It is with a happy and joyous heart that I announce that on July 13th, 2020 around 9pm, SRM My Precious finally gave birth to a set of healthy and very vigorous kids! (boy & girl) Not long after publishing last weeks blog, I went back to the barn determined to do everything in my power to get Precious to kid. I smudged, sang, played my singing bowl, and eventually laughed at myself for the lack of patience I had. I was beyond exhausted from too many miles spent walking back and forth from the barn so many times a day. I had volunteers sleeping in the barn determined to not leave until the miracle occurred. It was after so many hours, that I felt perhaps Precious needed a break from all of us, so we all took the herd out for some browse time in the field to watch an incredible sunset at the end of a long heatwave and exhausting week of waiting. I joked to my volunteers that it would be funny and ironic, that after all the hours of waiting, Precious would kid while we were all in the field and away from her. She didn't though, she waited and we were all able to take a breather, watch a beautiful sunset together, and recharge a little. I have been blessed to witness many births in my life, and was even allowed the privilege of witnessing the birth of my own grandson two years ago, which will forever be in my heart as one of the highlights of my life. For some reason this first birth of 2020 has been one of the rawest for me. I think it may have to do with how badly we all need some joy in our lives right now. I know nothing more joyful, and capable of healing hearts than baby dwarf goats! This years darling twins from Precious are no exception to this! What the world needs now in these uncertain, and trying days are more baby goats!
Last week I gave a shout out to all of my volunteers that spent countless hours waiting and watching. The wait definitely paid off for 3 of my volunteers (plus 1 lucky Mom!) who were here to witness the birth, and assist in cleaning the babies and helping them to nurse for the first time. I wouldn't say that Precious had an effortless birth this time around, but I am grateful that there weren't more serious complications. The reason it seems that it took so long for Precious to get down to actually kidding was the difficult birthing presentation of the first kid. He was coming head and nose first, but had both front legs back under him, making for a large brisket trying to move through the birth canal. Once the boy's head was out I was able to gently feel inside for a front leg and get it to come forward into proper position. Once in this "one leg forward" position he was easily delivered. His twin sister came out moments later in the preferred "dive" birthing position with both front hooves and nose coming out together. Both babies were on their feet and nursing within moments. They are strong and healthy. Both have blue eyes, wattles and I believe that they are both "polled", meaning naturally hornless. I imagine that both babies likely have moon spots as well, but I still have to check on that.
This is the first time since 2015 that I actually have volunteers working with me to help socialize the babies. I had forgotten just how captivating these baby dwarf goats can be, but seeing the love and adoration immediately on the faces of my volunteers, brings it all back. You can't mistake that "love at first sight" look on anyone! This is the best place to learn about my training techniques though, from a place of complete love and openness. My methods for raising my herd are somewhat unusual I suppose, but it has literally allowed me to create the incredible herd I have, to do the work that we do. I really do enjoy teaching others, talking about the nature of animals and how we can understand them better. Sharing my thoughts, beliefs and training methods for how I work with my animals with my volunteers has allowed for some amazing and very engaging conversations. Perhaps it is just the state of the current world that has drawn us all together, but somehow the week shared in waiting for Precious to birth has bonded us all in far deeper and more meaningful ways. I completely immersed myself in the entire natural experience of birthing again. I knew I needed to REALLY take it all in and explore the wonder of it all with new eyes again. For me, sharing it with others made it even more magical as I saw the shared wonder on their faces. It was exactly what I needed to move through what feels like the "junk" of emotional energy this new COVID reality has created in my life. Fresh new faces bring fresh new hope, and a renewed energy to what I need to do to keep the business alive. The fresh faces I speak of are not just these beautiful new babies, but also the new additions to my Sky River Team. This new energy from my new team members bring me so much inspiration and renewed drive. Enough with the $h!t of 2020! I'm ready to get excited about something again! Stay tuned for some exciting new announcements and a brand new fresh look to everything Sky River Meadows!
Moving on from the exciting news of the arrival of babies, I'd once again like to touch on how much I am enjoying the added programs of Goat Yoga from Muskoka Hot Yoga here at the farm. Each time Trinity shows up at the farm I feel a very distinct energy come over this place. It feels like my herd is now recognizing that the "baton", or "torch" has been passed, and for the next hour, Trinity is charge of this space. It feels very surreal to me, so much so that for the first month I completely dismissed the feeling. Yoga session after yoga session though, the same feeling comes over me. The responsibility of holding space here at the farm falls to Trinity for that hour, and I can truly be free and myself. If I can be honest, this has been an amazing discovery for myself, that I can allow someone else to hold space with my herd, to work with them as they see fit, to increase the possibility of this beautiful connection between animals and people to take place. Each week as each class occurs, I enjoy watching the connections and smiles almost as much as I enjoy watching my herd hone these new skills. Trinity has recently added to her summer schedule and is now booking into the end of August. You can find her schedule and how to register at https://muskokahotyoga.com/ I look forward to these continued fun and challenging classes with Trinity each week.
This past week, as well as the one ahead, have been incredibly exciting for me. I recently took a leap of faith and hired a Business Development Manager. BEST decision I ever made!!! I am absolutely honoured and proud to say that J'aime Payne from https://www.breezebusinessmanagement.com/ has transformed my life for the better! Not only does she have an incredible gift for business, she has a passion that fires me up about my own dream! I think that's a rare combo and I am so grateful she came into my life! Also amazingly serendipitous is that J'aime is the creator of GOAT: Talent Search and is bringing attention and assistance through the farm though her great talent show being hosted by the farm and judged by the SRM herd! Check out Episode 2 of GOAT here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LziCg7ZbViw There is still time to apply to be a contestant on GOAT! Do you have what it takes to bring your talent to the SRM Judges?
Through the past couple of weeks I have been really enjoying my time watching as all kinds of different relationships I am involved in are developing into new and interesting connections. New volunteers, new clients, new babies and new energy, really make the farm feel like it is running on an energy all its own. Each week as I enjoy conversations with people, I revel in the new relationships that can development. Case in point this week is a generous donation from Clearstream Water Treatment http://clearstreamwater.ca/ of an 8x4 utility trailer. I have actually been in the market for a trailer for awhile now, and with this generous donation we can save a bit of money and a ton of time. Thank you so much to Brian Jones for dropping the trailer by this afternoon and for the great conversation that was a welcome break to my humdrum of a Monday. while fighting with rural Muskoka internet and ability to connect to any form of a signal. Not only was Brian gracious enough to donate this trailer to the farm, but his young daughter is also a "helper" here at the farm , learning ahead of when she is old enough to actually volunteer her time here. This young lady has an incredible gift for connecting with animals and I am honoured to have her here, even on a limited for now basis. This trailer graciously donated by Clearstream, will be put to good use on the farm while we work towards goals of better management and equipment. This trailer will make a lot of jobs easier and for that we are so grateful <3 I can't wait to get some paint and let the student volunteers loose on it to make it into a custom piece of SRM art here at the farm. Hope to post photos of this trailer and the new fresh paint job soon!
Until then, stay safe and healthy. Please also remember to choose kindness daily <3 With love, and in beauty, ~ Angee