Three weeks ago my grandmother passed away at the age of 84. She had a wonderful life filled with ballroom dancing, her garden and her beloved dogs. My mums oldest brother, Mike, was the one to go through her papers.
There were a lot of papers to go through.
It seemed my Nan did not throw anything away. There were photos of all the grandchildren dating back to our first years in school, drawings we sent to her, letters we wrote. As Uncle Mike was going through this mountain of stuff he would sort things into stacks of items he thought we would like back as reminders.
This is one of the things that came back to my mum and she passed it on to me.
A telegram sent to my Nan on the day I was born. My parents could not call my Nan on the phone because at the time she did not have one. Even if she did the cost of a trans-atlantic call from Canada to the UK 38 years ago would have cost my mum and dad a weeks pay.
The telegram cost dad about 50 cents. It’s short, sweet and to the point because each word cost money. The H/D means Hand Delivered.
What you can’t see in the photo right under the H/D is the faded date stamp : September 23, 1970. My birthday. I weighed in at 7lbs 12 oz.
Knowing my Nan kept it all these years makes it irreplacable to me.
How to Catch a Baby Take 1
First let me say how much I am loving Mel’s Show and Tell! I’ve found a huge list of blogs to add to Bloglines and take time away from all of those important things I have to do. Like raising kids and cooking dinner.
Sunday the boys thought it would be wise to try and “capture” Graeme in a trap.
I was so excited to see this feature at Mel’s because I loved show and tell day at school when I was a little girl. I remember every Sunday night looking through my toybox for the perfect item to bring to class with me the next day. Usually it was my beloved tattered bear Teddy that was placed into my school bag Monday morning.
I have two photos to share with everyone today and it’s not Teddy. Sadly Teddy has gone on to the Big Teddy Bear Picnic in the Sky.
Both photos were taken from my kitchen window. I love the views I have to look at while I’m doing the dishes.
This is Sgt leading our ladies back into the barn for the evening. They were still lambing so we felt it was the safest place for them to be incase one delivered during the night. A storm had just passed by us and as the sun started to come out again the rainbow appeared. Rainbows occur regularly here after the storms and I never get tired of seeing them. The little girl inside me wants to put on her wellies and run as fast as she can to the end of the rainbow to find that pot of gold.
I took this photo one afternoon while the ewes were grazing and their lambs were playing. The lambs are now spending less and less time close to their moms and more and more time playing with one another. Little lambs seem to have springs for legs and spend a lot of their time bouncing from place to place instead of walking. One of their favorite games to play is what I call “King of the Mountain”. If there is anything on the ground that is higher up then they are, like rock, they will do anything they can to get on top of it. Once one of the lambs has made it atop the rock the others will try to knock him or her off and take their place. The games they play have made me laugh out loud in my kitchen.
If I am having a Eeyore kinda day and need to smile I look out at the lambs.
Last night the boys and I were in the back garden feeding Yum Yum his supper when we noticed a small creature in the barn with the ladies.
A lamb. Our first lamb. He was still covered in afterbirth, up on all fours and nursing from mom. Our ewe named Lori (after my best friend) had given birth to a little ram.
I named her Lori for a few reason. She is the boldest of our ewes, just like Lori, coming right over to the fence any time we go out to visit or feed them. And she has freckles on her ears. Just like Lori.
Sheep Lori has the makings of a good mom. Her little ram hears her *lovey sound and comes trotting over to nurse. She grooms him while he feeds. After they snuggle down in the hay for a little snooze.
Lori the person is an amazing woman. We met years ago when our boys were in kindergarden together and on the same hockey team but our friendship blossomed into something akin to sisterhood when both our husbands were deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 for the first combat mission Canada had seen since Korea. We spent the next 7 months listening, learning and supporting each other. I love her like family.
Although Lori grew up in what we now like to call a disfunctional family (I’d like to see a ‘functional’ family) she made the choice to be a better parent to her children. With the birth of her daughter she headed out to the local library and signed out all the parenting books she could get her hands on. Bound and determined to make it better with her precious girl she perservered through tough times and the frequent absences of her army husband. She is an incredible mom and has taught me patience, understanding and humour make the world of difference with my boys.
After seeing sheep Lori with her little ram I know I made to right name choice.
*lovey sounds are a deep, low baa formed at the back of the throat that mother ewes use to call their lambs. Each lovey sound is unique and each lamb can pick out his or her mother from a large mob by this sound alone.
Life has a strange way of getting in the way sometimes. Every morning I wake up and think “Ill get a post up today.” and before I know it it is 9:30 pm and I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. I don’t know how some people manage to get by on little sleep. I am not one of those people.
Graeme is now nine months old. Nine months! How did that happen? Time is flying by us at amazing speed. For 6 weeks he’s been pulling himself up and crusing the furniture and walls. He is close to walking now. He’s working on perfecting his pincer grasp and loves to yell at everyone.
Three weeks ago we brought home 10 pregnant ewes to live in our back garden. We should be seeing lambs any day now. Our favorite part of every day is heading out back to check on them. Rain or shine out we go. Graeme bounces with excitement while getting his shoes and hat on and will shout at me if I’m not moving fast enough. Once we get out to the barn area he stands against the fencing and shouts HEY at the ladies. HEY is his favorite thing to say. Mama and Dada rarely escape his lips but HEY is very popular.
For several weeks now Graeme has been getting up to nurse at 4 am. I wondered what happened to my sleeping angel-boy but realized he was waking up because he was hungry. When his latest teeth started coming in there were three nights I was up every hour. EVERY HOUR people! Even as a newborn he wasn’t up every hour. Sleep depravation is a horrible thing no wonder they use it as torture. I spent my days walking into things and mummbling incoherantly. Pleasant.
A few weeks ago Sgt interviewed for a job in Ottawa. His 20 years with the military is creeping up and he is looking into his options. At this point we are both tired of the lifestyle we have been living for almost 18 years and want to put that part of who we are behind us and move forward. I had a huge post composed in my head about the inner struggle I was having about this big change and once again sleep won that round. That happens when you’re surviving on a few hours of rack a day. I hope to post my feelings about it one day soon but for now Graeme and I are headed upstairs to grab some lunch.
Sgt and the boys worked so hard every day helping the with the sheering. I was amazed and proud of the hard work our teens put into every day. Up at 6am, in the wool shed at 8am, working until 6pm or later without complaint. I was sure my boys had been replaced by some type of robot clone because surely these could not have been my boys. My boys would have gone on and on about how hard it was, how tired they were, when could they have another break.
My Green Eyed Boy packing the fleece into the wool bags.
The ladies before …
Graeme loved to talk to the ewes. We think he’ll be a sheep whisperer when he grows up.
Sgt watching and learning about sheering. The spots in the photo are bits of fleece flooting about the wool shed.
Sgt sheering one of the ladies.
Our last night there I was asked if I wanted to take home a couple of the bottle lambs. These are lambs that for whatever reason had been rejected by their mothers. As much as I wanted to take these fuzzy little creatures home with me the next day I knew we didn’t have the room in our van to get them here, not with all the luggage and baby paraphernalia. So we did what any sensible person would do …
we went back on Sunday to bring home two little lambs.
This is YumYum
This is Delicious.
We won’t be raising them to be pets. Come November they will be sent off to the butcher and come back to us wrapped in tidy little packets containing chops, roasts and stew meat. What you must think of me!
In a few weeks we will have of pregnant ewes and come the first weeks of May our little farm will be well on it’s way.
When we got home we noticed there was an orange kitty living in our back shed. She seemed quite friendly and really enjoyed the dogs as you can see. The dogs enjoyed her too.
I’ve uploaded a whack (really now … what is a whack? is it like a gaggle?) of photo’s in the Flickr album. Some of them make me laugh, some make me sigh and all make me wish time would stand still for a little while.
We’re heading out for a few days during the spring break. Not that it looks anything like spring around here right now.
We are off to a friends farm to help get the sheep into the barn for sheering. I haven’t done any sheering yet and I’m really looking forward to it. Our ewes should be here the second week of May, just a few weeks before the lambs are born so I need to know how to sheer them before the births. Just like trimming the hedge before childbirth. Ha ha.
This break is just what our family needs right now.
I haven’t updated lately because there is a lot going on in our lives right now, mine particularly, that I’m not ready to share with IRL people that read my blog. I do need to journal these thoughts and feelings and I think the best way for me to do this is to password protect certain entries. It’s funny how I can feel comfortable spilling my guts to people I haven’t seen or met. Maybe it’s the anonymity. Maybe it’s because I know the people reading won’t read into what I have to say and take it personally.
I know from my blog stats that I have quite a few visitors coming by to read but few comment … that’s OK, I don’t need the comments to feel validated.
If you would like the password to the protected posts leave a comment here and I will email it to you.
The breast feeding is still going. For now. The left breast is still not producing very much despite all I have done. What have I done you ask? It might be easier to say what I have not done.
I have been pumping every hour for 10-15 minutes during the day. Some sessions get me half an ounce, some get me enough milk to cover the bottom of the bottle. Along with the pumping I am taking 3 caplets of fenugreek, 3 caplets of blessed thistle, three caplets of hops and one tablet of brewers yeast three time a day. Also I am taking 5 tablets of domperidone twice a day. My appointments with the physiotherapist have helped break up the blockages in the left side but I think it’s been too long for that breast to bounce back. Too little too late.
Even though the left breast is still not producing much the right is doing well. Graeme is getting pretty much most of his milk from me whether it’s at the breast or pumped into a bottle. He does get two 6oz bottles a day and rice or oatmeal cereal along with a small serving of veggies for dinner in the evenings. I have been making all of his veggies and fruit. Once a week I get out the steamer, blender and veggies and cook up his meals. It gives me quite a bit of satisfaction knowing what I’m feeding him isn’t processed beyond recognition.
His first taste of food after the rice was pumpkin which he really enjoyed. Since then he’s had butternut squash, sweet potato, peas, carrots, apples, corn, avacado and prunes. The prunes he wasn’t too fond of and the face he made was priceless.
I’ve been documenting the food making with my camera and want to put up a page or two of ‘how to’ when the computer comes back. Or maybe send it along to Pru at Mush.