Saturday, September 17, 2011

Jack-O-Heifer, New Neighbors, and Work (or lack thereof)

I've been in one of those moods lately where I feel like I don't have anything to blog about.  I guess I actually do, though.  We went hiking near Heber for Labor Day.  And we went to the State Fair.  That was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed the agriculture buildings more than I used to.  It was fun to see the goats that people were showing.  Also, the lady that a bunch of our goats are from was there, so it was fun to finally meet her.  We talked with her for quite a while.

Farm News

Our animals are all doing well.  Turkey is getting big.  I wonder how much he will weigh for Thanksgiving.

Daisy lost one of her front teeth.  Poor little girl!  I suspect one of the goats shoved her too hard.  (They're always trying to establish their pecking order.)  We were wondering, will she have a gap in her smile forever???   Do cows have baby teeth???  I finally looked it up.  Cows do have baby teeth.  (GOOD.)  Daisy will grow a new tooth in about a year and a half.

(I kept trying to get a picture of her goofy new smile and she wouldn't cooperate.  So, maybe later.)

New Neighbors

Did I mention we have new neighbors?  Because we do.

A couple days before our old neighbors moved, we were talking to them, and joking about whether the new people realize we have goats.  Our old neighbors said yes, actually, they were excited about the goats.  (They must not have shown the house at 6:30 am when our goats are noisy, I told Jeff.)

They really are excited about our animals, though.  The neighbors have two kids: Peyton (a boy, 10? years old) and Tristen (a girl, 4? years old).  They are adorable, and friendly, and they like us a lot.  We went over to introduce ourselves right after they moved in, and Jeff told them they're welcome to come over any time to visit our animals.

So, they do.

Seriously, the kids hang out in their backyard (by our fence) waiting for me to come outside.  "PEYTON, PEYTON!  THE LADY IS OUT!"  "CAN WE COME OVER?"  "Sure!"

I let them collect eggs with me one of the first times they came over.  I told them they could each take two.  They thought that was a lot of fun.  Peyton has come up with a schedule.  He thinks it is a good idea for them each to collect two eggs once a week.  That's fine.

They like to "help" me milk.  "Okay.  So you normally milk at 7:00?  We'll be outside at 6:55.  Wait for us, okay?"  It's pretty cute.  They come out with me, and I've shown them how to milk, so Peyton always wants to do as much of it as I will let him.  He knows to spray the teats, and wipe them with a goat wipe, and then to spray one squirt of milk not in the bucket.  "Let me do it, okay?  I know how."  Sure.  So I'll milk one side, and Peyton milks the other side, at the same time.  He chatters with me all about how fun it is to have nice neighbors, and about how farm work is like chores--except it is fun.  And he talks to me about how farm food is better than food from the store.  Then when we're finished milking, he likes to come inside and help me filter it.

Jeff thought it was really funny the other day because Peyton had suggested that he could help with the farm work and we could share milk and eggs and meat.  So then we were in filtering the milk and he explained a good way for us to do things:  when we filter the milk, if we get two quart jars, he'll take the one with less in it.  Hahaha!  He wanted to take half of our milk.  "Yeahh, probably not every day, but sometimes you can!"  "Oh, I mean, I know not every day."

So he wanted to try raw milk.  I told him he had to ask his parents.  So they both ran back to their house, and their parents discussed it and decided it was fine, and they came back and I let them take a quart of fresh, warm, raw goat milk back home.  (Labeled, of course.)  The next morning, Peyton told me he didn't really like it.  It tastes really different than store milk.  I asked if he had it cold.  "Halfway cold."  "OH, well you should try it when it is cold.  It tastes a lot better cold!"  So later he did, and now he says he doesn't think he likes store milk anymore because raw milk just tastes better.  Good kid.

He told me he can milk for us when we go on vacation.  It's tempting.  He usually milks about 1/2 of one goat all in all, so I don't think he would actually be strong enough to milk all by himself yet, but maybe next year.  It's cute that he enjoys it so much.

They also help with feeding the animals.  Tristen likes to feed Daisy bottles.  They both like feeding the chickens.

The thing about kids is, they're really funny.  Sometimes I wish I could just do farm chores without "help" (because it takes about 2-3 times as long when they come over), but mostly we just really enjoy having them visit.  They say the funniest things.  Peyton was AMAZED by the door to our garage (from the hallway by our front door).  "I can't believe this," he said, just standing there, staring.  "I've always wanted to see one of these.  It's just like I imagined."  "What?" I asked.  "You have an upside down door!"  "Huh.  I guess I do."  "You never noticed???"  "Well, I hadn't really thought about it." 

Jeff's Job

Jeff got a surprise at work recently.  Not this past Thursday but the week before, Jeff's CEO called him into a conference room---and said Jeff would be taking a six-day furlough, starting that Friday.  They put 80% of their employees on unpaid leave, because they were having financial problems.  Basically, they were receiving investor funds and the last installment was two months overdue.  Jeff asked a lot of prying, hard questions, and left work with the impression that the investor had probably walked.  "Take a vacation!" they told him, but Jeff knew after their conversation that he had pretty much been laid off.

So, the six-day break became a six-day intensive job search.  We were disappointed about the furlough because Jeff really loved his job.  He liked the work environment, and he liked what he was working on.  Too bad. 

This past week, Jeff has been to a bunch of interviews, and he got his first job offer.  He has a few more second interviews at the beginning of next week, and he hopes to make a decision about his next job on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

Finally, last night Jeff got a call from the CEO of his company.  We assumed it would be notification that Jeff was laid off, and it basically was.  On the message, the CEO told Jeff that unfortunately they were unable to secure funding, and everyone was going to be on "indefinite furlough" and he understood if Jeff wanted to find a new job, but the CEO hoped that he would still be able to secure funding.

So, I guess that's that.  We are grateful that we are very prepared, and we don't live on the edge; we haven't had to change our spending at all.  So that's a blessing.

Em's Job

I've still been doing a lot of marketing!  My 500 flyers came, and they look SO professional.  I think they turned out really nice.  I sent a bunch last weekend to people who are currently trying to rent their homes.  No response from that yet.  I also talked with a guy who e-mailed me this week about managing his home for him.  I think that one is going to work out.  So, that will be really exciting.

I would love to get busy doing more real estate work and less marketing.  (I think these things just take time.) 

We're gearing up for a couple vacancies--we've gotten notice for two of our properties.  It's kind of bad timing (summer would have been better), but not a big deal. 

I also ordered my second set of postcards for the 273 people.  I think they will arrive on Monday.

I'm participating with the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), and I love their meetings.  Everyone is very friendly and helpful.

Well, I think that's about it for now!  We're doing well, and we're really happy.


MamaErin said...

I bet if we lived next door to you, my kids would want to come visit "the lady and her animals" every day too :) What a big heart you have for letting these kids help you out! I wouldn't have enough patience to do it all the time.

Anna said...

Hi! This is a little random, but I found your blog through a comment that you left on a few years ago. Anyway, I've recently relocated to Utah (Provo) from Seattle and will be here two years. I've wanted to learn some woodworking (furniture- and cabinet-making)for a while now and I finally have the time. Where did you end up locating classes? Thanks!


P.S. Based on the list of blogs that you follow I realized that you know Tamsen Miller - I think her name is Orme now. I was great friends with her older sister growing up in Beaverton, OR. Small world!