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Monday, November 11, 2013

And a fun time was had by all. Except for the goats.

I spent two days with my middle sister over the weekend - she drove over from New Hampshire on Friday and drove back on Sunday.  It's a long drive (three and a half hours) and she doesn't have much 'her' time, so I was very grateful that she spent ALL her 'her' time with me!

We kicked off the visit with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, then a blissful walkabout in the neighboring Barnes and Noble.  It is so interesting how rural I've become...walking into the mall was like walking on the moon.  It felt so completely alien - from the sounds and smells, the lighting, the shiny surfaces...woo.  While we oohed and aahed over the books, we both came across a small picture book that sent us into hysterical laughter.  Needless to say, we each bought a copy and have continued to hoot about it all weekend.  Neither of us is particularly fond of 'crass' humor, yet this humor is definitely on the crass side - but done with such finesse that it's incredibly funny.  To us.  :)

I also got to go into the great, big JoAnn Fabrics store - heaven!  I picked up some flannel for jammie bottoms, some flannel to repair my old flannel robe that is beginning to embarrass even me, some fleece for Scrappy's winter inside jacket - I'm tired of his blankie ending up on the floor and the ensuing accusing looks.  I also picked up some bright wool yarn with which to knit a couple of holiday/birthday alligator scarves. 

We whipped up a gluten free, garlic scape pesto, (last - sob) sliced tomato, cheddar pizza and talked our heads off.  Bernice was so happy to have her Auntie C there (she loves both of her Aunties), she spent the entire evening on the couch, curled up in a happy ball, her head on Auntie C's lap.  We both went to Vermont to work on checking a few items off the parental to-do list - then we suffered through the grocery store and Wal-Mart, before fleeing to the peace of the farm.  Relatively speaking, of course.  We managed to erect a sturdy perch in the hoop house for the Great Turkey Relocation Project.  We were so excited that our plan for the perch worked perfectly, that we went to do one of those "high five" moves and neither one of us got it right.  It was another hysterical moment -- I wish we had it on video.  Then, bolstered by a glass of nice red wine, we crept out in the dark, head beams on, and moved the turkeys from the chicken coop to their new digs.  Let me tell you, those boys are BIG.  Noddy, C's charge, was so entranced by the moment that he practically swooned in her arms.  They will now spend a week learning to imprint (ohpleasegod) their new home before I let them out. 

Sunday morning was a cold, grey day, with dark clouds spitting icy rain every so often.  Perfect weather to band little goat horns.  I jest.  But that was the day we had, so my friend, AnnMarie (without whom I could not do what I do) and her brother, Farmhand, and I rounded up Sage, Chick and Apple and banded their horns.  Both Sage and Chick were disbudded by the breeders young son - an amazing fact.  I mean, would you let your inexperienced kid learn on a buyer's very expensive goat kids?  I think not - but that's what happened.  Needless to say, it was not successful and both Chick and Sage were growing scurs that were curving dangerously close to their noggins.  Apple?  Well, we were just about 100% sure she was polled (hornless).  Until little pointy horns grew up out of her hard little head.  Willo was, indeed, polled.  There was a LOT of screaming involved and only a little of it was mine.  Seriously, it does not hurt.  But it will be uncomfortable as the bands slowly kill off the horn material and they drop off.  An interesting bit of information - in case one of them whacks their horn and it bleeds (usually aLOT), AnnMarie said to keep flour in the barn - it stops up the bleeding and won't irritate their eyes like other alum based blood stop products.  Cool!  I had been clinging hanging onto a bag of whole wheat pastry flour in the freezer.  Now I know why. 

In the midst of the goat rodeo, my dear sis had to slip away.  We were all sad that night, but hope she comes back soon!

14 comments:

  1. I miss my sister, and have no hopes of soon enjoying such quality time. Maybe after both our sons are raised and gone....

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    1. Michelle - I rarely get alone time with my sisters and treasure very moment of it. I hope you and your sister get some quality time soon.

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  2. Sounds like a GREAT weekend to me. Never had a sister and my brother is a full four years and four months younger than me so once I entered high school, we didn't have a lot in common because, of course, I was an adult then (ahem) and far superior to the little twit! I envy you the closeness you have with your sisters. (Next time around I think I'll ask for a couple.)

    Having friends (and sisters) to help with difficult tasks such as banding goats or relocating turkeys makes it nearly fun.

    You sure did pack a lot into the weekend. (But when don't you?!)

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    1. Mama Pea - So, you were a stinker as a girl, were you? I had to laugh - I felt the same way when I entered high school. This particular sister is game for anything - and she loves the animals as much as I do. It is a whole lot more fun having someone to work with, though.

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    1. TM - They are worth their weight in gold.

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  4. How fun & wonderful to have your sister come for a visit (and to use her as farm labor!). Let me know how the banding goes with the goats....I've got two goats with horns that I've been meaning to band, but I'm worried about them getting it prematurely yanked off because they stick their heads through the cattle panel fence to eat their hay. I may have to wait until we have "real" fence up (that they can't poke their heads/horns through) before I try to band them.

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    1. Carolyn - Yes, everyone who comes to visit brings old, ratty clothes and work boots. So far - going on two days - they seem to be fine. I'm not sure how long it will take until they come off. I put up 2x4 fencing because my friend Kay warned me about the head-sticking problem. Of course, with goats, it doesn't matter what you put up. Someone is always getting stuck in something.

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  5. I love my siblings but we don't have much in common, however I know if I asked them to band goats with me they would, in the way loving siblings come through no matter what. Now I'm two ferries and five hours from a shopping mall the desire to shop comes over me with surprising regularity. You would think I might dress up for the occasion but I just can't give up my fleece lined flannel shirt. I find myself staring at the attire of other shoppers in surprise. I'm sure they are doing the same.

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    1. Susan - You and I seem to have the same fashion sense... :) It's nice to know your siblings would rally 'round if you needed them. It's the same with mine.

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  6. I keep a box of cornstarch in case a horn gets broken. Sounds like you had a fun weekend and a lot of helpers.

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    1. TL - Cornstarch is a good idea. I am wondering if the flour gets rancid - would it affect the goats? I may trade up to cornstarch. It's amazing how helpful an extra pair of hands can be...

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  7. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend! I too wish I had a sister. (sigh) I know how you feel about going to the mall. It's been so long that I don't even have the desire when we are in The City and drive by the silly thing! :)

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    1. Candy - I usually avoid malls like the plague. We have a HUGE one that's about an hour and quarter away. It's like a city. I avoid that altogether.

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