Long days and good dogs

As you all know the first day of fall happened recently.  For me this is a not so gentle reminder of the ginormous list of things left to do before winter.  My amazing husband Jeff has a full time job outside the farm (required to support my wool habbit) so I try to get as much done alone as possible.  

This past week I decided it was time to move the sheep closer to the house up on the hill.   I chose to do this for many reason but they all mostly add up to making winter life easier.  I am hoping that Purdy and the sheep living closer to the house will make them a bit less skittish.  I might be able to make friends with the crazy llama. 

Purdy did resist the initial moving plan as Jeff has mostly been the one feeding her in the morning which makes me less familiar face to her.  I  ultimately chose to leave Purdy behind to move last as she was not on board with my plan (and fight ing with Purdy is not my favorite sport).

Lately Gus hasn’t been super reliable working as he has been getting a lot of ideas of his own how things should be done (we’re working through it).  I chose to not take Gus down as I thought my sheep were well enough bucket trained and we would be going through not well fenced pasture … boy did I misjudge that choice!

I had my bucket of grain, my aunt was gracious enough to come and help watch Hen during all this.   That turned into why don’t you just wear Henley and you can help (two are better than one right!).  So I opened the gait shook my grain bucket and they all stared at me like yeah… we don’t go over there so nope.   Purl being the only sheep I can count on to run me over for grain came over and was grateful for the snack until I put a halter and lead on her and handed her to Annie.  I told Annie to start walking hoping that the rest would follow purl and my bucket of grain… nope.  After 30 minutes in the super hot weather for New York in September I almost had them all to the gate I needed them through (I make a great herding dog when needed I just lack a good bite when it’s really needed) when Ewestace decided she was no longer on board and was going back to her pasture … with her friends in tow.   It was at this point after quite a bit of colorful language that I went to get Gus.  

I won’t lie to you I saw all the ways this could go wrong in my head.  Gus isn’t super strong at his driving and lately he has been very quick with everything.  My big willow girls are in heat and have been extra difficult for the dog which just creates more pressure all the way around.  I sat Gus down on the front porch where it was just the two of us and had a pep talk.  I told him how naughty Ewestace had been and how I really needed his help and shouldn’t have doubted him in the first place.  I told Annie to open the gate when the sheep got there and they could come in a bit quick.  I should add that all this time Purl was oblivious she was all alone and was happy as a clam to be hand grazing with Henley and Annie.  

Gus and I went all the way down to the middle sheep pasture to get be able to come behind the sheep.  Gus made a lot of arguments with me about how driving sheep isn’t exciting and his flowing locks won’t be able to blow in the wind he creates on his bueatiful outruns.  I won’t repeat what I said back to him.  In the end Gus did everything I asked of him he did it immediately and correctly.  It might not have been the most beautiful thing we have done but it took him less than 5 minutes to do what I had been working on for almost an hour.  

In the end I left Purdy in the middle sheep pasture alone to think about her life choices.  She was very dramatic trying to convince me I was making her die a slow painful death.   Jeff was able to help me calmly walk her to the hill after he got home with no problems.  

Gus got many cookies for being such a good boy and saving the day.  Lessons learned … don’t doubt all the hard work you out into your working dogs.  You will always have something that you are working on with them but that doesn’t mean that in the end when it comes down to it they won’t step up and get the job done for you.  

This changes things…

Motherhood is something that no class, no lectures from wise older moms and no amount of research can prepare you for.  I spent the majority of my pregnancy (which to me seemed years long) pretending that we would magically skip over the whole birth thing.  I am sure that most first time mom’s have many of the same worries that I had while pregnant with my kiddo.  Will I be a good mom, will she love me, how will I know what she needs, and of course how many ponies should I get her.

When I think back on it now I am truly amazed with myself I mean I made an actual human being.  I made her!  One more time I made this kid!  I had planned to have a beautiful natural birth at the hospital where my doula and my husband would calmly guide me through labor.  NOT SO.  Henley my daughter never turned and ended up being a full term breech kiddo.  I did everything in my power to avoid a c-section including acupuncture, chiropractor, we even tried a manual version (where they try to turn her from the outside).  Our Hen wasn’t having it, she wanted to make a grand entrance by being chopped out of her mom’s belly (by wonderfully amazing surgoen’s).
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Laying on that operating table having my daughter cut out was not my idea of how she would be brought into this world but in the end she was safely delivered.  After laying there open on the operating table and then holding my daughter through the duration of the remaining surgery I now know that
I am capable of absolutely anything.  Being Hen’s mom is by far the greatest and most amazing thing that I have ever done.

“We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe Harm

Dream Big

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities. -Janos Arnay

I thought it might be time to introduce ourselves since we have acquired so many new followers.  If you have been following us from the beginning you might have noticed that Cacia Farms has been many things. We started out when I convinced my husband we would raise meat rabbits on our 1/4 acre lot in our small town. Well 30 some odd rabbits, 3 cats, 3 dogs, and a horse later I convinced my husband to move to a farm. Let me first tell you about my husband Jeff he is the most patient, kind and caring person I know. Jeff puts up with all my dreams which are many and the best part is that he truly believes I am capable of achieving every one of them.

We have been on our 21 acre farm for a year now and we absolutely love it! Our main focus on the farm is the raising of wool sheep. The breed of sheep we raise are called Lincoln Longwools which are a heritage breed. Lincoln’s are a dual purpose breed that produces a fast growing fleeces that has a wide lock and bold crimp. We also have a livestock guardian llama whose job it is to protect the sheep from predators.

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Change is in the air…

Fall is upon us here in upstate NY and with that the rush to get everything prepared for winter.  The girls will need to be sheared next month along with trimming their feet.  This will also mean I will have five more fleeces to take to the fiber mill to be made into yarn.  We have made a nice area on the hill to allow the sheep to winter closer to the house to make chores easier in the winter.  The new chickens are integrating nicely with the adult hens and everyone is getting along nicely.  I am hoping to get in some nice knitting time on my porch while I watch the leaves change this fall.