Friday, March 11, 2011

A Productive Day with Surprises

With the weather forecast to be in the upper 60's today ... I had planned a lot of extra work to get done around the farm ..... and, scheduled help to accomplish the work!  I've come to the conclusion that there just aren't enough hours in the day nor energy in my body to get all the work done that needs to be accomplished around here. 

I asked my son to come help me with cutting some trees that were growing around the lagoon of the dairy and some other odd jobs that were always on my "list" but just never seemed to get done.  Thank you J!

J ready to go cut some trees and pull them around with the yard tractor

Another task that has been terribly neglected is the trimming of my goat's hooves.  I have 57 adult goats and keeping them all trimmed has become difficult to get done.  So, what did I do?  I asked my wonderful friend Tonia from The Simple Life if she'd trim goat hooves for me.  We worked out a deal and she will be taking very good care of their hooves.  I am so happy and relieved about this.  She came today to trim hooves.  And, her daughters, Candice, Kara, and Kyla, worked on various cleaning jobs.  The milk parlor and feed room never looked better!  And, all of the cheese presses and hoops in the processing room have been washed.  I am so thankful for their help.

I received a wonderful phone call this morning from a dear blogging friend.  Terri from OurCrazyFarm was coming out to the farm for a visit.  Terri and her family are from Wisconsin.   They had traveled to Missouri taking care of details concerning the recent loss of their son.  I'm sure she'll be posting details of their trip and the events on her blog in the coming days.

I had just finished milking the first group of does when Terri, Rob, and their children arrived.  It was such a pleasure and blessing to meet Terri in person and hug her tight.  Even through the sorrow and suffering they've endured this past 3 weeks after the accidental death of their son, Trent, they have kept the Joy of the Lord in their hearts and lives.  They are a living example of trusting God in His perfect plan for their lives.  I am so blessed and honored that they took the time as they were traveling home to spend some time here on the farm with me.

Soon after they arrived, we took a walk through the barn meeting the goats and then went on to the kid nursery in my basement to see the baby goats. I had the feeling this morning that I should offer to send my last little spotted Nubian buck home with them.  Then I kind of felt silly since they had an 11 hour trip ahead of them to get back home.  So, I decided that if they really liked him when they saw him and mentioned that they needed a buck .... that's when I would offer him to take home with them.  Well ... all those things happened!   Terri thought he was beautiful and Rob was agreeable to take him on the trip home.  So Lilah's little boy went home with Terri and her family!  He's the one in front in the photo below.

Terri's new buckling

After visiting the baby goats, we went back to the milk parlor to milk the rest of the does.  While we were milking, Tonia and her daughters arrived.  She was very surprised to see Terri and her family standing there in my milk parlor helping to milk the goats.

It was a wonderful surprise ... and a great blessing to meet with good blogging friends.  I'm sure not many blogging friends ever get to meet each other, but when you do, it's like you've known each other forever.  Sharing the details and stories of our lives through blogging develops closer friendships than I had ever imagined.

Tonia, Terri, and me (Brenda)

We enjoyed our visit very much!

Terri's daughter, Grace, helped get the goats back into their pen after we finished the milking.

Grace helping

Terri's kids helping make sure all the goats were back where they belonged

It was also an incredible honor to meet and visit with Terri's husband, Rob. He is a licensed Cheesemaker in Wisconsin.  Not only is he a Cheesemaker, but his Mild Cheddar just won first place in the 2011 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest!  You can see his award listed here.  He also won several other awards for his cheeses at the contest.  I am humbled and honored to visit with him and send some of my cheeses home with them.

Thank you, Terri, Rob and all the kids for your visit!

The last surprise of the day was this beautiful buckling born just as I was getting ready to milk tonight.

Ivy's little boy

Ivy is one of my Yearling first fresheners.  She is one of Maggie's twin daughters from last spring.  She delivered this little buckling without assistance.  He had just been born when I came into the main barn to bring the first group of does to the milking parlor for tonight's milking.  He is fat, strong, and healthy.

Ivy and her little boy

It looks like Ivy is going to be a really good momma!

It was a great day!