Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Adapting, Always Adapting.

Creating art, my art, again for the first time in years has been wonderful. Last night to relax and unwind after a hard day, I drew this braided, kilted, border collie. But after he was sketched I didn't want to stop. I inked, painted, and penciled over him. Today I hope to sell this orginal artwork. The nest image is a sketch of a reader's horses, after that, a pile of comps for a motorcycle education group up here.

All of this is art to me. All these little pieces of work are what make up the mortgage, the feed bills, literally stop the power company from coming and placing notices on my doorknob.

I used to make a living from just writing. Books, freelance articles, and future book deals. I will always write but as publishing dips away from small memoir and ag books I am adapting. I'm using the skills I have as an artist to create many small projects.

This morning I woke up, made coffee, and fed my farm. Then I came inside and worked on digital and traditional art. Four different clients and a fed farm before 9AM is a damn good feeling. Wish me luck in logo and art sales! And if anyone you know is looking for a unique gift or branding work, please share my name!

Commission Prices for Art:

Sketch (pencil) $50
Cleaned and Inked $75
Full Color: $150

Logos: $250

Monday, March 28, 2016

Stay with me,
My good girl.
I loved you every minute of your life.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Little Lamb at Sunset

Friday, March 25, 2016

Tumblr & Little Wins

So a couple of days ago I couldn't sleep. I was so worried about this farm, being the farthest behind in the mortgage in my five-year history here. Today I mailed a payment, and while I am still behind I couldn't stop smiling as I dropped it off at the mailbox. Why? Because part of the money in the bank paying for the roof over my head came from drawing again. Intact is now a legit webcomic, and already has followers on Tumblr. Readers who follow me on Facebook are commissioning art. Folks are buying cartoon versions of their cats and dogs, horses and mules. And I am getting back the joy of drawing in the American Animation style I love so much. People who have never met my dogs are starting to get to know them. Gibson, the wiser, older, calm and smart farm dog. Friday, the total goof off who brings much needed light into the farm's life. Income is coming in from art. I am really happy about that. It is encouraging as hell.

Want to follow Intact: follow me on Tumblr here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Here We Go, First 2 Comics!

Green Coming

Merlin and I are there again. Back to regular riding, and back to communicating like partners. Every spring it gets easier, a combination of learning more about horses and riding and just knowing him. We ride to the top of our mountain on the neighbor's trails and take in the early spring view. It looks like this. The stark white birch and the grass yellow and trees bare. In a few weeks buds and green will take over. That will be a welcome time for sure.

I am hoping to start taking on some art commissions as well as sketch commissions from anyone interested. Right now pencil sketches are going up on Facebook every day and two readers asked about sketching their chickens and cats. I am happy to do so! Any way I can keep the lights on and wolves from the door, especially through art, is welcome.

Looking forward to moving past this time of uncertainty and fear and into the real work of a summer farm.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Coming Soon: Intact

I got the drawing bug again after years of not creating much on paper. I posted that sketch of Friday on Facebook and someone offered to buy it for fifty bucks and another suggested a comic. I'm making one in this sketchy style called Intact, a web comic about Gibson and Friday on the farm. Expect it to be crass, honest, farmy, and fun.

P.S. Folks have mentioned here and on Facebook that my style looks like Disney or Dreamworks or Shrek or Balto or etc. That's because I draw in the American Animation Style, as opposed to Anime or comic book or other styles. I grew up pausing and drawing Disney movies like the Lion King and 101 Dalmations as a kid.

P.P.S. This image and the image of Friday are both up for silent auction on Facebook.

Friday, Roosterbothering


The farm is warming up this morning and the sun is out. Yesterday I was surrounded by good friends, gathering together just to catch up and celebrate spring. In the evening, two other friends from the local Brewery came over to work on fiddle tunes. It was what I needed, to be around supportive and bright people, talking and laughing. The clarity that comes from a renewed day and encouragement, both online here and in person is a cure-all for so much self doubt. Fitting it happened on the Equinox, I suppose.

My morning here will be all about office work, but around noon I plan on a good run and my work out routine, which I rely on like church these days. Fitness is the grounding element to what can seem like a messy situation. What I have to deal with is manageable and will be dealt with, it just really overwhelms me sometimes, like waves building up and hitting a stone wall. You need to catch your breath. Running helps me catch my breath. Controlling how strong my body is makes me feel stronger in mind and spirit, too. I've always felt this way but these days it is wonderfully overpowering.

A reader on Facebook is commissioning me to do some illustration work for her. I used to draw all the time, mostly anthropomorphic art, but I stopped (quit cold turkey really) after it also became overwhelming. I have missed it, a lot. So I am looking forward to creating a character drawing for her, on Bristol with watercolor and pencil, if she's still interested. Looking forward to that.

The lambs are all doing well! The goats seem to be a few weeks (or more) from kidding. Chicks and piglets will join the farm soon, hopefully before the first buds hit the trees. The farrier is coming along to check on Merlin's feet as well. Spring tasks are picking up, from garden seeds to new stories... it lightens things up around here. It helps me keep fighting to keep it all.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Day of Spring

It's the first day of Spring and around fifteen degrees outside, a steep drop in temperatures. It perfectly matches how I feel right now. Which is to say desperately wanting to lighten up, but stunted by circumstances. I want to write with a little more spring in my step and my chin held hight, but the truth is I am very stressed out coming into this spring and need encouragement.

Right now my headspace is just like what's under the hood of my truck. I am having a hard time focusing and feeling defeated lately. Instead of being spirited by the challenged ahead I am afraid of them. What this farm needs is a miracle. And I'm the friggin' miracle. I feel like I can't jump start that engine anymore. You can't be creative and productive and fearful at the same time.

I'm trying hard to fight that the best way I know how - with positivity, work, exercise, music, but it feels like I am jogging in the fog. I am able to see where the fog clears up and the sun is shining - the place I can exhale but every single time I think I might be a few strides away a tree falls in my path or I trip. That's been the story of this farm all along but right now it's more daunting than anything else.

I am not asking for help or advice. I am not looking for answers. I know what I need to accomplish and the work needed to get there. I just ask for your encouragement. On this first day of spring, I don't want to be scared of the summer ahead. I want to be excited for it.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday's Flock

Logos On Sale

Looking for a deal on a logo? Well they are ON SALE for the next 4 people willing to wait until April to begin designs! Email me at dogsinourparks@gmail.com. I need to make some paper to keep the wolves from the door. Still trying to make a very urgent mortgage payment from a few weeks back.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Make it

I only have so much creative juice in me. So when I wake up the first thing I do is get the coffee maker going, see to the farm, and then sit down in front of the second-hand 20-inch iMac in my living room to work on graphic design. Knowing the lambs and sheep are counted and fine, that the pigs are chewing, that the pregnant goats have their hay and grains - and sit down with some logo work while the dogs chomp on kibble and the day is new - that is a good feeling. I watch updates from James Corden and Graham Norton and catch up with favorite writers, actors, filmmakers and storytellers as I work on designs.

By my list I have worked with four clients today and have an email from one new prospect. That is work and hope, right there. I work on logos for farmers, massage therapists, Christian Ag organizations, Dog breeders, and homesteaders and once the list of the day is met I head upstairs to Job II. I have a laptop, lamp, and extra monitor in the "office" tack room. There I check in with my corporate bosses I am loosely affiliated too. I look at ad requests and social media updates and image resizing and then clock in my hours. It's pretty simple. I like it. I'm grateful for it. The fact that an old corporate employer still is interested in my services from a little farm on the side of a mountain? It feels good.

When those obligations of farm, dog, freelance and corporation are met is is around 11Am and I take a break. Today I went for a long run (8 miles!) and then did some squats, pushups, and sit ups. I want to be stronger, healthier, better. Then I worked on archery practice for an hour. I shot a 25lb and 48lb bow, interchanged, and did so for an hour. After that - I groomed, ground-work, and ride my horse up a mountain and took in the view from an overlook I had just looked at a few hours earlier while 4 miles away on a long run. I moved my body. I focused. I shot arrows. I cared for animals. I created. I rode. It feels really good.

I have a fiddle student and good friend I met at the brewery coming to work on Ashokan Farewell. The fact that he started playing 3 months ago and is now working on putting more feeling into that song is a boast in itself. He brought a friend on Sunday and three of us locals were just playing music and loving it. He leant me 2 Jason Isbell records. I told him it looked like a nice version of Biff from Back to the Future. We laughed and played more music. It's a good life.

Everything I am supposed to care about is tight. Everything that actually matters is good. A few weeks back into running and I am down 5lbs and no longer scared of runs over five miles. The seven surviving lambs of the original ten are thriving and becoming part of the family.

So that is my weekday now. I have a farm first, and then a checklist of clients and corporate needs second. Then I take 2 hours around lunch to focus on the mindless and mindful tasks of archery and horse training and running uphill. Then it is back to the service of more design work, writing to you, and then teaching music lessons with drinking buddies.

It is not a bad life.


Morning Antlers, 

 Below you'll read the prologue for the book I am writing now about how a horse forced me to grow up, be better, and heal broken things. It doesn't have a publisher and no one my agent has spoken to is interested in it. I am writing it anyway. I want to share this story for all the other women who apologize too much and expect too little, especially from themselves.


Trolleys were supposed to drive down the streets of my hometown. Actual, god damned, trolleys. Palmerton was a company town for New Jersey Zinc and a crackerjack team of civil engineers had high hopes for it back in the early part of the 20th century. Blueprints for public bath houses, lavish parks, and gravity fed water (just like New York City!) were sketched and stamped. And the crown jewel of this little mountain town; public transportation in the form of trolleys parading down the streets on wires just like San Francisco. So the streets were planned twice as wide as any reasonable city planner would dare. Trees were planted along the sidewalks and an upgrade to "Avenue" was printed on the street signs. The avenues were named after universities the engineers respected, adding a level of chin-raised pride to the whole shebang. That was the spender I grew up on. The 300th block of Columbia Avenue in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. A tiny city of a couple thousand people that mostly mined zinc and whose forefather’s dreamed of trolleys. A suitable place for reckless idealists.

The trolleys never did arrive, nor did the public bath house but the gravity fed water is still going strong and the central park is nothing to sneeze at. Not as flashy as the other goals but appreciated during power outages and summer picnics. The avenues were built extra wide, and three cars could drive abreast down them with vehicles parked on each side, trolley-prepped. As a girl I would ride down those tree-lined streets on the back of my bike as fast as possible. I felt invincible. Traffic was rare and in the fall the Beeches would turn a brilliant gold and seemed large as the red woods on television. The street turned saffron from their fading leaves after a rain storm and that visual post card sticks with me fresh.

God, I loved that pink and purple bike, whose brand and origin I can’t remember but I do remember it fitting me perfectly. Mounting up on it felt like putting on a favorite jacket. It had streamers and a basket and I felt like with a little planning I could load it up for the entire day and take it anywhere. I could pack up a bologna sandwich and a Ssips juice box and just hit the wind.

It was the early nineties and I had the kind of free-range childhood that allowed a ten-year-old to jet-set. I road to the end of town and back. I rode in parks and abandoned, wooded lots. I rode past barking dogs and dodged fat gray squirrels eating beech nuts in the street. I rode past the bully at the second-to-last house that once ran out of his yard and shoved a stick in my spokes and I hurled over the handlebars and onto the pavement. That bike knew sweat and blood and made beech-fattened squirrels tremble in our wake. I felt strong before I knew what to do with strength.

I still remember parking it on my parents’ wrap-around porch and telling it, no, promising it, that I would write about it someday. There on the slate-blue paint leaning against a white railing I promised a bike from Kmart that I would write a book about her. So that’s what I’m going to do. Kind of.

Let’s hit the wind.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Back in the Saddle

The weekend was warm and bright here, and exciting as well, thanks to the good work of getting a stubborn horse ready for regular riding again. I know Merlin better than most of my family members now. I understand every ear flick, snort, and head tilt. Friday we worked just with a flag and lunge line. He bucked and kicked and hated being told where to stand and step by the flag (a carriage whip with a plastic bag on the end that never actually touches him, but he can't stand the way I can't stand hearing a recording of another human being chewing a banana). He will do anything to avoid it, to move away from it. After weeks of not being ridden (being told where to put his feet) he was now being asked and it was the tantrum. I let him have it. After half an hour he was calm and doing what I asked but I wasn't about to get on his back.

But Saturday afternoon he was a different animal. Just fifteen minutes with the flag and I knew he was ready to ride. I saddled him up and we rode up the mountain trails for an hour, mostly walking, but trotting and cantering as well. He was out of shape and I could relate, having just got back into running. I had ran over 25 mile the past week. I knew he'd be sore the next day. (I sure as hell was after my first long run) But the ride was great and I got to feel the wind in my hair and the feel of him and explore the forest I missed so much. We crossed streams and ran up hillsides. We walked through the muddy trails and my hand brushed past the first buds on the trees as we trotted by. It felt correct and familiar and everything I ever wanted out of this short, manic, life.

Sunday was a different story.

Merlin was sore, I am sure. I wanted to ride again and he literally just stood there in the driveway, me on his back, refusing to move. We had a stellar groundwork session and all seemed fine to ride but he was not interested in a repeat performance. Goals change. I decided to cut him some slack and instead of making him ride with sore, 20-year-old horse muscles, to have him walk gently down the road to the pond and back, a half mile or so at most. The point wasn't to "win" but to compromise. To enjoy a ride, get what I ask for, and not frustrate or injure him this early in the season. We both have pounds to lose and bodies to condition into the beasts we will become by late May. So after some more work, he walked down the road.

It will be a process, getting back into the saddle. But I look forward to it, and on days like this where it is raining and chilly, and he is out on the hill rolling in the mud and we are looking forward to the next dry day - it is even a little thrilling. Adventures await, right outside my door. I could not ask for a better friend to share them with.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Back to Work

Lambing Season is well over and the eight lambs here at the farm are all doing well, save for one that needs some special attention. Little Shoshanna has become a house lamb, since she is the only one being bottle fed and she strained her rear leg yesterday. It isn't broken, but it is very sore and it felt wrong having her in the field with mama sheep that will butt her out of their way or a thousand pound draft horse if she was slowed down to a limp. So Shosh is inside, sleeping here on a fleece (kinda sweet and kinda weird) while Gibson watches on. She had a bottle of milk this morning and has a hay-lined crate in the living room as well, but right now she is in a safe place to heal up.

I'm writing this while taking a break from some design work. Work is the number one thing on my mind right now. A few weeks ago I had to make two mortgage payments ASAP and still have yet to make the second one. I am trying, hard. Sometimes trying too hard backfires though.  It's all a very delicate tango. But I'm up for the dance.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Here Comes The Sun

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Lost the lamb this morning. I was up with him for a few hours, and then left him to a blanket in the warm bathroom. He made it until around 5 this morning and then his heart just stopped. I don't know what made him turn from fine and eating a bottle with full energy at supper time and then again at 10PM and then limp in the corner at 2AM. All the other lambs are fine, though. I looked up some information online and most stats say the average loss during lambing season is 20-25% - it doesn't make it any easier. The Lion of March has stayed out of the forecast and hunted lambs instead, I guess.

I did get to sleep last night though, between 7pm-10PM, and again from 10PM-APM, and from 4AM -6:30AM. As the weather turns better I plan on sleeping through the night again by Sunday. They are predicting nearly sixty degrees by Tuesday. That is a very good thing for a little farm with little lambs. Kid from my two goats aren't due until late April or early May, but whose to say?

Pull Through

Got a couple hours of sleep and then headed back up the hill to check on the lambs. All seemed well, save for one of Split Ear's twins. It was laying in the corner limp and seemed to have a clean discharge from its mouth and nose. I picked him up and brought him inside. He ate well, drinking a serving of colostrum with fervor and then fell back into an exhausted sleep. I don't know if he will pull through or not but he is still alive a half hour later, if very weak. The reality is I might lose him. I am hoping he pulls through. His twin is doing just fine. This is exactly what happened last year with Split Ear, one twin was weaker and died and I thought it had to do with her milk production, which is why both have been bottle fed since birth. I have no idea why every other lamb up there is chipper and hearty and this one is so weak. I hope his warmer time inside, the bottle, and time heal him.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring & Early Summer Workshops!

I am happy to welcome you to the farm for a series of spring livestock workshops! On a Saturday afternoon in April and May and a Sunday in June there will be events hosted here at the farm welcoming the public for lessons and classes. You can either purchase a one-time pass or a Season Pass for the entire year. Details below. Sign up for all events by emailing me at dogsinourparks@gmail.com 

Also, know that you can buy a Season Pass on sale for ALL EVENTS for a year from time of purchase for $250 a person, with an addition $100 for each family member that joins you. So a couple can come to all events here for a year for $350. It is a way to make this farm a knowledge CSA of sorts, paying for a year of events and classes up front and coming to make your share pickups whenever a topic strikes your fancy. Later in the summer will be archery an workshop, dulcimer and fiddle days, Antlerstock, Prepping for Sane People and more!

Sheep and Wool Day!
Saturday April 2nd 2016
9AM -3PM $85 a person
Bring a bagged lunch!

Come for a day all about lambs and wool, flocks and drop spindles, fiber farming and living with a fully fleeced flock. Sheep are raised here from lamb to ram, for both wool and meat.  By this time there very well might be a bottle lamb in the house, lambs outside, or a ewe ready to give birth. It is a muddy time and don't expect the beautiful green in the photo above but if you want a real look at small flock keeping - this is it. I'll talk about my ups and downs raising sheep, basics to know getting into the stock, and we'll take some wool off the sheep and learn to turn that raw wool into clean, carded, and spun yarn! If you are a beginner to homesteading or are thinking about upgrading your backyard farm beyond a coop of chickens and hive of bees and are considering a pair of sheep take over the mowing - this is a great introduction. A great gift for fiber lovers, too!

I will try and get my Sheep Shearer here to come this day as well and do a shearing demo. Though I can not promise that just yet, it is a real possibility!

Chick Days! 
Saturday May 7th 2016
9AM -3PM $100 a person
Bring a bagged lunch!

Thinking about getting chickens to add some cluck and spunk to your backyard garden? Finally ready to take the plunge into homesteading and want your gateway drug to livestock farming? This workshop is all about beginner backyard chicken keeping. We cover brooder basics, breeds, housing, feeding, transition from brooders indoors to outdoors, and adult care. The day is based on the book I wrote, Chick Days, from Storey Publishing. There will be a farm and barn tour, probably lambs and kids mucking about, and plenty of mud so dress for a day on a farm in the northeast if you attend!

There will also be an overview of raising pastured meat birds. The raising of brooder to outdoors is the same for both types of chickens, but it is important to cover the care of a pasture tractor meat bird verses a coop and free range egg bird. Learn how this farm does it and what may work for your own farm or backyard.

There will also be chicks of egg and meat birds here available for you to take home of various laying breeds! Everyone who attends is welcome to take home three chicks, so bring a warm box to bring your babies home in!

Goats and Soap!
Sunday June 5th 2016
9AM -3PM $100 a person
Bring a bagged lunch!

That photo above is from last summer's Goat Day! Goats & Soap is a two-part workshop that starts here at the farm making milk-based soap from scratch and meeting the goats that make it all happen. We go through the safety, tools, ingredients and process of making a lye and milk soap and we get to meet my little mother/daughter herd. After lunch we venture to my goat mentor’s farm, Common Sense Farm, three miles south of my place right in Cambridge NY. Yesheva, is there as the goddess of all things Caprine and she knows goats folks. She goes through everything from what to look for in breeding stock, to feed and housing, to bucks and mating season. She is patient and calm and wonderful as an asset. She even has goats for sale sometimes from her herd. Sign up for all events by emailing me at dogsinourparks@gmail.com

Laird & Caroline

Here are the two new additions from the Romney, I am calling them Laird (ram lamb) and Caroline (ewe lamb). Here they are around 4:45AM. I had already carried the dead ewe lamb out to the field and set it by the mother. She lay beside it until 6:30AM when she then left it and walked over to the lamb shed and let her other two nurse. Once I had bottle fed the two out of Split Ear and saw all the rest were well - I headed in and caught exactly and hour of sleep from 5-6AMish. I made sure after that hour to head back outside to make sure all was well with Laird and Caroline, which is when I saw their mother waddling over. I put down fresh bedding in their shed, brought up another bucket of blue Bounce Back for the moms. And set about the usual chores. I was inside and by the fire, ready for more sleep, when I heard a truck pull into the driveway. It was Greg Stratton and his team, here to butcher two pigs. I had forgotten the appointment in all the fuss. I sighed, got dressed, combed my hair, and went outside to help.

Right now what I want is to head back to bed but I am sipping Death Wish Coffee instead. I have a few hours of Orvis work I need to get in to hit their deadlines. After that, I am going to splurge on a good nap. A good, long, nap.


Went outside to check on the last ewe and found her and two lambs in the field at 2AM. I thought, all right! Twins! And ran over with a towel over my arm to check on the two already nursing on mom. Soon as I arrived I saw another lamb, still, on the ground in a small ditch. I rushed to it and saw it curled up, legs tucked under it and mouth open. My heart sank and I went to inspect it. I picked it up and heard the slightest whimper of life. I wrapped it in a towel and brought it inside straight away - torn between its dire needs and the needs of the two other lambs trying to nurse with ice forming on their tails and damp bodies. She cried a little louder as I brought her inside the farmhouse by a small little heater in my bathroom. I rubbed her body down with the towel to dry her off and she started to cry a little louder. Hope filled me and I saw her begin to breath stronger, her small lungs filling up with air again in the warm place. I sat with her long as I dared, knowing the kids on the hill were literally freezing and far from the warmth of the pole barn with the other mothers and little ones. So since she was breathing and in a warmer place I knew she would either slowly fade away or recover. She was probably an hour old.

I went up the hill and got the other babies into the shed. As I got them and the Romney situated Split Ear's little ones ran up to me looking for a bottle. I knew I had better get one up the hill soon, since I doubted she was producing much milk at all. Worried about the ewe in the bathroom, I went back inside to gather some bottles and check on her, get some food into her. But when I went back into the bathroom just ten minutes later, she had passed away. She didn't make it. I sat with the small, lifeless, body for a short while. It was heartbreaking. Had I not fallen asleep, had it been a few days earlier, had it been just an hour earlier I got up...

I went back up the hillside to bottle feed, and when I went in the barn the Romney was gone. Shit. She had probably went back out into the fields to look for her third, which was dead in my bathroom. But her little ones were inside, trying to nurse from Split Ear, which is a losing game even if you are her offspring. I bottle fed Elijah and Shoshanna, Split Ear's little ones, and not sure when or where the Romney was I bottle fed the two surviving lambs who were under the heat lamp and strong as oxen. I didn't know if I was making two more bottle babies but I wasn't losing three lambs tonight. I fed them and then came back into the farmhouse to get the torch beam.

I wasn't dressed right. I had on tights, shearling slipper boots, a long-sleeved tee shirt and a cotton sweatshirt. The adrenaline of the lamb in the bathroom, the bottle needs of the newborns, the whole thing had distracted me from being cold but now I was very cold. I was also very tired.

It was time to go back up the hill and either get that Ewe back with her newborns or bring in the babies as house lambs, either way how cold and tired I was did not matter. The sacrifice lost to a few hours of sleep was already on the bathroom floor. I was too focused on the work to feel anything beside that hollow feeling of realistic loss. But in all of this, there was a sigh lamving season was over. Whatever happened next, there were no more lambs on the way.

Nine lambs total made it. Four rams, five ewes. One lost.

UPDATE 4AM: I am worried. The two newborns from the Romney that survived are in the barn, fed a bottle, under a heat lamp. But their mother will not let them nurse or even be by them. She is looking for the lost baby and sleeping where she gave birth. I tried walking out into the field with the babies and luring her back to the lamb's barn but she only stays a few moments and then leaves again. Trying to save that lamb may be the reason she is abandoning these two new ones. I didn't think the urge to find the lost lamb would overpower the need to care for the living ones. Before I bring them inside I am keeping them where she last saw them and hoping she returns to nurse them. Her bag is so big I worry if she doesn't, she'll get mastitis. I am heading back up there to give them a little more colostrum replacement and make sure they are okay.

UPDATE 2 4:30AM: I took the dead lamb outside to the field where the mother was looking, hoping that if she realizes it is gone for good she returns willingly to her survivors. Got the idea from Patty, who I was talking to on Facebook. She's in the hospital with her son, who is getting over a dangerous bout with the flu. She was able to think straight and I hope it works. I'll keep you guys posted. I am very tired but worried to go to sleep in case those little ones in limbo need me. They were just given warm colostrum replacer and are on fresh hay under the heat lamp. I'll go take a picture because it gets me back up there to check on the gang. The other five lambs from last night were all in a pile sleeping together.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Guess The Lambs! Win a Signed Book!

So there is just one ewe left to go, this Romney gal. She is fat as a dirigible and should give birth any day now. I decided to make this fun and offer a signed copy of one of my books to whomever guessed correctly how many lambs she has! To win all you need to do is leave a comment in this post with your guess and out of all the correct guesses I'll randomly choose a winner! The book will come signed from the farm with a handdrawn bookmark. If you share the contest on Twitter or Facebook you can enter again! Otherwise, one guess per person, please!



Split Ear (10) had a set of twins! They will be bottle supplemented but going to see if I can keep them with mom. Need to see how much milk she is producing, but getting them under the heat lamp and with supplement in them first thing.

Ewe at Sunset, 3 Hours Before Triplets


Just in from a 2AM check on the remaining two moms (my oldest ewe and my youngest!) and no new lambs are on the way right now. That might change at 4:30AM when the alarm goes off again as both of those gals are as far away as can be from the lamb shed with the heat lamp (see previous post update). I am just so happy that out of just 2 of these ewes there are already three ewe lambs and 2 ram lambs! All of the babies seem to be benefiting from my hovering and fussing. I have given all the new babies lambing paste but have not done their tail docking yet. Tomorrow should be a sunny 27 degrees and if they are as hearty as they were tonight I'll let that band go on while the sun is shining.

It is getting easier, lambing season. I have no regrets even though my eyes have insane bags and my body is as bloated as deer on the side of the road. I think my tiredness has been read by my brain as dehydration and it is holding on to every ounce of water it can? So I feel like a lava lamp going up the side of mount doom on these late-night checks but my chin(s) are up. This is why I run. This is why I nap. This is why coffee exists.

I am back inside the farmhouse now, ready for another nap of sorts. I feel in the slam that is lambing season other things are slipping - like being on top of all the freelance work. Most clients are very understanding though, and I even have a logo meeting in town tomorrow. It's appreciated as hell since i am still trying to earn that second mortgage payment as soon as possible. I wish my bank accepted water weight. I'm swimming in assets.

This is an odd post. This is what sleeping like a cat does to a proper brain.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


2AM Update: Yes we have a set of triplets born around 8PMish out of one of the two new ewes that came here late last fall. This is a Merino/Romney cross ewe and she was bred by Monday. The babes are two ewe lambs named Hannah (black) and Jessa (white) and a ram lamb named Adam. Brick's Marnie and Ray are doing well. I was just outside with the triplets on the hill and they seem to be okay, with bellies full and still in the barn with the heat lamp above them. I checked on the other two ewes still waiting to pop and neither seemed to be in labor but they are both at the farthest point in the pasture (about 3 acres away) from the barn with the heat lamp. Exactly where I found these three on an evening check. I carried all three out of the woods and into the barn and mom has kept them there and is trying to manage! I might be supplementally feeding these guys but not taking them away from mom.

Still Waiting...