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Friday, April 04, 2008

Whatever gets your Goat.

The alarm went off in its persistence that I get up at 6 am. Every morning I roll over my husband to hit the clock. One of these mornings I will be able to break it and sleep until I have been well rested. But today was in important day, and no amount of alarm clock torture was going to give me more pleasure then what I was going to do.

With the smell of dark bitter coffee, wafting up as it spitted and struggled through the peculator, I log onto the computer as I always do. I write a semi popular homesteading blog, and like to keep it up to date, as well as read the wonderful things that people say back to my entries. I check my emails and read a few other blogs as well, making sure to keep an eye on the time.

"TIME FOR SCHOOL!" I holler as soon as the clock turns to seven. This morning ritual is the one thing I dread the most. My son is only ten, yet behaves as a teen. The groaning the moaning, the complaining and gritching that takes place every morning can really exhaust a person. One of these days I will get the gumption to throw cold water over him to shock him into wakefulness. But I realize that will just aggravate the problem, so I will sit at my computer and fantasize about such tactics. He emerges from his room 15 minutes before the bus arrives, in a flurry of panic and accusations of my allowing him to sleep in too long. Once he is out the door, I wake my husband.

I milked the cows, rushing about my morning chores, the time was closing in on me fast. And I smelled like cow! Hurriedly I found the only pair of jeans that smelled like they were freshly laundered, a white pair, and stepped into the shower. Shortly after emerging, my mother pulls into the drive. She is right on time, while once again I am not. I use to not be late to things, but after my husband came into the picture, I have become more of the fashionably late type person. oh course I got the eye from my mother. It's that look that I think most mother's have, the one that tells you she is disappointed in you and makes you feel like you are five years old once again. I tried to shake it off, and finish preparations. This was my idea.

Kissing my husband and telling my other children goodbye, my mother and I got into her car and headed off to our destination. With the realization that it would take time to get there, we stopped for some essentials, gas, coffee and donuts. We discovered the complete happiness that one bite of donuts entitles you. And then it was up on the highway, our journey beginning, to chatter and giggle as though we ourselves were school aged children.

We suddenly found ourselves in the flint hills of Kansas. Our long time spent on the lower plains did nothing to prepare us for the sensation of ears popping. I was called a wussy more times then I would like to admit on these pages. Suddenly the road disappeared.


My view as passenger was even more obscured.

my view

The sense of panic had little to do with what might be hurdling at us through the fog as it did with possibly missing our exit. Nervous giggles echoed around us, as we strained and squinted looking for the little green sign that would place us on the correct path.

We were fortunately that the fog lifted slightly, and that my mother's vehicle had good brakes, as we turned south onto the county road. We found ourselves in a downtown of a rural Kansas town.

downtown kansas

Images of horror movies past floated through my brain as my mother insisted that I light my cigarette as we were almost through the 2 blocks that made up the small town. No sooner then lighting the smoke, did we curve out of town and find ourselves on the door step of our destination.

I hollered at the man and woman that was out feeding a mixed herd of goats, sheep and one llama, to discover if we were indeed at the correct place. I was rewarded with a yes, and a quick introduction. Mother and I emerged from her car to walk over to the man and woman. Homeschooled children frolicked in the pen, the llama almost mowing down the youngest, a toddler, of the bunch. The four of us chatted a bit, before I turned to my mother. So? I asked her. Which one do you want? Of course she was only to be my ride, but I knew that once she saw these lovely beasts, she too would be taken by them. But before she answered me, she asked the woman how many pounds of wool do you get at each shearing? The woman replied, about 10 pounds. You could she my mother doing the math in her head. You can pay me back later, I told her. She glance over at me with that are you completely sure look, then pointed out into the distance, I want that one.

moms doe

I myself wasn't sure. The flock looked healthy, but the man didn't seem at all pleased that they were being bought. I tried to reassure him that all my animals were well cared for, in fact they are very spoiled. I told him to take his time and decide which ones he would be willing to part with, and asked the woman to email me photos of them that night. Then we climbed into our vehicles and followed the woman 7 miles out of town to see her rabbits.

As we walked from the driveway to the barn, 2 great Pyrenees puppies decided to soil my white jeans, then a pit bull, and lambs joined the group. She had many good looking rabbits, but none of them a meat breed, but I still said I would talk to my son about them. We chatted about this and that before saying our goodbyes and heading back west.

We made it home safely and I got to choose my angora goat.

my doe

Now how to get them home?

The end
the end


Given55 said...

Very funny!!LOL
But, I think we need the whole herd.

Wendy said...

Any breed of rabbit will do for meat, although if you really want to eat, you should go with a larger breed, like New Zealand Reds. We had some of those. We also had just what might be considered a "pet" breed (they were a mix of some long-haired breed and a lop-eared breed, but weren't minis), and for breeding purposes, actually did better. Our New Zealand doe turned out to be not such a good breeder as our "mutt" rabbit was :).

The goat is just beautiful. I have a considerably smaller "farm" than you have, but I'm looking at dairy goats. I'd like to have a couple of Pygora does. They're a dual purpose breed, from what I understand, good for both milking and fiber. I do need to stick with a small breed, like pygmies, due to space issues, which is why I like the Pygora, and also it's an American breed of goat.

Now, just to convince the hubby he'd like a goat ....

Phelan said...

now mom, I promised the husband I wouldn't do that. But, they are only selling one more at that price, the mama that lost her baby.

Wendy, these were angora rabbits that she was selling. I am sure they are good eating, but at that just didn't appeal to me. And of course you need a goat. Everyone needs a goat!

abbagirl74 said...

Do I need a goat? Where on earth would I put it? I guess I could put the goat in Josh's room downstairs where all his manly sports stuff is stored. I am sure he would just love that.

Gina said...

OH, I would love to have angoras! I've thought about getting pygoras a couple of times (smaller). I bet they are so soft!

I used to raise angora rabbits. Not very hardy (require a lot of special care and you can't cull by eating. Well, I guess you could...just not a popular eating type rabbit). I have been thinking about adding New Zealands here.

I am trying hard to downsize my projects into bite-size pcs. However, I get so tempted to try new things so often!!!

Good luck with the goats.

Wendy said...

Oh, you are absolutely right! I wouldn't have angoras for meat, either. For fiber, they're great, and I had one, but he was killed when neighborhood dogs got into our yard and then into his hutch. It wasn't cool. But you're right, they can be very pricey (and the owner of the dogs was forced by the courts to compensate me the cost of the rabbit). In my area an angora buck goes for $75 each and a female goes for about twice that. That's a lot to spend if the plan is to eat them ;). By contrast, the feed store has just regular old bunnies for $12 each - good for pets and for meat :).

Ginnie said...

Phelan, I love looking through the window you provide into your life. The angora goat looks beautiful. Is your mom going to spin the wool?

Phelan said...

gina, good luck with downsizing!

Wendy, I told my mom that as well, too much mantinance for those critters. We are looking at meat breeds, but not until next year.

Ginnie, that is the plan. I care for themm and shear them, mom spinns, creates and sells. I would like to learn how to spin, but I think that will be something I will wait to do when the homestead isn't in so much need of work.

alrescate said...

I'll try to remember to ask my friend for some pointers on spinning!

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