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

Merry Christmas

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

From our family at Annie’s Goat Hill, to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.  May it be filled with joyous peace, love, and warmth!

Mary

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Mountain Dulcimer

A month ago my husband popped a question out of the blue, “Would you be interested in playing any musical instruments?” I didn’t hesitate, “Oh yes, I would!” He was taken aback.  He really shouldn’t have been.

He didn’t know that in the 1960’s I wore my father’s acoustical guitar out while he was in Viet Nam.  My father had barely played it.  He had also put up a few self-learning music books.  Some practices later – I never learned how to strum the guitar, and found that my fingers were too small for the chords, but I could pick a very simple melody.  At the same time, I had a small child’s electric organ.  It was large enough to sit a bench.  I also learned notes, chords, and some tunes on it as well.  I taped music, on reel to reel tapes, and mailed them to my father.

So, back to the present.  I replied to my husband, “I want to play the dulcimer!” He didn’t know what a dulcimer was.  Actually, a lot of folks do not know what one is.

Off we went in search of a dulcimer.  It wasn’t too difficult.  We do reside in an Appalachian county in Ohio.  I did not make the connection, though.  We quickly found out that there is a “Mountain Dulcimer” and a “Hammered Dulcimer.”  They are very smiliar sounding instructions, but are played in totally different manners.  It was the Mountain Dulcimer that I wanted.

After a month, and with the help of 4 dulcimer books, I am picking and strumming a few songs.  The one I wanted to play for you tonight is Away In The Manger.  Fitting for 9 days before Christmas.  But I do not quite get the chords right (yet).  So, instead, you are going to hear an old piece called Boil That Cabbage Down.

You will need Windows Media Player, click here:  Dulcimer Practice 12-11

I am learning Ode to Joy, which I treasure! I hope to record it on a video soon!

Okay, so, I give my husband so much credit for listening to me practice.  He says he loves it.  I am glad.  I love it too.  My thoughts were, this could be like the child learning the tuba in his/her bedroom.  With the parents in the next room covering their ears!

Love the humor…life is good!

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

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I see visions of a Sunrise soap, to match this beautiful morning.

What better time of day is there to think, meditate, enjoy the peace? Even while standing outside in the crisp air, taking a photo, listing to nothing but the birds waking up, it was beautiful.

Sunrise soap – something citrusy, clean, fresh, and filled with hope for a new day!

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

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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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