Archive for April, 2013

New Kids!

We had been hoping that everyone would have their kids before I went back to work (tomorrow), and, for once, nature co-operated.  Unfortunately, we got all singles, and more bucks than does, but my favorite doe, Saff, gave us a doeling, at least, so I am content.  Here are the gratuitous cute pictures of the bucklings (the doeling was too fresh to be outside in the wind having her picture taken…yet…):


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We had a bunch of running around to do in town yesterday, including a vet appointment for one of the dogs.  We are desperately trying to wrap up projects, including getting the laminate flooring finished, the barn cleaned, and the house in some semblance of order.  Anything ‘big’ we want done needs to be finished before I go back to work full time on Monday, as it will be near-impossible for Hubby to accomplish much with a clingy 10 month old hanging off his leg, and no ability to do anything noisy during nap time.  Unfinished projects had been piling up, and we realized that we were never going to be able to do the eavestroughing ourselves before work starts – between the late spring and all the other half-finished things in the house, we decided to admit defeat and hire someone else to do it for us.  I was really reluctant to spend the money, but, a couple of weeks later, it is melting, and we have no icicles or large and growing puddles by the basement walls, which is completely worth it.  Maybe the basement will even stay dry this year.


I had ordered a truck load of water, so that I could run several extra loads of laundry over the weekend – I want to wash the spare-bedroom bedding, as well as all my packed-away work clothes, just so that they’re fresh.   I mentioned to the business owner that our driveway is fairly slushy right now, but that it is still freezing up at night, so would be okay as long as he came first thing in the morning.


The driver showed up at 1pm.


He made it about halfway up the drive.


Now, I like the water guys – both the business owner and this particular driver have been very good to us.  However, I was pretty frustrated with them yesterday afternoon.  You see, the driver, having gotten quite stuck, decided to try to get out, and wouldn’t hear of us calling a neighbor to bring a tractor over.  So, instead of a ten-minute tow job, we ended up with an hour and a half of diesel fumes, spinning tires, back-up beepers, shoveling, and general frustration.  While buddy did get out in the end, about a quarter of our driveway is now a huge mud pit with foot-deep dug-out ruts, and we missed our vet appointment and had to re-schedule.  We were late getting to town, late for dinner and chores, and very late getting to bed, despite having to be up early this morning to go on our annual book sale date.


Now, admitting defeat really isn’t my forte, but sometimes, even I recognize it’s better to just stop digging bigger holes and go ask for help…

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Well, spring is (supposedly) coming.  Despite the two-plus feet of snow still on our yard, we’re getting ready.  Getting ready for spring, getting ready to garden, getting ready for baby goats.  Getting ready for me to go back to work.


I go back to work in about ten days.  I’m actually looking forward to it – it’ll be nice to do things that stay done.  Laundry and dishes and cooking and picking up baby toys seems like a treadmill of just getting one finished, and having to start from scratch with one (or all) of the others – it never ends.  However, a report, once written, is done.  You can move on to the next task.  I can tidy my office, and expect it to stay that way.  I will miss the rather more leisurely pace of the days, and of course, I love being able to spend time with Hubby and Baby M, but there are advantages to this working business, too.


We’ve started a couple hundred plants for the garden, beginning back in February, with the artichokes, and planting more every couple-few weeks.  This year, I’ve tried to stick more closely with the stuff we know we like, and do a bit less experimenting, so at the moment, we’ve mostly got artichokes, tomatoes, and peppers.   I started a few pots of herbs, as well.  This year, I decided I wanted to plant more flowers, just because.  Because I like pretty things, because they attract hummingbirds and butterflies, because we don’t always have to be strictly practical.  I’ve got pansies, zinnias, rudbeckia, calendula, delphiniums…no real plan, but a mish-mash of things that appealed to me.  Some will go in pots by the back door, some in a dedicated flower bed, and some will undoubtedly be tucked here and there among the tomatoes that I plant along the south and east walls of the house.  I’m looking forward to the planting!  In the meantime, I still have squash, melons, and cukes to start; I’ll probably sit down and get that done this weekend, or maybe next.  I don’t want to start them too early, especially with the melt being so late.


Two of the three pregnant does are due any day now.  Saffron is about the size of a bus, but it doesn’t stop her from jumping up on the old hay bales we’ve stacked along the cold wall of the maternity stall, to stop drafts.   Skye is smaller than Saffron, but is still developing a bit of a waddle.  Missy is hardly looking pregnant compared to the other two, but she could have been bred up to a month later, so it’s not that shocking.  I think Sky was bred first, but I’d put my money on Saffron having her kid(s) first.  We’re making special trips out to the barn every couple of hours, now, just out of anticipation.  The three bottle babies that I brought back from Alberta are appreciating the extra attention, as are the cats.  We’ve located and gathered all our ‘kid contingency’ stuff – extra bottles and nipples, colostrum replacer, towels, rubber gloves, and the like.   None of our goats has had major problems kidding so far (besides their habit of dropping kids in snowbanks, which the maternity stall should solve), but it’s bound to happen sooner or later, and we’d like to be prepared.


While we’re waiting for overly-cute newborn goat pictures, here are a few of the also-very-cute Alberta bottle babies:


baby Splash



Alberta baby



baby Alyssum

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It’s April 7th today, theoretically six weeks from last frost.  The three feet of snow on my lawn (plus the inch that fell yesterday) suggest that my plans to plant the main garden on Victoria Day are more than a little optimistic.  It’s -7 Celsius, with no day forecast to be above freezing until the end of next week, at the earliest.  Bleh.


I started artichokes in February, twelve weeks from last frost.  They’re a couple of inches tall, now, contributing to the living room jungle.   My permanent windowsill herbs have gone a little nuts; there is a brief span, spring and fall, when the sun is strong enough to really get them growing, and still low enough in the sky to shine directly in the south window.   My scheffelara has grown a foot in the last few weeks.


seed starts


I sat down this afternoon with a bag of dirt and a bag of seeds.  The result is an inability to find my kitchen table.  Again.  Today’s focus was mostly herbs and flowers; I decided not to pot up any more tomatoes until it looks like spring might actually come, as they do seem to get leggy if I start them too soon.  But we’ve got flats of calendula, zinnia, rudbeckia, pansies, dianthus, and basil on the go, now.  Potential beauty, beautiful potential, right there in my kitchen.  Planting seeds feels like such a hopeful thing to do; an act in defiance of this apparently never-ending winter…



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April 1st, 2003, I was working at a job I didn’t like very much, living in a place I often found quite lonely.  I had just gotten a dog (Fox) from the SPCA, and was on the road a lot between where I worked in Alberta and where my family lived in Saskatchewan, 8 hours away.  My grandma was in the hospital, with cancer.  It was not a very happy time.


April 1st, 2006, I was kicking back in a little ocean town in Morocco, writing a joke email to my family that I had been hired as a camel tour operator.  I had taken a year off work to travel, and had been away from Canada for around five months by that time.  I can still smell how that little town smelled, with its cooking tagines and salt and rotting fish.   I had been in Morocco for a few weeks, and was heading up to meet a friend in Portugal.   I took a surfing lesson from a man who spoke no English, and (mostly) survived, though I did get a board to the face.


April 1st, 2007, was around the time I met Hubby.  Neither of us remembers the exact date, but it was Easter time.  Our first date was at a little 50’s diner, and we showed up driving matching little white beater cars.  I remember the way his huge hands engulfed his coffee cup, which he turned around and around, a sweet nervous gesture.


April 1st 2009, Hubby and I were in Guatemala, backpacking there and in Belize for a month, as a ‘honeymoon’ prior to getting married.  We lost our luggage, climbed a volcano (well, okay, I hired a horse), poked around some incredible ruins, watched the Easter parades in Antigua, and had a grand old time.   We traveled so well together!  I knew then, for sure, that we were a truly good match.


April 1st, 2011, we had just taken official possession of our acreage in Saskatchewan.  We (I) got enthusiastic, and ordered fifty day-old chickens, four goats, and a tractor to plow up an enormous garden.  We survived.  Barely, some days, and with chickens in our tub for a week, but we survived.


April 1st, 2012, I was getting ready for baby M’s arrival, painting, cleaning, re-arranging the house, and planning the garden.


Today, I am bottle-feeding three goats, getting ready for three does to kid, and have just ordered another twenty-five day old chicks.  We’re planning another big garden, and I already have a ton of plants started, with plans to plant a whole bunch more next weekend.  I go back to work at the end of the month, and Baby M is finally starting to eat and sleep predictably.   He’s an awesome kid.


I am a very lucky girl.  It’s been an amazing decade.



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