Moonlight illusions–Meet our newest addition

When you live on a farm, there is always something new and a surprise around every corner. I feel like I shouldn’t be surprised when the unexpected happens, but I always am. It is one of the reasons I love living on a farm. No “one day” is the same. Last night, at 1:30 am, once again, I was surprised.

I had just finished painting my nails and watching a movie with Mom, while I finished up some homework (multitasking at its finest). Miracle still needed to be fed her last bottle of the night, so Mom got the bottles ready. She said that she would feed Miracle since my nails were wet, but asked if I would walk with her (keep in mind it is 1:30 am). At this point, let me give you a visual. I am in sweatpants, and my brother’s oversized Croc shoes. Mom is still in church clothes and bedroom shoes. We didn’t bring a flashlight, and Mom was confused as to why I was bringing her down a back way to the goat pen. Quite the picture right?

As we bent down to give Miracle her bottle, I looked to my left in the pen beside us. I started squealing. There in the dark, glowed a new baby goat. Not just any goat, but our Angora’s baby!

Note: In 2009, I bought 2 angora goats as a start in my fiber herd (Angora goats have long locks of fiber called mohair). We went all the way to West Virginia to get them. Many years ago, one died, but my other one has stuck around. She is quite the awkward goat, losing one horn a couple of years ago, and has stretched out skin. She has been very susceptible to parasites over the years, and has come back where most goats wouldn’t. She often has patchy hair, and always looks like a misfit, but she’s tough and quirky.

I ran to the house (as fast as the too big Crocs would allow me) and grabbed a flashlight from Alec’s room. He woke up, and I told him Angora had a baby! Then I left. I ran back outside to see a snow white baby goat standing beside the Angora. I almost peed on myself because I was so excited. I checked to see if it was a doe or buck, and it was a little girl. That made me squeal all over again. Mom is still incredulous as to what is happening, thinking it had to be Cash, Miracle’s brother that got into the other pen. Nope. It is a brand new baby.illy

We began forming a plan to get the new momma and baby situated for the night. We wrestled drop cords, and hung a heat lamp in a shelter. Keep in mind, Mom is still in a dress trying to do this stuff, and I’m slightly hyper. Finally, we got it all situated. We led the pair into the shelter and started to trim the Angora’s fiber so the baby could find the teats. The baby was so spunky, but was still having a hard time locating where to nurse. She went from the chest to the butt and back again. Finally, with a little direction, we saw her nurse. At this point, Angora was quite fed up with us and wanted us out. At 2 am, we decided that they would be fine, and we needed to go to bed. The goats were fine, but my nails were a bit worse for the wear. I don’t know why I even try.

angora

This morning, Mom and baby were doing great. The baby is already running and jumping. I don’t think I’ve ever had one hit the ground with such spunk before. Angora is being a terrific mom too! We are still in the naming process, but are leaning towards Lunar Illusion and calling her Lilly or just plain Illusion and calling her Illy or Lucy. I’ll let you know.

Illusion

I’m sure by now you think I am a crazy person for squealing and getting so excited. What you don’t know, is that for 5 years, the Angora has been in with various bucks, and never bred. Not only this, but 7 years is super old for a goat, so the chance of her catching now, of all times, is incredible. We honestly thought our eyes were playing tricks on us in the moonlight, but no, it wasn’t an illusion. We now have a Boergora goat (Boer/Angora cross).

Wonders never cease to amaze here at Countryview Farms. I’m still in awe over what happened and how spunky she is. Miracle isn’t the only miracle around here anymore!

white

The Year of the Goat/Sheep: Chinese New Year

While today may seem like a regular day, for some it is quite the holiday. For me, it is my Valentine’s Day since Garrett and I missed out on the normal one due to ice and work schedules. We never liked to follow trends anyway.

That isn’t the holiday I’m talking about, though. Today is the Chinese New Year. What makes it even cooler, is it marks the year of the goat/sheep–two of my favorite farm animals. When I heard that it was the year of the goat/sheep, I got curious as to what this meant and what exactly the Chinese New Year entails.

Luckily, I have a friend at school who is an international student from China. Yue answered all my questions, and told me some pretty cool stuff. So, here is what I learned:

The Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is based off of the lunar calendar. In China, this holiday is equivalent to our Christmas except wearing red and green is a no,no. On the Spring Festival, people wear red, but green is considered unlucky. In addition, Chinese people think that the combination of red and green is very ugly. I thought this was very interesting, and will be sure to not wear a Christmas colored sweater if I ever visit China.

no gren
Don’t wear green!

When I asked Yue if it was the year of the goat or the sheep, she explained that Chinese people do not differentiate between the two. This was very odd to me, as they are so different for me. I suppose, then you could say that it is the year of goat or sheep–pick your favorite 🙂 Yue said that there wasn’t anything really special about the year of the goat/sheep, but senior citizens in China think that babies born in this year are weak.

goat

Where my family has black-eyed peas and collard greens for New Year’s, Yue’s family makes dumplings. She told me that it is a lengthy process to make the dumplings and the filling for them. Her family enjoys dumplings filled with mutton and carrots, but other families may use a combination of pork, green Chinese onion, and cabbage. In addition to eating dumplings, there are fireworks. Yue likes to watch the Spring Festival Gala with her family. When it comes to the Lunar New Year, people wear new clothes (usually red), and kids say “Happy New Year” to their parents and grandparents. Older generations give “red bag” filled with money to the children.

Yue also shared with me these facts about the holiday:

One week before the Spring Festival, many Chinese workers who work in big cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, begin to go back to their hometown, the rural area in China. The expense for travel through half of China is not cheap. But these workers would rather spend a large amount of money they earned during the last year just to go back home and get together with their families. So, Spring Festival is not only a holiday for people to have a break, but also a convention to remind each generation the meaning of family and true happiness. 

I’m so thankful to Yue for sharing her culture with me. I enjoyed learning about it! So, here is to the year of the goat/sheep. Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Perhaps, there will be dumplings on the menu today.