Morning with Milk and Eggs


Hark, what new goat climbs on yonder gate?
That’s Valentina on the left, and on the right–
That’s Aranel!
While Valentina is a full Alpine, Aranel is a 50% Alpine, 50% Lamancha cross.
She’s also quite pregnant. She’s bred, due in May. She came from the same dairy in Pennsylvania where we got Valentina.
With those ears, she looks much more Lamancha than Alpine. I thought the ears made her look like an elf, so I named her Aranel after the Elven princess from Tolkien.
She lurks jealously outside the milking parlor while Valentina is working.
It’s not your turn yet, Aranel! See you in May! Meanwhile, I’m at the barn every morning and every evening to milk Valentina. First, I feed little Roman Reigns his bottle (while Cherry watches on).
Next, it’s to the milking parlor with Valentina.
I’ve done some cleanup and redecorating in here. The goats like things pretty!
I strung up some really cute cow lights. And a flying cow swooped in from somewhere.
That’s what happens when you hang up cow lights! Be careful!
After milking, it’s time for the egg hunt. The ducks are laying….everywhere except….
….in the duck nesting house that was made for them.
I run around the barn yard looking for duck eggs, check the chicken house for the early bird layers in there, then take my morning egg and milk haul to the studio. Valentina is giving about a quart per milking.
The chickens are giving as much as two dozen eggs a day now.
I have six laying ducks, so they give half a dozen a day. If I can find them.
These eggs are HUGE. Here’s a duck egg compared to a (large) chicken egg.
I’m loving my mornings with milk and eggs. There’s something so satisfying about this life, the daily reward of food from the animals in return for the effort of tending them.

That’s my morning, and I’m sticking to it!

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An Early Spring


The cows were down to their last round bale.
It was set before their feasting eyes (and mouths) on Saturday.
They promptly started demolishing it.
While their attentions were distracted, I checked out their girly unders.
Tried to figure out what was going on back there.
I couldn’t really tell.
And they’re not talking.
But the four girls are due sometime soon.
I’ve had several questions about Beau the bull– He is young. A yearling bull. He will get bigger. He’s a full-sized Hereford. He will be big enough to do the job. He sniffs the girls every day, just checking. They’re not in heat because they’re bred, but he is ever optimistic, so he checks. Daily. He’s feeling his spring fever! Meanwhile, with round bales running out, we had another delivery yesterday.
The cows were very excited!
They came right over to check it out. Hopefully this will get us through. Spring is here, early. And welcome. Look how green it is!
Our order of meat chicks should be arriving this week. Grass is growing. The chickens are delivering two dozen eggs a day, and the ducks are laying, too. It’s time for flowers and vegetables and herbs to go in the ground. Speaking of gardens….
Initial dirt work for a big new garden started here this weekend. I’m ready for a big garden! I need seeds….this week. I’m ready for seeds and calves and more goat babies.

It’s spring. Early!!! (We really needed that this year!)

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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