Family is always first

Family is still the most important thing in the world to me. Like many of us, I lose sight of this from time to time: Thinking of my businesses, dogs, cats, chickens, goats, milking, laundry, and other day-to-day tidings.

Absentmindedly focusing only on the now and could be, I was immediately reminded of family when I received a call from the manager of my mother’s apartment wanting to know what happened last night. That’s a scary question coming from anyone but from where my mother lives, it became a sharp, significant concern. As the story unfolded I became acutely aware that mother could no longer live alone. She’s 86 and has dementia.

For the past four years, she has been surrounded by wonderful people. Neighbors who dropped by for a chat, visited for a few minutes, took turns checking on her, calling her to see how she was doing, and offering to do something to help. Many kept her company until her next nap or the next football game came on TV. Thank you all for what you have meant to mother. But a time comes with neighbors can no longer provide the care and concern that is needed. It is time for family.

I received my call this morning. By the time I arrived at her apartment, the nightly puzzle began fitting together. Mother is getting more confused in the evenings than during the day. Her frequent falls aren’t helping either. Sometime she doesn’t remember falling much less remember whether she’s taken her pills or not.

She took the wrong sleeping pill last week. I so carefully counted each and every pill as I put them in the her weekly organizer but she managed to pick out the pill she wanted to help her sleep. Trouble is that it was a strong pill. We decided to let her sleep it off while we talked about increasing our care. We hovered over her for three days. She’s fine — just confused and forgetful.

She’s home with me now so I can watch her more carefully. Between the four dogs and our alarm system, we’ll know where she is every minute of the day.

Mother is taking a nap now but when she awakens, will she remember where she is. Apparently dementia strikes in the blink of an eye as her memory fades and she becomes confused. I’ve seen a bit of it in her but I suspect her confusion will increase. Hopefully slowly but it will increase.

I’ll continue producing my goat milk bath products whenever possible. But please know that when mother calls, I will be with her.

Prayers are most appreciated.

My Job

I have the absolute most perfect job on the planet. I raise nubian dairy goats and make goat milk bath and beauty products with their milk. Working from home has been a lifetime dream of mine. I just didn’t know that it would take 10 acres, miles of fences, several outbuildings, and livestock to fulfill it.

I birth the babies, milk the mamas, and make the soaps and lotions. That’s starting at the beginning, isn’t it. Actually, the beginning goes back to breeding the right buck to the right doe to get a confirmationally strong baby and body condition. But that beginning goes back even further, too. Sigh … there is no end to getting the right start. You just start where you are then figure out the rest.

Most folks who breed goats were lucky enough to be born on the farm and continued in the family business. My closest encounter with farm life was spending summers with my grandparents — both sides. So maybe I’m reclaiming my youth. That’s good. My childhood memories of running up and down cotton rows, crawling through an abandoned pig pens, and collecting eggs from the hen house are warm and fuzzy if not a bit black and muddy. But one of my favorite memories was of taking the halter off my horse Dolly. She wouldn’t let me put it on, my grandfather had to do that. BUT she would lower her head so I could take it off.

Think about that for a moment. A huge animal (horse) knew that a smaller animal (me at 8 years old) would do what the huge animal wanted simply by lowering its head. Working/playing with animals ignited a passion within me at a very early age. Thank you Dolly. Unfortunately that passion became hidden when my teenage hormones erupted.

Don’t many of us lose our minds when hormones erupt? … moving on … . These hormones took over. I got married too early had a beautiful baby boy, then got a divorce when the guy took off his navy uniform. ugh … . Yup, uniforms do make ’em look better!

Didn’t graduate from high school. But have managed to earn two graduate degrees and have enough college hours for three more degrees. School was a p-r-e-t-t-y good deal after all. I became a sponge and just couldn’t get enough learning.

That learning passion continues even today. I’m always researching and improving my goat milk bath and beauty products as well as working to improve my goat herd’s creditability. There’s no end and I like it that way.

Now I need a horse so I can name her Dolly. Actually, we need two horses. This current husband of mine has been around for more than 30 years and is my soul mate. He’ll have to name his own horse, though.

My Job

I have the absolute most perfect job on the planet. I raise nubian dairy goats and make goat milk bath and beauty products with their milk. Working from home has been a lifetime dream of mine. I just didn’t know that it would take 10 acres, miles of fences, several outbuildings, and livestock to fulfill it.

I birth the babies, milk the mamas, and make the soaps and lotions. That’s starting at the beginning, isn’t it. Actually, the beginning goes back to breeding the right buck to the right doe to get a confirmationally strong baby and body condition. But that beginning goes back even further, too. Sigh … there is no end to getting the right start. You just start where you are then figure out the rest.

Most folks who breed goats were lucky enough to be born on the farm and continued in the family business. My closest encounter with farm life was spending summers with my grandparents — both sides. So maybe I’m reclaiming my youth. That’s good. My childhood memories of running up and down cotton rows, crawling through an abandoned pig pens, and collecting eggs from the hen house are warm and fuzzy if not a bit black and muddy. But one of my favorite memories was of taking the halter off my horse Dolly. She wouldn’t let me put it on, my grandfather had to do that. BUT she would lower her head so I could take it off.

Think about that for a moment. A huge animal (horse) knew that a smaller animal (me at 8 years old) would do what the huge animal wanted simply by lowering its head. Working/playing with animals ignited a passion within me at a very early age. Thank you Dolly.

Unfortunately that passion became hidden when my teenage hormones erupted. Don’t many of us lose our minds when hormones erupt? … moving on … .

These hormones took over. I got married too early had a beautiful baby boy, then got a divorce when the guy took off his navy uniform. ugh … . Yup, uniforms do make ’em look better!

Didn’t graduate from high school. But have managed to earn two graduate degrees and have enough college hours for three more degrees. School was a p-r-e-t-t-y good deal after all. I became a sponge and just couldn’t get enough learning.

That learning passion continues even today. I’m always researching and improving my goat milk bath and beauty products as well as working to improve my goat herd’s creditability. There’s no end and I like it that way.

Now I need a horse so I can name her Dolly. Actually, we need two horses. This current husband of mine has been around for more than 30 years and is my soul mate. He’ll have to name his own horse, though.

Goat Milk Soaps at God’s Country Outfitters, Albemarle, NC

What a delightful time we had at GCO’s event. GCO has hosted this Hospice of Stanly fund raiser for the past two years, and we’ve been there, too. GCO has been a customer for several years so anything Nathan needs, we do our best to accommodate.

Like last year, we donated several products for the hospice auction. Actually, all the vendors donated special products or services to help rise money for hospice. Listening to the auctioneer’s chant always gets folks in the mood for spending. Cool.

Throughout the day, we chatted with customers and folks came by our booth to meet Natalie. I’m amazed at how many folks had goats in their youth. Love your stories. Yes, goats are incredible creatures. We’re blessed to have them.

Our favorite spot is by the fire hydrant. It’s perfect for goat poop and protection. However, we always bring a broom and dust pan for cleaning up after our goats. It’s OUR poop. We haul it in; we haul it out. Moving on … .

October begins our festival season here in North Carolina so we always have tons of soaps for the events. Usually the weather is perfect with gentle breezes and an occasional slight overcast.

The umbrella came in handy, though. It’s light weight enough that we could move it throughout the day making sure the ladies had shade, got to protect those fair skins. Remember: too much sun can be harmful to your skin. Always use a sun screen.

Attending festivals is new to us but we’ll be pros by the end of the season because we’re going to attend as many as possible. Our camp is made up of light weight tables, portable everything, as many wheels as possible, and fresh, good looking merchandise.

This year we unveiled our Sensual Sandalwood Goat Milk Soap with Natalie’s photograph on the label. Have I mentioned that all our products have a picture of a goat? It’s our way of honoring the herd that makes our goat milk soaps and lotions possible.

Goats are excellent companions. They get in and out of the truck by themselves. They can carry their weight in supplies (with care), and they work for water and grass. Natalie drew a crowd and let dozens of folks pet her while I was working with customers and talking about our goat milk skin care products.

As soon as we make more decisions on which festivals we’ll be attending, I’ll broadcast our schedule so you can come meet us. Meeting customers is truly enriching for me. I look forward to chatting with you.

More later … Pat

Goat Milk Bath and Beauty at Badin Festival

JordanNatalieMia_edited-1Festival season is always my favorite time of year. We attend as many local events as we can because they are so much fun. I get to meet you and talk with you about your skin care needs; and thankfully, many of you share your beauty care regimes with me. Skin care is important to all of us, at any age.

Most of these venues allow us to bring a goat so we double our fun.

This year we brought Natalie. She’s five months old and was a perfect lady. We didn’t know how she would react because this is the first time she’s been off the ranch. She met oodles of new friends who wanted to pet her and even allowed a baby to play with her ears – for a moment. However, when she did get stressed, she jumped onto Jordan’s lap. Yup, Jordan was a busy lady, too. Natalie was exhausted and slept all the way home.

A special ‘thank you’ goes to Jordan’s friend, Mia, who helped with the soaps and the goat. Mia, you made our event even more fun and stress-free. Thank you for being with us.

Our goat milk bath soaps and beauty lotions were received very well. Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. As usual the favorite essential oil aroma was lavender. I’ll make more lotion today.

Lemon was introduced as our newest soap and coordinating lotion. Most folks liked it for its citrus sensation and agreed that it would feel tingly on their toes.

I’m working on our festival schedule and will publisher it as soon as it’s more organized.

Thank you for coming by our booth. It was fun to see how many of you used the magic word and received a free soap sample. Be on the lookout for the next magic word so you can get your next free soap sample.

Happy soaping, Pat