Archive | December, 2021

Rocky Returns

31 Dec

The last time I saw Rocky was just before I went to bed on Dec. 20th when he ran from me.  There was no sign of him, and I’d given up hope of ever getting him back.  I’d actually convinced myself that he was no longer alive–coyotes or freezing on those first two cold nights. So I was shocked when, after nine days missing, I saw a flash of white and tiger when I opened the barn door to hay the goats.  So I got the trap set again Wednesday evening.  And I was back to worrying about him.

I decided I really had to get him before New Year’s Day because we are expecting a snowstorm with frigid cold temperatures.  He had not a drop of a winter coat when he left the house and I couldn’t see him making it through -11°F (-23.89°C) with an even worse wind chill on Saturday night.  I decided to adjust the trap a bit and make it more inviting.

Thursday afternoon, Bob went for a quick bathroom run (he’s really like a dog) and came back beat up.  I couldn’t tell through the blood if he’d ripped a toenail out again or if it was just a nasty cut.  So we made a quick trip to the vet where I shared that it was probably Rocky who beat him up. It was just a cut  and several scratches thankfully.

Sky checking out Bob’s injury

I left Bob resting under the desk and went to do chores.  I also hoped that Rocky was like Bob and wanted to eat as soon as he got done with a fight.  Hopefully, he’d be in the trap.  But I was going to do chores before I checked.

I had just fed the goats’ corn when I heard the dog go crazy.  He was by the greenhouse, so I went closer to check it out.  Then I saw a white paw reach through a hole in the foundation towards the dog.  I put Sky in the house and grabbed the pet taxi. It was still right by the door from our trip to the vet.  Of course, when I went in the greenhouse to try and catch Rocky, I was followed by half a dozen goats wanting food, so I had to kick them out and find something to block them from coming back in.

Of course, Popcorn was in there.

Then I flopped on the nasty hay and kept reaching under the workbench where Rocky was hiding and talked to him.  Finally, he let me pet him. Then he let me pet him some more.  He got nervous and ran to another workbench, so I followed and started petting him again.  Finally, I got a good hold on the scruff of his neck and picked him up and put him in the pet taxi. He didn’t even fight me.

Rocky

I set the pet taxi inside the yard while I shut the gate, but then I noticed I had half the goats and a llama in the chicken pen.  Moose…  That brat.  I left Rocky and ran to go get them out because I had just filled the tubs and they can kill themselves overeating.  That made the goats the more immediate crisis.  (Good grief.) Somehow, when I went in the swarm of goat bodies, Moose and I collided.  His massive horn hit my neck.  I thought I was going to pass out, but I didn’t. I got everyone out.  Then I put Rocky in the house and left him in the pet taxi.  I made Sky go outside.  Then I finished chores.

Moose

Rocky has definitely lost weight.  It takes a lot not to freeze to death when it’s this cold and you have no winter coat.  He also has a couple of scratches on his nose from Bob.

He’s super lovey.  He’s happy to be back where it’s warm and he has plenty to eat.

Back in his favorite chair.

Now I just need to get the four cats to get along. Heaven help me. Bob was still mad over the fight and injuries, and I had to stop him from attacking Rocky later in the evening.

Rocky, Sky and Tiger, Bob

Rocky has hissed at everyone except for Bob.  I’m trying to distract Tiger by getting him to play with Salem or Sky. It’s been fairly effective so far.

I have to keep pulling Sky’s nose off of Rocky.  It’s a zoo, but Rocky is safely back in the house before the horrible weather arrives.

Sky and Rocky

This has certainly made it a very good way to go into 2022.

I am so happy and relieved to have my Rocky back.

Ice, Snow, and Hay

30 Dec

With the layer of ice in pasture and another dusting of snow on Wednesday, I’ve begun feeding hay.

a dusting of snow on her back

It’s greatly appreciated.

Dolly

I did also decide to shut Flower in the Love Shack.  She had lost quite a bit of fur with the copper deficiency, so she’s a bit cold with the turn in the weather.  Hopefully, it will get grown back in quickly with the copper I gave her.  In the meantime, she has room service.

Flower

Rosie (and Pretzel) are such assertive little girls, they have no problem getting in there with the big goats to eat.

Rosie

Freddie is having a harder time.  I swear, since I lost Fionn, Xerxes has become a jerk.

Freddie

I just make sure I put hay in lots of places so everyone can get some.

Daisy

Wanda’s “leave me alone; I’m eating” look.

This is also the time of year that I am very grateful that I have electricity to all of my buildings.

Zinnia

I guess I’m as ready as I can be for the winter weather.  That’s good because this weekend is looking brutal cold.

The New Yogurt Maker

29 Dec

Well, after I cracked my crock pot making yogurt, I decided I shouldn’t do that again, so I had to decide what to do.  I used to have a little yogurt maker, but it died after fifteen years or so.  I decided to step into the 21st century.  I got an Instant Pot with a yogurt setting.

I was really pleased to find out it also has a setting to pasteurize the milk, so I don’t have to do that on the stove top in a double boiler.

It made the process super easy and way less cleanup. It’s big enough to hold the entire gallon. I think this was a good option.  It can also be used as a slow cooker (to replace the one I broke). And I won’t break it by plunging the stainless steel pot into a sink of cold water!

Now I’m back to making yogurt to force on my family.