Today didn't start out all that great for me. Sure, it's Monday, and I really don't do Mondays as a rule. Historically I've always preferred my "weekend" to be Sunday/Monday, that way I was always able to bypass any sense of responsibility to the dreaded Monday of each week. I had always booked my Mondays to be "my" day, to do with whatever I wished. Several years ago though, I decided to push my boundaries in several ways, including writing this blog. I chose Monday as my publish day on purpose, so that I am literally forced out of my shell where I prefer to hide. In my daily practice towards balance and healing, this personal "kick my own @$$" approach has really worked well for me. Where I used to spend my Mondays basically non-functioning, I now have absolute motivation to get up and work on this blog. So why would I decide to publish on Mondays? To punish myself? Actually no. I chose Mondays as a way to help me break free from a cycle - one that truly was not serving me. Now when I wake on Mondays, I am likely still grouchy, however I have focus from the moment I wake up, to be able to work on this task. To me that speaks progress! Challenging myself is essential for my growth. If it is difficult, than likely the greater the learning and growth opportunities will come out of it. So here I am, writing on another Monday. 😁
I am excited to announce some brand new program offerings. Wellness in the Workplace is a brand new initiative where we can help support mental health in the workplace. A few packages are available for your consideration. This past Friday I had the immense pleasure of taking a dozen of my goats to Quemby Electric in Bracebridge, ON to be part of their Staff Appreciation party. The staff and their families were able to snuggle with the goats, feed them some yummy leaves, and attempt to grab a great goat selfie. Other than a mystery of missing containment pen pins, and a last minute emergency run to the hardware store for a quick solution, the entire event went off without a glitch. The sun was even nice enough to come out for the occasion which was lovely as it had been hailing shortly before our arrival. I want to personally thank Mark from Quemby Electric and his lovely family for having us out for your staff, and to his staff and their families for showing us such a great afternoon. If you're interested in hearing more about how we can help support mental health in your workplace, contact me for more details. More information on these programs will be posted soon.
Have you booked your private Cuddle Puddle yet? If you haven't, what are you waiting for? The goats have been cuddling up a storm and loving all the extra attention through the busy fall season. I have been so blessed to witness some of the most magical connections, transformations and openings of hearts in the past few weeks. A new trend has begun which fills me with great excitement. For years I have loved the quiet moments when I can lie quietly with the herd in meditation. There is a peace and calm I feel, unlike anything else when I am in their space. I find the sounds and rhythms of the herd chewing their cud so soothing. I guess this spending time with the goats really is contagious as others are now starting to join me in laying down with the herd. It started with my volunteers, but now even our guests are starting to get right down into the herd for a deep, personal connection. The magical calm you will feel in that moment goes beyond just feeling great. When goats sleep and begin to ruminate, their heart rate slows, as does their breathing, and our bodies will begin to naturally sync into heart resonance with the herd, bringing an immediate feeling of calm. This is something that most people will experience when they visit with the herd. As the weather gets colder and the days shorter, most of our programs turn indoors and this allows for even greater chances of close snuggles. Don't worry about the cold! It is quite toasty warm when nestled into or buried under the herd. Goats have a much higher body temperature than we do which I find make them even more cuddly in the winter. Come and try a Cuddle Puddle today. You won't be disappointed! Our lovely volunteer J'aime recently created a video showing How to Cuddle Puddle, complete with some helpful tipson our Instagram account. Be sure to check it out: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CGiAM50pMpY/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Now for some sad news coming from the farm. Last week we began to catch sight of a fox hanging around - a lot. Sightings became more and more regular but for the most part the fox just seemed to go about his business. That is until Friday night. At bedtime, it was noticed that Peckahontas was missing and not anywhere to be found in the barn. A closer search the next morning determined she was in fact gone and hadn't just gone to roost for the night. That same morning, Bailey actually caught the very same fox inside our barn enclosure, and we knew for certain we now have a problem fox on our hands. No one around here likes to have to deal with an issue like this, but the security of our herd is paramount, and that includes the chickens as they all live under the same roof. We can't risk a fox being around, especially this seemingly too friendly, out in the daytime fox that sends alarm bells of rabies caution through me. I have reached out to a few people to assist in a few different ways in the hopes that an easy solution is found quickly. This is the first predator issue we have had to deal with in a couple of years. The last time we had an issues was a fox as well, and that didn't end well for the fox. In that case though, that fox was clearly sick and suffering so I had no problem doing the right thing and putting it down. This time around, this fox appears young, healthy and quite smart. It seems unafraid of us, even after we've taken a few unsuccessful shots at it which makes me very cautious. Foxes are opportunistic creatures and this one has already learned our chickens are tasty. Sadly this beautiful creature who is just doing what foxes do, has come into my world and is creating trouble. This is one aspect of farming that is not often talked about but it is a reality for livestock farmers. As we do not have a livestock guard dog here anymore, the herd is more vulnerable to predators of all kinds. I appreciate the reminder, but the lesson was heartbreaking. RIP dear Peckahontas. You taught me a lot about chickens and how to earn their trust. Your pecks were mighty direct, but in the end you taught me that my perseverance with establishing a heart connection is worth the time and patience every time. You taught me I COULD connect with a chicken, when I was convinced I COULDN'T, and now I have beautiful relationships with many of my hens. Thank you for your beautiful eggs, and the short time we shared together. No one here will ever forget you dear Pecky ❤
Now to end with some exciting news. Well, at least I find it to be exciting news. Yesterday I took a long road trip with Fred to go and collect a long lost friend from storage at my parents place. This truck has been adored by me since I first laid eyes on it so many years ago. As I had no place to store her for the last several years, she has been parked and stored in my parents barn collecting dust. After a long separation we are finally reunited! Please meet my pretty 1956 Fargo. I received this truck from my dear ol' Pappy quite a few years ago and I am determined that he will see me driving it again. She is all original and only has 66k miles on it. Would you believe this old gal was once a firetruck? Sadly she looks a bit rough at the moment but with a wee bit of body work and some new paint she will be back to her former glory. Expect to see this beauty driving around the roads of Muskoka next year! Don't be alarmed if you see a goat or two in the front seat with me. We're just headed to town for an ice cream cone.
Until next week, with much love and gratitude ~ Angee