Another Nor’Easter has hit all of the east coast. Not that it’s any surprise to have snow and messy storms in March, but I think we were all hoping it was over. Not so fast, nature says! Joke’s always on us. And it looks as if another one is on the way for Tuesday. We only lost our power for about 6 hours, but many people fared worse than we did. I can hardly wait!
In the meantime we have been readying everything for the onslaught of the new kids. Less than two weeks, I would say. Have to make sure we stock up on molasses for the moms as well as all the things we need in our birthing box. (Syringes, needles, Bo-Se the selenium/vitamin E injectable, nose siphon, lubricant, thermometer, iodine and snips for navels, etc.). This year’s eartags have arrived along with a new feeding tube in case we have to tube feed anyone (last year’s tube got a real workout on Peanut). I also have to check and see if I still have any fresh or powdered colostrum in the freezer. It’s always a crap shoot for the first babies born, in case something goes wrong and we can’t get enough colostrum from a mama whose baby needs help with feeding (after the first mom gives birth we usually have plenty of colostrum put aside for the others, but it’s always the first one who has issues! Not really, but that’s what it feels like sometimes).
Anyhow, took a break from housework and everything yesterday to catch up on some reading and a little knitting. Made dinner and didn’t finish cleaning up, either, so that was the first job this morning. Now I need to turn my attention to a weaving project I am starting. What fun! And Daylight Savings has come to our rescue. I love more light at the end of the day, and in a week or two it won’t just be at the end of the day :*)
I adore Daylight Savings. It offers so much more light on the end of the day when I can actually get something accomplished. Of course, it comes with a challenge as well. Crazed catching up on the Sunday of the big changeup!
Already feeling like I can’t get out of my own way this week, today is another gorgeous day and it’s slipping by too fast! Yesterday was in the mid 40s, today a little cooler, but just as bright and blue sky sunny. It must be a good day to go for a walk down the woods trail. And, get a little more work done out in the paddocks.
It’s getting much closer to kidding time and I moved Jingle the donkey out of the paddock with the ewes and the pregnant does. I am beginning to feed the girls some medicated pellets, so by the time the babies are born everyone will have some protection (we hope) against some of the bugs that cause terrible scours (diarrhea) in lambs and goat kids. The pellets also have higher protein which the does need at the end of their gestation. I try not to use much medicated feed, but in our muddy paddock conditions, it’s probably the wiser course, and I do get the higher protein levels as well. Moving the donkey at this point is crucial, because any access to the medicated pellets would be toxic to her. The other reason I don’t like having her in with the pregnant girls is that she kicks when she gets annoyed. Always a little bit of a hazard as the girls begin to have those big baby bellies. Now if I can get the gate open between the two paddocks, maybe I can lure Zorro the llama into the paddock with the girls. Then both groups will have a guard with them. Coyotes can’t be trusted at this time of the year when it’s been so brutally cold. Hope all of them are still finding enough food out in the woods!
Today feels like it is racing by, but we are spending time with our grandboy which is always a lot of fun. We made blueberry pancakes this morning, and I almost forgot to get my pot roast into the crockpot! Time to get moving. I hope the ‘plowable’ snow they are predicting for Thursday does not get to us. Groan.
Well, this week is just clipping along so fast I can barely keep up with it. Keeping in mind the upcoming shearing on Saturday and then lambing in a few weeks has me making lists, losing them and making more lists. At least I have my due dates all plotted out in a spreadsheet so we are ahead on one item! This weekend I will need to inventory all of our lambing supplies and see what is missing, along with ordering the new eartags.
Monday afternoon I got the isolation/keep dry quarters cleaned out and ready to go for the ewes who are to be shorn. The forecast for yesterday was rain by noontime and hard rain overnight, so I knew that I would have to put the girls into the greenhouse pen yesterday morning at chore time. I always like to have a plan when catching or penning animals and frequently, even when everything is in place, I either get all the girls I don’t want in the pen, or I get everyone I need in the pen except for one, who then leads everyone else out, running hysterically in circles. It’s always an adventure of one kind or another.
Yesterday I went out extra early to make sure that I had time for Plan A, and for Plans B and C if needed. Time change meant darkness, which might have actually worked in my favor, for once. I fed Jingle’s noisy goatie group, and then split my hay up for the big group. I walked very nonchalantly into the greenhouse pen and began putting out hay. I expected Zorro the llama to be right at my elbow along with Beezus the piggy ewe and the two lambie girls. All of whom I did not want in the pen. As I turned around to see who followed me in, I almost fainted. I kept counting, and all I could come up with were the 5 ewes I wanted. Wow! That never happens, what a treat! But of course, the minute I latched the panels together and began tying the joins (so they can’t rub on them and pull them apart), they all lined up with their noses over the edge, balling their heads off. I am sure the neighbors didn’t appreciate the ovine calls at 5:15 a.m., particularly when Jingle the Donkey joined in on the fun. I guess she figured if she hollered loud enough, she might whatever the other must surely be getting. Phew.
Sunday turned out to be a grand day! Loved every minute of it. Didn’t sleep that well Saturday night, but hung in bed until the clock said 6:30 (old time, 5:30). When I got out to feed the sheep (new time 8 a.m., old time 7 a.m.), things were still cool from the night in the low twenties, but the sun felt marvelous. Nice firm ground, sun in the trees. Nice, nice very nice!
I went back in after chores and did some more organizing in the fiber loft, and around 10:30 our son, grandson, and step-grandson came over for a visit. So we had a lovely visit. I think our grandboy has grown like a weed in the past two weeks since we saw him last! And after that I went back out to the paddocks and re-organized the sheep groups. I needed to get some extra fencing up as Zelda the Escapee Goat was being moved into the paddock with Zorro the llama. So there was a lot of shifting of fencing panels and then it came time to move the animals. I had to take SnowPea and Pippi out of the mix so that the bred ewes that were in with Jingle the donkey would come through the gate into the other paddock. As of this morning, Pippi still has her knickers in a big twist and is quite angry with me for the move. She doesn’t have anyone to push around now and definitely has quite a goatie attitude!
Altogether, the weekend was superb. After work today I did a little cleaning up and straw scattering of the bigger of the two greenhouses. Have to get the ewes that are going to be shorn this weekend under cover for the night and probably for most of tomorrow and into Wednesday. Sounds like we are going to have a lot of rain.
Long late winter day. Squirty snow all afternoon and the damp invaded everything. Lots of things are calling for attention. As usual! For quite awhile, I have been getting ready to move our regular website to a new webhost service. I have stayed with our local small outfit for the past 10 years because I like to support small, local business. And honestly, once the website was up and running there, it was going to be a lot of trouble to move it. Recently this small provider was sold to a very large corporation, and I knew I needed to begin the process of getting our website moved, in the process saving quite a bit of money, which is always a good thing. I chose another provider, and now have to get the darn thing there. Complications, always complications!
I have been trying to keep the website updated, and hope it is for the moment. But the question is, do I want to transform it into something a little more “modern?” Maybe use a WordPress.org theme (templates of which I perused for half the day today)? Oh my, that requires learning to interact with .PHP coding. Aargh! Maybe I will leave that one for later! Or update to a slightly niftier CSS design? Sigh. For now, I guess I will just get our very simple site transferred. Decisions, decisions.
In the meantime, I had some leftover roast chicken, and today was the perfect day to make it into a nice pot pie. I used a piece of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for the supreme sauce and the handling of the actual baking of the pie (I have never put an egg wash on a pot pie crust, but I really like the way it turned out). And as it was, I ended up with more filling than would fit into the Pyrex deep dish pan. But it came out beautifully, and was just the ticket for a damp winter evening!
And even better, a friend of mine just clued me in to the fact that next weekend begins Daylight Savings time! Woot! Woot! That definitely puts a smile on my face :*)
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!