Friday, February 24, 2012


   All sorts of things have been happening this month!  I had a great time on our "fibery" week-end get-away.  It was so much fun to be with like-minded people.  The weather wasn't the greatest, but it was okay.  Got a lot of spinning done, ate quite well, and did lots of talking, well, mostly listening, on my part.  I usually don't say a lot in a group setting.  
  I got a newer computer now.  It's so fast compared to the old one!  I didn't realize how slow and outdated my old one was till I started using this one.  I am sometimes slow to accept change.  Then other times I'm all for it.  
  It has been snowing a bit here and there.  It's also got above freezing during the day, so the road is rather interesting again.  Not too bad yet, but the potential is there.  
  The goats are doing well, except for Ariel.  She aborted her babies 38 days early, then went blind right afterwards!  Miss April really nailed her one day last week, and I was afraid this was going to happen.  I was watching her carefully over the next few days, and sure enough, she lost the babies.  Two little doelings.  She pinched a nerve in her neck during the birthing, which has made her temporarily blind.  I wasn't out there when she had the second one, I had gone inside for a minute, so I didn't see how she pinched it.  She's starting to get some sight back.  She can definitely tell light and dark, and she's seeing some shapes again.  Poor goat.  I have her in the grooming area so no one can bother her.  She's got a pretty comfortable spot in there.  I've been massaging her neck and giving her herbs to help her get her eyesight back.  Ming had this happen a couple of years ago, too.  She went blind for two weeks, then got her sight back.  I do not know why this happens, but at least they come out of it. Ariel throws really nice fiber in her kids so I am very sad these girls didn't make it.  One was going to be a tan color, and the other was a dark brown with a white stocking on one front leg and a white ankle bracelet on the other.  Everything happens for a reason, so we'll see what that reason is at some point.  
  I have ended up with a very bad cold this week.  I haven't been sick in years!  This is not fun.  I had forgotten what it felt like to be sick, I am ready to be well again.  I've been downing tons of Vitamin C, Cayenne, Echinacea,  and eating good foods, so I'm almost well.  

   I am now busy getting my cashmere processed and making things.  Got one order for a customer done, now it's time to start on the next.  The kids are due to start coming out in two weeks, so I want to be ahead of the game a little so I can spend time with the newborns.   I'm starting to line up dehairing customers now, too.  It's going to be a busy, fun year!  I do love my job. :-)  
  Spring is almost here.  Although up here it won't show up till sometime in April.  We've had a pretty mild winter so far.  There is 12 inches of snow on the ground here.  There isn't hardly any at all down in the valley.  All the fields are bare, the roads are clear, then I come home and it's all white.  The avalanche danger is really high now for elevations above 4500 feet.  We are at 4700 feet, but I don't think there is enough snow on the hill behind the house to cause an avalanche.   The dogs run up there after deer and don't trigger any, so I think I am safe.  Of course the deer have been going back and forth across there all winter and haven't caused anything.  
  I was watching Nellie today barking at a deer.  The deer are not afraid of her at all.  She gets within 5 feet of them barking her head off, and they just look at her and go about their business.  Grandma deer taught her offspring well.  She chased Nellie and Dani so they are afraid of all deer, for the most part.  They bark at them, but if the deer turn towards them, they back off rapidly.  
  H&C's dog Ryder, on the other hand, goes after them and they run.  He's not afraid at all.  I think I'll employ him to guard the gardens this summer.
  Well, that's it for now.  Think Spring....         

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February already

  It's already February!  We got another 5 inches of snow last night.  Now the goats have a fresh "dinner plate" to eat off of.  There are a couple of feeders out there, but I also put little piles of hay out and around for the lower ranked goats to eat.
  I have a question for you all that raise goats.  How do you keep your bucks together without them fighting and killing each other?  I had to put Hercules down because him and Midnight were fighting and Midnight won.  He did some serious internal damage that I didn't realize until Herk was too far gone to repair.  So now I'm down to just two bucks!  Both black.  Herk and Midnight were the same age, grew up together, and were kept in the same pen, except for breeding, when I took Herk clear to the other side of the place to do his job.  After everyone was done, I put them back together and Midnight tried to kill Herk.  I separated them as soon as I saw what was happening, but it was one blow too late.
  So from now on, there will be permanently separate pens for each buck!  Preferably on opposite sides of the goat areas, too.  
  Only 4 weeks to go till kids start popping out!  I am getting excited to see what comes this year.  What colors they are, and hopefully more female than male this year!  There should be around 30 kids born, so I will probably be selling a few this fall, or next spring.  I might wait till next spring so I can see how their fiber looks when I comb them.

   I get to go on a "fibery" week-end get-away tomorrow.  Six of us are renting a fs cabin down the Swan and taking our spinning wheels, etc., and playing outside in the snow skiing and snowshoeing, then spending the rest of the time spinning and visiting, eating and just having a nice relaxing time with our various fibers.  H&C are going to take good care of this place so I don't have to worry about anything, just go and have some R&R.  I'm looking forward to it very much! 
  The combing of the goats is going well.  Glad they don't all shed at the same time!  It's looking like a very good harvest this year.  I'm getting to them on time this year, so the yield is much better.  I got some free plywood that is in great shape, so we built a solid wall on three sides of the combing area, so now it's much better.  The wind can't blow any cashmere away anymore. ☺ Or, I should say, I can now comb even if the wind is blowing a bit.  The weather isn't playing quite as big a factor in the combing schedule this year.  As long as the goats are dry, I'm combing.  

  Well, Happy Valentine's day to everyone...