Thursday, May 28, 2009

Be Afraid - No Sudden Moves

The sign may read "Beward of Dog" but under my antique goat cart is my ATTACK HEN

Now I know you might be giggling and thinking I have gone around the bend (may be true) but this little hen guards this farm and takes her job very seriously.. This sweet hen works the front bed with hours of scratching and pecking but if anyone walks towards the shop door she comes a running. Not great for attracting customers but she has desided Llama Boy might not be enough security. She also will follow you right into the shop and stand by me while someone is in the shop. The other day I did not realize she had walked in and a couple of hours later as I was making dinner I heard this strange sound upstairs in my office. There was my hen pecking at my aloe vera plants. Luckly, no pooping in the house - that is a NO NO...

When will the shop doors Open?

Llama Boy was watching me very closely as I added new products to the farm shop. He is always interested in what goes on behind those glass doors and often gives customers a fright when they turn around and he has his nose press to the glass. He is my guardian and that means even in the shop. When he is roaming the grounds and not in a pasture with his four legged charges, he always checks in thru the glass. If I have the door open to the shop he will walk himself in and look around, smell the new things and give me a look like "All is O.K., carry on Mom". I never have a moment of fear because I know I have four legged Angels watching over me.

It is GREAT to be KING

Peter is showing the other males that he is KING - well at least of this pen for today....

Once a week I rearrange the play area for the boys because like the saying goes "Ideal Horns are the way to get in trouble" At least that is the saying around here. Peter can hardly get his body up on the drum but he made it work and then made his snorting sound announcing he is KING. The activity is being played out in two other pastures (the yearling pasture and now the weanling boy pasture) Boys no matter what their age are all BOYS...

You know what is really wonderful?? I AM QUEEN OF ALL at this farm.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Have you ever had a strange feeling

Colorado can make your skin be so dry and itchy but this is a whole other issue. As I was trying to sit down and answer emails and do my normal computer duties I felt like my skin was just crawling... I never take my shower until after morning outside chores but today I was going to work outside all day so I was going to wait till the end of day. As I sat trying to type the creepy skin and itchy feelings grew and grew until I started to wiggle. I pushed the feelings aside and went back to my typing. Finally, I could not take it and figured a shower was more important. As I took off my shirt LOOK WHAT I FOUND!

This sweet little guy was busy crawling up my back... Now before you all start screaming - he is just a tickly little guy with no sharp teeth or venom - so no need to scream and step on him. I put him next to my little retro snail and it looks like he has a new buddy. After watching him for the longest time (Yes, I know I am not getting my work done) I took him out to the front forest far from the chickens and placed him on some scrub oak branches. I wished him good luck and warned him of the hawks, owls and other winged residence here.

O.K. back to work and I sure hope there will not be anymore visitors under my shirt for today...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The final product - Yummy Yummy Yum

After cooling the syrup down some, I poured it into some jars and waited for them to cool completely before closing them up. I admit it, there I was at 11:30 pm and I just had to take out a piece of French Toast (I make in big patches and freeze)out of the freezer and placed it in the toaster. One that slice popped up I poured some of this liquid heaven all over the hot toast. PURE HEAVEN!

Now I have a good supply of this one of a kind syrup - all from those WEEDS..
I hope you might give this a try or at least look at those wonderful yellow flowers in a different light. Maybe I will give a small jar to the neighbor to sweeten his view of spraying the crap out of everything..... Enjoy

Ding went the Bell and We are Done

I am not sure if you can tell but the liquid has been reduced some and the color is richer and deeper - it will thicken up as it cools. Don't be tempted to stick that finger in to taste - you will really, really burn yourself.

I now walk away and let is cool for about a half hour.

We're almost there

Now I have placed the Dandelion liquid back into the same pot added juice of two fresh lemons (no seeds) and 8 cups of pure raw sugar. I know that is a lot of sugar but we are making syrup...
You can use white sugar which will give you a lighter color but I found the raw sugar also adds to a deep rich flavor of the syrup.

You will need to pull up a stool because you are going to bring this mixture up to a simmer and stir for 2 hours Yes, it is going to take two hours but well worth every minute. Besides, you can not purchase this in any store so it is worth the time....

Two Days Later

Now it is Sunday and the heads have done their work. You will take the pot from the frig and strain the heads from the juice. Collecting every drop (I let them sit for about 10 minutes and press a bit) The juice is the color of - well, we will not go there or you will not try this.

Now we're Cooking

So after you have washed your dandelion heads and went thru them carefully so their is no stems, bugs, grass or other things that would not add to the flavor you place them your pot. I am making a double batch so I have 500 Dandelion Heads which I add 8 cups of water. Place that on the stove and bring to a boil. Once you have a good boil reduce your heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Then let cool at room temp with the lid still on and then place the pot with lid still on in the frig overnight. I have found I like leaving it in the frig for 48 hours to give it a real favor.

Guess What I have been making ?

It all started bright and early Friday Morning. Mishka (My little goat girl) and I went out after the dew had burned off and started picking DANDELIONS - Yes, those wonderful gifts that we are taught to kill with every horrible chemical we can find. Here at the Funny Farm it is a favorite of both two and four leggeds.. Since there is not a chemical every, every used here you can eat them without any worry. Mishka and I took a nice basket with cotton towel in the bottom and went to picking. Mishka I think thought that every flower was her's - she tried to take them out of the basket thinking I was just collecting for her. Then the hens came a running thinking "Oh Boy, Mom is picking us some goodies". I finally had my 500 heads of perfect gold and off to the kitchen I went. Mishka and the hens continued plucking and eating - you can never run out of Danelions on this farm - I know it drives my neighbor NUTS because he spends his every waking moment trying to kill things that could feed him, his family and farm animals but he is a slave to Monseto..

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sourcream Blueberry Scones Anyone ?

This is what Grace does at 12:30 in the evening when her mind is still buzzing....

Doesn't it look YUMMY - it is! This wonderful Sourcream with Blueberry Scones will greet me after a couple of hours sleep - tempting me into the kitchen to start my morning. I don't often treat myslef to scones but I figured nothing puts this tired body to bed like the smell of something baked. I wished I could put the smell on this site - you would be WIDE AWAKE TOO...

Morning from the Funny Farm

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Morning Meditation

While most folks start their day with a rat race that sucks the life right out of them - I step out onto my back porch to hear the birds sing, the goats give me a shout out "Good Morning Mom", the chickens present me with their still warm eggs and the gentle meditation pose of my Llama Girls. I am so thankful that for this day I will experience the simple joy of the life I have CREATED BY CHOICES...

After watching the "O" show (don't watch her too much because it is a waste) but I wanted to see this show about folks giving up their modern life!! Kids having a fit after only two hours of not having their TV and cell phone, the family eating take- out at each meal and then taking that horrible food to their own rooms to eat without a simple conversation. The worst, was the mother was texting the daughter in the other room to get the Mom water. I must admit I reacted by yelling at the TV. THIS IS NUTS, Can't they see how nuts this is? Can folks truely belive this is what life is about?? How could you treat those who you say you love with such detachment? Then I remembered the wonderful life I have CREATED by CHOICE - I felt such sorrow for all those folks who can not see that while they are pluged into a life that gives them nothing, they are missing those small things that really make a life worth living.... I did not give into the pressures of the world for my boys. No cell phones, no cable, no X Box and we ate every meal together that was made by us with love. Table conversations shared joys, fears and laughs. I am not saying it is so easy but when you know what is important, how quickly life can and does change you do not waste time on meaningless things.

So that evening as the sunset was glowing in my forest and the Goat shouted out "Good Night Mom", the hens went quitely to their roost to dream their dreams and the Llamas went back to their mediation pose - I once again thanked the universe for the Life I Have CREATED by CHOICE and am gratefull that tomorrow will be full of joy and peaceful blessings..

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Exotic Art Yarn Bundles are up on Etsy!!!!

I have been trying to get some of my famous Exotic Art Yarn Bundles up on my Etsy site for a long time - THEIR UP and READY TO GO HOME WITH YOU.....

I have had such great success with these at my retail stores that I really wanted to let those who do not live in Colorado to have a chance to spread their creative wings with these bundles. You will find all the best yarns in each offering - Nothing but the best for my talented ladies..

I have plenty to go around - I just listed one of each colorway but trust me I have more at the farm shop. So don't be shy - you know you deserve some new play things.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Washing Lockets - Yum just love that smell

Today the winds (45 miles per hour) has trapped me inside the house. What a great reason to get out the big pots and start washing Angora Lockets. Over the years I have created a processing system which will get the best results out of those lovely lockets but it is a large and smelly production. This is also not the time for weak stomachs. There is nothing like the smell of fiber as it is being boiled on the stove and dried thru out the house. Normally this is also the day that I just juice my meals. I have tried to cook a meal while the washing pots are going but everything ends up tasting like smelly fiber. Heck, it is my idea of a cleansing fast !

What you are seeing is a rack of "Dante's" Mohair lockets. He is a offspring of my "Ret" who is now the breeding male at another organic farm down in Pueblo Colorado. "Dante" has a tri color fleece - very soft grey, soft cinnamon and sable brown. I just love the way this looks. On one locket you get this color combination that when spun you could never in a million years recreate in dyepots... Mother Nature sure is one talented lady. When the lockets are dry they will be up for sale on my Etsy site. If you wish to get your hands on this marvel of nature let me know soon because I guarantee it will not last long. Last year a lady purchased the whole batch before it was even dry.

Off to the juicer because my tummy is growling....

Monday, May 4, 2009


Peter was trying to join in the game playing that Jack and Jill had started but everytime he got close they moved away and started the game again. He tried about six times and finally gave up. He walked off but not with his normal spring in his step but rather like "I'll show them, I don't need to play in their silly games".
I know his little feelings where hurt but he is sure to find something fun to do very soon. Wait a bird on the ground - off he went, way too fast for the camera to catch.

Ring Around the Roses

Jack and Jill art taking advantage of the pasture without the big boys - they have been circling and circling and circling - soon if not to dizzy they will but heads. After watching them go round and around they sat down and waited I think for the little brains to unscramble. Monica was first out this morning to go run around but now she is fast asleep. She was so brave this morning walked out the barn with no one with her not even the dog - I must admit I was scared for her but I was watching from a distance to make sure nothing would go wrong. No I am not a helicopter Mom just know that the fox is out and about at that time of the morning and Monica is just the right size to grab.

Go out and play some Ring Around the Roses, Jack or Jump Rope - remember those good old days, live them again because we are never too old!

I need toothpicks to hold my eye open

No one slept much last night because of the boys crying in the barn. I know some say that you should just move them to the other side of the farm so they can not see their Mothers. Been there, tried that and all it did was make the problem worse. Many years ago we would place the kids being weaned on the other side of the farm and the boys would spend all their energy tearing fences, getting caught under gates and hurting their bodies in the process. When we teach our two legged kids that they can live without us we do it in steps. We don't just drop our kids at school or daycare and never come back - we show them that over time they can make new connections, interests and take care of themselves. I think my way has provided Billies that are not distructive, hurtfull and genetlemen when it comes to breeding time. So a strong cup of coffee, toothpicks and maybe a nap.

This morning the boys came up to me wanting hugs, snugs and back with their Mother's. Tough love and tons of snugs will see them thru. The moment I got back to the house the crying started up again - remember it is a process...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Busy Day in the Goat Barn

This morning when I went out to do morning feeding I noticed we must have had a hormone spike during the night. It seems as every little young man was in the mood for more then food. Love was in the air and that is just plain WRONG

I did not have this on the schedule of things to do today but Mother Nature was scrapping my list and giving me new plans. So I set about dividing up the barn - Girls and Boys. Tearing down the kidding pens and constructing a alley way to the new pasture for the boys and reconstructing a nursery on the girls side. Now while all this is going on the goats are not stupid - they knew something was up but could not quite put their hooves on it until the divider panel went up. Right then and their the Mother's remembered this from year gone by and they started up with loud vocals. I jumped into action grabbing a boy by the horns and walking them into their new pasture - wait did I say WALKING, more like dragging. You know the kind when a kid has a tanturm, drops to the floor and becomes a million pounds - Yes, that kind of walking. One by one I walked them into the nice new pasture with lush grass and dandelions, their fav's. You would have thought I was walking them to their deaths. Who says there are only Mom's Boys in the human world. I found boys have a harder time weaning from their Mom's then any of the girls. With five boys screaming and their mothers calling back, it was anything but a quite Sunday Morning at the Funny Farm.. Now that the sun is setting they have started up their crying because no nursing for them before bedtime and the girls that are with their mothers and are rubbing it in the faces of those sweet little boys - doesn't just break your heart??? Llama boy is guarding them tonight and he is already sick and tired of hearing their cries - he keeps looking at me like "Make them STOP". Hope all has a quite night because the Funny Farm will be anything but quite. Sweet Dreams

Last but NEVER Least

MONICA is her name... The winner of her nameing contest is also MonicaT - Congrat's and her prize is going out Monday morning.

For those who have been following this blog you might recall that Monica is the baby of Masquerade (Mishka's Mother too) who has not taken care of her own babies for the past four years. It was such a thrill to my heart when Masquerade determined that she this time would participate. I will not kid you we both worked at being Mom - I gave bottles while she worked at getting milk in. Then she stood still as I cut some of her massive fiber away from her milk bags so the tiny girl could find them. Last we battled rattling in her lungs. I admit it, many times I stayed in the barn during our bitter snow storms that seemed to come one right after another, to make sure this little girl would thrive. Now, this incredible gal is holding her own with all the little goats and is even throwing a big attitude when things do not go her way. The rattle is almost gone and she is eatting grass and dandelions - also a favorite of her sister Mishka. Monica is a pure Angora and will I hope have the same wonderful long lockets that Mishka carries. We are all thrilled with the mothering skills of Masquerade and the strong will of Monica.

On a side note - Mishka is heartbroken that Masquerade took care of Monica and not her. Mishka would sit next to the pen they where in trying to get her mother to notice her too, but all Masquerade would do is bit her ear and push her away. So poor Mishka became even more of a clinging mess. I could not move without her under foot. Her need for me to hug and snug her grew a million percent but that is what us two legged mothers are for. Poor Mishka...

The last set of twins are finally named

First we have "Peter Peter" you know the Pumpkin Eater. He is the wonderful black accented little boy. The winner for his name is ErikaH...Yeah! Erika is getting a spinning lesson per her request..

Second is "Boy Blue or Bleu" and he sure has some blue eyes. The winner for his name is NormaJ who is loving her book on natural dyes. Putting her garden to use in a whole new way.

This set of twins can only be described as pure energy. When I let them out of their pen they are at full tilt - running, jumping, butting heads and just about anything else they can think of. I laugh myself silly because after running around "Peter" pants and sticks out his tongue. The first couple of times he did this I was concerned so I checked his heart rate and he was fine - just his silly way I guess of showing he is excited. Peter was the one I had to feed with a bottle for a week to get him started but now their is nothing that he will not eat. Bleu is very outgoing with the other goats and is trying to work up the nerve to play with me but he still is not sure.. He also is a foot stomper - their way to show they are not afraid - funny because I know he is. These two will be the one's to keep an eye on if you can!

You know who went up the hill???

The winner is BeckyZ who was first to enter the names of "Jack and Jill" and yes they have been up and and down the hill many times... Congrat's and I am so glad you liked your prize.

As you can see they seem so tiny compaired to the other goat babies - but the difference in age makes quite the difference in growth. "Jill" is the one who is looking directly into the camera. She has such fine delicate features, pure white in coat and such a mellow personality until she gets going and then WATCH OUT she runs like the wind. "Jack" is the one who loves to look at the heat lamp everytime I try to take a picture (which really screws with the camera). He has a silver streak down his back and a real rebel streak too! As you can tell by the close up he has silver gracing his face and ears too. The two of them stay close together but when their Mom Gretal is not looking they even come up to me for a stroke down their back. As soon as Gretal sees that they are getting close to me she calls them back to her and gives me a nasty look. Now that the weather is starting to be kinder, the two of them will have many more runs up and down those hills..

The next set of twins are Rebecca's

Rebecca is such a GREAT Mother and again providing twins - Lucas and Lilly

"Lucas" is standing tall in the feed bunker telling the herd that he gets fed first - to bad it is not true. The moment the food comes out he stand behind his mother because all the other goats crowd around. He hates fighting over anything but at least in this picture he is looking like a real billy boy. Next picture with the single goat with a baby standing behind her is "Lilly" - just like her name, she is a delicate flower. Lilly is always protecting the newest kids, helping her brother out by giving him first bids on the food and is always willing to sit with me to receive gentle strokes and tons of hugs. She especially loves having her ears rubbed and nose kissed.

The other picture shows them together and when I asked "Who is my pretty babies ?" you can see "Lucas" answered with his lip curled up and a grunt, "I am MOMMY, I am" They are both Cashmere although Lucas has wave to his fiber. Truly Gentle Souls are these two...

Computer Hiccups Again - Sorry

For those who have been trying to send comments and still having issues I think we might have a fix thanks to my dear lond distant friend Monica


By the Way Monica is the winner of naming Masquerades female baby - I am getting to their pictures next.

Again, SORRY for all the Comment issues

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Einstein the Master Mind

I spent about a half an hour trying to get him in the camera range and this was the best I could do - He moves to quickly and seems to be two steps ahead of me. His mother "Eva" is continually singing his praises and I must say I agree with her - he is remarkable. Eva is a Cashgora with a very soft handle to her five inch long fleece but his father "Ret" has given him the lock structure and shine of an Angora. Einstein and Kazoo have almost identical fleeces and oddly enough they are best of friends. You will find those two glued at the hip getting into all kinds of fun. Einstein however, loves to have his back hips rubbed and horns scratched. He also has picked up his mothers gift of gab - he loves to talk with me while I work in the barn or when I walk the pastures with them. The nice part unlike his mother - when I tell him to be quite he shuts up - now if only I could get Eva to learn that !

Kazoo is Next

This young man is a Silly Billy - he loves when I call him "Kazoo Kazoo"... He is the fun guy in the group. Kazoo loves to run, jump and kick up his hooves but most of all he LOVES getting his back rubbed. He turns to mush as you can see him laying on the barn floor after receving one of my famous back rubs.
His mother Kate is a Cashgora with a fiber length of six inches and his father is a Pure Angora with a fiber length of nine inches. So as you can see this pure white fleece is already about 3 inches with a sheen that is blinding. He is also going to have the density of this father "Ret" which is fantastic. I also must share he is like his father in another way - he is tickleish under his under arms. It is so funny to watch an animal who is tickleish - they can't giggle but they curl up their upper lip and you can see their skin crawl - then they jump into the air - then Kazoo runs back to me waiting for me to do it again - Silly Billy!!

Second Set of Twins - Marvin and Murtle

As you can see brother and sister look very different but they are so much alike in spirit. Both of them are gentle, kind and a little bit shy although they both love attention and affection. Marvin is the seal grey with black under tones while Murtle is a soft cream with a slight apricot hase to her coat. As you can see their mother Maggie is pure black but blows a fleece of silver. They are Cashmere so they will have a customary buttery coat that will require nothing more then a brush to harvest. I am also so excited to say that Murtle's eye issue are completely gone - amazing considering at one point we thought she might be totally blind. Those herbal remedies work - I have been saying that for so many years but a guess you just have to have this type of miracle to understand.

The First Set of Twins - My How They Have Grown

Seamus and Sarita are finally getting away from Mom Esmeralda and becoming friendly. Most folks can not tell them apart but to me it is very easy - Sarita is sitting on the metal drum and Seamus is standing alone in the barn. It is very rare to find the two of them separate but now Seamus is finding those rubs, hugs and snugs that Monk gets are really quite nice. Sarita will only come up to me if Seamus comes with her. They both are also Cashgora's and have the softest, pure white fleeces. They both have had a couple of times spent time in the feed bunkers but what is amazing about this type of fleece is all it takes to get the vegetable matter out is to run you hand up and down the fleece and it is back to perfection. The brown and black goat standing with them is their mother "Esmeralda" and the dog watching over is "Chief" one of the three great pry's who protect us all. Chief just loves his goaties.... He had a soft spot in his heart for goat babies and has been guarding that barn since he came here - you will find him licking their ears, cleaning their eyes and standing guard all night to make sure those little one's are safe.