Motherhood and Goats

Viney headshotWe’re under attack from the blackberry bushes. No, that’s not a metaphor, nor am I being overly dramatic. They are truly trying to take over. They’re encroaching into the yard, across the driveway and slowly but surely gaining ground toward the house. I dream about them at night. More like nightmares really. That one day we’ll wake up and find that they’ve completely encompass the house and we’ll become prisoners in a blackberry vine cell. It’s not pretty.

Yesterday while I was out watering and weeding the kitchen herb bed and flowers I decided to pull out a goat or two to help with the blackberry problem. After all I have goats, they view blackberry leaves as a form of goatie crack cocaine. I figured it’s a treat for them and saves me some work. Win-win!

I pulled out a couple girls and Murphy laid down close by to keep an eye on them (I’m not sure if he’s guarding them or keeping them under surveillance because he views them as suspicious) and I went back to weeding . It was during this perfect moment with the sun shining brightly, a slight breeze that floated over the skin and the buzz of fat, lazy bumble bees that I had a deep bonding moment with my goat, Viney.

She had wandered behind the shed, out of view from the rest of the goats in the pasture. Personally, I think she was hiding from her kids. They were yelling to her and she was quietly ignoring them as she munched away contently on her blackberry bushes. Watching this I immediately flashed back in my memory to a time when my kids were small and I would steal downstairs while they were playing and sneak a bite or two of the hidden “good” chocolate. I think I had the same content look on my face as Viney did munching on those blackberry leaves. As I was thinking about this Viney glanced over at me and our eyes met. Just then I connected with her on a level I never thought possible. We were both moms who hid from our kids while we raided the secret stash. It was a profoundly bonding moment…..and then she went after my roses and I had to chase her away from the flower beds pretty much killing the moment.  But for that brief moment we connected as only mothers can. Sharing the struggle of deep love for our children…..and the desire not to share our snacks. Motherhood really is a sisterhood that stretches across all boundaries.

 

Goat Feeders, Mosquitoes and Other Life Questions

Ramblings from the farm:

Well it’s day two of unemployment and its started with a bang. We’ve been exploring new ways to feed the bucks because a) they are so incredibly wasteful (I’m pretty sure that’s a male gene thing) and b) whenever we’ve tried to modify their feeder they’ve managed to get their head stuck and yell pitifully until we rescue them (again, I’m pretty sure it’s a male gene thing).

The most recent modification to their feeder apparently did not meet with their approval. I went out this morning to feed and found the feeder tipped over on its side and pushed up against the gate. Did I mention Crack Shot was shoved in between the gate and the feeder and was sweetly calling to me? That’s right the buck who normally wants to kill me was suddenly being loving. That alone was enough to freak me out.

I tried every which way to reach in and push, pull or manhandle the feeder out of the way, concerned that poor Crack Shot was stuck. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit it took me a good 5-10 minutes of struggling with the feeder, all the while battling the million and one mosquitoes that were dive bombing my head, before I realized…..HE’S A GOAT, for goodness sakes if he really wanted to move he would climb over it, because …….HE’S A GOAT! I decided to test this theory by chucking a compact flake of hay over my head into the center of the pen and sure enough he jumped over the feeder in one bound and ran to eat. *sigh* Sometimes, I’m a little slow.

I managed to pry the gate open far enough to squeeze through and set the feeder upright. I then rescued the hay off the ground (don’t judge, that stuff’s like gold!) and put it into the feeder. Ok, all was right in the world again. Now off to feed the girls.

As I was feeding the girls I heard a giant crash and found the boys had tipped their feeder again! Did I mention they really don’t like the new modifications to their feeder? They aren’t shy in expressing themselves either. This time to make things a little more interesting Crack Shot climbed inside the feeder. Obviously he felt I needed more of a challenge.  Somehow, I managed to coax, cuss and prod him into leaving his new found food fort and righted the feeder AGAIN.

At this point I decided I needed to return to the house and have my first cup of coffee. Clearly I was in a battle of wits with the goats and it wasn’t going well for me. I needed reinforcements in the form of caffeine.

So here I sit, sipping my coffee and pondering life’s great questions, like the best way to feed a goat without all the waste and why God created mosquitoes. While these are great questions and worthy of contemplation, I suppose I better get to work. On the agenda this week is fixing up our old horse trailer.

trailer after bath

I started off pressure washing it to knock off as much dirt and rust as I could. It did okay but there was still a lot left to do. Next came sand blasting. But our sand blaster just wasn’t a up to such a large project. Hmmmm, maybe a grinding wheel? Except we couldn’t find our grinding wheel. *sigh* on to Plan D. I’m headed out to start sanding the trailer. Between the mosquitoes, the hard labor and getting sand and paint grit in places I’m pretty sure the Lord never intended, I’ve got to admit I’m not looking forward to the task. But tackling projects with what we have on hand is how we roll on this farm. Besides after I finish the sanding I get to play with Bondo. A new farm skill to add to my farm resume.

 

Until next time my farm friends.

M~