Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Well people ask "why sheep"? Or "Can you milk sheep", "How did you decide to do this? Well it all started in 2008 when Joe decided he wanted to get some goats and raise them and sell them. Well 5 goats over the months turned to 50, then 50 to 100. During this time I was feeling quite overwhelmed on why we had to have so many. Then the wrench was thrown in. Joe mentioned he wanted to start a dairy. Half goats and half sheep, 150 of each. Well then the quite overwhelmed feeling went to a bit frantic. I had never even been to a dairy. I first off was not sure how I was going to be able to handle having so many animals and not all of them pets? Well the early mornings started. Every goat Joe got had to be bottle fed. His mornings started early 4:30ish before having to head to his job at Arolo Company. Then home family dinner normal family time then back out to bottle feed again and goat chores. We continued growing our herd of all goats for the past two years (special thanks to whitewhale farms in petaluma for such amazing adorable dairy goats). During this process we realized how difficult it is to find the proper dairy sheep in the US since the dairy breeds originated from Germany and France. During this whole process Joe was working on a goat contract and realized that is harder than he thought. He finally found some dairy sheep to purchase, in Idaho and Nebraska. From that day on things seem to have fallen in place. He decided to go partners with his dad who owns a successful dairy equipment company in petaluma called Arolo Company http://arolo.com We purchased our first 200 dairy sheep from Nebraska Irish Cream Sheep Dairy http://irishcreamsheepdairy.com/index.htm and 100 from Blue Sage Farm in Idaho http://bluesagefarm.com Well the decision was made to go strictly with sheep and to sell the goats (minus Billy who is our pet now) then the day finally came for the sheep to arrive, mind you all before we had signed the lease on our current ranch. Overwhelming, yes. Well lets just say I have wonderful in laws to house all of our animals. Well, things just kept falling into place like they should. I told Joe someone is really looking out for you on how things are supposed to be they are just happening. The next step was our milk contract with Bellwether Farms http://www.bellwethercheese.com in petaluma. The process just kept continuing the ranch contract was signed to our current home in Bloomfield. Well I titled this post The Process, little did I know what work we were in for. The ranch was in complete shambles, no milk permit and needed to be completely renovated. The house well that is another story....awful about sums it up also needing to be completely renovated as well. On we went moving in with my inlaws for 4 weeks, and renovations began day and night working inside and out all to start with the largest grade A sheep dairy in California Haverton Hill LLC.
Special Thanks for all of those who pitched in on renovations
Special Thanks for all of those who pitched in on renovations
Thursday, January 27, 2011
You know those mom cars you see with the little family stickers so neatly placed on the back window? Well I always joke saying can you imagine our car it would be...Joe,Me,Avery, Hadley, Turner, Ellie, Tully, Kingsley, Billy, 4 chickens 300+ sheep. Can you picture that...well it would wrap around a few times. Needless to say I am not putting those family stickers on anytime soon. So this family, yes we are animal lovers. We have 2 dogs Turner and the new puppy Ellie. Turner is Joes and is a working dog. He herds the sheep and goes to work with Joe every day. Joe seems to think he is herding really well even though he is still a puppy. In my opinion he is just doing whats natural. Little does Joe know, he does those commands in the middle of the day when he isn't even here and no one around. I haven't had the heart to tell him yet, that will come when he is driving me nuts!! Ellie is the new addition and is 11 weeks old. Why did I add a puppy while raising two little kids? Good question...and still no answer. I forgot how much work a puppy is like a newborn baby...which I have my handful with two already. Lets just say I will be on the potty train wagon for quite awhile. Tully is our cat who since we moved doubled in size...not sure how but he is massive. We have an issue with him and the crib and Hadley he seems to think its his and sometimes I will go in and poor Hadley is sound asleep all cuddled next to him. They have a love hate relationship. Kingsley is Averys small pony. We got him for her (Not) really for me. I have never been horseless, so in the midst of my "Mom years" the horse got traded for a small pony. We got him in hopes to be a small show pony since he is a fancy mover. So once Avery gets a little bigger I hope to start her on him. Billy, well he is our first male goat we had. He bred all the female goats last year and was supposed to be sold . Well the key word SUPPOSED, I still can't seem to let that happen. He has tons of personality and has become quite a pet. A few weeks ago Avery went outside to give him a carrot. I hear her scream and I go running outside past billy who is standing in my newly renovated kitchen outside to Avery. "Billy went in the house she cries" She proceeds to tell me he ran past her into the house and wanted carrot out of the fridge not hers. So in we go to get the goat out of the newly renovated kitchen, who does not just scurry from you. He has to be dragged! So for those of you that drove by the house that day and saw some crazy lady in her pajamas, dragging a goat of her house with two crying children, "I am sorry". Just a normal day with the clan. The 300+ sheep and chickens I will get to those later.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Each morning I wake up to hearing Avery's little feet pitter patter through the house.....actually let me rephrase. Not pitter patter more like thump thump thump (shes not exactly light or quiet in the morning) and every morning she stands at my bed saying "mommy the suns up breakfast time". Then "Avery's hungry" Shocking (not)since the kid eats like a 10 year old. Then 5 minutes you hear Hadley up and chatting away in her own baby language of course. Then its breakfast time. Joey and I bicker quite a bit about food he seems to think that cereal is not a meal...or mac and cheese is not food. My version is why make things from scratch...I know he is Italian and things have been passed down that way but the time you make homemade pasta from scratch and clean up the kitchen the day is over. So that argument is still not settled. Weekdays we have eggs, cereal, oatmeal and things up my alley that are simple and easy and weekends are daddy's breakfast which include sausage, eggs with onions etc, pancakes (The works). I am exhausted thinking about the process, all planned and thawed out by Joe the night before. Sometimes Joe strolls in the house during weekday breakfast, and asks Avery what did you have for breakfast? She so happily replies "Cereal" he laughs and proceeds to tell her he will cook breakfast this weekend. Now if I could only figure out how to find a way for Joe not to like my cleaning maybe we could have him clean as well.. Life would be great !! I think I will work on that and while we are on the subject I am off to clean. If I made money for cleaning my own house and picking up each thing I would be rich!!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Here are some pics Of the family Avery Olivia who is now 3, and mind you all grown up already and thinks there is no need for parents. If only we had a lowes or home depot "Drive Cart" at our house I really think she would even try to drive that to preschool. Hadley Leighton who just turned 1 December 27th...yes people christmas baby. Uggh I have to party plan around christmas every year which I am not looking forward to. She is a true joy always full of smiles, walking around like a crazy baby into everything. She can sure hold her own though, I think once she learns to thow a punch Avery is in trouble. Joe aka the hubby. Well hes a workaholic...which compliments me because I am a shopaholic. He is a terrific dad who cherishes each moment, totally unromantic but he tries. I love him to pieces and we have a great marriage..Well today anyway...isn't that how it works great one day drive me nuts the next?? If he could only learn to master the yes dear, which he is seeming to have a little trouble with. So in a nutshell this is the family which is my life!