Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s a beautiful fairy tale world of delicately wafting snowflakes and snow-covered trees – right out of the Chronicles of Narnia. I usually walk with Cory twice a day, once after the goats’ morning feeding and once after feeding and locking them up at the end of the day. It is not easy going these days because the snow is deep and crusty, though I have trails (feet and snowshoes) to follow. Cory is light enough to walk on top of the crusted snow so tears around quite happily, chewing on small branches and snuffling into holes in the snow. We see lots of deer tracks but no deer in recent weeks. We’ve seen a red fox a couple of times from the house but nothing but birds and squirrels when we’re out in the woods. I guess we make enough noise that any self-respecting wildlife are able to avoid being seen by us!

I put a few photos in of the goats so you can see their lovely winter bellies. They don’t go outside very often though I can occasionally entice them out if they are bored and their hay feeder is empty! It’s less than two months until the first kids come and I am really looking forward to that. There is a spare box stall to use as a kidding pen and I am ready for this adventure to begin. Next year I will definitely breed them to kid earlier, even though it will be cold and they won’t be able to go outside for quite a while. Once we get some sort of commercial system going I’ll need to separate the kids, milk the mothers and bottle feed the kids. I haven’t worked with this sort of system since my first year with goats and I think it will take some getting used to. If I could figure out how to manage a large number of milkers without separating kids, I would do it but haven’t any ideas yet.

We visited another organic farm last Friday to pick up a half a ton of oats for the goats. This farmer raises grain and livestock (pigs and chickens) about 1 ½ hours from us in Havelock. We piled Cory into the truck to come along with us – he doesn’t get many opportunities for car travel and we want him to experience it for more than just vet visits. He’s a bit nervous but does well as long as he is close to one of us. We arrived at the farm to discover a very large transport truck stuck in the driveway, blocking the road. Fortunately it wasn’t a busy road and the odd car that came along was able to drive around the truck, into the driveway and then back out again on the other side. We were also able to slip by the big truck and get loaded with oats before heading away. The truck eventually got pulled out with an “all hands on deck” effort by a tow truck and a tractor with chains on the wheels! It was an icy driveway but our truck managed to get in and out okay. The oats are lovely!

This is an exciting week in our household as Will applies for his Canadian citizenship on Friday. He has everything ready: paperwork filled out, photos signed, copies of US citizenship and Canadian residence documents in duplicate and is just waiting for the magic date to arrive when he’s allowed to sign it and send it all in. We don’t know how long it will take before he can sit for the exam but he’s already started studying so will be ready any time. What a party we will have when Will becomes a real Canadian citizen! We’ll have to have like a red and white theme, drink Canadian beer, eat back bacon and maple syrup, eh?

A few nights ago Will and I went out to a dinner put on by a couple of energetic neighborhood ladies, celebrating one of their sons coming home to the neighborhood but also – we discovered – supported by the local Baptist church to encourage younger (hey, that’s us!) people to the congregation. The Baptist pastor and his wife are lovely people and I like all the other Baptist types I’ve met, plus the food is great! However I don’t think I could be a Baptist, even a pretend one, for the sake of those perks alone. Most of our neighbors belong to that church (most of our neighbors are related, too) and it’s nice to go to community events with them, I guess we’ll just have to try and gracefully avoid the issue of religion. What would I call myself? Not totally an atheistic but probably more likely a pagan (goat worshipper perhaps?). The nice thing was that we met a young couple from nearby Notre Dame who have working work horses on their farm. And these guys are funny, too. I really miss funny people – I know they’re out there but I just haven’t met many of them yet. Of course, when I say FUNNY I mean people with MY sense of humour (people who find me funny, too!). Anyway, I am really keen to visit their place and meet their horses. They are very enthusiastic horse people who sound quite keen to share their knowledge. It sounds like the horses are mainly pulling sleighs and working in the woods though they said they raked hay for the first time with them last summer. Wow, and so close! We’ll have to get out and visit soon.

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One Response to “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Good luck on your exam Will. I know you will ace it. Enjoy your celebration!

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