I don't know how many of you are still out there. It seems like ages since I have posted. As a matter of fact it has been since March 20, 2013. Time does go by. I never really understood how a rather busy blogger just stepped away and poof. Just disappeared. As a reader it felt kind of like getting dumped. We worried about each other. As big as this world is the blogging community seemed small. I had blogging friends from all over the US and Canada. It was my daily routine. Read and check up on what was new on the blogs. Write and publish my little story. Keep up with friends. Then, poof. I just stepped away.......
I kept wanting to come back and put a finish on my blog. To tie ends up. To be able to have the blog put into book form with the other volumes I had. I hate to leave anything unfinished. Here is my attempt at the conclusion.
Life changes. Circumstances change. People change. It is never stagnant. Due to changing circumstances I found myself the only caretaker of the farm. I realized that the farm was really my dream. I always wanted to be exactly where I found myself. I loved Maine and the farm. I brought along friends who thought they wanted the same thing. I don't think they really knew the work and energy it took. I tried to make it work. It just wasn't possible. No way to do all of the work and work a full time job too. I had a few losses. For someone who loves animals this just wasn't something I could deal with. I blamed myself. Animals require constant care and supervision. I just couldn't do that anymore. I would rather have the animals go to a good home than keep them and not be able to provide the care they needed.
I found a fellow nurse who wanted to move to the woods, raise his three daughters in a lifestyle that would give them the the appreciation of a simple way of life. He bought land, built a log home and he and his wife home schooled their children. They were now ready for animals. The chickens, guineas, turkeys and goats went to their new home. I was happy that they would get a good home and it would help a fellow nurse and homesteader get a foothold. The sheep went to a farm further north in Maine for fiber. It was painful to see them go. The barn was so quiet. Too quiet. It broke my heart to come home and not have the farm sounds. It was painful.
The kids were able to find an apartment in New Hampshire so we loaded up the truck and moved them to the city.
Now it was exceedingly quiet. It really made me miss the animals. I stayed busy inside updating the bathroom. Painting and cleaning. The yards were a two day mowing session. I enjoyed my quiet time. I grew as a person. Became more self reliant. Realized that I was happy. I could go and visit the kids as often as I wanted. The hospital kept me busy. Life was good.
As I have said in the past, make plans. I did. I planned on remaining single, happy and drama free. Well we all know what they say about our best laid plans.....
I know God has other plans for us. Just when you think you have it all under control life takes a complete 90 degree turn. Through my neighbor I met a co worker of hers. We seemed like a perfect fit from the very beginning. He loves the outdoors, is a Maine Guide, hunts and loves to ice fish. We have been inseparable from the very beginning. He has a strong sense of self, cares about others and seeks to make me happy. We are perfect for each other. We both have grown children. Everyone gets along. He has taught me to ice fish. We go 4 wheeling, sledding. Anything outside. We found that we both had dreams of going to Alaska. We took a trip last January to Fairbanks. What a wonderful 2 weeks. We were married in the little town of Tok. Yep. We did it!
Now to our future. I sold the farm. A wonderful multi generational family has moved in. There will be children and grand children. The barn will have horses and chickens. There will be sounds again. Life. The old girl needs that.
My husband and I are moving to Alaska in the spring. We will start another chapter. As I look back on my life I see it in chapters. In a hopefully long book with plenty of adventures. Yep, we are off on our adventure. Life changes.
This is the end to my blog but not an end to the book. I wish you all the very best. It has been an adventure. I have learned so much in this chapter. Thank you for listening, your comments and input. When I'm old and the end is near I will have so much to look back on and reminisce. And now for the last time.... Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.
I was out checking the animals yesterday and some nosy goat was spreading nasty rumors around the barnyard. Isabella and Ruthie approached me first. "Ahem...Goatmother. We have a concern that we need to discuss with you. There is a very nasty rumor that we will soon be out of hay". I could not believe my ears. The goats were in a tizzy with this rumor. After all, goats love their hay. I asked the ladies who was spreading this rumor. They gave each other that look. You know that look. The one that little old ladies give each other in church and then follow THE LOOK with a statement like.... "we don't want to gossip, but..." Yes, that look.
Fuzzy the llama was appalled with this recent rumor and the fact that she had not even heard it. After all, she has been on baby detail. Checking on the new lambs to make sure they are perfect and safe. Waiting for more lambs and kids to come along. All she had to say about the rumor was "those crazy old goats, they are always trying to start something in the barnyard. They have way too much time on their hooves."
The hens were taking a nice siesta in the barn. I thought that since there were so many of them they may have heard who started the rumor. They told me that they have turned over a new feather and given up on rumors since the little red hen went around yelling "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" and scared all the ladies into not laying for at least a week.
Bella wanted to whisper the answer in my ear. After all she didn't want to be accused of being a tattle tale. She told me to lean closer. No, come closer. Then those sweet goatie lips gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. She suggested that I go ask Oreo the barn cat. She whispered that "he is a wise old barn cat and would definitely know the answer".
Oreo was napping in the barn and wasn't too pleased to be awakened in the afternoon. After all, wise cats need cat naps to remain so wise. He told me that he didn't know who started the rumor but that I should hold a meeting of all the animals and stop it before it got out of hand.
"Great idea Oreo." Out to the pasture I went to clear up this misunderstanding. Everyone was present including the sheep. "Excuse me, I need to make an announcement. Everyone, gather close. I want you all to hear. Excuse me, would all the barnyard inhabitants please come near. I have an important announcement to make."
Nothing, absolutely nothing. Everyone went on with their munching, scratching, crowing and well, just everyday life on the farm.
Just goes to show you. If you don't play into rumors everyone soon forgets and goes on with their everyday life.
Who knew that a barnyard was filled with such smart critters.
The other morning on my way to work I just had to stop in the middle of the road and take a few pics. The winter just takes my breath away. I have been here for 5 years and I still love the winters. Wow, how time flies. We moved to New England 15 years ago.
Each limb, branch and twig covered with snow. The trees look like they have icing.
Noah at the window. He doesn't know what spring is but I'm sure he is dreaming of a nice sunny day, playing at the lake. Maybe chasing chickens and turkeys outside.
Jasmine posing. This girl is growing so fast.
Ted's birthday came and we gave him a very special surprise. A silly string attack. Everyone needs a silly string attack on their birthday.
While at work the other day I got a distressing call. After the last snowstorm a lady skidded off the road and went into our fence. Thank goodness she and her baby were safe. The fence, not so much. Nothing can be done until all the snow melts.
The kids learned very quickly about the scoop.
We switched out the smaller wood stove for the larger one from the basement. It really puts out some heat and keeps the house toasty.
Emma and Lucy know how to stay warm and spend some of their days.
We have been passing our days quietly. I sit here and remember just how busy we are in the summer. A neighbor stopped by, had a cup of coffee and we talked about chickens. Yes, chickens. Life on the farm either creeps by in winter or flies by in summer. Right now it is just the right speed. We hope life is at just the right speed for you too.
In Maine it is difficult to know when Spring arrives. We have long cold winters here. The calender tells us one thing and the weather outside says something completely different. Our farm calender says it's spring when the lambs begin to arrive. Emily is the first ewe to lamb this year. Spring has officially arrived. Echo is the proud father of these two early arrivals. One ram lamb and one ewe lamb. Both black.
Ram lambs always arrive with horn buds. You can see this little guys horn buds.
The milk bar is kept warm with her thick fleece. We won't shear until late April or early May.
I think the ram lamb is a bit more friendly at first. Probably more self assured. A good trait in a ram.
They both are very curious.
We do a quick dip of the umbilical stump with Iodine. Then back with mama.
We may look like we are still wrapped in winter's grip here on the farm but deep down inside we know it is really spring. We have lambs!
In just a few short weeks more lambs will arrive, the snow will melt and the first signs of green will appear. There is nothing sweeter than lambs running through the green pastures having lamb races every afternoon. Hope spring arrives in your area soon.
Winter is in full swing. We have had snow followed by melt and then rain and then blizzard. A real swing. More like a pendulum. The guineas have decided that there is just too much snow on the ground. They have become tree birds. They sit in the lilac tree waiting. Waiting for the warm summer days when they can roam the pasture looking for ticks, grasshoppers and those tasty seeds they are so fond of.
There is another snow storm headed our way this weekend. Then the trails will be loaded with that fresh beautiful snow. We are waiting, not so patiently, to take the sled out again. I think Maine trails are some of the most beautiful. The best groomed that is a definite.
For two old coots we do have fun.
Now we just have two little young coots to take along. We are looking for a youth helmet and snow gear for Jasmine. That way she can go with Ted or me on the sled. Noah is still too young for the snowmobile. He doesn't mind staying inside on those cold days. A nice dry diaper and a warm bottle.
I can sit here and remember the warmth of summer, the green lush grass and the sounds of crickets.
Then there is the ever present reminder of winter. We aren't bemoaning our winter. We are embracing it and enjoying it's drastic differences from the other seasons.
How is your landscape changing? Are you having a blizzard or nice sunny warm days? Are you tree sitting with the guineas? Happy Winter Ya'll!
Is it just us or does this happen to everyone? You think you are on your own and you start to make plans to go on trips, see a little bit of the world. Then, as soon as you put the deposit down, Bam! Your plans change. We were able to get a farm sitter for the week, deposit down on a cruise, dreaming of warm sunshine. Then we have two crumb snatchers with us. Not that we mind. We love these crumb snatchers. They are mighty cute.
This is Noah. He is 14 months. Back to diapers, pack and plays and bottles.
Noah is Jasmine's little brother. She spends every summer with us so she knows her way around the farm. The animals don't intimidate her at all.
Emma and Lucy are right at home with her. They love having Jasmine here. After playing all day with the girls they all "dog pile" onto the couch and pass out.
Jasmine has started school and has made many friends.
We don't know how long they will be with us. Diapers. Oh man. I'm still reeling over that one. Naps. I love naps. Noah napping and me too. Yes, naps are some of my favorite things.
The farm is in slow motion for now. The chickens are beginning to lay again. Everyone else is laying around waiting for green grass to grow.
This is the story of two best friends who lived in seperate towns, managed two seperate homes with all of the bills, taxes, and house payments of each. We thought that it was silly to continue paying such high bills. We decided to look for an old farm where we each could follow our dreams. We looked for a house big enough that would allow each of us to have our seperate space, enough farm land to be able to have sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and any other animals that caught our fancy. We needed a barn big enough to house animals and hay. Both of us love the seasons in New England and wanted to remain in the northeast. Both of us were ICU nurses and are under no delusion that we can pay our bills with farming alone. We needed to be located near a large hospital for employment. We work full time as nurses and full time as farmers. That was a lot of needs/wants to guide our search. We combed through magazines, for sale guides, and the internet. We found a place northwest of Bangor Maine that fit these needs. It was a fixer upper in the mildest of terms. This is our story, how we arrived, refinished a 160 year old farm house and are making our dreams come true. We hit bumps in the road at every turn and try to keep a positive attitude. After three years we have come to a change that can't be overlooked. After much thought Alex has decided to pursue her dream elsewhere. Now the farm rests with Ted and I. We will work together to make our dream an actuality. Please follow along with us and welcome to Mainely Ewes Farm.