Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

old reflections

I don't feel old. I mean, I don't feel old until I look in a mirror, and then I am like. Crap. Old. Not in a vain sort of way, but in a come on life... let me hit restart a few times. I like to age, I just don't like the limitations that age brings. If I ever tried a cartwheel again, I am sure I would be put in traction for a month. Not that I have an urge to do cartwheels, but still, one of my superwoman powers is not working anymore and I don't like it.

Interesting that I pick this age to become a farmer woman. It would have suited me better when I could lift with abandon, and be limber enough to climb, and jump, and run fast. My old knees and back wont have it. Stupid genetics, or whatever.

But perhaps the timing might be perfect. Of course it is.But I still I have a need to place everything out in front of me, only to be able to bring it all back in again. It was always there, I just have to see it. Examine it, talk about it, and then I am done with it. That is why I am here talking. I guess that is where my mind is tonight.

It is ok to be old. It is ok not to be able to break out my superpowers in a physical manner. Because when I am forced to slow down, even just a little, I find that it is not about the product, but more about the process. I am processing. Just have a seat and wait while I process.

Now when I move, I do it carefully and thoughtfully. I might think things through before diving in and doing it the hard way. My limitations are actually bringing on new talents. Forethought. Even though it can get in the way of my spontaneity, I feel like I am sort of new again. Somebody did hit the restart button while I wasn't looking at it in that longingly way.

That is the cool part of getting older. Fricken epiphanies galore. My eleven year old was talking today and talked about how she has them, epiphanies. She asked me if I knew what they were. (New concept for her, it must be for me too, right?) I said, yes I know what they are. Smiling to myself thinking I think I am having one right now! Epiphanies at eleven!

Children are both the time keepers of how fast life goes by, and they also have the ability to stop the clock in a freeze frame. Like tonight, My oldest daughter, twenty, and her fiance came over for dinner tonight. We ate, laughed, debated, and read tarot cards. Just like when she was little, and she still is. She is petite and has long blond curly locks, and is fair skinned with blue eyes and rosebud lips. People ask her if she is old enough to work at her job. She always makes sure she says "I love you Mommy" before she goes off with her new man. ::sigh:: I was just her age what seems like just a year or so ago.

Then I catch a glimpse of me in the mirror again. Crap. Old.

Epiphany time!

I still have the twinkle in my eye of my youth, but I now know how to use it.

special twinkle superpowers activated
powered down for the night
good night all...
~crow

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

more fainting...

I am in need of a new camera and a laptop.

So there will be no pictures today, I have to borrow Rusty's camera then my broken lap-top that is connected to my old desktop screen photo card reader is broken. I have certain "things" I would love to show you.

If I had my camera, I would take a picture of the new Great Pyrenees puppy I now have here. She will be Izzy's guardian partner. They really should work in twos and after hearing the coyotes, I think Izzy needs the back up. The puppy is from Tennessee. (Hello Brit in TN!) Yes, she came up with two of her sisters in a trailer full of Myotonic goats. My friend that I got Izzy from, bought the other two. We are both having a hard time with names. I would love to name her after a strong Goddess or Warrior, but have to be careful she is not a destructive Goddess. I named my foxhound Odin (who is now flying in the sky somewhere), and always questioned my choice, even after getting him a Crow (cocker spaniel) and a Raven (black chicken) he never settled.

Plus, Sophia is weighing in on the name. I brought the puppy to Sophia's Pom-Pom practice yesterday, and about 10 girls suggested naming her Snowball and another 8 suggested Fluffy. Yea, no. Why did I bring the puppy to a practice? Daylight saving clock issues. I was never one who appreciated a clock. Too demanding, those time keepers. I can't even believe I was able to work for so many years. Anyway, I thought I would be there at the end of the practice, not the beginning.

So yes, a puppy... and...

  1. My Black Copper Maran hens are laying, or at least one is. I now need to put them in a breeding pen with "Wood Pile" the BC Maran roo, who got his name from the place he loves to hang out on.
  2. I have a few regular customers now who come all the way out here from the closest city and buy fresh free roam eggs. I have an egg order for 8 dozen on the November 21st. I told my hens they better get crackin'.
  3. I have eggs in the incubators and under one Broody hen. Quail, Lavender Orpington, Blue and Black Copper Marans, Golden Campines, Speckled and Silver Sussex, Red Shoulder Yokohama, Black Java, Plymouth Rock, and Black Sumatra. I think that is it. It is not the best time to incubate, and many of these are critically endangered livestock, but I am hoping I get enough to grow out all Winter and have them ready for Spring 2012 to start a small rare flock.
  4. Two of my Indian Runner ducks are laying. One blue egg, one white.
  5. I had a American Rabbit Breeder Association Registrar come to my farm to register rabbits. My American Chinchilla rabbit weighs 8.5 pounds. It is a good weight. I registered, four of my rabbits, and learned how to tattoo a rabbit. Normally, a Registrar will only be found at shows, but he came here! Very exciting and exhausting.He was very nice.
  6. One of my English Angoras rabbits broke his back (somewhat common) but it was so severe, we had to put him down. He had no pain reaction in his legs and lost control of bowels. If he had either, believe it or not, you can put them in a small confined area and rest, herbs etc and bring them back. But not the case for him. We guess something spooked him and he hit the roof, literally. He was in an outside hutch. More tears. It never gets easy saying good-bye. He was from the first litter here. A great looking buck that I had high hopes for.
  7. Crick the special needs duck went to sleep one night and never woke up. He was such an amazing duck, but I guess his time here was meant to be short, but ever so sweet. 
  8. I am taking over the barn house up the hill to make a proper rabbitry, and perhaps a chick nursery if I am successful in this big hatch. I so need to take pictures! That is, after I clean up from the last tenant. No public comment on that one.
  9. Company is coming from Florida and from New Hampshire.
  10. The holidays are coming too. Ugh. I dislike the whole "Christmas spirit frenzy" I think people should be giving and kind all year long, and spend all that money in the Christmas gluttony rituals and do something useful with it. Like buy me a camera and a laptop. 
  11. Faint. More like, a brief collapse.
I am going to get you pictures soon I promise. For now, a random photo:

Old church pews from a Baptist church here in Appalachia. 
Two are going on my wrap around porch.

Oh, and I lost two blog readers. I wonder why? Don't they know I always land on my feet?

~crow

Monday, November 7, 2011

I almost fainted

Well the ancestors came and left it seems. Thanks for riding on that roller coaster with me.

You know a really nice psychiatrist told me that I could be bipolar, he knew I was depressed. I sometimes read my blog and think, Is this the manifestation of my mental condition? I am certainly all over the place. My head sometimes feels like it could explode because of all of my creative thoughts. You name it... I can think it.

Hence this post, in the middle of telling you a story about how I came to be me and how I seem to have landed here, you are now interrupted with this:


A nice little farm update. :-) (Sort of.)

So I had been expecting  delivery of a new Myotonic (aka TN Fainting) goat. He was born in Kentucky and although I was looking for another doe, I saw this guys and he appealed to my magical side. He looked mythical in the pictures, a black horned blue colored buck, that seemed like he would appear the same place say a unicorn might show up. He is like the color of morning mist, and he is a little wild in personality.

He has been here for well, that is complicated when I say he has been... here.

We met Blue Bird Acres the transport company at midnight at the WV Welcome Center. It was cold and windy. We chatted a bit (we had actually met them earlier that day which is another little something I will tell you about.) We got little Blue Clay the Myo goat into the back of our Jeep Cherokee and made our way home through the winding mountains. I sat in the back seat scratching Blue Clay and looking at how beautiful he was. I only got glimpses of him when enough light hit his blue color. I was telling him that he would love his new home. He smelled a but musky, like a buck will smell and he would lower his head to warn me if I moved my hand too fast towards him. He wasn't really going to butt me, but it was all he had. It had been a long ride for him, he was away from his home where he was born and now this lady was trying to touch him while he leaned into the turns, over and over. When we arrived Rusty picked up Blue Clay out of the Jeep and carried him into the electric fenced area that is next to our house.

I was struggling to get out of the back of the jeep (two seat-er) and by the time I got inside my Bella the beagle barked at Blue Clay. Blue Clay had had enough, took off running with Bella in chase. He went flying through the 5 hot wires, in a god awful faint. Right through it, electricity pulsing while he fainted and the fell down the drop on the other side. Rusty and I went running to unlatch the gate and go catch him. He was heading down the mountain, fast. Maybe he was flying. I looked up higher along the mountain while Rusty went lower. He told me he lost the tracking sound of crunching leaves because I was making so much noise above, you know, crunching leaves and stuff. We searched every inch of the side of the mountain, pitch black, rocky, briars, you name it. I ran back up to the house and got two flashlights. I came back and I continued sweeping the mountainside, while Rusty jumped back in the jeep to drive down the the cattle farm on the road below us on this side of the river and at the beginning of a valley. We searched and searched. We traveled as far as the river and back, then spread out again. I was in tears, calling for him, sick to my stomach.

I heard the distant horn of a train. They echo here in the mountains. I knew it was coming. One train line still comes through our area, full of coal it comes like thunder. I stood and listened to it get closer and closer. I thought about it scaring Blue Clay out from his hiding place, and could only imagine him in a full faint in the middle of those tracks, unable to move. I could hardly breath.

After the train passed, we doubled back, I climbed up and got the dogs out to help us track him. They ended up chasing rabbits, oh, and Bella found our cat that was not lost. Thanks beagle, great nose. We searched in the cold until 3 am, freezing and sweating, tired and scared. I came inside and cried and cried. Rusty and I kept going out every time we hear one of our dogs bark, but none of them were able to track Blue Clay. I cried more. I know what is out there, bobcats and bears, coyotes and dogs, mean dogs. Fainting goats have no defenses. That is why it is important to own herd guardian dogs to protect them. In fact, these goats used to be used with sheep, so if a predator would come, the sheep would run and escape, which left the fainting goats there as live decoys to save the herd. Now fainting goats are the ones to protect. They are coveted, and rare and soon the breeding lines will be closed on them, as most old herds have been found.

But, I knew he was alone and defenseless, he did not know where he was, or who I was.

Rusty held me while I sobbed and sobbed into his shoulder, snot and tears flying. He tried to tell me that he would be ok, and promised me that he was probably hunkered down hiding and at first light he would go find him and bring him home. I would not hear any of it. I wrote my neighbors with an incoherent email and alerted her to have her family (their land surrounds ours) to look for him in the morning. I sent pictures. I lay down on the couch, my knees, back and heart aching and listening for my dogs and finally fell asleep about 5 am. Still with Clay's bucky smell on my hands.

At first light Rusty woke me up and says, "come look" ... there he was, Blue Clay, staring at my face, I grabbed him and hugged him and cried more and then he promptly pooped and peed on my hardwood floor.

Seems he had made it way down to the farm below us in the valley. Rusty had searched everywhere again for him along the mountain, past the train tracks, and finally went to the cattle farm searching near their pastures. There was Blue Clay, up on a hillside, blending with the boulders chewing on a tree.

I haven't got pictures of him yet, but here is a picture of him a few months ago. Today is the first day I have let him out with my herd. I am watching him like a hawk.


Blue Clay
 crow