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goat care, kid goats, caring for goats, book about goats, goat health, how to raise goats, how to purchase goats, goat farmMy latest book, Annie’s all about Goats, is now available in paperback on Amazon.com.

I am excited to publish this book for new goat owners, as well as those that have experience, and for people considering goat ownership. This is a great reference book to start or add to any goat care library!

I cover a range of topics including:

  • purchasing goats (things to consider and how to select)
  • bringing new goats to the farm
  • goat breeds
  • fencing, housing, and storage
  • livestock guard animals
  • feed and nutrition
  • health and wellness care
  • coat, hoof, and horn care
  • breeding and pregnancy
  • birthing
  • raising kids
  • milking
  • ways to use goat milk

My husband sat down and read the book proof as I was cross-referencing page numbers. He said, “I’ve learned about goats all over again! I had forgotten so many things.”

This book is a true and absolute work from my heart. I hope many people enjoy and learn from it for many years to come!

Have you noticed? Goats are all the rave.

Goats are:

  • Small livestock (suitable for smaller farms)
  • Provide milk, fiber, and meat (great for small business)
  • Entertaining
  • Intelligent

Goats, like any livestock, can be expensive and difficult to care for.

Before you purchase goats, educate yourself. Read. Absorb as much as you can from books, watch videos, attend in-person classes and conferences, and communicate with other goat owners.

Research your local veterinarian and make sure he/she is educated in goat wellness care, preventive maintenance, and treatment.

Online social forums are also a great place to learn about goats, but I warn you, these can be political areas so keep an open mind. Learn what you can based on your own common sense.

I grieve when I receive an email that says, “I gave my goat an aspirin at midnight,” or, “I’ve given Pepto-Bismol three days ago and now my goat cannot walk.” I find myself riding to work and I open my email to read that a goat is down, and I can do very little from there. Please read the health care posts that I’ve written on this blog, or purchase my book (which covers most goat ailments), better yet, purchase as many books as you can on this topic.

I avoided giving exact dosages for treatments in my book because here is the main scope of my blog post today, I encourage you to go after your dreams, own your goats, you will love them, but seek your veterinarian out when the going gets rough, and it will get tough. You will need assistance from someone who knows what they are doing, until you know what you are doing. Even when you are experienced, things happen.

Happy goating! I hope to hear your lovely goat farming stories! Reach for  your dreams!

 handmade lotion making
I’ve received a number of questions about handmade lotion. Today, I am sharing portions of these conversations with you.

Is lotion difficult to make? 

No, no, and no.

For years, I made soap and nothing more.  I had this idea that lotion making would be extremely difficult to grasp. It ended up being so easy. My thoughts were, what took me so long to do this?

The mixing of water and oil…

So, how does water mix with oil? An emulsion is a suspension of water and oil, and to obtain this perfect blend that does not separate, an “emulsifier” is added to the formula. 

Does all-natural lotion require a preservative? 

Yes! Trust me, I attempted to make lotion without a “real” preservative. The green nasties wasted no time in turning my skin-nourishing lotion into something that looked and smelled (and was) toxic. Who wants mold smeared on their skin? If you sell your products, you definitely do not want that liability.

What else can I do to keep the nasties out of my lotion formula?

Speaking of formula preservation. Scruptulously clean, sanitized equipment and containers, is a must first-step in lotion making. 

Always use DISTILLED water in a water-based formula. Both tap and bottled water contains contaminants. These contaminants compromise the safety of your lotion formula, and may also lead to inconsistent results from batch to batch. 

Pour before the lotion batch cools down…

When I initially set out on my lotion crafting journey I made 16 ounce batches at a time. This is one of joys of making your own cosmetics. By using simple math, you can made a 4 ounce bottle of lotion or face cream, or 16 ounces (pick your size), in no-time flat. I often made 110-pound batches of lotion in my soap studio. I used a large stainless steel stock pot and a commercial stick blender (which weighted in at 26 pounds). Tip to eliminate pouring woes when making large sized batches: pour as soon as soon as blending is complete. When lotion cools down it may become difficult to pour.

What else can I tell you?

You know, one of my joys in life is to teach others. To be helpful. So, this is why I wrote a simple lotion making book, Essential Lotion Making: Skin Care Made Easy, to share what I have learned with you. 

Okay, final thoughts of wisdom here, can you match the absolute truth of knowing what you put on your own skin? Your skin is the largest organ of your body, treat it with love!

(Please note: lotion is considered a cosmetic. The sale of cosmetics is governed in the United States by the FDA,      http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/default.htm. I also outlined basic labeling, testing, and other requirements and safety recommendations in my book.)

sarah are you kidding www..anniesgoathill.comAre you kidding? No, we are not having kids. We are designing a cover…finally!

I have hired the excellent services of Jennifer Smith, talented owner and operator of Eco-Office Gals.

I am thrilled to be at the stage of final formatting of this book, and to have someone with fresh (and trained) eyes helping me with cover design.

This means that I get the book out to you…and yes, I have a growing waiting list, and, I can roll forward on my next books — a devotional, a children’s fiction book which brings fun things to the farm, and a future 2nd edition of Annie’s All About Goats.

As Sarah, the lovely gal pictured above, would say, “Mehhh! Mehhh!” Move forward!

Central-Market-Whey-Protein-242x187I have known for many years that I feel positively better when I include protein in each meal, but my focus on breakfast was eggs, meat, or cheese.

I have discovered a new personal favorite, a smoothie to start my day.

These smoothies do not spike my blood sugar, and even though I drink them between 7:00 – 7:30 a.m., I do not feel hungry as the morning progresses. My energy level is sustained for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. By then, it is time for lunch.

I start my smoothie mix with non-fat milk, about 7 ounces. I add slightly less than one scoop of Central Market whey powder, and then I add fresh (that I freeze myself) fruit.

My personal favorite smoothie fruits are granny smith apples (with a touch of lemon juice as a nature preservative), several slices of peaches, and about 1/8 cup (or less) of blueberries or blackberries.

This equates to a low-fat, easy to digest protein packed blend, with nutrition that rapidly goes into the bloodstream.

What have you found that sustains you throughout your morning or afternoon?

If you drink smoothies, what recipe do you enjoy?

Have you tried peanut butter and cocoa? I’ve not gone that route yet. Would love to hear if you have!

Mexican Breakfast Biscuit Casserole www.anniesgoathill.comI am a cook. This means I kicked it up a notch!

At the bottom of this post I list the original ingredients to the “Ham and Biscuit Breakfast Casserole” recipe.

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 lb sage sausage, cooked and drained

5 eggs, beaten

1/2 can Mexican style tomatoes (10 oz), drained*

1 small can sliced black olives, drained

1/4 cup diced onion

1 large can flaky “homestyle” biscuits

Salsa for topping

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish (I used a glass 10×10 baking dish, and coated with non-stick cooking spray).
  • Fully cook the sausage and drain. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
  • Mix all the ingredients together, including the sausage, except for the biscuits and 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese. Stir to mix well.
  • Cut each biscuit into quarters and add to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Top with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
  • Pour everything into the greased baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes (or until browned and biscuit and eggs have cooked thoroughly).
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut and serve. Top with salsa to taste.

The original Ham and Biscuit Break Casserole recipe included 1/2 cup whole milk (I substituted buttermilk), 2 cups cubed ham, and salt and pepper to taste. The original recipe also listed the cook time at 25 minutes.

The top of the casserole may brown before it cooks thoroughly. In this case, cover the casserole with foil to prevent further browning.

*I used 1/2 can of Mexican tomatoes, and froze the 2nd half in a freezer bag for future use.

This casserole is great for dinner, and we enjoyed it as left-overs for breakfast. Heat individual servings in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, or until warm.

Enjoy!

indexEssential Lotion Making: Skin Care Made Easy has published! The paperback is available (here), and the Kindle is listed (here).

After I made soap for a number of years I purchased pre-made lotion bases in bulk because I thought lotion making was going to be too difficult to tackle. Lotion formulating ended up being less difficult than soap making. This lead to the writing of this book, to teach others how easy lotion making really is.

I included a list of the most common preservatives in this book, in answer to the many questions I have received, as well as how to make and preserve goat milk lotion.

Handmade cosmetics are so good for the skin…and a big part of that reason is when we know what goes into the bottle, we also know what we are putting on our precious skin!