Making progress

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I forgot to share this photo a couple of weeks ago. This is the same scene I wake up to every single morning (sometimes with snow, sometimes without) but it's always the same. When I wake up and look out the kitchen window up at the barnyard while making coffee, I see Izzie sleeping with one of the dogs, and always both ducks. Usually the ducks are tucked up in her tummy where Max is sleeping in this picture. It's adorable and it's so sweet that every morning they are all laying out together, relaxing as a family.

This was a busy weekend for us... Aside from some company, things got a lot quieter around here. I'm left with one bottle baby  now, just Spock.

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He is so adorable.

Melvin went to a great new home - and I'm very pleased with the home he got. But still. It was hard to say goodbye. I should have sold him as a buckling but I held onto him because he was just such a sweet kid and he fit into the herd here like he wasn't even there. He's great friends with Henrietta and Brina and he gets along with everyone. But he is a buck - and he's a year old now, so come fall he'll want to breed the females too. I don't need three breeding bucks - and Melvin was never destined to be a buck here. I had decided not to neuter him as a buckling because I knew he'd grow into such a handsome buck - he's a lot like his dad Buckwheat and he's so handsome. He'll throw nice genes and I knew he'd be perfect for a dairy herd. And thankfully that's exactly where he's ended up, in a small herd with four of his own girls. Still, I choked up  when he looked at me from the back of the peoples truck and I had to hold my breath. It's always hard to say goodbye.

Surprisingly the couple who bought him and drove two hours to get him had a friend in common with me - they were close friends with a friend of mine from my childhood who lives in Nova Scotia! It's so funny when we are reminded of what a small world it is. I feel so much better knowing he's got a great little herd of his own and he'll be well taken care of.

And Bubs went to a great local organic farm - he's been renamed Bruce and they just love him. You can read about him on Vanessa's blog here. I am just thrilled he got such a great home where he's so well loved and that I get to keep up with how he's doing!

Yesterday we spent most of the day in NY State running errands. Kevin had some Doctors appointments and we did some shopping. My cheese making supplies came and I'm so excited! I was hoping to make some Chevre today but I was too busy catching up on some spring chores. I closed off my goat pasture today and moved half the herd and Izzie to a different pasture for now, for during the day. It's time to let the goat pasture recover for a couple of months and then we'll rotate them.

Everyone was happy to be in the other pasture. They spent the entire day looking for any new shoots of grass that might be trying to come up.

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Bulrush and Flavious checking everything out

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Hmmm... we haven't been over here in a while...

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I'm not sure what kind of grass Izzie and Brina were finding, but it sure kept them occupied.

Kevin helped me hook up my hoses so that I don't have to carry water a long way from the barn to the other pasture, which helps a lot. Then he helped me get my electric fence back up and running. It's been off all winter, and it needed a lot of tending to get back in usable condition.

Afterwards I tackled another project...

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The chicken yard that hasn't been used in a long time, was overgrown with raspberry bushes and needed to be cleared out.

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So I armed myself and went to work. It took me an hour just to get the raspberries snipped and removed.

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But I got it cleared! Tomorrow we'll build a new ramp for the girls and make a couple final repairs and they can come out and start exploring their new yard if it's a nice day. You want to believe even though I wore long sleeves I'm all sliced up though. Ouch.

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Dahlia is shedding her winter coat but neither of the other two Pygmy goats, Rose or Barnaby have started to shed yet. I guess they are holding on just in case. I'm looking forward to seeing Barnaby in his summer clothes - since I've only ever seen him decked out for winter.

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Beatrice's doeling Annabelle is growing, and climbing everything in sight!

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Her little horns are coming out.

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She was taking a break with Max this afternoon in the barnyard. With little Ruby sleeping in the background.

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She's spoiled rotten and takes completely after her mother.

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Speaking of attitude - when Kevin was helping me work on the roll up side for the barn, Miss Biscuit got annoyed I wasn't paying attention to her so she grabbed my pony tail and pulled some of my hair out. She's such a sweetheart sometimes! NOT. She loves attention but she does have her moments.

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However she's supplying us with a lot of milk - this is 2 days worth of milk and there is over 2 gallons here. So I have to forgive her for her many diva moments.

I joined Instagram which is actually a lot of fun. You can see the pictures on the side bar of the blog, they will always be changing. You can also click on them and see all my pictures - without having to join Instagram. Mostly I won't share the Instagram pictures on the blog, except for the odd one. They are just snapshots of the farm and things going on that I will take.

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On top of everything, the boys had their monthly nail trim which is not their favorite thing although they are all pretty good about it. Now they are all set for a few more weeks and I just have to tackle the Pyrenees to make sure their toes are all OK, and Flavious needs a trim, especially around his bum. That's going to be a big job - it always is when he's still carrying around a winters worth of insulation. Sometimes I consider shearing him a long with the sheep!

It's been raining in the evenings (which is good) and it looks like tonight that trend will continue. After evening chores I'm going to make a roasted vegetable and goat cheese tart and we are going to hopefully enjoy a relaxing evening in. We've got the wood stove going, we've had a fire most evenings still and sometimes during the day. It's been hanging above freezing but it's pretty damp outside.

I've been making huge progress in the barn (spring cleaning) and can't wait until it's all done. I'll share pictures once it is. Because of my pain problems, I can only handle so much heavy work in one day so I have to break jobs up. I find that frustrating but I'm trying to stick with making slow progress so that I don't do myself in for days at a time. It feels good to be getting spring projects done, even though the list is a mile long, things are still starting to get crossed off a little bit at a time.


Primitive Stars said…
Afternoon, what a wonderful site out your kitchen window every morning, so sweet to see the animals all together......Glad he went to a good home, but sad too.....You are such a busy gal...enjoyed all you pictures, those two furry faces at he end are so cute.....Blessings Francine.d
jaz@octoberfarm said…
it is so nice to see a bit of spring and all of the animals enjoying it. i need to shave teddy's belly and her no fly zone. not sure who will win this battle! we have been having 80 degree weather which is just stupid. we have had hail, thunder, lightening and downpours which is actually a very good thing!
Mary Ann said…
Love all the pictures, as usual, and just makes me want goats even more! Rollie and Douglas... cute.... I am breaking things up and not trying to do too much at once as well, Donna, so I know the feeling!
That first photo is so cute! They are like a sweet little family :)

I'm so glad your goats found good homes. I bet it was hard to see them go, but at least you know they will be taken care of very well!

I can't believe how furry Flavious is! And I thought Duchess had a lot of fur haha. But I guess Flav needs it for your cold weather!
It's so good to actually be able to use a hose again isn't it? I am glad things are settling down for you a bit. Spring can be great with the sap and the babies, but can also be some of the hardest times. I am very, very glad that we did not do syrup this year. We just weren't up for it.

You have actually been in my thought a lot lately although this is the first time I have had the time to write anything. The troubles you were having with your syrup and your babies and finding reminded me of a few years ago when we had 2500 taps out, and were trying to raise baby dairy calves. One of the local farmers brought a virus with him when he stopped by one day and we lost 7 out of 10 calves. Then the storage tank for the sap sprung a massive leak, every one had bronchitis...and well, we survived, but farming sure wasn't fun that Spring. Fortunately, as it always does, time went by and the sun came out. I hope the sun is out again on your farm.
Dreaming said…
I didn't even see the chicken yard until I saw the 'after' picture. What a difference!
I adore the picture of everyone snoozing together - how sweet!
Ellen in Oregon said…
You have gotten a tremendous amount of things done in a relatively short amount of time. I spent many years being stubborn & refusing to do tasks in limited durations and rest in between. I did a lot of damage to my joints over time and began to realize I was not invincible when I had my first experience where I could not sit up in bed one morning no matter how much I willed myself to do it. Stick with the method you are doing and in a couple of months you will get a rythem going with the different tasks & it will becomes less aggravating. I just tell myself that doing something differently is much better than not being able to do them at all.
It is wonderful that the 2 bucks are both going to great homes & being able to follow one is icing on the cake.
I think Izzie and the way she is the glue that brings duck, dogs & goats together to sleep with her is the funniest & sweetest thing ever. Those animals are smart and know where to find heat & protection.
Can't wait to see how you cheese making turns out. I made your strawberry coffee cake last week and it was a big hit.
Thanks for finding time to post and share all the news.

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