Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Breathe Deeply~ Ouch.

Wow. It's been awhile, eh? No one said moving was easy. Phew!

Well.....this entry really isn't going to have much of a focus, other than catching you up with a brief synopsis of the last two weeks or so.

Sorry 'bout that!

Life in Jack Creek has been busy. The dogs and I officially moved into the cabin with Ed on May first. It was a snowy, cold day....which has lasted two weeks, for the record.

Since move-in, I have spent my days unpacking box after box, bag after bag, cleaning a house that hasn't officially been lived in for months, and carting heavy pieces of furniture from one place to another.

Not to mention, in the evenings, when Ed returns home from work, I help him with preparing the goat area for the arrival of my four nubians.

All of this hard work has finally taken its' toll on me, and my ribs and back are revolting against it all. I fear I may have refractured an old rib injury from two years ago with my careless lifting, heaving, pushing and pulling over the last three weeks.... I see a doctor this evening at 4 PM.

On a good note, the pain has forced me to slow my pace over the last 48 hours. I am finally sitting down. Breathing. Relaxing. Observing.

I sat in the hot tub last night after dinner (my new favorite place to be), sipping a frothy beverage. The relentless snowfall twirled above the mudroom roof. The stars shone down on me from inbetween dark clouds. Hattie plunked her muddy tennis ball down on the deck below. My ribs stopped hurting for the time being. I realized: Life is Good.

Preparing for the goats has been HARD work. We started by building them a shelter in which to sleep. And by 'we' I really mean Ed, who I am so lucky to have on my team. He is an amazing carpenter, not to mention all-around person. But you know this, I digress.

Goats do not need heat, but merely protection from the elements. As we went along with our shelter project, we experienced our first predator attack. Although it was only a skunk, and it didn't do much damage to my chicken flock, we realized that maybe our goat shelter ought to include a closing door to shut the animals in at nightfall.....and so BACK to lumber store we go for more materials.

The fencing process has been...interesting, to say the least. Because I want my chickens to be able to free-range with the goats, we decided to install a 5 ft woven wire fence all the way around the perimeter of the area, and to reinforce it with a few strands of electric fence mid-way up (nose-height to a goat) and also along the top border (to stop climbing antics, and flying escape artists). If you have ever put up any type of fencing, you know two things already: 1) It isn't easy 2) It isn't cheap. To date, we have the woven wire fence, and a gate installed. Tonight, if it doesn't rain or snow, we plan to experiment with the electric fence installation. Wish us luck.

Some other things we have had to do/buy to ready ourselves for the new pets:

  • Four feeding buckets, three for goat minerals, and one for feeding my milking doe.

  • Feed: 50lb bag of oats, 50lb bag of barley, 50lb bag of protein feed, 50lb bag of goat minerals, 50lb bag of 'silent herder' (whatever THAT is)....oh and a 50lb bag of layer feed for my chickens. (DID I MENTION MY BACK HURTS?)

  • Install a swinging wooden gate to get in and out of Goat World

  • Fill the shelter with dirt (not done yet, ribs really ruining my wheelbarrow experience)

  • Sweep out the existing old shed and try not to give myself Huntavirus in the process....

  • Order milking equipment, since NOT ONE store locally carries stainless steel milking buckets or milk strainers? really??

Anyways....you get the idea. It's alot of work! And we still haven't even brought them home from the farm yet!

In the meantime, Ed (and our bass-thumping buddy Joe) decided that he would like to raise some meat-birds this summer. After researching chickens used for meat, I ordered us 25 Cornish Cross birds that are set to arrive the second week of June through the mail! The birds grow quickly and will be ready to be processed, or killed for meat, after 8-12 weeks. That should be QUITE the experience for Ed and Joe. They seem really excited about it!

Along with the boys' meatbirds, I ordered myself some new baby Buff Orpingtons and a rooster as well. I refuse to let the skunk defeat my flock! We have never gotten baby chicks in the summer time, and I hope to keep them under the heat lamp very little because of the warmer weather. Although only time will tell how warm it will actually be....

Well, I better get going on my trip to town (it takes about 30 minutes to get to civilization from our driveway) and doctor visit.

Wish me luck with a quick healing, and forgive me for taking so long to slow down to a liveable pace.

Hugs from me and kisses from the dogs~Katie