Then The Sky Fell In

My peace I leave with you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27)

On 19 October I fell while working on my land. “Oh no!” I thought as I went down, too late to put out my hands. I heard my nose ‘crack’ as it hit the ground.

I sat up, hands to face to make sure I still had a nose. Yes – but there was blood running down the right side. Off to the house, where I stanched more blood with cold water, tissues and vitamin C, and lay down.

Later I found out my sight was affected – double vision when looking to the sides and down.  Considerably double, too – not just a ‘shadow’, but a full-blown double image, well offset.  It looked like the ‘jigsaw puzzle’ of my vision had blown apart at the sides.

At first I hoped it was swelling, and took arnica. After 2 weeks I gave in and drove with one eye shut to our local clinic.  It was my first drive out since the accident – my neighbor had kindly taken me shopping in the interim – and it was scary.

I was ambulanced down to the Emergency Department at Base Hospital (77 miles). There were blood samples, an ECG, 4 heart x-rays, umpteen lights shone in my eyes, nose and ears, many ‘touchy-feely’ tests to make sure I hadn’t had a stroke, and a CT head scan.

Up to the eye clinic next morning for more shining lights.  An MRI head scan was ordered, since the CT scan showed nothing. My right eye was clearly not tracking properly.  This is a bad experience for anyone, but especially so for a visual artist.

I went back down the line for the MRI scan on the 9th, and again this last week for the results. That was the scary part.

On the way down in the shuttle bus, as I prayed I got the message, “I am with you, no harm will befall you.” And so it has been. The MRI scan showed nothing. The eye specialist thinks there is a small speck of blood somewhere that will resolve itself, given time. They don’t want to see me for 3 months – Whew!

Thank you, Lord for your goodness and mercy! Thank you for giving me a specialist who is prepared to let You do Your work. Bless your Holy name!

Digital artwork, from acrylic paintings.

Patricia

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Healing Begins

Lift up your hands without wrath or doubting. I see your need and hear the cry of your heart. There will be a reversal of every physical malady that the enemy has brought against you. The blood of Jesus shed in your behalf is healing your physical body. There are angels assigned to your life to break off the word curses and the illegitimate authorities that have sought to bring about the diminishing of your health. The command of heaven is that the health of your countenance will now spring forth speedily and manifest.” (The Father Says Today 7 March 2017)

I decided to sell my beloved 10 acre block in September 2014, I think because everything became too much for me. I’ve loved the place for over 40 years but I’d lost my enthusiasm and interest. I wasn’t even interested in my plants and garden, let alone 10 acres overgrown with gorse. Much had been neglected in the years I looked after my mom with alzheimers, sole charge – there was such a lot to be done and so little funds to do it all with.

So spake the enemy.

Fortunately, I’d been born again in October 2006, at a small fellowship in a coastal town half an hour’s drive from where I live. I hadn’t been a churchgoer since I was a child, but out of the blue some friends invited me to their fellowship that day and I decided to go.  It would be a change, I thought, especially since my mother was in respite care for a week. No-one at this little fellowship knew me.

Well, the worship and the service had such a strong impact that I was in tears for most of it, and decided then and there to be baptized with three others in a ceremony they were going to hold in the ocean near the church.  So in this way the Lord reached out and pulled me into His boat.

Then we went back for lunch, and several people brought scriptures that had come into their minds for me. Out of probably 5 scriptures, 3 were identical:

“So I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten…” (Joel 2:25)

I was astounded. These people did not know my life’s health history, nor did they know that I had looked after my mother with alzheimers for 9 years…

That prophetic scripture encouraged me so much, because I felt it had indeed come direct from God, and thanks to the experience I’d had with the Holy Spirit on that day I really had become a ‘believer’. As very often happens, though, the outcome of the prophetic was not immediate nor has it been instant. Far from it. There is a lesson to be learned for us all in this.

When Jesus walked this earth, He worked many instant miracles – in fact the hallmark of His miracles was the instantaneous. Sometimes though, He required evidence of faith from the people He healed – as when He asked people what they wanted from Him. He knew the answer to that question perfectly well, but He wanted to draw out from them a statement of faith.

Sometimes, He required people to take action in faith – “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8), “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” (John 9:7). For a man afflicted with illness for 38 years who couldn’t get himself into a pool, and for a man blind from birth, these were not trifling commands – they required faith and effort. Sometimes it is so with us, and I believe we are the better for it.

Today, instantaneous miracles are still happening:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-13)

This last quotation highlights another aspect. Many miracles were – and are – worked in such a way that there can be no doubt they are sent by God. Two historic examples are the raising of Lazarus (John 11), and the healing of the man blind from birth (John 9:1-7), as Jesus stated there in answer to the disciples’ question.

I believe there are times when the Lord does not just hand out an instantaneous healing because He wants us to trust the process, and learn something. And so it has been with me.

My mom passed away early in 2007.    I always baked bread from wholewheat and ground sunflower seeds for her because she loved it – the bread was raised with baking powder, so as to avoid yeast.

Now was my opportunity: I was led to stop baking (and eating) bread, and test out a feeling I had about gluten. So I cut out all wheat products. That helped, but was still not the full answer. Then I was reminded other grains also contain gluten, so I swore off all grains except rice and a little corn – some more improvement, but still not the full answer.

I was noticing a strange cramping in my bowel at times, and the words ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome‘ kept coming to mind. So I researched an explanation:
“The small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed, is supposed to have tight cell junctions to separate the chyme (food turns into chyme in the stomach) from the bloodstream. But a chain of factors causes these tight junctions to degrade. Once the connections between intestinal cells are weakened, undigested proteins and bacterial toxins escape into the bloodstream. This leads to a heightened state of inflammation.”  (Empowered Sustenance)
Could this be what was causing my skin problems and ‘under the weather’ symptoms? A condition brought about by years of candida and stress?

The way to treat Leaky Gut Syndrome holistically prescribes avoidance of all sugars and all starches (including grains and starchy vegetables). So the packets of rice biscuits (my bread substitute) went out the window, as did corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes (our NZ kumara) and yams. I put myself on the GAPS diet.

Meantime I’d had polymyalgia, which of course is an inflammatory disease, affecting mainly the legs in my case and almost destroying my mobility. It began late 2014 and thanks to careful management by my doctor, we had a recovery by April 2016.  A wise friend suggested that maybe the reason the prednisone worked so well on me was that I have never taken pharmaceutical medications.

Meantime I had started a course of chiropractic to fix some spinal problems, exacerbated by a couple of falls.

After many months of daily pain and limping, I’d at last begun to feel I was starting to come right when I received the prophecy quoted at the head of this post – 7 March 2017.  Note the 7s: God’s number of completion.  And the 3 (March) – God’s number of perfection.

Hallelujah! This prophecy came like a heavenly benediction on a decision I was in the process of making – the decision NOT to sell my beloved 10 acre block and NOT to move away.

Well, our Father is a God of Breakthrough. He is also a God of knowledge and understanding:

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 3:33)

For over 2 years I’d pursued the idea of selling up and moving – hampered continually by one major thing after another – my health issues, a tree falling on my roof, having another tree taken down with massive fallout scattered everywhere, repair work needing to be done on 3 outbuildings, a huge overgrowth of wandering jew weed – you name it, I had it.

I don’t think I was meant to move away from here, and things were allowed to happen that made it virtually impossible for me to move quickly.

But what does it take to deal with all these problems?

I’ll tell you what it takes – faith, that’s what – and being prepared to trust the process. Being prepared to take action when a fast outcome is unlikely. Being prepared to listen to the still small voice, and obey. Being prepared to step out in faith without having a clue how it will work out.

Plus a healing miracle.

More to come.

Patricia

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Trust The Process

Embrace My process and you will see My outcome. Know that for you, the process might be in the valley but the outcome is on the mountain. Everybody wants outcome, beloved – but very few comprehend my purposes in the valley, in the low places. There are shadows in the valley that reflect the purposes I am stepping you through that will not be clear to your understanding. On the mountain however, you will see the big picture and the far horizon I have defined as your personal destiny.” (The Father Says Today 4 October 2017)

We all like to think in terms of ‘goals’. In fact the whole thrust of the ‘self improvement’ movement is about goals. If you don’t have goals, you will not succeed. If you don’t have goals you’d better get working and define some ASAP, if you want to be successful in life. This is the story we are fed.

And just what does ‘being successful in life’ entail in this scenario?

Wealth? Power? Position? Happiness?

The strange thing is that people who set out to attain these things by worldly means, though they may be successful, are rarely contented with the results, even if they achieve them. There is always something else – something elusive that they cannot quite put their finger on, that they find is lacking in their ‘successful’ lives.

That is because they are focusing on the wrong thing – they are focusing on goals rather than submitting to process. In other words, they are focusing on what they can obtain rather than what they can become. (And by ‘what they can become’ I don’t mean wealthy, powerful, important or happy.) We tend to forget the character-building qualities of ‘process’.

As a mundane, physical example from real life, I was talking to a retired builder recently. He said when he started out as a builder’s apprentice, he and his fellow apprentices spent months wheeling barrows of concrete along planks and dumping them into place in the foundations of buildings. “One thing is for sure,” he said, “We put on muscle and we put on skills of balance and navigation with barrowloads of cement, that stood us in good stead for years, working on scaffoldings.” He added that these days, because the whole focus of technology is on quick results, young men coming into the building industry don’t want to ‘waste time’ acquiring physical skills – they just want to drive around in flash company vehicles and draw fat salaries – and they expect it to happen FAST.

The Father isn’t interested in ‘fast’. He isn’t interested in these kinds of goals – He is interested in how we develop in character and in our hearts, and for this purpose He leads us along a path where we cannot see the end from the beginning.

Ever since the Lord put me on the track of rearing sheep on this land in June, though the prospect excited me in many ways, I couldn’t see what relevance it had to serving Him and doing His work. I am fairly isolated here (by choice), except for my contacts and graphics outreach ministry on the Internet. I felt as if my dreams for this property were too personal to be relevant to His work. Nonetheless I stepped forward along the path, getting my outbuildings repaired, mending fences, clearing weeds (with gorse that’s ongoing) and getting the land drainage shipshape again.

The big ‘plus’ was that once I decided not to sell up, a huge weight came off my shoulders.  I now have confidence in His working in my life, and am learning to stop planning, pushing and striving, and to put the load onto Him. It’s now truly ‘one day at a time’:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

How well we know this scripture – how little we apply it!

Pursuing the prospects of growing and processing wool, I researched local interest in spinning and weaving.    I find there is a club here that meets weekly in a cafe (what a good idea!), and its members teach people to spin and weave. I’m looking forward to attending this coming week.   That’s a change – I never once wanted to belong to a local art club!  What’s more, although I gave away all my mother’s spinning, weaving and dyeing books to a Lions Club book fundraising sale 2 years ago (“I’ll never use these!”), I’ve tracked down and bought off TradeMe the two books I most remember seeing in her collection. Hallelujah!

Believe me, if there ever was an example of stepping forward in blind faith, this sure is it. I’ve never spun in my life.

Then, as I was finishing off the last post, the Lord drew to my attention a passage from one of my favorite books; ‘My Descent Into Death‘ by Howard Storm. The title of this book is daunting, I know, but it recounts one of the most amazing NDEs of all time.   Howard was an atheist, an extremely intelligent man. He died in hospital in Paris from a ruptured duodenum, but instead of the oblivion he expected, found himself under attack by evil spiritual beings. He was saved by Jesus when childhood memories caused him in final desperation to call out to the Savior.

Howard had a life review and was then granted a ‘question time’ with the Lord. One of the many questions he asked was about the future of life in this world and he was told that the world is at the beginning of a spiritual revolution.  In fact, he didn’t believe it, and he told the Lord as much.

He was shown a beautiful natural woodland setting, with people passing by. He saw no evidence of technology. No technology was needed because all people could communicate telepathically and people had the power to control matter and energy. The people wore garments of woven materials and exotic ornaments made of metal.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. ” (Matthew 6:9-13)

What really intrigued me about this picture was the dress and jewelry of the people Howard saw. The description indicates a return to human craft and creativity in place of mass-production technology. I can’t think of anything better!    As I mentioned in my last post, a revival of traditional handcrafting skills is already under way –  even down to the old hand spinning techniques, with young women now into spinning wool, and teaching others.    That surprised me at first, but could this be the beginning of the ‘anti-industrial’ revolution that we need so desperately?   Could this be why the Lord has led me out of the corporate world and anchored me here so I could be part of this revolution?

“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth’, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” (Revelation 21:1)

As well as a brain, the Father gave us a body – and the activity and dexterity of that body feeds back into the development of the brain. Sadly, we have got to the point where bodily skills and dexterity are less and less at a premium. Computers and machines are exercising skills that we should be exercising.   Hello??   Looks like we are being undermined by the very technology we created to serve us: maybe some of the science fiction horror stories in film, TV and books are not so far off the mark.

Note: Jesus did not teach His followers to pray, “Father, we can’t wait to get to heaven.” He taught them to pray for the manifestation of the Kingdom here on earth.  We should be working towards that now.

The world is ripe for a spiritual revolution, followed by His Kingdom Come.  This is an exciting time.

Blessings,

Patricia

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My Sheep Hear My Voice – Rethink?

Discard the old wineskin. The old way of thinking and the old way of doing things hasn’t worked for you anyway, so set that aside…  Empty your hands of the failed things of the past so a new assignment and a new vision can find its place in your heart.  There is nothing to be gained in trying to produce yesterday’s fruit with the energies of today.  Let that all go.”  (The Father Says Today 28 September 2017)

This is a lesson being taught me right now.  “The failed things of the past” clearly includes a disastrous term breeding dairy goats from 1986-1995 (terminated because my herd contracted a fatal disease).  But am I also being asked to think again about my current proposals for breeding Damara sheep?

In July I bought my first Damara sheep because when I thought about running sheep on this land again, like my mother had done, my reaction was, “I don’t want all the dramas of docking, crutching and shearing, thank you!”  As it happens, the three lambs recently born to these ewes all have a breed called ‘Gotland’ in their bloodline.

Last week, searching for more Damaras, I was led to a breeder about 4 hours’ journey south of here.   She has the breed I was looking for, but also Gotlands – that name again!  Is the Lord telling me something?

I did some research.  Gotlands are originally from the Baltic – a wool sheep with very fine, dark grey wool.   Then the Lord seemed to be saying to me:

Well Pat, with the Damaras you have 2 products – either breeding stock or meat. Breeding stock isn’t always easy to sell – especially up here in the boondocks. And you know you don’t like selling animals for meat. With these Gotlands, you have a very fine, beautiful wool fleece product.”

I didn’t want the bother of shearing?   Hmmm…  Rethink required?

So I pulled out my mom’s spinning wheel – which over the years I’ve never got rid of.   I have no documentation, and it doesn’t look like anything on the website of our largest NZ maker of spinning wheels. Never mind – I take a photo, email it to them and say, “What model is this?” Got an almost immediate reply, “This isn’t one of ours, it was called the Pipy and you can find the history and documentation here…”

Memories came flooding back – now I remember my mom calling it the Pipy. It’s a great NZ wheel, made in 1968, and it seems the design originated with an old Irish spinning wheel that came out of a bombed house in London after the war, was bought at a second-hand shop, and brought to New Zealand.  This elegant wheel that used to be NZ made, is now discontinued.   But the son of the man who made the wheels has started making spare parts for them. Hallelujah!

Incidentally, for all those who think of spinning as a pastime of little old ladies, research on YouTube and other websites shows many young women are now into spinning wool – and teaching others, too…   Well, well!

I had intended to go on an 8+ hour round trip this morning to pick up a couple of Damara lambs (or whatever – keep an open mind) from the breeder.  Yesterday morning I was thinking about the proposed journey and not feeling very enthusiastic about it.  I shared with the Lord my concern and uncertainties and He said:

This is the path – walk in it.”  OK Lord…   I got on with preparing my vehicle for the journey.

Then Lo and Behold out of the blue last night the breeder rang me to say she now has only one pedigree Damara lamb left.  What do I want to do?   I poured out to her what I’d been thinking. We had a long chat (she is a spinner, it turns out) and I’ve decided to switch horses in mid stream, buy Gotlands from her next year instead, and go into wool: a product that can be sold, not only locally, but also on the Internet.    I think I can see some other angles too – about which, more later.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
(John 10:2-4, 27)

So I’m not half way down the line to Auckland right now, I’m sitting here at my PC and thinking, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform…”

Quite often, He has to re-educate us in the process.

More next time.

Patricia

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Turn Around!

You are going to TAKE OVER and DISPOSSESS the goat nations and the goat cities and the goat economies until the SHEEP of My possession will take the high places and establish a testimony to My name.”   (The Father Says Today 11 August 2017)

I’m sure this refers not just to nations, but to all of the 7 Mountains of Influence.  Control of these mountains needs desperately to be recovered from the powers and principalities of the enemy.  Here is confirmation that this is in The Father’s plan.

I’ve been out of circulation for quite a few months – and there’s a reason for that.   Back in late 2014 I was struck by a nasty disease called polymyalgia, which came close at the time to destroying my mobility.  Fortunately, once diagnosed, the solution was revealed – prednisone.

Aaargh!  Well I wasn’t entirely happy with THAT, but does one want to walk freely or not?  In addition, polymyalgia was causing mayhem with my blood – too many platelets, anemia etc.  So my doctor put me on a modest dose of prednisone and over the period of about 18 months we tailed it back and achieved a recovery.  (Which some say is impossible.  Well, I’ve got news for you…)

In the meantime, however, I had an accident and went to a chiropractor – fortunately a very good one.   So we entered into a process of sorting out the curves in my spine and re-stabilizing my backbone.

I’d been quite depressed at the time of the polymyalgia.  The only answer seemed to be to move away from this place, which I’ve been associated with for 47 years and have loved dearly.  I’d even got to the point where I wasn’t interested anymore.

But things kept getting in my way – including shortage of finances to get the place tidied up for sale.  On top of that I had a tree fall on my roof (damage? – oh yes!) and a second tree taken down because it was in danger of following suit.   Fallout everywhere.  Funds getting even lower.   I seemed to be stuck in mud.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to go?

Then just before last Christmas, the tide started to turn.  We began to win with the chiropractic. I was no longer limping.  I’m now getting around my land as in the old days – steep and hilly as it is – and working quite hard, if carefully.  There are a few things I now cannot do, but apart from that, the recovery is little short of miraculous.  I will go into this in more detail in a later post.

I decided to stay – how could I ever have thought of leaving?  To keep my grass down I’ve taken on breeding rare breeds Damara sheep.  My first 2 bought in early July are a Damara/Arapawa cross and her daughter.  Both have had lambs – and the lambs at 2 weeks old are a delight.  Damaras hail from Namibia and are thought to be a breed from the Mediterranean that gradually moved south through Africa – a Middle East connection even in this!

My mother bred black Romney sheep here for the wool, and I am pleased to be into sheep now, rather than goats (much as I loved them).  Somehow, ever since I was born again in late 2006, I’ve not got over the biblical distinction between sheep and goats, where the sheep are seen as the flock that knows the Shepherd’s voice and needs protection, and the goats as somehow different:  notwithstanding that both species were herded by the patriarchs, and both contributed great value to the Jewish economy.   Clearly also, if sheep and goats were herded together, there were times when they simply HAD to be separated, for reasons of logistics.

I think it’s worth noting that the iconography that links the image of the goat to Baal and Satan is in fact of fairly recent origin – the Phoenecians and Canaanites depicted Baal as either a man or a man with a bull’s head.  In the bible, Satan is ‘the old serpent’.

The Good Shepherd

Jesus characterized himself, not as a fisher of men, though He used that metaphor to draw in His first disciples, who were fishermen – but as ‘The Good Shepherd’, and sheep feature so many times in His sayings and parables.  I am very happy now to have changed species, and to be in the category of ‘shepherds‘!    Every day I get great joy from this.

The prophecy I quote at the top of this post came to me on 11 August.  It fitted so clearly with what I was doing that it spoke volumes and gave me great comfort.

Jesus foretold this of Himself at His second coming:

“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.”  (Matthew 25:32-33: The Message)

Hallelujah!

Patricia

 

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New Year’s Visitor – 2

bucks2-iconHere I was with 2 on-heat bucks running loose among my does.  Didn’t I decide 9 years ago that I was done with the ‘Births, Marriages and Deaths‘ scenario?  This was by far the worst thing I could think of!

I went down to the house and over a cup of coffee was inspired (thank goodness) to give myself a real hard talking to:

“Pat, this is the Serpent messing with you.  He’s got you in a right stew and as long as you’re in a stew, you block the Lord’s work.  Remember what He said: “Focus on Me!”  Just do it, and stop falling for Satan’s talk.  Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the universe.  With the Lord’s help, you will get through it.  And remember, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)

Thank you, Lord.

In trials like these, it can be very difficult to realign your thinking.  All the evidence is against that, all the facts point one way, and the news is all bad:  ‘No-one in their right mind would think any differently.’   But Paul emphasized the importance of walking by faith, not by sight.  And he was tested sorely throughout his ministry: you can’t accuse him of not knowing what he was talking about.

Paul said, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.”   WHICH TRANSLATES:

The more we engage with worldly thinking the more we turn away from the Lord’s power.  So we need always to be of good courage and walk by faith in Him, not by what we see.”   (2 Corinthians 5:6-7)

Our limited minds are always searching for answers and solutions: “How, how, how can this come right?”  “What can I do to sort this problem?”  “Can I think of some way out of this situation?”   It’s hard, with our worldly drive to organize and plan everything, to ‘opt out’ and let things go.  We get hammered with the goal setting, visualizing and life planning ideologies of the self improvement gurus.  Not to mention  the ‘I Did It My Way’ would-be standard for living enshrined in the world’s thinking over 46 years ago.  What a travesty that was!  How many people were fooled by it!   Still are.

Didn’t Jesus say, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)  No DIY, no  goal-setting instructions there.

How many of those who heard Him, and how many of us, struggling with the issues and dramas of everyday life, have thought, “This guy was crazy!”   And yet … ‘this guy’ holds the keys to the universe, life and death, in His hand.

Somehow, I managed to settle down and quit worrying.

buck2_700

It would be nice to say that next morning the bucks had disappeared – well at least I couldn’t see them anywhere.  I opened the paddock gate again and the does went up.  Washing the dishes, I was full of hope – until I heard an irate call that didn’t sound like a doe.  It was Himself, allright – suddenly realizing they’d got away from him.  As I watched from the kitchen window, he charged through the open gate and on up the paddock in search of his harem…

stay-calm_700
But now, 7 days down the track, I can pretty definitely say the bucks are not on the property.  None of the does is on heat and I haven’t sighted Himself or his offsider for over 6 days. Maybe they are like sailors with a girl in every port…   Somehow, they must have got back through the fence into the bush and I have a window of about 2 weeks to get the fence mended before the does come on heat again (if they haven’t taken to service).

As far as I could tell, only 2 of the does cycled.  So if I can keep Himself and his offsider out, the kid drop may be less than I feared.

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…”  (Psalm 103:2)

Yes indeed – Regardless.

Patricia

New Year’s Visitor – 1

bucks-iconMy last post about the new piglets for Christmas sets the scene for this follow-up New Year’s Tale.

In addition to the 3 Kunes, I have 3 Boer cross does, the remnant of breeding that I was into some years ago.  These doe goats have lived on their own with me for 9 years and they tidy up around the place.  It’s a nice, peaceful arrangement.

Or, it WAS a nice, peaceful arrangement.

On New Year’s Eve I went up in the late afternoon to give the piglets their evening meal.  One of the does was standing just inside the fence in the paddock that leads up the back, and as I glanced at her, my eye was drawn to something in the gorse a little way behind.

Unless I was much mistaken, it was the top of a buck’s head.  Though I couldn’t see much in among the gorse bushes, I knew the cut of a buck’s horns only too well.  And what’s more I could smell him.

As if to answer my unspoken question, he stood up even as I looked.  Quite a big boy, too.   And I had a good idea how he’d got in – through a breach in my back fence made by wild pigs this last winter.   Though I was planning to fix it, pinning down a contractor at this time of year is not the easiest. In the past, I would have grabbed some waratahs and done the job myself, but when I last thumped in a couple of standards a few months ago, I wrecked my back again and got a telling off from my chiropractor (plus a bill or two).        It pays to be careful.

The doe waggled her tail – yes, she was on heat, all right.  Drat!  This really puts the cat among the pigeons.

buck3-himself
The buck even had a bit of a Boer look about him – could have escaped from the Boer cross farm a few miles off over the hill, where I got the current does.

I went to feed the piglets, mind in a whirl.  When I got back, I could see there was a second, younger buck a little further behind.  The leading buck had quite a spread of horns – near 3 feet, I guessed, so he was a seasoned campaigner and definitely the one in charge.   Drat!   Drat!

I was quite upset that evening.  The scenario in my mind ran something like,  “I was getting everything set up nicely and now this happens.  The other 2 does will be brought on heat by the bucks, and I stand to have at least 6 kids arrive this year, with all the dramas of ringing or destroying any buck kids that arrive, and making sure the buck kids don’t starve the doe kids by hogging the milk supply.  More mouths to feed.  And above all how do I get rid of those 2 adult bucks?

Knowing the bank where the fence had been breached, I couldn’t see them getting out again – and obviously, having found some does, they’d be more likely to stay.

I had some good Deerstalker friends who had destroyed a mature buck for me some years back – the wife was recognized nationally as the top female shooter in NZDA for some years, and extremely accurate.  But that was then and this is now.  We are all that much older and I wasn’t sure even if she was still shooting.  Aaaargh!  And I don’t really like killing things, and I don’t want to let just any old shooter loose around my does…

Next morning when I went up, the does were at the shed.  No sign of the bucks.  So I closed the paddock gate.  Later I went up again with some more feed and heard a mighty rattling in the side fence.  Sure enough, the lead buck had his horns caught in the bottom of it – no doubt the does had gone up into another paddock behind there and he was trying to get through.  I had a great view of his back end as he twisted and turned, pulled and pushed at the fence wires.   He was an entire male, no question about that.

This was all getting to be a bit much – and on a New Year’s Morning!  If that huge spread of horns was well and truly caught in the fence, I’d have to get someone to deal to him smartly.  I have 8 wire high tensile fencing built specifically for goats, so the gaps at the bottom are narrower than usual – oh the power of testosterone!

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Fortunately, when I went up again later, he’d extricated himself – these guys are SO smart.  It also became clear that both bucks had now got through the fence and were in with the does.   Later, they all came down to the shed and it seemed a second doe was on heat as well.   Problems, problems…

There was a lot of stamping, gobbling and roaring going on – and a few other unmentionable things that bucks do to entice their females for mating.     Talk about Bad Moon Rising!

This carry-on isn’t any good for fences, either.

More next time.

Patricia