Saturday, March 29, 2014


There is a book on my shelf titled “The $64.00 Tomato”.  Author William Alexander chronicles his decision to garden in his back yard and the time, money, triumphs, and setbacks along the way to growing his own food.  I was thinking about this book this morning and how it relates to the cost of the generous amount of milk that now rests in our refrigerator.  The price of a quart of goat milk at the grocery store is over $4.00 per quart.  The cost of ours may be around that, I don't know.  It may be more.  It may even be quite a bit more.  Does it matter to me?  Not a bit.  To me, that milk is priceless.

The downstairs fridge is getting full

I am pretty excited that I will  be making some cheese in the very near future.  I will get back to you on how that goes.

And what happens to that quart of milk that gets pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten?  A really awesome treat for the chickens.

A slurry of milk, chicken kibble, and oats

Yeah I know, the bowl is pretty gross looking, but the chickens care not.

A feeding frenzy, coop style

And now for some really cute goat pictures… by the way, please don’t be too hard on me about the quality of these pictures.  I do not know how to take good pictures for one thing, hence the blue glowing eyes, weird lighting, etc., I do not have that great of a camera, and most of all, these little animals just don’t take direction very well!

Chikorita and Daisy (still has the one horn thing going on)



I also want to include a picture of Vinca here as a little doeling... Sunflower really looks like her!
Sunflower and Ivy, growing fast!                

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A cold day at Ole Lake

The calendar says it's spring but I am skeptical.  Zero degrees when we got up this morning and now at 1:30ish it's up to a blistering 15.  Kevin, Rollie, and Kurt are working in the woods today, getting some wood together for the ever voracious wood stoves.  At lunchtime Kevin said it wasn't too bad out there out of the wind, and at least it's sunny today!

I got out to the shed to take some photos... a photographer I am not, but at least you get the idea.  My hands got too cold to wait for the kids to line up in the perfect photo formation, but here is what I got.

The does and doelings

That's Vinca on the left, Sunflower coming out from under the table, Chikorita and Ivy on top, and Daisy on the right.

 The little ones are growing fast, as you can see.  They are a lot of fun to watch as they bounce around the shed.  Then out to visit the guys...

The bachelor padOle is on the left, Ranger in the middle, and Pete to the right.

And just to show you that it's not ALL about goats...

The serious business of egg production

Handsome Javier and some of the other ladies

And that will do it for today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A milkmaid again

We lost little Zinnia on Sunday to what I believe to be "floppy kid syndrome".  There isn't a known cause for this thing, and we didn't catch it soon enough to save her.

sweet Zinnia

Meanwhile, Daisy's udder was distended with milk.  To the milk stand we go!
the milkmaid at work

Daisy is not crazy to get back to the old routine, but it has really given her some relief.  Little Chikorita just doesn't need that much milk yet.  She does enjoy doing gymnastics around the shop while her mom is being milked though!                                                               

A man, a goat, a cat

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kid news

How to summarize the events of the past couple of days? 

First of all, please be aware that all this has transpired while ¾ of our household is sick.  Kevin, Kurt, and now I have come down with what seems to be the dreaded Norovirus (you can go to the CDC website if you want to know more about this nasty thing).  The guys have been hit the hardest by far.  Kevin has been sick since Wednesday, and is still suffering the symptoms.  So far, I’m getting off lightly with the headache, all over achiness, fever, and lower GI issues.  Kori is home for spring break, and seems to have escaped it, at least I hope so. 

Ivy has a snack!
So, late Thursday afternoon Vinca gave birth to these two adorable little doelings.  They are doing well, as is Vinca.  Getting those kids out has done wonders for her lameness, and she is getting around better.  She is a great mom, reassuring them frequently in that special language goat moms have for their kids.  
And this young lady is Sunflower!

We lost Tunia on Friday afternoon, and that’s about all I want to say about her right now.

We have been watching Daisy for signs of labor.  Daisy has a way of just standing and staring off into space, sometimes chewing her cud, and that is mainly what she did all day on Friday, in between laying down and eating.  She ate a hearty supper as usual, and when Kevin checked on her at 8:30 before collapsing into bed, she was no different. 

We were woken up at 10:00 by Kori calling up the stairs that Daisy had had her kids.  Just like that.  And, she said, wait until you see how cute one of them is…  well, all baby goats are cuter than cute, so how can one be especially cute, I had to wonder.  So, Kevin and I dragged ourselves out and yep, there they were.  You can be the judge of which one is the cutest.  They were still kind of wet at this point, but Daisy was doing the mom thing, licking them and talking to them.  Last year, her first babies got a little neglected at first, but I guess she has matured a bit. It was getting pretty cold last night, so we decided to move them into the kennel in the shop for the night.  

Meet Chickorita
And Zinnia!

 Two doelings for Daisy too!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


This will be a brief account, with more details this weekend. 

We had quite an afternoon.  Tunia went into labor and I came home from work.  What ensued was an exhausting event ending with a deceased kid and some very worn out people and a very weak and tired little doe.  A huge emotional let down for me.

Later, thinking about a bite to eat, went to check on Tunia, who is still pretty wobbly, but eating, always a good sign.  Vinca was in labor, and this is the much happier result.  More this weekend, promise!  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Rescuing the avalanche victims and… “has anyone seen my horn?”

No kids yet.

When I got up this morning I had the usual Saturday “to do” and “wanna do” lists in my head.  Nowhere on those lists was #8.  Dig out the goat door

But that’s what I did.  Waded through snow, clamored over the fence, and dug, chopped, and shoveled snow and ice until my arms feel like noodles. 

A while back, a large amount of snow slid off the north side of the pole barn, completely burying the little goat door to the outside world.  Since they hadn’t shown the slightest inclination to go outside in quite some time, we just closed the inside door and didn’t fret about it.

It’s been a harsh winter all around, but now, finally we seem to be getting a break.  Today the sun is out, the wind is low, and at 2:30 PM it’s 28 wonderful degrees.  Tomorrow is supposed to be even better, and if I was a goat, I’d want to go out.

The digging was tough, and what I ended up with is a narrow corridor through the snow bank, and a short tunnel to the little goat door.  When I went in and opened up the door, I was quite surprised when Ole went right out, followed by Pete.  I had fully expected the ingrates to ignore my efforts.  Ranger and Daisy opted to stay in, at least for the time being.

The "before" picture

The "after" picture

Speaking of Daisy, she broke off one of her horns today.  I must say, she looks kind of embarrassed to be seen with just one…  so the elastrator band method of dehorning works!  Hopefully the other one will come off soon.

So, that's my story today. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Keeping warm at Ole Lake

Well friends, this is my first blog post... don't expect too much at first.  Certainly no really good photography and super long narratives, but I want to use this as a place to let folks know what's happening here at Ole Lake Farm.

Goat kids will be arriving soon.  Vinca seems to be the closest, and has developed some troubling lameness. Because of my concern, and the nasty cold (current temp -5 degrees at 10:42 AM) we have moved her to the heated shop, along with Tunia for a companion.

They don't have too much room in the dog kennel, but it sure beats being in the barn, to my way of thinking anyway.

The temperature in the shop is not balmy, 40 degrees or even lower, but that's ok.  These ladies will have to go back out to the non-heated world and it will be an easier transition if they aren't too warm.

The cats are all hangin' in the shop too, not inclined to go out in the least... can't say that I blame them.

Roy is bored with driving the Alice... doing her best demon impression when she yawns...

Lily from the seat of the Cub...

And Spot got the sunny windowseat today!

So, that's all for my first blog post.  I'll be back when we have some kids to show you!