!

Posted in Farm Life | Tagged , | 4 Comments