I’m interrupting the Goat Diaries to bring you an exciting message. The Goats are coming back! E and P were with me for just twelve days in July. During that time, they generated enough material to fill a book. As you know, I’ve turned that into the Goat Diary posts. The goats brought good learning and lots of laughter. I’ve missed having them in the barn, so I asked to have them back.
E and P are coming. They are going to be joined by two pregnant nanny goats so next March I will have the pleasure of intorducing their babies to the world via clicker training. What fun!
One of my coaches, Marla Foreman has been staying with me this past year. Her mare, Maggie, is now one of the residents in the barn. The two of us have been putting in long days building the “goat palace”. There’s a seventy foot overhang down one side of the barn. It’s been a fairly useless space. Originally, I intended to use it for guest horses, but in the summer it gets too hot. And in the winter, the snow coming off the roof blocks access to it. We store the lawn mower and the snow blower out there, plus the left overs from the original construction, but beyond that it isn’t used. So there were two main goals for the building project. The first was to use up all of the construction left overs, and the other was to create living quarters for the goats.
We’ve turned the lean-to into a glorious space by extending the roof out another nine feet. It’s been a fun project. I never imagined that I would be up on scaffolding building rafters, or as we were yesterday, putting on metal roofing panels.
Since it is one of my projects, there are many creative twists to the construction. If you can put aside “the book” whether its for training or building, to look for alternative solutions, you can be pretty certain that’s what I’ll do. We have lots of very expensive and very necessary drainage running under what is now the goatery. I didn’t want to risk damaging the the drainage by digging post holes. That’s always been the stumbling block to finishing this section of the barn. How could I extend the roof without digging holes for the supporting posts? With the goats acting as an incentive, I finally came up with a solution. This is what I love best about building things. Whether it is a construction project or a training program, the problem solving is the most fun.
Marla and I did a lot of creative problem solving as we figured out how to build a roof. We had the existing lean-to to follow as a guide, but then there were the Kurland creative twists to figure out. The goats are coming tomorrow, and we’ve still got a lot of work to do. There are several more puzzles to solve before we’ll be ready to welcome them, and then there will be all the puzzles they present. It’s going to be a fun winter!