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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

life is expensive

Saturday morning we all got up and started our day. I was getting ready for our Relief Society Super Saturday activity, which, barf. I'm just not a crafty gal, and I think most of it is some tacky crap. And why would you want the exact same pillow, wall hanging, or what-have-you that your neighbor has? But it turns out Catwoman had just finished kidding twins and was completely detached from them. Like "Why is my poop hairy and alive? And why is it messing around with my downstairs?" So we had a long, long morning of tying and dipping navels, splinting ears, and encouraging parent-child bonding. Thanks, Catwoman! I appreciate your being cool to me and making it so I had a proper reason to stay home and play goat mom.

The peas, spinach and lettuce are all growing well, as are the strawberries and assorted other plants I planted a couple of weeks ago. I haven't gotten to the squash and cukes yet, but I have until the end of the month. The veg garden is starting to get weedy where I haven't planted, and I don't want to till again. The moneys, they do not grow on trees. It's all very well to try to be self-sufficient, and to try to expand your sticking-it-to-the-man skills, but even in rural areas that doesn't come cheap. Here's what we've spent just in the last month:

  • 30 bales of hay: $180
  • double calf hutch: $500
  • Penicillin: not much--under $10, because animal meds are cheap, usually

Things we still need to spend money on are:

  • fencing for the entire property
  • replacing the massive single-paned windows in our beautiful Craftsman house
  • air-conditioning (thinks my husband--I'm trying to tough it out and be a proper dirty hippie)
  • some sort of milking area with sides so we can keep out of the weather (we found that the ladies perform much better when they are milked near each other out by the pen, and the wind sucks--we're currently using that double calf hutch as a milking parlor, but we'll lose it as soon as Violet gets ready to kid)
  • magic wand for removal of the tarpaper on our kitchen floor
  • new baby arriving in June
I'm sure there's a lot more I can't remember right now, but it's not trivial, the amount of money we need for this stuff. I also found out yesterday that I can't sell my goat milk, even if I pasteurize it, because I hand milk. So anything comestible is out of consideration, and I have four goats, which means lots of extra milk. I guess it's goat milk soap, which will be fun, but I am so proud of how delicious the milk and cheese are! Hopefully we can sell our surplus kids and soap and try to dig ourselves out of the financial hole that animal husbandry has put us in.

Also, Finola threw another dead kid on Friday morning--another black one. Sad. I wanted some little black goats running around with our brown ones--it currently appears as though we have a goat-cloning machine. She has been despondent about it, but has finally succeeded in grafting herself into Catwoman's family. So now the twins take turns nursing from their mother and their grandmother. Silly goats--it's aight with me, though, because now there's a goatbaby to take care of Finola's evening milking for us.

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