A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
March kids and goats
The daylight is waking us up around seven a.m. The sun is pouring into the house all afternoon and into the evening. It is so bright outside, that I've been needing sunglasses on while outside doing afternoon chores. The kids and I have been getting out most afternoons for a walk. We've been choosing a select few goats to come along as well. Two does get left out as they've taken to butting Avery and Noah when given the opportunity. Rose and now Zinnia are getting left behind because they are too uncomfortably pregnant, and while I thought a walk would still be good for them, Zinnia complained, bawled the whole way on her last walk- poor thing.
Avery got this new snowsuit - Thankyou Grandma! As you can see it is cute if a little impractical. Avery is getting opinionated about what she wants to wear these days. She is into pink, purple and pockets. I do not recall Noah being choosy about his clothes when he was two.
Noah has been enjoying the freedom of walking on top of the snow, venturing away from the driveway and trails. We had some serious winds a while back that seemed to compress the snow.
This is Zinnia on her last walk for a while. She has two due dates, as I bred her once and then she continued to act like she was in heat for the following week, so I re-bred her six days later. The due date I put on the calender for the goats is 150 days from when they are bred. They tend to kid a few days earlier. Zinnia's first due date was this Friday, so we started checking on her at night and throughout the day last Monday. Of course, once you start watching goats constantly, they act totally suspicious and like they are about to go into labor at any moment - at least the first doe of the season does- most likely I'm just overly jumpy. Zinnia is so uncomfortable right now, she paces, paws at the ground, nudges and nips at her belly, scratches her head with her back hoof, paws some more. Then when she tries to lay down she stops half way so she is sitting on her hind haunches unsure of how to lower herself down any further, before rising and pacing some more. She shifts her weight, grunts, huffs and begins chewing her cud again, but only after staring off as though she is closely paying attention to something internal, eyes glazing over as I wonder if she is having an early labor contraction - nope.
Zinnia is either at day 151, or more likely, day 145. She and her mom are in their own stall and pen. We can monitor them on the "goat cam" which is a security camera in their stall which is wired to our TV. This makes late night checks oh so much easier. I just get out of bed, turn on the TV, watch for a few minutes and go back to bed, rather than getting dressed in under and outer layers, boots, gloves, hat and headlamp to trek down that slippery slope and disturbing a bunch of sleeping goats. We've been going to bed and getting up early. Last night the alarm went off too many times, I think every 4-5 hours should suffice. Although, when the overly pregnant goat is pacing late at night instead of sleeping, you've got to wonder if she knows something you don't.
This is Zuri. Hard to believe that she is due in just two weeks, but she is! Her udder is just starting to take shape. So far she is keeping up with the un-bred doelings, running, jumping, letting them know she is still boss. Yesterday I moved three does up to our extra top pen, reserved for breeding and this time of year, when we need to weed out any extras who aren't close to kidding. So Xoe, who is bred but not due till May, and her daughter'sYin and Asia are up next to the bucks and not too happy about the arrangement, but everyone else is. Now, Zuri and Xan, the next does due, won't be picked on. The doe pen is peaceful and calm, for the moment.
We are a family of four (with one more on the way), living in the Arctic Boreal Forest above Fairbanks, in the Interior of Alaska. I write about our simple life and trying to keep our life simple in a day when the typical American life is anything but. When I first started writing this blog I had a toddler and a baby and we were a growing homestead. I wanted to share our day to day and all the lessons we learned along the way, from mixing our own chicken feed to goat kidding season and cheese making. As our children have grown, home schooling has really taken over and I have had to examine every aspect of our lives to keep our days simple yet fruitful. These days you will still find me posting and sharing pictures of our chickens and garden, berry picking and salmon processing. I also hope to be writing about home schooling decisions and lessons as well as other interests and hobbies the kids and I explore. Reader interest and feedback is what keeps me writing, so please leave lots of comments!
The here and now of our homestead is what I'm writing about. Compelled by a sense that we are participating in something significant, heading back to our roots... this is my attempt to share what we are learning along our journey. For those of you on similar paths, whether you are raising kids, a flock of chickens, a couple goats or run a farm, well I'm hoping to learn from you as well, so feel free to put in your two cents!