Harsh Realities…

Just like in nature, nothing is ever easy… there are always the wonderful, beautiful, inspiring, exciting, parts… but also the harsh realities, and, sometimes mountains, or at least steep hills, to climb up… if and when you can.

We’ve had a very rough week with the sheep. We lost both our ram, Fred, and, this morning, one of our very sweet ewes. We had thought it was something in the flock, but at this point it looks like possibly two separate issues. Fred passed very suddenly. The ewe became paralyzed in her rear end, completely. I was treating her with medications daily and we were getting her up to work her legs, but her entire rear end was completely paralyzed.

I had “hoped” it was a miscarriage… not that that is an ideal thing to happen but it’s something we could have over came.

This situation, unfortunately, was not. So this morning, Ed had to put her to sleep. It broke our hearts. She didn’t suffer, and it was at this point, our only choice, after we exhausted all of our options. But it’s still always completely heart breaking. We remind ourselves repeatedly through these times that life with animals is painful and sad, but the rewards, the love, the joy of having them…. it outweighs these parts, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Then it was time to jump in the car to get it into town to the mechanic’s… while I held a paperbag on my lap to throw up into, thanks to the methotrexate.

Plenty of fun.

We had a house inspection done on the “new” farm and of course plenty of things came back… it’s a 1890’s farm house so we didn’t expect it to be perfect… but a couple of bigger things we didn’t expect came back, that need further investigating before we proceed.. we’ll be able to get more information by the end of the week thankfully. One step at a time, but these things are always hugely stressful and of course, we have short windows to work in because of Ed’s traveling for work and going to be gone most of the time.

This flare is probably not going to subside too much, but I’m trying. It’s just extra hard to work because my normal fatigue levels triple in this bad of a flare.

And it keeps snowing! We will not miss the mile long drive way to plow. I have loved this land for many years but never needed to get out very often so the drive way and plowing just never phased us… now that life has changed and I need to get out so often, or get ambulances in, it has to always be open and it takes a great deal of work and time to do so.

But regardless of all of it, we are moving forward and that’s the important thing

The rest of the animals are healthy- and several of my ewes are bagging up. We were not sure how many ewes Fred was able to breed before he got injured in the fall, but now I know for sure, 4… four of them are bagging up quite a bit, and two I’m not 100 percent sure of yet. This will be my first year with these girls and also this breed. Finn’s are famous for their “litters” of lambs (several at a time) so I’m very curious as to what is going to happen there… and they also are known for having shorter gestation periods than other breeds… which has things here looking like some of these girls might be lambing before March or right at the beginning. I’m trying to prepare the best I can now since I’ll likely be handling all or most of lambing alone this year.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to work on painting as much as I can to keep sane, and also to help rest. My body needs a ton of rest from this flare, and so does my mind… but it’s going a million miles a minute of course, so it’s easier to distract myself with art, and sit, then it is to shut everything off.

We will get to our final destination one way or another… just some times the train ride gets a little extra shaky. But I’m still trying to remind myself to keep my eyes on the view and destination and not be afraid or rush the journey…. all of the lessons in it, even the tough ones, are important ones to learn and grow from.

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