Last fall, I introduced our buck to our does, figuring we’d be having kids in early May, when the spring weather was getting nice. Well, two days ago, our oldest doe, Bella, surprised us with twin kids, a doeling and a buckling, both black with silver ears and stars on their foreheads. Now our old doe has never been a good mother so I was concerned that they might not be getting fed. But SURPRISE! Both kids had round, full tummies. And when I took them over to mom, just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating, both started sucking with no trouble. No mom kicking them or moving away. Wow was I happy about that! Then, this morning, after it had been a record 10 degrees last night, I went out to do chores to find a very weak kid in the big goat pen. I thought he was dead, but when I went in, he moved slightly. So I grabbed him and went into the house, put him right in front of the wood stove, in a small box, and tube fed him some warmed colostrum. Then I tucked a pint canning jar full of very warm milk right next to him and put a towel over the whole works. And, slowly, he recovered. Now he’s standing and nursing from a bottle. Luckily, my friend, Dara, was here and she helped me get his mom onto the milking stand. She’s a first freshener and has little teats, but a very nice udder. I milked about two cups of milk from her to relieve her udder and give baby some more milk. She was very good about the whole process.

Here’s the latest little boy goat, recovering well in front of the wood stove.

Will and I now have quite a few flats of transplanted tomatoes and peppers out in the greenhouse, with the heat on at night. I worried last night, as it was going to be so cold. But all of his sealing up the cracks sure helped as it only got down to 47 degrees last night. And the sun came out early in the morning and stayed all day. In the afternoon, it was 100 degrees in there so Will had to open the door. (The heater was turned down to pilot.) Usually, this time of the year, we’re seeing mid-fifties during the day. What a cold “spring!”

Buffy is getting to be a big baby. Every time I sit in my chair, she climbs up on my chest and turns upside-down and goes to sleep. She and Mittens are getting along a little better; only one or two cat fights a day now and no blood. Hondo runs to Will when they get into it, like “Dad! The cats are fighting! Do something!” It’s pretty funny. But we feel sorry for him as he sure misses Spencer, who is doggy heaven now. We do too.

Buffy is always a fixture on my lap, whenever I sit in my chair.

Today, my amaryllis plant bloomed again. Such a beautiful red. And there’s another stem starting to pop up too.

Isn’t my amaryllis gorgeous?

Oh, I forgot to mention, our water line to the house thawed out last week! I was about jumping up and down with happiness. No more laundromat for me! — Jackie


  1. I always enjoy hearing from you. I know how it feels when an animal looks to death or injuried. At those times, I do not always know what to do. But apparently you do. Bette

  2. Haven’t been able to be here for a bit and glad to read what your up to and chime in.
    It’s wonderful your doe Bella had the twins and the one must have got too cold.
    You and your friend did such a fantastic job of warming it and caring for him. Sounds like the greenhouse is working so well. And nice you have tomatoes and peppers going in there.
    I’m glad Buffy and Mitten are getting along better. Buffy sure likes your lap.
    I’m very sorry for your loss of Spencer. I know Hondo must miss him lots.
    I lost one of my Shelties awhile back due to the medications he was on for Lupus caused no calcium to get to his bones and they crumbled. I know he’s in Doggy Heaven but he’s missed by his brother and sister. The cats didn’t really seem to mind him one bit except to sleep by him sometimes.
    Your Amaryllis is so pretty.
    I’m very ready for Spring. We had a freeze a few days ago but temps are warmer now and just a lot of rain.
    My plant starts wanna be planted very badly but we have to wait a bit yet.
    I know you have to be overjoyed that the water line has unthawed. Yeah!
    Thanks for sharing and glad to be here when I can. You always inspire me as I go forth.

    • Thanks Cindy. I’m sorry to hear about you losing one of your Shelties. It’s so hard, isn’t it? Have a happy spring.

  3. I absolutely love the photo of you and Buffy. So precious.
    That Amaryllis is just gorgeous!
    It looks like things are doing great at your place. Yaaay

    • Yep, things are going along nicely now. It even looks like spring may really be on its way!!

  4. Buffy sure is a sweetheart! It is so peaceful and sweet to have a cat sleep in your arms like a baby!

    • It’s really funny the way she pops up there and flips over, stretches out and goes to sleep.

  5. I finished kidding last week. I know have 21 bucket babies (we raise dairy goats, thus we bottle/bucket raise all of our babies). Yes, it is a lot of work, but well worth having the milk……… Gotta love the ears on those Nubians…….

    • I’m missing the milk but right now, with all the planting, I’m way too busy to milk. That’ll come later on.

    • Everyone who comes has to run out and see all the new baby goats. They’re so entertaining!

  6. Sorry to hear about Spencer. That is always hard to lose your doggie!!

    Those goats are so cute. What will you do with them all?

    Don’t know what I will do for gardening this year yet. 2 months ago a nerve was pressed on by a disc and messed up my leg. I still have a walker. I am getting better but it’s slow and I mean slow in healing. Any suggestions?

    Went to Aldi yesterday. Boy were the prices scary!! Good grief. Mushrooms were 98 cents for a small can.

    • Aren’t the prices awful??? And the containers continue to get smaller and smaller too. I hope you get better soon. Maybe you could do a few things in containers so it would be easier to work with the plants. Just for this year. You’ll continue to get better so try to be patient. Hard, isn’t it???

  7. Sorry to hear Spencer has passed :( Hondo probably needs some extra loving now. Cute buckling!I’d say your buck new proved himself. How many varieties of tomatoes and peppers are you growing this year? We’re getting the space set up for our greenhouse, every time I read about yours I think about making it bigger. Planting potatoes,sowing carrots,leeks, more peas, turnips, beets, lettuce, spinach and fava beans today and hopefully harvesting more asparagus. Adding more heritage variety soup peas this year. Do you grow peas for drying?
    As our older neighbor has been saying “Harder times are coming” and we want a full pantry. Food prices here in Ohio have been going up steadily, while quality and quantity have been dropping, store-bought produce isn’t keeping well, and lots of empty shelf spaces since last Fall. Good news: after the canning lid shortage, an Amish business is now starting to produce canning lids up in Wayne county.We’re going to pick some up tomorrow along with some bulk supplies and maybe stop in at Lehman’s. As always, love the blog and look forward to the next one.

    • Ah spring. It leaves a smell in the air that teases the mind to think warmth is coming, but it still is too cold for my liking.

      My transplanted tomatoes have really started taking off! I was very impressed with how well they are doing today. Some already are about 6inches tall and just beautiful.

      Our calving season has been going for about two weeks now, and they sure are fun to see. Had a surprise calf from a heifer, but she took to the calf pretty well. We were sure worried because the mom
      Left the calf after it was born, and we had to feed it some colostrum to make sure it would be okay over night. But she has since not left the calf alone.

      I’ve been working on a new project the last three days: tanning a cow hide. We had a totally white steer we raised over the last two years, and sent him in to butcher last weekend. I’ve never tanned a full cow hide before, and I am thinking I may have bitten off a little much! My knee is taking a little much abuse from all the fleshing, and stretching and washing I’ve had to do. We finally got a good stretcher built today, so hopefully I can make quicker progress with the hide tomorrow.

      How’s you’re knee?

      • You must be in a warmer zone – only thing we’ve planted is taters and the garlic planted last fall is doing well. Catnip is doing well as is the sedge (and I have a couple sedge plants that I need to transplant out of the asparagus plant.
        Soon we’ll close on another three acres across the street from our home. Not sure what we’ll do with it BUT this ensures the trailer trash neighbor won’t have it. Been keeping it quiet from family and neighbors until the deal is closed. You can’t make more land but you can sure make good use of it. I suspect the properties adjacent to it won’t be happy at first. However they had opportunity to purchase it over the last 20 years.

    • We’re growing about 167 varieties of tomatoes this year and 24 varieties of peppers. So far, they’re all in the house and greenhouse as I’m transplanting as fast as I can. Planting outside is still about a month away or more. But soon, I’ll be planting melons, squash, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli inside to transplant later on.
      The knee got to a point that it still hurts pretty bad but I don’t need the crutches so I guess we’ll see how that goes until February when I’ll do a replacement. Can’t do that now; too busy! Good luck with the cow hide. It is pretty big isn’t it???

      • It sure is! I will email you a picture of it! It’s insane how massive it is!

        Sorry about your knee, but I know the pain and need to wait. Hopefully you can get through the next few months easily without much effort and get it fixed up right!

      • Sorry about Spencer. Lost all three of my dogs several years ago within a month of each other. Tough! Good luck with the knee this season. Had one replaced in November and am 8 weeks out from the 2nd one. Glad I don’t have three! Finally on a cane but still not very mobile. Husband & daughter are dealing with garden & animals this year. Hope I’m stronger before canning is in full force next month.

  8. Jackie this little poem helped me years ago when I too had to put down my dog “Sammy.” I hope this give you peace but you my have already seen it.

    The Last Battle

    If it should be that I grow frail and weak
    And pain should keep me from my sleep,
    Then will you do what must be done,
    For this — the last battle — can’t be won.
    You will be sad I understand,
    But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
    For on this day, more than the rest,
    Your love and friendship must stand the test.

    We have had so many happy years,
    You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
    When the time comes, please, let me go.
    Take me to where to my needs they’ll tend,
    Only, stay with me till the end
    And hold me firm and speak to me
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time you will agree
    It is a kindness you do to me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I have been saved.
    Don’t grieve that it must be you
    Who has to decide this thing to do;
    We’ve been so close — we two — these years,
    Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

    — Unknown

  9. “Getting to be a big baby?” lol..Established cat would sit on my lap all day if I let her. First newbie is *not* a lap cat at all. Only once and I think that was to irk established cat! Second newbie is a lap cat so it will be interesting when she gets back. Established and first newbie have been interacting a bit more (newbie always wanted to be friends). You may see Mittens sniffing Buffy here soon (sniffing not followed by a hiss or cuff).
    Well at least you could wash then haul the laundry home to dry now that you have your new dryer.
    Thank goodness only one kid not three in the house. Would give new meaning to a goat path.

    • Mittens is NOT a lap cat although she will sit on Will or David’s leg while they’re sitting down. Not me, though! That’s funny, as Buffy sits on my lap/chest any time I sit down but doesn’t go up on them at all.
      Yep, I’m glad it was just one kid, and just for a little while. He’s out with mom now and doing very well.

  10. Excellent news about the water line…I remember those days and also hated the laundromat. Such a cute image of your little white cloud :-)

    • I’m so happy, not to have to ration water. Now I can stand in the shower as long as it takes to ease the sore back, etc. Ahhhh!!!

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