So... its up in the air as to wether or not Poppy is pregnant...
With 5 weeks to go, its hard to tell... if she has 1 kid in there, its pretty standard not to be seeing allot... if theres more than 1, well then, theres probably none. :(
We can get her bred again, thats no problem... but its 5 months of antisi-pation, and a whole bunch of hay with no milk! (or cheese for that matter).
so... anyone want to take a guess? a bet? a intuitive nuzzel? do you think she is???
Firstly, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. That there an abundance of food, but not too much, drink flowing, but not over flowing and family celebrating as only families know how.
Our christmas was an intimate one. Just the 3 of us, at Niwas. We played, we cooked, we talked! It was just such a wonderful day. Much needed, and forever cherished.
The animals seem to be all in good spirits as well. All chickens are healthy and running around. Even little firebird who had frost bite on her feet is doing well. One of her feet fell off... and now she has a stump. but it dosnt seem to be slowing her down and there is no pain or infection. The other foot, is probably not far behind but im sure she will be fine.
Honey duck (our male muskovie), having just lost his mate last week seems to be doing well hanging out with the 3 other boys. He has no idea what luck he is in, just a few more days and he will have 3 new girls to look after!
The goats are doing well, Poppy is getting bigger, but seeing as this is our first time with a (hopefully) pregnant goat, im not sure how big she is supposed to be... but she's due first week of feb so only time will tell. As soon as she gives birth we will be watching for Cedar to go into heat and have her mated... then she will be due July.
Simon, the lovely Alpaca, is just doing his thing... he hates to be touched... and im trying not to ignore the fact that in the next few months im going to have to deworm him (as a precaution, not because he has worms)... and i need to figure out how to get him to hold still.
The kittens are big bellied and joyful little critters. Its a joy to watch them interact with their mama. Running to the solar shed when they think i'm coming to give them a little food...
It is a blessed life to live amongst animals. I always had a dogs as a kid and they were wonderful. But to watch, interact and be a guardian to multiple different animals is quiet something else...
Im day dreaming about having eggs for sale, 6 different colors. Rainbow dozens. and now have to decide to invest in an incubator or not... much cheaper to buy fertilized eggs and incubate them yourself. But the incubators start at $350ish (new) so might have to buy day old chicks, (which is considerably more expensive) Im looking to the universe for signals, so will just sit and watch that one for a few weeks to see what presents itself. (maybe a borrowed incubator, or a 2nd hand one...)
But on this boxing day (why is it called boxing day?) we are cleaning up, and doing farm chores. Sitting in the glow of family and gratitude...
As we step into the Winter Solstice tomorrow everything seems well... a bit dark.
Seems that this last full moon on Tuesday morning has been fairly intense for people... either directly or once removed.
People I know directly have been somewhat displaced with illness, car accidents, family members diagnosed with cancer, friends about to pass over, relationship arguments, workplace upheaval to name just a few.
I myself seem to be in a bit of a funk. Trying to find the balance between not wallowing, but not suppressing either... being OK with the ebb in the flow. Im trying to watch it, but my husband says i'm eating too much 'Shrimp Glumbo'.
Regardless of whether or not the outside world seems to be in chaos, the inside world, mentally, emotionally is defiantly asking to be purified. To let go of the bitter heart, the illusion of attachment, and needing for things to be other than they are. Remembering that the outside is but a mirror image of the inside reality.
Seems to me my soul is asking for a balm of simple pleasures, a mantra, a song, a few words of kindness, given, and received.
On the outside we crave the sunlight, but on the inside we need to seek the path to Divines light. That is eternal, no seasons, no ebb, always flowing...
But how to do we get there? How do we find that quiet, peaceful content place inside in amongst the chaos? Gratitude, thats where I start. Its the TNT that cracks the wall of despair. Because sometimes even on the darkest days, the light is there. Its there, you just need to close your eyes to see it.
Well, tis the season. Where we get bombarded with everything we THINK we need and allot we don't think we need but... maybe... i do? And the energy of "not enough" becomes rampant, needing to show others love, needing others to show us they love us, through, stuff.
But in closing our eyes to the outside consumerism I think there is a little truth where we are all craving for that genuine holiday cheer, and for many, feeling like we HAVE to be happy at this time of year is well... depressing.
So how can we cultivate holiday cheer, from the inside-out, so that as we step into the collective consciousness of the holiday season we can genuinely share our light with others?
This year iv'e sat myself down and asked myself, what DO I need/want this holiday season? Putting aside any frivolous "things" that I think would make my life easier. (another LED light bulb for Niwas, a mug to replace the 6 I have broken in as many months) My first, and surprising, answer to bubble up with emotion is not available, so I dug deeper and asked, what would THAT fulfill? the answer? Connection. Family (not necessarily biological), memories, acceptance, a feeling that I/we are worth the effort, I am seen, I am appreciated. NONE of which are about anything material.
So I turn to one of my favorite teachings of Paramahansiji Satyananda which is to realize that true happiness is in the giving. So if what I want to receive this year is that "feeling", then I need to direct my actions to giving of MYSELF and these feelings, to OTHERS.
This has been happening spontaneously over the last few weeks, but really, it works... first it was the personal commitment to say YES to anyone/anything I saw in need. Regardless of what i "thought" about it... or how my brain screamed "you can afford that!" but to really embrace the teaching, its not for you to judge the circumstances, its for you to help relieve the suffering of others. And doing so, the Divine supports you.
CHANGING THE PATTERNS OF MATERIAL GIVING.
THINGS THAT TAKE NO MONEY...
* Get a shovel and go to a random street, a random house, of someone without a snow blower, and start shoveling. No names, no thank you's... just do it. (yes, you can do your neighbor, but they know you, they often see you, while its lovely, its nice to give where there is no expectation of anything in return. )
* Saying yes to your friend to look after her sick child so she can go to an important meeting, canceling your plans in the process.
* Cook dinner for someone you know who is having a down day and just leave it on their doorstep with heating instructions.
* Choose someone in your community to is a perpetual "giver". Always helping others... and help them. Make them dinner, bake them a cake, offer to take their dog for a walk when you see them getting home late.
- the possibilities are endless, get creative, SEE the needs, thats the gold in this... for you to SEE others and then act.
THINGS THAT TAKE A LITTLE MONEY... $5 or under.
* Have a little change in your pockets at all times, specifically to offer the homeless hot tea, coffee, food... or just for what they need at that time.
* Pay a little extra on your parking spot for the next person (tape a loonie to the box if you can)
* Pay for the next persons tea in the morning at your favorite coffee shop.
* Buy a gift card to a LOCAL business - the local part is important cause it is giving twice for the price of one. And then give them out, or ask the business owner to randomly give them to people who they think really need a pick-me-up that day... LOCAL people know their regulars.
- again the possibilities are endless, make up your own...
THE TRADITIONAL GIFT GIVING 2.0
1) say you have $20 bucks to spend on someone for xmas, maybe you spend $5 on that person (their favorite chocolate, or a new pair of socks cause you saw theirs had holes.) the $5 doesn't say "here, i spent $5 on you", it says, I SEE YOU, I SEE YOUR NEEDS, what brings you joy, - you might have to ASK them what is their favorite chocolate, their favorite brand of socks. You taking the time to ASK is the real gift, the chocolate/socks is just the confirmation that you heard, and acted on that information.
Then with the other $15 you donate it to someone or an organization who is barely coping with the basics of life (FOOD, SHELTER, HEALTH) on behalf of the person your $5 went to - not from you.
LOCALLY - examples - food bank, a bunch of flowers for a random person in the hospital/hospice, youth centre, or maybe giving a gift card to the single mother down the road anonymously to your local coffee shop.
GLOBALLY - Red Cross, a Kids Foundation, sevaunite.org or my favorite the Prishan Foundation. Make an effort to research exactly where it is going and how that money will actually make it to the people you are trying to help. There are many people out there doing great things to help others... and sometimes the smaller organizations are more effective in getting your money to where it actually needs to go.
I am a firm believer that every action, whether perceived good or bad, at its root is seeking LOVE. Non of us are exempt. To see this possibility in everyone, helps us to stay connected through compassion. And to love the other, to GIVE to the "other", is to truly give to ourselves.
A little to allot of people, will have a bigger impact than allot to few people.
There are many people in our communities who would benefit from being seen, from having just a little unconditional effort extended to them and in doing this, I guarantee, YOUR holiday cheer will shift, from the Inside-Out.
Write a list of 7 things you think you can do for someone else - anonymously if you can.
Set yourself a time limit (say, by the 24th DEC).
Carry your 7 things out. Make notes. How did you feel? What was your experience?
Then comment below this blog. So we can inspire each other to truly make this a Happy Holiday Season for all.
I have often heard people say that farming is not for the faint of heart. And while I don't have the experience of whole crops, an entire years earning, devastated in a storm or such. We are but a small homesteading operation. But i am getting to understand it in our relationship of life/death an non attachment, or in yoga speak, Vairagya. Chickens for better or worse have found a spot on my heart. We got 8 x 1 day old chicks this summer, to add to the 6 laying hens and rooster that were to help make a decent offering of daily eggs next spring. To say you shouldn't get attached to a living being is near on impossible. As a woman, a mother, a human being... its the reason babies are so cute, so you get attached to them. So you get up at 3am to heat up their hot water bottle. 1 day turns into a week, a month and they grow, they get feathers and when you call them they all come running to you in anticipation of vege-type treats. So when one gets taken by a hawk. You say "ok... we all gotta eat. Down to 7 i guess." And the rest continue to grow, so big that you have to start really thinking which one is which, Chocolate, Paper, Tree, Dragon... All different shades of black. Then your favorite, Princess, the one who was the first to bond, to eat out of your hand, to come running to your call, doesn't come back after a day of forging, then 2 days later the other little one "Little Bear" doesn't come back... it seems ok though. If its a predator getting them, you have to respect the cycle of mother nature. But then it starts to get cold, one of the main hens doesn't look good... you start to research what it might be, worms? mites? lice? parasites? This becomes a complex fight with an unseen predator. One that seems less worthy of my 3am hot water bottles than the hawk or the fox. They sit by the front door... "help" they say through the body language of lethargic eyes, puffed up feathers and an unwillingness to even duck their head for some water. "Your a farmer" i say to myself "this is part of it... figure it out... and let go". And you do... but out of our 8 little chicks, the majority who made it all the way to full grown pullets, but yet to lay an egg... 1 remains. little Fire Bird. So small that I'm not sure how anything but a miniature chocolate easter egg could ever come out of her. She huddles by the fireplace, unknowing that her sisters are gone. Seems all dramatic. The reality of it is, or isn't. Depending on how your wired i guess. But its hard not to humanize an animals experience. To be emotionally disconnected to our feathered friends. That is what the human experience is all about isnt it? Not the grief inducing attachment. But the willingness to fully feel within all the comings and goings in our lives. To be Born, Meet the "other", Name, Love, Take care, and let go... over and over and over... until we no longer see a difference from the waives cresting and the waves receding... only looking at the ocean of oneness.