Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Milking Process

So, a lot of you have been asking how do you milk the goat, or what's the process of milking a goat. And in this post, I will take you through step by step, of how I milk my goats....

First, I bring all of my clean milking equipment into the garage, where our milking stanchion is located. My milking equipment consists of: a stainless steel milking tote, a saucepan, a kitchen strainer, a strip cup, baby wipes, a brush, and grain and hay for feeding. Next, I bring out the goat from the pen, brush all of the excess hair and hay from her body, and bring her into the garage. Our Alpine, Willow, is pretty good about getting up on the milking stanchion by herself, but sometimes we have to persuade her with a raisin. :) After her head is secured in the stanchion, the milking begins! I use a baby wipe to clean off her udder and teats. I then take the strip cup (a stainless steel cup, with a strainer attached) and squirt a little milk from each teat to test for mastitis. Mastitis is an inflammation of the udder, due to an infection. You can "test" for mastitis by squirting the first milk into the strainer to check for any discoloration, lumps, or funny smells. After that, the real milking begins. After I have milked her dry, I take a baby wipe and clean off her teats. (When you milk an animal, such as a goat, the orifice on the teat expands. You have to make sure you clean it off after milking because bacteria can get in the teat, and cause mastitis) Next, I take the milk in the saucepan, and pour it into a milking tote and cover it with a lid (so that stuff doesn't get in the milk). After that, the goat is released from the stanchion, and put back into the pen. I then bring the milk inside, along with the used milking equipment, and filter the milk into a mason jar. We then weigh the milk and record it. (It is important to record the milk each time.) Next, I put the milk into the freezer for about 30 minutes, so that it can cool down quickly. During that time, I will usually rinse out all of the milking equipment, and submerge it into hot, soapy water, with Clorox. After the 30 minutes are up, I put the milk in the fridge, and by the next day, it will be thoroughly chilled and ready to drink! Lastly, I scrub down the milking gear, and put it on a drying rack so that it can air dry.

Alrighty! That's about it for now... I have posted some more pictures of the process on my flickr account. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life on the Ranch: The Goat Edition & "Farts" on the Farm

When Jordan and I were heading back from our honeymoon in Hawaii, we decided we would drop by California for a few days to visit his sister Courtney, and her husband Bryan. While we were there, we had the opportunity to come along with Courtney to one of her pet-sitting jobs. The "pet" that she was taking care of were Alpine dairy goats. Jordan and I had a chance to milk them and to taste for the first time ever, fresh, raw goat's milk. And it was DELICIOUS! I'm sure you have heard many accounts from people, claiming goat's milk to be smelly and weird tasting. Oh how wrong they are! Okay, they are not all wrong, but, after some research I discovered the source behind the often "gross" taste of goat milk. One, if you buy it from the store, it will probably taste weird. This could be caused by many different things; if the milking does were kept near a buck, or they were fed low-quality food, it will definitely alter the milk. All of this to say, goat's milk rocks! One little sip is all it takes to make you turn your back on that ol' cow's milk! So, if you are thinking of trying some, make sure you it comes from the person taking care of the goats, not the store.

Enough of the rambling...let's get to the point! Jordan and I have purchased, and are now in possession of two dairy does. Willow, our Alpine doe, is a wonderful milker. She produces about 9 cups a day (she's is still adjusting now, but 9 cups is her max.) of fresh creamy milk. She is two years old, and has only had one freshening. (Freshening means that she is producing milk, after having kids) Our second goat, Dottie, is a Nigerian Dwarf doe and is 22 months old. She has been bred, so we are hoping for some kids in the fall! She is not the biggest producer, but this could be because she has only freshened once. (Does usually develop their full teat and udder size, and maximum milk production typically after their second freshening.) Anyway, they are definitely keeping us on our toes, still trying to figure these new critters out.

Now for the "farts" on the farm, as Shannon put it... We picked up the goats Thursday morning, and decided we would put them in Shannon's fenced in garden while she and I finished their shelter. Well, once we goat over their (dragging the goats on leashes the whole way) we realized that the gate needed something to "lock" it. Shannon quickly whipped out the zip-ties, nylon rope, and wire fencing, and patched together a "goat-proof" lock... or so we thought. It was about 2ish when we finished putting the goats up, after which we decided we would go in and get some lunch. So we walk in, take off all our gear, grab the makings for sandwiches, when all of the sudden Shannon exclaims, "The goat has escaped!" She breaks out into a run/jog, and I follow quickly behind. As we were scurrying about, trying to get our gear on, I look out the door and see Willow standing on the porch, right in front of the door! Shannon says, "Let her in!" So we opened the door quickly, and Willow trotted right on in. We take her back, put her up once again, go back into the house, get all our gear off, start making lunch, looked out the window and saw to our surprise that Willow has escaped again! You can imagine what happened next... A complete repeat of the previous account! We sit down to eat lunch, breathing a sigh of relief, look out the window and see both of the goats roaming free! Oh Man!! A few hours later, after decided to finish the shelter right then and there, we finally got to eat our lunch at 4pm. I am now proud to say that we truly have a goat-proof, fool-proof, "fart"-proof, goat shelter, that not even a genius goat Houdini could break free from.

Go to the link below to check out some pictures of life on the ranch... I will try to post some more pictures of us milking the goats. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's So Invincible About Love?

In my mind, I have pictured invincible love as being some great state of final understanding, where I'd be able to love God fully and almost perfectly. I'd be able to trust Him instantly, in every situation, and lean on Him completely. In my mind, when I reached this state, everything would be perfect and I'd be able to handle anything and everything that would come my way. But now, I am realizing that I am no, and will not, ever "be able" to do these things, at least not on my own. I've been waiting and trying to solve this "God puzzle," making his love something to be earned and completely conditional and unattainable. In my mind, once I reached a certain point, once I said the "right thing," once I did some deed, THEN I will know invincible love. But, I am realizing more and more that God never intended for his love to be like that at all. I kept becoming more and more discouraged, not being able to find the "tipping point," or the bridge to cross over into invincible love. So here comes the question, what's so invincible about this love? I mean, I keep tripping over little things, becoming more and more discouraged along the way. My life often seems like a never ending cycle of being overwhelmed and swallowed by his love, getting caught in life's tangles, becoming discouraged, and then being picked up again. But then, I realized, that that's it... What's so invincible about his love? It's being picked up again after we have fallen. It's God's grace, allowing us to walk in his love once again. Being invincible, or having invincible love, is not about having this perfect walk. What makes a superhero invincible? It's not that he pushes past the villains with brilliant ease, never faltering from conflicts, and then breezes through every situation with perfection. What makes the best superhero is that when he faces conflict, he stumbles for awhile, by is then able to rise and conquer once again. Jesus Christ's love is invincible because it has the power to pick us up when we fall. His unending grace is embedded in his love, and without it, nothing would be invincible about love.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Love You Already

Hello Friends!

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Well, I'm back. This two month break has been really great. I feel refreshed, revived, and ready to write. So, here we go....

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called-one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:1-6

As I read these verses, my heart was greatly encouraged at the statement that we, as believers, are unified. (I will come back to this thought later...) There are many times when my heart desperately longs to meet the one that God has designed for me. I sometimes feel like it's not going to be worth the wait and that I should just compromise (to be perfectly honest). I question if my prince really does exist and wonder if I will have to compromise some of my standards if I am to be with him. Over these past months, God has been teaching me to be content with where I am at. I now realize that He has better things for me right now, and that my time has not yet come. I am beginning to see the beauty in waiting, and God has thoroughly assured me that I WILL NOT have to compromise. I realized that, when I am to meet the man that God has for me, Christ will already be in him. One night, the Lord asked me, "How much do you love me?" I quickly replied, "With all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength." (And now, the aforementioned verse comes into play). If we are united as believers, and if we truly love Christ, we have the opportunity to love each other powerfully. My heart was encouraged by the idea that my love for Christ will transcend into my love for my future husband. I will know, when I am to be with him, that Christ is in him. And that, my love for Christ, which already exists, will help me love him more deeply. I am in love with my husband already. And now, instead of pleading and bargaining with God, I have decided to pray for him. When I feel sad or anxious about not being with him now, I focus on the joy that is to come. And I am overwhelmingly satisfied.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

For the past week, instead of writing blog posts, I have been in prayer over taking an extended break from blogging, facebook, and all of the many other distractions I have. Over time, I have realized how much of an idol these things have become to me. I quickly race to the computer as soon as I get home to check my email, facebook, etc. This is sad. The Holy Spirit has been SERIOUSLY convicting me of this lately, and I am beginning to feel God's true heartache when I don't rush to spend time with Him. My mama told me about this post she read about how we are so attached to our cell phones (for example) nowadays. We would go clear across town if we forgot our cell phone at home. My cell phone has pretty much become attached to my hand. I'm always texting, or emailing, or checking my facebook (IMAGINE THAT!). But throughout this past week God has really been revealing to me how serious this is. Why don't I rush "all the way across town" when I forget about Him? I so desire true intimacy with Him, yet I lack the self-discipline to commit myself to doing whatever it takes to get there. The slothful, selfish, and truly lazy flesh has taken over. I cannot allow this to happen anymore. Thus, I am taking a period of silence. I don't want to keep the Lord waiting any longer. I don't want to miss out on the opportunity to love him longer and deeper now. I am going back to the secret place, to dwell with my Lover and Savior. Breathe Him in, breathe Him out. Silence.

Hannah Rose

Sunday, January 24, 2010


"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17

I stumbled across this verse today and was completely swept off my feet. To think that the one who took the time to design each unique pattern of the veins on a leaf, the one who contemplated the function of gravity, the one who constructed the entire solar system, is the same one who sings over each one of us. How can such a great God find delight in a small and fragile human? And it's not only delight, it is GREAT delight! How amazing is our God?! "He will quiet you with his love." That sounds a lot like romance to me. I want to be quieted by his love. I want to feel that peace that comes from having intimacy with Him.
The Creator has designed women to desire to be considered captivating. Women, myself included, long to feel beautiful, strong, and admired. We want someone to be in awe of us. We seek the admiration of a lover. These longings were not designed to be fulfilled by human love and admiration. It was specifically and intricately shaped to be matched with God's love and admiration. Isn't it so comforting to know that we don't need to chase after the attention of others, not being guaranteed of our desired response, but that the one who can truly satisfy our longing is totally and readily available to us, and that He will NEVER fail us? This is incredible! He is captivated by us! His loyalty to us is so astounding....If you truly desire to know how intense God's desire for you is, I would strongly encourage you to read 2 Samuel 22. It is one of my FAVORITE passages, and gives me chills every time I read it. I think it gives us a glimpse of how much God loves us, and how mighty he truly is for saving us.

Many Blessings!

Friday, January 22, 2010


The following is a letter that I wrote to the Lord before I came home from camp this summer.

Lord God,
My heart grows anxious with the thought of returning to normal life. I am afraid that my passion will fade, my joy will disappear, and the fire in my heart will die. I ask that you would help me bring this experience home and that I would continue to live out this passionate and bold life that you have so evidently called me to live. I pray that I would continue to discover each day how I can live out my faith more confidently. I want to grow more and more in love with you and I pray that my love and passion for you would be evident to all; I want your radiant love to shine through me so much that others would desire this love for themselves and thus be drawn to you. I ask for a spirit of power, courage, boldness, love, passion, and confidence. And Father, help me to continue to be sensitive to your Spirit. Help me to continue to love your people and to see the beauty in them. I want to be your hands and feet Lord Jesus. I want to leave a legacy that speaks of your awesome power, love, and grace. And finally Lord, give me the strength and courage to live in this manner. Help me to seek you daily, to be renewed in your Spirit, and to have my cup filled by you. I love you so much Lord God!


As I reflect upon this letter, I am reminded of my own personal "theme" or focus for the summer which was to fall in love with Jesus once again. (I honestly had forgotten about it until I read the letter.) I was somewhat satisfied with the things I saw and heard from God....But, due to some events, I ended the summer totally heartbroken. It seemed as if I had taken one step forward and then two steps back. I prayed to God one night, asking Him why He let this happen to me, why was my heart broken when I had asked Him to fill it? My answer wasn't loud or instant or simple. He couldn't just "tell" me his plan, He had to show me. Now I see that my heart was so incredibly weak and fickle. Sometimes are hearts have to be fully broken in order for them to be fully healed. He led me to a place of total brokenness... a place where He truly was all that was left. I was no longer able to commit adultery against the Lover with false idols. He was truly my only option. I cannot say that I am now totally healed..I understand that it is a process. But it is when God's grace and healing power flow through my heart, that I grow deeper and deeper in love with Him.

Thank you Father for your healing power, for your unending grace, and for your boundless love.