Friday, December 10, 2010

Seven Weeks Already

Well, it’s hard to believe it’s been seven weeks since the bucklings made their way to a new home on that rainy Saturday.  Surprising, too, that it’s been that long since I’ve posted to the blog.  As sometimes happens, the days become routine, and blur into weeks, and - apparently - months without the muse tapping me on the shoulder to write and share.

I still miss the babies, though I have been grateful from Day One for the fact it takes much less time to handle all the goats in the morning and at night, especially now that it is pitch-black dark at both of those chore times.  I also don’t miss the smell, though I do miss their spunky playfulness and cries of greeting when we come home or step outside.  I have yet to move their crate from the barn to create more space for the other goats in there now that it’s no longer needed.  Perhaps this weekend will be time.

Salsa’s milk production is slowly lessening as time goes by, and I wonder sometimes if she will be as good as Imbri and continue to produce milk long after her babies were weaned.  I hope she will because, though she makes sure to remind me every three weeks that she can be bred again, there are no registered bucks within easy reach to breed any of the goats to this year.  Time will tell.

One reason I decided to update the blog is that I made a mental note this morning of something that might be of interest, which is something that hasn’t happened in a while.

My days begin when the alarm clock goes off at 5:00 a.m.  I look out the window and groan at how dark it is outside.  It feels like I should still be sleeping, and I don’t want to venture out with my flashlight to begin the rounds.  Rainy days are especially difficult, facing the chill, wet and mud.

The routine in the morning is that all the goats go out of the barn except Salsa.  I lead Imbri to the milk stand, while Lily, Luna and Moonshine stop and hang out nearby until I herd them toward their pen.  Even though they know the way, they seem nervous in the dark and don’t want to go without me or without my flashlight guiding their way.  I put the three goats into their pen, milk Imbri and add her to the group, then fetch Salsa for her turn on the milk stand.

Often I find half of the herd snuggled down in hay and reluctant to get up when I step inside the barn with leashes in hand.  Lily is usually up and waiting for me, so I often clip her leash on first, and scratch her neck and shoulders while watching to see who will get up first.  Salsa starts pushing the other goats around, head butting them to continually establish her position as “herd queen,” often sending goats careening into my legs.

The youngest goats (Luna and Moonshine) are most reluctant to go outside.  During the winter time, leashes are a must or they will refuse to leave the barn, or worse, go walking right by the entrance to their pen and up the driveway.  Being that she is in heat again, Salsa was in fine form this morning, jostling the other goats, and trying to get to the door and get outside, baaah-ing loudly the whole time.  I had a hand on her collar and was tugging on the leashes for the other goats, trying to encourage them to get out into the dark mist..... 

Suddenly, Salsa jerks forward and out the door, pulling me behind her.  I knew I didn’t want her on the loose in heat, because she travels far and fast, so I hung on and dug my heels in, skidding on mud as the rest of the goats decided that it was fine to go outside after all, and ran past us.  Muttering curse words under my breath, and glad that I didn’t fall on my keister in the mud, I got Salsa back to the barn and inside, hearing her jump on the door as I turned the latch.

Moonshine had his big head in the feed dish on the milk stand, and I shooed him away while getting Imbri up and situated, telling Lily that no, she’s not allowed to head butt Imbri while she’s on the milk stand.

Thankfully, the rest of the morning routine went as planned, and hard rain held off long enough so I didn’t get soaked to the skin.  The mud on my jeans is something I’m starting to get used to again, and the head cold I’ve been struggling with all week the biggest annoyance.  I will be glad to get extra rest this weekend, and hope that I can find the space for that, amongst household things that have to be done, transcription, and preparing for the holidays.

In case I don’t post before then, here’s hoping each of YOU have a wonderful holiday season, filled with light, love, peace, joy, and renewed hope for the best and brightest future for you and your families.

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