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Monday, February 17, 2014

We're Getting Closer

BBQ, pushy as always

Lucy, 4 months pregnant
This time next month, (God-willing) we should have baby goats. The girls are filling out fast. Even their udders are expanding. The term, I learned is called, bagging.

I want very much to milk them, (I have visions of cheese making) but not before I know the babies have had their fill. I could bottle feed them, but I don't think I want that much extra work.

I am terribly nervous about the upcoming births. I belong to an online goat group and to hear them talk, all kinds of terrible things can happen.

We've been lucky. The only casualty in our goat operation has been me. Last week, BBQ got me again. He was in a smaller pen while we trimmed the girls' hooves. As I walked by, I noticed there was an empty bucket in his pen and I wanted to pull it out before he trampled on it. 

He was at the far end looking away from me. The little pail was within easy reach, so I slipped my hand past the slats on the gate. That cranky, old goat did a 180 and smashed my hand against the gate panel before I could pull it out. I thought he had broken my hand!

Thankfully, it was just a bruise. My hand was small enough that when he smashed it, it collapsed into the grooves of the slatted panel protecting me from any further damage.

I can't win with that goat! No other animal in my lifetime has given me so much grief.

The Other Home Front: Preparing the other house to sell is going slowly. We got most of the big things done, but there are still so many little things to do and we can't seem to make headway.

I'm a big worrier and this has been weighing heavily on my mind. You feel so helpless when you can't physically go out there to get the job done. 

I'll be glad when we can put the house up for sale. That'll be another millstone off my neck.

Marketing Notes: For those of you interested in doing your own newsletters, I read something interesting the other day. The blogger suggested not wasting space on greetings or other fluff because the majority of people won't read it. 

That made sense to me and it's advice I plan to follow. I noticed when I peruse newsletters, I never read the fluff. I scan for items that might interest me and read only those things.  If the newsletter has some good articles, I save it to a subfolder in my email box. Otherwise, it gets deleted as soon as it's read.

For those of you who get newsletters: Do you scan them briefly or read them end to end?

*** is anyone taking side bets on whether I'll survive Greg's retirement? I'm wondering if I should lay odds. 

How about BBQ? The odds are better I won't survive him. Grumpy goat!


Stacy McKitrick said...

When you say survive Greg's retirement, do you mean survive before his retirement, or are you expecting Greg to drive you crazy? I expect my hubby will drive me crazy when he retires. At least he loves his job (and they love him), so that shouldn't happen anytime soon, because "the paycheck sure is nice" (his words!).

By the way, when's the big BBQ for BBQ? I'm guessing his days are numbered and the number isn't big.

Darke Conteur said...

Wow, BBQ really has it in for you. I still say keep him around and let your Husband deal with him. From what you've said before, it sounds as though his goatliness will only be 'tame' with him.

Sarah Ahiers said...

YAY! I'm so excited for baby goat pics!!! They're going to be so cute and i'm betting everything will go fine and dandy!

Mike Keyton said...

I belong to an online goat group Brilliant. Best line I've read to today :)

Ref BBQ Keep him for Greg. Maybe he's a 'man's goat' and the two will get on like house on fire - BBQ following him where-ever he goes, pining when Greg wanders out of vision.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I usually just scan newsletters for news I can use. I grew up on a dairy farm so I'm familiar with the term 'bagging.' LOL Brought back some memories.

Maria Zannini said...

Re: Surviving retirement.
Ha! Both!

I wanted to bbq his mean old self in April, but we'll be so busy I don't know that it'll be feasible.

Unless he changes his ways, he's dinner.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: I'm told by people with more experience that bucks are notoriously ill-tempered. In the wild, it's what keeps the herd safe.

But in a farm environment, we need everyone to live by the rules.

BBQ is beyond gorgeous and I suspect he'll sire some beautiful babies, but I don't know that he's worth the trouble. We'll see what he produces in March.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: I'm so nervous since these will be my first goat births.

I've grown very fond of the girls.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: There are groups for everything! I'm glad I found this group though. They've been very helpful.

Re: BBQ and Greg
Methinks it's a dominance thing. He sees him as the head goat.

I'm afraid he must see me as the big bad wolf.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I've learned so much about goats this year. Despite the injuries, I've really enjoyed expanding my horizons.

Angela Brown said...

If only BBQ knew what he was setting himself up for. But got to give it to him. He made quick work of getting some kids for you (pun intended).

You'll survive Greg's retirement. A little worn for the wear and tear of breaking down two households into one - which would be the case for anyone - but happier for it :-)

As for newsletters, I don't read the fluff. I scan for what interests me and keep it moving.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: He did do well on that count! I bought him when he was still young so I didn't expect much.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see pictures of those babies! Keep BBQ away from them. He'll probably eat them. He really has it in for you. Doesn't he know you feed him?

Good luck with the house. I know what you're going through. We keep thinking about the stuff we have to do to get this house ready to sale. The list is so daunting we'll probably be here forever.

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: I keep reminding BBQ that I'm his meal ticket, but he pays no attention. He is rough with the girls. I plan to keep him penned up when it comes time for them to deliver. The last thing they need is him making them nervous.

Re: house
I know. It does feel like it'll never get done. And timing is so critical.

Anonymous said...

Send BBQ to the BBQ spit!

We're on other end of the house thing, purge and pack for a move, not to mention the actual house hunting. Of course, then we'll be doing the same thing with our existing house. It's a never ending circle.

Ref: newsletters
I'm a skimmer. I read just that which interests me.

Good luck with it all :)

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: Don't tell Greg but I enjoy house-hunting. It's like going out on a date. Of course, it took close to a year to find the house we're in now and that much looking got old after a while. But in the beginning, it was fun to see what was available.

I'll let BBQ know that you vote him for dinner. :)

Jenny Schwartz said...

Sorry for the mess! Blogger fell over for me while I was posting. Just left a message hoping your hand is okay -- and saying that I'm another skimmer of newsletters :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: Weird. Your first comment came in fine in my email.

Keep those recipes handy. I may use them. :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the goat births. Any birth has the possibilities of complications, but I think sometimes people focus on the horror stories and not the successes.

Good luck with BBQ. Naughty ol' goat.

And I think you'll do fine with the retirement. I was a little worried this time last year before Hubs retired, but it's been 10 months now and we still get along fine. =o)

Maria Zannini said...

BE: I'm told 90% of the births go fine. That still leaves 10% to scare the bejeebers out of me.

Hubby and I haven't lived together full time in 14 years. That will be an adjustment!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ouch!! That little stinker. Glad to hear your hand isn't broken!

That is interesting about the newsletter. Yeah, like everything else I like brief ones and scan them if they're too long.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I think you should trade BBQ in for a newer model now that he's done what he's paid for. ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: Scared the crap out of me. It still hurt like the dickens though.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: From what I'm told, I'll just have this problem with the new goat when his hormones kick into gear. But there's always the slim chance he could be more laid back than Mr. Grumpy.

Rebekah Loper said...

YAY for kids! Milking goats is oddly relaxing, I hope you'll enjoy it, at least once BBQ leaves your hands alone.

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: I have arthritis in both hands so I don't know how well I'll do, but I'm going to give it the college try. :)

Ellie Garratt said...

BBQ is a naughty boy. Thank goodness he didn't break your hand, but what if he had? I think maybe you need to make a hard decision.

I hope all kids are born fine. can't wait to see pictures of them!

As for Greg's retirement - you'll both need to adjust. But as time passes, I'm sure you'll find a new pattern of daily life.

Good luck with preparing the house.

Maria Zannini said...

Ellie: I was so glad my hand wasn't broken. I use mine everyday! :)

He's such a mean goat which is a shame. It would've been nice if everyone got along.