Friday, June 29, 2007

Green Acres is DEFINITELY the place to be!

Thursday, we went to Atlanta to pick Alex from the great Hartsfield International airport and on the way home, I decided to be adventurous and find my friend Mandy. Mandy lives on Green Acres Goat Farm in Bremen, GA, where she, her husband Shannon and their son Cole, raise Nigerian Dwarf goats. I wasn't able to reach Mandy on the phone, but never one to be put off by something as trivial as someone not answering the phone, I found her address on my cell phone via the internet and then plugged it into my VZ Navigator and it took us right to her front door! Is that awesome or what? Anyhoo, she still wasn't home, but her kind neighbor, who incidentally is her sister - in- law, helped us locate her and we got to have a short, but really wonderful visit.

Okay, for starters, Green Acres is absolutely gorgeous!!! I mean, it doesn't get any prettier than that. The pictures on the website don't do it justice. They have got a really nice property and those are some lucky goats living there. I wouldn't mind living in their barn! I just can't say enough about how appealing the whole farm - it makes you feel like you've found the dream, for which you've always been looking.

The other thing was that having never seen Nigerians up close and in person, I didn't realize the full impact of their "dwarfness". We're talking small here! They are all so adorable , I just wanted to sit down the pasture and wallow in their cuteness. They were all beautiful and inquisitive and very friendly - all very appealing traits in goats. We had to cut our visit short because Mandy was having a busy day, but I was thrilled to finally meet her in person, meet the goats I had been looking at on her website and see that gorgeous farm on which they all live. Mandy is a special person and the kids and I think that she is tops!

What a great little road trip.It was an easy drive with beautiful scenery. Being from north Georgia as I am, I decided it would be fun to take the scenic route up hwy 27 and it was definitely scenic - and LONG! Seeing where their mom grew up, did not impress the kids enough to make up for the length of the time spent on roads that kept us traveling at a range of 35-55 mph. I loved it though - it brought back so many wonderful memories of childhood. Sigh....

I have a link to the Green Acres website to the left with all my other favorites , or you can simply click here to see the goats.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A nocturnal post

It's not even a nocturnal post at this point - this is the next day. What a busy day it was. I've got a bit much going on in the project department. It's too bad that having projects at home can't be a career - I would be a very highly paid professional. Heaven knows I've got plenty to do. I am on the right track though - I've been blasting away through the house cleaning, rearranging, washing, sweeping etc. It's been great, but I want to scrapbook, paint my bookcase, and redo my desk in the living room. And that was just the indoor projects. There are twice as many outdoor projects! One reason I've been so busy inside is that I started back using Melaleuca products and the house just smells so good. Solu-mel will clean all kinds of crap out of the carpet. If you aren't familiar with the stuff - check it out. There is a business element of Melaleuca, which is optional, but apparently people do quite well with it. I personally cannot sell water to a dying man in the desert, but that's just me. If you can get people to listen about Melaleuca and try it, then it pretty much sells itself.
And it's going to have to sell itself without me because I'm going to bed. Goodnight, world.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

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Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, say it's your birthday!!!!

It's hard to believe that you were born 17 years ago! My how the time flies when you have a son who drives you crazy! You're missing a lot of adventure here! Pixie is turning out to be a champion teacher of amateur milkers, Twister doesn't want any part of milking, and Vanessa would like to have some part of milking. When you get home, maybe we'll make some birthday goat's milk fudge!

I've been working non-stop since you've been on vacation, and while I'm completely exhausted, it's been a good thing for me. It was past time to get up and get busy. Your sister makes sure that there's plenty to do around here, trust me on this. I can't wait til you come home - it seems like there's always something I want to tell you, or there's something funny for us to laugh about. I imagine there's more where that came from and I'm glad you're having a good time!

Well, it's back to work for your weary, but reasonably content mom. Can't wait to see you - we've missed you! (and not just because you take the trash out either.)

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(The above photo is not on Alex's birthday, since he's vacationing with his dad - it's a picture of him with my friend, Dawn's dog Skippy. Alex was enjoying some brotherly love while we were visiting with Pixie for the first time and Dawn was performing,....uh.....minor.....uh...maybe it was major on Vincent. It's still too painful to talk about! Thank you Dawn - you're a real woman and my idol!!!!)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What a sad picture.....

I admit it......this is a terrible picture of the milking stand that Richard built for me - completely from materials he already had! How cool is that? I haven't had a chance to drag it out of the garage to take a better picture, but I will post it when I do. I was just so thrilled to get it and I was so proud of Richard for building it that I wanted to go ahead and post this as a tribute to him. I am currently milking in...ahem.....the garage, as it is the only place to keep the stand indoors so that Vincent won't be using it as a butting post.

Twister, as a first freshener, is a very challenging goat to milk - especially for a rank amateur like me! I am a having a difficult time with her and I really think that she has a ton of milk, but either she isn't giving it up, I don't have enough milking practice , or a combination of the two. Either way, we're moving on!

She's finally here!

Meet Pixie, the newest Van Goat doe and an expert little milker. Somewhat like the deal with the milking stand, I wasn't able to get a good picture of her, but I really wanted to go ahead and post a picture and a few words about her. She is a beautiful little girl with a sweet personality, if a bit shy. She was disbudded when she was a kid so she is the only Van Goat without horns, which caused me a great deal of concern initially, but she seems, for all her shyness and reserve to be able to hold her own. Twister, who considers herself the queen of the herd, has given her a rough time, but Pixie seems to be unfazed.Vanessa is very interested and follows her around frequently, with the Uncles , Trixie and Gus following right behind her. Vincent has checked her and then dismissed her as an acceptable non -threat. I think she is going to fit in beautifully.

Friday, June 22, 2007

And live from 43 things.......

I got an email reminder today from 43 things to ask me how I was doing on my goal of becoming a stronger person. Well, 43 things..........I am getting better, definitely. Once I made up my mind that I was going to stop whining about how tired I am and how I have too much to do, I started making progress. A friend told me that I suffer from perfection paralysis – that is, feeling like I don't have time to do something perfectly so there’s no point in starting and I wouldn't know where to start anyway. That would be me! Now I realize that if you start, no matter how little time you have – baby steps – you’re going to get where you want to go! Thank you Colleen!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Love my grill!

"Think I'm gonna throw a little hay on the barbie."

The sweetest little goat in the whole, wide world!

Look - my eyes are two different colors! (And I do not play favorites!)

I'm not looking at the camera and that's final!

"Darth" Twister

"Trixie - I am your muhhhtherrrrr!"

Have you ever tried to get a close-up shot of a goat!?!?

It just ain't happenin!

The uncles, ganging up on Gussie

These guys will not leave each other alone - talk about male bonding! And did he but know it, today is Gus's last day as a young buckling. Tomorrow, he joins his uncles in the world of "wetherdom". I feel very sad about it, but I think it's very important for the family tree to have as many branches as possible. Yet another reason why I am hoping to relocate the ranch to some real acreage!

What a sweet boy......

At least he is in this picture. I decided to snap while the goats had their dinner. Some however, are just naturally drawn to the camera.

View from Cagle Mountain....sigh

I feel that no further words are needed.

A day for adventure.........

Cute Sayclub Animation From

and I'm not kidding! The day started at 2:00am when we all rose, but alas did not shine, to take Alex to the airport in Atlanta for a vacation with his dad. We left the house around 3:00 am. which as it turns out was not nearly early enough as I ended up jumping out of the truck on arrival at the front door of the terminal (leaving my nephew Adam to sit at the wheel, ostensibly waiting to pick some one up), grabbing a pajama clad Rachel and breaking all land speed records with Alex at my side, to get him checked in and on his way to his flight. Of course, to make matters even more challenging, no one was nice or helpful and out of a long line of six concourses, his was the fifth. Thank you, Hartsfield International and US Air for reminding us all that customer service is not only dead and gone, but apparently buried as well. He did of course, make his flight, and was with his dad about and hour and half after Rachel, my nephew and I got back home to Chattanooga. And they say flying is fast - try flying on I-75 in a Hemi!

After we had a chance to rest, we went out on an afternoon excursion, during which we drove up on Cagle mountain to see my dream home on it's five acres of gorgeous, rolling pasture. The house itself is obviously a nice, little, unpretentious brick rancher, but the land around it......................

I can easily picture myself standing outside on the tiny front porch watching a summer storm sweep across the top of the mountain. Just picturing that in my mind is a religious experience! It would require a lot of work, for there is no fencing or barn, however it does have a nifty cellar off to the right side, which you can just barely see the top of to the right side of the picture. The Sequatchie Valley is famous for tornadoes and the like, so I imagine once a tornado mangages to bounce out of that valley to the top of the mountain, that little cellar could come in pretty handy! There's nothing particularly outstanding about this place other than the view, but I am persistently drawn to it and I keep driving up there to pull in the drive way (the house is vacant) and look around before driving back home again. Is it possible I need professional help? The people across the street from this house probably think so.

Anway, once I recovered from my "moment" , we drove to the Farmer's Coop to get some goat feed and then drove back up the mountain, with a brief stop at the scenic overlook for some more oohing and aahing over the beautiful Sequatchie Valley. And then? Why it was home again, home again!

What would crawl out from under that rock?

More of the day's adventure. This picture is of the rather steep hill across the highway from the overlook. I thought the extremely large boulder was somewhat picture-worthy. If you have ever watched MXC on Spike TV, then perhaps you've seen the hilarious event " Boulder Dash" . Try and outrun that big daddy!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why I recommend "The Blue Nowhere"

by Jeffery Deaver

This book was awesome! All the details about “the Blue Nowhere” were really interesting without being mind-numbing and it gets and A+ for the thrill factor! While the concept of “the Blue Nowhere” i.e, the world of wizards, hackers, crackers and the secret life of the World Wide Web, is somewhat frightening, it is also extremely intriguing. When I started reading the book, I knew enough about Unix to know that “root” is “God” (thanks in part to Patricia Cornwell and her character Lucy in the Kay Scarpetta novels.)and that it is the real deal in terms of computer language. While I may not know a lot more now, my very small foundation of knowledge enabled me to really dive into the technical aspect of this book and read it in it’s entirety during my down time at work. It was a “Book Blitz”!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

So many pictures....

Yep, went a little crazy with the pictures. That's what happens when you get scared that life is passing you by, so you start clicking fast and furiously with your little camera and the next thing you know, you've got a gazillion pictures on your blog and very few posts. I'm sure I'll find a happy medium some day. I'm still a novice, so I guess a little slack is in order.
I'm still trying to finish up school with Alex. It's like trying to lead a horse to water - except you can actually get a horse to go to the water. Next year I hope to be able to use the Sonlight curriculum with Alex and Rachel. Alex will be in his 12th grade year and Rachel will be starting pre-school and from what I've seen of the Sonlight curriculum, it has so many excellent options including the Singapore Math,you just really couldn't go wrong. I'm really wanting to use the Singapore Math with Rachel because they actually start at her early level. Of course, you don't have to use Sonlight to get Singapore Math or Science, but I like all the other options they have too. The prices are a little steep for me personally, but they offer a pretty good payment plan, so I haven't given up hope yet. In the meantime, Alex is reading Monster by Walter Dean Myers. I plan on having him do a multi - faceted book report and by that I mean that I will have him look at the story from several different perspectives and report on his thoughts and feelings, i.e. if he was the central character, the prosecution, or the victim's family and on. We lead a sheltered life - I think it's important to see different types of circumstances to develop as a human being ; to develop the understanding that is necessary in order to have compassion and caution toward fellow man.

So, today is my inaugural "flight" with Flylady - I am going to get my house and my life in order and I believe that the Flylady is going to help me. I swear, when I look at her website and read through the pages, it sounds just like she's talking to ME! It almost freaked me out. Kind of like Larry the Cable Guy sitting naked in his bean bag eating Cheetos and watching the evangelist on TV. Okay, I'm off to shine my sink! Have a great day!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Smile for the camera...

Trixie: "Gussy, you're still not looking!"

Feeling as though I was sadly lacking in posts and pictures, I decided to do a blog-a-thon yesterday. The babies are growing so fast and getting them to stand still for a picture is just next to impossible. In fact, I have no idea how I got this picture. It's as if Twister told them they had to be sweet and stand still for a couple of pictures.

My new best friends!

"Omigosh - these guys really know how to rock the slide!!!"

How does my hair look?

Trixie to Gus:" Mom says we have to stand here like good kids and get our picture taken. She says we have to do stuff like this every once in a while for this lady because she's the one that feeds us. Gus! Look at the camera....Gus!!!"

Trixie is cleared for take off!

I know this picture is blurry, but a picture of Trixie with airplane ears just couldn't be passed over! What a doll!

I'm just little and sweet!

How cute is this?

I'm Queen of the slide!

Trixie and Gus playing king (or queen) of the slide. Trixie is winning this round.

I've got the camera all to myself

Uncle Gromit obligingly allowing me to take his picture. Unfortunately Uncle Wallace wasn't nearly as accomodating in this photo session.

There's lots more energy where that came from!

Rachel out hamming with the goats.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tempus Fugit.................

Being somewhat monetarily challenged, I've been struggling over the issue of a milking stand, particularly since milking won't happen until the stand does. I have found a website that has a great plan for a stand - it gives you absolutely everything you need to know from the building materials, right down to the actual blueprint. If you're looking for a plan to build a milking stand, look no further than the little blue goat on this page on this page. (There are a couple of links to Fias Co, actually.) This is a wonderful website that is a great resource for anyone who cares about their animals, especially goats. This is the first website to which I have ever felt compelled to make a donation, largely due to the amount and quality of the information they provide along with the down to earth manner in which it is presented.
Anyway, this week I am going to be attempting to acquire the wood and other necessary items required for the building of this milking stand. Hopefully Twister will still have milk by the time my stand gets built.

Come to think of it, tempus is fugiting all over the place. Still trying to finish school with Alex, get the house in order (a gentle euphemism for backing a dumpster up to the front door and throwing everything OUT!), resume scrapbooking and take care of EVERYTHING else that needs to be done. People think that goats are a lot of work and maybe they are, but all it takes is looking at those faces and having one come up to you to have their chin rubbed and you know it really isn't work at all - it's the saving grace.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Baby love.....Rachel and Trixie!

Rachel: "Finally someone in this joint is smaller than I am!"

Trixie:" Not for long sister, and I've got little horns sprouting out my head as we speak!"

Rachel: "Well, I can scream loud enough to scare those horns into going right back inside your head."

Ya Gotta Love This Face.......

Here is Alex with Gus on day number two. We were, of course, marveling at the miracle of his and Trixie's birth and their unbelievable cuteness! At two days old, the kids are wanting to snuggle with you and they love to get right in your face and let you just smother them with hugs and kisses. Now at roughly a month old, they 're about 6 in human years. They will tolerate being hugged for a few seconds, but they really want to run around and play, NEVER running out of energy and in Gussy's case, already interested in the opposite sex. Just like his dad.........sigh....the apple never falls far from the tree.

My older apple hasn't fallen far from the tree either. Alex loves the goats, especially the babies and just like me, he watches their growth and progress with total amazement. It feels good to have a kindred spirit in my son if only part of the time. There other times where it would seem that not only is he not a kindred spirit, but he is completely possessed by that who name we will not mention. This has not been a banner school year for us, but he has been fairly constant in reading and not just Alex Rider novels either, so I guess we'll be okay. Once I read an interview with Valerie Bendt about the value of reading good books to your children. If you want to read this article click here :

I like to read this article from time to time because it makes feel like I'm doing at least something right. My kids love books so reading is generally part of our day no matter what happens. Books are always with us wherever we're going. Better to be safe than to be sitting ina doctor's office, waiting without a book to read to my 4 year old daughter - a fate worse than death, if you ask me. Cynthia Rylant and Marc Brown have saved the day more than once! Alex won't leave the house without a book - what's he been reading? Scorpio by Anthony Horowitz. Obviously, I could talk about books and reading all day long, but I'm going to save it for another post, so be sure to come back later. Thank for reading.

What's for dinner?

The Van Goats have taken to coming to the back door when they feel that it is time for dinner and they are not above knocking, if necessary. It's not unusual to hear "knock knock" at the door, only to look over and see a goat peering through the glass. They wait , rather impatiently , pushing and shoving, vying for the best position. Then the door opens and the person carrying the feed bucket is mobbed, jumped on, and basically run down, all in the name of something that resembles "Grape Nuts" for goats. Then it's a determined trek to the feed bowls, which usually requires the ability to sprint, serpentine and feint like a running back to get from point A to point B.When the dust settles it's great fun to sit down on the steps and watch everybody enjoy their meal.(by enjoy I mean they play musical food bowls, checking out every bowl to make sure that no one has something the other ones don't. Goats apparently have a very strong sense of equality.