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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Week and More, Second Part

~ PacaRose , left~

Woman plans, God laughs and I'm more than a week late with the second part update. Good news, PacaRose is fine and dandy and I've come to the conclusion he's F.A.T. and has a problem getting to his feet when he lays down with his head uphill. 
~ Carly Shetland, right ~

But, I should start with events leading up to the first paragraph. Every so often, Carly Shetland will become 'cast', meaning she gets turned over and can't right herself. I go to her, speaking softly and in a low voice so she knows I'm coming. Once she hears my voice, she begins bleating, as if telling me she's in a pickle and needs help. 

Fortunately, I don't have to lift her, but can roll her so her feet are on the 'down' side, then she can stand. Carly gets arthritis pain meds in the morning and in the evening which helps her greatly with her mobility, but, even so, there are times when she needs help. 

After getting Carly to her feet, I went to the barn where PacaRose was down and I had to get him up. That meant, I lifted his head and l.o.n.g. neck upright, scooched my feet underneath him and then heaved lifted pushed him to  his feet. Once he got started, he was fine and dandy and begins eating and drinking normally. Fortunately, that was the last day he was down; it's been all good, for him at least, ever since.

~ four paca boys , right~
Next, the farrier came to trim horse feet which was a two and a half hour job. Not all the horses needed trimming but they all needed de-worming and all were de-wormed except HayJ. By the time we dealt with seven horses, I was exhausted and just wanted the farrier to leave so I could crash and get warm but that was not to be. 

The dratted horses escaped into the yard which, as you all well know, wasn't their fault the gate was left open. Totally my fault but that did not ease the forty minutes of pain of getting them back into the barn lot.

On Monday, Donald, Mary's husband, came to fix the barn lights; he figured out the black wire wasn't connected properly and the lights were blown. At any rate, he fixed the wires, replaced the bulbs and it's lovely having dusk to dawn lights in the driveway!
Andy also came on Monday to drag the pastures; he used the harrows to distribute the manure so, over winter, it'll decompose and return to the soil. You can see the lines in the pasture showing where he used the tractor and harrows. He also helped de-worm Hay-J so all the horses are finished being de-wormed; now only the sheep remain.

So far, so good but the story is about to take a downward are warned.

The dogs, as usual, were with me, every step throughout the day. In the afternoon, Sophie began trembling, shaking and acting like she was freezing so I put her in the Ranger, out of the wind and cold. We came inside at 4:00 so I could feed the dogs their supper and, if anything, she got a little worse. When I put her food in front of her, Gypsy Cat stuck her head in Sophie's dish which was highly unusual. In a hurry, I ran to use the bathroom and Sophie followed me; when she walked into the wall, that's when I knew, for certain, she was blind. I called the vet, told them I was bringing in Sophie, grabbed her up and ran for the car.

Long story short, she might have had a stroke which cause her blindness but we don't really know. I brought her home and, on Tuesday morning, let Sam and Sadie say good-bye. 

Dave and I have always let the remaining dogs say good-bye; it's far gentler to let them know than to let them wonder. 

In years past, Shadow, Zoe, Abbie and Grace were cremated so their ashes were put into the grave first, then Sophie's casket followed. I want to write another post on Sophie but not tonight; tonight is for saying good-bye.

Andy and Donald filled in the grave,  

and I used the tractor's front end loader to pack the earth and finish the job.
This post is being written on Sunday evening, after a day weekend of rain, cold, wind and more troubles. I've been keeping an eye on another old sheep, a weather, who is ancient, probably as old as Carly, and he's in poor condition. I brought him to the barn, where he's been given chicken scratch (easy to eat and digest) and sweet feed with pain meds. He's blind, creaky and confused so, tomorrow, I'm going to ask the vet how best to put him down. He's had a good great life; better than about seventy percent of the humans on this earth and putting him down will be my last gift.

Now you understand why I'm late with the update; it's not just the physical exertion but the emotional toll. Sophie's human Pa had cancer and killed himself and Sophie came to live with me the Sunday after I buried Dave on Wednesday. It's been an emotional roller coaster for all of us...Sadie, Sam and me and between the weather, the work, the tears and all the rest, I am in tatters. 

Dear God. And it's not even winter.

Blessings ~ Abigail ~ Shadow ~ Zoe ~ Grace ~ Sophie ~ Donald ~ Andy ~ Sam ~ Sadie ~ 


  1. Oh my dear girl......what a week. I know you are in tatters, but I see a strength that I can't comprehend. You can find a way to function at some level until you have a chance to grieve. Then, you are back at it once again. But I suppose, that is the way it works. When one has God in their life His strength keeps us functional....and His comfort allows us to weep in the knowledge that He will carry us through until we can stand and operate once again (in His strength). Love you bunches!!

  2. Wow, Sandra. I will keep you in my prayers. I am always so amazed that you seem to know exactly what to do when you have trials and troubles on the farm.

  3. Oh sweet friend - SO sorry about the raggedy emotional physical draining week. Farewell sweet little dog - you landed in a pot of honey when Sandra took you in - a dog friendly pack with plenty of love, food and smells to investigate. Hugs and wishes for a MUCH better week coming soon.

  4. Having nothing else to give you I lifted you as far up to HIM as I was able this morning. Bless your heart.
    Will keep you all on my mind today. This is one of my favorite verses that came to mind thinking of you after we talked yesterday:
    2 Corinth 3-4 Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

    Praying this comfort for you,

  5. So sorry for your loss, praying for you in these tumultuous times. hugs.

  6. You have so much going on...
    ...I'm very sorry about Sophie...

    Christ's Peace be with you...

  7. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Sophie. I know that your heart has to be breaking. She was lucky to have you in her life, especially in the last chapter of her life. May you find the comfort you seek.

  8. My heartfelt sympathy for you Sandra. The loss of a 4-legged companion leaves a hole. Take comfort in knowing that Sophie knew she was loved, and returned that love to you.

    May God grant you His grace and peace this Advent season.

  9. had a dog with stroke causing deafness & blindness at same time, she died within a month.

    these are painful things you share.

    yet, needed.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  10. You never cease to amaze me-I am so sorry about Sophie and that Carly isn't good, at least PacaRosa has turned around...and you've new lights and good friends around, I hate to think you were totally alone in this adventure! Big hugs.

  11. I am praying for you. Dear Sandra. Though I may never meet you face-to-face this side of heaven you're still my sister in Christ. I pray that God's comfort, peace and strength surrounds you through these tough times. You are an amazing, courageous woman.

  12. Holding you in my heart and prayers, Sandra. And I hope you find a good way to ease the wether into his final rest; even though my husband is a large-animal vet, every time we've had to do it has been heart-breakingly unsatisfactory.

  13. Incredible amazing photos!

    What a life with animals!!

  14. What a week you had. You know there is really never a "down" day on a farmlot where there is always SOMETHING that needs be done. You are doing an exceptional job. I hope this week is better for you- xo Diana

  15. It must seem like all you do is work. I'm so thankful the light is finally working. Must be a relief for you as well.

    I am so sorry about Sophie. This made me cry. Brings back all the hurt I felt when I lost my little Maxie dog. My dear friend, I do understand. So sad that you've lost her. And now another animal too? Bless your heart. PRAYERS for you and all your furry friends. I was going to share how God answered prayer so quickly about my sadness but it'll keep for another day. Thank you for your prayers. You're more important right now.

    Cyber ((HUGS)) from our home to yours.

    God bless.

  16. I am so sorry about the loss of Sophie. It is always a painful loss. My heart goes out to you, and for your difficult week. Bless you.

  17. Sometimes it seems everything is pure misery. There are no words I can write that can convey my sincere sadness at your losses or comfort you. You are in my prayers Sandra...

  18. Oh dear Sandra ~ What a hard and sad week you have had. My heart aches for you and I pray that you will feel God's love and peace and strength flowing through and surrounding you each and every day.

    You are an inspiration to me.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  19. Goodbyes are so hard. I love it that you let the animals say goodbye, too.
    I am sorry for the loss of your soft companion that you have had since you lost your wonderful Dave.

    Sending love and prayers from Chicago.


  20. Sandra, I'm so glad you've got a little help now and then. It would be even harder to do it all on your own. I'll be you don't have trouble going to sleep at night. God bless you.

  21. I'm not sure that you quite realize what a gift this is that you have given us, an unedited view of your world on your farm. Even without photos, I can picture exactly how it must be ... warts and all. You and your critters are always in my prayers.

  22. I am so sorry Sandra. It's just so hard letting go and knowing when it's the best time. Blessings and hugs to you.

  23. So sorry about poor Sophie! And you, too. Prayers for you.

  24. Oh, Sandra... talk about an emotional roller-coaster. Bless your heart... I'm so sorry about Sophie and the old wether, but I know they lived a wonderful life with you.
    I'm praying for you. ((HUGS))

  25. I'd be there helping you, in some way, if I weren't so far away. You have so much on you. Such a strong lady! You'll be in my prayers, friend.

  26. My dear friend, this was so difficult to read, but I read it all the way through. Sophia was a darling little girl, wasn't she...and, perhaps, a visiting angel just when you needed it...and now God has given her another task to take on somewhere else. I adore that you share your life with us, I love and admire you so very much.

  27. I would say you need lots of hugs and cups of hot tea-so sending you some from the ozarks.

  28. So sorry to hear of your loss, Sandra. Blessings to you, peace as well. She lived a good life and won the lottery when you took her in.

  29. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your dear Sophie. She came to you unbidden just when you needed her didn't she?

    I hope the Lord sends another hidden angel soon to take her place in your life….

    Hugs from someone who understands all about the love of a terrier….

  30. Sandra . . .
    Heartbreak and compassion walking together. So very sad . . . my heart and caring are with you . . .
    Love, Lynne

  31. Becky, God is always able and He always gives me the strength to do the work He's set before me. It's not His fault if I whine -grin.

    Karen, I've been doing this for close to 20 years and have learned a fair amount. That, plus God is faithful.

    LindaSue, have to admit, glad that week is behind me; it was stressful, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    Debbie, the prayers of others are what keep me going some weeks as my own are weak.

    Annie, thank you, I'm glad the week is behind me.

    Teresa, thank you, it's a difficult week.

    Donna, that little dog was a piece of my heart.

    Wrangler, animals bring huge comfort; how can people live without them?

    Tara, it never gets easier, does it?

    Lynn, you are so kind but I'm just someone who does the work God sets before her.

  32. Sheri, thank you for your prayers; they are welcome, needed and appreciated.

    Michelle, Harry Shetland is still alive and doing...okay. Daily, he amazes me, he's so old and creaky but still eats and drinks. I carry water to him every day, 2 x day plus give him grain, cracked corn and hay.

    Dori, thank you, photography is one of my loves.

    Diana, a down day on the farm is when I'm not here -grin.

    Sparky, is there life beyond work? WHO KNEW? Yes, it does seem all I do is work...and then goof off on the computer.

    Susan B, it's never easy to lose someone, no matter how many legs they have, or haven't, got.

    Kathy, I hate losing anything or anyone...even when I know it's God's plan, I hate it.

    Lorraine, thank you; your prayers are appreciated, needed and welcome.

    Glenda, it's always better, I think, when we get a chance to say good-bye.

    Roses, bless you for remembering me in prayer; always needed, welcome and appreciated.

    Jill, remembering you and yours husband in my prayers; God speed on his journey to PA.

    Lisa, thank you.

    Paula, all my animals have good lives and now, some of them are with Dave.

    Patrice, thank you; be careful what you wish for -smile.

    Marsha, Sophie was a sweet heart; she and I were good for each other.

    Kathy, hugs and tea are both appreciated.

    Midlo Mom, yes, she did! And so did I -smile-

    Grace, I still have two dogs and five house cats so there's plenty of love to go 'round. But Sophie did take some love when she left.

    Lynne, thank you; Sophie was special.

  33. Oh Sandra, I'm so sorry about little Sophie! And I agree with you about always letting the other animals see, instead of waiting and wondering.
    Extra loving all around til the ache isn't so deep. And then, extra loving all around anyway, because there's really no such thing as "extra" when it comes to loving.


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