The goats are slowly settling in. It’s interesting to observe their different behaviors. Pixie Dust, the black one, is sweet and cute (she kinda reminds me of a cow in her features). Ceolan, on the other hand thinks she’s a primadonna in the way she looks and acts like it. She has very, very long black lashes and with her pink nose is a truly “girlie, girl.” Look at the way she drapes her hoof over the side of the cage, like she’s posing for a, ahem, magazine.

We purchased two goats because it’s best that they bond to each other and not with a human. The dwarf nigerian will get about mid thigh high and the pygmy is expected to be short (and porky) since her mother was only 13″ high! The nigerian is a valued milker; however, even though the pygmy is classified as more of a meat goat, they do give milk that has a desirable high fat content. Anyhow, we really don’t have to worry about milking anytime soon. It’ll be at least a year or so.  Until then, they will be a valuable green/brown waste composter and manure producer and, of course, tons of fun.

The kids (human kind), attending the school surrounding two sides of our property, are curious about the new arrivals. Ever so often you see a head bob up over the fence (pretty funny). During lunchtime yesterday, a few of the kids were “baaaaing” (a word?) back when the goats would let out a bleat.

Jules put the finishing touches on the eclectic lodge pole trellis yesterday. In a few months, pole limas will cover the structure and red, ripe strawberries will hang from the hanging baskets. Instead of re-plastering the cob oven, we spent the later part of the day placing some pebbles in between the two concrete flowers (pictures to come once complete) we jack hammered out of the 30 x 30 slab of concrete back in November.

There’s starting to be some progress! Of course, there is still so much to do; however, any small project completed is a giant step forward.   

Our collection of reusable bags

Cloth Bag Tip

Thank you for keeping up with your on-line journal. I’ve enjoyed reading about the Dervaes family’s many projects. I’ve tried using cloth grocery bags in the past. (home made!)Grocery store baggers have problems with cloth bags. They don’t standup by themselves like paper, and they don’t hang on the rack like plastic bags.This can be fixed. Measure the racks at the bagging station of your local grocery. Put two buttonholes near the top edge of your cloth bags at that spacing, so that your bags will hang like the plastic. (I have one commercial bag that has two loops of nylon web sewn into the top hem)You will have to educate your bagger at every trip, which will be tiring. Demonstrate by hanging the bag on the rack, over the wad of plastic bags. The light will go on, and he or she will handle the rest of your groceries with no fuss. Next trip, it will be a different bagger.Now, if I can just solve the problem of my cloth bags being borrowed and missing when I go shopping. . .Sylvia R.

Thank you Sylvia for this sharing this great tip with us and our readers.

Be Mad

“… So you are on the brink ofmadness. This is a good bit ofnews, majestic in itsfearfulness, fearful in itsmajesty and beauty. I say thatmadness is the first steptowards unselfishness. Be mad.Be mad and tell us what isbehind the veil of ‘sanity’. Thepurpose of life is to bring uscloser to those secrets, andmadness is the only means.”
– Khalil Gibran, 1921

Mere Enthusiasm

… and this, yesterday, from a friends email (thanks for listening)  re: my email rant to a recent situation:

There’s a phrase used in the Aubrey-Maturin novels (and the “Master and Commander movie) which I think describes a lot of people’s attitude: “mere enthusiasm”.Enthusiasm is a bad thing (contrary to modern culture), as it’s trivial andshallow. An enthusiast isn’t going to sacrifice themselves for a cause; andfar too many on the green wing ARE enthusiasts.That will change when they’re hungry, cold, or too hot for comfort!

Two Paths

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert’s Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by– offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

Losing Our Religion

“How we take our lives from this world, how we work, what work we do, how well we use the materials we use, and what we do with them after we have used them–all are questions of the highest and gravest religious significance. In answering them, we practice, or do not practice, our religion.” ~ Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community ~

No Comments

  1. Heather Hawkes says:

    Re: Two paths

    That is so very true. I feel like this path that I am on, no one else is traveling. Thankfully you are on the path too… helping pave the way. Blessings


  2. Brianne says:

    I wanted to comment yesterday but I didn’t really know what to say. I still struggle with what to say about the lack of younger people willing to make “sacrifices” for the movement or really make changes in their way of life.
    I am young, 26, and a college student, and I often find that my peers are not willing to be more than enthusiastic about green living. They often even look at me as a radical for the things I think of are simple changes. They balk at my simple wardrobe and the fact that I am willing to walk(our small town has no public transportation) or even that I do not eat meat.
    It concerns me that nothing seems to “get them going” and I worry so much for our future. What if I am one of the last people willing to do anything? What does that mean for my young niece or my possible children? Or for the billions of adults and children I will never meet?

  3. Maya says:

    Love those goats! 🙂 I want them for myself, but can I raise them interior in our apartment? They’d be really sad…I’m happy for you guys. I’m so proud of you that I finally feature Path to Freedom and your journal in my blog today 🙂 I hope you don’t mind…you’ve been my inspiration of an ideal concept of self-sufficiency. Amazing. ’til next time…

  4. Anais says:

    Thank you all for your perceptive comments.

    Heather, you are so true. This is a lonely path and hard path in which to travel, but the only one that leads to to earth stewardship not destruction.

    “Just look around…. when there are millions upon millions on the same road, they are on the crowded freeway of life, going Nowhere but traveling with plenty of company.

    Leading to life’s Summit is the way which only very few travel — the Path”

    ~ Jules Dervaes ~

    We are blessed to be sharing this path with fellow travelers like yourself. Walk on!

  5. Anais says:


    Thank you for such a wonderful (and beautiful) write up, we are honored that you spotlighted our family and urban homestead project on your wonderful blog. Thank you for spreading the word of this rising homegrown revolution.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Bright blessings,

  6. Anais says:

    Hi Brianne

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, it’s good to hear from the “younger” (my) generation’s voice and what they are experiecing in their circles.

    I share your same concerns, however am lucky/blessed that I live in an environment where “radicals” or as like to call myself a “misfit” are a bit more accepted.

    However, there are places that I go and am seeing first hand the “graying of the green movement.”

    Where’s the youthful rebellion to not follow or conform. It’s sad to see that only a few (like yourself) are strong enough to leave the pack and set out on the path towards a more sustainable life. We need more of you… you are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

    Perhaps one day, your persistant and positive examples will pay off. Perhaps not now, but you gotta have hope. Maybe one day your peers will look back and say “now that’s why that girl dressed simple and walked everywhere.” They may not “get” your example now, but one day the may be forced to follow your lead.

    Thank you for setting the example and leading the way.

    Wishing you all the best in your journey. Stay true, stay srong and stay positive.

  7. Wildside_e says:

    Thank you for sharing the photos and news updates about your goats! It’s fun.