I am very excited about this weeks edition of GotW. It is not every day that I get to announce a new arrival to the farm. Getting this little man has been so many years in the making, that it makes for an interesting story as well. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety, I find it especially important during these hard times, to personally reflect and examine just how farm some goals and projects have really come. When depression is at it's worst, I think that it is easy to FEEL like you aren't getting anywhere. So when it comes to Romeo here, I am super excited as he is daily proof to me of the progress my farm has made, which is actually helping to inspire me once again. Before I get into all the ruminations of my mind for this weeks blog story, let me introduce this gorgeous boy. When I suddenly lost Jose last year, my breeding program took a major blow, and I knew I needed to begin the search for a new herd sire. As I knew eventually this day would come I already had an idea in my mind for where I would be looking. Although only 12 weeks old now, when he matures he will be the lucky daddy to many future therapy goats. Adding him to my herd is exciting enough, but when I really sit and consider who he is and where he came from, that is where I am blown away by the progress only a few short years and a lot of hard work can make. Looking at him actually brings me pride, as I see his daddy in him, but also his grand daddy, my dear Gigalo who recently passed away. Romeo is like a missing puzzle piece returned home after so many years :) Please give a big welcome to Happy Hens Heritage ROMEO!!!
Although I don't like to look remain forward focused, when telling a story it is inevitable that digging in the past will occur. I have learned to embrace this process as part of how I release the stress and sadness I carry. Combining my stories with those of my animals as an avenue for sharing makes it easier for me somehow.
So, Romeo's story begins in 2014 when I had to make the hard decision to sell over 40 animals that I would rather not have, in order to make financial ends meet after Geordon died. Fortunately for me I was able to sell the majority of my animals to wonderful new homes with families that were homesteading. As I was also mentoring some of these families, it allowed me to stay connected in the hopes of one day having an opportunity to purchase from them. SRM Merak through a roundabout path, ended up on a lovely farm in Harriston, ON where he worked diligently as the Herdsire for Happy Hens Heritage Farms ( http://www.happyhensheritagefarm.ca/ ) for many years. SRM Merak (aka Ralphie) has enjoyed his final breeding season and is now retiring, which makes Romeo his last son. I have always adored Merak and I am so honoured to have his son here with me now. Romeo's mother BNB Honey, also has ties to SRM, as she is the daughter of my dear sweet SRM Cordelia who now lives in Gooderham, ON at Bedrock and Brambles ( https://www.bedrockandbrambles.com/ ). The temperament that I worked hard to achieve in my own herd, beautifully transferred to these new herds. So, my young Romeo is the combination of all of our work, and it fills me with pride to now own this gorgeous young buck. I was blessed to be able to have a quick visit with my dear friend Marina when I picked Romeo up from her farm the other day. It was fun to reminisce about when she started her herd years before, and how I said back then that one day I could be buying from her. I can't explain to you how proud I am to say that day came! PROGRESS!! It seems full circle to me, and it is an amazing feeling. Speaking with Marina and hearing about the success of her farm business, and future farm plans makes my heart smile. I love seeing the growth. <3
Continuing to peer a little into the past, I am so happy to see how far I have come, not only in getting my farm business off the ground, but also just in accomplishing this insane idea I had all those years ago to build this herd in the first place. I remember how inspired I was when I began, and spending time bonding with wee Romeo here over the last few days, brings me inspiration once again. We are now all living in new times with brand new challenges. I have to face the reality that my previous business plan may now no longer fit into the new COVID-19 world in which we all live. That means I get to go back into "dreamer mode". That place I tend to go to in my head where I dream up all kinds of crazy ideas - such as when I came up with the idea to create my herd. Now that I have accomplished that, I am free to dream up WHERE my herd and I can go from here. I am fully aware of the fact that my Goats on the Go! program may be a thing of the past and therefore I need to start dreaming for a future that once again is full of the unknown. I think the key to finding our own happiness is in chasing our own individual dreams and embracing it. Our society unfortunately puts a lot of pressure on us to perform in ways that don't always allow many of us to realize those dreams. Fear, stigma, the pressure and expectations from others, are just a few of the barriers we all face. Perhaps the challenge is in remembering what used to ignite us with inspiration and finding a way to connect to those things again. I know one thing for certain, there have been times in my own life when my depression was so oppressive that I literally needed a fire to ignite it and burn it away. Each time I have found my way out of the darkness of my depression, it has been due to a spark of passion that ignited a fire within me. When I see how my passion can ignite a fire in others, it makes me want to do more. That has become my new focus. I am hoping to plant some seeds of inspiration, in the hopes that the positive energy it creates will cause a ripple that will ignite passion in others as well.
Sky River Meadows will soon reopen it's doors in a limited capacity. These changing times are forcing me to once again get creative. I am in love with my Muskoka community, and have always felt blessed to live here. Everyone is so supportive and has been working hard to help each other out during this difficult time. I realize that I am not the only one who's small local business is suffering and having to make some hard decisions and changes. I have at my disposal an incredible farm with beautiful outdoor spaces in which to host a variety of connective and engaging experiences, as well as a very willing and engaging herd who also loves new challenges and experiences. This means that for the first time I am open to considering ideas for collaboration with other local people. Do you have an idea for an activity or program that we can co-create together with my herd? I would LOVE to hear from you!! I have always loved connecting with fellow dreamers. The entrepreneurial spirit that drives so many of us into pursuing our passions, has an energy all it's own. I would love to combine those energies and efforts to create something even more incredible! I have already begun to plan and dream with a few special local individuals and I can't wait to make some announcements in the coming days about the new offerings coming to the farm. If you've ever toyed around with an idea involving any or all of my goats, now is the time to reach out and tell me about your ideas. I think that when we get together to dream like we once did as children, we can reignite a spark in each other. Perhaps now is the time perfect to talk and dream with our loved ones. Reconnect with the things that once brought you joy, but maybe you've somehow lost, and see if by reconnecting to those things you can also ignite a fire within yourself. If anyone wants to have a chat about reconnecting with those things you've lost, please feel free to hit me up! Let's work together to find whatever will make you shine again! If we put all of the scary parts of our current world aside, what remains is still a beautiful opportunity to create a new way forward. We can make changes and choices now that can change our world for the better. Like this beautiful buckling Romeo, who is a great example of combined efforts, let's see what else we can co-create in this world together. <3
With much love ~ Angee