Well I am on month 6 of blog post procrastination. I don’t even know where to start. I don’t know where the time goes. It seems to just fly by no matter how much I try to take hold of it and make it slow down.
Fall came and went and we got a lot of things done around here but still no finished chicken coop and barn floor. We STILL had dogs in the chicken pasture and have STILL been having dog drama. We came to the painful decision to rehome Hadwin and in the process ended up with a 3rd dog. How did we end up with a 3rd dog you ask? Well, that’s quite a long story.
Meet Althaea! (Al-Thee-ah) Or Thea for short. She’s a doll and we love her. Isn’t she just the fluffiest baby with the sweetest little face? Thea and Bjorn landed themselves in the chicken pasture lined with a hotwire because Bjorn has become an escape artist able to scale a 5 foot fence.Not to mention the fact that Hadwin has decided that anything fluffy deserves a haircut and we really didn’t want the other dogs losing any of their fur right before a long cold winter. So everyone has been in doggie jail and the alpacas got moved to their own pasture for the very same reason. (They are quite fluffy and apparently great chew toys as well)Hadwin’s original new home fell through late last summer so until a few weeks ago we still had him. I started working hard to find him a new home and what do ya know? Craigslist actually panned out in a great way. He now lives with a very nice couple on their 7 acre property.The new owner has patience, experience, and time to work with him and from what we know, so far so good. This is a HUGE relief to us but of course our hearts will be healing for awhile. We honestly feel like we messed up somehow and if we would have done things differently we could have kept him.
In other sad news Truman, our first alpaca, got sick the end of January with meningeal worm. (Read about alpacas and meningeal here .) We gave him treatments for several days but he just couldn’t fight hard enough and we lost him.I had a feeling he wasn’t going to make it and thankfully I trusted my gut and had the kids say goodbye to him. I called my husband and asked him to come home. We went out the barn together and found him. It’s heartbreaking and the kids are just so sad. He was our first real “farm animal”. My husband took such amazing care of him during the last few days we had with him. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. The whole experience gave me some wonderful opportunities to talk with the girls about death. I told them that the cost of loving something so much is how much it hurts when they are gone. But that I would pay the price 1000 times over to love as hard as I can. I told them our family is brave and that we love strong. I told them that when tragedy strikes we will stick together and try never to build a wall around our hearts. I told them it’s ok to cry. So there has been a lot of crying. We have decided to hang up our alpaca hats and regroup. We found Blue a wonderful new home and he got picked up last weekend.He is partially deaf and really relies on the cues from another alpaca so we don’t want him to be alone for very long. He now lives on a beautiful property with a blind alpaca and a 7 month old alpaca so hopefully they will be good company for each other. We have very much enjoyed them and I still see alpacas our in our future. We have learned a lot and know what kind of setup we want for next time.
Now that we are down to only two livestock guardian dogs and some kitties we are anxious to get some other critters around here. I have my eye on some mini Nubian goats that will soon be for sale. The hotwire for our bigger “middle pasture” is almost done. As soon as it’s finished we can move the dogs out of the chicken pasture and get to work on the building. The girls all are anticipating the time very soon when they can name and own their own chickens.
Over the past several months my husband, as per usual, has been learning lots of new things. He learned how to hot-wire a fence in the middle of winter, install a dishwasher, fix leaky pipes, prep for power outages, and who to call when you have a rather large livestock body to dispose of when the ground is completely frozen. He also learned how to build a frame and re-mount a mailbox on our post since some lovely person ran ours over with their vehicle and kept driving. Our mail lady stopped by one afternoon and asked where our mailbox was. Mike walked off with a puzzled look on his face to try to find it and there it was! In the cornfield across the road!
I went back to work part time doing hair. I’m learning how to manage an acreage, home-school, and hold a part time job. So far so good. We will see how it goes when spring hits and we have lots of projects to get done. I am so over winter already. I feel like I can’t breathe. I’m dreaming of the smell and feel of of warm air through my windows,freshly cut grass, and the sound of little girls giggling over popsicles on the breezy front porch. Of birds chirping, no more layering, and longer days filled with sunshine and hard work. The girls have done very well keeping themselves entertained with long days indoors but it’s so hard not being able to send them out as often to play. They are all becoming very independent and I am just so proud of them. My four year old wakes up each morning with my 2 year old and feeds her breakfast and they play together until the rest of us get up. They are all learning to get along and the fighting has lessened greatly. Its fun to see the fruit of all my prayers and conflict resolution speeches.(lol) They really love and care for each other and watch each other’s backs. I pray for them that they would always hold each other close and realize the gift they are to each other. I tell them that no other friend will ever share as much history with them than their sisters. As we press on through the cold winter months we pray daily for the Fruits of the Spirit to spill out of us. The girls know these by heart; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self Control. “Lord fill our home with these things like only you can. Help us to love like You do. Amen” “Oh and please get us to Spring fast!”
“…The Joy of the Lord is my Strength” Nehemiah 8:10