Claire

I haven’t blogged in what seems like forever! Part of the reason being that my computer died and I hate doing it from my phone!! But, I wanted to make sure I had this one posted!

Mark had to put down my all time favorite goat yesterday! She was actually my first goat! She somehow managed to get on our ranch as a baby and my dad found her following the cows! We didn’t have goats at the time! That was 16 years ago!!!! Amazing really. Everything I’ve always read has said goats usually don’t live past 12 or 13. She was the sweetest smartest goat ever and such a good mom! Usually she had twins but sometimes triplets and always took care of them all!

She fell the other day going into the barn! My dad helped her up and made a little ramp to help her out a bit! There’s a bar that they have to step over to get in. Not high but its was too much for her! She did good for a few more days and then we found her laying down in the barn! She never got up again! I took her food and water for two days and decided I didn’t want to see her suffer! Now, this is my favorite part!!! I told the kids that day after school that we were going to put her down! Case said “mom just wait three more days”. I explained I didn’t think she would make it that long. I would wait but if she got worse we were putting her down! So we waited! We carried food and water for two more days to her! Then it happened!! She had a baby!! We were very shocked!! I had separated her from the buck a long time ago! I still don’t know how she got bred! But she did, and thanks to my son, she was still with us to have the baby! Even laying down unable too move she cleaned him up best she could! She could only reach half of him! We brought him to the house, cleaned him up, got some colostrum in him and put him under a heat lamp! Every last nutrient in her body must have gone to the baby because he’s a healthy little guy! No problems at all! She didn’t look pregnant and she didn’t have a bag at all! Poor old gal! She spent the next 12 days laying in the barn eating her body weight in sweet feed that I carried to her three times a day! This was her favorite thing to do! Eat!! So now we have her last baby, Elvis! More than likely this is one little male that won’t be sold! He will have to stay around here like his momma!!

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UGH!!!

Day four (or maybe it’s 5) of feeling like….well, lets just say I feel like an 18-wheeler ran me over!  Have you ever felt like that?  You’re not sick but you’re not really great either!  What is that???? I have not one drop of energy to spare.  I’m usually a very, and I mean VERY heavy sleeper, but even as dog tired as I am, I’m not sleeping well at all.  I can’t wait until it’s time to go to bed.  Last night, and this is sad, I told Case he didn’t get dirty at school (too cold to go outside) so he didn’t really need a shower and that it was bedtime.  I took two melatonin’s and went to sleep with them.  I still woke up a lot during the night.  The last few nights have been like this and I cannot seem to wake up in the morning.  The days Graci has gone to the private school, I come home and go back to sleep for a few hours.  I thought it was the flu shot but I was feeling like this a few days before I got the shot.  And at this very moment, I’m looking at the clock thinking, if I hurry with this I can squeeze in a 30 minute nap before it’s time to leave.

So here’s my question.  What is this and why do I feel like this? Anyone know of any really good miracle vitamin or cleansing concoction?  I need something!

$$$$ = Panic Attack (well almost)

Well, this morning we took a major leap towards our goal.  And as I am typing this, I am still on the verge of a panic attack!!! I took Case to school, took Graci to the private school for the day and drove out to Mason Greenstar to pay for the blox that our future home will be constructed from.  Eeeek!  I have NEVER EVER written a check for that size, hence me still on the verge of a panic attack.  We have always wanted a house out of these blox.  They are a local company.  That’s a good thing!  They are very energy efficient.  Another really good thing!  To explain how efficient they are, Zach (one of the owners) has a 3,200 sq. ft. home.  His electic bill this month was $160.  His dad who has a 1,800 sq. ft. home (this will be the size of ours) electic bill was $89.  WOW!!!! My parents also have a 1,800 sq. ft. home and their electic bill was not anywhere near that low.  So this is a very good thing.  They are fire resistant. Made from recycled materials.  Mold resistant. Ballistics resistant (this is very important.  Don’t know when someones gonna be shooting at your house)!!!  And the final very important factor is…..TERMITE RESISTANT!!! After our ordeal with our first purchased home, this is a very good thing.  So, while I am so excited, I am still very nervous all at the same time.  I think I would feel a little better if I understood any of the building process.  But, at this point I don’t! I am however doing a fabulous job of picking out paint colors!!!!!

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Below are some pics of homes Mason Greenstar has constructed.  Shows some ideas of the exterior and interior styles.

http://www.masongreenstar.com/

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I LOVE THIS HOUSE!!!!

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This is the image of the house we are building. Except ours will be constructed with the blox and have a tin roof.

FARMAGEDDON!! A homeschool assignment.

Hi. My name is Graci. I am 9 years old and I am homeschooled. One of my assignments today was to watch an educational film and write about it. I picked FARMAGEDDON. Here is my review on this movie.

I recently watched FARMAGEDDON, a documentary by Kristen Canty. It is about the government attacking small sustainable farms and shutting them down.

I didn’t know what some of the things they talked about were, so my mom helped and I looked up some on the internet. Such as,

Factory Farm – is usually a large industrial facility where livestock are crowded together. They are usually unhealthy. These are the animals that are being killed for us to buy at the grocery stores.

Sustainable Farms – A method of agriculture that attempts to ensure the profitability of farms while preserving the environment.

Raw Milk – milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. It is straight from the cow.

USDA – United States of Agriculture. A government agency responsible for all U.S. policy regarding agriculture, food and farming.

FDA – Food and Drug Administration. Also a government agency.

Mad Cow Disease – A rare illness people can get from eating infected beef. It’s a disease that affects a cows nervous system.

CSA Farms – Community Supported Agriculture.

GMO’S – Genetically Modified Organisms. This is done to plants and animals to make them grow faster, be weed resistant or disease resistant.

Some of the questions that were asked in the movie and that I want to know too are…

Why is it so hard to produce or purchase organic and locally grown food?

Why can’t we buy raw milk if we want?

Shouldn’t we be given the freedom to choose raw milk if we want just as we can choose milk that has been “treated”?

In the movie, small farms were treated unfair. The USDA took their animals and produce. At one farm, they said they had to check the animals for a disease that doesn’t even infect sheep. The sheep ended up being taken and killed before the test results came back. They were negative.

At another dairy farm they came and said they were doing an inspection but took milk, yogurt, cheese and most of the farms supplies.

And another, because of raw milk not being able to cross state lines, they met up with the delivery truck and customers and made them dump it all out on the side of the road.

These government agencies are even going to small farms and telling them how to grow their crops.

I think this is wrong! We should be able to grow and raise our own food and buy food from whoever we want. What we eat should not be these government agencies business. They would rather us eat food that is filled with chemicals and in unhealthy factory farms where the animals are treated bad.

My favorite part of this movie was when Joel Salatin showed his farm. He has hundreds of chickens that are healthy. They are raised outside where they should be. They shouldn’t be cooped up in a building without sunlight and fresh air. His chickens live in movable cages. They eat grass and fertilize the grass too. Then they are moved the next day for fresh grass. All of his animals are raised this way. Outside in the open and all are healthy.

I hope you enjoyed my review of this movie and I hope you watch it. I would love to hear what you thought.

Social Media: Blogging vs Facebook

For the longest time I couldn’t get into the whole blogging thing.  But I think I’m really liking it.  I have a facebook page, both personal and business (Sweet Cactus Pink). I have seriously considered getting rid of my facebook page, but two main things keep me from doing so.  One, my business page is linked to my personal page and if I closed my account I would have to set up my business one again.  It took me a really long time to get to 623 fans and I don’t want to do it again.  Two is my brother.  Half brother to be exact.  I knew I had a brother and he knew about me but we didn’t know each other, we still don’t really.  He lives in another state and we haven’t seen each other in 20 some odd years.  But, we did connect of fb and since then we have chatted on and off.  I’ve really enjoyed this.  To be honest I think facebook has become almost a maddening, irritating and depressing place to be.  I hear so many peoples complaints and gripes and things I don’t think should be shared with the public. I read things that I really wish I didn’t know.  And I don’t need to know every single thing that happens in your life. I want it to be a happy place!! I live in a really small town and as sad as it is to say, deleting people just isn’t an option.  One of my facebook friends made a really good point after Christmas when she posted, that she would be deleting her account as of the new year.  Her reasons were she spent more time reading about other peoples memories than making her own.  After the CT school shooting, she decided that all the time she spent of facebook she could be doing something with her children.  And she did.  Come January 1 she was off.  I actually really admired her for doing it.

This made me view blogging in a different way.  I only have to follow blogs that I like, can learn something from or that interests me.  I don’t have to follow it because of the tension it will cause if I don’t.  The chances of me actually knowing the people are slim.  With a blog, I can turn it into a book each year for my children to have.  I think this is just a really neat idea.

So while I will keep my facebook pages, even if they are for strange reasons, I will be posting my thoughts and concerns, questions, pictures and our everyday adventures on here.

I look forward to finding more blogs to follow that inspire me to be a better person.  That make me feel uplifted and not angry and depressed. And blogs that teach me skills that I can use often or even never, but still have to pass to my children.

Milk! Does a body good (part 2)!

So here I am again, back with more questions and thoughts on the milk issue. I was laying in bed this morning reading some of the blogs I follow and one was discussing 2012 in review.  They had a small bit in there on their dairy goats.  Here is the direct link to that page,  http://silvermoonfarm.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/year-in-review/

“With all the milk our 3 does gave us, we had more than enough to meet our needs for drinking, cooking, yogurt, cheese and soap.  Any extra we had, went to the barn cats and chickens”.

“We launched our all natural soap business this fall on Etsy and have been pleased with the sales we’ve had, and especially the wonderful feedback we’ve had from customers.  People love our soap”.

I love this!!! They use the milk for everything!! Even the cats and chickens get in on the action.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had goat milk, so I’m not sure if I like it or not.  We used to buy goat cheese for Graci because cow milk and products made from cow milk always upset her tummy. But since then, she has given up on all cheese. I really like soaps and lotions made from goat milk too.  So maybe a dairy goat is a better option for us.  From what I figure (and if anyone can offer other thoughts please do so), goats are more economical.  Starting cost alone, a milk cow cost anywhere from $500 to $1500.  A dairy goat you might find for $200-$300.  Feeding a goat is a lot cheaper than feeding a cow, plus they are good foragers.  Less space is needed to keep a goat or two.  But those little stinkers are always into things, which really isn’t a deal breaker, just thought I would throw it in there.  You can also have goats for meat.

Does anyone have experience with the two or had to make this same decision?

 

Milk! Does a body good!!

Does it really?? After reading articles on the internet from various sources on all sides of the subject, makes you wonder if you ever want to drink any milk again.  To be honest, I’m not a milk fan.  I wont just go pour me a glass or drink it with my supper.  I cook with it, eat it when its made into ice cream, can use it in coffee or even to dunk a cookie into it (that’s the best way)!!!  But here is my question.  What is really the best milk?? Organic, raw, pasturized, homogonized, goat, cow?  Mark and I want a milk cow so bad but know at this point it isn’t an option.  We still “go” way too much and know running into issues with not being there to milk would be a major problem.  So, silly me decides to go look up all the pros and cons and arguments on raw milk.

Some things I learned…

Pasturized milk is when the milk has been through a process to kill any bacteria.

Homogonized milk is any milk that has been treated mechanically to make it “even”.  To distribute the fat molocules evenly.  This allows for longer shelf life in the grocery store as well.

Organic!  When I looked up organic it said, that this means all the cows are fed organic feed and given adaquate amount of space to roam, allowed periodic time in sunlight, no synthetic hormones and medication to treat illness.

Raw milk.  Its exactly that.  You milk, you drink.  Thats it! 

And as far as I can see, as long as your barn and milking area is clean along with where you handle the milk and the cow is fed feed that cows are supposed to eat, why is this a problem? I don’t think I would want to drink raw milk if I didn’t know where it came from.  But maybe thats just me!

My dad is a trucker and he hauls milk.  I was able to visit a dairy where he picks up milk.  I didn’t get to go inside where they milk but I did see the cows outside.  And I must say, I never wanted to buy milk again.  It actually took me a long time to even drink milk again. I made this same comment when we left the dairy on my facebook page and got a lot of flack for it.  Let me just say the amount of flies there was unreal.  I don’t even know how to describe the amount of flies.  I had left my car window down and when we got back in the car, we were sitting in a swarm of flies.  We had to keep the windows down and drive waving them out the window.  When we finally made it home about 4 hours later, we were still finding flies.  It was so gross!  I also know that when you have animals, you are going to have flies.  We have animals and yes, we have flies but still, this was just not good!  Also, the cows that I was looking at didn’t look like happy healthy cows.  There were a few that looked so sickly and one that I thought she was going to drop dead right there.  My dad had said that right before we got there they went out and shot a few.  Again, I know that sick animals have to be put down.  But these are cows that are being milked are doing so to supply to a very well know grocery food chain. This very well known grocery chain has beautiful pics in the dairy section of green rolling hils and shade trees and sunshine and fat happy cows!! Which is so not the case.

So, back to my question, (and I haven’t even touched on goat milk)! Which milk is the best for your family?

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey”

Well, here I am.  Back again after a long break from blogging.  Not that I actually ever really posted much to begin with.  I’m going to try again though.

I chose the title of this blog when I saw the quote on another blog I follow, http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/, because I thought it was fitting.  Starting a new year always holds new hope and dreams for almost everyone.  I’ve never really gotten into the whole “New Years Resolution” thing.  I don’t get why people chose one day a year to change things about themselves or their life. But, I must say this year I did choose to ponder on some things and try to make some changes for the better.

Mark and I are still discussing what we are “wanting”, and I don’t think it’s as much discussing it as it is implementing into our life or lifestyle.  We know exactly what we want, but it’s hard making major changes to your everyday lifestyle and even harder when there are kiddos involved.  But here it goes!

I’m not going to discuss politics or religion or even where we think our world is heading, but Mark and I do have very strong opinions on all of these things. I guess some of our decision to change our lifestyle would stem from our opinions on these topics, but not all.

Our first goal is to get up on our two acres, which we are getting much, much closer and it is very exciting!!!! Our hold up on this is the survey, which I have to say is very, very sad and irritating because my husband is a surveyor.  We have surveyed it but the guys in the office wont set the corners for us to officially put it in our name.  Therefore we cannot begin actual construction.  Ugh! As far as the construction of our future home, we will be purchasing the blox this next week.  They will be held for us until the plumbing, foundation, electricity and water are all set up. The blox are from a local company call Mason Greenstar.  They have a facebook page and I believe a website.  I love these blox and have wanted a house made from these since I first saw them.  They are very energy efficient.

Once up on the hill we would like to establish our own little homestead I guess you could say.  We really want to be more self-reliant, growing and raising the majority of our own food. This is something we have talked about, planned, drawn out, looked up, ordered books and researched for a long time now.  I spend my spare time looking on other homesteading or farming blogs, looking at hatchery websites picking out baby chicks.  Not that I get them or even need any more chickens.  I keep my Mother Earth News and Hobby Farms magazines at arm’s length and treat them like they might be the most important thing ever published.  Here are a few other books I have purchased!

The Custom HomesteadThe Family Cow HandbookVeggie Gardener's Handbook Put 'em up! Raising Chickens for Eggs and Meat The Self-Sufficient Homeowner

Living this lifestyle along with homeschooling, we might never have to leave the house again.  Which actually, lately, I don’t see anything wrong with this.  I’m getting very tired of going and going.  I really have a stong desire for a simpler life!!

 

Our New Adventure

Homeschooling!!  This is our new adventure.  Because we didn’t have enough going on we decided to add another.  Actually, this is a good thing.  I have always wanted to homeschool my kids but just haven’t.  We are finally taking the leap!  Well, half the leap.  We are only homeschooling Graci this year.  Case seems to love school and isn’t having any issues.  Graci on the other hand, well, something has to change!! Hopefully this is what will help.  I am finally at the point where I am completely comfortable with our decision to do this.  Our decision to do this really has nothing to do with the school or public school for that matter.  It simply has to do with Graci!!! Graci’s personality and issues she has had with school in the past two years.  While many people don’t see “that side” of her, we do.  So, we will see if this works for her and if it doesn’t and she wants to return to school later on, then we will.

The other night, I posted a short tid bit on here about a book we read this summer.  Then, I went to edit it, hit delete and was too tired to redo it.  It was 2 a.m.!! So, I will just add it here! Part of our final decision to homeschool came after reading “Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students” by Christine Fonseca.  No, it doesn’t say to pull your kids out of school and homeschool.  But after considering this option for a few years and then reading this book, it was just what I personally needed to make that decision.  I swear that book is about Graci!!!! Mark is reading it now (well, not at a very rapid pace but maybe by the time she’s 15 he will be finished).  My mother-in-law and my mom have also agreed to read the book.  It is truely amazing how much it fits with the issues we deal with!

One of my goals was to blog more! I am so horrible at this.  I also don’t blog very often on my business blog.  I just don’t have time.  I really want to but by the end of my day I am so exhausted I can barely move.  Now, we are adding more to my days!! So, honestly I don’t see me blogging more often.  I will try!!

Our midnight ride!

Here we are, at 1:52 am to be exact, headed to Ruidoso! We left our house earlier than planned! We decided to leave and get a hotel room in Big Spring! This is where we ran into our problem! There were none available! We are tired and we have two children in the car who are all crazy and tired but don’t know it! Two in the morning and they are WIDE AWAKE!!! So, we have decided to get yet more coffee, turn on some more “Hank The Cowdog” and head for Andrews!

And to prove how tired I am, I’m not even going to re-read this post or do spell check! So, if things are misspelt or this doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry!!!