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


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  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