Spotlight of Warmth

www.anniesgoathill.com spotlightMost of us, with the exception of my friends (whom I sort of envy right now) that reside on the bottom side of our globe, are into winter – dark and cold days. As I was scrolling through blogs, photos of animals, the promotion of small businesses and farms, and posters of positive thoughts, I thought about all of the brightness that those people brought to me and came up with the idea of an Annie’s Goat Hill spotlight. Why not bring good news into the world during this, seemingly, long season? We can all use a Spotlight of Warmth, it spreads.

So, beginning today, if you would like to share, or link to, one of your photos, blog posts, an article about your small business, most anything of taste relating to natural, farm, small business, encouragement and faith, and handmade personal care products on this blog – I encourage you to contact me (anniesgoathill@gmail.com) with your submissions and ideas.

I have some folks in mind already, which leads me to remind those of you that are small business owners and authors to always provide contact information.


Share, Encourage, and Grow


With a mixture of sadness and happiness, people continue to write and call asking for Annie’s Goat Hill soap and lotion.

At this time we no longer sell handmade soap and body care products.

I do write books on soap making (and other topics), which at this time are published here Essential Soapmaking, and here, Advanced Soapmaking; Removing the Mystery. If you are interested in making great soap, these books are chock full of helpful information, insight, and my goat milk soap how-to’s and formula (in the advanced book).

I am also writing an entire line of books, in this order: goat care, children’s farm fiction, and several devotionals – publishing to be completed in both 2013 and 2014.

Thank you,



Share, Encourage and Grow



www.anniesgoathill.com dreamstimefree_148621

Fortified Vitamin B Complex is a staple in my goat medicine cabinet. This post will help you understand the importance.

Are B vitamins necessary in a goat’s diet?

Goats manufacture B vitamins in the rumen through micro-organisms during the digestion process.  Goats utilize (absorb) the B vitamins that the rumen creates and eliminate any excess.

B vitamins are not necessary supplements in the diet of a healthy goat. In fact, B vitamins are not metabolized (absorbed) through the ingestion of feeds at all. They are only absorbed through the rumen system, solely through the internal manufacturing process.

What causes a thiamine deficiency?

Any illness  or condition that leads to a goat not eating can cause the rumen to function poorly, or not function at all, resulting in a drop (or cessation) in B vitamin production, which lowers the absorption of the most important vitamin (B1, Thiamine) to a goat’s health.

Goat kids are very prone to thiamine deficiency. The rumen does not fully function at a very young age, and the immune system continues to build during the first year of life.

Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include: weak back legs, staggering, confusion, star gazing (looking upwards, stretching the neck), diarrhea, muscle tremors, convulsions, circling, and blindness and depression. In the later stages, the goat is unable to stand or rise up, death will follow.

The importance of the correct fiber to starch ratio is extremely important to a goat’s health. When the ratio is incorrect, or when the goat overloads on carbohydrates resulting from too much grain or starch, the rumen stops functioning correctly resulting in less production of B vitamins, or no production at all. Long stemmed fiber, such as good quality hay, is very important to proper rumen function.

A change in diet may also lead to rumen function issues. Feeds must be changed gradually, allowing the rumen to adjust over a period of 7 to 10 days.

Moldy hay or feed also leads to poor rumen function and illness.

Goat Polio (Polioncephalomalacia) is a disease that results from thiamine deficiency. It is easily treated, early on, with larges doses of thiamine. Goat Polio and Listeriosis have very similar symptoms and causes. For this reason, I also include penicillin in the treatment. Note, Listeriosis normally affects full-grown goats, not kids.

How is thiamine deficiency treated?

Fortified Vitamin B Complex contains 100 mg/per ml of Vita B1 (Thiamine). When injected under the skin the goat is able to absorb the B vitamins, replacing what they are not able to produce. A goat will not overdose on an injection of B vitamins. The excess is expelled through urination.

As prevention, probiotics are often administered by goat owners each time feed is changed, when oral medications are given, or when the goat is stressed. The administration of probiotics assists with proper micro-organism balance in the rumen.

Note: purchase Fortified Vitamin B Complex, not Vitamin B Complex, the latter does not contain the correct percentage of thiamine (B1), 100 mg/per ml, required for treatment of thiamine deficiency.

General health note:

When a goat is “off,” the quicker the problem is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of successful treatment and survival. It is best to separate an ill goat from the herd, provide clean dry bedding, fresh water, and adequate feed – especially good quality hay.

Advanced Soap Making; Removing the Mystery www.anniesgoathill.com

I am excited to announce the release of my new book, Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery, co-authored with Alyssa Middleton of Vintage Body Spa.

Coverage from our Amazon.com page, where the book is available, “Enter the world of progressive soap making through Advanced Soap Making: Removing the Mystery. As if you were attending one of their private classes, the authors, Mary Humphrey and Alyssa Middleton lead you through step-by-step instructions, tips and formulas: * How to create unique soap formulas and size the formula to any mold * How to make luxurious goat milk soap * How to beautifully swirl and layer * How to blend natural scents like a pro * How to embed and rebatch natural soaps You will also gain extensive knowledge of common and exotic soap making oils, butters, herbs, unique liquids, hardeners and waxes. The glossary and resource guide erase any remaining advanced soap making doubts with easy to read terminology and locations to shop for ingredients, packaging and other soap making needs.”

My personal goat milk soap making techniques are included in the book, as well as the formula that I follow. Goat milk soap, including most made from scratch soaps, are worth every penny you either put (or pay) into them! Learning how to make the soap yourself really does pay off – for the health of your skin!

If you are new at soap making, or even if you are more experienced, I feel you will find this book to be a great resource.

Happy reading, and happy soaping!


Share, Encourage, and Grow


For a large chunk of my life I settled to the idea that I did not expect myself to be perfect. I was missing important steps due to that mindset.  I now know that a person cannot go towards perfection without study, practice, and experience. I also learned there is a difference between being a perfectionist and being someone that expects to do their very best.

These examples sum up my thoughts on perfection; if you want to be the master basket weaver, you may or may not be born with fingers that are given the talent to weave, but your basket will look like a two year old infant wove the vines through the staves unless you practice. If you want to become a successful soap maker, even if your intentions are to only produce wholesome products for your loved ones, you have to practice definitive steps to get there. If you want to write well, you must read and write often; extensively. If you want to mature as a Christian, you are given the gifts from God to proceed, but you won’t get there unless you study, follow His word, experience life, and study again.

To excel you must believe (trust), have courage, and know that you are never a finished character in life – and really, do you ever want to give in to “I’m done”? I think not. You will likely never be perfect at everything in life, but you can have the peace of mind that giving your best brings.

How do you find the courage to do what you believe in doing? Stand face to face with fear, look it straight in the eyes and say, “You are not a good thing. I am going to hurtle you to the side.” This is an absolute in life; either face the fear, send it packing, or never land with your feet firmly down on the other side of the obstacle. What is fear? An absence of courage and trust.

You have a choice. I have a choice. I love making the choice. You too?

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) ASV

hammering the books out (via dreamstme.com)

My book, temporarily called All About Goats from Annie, is firmly on the road of progress.

Never did I think I would see 71 pages of goat health related reference material in one chapter, but it happened. Whew! I have been refining the content, completing the research, which has amounted to more time devoted to one chapter than the entire 36,000 words I have so far written in the book.

At this point, I have set a goal to publish by October 31, 2014, with that being the latest date, hoping for a sooner release. For those of you waiting for the book, it is not going to take much longer!

Other writing projects on my white board:

Advanced Soapmaking: Removing the Mystery, co-authored with Alyssa Middleton, is soon to be released. We hope to have the book proof in our hands within 7-10 days.

Annie’s Adventures On the Farm (temporarily named), a youth fiction novelette, is nearly 80% complete. It will set sail after All About Goats from Annie is published.

Hammering the words out, onwards!

Share, Encourage, and Grow

sarah www..anniesgoathill.com

I am making huge progress with the goat book that I am writing. I am nearing the stage of clean-up before sending to an editing team. This book covers many aspects of goat ownership, including, but not limited to, things to consider when purchasing goats, health and wellness care, milking, many of my own personal experiences and stories.

What topics would you like to see included in a goat book? Think about the articles and books that you have read, what have you not seen that you would like, or need, to learn about?

Please leave your comments here, or email me at anniesgoathill@gmail.com.

Thank you!



A week ago I started something I consider monumental in my life.

My husband and I were away from home. Out of the blue the urge to start a new book came to me.

We were in a remote location when the writing notion hit. We were nowhere near a store, and basically stranded for a  few hours. We started gathering paper from anywhere and everywhere – a 2″x4″ tablet, the back side of junk mail, envelopes, and even cardboard boxes. The words flowed…they gushed out as if they had been dammed behind a concrete wall for years.

I suddenly realized the book that my husband suggested that I write four years ago had just been started.

Today, I transferred my hand-written notes to a Word document and officially started the Annie’s All About Goats (to be re-named) book file. I now have a preface and two chapters, and more hand-written notes to begin another chapter.

The purpose of the book will serve as a basic guide. As the writing progresses I’ll update you here, and will likely be asking for your favorite goat supply locations, and other information you may want to see in the book, including goat care tips. I may even hi-lite a few goat farms for those of you that want exposure.

I am excited! I hope you are too.

diy plarn rug www.anniesgoathill.com

I am enthused with the early results of  my latest project, a crocheted outdoor mat made solely from recycled plastic bags cut into strips (plarn).

I’ve seen various instructions online for these types of projects, but I opted to be stubborn and begin this do-it-yourself project without a set pattern. You know how it is, instructions tend to confuse me. You too?

Materials needed:

  • plastic bags (grocery, bread, or shopping bags of fairly equal thickness)
  • scissors
  • aluminum crochet hook size N  – 9.000 MM


  1. Cut the bottom off of bags
  2. Cut the bags into strips  (plastic yarn = plarn) 3/4” wide medium-thin plastic, up to 1 1/4” wide very thin plastic (cut one continuous strip from each bag  – picture an apple peeled in one spiral strip)
  3. Chain plarn (to desired length or width of rug)
  4. Single crochet in each chain
  5. Chain one
  6. Single crochet in each single crochet
  7. Repeat steps 5 -6 until desired length (or width) of rug is obtained

I plan to single crochet around the outer edges of the finished rug, and I might add a decorative fringe.

I’ll post updates as the rug progresses.

What do you think? Do you like it too?

Week Old

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakend. – Anatole France

Can you imagine life without animals to love and care for?