Friday, May 29, 2009

A star is born

I'm going to indulge in some grandmotherly bragging this morning. Last night my son Chris and I went to see his daughter, Brooke, perform in "Beauty and the Beast". Brooke is 11 years old now and it's no surprise to any of us who know and love her, that she has a real flair for drama. She was wonderful (if I do say so myself) in the part of a "Silly Girl" and also did a bang up job as the knife in the flatware ensemble (you have to know the story to understand all that!) She danced and sang and, best of all, seemed to be having a great time while she was on stage. I'm continually amazed at how confident my grandchildren are, whether they are performing in music recitals, acting in plays or playing sports. I know for a fact that I was not that confident at their ages (and probably, truth be told, I am still not that confident). Anyway, it was great fun seeing Brooke perform and I'm so proud of her.

Yesterday was the first time in ages I have been away from the farm from morning until late at night and when I got in last night, it appeared that things had fallen apart while I was gone. My husband was dealing with a really sick ewe, having trouble with the bottle babies and thought there was a chicken missing. After putting in a very long day making house-calls, he was pretty frustrated with all the problems facing him when he came home. This sort of thing presents an interesting dilemma and we talk about it fairly often. We both love our animals, but sometimes we just need a break from the routine. It is so difficult to find someone to farm sit, or even do feeding chores to free us occasionally. We have mostly depended on my sons and Mike's son to help us out at various times, but they all have busy, complicated lives themselves these days, so that is not the answer. How do other people with livestock go about finding competent people to help out once in a while? If anyone has the answer to that question, I'd love to hear it!

My goal for the coming weekend is to get caught up on the mowing around here. The yard around the farmhouse is going to require a hay baler if I don't get it mowed soon! I hope you have good weather and easy chores wherever you happen to be.


  1. My son is going to be performing in the Beauty and the Beast next week, so fun!!
    We have quite a few cows and are lucky enough to be able to rely on a friend of my husbands, who also has cows, when we need some one.

  2. i can so relate to the farm sitting dilemma. We (husband and I) finally were lucky enough to find someone from our local feed and tack store. They come out and can take care of sheep (including bottle feeding)- chicken - horses - dog - cats! It really made a huge diff. They come and stay at the house in a spare room if it's for a longer time - charge is approx $40 a day and with 5 horses; 20 sheep; 30 chickens; 2 dogs; 3 cats it's well worth it. So I would check with your feed and tack folks! We started out by having them come out and just do some help feeding/cleaning and than moved up to coming to help out when needed.

    Good Luck

  3. Ugh. What a day, eh? I don't know what we'll do if Barbara ever quits farm sitting. Wish you/she were closer - she's wonderful.

  4. Oh Dianne, I wish I had a good answer for you about the animal care issue. I feel like a dairy farmer with my rabbits bound and chained to the farm. I have such a complicated situation my husband and I have not taken a vacation since 2005 and that was pre rabbits. We left one weekend and put things on auto pilot. A friend of mine expressed concern over doing the wrong thing so I opted the auto pilot method. It worked out OK to do that but a llama died while we were gone. I was glad that I didn't have my friend involved because she would have freaked out about our old llama. There was nothing she could have done about the llama, Zuni was an elder and it was more than likely just her time to go. Right now I have some young friends, college age who raise rabbits. If I get in a bind I could ask the "boys" to come assist. They are very busy with their responsibilities though so I have never asked them. It worries me with my Mother getting up in years and me being so far away in case of an emergency. It takes the 2 of us to run this place. So it is a burden when you even think about asking one person to do our animal care. The competency issue is a huge it is nice to find someone who really cares about you and the animals but also knows the subtle nuances when things are not right. Our last trip was to Hawaii so it was a good one....I'd like to think I could go again sometime before I go to the great beyond :-) It would be nice for us to take another adventure though. My silly cats are another big handful with all their idiosyncracies. In essence we need a team of experts to come animal sit :-) My sister down the road from you has found good help and they need it with their horses. So I wish for you that you too can find what you need.

    Your granddaughter is adorable. How great to see children with that kind of confidence. I certainly didn't have it as a child and probably don't now either. Not for the stage anyway.

    I enjoy seeing a little bit if KY in your blog. If I lived close by I would come tend your critters and enjoy it.

  5. You need to find someone (like me, but I don't think my family would go for it) who would consider it a vacation to live and work on a farm for a week while you go on the vacation of your choice. I just don't know how you would find and "train" (and do a background check on)that person. I think it sounds like it would be a fun week.

  6. Thanks to all of you for your comments. At least I know I am not alone in this problem! It is part of the price for living where we do and having and enjoying the animals. Most of the time it's a price we are willing to pay...just once in a while, a worry-free get-away would be nice. (And, of course, the key words there are "worry-free".)