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Sunday, May 8, 2016

What Mother's Day is Like on a Mountain Farm

Before my husband took the kiddos to see the new Captain America movie, they asked me what I wanted to do on Mother's Day.  I told them I want to sit in my comfy chair, watch old episodes of Fixer Upper, and have the laptop to myself so I can blog.  Technology has not been cooperating with me, however.  The camera's battery was dead, so I had to charge it before I could load pictures.  Google Chrome is not working under my user account on the laptop, so I'm having to settle for Internet Explorer, which has none of my settings saved.  And Chromecast isn't working from my devices, so I'm watching Fixer Upper on my 7" tablet instead of the wide screen TV while I blog.  In addition to that, the laptop's battery is dying, and the charging cord (or whatever it's called) only works if the laptop is sitting on a flat surface and the cord is arranged just a certain way.  It doesn't work from atop my lap in my comfy chair.  So...I'll have to make this snappy.
This Mother's Day, I've received the kinds of gifts that only God can give, and I can't imagine having them anywhere but here on our preppy mountain farm.  Last night one of our mama goats had a single baby boy.  We named him Asiago, and he seems to be doing quite well in the barn up close to his mother.  He's the first kid in two years born on our farm, so I've been taking lots of photos.  All of our children went out to greet him first thing this morning---some of them were still in their pajamas.
He looked a little cold when I went out to see him even though it's about 65 degrees.  I think he'll be fine as long as he stays near his mother and burrows down in the hay.  We'll keep our fingers crossed.  The first few days after birth, I'm always nervous for mother and baby.
Speaking of the weather, we had 9 straight days of rain here.  Yesterday was the first day in a week and a half that the sun came out for awhile.  Last night it rained yet again.  But this was our view from the highway on our way home from Mass this morning.  Yet another wonderful Mother's Day gift that only the Divine could give.
Our chicks are now 3 1/2 weeks old and aren't so little, cute, or fuzzy anymore.  They were trying to fly out of the trough in our house, and we had to cover it with a screen.  They also eat way more now and make way more messes.  Which means they stink.  Yesterday they entered our chick relocation program and got a much bigger home in our garage where I don't have to be disgusted by the odor or the tremendous amount of dust they create by digging in their wood shavings.
When I went out to check on them, they were huddled under the heat lamp.  But as soon as they saw me, they went scurrying to the far corner away from me.  All 15 are doing great, but one looks a lot like a turkey.  Surely the hatchery wouldn't make a mistake?!
Lilacs are my absolute favorite flowering bush, and ours began blooming this weekend.  How awesome of a gift is that?  I'll have vases of them all over my house.  When I was a girl, I used to sit under a huge one while I read books in the summer.
Finally, we've been finding---and eating---lots and lots of Morel mushrooms.  We've been back up here in the Northeast for 10 years now, and this is by far the absolute best Morel season ever.  Dipped in egg and bread crumbs, then fried up with a little bit of garlic, Morels are the delicacy of the foraging world.  At least around here, they are.
My battery icon at the bottom of my laptop is looking very low, so I'd better close for now.  We've got another goat in a kidding stall in the barn looking like she might soon give birth, so I think I might take a peek.  Typically, I stay away until after she's finished because its' so hard to watch them be in discomfort during labor.  I used to play goat midwife and help pull babies out if the mother seemed to be in too much distress.  But now I just stay clear and let her do her thing.  I think it makes them more nervous to have us standing around while they're trying to focus on the task at hand, and their bawling makes me nervous too.
Wishing all of you readers who are mothers or mothers-to-be a very Happy Mother's Day.  I hope your day is filled with as many natural gifts of life as mine has been.

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