Once again I must ask for your forgiveness, my friends, with regards to the tardiness of my blog posts. The new rhythm of a spring daily life on the homestead has left me with little time, and at times little energy, to write. Today though is a day off from work, and it is raining very heavily here in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have just reawaken after having gone back to bed after completing the morning chores. For the moment I sit listening to the rain on the metal roof and watching a summer Tanager trying to attack himself in the reflection of the cabin window.
Now that spring has arrived, it seems that there is not a moment that should not be filled with something to be done. The goats, which have been here for over a month now, have learned the daily routine, which as I understand by their nature, is most favored. They get milked twice daily, once in the morning by myself at about 5:30 am and then at the same time in the evening by my wife. The mornings start for me with an alarm at 5am, then I throw on some clothes and it’s off to feed and water the chickens and rabbits in back of the house. Then it is a hike down the hill to the pond to put out food for the ducks, which we no longer confine to their house at night, but let them stay on the pond. Then back up to the house to get a bucket of warm, soapy water before heading to the goat house to milk the girls. After I have milked, washed all the equipment, and put it back in its place, the clock usually reads about 6:30am. Now it is time to start the pre-work routine of washing up, breakfast, and watching the weather channel. I rarely watch the news any more; the weather always seems more relevant. Then off to work, a 40 minute drive. To be honest my wife (which I say here because she prefers I not put her name down) does most of the work while I am away earning a paycheck. I return close to sundown to help wrap up the day. Days off work, such as today are filled with trips to the hardware store or feed store, and a plethora of other chores, which are never-ending. This though, is not a bad thing as it has helped me cut my television-viewing down drastically.
The goats seem to be doing well. Caro, the Alpine/Toggenberg mix, definitely has a like for human contact. We have a scrub brush in their house that she loves to be brushed with, and was the first of the goats that would let us take her for a walk on a leash, as you can see my mother-in-law doing below.
The other two nubians, Sidda and Vivi, are coming around though, especially since we discovered their love of raisins.
Our milk over-floweth from the three ladies. We have been drinking it raw, and when it is fully chilled it is so delicious. But being the child I am, I have to keep the chocolate syrup handy, for the milk is even more heavenly when it is laced with chocolate.
Among the other things happening here on the homestead was the addition of 100 channel catfish to the pond this week. We hope to have them as a occasional food source in the coming years, a well as just another fish to catch for the family and guests that like to come out to our place for family dinner.
River the cat has spent most of the past few rainy days in her favorite spot, the front porch swing. Surveying her kingdom and standing guard against all intruders is what I’m sure she would claim, but daytime naps is what actually seem to fill her time.
We have planted most of our gardens, but the constant rain of the past weeks has made it difficult. On the other hand those plants that are in the ground are loving it, as long as they can survive being trampled by the duck squad that in the rains seems to feel free to travel all over the place.