It was a quiet Armistice/Veteran’s Day yesterday, but by noontime the wind had tuned itself up out of the NW and I thought we might be having a windy power outage at some point. The lights flickered many times, and a big piece exploded out of our elderly birch tree at the top of the driveway, but nothing serious came down near the house. Last night the King Moon shone brightly and, very uncharacteristically, I went to bed close to midnight so I had a few hours to enjoy it.
Animal-wise, things have been quiet on the farm. (With the exception of the day that we went out to do afternoon chores and found that Oreo the Buck had done a Houdini from the buck pen and was trying to bash his way into the breeding group’s area. He wasn’t hard to catch and he went back in with Jingle the Donkey, pouting all the way, with a bleeding headbone).
The tentative news is that all 4 does have been bred! At least I believe that all 4 girls came into heat, and each one was courted in her turn by Reddog the Stinky Boy. (The Guernsey girls do not show their heats as clearly as the Lamanchas, don’t know if it is a breed characteristic or not. I know they are 100 times more laid back than the Lamanchas, who are pretty laid back to begin with).
So now we just have to sit back and count the days until each doe should come back into heat if Reddog is not fertile. But if he has done his job, we will have a nice little cluster of kids at the end of March/beginning of April. (March 27th to April 3 or so). It would be perfect. Just hope that the predicted Polar Vortex isn’t howling then!
We are back in the throes of winter, with gale force winds and temperatures closing in on the single digits tonight. Sigh. The wind was so gusty last night it kept startling me into sitting up to see what was happening. This morning the news reported spectacular Northern Lights for last night, which we missed (we are usually in bed by 9). Solar flare, I believe. I am sorry to have missed that, but yesterday morning the dawn sky was blazing and had me transfixed.
Now if the Northern Lights would just be visible early in the morning right about choretime, I wouldn’t miss a trick!
And thinking about the next storm coming, supposedly tomorrow. Another 8-12″ of snow. It’s exhausting as the blowing and drifting snow keeps filling in our shoveled areas. It’s definitely turning into the winter that keeps on giving!
We have been having a visit with our grandson, and enjoying the sun pouring in the windows today. The temperatures have been dropping and staying down there. It was 0F this morning and I don’t think it’s gone about 16F yet, with winds doing their best to give us biting wind chills. So we are hunkering in and I am getting some knitting done, John is baking cookies, and the grandboy is watching a video and coloring.
I probably should be doing laundry and things to get ready for the workweek, but I can’t imagine that we will be going to school tomorrow, even though it doesn’t sound as if the storm is going to get rolling until dawn or a little after. Most of the school districts around here were closed all day Friday, but we went in and were released early. Roads were not great for the return trip, but at least we got a “legal” day logged. We now have used 4 of our 5 allotted snow days. Always a balancing act… we don’t want to be holding classes until the 4th of July!
Friday evening finally. The week has been a little bit of a challenge with the snow on the ground and the wind that has picked up. The temperatures are plummeting tonight and I am happy to be inside and out of it. I did chores around 3:30, and as the light was going, the wind was howling, and I came in feeling like I had been beaten up or run down by a truck.
The girls are staying close to each other and Zorro the Llama in their end of the greenhouse. Hunkering down tonight is the name of the game.
So the Martin Luther King weekend begins. Our wood stove is supposed to be installed either tomorrow or Tuesday. The sooner the better! I can hardly wait. Let’s just hope it goes smoothly.
That’s what we have today. It’s a crazy, wild one out there for sure. So far no new goat kids, but on a day like today that’s pretty much ok with me. It’s not that cold temperature-wise, but the gusts could knock you down!
We have had a fairly quiet few days. At afternoon chore time I am spending a lot of time out there messing around with the baby girls. They are so much fun. Marigold is the big-eared girl and Iris is the short-eared doe. They love to climb on me and nibble at my clothes. I am also putting their mama, Zelda, on the milkstand in the afternoons and milking her out a little bit. It’s not that I expect much, but when the time is right she will already be in the right place at the right time. I am also getting our old faithful SnowPea on the stand, even though she hasn’t had her kids yet. It gives me the chance to get her a little extra grain, and I am fervently hoping that she kids and has good milk for us again this year. She is a wonderful milker. Here’s to thinking good thoughts about getting a doeling from her! She also is about the most even-tempered of all the goatie girls and acts like everyone’s grammie out in the paddock. She doesn’t mind any or all of the babies using her like a trampoline. She just sits there as though nothing were going on, chewing her cud and having her afternoon rest.
Tomorrow is Friday and the last day of April vacation. I knew it would be over too quickly! Next we have the amazingly fast run-up to the end of the schoolyear. I really can hardly believe it.
The weather, again. Still. Winter and blowing. Although this past week’s promised Nor’easter blew the gale they said it would, it thankfully delivered no snow here. Yesterday morning was much warmer, (a balmy 30F), but the wind was still hanging on, with some sleety stuff thrown in.
But the weekend is upon us and I have great hopes for today. Warmer and no weather. (Unfortunately it looks like we are going to get hammered with rain tomorrow). I sincerely hope none of the goats decide to have their babies. None are actually due until later next week, but you never know. We have a lot to do today, and it looks like we may have a pleasant day to do it in!
This past week since shearing has been a full one at work, and then there were the fleeces that I cycled through the living room so each had a chance to be laid out on the nice, warm floor. Just making sure that they all were thoroughly dry. And so perhaps tomorrow after I work on the taxes (ugh) I can get some of it spun up. Doesn’t sound like it’s going to be an outside sort of day.
Neither of us got much sleep last night. Up to 50 mph gusts of wind out there, and all I could hear were branches bouncing off the roof and the howl of the wind. It’s been relentless. Yesterday we got some more snow, but probably only 2 or 3 inches which has blown and drifted all over the place. Today is bright, but so nasty that I didn’t get much done outdoors except for basic chores. I even fed the girls inside their greenhouses to give them some relief from the windiness.
Yesterday during the blowing and snowing I ended up cleaning my other wheel, my portable Jensen Tina II. I love both of these wheels. They are both cherry, and both work beautifully. So now they are equally cleaned up and oiled and ready to go. After I got the production wheel done the other day, I realized that the leather pieces that hold the flyer assembly were all dried out. I was a little hesitant about taking them out of the mother-of-all, but John undid the tiny screws, and we tapped the leather pieces out and soaked them in mink oil. They feel nice and supple again, I will have to remember to do that more often. It’s a very simple but elegant system. Now all I have to do is get my hands on a few more bobbins for both the wheels. A dog used one of them a few years ago for a chew toy, and I have dropped two, which did not have a good ending.
And so President’s Day is a bright one, but much more fun indoors than out!
Can you ever really be prepared for a blizzard? We were quite busy around here on Sunday, trying to get things battened down. We fully expected not to have electricity, so the generator was all ready with lots of extra fuel, the tractor was in place, and the candles were front and center with the flashlights. It didn’t seem too bad until partway through the night when the wind really picked up, and even our tight little house rattled and shook. Yesterday’s chores were a bit on the rough side, and I didn’t even bother with the camera. The wind whipped the snow around so hard, I don’t think I could have gotten a very clear picture. And aside from that, all I wanted to do was to feed the beasties and get back inside.
This morning didn’t feel too bad, and my husband had cleaned everything out with the tractor so it was much easier making my way up the driveway to the paddocks. This afternoon I decided to take the camera and see if my fingers lasted long enough to get some photos. The sheep were calmly chewing cud and were surprised to see me a little earlier than usual, but the wind is still so strong, I didn’t want to wait until the wind chills were in the minus numbers after dark again!
Winter has hit us with a windy vengeance. By the middle of last week we were having arctic wind gusts at approximately 30 mph, and it sounded as though a freight train was traveling through the neighborhood. With the ice on the ground, it was a challenge to even reach the animal paddocks in one piece. Last Thursday I was running up the driveway at dusk, head down to make sure I didn’t fall, threw open the gate to my work area that connects all three paddocks, and instead of a nicely covered temporary milking greenhouse, this is what I saw:
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!