Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good bye Simba... Hello Saint John!

Cable Bay Ferry - Kingston Peninsula
How can so much and so little happen in the same month? I have now officially been to Saint John that seems to border several rivers as well as tho world famous Bay of Fundy. It was shocking to discover   the ferries are FREE! No, minimal fee, no reduced passes for locals, but FREE! What truly stunned me when we crossed the   Kennebecasis River,  the ferry that took us across to the Kingston Peninsula was what my new goat friend called a "Bubble Ferry" ... it does not freeze up ALL winter! It is on a pully system actually it is called a "cable bay ferry system" and it pulls the boat across the river. It looks like one of the small BC Ferries but the only means of transport is the pully and it appeared only one employee was required on each boat to make the crossing. A ferry is kept on each side so the crossings are continual all day.

I felt like it was 150 years ago, when travellers came to the river and the ferryman lived on one side and pulled the ferry across for payment. It was kind of exciting to imagine that old Buddy the truck was my horse and wagon as we floated  across. I posted a picture of the two ferries almost side by side as they cross and a picture of the numerous FREE ferry systems in New Brunswick. You know, for being one of the poorer provinces, the Ministry of Transportation sure has it's "poop" together! BC could learn a thing or two! (To the BC'er's this is NOT a slam against BC, I think we all know that some improvement could occur on the BC Ferry systems, especially for the smaller islands for the full time residents and interior rural locations of BC.)

The trip to Saint John was for medical reasons and it took us almost 3 hours to get there in old Buddy, along our windy bumpy country roads, out to the highway and then  the highway to Saint John - seemed like an old highway, which could be wider in places and definitely use a little repair. Overall not bad, seeing so many watch for moose on highway signs were kind of freaking me out! I didn't know the area and wasn't sure of what to expect... So yes Anita, I am sure I could have made it faster, but limped along watching the fuel tank get lower and lower.... It was an incredibly expensive day trip.

These days whenever I am travelling somewhere I try to include some eggs and/or baking sales. So I advertised and was able to get some giant sticky bun sales and Mediterranean bread to deliver. (Hence the trip across to the Kingston peninsula.) I also try to do any livestock sales or pick up while I am at it.

As you may recall, little Simba, the baby Nubian goat born to Freya at the end of January, was scheduled to move to a petting zoo in Moncton, but alas, the day before the transfer the deal fell through. The buyer's wife had obtained a full time job and was no longer going to open a zoo so they didn't need Simba. I told them, life happens, plans change and wished her luck in her future endeavour. Very kindly, they mailed me a Tim Horton's gift card - which was sweet... Sweet - mmm, donuts! Coffee! AND it paid for Rachel and my food for the day on our trip.

However, we still had to sell Simba and he was re-listed on Kijijii with the hopes that he would be bought as a pet or breeding buck - but knowing he may be meat. Fortunately the day before we headed out a buyer called. Let me say, he was a bit of a twit on the phone. He tried to chisel me down in price, which I expected and which is why I listed Simba for about $20 more than I expected to get. My main problem was this man's attitude, he was belligerent and mouthy - however, I surmised he was only trying to be funny - in his weird way.

Having made the deal and needing to leave Fosterville early, Len helped me pack up Simba in the dog crate and load him onto the back of the truck. Freya was NOT impressed. She had never been without her baby since he had been born and she sounded soooo sad.... Simba was nervous and whenever I had to stop for gas or coffee or to pee, he cried... Muuuuuum! MuuuuMMM! MUUUMM! He sounded like a tortured baby in the crate behind us. Rachel and I felt awful all day!

Well, we did laugh, as we found and wound our way through Saint John (happy to have Maggie the GPS guide us) ... As people looked at us... we said "Don't worry! We brought  our OWN goat!" It made us laugh and we contemplated going to the dollar store for a dog collar and walking him nonchalantly along the street.

We  tried to park in the hospital parking lot which was difficult since I couldn't see well to back the truck up and pull into tight spaces and the canopy made it even harder to get it right. It didn't help though, as we parked, got out of the truck and opened the back windows to ensure Simba had air ... for him to cry. A guy (kind of cute!) was two vehicles away and looked at us with curious eyes and a hesitant voice and asked , "Is that a GOAT in your truck?" I answered, "Of course! We brought our own goat!" Rachel laughed, almost hysterically and ran across the street to get away from me and the ultimate embarrassment.

Having travelled to visit a medical specialist we expected we might be in the hospital for an hour, but by the time we were done, it was almost three hours. We were so worried about Simba! How would he be? Was he OK? He had never been away from mom and only ate grain or drank water when  she actually shared with him, would he be... alive? It seems I over worry, yes, true story, I tend to worry more than necessary.

We came back to the truck and half a block away heard... MUUUM! MUUUUUUUUUM! It seems he had survived. Since there were other people in the parking lot and construction workers about three car lengths away, Rachel grabbed the keys and got in the truck to hide. I,  calmly, with confidence, walked back to the truck, opened the tail gate and pulled the crate forward to pet my goat. I attempted to give him some of my water but he would have none of it. I pet him and explained the appointment had been longer than expected and I was sorry for having made him wait. I knew it was tough being away from mama and... Then, I looked up, ALL of the construction workers were looking at me and ... laughing?

Freya and Simba
A few days before
 he moved out

I looked at those guys straight on and said, "What? Have you been listening to my goat bleat?" The men, mid 40's, been around the block, look at me and say, "We didn't think it was a goat... we thought it was a baby, so we checked." Me, "Seriously? Like I would keep a baby locked up in a crate in my truck for three hours!" They sheepishly looked at me and laughed. I guess for the babies of the world, locked up in crates, in the back of trucks, in hospital parking lots, it IS good they checked.

We finally find the sell location for my buyer  to trade Simba for cash. The fellow complains I am late (ten minutes - we got lost.) He then tells me to put "the goat" into the back seat of his car. I thought that was weird, however according to goat people, this is used as a method of transportation at times. I turned to Rachel and told her, you get the money and I am going to hug Simba good bye and pass him over after he is paid for.

Well, the buyer starts to get cheeky again. He hands me $45 and says (as I look into his bulging wallet) that is all I have - basically take it or leave it. I advise him, I will leave it, the deal was $65 and I already came down to that from the original listing. He says, "Well you don't want to take him home again." Me, "Oh I don't mind. Or you could walk over to that bank machine and get me the money." Him, "Fine!" as he pays me. I then took Simba over to the front seat and handed him to the guys' wife. She seemed nice, poor, rough around the edges, but kind. That was all that mattered to me.

As they drove away, my daughter and I looked at each other and felt sad. Poor Freya, what was she going through now, missing her son? How would Simba be, would he eat or drink? Well, after about crying for five days until she almost lost her voice, Freya seemed fine. I am going to get her a friend though and perhaps they can both have baby does next year so I don't have to sell them or eat them.

We left and headed to Saponetta Divino and met our new friends Marla and Diane and their seven lovely pet goats and started to feel a little better. (Click the link and check them out.) They are building their business making and selling goats milk soap and products and it is divine! (I bet they do mail orders!)

In the meantime I am milking Miss Freya and only getting about a litre or so a day and feeding it back to her or the chickens or the cat. Meanwhile I am deciding what to do with the milk. I am planning to make cheese but with my limited funds I don't have all I need to get started, including a stainless steel bucket. Now, I need to run, make more bread to sell to buy a bucket so I can make some cheese!

Dear Anonymous, I hope you enjoyed this and I am sorry I have not written for awhile. Things have been kind of busy but just a bit tough for me financially and a bit emotionally. Time to get off my butt, back on track and being positive! Thanks for the little boost!


.........Sarah Sherman said...

From Christine: Laughed at you antics of going to Saint John. We used to go there from Fredericton in fact my dining room chairs I got there. Still got them but need to get rid of them sometime soon!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank's for the great story and pick me up, any time I am depressed I will look at that Goat!! Glad you stood your ground with the cheap skate! Hope all went well at the hospital.
your friend Annon