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Archive for November, 2010

Goats…

Posted by --- on Friday 26 November, 2010

Yep you read it right. Goats. We’ve had goats! It was going to be just one, but researching it we’ve learnt that as goats are herd animals they need a companion. I’d decided that the breed I’d like was a golden guernsey goat. I like the look of these for several reasons:

  • Their size, not being too big
  • their milk supply, which is not as much as most
  • the fat content of the milk which is higher making it better form butter, yoghurt and cheese making,
  • I like how they look. many of them have longer fur
  • and finally because they are a rare breed.  keeping them and breeding responsibly from them we should help the breed.

Trying to find one wasn’t so easy. In the end we found two goatling in Wales, When we rang however there was only one left so then we needed to find her a companion and we needed one pretty fast.  We decided that our best bet would be a pygmy goat. We wanted a nanny in case we decided to breed from her in future. We made finding one more difficult by insisting it had to be dehorned (because the guernsey is and it is illegal to keep horned and dehorned, or disbudded, goats together) and wanting a nanny. I could buy numerous horned wethers – which is the name for a castrated male goat. In the end I tracked a lovely nanny goat in Barnsley that was just what we wanted. OHS went to collect it and fell in love with her sister who also has a kid that was born at the end of September so, he ended up bringing back all three and our golden is being collected tomorrow!

Now we’re on a steep learning curve, well I am. I’ve read tons of literature on goats. I have learned tons but books dont cover everything such as why the nanny keeps stopping her kid from suckling…. We’ve got their temporary housing and a pen set up. Hopefully we will have finished their final housing before long. This will be a 12 x 8 foot shed with a stall for living, a milking area, a food storage area and a kidding stall, They will also have a 20 footby 8 foot pen with a concrete floor plus access to grazing.  Right now, although basic and not as big, they have everything they need but they have come to live with us  just as the weather has turned really nasty; the water we’re putting in for them is freezing within an hour or so.  I’m hoping, once I’ve got teh hang of it, to expand my soap making to include goats milk recipes. I’m also looking forward to seeing if drinking goats milk has any positive effects on our health as both OHS and I suffer with gastric complaints. We would also need to get used to the taste. We did by goats milk from the supermarket but it was skimmed and wasn’t really a fair taste trial. I’ve read several times that it doesn’t taste any different from cows milk but we thought that it did. Only time will tell.

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Bumbles, giggles and rice. week 17-18

Posted by --- on Friday 26 November, 2010

Baby I was 18 weeks on thursday this week and the day before, she started solids. She is still being breast fed and hasn’t developed any pattern. She is, on average, having a feed every 2 hours around the clock. I was hoping starting solids would reduce that but it hasn’t and I think I might leave her for another couple of weeks as she isn’t really enjoying the teaspoon of rice each lunchtime.

This week she has also started using her bumble nappies regularly; mainly due to running out of disposables. I’d bought a a stack of disposables when they were on offer but those she has left now are too big for her. I dug out the bumbles that she tried once or twice before and she seems to be happy with them. I’m happy with them. Apart from the fact that they seem bulky (which I like when I cuddle her!) they seem to be as good, if not better, than all the brands of disposables we’ve tried. So far pampers, huggies, tesco and asda’s own brands haven’t managed to contain baby I’s explosive baby poo but twice these nappies have managed it. My problem will be removing the stains as I haven’t managed to get the yellow stains out of her clothes yet either! I keep getting told that sunshine will take the stains out but I’ve left vests outside for three days in brilliant sunshine (yes, in the UK we did have more than one day in a row of sunshine!) and the stains remained. I now have one stained nappy outside – which has frozen stiff – in the very slim hope that a little sunshine might do the trick. If not I’ll try a hot wash. I bought a cheap fleecy blanket from the pound shop today that I’ve cut into 13 strips to use as liners so hopefully the staining wont be as bad on the nappy though breastfed babies poo tends to soak into the nappy. I wanted to use cloth nappies after reading about how many disposables are taken to the tip and sit there for up to 500  years! Apart from ecological reasons there are economical reasons too. In the long run, it works out cheaper to use reusables, especially, if like me, you purchase second hand. I’ll let you know how they go and if they’re as practical for someone like me that likes a simple, easy life!

This week I’m pretty sure she is giggling too. I thought she’d giggled before but I’m sure she has now. It’s impossible to get her to repeat it though I’ve tried everythign. When it happens its a throaty chuckle which I’m sure even surprises her by the look on her face but gets an instant burst of laughter and smiles from anyone around her.

She is still getting a lot of attention when we go out. An elderly lady in Asda stopped me this week to tell me she is one of the most beautiful babies she’d ever seen which was lovely to hear. Baby I always gets lots of ooh’s and ahh’s when we’re out especially when she’s in her sling as she was today. Living where we do, it is very rare to see a baby in anything but a pushchair. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone else using one. You see them all around town, the moms with their babies in matching colour co-ordinated buggy’s. They buy new ones just to keep up with fashion! I know a girl that has had at least 3 for each child purely because of fashion and then there’s me, with my little one snuggled up under my chin in her sling. The surprising thing is the reaction. i was expecting snide remarks like those I’ve received already such as “What’s that? A curtain you’ve slung around her?!” which was from a relative!  But no, many people are asking questions. I heard a dad telling his partner today that they should think of getting something like it for their little one as “I bet she’s lovely and warm in there!” which of course, she was. They’d spent some time trying to catch up with me to try to have a sneaky peak and I didn’t want to seem as if I was eavesdropping by dropping back to talk to them but they were most impressed. I don’t think many people around here have seen slings in use but I hope more people take to using them. I’d be lost without mine as she wouldn’t take to her pushchair in the beginning (still screams in her car seat every trip we make in the dark and some in the light too) and it was far easier when she was distressed to put her in her sling and take her out and about.  She loves being close to me, being able to see and I also think a lot of the attention she gets is because she’s up where people can see her, when they realise I’m carrying a baby that is.

She is still a difficult baby. I’ve struggled with her this week. I still can’t put her down to sleep and she sleeps very little in the day. She had three 15 – 25 minute naps through out the day today and  finally fell asleep on me around 10:30  this evening; she is on the sofa next to me and is fidgety.  Dad and nan have struggled with her this week with nan hearing her screaming cry for the first time when she looked after her when i went to the dentist and dad having her scream at him when i went to the shop for ten minutes and again, when I went to the toilet. She is getting worse. I cannot leave her. She wont settle in her moses basket and is sleeping in bed with us.I cannot get anything done and am finding it frustrating. I then feel guilty because it wont last and she’s only upset because she wants to be with me. I keep hoping it will get easier as she gets older.

nappy debate  links:

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Shortcrust pastry formula

Posted by --- on Thursday 11 November, 2010

This is another post made primarily as a reference for myself. I’ve noticed that Shortcrust pastry has a rough formula of 100, 50, 24 %

So for 1kg flour, add 500g fat (250 butter & 250 lard) and 240ml water. Roughly flour, fat, water would be:
500g flour, 250g fat and 120ml water.
400, 200, 95
300, 150, 70
200, 100, 50
100, 50, 25
(water rounded up or down for simplicity)

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