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Rikke's Notes: The Weekly Round

Rikke here, Randy is doing the daily farm listing, but I thought I'd chime in from time to time, because I can!

It's snaining today (rain and snow together!) and I washed my hair this morning, so I don't think I'm going to go out and freeze my hair off. Which means I'm inside, at the computer with a ham and cheese bagel sandwich, some homemade (and homegrown!) pickles, and homemade cheese. Perhaps soon, it'll be homegrown ham as well!

For the last week of good weather, cold but no rain, I embarked on a project to prune and clear the side garden. Randy helped when he had time. You can see the pictures in the post one or two below this one. My goals: 1. Get off my butt and get some work done 2. Rescue the roses and plants I loved from being overgrown and overrun with ivy 3. Start training my body early for the farm season 4. Be outside with my dog and my animals 5. Get the big 'garden' chores done before the farm season starts in earnest.

I accomplished most of that. In the last 8 days I went from working for about 90 minutes total and needing to sit down after 30 for a break because of my aching back, to working for 180 minutes total and needing to sit down after 60 minutes. A marked improvement. I can feel all the muscles that I built up in my 30's during my bodybuilding phase waking up and coming back into fitness. It'll be a slow journey, but already I'm stronger.

Most of the roses were rescueable. A few have given up the ghost. The lilac, which is a miniature variety and only supposed to grow to 4-5 ft tall, had to be cut back from about 12 ft tall! It won't flower for a year or two, but I hope this renews it. I've cut back one of the rhodies hard, will do the others after they flower. I know from experience I could cut them to the roots and within two or three years they'd need cutting again! The highbush cranberry, growing a towering 20 ft tall and wide, is now about 8 ft wide and 10 ft tall.

The side garden is done, it'll need weed-eated every month, but it's basically ready to go. Next week I'll move to the front beds and the 'big' rose garden. Next month is going to be the big herb garden renovation. Assuming weather permits, of course.

I stopped milking the does last week and we took down the fence panels between the does' enclosure and the main enclosure. The goats can now get right up by the driveway and they do so. I have started what I hope I can keep as a tradition of sitting with them when it's not raining. I'd forgotten how soothing that can be. The older goats gather around me, and even if it's really cold, it's not that bad because warm goat bodies are pressing on me, keeping me warm. They nibble on my clothes and hair, and I scratch them and talk to them. Every once in a while one belches. Heh. Some of the goats don't like being touched, and they move away a bit, but keep an eye on the goings on. Many of the younger goats do want to be touched, but are quite shy, so they watch carefully from a few feet away, moving in for a furtive scratch now and again.

The chickens ring the area at my feet, adroitly moving between the goats' legs. They get scratched from time to time. Down at the far pen the bucks watch. At my back, just outside the fence is the dog. The only animals missing are the feral cats.

Here's Miss Mack and her brood, Florence and Genevieve (and an honorary Caramel) waiting for me to come into the pen and take a seat.  Mack's to the right.  First daughter, Florence, is next to her.  Second daughter, Genevieve is next to Flo.  Honorary daughter, Caramel, is on the left.



This is Audrey, the runt from 2010.  She's very small still, but a strong little thing.  She is shy and watches the others get attention, sometimes asking for it herself.

Here's Brulee, last year's runt.  She's still very much the smallest goat we have, and will probably always be so.  She too is shy, but coming around!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
farmleaf
Jan. 15th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
You need a cat? I have a cat you can have. His name is Ash and he's an absolute terror. :) There are days when I wish I could sell him for medical experiments but then he'll come in and snuggle with me and all will be right with the world again. The snuggles are pretty rare, though. He's usually too busy killing mice outside.

Also, if you're seriously looking for a cat or two to be barn or farm cats, try the Humane Society. They have a barn cat program that matches semi-feral or outdoor-only cats with farms in need of good mousers.
foxdogfarm
Jan. 15th, 2012 07:15 am (UTC)
Actually, I should have phrased that better. The only thing missing from my sit-down with the feral cats. We have two :)

I would like to get some more eventually. I want them to stay in the barn and do vermin patrol there. Our current feral cats live in the garage, which is great. They do a great job (as I know from when we didn't have a feral cat for about 6 months).

I didn't realize about the humane society and barn cats. Last time I looked (admittedly not here in this county, long story) I couldn't get the cats I wanted (mother and sister of my two boys) because they were going into a 'harmful' farm environment. Better to gas them, I guess. Idiots! (this rescue place was over in Seattle, like I said, long story).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )