Expanding our horizons and making do with less

Now that I’m getting at least four gallons of milk a day, I need to find other outlets for it.  Now that I know how to get the cream off the top of the milk, I am going to try my hand at making butter.  Also, I am going to start to make soap, both bar soap (right now using cow milk instead of goat milk) and laundry soap.  I stopped using shampoo to wash my hair a few weeks ago.  Instead I dissolve a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water and work that through my hair and then rinse it with apple cider vinegar mixed with water.  My hair feels wonderful and it isn’t knotting up quite so much as it used to.  Now to get Wally off shampoo and Ivory soap.  It may be easier to convince him to let me have another milk cow than to do that.

The gallon and a half of yogurt that I started yesterday came out.  I started a half gallon of buttermilk last night and this morning, a batch of cheese.  I wanted the whey from the cheese to make lacto-fermented mayonnaise.  I wrote about making this mayonnaise quite a while ago and never got around to making it.  Well, our jar of store-bought mayo is almost gone so now is a good time.

I am going to take advantage of all of the time that I am not working and work on homesteading tasks.  I started a calendar to keep track of planting dates … so that hopefully I can meet them this year.  I also have lists of seeds that I am going to order.  Almost all of them are organic and/or heirloom seeds.  I got some much-needed cleaning done yesterday.  I have a Dyson vacuum cleaner that I formerly loved, but the suction hasn’t been what it should be.  I had Wally look at it and he found some clogs, which helped, but it still wasn’t working that well.  I thought I was going to have to take it in for service.  I looked on-line for possible solutions and discovered that there was a filter that needed to be cleaned every six months.  I am not sure how long I’ve had this vacuum cleaner, several years at least, and I haven’t cleaned the filter.  I cleaned and whoo hoo!!!!  Super-powered suction.  Cleaning is so much more enjoyable (yes, enjoyable) with the right tools.  Now if I can only find a mop that works well.

The scab that was the abscess on the back of Gwen’s udder has almost fallen off.  I’ll be glad when it does so I can keep it clean.  Yesterday afternoon, I flushed it with water from the hose and then put a coating of iodine on it.  She’s got another small abscess on the same side of her udder that hasn’t come to head yet.  This one is a tenth of the size of the original one so it shouldn’t be too difficult to deal with.

Heavenly, one of the Oberhasli does is starting to bag up.  She’s probably due in two or three more weeks.  I think Beetaloo is next in line.  I didn’t write the dates down that they were bred so I don’t know for sure.  The two bucks are still living with the does and that’s working out well.  I am going to put them down in the back pasture this morning, knowing full well they’ll probably get out.  I am going to stop on the way home tonight and get some inexpensive ribbon to loosely tie around their necks in an attempt to mark the place that they are getting out.  Wally picked up to huge Christmas trees that didn’t sell at the farm this year and put them in with the goats which was a big hit.

My farrier is coming next Tuesday to take the shoes off both horses.  Shoes are dangerous when there’s snow on the ground.  Sudi was walking on snowball high heels that formed in his feet.

Off to move the goats and then take a shower.

Until later …