Turns out I'm not very diligent at updating the blog. My apologies to everyone that has been checking back for regular updates.
Its been a wet summer around here... all the rain has made for a good grazing season for the goats, well, when the grass wasn't UNDER water of course! ;) The goats and sheep are doing fine... nothing much going on with them... we are having a small issue with the sheep beating on the goats... its been going on for a couple weeks now, mostly between the sheep and Ernie... and couple times the sheep has head butted him so hard that its caused the spot where his horns used to be to bleed a bit.
The sheep has been a bit of an unpleasant "pet" before... like everytime you have to work with them and trim his feet or deworm him or attempt to put flyspray he's rather unpleasant (to say the least!). I've been willing to work around those issues, but this new behaviour of beating up goats is unacceptable. Not sure what we're going to do to resolve this issue yet... we're just waiting it out a bit right now and see if it changes more or not. I may try separating the sheep out for a while and see if being in "solitary confinement" for a while will help. Perhaps I need to hire a sheep "shrink"! ;)
The chickens are doing fine... they laid well all summer and are still laying, but it has slowed down with the decrease in daylight. The one chicken that we got that was missing feathers when we got her, never did grow any feathers back... not sure what's going to happen to her this winter, I don't hold a lot of hope that she will survive the winter, really, but at this point, she's still happy and lays regularly so we're just leaving her alone for now. We'll see what happens, I suppose.
The dogs are good... not much new with them either. Oliver has been enjoying the paths Shawn cut on the other side of the property... we take both the dogs for walks off leash over there and they like it. Pixie we do need to leash to stop her from eating chicken and goat poop that we dump over there just off the paths. She refuses to listen if hollered at to stop, so we leash her and that at least slows her down a bit! Oliver has great fun running through the very long grass and after a heavy dew he comes home soaking wet! I maintain the paths with the lawn tractor and sometimes I just drive the paths and the dogs enjoy running along with it. We know how to have fun around here :)
Most of you know that I've made a bunch of changes to my lifestyle over the last 4 months... after I was so awful feeling last fall, winter and spring, I finally decided to try to do something about it (going to the dr's office failed) and made an appointment with a local naturopath. Of course, I went into it with a fair bit of skepticism, but I've been very pleased with the results. She's been treating me for a number of issues with some success, its not "fixed" but there's been quite an improvement.
After the naturopath did some food sensitivity testing, I cut out gluten, sugar, dairy and yeast from my diet. Its been a bit tricky, but not near as bad as I feared it would be. Finding bread that is gluten and yeast free is a challenge, but it does exist and its not too bad... though I imagine anyone that's used to "normal" bread would think it disgusting. I don't eat much of it anyhow, its hard to find a palatable loaf locally, I found a decent one in Waterloo on my last trip home and have the remainder in my freezer.
Its quite remarkable the changes that have occurred from changing what I eat. My muscle and joint pain is way reduced... to the point that I no longer require ibuprofen with any regularity... for those of you that know me, know that's a huge change from what was true in the past! The exhaustion that I was experiencing has really diminished, though if I'm not careful and I ingest something I shouldn't, gluten in particular, the exhaustion comes back with an almost immediate vengeance. Given how horrible it makes me feel, I'm pretty careful about avoiding it... to the point of being paranoid. We no longer eat out, because I fear that the person preparing won't be careful enough... works out ok though, eating out wasn't necessarily my favourite activity anyhow.
At the beginning of August, I started doing yoga and that's also made a huge difference. I got started because of a local studio offering a workshop "Yoga and Horses" that appealed to me and I signed up for it. The first week was an in studio class, to learn the moves and breathing before heading out to a local stable to try it mounted. When I signed up, the in studio class was the one I was least looking forward to... yet, when I left the studio that day I felt like I'd received a very intense and relaxing massage. My mind was clear, my body relaxed... amazing.
The following week I joined an in studio class "gentle hatha" and have been going every week since. The yoga and horses workshop is long over and it was enjoyable... very nice to be on horse back again, but I really did fall in love with the in studio classes. How unlikely, eh?
After a week or two of me going to the studio for classes, Shawn wanted to give it a try, so we found some online yoga videos (email me if you want to know where to find them!) that are quite similar to my classes. Shawn and I have been practicing yoga in our living room 4-5 times a week using these videos and some we bought at the store. Its made quite a difference in both our lives and we both enjoy it.
Just recently, I've started adding in a 2nd in studio class a week... one week I did a different type of yoga at the same studio, with a different teacher, but found it didn't have quite the same appeal. I then found out that the yoga teacher I really like has just opened her own studio, so today I went to her new studio and took her class and all was wonderful ;) Her new studio is quite beautiful and has a lovely calm atmosphere. She also brings her adorable, yet shy, dog with her... he hangs out in a different room during class, but comes out before and after class.
Anyhow, we still have a number of outside projects to finish up before winter actually arrives... the chickens need their coop insulated (I'll add a heat lamp as needed) and the coop needs to be moved to its winter spot, that will take us some time to get it done... I don't want to do it too early though, since the chickens winter spot is in the field beside the dog yard where the goats currently go during the day to graze. Once the chickens are in there, the goats will not be able to be turned out in that field. So its a balancing act, as usual ;)
We still have some stone dust to move from the load we got in the spring, but not that much... what's remaining will get put along our path to the hay and goat shed to help build it up a bit to keep us from having to walk through lots of mud and ice this winter.
I probably should cut the grass at least once more before winter, its long now from all the rain we've had... but it also hasn't been dried out enough in a LONG time to even consider cutting it. Hopefully there will be a day where it will be dry enough to cut so its not so long over the winter. We'll see! ;)
So, in spite of not updating for months, there's not really been much to say... its been boring around here... just the way we like it :)