When push comes to shove(l)

built in winter workout - shoveling the driveway

built in winter workout – shoveling the driveway

We have been experiencing several below zero temperature nights lately. In fact, in the last few weeks the temperature has only reached a high above 32 twice! There has been  lots of snow this year, unlike last year when it only got cold. I have cleared the driveway 4 times since Christmas. I have a tractor that I can’t get to start and even if I did use it, it would probably take  almost the same amount of time to clear the drive. Right now I can get out the snow shovel and just push  everything to the side. It takes me about 1 hour. Part of  the trick to this is I push as much as I can downhill so that when it finally melts it won’t run across the drive and soak in and make everything mushy. It will get quite muddy anyway with the spring rains, just not as bad as  is possible.

The other thing that helps keep snow off the drive is the snow fence I set up in the yard. In the past snow always drifted on the driveway side of the picket fence and clearing it off was less than optimal. A real pain in the lower back if you get my “drift”. Now the snow piles up in the yard where it can do some good when it melts.

Since Saturday the 5th I have been drying off the goats. That is, I was milking them once per day and now I am only milking them every other day. Starting this Saturday I will either just quit milking or go to every 3rd day through the end of the month. It is a real pain to milk in these temperatures, I did not fully consider what single and double digit temp.’s can do to your hands while trying to complete this task. I will be glad to see the end of this chore until the kids are born. At least there are no flies this time of year!

Our little buck Rascal is starting to respond to Rosie and Abby when they come into heat. Buck-O is no longer in rut and it has been kind of cute to see Rosie allowing Rascal to “nibble her ears” through the fence. So I decided to try putting him in the girls pen just to see what would happen. Most of the other girls don’t want Rascal in the pen and show their displeasure by head-butting him. I had to take his collar off so they could not hook it with their horns and throw him across the shelter. Abby wants to keep him out of the shelter altogether. She kind of stands guard and he can only get in when she is distracted. This is not the time of year to be banished to the outside.

Rosie on the other hand, immediately went to meet him and they circled and sniffed each other kind of like two dogs meeting for the first time (yeah just like you’re thinking). Rascal had a vague idea what he is supposed to do, but the size difference between him and Rosie made it kind of comical to watch. He never quite found the correct side/end to “mount” and after he had tried for a while Rosie took it upon herself to show him how by trying to mount him. With her knees on the ground she still does not touch his back. At the end of the day I took him out and tied him to his own shelter, told him “good try” and promised him another attempt tomorrow. While I was not out watching all day, I am quite sure that no kids were conceived this time and this may be Rosie’s last heat of this breeding season. Abby can and most likely will  be in heat next month again.

I saw 2 coyotes crossing our field today. They were heading straight for the goat pen, so I got out my air rifle and fired a couple of blank shots into the air. With no pellet in the chamber it sounds more like a gunshot. It got their attention and they altered course around the buildings and off toward the reservation. It was another reason I left Rascal in with the girls, they will circle around the smallest ones to protect them and I knew they would protect him if it came down to it.

So, you may wonder, how is the primal life progressing? When I went to the Doctor in November my blood tests came back like this:

Weight – 245, glucose – 165, HbA1c – 8.5

After one and one-half months it looks like this:

Weight – 231,  glucose – 83 (last time I tested), HbA1c (estimated) 5.9

I have slowly been adding exercise trying not to re-injure my shoulder, walking when the weather co-operates, etc…. so far seems to be working. I think it is one reason I have been able to clear the driveway 4 times this winter, I have the energy to do it . I have also only had one cold this winter and I got over that rather quickly (for me).

Well, when I get some usable pictures, I put them in this post. Until then, have a good winter!

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