A little late, I know, but I hope everyone out there had a wonderful day with family, friends, or just on their own. (One of my most interesting Thanksgivings was when I was a junior in high school and my parents had gone to Portugal or Spain with my uncle Morty, supposedly for 4 days, the weekend before Thanksgiving. I think it was to look at what eventually became known as ‘time shares’ and they were offered another free three days, which they took advantage of, but which also meant that they couldn’t make it back for the holiday. My dog Jason, the sweet Bedlington terrier and I, had a vegetarian Thanksgiving all by ourselves. Well, he ate meat, I did not. I think I had broccoli and stuffing. It was a very instructive and insightful holiday!).
Anyhow, not being a vegetarian any more, we had a lovely, if very low-key day yesterday with a 22 pound turkey. Just the three of us and Tesser the Chihuahua. Of course I make the same amount of food no matter who is coming, because it’s all about the leftovers for me! The only thing I did not do was hors d’oeuvres, because without real company, it didn’t seem all that important. We had a toast to our lovely neighbor who passed away this past August, as she (and previously her husband Jim) had been a fixture here every Thanksgiving since we moved in 13 years ago. And then we took our time eating our lovely dinner, all of us in something other than holiday garb, and closer to the PJ side of things. A most relaxing day. (The goaties got to celebrate with some celery and romaine leaves).
And so it goes. It’s a very grey and rawly damp November day here today. I had a morning visit with a good friend, and then came home to sit by the woodstove and perhaps do a little knitting or spinning. I slept in until a shocking 7 am this morning and have absolutely no reason to be tired, but a quick nap on a day like this could be just the ticket. I love Thanksgiving :*)
I hate to say that it is Saturday night already. Holiday weekends just seem to fly by. Wah, wah! It’s been a nice one, and I don’t want it to end.
We had a quiet holiday. Tuesday afternoon around 2 PM I began feeling like I was coming down with a cold, and I hurried to do the last of the Thanksgiving shopping and get home and just veg on the sofa. I took my Emergen-C and rested for the evening. I don’t think I got the whole brunt of the virus, but I definitely appreciated that we weren’t going to have a ton of company and that the meal was going to be a very simple one.
So we took our feast across the street to our elderly neighbor’s house and we had a lovely, very laid-back time. Friday was a day for catching up, sleeping in a little bit, working around, and just enjoying being home. This morning I took a ride to a friend’s pottery studio for her “Shop Small” Saturday. Maple Lane Pottery is one of my favorite places, and Robbi didn’t disappoint us. I was able to enjoy visiting with her as well as finding some lovely holiday gifts. Robbi is a very talented potter, and her animal-themed pieces are some of my favorite kitchen pieces.
Robbi had another small farm business there, Ridge Pond Farm, and it was lovely to finally meet Cari Balbo, the owner and maker of all kinds of herbal treats. Face creams, hand and body creams, herbal tea mixes, all were as beautiful and wonderfully-scented as I imagined. I make my own very simple hand and body creams (because I am allergic to everything!), but these are amazing concoctions and I hope her face cream is my favorite thing for a long time to come.
And so it goes. The weekend is almost over, and I am sorry to say that our Marigold is failing. We are going to have to make the final decision on her within the day, not that I believe there is anything to decide. She is not getting up, and is falling behind on where her recovery should be. She isn’t suffering yet with something like pneumonia or bloat, which could be a problem since she is not mobile, and is eating but not recovering any of her backend movement. So that is that. Breaking my heart, but there it is. The ugly end of livestock farming. I will keep giving her all her little treats until it’s time to put her down. A big loss to the future of our little farm.
From all of us here at Ruit Farm North. I hope that everyone is having a peaceful and relaxing holiday with friends and family. I am very thankful that both our sons are in the area for now, and that we can be spending a lot of time together. And I am ever so thankful for all our friends, both human and 4-legged.
And thank you all for being a part of our farm family!
A few reminders are being thrown our way: yes, winter really is on the horizon! It’s been such a warm autumn that I have been lulled into not paying attention. Although we have been working fairly diligently to try and get the paddocks and animal areas ready for the onslaught, it is still a little bit of a shock when the white stuff begins.
One more day of school and then Thanksgiving break is here. Many in the family are dropping like flies with whatever viral thing is going around, but so far we are hanging on. It’s going to be a quiet one for us.
We continue to give Marigold her vitamins and feed her up, but I do not see improvement yet. We still hope, but I am getting myself ready for the worst. I don’t know how long I can watch her like she is.
We ended up doing Thanksgiving on Friday. Our electricity returned late in the afternoon on Thursday, so there was no point in getting a 16 pound turkey in the oven then. And we weren’t even really sure if the power was going to stay on, so we waited.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, if not my favorite. It’s all about being thankful for what we have, which is so much, and for family and friends and our whole life, really. So we lived it up with our grandson and our 80-something year old British neighbor, Susie, and had a marvelous day and evening. I cut the meal back to the basics: turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce. I am glad that we did! It was more than enough for the 4 of us, and we chatted and laughed into the evening.
The goats got an extra share of 2nd cut hay, and they seemed happy in their newer shelter. The snow slid off the roof, and all was quiet and good. The only negative on the night was that I found a poor little field mouse in an empty 5 gallon bucket, stiff and dead. I don’t know if the neighbor’s cat chased it into the greenhouse or what. I tipped the little fellow out, and left him for some other creature’s dinner.
I keep waiting for one of the other does to come into heat, but so far no one is budging. So we wait. I could not get the breeding area set up the way I wanted to because of all the snow, but we shall see, maybe during the week I can tweak things a bit. I have a very skewed idea of what I can get done on a workday afternoon, obviously!
I can’t believe that it’s December 1st tomorrow. The days are moving right along, at warp speed! Pretty soon it will be Solstice, for which I am waiting with bated breath. Got to turn this darkness around soon :*)
Just in time, too. Our greenhouse covers are pretty torn up, most on their last legs. I have been planning to use the milking greenhouse as the girl’s shelter for the winter, and we have a heavy-duty tarp on order, but it won’t be in until next week. We had another one, not even close to the right size, so yesterday, just ahead of the heavy snow, we got it on as best we could.
Living on the coast, we usually don’t get the same amount of snow that inland gets, but this time we did. A foot of heavy, wet stuff. I am really relieved that we got that tarp on when we did. The does and bucks definitely appreciated it. They were hanging out there this morning when I got out for chores, and this afternoon as well. When the snow is dry and the ground is frozen, frequently the girls will hang out on the hill, but in the heavy wet stuff, it’s no fun. Having a dry spot to go into is a definite plus. Their other greenhouse is a half-shelter which does the job, but they seem to prefer this one to that.
Because of the storm, we lost power yesterday afternoon for a few hours. Power came back on after that, so we turned the generator off and went about our business. I was reading in bed last night and around 9 PM the lights went out. Well, I just called it good and went to sleep. We didn’t get our power back until today around 3 PM. Needless to say, we did not have our Thanksgiving meal! We are going to plan on that for tomorrow, and this way our grandson will be able to join us. So it all works out in the end. Thanksgiving a day late is okay!
I am hoping that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a quiet one. It was actually a quiet week all around, except maybe for the weather!
Tuesday morning we had a little bit of a slow commute. The snow flurries that we expected turned into more than predicted. Buses had trouble getting to school, and there were accidents all over the place. Of course it didn’t last long, the next day we had torrential rains and gale force winds again. Sigh.
On the goat front, two of the girls came back into heat, so I switched out the bucks. Beige Boy thinks he has died and gone to heaven, unfortunately Bagels is feeling a little blue :*( We shall see how this works!
And it seems much too close to the holidays and the new year to be! Hanukkah is the next holiday on the calendar, starting in two weeks, then the Solstice, Christmas and the New Year.
So we ended this Thanksgiving weekend with an overnight visit from our grandson, which is always entertaining and lively. We had a good time. Watched some Thomas the Tank Engine movies, made playdoh things, read some books and did some puzzles. We also visited with some friends and our grandson got to play some softball with our friend’s daughter (who is an amazing high school pitcher, but who very kindly caught Sawyer’s throws as well).
Today was not as pleasant weather-wise as I had hoped. Got some fencing switched around out in the sheep paddock area and after more than two hours out there the wind finally got to me and I came in for some tea. Now the skies are really looking November-ish, grey and semi-overcast. After evening milking I will begin to get ready for the work week. Actually a full five day work week. Not looking forward to getting up in the dark again, however! I have been spoiled and have not jumped out of bed until almost 6 this past four days. I guess it will be good to get back into the routine :*)
It’s a frosty one out there. I slept deliciously late, and didn’t get out to do chores until almost 7 am. The girls were extremely patient, and after the milking everyone was very happy with their hay. Later we will give them the last of the pumpkins as their Thanksgiving Day treat.
Cooking for only 3 of us today. Thinking of our families and friends in the New Jersey area and being thankful for the fact that they are all safe. Also feeling thankful for our family, friends and happy livestock here in Maine! I hope everyone has a safe, warm and restful holiday. No shopping for us, just relaxing :*)
Another beautiful day in the neighborhood here on the coast of Maine! I love the clear coldness on these frosty mornings. Although 18 degrees yesterday morning was quite a bit colder than I thought it would be. But nonetheless, at least the ground is firming up and some of the mud is now frozen. Always a plus.
I had the opportunity to have a jaunt into Portland today to go to the symphony. Portland Symphony at Merrill Auditorium. Wonderful program with a fresh, young visiting conductor and as always, the music was wonderful. Horn concerto by Strauss with a soloist who was one of the original players in the Canadian Brass, Jeff Nelson. And it never hurts to have a great performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. That’s definitely a blast from the past for me. Stravinsky was one of my father’s favorite composers. And as always, the Merrill Auditorium was a lovely venue, with excellent acoustics. Nice afternoon. After the concert we hit Trader Joe’s so I could score some economical coffee beans, and then home.
The girls were waiting on me for chores, and Jingle let the neighborhood know that I was late in getting down to business!
Back to work for a few days and then Thanksgiving. Just about my very favorite holiday of the year.
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!