Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby book, baby goats, and maple sap

Just when I was getting really frustrated by the seven very pregnant goats not having their babies, I received the most exciting email from my publisher. The cover for my book was attached! I was as excited as an expectant mother looking at her baby on an ultrasound. Unfortunately, it will still be another six months before I actually get to hold my book, which is starting to feel a lot like my fourth baby. I've heard more than one author use that analogy, and I'm beginning to understand it.

Included on the cover is an endorsement from Mother Earth News, because the book has been selected to become a part of their Wiser Living Series, and I could not be prouder. It is really exciting to have such a great magazine put their stamp on my book.

Baby goats
Now I just have to keep waiting for these seven goats to have their babies. Three are at day 147 and four are at day 146. We've never had a goat go past day 151, so as each day passes, I worry about having more than one in labor at a time. At least I have heat lamps in each of the four kidding pens, and the temperatures are not supposed to go much below the twenties for the rest of the week. I counted my goat towels today, however, and there are only seven. It usually takes one or two towels to get each baby dry. I wouldn't be too worried except that we seem to be having an unusually high number of quads this year, and Coco has had quads the last two years, and four of the goats out there have had triplets in the past, so this could get interesting. I usually spend about two hours with the kids after they're born, then it will take a couple hours to wash the towels, so this could work -- if there are at least a few hours between births.

So, why did I put myself in this crazy situation, you ask? Well, when a goat is in heat, you have to ask yourself if you want to breed her to kid in five months, or do you want to wait for her to come into heat again in three weeks. Considering that I have seven more due in two to three weeks, I'm glad I decided to breed these seven when I did. It should be warmer in three weeks, but I can't imagine how I'd feel if I have ten or twelve goats due in a short period of time. Seven is chaotic enough.

Maple sap
We collected twelve and a half gallons of sap over the weekend, and we spent most of Sunday and Monday boiling it down. Around nine, Monday night, Mike put up our first three pints of syrup, but the weather was too cold today and yesterday for the sap to flow. As soon as it warms up a little during the day, that will add another interesting dimension to our lives.


Em said...

Sounds like you need to hit up freecycle and see if anyone has any old towels for you!!! I have a bunch I could send to you... may not be cost effective to ship them though... I can't wait to see the new additions! Can you tell I'm living vicariously through you???

Nancy K. said...

OMG! It's REAL!! You're an author!!!

I love the cover of your book. And to have the stamp of approval from Mother Earth News is HUGE! Congratulations. It seems that you are well on your way. I sincerely doubt that this will be the last book that you write and have published.

And I'll be able to say: "I knew her when..."


I'm really happy for you Deborah. You deserve good stuff.

Now, good luck getting any sleep!

SkippyMom said...

OMG! Birthday present for me! I am so excited to hold "you" and your wonderful stuff in my hands. [My birthday is late in the year.]

I KNOW I should KNOW the answer to this, but what do you do with all the babies after they are weaned. Do you keep any of them - or sell them - or eat them.

Sorry I can't remember. I know you can't keep all of them - like I said earlier - it is dang near goatapalooza on your farm - which is cool - but just curious.

Congratulations again on your book. That is whole bunches of awesome. Let me know when it is available for purchase and I will definitely post about it.

So proud of you!

Penny said...

Oh my I do love the cover of your book! It looks fabulous and I can't wait to purchase my very own copy. Good job!!

Mama Pea said...

Huge, huge congratulations on the book. What an undertaking and whole lot of work but also a labor of love at the same time. And what a benefit it will be to all of us out here in homesteading/self-sufficiency land to have a copy come September. I'm looking forward to it!

Sharon-The OKI StampQueen said...

LOVE the book cover! Very, very nice design---eye-catching!

thecrazysheeplady said...


Barb J. said...

Great cover! I can't wait for your new "baby" to come out!

momanna98 said...

Do you boil the sap in your kitchen? I heard it gets really messy.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

momanna98, we do boil the sap in the kitchen, as well as on the deck. It is VERY humid, so we have an exhaust fan in the kitchen window, and we have the door cracked a little. We also hung a sheet in the door between the kitchen and dining room so the humidity doesn't get into the rest of the house. The humidity is really the biggest problem. I'd heard that it can cause wallpaper to fall off the walls, and I totally believe it!


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