My life in the country with my site

Archive for February, 2013

Tender Moments at Gullringstorp

Fiona, who is Keriana’s daughter is raised by both her mother and aunt Alika. Keriana and Alika have a love hate relationship. They fight when the fence is down, but if I think of separating them and moving one to another box, they have a real fit. So that’s out of the question. They are living peacefully with the fence up between them as they share a big box.

Fiona makes it very clear that she loves Alika as much as she loves her mommy:

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Pumpkin is Bred with Little Man

Pumpkin was bred with our Little Man who was born right here at Gullringstorp. She was bred Dec. 1, 2012 and will deliver in the first week of April. She is not a first time fresher, she has had 2 little ones over a year ago . She had been bred with our Rent-A-Buck Emil and had a buckling and a doeling. Unfortunately, her son, Little Miracle left us way too soon due to a bad heart. It was an awful time here at Gullringstorp. We were so sad and never thought we would get over it. Pumpkin was upset and sad. She couldn’t stop looking for Miracle and then became over protective of her daughter Rose. Poor Rose was all alone now without her brother. We had several other new mothers in the stable at the same time and each one had twins,  so each had the other to snuggle up with. Rosie didn’t really have mommy because her mommy  was just too preoccupied with trying to find Miracle in their stall and in the stable. That was when I decide to give  Rosie a stuffed animal to snuggle up with at night when Pumpkin paced the stall.

We can only hope with all our hearts that this time around will be a much better experience for Pumpkin. She had been so changed by this experience. Now she has calmed down considerably and is just now getting back to her old self. I want her to have a happy experience, all around.


Pumpkin and Little Man meet each other


Pumpkin like all my ladies, she plays hard to get in the beginning


Pumpkin does not make it easy for Little Man. He has to chase her a bit  first.


First try


Second try


Third time was a charm, as always

Please send your good thoughts and wishes to Pumpkin.


Toby, Before and After Photos

I have never done a before and after of any of our goats. Just thought I would start with one of my cutest,  before and after:

Toby is Nanna’s first baby born here at Gullringstorp. Toby was born May 12, 20102:

,Our Little Toby at just one day old

Our Little Toby at just one day old. Look at how tiny he was!


What a cute little nose


Nanna takes her 3 day old little Toby out for a trip around the stable


Up the milk stand ramp to mommy


It was pretty chilly so he needed a sweater for a bit


Toby loved to explore


Toby and Nanna were lucky because Leif made them a special play yard in the rear of the stable. They just walked out of their home and out the door into the yard for fresh air and fun


Toby was in Keriana and Alika’s box, exploring


Toby wanted to share Nanna’s grain


Toby became best pals with our Max



Toby looks like a show goat! Just look at that perfect little body!


Nanna and Toby enjoy the sunshine in the front play yard


Toby finally got big enough to join the other goats in the large enclosure. He was still with Nanna and nursing


We always thought Toby was cute and we thought nothing more of his hair when he was young

Our little Toby has grown into a real handsome buck that has an uncanny similarity to Elvis. Look at that hair-do, will you:













A Night at the Opera in the Swedish Countryside Part 2

Last evening, this city girl turned country gal went to the opera. Well, not the actual opera, but an HD live transmission from the Metropolitan Opera of New York, at a local movie theater here in the Swedish countryside. We go as often as we can, but I am unable to post on all of them with so much happening here at Gullringstorp with our goats. I would like to post on all our HD opera visits, but it is a bit difficult. I will do my best.

Last evening we saw the Metropolitan Opera of New York’s new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. It was an absolutely  wonderful evening at the opera. I had fun texting back and forth during the intermissions with my daughter who was listening to the live radio broadcast at the same time.

The director, Michael Mayer, has set the production in 1960 Las Vegas, transferring the thuggish morality of the court of 16th-century Mantua to the neon-lighted, satin-jacket world of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Joey Bishop. Having spent a lot of time in the glittering city as a child and teenager with my family, it was a trip down memory lane for me. This new production had an international line up of fantastic voices :

Zeljko Lucic : Rigoletto

Diana Damrau : Gilda

Oksana Volkova : Maddalena

Piotr Beczala : Duke of Mantua

Stefan Kocan : Sparafucile

Composer : Giuseppe Verdi

Conductor : Michele Mariotti

Rigoletto Synopsis

ACT I. Mantua, 1500s. At his palace, the Duke lightheartedly boasts to his courtiers of amorous conquests, escorting Countess Ceprano, his latest prize, to a private chamber as his hunchback jester, Rigoletto, makes fun of her husband. Marullo announces that Rigoletto is suspected of keeping a mistress, and Ceprano plots with the courtiers to punish the hated buffoon. Attention is diverted when Monterone, an elderly nobleman, enters to denounce the Duke for seducing his daughter. Ridiculed by Rigoletto and placed under arrest, Monterone pronounces a curse on both the Duke and his jester.

On his way home that night, Rigoletto broods on Monterone’s curse. Rejecting the services offered by Sparafucile, a professional assassin, he notes that the word can be as deadly as the dagger. Greeted by his daughter, Gilda, whom he keeps hidden from the world, he reminisces about his late wife, then warns the governess, Giovanna, to admit no one. But as Rigoletto leaves, the Duke slips into the garden, tossing a purse to Giovanna to keep her quiet. The nobleman declares his love to Gilda, who has noticed him in church. He tells her he is a poor student named Gualtier Maldè, but at the sound of footsteps he rushes away. Tenderly repeating his name, Gilda retires. Meanwhile, the courtiers stop Rigoletto outside his house and ask him to help abduct Ceprano’s wife, who lives across the way. The jester is duped into wearing a blindfold and holding a ladder against his own garden wall. The courtiers break into his home and carry off Gilda. Rigoletto, hearing her cry for help, tears off his blindfold and rushes into the house, discovering only her scarf. He remembers Monterone’s curse.

ACT II. In his palace, the Duke is distraught over the disappearance of Gilda. When his courtiers return, saying it is they who have taken her and that she is now in his bedchamber, he joyfully rushes off to the conquest. Soon Rigoletto enters, warily looking for Gilda; the courtiers bar his way, though they are astonished to learn the girl is not his mistress but his daughter. The jester reviles them, then embraces the disheveled Gilda as she runs in to tell of her courtship and abduction. As Monterone is led to the dungeon, Rigoletto vows to avenge them both.

ACT III. At night, outside Sparafucile’s run-down inn on the outskirts of town, Rigoletto and Gilda watch as the Duke flirts with the assassin’s sister and accomplice, Maddalena. Rigoletto sends his daughter off to disguise herself as a boy for her escape to Verona, then pays Sparafucile to murder the Duke. As a storm rages, Gilda returns to hear Maddalena persuade her brother to kill not the Duke but the next visitor to the inn instead. Resolving to sacrifice herself for the Duke, despite his betrayal, Gilda enters the inn and is stabbed. Rigoletto comes back to claim the body and gloats over the sack Sparafucile gives him, only to hear his supposed victim singing in the distance. Frantically cutting open the sack, he finds Gilda, who dies asking forgiveness. Monterone’s curse is fulfilled.
— courtesy of Opera News

Here is a clip of the rehearsal of Rigoletto, Met Opera 2013

Here is a video clip of Piotr Beczala ( A fantastic tenor from Poland)

Here is a video clip of Diana Damarau ( A beautiful  soprano  from Germany)

Here is a beautiful and touching  duet between Rigoletto : Zeljko Lucic ( A baritone from Serbia)and his beloved daughter Gilda: Diana Damarau

I hope you have enjoyed a night at the opera…

Valentine’s Day Celtic Music for my Goats

Last night I wished each of my goats a very Happy Valentine’s Day. As we did our nightly chores in the stable , my goats got a Celtic serenade. I play Celtic music often when there is a bit of unrest in the stable. It seems to calm everyone down, including me. Celtic music is really one of my favorite music genres.

My goats each got a Valentine’s kiss as they were sung to. Happy stable, happy goats, happy goat-mommy (that’s me).

Here are just a few of the selections that my goats were treated to last evening:




Happy Valentine’s Day From Gullringstorp

Images of love, kindness and friendship  can be found all over Gullringstorp:

This was what I saw this morning

This was what I saw this morning, my lovely boys finding comfort and love and safety with each other in the big boy’s box

What a kind mommy Hilda is...

What a kind mommy Hilda is… this is goat love to share your food

Toby would like nothing more than to languish in his mother's care and love, but he is just becoming a buck too fast

Toby would like nothing more than to languish in his mother’s care and love, but he is just becoming a buck too fast

Ivy and Little Surprise

Ivy stays very close to her Little Surprise

Mother and son

Alika stands proudly by her new little son Pip

A kiss for mommy

Toby gives a sweet  kiss to his mommy Nanna

Mother and son

Mother Nanna and son Toby

So sweet

So sweet moment of love between Frida and Poppy

A tender moment shared by mother and daughter...

A tender moment shared by mother and daughter…Hilda and Peanut

Hilda and Peanut

Hilda and Peanut sharing a moment of love

Swedish Valentine's Day with tulips and beautiful heart candies

Swedish Valentine’s Day with tulips and beautiful heart candies


Togetherness Tasha and Puck

Kitty love

Kitty love

More kitty love

More kitty love

Hilda and her first children born at Gullringstorp; Little Man and Peanut

Hilda and her first children born at Gullringstorp; Little Man and Peanut

The male rides the females like this as they mate. They can lay up to 1,000 eggs in 2-3 days

The male rides the females like this as they mate. They can lay up to 1,000 eggs in 2-3 days

Tasha never had kittens but she is such a mommy. She stays close to Max during his recuperation.

Tasha never had kittens but she is such a mommy. She stays close to Max during his recuperation. Such a show of love.

Little Max giving his new daddy a kiss.

Little Max giving his new daddy a kiss.

A gentle kiss for Little Lady

A gentle kiss for Little Lady

Tasha with her new friend, Little Lady our iguana

Tasha with her new friend, Little Lady our iguana

Frida with her babies, Poppy and Pansy

Frida with her babies, Poppy and Pansy

I really hope Rose like her new friend

It was out of love that I decided to give Rose this stuffed doggie when she lost her little brother and appeared lonely

Wanna kiss?

Wanna kiss?

After a little swim, it was time for a little sun.

Mr. & Mrs. Duck  came for a visit to our pond. After a little swim, it was time for a little sun.

Keriana having a meal

Frida lovingly gives Keriana a warm meal

Julius gets a hug from Max our Brussels Griffon

Julius gets a hug from Max our Brussels Griffon

Julius gets a kiss from Max

Julius gets a kiss from Max

Jalle and Julius really love each other

Jalle and Julius really love each other

Little Lady's movements never go unnoticed. Pip has to make sure she is alright.

Little Lady’s movements never go unnoticed. Pip has to make sure she is alright.

Little Lady wants to share a nap in Max's bed

Little Lady wants to share a nap in Max’s bed

Wishing you love, kindness and  true friendship !

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

A New Collar for Peanut

Every now and again, my ladies , especially, outgrow their collars. This happens for several reasons; either they are still growing or their winter fur becomes too thick under their collar making them a bit too snug.

No matter the reason, when it’s time, it’s just time.

Here is pumpkin in her new collar:

Hare vs Rabbit

Good morning from Gullringstorp. I recently posted some photos of a cute little furry animal sitting in our hedges. It was a Swedish hare. I had one of my followers ask a very good question; what’s the difference between a hare, rabbit or bunny?

First off my photo was a hare. In Sweden we only have wild hare and not rabbits. Although now that rabbits have become popular pets with children, especially in the countryside, there have been some that have escaped their hutches and are now trying to survive in the wild.

Here are just a few of the differences between a Hare and a Rabbit:

Hares are not domesticated animals and can never be so

Rabbits are domesticated animals

Hares are born with fur and can see right away and fend for themselves right from the beginning

Rabbits are born hairless and blind and cannot fend for themselves at that stage

Hares have very tall erect ears

Rabbits have much shorter ears and can even have floppy ears

Hares are sometimes known as Jack Rabbits

Rabbits are sometimes known as bunnies

Hares have quite long and very strong hind legs

Rabbits have much shorter hind legs that are nowhere near as strong

Hares eat hard foods such as bark and twigs

Rabbits eat soft food such as grass and vegetables

A young hare is called a leveret

A young rabbit is called a kitten or kit and later a bunny

Here is a beautiful video of a Brown Hare:

In this next video you can see a rabbit and a hare play together:

Our Bucks at Gullringstorp

Last evening as we entered the stable, all seemed peaceful and calm. All until we entered the other end of the stable. There they were, two of our bucks locked together in a head lock. They commenced charging and ramming each other, head on. I know for a fact that larger animals like elk, rams and water buffalo, have very hard plates in their heads to withstand the hard blows that are exchanged when they are in “must”. I am not sure what my little fellows have those plates. If anyone knows if  West African goats have protective head plates, I would love to know. Thank you.

The sounds at impact are tremendous,  considering the size of my boys. They are in no way the size of an elk or ram. They don’t even come up to my knee when stand near me. I console myself in the knowledge that this is natural and in nature they would be doing the same thing. The issue is,  they are not in nature,  they are in our care and I feel most responsible for their safety and wellbeing. I would not want either to get hurt. I don’t want a scenario with a victor and a looser limping away to lick wounds.

We went about our evening chores in the stable amidst the crashing sounds of horns and heads. We tried to distract the boys at one point by offering a treat of bread, which they love. Well, that was just a pause for them and as soon as they licked their lips and had their last piece of bread, they were right back at it.

I was not comfortable going to bed not knowing if all was well with them, so on our nightly trip out with little Max, we walked down to check on them. To my relief, they were all quiet and safe, “in bed”.

This morning, we did have two ladies in heat, and it’s quite possible that our boys knew way before we did. Oddly enough,  we did not have the activity with the bucks that we had last evening, this morning.

Here are my boys in action last evening. The stars of my little videos are, Little Man (brown) and Baby Boy  (black) who I now refer to as Bear because of his size and his constant grunting. Little Phillip and Winston stay close to watch and learn how to be big bucks.

US Northeast Snow Storm vs Swedish Winter

We are  keeping everyone in the Northeast in our thoughts today as you endure this winter storm. We hope everyone stays safe and warm.

We here at Gullringstorp are in the midst of winter, once again. Here in Sweden, we are used to the snow. We have the infrastructure to handle great amounts of snow. Our plows are always at the ready and everyone is prepared with a variety of shovels and warm gloves etc. Even our airports function well during winter storms. Nothing stops in Sweden.

All of us who live in the countryside with animals,  learn how to survive the winter and care for our animals. We know how to keep hens warm and water from freezing and keep animals comfortable.

This morning as it snowed I went for a walk with my naughty but sweet Nanna out for a walk . She hesitated at first then she really seemed to enjoy it as she walked me.

Nanna takes me into the goat enclosure

Nanna takes me into the goat enclosure



In she goes

Nanna is so curious to see what happened to her enclosure



My husband was out shoveling when he made a discovery and came in to get me. I grabbed my camera and in the hedge we found something beautiful:

Where's Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

Look at that sweet little head

Look at that sweet little head


He was so still but every now and again , his ears flicked

He was so still but every now and again , his ears flicked

So beautiful...

So beautiful…

Please stay safe in the storm.