Rain, Rain, you can stay

And even come back another day.

Though to a point this is a little overkill. Still, it is needed. While it isn’t great for the garden or the crops, we still need this moisture. I am also glad that while we saw a little bit of hail yesterday all the severe weather didn’t happen, at least not for us. There is a lot of flooding. In fact if you want to see pictures go here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.151216751717106.1073741840.105796186259163&type=1 Our animals are wet. Even with all the hills that they have, well every bit of ground has standing water on it. We are saturated. I am trying to look on the bright side though. The rain and gloom is somewhat getting to me. It is getting to everyone really. Patience is super low here at Yarrow. The 10 day forecast keeps teasing us, the warm sunny weather is always just 5 days away. However, when those five days come it seems to have changed. I hope we see the sun again.

So big news. It seems that there is a bit of big news around the farm this past week. Iot lambed. I knew it was going to happen. Just that day I had mentioned that her bag was big. That night as we were falling asleep I heard her, then didn’t, then did. I turned to Jack and he said that she would be fine. We went out that morning and sure enough a healthy little boy and girl were out there. We butchered the two sows that day also. While we were out there we noticed that there was more than one black lamb next to one of the shetlands. That is how we noticed that at some time Alais lambed too. She had a little girl. The sad thing was that the next day we noticed a small bundle next to a shelter. It was another little shetland baby, dead, never cleaned off. At first we thought Melisande had lambed but we now think that Alais twinned and lost one. Part of the problem of not being there. Of course there could have been good reason for her abandoning the lamb. We have learned that if the mom doesn’t accept the baby sometimes it is because that baby isn’t so healthy. No matter what we tried we could not save Joy. So I am trying not to get too upset over this and think about what I could have done to save this lamb.

Like I said we also butchered the sows. Mac and Roman came over and there was a biology lesson for all. It was really great to see the kids interested in what goes on inside a pig. Of course they were still killed as humanely as possible. The second sow did not go so well. The point where you shoot is a very small place. If you don’t hit there, they don’t die instantly. Not only that but adrenaline starts pumping out and the ability to kill them quickly goes way down. Which is what happened with the second sow. It wasn’t fun. However, that was the only issue we had through out the butchering and hopefully it doesn’t happen again. And now we have a freezer full of meat. We are waiting on a sunny day so we can use the sausage grinder and process it. Right now it is just in quarters.

On Saturday we did the cook shack for the community center. I had sent out an email earlier and it was amazing how much the tri-communities came out to support us. I would say that 90% of our sales were from the communities. Still we are hoping that next month goes a little better. It was slow and if it wasn’t for the support of our community we would have only had maybe 5 sales. We had the community meeting last night though and they were pretty happy with how it turned out. We just covered the cost of the food bought with a little left over. So next month we will be doing a little bit more. Mostly, we will be doing breakfast!! We will be making biscuits and gravy. We hope that this will bring in more money. I mean, who doesn’t like biscuits and gravy?

Later that day, Mac, Anya, Roman and Keith came over and we planted willow and poplars. This will eventually be the screen for the pond. There was big news on Sunday and I will just write about it here now. Mac and Anya applied for residency here and were accepted!! You may have noticed that they have been popping up a lot on the blog here. We are unsure right now whether they will lease a bit of land from us or if we will become a sub-community. It doesn’t really matter right now though. We are all working together, getting a lot done and having fun while we are at it. They are going to build a yurt just south of our pond. So the willows will be benefiting them also. I will like it a lot once we have a screen of trees up around the pond.

So like I said Sunday was our meeting and it was really wonderful to have Mac and Anya accepted as residents. As we were walking back from the meeting we heard a shetland bawling. We thought that it was Melisande giving birth. So we didn’t hurry. Jack walked down there and noticed that Alais was frantic. He looked all around and couldn’t find her new lamb. Finally he almost fell into an old fence post hole. It was mostly filled with water. Which made him start looking into all the old fence post holes. He finally found the little lamb. She was mostly dead. She was spasming and her eyes were clouding over. She was cold. I saw him running with something black under his arm as I looked out the window. Jack very rarely runs. He is always the calm collected one when it comes to animal emergencies. It totally freaked me out to see him running. I yelled out to ask him what we needed. He yelled back, “BOIL WATER!!!”. I tell you, sometimes water just won’t heat up. I had found earlier that it goes quicker by heating up just a small amount of water to boiling and adding cool water to get it to the right temperature. Remember, we don’t have ANY hot water. Our water comes out at air temperature outside. It is cold. We finally got her in warm water while heating up more. I put some cayenne pepper in her mouth. A goat health care forum I belong to had mentioned that it helps to wake up animals while providing B vitamins. The first time I did it it didn’t seem to help much. I did it three more times. It finally seemed to do something. We worked with her for an hour and a half and went through just about every towel we have. Alais was just out there bawling still pacing the hole. Jack did CPR and mouth to mouth on her. She had stopped breathing for awhile. After that however she vomited up mud. She then started shivering. We dried her up more and brought her back out to Alais. I have never seen a happier sheep. She licked her all over and she went to nursing. It about brought me to tears. Now she is out and running about and nursing. We are keeping a close eye on her. I think we might have to call her Phoenix or something. Brought back from the dead… We need to go around and try to find all the holes that happen to be in our pasture.

This past week has just been kind of crazy. Almost too much. It makes me wonder if I should start blogging more than once a week. I have taken three days to write this out. Part of that is that we haven’t had much sun. Part of it, I have been busy. I forgot about that. The girls started a new school year this week. It has been nice, there is much more to this years curriculum. They are loving it but we just have been doing a lot of school, which doesn’t coincide well with spring and a lot going on on the farm. Right now, we have a quarter of a sow sitting on a table. She was deep frozen. There is supposed to be some sun tomorrow so hopefully we will be able to process it. Oh and this morning while I was milking, do you know what started happening? It started to snow! It is cold out there now. And windy. And wet. But life goes on. We are due for another lambing. Really, we have no idea when they are to lamb but everyone has kind of went every week, so we are expecting a lamb to pop out soon.

Mac and Keith are over right now helping Jack put up hoops to make our beds into low tunnels. We figure if nothing else this will make the warm weather finally get here. That is how it works, right? I did predict a wetter, colder spring. I am not sure if it is going to last until summer. I know that sounds weird. Sometimes though if you open yourself up to what the earth feels like you can feel the weather. Feel what the earth is preparing itself for. Or at least I can. And while I try not to make this an overtly pagan homesteading blog maybe I am doing a disservice to my readers. There are enough christian homesteading blogs out there. If I throw a little of my spirituality in here, well, it is what our farm is. If I say that while we were trying to warm up Alais’ lamb we all had our hands on her and sending her warmth and healing, is that any different from someone else saying they were praying to god to help the lamb? If I say that while we were doing the killing of the sows I thanked the god and goddess for the life they had provided for us and the meat that would help sustain us. I leave a lot of that out, but really, maybe I shouldn’t.

So as I leave you this week, I hope that you are doing well wherever you are. There has been a lot of tragedy this week. I hope that those of you who have been hit by these storms are dry and safe. I hope that those of you who have been affected by the violence of this week find peace. Until next week, or maybe sooner.


2 thoughts on “Rain, Rain, you can stay

  1. Gene

    I meant to respond to this post right away, but seeing your next one reminded me to get to it. I've now typed this twice, so sorry if you see more than one (I accidentally deleteted the first one somehow). The point I want to make is please do post more pagan details! I thought perhaps even though you alluded to it in the past perhaps it wasn't a big part of your life or at least worth posting about much– I didn't realize you were censoring details for one reason or another. I would be interested in MORE, including how you came upon your beliefs, what sort of books/references you ascribe value to, how you apply it as a family, etc., etc. Maybe we can email if you don't want to make it public. Thanks! Gene


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