Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Full house

I've been told it's poor blogging etiquette to apologize for not posting lately. Everyone gets busy but dedicated bloggers still find time to write. I agree, except that it's impossible to blog when I'm in the barn... and that's where I've been spending most of my time lately.

You see, we've got a full house here. In the past two months, we've gone from a family of four plus a dog and two cats to a family of four, a dog, two cats, 10 hens, two donkeys, three (yes three!) goats and a horse. No wonder I sleep so well at night!

Both the new goats and the horse deserve their very own blog entries -- a place to tell their story and explain how they fit into our homesteading life. But in the meantime, here's a few photos of our new arrivals.

This is Lucy, a three-year-old Pygmy goat, and her two-month-old baby, Sam. We "rescued" them from a farm last Thursday.

Lucy is an excellent mother, especially now that she's being fed properly. Sam is rambunctious and adorable and is teaching us lots about the ins and outs of raising babies.

Here's Oscar checking out his barn-mates. He seems pretty happy to have companions (he's less stressed than when he was on his own), even though they're still quarantined in the next pen. Lucy and Sam were not well taken care of by their previous owners, and I want to ensure they don't have any parasites or anything before being introduced to Oscar.

This is Gallagher (or 'Gall'), a 18-year-old 16-hand thoroughbred, who I adopted from the Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue in Hagersville, Ontario. After two false starts (we had trailer troubles the first time we tried to make the trip and got snowed-in the second try), we finally brought him home last Saturday (after an 11-hour road trip, no less.)

He's pretty skinny (even with his winter coat) and he needs to rebuild his muscle conditioning, but he's lovely, well mannered and a dream come true (Yes, I was one of those girls who wished for a pony every Christmas. It may have taken some time, but it was worth the wait.)

It's no surprise I've got my hands full here at Rowangarth Farm. But at least I'm not going at it alone.

This farm life does wonders for the family. Lucas and I have rediscovered how well we work together as a team and the experience has brought us even closer together. The kids are still enthusiastic about chipping in at the barn -- putting out hay, sweeping, collecting eggs, filling water buckets -- and just spending time with our four-legged extended family members.

So even though our days are long, I'd prefer to be tired from mucking out stalls than sitting in commuter traffic for hours or trolling the malls for the latest, greatest must-have.

But I promise, we're done for now. No more animals until spring -- unless anyone has a barn cat or two to spare.

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