Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Time Barges On....

Chickens enjoying a warm day in the ram hoop house

Almost mid-May. Not possible. Where did the last month, the last year go? One minute I was anxiously anticipating green grass and the next I'm mowing and chopping and trimming like a mad woman just to keep the green jungle at bay. Wasn't it just a week ago that I put the ram in with the ewes, wondering what special little lambs would be born from this mating? Now the lambs are growing like bad weeds, becoming tall and gangley overnight.

Last year at this time, my family and I were in the trenches after the sudden open heart surgery my Mom went through. Numbness as we went about what needed to be done in the immediate aftermath of her surgery. Mother's day was spent gathered around her hospital bed, where she gamely tried to act alert and interested in the gifts given as tokens of our love. The next day she came home and entered long days of pain and discomfort as her body began to heal.

A year later I feel very blessed that my Mom is still with us and has recovered well. It's still hard to believe a year has passed. There are moments that are simply a blur and I don't care to even try and recall them.

Rosemary, Rosetta and Marty

Today, I've spent cleaning house and fixing food for the Mother's day celebration that will be at my house this year. Even when you think your house is 'okay' suddenly it becomes much more cluttered and messy when you turn a critical 'company coming' eye to it. Right now I'm taking a break. I've spent the morning dusting and sweeping and putting things away and doing laundry. I still have some dusting and a few other things to do, but the balance is done.

The menu is simple and everything is already prepared and ready to go in the oven in the morning. Lasagna, garlic bread, cheese, green onions, salad and greens (some from the garden). My sister is planning to bring dessert.

Sage has been irritated with the whole ordeal, especially when he and his switching tail were told to remove themselves from the kitchen area. Meshach finally retired under the covers, worn out with all the cleaning.

The weather has been, well, crazy to say the least the last few days. Today is cool and mostly cloudy. We did get some sunshine earlier. Yesterday we had torrential rains, wind, hail and basically what amounted to an inland hurricane (really---they even had a name for it...I'll post pictures later). There was damage all around from tornadoes and one gentleman was killed less that 30 miles from here when he and his wife were sucked out of their home. There were rivers where there should have been no rivers. When it was all over we had about three inches of rain in less than an hour. The ground was already squishy and muddy and now it's a hopeless swamp in the sheep paddock. I've had to get out my 'it's seriously muddy rubber boots' with the high tops and risk having them sucked off every time I go out to the lot.

Next weekend is the Marshfield Fiber Fair, and I'm scrambling to get things ready. I will probably only be able to get a few of the 2009 fleeces skirted and packaged, but I have several fleeces from 2008 I can 'fluff' and take. I've gotten a good selection of roving rolled and ready to go. I hope to get a sales list of the sheepies put together and some other promotional items.

Twenty-One Bags Full...2009 Fleeces

Last night, Marty Robbins, Rosemary's little fawn ram lamb scared me to death. I had just brought them in for the night after feasting on their fresh pasture. While I've been working them up to it gradually, with all the rain, the bloat factor is high. Normally I feed just a little bit of grain to the mommas and babies when I get them up for the night, and he always dives right in there. After I fed them, I worked on digging a little trench to divert standing muck water and a few other little chores. Then I went to turn them out, and Marty was staggering about, wheezing with green foam coming out his nose and mouth. I was pretty sure he was experiencing 'choke', which is simply when a wad of grain or grass gets lodged in their esophagus. This will happen from time to time and most of them will work it out on their own, but it can be extremely frightening for both the sheep and shepherd. With Marty, I thumped his back, did a modified Heimlich, dangled him head first, poked my finger down his throat and nothing was working. I began to worry maybe it was 'frothy bloat' and so scooped him up in a towel and took him to the house, where I could work on him. He was quite the good little boy and evidently the novelty of being carried through big dogs and into a house and stood on the floor caused the blockage to slide on down his throat. He stood around with the towel hanging over him, while I rummaged around and filled a small syringe with corn oil to give him orally . Sage nearly had a heart attack and ran hissing and spitting into the other room. Meshach wanted to make friends, but Marty was pretty worried about the mini-puma, so he came and stood by me, looking worried. He seems fine now, and now he has 'big adventure' stories to tell the other lambs.

Now it's time to get back to work. Here is wishing you all a blessed Mothers Day.

Chickie runs by in a blur..overcome by sheer exuberance on new pasture


Vicki Lane said...

Such a pleasant sight, the animals enjoying the sun and new pasture. You deserve a happy Mothers Day too, with all the lives in your care!

Nancy K. said...

What a scare! I'm so glad that Marty's OK.

I hope you're able to relax and enjoy your company and have a wonderful Mother's Day...

Tina T-P said...

Sounds like Way To Busy a day for me. Hope your family extravaganza went well :-) T.

Kathy said...

I hope you have a great day with your mom today, Tammy! And I'm very glad your "choke" turned out OK - that's scary. I have one wether who bolts his feed, no matter what kind it is from hay to pellets. I guess he's just an "exuberant eater". :)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I burst out laughing at your description of Sage's reaction to the lamb in the house; glad Marty is okay! And I'm so thankful for YOU that you got to celebrate another Mother's Day with your mother!

Tammy said...

Thanks everyone. It was a nice Mother's day and I feel blessed to have such nice blogger friends.