Archive for the ‘All In A Day's Time’ Category

We had a very frosty morning. I had better pull the calendula before it does a complete disappearance this season.

I am thinking dried (powdered) calendula for soap, or petals in soap, or perhaps an infusion in olive oil (leading later to an infused salve). The possiblities of color and usefulness are numerous!

Enjoy your weekend. Hope you see some gorgeous sunshine like we are!

P.S. Ignore the weeds in the photo. Weeding is the last thing I have time for lately!


Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps…Smell and Feel the Goodness

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We disappeared yesterday, went M.I.A. (missing in action).  It was the first time we had taken a day off from work, on a workday, for well over a year!

We had a blast.  We rode our bikes.  They are now very dusty.  We ended up on a detour due to a closed road.  We rode over hills, on gravel, on partially paved roads, in the woods, and waved at Amish children along the way.  Adams County Ohio has some unbelievable scenery and back roads.  I will be doing it all again!

I shot the video below as an experiment, to see how it uploads to my blog (how it looks and sounds).  Now that I watch it, it seems rather comical.  I spoke rather slowly, so giggle if you want to! The virgin video…tee hee! We attended several festivals yesterday, the first (where the video was shot, in the barn) The Old Tyme Herb Festival.  We also attended the Appalachian Artisan’s Festival.

As I stood in the aisle of the barn, enthused by all of the people that I had met, enthused by the items in the barn (I am in love with OLD)! I didn’t care who listened to me or saw me talking to a video camera, funny! Enjoy!

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Each season the decision is made when to stop milking the goats.  My business depends upon fresh goat milk, a very obvious fact.

I could purchase milk at the grocery, or in cans, or in the powdered form.  But our products contain our milk, produced from our goats, milked by me.  That is who we are! I know what goes into the goat’s mouth, therefore, I know what does not end up in the milk.  Nothing else will do.

So, to give the “girls” (does) that are “in milk” (currently being milked) a break before they “freshen” (give birth), I make the seasonal decision to remove them from the milk stand.  The decision involves looking at the calendar and the freezer contents for a count, and sometimes even a second look.  I will admit, there are moments that some would consider nail-biting.  Cutting the cord to fresh milk, take a deep breath!

Happily, both freezers are spilling over with frozen goat milk.  We can take a rest now girls.  I love you.

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My alone time with the goats normally comes to light in the early morning hours as I am milking one of them.  The barn, where the milk room is located, is normally quiet and abandoned as most of the herd is outside grazing or rummaging through the hay I just placed in their feeders.

This morning as I enjoyed a peaceful moment with one of the milkers my thoughts turned to the goat.

She isn’t the prettiest goat in the world.  She looks rather thin.  She is very healthy.  Her scraggly winter coat has been shed.  What is left is her glossy “summer-do.”  She comes to the milk room to do a job for me.  She puts every ounce of her body into her milk.  She puts on no airs.  She does her job well.  She provides the amount of quality milk that no other doe provides.  She does not complain.  She requires no special care.

Isn’t that how we (as humans) should be? We produce without complaints because we are given the daily opportunity to do so? We do not need to be beautiful, because we are a special and unique begin to begin with.  If we do what is needed, consistently, we will provide for ourselves (and others) so much more than what is needed…calmly, on a daily basis.

Why rush? Why hurry? Why try to be someone we are not? We simply put our best foot forward and give in to what does come naturally, and happily.

Thank you to the not-so-pretty, un-named goat.  You not only provide beautiful milk for our lotions and soaps, you provide a lesson in life.

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We run three businesses from our farm. 

Our days often run rather long. 

I heard my husband tell one of his customers a few days ago, “We work  until it gets late and then when we cannot do anymore, we shut it down.”  True.

What gets us through? Humor.  Patience.

One of my major functions in all of this is scheduling and organizing.  When the schedule gets rather tight, and even before then, I make the announcement, “The schedule funnels through me, period.” 

Things really get funny when we are tired.  The statement frequently made, especially at the end of the week, is “It takes a pair of brains to think!”

We recently changed internet and cellular providers to ensure we had a stronger signal when we make the move to the new farm.  Along with new phones we chose bluetooth.  The phone rings all day long.  We needed hands-free calls while driving.

So, let the fun begin.  Two “older” people trying to keep up with technology.  Case and example:  one partner is on the phone, bluetooth, the other decides to check email and messages (on the same phone).  Don’t push…the…red…button! I say to self, “I hope I didn’t just disconnect his call.”  He stops talking, after a moment says, “I lost that call.”  He looks bewildered.  I already know what I did

What happens next? Like a teenager I cannot help but laugh.  I do not just laugh.  I cry.  Tears streaming down my face.  I cannot breathe. 

Was it all that funny? Yes and no.  Did I feel better afterwards? Yes. 

A person realizes how serious and intense they can be once they have had a good belly laugh.  It washes away the stress like nothing else!

The day we begin hiring employees I will encourage dedication, but humor will be a requirement!

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One simple word wraps up how I feel – disappointed.

Have you ever experienced a rash of one type of  human behavior, which has left you feeling not so settled?

In short (just a few examples) –

  • The business man bends the truth to ensure his customer does not disrupt his day with additional phone calls.  The deal was done, the sale was already made – paid for, so why did he need to act with integrity now? When his truth-bending came back to him, he told stories to his own superior to cover his tracks.  Who did it hurt? Not him.  It hurt his clients, and it hurt those that ultimately dealt with his clients.
  • The young woman is asked how did her signature appear on a document that she “knew nothing about.”  She then tells the story, “That woman made me sign those papers but would not explain what it was about.”  Who did she hurt? Not herself.  Did she hurt our business-colleague, the one that always so carefully helps everyone (explaining everything in detail)?
  • A women openly reported, “They are lousy business-people.  They do nothing for you.”  In actuality, the service that she received went well beyond what is normally given.  The dedication to her happiness was exceptional.   She went on to tell stories of how mis-treated she was.  Who did she hurt? Not herself.  Perhaps she could hurt the “lousy” business-people if she were to continue to spread her own unhappiness. 

The truth is, in all 3 of these cases, these people did hurt themselves. 

The phrase, “The truth will set you free,” rang like a huge bell in my mind as I rummaged through the trough of non-truths.  Trying to not judge.  Hoping to shed the weight from my own disappointed shoulders. 

The truth will set you free.  Like simple math:  1) In order to be trusted, you are to be honest.  2) Not only tell the truth, but also admit to mistakes.  3) Never, ever, use another human being to mask your own weaknesses – admit to being less than perfect. 

When a person accepts the responsibility of truthfulness they no longer need to lug around a broom and a dust pan to clean up the dirt they leave in their wake.  They are set free.

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About 6 weeks ago my husband and I started a weight loss program. 

I will not bore you with all of the details of our weight loss plan, but I will tell you we integrated less calories (no seconds at meals) with a focus on whole grains, little (to no) white flour/potatoes/sugar, and a diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Is it working? Yes.  Is it difficult? One huge YES!!!!

My slips and slides, spikes of insulin, have lessened, but now the cravings have returned.  It has brought me to comparing the weight loss endeavor to life itself.

How do we stick with a plan? We focus on the horizon.

Small business owners go through ups and downs while growing their businesses.  Is their product what they want it to be? Are their customers really happy? One day it feels right, the next day it feels all wrong.  It is a natural part of doing business, but, without an eye on the horizon, without the steadfast walk towards the goal, it could be a matter of crash and burn.

Weight loss is no different.  Like the carrot dangling in front of the rabbit in the race, if the picture that we want to create of ourselves (a healthier body, or a smaller size) is not retained as a goal, we will eventually give in to our cravings and weight loss will be thrown to the way-side.

Life is full of frustrations, side-tracks, and little lies that tell us that doing what is right is just too difficult.  Na-da!

Keep your eye on the horizon.  Keep your eye on the goal.  Don’t look to the right, nor to the left.  Look where you want to go. 

I believe, do you?

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It is that time again on our farm.

The geese are nesting, the goats are having kids, and spring clean up (along with the mud) begins.

We, the ones that tend to the animals, become a bit sleep deprived. 

We look for calm waters, smooth sailing seas (God bless those that are suffering right now, Japan is on our minds), knowing that we are to enjoy the spring, as kids are not born year round, and spring is so very welcome! Such a blessing it all is!

We are running on a 1-3 day turnaround in fulfilling retail orders, with the premise that everything falls into place, and it does!

Thank you to our recent new wholesale customers, store locations, soon to be posted to our website.  We are happy to have products available this spring in wonderful locations where folks will be out and about, leaving winter’s cabin fever behind!

Please let us know if you need anything…and do not hesitate to email us as anniesgoathill@gmail.com .  We treasure chatting one-on-one with you!

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A few days ago I saw a beautiful sign, tastefully done, in the front yard of a home.  The sign was simple, wrapped around the outer edges with grapevine. 

The message was: 

Life Began In A Garden

Can it be more concise than that?

We are drawn to gardens.  We find secluded spots to meditate or pray. 

We seek and absorb the peace. 

Such a wonder it is.

Life began in a garden, and life truly is restored in a garden.

So well said:  I believe there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.  – Henry David Thoreau

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In our household we are not big on kissing, candies, or flowers.

What we circle around is mutual support, respect, and love.

Humor is a big part of our marriage.

Overlooking faults plays in there too.  A bond strengthens when it is based on a positive outlook.

I am married to my best friend.  We walk the path of life beside each other.  What more can a person ask for on Valentine’s Day?

The simple things in life, things that do not go “bling,” are often the most valuable to the heart and soul.

Have a beautiful day!

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