Our piglets are here! Yesterday afternoon, Steve picked them up down valley after work. He took pet carriers to contain them safely in the cab of his truck, and when he called me on the way home to give me an ETA, he kept saying, “Man, these guys stink!!!” Well. No reason to insult the little babies, because that's all they are. We got three five week old porkers. They did reek a tad bit, but once we released them into their fresh green pasture, things seemed to ease up a little on the olfactory side. The poor things were pretty freaked out and scared, especially since they kept getting shocked on the electric fence. Every time one of them got shocked and yelped, neighbor Anne jumped in the air yelping with the pig, covering her ears. She's an empathetic woman, that one! Eva got a kick out of it!
I feed them nice goat milk, so they are already getting spoiled. They've mostly slept all day today, but whenever they are awake, they do what pigs are supposed to do: root through the soil with their snouts, dig holes with their feet, and oink and snort a whole lot.
We are delighted to raise pigs for the first time ever! Somehow, I now feel like a real farmer! They are awfully cute right now, and their eyes are eerily human-looking. However, we (including the kids) understand completely what these animals will become. Bacon, pork chops and hams, raised on beautiful lush pasture with a mountain view, organic grain and lots of milk and whey. They will have a good life.
Why, you may ask, is Eva wearing a tutu fairy dress as a member of the piggy welcome committee? Well, it's because I can't get the darn dress off her, ever since our friends gave it to her. And why should she take it off? She IS like a fairy - frolics through the yard with her fairy dress, collects edible plants and flowers, crawls through the grass, pretends to fly while jumping on the trampoline with her dress swirling around her like a cloud. Boy, am I happy to have a little girl!
This week has been intense – lots of milk flowing to be dealt with, lots of weeding to be done, lots of little vegetable starts needing to be nurtured, lots of seeds needing to be planted, home schooling to be accomplished. And then the dreaded yearly visit to Seattle Children's hospital. Lukas needs a yearly check up for his heart, to monitor a heart aneurysm he got from contracting Kawaski disease. He gets a yearly echo cardiogram, and this year the doctors added a stress test to determine a baseline. This meant that Lukas got to ride on an exercise machine while being hooked up to various machines and breathing through a mask to measure different values. He did absolutely great, and the doctors and technicians were stunned by his high level of fitness. We'll go to the hospital again in a couple of weeks to do the routine echo cardiogram and to talk about the stress test results.
Fortunately, we have wonderful friends who took care of Eva and Kai all day, and then had us over for dinner the same day. Thanks, Auburn and John! Their youngest daughter wanted me to show her how I knit the European way, so we ended the day with a knitting lesson, while another friend's daughter watched. Start 'em young, I say. There's nothing like creating little knitting addicts as soon as possible!
With all the business of this week, we were able to enjoy a little R and R as well. I took the kids up to Bellingham, where I lived for ten years in a previous lifetime, and where I still have lots of friends. Nothing like a hit of culture, bakeries, and friends to lift one's spirits!
And to end this post, I want to share the exciting news that Kai now mows the lawn. It's a job I love, I really do, but he wants to help so badly. He literally begged me to let him mow the grass! And who am I to turn down help when dinner needs be cooked, and the lawn is screaming at me to be cut?