Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Average Breed PRODUCTION Numbers in Dairy goat Herds on Milk test / DHIR for 2015


Keep in mind, herds that test will generally be some of the top production herds, so you averages are very likely to be less, perhaps substantially so.
DOES 275-305 DAYS in MILK
Breed - Average LBS over lactation daily - Butterfat - Protein
ALPINE 9.2lbs 3.2 % Butterfat 2.9 Protein
LAMANCHA 8.4lbs 3.7% Butterfat 3.1 Protein
NIGERIAN DWARF 2.5lbs 6.3% Butterfat 4.4% Protein
NUBIAN 6.9lbs 4.8 % Butterfat 3.8 % Protein
OBERHASLI 7.8lbs 3.7 % Butterfat 3.0 % Protein
SAANEN 9.9lbs 3.2 % Butterfat 2.9 % Protein
TOGGENBURG 8.3% 3.1 % Butterfat 2.7 % Protein

I think of her so often, daily. . .so much, I'm not thankful for what I have still

I think of the sister I lost often. Daily, really.

I've never believed in someone's love for me as much. It isn't to say I loved her more than all else, but I've loved no one more, and there was something there for her I'll never know again.
There are things a sister who has known you since you were a child offers no one else can. . .
There are things I'll never have without her, but I hope I can find a way to not let all of that hurt prevent the other little sister who came along so long after the first "Little" one that she could never feel the way Angel did about me once upon a time.
And in the same token, perhaps one day all the desperate missing of the one will let me remember more often to not take this one for granted.
She is Alana. Quite unique and decidedly her own strange person. . .and one I know my darling Angel would have loved as blindly as she ever loved me, and I'd say this little one will have deserved the love more than I ever did.
And darn them both for all those weird hugs they love(d) to give me. Maybe one day, I will learn how to like them.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

This photo show the result of the AVERAGE consumer. That is what is shows you. The consumer in America is what creates these nightmares. Your demand.

Despite what this article on the blog by OGP says, A TRUE farmer would never casually just think of this type of disaster as merely a financial loss. He would be there by boat trying to save what was left likely even if not allowed to do so legally. He would be doing something. 

Factory farms are not ran by farmers. They are ran by CEOs, really. The disconnect between food and living beings occurs when people run these "operations" (not farms) like machines. 

A real farmer would be out there with a boat or 12 if he had to trying to save his livestock, even at his own detriment, folks, more often than not. I'm sure many caring farmers did just that. The corporate machines? No. Those aren't farmers.

I know a vegan agenda would have people believe this picture shows "the average farmer'" and his view of his animals, but that is simply not true.

This photo is more about the results of the AVERAGE consumer. That is what is shows us. The consumer in America is what creates these nightmares where thousands of animals are in mass buildings where evacuation and rescue is impossible. Your demand. Your money and how you spend it, how I spend it, creates the world we want.

Let this image inspire you to become more aware of where you food comes from (I hope it reminds me, too), and let it encourage you to buy AT LEAST one more thing locally, from small farmers, as often as you can that you are certain care very much.

(Not my image, not my article from One Green Planet. My comments are directed around and toward article by One Green Planet.)

They are the light that I suppose I'll always see at the end of a tunnel I will never walk entirely through.

I've had some lows.

I've been so bleak sometimes. . . well, let me tell you, touch and go couldn't explain where I've been. May often still be, and yet. . .

Some nights ago, my husband said to me, "You know, you've never been the person I met since. . .that night." I heard some good and bad in those words.

That night my sister. . .so beloved by me she was. . .7 years younger and so beautiful, and my little brothers. . .were gone in a fire and rain and smoke and screams and tears and horror. A few years later, Daddy was gone, too.

More than half of my family. . .gone. The people who crafted me, gone. The people I built hopes and a future around. A vapor.

I've missed them. I've cried for them. I've begged God for them back. I've stopped and still stop when alone on the roadside because the memories are more than anyone can bear and be "normal."

I've wished to not be here without them, anymore. I've been unable to love others enough because of how much I wanted them. And then, I took apart that old person bit by bit. I've built her back brick by brick.

He didn't tell me I am not the same to be cruel. He didn't say the girl he knew before was better. He did say she was happier. She was. In a superficial way, she was blissful. And selfish. And she knew everything. And sometimes, she cared very little. And she wasn't thankful enough. And she didn't want to give everything she had to make other beings have more, be better, to have a chance.

And maybe I still haven't learned my lesson well enough because I'd be that mediocre creature again in the blink of an eye to see them again. Even for a few hours, but that isn't the way it works.

And since I do have to trudge on, I'm glad I'm better now, if less happy. I am certainly more thankful, and I believe that has more value.

And there are these 3 boys, one not so little anymore and two that still come to snuggle in the morning with me, and if things had to be this way, they are the light that I suppose I've always see at the end of a tunnel I will never walk entirely through.

Friday, October 7, 2016

I've loved Jesus My whole life. This may seem a strange post, if you're not from rural West Virginia, but. . .

I've loved Jesus My whole life. This may seem a strange
post, if you're not from rural West Virginia where there is 95% religion and only 5% Jesus moving about, but. . .
My mother laid a foundation that could never be moved. It is
solid. The best. Concrete. She accomplished a lot if you know me, as I question
everything. 12 times. In the end, I'm convinced.
I have believed in love and kindness and Jesus from the time
I could speak. I knew his words. I know them forward, backward and through unto
my soul. I knew he had power. I've seen the miraculous.
I grew older, and I became discouraged. The people claiming
"Christ" ruined everything he said. I thought, "If these are his
people, then he isn't real at all."
They took him and all he was and tore him apart.
They destroyed Christ. I let people who had no idea what he
said or meant influence far more than I should have, really.
I knew who he was when I was young. He was magnificent. He
was Love. He inspired Awe. I had to get to a place I ignored the
"followers" to even believe in HIM once again.
Religion did her best to ruin him, and I am thankful he is
greater than the mess the people I've know have made of him. My word, Yes,
greater than that mess.
The church I know and see all over makes the life I lead
where religion doesn’t matter and kindness to mankind and animals matters.
Well, fact is, I love being being "fringe."
This suits me quite well. I could explain why, but I don't
think it is needed. I've known the Lord my whole life. I think I need to rely
on what I know at this point.
When I could move the "followers" out of the way,
I remembered he knows me. He crafted me to be the person I am. Not for me to do
whatever I want, but in a way that if I listen to him, he will direct me in a
unique way that doesn’t need to fit into a religious mold.
He thought there was value here. I am quite sure of that,
and the Modern Church has no place in my life or in Christianity.
I hope believers can find a way to figure it out sooner than
later, but until then, you can find me over there. . .Saying, "Jesus is
real. he loves you. Me. Horses. Goats. He loves them all." Thank God 

I hate to drive to Lincoln county.

I hate to drive to Lincoln county.
So much I loved desperately was lost there or remembered there.
I loved so much so long ago. I've forgotten how to do that.
My daddy, my Angel, my Ben, My Quentin, My papaw.
This old store is just a place off the side of route 10, but when I traveled down a few days ago, I stopped.
His store. My store. My life. Everything.
Shambles. Wrecked. A thing of the past. Somehow standing still, but not really. . .not if you knew it before it all. . .
Much like me, but if you didn't know it before, how would you know when you look? Maybe this place was always a wreck?
Except it wasn't.
And perhaps, a long time ago, neither was I. Perhaps. I forget, and it has been so long.
And so I stopped. I think of times before it was destroyed. Before it was shambles. I think after almost a decade, even I cannot remember back then.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

These wild, feral kids who run around in their bloomers

These wild, feral kids who run around in their bloomers. . .
I miss them being little sometimes. . .not often. It was hell on earth more often than not, actually, when they were tiny guys.
I joke sometimes about how some women would have turned them into the local fire station. Except, I am not joking.
I wasn't really mommy material, but I sigh a bit sadly when I think about the last day they will call me, "Mommy," moving on to the more grown up version, Mom, Like my oldest did at least 8 years ago or more.
They cried all night and day for years when little babies and toddlers. They didn't start sleeping through until they were 3 or 4 (years old). It was touch and go just keeping them alive on this active farm full of goats, horses, dogs and cattle.
These guys have grown up on raw milk, being barefoot in manure and maybe riding forward facing way before 2 in their carseats.
They made it through infancy sleeping in bed with us smooshed all together, being packed around in slings during horse rescue and slipping out to mingle with the herds when they shouldn't have or riding ponies in those said bloomers in the rain.
They are subject to me as their teacher. . .the teacher of sounds, numbers (a scary thought) and where we came from as people in this world. They have to put clothes on sometimes and go out in the public, and they opt to say things like, "Jesus Saved the whole World" and "My mommy saves horses. Maybe she needs a job that pays money, but she tells, "No'" or "When I grow up, I am going to have Pug rescue, for sure. You have to rescue something, right?"
I cannot imagine doing all that led up to where they are again. When I see pregnancy posts and new birth posts, I usually grimace, but. . .in the end, in the over 15 years of motherhood I've logged, no matter what I do, I know they will always be the greatest accomplishment of my life. I'll always be thankful they were mine.
And I'll always be thrilled I gave in for those next 2 for the farming fellow's sake. Yet, I'll be especially glad I called it a day at three.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I took his lunch away: What is America? I can tell you one thing. . . it isn't a place to be proud of, anymore.

I was out to lunch, actually, when I read this story.

I was having fries, feta and a vegetarian Gyro.

I love food. I adore it. I LOVE being able to have it at my will.

I've been a privileged person for a long time. I can enjoy food in the finest manner, meaning I am able to decide if I want to buy and cook my meals or look around within an hour or so and decide, "Nope, I'd like to choose a restaurant and my meal brought to be this evening." And I do the latter, mostly.

I have spent a little time with too little food as a young adult. I've actually chosen to eat too little in order for my toddler to have all he wanted years ago because I was ashamed to ask for help. It didn't hurt me to do without in order for him to have all he wanted. I did what is right in that case, but all people will not do what they should.

I grew up in a grocery store where my father made sure, regardless of a parent's willingness to pay, a child never left hungry if a need was evident.

He hobbled around there in the end. He was on two canes, and he didn't have a lot left to give, and if he had a child come into his store in hopes of a warm meal, my Aunt Peep and he would have went to the back and made a meal, a meal like those who were able to afford one would have received. He would have given them the same food he'd have given a paying man. And the unpaid bill would have been added to the thousands unpaid over the years.

God, what a man he was.

He did what he should have.

I thank the Lord that my Daddy showed me the right way. He fed the hungry for decades. His name cannot be mentioned in Lincoln county that people do not talk of how people lives, had food and made it because he worked and gave.

He fed them over and over and over. He fed them if they had worth or not.

Never did a man, woman or child show up at his store's steps that they left hungry.

He fed them. My lord. Did he ever feed people.

Thank you, Jesus, for the man who worked himself to death to feed those who were hungry for sixty years in Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Kanawha and Logan counties.

When I read the story above, though I feel like a strong person, I could not really make it through. Not the same. I was ordering a meal, see, and I could barely order. I paused. I looked down. I looked away, Anywhere. I could not make eye contact with anyone while I thought about what I'd read.

All I could picture was a small child, a child much like my own Heath at age 6.  A little boy who has never been without. I pictured him trying to walk away with a tray of warm food, a tray of food he looked forward to, that he so hoped for, and I imagined an adult reaching down and taking it away.

I am ashamed of America. It is an abomination. Shame on Pennsylvania. Shame on You. Shame on Me.

Parents failed the child that day, but so did this country. You. Me. We failed.

So did the people who scream for Life but never want to sustain that life with their dollars.

Shame on you all.

Shame on me for not being a louder voice every single day.

How can I live in such a place and be quiet or only complain and not create change?

I do not know much, but I know one thing. . .I cannot continue to live in a country where these things happen and stay quiet.

I cannot live in a place where we allow children to be abused and neglected by their families, where they are neglected by a system that demands they be born and never care afterward, anymore.

Not anymore.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I'm pretty thankful for what memories and music and photos give us, if we let them

There are a few memories that are simply too powerful and full of meaning to ponder all of the time.
One has to ration them out, as they can. Can for various reasons, mostly because one cannot stand the memories all of the time.
This one.
This is one, but tonight seems a fine time to remember since Youtube continues to suggest this particular song. I can't escape it, so I will tell you all.
Here I am, remembering a song that came to mean so much, but a song that was just another song back then. . .
Remembering her.
She sang. All of the time. With such a voice. I sang with her because she wanted me to. I wanted her to be happy, something that wasn't really her nature.
And to pass the nights at the house when she lived with me so many years ago in Harts, West Virginia, we would record duets. There was nothing else to do. We were surrounded by poverty and drugs and bleak lives. We tried to be different and to find hope and happiness then.
I humored her by singing. I wish I could do so still.
She was so gifted, and yet so shy and fragile and beautiful, and I believed if we performed in the kitchen recording ourselves on my computer enough, eventually. . .she would grown into her amazing "self." She would be sure and loud and fight for a future where she was heard. I hoped she would use that gift to all the potential that was within her. That was never to be, though.

When I heard "For Good" from Wicked, the Musical, back when I did an outdoor theater in 2005, I was sure it was made for us, but I had no idea how much so.
And so we recorded it. I have about 10 versions we performed, with me always trying to get it right, Angel nailing it every single time...
What those recordings of us mean today, almost ten years later, it is impossible to say. They seemed too silly then. We recorded hundreds of songs, but this is and will always be ours.
At any rate, you never realize how much the small thing will mean, the silly things, the things that seem like idle ways to pass time . .until it is quite too late. What seems a silly pass time ended up being played at her funeral. Our song. And today, almost 10 years later, when I hear it, it takes me to the most awesome, heartbroken place. I'm pretty thankful for what memories and music and photos give us, if we let them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A 9 year old just killed himself: Bullies and the life after being Bullied

Folks are usually surprised to learn I was bullied. Not bullied occasionally,  mercilessly from the time I went into 1st grade until I departed 7th grade.

I don't know the name back then, and thankfully, I do not believe I accepted it as having much worth, but in hindsight. . .

Bullied daily. Without relief while in school. 

No one intervened. No one stopped it. And I made it through, somehow.

I was an odd duck, to be sure. I read a lot. I wrote stories in lieu of doing the work at hand. I didn't understand fashion or the value (or lack) of combing one's hair.  I had been sheltered, so I couldn't talk about music or shows. I didn't care about academics or my peer group or being popular. I am actually not sure that I even knew these "things" were "things."

I will never forget picking out my first day of school outfit at age 13. I was truly "so" excited that one time. 
It was the first time I picked out my clothes. I never cared before then. My mother, bless her, she tried to steer me another direction. Yet, I would have none of her suggestions that year. And she let me do as I pleased. I selected a purple leotard. Might I preface this tale by explaining I was a much taller girl than most. Taller than the boys, actually. I had "big bones," and I hadn't developed much, so it was akin to putting a big boy in a skin tight swimsuit. Did I mention, I had a permed mullet, too? 

You read that right. A permed mullet. I didn't mind. It was just fine. Never mind, it was 1995. I picked out a leotard in dark purple. In Sears, I also decided on a nice, deep purple tapered jean with a high waist to draw attention to my lack of one. I then found a really snazzy fanny pack to go along with the awesome outfit. Who knows what goodies I kept in that. Maybe a pen and pencil? And my mom cautioned me, but in true Tinia fashion, I said, "Oh, I don't care. I like it." And there I went into 7th grade, a new school. And of course, looking back, I can remember the horrible things said to me by people I had never met. I am proud of myself back then, though. I never cried or felt sorry for myself. I was happy with who I was, and I went on in the matching gold version the next day.

My mother never gave me false confidence. Neither did my Daddy. My mother really made me believe that the girl I was would always be enough. Mullet and strange personality and all. She never inflated an ego falsely or pretended I was perfect. Neither did Daddy. They never made me feel that my peers or society factored into my life, though. So, mostly, my peer group had no merit at all. I believed their behavior reflected on them, not me. Thank God for my mother and father for that.

I know that was a simpler time. Sadly, little children care now and can't escape, and they care far sooner than I could have imagined, and they are dying as a result. Too few parents themselves believe peers do not matter, and they aren't teaching their children that cruelty in their peers is a reflection on those kids, not on the child being bullied. And I not comfortable with any of our responses. Why aren't why telling kids from the time they can speak, that kindness is all that matters? Why aren't we building people confident being original and different? 

We are failing are parents of these bullies, and we are failing as parents of the bullied.

DO I believe we are raising children with less fortitude? I do. It is because we are raising children without real confidence. I suppose because too few of us have it to impart.

Do I believe we've created a society where pressure and peer groups and popularity are of such enormous importance, we can't understand what it means when we are over 20 years older? 
I do. So now what?

I've been belittled, hit and spit on and had many a handwritten note sent to me talking about how ugly  and fat they decided I was and how no one would care if I never came back to school at all. . .but when I went home, that as the end. And I was the person I was. I believed in Tinia. I knew she had valued and was worth something.

Because she was.

But back then, there was no internet, no cell phone, no social media image or presence. 

But as hardy a character as I was, It wore me down. Even me with a mother making be believe in me all of the time. . .

And when I was 14 years old, I never went back to school. I quit. 

I don't think I realized it was because I was bullied constantly. At that time, I really just felt that school had no value to me. I felt I learned nothing from school, and I flatly refused to go. It wouldn't have mattered what anyone said. Though it is 2 decades in the past now, I remember well that hell or high water wouldn't have compelled me to ever return. I really though it was because it was a waste of time, then. No one would have made me go back. And I never did.

Today, I know better why I refused.

Now, after the death of my sister, brothers, father and grandfather in less than 10 years, I know I have fortitude, and I think of how, at 14, what happened at school really become, though I didn't realize it then, more than I could handle. And I think how I ran away from it. Me. A girl of fortitude. 

I think about how most of my classmates went on to obscurity or drug addiction, and I consider how I got out, and I have went far beyond that little place where lives are small and cruel and short.

I think about what if I would have been unable to handle the cruelty children heaped on my life like kids did to that small boy recently in Ohio who hung himself at 9 years old.

I am thankful I was born in 1982, not more than 20 years later. I think about how odd my own 3 sons are, and I am grateful that they are with me and homeschooled because I know how fragile young people can be. I know how being fragile at 9 is no reflection of how strong you will be in a decade, too.

Being kind and sensitive and unique when you are young isn't a sign you're weak, for I have never been weak. I was growing. And I needed time to grow into me. I couldn't follow and learn. I was blazing my own path. A new one, and I needed time, and thankfully, I had it.

So please tell your children, if they feel important now, tell them one day merit will matter more than appearances and grades and who the teacher dotes on. A confident, happy child will weather anything. Academics and popularity are paltry things compared to true confidence cultivated by one's parents and within one's own self.

Tell your kids that being kind and believing in who you are is all that will matter in the end.

Explain to them that they are enough, as they are. Tell them that what others say reflects on the speakers, not on the ones who hear the words. Explain that who they are will not come full circle for years, that they are a work in progress to not be judged at 6, 8, 12 or 16.

Remind them that many a person was belittled will be the only one to be proud of what they have done a few years later.

Just hold on, kids. Be original. Be who you are, and in time, I promise you, as I have walked that path, you will see I am right.



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington