There is an old country song, "Throw Another Log on the Fire." Around here, it is "Throw, Another Cat on the Bed!" As the weather turns cooler, they come. One by one, they jump up into bed. As the night passes, more come. Soon you wake up sweating and not being able to move. In the inky darkness, you peer down at a whole clowder of cats snuggled up next and on top of you. Too bad for you if you want to move or, worse yet have to visit the facilities. They are quite comfortable and not in any mood to move. With great difficulty, you extract yourself from the tangle. As you return, you are cold and would like nothing better than to slip under the nice warm covers. To your dismay, you find your spot taken now. You must unload cats to get into bed, and fight to not to be hanging off the edge of the bed. Then the alarm goes off, and they pile out of bed. They are well-rested and ready for a snack before going back to bed. Cats have it tuff around here!
You probably heard of butterfly kisses. But have you heard of goat kissies?
Our milking does, and sometimes the bucks will give you kisses. What this is as you get your face close to theirs, they raise up and nuzzle you. They press their wet nose to yours. It is a sign of affection and trust. All of them will give you some, but some that you have a special bond with will provide you with more.
This picture is of “Big Moma,” aka Lois, our herd queen. She is a gentle giant who rules with an iron hoof and a heart of gold. She gives lots of kissies!
On the face of it, this seems like a strange title. Let me explain; earlier this year, we picked up some ducklings. We wanted ducks that were better egg layers. So after much thought, we settled on Khaki Campbells. They are adorable ducks that are much smaller them our Muscovy Ducks. We feared the Muscovies would push around the smaller Khaki Campbells.
We were wrong!
If you look at the picture, you can see how much larger the Muscovy Ducks are...but it turns out they are complete cowards. These new ducks make up for size with attitude! These ducks are here to kick butt and chew bubblegum, and they are all out of gum. The females can and do push the big males around, and a chicken better not look at them the wrong way, or they will get an attitude adjustment. It is comical to see. Time will tell if the big ducks will ever grow a backbone!
Most of you know about the parable of the seed and the sower. The farmer goes forth in his field and starts to sow seed. The seed is good and will yield well given the right conditions. As he sow the seed it is caught by the breeze. As it falls to the ground, some seed falls on rocky ground, some is consumed by the birds of the air. Some falls on good ground.
As he sow the seed he does not truly know how the harvest will be. His job today to to sow the seed. As he looks back over time he sees how the seed he has sown has produced. Not all his seed has born fruit. But he takes pride in the area where the seed has produced much fruit.
As we all go through life we sow seed. Depending on the seed we use, it will determine the harvest we reap. As you look back on your life did you plant a good crop that will live on after you or a life that is best forgotten?
The choice is yours…
The title of this post is a bit vague, but in its simplicity, there is great depth. So, what do I mean by “The Power of One.” Look at this picture; what do you see? A hand holding a stone, if you look deeper, there is a lot more to it than that.
Take that stone and toss it into a still pond. That single stone will send ripples through the entire pond. As those ripples encounter something, they interact, causing a cascading reaction until they eventually fade or reach the shore.
Each action we take, every word we say causes ripples like that stone. Nothing we do is done in a vacuum. When you toss that stone, will it hurt or help? Did it do what you wanted, or was it misunderstood? Only time will tell. Each choice you make has consequences. Each of us are here for a purpose, to play a critical part in life. Some will take their talents and use them to help; others will not. The choice is yours. Think before you act. That simple act of kindness you bestow on someone can mean more to them than you will ever know! I have been the beneficiary of these gifts. The person did not know how much it meant to me, but I will always cherish them.
I have kept this stone and will pull it out to look at it. Not because it is unique but, on the contrary, because it is so ordinary. It still can be a huge difference; it is all in the way it is used. This stone reminds me of Jesus; he tossed that stone(Himself) into the pool of my life, and the ripples will never fade or reach the shore.
Jesus loved us so much that he gave his own life to pay a debt that was not his, but he was the only one who could pay it. This is our Lord and Savior, whether we accept him or reject him. When that day comes when I see him face to face, and I see the scars in his hands. I will only then start to understand what a debt he paid and the love he showed me. A gift free to all who ask!
The Power of One!
Recently we picked up some Khaki Campbell ducklings. They are growing like weeds, and as time passes, each is starting to show their unique personalities.
.......Then we have Harold; he is sweet and lovable but totally clueless.
Let me explain, to keep them tame; we have started hand feeding them treats. The most adventurous ones now eat out of our hands. Slowly they are starting to all join in, except Harold. He is like a deer in the headlights; he looks but does not get it. He just runs over and looks, seems to say, so what all the hubbub about, then go and do other "duck" things.
In a lot of ways, that makes him the most adorable. Time will tell if he wises up to the ways of the flock. Either way, he will be loved and cared for as the lovable duck he is and will grow to be.
Today, we celebrate Memorial Day. It is not about a day off, picnics, and barbecues. It is a solemn day to remember those who gave their lives for this country. My late father was a World War 2 combat veteran. In fact most of my family are veterans, most were combat veterans. None of them talked about the action they saw. That alone I have learned speaks of what they saw and went through.
So as you enjoy your long weekend, please take a moment to reflect on all those who died to allow you to be free.
Remember Freedom is NOT FREE, it has been bought and pay for with blood of Patriots.
A while back I wrote about the power of touch, see the link. When I spoke about it, I referred to our touch on animals. Even though this is true it does go both ways.
About a week ago while driving to work I got a frantic call from Michelle. Our goat Misty was gravely ill. It was dark and raining. Michelle was trying to get her up to the barn to treat her. She had me on speaker phone as she tried to get her to move. Never in my life have I felt so helpless! I begged her to let me come home! She refused saying that was nothing I could do to help. I got to work and Misty was fading fast. I jumped back in the car and called her to say I AM coming home NOW! She then told me that Misty died in her arms and there was no reason to return home.
This news shook me to my core! But as a farmer I knew there was no more we could do for her. It was time to care for the living. I held it together for the day. I did not let myself grieve yet. When I got home I ate dinner and sat down. The floodgates opened. I cried and cried convulsing sobs.
That is when it happened. One by one each of our pets came to me. Each in their own way they touched me. Some snuggled up to me others sat quietly at my side. Each one knew I was hurting and in their own way gave me the power of touch I had given them.
The pain of that dark morning will linger for a long time but so will the touch I was given later that night.
This is Tux, our new house cat; her journey to this point has been a remarkable one. It started in March of last year. On a cold dark night, I stepped onto the covered side porch and out sprang a tiny and terrified kitten from underneath some boxes. We have seen cats around before, but this was different. We put food and water out, and Tux, as she became known, would come up and eat. We would get fleeting glances of her. We would use binoculars to try to get a better look at her. Over the next few months, Tux would peer in through the sliding glass door. At times two of our other cats would look at her. At which point, she would scurry away.
As this went on, the question came to mind. What are we going to do with her? Outdoor cats do not live long around here. Between a busy road, coyotes, and foxes, cats do not last long outside. We think she was dumped with the rest of her litter. The rest went into the field across from us never to be seen again. Tux, on the other hand, crossed the road and took refuge here. She rarely came out at night. We would only see her during the day. This habit was the thing that kept her alive outside.
In August, we traped her days before she gave birth to four kittens. The kittens grew up being with people. But Tux was still terrified of us. Over the ensuing months, we started to gain her trust. So what now? Keep her as a barn cat? Same problems as before. Michelle and I kept thinking could she become a house cat? We brought her inside, and she started to adapt to the life of a house cat.
Then it was her turn to go to the vet to get fixed. Everything went well at the vet. That was until they remarked to us about her age. Based on her teeth, the vet thought she was around six to seven years old!!
Our first theory went out the window. Over the years, we would see a black and white cat like her at night. We thought it must have been her mother. Also, our cat Socks we know was dumped across the road a year before. So with this new information, we started to piece together a timeline of events.
We now think Tux was someone's house cat that on occasion would go out at night. Socks, we believe, was one of her offspring. We believe Tux's owner died or moved and left her to fend for herself. There is no telling how long she was out on her own.
Tux now likes to look out the sliding glass door. But she never shows any desire to revert back to her former life as an outside cat. She will spend the rest of her days in a warm house where she will be loved and cared for.
The view from the other side is a lot better!!
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
I know this is an odd quote to start out a blog post, but you will understand by the end of the story. If you have been reading back on our posts you have seen that a female cat (her name is Tux) was dumped and we were caring for her. We finally were able to catch her, but not before she became pregnant. Two days after her capture she had 4 adorable (and rotten) little kittens. We brought the kittens in the house in the beginning of October to get them accustomed to humans, dogs and other cats. The more socialized the easier it will be to find them homes. So now that you have some background on to the tale.....
The kitten in the photo above is Paws, or at least that use to be his name. He "earned" a new name by his antics. Then new name is very fitting, but I get ahead of myself. This story starts back when the kittens first came in the house.
Paws was the first kitten to get a name, it was pretty simple, he has 4 white paws. He was also the first one to receive a name because his 3 sisters have similar markings to each other. It makes it hard to tell which one is which. The first week the kittens were in the house we did not let them out of their cage except to wander around the bathroom. Then we extended their freedom to the bathroom and bedroom. Finally at 4 months of age they had the whole house to run and play in. THAT is when things started to happen.....it was little stuff at first that would come up missing. Push pins were the first thing to disappear, then he moved up to anything that would fit in his mouth and easily carried. He would "stash" stuff all over the house. Peter and I were getting ready to write a blog post about our little cat burglar when he earned his new name.
About a week ago we caught him stealing money. Quarters to be exact. So that is when he earned his name. I have a friend who explained to me that she held off naming animals so they could "earn" their name. I see the logic in that now because his new name is so fitting to his personality. You might think it weird to change an animals name, but he is young enough that he really doesn't know Paws yet. But his new earned name is so HIM.
The quote above should have given you a hint, but if not here is another hint....
“You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
Yes! Paws new name is Bilbo. As in Bilbo Baggins the main character from "The Hobbit". Not saying that our Bilbo is a liar but he is a thief. If he could speak, I wouldn't put it past him to be a liar too. But just like the beloved hobbit, my Bilbo has a heart of gold underneath all of that orneriness.
So welcome to the family my little Bilbo.