Tag Archives: snowmageddon

Winter wonderland

Drifts and piled up snow out near the goat paddocks
Drifts and piled up snow out near the goat paddocks.  We are running out of places to put the snow!

I love the winter in most ways.  But 60″ of snow in a 10 day period is a little nuts!  We didn’t get the 1 foot last night that we were forecast to get, so I am very appreciative of that (we just got about 6 or 7″, but it’s heavy stuff).  And so it goes.

Trees between the house and the goat pens
Trees between the house and the goat pens

The sun was out for a good portion of the afternoon, and it was a blessing.  It was a pleasure to spend some time with the goats, and all is well with them.  I am still watching Betsy, Delta and Eleganza like a hawk, but there does not seem to be any forward movement on their status.  They have developed small udders, and some days their bellies look like they have dropped, and some days they do not, and there is a tiny bit of vulva swelling, but not what it should be.  So things are percolating, but not quite done yet.  It’s a long road when you do not have any idea of due dates, so we will just keep doing what we are doing.  The late night checks continue on.  They got their CD&T shots, so everything is good to go.

View of the pigeon loft across the work area in front of the goat paddocks.
View of the pigeon loft across the work area in front of the goat paddocks.

The goaties are also getting used to the drill of having narrow pathways between their greenhouse areas.  This weekend we are supposed to be having some 40F weather, so perhaps some of this will melt.  Maybe we can also push some snow off of the paddocks to get them a little more room.  Pregnant does need their exercise, and right now it’s not an optimal situation, although I notice a lot of running to and from on what I call the train tracks, as they jostle and chase each other one way and then the other.  And so we will wish for continued clear weather!

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Blizzard 2017

Looking out the living room window to the west, where the almost 5' tall Rugosas are looking like dwarves in the drifting snow
Looking out the living room window to the west, where the almost 5′ tall Rugosas are looking like dwarves in the drifting snow

Has definitely been here.  It’s almost gone, but the work entailed in dealing with it is going to take at least another day.  What a mess.

Greenhouse snow caves
Greenhouse snow caves.  Our fences appear to be getting shorter as well!

It certainly is a beautiful, white world out there, and the snow is light, but when 2 feet of it falls in such a short time, it’s not so light to remove :*)  We will deal better tomorrow with the paddocks, but for now the goats are fine in their houses, which really are looking more like snow caves tonight.  Even the metal donkey shelter (portahut) is covered in snow, as it’s so high up the sides, the stuff on top had nowhere to go.  I don’t know how much snow the wind will shift tonight, as it is roaring again out there, with 30-40 mph gusts.

Stuff this deep is really a struggle for me to get through as I am so short.  But I have to say that the goats are doing well, and when we showed up at 3 this afternoon for the supper run, Pippi broke a trail through to the new greenhouse, where she knew the grain would be offered.  She actually almost knocked me down going past.  Fergus, however, stopped to jump up and say hello, and see if he could get my hat from me before I noticed.  Not a chance, Fergus!

Ut oh, you can't change direction on a path that narrow!
Ut oh, you can’t change direction on a path that narrow!

Most of the photos I took look like nothing but white, with a few higher white things sticking up here and there.  But it was a doozy, and we are supposed to be seeing a storm Wednesday night into Thursday that could bring another 6+ inches.  I truly hope not!

Traditions

My dad
My dad

Growing up during the ’50s and ’60s my family was comfortable.  We lived in a suburb of NYC and my dad got on the bus or the train every morning at 7:20 and went to The City, to return home each night at 7:30, and as a CPA he did a lot of traveling over the winter months.

But on the weekends, we always had some of my dad’s extended Italian family gathering either at our house, or at cousins’ houses in Brooklyn.  I know my dad really valued his family, and I always knew it was the highlight of his week when he could cook up a big meal with one of his sisters or his younger brother on a Saturday night, and then after dinner he and the uncles would play cards and smoke.  All us kids would be off somewhere else, playing or doing puzzles (or hiding on the dark staircase outside the dining room and listening to the adults talk while we giggled).  Being an only child, I looked forward to these weekends as well.

Breaded veal cutlets
Breaded veal cutlets

And that is where I began to learn to cook.  From the aunts and my dad, I learned a lot and have continued to try and re-create many of the things we ate back then.  At the time, many of the ingredients had to be brought to the suburbs with whichever aunt or uncle was coming out our way, because there were not a lot of local stores in post-war suburban NJ that carried imported Italian products and really fresh meat and fish (if we had lived nearer to Hoboken or towns right on the Hudson, I am sure we would have had no problem, but the town I lived in was very WASP).

Marsala sauce
Marsala sauce

One of the traditions in our family was that whoever was having a birthday got to choose the dinner meal for that night.  To this day, I prefer staying home and cooking my own favorite birthday dinner of breaded veal cutlets with Marsala sauce, scalloped or oven roasted potatoes, and kale, rather than going out.  Having a February birthday always meant that kale was available, and it has been my favorite vegetable since I was a little kid.

Scalloped potatoes
Scalloped potatoes

My mom was a competent cook, but she never attempted most of the wonderful Italian meals we had on the weekends.  She did, however, learn to make breaded veal cutlets, and so even if my birthday was on a weekday, I still got my choice of birthday dinner.  And yesterday, it was exactly the same.  We had a lovely dinner here at home for my 63rd, and of course, it involved veal cutlets, potatoes and kale.

I do not want to get into the veal question here.  I have always been happy with ‘rose’ veal, and every summer I sock some in the freezer that is locally grown and very delicious.  As a kid, I knew nothing about the veal industry, and as an adult I am so very glad that we live in a place where there are many small farms raising happy, pasture-based beef critters.  And so I can continue to indulge in veal cutlets on my birthday.  (As a teenager I did a 6 year stint as a vegetarian after learning about the meat industry.  I do not remember what I had for those birthdays, but it was probably eggplant parm, my second favorite thing in the world!).

On the goat front, still no babies!  We are awaiting the Big Blizzard to roll in this afternoon.  Got the greenhouses cleaned off in readiness for the predicted 14-20 inches.  Mama mia, I love winter, but that much snow is just on or over the edge of crazy!