Friday, April 21, 2017

Birth (this time not goats) and gorgeous scenery

Easter morning I thought I would burst. I had gotten up at 3 am to support my friend when she was giving birth to her baby girl, which was an amazing experience. (Head over here to my other blog to read about it, especially if you are a mother.)  I promise, it's worth it with a beautiful message.

I came home after the baby was born, just in time to watch Eva hunt for Easter eggs.  Her older brothers were too cool for that, but they still watched and later shared in the sweet bounty their generous sister distributed among them.

It was warm and sunny that morning, and as I drank a rare cup of coffee on the deck, telling Steve about the beautiful birthing experience with my friend, I felt like I could burst with happiness.

In order to channel this excessive energy (thank you, coffee, and thank you,  bonding-hormone-oxytocin), we went for a hike, which literally starts in our backyard and leads to this:





I know, right?

When I keep telling you we live at the edge of the wilderness, I'm not kidding.  We walk out of our front door and hike up to these mossy cliffs with a view in 45 minutes.

The trail meanders through a magical mossy fern-covered forest, along a roaring creek, dotted with huge boulders and giant cedars.  

It's the kind of place that makes your heart expand wide and makes you realize what a beautiful planet we live on.










All day long, we saw signs of spring: blooming salmonberries and trillium, nesting swallows, sunshine.  

What a beautiful day to be born!  The whole day, I was flying high from this birthing experience and couldn't stop thinking about it.

And talking of birthing, did I tell you that my other goat gave birth to twins?  We now have two goat mamas with two sets of twins, and a barn with feisty baby goats full of themselves.

I like to escape to the barn in the evenings and let Steve deal with the human kids' chaos in the house.  

Then I immerse myself in the goat kids' chaos, sitting in the straw, letting them chew on my jacket, jump up and down on my lap, and watching them head butt each other.

It's a pure comedy show, that.






Although we do see signs of spring, it has been incredibly wet and yucky outside.  It gets on my nerves, this weather, especially since I am itching to put seedlings in the ground.  But I can't work the soil when it's so soggy, so we just wait, wait, wait.

I will leave you with images of Luke and me holding our chickens to trim their wings.  They kept flying over the fence to scratch in my garden, which could be murderous for my garlic greens poking out of the soil.

Once the garden is planted, the chickens have to be securely contained, because they would destroy it with their scratching and pecking.  So their flight feathers had to go.  It doesn't hurt them, and they are so tame they like to be held.



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Baby goats and one of my favorite beaches. I should have titled this post "Beach Babes".

A few days ago, my goat delivered her babies.  Actually, I should clarify: it was ME who delivered the babies.

The twins were trying to get born at the same time, on top of each other, and the poor Mama goat kept pushing and pushing and getting tired.

All three would have probably died if I hadn't intervened.

So as my husband and one of our friends held her down, I was up to my elbow in the screaming goat's uterus, trying to sort out the tangled-up babies, pushing one back and pulling the other one out.

It turned out great.  All three are doing dandy, as you can see by our smiling faces (goat baby included).



Before all this happened, my whole family was burning a huge brush pile. I checked to see if the goats were doing okay because the brush pile consisted of bamboo, and if you have ever burnt bamboo, you know it sounds like gunshots, since the hollow chambers explode and create a machine-gun sound track.

When I walked in, I saw amber birthing fluid dripping from my goat Dandelion.  It was a shocking surprise, because her due date was four days later, and my goats have never been early.

I rushed around to gather everything for my birthing kit, then settled in to help in case my midwiving services would be needed.  My excited daughter and  seasoned birthing assistant Eva grabbed a seat in the straw as well.






In my 12 years of raising goats, I have never missed a single birth.  I like to be there in case things go wrong, which is rare.  My goats seem to like me there, and sometimes they try to sit on my lap when they are in labor.

As I tried to reassure Mama goat, I realized she was in trouble.  I will spare you the attractive pictures of me lubricating and washing my arms and hands and sorting out the babies internally.  Things were so intense that nobody had time to take pictures anyway.

First, I pulled out a girl, then soon after a boy.









The second part of this post happened a few days before the goat birth, when the sun came out, halleluja, and I took Eva, Luke and the dogs to one of our local creeks with a nice beach.  Kai was at a sleepover, so he missed out.

I've been working so hard on my new website and coaching business that I messed up my back, hunching over the computer or phone for hours.  I decided that enough was enough, and headed to the creek to unplug for a few hours.

Can you see why this place is perfect for that?








While I sat on the sand, happily staring into the water and just generally spacing out, the kids played and got wet and ran around as they always do, and slowly, slowly life adjusted itself to put me back into my center, my power spot.

As I preach over at my new blog for mothers, you gotta re-fill your own tank.  You gotta.  It's not selfish.  It's necessary.  If you run on empty, you have nothing to give to anyone, so go refill.  My topping-the-tank is fresh air and nature, so here I am! 











Sending much love to everyone out there.  Spring is coming!  Yippie!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Food, food, food, and the best muffin recipe I've ever made

Since the weather has been so non-stop *#^@ yucky, our lives have revolved around food.  When it's gloomy and dumping rain, you gotta have some comfort food.

So to start with, I want to point you to my no-refined-sugar maple walnut blueberry muffins.  We've been whipping 'em up a lot lately, and they are the best muffins I've ever eaten.

There's also lots of homemade pizza happening around here.





And since we are talking of food, let me show you the crazy color of our nettle pesto.  I have a recipe of it on my blog, as well as a tutorial on my youtube channel, and I think you totally should make it yourself.  

It's better than pesto made with basil, and packed with so many more nutrients.  My kids love it, which is a bonus!



I would love to show you photos of our beautiful mountains, but you can't see them because of the clouds.  

I would love to show you pictures of our beautiful garden, but it's too wet to plant anything, except the garlic, which we did plant a couple of weeks ago when it didn't pour for a whole day.

I would love to show you photos of our baby goats, but they are still in utero.

Moving right along: more food.  Yep, that's how we hang.  We like to eat.

Kai, our oldest son, has gotten into making Sushi.  More power to you, dude!

And Eva, our youngest, is determined to learn how to make Challa, which is an amazing sweet bread made with duck eggs.  I make it with honey instead of white sugar, so I can eat it, too.



And will you look at these?  Shiitake mushrooms from our own land!  I don't know why that feels so monumental to me, but considering how expensive they are to buy, it feels like a luxury to grow our own Shiitakes.


We can't neglect drinks after showcasing all this food, so let me show you my Kombucha operation.  This fermented drink is full of probiotics, so it's awesome for your gut health, which affects your mental healthy, too.  The more research I do on gut health, the more I realize how it is all connected to our mental state.

I teach an online workshop on how to make Kombucha, and I also show how to make it so incredibly fizzy it's like a soda you would buy at the store, except much, much healthier!




Allright, now that you may be drooling, or maybe totally bored with my food stuff, let's go outside.

As I mentioned, we had one day of sun last week, so we headed outside, of course.  I dug in the flower garden to weed the darn buttercup out of it and had to open the greenhouse so my seedlings wouldn't die of heat stroke.  Steve pruned the orchard.  And the kids jumped on the trampoline so much that they were sweating.  

It got so warm that we were able to eat lunch on the porch, much to the delight of the dogs and chickens, since they got to clean up after us.





I will leave you with images from the homestead.  It is spring, it really is, and I do remind myself of this daily when we are huddling in front of the wood stove.  
The chickens and ducks are free ranging and stepping up their egg production (thus all this frantic Challa-making, ahem), and crocuses and witch hazel are blooming.





PS: Don't forget to get my maple walnut blueberry muffin recipe over at my new blog!