Sunday, January 2, 2011

Milking Goats



We would like to welcome you to "Goat Roper" week on OPOD. We will spend the week looking at the ins and outs of raising goats and sheep through the venue of old photographs. Goats and Sheep are something I know quiet a bit about, and some people consider me an expert. OK, in reality, no one considers me an expert, but I did spend many a summer working sheep and goats. I will share what I learned with you. I have to warn you, that we will be dealing with some pretty "heavy" goat and sheep topics, so if you have a weak stomach, you might want to just look at the pictures and not read the descriptions.

Now, for today's picture we have a couple of dapper gentlemen milking a goat. Many of you might not be aware that people actually milk goats. I have this neighbor lady, and she has several milk goats. She goes out every morning, and milks her goats by hand. She does not have a fancy little milking stand like these guys do . . . she does it the old fashioned way, with a bucket and a milking stool. Interesting that when you shake hands with this lady, she has quiet the firm grip. She never buys store bought cows milk. She raised her entire family on goat milk.She also makes goat cheese, and more recently goat soap. She claims the soap is the best in the world. I am not sure if she makes the soap from rendering the fat of a dead goat, or if she somehow renders the cream from the goat milk. Anyway, she offered Mrs. PJM a bar of her goat soap. Mrs. PJM was reluctant, but did not want to offend, so she took the soap. She did try it, and reported to me it was the best bath soap she ever used. She reported that it was very "moisturizing", left you feeling clean and fresh, and smelled good. So, Mrs. PJM is now a believer. Don't know what it is going to cost to start buying this soap, but perhaps we could barter with her for some tomatoes.

Anyway, hope you enjoy Goat Roper week. I find it interesting that people do not romanticize about raising sheep and goats the same way they do about cattle ranching and cowboying. Perhaps we can improve the image of the lowly sheep and goats this week.

Domestic Update:

I know Roger is going to be upset, but I do not have any new Chickie Town pictures this morning. I had planned on taking some pictures of Handsome and his posse yesterday, but unfortunately we experienced a MPM which required the day to partially resolve (Major Plumbing Malfunction). I was taking a shower yesterday morning, and Mrs. PJM ran in yelling to turn the water off. She said I was flooding the downstairs. I had just gotten the shampoo in my hair, and thought that it would make sense to go ahead and rinse it out, but Mrs. PJM insisted I  IMMEDIATELY turn the shower off. So, I complied, and went downstairs to find every  sink drain, toilet, and shower drain downstairs had become a geyser, spewing raw sewage all over the house. Well, the immediate thought was to call a plumber but it was new years day, so it would be hard to find anyone to come and fix the problem. With the upstairs shower shut off, the sewage geysers stopped after a few minutes. Mrs. PJM went to cleaning up. I issued an order that no one was to turn on any water until I figured out what the problem was. After the executive order was signed by all family members, I started trying to figure out what had happened. It appeared to me that I must have a blockage somewhere, and the water from the upstairs shower had no place to go, so was forcing sewage in the line to come up through the drains downstairs. Our septic tank is about 300 yards from the house, and there is a long septic line from the house to the septic tank. I was hoping the problem was there, and not in lines in the slab in the house. Luckily, when they built the septic line, they put access ports every 40 feet. I went about half way down, and opened one of the access ports. I got another sewage geyser there, which sort of undid any progress I had made taking a shower that morning. It also made it questionable whether my clothing would still be appropriate for New Years dinner which we had planned. Anyway, I could see that the line problem must be further down the hill. So, I kept opening the access ports until I was able to identify what section of the line was blocked. With that figured out, I ran a hose into the line until I finally was able to partially unblock it. At least now we are getting some degree of proper flow in the septic line, but there is still some problem and I am sure it will stop up again if not dealt with. So, today I will get one of those Line Snakes, and try to run it down and get it cleared out. I have the line cleared enough that I have partially rescinded the "Don't Turn On Any Water" executive order. Today, we will be reviewing training on proper bathroom and sink procedures for homes with Septic Tanks.

20 comments:

  1. Good and meaningful New Year. Up to new meetings on the Internet.
    Jonas

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  2. FYI - your domestic update motivates me to add maintenance of septic tank to my first-of-the-year-ASAP duties! Thanks.
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

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  3. We had that problem in our old house - roots in the sewer line. Expensive.

    I think everyone should buy a good quality 25 foot line snake with their first house. It's a money maker.

    -XC

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  4. Sorry to be a bit of a stickler - do you mean to title the week "Goat Roper," as in "he who ropes goats?

    Happy New Year. My sister's friend brought a dish with black-eyed peas to the family's annual tamale party - everything was delicious!

    Were you able to take another shower yesterday, or did you resort to the bucket method?

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  5. Mary,
    OK, we will spell it your way. I changed from "Roaper" to "Roper".
    PJM

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  6. PJM:
    I'll bet that none of you will ever forget New Year's Day, 2011. Yuck! My sympathies. Really.
    Now, where is Roger with his new blog?

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  7. Judi,
    I fear that now that Roger is retired he is sitting on the couch eating potato chips and watching soap operas instead of posting his comments or starting his blog.
    PJM

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  8. My Mother's baby sister raised her kids on goat's milk. Or, at least, started them out that way. Belief was that milk allergies were avoided.

    As for sheep, remember… sheep lie.

    Oh w0w… wonderful start of the new year. At least you located the problem and can get back to normal soon.

    Happy 2011 Everyone
    .

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  9. No, I was downstairs putting on door trim and floor trim in the new bathroom. Had to get it done, because I have some special company coming to visit this week.

    Now, remember when those guys were driving that heavy equipment across where your sewer line ran. I made a remark about them possible crushing it some. Or maybe they bent it enough to make a low spot where heavy things have gathered for a while until today when it plugged.

    Just something to think about

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  10. I think you need to go get that Handsome Jack, and take him over to the chopping block with an axe. Maybe then he will let you know what he has up his sleeve, or should I say under his wing. Nothing like a little serious intimidation to get birds talking.

    Listen I can't wait until after dinner for you to post your blog. Things to do, places to be.
    Well maybe no real place to go today, it was 13 below when I got up.
    But I do need to go to Menard's and buy some more building stuff.

    And Judi, please be patient I will get it started soon

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  11. We used to have 198 sheep. I loved raising sheep but they are very labor intensive and with the competition from New Zealand lamb and Australian Merino wool - not very profitable. I like our cows but miss our sheep - and our guardian dogs. We lived in Ten Sleep for years and were only about 12 miles from the infamous Spring Creek Raid, where some cowboys went out and killed the sheepherders for crossing the 'deadline'. Now today some of those descendants of the cowboys raise sheep.

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  12. Oh BTW, I was the best sheep hooker in the family so usually got that job. Know the 'crook' on the shepherd's crook? that's what you hook-em (catch)with on a hind leg. In Wyoming they have Sheep rodeos and one of the contests is sheep-hooking. You have to hook your designated sheep and put it on a pen or horse trailer. Pretty funny if the 'hooker' is drunk! I look forward to this week!

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  13. Roger,
    When the heavy equipment was in the area, I roped off the septic line so they did not drive over it. I think the issue is people not minding the care you need to take in a home with a septic tank. As the septic man told me when he put it in . . . don't use the septic tank as a garbage pan.
    PJM

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  14. Merideth,
    OK, you will have to keep me honest this week. Some are likely to not believe some of the work involved in raising sheep.
    PJM

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  15. We built our house about 5 years ago. We are on the side of a steep hill leading to the lake so the house is on 3 levels. I set a deadline to move in whether it was finished or not. We did and it wasn't. Anyway, the first morning in the house I was enjoying a paper and cup of coffee on the main level. I heard the washing machine going above me. Just as it went into the spin cycle water began pouring through all the can lights in the ceiling onto my new hardwood floor. Seems the drain pipe came apart in the wall.

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  16. Anon,
    Look at the bright side . . . your leak was just washing machine drainage.
    PJM

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  17. Oh what a story for the start of your new year! The well-spaced access ports were a wise decision and I'm glad you have some drainage now. Shampoo in the eye stings!

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  18. Eww, sorry to hear about the plumbing issue. Hope the rest of the year treats you better!

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  19. Having milked many goats, I'm looking forward to this week. After working with a flock of 800 ewes at lambing time, I consider myself at least familiar with some of the issues involved...

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  20. Hubby #2 use to own 3 goats back in the late 1970's. He loves to tell the grandkids goat stories. He did not own the farm long before he realized he was not the back to the land guy. That was before my time.. never would of even made it to the farm.

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