Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waves Goodbye 2013 and Hello 2014



Hours away from kicking 2013 to the curb and greeting 2014 in with open arms.  It is no secret except to those who were not listening that 2013 was a VERY VERY hard year for this gal - heck let's be honest it kicked my butt and mopped the floor with me but I am not dead and buried.  I have done my best which in many respects was not enough and then in other issues I managed to move mountains.

I do not wish to give 2013 one more moment of my time and rather choose to look foreword to a NEW YEAR, NEW ADVENTURE and NO BOUNDARIES.

This last year has opened my eyes to the fact that I have given far too much of my time to folks who only take and never give.  I have stood still and stopping reaching for my highest good thinking that other's deserved to be put first in all things.  Somewhere  over time I completely lost sight to put myself on the to do list - NO MORE..

I lost many dear and old friends this last year but the passing of my Kasha almost was my last stand.  I sat next to her grave and could not find a reason to keep going and then I remembered - I  have NEVER in my life given up, NEVER ran away from hard times and this was really going to be a battle.  I am willing to go down but not without giving it my all. 

LETTING GO is not something I know or do but I am in complete trust and understanding that I am supported by the universe and by many kind folks.  I saw this week just how many souls have stepped up to assist me financially and how many have offered words of support, love and even places to come and rest.  I was overwhelmed by the fact that so many understood just how much this farm and the souls I shared it with means to me and you cried with me over the changes that face me now.  I also saw how to many my loss was their gain for all types of reasons but again I do not wish to spend time given them words to this page.

So 2014 is going to be full of changes for this gal.  Those who know me you understand how change is only happening when I can control every inch of it, I have planned it out every move and I know the answers before any question is ever asked.  WELL NOT THIS TIME.  I am going to work on going with the flow, letting others help me even if they don't do it my way, breathe through the scary parts and believe all this is for my higher good.  I know it sounds like one of those self help books about farting rainbows in a hail storm but thess things I know to be true because they are exactly what got me to this farm and this life 17 years ago and that was the best ride so far... I can't wait to see what I create next.

I hope you all will follow along with my new life - a rebirth for this gal.  Some things I will keep - some things I have already kicked to the curb.  Some folks will be given a wave goodbye while I wave with both hands to new lands and faces.  I wish for all who read this to make 2014 a new adventure in some way - it can be small or it can be as big as what I am facing but please share with me what is going on - how can we grow and learn if we do not share??? 

I am also going to be honest with you all - I have enjoyed sharing my world with you but I admit I am tired of feeling like I am talking to a blank wall.  I know that many of you read my words and you share your thoughts but I have many many more who read and never write a word.  I would love to just know what you are thinking - you do not have to agree, disagree or some such thing but I really have to wonder why I do this if it does not connect with someone.  So PLEASE let me know if this should even continue because I talk to myself enough - typing to myself is just a waste of finger action. 

Love and Light and HAPPY NEW YEAR from the soon to be gone Larkspur Funny Farm

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Came Early


This gal is jumping for joy - the feed store finally had my favorite work gloves - YES, a pair was greatly needed.  I snatched up the only pair and was inside jumping for joy as I calmly walked to the counter to purchase them - did not wish to really look like a nutter.

Once I got them home and clipped off the tags I put them on and admired how wonderful they felt without the stiff duck tape.  I had many bales of heavy compressed hay to unload, move and stack - much work before me and not a lot of energy left.  As I went out the back door to start on the big task at hand you would not believe this but I put on the old ones and went to work.  Yep, I wanted to wait for a NOT SO Difficult task to break in my new ones.  No shaking your head, rolling your eyes or judging - we have all done this I am sure in some way.... Please say you have done this and I am not completely nuts.... I told you I have lost the ability to put myself first but I am working on it...

Being a Blessing in Anyway I Can



I stiffened up my back bone to get into the truck to drive down that dirt road after my tire blow out.  Since this has happened three times on that same road I hope you are getting how freaked out I was.  However, I needed to get animal feed, take 28 packages to the Post Office and look at storage sheds.  I can say I held my breath for the 28 miles and when I reached town all I wanted to do was be a puddle of tears but as I have said I am not a gal who will do that in public.  So here are the events

At Post Office with all my packages I gave thanks that my yarns that I created with love will be going to new homes.  I checked them not once, twice but my OCD way of more then four.  I let several folks go ahead of me because they carried only one package.  I found it interesting that several could not believe that someone would do that.... They wanted to argue WHY would I let them go ahead of me.

Next, went to Walmart - I know but only store in that town. As I tried to find the few things on my list I noticed a lady dropped her list.  I grabbed and ran after her and gently said you drop this.  I was not expecting the response - SHE CRIED - Yep I did it again.  She went on to tell me that she had a brain trauma cause by a drunk driver hitting her truck and if she did not have her list she would walk around and go home with nothing.  She hugged me and kept saying "You are my Angel" because her mother was coming for the holidays and all she does is get angry that she can't remember things and do what she did before.  I let her cry it out and told her it is my pleasure to help.

As I got to the so called veggies department there was a sweet little old lady (Pearl) in a motorized cart.  She could not reach the veggies, the bags and was struggling.  I went up to her and asked if I could help.  Yep, she started crying.  So with her list in hand I went with her and gathered her goodies.  All the while she spoke that she is invisible and how much it meant to be seen.  I gave her a hug as I got her to the check out and she assured by that a lady would come to pick her up.  I made sure before I left that this happened.

Now on to the feed store.  MY GOD they were unloading hay...  I got my feed and went to the spot to have it loaded.  There was the quite guy I have dealt with for years - Nathan.  He was not looking right and I simply asked  "Nathan is everything O.K.?"  I mean it I should not open my mouth.  Here this man crumbled into tears and grabbed me for comfort.  It appears his mother is in the final stages of a horrid illness and it is just him and her.  We loaded the truck and I then pulled my truck out of the way - I sat with him outside on bales while I did my best to show him that he is not alone.  He spoke of how much it means to him that someone even spoke to him.  I gave him a hug and told him I am a phone call away.

As I pulled out and started to drive back home I held my breath again as with each bump I freaked and with this road there is nothing but bumps.  My mind went to all those who like me are feeling so out of sorts and I wondered WHY?   When I reached my driveway I gave thanks that I arrived in one piece and that I could be there for a few souls who needed me.  As I unloaded 2 ton of hay I gave thanks to an amazing lady in Tokyo who I have never met who sent me a financial gift that just paid for the hay to keep my animals fed for a little while.  I too cried at the kindness of a stranger who saw me and offered to help.

I hope I can continue to be a BLESSING to someone even it if it just to pick up a dropped paper, load groceries into a cart or give a hug to someone facing a great loss.  For today I will do my best which may not be much but it what I have to offer....


Friday, December 20, 2013

I am willing to change???

I am willing to release my old patterns and negative beliefs.  The power that created me has given me the power to create my new life.  I choose positive, fulfilling new thoughts.  I begin anew, right here, right now.

This affirmation has been stated over and over thousands of times in the past month.  The reflection of my outside world has been so dark for so long that I at times can not even believe in taking another breath.

The past two weeks have been the worst not just because of the passing of my beloved Kasha but much bigger ISSUES.  I don't even know how the past two years have developed into what I sit with today..  I do not even know where to take a step.

I never wish to lay problems on another because it seems that everyone is dealing with so much and are themselves drowning. I am trying to learn to put myself in the front of the line however I have come to realize that I have never learned this skill and now I am not sure if it is too late.

My life for 17 years has been the raising of my two son's,  creating this farm, caring of the animals, making joyfilled fiber offerings and just living as best I can without hurting anyone.  I have supported so many folks over the years and I thought this was part of  my purpose as well.  In their eyes I have always fallen short of giving them every minute to them while never seeing I might be falling in the ditch.  Slowly without me even being aware I kept pushing myself out of the picture until now I can't hear my own heart.

Now my life has fallen away - the farm is lost and sold, I have no place for my animals or myself.  My health is in terrible shape and my mind has left me in dark sorrows. 

I found this place by accident shortly after my husband's death.  With fear but deep understanding that I knew nothing of this life but I knew I could create the life I was meant to live.  Many thought I was nuts including myself at times but there was this soft knowing voice that helped me through each and every dark day.  I have had so many hard knock lessons but still I knew the universe and my will would see me through.

In the worst of times like my son Nick having a stroke at the young age of 28 two years ago I knew and spoke to him that this is the time to change your life - change the way you think - believe in yourself and the universe.  Now my sweet son saw the true colors of his wife and now is getting a divorce and dealing with not being with his two boys everyday.  It has been crushing on so many levels. It also brought out the horrible actions of my husbands family again.  Pain of the Past is back and stepping on my heart.

My youngest son has had his own trails that he is working through and will in time fill his future with all the best that I know is within him. 

My Mother health and mind has been slipping for many years and I have done all I can.  We have healed some of the deep wounds that lived between us but now I have not an ounce left to give.  I have layed to rest so many in my life that the task is beyond me again.

So as I sit and write today I am just unsure where my small inner voice went.  Where did I come to believe that I am not important to be on the list of things to love and take care of?  When did the values and beliefs that have carried me through the worst of times loss strength?.  When did I allow the woes of the world shadow every inch of my being?  Why have I held up so many others but do not seem to have that same support given back?  I have cried more in the past month then all of my 54 years on this planet and I feel no release.  I have questioned every inch of my life to see what did I miss, where was I not kind, how could this all happen?

Here is what in my soul I know - I am a good person, I have tried my best and for this day I will believe that for some reason all this has a purpose even if I can not see it, want it or understand it.   My world 17 years ago crashed away and a new was built - something greater then I could ever imagine.  So I must today believe that I am Loved and Supported by the Universe...

I want to also THANK ALL of you kind souls who have read the stories of my life here and I hope you will read this post as well. I trust this is the first step on my healing and I send Love, Light and Peace to you ALL


Monday, December 16, 2013

MANY THANKS

I want to THANK everyone for the kind words, prayers, and love that you have sent my way during the difficult loss of my sweet Kasha.  The sharing of stories, pain and sorrow I hope will help all to heal from the losses no matter what they may be.

Today I had to go to a town I have not been to in years to deal with unpleasant business that could not wait. As I left the farm I kept saying "Today NOT a Tear - I will get through this mess without a TEAR"   Unlike my normal behavior of just trying to go into a protective bubble and press on without attaching myself to the energy that seems to be our current world I decided to really look and connect up to what is out there - I must say it was not pleasant at all.   I witnessed folks treating others as not worthy of a Please and Thank or at least not to look down their nose at them as if they were subhuman.  What happened to understanding that we all walk with trials and tribulations - you never know what is going on in someone life so could you not just at least be kind.  I heard the lack of compassion in many voices and that the expression on the faces of those on the receiving end broke my heart.  Such sadness, worry and pain. Can no one see what this is doing to us all in the end?

I did it again today - made someone cry because I simple asked "Are You O.K."?  This lady was reduced to a puddle because some stranger bothered to care.  WOW that just made me break into pieces.  I have been blessed to have complete strangers send me love, prayers and concern - how can I get that to those who are in need of this?  

As I returned home tonight drained and crying again I was greeted at the mailbox by the herd of female deer.  As I drove slowly down the drive I noticed in the rear view mirror they were walking right behind the truck and following me up to the house.  When I got to the house they sat themselves down under the front trees and I just stood in THANKS.  For this sad day I can find joy in small things, give my attention to those in need and send back LOVE to all of you who have kept me in your hearts. 

AGAIN I THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

First and Last


This is Kasha on her first day here at the farm.  So Sweet, So Tiny and SO TIRED....  My heart would beat faster just watching her sleep and when she ran around you could not help but giggle.  Such Joy and Promise in that little body. 

Through the years this sweet girl has grown in size, responsibility and in my heart.  I never thought it could be possible but I have leaned on her strength more times then I could count and I have been there for her as well.  The countless patrols, the vigil in the barn as babies were soon to arrive, late night talks when I felt I could not make it one more day and the joy filled days laying in the tall buffalo grass in the forest as we listen to owls and soak up the warmth of the sun.  All those snow storms that we have weathered and even the fire this year that I thought might have been our ending.  Some of my favorite days has been when NOTHING happened and we just did our work without a fuss..  Most of all I will miss hearing her barks - I knew each one of her different barks and could hear them even if I was fast asleep (back in the day when I slept).  I feel I have gone deaf since she has been silent for more then a week.

For those who have been following my Dear Sweet Kasha who has been on the slow goodbye it has been for all here at the farm the worst, heart wrenching experience.  Each animal has had their time to say goodbye while she still  drew a breath  she is more then a Livestock Guardian Dog,  she isthe heart of the farm.  She has protected each and every one of us and saved many from the predators who would have ended their lives.  The animals here at the farm share a magical connection that has developed over the 17 years and now all that has been shattered.

This morning Kasha and I spoke and it was decided today was the end.  I went to the grave site that I have been preparing since spring. Last night I collected fleeces to line her final resting place   I had Cashmere from Ebony, Mohair from Sugar, Alpaca from Smokey and Llama from Rosebud.  All of these animals where the leaders of their species and friends to Kasha.  All have left the planet before her but will meet up on the other side.  Once the fleeces where lovenly laid into the grave site I returned to the shop.   I took the big sled and lined it with her wool blankets..  I dug deep and found the strength to lift her in and got her settled.   Out the shop door we went and I took the long trek to the forest.  With each step we spoke of the warm sun shine as each one of the billies walked the fence line and talked with her softly.  My heart was breaking to see how these big guys were hurting so for the loss of their protector..

As I reached the site I could not believe that for once Mother Nature did not grace us with wind.   I could not help but burst into hears and I realized how fraile my Kasha had become but still I would have to gather more strength within and lifted her out of the sled and gently onto the soft bed.  I covered her with the wool blankets and then laid down beside her.  We soaked up the warmth from the sun, listened to the birds sing and remembered all the days that we spent together and how some day we will be back working together in another place and time.  At times I felt like I was not going to be able to find the will to breathe just one more breath.  To know that my life will have such a big hole - I just did not see how I was going to be able to get through this loss.

In the silence I kept feeling like we were not alone.  I lifted my head and turned to the right - there laying under the pine next to us - the Large Buck Deer.  He was watching over us and Kasha raised her head just a bit to smell the air since her sight was gone.  I whispered to her that she was grand enough for the royal king to show.  I was not worried about his presence and laid my head back down.  After about a half hour he got up and slowly walked off.  As he departed  I noticed that Kasha had passed.  That Buck must have sensed the end and knew his duty was done.  I kept still holding my breath  hoping that as so many times before she would gasp and slowly her breathing would continue but this time the body remained still.   I took a handful of each fleece and combed out some of Kasha's white fur and tucked them into the basket I had brought out earlier.   I finished what I could of her burial - covering her with a protective container followed by earth and iced with moss rocks.  More rocks to follow but my body just could not move any more. I headed back to the house to place the basket in the shop and then check on everyone else before I was going to go back to Kasha for some quite reflection. 

As  the sun was lowering in the sky and I thought  I better first do the mailbox.   I put on my chore coat and off I went to take that long walk down the driveway.   Echo's from the Owl's saying their goodbyes sent the water works flowing again -  My God how much more can this gal cry??  Nothing worth the walk was in the box but as I turned and headed back towards the house that feeling washed over me - that gray blanket of sadness that makes you invisible to any hope of joy to reach you again.

I remember this feeling and struggled to keep myself here - not to float off into the space where pain swallows you up.  Everything looks distorted and the air is stale.   I  felt this way when I held my father's hand as the life drained out of his fragile body.  I knew at that moment in time that I would never feel that safe place again where just the sound of his voice could make the worst day seem to be right again.  I could smell his Old Spice for just a brief moment as I clunked down the drive as if my feet where encased in concrete instead of my snow boots..  As I took a few more steps I experienced the feelings of the morning when my husband dropped to the floor of our bedroom never to stand up in the world again. I remembered struggling to get him onto the bed as panic struck his face as he realized he was slipping into a coma.  I entered a four day nightmare that still lingers in the shadows if I sit still too long. Learning how horrible my husbands family could be and the lengths people will go who are raised in greed.  There is a part of my heart that has never recovered from those dark days.

 I decided to just go back to Kasha in hopes of shaking this life draining feelings.. As I walked up I could not believe my eyes.  There around her grave was the 9 female deer who reside here.  All sitting quietly and with such peace around Kasha.  I sat down about 50 yards away and we all just gazed into each others eyes and shared the moment.  About an half hour of this and I needed to go inside - temp was dropping fast and this body was to worn down to attempt the cold.  I slowly stood up and walked back to the house thinking "How many times have I had moments like this?"  How could I exisit without this place?  Then I just stopped in my tracks and gave out several silent prayers.

I am drained to say the least.  I know to some they may think - "Get a grip Grace it is only a dog" and to those people I say "I have lost so much through the years and especially in the last year that you have no idea - but I will count my blessings if I can lose you"...  I know, not very nice but Kasha was worth 100 of most folks.

Safe Journey my Dear Kasha - you have given me more then I ever can explain.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Smells Like Love To Me


This workhorse gal was at it today BIG TIME. With all the goats and llamas being inside their barns for the last three days you can imagine the number of raisins that cover the ground.  Yes, I am a clean freak but also it is not healthy for them to sit on that, breath that or in some cases get that into their food.  Today the mind numbing temps at least did not have the winds with it so out the door I went with shovels, rakes and head phone buds in my ears.  Do this with 4 layers on is like walking in space.  Remember when you were a kid and all bundled up and could hardly walk - Yep that was I....  Just getting you hands around the rake handle is a task with my heavy skiing gloves on but I can not risk my hands to the elements when it is this cold.  Already took  skin off my right index finger the other day when I took my glove off to turn the key to start my truck.  Now I have this bandage on it hoping to quickly heal so I can spin - I have learned how to spin left handed over the many hand injuries but it is not my favorite way to create.

So I started with the girls because it was the most snow to wade through and they seem to poop so much more then they boys.  They sure gave me looks and called me all sorts of names because I made them get out of the barn, stretch their legs and get some sunshine.  Not that is was warm sunshine but still breathing the air, running around and blowing off some steam is needed for all of us. Layer after layer was raked up, shovel up and moved out.  Food containers were cleaned out and placed back.  Then I went to breaking all the ice filled water containers and filling only a few.  Food was put down and then I went outside to get a good look at all and also to snuggle and hug... Yep, that to them and myself can be more important then food, water or air.  Oh the eyelash licking I got, then rubbing on the legs and stories they shared with me about how things have been..  Can't get lost in the loving because  I still had three more places to clean.

Next stop is the small barn that houses Llama Boy, Sherlock, Max, Gilbert, Sly and Cash.  I just want to again clear up the rumors that Llama's DON"T poop in their house WRONG....  All of the llama were able to leave the barns and still they poop in the barn.  In 17 years I can say that the party line of llamas and alpacas not pooping in their barns is just plain a fib....  So I got all the rakes, shovels and such ready and in I went.  Oh My Gosh those boys have missed their daily loving.  I admit with the round the clock schedule I have kept just trying to keep folks alive in this weather there is no time for loving and snuggling.  So before I could do anything I had to let all of them rub on me, lick me, hug me with their huge horns and just get all that out of their system before I began the work.  I have learned it is better to let them do that because otherwise I will be in the middle of a huge fight.  Even Llama Boy had to come up and rub on me and blow in my face.    Don't get me wrong I LIVE FOR THIS but also my energy and body temp was dropping quickly.  Lucky for me it is a small barn and like I said the boys don't poop as much.  The only difference is the boys like to HELP - you know stand on my feet, grab the rake, run in the pile of raisins as I was just getting ready to scoop and last but not least pee on me to show their love while my back is turned.  YIPPEE!!!!

Last is the loafing shed and I admit it I did not get it raked.  The powder and poop was going to give them some extra warmth from the bone chilling ground and so the Big guys and I voted and said it was not necessary.  However, food containers were cleaned, ice broke and all checked.  Now I could go inside and this gal was thrilled about that.  As I finally got my snow boots off and sat on the chair just worn to the bone I decided it would be best to just cool down a bit because I would never be able to peel these sweaty clothes off.  I sipped a little water and just sat - running through my head to make sure I had not forgotten anything before I got out of my chore clothes.  All of a sudden I could smell me - OH MY OH MY - Yep GRACE smells just Lovely.  Between the poop, barn dust, wet dogs and Billie Loving I was one ripe gal.  As I sat there still just trying to get my jelly legs to regain some strength I started to giggle.  How I had missed not having the time to cuddle my charges, how I really do seem to get energy from the sounds and smells of the work I do.  How I still love the smell of my big guys who are so strong and so gentle all in the same body.  How the smell of Llama's are like corn chips and it still amazes me after all these years.  Even weirder I guess is how this gal never really sees my chores as work but rather like playtime.  I remember begging my neighbor to do the animal chores at his house - cleaning the hen house, mucking the stalls and grooming the horses.  I gladly did all of that just to be able to spend time with their animals.  I guess looking back at it the neighbors must have thought what a sucker I was but to me they were the suckers - I got to care and love on animals for as long and as often as I wanted and it did not even cost me a cent. 

As I peeled off my layers I gave thanks for the smells that remind me I had a PERFECT day - SMELLS LIKE LOVE TO ME

Friday, December 6, 2013

Small Worthless Knowledge at -20



It has been so COLD for many days now that sometimes you just have to find something to giggle about or you might just go over the edge... This morning when I went into the hen house and hoped all would still be standing I was greeted with 13 very bitchy girls.  I understand their mood heck I am about ready to go "The Shining with the Axe in the Maze" sorry for the movie reference but for those who remember Jack at the end frozen in the maze with the axe in his had and that look on his face - that just might be me...  Anyway back to the girls.  They hate being locked up but with the bitter subzero temps, howling non stop winds and me not wishing to chase down a hen in the storm I have been keeping them in their coop.  Like little kids they can only get along for short periods of time and then it is the "She is sitting too close, she ate the sunflower seed I wanted and the always MOM, Make her stop looking at me"..Yep, animals get on each others nerves too.

So I was having to hear all the bitching at me, I had some pecking the snow off my boots and pants, while others were just running around like "Chickens with their heads cut off"..  sorry about that visual but they get all worked up and run around in circles - really I guess we all go a little mad sometimes....

I gave them their food along with their treat Popcorn - yep they are my girls because popcorn can make any really bad day a good one.  I filled two bowls with snow (they would rather eat snow then drink the warm water I brought in) and then checked for eggs.  Do I dare hope since Thursday I was so lucky to get 5 eggs from them.  As I bent over and run my glove through the shavings in their nesting boxes, they have taken to covering them in hopes of keeping the Magpies from seeing them I found a lone egg.  Excited and giddy I picked up the egg and just then noticed is was a freshly laid egg and still warm.  Just then my mush brain kicked in and said "OH SHIT".....

I stood for a couple of seconds and just started to laugh - Yep, the girls thought  Mom is going to be running around like a mad women with her head chopped off.... You guessed it - the egg was still wet, the air and glove was so bitter cold and there is the rub... Have not done this one in Oh About 9 or 10 years.  Egg frozen to the glove.  Now I am finishing the hen chores with my left hand and keeping my right hand in my coat pocket trying to protect the egg.  Trust me no easy task since there is much to do to just get out of the hen house.  Once that was done I walked back to the house and had to hear every step of the way everyone bitching at me because they were wanting their feed and water and they did not understand why I was going back to the house.  I yelled "I HAVE AN EGG STUCK TO MY GLOVE DO YOU MIND?"

As I returned to the house I had to go slow and gentle to get my hand out of the glove.  I learned long ago you just don't pull off the egg because the shell breaks.  You also don't run water on it or I would not have warm gloves for the whole day or maybe longer and I would stick to everything outside as well with a moist glove. I employed an old trick I created many many years ago when this happened before - I  just take the hairdryer on low and start to warm the egg up slowly.  By the way if you do it too fast they will explode - how do I know - Yep I have done that too.

So once it started to thaw I peeled the glove slowly off.. Yippee saved the egg.  You might think that is a ton of work for one egg - I would rather do that then waste the hard work that my girl went through to give me this jewel and it saves me one more day from eating a commercial egg. 

So there you have it a long story about the boring life of Grace at - 20 degrees....  Aren't you glad you spent all that time reading this??

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It all started with an EGG



I do not know why I tell these stories but maybe it is for someone to see were a spark can grow into a flame.  When I was a little girl in second grade they had the lesson on hatching eggs.  Each day I would run in to see if there was any tiny signs of life coming out to met us.  I would hold my breathe and stare and stare.. I would each day get told by my teacher to "Get Away and SIT IN MY SEAT"  I could not understand why the other children did not seem to care after the novelty wore off.  I on the other hand could talk about nothing else at home and prayed that they would wait to come out until I got to school  the next day.

On that magical day there was 9 sweet wobbly creatures laying on the towels when I came into the classroom.  I screamed with delight and ended up sitting in the corner for my outburst.  I sat there listing to the churping and so worried about the  3 eggs who still sat with no sing of life.  Recess bell rung and all ran out to play.  I stayed behind to ask the teacher what about those 3 eggs.  She replied that they would be thrown away because they are duds.  I did not know what that meant and she stated they had not life in them and she had no need of them.  My heart was broken.  What do you mean they are duds, no purpose, no need - that just could not be. I knew in my heart there was life - I could feel it.  I went outside with tears welling up in my eyes.  Just then I saw her pick up the eggs and put them in the trash can.  She left the room for lunch period and something came over me.  I am always the GOOD girl, the one who follows rules but before I even knew what I was doing I ran into the classroom and looked inside the can.  Two had broken but one was still in perfect condition.  I took off my strawberry red sweater, snatched up the egg and wrapped it around the fragile egg.  I dashed out of the classroom and grabbed my lunchbox.  I put the sweater encased egg into my box and hide them in the cloak room.

All afternoon I worried that someone would find out what I had done and I would be at the principles office before I could blink.  The school bell rang for end of day and I ran to grab my stolen object.  As I walked home holding the box so carefully I talked softly to the little being inside.  I was not sure how my parents would respond - I once again was bring home a problem - I managed to be the magnet for strays, hurt or near death things.  I could not help it...  Before my Mother could even ask how my day was I blurted out the whole sorted story.  With tears in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks my Mother said well we better go to the library and figure out how to hatch this little one.  We kept it in the lunch box and off to the library we went.  A book would solve all.

We came home and with the help of my Father who also could not resist my love for all things in need helped in the creation of a nice homemade incubator in the living room.  I begged my parents to let me sleep next to it and again after much tears they agreed.  By next morning NOTHING.  My sisters teased me at the breakfast table on what a dope  I was to believe it would hatch.  Why if it did not hatch at school would I think it would hatch here?  I kept saying "You'll see, there is a chick in there it is just a bit slow".... Over and Over I kept saying  "BUT I KNOW, I Heard it tell me so"... O.K. another reason why I get those looks.

Two more days went by and now my parents were worried.  I heard my Father say "This is silly - there is no chick in there"  My Mother understood that I needed time to come to that myself.  Just when I was starting to worry a bit myself I decided what it needed was me.  So when everyone went to bed I picked up the egg and sat with it in my hands through the night - staying wide awake and talking softly to it.  In the middle of the early morning a crack appeared.  I thought OH MY GOSH did I squeeze it too hard.  Just then it rocked a bit in my hands and then a small piece of shell fell off.  I was so excited but did not make a sound.  I watched and the crack got bigger and tiny little sounds could be heard.  Do I dare?  I picked a little piece of the shell off and I could see a yellow swatch of it's beak.  Before I knew it I pulled the shell off and there in my hand was this wet and tiny little chick.  I quickly put it under the warmth of the light and ran to get my Father.  I did not share I was part of the birth for fear I might have a long lecture of NOT TOUCHING.  He sat with me just watching the sweet little creature.  He then said to me "Great Job Grace - this little one owes you it's life"  I felt so proud and at the same time so overwhelmed.  Oh My Gosh I am responsible for this tiny little creature....

Day after day, week after week, month after month I saw to the daily care of my new best friend.  EGGIE was his name and he followed me like a dog and spoke to me and no one else.  He sat on a chair next to me at the table and ate his goodies out of my camping bowl.  My mother made me in charge of any droppings but Eggie was so good about waiting most time till we went outside.  He was not allowed to sleep in our bed but my Father made a little enclosure next to my bed for him.  My middle sister was not happy with having a chicken in the bedroom but my Father (the Law maker) told her it was going to be.

I had Eggie for almost a year until my neighbors horrid dog got loose and came to our house and attacked him.  He did not survive and I ran to get my Fathers hunting rifle to shot the dog.  I could hardly carry that rifle but I was going to take this dog off the planet because this was not the first time nor would it be the last thing that this dog would kill something that I loved.  My Father grabbed the rifle from me and said that this is not the way to handle this loss.  We dug a grave, my Mother made a coffin, we had a service and I then spent the night laying with EEgie in the dark.  My father brought me the sleeping bag, flashlight  and my Teddy as I stayed the night to make sure of his peaceful passing. 

I shed buckets of tears for the loss of my Eggie but as my Father said  "Soon all the wonderful times you spent with him will over shadow the sadness".  So every time I see an egg I have a flash of my Eggie.  I also remember that tiny little voice that called to me when all others only saw a dud.  That small spark has been the fire that has burned in me all these years.

 Do you remember your small spark??  I would love to hear - was it the first box of watercolors, or the first chapter book you finished or maybe is was the first song you danced to??
Would love to know what it was that has kept you on your path?



Saturday, November 30, 2013

STILL Pondering This

Have you ever heard the saying "Going to the Hardware Store for Milk?"

It is one that I have heard in lectures, read in books and worked on - well thought I had worked on.

Today I received this statement again and it really hit home again.  OH MY GOSH - Not only have I been going to the wrong store I keep thinking if I just talked nicely to the man who owns the store, or I came with the right attitude and smile on my face, I have even said a prayer or maybe a thousand prayers each time before going that they will finally have the milk I so needed...

What this statement refers to is how we look for what we need in the wrong places or the wrong people and we keep thinking that some how this will change.  I thought I understood it but looked deeper today I saw how on some levels I still do this and do it BIG TIME. 

I see now that all this time, effort and tearing off tiny bits of myself to fit the right mold has really given me nothing but heart ache and feeling less then worthy.  I have heard everyone tell me that I am way to independent but do they really see that I have had no choice because no one really honors their words. How my value is on what I give to them, what I say to them, what I give up for them, which I would not mind if there was a glimmer that I would be seen for who I am..  I have also thought that if I just explained why (OVER AND OVER)  I am trying so hard to walk a softer path surely they would see I am not trying to change them but just trying to change me... 

For many many years and many teachings I thought that this also meant that what we NEED we must find within ourselves... I have dug deep working on all my baggage, all the stories I have told myself and lived.  I thought this also would finally come to some enlighten end where I would be all FIXED...  Well, that has not happened.  I am so much better then I was but there still is a part of myself that Keeps Going to the Hardware Store for Milk.

I have not understood WHY I can not find the Milk Store?  Have they closed it and not told me?  Am I lactose intolerant???

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Tiny Bright Moment



I took Kasha out for her morning pee pee and I am thrilled she is doing that since I could not convince her to go out last night.  She started off on wobbly feet but then she picked up the smell of something.  She had purpose and determination.  I was excited to see that she was moving but feared she would use up her little energy on a goose chase but I followed and watched her closely.  My goodness she made it all the way to the forest which  has not happened in weeks - we have only got to see it from a distance.  I kept a close eye out also for the mystery guest from the other night.  We got out to her favorite tree and she sat down.  I stroked her tired body and sat with her on the moist ground - most of the snow has melted and the ground was thirsting for more.

Before I knew it we were laying next to each other and enjoying the sun warming our aching bodies.  We spoke to each other softly and far between because words are never necessary between us.  We took turns touching each other softly and with love.  I had visions of the many years we have played, walked and yes rested on this very spot.  The birds we listen too - the chirps, the songs and the tap, tap tapping of the woodpeckers.  We were so blessed to also have one of the owls hoot as us.  Such Joy in the small moments that this place has given us.

After a couple of hours I realized I had a pot on the stove that I had turned on and forgot.  I had no idea that she would want to make a long trip and I did not even consider that we would lounge under the pines and rest for so long.  I tried to get her to walk with me but she was having nothing of it - so I sprinted all the way back to the house, turned off things and sprinted back.  By that time Kasha had decided she was going back to the shop.  That is what I LOVE about Great Pry's they do ONLY what they want, when they want and for the reasons they decide.  Oh who does that sound like?

We made it back to the shop, she took a nice drink and is resting on her blanket as I type.  Such a incredible time with such an incredible soul that I have had the honor of being with all these years.  Time can creepy by when life is throwing you harder then hard times... Time can also fly by when life is running smoothly and without a care.  I know at least for me I always wondered WHY the hard times have to linger so long, to make you feel like the darkness will never leave you and then as I sat under the tree with my sweet Kasha I thought that even thou this is one of the hardest times I am savoring each and every minute because soon enough she will not be here and then the darkness will become even worse...  I have had many hard and dark days and with each one time they inched along as if to make the pain worse but I also have learned from all those hard times that it only makes one appreciate those tiny smooth days...

So for this moment I will walk in the pain, sarrow and difficult minutes because I can cherish all the tiny little bright moments

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DON'T RUN GRACE - BACK UP SLOWLY

NO Pictures of this event - Just knees still a bit wobbly.

It started with me being on the hard concrete floor for much of the day with my sweet Kasha.  She is still struggling but hanging in there.  I admit my normal routine has gone out the window and in the ditch.  As I finally pulled myself off the floor I said to myself I better make sure the mail man picked up the packages - don't want them sitting in the box over a holiday.  He has been known to just not do his work the day before or after a holiday..

I got Kasha to finally lay down and popped out the door in a wink and had not really noticed the sun was setting quickly.  I was walking down the driveway and about half way down when I froze in my tracks.  I could hear something running in my directions through the tall dry buffalo grass.  I reached for my hatchet and found nothing.  OH CRAP, I had taken it off to sit with Kasha and forgot to place it back on my belt hoop.  I reached in my pocket for my micro flashlight and shined it in the direction of the still  coming "WHATEVER"

I will admit my brain went "SHIT GRACE what have you done?"  I raised the flashlight above my head to appear bigger, started waving my arms and shouting.  Since I had no idea what was running at me I just did a combo of the different things you are suppose to do.  Whatever it was stopped.  I could hear it breathing loudly and then it started moving slowly towards me.  As I tried to shine my light at it, the damn thing went dead.  O.K. I said more four letter words in my head and slowly started backing up.  Every time I heard it move I waved my arms and shouted.  As I kept backing up and backing up I reached my truck.  I thought great jump into the cab and start the truck.  I admit I leave the keys in because I am always passing it and starting it so the battery stays charged.  I could not believe this - first time in forever the doors were locked. I forgot I tucked the keys in my other pants pocket and they were nice and neatly sitting in the house.

So through the big gates and now I ran around the side of the house to the back door.  Through the door, grabbed the spot light and hatchet and out the front door I went.  I did not want what was charging at me to go to the animals.  As I stormed down the stairs and in front of the truck all I could see is the light reflecting on it's eyes.  I could not make out what it was but the spot light got it moving quicker.  Needless to say I did not go to the mail box and when I came back into the house I had to convince my heart which was racing to slow down because I was safe.  Yeah that was not working so I quickly went about some minor tasks to get myself to refocus.

I had to give myself a bit of a talking too later in the night for my thoughtlessness but I did say kindly to myself - "I am proud of you Grace - you did not turn and run" "Grace you have faced much in life and still standing even if it is with weak knees" "Grace you are so tired it is amazing you are not animal crackers" I gave myself pep talks through the night and into the wee hours as I sat with Kasha.  By 4 am this gal crawled into bed for a whopping 2 hours of sleep. 

I tried to see if I could find tracks but by the time I got outside after caring for Kasha the sun was melting what little snow was on the drive and tall grass.  Not sure what decided this gal might be up for a rumble but this gall is THANKFUL I did not become a early Holiday Feast for some dark night beast .

Sunday, November 24, 2013

R.I.P Esmeralda


For those who know this gal she is also called "Devil Goat" I hate to share that today was her last day on this planet but will always be in my heart and my cracked ribs.  She never made it easy to love her but I admired that she was who she was - the protector of the goat girls, the leader to all that she lived with, an amazing Mother and a fearless spirit.  I received more bruises, aches and pains and battles with her then all the goat girls and boys together.  She had even bitten me a couple of times when I was not looking.  Many times I told folks I would have her till I died because I would never feel right selling this MEAN nanny to any other person.  She grew the most amazing and soft cashmere down but never made it easy to harvest it but once off that body I could stroke and love it without concern of those horns.  Over the years I came to understand she was me - yep, her and I were so alike that it was no wonder we clashed.  I too want it my way, I am also a protector and take my duties to heart.  I will stand in front of danger and can protect myself without considering the possible danger to me.  I took my duties to my children as the first and most important role I had but did not take guff off of them.

I have many stories of how we clashed but I would rather share what happen just a few days ago.  As I kept going in and out checking and caring for Kasha (the great pry who is fading) she watched me go back and forth and I think she could see how worried I was about my sweet dog.  As I stood in the barn crying big tears as I was trying to get chores done out of no where came Esmeralda came and she licked my hand.  It took me by such surprise I jumped.  When I looked down I could not believe it was her.  She looked at me with kind eyes and a soft face - completely different then what she always gives me.  Since this was so out of character I asked her "Are You Alright?" She turned and walked off as if we were not to talk about her kindness.

Two days later she developed a slight rattle to her lungs but she had experienced that before when the weather changes so quickly as it does on the farm.  She enjoyed sitting and snuggling with Sherlock when he was in the barn.  Yesterday, all the girls sat so close to her as they have done all their lives.  I could tell however it was not out of the strength they would get from her but this time they were giving their strength to her.  Today at 3:30 she passed.  She passed with all of us sitting by her side and just honoring this strong willed soul that has given so much to her children, charges and to me.  I will miss my battles with her, I will long to see that brown body on the top of the hill in the wee hours of the morning.  I will remember each time my ribs hurt that I delivered 3 babies that where trapped inside her and she repaid me by slamming me into the side of the barn.  As I lay there gasping and crying in pain I watched this loving mother lick all three of them in term and then tucked them under her to nurse.  She talked so softly to them and gave those soft eyes to them - I will always remember that she too gave me the soft eye look before she left this planet.

Please say a fond goodbye but NEVER forgotten to my "DEVIL Goat - Esmeralda" 14 years of spit and vinegar

Friday, November 22, 2013

Love with a Gentlemen

 
Who would not love a date with this handsome guy???  Yep I gave in and asked Sherlock to go visit the girls.  I  laughed the whole way that we walked from the boys pasture across the farm and into the girls barn.  Get this I had to hold a handful of hay to get him there.  Now if it would have been some of the other billies I would just have to step out of the way and watch them RUN...  Not that Sherlock is not interested he just knows he is THAT GOOD...

I should have had my camera but again who would have thought what was coming next.  We get to the girls barn, I open the first gate and the goat girls looked like the screaming teens as the Beatles came off the air plane in the US for the first time.  If you are too young to know this reference you might not be old enough to read what is coming next. Honest, the girls were screaming as if they got their special parts caught in the gate.  Sherlock swaggered in and all the girls encircled him and began licking him.  O.K. girls give the guy a break..

Sherlock stood not even letting all this attention go to his head.  As I was turning to leave Sherlock called me back and wrapped his horn around my leg and licked my hand.  I bent over and kissed him on his nose and scratched his forehead.  The goat girls gave me nasty looks and even mumbled under their breath...

As I walked back to the house I turned and saw Sherlock was walking away from the girls and sat himself down on the top of the hill face up to the sun and giving us all that sweet smile he does so well.  Now if it was any of the other billies they would be trying to breed everyone at once.  Sherlock has wisdom and a kind heart.  A couple of hours later he walked up to his first gal - You know the biggest slut in the group and serviced her.  He then walked off and all the girls followed him crying all the way.  Again, the imagine of a Rock Star jumped into my head.  He walked about nibbling and resting.  It drove the girls wild and fights sprouted left and right.  Meanwhile Sherlock kept to his own pace.

Fast foreword to this morning.  I was going to do a bit of quick cleaning in the girls barn before feeding so I sent them all out into the backyard.  After I finished I whistled and the girls came running.  As they passed me eager for their meal I noticed Sherlock was not with them.  I called his name and he walked back the me and then began eating. Another amazing behavior of Sherlock's is there is not worry about being with him and the girls - no fighting, pushing or territory issues.  I was finishing up things in the barn and noticed Sherlock had walked out of the barn and through the gates.  I called his name and he stopped, turned and looked at me with that smile.  He kept walked and I called again - "Sherlock, you need to come back"  He stopped, turned his head and smiled.  I asked "Where you going?" and he took out walked again.  He went back to his gate and waited for me to catch up.  I asked him if he was sure and he looked at me with those lovely eyes. I opened the gate and he tilted his head to get those big horns through and walked over to his favorite spot and sat down.  I closed the gate and chuckled all the way back into the house.  Such a GENTLEMEN - it is no wonder I have such great animals - bloodlines here are also selected by personality and I have WINNERS here.

So I will watch to see if the girls have settled down - sign they have been bred.  I will also watch the two other billies who have almost given themselves strokes trying to get the girls attention - again they will tell me if there is anyone open.  At least I see many smiling faces shining back at me.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hormone Saga Continues

Last night as this gal almost drifted off to sleep I heard this BANG, BANG, BANG - at first I thought what in the HELL are those billies up too???

I pitched my ear and figured out the sound was coming from the big girls barn. I thought that maybe some boy got out and was knocking on the girls door hoping to be let in.   I drug my body out of bed, downstairs and into smelly chore clothes. Placing the head lamp over my hat  I walked across the farms back yard grumbling all the way.  The wind was still howling and with small bits of ice crystals stinging my face.  I reached the first metal gate and it hit me - Forgot the gloves.  As my hands resisted touching the ice cold metal I went through one gate, through the next gate and on to the big metal doors.  As I pulled on the large handle I could hear the girls move quickly away from the doors.  I pulled back the door and my headlamp reflected back on all those eyes.  There stood Gretal with a slight bit of blood staining her forehead.  Yep, the silly gal was banging her head on the door trying to get out and visit the boys. Remind you of those horrid shows that flood the TV showing the lack of brains when it comes to being ruled by hormones.

The girls gave me a look like " Mom she's NUTS ".  I must say I giggled and told her that 'NO MAN IS WORTH THIS" but then who am I to judge.  I wagged my finger at her again and closed the doors.  As I slowly eeked back to the house the thought of all those years I have walked back and forth from that barn to the house waiting on the birth of little one's, or the continual watch over a very sick and needy sweet soul, or just the routine of daily chores - wow if I had a quarter for each time I would never have a worry. 

As I pulled off the smelly chore clothes I could hear Grethel back at the banging.  I decided a cup of tea to take the chill off was deserved and maybe a tiny bit of brownie.  I came upstairs wide awake and tucked myself under the covers and put on the newest disk that I had retrieved from the mailbox earlier that night  - "Call The Midwives" - I think very fitting for the life I lead and must say I would rather be tending to animals giving birth rather then humans.  Sorry but it is true.

This morning I opened the doors and I thought Grethel was going to run me over - Yep, over the first set of panels, through the gates and running as if her tail was on fire over to the boys.  I just shook my head and walked back to make breakfast.  Somethings are just going to be and I will deal with that later.  HORMONES .....

Saturday, November 16, 2013

High Winds, Hormones and Cooking

 
For the past two days the farm has been hit with High Winds BIG TIME... I was off the farm Friday and did not return till late and the animals were so freaked. I did a head count by headlamp and found the reason for their panic, another metal roof panel was ripped off the smaller barn.  So thankful that all the animals were safe but I could tell nerves were frayed..  I had the ear plugs in all night hoping to block the howling - Yeah Right.  Let not even go there again.
 
Today I worked in the barns cleaning and fixing those small little tasks that add up so quickly but need to get done before snow sets in.  It was difficult to get things done because I had way too many shadows - you know a barn full of toddlers.  I love that my animals love me but at times I could really use them to find something else to love for just a minute or two.  I remember the days when as a new mother you just wanted to go to the bathroom without your toddler - well that is what it is like here but times 40 or more.  I locked them out of the barn and they stand on the other side of the door crying and banging - those horns can make a whole bunch of racket.  Then you have those who stand on the rake, grab your gloves and if not paying attention bit the headphone cord to my CD player before you even knew they could reach it.  I love them dearly but sometimes you just want to get things done....
 
Then we have the issue of the girls REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanting to be serviced  - that is a nice way of saying "Horny as HELL" - My Gosh Gretal jumped over two sheep panels, through a metal gate and ran herself ragged up and down the boys pasture fence line hour after hour.  I put her back several times with a scolding but on the third time I had lost my last bit of patience.  So when I put her back this last time all the girls got their bodies locked up - the big doors closed and a huge finger wagging from me.  As I was walking back to the house I saw Herschel trying to wiggle under and heavy gate.  In a blink of an eye he did it and pronged (Jumped, Hopped and Skipped) over to the girls barn.  He reached the big doors and his face was priceless.  You could just see how disappointed he was - just then I yelled "Herschel what are you doing?" - He looked at me and ran so fast back to the gate he just came from and then was wiggling, wiggling and wiggling trying to return as if nothing happened.  The problem like with all things it is easier getting out then getting in.  In his panic he forgot to tuck his big horns the right way and you guessed it - "STUPID got stuck"  There was a part of me who wanted to leave him there for a bit to teach him a lesson but in the wind and the way the boys are now it was too risky.  So I got the bugger unstuck and then drug him into his pasture.  He ran when I let go of him and then turned to look at me as if to say "MOM, it is the hormone thing - Honest, I never would have done it otherwise" (The picture below is of him in the spring - he is much bigger now so that makes wiggling on the gate even more amazing)  I put a huge log in front of the gate so for now the problem can not be repeated - at least until they or I think of something else.
 
I hate to make all suffer for the horny hormones that is not within their control but I am not chasing after love crazed folks in the high winds and pitch darkness.  So I have the ear buds back in, the movie turned up and the house filled with yummy smells.  I decided to try a new recipe for cabbage rolls in the crock pot -  I tasted just a bit and I think it will be wonderful.  I finished a nice loaf of white sandwich bread and have a apple crisp in the oven.  Hate to admit it but this gal is wiped out and just want to be a blob for a few hours - is that asking too much?

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Grace's Greens in the Works

 
Over the years of hundreds upon hundreds of dye pots and carded batts I still get a bit giddy when I get to put it all together.  The first picture is of batts that already have gone on to a new home but the lower picture is of some new fibers and even some silk rods that are just screaming "CARD ME, PLAY WITH ME"
 
Hard to believe that all of the fibers and rods that are shown were dyed in the same pot, at the same time with the same dye and same LOVE.  Over the years I have created some different ways of doing things but for this gal it works and creates some of the most eye catching colorways.  Now for those who want to repeat the same colors over and over and over then go to it but I really love creating one of a kind offerings to my customers.
 
On a side note for those who think it is O.K. to just take my batts, take off my label and place their own on it and take the credit for them - SHAME ON YOU!

Blast from the Past - Funny Farm Style

Yep, that is my oldest son Nick with his first Llama - "Tony Llama"
 
This is a contest where 8 points on the animal must be covered and the pair of them have to go through obstacles and a variety of even strangers touching them.  Nick and Tony were lost Rodeo Clowns on their way to a show.  I am proud to announce they won not only top ribbons but also then graced our advertisements for many years.  Tony also saw Nick through the death of his father which happened shortly after we purchased him, Tony and his half brother Fernando were the reason we left our 5 acres and started this farm and over many harsh times in Nicks life his buddy Tony was their to love him.  We were so very blessed to have him in our world and still to this day I laugh my socks off when I see the pair of them together.

Celebrating 17 Years of Larkspur Funny Farm

This sweet face is from RAMBO - an amazing, proud, very big Southdown Ram that lived here at our farm.  Southdown's were the first breed of sheep we added to the farm and I must say still hold a special place in my heart.  We raised the Baby Doll variety - not the monsters they pass off now.  That means they are to your knees and walk around with this grin on their faces all the time. .. The breed is known for the sweetest meat, the tightest fleece and even good milkers.  Their wool was used for next to the skin stocking, and undergarments that required elastic properties.  We brought this breed to our 4 H Fair and was laughed at because it was not the black faced sheep that only seemed to be raised anymore but over time we changed many a minds.  So hugs and snugs to the memory of RAMBO.

In celebration of this farm I am offering 50% off all items in my Etsy shop www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com  just select at least $20.00 worth of products and use coupon code  THANKYOU50  when checking out.  The sale only lasts a few days so don't delay - items are flying off the shelves.

Blessings and Make Each Day Count

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Price of Love



For many of you who read my blog and posts in FB you know this amazing guy as "Sherlock" my all grown up bottle boy who is a kind, proud and very attached to me Cashmere billie.  He is father to many of my best here and comes from the most impressive and loving male who lived here "Thor".  Sherlock loves to lick my neck if I sit down, talks and walks with me all over the farm while I do chores.  I would have never believed that I could be so connected to a animal as I am with him.

Lately, I have let him out of the fenced pastures and gates to go nibble down the driveway weeds, select some mint that is like candy to him and just spend some time away for all the pee faced young men.  So  Sunday evening I heard on the TV that a storm was moving into Colorado later that evening and I realized I better get the business packages down to the mail box before the weather turned cold.

Slipped on my shoes, grabbed the packages and out the shop door I went.  It was already dark but still not that cold.  I sprinted out the door and down the driveway I went.  I was about 3/4 the way to the box when it hit me - BOY it is getting cold quick.  I put the packages in the box and walked a bit quicker on the way back to the house.  About half way there I realized I heard some movement in the tall grass and saw a shadow.   I saw out of the corner of my eye it was a coyote shadowing me.  I was not worried just keeping present with it's movement and then out of the glow from the barn light in the distance I could see this fast dark shadow running towards me.  I could hear a faint call in the cold crisp air - it was SHERLOCK to my rescue.

To see this big fellow RUNNING... WOW Sherlock is not a runner unless he feels it is really required.  He passed me with such speed and determination and that Coyote took off running to the forest like his butt was on fire.  I whistled and Sophia started barking which sent the Coyote farther into the woods.  I called out Sherlock's name and he stopped, turned and walked back to me. With those massive horns he has a swagger and I love seeing him do that - that is his happy walk/

He took his large horns and wrapped them around my knee's.  I stroked his forehead and he spoke softly back to me.  We slowly started walking back to the house as he kept talking softly.  I walked him through the big gates and then bent down and hugged the pieces out of him.  I am one lucky gal to have such a friend, protector and champion.

Now on the down side.  This gal was only going to the mailbox so I had my silk Long Johns on which was going to be my PJ's for this chilly night, my lovely socks on to keep my toes warm at night and my favorite snuggle sweater that was to cover my aching back as the temp's dropped.  Scrap all that because now every inch of them and my goose bumped body smelled like a big billie.  I guess a small price to pay for such love and protection. Hate to admit this gal crawled into bed with freshly washed jeans and a sweatshirt - looked more like I was going to clean a barn or dig a ditch but lucky for me I do not need to impress anyone in bed.

Typical MONDAY for Grace


I know you will not believe me but this is my life.  In the early am I heard the mouse trap snap and this gal on the way to make a cup of tea threw the dead mouse out the kitchen door into the cold dark mourn. I flung it with such skill and purpose that it easily sailed through the cold air easily over 40 feet.  As I crawled back into bed and tried for sleep about an hour or so later something told me "Wake up Grace and Check"  I looked out the bedroom curtain and the fog was thick as soup I could not get a clear view of the sweet ones.

Down the stairs I drug myself, into the chore clothes and out the kitchen door this gal went.  Now last time this thick fog was at the farm I got ran over by my Dot (the Llama) as he was trying to find me in the white weather curtain.  So as I reached the last step and placed my foot on the frozen hard ground I made sure he was far away.  I then with the other foot stepped onto something hard, slick and SHIT - down I went... Yep, Graceful Grace looked like those folks who slip on a banana peel.  In slow motion I hit my back, butt and coconut - almost knocking myself out.  I quickly rolled to get to my knees because here came Dot at a full run to help me and trust me I did not want any more PAIN if he was unable to stop on this slippery ground...

I got up and now felt like the cartoon gal with the stars and birdies flying around my head.  I stood till I could walk forward.  I walked slowly and checked on each animal in the fog all the while wondering what in the heck did I slip on.  When I got back to the steps you would not believe what this gal slipped on - THE FROZEN DEAD MOUSE ...

How could this be?  I threw that sucker an easy 40 feet away so what in the heck brought it back to the house???  Was someone in the universe trying to tell me something??  OH FORGET the questions - there is not going to be an inch of this gal that is not going to be hurting big time.

I went up the stairs into the house and I admit it I turned into a puddle for a moment and cried and then was so pissed off - SERIOUSLY - SLIP ON A DEAD MOUSE...  There has to be something way wrong with the universe to do this to me...

So if anyone can tell me the cosmic purpose of this event I sure would appreciate it... I am SO DONE....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My middle name is BALL BUSTER


It has been a bit since I wrote last but I have not been standing around peeing on myself - unlike so many here at the farm.....

Half of my farm is smelly, sticky and in a all out fighting mood... O.K. Maybe I am like that!!!

Dealing with boy goats in rut season has it's moments and issues but this gal is not new to the rodeo.  Trust me at times it is like deal with bucking bronco's or in a bull fighting ring.  I have had two break outs of hormonally challenged guys in the past 5 days and as the phrase comes to mind "Herding Cats" that can be what I am facing when you are also having hormonally challenged goat girls sticking their butts through fencing or calling from the locked barn.  I can not blame any of them because it is what keeps their blood lines alive but I again am not planning to breed anyone.  Before the eye rolling starts I know I have two babies that where complete surprises to all here but I work my best not to have any.

So with all my bag of tricks that I have gathered from 17 years of hormonal issues, a great farm layout that helps in this uncontrolled running and running that can happen on 35 acres and the understanding that this is all part of the deal I have made - at least for today.

This would make a great chapter or two in the book everyone states I should write and I think I might call it - "How NOT to think with you Private Parts" Who knows it might also work for the two legged hormonally challenged.  I won't bore you all with all the ways I do this (at least not for now unless someone has specific issues that need addressing) but I will say the day I can not out think them is the day I know my brain has failed me.

I will talk about the second event where I had all the 3 and 4 year old out and they ran me more then I liked but also their behavior needed some retraining.  Now before everyone gets all hot and bothered this is how in nature this would occure so trust me I follow Mother Nature in almost all I do.  Once I got the 3 and 4 year old back into their pen I went to work on their retraining.  The girls while I was working on getting the boys back were locked into their barn.  I turn on the radio in the barn loudly which makes them sit down and shut up.  See it is really hard to get the boys to listen to me if those gals are calling them.  Next, I put up the hens and shut their doors because running billies do not care if they step on little feather girls.  Then I followed by wiring shut gates that normally just use their latches because trust me 9 billies can break that if they wish.  Then I went into the house, went to the ladies room, put on heavier clothes and the serious gloves - left the CD player in the house and got ready to rumble.

I then centered myself and let the retraining begin.  What the young billies did not realize is I have enforcement team.  I whistled to the dogs and they got out of their nap time and anchored their spots.  I talked with Llama Boy and Dot about watching my back.  So once after getting them into their pen I stood in the center and started running them.  Hand signals and whistles got them to move in the directions I wanted - they knew this but again hormones get in the way.  I ran them through this over and over and over - almost an hour.  They were getting tired and wanting me to stop but just when that point happened I ran them again.  Then I stood and they came over as if to say "Mom, we get it" but this gal is not done.

Just when they thought the lesson was over I walked over to the next pasture (which houses the older breeding billies) and opened the gate.  I whistled and they walked nicely in.  I shut the gate and wired it shut.  The young guys looked at me like "What is wrong Mom, did you know you wired the gate?" - just then I whistled and out of nowhere the big guys appeared.  You should have seen the young boys faces - eyes bugged and they started calling to me...  Yes, Monk started making short work of the young ones.  No, I am not wishing anyone to be hurt but they really needed their life lessons.  I went and got a chair and sat there as I watched over the retraining.  I know my big guys and if someone got a bit too aggressive all I had to do was call their name and they eased off a bit but not letting up until all figured it out. 

I checked on everyone through the night to make sure all was well and each time I came out the young one's asked to go back to their pen but the answer is NO...

It has been two days and the ranking is restored and they now know who REALLY does have the BIG BALLS at the farm.  When I walked into the pen today all remembered it is THIS GAL WHO WEARS THE PANTS AND CAN BUST YOUR BALLS IF YOU FORGET THE RULES...


Friday, September 20, 2013

Photo issues arise


Getting pictures taken around here is a bit of a challenge because it is just me and as you can see Dot loves me and protects me the whole time I am within his presence but I can not even out run him to try to get a picture so it is up to you to figure out which one I am...


Another case in point - I was trying to get some pictures of a few of the goat girls who are shy and before I knew it Mishka saw me and ran like she was on fire and beat the crap out of the girls who where close to me - You see I am all hers and no one is to be next to me.  That is what happens when you are a bottle raised soul - no matter how you try to do it they know you as MOMMY....  On a high note do you see those locks - Yep, she knows she is a beauty and don't let her know this but I have a soft spot for that pushy gal. 


Not to complain but then we have the "SNEAK A LICK" issues.  Yep, sounds weird but true - this is Lilly who is so quite that she could be a Ninja.  You never hear or see her until she is right on you and trying to lick or nibble.  This sweet soul has been the reason for many falls for me - one second she is clear up in the pasture and next she is under foot and I am trying to catch myself before doing a face plant.  She is such a kind soul that I LOVE HER to pieces but some of my biggest bruises are because of her stealth mode.  On the good side she also is the first to know when I need a snug or hug and always sits with those who are lowest on the totem pole even thou she is much higher up in the ranks.  Lilly gives some UBER soft fiber to go with her UBER soft heart. 



Last but not least is the issue of what hormones and Mother Nature can do to my lovely sweet ones.  No this is not mud alone - it is much more then dirt and rain - do I need to explain????  This power house is a all WHITE Cashmere boy named "Jack" and he is trying with all his might to catch the eyes and noses of the girls that are locked away behind four gates and two huge pastures.  In the eyes of the girls this is pure TOP MALE MODEL but for humans who might not understand the behavior they pinch their noses, shake their heads and walk quickly away.  For me I see pure beauty because this guy is really out to win the hearts and breeding rites - hate to burst Jack's bubble but not this year.  What is so funny about this guy is he loves the camera and each time I tried to take a picture of one of the other guys he would step into the shot..

Lick, Lick, Lick

video

Do you ever wonder why I don't stop too long???   That is right, I am a tasty treat and fights break out over me.... Bet you wished you had my life???

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mountain Lions and Bears Lay in Wait out of the Pouring Rain

 
It has been a very very bumpy ride the past four days with all the rain, flooding and wild beasts.  Sophia the other night broke lead and went nuts. That same time I had 8 big billies break a gate down and run like their asses where on fire.  As I was trying to get Sophia on a new lead and up to the house, then try to gather the billies and put them into another pasture I had Llama Boy screaming and alarm calling which then freaked this gal out.  I ran to the house in the pouring rain and grab the spot light and hatchet.  I came back to the gate, quickly wired it shut and then started after Llama Boy.  As I reached him in the corner of the pasture facing the forest I started searching with the spot light to see what had gotten everyone panicked and running.  There as the bright light hit the tree closest to me there was two mountain lions about a third of the way up in the heavy branches.  Now I was panicked and freaked but I kept searching as if that was not enough - I just knew there was more to see.  Sure enough in the camp ground area were two more sets of very large eyes - Bears - OH MY...  What could be next???  TIGERS?? Thank God NO but I think I had enough in my forest.
 
Llama Boy stood with me for the whole night as we made sure the line was held and that no one breached the fence line.  I kept thinking to myself  - I guess we all have to go out some how and this is going to be one way that will be in the books.
 

 
 As the rain gave us a slight breather and the sun slowly crept up along the eastern horizon this is what I found.  Something very large and very angry/hungry (the Bears) had crushed a trash can that only held small kindling in it - I still have not managed to locate the lid.  Then I took a picture of the tree that housed two sets of Bear eyes.  As you can see that tree is right next to the rocking chairs in which you might at times find this gal sitting in and enjoying a sandwich and tall glass of ice tea after a hard working day.  I am not sure if you can tell but I have bark that was been scraped off by some sharp claws.  We call this place "The Camp Ground" but trust me I never leave food, trash or personal items there because I do not wish to have unwanted guest but I understand that this is a great place for all to enjoy


This tree is the closest to the pastures where the big billies live and where Sophia works and lives.  When I put the spot light on this tree is the first to be seen.  This is where I could not only see the two sets of big eyes but also could see the Big Cats clearly.  I must say my heart leaped into my throat and stayed there for most of the night.  I would not say I am brave but I think I was frozen with fear for a short while but then was so worried that my sweet goats would never have a chance on their own.  Most wild animals want to stay away from lights, barking dogs and screaming llama's and hopefully a hatchet waving gal with a love for her animals that is beyond irrational
 
Since that night I am out there every night working the fence line with Sophia, Llama Boy and the Billies.  Each night we also have rain, rain and more rain.  It has been more then a challenge and not what this weary gal would have wished for but I promised my animals to do what it takes to keep us all safe and I am doing my best to keep that promise.  So again we watch, walk and carry sharp protection in hope that all will be safe.  I hope soon this will not be needed but for this moment it is our new norm.