Occasionally we receive compensation for posts. We only accept compensation when the products or businesses are something we actually use and would recommend independently – and we are always upfront when sponsorship is involved. This article was sponsored by Fisher-Price, but the opinions (especially the following variation on their much more reliable cake recipe) expressed here are my own.
Back in the hazy, sleepless days of newborn-ness I had this idea that I would bake a cake every single month. I even did it the first month. The idea being that by the end of the year I would have these beautiful images of all the delicious cakes that represented the various seasons as we (presumably) floated through early parenthood with all this time to play in the kitchen.
But then the realities that come with a baby who starts to sleep less and need more…along with a garden, goats and the rest of the menagerie around here…firmly set in. Now we’re just about thirty days out from her first birthday and I’ve started to wonder what that might look like.
I saw this article pop up on Facebook and couldn’t help but chime in with my own thoughts after taking the time to carefully read through the author’s words as well as each and every comment.
Some of the rebuttals and supporting sentiments were funny. Others were scary. Most seemed to be based on “Oh my friend does this…” or “I did that and this is what I felt…”
I tried so hard to get home. It’s a wonder I didn’t abandon my car in Campbell River and make a run for it to leap onto the ferry in order to somehow, someway make it back to the farm.
A different story, still yet to be told is why I happened to be in town in the first place. It all started with my old Ford truck that happened to run away with me a week ago. But I’ll leave that cliffhanger right there and simply say I had been over with the mechanic getting it checked out and in working order again.
Naturally my goats would start kidding just when I have to be four hours away in town or a workshop that I’ve been excitedly thinking about for weeks.
Not to mention the very cranky, very teeth-y kid of my own who had spiked a fever of 39 C the night before.
I’ve talked a little bit before about how impatient I’ve historically been about acquiring and honing all the necessary skills for knitting. The idea of one day having my own flock of sheep that produces the wool I then process, spin and turn into clothing or perhaps a pair of mittens…it’s a dream. A dream with a lot of work attached to it, but a dream I have nonetheless.
There are some things about farming that are unbelievably romantic and beautiful. Other things are just plain dirty and unpleasant. Poopy. Then there are the magical completely terrifying parts. Baby goats fall into this category for me.
Their superpowers of adorableness exceed all else. But the risks, the potential for disaster, are unfortunately something we know well.
We have been watching the barn closely through a baby monitor for the last couple of weeks. In some ways, I’m grateful that though I intended to get this set up back in December…I didn’t.
Let me back up.
You know how back in December I was all “OMG guys! Baby goats!” then everyone was wondering “But when?” and I was like “I don’t know! Soon! Maybe 4-6 weeks?”
How is it possible that we’re less than two months a way from a one year old?
Isla, you’re moving faster, considering more and pushing yourself farther than ever before. You are one determined, methodical little baby.
It’s fascinating to see you observe and interact with the animals. Select specific toys you favour over so many others. The books – the many, many books you just want to hold and turn and play with for hours. Well, maybe not hours but something more like fifteen minutes which I’m pretty sure is the adult attention span equivalent of hours for a baby your size.
Two years ago, Scott and I were down in Portland for a mini-break. We ended up meeting two backyard ‘herds’ of Nigerian Dwarf Goats.
As they say, the rest is history.
We already knew we were goat people. We knew that we wanted goats. I was once again relieved and grateful for Scott’s tendency to research every nook and cranny of a subject before reaching a conclusion. Nigerian Dwarfs. Half the size, high butter fat, mildest of milks, lower upkeep costs.
And CUUUUUUUUTE. Let’s not forget how friggin adorable they are.
The first knitting project I attempted was back in 2009.
A bright magenta super bulky scarf that somehow got wider as I unintentionally added stitches, dropped stitches thereby creating sizable gaps/holes and impressive gauge discrepancies throughout the garment.
But it was such a pretty colour and the action – once I figured it out – was addictive. So addictive.
I kept knitting until the yarn supply started running low then tried to figure out how to cast off. It intimidated me. Maybe I didn’t want the project to finish? For such an incredibly mangled accessory-to-be, I to this day can’t figure out why I made such a precious big deal about trying to cast off perfectly.
Well, perfect wasn’t in the cards. After picking up and putting down the project for a few weeks I finally did what any sane, rational grown up woman would do.
Oh you were thinking I might YouTube a video tutorial? Drop into a yarn store and ask for help?
No of course not, I sabotaged it. Yanked out the oversize needle and quickly tied it up at the end so it wouldn’t unravel.
“Things do not change; we change.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Between the two of us, Scott is the researcher. I’m pretty good at following directions, I often immerse myself in something (knitting, yogurt or bread making, chickens, goats) but if I ever want to track down the real story or the best of something, Scott’s my go-to.
It was at the point that he described what instantly became my dream property that I started to laugh inside at how different my wants and needs are today than they were a mere few years ago. No elevator. No doorman. No indoor gym, parking spot, public transit accessibility.
“Farming with live animals is a 7 day a week, legal form of slavery.” – George Segal
This year, I’m endevouring to keep a daily journal of a few notes from each day in an effort to keep better track of when things happen and how the seasons progress over time. At the end of the month, I’ll share them here too.
But those little anecdotes will be less about context, more about observations.
A couple of years ago, when we were still living off the grid at Blue Jay Lake Farm, I put together a blog post that walked through our typical weekend mornings – when we would handle barn chores. Two cows were milked, green houses were opened, baby goats bottle fed and calves chased up the hill to their fenced in field. Why not do the same for our humble little beginner homestead now?