5 January, 2016

Winter finally remembered us

I should have known when May gave us surprise kids that the weather was going to turn. Goats are infamous for kidding at the worst possible time and sure enough no sooner did she present us with her two adorable doelings than we’re suddenly having actually seasonally appropriate weather. This after spending Christmas Day running around outside in a t-shirt for the novelty of it!

Not that it’s actually been cold enough to freeze the waterlogged ground good and solid. May and her twins are still confined to a stall because the mud is four inches deep in places and I’m afraid the babies would get stuck in it like tiny unfortunate mammoths in a tar pit. Meanwhile I’m battling hoof rot with every goat except Ben and Stu (Nubian blood does goats no favors in the hoof department) and keeping a close eye on the sheep. I gotta love the Soays though, they’re charging through winter fat and happy with nary a limp, cough, or sneeze. The only change in their behavior has been a shift from hanging out in the shade to hanging out in the sun when the temperature plunged. These ridiculously hardy little sheep are a real delight.

Meanwhile the place is so much quieter with the Christmas geese gone. Ours was incredibly delicious. I told Daniel that it was the first time I’d eaten a food I only knew from Victorian novels and not been tragically disappointed! In fact we enjoyed it so much that we’ll be raising geese again. Their obnoxiousness is completely outweighed by their deliciousness, so there will be geese honking and hissing their way through the spring, summer, and fall again.

Alas for me, the sudden turn of the weather has aggravated my chronic pain issues and I’m spending more time huddled under my electric blanket and taking painkillers. Still, a hard freeze or ten (or twenty, or thirty) is what we need to reduce parasite burdens in the pastures, fleas and ticks in the dog yard, and hopefully let the black cohosh seeds I planted germinate.

Inside, dreaming of summer continues. The first sweet potato slip got big enough to come off the potato and go in a jar of water to develop roots, and there’s 5 or 6 more working on it. Those sweet potatoes will make an excellent accompaniment to the goose next Christmas.

25 March, 2011

They grow so fast…

I measured Sid again last night, one month after my last Dog Measurement Extravaganza. He’s up to 24 1/4″ right behind the shoulders, exactly the same height as Zille although he tends to look taller because he has a heck of a lot more hair than she does.

The height right behind his shoulder blades is a pretty important number. The handles of mobility harnesses for dogs top out around 9″ unless I get something custom-made for the handle. Since my ideal comfy cane height is right around 34″[1], I really need Sid to hit 25″ at least. But he’s got a while yet to get taller and I think it’s safe to say he’s going to get tall enough, at this point.

Also since I didn’t measure him until he’d been here about a month, that suggests that he’s grown at least an inch since he came here. I do know that when he arrived, he was visibly shorter than Zillekins.

In other news, this weekend is my first school field trip in, like, 17 years or something. My Civil War Military History class is going to Gettysburg. Predictably, although the weather has been FANTASTIC, on Wednesday the temps started plummeting and it’s predicted to be around 40 degrees and possibly rainy while I’m trying to tromp around a battlefield. Argh. Of all the weekends for the spring weather to turn cruddy, it had to pick this one.

[1] MY WRIST HEIGHT, WHICH IS WHERE A CANE IS SUPPOSED TO BE, IS ACTUALLY CLOSER TO 35″, BUT I FIND THAT REALLY KIND OF AWKWARD TO DEAL WITH AND HAVE MY CANE SET 1″ BELOW IT.