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Togetherness.

Dante and Dempsey (who turned 12 weeks old last week) went to their new home on Saturday. Together.

Playtime!

Which, without a doubt, is the perfect outcome. If Dempsey had had to go by himself (or even stayed here), he would have desperately missed his half-sister and let everyone in the vicinity know it.

Instead, they’re together in their new home with children to entertain and love. We certainly miss them, but I’m glad they’ve found such a wonderful family to call their own.

As for us, our bottle baby days may not be over just yet. Sometime this week, we may be taking a little visit to another goat owner to check out their Nubian kids and maybe, just maybe, we might come home with one. Or two.

I’ll be sure to blog about if we do!

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Oops.

I noticed something a week ago that rocked me to the very core of my foundation. Something that made me not only double check, but triple and quadruple check. And then stare in disbelief.

Dante is a girl.

I feel like the very opposite of an experienced crazy goat lady. The opposite of that (crazy, that is) would normally be good and something to aspire to, but in this case, I’d rather be the crazy goat lady who actually knows a male from a female.

And I do. Usually.

To be fair, the past few weeks have been a little distracting. Okay, a lot distracting. And Dante was born just as a bad storm was rolling in. I was in the midst of making sure the goats were where they were supposed to be and not sneaking into the maternity house (the unpregnant goats are a little envious of the pregnant girls’ housing), so I only took a glance at his her undercarriage and I went with it. I guess, I’m so used to us having more boys than anything else that Dante just had to be one. At least, those are my excuses and I’m sticking to them 😉

And I have improved greatly over the years. By leaps and bounds, actually, and here’s the proof: Many years ago, while attending my very first livestock auction, I just might have been overheard to say, “The goats with horns are boys.” Of course, there were quite a few chuckles, rolled eyes, and shaken heads from the folks seated near us. Just to state the obvious and get it out of the way, horns or a lack thereof do not indicate gender in goats, and that’s a lesson I learned the hard way. By the way, I’ve since heard much worse from others while attending auctions (and not all of it was from newbies) – the best entertainment at an auction is the overheard conversations. Very interesting stuff.

Now comes the hard question. . . keep the name Dante or change it? I wonder how she feels about Delphine. Or Dulcinea. Ooh, or what about Dahlia? We’ll see.

In the meantime, I obviously need to read a biology book or two. Or ten.

Dante, by the way, is completely unconcerned. As long as she can bounce, she’s happy.

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Icepocalypse

I changed my mind. Winter is NOT my favorite season anymore. The ice, the cold, as of last week, I’m over it.

But when the bout of wintry weather that we had last week was first forecast, I was excited. I mean, snow! How often do we get any snow in Alabama? It’s about as rare here as a heat wave in Siberia. Those, we’re much more familiar with.

By the time it actually arrived and I had landed flat on my backside for the umpteenth time in what ended up being a light dusting of snow covering a thick layer of ice (Ice is slippery, who would’ve guessed it?). . . Well, that’s when I learned a very valuable lesson. Winter weather is not all it’s cracked up to be, and I’m in total and complete awe of those of you in more northerly climes who deal with it all the time. How do you do it?

But I did manage to stay upright long enough to get a few pictures to share.

This is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning.

The ducks didn’t know what to think, at first, but they quickly warmed up to it.

The dogs had varying reactions. . . Bryony loved it from the start (She would have been happy to stay outside all day long). Hunter, not so much. Potty trips were a nightmare for him.

While the goats and Mose the donkey were like me. They took one look at all the white stuff on the ground and went back to their houses to wait on breakfast and warm water. Which proves, they’re a lot smarter than me.

And a few more pictures:

Icicles on Tuesday. I’m a tiny bit of a Spelling Nazi (and completely annoying, too), but I had to use spell check on that word. I mean, it’s not very often that I’ve had to type the word icicles.

From the bottom of our hill on Wednesday.

The courthouse downtown on Thursday.

The birds lazing about on Thursday.

Our frozen pond also on Thursday.

By the weekend, temps were back in the 60s-70s. Yep, that’s our crazy Alabama weather.

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Playing with goats.

One of the things that I really love about bottle babies are how friendly and playful they are. That’s certainly true with our babies.

We have three bottle babies right now (Dempsey, Dante, and the lone girl, Brunhilda), and they can be a barrel of laughs sometimes. Like this weekend, when I took the Two D’s out for a little playtime (little Brunhilda remained inside with Nanny – that’s Human-Nanny, not goat nanny, or as she’s better known, my mother). 
Dante (he’s the lighter colored of the two boys) used playtime to perfect his bouncing skills. 
Dante: Look, Dempsey. No hands! 
Dante: It’s fun. . . You try it!
Dempsey: How’s this?
Dante: Um. . . . . We’ll work on it, brother. Before you know it, you’ll be leaping and bounding around just like me!
I can definitely see the maternal resemblance coming through with the boys, especially Dante. His mom (Dara a.k.a. Big Mama nee Mean Mama) was routinely compared to a deer when we first got her four years ago. Mainly due to her attempts to leap over fences or anything else in the way. She was very skittish and leery of people, but with love and time (and don’t forget treats. . . lots of treats) she came around. Now, there’s no way she’d leap over anything to get away from us. . . leaping over something to get to us, though, that’s another story. 
Now, back to playtime, which ended unceremoniously with a well-deserved nap.
 Or not.
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Warning!

Just a word of warning  that I got a new camera for Christmas – a Canon Rebel T3i. Woohoo! You know what that means, don’t you? It means, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks going picture snapping crazy. . . we’re talking hundreds of pictures. You could say that me and the new camera have been joined at the hip. . . um. . . or hand, maybe. And I think I may be finally starting to understand how to use it. Finally. So, expect to see lots of pictures in this post. Some good (hopefully), and some not so good (hopefully not too many of those). One thing you won’t be seeing is goat porn. I’ve taken tons of pictures of the back ends of goats this month, you know, since we have several girls due to kid. But I totally promise, not going to torture you with those. No way.

Based on the daggers that Jim Bob is shooting me in this one, he was completely over being a model. In fact, I can just about hear what he was probably thinking. . . “Go ahead, make my day.”

Unlike Jim Bob, Sammy is always happy to pose for me. You rock, Sammy Boy!! He really is a sweetheart, though. . . definitely more than James Robert. And I could never get tired of his adorable blue eyes. Sammy’s, that is. Not Jim Bob’s. He’d probably peck my eye out, especially if I had a camera in tow.

Remember that I said I’ve been on baby watch with our goats? Well, Sadie No Name delivered our first kids of 2014. Unfortunately, we lost one of the boys the very first night. I hate when that happens, but it’s a part of farm life. A very sad part, but one that is at times unavoidable.

The surviving twin is inside with us, now, and this is what we’ve been doing all week. His name is Dempsey. Isn’t he cute? Both he and his twin were so unbelievably tiny and I’m fairly certain they were a little premature. Right now, Dempsey is snuggled up in his playpen napping. Yeah, I have a goat in a playpen in the house. . . that’s just the way I roll.

This week has been full of ups and downs, and not just with animals. I’m talking temperature wise, too. On Tuesday, it was so cold that our pond was covered in ice from one end to the other. I know that may not seem like a big deal to anyone who experienced those terrible sub-zero temps last week, and I totally agree. It doesn’t compare. But I’ve never seen a frozen pond before! I mean, never. Well, in movies and pictures, but that doesn’t count.

Our second set of twins for the year chose to wait until after the ice had melted and the frigid temperatures were gone to make their debut (two little doelings, too!). Sorry, no pictures yet, but one girl is solid black and the other is a sort of. . . well, I’m not sure what her color is called in goats, but in poodles it would be cafe au lait. Picture the color of coffee with cream. Very pretty.

Clara, by the way, is just glad that it’s warmed up and she doesn’t have to help me break the ice in her water anymore. And of course, that I’m not waking her up three times a night to check on her and the other goats. Now, I’m back down to checking on them once a night.

Meanwhile, Hunter heard that #animalselfies have really taken off and he decided to try out my camera and get in on the action.

And to close this post, a little proof that I’m not a complete gardening serial killer.

An orchid! Can you believe it? I sure can’t.