Friday, the lovely woman (and her brave husband) who sold me the Nigerians, met me in the afternoon to band the ram lambs. Kay volunteered to cut her spinning group date short to help, too. We rounded up the youngsters and, to give it a literary bent, it was the Three Bears all over again. Linden was too big for the equipment and a larger elastrator must be found. Juniper was too small, and gets a few weeks reprieve. Banyan was just right, and walked funny for a couple of hours.
Saturday was F.U.N. I was up early and had chores finished by 7:15a, so I could drive over to a little dairy goat farm to try my hand at milking. I didn't do too badly for my first try. My very generous and patient teacher was Mary Lou, who raises Nigerians, milks them and makes cheese. For fun. She lives on a beautiful place with a big pond, nine goats, 20 ducks and 2 geese. I had a wonderful visit and am invited back whenever I want. Then came my weekly sojourn to Vermont, where I ran a few errands (goat treats, mineral block, groceries), did some planting for my mother, had lunch with my parents, trotted back to the homestead, started on the chicken coop (two loads down, 30 to go), raked llama beans and spread them around, fought Japanese beetles, reinforced the gate on the hoop house, did four loads of laundry, and let the tweenage pullets out with the big girls for the first time - under supervision.
Sunday was back to monsoon season. The dogs and I got caught halfway between home and farm and were soaked to the skin by the time we hoofed it back home. For added enjoyment, there was thunder, which meant that Bernie was a sodden hysteric on the end of the leash. After toweling us all off and letting Bernie under the bed for the duration, I retired to the kitchen to bake two pies for the library function (pecan and peach custard), brownies for the barn crew, and a peach/blueberry/raspberry cobbler for a cookout on the Fourth. I also made a large batch of Scandinavian-style egg salad (horseradish/capers). Then I cleaned the house and delivered the pies.
Monday morning was a frenzy of getting everything together for the shearer. I take full advantage of having the sheep on their bums and planned on Cocoa's CDT vaccination, hooves trimmed, wormer where needed, and I wanted to check Flora's temperature. She was sounding like a steam engine - she's 10 and tends to have respiratory problems. When it gets hot and humid, she starts wheezing. Melanie arrived early to help and we had a very nice sit-down visit until Kevin arrived at 11. I had just tricked them into the hoop house and slammed the gate shut behind them. This left poor Melanie to scramble in and out of my convoluted gate system to get the tarp, plastic bags and medical kit. (Thank you, Melanie!!)
|Flora as a bean bag|
|Hoosier, as an Alien Giraffe|
I am back to about 90 percent. Live and learn. Of course, one would think that, having lived through this more than once, I would learn more quickly.
|Sage, looking sage-y|