A special thanks goes to my kids. When I considered moving here, I related my dream and ideas. Knowing that at my age I could not manage this alone, I approached my son John and asked him if he was interested. I listed my options. I would either settle into a condo life-style or do the hobby farm.
He immediately said he would really like to do the farm bit. Now John has never been on or near a farm, but he enthusiastically researched what we needed to do and learned the appropriate skills. He took off and is still going. He has divided pastures, repair water lines, (actually locating lines by use of a divining rod) We have 5 acres, so not easy. Only having been on a horse once in his life, he took over the handling of Diesel. When offered two basically green rescue horses, he took them on. He had to learn not only to ride, but to stay on a bucking, green horse. Despite a few cracked ribs, he is still at it. Pippa is so gentle now that my two girls ride her. Nessa is much more spirited, an off-track racer, but responds beautifully to ground work and has been ridden also. She is still a work in progress. Forever grateful to John. Bridget comes out weekly and finds things that need to be done that I have not done. She has done carpentry work, electrical work. She has set up and moved portable chicken coops between garage and outdoor coop. She gives Diesel and the other horses weekly brushings, tail detanglement, carrots, and lots and lots of love. She helped me with my little art project of solar mason jar lights on the patio and put up cutesy signs around the yard such as Bee crossing, Chicken Crossing, Fresh eggs, etc. I'm sure she thought I was becoming a little demented. She taught he how to use a drill, put together a utility cart and so much more. She also has done the mundane and dirty work such as pooper scooping after the horses (wheel barrels full), cleaning out and power washing the goat house, even taking me to Urgent Care when I forgot to wear safety glasses while power washing and earned a divot in my eye for my troubles. Obviously, she had the patience of Job.I just cannot express enough gratitude to her. This web page is her idea. She not only encouraged me but put a lot of time and effort into it.
Cathy also is out weekly. She is not a "tool "type of person. Her background is Naturopathic medicine - she is, in fact, a doctor of Naturopathic and Chinese medicine. She advises me on what supplements I should give the animals to help their immune system, or topical ointments for the odd scratch. She pooper scoops (also wheel barrels full), cleans the goat house, takes me on farm errands, brushes the horses and rides Pippa whenever she can. She is currently volunteering in Ecuador and will be away for over a year. Dear, Oh dear, she will be missed. There might be a lot of Skyping going on. My son Tom lives almost three hours away. As a mechanical engineer, he fields lots of calls on how to get this or that to work better, how to use a leverage to move things, and construction issues. He supports me in whatever I might want to do, giving advice pro or con. Thanks Tom for fielding the COUNTLESS construction and financial questions. I am reminded of the biblical phrase, " Your children will be like vines (or was it olive branches) around your table". My garden over floweth!
I am so happy, I now under stand the phrase "over the moon" Spot and Blaze went to their forever home together. I really did not want to separate them. A very nice (putting it mildly) couple came out with their grand daughter-a gentle, beautiful, smart child- to look at the doelings. I think the grand daughter had a love at first sight moment. She plans to keep the name Blaze but will change spot to a more fun name. I think it was Tyra after Tyra Banks, a beautiful name for a pretty little goat. The girls went home with them. Happily they do not live too far away and we can keep in touch. I am so pleased that the girls found such a wonderful home.
I am also sad. My animals have always been an extension of family to me. I also feel that if I took them on it is my responsibility to do the best I can for them. Chekelu, their mother, called for them for a while and then settled down eating. I will need to milk her tonight...waiting for sun to go behind the house so it will be cooler on patio. (We excavated the barn, and paddock and the patio is now our barn.)
My plan is to breed only on doe each year and give the other the year off. Best laid plans... Our vet thought our young buck was too young and small to do the deed and was not smelly enough to be acceptable to the gals...HA! Nature, you got to love her.
My family is grown, we are no longer big milk drinkers, although I have a glass mid afternoon and cereal and milk for breakfast . The last batch of accumulated milk was turned into yogurt. I do want to make cheese. Now that I will have double milk I won't have to wait so long to collect enough.
I milk one time a day-morning and leave the kids with moms all day, separating them at night. Anaya is still nursing her big boy -50lbs (b.April 21) but Chekelu might have to be milked twice to be comfortable. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them along.
John is now getting ready to put Pippa up for sale. That also is sad. She is gentle and a sweet heart and my 2 daughters enjoyed riding her every week end. But he will be taking on another horse soon as Nessa is almost ready to go also
For all things I am grateful , but especially for my family and that includes you LaVada.
End of very fulfilling days