I think that spring has finally sprung. I realize this is Indiana and tomorrow a blizzard could happen, but I am so hoping spring is finally here to stay!

Kidding season has begun on the farm. In fact, we are about half way through the season. This past week I had planned to kid out 8 does on Wednesday. I took the day off work, and I had several people coming to help. And in true goat form, the goats didn't cooperate. By the time Wed rolled around we only had 3 left to kid. Two of those kidded before anyone arrived. So the actual delivery of babies required very little help. However, they still all had to be fed. We pull our babies from the mom's at birth. While some disagree with this practice, believe me when I tell you that as cute as they are those little buggers can be vicious when it comes to eating. They can make a mom miserable, if not terribly sick. I was so thankful to have Brent, Kelly and Peyton, Erin, Stella and Elliott, and Anniston there to help us out with all those bottles.

Right now we have 25 babies in the barn and 5 in the house. Nani kidded yesterday with 2 bucks and a very tiny doe kid. The little doe came first and was backwards. It took Ayana and myself to work on mom and baby to get things in a position that the baby could be delivered. Once she was out it did not look good. The baby was struggling to breathe. Ayana worked on her while I delivered her brothers. Things still did not look good, but Ayana kept working. Finally, the baby was breathing on her own. She's actually doing quite well. I was informed this morning that she enjoys sleeping in Ayana's bed. She likes cuddling, laying on your chest and probably long walks on the beach! I have a feeling that this one isn't going anywhere!

On the subject of goats leaving our farm... Anthony and I have discussed all year that we really need to cut back. We are not getting any younger, and we both work full time. Ayana will graduate this year, so cutting the herd back was in the plans as well as not keeping any kids from this year. The first doe kid came out of an animal -- that is special in our herd. So we decided, "OK, maybe this one". I mean it's kind of a necessity to keep this one. By the way, her registered name is "Out of Necessity" Nessy for short.

Then Calamity had a doe kid. Oh how I wanted a doe out of this breeding! Her registered name is Dixie. Then Dirrita, who wasn't suppose to be bred, gave us a really nice surprise in the sweetest little doe who is so funny and very well put together. Her name is "Linda Listen". Okay, so our cutting back has had a gain of four so far. The new baby has yet to be named. I have a feeling the goats will be around for a while.

Our road has been closed due to the replacement of the bridge south of our house. I have been grateful for this as I am sure my neighbors probably have been as well. We are the last house before the bridge, so we have no traffic. With kidding season comes lots of trips to the barn. Many trips are often made wearing a house robe and rubber boots. For those of you who know me, it is a vision to behold. My neighbors have been spared driving by and catching me in one of my barn/robe runs. I just wonder what those construction guys thought when they drove by. Of course, in true Hope hospitality, I waved!

I am out the door long before dawn thinks about cracking in the mornings. This morning as I stood on the porch putting on my boots, I could hear my owls in the woods calling. I love my owls, and I often hear them at night as well. I love to sit in the barn and listen to them. In the summer, around dusk, we will often see them soaring through the trees.

Polky, the horse, is doing much better. Several weeks ago she had an abscess in her right front foot. Polky was injured when she was very young. She has always been a little slow, hence the name Polky, but the abscess really threw her for a loop. She laid around most of the time. We were afraid to allow her in the pasture, and since she was stalled all night we just left her in the yard during the day. The road crew would often stop to let us know our horse was out. They finally caught on that this is more of a zoo than a farm. She couldn't move fast enough to get very far, and she wasn't feeling up to it anyway. She is now back in the pasture with her buddies. The farrier will be back in a week to make sure all is going well.

The ducks have started laying again. Duck eggs are wonderful to use when baking. I think we will add to our duck population this year. The chickens have really kicked in as well. I don't know why I thought I needed that many chickens because I certainly don't need that many eggs. When I was a little girl one of my favorite things was to gather the eggs, so I guess my chickens bring back a little bit of that childhood.

I cannot wait for everything to turn green again. I have seen many flowers in bloom. My grandmother grew the most beautiful flowers. Many of you may remember Susan McKinney. Often, after I was done feeding the cattle, I would go in the house to tell her I was leaving. We would walk outside, and she would cut a small bouquet of flowers for me to give to my mother. Of course I don't have any flowers. I have goats not flowers. I tried, and the goats won.

While the work on our little farm has more than tripled over the past few weeks, I cannot imagine being anywhere else. Kidding season is a very stressful time. I have been on a farm my whole life and have seen many, many births of different species. I have even witnessed human births. No matter how many times I see it, I am always amazed at the miracle of life. I feel truly blessed to be able to witness such miracles. Make sure to look and see all the new life around you!