Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bottles go in but they don't come out

Hello all of you users of not broken glass!

Some things have been happening around here and here's a post to catch you up. To begin we have dried the goats off which means we have stopped milking them for the winter. The second goat oriented point is that we have bred all of our adult goats. That means we have 6 females or 'Does' this year and they have all been bred to our awesome Buck named Reggie. We expect good things once April rolls around. So if you want to frolic with baby goats that would be the time to come out to the ranch. We kind of expect around 6-9 more females from this season based on last year's statistics. Speaking of stats we had 4 males last year and we have but one left. Emiloo has managed to sell off the other 3 which is a great job!

In other goat oriented news the Gouda and Cabra Al Vino was a big hit at the Thanksgiving Day gathering in Dallas. Hurray for me and whew because you never know how people will react to something not store bought. We will be back in town on New Year's Eve weekend for more family time if you want to spot us.

Other news about the log house…well, not much to tell other than I am chomping at the bit to get rolling again. We are currently waiting for all the replacement logs to arrive along with our doors, stair parts, and tongue and groove flooring as well. We did get our windows and initially we were one window short, however about a week later the truck showed up again with our last window so we are all flush there now. I have been building a smaller log house around our wellhead to protect it from freezing and I'll be putting a dog house like roof on it with hinges in the event we need to get at it in the future.

Some more news about the house is about our countertops. As you may know we are going to make concrete countertops for our kitchen/bar area and bathrooms and anywhere else where we need counter space. In those counters we will be using Feu Tung Cheng's method of placing glass in them so it shows up on the surface. To that end I have acquired an old clothes dryer (thanks Curtis and Marybob!) and converted it into a glass crusher by removing the heater, blower, control panel and all wiring. The part I had trouble with was wiring the old motor to run on regular 110 voltage (unlike the regular 4 prong plug and 240 voltage that runs the heater as well.) This part was accomplished with the help of Uncle Jim the master electrician and probably would not have happened with such ease without his help so a big thanks to Jim! This week I have been making a drawer in the bottom to collect glass, and putting metal ribs inside to assist breaking the glass, we'll see how it all comes together but I am well on my way as of writing this.

Update mid-post:

It is complete. The glass crusher works as expected and crushes bottles with ease. We call it the Crushinator. We threw in 8 bottles and it broke them down to 3/4" shards in about 4 minutes. Nice. This means one more thing (of the thousands of things to do) has come to fruition and it feels good to knock one more thing out, and all without a hammer. If you are out there reading this please know we need blue glass, so please start collecting that for us (drink more German wine damnit!) We have a ton of green glass and a good handful of brown and amber but blue is rare and I think we have all of 2 bottles…so we need more of that for sure. We don't even know where to get red glass without buying it so if any one has a good idea for that let us know.

The bees are great and starting to hunker down for the winter. I do have news about becoming a bee removal person and am now listed on a couple of counties agricultural lists as a beekeeper which hopefully will net me some swarms this coming spring. And my current bees are all full up with honey, but again I did not take any leaving it all for them this winter. I talked with Liz's husband Harlin about Mead and got some great news that it is in demand so all my plans about expanding the apiary and making mead seem to be going along as intended, now the hard part will be actually getting mother nature to help by exposing me to many swarms this coming season that I can get into hives. Wish me luck! And as a reminder did you watch the documentary "Vanishing of the bees"? Make sure you do that, really, it matters a bunch and will let you know how important this topic is.

Boulle the goat herding dog is doing well and has learned how to follow directions and herd the goats wherever I want them so that's pretty cool. It's really no surprise, it’s in her blood after all. On her own she has developed the 'bitch slap' to get them moving when they attempt to resist by bouncing up to them and smacking them across the nose with her paw which is very effective. Congrats to Boulle for learning that trick on her own!

My froggies have been moved into a bigger "breeding" aquarium so they can stretch their legs a a bit and they seem to like it. I think however that I have 2 males though so will need to acquire a female before any eggs will occur.

My earthworms are also doing great as well. I have split them doubling the number of containers they are in making a total of 8 now. In another month or two I can split again.

The soaps I have been making are getting good reviews so that is good. I will keep making them preparing for this season's Farmer's Markets.

And lastly I have become fascinated by wood turning once again and hopefully will be able to set the lathe we have up in the shop and turn some bowels out of some of the fallen Oaks, and some of the big cedar tree trunks we have here using up one more resource that is literally laying around. I'll update the blog with pictures at some point once that comes to fruition.

Ok that's it, I gotta go do some stuff so seeya! Thanks for stopping by!


PS- As another bee movie to watch check out "Colony" which again gives you a perspective on the difficulty beekeepers are having these days. Soon I want to include a list of all pesticides you will want to stop using, ones that specifically or are suspected in killing of bees. On that note a future project of mine is to make Mason Bee houses as they are also a pollinator of flowers and fruits.


  1. Oh my goodness you guys are totally keeping busy! WOW!!!

    1. Well yes it is easy to dedicate time to all of this having no's to practicing!