Life on the Farm 2020 (October-December)

Plan on adding to blog soon!!!

This fall has been a blur of activity! Our team of family and friends have worked diligently on projects to make all the farm chores more streamlined. I cant say we really finished many projects that were started yet. The biggest project: a state of the art kennel has been started. We had to move the dog exercise yards because we wanted the new full kennel to be right where they were. Frustrating to need to spend so much time putting up temporary yards, but the dogs love and need plenty of room to run and play.

It took 2 months just to get ready to start the kennel. Tearing down a big old building and moving the yards, adding shelter for them wa a huge project alone. We (not including me actually doing the physical work.) Justin, Mike, Kevin, Keith and a friend of Justins actually did the labor. I did all the design with Kim and Keiths help to solve problems I had with some aspects of the plan. Ethan, and Mike also kept up with the normal huge amount of daily chores. Art has been recovering

They had to take out a big tree and boxwood shrubs I had planted 16 years ago. That was a very sad day. Unfortunately they were in the way of the new building. We do have several silver maple trees which have self seeded and grew quite large over the years. The remaining tree of the only 3 trees when I moved here is an old dining silver maple. It is still standing but half of it is dead and will need cut down before it falls. The tree no doubt was the parent to the saplings which self seeded and we allowed to grow it useful locations. There are more trees now than when I originally moved to the farm, but the big maple I had planted was one of my favorites. The peafowl also loved the boxwoods. they would often nest under them hatching little chicks each year. The peahens kept disappearing. We now have them in a large flight pen to keep the nasty neighbors, and fox from harming them. The males roost in the barn so the 6 we have loose still get to parade about enchanting visitors with their iridescent beautiful tails.

The concrete foundation and half walls have been poured. The shortage and skyrocketing price of lumber has made the project have several delays. Then cold weather hit and Justin was needing to work his regular excavating company jobs. The building is at a standstill for a moment.

The Farm is never at a standstill!

I have been wanting mini cows/cattle for a long time. Full size ones I had years ago were too difficult for me. I loved Molly Moo a, dexter miniature cow, I had when I fist moved to the farm. Since I love furry things I found miniature highlands to be the most adorable, and the color of White Park cattle I think is super cute. They have crosses which have been coined “miniature Highpark.” I also love the dun color, it is like a gray, or blue color dog. I unfortunately couldn’t find any highparks just like I was wanting. I imagine like the puppies due to Covid there is a higher demand for them with people home and wanting a pet. We purchased a red with white face heifer (female baby cows are called Heifers until they have a baby, then they are called cows.) Her mom was a very long coated dun highland miniature. Her dad was a dexter highland hereford miniature cross. I am hoping she will get furry. Since her mom is dun color she can have a variety of different colored calfs.

So we needed a bull calf, in order to eventually breed our heifer. I found a super short stocky guy. Cutest thing ever even though wasn’t the color I wanted. But his size, build and his parents were really nice. His dad was a really short 39″, beefy, gorgeous highpark mini. He shed out short in summer but did get pretty furry in the winter the owner said. His mom was a black, white face, semi furry mini mix. Forgot now what exactly. Our new baby is solid red and seems like he is going to be furry and extra short like his dad. Very short is one of the hardest things to find in the minis. The family also had a beautiful dun color heifer calf that was unrelated. Her mom was very furry, highland mini, and forgot what dad was. They were both mini’s but not super small. The cows have calfs easier if they are not super tiny themselves. So its nice to have a really tiny bull to keep the size down. Both of them are on bottles so we have been bottle feeding since we got them in December. The other one was 7 months old when we got her in October. We named the bull calf-Tiny, the dun heifer-Tidbit, and the first one we got we keep changing her name. Nothing has quite fit. She was raised by her mom so is not near as friendly as the other too. We make a point of petting her when we feed them grain. If shes not eating grain she avoids close contact. I think it will get better the more time we spend with her. Shes really easy going.

The very biggest news is we are/may be adopting a baby in 2021!

It wasn’t planned, and has been a roller coaster of emotions for the birth mother, her family member and us! The birth mother is adamant I will be the baby’s adoptive mother from birth. We went and did a huge amount of purging and cleaning in the house to make room, bought a few things and researched lots ad lots of other baby things. very seriously started baby-proofing the house. I called insurance and the baby has to be born before she could be added to my policy. We hired an attorney for the adoption process. Her family member is adamant the birthmother keep the baby and she will help raise her. So we will see. The house needed purging and cleaning anyway, just will be so disappointed to not have a giggly little girl to take up the space.

I spent thousands on a furnished apartment for the birthmother close to a really good hospital for her to stay before delivery a couple months and after delivery to recover if needed. We were available to bring her there, planned it showed up, but then the family member showed up also insisted she will bring her, but she didnt. I am going to try and get some of the funds back from the apartment since no one ever moved in, and now it seems she is on bed rest for an undetermined amount of time so probably will not be able to even travel. Adopting out of state is a nightmare and very expensive. Art went up and set it all up with everything you would need when moving to a new place. We will have to go back and get all the stuff. The lack of communication is really the hardest. An exercise in patience.

We offered to help her even if she keeps the baby if she would like to live here for awhile. We have been helping with her finances since we found out about the adoption in October. Being pregnant makes it impossible to work for some women. Whatever happens we are just praying the baby is happy, and healthy. In addition to help her grow up happy and healthy that she gets a stable home that loves her immensely, while also being able to physically, financially, and emotionally support her. The baby is suppose to be a girl. She is due to be born 3-6-21. Its been months of pins and needles! (This is actually late January 2021 when I am making this update) I am sure for the birth mother it has been a thousand times more emotional and difficult. Especially being pulled in a direction she does not want to go by her family member. Others of her family are very supportive of her decision.

I have always wanted to be a foster parent, or adopt. I didnt feel I was financially stable enough and settled with the business to be able to keep up with it. Now things are going much smoother and with the new kennel it will be a hundred times easier to care for the dogs than it currently is. I had 3 children, when they were all in school I worked 3/4 time and went to school 3/4 times, plus drove them all over in sports and activities. 1 will be a breeze compared to what I have already done. Older now so t has more challenges but ts all do-able. We have a terrific group of friends and family here and most of them are excited and offered to help if needed too. Children are a true blessing. My wish for the new year is more great homes for all the children, challenged, and elderly who don’t have a happy home already!

DreamCatcher Hill Puppies and Rescue