Wednesday, October 24, 2018


I started writing this yesterday, but was too tired to be coherent. Every waking moment of Tuesday was spent shifting goats around to keep two young bucks separated from the does, several of whom came into season yesterday morning.

Rocket at 13 days.

I had contacted my vet to try to get her out to wether both boys last week - which would have been perfect timing - but didn't even hear back. I managed to catch her with my third call, on Monday. I'm reluctantly wondering if it's time to look for another vet. I certainly don't expect someone to drop everything to rush out to my place, but I do need someone who will return my calls. I like my vet, but her practice has grown and this is not the first time I've felt like she just isn't "there" for me anymore; the last time, there was a communication delay for several weeks with the result that vaccines were administered at a time when their efficacy was reduced - which frankly, stuck in my craw. I'm a good client. I am respectful of the time of others. I don't complain about expenses and I pay my bills instantly. My animals matter to me.

[Deep cleansing breath.]

Anyway, the boys' appointment is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

Rocket now.

I'm a little sorry neither of these boys will sire offspring as they are both quite nice in terms of conformation. I even checked with the owners of their dad, in case they might want to have Rocket for his genetic potential - his mother is the daughter of my best doe, and is a good cashmere goat in her own right - but they are fully stocked with bucks. So, wethering it is. Mallow and Rocket will be happy and there won't be a constant risk of unplanned breedings.

In other news, I found my largest baking pan - it still had this watercolor taped to it, as I had used it as a drawing board back in July - 

and have started baking the candy roasters.

I started with the largest squash, which was 11 pounds 8 ounces - I had to cook it in two shifts! I've got several pounds of gorgeous purée in the freezer already. I will try to save some of the squash whole, for cooking in the Winter - it's lovely to cut into a squash and relive summer in that fresh aroma.

One quarter of the 11.5-pound candy roaster

The temperature has dropped below freezing several times at night, but a few nights ago it went down to the 20s F and the gardens really showed it the next morning. I pulled up all the remaining okra plants, and saved some wilted zinnia heads in hopes of seeds. I'm not sure how that works - do you know if the seeds have already matured before all the petals have dropped, or if they haven't developed and won't be viable? - but it's worth a try. I now have cardboard trays of seeds all over the porch - zinnias, bee balm, Suyo Long cucumbers, two varieties of okra, and candy roaster squash. The plan is to get all the seeds dry and into envelopes before I knock the cardboard trays over or the cats start playing in the seeds or Piper swings her tail and sends everything flying.

Piper on our long walk in the woods on Monday.
Plenty of tail-swinging that day!

There are still zinnias in jars on my windowsill, and I will enjoy them as long as possible. And of course, there are dozens of photographs on my laptop. I could keep drawing and painting zinnias for quite a while, I think. Maybe I will.

My eyes are almost closing as I type and I have yet to do my Daily Markmaking, so I'd better get cracking! I hope your week is going well :)