It started with Jim, his obsession his reflection is of epic proportions. He is not allowed in the back yard for a while. At least not until there are blinds on the window. I am tired of wiping off llama spittle.
Then the lambs discovered they had reflections and were fascinated. Silly lambs.
Today the ewes succumbed to the heady lure of the mirror, like moth's to a flame. Ewe to a window.
One of Bea's daily chores is to help me move the lambs into the back pasture to assist with clearing.
She has the routine down.
She is gaining more and more confidence in moving these silly lambs.
I love the way she 'feels' the stock bubble. We do daily chores, keeping it very light and happy. It is my job to expose her and let her be successful and even naughty at times. When she goes back to Dianne in the fall, she gets to do the 'training'. I am just giving her oodles of exposure and letting her have fun.
When we got the chickens I knew she would be great with them. She proved me right.
Once she figured out I wanted her to move them, she was on it.
Slow and easy, she felt every single step they took.
One would think this is a recipe for disaster with the lambs behind the barn, alas she stayed on task with the chickens.
The chickens scatter all over the large yard. It is her job to help me gather them up and put them away at the end of each day, with the least amount of stress possible.
She is very happy with herself.
The next time we are at Fido's I am going to try her on ducks. I think she would enjoy it.
Unfortunately, one of the chickens learned Beth is NOT good with poultry.
Much to the hen's relief she survived the encounter, sans a few feathers.
Jim has evolved into a protective lamb guardian. He goes everywhere with them now. When they were with the ewes, Jim did not give a whit if they were in another pasture without him. Lately, if they move to another pasture to graze, Jim wigs out.
Since he has been behaving himself I let him in the yard to graze with the lambs before I mow.
Yesterday, Jim discovered the large glass door on the back of the house & his handsome reflection.
I love little babies and little kids. Terrible twos are my favorite. Four, five, six year olds are so much fun. I enjoy most kids, until they hit about 17.
I believe our country has this wrong. Military service should be MANDATORY for all kids above 16. Perhaps they would learn the value of a hard day work, appreciation for what they have and *gasp* some respect for adults and authority. Strip all their rights away and make them earn it all back like they do in basic training.
Would they really ignite into spontaneous combustion without their cell phone? Lets see! I have some gasoline handy.
The other alternative is to shove them all into a teenage "re-education/adjustment center" until they are 30. Let them finish school, go to college, treat the guards like they do their parents. The guards should have unlimited rights to use stun guns.
Actually, I want a stun gun. One that will shoot the distance of my living room.
Parent: "What did you say?"
17 y/o jerk: "Screw YOU!"
Parent: Sets stun gun on HIGH, aims and shoots.
17 y/o jerk wets his pants while writing in agony on the floor.
Parent says: "I am sorry, can you repeat that?".
I wonder how many kids would be as disrespectful to adults as they are now if we all had stun guns?
Last week we weaned our lambs. To make life easier and quieter we moved the ewes to the farm across the street.
When I first separated them, I moved the entire group of 36 lambs to the very back pasture at the farm next door. Without them screaming and calling to the ewes it made moving the 20 ewes to the pasture across the street much easier.
When we got there I took the ewes out into the field with Jim and Brenda for a walk about along the fence-line.
Suddenly Willy popped up. Willy is boarding at the farm. I had no idea he was out there.
"What are those white things?" Willy is alert, yet curious
"I am not sure about this." snort, paws ground
"Crap! They are coming closer!" Willy is unsure
"I am bigger than them." Curiosity overcomes fear
"HA HA! I can make them MOVE!" Playful horse, annoyed, somewhat freaked out sheep.
"It's okay smelly white things, I am nice." says the friendly horse
"FOOLED YA!" The Stinker.
"Bored now. What is that?" The sheep do not hold his interest long.
"Oh, look, a dog in the ditch." Sniff, sniff...sneaks up behind her and blows air on her butt.
Emotional scars are the hardest to heal. Multifaceted wounds to the very core of the soul. Complicated and often invisible.
My voyage to emotional health has been a long one. PTSD has a way of eroding the foundation of your psyche, combined with self blame, guilt and fear it is a challenge to figure out what emotion is causing a reaction.
Through the course of therapy I have been learning how to unleash the healing power within myself. Understanding to recognize and experience peace, contentment and joy, hopefully will lead me to living a full, rich life free from the fear that has hobbled me in the past.
Spirituality is an integral part of the healing process. I believe in G_d. Organized religion is another story. There, I am on shaky ground. I have a difficult time believing in something that is interpreted by man. Leaps of faith are not my strong point.
I choose to believe in something I can see, feel and know in the depth of my heart, is real. The kindness of animals. Simplicity of life reflected in their eyes.
The feel of the wind in my hair, soft rain on my face, the warmth of the sun on my skin.
Looking into the eyes of a dog, full of trust, brings me to my knees in thankful joy.
I believe that G_d puts us on a path, once we stop fighting against where 'he' directs. The small quiet voice in our heart is the one that will guide us true.
I have been letting it guide me for the first time in my life. I rather like the results.
A new path in life. Just following my heart, and sheep, and dogs...and....who knows what is next, but it is sure to be fun!
My sanity is debatable. According to my husband there is no question. He will be the first to tell you that I am a few flakes short of a full bale.
First border collies, then sheep and now....chickens.
My boss wanted chickens on the farm. I found a screaming deal for a great coop and four laying hens on Craigslist. He bought it and I get to take care of them and eat the eggs between his visits.
Yesterday we picked the coop and hens up and brought them to the farm. They came with everything, feed, shavings, feeder, waterer, coop etc. We are building a chicken yard this week.
Two Rhode Island Red hens.
Two Buff Orpington hens
After getting settled in yesterday they gave us four eggs.
This morning I opened the nest box and found...
Later in the afternoon we went to a local guy who raises and sells chickens where I bought four of my own. A Cochin, some kind of a black and white spotted hen, a white leg horn hen, and another spotted hen (I cannot remember the breeds right now). After getting them settled into the coop they left me these.
Two of my new hens are not laying yet. They are only 4 months old. Now I am planning on setting up another chicken pen in the sheep night pasture and getting more chickens.
Baby Behemoth, the rambouillet ewe was fascinated by the chickens.
She followed and watched them for several minutes.
Another new development on the farm is the addition of three romney lambs I have been anticipating for a couple months. They were bred by Lin Schwider from The Pines Farm. One ram lamb, who will be used for breeding this year, and two ewe lambs. They are unrelated and registered.
I decided on Romney for a few different reasons. Versatility, as fiber animals or meat. They are perfectly suited for our wet climate.
Ultimately they compliment my existing Romney ewes perfectly and it just makes sense.
It made me feel really good about the condition of our lambs when I saw that my lambs were comparable in body weight, size and condition as these. Many of mine were born a full month later and are the same size and a few are larger.
After a couple days to get accustomed to their new home it was time to begin introductions with the dogs.
The ram lamb, we named Humperdink, decided to defend his girls. He stomped, stomped again....then Brynn felt it was prudent to educate him with her teeth.
I don't think this is what he had planned when he decided to challenge Brynn.
Oh yeah, Humperdink, you are a big strong Ram Lamb hiding in the barn.
He will be going into the ram pen with his buddy Fred next week. You remember Fred, our bottle lamb that was adopted by the lamb collector, Sadie. Fred has been granted a reprieve from the locker. He will live out his life as Humperdink's companion.