Monday, December 29, 2014


Gifts are Important.  It is a shame that giving gifts stress people, but that is important too.  And receiving gifts is an art and act that is equally important.

 Now that being said, not all gifts are equal.  There are gifts that will be treasured always and gifts that are immediately put in a pile to be re-gifted.  The important thing, from my way of thinking, is that in giving gifts we need to realign ourselves with the people we are giving gifts to and think about what is important to them, what their interests are, what their needs might be etc.  It is the process of stepping outside of ourselves that can be important.  If this can be done successfully, we might gain some new perspectives.

So this is where I have difficulties.  Someone once told me that you should give gifts you would like to receive.  I thought that sounded great but I'm not sure.  If you give a gift certificate for body work to someone that you love so that they can feel better, is that a good gift?  What if this loved person has not yet come to understand how special "hands on" treatment can be.  Still a good gift?  It is something I would love to receive, something I understand the benefits of.  I want the gift to be  "relief from tiredness and aches and pains".  That, I know would be a good gift.  I am just not sure I have successfully stepped outside of myself.

On Christmas Day, my mother-in-law had an encounter with an unusual step.  The encounter necessitated her visiting the emergency room of the local hospital.

On Christmas Eve, John's mom received many material gifts.  She is an amazing person.  She is an active gal with many interests so it is not hard to find a gift that you think she might enjoy.  I bet you though, that her favorite gifts were the pouring out of love and reassurance that she received after the encounter with the step.  She would probably tell you that taking care of the house needs and spending extra time with her were other favorite gifts.  I'm just guessing.  I am sure she would also like these special gifts to be re-gifted but not in the usual sense.

I think the hardest part for some people is receiving gifts.  Is it about not feeling you deserve something?  Is it about not feeling the other person can afford to give the gift?  All I can say here is TRUST that the person giving the gift knows what they are doing.

The only gifts the animals received for Christmas from me, was making sure they were cared for by loving people while I was away.  Soon I will give them "hands on" hoof trimming.  They haven't really come to enjoy this yet but it must feel so much better after and all I want for those I love is Joy.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cirrus and Sal Answer a Posing Question

I have been going back and forth about whether or not to allow the geese to be out and about during the day when we are away  for a couple of days.

Kind of like trying to decided if a new teenage driver left alone at home over a holiday should be allowed to drive the family car across town and then a few days before you leave, he knocks over the neighbors mailbox, while changing the radio station.  The teen gives you the answer right out.

This morning, first thing, Cirrus and Sal were playing around and took off.  As they were heading for the fence they made a sweeping turn but still landed over the fence.  They walked up the driveway around the corner and up to the gate and waited for me to open it to let them back in.

I know I will have to deal with this at some point but not over Christmas and not from out of town.  There will be friends watching the farm but no one wants to spend Christmas wondering if the geese are wandering the neighborhood or pacing by the gate.  Kids!

At least this means I can put my new project off until after Christmas.  The sheep can't get in the geese run if the geese can't get out.  The door Will be closed.

Everyone has been enjoying the weather this week.  The sheep are out and about all day and resting up in the pasture.  The geese usually join them but sometime the geese do their own thing, especially in the morning.  The first thing the sheep want to do every day, is eat.  The first thing the geese want to do is wash up.  The puddle pond had a sheet of ice on it this morning and Cirrus was trying to figure how to get water up over himself through the ice.  I give them both a bucket of fresh water to bathe in first thing and they  take bucket baths.

I am glad the weather has been mild over most of the country for people to be out and about.  Good for the economy.  I heard something weird this morning that is not good for the environment.  I am raising the carbon dioxide level by losing weight.  I hope not too many people will lose weight at the same time.  I guess we are O.K. for the next couple of weeks- no one loses weight over Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and New Years. The problem is the fat released is actually breathed out.  It causes CO2 to be released into the atmosphere.   So now there is a good reason not to lose weight.

Some questions, like where does your fat go when you lose weight, Cirrus and Sal can't answer, but the  question that has been foremost on my mind, they clearly answered.  The door will be closed.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Chocolate and Peppermint

A good title for a blog in December and one of my favorite combinations this time of year.

I had two meetings this week, both at the coffee house and I don't drink coffee.  I usually have tea but peppermint hot chocolate sounded good and they could even make it with soy milk (just like Starbucks).  They will make it with almond milk if you bring yours in.  I love how local places are so accommodating.  Both meetings were with great people and were stimulating.  Some times you just have to put on some clothes that don't have hay all over them and communicate with the 2 legeds.

Today, I actually went Christmas shopping but made sure the animals had some time outside the barnyard.  I don't let them go to town but I let them go over to the cabin and down in the lower pasture. They have had 3 such outings this week so they are getting used to the routine.  I drive down the driveway to the end, turn around, and drive back most of the way to the lower gate.  They walk slowly and politely to the lower gate and wait for me to open it and Cirrus and Sal give the sheep room to move through the gate first.

At first, the geese stayed in the barnyard even with the gate open but now they like to go out and join the sheep.  I love when all are respectful of the others.  Unfortunately, the sheep have recently realized that the geese don't always finish their grain at night and after I let the geese out in the morning, some of the sheep go in the geese run when I am not looking.  Then they are not so respectful and I have to get them out and close the door for the day.

  I have tried to figure out how to set things so the geese can go in and out but not the sheep and finally this morning, at 4: something, it came to me.  Later this morning, a friend who is going to feed the animals over Christmas, suggested an alternative plan that might work even better.  Now, I just have to find the time to implement the plan.  I wanted to find time to trim hoofs before Christmas but things are not looking good for that to happen.  If anyone wants to hold and hug sheep soon, let me know.

I thinks sheep hugs are as good and chocolate and peppermint but that might just be me.

Monday, December 15, 2014

First 1/3 of December

I am looking at December in 1/3s this year. The idea was to work on the pouches, pockets, purses, and puppets fiber project the first 1/3. Decorate and Christmas shop, the 2nd 1/3 and be in a quiet space the last 1/3.

 I didn't anticipate a cold beginning to December and a crazy accident.  So in addition to my fiber project, I spent the first 1/3, winter tending to animals, including 2 plug-in buckets, 2 feed bowls, 2 of everything for the geese since Sal had to be in a sss (separate small space) for a week. (That is a lot of ,s)  The fiber project culminated in a holiday shopping evening at Boxerwood. The event was a success in my book and a good day for me making connections and money.    Here are a couple of pictures.  I am proud of myself for remembering to take a few pictures though I didn't get pictures of the whole festive event, some of the puppets are missing, and not good pictures of pouches and pockets.  Oh well- some day.

So now, on to the 2nd 1/3, with many extras added in.  It doesn't matter as long as the 3rd 1/3 is reflective and quiet.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How Do You Entertain a Goose in Confinement?

Sal had a landing accident last Saturday.  We didn't see what happened (however, the next day I found clues) At dusk I went to put the geese in their run and Sal was sitting near the trough and didn't get up to follow Cirrus.  I went over to see what was going on and saw a tuft of down hanging from her underbelly.  I scooped her up and found a gash where the skin was opened but no bleeding.  She acted calm like nothing was wrong.

Why is it always on a weekend that accidents happen?  I called our vet and was advised to call the exotic animal vet in Fishersville where she went the last time she got into trouble.  Come on, farm geese are not exotic animals.  You have a cow, sheep, horse, goat, pig, llama and a vet from our local clinic will make a house call but you want to bring a goose in and they hesitate big time.  They take care of dogs and cats too so I didn't think it was asking too much.  A goose is similar except it has wings and feathers and it wasn't the wings or feathers that were involved.  To be fair, the doctor said she would call me back in 15 minutes to make sure I was able to get ahold of someone at the other clinic.  This was after I suggested maybe I would try to sew her up myself.

John had left for New England that morning but Lyndy was still here from coming for Thanksgiving and I was giving thanks that she was here.  I was giving thanks too that we did have a place to take Sal.  On the way there I held Sal, who loves to drive in the car and look out the window, and Lyndy drove.  The whole way there I reminded myself of the good I was doing for the economy.  They always say the best way to help the economy is to spend money.

Back at the farm, Sal has been on pretty good behavior in her small area of the goose run.  She is separated from Cirrus by a cattle panel.  This way he can go in and out the other door of the run and not get Sal worked up.  He does go about his regular day but spends a fair amount of time by her door or on his side of the cattle panel in the run.  Cirrus gets to swim in the tub and pond and Sal has to just watch.  I can't wait until Monday when she can hopefully go in the tub.  She is so tired of taking a bath with her water bucket.  This morning she tried to get into it.

I feel so sorry for her not being able to go out and have fun on the farm.  I came in this morning and googled "entertaining a goose in confinement". Unfortunately, all the sites were about how entertaining a goose is and about confined geese vs free range.  I guess we should all just be glad that the confinement will be over soon.