This gallery contains 10 photos.

It seems to be a tradition every year leading up to Thanksgiving that I’ve noticed on FaceBook.   People post daily what they are grateful for.  I’ve seen this tradition carried out but have never done so myself.    I do have lots to be grateful for:  my wonderful sons Jay and Jonathan.   My health.  My job.  My farm.   But, there always seems to be a glaring hole in my gratefulness where Eddie used to be.

This past week I was a member of the December 2013 mission trip to LaRepresa, Dominican Republic with New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro.     I’ve come away with one word burning in my mind:  Grateful!

Having never been to a third world country before I was stunned by how little the majority of people in the Dominican Republic have.    Things that we, I, take for granted.    Electricity that is available whenever we want it.   Clean running water, that won’t make you sick or give you parasites.   And a host of smaller things.  It made me truly realize how much we, I, have to be grateful for!

I am grateful for Linda McMillan.    This lady has successfully started a dairy goat operation in the Dominican Republic.    A true visionary.   She and her husband have also started a Christian school on their property.     Educating the local children and spreading the word of God.

 

The Dec 2013 Mission Group

 

I am grateful for Melanie Spence.   Without her guidance, the interpreters and the drivers she organizes for the mission teams I can promise you we would be SO LOST!  (In more ways than one!)

I am grateful for the direction of our New Vision Baptist mission pastors.   Daniel Koon, Phillip Robinson and ultimately Brady Cooper.    Doug Campbell of Re-Vision has been a huge part of getting this goat project started.    He’s learned more about goats than he ever expected too!   Without their vision none of this would be possible.

I am grateful for the Ludlam family that have been obedient to their calling from God and are living in the community.   Loving on the people of LaRepresa and living life with them.    This family has come to mean so much to me!!   Thank you so much Mo & Tamara Ludlam for spending time with me this past week!    So grateful for all the work that has already been accomplished for the goat project in LaRepresa.    There is already a goat pen with good fence, and a goat shelter.

Goat Shelter

Goat Shelter

I am so very grateful to have met Eugenia (pronounced U-Hey-Nee-Uh).     Eugenia is a widow in the community.   She has a little goat named MeMe.   We don’t speak the same language, but we were immediately bonded goat sisters and Sisters in Christ!

Eugenia & I

Eugenia & I

Most of all I am so grateful to our great God.     A little over 2000 years ago He gave us the greatest gift of all.. His One True Son.    Free from sin, who came to be among us, as a regular person, not a wealthy prince or a rigid pharisee.    My Lord and Savior Jesus gave his life for me,  so that I can be freed from all my junk (and there is plenty of junk!).    For that…   I am eternally grateful.

 

 

 

 

It’s over, finally!    The kidding season of 2012 will go down in the history books as a tough one.   I started out so proud of the girls this year.  (mistake #1?)     I put on my big girl pants last fall and tried my hand at AI (artificial insemination) and don’t you know three out of five took!    I was soo proud!!   And it was to my best three does;  Elsa, Robin & Shila.    The semen used was from a line of Oberhasli that everyone knows;  FDF Pleasant Fields and the buck was FDF Pleasant Fields My Time who sired many excellent Oberhasli.

As time approached for kidding season I was full of anticipation.    The first to kid on March 8th was my girl, Elsa and she gave me a buck and a doe.  Both very correct!    Second came along the next day with Robin delivering 1 doe and 2 black bucks.    I will admit I was disappointed with the black buck kids but the doe kid is really nice.  I was truly hoping for a buck kid from Robin that I would try out as a new Jr. herdsire.      Shila was not to be outdone as she delivered a whopping 12 # buck kid on St Patricks day.   Can you guess his name?   You got it;   Trinity Rose St Patrick!       Everything was going along great.

Honey was due on March 30th and by Sunday April 1st I knew there was something wrong.   A Sunday morning call to the on-call vet at Rock-N-County Vet in College Grove TN  turned into a long day.   Honey went in for a c-section and diagnosed with Ketosis & Pregnancy Toxemia.    A beautiful buck and doe were born on April 1st but my sweet Trinity Rose Honeysuckle went to be with the one who raised her, Eddie, on April 2nd and I was crushed when she died in my arms.     I let the buck kid go to a home to be raised as a bottle baby pet and retained the doeling, Trinity Rose Lilly Bit.   She is the spitting image of Honey and loves to call me mama!     She has some big hooves to fill but I think Lilly is up to the task.

 

 

Only last week I was tending to Mis Marvel in labor and delivery (trying to get her to deliver outside becuase I didn’t want her getting parturition (birthing) slime all over my newly cleaned and sawdusted barn, you see.    The other kiddos were already put in their kidding pen and I thought I would have this delivery done and in the house by bedtime.    But NOOO.   I turned and looked in the barn just in time to see Elsa’s 8 week old doeling attempting to jump from the kid pen.    She cleared the pen with her front feet but tangled her back legs in the fence panel.    I ran as fast as I could to try and free her but before I could get there I heard a SNAP! like someone had broken a stick in two.      I ran and picked her up and her hind leg dangled.   OHHH.. this was one of my AI babies!!   One of the best born so far!!!    Another trip to the vet.    At this point I’m starting to wonder if they will take payments in blood!     Dr Jennifer did a fine job and sedated baby Emmi and set the leg and splinted it the best she could.     It was a bad break.     On the way home Emmi screamed and cried in pain and I cried all the way home too.    She is doing a bit better now, 12 days out but I am just hoping and praying that the bone will mend and she will be a sound doe that can stand on all 4 feet.     The next day (Sunday, Mothers Day)  Elsa (her dam) was lethargic and off feed.   At first I just thought it was due to stress from her doeling being in distress.    Further examination and a call to Dr Jennifer made us think that we were possibly dealing with Clostridial Entertotoxemia, a deadly infection of the intestinal system.    So Dr Jennifer came out and we threw the kitchen sink at both Elsa and Shila who was also acting “off”.   Later that day I was lucky enough to find the antitoxin for the enterotoxemia at TSC, went and picked it up and gave Shila a dose and Elsa a dose.    This medication states on the bottle that there is a risk of anaphylactic shock reaction (severe allergic reaction)   well, OF COURSE,  within minutes after the injection Elsa starts to swell.   First her eyes swell shut, then her ears nose and tongue start to swell and she has trouble breathing.     A frantic call back to Dr Jennifer and some emergency injections another emergency farm call and lots of me sitting in the barn floor and crying.     I am grateful to say that Elsa survived her ordeal and I have too.     My bank account will take a little longer to recover!

These crazy goat creatures of ours!!!    I am afraid to test God by saying what else?    But I can say….. I survived the kidding season of 2012!!