And life goes on. I am obsessively thinking about the people affected by the Oso landslide, and our community is still traumatized by it all, but life does go on. I have to milk my goat (the one who lost her babies) twice a day, which feels like a big impact on my life. Usually, I don't milk twice a day until the baby goats are eight weeks old and weaned, but this year is different.
Coco thinks I am her baby now. She licks me and “talks” to me in the soft, nickering way a mama goat talks to her babies. She is usually a very stand-offish goat, but ever since her babies died, she follows me around like a dog, loving on me whenever I stand still long enough.
|Don't ask me why Eva is dressed as a penguin...|
This time of the year, my life seems to revolve around goats and the garden. I keep a keen eye on the pregnant goat mamas, because I want to be there when they give birth, just in case something goes wrong. I watch for any signs of impending labor: softening ligaments, discharge, shifting bellies, a vacant look in their eyes, any change of personality.
Every day, when the weather is nice, I walk them out to pasture. It is spring-green, lusher every day, and the goats love munching the fresh grass.
I am online every day, chatting on Facebook with my friends who also have goats. We exchange news and keep each other posted on the status of our goats. Sometimes, it feels like a reality TV show. The other day, my friend's goat was giving birth, and we walked my friend through it online. As I fixed breakfast for my (human) kids, I typed things like, “Is she pushing yet?” The answer came back, “Yes, but I don' see any hooves”. I stirred the eggs and typed back, “Maybe you should go in and feel for the head. You might have to rearrange in there”. A charming breakfast conversation, yes?
It is wonderful to have a community of ladies who are equally obsessed with goats. We help each other, not only on the internet, but also in person. The other day, one of my friends called me in panic, because her goat was in labor and stopped contracting. There is a deadly thing called milk fever or ketosis, which can kill a goat rapidly. So I hopped in the car and drove 45 minutes to help her with her goat. I had to “go in”, which means sticking my hand into the goat's uterus to feel for the kid's presentation. All ended well on this day – we were able to pull out the babies, and they are all healthy and well. I almost lost my wedding ring in the slippery insides of the goats, though...
Spring has been temperamental, as usual. We have had the wettest March on record. The days when the sun pokes through, we head outside to get our yahyah's out. My garden is coming along, with seedlings flourishing. Steve built me a moveable greenhouse, a design of my gardening guru Elliot Coleman, and I am in love! (With Steve, too, of course). It will help so much with extending our growing season. Right now, it houses kale, collards, lettuces, and soon broccoli and cauliflower.