Gaming weekend and thoughts

We were fortunate enough this weekend to have some friends over to play with beginning mid afternoon Saturday. O. and T. came over to play! That evening the Timonin’s came over for a yummy dinner (even though the ribs became “blackened”) and gaming! They brought Puerto Rico with them. Great game and can be quite funny. Especially if you play with two teen boys on a team! O. went home later that evening when Mom and Dad came to pick them up, but T. got to stay overnight! I think it might be our first overnighter since we moved here other than when our friends came from out of state to visit. It was a late night of gaming fun. My T. was roaring still when he went to bed and ended up staying up whilst everyone else was unaware to play a plug-in play DDR we have and getting into all sorts of naughty stuff. Due to all that evening activity, he made every ones morning pretty miserable. But after he keyed down a little we were able to have a good hot break fast and B. and T. played like crazy with all their card games and miniatures. Today wasn’t very cold, but very wet and icy. It didn’t slow them down a bit. They ventured outside often. Lots of yelling and screaming and such. One hell of a time! Early afternoon came and T. had to go home.

S. had gone to pick up a goat we had processed into quarters and spent a good long time breaking it down in to cuts, then he motivated himself out to the barn where he cleaned up and did some electrical repairs.
I have been stressing out over my schooling program through ACHS.edu, and decided last night that I wasn’t going to finish, yet another goal. I do have other more important things to worry about. Like another stressor, homeschooling my soon to be eighth grader! I am looking for a really good program that he can report his work to and have a daily assignments planned for him. I have been investigating many online type programs all morning. I am not pleased with any that I have found and the prices are killer, but I will make my decision soon as to how to handle this. I am tired of me being the source of drudgery in his life. Let someone else take over that job for a while. I am waiting for March to roll around so that I can purchase the Math program I plan on using for T. this upcoming year by Teaching Textbooks. I have to wait till they put the program for sale. I hate waiting! 😛
I am looking for some guidance and someone to report to regularly about my homeschooling so I can get motivated to be more active in the role of teacher. I have not found a rhythm that suites me and I am having a hard time gathering the energy to push the boys to get the work done. I really think, if I have to answer to someone I would feel better about getting stuff done. I really enjoy having another child here. I feel more obligated to be attentive and present. I get a lot more done when I am responsible for another person’s child. Weird, right?
I tried using the Kid Learn to Crochet book with T. today. He almost got it, but his hands have always been an issue so he gave up very quickly when both hands had to maneuver the string and the hook to get the chain going. It was tough. B. has a CAT to ready himself for and I realized that some of the material in the Math section he hasn’t got to yet. So I had him begin his next unit of fractions with Key to… and he got four pages done after he studied his guitar world dvd and tabs for while.
So it was a busy weekend and fun. I hope to keep up my activity level to keep the boys engaged in things.
There is a new Cooperative forming for homeschooling of mostly my playgroup families. I am always a little worried about group activities when it comes to T. He explodes and ruins everyones good time very easily. I really like the groups ideas and activities and want both the boys to participate, but I don’t want to have each meeting/class to be ruined for the other children. I need some suggestions on how to handle this. He isn’t going to change anytime soon. He needs to do more group activities to increase his situational problem solving. I really think they would both enjoy the activities. B. really needs to get out and participate more and have more exposure to his friends and opportunities for betterment. What to do?!feb-playdate-02feb-playdate-01feb-playdate-03

Side Hill Acre Dairy Goat Farm

Wednesday we took a field trip with another family to Candor, NY.  Home of Side Hill Acre Dairy Goat Farm.  They produce delicious goat cheese, milk, candles, and bath/beauty products.  Once we got there we were given choices of cheese with crackers to munch on.  There were many herbal varieties.  I loved the “herb de Province” , my new favorite!  We brought many logs home with us and a couple candles, too.  We really enjoyed playing with the over 250 goats in the barn.  There were many varieties of goats.  I was surprised by this as I know many folks really like to focus on one type at a time.  I also discovered she uses no vaccines or selenium shots, other than rabies vaccine.  That is due to the tours and classes held on the property.  She is used by Cornell Cooperative as their Goat Classroom.  Apparently Cornell doesn’t have an onsite goat barn, as they do with many other aniamals.    I found this to be really freeing.  Having goats of my own, I am inundated with information about there care and knowing what is considered natural care for goats is something I have not been given guidance on.  This really helped me see that I can be natural with m y goats and not have so many concerns that some goat afficiandos have predicted.  Rita Kellogg, the Owner, brought us into the room where she empties all the full milk cans and pasturizes it at 145 degrees.  She even showed us a bucket made for feeding many of the kids that she has yearly.  What a funny device!  Then we were brought into the milking room.  She milks twice a day, 4am and 4pm.  Then off to the barn full of meandering goats, lounging around or stuffing their faces with hay.  They loved being petted and followed us around everywhere.  We were used as straching posts mostly. LOL  T. had a great time with that!

What a great trip!

Self-Sufficiency

Boer Goats, Fin and Merino Sheep, and Chickens and Meat Rabbits.  These are the things I am trying to acquire.  Why you ask?  Well, I am trying become more self-sustaining.  I want to know where my food has been, what is has been fed, how it has been handled and cared for.  I am trying to get a large plot of my five acres turned into a vegatable and fruit garden. I am trying to learn how to make perserves and canning my food.  I would also like to turn some of my basement into a cold cellar.  I have been researching boar goats for my freezer for a while now and am finding it an easy prospect to raise them.  I will be receiving a lamb this summer so that I can breed her this winter for lambing in the spring, for fleece and lamb meat.  I have got chickens hatching next week and more meat chicks to pick up this week from another farm.  All to be butchered for freezing this winter.    I am still researching meat rabbits for which I have a contact an hour away that does so commercially that I will be getting in touch with soon.  $$$$  It all comes down to $$$$  I need it to start saving it.  How ironic can this cycle be?!    I will be taking a class through my Cornell Cooperative Extension on the 17th of May for pasture management and Famacha(sp?) training.  I am also enrolled in an online course through Langston University for Meat Goat Operations Certification.  I have realized that I cannot obtain the Ag Tax Deduction due to the limitations it has with in NY State.  I cannot earn 50,000$ in under 10 acres of land with this kind of livestock.  So, I will be selling only for local markets to help reduce the costs of raising the meat we keep for ourselves.  It cannot be considered a business, sadly.  I am meeting tons of folks who are willing to share their knowledge and time so that I can learn from them and choose my own path.  It is pretty cool.  There is so much I would love to dive right into, but $ will always hold me back from that.  Always two steps behind.  Oh well.  I will figure out a way to start but it will just not be my ideal way of going.  Who’s ideals are ever really truely met with immediate satisfaction?  No one that I know of.    So this is my small part to help my family and local community reduce its foot print on this land.  There are so many reasons for pursueing this lifestyle but this is one of them.