Sunday, February 23, 2014

Yep, That's How It Goes.

Went out to get Minerva for her foot trimming. 

She was wearing an accessory. 

0 points for style, but at LEAST 100 points for getting it over her own head and under one leg--it's quite the feat.

No, I didn't put it on her.  She put it on herself.  She must have lifted it off of the hooks hanging near the pen and somehow got it on.

In all fairness, Minerva's quite the fashion-forward goat.  She LOVES to wear things.  If I am wearing a hat, she will pull it off and not leave it alone until I put it on her head.  Then she looks very happy and will wear it for quite a while.  Same with scarves.  She'll nibble it until I put it on her.  Then she stops.

She's gone after my shoes, probably for the same reason, but there are limits.

Never a dull moment!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014


This time of year is always so expectant.

Expectant of the spring to come.

Expectant of the life rising up from the earth again.

Expectant of the lives that will come from lives already here.


Even though we are snowed IN,
The stream is between the tree on your right and the first tree on your left.  Nope, you can't see it, I know.

having received another triple-headed snowstorm on top of the one we already had,

spring is coming.  There are plants growing under lights in the dining room, and plans for the year are being made.

So, no doubt about it.

On top of that, two of my girls are expectant as well.  Thanks to these two gentlemen,

Max on the left, Stu on the right.  I don't know which is "daddy"
Dulcinea now looks like this:

(No, she's probably not thankful.  Understandably so).

When I look at last year's pic, when I thought she might have been pregnant,
Last year's pic of an unpregnant Dulci.
but she was not, I am happy to say that Dulcinea is expectant too.  Due date?  April 7th.  We'll see if she sticks with it.

Lilly is also expectant, I believe.  She's not due until late May, but she's kinda-sorta showing.  She's drying up like gangbusters, which is not great, and dances on the milking stand like it's going out of style.  I taking that to mean she's also expectant, but I'm waiting until she pops to be sure.  If so, Lilly can expect this to be just about the last time she has to be expectant, since she's one of my CAE girls, and I'd prefer not to risk her, when there are 4 others who are clean to take her place.  At the very least, she will earn a break.  

On the other fronts?  I expect to get outside in the next two days to tap trees, as I am very, very late because of snowstorms.  I also expect to be seeding about 100 broccoli and 100 cauliflower plants this week, as it's that time already.  I also expect, honestly, to run out of room to put all these things because 200 seedlings on top of what's already growing is A LOT of seedlings in a limited space.  I expect to worry about this, since I already am worrying.  Might as well avoid the rush.

Also, at the end of the month, I expect to order the first batch of meatbirds to arrive next month, as well as a number of Delawares which I expect to be our sustainable meatbird of choice.  At least, I hope that's how it's going to work out.  I can't tell at all if it will, as I've only dealt with the Cornish Cross, but I am hoping that the Delawares will live up to their feed conversion ratios and become some good looking birds meaty birds who will be able to reproduce themselves and therefore keep us in chicken ad infinitum.

We'll see.

I also expect to figure out what to do about the turkey situation, as that would really be a nice addition to our stores, but NO WAY am I doing that whole turkey thing like I did back in 2012.  What a mess that was.  I expect this time, now that I've had experience, to turn out better.

So yep, expectant.  That's this time of year in a nutshell.  Is it the same for you??

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Break Out the Snowshoes

........Snapshots without pictures.......
A little something different

The 4-6" of snow we were supposed to get turned out to be about a foot or so.
Slogging through to do the chores this morning was interesting
and slow.
The big girl goats were up to their knees,
the little girl goats were up to their butts.
Dulcinea was so covered in snow that she looked like a sheep
---a really WIDE sheep.
It seems that she's got a baby bump--finally. 
I hope this time she took.

It's doing something outside right now, but I can't tell what.  Maybe it's ice.
Lots of clothing drying by the woodstove.
Kids went out, sank, floundered, and came back in.
Chickens wouldn't even come out.
Ducks and geese are standing in the one spot of their pond that has fluid water in it.
It is VERY crowded right there.

Now it's snowing again....

There are some seeds sprouting on the indoor rack in the dining room.
Marigolds right now.
Petunias to follow.
We shrank the table to put the rack up.
Little bits of green in the black, under the purpley grow lights.
Lovely to see.  Makes me feel happy.

Seed orders for the year on their way here.
Planning for meatbirds and turkeys this spring.
Figuring numbers.
Counting costs and weighing benefits.

Icky got to the cheese again.
This time, Parmesan.
He ate a hole in one side, so I cut it and smoothed it.
And yelled at him.
He didn't notice.
We ate our first wheel of properly aged Farmhouse Cheddar last week.
It was a symphony.
There are no words to describe how good it was.
We ate more than we should have, and would have gone back for more.
I am purposely staying out of the cheese fridge until absolutely necessary.

Saturday was warm-ish, so I let the birds out for a run.
And I sat and watched.
Total recharge, that day.
It was like a big sigh of relief.

Then I sat with the goats. 
And let them sit on my lap.
Especially Cynthia the Small.
Everyone should keep a goat. 
They are the greatest, hands down.
They don't judge, and they like Frosted Mini Wheats.
How can you go wrong with that?
I sat with them and talked,
and they sat and climbed and stood on me
and nibbled my shoes
and listened.
And it was a good day.

Thor sits in the window and meachs at the birds.
Not quite a "meow", not quite an "ach ach ach ach".
A sound uniquely his own.
He hates those birds, when they fly around his trees
without permission.
He tells them off each and every day,
and each and every day they come back.
It seems they're not listening to his authority.
The double-pane of glass
could have something to do with that.
But he is unconvinced.
They are just stubborn.

When it stops snowing again,
in July,
I'm going to run back and forth on the grass, over and over again.
I haven't seen the grass in a month.
I'm going to sit in the front yard and just be.

For now, I will enjoy the snow.
Maybe not the bitter cold.
But the snow is pretty, and here, and not going away.
And it makes the dark mornings less dark.
So I'll be thankful and enjoy.
And wait for spring to come.

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