Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Happy New Year! December 31, 2011

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May you have all the Wild Cherry Pepsi that you could ever wish for!


As Promised December 29, 2011

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Baby goat feeding pictures!

This is my brother taking care of the noon feeding. The way that it's worked out, he's doing the noon and midnight feedings, I'm doing the rest.

The reason that I am giving you pictures of my brother feeding is that it is REALLY difficult to take pictures of yourself when you are feeding a newborn goat. Go figure.


This little girl (who is HUGE by newborn baby goat standards!) is all red and has a set of lungs on her.  I think that she has partially deafened my left ear already!  I know that she looks tiny in my brother’s arm, but he’s huge too, so it’s all a matter of scale I guess.  I’m going to try to find someone to take a picture of me feeding her one of these days:-)


How was your day dear? December 28, 2011

“Normal” person’s answer:

I got up, went to work.  The commute was hell.  Hated on my boss because he was acting like a dick.  Ate lunch at that new Mexican place on the corner.  It was terrible.  Everything smelled like fish except the fish which oddly smelled like chicken.  Went back to work for another 5 unproductive hours because the new chick in the corner cubicle was singing along to the new Justin Bieber single over and over.  Loudly.  And out of tune.  Drove home in even more hellish traffic.  Made dinner in the microwave and watched tv.


My answer:

Got up.  Took Mal for a walk (spaz-out) in the field while it was still frozen.  Helped my mom with cleaning until I threw a massive fit (don’t ask).  Started a fire (on purpose).  Went to town to the vet to get more meds for Sweetie Pie, the kitten refugee in my bedroom, as her sinus infection has come back.  Helped my dad get an escaped calf back in the pen.  Then, after dad left, managed to get that “red-haired bitch of a heifer” (his words, not mine) into the shed without any help.  She had attacked both 4-wheelers and cars previously.  He had been trying to catch her for 3 days.  Assisted the vet while he reinserted a prolapsed uterus into a doe goat who had just given birth.  This had me straddling the front end of the doe holding one of her hooves way up in the air (we needed gravity on our side with that thing!).  Watching this whole operation, I seriously reconsidered my urge to have children.  I then tried to graft her (big) doe kid onto the Christmas mother.  Failing that I warmed-up a half a cup of colostrum replacement and poured it into a Pepsi bottle with a big nipple on it and gave the little red baby its first meal.  During all these goat ministrations, I managed to get a pretty awesome assortment of really gross shit all over me making it so that the dogs really wanted to make love to my pants when I got inside.  Showered.  Looked up both prolapsed uterus and colostrum on the internet for spelling.  Oh, and in the midst of all of this, I answered about 2-3 dozen caucus calls, mostly from Mitt though a few were from Newt too.


How was your day?



(And yes, I will have baby goat feeding pictures tomorrow!)


Christmas Babies December 25, 2011

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One of my brother’s nanny goats had twin kids either last night or this morning.  I haven’t gotten to see them together yet and I didn’t get a good picture of either one of them as I didn’t want to freak their momma out any more than I already had.  I’m sure that y’all will get to see lots more of these two (and the many more that are on the way!) in the next few weeks.

This little guy was out and wandering around in the sunshiney Christmas day!

His brother or sister is wisely cuddled-up in the "baby barrel". This gives the really little ones a place to go that is safe from all the bigger goats.

It's really hard to be this freaking cute!


Merry Christmas from the farm!



A short walk on a cold winter day December 23, 2011

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I took Malcolm and Micheal down to the creek today for their walk.  Meara and Weezy were originally excited by the idea but quickly changed their minds when they understood just how cold the wind was.

The snow from yesterday has stuck around making the cold seem appropriate.  It also causes the landscape to appear a tad less harsh.

The creek is only partially frozen.  There is still moving water in parts of it while it is completely frozen over in other areas.

The sun tried valiantly to overcome the winter gloom.

Malcolm wears his “please don’t shoot me hunters, I’m a dog” vest every time we go further than the front yard now.  There are often many shots heard from deer hunters in all directions.  There “shouldn’t” be any hunters on the land we are walking on, but I feel better with him geared-up like this.  Plus it makes him a lot easier to find in this brown/white landscape!

Sweetie Pie wanted to know where the heck we had been when we got back!


Elf on Strike December 22, 2011

So I have started my spinning again.  I couldn’t for the first few weeks that I was here because the wheel was in transport.  Then once it got here I needed to find the rest of the bits of it as they were packed away in the bewilderingly labeled boxes.  By the time that I finally found them, it was time for Christmas knitting and crochet!


Which I am now avoiding by spinning.

I had a hard time deciding what I was going to spin but finally I settled on this:


It’s from Easyknits and it’s called Winter Berry.  It’s 80% Superfine Merino and 20% Black Diamond (Carbonized Bamboo).  I think that this was a club fiber and it is really lovely to spin.  My night-time photo doesn’t show it very well, but it’s a lovely blend of grey, a dusky blue and red.


So, you might be wondering, what is it that has me avoiding it so strongly?  It is this:

Yes, this is the “Cars” themed blanket that seems like A.) it sucks down yarn faster than a cargo van sucks down gas driving into a 30mph headwind B.) it is doomed in its current incarnation (mostly because of A.).  I started on this blanket in my usual fashion which in this case meant asking my mom how big a 3-4 year-old is.  I asked her because she’s had 2 of them and I’ve had none at this point.  After getting to see said child this week, I realized that this blanket would (in its current incarnation) be too large for him to carry.  Doh.  A shocking lack of knowledge about small children strikes again!

In completely unrelated news (other than, you know, it’s the Christmas season thus winter here in the Northern Hemisphere) it snowed last night.

This is one of those pretty, white dusting snows rather than the last one which was just confused rain.

Snow makes everything prettier, even Micheal!

The view of town.

Have a great day!


Clearly on the “Naughty” list December 21, 2011

So yeah, not a lot coming from this corner for a bit.  I’ve been, you know, busy y’all!

So, where were we last?  Oh yeah!  I went to Florida to deal with house and storage unit and to catch up with my wonderful Florida peeps.  The damage to my house wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been but bad enough that it is going to be a P.I.T.A. to fix.  I think that the people who broke into the house weren’t of the same gang that has been going around to vacant houses and completely cleaning them out of everything including the wiring, appliances and fixtures for which I am glad.  I think that the people who took the A/C unit just needed an A/C.  I guess I can understand this but at the same time (and this is probably a tad on the mean-spirited side) I hope that you get it all installed and working and then it leaks all over your drywall causing many expensive repairs.  I mean, that would be pretty much perfect karma there!  So here are some pictures of the damage I was (and still am) dealing with.

This was the air intake vent where the air was recycled into the air handler.

They broke my damn sink!

Where my thermostat used to be...

And tried to step through my ceiling!


I drove my father’s monster van down there.  He gets irritated with me when I say that as he doesn’t think that it is all that big.  But when you are looking down at all the pickups and nearly all the other vans on the road and can look in at the truckers nearly on their level then I think it pretty safe to say that it’s a bloody big van!

The reason that I drove the beast down there (other than wanting to look like a bad-ass [not sure how much I succeeded on that front!]) was that there was a storage unit that we still had stuff in that needed to be cleaned-out.  We had left a lot of appliances and electronics behind as they don’t work over there and (if you’ve been reading the blog for a while you already know this) we were worried it wasn’t all going to fit in a 40′ container.  So I got to clean-out a 10’X10′ storage unit with over 2 years worth of dead black widows in it.  Yeah, there was a black widow spider infestation at some point (I’m told that this was normal for the entire area) and it was all sorts of fun figuring-out if any of them were still alive.  Now normally these spiders don’t bother me too much.  I mean really, they are truly a “live and let live” sort of creature.  But in this case there were just so many of them that I was afraid that I was going to just “bump” into a web a little too forcefully and piss-off it’s inhabitant.  Luckily, there only seemed to be one that was alive in the whole unit and I set it free in the great outdoors.  Anyway, by the time I left, the unit looked like this:

Clean and EMPTY!

Since I was down there I got to spend a goodly amount of time with the Hookers.  I made it to 2 meet-ups and the Christmas party.  I didn’t take a lot of photos at these as I never ever remember to take my camera out until it is too late.  But at the Christmas party we did a group shot which I had the presence of mind to throw my camera at one of the photographers to get a couple of shots.

My favorite Hookers in the whole wide world!

I was also well booked for lunches and dinners meeting with folks I’ve not seen in a couple of years.  It was great to get to hang out with friends and catch-up with what is going on in their lives.  We get such a fragmented picture of what is happening from things like Facebook and twitter that it really shows just how much live, in-person communication is still a needed and necessary thing.

Plus it’s still hard to get hugs over the internet.

I drove the same route back as I did down with the minor exception of taking the Atlanta bypass around the city rather than going straight through it as my lovely Georgiana instructed on the way down.  She was still quite insistent that downtown was the best way to go on the way back but I turned her off until she could come to her senses.

Welcome to Kentucky!

I just love this store. It is in the middle of the interstate!

The Florida state line and an ad for a retirement community. There are some things I really do not miss:-)

Luck or fate or Mother Nature or whatever you want to call it was on my side throughout this entire trip.  I didn’t have any severe weather going in either direction (for which I am extremely thankful) and really it was just a heck-of a lot of driving.

Since I’ve been home it’s been all about getting ready for Christmas.  There was a tree to set-up and decorate and the presents to wrap (this has been a task delegated to me since early childhood) and dogs to wash.  Ok, so that last one isn’t strictly a Christmas thing, but you know, stinky dogs do bring down the holiday spirit:-)

I’ve been trying to get things ready for my new job which starts in January.  I’m not going to say much about it except that it will have me all over the state of Iowa so be ready for lots more of my photos from behind the wheel (don’t try that at home!).  I’ll also be traveling to South Carolina for a bout of training so there might be some more travel pictures too.