My Dad Called….

No, I’m not in trouble, at least not that much. My dad is so busy that sometimes, early in the morning when he’s practicing his insomnia, he reads my blog to find out what’s new with me. When he checks a few times and there’s nothing new, it’s time for a phone call to remind me to keep posting.

Some dads nag their kids to pay their bills and file their taxes on time. Mine bugs me to post.

So here it is: Lambing is done for the year. Of course with 1/3 of our usual number of pregnant ewes, we have fewer lambs. Twenty-five live lambs, which is great. (We had a few tragedies, as is typical, and lost a few.) We had lots of birthing problems, so I spent some time lying on the wet, cold ground holding ewes down at their shoulders while Melissa did her thing at the other end. The steers, immensely curious, would gather at the fence and watch, wide-eyed, at the activity, treating us like their own personal reality TV.

Here are a few bottle lambs we ‘arrested’ for Excessive Cuteness: Mint 129 and Green 6087. If seen, do not approach. Instead, call a professional shepherd, as we are immune to those big eyes and floppy ears and the happy little hops lambs make as they follow you around the yard.

As you can see, my mother didn’t take my advice and has succumbed to Mint 129’s charms. These animals are dangerous, people. Approach with caution.

All the bottle lambs went to wonderful homes, so now we’re in our two-week Post-Lambing Recovery Period, meaning we’re too tired to think straight. Melissa might have been too tired to operate the tractor yesterday: Sitting in the loader bucket was a container of old, rotten eggs she was going to bury in a compost pile. (Sometimes chickens and ducks hide their eggs and we don’t find them until the eggs are too old.) Inside the tractor cab she dropped a heavy tool chest, which fell against the controls for the bucket, which lowered the bucket and tipped the container of icky eggs out onto the driveway.

I wasn’t there, but I’m sure very bad words were said.

Last night I cleaned up to go in town to the movie (we’d been trying for 2 weeks, failing every night.) Then I remembered I hadn’t fed the lamb in the barn. Her mom doesn’t have enough milk for both twins, so I’m feeding one, who’s going to a good home tomorrow.

I’m in the barn in my clean clothes, trying not to touch anything as the lamb drinks enthusiastically from the bottle. Suddenly the heavens open up and rain pounds the roof. Oh, great.

But the rain lets up a bit, I turn to look out the barn door, and see the most incredible double-rainbow arching across the sky. It’s a perfect rainbow, and I wish I could tell Melissa about it but she’s in the house. By the time the lamb finished the bottle, the rainbow had faded away and the rain stopped. I walked back to the house, miraculously still clean and dry.

Inside Melissa paced. “Where were you? I was trying to find you to show you the rainbows.”

I like that after 25 years, we still want to show each other the beautiful things we see.

10 thoughts on “

  1. Happy June!

    Love the mug shots!

    We just moved eight piglets from the little barn (originally dubbed “the two-cow garage) out to their summer digs. We were a bit conflicted about the move, as we made the (insane?) decision to host a church picnic here a week from now, and we’re not sure how everyone will react to the not-always-immaculate landscape of our little farmstead. But the piggies needed fresh air and room to root, so out they went. Aww, that shady little patch of lawn at the edge of woods was just going to waste, anyway…

  2. Delightful post. If you will give me your phone number, your dad and I can work at coordinating our phone calls prompting you to post more often. Your posts and pictures are so enjoyable that it’s not nice to cause your faithful readers to go to your blog day after day and be left totally unsatisfied because of no new post. (Just a little encouragement.;o) )

  3. MaineCelt—Piggies in the fresh air? Those are lucky, lucky pigs.

    Mama Pea, I can see my future—you and my dad ganging up on me!

    Country Girl–During lambing, all grammar and typos and misspellings are automatically forgiven. Sometimes Melissa and I are so tired we can’t even get the right words out of our mouths! Congrats on the six. They are cute little buggers, aren’t they?

  4. Those are the darn cutest little criminals that you have there! I’m kind of doubtful about your “shepard’s immunity” to all that cuteness, though. Especially when you’re taking mug-shots, those are too funny and adorable! And watching them when they’re doing all that running, jumping and spinning in the air, so cute. Our goats have a jungle gym with aluminum scaffolding ramps that they love to run up & down and jump on, even the adults. The ramps make lots of noise, and it’s a challenge to climb up with cloven hooves, making it a bit of a slide, too. We love to watch them get so silly.
    Have a nice recovery from lambing! (I still have 4 does left to go, 3 are first timers, yikes)

  5. Interesting. My mom checks up on me the same way. “What, no blog yet? I know you are not just sitting on your hands out on that farm…otherwise you would have time to call!” Nothing like lots of lambs and sunshine and, therefore, growing things to make one feel absolutely overwhelmed. Ah, spring.

  6. Sorry Catherine but I’m with Mama Pea–I’d be calling to harass you about posting too! It’s way too important..your fans count on you for quality farm-frantic material! 🙂

    Alas, I’d succumb to those bandits of cuteness, Green and Mint, any day!

    And yes, super-sweet that you guys want to show each other the rainbows in life…can’t get much better than that!

  7. I finished reading “Hit By A Farm” last night. Heard about it during Women’s Lambing Week at Heifer International’s ranch/demo farm in Arkansas. SO glad you have this blog. I wasn’t ready for the book to end! I went to Arkasnas for the lambs, but fell in love with the goats… I get to go back every time you post! Thank you.

  8. Wow, I’ve made it all the way to Arkansas! What a cool event—women’s lambing week. That’s what we have, sort of, except it takes three weeks, and there are only 2-4 women here…

    Careful, goats are addictive. We currently are goatless, but we could easily head down that slippery slope once again.

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