Monday, March 21, 2011

Dodged the Snowball

It was a miserable day, weatherwise, but the predicted snow storm fizzled out and there were just a few flurries.  The wood stove struggled unsuccessfully to warm the house.  It didn't help that the wind had blown rain up onto the porch wood pile and I was drying chunks of wood in front of what little fire I could get going so I could keep the stove stoked.  The morning routine was a disaster.  The rain pounding on the metal roof had the girls spooked.  They all wanted into the milking room at the same time, and no one wanted to go outside.  Poppy, in her wool overcoat, ignored the weather and waddled up the slope to enjoy a peaceful breakfast all alone.  I opened up a gated area of the barn for additional shelter for the goats, left Lucy shut in her room (thinking it would be better for her to be thirsty than drowned, if she were to go down again outside), and kept the chickens cooped all day.

In the afternoon, I got one of those phone calls.  "You don't know me, but do you have any goat milk now?"  This lady raises beef cattle, and a calf was born outside during the last snow storm.  Range cattle tend to drop their calves in any out of the way place, trying to protect them from predators, but that makes it difficult for the rancher to help in case of a problem.  This little one was already in trouble when found and brought into the kitchen to warm up.  Range cattle do not take kindly to milking, even with the best intentions.  A newborn calf in the house is one thing.  Bringing in a full-grown cow is quite another, so the woman was looking for a substitute.  Dave at Mt. Aukum store had given her my number.  She left here with a gallon of milk, but called later in the evening to tell me the calf had succumbed before she could get back home.  I could only commiserate.  We try so hard.

In need of some comfort myself, it was a perfect night to make white chili with chicken, cannellini, hominy, lots of spices, herbs and green chiles, and sour cream.  It's raining again this morning, but the wind has died down.


Kathryn said...

I don't even know what to say except that I, too, commiserate on everything miserable that befell you, your neighbors, and your gang...but then again, the chili WOULD have been a perfect comfort food. Here, I'll pass my bowl...fill'er up please!

Cally Kid said...

I won't comment on the weather here. It just wouldn't be right. Dawn did report last night that the high winds in Chico were so strong that the 10'x20' tent in the drive had blown over in spite of the anchors of 5 gallon buckets filled with rocks topped also with 2 cider blocks on top. Just pulled everything like a wind tsunami (a word that I've used a lot lately) to expose everything under the tent to the battering rain. The winds also toppled two large trees on the creek in the backyard. The old growth oaks and sycamores are large enough to crush our house yet fortunately those aren't the ones that fell, at least not yet! I can (remotely) relate to the beatings that Mother Nature can deliver.

Cally Kid said...

UPDATE! UPDATE! I spoke too soon about the nice weather here. A freak monsoon storm is happening right now as I sit in our "Costco Tent Office". The warm water seeps under the tent and is running over the tops of my sandals as I write this comment. Literally, a small creek yet the rest of me remains dry...for the moment.