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Farm Life

''Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.''
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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:37 am

We had a very busy weekend, as usual. We’ve gotten crafty cutting wood for our tiny stove, a process of using the chainsaw, the splitting mall, then the table saw and skill saw, then the hatchet. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Anyway, when you have to cut small pieces for a fairly small opening, one becomes kind of motivated to find the way that produces the most results, with the least amount of effort, and where we both can work together so it doesn’t do either of us in. Both of us only have so many swings of the splitting mall in us. And we’ve finally gotten smart enough to just set those pieces aside with the big knots in them. Like, how many times do you hit it before you’re just plain stupid to continue?

I know I said I couldn’t clean the pens because I really shouldn’t. I didn’t exactly clean them, but I did go out right after I wrote that and dig some drainage ditches because, just like last year, it was getting pretty disgusting. You could see even the goats didn’t like walking around in it. My rubber boots made a horrible sucking sound as I walked around. I have a very nice looking pile (of shyte) that can go right into the corn patch and rototilled straight into the ground next spring. That’s part of why it grew so well this year. If you look hard enough, there’s a plus side to almost anything.

Except for this one little thing that happened a few days ago. There may be a plus side, but not sure what it is yet. I got online and finally answered this email I keep getting about applying for Obamacare. I haven’t had any coverage of any kind for a couple years, and thought, let’s just see what they tell me. After a phone call almost seconds after I entered my phone number in their online questionnaire, and talking for some time, she excitedly told me I qualified and only had to pay $495.00 a month! And that was for a non-smoker (she asked me that twice, as if it mattered). I don’t take any medications, and other than a little arthritis they found in my right hand that showed up in the x-rays they did a few years back, I don’t have a history of health problems at all, plus I have no income myself. My mouth kind of hung open. I thanked her for her time, and told her there was no way I could afford that. Then she did some more looking and low and behold she came up with another figure of $135 per month. I still declined and again thanked her for her time. What a deal. And, what on earth has happened to our so called health care system?

Not much this time, but it’s only been a few days. Felt strangely like writing, which is rare in the evening. I’m usually too tired. I guess I’m kind of happy I finally got a good ton of hay for once. Nothing to take for granted these days. At least they’ll all eat good for the next month and a half, and then the hunt is on again. A welcome reprieve for now though.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:50 pm

I’m looking out the window at the light snow falling, and though it is normally a bit lighter out, it still looks like pre-dawn out there. While pretty, I must admit that on days like this I kind of have to psyche myself out a bit, to get suited up and go outside to feed everyone. In fact, I have observed myself doing things I do not even need to do, procrastinating, and sometimes even doing indoor tasks I have put off for a while, just to delay the inevitable. Funny how that works. I do laugh at myself frequently.

Just last night I was trying to get comfortable in bed. We cut and spit wood for several hours yesterday, which always makes me fairly stiff and sore all over. So I’m trying to get everything arranged with the blankets etc., and I just can’t seem to get it all just right. After several minutes of struggling, I realize the absurdity of it all, and start to laugh. I laughed pretty good for a couple of minutes. My husband had just went to bed, and he found the situation quite amusing as well, like, why not just sit up and turn the light on so you can see what you are doing. This may seem like such an incredibly small thing, but those moments are really priceless, and I honestly believe laughter adds years to our physical experience. They have shown that it boosts our immune system, and gives your body the right kind of message to stimulate healing.

I remember reading a chapter titled: Be a Smile Millionaire, by Paramahansa Yogananda in one of his books many years ago. I can’t tell you what it actually said now, but somehow the underlying message has stayed with me all these years, as it was close to 30 years ago that I read it. I’ve even had people make fun of me for smiling as much as I do, and I am well aware that sometimes a smile masks pain, loneliness, depression. You have to look at the eyes, to see if someone means it. Being empathic I can generally tell when someone is faking it anyway.

But my point is, even my animals are very well aware of my mood, and have no problem interpreting the energy I emit. In fact, caring for animals is a very good barometer for how I am doing day to day. Being a person who used to be fairly miserable, self absorbed, depressed, and even angry a good part of the time, with a lot of generalized anxiety about life, it’s a big deal to me now to observe and adjust when necessary. I don’t want to fake my way through life, and just accept that this is the way things are. I want my smile to be genuine, and I want to feel at ease in my body.

I spend a lot of time interacting with all my animal friends every day, and try to pay attention by dispensing that belly rub to Ranger when I walk by, and letting Nicky (the older diabetic cat we have) get some lap time when she needs it, and go out and brush Freckles (the horse) when she looks particularly bored and lonely. Sometimes I see one of the goats looking left out of things, standing alone. I try to give that one extra attention.

In fact, I’ll tell you a little story from many years ago that happened to me. I was once again living in an RV, only on someone else’s property (I don’t know what it is with me and “mobile” homes, and it’s interesting that I knew when I was quite young that I would be living in many of them) and we were getting ready to move. The property owner had a Labrador retriever that had a litter of puppies that were maybe a couple months old. The owner was gone most of the time and didn’t pay any real attention to any of his animals (he had a cat that went into heat all the time but never got pregnant and she used to like to hang out. I didn’t think much of that). Anyway, I noticed that one of the puppies was getting ganged up on, the attacks were getting quite fierce, and I was afraid this puppy would actually end up getting killed by his litter mates. Even though I knew I couldn’t have a dog where I was moving to, I took this puppy with me for two or three days (I can’t remember) and gave it lots of attention. I handled him and talked to him a lot. I took the puppy back and had to go back several times to finish moving over the next few days. I noticed the dynamic had completely changed for the better with his litter mates after this. A little love and attention can go a long ways, is the moral of that story. And I have always learned best through experience.

Am I doing a good enough job procrastinating, LOL? I don’t really have that much to write about presently (yeah, the drain and well froze up and had to be thawed and insulated better, but that is getting quite redundant and almost boring). I am just very grateful, despite the hard work, with where I am. My daughter lives with her husband and his mother and siblings. His mother just got into a horrendous fight with her boyfriend of several years, and now the air is thick enough to cut it with a knife in their home. I’ve become so much more aware of myself these last many years, my internal terrain and how I really feel in my body. It’s funny, because it’s made me much less self conscious and strangely less self absorbed in my interactions with my outer reality. And I’ve found I can’t even be in a room for long where really heavy energy is being projected. And we just don’t know what we just don’t know. I mean, absolutely nothing of any real value is taught to us growing up, especially in school, in how to manage our internal dialogue and make the connection between what we think and what we feel, and thereby how it influences our reality experience. In a very real way, we are creators, or at least serious influencers, of our own reality.

I think this should be very high on the list, though, these type of life navigation skills. I figured out a long time ago I left home without the tool box. I am so very grateful I managed to develop the tools I need, as I see so many who really don’t have a clue. My daughter is well on her way to figuring this out, and I am very happy she probably won’t have to wait until she is almost ready to collect Social Security (if we even still have it by then) to have a chance to experience more genuine happiness. Being highly empathic does, in many cases, mean you will have to work extra hard. And here it comes back to animals again. When she got her first dog, she was just 18. She went against my wishes (she was still living at home) and got this extremely cute little bundle of fur anyway. Now it’s 6 years later and she has learned a ton about herself she didn’t know, just by trying to be more conscientious in her responsibility towards little Miss Lucy. This dog is a high maintenance dog, and there are many times my daughter has asked herself, “what was I thinking!”.

And there’s a balance to be struck as well. I mean, there is no such thing as perfection in this world, except for maybe calling it perfectly imperfect. So if you are driven by some strange inner compass that wants to attain this outer state of perfection, and keep it that way, you will soon find yourself in a rubber room with a straight jacket on and some mighty strong medication. No, seriously, though, it’s taken a long time to just do my best and accept that it is good enough. I notice many of us like to take on a hefty dose of guilt too, for things we really cannot change from our past. I did not take very good care of the first pets I took on responsibility for in my life. It’s been a gradual process of developing, and then acting on, a greater and greater level of self awareness, instead of self absorbedness (yes, I made that word up).

So, anyway, letting your child have a pet, and learning to be responsible for it can be an incredibly good learning experience and help develop good life skills that can reach far outside appearances. Even showing others how to be more aware of what their goat will need to stay healthy is something I take quite serious. I am not perfect, and there are always improvements to be made. But the first step is just caring enough to pay attention. And I do see more and more people taking a new look at an old paradigm in how we look at and see our relationship with all life. It’s about learning to be in right relationship. A simple concept, really, but unfortunately not one commonly taught anymore. Yep, they had to go out and civilize all us savages. Somehow we gave up something really vital we didn’t even realize we had. Time to take it back.

I can feel in my bones the time to learn bee keeping is getting very close. I read this article about how Walmart has the patent on some robot bees to take over pollinization when the bees are gone. What a bunch of weirdos. I woke up from a dream this morning where I had to have three hives of bees to join this club. Strangely, I had a paper bag filled with dormant bees. I probably will do as I always do, and just jump in feet first and learn as I go. I can already taste the golden sweetness that they will share with me. I promise them, I won’t be greedy, and I’ll do my best. It almost feels like they are waiting for me to take my first step. And I used to be the kind of person who would stop the vehicle and get out and run for my life when a bee flew in the car. Will wonders ever cease. Yup, I think I’ll go eat my oatmeal now.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Christine
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Christine » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:54 pm

Be thee bees? Something beyond their necessity for pollination...

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My outerworldly work day calls. I don't have a farm life but I will be on my knees sanding and staining wood floors. Your real life story is an inspiration to the joy of being busy as a bee. :)
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:32 pm

Is winter over yet? No, in fact winter officially begins in two days, LOL. The good news about that is the days will be getting longer again soon. My mind is a strange juxtaposition of thoughts about farming and all the things we want to do out here, and the strange world unfolding “out there”. I have been watching a number of videos about our past and what our true history might be. It is stretching my mind into all kinds of contortions. I keep getting this feeling I’m not in Kansas anymore. The true nature of reality’s getting harder and harder to pin down. Maybe that’s the beauty of it. We are, in fact, creator beings, even if we don’t have a clue about what we are really creating. If we quit letting someone, something, else steer the ship, we might even begin to see a shoreline that looks a little more inviting...

A lot of what I spend time doing is being my own cheerleader. As I’ve gotten older I see a lot of people kind of giving up. In fact, you don’t even have to be older for this to happen. For me, I want to stay on the edge of creation, and keep setting goals for myself, and stay motivated to stay in the race. What race is that, you might wonder? Well, there is no prize at the end, at least not like we think. The one thing I have figured out, is we do influence one another, no matter what we are doing. If you are just sitting in front of the tv, watching reruns of your old favorite shows, you are still influencing someone, and being influenced. Grandma Mary was like this. Towards the end of her life she just sat there, and then just laid there, watching television, basically giving up, and letting others take care of her as she withdrew her desire to even be here.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this. I just don’t want to be that person. When my sisters and their kids came to visit this last summer, I realized just how much I actually do influence others, even though that isn’t my primary goal. And I remember when I was little I used to think it was important to find someone else, some dogma or belief system that had all the answers, and then follow them/that. I’ve come to realize there are no saints, and there is no magic book that has all the answers. Not that there haven’t been some amazing real people who have lived and inspired generations. I can think of a number of real people who influenced my thinking growing up. But somewhere along the way, I had to jump off the train, and look inside to see what was really there, within myself. That’s where the gold is, for any of us.

So I ask myself daily, what do I want to create, what makes me happy, where do I easily feel joyful? If I am honest, I realize that while I don’t mind being alone, I also want to share what I create with others. Not in a way that makes anyone want to follow me, but in a way that inspires them to look within. To realize that everything anyone needs is already there, we just have to change our perspective. I guess that is one of the reasons I write, is to share my sense of wonder, inspiration, and joy, as well as the challenges I have to overcome to maintain that state.

For example, just this last week we woke up to a loud squealing noise coming from our propane heater motor, at 1:40 am. We had to turn it off and spend the rest of the night without heat. Fortunately it’s not been a hard winter so far, and the temperatures haven’t been that cold. Still, we woke up and it was a chilly 49 degrees in here. The wood stove pretty much has to be babysat to keep it going, which is what my husband did the next night, all night long, just so I could get some sleep. Of course the holidays are right around the corner, and even though I don’t get much into it, I have kids and family that do. So the timing isn’t great here. It turns out that the little mouse family my husband found earlier had one adventurous member who actually managed to crawl into the motor and get stuck. That’s what wore it out after only two years.

I used to let this kind of stuff really get me down. In fact, the first winter we were here we had the car break down, the refrigerator quit working, the heater motor go out, and the generator quit. How do you learn to be happy with all that kind of shyte going on?! I am smiling and laughing to myself as I write this. The one thing I really have learned is how important my attitude, my thinking, and therefore my emotional response, is to any of these types of things. And by happy, I don’t necessarily mean jumping up and down joyful, I mean being at ease in your body, mind and spirit. This is an important skill to have in these times we live. When I think about all that goes on “out there”, with what I know about 5G, the push to make vaccines mandatory, the takeover of our food supply by a company that manufactures chemicals and thinks that is the answer to everything, as well as the bizarre unfoldings around the world politically speaking, I shake my head. The world is starting to become unrecognizable from the one I remember in my youth.

But we can’t be the antidote to the sickness of mind, body, and spirit that has descended on mankind if we are all going around in a state of being shell shocked. Therefore I will continue to clear my inner landscape, daily if I have to, so I can channel my creative juices into projects that not only bring me joy, but have the potential to assist others to do the same. In the end, it is up to US. Not some savior, or government, or belief system. In the end, I’ve learned to believe in me.

I will now step off the podium, LOL. I still have memories of being a preacher’s wife a few hundred years ago, and clearly recognize my tendency to preach. I try not to, but it’s very hard for me to resist. It’s not always a bad thing, but it’s not always a good thing either. Anyway, there really isn’t much going on out here on the farm lately, as we’ve had a ton of rain on top of snow so it’s made it a muddy slippery wet mess out there. I have been making progress with little miss Arrow, and her daughter Hazel. I named Hazel after my adopted mother who was small and feisty. Arrow was totally wild when I brought her home in January. I sold her two kids that were friendlier, but need to try and sell her and her daughter next year, and they need to be a little more sociable. So I go out there every day and sit in the barn with them and make them come up to me for the grain. I keep getting in pets and scratches around the ears, talking to them, while they gobble it down, and they are slowly getting a little less skittish. My neighbor also comes over and has got them to eat grain out of his hand.

I have determined to reduce the herd this next year so I don’t have to stress about how I’m going to feed them all, and keep up after them. Arrow really shouldn’t be bred again, so I’m determined to find a good home for her and her daughter as pets only. At least they are very cute and little, and if I can pull this off and get them to actually like people I will feel pretty accomplished. My next hurdle is figuring out how to breed Raven to Celeste and Ivy, the other two I more recently inherited. Since he is an escape artist, it’s a bit of a challenge, as I don’t want him breeding all the rest who haven’t been bred this year. There is already a glut of unwanted goats in the area, and I don’t want to add to it. But I also know if I breed those two it will be much easier to sell them this spring, and they have to go too. I’m already psyching myself up to let a couple more go as well, and to keep visualizing the outcome I want. It’s hard, because I’m really a big softy to the point where it borders on stupidity.

I guess as this year winds to an end it’s not unusual to look back and see what we’ve accomplished. One major thing I’ve noticed is how the people I interact with on a regular basis has changed, to where I am spending a lot more time with like minded people, and those not of like mind have kind of faded away. One thing I’ve struggled to accept is my inability to get out much during the winter months. Our one car is still not operational, and I have found that I really just don’t like driving late at night anymore, especially when driving conditions are iffy. My eyes don’t adjust well anymore, so headlights often almost blind me, and there have been several fatalities out here this winter already. We have the 4 wheel drive SUV’s that always drive like they are late to an appointment along with smaller vehicles that often don’t even have winter tires on driving like snails just trying to stay on the road. This is what causes the accidents.

And I haven’t mentioned it before, so will briefly now since I think it’s so funny. We recently had a new Costco built on the north end of Spokane, where I go to buy groceries etc. about once a week. It’s right off the main highway into the city and they put in a round about, rather than a stop light. People have been complaining loudly and non stop for months about this. It’s just not what they are used to, which I actually find funnier than heck. And it’s true, you get there and everyone just comes to a stop sometimes cause they don’t know how to act, what to do. Overall, though, I do see the wisdom of putting this in. It may slow you down at times, but then you don’t have to actually stop and wait for the light to change. Once people actually figure out who has the right of way, as is often already the case, it should work pretty good. But people! We are such creatures of habit!

I’ve missed all the Herbal Guild and Talking Circle meetings, as well as the drumming circle I like to go to for the last several months. Coming to a place of acceptance is a bit of a challenge for me, as I love the interaction and want to be involved. And I know it’s discouraging for the organizers when there is such a poor turnout. We all want to act like it’s summer all the time, and it just ain’t happening out here. There is another local gardening club I recently found out about that I want to go to this spring as well. At least they quit for the winter months. Rather than get my panties in a twist about it, I’m just going to put energy into making sure I can have the ways, means, and will to get back in the saddle come this spring. Speaking of saddles, I still haven’t given up on my dream of getting me and Freckles to a trainer this next year too. Sometimes I feel like the horse with a carrot I just can’t reach, LOL. The trick is in just not giving up, but also making adjustments to my expectations when necessary. It’s a balancing act for sure, for me anyway.

My stomach is starting to rumble and it’s actually not raining out there today so I best get my butt in gear. Might even get in a walk with the goats today. To anyone reading this out there I wish you a joyful holiday season regardless of how you choose to spend it. Remember, kindness never goes out of style, and if things aren’t going well for some reason, reaching out to someone who is struggling more than you is a great gift for any season.

This mornings’ sunrise...

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By the way, Love you Christine : )

PS: I stumbled across this website this morning. No matter whether you think the stories about the Ringing Cedars is true or not, it HAS inspired many people, in a good way: https://www.loveproductions.org/english ... FnYUjr8bMM
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:39 pm

A cold dreary overcast day of frozen water buckets to change out does not get me excited to go out this morning. I’m sitting here with the usual cat on my lap, one finger typing. One thing I’m happy about is finally getting a couple does registered with ADGA yesterday. I drag my feet on this kind of thing, for several reasons. One, it’s almost an hour drive to the city. Two, our cell phones don’t work well out here, especially mine. Calls get dropped all the time, and sometimes can’t get service at all. My husband wants to get an antenna to boost the signal, and I’m like, no. I’ll suffer with it. We don’t need more exposure to the electric soup that just keeps getting amped up with more and more technology that we are somehow convinced will actually improve the quality of our life.

I could really go off on a tangent there! Whew, maybe I’ll wait on that one. The other reason I drag my feet is because the mother of the two does I’m trying to get registered, Cry Baby, is registered with another organization, the AGS. I finally successfully faxed all the information they needed, and also transferred Crispy, the buck we got this spring, into my name. There are many reasons to register your goats, and I only register the purebred Nigerian Dwarfs, not the mixes. I can sell them for more, is one reason, because some people really get into showing them in competitions. That’s why things like confirmation, and milk production actually do matter.

The Lamancha/Nigerian mixes and Miss Jinjer, who is a quarter Alpine, are much better prospects for those who just want good milk production, but want a little bit smaller size than their purebred full size counterparts. These could have been registered too, which is important if you are doing experimentals and need to keep track of the bloodline, but I can’t see myself going there. If I was younger, I would have got more into that, but it takes some serious commitment to breeding in traits you want, keeping good records, and searching out bucks that will produce the results you are looking for. You have to be able to do this over a number of years and breedings. I really just want nice, healthy, easy to sell goats, that are friendly, have fairly good confirmation, decent milk production, and can be purchased to go in a number of different directions.

I have also realized that registration really does help keep track of breedings, to ensure that you don’t breed in traits that you don’t want. This becomes much more common with too much inbreeding, and breeding to bucks who really should have been wethered. The registration process allows you to go back many generations. Since goats often go through multiple owners, it’s nice to have access to this information about your goats breeding history. In a small area, if you don’t bring in goats from outside the gene pool, it could become a real problem. Breeders often do selective inbreeding to bucks who have particular traits, but you have to know what you’re doing there.

For me, I have some other goals to accomplish in the next few years, of which goats only play a small part, so I don’t plan on expansion there. Besides, it’s a lot of physical labor to keep up with it all. I need to get going on more food production and expanding gardening space, which involves some fairly hefty physical labor. I try not to think about it too much, and just break it down into small jobs and do a little at a time. Otherwise I start feeling like I can’t do it.

Your mind can actually work against your best intentions sometimes. Fear and worry have become such a part of the inner landscape for many of us, we often don’t even realize how much we do it. Somehow I have been blessed to have connected with my own real inner voice, and have learned to recognize my outer programming that pretty much took over a long time ago. They become internalized after enough exposure, those voices of our parents, our school teachers, our peers growing up, and the heavy religious indoctrination and social programming most of us are exposed to. And many of those voices I recognized should not be in charge!

That’s probably the only reason I’m not the mess I used to be. That realization makes me want to jump for joy! Seriously, we don’t any of us know how long we’ll be here, and exactly what to expect when we leave our physical bodies. But while we’re here, as far as I am concerned, my day to day quality of life is what matters. I think it was John Lennon who said something about an experience in school, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. If I remember right, he said he wanted to be “happy”. That’s not what they wanted to hear. Well, I know I can’t be ecstatically happy all the time, but I have found that I generally feel good will, towards myself and others. I do have to struggle sometimes with good will towards those who have positioned themselves in an imaginary state of being above us, and think they have some right to be in charge of the destiny of biological and spiritual life on this planet. But even then, I bring myself back to the position of imagining them out of my dream, my reality, as if they never existed. I don’t want to give them any more of me than they already take, without my permission.

That’s why I try to keep my focus on what I can do, what I can create, and put energy and attention into just the everyday details of assembling the materials, drawing up the blueprint, magnetizing into my life the ways and means to actualize what I want. Each of us can be our own work of art. We don’t have to keep following the well worn groove that has been laid before us. We really can blaze our own path. As this will probably be my last post here on this thread until after the first of the new year, I will leave you with a Bee-a-utiful text my youngest sister sent me this morning. Warmed my heart. I hope it does yours too.

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May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:48 pm

Woke up this morning to the propane running out. This is one of those days where I’m going to take the extra time, even though I’m feeling under the weather, to do some serious clearing of energies, both for myself, and for the collective. I wasn’t sure I would write about what’s really on my mind, but since I’ve made a habit of it for some long time now, might as well just go for it.

Every once in a while it feels as though there is a convergence, and it can be energetic as well as physical. It feels like both at this time. I’ve been thinking deeply into how we, as a collective, got to where we are now. I can’t help feeling energetically squeezed, almost like what going through the birth canal after being in a comfortable, buoyant, fluid environment must feel like. I think back to my own birthing experiences. My first son was born in a hurry. I think I had a two hour labor, and I remember the nurses at the hospital being shocked as they hurriedly wheeled me into a room to give birth. First they told me to hold back, and not push yet, until they checked me out and realized that he was coming out no matter what.

My second two children, born 12 years apart from each other, were both home births, and breech to boot. People will try and tell us all the time what we can and can’t do. I’m living proof that what society tries to tell us is possible is absolutely not always correct. Part of it really is about believing in yourself. Our minds are far more powerful than we think.

The truth is, we birth things all the time. And I do feel we are now on the cusp of a major birthing experience, as a collective. What we believe about what is possible comes into play here, very strongly. Somehow I do feel an awakening, that cannot be fully seen yet. An awakening to how much what we think we know about reality, and especially our past and how we got here, is, for the most part, a complete fabrication. It is a ground pulled out from under you kind of feeling, for then our minds scramble to figure it all out. Yet we do so with limited knowledge and purposefully deceptive information provided through “the controllers”. They even try to convince us they are “the creators”, yet, they are not. They do not even know how to create anything new. Only replicate and rearrange what is already here. It is up to us to be the creators of what is to come, either consciously or not. And now, especially, it is important to not let our fears of the unknown run away with us.

I can think of a multitude of examples. And it may be that the outcome will be different, depending on each individual’s inner landscape. For those who have never even lifted the lid to see what’s in there, it may be a traumatic experience indeed. As I was telling my husband this morning, sometimes life converges on you. It’s like being in a big canyon, and being driven towards a bottle neck. If we just keep running, we’ll run right over the cliff. But, if we stop, and take a look around, we may figure out what it really is that is driving us, and choose to break away from the herd. If enough of us do that, we may actually change the course of things.

This is all coming out of me for several reasons, so I will back up a bit and fill in some of the blanks here. I have mentioned before about my oldest son being incarcerated at a state correctional facility. He has two sons, ages 4 and 11. He had not seen them in almost two years, and not had physical contact in almost three. The 11 year old has expressed as best he can how this is impacting him on an emotional level. Pretty intense, really. I finally got both of them on the visiting list, and planned to take them to see their dad during the holiday break from school. I wanted to wait until spring, but that would have meant waiting another 3-4 months. I could actually feel how important this was to my oldest grandson, and decided not to wait. Plus, the younger one I feared might not even remember who his daddy was, since he was under two when this all happened. My husband agreed to go with me.

When we picked them up we found out that they were both really sick with colds. Normally I would have waited. But I couldn’t bring myself to disappoint them or their father. So we made the drive there and back, an hour and a half each way, with them coughing, sneezing, and sputtering the whole way. The visit was outstanding, and I had a hard time keeping it together when we arrived. As soon as the youngest saw his father he started yelling and running to him as fast as his legs would go. I knew in my heart I did the right thing, by not waiting. But, there were consequences. When we came home I started taking everything I had to boost my immune system. Four days went by, and we almost thought we were not going to get sick. Then my husband woke up in the middle of the night sicker than heck. He missed two days of work and is still far from well. And me, well, I’m not nearly as sick as he is, but I’m not really well either.

All of this makes farm life a whole new level of challenge. And it actually does bring up deep fears. My husband usually helps with things like keeping the generators going, water in the RV filled, wood cut up, and propane tanks filled. But he’s been laid out flat. And I have been struggling to keep going myself and make sure that my responsibility to all our farm animals is met. It doesn’t matter if you’re sick when it comes to things like this. What I’ve noticed, though, is how big a part my mind plays in all of this. If I give in to feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it isn’t going to help me one bit. Yes, we both made the decision to go. And now I still need to take responsibility for my choices. No one made me do it.

But I admit, if I’m really honest with myself, that I feel some anger rising up within me. And it has to do with my experiencing what feels like limitation and hardship. How real is it? Seems like a stupid question, but not really. Because I can apply that to the collective as well. We are now, except for those who cannot feel what normal human beings feel, brushing up against a sense of our limitations. The world as we know is careening towards a bottleneck of sorts. And it does feel very real. When you see the growing number of homeless people here in my own country, and even other countries, where the standard of living has risen steadily for some time now, experiencing a backwards slide. Then there are other countries where you can look at before and after pictures, and clearly see that things have taken a nosedive. The corporations actually took over some long time ago, right under our noses, and for some reason, most simply have been unable to see it.

They, the corporations, are the ones who create all these senseless wars, and make all these empty promises about improving our quality of life. Even with all the new technologies coming out, they are not equally available to all. And some are actually very harmful, even while being sold to us as something of benefit. I’m sorry folks, but much like Jack in the Beanstock, we traded the cow for a worthless bag of seeds. We’ve been hoodwinked.

As this realization becomes evident to more and more people, it’s easy to feel despair, along with the anger. And I’m not saying “don’t feel” it. We need to feel it. But we also need to not stay there. Farmers seem to be more aware of the precarious nature of things more than most. Crop failure, bad feed or water that makes all your animals sick, an artificially controlled market where suddenly your products are drastically devalued, are all things farmers face on a regular basis. My husband’s father many years ago bought land and planned to farm it. After one year of buying expensive farm equipment, tilling, planting, and harvesting, he ended up not even breaking even and went seriously in the hole. The farm equipment is still sitting where he left it, rotting into the landscape.

But we need farmers, and we would all benefit from becoming, even if just on a small scale, farmers ourselves. And the big corporations have indeed pushed us into a bottleneck of sorts. Think of all the farmers who have been manipulated into planting crops using Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds, and then sprayed with roundup with promises of increased yield, and higher profit. It’s all backfiring on them now, and it’s only going to get worse. Then there is weather modification which we know is going on. We know this because it’s now in the public domain. They are not even hiding it anymore. So it a precarious cliff we’re hanging out on.

This last year the weather was not predictable at all, which led to a very poor season for harvesting alfalfa in our area. Some years they get in three cuttings. This last year many cut hay listening to weather forecasts and got caught with their pants down. One thing affects another. So the moral of this story is, basically, quite listening to the so called experts, for they have mostly sold out, even if they don’t consciously know it. Get angry, feel the despair, and then get busy. We have the solutions within our grasp, if we don’t loose our nerve, our faith in ourselves. And they, the “controllers”, more than anything want us to just give up, throw our hands up, and tell ourselves they are too big, they have too much control, and that there is nothing we can do about it. That is the biggest blankety blank lie of all.

And now, I gotta get out there. I have animals to feed, propane to go buy, and wood to cut. I’m not giving up, not now, not ever. They, the bastards who imagine themselves in charge, can just go F themselves. (Sorry, but not sorry!)
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With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:15 pm

I am sitting here looking out at the blinding sun shining through the window. On the one hand I want to get out there before it disappears, and on the other hand I’m seriously dragging my feet because of the intense cold and frozen water buckets I know I will have to change out. In fact, I’m heating up some water on the stove right now, so I can pour it on the horse’s water trough to break through the thick layer of ice on top.

We accomplished a few things this weekend that I have been dreading and stressing about for weeks. I had the two does, Celeste, and her daughter Ivy, that I’ve wanted to breed to the escape artist buck, Raven, for some time now. Ideally, taking him over to them would have been much easier, except that he can escape almost every pen out here. And, with the ground frozen with snow and ice on top, it wouldn’t be so easy to fix something else up for him right now. I do have plans, though, so I don’t have a problem come this fall. A Raven proof pen next to the big barn, so I can just take the girls as they come into heat a short distance to put with him.

We managed to get Crispy, one of the other two bucks we have, up on the milk stanchion. I tried doing it by myself earlier in the week, and couldn’t get him up there. I trimmed his hooves, then my husband and I lifted him into the back of the pickup together and put him in the crate there, so we could take him over to a friends so she could use him to breed to some of her girls. That way we were able to bring the two does over, and put them in with Raven. Bob is on the other side, and hopefully they won’t tear up the fence between them too bad. We also got Raven on the milk stand and trimmed his hooves too. And we even managed to trim both Ivy and Celeste’s hooves before taking them over there. It wasn’t easy, as they are both fairly wild. In fact, we just trimmed Ivy’s hooves by tying her to the fence, rather than trying to get her up on the stanchion. I don’t think she’s ever been on one, and went full rodeo when we put the leash on her. Fortunately she is still young and not as big and strong yet. All in all, it wasn’t as bad as my imagination feared it might be.

Yes, sometimes my imagination does run away with me, and I stress myself out needlessly. I have been drug, knocked down, and ran over though, so it’s not completely without merit. Both of the girls responded well to my voice, though, and taking breaks to just love on them, reassure them, and tell them how great they were doing. And now I have a much better chance of selling them this spring. I am already psyching myself up to sell the ones I know I need to, to keep my numbers down and more manageable. After the difficulty getting hay this winter, I do have a strong motivation to make sure I can adequately take care of what I do have. Plus, I just can’t handle the cleanup not having a tractor out here. This way, I should be able to keep one pen clean and ready to go for kidding season. I did get another fence panel and have a plan to divide the big barn into three 4 x 8 birthing pens, that I will have ready to go when the time comes. Actually, I’ll have four, but one has a wood floor so don’t want to use it unless I have to. It’s coming up on me fast, with the earliest date they might pop just 5 weeks away.

It looks like just 4 of the six does I wanted to breed actually got pregnant. Cry Baby didn’t take, but being almost 8 years old, and having given me many beautiful babies, I really don’t care if I even breed her again. Lily is three, but miscarried once and hasn’t took. So, as much as it pains me, I may try to sell her as a pet with Arrow and her daughter this spring. She is a sweetheart and very friendly, so I am hopeful the right home will manifest itself. I’ve already committed to keeping about 4-6 of them their whole life, even when they get too old to breed. A lot of people pretty much breed them until they die from complications due to their advancing age, and I don’t want to do that. I appreciate all that they give, both in milk and affection.

I was going to breed Ballerina this year, too, but decided to wait. I will be better set up this fall, and will have plenty to deal with as it is. She has figured out a way to get the little eye hook fastener undone in the pen I have her and several other goats in, so I’ve had to bungee cord it shut. I plan to breed her with Raven, the other escape artist, so her kids ought to be scary smart. I need to be ready, LOL.

It’s so sad when your animals get older and start having health problems. I’ve mentioned Nicky, the diabetic cat. She is 13 and it’s getting harder and harder to regulate the amount of insulin to give her. She hasn’t had a seizure in quite a while, but just had one while I was sitting here typing. It’s so hard to watch her go through one. This one was fairly short. I read recently that a little Karo syrup might help bring them out of it, but don’t have any on hand and wouldn’t have had time to get it anyway, but think I’ll get some just to keep on hand. If I’m giving her too much insulin, she has more seizures, and not enough she gets wobbly and can’t keep weight on. I guess it’s like they are starving, even when they eat. I know her days are numbered, so try to give her as much of my time when she wants it as I can. Even though she can be annoying, it’s not the time to hold anything against her. She’s doing the very best she can. And I do love her very much. They teach us so much, about compassion, caring, and unconditional love. I feel the tears right there, even now. Geez Louise.

Big sigh. We gotta go get more hay today. I have to admit, caring for all these animals during a full week of both of us being sick was quite the deal. So glad we’re coming out the other side of it. I feel so humbled, sometimes. And, the weight of the responsibility does weigh heavy on me, occasionally. Most of the time I simply enjoy what I’m doing, no matter what it is. Even hauling the water around, and shoveling shit. My capacity to love without conditions has grown exponentially from the experience, and in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

It’s a tough world out there, and though I have no magic wand, every act of kindness, generosity, and caring for life, no matter whose it is, does count. I bid you all a good day, and hope we all find ways, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, to express that caring. I believe that love we extend, to ourselves and others, is all that is real, and all that we take with us that matters when we leave here. It’s a good day to be alive, and I am thankful.
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With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:12 pm

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long-stem rose
Everybody knows

Image

I’m looking out at the beautiful landscape, that while pretty to look at, has just made doing the usual chores oh so much more fun. Just walking around in a half foot or more of fresh snow is exhausting. And I have been watching/listening to Mark Passio’s latest recording after he took a three year hiatus. I’m only half way done, and on the one hand it makes me smile, because he’s just so dang direct, and terribly depressed on the other hand, as it hurts to hear his assessment of where we’re at in consciousness as a collective. I want to say but, but.....

I know what he has to say isn’t for everyone, but not many will just lay it out there, no holds barred, and not try to sugar coat what they see happening. And I hear that he gets more upbeat about what we all can do as the recording goes on. I know when I go to to the city with numerous stops to make, I do see people’s general good will most of the time. There are a lot of good people out there. But awake? Ummm, not so sure on that one. Not that I’m some proverbial “there”. He mentions telling a friend to do a quick social experiment, and just go around and ask everyone at the pub they were at, if they believed that the mainstream media are generally really trying to tell us the truth about what’s going on in our world, and whether you could trust them, and every one of them said “yes”.

And why am I talking about this on Farm Life? Well, I guess it’s just such a stark difference in how people experience their reality, and what their inner dialogue and perceptions really are. And keeping somewhat of a pulse on the “bigger view” of where we are going does factor into our projections and goals for the future. If you look back on history, and we know much of it’s come under greater scrutiny as of late about what true and what isn’t, but anyway... you will see that there have always been a few voices as if speaking from the wilderness, who see what is coming much clearer than most everyone else. I used to hoard a lot of food, just trying to be prepared for any eventuality, natural or otherwise, but then what do you do when the disaster doesn’t happen?

I’d rather continue to adopt a lifestyle that is becoming more and more self sustaining, so as our need for goods and services outside of what we can provide for ourselves or barter with other like minded folks, become less and less. And, have fun doing it. I know we will have to eventually extend trust again, to someone we probably don’t know that well, to come stay out on the land. There are several potential benefits to doing this, even though it always comes with certain risks. It will have to be someone who actually wants to experience a much more physically demanding lifestyle that doesn’t readily provide many things that most have come to expect. No flushing the toilet with not a thought. No flushing at all, in fact. So much of it we have become accustomed to, but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. And it is usually something a person has to adapt to over time. Personally, I think the benefits have been worth it.

You can hear the land speak, even if you live in the city. But I personally don’t think it’s as easy. The sounds and artificial lighting, as well as just driving and moving around in a sea of people who are mostly not even present, but focused on what has already happened, or thinking about what they are going to do, or, looking at their blankety blank cell phones! Not all of them, but definitely the majority. Not that I don’t do it too, but I spend a great deal more time these days just looking around me, noticing so many things about my environment. A lot of ungrounded emotional energies are definitely leaking out most of the time. Not good or bad, just an observation.

I hear, feel, and see so many things out here I just didn’t seem to have time for before. Even tiny tremblers of earth movement are not uncommonly felt here. No big trucks going by to distract. A small herd of deer have been gathering at Bob Dean’s fence feeder most everyday as of late, to my delight. No waste there anymore. Sometimes it really is just the little things. It’s taken me all winter, but Arrow and her daughter have gotten better and better about losing their hurky jerky behavior in regards to humans. They do love their grain. And there are just so many things we’ve learned to live without that at one time we thought we needed. I see that as a good thing. It’s sort of a deprogramming from the system, in many ways, that has occurred. And last, but most definitely not least, we eat a whole lot better these days, since I’m not rushing off to a job somewhere else all the time, and have practiced up on planning ahead, buying bulk and unprocessed, and expanding on what we can provide for ourselves.

I keep hearing about the effects of this government shutdown. I do not want to be at the whims of those who have no concept of who the public they are supposed to be serving really is. And anyone who can’t see that the corporations and bankers are really in charge and have been for some long time, I don’t know what to say. No matter what is going on, true daily needs such as clean water, adequate amounts of healthy wholesome food, suitable shelter, and access to natural and immune supporting health care are what it really comes down to. Those are our real needs.

Image
Ballerina
It’s terrible, but I still can’t tell if Ballerina is pregnant or not, or if she’s just a piglet. She could be, as she got out on a day she might have been in heat and Raven jumped the fence that day too. He was following her around, but I didn’t actually see him get to her. But it’s a possibility. I’ll know pretty soon as it will become pretty obvious within the next couple weeks. I actually wouldn’t mind at all. Both the boys are disgusting lately. I don’t even want to get near them. Like, whooo weeee! Seriously!

Yes, sometimes it’s just the little things.
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With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:16 pm

I’m sitting here struggling to find words, which is generally rare for me. As I look forward to birthing goat babies here in a few weeks, I am also now mourning the loss of our diabetic cat I’ve mentioned before, Nicky, Nikita, the Nickster, Nicky poo. I guess it is in these moments when I truly realize that love is all that really matters, all that is real. I know I lived lives, many of them, where I did not have this realization I have now, although I also know that I have lived many where I did. Given a choice, if I look back, I definitely prefer to live a life filled with love, and not the weird definition of love that I grew up with, that was so full of conditions, and times of love being withheld and even being used as a weapon. I can’t believe people are so confused on this one, but I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

I think, in some ways, me just waxing philosophical, that it’s a soul progression. I feel we came from a place, a realm or experience of being, where being in that field or frequency, was the norm. It’s just the ways things were. Experiencing a state where love was perceived as lacking had not occurred yet. And then something occurred, that many beings had no understanding of, that felt traumatic, and created a sense of fear and lack for the first time, as well as the need to put out considerable effort to just survive. We were thrown, or perhaps even chose, to go into a predatorial environment. After many incarnations and experiences, I feel the soul eventually (maybe sooner for some than others), begins to realize that part of ones inability to effect change in this environment has to do with ones perceptions and judgements about what one is experiencing. For me, in this lifetime, it happened when I was six years old, this realization that love was an actual field of energy, a state of being, and the desire to be in that frequency was born in me, to be cultivated ever since.

But I do often wonder, why so many do not recognize this, that the choice is ours, to move back into that original state, and it does begin in the mind, and not so much about changing what is “out there”. In other words, it’s an inside job.

Anyway, getting back to Nicky, and my reason for carrying on this morning. It has definitely become very clear to me, that besides our relationships with other humans, the animal kingdom has a lot more going on with it than we were ever taught, most of us, growing up. I mean, I know people who look at cows and pigs and all they see is hamburger and bacon. And this isn’t about eating meat. It has to do with your perception of life, and relationships. It has to do with awareness, especially, and an honoring of the life that was given. And that goes with anything. When I’m outside tending to the animals or garden I think about the whole cycle of life, and how interdependent it all is. When I eat I think about the life force, as everything we consume when in its natural form has life force. I thank it, and express my appreciation for what is given. It’s a way of living that I’ve gradually grown into that really does recognize the sacredness of all things.

And Nicky, I expect to “see” her a few more times before she fully moves on. I imagine her reuniting with Simba, at least to say hello, and maybe having a tussle or two, as they used to do. Simba is the kitty we lost two years ago. Both were sailing kitties, and lived on the boat with us for several years. They both also learned to walk on a leash, although Nicky never really liked it, whereas Simba recognized his ability to go explore and took me up on it.

They are like furry bundles of love in disguise, and have so much to teach us about the natural world, and to recognize what creation is really made up of. For me, the sadness is the pain and suffering that we, animal and human alike, potentially experience during the process of separation from our physical body suits. I don’t know this for sure, but I did fly through a windshield back in 1991, and had a very strange other worldly experience. I don’t have a conscious recollection except for some recovered during a memory retrieval process, but even then don’t feel really connected to the pain and suffering I know I experienced. For a long time I had no memory of what I experienced at all until I woke up in the hospital the next day with my family all staring at me with concerned looks on their faces. My body did remember, though, and I have had to do considerable healing work over the years to release the trauma my body held onto. But my mind had a completely different experience. I know I have been with two older women as they were dying, and it does almost seem as if there is a process of separation that is occurring that leaves the conscious part of the self in a somewhat suspended state. They were not fully in their bodies even, and their energy actually seemed to grow big. Just my musings and observations.

I will say that both my husband and I woke up about an hour early and felt off, and I did have thoughts of her and the thought even occurred to me that she may have passed. So we knew, but didn’t know sort of, because our conscious mind had not translated what we were picking up. Sorry to go on and on, but the transitions when we arrive, and when we leave, are the biggest events, really, that we will have, and I do think about this (quite a lot, obviously!)

So, on to other things. I’ve had Celeste and Ivy over with Raven. Bob has been just on the other side of the fence, so as I mentioned before I had some concern about how the fence was going to fair. Last night when I went to feed I noticed that Bob had busted all the wire that attached to fence panel to the shelter. Before I could even get in the pen he busted through, and a huge commotion ensued as he chased Ivy around, and him and Raven went at it. They were all running around like crazy, snorting and carrying on like they do. I had to run all the way back to the other barn, slip sliding away, and grab a leash and some wire and wire cutters. What a deal. My neighbor was there and helped me get him back out of the pen, and then get him back in on his side, and we scrambled to reattach the fence panel. I’m definitely not doing this again. We will have a separate breeding pen away from any other bucks for this fall. At least I can be pretty sure on the dates both the does get pregnant.

And then, two days ago, little Miss Uma, who is just 5 months old and can still squeeze through the fence was in heat. I was out there when she was standing there in the horses area, wagging her tail like crazy, staring over at the boys pens, and it was like I could read her little mind. She starting wading through the snow all across the pen, ran up the hill, and by the time we got around to the boys pen she was backing up to it with her tail a wagging away. Geez Louise! Usually they don’t get that hot to trot at just five months old. I hope she gets too big to get through the fence soon.

Oh yeah, and Ballerina definitely IS pregnant. I’m actually kind of happy about that. I just know she is going to be an outstanding milker and I’m going to work on getting a freezer so I can make mozzarella cheese every week, once milk production gets under way. It’s so easy to make, is really yummy, and is actually good for you when made from fresh unpasteurized goats milk. It takes a gallon of milk to make approximately one pound of cheese. And, I think we’re going to have an early spring. Although I expect several warm ups, deep freezes, and warm up agains, because that’s what it always does here. But the goats look like they are already starting to shed, so that’s usually an indication.

Anyway, wrote a lot more than I planned. And it’s time to get to work. (I’ll post a picture of Nicky when I have more time)
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With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:28 pm

The sun is streaming in the window, right at eyeball height. On a clear day for a short while, no matter where one sits on the sofa, you literally get blinded by the light. At least no kitties have taken over the lap. Normally on a sunny day like this I look forward in anticipation to taking all the goats for a walk. It’s really good for them to get out and get some exercise, and good for me too. But, at a chilly 4 degrees (F) and a thin layer of light snow on top of several inches of ice in most places, it’s not a good idea. Especially for the pregnant girls. It’s less than two weeks to their earliest due dates, and I don’t want anything to happen to them.

It’s not even going to get close to getting above freezing today and we woke up to our water in the RV being froze. We got the cold side working, but not the hot. Fortunately I most always anticipate these kinds of things and have water for all the animals ready, and extra water for me to use. And, I’m not looking forward to going out due to the extreme cold. Although it’s quite beautiful out, and I’ll probably enjoy it when I finally get brave and get out there anyway. I don’t see any goats out of their shelters either, so no huge hurry.

I had even more fun with Raven since I last wrote here. The next day he figured out that he could just run and clear the fence on Bob’s side. And the reason he was able to be on Bob’s side is that Bob managed to hit the fencing by his shelter hard enough with his head that he actually tore loose these three 2x4’s that were screwed together and into the shelter and had the fence panel fastened to them. Like, there was nothing left to attach it to. I did fix the part that separated the shelter into two halves with another 2x4, so they couldn’t tear it up even more, but did not try to repair the part of their fencing that separated the two pens. No real need, I thought, since I wasn’t trying to do any more breeding. He continues to surprise me, and kinda not in a good way. I ended up having to leave him out over night and found him in the pen with all the non pregnant girls (with the exception of the two I just bred him to). My husband came home early and we spent almost an hour stringing out a 50 foot roll of 3 foot high wire fencing to go around the other half of the pen, so it’s all 6 foot high now. He hasn’t been out since. Whew!

This last weekend we gave all the pregnant girls, with the exception of Ballerina who isn’t due as soon, their shot of B complex. We tried just putting the gel like selenium on their grain, since it worked with the boys. Alas, our assumption was wrong. The girls just ate around it, and I still had to open their mouths and kind of shove it in. Not my favorite, and they don’t think much of it either. We also trimmed Arrows hooves, which ended with my husband being thrown back sort of as she tried to get away while he was holding her down. Wouldn’t have been a big deal, but his knee was already giving him trouble, so he couldn’t move fast enough to keep control of her. She is too small to keep her head in the stanchion. It sounds worse than it was. Most of the time she just lay there and let me do it, then suddenly put all her energy into trying to bolt when we least expected it. We left her daughter for next weekend. I will be fully caught up with trimming hooves though. Which is good, because I put out my ad to try and sell some. I don’t expect anything to happen right away, due to the weather, but people often look, and then keep coming back to see if they are still available when interested.

Bob may be going back to breed the same does he did last year. They are making a pen to separate the younger ones out, and know they have to come get him, and bring him home this time. I told them he looks like crap from all the head banging he did, and they just said he’d have a nice vacation. Works for me. I can totally see now why many goat people I know sell bucks after just one or two seasons of using them for breeding, and get another young buck. The older they get the more that biological imperative kicks in, “I must BREED!!!”. It’s kind of a tough life for them.

I have my itinerary all lined up for the next couple weeks on everything I have to do to be ready for “the event”. I plan to fence off the back part of one of the pens and close off the front of that barn so they can only use the back side to get in and out. That way I can provide a fairly clean environment for mom’s and babies until it warms up enough to clean the front part of the pens where the feeders have accumulated so much debris from uneaten hay and poop. When it warms up it will be a soupy disgusting mess and way too heavy for me to clean up in a hurry. In the future, I will not allow myself to take on more goats like I did this last winter, and be able to keep one whole side blocked off and clean. Live and learn, I guess.

I’ve got the horse blanket inside and ready to go. I will probably put it on her tomorrow as they are predicting even colder temperatures at night and no warm up to speak of during the day. I wait until it gets into the single digits (which it wasn’t predicted to do last night), before putting it on her, as she handles the cold pretty good. Also, we quit using the electric fence to keep her in and strung barbed wire up all the way around. She’s a smart horse, and I don’t think it would take her too many days to figure out that she can probably push through it with her blanket on protecting her in the front.

It’s funny, as all these animals are more wilely and intelligent than most people give them credit for. And they definitely can feel emotions of a sort, have like and dislikes, and are so incredibly attuned to their environment.

Chopping wood has become unexpectedly challenging. The chain saw hardly wants to cut through the wood, even after my husband sharpened the chain, due to the moisture it absorbed. It’s like sawing huge blocks of ice. Chopping was a bit more work intensive too. Yep, it’s times like these I really do feel like a pioneer woman. And, I have to go get more hay again. I was quite happy with the hay I was getting, even though it’s kind of high priced, but this last batch has about half a dozen (out of 24) bales that were moldy and I can’t feed to the animals. One or two I would let pass, but 6? That’s a full quarter of the bales I got, and since I go through one a day, that’s almost a week! So, I will say something to the guy and see what happens. The first bunch I got had no mold at all. It’s an ongoing thing.

I was brainstorming ideas the other day, and have decided to maybe even get a business license this year, and start at least doing several farmers markets. I want to have my daughter come out with her camera and see if we can get some good pictures of baby goats, and make calendars with them, and also get a bunch of coffee mugs with goat baby pictures on them. I don’t think I will try and do a plant sale this year, though. It’s too rural out here, and there are several large plant sales in the surrounding area that are held every spring. I’d be better off to join in on one of those. Besides, I was really hoping to help my friend and neighbor make a bit of money, since he always grows more than he needs to. But he’s not an early riser, so trying to get him to be up and ready to go early enough to participate in something that actually starts in the morning is unlikely. I do want to start canning (which I’ve surprisingly never done) and get a freezer. A root cellar may be a while, so I don’t want to grow too much of things I can’t preserve. All those pumpkin and squash that grew so unexpectedly well kind of went to waste because it just didn’t keep that well. I will say the goats and deer kind of enjoyed some of it though.

I actually managed to keep it strictly about farm life this time. Wow, will wonders never cease. It’s still not warmed up outside, but think I’ll get out there anyway, and just bundle up. I hate working with gloves on as the gate latches are hard to open, but think I’ll have to do it anyway today. I’m bracing for the other challenges that will inevitably arise from this cold snap. They always do. All is well, though, and there’s still no place like home.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )


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