Monday, December 31

*a new beginning

Yes, this is the last day of a passed year, and tomorrow starts a bright new beginning, but that is not what this post is all about!  There are a number of young people who will be starting a new journey, a new beginning of sorts come this fall.  Graduation with both mark an end and a beginning in these young people's lives.  It is an exciting, frightening time for these young folks.    I have a son, a nephew, an "adopted" daughter, an "adopted" son, and a handful of other young people (who are friends to our family) who will be graduating this summer.  

My most favorite gift to give to graduates is a comforting quilt to carry along with them where ever it is they should go.  I am sure these students might at first be more content and happy to have been given the hundreds of dollars that goes into make a quilt, but in the long run I hope they will end up treasuring the quilt for years to come.  For those loved ones mentioned above, who have never received a quilt from me, will be getting just that, a hand crafted quilt just for them!

 A new beginning...

The young lady this is being made for doesn't normally read my blog, hopefully that is the case today as well.   I love this quilt pattern, by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  I have always loved opposite attracts type quilts but never completed on thus far.  

This is the individual blocks laid out but not yet sewn together. I think I am going to go with this layout, which is one of many different ways to create a quilt with this one block.  Think log cabin.  For me, making a quilt from high quality quilting cottons that will last for many years when taken care of properly is the highest gift I give, it may not be on the top of the recipients' list, but it is on top of my gift giving list!

Sunday, December 30

*trying to seal his fate

 It takes everything I have each day not to just eat these little cuties up! They are so flipping adorable! These pics were taken on their third day of life in the barn (and on planet Earth).

This is our little buck, Stew or Kabob, seriously though, if we do not find a buyer for our little buck, he will be meat for the freezer. Nubians are considered a dual breed (milk/meat) because of their body structure.  I am already totally attached, so I am not sure how making stew or shish kabobs would go. 

I think he must know what is potentially in store for regarding his fate, just look at that precious face. He is doing his best to win me over. Done. Won over.  Oh my!

 Just one last look, "Momma Lynnie", aren't I cute?

We are so proud of our sweet little Nubian kids! They are just perfect. Bodie is continuing to be a very good mother to her twins.   They are feeding 24/7 on demand, they kids will continue to stay in the stall with her until she shows signs of trying to wean them which might be sometime in 6 to 7 weeks based on all I have read.  They have started to eat some hay from the pail alongside their mother on occasion.  They are certainly growing by leaps and bounds. 

I started our milking schedule just a few days ago.  We are enjoying the delicious milk and boy, talk about timing. I would say that Bodie's conception date, her deliver date are both right on time based on the latest news reports.  We made an order for some enzymes and other supplies that are needed for cheese making, we can hardly wait!

Friday, December 28

*binding tips I have learned

We hope you and your family had a great Christmas this year. We sure did! I did manage to get some time to get some Christmas runners stitched out for our home this year! Since I have learned how to sew binding on with this method shown below, I always love the way my projects finish up.  If you don't already bind using this method, I hope this tutorial can be of some help to you. Happy Sewing!

Do you see the creases from the pressing? This is where you will be doing your stitching to connect the two pieces of binding.

Your going to pin the binding pieces together right sides facing right sides.  You will line up the pressed marks and that will be the place you stitch. You may use a ruler and pen/pencil to mark that pressed mark so it is more visible when you start to stitch it.

 Simply pull the project together that you are working on, whether it be a table runner or a large quilt, you will want to pull the binding and under the needle of your machine so you can stitch the line that is marked over the pressed spot on your binding.

 Almost done.  You will need to trim the "tail" off, leaving about a quarter inch of fabric behind. Press and then you will finish stitching the binding to the back of the project.

As you can see, I finished stitching the binding down to the back side of the project.

I also stitch the front side of my bindings on using a decorative machine stitch.

 Merry (belated) Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26

*peeking outside the stall

Narry, Henry's turkey has just realized both Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed and she has survived! Whew!
 (she is going to be part of our breeding stock)

This is the first short trip outside the barn for a bit of sunshine!  They little goatlings seemed to enjoy the ability to frolic around and nibble at fallen leaves like their mother.  After a short while they were escorted back into their stall in the barn where safety and shelter welcomed them!

Monday, December 17

*we have grown in number by TWO!

I have been waiting for this day for months and months, and preparing for it for just about as long!  Today we added to our numbers by 2!  Our sweet Nubian doe, Bodica gave birth to two (a buck and a doe) seemingly healthy kids this afternoon around 1:30PM.

I have read website after website, posted on several different "goat groups" online, read several books and learned so much in order that I might be prepared for what I was a part of today.  While we were over the top thrilled to figure out that Bodica was pregnant, we didn't have an exact date as to when that happened.  I must say that all of the signs that the books, websites and blogs that I read was all spot on. Not that I doubted any of them.  If you have a doe that has conceived on a date that you are unaware of, if you keep close watch you may still be able to recognize her delivery week.

I have been checking Bodie's ligaments daily to note when I feel a change, the ligaments near her tail are tight and pencil like right up to the day of her delivery. Approaching the delivery date the ligaments start to soften and totally give way on the day she is to deliver.  The  last few days she has eaten very little of her hay, which was another sign that I checked off the list.

Today I had my alarm set for church, but I woke earlier in the morning with a headache, so I turned the alarm off and stayed in from church.  I am really glad that I ended up at home today.   I walked out and picked up the paper, went back to the barn and sat on the floor of Bodie's stall and read the paper.  Earlier in the morning I had rubbed her tummy for a long while, which she really seemed to enjoy.  I felt that her delivery date would be soon, but I had no firm clue that it would be today.  I look at today's events as a gift from God. I so wanted to be in the stall with her when she birthed and I was. So grateful.

As I sat with her reading the paper, she got up a few times, stretching but ignoring her food completely.  This is not normal.  The last time she came back to sit down on the big hay pile near me she stretched out, and elongated her neck along the strong wood in front of her and began to moan a bit.  Shortly  there after she grunted loudly, pushed and her water broke. I was like holy cow!!!! I immediately phoned my beloved who was in his workshop and gave him the news. The next thing I did was fly out of the stall, ran like the wind to the house to get the "birthing basket" and ran back out to the barn. 

I sat down, got my camera ready, and within 20 minutes she had issued birth to her sweet little baby girl.  She pushed several times with such force that her whole body rocked.  The little doe had a textbook delivery - two front hooves and a nose appearing first, then after a good push - flop.. she was out on the barn floor.   As I started to wipe the little doe off and clean her up some, Bodie was starting to push again.  This time around the next one up was showing signs of some possible difficulties.  There was only one hoof present with the head pushing through.   She labored heavily for several minutes pushing with all she had, but to no avail, not much was happening.  I chose to intervene by reaching in with my gloved hand and pulled the other leg out and forward.  Then with one little slight push (or so it seemed at this point) out came out little buck!

We did our best to get them started with nursing so they have a good start with the colostrum they are in such great need for at this point.   The little goats need to get as much colostrum as possible in the first 24 hours, as their stomach lining changes after that first day. So they do not absorb and take in the colostrum as they would have in that short window of time.

We went out to check on momma and kids one more time before bedtime.  They were snug as a bug in a rug.  Bodie has been bonding with her kids nicely and is showing signs of a great momma!

It seems every other creature in the barnyard was wanting in on the action that was taking place in stall No. 1.   Bodie was showing signs of protection over her little one, pushing Lucy (the chicken) around with her head and she would not let Zeke (the cat) get very close either. 

More to come, you can be sure of that.  Good night!

Some of these photos was taken with my Android phone, so.. the lighting and images aren't the best but still captured some great moments!