Maybe I should say "Life with the Lamb". This past month has been consumed with much to do and a new lamb... in the house. Let me introduce Kiss. She got her name because her markings on her face reminded me of KISS. silly... I know. When we found Kiss she had just been born... the smallest of triplets.
Kiss is the one laying down in the middle
She was so tiny. She did not seem to have much energy and her Mom was occupied with her other two babies and did not seem very interested in helping Kiss.
We tried to help Kiss nurse but she wasn't able to figure it out and she would just give up and go lay down. I wondered if she might be blind because she would walk under her mom and keep walking and would end up nuzzling the straw bales. The morning was a cold one and she was shivering so we decided to take her inside briefly and warm her up. When we took her back she still could not seem to figure out nursing and her Mom did not seem at all inclined to help her. It had been hours since she had been born so we decided to feed her and then take her back. Long story short... Mom would not accept her so we took her in and thus began our life with the diaper wearing lamb.
Yes, Diet Coke was purchased for the bottle
Here she is on her first day... quiet and still. Yeah.. that didnt last long. A day or two of feedings every 30 minutes to an hour and she had more than enough energy to begin exploring her surroundings. We almost named her Bambi because she kept skating on our wood floors and ending up looking much like Bambi did.. all four legs spread out and sitting on her belly. It was hard not to laugh at her.
She has such a passive personality. In hindsight it was clear we made the right choice for her... a lamb must keep up with its Mom and triplets have to fight for their position nursing. My guess is she would have spent most of her time sleeping and would not have lasted long. Hannah assumed the role of Mommy to Kiss and wanted to be the one to feed her...even in the middle of the night.
So for six weeks she has grown and grown. She has also wormed her way into everyone's hearts. Taking care of her became a family affair. Gradually we spread out her feedings and things became more manageable and sleep returned to our home. Kiss has been fun to have around but as she has grown we knew it would be time to take her back out to the sheep where she could learn to be a sheep. So... how does one know when it's time to send the "house lamb" back to the barn?
On with other farmy news... spring has come a bit early for us. February was our month for babies! We expected it a bit more spread out into March... but the animals had other plans. We have had ten calves born and all but one of our sheep has already had her babies. The barn is alive with cuteness! Luckily it has been a very mild winter and everyone has done well. Last year we had a problem with the beef cows from next door hopping the fence... and this year most of our heifer calves appear to be half-beef cow. Not great news.
Our conversion to highline milking is almost complete! Hopefully by the end of the week we will be using our pipeline rather than buckets and our milking and cleaning time should be greatly reduced. Once Andy gets accustomed to the changes it should shave a couple of hours off his day! A welcomed and much needed break. He will be able to fill the sinks and the system will wash itself while he attends to other chores. How exciting is that!!!
While accumulating dairy equipment we also made the decision to invest in a new form of pulsation. We first heard of Co-Pulsation two years ago and it has been a goal of ours to make the change and now it's a reality! Co-Pulsation in a nutshell is a new way of looking at pulsation. We learned about it through Weston A. Price. It is much more gentle on the cows resulting in increased butterfat and reduced stomatic cell counts.
Boex family and Jamie
We participated in the Omaha Home and Garden Expo last month. Four days of exhibiting. Exhausting and fun! Several of our customers showed up to help and it really made a difference. I was able to take a break, eat a meal and sit down for a few minutes. I would like to publicly thank everyone who came to help: Shawna, Tom, Sue, Mallory, and especially Andrew who has become my right hand market man - He was there every day all day. Also, a special thanks to the whole Uhing family who watched all of my kids while I worked! That takes courage.
One of the reasons we do these type of shows is the opportunity to share with others the benefits of eating traditional foods. It has become a passion of mine. When I look at Andy and how much his health has improved it reaffirms why we do what we do. Twelve years ago he had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Today, he is leaner and healthier his blood pressure is normal, and he no longer snores! How many 50 year old men today can make that kind of health changes and remain medication free? My weight continues to slowly go down. I have come to the realization that I am going to have to give up grains to loose this weight... something I have battled with and against but am finally ready to do. My health is fine... I had my heart checked a year ago and I was told I had the heart of a 24 year old, my blood pressure is fine and for someone that carries weight I am quite healthy... I certainly have more energy and stamina than I did 15 years ago. But... I really want to drop the last of this weight. I have battled emotional eating for as long as I can remember which will make this transition all the more difficult. It boils down to my children. I want to do this for them. So, if anyone reading this is considering taking similar steps... let me know... we can all support each other!
In kid related news... Hannah turned eleven and Alex turned six! Hannah is now sporting a new haircut that she loves and Alexander lost his bottom tooth! His first tooth he has lost naturally. ( He lost his front four teeth thanks to a fall on the tub spout at 2 1/2.) He was so excited!
Jamie has taken up knitting. Ciara started her when she was here and the bug really seems to have caught. She is currently knitting a scarf.... she saved her money and purchased everything she needed herself. <<proud mom moment>>
Unfortunately I don't know how to knit, can't answer her questions and the books read like Greek to my mind... so she often looks like this.... poor kid.
Alexander is starting to read! Relaxed homeschooling is the only way to go for our family. I absolutely love watching my kids help each other... the girls have been helping Alexander and it is just heartwarming to watch. They are so stinking awesome! << yes... another proud mom moment>>
OK... I apologize for such a long entry today. There is so much more to tell. We have some other exciting changes around the corner but I will leave that for another day.
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..