I think that subconsciously I know what I need to do to keep myself and my critters healthy and happy. I’ve mentioned before about how I had been wanting a dairy goat for a long time before I finally got one and how I believe it has greatly benefited the health of my hands. After the injury to my finger I suffered a lot of hand and finger pain in both hands. At first, milking was painful. That is no longer so.
As far as the dogs are concerned, I had wanted an ATV for a long time. For a while I would ride out with my neighbor on his ATV (his wife put an end to our forays). I loved watching my dogs run at full speed for long distances. Of course, the ATV is worth its weight in gold as a farm vehicle, but the exercise I can provide to my dogs is extremely important for both their mental and physical well-being. Sure, I could take them for a walk and they’d run, but I’m sure they would not run quite as fast nor as long as the do off the ATV. On a walk, my dogs want to be with me and do not run as much. They also don’t play with each other as much as other dogs do. On the ATV, they get to stay with me, but at much higher speed and for longer distances.
I’ve mentioned before that my dogs have, for the most part, remained free from injury. I have yet to take a dog to a conventional veterinarian for an injury. My pocket book thanks me for that. None of my dogs have been injured enough so that they have to have crate rest or be kept from working for any longer than a day. That’s not saying I don’t occasionally see a limp and Gel will still occasionally hitch, but it’s all very, very minimal. Gel has been run into the ground and slammed into fences by adult goats and been kicked by cows and yet he still remains sound. He won’t be kicked by cows any more because I will not be working him on cows. I will not be keeping cows as livestock and he’s too valuable to be severely injured or killed by a cow for the sake of trialing.
Anyway, why do my dogs remain sound day in and day out? I’m sure the runs on the ATV make a difference. They get to run flat out on varying terrain on an almost daily basis. That’s important for their muscle development. The other reason, and I think this is more important, is their diet. They eat meat. The protein from meat builds muscle and aids in muscle recovery. Protein from plant matter isn’t going to do that. The daily runs and the diet also helps their stamina.
I surely hope this continues and I don’t have to eat my words down the road.
Work went fine yesterday. It was a bit slow which makes the eight hours go by slower, but it was okay. They had a catered holiday luncheon which was nice. Today’s agenda includes a quick trip to a doctor to get my asthma prescriptions filled. I have very mild asthma. A normal monthly supply lasts me several months. I want to get the prescriptions filled so that when I do need them, I’ll have them. My health insurance expires the end of December. Not counting the visit to the urgent care facility for my finger (I didn’t receive any treatment from them); the last time I went to a conventional doctor was in 2005. I wish I could get health insurance based on how many times I go to the doctor and the prescriptions I fill. I could probably afford that. Given how often some people go to the doctor and how my prescriptions they use on a daily basis, it’s no wonder why health insurance is so expensive.
I decided not to go to Charlotte tomorrow. I don’t want to go back to that world. I’ve distanced myself from it so much now that the thought of driving to Charlotte and attending the paralegal function makes me ill. I made an appointment with a local hairdresser for Thursday and hopefully she’ll be able to replicate the cut I was getting from the woman in Charlotte.
I was told that I had to attend a safety meeting at Walmart on Thursday. I questioned that given that I am considered temporary, but they said I should go. Hopefully that means they are planning on keeping me. Then work on Friday, Saturday is off, then Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Agh!
Because I got home so late, I didn’t milk last night so I had goats with very full udders to empty. Dawn continues to be difficult to milk. She’s got small teats that are hard to hold on to and I’m having to hold on to her mammary glands which may be uncomfortable. I ordered a hand milker a month or so ago, but sent it back because I wanted to hand milk. I realized this morning that I was only banging my head up against a wall trying to milk this goat by hand so I re-ordered the milker. I expect when I have another goat milking steadily, I will sell Dawn. There’s no reason to hold on to a goat that is difficult to milk. Rain is doing well as is Penny. Penny’s production is low because she was almost dry when I got her, but Dawn was as well and I doubled her production. I’ll have to stop milking Penny around the middle of January because she’s due to kid the middle of February. I am going to buy the white goat that I looked at last week. She milks a gallon a day which is a lot of milk for a goat. I discussed her kicking with the woman who has her and she agrees that it is likely due to being put on the milk stand and letting a calf nurse her. Hopefully that is the reason and that she’ll settle down. If not, there’s always hobbles.
Sunshine (Wally’s goat) and Esmeralda are up at the Christmas Tree Farm and that’s where they’ll stay for now. There’s a house for them to get into for shelter. I got tired of Esmeralda’s constant bullying. She is for sale and hopefully she’ll sell easily. I’m holding on to Sunshine to see how she freshens (she’s due in March) but given how her udder looks now, I think she’s going to have small teats as well. If so, she’ll be sold too. Now that I know what I want in a dairy goat, I will be very picky about what goats I buy and keep.
I am making another batch of cheese today. I was able to barter stock lessons for cheese. Unfortunately, given the weather and my work schedule I may not be able to go out until after Christmas, but that’s fine. Hopefully by then Cian’s brain will be working properly. It’s 62 degrees right now (a virtual heat wave!) with heavy rain on the way. I’m hoping in between rain showers I’ll be able to get out and work my dogs.