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Successes, Mistakes, and Everything In Between

I must admit I'm ashamed of the amount of time that has gone by since my last post. Chalk it up to the craziness of life.

The past few months have been a dust-devil of commitments, obligations, and responsibilities. It feels like I have finally broke through the squall, can catch my breath and take a look around. What I've found are some great successes, equally great failures, and a lot in between.

Probably the most exciting development -- we decided to buy a goat buck. His name is Roc N Ewe RB Footloose, but we've given him the barn name Rocky Balboa. He's a dark buckskin Nigerian dwarf, super friendly and super cute. Today, he earned his hay by serving one of our does, Hazel. If all goes as planned we should have kids on the ground in late summer. I've already got plans for yogurt and cheese-making.

We also planted a few more trees, persimmon and apple. With several hours work and dozens of wheelbarrow trips, two more raised beds were built in the garden. Onions and garlic are going great, and the tiny tips of asparagus are peeking up through the soil. Spring really is here.

The past month has held some sadness for us as well. Lilly, our pygmy doe, has been exceptionally sick since February. Unfortunately, she was misdiagnosed by a vet and went untreated for a time. I take responsibility. Instinct told me the first diagnosis wasn't right. I didn't listen.

Two weeks ago, the unknown abscess in her udder burst, prompting a emergency trip to the vet. I've been willingly carrying around the heavy guilt since. I've gladly paid each vet visit, a tri-weekly occurrence, my penitence for missing what I should have caught weeks earlier -- a massive udder infection. I think Lilly forgives me, but I know I never will.

Although she seems to be feeling better, the abscess isn't healing properly. Right now, we're waiting for test results back. If the infection isn't brought under control, the only other option is surgery. Cost may make that an unrealistic option.

It's day by day right now. If she can pull through, she'll never be the milker we hoped for.
That means we'll need another doe, if we want milk year-round (which is the goal.) Space is a scarce commodity here, as is time and feed money.

The homesteader in me says we don't want a goat that can never give us milk. But my insides are screaming "I love her!" What do you do when your head and your heart are telling you two different things?

After watching me nurse and dote on Lilly, I guess our old hen Poppy Petals got a bit jealous. She suddenly stopped eating last Sunday, and instead literally gorged herself on water.

Poppy is currently residing in the "chicken condo" -- AKA a wire cage in the master bath. Good news is, after having meals of yogurt and warm water delivered to her bedside twice a day she seems to be doing much better. I needed this success.

This winter was especially cold and gray for me. I'm so thankful for the sun, for springtime, and a time for new beginnings. And the opportunity to get back to life again.

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