Wordless Wednesday…Spring Today Gone Tomorrow


Llamas Llove snow! (and dogs do too)

winter 2012 041

winter 2012 040

winter run

Be Well,
Jess
ps,I just noticed I posted the same picture x2…uggh.

I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.


I am not complaining, I love my little farm, and all of its critters…yet, there are mornings I would rather not venture out quite so early. Like this morning all damp, and cold. Once I step out of the kitchen door, everything seems as it should and I relax in to the morning’s flow of activity ~ happily ~ if not admittedly a  skosh weary.

October snowfall 1

Mind you this is not a glamorous undertaking.
This is how I usually go about my chores:

Farm Fashion, or early chore attire

By the time I get out the sun is usually cresting just above the east hills; the roosters are crowing, the ducks are squawking; and the llamas are chewing their cud quietly greeting the new day. They all know the routine; the girls (llamas) line up at the fence line. The Chickens and ducks come running full steam ahead to greet me raucously at the fence gate; ducks scurrying past the Roosters so as not get pecked.

I call him Mr. Nasty...this could be an entire blog. Let's just say he makes egg gathering an adventure.

I call him Mr. Nasty…this could be an entire blog. Let’s just say he makes egg gathering an adventure.

We use large round bales, and have a covered shed for the girls to munch at their leisure, just outside of their barn. This morning it was empty, wiped clean…guess that is where I will start this mornings chores… The farm truck is at work with Howie, so I’ll cut the twine surrounding the huge bales, then pull down the hay that peels off in fragrant sheets, layer by layer; fill the wheelbarrow and head up the hill to the girls shed – repeated as necessary. Gym membership, who needs a gym membership? My blood pressure is 112/60, my pulse is 62! Who ever would like to save their membership fees…come on over.
snowy morning in December 7
Morning goes something like this…
smooch big dogs
feed big dogs
love
start tea water (and/or have a cuppa coffee)
fill water buckets
fill dog and cat waters
lay out 14 feed bowls
measure out sweet mix for all llamas
measure out beet pulp for all llamas
fill bucket with layer pellets
make tea..(if I haven’t had coffee)
let dogs out
Andy Claus
carry 12 of the bowls to the girls pasture
carry 4 bowls to stud pasture
fill poultry grain feeder
gather eggs as I defend my legs against Mr. Nasty (bantam rooster with king sized attitude) – no eggs today :(
carry water bucket to replenish girls water
carry water bucket to replenish studs water
carry water bucket to replenish poultry water
bring hay to the girls
pick up all bowls
pick water buckets
dogs and I head in…In that moment – animals fed and watered,on this damp cold morning, the smell of hay and the sound of llamas chewing contentedly,dogs frolicking in the yard… I am at peace. Maybe mornings aren’t so dreadful after all.

good morning

Note to self…remember to enjoy tea!

care
Have a blessed day,
Be well
Jess

Say YES!


Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes’.
Stephen Colbert

Be Well,
Jess

Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch


“I seem to have spent a good part of my life – probably too much – in just standing and staring.”
― James Herriot

I believe I have read and re-read every book this man published…oh, for the love of Herriot.
Be Well, and enjoy this Sunday
Jessica

The “Constant” Factor.


My constant companions…comfort and warmth at my feet.

Whenever I come within 100 feet of a puppy, I just can’t help myself. I gush, and smoosh, and snuggle like I’ve never seen such cuteness before. Puppy breathe, it smells like…well, it smells like hope!

One of my Pups (now 3); she looks older than her years..We had a dog named Seamus, who took care (literally) of Finnegan and Lexi when they were pups, he groomed them, let them snuggle into his big fluffy tail. Finnegan, when he was a tiny (use that term loosely when you speak of a 130 lb dog) pup, pulled almost every last hair out of Seamus’ beautiful tail; he preened and preened that tail as he fell asleep; Seamus never budged.

Seamus died at 5 years old from complications associated with Epilepsy. He had over 20 seizures in one weekend; his heart couldn’t take it. When He passed; Lexi’s muzzled turned gray within a week.

Seamus with Finnegan…

Seamus with Finn as a pup…he was always so gentle and patient with all the pups

Finnegan!

Finnegan.

Lexi might have the Monday blues…or she thinks I might want her pillow?

I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent, devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source

Seamus!

This was our boy Seamus…dearly missed.

Lexi Lou..

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Be well,
Jess

Andrew’s moon


Sometimes you can give children all of the instructions you want; and they will do exactly what they think you want.


I asked Andrew, to sit and hold the moon, explaining that if he holds his hands like a cup, I can take a picture looking like he is “holding the moon”. He promptly sat his little self down, crossed his legs and held up the tennis ball ~ his moon!


now, just where did I put that tripod? Could have used it here…


We even had our own fireworks last night ~ in the garden.


It was too beautiful an evening to go back into the house. Long after the animals were fed and the chicks and ducks put to bed…we lingered wandering about the pastures and fields. Sometimes you just need to eek out every second of bliss you can.


I am doggy sitting for my daughter this week, so at times I have been charged with 5 dogs…the weeds in my garden are having a field day and the plum tomatoes are waiting to be plucked off the vine; the sauerkraut is wanting to be skimmed, and the pool is now green as the grass…the pups, the llamas, the chicks, and ducks are all content…life is good.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change


Si, looking out the window on a rainy day

Last year, when Naldo and Si were visiting, we had a hurricanes! You can read about it here and Here…if you ‘d like.

Be well,
Enjoy the last of the summer or whatever season it is where you live!
Jess

Meanwhile, back on the farm…


Wonderful Wednesday…this can only mean it’s time to meet a few more of the animals that call Misty Maples Farm home.
Okay ~ Here we go.

Miss Mercedes.

Lil’ Mum, a sikie; who lays the tiniest of eggs.

Andy, how cute is he?

Lexi, when she was but a pup! mwah.

Sophie, whadjudo? I don’t think you belong in the garden.

Doesn’t this look refreshing!? Okay, now let’s see who we have here…Princess and Mercedes, with Camille’s and Breezy’s rumps.(shhh, don’t tell them I posted this)

Daisy,Jemima, Arnold, and Benjamin ~ yup, they are all girls.

Mercedes,Katdoll, and Camille (the bay colored girl)

The girls, with mostly boys names.

Lexington. Always waiting for someone to play.

KatDoll with Little Andy.

Lexi, Lexi, Lexi…

Uhhhmmm? Lex?

Hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday.
Jess

Wordless Wednesday…Let me introduce you to a few of the cast of characters…


Hi there! Come on in, I’ll introduce you to a few of our residents…

“C’mon in; meet some of the characters on our farm.”

Here’s Riley..

This was our boy Seamus…dearly missed.

Finnegan misses Seamus too; here he is snuggled into his arms as a pup.

Finnegan.

This is PussyKat Doll,:)

Gio,had a run in with another male; his ear was torn in the scuttle.

Meet Our Phantom of the Opera.

Jenni and Malokai.

I wonder what Andrew and Mali are talking about?

Well, this is a few of the cast of characters here on Misty Maples Farm. Come back next Wednesday to meet some more!

Be Well,
Jess

Tragedy and Triumph


Last night certainly had its ups and downs…

My youngest sister stopped by the farm early in the evening to share  her daughter’s joy and pride.  Special Olympic Medals. Courtney was born with a chromosomal disorder.  Trisomy 10p,  about 90 percent of children do not survive , passing away before or during birth and those that do live past birth suffer serious symptoms. Most children with Trisomy 10p die in the first three months of life, and only 10 to 20 percent survive past the first year. It is extremely rare.

Courtney was beaming as she showed me her Silver and Bronze medals; won in the Special Olympic  sports of softball and running. So, to say this is a triumph is an understatement. I was so proud, we shared an ice cream to celebrate!

Later in the evening , when the farm animals are usually putting themselves to bed…(the ducks and chickens waddle and cluck their way into the small barn) I go out at dusk to be sure the barn doors are secure and all gates are closed, waters full.

Last night, started out with Mr. Nasty throwing his weight around…bullying the ducks from their beds.

The ducks retreated into the llama pasture for safety. I walked behind them encouraging them to waddle into the back barn, where there is a sleeping area with  a little exit door….Here you see Malokai thinking he should sleep in there…

Mali, you are not a chicken or a duck…

You didn’t fit, did you….?

I was satisfied they would be safe inside; I checked waters and llama gates, then headed into the house. Put on my pink flannel jammies and set about to put my feet up with a big mug of chamomile tea…

…my moment of relaxation didn’t last long…what a ruckus!  My son Justin and I ran out back  to see what in tarnation was happening!   2 ducks were near their swimming pool ~ quacking to beat the band.  Wait ~ “2” ducks?  Justin one of my ducks is gone?  Don’t panic Jessica, remain calm…too late!  JUSTIN!!!!!! MY DUCK IS MISSING!!!!

He runs to get the lantern as I try to find my way around in the dark…Jenni is just coming home…she meets Jus on the porch as he is running out back with the  light…Jenn joins in the search…

I hear the fence snapping…so I head there, “duck feathers”!..broken fence…frantic llamas!  Justin follows the trail of feathers…to the edge of the woods….”QUACK”   “Mom, she’s in here…”  “MOM!” ” She’s in here with a coyote!”  He begins hollering and yelling…the predator drops the duck…..”Mom, she’s hurt”.  “I can’t believe I was 4feet from a coyote with no gun! I can’t believe we found her!” I can’t believe she’s alive!”    “I can’t believe I was 4 feet from a coyote with NO gun!”     I hurried into the brush to gather up a bleeding and scared little duck.

Justin fixed the fence, Jenni put the other 2 chickens in the small barn…Mr. Nasty be damned, and I brought daisy into the house to clean her off and assess her injuries…a few puncture wounds and probably a bit of shock.  Becky, my neighbor and I applied an antibiotic ointment to the wounds and placed her in bed of dry straw in a dog crate with water and food. I will keep her in the house for the night.

Not too much sleep last night…with every quack my dogs jumped and so did I.  We all ran downstairs at about 2am she was making a racket…though she was in some terrible pain or something. She laid an egg.   Let’s go back to bed dogs!

I let her out as the sun was rising this morning; she found her friends, then set about searching for delicious bugs for breakfast!  I hope she recovers well, I think I will clean her again tonight.

Did I tell you my husband is away…why does everything happen when my husband is away?

Be Well,

Jess

The cuddle chemical effect….no, really.


Everything that lives, lives not alone nor for itself…

Blessed with animals in our lives…did you know there are actual health benefits? Real health benefits – lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduced stress levels, and better mental health. Attachments or bonding of any sort stimulates the limbic system; releasing the (oxytocin) “cuddle chemical” known for its role in facilitating trust and attachment. Bonding with your pet…is also associated with higher levels of vasopressin, and reduced stress and stress-related hormones. Going for a walk with a llama, bonding through the grooming process, going for a trail hike with friends, just providing everyday care encourages us to interact and to get out. We benefit from the exercise and fresh air that we may not seek out on our own. This does wonders for our health and emotions. I became acutely aware of life’s connections and the value of my beloved animals and friends this passed week. Some of us got together at Dakota Ridge Farm http://www.dakotaridgefarm.com/ to “finally” meet a new llama, to bring bring new llamas home and to connect as friends. It was a wonderful day, full of laughter, food, and sharing. A day that may not have occurred if not for the common connection and passion – Llamas ..well, animals in general really. I am still smiling.

For this I am grateful.

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Have you ever thought of sharing your favorite animal? Pet therapy is something many llama owners are involved with. You can actually see the positive health effects; both for those receiving therapy and those who bring in their animals to children’s activities and nursing homes. To see a nursing home patient light up when they see you and your llama or dog come through the door is an unforgettable experience. You may hear heartfelt stories of patients who haven’t interacted with or spoken for awhile- open up, relaxes, talking with, and interacts with a new friend…your animal. What a beautiful feeling. Can you imagine the impact your pet could make in a Children’s Hospital, or a visit with an autistic child? What a wonderful experience for the recipients of such a visit.

To get involved in pet therapy, please refer to some of the links below. There are national and local organizations. You could even become affiliated with a therapy organization. You may also wish to visit this http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com/ beautiful blog; she visits with her dog Ton-Ton, and soon a precious lamb named Minty.

Also check out: http://www.wunsapanafarm.com/ Her therapy dogs have been registered/certified with Therapy Dogs International (www.tdi-dog.org). She says, “Wouldn’t trade this life of sharing my animals – dogs, llamas, donkeys, goats… for anything.” (Lots more under the Therapy Animals category in her sidebar.)

I just had to take a moment to add this to the post: It was a reply from Katrina of Dakota Ridge Farm, she says; “As far as pet therapy goes, we’ve been doing that for over 20 years and the smiles on the visitors faces as they pet the llamas and horses are worth more to me than words can say. I still get tears when I remember the day a blind girl wanted to know what a llama looked like, so I took her hand and traced the llamas profile, this girl was so happy, will never forget this day. ” As I read her comment I had tears trickling down my face. She is such a beautiful person with so much love to share. I just thought you would want to know!

http://affluent.net/sara/

http://www.akc.org/akctherapydog/organizations.cfm

The Delta Society (www.deltasociety.org)
“Improving human health through service and therapy animals.”
Angel On A Leash (angelonaleash.org)
Therapy charity of the Westminster Kennel Club

Is your animal appropriate for animal therapy ?
Does your animal enjoy interacting with and being touched by people?
Is your animal confident in new environments?
Is your animal calm around other animals?
Is your animal vaccinated ?
Does your dog reliably respond to basic obedience cues (“sit”, “down”, and “stay”)?
Is your dog/animal polite? (does not rush at, jump on, bark at, growl at, snap at, or kick at others)?
Important characteristics of a therapy animal are that they are confident, reliable, predictable, and controllable. A therapy animal should be very social.


“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France


Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. Alfred A. Montapert


Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
Albert Einstein


“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
― James Herriot

If you are interested in further information or if you are just curious, perhaps you work somewhere that could benefit from a beautiful animal visit…check out this site.
ASPCA Animal Assisted Therapy Programs
AAT.department@aspca.org
or your local shelter or human society

Be Well,
Jess