April 2012 Update

So it just took asserting how much I planned to blog (both here and at Untangling Tales) for life to expand and fill all writing time.

So let me just give a quick two week update, since a slow one would take two hours.

Jay was gone for one of the last two weeks. While he was gone:

  • I got an average of 6 hours of sleep/night (leaving me with a 14-hour deficit).
  • Both our baby goats got sick.
  • Buttercup (a rabbit) had a litter of *9* kits (though she was down to 7 three days later. Those all are doing well.)
  • I forked the compost from the outdoor coup and filled it with chickens.
  • One of our chest freezers died, and I had to do a Tetras/canning scramble to save as much as I could from the meat freezer.

On the upside the freezer-death happened right before the weekend my mom had offered to keep the kids, so my marathon work sessions didn’t have to fit around the needs of the kids. I just didn’t have the time/brain cells to do as much novel work as I’d hoped to accomplish.

Cream (the white faced doe kid) was close to skin and bones and she came back with a few days of focused care, but Friday night (two days after Jay got home) her twin, Sugar, died. It wasn’t really expected, since Cream had looked so much worse than her sister and recovered.

So now we’re left with the question of whether to get a second goat (because all the writing talks about how goats don’t do well alone), or to sell Cream so she’s not living as an only-goat.

We’d rather keep Cream, it’s the second goat that’s tricky.  The kids- all 4- and I went to see a Nigerian doe today, but “Molly” was much too rough and aggressive with Cream, so we had to pass. (Made me *so* grateful we’d brought Cream and knew before we brought a new goat home that they weren’t compatible.)

~ ~

The snow is almost completely melted here, Jay’s moat is doing it’s job just as it should, and we’re beginning to simplify our life here in other ways.

I’ve been looking at my choices and thinking about how much of what I do is externally motivated and how much intrinsically motivated.  I realized I was doing too much just because it was “sensible” and “could pay off later,” but that preparation was reducing my margin now, and margin is what I need, more than I need (say) rabbits that people might pay more for later.

In this case I’m referring to showing and keeping records.  The level of detail and engagement required to do them well eliminates my breathing room for things that matter more to me: like reading and meal planning.

Yeah. Reading and meal-planning matter more to me than a “potential” side business– especially considering the low level of payoff that looks to be available.

Anyway, we decided we’re not interested in stretching beyond what our family needs/is using, so we’re in the process of selling off extra/older rabbits.  We just finished selling all the mixed-breed chickens, today, so in a couple of weeks if we still have hens that want to go broody we should be able to let them and still end up with consistent layers.

We still want the eggs (since store-bought make me ill), and the “ethical” meat, but I’m sick of how much I’ve been trying to manage.

Along those same lines, I don’t anticipate a garden to be in our plans for this summer.  If it happens it happens, but I think for now we’ll just work at stabilizing our ballance. Once we find it.

(I’ve got other projects/ideas percolating– primarily having to do with food– and that’s where I want to spend “extra” energies.)

No promises any more. I’ll give what I can, and no more.  There will always be more to teach and learn than I can be a part of, and accepting that is part of accepting reality.

Admittedly, hard for me, but I’m learning.

4 thoughts on “April 2012 Update

  1. Brooke says:

    That’s too bad about Sugar!, I’m glad that seven kits survived. You seemed to be having a bad run there for a while.

  2. Amy Jane says:

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Actually, the rabbits have been doing quite well since that first disappointed report.

    (That doe–Mneme– bred to kindle in May, and I’ll be watching her closely to see if she does any better now that it’s not her first time.)

    I now have two mamas with nestboxes of seven kits each, did have 10 “growers” and just separated a litter of five from their mama I hope to sell.

    I have considered getting rid of the Angoras too, but since that is a (more than symbolic) departure from spinning and fiber arts, I couldn’t take that leap at present.

    I did knock off the buck, since he was the one always sick, and so reinfecting (if that’s the right way to say it) those who came into contact with him.

    Thankfully my last two kits are showing none of the disturbing symptoms that meant ending the 3 lives of the litter born in December.

    If I can find a buyer, I hope to sell the young buck and just keep my original doe and her blond daughter. This way I’ll have less to manage, but still the two natural colors of wool.

  3. Mom Teena says:

    Thanks for the update. I think so often of your family and wonder how things are going both with you all plus all the farm life. Then I remember to check this site. So sorry to hear you lost a kid. Glad the moat worked well. I assume all the snow and runoff water is gone now. I like the picture of Elisha raking leaves. Do you burn them? It is still snowy and cold at home here on the Colville.

  4. […] Well, I re-purposed it in a tex-mex chili, using up the last of the turkey I had to cook because the freezer died. […]

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