In all the beautiful Kingdom that blew through here on Sunday I forgot to mention…. these two cute little dorks were born this past Saturday. Two strong little girls! So it was a cracker jack weekend. My son Zim has a way with calming the strongest of animals… so when he asked if he could go out with me for the birth I said, “sure but wear snow pants it’ll be messy”. Agate is a discount sheep… and albeit she makes a great milk…she is not great to deal with…a bit mean and dumb as a rock…God bless her and all that (ahem). So bringing Zim was a good idea…. he held Agate and when the second baby came out he helped dry and run for more towels. My favorite quote of the morning was, “You know I like lambing just fine… but when I was born upstairs I didn’t have to see all that jazz,” he said as he swung a thumb in the direction of the afterbirth.
In other news my right hand helper in the barn is smiling and well again , as is the baby! So all the sheep are back to being serenaded as they dive into grain buckets. This girl can climb a fence or fling a flake of hay or round up a new lamb for shots like she’s been doing it her whole life…all with a smile and a song… and God help us all , a seemingly endless supply of new boots.
So with almost all the lambs safely born (still have one at the end of April) and four out of five being girls which in the dairy world equates to a great blessing!and… All of my babies are finally over that retched belly bug. and…. We are currently through only half of our hay storage…that is a giant Hallelujah! Then as if all that blessing wasn’t enough… I had that out pouring of love on Sunday… We are feeling pretty charged and thankful around here!
He is so good.
“We have something for you… It’s set up in the other room,” my very dearest friend Jess told me. I must have looked terrified because she immediately put her hand on my arm, “It’s okay, ” she laughed…”It’s really good.”
As I came around the corner with all of Sunday Dinner trailing behind me…” We put it out on Facebook ,to anyone who has come to Sunday Dinner in all these years… to send you cards of thanks… You both have done so much… we just want you to see a glimmer of how thankful people are for all that you do. ” My studio was packed with gifts. I looked around with my eyes brimming with tears and my mouth laughing, “So crazy… this is so crazy.”
To feel my heart swell…
To feel the warmth pouring out of my studio….
To read the cards from voices from all over…
To see my HusBen shake his head and his eyes liquify….
I burst out in a blubbery cry, “A trash can! Whoever did this, knows us! ” Our trashcan has been broke for a long while and I never think to replace it… You would have to be the type to come to Sunday Dinner and see that need and to fill it…”This is so crazy…”
To know that people love like this…. I am a puddle.
I just make food.
We just open our home.
We love these people… but still… This is all so crazy.
The cards with the stories…
The delicious treats….
The visions and prophetic words…
The hand felted pillow from an amazing artist… I know that took so much love and time…
The 1920 kids who went out and posed for a hilarious picture… I love it so much I cried.
To the people who sent dishtowels! I LOVE IT! We are practically out of the two huge baskets of dishtowels… who knows where they go… and now they have been replenished!
For the wooden declaration of what He told you about me… I mean… I can’t… I felt my heart swell into my throat with love.
For these collections of items that made you think of us… I love more than ever.
For my dear friend who is one of the queens of amazing ideas … I can’t believe all of this… But I choose to override everything I was taught about people and to believe..
Because people are so good.
You all are so good.
We are so thankful.
You have all taught us so much
I can’t finish a sentence…
It’s all just so crazy….
Curled up in a ball on the chair she barely looked up when I told her we were going to go out and plant the peas… “It’s St. Patrick’s Day…. It’s tradition.” These little girls are still so sick…and little Noa has lost her smile and gained a furrowed brow. She shook her head and curled back up. In all my years of parenting and in all eight kids I have never seen such a slow moving relentless stomach virus as this.
I begged her…. she told me to go on and she would water them in a few days.
I looked at my husBen… and he scooped her up promising her that a good dose of sunshine would take her mind off of her belly. We zipped winter coats over cozy pants and pjs… and released ourselves to the sixty degree but very windy day. Excuse the homelessness look of the children… they have had a tough week… and I dare say we have had it almost as bad while taking care of them.
So that is how we planted hope. Hope that soon the sixty degree days will be more frequent. Hope that someday these babies will feel better. Hope that our garden will grow. Then filled with this same hope and most surely not wanting to go back in “that house”… we raked the yard and cleaned up the messy remains of last years garden.
In other news… the triplet lambs are doing wonderfully! They have each gained four whopping pounds per lamb in their first week! Today is the ten day mark and all is well! 80% of all lambs that will die… will die within the first ten days… so I feel like I can name them. Secretly I have named the first one… Elma. She is the friendliest. Perhaps it’s because she knows I brought her back from the grey blue grip of death… or maybe it’s because she is the littlest… either way I have let it slip a few times when I pick her up to feel for a full stomach….which is always warm and full.
When she stubbled in her too big boots I braced myself. The two littlest ,of the eight, have been terribly sick … they can barely eat anything and it has been torture to watch. And by torture I mean waking up in a pool of the baby’s puke , not just one night buy two nights.… sorry.. but the facts are the facts. So in a spurt of inspiration and the hopeful wish for a sixty degree day… I took them out to the barnyard to see the lambs. To see her about to fall on the concrete and headed for a pile of manure made we brace myself for the over the top crying which was sure to follow… but as if she knew what was happening…Garden ran up and stood steady and “caught” her. She really is a marvel that Garden. What dog who isn’t technically raised with babies and only sees one a few times a year would be this protective and amazing? With a huge sigh of relief we made our way over to the lambs… and the craziest thing happened…
The baby smiled. I almost thought she had forgotten how to.
Last week I woke up and told my HusBen, “I dreamt Benita birthed a big white ram… and I had to pull it out because he was backwards and big… “.
Yesterday was the day… as I peeled myself away from my Lambcam to get my own baby who had just woken up from her nap… my friend (also watching the Lambcam from her home) was cheering from my speakerphone, “The lamb is coming out! I can see it! It’s here! Get out there!” Of course! I settled the baby on the couch and gave her a lollipop … and with her approving smile I fled.
When I got out to the barn the lamb was blue and lifeless. I pulled the bag off her face and swung her by her legs… and thought, “Thank you God for all those Lambing Live BBC videos I have been watching!” Still nothing. This time ,with less delicacy and apprehension I gave her a good swing… and she coughed! I rubbed her good because she was still very blue. A few coughs later and she was calling for her mama… who was calling her right back. A , very barely, 7 pound little girl. Lovely.
An hour past and still no more came out. The little girl had already nursed plenty of colostrum so I knew she was off to a good start. I worried because I knew there was at least one more in there… and I had put an “order” in with Him for three lambs total… two girls and one boy. Well I hadn’t seen this long space between births on Lambing Live and that is the bulk of my knowledge so I started to worry a bit… I didn’t want this other lamb to die on my lack of experience. So I went in… a tangle of legs and parts… I found two legs close to each other, but no head. So with her next contraction I just held onto those two little feet… all worry gone… I knew I wasn’t letting them slip back and get lost. So with a bit of an intimate and awkward walk about the stall.. out a 9 and a half pound white ram came, backwards and big! No sooner had he come through but two little hooves ,also backwards, popped out. So I held fast to them and with her next contraction a lovely black and white 8 pound girl slid right out.
Two gimmers and a tup as they say in England…
Two girls….one boy…. just like I asked for.
Here are a few things you can do today…
When winter drags on
even though you swore you gave it up for Lent…
Sit in the Sun.
Arrange a few spontaneous gatherings for friends.
Make your favorite treats… just be a scooch more indulgent.
The glass may be half full or empty… so bring plenty more!
Forgive those who trespass against you…. and those who sass you.
Tell some of your favorite stories.
Be in the moment.
No phones… no place to go… just be wholly there with people who are traveling through time with you.
It’s March… winter can’t hang on much longer!
These wooly cocoons are about to unfurl with new lambs. With my lambing box at the ready… and all my books reread… I am just waiting and waiting. I attempted to take pictures of all their full blown progress… but Garden had hopes of a cover shoot. No matter how far back I got.. she wanted to be in the shot. I finally found her rope toy hidden under the snow and tried to toss it … but she isn’t a house dog…she doesn’t
However all of the playing around we were doing brought on the curiosity of these pregnant ladies. They sauntered down in hopes that just maybe, all of our joy was brought on by extra feed… which would seem logical to their humongous selves. When they found out that they had hauled their selves through the snow for nothing… they turned themselves right around.
But not Garden… she sat down on my lap.