Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Wow! Is November ever being a miserable month here in Iowa! Unfortunately, along with it, I have some sick girls. Our weather is in the 50s one day, the 20s the next, the 40s the next, the teens the next and it's causing respiratory problems, unfortunately. We are anxiously awaiting a much needed, long awaited getaway to Hawaii coming up this Friday and trying very hard to get everyone healthy before we leave. Don't worry, we have VERY RELIABLE help while we're gone. The girls are dry, so all that will need done is feeding, watering, cleaning and loving! Gary will be doing the morning shift, while Lana will do the evening shift. They're the greatest!

The little girls have now nicely settled into the big barn with the older girls. They're all doing great and growing like weeds. The only problem for us is they think they have to be under foot and "help" us when we clean. They're all little rascals!

Reminder to all that we have our November open house this coming Sunday the 23rd from noon to 5:00. As usual, it will be in conjunction with Picket Fence Creamery and Prairieland Herbs. Come on out and enjoy a crisp country day!

Will talk to you when we get back the first part of December!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008

Wow! What a cold, blustery October day here in Iowa. We had rain this morning, now it's just miserably damp and WINDY!!! The girls, bucks and babies are all hunkered down inside the barns. I was just out to check everybody and they're all snug as bugs!

We had an open house along with Picket Fence Creamery and Prairieland Herbs last Sunday. The turnout was great! You never know what you're going to get weather-wise in October, but except for it being a bit windy, it was perfect. We had several guests that sat and enjoyed the entertainment, samples and fun in the yard, as well as visits to the barn and store. We even received pictures from a few families that took picture of the events of the day and the girls/babies. I can't tell you how much we appreciate those pictures. Unless we have extra bodies to help us during the day, we don't get any! So, thank you to everyone for the pictures that were shared.

If you've seen the front page or were out here for the open house, you already know we lost our precious Toby. He was 9 years old and old age finally caught up with him. He just stopped eating one day and there was nothing we could entice him with to get him to change his mind. He's with Molly now, but we sure miss him!

We have 17 (I think) girls bred now. We're still waiting on a yearling, Lydia, to come in to heat and a few others. We began the drying up process Monday. They'll be milked once a day for a week, then once every other day, etc. So far they don't seem to mind too much. Several were ready to dry up anyway.

Keep warm! Will write again soon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rough Day

Yesterday was a day I could've done quite well without. I had our vet, Doc Dan, come out to take a look at a few of our goats and two of the dogs. First up was Alisha, our little doeling with Spinabifada. She was having some problems that were determined couldn't be helped with love nor medicine, so we made the tough decision to have her euthanized. I held her and kissed her while he performed the euthanization. It's so hard to see a little gal so sweet and lively have to be put to sleep.

We had a buck that we purchased several years ago that the people did a very poor job of disbudding. Doc Dan had to sedate him, then he used a flexible wire type saw to cut about 2 inches off the horn so it wouldn't continue to grow into his head. Then I had to check on him every 1/2 hour or so to make sure he didn't bloat from inactivity. We had him lying upward rather than flat down, so that helped. Poor guy was out for HOURS!!!!!! And he snores!!! He's back to his normal buckly self today.

Then we checked on another buck that had developed VERY poor feet/legs. We weren't using him any longer for breeding and he spends the majority of his time lying down or on his knees. It was decided for his sake, we should euthanize him as well so he didn't run the risk of getting pneumonia with the colder weather coming. These are the days when I'd just like to stay in bed with the sheets over my head.

Our oldest gal, Sadie - our first one born on the farm has lumps in her throat. We're pretty sure she has cancer, but she's still eating and getting around just fine, so thankfully, we didn't have to do anything with her. She's 12 this year and a real sweetie, so we're hoping she's able to handle this for a long time to come yet.

Honeybump, one of the 2 year old Great Pyrs has been gimping around for awhile on her back leg and whimpering occasionally, so we checked her out as well. He thinks she has hip displaysia, so she's now on a medicine to help to slow down or stop her problem. Also has pain meds if necessary. Toby was checked out as well as he's 9 and also gimping around. Doc Dan thinks his is arthritis, so he's on the same meds.

On the positive side, we're about 1/2 way through breeding. We bred Cera last night and tried Jenny this morning, but she's not quite ready. So hopefully we'll have just February and March kids.

That's all for now. Will write more soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you one and all for visiting us on our 8th anniversary celebration! I can't begin to tell you how pleased we were to see so many people come out to celebrate with us. What a blast we had! The dancers did a wonderful job of entertaining the crowd, Milton sold out of his steak sandwiches long before the day was over, and he brought ALOT along! My son, Chris, didn't have the right recipe for the fried cheddar curds, but we promise he will before we try it again. I really think it was the deep fat fryer (at least that's what he's telling me) that was the problem. We had only practiced it on the stove before.

The wine vendors were having contests! Every time Ron sold one of his Jalapeno-Raisin bottles, he rang a bell. Well, that just got Chris and Deb into it all the more. Can't begin to tell you how many bottles of wine we sold thanks to those three! And don't forget the microbrew beer! Mike handed out cups and cups of that. We had many, many people bring their lounge chairs and sample wine and beer, and watch the dancers on that beautiful September day!

Pat sampled her creamed honey and thanks to her samples, we saw a lot of it leave the store! It's so yummy - I think people were stocking up for winter too!

As for me, I was in the store - VERY BUSY - THANK YOU!!! My aunt, Pam and her friend, Pauline, were my helpers for the day and they were kept busy nonstop! I think we all slept really great that night! We had samples, samples and more samples of all the delicious foods we have in Miss Tillie's. If you weren't able to make it to this one, please mark October 19 on your calendar to attend the next. We'll have the same great samples available.

Gary, Wendy and Lana were kept very busy in the barn answering questions from all the wonderful people that went to visit our girls. The babies were exhausted by the end of the day from being greeted and loved up so much. They didn't mind one bit!!! The more attention, the better. Of course, we had to pay for it the next day when they screamed at us every time they saw us and wanted us to come back. Ha!

So, now it's time to get back to normal - at least until October 19! We're lining up more hay for the girls and guys for the winter. Breeding started about 2 weeks ago. We already have, I believe, 9 bred. I think it will be a busy February!!

Well, must go help Connie in the kitchen some more. Will write again soon. Kathy

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Picket Fence Info

I was able to get Picket Fence's information for their open house. They're celebrating their anniversary too!!! All three farms sound like a lot of fun. Come on out and take the tour of all three! Hope to see you Sunday!

Following is Picket Fence's ad!

5th Anniversary 3-Farm Tour &
Sample Sunday
Sept. 21 Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission is FREE!
(Held in conjunction with our great neighbors to the north, Prairieland Herbs and Northern Prairie Chevre, also celebrating anniversaries of 10 years and 8 years, respectively.)

That's right, Picket Fence Creamery is 5-years-old! To celebrate, we have quite an event planned this weekend. We'll have guest vendors galore, a $5 lunch, pony rides, a hay maze, and lots of local food samples and wines to try! In addition, everyone will receive a commemorative gift with their purchase!!! By the way, we've had the dairy farm 23 years.

LOCAL FOOD SAMPLES SATURDAY AND SUNDAY! That's right, it you can't make it Sunday, drop by Saturday for some great food samples, and wines by Prairie Moon Winery of Ames.

*Local food samples: caramel apple ice cream, cheese balls, elk sticks, Two Sisters breads, muffins, and salads, caramel apple pecan butter, fresh cheese curds, Iowa wines, and of course..."the best chocolate milk this side of the Milky Way!"

*5th Anniversary $5 lunch under the big top: Freshly grilled brat on a bun, fixin's, chips, milk or water, and ice cream - all for only $5! (Kids' hot dog meal, $3.)

*For the kids: Say hi to Lil' Bob and Ginny, take a pony ride in the pasture (free will offering), wind your way through the hay maze, and pick up some free pencils and posters! FREE KITTENS TOO!

*Guest vendors: Penoach Winery, Russ 'n' Franks BBQ, Watkins (six onion soup, Mexican dip, and organic coffee), Allison Moss with her snuggle blankets, Pegi Bevins with her wool scarves, and Rose Behrens with a flax demo.

*Music provided by Julie and Robert of HB Productions, Altoona.

Fresh cheese curds, $3 per bag; 90% lean ground beef, $3.49/lb. with 10 lb. purchase; any large Pasquale's pizza, $4.99; local Macintosh apples, $5 for a 5 lb. bag; 1.5 lb. ham loaf, $5.99; fresh apple crisp and quart ice cream, $10; and more in-store bargains!

Just arrived:
*Cafe Diem coffees, Ames, introductory price of $2.99 per bag; South Union Bakery breads from The Gateway Market in Des Moines; Beaver Creek Farm's homemade cherry preserves; beef jerky from Boyd's Sausage Co., Washington, Iowa; Santa Maria Wines, Carroll, Iowa; Tabor Home Wines, Baldwin, Iowa; and Elvis muffin and cappuccino muffin mixes from Knoxville, Iowa.

Browse our store full of local foods from 90 Iowa families...and counting! We have the finest selection of local meats in the area: beef, pork, chicken, eggs, lamb, elk, buffalo and goat...all on grass and no artificial hormones!

Check out our selection of gluten-free mixes, country gravey mixes, and our new "shoofly pie" mix!

WOW! Local, organic pears, grown 3 miles from this farm - only $1.29 for a 3 lb. bag! Included are instructions on how to ripen the pears, and a great pear crisp recipe!

Deal's Orchard cider: 1/2 gallon, $2.99; gallon, $5.59.

FREE commemorative gift and recipe booklet with your purchase!

Chemical-free apples, onions, tomatoes, garlic, pears, peaches, zucchini, and more - all LOCAL!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

8th Anniversary Celebration

Ok, don't faint. I'm going to TRY to make a better attempt at doing a blog at least weekly. Key word here is TRY. There is something going on this Sunday that I definitely wanted to share. I hope I'm not too late! We are celebrating our 8th Anniversary as a company and Prairieland Herbs, our neighbor is celebrating 10 years!! Here's a little of what's going on this Sunday, September 21 from noon to 5!!!:

· Dance Arabesque from Des Moines and Benu Dance Troupe from Lincoln, NE will perform and have ethnic clothing and jewelry for sale.
· The Atlantean from Des Moines will have a variety of ethnic merchandise.
· Snus Hill Winery from Madrid, Tassel Ridge Winery from Leighton and La Vida Loca Winery from Indianola will sample their award winning wines
· Olde Main Brewery from Ames will be giving out samples of their beer!
· Relax with Shannon, Massage Therapist, who is offering chair massages - $10/10 min.
· Milton from Sheeder Farms will be grilling steak sandwiches for just $6!!
· Mary Boyvey, Hoopnotica Certified instructor will be offering free classes on the hour, and have hoops available for all ages to try and/or purchase
· NEW – Hand and Foot Scrub and Lotion from Canus
· NEW – Dog Shampoo Bars from Canus – excellent for dry coats & fleas!!
· NEW – Sun Creek Jewelry – beautiful and affordable! New shipment just in!
· Stock up on Sheeder Farms meats and eggs.
· Elk sticks, burger, summer sausage and steaks from Skeeter Creek Elk
· Pat from Randol Honey will be sampling her delicious creamed honeys. SALE!! Goat milk and honey soaps just 2/$6!!
· Kids – enjoy the swings and sand box in the front yard.
· Not many babies left, but they’re looking for loving and hugs! The girls that make this whole business possible also LOVE attention! (Don’t forget the best guard dogs in the whole state too!!!)
· Come on in to Miss Tillie’s for samples of our cheese and MUCH MORE!

At Prairieland Herbs:

  • 10% off ALL purchases!
  • Guest vendors include: Funkie Organics - funky hemp and stone jewelry
  • Kristi Poole - handmade paper beads
  • Nikki's Designs - handmake sterling silver jewelry
  • Sally Kilkenny - handmade jams & jellies
  • Mary DouBrava - Reiki sessions

Jill Beebout will be having free, 15 minute storytelling at the top of every hour, beginning at 1 pm! Fun for the entire family.

Herbal Cooking Contest - Bring your best dish and join them for a cooking contest and potluck. Judging begins at 4pm. Three categories: Herbal Breads, Herbal Desserts, Herbal Dish or Beverage. Prizes given in each category!! 1st place - $25 Prairieland Herbs Gift Certificate; 2nd place - $15 Prairieland Herbs Gift Certificate; 3rd place - $10 Prairieland Herbs Gift Certificate.

Stay afterwards to share and sample the herbal delights!!

Our other neighbor to the north, Picket Fence Creamery will also be joining in on the fun, but I'm afraid I don't have information yet - once I do, I'll update. I know they'll have TONS of samples from 80+ families in their store, kids events and so much more.

We hope you'll join us!

Monday, September 15, 2008

What a crisp, cool day this is. I'd swear it's Fall already and there's still three weeks to go! The Farmer's Almanac says we're going to have a colder than usual winter. Just makes me want to get up in the morning! NOT!

All of our babies are gone except the 7 we're keeping for next year. The last ones left last week - boy, is that ever hard! We ended up keeping Nevaeh and her sister, Amore', Tora, Lindsey, Toodles, Angelina and our special needs child Alisha. (Alisha was born with Spinabifada. She's healthy in every way except she has no feeling in her tail and doesn't have the urge to go potty, so doesn't have the instinct to sqwat. She's a sweety though! She'll be a wonderful pet.)

We started breeding last Friday. Caylah thought Dante' was the love of her life, so they got to "visit" and then she hung out at his gate for nearly 24 hours being loved. They're so silly when they're in heat. We've decided to cut back our milkers drastically - I think we're going down 10. We do have a few milkers we would like to find homes for if you're looking for one. Also some very nice retireds yet. They're all big lovers.

We purchased a new milking machine from Hamby's a couple of months ago. What a change - all for the better!! It milks so much more quickly and seems to pull much less on the girls. Our other machine was pretty old and not doing so good any more. I think the girls are relieved too!

Toby, our oldest Great Pyr is really showing his age. He's 9 today. He's getting a little harder of hearing, but can still hear those coyotes!

Will write more soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Journal Entry: May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

Well, we're trying something new! Our new webmaster, Kim, suggested that I try blogging rather than going through her each time I want to post a journal, so....

We've had several tours lately. The girls, babies and dogs really enjoy strutting their stuff for an audience! The babies all think they need to crowd the fence to nibble on everyone's clothing or outstretched fingers. The retired tour groups that have come to see us so far really seem to enjoy this as well as sharing goat stories of their own. Of course, I have to share my own stories that happen here. Never a dull moment. Speaking of stories, I forgot to post one the last time I sent in a journal that is endearing to my heart. It has to do with my son, Chris. He's now 32 years old and has always tried to act as though he doesn't like the majority of our goats. Well, we had one doe in particular that was past due, Rosella. We had been going to the barn to check on her nearly hourly, but nothing. Late on the coldest night of the year, Wendy and I went out to check on her and their lay a lifeless little doeling. I scooped her up and took her to the house and tubed some warm colostrum into her, but she was still pretty lifeless. She was still gooey and wet, but Chris whipped his shirt off, grabbed her and put her against his chest and put a couple of quilts over them and sat with her until she came to life. AND, for the next two days, he sat with her either beside him on the couch or in his lap. He fed her and she followed him everywhere. We asked him to name her, so he did some research online and found the name Tora which means Tiger in Chinese. Now when he comes to the barn, she crawls up his leg for attention and loving, so he scoops her up and obliges. Of course, I go over and ask for some loving too and she turns her head away from me toward her "dad". How rude!

Our sad news is, we lost our Grandma Posie. She was one of our first milkers when we began the business. She had arthritis in her shoulder VERY badly and got to the point she couldn't walk without pain, so we knew it was time for her to leave us. That was sooooooo hard. I'll always remember the joy she gave to so many people that could go right up to her (she had free access to the alleyway and was fed, and slept there, so she didn't get shoved around by the others). She loved the attention and hugs she got from everyone and showed it by smiling at them. Posie Girl, you're missed very much!

The babies are growing by leaps and bounds. It's so fun to watch them running and jumping and chasing one another. It's the simple things like that that make this job all worth while!

Will talk again soon! Kathy