July rainbows are about as rare as updates to this blog recently. It doesn't help that in February I had written a very long post, only to have my computer crash and eat it. I re-wrote the entry, complete with lots of pictures, and my computer froze up, forcing me to turn it off and again lose everything.
This was discouraging.
Then, the kids starting arriving, life went a bit haywire, general craziness ensued, and updating the blog went to the back of the line to hang out with the goat paperwork I owe people and intended to get done before show season started.
The February post with pictures was about our little trip up to Oregon. We went for a week, got to see some friends, sampled cheese, saw new places. I would tell you more, but it appears that talking about Oregon makes my computer very angry and I'd rather not lose a post again. I may try to upload pictures later, but I am not promising anything.
February also brought us our first kids of the year, and our very first kid was a gold, polled, blue-eyed doe! I only bred 17 does this year in hopes of bringing down the total number of kids from the high of 76 last year. I still ended up with 51 kids this year: no singles, mostly triplets, two sets of quads, and one set of quintuplets. The last kids were born June 2, and even though I keep trying to compress my kidding season, it lasted too long this year, with the last bottle babies being weaned in early August.
I did get a third lesson on herding in with Stella before she started going through her equivalent of teenagehood, and for a few months put her brain in storage. More training was done on a long line, and having a small herd of wethers to work her on really helped. But, I figured that she needed to get her brain back before I would get any benefit out of taking her to classes again. And, now that she has calmed down a bit and is listening better, I am too busy to go to class regularly.
Stella has managed to train the milkers quite well now- as soon as we go out to the barn to bring them in for milking, the girls get themselves into their stall before they even see Stella. This is good and bad-- good in that it makes that part of chores go quickly, bad in that Stella doesn't have as much to do work-wise, but still plenty of drive and energy.
Show season started in April, and I am hoping to do a seperate post on how the shows have gone for us. In general, we haven't been able to get to as many shows because of either Market committments, or due to conflicts between shows.
In May, I finally got to do the Whole Earth Festival with my English Hills Soap Co. booth. The festival is held for two and a half days in May at UC Davis, and they are pretty picky about who they let in (I had to write an essay!), so I was pretty excited about being there. Walking around and seeing the level of crafts from the other vendors was pretty amazing, and I came home with some unexpected purchases. The booth did well- definitely worth the effort, and I am hoping to be there again next year.
The garden has been doing alright this summer, although the beans were hit so hard by the local deer that we didn't even get enough for one dinner's side dish. The garden is mostly fenced, but determined deer can jump quite high. The tomato plants are huge, and our garlic, onions and basil all did quite well. We are mystified as to why cucumbers do not do well here. My plans to expand the garden area were put off until next spring due to the limiting factor of only having a 24 hour day and general there's-always-something-else-more-urgent-needing-my-attention-right-now-ness. In the mean time, we are making good use of the "goat tractor" to keep the weeds somewhat down in the area that used to be lawn, which also keeps me from resenting the wethers that are still hanging around these parts.
September looks like it will be a very busy month, but I really hope to get some posts up in the near future regarding: show wins, backpacking, state fair, and maybe even baby farm animal pictures.