Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring is finally here!

All our snow is finally gone. The last little bit of ice just vanished without fanfare. The pond was melted by the full moon, because I walked a friend over to the pond that evening and the water was still as glass.

Eleven baby goats at the farm, all sooo sweet! Silver babies: Little Lori had a single big buck, Sugreca a buck and a doe, Dancer two does. Five brown babies: a big single doe out of Buffy, twin bucks out of Carmela, and twin does out of Bonnie. One black doe out of Coretta.

Sugreca's little buck has one wattle and loves to chew on hair. Bonnie's girls from Prince are so beautiful, and Bonnie is starting to accept me catching them every morning so she can have her grain.

Actually, most of the mothers are relieved when I go after their kids since the does stand in the stalls calling their babies, who are having too much fun playing big goat on the rock wall to be interested in grain.

Combing cashmere is almost over.

Had a bunch of blood drawn last week, called the doc and found out I am still hyperthyroid, although the levels dropped since before treatment. So I have more bloodwork in a month and have to watch for signs of hypothyroid in the meantime. Certainly the swelling at the base of my throat has gone down. I have put on a few pounds, I'm up to 118 now, but still battling the forgetting-to-eat and running typically on 5 hours of sleep.

I get nightowlish this time of year, but having to be to the farm at the crack of dawn is putting a crimp in my sleeping! lol.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The Phoebes are back.
"phoebe, phoebe" greeted me at yesterday morning when I awoke.

I had a Mercury retrograde day today. I am still convinced it is Monday, lol. first, I overslept. Somehow I shut my alarm off instead of hitting snooze. I am a chronic snooze button user, so I can immediately go back to sleep. Luckily I awoke 5 minutes before I had to leave for work. I was starting coffee and Willow, who was staying home, down with a bug, said, "the goats are out. "

Ok, I won't bore you with the details of how much fun that was (not), but I am afraid of what the neighbors think of me shouting like a wild woman at errant goats at the crack of dawn. Oh yeah, the neighbors must have heard me.

I was about 15 minutes late to the farm, and was paused outside the gate trying to huff down a cigarette before I went through, (no smoking inside the gates) and my ex-boyfriend's co-worker drove by, honking. Now I knew I had to drive by the two of them working at the rock lot on my way home.

I walked over to the upper gate, still nursing the smoke, and there was a small pile of shavings and some blood and a few white feathers, and I thought, "something tragic happened here."

Boss was coming down from the house and I queried her as to the evidence, and she said, "we had the old gander put down."

I imagined a gun to the back of the head, and felt sad for the "oldman", at least 15 years old as just as a guess. I saw the barn cat circling licking his/her lips (there are two gray and white long-haired, both neutered, male and female, and I can't tell them apart- nor would their teeth and claws allow me to attempt to do so)

I thought I , or someone, should clean up the evidence, and followed Boss into the barn for some tools, as she said, "a lot has been going on..." and gestured, and P said, "Bonnie and Dancer had their babies!"

Which was so exciting I forgot all about the loss of the gander. Bonnie has had boys for the last four years. She is a super-attentive mother. In fact, she sort of was adopted by one of Lillemore's kids last year, who would sneak-nurse her while she was raising twin bucklings of her own.

One year she wasn't bred; she fought with one of the mothers so badly because she didn't have her own babies. Bonnie had her ear split so severely it still dangles in two pieces.

Every year at the three-month mark, Bonnie's boys have been taken from her across the hill for weaning, since bucklings can breed a doe when they are three months old. Well, I have always felt pretty sorry for her and have wished to find her with a girl for the last couple of years now.

Bonnie had twins does this year! They are out of Prince, a tall brown and tan, blue- eyed, side-horned buck. And I am sure at least one of the brown doelings will have his blue eyes.

I have joked that this is the year of the blue eye. Last year was the year of the wattle.

The other surprise was beautiful black Dancer with the long fringes had a pair of gray does out of Grand Champion, currently on the injured list, Homer, who Willow showed when she was 8 and who is also the sire of my Badger.

Oh no, I'm off on goat bloodlines now, boorrrinnng, lol

anyhow, Dancer and Homer's girls are adorable! As are Bonnie and Prince's. Bonnie looked so stunned, lol. i know had she feels-I remember learning I was going to have a daughter after two sons and I believe I had that look on my face as well.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Long week

I combed a lot of goats this week. Bags and bags of cashmere. Some goats are nearly completely shed out: others are loaded and just getting started.

The filly at the farm went for training today. And none too soon. She and the older mare have taken an extreme dislike to Lori's little grey Buckling.

Wednesday I saw Maya lunge at him with her ears back and grab him by the back. "MAYA!!!" I screamed and she dropped him and he went sprawling and I escorted her out of the barn with a shovel threatening her big behind.

Then the filly was caught three days in a row charging through the main herd in the big pasture, singling out the little grey buckling with her head down and teeth bared and feet flying.

Don't know what got into those mares, but I suspect a long standing hatred of Lori and her Mom, Lois, because there are seven babies and 30 adults yet they are picking on him. And there is another grey buckling about the same size, but they can tell them apart, apparently.


Beautiful weather today, but we still have a bunch of snow on the lawn. The goat pasture has a steadily receding line of snow that I keep chasing back with the twice daily hay feeding. Nice to have clean snow twice a day to put the hay on.


Radiation fallout from Fukushima is being picked up in the US, and in milk in Vermont. I have a feeling that in order to protect oneself only food harvested before the Fukushima accident should be consumed. Good luck with that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Birthday with my Firstborn

After we were yanked free of the culvert this morning, and spent the morning tending hungry goats and playing with newborn goat kids, we joined forces with the Eldest celebrating his 22nd today.

We went to Augusta and went to lunch in Hallowell at our favorite Chinese restaurant, Lucky Garden. The restaurant sits on posts along the banks of the Kennebec (wide water) River, an open post and beam high-ceiled room, with windows along three sides with expansive views of the River.

The posts are covered in hanging planters and trained vines of Golden Pothos, and the buffet is humble but was immediately refreshed with our favorites within minutes of our arrival.

The host greeted me by name, the waiter was a little incoherent so I had to translate for the kids. I was very pleased to be out on the town with my three beautiful children!

We also hit the Starbuck's counter at Barnes & Noble and the eldest had a chance to spend some of his birthday cash replacing some books he lost in a fire a few years ago.

An aspiring writer...two books by Bukowski and a nice hardcover Dictionary.

Cake at home afterwards-a lame store bought one, since our power was out and I couldn't bake him a scratch one in my electric oven. But I did have plenty of candles (and all the numbers but 2, of course) so 22 candles went on his cake, and I was worried the thing would melt before we could finish a refrain of "Happy Birthday, " so we sung it double-time.

We stayed up late the night before philosophizing by candlelite, he saying it was the type of light like sitting around a bonfire.

Cherish the moments.

"my memories are like smoke drifting around the room,
and when they dissipate as I try and grab them,
I think...
"it doesn't matter." "

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yay Saturday

Happy April!

Mother Nature had such an Aprils Fool's joke in store for us that we didn't pull any tricks this year. No one I knew did, and that is the first year ever.

We had a blizzard. At least a foot of wet snow in six hours. Last Friday I was in a t-shirt. This Friday I took a ride to the bucks with a co-worker since he had a truck with four wheel-ed drive.The roads were scary. White Out conditions. I wished I hadn't made it to work, because now I had to get home.

The kids were sending reports via cell phone:

"A big tree fell and almost hit the house"

When you're my age you don't get too worked up about almos;, there's a lot of almost in your life...

Then, "The power went out."

Yes, the power was out 24 hours, and when I called the power company an hour later, and they started with Augusta (the state capital) and finished with Yarmouth (a southern town) and listed every town-but mine-alphabetically in between, I knew we would be out three days. So a nice surprise to be 26 hours.

However, when I tried to pull out the end of the driveway in the morning, the car kept spinning sideways, the big ditch and culvert inching closer. The snow was so wet and saturated the car just wanted to slide sideways.

Finally my prayers were answered, as a 4WD came down the road and I walked around pathetically clutching the snow shovel.

A neighbor I didn't know, he hooked on with a chain and yanked me out, and yes, the rear end did jump the ditch and clipped the mailbox-in-a-bucket-full-of-rocks (because this time last year someone broke my post, lol) but that was an easy -just tip the bucket back up, although mail didn't come today, lol.

***.Lots of baby goats at the farm, Lori delivered yesterday and went into labor in collar and chain in a blizzard. I kicked Lillemore out of her pen and set Lori up with the best leafy second cut hay in the loft and she _yumm-yumm-yummed mouthfuls of hay in between contractions, stretched out on her side and straining with no visible result.

All of us, except Boss, kept checking her, and her mother, Lois, tried to climb over the bars of the pen to get closer to little Lori during her labor. That was really impressive to see.

I was worried about complications the way she was straining,and being her first kidding, but we moved off to the Hill with Boss's encouragement not to stand over her (although I think Lori liked me and her Mom being there for her, lol) and when we came off the Hill, there was beautiful white Lori spattered with birth gore ,(chewing a mouthful of hay) and the biggest single grey buckling I have ever seen. He's as big as the two week old single doelings. He's a monster and he's beautiful and clever and of course he will be a great Champion! :)

The kids and I rented the Grown ups, I would talk about goats all night otherwise. I will have to get some pix up soon.