Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moving day!

The great
‘Route 66’
goat drive
went fairly well. On Sunday morning two horse trailers showed up to take all the critters to their new home. One trailer caravanned the sheep and Paschal the Llama. The other carried all of the milk goats and kids. Now that they are here safe and sound I can say it went well, but… Paschal gave me quite a fit when it came time to harnessing him up, and the sheep went every which way which was not in the trailer were they were supposed to be going. So there were grain bribes and pleads there was begging and then there was……. sheep wrangling. They all got in the trailer.
I’m on a first name basis with most of the sheep. At least the females (ewes) but suddenly our dialog went something like this:
“OK girls”, I tell them, “in the trailer, were taking you to your new home!”
“uh,uh, Blondie were not getting into that box with wheels”.
"Oh come on, you’ll love it” I tell them.
“Excuse me…Do we know you”? “ Grain? No thanks”
The goats were a different story, they raced to the trailer with pure goat glee. Yippee ! were going for a ride! So we were off.

The Sheep arrived first, got out of the trailer and started munching on the thick lush green grass the second they stepped foot on their new land. Paschal wasn’t sure how to get out of the trailer so I had to go in and push him out. But he too found the grass and they were munching up a storm. Then the goats came. They liked the trailer so much they didn’t care to exit but it didn’t take long for them to realize the sheep had found some good stuff to eat so they would check it out and come back to the trailer if they so desired. (I didn’t tell them the trailer would be gone).
The first day and evening went well. Pascal was a little scared. When Llamas are not certain of things they make a small little whiny noise. It’s a very sad noise. After he has sized up the place he’ll be more comfortable but now his eyes are focused on the horizon and the tree line, scoping it out, sizing up danger. Milking however was slightly chaotic, to be expected. Everything is different. The walls have moved out, the stantion is not where it was before, and I’m milking on the opposite side as normal. I think the goats actually did better than their milk maiden. It felt as if I had never milked before. By just sitting on the opposite side I was totally thrown off. I still have a lot of rearranging to do, need to find to flow. Hopefully this morning will go smother.
The chickens come next. Their coup is all ready for them. Then, the bucks and Rams. Then the dogs, Ginger and Cosmo who will have a lot of work ahead of them. Looking forward to the whole family being together again!

It truly is so magnificent here. I’ve never lived in a place so beautiful and so full of mystery. I cant wait for some calm winter days of exploring with the goats.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saying goodbye

After time the place we call home can become an almost organic part of our own physical body. We become familiar to a place like we become familiar to our own bodies, acutely accustomed to its unique personality and over time becoming one with even the sounds at night. The creeks and bumps become like our own heart beat. Home may be a sanctuary or a prison or subconsciously both, but it’s within us, part of us and we live inside of each other.

The place we call home is like the people in our lives. Ultimately no matter the depth of the relationship we’re still detached in true physical form, designed to move away from each other at any moment agreeable or not so. What we know to be true today just might not be true tomorrow regardless of our attachments or desires.

When I first moved to this nearly 7 acre piece of land I was overcome by its vastness. Living in Seattle my whole life, my eyes were accustomed to things at close range. I remember my first week here I couldn't see as far as the property line, it seemed so incredibly far away. At night the orchestra of sound was so new, so immense and foreign. I felt like a small tiny creature at the mercy of fate and dreams and fantasy, so pure so wondrous. Sometimes there were sounds at night that made my heart beat hard with fear. Unfamiliar with nature, I couldn’t define when night sounds were the natural settling of the house, the trees bending and giving in to wind or a dark creature or trespasser with ill intentions. The winter I spent mostly alone here changed me and forced me to address my fears and face the darkness with admiration and respect.

After 6 years my eyes have adjusted and the scope of my vision and senses expanded. Now the fence line seems close and beautifully comfortable but at the same time limiting. The sounds I hear now are enmeshed with the pulsing and currents of my own brain and blood. There is a familiarity and a comfort so ingrained within my life. I know all the trees on this land and have a special appreciation of their position on this peak. I can thankfully say I’ve never not recognized with stunning awe the sunrises or sunsets which are prominent features of this particular property.

Leaving this place I’ve become so familiar with is like being gently pulled away from a good friend to live a very long way away. The new place I’m going to may indeed be better for me on many different levels. I know this old place will always be a part of me and part of who I am, and even though I’m not really moving that far away the reality is I may never see it again. I think I should be sadder than I am, but the possibilities of my new world ahead are like the lust of new lover which transforms memories and emotions of the last to reduced proportions. So it’s easy to leave. Selfish indulgence of more life to be lived, more sounds to learn, more trees to become familiar with and a future of possibilities. I know I’ll feel my heart beating hard with fear at times, and it will take time for me to become familiar with the new land and its 400 acres of terrain.

As I pack the last boxes and get ready for the last time I’ll drive down the long cedar tree-lined driveway, I thank this place for being my sanctuary and at times my prison, but ultimately I thank this place for being so good to me and teaching me so much.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

Pecan caramel pancakes with butter and maple syrup porter peaches.
With three fried eggs of course!
Makes a mess of cakes:
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup goat milk (can use cow if ya have to)
3 tablespoons melted sweet cream butter

Mix the dry stuff first and then add the eggs, milk and butter. Just mix until incorporated. don't over mix. I use a large cast iron pan just coated with a little butter. You know what to do next.
for the peaches:
3 peaches, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
In a small sauce pan combine and just slowly heat until butter is melted.
This would probabaly be really good over ice cream or poured directly into mouth!

Fry up some country eggs to balance your blood sugar a little or you'll be bouncing off the wall.

Happy Sunday folks. Off to pack and get stuff moved over to the new farm!