What Does Your Armpit Smell Like?

There’s that saying, “It all comes out in the wash.”  Well apparently for me, it all comes out in the armpits. 

Here are the facts: 

1. In school, I was a “good girl” who didn’t drink or do drugs.

2. Marijuana is legal in Colorado. Even recreational marijuana. But you knew that.

3. My back goes out every year or two and has since high school. It sucks. Really sucks.  True to form and right on schedule, it went out Monday in the middle of performing a highly risky procedure: putting on my sock.

I followed all the rules when I was in school. I was a good student. When my friends went to a party, I never went. Which is why now, as an adult, I can hardly even say the word marijuana. It has been ingrained in the fibers of my being that it’s “against the rules”…even though it’s legal and many of my patients and family use it in various forms, I find my mental lips pursing with visions of a prim and proper old lady school teacher wagging her finger at me…tsk, tsk, tsk.  

(I know! Get over it!)

So you can also understand my delay in accepting it into part of my reality, despite the fact that I live in Penrose, Colorado, home of way too many skunky smelling grow houses. 

But when the back pain kicked in at a friend’s house on Sunday and she and her husband touted the pain relieving benefits of their homemade marijuana rubbing alcohol, I decided to throw caution to the wind and accept.

Under the following condition:

It better not stink. I HATE the smell of marijuana. There’s the smoke smell and there’s the skunk-grow smell. I would have flat out refused if it had any odor at all. But, after taking a whiff and nearly being flattened by the vapors of the rubbing alcohol (akin to taking a whiff of black pepper…stupid choice), I determined although the liquid looked like a swamp, I could not sense marijuana and proceeded with the plan.

Herbert rubbed it on my back and I hoped for the best because we still had to go grocery shopping and ride in the car for an hour home. Two tasks that would be easier accomplished with less pain. 

The results are in:  It sort of helped. Nothing to write home about, but I did feel a little better. 

And so are the other results:  Two days later, after my morning cup of coffee but before my shower, I noted an offensive odor coming from my axillary area.  My husband, who is brave with addressing my frequent bodily malfunctions, aimed his nose toward my armpit, and reported it smelled like goat pee.

Although I could sense the similarity, that wasn’t it. I am known for having a REALLY good smeller (and not known for sleeping in the barn).

Case in point: Last week, I smelled a gas leak in a house when neither the resident nor the emergency responder’s gas leak detector sensed it.  Turned out the hidden oven pilot light was out.

No, this was not goat pee. 

This was weed.  Straight up bud smell.

Coming from my armpits. 

But, how on EARTH?  I’ve heard things about the body organs processing ingested items and excreting them through the skin, but if that’s the case, why don’t my armpits smell like caramel macchiatos?  Or honey nut cheerios? Or spaghetti and meatballs?

I get rubbed with pot laced alcohol one time and smell like this??  It was seeping OUT OF MY PORES!  Although I had to milk and Chocolate wouldn’t mind the odor, I couldn’t stand the thought of that smell even being on my milking clothes!

I contemplated throwing away my PJs and jumped into the shower (well not really, it was more like I gingerly lifted one leg at a time over the tub edge while holding onto the wall, squatted as little as possible to turn on the water and emerged 20 minutes later with only my hair, face and armpits washed because I couldn’t reach anything below my waist and because any movement I attempted was slower than molasses.  Shaving my legs was out of the question and my feet might as well have been at the bottom of a cliff.).

Refreshed and deodorized, I slugged on, but became quite mortified when, trapped in a three hour car ride with two friends later in the day, my armpits began seeping again.  Not as potent, but still not your run of the mill B.O.  Turns out it’s not a one shower affair.  The good news is, after owning up to the situation in lieu of them wondering why my car reeked if our soccer boy teenagers weren’t even in it, they reported they didn’t notice a thing.

Please note: If you will not judge my unshaven legs, I will not judge your choice of marijuana use. I am just writing to let you know in advance that I will be able to smell it. (But since you are not of age, My Boys and Friends Of My Boys, consider yourselves forewarned.  If I smell it on you, trust me, you WILL smell like goat pee.)

Have a good day,

Lindsey/Mom

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the foul odor lasted only that day. By the next day, I was back to my usual self and, as I sit here in the sun writing this two days later and sniff to the left, all my sweaty armpit smells like is deodorant. Phew.

Posted in Farm Life | 10 Comments

Why I’m Back, An Update

Thank you to everyone for your kind words upon my reappearance as The Goat Cheese Lady.

Where have I been? Well, I have spent the past year as Lindsey: Soccer Taxi Driver.

When you live in the country, driving to and from town for soccer practices and games occupies most of your waking hours.  There’s barely any time left in the day to work and be a mom and wife.

OK.  So that’s not entirely the truth and as we hang out more together, I’m sure more details will surface, but in a nutshell, and as I just updated under “About” on the menu above, here it is:

I am Lindsey.  At first I was a city girl.  Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel.

In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing.  That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now.

After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery.

But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking.  We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling.

At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year.

Well, it has been a year and I am back.  Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing.  I love it.  I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting.  I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know.

Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were.  We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats.

Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs.  Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors.  There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl.

I’m glad you’re here.  Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things.  My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life.

So, there you have it. I’m back in action.  Slinging from the hip and hoping it hits your funny bone or your softer side.  Stick with me and spread the word.  Let’s enjoy life together!

Lindsey

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circa 2012. We’re a fair piece older now.

Posted in Farm Life | 16 Comments

Why Live In The Country?

We have a new neighbor across the street.

No, nobody moved in or out, no moving trucks have been on the scene. But a new miniature horse!

Life in the country never ceases for opportunities for amazement and as I sat on the deck this morning, I had another country experience.

I heard the horses talking.
For most of the time we’ve lived here, there have been rodeo horses about a mile down the road, neighbor’s horses in their various fields and pens about a half to a quarter mile west of us, and three right next door.
Just yesterday, after arriving home from a long day of Denver soccer and trying to find the exit at Ikea, I heard voices and a new noise across the street.
In the distance, I saw the little neighbor girl out with her mom and a horse about mid-thigh high.
This morning, the new resident introduced herself to the neighbors.
It was 7:22 and I was out with my coffee, enjoying the peace, the breeze and swatting at occasional flies.  The seed head Irma gave me last year has grown into giant sunflowers that shined their faces toward me. I was watching for the little yellow hummingbird that was flitting around just before I came out.
That’s when the rodeo horses started the conversation. They neigh-neigh-neighed far in the distance and like a wave much more kind to the ears than a string of dogs howling at one another, the half mile horses responded, followed by the quarter mile horses.
The mini horse let out its morning greeting in proportion to its size, “I’m herererere, I’m hererere, I’m hererere!”  And finally the boss of the three in the corral next door ended the morning song.
It’s beautiful here in the country.  If you’ve never been, you ought to try it sometime.
#appreciatethesmallthings,
Lindsey
Posted in Farm Life | 2 Comments

(Suggested) Addendum To Driver’s Manual

There are a few interesting driving techniques that will need to be applied when you take your first trip to my neck of the woods.  I’m not sure if reading this will reduce or increase your stress, but at least you can say you were warned.  And, just in case anyone in the Colorado State Department of Motor Vehicles decides to add this to the manual, I have come up with this intro:

“The following shall serve as an addendum to the Colorado State Drivers Manual.  Anyone who lives in, near, or thinks they may ever drive through Canon City, Colorado, must read this addendum before operating a motor vehicle in the vicinity.”  

Here they are, in order of difficulty, from easiest to hardest.

1. Roundabouts.  If you haven’t encountered a roundabout in your driving career, they are pretty simple.  You just need to slow down as you come toward the driving circle and look left.  Then:
a. If someone’s coming, don’t go.  Stop. Literally. There’s not a stop sign, so it feels kind of weird, but stop anyway because your other alternative is getting T-boned in the vicinity of your left front tire and driver side door. Once the coast is clear, proceed to step “b”, below.
b. If no one’s coming, go.  Merge to your right, into the roundabout.  Stay in the roundabout until you get to your desired right turn and take it. If you miss your desired right turn, you can continue around the circle until you reach your desired right turn for the second time. Try not to miss it again, the risk of dizziness and confusion increases exponentially.  Note: The Walmart Roundabout contains a pinkish, flatish center portion. This is not a lane. You will be quickly identified as an Out-Of-Towner or as Extremely Elderly if you drive on that.
The roundabouts are the simplest of the odd ball driving situations in Canon City, so practice those for a while. Once you master the Walmart, Cemetary and 15th Street roundabouts, you’re ready to progress.
2. Canon City S Turns.  Somewhere in the road planning past, the main highway cut through Canon City flanked by frontage roads on either side. This creates a challenging situation when one wants to turn left from one frontage road, cross the highway and end up going the same direction on the opposite frontage road. This is what I now term the Canon City S Turn. Brace yourself.
Let’s say you want to get from Ace to Big 5.
Step one. Get into the left lane when you come to the stop light on the frontage road.
Step two.  Stop, pull the emergency break, turn off the car, recline your seat. You’ll be there for a while. The lights in Canon City are notoriously long.  After you finish your cup of coffee, turn your car back on, release the emergency brake and prepare for your green light.
Step three.  When your light turns green, proceed. There’s one way to take your first Canon City S Turn and that is with white knuckles and your eyes closed.  Assuming you stay the course but before getting to your final destination, you will pass under and next to various red lights, all of which tell your subconscious to stop because that’s what they taught you in driver’s ed. But, do not follow your gut because your gut will tell you to stop mid turn, which will leave you smack in the middle of 7 or 8 lanes of traffic pointed at you from all directions. (Picture being stared at by a giant fly eye.) Silently curse driver’s ed for not teaching you about Canon City S Turns. Fix your eyes on the lane you’re aiming for, say several Hail Marys and gun it to your to your destination.
Step four.  When you arrive in the correct lane on the opposite frontage road, open your eyes, release your hands to resume blood flow, take a giant deep breath. Congratulations. You have successfully arrived at the other side of a Canon City S Turn unscathed.
Good luck.  If you are a person who learns by experience, come on down and give driving a try in Canon City.  Let me know what you think.  If you are a seasoned pro, give some advice in the comment section.  If you’re somewhere in between, drive safely.
Adios for now,
Lindsey
P.S. No, you actually probably shouldn’t close your eyes because that would be even more dangerous than the S Turn already is.
P.P.S.  After a few times through the Canon City S Turns, you may consider starting a turn at the tail end of a yellow light.  This is understandable because you know if your light turns red, you’ll be there long enough to brew a pot of coffee.  In any other situation, this may be a viable option.  But here, I would urge you to reconsider. Remember the fly eyes?  If you’re in the middle of the S when their lights turn green, you’re toast.
Posted in Farm Life | 4 Comments

Tips to Avoid Ironing

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I hate to iron.

No, that’s not the secret. It’s not really common knowledge either, but it’s not the secret.

I’ve also gained about 7 pounds, which I can’t quite figure out because I’m eating about the same and exercising a lot more. Even though that’s kind of personal, that’s not the secret either.

I keep telling myself that muscle weighs more than fat. It’s just that it isn’t muscle that’s hanging over the top of my pants. Oh well, whatever. There are things that are important in life and muffin tops are not one of them. Mostly I try to ignore it, but the days when I slip into a semi wrinkly, just out of the dryer pair of pants that I hung over the chair last night in hopes that the wrinkles would fall out by morning, are the days that I realize my time wearing zip-up button-fastened pants could soon be over.

I’ve lately contemplated shopping at the maternity store because at least everything there has elastic waist bands. Alternatively, I could shop at Sears in the elderware department but I’m guessing I’d come out looking more like a 43-year-old granny than a glowing, newly pregnant mom-to-be.  To further my argument for shopping in the motherhood section, two of my favorite skirts are my sister’s from when she had Lily in 2006. Who cares that she wore them when she was 9 months pregnant and I’ve worn them for the past 12 years not pregnant?   Is that weird?

Don’t answer that.

To thank you for your patience in my getting to the point, I’ll finally tell you the secret. There’s an upside to gaining 7 pounds and still squeezing into the pants that you wore when you were 7 pounds lighter. You actually don’t have to iron. When you paint them on, the wrinkles get stretched out.  You do that little dance to get each leg firmly impaled in the second skin, shake your hips to get the waist band up high enough, suck in to attempt pulling up the zipper without breaking a nail and fasten the top button before passing out.
Voila!  It’s miraculous!  The wrinkles are gone!
The fact that your underwear line also shows through is beside the point. Just wear a long shirt. Then, when your thighs stretch the side seams and each bend to pick something up off the floor threatens to rip open the butt seam, no one will really notice.
What they will notice are your nicely pressed pants. They may wonder if you bought them off the stretch pants rack or if they’re just snug khakis, but they won’t notice a wrinkle!
Unless of course, you have skinny ankles. Skinny ankles are a problem. Fat ankles would smooth the wrinkles out all the way down to your shoes, but skinny ankles won’t do that. Basically, you have a problem. Smooth sailing down to your knees, obvious non-ironing further south.  For this, there are two solutions.
1. Only wear capris.
2. Tuck your pants into knee high boots.
Either option can work, and you still won’t have to pick up an iron. The moral of this story is that, really, it’s always possible to look at the bright side!  Sure, your pants don’t fit, but heck! You don’t have to iron!
Posted in Farm Life | 6 Comments

How To Inspire Others

“What do I have to prove?”  My mom asked this rhetorical question in a conversation a couple of days ago about a bike ride she was planning to take.  She and my dad have ridden the CF Ride for years in support of our friends with Cystic Fibrosis, who are now grown up moms with precious kids.  There are three mileage options on the ride. You choose either 27, 45 or 68 miles, depending on your fitness level, joint health, self motivation and desire to suffer.  My dad and friends Steve and Debi were planning on riding the shortest ride.  Unbeknownst to me, my mom was planning on riding the longer, middle length, ride.

Mom is a self starter, an inspiration, a role model.  She works out daily, doesn’t complain about stuff, looks for the bright side in everything and lives by John Denver’s melody…Welcome to my morning, welcome to my day…(I’m the one responsible, I made it just this way…).  She was a stay at home mom while my sister and I were young, started her own business when I was in high school and frequently reports that she “only gets to live life once”, so she’s going to make the best of it.  She’s a glass half fuller, a silver liner, a mover, a shaker.  She volunteers at the hospital every week for four hours, snow skis her age (yes, that means she skied 71 days last year when she was 71…but is hard on herself because the day they moved out of their condo she turned 72, so she thinks she should have actually skied 72)  She looks for people to inspire her, like the 90-something who volunteers at the hospital too, and has for the past 29 years.

But, what does she have to prove?  Why, she asked, would she ride the 45 mile ride if Dad was riding the 27?

“Nothing!  Except to myself, just to prove that I can do it when I’m 72!”  But, Dad fell on his bike the other day and hurt his hip.  He’s still going to ride and, far above and beyond proving something to herself, she prefers to be with Dad if he needs her.  So, she is riding the shorter ride with Dad, Steve and Debi today.  I have no doubt, however, that she would have TOTALLY been able to prove to herself (and everyone else) that she could do the 45 mile ride when she’s 72!

I was out hiking with my friend and freaky mom club cofounder, Emily, two days ago when her friend Tammy, an ultra marathoner, came uphill toward us.  Tammy was only running 4 miles that day, instead of the 100 she runs in her marathons, and stopped to chat with us.  She was preparing for pacing her friend Tom in the Pikes Peak Ascent, which happens to be today.  Tom is 80.  According to Tammy, if Tom finishes, he’ll be the oldest man to complete the ascent.  (side note: if he doesn’t, he’ll just be an awesomely inspiring 80 year old).  But what does he have to prove?  I have not the foggiest.  But, maybe, that an 80 year old can complete the ascent.  Soon after our encounter with Tammy, I texted my cousin Don, man of all things Pikes Peak.  Don, who also runs the ascent, checked the stats, and actually, there’s been an 82 year old who has previously finished.  According to Don, the 82 year old is the oldest ascent finisher in history.  Which, in Don’s words, makes Tom a Future Old Finisher In Training.  A FOFIT.  What kind of amazing inspiration is that!!  You’re 80 and you can still look at an 82 year old for inspiration!  I don’t know Tom, but if he were asked the question, “What do I have to prove?”, and answered that he only wanted to prove to himself that he could do the ascent when he was 80, I’d be willing to say he would be inspiring every other runner out there and every other person who has ever heard of him.  And he’s just a FOFIT.

That leaves me.  If Tom’s a Future Old Finisher In Training, I’m a Future FOFIT.  Or if we add an F for every decade until I’m 80, I’m actually a FFFFFOFIT, if I did the math right.  I’m 43.  And, I ran 8 miles with my son’s high school soccer team last week.  Diego is a freshman on the soccer team and just whizzed through his first week of 2-a-Days.  7:30 to 9 am conditioning practice and 4-6 pm ball work for 4 days, an afternoon practice on the 5th day, and on Saturday, the 6th day, The Jungle Run.  The 32nd Annual Jungle Run according to Head Coach Cal.  The 8 Mile Jungle Run.  4 miles down the Canon City River Walk and 4 miles back up.  The day I asked Coach Cal if he needed help with water stations or anything, he said no, but if I wanted to bike or run with them, I could.  Hmm.  But what do I have to prove?  I run most days, about 2-3 miles, mostly because it’s good for my mental health.  If I don’t run, I go through what feels like withdrawals, my anxiety increases, I get snappy and grouchy.  If that happens, I know I better get out for a run.  But 8 miles?  The most I’ve done lately is 4.  Only once in my life have I run 8.  So, What do I have to prove?  Only to myself that I can do it. So, I took off behind the pack of soccer boys.  I didn’t tell anyone I was planning to do it, not even my husband, Herbert.  I had brought our 11 year old, Andre, and his bike with me, telling him when we left home that we would go on A run and A bike ride.  I didn’t tell him until we got to the starting line behind the pack of soccer boys that we were doing THE run.  THE run, so I could prove to myself that I could do it.  A FFFFFOFIT.  And I did.

I proved to myself I could run 8 miles.  I hope Tom proves to himself that he can complete the ascent.  I know my mom proves to herself every day that she can do whatever she sets her mind to.  And, we think we are only proving something to ourselves.  But it turns out, every time we prove to ourselves WE can do something, WE are inspiring OTHERS.  You never know WHO you will affect, but undoubtedly, YOU WILL INSPIRE SOMEONE ELSE if you think you are only trying to prove it to yourself.

Keep up the good work out there all you Future and Current FOFITs.  By setting goals for yourself, you motivate yourself.  And, although you might not realize it, you also INSPIRE OTHERS.

Posted in Farm Life | 12 Comments

Closing The Farm

Dear Friends,

It is with sadness and also with happy anticipation that, due to health issues and finances, we announce we are closing The Goat Cheese Lady business, The Goat Cheese Lady Farm and are stopping construction on The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery.  Over the past 7 years, we have met so many of you through our classes, sales, dinners, milk, cheese, and goats, and we have deeply appreciated your support and friendship.

We have loved every second of it but have recently come to realize that going back to our off farm jobs…me as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert working for his own business (D & A Home Remodeling, Ltd) and with his brother’s painting business (Legacy Painting, LLC)…would be the best for our finances and our health.

Although our dream was to have The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery and sell our cheeses, reality has proven that to be very physically, mentally and financially difficult.  As I mentioned, it is with sadness that we make this decision.  However, we are also happily anticipating the health and financial improvements in our lives as we go back to off farm work.  We are not moving, but are shutting down all of our farming operations, selling many of our animals and our milking and cheesemaking equipment.

As long as supplies last, you can still purchase soap, lotion and lip balm here.

If you are in need of painting, home repair or remodeling, please contact Herbert at 719-651-6480.

Please contact us if you are interested in any of the following:

Does in Milk: $350 (discounts for multiple purchases)

Yearlings: $325 (discounts for multiple purchases)

Doelings: $200 (discounts for multiple purchases)

Buckling: $200

Breeding Buck: $350

Egg Laying Chickens: $25 (discount for multiples)

Anatolian Shepard Livestock Guardian Dog, “Kimba”: $450

15 gallon Microdairy Designs Vat Pasteurizer including agitator, Airspace Heater, Water Jacket Heater, Thermometer Set- Mercury, Chart Recorder with Digital Indication Thermometers, Peristaltic Tube Pump- Variable speed with foot pedal, all accessories and manuals: $8500

Antibiotic Testing Delvotest Block Heater: $100

2 Goat Milking Machine with 7 gallon Stainless Steel Bucket: $1100

Various Cheese Molds: $5 each

Warmly,

Lindsey and Herbert Aparicio

Posted in Farm Life | 5 Comments

Splat, Part 2.

We decided we should just let him go, and for a minute I agreed.

But then my heart took over.

I couldn’t do it.  Knowing mama was right there with her udder full, nursing her other two boys, I just couldn’t let him go.  Not yet at least.  I held Splat up to Willow, gently squeezing her teat toward his mouth.

When I attempt to get a baby to latch on, the right hand holds him under the armpits and any extra fingers grow longer to extend neckward, holding his head toward the flow of milk.  The left thumb and index finger tenderly squeeze the teat while the ring, pinky finger and associated side of the palm slightly cup under the teat to cradle the newborn’s chin.  The left middle finger assists wherever needed, sometimes with milking, sometimes with chin cradling, sometimes with flicking away a curious farm dog.

In Splat’s case, he did not latch on.  Despite milk being squirted toward his mouth and misfired up his nose, he did not have the gumption to do what his brothers had instinctively done.  Instead, the milk dribbled into my cupped palm where he slurped up a tiny dose of energy.  I laid him back down in the straw.

Twenty minutes later, training resumed.  His rubberlegs still did not support him in anything except prone snow angel pose, so I lifted him again to Willow.  A few more slurps from the hand, and the appearance of a bit more energy, it was a successful experience, but his future was still uncertain.

I had decided I would not commit to every four hours bottle feeding him, but would support him in eating from his mama during my waking hours.  I would let nature decide at night.

And, as it does every day, night rolled around.  At bedtime, our 13-year-old and I checked that the five other new bucklings were indeed latching on and eating from their mamas.  We gave Splat a drink, noticing that he was able to extend his front legs in a standing posture but the back legs were still uncooperative.  He was also trying to suckle.  He got more collostrum before bedtime than he had all day.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that he was at risk of one of the goats sleeping on him, stepping on him or just getting too cold.  We curled him up by his brothers and hoped for the best.

The next morning, I found it hard to wait for my 5:50am alarm to go off.  Splat had been on my mind all night.  It was a school morning, so there were breakfasts and lunches to make and children to drag out of bed and caffeine to ingest.  It wasn’t until the teenager was on the bus and the 9-year-old had eaten that he and I went out to determine what the night had decided.

Splat was alive!  He still wasn’t standing but had made it throught the night so I taught him how to drink from a bottle.  He drank willingly and later that day, stood under his own power.

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Every day on our farm brings new experiences, new decisions to be made and new approaches to implement.  We have to decide how much to nature and how much to nurture.  Now, two weeks later, it warms my heart to see Splat walk, run, jump, nurse and play just like his brothers. He’s still a miniature version of them, but he made it!

– The Goat Cheese Lady and Splat

P.S. As I mentioned in Splat, Part 1, we don’t keep the boys.  Of the six that were born on Splat’s birthday, we’ve sold two.  At the time of this writing, more have been born and are for sale, including Splat.  They are $75 each.  Let us know if you want a weed eater, a horse companion or a herd sire. These boys qualify for any of those jobs!  You can call me directly if you are interested or have more questions.  719-651-9819.

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Posted in Farm Life, For Sale, goats, Kidding | Tagged | 3 Comments

Splat.

There are always surprises on a farm.  The day Splat was born was full of surprises, six of them, actually.

We were expecting the first 3 goats of the season to kid on Tuesday, or thereabouts. In my mind, “thereabouts” could mean anytime Tuesday or after, when I would be ready to launch into a month’s worth of kidding season and commence twice daily milking. I anticipated numerous chai teas in the barn, waiting through each goat’s birthing process with Erma Bombeck on hand for literary entertainment, where I would be ready to leap to the aid of a struggling goat with my recently equipped medical supply box.

Tuesday or after, the collection of empty plastic water bottles residing on the back corner of the kitchen counter would be complete, eagerly waiting to be capped with black nipples and used as baby bottles at a moment’s notice.

On Tuesday, or thereabouts.

But on the Sunday preceding the aforementioned Tuesday, I’m sure you can understand our surprise when we returned from our final foray to the city as free farmers.  Upon noticing a white goat missing from the pasture, we headed to the barn anticipating Willow in the early stages of labor, seeing as she hadn’t been in any stages of labor that morning.  Suffice it to say, we were shocked when we saw 4 baby goats scattered around the pen, two piled like miniature snow drifts, the other two resembling long legged skunks.  After a feeble cry from the barn, we discovered a 5th, also dressed like an Oreo.

5 Babies!  All Alive!  From One Mama!  It Was A Record!

Now, let’s back up a second.  Upon arriving home, our sporatically devoted farm boys took up residence in front of their iPads and the TV, all screens blazing at the same time. When I arrived at the back door to notify them that their presence was desired in the barnyard but divulging no details, and after putting a fair amount of thought toward the offer, they obliged anticipating a birthing session.  (Besides soccer practice, that is the one thing that can compete with Clash of Clans, NCIS and YouTube.)

The newly minted teenager made it out first, feet a-shufflin’, head a-waggin’, all cool, calm and collected.  Immediately, and quite brilliantly, he exclaimed, “Those aren’t ALL Willow’s babies, the black and white ones are PEARL’S!!”  (Who, by the way, was out in the pasture, contentedly chomping away, acting like she hadn’t just popped out three furballs on stilts.)  And, to add to his ballooning IQ, he discovered a sixth pile of white hair and bones in the barn: Splat.

Splat, on the far left of the above video, must have been the runt of Willow’s three. For brief periods, he weakly kept his head off the ground but couldn’t stand on any of his rubberlegs, and certainly hadn’t eaten like his energetic brothers apparently had (yes, you counted right, 3 boys).  Pearl’s 3 boys (you read that right, too) had figured out how to prop their bodies upright on their precariously wobbling legs and appeared rather adjusted to their new life outside the pond.

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However, in his splay legged state of life clinging, Splat became the subject of a real, honest to goodness, farm conversation: We now have 6 bucklings.  Do we let him go? (He’s just a boy, anyway.  A girl and we wouldn’t even ask the question.  A girl grows into a milk producing member of our herd, but multiple boy goats are the least valuable asset on our dairy goat farm.)  If he were out in nature, he would fall asleep forever.  He would quietly pass on.

Or, do we hold him to mama’s teat and gently coax life giving collostrum into his drooling mouth, feeling to see if he’s swallowing?  If that doesn’t help, do we bottle feed him, thus dedicating time and energy to a buckling that we will sell or eat?  And, all the while hoping that if that’s the path we choose, the energizing boost of collostrum will not just be a brief glimpse of life that will cause him to suffer more in the end should he die anyway?

We decided.

To be continued.

– The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life | 4 Comments

Two Cows and a Car

You can dress me up as a country girl, but it isn’t always a sure bet you can take me out.  Case in point, the other night.

Here are the facts:

  1. I had 20 minutes to get to the feed store before it closed.  I had just found out the chicks were out of food and they were peeping loudly in protest.
  2. The speed limit on County Road 123 increases drastically just past the turn to Brush Hollow, therefore, I was accelerating.
  3. In the late dusk, quite past twilight but before pitch black, the sky absorbed the light from the brights of my car.
  4. I didn’t hit the cows.  Or the cowboys.

On a dark country road, it is always a good idea to have the brights on, just to extend your sight distance.  But, at late dusk with the aforementioned issue of headlight absorption, the frantically arm pumping horseback rider complete with herding dog off to the left side of the road showed up in my line of sight at about the time I passed her. I slowed down immediately, surmising the cowgirl was angry that I was driving past her at 50 miles an hour while she was out riding at night.

In the same instant, I noticed erratically moving headlights too narrow for a car in a vacant field south of the road.  Probably just harebrained teenagers on their 4 wheeler plunging through the brush and prairie dog holes.  It wasn’t until the two cattle jumped the sagging wire fence immediately to my left, aiming for my car that I realized the true nature of the situation.

The cowgirl was urgently signaling me to slow down because of the stampeding duo. They must have escaped from their field on the north side of the road, the entrance to which I was now blocking, having slammed on my brakes at the pretense of having my driver’s side door be gored by wild-eyed, horned cattle.  Just after they leapt in my direction, a cuss word slinging cowboy careened through an opening in the fence on a 4 wheeler, trailing the bovines at close range.  Through my closed window, I could hear his string of expletives mostly involving F’s and A’s and holes, no doubt the cows and I being the intended recipients.

Just after they stormed past my headlights and I inched forward again, a second horseback cowboy came into view in the middle of the road 20 feet ahead.  I gingerly arced around him and his horse then departed the chaos.  I never saw the end of the story, having skedaddled out of there as soon as safely possible, but can only assume that the cattle made it back safely and the cowfolks headed home because on my return trip from the feed store, there was no activity in the total darkness of the corral.

And now, I have a few recommendations:

  1.  If you’re going on a nighttime horseback ride, you need reflectors.  Granted, when the cows escape, there might not be time to think about the fact that cars cannot see you at night.  Your first thought may be only of getting the cows wrangled back into the corral.  It is for that reason, just like a bike, your saddle or your stirrups should have reflectors.  That way, even when you are in a non-thinking-about-your-own-safety state of mind, you will be safer in spite of yourself.
  2. If you’re a driver caught in this state of affairs, take no offense to the words hurled in your direction.  Undoubtedly, the 4 wheeler cowboy was under a huge amount of stress, just forgive him.
  3. Don’t be in a hurry when driving on a dark country road at night.  You never know what you’ll encounter.

All you drivers and cowpeople, be safe out there.

– The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  Our boys, 9 and 12 years old, have been raising the chicks that caused this whole incident.  Their goal is to sell all 42 of them to earn some money.  At the time of this writing, the Dominiques are 3 1/2 weeks old and cost $6 each.  The Delawares are 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 weeks old and cost $7 each.  Each week they feed them, the price goes up.  Call their answering service (me) at 719-651-9819 if you want some!

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Dominique (photo taken when she was 2 1/2 weeks old). Good brown egg layers, heritage breed.

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Delaware (photo taken when she was 3 1/2 weeks old). Good brown egg layers, heritage breed.

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