A Summer Week on the Farm

The beginning of the week started off like any other week…before a big NASCAR race; lots of traffic, crazy big campers cutting you off, out-of-staters who don’t know how to drive…Yeah, just a normal week.

Friday the vet came to finish shots and draw the blood for the CAE test on the goats.  We may want to “rent-a-buck” in the future and many farms want a negative CAE test on your herd.  If we decide to sell any babies next year, it will be nice to state that we are CAE negative.

We had the same vet come out and sadly we do not like her.  She is skittish and after this last round my boyfriend announced she would not be coming back.  She got through all the shots, but not without a lot of poking, which just makes the goats scream even louder than normal.  She also gave our Nubian, Pearl, her rabies shot, which this same vet had told us our other goats had to be at least twelve weeks old to get.  Pearl is only eight weeks old.  Whether it was from the shot or just the trauma of being poked a dozen times, the poor thing ended up having diarrhea all weekend.

Now, my boyfriend and I are empty-nesters and really had thought we were done with all the “poopy-butt” stuff.  Clearly not.  All weekend we dosed poor Pearl with probiotics and Pedialyte and added baking soda to her food. We tried to keep her from eating grass but she loves to browse and I felt bad when all the other goats were out munching and she was stuck in her stall with hay.  Needless to say we had to give her several soapy baths, which she was NOT excited about, goats hating water and all.

Saturday had been a bit overcast, but Sunday was very hot and sunny.  We literally could not go anywhere between the hours of 2:30 and 9:30 as they have the main road only going in one direction for the race fans.  Instead we packed our kayaks into the back of the truck and headed to a little lake up the road. Surprisingly, there was hardly anyone there and we enjoyed some swimming and kayaking right until it started to thunder.

Luckily for us and the race fans, the rain held off until the race had finished.  My boyfriend and I took the goats out for a walk around the property while enjoying a few “beverages” and then we threw some hotdogs on the grill.  The storms passed just to the north of us until after dinner and we had all the animals in. Then we sat in the barn and watched the lightening and the rain. All in all it was a wonderful day.

By Sunday night, Pearls stools were starting to have shape to them though they were still pretty mushy.  She is acting fine, is active, eating and drinking, so we are pretty sure it is just a reaction to the rabies shot.  Still, a goat with runny poo is never a good thing and we will continue to keep an eye on her.

We are in the dog days of summer, my favorite time of the year.  We are overloaded with zucchini and I am really stretching my cooking skills.  This weekend I made a blueberry zucchini cake with lemon butter cream frosting.  I also shredded more zucchini to put in the freezer for zucchini bread this fall.

Cucumbers are coming along but my boyfriend is impatient.  We are only getting a couple of pickling cukes at a time and he really wants to try making pickles this year.  We still have to wait for the dill to grow a little more and there are plenty of flowers on the four plants we have.  I am sure we will be loaded with cucumbers before we know it.

The blueberries are almost past and I’ve been picking as fast as I can while trying to keep the goats away.  We’ve had blueberry pancakes for breakfast for the last two weekends.  It’s one of my favorite things to have for breakfast.

Our neighbor grows black currants and brought us over a quart of them in exchange for some of our zucchini.  I’ve never cooked with currants before so I get to stretch my cooking skills even further. They have a little girl who came over with her father to drop off the berries.  She is a darling and makes me want to be a grandmother any day now.  She wanted to pet the goats and feed the chickens.  A real farm girl in the making.  Her father wants goats but the mom has not warmed up to the idea yet.  He’s wearing her down.  How can you not want goats?    I hope they get some next year.

I’m going to dry some herbs this year and try to make my own herb blends.  My chamomile actually made it and now I have both that and my mint to make my own tea.  I’m looking forward to adding more herbs, blueberry bushes and perhaps a few more fruit trees for next year.  We just need to figure out how to keep the goats and the deer from eating it all.

Overall, we’re having a great summer and I’ve never been happier, despite the fact that we are still washing “poopy-butts” and forcing down medicine.

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