Thursday, June 13, 2013

Drip, Drip, Drop

Well, it's raining again.  From a number of your blog posts, I can see that a bunch of you are sharing this lovely weather with me.  I was going to take you on a tour of my gardens, but it's wet out there!  Not to mention it's been rather cool as well.  Many things don't seem to mind, but some definitely do.  This will be an interesting year, I think. 

I did snap you a picture of the large garden, but from inside the house.  See?

That's as close as I'm going to get today.  I promise, if it ever stops raining, we'll have a proper look about.

Things have been dripping along here at Chicken Scratch.  The crops are growing, the chickens are laying, the geese are complaining, the goats are REALLY complaining, and so on.  I've had to move the goats' feeders to the upper fence because of all the mud.  This morning, they all came running out of the house to the lower fence, stopped, and looked at me like "Ok.....Where is it?".  Jeez, they are smart.  I only had to point, and they got it.  I know tonight they'll go to the right side.  After all, food is in the balance!

Lilly is due in 9 days.  She's gotten quiet, which I expect.  She's bagged up a little, and luckily her bag is remaining soft for now.  I'm praying that it stays that way.  Dulcinea is fat.  Fat like a sausage fat.  I tell her, but she doesn't believe me.  She prefers to try to haul her bulk into my lap or rub her largess all over me until I pay attention to her.  Stewart was stung on his nose, and is all stuffed up and snortier than usual.  Poor pupkin.  The only bonus is that it's cut down on his yodeling a little bit, which has been nice.  However Max and Cynthia are picking up the slack and sing as much as they can all the time.  It's quite the chorus some days.  And Cleo just keeps to herself.

The littles have been named, just because I felt bad calling them "Brown Minerva" and "Other One".  Not cool.  So I introduce to you Amelia (formerly Brown Minerva, in front here) and Olive (formerly Other One, in back).

Amelia has become quite the cuddle bug.  Olive is an independent type of girl.  They are both sweeties and have kinda blue eyes, which is very unusual.  It's actually pretty cool.  They are getting around like gangbusters, and went to school yesterday to see my daughter's fifth grade class so they could learn a little something about goats.  It was a nice day, but I wouldn't be wrong to say that fifth graders at the end of the year are all about boy/girl stuff, making fun of each other, and TV.  So sad.  I know a few of them got something out of it.  The rest of them were just grateful they weren't in the classroom.   

These girls are here for now, and I am waiting to see what Lilly gives us to decide who stays and who doesn't.  It's not going to be easy, but I can't keep everyone.  I am trying to do what's best for us as a family, and what's best for the herd as a whole.  It's a suck decision, and I've spent way too much time over it.  Especially because of the whole Minerva debacle.  That is a game changer in a lot of ways, and truly not something I'm really happy about.  But like I said, we don't get "easy" over here.  Everything is a challenge in some way.

As for Minerva, the vets screwed up and sent the mastitis test snail mail instead of quickly, which is what I asked for.  I am not expecting to hear about it until next week at the earliest because of their screw up.  I'm not happy--it's a good thing she's not dying, or she'd be dead by the time the tests returned.  In the meantime, I have stopped the meds because A) I may have been treating her with mega-doses of penicillin for something she does not have and killing her internal flora and B) I think that 6 days of Banamine is a bad idea for her overall health.  I feel the vet really dropped the ball on this one, and threw a bunch of stuff at Minerva in hopes that something stuck.  And let me tell you this:  though with the treatment, her hard udder reduced somewhat, today it had reduced quite a bit more, and she's been off the meds for a while.  I don't know that anything they gave me did anything at all.  What's wrong with Minerva?  I have no idea.  She still milks a crappy cup and some odd every time she's milked.  But the swelling or hardness or whatever is going down.  I don't think I'm at the end of this story yet.

Which means I can't say what the plan for Minerva is, either, which I'd like to be able to say, but I just can't.  Right now we're just chugging along and kind of in stasis at the same time.  As for your comments on the last post, yes, I get it.  Minerva stays, regardless of what happens with her or doesn't happen with her.  I think that's the beauty of living on a "homestead" instead of a "farm".   There's no push to produce.  The milk is for us; for cheese and drinking and lots of lovely things.  The fact that she's not a great producer matters, but I have no standards of gallons I have to make.  I have no quotas.  There's a little bit of freedom--of good--to be found in something that is this disappointing.  I've been trying to find it.

So that's where it stands, which is to say, nowhere really.  I am looking forward to giving you all good news, or at least some news, which would be nice.  Bear with me--things are a bit in flux here, but they can't stay that way forever.  We'll be heading in a direction soon enough.

Of course, we may float there with all this rain. 
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1 comment:

  1. Your gardens are coming along beautifully! I hope the rain has stopped by now (I am behind in blogging). The girls are beautiful. Love their names too and their shortish ears. And yes - you probably would have been better off taking the babies to the 1st grade class. I am sorry about all your problems with Minerva. You are learning so much in your endeavors. And I learn from you as well. Thanks for blogging!


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