2-21-2007 Star’s Birthday

Kat’s making Star’s birthday cake, and Willow’s out looking for anti-biotics for the goat and seeing about getting the van inspected.

Last week I added a post script mentioning that inasmuch as the weather was doing the storm thing, the goat decided to kid. Sadly, those kids I put a picture of in the last letter didn’t get a proper start on nursing, or it could have been the really cold weather, but the next morning, they were all dead. We’d gotten them dry and warm, but apparently that wasn’t enough. My guess is that it was because that mother- Vanadis- is so old, and she was so huge that her udders were hanging down to about an inch off the floor, so kids looking up at the underside of a mother goat for a nipple couldn’t find one down by their feet. Sigh- I feel like a bad caretaker. I’m sure the karma will catch up to me.

Anyway, all this week, there has been a new birth every day or two- Sweetie, the Alpine had twins, only she had one outside. When Star went out in the morning he found one frozen to the fence, and one inside. Not taking any chances, we brought that one in, and warmed her up and bottle fed her- which is hard at first because they aren’t programmed to recognize a rubber nipple. Willow was the one who first got her to take the bottle, but Kat’s been feeding her since then. We’ve named her Anya.

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Then Fiona had her kids- twins. When Star discovered her (they seem to have them at night), they were already nursing. Well, we’ve seen one nurse, and the other one has continued to be alive so it must be nursing. Then this morning, Cobweb was found in labor- but it was stalled halfway out. I guess I shouldn’t go into too much gross detail, but I’d never had a bad birth before, and had to get more involved than ever before. As I’ve mentioned before, all the books assume that you have a goat vet. There are no goat vets. There are farm vets- who deal with cows and horses. If your beast costs several thousands of dollars, perhaps paying a vet a couple hundred to come see it makes sense, but I guess goats (who generally don’t need much help) just can’t keep a vet in business, so there aren’t any around here. The books say that after a hard birth like this you should use an antiseptic bollus, but I think the people who keep those around are the ones who have commercial farms with hundreds of goats- or at least dozens. The local feed store said they could order one and have it here by next week. Feh. So lacking that- we put down clean bedding and will be starting some antibiotics if Willow can get some. I didn’t have antiseptic hand soap and lubricant to use before helping her expel the dead kid, so I figure it’s better not to wait until she has a raging infection before starting it. Poor thing.

I’ve never had a hard birth before- I wonder what was different this time? Some way for Star to start his birthday.

It’s been a kind of “holiday rich” week, food wise. Last Wednesday was Valentines Day, which hasn’t got any real “foods” we do, but we did bring down the valentines tablecloth. It used to be a much bigger deal- now it seems kind of silly. Sunday was Chinese New Year- so, of course, we had to have Chinese food. Monday was Presidents Day, so we had to have cherry pie. As Willow jokes in her comic- “Less politics, more pie.” It’s a better way to live. Tuesday was Fat Tuesday- the last day of Carnival (today Lent starts), so we had to have “fashing cakes”- basically home-made jelly donuts. We also had corned beef. During the storm earlier in the week I’d wanted to cook a corned beef on the woodstove- it feels so nice and snug doing that when it’s storming out- but the only one we could find was 14 pounds (I’d meant to take it to the war last year), or as Kat put it- “It’s as big as my torso!”. So we put it back in the freezer temporarily and invited Avi and Trevor over to help us deal with it. They were available yesterday, so that’s when we had it. And today, is Star’s birthday- so Kat’s making cake, and we’ll have a roast, and Pizza for lunch. We have some manga and magic-cards for him, but it’s going to be low key. I’ll be happy to get back to a less eventful week.

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Saturday was the Mensa Regional Gathering, and I spoke there, but this time the kids didn’t come. I did two workshops: one on energy healing and one on Tarot, and went to workshops on chocolate (the chocolate conspiracy people did one again) and on iron making in Colonial America. I think there was another but I forget.

I’m a bit distracted- my broken tooth seems to be a bit infected and I’m hoping to get that shot down before the appointment next week. Also, the gesso board has arrived and I am starting to work on the book cover for Jane’s book on Thunderbolts.

News wise the candidates are invading NH already. More news keeps coming in on the “Colony Collapse Disorder”. This could be bad news not just for those who like honey, but for everyone because so much of modern agriculture is dependent on the traveling hives for pollination. Of course, it occurs to me that perhaps it’s the traveling hives that has contributed to the catastrophic spreading of this new bee disease. Not good.

Haven’t watched much except TV shows on disc- Angel, and 6 feet Under. Star rented Popeye- the old Robin Williams film. Wow, that was bad. Kind of impressive how they were true to the cartoon- but if there was ever a film that didn’t need to be made- that was it. I did finish reading Widdershins, the first fiction I’ve read since brushing up on my Darkover, and I really liked it. Went back and took out three other de Lindt books- I’m reading Little Country just now, but it’s going slowly because I really have to put as much time as is available from immediate domestic crises (like goats) on the book cover.

Got to get back to it, so that’s it for this week. I’d love to go into more detail, but not going to.

“You are what you think about all day long.” Robert H. Schuller

PS. I can’t Count

I thought we had 3 baby goats- but when I went out to check on Cobweb, the one whohad such an awful birthing this morning, I could only find 2, so I crawled outside (the door between outside and the goat side of the barn is only goat sized) I found two baby goats outside. The only think I can think of is that she’d had one healthy kid before the second got stuck halfway. Good thing it’s been mild- over freezing for the first time in a week. I brought it inside and it approached her, and she licked it’s butt. Now I have to see whether she can establish milking or we have to start bottle feeding. It will be better for her uterus if she nurses, but if she gets sick it would be harder to get it to bottle feed if it had gotten used to nursing. (and if we put her on antibiotics, does that mean the kid shouldn’t drink her milk?) Well, at least we are out of pregnant goats now.

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