With just days to go until spring, winter has finally decided to show up. The snow is forecasted to start falling within the hour and I’m hoping that this storm has been hyped up and we don’t get the forecasted 12 – 24 inches. The goats and chickens have been fed and watered and are hunkered down in the barn in fresh pine shavings.
This past weekend was a doozy. Over five Nubian kids were ready to be disbudded. Disbudding has to be the absolute worst part of owning goats. I hate it. Hate it! Thank goodness my sister and her finance are willing to do most of the dirty work for me. What is disbudding? It’s taking a hot disbudding iron and burning the area around the goat’s horns to prevent them from growing. Yeah, it’s as awful as it sounds. However, we’ve decided that it is necessary as we don’t want goats with horns for various reason and in order to register them they must be disbudded.
To top the weekend off, everyone has come down with the stomach flu. It’s been fun. I’m ready to get this snowstorm and flu over with and get on with spring.
Finally, winter seems to be on it’s way out. The mercury climbed into the mids-40s today and rain is forecasted all week. In fact, many parts of the county are under a flood warning today and into early tomorrow as snow melt and precipitation are expected to cause the rivers and streams to crest about a foot above flood stage. On our property we have traded the snow and ice or mud… lots of mud.
I’m feeling somewhat worn out from a long, dreary winter and slightly energized by the promise of spring. I’m ready to spend less time locked in my office at work and more time on homesteading projects. I’ve got serious plans for the next three seasons. I’m thinking gardening, harvesting, canning, painting, fence building, soap making, and hoping to expand our livestock.
I might cry at the sight of the first bright yellow daffodil punching up through the soggy spring crust. Winter, please go out like a lamb.
Winter won’t release its grip, hammering us with ten more inches of snow overnight Sunday and into Monday morning. This winter has worn us down with week after week of extremely bitter temperatures, which is not only hard on a soul longing for summer but hard on the animals around the homestead as well. It seems summer just can’t come soon enough.
Before this last stormed rolled in, we did have a fleeting burst of fair weather, perfectly timed for the arrival of our third kid this season. Our mixed breed goat, Helen, came to our herd this past summer and this is her first kidding. A little buckling whom we named Heinz presented perfectly and was born mid-day Saturday.
Three days later he’s strong and romping around his pin.
In just ten days, the main herd, consisting of our five Nubians, is due. The anticipation is building and soon the homestead will be bustling with new life. Until then we will keep doing our best to will the thermometer to rise.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself with the title.
Here at Cooper Run we survived the deep freeze, and the thaw… and the deep freeze again. Winters can be long around these parts and we are used to the snow; but this winter has seemed exceptionally harsh. While the snowfall has been below average, the temperatures have remained brutally cold week after week, with the occasionally warm-up thrown in. Just a few weeks ago we saw the temperatures dip as low as -25 (with a -50 degree wind chill), followed by temperatures in the 50s and downpours.
The extreme temperatures forced us to take extra precautions with the goats; making sure everyone had plenty of fluffy bedding, checking for drafts in the barns and even running heat lamps when necessary. We expected most of our goats to kid early spring, but our newest addition, Jill, was bred before she moved into the herd and delivered two baby goats on January 22 as the thermometer read -4 degrees. Read more
The last couple of months have been a wonderful fog as we welcomed our daughter into the world in early November. She is an absolute delight and completes our small family.
As winter hits full steam, things around the homestead have quieted, but nonetheless, many of us are busy with our day jobs working in the local ski tourism industry. Mother Nature has brought a weird mix of weather, from blinding snow and unrelenting wind to several balmy days in the high 50s.
We have made progress on many of our smaller endeavors over the last few months. After curing for weeks, we are now enjoying our first batch of handmade lye soap. The idea of making soap from scratch was a bit daunting, but once Amy and I dove into the project it was as simple as following a recipe. The result was a delightful smelling batch of gardener’s soap with an exceptional lather and fresh citrus and patchouli fragrance. Read more