Thursday, December 16, 2010

Coats on Goats

The Goat Goddesses
 Besides my role as a Shepherdess, I'm also allowed to be a part of a lovely herd of French Alpine dairy goats. And as often as these girls can, they remind me how honored I am to be in their midst. Being a Shepherdess, goats often perplex me at times...they're whip smart, quite snobby and truthfully they run the farm! They tell me when they're ready to be milked, with just the right amount of pressure and hands MUST be warmed first, grain must be filled to the brim of the bucket...Heaven forbid the grain runs out before the milking is over and last but not least...a bit of cheek scratching MUST complete each and every milking and they will let you know when you can stop! Twice a day these girls run me through this routine...and this a good average day. With so much winter snow on the ground and in the forecast - the good average days are something of the past. Snow is much like water to these fair maidens...they really bulk at being wet, cold, dirty or inconvenienced in any way. Mother Nature is really letting these girls down right now and they are letting me know it! In my efforts to keep a contented barn, all the girls now have a winter wardrobe. A warm insulated blanket for each of my goat goddesses...I know soon they will be asking for one in every color with the wool fabric like the ones their sisters, the sheep, have. But for now, on this blustery winter day, these girls are quite content with their new getup and we're experiencing some peace on earth! Merry Christmas friends!


I really wanted the hot pink one
A festive link of some cute kids Happy Holidays

Friday, December 3, 2010

Grass Fed Lamb

Newborn twin lambs soaking up some sunshine on a cool Spring morning
Grass Fed Lamb...that phrase may have some appeal to many people...but possibly the least of all who it appeals to is the Shepherdess. How hard it was to take some of my Spring lambs to the Processor this morning. There's a few down sides to raising animals and this is one of them. With a sad heart, some tears and lots of reasoning - I said good bye to these beautiful animals that I delivered and have lovingly cared for these past 6 months. Instead of continuing to think of their future, I'm choosing to look at their past. Sadly for so many animals their short lives on this earth are bleak and pain filled. I'm thankful for little lambs who have content days full of frolicking in green fields next to their mother's side - never an empty belly or a hurt gone unnoticed and untreated.

Early one hot summer morning while making my rounds, I drop all that's in my hands and run to the side of a fallen lamb. A raging fever had set in, he was severely dehydrated and was too weak to lift his head. I swooped him up in my arms and carried him back to the barn - it was touch and go for a couple days, but  with care and weeks of neither of us giving up, he rejoined his family in the field and grew to be the biggest of all the lambs with piercingly bright eyes - eyes, that with one look could see right through you. Each day I would make a habit of visiting him in the field and he, so trusting and bold, would come to me and nibble clover and sweet alfalfa from my fingers. A dear bond between a Shepherdess and her sheep, no words can explain it. Saying good bye to this little lamb this morning was indeed a tough moment, but never did he waver. Still trusting his Shepherdess to the very end. Every day this flock teaches me something, heart to heart moments that last a lifetime. How very blessed I am, but the blessings are not without some hardship. I'm thankful indeed for little moments in the past to reflect on, that remind me to count my blessings instead of my sorrows. Without them, I surely would not be the kind of Shepherdess my little lambs need me to be. To love them, lead them and let them go...