I am a worrier. I worry about everything imaginable. You name it, I’m worried about it.
One of my worries of late has been our water. You see, we are on a rural water line, and we have to go out and read our own meter every month, then figure out how much we owe the water district and send in our money.
Should not be a big deal, right?
But back in May, I noticed that we had a huge uptick in water usage. So much that John and I checked all our hydrants and we realized that one was running – underground – all the time.
We turned off the water to the barn and called Digger Jim in to bring his bobcat and fix the problem, which he did.
Well, I have been worried that maybe he really did not fix it, and for the past 5 months, I’ve been guessing at our usage rather than checking the meter (which is hard to get to) and then sending in the bill.
Today, I decided that before winter sets in, I really, really needed to check the meter and find out our actual usage. I have been having nightmares that we had used some ridiculous amount of water, like 100,000 gallons, and that we would have to sell the farm to pay the bill. Like I said, I’m a worrier.
Thankfully, it’s fine. I have actually overpaid about 2,000 gallons because I was just slightly overestimating our usage.
I really need to be less of a chickenshit about things that worry me and face them head on!
Finally got back into the shearing mood. I sheared Celieto this afternoon. She is 2 1/2 year old doe.
I was a bit annoyed with her. She let me lead her up to the shearing stand just fine, and was good for about 5 minutes of shearing. Then she decided she was done, and wiggled and squirmed and even managed to jump off the stand twice.
What should have been a 20 minute simple chore turned into a 50 minute pain in the butt.
Willow and Carly did NOT help one bit. They kept jumping up on the stand with Celieto. I believe they thought they were helping me.
I’ve been busy making stuff, shearing goats and going to arts and crafts shows, and I have neglected my blog.
I have also been busy teaching Willow to stand on her hind legs and dance. To encourage her, I bought her a tutu.
I finally started shearing goats today. Only got two done, Cinnamon and Maggie. I probably should aim for three to four a day each day for the next week.
I am putting the bucks off to last, because I really need John to help me get them on the stand for me, I’m just not strong enough to convince them to walk up that ramp. Plus, if I don’t get a buck done before cold weather strikes, it’s not too worrisome.
The does, though, all need to be sheared because many of them are pregnant, and if they are too hairy, their kids can’t find their teats, and I end up with a bunch of bottle babies. Which is a lot of work, but I usually sell them within a few weeks to people who want to raise bottle babies.
Bottle-raised kids are always friendlier and easier to handle than those who stay with their mamas. Even as adults, they will come over just to say hi and get a pat or two.
I’ll try to get a photo or two tomorrow of the goats I catch to shear. It’s awkward trying to take photos of them because I have two kids trying to help me with everything, and they are entirely too curious about cameras.
I need to get about 25 of my goats sheared in the next couple of weeks. I shear each of my goats on a grooming stand with a good and sharp electric shears, made for shearing goats and sheep.
It has recently come to my attention that PETA is pushing the lie that shearing goats and sheep is injurious to the animals. They somehow managed to make a video of a shearer in another country leaving bloody animals. They advertise: Don’t Buy Wool.
Balderdash and poppy cock.
First of all, I’ve never seen any fiber animal bloodied to that extent before. I have seen shearers make a mistake and cause some bleeding, and that is one reason why I shear my own animals. Just like hundreds of other people who raise fiber animals.
I’m not the quickest shearer in town, it takes me a good 15 to 20 minutes to completely shear a goat -sometimes longer if there is a lot of VM (vegetative matter) to get through.
The only time one of my goats bleed is if I trim their hooves just a bit too much – just like a dog’s toenail will bleed if you cut it too short.
I’m angry that this crazy group of people with a record for killing more dogs and cats in their so-called shelters than any other shelter thinks they can demand that the human race stop using wool and mohair and all the other natural fibers that come from animals.
I’ll never get those three days of my life back. I paid good money to be a vendor at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival last weekend, and discovered how badly the festival is run these days.
It was a horrible experience for Russell, my artist friend, and I. We were treated badly by the people who did not realize that we were their customers, even to the point that one of the workers there thought it was okay to call me a whore in a black dress when I complained about the situation.
Anyway, there were funny things that occurred, funny things that helped to make up a tiny little itsy bitsy bit for the insults.
I’ll be sharing those stories with you.
Here is the first one. Russell called this the Story of the Mutton Man.
A family with three children, mom, dad and grandpa came by to watch me spin. The oldest girl was maybe 11 years old, and extremely shy, almost afraid of people.
As usual, I try to talk the ones who seem to need the attention the most. I showed her some wool, had her touch it and then spun a bit of yarn to give her to tie around her wrist.
Then I did the same for her younger brother and sister.
I talked about my goats. Then Grandpa piped in. “When do you eat them?”
I said, I don’t raise my goats for food. They are fiber animals, and I can shear them every six months for their entire life and make money each time I do that. If I sent them to a butcher, I’d lose money in the long run. (this was an attempt to let him know I was in it for the business, but it failed).
The idiot says, “What do you do with them when they get old?”
Again, I said, I can still shear them every six months until they die of old age.
And grandpa says, ” But I like mutton!”.
Russell and I looked at each other. I said to the old man, “Ummmm, I raise goats”. They are fiber goats. They grow 1 inch of mohair each month. I shear their mohair off twice a year. I use the mohair in items I sell or I sell the mohair.”
And he says, “But I want mutton!”.
Finally, we informed him that mutton comes from sheep.
Right over his head.
Right over his head.
The goats were very naughty this evening. Fully one half of them decided to do some exploring and were nowhere to be found, including Carly, the wee little bottle baby goat.
The only goat who stays home is Willow, it seems, but she thinks she is a dog, so eh.
Instead of leisurely preparing everything to go to the Ren Fest tomorrow, I had to go hunting for my naughty, naughty goaties.
I suspected I knew where they had gone, but I did not want to have to go get them and bring them home because that entails walking through our overgrown woods to the south, getting stuck on those stupid wild roses and other sticker bushes, getting spiderwebs in my face, climbing under a barbed wire fence, over a metal gate and stalking them through a hayfield that does not belong to us, but to a neighbor who does not live on their land.
And of course, I was right.
So I yelled at them to go home, and ran behind them, and they decided to cross over to our property about 300 yards after I wanted to cross over. Ugh.
I climbed under the closer barbed wire fence with Carly, because she was hungry for her bottle and figured out that I was the only being around who was going to feed her little butt.
As Carly and I crossed over into our land, Suellen, the semi-evil little dog, Buffy, the Coyote Slayer (best dog around) and Willow, the goat who thinks she is a dog all came running, barking or making goat noises , towards me.
I told them it was time for us all to turn around because we were going home!! And I proceeded to walk 1/4 mile tripping and falling over Suellen, Buffy, Carly and Willow. They all thought they should lead the way, but they would suddenly stop right in front of me, and it was often all I could do to stay upright.
We got home, I fixed Carly’s formula and then spent 30 minutes getting all the goats into their night time pasture.
So here I sit, wool, mohair, yarn, dryer balls, scarves, all kinds of things surrounding me, and I’m thinking hecky darn. I’m going to bed now – I’ll just get up early to put this all together for the weekend.
And I feel a little sorry for my dear husband, because he is going to have to deal with the Goats of Argghhh! While I’m trying to earn some money!