Thursday, August 2, 2012

Yes, it takes a village!

Cinnamon, one of the first goats born on our farm, gets prettied up for fair

We're heading into our second fair of the season for my kids showing goats and, new this weekend, Alpacas.  It surprises me every year how much of a team effort it is to get these animals to fair!  Eva's favorite show goat with the best fleece, a gray wether named coal, has had problem after problem.  He missed the first fair because he had a sore on his mouth.  A local vet gave us free advice on what to do to be sure it's not sore mouth, a very contagious and icky sickness goats can get.  After picking the scab and medicating it for 5 days, we realized he must have just poked himself in the mouth.

Coal was healed up and the kids were preparing him for this weekend's fair while I ran an errand.  I got a call from Eva in tears...he had a gash.  Someone had accidentally cut into the skin between his front legs and an inch sized piece of skin was loose and icky.  Thankfully, Eva got a chance to get away from the stress and disappointment for a bit with her grandparents, who so kindly took her to buy show leads for the alpacas.

My friend Wendy has been an ever faithful help each year, braving the chaos that is my house before fair.  She visited and brought me cake (so I could have my cake and eat it too) while I gathered posters, art, spinning, and veggies to turn in at the fair.  She even took my kids to swim so I could put the last minute things in the car. And today she came and got Maia, my youngest, so we wouldn't have to worry about her wandering off into a goose cage or or something while we checked the animals in at fair.  I'm pretty sure Brandon wouldn't have been able to have a full work day today without her help, and I would have been a nervous wreck trying to find Maia all evening at the fair.  As it happened, all he had to do was to help me get the children and equipment loaded into the van on a brief break from work!

My in-laws brought the alpacas in a horse trailer, but the goats were hauled in dog kennels in the back of my van.  As we walked supplies to the barn, my father in law asked if I didn't want to put the goats in with the alpacas.  "They'll be fine," I said, ...famous last words.  My friend Anneliese happened to be in the parking area when my two largest goats made their jailbreak and were hightailing it toward the road.  Very kindly, she called me on my cell phone and informed me of the incident.  I told her there was certainly a reason she was there in the parking lot at that time and thankfully, she held those naughty goats until I made it back.  I don't like to think of what could have happened to them, had they made it to the road.

My friend Jenny brought Isaac to the fair after he had spent a day doing community service sprucing up a local park.  He and his buddies carried things into the fair, my mom in law took Saraiah to see the adorable pigs and wendy took Maia to see the geese and the hatching ducklings.  We were doing a last minute check on the goats before heading to the car when we noticed our baby wether, Beau, had managed to get his head stuck in the fencing of his pen!  The 4H girls worked together to rig the fencing so that he would be safe, and we said goodnight.

Somehow, I have a penchant for forgetting to eat on time and to feed my family before they are famished, and Wendy came through for us again, staving off the certain starvation of my family with a box of granola bars for the road.

I'm so thankful for our family and friends and the generous and lavish ways they give of their time and energy to help make the lives of our kids richer.  I hope that I can some day do for them at least a fraction of what they have done for me.  They show me what a real community looks like when people work together toward a common goal and my heart is happy.  Who is your village?  Have you taken the time recently to thank them for all they are to you?

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