When we should have been, preferred to have been, out celebrating Canada Day…we were instead nursing a small goat in her final hours…succumbing to pneumonia less than a day from when the signs first started to appear. A wee one who had never seemed quite up to the task of life, who’s mum hadn’t rejected her but wasn’t actively taking much of an interest in her. A tiny teammate to her small pony sized brothers.
A doeling. Not yet named though calling her ‘Scoop’ had been floated around given how many times we would bring her to her mama for a drink when her brothers were off galavanting. Then when it came to fill a prescription we would never use for antibiotics, ‘Tiger’ became her name for a couple of hours.
How much do you intervene?
It’s been a week since I said “we’ll be moved in!” but alas, this isn’t the case just yet…and I can’t blame anything convenient like the weather even.
The progress has been steady and the work has my broody mama-to-be(again) heart all warm and fuzzy but the reality is there’s a ticking time bomb in my ever expanding belly that is making my brain think unrealistic “are we there yet?!” thoughts about everything. An hour delay feels like an eternity, a week can seem like a massive failure unless I give myself a proper moment to wilt…weep a bit…then recover with a better, more logical (less hormonal) perspective on what matters and where we’re at.
We’re six days into this month and so far have made some substantial headway toward successfully accomplishing all that has to happen this year, but there is still a long list of things that must fall into order. Quickly. Ever little piece of the puzzle that locks into place feels like a blessing worth a formal celebration. Delays and hiccups, such as ferry traffic (this is the height of tourist season after all) must be taken in stride otherwise this month will surely kill us.
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.
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?”
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.
There’s a dead rooster hanging from my front porch.
Not exactly an inspirational quote, but the matter-of-factness of this morning doesn’t leave me feeling terribly inspired. Reflective maybe. Sad. Definitely.
Moose was the rooster we took a chance on. His father, Blue, was our very first rooster. The cuddly, cooing little buddle of blue ameracauna lured us in with his good looks and charming personality. Until we went away for a couple of weeks and came back to a rooster who had thoroughly freaked out our house sitter and turned into a tiny tyrant capable of making the back of your knees ring from frequent, repeated jump kicks.
I spent months trying to reform the bastard until he started harassing the hens as severely as he had been attacking us. Then it was game over. Off with his head.
“What do I do for a living? I live for a living.” – Peter Karena, This Way of Life
One of the many tasks underway as we get prepared for an exciting (possibly overly ambitious new year) has been properly archiving the thousands upon thousands of photos currently clogging up my computer. Moments documented lovingly, albeit sporadically over the past four years of our relationship with each other, our many animals and this journey toward farming.
Along the way, I stumbled across the photos of our first eggs, first cow we milked (and Scott would later help to slaughter, his first time), first goat to capture our hearts (RIP Pickles), first homemade “no machines involved” bread.
First wood chopped.
First animals lost to predators.
First. So, so many firsts.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
I’ve been checking in on the girls every couple of days to see how things are ‘progressing’…which basically means a gentle poke to the area where their udder will be (at least in the case of the three first time fresheners, Maple (pictured), Waffles and Pancakes. This will be Gertie’s fourth kidding, so we have a better idea of how her pregnancy and labour will play out…once her udder starts to ‘bag up’ it’ll be 24-48 hours before kids are on the ground.
Tonight…there were little pouches forming.