A couple of weeks ago I had a phone conversation with a woman who is heading up a new bed and breakfast association. She embarked on a long description of how to “triple sheet” a bed. It took her about 5 minutes to give me each detail of the process as I quietly listened at the other end of the phone. She ended with a laugh saying, “Oh I have completely overwhelmed you haven’t I?” To this I just laughed right back and said, “I am a farmer and there is little you could say that would overwhelm me.” I could tell that she could not begin to understand my response.
As a farmer, I have learned that each day holds new endeavors, rewards, and challenges. There are no guarantees, and nothing should be taken for granted. You can choose to either be overwhelmed by it all or to grab hold of each day, letting go of your own agenda and rolling with whatever comes your way. I thank God when I wake up in the mornings for bringing me here to this place, and thank Him every night for seeing me through another day.
|“Faith” enters the world…backwards.|
Yesterday morning I left my husband at home to tend to chores while I ran some errands in town. When I returned home, he greeted me outside to tell me that we had a sheep fatality. When he went outside to fill the hay feeder for the ewes, our little ewe lamb named Faith was down, and he could tell that it did not look good. He discovered that she had apparently cast in the night and had died. She had laid down with her head pointing down hill and her back on the downhill as well. The gentle slope was enough to prevent her from righting herself. A couple of weeks ago, I had found her cast in this same position when I went out to do evening chores, but she was still alive. Once I helped her to her feet, she rebounded fine. When a sheep casts, and feels stressed, it does not take much time for them to die.
|Faith enjoys playing with mom|
My husband spent the better part of the day dealing with this situation. I was thankful that he was home to help as I would not have been able to move her from the field very easily. We sheared her so that I can use her wool in yarn this spring. He laid her in the back of the truck as he used the hand clippers. Faith was one of those perfect Romney ewes. Her fiber glowed with luster and had a beautiful, even crimp. She had the classic jet black nose and black hooves. She looked like a little teddy bear in the field.
|Faith peeks through the hay feeder|
Faith was our first lamb for 2011. My daughter and I had to assist with the lambing as she presented back feet first. Pulling her out was no easy task, and I feared losing her in the process. My daughter had faith in our ability to bring her out safely just as her mom, Ina, had faith in us as we worked. Thus, we chose the name “Faith” for this little lamb. As soon as she hit the ground, my daughter asked if we could keep her. Faith would join our breeding ewes.
Because the temperatures have been so mild, we have left the ewes in the upper field with the llamas. Their winter paddock had remained muddy, and I was waiting for it to completely freeze before bringing them down by the barn. After our accident with Faith, I decided it best to get all of the ewes off the hill and to flatter ground. So just at dark last night, we moved them to their winter quarters.
|Take nothing for granted….hold on to each new day.|
This incidence reminds me again that there are no guarantees, and that despite my plans and desires, I am ultimately not in control of life here on our farm. I can diligently care for each animal and do my best to keep them healthy and well, but I am reminded of the saying, “Lord willing, I will do this or that….”