Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wake Up!!!!!!

I'm awake, I'm awake already! My 4-year old daughter wants to make sure I'm awake as I'm sitting here pondering my sad little blog, so she's continually setting off the alarm on this cute little, old-fashioned clock, complete with 4-alarm fire bell. On the other hand, ring the bell some more and lets celebrate - my first Sunday off in over two years! Yeee haaaaa! No more working weekends for me. (Of course, having sold my soul to the devil, I will be working every day during the week. ) This of course, is to support our belief that Rachel is ready for something more than being home with mom.

In the meantime, I've got soooo much to do - it is time! I'm going to catch up on scrapbooking, baking, gardening, exercising - the list is endless. We stayed home from church since both the kids have coughs and snotty noses - naturally I would be thwarted on my first attempt to go to church in two years. We've decorated a mason jar, played V Smile games, made waffles and pizza dough and had an altogether productive day so far. The goats are thrilled to have some sunshine and are out staking their claim on their preferred sunning spots and it's looking like the caprine Cancun out there. Rachel is really getting into cooking with me - so far her specialties are pizza dough and lasagna. I have to give Mollie Katzen big thanks for her recipe for pizza dough - it's an all purpose dough actually - because it's easy enough that my daughter can do it with my help. We make the dough by hand and she has got the kneading down yo! I was so proud of her that she helped me from start to finish.I think one thing that has been so rewarding about having a daughter this time around, is that she is interested in some of the things that I do and it is so cool for her to try and imitate what I'm doing because she usually catches on pretty quickly.

You know, I've read many blogs in the last few days and I find it very odd and interesting that my life, the appearance of which is no less substantial than the appearance of the other blogs, is so different. Different to the point that we're living in the same country speaking different languages. Okay, I'm a redneck - I admit it freely - but geez, I used to be a fairly "with-it" kind of person. What is up with that? Don't get me wrong - I'm happy with my life - it just feels strange to find myself in a place that never even was a blip on my future radar in my younger days. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I used to be the "queen bee" and now I'm "Farmer Fran" and the two are not in the same ball park. Of course, I made the choice to withdraw from my life as a hottie. (Could it have had something to do with the 40 pounds that didn't go away after I had Rachel; mine and Richard's separation;or moving to the redneck ghetto?)Uh, there's a thought.

So here I am, not wanting a change really - I do truly love my life - just wanting to get back in the loop in some small way. I've been posting on Twitter, blogging my little heart out and joining every cyber organization that will theoretically put my blog out there amidst all the A-List blogs out there. But will I'll ever have anything to say that the rest of the world wants to hear?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Great book for beginning counters!

I just ordered this book for Rachel - it's one we've checked out from the library countless times and she never gets tired of it because it has ghosts and bats and all manner of scary things to count. I found it used on Amazon for 45 cents, which even with shipping, is quite a good deal. This book is a Barefoot book - you may have noticed the Barefoot button below - and while it is no longer available on the Barefoot Book website, they have plenty of other fabulous books that are!
Click here to see some other Barefoot favorites. My personal favorite? Well it's a toss-up between Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon and My Daddy is a Pretzel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fun day out!

This post is actually a couple of days late, this day was Rachel's first visit to her preschool and I believe it is going to be a good thing for her - I've been very anxious since she's never been in any type of child care. Her teacher, Miss Karen, is absolutely wonderful and makes out the coolest weekly plans that keep the kids busy every second of the day. She bases her plans on themes and this weeks theme is a circus theme - the next theme is pizza, which most assuredly will be a huge hit with Rachel. They are going to do everything imaginable with a pizza theme, including making pizza's and delivering them to the other teachers. Now how cool is that!

After we left the school, we went to the park and rode the big carousel, which was big fun for all of us so they talked me into a second go round. Rachel rode the lion, Aslan both time, which she remembered from last summer when we went. Alex rode an ostrich named Oscar and I rode - yes you've got it - a goat. I named him Vincent. (His name was actually Gilley.)

I am thinking we will have a trip to the zoo soon if it ever stops raining long enough. The poor goats are completely water-logged. They keep looking for dry ground and there isn't much to be had. I hate to complain, since we've really needed the water, but I think the house is about to wash off of it's little hill! Hopefully the sun will come and dry everything out soon - at least for a little while. Meanwhile, the goats are all taking turns standing in the deck chairs and I'm cleaning house.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Look!

It's a Goat's Life got a face lift yesterday because I was really feeling hemmed in by the layout, so here it is - and I like it! I hope you do too. Vanessa Van Goat herself, stopped in to give her approval. She's very picky, you know. It has been a rainy morning so everyone has huddled in the barn except for Vanessa, who was in the playhouse, and Pixie, who huddled under the playset. Finally, the sun appears to be coming out.

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Time to get busy!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My little golfing astronaut came home today after her big vacation at the beach. Boy did I miss her!!! Check out the action shot - such focus!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sleeping UN Beauty!!!!!!!!

I don't normally post pictures of myself, but this is too funny - maybe I should've saved it for Halloween! Well last night was the big night - the sleep study. Yes, I do have sleep apnea and I will be returning for the study with CPAP. I just hope it's a cure for me like it is for all my friends who have been here before me. I should have gotten the tech to hold up the box that is connected to all the wires that are connected to my head - what a beaut!! I did not sleep well, not surprisingly, and I figured I hadn't even slept enough to snore let alone have any incidences of sleep apnea that would register on their monitor. Everyone I know says that even trying the CPAP in the lab is just incredible - like a new lease on life. Me - me - please pick me!!!!!

On a less scary note (I think?), Alex and I went to see the Harry Potter movie yesterday and - it totally rocked!!! We loved it! I have enjoyed every one of them, although Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban has been my favorite - until now. This one is even better and I was wide awake the whole time (amazingly enough - see above) Sadly, I am only on the fourth book - I sort of got sidetracked on the books - I've been busy reading thrillers and chick lit. I am back on track now and I'm going to read them all.

Rachel and her dad will be home from vacation tomorrow and they have been greatly missed. I cannot wait to see my little pumpkin - she's been gone too long! They've had a great time, if all the pictures they've sent on my phone are anything to go by, and yesterday they went to the Kennedy Space Center. I have always wanted to go there, but I just haven't made it there yet. Hopefully some day. Wonder if the goats would like to see the shuttle take off?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not too much to say..........................

Yes that's right..................I just haven't had much to say, which is sort of a sad thing for me because it usually means that I'm feeling sad, blue, down or something negative. It's been a rough couple of weeks on several different levels, so I'm not even going to get into any of it at the moment except to say that our lives are really going to be changing over the next few weeks.
One thing I want to say, if anyone is reading is that I now have a badge on my blog for PlayPumps International so please click on it to go to their site and check it out. It is the most amazing thing I've seen in a long time. They have an e-card that you can send to your friends to show how PlayPumps work in providing people in impoverished countries with water as well as playground equipment , who are otherwise going without. I hope you'll check it out because not only is it a worthwhile cause, but PlayPumps are an example of people really working together and using the intelligence that God gave them for good instead of evil - the genuine article! Go PlayPumps!!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Namaste !

I have felt a serious lack of peace and well-being in many ways as of late, so I have made it my mission to return to my yoga practice (my very beginner's yoga practice) in order to try to get rid of the bad karma and bring in the good.Yoga brings something to my life that nothing else does, which begs to question why I would ever stop - I won't dignify the question with an excuse. You can feel better by doing a great many things , healthy and unhealthy, but if you want true wellness, Yoga leaves no "stone " untouched.
It has been a while since I got out the mat, but this morning get it out I did ,and I programmed a very short session from Shiva Rhea's Yoga Shakti dvd. Generally, when I'm really rusty, I just start with the Basic program, but today just wanting to ease back into doing anything at all that early in the day, I went to the Yoga Matrix and selected the Surya Meditation, Pranayama, Meditation and Shavasana. What can I say? I was feeling minimalist this morning. And I do buy the advice about blowing your nose prior to beginning the Pranayama, which involves breathing in one of side of the nose and out the other. Even though it was a very short session and completely lacking in the movement of large muscle groups, I feel better, and doing something generally results in something getting done. . I like this DVD because it offers something for every level of practice. You can do a set program or create your own, and I like the fact that the set programs are not impossible for a rube like me. The Basic Flow is good for beginners.
If you would like to check out Yoga Shakti for yourself see below -


You can also check out her website, Yogadventures , which will make you want to take off for parts unknown to get your down-ward facing dog on next to the gloriously sparkling azure water generally seen in parts unknown. I can feel the gorgeous white sand between my toes right now! Hmmm, I wonder if the goats like the beach?

Now - while I have sung the praises of Shiva Rhea and Yoga Shakti, I have to confess that Seane Corn is my favorite Yoga instructor. Plain and simple - she rules. Not only does she an incomparable gift for teaching, but she makes so many contributions to the world, sharing her gift of love and compassion. Her dvd's begin with an introduction in which she describes the benefits of yoga and how a person goes about receiving those benefits and just listening to her is unbelieveably motivating and inspirational. I don't mean to gush , butI cannot say enough about how wonderful she is. I have both of her dvd's, which are available to you to purchase from Amazon below -

After you've done one of Seane's dvd's, you feel like you've exercised and stretched every part of your being. Even a week of yoga is enough to make you feel a significant change in your mental and physical health. My daughter has really gotten into it, and the mood might strike her at any time to drop down into cobra, fish or downward facing dog. She has also become quite accomplished at tree pose. Iwatch her when she's in downward facing dog and feel so proud and so envious all at the same time. It's like kids are born to be the perfect yogis/yoginis. About the same time I wandered into Yoga, I also wandered onto a website called Barefoot Books. I give credit for this to Vegan Family because it was on their website I discovered Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon, which is a Barefoot Book. Eventually, I found the Barefoot Book website, became a stallholder and discoverd Baron Baptiste's fabulous book, My Daddy is a Pretzel.
From this book, Rachel has learned to do several different poses and she loves to read this book over and over and why not - it's well written and the illustration is great!

Of course, I think it would be great if you ordered this book through this blog, but in all fairness, you should check out Barefoot Books because it is such a fun website and if you did like My Daddy is a Pretzel, then you would definitely want to order more books from Barefoot because their books are totally unique and more fun and eduational than your average book!
so what are you waiting for - go look!!!! Oh, and.........................Namaste.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Welcome Amazon!

Yes, I've joined the ranks of those with a "working" blog so to speak. I became an Amazon Associate yesterday, so I will be displaying links to their site for products that I have used, liked, recommend etc. I dont' expect to become rich, but it's a way to build up enough referral dollars to get a free book or something. For example:

I am reading this right now and so far and I am really impressed with the author's knowledge and his ability to share such an exstensive practice on paper. I have to admit - I really had never even heard of permaculture until I started researching and found this book on Amazon, but as it turns out, there's a whole secret gardening world out there. I plan to completely transform my front yard over time, into a garden that is good to look at and yields a hefty vegetable crop. I also hope to be able create a more pleasing envirnment in the backyard as well, which of course, will be a challenge considering there are eight goats living back there. But hey - what's life without a challenge or two? I've also been on the Path to Freedom site quite a lot - Jules Dervais is my hero! This is a man, who back in the 90's got tired of spending money on watering a lawn that did nothing but sit there and turned his entire fifth of an acre into an urban homestead complete with vegetables, flowers, herbs, animals and a successful business. If it relates to homesteading/sustainability, this man and his family have done it and they have done it well. They even have goats!

Monday, July 9, 2007

What would the week be without Monday?

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Sort of a trick question - Tuesday would then assume Monday's role, and it would still be painful to get up and recover from working all weekend. The next couple of weeks are going to be uh, challenging to say the least. I am working and extra, extra day this week and I'm working 4 extra days next week while Rachel is on vacation with her dad. I am going to miss her terribly but I am so happy she's getting to go to the beach - she absolutely loves it. We drove down to Jacksonville a couple of years ago to pick Alex up from a visit with his dad, and we spent the night at the beach. It was only one night that we got to stay, but we had a great time! Thinking about all the fun we had inspired me to go dig out these pictures.

We had so much fun building sand castles and playing in the water. Explaining sea shells to a toddler is You know, I've noticed something about blogging - well my blogging, anyway - you start out talking about something, which leads to something else, so then you throw in a picture for that something else, and then you have pictures jumping right out at you that have nothing to do with what you were originally talking about. At this rate, I'll never be a "blog of note". I am so longing for the day that I log on and there it is - "A Goat's Life" - under Blogs of Note". Oh well, a girl can dream. Oh, speaking of " A Goat's Life" , I am making progress in the new patio for the goats. It is not, what I had envisioned, but I guess it will do. I've still got to attach the floor to the base, but I laid out the floor yesterday evening after I got home from work, and they went nuts! They were galloping all over the place, doing flips and chasing each other. It was hilarious. NOW I see why people want to do the video thing on their websites and blogs. Someday.............

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Sunday, July 8, 2007


I am still trying to do the Flylady missions on my own, but I just couldn’t deal with all the emails. I do still get the FLyLady digest , but there is just a lot of reading to do and I really don't have the time. Initially it was encouraging, but eventually it got to be maddening. What I really must do is make of list of everything I need to get done and work from that list.I am working on indoor and outdoor things, but it seems like it’s taking forever to get anywhere. It's difficult when you live with a 4 year old whirling dervish.Yikes!!!

See more progress on: Do the Flylady daily missions

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Blogger's block........................?

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No, not really......just busy and in the good old redneck vernacular, I've been TARRED! For those speaking and reading only the Queen's English - I've been tired. Thursday morning started off in a rather traumatic way - I got up, performed the morning ablutions , proceeded to get Pixie on the milking stand and get Twister and Trixie situated in the front yard (more on this later) and my neighbor comes running up the street - "Leigh, Leigh you've got to come up here. There's a man up there and he's having a problem -we think he's having a heart attack. (When you're a nurse - everyone thinks you know something, so you get called upon for all manner of things. One just accepts this.) So I ran up the street and sure enough, there was a fairly young looking hispanic gentleman being propped up against a truck, and no he did not Hablo English. His friend barely spoke English, but we did manage to get him to lie him down on the ground and prop him up so that his legs were elevated above the level of his heart. According to 911, it was going to be somewhere in the neighorhood of 30 minutes before the EMS could get there. His pulse was regular and fairly strong and I questioned him with my vast knowledge of Spanish - " Dolor?" and pointed to his chest and his left arm. He nodded "Yes" and I must say that he did quite resemble someone on the throes of a heart attack. When I inquired, the people at whose house he had been working informed me that he had been working indoors, which ruled out any chance of heatstroke or exhaustion, but we kept a cool cloth on his head and I kept my fingers on his pulse to keep track of his heart rate. In the meantime, I yelled at Alex to bring my phone, and then I had to tell him to go back because Rachel was still sleeping in the house and Pixie was already on the milking stand.
So, eventually the EMS did arrive, and when they put him on the monitor, all his vitals signs were stable, however, his EKG did appear a bit abnormal. At this juncture, I must say that my experience with cardiac rhythms is positively archaic, so I couldn't really be sure. Since he was in most capable hands at that time, I returned home, at which time I discovered that Alex set about the task of milking - which was very surprising since he hadn't done an entire milking at this point - and all I had to do was check and make sure she was fairly dry. Cracking good job, Alex!!!!!!! I'm so proud of him!I have discovered that milking is quite relaxing and not a chore at all, so I foresee a time in the future where we'll be fighting over who gets to milk. Maybe we need some more milk goats?
All this drama put me pretty much off schedule, so I still had bills to pay ( moving right in to the chore segment of our programming.), floors to mop, a meal to prepare, etc. Along with being off schedule, I had this lingering feeling of being ill at ease. I felt somewhat traumatized for the rest of the day. The bill paying thing didn't work out too good, I had numerous errands to run, and on the last of the errands, which was Home Depot, Rachel got sick and threw up. Okay, really feeling traumatized now! You know, my kids just don't throw up a whole lot, not even every year. I had many food allergies as a child so I threw up approximately every other day, but my kids do not, so immediately I was on red alert , Defcon 3, you name it - I was really freakin. I won't go into the whole long story, which involved a call to the pediatric triage nurse - suffice it to say that I somewhat overreacted. As of yesterday, she was still feeling a little puny, but is apparently okay. By the end of the day, I was ready for an Alabama Slammer, or whatever kind of Cocktail that Tom Cruise could throw together that would ease some of my mental pain. Had to settle for a good old Natural Light - the beer of champions! (What kind of champion you ask?)

So Friday really wasn't a great deal easier. Got up and took care of the goats, milking , cleaning the back porch, etc. etc. and the we left to run errands - mailing the two boxes-o-books I need to mail, visiting the credit union, and buying the dreaded fast food lunch because I didn't have time to cook. Fast food sucks. It makes it too easy to be a lazy parent. I don't like to think of myself as being lazy, after all, there's only so much one person can do, but I've got to get better organized. End of discussion.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

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This has to be the strangest 4th of July I've ever experienced. The fourth has always been a big family celebration in the past , but sadly this will apparently be the first year that we won't be doing a big family barbeque feast. Oh well, I guess it was bound to happen some time. You don't go through almost 44 years without missing a holiday somewhere. I have decided to use this day as a work day and then this evening we will do something celebratory. The kids want to do fireworks, however this requires no effort on my part, because if last year was anything to go by, there will be fireworks out the wazoo here in the redneck ghetto. Just grab a brew, sit on the front porch and and wait for the "blastage" to begin. It isn't comparable with say, New York City, but what can you do? I'm not really going to get into the fireworks thing myself this year, because after we blasted a neighbor's house when box launcher misfired, it was just more "fun" than I needed. Nope - gonna pass on that one. So, we'll be here at the Van Goat Ranch, working, playing and enjoying the beautiful day that God gave us.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What a motley day.........

This must be the motley crew. I had so much I needed to get done and alas, some of it's still sitting there undone. The day wasn't a total bust, but as I am no architectural genius, the new dwelling/patio/whatever-it-takes-to-keep-them-dry that I was going to build for the goats remains unbuilt. I did make an attempt, but it progress was greatly impeded by the fact that I didn't realize that you really shouldn't try to saw a 2x4 in half lengthwise with a Sawzall. (Tim, the tool man - please forgive my blasphemy if I spelled that wrong.) I decided to do a little more research - what a novel idea. I think I'm going to have to sit down and draw a plan for this. I'll be doing something a little different for the fourth of July

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While I'm at it, I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I LOVE these cute glitter graphics - I just can't hep help myself. Than you, Dollie Crave for yet another obsession!

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Into each life, a lot of rain is falling right now.......

The rain in Spain has left and is all coming down in Tennessee. I am loathe to complain about the desperately needed water, but geez........ The goats are water-logged, my house is about to slide off it's little hill and it looks like someone opened up the Three Gorges Dam in my back yard. Yuck!!!! I am currently wracking my brain (it doesn't take long - there isn't a lot to wrack) to figure out what I'm going to construct so that my poor goats don't have to tread water ever again. Their barn flooded - there wasn't a dry square inch anywhere. My husband got the "eyes of death" cast in his direction when he suggested that I could rig up a way that they could go into the garage, saying of course, that he couldn't live with that kind of thing, but perhaps I could. (bring a goat into your house to wash her feet in your tub during the winter to treat a foot problem and hear about it for the rest of your life!) It sort of sounded f like he was saying " Well, there's a pool and a pond.....pool, pond - pond would probably be good for you." Okay - letting it go now.

Anyway....I'm determined that tomorrow, I'm going to rectify this problem - in between housework, taking care of kids and goats, going to the vet's to get training in FAMACHA, which is learning how to deworm your goats on an as needed basis rather than an every 3 months basis or whatever you're accustomed to. FAMACHA is a good thing for any number of reasons, not the least of which is medicating as needed so that the worms don't become resistant to the dewormers. This is already happening, but perhaps if more people learn, it will slow down further progression of this problem. It's amazing how we done the same thing to our animals that we've done to ourselves - medicate the crap out of everyone so no one will get really sick, while in the meantime, we are actually growing bugs/ worms/ germs , the likes of which the world has never seen. I've really had worms or deworming to be more precise, on my mind here lately because I would like to make a committment to the herbal worming - and it is a committment - but I just want to make sure it's the best thing for the goats. Herbal deworming not only demands a time committment on the caregiver's part, but also a financial committment as well. I believe that in my heart of hearts it would be worth it , but as always, money is tight and it's going to take some juggling. I am getting my information, and hopefully the herbs themselves from Molly's Herbals, as in Molly of Fias Co Farm. I think that she is a super person who is doing a lot to make information available to whoever searches for it, and she puts a tremendous amount of time in this effort, to the extent of putting her business on hold so that she can put more work into the Fias Co site. She and her husband Larry, have a herd of La Manchas, which is wonderfully photographed and detailed on her website, and she has information pertaining to any aspect of goat husbandry, milking and healthcare that you could possibly want. She also has links to make donations to her site if you are so inclined and if you visit her site, I hope you will be inclined , because she is doing a terrific job.on this site which has it all. I should warn you though, if you read her stories about her goats, just go on and have a box of tissues right there with you because the stories I've read are so moving, that I just couldn't help crying. I can't even think of the name Goldie, with out my eyes getting watery.

Molly - thanks for all that you do.