Sitting on my comfy sofa and watching a cool gray day outside; my bean and sausage stew smells good. The house is warm. It is so quiet out there, the silence is seeping into my cells. I need this re-centering after the last few weeks.
Louie gave us a health scare. His nose started to bleed one morning and would not stop. I got a call from him at 5:30 in the morning, just as he was getting helped into the ambulance on the way to our community hospital in Northampton. We lovingly call it "Cooley Dick" -- short for Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Well, even the ER team at Cooley Dick couldn't stop the bleeding, so off we went to the U Mass University Hospital that is about an hour and a half from here. There, the bleeding finally stopped. And so did his urinary function!
To make a long, scary story short, the next few days saw us rushing back to the ER, learning about catheters and such, then on to various doctors' appointments; finally he got scheduled for surgery later this month, after the Holidays.
In the middle of all this, the sheep orgy was in full swing in the barn; Janet and I needed to harvest the turkeys; the cold snap meant I needed to set up the warmer for the hens' water and the heated water buckets for the sheep; there were Holiday orders for my soup and pilaf mixes from stores; orders from individuals; and my first delivery to the new All Things Local Store in Amherst.
Did I really get through all that?
On one of the crazy days, the two boys, Coffee and Ram-Beaux, were in hot pursuit of Blossom the ewe lamb, who wanted none of it. I wanted none of it myself, because she is too small to get pregnant. Being a wise girl, she just sat down with her rear wedged into a corner where nobody could get to it. She obviously knew what the deal was, and she knew her own mind. I said, "smart girl!" and went on to some appointment. I sure hope they didn't get to her. Or we'll have lambs the size of kittens next spring.
I just didn't have the time or the help to set up breeding pens, so spring time will be one big surprise come lambing season. Teenage rams are just like teenage boys -- the universe is spelled "sex"; they have no finesse or manners; and very little control. I have to check them periodically to make sure there is no urinary blockage, right? Now that they are teenagers, they do a little hump against my hand and look at me with a "look". I glare back at them and tell them I am not a ewe -- I am "Da Boss", so don't even think about it! But the look is unmistakable.
I am, of course, not just giving thrills to teenage rams: Just over the last few days, I made products for the Turkish Kitchen, delivered my store orders, mailed out individual orders, did homework for the course I am taking this winter (for farmers who are women) and -- oh! Janet and I took the turkeys to the processing facility in Vermont, came back in an ice storm, where we saw 11 cars off the highway (the median strip was starting to look like a parking lot), and we sold quite a few of the turkeys already. In the process I met a sweet young couple who moved to the area from NY / LA. They bought two birds. The best part of it was, we had a cup of tea and sat around my kitchen table and just talked. Maybe my best farm harvest is relationships. Relationships with people whose hearts and minds are in the same place as mine. But today, I will just enjoy the quiet, and the soft gray day with the rain pattering outside.