Monthly Archives: July 2014

Summer Fun

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Bill and I live a simple life for the most part these days. The most fun we’ve had this summer has been the two weeks that our youngest daughter and two youngest granddaughters came to visit. They came for one week in June and they came again last week.

Our youngest granddaughter, Kaya, is three years old, red-haired and high maintenance. Her sister, Bella, is nine years old and high maintenance. I love them to the moon and back. I’m always happiest when they are around. They live 3 1/2 hours away and I miss them terribly.

When they were here in June, we went non-stop morning and evening; that’s the way they live at home, but “Mema and Papa” can’t keep up the pace. So this time I asked my daughter if we could just chill out around the farm. And we did.

It was so fun! Bella and Kaya gathered the eggs for me every day, announcing excitedly that they had gotten eight, our max. They fed “Animal Crackers” to the goats, and to the big dogs, and to Rosemary, our pet sheep. The girls loved getting that up close and personal to the animals and the animals loved getting cookies for treats. (I know. Don’t judge:):):)

My daughter is something of an animal “whisperer” and Bella takes after her. They had Magic, our alpaca cria, eating out of their hands before they left. One night we hauled our lawn chairs out to the pasture where the sheep are and sat awhile. Our new ewes are white and they all look alike. They wanted to notice their different personalities so they could name them. It was unsuccessful for the most part but we did enjoy sitting out there at twilight watching the sun go down behind the west pasture.

Like I said, it was the most fun Bill and I have had all summer. I hope the girls learned the farm is an inexpensive and fun place to spend time, and gained an appreciation for being in the outdoors. And I hope that they learned that all animals are a special part of God’s creation, and should be cared for gently. I think they did. Can’t wait until next time.

 

The West Pasture Gang

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Out in the west pasture of our farm, to the left of our house, we have put our silly and sassy assortment of female pygmy goats that I fondly call “the west pasture gang”. The members are Louise, Thelma, Peggy, Taylor Swift, and Lola.

The ring-leader is Louise. Louise has a propensity for head-butting anyone in her vicinity. I would say she started it in order to protect her twins, Lola and Lynn, but she has been head-butting the other animals ever since she came. She’s just mean.

Then there is Thelma. She is the same age, 3, as Louise, and is the target for most of Louise’s hard hits. Although lately Thelma has learned to give as hard as she gets. Poor little Peggy gets beat up because she gets in the crossfire. Thelma surprised us Easter evening by giving birth to the smallest animal we have had birthed here, little Taylor Swift.  Thelma forever redeemed herself in my eyes because of that one act.

Peggy is younger and smaller than Thelma and Louise. She’s a cute little thing. She can usually be seen frolicking in the sun, standing on top of the doghouse begging for treats, or dodging the “bullets” Thelma and Louise send her way.

Louise’s twins are Lola and Lenny. They had a brother but he died. So sad. Lola is scared of everything and everyone. I don’t know why. She hasn’t had anything traumatic happen in her life. Except for when we took Lenny away, gelded him, and put him in with Magic Johnson, our alpaca cria (baby). Needless to say, Lenny wants nothing to do with us either.

Taylor Swift is the smallest,  and is friendly and feisty like her namesake. She has no trouble keeping up with the bigger goats and thinks she can do anything they can, only better. All of the goats love animal crackers. They can’t get enough.

Other than begging for animal crackers, they live a simple life. They follow each other to the front of the pasture in the mornings and parade back to the fence closest to the barn around sunset for the evening and to sleep. Bill is not crazy about the goats but he allows them to stay because of me. I like them, they make me laugh. That’s a good enough reason right there to keep them.

A Place for Rosemary

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Hi! My name is Peggy and my husband’s name is Bill. We enjoy life on our little farm. It was his dream to move to a farm when he retired and raise animals. I was just going to go along-grudgingly-for the ride. Wow, was I ever surprised! I absolutely love this farm life and the thing I love the most is the animals.

Rosemary is my favorite animal. She was the last lamb born last spring, and the smallest. She had a birthmark that looked like a black teardrop by her left eye. I named her Rosemary after my mother. The bigger lambs would go quickly to the feed trough and never leave room for Rosemary. She didn’t grow as fast as the others. Then she got sick and we spent some time nursing her back to health. My husband said if she made it, that we could keep her as a pet and never sell her.

So we put her in the barnyard with our two massive guard dogs, Sampson and Delilah. After a few days of chasing her around, the big dogs accepted her and the three became fast friends. The only problem was, after awhile, Rosemary began acting like a dog. The big dogs would chase the pygmy goats around the barnyard for sport and Rosemary would join in on the chase. I said, “Rosemary, you’re a sheep. Sheep don’t chase other animals”. Then she began to put her two front legs up on me to beg for animal crackers. I said, “Rosemary, you’re a sheep. Don’t beg like dogs do”.

We had two older pygmy goats and then we bought two babies. We put them in the barnyard because we couldn’t keep them enclosed anywhere else. The baby pygmy goats began following Rosemary everywhere; they made her their new mommy. She seemed to relish the attention. I said to my husband, “Rosemary can’t decide if she’s a dog or a goat”. She became a part of the “West Pasture Gang” for awhile. This gang consisted of Rosemary and the pygmy goats, who by now numbered seven because of three new babies. They would parade down the fence line in the mornings to seek out new grass to eat and parade back in the evenings to settle down for the night at the barnyard gate. I said, “Rosemary, you’re a sheep. Quit acting like a goat”.

My husband said when we got our 14 new ewes, we would put Rosemary back with the sheep. They would be younger than her and maybe she would fit in. After he picked up the new ewes, he put Rosemary out in the pasture with them .She stood for three days and three nights at the barnyard gate gazing longingly at her beloved dogs and goats. I said to my husband, “I’m afraid we’ve ruined Rosemary from ever becoming a sheep”.

But like all good stories, this one has a happy ending. After a few days, Rosemary decided to be a sheep. In fact, she’s the leader of the pack. Those smaller sheep follow her around and let her have first choice at the feeding trough. She seems happy and peaceful now. She just had to find her place. We all need to find our place, a place where we belong and feel accepted. My place is at the feet of Jesus. There is no better place. “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you”, Hebrews 13:5