Sunday, March 23, 2008

Signs of Spring

The forsythia bushes at the corner
After Anabelle and Rock Lee were born, I really started to notice Spring around here. The weather also started to warm up a bit and I was more motivated to get outside.

The forsythia started to pop and periwinkles began to bloom. We are still early for daffodils, but I can see the buds beginning to swell. I expect to see a green haze in the woods very soon. If you live in Nashville and your stuff bloomed last week, don't worry, Mule Shoe Farm is right on schedule. The cool weather stays here a little longer in our cove. Our temperatures are less extreme and the changes more gradual. That's effect of the Cumberland River on our little piece of paradise.

My To Do list just exploded along with the change in season.
  • file taxes
  • build milking stanchion
  • build new compost piles
  • build goat shelter
  • clear weeds from raised beds
  • add compost to raised beds
  • plant raised beds
  • get out floating row covers
  • cover raised beds
  • wash down chicken house and feeders
  • move chicken furniture to new pen
  • put up garden fence
  • order chickens
  • build brooder boxes
  • declutter last year's market supplies
  • order business cards
  • make banner for market

And the list could go on, but at this point it gets a bit overwhelming.

So we start with the most pressing issues - like milking the goat and getting spring plants in. Oh yeah and &*()#% taxes.

I built a large part of the stanchion on a Friday afternoon with my son's help. There is still a head holder and hobble to be installed. Before you start wondering why I would want such things, remember that goats, like toddlers, don't like to be confined for any reason. They just KNOW something better is just over there. Great survival instinct. Bad milking time. Duchess is still a bit people adverse and has displayed a distinct dislike to having her udder touched by humans. But never fear. I got her number. The milking stanchion also gets a feed bucket and I can feed her grain ration while milking. Pretty soon she'll be loving it.

I also finished the new compost bins and have started to fill them.

A large portion of compost needs to be moved, but we are on our way.

It feels good to get outside and I sleep a lot more soundly after all that fresh air.

One more thing to mention. Shakers and Daisy need new parents. We simply have too many dogs and we want these two to go to good people.

Shakers is about 6 months old and a small dog with great intelligence. She is a cross between a rat terrier and Carolina cur. She would make a great house dog.

Daisy has been a house dog who is also comfortable outside. She will always be glad to see you and would be best in a yard with active older kids, say 9 or 10 and up. Free to good homes.

The Ashland City Open Air Market opens on April 12th provided the weather cooperates. Mule Shoe Farm will have shares ready the following week on April 19th.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Waiting for DaGoat

Scene 1

The Scene is a kitchen table on a bare stage. It's early morning.

Me: Does Duchess look pregnant to you? I can't tell if she's just fat and shaggy or pregnant.

Darling Husband (DH): I don't know. Will you make a cup of coffee? (I go over to the coffee pot)

Me: I'm pretty sure Buddy bred her, but I can't tell if she's really pregnant. I hope we have two goats.

DH: That's nice. I hope so, too. (I hand him the coffee). I got a lot of calls today, so don't hold dinner.

Me: Do you need the phone? I was going to check my email.

DH: No, I'll use my cell phone.

Scene 2 several days later. It's lunch time.

DH: Hey, have you seen my notebook anywhere? (I hand him the notebook from the other room) I looked at Duchess when I went by. She's strating to look pregnant.

Me: Yeah, I think so. Her udder is starting to swell up. But I can't really be sure yet.

DH: Look at her hips from the back. She really looks pregnant then.

Me: Do you want a sandwich for lunch? Yeah, you can't tell she's anything much from the front.

DH: OK. I'll have a sandwich. Her right side looks bigger than her left. Is that what it's supposed to look like.

Me: Yeah that's normal. Do you want cheese? I got American and Provolone.

DH: Provolone sounds nice.

Me: I'll bet she has her kids during the 28 degree night we're supposed to have tomorrow. Probably in the sleet.

DH: (eating his sandwich) Yeah, right. (finishes sandwich) See ya' later. (He walks out the door)

Scene 3 A week later. DH is nowhere to be seen. I'm on the phone.

Me: No. No baby goats yet. Yeah she sure looks pregnant. (pause) yeah. yeah. I know. I hope she has them soon. OK (pause) OK. That'll work. See you tomorrow. Bye. (hangs up phone and talks to dog). Hey, boy. come here. Let's go look at the goats. Come on. Let's go (they exit)

Scene 4 Two days later. It's evening. DH is in the kitchen drinking coffee. I come walking in.

DH: Hey, you got to see this. I got something to show you.

Me: Hold on. (I put a small object down on the table and lay down a purse and a bag) I'll be right there.

DH: (goes over to camera and turns it on) You gotta see this. (I walk up to him and look at the camera as he pushes buttons)

Me: Oh look. how cute. Hey that's Duchess!

DH: Yep. She had her babies. I was there. It was cool

Me: Alright! How many?

DH: Two - a boy and a girl.

Me: Cool. I wish I had been there.

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