Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The air i breathe

It's just been nuts. You know how it is; 85ish lambs 50ish sheep, 20ish goats, 200ish chickens and 2.5ish acres that still need to be planted. I know.
I've had some moments here lately when I just don't know if all of the work is really worth it. I mean I'm not getting any younger or richer and bills arnt getting any smaller. I do it because it feels brilliant! but not always right, and not always good. Does that make sense? I'm in it deep and by that I mean I'm deep in love with farming so I'm not going anywhere, but sometimes love is painful, and compromises need to be made.

On a particularly rough day last week I sat down in the evening after a good 15 hour day and checked e-mail, One of our CSA members wrote me the nicest note about how much he has been enjoying the weekly shares and the cheese! Reading this at such a vulnerable moment was profound. My entire body felt awake. Yes! Yes, this is why its worth it. The e-mails and conversations I have with our customers washes away the dirt and grime of my mind, the mind that tells me I cant do this. The mind that tells me its not worth it. Some times I have to be reminded that I am doing it.

Right now I'm feeling good. In sipte of being up at 3:30 am for the Farmers market, my energy is good and I'm at ease. This is the time when I can see things clearly with out the clutter. I have my ups and downs, mostly and thankfully ups. Things are not going to get easier, but things are definitely getting better. Little by little I'm making progress. More and more things are falling into place. Every year I learn a little more and I try a little harder and it feels like every cell in my body is awake and alive and that my friend makes every bit of this worth it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

shoulnt I have this?

a 12 hour day not a 16
quiet time to rest and think
a full tummy when I strum my guitar at night
and warm milk when I stretch out in bed before I turn out the light
Clean dogs that smell good
and sheep that let me smell them if I would
Goats that don't kick or put their foot in the pail
and cheese that always turns out and never fails
Time to write and time to read
and time to meditate and breath
Shouldn't I have this?

What I do have is work with no rest
but dear friends so many the best
Dirt, sweat, poop and pee,
sour milk, but I still feel free
Achey body head to toe but a mind free and light as the sunrise's glow
Dirty dishes and unfolded laundry
many times a day little goat kisses
god knows whats on the floor
coffee is ready lets have some more
The field is dry and the grass grows slow
the sheep don't complain, I just have to move them more
bank account low but spirits high
some day soon I'll have the pie
Late nights writing when I should be in bed
with the love of my life beside me as I lay down my head
Shouldn't I have this?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Night watch

With all the lambs we have right now I am on high coyote alert. Thankfully the electronet fence is keeping a good charge and Kalamazoo the llama is keeping a good watch. He will practically stand over a ewe when she is giving birth. His back is to her and he stands tall and just watches outside the perimeter of the fence. I like him. He is serious about his job and the sheep like him and the lambs love him.

Each evening before bed I go out and just check things out. I was hearing a lot of barking coming from my two great Pyrenees, Ginger and Cozmo just north of the sheep pen, so I thought I best check it out. I got on the four wheeler so I could go around the sheep perimeter, one to check the fence and two to let the coyotes know I was a watching em'. I could still hear the dogs. So I drove in their directions. It's pitch black out and I see a set of glowing eyes in front of my head lights, my heart races. Soon I realize its just Cozmo, so I drive up a little further and start heading back for the house and there in front of me are two sets of red glowing eyes. Hungry I think, ready to kill.

My heart starts pounding. I think there are two of them maybe more I cant see. One of me. The dogs are still barking back at the creek. I think of the lambs. I think.., I'm the one on the four wheeler. I can scare the crap out of them at least. Heart pumping, their eyes still glowing motionless at me. I'm 50 feet away. They are staring into my head lights. The lambs! ! I throw it into gear and head straight into them at full throttle screaming a scream only a shepherd who has lost lambs to coyotes can conger up inside her throat.. at the top of my lungs.... "IYAAiiAAIIII...WOOWOO,WOOO"!!!!

I drive right into them, they split in two both running in different directions. I suddenly realized I was driving into a steep ravine. The eyes I saw belonged to deer which were now scattering a full speed. I tried to keep from going into a large cavernous ditch, at that point I didn't care what or who I was trying to scare off, I just held on for dear life and tried to maneuver the four wheeler and myself to safety. I came so close to biting it but I made it out unscathed, thankfully! The deer were long gone, my heart was still pounding. I laughed so hard I practically peed my pants I just scared the crap out of two deer and nearly got myself kilt! Maybe now they will think twice about helping them self to the garden and I'll think twice about driving into total darkness in a rage. After that trick I imagined the watchful coyotes were ROFLTAO!

Friday, April 1, 2011

After the storm.... laundry

Well, I've made it through the lamb storm, (however ragged I look). we'll do a final count on Sunday when we tag, band and vaccinate all of the youngin's. This is the most we've lambed out at one time and I must admit it was a little challenging. Not so much for the sheep, life was easy for them, fresh pasture, clean water, shelter and a Shepherd that came to every their every beacon call. Oh... not to mention the weather has been absolutely perfect for them!

For me on the other hand its been hard work. But I have to say that hard work has paid off, we have three bottle lambs, out of 70+ (this is when we pull them from the flock and bottle feed them if they are not getting enough or sometimes any attention from mom) but other than that, all is well. The Ewes look healthy and strong and the lambs hearty and playful. I love spending time out there with them because its the picture of perfection and while all is lovely in sheepland all else has had to take a back seat for a time. Laundry has built up to epic proportions, the house smells like dog and there is just some general disarray wherever you look. So, look at the sheep please, they will tell the real story. For god sake don't talk to the goats. You know how goats are, they blow everything out of proportion!

So with the lamb storm passing the washing machine is being put to the test! Things are being put back in order. This feels good! I'm noticing the sunset and sunrises and can actually inhale and exhale fully with out my breath going into spastic seizures. There is tons to do, all the back seat items are suddenly sitting next to me looking at me with a huge stupid grin on their face. Yea yea, I say, I'll get to you.....soon, I mean it.