An Average Weekday....

Most of the readers don't know that I also work a full-time job, so to all of you who think that there is just not enough time to do this AND work - think again - AND I manage to have time for the gym!

My days start 5:30am (during the week only - I do allow myself to sleep in on weekends until about 7:30am). 
I wake up, roll out ot bed, and put on a pot of water to boil for my coffee. While I wait for the pot to whistle, I grind my coffee, sanitize my milking container (a HUGE glass measuring cup) and sanitize my Mason jars for after the milk is filtered.
Once the coffee is done, I go out to the front porch and let Baby (my pitbull) out to play in the morning dew and do her business while I check emails, work on my blog, upload photos from the night before, and check Facebook. Around 6:15am, I get dressed and put on my boots and finish my cup-o-joe. I put Baby's leash on and hop in my truck and head out to the "acre" which is about 15 minutes away. 
I get there around 6:35am and bring Ellie into the garden where the milking stand is, give her some sweet feed, and prep her for milking. 
After milking her, I let the babies out of the barn and let the chickens out for the day and make sure all the water containers are filled. 

I usually have a few minutes to give everyone some love and attention. Around 7:20am, I leave the "acre" and head home to get ready for work. 

I get to work around 8am and work until 4pm. Then I have kickboxing from 4:30pm - 5:20pm at the Hardcore Gym. After the gym, I usually head home to eat, relax, and catch up on some dvr'd shows for about an hour or two - Christian works later hours than me, so this is my ME time. 

Around 8pm, I put on my dirty farmin' clothes and boots and head back out the the farm with Baby.

I weed a little, turn the compost, harvest what veggies look ready, and water if needed before I go into the field and hang with the goats and take photos. 

Here is a little recap of the crew out at the acre.....
 The whole goat gang:

I try to walk the fenceline at least every other day just to make sure there are no gaps or holes. Around 8:45pm, I put Misty, Milly, and Ellen in the barn for the night (this way I KNOW I will have milk in the morning), fill up all the waters & the chicken feeder, and collect the days eggs. 
 After all that is done, the chickens have roosted and all I have to do is close and latch the door on the coop. 

Around 9pm (sometimes 9:15), I head home, shower, and hang out with Christian til about 10:30 or 11pm (we are coming up on 12 years this November!!), and then I am off to dreamland.....


Makin' Cheese! THANK YOU, Ellie!!!

Last weekend, I bought a milk stanchion so that milking could become easier...I kept meaning to try to build one, get someone to build me one, or just thought one day one would appear...HA! Ellen is very willing to offer her delicious milk and eagerly awaits me to open the gate each morning. 
I decided to place the milking stand in the garden and Ellie seems to enjoy the brief subtle change of scenery. I get enough milk each week for two batches of cheese and a half gallon for coffee and drinking. 
The cheese-making is fun and I have experimented with a few different ways of making chèvre - one batch I made with fresh organic lemon juice, another I made with natural white vinegar and I like the end result with the vinegar better. 
First I poured the milk into a stainless steel pot and heated the milk very slowly (on low) to 180 degrees. 
Then I added either the lemon juice or vinegar slowly and let it sit for a few minutes until the curds were completely formed. 
I then separated the curds from the whey by placing a paper towel into a strainer and letting all the whey drain out. After straining, I added salt and my herbs to the mixture and mixed together. 
I get my cheesecloth ready and dumped the soft cheese into the cloth, brought up the edges and tied string around it while leaving enough string to hang overnight. 
The next morning VIOLA! You have homemade chèvre!! 
I will be experimenting with other varieties of cheese as Ellie provides me with the means. This weekend I will be experimenting with goat milk soap-making! Who knows what will happen, but I will document and take photos and keep you posted! Happy Friday!


What A Day! Barn Cleaning & Brand New Babies!!!

The day started bright and early with plans to clean the coop and the barn. But before I made it out the door, I had decided to go ahead and look into getting a stanchion for Ellie so that I could better milk her. She is gentle and willing to let me milk, but it will make things MUCH easier....I found a lady that builds them (stanchions aka milking stands), and sent her an email.
I get out to the farm and Lauren is waiting and ready to get dirty and do some cleaning - time to get started! Lauren tackles the coop and I start on the barn.

We unload the chicken poop into the compost bin and have about 5 wheel barrow loads of goat and sheep poop along with the barn [dirt] floor scrapings to go directly into the garden beds - prime fertilizer!!
After the cleaning I got a call from the person with the stanchion - we made plans for me to come over later in the evening. I decide to spend a little more time in the garden fertilizing the veggies then put up hooks in the barn for the solar lanterns to hang at night for Misty and Milly. I also hang one in the field for Eli, Ellie, & Ellen as well as Speckles and Forest. Done until I get back from Double Durango Farm with my new milking stanchion!!!

I get out there and Diane walks me around her farm and shows me all the playgrounds she has built for her babies - which are all Nigerian Dwarfs -  she is quite the carpenter and I am so jealous and amazed by all the cool toys her goats have....I am going to have to get more inventive...while we are out in the field, one of her mama goats is starting to go into labor!

I missed little Ellen's birth, so I am kinda wishing I might catch this one. I wait around a little while and the poor mama is just so uncomfortable, pacing and moaning...poor thing. We walk out to load up my new stand and Diane's husband shouts that the babies are coming! We run to the barn and this is what I was able to see:

The first one that came, I missed, but got pictures of right after - it was a boy with blue eyes.

The second one was a girl with the most beautiful markings and brown eyes. It was so beautiful and amazing to be there for that! I went to the Double Durango Farm for a milking stand and got so much more!

My signature act as the goat playground....I just can't resist!
This is Dot - the Border Collie - she was a sweetheart also!
  Diane knows her stuff when it comes to goats, so I have a feeling I will be keeping in touch with her. Here is the stand I got tonight:

While walking around the 'acre' tonight, I noticed the apple trees are looking good - looks like it will be a good year for apples! Whew! I am pooped and ready to hit the hay. Til next time.....

The awesome-ly clean barn...........