Goats’ butts, outdoor ovens and life on the farm

My sister-in-law recently commented on her blog that her life must seem boring to those who read about it. I think she’s dead wrong. If only she knew how often I read her blog not just because she’s my beloved sister-in-law, but because I need to be entertained. Not a blog goes by that doesn’t get at least one laugh or “awwwwwwwww” out of me.

Her life usually sounds so much more fun than mine. Quite honestly, I’d much prefer gathering fresh eggs and checking goats’ butts to see if they’re ready to give birth than to sit at a desk all day long, trying to convince a student that chemistry will be a piece of cake and prospective students that our programs are better than the other ones. Which they are but that’s a whole other blog.

Anyway, back to the goats’ butts. She has four female (duh) goats that are pregnant. One has two due dates because she has an overactive male goat who managed to entice the female goat twice and therefore, doesn’t know when she got pregnant.

I can understand why she gets excited about the births of the baby goats. Have you ever seen baby goats in action? They look like those tiny wind-up dogs that jump up and down. Truly. If you don’t believe me, check out this video: http://s1019.photobucket.com/albums/af317/kpannabecker/?action=view&current=MVI_1642-1.flv

Living a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway in a valley near Natural Bridge, VA., sounds eons more interesting that living in northwest Ohio where the nearest mountain — often covered with fake snow — is more like a hill in Virginia. She hops out of bed in her revived pre-Civil War farmhouse (which she renovated almost singlehandedly), and looks out the window from which she can see the James River. Which, by the way, their property fronts and on which they can kayak, canoe, tube and fish whenever they want. Well, almost whenever.

Then there’s that outdoor bread oven. And the pizza oven. Which she built and can now bake fresh bread outdoors any time she pleases. My bread machine can spit out some fairly decent loaves, but they don’t even begin to compare to hers.

Oh yeah, and then there’s that garden. Which is not technically her area — it’s my brother’s — but she gets to cook whatever he picks during the growing season and/or has preserved for the winter months. What they don’t grow or raise, they often get in gifts from neighbors…like fresh venison or fish.

Did I mention the goat cheese she makes? I want to learn to make goat cheese but since I have no goats I’ll just settle for the supply she sends me. And the goat’s milk soap? She must have finally tired of my ranting about how much I wished I could learn to make goat’s milk soap, because she sent me a supply for Christmas. Every time I take a shower, I think of moving to that farm and making my own soap.

I could probably go on all day, but my phone’s ringing. Gotta go. Oh, if you want to read more my sister-in-law’s “boring life” (her words, not mine), check out http://holesinmyjeans-kpannabecker.blogspot.com/.

One response to “Goats’ butts, outdoor ovens and life on the farm

  1. Ahhhh Chevre! That bucolic picture of life where the earth is near overlooks delightfully the early hours, hard work and troubled fingernails that are a part of that life. There is nothing to be compared, though, with sitting quietly in fading evening light, watching the beauty of all you have done. Peace does not come from a lack of effort.
    It is hard to imagine what we can achieve when we bestir ourselves from the ruts in which we spend most of our days.
    Thanks for a grand column.

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