Sunday, November 30, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Post

I deconstructed the turkey yesterday, sorting meat and stuffing into casseroles to freeze and placing bones and skin in the soup pot. The simmering broth smelled great. It will be strained today, herbs, vegetables and noodles added, and voila! Turkey soup.

One thing I was thankful for was that my dryer is now fixed, no thanks to Sears Repair. I waited by the phone for an entire day. They did not show up. I tried calling the local store and was routed to the Phillipines, or where ever their "customer service" is located. (They are not allowed to say what country they are in.)

I called a local repair service that afternoon, late. He actually called back! A real person. Local. The actual repairer of appliances.

We discussed what was (or wasn't) happening with the dryer. He looked up the model and CALLED BACK. He said he'd be over at my house between ten a.m. and noon. I almost cried.

He did, indeed, arrive at ten. It took about fifteen minutes to figure out that it was a simple plastic part on the door latch which had disintegrated, probably from age, and that the "fail safe" system had kicked in. The dryer won't start unless the door is fully closed.

He had the little part in his van. He replaced it. The dryer started. I paid him. We had dry socks and warm, dry farm clothes. I have a new friend and repair person.

The fourteen little goat kids are doing fine in the maternity barn and we're having a little break from birthing. This is very good, as it allows the babies and mothers time to bond and be looked after closely. They are all allowed out of their "jugs" during the day and they went outside for the last two days with their mothers. We have a fenced yard around the maternity barn for that purpose.

The first, traditional, group game was: all babies meet on the concrete step, then race through the barn to the yard as a small herd! What fun, fun, fun. Let's do it again. Again. Again.

Next: Let's all take a little nap in a pile.

It's raining today and chilly, so baby goats will stay inside.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Snow

There isn't too much: like a shaking of confectioner's sugar over the earth. Hopefully, it will melt this morning and won't cause too much trouble. It looks pretty.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stop Me If You've Heard This Before...

Yesterday was like a vacation day with no new goat babies born. I just did the normal chores, baked a cake, made a nice Sunday dinner, etc.

The day before, we had two new sets of twins born before six p.m. I did all the tasks listed in my last blog entry for each baby and cleaned out the pens, placing clean, dry bedding before sighing a sigh of relief. It was pitch black outside and I was looking forward to a hot bath to ease my aches and pains and wash off some of the farm.

I left the maternity barn to go to my UTV when I heard the unmistakable cry of a baby goat. I listened again. Yes. It seemed to be coming from up on top of the hill somewhere, but I couldn't see a thing and didn't have a flashlight handy. It had been raining on and off all day and cloud cover obscured the moonlight.

I drove to the garage and struggled in the dark to get some gas, in case I needed to do a lot of driving to find the baby. I went up to the house and got a flashlight and my husband (who also had a flashlight.) We drove to the top of the hill and walked through the brambles and trees, looking for the baby.

My husband located a doe with two kids behind the fence. I could not locate him. He struggled to carry the kids, get over the fence and walk them down to the barn with mama goat following. He slipped in the mud, but got down to the maternity barn where I met him.

We got them in and dry. The third set of twins in one day. Did the whole new baby routine, and hobbled back up to the house.

I'd done two loads of wash that day in-between goats. Our thirty-plus year-old dryer decided to give up the ghost. So, there was the problem of lots of damp clothes sitting in the washer and dryer. Before I could take the long awaited bath, I hung clothing on a rack in the basement and on hangers around the room.

On Sunday morning, my husband was really in pain from the slip on the hill. He needed a low impact job, so took the still damp clothes to the nearest laundromat, armed with quarters and the Sunday paper.

I did the animal chores. Later, he called Sears to arrange for a repair person to come out and fix the dryer. The phone came to me to discuss the day and time.

"We will send someone out on Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The repair man will call to make sure you're home. If you don't answer the phone, he'll assume you aren't home."

"Wait a minute! I'm a farmer and am in and out all day. But I'll be here, just give me a definite time, and I'll make sure I'm at the house at that time. Cell phones don't work down below. It's a wireless dead zone."

"I'm sorry, Mrs. ... That's the way we do it."

"Let me speak with a supervisor."

CLICK. (He hung up on me.)

Could this have been my "no good very bad day" of the month?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


If you've noticed that I seem to be MIA on this blog, it's because just as I was recovering from the Farmers' Market season and getting my life back in order: KIDDING SEASON STARTED!

Yes, it's that time again and it's taking its toll in terms of energy and time.

As of last night, there were six little cuties tucked in with their goat mamas. Who knows what this morning will hold.

Maternity barn management consists of attending to the newborns in terms of iodining navels, giving a small dose of Bo-Se, and making paper collars which contain their codes, mother's code, and date of birth.

Then there is the constant cleaning of stalls, feeding, watering, and haying. Next, there are electronic records to be placed in the herd database. It adds up.

All I've managed to do in my "off" time is make cheese, attend the other animals, and keep my head above water. So, for now it's back to the salt mines. I'll check in again with news when I can.

Ta Ta.