Monday, 2 March 2015

Update Barn Fire

Feb 27, 2015
A small update:
I am overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of so many people. The number of sweet comments, words of encouragement, emails and messages has been enormous. Although, I do not have the time to thank each and every one who has sent me a message, please know that they are read and appreciated, and taken to heart.
Thank you to Jess, Jacquie, Eileen, Charles, Jan and so many others who have coordinated an effort to try and help us replace some of the things we have lost. We are touched by so many people’s generosity. We actually feel rather awkward about accepting the donations to us, as I mentioned in a previous post, we feel there are so many other worthier causes, people who have suffered greater losses. We are used to paying our own way, if times are hard, we work harder, cut back and do what we need to do. Your kindness has been so heartening, thank you.
If in any way we can pay it forward, we will.

Lambing time is a day or two away. It feels like a freight train is headed in our direction. It is a little paralyzing, as it is hard to know where to start.
So, on the business side of things:
We have found round bales of straw, so this weekend Eric will haul them home so that we can build a windbreak for the ewes.
We have borrowed some cattle panels to build a corral, to place the straw bales around.
We have ordered some lambing supplies, things like bottles, stomach tubes, teats, marker sprays, tags, applicators etc.
We have ordered hog panels to make some temporary lambing jugs.
We have also bought a small tarp covered “building” that we can set up sometime next week for the weak animals who will need more care and shelter.

The insurance people and the fire people have been looking for the cause of the fire, once we get clearance we can start the cleanup. 
We hope to have the power and water going sometime next week.

Within the chaos and disorganization; is work to be done.
Eric is the type of guy that plows through, gets busy “fixing” things, he is in organization mode. Often, a little curt, maybe at times a little too direct, but it is his way. Roy, is plugging along, helping out wherever he can. Jess will be coming home this weekend to help with building a shelter.
I like to write, rather than talk about these things. It helps me create order and perspective. So, with this update, I would like to share another small survival story.
We have an old red cat that we inherited with the farm. This cat is the one who hangs out with the pups, shares their food, he is the squirrel and mouse catcher, the dog trainer and he is a pet. He is also a survivor. He has used up his quota of nine lives. About 5 years ago, he got run over by our 1 ton dually. He disappeared and we could not find him. A few days later, I found him, his belly was open, his intestines were dragging on the ground, his ears and tail were frozen. He was at death’s door. I brought him into the house, gave him antibiotics, cleaned his wounds and comforted him. I had resigned myself that he would not make it. His condition was so poor. Well, this old cat did survive, he did lose part of his tail, his ears are shorter and he still has a small drainage hole in his belly. He is recovered, looks healthy, his coat is shiny and we are now 5 years further. The barn was his favorite place to be, due to the warmth of the furry puppies, yummy puppy food, mice and all the other perks ( attention, ear rubs etc) of being a loved barn cat. 
This old cat, once again used up some lives, he managed to get out of the fire, while our other 2 cats did not. His paws are black with soot, but he is out greeting us every morning again.

I think he is invincible.
The beautiful sunrise over the ashes reminds us that every day is a new day.

Feb 28, 2015
Lambing has started,  we are scrambling.

Fena, "watching" at a polite distance from a ewe who has just lambed.

2 March, 2015
The first two days of lambing went okay, however last night and this morning was brutal. An icy north wind, minus 14C. Huge wind chill factor.
 Checking every hour, moving moms and babies into stock trailers, giving them a drink of colostrum, towel drying them and hoping they will be okay.
We did lose a few last night.
At 3 am moved the whole flock to a different spot, that should give them more protection from the wind.

The wind was howling today and the drifting snow was like a sandblaster.
My skin is raw.

All, I am wishing for is some milder temperatures and no wind.

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