Hay, hay, hay!
We are rolling in it! Well, sort of.
Some of you may remember that this spring, my hay supplier of 10 years told me he was quitting and would not have hay for me anymore. This was a huge blow because not only was I loosing a good and always reliable supply, I knew I'd be loosing my stable price too and I didn't have a long time to fix it. I have lost a whole lotta sleep over this (just ask Kevin) and worried about it daily for months. I called dozen and dozens of people who gave me horrible prices on hay, no one would deliver, many people told me they couldn't give me any hay at all because they had other customers, and mostly people tried to rip me off. No one local would even talk to me about hay, they just told me right away they had none available because they have enough customers. Before we left for Atlanta I had secured 300 square bales from a guy who seemed reliable through phone and email but lived quite a ways away. He would deliver however.
Last Sunday he proved to be reliable and trustworthy indeed and he showed up with the first of three loads he'll be bringing me. I was so worried buying hay I had never seen, but it turned out to be awesome - dry, so fresh you could smell the sweetness, and I was a very happy girl. I was able to even walk up to the barn for the first time since being home. I got to see everyone, and everyone looked great and the barn looked good, so I was able to put my mind at ease. Its not that I don't trust Jim, it's just that I'm not there, I can't see it, and I hate not being in control. I'll admit it. My barn is turning into walking space only as it gets filled up with food and insurance and really for me, peace of mind.
But not only did our first load show up (the others will come when the weather isn't perfect for haying) part of the haying equiptment we wanted back in May finally arrived too. Our mower and rake came and hopefully early next week our used square baler will also arrive. Our fields here are bush fields (far apart and small) and have not been mowed in 60 years. But prior to that when the old people lived here they were all well productive hay fields. Kevin will cut them now, and we'll have extra hay, and get to finally get an idea of how many bales we can take off them (instead of just guessing) and in the fall or early spring, we'll also seed the fields. It will be weedier and sparser this year, but it's a big step for us and we are all very excited about it. Now not only do we have hay, we are making hay, and no animal here will be hungry this winter that's for sure. And me? I can sleep again.
I didn't take these pictures, Kevin and Jim did for me because I can't ride or walk out to the field. It's our closest field but still too far for me to get to.
I also asked Jim to take some pictures of the goats for me because they are looking awesome and I'm so happy about it, but I can't get up to the barnyard yet. My one walk on Sunday was OK but it sure did hurt inside after, and the whole day ended me in bed for two days straight. I'm pretty afraid of increased pain now because it's been rough so I'm behaving quite well. I'm finally just today able to spend a little time on the porch (in a cushioned chair) and in the livingroom in my recliner and that feels good, I'm tired of being in bed all the time and it's killing my legs, so I don't want to do anything to set me back further. While I'm down I start thinking of small things maybe I could do but thankfully I'm afraid enough of more pain that I haven't been doing anything stupid at all. It's a blessing in disguise really. Today is week four and the Doctor told me to do nothing for 6-8 and then slowly try stuff and stop as soon as I have even a small increase in pain. However the flight home and what happened because of it, set me back over 10 days. So I'm just taking everything one day at a time.
OK back to the goaties... Biscuit, my milker looks fabulous. I'm so happy.
Since Bucket passed away she is my only remaining purebred Alpine. She's a beauty. I found a purebred Alpine doeling that looks just like her and I almost brought her home except that she was $400 which I couldn't justify at all. Biscuit has always been bred to Buckwheat, my Saanen buck and she produces a lot of milk for me, but also always throws kids that look exactly like Buckwheat. I'm going to aim to get Barnaby to breed her this year, and if he does I'll get a Pygmy/Alpine cross (like my Spock from this year) that will produce color. What colors only time will tell. I've never kept one of her kids, and I'd love to have a girl off of her.
Her coat is glistening black, she's so shiny and pretty. I love her in her summer coat.
We had no idea when she joined our family 5 years ago now that she'd contribute so much. She taught me the love of milking, of making cheese, and because of that we have bonded in a different way. I have a different individual bond to each of the goats, and Biscuit is moody and has her moments. We are very similar me and her...It's kind of alarming to see yourself in a goat! ;)
Dahlia is still nursing her girls but she gets a break from them during the day while they are in their grass pen, and she's enjoying that. It's helping her recover too, all moms need a little break sometimes.
And my handsome little Barnaby is looking spiffy! I'm sure the girls are already eyeing him up. Although I suppose in the goat world they prefer the men pee stained... me on the other hand, I enjoy their beautiful summer coats and colors while they last.
And then there is the handsome and ever growing Spock. Because he is also a buck, I have been looking for a good home for him, I think he'll be a great breeder. I've had zero good interest so far. If he's still here come fall I might let him breed Biscuit since they have no relation at all, and he's part Alpine.
Every time I see him, I can't get over how handsome he is. He's really a flashy looking little guy.
And my Sammy looks handsome of course in his summer clothes. All the Saanen's are white right now -beautiful shiny white. Except for Buckwheat my Saanen buck, he's not totally clean but the cleanest he gets. I enjoy this time of year for beautiful white coats. Just like the Pyrenees a white coat looks gorgeous white but it shows every spot too when it gets any dirt on it!
Also little Ruby, my ewe lamb who lost her mom Lila this spring is growing well and is very happy. She's a sweet little girl.
Down by my chicken house, one of my Mammoth sunflowers is as high as the house now! I haven't been able to get down to see it up close but I've been enjoying it from the porch. At least it's higher than the weeds too! Jim took some better pictures of it than I could get from the deck on super zoom.
I planted a lot of sunflowers all over this spring but the rabbits ate almost all of them. Only the ones inside the garden and chicken yard survived being snipped off when they were smaller, and three on my deck in pots.
My world is still pretty small since my mobility is so limited, but it's nice to be able to get out on the porch a little. It's been quite cool outside during the day and even cooler at night and we haven't had much sunshine either.
More and more of my Marigolds are popping out which is nice to see...
None of my Buttercrunch lettuce that I can't eat is going to waste...
It's one of the girls favorite things... along with strawberries, freshly picked parsley...
And otherwise we are still doing a whole lot of this... lying around and sleeping. I cannot wait to be able to make fresh bread again. I can't stand up long enough to knead dough even... well I can, but I regret it after quite quickly. I really look forward to being able to do some small things at least. In the meantime I'm spending some time reading up on growing our own wheat, a future project I'm excited about. Kevin told me two weeks ago he could see a change in me already because I was looking ahead, writing down future projects and goals, something I had stopped. He told me in the past 7 months I stopped looking ahead, dreaming and planning, that had all left me. And even though I am only feeling very small changes physically from surgery, in my mind I do feel more alive and more hopeful than I have felt in a long time. That's something I didn't expect to come so soon. Recovery is hard and it's easy to get depressed. I've had bad days through this but this is the least depressed I've been after surgery through any of my surgeries so that tells me something... and I hope, and trust, it will just get better from here, even if it's only slowly. I don't feel the pain relief so much as I do the emotional relief, I feel that woman coming back who used to reside inside of me, the one I haven't seen for a while... it seems she's waking up from her long sleep... and just in time for her Birthday too! I found one of the easiest cake recipes I could find - yet still delicious. With any luck tomorrow, I'll bake a cake and I'll eat it too!