Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dog Rescue

Yesterday, I got a phone call from Taylor as she was headed out. "Mom, there is a little dog down by the creek. I couldn't stop to get it, but can you go see if you can find it...He's really scared." I asked Kyle if he wanted to run down there with me to rescue the poor thing. "You're gonna have to stop being so nice." he replied to me. I always thought being "nice" was a good thing??

We looked for about an hour and didn't see anything.
This morning as Rodney and I were on our way back home I saw her. Rodney reluctantly stopped and let me gather her up. I figured I could at least find out who she belongs to by her tag. She was wearing only a rabies tag. I called the vet's number on the tag and the serial number led us nowhere. It was loosely connected to a cat? I figured somebody just threw a tag on her so she wouldn't look like a stray.
There is something wrong with her eyes. She seems to be able to see, but not well. I will be taking her to see Dr. Devlin in the morning, who is the Sevier County Humane societies president. We will assess the situation and go from there. I've offered her a foster home until we can find a forever family for her.
She is just as sweet as she can be. Scared, but sweet. She does NOT like Emma's shenanigans which is quite confusing to poor Emma. Typically, Emma's over exuberance is tolerated quite well by her peers (and her humans).
If you know anybody looking for a dog and would be willing to adopt one with a slight malady, please let me know. You know, it is the dogs who are broken and in need of rescue that make the best pets. I'll be posting pictures of her via Facebook and the Sevier County Humane Society tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Catching Leaves

I posted this on my freedom blog but decided to share it here as well.

So far this year, the leaves on the big oak in the back yard have been clinging pretty tightly to their branches. Over the past couple of days, they have finally decided to let go. This morning those leaves put on quite a spellbinding waltz as they twirled and perfectly pirouetted to the dance floor beneath them. Rodney piped up once and said "they sure do fly a long ways don't they?" which started me counting seconds. Yep, sipping coffee and seeing just how long any particular leaf could stay in flight.

I told Rodney it was like watching an aquarium. There really is no explaining why it was quite so fascinating but, for some reason, we sat there in a trance. I counted one leaf that floated downward for a full 7 seconds...he was the winner this morning, according to my data.

I couldn't quite capture the thrill of it all with my lens, partly because the wind wasn't blowing when I decided to grab my camera, and partly because I didn't feel like waiting till the wind decided to blow again.

I headed out into the mystical morning dawning my big ol rubber boots but decided to leave the umbrella behind. No, I wanted to be in it, to absorb the moist autumn air, and even let it mess up my hair. After I fed the goats and bunnies, I started back to the house but thought I'd try to see if I could catch one of those falling leaves first.

I stood staring up at the tree, waiting. My glasses became foggy and covered with drops of rain but, here came a leaf! I ran towards it but it escaped my fingers with ease. Now this was a challenge between me and the tree (and the wind, and the rain, and my own skill and balance). I found myself laughing out loud as I missed one after the other. They would seemingly head strait for me and then, as if tied to an invisible string, would dart away. Emma became very excited by what I was doing and wanted to play too, she just wasn't sure exactly what her part in it was. Finally, I caught one. It was a great victory.

My trophy (along with the pear I intend to eat later today). I momentarily thought "what a waste of time, counting seconds of leaves falling and running around like an idiot in the rain". Then I went back to that idea of being authentic. I feel better this morning than I've felt in a while. Perhaps there is healing and a connection with God in the moments we "waste". If God puts on a show of waltzing leaves, it might just behoove us to take a second to watch it. And if you feel the need to play a game with a tree, there is probably not a more constructive use of your time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big Girl Emma and Farm updates

My blogging has been averted to the Freedom Journey blog lately but there are things that must be bloggerized with reference to the farm.

First of all, I am so so proud of Miss Emma. Over the past few days she has made leaps from puppyhood. In a way, it makes me a little sad but mostly, I am bursting with delight. The first thing is that she has graduated from having to sleep in her kennel. For about 3 nights in a row, she was waking up at least once a night needing a drink or to go potty. Opening a kennel in the dark while half asleep and ushering around a boxer in a groggy haze is not a fun as it sounds. Monday night after she made her rounds to potty and to get a drink, she jumped on the couch laid down and gave me a look that clearly said, "pleeeaaasse let me sleep on the couch". I patted her head, gave her a kiss and told her to be a good girl then went back to bed. Morning came and she found her way to my side of the bed and was ready for our first snuggle of the day. Good girl Emma.

Then this morning, Rodney and I had to sort some calves down at the corral. It has been a rainy, foggy morning so I made another big decision and left Emma in the house while we were gone, not confined to her kennel. I asked Sophie and Charlotte to keep and eye on her told them all to behave. We were gone for about 2 hours. I hesitantly came through the door, wondering what I would find chewed or broken. Joy and rapture! Good good girl Emma. All was in order. Needless to say, everybody got an extra cookie this morning.

We have been without Goat milk for over a month now. The does have all been bred this month (I hope) and are due to kid in March. I've really been missing the daily chore of milking and certainly missing the milk. When we bought our first gallon of cow's milk from the store, Taylor drank a big glass of it and it very much upset her tummy. I guess she had so acclimated to the goats milk that her poor tummy had no idea what to do with pasteurized, store-bought cow's milk. We no longer have our mean old buck. I sold him to a friend and then "borrowed" another buck. He did his job and went back home which leaves me with only my 8 does and one wether. The wether is the little goat that I bottle fed from an infant and has a bit of identity-confusion. He isn't sure if he is a goat, a dog, or a human. They continue to find ways into the yard and, almost daily, I am diverting them away from my pumpkins and trees and back into the pasture.

This weekend will be 11 years since we made the farm our home. It has been, at the least, a learning experience. I am beginning to compile a list of things I've learned over the past years of being a farmer and will share it sometime this weekend. One thing we have found to be true is that we are NEVER going to be done. Farming is endless. There will never come a day when we will sit back and observe our accomplishments and say "well, we're done". We can merely face the tasks of the day and every day brings new challenges. I heard a line in a movie once that summed it up pretty succinctly. It is from the movie "I dreamed of Africa" which revolves around a woman who moves to a farm in Africa and faces extreme hardships while working very hard to improve the lives of the people around her. She tells her son at one point, "We think we run this place but we don't. It runs us." I guess that can be said about life in general. We think we're in control but it is only an illusion.

Allowing the farm to run our lives has been quite an adjustment. It has taught us much about surrender, about patience, and about life. I pray there are many more years to come and, even when the hard times come, we will look around us and feel God's blessings.