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.