So this is the year that I stop waiting to move and just move into the house I’m in.  Eight years we’ve lived here.  And for about seven, I’ve been planning where I’ll go next.  The gypsy blood runs in my veins, subdued wedding dress to the contrary. As in most places, the real estate market is in the toilet, half my neighborhood is for sale and has been for ages.  And most of those houses have been better maintained than mine.

No denying my house is cute.  And we have a heck of a view.  But I crave land, land where I can grow things (rocky, crappy soil here) and raise critters.  A couple of years ago, I got chickens.  I was quiet about it, since I didn’t know if they were even allowed.  But eventually I found that our “village” zoning meant, essentially, anything not forbidden was permitted.  So you have to have 3 acres for horses, pigs, cows and (until last week or so) bees.  Nothing about chickens.  So I stopped worrying about my wee flock.  I’d built them a tiny house out of salvaged materials. And I built a moveable pen out of PVC and bird net.

Dottie the chicken in the early days

Sage (neighbor), Ben, and Lily in the pen. The coop is off to the left. The gals are quite young here.

Ben and Norma

The chickens have been seriously fun.  Even though poor Norma up there had to go live with a family that only had crested chickens–the other chickens picked on her, and she couldn’t see them coming b/c of the feathers in her eyes.  Of course I tried putting her feathers in a ponytail, what am I, a monster?  But they pecked her anyway.  Polly turned out to be a Paul an got moved to a petting zoo.  when it started to get cold, I lined the “log room” under our house with straw bales and put net up under the porch, making them a winter coop.

We lost Dolly and Eleanor to the fox when they escaped.  Pearl succumbed to–I’m assuming–heat stroke.  But Blanche, Dottie, Fran, Edith, and Sylvia remain from the original cast of chickens.  We added Ruby, Alice, and Millicent (purchased from 4-H kids at the fair last fall) to bring youth to the ensemble.

But I really missed mammals.  Julianna’d been doing Packgoat with 4-H.  The kids train the goats to go on hiking trails and help carry some of the supplies.  She’d been using a friends goat for the last couple of years, but she wanted her own.  So…village zoning.  not forbidden. not moving…

Brian, who heads the Pack goat group, generously agreed to help us put in a fence.  If I’d had ANY idea how involved it was, I’d have been way too embarrassed to ask that much.  But I didn’t.  So he did.  We fenced in about 1/2 of the backyard.  Julianna bought two Nigerian Dwarf goats.  We named them Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr, after the goats that pull Thor’s chariot (you may want to read this.  It’s quite a tale). But we call them Tango and Jester.

At first, we had only one bottle nipple. That was difficult.

Jester. he’s the more outgoing goat

Tango, who is more laid-back

 

They’re so cute you could die.  Having critters makes me feel more settled (after 8 years).  Of course, I’d still load up my caravan and move to that property of rolling hills and flat meadows with the stream and the woods….but for now, this’ll do.

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