Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Milking a goat

OK I'm going to explain step by step the process of milking the goat. I don't know how to do it with captions by each individual picture. So I'm going to put it all out there then the group of pictures will come after the whole explanation.
1: take 2 bowls out to the milking station. One for collecting milk (stainless steel) and one full of water with iodine in it.
2: before going out to milk, fill up a large pot of ice packs and water
3: when you get out to the barn, your goat just jumps into the milk stand because you put the bucket of grain on the stand. This is a typical milk stand/station. You can buy them or make them, its a very basic build.
4. When she's on the stand, take the cloth from the iodine  bowl and wipe her down. This just gets all the debris/dirt from the day off of her teats.
5. Now milk one squirt from each teat into a mug. Give it a good look and smell it. You never want to not do this. Squirting the first squirt out into a separate cup is important. This let's you smell it and look at it and make sure its not sour or lumpy. This could be a sign of mastitis. Every first squirt that I've done has been fine.
6. Let the milking begin. There is a certain way to do your hands, its not like in the cartoons! But milk until her teats are all squeezed out. Notice how raisin-y they look when they're empty compared to how full they were before milking?
7. Strain he milk into mason jars and place the mason jar in the ice cold pot of water. We double strain it and putting it in ice cold water gets it down to a freezing temperature. This takes the place of pasteurizing or boiling.
LOVE our raw unpasteurized goat milk!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The beach

We have rekindled our love for the beach. Chad and Allyson rented a hotel at Carlsbad beach last year and we fell in love when we visited them there. So now we go to Carlsbad beach a couple times a month.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I guess you could say we are just plugin along with our small scale farming lifestyle. About 3 months ago we started milking our goat full time. Yeay! This has been a great accomplishment for us and one of the big reasons we moves up here. Leaving palm desert, we pictured having fresh eggs, goat milk and a big garden. The chickens and gardens just come with work and time. Buy chickens, wait for them to lay eggs. Next, read a bunch of crap on how to garden, figure out what and how you wan to plant, and see what happens. Gardening is a ton of work, but worth it. Now, getting a goat that may or may not be pregnant, or buy a "breading pair" so they can love each other and get pregnant, or buy a goat that's supposedly already pregnant and wait and see what happens... all of these above mentioned steps may just get you nowhere and in fact we have done all of the above and it got us nowhere. In fact it got us to hate goats. But that happened because who knows, the first pair of goats we ever purchased turned out to be very difficult. So the one thing that worked for us was actually buying a pregnant goat that was literally about to have a baby any day. And we, being goat retarded, apparently needed that as our only option. Look at her and know without a doubt that she is surely about to give birth. And that my friends ended up working out us. One morning I went out to the barn to feed and there was a tiny wet baby that had literally just came into the world and a first time deer in the headlights mama.
Lots of details and months went by and waalaahh we are drinking fresh goat milk and are loving it. I will have to do a milking post next.
I would've been fine with goats and chickens but Nathan wanted to raise pigs again for the delicious meat and he also convinced me that raising turkeys would be fun. Haha. Well in his defense, two years ago we bought a full grown turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving and we did love how funny and cool the turkey's personality was. Yes I know, why become emotionally attached at all when raising animals for meat? In my experience, especially with what I teach my kids, I think it is almost necessary to love these animals. We are giving these animals a far better life than they would EVER have if they were being commercially raised to be sold on our supermarket shelves. So I say, love them, name them, have fun with them, and know that God put them on this earth for us to have dominion over and also for us to respect.
Here are a few recent pics.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We had so much fun with the family in Winter park. I don't get to see my siblings often so it was awesome to be able to have them all together! It took a lot of work to get ready foe this vacation so we won't be able to so it again for another couple of years but it was soo worth it! It was a joy and blessing for all the cousins to play and us adults to rekindle our relationships.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Teas, tinctures, and healing

Ok, I don't think I've ever written about it, but Colt gets this really dry barking cough every time the season changes. It's really bad in like March and November. It also comes and goes throughout the winter a couple more times. When he was 1 yr old I took him to the Dr for it and she prescribed him an inhaler. She almost treated it like asthma, and mentioned that a lot of kids get these asthma like coughs but grow out of them so they aren't considered asthma really. Anyway, so for the first couple years, I would just rely on the inhaler treatment for him. Then when he was about 4, he would get the cough and nothing would make it better. I would literally just have to wait until it got so bad that he got a fever with it, then I'd call the Dr and she would write me a prescription for antibiotics. That would instantly solve it. So from 4 yrs to just the last 18 months, I would rely heavily on that prescription of antibiotics. Well last March, a year ago, I got into Do Terra essential oils. With essential oils you can make your own antibiotics by dropping the oils into the tiny capsules. So, by learning about them and going to a few different classes and asking a lot of questions, I decided I was going to heal Colt's next cough. It was scary going into it relying totally on natural healing but many homemade capsules, rubbing oils on feet, and diffusing oils in the air later, He got completely better! His cough went away without a Dr. Prescription! Yeay. I'm not against doctors or modern medicine. Hello, Colt is able to get synthetic growth hormones every night because of wonderful technology and research and doctors. I don't know how we would be without those growth hormones. That's another post all in itself of how amazing his life became bacause of those. Anyway, I just get to thinking, what if there comes a time when I don't have access to a doctor or a quick prescription? I'd like to be able to make my own antibiotics to save my family from illness if need be. So then, after healing his cough a few times with oils, I got to thinking, well, what if I can't just go out and buy a bunch of bottles of oils!? I know, as if that wasn't cool enough right? So I started talking to this girl at school who is getting her herbalist license. She gave me this catalog of mountain rose herbs and I picked her brain about all the herbal teas and cough syrups I could make myself for Colt's cough. Soooo.... Lo and behold, my herbal cough remedies. With the help of weird herbs like astragalus, licorice root, cherry bark, and mullien leaf, I turned the kitchen into my own little herbal workshop. And with lots of help from Mr Google and a little will power, I had colt drinking funny teas and taking herbal cough syrup all day. And yes, once again his cough was healed without a Dr prescription!! I love knowing that in a hard time, or emergency I can make my own antibiotics for my family. I also want to eventually learn how to grow my own herbal healing garden. I just want to not have to be dependant on something so simple as an antibiotic because that is sometimes the only thing that saves a life from an illness.

Pro Award

I was so proud of Colt when he got the PRO award at school. Each semester the teacher picks one kid out of her class to get this award. It's the People respecting others award. The teacher announced that Colt is always willing to participate in class and he cares about others and he is a shining example of how others should act. I WAS A PROUD MAMA! I just think about how far he has come. One and a half years of preschool, also all the primary and nursery teachers he has had, then kindergarten, first grade and now second, Colt has had a lot of teachers and a lot of school. In the beginning, I was so worried about him because he was so wild and the teachers would have such a hard time with him. And now that we've tried so hard to work with him, on his behavior especially, he is just such a good boy.
Ok he looks really grumpy in this picture but he's just being serious. He does that in pictures recently.

La La

Well at the beginning of November we for our pregnant goat La La. She is Sooo sweet! She ways her tail when we pet her! We for her from a family outside of temecula, who literally had her with a leash and collar on. She was their total pet, like a dog. She has been great so far. She will have a baby in the middle of January probably and we can milk her. If all does well, that is, seeing as how everything for us is such and experiment around here. I think she and Diamond are good company for each other. We love having the barn! So we have our beautiful chickens and rooster in one stall, then La La in the middle and diamond on the end. It's so nice knowing they are all protected from all the elements!