Recently while at the 2016 Royal Winter Fair, I was approached by a young family that has a Youtube channel featuring thier family adventures with thier young boys. I was asked if I could help them with one of thier videos by teaching thier boys how to milk a goat. As anyone who knows me, if it involves kids I am there! I was honoured to help them and SOOO excited to be a part of what I think is a pretty amazing little show they have created! Have a watch if you like what you see, please help them out by subscribing and liking thier channel and videos!
Life happens. Plain and simple, life does happen. Sometimes our lives can be filled with happiness and bounty, and sometimes it can be filled with grief, loss and despair. We can't control what happens to us during our lifetime, but we can control how we choose to deal with it, how we react to it. Sometimes, we can convince ourselves that we have everything under control and that we are "Fine", "OK", or even "doing great!" No matter how we choose to deal with circumstances that come our way, there will always come a time when a true reckoning occurs, where no matter whether or not you've been deceiving yourself or others, reality will eventually be staring you right in the face. We can never hide from the truth.
For me, my reality and truth is that I never honestly dealt with the death of Geordon. When he died, I honestly didn't know how to deal with the loss. The pain was so great and overwhelming, so I just chose to NOT deal with it. I ignored the support that was offered. I pushed away people who really cared about me. I pushed anyone aside who tried to reach out to me so that they wouldn't remind me daily of what I had lost. I stayed busy. I kept myself so busy that by the end of each day I would fall asleep out of sheer and utter exhaustion. I convinced myself that I was "fine" and "doing great" and just kept plugging away. I ignored the feelings of emptiness in my heart. I ignored the despair I felt every single day. I ignored the desperate need to cry, scream, yell, etc,,, and just kept a frozen smile upon my face, showing the world that I was doing great. It was all a lie. I worked so hard to avoid dealing with the tragic loss of my partner, that I started to live the lie. The lie began to consume me and in the end I think it almost did.
Mental health issues have such a dark and dirty stigma in our society that I think it scares most of us into hiding it from the world. We keep it in the closet - our little secret. I have suffered from MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) for most of my life. It is no surprise that his death would have a profound impact on me and certainly no surprise to me that I would experience an increase in my depressive symptoms. How did I not see what I was doing? How did I manage to live a lie - even keeping myself in the dark for all these months? When reality finally did hit - like a BRICK, just this past summer, I was completely unprepared for the backlash of emotions and despair that literally hit me. You can't hide from grief. It will find you. To lose someone who you shared so much of your life with so suddenly... I still can't put into words what that feels like. I may never be able to... I can however, share the experience with others, in hopes that anyone out there like me, who hides from thier emotions and ignores the reality of thier situation. Don't hide from it! In doing so, you will lose so much more. By choosing to hide and not deal with my situation I have lost so much more than Geordon. I have lost family. I have lost friends. Most importantly maybe, I lost myself.
There came a point this past summer when I think I realized that in order to put myself back together, I had to go into hiding once again. I needed to shut off part of myself in order for it to heal. I chose to no longer go on Facebook. I needed to sheild myself from everyone for a while so I could find myself again. For some time I was fighting an uphill battle, trying desperately to win myself back. Then finally came a moment when I realized that there was no sense in trying to find the person that I WAS, because that person no longer existed! I was forever changed, and if I was to move forward in life again, that meant letting go of who I was and learning to embrace who I had become. Choosing to ignore my grief was likely the biggest mstake I've made thus far in my life. What I have since learned from it has made me wiser and hopefully stronger than ever before. I can't say that I am fully healed yet. I am sure I have plenty more to discover and learn from all of this. What I can say though, is that I am still here! I am still alive! I am still fighting!
I've made a decision that it is finally time to plug back in to the world. I am hesitant. I am afraid. I am vulnerable. I am open. I am excited. I am ready!
Maisie has done it again! She has delivered the most beautiful kids! I just can't rave about my girl Maisie enough. It was a long and labored delivery for her this year and very tragically we lost one of her triplets just moments after his birth. Maisie did deliver another very healthy and flashy buckling and a very tiny, feisty doeling. Both Maisie and her kids are doing great!
After a long week of waiting and watching, Tripping Billies Delilah finally gave birth yesterday evening to a beautiful single doeling. It was a long and exhausting delivery for all parties involved, but I am happy and thrilled to report that Delilah and her still nameless daughter are doing great. Now we are waiting for Maisie to kid! She seems anxious now that Delilah has her little one to care for.
This blog entry has been a long time coming! It's been two years and a whole lot has changed. During major life adjustments, we tend to go through a transformation ourselves. My current transformation is by no means complete, I know I still have a long way to go, but I can say that I am on my way :)
Over the next several weeks I will be updating my website and making announcements about the herd changes that have occurred here during my long blogging absence. You've got to start somewhere right? Getting my website and blog updated is one of my goals. I figure kidding season is a perfect time for me to get this done as there is so much excitement going on and I love to share it!
I have two girls due to kid anytime with neither of them in a hurry to do so. As I sit waiting and watching, it gives me the perfect opportunity to start updating my website. Here are Maisie and Delilah in all their pregnant glory :) Can't wait to meet their new kids!
We have an exciting new addition here at Sky River Meadows! Taylorside's Coconut has joined our herd and we can't say enough about this beautiful little girl! Coconut is a beautiful chamoisee coloured doe with heavy silver moonspotting and beautiful blue eyes. She is extremely tiny, standing only 17" at the withers! I am very excited to be bringing this exciting new addition into the show ring with us this year and can't wait to see how the judges place her. Although she is tiny I find her very well put together and think she will do well. Welcome Coconut! :)
There is no nice way to write this post so it will be what it is. Most of you who read my blog already know the tragedy that struck our family recently but for those who don't, I am saddened to inform you all that our dear Geordon, my husband and partner, my son's father and everyone's friend passed away suddenly here at home on February 11th. Geordon was just shy of his 47th birthday by 3 weeks. Geordon lived his life exactly the way he wanted to. He never let anyone or anything stand in his way. Although he has passed away and at such a young age, I can assure you all as his life partner that he lived a very full life. His was a life of adventure and a constant pursuit of happiness. Geordon had many goals he wished to accomplish and I am proud that at such a young age, he had already accomplished them all! There are not many alive that can claim that. Our family is saddened and stunned by this sudden loss but we are all managing pretty well. As his health over the past 5 years has been fairly poor, we made it our goal to always ensure that whatever Geordon wanted to do - we did! It is for that very reason that we are all left with no regrets or unfinished business with Geordon. We are left with only happy memories and the best stories. Those who had the privilege of sharing their life with Geordon know that to know him was to love him. Never has there been anyone else quite like him. He was an amazing person who could find humour in any situation - even when everyone else found things to be less than amusing, Geordon would be in hysterics with laughter. I think that is what we will all miss more than anything else - his laughter. Geordon and I become obsessed with our goats quite quickly and our herd became his greatest pride. It is for him that we will somehow find the strength to carry on with our plans. We may be one important man short here but we all know in our hearts that he is with us always.
We love you Geordon and miss you more than we ever thought possible.
XOXO, until we meet again. ~ Angee
We have finally done it! We have started making goat's milk soap! Geordon and I are super excited about this new adventure we are working on and are thrilled with the results and wonderful feedback we are getting so far! Thanks to a very good friend and soaping mentor, we are finally working on making what will become a featured product here. We have much to learn still but are enjoying the thrill of experimenting with new scents, colours and ingredients. We currently have limited free samples available to anyone who wishes to try some! I highly recommend giving it a try and seeing how goat's milk will help to transform your skin. Our soaps are made with only the finest ingredients consisting of goat milk, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, sodium hydroxide, shea butter, castor oil and selected fragrances and colourings. As we continue to learn and make more and when we have product available for sale, we will update our website to display specific products.
This winter has been very unusual for us and not just due to the records amounts of snow fall! These cold temperatures have reeked havoc on our breeding plans and as such all of our girls will be kidding much later than planned originally this spring. Kidding season kicks off here officially with Lucretia's due date on April 30th! The rest of the pairings are all follows;
Lucretia X Imperial K Gigalo Due April 30th
Ash Donna X Imperial K Gigalo Due May 4th
Sky River Meadows Asia X Lone Larch FPM Bee Bop Due May 8th
Tripping Billies Delilah X Sky River Meadows Hades Due May 11th
Tripping Billies Loo (Maisie) X Imperial K Gigalo Due May 12th
BJS Ophelia X Prairie Wood No-Way Jose Due May 12th
Daphne X Prairie Wood No-Way Jose Due May 17th
Sky River Meadows Cassiopeia X Lone Larch FPM Bee Bop Due May 20th
Sky River Meadows Calypso X Sky River Meadows Hercules Due May 29th
Sky River Meadows Luna X Sky River Meadows Hades Due May 31st
Imperial K Bonnie X Prairie Wood No-Way Jose Due June 14th
Tripping Billies Carmela X Sky River Meadows Merak Due June 23rd
Sylvan X Sky River Meadows Hercules Due June 24th
Sky River Meadows Neveah X Sky River Meadows Cosmos Due June 26th
We plan to retain a daughter from Delilah, Neveah and Ophelia. All others will likely be available for sale but of course we will make those decisions once kids are on the ground!
Reflecting back on 2013 I realize that we had an incredible year! We had many ups and downs in our personal lives but the farm had nothing but successes and growth! We head into 2014 with optimism and hope that we will have another great year.
One of the things we look forward to each New Year is the recycling of Christmas trees! We ask for families to donate their used trees to our goats so that rather than filling the landfills with trees, they can donate them to our herd as a great eco alternative. Our goats love the trees and easily finish off several trees every single day, stripping them of all the needles and most of the bark leaving behind a strange looking tree shaped pile of wood. We have several families and businesses that donate trees to our herd and we are appreciative of all of them!
Some new additions to our farm this past holiday was the purchase of some new technology. We are now in possession of an ultra sound machine which will allow us to monitor and confirm pregnancies much quicker and less invasively. We also purchased a tattoo gun which will also allow us to tattoo our herd identifications onto our goats without them having to endure all the pain of the traditional tattoo method. We are also available for hire for doing tattoos or ultrasounds now! If anyone is interested in hiring these services, please contact us!
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France