Would we call this spring?

Shared from my sisters blog. Please follow her and read about their adventures as they cross the sea on their sail boat. 

Liveaboard

When does spring arrive in Gaspé anyway? We thought the middle of June was a safe bet, but last night, the temperature dropped to five degrees, and this morning it’s cold and rainy and wind is howling through the rigging.

A week ago we were sitting on the deck of our other boat, Meadowlark, on our farm north of Durham, sipping coffee and watching a pair of bluebirds tending their young. They take turns bringing tasty (I can only assume) bugs and juicy-looking caterpillars to the nesting box. Bluebird TV. We could watch it all day. Shorts. We were wearing shorts. I’m sure of it.

Today we’re wearing jeans and T-shirts and thick fleecies as we huddle by the little woodburning stove on MonArk, which is still on the hard in the boatyard in Gaspé. There are still a couple of critical repairs to make, and we are waiting for our…

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Say ‘Yes’ and see what happens next

goats

Another migrated blog from November 14/2010

OK, so goats shouldn’t really be in the house.  Most people know that without having to experience it but some of us (OK, me) do need to try things before they say they don’t like it, you know?  My mom always made me have one bite of something new because I couldn’t say I didn’t like it until I had tasted it.  She was right – that’s how I discovered how delicious Brussel sprouts are (I’m serious – most favourite vegetable of all time).  We need new experiences – it’s how we learn.  I even went so far as to decide on summer vacation one year, that for an entire week I would not say NO to any opportunity that came my way. Seriously, would not say No… it wasn’t in my vocabulary.  So what happened?  I drove (OK, probably not the right word) a boat on the ocean; I raided crab traps in American waters (illegal on two counts: 1) not my traps and 2) crossed the american border illegally!);  I got a massage and a manicure, bought some outrageously expensive clothing; I went to a really cool house party in down town Vancouver, I participated in a drive by minting (involved a speeding mini-cooper, a bag of scotch mints and some rowdies at a bus stop). These were all new experiences that I would normally have said ‘No” to.  Me pilot a boat?  I had no boating experience, didn’t know port from starboard, didn’t know (till I figured it out) that you don’t let waves slap the boat broadside – that’s how you ‘swamp’ the boat. I learned, after robbing the traps, how to boil and eat crab. I also learned that crabs WILL pinch you if you get your finger in their ‘faces’ and that it really, really does hurt.  I also discovered that when cleaning a crab, pulling the carapace off is best done gently if you want to avoid exploding crab guts all over someones nice house. I also found that treating myself to expensive clothing while on vacation is a luxurious thing :).  And remembering the Drive-By-Minting has kept a smile on my face for over 10 years now.

So what has keeping the goats in the house taught me?  Well, a baby goat is really only helpless and wobbly for about 24 hours.  After that, it can pretty much get out of anything you put it in.  They pee every 5 and a half seconds (or so it seems) and while they can be trained to do their morning pee outside, or, for that matter, to pee outside anytime you put them out there,  they pretty much will pee anytime, anywhere without too much forethought.  Goats pee does not smell good.  Goats climb. They will be found in your laundry basket on top of your newly laundered clothes. They will climb on your couch (remember the pee statement from earlier? yeah)  They will chew (not eat, mind you, but ‘feel’ with their mouths) anything they can get their lips on – just to see how it feels.  BUT, baby goats are the most adorable thing.  It is comforting to sit with a baby goat in your lap, it’s little chin nestled on your chest, giving little grunts of happiness, while you are watching tv.  It is rewarding to see a cold almost lifeless kid rescued from the barn slowly revive under your hand – taking deeper breaths and slowly realizing there is an active world around it. The little girl in me loves blowing their fur dry and putting a collar on them (I stopped just short of the bows on their ears 🙂 ).   It is also extremely satisfying to have them run to greet you when you come back into the room after you have been out of the room for all of 5 minutes – they seem to be bleating ‘it’s you! it’s you! look, you’re back!’.

So, no, goats – un-housebroken  smelly, loud demanding goats probably shouldn’t be in the house.  Tomorrow Rita and Chaos and Chuck (new goat that needed a boost) will go out to the ‘bottle’ pen that Don built in the barn.  It makes sense.  It’s a good idea.  But I know that Rita is going to miss the Tudors on Tuesday night…

And while I know they won’t appreciate the comparison – my kids are not house broken (per se), are frequently smelly, loud and demanding… perhaps they need a pen in the barn? no, no I go to far.  🙂