7.01.2021

Kids. Kids. Kids.... and broken fences....


I'm sitting here trying to remember some details.. Last December 2020 we started to kid.  Dec. 25th to be more exact... Then in January 2021 we had a few more.  I have to check my notes because the difficulty to remember is huge right now. I hope it comes back. 

Giving birth is usually such a whirlwind of excitement around here. Getting the stalls ready. Cleaning them. Bedding them. Getting the molasses and the towels put in place. Making sure i have all the things needed in case of a problem... This year not so much. I'm tired. Sick. In pain alot. Still dealing with symptoms of Covid and it's long haul status. Luckily, 2 does kidded out easily. I walked outside and voila babies on the ground. And so thankful for it.  Had zero strength and constantly dizzy... 

Fern started to give birth and all that changed. It was about an hour of me trying to untangle kids. Adrenaline rushing i realized later I was going to be down for days afterwards... Nothing I was doing was working. I needed brute force at this point. to save Fern. I knew the kids were likely dead already.  Luck would have it a friend was coming over. I got her involved in pulling out what we knew were already deceased kids. When kids are alive they do help in the process of birthing. Their heads don't waggle all over the place. You can put your finger in their mouths and feel the tongue move. You can re-arrange them still inside and their heads won't wobble back. Or their feet won't disappear again... But with this birth they were tangled, and likely dead a day or two. It was very upsetting Fern is 10 years old this year. I wanted this to be her last kidding. And based on the difficulty it will be. It was in my opinion one of my more terrible births. I am convinced the kids were dead prior to her first push. But still doesn't take that sting away. I think she might have been head butted by one of the others a few days before. 

This picture popped up on my memories in FB. 11 years ago.
My friend Liz is holding Fern as a baby. 


All in all a somewhat uneventful birthing. 3 goats. 6 doelings (2 that died). 1 buckling.  I weaned them uneventfully. One died from unknown reasons. One sold. 3 of them are still here. Today, they are hitting 7 months old. Healthy and doing well. 

This would normally be the end of the 'birthing season post' ... ha.... in typical farming fashion...  the unexpected happened... and yes, being ill is a part of it.. Charles my buck decided he was going to break thru a few fences back in February. While i tried to contain. And fix. I was no match for him this year.  Especially back then... The fencing is far too old and he is far too big and... 

Part two of birthing commences...  Carolina gave birth to again 2 healthy doelings. And Wild Child gave birth as well, to 2 doelings.  Both of them gave birth easily and without any help from me. These 4 babies are still in the house. Video below. I have to say how much I love birthing season. But twice in one year is just too much. On me. On the goats. On their udders that were slowly drying them off early. I love their wide eyed looks. Antics. Cries. Even the parrots get involved and start calling for the little ones.

What am I going to do with Charles. And the fencing. Right now I have him stuck in the back. For how long till he breaks thru that fencing ... Time will tell. It's now become urgent I do something drastic to keep him away from the girls. 

If this year wasn't such a blurred mess with me getting sick -it would have been stellar. 8 doelings. 1 buck. out of 5 birthing. I would call that the goat trifecta. Bucks are so difficult to sell. Does aren't. 




They really are the cutest with the elf ears.  Charles is a purebred Nubian. 
Both Dams are 50/50 Lamancha/Nubians. This makes the babies ears a tad longer. And if you see I have one with beautiful Nubian ears - and to standard - below the nose. 






 

3.27.2021

HB 1185 / Indian Trails trying to incorporate bill

Around this time 4 years ago, a bill was introduced into the Florida state legislature for the incorporation of the Acreage area. The area where I live. It got shot down in committee.  In 2002, we had an attempt to do the same. And the same thing happened. Shot down before it got any where. WHY.

Third times a charm... Well, not so fast...

Bill draft thru the legislature link:

https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=72307

Before, I go any further, I should disclaim this is a waste of time and tax payer money. 

The expense to put a bill thru the legislature isn't free. It costs us the taxpayer. And from what I read $50,000 from our budget.   Attorneys. Lobbyists. Time to draft. Revisions. Meetings. Traveling to Tallahassee. These things cost money... Whose money? This doesn't include the cost of trying to get a feasibility study done if this bill passes. This is the amount of money spent to get the bill seen.

I also, believe the community will shoot it down, if it ever gets to the referendum phase. I'm wholly against incorporation. I have seen what incorporation has done to the various other townships and cities around S. Florida. And its never about making things better for the residents. As a matter of history, it tends to make it more restrictive - why?  a newly formed government needs to make money. And when that happens - the property owners suffer. 

This year Indian Trails Improvement District (ITID) has gone the route of trying to change their charter so that they can ultimately try to incorporate our area. 

Changing the charter is just one way of going about this. While, reading the original draft language - it was far reaching -  Changing the borders to delete the overlaps of already incorporated areas of the district. Adding in Safe Neighborhoods statute. Requesting a reduction in voter acknowledgment (10% of electorate).  It was a hefty bill. 

Not any more. The committees have now stripped this bill (draft) to it's bare bones. The only thing this bill does (if passed) will allow ITID to spend money to get a feasibility study done. That's it.  So before we go any further. This allowing to get the Feasibility study done has already cost the tax payer $50,000. They are estimating the cost of the feasibility study around $30,000. Though no estimates have been  submitted.

They will have to go back in the future to change boundaries (add another $50,000). 

So here are some issues that make this a waste of time, and money. 

In the 2017 feasibility study they tried to use this portion of acreage area. See map. The issue of contiguous land... (see the orange lines on the left). That is one little road that is connecting the two separate areas of the Acreage. It didn't fly then. I doubt it will in the future. 

The same issues will apply this time around. There is only that small sliver of land that is 'used' to make the area 'contiguous'.


Read what the state replied regarding this issue. (below).


So, unless, the boundaries exclude the lower (Southern portion) of the Acreage. This still won't be a feasible incorporation based on 2 points in the state statute. Contigous. And 2 miles from another municipality. 

We have Royal Palm to our East. Palm Beach Gardens to our North. Westlake right in the middle of us. And The Town of Loxahatchee Groves to the South. 

But.. this is all in the future. This years bill deleted the issue of boundaries. And any active units that are in other municipalities. 

The various committees took out the boundary changes to the charter, so the existing boundaries in this map (below) still stand. ie. The Legislative Boundaries. Units 16,17,18 are in Royal Palm municipality. And Unit 11 is still there. (not contigous). And Rustic Lakes are now in Palm Beach Gardens municipality. 

Essentially, this bill is useless, except for the money allowed to be spent on a new feasibility study. A study that won't be accurate because legally, the boundaries below are the legal legislative boundaries.  If they take out the areas of contention, its not accurate nor legal. If they keep in the areas of contention its not accurate. 

Another bill, in the future will have to be submitted for ITID to try and change the borders in the charter. Again. And wanna bet the feasibility study will have to be re done to the new boundaries.

Another major issue is that there are bonds and inter -local agreements for many of the over-lapping units that sit in other municipalities. 

Bonds and agreements that need to be fulfilled. No one seems to be addressing this. Why? Because the myopic stance is this will work itself out later. Like the boundaries. 



This is how the bill (draft) stands now. (it was 14 pages, now 3). 



Overall, this bill is a dud. It left the gate without regard to what the other municipalities would do. And they've obliterated anything that gave it any teeth. 



... I guess there will be next year, to change the boundaries. 

Of course, only if Royal Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens and City of West Palm agree to it.  

And yet, another $50,000 spent by ITID on getting it into the legislature. 





2.17.2021

CovId. Kefir. and Diabetes.


if it wasn't for these little piranha's some days i'd never get out of bed. 

















That's a mouthful. But the focus of my life right now.  C-19 the corona coaster of the century. It seems after the initial infection goes away, it keeps on giving. Inflammation is the key word. And then comes histamines. and Allergic reactions. After the initial can't breathe, can't move, can't get out of bed, sleep all day ends - It starts to hit various organs in your body. 

I have read numerous accounts of people having emergency appendix surgery or gall bladder's taken out etc. It's pretty scary to think. In my case, it hit my pancreas and my gut long-term. And hit it hard.  

For anyone that understands a bit about Type 2 Diabetes, will know I was (should have gone) headed to the hospital. My A1c was 11.8.. and my fasting BS was 564. She said go to the hospital ... NO..  Can't. Won't. I felt ok. I really did. Except, for the reasons I was there. Overall, I did not think I was emergency worthy. She gave me some antibiotics for infection, and Metformin for the T2 and, off I went. In three months got it back down to normal. Only 3 weeks on Metformin (had to stop taking it from side effects), my A1c is back to 5.4 and BS 135 on average its even lower these days... 

C-19 has really taken it's toll. On me. On the farm. With the animals. Little did i know that the last 11 months of my life would be centered around NOT FEELING WELL.. It sucks. It's not me. I'm not this person. The one struggling to breathe. To walk to the mailbox. To feed the kids.  I am one of the most independent people I know. And that in itself is a disease of some sort, especially, when sick. I don't like asking for help. And I am wholly uncomfortable receiving it. I have no clue where this independent streak came from. And it's not in line with being sick. This is torture. 

So I've explained a bit of the virus. And the Diabetes. Now, on to the Kefir. 

A few years back, I started making it and hated it. Ugh. I just didn't want to make it, whatsoever. But, a funny thing happened. Every single person in 50 miles with any kind of IBS, Cron's, Gut biome issues, stomach upset, etc. was knocking on my door. I was making it, and selling it faster then the milk. Or was selling the milk to those that made their own. 

Kefir is truly a wonder food. 

And I couldn't wait to get back in milk to figure out if it would work with me.  

My symptoms these days run the gamut of: headaches ( head imploding headaches). Cognitive impairment. Foggy brain. Dizziness  Gut pain. (excruciating gut pain). Painful flatulence ( i know, right? wtf). Slow digestion. Neuropathys. Joint pains. Shooting leg pains. Interstitial Cystitis. Pelvic floor changes. Urine pain. UTI pain (but no UTI - been tested). Lower back throbbing and pain. Eye pain. Blurry vision. Periodic lymph node swellings. Leg swellings. Ankle and foot pains. Rashes and abscesses. Let's not forget exhaustion. 20 hours some days of sleeping and still exhausted upon waking. and then breathing issues that require daily inhalers. I have become allergic to chemicals that I've used all my life. Allergy and histamine related things that have never bothered me before. And all of his is inflammation related. Thank you COVID. With out a true diagnosis, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is the catch all. MCAS. and its here. To stay is the question. 

Kefir grains were delivered and I've started my journey - slowly.... The other day I had too much and had a scary Herxheimer Reaction. This was not fun. Now i'm going a bit slower in taking it daily. Like I mentioned above Kefir is truly a wonder food. And it's potent. Not the store bought but the fresh from goat milk made this morning.

Thru some research Kefir is well known (scientific and anecdotal) to reduce inflammation. Reduce Asthma. Reduce cholesterol levels, beneficial in righting your gut microbiota. It combats food allergies.. and this is new to me but, is beneficial in wound healing as well.. There are claims it also has 'anti tumor activity against multiple cancer cell types'... But, i'm not going to be worrying about that. I just want to be pain free and wide awake. 

I don't think this is too much to be asking from my body. PAIN FREE.  WIDE AWAKE. Without these two things, nothing much is getting done around here. There have been times during the 11 month, thinking i'm out of the woods, till another wave hit. Till another symptom started. It has become never-ending pain fest. I'm not a wuss either. I spent two days shooting that video *upper right of the blog* with PBS while having a burst appendix. Shooting ended Thursday, by Friday evening, i was in emergency surgery. I have a high pain threshold. 

The kefir IMO is working. Slowly. And I have a feeling it's going to take more then just a week on it. It has been over 11 months from infection and the corona coaster.  So, this could take some time...

This quote was interesting. found here:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854945/

The fact that kefir can induce shifts in the immune system in both directions is promising as it may mean that the organisms in kefir are capable of regulating this balance in the immune system. This may be in part due to the increased number of regulatory T-cells observed in some of these studies, as regulatory T-cells play an important role in maintaining tolerance and supressing unnecessary inflammatory immune responses (Sakaguchi, 2011).

I read that study. It's helpful and explains in detail many things that make me believe (HOPE) that Kefir is going to help right the body. It's not the only thing I'm doing. I am trying to figure out what low histamine foods are also diabetic friendly. As this is it seems harder then it sounds. And anything I eat right now is a potential 3 days in bed with excruciating pain. It seems some foods good for a diabetic diet are high histamine foods and cause inflammation. Balancing act. See Saw. Corona coaster... 

Here is a good blog post on how to make kefir. 

So, there it is in a nutshell. My life. CoVid. Kefir. and Diabetes are taking over the farm, my thoughts, and my life...


1.13.2021

Lost TIME

Desdemona letting the 2019 kids eat from her bowl.
Not every dam would be so kind.




Time it seems... has gotten away from me. It's been over a year since I've posted a blog post. And before that it's been sporadic at best. 1 year at 4 months nothing between 2018 and 2019. I recount why below..

It's more then likely because not much has gone right. No one wants to hear about the bad stuff... 

Some years are like that. 

But, for me to realize, i've not posted in over a year is crazy. 

Here is a quick or not so quick timeline of life. 

In 2018, I had a part time job that made things worse not better in terms of what I was trying to do with it. That snowballed into, I need to get a full time job to make ends meet better. I was trying to supplement income to save money to do needed repairs around the farm.  This homestead is 20 years old.  (but that didn't pan out with the lack of hourly wage promised). The part time job just became too timely. And the full time job became too caustic. 

The full time job lasted till September of 2019,  and i was relieved it was over. Sad, but relieved. It was a learning year. And i learned a lot. About me. About others. Before this job, it had been almost 18 years working in another office setting. I walked away learning a great deal. But no better off. Both jobs left me worse then when I started. Things were not going well.

Then came another seasonal job for the livestock shows at the fair grounds which lasted till mid January 2020. Huge endeavor. I was proud of the work... and again, great learning experience, on how an entire livestock calendar for 2 weeks is created, staged, implemented. Aside from the politics, it was so interesting. I woke up every morning excited to go to work.  But, it was seasonal only and it was over. Just in time for the pandemic to start. 

In between all this - I started a book design project and 200 pages later and 1 year, still working on it. It was put on hold for months with the height of pandemic lockdown. 

Because of the working outside the farm, there was not much milk in 2018 and 2019. I tried. But just wasn't in the cards. I had 4 of my seniors die that year. I was deflated and defeated. My fault for keeping so many of the same age first fresheners. 2 died mysteriously. 2 died of old age and parasite related reasons. And time was not on my side. It's difficult to be gone all day and then tend farm at night. 

It was the first time in 17 years of milking that i dried the girls off earlier then 305 days, and i went once a day till July 2019,  and then just realized, I can't do it all. In that time, I tried to get a buckling from a friend up North, who also died early in his development. And realized again, I can't do it all alone, and work full time. 

2020 rolls in and Covid -19 takes over. Lets just start out with the worst of it.... I got the virus in late February. I still have issues from it, today. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, you don't want this. I am what they call a 'long hauler'.. And, it's a corona coaster of symptoms and pains, and illness. I'm just not well. And its migrated around my body for months. 

Because of being so ill - I dried the girls off in April 2020. I just couldn't do it. First time, and they were not happy. I was not happy. Back then was a blur... Actually, from April to today was a blur. One giant sleep fest, sickness and pain. 

I buried "Iggy the piggy" he was 17 years old. I buried Thatcher he was 11. Both blurs and both devastating. Thatcher had a tumor growth near his anus, and within weeks of seeing it, he had died. May was a terrible month for me. I couldn't even dig the hole, I was so sick. I remember that. Feeling guilty, I couldn't even dig a hole.

In August, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. And my A1c was 11.8. which is crazy high. Blood sugar was 570 range. And i was heading to the hospital.  Scared at the thought of spending any time in a hospital full of Covid patients, worried I would be re-infected. I dug in, and changed everything. Lost 15 lbs. Took Metformin, and ate a low carb. low histamine. low calorie ... And by November,  my A1c was back to normal. 5.4 and BS was 134. I'm off the meds, but not out of these woods. I guess I never will be. 

Feeling a bit better, I was offered a buck and jumped at the chance of new bloodlines and a new start.... Charles my new buck came to stay, he's one gorgeous boy. He was here about a week before he jumped the fence and bred all the goats. Christmas week, we kidded.  I have 5 gorgeous kids (4 does. 1 buck). I'm milking 3 healthy goats. Not the numbers of what I normally milk (between 8 and 11 goats), but, enough for the time being, and my lack of energy, still with issues from the virus. And once a day. I'm not making cheese or soap at the moment. But preparing for it soon. 

My life is in dis-order. The house. The farm. All in disorder and its going to take some time to come back from all this. If, I can come back from all this. The pandemic. The lockdown. The lack of income. The deaths. My farm business. My health. I'm trying is all i can say about it. 

Which leads me to friends. If it wasn't for them - various times this year of helping out, I don't know what i would have done without them. Bringing food. Supplies. Getting me hay. Helping me kid. The list of things are just so enormous.  I can't even begin to say how thankful for them. 

So, that leads me up till today. The purpose of this blog (in the beginning) was to document my life journey with the goats. Up until the 2019 time frame, I had been so diligent with this goal.  

Hopefully, this will be a turning point for me. Wish us luck. I hope that time is on my side in 2021. 




1.29.2020

The Season Begins...

Before the season begins... Before I can sell milk... This has to happen. (see video). Newborns need to be tended to. In my instance, I pull them at birth. Mostly, because my dams lost the momma gene. They give birth, look at them, see me, and then lick me. Not the newborns. Mom's don't care.  Kids disappear into the house and the momma's could care less. 

Pulling them at birth is a standard procedure for many farms. While not for my particular reason, they do it for biosecurity. CAE is a serious disease and its passed thru milk and other fluids (discussion on what fluids is always on going i.e.. amniotic, mucus etc.). Milk is the key in transference. I don't want, and other breeders don't want, to allow them to milk off of mama.  

This is called CAE prevention management. I have colostrum and milk waiting that is guaranteed CAE free. I thaw and feed. Over the years, I've tested. and tested. But the only guaranteed way to suppress this from continuation is not to feed the dams colostrum or milk to the kids as raw milk. Testing is only as good as the day you tested. There is so much complication to this that pulling kids for this reason alone is enough.

Another reason is weaning. If you keep the kids on mom, 3 months from now, they will need to be weaned. And that experience isn't always pleasant. If you pull now, and you have dams to be milked they really never experience the weaning process, it at the outset you milk them. The dams bond to me. I'm not going anywhere. The kids bond to me, and i'm well versed in weaning easily and without drama.  It's a win- win. I have tried both over the years. The constant screaming from both sides can be awful. When you pull at birth none of that happens. EVER.

If people want to purchase a kid still on milk, they're already on the bottle. Try putting a kid on the bottle that have been dam raised. Not always a fun experience. or healthy because transferring over to either milk replacer or cow milk is not seamless. One bout of scours can kill a small kid. Selling to a new owner and now the kid is being fed in a new way, with a new ingredient, disasters happen. 

The other reason I like to bottle feed is when they get sick. As they age, they look to me as the herd leader. As the momma. This is without fault. When I need to do something - Tube feed. Shots. Control or restrain. Guess how they behave?  Dam raised kids turned adults are not the easiest patients. Sometimes, not able to be caught, as they don't trust you like they would if you bottle fed them, and they think of you as momma...

Whether you farm for fun or for business, the last thing you need is a goat that won't come to you when needed. The added stress chasing them around to try and dose them is not productive. 

Overall, the 3 months of extra work, I believe makes for an easier farm life over the long haul. But, not until these cuties come along. :) 







Goodness Gracious More...

Related Posts with Thumbnails