“Here to do the sonograms on some sheep.” He pulled his green vet hat down against the freezing wind.
“Yep… meet me out at the barn ,” I stuffed the baby in the snow suit that has managed to survive each and every one of my eight children. Grabbing my camera and two youngest kids I caught up with the vet, “they are dairy sheep so I will just have them get up in the stand… this should be relatively easy.”
“yep… bet you don’t see too many of those.” The wind slammed the barn door behind us.
“You are right until this week… this is my second farm of dairy sheep…. there is an Amish man with a herd.”
“Oh I have seen Amish dairy sheep… I have two… you will see the difference between the Amish ones and the real deal. There is no comparison.” With that I opened the barn door , and without skipping a beat Benita marched right up and Agate stood in line. Garden , wondering what I was doing to her flock, climbed the hay bales and peered down to see all the action.
“Oh I see what you mean.” Part of me held my breath. Did I put Ludo away too early? Should I have left him a week longer? This was Ludo’s first year… what does he know? He was so discreet we barely saw anything happen! Oh geez oh geez. Wait is the vet mumbling something…. ,”What did you say?” as I sushed the girls who sat twiddling twine on a hay bale.
“There it is… right there.. this one is pregnant,” he mumbled with no pomp at all. He said it like he hadn’t just given me the very best news ever! I climbed over him in the cramped space and made him show me…. teach me as much as he could. I grabbed Benita’s face in my hands and I kissed her.
I kissed her right between the eyes and I swear she smiled back. She’s the best.
I opened the head lock and brought in Agate… and in her Agate way she stomped her legs and woofed all her food right down. In a very monotone half whisper, “This one too… she’s about as far along as the first one.” For Agate a simple scratch behind the ears and a hearty, “good girl you did it,” and she was on her way back down the ramp.
Then little Rose… and I had to grab her as she has never been on the milking stand… but she is sweet enough. He couldn’t find it right away and he said she wasn’t pregnant… but right as my internal dialogue was reminding myself that I didn’t care if Rose was pregnant a murmur of …”well never mind right there is the heart beat… she’s just only thirty days pregnant… must have ‘caught’ right before you removed the ram.”
If I could have jumped straight up and spun around I would have.
We went into get his tiny little check for my tiny little farm vet check. I would have easily paid double. While I looked for a pen… are pens as illusive in your house as mine? He filled in the search with a mumbled story… I didn’t think he would be a good story teller as he seemed a bit akward… but I was surprised…
“So my neighbor knows I am a vet and she had a goat who was having some trouble so she called me down. I am not normally that kind of vet but I went because she is my neighbor. So I get there and have to reach in and turn the kid (baby goat) around inside and it comes right out. Her teenage sons were standing there doing nothing so I told them how goats often have a couple of kids so you must always reach back in and check for more… and I reached in and pulled out another kid! So then I looked at them and said now what do I do… and they were just teenagers but you think they would have known what I was asking… but they didn’t and so I said..’you have to always reach in and check’ and I pulled out another kid! So then the one kid thinks he’s really funny and says all smart,’well aren’t ya going to check?’ and I told him that goats this size normally only have three at the max… but I reached in anyway and pulled out a fourth kid! They all lived and did very well… but it goes to show you … you always need to reach in and check, ok?”
I handed him his much too tiny check and laughed,”That is a great story and I will hold onto it come lambing time. You have just given me the very best day ever… so I will see you in January or February for a head count estimate.”
Once I heard his truck door slam… we danced around the house cheering… and cheering… and dancing.. and cheering.
I need your help!!!
Our Garden dog is pretty much the best thing to ever happen to dogs. As a puppy she would amaze me with her caring instinct. Once when I was out in the pasture with the overly tired baby…she came over and steadied the baby. Then she stood firm as the baby pulled and fell on her trying to stand up. Normally a dog not raised with babies would be disturbed by any of that… but not Garden… she is a saint. I looked over and could see her shifting her weight so that the baby’s fumbling didn’t make her stumble. Now at just a year old she defends the flock against loose domesticated dogs and keeps the sheep in line. She can stand and block Ludo and she can get in the way when the sheep are trying to scurry past.
That said… any dog I see has to compete with the saintlike status of my mind reading Garden dog.
and that said… I have been thinking… obsessing over a new dog. Garden can’t come in the house… she must stay in her sheep herd. I would like an indoor dog. I know a lot about dogs… so I am no rookie. We have always had dogs and I have seen so many breeds and gone to so many shows (including Westminster dog show) and rescues … I feel like I am at information overload. Then on top of all that there are all these crosses… and the crosses interest me because this would be an inside dog…. and there are dogs that I like that when crossed with a hypoallergenic non shedder will have their shedding reduced…hopefully.
The husBen and I have always joked that when the kids move out… we would get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. However, I feel like the kids will never fully move out… the youngest is one… who are we kidding??
I am not against a foofoo type dog I just don’t want anything with a doodle or a poo in the name… they are great crosses I just would rather not… no judgement to all of my friends who own one.
So in the foofoo category we have:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- a Morkie … maltese yorkshire terrier cross
- Toy Fox terrier
- I have always liked the look of a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier (whiter version) but I have heard they can be tough to train.
- So that being said I have heard a Jack Russel cross can end up looking like a wire haired fox terrier.
and then there is the responsible choice which would then require a ton of herding training work from me… which I am not sure I am even qualified to do:
- The English Shepherd
- The Border Collie
This is ridiculous. I blame Garden’s perfection. She has raised the bar of behavior so high, higher than I ever thought a dog could act, so now I want this inside dog to be just as amazing. My brain is in complete overload of canine information. No pressure new dog, but you must be the very best companion ever created , small enough to be allowed on the couch, pretty agreeable, not too flamboyant, loyal and want to hang out with me, be sort of hypoallergenic and never leak pee…. I hate that. I once had a happy dog who would drip a few drops every time you gave her any praise… it was maddening. New dog must be the Garden awesome indoor equivalent… only much much smaller! Good luck and no pressure!
This has been months in the making… in the obsessing…
I am so happy to sit here and have to opportunity to celebrate something awesome that is about to happen
go ahead and click play (the orange circle on the picture) …
I will keep writing…
I know right!
You can feel the travels in a voice of a man who has circled this earth for Him countless times. You know this man… you know his family … you have watched his babies right here over the years. It’s Steven Schallert, you know from Cape Town, South Africa. Him and his wife have built an amazing community there. I have been honored to get to know them when they are in the States…
I remember when I fell in love with his one song , Oh my Ancient Heart.
I remember when I first met them and I came close to hitting him in the chest… well sort of…
So after waiting years we are only a few days away…. December 18 to be exact.
Until Songs of Sorrow /Songs of Hope is officially released I will just keep listening to what I have…
Sometimes you have to make a bunch of bad art to get to the good stuff.
I am at that point… just reams and reams of bad art…
When people ask me ,”What are you painting these days?”
My response is … “nothing.”
What I should say is “nothing good”… because I am working on things… but nothing is what I want it to be.
People have taken pieces out of the trash, “can I have this?”…and I shake my head in disbelief…if only they could see what it is supposed to be!
I keep seeing these amazing visions… and I want to see it on this earth… like, now… or better yet, fifteen minutes ago.
I see blank paper and paints and know what they could be…
I see a jar full of brushes and know what they could do if given a chance…
I see blocks of time and …well that just intimidates me.
So I will keep on… keep chipping away at it.
I will keep making bad art… which at least is headed in the direction of art.
Better bad art than nothing at all.
Better to see what He is saying…even if it doesn’t do any justice to what I see..
Because I see it… and I want it.
It’s just in the future … and knowing it’s there keeps me moving toward it.
The excitement of Thanksgiving is at an all time high. The promise of a half of a foot of snow had everyone excited. They were not disappointed. Our home is cozy with fires crackling and Bel’s pies cooling. Cookies are multiplying by the hour. The turkey, fresh from the farm is brining. What a wonderful time to have a lovely heavy snow… no where to go and all day to cook… and cook and cook.
~Happy Thanksgiving ~