Authentic Compassion

Friday, June 29, 2007

Not a plague of anything - maybe an enticement for snakes but these little guys are everywhere.

We are overrun right now with hundreds of these tiny toads. I don't think they are frogs unless they are a variety of tree frog (though most of our tree frogs are bright green). Caught this little guy and put him in a box to take a picture with a quarter for size comparison - none turned out in focus since he was determined to get away! I'd cover him with my hand then pull my hand away and click - so here are the results. The phrase I kept thinking of was "all creatures great and small, our Lord God made them all". Remember the books and tv series about a country vet in England - All Creatures Great and Small? Anyway - this is what is showing up in our rainy land (I know I promised not to mention rain unless we got 6 or 7 inches - and we have passed that this week!).

It is good in Buhlaland - maybe the toads/frogs will eat some of the flies!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Update on the kids

Quick update - Toby Pannone came through surgery and will be in intensive care for a while. Surgeon's report sounded like he tolerated the surgery well and they got all the cancer that they found. Grace's surgery went very well and she is also in recovery. Please continue to pray for these young ones. Thank you

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Praying for sick children If anyone is checking my blog - please pray for this child and his family tomorrow (Wednesday the 27Th) as he undergoes massive surgery. Seems to be a day the Lord will have his angels busy in hospitals with children - a beautiful young girl (Grace) is undergoing extensive surgery to correct her scoliosis,also tomorrow. Father God - we ask the mercy and grace of Your Son to be poured out on these, the children you so love. Your love is beyond measurement in the heavens - these little ones need you now. Please give the surgeons and those touching these children discernment of exactly what needs to be done,how to complete the surgeries effectively and efficiently. Please also provide caregivers with great compassion and alertness to react to any changes in the child's situation. Your will be done - on earth as it is in heaven . Isaiah 55:9 - we don't understand, but we know that You are God.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Cleaning off the lights over our garage entrance - it was time to take the bird's nests down. The white interior lining shows even birds like a bit of comfort - that is goat hair lining. Smart little birds. Glad something is making use of all that hair!.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A sister helps when you are sick

Final update - poor little fellow - he had a couple of decent days - standing up for long times - we'd take him out to the pasture with the other goats so he wouldn't be alone in the pen. He ate a couple of times yesterday (grain and special feed to try to build him back up) and he rested under the trees in the front pasture during several hours of sunshine we had. When we went out to let them out of the pen this morning, he was on his side in the shelter obviously struggling to breath. I held him for a while, used a syringe to try to hydrate him but to no avail. I was holding him when he quit breathing - dear little body was so thin. He was worn out and now is buried under the big oaks in the side pasture. He was a fighter - he struggled so long and seemed content to have his sister and his extended family (particularly Boudreaux - who is actually Ellie and ElBubba's nephew) to lay in the shelter and simply be goat. I miss him.
We've had a tough week with ElBubba-the little mostly white kid(twin to Ellie - the brown doe lying next to him) who had been gradually declining. It finally hit me that he had worms. With the constant high humidity here this year we have ideal conditions for a huge infestation. Normally we are able to keep the internal parasites under control. This year we tried a different method of parasite control by putting a medicated lick block in their pens for several days at a time so the goats would "self dose". End result - we almost lost ElBubba and he still is anemic and weak. He was having a seizure on Tuesday evening - we double dosed him with wormer and started a regimen of giving him Red Cell (a vitamin type product) and feeding him separately from the others. For several days now - we've also used a syringe to shoot fresh water into his mouth. He doesn't move around much and with the heat he runs a danger of being dehydrated. ElBubba's weakness makes him a target ( most all animals turn on the weakest in the herd - it isn't pretty but is a reality). We put him outside the pens several times so he could eat without interference and rest a while. My wonderful husband has been working in his shop on our new gate - so he was available to tend ElBubba much of the week. Safe and sound for a bit the picture shows him laying next to his beloved twin. They have a good mother,Nubie, but unfortunately for the little guy it is time for the babies to be weaned. He gets to nurse a little - but not enough for his condition and certainly not as much as he'd like. We keep trying different foods (he got to take his pick from our vegetable garden - and when we put Ellie in the garden with him she was nibbling rosemary leaves then tomatoes - yummy!) and he will have to regain his strength over time. He'd been scheduled to go to a friend as a buck for her goats - but we probably will end up neutering and keeping him.
In a more general note - we dosed the entire herd today with wormer and will let them out on fresh pasture tomorrow. We'll keep them off a couple of the pasture areas for 14-21 days and give the worm cycle a chance to die off. Also working on the fly problems - they are bad this year for everyone - it was even mentioned on the Dallas tv news. In general - it takes perseverance and good sanitation and we are working harder on that.
In case anyone is curious- the derivation of ElBubba as his name was : twin sister was named Ellie by a young friend of ours with the same name, his most distinctive quality is being the brother of Ellie. In Texas - a nickname for brother is Bubba - so this little guy was named Ellie's brother- ElBubba.
So what lessons came from all this drama? Don't depend on goat self dosing for worm control, act more quickly when young animals become listless and don't be devastated if nothing helps. As mentioned before, this has been a difficult year for our goat herd. Best thing would have to be that we don't depend on the herd for our household income. Worst thing is - we are fond of these animals ,they are not pets but each has it's own personality. SO - today it is sunny and warm - they have plenty to eat and ElBubba is slowly recovering. God blesses us with relationships - including human, spiritual and animal. Life is good in Buhlaland.
UPDATE: Sunday the 24th around 8:30 at night - ElBubba is hanging in there, still very weak but he will eat,drink water and tries to get up to move around a little bit. Being stable is all good -we separate ElBubba and Ellie from the others and feed them extra grain - a slow process but better than even 24 hours ago. Not getting my hopes up too much - but each day is progress for the little guy. Beautiful day today - amazing clouds and breeze with rain forecast for next three days! What a monsoon season!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

This morning I actually had the camera with me when we had a round of "queen of the tree stump". First you see Montana - watching the others circling the base of this old oak, then Dotsy begins an assault on Montana's position -oops - Dotsy is nudged off her precarious footing. THEN the older and perhaps wiser Blackie begins her assault - she has always loved this tree stump -and was making her way up. TaDa - she stands above the others - allowing them to acknowledge her as "queen". Blackie is very low on the hierarchy of our little herd - so this must have been a good moment for her! Somedays - it is just great to feel like the queen! Of course - there is a lot of work to stay there - but you shouldn't mar your moment by worrying too much - life can bring enough attacks without borrowing some from your future. So - enjoy Blackie - you earned your moment!
Montana begins the game

Dotsy's Attempt

All it takes is a good nudge and Dotsy's off
Blackie begins her assault

Then YEAH - I'm on top and you aren't! Blackie can exult!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Confession of an ugly secret!

OK - I have to confess - the few people who have read this blog have said how beautiful things are on our place. Yes - it is beautiful and we are blessed. HOWEVER - like everyone's life - things sometimes go awry. All the rain we've had is wonderful and good - unless you are a rose bush. The reason there are so few leaves on the Peace Rose is a massive case of black spot - a fungal problem compounded by rainy, humid weather. Didn't want anyone to think it is all spun sugar and perfection - of course posting about death and loss hasn't been exactly Pollyannaish has it?

Even more appalling is the normally beautiful yellow climber rosebush - it is not only afflicted with black spot - the nasty morning glories are once again attacking the side garden. A few years ago - I foolishly thought "a white picket fence would be SO picturesque with morning glories rambling all over it blooming like mad". Bad idea - very bad - now we have morning glories coming up like kudzu! Morning glories choking out roses, winding their way around the fence so I can't pull them out completely. So take this as a cautionary tale - don't put morning glories where you wouldn't want them for the next 20 years! I am planning an all out assault on the problems - have purchased some chemicals promising to kill unwanted vegetation and getting out shears to cut back. Then I'll burn the cuttings all rose bush cuttings and spray the remaining bush finishing by fertilizing it like mad. The weather forecasts are more "normal" for our area - hot and not raining. The vegetable garden is also bad but I can only stand to confess one of my ugly little secrets at a time.
Working in our office today - we were up early(I promise to quit saying that - we are ALWAYS up early so it is redundant - you can just assume - if I am talking about morning - it is early) and medicated, immunized and dosed with Red Cell some of the youngest goats (Nubie's buck is not thriving - after having it so easy for several years - this seems to be the year of problems with our goats). It is wonderful to have things that are productive to do. We are currently reading in Ecclesiastes and reminding ourselves - God gives us work to do and that is a good thing. Even Adam had a job! Work is a good four letter word - when you make a living at it or help someone else - it is really great!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Snack Time

OK there is no deep message here - a girl (doe in this case) will do almost anything to get JUST the right bit to eat! Castana is the goat with the large brown dot on her side- daughter of Pearl - a year old. Montana is the white with black ears - daughter of Hannah. Montana is only 5 months old but will be a big girl like her mother and grandmother. They are snacking on vine leaves growing against the fence between our place and our neighbors. Life is good when there are vine leaves in reach!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Stormy weather

Early yesterday morning these rain heavy clouds were coming in from the southwest. I took a picture of the windmill and pasture located next to our back pasture and thought of one of my favorite songs "How Great Thou Art" written by Carl Boberg and R.J. Hughes . The lyrics:
"O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy Hand have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed."
We are still having waves of storms through here today. After 2 years of severe drought - this year's rainfall is such a blessing for the land. The thunder does roll, echoing off the buildings. The trees are stretching up to the sky and sinking their roots so deep to drink in the water.
Nothing of great import to share with any possible readers today-feeling quiet and blessed and would love for you to feel the same. Shalom.

Friday Miscellany

Blooms from both the Peace rose (mentioned in previous posts) and a rose called Joseph's Coat. The Joseph's Coat has tiny flowers beautifully colored - opening as a dark salmony pink with more colors are revealed as the flower completely opens. The name of this rose refers to the coat of many colors Jacob gave to his son Joseph (Genesis 37:3-5). In our garden- it is a beautiful flower with an interesting name.
Pictured in our breakfast nook window is our rat "terrorist"Conan the Destroyer. He joined the family in 2002 when we thought our other rat terrier, Corazon, wanted a canine pal. We searched for a nice little ratter to be her buddy. As it turns out - Conan is a needy little guy and although they play every day, Conan needs Corey much more than vice versa. When anything happens (a doorbell rings, someone talks too loudly)- he checks with Corey as if to say "what are we supposed to do?" We all have our shortcomings and he is a playful and feisty, loving little guy. Conan goes out to the pastures or pens with us to check the other animals (anyone else except Moe - for whatever animal reason - Moe and Conan have an uneasy truce). Coney likes to be involved during goat birthings - wanting to lick those babies right away,making sure they are OK. The does don't appreciate canine help - but newborn kids are happy for any licking or touching. Conan was checking on newborn Boudreaux last month -obviously exciting for Conan and mildly interesting for Boudreaux.
Earlier this spring Conan was "attending" the birth of Nubiana's twins - here he is whining about getting close enough to Ellie to give her a thorough lick check!
Bless you today - remember to be kind to one another. A neighbor of ours passed away this week - very unexpectedly/suddenly. It continues to be made clear that we are always to live each day- not living for tomorrow. Despite all our plans and intentions to mend fences, lick someone's face(ala Conan and Corey) or get right with the Lord tomorrow- most come to naught. We aren't promised tomorrow. John 9:4 (New Living Translation-Jesus speaking) "All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned to us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end." The work we have to do is to love one another and forgive one another as we have been loved and forgiven by God. Night falling is death -before death we need to finish our work - learn to forgive freely, love deeply and expect joy . Rest in peace James Irvin Stewart - you were a good man and your warm smile will be missed.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Work, loss and reality

Don't romanticize what living in the country might be - for all our wonderful blessings - it is often plain hard work. As the weather turned warmer - we realized it was past time to pick up fallen tree limbs, use the tractor to pile up cut down trees and pick up/pile up brush that is dried. We'd stacked up some last fall - it served as shelter for some birds and unfortunately - snakes. Copperheads have been bad this year - with our goats and household pets (including Moe the magnificent!) it is smarter to get rid of brush piles. Only way to deal with it is to burn. So first we gather up as much as possible.To go from THIS:

To a blazing pile took hours.

But to smoldering embers like below - just 30 minutes or so.

So many jobs are like that - the preparation takes real work and planning. We even have to notify the sheriff's department when we are starting to burn so we don't scare people around us into calling 911 to report a fire. Once the prep is done - the activity itself takes just a little time and finally you have some clean up to do. It has been a stressful few days- we lost an adult goat. Despite researching and asking questions of people we thought would know,we never figured out exactly the problem. Bananna seemed to rally Friday and to our dismay we found her dead in the pen Saturday morning. Death is part of life whether we live in the country or in a city condo - but it is still hard. Small comfort was that she ate rather well on Friday and all the time she stayed with the herd (goats get very stressed when they are isolated). So we are down to 18 goats right now - Bananna's twin sister, Hannah, and their mother, Crybaby, have been restless since Saturday - wandering around making "calls" and searching the pens. Bananna was such a sweet mother - she kept one of the newborn kids (Dotsy) thriving by accepting her when Dotsy's mother wasn't maternal. So it all goes on - Dotsy will possibly breed next year and we can hope she'll be a mother like Bananna. We find the goats to be very similar in their family lines - physically and in behaviors. Sweet does have better natured kids -so that was our rationale in selecting who to sell this year in reducing the herd. The does we kept are good mothers, pleasant enough for us to deal with and not so dominant. Of course - nature abhors a vacuum - so the Alpha female role is being duked out - current leaders are Crybaby and Flip but Nubie gets ticked enough to fight back once in a while. Nubie's lack of horns is a disadvantage but we'll see how it shakes out.

Enough rambling for today - it is always this way - when something unpleasant occurs it is usually offset by focusing on the beauty - without loss we can't understand the value of everything can we? This is the day the Lord has made - and I get to live here - it is good in Buhlaland.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What a difference a day makes

Day by day there are changes - this time of year is one of the biggest single events. The past few years - January has been our birthing month and that is a big change - June is typically our "go to market" month. When you raise animals for meat - the day comes when they go to market and the herd changes radically in size and make up. Never fear - Mikey and Rocky are definitely here and Boudreaux's fate has yet to be determined (he hasn't been neutered yet) - Nubie's little boy is destined to go to a friend's growing herd as a breeder.

So the top picture is yesterday and today we have 10 less goats. Today's picture is taken at an angle that shows our neighbors barn and corner of their house. They were all spread out so it is a little deceptive - but walking in the pasture makes me know that there are fewer animals. Only males left are Mikey, Rocky, Boudreaux and Nubie's boy. Our sweet does are OK with their boys being gone - it was past time to wean. Bananna continues to struggle with what we thought was a snake bite injury - she continues to have a big problem and we are out of options. We tried penicillin injections but she honestly seems to get worse - so for now - we'll do the old "wait and see" - hoping that her basically strong body will overcome the problem. Selling her little wether might help a bit - no matter how big those boys are - they'll still nurse as long as they can reach the mama. Tonight they all got a big ration of grain and goat feed. When we took the trailer of wethers in to town - I was a little sad but had a moment of pride as the meat inspector looked at our little guys and said they were the best looking animals he'd seen there. Life in the country isn't easy - it is good and fulfilling and exhausting --but you stay in touch with what is real.

Monday, June 4, 2007

I've had the dew drop covered Mr. Lincoln rose on the page and thought it would be nice to show the beautiful flower in bright sunlight! We are still having on and off cloudiness and showers - but predicted to have our normal HOT coming on us soon. Amazing spring here - we forget the variety in shades of green until we get a wet spring. The backyard looks lush this year - pictured is the far corner where we fight poison oak (the vilest of plants). Our goats love to eat it - but then they spread the oil (which is what causes the reaction) by rubbing up against us. It is hard to resist those sweet babies - so sometimes I come inside and take a shower with coal tar soap rigth away. Doesn't really work but gives me a feeling of making the effort!
It is all good - poison oak is kind of like ripe watermelons - only associated with summertime!

Bless you and enjoy things in their time - to each thing is a season.