Monday, January 28, 2013


We had some great winter weather last week, finally.  Seems like we're never going to get any real snow (you know, more than a couple inches), but we finally got about an inch before the weekend.  I'm a cold weather person, and I love winter, but it's hard to love winter when it has been mild and rainy most of the season. 

The wild birds have been very hungry, and have been at the feeder every moment between dawn and dusk.  This is one of my favorite Christmas presents from David this year.  He got me this great bird feeder with two suet holders.  I love watching the birds from the kitchen window. 

The sheep and goats don't seem to mind the snow either.  I love feeding the animals when it's cold, because I feel like I can make them warm and cozy and all it takes is a good bit of hay. 

Some people would look at the snow on their backs and think they're poor, freezing animals.  Really it means that they're well insulated against the cold since the snow isn't melting.  All that wool and extra layer of hair make a huge difference and the animals stay nice and warm.

The goats get wider every day!  I've been bringing them in the barn every afternoon for their grain, trying to get them in the routine of coming back in the barn.  June is used to it, but Ida isn't.  It didn't take long though.  I think after 2 days, Ida knew exactly where to go when I opened the gate to let her out of the pasture.  She now runs to the barn and waits for me to follow to scoop the grain into her feeder.

My two does are staying warm too.  They cuddle together and I give them plenty of hay and they seem perfectly content.  One of them should be bred, due any day to kindle.  I hope she's actually bred!

Unfortunately, after a few snow flurries this morning, the weather is going to continue to warm up and we'll have mild, rainy weather the rest of the week.  Boo!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bathroom Paint

My sister and her husband are getting ready to sell their house to buy some land, and they're doing a great job of painting and making the house look beautiful.  Seeing their awesome progress has inspired me to finally get some projects done around the house.  Why not enjoy our house now, instead of putting it off until we move someday?  So I picked out some paint colors last night and I'm trying to decide which color to paint the bathroom downstairs.  The chocolate brown color will be for the vanity cabinet, and one of the other colors will be the wall color. I've got a favorite I think, which is yours?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Side Slip Cloche

I knitted a new hat, the Side Slip Cloche, and absolutely love it!  I used Cascade 220 superwash, and it's very soft. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


David's mother passed away on January 16th, surrounded by her family.  We'll miss her.   

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One Month Left

One month until June and Ida are supposed to kid.  One month left of "sleeping in" in the mornings.  One month of not having to feed goat babies. One month of freedom!   Truly I'm excited about kidding season, but at the same time I can't help but feel a slight bit of impending doom.  I know once I get into the routine again I'll be fine, but that after the goat babies are born, there's always a moment of panic when I think to myself, "Why did you do this?".   I am looking forward to more goat babies this year though, and I plan on setting up a lambar feeder, so I don't have to hold bottles anymore. I think that'll save me a lot of time and a lot of frustration.  Goat kids are little maniacs, especially at bottle time!

Ida is hiding her pregnancy very well.  I'm wondering if she has a single kid instead of twins.  I really hope she has twins, but I'd be happy with a healthy single too I guess.

I can't wait to see how her udder turns out. That's another surprise with dairy goats...not only how many kids and what sex they are, but the size and shape (and capacity) of the udder.

Ida is definitely wider than before, but nowhere near as wide as June is.

June doesn't have the advantage of the first-time mom tight stomach muscles.

I'm wondering how she'll look a month from now...probably a bit like she did last year.

I'm pretty sure both girls were bred on September 16th, so that would mean they're due around February 12th, give or take a few days.  Maybe I'll get Valentine babies this year. Last year I missed it by just a couple of hours!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I've posted a couple pictures before of Elmer's odd sleeping habits.  I caught another one the other morning.  He was sleeping with his butt hanging off the bed, and it seemed like he was quite comfy. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

This Just In!

I just got my email from Chuck at Biotracking

OpenLow RecheckCutoffHigh RecheckPregnant
OD < 0.135OD = 0.135 to 0.150.15OD = 0.15 to 0.21OD > 0.21

Tube NumberAnimal IDResponse in Test, ODPSPB RangeDays Post Breeding

Both Ida and June are pregnant!  I was 99% sure June was bred, and about 70% sure Ida was bred.  Ida is a first freshener (which means she'll be having her first kids), so she's hiding it well!  So that means goat babies in a little over a month!

This is an old picture...the girls aren't in the barn, they're in their pasture, and they're much hairier now.  I'll get update pics soon.  Tomorrow maybe.

Squashed Pumpkin Soup

Warning, crappy pictures in this post.  I was too lazy to get good pictures (or at least try to get good pics) because I wanted to stop procrastinating and just blog already.

Just before Halloween a farmer I know from work gave me a couple of pumpkins he grew. He said they were called "peanut pumpkins" and were hard to find, and he grew them every year and gave them away to friends.  I offered to buy a couple, but he said I could have them.  They were interesting, and I thought I'd save some seeds and grow them next year.  He said they were good for pies, so I also wanted to cook them down for puree. 

Last week I was looking through my Baker Creek 2013 seed catalog, dreaming about the garden.  You've got to get one of their catalogs...just amazing.  So I was looking through the catalog and found the peanut pumpkin! Turns out it's called Galeux D'Eysines, and it's a type of squash.  I read it is used in France for soups, so I decided to make a soup out of one of mine. 

So I cut it in half, removed the seeds, and baked it in the oven until it was tender.  Then I scooped out the flesh and put it in a pot with some sauteed onion, salt, and pepper.  I heated everything together, then pureed it in the food processor.  Then I returned it to the pot and added cream and come curry powder.  It's delicious!

David isn't a fan of it (he said the texture was like baby food), but I love it.  It's just how I imagined a good pumpkin soup would taste. 

Oh, and the seeds are drying so I can grow my own this year!  I have plenty of seeds, so if anyone would like me to send you a few, just let me know in the comments and I'll get in touch with you! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Yesterday morning the sun rise was so pretty.  I happened to wake up and look out the window, and it was pretty enough to make me jump out of bed and run downstairs to get my camera.  I call this shot "Sunrise Over the Chicken Coop."  Heh.

I figured it was a good way to start out my New Year's post.  I haven't done a New Year's post in the past few years, but I figured I'd jot down a few goals of mine for this year. 

1.  Blog more.  Our computer is old and slow and I get so frustrated when I try to blog, so I end up not blogging as much.  Maybe this year will be the year I can finally get a laptop, so I don't have to sit in the basement away from everyone while I'm on the computer.  My husband just asked why I needed to blog, and it's because it's nice to look back and see what we've done.  It's a great way to document pictures and activities and stuff like that.  It's like a scrapbook, only without having to do all that cutting and gluing.

2.  Take care of myself more.  I would like to add in more exercise and make it part of my routine instead of an occasional thing.  I have had back troubles lately (herniated disc), so I need to strengthen my back and make sure it's healthy.  It's hard to take care of livestock when you can't move.  I'm also going to try to add in more veggies, though I feel like we eat healthier than the average American.  We can always do better.

3.  Speaking of eating more veggies, I'd like to have a better garden. Every year I start out with good intentions, and the garden gets off to a good start.  Then summer heat hits and makes me not want to be outside at all, we get a drought, the weeds take over, etc.  I'd like to find ways to get around that, by either mulching more or using irrigation under black plastic, which will help our very sandy soil retain water.  I start looking through seed catalogs in the winter, and it makes me have huge dreams for the year's garden.  Hopefully this year I can really do my best to make it happen.

4.  I've had goals with the animals getting meat rabbits and raising pigs.  I did both of those last year.  This year I'd like to focus more on the rabbits and get them producing more.  One litter in one year isn't exactly stellar.  We may or may not raise pigs again this year, it all depends.  Hopefully both of the goats, June and Ida, are bred, so we'll have plenty of milk if we do decide to get pigs.  Pigs love goat milk.

5.  Purl & June.  I'd like to expand Purl & June and concentrate on getting more product out there.  I'd really like it to be more profitable.  I'm finding it takes more than just making soap to sell soap.  There's a good bit of marketing involved. 

6.  The house..  Every year I say I'm going to paint the mudroom, or the bathrooms, etc.  I'd like to do a little work in the house to make it a little prettier.  We don't need any major remodeling, just final touches.  Our closets desperately need to be organized, so I'd really like to finally get little stuff like that done. 

Well, that's about all I can think about right now.  I'd like to come back as the year goes on so I can read this post and remind myself what I want to get done.  I'll also try to blog about changes so I can keep track of them as we go. 

What are your goals this year?  I'd love to hear them.
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