It’s been quite a few weeks. Getting ready for a winter that hasn’t really landed yet continues. I am not complaining, however! We don’t usually get this much grace time for winter prep in the animal paddocks.
Golden Guernsey update: our girls Batty the Beautiful and Saffron the Lovely are doing well. We bought them as bred does, and I was extremely upset when Saffron went into heat. The little buck that my friend Jane and I went in on together is still in Vermont at Jane’s house. He is quite young yet, and the news is that he is not yet mature enough to breed the girls. Which left me in a terrible bind! No Guernsey buck, and a pregnant doe. Actually, all but Batty the Beautiful are open. Sheesh. What a pickle! So I have put our only buck in with the girls, and so far, no action. Saffron did knock the poor guy around, so I hope that he has the desire to hang in there :*)
Marigold update: we did our best to get our Marigold up and moving, but things just didn’t work out. She was our sweet girl and a doe that I had hoped to be on the farm for a very long time, but it just wasn’t a go. John put her down on Sunday, so it was not a very great day, despite the beautiful weather. Her mother, Big Zelda, had begun sleeping far away from Marigold’s pen, so we knew that she had already acknowledged the fact that her girl was not well. This was an extremely tough one for me. We have lost animals and had to put some down in the past, but she was just 18 months old. It never makes sense.
On a happier note, we got our Christmas tree, even as we are celebrating Hanukkah! It’s a pretty one. We have not been able to find anything suitable on our 20 acres (weener Charlie Brown evergreen abound, but nothing remotely nice), so we went to a local tree farm and got a 7′ lovely little number. Our grandson was not impressed with our choices, but I am! (The other day he asked me how old I am. I told him I am 61. He looked at me and asked, “Are you shrinking? I think that someone your age ought to be a lot taller!”). And there we have the viewpoint of the next generation :*)
And so it goes. The holidays are upon us and I am doing my best to not get caught up in the stress of it all. I am sure that we will get the tree decorated, and we will get the presents wrapped. It’s coming,
Happy Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! We have had the shortest day of the year and the longest night, and now we are listening to the rain. Waiting already for the light.
And it’s been a week. Today was the first “official” day of our Christmas break. Last week was the push to get everything ready for co-workers and the holiday parties at work. Exhausting does not even begin to cover it. This weekend we had a date with our grandson on the North Pole Express at the Boothbay Railway village. A good time, and then we came back here and had a day of baking Christmas cookies. I love making a big mess, and he seemed to enjoy it as well!
It’s also Hanukkah, and we are working on the next to the last day, so the menorah was cranking tonight. Leftover latkes headed up our menu, which is never a bad thing! I should be decorating the tree, but I think I may continue on that tomorrow. I have to get moving on the Pizzelle cookies in the morning. Yum!
And so it goes. Our house is a total wreck. We are not only trying to celebrate some holiday goodness, but we are putting in a woodstove, so that has thrown a giant monkey-wrench into our schedule. Needless to say, the tree has an amazingly beautiful floor to stand on this year (the hearth that John put in for the stove… lovely tile on top of layers of cement board). It’s all good, as our older son would say!
Now we just have to get past the next couple of days of pouring rain. The goaties are going to be having some inside time!
We finished getting the 14′ monstrous tree up and decorated early in the week. It took a lot of shifting and ladder work, but in spite of its Charlie Brown shape, it looks really nice. My husband declared that we would never put up such a large tree again (after our son dragged in a 17 footer a few years back). But he brought this one in and we decided to give it a try!
I came home one afternoon this week to find that he had broken out his Lionel train set. I don’t know how old it is, but it must be from the mid fifties. It’s larger than HO scale, but I am not sure what it is. It’s lovely! We need a little more track, but we have it running around the base of the tree and we have been having some fun with it. It’s a slightly tight fit, but it should work for the moment.
Our grandson came to visit today and we had it running for him. He asked me to sit on the floor together with him and his little friends who were also enjoying the train. We had some cookies and juice and watched that little engine chug around for quite awhile. Paddington Bear, the Fawn, Sock doll and Winnie the Pooh apparently decided that they liked the view and stayed put. Nice fun for a dreary day.
I have to give those goatie girls a lot of credit… they made short work of our friend’s Christmas tree. I went out bright and early to get the girls fed this morning, and this is what I found. Not much left, and they were hard at work on it even then. And when Zorro the llama got up close and personal to get first dibs on breakfast, it was actually a very pleasant experience: instead of his usual llama breath, he was breathing lovely, piney scent at me! So I guess we now know how to make camelid breath mints :*)
(Zorro’s breath usually smells like a cross between cudded grass or hay with a hint of eau de stale corn chips. Not bad at all, but the contrast was amazing!)
One of the things we love doing after the holidays are over is giving the cut Christmas trees to our goats. They love them! When we actually have a tree we share it, and we frequently get a tree or two from friends. The 14 foot beast that we had in our living room was moved out to the front of the house and promptly was covered over by an avalanche of snow coming off the roof. We haven’t gotten that one out yet to the girls. But our friends at Hatchtown gave us their perfect little tree the other day and I finally got it into the paddock this afternoon. A sweet afternoon treat!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!