Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Of goats, delayed gratification and procrastination.

Yes, the WannabeFarmwife has been remiss in her duties of blogging. A particularly large project at work, and some other things have occupied my time, and now that some of those priorities have straightened out I am able to concentrate on things that are more enjoyable.

Enjoyable is a funny word, isn't it? There's no common definition to what people find enjoyable. Just like one man's trash is another man's treasure, one man's joy is another's burden. Fascinating really.

I was greatly dismayed and delighted all at the same time to be told about another blog, which I can't believe I missed Now, when you go over there, please do come back because though she ALSO has confessions (and had them before I did, dammit, though I didn't know it) she has a slightly different take. Well, different geographic location, different set of circumstances leading her to where she know...okay...well, I found through reading it that we were more alike than not, and she's definitely a more riveting writer than


We've made great strides on moving towards the farmette. So many, in fact, that I haven't had time to post. At all. What strikes me as somewhat amusing is the fact that though a good 6 months has gone by, I'm still fighting the same things, still dreaming the same things.

For those that know me, that's a long time in my world.

So, yes, I'm still fighting the chickweed/pigweed/weed from hell - whatever that is that is overrunning my garden. This year it totally strangled my herbs, and was doing a number on my tomatoes before I had the epiphany that maybe smothering IT was a practical way of dealing with it. So, off to Lowe's I ran, and picked up landscape fabric, cackling gleefully as I cut it into strips to cover the walkways between the garden rows, and around the areas that are not currently planted.

This is what my garden was looking like pre-smothering:

And this is what my garden was looking like post-smothering:

After declaring victory over the chickweed/pigweed/weed from hell, I decided that if I could tackle THAT I could tackle ANYTHING (both thoughts may be a bit premature, but I digress), and decided that RIGHT NOW was a very good time to bring goats into the family.

Lest I sound a bit impulsive, I do want to point out that I have been thinking about this for at least 6 months, if not years before this, so it's not exactly a *new* thought, but doing it just the other day WAS a rather impulsive thought and one that was not necessarily approved of by extended members of the family.

To them, I stick my tongue out.

Essentially what happened was that I had been researching goats (again) and discovered that there were these goats that were on their way to auction. Several of them dairy goats. They were being offered at a very reasonable price, and you know, if I wanted to get them now before they went to auction it would probably be best before they were with unknown herds and could get sick and...

Okay, well, that was my train of thought anyway. So the lady said, can you be here by 2? Never mind that it was 12:30, and I had to drop my son off, and she lived 2 hours away from me, and I was in my work clothes (and I mean work as in office, not work as in...well...actual work). I called the Reluctant Farmhusband and said "Okay, this is going to sound crazy but..."

And to my surprise...he said "I've been wondering how we would get goats home" - I could get my goats!

Some people transport goats in trailers. But, due to a family history of bringing animals home in odd ways, I decided to honor the tradition and bring them home in my Honda Pilot.

So, away I drove, breaking several land-speed records in the process and met the gal who had the goats. She had several goats, all in the back of a pickuptruck in a cage. I didn't really have a minute to inspect the goats, and I guess by virtue of driving two hours I had pretty much committed to the goats, so...I ended up with two unnamed goats in my car.

An Alpine

And a Mini-Nubian
Heyyyyy Esmeralda

Goats generally travel well in vehicles but there were a few things that I didn't think of. One is that when they traveled in my father's car, they went a rather shorter distance than that which I was traveling. The next is that my father's car was not nearly as spacious as the back of a Honda Pilot with all the seats laid flat. This is not meant to be an endorsement for the Honda Pilot (although I do love the car, and think it is indeed roomy back there) but rather it presented me with an interesting problem.

This is not my Pilot, but it works

See, goats will not soil themselves if they are in a confined space. In general, they are too ladylike for that. However, if the space is less confined, they are free to use the facilities whenever nature intends to. And use the facilities they did. All over the upholstery of my pilot. So, there was much chagrined laughter on my way home about how I was going to get the smells and erm...droppings...out of the upholstery before the Reluctant Farmhusband had a proverbial cow.

I will add, at this moment, the fact that I have not succeeded in doing so yet, and as of now he does not know that his precious Pilot has been defiled in such a way (though it wouldn't surprise me if he expected it).

So, I got the goats home, and plopped them in a stall, and then noticed something. You see, the larger goat, the Alpine, she was supposed to be pregnant. This was expected and I thought it would be a good way to offset her cost as well as milking her to feed our family. But the smaller mini-Nubian was NOT supposed to be pregnant.

Well, at least not *really* pregnant. There was a guess that she might be a little pregnant.

I know, I know.

So, this is the way the NON-Pregnant goat looks
Pregnant? Or fat?

And this is the way the SUPPOSED-TO-BE-PREGNANT goat looks
Pregnant or fat?

Well, from the top anyway.

I wouldn't suspect anything except for the fact that the Mini-Nubian (the supposedly non-pregnant one) bagged up in a big way, and the supposed-to-be-pregnant one has started as well.

This proved to be a rather interesting issue, as you're not supposed to milk a goat if it's going to deliver soon, but if you want milk and you have a goat that's bagged up, well then why not milk it.

So, we built the milking stand.

I say we, but really we gave the project to my oldest son, who...well, he did an admirable job of imitating what the milking stands that he saw on the internet looked like, but kind of missed out on the functionality part, so Grandpa had to help.

Goat Milking Stand

Goat Milking Stand

So I have an almost finished milking stand and possibly pregnant goats. Possibly, I don't know.

Any goat experts out there that can analyze my goat photos?