Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goals for The New Year

There are all sorts of things predicted for 2012 and to be honest.... until or unless they actually happen they are just that.  Predictions.  I can't fret and worry about what may or may not happen when there is so much to be accomplished around here.  I'm not to fond of Resolutions either and would rather set goals which can be obtained.  That's just us of course but it's what works around here.  This past year our goals were pretty "lofty" but mostly attained. 

We were able to find this little Hillside Homestead.  Cleared and cleaned land, hauled off trash, cut trees, laid septic lines, electric lines and water lines. Skirted in the trailer and got everything winterized.  Mars performed miracles and got the well working so now we have good water.  We've built a nice barn that's been plumbed for water and electricity.  The "chicken palace" has been completed.  We have our starter rabbits. We even tried to raise a few vegetables through the drought this summer. The compost pile has been started for the garden. Yeah, it's been a good year!  And since we didn't actually get moved out here until the spring I'd have to say it's been excellent.

So what's on the agenda for the New Year?  We still need to get the fence put up for the chickens. It would just be easier (not to mention cheaper) to fence them in than fence them out of the entire garden.The neighbor has offered to give us a few hens to get started and I'm hoping to get some chicks this spring.  He's also wanting us to take some roosters off his hands as he doesn't want to do any butchering.  Not that he cares if we do or not... he just doesn't want to deal with it.

Goats are part of the goal this year as well. We have fencing but it needs to be put up. Of course there are all the "goat things" that go along with that.  And I'm going to need a learning curve since I've never even been around goats before!  From what other folks have said I've got  some surprises coming my way!  At least I have "goat people" that I can turn to for help and advise. LOL Bring on the Nanny Goats!  What I don't understand is why everyone who knows me busts a gut laughing when I tell them I'm going to learn to milk a goat.  What?????? (ok you can stop laughing now too!! )

We are going to be expanding our garden this year.  What we had last year was just a sort of a start and it was a pretty late start at that.  There were just so many other things going on that needed attention around here and of course the weather didn't cooperate in the least little bit.  Big things in the works on that front this year.  I'll share them with you as we come to them. 

So there they are. Goals for the New Year.   Wow, it all looks real simple on paper.  But if we succeed in getting these things accomplished then at the end of it all we should be doing pretty well.  Rabbits for meat and chickens for eggs and meat.  Goat milk, cheese and cabrito. Vegetables from the garden.  Yep now that would be living large for little ol' me!  Not to mention being that much closer to our main goal of living as self sufficiently as we can.

                    ~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~


  1. I wish you all the luck in the world with your goals...and, Happy New Year.

  2. You'll do it all and probably a few things more that you haven't thought of yet, Sci and see!

    : )

  3. Great accomplishments this year, and lofty goals for next! Way to go!
    Could you please in the future refer to female goats as "does" and males as "bucks"? That's what "real goat people" call them. Sorry if that sounds snarky. Calling them anything else sound very uneducated.

  4. Thank you Stephen, and a very Happy New Year to you as well my friend.

    HB, You are probably right about more that I haven't thought of yet! Seems there is always something new going on around here when we least expect it.

    MDR Ain't that just the truth!!

    Anon... Come on now... I'm pretty sure I mentioned that I don't know anything about goats yet, but around here it's actually ok to say Nanny Goat. LOL

  5. Sci, they laughed at me when I said I was going to milk a goat. Just laugh back when ya do. lol. I like the whole goal thing. Makes more since.

  6. I see you have a lot on your mind. It's all good and with what you accomplished this year, I have no doubt you can do it all in the new year. [as long as the pesky drought doesn't come back. that was bad.]

    I wish you the best and can't wait to read all about it. :)

  7. Your rabbit cage looks like it's very low to the ground. Do you plan on moving them around? Using rabbit manure in the garden is a good idea - but "harvesting" it would be easier if the cages had more space under them - although just moving them would be a good option too.

    If you're going to milk your goats, you'll be a lot more comfortable with a milking stand for the goat to stand on, and you to sit on while milking. You'll find some good photos here: and lots of good info as well. I don't know if they still have a print catalog, but if I were still raising goats, I'd be on their list!

    At the local county fair, I saw one milking stand that was made of pvc pipe (I think about 3 inch diameter) and a plywood platform. The one there was completely portable - it wasn't glued - and very lightweight. Also home made - I never saw one for sale.

  8. i can't believe all that you guys accomplished since getting to your homestead and i say congratulations and kudos to you both!

    as for your goals for this year - well if nothing else - they are going to make for some really funny and awesome posts! you'll definitely keep your readership grinning!

    i have no doubt at all that you will meet your goals and excel at them! i know that when you put your mind to something - you do it! and i can't wait for pics of you milking a goat - bahahahah! now you got me thinking about goats too!

    your friend,

  9. NEVER in my life I thought I would have to milk a goat. NEVER. Now, it's second nature to tie one up and milk it to feed the babies. They are an interesting lot.

    Good luck with your goats. I'm going to add to Anon's comment and say you can make a milking stand for about $50 of lumber if you need to. I think I have the plans on my kitchen counter and if you want, I can send you the link to it.

    Oh, and you-tube the videos on birthing. It's something you need to see before you see it live.

  10. SFG I don't think I'll mind them laughing as long as I'm getting milk! And goals make more sense to me too.

    Skippy, thanks so much! I'm hoping no one will have to go through anouther rain-less summer this year. What a beastly one it was!

    Anon, that picture is a little decieving. The cages are up about 4' so I don't have to bend over so much and it makes it easier to "shovel poop" too! Mars will have to make me a milk stand too. I like the idea of the PVC. Thanks for the link too, I'll be sure to check it out since we still need everything "goat" LOL

    Kymber, it's pretty fun for the most part. I wouldn't trade where we are for anything. Now you have me laughing thinking about YOU milking a goat! lolllllllllll Thanks for stopping by,my friend.

  11. Let them all laugh about the milking a goat thing! You'll be drinking the freshest, bestest, most wonderful milk...and it came from YOUR place! Those are a lot of accomplishments, you should be very proud. And lots of goals, but don't get too wrapped up in the goals, sometimes it's intimidating when you write them all down and look at them (and then say, how are we going to DO all this?!). But it can be fun to CROSS out the items on the list too!

    Have a Happy New Year!

  12. We are going to try that goat milking thing real soon and we have pygmy Nigerian crosses. I'll blog on how that goes.

    It sounds like you have started just like the rest of us. I am not to far a head of you but I was blessed with some things already in place. I just had to do some clean up and fix up. I was looking over what all we have accomplished in such a short time and I too am pleased at our progress. There is just something about looking around and living what you created that gives you an inner smile.

    This time last year we had 1 goat. Now we have 5 nannies and 2 adolescent kids, and 7 newborn kids.


  13. Hey Mudbug! If you would send me the link for that milking stand I sure would appreciate it. Why did I just get nervous when you said "It's something you need to see before you see it live." ?? LOL I'll be sure to remember that!

    Carolyn I just love reading about your goatpimping adventures! You give me the courage to "go goat"!! :D

    HH I'll be watching for your posts for sure. It IS amazing how much we have done so far. It gives me much to look forward to. And you just can't beat that "inner smile" can ya?

  14. I'll be watching your goat adventures. They are on my 'someday' list but my hubby set a limit of one new species a year. I was hoping for bees next year but I may hold off another year. We've got such a heavy weed load in the garden still that I really feel the need to focus of that rather than adding something new.
    You have accomplished so much in this one short year it's amazing. Congrats.

  15. My friend, knowing what you and Mars had to go through to get to this point...I'm proud to know you both!

    I think you'll be a positive example for a lot of us!

    Happy New Year to your Family at the homestead!

  16. One other thing...if you're milking goats and using the milk for people consumption, be sure you use stainless steel and/or glass containers. Do not use plastic. Somehow or other, even if you used a dishwasher with _hot_ water, the milk fat doesn't completely wash off the plastic, and a "goaty" flavor will develop in your milk very quickly. Glass and stainless steel don't have the same problem.

    If your milk _does_ get a bit "goaty" after several days, learn how to make chocolate cornstarch pudding - it's really easy, and chocolate flavoring covers all problems. (I'm talking about "goaty" flavored milk, not milk that has turned sour. I don't think anything will help that! It then becomes dog food!)

  17. Started browsing around:

    The ehow site has a good list of what you need to make a pvc stand, but no photos. Directions as well - but no photos.

    This looks like a good site for more info, but I didn't want to download a bunch of PDF plans, so don't know how good they are.

    What a commercial product would look like. Prices. WOW! Never should have given mine away!

    This looks doable if you're reasonably handy with tools. Not very glamorous, definitely heavy duty, but looks like it would do the job.

    The commercial stand has an expanded metal base for the goat to stand on. This is good - poops and pee (doesn't happen very often, but once in a can) just go right on through. The solid wood bases should probably be painted so that cleaning is easy - after all, _you_ will be sitting on that base as well when you're milking!

  18. Judy, this little adventure we are on has been a long time coming so once we got the place we had to work hard and plan well to be able to live out here. It IS amazing though that we were able to get most of it done! (Mars worked his rear end off to get us comfy here) I had to laugh when you told me about being limited to one species a year! Not a bad idea though because there seems to be SO much to learn about all of them.

  19. Jim, It always just makes my day when you stop by for a visit! You are pretty much an inspiration to me as well. I never told you that you were one of the very first blogs I started following. Maybe one day you can come and sit out under the trees and have a hot cup of coffee....Oh, and cookies too! LOL
    Happy New Year to you my friend, I'm sure it will be a memorable one!

    Anon!! Wow you ROCK!! Thanks so much for all the good information and especially the links. I'll be checking them out for sure. Man... I have soooo much to learn. I'm looking forward to new adventures. It's going to take awhile to get all the stuff we need for goats but since they are a big part of "The Plan" I'm just gonna roll with it! Thanks again for all the good info!