Monthly Archives: March 2013

Baby drama solved

Luna gave birth.

It wasn’t a fun morning. I was milking Freya and I hear Natalie screaming for me. The problem is that the baby goats screamed every time she tried to tell me what was going on. Finally, I heard BIRTH!!! I ran to the house, Jack hadn’t left yet and told him before running down there. He got the camera and started to get ready to come down also. When I got down there the girls said that she was streaming out fluid. Okay, so it wasn’t like babies were coming out right now. Jack got down and we started to move Luna out of the paddock with stock. She didn’t need to deal with everyone. Jack went up and finished milking for me and after not much progress he said he was going to head to work. I agreed, though a part of me kept saying, this is the only birth we have even seen. There has to be a reason for it, something is not quite right. I kind of wish I had listened to that, but as it was Jack didn’t believe me.

So he went to work and the girls went on doing chores as I watched and waited. At one point I saw a black bubble. She pushed it almost all the way out and then it went back in. This happened a few times and I knew the baby was in the wrong position. I let it go for awhile, but she wasn’t progressing at all. Finally, I asked the girls to get me some gloves. I went in. This was hard for two reasons, one this was the first birth I have EVER seen. Not counting my own, but I didn’t see those. And two, Natalie couldn’t quite hold Luna while I was going in. Even still, when I went in I could just feel bubbles. There were no hoofs, noses, just bubbles!!!

It had been three hours since then. From what I had read after seeing that first bubble a kid should pop out within an hour. It wasn’t happening. So I called Jack, told him what was going on again and he said he would come home. It took him an hour to get here. He had a hard time leaving work. In that hour we started to get really scared for Luna. She seemed tired, she wasn’t moving much and it seemed like agony to push. Push she did though, over and over. I tried going in again but again Natalie couldn’t quite hold her still enough. I knew Jack was on his way so we just tried to keep her calm and comfy. We got her some molasses water and just held her.

Jack finally got there. He reached in while I was holding Luna and said that the baby was breech. My hand is a whole lot smaller than his and he told me to reach in again and he guided my hand as best as he could. I still did not quite get the kid though. So in went Jack again. He finally got his hand wrapped around the kid and got him out. Yep, a little boy caused all the trouble. He was tiny. For awhile we didn’t think he was alive. We got him up next to Luna and I said, that isn’t it. Another kid started coming out and just a few seconds after we got her out another came out. Our first set of triplets on the farm!! Two girls and one boy(the one who was breech). One of the girls is white with some dark markings, the other girl is almost silver and the boy is silver/black.

I think we were all exhausted after that. We just sat down with Luna and the kids and helped them to get latched on, dried them off a little bit and relaxed. After about an hour we moved them up to their babymoon pen. They seem so tiny, yet really all we have seen are single births, so it would make sense.

So Luna was finally pregnant, and with three little kids! And lesson I learned is, if I think something is wrong, I really need to listen to that. Damn, Luna should not have had to go through that. I am happy though that once again things turned out alright. Now, can I go back to sleep?

Baby Drama

This past week there have been no babies born. Luna is once again drawing this drama out. Is she pregnant? Is she not? Layla swears she can feel a hoof. Yet, today is her due date and well, she doesn’t look that close. Oh the drama of Luna. I will forgive her as long as she gives birth and maybe to some sweet baby goats, possibly more than one to make up for this drama.

The chickens are having a blast I think. They have been cranking out the eggs. We have gotten thirty-eight in this past week. Big difference from what we have been getting. We have also had the chickens get out on us twice. The coop that they were in has a faulty door. In the freezing windy weather, it opened. As we look out to sweet chickens walking all over the place. We all ran outside to catch them. Of course it was Fabio’s bunch. They are all wily. I think if I lived with Fabio I would be wily too. Anyway, the five of us(the first time it happened Jack was home), went out to wrangle chickens. Jack had the net and I bet with the net he could catch those things yet. Dr. Seus for you this morning. The girls and I went about herding them towards Jack. It worked with all but one. The wiliest of them all. She went down to the draw to hang with the pigs. We did find her. She came back up for food once she forgot about the bad people with the net. We didn’t learn though. We put them right back into the coop with the faulty door. A few days later it blew open again. We went out once again. This time Layla with the net. I am not sure if she is just so tiny the birds don’t pay attention to her or what. She is good with that net though. It was Gwendy’s job to keep Esme out of it. Esme thought that chickens being out was a lot of fun also. I decided that this wasn’t something I wanted to be doing so many times a week and we put them in a new coop. Now all of our chickens are in two coops. We are hoping that we can get something built that will fit them all. It has been a lot of talk but we have decided no more chickens. If they breed and hatch them, that is one thing, but we are not getting anymore chicks. They are, besides the pigs, the only animals that eat grain on the farm now. Their food expense coupled with loosing half of them to a mink has made each egg worth about $10. Maybe more. I am guessing here. It is frustrating but I do like having fresh eggs. So we will be keeping a small flock at least.

The goats, sheep and cows have been doing well in their new area. We have had some excitement there as well though. The battery that runs the fence has been going all funky. Some days it was working, and some days it didn’t. This past weekend it just went out completely. No amount of charging would bring the battery back alive. We hoped that the animals wouldn’t notice. For the most part they didn’t. Fiona slipped out a few times. However one of the shetlands decided that she was just going to go out and eat some grass on the other side every so often. She always went right back in and no one followed her. Since there wasn’t much we could do about it we just let it go.

We also had a coyote close call. A couple of nights ago the puppies were going nuts all night. It seemed like they were barking all night long. It was driving Jack and I crazy. Well, at about 3:45 we heard, “bark bark bark!!” then “yip!yip! yip! Ooooo!” The puppies were talking to the coyotes and they were close. In fact the coyotes sounded closer than the dogs. I was hoping that they were telling the coyotes that this farm and all livestock were off limits but Jack wanted to make sure. After a very stressful time of trying to find flashlights, thank you Gwendy and your habit of hiding all flashlights or putting them in “special” places. A flashlight was found though after waking up all three children and having them look also. Jack went out there and yelled and screamed. He didn’t see the coyotes but went around and checked everyone. It is definitely not something I want to happen again. Yet now is the time that coyotes are all over the place. Our fence needs to be able to handle them. Yesterday Jack brought the battery home from the auto place. They had charged it the best they could. The battery is back on now. That makes me feel a little bit better. I am not sure I am going to feel completely better though until our fence is hooked up to the electricity. That reminds me. I didn’t post that last week. It is a kind of sad moment here on the farm. I can no longer say that we are an off-grid farm. Our house is still off grid, but our farm is not. Well, currently it is because nothing is hooked up yet. Soon though our fence will on grid. We will probably have a freezer up in a barn at one day for meat sales and a refrigerator for egg sales. That is still in the future, but we really need a reliable fence. One day that reliable fence will be hedge. One day. And one day we will have guardian dogs that know how to guard. One day…

Another big thing has been milking. I have only milked the three goats three times this week. Megan I milk twice a day every day since Joy died. She really isn’t much of a producer but she is getting so that she stands nicely. I can hope that she starts to do better. The other two have not been standing so well, they are giving a decent amount of milk. When I say decent I mean, I am getting about a cup from each. It isn’t much but I am hoping that it goes up as we continue to milk. It is insanely sad though to separate the babies from the mommies. Danielle is the worse. She cries for Dancer all night and Dancer cries for her. They are like best friends now. I am hopeful that it gets easier for them both and for me.

The girls and I had a rough morning yesterday also. I was out milking the goats while the girls were doing chores. Natalie came up and told me that Spot, the jersey calf, was down. At first I wasn’t so worried. Sometimes cows lay down. Sometimes, they don’t want to get up and nothing that you do is going to get them up. I also have tried to stop freaking out at every little thing the girls tell me because sometimes it really is just that an animal is sleeping. So I told her to get some grain and see if he would get up for that. I went in and strained the milk and then went out to check on Spot. Natalie did not tell me that Spot was so bloated that he looked like he was just middle. He was insanely bloated. I tried to bring back all I knew about bloat. Really, my only experience with it was with a week old bottle baby goat. I didn’t think that sticking a needle in the stomach was going to help much on this big guy. However I had read about baking soda. So I sent a handful down with the girls while I did more searching and frantically called Jack. I knew bloat was serious, they can die pretty quick. Given how bloated he was and not knowing how long he had been like that I wanted him better NOW! I found that vegetable oil can make a difference. However, we do not have any vegetable oil. We have olive oil, did that still count? I took a shot glass and filled it with olive oil and ran down the hill. Now, it is quite a hill we are going up and down trying help Spot. Not only is it quite a hill but it was covered in snow. Towards the bottom there are some big drifts. It was not an easy thing. Anyway, I got down there, the girls said that he burped once and chewed some cud but he still wasn’t getting up. So with Layla holding back the goats and curious cows and Natalie holding Spot’s mouth open I poured oil down his throat. It was fun. He seemed to like it. He burped a few more times. Then Natalie and I tried our best to get him off his side. There was no way we could lift him, we are talking about two hundred pound cow. We got him flipped to his side and he tried to get up but I guess he was feeling a little weak. He burped some more. We watched him for awhile and he seemed to be doing better. So we checked on him a few more times while doing chores and by the afternoon he was walking around like nothing happened. By the way, Jack was busy and never answered his phone. We did what we could with what we knew. It kind of sucked. I usually defer to Jack when it comes to pigs and cows. I couldn’t get a hold of him to ask him what to do. It was scary. So it looks like I am going to expand my knowledge since I know I cannot get a hold of Jack sometimes. You learn a little every day. I’m just glad that Spot made it.

Jack and the girls seeded out more things. It is exciting for me too. I have been watering them every day. Little sprouts are starting to show. I looking forward to eating from our garden again. We didn’t can as many tomatoes as we would have liked but we have still been making them last. We haven’t bought any tomatoes this year so far. There is just something that screams summer to me like a fresh garden tomato. I am super excited about some of the things we are growing, brussel sprouts, bottle gourds, okra and tomatillos!! I also picked out a bunch of new peppers. I have had quite a pepper thing going on lately. It is exciting. I can’t wait to see how our garden grows this year.

Gwendy had her party this week too. She had a lot of fun, it is so hard to believe how big she is getting. There wasn’t a goat dance party this time. She just had a doll tea party. It was a lot of fun. Then, since it snowed the day before, on her actual birthday she got to go sledding. She also got to pick all the meals for her birthday, granola(made by her) for breakfast, witch soup(cilanto potato soup) for lunch and macaroni, peas and cheese for dinner. Today we are actually in town. Our favorite restaurant ever is closing. We are friends with the owner. He is going to make chili for Gwendy today for her birthday. She is excited. We are really sad that they are closing.

On a last note, I am hopeful that you can find it in your hearts to help a friend of mine. I have talked about Joan on here a lot. She, and the rest of Shagbark, have helped us so much. If it weren’t for them we would not have made it into our house on time. Joan has helped me many times when Jack has been at work, when I need an extra hand. She is super understanding when our puppies get over on her land. I could really go on and on about how much Joan means to me and to my family. I really want her to succeed. She had a job at the restaurant that is closing down. That was how she was paying for her land and pretty much everything else. She decided to run an indiegogo campaign to help her out. Really, even if all you have is $6 please consider donating. It would make a big difference to her, to the land and to us. So please help her out. http://igg.me/p/96792

Spring!!!

Where is it????

Really, I want to know. Being the type of geek I am, last night I actually looked back at the past four months of weather we had. In the past four months we have had at least half our days with below average temperatures. Now, that doesn’t sound like fun, does it? The interesting part is that as we have gotten closer to spring the more below average temps we have gotten. In fact, this month, being only twenty days in we have had sixteen below average days. The next ten also look like they will be below average. Which means, it is a lot colder than I was working myself up for. Which means I have wanted a fire more. Which means we have been going through more wood than we have all winter. What the hell. I was also looking forward to warmth because long range weather forecasting told me that we were susposed to have have a warmer than average March. Oh yeah? Where is it?

But really as much as that does play a part in our farm life, it actually just plays a part in mine and my mood. My mood hasn’t been great and I am totally blaming it on the dark, dreary, cold days. I’m done. I also have to remind myself though that spring really doesn’t mean anything. We also look forward to it in the cold winter days with the denial of warm days and things growing. Well, in most climates nothing is really growing unless you have a greenhouse of sorts. Oh yes, you can start those seeds indoors, but really we are still getting freezes. We can see signs of warmth starting but just starting. It is so fragile and barely there you can miss it if you aren’t looking. So much though for that early spring we were promised. I am trying to not be bitter…

Onto the farm. We have had an interesting week. Not all good, not all bad. Interesting. We sheared our first sheep. Chev, one of the North Country Cheviots. The interesting thing here is that most of the shearers we have talked to have said that the worst sheep to shear are those. They are flighty, jumpy and crazy. Jack had a special relationship to them though. They love him and he loves them. I thought he was crazy to try and shear one of them first. Why not one of our sheep who is more calm? Nope. Anyway, it went alright. We have hand shears, not electric ones. This is better for a few reasons, one no noise except for snip snip. It is much calmer for them and us. It leaves them for a layer of wool and lanolin to help keep them warm. The problem is that there aren’t a lot of hand shearers out there. Which means that hand shears are hard to find and hand shears aren’t as good as they once were. We did it though. We didn’t do it in the “right” way. We did it the way it worked for us. Jack did really well in not getting many second cuts(where you cut wool again resulting in short wool which isn’t good for spinning) or cut Chev very much. We were both surprised at how wrinkly she was. We weren’t expecting that. However, one source that I have since found does that that Cheviots do have wrinkly skin. Oh so wasn’t expecting that. It also took a good bit of time. We only have eleven to go so this should be interesting.

We also moved the stock this weekend. It took awhile but it went much smoother than it has ever previously. They have much more space than ever also. This time they followed us right to the new pasture with a bale of hay and went on munching until we had the fence put up. All other previous times we have had to herd them into the fence after it was put up. Half of the current fence is permanent. The other half is our movable netting. We have it such that we can still work on the permanent fence with the animals in there. I will be so glad when all we have to do is open a gate and the animals file through. It is really sweet looking out there are all the animals right now. The two bull calves got moved in with everyone else. They are doing well. It took us a few days of looking out and not freaking out though. They are up over the pond so when we look out a window it looks like all of our animals are out. It also doesn’t help that the fence is not very visible.

On Sunday, the day after we moved them, Jack and I went to go check on everyone. We wanted to make sure the fence was holding up. A lot of times when you put the movable netting fence in wet swampy ground it has a tendency to work its way out. I also was thinking Nancy was close close in kidding. Layla seems to be really good at predicting births. From what she had said about Nancy’s condition I knew we were going to see a baby in the next day. As it turns out she was right. The first thing I did was look in our hut and there was a white fluff ball. Nancy was out grazing. She had cleaned up her baby, or someone had at least. So we got her and her little boy moved into their baby moon suite. He is all white and since he was born on St. Patricks day Jack wants to name him Patrick. Though really I find it slightly offensive. Oh well though. Jack rarely names an animal and he seems to really enjoy calling him Patty. We were hoping that Nancy or Luna would have a boy so we could increase some genetics around here. It all went really well. Though during that day we notice Joy making a lot of noise. We went and checked on her a lot but could find nothing wrong. It was really rough. She was nursing she was moving. She seemed a little cold but was fine. We checked her body over put a sweater on her and just watched hoping to see her stop freaking out or get better. After dark we noticed that she had stopped making noise. I went out to check on her, hoping she was curled up next to Megan and asleep. What I saw though was Megan standing over her and looking at me. She really seemed to be saying, “What did I do? What is wrong with her?” For a goat who started out to be a really not good mother she really had changed. I went in and saw Joy barely breathing. I yelled and Natalie came out and took her from me. I went and checked on the other babies and everyone was fine. So back in I went. I started water to heat for a bath to warm Joy up. Jack went out and milked Megan a little so we would have something for her belly. She was pretty much in a coma. She would spasm every so often. We got her into some hot water, the quickest way to warm a kid, but nothing was working. I was furiously researching on the internet. I was posting to the goat health forum and nothing. There was nothing we could do. We lost her. We think now that her “recovery” from weak legs was not so much a recovery. It is called white muscle disease. It is mostly a selenium and vitamin E deficiency. Since we had a drought this past year, well two years really and they were also being fed drought hay, it was all deficient. Now, no one else is really having problems. Which means that Megan may have a harder time than anyone else with those deficiencies. Though we still have two that need to kid. We have gotten some supplements though and hopefully that prevents this all. They all had access to loose minerals, but we think it may not have been enough. Or at least not for Megan. We are having a hard time with her right now. We knew we were going to be culling some animals. At least we “knew” that. Megan gave birth to a weak kid, who later died. She has poor confirmation, meaning her udder is hard to milk from. I have been milking her the past few days since we lost Joy. She isn’t giving much but it is going up every time. We may be culling her. Natalie is having issues with that though. So we are totally putting it off. She isn’t a milk goat. She would have to be a pet goat. We only have so much room for pet goats. So that is a hard spot on our farm right now.

Jack and the girls also started seeds this weekend. It was very sweet. I am not sure if there is any other time that I see Jack that happy. It isn’t so much an outright happiness, it is more like an inner calm and contentedness. There is just something about him and planting or seeding or just working with the dirt. It makes me happy to see. The girls love it too. It is great to see them all having so much fun. I am hopeful for a large and abundant crop this year.

One of the cute things going on this week is Nancy. Like I said, she kidded on Sunday. She was our most aloof goats. You had to be very careful about how you approached her. You couldn’t go near her horns. Since she has been in her baby moon suite she has changed. First Patty is by far the largest kid we have. It is the biggest and the youngest. He is amazing. Though we were worried about him for a couple of days. He always seemed to be sleeping on the very edge of the pen. Not by Nancy. His sides were filled out and he was active but he was always sleeping there. It took us until yesterday to figure it out. He was sleeping up next to the puppies. The puppies are totally loving the kids. They want to love and lick and play with them so bad. Poor puppies. Anyway, we now think Patty is very smart to be cuddling puppies. And Nancy… Well, she has been calling out to us. She now wants her head scratched at all hours of the day. She begs for attention and love. It is very sweet to see how much she has changed. I just hope it lasts past the kidding season.

The girls just came back in from doing first day of spring chores in the snow. Yes, it is snowing out there. The sun peeks out every so often but we actually have a trace of snow on the ground. It is wrong on so many levels. Anyway, Layla told me that Luna has a tight shiny bag with a puffy vulva. Which is Layla saying we don’t have long. She isn’t due until the 27th though. And Luna had a hysterical pregnancy last time. We aren’t quite sure what to expect here. So I leave this blog post with check out our facebook page if you want to see if Luna kids before next week 🙂

Does the excitement stop?

No, I don’t think it will for awhile. Sometimes it is hard for me to know where to start. Maybe here? Well, last Thursday we went to our second Rutledge community meeting. I had volunteered last time to help them raise money for their new community center. We finalized some more plans for that. It is interesting. These people are really nice, but I find that a lot of times they think of us all as hippies and flaky. I admit to becoming more flaky as time goes on. Flakiness is totally a peeve of mine. I find though that as more things come on my plate, flaky happens sometimes. When it comes to my children or my animals, I put things off. I kind of hate that. I am also trying to keep it in mind when I commit myself to something.

Saturday brought us to another auction. This time for hay, but not for ourselves, or at least mostly not for ourselves. Really it has just been I won’t say bad, but definitely not easy year. This summer we had a horrible drought, really it started the summer before that. So not much hay was cut. Now, or at least a week ago we had so much snow that animals couldn’t graze. So, not much hay, no way to get at the grass does not make it easy to provide for our animals. By “our” I mean us and people we know who are trying to do the same. Everyone! Hay has been going up at every auction we have been at. But we went out and got a truck load again. Hopefully this is the last hay we have to buy this year. The snow is melted, the sun is finally out today. Can I hope that the grass will start growing soon?

Saturday was also my fiber meeting. I don’t seem to get to go very often. I love going though!!! Not only do I get to talk all things fiber related but a lot of the women there are old time farmers. So I also get to talk about my animals and farm. All the women there are also super sweet to the girls. It is just a great couple of hours in my month. They are talking about meeting twice a month now and that makes me so happy. I need more fiber/farm talk in my life right now.

Sunday we had big plans. Oh daylight saving time! I usually am not bothered by it but damn this Sunday was packed full and losing an hour really made a horrible difference. I guess I should preface this all by Saturday it started to warm up and rain. Which started our foot of snow to melting. We wanted this yes. We were also dreading this. We have clay soil. Lots of water + clay soil = lots of flooding. Especially when you add in sheets of ice on creeks that ice dam the creeks causing them to overflow even more. I am getting away with myself though. Big plans, Sunday, early. We woke up at 5:30 to start with. I started making breakfast to take on our trip, Jack and the girls went out to do chores. Of course, of course! The girls came back in with, “There is a baby out there, Freya’s!” At this I wasn’t too worried. I had thought that Freya would be a good mother. I was wrong. Jack went out there and got them settled. Freya was beating the crap out of her kid. It took two of us to hold her down while another got her baby latched on. We had to hold down not only her body but also all four of her legs. Amazingly, even with this thrown into the crazy of the morning, we were only fifteen minutes late getting out of here. It kind of tore at me leaving the baby here. She had lot to eat though and it should have held her until we got back. It was on my mind though the entire time we were gone.

Which is saying something since we left in dense fog and flooded roads. There was really only two times that I kind of freaked. One was when we were driving down the country road and missed a stop sign. We actually could not see it until it was right in front of us. We have driven down that road many times over and if we could have seen anything we would have known it was coming up. However, we drove right through it. That was scary. It was not as scary as going across a flooded road though. It had one of those nice signs that says “Caution! Impassable in High Waters!” We got through but the nice sign that was on the other side? I would say it was 2 feet into the water. The creeks were almost to the bridges. Fields were flooded under inches of water. Woods looked like swamps. And it was still raining. We did make it to where we were going though in one piece.

Where were we going though? We were going to pick up some pregnant sheep. This was a lady who loves her animals. She had rejected two other people who were interested. These girls are shetland/polypay sheep. They have amazing fleeces. One of them went to Joan. Two of them though are currently in quarantine waiting for the day to join the rest of our stock. It is always so nice talking to people who really care about their animals. I really do treasure the people we have met picking up animals. Our drive back wasn’t so bad, we took a different way home. We did stop by the feed store and I picked up nipples thinking I may have to bottle feed our newest edition. I was really really worried about her. We had taken a lot longer than I thought we would and well, I was worried. As soon as Jack stopped the truck I ran out and into the pen with Freya and her baby. They were fine though. I got her latched on again. We are actually still doing this. Freya is getting better with her, but not by much. The baby is getting stronger and even though Freya tries to get away the baby is getting milk. It seems like it alternates on our good births and our problem births. Megan and Joy are doing better. Which gives me hope that Freya will also get better. In the long run though I am reminded that this doesn’t last long. This is a tiny drop of time. It is hard and exhausting and it seem to be happening a lot lately, but it is still a tiny drop of time and in the end it will be alright. Dancer’s baby was named. We do think that she might be a keeper. Her name is Danielle. Layla named her. It is hard but we are faced with the possibility that Megan and Joy might be sold. We aren’t sure yet though.

The rest of the stock are doing fine. Nancy is due any day now. Luna, if she actually is pregnant now, is due in a couple of weeks. Oh and then the goat births are mostly done. Then it will be time for the sheep. It is just a little crazy round here lately. That is alright though. I did put off milking for awhile. We didn’t think that Joy was ready to be all by herself at night yet. So we are waiting until Danielle can be put in with her. Just a few more days.

So again besides all the crazy it is going well over here. I am hoping for some drier sunnier days to come so we can get started on the greenhouse addition. I still want the rain and such, really I do. I just need a small break. Today is looking good, sunny at least. I have to admit that the recent cloud cover is totally bringing me down. There is a lot of work to be done. Oh and I am tired.

More Babies!!

Or at least one. 🙂

I guess this is kind of skipping to the good part. Last Friday we went to a farm auction. We were hoping to score some animal shelters but it totally didn’t work out. Truthfully, we should have left an hour in. All the people that were bidding were crazy. I guess it is good for the people who were selling at the auction, but when things go for just a few dollars off what you would pay for them new? Yeah. The shelters were about $10 off what you would pay for them new. Of course, that doesn’t count in shipping which would probably be high, but still. It was crazy. We came home though with a few odds and ends that Jack can’t help not bid on. We also had to go up to Iowa that day. We were picking up some stuff for a friend and we had ordered a small amount too. Yay for having the materials to get the greenhouse up!!! Though the ground has to unfreeze and dry up a little bit… Anyway, the girls had told me that Dancer’s bag was bigger, but she still had ligaments and no discharge. I did make the joke that we better not come home to a baby. It took way longer than we thought it would getting the stuff. Way longer. Not to mention the roads weren’t great and we had a really heavy load. We couldn’t really drive home quickly. So it was dark when we got home. Jack said he would go do chores and let us eat. I went and checked on our babies and went inside. A few minutes later Jack walked in with a baby goat. At first I was like, why did you bring Joy inside? Then I realized that that was so not Joy. But I couldn’t figure out who it was. I can’t remember who said it, but someone said, “Dancer had her baby!!!” She was clean, dry and hefty. That is really the only way to describe this girl. She is hefty. We got a sweater on her and got another pen worked out. We got Dancer up in there and it was all good. Of course, no one had seen her nurse. I was trying to get her too, but she was tired. So of course she wasn’t going to latch on. I woke up in the middle of the night to go outside and check on her too. I just couldn’t sleep. It has been really cold here lately. Anyway, she was fine. She continues to be fine. There still is no name, but maybe soon. She is super sweet. She is bigger than Joy and looks just like Dancer except black instead of brown. So sweet. The babies on the farm seem to be doing well.

Our fence is not though. It is buried under a foot or in some places more of snow. It is being weighed down and sagging. In some places there is only a foot of fence above the snow. It is bad. There also is no electricity. Something about that much snow grounds out the shock. So currently the only thing holding our animals in is their respect for our sanity. Not all of them have this respect and some of them forget it from time to time. Yesterday as Jack was walking to the truck to go to work, we had just gotten another two inches of snow, he saw that a few of the sheep were actually bedded down with the puppies. The puppies are actually on guard duty with the babies. They aren’t in the fence. So at some point during the night the sheep decided that it looked nice to go sleep with the puppies. Jack got them all back in with a bale of hay, but still. It was a reminder that we REALLY need the snow to go away. We can’t move the livestock and they so need to be moved. There are some warm days coming so I am hopeful that we will be able to do this soon. I am worried about the mud that is sure to happen once this all melts though. sigh

Other than the snow and babies we have kind of been laying low. I am still recovering from my birthday. The seed order did get placed. Yeah for new seeds!! I am going to place a tree order soon also. Like I said earlier we got the materials to put a greenhouse addition onto the south side of the cabin. Things are coming along and it is seeming more like spring. Even if when I do look outside I am looking out at a foot of snow. It is March and it is coming. We have a lot planned this year. We have high ambitions, like we always seem to have. It is good. Though we also try to be realistic. We know it won’t all get done and we have to be okay with that. I am excited though on how far we have come. The difficulties we have overcome. The challenges. It has rarely been easy. I think though that is what makes this all the more satisfying. It feels like it is what we have been missing. It is heartbreaking, scary, enough worry to give anyone an ulcer, and yet seeing a baby nurse, collecting eggs, eating food that we grew, it is what life is about, no?