The scents of spring help soften the hard decisions.

Thing One on the walk, ruffed by the wind.

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Tulips.

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Mia and two Murphys.  It is going to be a short year for pasture, we are still recovering from two dry years. And to be truly sustainable I can only run a very small flock of sheep. After that the land suffers. So the lambs will be leaving the farm after a few weeks on the good pasture. I am sorry to say that I have decided that Mia will leave too.  This was a hard decision. But the right one.

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She was my first hand reared sheep but the agony she goes through every year, when I have to go in and pull out all those dead lambs one after the other is just beyond cruel. Awful.  This has happened twice now and she has only just survived each time. And she is still lacking vigor. I have only a few paddocks and it is impossible to keep her away from the ram in the fall. It would be evil of me to allow her to get pregnant and then lose all her lambs in the most terrible way year after year. She cannot breed. Sad, but one of the things we have to deal with as organic/sustainable farmers is taking out the ones who get infections or cannot breed. I am sorry.

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Lets think about something else for a minute. The walls have been clad, and the men come back today to tape and mud the cracks. Suddenly the room looks small and echoey. However we are moving forward at a rapid rate now.

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Apple blossom. This is where we stand under the apple trees and inhale…

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then exhale. There are some beautiful moments on the little farm that allow us breathing space to deal with the difficult ones. There breathe in…

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then breathe out. Cherry blossom.

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The grapes are leafing out..

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And the peaches are setting.

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New trees in the daily view. Mr M’s on the far right (North), by the yellow fire hydrant, once the leaves come out you will see the trees better.

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And a roof for the Coupe. A great accomplishment.  The black on the side of the old house is builders paper, once the roof is finished they will start that side.

Good morning my darling friends. I hope you do not feel too bad about Mia. But my promise at the beginning of this blog is that I will tell you the truth of things. You all know about life and its ups and downs. No need to go into it. Every life is like this.  We just see it more clearly  and simply on a farm.

Author was collected into a cage last night in case she needs an operation today. I will take her in to the vet shortly. She has become more and more lethargic in the last 24 hours.  For two days she has slept in the empty indoor pig pen. Both her kittens were lost. She was too young being only a kitten herself.

This is not a happy clappy post is it. Let’s go back to the apple blossom and stand under there for a while, listen to the bees and breathe in that heady scent. It will be better soon.

Have a lovely day.

your quiet friend, celi

64 thoughts

  1. i am sure it was a really hard decision…about mia. but you are right that it would be very cruel to make her go through that again. just not fair. it will all be good in the end. for sure.

    • Goodness, what an extraordinarily kind offer, I shall send you an email and see what we can work out.. thank you! Fingers crossed we can find a way. c

      • Oh, I DO hope that works out! I was thinking it would be lovely to have a wee retirement farmyard, where the elderly critters we all love could live out their days in peace.
        Poor little Author. You know I am a cat-lady, so I will be thinking of her all day.
        XO

  2. Oh, c…even though I knew it would come to this, it’s still hard. Let’s cross our fingers that Mama’s latest little girl inherited her strong womb.
    Our apple trees are on the brink of bursting, so I’ll just enjoy yours for now. Any morning now, that heavenly scent will be here 🙂

  3. I’m sorry about Mia, and know it’s a necessary and humane decision. Lately, I’ve been standing under the apple blossoms, breathing in and breathing out. It’s a calming exercise. 🙂

  4. Those sound like sensible decisions. You are running a farm and the animals are not really pets. Sheep are raised for meat and wool. They will all have had good lives with far more love than affection than on a lot of other farms 🙂

  5. This is hard. I know it’s utterly silly, but in the blogosphere one makes weird connections. Lives strange parallel lives. Loves beings one has never met. I have an affinity as you know for pregnant Charlotte, because we share a name. But I also have a daughter named Mia. So I have had a special place in my heart for her as well. She will still occupy it. I guess that’s the good thing about love. It stays.

  6. As wonderful and magical as farm life can be, it’s also filled with very hard decisions that have to be made. You know that yours are made with the best interests of your animals in your heart and mind.

  7. I would be absolutely no good at making those hard decisions that you have had to make lately. The beauty of your pictures shines through and makes me feel that spring may finally be here. I am sure that you are making the right decisions—–you are an amazing woman and I feel like I “know” you through your writing and wonderful pictures. Put the kettle on and have a cup of tea for me this morning when you get a break from your chores, please. And know that all your bloggy friends are feeling the sadness that you must feel when you have to make the tough decisions. 🙂

  8. such a tough decision but i know you think long and hard about these things. will she go off to live somewhere else or will she go the way of the murphy’s?

  9. Good morning my heavy-hearted girl. Let’s just assume there is no other place I would rather be but here supporting you with your difficult decisions and lets say, just for the record, that there is a reason you don’t live in Chicago in a condo. My heart is with you. ❤

  10. I’m sad about Mia. I’m not sure I could do what you do, Celi. Such hard decisions. But as someone said, your animals are much loved while they’re with you! Lovely blossoms this morning. Take heart.

  11. Sorry to read that you’ve had to come to this decision, Celi, but what could be done? It’s not like Mia is a sickly goldfish that needs her own bowl on a countertop. No, you guys know what’s best for the farmy and as difficult a decision as it was to reach, it is the right one.
    I must say, your fruit trees look beautiful, Celi. Spend a little more time beneath them today. 🙂

  12. You’re absolutely right about Mia. Sad as it is, in this kind of life no beastie can be given a free ride as much as we come to love them. I do hope that things go well for Author as she’s such a wee puss yet and has plenty of mice still to catch I’ sure! Chin up Cecilia.
    Christine

  13. I respect your decision with Mia. I understand how hard it must be, but sustainable farms can’t overburden themselves with pets.

    Good thoughts for Author today. I hope she is well.

  14. It is sad about Mia and the murphys but that is why you are such a good farmer..because you do make decisions that you do not like..but the ones that must be made for the sake of the animal.
    If I was ever a farmer I’d have to grow corn ‘n stuff like that, even that has to have it head chopped off…I would be useless with animals,,,couldn’t make choices like that..even though you got no choice and what you are doing is right….such a brave soul that you are! Bless you C

  15. Sorry to hear about Mia. Any chance that she could have surgery and become a pet, so she doesn’t breed anymore? I enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster blog award. Read more about it in today’s post.

  16. Further proof that farming isn’t for the faint of heart, no, more like the strongest and most compassionate of hearts, I would say. I hope that dear Mia can go and live with the blogger who offered to take her. I know regardless that your decision for her future was and will be carefully weighed. Also sorry about the kittens. Tough day…yes, breathe.

  17. Aah the juxtaposition of life …. sad and sorry about Mia but thrilled with the promise of new coupe and bountiful crops and spring. Laura

  18. We all have hard choices to make when we welcome animals into our lives, be they farm animals or pets. Just know that, even though the head says it is the right choice, the fact that your heart gives a little tremble says that your are a caring, loving person, and have made an unselfish decision! My heart trembles with yours and I am send big apple blossom smelling hug your way my dear friend!

  19. Sorry to hear it, but that’s the way of farming. Not always easy, but we know that all of our beasties are appreciated for everything they share with us :*(

  20. Sorry about Mia, I know how difficult a decision that must have been.
    The blossoms are just gorgeous; my aunt in Budapest already has fruit on their grit trees!

  21. Farmers and ranchers have to be completely objective. I could never be one. First of all, I’d have to be vegetarian! I hope the offer for Mia works out and that Author will be well soon.

  22. Life can be very cruel. We discovered 5 baby birds in a nest in a stone wall near our house. When I went back several hours later they were gone. I am hoping they flew away with their mother…but I did see quite a large snake sunning itself on the wall nearby. I prefer not to think about that option.

  23. Regarding Miss Mia, it is so clearly the right thing to do by Mia, sweet sou, but tyhat doesn’t mean it’s easy. Soldier on under the apple tree, C.

  24. You’re so right, humane decisions don’t always add up to be happy ones. True. The budding trees and the beautiful Coupe do hold a lot of promise. I’ll think about those nice things. ox

  25. Oh I hope you can retire Mia! My sister is working on starting up a farm animal sanctuary in Oregon, not that that helps you but she has been studying at Gentle Barn in LA and Sanctuary One in southern Oregon. I don’t comment often here but wanted you to know how much I enjoy your photos and stories every day. I don’t know how you find the time with everything else that you do.

    Thank you for blogging.
    Maggie

  26. I hope Author will be okay *hugs* I am sorry to YOU about Mia. That must have been a very heart wrenching choice to make, but understandably why you did. You are very strong and think things through properly. Take care hon!!!

  27. I’m so sorry to learn about Mia. Your first-born. And bottle-fed. Such a hard decision but clearly the kind one. The right one.
    Strange! Just yesterday I Googled “lifespan of a sheep” because I was thinking about Hairy McLairy and what a gentle sheep he is and learned that the larger the animal the longer the lifespan. And I thought well you have mentioned he is a very large sheep so good! He will live long. And Daisy even longer.
    It would be so wonderful if Mia could be retired and kept away from any rams.

  28. Aah Cinders. I can’t say anything more than what has already been said by all the others…Just know that we All wish we could stand in a big circle around you….thank-you so much for your raw honesty and trying to shield us from the sometimes difficult realities of life on the Farmy, when it is us that wish we could shield you as well….i’m not sure that made sense but hope you can feel the love through the airwaves….breathe in, breathe out under those gorgeous blossoms of yours!
    We love you, dear C……

  29. Sorry to hear about Mia, but it sounds like the best thing for her. You always do right by your animals. So sorry about the kittens too. Tough day on the farmy. Breathing in the apple blossoms is perfect.

  30. This is a tough day on the farmy. It’s a good thing The Coupe is coming along nicely. Thanks for bringing us back to the apple blossoms as a reminder to just breathe.

  31. You had to make a tough decision about Mia, regardless of any other option now on offer, AND deliver it to the Farmy commenters lounge… However it pans out we respect your wisdom because you are Miss C and you have the best interests of all at heart 🙂

  32. What a tough decision you have had to make Celi, well done for making it my darling.
    And I can’t believe how much apple blossom you have, truly magnificent, like a cloud but a heavenly scented cloud as opposed to a wet one……I’ll shut up for now eh?!

  33. Nature dresses for spring to cheer you with what has to be the hard choices – all farmers must make them, something many don’t understand. I often tell loudly outraged anti-meat eaters some of the most caring / most animal friendly people I know are small farmers who raise livestock. Farmers actually see and experience life’s cycles: sadness and joy. They know their animals.
    These are not lawn ornaments. They are farm animals and farmers do what is best for each.
    Paws crossed for Author.

  34. I was going to ask the obvious about Mia a few weeks back: thought you would decide to let her go and keep Blue Murphy . . . Yes, it would be lovely for all of you and us loving the farmy to see her placed, but then you need for the table too, don’t you! Am wondering about darling Author too: you’ll be able to tell in the next post . . . and then there are the beautiful blosssoms on the tree and the ground to make a little difference . . .

  35. Sad. I read another blog today (The Common Wanderer) about coming upon a dying bird that had just been dropped by an owl and deciding to let nature take its course. In a way, this is the same sort of dilemma you have. Love that lets go is not cruel; it is honest and true. Mia might have ended up with humans who kept her, but did not love her due to her “weakness.” Suffering from a physical condition is one thing, but even for a sheep suffering from lack of love, now that is true suffering. Mia is fortunate.

  36. Dear, sweet Celi, my heart goes out to you and all of your lovely creatures. Life, and death, go on. The world has its hard edges, to be sure. Thank goodness for the beautiful and gentle and blossom-scented parts that bring us through. Peace, my darling.
    K

  37. Dear Celi, living as close to the earth and its rhythms as you do, you live the cycle of birth life, death and renewal which never ends, bringing with it all the emotions that make our lives so rich,,, and reading about your farmy, and the love and the comings and goings makes our life richer too, thank you.

  38. The blossoms are heavenly. And of course tough decisions have to be made. That’s life. No need to apologise for it.

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