What do you do when you are stressed or depressed?

I cook.  I suppose that’s a good outlet and it seems to work pretty well.  The results are good.  I wish I’d find some solace in cleaning because there’s a lot of that that needs to be done around here, but cooking is my comfort.

Yesterday I made a dish with chicken, garlic onions, peppers and home-canned tomatoes.  I’ve been using my new cast iron frying pan almost every day and absolutely love it.  In addition, I baked a loaf of Anadama bread and some Focaccia.  Today I have a pot of chicken soup started.  It’s supposed to be a pretty decent day today, which is a good thing because we have to do something about shelter for the goats.

Unfortunately, funds are too short for us to be able to build the structure that we wanted to for the goats so we’ll have to keep using the existing shelter.  We are going to get some rough cut lumber and use that to make a frame on top of the chain link and then put the tarp up over that.  It isn’t ideal and there’s no guaranty that it won’t come down again if we get heavy snow, but it will be less likely to than it was when we were using the metal poles.  The metal pole holding the tarp up on Gel’s run bent during the last storm.  I was wrong about how much snow we got.  I originally thought eight inches, but we got 10.5 inches.  I cannot recall having seen that much snow since I’ve been here in North Carolina.  I will bet the a lot of poles holding up tarps on dog runs in this area bent or broke.  We made a wooden frame and nailed tin to the top of the chicken house and so far, that has held up well so hopefully it will stay up on the goat shelter.

Yesterday morning, in the rain I got the tarp up over the chain link and supported it with pipes stuck in the ground.  It looks like a big top tent.  Since the rain was not heavy nor was there any wind, it stayed up and the sheep were able to have some shelter.  The goats are still up in Red’s barn.  I brought Rose up with them yesterday afternoon; it’s a bit crowed up there, but that’s all I can do for now.  She slipped into the pasture with the sheep and Liath yesterday morning and Liath almost killed her.  So much for sisterly love.

Besides not having the money, the weather is not going to be conducive for construction projects for the foreseeable future.  They are calling for another winter storm Friday into Saturday.  It shouldn’t be as bad, but any bad weather right now is difficult.

So far, we have three lambs and all are doing well.  I’m hoping some of the ewes will lamb today while it’s warm.  Yesterday afternoon, I took Buster out of the pasture with the sheep and put him in the poultry pasture.  He seems perfectly happy with the arrangement.  Liath is not; she favors the cow over the sheep.  Unfortunately, she’s going to have to deal with it as Buster is slated to go to the processor on March 22 and Liath won’t have another cow to hang with until June or July.  I moved Buster because the lambs were hanging around under his feet and I didn’t want to risk his stepping on them.  Hopefully after the storm Friday night, we’ll be able to move the sheep and Liath back out to the ElectroNet and Rose and the goats back here.

As well as getting the cover back up over the goat shelter, we are going to make some low, covered shelters for the sheep and put them in the poultry pasture.  If the weather is going to be bad, we can bring the sheep up and they’ll have shelter.  Eventually, we hope to be able to design shelters that are easily moved so we can leave them out in the ElectroNet.

Sometimes I wonder if keeping these animals is at all worth the trouble.

Until later …