A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It is an interesting life some days! LOL!

Today ended up not going quite as planned but quite well overall.

I woke up with this cold really settled in my chest. Ugh. I thought I had gotten over it and now it is settled where I don't want it. I called in sick for work, figuring that I really shouldn't go share this with fragile elderly people, to say the least.

That does have a half full portion too! I got to be home with the kiddos in the morning for the adventures of the day. Three of the kids had taken shifts (their own idea) watching the monitor out in the goat birthing stall. We have a doe definitely nearing kidding soon. We are so blessed to have now gotten a wireless camera that can go out there - trekking out of a warm bed several times a night to check on a goat who may or may not be actively laboring is just a tough thing. You know, snuggly warm bed with husband sleeping next to me, does not make me want to pull on muck boots and barn jacket to go out. It has been worse, we have had to do this in much worse weather. But, we were gifted with this system by someone who is no longer raising goats. It was such a huge gift, because we could see the benefit, but we would not have placed it too high on the priority list, because, well, you know, pull on muck boots and go out! Just do it.

So, three of the kids decided to take shifts last night - on their own - and worked out a system and slept in the living room where the monitor is placed. LOL! Needless to say, they were tired this morning but reported that she had just paced last night. This morning she clearly is showing signs of things happening, but not too imminent either, not in hours anyway. Maybe. It can go fast. We have learned there are no real guarantees.

So, we let the three kids snooze some. And then the three big boys were invited to a friend's house for a visit. So they went to that (two of them still dragging a bit).

So, the monitor has been going all day, the goat directly checked on multiple times today. Needless to say, it is flurrying here, with the possibility of more snow, or at least snow south of here, and NOW she is showing more signs. You probably don't want the actually graphic information, but suffice it to say that things are moving along. And it is nightfall again. Which means that it will be another night of monitoring one way or the other. I may shoo them to bed and sit and read - I can pretty easily wake up throughout the night if I just have to check on something. I know that will make tomorrow harder, but we don't want any cold babies or frozen babies. For some reason the goats keep breaking the heat lamp out there!!!!

And yes, we still have a baby goat in the laundry room. Sigh. It is yet too cold for him to go outside and risk his lungs after his bout of pneumonia. I would be so heartbroken to find him dead. So, he is behind a baby gate in the laundry room. However, he definitely gets bored! So, then we strap on baby goat diapers (two diapers taped together work quite well) and let him wander around with supervision! It is so funny because he is so excited and he literally just hops around, bounds around chasing the kids. It is the funniest thing to see and actually to hear too - strange clomping with all four little feet landing in a different sequence than his walking. Unfortunately, then he gets interested in lots of things - from the tops of counters, and everywhere - he has eaten magazines, pulled all sorts of things down, pulled off the weather stripping on the door between the laundry room and the dining room - the laundry room used to be a black porch, hence the weather stripping. At least we don't need it anymore! Oh, well. So he can stay out and play until he is just getting into too much trouble and then he goes back with the gate back up! Poor guy is just bored, but we don't have any other little ones to put in with him and it is just such a small place, I don't think that this would necessarily solve the problem. Spring will come! It has too! But it is terribly funny too! He is such a character, being raised in the house will make him such a people friendly buck that when he gets big he is likely to be more gentle than he might have been otherwise!

On another note, the horses seem to be getting spring fever too! In one of our pastures, we had added on another one, and we leave that gate open. Well, in the deep snow, the horses really don't like going too deep or off of the paths they have made. So, they have not gone out into the far meadow since the snow got deep. This morning I sat up in bed, seeing them way down at the far area of the meadow enjoying the sunshine! It was so neat to see them really spread out and looking pleased about it! And then for some reason they got a spurt of spunkiness and all five came charging back to the barn area - tails raised high, ears up and just a look of pure joy in their movements! It was so beautiful! To me, that is a real sign of spring!

Kids just came in from checking on our doe - she is showing much increased signs of active labor! Things are getting serious! Of course, it is snowing now! They always seem to pick changes in weather to kid! At least it isn't 30 below or a sleet storm this time!!!!! I am so glad for our increased experience this season, we have a lot more in our repertoire of what to do and have really done more and seen more, so we are expecting a successful kidding season! We have the one in labor now, one that should go in another week or so, and several in the next month and a few more the month after that - basically between now and May we will be busy! We tried to time it for warmer weather - healthier for mamas and babies and easier on us too. Our modifications on the birthing stall are helpful - a calf hut we put a heat lamp inside (though they kick each other out of it), a hay rack, and the camera are big helps. We did plastic the walls some to reduce the drafts. There are gaps between the boards, so it isn't as secure as we would like, but the calf hut makes a huge difference. Now if we could only figure out how to protect the heat lamps from the goats smashing them while still keeping them close enough to truly provide a good source of heat. Hmmmmm....

Each year, things get better, we learn more, we add on. I think about what we started with - the house and entire place were so abandoned and overgrown and neglected. So, each year we have picked one area to work on. This year it was the milking parlor (basically an enclosed shed that we keep the milking stands in where we can hand milk out of the wind and weather), the birthing stall and a good windbreak in the larger "barn". Last year it was keeping the water faucet thawed so we could actually have a water source for troughs - though at the house and needing a hose, it was a huge improvement from hauling five gallon pails of hot water from the bathtub in the house to fill two water troughs! (My elbows gave out that winter and I ended up with awful tendonitis that was just excruciating.) And we moved the henhouse into a more secure area - our straw bale henhouse unfortunately the winter before was sabotaged by the sheep who walked right over the fences when we had the most snow I have ever seen! By spring, it just leaned to one side - where they had eaten a whole out of it. Sigh. No sheep here anymore. I would like to try again someday, but we just don't have the set up for it. (I am trying to learn to spin and would love my own source, but I really probably don't need it at this point - though wouldn't it be fun??)

So, Life just keeps moving. Isn't that great??? It is always an adventure. We are making memories, some days better than others, but generally very good!

Update on #9 - he is 33 weeks along today! They are still predicting that he will come early, but the good news is that he has resumed growing!!!! Praise God! He still measures small for gestational age - "growth retarded", but at least he is growing! And I made enough in the last two weeks that I can get the first set of fees in to the adoption agency! And the tax return is coming, which will finish it off!!!!! I am going right now to get that packet fully assembled! Monday's mail here it comes!

And back to the Olympics!!! We are having a blast learning geography through this! Makes it all so much more interesting! I don't know how much more science and history and geography we could squeeze into this week!
Have a great week!

Look for the bright spots around you, even when it doesn't look so bright. We have so much to be grateful for! All of us. Whether it be health (or improvement or home of that), for meals, for clothing, for a roof over our heads - no matter how simple it might be, for the hope of the sunrise tomorrow, and for the people in our lives. I am thankful for the laundry piles - it means kids are healthy and active!!! So, as I wash each load I try to thank God for the bodies that dirtied these clothes, for their joy and enthusiasm and activity! (Gotta turn it around from being just a dreaded chore!!!)

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