The older you are, the more heat lamp you get.

Poppy and Suzy out in the "cold" while Willy and Lily bask in the glorious red glow...


When farm life and technology collide…

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Just when I was about to post some entertaining filler…

{Unofficially} Sunshine Poppy and Black Eyed Susan

… Junie changed my plans and got very, VERY busy!

I had hoped she would deliver this morning, but she’s really an overachiever.

Anna checked on Junie before she left for school at about 6:15 and reported that there wasn’t much going on.

At 7:15, Grace and I went out and she seemed perhaps a little uncomfortable but nothing too alarming. As we were leaving the barn, however, there was evidence that she might be getting serious within the next few hours.

At about 7:25, I put Junie in the kidding pen and told her I would be back just as soon as I got Grace off to school. By 8:10, donned in my warmer barn clothes, good book and hot coffee in hand, I arrived at the barn to find my darling doe looking like she was in mid birth!  On second glance however, I saw a baby laying next to her! As I came inside the pen, low and behold there was another one standing behind her!

In the space of 45 minutes I had missed the whole thing. *sigh*

Suzy the goat

A cool surprise is that we got a black

Early the alpaca

one! Actually, the funniest part is that her face markings are very much like one of our alpacas!  Early and I will be having a conversation later. 😉

Their unofficial names, pending approval from the authorities upon their return home from school are, Black Eyed Susan and Sunshine Poppy.  Suzy and Poppy for short, of course.

I’m pretty sure Suzy was born first since she was drier and standing up and Poppy still seemed kinda loopy from the whole experience. These two aren’t as perky as their older counterparts, but they arrived so fast they’re probably still getting their bearings!

Please be praying for little Suzy, though. She has a back leg that keeps wanting to bend backward at the knee. I suspect that perhaps she had it hyperextended in the womb and it just needs to remember how it’s supposed to bend… and will as she gains strength… but that is only my humble, lay-vet observation. My friend, Linda, just stopped by and believes she’ll be just fine in the next 48 hours so that’s a relief. She’s had lambs come out in way worse shape… like with broken legs… and they heal, so Suzy’s not in bad shape at all.  I think I’ll still give her the selenium/vitamin E treatment advised by Chrissy, Junie’s previous mom. Can’t hurt, right?

Well… I guess this concludes the Angel Acres Kidding Extravaganza for now. Thanks for joining me in this exciting new chapter for our farm. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more amazing and joyful developments. I will, of course, keep you informed.

In the mean time, we’re all pretty tuckered out around here so if you need us, we’ll be napping…

It's exhausting work being born.

Blessings on you and your little corner of paradise, wherever that may be.


Posted in Pathologically Enthusiastic, Ruminations | 6 Comments

Angel Acres Welcomes Willy and Lily!

Meet Sweet William and Lily of the Valley

As Nature is so prone to doing… she has made a fool of me.

Yesterday, at almost the precise moment I posted about the girls’ boredom waiting for their babies to come… Tina was giving birth to Willie… a mere 30 minutes after I had left her having decided she wasn’t showing any signs of serious labor and assuring her I would check back in an hour.

Some midwife I am!

When Grace left for school I commented that maybe she would come home to babies… to which she replied, “I hope they wait. I would really like to see them be born.”

Well, as usual for miss “God’s unmerited favor,” she makes one small comment and the Big Guy trips all over Himself to give her what she wants. (This could and may be a post unto itself.) No sooner had she gotten home from school, walked out to the barn and ran back in yelling, “Tina’s freaking out! I’m scared, Mama!” We hurried to the pen to find her birthing her first baby, a vigorous, darling little boy we named Sweet William… Willy for short.

Tina is an outstanding mother and immediately got to work on getting him cleaned up while we awaited the next arrival.

About fifteen minutes later, along came Willy’s little sister, Lily of the Valley. A little less active than her brother, but every bit as adorable, she was born sack and all so needed some help from yours truly to break free of her bubble. She was a little slower to get moving, but now gives her brother a run for his money with her feistiness. Just this morning, they were already competing for the favored spot in the stall… the cozy corner under the heat lamp. They jostled and butted and stepped on each other until, like all well-parented siblings, they reached a compromise.

Sibling Harmony

So tired. Tired of waiting...

In the mean time, Junie still waits. She’s been having some tummy trouble so it’s hard to tell if she’s uncomfortable in her belly or if she’s in labor… :-\  Last night I had no choice but to force a slurry of probiotics and baking soda water down her throat in hopes of slowing down her gut a bit… only now is she speaking to me again. Never wrestle a pregnant woman. It really ticks them off.

I reluctantly left her at 10:30 last night when it seemed like she was finally relaxing and her breathing had softened. At 2:30 this morning, I snuck out and quietly peered through the window to find everyone awake, but calm so back to bed I went.

Tina eating a well-earned breakfast while the kids nap in the corner.

In just a few minutes my very kind and generous friend, Linda, is coming down off the mountain to teach me how to give shots and offer a second opinion on Junie’s condition so I need to sign off and get more coffee… then back to the barn I go.

Stay tuned…


Posted in Pathologically Enthusiastic, Ruminations | 6 Comments

The Bored and the Beautiful

Ladies in waiting

Today is the day before Tina’s “official” due date. Junie was bred within just a couple days of her so I decided to pen them both up… besides, they’re inseparable. It would be cruel and unusual to keep them apart for such an important family event.

Pardon me a moment while I have a Father Of The Bride 2 Flashback…

Ok, I’m back now.

So the girls are feeling cooped up and outside of fighting over the only apple, a worming treatment, some very visible, vigorous baby activity and the occasional obvious contraction, they are bored out of their minds.

Poor darlings.

I’d love to throw them a deck of cards or a magazine with which to keep themselves entertained but, alas, they would only eat them.

Farm Girl Midwife, out… for now.

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I’m prepared… but am I ready?

The Kidding Kit! No joke.

I’m like an expectant father running out of things to do to keep myself busy while I wait for my wife to give birth.

This is kind of ridiculous, but I don’t know how to make it stop.

I have twice given birth myself… though I most certainly wasn’t in charge of the proceedings…

I have midwifed six kittens with ease and two calves, both of whose births were quite complicated. After a prolonged labor, the first was born distressed, covered in meconium and wasn’t nursing in the prescribed window of necessity. I had to massage her, pray over her and keep trying to get 65 pounds of slimy infant bovine to her feet to keep her alive. A year and a half later, the next calf presented breach, was pretty much dead when we pulled him out and required baby cow CPR. Both, ended up as the two healthiest, most vigorous of all our home birthed calves.

Given my pretty good track record for four-legged midwifing, you’d think I’d be reasonably confident going into this process. Right?

My anxiety exists on a number of levels.

1) I’ve never had animals whose birthing rituals include worming, vaccines, vitamins or weighing. The most common scenario goes like this… “Oh, wow. Look. There’s a baby cow out there.” One week later, I call the vet to give shots and band ‘im if it’s a boy.

Cauterizing baby goat horn buds? Me? Um… ok.

2) Cows most often have single offspring… by the time this week is over I will very likely have at least five new little hairy barn people to tend to.

Goat juggling, anyone?

3) When you buy a cow, she’s yours and what happens… happens. When I bought Tina and Junie, I was buying a family’s beloved pets. I bonded instantly with their “mom” and have remained in touch with her. I even took the girls back to her to have them bred so she is seriously invested in these babies! I think the part of me that is most anxious is the part that is worried about letting her down and causing her personal heartache should anything go wrong.

… not that my own heart is not also at risk. DANG, I love my goatie girls!

4) The weight of the fact that this whole show is my idea. My doing. Wholy my responsibility is fully settling in. The well-being and success/profitability of Angel Acres rests firmly on these two does and my shoulders.

No pressure…

Don’t get me wrong. Intellectually and in my bones I’m certain I am up to the test… In fact, I’m pretty sure this is mostly what I was made to do. But, this is a new learning curve for  me so I guess some trepidation and a healthy respect for the powerful yet delicate nature of Life is to be expected and is in order.

You need to know that these various states and degrees of anxiety co-exist with a great deal of excitement and satisfaction for seeing my dreams slowly but definitely coming to fruition. These blessed births are one more step in the direction of self-sustainability and co-laboring with God toward living, sharing and teaching what I believe. What an indescribably awesome realization!

I am inexpressibly grateful to have the help of friends who have been here before me and are infinitely generous with information, advice and supplies. Thank you SO MUCH Chrissy, Linda and Deanna!

Tina and Junie checking my work

Also to my great advantage and comfort is the fact that I’m working with a couple of pros here. Tina and Junie are both excellent mothers and great at giving birth. I am relying heavily on their expertise to gently teach and guide me through this new adventure with patience, authority and grace.

I am certain I will be depending on them a whole lot more than they will be needing me… except for maybe helping with clean up and giving their new darling babies their shots and stuff… Oh, they’re totally smart enough! It’s an opposable thumbs thing. 😉

That’s all I have to report for now. Thanks for being here with me.

I’ll keep you posted!

Farm Girl out.

Posted in Pathologically Enthusiastic, Ruminations | 3 Comments

T-minus Seven and Counting!

Due on March 5... give or take a day or two

It has been far too long since I’ve blogged, but honestly, things have been pretty quiet on the Farm.

That is about to change.

Why, you ask?

Because there is nothing at all quiet about baby goats.

Can you say, "BULBOUS?"

June Bug (left) and her mom, Tina (middle), are due to have kids next Saturday. Maybe a lot of kids. Nigerian Dwarf Goats regularly drop twins, triplets and even quads are not at all unusual. Wow!

Anyone wanna take bets on how many each will have? And how many of those babies will be boys and girls?

No, you won’t win any money, but if you guess correctly, I will post your name on this blog and you will have the prestige of bragging rights for all the world to see… or at least both of my regular readers… Hi, Mom! 😀

C’mon, it’ll be fun!

Gloria, Queen of Shy

In other farm news… Halo and Gloria are continuing to slowly warm up to me and, while they may not let me maul them at will yet, they do occasionally nibble my fingers in search of treats… I think they got a taste of me when I wasn’t careful enough holding apples. Should I be worried?

Halo’s new trick is to stand in the

Sweet little Halo

feeding basket so she doesn’t have to fight her way past the fat mamas… it does, however, put her at great risk of me grabbing and loving on her, which of course I exploit to the fullest. She pretends not to like it… just before she goes into a paralytic trance.

Golly, I love my hairy barn dwellers!

Speaking of which, I guess I don’t have any real news about the alpacas except that I recently got caught in the crossfire and was nailed in the face by flying mineral pellet shrapnel launched by Shiraz. Thankfully, no spit was involved. That coulda been disgusting.

We also just learned how to trim their toenails. That was an adventure… but I do feel very confident we’ll be ready when they need it again in the Fall.

Lastly, my regular farming activities afforded me some very cool, “now that’s not something you see every day” kind of experiences. And here they are:

Sweet Tweet

This little sweetie found his way into the barn but didn’t have much luck getting back out through the closed window.

He was just tired enough that I was able to catch him and take this picture before escorting him safely back outside.

He wasted no time showing his gratitude by swiftly flying out of sight into the waiting woods.

Windowsill garden?

While saving my new little bird friend from his imminent concussion, I noticed this little pocket of spontaneous life in the corner of the window.

Some may find it revolting and think I’m crazy for posting this as evidence of how “dirty” our barn is, but I think it’s pretty in a very, “au naturel” kind of way. It’s just Life, making its way at every opportunity. No one put dirt in the corner of the window frame or planted those seeds… Nature did it all herself. I like that and think it deserves taking note and honoring how insistent our Creator has designed Life to be. We are the greatest benefactors of that aspect of His Design and I am grateful.

Whelp! That’s all I have for now. Don’t forget to comment with your goat baby guesses!

Peas out and Happy Saturday, Y’all!

Posted in Pathologically Enthusiastic, Ruminations | 8 Comments