Sunday, December 27, 2009

A White Christmas in Rhode Island

It was a very
Harmony Homestead !

We had lots of snow!

Both Nicole and Julia came to visit us, and it was a very special blessing to
spend time with family we love so much!


Nicole and Julia

Cello and Julia

And Santa Claus made a special visit to see our great niece and nephews.

Kaylee Rose had to sit still for a few minutes....

Tommy was a very good boy this year.

Jacob was a bit nervous about the man with the beard.

And so it goes...special traditions
passed over the generations.

We wish our friends and family a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Harmony Homestead kids to Rhinebeck NY!

Bye Bye babies..... off you go to Rhinebeck NY with a new loving family.

We will certainly miss these sweet girls.. Sprite on the left, and Samba on the right.
I know their new family will love them and promises to take very good care of them!

They are ready to leave their mommas and begin their new life with a beautiful young family! New dreams are realized for Dana as she brings these new babies home....
We are happy for them , and wish them many days filled with QGT.... Quality Goat they explore life in the Goat Lane!

Allegro's August Adiós

Allegro was a wonderful Abyssinian we had the pleasure to know. love, and care for 17 years.
He was Elaine's momma's boy, and as we watched his health deteriorate from diabetes and old age, we prepared ourselves for the day he would no longer be with us.

We brought him to the West Greenwich Animal Hospital on August 15,2009 for the last time.
His body was laid to rest with Adagio and Liberty under the Apple tree, near the bridge.

Sadness drained our bodies for awhile and we still miss his loving being...
Yet, we are thankful we had time to say good bye, and know we gave his a loving home for all of his long life.

We will always remember his loving purr, handsome face, and loving nature.

We also remember our young daughters, (Julia at 3 years old and Nicole at 8 years old) as they played with him as a new kitten, feeding him bottles and put bibs on him..
He accepted their tender loving antics as young girls with gentle humility.

We remain thankful for the years we shared with our dear feline friend.
Forever in our hearts he will live.

Friday, July 10, 2009

For the love of Liberty

Harmony Homestead Liberty

She was born on Memorial Day, 2008, and named in honor of our Veterans.

My Father was a WWII Veteran, serving in the Pacific. He had passed away the in the autumm of 2007. His last word spoken was "Goldilocks" As young children, our father told us this story many times at our bedtime, and we have very fond memories of these special times.

During his last days, under hospice care, he placed his weak hand on his great grandchild's head Kaylee Rose, and said in a whisper, "Goldilocks".
Kaylee was about 9 months old, and has beautiful golden hair. She was just learning to crawl, and she brought us cherished moments of respite as we waited by my father's hospice bedside.

When Liberty was born the following spring, her color was the same as Kaylee's hair.

We watched Kaylee playing in the goat pen, with Liberty . My mom nicknamed Liberty "Goldilocks " seeing Kaylee and Liberty play together so sweetly.

Sadly and suddenly, we lost Liberty to a meningeal worm infection this week. The worm had done it's damage in the central nervous system, and we decided to have her put to sleep. This parasite is a very hard one to fight with de wormers. With the excessive wet weather we have had, the conditions for this parasite to do damage were grounded.

Liberty was full of promise. She was beautiful! She was only one year old, and I had big plans to use her as my foundation doe for future breeding's with the Harmony Homestead herd name.

I'll admit, most people do not have the pleasure of quietly experiencing "life in the moment " with a goat. Liberty shared her gentle disposition with ease.

She is now buried under the apple tree near the garden bridge my father put together and painted for me. The bridge symbolizes the transition from life to death, and brings honor to the relatedness of grief and hope, the old and young, the strong and gentle.

I wanted to express how an animal can weave the pieces of our lives together in ways we could never predict.

We will miss Liberty but always cherish her gift of helping us live our lives more fully in simple harmony.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It has been awhile....

Since the last post, life has been very full. For those of you I don't see very often, I will try to cut and paste a brief summary of the Happenings...

In May, a road trip with our family, Sarah, Mary, and Gramma B to attend Nicole's graduation from UPenn School of Veterinary Medicine. We had a wonderful time and were so happy to share this extraordinary accomplishment. It was truly one of the happiest moments in our lives.

Dr. Deegan and Dr. Donahue

Shortly after , we had a very nice catered party here for our RI family to celebrate the occassion with us. Julia visited home for a week, before heading back to Delaware, her preferred state of residence as she nears her senior year at UD.

In June, I attended a 2 day workshop on dying sponsered by the RI Spinner's Guild.
It was informative, creative, and full of color and fibers.

The following week The RI Spinner's Guild came to our Homestead to meet and spin ...We had good food, and newly dyed fleece to spin. The weather cooperated very nicely as we spun outdoors on the deck. I was too busy having fun to take pictures.

Now it is time to get the goat kids ready for their new homes.....Saying goodbye to the little ones is a difficult part of goat breeding for me.

Angelica, the sweetest baby girl we have grown to love.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fiber, Fiber everywhere!

It is time for the 3rd annual RI Wool and Fiber festival. This means the house and myself are covered with fiber fiber everywhere! Pygora is so soft and fine, it floats around like cotton candy!

I have been busy . The fiber is from 2008's harvest from our goats. It has been commercially  de-haired. 

I dye it in dye pots and dry it on the clothesline

Then it is carded and blended.

The bundles are then packaged for sale....

The colors are amazing! And the fiber is extraordinarily soft!
I love this part of the process.The festival is May 16th.. in Bristol at the Coggeshall Farm. I'll take a couple of goats with me and leave at 0 dark thirty! 

The next day we leave for Philly for Nicole's graduation form Vet School! 
We'll have  a house sitter to mind the menagerie here!
More later..... :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last kid of the year

She finally arrived. I was expecting twins, maybe triplets, but a single.. no way! Heidi was as big as a double wide trailer.

 Heidi was just starting to labor when I got home from work Monday evening.  She was clearly having a hard time. After an hour of no progress, it was time to help her. As we in the kidding business say, "it was time to go in... "
So with a gloved hand, I helped pull her out.  She sputtered and cried, and Heidi and I  dried her off. I waited with Heidi for the next delivery, but she started to eat her dinner, and seemed to be finished with her business!  So, after caring for the umbilical cord, giving Heidi a bucket of warm water and molasses, some hay and grain,and tucking the remainder of the kids in,  I left for my much needed shower. 

Another kidding year is over, and we can breath a sigh of relief!  
We have four doelings and one buckling and all are well. 
New life is breathed into Harmony Homestead as only God can do! 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More kids !

Harmony Homestead Bolero had a set of twin doelings on Friday, March 27th. The little girl on the left has her Daddy's white belly band, not visable in this photo. She has her mother's wattles;)

These darlings were born in the field. As a new mom, I don't think that Bolero knew what to make of it, but she is doing a great job of caring for them. They are tiny, as she is very small herself. All are doing very well, and keeping us hopping too!

The blustery winds of March can be heard over the video... 

Now we wait for Heidi to deliver her kids...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Kids Are Here!

We are thrilled to  have new kids on the ground from Waterlu's Jade. She is a great momma, and birthed these twins like a pro. Jade is very attentive and protective of her kids.

She had a doeling and a buckling Friday 03/20/09 . Today, we let them out for a little frolic in the new world. They seemed to enjoy it and we certainly are delighted with their joy of life! 

Jade was recently sheared and is not wearing her gorgeous coat in these pictures. (Please pardon her appearence)
We thank her for allowing us to post pictures of her precious twins.

Click on the arrow below to enjoy a brief video clip ..... get of glimpse of new life at Harmony Homestead!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Musical Merriment

Recently, our daughter Julia came to Providence to play with the University of Delaware  Symphony Orchestra. We brought the grandmothers with us to hear a wonderful concert at the Convention Center. Julia plays the violin, and as a Psychology/Biology major , she plays for enjoyment. 
Unfortunately, recordings of the performance were forbidden, but I did get a few pictures before the concert. 

The Symphony Orchestra played Essay No. 2 for Orchestra, OP 17 (Samuel Barber) and Symphony No 8 in F major, Op.93 
(Ludwig van Beethoven) We were especially happy that her grandmothers got to see and hear Julia play with the special group of young musicians. 

We enjoyed our visit with Julia,  and celebrated the occasion with dinner at a local Italian restaurant :)  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shearing Day

Heidi 's turn to be sheared today ....
Here she is in full fleece.


Here she is sporting a used sweatshirt.

Here is a year's worth of fleece.  Maybe a pound of raw fleece is harvested. Pygora is very light and fluffy. 
  It will need to be washed and dehaired before it is ready to be dyed, spun into a yarn, and or blended with another fiber.  Heidi yeilds about 50 % usuable fiber. That means I will get about 8 ounces of fleece from one goat! Fortunately, a little pygora goes a long way.

Pygora is a very special fiber :) The goats are nice pets too.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lucky Lucy

We recently had a nice visit from Nicole and her beau Ryan, and their critters Fiddle the cat, and Lucy the dog.  Nicole and Ryan have  returned to Penn to finish up of their studies before graduation in May.

 Lucy is a rescued dog from Philly. She was found on the streets, sick and very thin. They brought  her home from the shelter, and helped her recover from pneumonia. 
We joke that she has become:
Lucretia McEvil
....hard luck and trouble is her claim to fame.... Tail shakin', home breakin', 
.....dressin' you up in style... 
 Oooh.....Lucy you just so damm bad!"

Blood, Sweat and Tears 

Actually, she is very sweet. She loves to retrieve a tennis ball ... tirelessly... endlessly.

Here she is modelling for us her new jacket that Gramma Barone and Nicole sewed for her under Ryan's watchful eye during their break.

We enjoyed the company and miss them very much already.